HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG, Chairman Publisher of The PLAIN TRUTH Magazine
EXTENSION DEPARTMENT An educational service at all levels for all people worldwide
Cairo, Egypt July 25, 1974
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ:
This time I write you from Cairo, Egypt where I await a private meeting with Egyptian President Anwar L. Sadat. (See news of this later.)
The whole world situation is now darkening. FASTER!! If some of you felt I was in any way exaggerating when, late last year, I mentioned how many nations are being overthrown, you certainly should know by now how serious the world condition really is.
But is it mere coincidence that more and more heads of state are opening their doors to me, in all parts of the world? Each country that opens its door seems to lead to one or more others — and the invitations are coming faster than I can get to them. Christ's warning Gospel for this very hour in earth's history is going rapidly to the leaders who are responsible for the spiritual condition of their peoples! NEVER has anything like this happened in all world history! Our job is getting done — speeding up as we approach the END of the age.
I've written you how I was invited, in March of last year, to visit the King of Afghanistan, and the Emperor of Ethiopia. Before I could fit a visit to Afghanistan into my schedule, the government was overthrown, and the King fled in exile. I did visit Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia in June of last year, and again this past January. But since then his country has been virtually overthrown by a military uprising. The Emperor, however, is still on his throne. I had photographers in Addis Ababa last month, taking preliminary television footage for a TV program, and for my coming Public Appearance there, but had to call them out, because those officials we had contacted were in prison. However, we still hope to have my Personal Public Appearance Campaigns there in October.
Then, you remember, I was in Santiago, Chile, for a meeting with President Allende. Three weeks later he was assassinated and the government overthrown in a military coup d'etat. At that time I was in Lebanon, and three weeks later the Arab-Israel Holy Day war started. At that time I was in Bangkok, and three weeks later that government was overthrown by a massive 200,000 student uprising and demand. The rector of the university who had attended my speech at a dinner in Bangkok was appointed by the King as the new Prime Minister. Again, this past May 21, this Prime Minister's cabinet resigned and walked out, and the Prime Minister with them. I was in Bangkok when it happened. The King asked the Prime Minister to stay on, that same evening, and the next day, the most crucial day of his life, the Prime Minister gave me more than a half-hour of his time, in a personal private meeting.
There was also another major government crisis in Athens, Greece, last year. Now see what has been happening JUST LATELY!
Yesterday, the Greek military government QUIT, asking the political civilian government to come back. When the military regime overthrew the Greek government, in 1967, I was in Athens that same day.
Nine days ago a military coup d'etat overthrew the government of Cyprus, and drove out Archbishop Makarios, the President. The Turks started a war, landed troops and paratroops on Cyprus. U.N. and United States pressure brought a "cease fire" which, as usual, did not cease immediately.
There was the recent overthrow of the government of Portugal. In Japan, Prime Minister Tanaka just barely avoided seeing his government overthrown. Yesterday the United States Supreme Court issued a UNANIMOUS decision that President Nixon must surrender another 64 White House tapes. This may finally tip the scales to impeach President Nixon. There was the recent ousting of the conservative government in Britain. And on and on the overthrow of government goes.
But in just the past three or four weeks, my "Testimonial Dinner" in Jerusalem, has been set for September. This will be attended by 100 leaders, to hear the Gospel. At a luncheon at The Hague President Lachs of the World Court of Justice invited me to visit the top officials of Poland, chief of the satellite countries in the Russian orbit in eastern Europe. This will lead to contacts with heads of state in other satellite countries such as Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and we already have contacts established with the president and top officials of Romania.
My meeting, less than a month ago, with King Hussein of Jordan is opening up the entire Arab world. In January I met the Prime Minister here in Cairo, and he has eagerly set up a private meeting in two days, at Alexandria, Egypt, with President Sadat. I spent a week in Lebanon last September, and virtually an entire day with the president of that Arab country. So now the whole Arab world is opening to us.
In two weeks I am to meet in Hawaii several or all of my "eight Japanese sons," all top members of the Japanese Diet (their Parliament or Congress). We are to fly in my plane on a whirlwind trip for meetings with heads of state in some four or five South American capitals. My Japanese "sons" as they call themselves are again on an official government mission, with the prestige of the Japanese government, assisting in opening up more personal meetings for me to get Christ's Message before government heads in these South American countries.
The big Public Appearance Campaign in Saigon, South Vietnam, is now scheduled for next December. Another big Public Appearance Campaign in Bangkok is scheduled for next January. I expect crowds of many THOUSANDS at each to hear the Gospel that has not been proclaimed to the world since the first century.
