WAS MR. ARMSTRONG HONEST ABOUT THE CHURCH'S FINANCIAL NEEDS?
The following quotations demonstrate how Mr. Armstrong repeatedly characterized a dire need, of need for money for the greatest work on earth.
PT December 20, 1934: “Will GOD’s PEOPLE be willing now to GIVE TILL IT HURTS – to GIVE UP THINGS – to SACRIFICE – that many may be saved for eternity? The night is far spent! Jesus is SOON COMING! The MILLIONS are not awake! We must WARN THEM!...
But if we are to grasp this wonderful opportunity, we must act at once!
… Ezekial 3:17-21. Turn to it and read it now. If these scores of thousands are WARNED of their sin – of the coming PLAGUES – of the son coming JESUS – whether or not they heed, we shall have acquitted ourselves before God. And SOME of them will heed and be saved. But – IF WE fail our Lord in this hour of crisis, HE SAY HE WILL REQUIRE THEIR BLOOD AT YOUR HANDS AND MINE!”
Co-worker letter March 1935: “Tithes and offerings to keep this big campaign, now reaching many thousands, going, have slowed up considerably the past two months, and this whole campaign will have to stop unless the brethren come quickly to the rescue. GOD HAS BLESSED THIS WORK with the largest harvest ever experienced in Oregon. Shall we let a work thus approved of God stop?”
Co-worker letter Feb. 14th 1941: “SPECIAL - AND VERY URGENT! There have been very few of the larger offerings of $25, $50, $100 lately. The need now is serious and URGENT. The work must not stop or let down---it must leap ahead!”
Co-Worker letter Dec. 25th, 1941: “I call upon every co-worker now to ENLIST in this fight--- this SPIRITUAL fight for God and country---for the duration. We must dedicate our ALL to it. If we put our ALL on the altar---are willing to GIVE now to the very limit, God will give it all back heaping with interest. If we now lose our heads, forget to put FIRST things first, try to SAVE our all, we shall then LOSE all--- all our material goods, and our souls as well!”
Co-Worker Letter August 24th 1942: “Through you I know God will meet this present supreme crisis in our work. It will take great sacrifice on the part of many of you, I know. Better make that sacrifice now and SAVE EVERYTHING than lose everything in defeat in this war, and perhaps lose out with Almighty God besides! No sacrifice, now, is too great. I need a FLOOD of tithes and offerings from our small but growing family of co-workers to meet this present supreme need. We need LARGE amounts---$25, $50, $100, yes, even $1,000 or more---from all who can, even by great sacrifice, put such sums in God's work in this very crucial hour.”
Co-worker letter Dec. 23, 1942 – “This work MUST HAVE an extra $1,000 AT ONCE, in addition to seeing regular income restored. We MUST get out another PLAIN TRUTH at once! It and many other things are waiting. God expects HIS CHILDREN TO GIVE---yes give till it hurts, in times like these. Please try to send an EXTRA AMOUNT---the largest you possibly can, by return mail. God's work is at stake. It is a SERIOUS CRISIS. Please RUSH---put this FIRST, before anything else. “
Co-worker letter Feb. 16, 1943: “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!"
"...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.”
Co-worker Letter April 5, 1945: “In the last BULLETIN I asked for pledges. Well, many pledges have come in, but it is ONLY HALF ENOUGH…. . ALSO I MUST TELL YOU WE HAVE RUN ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS SHORT OF REGULAR EXPENSES THE PAST THREE OR FOUR WEEKS. Even to keep the regular established work going, we MUST now have a quick, liberal response from our faithful co-workers! It is our solemn responsibility before God, laid on us by HIM! We must not fail Him! Whether you can only send a dollar, or are able to send $50, $100., or $1,000 for the work -- or a larger sum for the Mexican station —I know you'll send AT ONCE the largest amount you can, and GOD BLESS YOU for your loyalty and sacrifice for the GREATEST WORK ON EARTH!"
Co-worker letter August 23, 1945 : "I have sufficient faith in God to believe this BULLETIN will be read by someone—perhaps only ONE—who has the ability, if God makes the heart willing, to supply for this purpose a sum of between one and two hundred thousand dollars. And perhaps one or two others able to put in $35,000 to $50,000. I believe there will be a few more who can manage to place at our disposal from $1,000 to $5,000. There are, I'm sure, still more who can, if willing, find a way to contribute sums of $100, $250, or $500. And this unprecedented great and glorious opportunity will be realized, I know ONLY if each one who has ability to supply such sums does so, to the very LIMIT of his ability."
Co-worker Letter May 17, 1946: "A NEW EMERGENCY! U R G E N T ! Now before closing, I have to tell you the receipt of money to carry on his great work has been falling off alarmingly the last two weeks. Again it has brought the work into a CRISIS-- a very serious emergency!
Frankly, I know of no other work anywhere like this. It is altogether GOD'S WORK, proclaiming GOD'S message, conducted and financed GOD'S way, as we find it revealed in His Word, the Bible."
Co-worker letter August 1946: "But, again, our Co-Workers are FORGETTING, becoming lax ---MONEY IS FALLING OFF. Fellow Co-Workers, I have personally obligated myself to very great expense---thousands of dollars a month---to carry on this great work. I have done it in sheer FAITH---faith that God will, thru YOU back me up in this increasingly powerful campaign for souls, and supply every dollar. PLEASE get under the burden with me---remember YOU HAVE YOUR PART. God will hold us all responsible together. My office has just told me over long distance the financial situation at the moment is SERIOUS. Those of you who are able, I will count on you to send in AT ONCE, by air-mail or BY TELEGRAPH MONEY-ORDER, the very LARGEST offerings for God's great cause you can possibly send, even at great sacrifice."
Co-worker letter September 25, 1946: "God is surely blessing His work! BUT--MOST IMPORTANT AND URGENT for the moment, I find funds slacking off as I return home, and we are in a serious immediate emergency! It's so serious the whole work is in grave DANGER! We need, seriously, many offerings of large sums from those who are able---please WIRE the money if possible; and if you can send only the "widow's mite" please rush it."
