Proclaim to the World the GOOD NEWS OF THE WORLD TOMORROW
BOX 111, Pasadena, California
Publishing: The PLAIN TRUTH a Magazine of UNDERSTANDING
August 23, 1956
Dear Co-Workers with Christ:
Things are happening faster and FASTER in the glorious work of GOD! I wrote you from London, in June, that things had begun happening FAST, both in world events and in God's work. I wrote you, in July, from Mid-Atlantic, a letter sent by radio-phone to Pasadena and printed and mailed from there to you, that God was moving in breath-taking manner to enlarge and step up the pace of HIS WORK.
Today that momentum is INCREASING! We have reached — and passed — the great turning point in The Eternal's closing work for this Age! God is hurling at you and me the greatest CHALLENGE of our lives. CAN we keep up with this faster pace He is setting?
Well, right now, my dear fellow-workers, it certainly seems we are laying down on this challenge! Today I am compelled to face the frightening fact that the income for this greatest work on earth, so far for this month of August to date, is some ten thousand dollars SHORT of the income up to the same date last month. THAT FACT IS POSITIVELY FRIGHTENING! I am forced to make this letter very short, and to the point, so it may be RUSHED to you yet today! We dare not get into another alarming financial crisis right at this crucial moment. It would threaten the very existence of this mighty work!
Quickly, briefly, then, LISTEN TO THIS TERRIFIC NEWS! Then ACT!
When we were in Spain early last month, seeking to learn HOW we could find a door open to enable us to preach Christ's GOSPEL to the people of Spain, we found every door closed! Spain is a totalitarian state. Franco is an iron DICTATOR. And Franco well knows that he rules and retains his absolute dictatorship only because the Pope at Rome backs him! Roman Catholicism is THE STATE RELIGION in Spain. Are Protestants allowed in Spain? In a way, yes. A few Protestant churches that already were established in Spain before the Revolution are allowed to hold services — but not in any regular church edifice or building. They must meet SECRETLY in rooms in some office buildings primarily devoted to purposes other than religion. They are not allowed to have any sign on the street outside, in the entrance hall of the building, or on the door of the room in which they meet! They are not allowed to hold ANY meetings at which the public is invited and welcome. No EVANGELISTIC CAMPAIGNS are allowed anywhere in Spain! All radio stations are government controlled, and no religion is allowed except the Roman Catholic.
While we were in Europe a number of Bibles being sent into Spain by the British Bible Association, carried by a representative in his suitcase, to fill requests from Spanish subjects, were seized and confiscated at the border. We would not be allowed to send religious literature into Spain — or at least if Spanish postal clerks or authorities discovered any being sent in, the literature would be destroyed and never delivered to the one requesting it!
So it seemed every door was slammed SHUT — tight — against reaching Spain with the Gospel. Yet, Jesus Christ Himself SAID: "This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness UNTO ALL NATIONS" just before the END of this Age. Jesus Christ has raised up THIS VERY WORK to CARRY His Gospel into EVERY nation. Of this very work, Jesus Christ SAID: "Behold, I have set before thee an OPEN DOOR, and NO MAN CAN SHUT IT." (Rev. 3:3). And so IN FAITH we left Spain, and later returned to the United States KNOWING that in some way we could not yet see, God WOULD open the door INTO FASCIST SPAIN.
We arrived in New York late last month. Our business manager called me on long distance telephone. "Did you get my letter telling you Radio Ceylon, with all four of its giant 100,000-watt stations, is CLOSING THE DOOR on The WORLD TOMORROW program — that they are putting us off the air?" No, I had not received it — the letter must have arrived at some European point after we had left. Jesus Christ had said of this very work, "Behold I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it!" Was He able to KEEP it open? I asked God Almighty this very question in prayer, reminding Him of His PROMISE, and trusting Him to KEEP IT.
Then I went over to the offices of our New York advertising agency, thru whom all our overseas broadcasting is placed. I met a shocking surprise! The three main executives all hustled me into the president's office.
Their faces were beaming. They were all smiles. Such enthusiasm I had never seen in their office.
