WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91123
HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG
President and Pastor
September 25, 1978
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with CHRIST:
This really IS GOOD NEWS! For the first time in the past eight or ten years, GOD'S WORK is UNITED SOLIDLY BEHIND JESUS CHRIST, LIVING HEAD OF THE CHURCH OF GOD -- NO LONGER DIVIDED -- and now once again, with CHRIST'S BLESSING, moving rapidly FORWARD!
Every week several new radio and TV stations are being added. Letters are flooding in telling us HOW JOYFULLY people are now able to listen to Christ's TRUE GOSPEL once again.
I will take space here for only one such letter I happen to have before me:
"We are just so happy to hear your voice speaking GOD'S WORD and getting out the Message of God's Kingdom to the world. It has been like a reawakening. For the first time in years my husband and I run for our Bibles when "The WORLD TOMORROW" broadcasts come on. We are so excited about what you say that we are recording each program and listening to them many times, discussing them with other Church members. We feel sure that there will be an upsurge in the Work. We are praying fervently for the Work, the Church, and for you." - Mr. and Mrs. B., Kenilworth, N.J.
If YOU are like these members, in fervent prayer for God's Work, you are preparing to sit with Christ ON HIS THRONE -- SOON!
All are looking eagerly forward with unusual anticipation to this year's Feast of Tabernacles. I plan personally to speak at St. Petersburg, Big Sandy and Tucson. All ministers are "UP" for it this year.
We are now starting to rejuvenate The PLAIN TRUTH. We are determined to make it the finest magazine in the world, and if not the largest in circulation, at least close to that. We are now climbing close to the 3 MILLION mark in subscribers. Our newsstand program is now getting well under way, and already has a circulation of nearly ONE MILLION copies in the U.S. alone.
I am writing now an important new article for The PLAIN TRUTH -- titled "SEVEN PROOFS of the TRUE CHURCH". It probably will be published first in The GOOD NEWS -- because The PLAIN TRUTH is already made up until the January number. I think you'll find it revealing and highly interesting and IMPORTANT.
My first full length book -- good quality, hard-cover -- to appear in bookstores all over the English-speaking world -- is in the hands of the publishers, our own Everest House, and is scheduled to be delivered to all U.S. and Canada Feast sites for the Feast. This is the book titled THE INCREDIBLE HUMAN POTENTIAL. I feel God has inspired it to be the most important book since the Holy BIBLE.
The second full length hard-cover book is also completely written and in the hands of Everest House. It is an updated and enlarged edition of The Wonderful World TOMORROW -- What It Will Be Like.
Another new hard-cover edition of The United States and Britain in PROPHECY to go into bookstores around the world is completely written and in the hands of the publishers.
A new, enlarged updated booklet on This IS the WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD is already turned over to the publishers. Now, I plan to combine that with the new book, which is still being written, SEVEN PROOFS of the TRUE CHURCH, making a full size book in hard-cover and put it into bookstores the world over.
I am working on an enlarged edition of The Seven LAWS OF SUCCESS, also to go, in hard-cover book form, into bookstores around the world. The new edition will contain brief yet interest-absorbing comments on the biographies of such men as Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Sir Fredrick Henry Royce who produced the Rolls-Royce, and others considered as examples of SUCCESS in the world.
Then, also a new edition of The Missinq Dimension in SEX, and possibly later a completed edition of the Autobiography.
Millions of people constantly buy books in bookstores -- and these are people we may not be able to reach in any other way. THIS OPENS TO GOD'S CHURCH AN ENTIRE NEW MEDIUM FOR PROCLAIMING CHRIST'S GOSPEL TO THE WORLD.
There is yet ANOTHER door open for proclaiming Christ's Gospel Message which was NOT POSSIBLE for us for many years. You may never have thought of this.
In God's inspired QUALIFICATIONS for the ministry is this: "Not a novice (a beginner in whom hearers would not have confidence), lest he fall into reproach" (in the eyes of the world to which he is carrying the Gospel) (I Timothy 3:6-7).
I'm sure it has never occurred to many of you that, with doctrines like the Sabbath, God's holy days instead of world's holidays, etc., we were looked on as a discredited "cult". If the individual minister must have a good report (character-wise and as a responsible man) HOW MUCH MORE THE ENTIRE CHURCH, which each Apostle, evangelist or pastor represents?
