RADIO CHURCH OF GOD
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91109
HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG
PRESIDENT and PASTOR
The WORLD TOMORROW
The PLAIN TRUTH
a Magazine of UNDERSTANDING
February 28, 1964
Dear BRETHREN in CHRIST:
GREETINGS again, in Jesus' Name! Last month I wrote you about two things MOST URGENT. There have been important developments concerning both. Almighty GOD Himself is deeply concerned with these developments -- and HE is moving, FAST!
As I told you then, it came to me, during our annual Minister's Conference, like a bolt of lightning, that we should not delay until after the other buildings the construction of the new auditorium on the Pasadena Campus, which must serve as GOD'S HOUSE.
Since 70 A.D., Jerusalem has been trodden down of the Gentiles. It still is. God will yet -- at Christ's coming as KING of kings -- choose Jerusalem as HIS HEADQUARTERS on earth.
But for the immediate present, and UNTIL then, God has chosen Pasadena, California, as His earthly HEADQUARTERS. God's HEADQUARTERS CHURCH is here. From here Christ's GOSPEL is going out in POWER around the world, over every continent.
Because we were able to rent off-campus facilities for the services of the Headquarters Church, we had planned to give priority, in our building program, to most of the other needed buildings -- which will be seven in all. It would probably have been five to seven years before the auditorium would have been built.
But through the PROPHECIES of the Book of Haggai, and the fourth chapter of Zechariah, God showed me that WE MUST NOT POSTPONE the auditorium which will also serve as THE HOUSE FOR GOD. To give it the most immediate possible priority is going to require EXTRA SACRIFICE, ZEAL, AND EFFORT ON THE PART OF ALL OF US!
Brethren, do you realize that God has not had a HEADQUARTERS location on earth since 69 A.D., until His Work and HEADQUARTERS CHURCH became established in Pasadena? I want you to UNDERSTAND the situation -- beginning from the days of Moses.
Although God Himself, IN PERSON, was at His throne in heaven, He commanded MOSES to build a sanctuary -- or tabernacle -- "that may dwell among them," said the ETERNAL. God said: "Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering
In this tabernacle was to be placed the ARK of the Covenant. This Ark was covered with a seat, which was the earthly symbol of the very THRONE OF GOD. The two tables of stone, on which God wrote the Ten Commandments, were placed in the Ark, under the seat.
God said: "And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat," (Ex. 25:1-22).
GOD'S VERY PRESENCE, IN SPIRIT, WAS TO BE THERE!
Those people were YOUR ancestors! I have written you before how their hearts were stirred up. The officials later came to Moses, and said: "The people bring MUCH MORE THAN ENOUGH ..." and so Moses sent a proclamation restraining the people from sending in more!
Brethren, can you imagine that?
Moses is not here with us today. Today God is using me to instruct you of our generation that He commands us to build a House for Him to dwell in (in Spirit), and to send in offerings -- "every one that giveth it willingly with his heart."
I hope WE, TODAY, will allow our God to STIR UP OUR HEARTS, and simply FILL
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(begin page 3) where He directs the closing WORK OF GOD through His CHURCH.
Therefore I told the architects it must be an auditorium to seat about 1250 people. The hall we now rent for the Headquarters Church seats 900. We outgrow it every year, and continually assign many members to one of the other churches in the general Los Angeles area. We can easily let the local congregation grow to 1250 -- but we feel it should not grow larger.
But I told the architects it must be outstanding, an example of modern architectural skill in design, it must be beautiful, it must reflect STABILITY and STRENGTH, it must express DIGNITY and artistic excellence, and, withal, contain the very beauty of SIMPLICITY. Now I realized that I was giving them a group of contradicting and opposite characteristics. Yet I asked them to produce a design that contained all of those.
Brethren, THEY DID IT!
We, here at Headquarters, are simply THRILLED -- and we MARVEL that they have been able to produce JUST what we feel God would have!
