WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91123
HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG
PRESIDENT and PASTOR
En route Europe to Bombay
February 21, 1975
Dear Co-Worker with Christ:
As I start to write we are flying at 37,000 feet at 550 mph plus tailwind over the spectacular snow-covered Swiss Alps. What a beautiful, exciting view! Just outside my triple-pane window the temperature is 82İF. below zero! If my Gulfstream-II aircraft were not pressurized, there would be so little oxygen we could not breathe.
However, it is warm and comfortable at my "office" seat flying through the air. If anything happened to our pressurization, the captain in the cockpit would press a button; instantly an oxygen mask would drop in front of me, just as for all passengers. I have become so accustomed to flying that I take it contemptuously for granted like many people who do travel by air a great deal. One can become so accustomed to it that everything becomes routine and he begins to take it all for granted.
Things are happening faster and faster. It seems I have lived through several ages in one lifetime. When I was a boy eleven years old, no human had ever flown in an airplane. Orville and Wilbur Wright were working on a funny little contraption in which one of them was to fly a few feet in a matter of days after my eleventh birthday -- but few people on earth knew about it when I turned eleven. If any one of them had told me that someday I would be flying over the Swiss Alps at 37,000 feet (about 7 miles) at a speed of more than 600 mph, I would have known he was joking. My transportation then was my father's horse and buggy and my bicycle. The automobile then was steered by a sort of stick (I had never yet seen a steering wheel), and there were mostly horse-drawn buggies with horse shafts removed and motors put in. We called them "horseless carriages." It was an exciting event to see one. My father called the family to the front window of our home one day, saying: "A horseless carriage is goinq by." He was right -- it was a mule-drawn buggy! No one had ever heard of radio or television.
So we have speeded up, faster and faster. Now supersonic aircraft can whip through the air at 1500 mph. Astronauts fly to the moon and back at fantastic speeds.
The Model-T Ford ("flivver") came along in due time. An Iowa farmer uncle of mine had one, but there were no paved roads yet -- just dirt and mud roads. This uncle was religious, and one night he was saying his prayers in bed. Just as he drifted off to sleep, my aunt heard him saying, "Oh Lord, give us better roads and MORE SPEED." He could then drive his "flivver" twentv miles an hour -- if the roads were good. Apparently his prayer was answered. Some of us don't even bother with roads anymore -- we fly a third or half way around the earth on one trip in our own private aircraft.
MORE SPEED! That's what people want. That's what they've got. But is it GOOD for people? The automobile SPEEDED up: then World War I and World War II developed the airplane, dropping bombs on enemy targets, and finally NUCLEAR bombs destroyed WHOLE CITIES!
Human governments have come and gone in due course, but today they are coming and going faster and faster.
My mission is to proclaim a very vital MESSAGE IN ALL THE WORLD, for a witness to ALL NATIONS (not necessarily IN all nations). More than forty years ago the door of radio was opened to proclaim this MESSAGE within a single county in the state of Oregon, in the United States of America. That was January 7, 1934. It was the start of a MASS audience. After two years I was speaking over a station in Portland, Oregon. Then, speeding up faster and faster, Seattle, Spokane, Los Angeles, and then an international audience over many stations. I was speaking to millions! After 19 years, the first week of 1953, we had a very scattered listening audience in Europe and Britain over Radio Luxembourg -- but no station in Britain. Countries in Europe let us in. After World War II, television had come along. In 1955 I started on 12 television stations scattered from New York to Chicago to the west coast of America. Later my son Garner Ted was doing the broadcasting, speaking on half-hour programs with heavy coverage from coast to coast in the United States and Canada.
But we were unable to purchase extensive radio or TV time, except in the United States and Canada. Finally in the past five years doors have opened for me to carry this message of WORLD PEACE and the happy and prosperous WORLD TOMORROW into many nations as a result of meetings with many HEADS OF STATE -- kings, presidents, and others high in government. This message is concerned with government, but NOT with politics. It is concerned with the CAUSES of increasing EVILS and troubles, and the way to peace and a better, happy world, and the way to the SOLUTIONS and peace.
It is a MESSAGE that God the Creator of ALL NATIONS sent to mankind by Jesus Christ more than 1900 years ago. That vital Message was suppressed in the first century in a "gospel" ABOUT the MESSENGER (Gal. 1:6-9). That was the Message -- the GOOD NEWS which reveals the WAY to, and will bring, peace in OUR TIME. Christ knew that Message would not continue going to the world, so He foretold that just before the end of the world, the Message of the KINGDOM would be announced in all the world for a witness to all nations (Matt. 24:3,14).
It took FORTY YEARS to get this message over the United States, Canada, and Australia. Now it is finally going to the countries who have not yet heard that Message. In these countries there is no free speech, free press, or time available on radio or television stations. The government controls the spreading of all news, even the good news. But now even these governments are coming to want their top and leading people to hear this vital Message, which neither religion nor science has revealed.
