"The PLAIN TRUTH"
a Magazine of UNDERSTANDING
BOX 111, Pasadena, Calif. 91109
HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG, Editor
November 24, 1967
Dear Friend and PLAIN TRUTH Subscriber:
My son, Garner Ted Armstrong, whose voice you hear on The WORLD TOMORROW, has written a personal letter offering you something (FREE of course) he believes you will want.
It is also time for my own personal letter to you, which I write semiannually to our subscribers. So we have decided to send BOTH letters in the one envelope.
Several times I have personally written to our subscribers answering the questions so many ask: "Who are you?" "Do you represent a religious denomination, and if so which one?" "Who sponsors and pays for your broadcasts around the world -- and who pays for MY subscription to The PLAIN TRUTH?" "Just WHAT is your motive?"
These questions continue coming in by the thousands. Some FORTY-FIVE MILLION people, on all continents of the earth, listen to The WORLD TOMORROW every week. Actually thousands of new subscribers are added to The PLAIN TRUTH every week in the United States -- beside those in other parts of the world. These millions never hear any appeals for contributions over the air. And if they send money to pay for their PLAIN TRUTH subscriptions -- or to pay for any of our books or booklets -- they are surprised to find their money returned. Yes, they are ASTONISHED -- for they never heard of anything like this before! Nor have YOU!
It is so different -- even so REVOLUTIONARY -- it is hard to believe, I know. But it's TRUE! I always want to give our listeners, and our readers, the frank, straightforward explanation. I want to tell you WHY there's nothing else on earth like this Work.
So let me tell you what inspired this letter. A few weeks ago I was reviewing an article that appeared in the November PLAIN TRUTH, "The Unfinished Revolution," by our Managing Editor, Dr. Herman L. Hoeh. He returned recently from Russia. He spent a large part of the summer traveling through much of the USSR. Things in his article inspired this letter. You will see, differently than ever before, the answer to the question: Just What is our motive in this Work -- and WHO is back of it, and WHY! It will also make clear some things you probably never knew about Communism, traveling in the exact OPPOSITE direction from this Work.
Right now a supreme CRISIS exists -- a crisis OF THE WHOLE WORLD -- and it threatens YOUR life at every point -- just as it threatens mine, and the lives of everybody else.
Communism is the RESULT of that crisis. That is, one result!
Forty years ago I began to study and research into Communism. I wanted to UNDERSTAND what it is. At about that time United States Communists were offering a "home study course" about Communism. I read it. In the early years of The WORLD TOMORROW broadcast, beginning 1934, I had an arrangement with a secret investigator, working in connection with a major city police department, to receive regular weekly bulletins, containing inside information in regard to Communist activities in this country. I always suspected -- though he did not say so -- that this secret agent was in reality connected with the F.B.I.
I knew the Communist purpose and goal. I knew the Communist methods and tactics. I knew their philosophies and teachings. I knew how actual Party members are yielded completely to Communist Party discipline, obedient at any cost -- willing to make any sacrifice for it.
But what I never could understand was WHY American college professors, and educated Americans, could ever become inner-core Communists, actually working for the overthrow (by violence, finally, if necessary), of the government of the United States.
WHY? And yet I knew many did!
Knowing that Communists are taught to use every deception, to lie, to pretend they are what they are not, to resort to the most unethical, dishonorable tactics, it simply didn't make sense that professional men -- some in high position, like, for example, Alger Hiss -- high in the State Department -- would join such a movement. Incidentally, I met Alger Hiss -- never dreaming he was a Communist. He signed my special State Department Press Card, at the United Nations Conference in 1945, at San Francisco.
I could never understand WHY such brilliant, intelligent and able men turned Communist -- and I wondered -- until I read Whittaker Chambers' book, "Witness," published in 1952.
I want YOU to understand why such men turn against our country, and become loyal to Communism. For it EXPLAINS the real REASON for The WORLD TOMORROW and The PLAIN TRUTH.
The world crisis had already started prior to World War I. Only most of the peoples of the world were not yet aware of it. But men like Karl Marx and Nikolai Lenin knew. This world crisis resulted from the impact of science and technology -- and the injection of godless "German rationalism" into education. World Wars are the military expression of that crisis. Worldwide depressions are the economic expression. The so-called "New Morality" is the moral expression -- plummeting morals into the cesspool. Universal desperation is the spiritual expression. This has spawned the beatniks and the hippies -- the riots -- the marches -- the "civil disobedience" -- the breakdown of law and order.
Teen-agers -- many from affluent homes -- turn beatniks and hippies because they see NO HOPE for the future. There is no longer PURPOSE. It is now possible to erase all life from this earth. They see NO FUTURE, but more wars, and, perhaps, human extinction.