The building they have designed has the plain simplicity that reminds me of the simplicity of a lily -- one of the most beautiful and graceful of flowers. It appears to reflect great STRENGTH and STABILITY. It carries perfect DIGNITY. Yet it contains an architectural FLAIR and artistic design without sacrificing either simplicity or dignity.
It contains large, yet artistic columns, all around on all four sides, rising up out of a rectangular artificial lake! These massive, graceful fluted columns tower up 70 feet -- the height of a seven story building -- to support the roof above! Of course, at the front, sides, and rear, there are wide sidewalks leading in to the entrances -- I don't want to give you the idea we have to wade in, or go in in boats. Yet this rectangular lake will be approximately 200 by 365 feet, and will present a most spectacular appearance -- and one of cleanliness, and of LIFE!
Between these great columns and the building proper will be an outdoor promenade, on all four sides, of 12 to 15 feet in width. The main entrance will contain three giant double-doors, ten feet in height.
The building will be rectangular. It will contain a main floor, and a balcony. There will be 800 seats on the main floor -- 450 in the balcony. There will be a full stage or speaker's platform. There will be one entire floor over the auditorium -- a top floor -- containing the radio and television studios, and counselling rooms, and a spacious out-door terrace in the center. They will be reached by elevators and stairways. The broadcast, sending Christ's GOSPEL around the world, will go out from this HOUSE of God!
It is, in fact, just a plain and simple building -- yet it is so designed that it will be really spectacular -- appearing to rise up out of a block-wide and block-and-a-half-long lake. It will look IMPORTANT -- yet carries no freakish lines, like so much of modern architecture.
All we have, so far, are about four preliminary and rough sketches and drawings. These are on large card-board. I will have them reproduced, but to send them to you they will have to be so much smaller that they may not appear the same to you, as these large original sketches do to us.
This is NOT a COSTLY type of building, at all. It is doubtful if ANY auditorium to seat 1250 people could be designed and built for much less. As I said it is plain and simple -- and therein lies its beauty! Yet it MUST be of quality construction -- GOD'S House must not be of inferior or cheap construction. THIS is for the GLORY OF OUR GOD!
I know He will bless it -- and bless us for building it.
So, Brethren, as Moses did, I call on you to STIR UP YOUR HEARTS and let every one of us GIVE, cheerfully and willingly. It would create too much confusion to try to set up an additional special fund just for this building. It will have to be built out of the special BUILDING FUND for the expansion program already under way.
But I do ask you to be SPECIALLY generous, according as God has made you able, especially now that this House for GOD is to be one of the new buildings. If you have not yet sent in your Statement of Intention card, please do so by return mail.
Ten days ago, we had a ground-breaking ceremony, when we broke ground for the first of our new buildings -- the Physical Education building. The Mayor of Pasadena and newspaper reporters came over for it. The papers published a picture with the mayor, the contractor, and myself, breaking the first shovel-full of ground. The plans for this building are all completed. It was NECESSARY to rush this through as a crash program, to prevent the new north- south freeway from being routed right through our campus. Apparently, now, the new freeway will be routed to go alongside our campus -- but not taking a foot of it. GOD IS WITH US!
The plans are already well along for the new student dining hall. We cannot delay that, for we cannot feed more students until we have it. But architects are now also beginning work on the new Auditorium, to serve as God's House, and it will be next on priority!
Our second big problem before the Church, at the moment, has been that of HOW to take care of the constantly-INCREASING attendance at the annual FEAST OF TABERNACLES. Our GOD is revealing His solution of that problem, too, in a really wonderful manner. But this letter is already long, and so I will have to hold that over for another letter.
As I write, the Statement of Intention cards I sent out have only partly been returned. So far the AMOUNT indicated for THIS SPECIAL BUILDING FUND, to include the building of the College Auditorium (to be THE HOUSE FOR GOD) on our campus, is only about equal to the amount subscribed a year ago. But there are l/3 more of us than then. The amount should be l/3 larger.
