In Jesus' name, GREETINGS! I have certainly had my eyes opened these past few weeks! We all need to WAKE UP!
We are in a time of DANGER! You are in danger! Our nation is in grave danger! God's great and precious work is in terrible DANGER — unless a very large number of you Co-Workers who have been indifferent or neglectful of GOD'S WORK are reawakened!
LISTEN! Now there are weapons "which can lay waste an entire CONTINENT!" That is the official disclosure of the Secretary of the United States Air Force, speaking for the President! That is on highest authority.
Did that sink into your mind? Read that again: THERE ARE NOW WEAPONS WHICH CAN LAY WASTE AN ENTIRE CONTINENT! Not just a city. Not just a whole nation — but AN ENTIRE CONTINENT.
The whole world was STUNNED in 1945 when it was disclosed that one single bomb — an ATOMIC bomb — had destroyed one entire city, Hiroshima, Japan. Soon we learned that RUSSIA also had the atomic bomb. In February, 1950, we published this startling headline in The PLAIN TRUTH: "And now . . . The HYDROGEN BOMB!" But we are getting used to it. WE were no longer shocked by such terrifying news. By 1953 the world slept on without much concern when the news came of the first experimental explosion, in the far Pacific, of a HYDROGEN bomb. Again in 1954 hydrogen bombs were exploded in experimental tests that proved to be a thousand times more powerful than the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But we were now FAST ASLEEP. EVEN the news that RUSSIA now has the HYDROGEN bomb — one of which could VAPORIZE Baltimore, and virtually destroy both Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia does not shock us! Read what Jesus Christ said — Matt. 13:15, and Acts 28:27. Are you going to permit this to happen to you?
Now it is officially disclosed that THE ENTIRE NORTH AMERICAN CONTINENT can be laid waste in one night. That's what the Secretary of the Air Force said!
Are you past being shocked? Our whole CONTINENT, including Mexico and Canada, CAN BE DEVASTATED IN ONE NIGHT! That means that YOU and your children, your family, are in grave danger of being destroyed before you have any warning!
Can your mind grasp the horrible GRAVITY of this when you read what Jesus Christ said so solemnly, 1900 years ago? He warned us of these events of today — EVENTS I SAW DEVELOPING in Europe this fall — events that have shocked me, and opened MY eyes — events that will bring on America such a time of trouble and catastrophe as this world has never seen. And of these terrifying times, He said:
"Except these days should be shortened (by God's intervention) there should no flesh be saved alive!" JESUS CHRIST SAID THAT!
And this past week, the head of the United States Air Force told the nation THAT VERY THING IS GOING TO HAPPEN, unless we cry out to GOD for mercy, and UNLESS GOD ALMIGHTY INTERVENES! Yes, he said that!
The weapons to do it are HERE. The air power to deliver these weapons is HERE. Jesus Christ foretold it! Jesus Christ has called YOU, as well as me, to the most important mission of 18« centuries, at this most crucial time of world history! AND WE HAVE BEEN ASLEEP. Today this great work of God is in grave DANGER!
Listen, Co-Workers! At this very crisis hour of world history Christ has called YOU and me as HIS INSTRUMENTS in carrying His last warning Message to the whole world! He has called us to WARN America and the British nations, in particular, of what's coming — to point the way to DIVINE PROTECTION thru these terrible times just ahead, so that those who heed may ESCAPE all harm and injury.
He has called YOU and me to THUNDER the Good News of the happy, peaceful, joyful WORLD TOMORROW that is coming in our time — after God does intervene to save this world from itself — after He SENDS JESUS CHRIST back to earth to set up WORLD GOVERNMENT to bring us WORLD PEACE!
That, dear Co-Workers, is the ONE SUPREME PURPOSE OF YOUR LIFE! Everything you see about you soon will be DESTROYED! This world nears its END. We are the advance emissaries of JESUS CHRIST — His AMBASSADORS — proclaiming the coming new WORLD TOMORROW! Nothing else matters, now. That must be the dynamic PASSION of our lives. To it we must dedicate and devote OUR ALL. Nothing else matters.
