Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong
Post Office Box 431
Tucson, Arizona 85702
February 7, 1979
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ:
The outrageous unconstitutional invasion and captivity of the Church and Work of the Living God continues. It is the very beginning of fulfillment of END-TIME Bible prophecies! This monstrous invasion of the State of California will go down in history for the next thousand years!
My excommunicated son Garner Ted is now broadcasting over a station in the Los Angeles area and a very few other radio outlets. He and dissidents, excommunicated former ministers are trying to mislead our people into thinking they are required by the Bible to fully cooperate with the State-appointed Receiver in taking over, managing and operating the Work of God! So first of all, let me MAKE PLAIN what has happened, and then what the Bible teaching is.
A couple weeks ago on a Monday over three thousand Brethren of God's Church en masse filled the ground floors of the Hall of Administration, the Ambassador Auditorium, and the Student Center. First let me tell you WHY they did this, and what led up to it.
Six dissident, hostile former members had brought a "Class Action" lawsuit against God's Church through the Attorney General's Office. Without notification and unknown to us, the State's acting Attorney General had obtained a Court Order appointing Ex-Judge Steven Weisman as Receiver over God's Church and Work.
Without notice of any kind Mr. Weisman, government attorneys, private attorneys, deputized, and with law-enforcement officers, invaded Church headquarters in the Administration Building, and literally took CAPTIVE the Church and Work of Almighty GOD!
It was early Wednesday morning, January 3rd. Mr. Ellis LaRavia was the only minister or department head there at the time. To him, Receiver Weisman said, total, absolute power of the Church and Work of the Living God had been given to him, including all assets.
Mr. LaRavia was told, "We're going to completely reorganize this Church along traditional (worldly) lines, appointing a new Board of Directors, fire and hire whom we please.
Herbert Armstrong is OUT -- no longer Pastor General, or even in this organization."
Later, to my secretary, Receiver Weisman said Herbert W. Armstrong is completely OUT of this organization. Yet both of our people later heard Ex-Judge Weisman say in Court, under oath, that he had not said he had put me out.
By Court order, on NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER but declarations of hostile ex-members, the State of California had taken captive of the complete operation and property, assets, and management of the Church of the Living God, in utter contempt and defiance of the first Amendment to the Constitution of the United States! To my knowledge this was UNPRECEDENTED in the United States!
The Receiver had locks on doors of principle campus buildings changed, and except during business hours, locked all employees and Church officials OUT! The State had taken captive, and possession of GOD'S HEADQUARTERS!
On a Monday morning, January 22, some three thousand Church members, en masse, filed into the three main buildings, began a prayer and hymn-singing service, barricaded the doors, keeping Ex-Judge Weisman and his staff out. This was repeated Tuesday morning, and by Wednesday morning the number escalated to approximately 5,500, with members coming from as far south as San Diego and as far north as Bakersfield. Women and children and even babies with them.
There's an old saying that "possession is nine-tenths of the law." God's people had retaken possession!
Our brethren were quiet, orderly, and neatly dressed. On Wednesday a battery of Deputy Sheriffs were assembled a short distance from the campus, ready to break down the doors and use force against our people, who were willing to submit to arrest. This en masse action of 5,500 brethren was an answer to the "Class-action suit" brought by six embittered, hostile, ex-members seeking to DESTROY God's Church and Work. Yet our people politely carried a hot lunch over to the assembled Deputy-Sheriffs.
This made news headlines around the world. To break in and take women, children and babies to jail would have made bigger headlines. The Receiver apparently realized this. He raised, in effect, a white flag of truce, asking our attorneys if they could not make some compromise. Our attorneys said "NO COMPROMISE! You have acted in defiance of the Constitution of the United States.
Receiver Weisman then agreed to stay off the campus property, and occupy, for checking our records a small office in the press building across the freeway.
At this point we have the "nine-tenths of the law" of actual possession, and the state still has the one-tenth, but so far they have not given God's Church the other one-tenth, and things remain at this writing in a status quo.
