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Crushing the '74 Rebellion
Herbert W. Armstrong Appeals for Loyalty to Himself
Armstrong writes, "They are not, as they suppose striking merely at me and my son, but allowing themselves to be used of the ENEMY and accuser of the Brethren, Satan the devil. And they are striking at the Living CHRIST, at the very work of Almighty God. I grieve for them, because it is a fearful thing to fight against the Living God!"
This letter reminds me of when I lived in Jordan in the middle east and there was an uprising over gas prices. It ended abruptly when the king returned. Armstrong quickly labels the dissenters as tools of satan fighting against God and himself.
Airborne February 22, 1974
Dear Fellow Ministers of God's Church:
I am en route to Manila for the FIRST of the world PUBLIC APPEARANCE campaigns next Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
This is an historic FIRST! It is the first PUBLIC meeting, hopefully before audiences of many thousands, in world capitals resulting from approvals and endorsements from the very TOP of the governments of these nations. It is the BIGGEST THING that has happened in God' work since it started, in our time, in January 1934!
I face a very busy week. On Monday there is another personal meeting with President Marcos, accompanied this time by the Minister of Education. I am to give a Graduation Address at the University on Wednesday and receive an honorary Doctor's degree. I am to speak before the Rotary Club, the Lion's Club, the Junior Chamber of Commerce, and the Press club. There are to be interviews on radio and television. The Friday and Saturday night meetings are to be in an auditorium seating 1800, as I understand, and the Sunday night meeting in the Coliseum, seating about 15,000.
The first of these world capital PUBLIC appearances was originally scheduled for Saigon. But as you know the VietNam war "Cease Fire" has never ceased, but recently has flared up, and government officials there, sponsoring it, felt it better to postpone it until late in March. I hope the war situation permits us to hold it about three weeks after the Manila meetings.
The officials in the Philippines government were willing to move the meetings there three weeks ahead of the original plans.
The Living GOD has moved, these past four years to give me, as your fellow Minister whom YOU call -Apostle and is God's chosen servant for getting His true gospel into all the world, for a witness to ALL NATIONS just before the END of this age, almost unbelievable prestige, favor, and stature in the eyes of many kings, emperors, presidents, prime ministers and OTHER HIGH LEADERS OF MANY NATIONS. I am now, by God's grace, received in many world capitals as an AMBASSADOR FOR WORLD PEACE. I can assure, with authority and confidence, world leaders and heads of state that WORLD PEACE not only is possible, but is definitely coming in our time. And this in spite of the fact that the efforts of world leaders for six thousand years have brought no peace but repeated WARS.
That Message is the Message of their Creator -- the Good News OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD. I go before these world leaders with the highest credibility. And in this I think you should REJOICE and THANK GOD, and add your most fervent PRAYERS to mine for the victorious conclusion of this GREAT WORK, to which YOU have been called.
NEVER, so far as I know in all history, has our GOD moved on government heads of major nations to invite, and endorse such
meetings where God's Ministry delivered the GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD before their LEADING people. It is something NEVER DONE BEFORE.
Fellow Ministers, SATAN KNOWS THIS! And just as I am now flying to Manila for this very first of these never before meetings, Satan is pulling out all stops to try to destroy THIS GREAT WORK OF GOD! I need your prevailing, fervent and UNITED PRAYERS, as never before!
News has just this morning reached me of one thing I have to inform you about IMMEDIATELY.
I have just learned that some of you are still being troubled over what we came to call "D & R", although I had been led to believe that issue had been settled satisfactorily for all with the publishing of the new booklet, "Marriage and Divorce." I did not know until this very morning that onlv a PART of the papers and research of those on the so called "D & R" research team had been turned over to me -- that only PART of the ministers and scholars had full and complete input to me.
Before the 1973 Ministers' Conference in Pasadena, it was announced that a team was being appointed at headquarters to research this question. Fellow Ministers I asked for that. I wanted the ideas, the views, the careful research of our best technical Biblical scholars and researchers. I did not myself select the committee that did the study and research. I did ask the coordinator of the team for the results of the studies. I devoted weeks to my own study, with the papers of committee members turned over to me.
I assumed, and no one gave me reason to know otherwise, that I had the complete results of the studies of the committee. It was not all one sided.
Now I am given to understand that two or more Evangelists at Headquarters as well as other ministers and scholars did neither voice objections I am now led to believe they hold nor turned in the research they had thought relevant. Nor did they object to the booklet after it was prepared. It was printed. From that day until YESTERDAY not one word was voiced to me from ANY objecting to the booklet. Naturally, I assumed it was accepted by all and that question put permanently to rest.
But just yesterday the knowledge of this apparently strong objection came to me via Mr, G.T.A., Dr. Kuhn and Mr. Rader.
