The power of our collective faith in what God is doing in His Work is a vital force that will move more than mountains. God's Church must unite in believing faith to finish the gun lap of His Work!
JUST how important is the dimension of FAITH in the completing of God's end-time Work on this earth? We are all aware of the many admonitions in God's Word about personal faith — faith in God, faith to be saved, faith to be healed, etc. But how aware are we of the need for the collective faith and confidence of the Body of Christ in the things Christ is inspiring His Work to do? If the body of Christ — the Church — lacks the deep abiding confidence and faith in what Christ is doing through His Work in these last days, then God's Work will lack one of the most vital strengths needed to get the job done. Throughout the Bible collective faith is proved to be an ABSOLUTE REQUISITE in humans for the accomplishment of God's will through human instruments.
Example of Israel
The ancient nation of Israel — called personally by God to accomplish a purpose here on earth — is a classic example. When Israel collectively believed and had confidence in what God was doing through them, they were blessed, were successful, triumphed over adversity and achieved their objectives. When they lost faith and confidence in the things God led them to do, when they doubted things were inspired by God, when they stopped believing strongly in Him, they failed, were cursed and did not accomplish their objectives — they went down and out! We are taught to look back at that example — and warned not to make the same mistake! "Now all these things happened unto them [Israel) for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world [age) are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall" (I Cor. 10:11-12). The completing of God's Work in these last days is VITAL to God. The collective faith, confidence and trust in what God is doing is so crucially necessary that God let a whole nation of people perish in the wilderness as an example to warn us how important our united faith and confidence is! In verse 5 Paul writes, "But with many of them God was NOT WELL PLEASED...." The basic underlying cause of God's displeasure was their lack of faith and belief that He was directing them. Hebrews 11:6 clearly shows why: "But without faith it is impossible to please him." Brethren, God's Work is entering its most critical phase of this age. God is opening tremendous doors. He is revealing improved systems and methods to accomplish His Work. He is bringing His Work and His apostle into relationships with key people in high places which are so far-reaching in their implications and import as to stagger the imagination! Divinely guided, everything is falling into place for the completing of God's Work. Everything — but perhaps that vital dimension of unified faith and confidence in what God is doing. Brethren, God's Church as a whole needs to collectively and unitedly become CONFIDENT and FILLED WITH FAITH and get totally behind what God is doing. Then the fantastic strength of that collective faith will electrify the body of Christ and bring the blessings and strength we need to finish the Work! Paul wrote to the Hebrews whose faith and confidence in the New Covenant was vacillating and fading: "Cast not away therefore your Confidence, which has GREAT RECOMPENSE OF REWARD" (Heb. 10:35). And in verses 38 and 39 we read: "Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition, but of them that believe to the saving of the soul." We can't allow ourselves to draw back! We must have strong confidence and faith in what God is directing us to accomplish.
Phenomenal Growth in Organization
Looking back Over the last several years, we can see God has inspired fantastic innovations which have prepared us for the final gun lap of HIS Work. The PLAIN TRUTH magazine has undergone a transition which has catapulted it into an internationally recognized, worldwide news magazine dealing with the vital issues of the world today and the world tomorrow. Instead of reaching only religiously oriented people, who represent only a minor percentage of the population, it is reaching the broad spectrum — including people in high offices, the rulers and leaders — with the vital issues of the Bible, but in language they understand and will accept. We were never reaching those people before. Then TOMORROW'S WORLD magazine was inspired to be published. It now reaches more people than The PLAIN TRUTH formerly reached. And it is theologically oriented, carrying articles on deeply Biblical subjects. Do we realize how important these two innovations are? Do we realize what God has done — in just a short time? Now, we have broadened the scope of The PLAIN TRUTH and our booklets to where the vital issues of God's Word are presented in everyday language. They are being read by and arc influencing the lives of millions who were never reached before! The radio and television programs are functioning on the same dynamic principle. For those whose exposure to these issues causes them to want stronger meat, TOMORROW'S WORLD magazine is available to ever-increasing thousands who are beginning to hunger for God's Truth. The hand of God in bringing this transition is so obvious when we reflect upon it. But there is much more! As people hear and view the programs and read the pages of The PLAIN TRUTH, they write for the literature which deals in more detail with these vital issues. And so in this same period God has inspired important changes in the booklets. Many new booklets have been published which deal with the important subjects of today — pollution, crime, dope addiction, evolution, sex, child rearing, education, agriculture and the like. Many of these booklets contain the Biblical solutions in language the public will read and understand. But further, a new chaining system has been developed which keys each booklet to other important booklets which the reader is invited to send for. This way his progress is guided constantly toward more Biblical issues as his appetite and interest develop. TOMORROW'S WORLD magazine is one of those vital steps in the system. Do we now begin to see and have more confidence in what God is doing?
