Booklets and Articles Index
Now God Speaks To You Ministers
By Herbert W. Armstrong
Years ago I proclaimed on the air a great deal from the Book of Ezekiel. Ezekiel was among the Jewish captives of the 604-585 B.C. captivity by Babylon of the Kingdom of Judah. This was more than 125 years after the Kingdom of ISRAEL had been invaded, conquered, and moved from Palestine to Assyria on the southern shores of the Caspian Sea. But both the Assyrians and their slave Israelites had long since migrated northwestward into western Europe and Britain when JUDAH was made captive by Babylon.
When Ezekiel wrote as God inspired, he was among the Jewish slaves beside the River Chebar. Yet the Message Ezekiel was inspired by God to write was written primarily to ISRAEL, not Judah.
Ezekiel's Message is NOT to the Jewish slaves among whom Ezekiel was living. It was to the HOUSE OF ISRAEL (Ezek. 2:3 and 3:1). The prophet Ezekiel was never able to break loose from Babylonian slavery and proclaim his message to the Kingdom of Israel, by then dwelling in western Europe and Britain.
THE MESSAGE OF THE BOOK OF EZEKIEL IS GOD'S MESSAGE TO US TODAY - FOR WE ARE THE PEOPLE of the ancient House of ISRAEL, of the tribe of Manasseh. (See - and you'd better BELIEVE - our booklet on the United States in Prophecy.)
Since the original writer, Ezekiel, was not able to go to the people of the House of ISRAEL, God showed me years ago that it remained for God to raise up a "modern Ezekiel" to carry this Prophetic Message to the modern Israel of today - and that means, primarily, the English-speaking people.
I have proclaimed the Ezekiel Messages to our peoples by radio, television, by personal appearance and in print for more than 40 years. NO ONE ELSE HAS!
The Church of God is founded on the apostles and the prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone. The PROPHETS, upon whom the Church is founded, are NOT New Testament prophets. Only four are mentioned - and NOT ONE OF THEM contributed any doctrines or beliefs to the Church - but the Apostles did, and they quoted at great length from so-called "Old Testament" prophets.
THEREFORE EZEKIEL'S MESSAGE IS FOR US TODAY! That is, for GOD'S CHURCH to proclaim to the English-speaking nations.
There has been a system for many years now, of putting the ministers of God's Church today under a man at Pasadena, in most cases of which I was cut off from the ministry.
A system was built up through administrations to David Antion, Wayne Cole and Ron Dart based on a policy that the ministry is a select group, not servants, but to be served - to be flattered and mollycoddled, cut off from Christ's apostle, never criticized or corrected - a group ABOVE all others, and who could do NO WRONG!
David Antion considered his loyalty was to the ministry - NOT to Christ's apostle or to Christ or to God. Wayne Cole would never correct one under him who NEEDED correction. Under Mr. Dart's administration Garner Ted Armstrong was the real head, cutting the ministry and the Church off from contact with any above him.
Now the living Christ who HEADS this Church has ABOLISHED that office, and placed His own chosen Apostle directly over the ministry. Now ANY of you have free access to reach me and communicate with me direct. I hope you will still realize my time needs to be conserved, and refer all routine or ordinary matters to the Ministerial Services Department. But when necessary, or on any serious matter, you have direct access to me - and the Ministerial Services Department is working directly under, and with me.
So let me say that I will try to deal with the ministry as Christ shows me HE would. I will do my best to deal with you with the deepest, most sincere LOVE. I will do no political "back-slapping," but I will pat you on the back - or certainly intend to and will try to, when you give me the chance to give you this encouragement. Recently I wrote an article in the GOOD NEWS asking all members to quit calling their ministers by their first names, but to speak of you respectfully as "MR." I have written you from time to time how much I do LOVE you men and your loyal wives.
You must remember that being an ordained minister in the one and only Church of God is both a tremendous HONOR, and at the same time a serious responsibility. Remember Jesus Christ set us the example and He did not come lording it over people, but in love as a SERVANT.
Likewise, we have all been called to SERVE - rather than to BE served! We must be meek without being weak. We are at all times accountable to those over us, even as the Word of God tells the membership they must esteem highly those who serve and are over them in the Lord.
