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Operation Thunderbolt - 90 Minutes to Entebbe
Good News Magazine
December 1976
Volume: Vol XXV, No. 12
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Operation Thunderbolt - 90 Minutes to Entebbe
Herbert W Armstrong   
Church of God

Born: July 31, 1892
Died: January 16, 1986
Member Since: 1928
Ordained: 1931
Office: Apostle

Herbert W. Armstrong founded the Worldwide Church of God in the late 1930s, as well as Ambassador College in 1946, and was an early pioneer of radio and tele-evangelism, originally taking to the airwaves in the 1930s from Eugene, Oregon.

What we should learn from the spectacular Israeli strike to free scores of hostages from skyjack terrorism. The amazing parallel!

   The first full, inside story of "Operation Thunderbolt," titled 90 Minutes to Entebbe, is just off the press. It's on sale In paperback edition at newsstands.
   I have just picked up a copy. I'm so impressed with the striking parallel between the Israeli's determined policy on never compromising with terrorists and compromising with GOD'S TRUTH, that I have come immediately to my typewriter while the supremely IMPORTANT truth may flash hot off my mind onto paper to be printed for you to read.
   Sometimes, whether in terrorist skyjackings, or handling the Word of God, temptations tend to sweep us off our feet. So far as I can think of right now, the only nation that has had the WILL, the DETERMINATION — the STEADFAST FAITH — to refuse to give in to terrorist threats is the comparatively small but tenacious nation of Israel.
   Forty-three years ago, the living Christ committed to me His GREAT COMMISSION. That Commission was to carry His gospel message of the soon-coming Kingdom of God into ALL THE WORLD. It was an absolutely staggering responsibility. That GREAT COMMISSION involved, to make it possible, the RAISING UP OF GOD'S CHURCH for our present time. Without the Church standing faithfully and loyally back of me, the GREAT COMMISSION of the CREATOR GOD would be impossible.
   God has always worked, among humans, primarily through ONE MAN, but often this one man is surrounded with many faithful coworkers.
   But during these 43 years, I have frequently been pressured to compromise — "just a little" — with God's TRUTH.
   You see, God had called me to this tremendous responsibility in no ordinary manner. As Moses and others had been prepared before being called to God's Commission for them, so was I. In no ordinary or usual manner, God revealed to me His TRUTH. When He committed His Great Commission to me, He entrusted me with this precious TRUTH. The world did not then have it. To the world it was "foolishness" (I Cor. 2:14).
   But honestly, now, WHAT DO YOU THINK?
   Wouldn't it be all right to compromise, "just a little," on some "unimportant minor point"? Especially on some ostensibly unimportant point where we appear "crazy" to the world.
   When I was first converted, in the spring of 1927, it meant, to me, a TOTAL UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER to God — to HIS LAW — to HIS WAY — to HIS TRUTH. It was almost seven years later when God finally committed to me the most important commission in the world! The commission was NOT ONLY to carry His message — unproclaimed to the world for 18 1/2 centuries — but also — to back me up, and make it possible — to RAISE UP HIS CHURCH FOR THIS PRESENT TIME.
   All in His Church today, who have and are being led by His Holy Spirit, directly or indirectly, are MY CHILDREN IN CHRIST' You are not my fleshly HUMAN children — many of you are larger than I and some few older. But you are my children IN THE LORD. starting from your conversion as "spiritual" BABES IN CHRIST. As a human chi ld must be fed first on milk. then on stronger food, so Christ's spiritual "babes" must be fed on the SPIRITUAL WORD OF GOD.
   To God's little spiritual children, in the first century at Corinth, the apostle Paul said: "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able" (I Cor. 3:1-2). Later he said: "I have planted, Apollos watered ; but GOD gave the increase" (verse 6).
   Well, my brethren and children in our Lord, it is I who have PLANTED the precious TRUTH revealed to me from GOD — starting over the air — in The Plain Truth, in The Good News — teaching our ministers in Ambassador College, etc., etc. After this planting of God's truth, ministers trained in the truth God first revealed to me, and first disseminated by me — even to those from Garner Ted down to those who became your ministers — have "watered" — continued to FEED you on the spiritual TRUTH from God's Word. But it is GOD, not we who are MEN — who gives the " increase" — that is, develops IN YOU the spiritual GROWTH.
   Nevertheless, if we begin to compromise with God's TRUTH, even in smallest, slightest manner, we have allowed Satan to get a foot into the door of the Church, and soon he will push open the door (he is stronger than we) and take over the whole Church.
   A little leaven leavens the WHOLE LUMP! In my position, as chosen by the living CHRIST to be first under Him in AUTHORITY over the Church and the Work, I have been charged with the commission of KEEPING GOD'S WORD. Keeping it inviolate — NO COMPROMISE! I have NEVER compromised with God's TRUTH — regardless of the cost or the circumstances. I never shall!
