I'm sorry to say I have been quite ill, since Friday, December 31. Had temperature just slightly under 104, which is very serious at my age. God has been with me, and each day the temperature has subsided, until this morning it is normal. However the feeling of influenza is still in my body and head, and I'm not yet back to normal.
But I simply MUST tell you the GOOD news of the fact that on last Friday, January 7, the 38th anniversary of the start of God's Work on the air, GOD SUDDENLY, UNEXPECTEDLY, OPENED THE MOST POWERFUL DOOR FOR GETTING OUT HIS MESSAGE EVER OPENED IN THE HISTORY OF THIS WORK!
We had been working toward this for several years, but had no reason to expect the definite positive decision at all — and certainly no reason to expect it on that day!
Friday, January 7, at about 11:30 a.m., word came from Reader's Digest that they had OPENED THEIR ADVERTISING COLUMNS IN THEIR GIANT MASS-CIRCULATION UNITED STATES EDITION — 17,750,000 copies — a readership of 55-65 MILLION people — to us. And not merely to Ambassador College for non-religious messages, but also to Worldwide Church of God. And, while we will not use a straight religious message at first — but will advertise The PLAIN TRUTH — there seems to be the probability that, later on, they will accept "Message ads" and also advertising for subscribers to TOMORROW'S WORLD.
On that same day, later in the afternoon, came the signed, sealed and delivered documents for the financing of the superfine AUDITORIUM — to us, GOD'S HOUSE here at His present world Head- quarters in Pasadena!
On that day, God showed us unmistakably:
1) That He wants His Work to go on, now with GREATER POWER THAN EVER, and
2) that He wills that we NOW, at last, build this superb House for Him at these temporary Headquarters. We know that in God's time, His Headquarters will be re-established at Jerusalem. But apparently He is showing us that He is allowing us enough time to get His Message MORE INTENSIVELY to the world — TO A LARGER NUMBER IN THE WORLD — than we have done so far.
It is significant that by the end of 1971 we were able to say, for the first time, "THIS GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM HAS BEEN PREACHED, AND PUBLISHED, IN ALL THE WORLD FOR A WITNESS UNTO ALL NATIONS" (as in Matthew 24:14).
Until then we had not really reached Japan, or the Scandinavian nations. During the last half of 1971 we did. Recently, November-December GOOD NEWS, page 5, we published the circulation figures of The PLAIN TRUTH and TOMORROW'S WORLD. These were number of COPIES only, not number of readers. At least three or four read every copy.
At the bottom of the page were listed a number of countries — mostly very small, generally unheard of countries, NOT now receiving these magazines. But in several of these we formerly DID HAVE a number of subscribers, and in MANY OF THEM we have reached these countries BY RADIO. For example, CHINA. We have been broadcasting into Red China for MANY YEARS, twice a week, over superpower RADIO TAIWAN, Chiang Kai-shek's station. I happen to know that SEVERAL COPIES do go into Vatican City, though not mailed direct. Actually, there may be a very FEW such little countries as Qatar, Rwanda, Gabon, Chad, etc., we have not reached. But, within the meaning of Bible terms, WE HAVE, DEFINITELY, NOW FOR THE FIRST TIME, PROCLAIMED GOD'S MESSAGE INTO ALL NATIONS.
But, in some of them, we have reached them only superficially — NOT INTENSIVELY. How intensively does God want us to reach all nations? He has not said! Except that by opening the GIANT DOOR of Reader's Digest at the very beginning of our 39th year, He shows us we must reach these nations STILL MORE THOROUGHLY!
Therefore, let us GO ON, with increased ZEAL and INSPIRATION, where the living Christ is LEADING us! Let us make renewed sacrifices financially that the Work may take full advantage of this new Reader's Digest opening. It will mean thousands of additional changed lives this year — but it depends on all pulling together, doing our part with greater zeal than ever!
Today ministers are pouring in here from all over the world for the annual Ministers' Conference, which begins tomorrow. The evangelist-rank ministers are waiting for me for a meeting in our Board Room now, so must close this and run.