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Mr. Armstrong speaks to Combined Churches at Chicago and Salem, Oregon
Pastor General’s Report – April 10, 1981
Mr. Armstrong speaks to Combined Churches at Chicago and Salem, Oregon

by Herbert W. Armstrong

BEG PARDON. In the rush of a busy schedule since returning to my desk in Pasadena, I neglected to report to you in last week’s Report about the combined service in Chicago. It was the first time I had spoken to our brethren in the Chicago area for thirteen years. The churches in that area have grown tremendously in those years – 3,700 brethren were in attendance.

The service was held in the world famous Auditorium Theater on famed lake front Michigan Boulevard. I told our brethren there I thought I had attended an orchestral concert in that giant auditorium around 1920 – but later I decided the hall I had attended was Orchestra Hall, on the same street. The Auditorium Theater has a famed history. It seats 4,000 – an immense theater with perfect acoustics. It was opened three years before I was born, in 1889, by President Benjamin Harrison. It has a long and fabled history. It is not only immense – it is exceedingly ornate. Such famous artists as Caruso and many others of my father’s generation have sung there – in fact every world-renowned performing artist of those years around the turn of the century.

It is still a magnificent auditorium. Twice when the mike slipped from my coat lapel and there was no amplification, the people there heard me distinctly anyway.

At the combined meeting at Denver two weeks before, I met many brethren I had not seen for years – and again at Chicago.

I had lived in Chicago from 1915 to 1922 – seven years. I had an office in the heart of the congested downtown “loop” – at 123 West Madison. It was an experience to see Chicago again and meet many brethren there.

The giant auditorium was virtually packed – 3,700 brethren were there. I spoke on the UNIQUENESS of the Philadelphia era of the Church and the tremendous responsibility of our COMMISSION! While the Bridegroom tarried a while “they all slumbered” – the whole Church. But the midnight cry must now GO OUT! ARISE! Be sure our lamps (Bibles) are filled with oil – THE HOLY SPIRIT IN OUR MINDS AND HEARTS WHICH WILL ILLUMINATE OUR BIBLES SO WE UNDERSTAND AND ARE AROUSED – ALERTED – AWAKENED! The Work must drive ahead at terrific speed!

After the service, I had a meeting with the ministers and wives from the entire area.

2,300 at SALEM, OREGON

Again the next Sabbath, April 4, eleven of us flew up to Salem, Oregon, for a combined meeting of brethren at the 26th anniversary of the Salem Church. There were 2,300 in attendance – including the Portland and Eugene churches, and even as far south as Medford, Klamath Falls, and other points in Oregon.

I gave a similar message as a week before at Chicago, and we had a splendid meeting with some fifty or sixty ministers and wives in a special meeting afterward.

I intend to continue speaking on the same theme – the UNIQUENESS of the Commission God has given us compared to any other era of the Church since Christ founded it in 31 A.D. Christ’s commission to us is DIFFERENT in many respects from that of the Church at any other time or generation. Ours is the END-TIME Message, preparing the way for Christ’s second coming.

The Church has been slumbering and sleeping spiritually for several generations. By, and after, 70 A.D. the Church had to flee – and again in the Middle Ages. It had to meet secretly because of persecution from the governments of the Roman Empire, and the medieval “Holy Roman Empire,” under the fallen great woman, “Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth” (Rev. 17:5).

The Church was slumbering and sleeping spiritually when I first came among the Sardis era. But the midnight hour struck when this voice began crying out the message of the Kingdom of God and Christ’s imminent return to restore the Government of God and establish that Kingdom. The “mid-night hour” was to strike as a warning before Christ’s coming (Matt. 25:6). IT HAS STRUCK. WE ARE THE CHURCH THAT MUST AWAKE! After us will come – out of the soon-coming “GREAT TRIBULATION” – -the lukewarm Laodicean Church.

But WE have a very special commission, preparing the way for Christ’s coming (Mal. 3:1-5), and raising up the SPIRITUAL TEMPLE (Eph. 2:21) to which Christ will soon come.

My early ministry, just prior to raising up of the Philadelphia Church, was in the area of Salem and Eugene, Oregon. It was great to be back there and speak to so many brethren there.

I am planning to speak to combined groups of our churches about every two weeks – at such centers as New York, San Francisco, Cincinnati, St. Petersburg, Fla., New Orleans, Toronto, Washington D.C. or Philadelphia, Lake of the Ozarks, and other centers.

I plan a visit to our Churches in Australia and New Zealand in May, and England and Germany in July. I have a VERY BUSY SCHEDULE AHEAD!