WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91123
HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG
President and Pastor
May 16, 1977
Dear Brethren of God's Church,
This may be the MOST IMPORTANT letter I have ever written. First, I want to THANK YOU with a grateful-filled, yet gravely concerned heart for your wonderful and generous response to Garner Ted's appeal for a large SPECIAL offering a week ago. It HELPED TREMENDOUSLY. Again it proved, as Ted said in his letter read in all the churches, that we are GOD'S Church -- one close, loving family.
Also that all of us are poised to do whatever we can for the sake and continuance of this vitally important work and we must realize that this work IS more important TO GOD than anything else in the entire UNIVERSE right now!
Yet, gratifying as your response to that one SPECIAL offering was, this is a great worldwide work that requires expenditures of large sums WEEK BY WEEK to keep it going.
I am now going to have to ask you to do MUCH MORE than that splendid special offering. And that is to GO TO YOUR KNEES and make SPECIAL, fervent, continuous PRAYERS -- STARTING WITH FASTING, which has been requested for this coming Sabbath -- even CONTINUOUS, or at least REPEATED and frequent FASTING with fervent, INTENSE, desperate appeals to God to come to the rescue of His Work, even with MIRACLES!
It is just that serious!
Let me give you the concrete FACTS.
I have just returned from the Big Sandy (Texas) campus graduation. I have not been able to go to Big Sandy but rarely -- I think a year ago was the last time -- and what I saw there was a real eye-opener. Attending graduation exercises were two or three bank presidents, presidents and vice presidents of other colleges in east Texas; important business men, multi-millionaire oil men. Several of these -- the most important men in east Texas, congratulated me on the fact that Ambassador College at Big Sandy has given all of east Texas a new cultural awakening -- and made a tremendous uplift in the morale and the uplifted life of the whole area.
But it made me sick at heart -- my heart literally ached to realize that the financial situation may probably cause the closure of Ambassador College, Big Sandy. This college has earned and now has the enthusiastic goodwill and praise of the whole section -- within an area of at least a 100-mile diameter. Pray with me God will send a MIRACLE to prevent it.
Brethren, I want to tell you that removing the college from Big Sandy is to Garner Ted and me both like cutting off our right arms.
But, as I wrote you in the letter read on April 27th, God committed to me in July, 1933 Christ's GREAT COMMISSION -- to take Christ's GOSPEL ANNOUNCEMENT to the WHOLE WORLD for a witness to ALL NATIONS.
God did not call me into the COLLEGE BUSINESS -- as a business. I MUST keep the PRIORITIES straight as He gives them to me, for I shall have to give account to Christ when He comes!
But by 1947 it finally became NECESSARY to found Ambassador College. There were reasons why it HAD to start in Pasadena. God miraculously opened the doors to start it there, when we had no money to start it with.
I had been used to raise up the parent church at Eugene, Oregon with 19 members in 1933. It GREW. God opened radio to me January, 1934. The PLAIN TRUTH was born February 1, 1934. I held nightly evangelistic meetings in or near Eugene for some two years. We went on radio in Portland, Seattle, Spokane. I began holding meetings in Seattle and elsewhere -- where God had ADDED members to form a small local church. But I could not preach at Eugene, Jefferson, Portland, Seattle, Creswell and other churches all at once on the same Sabbath. There was not enough of me.
Ambassador College became NECESSARY to train ministers for new local churches beginning to rise up rapidly. The college started October 8, 1947, after I had learned what birth-pangs were.
The purpose of the college was to provide personnel for the work -- and ministers to FEED THE FLOCK that was growing 30% per year.
As I said, I have to consider the PRIORITIES.
Let me give them to you.
First, above priorities for the WORK ITSELF, priority number one is the necessity of a SPIRITUAL REVIVAL in the WHOLE CHURCH. Without that, the whole work is skidding on the way down -- and OUT! It is just that SERIOUS!
I have started setting the example by five days fasting and prayer, and I am going back to it with my whole heart -- I hope for the next five days!
I call on all the MINISTERS to FAST AND PRAY AS NEVER BEFORE! We have hit such crises before. And when we fasted and prayed with our WHOLE HEARTS -- God always HAS ANSWERED EVEN WITH MIRACLES. He will again!
FIRST PRIORITY in THE WORK is the OPEN DOOR PROGRAM -- in which Christ is OPENING DOORS which I am personally walking through, to kings, presidents, emperors, prime ministers, their cabinet members, parliament members, and others of high position -- judges, bank presidents, university presidents, etc. Right now this is FIRST on the priority list in GOD'S SIGHT, because the first thing on GOD'S MIND is restoring THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD to this earth, and this NEW PHASE of the work -- the OPEN DOOR operation worldwide is the PRESENT activity leading to it.