First, God prepared me in a special way, then called me in a manner to wipe my mind clean of every other or previous belief and to come to HIS TRUTH in a manner experienced by none other in recent times, CONQUERING ME, completely submissive to HIM and His Word.
He started His Work and His Church in a very small way - BUT IT GREW AND GREW and became a large WORLDWIDE Church!
God in due time added you ministers to 1) feed the local flocks, and 2) to stand staunchly and loyally WITH ME in carrying Christ's Gospel to the world.
Now the largest nation in the world has made plans for my OFFICIAL visit with their top-ranking men of the People's Republic of China shortly after the Feast of Tabernacles.
I constantly THANK GOD for you loyal ministers and your faithful wives, and for the way Christ is using you in furthering HIS WORK! God has called us that we must all "SPEAK THE SAME THING" (1 Cor.1:10) in perfect harmony and love, that we be of one mind - the mind of Christ!
But now I do feel we must seriously consider God's warning message to our nations and to the ministry of HIS CHURCH throuqh Ezekiel. This is of CRISIS importance riqht now.
Ezekiel starts his Book saying "I was among the captives (slaves) by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God" (Ezek. 1:1). "...in the land of the Chaldeans (Babylon)" (verse 3).
The first chapter merely records what Ezekiel first saw IN THE VISION.
It contains no message he is to deliver. He seemed to be taken to heaven
IN VISION, preparing him to receive the message - which is to the "lost"
House (or Kingdom) of ISRAEL. It is NOT a message to Judah - the Jews--but
to the by then "lost" House of Israel - the TEN TRIBES.
I proclaimed much of Ezekiel's message to Manasseh and Ephraim during the thirties, forties and fifties. But I was ahead of my time--or else God has deliberately slowed down prophesied world events. We are now coming into the TIME for proclaiming Ezekiel's message.
When Ezekiel saw, in vision, this first chapter whirlwind and the glory of the Lord, he fell forward upon his face - and then heard a voice speaking to him, saying (chapter 2,verse 1), "Stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee ... and he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: .. .even unto THIS VERY DAY" (our day now, last half of the 20th century). And, (chapter 2:4,5) "GO, get thee unto the House of ISRAEL, and speak with my words unto them. For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech..."
The "lost" House of Israel in the three or four generations since their removal from northern Palestine had "LOST" their Hebrew language. They had "LOST" God's Sabbath, and thereby their knowledge of God, and their identity. But TODAY, God has raised up this Work of His Church to carry this message to the "lost" Israelites, - whose true identity God has revealed to us - and to us they are not a people of strange speech.
"But the HOUSE OF ISRAEL will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me" (verse 7). Our peoples today will not listen to nor heed GOD'S WARNING MESSAGE!
Verse 17: "Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the House of Israel" (today the English-speaking peoples).
In chapter 4, verse 13: "And the Lord said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, whither I will drive them" - a forewarning for the U.S. and British peoples NOW.'
Continuing in chapter 5:11-13, speaking of the American and British peoples, "Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord Eternal; . . A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee: and a third part shall fall by the sword (the sword of nuclear destruction in our day) round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds ... Thus shall mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause MY FURY to rest upon them ..."
God' S FURY is an expression used many times in prophecies to indicate the troubles soon to strike us - Great Tribulation and the first phase of the "Day of the Lord" - which shall climax in CHRIST'S SECOND COMING
It is clearly evident that this prophecy is for our peoples and for OUR TIME - the latter half of the twentieth century.
This prophecy NEVER TOOK PLACE IN OLD TESTAMENT TIMES! Continuing into chapter 6, "In all your dwellingplaces THE CITIES SHALL BE LAID WASTE" (Verse 6). This could be accomplished only by NUCLEAR DESTRUCTION. The TIME of this prophecy is now JUST AHEAD OF US!
Verse 7: "And the slain shall fall in the midst of you, and ye shall know that I am the LORD." This latter is an expression many times used by Ezekiel referring to the second coming of Christ. Our peoples as a whole do not really know that Christ is LORD. The State of California does not - their invasion of God's property shows they think "CAESAR" is lord. So there is no mistaking the TIMING of this prophecy. It is to happen in the approximate NEAR FUTURE - but we cannot set dates.
