TODAY I can ANNOUNCE THIS BIG NEWS AT LAST! Now It's OFFICIAL! I have said before I expected to announce it soon.
But TODAY something else happened. Mr. Portune, our business manager just now came to my office and said, "TODAY THE BOTTOM DROPPED OUT!" He was talking about the income for God's WORK.
So I have to rush this very URGENT letter to you AIRMAIL. And further I feel it necessary to do what I have done only twice before — enclose a return envelope ALREADY STAMPED WITH AN AIRMAIL STAMP! It is urgently necessary to RUSH this to you AIRMAIL, and have your return AIR-SPEEDED back, because the mails are now clogged with the Christmas rush.
In my last letter I explained how this month of December is OUR BIG PROBLEM! It's almost a question of the survival of the WORK! So many of our Co-Workers, it seems, are spending all their money buying gifts to be TRADED back and forth with relatives and friends. They suppose they are buying BIRTHDAY PRESENTS FOR CHRIST — but they don't GIVE their gifts to the living CHRIST — they exchange gifts back and forth with OTHER PEOPLE!
Jesus Christ IS NOT DEAD — He ROSE from the dead — HE IS ALIVE right now, actively directing THIS WORK OF GOD — and THIS IS THE SEASON MORE THAN ANY OTHER, when HE needs these gifts FOR HIS WORK! He has blest us by drafting us as HIS CO-WORKERS. We have OUR PART to do!
And speaking of Christ being ALIVE! That is what this big announcement is all about! And even though I need to get this urgent letter off to you immediately, I feel I MUST take time to tell you WHAT HE HAS JUST DONE FOR HIS WORK!
I have just returned from my second visit to Jerusalem in approximately four weeks. Four weeks ago all the preliminary discussions took place, and this trip IT WAS MADE OFFICIAL! It's one of the most important things that ever happened for GOD'S WORK!
Let me give you the background facts first. God originally chose Jerusalem as His city, to become eventually the capital of the whole world. But when He removed Judah (the Jews) from their land, He said: "I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and I will cast off this city which I have chosen, Jerusalem." (II Kings 23:27.) God turned His back on Jerusalem. He said it would be "trodden down of the Gentiles."
It has been, most of the time since 585 B.C. And today it is heap upon heap of Gentile rubble and filth. All this is going to have to be cleaned away before it can be made, after Christ's coming, the capital city of the world. Then for a thousand years it will be the most beautiful, clean city of splendor on earth.
Briefly, let me tell you how it started. The first seven and a half years of King David's reign, Hebron was the capital city. This is a few mlles southwest of Jerusalem. But God had chosen Jerusalem to become the capital. It is recorded in 11 Samuel 5: "And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land.... David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the city of David.... And David dwelt in the stronghold, and called it the city of David.... And David became greater and greater, for the Eternal, the God of hosts, was with him. And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees; also carpenters and masons who built David a house" (a palace).
That city of David was the original Jerusalem. Later, Solomon rebuilt, or greatly enlarged, the palace. Solomon also built the Temple. The Temple was probably the most glorious, costly building ever constructed on earth. It was built on a rectangular plateau, Mount Moriah, high above, and directly adjoining the city of David on the north. As the city of Jerusalem grew, it spread to the west and north of this Temple Mount — or Mount Moriah. Near the center of this Temple Mount is a large rock. It was on this rock that Abraham built an altar, when God tested him to see if he would obey even to sacrificing his own son (type of God sacrificing His Son Jesus). This also was the rock used as a threshing floor by Ornan the Jebusite. At God's command, King David purchased this from Ornan. This same rock was the site of Solomon's Temple. Also of Zerubbabel's temple in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah. That Temple was remodeled, renewed and greatly enlarged by Herod — the Temple in Jerusalem during Jesus' lifetime. It was destroyed in 70 A.D.
That same rock is in the very center of the present Moslem mosque, called the Dome of the Rock.
On the south side of this Temple Mount a great massive stone wall was built from the ground below at, or just north of the City of David. This wall was perhaps 50 feet or more high. The original inhabited part of Jerusalem was far below at that point. Long after Solomon's palace and the Temple had been destroyed, Gentiles built other buildings on the rubble. Succeeding generations built on that rubble. As a result, the surface at this site of the original Jerusalem and City of David is perhaps 40 to 70 feet higher than it was when David first built his palace there.
Now I can explain to you this IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT. Ambassador College has just been given the great honor and responsibility of entering JOINT PARTICIPATION with HEBREW UNIVERSITY of Jerusalem in the MOST IMPORTANT ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATION of our time — uncovering 3,000 years of history! We are now actively engaged — Ambassador College and Hebrew University — in excavating down, layer by layer, removing the accumulated rubble and filth of century after century of Gentile occupation!
Hebrew University is recognized as the top center of scholarship in the Middle East. It is a large university of 12,000 students. Like Ambassador College, its students are serious, studying with purpose. Like Ambassador, there are no hippies, and no student rebellion, or student riots. The fact that they are Jewish and we are not makes no difference (we do have a few Jewish students at Ambassador). This great archaeological project is under the direct supervision of Dr. Benjamin Mazar, one of the world's recognized outstanding experts on archaeology, former President of Hebrew University.
Now I wonder if you can realize HOW IMPORTANT this is!