Co-worker letter November 4, 1946: "Again I must write you an EMERGENCY Letter. For ten days this work has faced the most desperate crisis of the nearly thirteen years.... I can't very well go into detail explaining how the devil has tried to stop this most important work on earth..." "This great work has grown until its expenses are now several thousand dollars a month. I have assumed responsibility for this, yet I have NOTHING, but faith in God..."
Co-worker letter Jan. 9. 1947: " merely remind you that we are starting, new, on the month of the biggest test-of-faith we have ever faced. I intend to do MY PART, with my whole heart and with all my energies. And I know you will do YOUR part, too. I don't know your personal circumstances. God doesn't expect any to give into His work what they do not have, or are unable to give, but according as He has prospered them. But if you are one who is able, I know you'll double or triple your offerings for His work, from now. And I ask you, urgently, PLEASE double or triple the amount, earnestness, and faith of your prayers for me and for this work from now on. THAT, I know you can do, and PLEASE don't fail me or God in doing that."
[Note: Although HWA claimed that he "had nothing" in Nov. 1946, he later acknowledged that the income had been growing at its fastest rate between 1942-1955 (well over 30% per year). Also the 6/19/54 Good News indicated the membership growth averaged 56% per year between 1950 and 1954.
Again, while saying he "had nothing", and was asking for people to double or triple their offerings; he and Loma embarked on a First-Class overseas trip where they stayed in 5-star hotels and dined in very expensive restaurants for 6-weeks from Feb. 14, 1947 to March 25, 1947. This is all discussed in Chapters 52-54 (pages 81-106) of HWA's Autobiography Vol. II (available at "HWA Searchable Library"). From the specifics he mentions, this trip would have cost well over $1,200/day (in 2015 dollars).
For example, he stayed at the Dorchester Hotel ($600-$700/night), dined at the Dorchester Grill ($60/person for lunch), and stayed at Hotel Storchen in Zurich ($400 to 2,000/night).
The Dorchester (wikipedia) is a five-star luxury hotel on Park Lane and Deanery Street, London, to the east of Hyde Park. It is one of the world's most prestigious and expensive hotels. The Dorchester opened on 18 April 1931, and still retains its 1930s furnishings and ambiance despite being modernized.
Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong also moved into a 7 bedroom, 4159 sq-ft home in a very nice area near the California Institute of Technology in April 1947. This home was valued at $1.6 million in early 2015.]
Co-worker letter April 7, 1947: "The ground-work is laid. But TIME IS SHORT. Soon it will be too late. The day is here, but the "night" is coming when NO MAN CAN WORK for God.
But now LISTEN CAREFULLY! We have returned from this most important, vital, fruitful trip to find the work here in a financial crisis that threatens its very life! It is in the most serious and critical emergency it ever has faced. It is a LIFE- AND-DEATH test!
I have to tell you candidly and frankly, that every APPEARANCE—every visible circumstance—says the work is doomed, and we will be shut off the air on our two most powerful and important stations, XEG, and XERB, by the 15th of this month, April! In fact, there is no visible hope that anything can now save the work. GOD MUST PERFORM A MIRACLE!"
"...I don't know how it happened. We left here with everything in good financial condition, the outlook excellent. God opened the way for us with actual miracles repeatedly at every turn—was with us throughout our entire journey. I've come back with just what I needed for the broadcasts -- for future articles in The PLAIN TRUTH.
Yet, before we had hardly boarded the ship it seems our co- workers— most of them (perhaps not YOU, but most of them)—seemed to delay or forget to send in their tithes and offerings. This delayed the mailing of The PLAIN TRUTH. And, for the first time, our office staff was unable to pay the heavy radio bills. I returned to find two months piled up. Such a situation never has existed—ought not to exist—CANNOT continue, because the radio stations will not keep the program on the air unless they are paid up completely by the 10th or 15th of this month. For several weeks money almost stopped coming in. This has grown to a great work, costing thousands of dollars a week. And a slump of four or five weeks like this puts the work in a DESPERATE condition! Now, we MUST have an added $15,000 within the next ten days, or this vital program will be taken off the air—right when I have the MOST SERIOUS, IMPORTANT THINGS TO SAY WHICH I LEARNED ON OUR TRIP ABROAD!
Co-Workers, I have to ask you to sacrifice as never before. If you could see what we saw in Europe—how people shiver and go cold, how HUNGRY they are, how thread-bare their clothes—how TERRIBLE is their plight—you'd realize that ANY sacrifice you make for GOD'S CAUSE is as NOTHING compared to what has been laid on them! We and we alone in all this world bask in the sunshine of PLENTY—of LUXURY! We, too, can go without some things we had planned to get. It won't hurt us as much as we think. GOD'S WORK IS AT STAKE! Now, as never before, the work needs generous offerings from some who can—if their heart is yielded to God and made willing—put five or ten thousand dollars into GOD'S WORK. We need many offerings of a hundred dollars or more. But—most important—those of you who do not have such amounts, DON'T THINK THAT BECAUSE OF THE GREAT NEED THE WIDOW'S MITES WILL DO NO GOOD—there must be a quick, air-mail SHOWER of WIDOW'S MITES if this need is to be met..."
Co-worker letter June 7, 1947: "FINALLY! AND MOST URGENT! Finally, Brethren, Friends, Co-Workers, LISTEN! Two months ago we found this work in a life-and-death crisis. Suddenly it had gone thousands of dollars behind, because some of our Co-Workers had grown lax and careless. I sent out a very special emergency letter. The response was splendid, and in three weeks two thirds of that indebtedness was paid. But then tithes and offerings began to fall off again. The last BULLETIN helped a little, but we have been just barely holding our own with week-to-week expenses. And now, the past week, it has begun to drop off again. That portion of the indebtedness into which the work was plunged two months ago still hangs heavily over our heads--AND IT IS GETTING SERIOUS AND DESPERATE! It CAN'T BE PUT OFF LONGER!
