Co-Worker letter, December 20, 1934: “Will GOD’s PEOPLE be willing now to GIVE TILL IT HURTS – to GIVE UP THINGS – to SACRIFICE – that many may be saved for eternity? The night is far spent! Jesus is SOON COMING! The MILLIONS are not awake! We must WARN THEM!...
But if we are to grasp this wonderful opportunity, we must act at once!
… Ezekial 3:17-21. Turn to it and read it now. If these scores of thousands are WARNED of their sin – of the coming PLAGUES – of the soon coming JESUS – whether or not they heed, we shall have acquitted ourselves before God. And SOME of them will heed and be saved. But – IF WE fail our Lord in this hour of crisis, HE SAY HE WILL REQUIRE THEIR BLOOD AT YOUR HANDS AND MINE!”
Co-worker letter March 1, 1935: “Tithes and offerings to keep this big campaign, now reaching many thousands, going, have slowed up considerably the past two months, and this whole campaign will have to stop unless the brethren come quickly to the rescue. GOD HAS BLESSED THIS WORK with the largest harvest ever experienced in Oregon. Shall we let a work thus approved of God stop?”
(Only four co-worker letters are available from the 30's)
The Dorchester (wikipedia) is a five-star luxury hotel on Park Lane and Deanery Street, London, to the east of Hyde Park. It is one of the world's most prestigious and expensive hotels. The Dorchester opened on 18 April 1931, and still retains its 1930s furnishings and ambiance despite being modernized.Co-worker letter Feb. 14th 1941: “SPECIAL - AND VERY URGENT!" "...There have been very few of the larger offerings of $25,$50, $100 lately. The need now is serious and URGENT. The work must not stop or let down---it must leap ahead!”
Co-Worker letter May 14th , 1941: “We are at another crisis---we must go forward, or go backward---no work can stand still! The need is IMMEDIATE---and URGENT! More so than ever before!
Co-Worker letter Dec. 25th, 1941: “I call upon every co-worker now to ENLIST in this fight---
this SPIRITUAL fight for God and country---for the duration. We must dedicate our ALL to it. If we put our ALL on the altar---are willing to GIVE now to the very limit, God will give it all back
heaping with interest. If we now lose our heads, forget to put FIRST things first, try to SAVE our all, we shall then LOSE all--- all our material goods, and our souls as well!”
Co-Worker Letter August 24th 1942: “Through you I know God will meet this present supreme crisis in our work. It will take great sacrifice on the part of many of you, I know. Better make that sacrifice now and SAVE EVERYTHING than lose everything in defeat in this war, and perhaps lose out with Almighty God besides! No sacrifice, now, is too great. I need a FLOOD of tithes and offerings from our small but growing family of co-workers to meet this present supreme need. We need LARGE amounts---$25, $50, $100, yes, even $1,000 or more---from all who can, even by great sacrifice, put such sums in God's work in this very crucial hour.”
Co-worker letter Dec. 23, 1942: “This work MUST HAVE an extra $1,000 AT ONCE, in addition to seeing regular income restored. We MUST get out another PLAIN TRUTH at once! It and many other things are waiting. God expects HIS CHILDREN TO GIVE---yes give till it hurts, in times like these. Please try to send an EXTRA AMOUNT---the largest you possibly can, by return mail. God's work is at stake. It is a SERIOUS CRISIS. Please RUSH---put this FIRST, before anything else. “
Co-worker letter Feb. 16, 1943: “Regardless of the APPEARANCE of things at the moment, regardless of the war situation as we THINK it is, regardless of how many planes, and tanks, and ships and guns we produce and how many men we train, STILL God says He will send crop-destroying worms and locusts, and withering DROUGHT and FAMINE that shall literally STARVE us into defeat, unless we turn to HIM!"
"...WE MUST NOT FAIL! We must PLUNGE ON! The financial crisis is not over. I still need an extra thousand dollars, over and above regular weekly expenses.”
Co-worker Letter April 5, 1945: “In the last BULLETIN I asked for pledges. Well, many pledges have come in, but it is ONLY HALF ENOUGH…. . ALSO I MUST TELL YOU WE HAVE RUN ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS SHORT OF REGULAR EXPENSES THE PAST THREE OR FOUR WEEKS. Even to keep the regular established work going, we MUST now have a quick, liberal response from our faithful co-workers! It is our solemn responsibility before God, laid on us by HIM! We must not fail Him! Whether you can only send a dollar, or are able to send $50, $100., or $1,000 for the work -- or a larger sum for the Mexican station —I know you'll send AT ONCE the largest amount you can, and GOD BLESS YOU for your loyalty and sacrifice for the GREATEST WORK ON EARTH!"
