Now, the only ones who went into all the world to preach the gospel were the Apostles. Now, if you look up the word 'Apostle' in the dictionary, you will find that the word 'Apostle' means one sent forth, one dispatched, and sent forth with a message. That's what I am commissioned to do. That's what I've been called by God to do. That's what I do, and that's what I'll continue to do. And let me tell you, the State of California and all of the States of the United States can't stop me from doing it.
The World tomorrow, the Worldwide Church of God presents the world tomorrow with Herbert W. Armstrong.
On January 3rd, 1979, the state of California brought a landmark lawsuit against the Worldwide Church of God. A deputy attorney general, accompanied by two private attorneys whom he had deputized, arrived at the church's Hall of Administration armed with a court order, placing the church in a state of Receivership on complaints filed by six former church members. The state moved to replace Mr. Armstrong and other church leaders and claimed that all church funds and assets were property of the State of California, empowered by the court order. The state went so far as to attempt to govern the conduct of the church and its leaders.
What seemed most upsetting to the state attorney general were the travel expenditures of Herbert Armstrong and his staff. Without question, Herbert Armstrong has traveled extensively over the past decade. His trips have ranged over much of the globe, and he has been abroad an average of 200 days per year. On his trips, he meets with government officials, often including heads of state, and he lectures before civic, business, and academic groups. He and his small staff travel aboard a church-owned jet. It could never be said that the trips were a secret, especially not from the church members whose contributions were paying the bills. In recent years, large portions of church publications have been devoted to detailed descriptions of Herbert Armstrong's work, including where he traveled, with whom he met, what was said, and even specifications about gifts and hotel accommodations. At times, the extra expense of film or video coverage has been incurred in order that the church members might get an intimate view of what they were paying for. One such occasion was Herbert Armstrong's most recent trip to Israel, where he met with a number of leading Israelis, including Moshe Dayan and Prime Minister Menachem Begin.
Church leaders contend that the state remains adamantly ignorant of the significance of Herbert Armstrong's travels. The state, they say, insists on viewing the trips and the money spent on them as it would view the travel expenses of any corporation. But to members of the church, these trips are not a corporate operating expense to be minimized. They are the heart of the church's work. They are a tool that has been nurtured for a decade to the point where these trips are now the church's most significant avenue for preaching the gospel. And to members of the Worldwide Church of God, preaching the gospel is the primary reason for the church's existence. To cease such activities would mean, in the eyes of members, forfeiting the church's spiritual legitimacy, ceasing to be a viable church of Jesus Christ.
This is Art Gilmore. Recently, I went to Tucson to interview Herbert W. Armstrong, the man who founded the Worldwide Church of God nearly 50 years ago. I asked him how much of the church's budget is allotted for his travels as compared to other church expenses.
"The top allocation of our budget annually goes for salaries. That's mostly ministers salaries because we have, as I say, we have, I think it's more than 40 or 400 ministers scattered over the world. And then, the money that we have at headquarters, and there's quite a payroll even there. The salaries are the greatest allocation in the budget. Second comes television and radio that runs into millions of dollars a year. I don't know just what it is, but it's somewhere around 6, 8, 10 million dollars a year. And I don't, I don't keep in touch with those things myself. I have men that do it, and I have confidence in them. If I find any reason, I think we're set up in such a way, if anything went wrong, that the news would come to me. After that is printing. Now, The Plain Truth is, now close to its circulation total is close to 3 million copies monthly. It's one of the largest circulated magazines on earth. Besides The Plain Truth, we have, as I say, every month, The Good News, and every two weeks is the Worldwide News, which goes to all members and carries these things. Then the Pastor's Report, and then my personal reports to all members every month.
Now, I, I don't know how you can get in touch with people much more often than that. That's just about it.
Now, the printing is the third largest allocation. The fourth and smallest allocation on the budget of all are the trips abroad that I take to carry the gospel. Jesus said, 'Don't say where you are. Go, yeah, into all the world, not just to the next county, not just in your little home neighborhood, go ye into all the world and preach the gospel.'
