At least once or twice a year, I want to write you a personal heart-to-heart letter—as a listener of The WORLD TOMORROW, and a reader of The PLAIN TRUTH.
Breath-taking things are happening in the world. I want to share with you the true significance of these colossal events fulfilling prophecy! I want to take you into my confidence and tell you about the very latest BIG developments in this WORK OF GOD —and our plans for the future.
Then once again I want to answer the questions thousands of radio listeners ask me: "What denomination are you?"—"WHO sponsors and pays for your broadcasts, magazines, and booklets?"—"WHY don't you ever ask for money on the air?"
In more ways than one, this great work of God is utterly different from any other operation on earth. And you surely have a right to know all about it—about me, personally—about my son Garner Ted Armstrong—how it all started—how it operates, and WHY!
What MOMENTOUS events have happened to change the world picture this year! And JESUS CHRIST, who is the active, living HEAD of this work, has been opening gigantic doors before us, stepping up HIS WORK to keep pace with world events, now speeding up faster, faster, FASTER!! Let me tell you first some of the things that have happened in this work since my last letter from Copenhagen, Denmark, in June. At that time, Garner Ted and I were on our way to Germany, England, France and Italy. I mentioned then that we expected to have the European edition of The PLAIN TRUTH printed in London. That arrangement was made. Things do take time, in England, but the first European edition will be printed in London next month. It will be the January, 1960, number—exactly like the United States edition.
Also I wrote that we had outgrown our London office. We had to make plans for larger quarters. Well something BIG happened, which I could not foresee! JESUS CHRIST is our active living HEAD!
When Ted and I reached London, the unseen providential Hand opened the door to something we had not envisioned! Our own new office building! More than that—an entire ready-built new COLLEGE CAMPUS of 30 beautifully landscaped acres, just 5 short miles from the edge of London!
The time has come to establish a branch of Ambassador College in England, to prepare young men and women whom God is calling over there for places in this fast-growing WORK OF GOD in England and Europe—and perhaps in South Africa and Australia! We are now training 5 men from England, one from South Africa, and one from Brazil, and 2 from Germany—beside several from Canada—at Ambassador College in Pasadena.
This 30-acre property is so perfectly adapted to our need— both for a Liberal Arts co-ed COLLEGE in England, and for our offices—it seemed as if God had caused them to plan and build it just for us!
I also mentioned in my Copenhagen letter that Garner Ted Armstrong was to visit Australia and the Philippines in November. Well, November is here. And Ted, with two other men from Pasadena Headquarters, is right now in Sydney, Australia. But THERE IS MUCH MORE! A far bigger reason has developed for their presence there.
I mentioned in the Copenhagen letter that we were broadcasting over a national Network in Australia once a week. CHRIST HAS SINCE OPENED A TREMENDOUS DOOR IN AUSTRALIA! We are now on that Network EVERY NIGHT—six nights a week! This progress in God's Work is simply breath-taking! It has made it imperative to open a big mailing office in Sydney immediately to handle the great burst of additional mail and requests for literature!
With Ted in Sydney are the two men who managed our London office until a year and a half ago. They are well trained and experienced—graduates of Ambassador College. Ted will fly back home as soon as he has them established there—you'll be hearing him again on the broadcast.
Many other developments have added to the world-wide POWER of God's Work since last June. While in London, we applied to Reader's Digest, British edition, for the purchase of two full pages of advertising space every issue to present a powerful GOSPEL MESSAGE to their millions of readers. At least four or five million people read this magazine in the British Isles. That is certainly more than every tenth adult in the British Isles! As you probably know, Reader's Digest has by far the largest circulation of any publication on earth. They have some 30 or 40 different editions in most of the nations around the world—published in many different languages. Thru this mass-circulation influential magazine, we can thus carry CHRIST'S Gospel to many nations in many languages we cannot reach effectively by radio. I have right here in my hands, as I write, our very first double-spread two-page message, in the November, 1959, Reader's Digest, British edition!
Since I last wrote you, several super-power and important radio stations have been added, here in the United States. We now reach the southern half of Florida daily, have added Idaho's leading station, KIDO, and have added the major 50,000-watt stations, WSM, Nashville, and KCKY, Cincinnati. (Be sure to see radio log in The PLAIN TRUTH.)
Yes, JESUS CHRIST, the active HEAD of this work, is now stepping up the power of this work in breath-taking manner! THERE IS A REASON! World events are speeding up, with increasing acceleration!
