Again I am writing to you from my study in our Lodge on the college grounds near London, in England. Mrs. Armstrong and I expect to leave very shortly for America, so my next letter probably will come from my office at Headquarters in Pasadena, California.
It seems few realize it, but your very first duty, as a Christian, is to preach the Gospel!
"But what can I do" many will ask. "I can't preach. I'm not an ordained minister!"
Not many are called to become ordained ministers—yet every truly converted Christian is called to the ministry—only not the way most people think! Because few UNDERSTAND this, do you know that many if not most Christians are failing in their first duty —and jeopardizing their very salvation?
Jesus Christ said to His disciples, "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel." Yet Jesus did not intend that every converted child of God should actually preach, himself, personally, and directly. But there is a way in which Christ meant for YOU to preach His true Gospel—and for this you will be held accountable. So I feel it is important that I explain clearly.
Today, we have reached the "time of the END"—the very time when Jesus said "This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the END come" (Matthew 24:14). The proclaiming of that very Gospel is THE MOST IMPORTANT ACTIVITY ON EARTH TODAY! Time is short. Only a very few years remain.
But HOW CAN YOU preach this Message of Christ to the whole world?
Here is what has actually happened! Here is the EXPLANATION!
As surely as the living Christ, HEAD of His Church, called the Apostle Paul to a special ministry to the Gentiles, He called me to this mission of proclaiming this Message of His to the whole world in these last days. Is it only mere coincidence, that, even as Jesus of Nazareth in the year 27 A.D. first called His original 12 apostles and began training them for the ministry of that time, so, 100 time-cycles later, in the year 1927, He called me, baptized me, began teaching and training me (through His written Word) for today's ministry?
Is it mere coincidence that, as His original 12 apostles were officially ordained by receiving His Holy Spirit, and started on their actual ministry, in June, 31 A.D., God's Church ordained me, and I was started on my actual ministry in June, 1931—precisely 100 time-cycles later?
Is it mere coincidence that, as the preaching of Christ's Gospel to the world of that day continued for one time-cycle or 19 years in the very land where it started—Palestine and Asia Minor —and exactly 19 years later Christ opened the door for Paul to take the Gospel to EUROPE, and from there to the world of that day for one more 19-year time-cycle; SO God first opened the door of radio and the printing press for mass-evangelism in January 1934; and then, after precisely 19 years, in January, 1953, Christ opened the door of Radio Luxembourg, Europe's most powerful radio station, so His Gospel began going to Europe, and from there expanding to EVERY CONTINENT ON EARTH? Is that mere coincidence?
If God is moving in a definite, methodical, method of time- cycles—as He has, up to now—then we have approximately 9 1/2 years more to finish proclaiming His Gospel in all the world to all nations—and then shall come the END of this present world, and the dawn of the happy and peaceful WORLD TOMORROW!
This Great End-Time Commission of CHRIST was started, it is true, through me alone. Yet it was to be preached and published in all the world—as a witness to ALL NATIONS! One man alone could not accomplish all that!
The living CHRIST, working through human instruments, did it this way: In July, 1933, I began preaching in a little country one-room school house. It was located 8 miles west of the town of Eugene, Oregon. Farm houses were few and far between. I had no money to have advertising or hand-bills printed. I was not charged for the use of the school room. I walked over that countryside, personally inviting neighbours to come.
This school-room seated only 36 people. Most nights a few had to stand through the entire service. Attendance averaged 40. Now HOW MUCH could I do, alone? By my own efforts, Christ through me was able to preach the Gospel to an average of 40 people.
Then Christ opened the door of radio and the printing press— MASS media for reaching people. All He opened, to start, was one small radio station on the smallest power of licensed radio stations in America—only 100 watts of power. The manager offered me the time at a very little price—bare cost of operation—18 shillings per programme. But I had no money. Then a handful of Co-Workers volunteered to JOIN ME, as Co-Workers with Christ, and, between them, pledged half of the amount—9 shillings per week. On sheer faith that our Saviour would somehow move on the hearts of a few more to join with us and supply the other half of the cost, I went on the air, beginning the first Sunday in 1934.
