I have GOOD NEWS — but today's newspaper does not! Listen to the front-page headlines: "ISRAELI TOLL WORST SINCE OCTOBER WAR" — "100 FEARED DEAD IN RUSS AIRLINER CRASH" — "ART THEFT ALARM DID ITS WORK BUT POLICE HAD QUIT FOR THE DAY" — "RHODESIAN FARMERS LIVE IN NIGHTLY FEAR OF TERRORISTS."
The last headline resulted from the overthrow of another GOVERNMENT — this time, Portugal, whose colony borders Rhodesia.
Just before coming to the typewriter just now, I was praying, and thinking, about these headlines and the terrible troubles that grip this entire confused and troubled world. And when I did, that part of what is called "The Lord's Prayer" — actually His sample OUTLINE for prayer — came to mind — and I prayed, "THY KINGDOM COME, THY WILL BE DONE, ON EARTH, AS IT IS IN HEAVEN." And I knew that in that prayer is the only GOOD NEWS for us on earth today. God's WILL is not being done on earth today.
But though I know, and teach THE WAY that will cause that glorious state, I know it will not come for the whole world UNTIL the KINGDOM OF GOD DOES APPEAR with the coming of Jesus Christ in supreme POWER and GLORY, as the KING of kings and LORD of lords, ruling all nations in the KINGDOM OF GOD!
The FACT that the time is now NEAR — the fact that it is SURE! — THAT is the big GOOD NEWS today. THAT IS the glorious silver lining behind the beclouded wretchedness of today. THAT is the world's GREAT HOPE right now.
I have been used of the living God in establishing three colleges where there is beauty, character and quality of physical environment, and where beauty, character and quality has been built into happy, smiling-faced young men and women — giving eye-witness PROOF that the principles of the KINGDOM OF GOD, when applied here and now, produce the GOOD THINGS.
I had the privilege, one night this past week at dinner, to explain THAT WAY, and how it is coming, to a distinguished philanthropist, and an internationally known Nobel Prize-winning physicist. I've been privileged to share that precious knowledge with many kings, presidents, prime ministers and world leaders. Yet I know that anything I, or they, may be able to do on our human level now, can make no more than a small bit of progress toward ultimate world peace and universal happiness for ALL.
Yet, as Emperor Haile Selassie said last time I saw him, though we rely on the Eternal Creator to usher in UNIVERSAL peace and well-being, we must continue to do all we can now, in the meantime.
A month ago I wrote you of how, just before the big PUBLIC APPEARANCE campaign where upwards of 50,000 had been expected in Manila, I had been suddenly called back to Headquarters at Pasadena. Since then, the call for my return to Manila has been intensified. The President of the University of the East, Dr. S.F. de la Cruz, just left to return to Manila this past week. He had come for the inaugural concert in our new AMBASSADOR AUDITORIUM on our campus here, April 7th. He planned to bring his wife, but she was delayed in obtaining a visa, until early last week. He had waited here for her, and brought her to my home, asking me to give her a little tour of the campus and the new Auditorium, while he had another talk with two or three of our deans. His university in Manila has "only" 68,000 students. "ONLY" sixty-eight thousand! He was urging me to get back to Manila and get on with this big campaign there.
Also here for the opening concert, performed by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, with Carlo Maria Giulini conducting, was the President of the University at Saigon (South Vietnam), strongly urging me to come very soon now for the big PUBLIC Appearance campaign which had to be postponed at Saigon. Our God has graciously opened the giant doors for these campaigns in world capitals over much of the world, and now I hope you will PRAY, earnestly, with me that God will restrain Satan from causing any further delay.
Two governments sent representatives to our campus to represent them at the opening concert at our new Auditorium. The Japanese Diet allowed only one to be away from important Diet Sessions, but officially sent Mr. Bunsai Sato, and the wives of two others who had planned to come came in their husbands' stead. The President of the world-famous University of Tokyo and his wife came, and also visited our Texas campus. King Hussein officially sent the Jordanian Ambassador to the United States to come from Washington, D.C. A judge of the World Court of Justice at The Hague and wife attended. The President and wife of the University of the Ryukyus came. The Ethiopian Ambassador to India was here. Many local VIPs of Southern California attended.
This magnificent new Auditorium will be dedicated to the Honor and Glory of the GREAT GOD on May 6th, with some 600 ordained ministers of the Worldwide Church of God, from all parts of the world, in attendance.
I would like to quote two comments from among the scores received since the concert, in regard to the new Auditorium.
