HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG, Chairman Publisher of The PLAIN TRUTH Magazine
EXTENSION DEPARTMENT An educational service at all levels for all people worldwide
Hong Kong November 26, 1973
Dear Co-Workers in Giving God's Last Message to a Dying World:
GREETINGS from the Far East! I have exciting NEWS! As this NEW DIMENSION of the great Work of the living God gets under way there is already TREMENDOUS ACCOMPLISHMENT! Never in the history of humanity has anything like it happened before! Never has the living God carried His Message through His human servants in this manner before. And this is His last minute END TIME Message, just before the END of this present world!
Important and exciting things have happened since I last wrote you. As this NEW WAY of accomplishing our Great Commission develops, we are learning many new things as we go.
On this present trip, I have addressed two very distinguished groups. These have included many at the very top of their governments — officials who are RESPONSIBLE for the thinking and attitudes of the people in their respective great nations.
I think I mentioned before that three or four years ago I became greatly troubled as to HOW we were ever going to get THIS MOST VITAL Message to the BIG Gentile nations — including China, India, Russia, Indonesia, Japan, Bangladesh, etc. For these are among the most populous nations on earth.
I began then to pray earnestly, and specially, that God would SHOW ME how HE wanted us to get in to those vast nations with HIS MESSAGE !
We have tried to reach these countries by radio. But I had to acknowledge we had reached only an insignificant tiny fringe of these peoples. We were not reaching them with POWER. In all those BIG-population countries the communication door of radio and other means was CLOSED! In almost all nations, except the United States, Canada and Australia, the government controls all radio and other means of mass communication. That is to say, the governments in those countries CONTROL the minds and thinking of their people, and what they are allowed to HEAR.
Now, at last, my urgent petition to God has been ANSWERED. Now, at last, we begin to realize where the SOURCE OF POWER really is, in each nation In the United States, for example, the real SOURCE OF POWER is THE PEOPLE, not the President or Congress. As I write, many newspapers in the U.S. are saying, "THE PEOPLE will decide whether the President must resign or stay in office."
So, in the United States, Canada, and Australia, WE BEGAN GETTING GOD'S MESSAGE, FIRST, TO THE HIGHEST SOURCE OF POWER — THE COMMON PEOPLE! In these democratic countries, we could purchase time on radio stations.
Even in countries like Britain, South Africa, Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, which are democratic countries, the GOVERNMENT controls radio. We could not get time on radio in any of these. BUT, we were able partially to get God's Message into those countries from Radio LUXEMBOURG — from a small country beaming its radio across the borders into those countries.
We tried to reach Russia, China, and India from nearby smaller nations who sold us radio time. But not one of those really got the Message across.
Five years ago, when I began pouring out this petition to God in real earnest, two doors opened which led to personal invitations to meet, first a king, then leading officials in both the government and the University in Jerusalem. GOD IS INTERESTED IN JERUSALEM AND HER FUTURE. I was AMAZED at the astonishing FAVOR God gave me in the eyes of these leaders — absolute AFFECTION! Then, two years later, invitations began coming for meetings with more heads-of-states in other countries. It seemed that one led to others, and the number of such meetings GREW. I was asked back, and on successive visits, God gave me favor, standing, and high confidence in the eyes of government heads.
I said then that I DID NOT UNDERSTAND WHY GOD WAS OPENING THESE DOORS. But I knew, by the circumstances, and by the unbelievable favor I was receiving that GOD WAS DOING IT — and I said as long as I knew it was GOD opening these doors, I was going to walk through them, even though a few, not understanding, criticized.
Meanwhile I kept praying that God would open doors to GET HIS END TIME GOSPEL INTO THOSE COUNTRIES. I did not yet see the connection!
But as time developed, I had become acquainted and well regarded by many presidents, kings, prime ministers, and other high officials. I began to realize THEY WANTED TO KNOW MORE OF MY BELIEFS — MORE ABOUT THE WORK OF AMBASSADOR COLLEGE, AND THE WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD!
