VOL IV. Number 1 February 16, 1943
Published every little while, by your radio-pastor
editor, Herbert W. Armstrong, Box 111, Eugene, Ore.,
to bring spiritual edification and encouragement to
our little family of Co-Workers who make possible
the RADIO CHURCH OF GOD and The PLAIN TRUTH.
ALMOST daily letters are received from interested radio
listeners saying "I should like to know more about your work."
This, then, is an explanation.
This work, we believe, has been raised up of Almighty God
to sound a definite WARNING to our people, and to proclaim in these
closing days that which has not been proclaimed, the TRUE Gospel---
the Good News of the KINGDOM OF GOD.
In the Bible---God's revelation and special message to
man---are whole chapters and books of prophecy whose meaning has
been sealed until this present time of the END. Whole Books of the
Bible had no meaning to those of a generation or two ago. Like
Daniel's prophecy (Dan. 12:8-10) these vital prophecies were sealed
---closed to human understanding until NOW. They pertain to world
events, NOW. A very large portion of all the prophecies of the
Bible pertain to THIS very generation in which we live.
Bible prophecies have foretold that, in these latter
days, the popular churches would have turned their ears away from
hearing the TRUTH, and be turned to FABLES; (II Tim, 4:1-4) being
DECEIVED into believing they have the truth (Rev.13:14; 18:3;
19:20). That they would maintain all the FORM of religion, but
be devoid of God's POWER, or of true understanding (II Tim. 3:1-
5). That they would refuse to HEAR the law of the Eternal, and
would demand that their ministers preach the soft and smooth
things, and the deceits (Isa. 30:8-40). And that, as a result,
the ministers of this time would be "feeding themselves" instead
of the flock---that is, preaching what they are TOLD in order to
retain their salaries, instead of preaching GOD'S TRUTH. (Ezek.
The prophecies show that our people today are "IN
BABYLON" (Rev. 18:4),---that is, in confusion---with hundreds of
sects and denominations, each interpreting the Bible differently.
The Bible should not BE interpreted at all. If I write you a
letter making plain, simple statements, you understand my meaning
without "interpreting" my letter. If you begin to "interpret" what
I said, you would be applying to it a meaning DIFFERENT from the
obvious intended meaning of plain simple statements. And so it is
with the Bible. Differences in belief come from INTERPRETING, when
God never intended us to interpret His Message at all. That is why
Jesus said that the Scriptures would be revealed unto BABES, but
hidden from the wise and prudent. Know when we encounter the
symbolic language of prophecy, still WE are not to interpret it.
Always the Scripture interprets its OWN symbols.
But denominations necessarily are bound to their
particular traditional creeds or doctrines. They are not free to
confess error in their teaching, or admit a new revelation of truth
which would upset their past teachings. Consequently God has been
unable to use them as instruments for proclaiming the long-hidden
messages of these sealed prophecies NOW OPENED, which contain a
live, most vital WARNING to our people today!
I was in business in Chicago, as a publishers'
representative, when God first called me to His service. My wife
had a most unusual dream---perhaps more of a vision than a dream
---in which she "saw" the second coming of Christ, as it first
appeared, or a warning vision of it, as it then turned out. In
this remarkable dream, she saw Christ descend; and she feared
greatly for me, knowing I was not converted. But Jesus descended
immediately in front of us, and placed His arms around us both,
then revealing this was not His second coming----but that it would
be soon, and He was calling me to a special mission. At the
time, I was awed when my wife told me of the dream, but suggested
she tell it to some minister. I did not take it seriously---
then. My heart was set on business success and making money. I
was unusually successful for a young man, fired with an over-
powering ambition. I had studied hard, applied myself diligently,
and felt assured of great success in the business world.
Overnight, God took away this business. Every large and
important advertising client---multi-million dollar corporations---
went into the hands of the receiver during the depression of 1920-
21. Twice afterward I started other businesses. Each promised to
grow to national proportions, was on the very threshold of big
success, when forces entirely out of my control swept them suddenly
and completely away. I couldn't understand it.