Coworker Letter August 1947 : "Co-Workers, the work of God stands AT THE CROSS-ROADS! It is in its greatest crisis. The fate of Ambassador College hangs in the balance. We have not more than TEN DAYS to get STARTED on the structural changes, or it will be TOO LATE to start the college this year. The crisis is NOW! We are all going to answer in the judgment for what WE do, each of us, as OUR part in this crisis, NOW! God surely blesses those who serve Him well! NEVER has this work so direly needed large and generous offerings of $1,000 and up to MANY thousand dollars. Several of you are ABLE, if you permit God to make your hearts willing. Lay up treasure in heaven, while you may, and see how God blesses you for it! And, again, NEVER has the need been so great so that the widows' mites will help so much as now. Let each give as God has prospered and made possible, generously, even at sacrifice, as you are able -- and PLEASE RUSH IT AIR-MAIL, in the enclosed envelope!"
Coworker Letter October 1947: "This means EVERY SINGLE CO-WORKER MUST NOW STRETCH TO THE VERY LIMIT OF SACRIFICE AND SELF-DENIAL, in a supreme effort, with me, to raise this money at once. We must ALL pitch in, to the limit of our ability! I must now ask YOU, and EVERY single co-worker, to rise to the supreme effort to send in the very largest sum you possibly can, as a very special emergency gift for this great work at this time. It's WORTH sacrificing for! This world is marching on at a faster and faster pace toward IT'S DOOM! ...
... few of our co-workers have helped us up to now by LOANING us money they have felt they could not GIVE ... One has borrowed money on some property he owned, and we are making the payments to him to pay his bank, as the payments and interest come due. Some have sold bonds, or securities, and loaned us the cash, to be paid back in the manner that fits the needs of each one in each case. We need now to borrow several thousand dollars more on this basis....
If you can LOAN the work anywhere from one to ten thousand dollars—or even $500 or less, please SEND THE MONEY AT ONCE AIR- MAIL, stating in your letter how you wish to be repaid—whether beginning now, or a year or two or more from now—whether by the month, or quarter, or how -- and in what amounts each payment. If you want interest, tell me what rate. As a minister of Jesus Christ I must say to you that God, in His Word, forbids Christians to receive interest from Christians—the whole interest and usury system is condemned in the Bible. But Israel was permitted to PAY interest, and even to RECEIVE it from Gentiles, so a Christian can PAY it if demanded, or receive it from a non-Christian, if he deems that circumstances warrant. I could never RECEIVE interest from any of you, but God does permit me to PAY it if you, after I have mentioned this Bible teaching, desire it—so just state your own wishes in the matter. So if you can borrow money FOR us on some security you have—on property, or on securities or other investments—or if you have bonds to sell, or savings you can put to work for God, getting it back, if and when you need it, please send the money at once by return mail, stating how you want it repaid, and I will immediately make out a note binding our corporation to repay it on whatever terms you state, and mail it to you. And WITH it, send the largest offering you can GIVE."
Co-worker letter Dec. 4, 1947: " It seems that due to the biggest Christmas-shopping spree in history, most of our co-workers and listeners have FORGOTTEN both gifts and obligations to CHRIST! And the financial condition of God's precious work has taken a nose-dive straight down toward a CRASH that will mean the END OF IT in five days' time unless by faith in God and enough of our faithful co-workers coming to the rescue immediately, the crash can be averted and the most important work on this earth SAVED... "
"Every individual who HEEDS this warning, turns to God, is WATCHING and PRAYING ALWAYS, being filled with God’s Spirit, living by every Word of God, with a life consecrated to Him, will be given special divine protection—taken beforehand to a place of SAFETY—preserved thru the final horrifying tribulation, time of plagues and human anguish soon to visit this earth!
But if we to whom God has revealed this terrible future thru His divine prophecies fail to heed it—if we fail to each play his or her full part in WARNING this nation and the world, now, while we may—then God says we shall not escape, but He will require the blood of this entire people at our hands!…
I tell you, ON THE AUTHORITY OF JESUS CHRIST, IT IS COMING! Many of you NOW, are in financial condition to DO A LOT MORE than you are doing for GOD’S CAUSE..."
January 29, 1948 co-worker letter: "And we sleep on, heedless, bent on pleasures and working for a future that WILL NEVER COME! Co-Workers, THE ONLY THING THAT IS IMPORTANT NOW IS TO SOUND GOD'S WARNING TO THIS NATION -- TO PREACH AND PUBLISH WITH GREAT POWER THE TRUE GOSPEL TO THE ENTIRE WORLD BEFORE THIS ATOMIC-DAY COMES! Frankly, I do not believe it will actually come in five years -- but it COULD! But I do believe we have not more than seven or nine years to finish the work God has commissioned us to do! Just BARELY enough time, and NO MORE! That is why AMBASSADOR COLLEGE had to start without a year's delay. That's why God performed MIRACLES to open the way that it might start. Sober, serious young men and women are being thoroughly TRAINED to carry this work now INTO EVERY NATION. Every student, by hard application, is proving to be an ALL-A student! Final exams for the first semester are being held this week!…
Listen, dear Co-Worker! As I've said before, YOU won't be living where you are -- AS you are, enjoying what you are now, MUCH LONGER! DOOM is hurling surely and relentlessly down UPON OUR ENTIRE NATION! General Arnold sees it. All great scientists know it! They tell us they are frankly FRIGHTENED! You may be sure General Eisenhower, President Truman, Secretary Marshall all realize it! Yes, they all know more than they dare tell! GOD foresees it, and WARNS US!
TIME IS SHORT and swiftly running out on us! We STILL have time, and just BARELY time, to fulfill the Great Commission, before it's forever TOO LATE! We can't stop, falter, slacken our efforts now!
And yet SOME FEW of our co-workers continue to write in after every urgent appeal I'm forced to sent out! "Why is the work always in an emergency? Why must it always need more money?"
