Items For Prayer And Praise
By Lois J. Stucky
That He might glorify Himself, God sometimes starts with almost nothing and makes something of far-reaching blessing. When He made the universe, God spoke and it was done – a marvelous creation not made of anything that was seen. When God partners with people in bringing something into being, there may be required much from the human side – faith, sacrifice, labors, sweat, tears – but it is essentially God's doing through human lives, and the glory still goes to Him. Herald of His Coming fits well into this latter category.
Brother and Sister Moore, God's chosen instruments for bringing forth Herald of His Coming, had been giving themselves to prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, traveling and leading prayer meetings as others would join with them. In 1941 while residing in Los Angeles, they were unexpectedly approached by a Christian printer who urged them to put into print the message of prayer and revival that was so much burning in their hearts. Of this Sister Moore later wrote:
"We had never considered editing a paper. We had no editorial experience. We had no money. We had no certain dwelling place – no place from which to mail out the paper. We had no library such as editors are supposed to need. We had nothing, and ourselves were less than nothing.
"But we felt the hand of God upon us. We heard His voice saying, 'This is the way, walk ye in it.'" Faith and obedience led them to take that first step.
With fifty dollars sent to them by a friend to reprint the booklet "Revival Flames" which they were distributing, the Lord led them to pay for a printing of ten thousand Heralds, reprinting the booklet in the first issue. Then they were almost penniless to mail the paper out free of charge. And at that very time they learned they would have to move from the small room where they were staying and so there was no address from which to mail.
The publisher suggested they rent a post office box. "But such a luxury paid for three months in advance was in those days almost more than my faith could grasp," said Sister Moore. Nevertheless they took their last cent and rented the box. It proved to be a great blessing to have the permanent address of a post office box, for in the next three years they were forced to move five times. Those were wartime days and housing was at a premium. Buildings sold, canceling leases that had been taken on them.
Despise Not the Day of Small Things
They had no one backing them in this venture. They did not know how well the message would be received, as their vision was for a mighty move of the Holy Spirit in these end-time days, and this was not something commonly preached. No one promised to give regular support. For the first ten months, they put no date on the Herald paper, not knowing whether they could print regularly or not.
Though they had no certain income, the Lord made them to know He would be pleased to keep the message free of price, and they were to offer to mail it out freely to His people. In this way they could reach thousands, while requiring a subscription price could limit to hundreds. Some said it could not be done – but God wanted a witness as to what He could and would do in answer to faith and prayer.
From the first they challenged the readers to be workers together with them in whatever way they could. "When you are through with your paper, pass it on to others," they wrote. "As every man has received…so let him minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God…that God in all things be glorified through Jesus Christ to whom be praise and dominion forever."
"If this issue has ministered grace to your soul and you desire to stewardship the message of His coming to God's people everywhere," they wrote again, "offerings will be received to finance future issues. It will go forth regularly with its message of Christ's returning as those who love His appearing minister faithfully in the grace of giving."
"Give out of overflowing love and gratitude to God and with the prayer that it will redound to God's glory," they exhorted.
Much of faith and prayer it took – first for funds each month for the printing bill, and then for the mailing supplies and the postage. In those early days they sometimes printed, "If replies to letters are desired, kindly enclose postage." Even pennies counted.
God heard the heart pleas of the little praying band that sought His provision. Here and there He touched hearts to help. One incident recorded by Sister Moore is typical of others when God placed a spark of the little Herald band's spirit of faith and sacrifice in the hearts of friends.
Sister Moore wrote: "This last month while several workers here were holding before the Lord His exceeding great and precious promise, 'I will do marvels' (Ex. 34:10), and reminding Him of how He is grieved when we limit 'the Holy One of Israel' (Psa. 78:40-41) – strangely the Lord began to speak to a consecrated woman in another state regarding possessions she had which might be sold and used in keeping the Herald revival work and witness free in the Lord. Losing no time she sold her 'treasures' and gave the check to Herald of His Coming.
"To this consecrated steward who heard and heeded the voice of the Lord speaking to her soul, 'Go sell what thou hast,' hundreds this month owe their appreciation for the thousands of copies going forth to home and mission fields without money and without price," Sister Moore concluded.
We Must Bleed to Bless
No sacrifice of readers exceeded that of Brother and Sister Moore. They lived very humbly, very sacrificially, learning to be content with the simplest of living and eating. Every ounce of strength, every minute of time seemed thrown into the work of getting out the message God had put on their hearts.
