Mar-Apr, Year of Our Lord, 1998
Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. When the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
1 Peter 5:4
These last two months have been a sad time, but yet also a time of rejoicing. We at the Embassy of Heaven are having pearls put in our crown. We have seen two of our soldiers, Christian Livingstone and Donald Cleaveland Ross, jailed for a month on "Trespass 2" charges for entering their own Church grounds.
As we write, the logging of the Embassy grounds has been completed. The beautiful forested acres have been reduced to a mudhole and some of the buildings have been burned to the ground. We must have really torqued the Kingdoms of the world, for they moved quickly to move us out of the way to rape, pillage and burn God's land. The destruction is so great that the Embassy grounds is probably beyond repair.
We believe our work here is nearing completion and are waiting for instructions on where He would like us to relocate the Embassy. We still have the vision of living a life separated unto holiness with the Kingdom of Heaven as our governing authority.
We invite you to also "Come out from among them" and start eating, drinking and sleeping the Kingdom of Heaven. Yes, there is persecution, but there is also great joy and peace in doing Our Father's will.
We urge you to make the Kingdom your obsession. You cannot just think about the Kingdom of Heaven every couple months when you receive a newsletter. The Kingdom must be the dominant focus in all your waking moments. All you think, say and do must center around Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. If not, the enemy will take you captive to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:26)
The Lord has opened up three ways in which we can nourish you with information on the Kingdom of Heaven. First, we have our weekly broadcast on satellite. Second, we broadcast simultaneously over the Internet. There have been some difficulties with the Internet providers, but we are hoping these problems will soon be resolved. If you are an Internet subscriber, please keep trying to tune in.
Third, if you cannot hear live broadcasts, we offer tapes of the weekly radio shows. We're excited about what listeners are doing with the tapes. Small groups have been meeting in homes on a weekly basis to listen to the tapes and fellowship. Others are listening in their car or while working. The tapes often start a lively discussion.
Our mailbox is filling up with letters from individuals who have a new interest in the Kingdom because of the tapes. When we attended the San Diego Preparedness Expo last month, the radio broadcast tapes were a big hit. The tape called, "The Counterfeit Church," was a complete sell out.
We want you to share in the excitement of what God is revealing in this moment. Tune in our broadcasts. If that is not possible, then write to us today to start receiving these tapes on a weekly basis. Thanks for your offerings to keep this tape ministry growing.
Paul Revere, Pastor
And if thou not be of the Kingdom of Christ, it is certain that thou belong to the kingdom of Satan, which is this evil world.
A tribute to that little piece of Heaven on Earth known as the Embassy of Heaven Church grounds.
"We want to come see a family who is living in America, outside of the world system. I just don't think it is possible." These were the words of Pastor Bob Hallstrom of Gospel Ministries as he made his reservations for the first Embassy of Heaven Retreat in the summer of 1992.
Bob was interested in the fact that we had no bank accounts or credit cards and we needed no numbers issued by the world system to go about our daily affairs. No one at the Embassy had social security numbers, tax identification numbers, State driver licenses or vehicle registration tags. All Embassy vehicles were licensed under the authority of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Those at the Embassy lived simply, on a cash basis, without debt. Most food was provided by local farmers, rather than the supermarket. Clothes were given to us or sometimes purchased at thrift stores. Electricity for running the entire ministry was provided by a four-inch pelton wheel and solar panels perched atop a large fir tree. There were no monthly power or gas bills.
The Embassy of Heaven grounds consisted of 34 wooded acres in a canyon with a creek running through the center. There was a main all-purpose Church building constructed of rustic cedar, inside and out, with open ceilings, lots of windows and large skylights. The deck overlooking the creek was used for outdoor services. Other buildings included a guest house and a couple small cabins. Staff members lived in trailers and motor homes.