Oh, dear Co-workers, LISTEN! Let's all realize JUST WHERE WE STAND! We are in the very LAST DAYS! The only thing on earth that COUNTS, now, is THIS GREAT WORK OF GOD! It isn't MY personal work—it is YOURS as much as mine—it's GOD'S work, to which He has called YOU and me. I can speak in front of a microphone. But unless YOUR MONEY makes that microphone LIVE,—carries what is spoken into it, out over many radio stations of super-power to MILLIONS OF PEOPLE, I would be talking into a dead piece of metal in an empty room—just talking to myself! Often, when I speak to you, there is not another soul in the room with me. Usually Mrs. Armstrong is there by my side, and sometimes visitors, but not always. You see, of myself I CAN DO NOTHING. Without YOUR part, this great work would be as dead as the proverbial door-nail. I need—fully realize the need—and am sure I have, the help and power of GOD. I have to plead for His help, guidance, inspiration, and power daily—He has promised it, and He gives it. But without YOU CO-WORKERS, this work would fold up and STOP DEAD in less than ten days' time! I can write articles, and booklets. But unless YOU send the money for paper, printing, and postage, not a hundred people would probably ever see the Message God has given me. I can teach the marvellous, amazing, precious TRUTHS God has revealed to me to the Bible class at AMBASSADOR COLLEGE, and other professors can teach the other things these students need to prepare them for God's service—ONLY if YOU send in the money to keep the college operating!
And this work has been developed and organized SO EFFICIENTLY, under God's inspiration and guidance, that EVERY SINGLE DOLLAR you send carries the precious vital Message to TWO THOUSAND PRECIOUS SOULS, who will not hear it if you do not send that dollar—or as MANY dollars as you can!
Yes, this work ONCE AGAIN is in a LIFE-AND-DEATH CRISIS! I've explained before how we had no possible way to anticipate the $30,000 reconstruction job unexpectedly thrust upon us. We HAD to meet it. But it is not paid yet—and it forced us to get behind with our large super-power radio stations, and I have had to give notes in LARGE AMOUNTS, due monthly, which will keep this terrible crisis on us for THREE MORE MONTHS at least. We are not yet out of this dire emergency, and WON'T BE for another three months at least! But I am happy to report to you that we are rapidly getting this work out of debt—and are committed to a stiff schedule that will rid us entirely of the reproach of debt after another three months. Rapid, almost miraculous strides have been made—but we must put our shoulders to the wheel until the job's finished!
Some of our co-workers are doing FAR MORE than their share—God bless them! Some have made tremendous sacrifice—giving one, two, three thousand dollars—some LOANING us, until they need it, money they cannot give, that this money may at least be USED during this present emergency in this most important work on earth! I must ask OTHERS now to give, or loan us large sums to meet all the heavy obligations and keep this work alive, and GROWING. But some—as I said, only a VERY FEW—seem to take offense, and write me criticizing letters because this emergency is still on. Oh, dear Co-Workers, can't you realize that every bit of it is, financially, my PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY?—that it is I, not you, whom the building contractor, the radio stations, and others, threaten and pressure! It is I they make feel like a dishonest dead-beat or a criminal of some kind, when YOU fail to send in enough money! It is I who must endure all this, often unable to sleep nights, and still must try to keep up my morale and good spirits so I can talk cheerfully and encouragingly over the air to help millions of people—who must try to encourage and inspire our office staff, our professors and students at the college, and KEEP THE WHEELS TURNING, no matter how heavy the responsibility reposes on my shoulders! Now of course I realize, since this is God's work, that there is no cause for worry or fear—and I DO have perfect FAITH, born of long experience."
February 11, 1949: "It has been two months or more since I have written most of our Co-Workers. Tremendous things have happened in that time, of world importance.
Yes, and what has happened to this work is destined to be of world importance! We will all see that a little later."
..."PROPHECY is being rapidly fulfilled. The whole world is swirling in the vortex toward the end of this world, into the WORLD TOMORROW! And what is happening to this work which God has committed to you and to me is a most important part of these prophesied events!…
Brethren, Co-Workers, LISTEN! This is as much YOUR call and commission—YOUR responsibility, as mine. Together we must sacrifice for it. It must become the CHIEF INTEREST, CONCERN, AND PURPOSE in your life as well as it already is in mine, if God's purpose is to be fulfilled. Remember, the "harvest is plenteous, but THE LABORERS ARE FEW," and we do not have a vast number of co-workers to help, and to supply the vast financial need. So, YOU must be willing to sacrifice —to put this great Mission FIRST in your life and in the expenditures of your pocket-book. ONLY A FEW YEARS OF THE PRESENT ORDER—THE PRESENT CIVILIZATION—THE PRESENT WORLD, remain. After all, your money is not going to be worth any- thing anywhere ELSE, in a very few short years."
November 28, 1949 HWA - Dear Co-Workers, Please read this at once. It’s very important, It’s URGENT! Somehow, I must make all our co-workers realize WHAT A TERRIBLE THING IS HAPPENING! My heart is heavy as lead. A colossal tragedy is happening. HOW can I make all you co-workers realize it?
My recent letter of November 11th didn’t make enough of our co-workers realize the situation. Unless this letter succeeds, it will be too late. I MUST, somehow, arouse ALL our co-workers. It’s a matter of final desperation now.
Would you see the only LIGHT OF THE WORLD extinguished? Read this carefully! The only light of the word is the TRUTH of God, and the true work of God proclaiming that truth in boldness and with power! Satan knows this. He hates this work of God causing that true light to shine in his darkened world! Satan is angry. He is furious. He strikes repeatedly at this work of God. He never lets up, but keeps attacking with increasing persistence. Consequently this work is brought into one crisis after another.
