This must be an urgent emergency letter. We are Co-Workers in the MOST IMPORTANT MISSION ON EARTH. And we are in the midst of the MOST DIFFICULT month of the year, for the financing of the very Work of Jesus Christ!
Every year at this Christmas shopping time, it seems so many people neglect their gifts for CHRIST and HIS WORK, while spending generously exchanging presents with friends and relatives.
Of course, I think most of our Co-Workers realize that Christ's birthday was not at this time of the year. The wise men were NOT presenting birthday presents — but they did present their gifts to CHRIST. They did not exchange them among themselves. They were, rather, honoring Him who was born to be KING over all the earth.
That same Christ-child grew up, chose His disciples, taught them the GOOD NEWS of the coming world-ruling KINGDOM OF GOD, proclaimed that good news (gospel) to many, gave His life in payment for OUR sins, was resurrected, and today that living Christ HEADS this very Work of God, to which He has called you and me as His Co-Workers.
HOW WONDERFULLY He has blessed this Work this year!
Just LOOK at the important activities He has led us in, that were NOT being done a year ago:
The two largest circulation media in the United States have opened their advertising space to us for double-page and three- page messages — Reader's Digest, and T.V. Guide. The current three-page ad in T.V. Guide, with a reply post card, in just about the first ten days has brought 50,500 new subscribers to The PLAIN TRUTH! THINK OF IT! That is a good sized magazine circulation in itself. T.V. Guide took our message into 19 MILLION homes! Our ads in Reader's Digest brought other THOUSANDS of new subscribers.
This year The PLAIN TRUTH has gone on the newsstands through-out Britain and some European nations, and is reaching MORE PEOPLE at LESS COST with Christ's Gospel than any other means we have used — more than the radio broadcasts when we were on the air over Britain.
This year the MOST EFFECTIVE means of all opened to us!
We are now on DAILY TV in many parts of the United States, besides weekly TV throughout Canada. DAILY television is by far the MOST EFFECTIVE means of getting the Gospel to the world that has ever existed. True, we have had to take a morning time in most cases, but gradually we will be moved into PRIME EVENING TIME. We are on in PRIME TIME on the number ONE independent (non network) station in the United States, WOR, New York, Sunday nights. We have a good morning time on that station Monday through Friday. That station is very pleased with the program, and I anticipate the opportunity of being moved to prime time.
Just last week our first "BREAKTHROUGH" came on gaining a fine evening time, 7:00 to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 6:30 to 7:00 p.m., Saturday evening, on an NBC station in Elmira, N.Y. We are confident this will show high ratings, and this will help us gain better time on other stations. The DAILY TV programs are already beginning to bring a very good response — FAR BETTER than comparable radio time.
The "PERSONAL APPEARANCE" programs of Garner Ted Armstrong are off to a fine start, producing excellent results. Following the Calgary, Canada, and St. Petersburg, Florida appearances, here is the schedule, just completed: December 8, 9, 10, San Antonio; January 5, 6, 7, Shreveport; January 9, 10, Tyler, Texas; February 9, 10, 11, Richmond, Virginia or Washington, D.C.; February 16, 17, 18, New Orleans; March 23, 24, 25. Tucson: March 30, 31, and April 1, Salt Lake City; May 4, 5, 6 Dallas; May 11 12, 13, Houston; July 6, 7, 8, San Diego; August in Canada — Winnipeg, Toronto, or Vancouver. Other cities, dates not yet confirmed, include Seattle, Toledo, Denver, Charlotte, Buffalo, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Edmonton, Alberta. As these PERSONAL APPEARANCE programs continue, they will prove cumulatively effective. Those of you in or near the cities listed will surely want to attend.
One of the most important GIANT DOORS to open to us this year has been the plans for reaching the Arab nations. The man with whom I signed the big radio contract for broadcasting The WORLD TOMORROW on JERUSALEM RADIO, just prior to the six-day war (when the Israelis took over the radio station), has now joined our staff. He is Mr. Adli Muhtadi, from January 1, 1962 to March of this year, the Director of the Commercial Department of Radio and Television in the Ministry of Information of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Mr. Muhtadi recently visited both our Headquarters on the Pasadena campus, and the Texas campus. With him was a man who also is very close to many of the leaders of the Arab world. He is Mr. Nasser Nashashibi, former Press Secretary of the late President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt. He was Chief Adviser to King Abdullah, grandfather of King Hussein; has been editor of two Cairo newspapers; has had a diplomatic career as Roving Ambassador for the Arab League. At present he is United Nations Correspondent in Geneva, and Adviser for Arab Affairs to the Paris edition of the international New York Herald Tribune.