As we prepared for that first retreat, we cut down dead fir trees and milled them into lumber using an Alaska chain saw mill. This simple attachment enabled us to make 2 x 4's, 2 x12's and other size lumber. Large picnic tables, an outdoor kitchen, a speaker's platform, shower facilities and unique flush toilet outhouses were eventually constructed using the Embassy trees for the lumber. We thanked God that Heaven had provided for our needs, without our having to buy lumber.
One day as we were sawing in the woods, we noticed a spotted fawn curled up on the grounds, amid the ferns, where we had laid down our tools. The fawn looked newly born and she allowed us to come within a couple feet of her to take close-up pictures. Some of the full-grown deer at the Embassy were so tame they would stand and stare at us, instead of running when they saw us.
Spotted owls, which are an endangered species, were also friendly to us. In the summer these small owls nested in the trees adjoining the main building of the Embassy. We loved to hear their beautiful, high-pitched twittering song. We were able to come within a few feet of them, especially just as the sun began to set. They would even perch on the poles of the deck. Their numbers increased after they logged some of the old-growth timber on the land adjoining the Embassy. Some of the retreat goers caught glimpses of these friendly owls.
A baptismal site was dug out of a wide place in the creek. Large bedrock outcroppings provided natural steps into the frigid waters. Fir and alder trees formed a natural canopy overhead and ferns and moss covered the ground. A sign at the site proclaims, "See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?" Acts 8:36. Many came to drown out their old life of sin and be born again into the Kingdom of Heaven. For people like Caleb Israel, Ima Redeemed, Michael Peter Stevens, Christian Livingstone, Frank J. Potter, Donald Cleaveland Ross, and Brooke Celeste, the Embassy grounds became their spiritual birthplace.
A few hundred feet northwest of the baptismal, the cement foundation has been poured for the new meeting hall. Hundreds of rocks had been gathered in preparation for the stonewall construction, which we have been forced to abandon.
As we write this, it is February 18, 1998, and at least three truckloads of logs have been taken from the Embassy. Tomorrow they will be buzzing away again. Visions of deer running madly for shelter and safety from the falling logs haunt our thoughts. Where will the spotted owls go, for there is little timber left in the area? Christmas tree farms have replaced the majestic forests that once bordered the Embassy.
The bright yellow Johnny Jump Ups won't carpet the forest floor this spring. Nor will the fragile wild ginger, wild iris or Trillium. They will be torn out by the roots and smashed in the mad chase for money from the logs that have stood for 50 or 60 years or more. We won't see timber this size again at the Embassy in our lifetime.
This is not a fairy tale. It is reality. It is a nightmare that invades our waking hours. But who is to know the purpose of God and how He will work this travesty for His good? Oh Lord, help us to forgive from the heart.
When we decided to obey Christ and become as harmless as the doves, the enemy took advantage of us. We became like the widows and orphans who had their property devoured by rulers of men. Unlike the widows and orphans, we have the ability to defend ourselves, but we chose to remain as harmless as the dove and let the Lord be our defense. We continue to trust Him to provide for all our needs and to deliver us from our enemies.
Were we successful in living in the Kingdom of Heaven on earth now? I believe we were. We were independent. We were preaching His Word and living His way. But as He foretold, persecution came and now we have no certain dwelling place. We have nowhere to go. We may have to wander from place to place in the years ahead, but our God will go before us and He will be our dwelling place.
Were they successful in shutting up the Kingdom of Heaven against us? No! The Kingdom of Heaven is still within. And we rejoice that we lost property for the glory of His Kingdom.
On February 9, 1998, Christian Livingstone of the Embassy of Heaven Church, was stopped on his bicycle by Marion County Deputies, Stayton Police and an undercover agent, and ordered not to post any more public notices.
Christian Livingstone had been stapling public notices on bulletin boards and utility poles warning that Jay Lamb was attempting to sell Embassy of Heaven Church property without clear and marketable title.
Christian asked the Stayton Police for the specific ordinance prohibiting the posting of Public Notices. The officers could not give any specifics.
