A collection of Facts, Opinions and Comments from survivors
of Herbert W. Armstrong's Worldwide Church of God and its Daughters.


The Plain Truth about Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong

Part 1




Herbert W. Armstrong was a controversial man. While some continue to view him as having been the end-time Elijah sent by God sent to restore all things, others attack him for having been a false prophet and con man. What is the truth? Can individuals sift through the history, stories, and opinions on the internet and reach any valid conclusions about Herbert W. Armstrong? It is possible but it can take some time to do so. This document was prepared accelerate the process by establishing a proper foundation of accurate, documented, verifiable history to help individuals discern whether critics or supporters may be misrepresenting Mr. Armstrong (intentionally or unintentionally).


Challenging Mr. Armstrong’s overzealous critics and supporters

Worldwide Church of God (WCG) members were fully aware that Mr. Armstrong spoke a great deal about the tribulation, the return of Jesus Christ, and the establishment of the Kingdom of God and that he had even speculated about the timing for these events. WCG members were also aware of the elegant Ambassador College campus, Mr. Armstrong’s private jet, and the expensive gifts that had been purchased for dignitaries. None of these things were kept secret and Mr. Armstrong’ supporters rightly argue they do not prove that the accusations about Mr. Armstrong being a false prophet or accusations about misusing church funds are true.

Likewise, Mr. Armstrong’s critics are well aware that Mr. Armstrong taught the Sabbath, Holy Days, and the coming European Union. They are also aware that under his leadership the WCG grew to over 100,000 members, printed millions of Plain Truth magazines and booklets, and reached millions more by radio and television. Nevertheless, his critics rightly argue such accomplishments do not prove that the numerous claims that Mr. Armstrong made about himself are true (his unique calling, training, purpose, role, and prophetic understanding).

Claims about Mr. Armstrong from both supporters and critics need to be based upon reliable facts rather than opinions, perceptions, or emotions.


Recommended approach

A reliable way to learn about Mr. Armstrong is to let him speak for himself. This is far better than blindly believing what others may say about him. This can be achieved by reading a sampling of Mr. Armstrong’s own writings, preferably a couple Plain Truth magazine articles and co-worker letters from the ‘30’s, ‘40’, ‘50’s and 60’s. This is now quite easy to do since almost everything Mr. Armstrong ever wrote is available and conveniently organized at the “HWA Searchable Library”website. It has material that most members never had access to before and this material can be trusted. It is free of bias from either his critics or his supporters. This exercise will help one understand the plain truth about Mr. Armstrong.


Research findings

This document includes summaries of findings from this type of research with direct quotations being summarized in chronological order on the following topics:

  1. Mr. Armstrong’s speculations about future events.

  2. The consistency of Mr. Armstrong’s speculations.

  3. Mr. Armstrong never claimed to be a prophet.

  4. Mr. Armstrong’s dedication to preaching the gospel, Part 1.

  5. Mr. Armstrong’s dedication to preaching the gospel, Part 2.

Observations are summarized in section 6.

1. Herbert W. Armstrong's speculations about future events



1. Plain Truth, February 1934, page 3:  "We may be absolutely certain that we are in, and for about three years have been passing through, this great world-wide tribulation…. We have seen that the "day of His wrath" is the     "Day of the Lord," which is a day of DESTRUCTION. WHO will be able to stand it?  You can’t escape it. It is just as CERTAIN as are all these other events which have happened right on schedule."

2. Plain Truth, June/July 1934, page 3:  HWA drew a chronological chart of End-Time events and labeled 1936 as the end of the time of tribulation and "the End of the Age." (see below)



3. Plain Truth, June/July 1934, page 5:  "...the year 1936 will see the end of the Times of the Gentiles.... we may expect the present worldwide depression, time of trouble and fear of
    war to continue until the year 1936!... quickly after that time, we may expect to see the heavenly signs of the sun and moon becoming dark, the stars falling....
    which shall be followed by the 'Day of the Lord."

4. Plain Truth,   March 1938, p.8:   "Mussolini and the Pope will hatch up an idea between [them] of setting up a world headquarters at Jerusalem—and so Mussolini’s armies
    will enter Palestine (Dan. 11:41) and eventually will capture just half of the city of Jerusalem!"

5. Plain Truth, January 1939  p. 4:  "Mussolini will fight Christ!"

6. Plain Truth February 1939, P. 1:  "By way of brief review of previous articles, and radio messages, notice, first, that this war will involve ALL nations. It will be the first real world war.
    Secondly, it will center around Jerusalem....And thirdly, this war will END with the Second Coming of Christ."

