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Satan Intensifies Persecution
Pastor General’s Report – June 13, 1980
Satan Intensifies Persecution

by Herbert W. Armstrong

Evidences increase and multiply indicating God’s great Work through His Church (Philadelphia era) may be FINISHED in a matter of months.

We may be right now at the time of Revelation 12:7-14. I want to write another article on another phase of this prophecy which will appear in the August number of either The PLAIN TRUTH or The GOOD NEWS.

Satan’s master stroke against God’s Church came with the massive assault of the California Attorney General’s office on January 3, last year. Satan failed to knock out and destroy the Church with that civil lawsuit. He only drove us closer together and closer to Christ. It actually helped in the process of putting the Church back on GOD’s track.

So now Satan is trying something he has tried a number of times before – since he could not knock out the whole Church with one blow, he is now trying harder than ever to DIVIDE and SEPARATE US by a vicious attack of false accusations against Church leaders. Proverbs 16:27 speaks of those who would try to accuse and defame: “A worthless man digs up evil, while his words are as a scorching fire” (New American Standard Bible).

Actually, Satan tried this in the attempt to have the State political government take over running of the Church. Both Mr. Rader and I were falsely accused (but not in the lawsuit) of siphoning off (stealing) millions of dollars every year. We did not need to dignify those monstrous lies with even a denial.

But now Satan is coming at us in a more subtle and even more outrageous and scurrilous accusation, implying personal immorality and sins.

Neither shall we dignify these infamous accusations and rumors with a denial.

Adolph Hitler is reported to have said that if you tell a little lie it may not be believed, but if you tell an outrageously enormous and impossible lie it will be believed.

Brethren, I have no need for refutation or of the defense of character witnesses, or personal recommendations. Listen to what the Apostle Paul said. The same Satan tried to ruin Paul’s credibility among the Church. Paul said: “Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?”

He answered, “Ye are our epistle (recommendation) written in our hearts, known and read of all men” (II Cor. 3:1-2).

Directly, or indirectly, you are all MY children in the Lord. This Church is GOD’S Church. Jesus Christ is its living HEAD. He chose and has used me as His Apostle – as His human servant and instrument through whom HE, not just I, raised up all this Church. It was God the Father who called me, and later all of you. Jesus Christ founded and built God’s Church. He raised up and built the present Philadelphia era of God’s Church. But He used me as the human instrument in so doing.

WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR BELIEF – THE DOCTRINES WE ALL HOLD SO DEARLY? Every doctrine – every point of belief – you received directly or indirectly through me as Christ’s Apostle!

Jesus Christ built this entire Work. But He caused me to work as hard and as diligently as if I had built it – only, if I had tried to do it WITHOUT Him, as others have tried to build THEIR OWN CHURCHES, it would have fallen flat long ago.

Have I ever sinned? Yes, just as you and everyone who ever lived, except Jesus, has sinned. But I have stood before you even as the Apostle Paul did, a sinner who DEEPLY REPENTED and WAS FORGIVEN BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST. I learned 53 years ago that we must LIVE the Christian life in a spirit and attitude of repentance. I have done that, and my precious Savior has FORGIVEN and cleansed me of all sin.

Jesus said, “by their FRUITS ye shall know them.” I do not need to dignify false witnesses by a denial of their malicious accusations, nor does Mr. Rader. The FRUITS are all the answer I need.

Not only did Christ use me in raising up the present era of God’s Church, He used me in building it. And, when others to whom I had delegated responsibilities not only greatly exceeded the authority delegated, but tried to LIBERALIZE God’s Church and turn it gradually and subtly into Satan’s Church, Christ used me these past two and a half years in TURNING GOD’S Church around and SETTING IT BACK ON THE TRACK. HE WOULD NEVER HAVE SO USED ONE GUILTY OF THE SINS SATAN NOW ACCUSES, USING EVEN FORMER MINISTERS DISFELLOWSHIPPED FOR DIVIDING AND LIBERALIZING GOD’S HOLY CHURCH!

Mr. Rader’s FRUITS have been GOOD. His service has been mostly in finance and legal areas, but the value of his services to the Church could not be estimated in dollars. And he has been LOYAL.

Henry Cornwall and Sherwin McMichael also are accused by those put out of the Church for trying on their part to DESTROY it. Their fruits also are all the recommendation they need, and not our denial of accusations by false witnesses. Mr. Cornwall is now my assistant, in addition to serving as our advertising agent.

Jesus said that if they had persecuted Him they would persecute us also. I counted that cost when I GAVE my life into Christ’s service.

Read Matthew 26:59-60: “Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put Him to death; …At the last came two false witnesses.”

Accusing Stephen, “set up false witnesses” to put him to death (Acts 6:13).

Satan is still at it today – still seeking to destroy the Work of the living GOD!

But THANK GOD, His Church turns a deaf ear to false witnesses serving Satan.

I want to write much further on the passage in Revelation 12 in The PLAIN TRUTH and The GOOD NEWS. Our Work may be more nearly FINISHED than we have realized. “But,” remember, “he that shall endure UNTO THE END, the same shall be saved” (Matt. 24:13).