Faster and Faster world events are hurling us toward the END OF THE WORLD! Of course we're being plunged, also, toward the happy WORLD TOMORROW!
Since last I wrote you, the United States has caught up with and passed Russia in the SPACE RACE. Until now, Russia had the BIG boosters for spacecraft — the United States didn't. Now the U.S. has shot into orbit a super spacecraft bigger than anything Russia has. The United States also has hit the moon.
You and I have been called, as Co-Workers with Christ, to the most important mission on earth today — far, far more important than the mission of another institution, right here in Pasadena, working feverishly on this conquest of outer space. I refer to one of America's two great scientific technological institutions, Caltech.
Much of the government's space project is being worked out at what is locally called the JPL — Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It is built and financed largely by government money. The President of Caltech lives only three doors from Mrs. Armstrong and me — but we don't know one another. Our spheres of interest run in opposite directions. In fact, the present expansion program of Caltech is going to take our home away from us, and we expect to be paid only half of what its value should be.
Great sacrifices are being made by many, that this scientific- technological project of conquering outer space may go on! BILLIONS of tax dollars are being spent on it. But what of the WORK OF GOD? It, too, is expanding, and plunging forward at constantly accelerating momentum.
For a year, now, we have been in what I have called our "austere year." That is, we have curtailed every possible expenditure we could, without slowing up the progress of the work. We had to get GOD'S WORK into a better financial condition. We were running behind. The expenditures for constantly increasing power of the WORK was always one to three months ahead of income to pay for it.
That condition simply could not go on. For the first time circumstances worked so that we could make the adjustment. IT HAS BEEN MADE. Our business office is now current in the payment of bills. But a work as great a GOD'S WORK has become cannot function safely without a certain extra margin for safety. We still do not have a safe margin.
For the past year I have curtailed the, usual rate of increase in adding more radio stations, and putting Christ's Message in advertising space in magazines and newspapers. To still further improve the financial condition of the Work, I am going to partially continue to curtail this expansion for at least six more months.
This curtailment has been like the cocking of a gun. But soon now — by late summer or early autumn — WE MUST PLUNGE AHEAD FASTER THAN EVER by adding more and more radio stations — buying more and more advertising space in which to show GOD'S MESSAGE to the World. We are planning to go into TELEVISION — if not within six months, at least within a year or eighteen months.
God's Work cannot stand still. It must leap ahead in power, as world events leap ahead toward the END OF THE WORLD. We have, now, only a few more years to go. Our mission must then be accomplished. First of all, it takes the POWER OF GOD. This comes only through earnest, believing, and prevailing PRAYER! Are YOU praying, daily, persistently, for this Work?
But it also requires funds to pay the way. God PROSPERS and BLESSES the tither. Remember, GOD has decreed that the first tenth of our income BELONGS TO HIM, for His Work. The whole earth belongs to GOD. He created us, and so we belong to Him. He lets us, by our labor, receive an income to live on. Today that income is in the form of money. But everything that is produced — everything any of us earns — comes, in the first place, out of the ground. That ground belongs to GOD. He lets us work HIS GROUND — and He becomes our PARTNER — yet He takes only the first tenth for HIS SHARE.
Not only that — when we are honest in paying God's tenth, He has ways of so INCREASING our income that the nine-tenths He leaves us becomes bigger than the ten-tenths was before we began tithing. Mrs. Armstrong and I had to learn that lesson in our personal lives — back in 1933. In 1920 God took away my business. In 1924 He took away another business. In 1926 another, and in 1929 still another.
We were reduced to hunger and want — and I mean in a manner I seriously doubt if many of our Co-Workers ever have suffered. But, after we began tithing in 1933, the hunger ended. In 1934 God used us in the very START of His Work. It was so very small at first. But gradually it grew, and grew.
Co-Workers, we have just suffered the usual January LET-DOWN in receipt of income. It seems that people over-spend in the mad Christmas Shopping spree in December. Then, when January comes, they are behind and have to catch up. The income of tithes and offerings for GOD'S WORK took a big slump in January. Now it is getting SERIOUS again!
Here we are, in the shortest month of the year. This is leap-year, and we do get one extra day this month — but we still have only 29 days. That always makes February a hard month.
There continues to be constant NEED for loans of larger sums, if you are not free to give such sums outright at this time. It has helped SO MUCH when some of you have loaned such sums, so they can be WORKING where CHRIST is working — and under CHRIST'S direction — in this wonderful WORK OF GOD. Then, later, if you MUST have part or all of it back, we will return it — or, if you find you can turn part or all of it, later, into a contribution for the Work, you can then deduct it on your income-tax report to the government.
I have explained before that Ambassador College is the TRAINING GROUND for the required constantly expanding personnel to carry on this great Work. If the Work is to grow in power and scope, we must take in an ever-increasing number of new students every autumn.
Do you realize that this work never began to really GROW until we began to graduate students from this college? Our offices around the world receive thousands of letters requesting The PLAIN TRUTH, the Correspondence Course, and our free booklets, also for personal counsel about conversion, and baptism. As the volume of these requests continually increases, we have to have more and more TRAINED people — both men and women — to handle these requests. We now have offices in England (also the college there); Duesseldorf, Germany; Geneva, Switzerland; Johannesburg, South Africa; Vancouver, Canada; Sydney, Australia; and Manila, the Philippines.
We have to send trained men or ministers continually to all parts of the United States to counsel with, and baptize, the thousands constantly being converted through this Work as God's own begotten children. This same work of personal counselling and baptizing goes on continually from all of our offices around the world. THOUSANDS are being brought to salvation through Jesus Christ — and in continuously increasing numbers.
But this Work cannot continue to increase and grow, UNLESS OUR COLLEGES GROW. Last autumn, for the first time, we had to REDUCE the number of new first-year students we accepted. Until we can erect new buildings, the colleges cannot grow, and the WORK OF GOD cannot grow. So we are proceeding, in faith, right along with our program of building expansion. I am hoping that, by my next letter to you, we shall have broken ground on our first new building here in Pasadena.
Since my last letter, several of you Co-Workers have sent in the statement-of-intention cards, for this SPECIAL building fund. Yet, though NOT NEARLY ENOUGH have come in, it seems that some are merely changing their tithes or regular offerings over to this building fund.
Co-Workers, I hope I can explain this so as to make it CLEAR to you. All tithes and regular offerings — as in the past — MUST go for the operating expenses of this Work — to pay for radio broadcasting, the great publishing work, the payroll, etc. I am having to ask for EXTRA offerings, for the Building Fund, entirely over and above, and IN ADDITION TO, your tithes and regular generous offerings. During January the REGULAR income for operating expenses of the Work took a big DROP. That is serious! That must be corrected!
I have tried to make it plain that these statements of intention are NOT pledges. If your own income takes a drop, or for some reason you find it impossible to keep up that special offering, you are not bound. WE UNDERSTAND THAT. It is merely a statement of what you INTEND to do, as long as you are able — and of what you EXPECT to be able to do.
Then, some will ask, why do we NEED these cards? For the very important reason that we cannot plan and budget ahead for this building program, unless we know approximately how much we shall be able to pay.
So I now ask those of you who DID NOT send back your statement-of-intention card to DO SO BY RETURN MAIL. We have to allocate a definite budget, and sign contracts with building contractors, which we could not do without these statements. If one of you finds himself unable to keep it up, God will make it up by causing, someone else to START monthly contributions to this special fund.
Co-Workers, help us bring the income for OPERATING EXPENSES OF THE GOSPEL WORK back up this month! We must PRESS ON, more determined than ever! THANK YOU — and I know God IS blessing you — and WILL — even in ways you may not realize now!