7. Plain Truth, August 1939, p.6:  "Once war is resumed, it must continue on thru the great Tribulation, the heavenly signs, the plagues of the Day of the Lord, and to the second coming
    of Christ, at the last battle, at     Armageddon!…  This war will be ended by Christ’s return! And war may start within six weeks! We are just that near Christ’s coming!"



8. Plain Truth, April/May 1940, P. 1:"Democracy went, yesterday, in England! Today England is a DICTATORSHIP, as absolutely as that of Adolph Hitler or Benito Mussolini. . .
    And when the United States gets into the war. . . THE SAME THING WILL HAPPEN HERE! . . . the president will become dictator absolute and not only soldiers, but factory worker, farmers,
    every dollar of our money and wealth-all will be CONSCRIPTED! And it is THEN. . . [that] the Great Tribulation shall come, and the MARK of the Beast will be enforced! THE TIME IS AT HAND.
    IT IS time for us to AWAKE!"


9. Plain Truth Nov./December 1940, p.7:  " The U.S. and Britain will soon be invaded and conquered”


10. Co-Worker Letter February 14, 1941:  "TIME IS SHORT!  We are near the END!  Soon the Gospel will be BARRED from the air.”


11. Co-Worker letter May 14th, 1941:  “Satan now speeds up his activity to horrible fury, working thru Hitler and others. He KNOWS that he has but a short time!   ...Time is SHORT!  

      No sacrifice now is too great.   Soon our money, our property, will be worth NOTHING to us.  We cannot keep it much longer, anyway."


12. Plain Truth, May/June 1941, p. 6:  "Since the last issue ... many things have occurred, every one in accordance with prophecy! ...

      War events thunder on, rapidly approaching the prophesied climax! Hitler now emerges as the "BEAST" of Revelation!"


13. Plain Truth, May/June 1941, p. 6:  "Bible prophecy ... shows the Roman Axis forces will take Egypt, Suez, Palestine - even Gibraltar."


14. Plain Truth, May/June, 1941, P. 6:  "Britain will go down."   


15. Plain Truth, September/October 1941,  P. 7:"What does Hitler's invasion of Russia mean? What does BIBLE PROPHECY say about it? As usual, there are many ideas.

      So FEW, it seems, have a right understanding of the Bible and its prophecies.   Plain Truth readers know world events, before they occur"


16. Plain Truth, September/October 1941, P. 7: Continuing. ... Hitler MUST BE THE VICTOR in his present Russian invasion!"


17. Plain Truth, September/October 1941 page 7:   "Our God is now about to punish… if our stiffnecked and rebellious people go on defying… trusting only in material and military defense…
       We shall be invaded, CONQUERED, uprooted from our homes and transplanted to other lands across the seas—ruled over as slaves."


18. CO-WORKERS BULLETIN, December 24th , 1941:  “W A R! What it means in PROPHECY"  "… Well, it has come. American soil has been invaded, the U.S. Navy seriously crippled.
       Enemy submarines are torpedoing ships 20 miles off our Pacific Coast. Enemy planes have been flying over San Francisco. We know what black-outs are.
       Prophesied events SWEEP ON! Bible prophecy is CERTAIN!
       Far more horrible events now loom immediately ahead. This, now, is only "the BEGINNING of sorrows.”


19. CO-WORKERS BULLETIN, December 24th  , 1941:  "...… Satan the Devil rules and guides Hitler. His "intuitions," scoffed at by many, are simply the cunning, supernatural direction
      of the devil himself.
      Bible prophecy shows Hitler is far from through. He will take Gibraltar ---perhaps, now, NEXT! He will take SUEZ. He will enter and take PALESTINE---eventually set up his headquarters there...
      This, now, is only the "BEGINNING of sorrows!" according to Jesus' prophecy (Mat. 24:8.) …Remember this war is PROPHESIED! It is the LAST war! It is for a PURPOSE!
      God's JUDGMENTS are about to fall!

20.  Plain Truth March/April 1942, p. 11: “UNLESS America WAKES UP, repents, turns to God and puts her faith in Him, the punishment we already are suffering in greater and harder
       doses from week to week shall continue until there is invasion - and utter SLAVERY!"


  1. Co-Worker Letter August 24th 1942: “This war, for us, is a judgment sent from God. God has blessed us with vast material wealth---more than two-thirds of all earth's economic resources! And we have forgotten Him, forsaken Him and His ways, made gods of the very material things with which He has blessed us, and our land is steeped in sin, and now plunging hell-bent into fast-INCREASING sin! THE DAY OF RECKONING IS HERE.