For many years it was an UPHILL STRUGGLE against PREJUDICE from the world into which Christ sent me with His Message. The Message was NOT AS WELL RECEIVED as if coming from one, or a Church, having a GOOD REPORT from the world outside the Church.
Now, in the past six years, while God's Church was DISCREDITED because of DIVISIONS from WITHIN, God has been giving His Church A GOOD REPORT in the world through the AICF (Ambassador International Cultural Foundation).
In Jesus' personal ministry, He often went out of His way to do an act of mercy and kindness to those in the general public. He healed the sick, the crippled, the blind.
Through the AICF, God's Church has come to BE RESPECTED, and to HAVE A GOOD REPORT in all Southern California, through the high-class cultural programs we have been bringing to the Ambassador Auditorium. This is GOD'S HOUSE. I have put in charge of it one of our most ABLE and fervently dedicated ministers, Mr. Ellis LaRavia. Every precaution is taken to see that no concert or program is brought into the Auditorium that could be a reproach to THE HOUSE OF GOD. Some time ago, a ballet program slipped by us that was below such standards -- but every precaution is being made to avoid any such production again. Mr. LaRavia is DEEPLY CONSCIENTIOUS about that.
Also, by sponsoring twelve mobile schools in the mountain areas of Thailand, we have WIPED OUT the opium and drug production, and educated formerly illiterate farmers into producing only health- producing foods. This, in cooperation with the King, has OPENED THE DOOR for Christ's Message to enter that solidly Buddhist country. A similar program is having the same effect in Nepal.
In Jerusalem we have carried on the largest archaeological excavation in the world, uncovering and removing over fifty feet of accumulated debris south of the Temple Mount, and now, in the ancient City of David, uncovering the ancient throne of David -- where CHRIST will RULE THE WORLD. The Israeli Government and Mayor of Jerusalem are planning a large public celebration in my honor December 1, the tenth anniversary of our cooperation with modern "Israel." The President, Prime Minister, and Mayor of Jerusalem are to officiate.
In Japan I have been awarded the highest honor ever bestowed upon a private or non-official alien by Emperor Hirohito and the government. Some heads of state, or a Judge of the World Court at The Hague (I'm not sure who) has submitted my name for the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE, and it is being considered, though I seriously doubt it would ever be awarded to a "man of God."
But through the AICF, myself, and God's Work, The Worldwide Church of God has been earning "A GOOD REPORT FROM THOSE WITHOUT" all over the world! The quality magazine QUEST/78 has added enormous PRESTIGE!
This is PART of the machinery and conditions God has given HIS CHURCH and His Apostle for OPENING DOORS WORLDWIDE FOR PROCLAMING CHRIST'S GOSPEL OF THE SOON-COMING KINGDOM.
As an individual, with only the small parent Church in Eugene, Oregon, thirty to forty-five years ago, no such FACILITIES (as The PLAIN TRUTH -- the large and growing TV and radio stations, the organization with offices and ministers AROUND THE WORLD [the sun never sets on our offices]) were available, and no such DOORS were open!
Brethren, GOD HAS ONLY ONE CHURCH. Today's era and generation have been forty-five years BUILDING UNDER CHRIST'S BLESSING to this powerful advantage.
But now I must direct your minds to the fact that there DID ARISE, during the years when I was in other parts of the world on CHRIST'S MISSION 200 to 300 of the 365 days in a year, DIVISION and OPPOSITION to this VERY GREAT COMMISSION by the one I left in charge of the day-to-day administration of CHRIST'S POLICIES and DOCTRINES that Christ had installed in God's Church through His chosen Apostle. He was SPECIFICALLY FORBIDDEN TO CHANGE OR MAKE POLICIES OR DOCTRINES.
Yet he demoted, shanghaied away, and restrained the loyal ministers older in service, FORBIDDING THEM to contact me in any way under pain of being fired, HID from me what was going on at Headquarters, TOOK OVER TO HIMSELF FULL AUTHORITY, watered down doctrines and teachings, secularized God's College until it NO LONGER WAS GOD'S College, and instituted a campaign AGAINST Christ carrying out the GREAT COMMISSION through His chosen Apostle!
