NEWS FLASH: The Pope at Rome and the Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Catholic Church vowed last Thursday to reunite their two Churches, which have been divided for 900 years.
This is significant news. Far more significant than the world realizes.
It means events leading to the unprecedented Great Tribulation, and the Coming of CHRIST — the END OF THIS WORLD, and the beginning of THE WORLD TOMORROW — will now speed up greatly!
Greek Catholic Patriarch Athenagoras traveled to Rome. He and Pope Paul VI exchanged the "kiss of peace" and made their vows to unite, in St. Peter's Basilica.
In all the 900 years of hostility and division, no leader of the Eastern Catholic Church had ever before made a pilgrimage to the headquarters of the Roman Church. Previously, in January 1964, the two leaders met and embraced in Jerusalem. Then Pope Paul traveled to Istanbul in July of this year.
Patriarch Athenagoras recognized that Rome is "the seat which is first by honor and order in the organism of Christian churches around the world." Do you catch the significance of that? It signifies that the Patriarch is ready to capitulate and to recognize the SUPREMACY OF THE POPE!
It is not generally known today, but anciently the Head of a pagan religion was titled the "Peter," or "Pater" or, sometimes "Patre." Spanish priests are still called "Padre." The word means "Father," or "Papa," or "Pope." The title "Pope" means "Papa," or "Pater" or "Peter" as it customarily was called.
When the Pope shows himself before huge crowds in Rome, the people stretch their hands toward him, and, in wild-eyed, worshipful, superstitious frenzy cry out "VIVA PAPA! VIVA PAPA! VIVA PAPA!" They do not say "Pope" as we English-speaking people do, but "Papa." Anciently they used the title "Peter."
The title "Patriarch," used by the head of the Greek Catholic Church is derived from "Arch-Pater," or, "Patriarch," meaning Head Father. But when these two Catholic Churches unite, he may have to drop that title, for only the Pope of Rome will be the "Head Father." Perhaps he will become a Cardinal.
The Word of God says we must not, as a religious title, call any man "Father." Read it in Matthew 23:9. Jesus Christ said: "And call no man your Father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven." Also the Bible says plainly that no human MAN is HEAD of the Church of GOD. But the living JESUS CHRIST is the only HEAD of the true Church (Eph. 5:23-24; Eph. 1:22; 4:15; Col. 1:18).
Everywhere today there are efforts to UNITE! The nations of Europe are trying desperately to unite as one political-military government. The Common Market is the preliminary to it. But the civil leaders will finally have to ask the Pope to step in and unite them, and become their Head, as well as the Head of the Catholic Church. The Protestants are making moves toward union with the Catholic Church.
Once the political union is achieved among the nations of Europe — and there will be TEN — then the "Great Tribulation" will strike. This is the time of trouble Jesus said would end in the extinction of human life — except by supernatural intervention, GOD sends the living glorified Christ in almighty POWER to prevent it (Mat. 24:21-22).
The only sign Jesus gave by which we should KNOW when this is to occur is stated in Mat. 24:14: "And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached (and published — Mark 13:10) in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
That Gospel is now being preached in all the world for the first time in 18 1/2 centuries! That is the mission to which the living CHRIST has called, and is USING YOU and me as His instruments in accomplishing! Truly, as God foretold through the Apostle Paul, when the clergy, coming in the name of Christ — professing to be the ministers of "Christianity," "preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached (one whom they claim did away with the Father's Law turning "grace" into license — Jude 4 —), or ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, OR ANOTHER GOSPEL ..." (II Cor. 11:4), then "such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for SATAN HIMSELF is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if HIS MINISTERS (SATAN'S) also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness ..." — when actually they are the ministers of INIQUITY — LAWLESSNESS — deceiving the whole world!
These ministers — hundreds of thousands of them — the popular MANY — have NOT preached the same Gospel Jesus brought from God!
They ridicule us — YOU and me — thinking thereby to continue their deception and turn people against the TRUE ORIGINAL GOSPEL which Jesus taught and which WE PREACH TO THE WHOLE WORLD — you and I. They ridicule when I say the Gospel Jesus taught has not been proclaimed to the world for 18 1/2 centuries! But just ask them THIS:
Ask them if THEY preach the same Gospel that WE preach to all the world today! They will quickly say "NO!!!!" They will quickly admit they preach a very different Gospel than we do. Then look into YOUR BIBLE! Study carefully, in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and note WHAT JESUS TAUGHT. Then compare! You'll be AMAZED to find that these hundreds of thousands of ministers of this world's supposed and self-claimed "Christianity" are preaching a Gospel VERY DIFFERENT than the Gospel JESUS taught — almost, in many basic points, the very antithesis of Christ's true gospel. They preach a "gospel" ABOUT the Person of Christ — but one far different than He taught!