  2. Friends, and Co-workers, WE KNOW THESE SOLEMN TRUTHS! If we fail to WARN this nation, God says He will require the blood of the people at our hands... (Ezek. 33:1-6). This is not idle talk. It is not more alarmist language. IT IS THE STARK, BARE, SOLEMN TRUTH!... It is, now, "five minutes till midnight". Then it will be too late.”

  1. Co-Worker letter November 1942: “God Almighty says in His prophecies we cannot win in this war UNLESS OUR PEOPLE REPENT AND TURN TO HIM.

  2. Co-workers, OUR contribution to the war-effort---OUR patriotic DUTY, if we would back up the boys in uniform and have their lives spared---is to SACRIFICE EVERYTHING and GET BEHIND THIS VITAL MESSAGE that it may go out with rapidly-multiplied POWER until this nation is AWAKENED, and TURNS TO GOD, and is SPARED! This war is a JUDGMENT SENT FROM GOD! Help me to warn this nation, that defeat need not come to our shores!”

  1. Co-Worker letter, December 23,1942: “Beside proclaiming the true GOSPEL---the Good News of the KINGDOM OF GOD---the Eternal has commissioned us who are Co-Workers together in this work to WARN THIS NATION---including Canada, and other English-speaking nations if that becomes possible---that GOD HIMSELF is sending this war upon us as a JUDGMENT---that we are HIS PEOPLE ISRAEL---that to win in this war this nation MUST REPENT AND TURN TO GOD AND PUT ITS TRUST IN HIM!”


  2. Co-Worker letter February 16, 1943: “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."


  3. Co-Worker letter February 16, 1943 “…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!


  4. Co-Worker letter February 16, 1943 “…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.


    1. 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! “


  1. Co-worker letter, January 23, 1945 “Where are we, now, in the prophetic unfolding of God's PLAN?  We are already IN the very crisis at the close of this age, spoken of by Daniel the prophet.  We are in that period portrayed by the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse—of the Book of Revelation. Jesus explained these in His Olivet prophecy (Mat. 24).  The false prophets representing a false, counterfeit Christ, have appeared. We are now in the midst of the final age-end WORLD-WAR—nation against nation; kingdom against kingdom!  We are in the beginning of the famine and pestilence to follow in the wake of world-war!"


  2. Co-Worker Letter December 8, 1947 "Dear Family of Co-Workers' in God's Service: GREETINGS! in Jesus' name: TIME is running out! This world is moving swiftly to its destruction! Yet there is still time---and just barely enough time---to finish the work of God for this present age. THERE IS NO TIME TO LOSE.


  3. Coworker Letter,  December 8,1947 "...in a few years NONE OF US will be living in our present homes—EVERYTHING material we possess now will be swept away from us...it will strike DURING THIS PRESENT GENERATION—it cannot now be more than A FEW YEARS..."


  4. Coworker Letter,  December 8, 1947 "YOU, dear Co-Worker, are not going to be permitted to enjoy your home, your freedom, your present privileges and pursuits, many more years.  Just a few more years—perhaps six or seven—perhaps twelve or fifteen—and a re-united Fascist-Nazi Europe will STRIKE—America's great cities will be blown out of existence in one night without warning... I tell you, ON THE AUTHORITY OF JESUS CHRIST, IT IS COMING!"  


  1. Plain Truth, March 1950 p. 5 "ONE THIRD of our people will die from starvation, malnutrition, and epidemics of disease in the greatest national tragedy ever to hit the world up to that time! And this is not a fanciful fairy story - this is PROPHESIED, and CERTAIN - and in the next FEW YEARS!"


  2. Plain Truth, March 1950, p.5 "It will take a few years for all this to develop to a point where this Nazi-Fascist rebirth of the ROMAN EMPIRE will be ready to STRIKE with the most tremendous power ever conceived by man. But it’s already developing - and FAST! Much more rapidly than people know! Most certainly it is easily possible the thing will be fully developed and ready to strike in SEVEN years! Yes, TIME IS RUNNING OUT ON US, FAST, AND WE’RE TOO SOUND ASLEEP TO REALIZE IT!"


  3. Plain Truth March 1950, p.6 "Only ONE THIRD - a bare 50 million out of our 150 million population - will be LEFT ALIVE! Two thirds of the people YOU know - of YOUR FRIENDS, acquaintances, relatives, members of your family - will be killed!"


