This is the last letter I shall write you in this decade — the 1960's. What a decade it has been! It has seen this great Work of God grow to more than TEN TIMES the size and scope of January 1, 1960!
Here is a small part of a letter I wrote to our Co-Workers January 29, 1960: It began, "This is my first letter to you in this new decade. We have entered the 1960's. ... this world has now entered its most VIOLENT and disastrous ten years since mankind was placed on earth!"
And THAT HAPPENED! The 1960's HAVE BEEN the most violent ten years — unless it was in the ten years before the flood in Noah's day. Racial violence — campus violence — labor violence — religious violence — war violence — automobile accident violence!
I wrote further, then: "The present decade will lead right up to the very immediate threshold of the final world violence which Christ, at His coming, must cut short." That statement of ten years ago WAS TRUE! The past decade HAS, indeed, led to that very imminent threshold! While I EMPHASIZE, we cannot set dates, yet I am prepared to say now, for the first time, the second coming of Christ COULD happen during this coming decade, which we enter later this very week. Don't under any circumstances take that as setting a date — but we are now far closer to the END OF THIS WORLD — and the beginning of the happy and peaceful WORLD TOMORROW than people realize! TIME IS SHORT!
But LOOK AT THE FACTS! Ten years ago we were using 9 million watts of radio power per week reaching about 10 million people. It required a little over three-fourths of a page in The PLAIN TRUTH to print the log. Today we purchase more than ten times the power. It now requires three pages, to print the log and have to omit a number of foreign stations, to say nothing of the TV log. Today in the Work we are reaching 150 MILLION PEOPLE!
In January, 1960, the circulation of The PLAIN TRUTH was about 210,000 copies. Today it is more than 2,100,000 — more than TEN TIMES the circulation ten years ago.
In January, 1960, there was only the ONE Ambassador College campus. Today there are THREE campuses of Ambassador College. When this short decade began, there were 250 students in Ambassador College. We had reached the originally set limit, and faced the question of whether to reset our limit to 500. Actually the Pasadena campus has been allowed to expand to a present total of 750, with 400 on the Texas campus and our planned limit of 250 in England — a total of 1,400 vigorous, happy students. We could easily have expanded the number of students to ten times the 1960 enrollment — but we have purposely set a limit on the number we accept. Each year we have around seven times the number of applicants we can accept.
Not only has The PLAIN TRUTH circulation grown TEN TIMES the 1960 circulation, it has expanded from a 32-page two-color magazine to one of 52 pages, FULL-color. Ten years ago, there were only four names listed on its staff — mine as Editor, Garner Ted Armstrong as Executive Editor, Herman L. Hoeh as Managing Editor, and Roderick C. Meredith as Associate Editor. Although those four are still the TOP four, the staff that has had to be added to produce the modern mass-circulation magazine has become too large to enumerate here — 73 — including 6 Associate Editors, several Regional Editors around the world, Contributing Editors, Research Staff, Photographers around the world, a sizeable art staff, Circulation Managers around the world. You'll find them listed on the inside front cover each month.
But — besides The PLAIN TRUTH, there is now the NEW magazine, TOMORROW'S WORLD, with a circulation already of 350,000 — larger than The PLAIN TRUTH circulation ten years ago!
And we could go on and on.
Most important of all, however, is the fact that COUNTLESS MILLIONS of people, around the world, have been reached with Christ's own Gospel — by radio, by television, and by print — and today we have Ambassador College-graduated ordained ministers stationed at points all over the world, ready to give understanding counsel and Biblical instruction, to help and to baptize any and all who request this help themselves.
But MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL — the number converted by the Spirit of the living GOD, and baptized by the ministers of this Work of God, is also MORE THAN TEN TIMES the number of ten years ago! There have been THOUSANDS every year!
What a wonderful HARVEST of precious lives, receiving the gift of eternal life, to enter the Kingdom of God! Once again, just as in the days of the original apostles, the number of the disciples "was MULTIPLIED," (Acts 6: 1). Their number is being multiplied again now — TEN TIMES IN TEN YEARS!
