Less than a month after Paul Revere was released from Marion County Jail, I was stopped in Sublimity by the Chief of Police, who was driving an unmarked car. Later I learned from the police radio communications that they had set up an undercover operation to catch Paul Revere, but they had apparently caught the wrong fish.
Police Chief Healy approached the car window and demanded that I step out of the car. He did not even say hello or ask to see identification. I said, "You are not my shepherd, you are not in my chain of command." His face reddened as he yelled, "Get out of the car."
"Are you an officer of the Kingdom of Heaven?"
"I am not going to play games with you. If you don't get out, I am going to pull you through the window."
My first instinct was to hunker down and cinch my seatbelt tighter, but instead I said, "You are not my shepherd, but to be neighborly, I will step out of the car." Looking back, I wish I would not have voluntarily stepped out of the car, which was my mobile sanctuary.
An unmarked van and two Stayton Patrol cars arrived and shortly afterward I was handcuffed and transported to jail. I spent the next five days in the same jail that had held Paul Revere a month earlier.
When I arrived at the county jail, the first words out of my mouth were, "You are not my shepherd." The guard responded by making the sign of the cross. I told him, "You are mocking Christ."
The jail superintendent walked over and lectured me on how they needed to remove my coat and belt for my own safety and the safety of the other inmates. I said, "This is Christ's covering. I will not remove it voluntarily. You are not my shepherd." Then they marched me over to a holding cell and removed my belt, coat and shoes. They locked the door and left me sitting on the floor. Later, more guards came for me and told me to get up. "You are not my shepherd," I repeated. They grabbed my arms and lifted me onto my feet. Out of love for my neighbor, I decided to walk with them. I was wrestling between "loving my neighbor," and "not obeying strangers." One of the guards commented, "It is not of God to resist." About 30 seconds later I remembered the Scripture, "Resist the devil and he will flee from you." I finally realized if my neighbor is working for Satan, it is my duty to resist him.
They asked me for fingerprints and I clenched my fingers together, drawing them into my body. "These are Christ's property." The guards dropped the matter and never asked for prints again.
A lady guard asked, "I suppose you are not going to submit to an interview?" "How can I? You are not my shepherd. If you were my shepherd, then I would submit."
When I would tell the guards, "You are not my shepherd," or, "You are not in my chain of command," they became upset because they had no greater words. The guards are like the Roman centurions. They are "under authority." When I let them know I was also under authority, they understood. They know all about having loyalty to their chain of command.
They brought me into the shower room and I told them I would not voluntarily remove my clothes, which are provided by Jesus Christ. They took off my clothes and wanted me to step into the shower. "No, I have a shower at the Embassy." They decided to forego the shower.
They told me to put on the jail uniform which was next to me on the bench. When I declined, they marched me down the hall naked and threw me in a holding cell. "You can sit here till you freeze to death if you want." So I sat there, stark naked.
About a half hour later, four guards and the jail superintendent came into the holding cell and forced a smock and handcuffs on me. The smock was sleeveless, with a Velcro closing in the back. It was crazy looking, almost like a straight jacket.
They marched me down to a solitary cell in the section called, "the hole," and removed the handcuffs. I immediately took off the Velcro smock and sat naked on the bed. One of the inmates commented to me later, "I saw you coming in last night wearing a dress!"
When I first arrived at "the hole," the man in the cell next to me was kicking his door and screaming. I thought, "Oh no, they are putting me next to an absolute maniac." But my first impressions were wrong. When this inmate found out that they had kidnapped me off the Kingdom of Heaven highways, he stopped swearing at the guards and started singing, "Onward Christians Soldiers" - all four verses. This inmate was great because he was so alive. I liked him because he acted the way a man should act when he is put in a cage - he should act like an animal. He was such a funny contrast. One moment he would be shouting obscenities at the guards, and the next moment he would be singing, "My Sheep Know My Voice," which became my theme song.
On the second day, a lady came with a guard to read me some legal papers. I am sitting there naked on the bed as she starts to read. "I can't hear you," I interrupt. She does not understand that I cannot hear her because I only hear my Shepherd. She thinks her voice is unable to penetrate the jail door so she has the guard open the door and she continues reading. I keep repeating, "I cannot hear you. You are not my Shepherd." Finally, she can no longer read from her clipboard, she is so frustrated. She walks off in a huff. The male guard thought I was baiting her to come into the cell by claiming not to hear her. He left with a big smile on his face, as if he enjoyed the whole scene.
As it became known that I was not wearing their jail clothes, a guard came by and mocked me in a loud voice, "He wants to be naked." I rose up from bed and said, "There is a big difference between 'wanting to be naked' and having your clothes taken from you. Christ has already provided my covering and the State has taken it from me."
