This letter must be brief, and to the point.
I had hoped that I would be able to announce, in this letter, the BIGGEST, most IMPORTANT, most SENSATIONAL leap forward in this Work of God, since it started in 1934!
That' s why this letter is two or three days late. But I can't delay longer. And now I must make it short so it may be typed and mailed yet today if possible! I feel sure this very SENSATIONAL announcement will be ready before the next letter.
In fact, I anticipate a DOUBLE-EVENT announcement—meaning tremendous progress for the most important activity on earth today.
Meantime, dear Co-Workers, I have been under the heaviest cloud for years. My dear wife has been stricken with a serious intestinal condition. For three weeks she has been confined to bed. Everything possible was done, including, of course, anointing her and asking God to heal her. At first we thought it was an attack of appendicitis—and, under fasting, such an attack will resolve itself naturally within about seven to ten days. But that time passed, and the pain was not in the appendix. In such a condition there are, of course, certain things we humans can and ought to do—even though we rely on GOD for the healing. I assure you, that under the best professional advice, everything we could or ought to do was done.
I would like to explain, for your own understanding, that GOD does for us what we cannot, and ought not, try to do for ourselves. Healing of sickness or disease is something no doctor nor medicine can do. That is why God has PROMISED to heal us. In my ministerial experience over 40 years, literally thousands have been healed—of almost every disease or sickness, including cancer and leukemia—by my prayers, and those of God's ministers in this Work associated with me. Some things we CANNOT do, and ought leave solely to God. Some He does through us, with certain things we can and should do. Other things we do by ourselves.
But we came to the place where, under best "medical" advice of a doctor who is one of our converts (no longer in active medical practice, but in God's service), the time had come to stand still, and commit it into God's hands. The first two weeks, approximately, she was in great abdominal pain, with cramps, unable to hold anything on her stomach. She did sip water, and take crushed ice into her mouth—but always her stomach rejected it, and it was thrown up. Then, a week ago, I'm sure God performed one miracle—I awoke at 6:30 A.M. and was told she had taken about a half glass of homemade grape juice at 4:30, and her stomach had retained it. She has been taking prescribed amounts about every two hours since. For about three days she was able to take small amounts—two or three teaspoons at a time—of a beef juice, then her stomach refused it further. We have been able, however, to alternate some fresh carrot juice, and even some gelatin.
This nourishment, during the past week, has given her some added strength, and she has been getting in better rest and sleep, and is much improved in mind and spirits.
God has some purpose in delaying her complete healing. His ways are, often, past finding out! But this critical illness has had a dynamic and profound effect on thousands who have known of it—including all the ministers in this great Work stationed at various points all over the world—over the United States, Canada, Britain, Europe, Africa, Australia, the Philippines, etc. It has shaken up God's ministers, in leading executive positions here at world Headquarters of God's Work. It has produced a spiritual awakening and rejuvenation we realize, now, we needed. Mrs. Armstrong smiles and says she is glad if her suffering has been the means of helping others—and even the whole WORK!
But Jesus Christ suffered IN HER PLACE—paid the penalty for her that she has been suffering—and God has PROMISED to release her from it and heal her. We stand on His PROMISES! In this ordeal, I have fervently asked God to increase my faith, giving me more of CHRIST'S own faith—and He is answering. We cannot set a time limit on God. He has NOT promised how or when He will heal—He has just promised to HEAL! I rely on Him.
Dear Co-Worker with Christ, this great Work of God is on the very threshold of the greatest leap forward in power and scope in its history. The really BIG work is yet to be done. God started His Work for this time through my wife. He used her to bring me to Him. God said it is not good for a man to be alone —and He gave her to me to be my help. She has been my partner—the other half of this team God called, and has used in building His great Work. As we now face a greatly stepped-up, BIGGER Work, I need her desperately at my side. God, of course, knows this.
During this ordeal I fasted ten days. I did not fast for her—because we do not bring God "to our terms" by suffering and "doing penance." I fasted to bring myself closer to God. When that was accomplished I broke the fast. I had been concerned over a heart condition and high blood pressure. I was slowed down in my work. That is now all gone. This heart condition I have felt for some four years is no longer noticeable. I have renewed verve, bounce, energy. God has, in this fasting and prayer, opened my eyes to many things—changed my entire daily routine, brought me far closer to Him. I am ready, now, for this big LEAP AHEAD in this Work. Mrs. Armstrong will be, too, as soon as God removes the main difficulty, which we expect momentarily.
Would YOU join me in praying for her? God has used her mightily in His Work—and I need her DESPERATELY! But pray earnestly, intensively, in contrite spirit, and IN FAITH, BELIEVING! If you need fasting and prayer, do it—for your own sake! GOD BLESS YOU for this! THANK YOU!
I have shown you in recent letters how God uses YOU in proclaiming HIS GOSPEL to the whole world—to more than 45 MILLION people every week! Please keep PRAYING, in dead earnest, for this great Work!
I have shown you, too, how your personal tithes and offerings have been getting Christ's Gospel preached to an average of 615 people every week—that's JUST YOUR PERSONAL PART—beside paying for 25 people to read The PLAIN TRUTH —beside YOUR PART in the conversion and redemption of many THOUSANDS of precious lives every year! To neglect would prevent that portion from receiving these matchless blessings.
WE DON'T DARE let up, or slacken off on our efforts! YOU have your part in God's Work, the same as I. Many of our Co-Workers are poor people of very meager means. But even the widow's two mites meant more to Jesus than big sums of those better able. Of course, the very fact so many of our Co-Workers have such limited financial ability, means that those of larger means and larger incomes MUST give LIBERALLY, GENEROUSLY, of their larger ability, or this Work would collapse! Let us be generous according to ability.
The loans, (of money not needed until later, if unable to GIVE this sum), do HELP in a very BIG way!
Did you notice, I addressed you differently in this letter? I said, Dear Co-Heir with Christ! Do you realize that through Christ, we become His begotten CHILDREN—the very HEIRS of God—and CO-HEIRS with Christ, JOINT-HEIRS with Him? We are to INHERIT all our heavenly Father has! Think of it—ALL. That means everything in the UNIVERSE!
We are the VERY CHILDREN of GOD—as long as His Spirit dwells in us (Romans 8:16,14). "And if children, then HEIRS; heirs of GOD, and JOINT-HEIRS with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also GLORIFIED together." (Romans 8:17.)
Jesus became a BORN Son of God by the RESURRECTION (Romans 1:3-4). He is no longer an heir, but now an INHERITOR! "....that He might be the first-BORN of MANY BRETHREN!" (Romans 8:29). He was BORN to the INHERITANCE first-by the RESURRECTION! We are His BRETHREN—now, still heirs, but, at the time of Christ's return to earth, to be BORN as an INHERITOR of Eternal LIFE, by the resurrection (or, if then still living, by an instantaneous CHANGE from mortal to IMmortal—from material flesh-and-blood to SPIRIT composition).
HOW WONDERFUL to be God's own child—a Joint-Heir with the living CHRIST—to be a PART of HIS great Work, preparing THE WAY for His coming in GLORY!
The WORK is in NEED! THANK YOU, sincerely from the heart, for your generosity, according to what you are able.
For your reply, because it has proved helpful to so many, I again enclose a stamped self-addressed return envelope. If convenient for you to add a 3 cent additional stamp, marking the envelope AIRMAIL, it would speed it to us one to three days sooner.