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   The World Tomorrow, Garner Ted Armstrong brings you the plain truth about today's world news and the prophecies of the World Tomorrow.

   Fall harvest festivals are a part of every civilization called Feast of Harvest or Harvest Home celebrations, feasts of in-gathering. All of them have one central theme, that of Thanksgiving. A Thanksgiving Day makes sense for an agrarian rural society, with the smells of hay and apple cider, shocks of harvested corn, bright orange pumpkins in the fields, fall colors of fire in the hearth, and the smell of fresh-baked bread and roasted turkey or pheasant in the air.

   But what about modern United States of America, Space Age America, with the dizzying problems of soaring prices, of scarcity and shortages of food and fuel, lack of confidence in government, terrible morass of problems abroad, of the population explosion and pollution all around us, the soaring spiraling cost of living, and mounting crime? Does it make any sense this year to be truly thankful for anything?

   The United States and Canada have special Thanksgiving days, Thanksgiving, giving of thanks. Thanks for what and to whom do you give thanks to? Your neighbor, the boss, the person who gives you the paycheck, the grocer, the butcher, if we still have such things. Most of us go to supermarket meat counters. Who do we give thanks to? And for what?

   Now it's easy to be pessimistic because there's so much that is wrong around us that almost anybody, from the average housewife to a truck driver or a government official, can tell you what's wrong with the world. But, you know, in spite of it all, there is always a great deal you can find in your own life to be thankful for. I'm not kidding. It's not just a swan song. Some kind of a religious, come on.

   I have met people who have been blind and crippled. Who have made me feel about that high when I start talking to them and they begin to sound happy and begin making sounds about their lives and their interests. As a matter of fact, I had a letter that kind of gently rebuked me not long ago for putting down blind people, not by putting them down, but by saying that I was sorry for them by expressing a little bit of pity. I was saying, I believe that if you had your choice, you'd almost rather be deaf than blind because blind sounded so terrible and so bad. If you just close your eyes for a while and pretend you can't see. It's a terrible thing.

   And this blind person wrote back and told me that they don't feel that way about themselves. Told me of the interest in their lives, told me of the fantastic things they can hear and of the voice communication they can have and how this means much more to them, to reach another human mind and to share thoughts and ideas and even to be able to see. And so I was both sound and rebuked and encouraged by the fact that here is a person that had a terrible handicap, that would be a trauma for any seeing person to suddenly have that handicap and yet had a great deal to be thankful for.

   Well, we have special Thanksgiving days and are always religious in nature. If you go back in history of the United States, it all began way back in the 16 hundreds in the colonist days of New England. The first Thanksgiving Day was celebrated less than a year after the Plymouth colonists settled the first winter, killed half of that Massachusetts colony. And in spite of that, because of a very good harvest, the next autumn, they had after the decree by Governor William Bradford, a three-day period of feast and prayer, a family affair. And that occurred finally on July 30th, 1623. And you've seen the woodcuts and the pictures of how the Indians brought turkeys and venison and everybody ate together outside on long tables.

   The various states began perpetuating this tradition that got started back there in 1623 and held on individual Thanksgiving days. And finally, Abraham Lincoln designated the last Thursday in November as universal nationwide Thanksgiving Day. I believe it was during the Roosevelt administration, many years later, 75 years later, that the fourth Thursday in November became the official legal holiday as it remains today.

   Well, so much for the history of it. But what meaning does the Association of Purple Mountain Majesty and of the waving fields of grain and sea to shining sea of the bounty, the abundance, the magnificence of the fabulous land of the United States of America with soils so deep and so rich if it were in another country, you'd make a national park out of it and build a fence around it. I mean, one acre of some of that Iowa or Illinois topsoil with its thickness could be spread out over several square miles in some countries. You could talk about the earth and it would still look like a national park.

   Does it make any sense though? In rich, abundant, overstuffed, overfed America in our day today, when you see all around you cities with palls of smoke and smog hovering over virtually the entire nation from high above the land in an airplane, you can see from coast to coast and border to border a smoggy haze. Just recently, I was on my way back into L.A. again and I was up, but I forget now, 37,000, 39,000, 35,000 somewhere in a jet and about 400 miles away, you can begin to look and you see this giant pall, it spreads for hundreds of miles in all directions. And the closer you get, the more you wonder is anybody still alive down there? Is this what we're thankful for? No, we're not.