Unless this letter somehow can make ALL our co-workers REALIZE how urgently serious the situation has become, this true work of God will be put out at this true LIGHT shining forth over three nations extinguished the voice you’ve been hearing over the air proclaiming the very Gospel of Christ, which HE proclaimed, STILLED the PLAIN TRUTH stopped from publication – Ambassador College, where men called of God, Spirit-filled, consecrated, are being fitted for this precious work of God will be CLOSED DOWN!
That would be the greatest tragedy that could happen! But this precious and powerful work CANNOT SURVIVE ANOTHER MONTH- not even another week – unless somehow with the help of God I can at last AROUSE our co-workers – ALL of you – to be willing RIGHT NOW to make a real financial sacrifice for your Saviour who gave His LIFE for you – for the Christ who loves you so much He DIED for you – and to love HIM enough to come to the aid of His work immediately!
HWA 1952 - " Ambassador College is GROWING...all of our men and myself have baptized almost 400 so far this year...NEVER has this work been blessed with such marvellous results...CO-WORKERS, I MUST ASK YOU TO COME TO THE RESCUE BY RETURN MAIL WITH THE LARGEST SUMS YOU POSSIBLY CAN SEND. It's a dire need. It's an IMMEDIATE and URGENT need. This is the greatest work on earth. We need every dollar"— the widow' mites, and the larger amounts from those who are able."
September 9, 1953 : "The Festival is just TWO WEEKS AWAY—we are UNDER PRESSURE—it is now the FINAL, URGENT CRISIS—We simply HAVE to raise this money! I know many of you have done almost more than you could. But somehow we now simply MUST make one last MIGHTY SACRIFICE to put this over the top. Some whom I feel sure would have sent in two or three thousand dollars or more each have had reverses and had their incomes cut in two this year, and simply could not do it."
January 15, 1954 : "Here is BIG NEWS! It may mean the end of this present world is much nearer than even we had supposed!… "
"Again the need is URGENT! It takes money every day and every week, to operate this greatest work on earth."
February 24, 1954 : "Here is I can't hold back the truth from you any longer. I have to tell you we have reached the breaking point---the extreme LIMIT--- in this tight squeeze holding on to the powerful net-work broadcast! Unless God now performs a MIRACLE thru you co-workers, we cannot carry on another week!"
March 17, 1954: "Dear Faithful Co-Workers for Christ: Thank God!--we're still on the air--world-wide! Yes, in this tight squeeze getting the broadcast established on a major network, we have been making it--so far! But now we approach the very crisis bottle-neck of this tight squeeze. Now comes the SUPREME TEST!"
April 4, 1954: "This is a matter of life and death! Even now it may be too late, but I'm rushing this on Sunday---even a day's delay would be fatal. READ EVERY WORD before you lay this down! It's far more than the life and death of any person---we face this minute the death of God's all-important work."
April 26, 1954: Dear Co-Workers: The desperate life-and-death struggle to keep alive this greatly enlarged work of God continues. RIGHT NOW the fate of the work of God is being decided! It is being determined by WHAT YOU DO, these next two weeks! Right now we are at the turning point---one way or the other! It's the supreme crisis---and the answer is either the LIFE, or the death, of this tremendous program into which God has plunged us!"
June 16, 1954: "... This must be short and brief. It's an S.O.S. A drowning person does not take time for many words and long explanations---he just shouts "HELP!" ..." Precious lives for ETERNITY are AT STAKE---waiting on your tithes and EXTRA offerings! This is more important than anything you have to do. It has become a terrible EMERGENCY! "
Co-worker letter July 12, 1954: "Never has our faith been so severely tried. This financial "tight squeeze" not only is still on---it is squeezing harder than ever before. Physical APPEARANCES make the situation look hopeless!"
[Note: Recall that in 1978, HWA stated that the largest percentage of income growth occurred between 1942 and 1955 (well over 30% per year). Even with this growth rate, he continually claimed the work was experiencing "terrible emergencies", "a life and death crisis", "final urgent crisis", etc.
Nevertheless, in between the specific, urgent requests for money, Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong again traveled in complete luxury throughout Europe for about 6-7 weeks. They departed in August 5, 1954 aboard the fastest ship in the world, the S.S. United States, and then returned to the Dorchester hotel, and then traveled all over Europe and the middle east. It was also at some point during this period that he moved from his large home near Cal Tech into an even larger home on Millionaire’s Row on 363 S. Orange Grove. Then later on, he moved from that home into a 6,450 sq-ft home at 210 S. Orange Grove that was valued at $3.0 million in March 2015 ( even with the subdivisions that have occurred since HWA lived in the home)]
Co-worker lettet, August 9, 1954. "Dear Co-Workers: God's great work is still in its tightest squeeze. In His great wisdom God is giving us, the family of Co-Workers He has called to His work, a great test of faith to TRY us---to develop PATIENCE---to teach us the great lesson of ENDURING TO THE END--- never quitting or giving up!"
September 18, 1954: "QUOTE BY SPECIAL CABLEGRAM LONDON SEPT 23 MEETINGS HERE BIG SUCCESS GREAT INTEREST AND GREAT WORK STARTED ALL OVER BRITAIN BUT ALARMING LETTER JUST RECEIVED FROM BUSINESS OFFICE IN PASADENA MUST PAY LARGE SUM OWEING XEG XELO AND XERB OR PUT OFF THE AIR. OUR INCOME LAST MONTH NINE THOUSAND DOLLARS BELOW EXPENSES. UNLESS OUR COWORKERS RALLY WITH LARGE INCREASE IN TITHES AND OFFERINGS IMMEDIATELY THIS GREAT WORK WILL STOP THIS IS SUPREME EMERGENCY PLEASE PRAY AS NEVER BEFORE REQUESTS FOR LITERATURE RECEIVED FROM NEW NETWORK LISTENERS GREATLY INCREASING WE MUST HOLD ON."
Co-worker letter, September 30, 1954: " This letter is a matter of LIFE or DEATH -- far more important than any human life -- the very life or death of GOD'S GREAT WORK! Read this carefully and prayerfully. I am on the Atlantic racing home. I have just received word by long distance that the work is in an ACUTE CRISIS. I do not know at the moment whether we are still on the air."