It was a CHURCH DIVIDED. It was a Church and gigantic worldwide Work being subtilely TAKEN OVER by stealth and deception -- Satan's methods -- trying, as some top ministers at Headquarters finally had the courage -- in spite of threat of being fired -- to come to me and let me know what really was going on behind my back.
"Mr. Armstrong," this group of four top ministers said solemnly and gravely to me, "your son has been trying to DESTROY everything Jesus Christ has BUILT through His Apostle, and build something for himself."
The College was a shambles of immorality and secularism. Illicit sex was rampant on campus. I may give you a more detailed report later of the actual conditions that existed a year ago -- men in official positions are preparing such a report for me.
Brethren, I was shocked beyond measure, hurt and grieved beyond words to describe, to think my own son had thus conspired to TAKE OVER God's Church and Work, and make it Garner Ted's work!
HOW do you think King David felt when he discovered his son Absalom had manipulated a CONSPIRACY to take over the throne where God set DAVID?
David's son Absalom, because he had committed murder (not adultery) was in banished isolation. But good-hearted David, his father, authorized his return (as I did the return of my son in 1972 after three times having been disfellowshipped from the Church). On returning, Absalom spent two years in Jerusalem, during which time he was conspiring to take over the kingdom which was GOD's. He secretly, hiding it from his father, plotted to steal the throne from his father.
But God had chosen David and set him on the throne -- even as He chose me and set me as His Apostle in His Church and great worldwide Work. God caused Absalomls conspiracy to fail. David LOVED his son, and WEPT when he learned of his son's sin (II Sam. 15:30). Again, after Absalom's death David wept bitterly, for he had LOVED his wayward son, even as I love mine! In grief David cried out: "O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!" (II Sam. 18:33).
Brethren, right now my son whom I love as David loved Absalom, is on a campaign of vilification against his father, and worse, AGAINST GOD'S CHURCH. He is clouding the whole truth in the minds of brethren, representing that it is a PERSONAL father-and-son quarrel, in which he accuses his father with UNTRUTHS until HE CAN NO LONGER BE BELIEVED! He leads brethren to think it is an angry, unjust and irate father unjustly and (he claims falsely) without cause, putting him out of God's Church! It was JESUS CHRIST, the Living HEAD of the Church who PUT HIM OUT, through His Apostle!
My son is now on a campaign for just ONE THING! To destroy his father and GOD'S CHURCH and craftily win over the people's tithes to him! He is on a campaign to EMOTIONALLY win sympathy for him, and destroy his father and GOD'S CHURCH!
He IS NOT PROCLAIMING CHRIST'S GOSPEL TO THE WORLD -- he is on three or four radio stations once a week, and daily on a small station in Los Angeles. He goes only on stations where he can reach OUR MEMBERS, seeking as the Apostle Paul warned (Acts 20:30), to draw away disciples after him! He has no facilities nor organization nor means of fulfilling what CHRIST committed to his father -- the GREAT COMMISSION in ALL THE WORLD, for a witness to ALL NATIONS.
During the past few years he had DIVIDED GOD'S CHURCH! THAT IS THE REAL ISSUE -- not a personal father-and-son quarrel against a father who loves him, and GRIEVES in greater sorrow over him now, living and serving Satan, than I did over the death of my firstborn son, Richard David, who died "in harness" loyally in GOD'S WORK. Instead of sympathy for a wayward son, how about a little for a grief-stricken father, who for fifty-one years has labored under Christ in a labor that resulted in the fact YOU have been brought to Christ and into God's Church.
My son is now holding "Personal Appearance" meetings in strategic centers where he hopes to attract God's people, not the world, and sow the seeds of discord by PUTTING QUESTIONS AND DOUBTS in your minds! Brethren, in grieved dismay I say, this is subtile and Satanic! He is not only sowing the seeds of discord among brethren, he is deliberately bringing FALSE WITNESS against his father. Read again Proverbs 6:16-19 -- the seven things GOD HATES, that are an ABOMINATION to Him; among them a false witness, and sowing the seeds of discord among brethren!
He is NO LONGER A MAN WHOSE WORD MAY BE BELIEVED -- I am deeply GRIEVED to have to tell you.
Quote from PASTOR'S REPORT, 9-21-78, "Mr. GTA Is Not Keeping His Word."
"In one of the last two speeches Mr. GTA made, while still a member of God's Church, was a SOLEMN PROMISE which shows he cannot be believed in what he is now saying! Following is a direct quote from the tape of his sermon before a group of area churches at Rochester, New York, May 27, 1978.