   The rivers once clear, pure sources of water that a person could drink out of standing on the bank, well, shall I say, stooping, have become clogged with sewage and industrial wastes. The mountains once forested with trees have too often been raped by loggers in their quest for paper and lumber without planning for the future. That's not true in every case but true in many cases. The coastlines are littered with oil spills and shipping wastes. Our highways are littered with cellophane wrappers, thrown-away bottles and beer cans, trash of all sorts. Is that what we're thankful for?

   The lazy attractive New England villages and Virginian cities of the 17 and 18 hundreds have given way to the crowded megalopolis of the seventies and who can imagine what they'll be like in the eighties with population doubling, slums, concrete, billboards, asphalt, wires, noxious gases, tenement housing, belching smokestacks. These characterize today's modern cities.

   Nationally, we can't ignore the subject of war. Wars have always been unpopular. Nobody wants war but the last two major American wars, Korea and Vietnam have so completely disenchanted our youth that there may well be no recovery. The older generation has failed to find the answers to our pressing problems. Our youth are refusing to search for the answers. Already, too many of our young men and women are sick of life turned off. Some of them suicides, many of them runaways and many more are dropping out to form hippie communes or search for some new answer in some drug cult. Is this what we're thankful for?

   Socially crime and violence are a way of life and parcel of entertainment. And part of what we many of us are engaged in. We cower in our homes in the face of urban crimes of violence. And then we entertain ourselves by watching violence and crime on the television screen. We entertain ourselves with what we fear and hate in our own environment and yet we look at it and enjoy it vicariously in the locked, safeguarded and protection of our own homes. Are we thankful for this?

   Even the elements seem to be cooperating and participating the past year in earthquakes, floods, freezes, droughts, hurricanes and twisters, fires consuming. Yet more of what resources we have left. Is this what we are thankful for? No, we're not thankful for these things yet these things are real.

   Education seems bent on discord, disunity and self-rule. Our college campuses have become hotbeds of crime and immorality. We're witnessing if not the death of the family, then at least the further vitiation of the family ties that build our civilization.

   This Thanksgiving, there are many, many more homes disrupted by divorce, broken asunder by family squabbles and fights where people have died, where teenagers have run away. Many more homes too where there can be no feast, no food, no meat, no Thanksgiving dinner. Because turkeys cost too much and sometimes become in short supply.

   As a nation, we are staggering under a great crisis in agriculture and a great economic crisis. But in spite of all of these things to be unthankful for, there are still many reasons, believe it or not, why America should give thanks in a moment. I'll tell you what some of those reasons are.

   Our crowded courts represent a legal system feeling the crush of its own weight. This system cannot prevent the breaking of laws since order in society begins in the mind of the individual broken laws are symptomatic of broken character. Self-discipline needs to be learned in the home and maintained throughout life. The late J. Edgar Hoover once said that a child who has been taught to respect the laws of God will have little difficulty respecting the laws of man. God's law is founded on ten basic principles. The Ten Commandments, simple, direct and effective, the way to true justice. For a clear explanation of these principles request, The Ten Commandments. This free booklet shows how all ten of these time-tested principles can benefit you. Write for, The Ten Commandments. Your copy is free of charge for your free copy, call toll-free 800-423-4444. That's 800-423-4444.

   Possibly the best way to explain Thanksgiving is to find out first of all, who we are in history and how it is we came to wallow around like first-class passengers on this earth spaceship of ours in 50% of the wealth of all of humankind. Yet representing only about 6% of the population. In history you know who the Egyptians are, or at least we think we do, we know who the Germans are and where we know about Saracens and Turks. We know about people in Ethiopia and Abyssinia. We know about the Saudi Arabians. But who are we in the United States of America and Canada in Britain? The English-speaking democracies of the world. Who are we? Where did we come from? And how did we come to be what we are? How did we get the great national blessings we enjoy? Is it just fortuitous luck happenstance an accident that we happen to live in the choicest pieces of real estate the world has ever known and could ever provide?