Co-worker letter August 23, 1945 : "I have sufficient faith in God to believe this BULLETIN will be read by someone—perhaps only ONE—who has the ability, if God makes the heart willing, to supply for this purpose a sum of between one and two hundred thousand dollars... And this unprecedented great and glorious opportunity will be realized, I know ONLY if each one who has ability to supply such sums does so, to the very LIMIT of his ability."
Co-worker Letter May 17, 1946: "A NEW EMERGENCY! U R G E N T ! Now before closing, I have to tell you the receipt of money to carry on his great work has been falling off alarmingly the last two weeks. Again it has brought the work into a CRISIS-- a very serious emergency!
Frankly, I know of no other work anywhere like this. It is altogether GOD'S WORK, proclaiming GOD'S message, conducted and financed GOD'S way, as we find it revealed in His Word, the Bible."
FAITH---faith that God will, thru YOU back me up in this increasingly powerful campaign for souls, and supply every dollar. PLEASE get under the burden with me---remember YOU HAVE
YOUR PART. God will hold us all responsible together. My office has just told me over long distance the financial situation at the moment is SERIOUS. Those of you who are able, I will count on you to send in AT ONCE, by air-mail or BY TELEGRAPH MONEY-ORDER, the very LARGEST offerings for God's great cause you can possibly send, even at great sacrifice."
Co-worker letter September 25, 1946: "God is surely blessing His work! BUT--MOST IMPORTANT AND URGENT for the moment, I find funds slacking off as I return home, and we are in a serious immediate emergency! It's so serious the whole work is in grave DANGER! We need, seriously, many offerings of large sums from those who are able---please WIRE the money if possible; and if you can send only the "widow's mite" please rush it."
Co-worker letter November 4, 1946: "Again I must write you an EMERGENCY Letter. For ten days this work has faced the most desperate crisis of the nearly thirteen years.... I can't very well go into detail explaining how the devil has tried to stop this most important work on earth..." "This great work has grown until its expenses are now several thousand dollars a month. I have assumed responsibility for this, yet I have NOTHING, but faith in God..."
Co-worker letter Jan. 9. 1947: " merely remind you that we are starting, new, on the month of the biggest test-of-faith we have ever faced. I intend to do MY PART, with my whole heart and with all my energies. And I know you will do YOUR part, too. I don't know your personal circumstances. God doesn't expect any to give into His work what they do not have, or are unable to give, but according as He has prospered them. But if you are one who is able, I know you'll double or triple your offerings for His work, from now. And I ask you, urgently, PLEASE double or triple the amount, earnestness, and faith of your prayers for me and for this work from now on. THAT, I know you can do, and PLEASE don't fail me or God in doing that."
Additional information about this time period
From all the co-worker letters of this period, one would assume that the work was barely hanging by a thread. However, if one reads HWA's biography, you would also learn that in 1947 HWA also:
· Traveled first class through Europe for 6 weeks· Purchased a luxurious 4,159 sq-ft home in a very beautiful areaAnd, if you read HWA's later accounts of the church's financial growth, you'd realize that:
· Church income had been growing at its fastest rate between 1942-1955· The growth rate for this period was well over 30% per yearThese facts make it more difficult to reconcile HWA's words with his actions.
From the specifics he mentions, this trip would have cost well over $1,200/day (in 2015 dollars) which would be over $50,000 for the whole trip. For example, rooms at the Dorchester Hotel are $600-$700/night, lunch at the Dorchester Grill is $60/person, and rooms at Hotel Storchen in Zurich vary from $400 to 2,000/night.
According to HWA's own description of this event in his autobiography, Loma was surprised they were even looking at such a luxurious home but HWA explained that his real estate agent had determined that they "could not afford not to buy this home." He explained further that in order to buy a small tract home, he'd need a down payment whereas he could move into this mansion without a down payment. Perhaps to some, this logic would still make sense. Probably not for the majority. A $12,300 monthly payment would be likely be more difficult for most to meet than a $2,500 payment.
Now back to the financial struggles...
Co-worker letter April 7, 1947: "The ground-work is laid. But TIME IS SHORT. Soon it will be too late. The day is here, but the "night" is coming when NO MAN CAN WORK for God.
But now LISTEN CAREFULLY! We have returned from this most important, vital, fruitful trip to find the work here in a financial crisis that threatens its very life! It is in the most serious and critical emergency it ever has faced. It is a LIFE- AND-DEATH test!