Now, the only ones who went into all the world to preach the gospel were the Apostles. Now, if you look up the word 'Apostle' in the dictionary, you will find that the word 'Apostle' means one sent forth, one dispatched and sent forth with a message. That's what I am commissioned to do. That's what I've been called by God to do. That's what I do. And that's what I'll continue to do. And let me tell you, the State of California and all of the States of the United States can't stop me from doing it.
Herbert W. Armstrong will return right after this message.
'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press or the right.'
More and more Americans are recognizing how actively they must guard the liberties guaranteed them by the Bill of Rights.
In January 1979, the State of California brought a landmark lawsuit against the Worldwide Church of God. If you are apprehensive about government encroachment upon your constitutionally guaranteed liberties, the Worldwide Church of God invites you to examine this packet of information. Call this toll-free number 800-423-4444. That's 800-423-4444.
One point that's been mentioned over and over again to the state's attorneys and all those people about the gifts that you give to the, of the world, they, they get on that. What do you have to say about that? What's the purpose of the gift?
From time immemorial, it has been custom to give a gift if you are visiting the head of a government. I wonder if the people are familiar with the fact that the wise men who came at the birth of Christ brought gifts and gave gifts to him, very expensive gifts, by the way, it's because Christ was born to be a King, and they were coming in the presence of a future King. That's even in the Bible and supported by the Bible.
President Eisenhower did have a meeting with Queen Elizabeth of England. And when Mr. Eisenhower had a private visit with the Queen of England, he took Steuben Crystal with him. The only difference is this, when I go before a head of a government, I take a piece of Steuben Crystal that cost all in the neighborhood of the 1 to 2- or 3000-dollar range and very rarely higher. When I went to see Mrs. Mayer, I felt like going just a little bit better. I got an exclusive Steuben piece is only one of a kind that cost a little over $5000. But Mrs. Mayer, in my judgment, was a great woman. She, she didn't know Christianity. She was a child of Judaism. Of course, I didn't discuss religion with her, but I'm talking about a natural human person and about what character I found in her. As soon as she saw that Steuben, she said, 'Oh,' she said, 'I don't deserve anything like that.' She said, 'I wish I could get the leaders of our Arab neighbors to come and sit on the other side of the table with me and we could just have a good talk. She says, 'You know, our, our technicians are experts in so many different lines and fields could help them, could double and triple and quadruple their agricultural production and their wealth and increase the living standards of their people. And we could go better, but we can't even live in a higher standard because we have to keep most of all of our money in the military ready to protect us from an invasion of these other Arabs. And we'd like to get along with them if they would.' And she talked about the Israeli soldiers that had been in the war and they were just her sons, and she gave me a book she had written that she autographed in friendship from Golda Mayer.
Now, I have also had a visit with the other two Lady Prime Ministers. One of them is, of course, is not in office at the present moment but may get back, which is Mrs. Gandhi of India and Mrs. Vander Iki of Sri Lanka.
Now, Mrs. Gandhi is she is a very shrewd politician. She is an absolute politician and a very shrewd one. And by the way, the minute my red box came out and we were to present a gift to Mrs. Gandhi, she says, 'Oh,' she says, 'a piece of Steuben.' She says, 'Oh, I'm so thankful.' Well, I explain that they, they know what Steuben is and, you, you are expected to give a gift if you go to that, it's just protocol, it's being done. And if I don't do it, what do I look like? And, and there, it's not wrong to do it. God's way is giving, not getting.
Well, why do you think the state of California and all of their unprecedented lawsuit and their wisdom against the church has been so critical of you for, for doing this, taking these trips and making these gifts and all that?
I'll tell you that's, that's a very hard thing to, to describe because as I say, it isn't fashionable to believe there is a devil anymore, but there really is. And he's a very powerful being, and he, he is the prince of the power of the air and he is able to surcharge the air with an attitude of rebellion, of violence and destruction instead of building up, of vanity, of lust and greed, of jealousy and envy, of competition and strife. And he just fills that into people. Little Children begin to get it as they're growing up.