   I mean, the world is pretty well discovered now, you know, it's all discovered. It's all there, there aren't really all those lost valleys where people live in idyllic lives like a garden of Eden existence running around nude with dinosaurs. In spite of what the comic books told you when you were a child, it's all been discovered. Not long ago, I flew over the Mato Grosso of Brazil, which is called the, uh, what is it called in English? The Mato Grosso. Anyhow, it's the Amazon Jungle. I guess that's the best word for it. And it is a fantastic experience to realize that you're flying hour after hour covering the same territory as crossing the entirety of the United States of America. And yet down below, you see nothing but just green mile after mile and hundreds of miles after hundreds of miles never even cut by a road. And you realize that down there are these huge trees of all sorts of rare hardwoods, an absolute rainforest, virtually no soil underneath, filled with leeches with three-toed sloths, with bushmasters and with anacondas and boa constrictors with, uh, some as they call them tigres or the tigers of that continent. And even with headhunting savages and people begin to wonder.

   Well, maybe the Amazon jungle is the last bastion of civilization where we can discover ways to feed and house and clothe the expanding populations of the earth. Maybe the rainforests and the jungles will someday be peopled and populated. Oh, no, no, not so because of the terrible climatic pattern, because of the fantastic drainage of the tons upon tons of water eroding and washing all soil away because of the lack of penetration of sunlight. But primarily because of the fact that it is a rainforest and a jungle. It is uninhabitable, virtually uninhabitable and it is nonproductive. There is virtually no soil there to grow the food that people need. Is it just accident that the fantastic farm belt of the United States of America, those states where we grow so much corn that we feed mostly to the hogs like Illinois and Iowa and Ohio and so on. And even the Central Valley of California where about 46% of all the vegetables of the entirety of the United States are grown, the richest, most fertile and deepest and best soil that exists anywhere on the face of the earth.

   How did we come to inherit that? Where did we come from in history? And who are we, you know, historians and economists both marvel at the miracle of America and well, they should because they shake their heads in wonderment of how could it have happened? Africa isn't like this. Europe is not Asia is not central and South America are not. There is no other place on the face of the earth that is so rich in natural resources, in mineral wealth beneath the soil and the soil itself. And the United States of America, we have been more blessed than any other peoples on the face of the earth.

   And we have tended to give away more than other nations have even had to begin with. As a matter of fact, we've even been called Uncle Sap by a lot of people in the past. And we have now come into a time where a lot of the young people see only as political interference in the domestic and the private lives of other nations and CIA skullduggery such as arranged and paid for assassinations of the like any involvement of America in terms of foreign aid is viewed with great suspicion on the part of many people inside this country, but it wasn't always that way.

   And there have been many noteworthy exceptions such as that fantastic peacetime armada, the largest in all of history at a time when India needed desperately reserves of grain. And the fact that the United States of America for purely humanitarian considerations has tended to send more money and more grain and more edibles of all sorts. So, a nation such as India, which is rarely if ever backed up United States foreign policies in the United Nation has always tended to go it alone or lean at least toward Communistic block pressure. And yet here we are giving, giving, giving, we have given away and thus been called Uncle Sap instead of Uncle Sam, more money in terms of national possessions than many other nations own to begin with.

   And there are noteworthy exceptions about CIA skullduggery. You can include in this, the Berlin airlift if you choose and many, many other occasions where the United States has given purely from a humanitarian point of view and the consideration of sparing human life unselfishly. We can be said to be Uncle Sap. But we can also be said that we are the most generous country on the face of this earth. And you have to look back in world history and you have to ask yourselves, what kind of a world would it have been? First, you could say without an England, what kind of a world would it have been without the entire development of what we call modern Christian civilization, human individual dignity and personal rights.

   What about the magna carta? If there had never been in England and never been a magna carta? Where would we be today? If there had never been a United States of America? Look at World War I and World War II and in all of our history, what would the world be like without an America? I think we all know that it would be a squalid, wretched, miserable place torn by wars far different than it is today. There is a great historical background to our peoples of which most of us are utterly ignorant.

   4000 years ago, there was a man who was named Abraham. It was mentioned in the very first few chapters of the Bible who was told to get himself out from his kingdom and his land and go to a strange new land that God was going to show him and he was given a guarantee of promise that was to go right on down from generation after generation. He was called after his name was changed from Abram to Abraham because the name meant father of many nations. And he was called the father of many nations.

   It was prophesized that all of him would come kings in a succession of dynasty of kings and all of him would come millions upon millions of inhabitants who had spread abroad to the north, the south, the east and the west. And you can look around the world at the peoples that came from the earliest peoples in Britain, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. And you can see people in Australia and you can see people all over the world. Even many of the people in the Argentine, as they say in Britain or Argentina are a British extraction.