"...I don't know how it happened. We left here with everything in good financial condition, the outlook excellent. God opened the way for us with actual miracles repeatedly at every turn—was with us throughout our entire journey. I've come back with just what I needed for the broadcasts -- for future articles in The PLAIN TRUTH.
Yet, before we had hardly boarded the ship it seems our co- workers— most of them (perhaps not YOU, but most of them)—seemed to delay or forget to send in their tithes and offerings...
Co-Workers, I have to ask you to sacrifice as never before. If you could see what we saw in Europe—how people shiver and go cold, how HUNGRY they are, how thread-bare their clothes—how TERRIBLE is their plight—you'd realize that ANY sacrifice you make for GOD'S CAUSE is as NOTHING compared to what has been laid on them! We and we alone in all this world bask in the sunshine of PLENTY—of LUXURY! We, too, can go without some things we had planned to get. It won't hurt us as much as we think. GOD'S WORK IS AT STAKE! Now, as never before, the work needs generous offerings..."
Co-worker letter June 7, 1947: "FINALLY! AND MOST URGENT! Finally, Brethren, Friends, Co-Workers, LISTEN! Two months ago we found this work in a life-and-death crisis. Suddenly it had gone thousands of dollars behind, because some of our Co-Workers had grown lax and careless. I sent out a very special emergency letter.
Coworker Letter August 1947 : "Co-Workers, the work of God stands AT THE CROSS-ROADS! It is in its greatest crisis. The fate of Ambassador College hangs in the balance. We have not more than TEN DAYS to get STARTED on the structural changes, or it will be TOO LATE to start the college this year. The crisis is NOW! We are all going to answer in the judgment for what WE do, each of us, as OUR part in this crisis, NOW! God surely blesses those who serve Him well! NEVER has this work so direly needed large and generous offerings of $1,000 and up to MANY thousand dollars. Several of you are ABLE, if you permit God to make your hearts willing. Lay up treasure in heaven, while you may, and see how God blesses you for it! And, again, NEVER has the need been so great...
Coworker Letter October 1947: "This means EVERY SINGLE CO-WORKER MUST NOW STRETCH TO THE VERY LIMIT OF SACRIFICE AND SELF-DENIAL, in a supreme effort, with me, to raise this money at once. We must ALL pitch in, to the limit of our ability! I must now ask YOU, and EVERY single co-worker, to rise to the supreme effort to send in the very largest sum you possibly can, as a very special emergency gift for this great work at this time. It's WORTH sacrificing for! This world is marching on at a faster and faster pace toward IT'S DOOM! ...
... If you can LOAN the work anywhere from one to ten thousand dollars—or even $500 or less, please SEND THE MONEY AT ONCE AIR- MAIL, stating in your letter how you wish to be repaid—whether beginning now, or a year or two or more from now—whether by the month, or quarter, or how -- and in what amounts each payment. If you want interest, tell me what rate. As a minister of Jesus Christ I must say to you that God, in His Word, forbids Christians to receive interest from Christians—the whole interest and usury system is condemned in the Bible. But Israel was permitted to PAY interest, and even to RECEIVE it from Gentiles, so a Christian can PAY it if demanded, or receive it from a non-Christian, if he deems that circumstances warrant. I could never RECEIVE interest from any of you, but God does permit me to PAY it if you, after I have mentioned this Bible teaching, desire it—so just state your own wishes in the matter. So if you can borrow money FOR us on some security you have—on property, or on securities or other investments—or if you have bonds to sell, or savings you can put to work for God, getting it back, if and when you need it, please send the money at once by return mail, stating how you want it repaid, and I will immediately make out a note binding our corporation to repay it on whatever terms you state, and mail it to you. And WITH it, send the largest offering you can GIVE."
Co-worker letter Dec. 4, 1947: “It seems that due to the biggest Christmas-shopping spree in history, most of our co-workers and listeners have FORGOTTEN both gifts and obligations to CHRIST! And the financial condition of God's precious work has taken a nose-dive straight down toward a CRASH that will mean the END OF IT in five days' time unless by faith in God and enough of our faithful co-workers coming to the rescue immediately, the crash can be averted and the most important work on this earth SAVED... "
"Every individual who HEEDS this warning, turns to God, is WATCHING and PRAYING ALWAYS, being filled with God’s Spirit, living by every Word of God, with a life consecrated to Him, will be given special divine protection—taken beforehand to a place of SAFETY—preserved thru the final horrifying tribulation, time of plagues and human anguish soon to visit this earth!