It sometimes took desperate prayer to bring in additional workers that those on the job faint not under the load of work. Often it was the older friends who felt the burden and offered themselves. "Such labors of love! Such works of faith!" exclaimed Sister Moore. Diligent and untiring in their labors, they accomplished mountains of work. God used the weak by supplying the strength they needed. Younger and skilled and efficient soldiers of the cross joined the ranks, too. Through the years many records have been quietly written above of loving, sacrificial service to God that have brought joy to His heart as well as joy and fulfillment to those privileged to present themselves to the Lord in this way.
After there were eight or ten workers, it seemed good to Brother and Sister Moore to provide housing to reduce the cost of living for the workers. The building in which they had rented an office was an old mortuary. When the building was put up for sale, the Moores felt they had not strength to make yet another move. At the leading of the Lord, they proceeded to buy the building. One friend and wife mortgaged their home in order to help make the down payment. The remainder of the down payment was a sacrificial gift of another friend. Most of the rest of the cost of the building was paid in monthly payments, the Lord always providing through Herald readers what was needed above the printing and mailing costs.
The building had a chapel which served wonderfully well for the prayer meetings, and prayer meetings were many, many. There was also the large office, as well as smaller rooms for the workers and a common kitchen. There was a room downstairs to house the mailing department and a large garage for the Herald van. For twenty years or more this building housed the Herald work in downtown Los Angeles, a wonderful provision of the Lord.
And the message – oh, how vital that the message each month be what God wanted, what He had raised up the Herald to preach! It was to send forth God's message that the ministry existed. The message was the heart: Awaken the church! Set the saints everywhere to praying! Sound the midnight cry – Behold the Bridegroom cometh! Help prepare a church without spot or wrinkle! Plead for the fulfillment of God's promise to pour out of His Spirit upon all flesh!
Where were these messages to come from? Sister Moore shut herself away, poring over books and magazines, praying without ceasing. Somehow, miraculously, God provided.
And somehow God kept the flame of love and faith and zeal burning brightly in the hearts of Brother and Sister Moore in spite of a multiplicity of duties in managing the work, so that the message might sound loud and clear in the Herald pages, and might be so central in their own lives as to inspire fellow workers.
Much that was good had to be set aside, much had to die – in order that the Holy Spirit might have control. Many readers who felt the power of the message impact their lives little realized the behind-the-scenes price that was paid. But there must be the grain that falls into the ground and dies if there is to be fruit.
God Gives the Increase
In October 1946, Sister Moore wrote: "It was in October 1941 when the first issue was mailed out…In these five years, starting without experience, without help of any kind, without money, without one foreign address, today the Herald is reaching the Lord's people – and 'HOW,' the unconverted – in almost every place the English language is spoken. This is the Lord’s doings. The Government is on His shoulders! His Name is wonderful! Mighty God is He!”
At the first it was bills in the hundreds of dollars that had to be met, then bills of thousands of dollars. As God prospered His work, and calls came from many places around the world for the literature, it was the tens of thousands of dollars that were needed. As God gave new opportunities He provided the finances. But it was never without faith, often severe trials of faith, when mailings were delayed until the funds came in. It required much prayer and fasting and much sacrificial labor.
Fifty Years Later!
Today, fifty years after the first issue of Herald of His Coming, there are still battles of faith. Because Brother and Sister Moore built the Herald on a foundation of faith and prayer and enlisted as many readers as possible in building with us, today there is a good praying constituency behind Herald of His Coming. How important this is! It is wonderfully encouraging to read in many letters from readers that you are praying for us.
In this day the temptation is to look at the present economic situation which looks quite dismal. Instead we must fix our faith on the promises of God. Someone this week encouraged us to stand on Hebrews 6:14: "Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee." It's the devil's business to keep our eyes on circumstances, and therefore intimidated. It is our responsibility to look to God and to His Word, and to dare to believe Him.
This is a day of tremendous opportunity. To those who are standing with us, we express our very great thanks. We do not take your gifts and your prayers for granted. We receive them as your love offering to God and as a trust from Him to which we want to preach the message and perform the ministry that God gave uniquely to the Herald many years ago. Let us continue to strive together to be right in the center of God's will, doing with all of our heart what He has given us to do.
Being fifty years nearer the coming of the Lord than when He commissioned Brother and Sister Moore to put this message into print, we see on every hand wars, famines, pestilences, and perilous times. All tell us we are rushing to the climax. Your gifts and prayers help us redeem the time. Thank you, thank you, and God bless you for the part you are taking with us.