Both of these men are extremely enthusiastic about The PLAIN TRUTH and our entire worldwide program, and show great zeal in their desire to help get our Message to the Arab nations. And they have the contacts with Arab leaders, and the prestige to make it possible for us. Mr. Nashashibi feels that with their influence with many Arab Heads of State, and my warm personal contacts with the top Israeli leaders, that we might be able to do what all other efforts have failed to do — bring some kind of PEACE to the Middle East.
Of course, we know from Biblical prophecy there will not be REAL peace in that area until the coming of Christ and The WORLD TOMORROW, but any easing of the situation, or moves toward peace that our efforts might be instrumental in bringing about would be important to the Work of God, and to all those peoples.
The PLAIN TRUTH will soon be going to large numbers of Arab leaders, and preparations are under way for an Arabic-language edition of The PLAIN TRUTH.
This great Work HAS MADE GIANT STRIDES THIS YEAR — probably far more than ever before! And more than THREE THOUSAND conversions — changed lives — newly begotten Christians — are a vital PART of this year's harvest.
I say, WHAT A HARVEST! HOW GRATEFUL WE SHOULD BE to have been PRIVILEGED to have a PART in it, with our Savior and Lord!
And yet I have to think, HOW MUCH GREATER MIGHT HAVE BEEN THIS HARVEST, IF EVERY ONE OF US HAD DEVOTED AS MUCH TIME ON OUR KNEES, POURING OUT OUR HEARTS TO OUR GOD TO PROSPER HIS WORK! Listen to this portion of a letter — one of many such letters I have received recently: "I shamefully admit that had the Church been dependent for survival on my prayers, on my personal (spiritual) growth, there would be no work." Why not ask yourself: "If God's Great Commission and Work were dependent for survival on my prayers for its progress and growth, how much would the Work of God grow?"
But let me add a bit more from that same letter from a business man: "The point is this. I remember when our God was in every conversation. We prayed constantly. We were dependent on God to solve those little day by day problems. But then we grew up, became sophisticated, suave. Our faith became tongue in cheek and our righteousness was put on along with our Sabbath clothes. Mr. Armstrong, I've thanked our God for inspiring you with the wisdom to see through the problem to the solution, and my prayer is that the result ... will be church wide and of permanent effect. As for me and my house, we consider it a privilege to serve with you in this work." The intensive prayer life is restored in this family.
Another thanks me for obedience and concern for God's Work! And adds, "As a result of yesterday's fast (and prayer), I have been filled with a new determination and drive to get the Work done. In addition, I have had all the joy, understanding and enthusiasm which have been missing the past three to five months restored to me. ... Now I know this Work is going to grow in ways not now evident. God's Kingdom now seems near — no matter how much time there actually is."
There is a general UPSURGE in dedication to and enthusiasm for God's Work. Another letter says: "I had become so self- righteous as to have become totally blinded to our Commission. I can only pray that God will have mercy on me and grant me, as all, repentance for our lethargic attitude. ... God cannot do this Work through a proud and vain group of people. It would destroy us. I pray God will grant me, as well as all the brethren, a renewed vigor, as never before, so that He may be able to finish this Work. I'm sure if we repent and get close to Him that He will work through us and finish this Work."
Just an excerpt from one more recent letter:
"After having read your most recent letter to us, a surge has gone through me. ... I have repented of becoming materially minded. ... There was a daily war, between prayer and doing my own thing. We must unitedly have this intensity of fear toward God to bring the income well above 30% (increase over preceding year). Together we'll do it, too!"
I tell you, dear Brethren in Christ, this great Work does depend more on our earnest prayers for its survival and growth and harvest than on our financial sacrifice — but when both are put into it, the spiritual harvest will be GREAT! If our hearts and our prayers are unitedly IN IT, putting THE KINGDOM OF GOD and the proclamation of it FIRST, above all else in our lives, you will soon see astounding miracles, and a power in the Work that will cause the world to cry out that this Work is turning the WHOLE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN — while actually we shall be turning it RIGHT SIDE UP!
Let's dedicate our lives to it so deeply and intensively that it will REALLY HAPPEN!
I do have to say that the financial need of the moment is URGENT. Right now is the time when we need to be generous as never before. THANK YOU, from the heart, for your generous part, according as God has made possible for you!
Because of the URGENCY of this moment, and the congestion of the Christmas mails, I am sending this air mail, and enclosing a stamped air-mail envelope for your reply.