Did you happen to notice the very unusual feature story in the July 15 edition of TIME Magazine? This story, "IN QUEST OF LEADERSHIP," showed the pictures of 150 leaders of the future — from all over the world. This portion of the letter is being written in my plane, over the Mediterranean Sea, flying from Cairo to Geneva where I have an appointment to meet with one of the pictured 150 — Sadruddin Aga Kahn, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
But what I want to call your attention to here is the two future leaders pictured, from South Vietnam, and from Thailand.
On page 46, upper left corner is Hoang Duc Nha, Minister of Information for South Vietnam. He is one who has taken the lead in helping me in Saigon. He will be a real leader in getting out the crowds for my Public Appearance campaign there. I hope at least the final meeting will be held in the University stadium — perhaps all meetings. There are seats for ten thousand but standing room for perhaps another fifty thousand.
Another is pictured on page 47, upper middle of page, only 22 years old, already a national hero. His name is Sombat Phamrongthapnyawong. TIME says of him, he "became a national hero in Thailand after he helped topple the military regime . . . last October. As head of the National Student Center of Thailand, the soft-spoken honor graduate of Bangkok's Kasgtsart University turned out 200,000 students for a demonstration that led to the first civilian government in the country in 25 years. Since then, the Student Center has been besieged by Thais who believe that Sambat can solve problems more efficiently than the government."
One very high and powerful in Thailand is inviting this young man on my behalf to come to Pasadena, and speak to our students. I hope he may become chairman of the committee to get out the crowd for my Personal Appearance Campaign in Bangkok next January.
In every place, God is opening mighty doors — and giving us such favor AT THE TOP of nations all over the world, that the most energetic LEADERS in these nations are coming forward to SPONSOR, and get out huge crowds for these Public Appearance Campaigns.
Brethren and Co-Workers, THIS is now THE MAIN THRUST of God's Work on earth. NEVER, in the history of mankind, has there been anything like it! If we were trying to carry out the kind of crusade Dr. Billy Graham's team carries on, we could never reach these nations as we are doing. We then would have to go only where there are large enough memberships of fundamentalist Protestant churches to promote the crusades and get out the crowds, basically from their own memberships, which, in turn, attract additional non-members.
But God is opening doors, where there are few or even virtually none professing the Christian religion. And through the approval and cooperation of highest government officials, we are getting the TRUE GOSPEL MESSAGE, for the first time since the first century, to thousands of those at the very top who are responsible for the spiritual welfare of their respective nations.
There NEEDS to be more than a dozen of me, but I'm only one, and no one else can carry on this new dimension of God's Work, which I have been called to GET DONE! I am working hard and energetically on it. I need your intensive, heart-moving PRAYERS that God will, even more, RENEW MY YOUTH AND STRENGTH, and give me the dynamic POWER, through His Holy Spirit, that I need to FINISH HIS WORK. I actually do seem to get a year younger every year. I need YOU to back me, and to encourage and inspire me to push on, with increased zeal and drive.
Twelve days ago, just as I was leaving on the present 'round the world trip,' a member wrote me a letter starting out with: "I feel moved to write to you . . . . You are right; the idea doesn't often occur to me that we (members and co-workers) ought to encourage and buoy up the ministry. We just normally expect the ministry to buoy up and encourage us but I do feel very strongly for you, and I want to do my best to encourage you."
I DO need YOU to encourage and inspire me — by your urgent and persistent PRAYERS, and even by writing and telling me how strongly you are behind me in this MAJOR THRUST of God's Work.
This same letter said, further, of the time of trouble we had some five months ago: "Remember the day you called a special assembly in the College gym, in the middle of the ministerial affair? There wasn't even time to set up chairs, so we all stood on the floor. The room was filled with Headquarters employees, and was I ever anxious to hear what you had to say! You strode into the room, addressed the audience in its thunderous applause, and asked point blank, 'Brethren, do we have FAITH?' And with one voice your brethren yelled out, 'YES!!!' I had never wanted to yell something as much as I wanted to yell out that assurance to you at that time, and I did it with every cell in my body excited! You asked whether we thought you were a tottering old man and wanted you out of the picture. The crowd again roared 'NO!!!' You asked a couple more questions about our confidence in the Work, and determination to get it done. Again, the whole assembly unitedly shouted, 'YES!!!' to each question. Mr. Armstrong, if you have a recording of that event, I wish you would go and play it once again, because I still feel that way about the job you are doing and the determination with which you are doing it. I'm sure the rest of us do, too. I know you are doing THE WORK OF GOD!"
You have no idea how much a letter like that does ENCOURAGE and INSPIRE me. It is simply WONDERFUL to know that there are so many THOUSANDS of you back of me in full confidence and enthusiasm! Please KEEP PRAYING!
THE JOB IS GETTING DONE with the moving POWER of God's HOLY SPIRIT!
