(Editor's Note: The following proclamation was written by Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong to be read at the U.S. feast sites. It was then released to the press. We are reprinting it for the benefit of all the ministry world wide.)

   The continued persecution by the State of California through its Attorney General makes this message necessary. It is our response as Christians to the State's unlawful demand for documents and information of the Church.

   Christ said, "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36). The Bible, the inspired written word Of God, tells US that our citizenship is in heaven, (Philippians 3:20) — that we are the citizens of God's heavenly nation, and that while we are on earth "we are ambassadors for Christ (11 Corinthians 5:20). Thus, we are Only Sojourners or pilgrims on this planet earth (I Peter 2:11; Hebrews 11:13; John 17:14). As ambassadors and aliens, God instructs us not to become part of this world (John 15:19; Romans 12:2; Galatians 1:4).

   He instructs us to come out of this world and to become a citizen of His nation, subject to His government and subject to His higher laws.

   Jesus Christ was called before Pontius Pilate. At that point he was falsely charged. The scriptures tell us that Christ remained silent and did not respond to the charges of his accusers (Matthew 27:13,14).

   As Christ said, we are not to become a part of this world. If we were to obey and carry out every pronouncement of a corrupt political force, we would — in fact be a part of this world. We would be doing each and every thing this corrupt political society wanted us to do. Can you not see the effect of that? We would be no different from those of this world.

   Also, we who have not been cut off from God and we, whose eyes have been opened to His truth, understand Satan is the "accuser of the brethren" (Revelation 12:10), and that Satan is the master persecutor of His True Church (Revelation 12:13).

   It is Satan who is the invisible ultimate force behind the attack by the State and all of the vile lies that the State and its agents have lodged against the brethren of God's Church, its leaders and flock alike.

   Hence, if we were to obey all unconstitutional and illegal demands of the State and its corrupt officials, we would, in fact, be obeying Satan. We would become members of an occult religion.

   Read in Matthew 4, where Satan demanded Christ to do certain things and Christ refused!

   The bottom line is that if we were to condescend and if we were to give the State all that the State wants, we would be conceding to the State that it has the right to supervise and control God's Church. If we were to do that, we would be in fact giving up the Great Commission and the responsibility that God has given to US to preach the gospel to all the world as a witness.

   As the State is the unwitting agent of Satan, then obviously the gospel would no longer be preached.

   Therefore, as the Living Christ's chosen Apostle, as His instrument to rebuild His Church according to God's laws and to administer His laws through His government, I hereby make the following proclamation:

   We shall continue to resist the State's [California's] unlawful efforts to confiscate the properties of the Living God, to seize the Church records and to pry into Church affairs. We are filing appropriate writs in State and Federal Appellate Courts. We pray that an Appellate Court will declare the State's conduct contrary to the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

   But, Christ said that we were going to be persecuted (John 15:20; Revelation 12:13).

   We have done no wrong!

   Therefore, if this is the beginning of such persecution, then let the persecutors know that we are going to obey God and receive the blessing of His promise for so doing (Matthew 5:10-12).

   If arrest and trial are the penalty for obeying God and His laws, then we will suffer until Christ returns. Then, we will rule this world with Him with all the might and power of the universe.

   Persecutors take notice! We, the Church, shall preach the gospel in accordance with the Great Commission that Christ has given us and we shall not permit the State of California or any of its corrupt agents to take that Great Commission from us. We, like the Apostle Paul, shall carry out our Great Commission from jail if need be.

   With deep love, in Jesus' name,

   Herbert W Armstrong

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Pastor General's ReportOctober 18, 1979Vol 1 No. 9