  4. Plain Truth, May, 1950, page 5, Herbert W. Armstrong: "Most certainly... the thing (U.S. of Europe) will be fully developed and ready to strike in seven years! Yes, time is running out on us ... One third of our people will die from starvation ... and in the next FEW YEARS!"


  5. Plain Truth, October 1951, p.14 "The fact is that nearly all the prophecies refer directly to the END-TIME events of this 20th Century, A.D."


  6. Plain Truth, June 1952, p.5 "For it is those of this very present generation who shall be worshiping this “Beast” or his “Image,” or shall have received his “mark,” that will suffer the unspeakable tortures of the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES!"


  7. Plain Truth, June 1952, p.5 "Every sign tells us these things will happen, plunging the world into the most frantic, frenzied state of anguish ever known, WITHIN A MATTER OF A FEW YEARS!"


  8. Plain Truth, August 1952, p.1 "HITLER Did Not Die. Adolph Hitler's fake suicide in his Berlin Bunker is exposed as History's greatest Hoax! Hitler is alive, directing Nazi Underground, today!"


  9. Plain Truth, August, 1952, page 10, "Thus it has been proved conclusively and beyond doubt, that Hitler did not die -- his body was not there -- HE HAD ESCAPED! ... The next Pope will be a professed miracle worker, as supposed proof that God is using him to order and pacify the world!"


  10. Plain Truth, June 1953, pp.1-2 "But now, once in the END of this age, just before God takes all power and authority and rule away from mortal man forever, God’s last and final intervention in the affairs of THIS WORLD IS occurring before your very eyes!"


  11. Plain Truth, July 1953, p.4 "This same DUAL PRINCIPLE runs all thru prophecy! First, a former, or preliminary fulfillment which is merely the type or forerunner of a second, the final climactic fulfillment occurring, usually, during this CRISIS AT THE CLOSE we already have entered!"


  12. Plain Truth, November 1953, p.13 "These days are more terrible than most realize. The time is ominous, storm clouds are brewing above and below the horizon. Within less than a quarter of a century this world will be plunging to destruction in order that men might know once and for all time that the Creator RULES and that His laws alone bring peace and happiness."



  1. Plain Truth, August/September 1954, p.6 "John was projected into the period of OUR present, and the immediate future. ... Ezekiel was not actually taken to Jerusalem, but the SPIRIT lifted him up and carried him IN VISION to Jerusalem. In like manner, John, IN SPIRIT, was carried to see IN VISION the events of the DAY OF THE LORD - the events ALREADY, now, beginning to take place on earth - the events YOU AND I SHALL LIVE TO ACTUALLY SEE!


  2. Plain Truth, October 1954, p.3 "John appears to be taken up to heaven, to the very throne of God. There, projected some 1900 years into the future - into our PRESENT LIVING GENERATION - he sees, in VISION, the events already occurring, and those SOON TO TAKE PLACE, on the earth."


  3. Plain Truth, October 1954, p.15 "But in verse 14, Jesus interrupted to tell them WHEN the end shall come - AFTER THE VERY EVENT NOW TAKING PLACE - YES, ACTUALLY TAKING PLACE THIS MINUTE. [quotes Mat. 24: 14]. ... And THAT’S the world event of THIS VERY HOUR! THIS HOUR is THIS SCRIPTURE FULFILLED IN YOUR EARS! He that hath an ear to hear, LET HIM HEAR! ... so here we have THREE successive world-shaking events to come-first, and, now, NEXT to occur in a very few years, THE GREAT TRIBULATION."


  4. Plain Truth, November/December 1954, pp.15-16 "We are now in the very WORLD-CRISIS at the CLOSE of the allotted duration of man’s rule over his fellows."


  5. Plain Truth, November/December 1954, p.16 "A Prophecy for Today!" "This last resurrection - the TENTH - has, of necessity, to be in OUR TIME.."


  6. Plain Truth, January 1955, p.1 "Weather Bureau experts are frankly frightened about America‘s future. They KNOW that within 20 years this nation will be toppled from its dizzy economic heights by the worst drought in history! Here are the FACTS and what prophecy says WILL HAPPEN!"


  7. Plain Truth, January 1955, p.1 "Prophecy proves it [great drought] will happen - before 1975! Here are the FACTS."


  8. Plain Truth, January 1955, p.3 "WE CAN understand it [prophecy - specifically Revelation], because JESUS CHRIST is the Revelator! HE is the interpreter! And we have found HIS interpretation, which is TRUE! Yes, we CAN know where world affairs today are LEADING. We CAN know what’s GOING to happen during the next 5, 10, and 20 years!"