"These statements were made during the time when Christ's Apostle had put Garner Ted on an obligatory leave of absence. He had been removed from his executive position and, instead of obeying the obligatory leave of absence, he was in controversy with Christ's Apostle by traumatic personal conferences via telephone, and written letters -- in other words -- when he knew his disfellowshipment was hanging in the balance.
"Can his word be believed?
"Following is a copy of his recorded speech to a large group of brethren, May 27:
'I have to do what I have always preached to the churches, what is a guiding light of my life, which is to say, he (Christ's Apostle) is my boss. He's in authority. I will do as he says. That's what I live with. I told a large group of ministers, during a traumatic period of 1974 I said, if I should ever leave the Work of God, don't follow me. And I will say that again today.
'There's only, say, two ways, or three ways, I suppose, that I could ever be out of the Work of God. One is that my father would simply put me out. And if he did, for whatever purposes or reasons that he would have, I would simply, humbly, and quietly go with my family and reconstruct some new life and do perhaps what I do best, radio and television broadcasting. But not on religion.
'I would keep the Sabbath. I would faithfully tithe. I would spend time in prayer and study. I would be loyal to God's Church. I would never give the people of this church an alternative of some other individual to follow. That is so deeply ingrained into the marrow of my bones, that I could never do it.
'Now the only other way is if I die. I've always said that. The only way I would go out of God's Work is feet pointing straight up in the air and that's what I intend. I put my hand to the plow. How in the world could I preach and stand in this pulpit and tell people -- it's until death that we endure trials, it is through the trials of our faith that we are matured and so on and not really adhere to these principles myself? So I must do that. I must remain true to these convictions. I intend to!'
If he did not mean what he said then, can God's people believe his statements now? Sowing the seeds of discord among the brethren is one of the seven things God hates!
Brethren, GOD HAS ONLY ONE CHURCH, just as in King David's day He had only ONE NATION ISRAEL. In His ONE CHURCH ONLY, Jesus Christ works with the Holy Spirit!
He has not called SEVERAL INDIVIDUALS, each working in his own way, to GIVE His Message to the world -- and it's the WHOLE world -- Asia, Africa, Europe, South America, beside the U.S., Britain and British peoples.
"For ... the body is ONE, and hath many members, and all the members of that ONE body, being many, are ONE BODY, so also is Christ should have the same care one for another (outgoing concern -- love)
"There is no Apostle in Garner Ted's "church;" there is no real church!
Again: "that there be no division among you" as Garner Ted caused division, getting rid of, by demoting, shanghaiing away or nullifying those who did not follow HIM instead of God's Apostle -- "but that ye be perfectly JOINED TOGETHER in the same mind and in the same judgment." Ted was of DIFFERENT judgment -- never agreed with Christ's Apostle.
God forbids and condemns going off separately, one being of Paul, one of Apollos, one of Cephas -- one of Garner Ted, one of Raymond Cole, one of Ernest Martin, one of Ken Westby.
WHERE have all those who went out gone? What fruit have they borne? How much of this whole world has heard the TRUE GOSPEL MESSAGE through them?
BUT THE ONE CHURCH OF GOD, TODAY WORLDWIDE, is NO LONGER DIVIDED, and is rapidly now picking up momentum, as Jesus Christ has now purged the schism and RESTORED HIS BLESSING to the ONE CHURCH of which HE is HEAD!
So many were leaving JESUS HIMSELF that He said to His disciples, "Will ye also go away? (John 6:67). Will any of you, now, brethren? Jesus Christ said the gates of the grave would not prevail against that ONE BODY of which HE is the Living HEAD! His CHURCH is where HE is working.
Finally, REMEMBER the ONE AND ONLY ISSUE IS "WHY GOD HAS CALLED US OUT OF THE WORLD" -- HE HAS CALLED US, not into following a man with no church, college, or facilities for performing the GREAT COMMISSION -- BUT INTO HIS CHURCH WHICH HE RAISED UP, HAS BLESSED, AND THOUGH UNDER MY SON'S SECULAR MISMANAGEMENT STOPPED GROWING, IS NOW BACK ON THE TRACK -- ONCE AGAIN GROWING!
