The living Head of this Work — who has drafted you and me as His Co-Workers — commanded us to WATCH and PRAY ALWAYS that we may be accounted worthy to escape all the terrifying conditions now quickly coming on this world.
He was talking about world conditions — world happenings — world NEWS (Luke 21; Matthew 24; Mark 13). He was talking about the very soon-coming Great Tribulation. He offered US a chance to ESCAPE IT — not have to go through it. To take advantage of this ESCAPE-opportunity, He said we must "WATCH" as well as pray always. He meant watch the world happenings He was foretelling — events leading quickly right up to this Great Tribulation.
For almost forty years I have been very mindful of this warning, and more and more so as I have seen world happenings fulfilling the prophecies. We can't ALL of us travel to all parts of the world to WATCH world affairs. Through the prophecy of Ezekiel, God explains that WHEN this time was to come, God would call and choose a man to be the WATCHMAN to WATCH these world events — UNDERSTAND them — and WARN His people today identified as the United States and the British Commonwealth nations.
Did you ever NOTICE and UNDERSTAND this striking prophecy? "Son of man, says God, I have made thee a watchman unto the House of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth and GIVE THEM WARNING FROM ME. Most of our Co-Workers understand that our English-speaking peoples ARE the House of Israel of the 20th century. If you have not learned of our identity in Biblical prophecies, write immediately for our free booklet, "The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy." The twelve tribes of Israel divided into TWO nations. One was the House of JUDAH — the Jewish people. The other was the House of Israel. They were NOT Jews. Their capital was Samaria. The Jews' capital was Jerusalem. The first place where the word "Jews" is used in the Bible is II Kings 16:6, where it describes the Jews being AT WAR against Israel, allied with Syria.
The House of ISRAEL was taken captive by Assyria more than 100 years before the Jews' captivity. They were taken to Assyria. When the Assyrians migrated northwest, these Israelites, their slaves, were taken with them. The Assyrians stopped in the land we call Germany today. The Israelites journeyed on into western Europe, and the British Isles. Ephraim-Manasseh settled in Britain. The name "ISRAEL" was to be named on THEM (Gen. 48: 10-16).
Now the man Ezekiel was a prophet. He wrote down the prophecy. But he was not the "WATCHMAN" — and HE never delivered that warning. Notice, Ezekiel 3:1, 4-5. His message and warning was to the house of Israel — NOT Judah. But Ezekiel never went to or saw the House of Israel. He lived more than a hundred years AFTER their captivity. He was among the JEWISH captives, in Babylon. The House of ISRAEL had migrated northwest toward the British Isles before he wrote. He merely WROTE the prophecy.
The prophecy was not for his day. Prophecy is a history of FUTURE events — to happen after it is written. God was to raise up a 20th-Century "Ezekiel" — a different person — not a prophet writing FUTURE events to occur, but A SPEAKER to SPEAK and PROCLAIM this Warning, AT THE TIME when the event prophesied is about to happen. God is using THIS WORK, of which He has drafted YOU as a PART, to proclaim this vital warning.
God is using THIS WORK — us — as His instruments. But as individuals, we do not all have the same part in the whole Work (see I Corinthians 12). First, God called me, then others in this great world-wide Commission. In earlier life God took me through the newspaper and magazine field, giving me training as a news reporter, and magazine writer. Through these years, many others — graduates of Ambassador College — have been trained for their active parts in this Work.
So, dear Co-Workers, God has set us as His WATCHMEN. We do watch world events. A few days ago, Garner Ted Armstrong, with Lyle Christopherson, our PLAIN TRUTH photographer, flew down to Cape Kennedy to WATCH the blast-offs of the TWO huge rockets. These men were the eyes and ears for YOU and me — and for some two or three million PLAIN TRUTH readers, and THIRTY-FIVE million who have heard my son's vivid "WORD'S-EYE VIEW on radio. These men, at that spectacular and significant world event, were our WATCHMEN. They gave us what we could not get watching on T.V. — what no newspaper or other magazine did — its MEANING, fulfilling prophecy!
And now TODAY Mrs. Armstrong and I are packing our luggage and preparing to start, early tomorrow morning, on a jet flight around the world, to observe and WATCH — but also to expand this Great Work of God still farther. We fly first to Sydney, Australia — clear down on the other side of the world. I hope there to arrange for the use of full-page or double-page advertising space in the widest-read magazines, to PUBLISH Christ's Message on that continent, continuously. We maintain a large office staff in Sydney, and we look forward to meeting again many graduates of Ambassador College now stationed there.
Next we fly on to Manila, capital of the Philippines, to visit our staff in our Manila office. After three days there, we hop over to Hong Kong — our only chance to see a bit of China. Hong Kong, as you know, is not part of Communist China, but is under the British. I would like to fly a little farther north, to Formosa, Nationalist China, to see Chiang Kai-shek and his Christian-professing wife. For several years we have broadcast The WORLD TOMORROW over Chiang Kai-shek's powerful Network, Radio Taiwan, at 6:00 P.M. every Wednesday and Friday. However I feel that adding that amount of extra flight-mileage would be too strenuous for Mrs. Armstrong. So we shall board a big jet at Hong Kong, after a two-day rest there, bound for London. One of the regular fuel stops is Tel Aviv, Israel, and our schedule provides for stopping off there.