  9. Plain Truth, February/March 1955, p.1 "WORLD WAR IS HERE - NOW!"


  10. Plain Truth, September 1955, p.1 "Here is an amazing prophecy, which few understand, yet which explains the real meaning behind Russia’s struggle for world dominion. It explains what‘s going to happen to our nation IN THE NEXT TWENTY YEARS!"


  11. 1975 in Prophecy, 1956 edition, pages 10, 12, HWA: "Indications of prophecy are that this drought ... will strike sooner than 1975 -- probably between 1965 and 1972! ... At the outset of this article I stated that the KEYS that had kept prophetic doors locked and closed from human understanding have now been found -- or, more properly, been given to us by God ...


  12. 1975 in Prophecy, 1956, on p. 20, paragraph 6, " Yes, millions of lukewarm inactive professing Christians will suffer MARTYRDOM -- and that before the anticipated push-button leisure-year of 1975 dawns upon us!"Then on p. 31, paragraph 10, HWA writes: "your fate, and I say to you on authority of God Almighty that it is absolutely sure!"


  13. Plain Truth, February 1956 P. 1 "U.S.A. Riding to Total Collapse in 20 Short Years!" article "You're going to be shocked to read what goes on undercover in the United States. Five major vices threaten the total collapse of our country inside of 20 years. The handwriting is on the wall of America, now!"


  14. Plain Truth, February 1956 Same article "...I've shown you from the very word of God what is next coming in prophesied events...It's prophesied for 15 to 20 years or less."


  1. Plain Truth, April 1956, p.2 "He has revealed that there remains only the one more 19-year cycle (of which we are well into the 4th year already) - after which it will be Too LATE!!! It’s far later than we think!"


  2. Plain Truth, April 1956, p.22 “Many of you will remember that over three years ago we told you of the strong indication that the last half of this - Gods-work of spreading the gospel of the Kingdom of God to all the world would probably end in 1972!"

  3. Plain Truth, April 1956, p.23 "Notice what God says is going to happen to our people in about ten years from now!" [severe drought, war, economic collapse, slavery...]


  4. Plain Truth, July 1956, pp.3-4 "To understand the time, the place, and all the facts of the prophecy of Ezekiel 38, we need to begin at the 1st chapter of Ezekiel’s prophecy and read the book clear through. ... Ezekiel’s Message is for our day - and it is, therefore, a message for America and Britain, NOW! ... No such destruction and captivity has ever yet come to the House of Israel since this was written! Therefore it is still in the future - IN OUR TIME! It is a warning to Britain and America - NOW!"


  5. Plain Truth, July 1956, p. 4 "Coming to chapter 6, the local scene of the vision shifts to the mountainous land of Palestine - but the MESSAGE is for AMERICA AND BRITAIN, today!"


  6. Plain Truth, September 1956, p. 14 "If YOU would rather hear God’s Truth in place of the soothing cries of 'Peace, Peace' (Jer. 6: 14), write in immediately for Mr. Armstrong’s AMAZING booklet, '1975 in Prophecy!' This startling booklet is profusely illustrated with pictures-actually showing you a step-by-step account of what God says IS GOING TO HAPPEN within the next 10, 15 to 25 years!"


  7. Plain Truth, October 1956, p. 18 [article title: "The SUEZ Crisis In Prophecy!"]"The Nazi underground is now plotting a war that shall end AT ARMAGEDDON! It is the START of the final WORLD WAR! It is NOW being prepared UNDERCOVER! Do you really REALIZE it? IT IS STARTING NOW! This war now secretly being prepared will Only END with the SECOND COMING OF CHRIST! Are you ready for that event? It is now NEAR - EVEN AT THE DOORS!"


  8. Plain Truth, November 1956, pp.5-6 "The Prophecy for OUR DAY ... And notice, this coming martyrdom will be like the previous one - only 1000 times more terrible in intensity. Christians living today are to be martyred 'as their brethren were' in past ages.... This coming horrifying tribulation is now being plotted in secret, underground, by a fascist [Hitler and his Nazis hold up in a secret compound in Antarctica] Babylonish religious [Roman Catholic] political system ... "


  9. Plain Truth, February 1957, p.14  "For many years, the Plain Truth magazine has been bringing you the actual prophesied events scheduled to happen within the next 10, 15 or 25 years."