But if we to whom God has revealed this terrible future thru His divine prophecies fail to heed it—if we fail to each play his or her full part in WARNING this nation and the world, now, while we may—then God says we shall not escape, but He will require the blood of this entire people at our hands!…
I tell you, ON THE AUTHORITY OF JESUS CHRIST, IT IS COMING! Many of you NOW, are in financial condition to DO A LOT MORE than you are doing for GOD’S CAUSE..."
January 29, 1948 co-worker letter: “Co-Workers, THE ONLY THING THAT IS IMPORTANT NOW IS TO SOUND GOD'S WARNING TO THIS NATION -- TO PREACH AND PUBLISH WITH GREAT POWER THE TRUE GOSPEL TO THE ENTIRE WORLD BEFORE THIS ATOMIC-DAY COMES! Frankly, I do not believe it will actually come in five years -- but it COULD! But I do believe we have not more than seven or nine years to finish the work God has commissioned us to do! Just BARELY enough time, and NO MORE! That is why AMBASSADOR COLLEGE had to start without a year's delay. ..
Listen, dear Co-Worker! As I've said before, YOU won't be living where you are -- AS you are, enjoying what you are now, MUCH LONGER! DOOM is hurling surely and relentlessly down UPON OUR ENTIRE NATION! General Arnold sees it. All great scientists know it! They tell us they are frankly FRIGHTENED! You may be sure General Eisenhower, President Truman, Secretary Marshall all realize it! Yes, they all know more than they dare tell! GOD foresees it, and WARNS US!
TIME IS SHORT and swiftly running out on us! We STILL have time, and just BARELY time, to fulfill the Great Commission, before it's forever TOO LATE! We can't stop, falter, slacken our efforts now!
And yet SOME FEW of our co-workers continue to write in after every urgent appeal I'm forced to sent out! "Why is the work always in an emergency? Why must it always need more money?"
Oh, dear Co-workers, LISTEN! Let's all realize JUST WHERE WE STAND! We are in the very LAST DAYS! The only thing on earth that COUNTS, now, is THIS GREAT WORK OF GOD!
...Yes, this work ONCE AGAIN is in a LIFE-AND-DEATH CRISIS!
Yes, and what has happened to this work is destined to be of world importance! We will all see that a little later."
..."PROPHECY is being rapidly fulfilled. The whole world is swirling in the vortex toward the end of this world, into the WORLD TOMORROW! And what is happening to this work which God has committed to you and to me is a most important part of these prophesied events!…
Brethren, Co-Workers, LISTEN! This is as much YOUR call and commission—YOUR responsibility, as mine. Together we must sacrifice for it. ... So, YOU must be willing to sacrifice —to put this great Mission FIRST in your life and in the expenditures of your pocket-book. ONLY A FEW YEARS OF THE PRESENT ORDER—THE PRESENT CIVILIZATION—THE PRESENT WORLD, remain. After all, your money is not going to be worth any- thing anywhere ELSE, in a very few short years."
Would you see the only LIGHT OF THE WORLD extinguished? Read this carefully! The only light of the word is the TRUTH of God, and the true work of God proclaiming that truth in boldness and with power! Satan knows this. He hates this work of God causing that true light to shine in his darkened world! Satan is angry. He is furious. He strikes repeatedly at this work of God. He never lets up, but keeps attacking with increasing persistence. Consequently this work is brought into one crisis after another.
Unless this letter somehow can make ALL our co-workers REALIZE how urgently serious the situation has become, this true work of God will be put out at this true LIGHT shining forth over three nations extinguished the voice you’ve been hearing over the air proclaiming the very Gospel of Christ, which HE proclaimed, STILLED the PLAIN TRUTH stopped from publication – Ambassador College, where men called of God, Spirit-filled, consecrated, are being fitted for this precious work of God will be CLOSED DOWN!
That would be the greatest tragedy that could happen! But this precious and powerful work CANNOT SURVIVE ANOTHER MONTH- not even another week – unless somehow with the help of God I can at last AROUSE our co-workers – ALL of you – to be willing RIGHT NOW to make a real financial sacrifice for your Saviour who gave His LIFE for you – for the Christ who loves you so much He DIED for you – and to love HIM enough to come to the aid of His work immediately!
Note: The June 19, 1954 Good News reported that the membership growth averaged 56% per year from 1950-1954 and the highest income growth occurred during 1942-1955 (well over 30%/year).
1952 Co-worker letter: " ...CO-WORKERS, I MUST ASK YOU TO COME TO THE RESCUE BY RETURN MAIL WITH THE LARGEST SUMS YOU POSSIBLY CAN SEND. It's a dire need. It's an IMMEDIATE and URGENT need. This is the greatest work on earth. We need every dollar"— the widow' mites, and the larger amounts from those who are able."