July 29 — over the Mediterranean Sea in my plane, on route from Cairo to Geneva:
FLASH! BIG NEWS!
With Mr. Rader and Mr. Gotoh I was called over to Alexandria (Egypt) for the Sabbath and Saturday night. In the afternoon we visited at his summer home with his private seaside beach, with our friend Dr. Mohammed Abdul Lader Hattem, former Deputy Prime Minister, and now elevated above all ministers and second man in the government as assistant to the president.
Saturday night President Anwar El Sadat was making a MAJOR speech to the nation (and to the world). He was speaking at the Student Union Building of the Alexandria University, celebrating the 22nd anniversary of the Revolution.
Dr. Hattem and our party of three arrived shortly before the President. Many tens of thousands were lined up along the route to the University to see the President as he was driven by.
We were taken into the lobby of the Student Union, introduced to several officials, then seated in the lobby awaiting the President's entrance. He entered, smiling, with dozens of press cameras flashing. He and members of his cabinet turned right into a long, narrow room. His cabinet members sat facing each other along the sides of the room. The President and his wife took chairs at the far end of the room facing the entrance. Apparently this whole ceremony in this room was arranged for me, though I knew nothing about it. As soon as they were all seated, an official motioned for me to enter. Then I realized I was to walk forward down the center red carpet and be presented to the President. He and his wife rose. Mr. Rader and Mr. Gotoh followed. Smilingly, the President extended his hand to me, as Dr. Hattem, beside the President on his left, introduced us.
"Your Excellency," I said, "I am happy and honored to meet you." I was then presented to the First Lady. After he had been introduced to and shaken hands with Mr. Rader and Mr. Gotoh, I said:
"I have a personal message for you from His Imperial Highness, Prince Mikasa of Japan, who is my very good friend. He asked me to tell you, in person, that he would like very much to visit your country next January — January of 1975."
The President's face lit up in a happy smile.
"We should be happy and honored to welcome the Prince to Egypt," he said. "I will send him immediately an official invitation."
We then chatted with the President for some seven or eight minutes, then backed away and walked out of the room, followed immediately by the cabinet members, the President and his wife. We were then ushered into an outdoor garden setting, filled with tables at which were seated 250 guests — the highest officials of the government besides many faculty members of the University. I deduced from the facts that we entered the room to be presented to the President immediately after they were seated, and that everyone came out of the room immediately following our exit, that it was all a bit of protocol to receive me in a more official manner, in front of the entire cabinet of the government.
Mr. Gotoh will carry the official invitation to Prince Mikasa in person, as he will be in Japan again in a few days.
This is the first time I have been presented to a head of state in such formal and ceremonial manner. Before leaving Cairo at the airport, an official government photograph was given us, taken just after Mr. Rader and I had been presented to him, and while he was shaking hands with Mr. Gotoh. This will appear in The PLAIN TRUTH.
We had luncheon on Sunday at their beach-side home with Dr. and Mrs. Hattem, leaving afterwards for the private air force airport, where we had been given special permission to land our plane. Dr. Hattem went along with us to Cairo in our plane, and delivered us in his car to our hotel. Dr. Hattem has offered to fly with us to other capitals in the Arab world, arranging personal meetings with the heads of state in each.
Also, of tremendous significance, he has offered to sponsor a large Testimonial Dinner, to be attended by most of the top authorities in the government and their wives — and, later, a mammoth Personal Appearance Campaign.
Cairo is the BIG capital of the Arab world — and the proper place to have the FIRST Testimonial Dinner, and Public Appearance Campaign. Others will follow quickly throughout the Arab world. Plans are already underway in Amman, Jordan, and in Beirut, Lebanon.
It is WONDERFUL how our God is opening doors, faster and faster, all over the world!
As I said before, the job IS GETTING DONE!
Christ's new Message for this hour — His TRUE Gospel — is going to ALL THE WORLD, into all nations, where it HAS NOT GONE, and could go in NO OTHER WAY, than this way God has opened up — of giving me such providential FAVOR in the eyes of heads of state — of delivering the Message through the very TOP officials in these nations. It is the MESSAGE OF WORLD PEACE — for universal PROSPERITY — and of salvation and ETERNAL LIFE — the Message of THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
NOBODY ELSE is carrying this Message to these nations! NOBODY!!! Nobody ever has, before! Brethren and Co-Workers, THIS IS GOD'S DOING! He has called YOU to HELP! With your prevailing, heart-rending PRAYERS! With tithes and generous offerings, even at SACRIFICE! The WORK needs ever-increasing funds to carry on this growing and fast-increasing WORK. Please pray earnestly about it! TIME IS GROWING SHORTER!
With much love, in Jesus' name, Herbert W. Armstrong