To continue through Ezekiel, expounding it, would take a hundred pages. But, speaking especially to the ministry of God's Church, I want to include some of chapter 34 where it speaks of the clergy of the American and British peoples.
LET US BE CAREFUL LEST ANY OF THIS APPLY TO THE MINISTRY OF GOD'S CHURCH!
"Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord ETERNAL unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?" (with the Word of God). "...The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick..." (Verses 2, 4). Some of our ministry wanted to do away with healing. God put HEALING in His Church. He put it in 1900 years ago through the original apostles. He put it in today's era of the Church through me, His Apostle. DO NOT BE GUILTY OF NEGLECT IN THIS IMPORTANT DOCTRINE. But the Catholic and Protestant ministers RELY ON HUMAN DOCTORS AND MEDICINES! And God here upbraids them for this!
Continue (verse 4): "...neither have ye sought that which was lost" - here speaking of the "LOST" TEN TRIBES. Certainly the clergy of "traditional Christianity" have not sought to locate the "LOST" House of Israel. God revealed their identity and location to me before the present era of God's Church was started, and it has always been a PRIMARY DOCTRINE of this Church. Yet some few of our ministers have rejected this TRUTH, and even tried to destroy it from the Church. While I was overseas and did not know they were doing it, some, under my son Garner Ted, REDUCED the booklet "United States and Britain in PROPHECY" eliminating vitally important parts of it. A new, full edition of this important book is now in process of being published, full size. This book was one of the two or three that did more to BUILD THIS CHURCH than any others.
Continue in Ezekiel 34: "But" (even though you did not seek to locate the lost House of Israel, you were ministers AMONG THEM, unknown to your selves; and) "with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. And they were scattered (spiritually into many sects and denominations) , because there is no shepherd .. . my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.
"Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord ETERNAL; Behold I am against the shepherds;" (be careful this does not apply to any of you) "and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more..
"For thus saith the Lord ETERNAL; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out"... (at Christ's second coming).
I will break off there, for lack of space. But chapters 5 and 6 of Ezekiel, combined with Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28, and other scriptures such as Matthew 24:21-22, Jeremiah 30, show the United States and Britain are going down, down, DOWN, into utter defeat, slavery, and dire punishment for our national SINS.
Beginning 1800-1803, we inherited the vast national promises of material wealth, power, and prestige that God promised our father Abraham. We have enjoyed a living standard higher than any nation in history.
Yet what have we done with these blessings? We have turned from our GOD and, in all our educational process, have taught instead the godless theory of EVOLUTION. We have allowed our FAMILY LIFE to be destroyed. Our morals have sunk into the cesspool. We have endorsed and given our national blessing to SODOMISM. We have been unethical and dishonest in our business and commercial dealings. We have rejected God's Sabbath (not this Church) and God's ways, and turned to Satan's ways.
The sun already has set on the British Empire, which as an empire exists no longer. The United States is now caught in the vise of INFLATION, and an economic situation where our high living standard is being swept from us. Down, DOWN, we go!
And soon God will send such drought that it will bring disease epidemics that will take the lives of a third of our people! After that, our CITIES shall be destroyed - which never could have happened before WE first invented and produced NUCLEAR MASS DESTRUCTION. The remaining third of our proud people will be REMOVED from this country into SLAVERY!
Those left of us finally will repent. God says He will not make a FULL END of us!
Finally (Ezekiel 20:33,42), "As I live, saith the Lord ETERNAL, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury" (the last plagues) "poured out, will I RULE over you: ... And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall bring you" (not Judah, the Jews, but our people ISRAEL) "into the land of Israel ... and there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall loath your selves ... and ye shall know that I am the LORD ... 0 ye HOUSE OF ISRAEL" (Not Judah, the Jews). Then shall come the KINGDOM OF GOD! Satan shall be banished. Christ with the Church converted to spirit immortality shall rule! Those still living shall have learned their lesson.
And PEACE, and HAPPINESS, and JOY shall flood the earth!