First, it is one of the most important scientific projects under way anywhere on earth today. It will mean great prestige and recognition of Ambassador College. If some wonder why we need recognition by the world, remember that we are commissioned to GO INTO THE WORLD TO PREACH THE GOSPEL. We have to deal with the world. We have to obtain the use of the world's facilities — radio broadcast time on their radio facilities, television facilities, and publishing facilities when we buy large advertising space in the great mass-circulation magazines. This is increasing the readership of The PLAIN TRUTH by hundreds of thousands. Without favorable recognition and status in our "public image" we simply COULD NOT CARRY OUT CHRIST'S COMMISSION!
Secondly, we are contributing to the known FUND OF KNOWLEDGE!
Thirdly, we are PREPARING THE WAY for Christ's coming as KING of kings and LORD of lords — as WORLD RULER, to set up THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD to rule all nations — and to SAVE THE WHOLE WORLD!
HOW are we Preparing the way for Christ's Messianic coming? In three ways. 1) by proclaiming and publishing worldwide the GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD (Matthew 24:14; Mark 13:10). This we have been doing for 35 years, with constantly increasing and multiplying POWER! 2) by MAKING READY A PEOPLE for His coming! These are "THE ELECT" (Matthew 24:21-22) for whose sake God will save humanity alive! Otherwise "no flesh would be saved alive" in the great tribulation now almost upon us! THOUSANDS are being converted — their lives CHANGED — receiving Christ as Saviour, and receiving God's Holy Spirit — every year.
And 3) something that even I did not realize until recently we were also commissioned to do — CLEAN UP THE FILTH AND RUBBLE in that area that was the original Jerusalem and City of David (actually several acres of ground — this is a MAJOR operation of excavation).
WHY is that Important? Because Christ has said HE WILL YET CHOOSE JERUSALEM, and make it the CAPITAL CITY OF THE WHOLE WORLD TOMORROW! Jesus is coming in all the supernatural POWER and GLORY to rule the world. His THRONE will be there. Do you not suppose it will be in the very spot He chose for DAVID'S THRONE? Jesus is TO SIT ON DAVID'S THRONE! Where was David's throne? It was on this VERY SPOT WHERE WE ARE NOW CLEANING UP AND HAULING OFF THE RUBBLE OF CENTURY AFTER CENTURY OF ACCUMULATION! And even David is to be resurrected! That is the spot we are cleaning up! So there is a PHYSICAL preparing, as well as spiritual, in PREPARING THE WAY FOR MESSIAH'S COMING! Further, God says we are to shout, with amplified power, to the CITIES OF JUDAH the glad Message that the MESSIAH IS SOON COMING. This is leading to the opportunity to do this (Isaiah 40:1-11).
That is all I have time to say now. I must rush this letter into the mails. Have you noticed, that as conditions grow worse and worse IN THE WORLD — in America and Britain — THIS WORK OF GOD GROWS CONSTANTLY STRONGER AND STRONGER — MORE AND MORE POWERFUL? Yet, at this Christmas season MANY CO-WORKERS ARE FORGETTING CHRIST AND HIS WORK!
The REASON is evident! 1) And most important, I know by years of experience it means a LARGE PORTION of our Co-Workers have LET DOWN IN THEIR EARNEST AND PREVAILING PRAYERS FOR THE VERY WORK OF GOD in these most crucial days of all earth's history! And 2) it means that in the frenzy of Christmas shopping, PEOPLE ARE FORGETTING THE LIVING CHRIST, and the needs of HIS WORK!
In the world about us, events are drawing rapidly toward the prophesied CLIMAX. Crime, violence are increasing as never before! The WAR is stepping up bigger and bigger, gaining in fury. More and more nations are producing NUCLEAR WEAPONS! Morals are sinking deeper. Now NOTHING can save this world but the direct SUPERNATURAL INTERVENTION OF JESUS CHRIST IN THE FULL POWER AND GLORY OF ALMIGHTY GOD! And we are preparing the WAY!
This very living CHRIST has drafted you and me — and we have VOLUNTARILY accepted this most serious mission of human history — to WARN this world — to PREPARE THE WAY for His coming! Yes, and to PREPARE A PEOPLE — the VERY ELECT — for whose sake He will SAVE humanity alive (Matthew 24:22).
But those of us who have VOLUNTARILY accepted Christ's draft to labor WITH HIM must remember our serious responsibility, or else we shall no longer be able to proclaim CHRIST'S MESSAGE over the air to the many MILLIONS every week — worldwide.
Because the mails are clogged — because the situation is UNPRECEDENTED — serious as NEVER BEFORE — I am sending you this RETURN ENVELOPE with an AIRMAIL STAMP ON IT, to AIR-SPEED YOUR REPLY!
There are a very FEW Co-Workers who could now LOAN to God's Work LARGE SUMS which they are not, at this time, free to GIVE. Such loans are NEEDED, URGENTLY — as never before.
Finally, PLEASE PRAY THAT GOD WILL LAY IT ON THE HEARTS OF MANY MORE TO JOIN US AS CO-WORKERS. The harvest is PLENTEOUS — thousands have been converted and baptized this year — but we need, also, MORE LABORERS to HELP with their PRAYERS and their tithes and offerings! Pray EARNESTLY! Co-Workers, we need to PUT OUR HEARTS into our prayers for God's Great Work. It MUST GO FORWARD! We must yet show a GAIN for December.