I was really surprised to discover God had endowed me with a good radio voice. And so by then, with a few Co-Workers putting their tithes and offerings, and THEIR PRAYERS, into this work along with my voice, OUR COMBINED EFFORTS were now being used of God to reach HUNDREDS where I had only reached tens by my own efforts alone.
There was no money to publish a magazine. Ever since 1927 I had wanted to publish a magazine called The Plain Truth. By my own efforts alone, I could not. But now, a very few of these Co-Workers contributed about ś1.15.0 to purchase mimeograph stencils, ink and paper and postage. With this, I added my own efforts. I borrowed the use of a typewriter and a mimeograph. I contributed the writing of the articles, and the work of cutting the stencils, duplicating the pages on the machine, addressing and mailing them out. With our COMBINED efforts, the GOSPEL was published, and about 150 or 250 copies went out.
The PRAYERS of these people, combined with mine, were answered, and our living CHRIST did lay it somehow on the hearts of enough additional Co-Workers to pay the other 9 shillings per week for the broadcast.
Of myself alone, I was able to preach to 40 people. But, with the help and prayers of a small handful of perhaps 15 Co-Workers, together we were now PREACHING to about 1,000 people, and perhaps 500 were reading that hand-mimeographed GOSPEL-in-PRINT. My personal preaching alone got the Gospel to 40 people. But THEIR PART of the work, by becoming Co-Workers TOGETHER with Christ, resulted in preaching the Gospel to approximately 960 additional people. That is about FORTY-TWO TIMES AS MANY that THEIR part reached, as my part had reached, without them.
As time went on, little by little more and more Co-Workers joined in becoming Co-Workers with CHRIST and those of us already dedicated to this Great Commission. Through the years it has grown, until TODAY, a cumulative audience of about TWENTY-TWO MILLION PEOPLE per week are hearing and reading the Gospel! If that number is an exact 22,000,000, perhaps I may take credit for being used in reaching FORTY of them—and the other 21,999,960 are being PREACHED TO by our Co-Workers! THAT IS HOW EFFECTIVELY YOU CAN PREACH THE GOSPEL!
Through the years, God has given me training and experience in preaching—and my son Garner Ted Armstrong. Possibly YOU may not have the voice for radio preaching, or the experience, or the full Biblical knowledge. But when you put God's first tenth of your income (the TITHE), beside whatever offerings you are able, into this work of God, YOU are reaching HUNDREDS of people with the Gospel through OUR voices—-and other hundreds through The Plain Truth, the Bible Correspondence Course, and the other free literature which is reaching A MILLION PEOPLE!
Yes, THAT IS HOW YOU can, and are, PREACHING THE GOSPEL in great POWER to MANY people today! And, by your earnest and prevailing PRAYERS, God will hear and answer your petition for Him to GUIDE ME and all our full-time Co-Workers in our part in His Work—He will cause more and more people to JOIN with us as Co-Workers with Christ in GOD'S WORK, and the work will continue to grow until EVERY NATION on earth is reached!
Today we do reach every inhabited Continent on earth. But we do not yet reach every nation. We are now publishing literature not only in English, but also in German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Portuguese. We are preparing to publish the Gospel in Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Japanese and other languages. We are teaching many of these languages in our two colleges. Consecrated students, native born in many of these countries and speaking their languages from infancy, are enrolling in our colleges and being trained for GOING INTO ALL THE WORLD, and PREACHING TO ALL NATIONS!
This is the greatest, most important activity on earth today. WHAT A GLORIOUS PRIVILEGE God has given us to be Co-Workers WITH HIM in HIS WORK, preparing the way for the WORLD TOMORROW—when PEACE, prosperity, happiness and JOY will fill the earth!
As a Co-Worker, your continued generous help is seriously NEEDED, that the Gospel may go FREE—never asking for contributions over the air—never charging for any literature, nor even hinting at a request for contributions. There is NOTHING LIKE IT ON EARTH! With all my heart, by Christ's gracious authority, I do THANK YOU for your generous part, and for your CONTINUED EARNEST PRAYERS.