Here are things YOU NEED TO KNOW right now! This world is coming to a MAJOR CRISIS—and FAST! THIS COUNTRY is entering a MAJOR CRISIS right now! And this WORK OF GOD into which you and I have been drafted by Christ as Co-Workers with Him, IS IN A MAJOR CRISIS—RIGHT NOW!
Here are the VITAL CHANGES OF EVENTS you need to BE AWARE OF! These are going to AFFECT and change our very lives—IMMEDIATELY! The time for AWAKENING to the SERIOUSNESS of these things is HERE!
First, WORLD CRISIS: The war in Vietnam is hitting a CRISIS! Recently captured U.S. airmen were paraded through streets in North Vietnam, to be hooted and jeered and SPAT at. The threat of North Vietnamese to bring captured U.S. flyers to trial as WAR CRIMINALS had a VIOLENT REACTION in Washington, and over the United States. It was made plain that if this was carried out, there would come swift and terrifying retaliation by the United States. I have just read in the news-paper a reported telegram from Hanoi saying, "No trial contemplated." Unless that is official, the WAR may flare out in a manner to rock this whole world back on its heels!
BRITISH CRISIS: In a desperate effort to save the British Pound, Prime Minister Wilson has frozen wages and salaries, and taken other desperate measures to prevent Britain and all people IN Britain from utter bankruptcy.
UNITED STATES CRISIS: The United States has hit a VIOLENT crisis in "TIGHT MONEY." The government cracked down on lending. Repercussions have been violent. It's now almost impossible to borrow. It's almost impossible to buy or sell a house—because few have the cash to pay in full, and it's now almost impossible to get a loan. Banks and savings and loan associations have started a WAR among themselves.
WHY? Well, they are somewhat like a factory. The factory has to buy the raw materials from which it manufactures its product which it sells. The "raw materials" of the banks and savings and loan companies are the savings deposits. The commodity which these companies and banks SELL is MONEY which they loan on interest. They need more money in the form of savings deposits in order to have what they SELL—which is money to loan. The largest of the savings and loan companies is Home Savings & Loan. Apparently they started the "war" by offering a higher rate of interest on savings deposits. Immediately competitive associations or banks met their offer, or raised it.
The real estate business is almost at a standstill in the United States.
Now, of course, this does not mean the country is in another depression—just the OPPOSITE. The United States is SO PROSPEROUS, and people have been BUYING so lavishly, that too many people were not only spending what they had, but going on a spree of over- borrowing so that they could buy still more. So the government stepped in to slow down excess borrowing—in order to prevent inflation—and thus bringing about this "tight money" situation.
But now look at the situation in which the average American finds himself. (Always there are exceptions, but this is the average.) While prices of the things we all need to buy— groceries, meat, clothing, etc., have gradually been rising, WAGES AND SALARIES HAVE INCREASED MORE THAN PRICES OF COMMODITY GOODS! According to the August 1 issue of U. S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT, REAL "take home pay" averages about 20% MORE, in what it will buy, than ten years ago. In terms of what the weekly or monthly family income will BUY, at today's prices, farm operators are listed as more than 47% better off. Federal government employees, almost 36%. Automobile tire workers, nearly 34%. Some, 5% or 10% or 20%.
Of course the WORLD crisis is much more than just the Vietnam war. And the United States crisis is much more than just this "tight money" hard-to-borrow situation. There are race riots, there is the rise in crime, divorces, weather revolution, and scores of other things.
And there is also a crisis in GOD'S WORK! This particular crisis has been mounting and increasing all this year. I want you, as a Co-Worker, to UNDERSTAND!
This is not MY Work—nor even ours—except that the Creator God grants us the glorious PRIVILEGE of being used as His instruments in what HE is doing! It is GOD'S WORK here on earth. And God has put the living Jesus Christ at the HEAD of it. He guides, directs, inspires, and blesses this Work. And for 32 years, He has caused this Work to GROW at the rate (on the average) of 30% every year over the preceding year!
EVERY YEAR He has caused HIS Gospel to be heard by 30% more people than the year before. Today, approximately FORTY MILLION people are hearing it EVERY WEEK—over every continent on earth! Every year the living Christ has caused 30% more precious lives to be CONVERTED—CHANGED—begotten as children of God—made HEIRS of the KINGDOM OF GOD and eternal life—than the year before! NOW several THOUSAND are converted annually through this very Work! The POWER OF GOD is in it! The SPIRIT of the living God EMPOWERS IT!
The circulation of The PLAIN TRUTH increases by 30% each year. This month it is 825,000 copies—read by some 2 1/2 or 3 MILLION people!