My son, broadcasting over a Los Angeles area radio station, is trying to throw up a smoke-screen and confuse our people. He with local dissidents and ministers, are quoting with great emphasis on Romans 13 in the Bible -- but they are twisting and wrestling its meaning all out of proportion. This Scripture says, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God."
Stop and analyze that before proceeding. "There is NO power but of God." Where does Satan get his power? God gave it to him at a time when he was "perfect in all his ways ... till iniquity was found in him." (Ezek. 28). In Ephesians "we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Eph. 6:12). Now we do not primarily have to struggle against these wicked spirits (Satan and his demons) direct, because they are spirit and invisible to human eyes. But they SWAY, influence, and direct the spiritual wickedness "in high places," precisely as is happening in our own case. These demonic invisible powers of Satan SWAY and Lead those in high places in human government! Nevertheless, this Scripture does tell us, speaking about our several individual lives to "BE SUBJECT UNTO" these higher powers OF MEN, even though elsewhere God shows they are powers of "THIS EVIL WORLD," and deceived and misled by Satan. But "be subject unto" does not always mean OBEY. When it would be a matter of DISOBEYING GOD, we are to obey God, and still be "subject to" whatever punishment the powers of man inflict.
There can be NO power, of ANY government, except what God allows. This passage is instruction to us in our INDIVIDUAL PERSONAL LIFE! And our people indeed are a law-abiding, patriotic people. If man's law says drive with a speed limit of 55, we hold it down to 55.
BUT THIS WAS AN ALTOGETHER DIFFERENT MATTER. This action of the State was not a LAW over us universally and individually. -- IT WAS AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL SEPARATE ACTION AGAINST GOD'S CHURCH. It came without proof or evidence of wrongdoing. If it had, they would have arrested Mr. Stanley Rader and myself and brought us to trial -- IF there had been evidence or PROOF against us. Instead, they brought a "Class Action" against the whole CHURCH, to seize our records IN ORDER TO TRY TO FIND SOME EVIDENCE for which they could prosecute us on criminal charges. We know, of course, there is no such proof, for no criminal acts have occurred!
This present case does not come under the meaning of Romans 13:1-7 -- and the passage ends saying: "Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor" (Verse 7). This ties in with Jesus' statement, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto GOD, the things that are God's.
The CHURCH of the Living GOD is NOT Caesar's, but GOD'S, and we DO REFUSE WILLINGLY TO RENDER GOD'S CHURCH AND WORK OVER TO AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND THEREFORE UNLAWFUL CAESAR!
I said in the beginning of this letter that this crisis is THE VERY BEGINNING of fulfillment of END-TIME PROPHECIES! Now let me explain some AMAZING PROPHECIES, FORETELLING THIS VERY PRESENT BATTLE!
This present crisis is the very START of END-TIME PROPHESIED EVENTS! It will culminate in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ in supreme POWER AND GLORY to RULE ALL NATIONS a thousand years -- and thereafter!
When Christ Himself comes, as reported in advance in the l9th chapter of Revelation, and in verse 19: "And I saw" (the Apostle John is here reporting what he saw in vision was going to happen), "the beast (Roman ruler over a re-united Europe), and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to MAKE WAR AGAINST" the descending Glorified CHRIST!
If the governments of MAN, and their armies are going to FIGHT AGAINST CHRIST HIMSELF at His coming, HOW MUCH MORE must we expect that Satan would lead human political powers to fight against Christ's ADVANCE-AMBASSADOR ANNOUNCING HIS SOON COMING! And the prophecies show WHY they object to Christ sending His Apostle now to Kings, Emperors, Presidents and Prime Ministers around the world in order to open the doors of those countries so we may carry Christ's last GOSPEL MESSAGE INTO THEIR COUNTRIES TO THEIR PEOPLES, and they call such expenditures "siphoning off millions of dollars" for our personal pockets.