I had endeavored to run away from God's call in order to
achieve success in business and make money. My business was my
god. My sin was along economic lines; the punishment had to be
economic. For seven years my family had to suffer poverty with
me. It was like King Midas in reverse---everything I touched
turned to NOTHING, no matter how diligently or determined the
It was during this time that my interest was drawn by two
incidents to the Bible. My wife had suddenly come upon a truth
which seemed to me utterly fanatical. Contrary to my orders, she
insisted on following and living this truth. Divorce was even
threatened, but first I exacted a promise that she would give it
up, provided I would study the Bible and be able to show her where
she was in error. For six months I wrestled with this Bible truth,
and ended up by facing the alternative of accepting it or resorting
to a dishonest perverting of God's Word. God had "softened" me up
for this surrender by financial reverses and discouragements almost
beyond description. The surrender was made, the truth accepted,
and then, for the first time in his life the writer began to really
understand the Bible. Until then it had been like reading in some
foreign language. Now it became plain, simple, understandable---
and the most interesting, fascinating, enjoyable study of his life.
It was about the same time that a sister-in-law, having
encountered the arguments and hypotheses for the doctrine of
evolution in studying geology and biology in college, challenged
me on this subject, and wounded my pride by calling me "ignorant"
because I did not believe the theory of evolution. Then I also
set out to thoroughly STUDY evolution, and in doing so, studied
the Bible revelation of CREATION. I succeeded in convincing the
sister-in-law that it was SHE who had been in ignorance.
As a result of these two incidences, I made a full
surrender to God, and was converted. This was during the seven-
years' punishment God inflicted, and came when there was plenty
of time for study. Many hours a day were devoted to Bible study.
The writer was amazed to find that many of the teachings of his
boy-hood Sunday school days were the exact OPPOSITE of the plain,
simple statements of the Bible.
At first I was confused---bewildered. But I read in
James 1:5: "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ASK OF GOD, . . .
and it shall be given." I did ask, first for UNDERSTANDING, then
for wisdom, which is right knowledge, rightly APPLIED. I began to
pray a great deal---to pray as I studied---and much of my Bible
study from then on was done on my knees. Gradually the picture
cleared. Bible study became my great life-interest. It became a
passion. Not as a hobby or side-interest. Not as a means of
winning arguments. But purely for the love of the truth itself
which had been born in my heart and soul, and as a means of
learning HOW TO LIVE. I studied daily, often until long after
midnight. I read the writings, studied the doctrines of various
faiths and denominations---always following the example of the
Bereans which God commanded, "searching the Scriptures daily,
WHETHER those things were so." And I have BELIEVED only what I
found PROVED in God's Word.
Having been a trained writer, it was but natural that the
amazing, fascinating new truths uncovered were written up in
article form. Not necessarily with an intention of having these
articles published, but as a matter of self-satisfaction. But as
a few Christian friends who were deep Bible students began to read
some of these articles, they urged me to speak before various
groups. This at first I refused to do. Finally, however, a
definite invitation to speak before a certain church group was
accepted, because I had a message I felt literally IMPELLED to give
Somehow that broke the ice. For the first time in my
life I prayed aloud before others that day, upon an unexpected
request I dared not refuse. Enthusiastic invitations to speak
again, followed that meeting. Soon a request came to hold a ten-
day evangelistic campaign in a church in a small Oregon town. It
was during the holidays when I had time on my hands. I agreed to
attempt my first evangelistic effort, on condition that every
member of that church promise to devote at least one solid hour
each day to earnest prayer for these meetings, to be continued
until the close of the campaign. Four or five conversions were the
fruit of that first effort, but I have always believed that even
greater good, if possible, came to the congregation as a whole from
the hour-a-day each one devoted to private prayer. Two or three
weeks of that made them a much CHANGED congregation.
Following this brief campaign, I was invited to conduct
a short four-meetings-in-three-days campaign at the Baptist church
in the next town.
And so, gradually, I was simply DRAWN into the ministry.
