ARE we, as the Apostle Paul called the Hebrew brethren, HOLY brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling?
The brethren of Paul's day made whatever sacrifice was needed to supply the financial need of the Church and of God's work. The brethren of ancient Israel in Moses' day responded so liberally that Moses had to send out a second proclamation asking them to STOP sending in for the Tabernacle of that day.
But today we, their successors in GOD'S CHURCH, continue to come up SHORT! We are continuing to put into the Tabernacle fund only two-thirds of the need. We are continuing to put in only $12,000 a month—and our business office at Pasadena Headquarters is required to send a monthly check to the Behlen Manufacturing Company of $18,000.
We did have a little reserve in the bank. Month by month we have had to draw out of that reserve an additional $6,000 to add to the $12,000 currently received for the building fund, in order to meet these $18,000 monthly payments.
Oh yes, OF COURSE that is a very heavy monthly payment! But God's Church is GROWING rapidly in number of members GOD is adding to His Church. As you will read in the Co-Worker letter I am sending you, 2,000 prospective new members are right now awaiting a visit by one of our baptizing teams. What I felt it best NOT to say to non-member Co-Workers who will also receive that letter, is that probably a third to a half of those will be found not yet fully repentant and surrendered to God, and our baptizing teams will therefore NOT baptize them—but, even so, at least another THOUSAND to thirteen hundred new members ought to be added to the Church this year! There are now several thousand of us. If there were only one thousand members, and each put $18 per month in this building fund, it would be sufficient. If only 3,000 members, then $6 per month from each would raise the $18,000 payments. There are many more than that—but of course some have such low incomes they are unable to send in even $6 a month, in addition to tithes (first and second) and regular offerings for the Gospel work. So others of us, who are able, must send in a great deal MORE than $6 a month as an extra special offering for this building fund.
ONE OF TWO THINGS must now happen—or we shall LOSE the Tabernacle! Either each one of us must put in half again more than we have been doing, or else MORE MEMBERS must contribute who have not been contributing to this fund.
Here is the situation. The present Tabernacle cost, in round figures, $350,000. In eleven months—less than a year—we have paid more than $300,000 of that. I do not know the exact balance still due without checking at the office, but the payments of this month and next month (July) will pay off this present building, except for a part of an August payment. Of course we had been paying in to this fund for several months before I sent the first payment to Behlen last June 20th. We had more than $100,000 on hand when we began the payments.
In spite of coming up $6,000 short every month this year, we did have enough reserve in the bank so that EVERY PAYMENT RIGHT UP TO NOW HAS BEEN MET PROMPTLY ON TIME, AND MOSTLY AHEAD OF TIME!!!
BUT—that reserve is now wiped out! And that very fact makes us look bad at the bank! Having $100,000 and more in special cash reserve in the bank, as we had a year ago, made us look good, and sound, in the eyes of our bankers. From now on, if we do not INCREASE the SPECIAL offerings for the Tabernacle fund up to the full $18,000 per month, I am going to be forced to take the deficit out of REGULAR OPERATIONAL EXPENSES for the Gospel work—or else we shall lose the Tabernacle!
BECAUSE—I have authorized the Behlen people to GO AHEAD with the BIG ADDITION they are now starting to build onto the Tabernacle!!!
God commands us to come to the Feast of Tabernacles. Unless we proceed with this enlargement, a thousand brethren will be unable to get inside the big auditorium for the meetings! THIS CANNOT BE!
In FAITH, I am going ahead. God's Church cannot slow down! I am going to trust GOD to prosper you sufficiently that you shall be ABLE to send in this $18,000 a month. I am going to TRUST GOD to lay this responsibility SO HEAVILY on your hearts that you will INCREASE these special building fund offerings to the full $18,000 per month!
The architect's plans are now completed for the big addition enlarging it more than 50%. The new addition is to cost more than $200,000. The Behlen people are already well along in fabricating and producing all the materials to go into this big addition. The Behlen people are extending the Church, and me personally, this additional more than $200,000 credit—to be paid at $18,000 per month.
THESE $18,000 MONTHLY PAYMENTS, THEREFORE, MUST CONTINUE TO BE MET FOR MORE THAN ANOTHER YEAR!!
The new Tabernacle will seat around 7,500 people when completed. There will be a really BIG mothers' room for mothers with little babies. There will be a special babies' crib room for babies who are asleep, where their mothers can watch them from the mothers' room through glass windows. There will be additional special rest rooms for these mothers and their little tots—even special little-tot size toilets. There will be diaper-change counters, and bottle-warming facilities. It is going to be a mighty fine Tabernacle in every way. WE NEED it. It is GOD'S HOUSE!! God wants us to have the use of it!!
Now about the one-room steel booth-houses. I have not yet been able to come to any definite decision from the loan company, but it does not now look like we shall be able to have these booths this year. If we cannot go ahead, as soon as the decision is final, those or you who have sent in part of your second tithe in advance payment of rental will have the money refunded. We have it in the bank. If we do not erect this new housing district, your money will be returned to you in plenty of time. I do not believe we are in position to put up security that will satisfy the loan company. If not, we will build these without borrowing, one or two years later.
BRETHREN!! The whole work is in desperate financial shape, DUE TO THE RAPID GROWTH OF THE WORK. WE need from you, not only a 50% increase in the SPECIAL building fund, but also larger, more generous regular offerings for the regular Gospel work. PLEASE RUSH IT!! This is a desperate S.O.S.!! Send it AIR MAIL! The work is growing as NEVER before. This year we have by far our largest harvest of new converts. Additional MILLIONS are hearing the broadcast, world wide. OUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS MUST KEEP PACE!! PRAY as never before!!!