BUT, now we find this world speeding up, faster and faster, in all ways. Governments are being toppled and overthrown faster and faster.
What does this MEAN? It means WE HAVE TO MOVE FASTER to get this Message into these countries. Let me show you what I mean. In August 1973 I was in Santiago, Chile, for a meeting with President Allende. A few weeks later, I was in the Arab world -- Lebanon -- for a meeting with President Franjieh. And while I was there, President Allende was executed in the very room where I had the meeting. A few weeks after that the Arab-Israeli War started while I was in Bangkok. Three weeks after that, the government of Thailand was overthrown, and Prime Minister Kittikachorn fled the country.
In March 1973, at a luncheon in New Delhi, India, attended by some ambassadors, I was invited by the ambassadors from Ethiopia and Afghanistan to visit their countries for personal meetings with their respective kings. Before I could arrange for the visit to Afghanistan, that government was overthrown. The king fled to exile. I did visit with Emperor Haile Selassie TWICE, and had a big campaign all set up, when in August 1974, a military coup took the famous Emperor prisoner. One of the last things he did before being taken away a prisoner was to send me a telegram of congratulations on my birthday. He remembered that I was just eight days younger than he. What has happened to Haile Selassie I do not know, but I believe he is still alive, held prisoner.
A big campaign had been set for Ethiopia. Now we have to start all over again in that country.
I was to have held a campaign in Saigon, capital of South Vietnam, with the full approval of President Thieu, but the war condition there prevented it; up to 50,000 people would have been assembled in the outdoor university stadium -- it could have invited a bombing from North Vietnamese war planes.
We were going to have a big campaign in Bangkok this past January, but the Vietnam War, which had burst out anew, had caused fear of assembling for many people.
What I am saying is WAR and OVERTHROW of governments are occurring faster and faster. This means 1) we are nearing the END of this world -- closer than we think; and 2) we must speed up our own program before more overthrows occur. And NOW this telegram I received just before boarding the plane for the trip to Bombay. I was on this trip to make campaign plans for the night of March 1, on which 25,000 people were to attend in a large outdoor stadium. It was to be preceded by a week of luncheons and private meetings before civic groups of various kinds.
Professor Osamu Gotoh of my own team who produced campaigns in other world capitals had gone ahead in the past ten days preparing the campaign in Bombay. He sent me the following telegram: "My decision is to cancel the coming public meeting for the following reasons: 1) State cabinet reshuffled: chief minister resigned; 2) Recent U.S. announcement on aid to Pakistan makes our public meeting impossible; 3) Since this is already an examination period [for the students], I believe that our campaign should have governmental support and local support both -- without these two elements, I do not believe your mission will have success. As I mentioned to you this morning on the telephone, I went to New Delhi and spent time with Dr. Singh; I am sending the telex from there."
In addition, I received the following telex from Dr. Singh, dated February 18, 1975: "Professor Gotoh has been coming off and on to Bombay, and he has done his utmost with great sincerity and industry. There are certain aspects which make things difficult for the function to be held in March. The various problems that have arisen are given in the statement enclosed, which speaks for itself. I hope you will be able to appreciate the position. Why not, therefore, have the function in November or December? I have had a long talk with Professor Gotoh, and he can explain my feelings." Signed, Dr. Nagendra Singh. Then Dr. Singh's statement, which was in an enclosed Letter: "Reasons for postponing the function from March to December 1975: 1) there has been a problem created by lifting of the ban of the supply of arms to Pakistan by the United States. This is bound to create some anti-U.S. feelings which are still fresh, and people may ask Mr. Armstrong how he supports world peace under these circumstances; 2) the chief minister whom you knew had recently resigned and a new chief minister is coming; 3) there are examinations drawing near in all colleges and universities which keep students busy; 4) time is a bit short for making preparation; November will give sufficient notice. Professor Gotoh has had discussions with several in Bombay, and they all advised him in the same manner for the fall."
The special luncheons and dinners will be carried on, as planned -- reaching hundreds of India's businessmen, educators, etc. -- but, BECAUSE OF THIS WORLD'S ACTIVITIES striving for "peace" under tense world conditions, the BIG campaign here must now be postponed.
We are now making, actually, REMARKABLE progress in this big dimension of God's Work -- getting the Message to leading people in government and all over the world. But as events speed up faster and faster, I must speed up also, visiting more and more of these countries before THEY are overthrown.
Co-Workers, this is the most important activity on earth today! Remember, I need your intensive, earnest, heartfelt prayers -- I need to have you pray for this seriously and stand in back of me 100%. I THANK YOU for the hundreds of letters pouring in telling me that you are behind me 100%. We do have to surmount difficulties. And I feel that the more generous you are with your financial help, the more our wonderful Living God will bless you. Remember, this is the short month of February, and the need is GREAT. I pray continually FOR YOU.
With deep love in Jesus' name,
Herbert W. Armstrong