The following article was sent to the ministry of God's Church in the April 23 Pastor's Report.
For a full year now, the HEAD of God's Church, Jesus Christ, has been moving swiftly to set God's Church, college and Work back on God's track. WHY did the living Christ 20 months ago bring me back from DEATH? For of a truth, I was as dead as any has ever been — for from 30 seconds up to 1 1/2 minutes. Had not desperate measures been taken I would never have taken another breath of air. WHY did Christ, the living HEAD of God's Church, bring me back? I know, now, by what He has done these 20 months. God has a GREAT PURPOSE He is working out here on earth — in and through mortal humans. He works through those He has called and chosen for various responsibilities in His overall PURPOSE! Until about a year ago now, April of last year, I had not yet fully recovered in physical strength to be back on the job full force. As I now look back, I see what Christ has done through His servant whose life and full mental vitality He restored. This Church was not ready for Christ's soon return as KING of kings to rule. We need to stop and REALIZE THIS. Read again these significant words "...Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That He might sanctify and cleanse it... That He might present it to Himself a GLORIOUS CHURCH, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be HOLY and WITHOUT BLEMISH." (Ephesians 5:25-27) Fellow ministers of Jesus Christ, this Church a year ago WAS NOT HOLY AND WITHOUT BLEMISH (spiritually speaking, of course). Then we find, in the not too far distant time from now. "Alleluia: For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him for the MARRIAGE of the Lamb is come, and HIS WIFE HATH MADE HERSELF READY." (Revelation 19:6-7) Fellow ministers, God's Church a year ago WAS FAR from ready for that divine wedding! But as I look back on the past year, the living Jesus Christ has use me as His instrument in swiftly setting His Church back on HIS TRACK. There is much more in prophecy about this, of which I will write later.
Christ is the living HEAD
But too many seem to forget JESUS CHRIST is the LIVING, ACTING HEAD of this Church. We must all quit leaving Christ out of it. But Christ LIVES — and this is NOT just a "work" of men — above all, it's not just a "work" I as a human thought up and developed. The living Christ BROUGHT BE BACK TO LIFE! And WHY? What has He been doing, through me? Swiftly He has been TURNING THIS CHURCH AROUND — setting it back on GOD'S track, as GOD'S Church — NOT MAN'S! And we needed to be brought closer — everyone one of us — to GOD in prayer and fasting and in dedication, sacrificing everything from now on, for GOD'S WORK. God has allowed this massive PERSECUTION by the State of California to drive us to our knees — closer to GOD, and bound together CLOSER AMONG OURSELVES. Now God allowed the most listened to TV program 60 Minutes to attack and malign and FALSELY to represent us to MANY more people than the State of California persecution reached. GOD IS DRAWING US CLOSER TO HIM, AND CLOSER TOGETHER! And now — Christ is moving me to set His Church on GOD'S organizational structure. For though the Church is NOT a legal corporation, it is a SPIRITUAL ORGANISM, and that spiritual organism is intended by the mighty GOD to be ORGANIZED — and organized HIS WAY!
Rule from the TOP down
I have realized for 52 years that God's form of government is rule from the TOP down. In God's rule over the UNIVERSE, we have God at the TOP, and under Him and over all else is CHRIST! But they are DIVINE beings! They are not human or subject to human mistakes. I have had to learn that on the far lower HUMAN plane all is different. I made the MISTAKE of thinking God intended the same form in the HUMAN government over His Church. I was WRONG! You see, Garner Ted Armstrong, my son, was not perfect like Christ nor I like God. I said to Ted more than once in the past 10 years, "Ted, how wonderful it would be if — as there is a Father and Son over the whole UNIVERSE, there could be also a human father and son over God's Church ON EARTH! In their PERFECT divine relationship, the Son does not shut those under Him OFF from the Father — nor does He say it would be taking it over Christ's head if we go direct to the Father (in prayer)". I mentioned how Jesus said, "I have done nothing of myself. The Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works". Jesus taught ONLY what God the Father told Him to teach. He said, "I have not spoken of myself, the Father which sent me, He gave me a commandment what I should speak". Jesus said, "My Father is GREATER than I". He said, "I have kept my Father's commandments". Jesus was always in PERFECT HARMONY, and always UNDER His Father. But every time I mentioned this Father and Son harmony, Ted very quickly changed the subject. I did not know it then — but he has made it perfectly clear since he was excommunicated from God's Church that he NEVER agreed with his father — and that means in regard to many, many beliefs and doctrines. You see, God's Church in our time was founded, and built, on the teachings and doctrines that the living Christ had taught me. He raised up this Church through me, when Ted was yet 3 years old — although one of the ridiculous and outrageous statements he has made is that he, Garner Ted, built the Worldwide Church of God! All of which (the hostile agreement) is very regretful to me. In spite of the fact that he continually DISHONORS his father now (cl Exodus 20:12 — and the COMMANDMENT does not say "Fathers must deserve their sons' honor"), I grieve more than you can know at his present attitude and ungodly performance. But I tried to make a "father and son" relationship work at the head of God's Church AND IT DIDN'T WORK!