And now that came into the mind of Christ the same as you and me, but what was the difference? It was a little different. Christ was God as well as man from the time he was born as an infant; he was both human and divine. And he was very well aware of that attitude and recognized it as a wrong attitude. And he never for one second let such an attitude begin to lodge in his mind or take root in his mind. And I am sure that the empress of this Satanic spirit got through to Christ the same as it does to us. The difference is that we go along with it and, and do the wrong thing and commit many sins. And Jesus never sinned. He never let it.
You see, James explains that just when the temptation comes, that alone is not a sin, you haven't sinned necessarily. It's when it takes root in you and brings forth an action and you go along with it that it becomes sin. So, Jesus was tempted constantly in a way that I think we don't realize just like all of us are, but we all are and we're all going to be until Christ comes and put Satan away. God has not decreed, it should be saved now at this time.
Rather God cut the world off from him with the exception of those whom he is called, and he's only called very, very few. He called Abraham, as I say, he called Moses, he called the prophets of Israel. He called even the whole nation, Israel as a nation. And who knows, why did he call Israel? And still he never gave them salvation or the Holy Spirit? Then why did he call them? That's going to come out in one of my forthcoming books? I won't give the answer right now, but I hope people will look for the book in the bookstores within about six months from now.
But the one ray of sunshine that is peaking through now is this that we're in the very last days and in a very short time, we're going to go through severe troubles. It's going to wind up though with God intervening and taking a hand supernaturally and Christ coming in person supernaturally putting away Satan, setting up his own government. And the, the gospel is simply that of the government of God and those that God is calling, he is calling for a place in that government and he's fitting for a place in the government.
Herbert W. Armstrong will return right after this message.
The Worldwide Church of God is an international ecclesiastical organization. Each week, it conducts church services in nearly 600 cities in the United States, Canada, and around the world. The church operates Ambassador College in Pasadena, California, a four-year liberal arts institution. The Worldwide Church of God is the sponsoring body of the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation through which it supports a wide range of scientific, humanitarian, and cultural endeavors. Despite these activities, adverse publicity has recently characterized the Worldwide Church of God as a cult. While the church does not actively solicit members.
It is concerned that its international reputation be maintained. This booklet is a clear statement of the church's history and purposes. If you'd like a free copy of This Is The Worldwide Church of God, call this toll-free number: 800-423-4444, 800-423-4444.
In January of 1934, Herbert Armstrong was asked to produce a weekly religious radio program for a small station in Eugene, Oregon. At that time, he was the leader of a 19-member congregation, which in the midst of the depression could barely meet the costs of airtime, $2.50 per week. The church's best-known publication, The Plain Truth magazine, now with 3 million subscribers, was also first printed in 1934. It was then four mimeographed sheets sent to two or 300 people. It was and still is today sent free of charge to anyone requesting it.
Since its inception, the Worldwide Church of God has been distinguished by two primary characteristics. One is its doctrines based on a literal interpretation of the Bible. Among these doctrines are the belief that the Sabbath is the seventh day of the week (Saturday), not Sunday, and that tithing is incumbent upon Christians. The second distinguishing characteristic of the church has been exemplified over the years in its media efforts. It is a belief that the prime duty of the modern Christian church is to actively preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God. But to the church, this emphatically does not mean proselyting. It means simply making the gospel message available, a message which is believed to be essentially educational, not emotional in nature.
During our interview, Mr. Armstrong commented on how he actively became involved in what has grown to become the Worldwide Church of God. It all started when his wife Loma D. Armstrong challenged him to prove the basic doctrines of Christianity from the Bible.
In 1926, in the autumn, she had taken up with what I thought was religious fanaticism. If anything I, anything I had ever heard that was the most fanatic and the most abhorrent to me, she took up with the seventh-day Sabbath. Can you imagine that? Well, I said, I wouldn't have it. I wasn't gonna have anything like that. And she claimed she found it in the Bible. Well, I said, I know the Bible doesn't say anything like that. And she says, 'Well, what do you know about the Bible?' Well, I said, 'I just know this, that all these churches get their religion out of the Bible, and they all observe Sunday. So, I know the Bible says, thou shalt observe Sunday.' She says, 'Have you ever seen it there?' No, I, I don't know much about the Bible. I had dropped out of religion when I was 18 years of age. In fact, I've never been in it, but I had been going to church and Sunday school until I was 18. But that didn't mean much to me. I, I never had any real interest, and now, as a matter of fact, I was 34 years of age, and here I was challenged, and my wife says, 'Well, I tell you, you find that in the Bible where it says to observe Sunday, then I'll go back to it.'