I say to you, in the name of Jesus Christ, there has been NO "siphoning off" of ANY monies. But there has been the expenditures of what in our judgement, based on years of experience, is needful for Christ's purpose! And, of all departments of God's Work -- radio broadcasting, television production and broadcasting, magazine publishing, books and booklets -- the ministry to local churches around the world, the College, the expenditures for this purpose (Christ said "GO YE INTO ALL THE WORLD with HIS Gospel MESSAGE") have been the LOWEST of all phases of the whole great worldwide Work! It has cost around $1 million per year out of the Work's total expenditures of $70 million! Yet this has been THE MOST IMPORTANT PHASE OF THE WORK, AND COST THE LEAST!
NOW TO BIBLE PROPHECY!
Where are we, right now, in the time-sequence of Biblical PROPHECY? We are at the very first beginning of the period called "the DAY OF THE LORD." The DAY OF THE LORD is a prophesied time spoken of in more than thirty different prophecies in both Old and New Testaments! We are in the time, right now, when the Living Jesus Christ is sending through us, WORLDWIDE, His last and final Message of LOVE, PEACE AND HOPE to a hopeless and dying world. This is the very first PRELIMINARY beginning of the DAY OF THE LORD.
And what is "THE DAY OF THE LORD?" It follows the six-thousand-year period that might be called the "DAY OF MAN" -- but more accurately, the "DAY OF SATAN." This day of MAN, swayed by Satan as the "god of this world" (II Cor. 4:4), began when God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, placing arch-angels with flaming swords to prevent thereafter mankind entering and taking of the "tree of life" -- symbolic of God's Holy Spirit. For 6,000 years now, MAN has been CUT OFF from contact with GOD -- except the comparative FEW God has called and chosen for special service preparatory to the coming KINGDOM OF GOD! But Satan has swayed mankind his way this 6,000 years!
The "DAY OF THE LORD" is that space of time when GOD will intervene and RULE mankind, with Satan put away. The "DAY OF THE LORD" proper will begin with awesome frightening signs in the sun, moon and skies above, followed by a series of plagues poured out on rebellious unrepentant mankind. At the climax of this short space termed as "God's wrath," will occur the second coming of Jesus Christ in supreme POWER and GLORY! He is coming to ESTABLISH THE KINGDOM OF GOD, and by it RESTORE THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD over the whole earth.
But let's get this entire panorama of stupendous prophecies more concretely and in order of time sequence.
We pick up the primary focal point of these prophesied events in Jesus' famous Olivet prophecy recorded in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21.
Jesus' disciples came to Him privately on the Mount of Olives (Matt. 24:3) asking for some sign by which we might know when His second coming, and the end of this world (Day of Satan) was immediately imminent.
Then, coming to our time in the 20th century, Jesus said, "And this gospel of the Kingdom" (His real Message) "shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end (of this present world) come." (emphasis mine -- Verse 14).
He was speaking there of this very Work, whereby Christ's chosen apostle for our time backed by God's own Church, would be carrying Christ's true Gospel MESSAGE of LOVE, PEACE, and HOPE into all the world.
Actually, this world-wide Work is God's last warning in LOVE, PEACE, and HOPE, going out to a deceived and dying world, before God's WRATH is vented by the last PLAGUES leading directly into Christ's actual coming.
Now continue in Jesus' Olivet prophecy. Jesus gave this present proclaiming of the true Message of the Kingdom of God as the sign of the END of Satan's world. Few human's recognize that significant SIGN -- but SATAN IS WELL AWARE OF IT! He now knows by the very sign of THIS VERY WORK CARRYING THAT MESSAGE WORLDWIDE that he has "but a short time" for his own work of deception (Rev. 12:12) and therefore Satan strikes first at THIS VERY WORK, and then at the whole world in WRATH, bringing on the time of greatest trouble over before or ever shall be.
That is explained by Jesus in verses 21-22: "For then shall be GREAT TRIBULATION such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved (alive), but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened."