I had my eyes opened in England, Scotland, and Ireland! I had never DREAMED of the really great work we have to do there. The British people are actually starving, spiritually, for the true spiritual food of GOD'S TRUTH. The people over there have been fed on the cold, empty chaff of formal ritual — the stiff, stuffy, dignified FORM of spiritless worship, wholly lacking in the POWER of God's TRUTH, and God's Holy SPIRIT! The history-breaking crowds that swarmed to hear Billy Graham, with his lively, vigorous, enthusiasm-arousing, emotion-stirring program proved how HUNGRY the people are over there — but my trip revealed that they want more than mere sentiment, and EMOTION of the physical senses — THEY HUNGER FOR GOD'S TRUTH, and His SPIRIT which He gives only to those that OBEY Him — whose lives He can totally CHANGE and GOVERN.
I learned that your dollars and GOD'S TITHE sent in by you, has actually been (with my voice on the air, and the printed Word from our office) bringing scores over there to heart-felt REPENTANCE, to the true KNOWLEDGE of Jesus Christ and His Gospel — CHANGING THEIR LIVES! Oh, how I wish YOU could have been there, and seen the hundreds who crowded in at our meetings in England, Ireland, and Scotland, and have seen their beaming, eager faces, and experienced the WARMTH of their hearts, and the inspiration of their JOY in this new-found TRUTH of GOD!
I want to quote to you, here, a letter received from the very first one to be baptized in Britain. She wrote this the night of the very day we were there, and we received it in London before sailing for the United States. Here is her letter:
"Dear Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong: I feel I cannot let today go by without writing to you. It is very late, and I cannot post this letter until morning, but whilst it is quiet and the others are fast asleep I have come downstairs to write it. You see for months I have been groping for the truth. It has been my constant prayer that God would reveal it to me. I was beginning to have doubts about my own convictions, and wondering if they were the will of God. We attended the meeting at Manchester, and my husband said he thought Mr. Armstrong was right, but he still was not sure about some things. Then strangely, my doubts increased. I took my Bible to bed with me last night, and my last prayer was, 'Lord, show me the way,' and the words ran through my mind, 'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Light,' so I opened my Bible at the New Testament and read from Acts, Galatians, Peter, and Matthew. When I read the 28th verse of the 16th chapter of Matthew, I just could not under- stand it, and I read it over and over again. I wondered if Mr. Armstrong would be able to explain it, and wondered how I would be able to get to London to speak to him. Then I fell asleep. My husband must have got up and gone to work without waking me, which is unusual; because when I woke up the door bell was ringing and it was quite late. I dressed hurriedly and ran downstairs and opened the door — and you were there! I could hardly believe it at first, and felt so ashamed to have still been in bed and not to have had the housework done, but my joy was greater. It is so marvelous to think that God who is so great and wonderful should so wonderfully have answered the prayers of a person like me who was so weak and full of sin, and less than a grain of dust, and given me peace and understanding. For what you have done, thank you, Most Sincerely, Edna Palin."
You may look up the Scripture that has puzzled her, in your Bible. She went to sleep praying for the true explanation wondering how she could go clear to London — half way across England — to see whether I could explain it. And the very next thing she knew, she was awakened by our ringing her doorbell! Of course I was able to show her where THE BIBLE ITSELF interprets the meaning of this verse. I merely asked her to read right on. So when she read on thru the next verses, she found the truth explained there, especially in verse 9.
I have quoted this letter, because it shows you the very heart laid bare — the true spirit of this newly-begotten sister in Christ, which is exactly what we saw in SO MANY of these dear people in England, Scotland and Ireland. You will notice this letter came from a humble heart, one yielded and surrendered to God, HUNGRY for the TRUTH of God, obeying it and LIVING it when found.