AND—WHAT IS MORE—time is running out! It is LATER THAN YOU THINK. There are but few years left to complete this job, preparing THE WAY for the return of Jesus Christ IN POWER AND GLORY, to rule all nations and bring this world PEACE, and HAPPINESS! To fulfill God's Mission to which we have been called as Co-Workers, THE WORK MUST CONTINUE GROWING AT THE RATE OF 30% EACH YEAR!
But RIGHT HERE is OUR CRISIS! This year, so far, the INCOME to keep this Work going has fallen BELOW 30%—down to around 20%!
That means just ONE THING! It means we Co-Workers HAVE NOT BEEN PRAYING as urgently, as prevailingly, as we should. And it means WE MUST bring the increase in tithes and offerings up to about 40% increase for the remainder of this year!
(I DO NOT mean that each one of US Co-Workers should make our own contributions, in tithes and offerings, 30% bigger each year. I mean that the TOTAL amount reaching the Pasadena Headquarters must average that for the year.)
But it DOES MEAN that we need to PRAY FOR GOD TO INSPIRE MORE AND MORE PEOPLE TO BECOME CO-Workers with us and with Christ, so that there will be MORE OF US to pick up OUR part in God's Work.
Right now we are faced with another situation. Each year, it seems, only about 45% of the year's income is received during the first six months—and 55% the last six months. This year, we budgeted the operation of the Work on a 27% increase over last year, and on that basis only 44% was received the first six months. So WE MUST PRAY EARNESTLY for the other 56% to come in during this last half of 1966.
Co-Workers, time is running out on us! It is, as I've said before, LATER THAN YOU THINK! Let us PRAY for God to speed the coming of HIS Kingdom—when HIS WILL shall be done on earth, and deliver us from the evils of THIS world! But also let us REJOICE that God has DRAFTED US into HIS PEACE ARMY, proclaiming the GOOD news of that coming day of PEACE and happiness and joy over the earth—helping to CHANGE THE WORLD—preparing the way for CHRIST'S COMING! PRAY FOR GOD TO PUT IT INTO THE MINDS AND HEARTS OF MORE PEOPLE TO VOLUNTARILY BECOME CO-WORKERS that there shall be MORE added to our number SUPPORTING this great Work!
I cannot, and will not, as you know, ask for contributions over the air, in any of our literature—or in any way solicit the public for money. GOD'S WORK simply cannot, and does not, do that. But, just as God called me into His Work—just as He somehow laid it on Your heart to voluntarily start contributing offerings or tithes, He can, and WILL, if we ask Him earnestly enough, in this same manner DRAFT many additional Co-Workers by laying it on their hearts to start sending contributions. We need to INCREASE our Family of Co-Workers by 30% a year ALSO—and this year the increase is less than that.
We all need to tighten our belts, as it were, make sacrifices if necessary, do our part as generously as possible ACCORDING to our means. But YOUR PRAYERS—if you put your whole heart into them—in REAL EARNEST—can accomplish even MORE. And the Work needs BOTH!
Bad as conditions in this world are, CHRIST IS SOON COMING TO CHANGE ALL THAT—and to FORCE the people to have PEACE—and to be HAPPY! So let us DO OUR UTMOST, let us PRAY, let us BELIEVE—and let us be glad and REJOICE! Our Work is far from finished. Time is short. But our Great God—our living CHRIST—will see to it, if we seek Him with our whole hearts, and joyfully do our own part faithfully.
Incidentally, I must not close without once again mentioning private loans from Co-Workers—IF you have a larger sum you are not free at this time to GIVE as a contribution, but are not now using. Several Co-Workers have been helping the Work greatly by sending to us such loans—letting that sum of money be WORKING where CHRIST is working, instead of standing idle in a bank—even though the banks are now paying a slightly higher rate of interest. Make it a contribution if you can—but if that is impossible at the present, to LOAN it to the Work will HELP GREATLY. Such loans are needed more than ever before, because more Co-Workers who previously sent in loans have been asking for part or all of their loans to be returned recently than heretofore.
Let me mention once again that we maintain an adequate special reserve fund TO PROTECT those loans—a special fund never used for any other purpose, to GUARANTEE our ability to repay on demand. But I sincerely hope none will call for repayment UNLESS REALLY NECESSARY—and we need ADDITIONAL loans to make up for those we have been recently repaying. These HAVE HELPED GREATLY! I am sincerely GRATEFUL.
In spite of the airlines strike the post office tells us they will SPEED this letter to you BY AIR IMMEDIATELY, for it is vital and it is URGENT. THANK YOU for your faithfulness. Remember to PRAY NOW AS NEVER BEFORE! And God surely will bless us abundantly!