I never sought to enter it. Rather, like Jonah, I had tried to run
away from God's commission. But God threw me overboard into the
depths of economic punishment until I learned my lesson. Not that
I ran from it intentionally. I was not really conscious of the
fact God was calling me to His service. My mind was too filled
with material interests to clearly recognize the spiritual call.
But now, during this seven years, all the former pride,
ego, and self confidence was torn out root and branch, painful tho
the process was. I came to the place where ALL confidence was
lost. A strong man may, by sheer will-power, get up again when he
is knocked down. But if he is knocked down enough times, he
finally stays down. I came to the place where I decided I never
had had the unusual ability I had fancied. I looked upon myself as
a burned-out piece of junk, not even worthy to be thrown on the
scrap-pile. The old Herbert Armstrong died, and with him all faith
in Herbert Armstrong. Self-confidence was dead. But now a NEW
kind of confidence was born---a confidence, not in self or self-
ability, but an abiding FAITH IN GOD! Time after time we were
forced to throw ourselves upon God's mercy and depend upon an
immediate and miraculous answer to prayer. Time after time the
ANSWER CAME! Too consistently to be dismissed as coincidence.
Once I had to ask God to SEND to us, at once, a dime for milk for
the baby. In less than three minutes the dime came---was literally
brought to our house. Another time, my wife could not have lived
another twenty-four hours. She was suffering from a combination of
things---blood-poison, a dog-bite, quinsy, internal complications.
She had not been able to drink a drop of water, eat a bite of food,
or sleep a wink in 72 hours---three days and three nights. A
believing couple came and prayed a prayer of FAITH such as we had
never heard before,---simply, believingly, claiming God's PROMISES
as stated in the Scriptures,---and Mrs. Armstrong was INSTANTLY
healed of all these critical ailments simultaneously. Another
time, we had to have $75 at once, and didn't know where to turn.
After 24 hours' FASTING and prayer, the very next mail brought it
from a totally unexpected source. FAITH, like muscle, is
strengthened by EXERCISE---and God has graciously imposed upon us
a very great deal of that exercise, until, like George Mueller, we
have learned that whatever God promises in His Word HE WILL PERFORM
---and if we can be sure of God's will THRU HIS WORD, then we KNOW
we have the answer---and it always comes! We have had, in other
words, to come to really KNOW the Eternal, and we have found Him
GOOD! The writer knows God loves him much, because God punishes
every son He loves---and we have had to suffer a very great deal.
But this suffering, and the thousands of EXPERIENCES we have had to
live thru, have taught us valuable lessons, and manifested His live
in blessings which words could never describe.
From the time I began an active ministry, my labors were
blessed and always have been successful. As long as I continued to
strive to MAKE MONEY and build a business, every effort came to
naught. But on the contrary, every effort devoted to God's service
was blessed, and today we look back upon a fruitage of hundreds of
conversions, countless answered prayers, many changed lives, and
the GOSPEL, together with God's last warning for America, has been
carried to many hundreds of thousands all over the United States
In the summer of 1933, the present work was started. I
was called to hold meetings in a little one-room country school-
house eight miles west of Eugene. I started there without money---
not even money to print hand-bills. I borrowed a typewriter, wrote
out announcements giving the topics of sermons, and went around
over the country-side personally inviting people to come. The
attendance started good, grew as the meetings progressed, until
often even standing room was taken. There were several
conversions, and a small church started with these new converts
forming a good portion of the little congregation.
The first Sunday in 1934 the RADIO CHURCH OF GOD went on
the air for the first time---and has never missed a Sunday since.
During the preceding October, I had been told of an opportunity to
speak over KORE, local radio station, for 15 minutes each morning
for one week, conducting the "morning devotional" period carried by
the station. To me, this was a serious opportunity, and I put a
great deal of time and study into the preparation of the script.