   You see people in Britain itself, of course, and the democracies of Northwestern Europe and we in Canada and the United States of America, we can trace our national ancestries in our history back to Britain, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, and maybe back to Brittany and from there, back to portions of Northwestern Europe.

   But from there, where do you go back in history? You can find the origins of our peoples, you can find their earlier names and you can find it is absolutely true that the footsteps of humankind do lead away from the Middle East and that is eventually where we came from.

   Why is it that the people of the United States of America perpetuate many customs that began with God's calling Abraham? Why is it to touch on one subject that might embarrass some? The custom of circumcision is widely practiced in the United States and recommended by most doctors. But we think only a Jewish custom is that because of Jewish influence alone? I tell you, no, it is not.

   Look in your phone book sometime and ask yourself who are the descendants of Jacob? Look up the word Jacob in the phone book and see how many there are Jacoby and Jacobson's and so on. What about Isaac? See if you can find any Isaacs and Sacks and Isaacson's and so on. Sons of Isaac in the modern-day American and British and Canadian phone books. And what about Abrams and Abramson and all of these other names?

   But what about the ancient Hebrew names themselves? You know that God pronounced a covenant with Abraham and demanded of him that he cut in his own flesh. A symbol of that covenant and guaranteed national wealth, great national wealth. The descriptions that are given in the Bible that would be the lot of the property of Abraham's descendants are almost unbelievable. I'm going to show you exactly what those descriptions were and two very important factors.

   One, the great blessings that we were prophesized to inherit. And number two, the terrible responsibility that has come along with those blessings in just a moment.

   Leisure mania, leisure media, never before has any society manufactured so many gimmicks, gadgets and goodies to fill its leisure time. The Ambassador College publication, Modern Romans compares our western civilization with ancient Rome. The pleasure craze is only one aspect of this striking parallel. You'll also read about the home and its part in the fabric of society. The responsibilities of education, the need for meaningful religion, the use of economics, politics, and militarism. How long can any nation follow the headlong decadence of Rome and still expect to endure.

   The Modern Romans will help you see our troubled times in proper historical context, The Modern Romans will be sent upon request as a free public service. For your free copy, call, toll-free 800-423-4444. That's 800-423-4444.

   If there is no God, then what I'm about to tell you doesn't make sense. If there is a God, it does. And there is a very severe and a grave responsibility laid upon each and every one of us in this fabulous country. There is a God and you can prove it, you can prove it by the laws of science. You can prove it by the intellect.

   You can simply ask yourself who made the human mind and the marvelous brain of a man that can think and reason. And plan and then produce and bring into reality and invent ingeniously and make function and work what his mind is reasoned out and plan. You cannot understand anything at all in this modern space age of ours that it came into being gradually through chaotic randomness. You must understand that it takes greater intelligence to produce lesser intelligence and not the other way around, order, beauty harmony and law does not come from chaos, from randomness, from happenstance and Capris. It's the other way around entirely.

   There is a God and the laws that are revealed in the Old Testament of your Bible that have to do with the land are not just statements by a wrathful God that was trying to grind one of the nation, Israel underfoot. They are vastly important principles that apply to our ecosystem. They are principles that apply to growing things to human bodies and human minds. And more than that, they are principles of a great covenant between God and his people. Not chosen in the sense of being favorite, but chosen in the sense of having a great responsibility to all the rest of the world, which responsibility they have never fulfilled. And that includes us today.

   The commands that he gives have to do with the inheritance of possessions such as we ourselves are sitting right on top of today in rich, comfortable overfed America way back in the Old Testament.

   And this is from a newer English version. I'm reading in more modern English than in the Old Testament King James. It was said that God pronounced to the ancestors of our own peoples. "You shall faithfully observe all the instruction that I enjoin upon you today, that you may thrive and increase and be able to occupy the land which the Eternal promised to oath to your fathers or on oath by his own oath. For the Eternal, your God is bringing you into a good land. A land with streams and springs and fountains issuing from plain and hill, a land of wheat and barley of vines, figs and pomegranates a land of olive trees and honey, a land where you may eat food without stint where you will lack nothing. A land whose rocks are iron and from whose hills you can mine copper when you have eaten your fill, give thanks to the Eternal your God for the good land which he has given you."

