Analyses Today's News, with the Prophesies of THE WORLD TOMORROW
Box 111, Eugene, Oregon
Publishing: The PLAIN TRUTH a Magazine of UNDERSTANDING
Dear Co-Worker Friend:
GREETINGS! in Jesus' name: Again I have to rush to you, air- mail, a most URGENT special letter. The past three days my heart has been heavy as lead. During the years I have faced crisis after crisis in this work — each one, with a few exceptions, larger and more severe than any before.
But now we have come to the place where this work of God faces the SUPREME TEST — it very possibly is the one greatest crisis we shall ever be called upon to meet, because it is the turning point that will determine whether the program to which God has committed us shall keep going ahead, or whether this entire great and glorious work is to crash head-on into a unthinkable sudden END! God has prospered and blessed His work incredibly. He has caused it to grow from virtually nothing to a great nation-wide work for souls. He has led the work into a program, to which we are now committed, and from which there is no turning back. Either it must go forward in its great cause for good, or STOP — and that's unthinkable! THE NEXT TEN DAYS OR TWO WEEKS HOLDS THE FATEFUL ANSWER!
I have just gone thru a three-day ordeal. I have SUFFERED! Such an ordeal is plain agony — the hardest kind I know to bear. Now I have to appeal to you for the help of YOUR PRAYERS! I must beg of you to go immediately to a private place, alone with God, as soon as you have read this, get down on your knees and join me and hundreds of other co-workers in sending up a mighty wave of united, earnest, believing, prevailing PRAYER! God will hear us, and if we'll put our HEARTS into our prayers, He won't fail us.
Let me bring you direct to this supreme crisis of the moment. When Mrs. Armstrong and I were called suddenly to Europe in mid- February, the January-February PLAIN TRUTH was already rolling off the press. A BULLETIN was written to be mailed out to our co-workers. The work was in good financial condition, especially assuming that with The PLAIN TRUTH and The BULLETIN going out the financial response from our co-workers should greatly increase. But it didn't. Every letter showed nothing but enthusiasm for the new twice-as-large PLAIN TRUTH, yet for some unexplainable reason our co-workers almost stopped sending in money. We returned from Europe late in March to find that in our absence this work had gone $18,000 in debt. I was simply stunned! But I prayed, trusted God, and did what I could. I sent out an emergency special letter, as I'm forced now to do again. For three weeks the response was gratifying, and the indebtedness was reduced to $8,000 besides meeting current expenses. But then it began again to lag. The next BULLETIN brought just a normal response, but we were not able to reduce the indebtedness.
Then June 9th I wrote the last BULLETIN telling you it was the most solemn, serious message I had ever written you. The very FATE OF THE WORK depended upon the response, for money received was beginning to drop off again and the deficit was beginning to grow again instead of being reduced. The response from this BULLETIN seemed very slow in starting. For several days we thought it was merely the delay in the mails. But when this past week-end proved below normal in receipts, the situation became alarming. Tuesday less than the average day-to-day expenses came in. By Wednesday morning I knew our co-workers were not responding sufficiently to meet the imperative need if this great work is to survive. My heart was heavy as lead. Our co-workers had not failed the work his way before. A check-up showed that about 10% of our co-workers were responding nobly — many sacrificing actually beyond their means in a wonderful expression of loyalty. But almost 90% were not responding at all! And there's the crux of the trouble! Almost 90% of you co-workers are NEGLECTING GOD'S PRECIOUS WORK — the most NECESSARY, most IMPORTANT, most URGENT work in this world today!
I spent most of the day in fasting and prayer, as I had done the day before. That morning on learning that the mail was light and most of our co-workers were failing their God in this crisis hour, I'm afraid I grew temporarily fretful under the strain. Some of the girls in the office had not done their work properly, and I became a little cross — a thing I almost never do. But I am, like all of you, human, and it seemed the responsibility was too great to bear, with every visible fact and circumstance pointing to a solid stone-wall past which it seemed we could not go. I felt like President Truman said he felt the day Franklin D. Roosevelt died — as if the sun and moon and stars had descended with their weight upon my shoulders. I shut myself in my private office, went to my knees, and earnestly implored God to reveal to me what was wrong — and WHAT WAS HIS WILL! Was it my fault? Could it be I had gotten ahead of God? Was any part of his work, after all — for instance, the founding of AMBASSADOR COLLEGE — a mistaken cause? There is nothing I try to be more careful about than to be sure we only FOLLOW where God leads — never to get ahead of Him — never to start things because they look good to us, but to BE SURE that it is God's will, that He has led, that we are only following as He directs. I told Him I was willing to give up this entire cause, great and important as it seems to me, if I had been misled, and that was the will of God.