I tried every argument in the world, and it had no effect on her whatsoever. And what was I going to do? I didn't want to break up our marriage. We were having a wonderful and a beautiful marriage. As I say, it lasted till she died. It lasted for 50 years until death did us part. And God has given me another wife with the same kind of spirit and personality. And it's just remarkable how good God has been to me. But finally, I was challenged on evolution also. And while I was more of a self-educated man, and I had not neglected education, and I had not studied evolution in depth. I had read here and there about it, and I thought I knew about it and from what I knew, I thought I opposed it and didn't believe in it, but a sister-in-law just fresh out of college, newly married, told me that I was ignorant and I, I was in those days, I was pretty cocky. I had been making in Chicago in the advertising business as a publisher representative. What today would be about the today's dollar value, about hundred and seventy five thousand dollars a year. And that's not bad for a young man still in his twenties and I was proud.
So, I told her I was gonna make her eat those words. Now, now I was ready to begin to get back into Genesis and study about evolution and also that I found was the place to begin studying about this seventh-day Sabbath. But I wasn't gonna have any of that in my home. Well, to make a long story short, I got into an intensive study such as I had never been in before in my life, almost night and day. And it was a time when I had time on my hands, and I spent all of my time just night and day, many a time at 1 A.M. And later, I proved finally the existence of God beyond any shadow of a doubt in my mind.
Now, I didn't have to prove John Smith or Sam Jones. If he wants to believe something else, that's his business. But I proved to me the existence of God. Or shall I go? And I was going to go to the Koran, I was going to go to the books, you know, of other religions. But I said, well, I better check up on the Bible first before I go to some other foreign religion because the Bible is the book most used in my nation here in the United States. And as a matter of fact, it's the biggest seller in the world anyway.
I proved to myself beyond any shadow of a doubt that the Bible, in its original writings. Now, all we have are copies. We don't have a single original manuscript, but there are thousands of copies. And if you read the history of the copyists, the scribes as they were called in the New Testament, they would write so carefully and with so much prayer that they would not make a mistake. Then they would have many look over and see if they could find a single mistake. And if there was one mistake, they didn't correct the mistake; they threw that paper away and did it all over until they got it perfect.
I have found that we have all of the translations. We can use different translations, and we can get at the actual original intended truth. And in its original writings, I found that the Bible is absolutely proved to be the very inspired word of the living God. Now, when I have that. In the meantime, all of this had been taken out of my mind, sweeping my mind clean of what I formerly had believed. And I tell you, during it was a time they were not very pleasant and not very happy, but God began sweeping my mind clean of all wrong and all opposite ideas until I was ready to say, well, this is the word of God. Show me. I will, I will believe what it says. But I had to prove it. I had to prove what it says here, but what it will say somewhere else in the Bible.
Now, that all happened back long between the fall of 1926 and the spring of 1927. I was finally baptized in the spring of 1927, but I had to eat crow. I had to find that the thing uppermost in the mind of God is the re-establishment of the government of God, which will be done in the kingdom of God, which will be God having reproduced himself in humanity born of God. And that government is based on the law, and that law is the 10 Commandments. And the observance of the Sabbath is one of those 10 Commandments. And there I was, and there's no way I could get around it.
Jesus Christ is the living word of God, and the Bible is the word of God in print. The only difference is this is in print where he is a human being and will say out of his mouth the same identical thing. So as the Apostle Paul apparently spent three years with Christ and that's indicated in the Book of Acts in Arabia and was taught by Christ in person because Paul later said he had seen Christ, he had been with Christ. I was with Christ in the sense that I was with him through this word, it became my whole life.
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