THAT IS THE SOIL THAT SPAWNED COMMUNISM. Communism is the VULTURE of decadent, dying politics, religion, and society.
Whittaker Chambers explained WHY educated, intelligent people become Communists: "It is" he says, "a simple statement of Karl Marx, further simplified for handy use: 'Philosophers have explained the world; it is necessary to change the world.'"
And there -- when I read it -- was the answer!
These men are intelligent enough to know SOMETHING IS FATALLY WRONG with the world! They were not perceptive enough to recognize that Communism could never SAVE the world -- but ONLY ENSLAVE IT!
One of America's most lucid, clever writers is Philip Wylie. He is fluent in picturing a word's-eye view of WHAT'S WRONG in the world. But he doesn't offer the solution. Like the philosophers, he explains the world -- but offers no way to CHANGE the world.
Communism does offer a program to CHANGE the world. But not the kind of change Americans and Europeans -- as a whole -- want. But Communism appears to those who "fall" for it as the ONLY straw they can grasp. It offers THEM a chance to help CHANGE THE WORLD. They know it needs changing. Communism is the WRONG way to change it -- but they don't see that. It's the ONLY way they know -- the only one offered them. THAT EXPLAINS WHY COMMUNISTS ARE SO DEDICATED -- willing even to sacrifice career, fortune -- even their lives -- TO HAVE A PART IN CHANGING THE WORLD!
They become dedicated. They submit to military-like discipline.
As Dr. Hoeh points out, "Communism appeals to faith -- faith in the power of MAN to change the world!" He continues: "What does the United States send the world to counter this revolutionary faith? Not a more powerful or righteous faith, but GUNS and MONEY!
"The Soviet Union knows that the United States cannot supply the world's desperate millions with enough food. ...But the only Power that the United States could provide the world to defeat Communism -- the strength of a more powerful FAITH than Communism -- that faith America does not have!
"U.S. political leaders do not understand the power of faith in world affairs. Faith in an idea, the Communistic idea of the NEW MAN, is slowly winning against the bullets and feeble leadership of the West."
"Though Communism," Dr. Hoeh continues, "is thriving on human faith and human works, it nevertheless lives. It lives, as cancer cells live and spread.
"Under the lead of the USSR, all Asia and Africa are becoming alive, even as a cancerous growth in the world system. Their peoples have found an active faith in the doctrines of Communism. Amid their poverty, they have something to live for." (So they are led to believe -- though deceived!) "They are out to change their environment by human sweat and toil apart from God."
Then Dr. Hoeh continues: "For two centuries the Western World dominated the Orient and Africa. But the West failed to deliver these peoples from squalor and misery. The West failed to give them the right kind of education -- failed to show them the PURPOSE of life -- failed to give them a real goal or a right knowledge of God. Why? Because the West does not itself know the purpose of life -- or why man was put on earth! Hence, the deception of Communism looks alluring to ignorant and even to educated minds who have no knowledge of the Plan or Purpose God is working out here below.
"The dead faith of missionaries from America and England has not dented Oriental thought. But the active belief of Communists is moving millions. ... The U.S. might as well face the facts. THERE IS NO HUMAN WAY FOR THE WESTERN WORLD TO RESCUE ASIA FROM THE CLUTCHES OF COMMUNISM, unless the nation can somehow acquire a more powerful faith!
"But national leaders have turned their backs on the Good News of the Kingdom of God. They have cast the Bible aside. ...It is time we opened our eyes to the real cause of Western weakness."
And THAT, dear subscriber to The PLAIN TRUTH, explains what THIS GREAT WORLDWIDE WORK IS ALL ABOUT!
Biblical prophecies have been fulfilled -- precisely ON TIME -- in every case so far! Biblical prophecies are being fulfilled TODAY! This world and all its present-day sickening conditions are described in the prophecies. The only possible SOLUTION is in these prophecies. And the OUTCOME is written plainly!
There is only ONE HOPE -- ONE SOLUTION!
Man doesn't have it! Man has FAILED! Man has demonstrated, by 6,000 years of human experience, that he is incapable of rightly governing himself -- so as to produce universal abundant well-being!
We are in the prophesied CRISIS AT THE CLOSE -- the close of this Age -- and the BEGINNING of the happy and peaceful WORLD TOMORROW!
YOUR BIBLE SAYS that God is now ready -- in VERY FEW years -- to send Jesus Christ again to earth -- this time in all the Supreme divine POWER and GLORY of the AWESOME, ALL-MIGHTY GOD -- to restore PEACE to this earth -- and universal right education, universal prosperity, good health, and HAPPINESS to all peoples and nations!