Personal Correspondence Department
Another new development God has inspired in the last several months is the expansion of the Personal Correspondence Department, called "P.C.D." by US at Headquarters. With the help of new computer systems we have greatly improved our ability to answer personally multiple thousands of letters from our readers. Within this system each letter which shows deep interest and involvement is personally handled by a specialist who can view our record of the individual's previous correspondence on a video terminal in order to tailor a personal answer, or recommend just the right literature for his spiritual growth. Through this system new Co-workers who truly want to support God's Work are given personal help to grow in knowledge and understanding, to become stronger spiritually and to increase in their effectiveness in doing God's Work. What tremendous progress God has inspired in His Work to help us build our faith and confidence and complete the job!
I mentioned new computer systems for the new P.C.D. department. But that's only part of the story! By September of this year our new System 370 computer will be installed and in operation. The marvelous Model 360 which we have leased from IBM for the last several years is now an outdated system. Since they now have perfected a fourth-generation system 370, we are phasing out the old system and replacing it with the new at only slightly increased cost. The new 370 has EIGHT TIMES the capacity of the 360 — yet occupies less space. With the completion of this installation we will have the capacity to store 10 MILLION names on our mailing list — all with the ability of instant display and review for personal handling. In addition to these benefits the new computer will be supporting literally hundreds of other systems in accounting, receipting, tabulation and internal data that would take hours to tell you about. How about that for progress and growth?!
Ambassador College Press
By fall, too, the Press will have completed the reorganization and development phase it has been undergoing in the last three years. The new C-38 Miehle press will have been installed together with other components, giving us the capacity to produce 10 MILLION copies of The PLAIN TRUTH — with less manpower and less space. The Press has also ordered a Harris Intertype Fototronic 1200 Phototypesetting System. This computer-operated photo-composition system will enable us to set type with greater speed and much higher quality! Included with the system is the "latest thing" in editing — a Harris 1100 Editing and Proofing Terminal — which will enable corrections to be made on the tape before it goes into the phototypesetting unit. This marvelous editing system was just introduced on the market within the last year! I wonder if we truly do realize there has been a powerful unseen Hand guiding this Work in which we can have STRONG CONFIDENCE?
Public Impressed by Facilities
Literally thousands of people visit and tour God's facilities here in Pasadena each year. Many are highly trained and sophisticated professionals from differing fields of business. They are deeply impressed with the beauty and the radiant happiness they find here. But they also are quite outspoken in their praise of our professionality and sophistication. Our highly progressive and efficient Data Processing Department is a by word in that industry. Our television production is highly respected in its field, to say nothing of the press and mailing functions which draw admiration and respect. Our Food Service Department is a model for its efficiency and computer-controlled menus. Bankers consult our business department for financial advice. Our architectural and engineering departments are respected in the trade and by the city planners in Pasadena and surrounding areas. Brethren, the general public realizes there is something here. They don't know what it is even though they might suspect. But we do! And if we do, why don't we all let the knowledge that the Almighty God is directing this Work inspire us to have strong faith and confidence — living, active faith that believes, prays, hopes and strives for the finishing of this Work? Present space won't permit me to tell you at this moment of all the other areas in editorial, overseas in the foreign work, Church organization, Festival planning, academic affairs, etc. where God's hand is everywhere at work and inspiring tremendous growth. But I think we already know that's true.