One officer warned that there would be serious consequences if Christian continued posting notices. Christian said there would be heavenly consequences if Marion County continued persecuting the Church.
The day after Christian Livingstone was ordered not to post any more public notices, the Embassy of Heaven Church received a phone call from Donna of the Stayton Police Department. She reiterated that they would arrest any Church member for vandalism if they dared to post any more public notices. She said police would destroy all notices posted by the Church on post office bulletin boards and on utility poles.
Rachel Revere took the call and asked if there was a specific Ordinance forbidding such posting. Stayton Police cited City Ordinance 17.20.960 - Prohibited Signs, Section L.
The ordinance had just been signed by the mayor and went into effect February 9. This was the same day Christian Livingstone was stopped on his bike and warned not to post notices.
Two members of the Embassy of Heaven Church walked into a trap upon entering the Church grounds on February 9th. Christian Livingstone and Donald Cleaveland Ross were arrested by Marion County Deputies on charges of "Stalking Mr. Lamb" and "Trespass 2" for entering their own Church grounds. Members have been occupying the grounds since they were violently ejected by Marion County on January 31, 1997.
Christian Livingstone said they entered the Church grounds and encountered two men waving guns, who repeatedly identified themselves as "the police." These armed men said they would use whatever force was necessary to restrain the two Church members. The police impostors were later identified as Troy Lutz and Jay Lamb. Lamb was dressed in full camouflage gear and carried a 12-gauge shotgun. Lutz was obviously drunk and said to the men of the Church, "You don't know how badly I want to kick your . . . you know what! I'd like to smash your face in and throw you in that ditch."
Christian and Don decided to peacefully wait rather than attempt to leave. Christian said, "Hey, you guys have guns. We don't have guns."
Lutz retorted, "Oh, you want a gun?" Then he grabbed the 12-gauge shotgun from Jay Lamb and tried to force the gun into Christian's hands. Christian grabbed the gun barrel so that during the struggle it would not go off and hurt somebody. Deputy sheriffs eventually arrived and hauled Christian Livingstone and Donald Cleaveland Ross to jail.
After fasting 28 days in jail, the two Church members were tried on Trespass 2 charges on March 9th. In his opening remarks, Christian Livingstone told the jury that the Church held the paramount title to the property at 8777 Basl Hill Road, that Marion County officials engaged in an unlawful conversion of the Church's property, even using a military tank and SWAT team to eject the Church. Following the raid, District Court judge Don Dickey sealed the case file regarding the Church property at the request of Marion County officials.
Christian said, "It is our firm conviction that the property conversion is based on fraud. We have placed ourselves at great risk and have been jailed on three occasions since the original military raid on January 31, 1997. Therefore, we could not have knowingly and unlawfully trespassed."
During the trial, Marion County Deputy Brewster read Donald Cleaveland Ross's written Orders from the Church to set up an Embassy Outpost on the Church grounds. The deputy also read the special instruction on the Orders which said, "But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles." (Matthew 10:17, 18).
Christian, in his closing remarks, said, "The trees have all been cut down. Jay Lamb himself testified that he has not been the owner of the property for over 30 days. Don Ross and I have been jailed for a month. What are we all doing here?"
Then Christian pointed to the deputy district attorney and said, "Mr. Fagan knows."
Turning to the jury, Christian continued. "I want you to find me guilty of something today. I want you to find me guilty of shouting 'Stop, thief!' I want you to find me guilty of shouting, 'Help! Church molesters!' I want you to find me guilty of saying, 'Doesn't anybody see that they are picking the bones of an already beat up Church?' Yes, I am guilty of all these things, won't you please find me guilty."