The Almighty God has raised up THIS WORK -- HIS WORK -- using us as His instruments, to pave the way -- to WARN this world -- to proclaim the GOOD NEWS of the soon-coming KINGDOM OF GOD to bring abundant well-being for all to this earth!
This Work, for 34 years, has grown in power and scope and impact on this world, at the rate of 30% per year, continuously! There is nothing lake it -- because it is GOD'S WORK!
It has a tremendous MISSION. It is actively, dynamically, performing that Mission! It GROWS mightily because the POWER OF GOD, AND HIS SPIRIT, empowers it -- the living JESUS CHRIST heads, directs, and blesses it!
And WHO sponsors it?
It started small -- the very smallest -- as all things GOD does through humans must start. Thirty-four years ago I faced a personal crisis. MEN, who then paid me a salary as God's minister, demanded that I preach and act contrary to God's Word. To refuse was to lose their financial backing -- give up the salary.
I saw clearly, then, that if men paid my salary I should have to serve MEN. If I were to serve GOD, I would have to rely on God, in LIVING FAITH, for financial support. My wife and I made the decision to SERVE GOD, and to RELY ON GOD. We knew, definitely, God had called us into His Service.
Walking over a gravel country road to a one-room country schoolhouse, where I could preach without paying hall rent, a man said to me: "You won't get far -- you're preaching the PLAIN TRUTH of the BIBLE. It's too strong for people -- you're telling people their SINS! People will never support you!"
"But," I replied, "I'm not working for people. I'm working for GOD. If I work for the Ford Motor Company, I'm sure they would be able to pay me my salary, and provide financially for whatever expenses were required for what they wanted me to do. God is much wealthier and more able than Ford."
God did provide. I took up no offerings or collections in those meetings. I asked for no contributions. But a small few, who also had living faith -- and knew that through proclaiming CHRIST'S GOSPEL, and His soon Coming -- they could HAVE A PART in not only CHANGING THE WORLD, but SAVING THE WORLD, in total world peace, prosperity and happiness -- that little few voluntarily contributed their tithes and offerings. Thus they became active Co-Workers, having their part in the WORK OF GOD.
After I had made this crisis decision to serve God faithfully, and RELY ON the living Christ for guidance and support, almost immediately He opened the door of MASS COMMUNICATION -- radio and the printing press. Both started the very smallest possible. Even so, I was enabled to get the true Message to hundreds, and then thousands, where it had been only dozens before. But it grew. More and more people heard and read Christ's living Truth.
The broadcast started the first Sunday in 1934. The PLAIN TRUTH appeared first as a homemade mimeographed "magazine" February 1, 1934. But there was no subscription price! There was no appeal for money over the air. I didn't look to people for backing -- I looked to the living Christ -- on my knees.
God does conduct HIS Work through human instruments -- through those whose hearts are willing, whose minds are yielded to Him. I didn't have to ask or solicit people for support. The living Christ whom I serve was able to move those yielded to Him to recognize His Message, and voluntarily to want to have a part in His Work. Jesus said "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me" (John 10:27).
They were so very few, at first. But a few did recognize the Truth, and become Co-Workers with Christ in His Work. Gradually the listening audience grew -- and The PLAIN TRUTH circulation -- and gradually, also, a few additional Co-Workers came to us. After two years a second radio station was added. Soon we were able to print a few small booklets, which I could offer, FREE. Then more radio stations. The growth seemed so very slow -- yet it was expanding 30% a year -- doubling in less than three years.
As additional stations broadcast the Message, the little family of Co-Workers increased -- very gradually -- because it had to be voluntary on their part. I could ask GOD to open minds and hearts to receive His Truth -- to use me to reveal it plainly -- to change their lives and bring them into His Kingdom -- but I couldn't ask them to become Co-Workers.
From then on it has been a gradual, steady, uphill growth through the years, to worldwide power and scope. Never have we had to beg or plead -- or even invite people to become Co-Workers. The living Christ Himself has led more and more, gradually through the years, to become HIS Co-Workers in GOD'S WORK which Christ Himself heads and blesses with abundant results. And He has BLESSED, spiritually and financially, those who have become His Co-Workers.
THEY -- and we who now devote fulltime to God's Work -- are gratefully having a part, not only in CHANGING, but also in SAVING the world -- yes, soon THE WHOLE WORLD, after Christ's coming. And we have a part, now, in preparing THE WAY for that world-shaking blessed event!
Millions have been deceived into dedicating their lives to godless Communism, in the misguided faith that they are having a part in CHANGING THE WORLD. Actually they are only enslaving it -- all but the FREE world. In all candor, how REASSURING it is that, in the Free World, there are a few thousand who want to have a part with the living CHRIST in the glorious WORK OF GOD, leading not only to changing, but SAVING the world -- with PEACE, and universal prosperity, happiness, abundant well-being, and ETERNAL LIFE!
