WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD
HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG
PRESIDENT and PASTOR
December 28, 1972
Dear Inner Family of Co-Workers
in the very Work of the Living God:
The most hectic, traumatic year in the 39-year history of this most important Work on earth in our time, has come and gone.
And WHAT A YEAR it was! There is a living devil, named Satan. He HATES this Work. He is the most subtle, crafty, and powerful being on earth -- the prince of the power of the air, the god of this world. This year he pulled out all stops in a fiendish effort to DESTROY this very Work of GOD.
He attacked us, falsely accused and maligned us worldwide. He took every advantage of the fact too many of us had grown spiritually careless, lax in prayer and Bible study, injecting doubts, discouragement, even criticism in some of us.
But the living Jesus Christ is MORE POWERFUL THAN HE. And Christ, the very HEAD of this Great Work, said He would never leave nor forsake us! He stirred enough of us to active, intensive, believing and prevailing PRAYER! And HE DELIVERED US!
The GREAT TURNING POINT came in late September. Thousands of us came, as it were, to our senses -- realized we had been drifting into a state of spiritual lethargy -- REPENTED, went to our knees in FASTING AND PRAYER.
And the final result?
Thousands of you dear Co-Workers came to realize that God's Work depends more on our earnest prayers for its survival and growth and spiritual HARVEST, than on physical effort, and financial sacrifice, important as these latter are. The final RESULT? Undoubtedly the GREATEST YEAR OF ACCOMPLISHMENT SO FAR -- AND THE GREATEST SPIRITUAL HARVEST!
Forty-six years ago, the living Christ impressed deeply in my mind these words of His: "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these (material needs) shall be added unto you." After having had an unusually successful business career, I was in real poverty at the time. But I took Christ up on it. Instead of seeking to GET money and financial means, I dedicated my life to His GIVING WAY, as His servant, and seeking HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS (far different from SELF-righteousness). God didn't add monetary success right away. He let me remain in virtual poverty 28 years.
But I had found HAPPINESS. And I was GIVING, for the good of others, the precious TRUTHS of GOD. My faithful and loving wife was laboring with me at my side. Neither of us grumbled nor complained because of personal material lack. But GOD'S WORK was being gradually increased. God was supplying the actual NEED for the Work.
THE JOB TO WHICH WE HAD BEEN CALLED WAS GETTING DONE! We had found HAPPINESS. Our prayers were being heard -- AND ANSWERED -- often very miraculously. And TODAY THIS WORK OF GOD IS TRULY WORLDWIDE AND GREAT!
Now that the WORK has been prospered, our ACTUAL NEED is greater than ever! For that actual NEED is more SPIRITUAL than material.
Just as it was, personally, with me 46 years ago, SO it is with ALL OF US TODAY -- with GOD'S WORK today -- if we SEEK FIRST the Kingdom of God and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS -- if we put that FIRST in our lives, then,
1) the needs for the WORK will be supplied, and
2) each of your individual personal financial needs will be supplied. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT? I tell you, I KNOW IT!
Now LOOK AHEAD!
What do we face, in the Work, for the new year?
1) The general economic condition in our western world indicates a year of gradually increasing prosperity during the year. That should help each of us to HELP THE WORK financially, a little more.
2) We now face another difficult three months in financing this Great Commission of Christ. Traditionally, only 45% to 47% of the year's income is received during the first six months, whereas 53% to 55% of the expenditures must be paid out those first six months. Brethren and Co-Workers, I NEED YOUR INTENSIVE, DEADLY EARNEST, PREVAILING AND BELIEVING PRAYERS FOR THIS WORK, continuously and daily, beginning now, AS NEVER BEFORE! And for myself and Garner Ted personally, too.
3) We MUST be forewarned that OUR WORK COULD BE CUT SHORT and finished, for this present time, suddenly when least expected. Read Jesus' warnings in Matthew 24:32-44; and Luke 21:31-36. Please get your Bible, and read those passages -- and take them to heart. For I tell you this: Events are already happening in Europe and within the Catholic Church, in the Middle East and in Russia, that could IMPEL the Vatican, in self-preservation to offer its good offices as a Supreme and politically neutral Authority, in bringing about what the nations of Europe have so avidly DESIRED -- yet been unable, of themselves, to bring about -- POLITICAL UNION of those nations.
This could be done either, a) by a sudden action by Pope Paul, or, b) by his abdication, and election of another prepared for this very mission!
IF and WHEN that happens, you will know that THIS GREAT WORK IN WHICH WE ARE CO-WORKERS WITH CHRIST, SHALL HAVE COME VERY CLOSE TO HAVING FINISHED THE WORK WE ARE TO DO AT THIS TIME -- though the Work would be resumed later. This is just a WARNING. It could happen this coming year -- or in two, three, five or MORE years. Probably we may not be privileged to know the time, in advance.
BUT KNOW THIS! Just because some expected this Work to be finished early this past year, DO NOT suppose that it is going to go on indefinitely. We ARE in the very last days -- have been since the HYDROGEN BOMB.
Dear Family under the living CHRIST in His Work, WE NEED TO KNOW THE TIME -- THAT IT IS, INDEED SHORT! I hope we have another five or ten years to finish this Work -- BUT WE MAY NOT HAVE. But we need to realize that NOTHING ELSE is important. We must now rally to PUT GOD'S WORK FIRST. We must dedicate ourselves to MORE PRAYER. To MORE SACRIFICE FOR THE WORK! To set our hearts and affections on CHRIST and HIS KINGDOM, and HIS WORK -- on the THINGS ABOVE, not on this world and its interests and pleasures.
Please PRAY, and PRAY, and PRAY, for the financial needs of God's Work these next few months of the year. If we pray more, God will prosper each of us more financially. THANK YOU, dear Brethren.
With great love, in Jesus' name,
Herbert W. Armstrong