Last April 28th I was decorated by the Emperor and the Government of Japan with the highest honor ever bestowed on a non-official non-Japanese. This gave me a very great credibility in Japan. Then I learned Prince Mikasa, brother of the Emperor, had asked for me to give a Bible study on my next visit to Tokyo. The date was set for September 26th. On September 24th I wrote our Co-Workers from Tokyo. But I did not yet know, even then, what the real nature of that Bible study was to be. I knew only that some 40 to 60 were expected to be there.
Actually it was a dinner, or banquet, with some 58 present, including not only Prince and Princess Mikasa, but a very distinguished group of the very top people of the nation. There were four speeches made first, by Prince Mikasa, Dr. Ohama, who, with his wife are officially the number one private couple of Japan, the former Ambassador to Britain, and the Ambassador from Ethiopia, preliminary to my talk, all saying the most complimentary things about Ambassador College and myself. Then I was given the opportunity, thus HIGHLY ACCREDITED, to GIVE THEM THE VERY GOSPEL THAT WAS NOT PROCLAIMED TO THE WORLD SINCE THE VERY FIRST CENTURY!
NOW, at last, I knew WHY God had opened these doors and given me such unbelievable favor in the eyes of those WHO ARE THE VERY SOURCE OF POWER in so many nations! NOW, at last, I knew WHY God was opening these doors. Now, at last, I knew how God had answered my prayers, and opened the way to get His END TIME MESSAGE to these nations before it is too late!
From Tokyo, I flew to Saigon, capital of South Vietnam, where a similar dinner was held in my honor, attended by an equally distinguished group, including members of the Cabinet, a large portion of the Senators of their Congress, top University officials and others. And again I was able to give them the true GOSPEL, this time a little stronger.
Then I had a private meeting, lasting more than an hour, with President Thieu. And a Committee was appointed, and plans set, for the FIRST PUBLIC APPEARANCE, for next February 21, 22, 23, and 24. The first three in an auditorium indoors, and the final one OUTDOORS in the large University STADIUM, seating 12,000, and with STANDING ROOM for many thousands more! Thus the first door has opened to get the great Message even to the public, WITH THE ENDORSEMENT OF the REAL SOURCE OF POWER — those at the TOP! Now, THIS TRIP:
At Manila, capital of the Philippines, another such dinner was held, sponsored by Minister of Labor Blas Ople, and again with some 60 of the very TOP people of the country and the Government and the university. This time I spoke a little bolder, as I gained experience in this NEW DIMENSION of Gospel speaking.
And now, the SECOND PUBLIC APPEARANCE is all arranged for Manila. The first meetings to be held in a 2,000 seat auditorium, and the final meeting in a large auditorium seating some 12,000 to 15,000. Minister Ople, and the Minister of Social Welfare in President Marcos' Cabinet have both, so far, said they will endorse publicly what I shall say!
From Manila, we flew on to New Delhi, capital of India. And there, hosted by Dr. Nagendra Singh, former Executive Secretary to President V. V. Giri, and now Judge of the WORLD COURT at The Hague, was another similar banquet. This time it was ATTENDED by 100 among the most distinguished people of that great nation. This time I spoke with power and authority, until I wondered if I had spoken with such authority that many would be offended. But all comment afterward was very favorable, and I heard of no one being offended. I'm sure, however, it was the "strongest medicine" ever to enter their ears! And I felt that, even if we could go no further in India, that country had had God's last Message delivered to those RESPONSIBLE for the minds and attitude of the 550 MILLION people. I told them bluntly, by authority of the Creator God, creator of the people of India, that they were RESPONSIBLE for what they had just heard!