Chain of authority
I think you all will remember the diagram I used to draw and publish showing what I mistakenly conceived as GOD'S chain of authority and form of Church government. I had God the Father at the top — top in authority, then Christ next under God. Then, on the human plane myself under Christ, and Garner Ted under me — with departments such as Mail Processing, Financial Affairs, Ambassador College, CAD, as we used to call it, etc, etc, under Ted. What was WRONG with that diagram and form of Church organization? It allowed Ted to simply SHUT OFF myself, Christ and God — all above him, since the diagram showed all else under Ted. Now I had MEANT IT to represent that all departments were under ME and under CHRIST and under GOD. But Ted didn't see it the way I did, or administer it the way I authorized. He took ALL power to himself. The men in the top positions, such as Mr Roderick Meredith, Mr Raymond McNair, Dr. Herman Hoeh, Diber Apartian, Norman Smith, Dennis Luker, were either demoted and ridiculed or shanghaied away to some other part of the earth. Ted surrounded himself with a small group with whom he felt comfortable. But, even though a Father and Son relationship does work PERFECTLY on the divine level, it did not and I think now that God knew it NEVER WOULD work out harmoniously on the human level. I have not made a whole lot of mistakes — but I stand on record that when mistakes are brought to my mind, I do CORRECT THEM! And I fervently hope each of you do the same. But when I look into the Bible to see how God organized His Church on the HUMAN level, I find something altogether DIFFERENT than the divine level.
God does not change
In Acts 7:38 ancient Israel under Moses was called "the church in the wilderness". A change was made in the Church from physical to spiritual, from carnality to Spirit-mindedness. But GOD does not change, nor His form of human governmental organization. So, start with the beginning of the Church. God put MOSES as human leader. Who was second in command? Ah! We may look in vain — but NOBODY was second in command and over all Israel, except Moses! Did the people say, when Moses was 87 years old, "We must vote for someone to take his place, for Moses is certain to die in the next day or two? No. Moses did not die at 87 and even married again. The point I wish to make, and hope ALL OF YOU GET THE POINT, is Moses did not die until the mission to which God called him was completed! And as far as I know, God has not let ANY servant of His whom He had called for some special service die before his mission was completed! God hasn't changed. But even if God had changed, and I should die — as I'm sure my son and some others have eagerly hoped. WHO would head the Church? I'll tell you who! JESUS CHRIST! He isn't going to die right away. Do you have someone in mind you'd like to see take that job? FORGET IT! Get your mind off of human mundane thoughts! Put JESUS CHRIST back into your thinking. Remember HE IS ALIVE and HEADING THIS CHURCH! Whether I or someone else, is to be human leader of this Church, one, two, five or even 10 years from now — THAT IS FOR JESUS CHRIST to decide — NOT YOU!
No second in command
But let's carry on. Maybe God changed a little later? GOD appointed Joshua to lead Israel across Jordan into the promised land. THERE WAS NO NO.2 MAN! Later God raised up judges, or heroes, to deliver Israel from being a vassal state — yet NO NO.2 in charge! Then we come to the prophets Eli and Samuel. NO NO.2! The people wanted a HUMAN king instead of God. They had Saul — but no second in command. David attended to Saul, played the harp for him — but he was not second IN COMMAND! Next God put David on the throne — but NONE SECOND IN AUTHORITY. Two of David's sons tried to take over just as I had a son who did — but they lost their lives. There was no second in command under Solomon nor under Rehoboam. Thereafter both Israel and Judah became captive nations. There was no second in command under Jesus when He was on earth. A disputed point by some is that after Jesus' resurrection and ascension, all 12 apostles were equal. I have PROVED Peter was in charge — and there was no second in command. Paul was in charge over gentiles. NOTICE! On the day of Pentecost, Peter spoke with AUTHORITY (Acts 2:14-39). But even before that Peter was leader (Acts 1:15). Peter was leader (Acts 3:4 and on). In Acts 4:8 Peter was the leader. Peter was in authority. In Acts 5:15 it was PETER'S SHADOW that healed the sick. In Acts 5:29 PETER was the spokesman of the apostles saying we should OBEY GOD, rather than human government. Much of chapter 6 and all of the very long chapter 7 is filled with the story of Stephen. In Acts 8:20 Peter rebuked the first pope. In Acts 9:32-34 Peter was the leader in a healing. In Acts 9:39-40 Peter raised Dorcus from the dead. In Acts 10 it was PETER whom Christ chose of all the apostles to first carry salvation to the gentiles. In Acts 11 it was PETER who explained to the other apostles how God had opened salvation to gentiles. In Acts 12, when the Roman ruler and king, Herod, saw it would please the Jews to put an apostle in prison, he knew PETER was the leader, and so put him in prison. Beginning Acts 13 the history turns primarily to the gentiles, and the apostle Paul is shown to be the leader. But in Acts 15, as I have explained in detail before, at the meeting of apostles and evangelists in Jerusalem. It was PETER who settled the question, which James merely affirmed and made official, because he was pastor of the local, but headquarters church at Jerusalem. In Galatians 1:18 Paul went up to Jerusalem to see PETER, because Peter had leadership over the people of Israel as Paul over the gentiles. In Galatians 2:8 Paul shows that Peter had primacy in the apostleship to the circumcision as Paul had to the gentiles. GOD, is ruling among humans, HAS ALWAYS WORKED THROUGH ONE MAN AT A TIME — NEVER TWO MEN — NEVER ONE HAVING COMPLETE AUTHORITY UNDER THE TOP HUMAN IN AUTHORITY — NEVER BY COMMITTEES OR GROUPS! Always that one man is CHOSEN BY CHRIST — never by PEOPLE!
