May I address you as the Apostle Paul did the Hebrew brethren: HOLY brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling?
IF we belong in God's Church — if God has baptized us into His Church by His Holy Spirit, then we are HOLY brethren — we are SAINTS — we are partakers of the HEAVENLY CALLING! We are dedicated to the calling. Our lives are not our own — we have given them to God as instruments in His hands. Our possessions — our money — these are not our own — they are dedicated to GOD!
Can we say this:
We face a serious situation. For the past two months the pledges and offerings for the Tabernacle building fund have been falling $6,000 per month short! We are pledged to pay to the Behlen Manufacturing Company payments of $18,000 on the 20th of each month. Yet during the past two months, you brethren have been sending in for that fund only $12,000 per month. I myself have personally signed the note to pay the $18,000 per month as a personal obligation, in addition to signing the note as a CHURCH obligation.
So far we have managed to continue meeting every payment promptly on time — but do you know HOW? We did have a little cash in the bank on reserve. You'll remember that in the two Holy-day offerings at the Tabernacle we put in about $10,000 more than the payment for that month. But now that reserve is gone. HOW ARE WE GOING TO MEET THE FEBRUARY PAYMENT?
It looks very doubtful, now, whether we can proceed with enlargement of the big new Tabernacle so that it will be large enough to seat the brethren that will attend next October. We OUT- GREW the present new Tabernacle the first year. Based on the growth of the Church for 25 years, 1,500 more brethren will attend this fall than last October. The present Tabernacle would seat only 500 of them. ONE THOUSAND BRETHREN WOULD BE UNABLE TO GET IN! The Behlen Company will go ahead and enlarge the big aluminized steel building 50% for us, starting about April or May, provided we can continue to meet the $18,000 monthly payments promptly!
THINK OF IT! Mr. Walter Behlen, president of the company, has extended to us, primarily through confidence in me personally, and on my personal note as well as that of the Church, a credit of A THIRD OF A MILLION DOLLARS — WITHOUT ANY SECURITY! According to our agreement, we were to have given his company a mortgage on our Tabernacle property last November. But because every payment had been made promptly on time, he released us from that obligation, provided I would sign a note for the unpaid balance — which I did. The new addition will cost about $170,000. He is willing to extend that additional credit, and start building in about sixty or ninety days, provided I can assure him we will continue to meet these $18,000 monthly payments.
Brethren, I don't believe any CHURCH was ever extended such a large amount of credit on pure FAITH — without security! What an unusual, WONDERFUL opportunity and blessing that is! Surely GOD has given us great and unusual favor in Mr. Behlen's eyes. He and his family were my personal guests here on our campus the morning of the Tournament of Roses parade, New Year's day. He was tremendously impressed with what he saw here. Since God has given us the very unusual blessing of such favor and line of credit, making it so EASY for us to have this new Tabernacle without even a mortgage, it is up to us to make a little bigger sacrifice and KEEP UP THESE PAYMENTS.
But unless we do increase our SPECIAL offerings, pledged or in excess of pledges, up to $18,000 per month, I am going to have to tell Mr. Behlen we can't make it, and call off the enlargement. One thousand brethren would have to remain outside the Tabernacle next October. I might have to TAKE THE BROADCAST OFF THE AIR ON SEVERAL BIG STATIONS, so as to continue to meet the payments on the present Tabernacle until paid out. It is due to be completely PAID for by July or August. And even if I have to GO OFF THE AIR on several important stations, I am going to keep my word to Mr. Behlen!
BRETHREN — you just can't let that happen — can you? Are we HOLY Brethren, partakers of the heavenly CALLING? Is our MONEY dedicated to God? Are we willing to make the sacrifice? BEFORE last Fall's Festival we were giving $18,000 per month. WE CAN DO IT AGAIN NOW ! God has COMMANDED this Festival. God's people ALWAYS have contributed liberally — generously — for God's Tabernacles and Temples. Have WE grown more lukewarm than the children of ancient Israel? Do we need to go to a place of private prayer and RE-DEDICATE OURSELVES TO GOD'S CAUSE?
Now just a word about the proposed new galvanized steel booths for many of you brethren to live in during the Feast. We can order erected two hundred buildings 10 x 12 feet, and 6 single beds or cots (double-deck), for a rental charge of $60. That is for 6 people or less. This should be paid in advance — by return mail or as soon as possible — OUT OF YOUR SECOND TITHE MONEY. We will buy FOR YOU, and sell to you, the mattresses, which we must order in this big wholesale order with the cots. The mattresses cost around $2 or $3 each — I do not have the exact figure. We will not rent you the mattresses — you must buy your own — but we will give you free storage for them until the next Festival.
Then we can order erected another 100 buildings 10 x 18 feet, with 6-foot porch, with 8 single beds, or cots (double-deck), accommodating 8 in one family — all other specifications the same as the smaller buildings, renting for $75 for the duration of the Festival.
REMEMBER — if you desire to rent one of these, you should pay the rental OUT OF YOUR OWN SECOND TITHE which you are saving to pay your expenses to the Feast. This cannot be paid out of first tithe, which is for Christ's Gospel work — nor from special offerings for the big Tabernacle, or other regular offerings for the Gospel work. This is money you would spend anyway — probably at motels near Gladewater or Longview. It does not cost you anything extra. Sixty dollar rental for six people for the eight or ten days is certainly less than motel charges. It does not cost the CHURCH anything, because we have worked out an arrangement, where these rentals will pay for the buildings in ten years, mortgaging only the booths — but not the ground or our present property! Thus you help the Church to buy and own these booths with money you would spend anyway! The deal is not, at this writing, 100% final — but if you want to rent one, send in the rental charge out of your SECOND TITHE by return mail, specifying plainly what it is for. If the deal is not completed your money will be refunded.
Now REMEMBER — this special booth rental CANNOT come out of first tithe, or regular offerings, or special offering for the Tabernacle fund. Neither, on the other hand, can you send any of your SECOND tithe money for the Tabernacle fund. Erecting this big new housing district of 300 small one-room booth-houses on our grounds cannot take from the Tabernacle fund or from the regular Gospel work.
Finally, brethren, I call on you in Jesus' name to PRAY — to SACRIFICE — to rededicate your life to GOD'S cause, to remember God calls us HOLY Brethren — and we must LIVE UP TO IT! WE MUST RAISE THAT FULL $18,000 per month from now on! We must NOT let the precious Gospel Message go OFF THE AIR because we do not keep up Tabernacle offerings! We must NOT leave A WHOLE THOUSAND BRETHREN OUTSIDE, unable to get in, for the meetings next October! WE MUST RAISE THIS $18,000 PER MONTH!