Jay Lamb, who initiated the trespass charges, claimed ownership to the 34-acre Church property which was seized by the County for nonpayment of property taxes. The prosecution did not show a deed or any written proof that Jay Lamb was the owner. They only said that Jay Lamb bought the property lawfully. Jay Lamb admitted on the stand that he had not posted "No Trespassing" signs on the property. The only "No Trespassing" signs posted were by the Church. Lamb also admitted on the stand that he did not identify himself as the owner to the Church members, nor did he ever ask Church members to leave the property. Therefore, Church members could not have unlawfully and knowingly trespassed.
Nevertheless, a six-person jury found Christian Livingstone and Donald Cleaveland Ross guilty of Trespass 2 on March 9, 1998. After fasting for 28 days in Marion County Jail, both men were forcibly fingerprinted and released.
The two Church members were also served Stalking Orders, which are similar to Restraining Orders. According to the orders, if either of them come into the visual presence of Jay Lamb or his immediate family, or make any deliberate attempt to contact him or his family at their home, property, school or place of work, in person or by phoning, mailing, or going through a third party, they are subject to arrest. Each was fined $1,000 to be paid to the victim, Jay Lamb.
Upon being returned back to the jail, Christian remarked to the County Deputies, "Isn't it interesting, the County steals our property, puts us in jail and then declares us to be the bad guys. Neat trick, Huh?" And, of course, the deputies said nothing.
The Embassy of Heaven Church does not recognize any portion of the State of Oregon proceedings against the Church. They have no right to judge Another's servants. (Romans 14:4) There is a record in Heaven on this matter, regardless of what the courts of men record.
The stalking charges are crazy. Neither Christian nor Don have even tried to contact Jay Lamb.
The Marion County district attorney played it out that poor Jay Lamb was the innocent victim of the Embassy of Heaven Church. The D.A. mentioned that Lamb's reputation was "tarnished." The whole emphasis was that Lamb was the victim, not the Church.
If you take the charges that they leveled against the Church and turn them 180 degrees, you know exactly what is going on. Whenever you have an accuser, they can only see in others what they first see in themselves. They are holding up a mirror and looking at their own reflection and calling us "Stalkers" and "Trespassers." They accuse us because they know what they are.
The irony is that prior to the raid, the rumor around town was that the Embassy of Heaven Church patrolled their borders with armed men. This accusation was untrue. But now the Embassy of Heaven grounds is patrolled by armed guards hired by a logging company of the State.
We were also accused of "theft by deception." Duane Fletchall, a Marion County Deputy, tried to claim we were defrauding the state of Oregon of revenue by issuing Kingdom of Heaven licensing documents. The charge served as a decoy to direct attention off the County, who had just stolen all of the Church's personal and fixed property, and focusing on the Church as the thief. Again, they accused us of what they were doing.
It seems that the same ploy was used on the stalking charges. The Church, whose property was violently seized, was made to look like the enemy. And Jay Lamb, who bought the Church grounds as an investment, was made to look like the poor abused victim.
The County employed an old technique of the Communists. Cardinal Mindszenty, in the movie, Guilty of Treason, talks about how the Communists made good look evil while they took over Hungary in the late 1940's. Mindszenty said:
The enemy will not appear among us as an enemy. No, he will appear as one who wishes to save us from disaster. He will have the hero's part. I will be the villain of the peace. It is always that way. That which is evil must be made to appear good. That which is good must be made to appear evil. So it was with Hitler when he moved into Poland. So it is now with Stalin when he moves into Hungary.
An Embassy of Heaven Church member has given an eyewitness account as to the destruction and desecration of the Church grounds as of February 13, 1998. He reported that the restrooms and shower facilities used during Church retreats have been burned to the ground. Fragments of melted down glass from the skylight and bits of plumbing are all that remain after the torching. Inside the Church sanctuary, empty bottles of beer were scattered around with opened condoms strewn out of the tops of the bottles. Crude displays, such as a large cross made of raw potatoes, were also evident.