Mv son Garner Ted incidentally, was not part of that doctrinal team. He voluntarily abstained from being a member of that team as he should have done, under the circumstances of the time. He said he would follow my decision, knowing I was intending to study every side of the question. I not only carefully studied all reports given me from the doctrinal committee, I showed their papers to some of our best scholars on the British campus, including Dr. Stavrinides (especially for his knowledge of the Greek).
I have always tried to follow the Biblical admonition that in a multitude of counselors there is safety. I have always tried to follow the principle that I learned as far back as 1915, to get ALL the facts before a decision. God called and chose me to get HIS GOSPEL OF' THE KINGDOM TO THE WORLD, and to be used in raising up His Church for our time to HELP get that Great Commission DONE!
The Living Christ, the HEAD of God's Church, has guided me. He has never let me make a fatal mistake or a major wrong decision--- but rather only minor errors when I was caught "on the run", as it were, with something else on my mind, and gave a quick
decision without sufficient facts or study. But I TRY to call for counsel and advice -- and especially the FACTS.
Now I find that apparently the present questions have arisen in all probability because I was never given the papers or views of those on the team or in the organization who held views OPPOSED to most of those which were turned over to me (with one exception).
I am sending word to Headquarters to WITHDRAW the booklet from circulation until I may have the opportunity to study the position of those opposed to the present booklet. That is not to say I will agree with them -- it is to say I will study their position and facts in the Scriptures WITH A COMPLETELY OPEN MIND. If there are errors in the booklet, I will CORRECT them. I want GOD'S TRUTH, and I must assume you Ministers do too! I would like to take a more liberal view -- if it is God's TRUTH.
If there is any reason I can account for, as to why God chose me and put me in the position I occupy, it is because I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN FAITHFUL WITH HIS WORD as He gives me to UNDERSTAND!
Manila February 23, 1974
It is now Sunday morning. This letter up to this point was telephoned in to Pasadena last evening, so they might be getting that portion ready for mailing.
And now, this morning. the most shocking news in the history of God's Work has reached us by telephone. At least two trusted Regional Directors may been plotting with their Ministers and Deacon to try to do what I mentioned in the forepart of this letter, what Satan is trying to do -- DESTROY the Work of the LIVING God. They were, of course, keeping their nefarious plans secret. We do not yet know the true extent of their defection, but it may involve anywhere from five or ten to twenty-five Ministers. Garner Ted has sent an urgent message asking me to fly immediately back to Pasadena.
These are men I have loved, trusted and supposed to be true dedicated Ministers of Jesus Christ. Words cannot express how shocked and grieved I am -- for they are not, as they suppose striking merely at me and my son, but allowing themselves to be used of the ENEMY and accuser of the Brethren, Satan the devil. And they are striking at the Living CHRIST, at the very work of Almighty God. I grieve for them, because it is a fearful thing to fight against the Living God!
Satan HATES God's Church and God's Work. He tried to strike at me about four years ago. He failed. Then he tried to destroy Garner Ted. And believe me, that was Satan's work. But through it all, my son remained LOYAL to the Church, the work, to me, and to Jesus Christ. He could have done FAR GREATER HARM to the Church and Work when he was on the outside than these men can do now. But not once was there any rebellion or lack of loyalty or wrong attitude toward God, or me, or the Church or Work. But real hours-long desperate and prevailing PRAYER brought real repentance, and that and FAITH brought God's FORGIVENESS, restoration and blessing, and abundant FRUITS for the Work and God's KINGDOM this past year and nine months. I only hope those Ministers now attacking and going out of God's Church will likewise spend hours on their knees in real repentance and also find their way back.
For when Satan could not destroy God's Work through me, or through Garner Ted, he now is trying to destroy it through a lower level -- and he will even try to destroy it through the Brethren when he fails through the Ministry.
Other ministers did all in their power to discredit me, even before God started this Work through me. In the early days of the broadcast ministers repeatedly tried to stop the broadcast. Once they planned to physically kidnap me (so I could not drive from Eugene to Portland for the broadcast) -- but I was warned by a son of one of them and drove by another route. NOT ONE of the several who have attacked and tried to stop God's Work in more than forty years has succeeded. NOT ONE has himself prospered, and I only hope these present mutineers do not come to the terrible fate all of the others did, for they are men I love.
Fellow Ministers, if Satan can influence us to get our eyes off the ONE BIG GOAL to which He has called us -- and get SO CLOSE to questioning this or that, OR SOME DOCTRINE of mere insignificance by comparison, we could magnify the lesser matter so BIG that we could no longer see the ONE BIG GOAL!