Co-Workers, it was money received from YOU, which made it possible to carry this truth not only to this woman, but THOUSANDS of others scattered all over Britain, besides MILLIONS in America! We now send The PLAIN TRUTH every month to more than 5,500 homes in the British Isles. That and other literature now goes to many points in Africa, India, Malaya, the British East Indies, even the Philippines, Japan, Hawaii.
Yet so far we have reached only a small fraction of the people, or the territory, that Christ has said must be reached. We have not yet gotten the Message to more than a small portion of Asia or Africa, or even Europe. We have not reached South America yet at all, or Australia, or British South Africa. We have not even gotten the Message effectively, as yet, into Canada. IN FACT WE HAVE ONLY JUST BEGUN! Our work is FAR FROM FINISHED!
Now once again we are entering into the DANGEROUS Christmas shopping season. ONCE AGAIN THE RECEIPT OF MONEY IS BEGINNING TO DROP OFF ALARMINGLY!
This is the season when so many forget all about CHRIST and HIS work, and CEASE giving gifts to HIM, in order to EXCHANGE GIFTS among their relatives and friends! Every year at this time MANY withhold their gifts from CHRIST, in order to TRADE gifts back and forth with fellow-humans!
THINK! Consider carefully! People buy presents lavishly at Christmas time, SUPPOSING they are following the example of the wise men in giving gifts to Christ YET WITHOUT REALIZING IT, THEY ARE DOING JUST THE OPPOSITE! Notice this carefully:
Here is THE PLAIN TRUTH!
From the Bibliotheca Sacra, Vol. 12, pages 153-155, I quote: "The interchange of presents between friends ... must have been adopted by Christians from the PAGANS." The fact is, the custom of exchanging gifts at Christmas time has not a single trace of Christianity about it! Did you ever attend a birthday party, where all the guests spent lavishly for BIRTHDAY PRESENTS, and then traded all their gifts among themselves, GIVING NOTHING TO THE ONE WHOSE BIRTHDAY THEY WERE HONORING? Wouldn't that be silly? Yet that's what nearly everybody is doing! And Christmas does NOT honor Christ's birthday, because JESUS WAS NOT BORN DECEMBER 25, OR EVEN IN THAT TIME OF THE YEAR! Nowhere does the Bible tell us to celebrate Christ's birthday. If you want THE TRUTH about Christmas, write for our free booklet "The PLAIN TRUTH about CHRISTMAS."
Now consider carefully what the Bible says about the wise men giving gifts. It is in Mat. 2:1-11: "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, 'Where is He that is born King of the Jews?'" Notice, these wise men knew, and exclaimed, that Jesus was BORN KING. "...and when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down and worshipped Him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto HIM gifts."
WHY did they present HIM with gifts? NOT BECAUSE IT WAS HIS BIRTHDAY — for Jesus was already born before they started their journey. It was now DAYS after His birthday! And they did not EXCHANGE gifts among themselves! — no, they gave their treasures and gifts TO CHRIST! But WHY?
Yes, WHY? Here's the answer. They were following an ANCIENT CUSTOM of presenting gifts to a KING whenever — no matter what day — they came into his presence. Just like the Queen of Sheba brought gifts to King Solomon!
No, dear Co-Workers, the custom of trading gifts back and forth is NOT CHRISTIAN — it has NO BIBLE AUTHORITY — it was never done by the apostles or the TRUE Church of God in apostolic days while it had the guidance of God's Spirit! Instead, IT IS A PAGAN CUSTOM, which TAKES GIFTS AWAY FROM CHRIST AND HIS WORK!
Christmas has become a COMMERCIAL SEASON, stimulated by every kind of ADVERTISING, to take money away from the WORK OF GOD, and put profits into the pockets of store owners, salesmen and manufacturers and jobbers and the commercial world. It is a custom of modern "BABYLON" and God calls His people to COME OUT of Babylon!