"Mr. Armstrong, HOW did you happen to walk in here at just this psychological moment?" they asked. "Have WE got good news for YOU?" They exclaimed! There was so much of it they didn't know what to tell me first.
"Wait till you hear about the results in Australia!" one of them blurted out spontaneously. All the mail from the network in Australia had been coming first to the stations, and then to us thru this agency. Already, in the short time The WORLD TOMORROW had been on the Australian Network, it was bringing in several times more mail than any other religious broadcast. They were OVERWHELMED by it.
"And then, have you heard the news from South Africa?" one of them interjected. A great intensive nation-wide survey had just been completed in South Africa to determine the popularity of various programs. In the nation South Africa is a Network of stations — all government operated, and permitting no religious programs except those sponsored by the government. We had been forced to go on Radio Lourenco-Marques, just outside the border of South Africa. And this comprehensive survey of listening habits in South Africa had disclosed the astounding fact that The WORLD TOMORROW has more listeners in South Africa than all of the Network stations inside of South Africa, combined! It is simply OVERWHELMING!
"But what are we to do about Radio Ceylon?" I asked.
"O, that's what we meant about you coming in here at this psychological moment," said one of them excitedly. "Less than two hours ago we got the final decision on that."
And here's what had happened. Listen to a MIRACLE!
Last spring a radical change was made in the government administration in Ceylon. The former Prime Minister, Sir John Kotelawala, was a good friend of the West. He had welcomed The WORLD TOMORROW program on the four super-power bands of Radio Ceylon. But he was defeated at the polls by Mr. S. W. Bandaranaike, friend of Nehru, who ran on a pro-Communist ticket advocating closer ties with Russia and Red China. He also had the backing of the Buddhists.
Both Communists and Buddhists brought pressure to CLOSE THE DOOR of this station, reaching all INDIA, Ceylon, Malaya and the East Indies, and east Africa, to The WORLD TOMORROW program. Pressure was made to close the station as a commercial business and follow the pattern of India and most other governments of Europe and the Middle-East by making it a government-controlled station. The station thereupon issued orders that the WORLD TOMORROW would be cancelled, but that we might continue only until the present contracts should expire.
Our New York agents moved swiftly in our behalf. They offered the new government of Ceylon this idea: Since the Communists were antagonistic to The WORLD TOMORROW program, and the Buddhists, WHY NOT, instead of throwing this program off the air, propose to the Communists and Buddhists that they open up the station ALSO to THEIR programs, giving the Communists and the Buddhists equal time on the air with The WORLD TOMORROW, allowing them to attack the Gospel we preach openly to ALL THE PEOPLE of that part of the world on these four super-power radio channels, but, at the same time, allowing us to attack the Communists or Buddhists, and answer them, and say anything we wish against THEIR way of life? They reminded the Communists and Buddhists that, if they closed the door on The WORLD TOMORROW, they would also have to close it to Communist propaganda.
There was a long period of silence while the Ministry of Communications reviewed the entire radio picture of Radio Ceylon. The Communists and the Buddhists accepted the suggestion and the challenge to open debate on these great super-power stations of the rival merits of the Communist way, or the WAY OF JESUS CHRIST.
Then came the glorious day — the very day I called on our agency in New York. Two hours before I entered their offices, this telegram had come through: "RADIO CEYLON WILL CONTINUE AS A FULL COMMERCIAL STATION. THE WORLD TOMORROW CAN CERTAINLY RENEW ITS CONTRACT!"
Listen, Co-Workers! Can we TRUST God? Is Jesus Christ able to KEEP HIS WORD? He said "No man can shut" the great doors He has opened for carrying HIS Message to this second most populous area on earth! There are more people in India who understand the English language than in the British Isles, believe it or not! When Nehru wants to speak to the people of south India, the only language he knows which they also understand is ENGLISH! We have untold thousands of listeners over these Ceylon stations who never heard God's glorious Message before! The COMMUNISTS tried to close that great door. Christ said NO MAN CAN SHUT IT.