Just this past week, I was so HEAVILY IMPRESSED with the necessity to write an article for The Good News on WHY God has called US NOW -- before the time -- instead of LATER, when He will call ALL in the world to salvation, that I simply could not resist, and I sidetracked everything else and wrote the article. After mailing it to Pasadena, I was HEAVILY BURDENED -- I know now, FROM GOD -- to get it into the hands of all brethren IMMEDIATELY. So I telexed Headquarters to send the whole article as a personal letter, to the entire membership! I did not then know WHY!! I do, now! You should have it soon after you receive this letter. I ask every one of you to read it carefully and thoroughly.
The number ONE MISSION in your life and mine -- the very REASON we were called NOW -- is to GET CHRIST'S GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD TO THE WORLD AS A WITNESS TO ALL NATIONS! The issues these defectives are magnifying in their own eyes are as NOTHING compared to that GREAT COMMISSION!
Here I am, in Manila, all set and signed for the FIRST of these REALLY BIG PUBI.IC CAMPAIGNS in foreign Gentile nations all over the world -- backed, sponsored, approved, (endorsed by those high in the government (members of the President's Cabinet beside many other top people close to them. And SATAN DID NOT WANT THAT FIRST CAMPAIGN TO TAKE PLACE. This defection of Ministers, seeking to draw a FOLLOWING for THEMSELVES to rule and for selfish gain, has made it necessary for me to leave to return to Pasadena as soon as I finish this letter. WHAT INJURY TO GOD'S GREAT WORK: This was the most important event in the Work for forty years! I am assured by local leaders we were to have had audiences up in the many thousands.
A large white-uniformed brass band welcomed our plane at the airport. Also T.V. cameras, newspaper photographers, reporters. I was greeted as I stepped down from the plane by a Minister of Education and high official of the Angeles University. It was all in the papers that I was to receive an honorary Doctor's and master's degree at the Graduation on Wednesday. I was interviewed by reporters and on T.V. at the airport. We visited the Minister of Social Welfare for the government in her lovely home, because she was just recovering from an operation and unable to greet us at the airport. I presented her with a gift, and she said, with warmth, "Your mission here this week, Mr. Armstrong, is a great gift to our nation."
Now I am forced to postpone the Manila
Fellows, there has been some TOTALLY unwarranted criticism on the theme of DOCTRINES. They are NOT BEING NEGLECTED -- But I'm sure you realize I cannot DROP the great WORK OF GOD, and devote my entire time to DOCTRINE because some are questioning them.
Let me give you the record. I think you may not have realized the TRUTH. It must have been about one and one-half years ago that the issue of the Hebrew names for GOD came up. I was told that an outside minister was taking our members by the scores and even hundreds on that issue. I got right into it immediately. I took time, and then it took time to get it printed in The Good News. But I have heard no bad new, over the issue since, and I assume we've settled that "doctrine."
Then the "D & R" question, Healing, Tithing, and the matter of inviting people to Church came up. In November 1972, I began calling meetings of Evangelists to discuss and settle as many issues as possible. We did settle this named issue -- as well as other matters regarding personal grooming (urgent at the time), and reported decisions at the last Ministerial Conference, January 1973. Then came the work on the "D&R" question. I went into that, got out the booklet, and have reported to you the results.
Next, I started to work IMMEDIATELY on a new HEALING booklet. That is now ninety-five percent complete. I have gone into it THOROUGHLY and in depth, bringing up many points never covered in this connection before. I need another conference with Ministers at Headquarters, and questions and problems from the "field" which I had asked the Director of Church Administration to colletc. The results of that meeting will supply the data to complete the new booklet on Healing. Meanwhile I have been VERY BUSY on the BIG COMMISSION, and God has blessed me in this area OVERWHELMINGLY.
Frankly, men, would one of you like my job? I NEED YOUR REAL PREVAILING PRAYERS RIGHT NOW! I NEED YOU TO HELP GARNER TED AND ME TO DO OUR PART IN SAVING THE WORK -- although it is GODS WORK, and He WILL save it -- but He wants our heart-rending PRAYERS.
I have given THIS WORK my all for more than forty years. YOU heard the Truth and came into God's Ministry directly or indirectly THROUGH ME. A great many of you by now, no doubt, came into the church --into the Knowledge of God's Truth, of His Gospel, His Salvation, His Eternal Life -- after hearing my son Garner Ted on the radio or seeing him on television. We both now need your help.
As never before, we need to know you are SOLIDLY BEHIND THE HEAD of this church, JESUS CHRIST, and BEHIND ME in the very difficult office HE has placed me in, and behind Ted in the great office and responsibility which God has given him.
I am now on my way back to Pasadena.
PLEASE go to your knees now, and PRAY! THANK YOU, fellows, with all my heart.
WITH DEEP LOVE, in Jesus' name,
Herbert W. Armstrong
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