October 25, 1954: "I have returned to Pasadena to find this LIFE or DEATH struggle to save God's work is still with us---the very LIFE of the most important activity on earth still hangs in the balance!"
November 17, 1954: "In Jesus' name, GREETINGS! I have certainly had my eyes opened these past few weeks! We all need to WAKE UP! We are in a time of DANGER! You are in danger! Our nation is in grave danger! God's great and precious work is in terrible DANGER---unless a very large number of you Co-Workers who have been indifferent or neglectful of GOD'S WORK are reawakened!"
PT January 1955 p. 1, 15 (Hoeh): "Only remember that if you do not square yourself with the Almighty Ruler of the universe, that He will collect from you all your past obligations by casting you out of your very own home. These are strong words, but they are true. God Almighty has spoken through His servants the prophets that He will punish our people for their sins. He will let our own lust cause such droughts, floods, pestilences and famines that we will be totally consumed and carried away captive to other nations as slaves within 20 years… Tithing is God’s challenge! Are YOU going to practice what He commands you? It is your only protection from the coming disaster that faces our nation."
Co-worker Letter April 21, 1955: "Here is the most important news I have ever been able to send you Co-Workers about the progress of God's Work! .....LISTEN CAREFULLY! This is, indeed the very CRISIS HOUR of the entire life of the work..... THAT'S the crisis bottle-neck we face. THE VERY LIFE of the work of GOD depends on it! THAT'S the mountain we have to hurdle! It's going to require several thousand dollars EXTRA, immediately,--and for some months to come---to make this CHANGE- OVER from Radio to TV!
....CO-WORKERS, WE HAVE TO RALLY TO THIS SUPREME EMERGENCY! If we should fail in this, God's precious work---the most important activity on this earth---would go down, and down,---and DIE! NOTHING, now, but SUPERHUMAN EFFORT on YOUR part as well as mine can save the work!
...And IF EVER we needed a complete DELUGE of widows' mites, that time is RIGHT NOW!
THIS IS OUR SUPREME TEST! God has not failed us---we must not fail HIM! Put your WHOLE HEART
into this. It's our SUPREME OPPORTUNITY, as well as our supreme TEST!
January 19, 1956: "But HOW are we to go on TV daily? .... God has shown me the ANSWER—and opened the WAY—but you Co-Workers will have to BACK me in this tremendous undertaking as NEVER BEFORE! Never before have I had to call on you for such sacrifice—such intensive and earnest and continuous prevailing PRAYER as now! But if you'll stand solidly back of me—WE CAN GO ON TELEVISION DAILY, this very year!"
November 20, 1957 : "This is a quick and short EMERGENCY S.O.S.!!! This whole world has suddenly hit a stupendous CRISIS. At the same time, the most important activity on earth—GOD'S WORK—faces a crucial emergency."
[Note: Figures HWA provided in 1978 showed the rate of growth for the income between 1955-1968 varied from 3.2 to 35%, averaging 26.2% per year. The rate of growth slowed considerably after 1969.]
January 10, 1958 : " Here we are, in 1958! Time is running out on us..." "Brethren, WHAT ARE WE TO DO? We can't go ahead with this Tabernacle unless YOU MEMBERS SEND IN THE MONEY! We cannot take regular tithes and offerings away from the GOSPEL WORK around the world—WE CAN'T STOP GOD'S GREAT GOSPEL WORK—and put that money into the Tabernacle.
WHY, dear brethren, is it that unless I send out urgent appeals, most of you forget all about this great need, and QUIT DOING YOUR PART? W H Y ? Don't you realize that GOD is noting all we do—or fail to do? Don't you know we are to be rewarded according to our works?"
December 8, 1959 : "… As world conditions step up toward the grand-smash CLIMAX of world VIOLENCE, and the END of this world, God is stepping up the power of HIS WORK! He is simultaneously blessing His people—CHRIST'S CO-WORKERS—with financial prosperity. AND HE EXPECTS US ALL TO GIVE, GENEROUSLY, FOR HIS WORK ACCORDING AS HE HAS BLESSED AND PROSPERED US—beside paying our honest TITHES which BELONG TO HIM!
...Co-Workers, let us dedicate ourselves right now as Co-Workers together with CHRIST, as never before"
7/24/60 : "I have just had an urgent long-distance telephone call from Pasadena Headquarters. The SPECIAL offerings for the Building Fund are dropping off alarmingly..." "The NEED is imperative—desperate." "If we do only our own part—what is expected of us—God's Word brands us as UNPROFITABLE SERVANTS. And the unprofitable servants are to be cast into the lake of FIRE!"
Co-worker letter January 15, 1962: “I know we can do better than this! WE SIMPLY HAVE TO DO BETTER! Just barely more than HALF of you members have responded-- almost HALF of you have failed to pledge a single dollar! … MANY OF YOU WHO ARE ABLE AND OUGHT TO PLEDGE HAVE FAILED OR REFUSED!
Brethren, do you realize this is the work of ALMIGHTY GOD? Do you realize HE is holding you accountable, according to your ability? It is not yet too late--but if you become a spiritual slacker, there is a Lake of Fire looming ahead, and I say to you in all sincerity and love, and by authority of Jesus Christ, you had better begin to fear and TREMBLE! This is EXPECTED of you, and if we don't do MORE than expected, we are UNPROFITABLE SERVANTS, and Jesus Christ says that the unprofitable servants are to be thrown into the Lake of Fire!”
December 9, 1962 : "GREETINGS in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Once again I have to write you about a SERIOUS EMERGENCY. It is MOST URGENT!
I am writing this Sunday morning. Friday evening, just before the Sabbath came on, I stopped in the office of our head bookkeeper a moment. I was startled—almost horrified—to learn that the special offerings for the PROPERTY FUND had suddenly dropped off alarmingly..."
