This is my first letter to you in this new decade. And I tremble when I say that! For this is almost certain to be the most tremendous and world-shaking decade of all human history!
This is destined to be an AWESOME ten years! Let me tell you what very likely MAY happen!
Ten years ago, the same day of the month, 1960, I wrote our Co-Workers, as quoted a month ago: "We have entered the 1960's ... this world has now entered its most VIOLENT and disastrous ten years..." — and THAT PROVED TO BE TRUE! Further, I said that this past ten years would "lead right up to the very immediate threshold" of the second coming of Christ. IT DID! And that most AWESOME of all events since the creation of mankind could occur somewhere in the midst of the very decade we HAVE NOW ENTERED!
As I said a month ago, we cannot set dates for this colossal event. I say to you, now, we MAY have less than two more years to carry on and FINISH this great Work of God which the living Christ is directing — preparing the way for His coming and His Kingdom. World events may become so chaotic within that short period that we may be STOPPED! We have precious little time left!
On the other hand, we certainly can't be SURE of any definite date. And so, in case events do not develop to the climax that fast, we here at Pasadena Headquarters are planning ahead for a ten year industrial expansion for the Work. For example, we now print more than TWO MILLION COPIES of The PLAIN TRUTH every month — almost 1 1/2 million of them in our large printing plant here in Pasadena. IF world events allow us another ten years to carry on this great Work of God, we would expect The PLAIN TRUTH circulation to expand to perhaps ten or twenty million copies! Besides that, the NEW magazine, TOMORROW'S WORLD, would certainly rise to a circulation of at least a few million copies in that time.
Do you realize what a gigantic task it is to maintain such a mass-circulation mailing list? It requires one of the largest, most sophisticated computers. But adding new subscribers must be done BY HUMAN HANDS. And changing addresses of subscribers who move must also be fed into the computer BY HAND. And there are close to 1,000 such CHANGES OF ADDRESS to be made every single working day!
IF this great Work is allowed to continue another ten years, we shall have to construct large new buildings to house the data processing equipment, the increased number of large magazine printing presses, and all the other activities involved.
But think what would happen if we figured that conditions would allow us only a little less than two more years, and then conditions fail to develop that fast, and the second coming of Christ is not to occur until five or ten years later than we had expected. It would be TOO LATE, then, to plan for the expansion, and the Work would be prevented from developing normally just because we had not planned ahead far enough.
Now on the other hand, think what a great blunder we might make IF we begin to say, "My Lord delayeth His coming," and have not made ourselves ready. Look what evil would then come on us!
Jesus said: "Therefore BE ye also READY: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. WHO, then, is a faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord has made ruler over His household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord, when He cometh, shall find SO DOING. Verily I say unto you, that He shall make him ruler over all His goods.
"BUT, " continued Jesus, "and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My Lord delayeth His coming, ... the Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for Him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall CUT HIM ASUNDER, ..."
Co-Workers, the living Jesus Christ is the HEAD of this Work of God. HE leads and guides and directs it. And He leads me to see that we must plan this way: 1) to plan so that IF we now have only about two more years to go, this Work will in those two years pick up such tremendous accelerating momentum that we shall have FINISHED His Work by then — in other words, so that WE SHALL BE READY! But, 2), IF events do not move that fast, and Christ's coming is a little farther off than we have thought, then we shall have planned ahead so that HIS WORK will keep right on going, and not be hindered.
WE DO NOT KNOW THE YEAR, THE MONTH, OR THE DAY of Christ's coming. In all probability there will be at least a 3 1/2 year period of world trouble and upheaval prior to His coming, so great that this Work will not be allowed to continue through that 3 1/2 years. IF, for example, this WORK is not allowed to go on more than about another two years (as MAY happen) even then the coming of Christ would Probably not be until perhaps sometime in 1975. But WE CANNOT KNOW that!
Christ's coming could be as late as 1978 or 1979, or 1982 — and very possibly NONE of these dates is correct. WE CANNOT SET DATES AND BE SURE. At least, not as yet.
But I do say to you now — which I DID NOT say ten years ago — that IT IS NOW A POSSIBILITY — and there are ways of figuring it that seem logical — that Christ's coming COULD occur during THIS VERY DECADE WE ARE NOW IN! Never have I said anything like that before! And I will go further and say that if it does NOT occur in this decade, it will be, ten years from now, MORE LIKELY to happen in that decade than it is now that it will occur in this.
WHETHER we shall be allowed to FINISH this Work in the next two years depends on the way God Himself guides the Work, and causes events to develop. Therefore, I have planned it that way — IF God moves to allow it to develop at that pace.
Also, MUCH depends on the extent to which YOU, as a Co-Worker, yield to allow the living Jesus Christ to USE YOU as His instrument.
Two things I KNOW! 1) that the EARNEST, BELIEVING, PREVAILING PRAYERS of our Co-Workers for this Work and its financing, has far more effectiveness in causing the needed amount of funds for the Work to come in than anything I can write in these monthly letters. And, 2), not anywhere near enough of our Co-Workers have been earnestly PRAYING for the financing of this Work as ought to — because if there had been — with Co-Workers putting their hearts into their prayers, we should have had a far bigger increase than we have had.
True, the income to support the Work is a little larger than it was a year ago — but NOT ANYWHERE NEAR AS MUCH LARGER AS IS NEEDED IF THIS WORK IS TO BE FINISHED IN TWO MORE YEARS!
Co-Workers, the living Christ has called YOU, as well as me, as His Co-Worker in HIS Work. This is not my Work, it is GOD'S! You have accepted His call. If you are faithful, your reward shall be GREAT. We cannot be saved by our works, but we certainly shall be REWARDED according to our works!
Remember, most Co-Workers are not able to contribute large sums for the Work. MANY are not able to send in more than the widows' mites — BUT EVEN THE SMALLEST AMOUNTS DO HELP GREATLY. This Work has grown great because SO MANY Co-Workers are helping. If YOU, for example, withhold even a single dollar or two you could give, YOU ARE DEPRIVING MANY FROM HEARING CHRIST'S GOSPEL! Every single dollar COUNTS — bigger than it can help anywhere else!
On the other hand, it is all the more necessary that the few who CAN give larger sums do so — even into three or more figures! And the LOANS of larger sums, IF you simply cannot give them, (for those who do have them), were never more needed than now.
TIME IS SHORT — getting ever shorter. This Work is producing a stupendous harvest for God's Kingdom. Every dollar goes farther here — accomplishes MORE here, where CHRIST is directing, than any other place. But your earnest PRAYERS for the Work accomplish EVEN MORE!
Let's get under this burden in REAL EARNEST! I personally intend to be "SO DOING" in God's Work, WHEN He comes — don't YOU?