“Just who are you, anyway? Do you represent a religious denomination, or what? Who sponsors you? WHY don’t you charge a subscription price, and put a price on printed matter?”
I’ve explained before that even as Christ joined none of the religious denominations of that day, so this, HIS WORK, is nondenominational today.
CoWorker Letter by Herbert W Armstrong
November 18, 1965
The Worldwide Church of God Archives
I learned years ago that it really is “more blessed to GIVE than to receive!” I’m deeply grateful for your interest in The PLAIN TRUTH. It’s our pleasure and our joy to GIVE! And now I want the blessing of GIVING you something more.First, however, let me explain WHY we make no charge for anything. I realize it sounds pretty strange. Almost everything about The WORLD TOMORROW, The PLAIN TRUTH, and this entire worldwide Work seems incredible to many — because it is all SO DIFFERENT! In these personal letters to our subscribers I have answered repeatedly a question so many ask: “Just who are you, anyway? Do you represent a religious denomination, or what? Who sponsors you? WHY don’t you charge a subscription price, and put a price on printed matter?” I’ve explained before that even as Christ joined none of the religious denominations of that day, so this, HIS WORK, is nondenominational today. Many of our readers know I had decided, at age 18, that I belonged in the advertising, newspaper, and magazine field. I chose jobs for the training, education, and experience, rather than the amount of salary. I worked hard, studied late. Ten years later I was making an income equal to about $35,000 a year, on today’s dollar-value, in my own business as a magazine publisher’s advertising representative in Chicago. In 1926 I was provoked and angered into a study of the Bible — for the first time in my life. I had been brought up by sincere and upright parents in a respected Protestant denomination. My family had always been Quakers. My forebears had come to America from England with William Penn — nearly a hundred years before the United States became a nation. But, from age 18, entering the advertising profession, I’m afraid religion was neglectfully left behind. Advertising absorbed my whole heart, soul, and interest. Actually, as a boy in Sunday school, I never really knew what my church believed, or how its doctrines differed from others. But when I was goaded into an intensive study of the Bible, in late 1926, I was shocked to see with my own eyes that the Bible did not say what I had always supposed — or what most churchgoers suppose! To my amazement, much supposed “Christian” teaching was not to be found in the Bible — astoundingly, just the opposite! I was bewildered, shaken! Simultaneously, I had undertaken a thorough research into the generally accepted “scientific” theory of evolution. I began to question the authenticity of the Bible — even the existence of God! Did God really exist, after all? Was the Bible HIS Message to mankind? Now I had to know! I delved further and intensively into science. I began to learn things about the laws of radioactivity. I found PROOF that there has been no past eternity of matter. Matter was CREATED — it had a Creator! I studied everything on the origin and existence of LIFE. Of the conservation of matter, force and energy. I sought PROOF of the evolutionary theory. Instead of proof, I found it absolutely disproved. By infallible proofs, I found the existence of God — the divine, all-intelligent, all-powerful, personal CREATOR — positively PROVED! That was the starting point. Next, I determined not to accept the Bible unless PROVED to be the inspired revelation from God. And patient study and research brought the PROOF ABSOLUTE! I found it PROVED to be the Maker’s INSTRUCTION BOOK regarding the product He had made — the human family. I found it to be the very FOUNDATION of all knowledge — the basic REVELATION of knowledge otherwise utterly inaccessible to man! The basic FOUNDATION of knowledge is the answer to the question: WHAT is man? WHY is he here? WHAT is the real PURPOSE for human existence? Is there MEANING to life, and what is it? WHAT is the way to happiness, success, and to PEACE between individuals, between groups, between nations? WHAT are the laws that produce well-being, continuous interest, prosperity, happiness and joy? WHAT about the here, and the hereafter? Science has no answer to these questions. The BIBLE has ALL THE ANSWERS! The Bible, I found, NEEDS NO INTERPRETING. It interprets itself! But men, I discovered, jumped the track of TRUTH by interpreting the Bible. WHY? I asked. Men don’t interpret other books — they let other books mean what they say. But they have not accepted what the Bible plainly says. They have put other meanings into it — they have perverted it, twisted it, distorted it, and led the whole world to suppose the Bible says, in many basic fundamentals, precisely the opposite of what it does say. The BIBLE, I discovered, is not a namby-pamby collection of sentimental, sanctimonious but impractical religious sayings. It is a down-to-earth common-sense revelation of basic, essential KNOWLEDGE, plus a revelation of the only right approach to further and real scientific knowledge which is acquirable by man. It contains, for instance, the foundation for, and the only right approach to a study of psychology, history, biology, philosophy, the humanities, sex, music, business, homemaking, nutrition, etc., etc., etc. Taken as it is, the Bible makes sense, and is the most rational book ever written! And it foretells today’s world events and the immediate FUTURE! I had discovered the SOURCE of TRUTH! I had discovered true and absolute AUTHORITY! I had discovered the cause of world conditions — disastrous, unhappy conditions unsolvable by MAN without God’s instruction and intervention. I found the PURPOSE for human existence, and God’s Master Plan for working it out! I saw humanity in the raw — human nature as it really is. This brought me to see myself, for the first time, as I really was — and to a recognition that what I now saw was not good. It opened my eyes to TRUTH — and brought me to real repentance, complete submission to my Maker, and to FAITH. It brought conversion — completely changed my life. I honestly felt my life was as worthless as a “burned-out hunk of junk.” And when I very seriously GAVE mySELF over to Christ, I felt I was giving something worthless in exchange for the supreme life Christ had given for me. But I told Him that if He could in any way use it, this worthless life of mine, it was now His. “Receiving Christ,” meant, to me, letting Him come literally (in Spirit) into my very mind and