My wife, who also had been fasting and praying for two days, urged me to ask God out-right to send an angel, as He had done in days of old, to speak to me direct and reveal in plain language just what God wants us to do. But I replied that we cannot dictate to God How He is to answer prayer, or perform the thing He has promised. I would have to leave to God the METHOD of revealing to me, and making plain, His will. But God commands us, in James 1:5-6, to ask Him for wisdom when we lack it — and ask IN FAITH. I did that, leaving to Him the matter of HOW He would keep His promise to reveal it. For some agonizing hours I couldn't see what to do — didn't know how God would speak to me. Then, in the late afternoon yesterday, while kneeling with my Bible before me, I felt impressed to just open the bible, with my eyes closed, to a random Scripture. At times God has given me the answer I sought by this method — though I do not say He always will cause us to turn to the exact answer we need by this process.
What I opened to was this: "TRUST IN THE ETERNAL, and do right; be loyal to Him within His land; make the Eternal your delight, and HE WILL GIVE YOU ALL YOUR HEART'S DESIRE. Leave all to Him, rely on Him, and HE WILL SEE TO IT; He will bring your innocence to light and make THE JUSTICE OF YOUR CAUSE clear as noonday. LEAVE IT TO THE ETERNAL AND BE PATIENT. Fret not, ... cease your anger, give up raging, fret not — it only leads to evil." (Psalm 37:3-8).
Well, that certainly was God's answer. I had been fretting. I had to confess it and repent. God told me, then, to TRUST IN HIM — leave all to Him — rely on Him, and HE WILL SEE TO IT — He will give us all our heart's desire. What about this CAUSE — and I had been using that very word — should I give it up, and abandon that wonderful cause? The answer is, "HE WILL MAKE THE JUSTICE OF YOUR CAUSE CLEAR AS NOON-DAY — HE WILL GIVE YOU ALL YOUR HEART'S DESIRE — HE WILL SEE TO IT!" Just leave it with Him, be patient, cease fretting — HAVE FAITH!
That evening I told our little group at prayer meeting of the experience, the trial I was facing, and we all prayed earnestly together. And all these earnest brethren KNEW God had given His answer. Present were two girls planning to attend the college. If it should fail, their faith might be shattered and perhaps that of many other fine young people planning on attending. No, it's a RIGHT cause — God Himself LED us into it — He has performed miracle after miracle to make it possible to start it this very year. No, this is merely ANOTHER SEVERE TEST OF FAITH. This road God has called us to travel is not easy — it is not smooth — it's hard, rutty, DIFFICULT! God permits us to bog down into many a tight spot where we have to implore Him to pull us out — for our own strengthening and development. GOD WILL SEE TO IT! But God works thru those human agencies He has called to the task — and in this case He has called ALL YOU DEAR CO-WORKERS WITH ME TO THIS GREAT COMMISSION! His plan for financing His work is thru the tithes and offerings of HIS PEOPLE. God will never fail us — but SOME OF YOU HAVE BEEN FAILING HIM. I feel, therefore, impelled to rush to you this urgent special letter — to ASK EVERYONE OF YOU TO GO NOW TO YOUR KNEES AND JOIN ME IN BELIEVING PRAYER, that we may TRUST GOD together to supply this great need. GOD'S WORK MUST NOT BE IN DEBT. I will not permit it to go on that way. God has blessed it, incredibly. Tons and tons of literature are going from this office all over the United States and Canada — several mail-sacks full, printed in our own printing department, go out every night. I can't print another PLAIN TRUTH until we finish paying for the last one and have enough to print the next. HUNDREDS are waiting for that article on divorce and re-marriage — waiting to know what to do — yes, WAITING ON YOU CO-WORKERS! Brethren, co-workers, MUST such a work stop? Must we stop sending out the Gospel in print that is leading thousands to Christ and His Kingdom? Thousands are being CHANGED by this work — brought to Christ — being told of their sins, and turning FROM their sins — thousands of precious souls saved for all eternity. Must it STOP — or SHALL IT GO ON? Some of you could invest many thousands of dollars in these precious souls, and lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, if you'd permit God to get hold of your hearts and your bank accounts. But remember, you who have only the widow's mite to give — ONE DOLLAR reaches two thousand precious people with God's Message! No amount is too small — every dollar will help now — but TRY to double your usual amount if you can. Now, every one of you, PLEASE PRAY EARNESTLY that God will lay this on the hearts of those who are able. And put a 5 cent air-mail stamp on the enclosed reply- envelope and mail it IMMEDIATELY, won't you?
God bless you all — I know you won't fail me.
With love, in Jesus' name, Herbert W. Armstrong
P.S. We have 1,000 of the photographs on hand, and more that 2,000 requests for them so far. Some, unfortunately, will have to wait until funds permit us to order another thousand. When we assembled together the letters Mrs. Armstrong and I wrote our children while abroad, we found they make up a sizeable volume. There are 23 letters, some quite long. But they describe such interesting things, we decided to print them all in a special booklet that may run to 60 pages or more — profusely illustrated with 15 pages of pictures I took with my camera, including the hurricane in mid- Atlantic. It is taking much longer to print this than expected, but if you'll be patient, I believe you'll be more than rewarded, and find this special gift-booklet more interesting than you anticipated.