Now, more about Satan's conspiracy to try to DESTROY GOD'S WORK now, in other prophecies.
But notice, verse 29, God Himself will cut short the Great Tribulation -- verses 29-30: "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars (meteor shower) shall fall from heaven, and the heavens shall be shaken. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great GLORY."
Now turn to some significant prophecies about THIS VERY WORK, and even THIS VERY ATTACK BY THE STATE, in Old Testament prophecies.
In a number of cases, events have happened as a type, or forerunner of something to happen later. In many cases the Old Testament type was a PHYSICAL occurrence to be followed by a SPIRITUAL occurrence later.
God Almighty is CREATOR. But God creates in DUAL STAGES. First there was the physical Adam, then about four thousand years later came the SPIRITUAL "second-Adam," Jesus Christ. Again, God first formed MAN of physical earth, but the second stage of man's creation is the SPIRITUAL stage. The Old Covenant with Israel was a physical type of the SPIRITUAL New Covenant to be made with a spirit-resurrected Israel at Christ's coming.
Now bear in mind this duality of types as forerunners of a spiritual event in the END TIME.
Turn in your Bible to Isaiah 40, Verse 3: "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord Testament, crying out in the PHYSICAL wilderness of the Jordan River, preparing the way for a HUMAN-born Jesus coming to His MATERIAL Temple at Jerusalem, and His PHYSICAL people Judah, announcing that (some l900-plus years later), He would set up the Kingdom of God.
Now turn on down to Verse 9: "O Zion that bringeth good tidings ..." Zion is used in the Bible two ways. Sometimes it represents the City of David, a portion of Jerusalem to the east of the Temple of Solomon. Sometimes it refers to the Church. Now WHICH does it refer to here? It refers to a Zion that proclaims "Good tidings." The word Gospel means "Good New" or "Good Tidings." So this is now speaking of the true Church of God, proclaiming the GOSPEL. Read further.
"O Jerusalem that bringeth good tidings." Here "Jerusalem" stands for the Church of God. Continue: "Lift up thy voice with strength, lift it up." (Verse 9). This says, AMPLIFY your voice -- by modern means of loud speakers, radio, television. The prophecy referring to John the Baptist did not mention this lifting up the sound with strength.
Continue: "... be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall RULE for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his Work before Him." That is the Message WE are sending out today. Christ is coming this time to RULE! With a STRONG ARM! Could there be any significance in turning those two words around? And today I think there is no non-Jew as much loved and honored in Israel at Jerusalem, from President, Prime Minister, and on down, as Christ's chosen Apostle; but only as a type or forerunner, because verses 1-5 speak only of the second coming of Christ! So God has raised up someone to prepare the way before Christ's Second Coming! As John the Baptist, crying out in the PHYSICAL wilderness of the Jordan River, prepared the way for the human-born Jesus to come to His MATERIAL Temple. He would, as we now know more than 1900 years later establish the Kingdom of God. So John was the type or forerunner of one TODAY crying out in the SPIRITUAL wilderness of RELIGIOUS CONFUSION, preparing the way for the spiritually GLORIFIED CHRIST to come to His SPIRITUAL Temple -- His Church (Ephesians 2:20-21), and to a SPIRIT-BORN people then RESURRECTED, and to actually SET UP the KINGDOM OF GOD!
Brethren that Work is GOING ON, and Satan is trying to DESTROY IT!
But there is more-even more specific!
Whom did God use to build the MATERIAL temple of stone to which Jesus came the first time? It was Zerubbabel, governor of the small colony of Jews sent back to Jerusalem 70 years after the destruction of Solomon's Temple to build the Temple to which Jesus came.
It says of Zerubbabel, Zechariah 4:9, "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house, his hands shall also finish it ..." (Zech. 4:9).