   But he went on to say that if we do not obey his laws, then there is going to come a great curse. He said, remember though that it is the Eternal your God who gives you the power to get wealth in fulfillment of the covenant that he made on oath with your fathers. As is still the case. He goes on to say if you do forget the Eternal your God, which we have and follow other gods to serve them or bow down to them except our other gods now are called money, position, prestige, status, wealth, automobiles, all sorts of motorbikes and scooters, boats, camper trailers, equipment, and material, clothing, vanity, all of these things we covet the human being who puts more attention and more time and more concern and more consideration into how to get money. Even honestly is a person who has another God before the true God, just as surely as any agent, savage bowing down to a leering stone, make no mistake about that. Because the Bible tells us that we worship the things which our own hands manufacture do we suppose in the United States of America that we are so good that we are such geniuses that the combination of sheer luck of the fortuitous accident of the pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock and everything that has happened from that time to this. And the fact that we're just better people has resulted in us wallowing around in half of the entire wealth of all of mankind when we represent only about 6% of the human population.

   And we have not been ungenerous with our wealth, but we have never seemed to wake up to realize how we got it, who gave it to us and what are the responsibilities we have in the way we use it. And especially you would think on Thanksgiving Day, we would look at the fact that the United States of America has been and still is in so many ways though, we see the terrible curses beginning to come upon us today. But we have been and we still are the richest single nation. The world has ever seen. The most vaunted civilization, the highest gross national product, the highest standard of living.

   We have come to the place in our standard of living today and in our capitalistic system of free enterprise where we see tons and tons of food that could feed the mouths of destitute people being dumped out in the fields and burnt, set fire to or destroyed and allowed to rot or poured out as in milk strikes in New York, not too many years ago, simply because jealous and greedy people filled with avarice and a desire for self and to get for self are more concerned with money, which is dwindling and threatens to collapse anyhow any day than they are with the natural resources of the land. You can't eat money, but you can sure enough drink that milk and eat those melons and those potatoes that people are pouring out and wasting.

   No America is not thankful enough. They don't give thanks. We do not as a person, as individuals and as a nation collectively to God, even on Thanksgiving Day instead of a day for deep reflection and thanking our heavenly Father for the very fact of living in America of what America has been and what it still should be and what it could become and saying thank you to our Heavenly Father for the very fact that we walk in this land and we, we breathe even it's polluted air. No, it's a day for football. It's a day for mayhem on the highways. Oftentimes a day for violence.

   And there have been cases of people stabbing each other. I've read at least two such cases over the radio programs and television in the past of members of one family that leapt to their feet and rushed out to get a gun or a knife and come back to stab somebody or shoot somebody right over the Thanksgiving turkey. Some few people take time out and really regard it as a religious kind of a day to give thanks for the Eternal God and for all of his blessings.

   But you know, the point is that God has kept his part of the bargain. You've seen that, you see it all around you. He gave us this land. He's given us all these good things, we wallow around in them. But we have not kept our part of that bargain. We have not kept his laws. We do not keep consciousness of the true God and of his way of life in our minds. And we don't even, most of us bother to take time out on Thanksgiving Day to say thanks to the Eternal God, our creator who gives us every breath of air we breathe since we have broken our part of the bargain. How long is God constrained to keep on observing his part.

   This book on The Ten Commandments gives you the key to understanding Bible prophecy, biblical history, all of biblical scripture because it shows you can only understand it if you are observing God's law, it goes right down the line on every single one of the ten commandments making them come alive in the light of today's world conditions. Chapter one on the first one, chapter one through ten on the ten Commandments. It's 144 pages long, full color illustrated, absolutely free of charge and no price. Also request the current Plain Truth magazine. Any other booklets I've mentioned, we have hundreds. You be sure and tell us what subject you're interested in. We can probably find one to cover it sooner or later.

   So this book, The Ten Commandments is a very fine book, finding fine quality, good hardcover will last you a long time free of charge. All you need to do is to send your letter to me, Garner Ted Armstrong, Pasadena, California. And we'll send it to you by return mail free of charge. Or if you don't live inside the state of California, you can call the toll-free number which we will follow. Until next time, Garner Ted Armstrong, goodbye, friends.

   You have heard the World Tomorrow with Garner Ted Armstrong, sponsored by the Worldwide Church of God. For literature offered on this program. Send your requests along with the call letters of this station to Garner Ted Armstrong Pasadena, California 91123. Or you may dial this toll-free number. 800-423-4444.

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Broadcast Date: 1977