In January of this year it was announced that there are now THREE ways by which all human life can be erased from this earth! Russia has all three! In Germany, Garner Ted Armstrong and I found conditions developing rapidly toward the prophesied UNITED STATES OF EUROPE—the coming mighty THIRD MAJOR POWER in the world— actually stronger than either the United States or Russia! For more than a quarter century I have been proclaiming to the world that WE SHALL HAVE TO CONTEND WITH THIS NEW POWER! While we were there, we obtained a report showing that the nations of Europe, already united in an economic combine, have gone to number one position in world TRADE!
Since June the Russians have sent their space rocket LUNIK encircling the MOON—actually, so they boast, transmitting photographs to earth of the other side of the moon!
WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN? What is the real behind-the- scenes significance? The world does not know! But Bible prophecy REVEALS the meaning!
It means that we are crashing on, at space-flight SPEED, toward the very END of this world—this age—this civilization!
WHAT does the opening of so many mighty new DOORS for THIS WORK OF GOD mean? It means Christ is speeding up HIS WORK through us, to keep pace with the speed-up of world events TOWARD THE END! It means we are getting mighty CLOSE to the time Jesus foretold, when, unless God steps in and intervenes in world affairs, NO HUMAN LIFE WOULD BE SAVED ALIVE! It means it is FAR later than you think! It means we are rapidly nearing the SECOND COMING OF CHRIST, to STOP all this increasing VIOLENCE, and to BRING INTO BEING (by the RESURRECTION) THE KINGDOM OF GOD, to rule the world, and to usher in world peace and happiness, at last!
Do you realize that THIS VERY WORK OF GOD is definitely mentioned and foretold IN BIBLE PROPHECIES? That sounds incredible—but it's TRUE! (Matthew 24:14, and Mark 13:10).
How, then, did this powerful work really start?
In past annual letters to our listeners and readers, I have given a brief condensed story of my own life—how God took away my business time after time, struck me down, angered me into trying to prove by the Bible that "all these churches can't be wrong," revealed to me THE PLAIN TRUTH OF HIS GOSPEL which has been hidden from the world almost 19 centuries, literally plunged me into HIS WORK of proclaiming that very Gospel—then began OPENING DOORS of mass evangelism, by radio, TV, and the printing press—at first the smallest of any broadcast, but constantly, almost unbelievably, GROWING in power and scope!
But now, for the past two years, PLAIN TRUTH readers have been reading all this history of my early business training, my conversion, and induction into Christ's ministry, in the AUTO- BIOGRAPHY running serially in The PLAIN TRUTH. I won't repeat those details here.
I had to be willing to give up EVERYTHING. It was not easy. It took suffering. The decision came only after a terrific struggle. But when I gave my life to CHRIST, I meant it! And he took it, and has used it these past 32 years!
Being shocked TO LEARN THAT WHAT IS POPULARLY ACCEPTED AS THE CHRISTIAN GOSPEL is actually a different Gospel—one ABOUT Christ, yet not HIS VERY MESSAGE WHICH HE PREACHED, I buried myself in Bible study. And so, as I have written before, as the apostle Paul wrote, so also I certify to you, that the Gospel which is preached by me is NOT AFTER MAN, for I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it but BY THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST. He revealed it to me IN HIS WRITTEN WORD! Then when it pleased God, who called me by His GRACE, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him to the world, immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood (men), neither went I to any sect or denomination or human theologian, but I went directly to the WORD OF GOD, on my knees, surrendered, willing to be taught, corrected, reproved and instructed in God's righteousness and TRUTH. (Compare Galatians 1:11-18).
This great world-wide WORK OF GOD started the very smallest. But it was directed by CHRIST, empowered by the SPIRIT OF GOD, and it has grown phenomenally! It has never been backed, financed, sponsored, endowed or controlled in any way by any denomination or organization of MEN!
You will read of my ordination, in 1931, in the December PLAIN TRUTH. In 1933, I gave up a salary of $3 per week, when the MEN who paid me that salary demanded that I preach and act contrary to plain BIBLE teaching. Mrs. Armstrong and I then promised God we would look to HIM ALONE for our financial need. I learned that if MEN paid me, I had to preach what MEN demanded. If I was to preach what CHRIST commanded, I also had to let HIM be my employer, and look to HIM, in faith, for every need.
NO MAN OR ORGANIZATION OF MEN HAS, THEREFORE, EVER MUZZLED ME! In this WORK OF GOD we have been kept FREE to SERVE GOD—to work for CHRIST, who is the living HEAD of this work! I know of nothing else on earth like it!
And so, "WHAT DENOMINATION?" This work is NOT denominational! Christ joined no sects nor denominations! Yet there were several in Palestine then. He did build His Church—as HIS INSTRUMENT, empowered with GOD'S SPIRIT, to DO THE WORK OF GOD! This work DOES GOD'S WORK—the commission to carry His GOSPEL to all the world, for a witness unto ALL NATIONS! We do not yet reach all nations—but every continent, with more and more nations being reached each year!