Along with not wearing their jail clothes, I also was not eating their food. I had lots of vivid visions of food. I never imagined eating healthy foods likes fruits and vegetables. I imagined pizza and chicken and steak and hamburger. One guard said, "Is this how you serve your God? What kind of God do you serve that you would fast?" I asked, "What kind of God do you serve that you throw men in cages?"
They tried to persuade me to put on the jail clothes to go to court. Because I refused, I never saw a judge. If they had hauled me to court, I would have turned my back to the judge and immediately started entering my pleas to my Father in Heaven. I am to face my Maker. Since God is my Maker, I would face Him, not some black-robed judge.
The night before I was released, the jail superintendent visited. He said, "I hate to see you sitting in the hole for infractions." I laid out the Gospel and said we are in the same position as the Christians in first century Rome. We are not a recognized State religion. "I am not here to cause you trouble, but you have to realize that you are not my shepherd and I am under an entirely different chain of command than you are. For me to put on your clothes or voluntarily stand before your judges, would be total hypocrisy for me."
He seemed to understand and he looked like tears were filling his eyes. As he was leaving I said, "If it is a crime to be Abraham, I am guilty. If it is a crime to live in the Kingdom of Heaven, then I am guilty. If it is a crime to drive on the highways of the Kingdom of Heaven under the Great Commission, I am guilty."
The next morning they wanted me to put on the jail uniform so I could be released. I remembered the scripture that some received trials of cruel mockings and imprisonment. Others refused release that they might obtain a better resurrection. I was not interested in being released if I must compromise and put on their jail clothes.
They decided to dress me in the Velcro smock and take me to the checkout counter. The release officer started reading to me. "I cannot hear you. You are not my shepherd," I said.
The officer was infuriated and pulled off the Velcro robe and ordered me over to the shower area. He threw my clothes on the floor as he swore at me. I put on my clothes and as I was leaving, he apologized. I offered my hand, "No hard feelings. I realize that people like me can be very frustrating to you. But you have to realize that I am only accountable to my chain of command. I have nothing against you."
The officer said, "Well, right now my chain of command is a lot bigger than your chain of command. Someday maybe your chain of command will be bigger than mine, but right now mine is bigger." At least he acknowledged that maybe someday the Kingdom of Heaven would fill all the earth.
I was out on the street less than five days after being arrested. I never wore their jail uniform. They never took my fingerprints or gave me a shower. They never brought me before a judge. I never asked them for anything - no telephone calls, pencils, paper, or mail. They let me out on the street after I told them I would not show up for court. This is ironic because they arrested me for failing to appear for a prior court date.
My jail theme was, "Christ is my Shepherd. His sheep do not hear the voice of strangers. They hear His voice and obey."
March 16th, Year of our Lord, 1994
Michael Healy, Chief of Police
Re: Embassy of Heaven Ambassadors arrested while preaching the Gospel on the highways in the Kingdom of Heaven
Greetings from the Kingdom of Heaven. May the Grace and Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
On January 6th, February 7th and March 15th, 1994, your officers arrested and jailed our ambassadors while they were performing their God-given duties.
Have you ever considered the outcome if you are successful in your attempt to prevent us from preaching the Gospel? Let's assume that your officers are so zealous that they succeed in arresting us and confiscating our Church vehicles every time we travel upon the Kingdom of Heaven highways. Let's assume that all further evangelizing through the mails is stopped because it is impossible for us to travel safely to the post office. Not only do you stop the evangelizing, you literally starve us out of existence because we are unable to purchase food and supplies without your officers apprehending us.
Let's also assume you have the full support of the taxpayers to incur whatever costs are necessary to shut down the Church. Let's say you wipe out the local Church. Then you continue to assist in rounding up 100 percent of all our ambassadors throughout the land and throwing them all in jail. You confiscate all the Heaven Driver Licenses and Heaven license plates that have ever been issued. The Church record system is totally destroyed.
Let's further assume that those of us whose convictions remain strong are thrown in prison for the rest of our lives and no one ever hears about the Embassy of Heaven again.
When all of this is said and done, I thank God that I am on His side, even though my obedience to His commands costs me my life. You, on the other hand, are going to have to face my Father in Heaven and answer for why you killed the prophets. You, as a principal, are responsible not only for the actions done with your own hands, but also for the actions of those under your charge. How will you account for persecuting Christ's little ones?
It is not too late. Repentance is only a thought away. We are praying for your salvation and that you, also, will obey the One who gave you life.
In the authority of Jesus Christ,
Paul Revere, Pastor