   There is a striking parallel in the recent skyjacking "Operation Thunderbolt" — the spectacular Israeli rescue to deliver innocent terrorist hostages from violent death in the 90-minute strike at Entebbe Airport in Uganda.
   Other nations, one after another, have given in and submitted to terrorist demands. But Israel, a tiny nation, has an IRON POLICY NEVER TO COMPROMISE EVEN ONE INCH WITH TERRORISTS.
   The real philosophy of this was printed in a brief foreword in the new paperback book just out on newsstands: 90 Minutes to Entebbe. I want you to READ IT — carefully, and even a second time.
   Quoted in the book, Yerucham Amital, former Deputy Chief of the Israeli Air Force, said: "If Israel should ever fail to protect her own, she would cease to have meaning. We have been forced into aggressive defense and the stakes keep getting higher.
   "In the end, we may have to choose between action that might pull down the Temple of Humanity itself rather than surrender even a single member of the family to the executioners.
   "Survival in other circumstances is not survival at all. And all of us, whatever our race, won't be worth a damn if we buy our lives at the cost of our conscience."
   Just as Israel is LITTLE in population and financial means among the nations, so GOD'S CHURCH is LITTLE in numbers and popularity among churches or religious organizations. But ISRAEL stands STRONG and ALONE among this world's nations in determination to NOT YIELD ONE INCH TO THE OUTRAGEOUS METHODS AND DEMANDS OF TERRORISTS!
   Satan is the chief of terrorists. He HATES God's holy, sacred Word.
   God the Creator talked face to face with Adam and Eve. He instructed them in HIS WAY — the way of LOVE — the way of PEACE and GOOD. Then Satan came slinking along. They listened to his subtle reasoning. "After all," they must have thought, "we have ONLY GOD'S WORD FOR IT. Maybe we ARE immortal souls, like Satan says. Maybe we WON'T DIE if we take to ourselves the knowledge and decision of what is right and what is wrong."
I have never compromised with God's truth — regardless of the cost or the circumstances.
   Four thousand years later, Jesus Christ came to earth with the same message from God for mankind. Many "believed on Him" who sought to kill Him — BECAUSE THEY DID NOT BELIEVE WHAT HE SAID! (John 8:30-47.) After preaching to multiple thousands over three and a half years, only 120 believed WHAT HE SAID (Acts 1:15).
   Today, so far as I know, ONLY the Worldwide Church of God, of all churches on earth, BELIEVES WHAT HE SAYS IN HIS WORD!
   I did not say ten years ago — twenty years ago — forty years ago — that God had revealed THE ENTIRETY of His TRUTH to me instantaneously, even before he conferred on me His GREAT COMMISSION. Always I have said, "God has revealed His TRUTH, little by little, a single bit of truth at a time." Always I have said, "I am HUMAN — subject to MISTAKES." Every man God ever chose and used was the same. David was a man after God's own heart BECAUSE he confessed errors, mistakes and sins — REPENTED, and turned from the wrong to what God showed him was right.
   I did not compromise one inch on God's truth on the matter of the day of "Pentecost." God instructed me to "COUNT" — and in EVERY English translation then available (forty years ago) to count fifty days meant to count "from" the morrow after a Sabbath — that is, fifty days FROM a Sunday. I COUNTED ACCURATELY and FAITHFULLY. One day FROM a Sunday is a Monday. Two days FROM Sunday is a Tuesday — and fifty days "FROM" that particular Sunday fell on a MONDAY.
   I am not a Hebrew scholar. My critics who disagreed and criticized me through the years are not Hebrew scholars to be compared with the translators of every English translation then in existence. I followed God's Word faithfully AS THE ABLEST HEBREW-ENGLISH translators had rendered it. That was forty years ago.
   When two ABLE translators, one chairman of the Revision Committee to revise the Revised Standard Version, confessed in personal conversation that the translations had been "MISLEADING," and should have been rendered count "ON" or "beginning with" the "morrow after the Sabbath," it finally was PROVED to me that the translating SCHOLARS made the error — not I — and I then changed the count to begin counting 50 days, not from, but " beginning on" a Sunday.
   I will CHANGE whenever proved wrong. I will accept NEW TRUTH as often as PROVED to be new truth to me or to the Church.
   But I will not compromise with the truth! I never have!
   And THAT is why God is now OPENING DOORS to me before kings, presidents, emperors, prime ministers, to admit His gospel MESSAGE OF THE IMMINENT KINGDOM OF GOD — into nations where the doors heretofore were CLOSED to that message.
   I won't compromise — not even "just a little."
   Are you 100 percent back of me and Garner Ted?

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Good News MagazineDecember 1976Vol XXV, No. 12
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