September 9, 1953: "The Festival is just TWO WEEKS AWAY—we are UNDER PRESSURE—it is now the FINAL, URGENT CRISIS—We simply HAVE to raise this money! I know many of you have done almost more than you could. But somehow we now simply MUST make one last MIGHTY SACRIFICE to put this over the top."
"Again the need is URGENT! It takes money every day and every week, to operate this greatest work on earth."
February 24, 1954: "Here is I can't hold back the truth from you any longer. I have to tell you we have reached the breaking point---the extreme LIMIT--- in this tight squeeze holding on to the powerful net-work broadcast! Unless God now performs a MIRACLE thru you co-workers, we cannot carry on another week!"
April 4, 1954: "This is a matter of life and death! Even now it may be too late, but I'm rushing this on Sunday---even a day's delay would be fatal. READ EVERY WORD before you lay this down! It's far more than the life and death of any person---we face this minute the death of God's all-important work."
July 12, 1954: "Never has our faith been so severely tried. This financial "tight squeeze" not only is still on---it is squeezing harder than ever before. Physical APPEARANCES make the situation look hopeless!"
House upgrade: At some point during the 1950's, HWA moved from his large home near Cal Tech into an even larger home on Millionaire’s Row on 363 S. Orange Grove. Then later on, he moved from that home into a 6,450 sq-ft home at 210 S. Orange Grove that was valued at $5.5 million in March 2015 (despite the adjacent subdivisions that have occurred on the old Pasadena AC Campus after it was sold).
Co-worker letter, August 9, 1954. "Dear Co-Workers: God's great work is still in its tightest squeeze. In His great wisdom God is giving us, the family of Co-Workers He has called to His work, a great test of faith to TRY us---to develop PATIENCE---to teach us the great lesson of ENDURING TO THE END--- never quitting or giving up!"
Co-worker letter, September 30, 1954: " This letter is a matter of LIFE or DEATH -- far more important than any human life -- the very life or death of GOD'S GREAT WORK! Read this carefully and prayerfully. I am on the Atlantic racing home. I have just received word by long distance that the work is in an ACUTE CRISIS. I do not know at the moment whether we are still on the air."
...CO-WORKERS, WE HAVE TO RALLY TO THIS SUPREME EMERGENCY! If we should fail in this, God's precious work---the most important activity on this earth---would go down, and down,---and DIE! NOTHING, now, but SUPERHUMAN EFFORT on YOUR part as well as mine can save the work!
...And IF EVER we needed a complete DELUGE of widows' mites, that time is RIGHT NOW! THIS IS OUR SUPREME TEST!
November 20, 1957: "This is a quick and short EMERGENCY S.O.S.!!! This whole world has suddenly hit a stupendous CRISIS. At the same time, the most important activity on earth—GOD'S WORK—faces a crucial emergency."
January 10, 1958: “Here we are, in 1958! Time is running out on us..." "Brethren, WHAT ARE WE TO DO? We can't go ahead with this Tabernacle unless YOU MEMBERS SEND IN THE MONEY! We cannot take regular tithes and offerings away from the GOSPEL WORK around the world—WE CAN'T STOP GOD'S GREAT GOSPEL WORK—and put that money into the Tabernacle.
WHY, dear brethren, is it that unless I send out urgent appeals, most of you forget all about this great need, and QUIT DOING YOUR PART? W H Y ? Don't you realize that GOD is noting all we do—or fail to do? Don't you know we are to be rewarded according to our works?"
December 8, 1959: "… As world conditions step up toward the grand-smash CLIMAX of world VIOLENCE, and the END of this world, God is stepping up the power of HIS WORK! He is simultaneously blessing His people—CHRIST'S CO-WORKERS—with financial prosperity. AND HE EXPECTS US ALL TO GIVE, GENEROUSLY, FOR HIS WORK ACCORDING AS HE HAS BLESSED AND PROSPERED US—beside paying our honest TITHES which BELONG TO HIM!
...Co-Workers, let us dedicate ourselves right now as Co-Workers together with CHRIST, as never before"
Part 2 will cover the period between 1960 and 1986. Perhaps it is too early to draw conclusions but a thought does come to mind...
"In the beginning the church was a fellowship of men and women centering on the living Christ. Then the church moved to Greece where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome where it became an institution. Next, it moved to Europe, where it became a culture. And, finally, it moved to America where it became an enterprise". Richard Halverson
SUBMITTED BY: California Dreaming