God's form of government
And so, God's form of GOVERNMENT in His Church is, first, at the top in supreme authority, GOD the Father. Under Him, Christ, to whom the Father has delegated ALSO TOTAL AUTHORITY (as He never does to any HUMAN). Then, on the earthly human level Christ's chosen APOSTLE, and, under him on straight and equal line (no one over another), these department heads: Mail Processing, Buildings & Grounds, Ambassador College, Financial Affairs, Plain Truth Editorial Production, Plain Truth Mechanical Production, Pastoral Administration, Festival Office, Television and Radio Production, Bible Correspondence Course, Good News and Worldwide News Productions, etc. Each of these under the apostle. No one of these over any other. But, if each department head will DAILY, CONSTANTLY keep the living Jesus CHRIST in his mind and heart, I'm sure there will be harmony. The press has called us the "BELEAGUERED WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD". WHY? We do not have power struggles, envies, competition, jealousies, between one LAY MEMBER and the others! All this "BELEAGUEREDNESS" has originated on the fourth floor of the Hall of Administration! I MEAN THAT! Brother ministers! And Jesus Christ — the very much alive and DYNAMIC CHRIST — through me intends now to PUT AN END TO IT! If there is any more political lobbying for or against another any more semblance of power struggle for a top spot, the living CHRIST THROUGH ME WILL DEAL SWIFTLY WITH IT! WHY IS IT fellow ministers — the troubles of course, have ORIGINATED with Satan — but Satan has been able to work through some of us when we did not realize it!
Two ways of life
UNDERSTAND THIS! I have said to many groups around the world — groups of top officials of government groups at the grass roots, and privately to heads of state, that there are just TWO ways or philosophies of life, basically — the one is GET, the other is GIVE. The GIVE way is that of Him who said, "It is more blessed to GIVE than to receive". Actually that is the way of LOVE — and love is an overflowing concern for the good and welfare of others. The other is Satan's way — wanting to GET more money, more authority or power, more of whatever one lusts for. GOD ALMIGHTY brought me back from DEATH! He brought me back, not only to FINISH carrying His Gospel of the Kingdom of God into all the world, but also BECAUSE HIS CHURCH WAS NOT "HOLY, NOT HAVING SPOT OR WRINKLES OR ANY SUCH THING." Just as sure as He set Zerubbabel to build the physical second temple to which Christ came 1,900 years ago, so He has raised me up to build His SPIRITUAL TEMPLE — the Household of God, "which groweth unto an HOLY TEMPLE IN THE LORD." And it MUST BE MADE READY for the MARRIAGE when Christ returns, AND WE HAVEN'T MUCH TIME! WHY is it that the troubles that have been aired to the world by the media have originated on fourth floor, Hall of Administration? Those there are ON SALARY. They are GETTING from the Work. The lay brethren in New York state, Alabama, Wisconsin, Kansas, do not cause trouble! When the largest state in population in the Union attacks and tries to DESTROY the Church of the living God, and I send out a letter telling them of the need, their letters by the multiple THOUSANDS come back, telling me they are back of me 100 percent — telling me how much they love me! This Church's harassment started 10 years or more ago. Before that we had PEACE. Before that we were growing 30 percent a year! But some 10 years ago — especially since 1973 — when my son, who DISAGREED WITH WHAT I HAD TAUGHT THE CHURCH TO BELIEVE, took over second in command and adroitly, as SATAN moved him, turned it into TOP COMMAND — not only cutting me off above him, but also Christ and God, from that time CHRIST WITHDREW HIS BLESSING, and no longer did we grow at all! Look how many top flight men — those GETTING the highest salaries — on the fourth floor — have been put out or gone out! THEY are the ones who went to the world's press, which caused all the evil reports to go to the world! I have never given the press ONE WORD! To cut this short, GOD BROUGHT ME BACK FROM DEATH TO CLEAN UP HIS CHURCH! CHRIST THROUGH ME HAS BEEN DOING THAT! I don't fear death anymore, I shall not be intimidated! I know it is the will of Christ to CLEAN UP THIS CHURCH. He is bringing MASSIVE PERSECUTION ON US. WHY? To bring us to our knees! To bring us closer together! AND YOU BRETHREN HAVE BEEN RESPONDING! AND GOD IS BLESSING YOU! He will restore his blessing to His Church and Work TWO-FOLD, or even 10-FOLD!