"HOW IS THIS WORK FINANCED?" "WHY don't we beg for money on the air?" This is GOD'S WORK. It must be financed GOD'S WAY, not man's way. We trust fully in GOD. Now of course God does not rain down thousand-dollar bills from the sky. He could—but His way is to work THROUGH human beings whose hearts He makes willing. THAT GIVES US THE GREATER BENEFIT! God tells us that HE owns the entire earth—including the silver and the gold! And so God has ordained the TITHING system, retaining the first tenth of every person's income as HIS—as HOLY to Him—and also He commands the giving of generous free will offerings. This, God uses for HIS WORK! God's WAY is the GIVING way. Jesus said it is more blessed to GIVE than to receive. The WORLD practices the GETTING way. That's the difference between God's way and Satan's way!
We simply TRUST GOD to lay it on the hearts of HIS people, and those willing to go HIS way, voluntarily to turn in their tithes and generous offerings to the headquarters of HIS WORK. But in preaching to the PUBLIC, God offers His precious Gospel FREE! We CANNOT ask the public for financial support. We cannot put a price on Gospel literature to the public!
THAT'S WHY! We do not ask the public for money—WE ASK GOD, and those whom we believe to be GOD'S PEOPLE! IF, however, an interested listener and PLAIN TRUTH reader sends in, voluntarily, tithes or free-will offerings for this work TWICE within six months, then, because Jesus said that where our treasure is our HEARTS are, also, we send them a nice letter telling them we believe they desire to be a co-worker with us in this wonderful work. I send a special CO-WORKER letter out to all such co-workers EVERY MONTH, keeping them informed of all the plans and progress of the work, and often I DO ask them for money. WHY? Because it is the BIBLE WAY! Moses did ask the Congregation of Israel for offerings! The Apostle Paul did ask God's own people for contributions! BUT NOT THE WORLD!
Yes, truly, this has been from the start a WORK OF FAITH! Our faith has often been sorely tried. God did not intend to make the task of His own servants an easy one—obstacles and tests of faith develop character, and strengthen us!
It seems that our faith is tried especially AT THIS VERY SEASON every year! For years the period from the middle of November on through December was our most trying period of the year.
ISN'T THIS A PARADOX? Most people, not realizing what they are doing, spend generously and lavishly on Christmas presents—to EXCHANGE gifts with friends, relatives, or business customers— because they think this is CHRIST'S BIRTHDAY—yet they forget all about any gift for CHRIST, or for HIS WORK! Isn't it strange? Most people seem to OVERLOOK CHRIST ALTOGETHER while spending FREELY on what they suppose to be BIRTHDAY GIFTS! They forget the "wise men" gave their gifts to CHRIST—they did not TRADE presents back and forth! However, that was not Christ's birthday, nor were they, in fact, giving Him birthday presents at all!
It seems just like a lot of people getting up a big birthday party for a mutual friend—all bringing presents—then, ignoring the guest of honor who has the birthday—and, forgetting all about him, just trading their presents back and forth among themselves!
Surely, for those who observe Christmas, the GIFT ought to go to Christ, most generously! But few think of that!
Actually, Christmas is NOT Christ's birthday at all. Christmas is one of those teachings of the different gospel, contrary to the BIBLE. You need to know WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT CHRISTMAS! It is truly astounding! Why not write in for our special booklet, The PLAIN TRUTH ABOUT CHRISTMAS?
We have a brand NEW booklet, just coming off the press! —titled "The Book of REVELATION UNVEILED AT LAST!" It explains in considerable detail the great MYSTERY BOOK of the Bible! It is profusely illustrated! You'll find it MIGHTY interesting! It makes PROPHECY plain! Also, did you get that recent booklet, "ENDING YOUR FINANCIAL WORRIES"? It is solving the most perplexing problem of greatest concern for thousands of people—how to make ends meet! It reveals an invisible LAW that has worked for the Rockefellers, and many successful people.
Also the recent booklet "A TRUE History of the TRUE Church." Here is a booklet that is simply dumbfounding! It brings to light an AMAZING truth, hidden from the world for 18« centuries!
It reveals that the Roman Catholic Church is NOT and NEVER WAS the true Church which Jesus Christ founded! This is a scholarly work, carefully documented, authoritative, yet written in the dynamic, interesting style that simply sizzles with startling interest!
I personally want you to read these gripping, important booklets! There is NO CHARGE! They are FREE! And when I say FREE, I mean FREE!
So that You may request one or all of these booklets immediately, without delay, I am enclosing a self-addressed envelope. I hope you'll get that request to me by return mail. Until next time, THANK YOU!