Graduate School Lectures
Perhaps one of the most inspiring things God has led His Work to begin in recent months is the Ambassador College Graduate School of Theology Lecture Series — or otherwise called the Tomorrow's World Bible Studies. The first lecture series was conducted in Long Beach, California and was very successful. Now others are under way. Thousands are going to be brought that last step into firm action in the months ahead. If the "angels in heaven rejoice over one sinner brought to repentance," how much should we rejoice over this wonderful, inspired program! The "spin-off" from all the changes which God has inspired over the last few months and years is thousands of people who have been nurtured and are now ready to be harvested. God's systems are really producing fruit! We can now see how the whole picture is taking shape. Like the links of a chain, God is putting together the inspired program for finishing His Work. These Bible lectures help to complete the chain. What an inspiration to know God is in His Work guiding us to fulfill His purpose. What strong assurance He gives us when we meditate on His works. God said to the Israelites, "... How long will it be ere they believe me for ALL THE SIGNS which I have shewed among them?" (Num. 14:11.)
We have all read Mr. Armstrong's recent letters and articles about contacts with heads of state and key people around the world. Only we in God's Church can begin to realize the deep import and meaning of these contacts and what they portend for the future. But one thing is clearly evident. These unique contacts and open doors are not the by-product of human ingenuity. The foundation is being laid to bring light, understanding and a witness to this world. It's happening before our very eyes. We're a part of it. And the part we play is more vital than we realize. God doesn't want us vacillating, unsure, lacking faith — but confident, sure, full of faith. If God's people at this time unitedly coalesce into a single body in belief and faith to support what God is doing, we will see a surge forward unprecedented in our time. Our everyday lives need to be filled more and more with God's purpose so we are constantly exerting the positive force of faith, hope, desire and confidence in God. When we pray for the accomplishment of God's purpose through His Work, we must be single-minded in strong, positive faith. James says: "But let him ask in faith, NOTHING WAVERING. For he that wavereth [in faith and confidence] is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive ANY THING of the Lord. A double minded man [vacillating in faith] is unstable in all his ways" (James 1:6-7). All of God's begotten sons unwaveringly believing in faith with strong confidence that God is in His Work and that His will is being accomplished can exert a force so strong that more than mountains will be moved! In verse 17, James tells us: "But every good endowment that we possess and every complete gift that we have received must come from above, from the Father of all lights, with whom there is never the slightest variation or shadow of inconsistency" (Phillips Translation). We can be sure — have confidence — that what God has planned, He will accomplish. And just as there is no variation or inconsistency with God, brethren, so we too need that assurance, that steadfast confidence in God's Work and in His leadership so that there will be no variation or inconsistency with us! Our faith must be backed up with works! Works which are expressed in what we think, how we feel, what we say. Our lives need to be filled with this Work — thinking positively, faithfully — speaking encouragingly — praying with hope and desire — yearning for the fulfillment of God's purpose. This link of the chain MUST be there and be strong or the job will not be accomplished.
Be a Caleb
In a classic example of lark of faith, ten of the twelve spies who searched out the land of Canaan brought back an evil report that discouraged the people and turned them from faith in God. But Caleb (and Joshua) remained faithful. Caleb said to the people: "Let US go up at once, and possess it; FOR WE ARE WELL ABLE TO OVERCOME IT"! (Num. 13:30.) Caleb looked squarely at the signs and works that God had wrought — and he was confident — full of faith. We need to have Caleb's faith and belief today. Brethren, with all our hearts totally in and behind God's Work in believing, confident faith, we will not only be doing all we can physically, but we will collectively be bringing forth the sweet savor of faith and united confidence which will bring into action the mighty power of God and His Spirit in even greater measure!