The INCOME is UP! GTA has no access to the figures, and when he says it is down, he is falsifying! The business office announced Tuesday -- the Church owes less than any time in many years.
PLEASE join a brokenhearted father in praying daily and fervently that God will somehow, in His own way, bring about circumstances to cause my son to REALIZE the evil path he is treading, and BRING HIM TO A REAL REPENTANCE that, this time, will be LASTING! I want to see him in God's Kingdom, with my son Dick, and his mother -- the wife of my youth for 50 years.
But PRAISE BE TO GOD! I have faith He will answer our prayer for my son, who I love as David did Absalom! It is CHRIST who turns heart- broken sorrow into JOY -- who is going to give us beauty instead of ashes, oil of JOY instead of mourning, the garment of PRAISE for the spirit of heaviness -- who causes all things to work together for GOOD to those that love Him!
Let us, in the meantime, REJOICE in GLADNESS, PRAISE and THANKSGIVING that God's Church no longer is divided -- for a house divided could never STAND -- and Christ PROMISED that His Church will endure through all generations. It WILL finish its course -- and Christ's GREAT COMMISSION!
WHY has God's blessing been withdrawn from His Church these past ten years? CHRIST was being PUT OUT -- a more liberal lifestyle was, during my absence, being ushered in. The teachings and doctrines Christ put in His Church through His Apostle were being WATERED DOWN -- Ambassador had become no longer GOD'S College that I had labored, sweat, bled and "died" to build as GOD'S College.
Christ had called me, during the past ten years, into all parts of the world, where HE WAS OPENING DOORS to kings, emperors, presidents, prime ministers, giving me miraculous FAVOR in their eyes -- opening the doors for CHRIST'S MESSAGE to go into their countries where doors previously had been CLOSED to it. In THAT area the Work was making strides it never could before. But, back home, secularism and worldliness and a "more liberal approach" was leavening completely the College and beginning to spread through the Church.
Doubters and those discouraged were telling me and writing me that the Church was about to be destroyed -- the Work fallen completely apart.
Brethren, GOD DID NOT LET THAT HAPPEN. He brought me back from actual DEATH a year ago August, and He has been PURGING OUT that secular leaven, and setting the Church, the College, The PLAIN TRUTH, the broadcasting -- the WHOLE CHURCH -- back on GOD'S TRACK!
Once again Ambassador College is GOD'S COLLEGE -- though I had to START ALL OVER AGAIN, with one single class which is being turned into a freshman class. Next year a NEW freshman class will be added, and this year's students will become sophomores. And another freshman class each year, until ONCE AGAIN Ambassador is going to be a full four-year college -- GOD'S College!
NEW INVIGORATING LIFE is everywhere in the Church and its Work today! A NEW SPIRIT of UNITY, ENTHUSIASM for the future, is gripping every facet of the CHURCH -- GOD'S ONLY Church on earth! In the past few years the broadcasting program had dwindled to LAST PLACE among so-called "religious" broadcasts. Now MORE AND MORE STATIONS ARE BEING ADDED EVERY WEEK! The REAL GOSPEL MESSAGE OF CHRIST is going out IN POWER -- the same power that BUILT the Church and its Work!
And I plan soon to resume the program of carrying Christ's final Message over ALL THE WORLD! Christ is RESTORING HIS BLESSING, and the Work now will plunge FORWARD!
Take HOPE! Have FAITH! THANK GOD! Remain LOYAL! Be FAITHFUL in tithes and offerings. God's Church now, is going to respond to Malachi 3:10 -- where God says, "PROVE ME now, herewith, saith the (Eternal) of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a BLESSING, that there shall not be room enough to receive it" -- speaking of God's people once again lifting the curse of tithing neglect. And the windows of heaven will be opened for YOU BRETHREN INDIVIDUALLY, as well as in the Church treasury!
Yes, LET US BE GLAD AND REJOICE, and give honor to Him -- for the marriage of the Lamb is soon COMING, and His Wife is again MAKING HERSELF READY!
Look forward to this FEAST OF TABERNACLES AS THE BEST, MOST SPIRIT-FILLED, AND JOYOUS EVER!
I'll be with you at EVERY feast site, by closed-circuit TV on large screens. And I'll be with you IN SPIRIT, as also will JESUS CHRIST!
With deepest love in Jesus' name,
Herbert W. Armstrong