BRETHREN! God's Work is growing. The regular operating expenditures automatically keep increasing 30% a year. The income keeps increasing 30% a year—but that goes for OPERATIONAL EXPENDITURES—and for PREACHING THE GOSPEL TO THE WORLD! It does not provide for these imperative new building operations. WE MUST PROVIDE FOR THESE BY THIS SPECIAL BUILDING FUND. That means extra special offerings, OVER AND ABOVE tithes and regular offerings for operational expenses and the Gospel Work."
June 30, 1963: “Right now there is VERY SPECIAL AND URGENT NEED! This need, of course, is continuous. But when one of these letters is a little overdue, then thousands of Co-Workers seem to assume there is no need, and wait until my letter comes before sending in their offerings. PLEASE DON'T WAIT for these letters--because the NEED for the Work is CONTINUOUS!
July 31, 1963: “Time is running out on us. Only a few more years remain to finish God's Work!
…Co-Workers, we still are in the slack, difficult summer months. I have to ask you to PRAY--and PRAY MORE EARNESTLY AND DILIGENTLY for this Work and its finances! We can never slacken our efforts! The need is very great RIGHT NOW--and will continue to be until the work is DONE!”
January 13, 1964: “… This reminds me that I MUST NOW ASK CO-WORKERS TO RENEW FOR ANOTHER YEAR your statements of intention for your SPECIAL offerings (apart from regular tithes and offerings for the Gospel Work) for the SPECIAL BUILDING FUND. We must not only keep this going from year to year for the next five to seven years -- but we MUST INCREASE IT BY AT LEAST 30% EACH YEAR, TO MEET THE 30% ANNUAL INCREASE IN THE GROWTH OF THIS ENTIRE WORK!
For this reason I need, especially to call for extra effort from all Co-Workers to be as liberal as your ability allows in regular offerings for the broadcast and Gospel work -- and there is now SPECIAL URGENT NEED for loans of larger sums from those few of you who have such funds you are not using right now -- may need in the future and therefore feel unable to GIVE such sums to the Work at this time. It is a very great help when you let such sums..”
February 1, 1965: “This is SERIOUS. This is URGENT! We face an EMERGENCY, and I have to ask you to read carefully every word, take this matter seriously…”
A little over two years ago I bound this Work to a year of austerity -- cutting every expenditure to the bone… This situation has become DESPERATE! The WHOLE WORK OF GOD depends on it!”
Yet you Co-Workers have been dropping off in the EXTRA SPECIAL and ADDITIONAL OFFERINGS FOR THE BUILDING FUND until it is half of what it was -- and hardly a third of what it MUST BE if the WORK OF GOD is to keep on forging ahead!”
… and we need a BIG INCREASE over what they were, for this coming year or 18 months. THE VERY FUTURE OF THE WHOLE WORK DEPENDS ON THIS!”
March 1, 1965: “ I have just received an S.O.S. message from our Business Office at Pasadena Headquarters. It has an U R G E N T !! in capital letters, underscored three times, with two exclamation points, saying receipt of tithes and offerings has fallen "way down," followed by another U R G E N T !! and asking me to write immediately another Co-Worker Letter.”
March 2, 1967 : "... Reports indicate that many have "come in" to God's Church in this manner: They have come to really SEE and KNOW that this is, truly, GOD'S Church. They know there is terrible WORLD TROUBLE just ahead. They have heard how God's Church is to be taken to a PLACE OF SAFETY. (And HOW God is working that out is a PART of the sensational ANNOUNCEMENT I hope very soon to announce!) So these people come in, selfishly, for a sort of spiritual and physical SECURITY -- to assure PROTECTION when the Great Tribulation bursts upon the world! But they are NOT themselves "on fire for GOD!" They are spiritual DRONES! And God will not give them protection! “
Many professing to be Church MEMBERS say, when a Co-Worker letter arrives, in a grumbling, complaining disgust: "Oh, that's another of Mr. Armstrong's REQUESTS for MONEY," and many don't even read the letter! “
Are YOU one of those? If so, LET ME BURN YOUR EARS before the Almighty GOD burns YOU in the Lake of FIRE! If that has been YOUR attitude -- if YOU are only on the GETTING side, and SHUN helping, and giving to the cause of GOD, then I say to you ON AUTHORITY OF JESUS CHRIST, if you don't REPENT and QUICKLY, and change that hostile, despicable, detestable attitude, you DO NOT BELONG in GOD'S CHURCH! You are some of the ROTTEN, PUTRID, spiritual WASTE that has been PLUGGED UP INSIDE OF THE SPIRITUAL BODY OF CHRIST'S WIFE, just as physical waste is plugged up in my dear wife's body! And the living Jesus is just as able to EXPEL YOU from the spiritual Body of HIS WIFE as He is to expel this physical waste from my wife's body!
And if THAT doesn't make your ears tingle, and AWAKEN you, then Jesus Christ says to YOU through me, YOU are in danger of the Lake of FIRE!
… You KNOW that we are on a SEVEN YEAR (or longer) building program, that began less than four years ago, and has three or more years yet to go. And yet, YOU BRETHREN, who call yourselves God’s PEOPLE have dwindled down to about HALF the amount of SPECIAL OFFERINGS for the BUILDING FUND you were sending in a year ago—though there are 30 percent more of us!
THINK OF IT! How ASHAMED God must be with His Church!…
LISTEN, Brethren—and listen HARD! Learn a LESSON that may save you from the Lake of Fire. Learn a basic TRUTH about how you are to develop character and GROW spiritually to INHERIT GOD’S KINGDOM! Learn a GREAT TRUTH! Learn what may mean your ETERNITY!
Read this two or three times! UNDERSTAND IT!