There is, indeed, an astonishing parallel in the progress of atheistic Communism, and THE WORK OF GOD -- a contrasting parallel in OPPOSITES! They are doomed to ultimate failure -- but we by the grace and power of the living GOD are destined to glorious SUCCESS bringing eternal life to the MILLIONS!
THAT is my explanation. That tells you, in frank and straightforward manner, WHO we are, WHAT are our purposes and goals, and WHO is back of this great WORK OF GOD!
THANK YOU, sincerely from the heart, for your interest -- for granting us the GREAT PRIVILEGE of serving you. We know it's indeed true, as Jesus said, that "it is more blessed to give than to receive."
DEAR CO-WORKER WITH CHRIST:
The above letter has been sent to ALL SUBSCRIBERS of The PLAIN TRUTH. Of the whole circulation, MORE THAN A MILLION COPES WILL GO TO SUBSCRIBERS WHO ARE NOT CO-WORKERS -- who have never contributed money to God's Work.
Far more than nine out of ten PLAIN TRUTH subscribers receive it FREE without ever having contributed to the Work. Some TWO-AND-A-HALF MILLION people now read every issue of The PLAIN TRUTH. The FEW of us whom Christ has moved to become HIS CO-WORKERS have the great satisfaction of knowing that WE, by our tithes and liberal offerings, are making it possible to GIVE Christ's precious Truth not only to that 2 1/2 million readers -- but also to reach approximately 45 MILLION EVERY WEEK who listen to The WORLD TOMORROW over the air!
What a glorious privilege to be in GOD'S WORK with CHRIST, who actively heads, guides, and blesses this great worldwide Work!
Several thousand are being brought to real conversion every year, now! Ambassador College is training more and more dedicated and consecrated ministers every year -- now stationed in all parts of the United States, and in all parts of the world. They have replaced the baptizing teams we used to send out. They visit those who REQUEST counsel and baptism, in their own homes -- all over the world! A GREAT HARVEST of precious lives are being brought to Christ and to ETERNAL LIFE!
The FINANCIAL responsibility is on OUR shoulders -- yours and mine. The PRAYER responsibility -- to pray constantly, earnestly, prevailingly, for this Work is OUR responsibility.
THANK YOU for being faithful!
God is BLESSING THIS WORK beyond all expectations! Our prayers, our labors, and our financial sacrifices are DOING WONDERS -- because GOD'S POWER is back of it. But we must never forget, such a GREAT WORK does cost money! We must continually remain FAITHFUL! We continually need, not only tithes and offerings, but even the LOANS of larger sums where you are not free at this time to send those sums as outright donations.
NOW WE FACE THE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING SEASON!
Now is the time when so many FORGET Christ' s Work -- or any gift for HIM -- exchanging gifts with relatives and friends instead. This promises to be the most frenzied Christmas Shopping Season in history. People spend lavishly -- thinking it is Christ's birthday (which it is NOT -- ask for our free booklet, "The Plain Truth About Christmas"). But their "birthday presents" are NOT for CHRIST and His Work. This is the month SO MANY UTTERLY NEGLECT CHRIST AND HIS WORK!
This is the month, dear Co-Workers, I have to ask you for EXTRA LIBERAL OFFERINGS -- to make up for the NEGLECT of so many!
Of course many of our Co-Workers, having their eyes opened to the TRUTH about Christmas shopping -- that it is PAGAN, and CONDEMNED by God's Word -- have stopped this trading of gifts entirely. They know the "wise men" did not present their gifts to the Christ-child on the day of His birth -- nor on His birthday at all -- and they were NOT "birthday presents" at all, but the customary gift that is always given to royalty whenever one visits royalty.
For example, Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy the other day visited a king in the far east -- and presented him a gift. A meeting is being arranged for me to visit King Hussein of Jordan soon -- and it would be proper for me to present to him a gift - but it will not be a birthday gift.
And beside, people seem to forget the wise men presented their gifts to CHRIST -- they did not exchange them among themselves. If one is giving GIFTS at this season, the ENTIRE gifts, properly, should go to the living CHRIST for HIS WORK, don't you think?
Let's all make sacrifices of other things during this season, that GOD'S WORK will not suffer! THIS is the time to be EXTRA GENEROUS! And please PRAY, more diligently than ever, for CHRIST'S WORK -- and for me and my son Garner Ted especially -- and for all our Co-Workers!
Sincerely, with love, in Jesus' name,
Herbert W. Armstrong