On the morning of the first broadcast, I well remember, about one
or two minutes before I went on the air, the thought came that all
people speaking for their first time on the radio are supposed to
suffer "mike fright." "Why, I'm not suffering any mike fright," I
remember thinking, "I'm as cool and calm as a cucumber." Then came
the red light and for the first time in my life, I was "ON THE
AIR." The script was all written, and as the words began to pour
into the microphone, I was startled to notice that for some
unexplainable reason I was almost out of breath, my heart was
pounding, and I was so nervous I could hardly read. I couldn't
imagine what had happened to me so suddenly, when not a minute ago
I had been so calm. But I struggled thru it, and after five
minutes or so, had forgotten this heart-pounding nervousness, and
had my whole mind on the message I wanted the hundreds of listeners
I was amazed, a few days later---and the officials of the
station were even more amazed---when letters began to pour in from
listeners asking for copies of these morning radio talks. The
station had never before received mail as a result of this morning
devotional period. The announcer and station owner got together
and proposed that I start a regular Sunday morning "Radio Church."
They told me I had a good radio voice, and apparently had something
that the listeners wanted. And so this broadcasting work began.
At that time it cost us $2.50 per week, and it took a lot of FAITH!
$2.50 was a lot of money in those days! But by faith it came.
The PLAIN TRUTH made its bow before some 200 readers one
month later, on February 1st. That first number was printed on a
mimeograph machine. I borrowed the use of a typewriter to cut the
stencils, and borrowed the use of the mimeograph. A friend
contributed $5 which covered the cost of paper, ink, stencils, and
postage for that first number. The coming issue of The PLAIN TRUTH
will cost upwards of a thousand dollars to publish and to mail.
That first number had a circulation of about 200 copies, as nearly
as I can remember---while the coming number will have a press-run
of 25,000 copies!
From that time on the work grew steadily. Each time was
devoted to holding personal evangelistic campaigns, and many
precious souls were given us for our hire. After some three or
four years, during which the RADIO CHURCH grew to be a real Lane
county institution, the way finally opened to expand the broadcast
to include a Portland station. We started there on station KXL,
then on a power of 100 watts. The station changed hands after nine
months, and the new owner refused to carry any religious programs.
We then went over to KWJJ which then had a power of 500 watts. It
increased later to 1,000 watts. Just recently we have gone back to
KXL, which now broadcasts the Message on a power of 10,000 watts,
Oregon's most powerful station, again under different ownership.
But to go back a little. For a time, just prior to
coming to Eugene, we had joined a local church organization. I
received a small salary, with our house rent paid, and vegetables,
fruit and most of the groceries furnished---the selection being
made for us by others. We found, however, that it was impossible
to receive even this humble "salary" without being told what I
dared preach, and how I must conduct God's work. I came to see
that if a man hires you, you must serve THAT MAN---or the
denomination, or organization. And so it was that at the time we
first came to Eugene, my wife and I made a solemn pledge to God
that from henceforth, we would look to Him ALONE for "salary" and
all financial support. If we would serve God, we must look to HIM
for the "salary". Then and there we dedicated our lives to Him and
His service, on the basis of pure FAITH in His promises to supply
every need. And from that day on, our work has prospered.
During these past few years we have come into a
constantly fuller understanding of the prophecies. Many of the
prophecies, closed until now, began to open to our understanding.
Gradually, little by little, and continuously, God had never ceased
to reveal more and more of the TRUTH we know now He has called us
to proclaim. We came to see and to understand the many prophecies
---whole BOOKS of prophecies---pertaining to this present war and
the time of the immediate future.
We came to see God's great WARNING to America and to
Britain that we shall LOSE this war UNLESS OUR PEOPLE REPENT OF
THEIR SINS AND PUT THEIR TRUST IN GOD!
God helping us, we know of no one else proclaiming this
solemn warning to our nation! And yet, unless it is proclaimed,
WHOLE BOOKS of the Bible, such as Ezekiel, Amos, Hosea, Joel, are
left almost wholly without meaning. They are a warning for our
people in OUR TIME! Yes, even much of Jeremiah and Isaiah---much
of Revelation, Daniel, and other important prophecies. To proclaim
this life-and-death warning for our nation IS THE MOST IMPORTANT
BUSINESS IN THIS WORLD TODAY.
