HERE OUGHT TO BE CAUSE FOR SHOUTING ALOUD FOR JOY!!
I have just been reading, in Ezra, the account of the laying of the foundation for the new Temple of the Eternal at Jerusalem. This was 70 years after the original great Temple of Solomon had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar's army in the captivity of Judah. Now, as prophesied thru Jeremiah, God moved on Cyrus, King of Persia, to order Jews under Ezra and Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem and build a new Temple.
I wonder if we, today, as SPIRIT-BEGOTTEN children of GOD, can realize as much as those flesh-born children of Jacob the tremendous IMPORTANCE of building a great Tabernacle for GOD! I wonder if we feel any of the EMOTION, the JOY, and GRATITUDE that they expressed! Reading this account surely made me THINK! LISTEN!
From Ezra 3:7-13: (Moffatt translation) "The foundation of the temple of the Eternal was not yet laid, however. But masons and joiners were hired" (just as we have done), "and Sidonians and Tyrians...to bring cedars down from Lebanon to the sea-coast at Joppa," (this is so REAL to Mrs. Armstrong and me, since we have been through Lebanon, have visited Sidon and the ruins of ancient Tyre, and have seen the Mediterranean seacoast at Joppa, which is a southern suburb of Tel Aviv today—and the natural means of transportation of the huge timbers from Lebanon would be by floating them down to the seacoast to Joppa, only a few miles straight across from Jerusalem, thence this shorter distance overland to Jerusalem)....
"It was the second month of the second year, after they had reached the house of God at Jerusalem, that a start was made. Zerubbabel ... and Joshua ... appointed Levites, from twenty years old and upwards, to superintend the work on the house of the Eternal;...
"When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Eternal, the priests took their place, furnished with trumpets, the Levites who were Asaphites, with cymbals, to PRAISE THE ETERNAL after the ritual of David king of Israel; they sang their response of PRAISE and THANKS to the Eternal, ... and all the People raised a LOUD SHOUT as they praised the Eternal that the foundation of the temple of the Eternal had been laid. ... Many were SHOUTING ALOUD FOR JOY ... the people were shouting so loud that the sound was heard far off."
Now HERE'S NEWS!
The foundation of the Tabernacle of the Eternal IS NOW LAID!
Just like in those days of old, masons and joiners and workmen have been hired. Our elder Deacon and manager of buildings and grounds at Gladewater, Texas, Brother Roy Hammer, has been appointed to superintend the work for the Church. The aluminized steel for the structure will have arrived on the site from Columbus, Nebraska, by the time you receive this letter.
The builders have completed the LAYING OF THE FOUNDATION! The great new Tabernacle of the Eternal is well on its way! From now on it will go up FAST! Everything is moving right on schedule!
Brethren, can WE really feel JOY and PRAISE and THANKSGIVING in our hearts over this? Of course this Tabernacle is not to be as fine and costly as the Temple at Jerusalem. It is the most inexpensive type of construction there is today. It is going to be rather bare and unfinished in the main auditorium. We are too near the END of this world to attempt any fine and costly building today. But this is GOD'S TABERNACLE, just the same. It is FOR THE WORSHIP OF GOD and the keeping of His Holy Days as He commanded, just as the Temple at Jerusalem was. And it is undoubtedly the LARGEST building on earth today that is TRULY GOD'S, and for His Holy Days.
Brethren, can we express our JOY and THANKS to God, and, GRATITUDE by sending in our pledge money for July—if not already sent—and, for those who did not pledge, a great big EXTRA offering, special and over and above, and separate from, your regular tithes and offerings?
Let THAT be a part of OUR sacrifice today—OUR expression of joy—OUR shouting aloud for joy!
Our large July payment—the other half of the $100,000 down payment due in June, plus the $12,000 July payment—is due July 20th. I'm sure if your combined LOUD SHOUT of PRAISE to God reaches Pasadena in the form of extra generous offerings before that date, we shall be able to meet this payment!
If any of you NEWER members have not received our booklet on God's Holy Days, be sure to write in for it immediately, so you will understand. WHAT A REJOICING we shall have at this fall's Festival, starting September 28th, in THIS NEW BIG TABERNACLE!
And don't neglect REGULAR offerings and tithes. The work of God is seriously BEHIND just now. It may take a whole year to catch up—but if you all are faithful and generous, putting God's work FIRST in your lives, our business office will get caught up financially.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL! I'm inwardly shouting for joy, right now, and you're going to hear me do it outwardly and vocally when we all gather at this immense Tabernacle!