body, to live HIS life in me. Never before could I understand the Bible. But now it became plain, and the most absorbing interest I had ever known. So I continued study almost night and day. Literally, Jesus Christ yanked me out of the advertising profession, thrust me into His Work. In 1931 I was ordained as a minister of Jesus Christ. In 1933 I was receiving a very small salary, holding an evangelistic campaign. Those who paid the salary demanded I preach and act contrary to this Word I had PROVED to be the authoritative Word of God. I learned that whoever pays one demands that the one paid serves the one who pays! I learned I could not work for, and serve GOD, and receive my salary from MEN. If I was to serve GOD — work for Him — I would have to look to HIM ALONE to supply financial needs. I realized this would require utter FAITH. I was well aware of the fact many — if not just about all others in the ministry — had faced this same problem. I was aware of the usual reasoning: “Well, if these MEN — or this denomination — or this group backing — will not allow me complete freedom to preach all I see in the Bible, it is better to preach as much of the Truth as they allow than to defy them and not be able to preach anything. It seems that it seldom occurs to those who have chosen the ministry as a profession to TRUST GOD for financial support. It seems to be customarily taken for granted that ministers must look to MEN or religious ORGANIZATIONS of men, for sustenance. I was fully aware, too, that if I relied on GOD for salary, I would have to serve Him faithfully, NEVER COMPROMISING WITH HIS WORD, or HE would “fire” me! My wife and I made the decision to trust GOD. A local church was formed as a result of that evangelistic campaign, in Eugene, Oregon. Almost immediately after we made that decision to look to God ALONE, Jesus Christ OPENED THE DOOR of radio and the printing press, for the MASS proclamation of Christ’s own Gospel! So, WHO SPONSORS THIS WORK? The living Jesus Christ does! I did send out letters to a handful of people I knew, and believed to be true disciples of Christ, asking pledges to make possible the broadcast. But these pledges fell far short. By experience I learned we had to really look to GOD for financial support. We did; and somehow, the money always came — just barely enough — to keep us on the air, on a 100-watt Eugene station. A year later a small 100-watt station in Portland offered us time. Again I made the mistake of asking support from people. It did not come, and at that time I did not trust God and walk through that open door. Do you know what happened? Experience is NOT the BEST teacher — it is the DEAREST — most costly — one. Jesus Christ punishes every son He loves. He taught me a lesson. He did not open that door again for TWO LONG YEARS! Then, three years after we had first started on the air, that same station once again agreed to let us go on. This time we walked through that open door IN FAITH, trusting God to send the wherewithal! That was the beginning of a gradual, slow, but steady and constant GROWTH of this Work. The living Christ proved again He is alive, by sending the necessary funds. Just barely enough, not more. God carries on His Work through human instruments. He has never rained down literal printed dollars from the sky. Always, without our begging, He has laid it on the hearts of enough of His people to GIVE, so we in turn could GIVE His precious TRUTH! Jesus Christ is the executive HEAD of God’s Work. Christ is very much alive, and very active. He has, through the years, continued to open doors (see Rev. 3:8). After a while we were on a third little 100-watt station, in Seattle. The program, in those days, went on once a week only. We had multiplied three times over — 300 watts of radio power weekly. Then a Spokane station. Then, in 1942, after eight years, a 1,000-watt station in Hollywood. Late in 1942, a superpower 50,000-watt station in the Midwest opened its doors — and now we were purchasing 51,400 watts of radio power weekly. By 1945 superpower Mexican stations opened, and we began DAILY broadcasting. The power wattage was multiplying. Today The WORLD TOMORROW is going out on every inhabited continent, around the world, on more than 28 MILLION watts of radio power weekly. More than 30 MILLION people listen every week — the most powerful program on radio on earth today! In a month we shall celebrate our 32nd anniversary on the air! Of course, just as other religionists persecuted Jesus over 1900 years ago, so do they persecute the very Work HE is directing, TODAY. He said, “IF they have persecuted me, they will persecute you,” to His disciples. As others falsely accused Him then, so they do His Work today. Some will even sell you — FOR A PRICE — false information purported to be ALL ABOUT this Work, and about me personally. Some say falsely I’m a former Jehovah’s Witness, a former Seventh-day Adventist, a former this or that. They are either ignorant of the facts or deliberately seeking to deceive. I have NEVER been any of those. If you want the TRUTH, just ask me — I keep telling our subscribers continually — AND NEVER ANY PRICE! I was brought up from birth in the Quaker church. My family had been Quakers — just like that of ex-President Herbert Hoover — for some three hundred years, and perhaps from the start of Quakerism. I drifted from any church activity or regular attendance by age 18. When I was married, my wife and I joined the Methodist church at River Forest, Illinois. After a year or two we moved, and I dropped church attendance or any religious affiliation, until my conversion in the spring of 1927. Then CHRIST baptized me into His own Church — the Church of God! I have NEVER had any other church or religious affiliation or interest or connection in any way. Now, for those who persist in false accusation, I will offer to pay $10,000 to anyone who can PROVE the false claim that I was once a member of any religious group except those here mentioned. We in this Work NEVER accuse others or persecute. Nor, except to explain, as above, do we even answer them. Jesus Christ NEVER did those things. He is the SAME today, and He, in us, simply does not throw mud, false accusation, or persecution today. We never ask you to believe us — but BELIEVE GOD’S TRUTH. Search the BIBLE. Believe what you find there. If you must sit in judgment of this Work, JUDGE IT BY ITS FRUITS, as God instructs. For nearly 32 years now, we have been enabled to GIVE Christ’s precious Gospel — the full and plain BIBLE TRUTH — without begging for contributions over the air — without charging for anything we offer.” Sincerely, In Jesus’s Name,