Let me take space to give you just a glimpse of some of the things I said:
First, I mentioned the terrible state of affairs on earth, and said there had to be a CAUSE for all this poverty, and ignorance and violence, and war, and suffering on earth. Then how I had PROVED the existence of the living God, creator of the people of India and of all humanity, and how the living God had revealed to me the CAUSE of all the world's terrible EVILS and the suffering of humanity. Then I outlined the incident of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden — how our first parents DISBELIEVED their Maker, rejected His Law, rejected Him, took to themselves the knowledge of what is good and what is evil. I explained how God's invisible SPIRITUAL LAW (the Law of LOVE — The Ten Commandments) was set in motion to CAUSE peace, happiness, abundant well-being. But because man rebelled, and has lived the selfish way of vanity, lust and greed, envy, jealousy, competition and strife, mankind has CAUSED all the world's EVILS. Now God calls on all to REPENT of this self-centered way, and turn to our Creator and HIS WAY of life. I spoke 40 minutes up to this point.
Then, I said science cannot solve our terrible problems — government cannot — education has not given the answer nor have religions. Scientists say man's only HOPE for human survival now is a super WORLD GOVERNMENT ruling all nations. Yet they say such a world government is IMPOSSIBLE. Five means of mass destruction now exist that can erase all life from the earth. I then said that God has allocated 6,000 years to allow mankind to go his own way, to PROVE that man's selfish, competitive way of strife brings only human misery, suffering, and evils. Then I stated with all the power God gave me that I was the representative of the Great God, and that I was there to warn them that the 6,000 years are just about up, and that God would very soon supernaturally INTERVENE, and send the Messiah, Christ, in supreme power and glory to SET UP THAT WORLD-RULING GOVERNMENT, to rule with GOD'S GOVERNMENT — and His Laws that will CAUSE peace, happiness, and universal well-being, for the next thousand years on earth. That the nations would FIGHT against Him, but that God will FORCE a rebellious humanity to have PEACE, prosperity, and happiness. This, I said, is the Message of THE KINGDOM OF GOD. Their ears had heard it, and they were going to be held accountable for what they do with it. I said, with POWER, that I spoke BY AUTHORITY OF THE GREAT CREATOR GOD!
Of course there were details I can't outline in short space. I spoke approximately 50 minutes. You may be sure these distinguished people had never heard anything like it before.
Present were Ambassadors representing EIGHT other governments, and wives, several Ministers of the Prime Minister's Cabinet and wives, the new Executive Secretary to the President, several members of Parliament and wives, three Maharajahs and wives, prominent judges, lawyers, industrialists, etc., etc., nearly all with wives.
THE TRUE GOSPEL IS BEGINNING TO REACH THESE BIGGEST NATIONS, through those who control the minds and beliefs of their vast masses of people!
While in New Delhi I had another very nice meeting with President V. V. Giri.
On last Friday I flew to Dacca, capital of the new country Bangladesh (formerly called East Pakistan). I wish I had time and space to tell you the tragic, almost unbelievable story of that country and its recent war. It MUST be told. I will write an article on it for The PLAIN TRUTH, which you may read later.
Bangladesh is the eighth largest nation on earth, in population — with 75 million people. It appeared, from what little I saw of it, to be the most impoverished country I have seen. Less than three years ago, it was known as East Pakistan.
In early 1971, when I was visiting New Delhi, India, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi took some twenty minutes of our meeting to tell me of the many thousands of East Pakistanis DAILY fleeing as refugees across the border into India — no earthly possessions except what they carried on their backs — no food, no money, no employment. India, already impoverished with millions of poor — needing to provide an additional hundred and fifty million jobs — had no way to take care of these refugees. Many were half-starved and starving, many diseased, their clothes in tatters.
After the war, freed from the yoke of a government that was machine-gunning people by thousands because of political differences the refugees have been returning. The number of refugees fleeing into India had reached nearly TEN MILLION!
The present Prime Minister, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, had been a political prisoner, jailed in West Pakistan. In January, 1972 (last year), he was released in London and immediately returned to his people in the new Bangladesh.