How significant that the very FIRST PRIORITY -- the MOST IMPORTANT phase of the work, is LOWEST on the budget-cost allocations. Of course tied with it is the AICF which has been producing sensational results.
Today, among other major priorities is The PLAIN TRUTH, especially the NEWSSTAND CIRCULATION. Along with this is the CORRESPONDENCE COURSE. I am at work on a NEW, DYNAMICALLY-REVISED CORRESPONDENCE COURSE, which will be promoted in every way.
Another equally important part of THE GREAT COMMISSION IS TELEVISION AND RADIO. This MUST BE TREMENDOUSLY STEPPED UP.
Exceedingly important to all of us, and to you brethren is our Pastoral Administration Department. This is tied in with the GOSPEL MINISTRY -- where local pastors hold PUBLIC EVANGELISTIC MEETINGS, reaching thousands of persons and visits to prospective members.
Brethren, inspiring as your SPECIAL OFFERING of last Sabbath was -- VASTLY MORE IMPORTANT is your DEDICATION to FASTING AND PRAYER. Read how DANIEL prayed, confessing the sins of ISRAEL, which was God's Old Testament Church. How he put his WHOLE HEART INTO IT. From now we will preach the GOOD NEWS of the world tomorrow almost immediately ahead, rather than the bad news of TODAY'S world.
Brethren, THANK YOU so very, very much for your tremendous out- pouring of support in this recent special offering! It got us through a cash-flow crunch; we managed to overcome an immediate hurdle; only because of your instant response! But the work will, I can tell you in advance, find itself facing other such cash-flow problems within the next year! We are in need of the CONTINUAL, constant support from all of you, and those whom God will add to us to share this burden, so that we can confidently know we will hurdle every obstacle in July, in August, in September and October, and throughout the year! We dare not let down now; believing a temporary emergency has been SOLVED, and now we can go back to a previous level of support -- really, brethren, we must step up our efforts, on every front!
Think of WHAT THIS MEANS -- THINK of the big leap ahead this will give the WHOLE WORK.
NOBODY -- I repeat, NOBODY has ever proclaimed such a message of HOPE for the immediate future, since the early apostles, over 1,900 years ago. That Gospel -- GOOD NEWS -- was SUPPRESSED before 70 A.D. The world HAS NOT HEARD IT for 1,900 years -- until I first began proclaiming on the air to thousands of people in October, 1933.
THIS CHURCH WAS RAISED UP FOR THAT PURPOSE! -- to get that GOOD NEWS MESSAGE OF IMMEDIATE HOPE to a sick and dying world! That is PRIORITY NUMBER ONE!
It's true we have not yet SHAKEN THE WHOLE WORLD with this message of the world's ONLY HOPE.
Brethren I am ASTOUNDED when I think of how many men sitting on the THRONES of nations I HAVE HAD PERSONAL CONFERENCES WITH -- I even have their autographed pictures they gave me -- who in the past two or three years have been ASSASSINATED, driven out of office by military coup d'etat; by mob violence and demonstrations, or had to resign in disgrace, or who have died! It shows me TIME IS SHORT. We very well may have almost already reached as many in the "Israelitish" countries -- the U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Western Europe, as God intends us to reach before this SAME GOSPEL is once again suppressed. But now (see Rev. 10:11) God wants His message of HOPE and PEACE to go into those Gentile nations, with the largest populations, by going to kings and those on thrones, to OPEN THE DOORS to those nations where the doors have been CLOSED to THIS MESSAGE! We are making really sensational progress in this, for CHRIST IS OPENING THE DOORS. This is now PRIORITY NUMBER ONE!
But we MUST HAVE A REAL IN-DEPTH SPIRITUAL REVIVAL in the Church. This is NUMBER ONE in GOD'S MIND -- will YOU -- all who have not already -- MAKE IT NUMBER ONE IN YOUR LIFE?
You can't perform miracles. But GOD CAN -- has done it always before when we put our HEARTS fully into our beseeching Him -- and WILL NOW. I know that what you can do by sacrificing other things and sending in money is LIMITED -- but what can be done by YOUR URGENT PRAYERS is UNLIMITED. WE need now a MIRACLE. We will need miracles in the future.
Please go to your knees and ASK FOR IT. Ask BELIEVINGLY!
Satan is attacking THIS WORK. But GOD IS STILL ON HIS THRONE. GO THERE! -- with ME -- with all the ministers! TIME IS FAR SHORTER THAN YOU THINK!
With deepest LOVE, in Jesus' name,
Herbert W. Armstrong