First, from an artist's viewpoint, Maestro Carlo Maria Giulini: "I really must congratulate you on having created something extra-ordinary. This auditorium is unique. The acoustics are perfect, and are what one would call in Italian, 'moto simpatico.' We felt, this morning, so happy and at ease as though we had played here many times before. I must express to you my admiration for what you have done here. This building, with its beauty and David Wynne's marvelous sculpture of birds (erected five or six years ago), symbolizes all that should be aimed at in such a work. You, like the great patrons of the Renaissance, have created a composite work of art, which will have an untold effect upon the whole cultural standards of this part of the world. I must thank you on behalf of all artists involved and offer you my congratulations. I am so happy to be here."
May I also make one comment of my own? The new Auditorium is in no way ostentatious, but rather it is plain in elegant simplicity and beauty. It breathes character through its superb quality and meticulous craftsmanship. It is modern, with a certain flair, yet retaining complete dignity; an appearance of being light and airy, yet reflecting stability and strength. The coloring is generally bright, uplifting, inspiring, not dark, gloomy or depressing. I heard one person describing the character of the Auditorium as a building, and I said, "Why, you've just described the very character of God." And if it bears that character, I am pleased and I believe God is pleased.
Now I want to quote the comment of a Church member — a member of an outlying church in the general Pasadena area:
"Being unable (as most of us were) to attend the concerts opening the AMBASSADOR AUDITORIUM, I did the next best thing — go on the first tour through it for the public. I want to briefly describe my emotions following that tour:
"My first surprise was to see the House for God surrounded by a large, beautiful lake, reflecting the blue sky and white clouds. I had heard of the lake or pools, with the Auditorium described by some as a Taj Mahal. It truly is! As I walked toward the Auditorium over the midst of the waters my eyes fastened upon an inscription within the building gleaming in the sunlight, visible from the walkway "TO THE HONOR AND GLORY OF THE GREAT GOD." What an emotional wallop. Looking inside I saw beautiful carpets of purple, blue, scarlet, and gold, the colors of God's Temple, with gold ceilings and crystals everywhere. Magnificent! When I entered and saw the staircases ascending and descending, the purple, the gold, the quality and beauty, I can understand why there was 'no spirit left in her' when the Queen of Sheba visited a structure similarly dedicated to our GREAT GOD three thousand years ago. I saw no dry eye. (Perhaps because tears had come to my own.) After seeing the curtains, the audience seating, the balcony, I can truly say, 'Mr. Armstrong did not tell us 'the half' of the grandeur of God's House.' It exceeds ALL expectations! 'Who is like unto THEE, O Eternal, among the gods? Who is like Thee? Glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?' These words came to my mind as I was overwhelmed with God's Auditorium. I've seen the Dome of the Rock, the Great Alabaster Mosque of Cairo, St. Peter's in Rome, Schonbrunn Palace of Vienna, Versailles, Potsdam, and other such wonders of man. But never before have I felt the joy and wonder at beholding the awesome beauty of the Ambassador Auditorium. It exceeds all that I had heard! And furthermore, it is dedicated to honor the GREAT GOD! He deserves that honor! Our God IS THE GOD of light, happiness, beauty, character, and quality, as Mr. Armstrong has said numerous times. And these characteristics are prevalent in the Auditorium. So, I want to say THANK YOU — thank you to all the construction crew, to the workmen, planners, designers, to all the men involved in building the Auditorium, thank you to all the membership who have given to the Building Fund, thank you to Mr. Armstrong, whose initiative and perseverance paid off, and THANK YOU to the Great God, who made all of this possible!"
And, to those who have contributed to the Building Fund, I have to say, a good part of this fine Auditorium was financed on long-term insurance-company loans — enough, added to our own fund on hand, to make it 100% financed, and at an interest rate LOWER than the current prime rate. But we must CONTINUE the payments, WHILE we enjoy using it, and the Building Fund income has been way down. I know that none of us would want to just quit paying for it, and have it taken away from us. We should get the Building Fund back up where it was one and two years ago.
I wrote you before that the attempted overthrow of GOD'S WORK a few weeks ago, would undoubtedly cause a temporary slump in the income for this MOST IMPORTANT WORK ON EARTH. It has, and I need to ask all loyal Brethren and Co-Workers to make an EXTRA sacrifice right now, to tide us over, and make it possible for me to get back out there on the firing line, getting Christ's GOSPEL in power to thousands in these many world capitals.