THE GRAND smash climax of six thousand years of human experience is upon us! World news events are rapidly fitting together into the breath-taking and ominous picture that God foretold thousands of years ago! We in God's Church have the opportunity of being right on the scene — on the inside as it were — as these world-shaking events take place. Each week tens of thousands of news items appear in the newspapers and periodicals around the world. In this blazing array of headlines, by-lines and feature articles, which comprise the panorama of world news, can be read the inexorable fulfillment of the prophecies of the Bible. Yet to most of the world these really BIG news stories, depicting the "mainline" events that herald this world's end, go unnoticed in the routine jumble and scramble of activities that fill our era. Without the knowledge of God's truth and the understanding of the prophecies of the Bible, there is no pattern nor rhyme nor reason in the news today. Each individual takes or leaves what he likes — according to his OWN little world and the rest is so much paper and printers' ink.
News Gathering Department at Ambassador College
At God's Headquarters Church in Pasadena, California, the nerve center of God's work on earth, trained personnel of the News Gathering Department spend hour after hour every day sifting, sorting, comparing, cataloging and filing thousands of news reports from all over the world. Nowhere on earth is there another such department! There are many, many news agencies and news gathering facilities around the earth, but there is not another one that really KNOWS WHAT TO LOOK FOR! Without God's Holy Spirit to guide them to an understanding of what lies ahead, they, too, would be blind to the significance of the very news stories they process. The news gathering department of the Vatican at Rome is perhaps the largest and best equipped on the face of the earth. Yet with all their superior equipment, thousands of files and hundreds of employees, they are not able to REALLY discern the signs of the times. What a thrill to realize we in God's Church have the opportunity of knowing what really is important in the news. What a blessing to be able to see these things happening and to KNOW what they mean.
An Important Commission
How many of us realize, however, how serious our responsibility is of "watching" and understanding the news as it develops! God has opened the prophecies of the climactic times ahead to OUR understanding. He has shown us — step by step — with pin-point accuracy, the events that would lead up to the end of this age and the second coming of Jesus Christ. Notice what Jesus Christ said, after reviewing to the disciples what was ahead: "Now learn a parable of the fig tree: When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye KNOW that summer is nigh: So likewise when ye shall see ALL THESE THINGS, know that IT [the end of the age] is near, even at the doors." Again: "WATCH YE therefore and pray always that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things." (Mart. 24:32-33 and Luke 21:36.) For our OWN safety — that we might be praying and staying close to God — Jesus warned us to be watching and discerning the signs of the times.
Now do you begin to see the scope of our responsibility? With the understanding of the events set down by Ezekiel and amplified by Christ and the Prophets. WE must read in the day-by-day unfolding of the news the signs of the times. We must SHOUT it to Israel and the world. Jesus Christ said we would do this work! "And this gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world FOR A WITNESS [warning] and then shall the end come (Matt. 24:14). The News Gathering and Reporting Department at Ambassador College is growing into one of the major departments in God's work. It has the most modern and efficient memory-o-matic system of recording and filing information. This filing system is constantly being revised and improved to fit the changing pattern of world events. Daily into these files goes the vital information gleaned from many sources. Many of the astounding — eye opening — articles you read in THE PLAIN TRUTH magazine and the startling facts you hear on THE WORLD TOMORROW program are drawn from these files. Behind the bizarre headlines that splash across the newspapers and news magazines are often the obscure articles and news trends that are the REAL NEWS. Sometimes the real news stories about to SHAKE THIS WORLD — stories that fit another piece into the plan of God — are found in small type on the inside pages. The development of BOTULINUS — a substance one-half pound of which could wipe our the entire population of the earth — originally appeared as an obscure second or third page item.
How the News Department Functions
Keeping pace with the growing news developments is the regular staff of the News Gathering Department. Their job is to study and analyze the thousands of items that arrive weekly and to make them available in condensed analysis form. These vital reports present the developing panorama of news as seen through the eyes of prophecy. Assisting the regular staff are a group of volunteer news readers. These "watchers" are selected from the alert student body at Ambassador College. Each is assigned two to three of the leading magazines or periodicals that are received regularly at Ambassador College Library. Carefully scanning and perusing these publications, they extract the important news items and channel them to the News Department. Other confidential news reporting services and news letters from Washington, D.C., and other sources are subscribed to by the department to keep abreast of developments and trends. Supplementing this also, come reports from the Ministers of God's Churches from their areas of the nation and the world. Ever on the watch, these trained and responsible men are continually sending valuable information for the files. Many valuable reports have been received from overseas from the headquarters for the work in England, where they are much closer to what is developing in Europe.
By far the greatest volume of information, however, comes from members and co-workers in God's Church. Each day — through the mail — come literally thousands of news clippings on every conceivable subject and aspect of the news. This valuable cross-section of the news represents many hundreds of "watchers" who are having a part in this vital "end-time" work. These unseen workers are able to cover the many newspapers and publications that the news department has no access to. These thousands of clippings add depth and scope to the department that would not be possible otherwise. Here is where YOU can have an ACTIVE part in God's work. Perhaps many of you have wondered which news clippings are of value — what kind of information is important enough to send in. Our understanding of the prophecies of the Bible gives us the answer. Your diligent study of the Bible and your careful and alert attention to THE WORLD TOMORROW program and the articles in THE PLAIN TRUTH magazine will tell you what is important. These news articles which show the working out of God's plan here below — the fulfilling of prophecy — are the important ones. You may have to search for them; they won't always be on the front page. You, as scattered members, can be particularly helpful by contributing information that shows trends in YOUR LOCAL AREA — information we don't get from our local big-city newspapers and national news magazines. It may seem a small thing, but put together with other reports from other areas, it may be a BIG story. In sending your clippings, in order to increase their value and authority, PLEASE always include the NAME and DATE of the paper or magazine from which you take your clippings. This is very important! In using these news items, we must quote the source. Send your clippings to the regular address: Herbert W. Armstrong, Box 111, Pasadena, California. It would help if you would put "News Department" on the outside of the envelope. The News Gathering Department would like to thank those of you who have been already faithfully helping us by sending your clippings. Without your help we could not be nearly as effective as we have been.