BRETHREN, I simply cannot understand this LETHARGY -- this INDIFFERENCE -- this LACK OF CONCERN or INTEREST -- on the part of many who profess to be the very begotten children of GOD -- members of the one true CHURCH OF GOD -- MEMBERS OF THE BODY OF CHRIST! Ancient Israel, in Moses' day, DID NOT HAVE GOD'S HOLY SPIRIT -- they were NOT converted -- they were NOT facing the IMMINENT soon- coming of the CHRIST OF GLORY, to CHANGE US from mortal to immortal -- to REIGN AND RULE THE WORLD WITH CHRIST. They were unconverted, carnal humans. YET THEY SHOWED ZEAL, CONCERN, AND INTEREST, AND MADE SACRIFICE FOR A HOUSE FOR GOD, THAT PUTS US TO SHAME!
Are SOME of you REBELLIOUS? Are the hearts of some of you SOMEWHERE ELSE?
I have made it PLAIN -- I am not asking for a binding PLEDGE -- it is NOT a vow or anything like a vow. It is a mere statement of intention -- of what you plan to do AS LONG AS ABLE. If your circumstances change so you can't continue it, YOU ARE NOT BOUND! But don't you realize that we cannot proceed with this program, unless we MAKE A BUDGET -- unless we appropriate a certain SUM? We need to know approximately how much we are going to be able to pay within a given year. WE NEED THESE STATEMENTS!
I asked you before -- even if this is your third tithe year and you cannot subscribe to this fund this year -- even if you are the wife of a non-member husband and unable to subscribe -- or on an old age pension -- EXPLAIN THIS ON THE CARD -- AND SEND BACK THE CARD ANYWAY. I have asked EVERY MEMBER -- or head of a member family -- to fill out the card and return. We realize fully that some are unable to contribute anything to this special building fund -- that others can contribute only small amounts.
THAT IS WHY EVERY ONE OF US WHO CAN -- WHO IS ABLE -- MUST SACRIFICE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THIS SPECIAL FUND AS LIBERALLY AS CIRCUMSTANCES ALLOW! God has PROMISED US HIS BLESSING in this. He has said, I AM WITH YOU!
And REMEMBER -- this BUILDING FUND subscription must be IN ADDITION TO your tithes, and general offerings for the Gospel work. NO PART OF YOUR TITHES should go into this special Building Fund.
I am simply not going to be able to proceed with this building -- even after this revelation direct from CHRIST the HEAD of our Church -- UNLESS THE REST OF YOU RETURN THOSE CARDS! Then, if you find you can send in MORE than you subscribe on the card -- do so -- MANY DO!
Please send them by return mail. Let's put our HEARTS and our PRAYERS in this great WORK OF GOD! Let's pitch in and WORK WITH CHRIST -- with enthusiasm and with ZEAL. THANK YOU, BRETHREN!
With much LOVE, in Jesus' name,
Herbert W. Armstrong
Photo Caption: This is a rough sketch of the soon-to-be-erected AUDITORIUM on the Ambassador College campus. This is not a finished picture, but merely a quick, rough sketch to give us a general idea of what it will look like.
These massive fluted columns will rise up from an artificial lake. Inside these 70-foot-high columns (height of a seven-story building), but OUTSIDE of the building, around all four sides, will be a 12- to 15-foot-wide promenade, or terrace, or walk-way. A very rough sketch of the new Dining Hall is shown to the right. The new Administration building, not shown in this picture, will be to the left of the Auditorium.
This AUDITORIUM will be God's House, at His earthly Headquarters for the present, and home of His Headquarters Church until our Great Commission in the Work of God, proclaiming Christ's own true GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM to the whole world, is finally finished.
A more perfect and finished architect's sketch of this magnificent AUDITORIUM will appear later in "The Good News", or "The Plain Truth", as soon as completed by the architects.