After all these years, I can look back now and see that
all my business experience and training in the years before I
entered the active ministry, was a PREPARATION for the present
task. I was very specially trained and fitted for every phase of
this present work in a manner I did not dream of then.
The broadcasts evolved from the conception of a church
service condensed to 20 minutes employing radio technique, to the
present "WORLD TOMORROW" program of news analysis and Bible
prophecy. Twenty years spent in the newspaper and magazine fields,
in almost every department of the publishing business, has fitted
me primarily for this program. Also it trained me for editing and
publishing The PLAIN TRUTH and other booklets and articles.
Always, from the first, this radio work has been a WORK
OF FAITH. Always it has been NON-denominational. It is a channel
thru which GOD'S TRUE MESSAGE may be proclaimed boldly to the
nation without taint or influence of the "babylonish" traditions
that seem to grip the world today, and that have deceived all
From the first we have tried to conduct God's work GOD'S
WAY. The Gospel must not be SOLD like merchandise---it must go
FREE. You'll never see the words "PRICE, so much" on The PLAIN
TRUTH or on any literature we publish or send out. You'll never
hear us beg for money over the air---and the very fact that it is
"customary" makes us the more determined to depart from the
traditions of men, and adhere to the rules of God! We never take
up collections in public meetings or services. God's way is to
GIVE, not to GET. God expects HIS PEOPLE to freely give---to give
even at the cost of sacrifice---that the Gospel and the LAST
WARNING may be carried forth and given FREELY to others. Our
policy is to pay as we go, running no bills.
Gradually, continuously, this work has grown to its
present national and international influence. At this writing,
"The WORLD TOMORROW" program is going out every Sunday morning at
8:30 over the Liberty Net-Work in the Pacific Northwest---including
stations KXL, Portland; KRSC, Seattle; and KGA, Spokane. At 9:30
Sunday morning it is broadcast over KMTR, Los Angeles, and KFMB,
San Diego. At 9:45 over KORE, Eugene. And then at 11:P.M. Central
war time, over super-power 50,000-watt clear-channel WHO, Des
Moines. At this hour, WHO is the most powerful station in America
for REACHING OUT---in fact it is probably the ONLY station which
has a regular listening audience in EVERY STATE in the Union, as
well as EVERY PROVINCE in Canada, for the simple reason it is the
only clear-channel 50,000-watt station near enough the CENTER of
the North American continent to be heard over the WHOLE continent.
We receive letters from the northernmost parts of Canada, from the
Panama Canal zone, from the British West Indies in the Atlantic.
But this is only the BEGINNING. This work is just
emerging as a truly nation-wide, and international power. This
work multiplied about six times over in power and scope during
1942. It must continue to grow proportionately during 1943, for
TIME IS SHORT, and much remains to be done. We hope the end of
this year will see the "WORLD TOMORROW" program going out over all
the larger stations of the Mutual net-work, Coast-to-Coast,
supplemented by about seven super-power 50,000-watt stations such
as WHO, Des Moines. We hope to see The PLAIN TRUTH circulation
jump to more than 100,000 copies during this year. We hope to be
able to develop enough office organization to be able to publish
The PLAIN TRUTH regularly the first of each month---to publish also
"The GOOD NEWS", another monthly publication devoted to feeding the
Flock---those who are converted---with the true spiritual food, and
the deeper spiritual truths. In addition we hope to be able to
resume publication of the "Bible Study Quarterly", suitable for
private home study, or for the Bible classes, or for Sabbath or
Sunday schools. And we hope, too, to be able in due time to
publish some 40 or 50 booklets covering specific important
doctrinal subjects. Yes, we have the goals set high, for we have
a clear VISION of the work God has given us to do. He has been
moving on before, opening the way, laying open the hearts of a
growing group of Co-Workers to GIVE of their tithes and offerings,
that we together may GIVE of the true Gospel---without money and
While this work is wholly INDEPENDENT of MEN and of man-
made or political organizations of men, such as denominations,
sects or federations,---as we believe it SHOULD be to be truly
GOD'S WORK---yet it is wholly DEPENDENT upon GOD for everything.