We are looking forward to about another week in Palestine. We did visit Palestine in 1956, ten years ago. Our son, Garner Ted and wife, along with Mr. Norman Smith, Director of our radio studios and all our recording operations for the broadcast, with his wife, and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hunting of Ambassador College in England, will fly from London and meet us there. From there we shall fly straight on to London, and Ambassador College in England.
Today it is necessary to send men on our staff to all parts of the world — to WATCH — to get the inside of the news, and the news behind the news, firsthand. This long trip around the world is going to be very tiresome, especially on Mrs. Armstrong. It is not a pleasure trip. But it seems necessary at this time. All this is contributing toward speeding up the coming of the Kingdom of God and the happier WORLD TOMORROW.
This broadcasting and publishing work has become a very large world-wide operation. At Pasadena Headquarters we receive the regular news continually over the teletype, the same as newspapers and radio stations do. But that is not enough.
And by the way, many of our Co-Workers do assist us in gathering and compiling the news of conditions fulfilling prophecy. If something of importance — perhaps severe drought, or floods, or tornado or hurricane, or other important event occurs in your locality, why not write a description of it — or send your local newspaper story on it, to the Ambassador College News Bureau, here at Pasadena. You just might hear your own news reporting being broadcast on The WORLD TOMORROW program a few days later. Our Co-Workers can help in this way. Many already do.
We are having an entire new experience in printing The PLAIN TRUTH in full color now. We find that we are doing what has been considered THE IMPOSSIBLE by large picture magazines. At Cape Kennedy at the Gemini 8 blast-offs, our men were in contact and conversation with the photographers from the largest news and picture magazines. They could not believe we were planning to use the color photos our men were shooting in our April edition to be off the press by March 25th. Their magazines require a great deal more time for processing and printing COLOR photos.
But WE DID IT! I had full printed copies in my hands last Friday, March 25th. I probably will have more to tell our readers about this experience in color printing in the May number. I had intended to tell you more here — but I have had many interruptions in writing this, and I must close this letter quickly or I won't be ready for our flight early tomorrow morning.
Co-Workers, it seems our most serious problem, always, is trying to keep the income for God's great Work equal to its NEED. Today, in my office, we had a VERY SERIOUS conference, with executives from our Business Department and Garner Ted Armstrong present. I was forced to make the decision to postpone, for 9 months up to a year, certain facilities direly needed if this Work is not to be slowed down or curtailed.
I have fought through more than 32 years to get this Work into a strong financial position. God has blessed our efforts. He has blessed His Work by putting it in a sound condition financially. We are going to have to make serious sacrifices to keep it that way. The Work of God must not be allowed to get into a deteriorating or shaky financial state.
One thing that has helped us considerably is the loans of larger sums where some of our Co-Workers feel they cannot make these sums outright contributions at the time. Many do find that they can turn the loans into donations (tax deductible) later. We are prepared to accept such loans on a demand basis — in whole or in part — and if I neglected to mention this before, let me say now that we do maintain a separate and special cash bank balance as a reserve fund to GUARANTEE ability to repay on demand, if that should become necessary. It is truly gratifying to me to be able to tell you that such loans of larger sums are as SAFE in the hands of God's Work as in a bank. Perhaps safer, when we realize that GOD ALMIGHTY HIMSELF is back of this Work. Frankly, we hope for the Work's sake you will not have to ask it back - but if you do, we maintain adequate reserves to guarantee it.
Such funds are, in effect, placed in the hands of the living Christ to be used in the Work HE directs, heads, guides, protects, and BLESSES. I know of no place on earth where every dollar does so much — where so much GOOD is accomplished — LASTING good for eternity! This money is WORKING where Christ directs, until you need it, or find you are able to relinquish it as a tax-deductible donation.
Yet, you must realize the great bulk of the funds that keep this powerful Work going out with great impact on the whole world is simply the regular continuous TITHES and liberal special offerings — week by week, month by month, from our loyal family of Co-Workers. We all need to "tighten our belts," so to speak, make sacrifices for this Work, and increase our regular offerings if we are able.
Jesus not only commanded us to WATCH — but also to PRAY WITHOUT CEASING! Are you doing that? Are you praying for God's Work? Are you praying with your whole heart that God will lay it on the hearts of those who are able to make generous gifts to the most vital and important activity on earth? Many have told us they are praying for the safety of Mrs. Armstrong and me on this long flight. We do need your prayers for us personally. But pray also for ALL our fine family of Co-Workers.
I am having to send this airmail again. THANK YOU for your generous response. And let's all try to send an EXTRA offering during the last half of each month. The income drops off seriously during the latter half of each month. I send you thanks from the living Christ — but WE should THANK HIM for the great privilege of having a part in His Work — or being a Co-Worker WITH HIM in the very Work of God which HE heads and directs! I know I am very grateful — I hope you are, too!