Two other eyewitnesses reported on March 26, 1998, that the rape, pillage, and burning of the Embassy grounds is complete. Anything that was of value to ANYONE has been destroyed, burned or seized. Apostle Paul said he bears branded on his body the marks of our Lord Jesus Christ. Want to see the marks on the land that was dedicated to our Jesus Christ? The Embassy grounds is a wasteland of mud and slash.
The buildings are all in ruins or burned. The front wall of our newest cabin was completely stripped. Another guest cabin was smashed and lays upside down in a heap of rubble. The Church sanctuary building has been stripped. The camp kitchen and wood cookstove is destroyed. The pelton wheel and supporting hydroelectric equipment are gone, as is the Church's printing press, platemaker and computer.
The retreat platform has been dismantled, and it is difficult to even figure out where it once stood in all the muck. As the eyewitnesses proclaimed, "It looks like a nuclear wasteland." This is an example of what Caesar does with tax money and how he treats those who claim allegiance to Jesus Christ.
We want to thank all those who volunteered their labor, materials and funds through the years to build these structures that have now been destroyed. We remember Hebrews 6:10:
"For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister."
The Church received confirmation that Jay Lamb has sold any interest that he might have in the Church grounds to Map Inc., forestry consultants, for $125,000. Lamb made approximately $6,000 profit on his investment. The deal closed on Friday, February 13th.
Church members contacted Map Inc., a forestry products company, on February 16th, to warn them that the property they thought they purchased belongs to the Church and that Jay Lamb does not have clear and marketable title.
Ken Everett of Map Inc. seemed fully aware of the Church's position. He said they have clear title to the 34 acres and that it is insured through Key Title Company. He also said they have hired 24-hour armed guards to patrol the grounds. "Anyone entering the Embassy grounds will be promptly arrested for trespassing," he said.
Church sources have revealed that they observed five men camped in tents at the Embassy of Heaven Church Retreat grounds on Sunday, February 15. The men were heard cursing Church members. They sat around a campfire drinking beer and carelessly waving their rifles around. Each hour on the hour they patrolled the entire perimeter of the 34 acres, searching the grounds with spotlights.
The Church contacted Key Title Insurance Company to find out the specific terms of the Title Insurance policy issued on the Embassy Church grounds. The County, after auctioning off their interest in the Church last year, provided only a quit claim deed, with no warranties. The Church was surprised that title insurance was issued. Earlier this year, one local title company assured the Church that they would not issue title insurance on the property because of the ownership dispute.
Key Title Insurance Company refused to release any information on the terms of the insurance policy, stating that those files were sealed to the Church because the Church was not an interested party of record.
Logging of the 34 acre wooded retreat grounds, known as the Embassy of Heaven Church, began on Wednesday, February 18, 1998. Mike Heater reported that Sergeant Duane Fletchall, who led the military raid against the Church last year, left a note inside the Church addressed to any members saying, "We'll get you next time."
Logging of the Church grounds has now been completed by Map, Inc. of Oregon City, Oregon. A 100-foot strip along both sides of Mill Creek was left intact, as well as a small clump of trees near the former Church retreat center.
Map, Inc. was notified that the property belongs to the Church, but the property was logged anyway.
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Words could never describe how grateful I am for your witness in this cold world. I, like everybody else, grew up in the system with no notion of ever discovering a reality beyond appearances, mass media, and churchianity. But God has ushered me into the real world where I can't think of a better, truer example of Jesus's mission on earth than you all. Seeing you live out the great simple principles of the faith in spite of "dungeon, fire and sword" is better than going back to childhood and having Santa turn out to be real.
I love you.
Anderson, South Carolina
There has been so much hate and destruction launched against the Embassy of Heaven Church. Perhaps we should advertise an open house for the local community. "Come! See the successful destruction of the Embassy grounds." Let the community witness first hand what their tax dollars have destroyed. We are talking about chopping down an immature forest, turning and burning and crashing down buildings, for no reason at all. And yet, we are the bad guys.