Then compare the Gospel proclaimed to the world on The WORLD TOMORROW broadcast — and in The PLAIN TRUTH magazine! You'll find WE PROCLAIM FAITHFULLY THE SAME GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD that Jesus taught — that the original Apostles proclaimed — that the Apostle Paul preached to the Gentiles!
Truly, we live in a world where ALL NATIONS have been DECEIVED! They DON'T KNOW they have been deceived into accepting a FALSE GOSPEL! They would not be deceived if they knew! They THINK and BELIEVE they have received the true Gospel! THAT IS WHY GOD HAS CALLED, AND IS USING YOU AND ME, AS CO-WORKERS WITH CHRIST, TO PREPARE THE WAY FOR HIS COMING BY PROCLAIMING TO THE WORLD HIS ORIGINAL TRUE GOSPEL, as a witness! (Mat. 24:14).
Co-Workers, I did not get this letter finished when I started it — it is now Monday, October 30, and I must conclude this and rush it to you AIR-MAIL!
This morning's news says the Pope has had a relapse from his recent illness. He was to have undergone the knife in an operation tomorrow. Now it probably must be postponed because of this relapse, and rising fever.
Could this be SIGNIFICANT? Suppose this Pope dies. Many have wondered — is he the one prophesied in Revelation 13, 16, 17, 18 and 19? Or will it be the NEXT one? Pope Paul's name is Giovanni Battista Montini — which in English means "John Baptist Montini." Is the NEXT one supposed to be CHRIST, even as Jesus followed John the Baptist? Will the next pope assume the title "SIXTUS VI," — 666?
Co-Workers, it may be LATER THAN WE THINK!
These are startling possibilities! We may have no more than FOUR MORE YEARS in which to complete the great Mission which the living Christ is performing through us!
This world operates on MONEY. Our mission is to carry the true Gospel to the world. Jesus Christ has OPENED THE DOOR of MASS communication — RADIO, TELEVISION, the PRINTING PRESS. But these are facilities operated and owned by THE WORLD. We have to pay MONEY to USE these tremendous facilities — BY WHICH MORE THAN 45 MILLION PEOPLE LISTEN TO AND READ THE MESSAGE EVERY WEEK — WORLDWIDE!
We must now SPEED UP the great Work!
Unless there is a marked and immediate INCREASE in receipt of tithes and offerings, we shall have to virtually SHELVE our new TELEVISION program for at least a year. We are now on about four TV stations — in a preliminary and experimental way. Garner Ted Armstrong is TREMENDOUSLY effective on television. Many who have seen the program say he is more effective than any of the nationally known Network newscasters, commentators, or documentary personalities.
It has been a difficult transition from radio to television. He has had to adapt himself to something quite different. But he is mastering it with God's help in a tremendously effective way. I know you'll want to see him on TV. But we can proceed ONLY if our Co-Workers will now sacrifice some other things, and try to INCREASE their offerings in addition to tithes.
Co-Workers — Brethren in Christ — WE ARE ON THE FINAL "GUN-LAP." The "chips are down!" We must give this great work a mighty additional PUSH! The time is short — and it is VITAL. IT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN OUR LIVES RIGHT NOW! Soon our money will not help us!
Here is what GOD says soon will happen: As the DAY OF THE LORD approaches: "They shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the ETERNAL, and for the glory of His Majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth. In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the ETERNAL, and for the glory of His Majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth." (Isaiah 2:19-21.)
Never was the need so urgent.
Never were sizeable loans more needed — if you have cash not now being used, but which you are not free to GIVE. If you are not able to GIVE it outright at this time, it will help greatly if you PUT IT TO WORK, as a loan, WHERE THE LIVING CHRIST IS WORKING, AND DIRECTING, AND BLESSING! Remember, we do maintain a separate reserve fund to guarantee repayment of such loans IF you should have to ask for it — or a part of it — to be repaid. But if you do find, later, that you are able to turn it into a contribution to God's Work, then you may deduct it on your income tax — for this Work is fully recognized — both as a College, and as a Church — by the Internal Revenue Bureau.
Let all of us TRY HARDER to GIVE MORE FOR GOD'S WORK — and even more OFTEN! Especially try to send in something EXTRA during the last half of each month, when the income for the Work slacks off.
And above all, PRAY as never before, for the protection, the guidance, and the progress of this great WORK OF GOD! There's nothing else like it on earth. Please pray for me, personally — and for Garner Ted Armstrong — and for all our active full-time staff — and for all other Co-Workers! Please PUT YOUR HEART INTO YOUR PRAYERS — in dead earnest!
God IS abundantly blessing His Work — and His Co-Workers in it! We NEED HIS BLESSINGS — and if we are faithful and diligent, WE KNOW WE HAVE HIS HELP AND PROTECTION!
THANK YOU — and I know God is blessing you!