We try to WALK IN THE LIGHT as He GIVES us the light---to preach,
boldly and fearlessly, the TRUTH, and to LIVE that truth as we go.
God has blessed this work richly and abundantly. It's
FRUITS are those of a work specially called, directed, empowered,
and blessed of GOD---and by their FRUITS ye shall know them! God
Himself is WORKING in this work. To those who see that, and wish
to place GOD'S TITHES and their liberal offerings besides, where
GOD is working, we express our sincerest and deepest heart-felt
THANKS and gratitude. May God bless you, as He has blessed and is
blessing us and His work!
The PLAIN TRUTH BEING PRINTED
And now, may I give our Co-Workers a report of the
present status of God's work? Please read carefully, prayerfully,
As I have explained to most of our co-workers before, the
very phenomenal success of the broadcast over station WHO plunged
us into a crisis. I believe it will be past as soon as the current
issue of The PLAIN TRUTH is mailed out.
We had expected station WHO to add something less than
$100 per week to our expense---figuring station-time cost alone.
I estimated, based upon experience in using six other stations,
between 200 and 300 requests per broadcast for The PLAIN TRUTH
and the special booklet being published at the time. Instead,
the first broadcast brought around 600 requests, and the number
steadily increased, until it was averaging around 1,000 per
broadcast. One broadcast alone brought 2,200 letters and post-
cards. These letters and cards, most of which show unusual
interest, come from every state in the union and every province
It cost a fraction over 3› to add each new name to our
mailing list---the cost of stencil used in our addressing machine
and labor in cutting. Adding postage for mailing the literature
requested, and cost of printing, and salaries paid for two
additional secretaries (we NEED two more) and each letter or
postcard received is costing, in immediate expense, close to 15›
to handle. Result, WHO has actually added about $250 per week to
our expenses! We were prepared to handle only a $100 expense.
BUT, station WHO has given us such a VAST audience that it is the
equivalent of having added four super-power 50,000-watt stations,
each producing the results we expected.
Certainly I thank and praise God for this unexpected
phenomenal response---and I thank Him, and you co-workers, too,
for having tided us so nearly over this supreme financial crisis.
As soon as these many thousands of NEW listeners receive the
coming number of The PLAIN TRUTH---the first copy for most of
them---many new co-workers will join with our present loyal
helpers, to keep this work going---and GROWING.
Meantime, the printers are already at work on The PLAIN
TRUTH. This coming number will run to 25,000 copies! It will
cost upward of a thousand dollars to print and mail this issue!
And it all must come by FAITH, in addition to the heavy weekly
expense of broadcasting. Remember, WE NEVER BEG FOR MONEY OVER
THE AIR! I never even so much MENTION the need of it. Ours is
the only broadcast I know that is truly 100% a work of FAITH.
It's GOD'S WAY! This is GOD'S WORK! And it is, right now, the
most vital---the most IMPORTANT work, in this whole world!
It is more than just preaching the Gospel. THIS NATION
MUST BE WARNED! The sure Word of prophecy says definitely the
only way we can win this war is to REPENT as a nation, turn to
God, seek Him and FIND Him, and put our trust in HIM! God has
SENT this war upon us, as a JUDGMENT! The day of reckoning, for
this nation, is HERE. This is of GOD! HE SAYS SO! 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! I tell you, dear co-workers,
more demands upon you and me making every sacrifice, putting
every ounce of energy and spiritual effort into sounding this
warning SO LOUD and with such tremendous spiritual power it will
WAKE UP this slumbering nation, than upon all that ALL the armed
forces, combined, can do! 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. Send the largest
offering you possibly can by return mail in the enclosed envelope.
KEEP sending as OFTEN as you can. And PLEASE PRAY EARNESTLY, and
DAILY, for this work.
As ever, your faithful co-worker,
Herbert W. Armstrong