It is the Church who tried to repair the grounds, it is the Church who used the land to minister to the lost, to baptize and to gather God's people for retreats. Yet, we are now the bad guys because we believe in God's government upon the earth and that we should obey God rather than men.
The enemy, in its madness, utterly destroyed any possibility for us to return to the Church grounds. And from their viewpoint, they have done good. I want to write to the local newspapers and say they ought to publish their victory. Put pictures of the wasteland in the paper and say, "Here's the victory. We have scrubbed out and rooted up this cult."
You know why they won't do it? Because everyone knows the characteristic of a Christian is not to scrub out his neighbors or even his enemies. The characteristic of a Christian is to love his neighbor and even to love his enemies. What reward have you if you love only those that love you? And Christians are to love even those who persecute them. I don't know that we persecuted them, but even if we did, they are still to love us.
What they did to the Embassy definitely demonstrates non-Christian activity. In fact, if they could open their eyes, they would see that they persecuted a few Christians. They did not root out evil. They rooted out Christians.
Right or wrong, the Embassy of Heaven did not pay property taxes. We, the Church, sincerely believed we did not owe the tax. The County, on the other hand, claimed that we did not follow the "right procedures" to be removed from the tax rolls. That is fine. But why were we drummed up to be so "evil?"
Prior to the raid, County officials claimed that the matter would escalate and they enlisted the help of the FBI. Rumors were circulated that we had militia connections and that the Church was being patrolled by armed guards.
Then after demonizing us, they attacked us in the deepest, coldest, wettest part of winter, dislodging eight people and allowing us nothing, except the clothes we were wearing. We had nowhere to go, no water, food, heat, shelter or transportation. Yet, for years prior to this point, we were a burden to no one. We took care of our own and offered refuge to many.
The question arises, "Who did more evil? Did the Church do more evil by not paying the tax, or did the County by jeopardizing human life and leaving a woman, two children and a sick man helpless on the street?"
If we examine all the secular newspaper and magazine articles, there is not a hint that the County did evil. The only bad guys are the Church.
After we were displaced, some of us went to the local Baptist, Seventh Day Adventist, Catholic and other churches in the area. We were shunned as a "cult." Now, if in fact we are a cult and in error, we desperately need Christ and the Truth. But all they could do is shun and judge us. They did not even want to hear our story. Not one "church" provided help.
They justified our destruction because we did not pay taxes. This is an irony because these are the same churches that do not pay property taxes. They claim that the Embassy of Heaven Church must pay taxes, but not them.
On one side, is the tax issue. On the other side, are the lives that were put at risk because taxes were not paid. We could have died because of the County's actions against us. Yet, to this day, we are the bad guys who are beaten to the ground and Marion County rides away on a white horse.
Not a word was breathed in the papers about the logging of the Embassy or the destruction of the buildings. The Statesman Journal on February 25, 1998, reported "Revere said he fears that the new owners 'will molest the land' by logging it. Ken Everett, president of Map Inc., said he's not sure what the forest-management company will do with the land and he said he 'wasn't interested in stirring up a big pot,' with the Embassy of Heaven members." This article was published after Ken Everett finished logging the trees and destroying the buildings!
Associated Press - February 27, 1998
DENVER - A man fighting traffic tickets in Gunnison County lost his appeal when the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled the State Department doesn't acknowledge a "Kingdom of Heaven."
David Justice had contended that the Gunnison County Court had no jurisdiction over "an ambassador and public minister of the Kingdom of Heaven."
He claimed that the U. S. Constitution requires that all cases involving ambassadors be tried before the Supreme Court.
The Gunnison County District Court denied his motion for summary judgment, ruling Justice wasn't the type of ambassador covered by the Constitution. The court of appeals agreed with the district court.
"In order for diplomatic status to attach, a state's sovereignty must be recognized by the executive branch of the United States government through the Department of State," the appeals court ruled Thursday.
"We are not aware of any declaration by the Department of State that the Kingdom of Heaven is a recognized sovereign."