CO-WORKERS! In JESUS' NAME, and by HIS AUTHORITY, I now come to you and appeal to you — DON'T LET THE PRECIOUS WORK OF GOD LOSE OUT IN THIS CRISIS!
This year, while others are trading gifts among themselves, and spending lavishly while they FORGET TO GIVE TO CHRIST, won't YOU open up your heart, and your generosity as never before, and give the biggest gift you ever gave to anyone TO CHRIST FOR HIS WORK?
Many of you remember six years ago when, at this very season, God's work faced its greatest financial crisis up to that time. We had been thrown off of XEG that year, from April on. We were about to lose our college property and our office building — the headquarters of this great work. DO YOU REMEMBER? — I asked ALL our Co-Workers to send in at least the widow's two mites. I asked for a great DOWNPOUR of one and two-dollar offerings from EVERY Co-Worker, and for those who were able to send in much larger offerings.
Co-Workers, I then prayed to God for a MIRACLE — and I shall never forget how you Co-Workers let God soften your hearts, and how overwhelmingly you responded! It was a blessed MIRACLE! The work was SAVED!
This hour, now, is our DANGER hour! Once again we face the supreme CRISIS. How you — ALL of you — respond to this letter will determine whether, after all these years of growth and progress, this greatest work on earth must now STOP, or whether it is now to take still another LEAP FORWARD! God is now opening NEW DOORS for thundering HIS MESSAGE to the world, and He expects us to follow where He leads. But we are unable to take advantage of these opportunities or start thru these doors, because of lack of money. If we had the money we could now — very soon, in all probability put God's Message on the great super-power WLS, Chicago, at the BEST hour, 8:30 every night but Saturday, the year around! THINK of it! THAT is probably the most valuable station, for us, in all the United States — and THE DOOR IS OPEN! But we cannot go ahead — because of lack of money. We have plans to send out God's Message for this hour by using space ordinarily used for advertising, in many of the nation's leading farm journals, and other such magazines. LACK OF MONEY PREVENTS, altho God has opened the door! The largest circulation of any magazine on earth is the Reader's Digest. It circulates ALL OVER THE WORLD, and is published in some 15 different languages. In all other nations except the United States, they accept advertising. And our advertising agent had informed me that THEY HAVE OPENED THE DOOR to us, to permit us to use space ordinarily used for commercial advertising, to PROCLAIM GOD'S MESSAGE around the world! Jesus said, (Mark 13:10-A.V.) that HIS Gospel of the KINGDOM OF GOD must be PUBLISHED to all nations, as well as PREACHED (Mat. 24:14). God is opening these great and mighty doors! Are we Co-Workers going to be "dull of hearing," and asleep to the DANGER, and the glorious opportunities — OR ARE WE GOING TO SPRING TO ACTION WITH A PASSION, WITH ZEAL, WITH OUR WHOLE HEARTS, AND OUR PRAYERS AND OUR MONEY?
This present condition has again sent me to my knees! I am beseeching God, pouring out my heart to Him, to lay this burden on EVERYONE OF YOU, along with me, that we may RISE to this challenge and meet it!
I have to ask you, IN JESUS' NAME, to go now TO YOUR KNEES, and to pray, from the bottom of your heart, and with earnestness, and continually and prevailingly, that the work may be saved!
I must ask EVERY ONE of you, as I did six years ago, to send in at least the widow's TWO MITES — a veritable DOWNPOUR of two-dollar offerings — in addition to your tithes and as GENEROUS a gift for Christ as you are able to give — even up to several thousand dollars. I am PRAYING FOR ANOTHER MIRACLE — and I ask you to pray for it with me!
And REMEMBER — we must KEEP AT IT, week after week. We can never let up, until Christ comes. "He that endureth UNTO THE END, shall be saved" — so said Jesus Christ! Open your hearts — open your purses and your bank accounts, as you never did before! Give the BIGGEST GIFT you ever gave to CHRIST in this DANGER-hour of crisis!
God bless you — your reward in His Kingdom will be GREAT!