Speaking of that same Temple, in Haggai 2, but only as a TYPE of another Temple to which Christ shall come at His imminent Second Coming, "For thus saith the Lord of hosts, Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens and the earth, and the sea and the dry land, and I will shake all nations ... and I will fill this House with glory, saith the Lord of hosts ... The glory of this latter house shall be greater than the former." (Haggai 2:6-9)
WHAT House was God talking about? NOT the one Zerubbabel was building, for it did not compare in glory with Solomon's Temple. He was talking of the MORE GLORIOUS TEMPLE to which Christ shall come at His SECOND COMING -- a SPIRITUAL TEMPLE -- His CHURCH then resurrected to spiritual IMMORTALITY (Eph. 2:20-21). God has been building that Temple since 1933. And Satan HATES IT!
There is STILL MORE about the building of the glorious Temple, of which the second temple built by Zerubbabel was a type or fore-runner. That is in the Book of Ezra, speaking of this same time of Zerubbabel as a type or forerunner of what God is building through US, my Brethren and fellow-Workers, today! Remember it is a TYPE OF today's crisis!
It is a historic backdrop against which Haggai and Zechariah wrote. In Ezra 4:5, the enemies of God's Work actually hired lawyers (counsellors) and went to court with false charges against Zerubbabel (Verse 12). This resulted in a Court order (by Artaxerces -- Verse 23) which brought the Work to a grinding halt. Ezra 5:1-2 shows it was of this time that Haggai and Zechariah wrote, and that God over-ruled, and revived the Work under Zerubbabel.
HOW AMAZING is that prophecy!
Brethren in Christ, we need to REALIZE WHAT WE ARE INTO! This is really a war between Satan and Christ -- and Christ SHALL WIN, and God's Work shall be FINISHED! It is crystal clear now to me -- and I hope to you -- why God raised me up from the dead a year and a half ago! But, as the people with Zerubbabel had to pitch in and work with their might, how much MORE must we! Christ has promised that He will NEVER LEAVE NOR FORSAKE US! This is now HIS battle more than ours. The invisible Satan inspired it and deceived disloyal ex-members into taking their rebellious grudge to the State Attorney's office, and unknown of course to the men involved, Satan put it into their minds to start this unconstitutional lawsuit, to take possession and operation of the VERY WORK OF GOD WHICH JESUS CHRIST IS DIRECTING THROUGH HIS PEOPLE!
Satan wants above all to STOP Christ's true Gospel MESSAGE from going worldwide to other nations. May God have mercy and bring those few disloyal ex-ministers to REPENTANCE, and FORGIVE them!
But we must not only FAST AND PRAY -- we must make what sacrifices we are able to make, remember GOD IS ON HIS THRONE -- and remain faithful and loyal. For it is he that shall ENDURE to the END that shall be saved!
Remember, any tithes or offerings sent to the Pasadena address will go to the ex-Judge Receiver. Most of our mail processing department has been moved here to Tucson, Arizona.
Before closing let me again say THANK YOU! THANK YOU for your dedicated loyalty, your sacrifice and quick response! All departments are now operating again in Pasadena, except most of the Mail Processing department which has been temporarily moved here in Tucson. YOUR RESPONSE IN THIS TIME OF WAR TO KEEP GOD'S CHURCH AND WORK ALIVE HAS BEEN JUST AS SUPERB AS THOSE BRETHREN IN THE PASADENA AREA IN RE-TAKING POSSESSION OF GOD'S PROPERTY -- ALL DEEDED IN GOD'S NAME -- AT PASADENA! Your part in God's Work is just as necessary as mine.
This whole WAR has brought the true people of God closer together than ever before -- actually WELDED together! The very few dissident people are being fast WEEDED OUT -- and GOD'S PEOPLE ARE TOGETHER NOW AS NEVER BEFORE!
Keep God's tithes and your generous offerings coming! We have the ablest attorneys on the west coast of America working almost night and day to wrest this unconstitutional seizure of God's property from those trying to take it and OPERATE IT! God has been with us! May He richly bless you all!
With great love, in Jesus' name,
Herbert W. Armstrong