And NOW we are free to open fire against Communism. Always before I was muzzled — censored — unable to even MENTION Communism — never allowed to say a word against it! Now Communist speakers will attack Jesus Christ and His gospel over Radio Ceylon. Now they will attack me. But MY MOUTH IS NO LONGER SILENCED! Co-Workers, what do YOU think? Do you think God, thru my mouth will be able to ANSWER THEM? Who do YOU think will have the best of the argument?
Yes, HERE IS THE CHALLENGE! Will YOU keep on backing me, or will YOU, now after God stepped in by this MIRACLE to keep this mighty door open, close it because there isn't enough money to pay the radio bills? That's the challenge God hurls square into YOUR lap! Will you stand by me — even at great sacrifice?
But that isn't all! Next I told them about our dilemma in SPAIN. How can we ever reach SPAIN, with all radio stations there, and every other avenue closed tight?
Well, God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform! They had the answer to that, too! RADIO TANGIER, just across the narrow strait of Gibraltar from Spain, at their very border, IS NOW OPEN TO THE WORLD TOMORROW PROGRAM! We can now get time on this great powerful station, reaching all Spain, and Franco can't close that door! Christ has now opened THAT door! Is there any END to His miracles for HIS WORK? And my son Garner Ted Armstrong speaks Spanish without any accent — exactly as THEY speak it, except for the lisp with which most Spaniards speak, which is not used in Mexico or South America. Ted is now ready to go on the air in SPANISH.
The Spanish Department of Ambassador College now has all of our booklets translated into the Spanish language, ready to be printed.
But yet THIS WAS NOT ALL! A whole Network of stations in SOUTH AMERICA, Central America, and the West Indies is now open to The WORLD TOMORROW! Ted can now open up on all these stations, as fast as YOUR OFFERINGS AND GOD'S TITHES make it possible! We have never reached any of South America before!
Yes, CHRIST IS OPENING DOORS — faster than you Co-Workers send in the money to make it possible to pay our way thru them! When this GOSPEL of the Kingdom has gone into all nations, THEN will come the END OF THE WORLD! (Mat. 24:14): TIME IS RUNNING OUT!
YET THIS IS NOT ALL! I stopped off in Wheeling, West Virginia, to see the officials of the great 50,000-watt station that reaches all east W. VA. They told us that the Hooper rating people had just concluded an intensive survey of listener-interest in the area of Wheeling. And to their amazement they found the TOP-rated program is The WORLD TOMORROW! More people listen to the WORLD TOMORROW in this area than any program of any kind!
Now, brethren and Co-Workers with Christ, what are YOU going to do about this BIG CHALLENGE? Receipt of money has been dropping off alarmingly this month. THIS DEFICIT MUST BE MADE UP AT ONCE, or we face serious consequences!
JESUS CHRIST is PRODDING US ON! He is a MIRACLE-Working Saviour — our High Priest and HEAD of His Church and this work! He is LEADING. We must follow! We need LARGE offerings — one to several thousand dollars, from those few of you who are able. But I well know that only a very FEW are able to send such amounts — which means that the responsibility on you few is all the heavier — and also that MOST of this part of the work must be carried by those of lesser means — and by a DELUGE of widows' mites! Yes, every small offering COUNTS — BIG, for only the few can send larger sums. So, once again, I have to ask every one to send as much as you are able — and to SACRIFICE — to give up some of the material pleasures or things you had planned, so there will be enough for GOD'S GLORIOUS WORK! Again the need is URGENT. So please HURRY. Use AIR MAIL! And KEEP your tithes and offerings coming, weekly if possible. ABOVE ALL, KEEP PRAYING FOR THIS WORK.
Finally, as the Apostle Paul wrote to the brethren in Corinth: "We, then, as workers together with Him, beseech you also that ye receive not the GRACE of God in vain." (II Cor. 6:1). God has given us a WORK to do. We are HIS INSTRUMENTS, thru whom HE works! We are WORKERS TOGETHER WITH HIM — Christ's Co-Workers! LET US AROUSE FROM SLUMBER! The work is being stepped up! Let us PRAY HARDER, and GIVE MORE! God bless you for your faithfulness and sacrifice!