Thirty minutes after my plane landed at Bangladesh airport, I was ushered into his temporary office in a frame house that had been a private residence. At a glance it was apparent he was a LEADER of his people. He is big, strong, alert, active, aggressive, emotionally and compassionately aware of the dire needs of his people. His conviction and sincerity impressed me.
He told me how his country had suffered — three million were killed — six million homes were destroyed — more than one and a half million farm families were left without tools or animals to work their farms. The transportation and communication systems were totally destroyed. Roads badly damaged, bridges knocked out, inland waterways blocked. He described the basic need of FOOD — education — every basic need. The educated had been systematically killed by thousands. Now education is a dire need. He lamented the fact that the major nations are spending so much of their resources for military purposes of KILLING, and giving only lip service to the improvement of the lives of the overwhelming majority of all mankind.
We discussed the possibility of possible cooperation in some way with Ambassador College.
After lunch, Mr. Rader, who always accompanies me, Professor Gotoh and I had a private meeting with the Head-of-State, President Aby Sabeed Choudhury. He is a former Justice of the Supreme Court.
The President asked me frankly for my appraisal of what I had seen of his country. When I hesitated, he smiled, and said he wanted my frank and honest appraisal. I told him that it appeared to me to be the most impoverished country I had seen. I added that I had involuntarily uttered the prayer, on seeing it, "Thy Kingdom come" — as the real answer to the plight of the country. He said he knew quite a little of Ambassador College, of our worldwide Work, and of me personally, and then:
"Mr. Armstrong, I want to appeal to you for your candid counsel and advice. I know of your contacts with so many leaders of government and their problems, your wide experience, your age and wisdom. You can see the colossal problems we have here, struggling with the reconstruction of this nation of 75 million impoverished people."
This was not the first time a head of a government over many millions of people has asked me for counsel and advice in trying to solve their virtually unsolvable problems. And I think our Great God will show me a way to help — at least to uplift the MORALE, the SPIRITS and the HOPE of those MILLIONS of poor, down- trodden people. In spite of their tragic recent war, their spirits right now seem good — they, with India's help, won the war, and their FREEDOM from a most CRUEL rule. A very large portion of their people understand English. If the President, the Prime Minister, and present government will allow, I think it might help the spirits and morale of the people greatly if I took to the air over their government RADIO, admonishing them, as in James 5:1-11. The GREAT HOPE of all the world, now, is THE COMING OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, to bring the world not only PEACE, but universal prosperity. Perhaps this President may see that THE GOSPEL will give his people more hope and encouragement than anything.
Then, in addition, I think I have contacts that may result in a big industrial development there that would greatly help the national economy and provide a big boost to the economical welfare of the people. God does work in mysterious ways His wonders to perform.
Brethren and Co-Workers, conditions in the world are FRIGHTENING — and fast getting worse. Many governments are being overthrown. The U.S. Government is in dire trouble. The Middle East situation and energy crisis is AFFECTING THE WHOLE WORLD. BUT THE WORD OF GOD IS GOING FORWARD — and it is about the ONLY Work that IS!
The time has come for us to SACRIFICE, to be more liberal in our offerings for the Work of the Living GOD. Not only is God showing us now how to get HIS MESSAGE to these countries whose doors were CLOSED until now — but the Work from Headquarters is GOING FORWARD with greatly increased power — by television DAILY, by daily RADIO, by print, and by much STEPPED UP PERSONAL PUBLIC APPEARANCES. Besides Garner Ted Armstrong's Personal Appearances, several of our other most powerful speakers are reaching MANY major cities over the United States and Canada.
The WORK IS GOING FORWARD AS NEVER BEFORE! ALL SYSTEMS ARE GO! The Eternal GOD is looking to YOU to do YOUR PART — generously! We don't have too much time!
With deep love, THANKING you for your earnest PRAYERS,
In Jesus' name, Herbert W. Armstrong
P.S. I must remind you this is Christmas shopping season again, and many are now neglecting any gift for Christ and His Work while exchanging gifts with friends and relatives. Your extra generous gift urgently needed now.