I was just reading again the parable of the pounds, recorded in Luke 19. The one who had done the best had multiplied his one pound which Christ had given to TEN POUNDS. The pound, (today the British œ is worth U.S. $2.40), of course, was symbolic of God's Holy Spirit. The one who bore the greatest fruit, spiritually, had multiplied what Christ had given TEN TIMES. So Jesus is represented as saying to him, at His second coming, on entrance of this disciple into God's Kingdom: "Well done, good servant, Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities."
And so, Co-Workers with Christ, let US take encouragement in the fact that God has used us of today in MULTIPLYING the harvest of His Work TEN TIMES IN TEN YEARS!
So I say to you, as the Apostle Paul said (I Corinthians 3: 9-11): "FOR WE ARE FELLOW WORKMEN FOR GOD; YOU are God's field — God's building. According to the Commission of God given to me, I laid the foundation. Others of you are building upon it, with me. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For NO OTHER FOUNDATION can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is JESUS CHRIST. ... Do you not know that YOU are God's temple, and that God's Spirit dwells in you?" (Verse 16.)
Yes, Co-Workers, THINK OF IT! What a GROWTH in power and scope God has granted us! WHAT A HARVEST of precious lives has been reaped for God's Kingdom! HOW ABUNDANTLY the living God has blessed His great Work which is directed by the living CHRIST as its Head, with fantastic results!
WHAT A BLESSING is yours and mine, to be privileged to have an active PART in this tremendous accomplishment, whose benefits will LAST FOREVER! Thousands upon thousands of lives have been changed — turned right-side-up — enriched — led to Christ and God's Kingdom and the gift of ETERNAL LIFE — as a result of YOUR help, whether large or small, according as you are able. We should THANK GOD for the glorious privilege! I DO!
BUT — I have to tell you we DO FACE SERIOUS PROBLEMS! Many DID forsake or neglect CHRIST during this past month, exchanging gifts back and forth with friends and relatives, supposing it was for Christ's birthday! But they didn't give their gifts to CHRIST — but to one another. If YOU, individually didn't, I DON'T MEAN YOU. But so many did that we came up short.
So HERE ARE THE FACTS! Right on the heels of this superb ten year growth, I have had to CANCEL several radio stations! I have had to cancel MOST of the Reader's Digest two-page ads around the world! I have had to cancel MILLIONS of copies of circulation reaching people in India, the Philippines, Australia, South Africa, Germany, Holland, Mexico, and other countries! THAT MEANS THAT SEVERAL MILLION PEOPLE WILL NOT BE HEARING GOD'S MESSAGE — until our Co-Workers make it possible.
Co-Workers, THIS IS A GREAT TRAGEDY!
I have had to make DEEP CUTS in the 1970 budget for this Work!
Where is our HUMANITY? True Christians surely remember Jesus Christ crying over Jerusalem — weeping over the tragedies in HUMAN LIVES, and the wretchedness they were bringing on themselves — not knowing THE WAY out of all their troubles BECAUSE THOSE POSING AS RELIGIOUS LEADERS HELD BACK GOD'S TRUTH, AND PERSECUTED JESUS! Are some of us, who have accepted His draft to become HIS Co-Worker doing the same today?
I have shown you how UNBELIEVABLY FAR even the widow's mites go in this great worldwide Work, GUIDED and blessed by the living CHRIST!
Right now, following this difficult month of December, the Work of God NEEDS a real financial BOOST during January and the early months of this coming year!
A very few of you do have larger sums — in four figures — and some of you are free to give it outright where CHRIST is directing, in God's Work. If you have it, but are simply not free to give it at this time, once again it is necessary to ask if you will LOAN it so that it may be WORKING, until you need it, under the guidance of the living CHRIST. But please make all larger loans on the 5-year basis, legally repayable at not more than 20% a year — and I repeat — I give my word that, should circumstances arise making it necessary for repayment in any amount over the 20%, we will accommodate your need just the same as if it were a demand loan.
I realize fully that only a FEW have such larger sums — and that is why it is all the more important that those who do take it to heart and respond. But please do not send as a loan what you are able to give outright. MANY are simply not able to contribute more, for God's Work, than the widow's mites — some not even that. But ALL can PRAY for the Work. And may I ask you to PRAY also for the personal safety of my son Garner Ted Armstrong and myself? Our lives are frequently threatened by some who HATE God's Truth. We risk our lives daily to carry OUR part. We need your prayers.