Some of you do not GO FORWARD spiritually with Christ, UNLESS I or YOUR LOCAL PASTOR, or SOMEONE PUSHES YOU! But our PUSHING will never get you into God’s Kingdom. Our PUSHING will never get you to the PLACE OF SAFETY for the Great Tribulation about five years from now…”
February 25, 1966: “Once again, I have to send out the call for the LOAN of larger sums if you happen to have such an amount which you feel you cannot, at this time, at least, give. Many Co-Workers have sent in such sums, so this money may be at CHRIST'S disposal, working where HE works, and with His blessing, DOING GOOD -- until they find they need it -- or part of it. Of course many of these are later changed to straight contributions. But IF, or when, you find you must ask for part or all of it back, this Work is prepared to send it to you immediately. A special reserve is maintained to guarantee this.”
Sep. 9, 1968 - "MANY who DO have the ability [to give]… are GUILTY BEFORE GOD of shirking—of letting the SATANIC attitude of GET fill their minds… The only reward later, will be DEATH in the LAKE OF FIRE!"
Dec. 29, 1967: “This is one of the most IMPORTANT, URGENT letters I have ever written you. I hope you will read carefully, prayerfully, every word...
The financial need is CRUCIAL right now -- MORE THAN ANY TIME IN RECENT YEARS! It is MOST URGENT! We are actually having to take steps to MATERIALLY REDUCE OUR BUDGET FOR 1968! This should never BE!”
“GOD'S WORK NEEDS YOUR EARNEST, PREVAILING, BELIEVING PRAYERS! It needs more large LOANS than ever before! It needs a BIG financial LIFT…. It is MOST SERIOUS! There is no time to lose. I must RUSH this to you.”
Oct. 29, 1968 – “Co-Workers—Brethren in Christ—WE ARE ON THE FINAL "GUN-LAP." The "chips are down!" We must give this great work a mighty additional PUSH! The time is short—and it is VITAL. IT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN OUR LIVES RIGHT NOW! Soon our money will not help us!
Here is what GOD says soon will happen: As the DAY OF THE LORD approaches…
Never was the need so urgent. Never were sizeable loans more needed—if you have cash not now being used, but which you are not free to GIVE. If you are not able to GIVE it outright at this time, it will help greatly if you PUT IT TO WORK, as a loan, WHERE THE LIVING CHRIST IS WORKING, AND DIRECTING, AND BLESSING!”
[Note: In 1968, the income grew 35% and in 1969 it grew another 31%- yet this apparently was not enough to avoid another financial crisis. ]
TO BE CONTINUED
READING ALL THIS SHOULD MAKE YOU SICK, ABSOLUTELY SICK!!
I WAS A MEMBER FROM 1961 TO 1972. I MUST HAVE RECEIVED ALL THESE CO-WORKER LETTERS, BUT ON A FIXED INCOME [YES I DID TITHE] I JUST IGNORED
THESE PLEAS FOR MORE MONEY, AND BASICALLY PUT THEM OUT OF MY HEAD.
READING ALL THIS NOW, JUST MAKES ME SICK!!
HWA WAS THE KING OF GETTING MONEY FROM MEMBERS AND CO-WORKERS, AS YOU CAN SEE, RIGHT FROM THE WORD GO.
WHEN YOU SEE ALL THIS FROM THE BEGINNING OF HIS MINISTRY, ONE CO-WORKER LETTER AFTER ANOTHER, IT IS SHOCKING. YES, THE PLAIN TRUTH MAGAZINE AND LITERATURE DID GO OUT FREE TO PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD, BUT AT THE EXPENSE OF PEOPLE WITH ALL THESE PLEADS AND PLEADS AND PLEADS FOR MONEY, EVEN TO YOUR BEING CASTING INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE, IS JUST BEYOND WORDS TO EXPRESS HOW DISGUSTING AND SHAMEFUL IT ALL WAS.
THOSE MINISTERS AND MEMBERS OF THE OFF-SHOOTS OF THE WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD FROM 1990 AND AFTER, SHOULD ADMIT THE REAL PLAIN TRUTH OF THE REALITY OF THIS MAN, THEY STILL THINK SO HIGHLY OF.
I CAN WELL REMEMBER THAT AFTER LOMA ARMSTRONG DIED IN 1967, HOW HWA GOT WILDER AND WILDER IN VANITY AND EGO WITH EACH PASSING YEAR; WITH OTHERS AROUND HIM, HIS RIGHT HAND MEN, ALSO STROKING HIS PROUDNESS, AND HELPING TO PUSH HIM INTO BEING THE "SPECIAL" - THE "APOSTLE" OF GOD ON EARTH. I WELL REMEMBER THE YEARS WHEN THE PLAIN TRUTH MAGAZINE WAS "SECULAR" - NOWHERE TO BE FOUND WAS THE WORD "GOD" OR "JESUS CHRIST."
I WELL REMEMBER AT ONE FEAST OF TABERNACLES [IT WAS AROUND 1970] HERMON HOEH GETTING UP AND SAYING, "IF YOU DO NOT LIKE THE WAY THE PLAIN TRUTH MAGAZINE IS, YOU ARE DISAGREEING WITH GOD'S APOSTLE!" I REMEMBER SAYING TO MYSELF....."WELL I DISAGREE ANYWAY, YES I DISAGREE....YOU POMPOUS WIND BAG." I WELL REMEMBER GERALD WATERHOUSE COMING TO OUR CHURCH TWICE IN THREE OR FOUR YEARS, AND HIM RANTING AND RAVING ON FOR 3 HOURS EACH TIME. I WELL REMEMBER THINKING HE WAS A "NUT CASE" A "MENTAL CRAZY" AND I STAYED AS FAR AWAY FROM HIM AS I COULD AFTER SERVICES, WHILE OTHERS FLOCKED AROUND HIM IN SOME KIND OF ADMIRATION.
YES THOSE WERE THE YEARS GOD BEGAN TO SHOW ME THIS SUPPOSED "THE WORK OF GOD ON EARTH" WAS NOT HIS WORK AT ALL, BUT A BUNCH OF EGOTISTICAL MEN, LAPPING AT THE FEET OF ONE HUGE EGOTISTICAL VAIN AND POMPOUS MAN!