  10. Plain Truth, February 1957, p.14 "If you haven’t yet read Mr. Armstrong’s amazing point-by-point summary of prophetic events from now until 1975 - write in immediately for the booklet '1975 in Prophecy.' We’ll send it to you by return mail."  


  11. Plain Truth, March 1957, p. 3 "In less than 40 years all nations are going to live in a Utopia! They will be forced to learn the ways of peace. A Utopia of God’s making - not man’s - is fast approaching."


  12. Plain Truth March 1957, p. 15 "Notice that this whole abominable system is to culminate in a great False Prophet who is to be manifest in OUR TIME - before Christ’s second coming and is to be destroyed by Christ when He returns. This diabolical individual is living TODAY!"


  13. Plain Truth, April 1957, pp. 7-8 "For You - for your family and loved ones - the really significant point in this is that these men and many of their counterparts in Germany and France are NOW beginning to build the very power which God says will ultimately destroy our people! And they are basing it on the same principles and describing it in almost the EXACT way that The PLAIN TRUTH has been warning you to watch for over the past twenty years! Prophecy is future REALITY! It is NOW taking place before your very eyes!"


  14. Plain Truth, June 1957, p. 4 "[Speaking of Ezekiel chapter 5] No such destruction and captivity has ever yet come to the House of Israel since this was written! Therefore it is still in the future - IN OUR TIME! It is a warning to Britain and America - NOW! ...  Coming to chapter 6 [of Ezekiel], the local scene of the vision shifts to the mountainous land of Palestine - but the MESSAGE is for AMERICA AND BRITAIN, today!"


  15. Plain Truth, August 1957, p.3 "WHETHER YOU want to believe it or not, you are CERTAIN to be affected by the rapid fulfillment of Bible prophecy!"


  16. Plain Truth, August 1957, p.4 "Here is something DEFINITE! Here is something you can TEST and PROVE! ... God is going to use this power to PUNISH us for our sins and our rebellion against His laws! This is DEFINITE. Most of you will live to SEE it come to pass!"


  17. continuing on p.6 "After 1965, we are destined to run into increasing trouble with the Gentile nations. America and Britain will begin to suffer from trade embargoes imposed by the brown and oriental races, and by the coming German-dominated United States of Europe”... Finally, when we are weakened from drought, hunger, disease and riots within our borders - and our economy crippled by foreign trade embargoes - the revived “beast” power in central Europe will attack us! Fully one third of our people will perish in the hydrogen bomb attack." "...these prophecies are REAL! They are DEFINITE and SPECIFIC. They WILL COME TO PASS!"


  1. Plain Truth, October 1957, p.4 "In former articles in the Plain Truth magazine, we have shown you what the Almighty God says is SURE to happen to OUR NATION within the next few years. We have made those articles specific - definite, actually NAMING the nations which will be involved, and showing from the scriptures what your Creator says will happen. Here is another specific occurrence that you are going to SEE happen! "[Describes wars never again being won by military might, rather there will be trade wars.]


  2. Plain Truth, October 1957, p.4 "World War III Is Already Begun! Believe it or not, the next world war is already being fought - and America and the British Commonwealth of Nations are rapidly LOSING that war! ... There is at this moment a tremendous world-wide struggle going on for domination of WORLD TRADE - and we are LOSING OUT, EVERYWHERE!"


  3. Plain Truth, December 1957, P. 23 "God prophecies that finally, within the next fifteen years, fully ONE THIRD of our whole population will die of disease and famine."


  4. The Proof of the Bible, 1958, P.3 "...that dares to tell you what is actually going to happen within 15-20 years to specific nations, including Russia, the British Commonwealth, China, the United States, Italy Turkey, Ethiopia and many pothers..."


  5. The Proof of the Bible, 1958, P.28 ""Almost one-third of YOUR BIBLE is devoted to revealing to us, today, in advance, what WE are going to live through during the next ten to twenty-five years."


  6. The Proof of the Bible, 1958, P.28 WE LIVE IN THE EXCITING TIME OF THE 'END'. The "END OF THE WORLD" - of this age - is upon us."


  7. Co-Worker Letter, January 10, 1958 : "Here we are, in 1958!  Time is running out on us.... But brethren in God's Church today, here is the IMPORTANT thing to shake us out of our lethargy and WAKE US UP!  If it is true that God has allotted to us, as He did to the church 19 centuries ago, just TWO 19-year time cycles to complete His work, FIVE OF OUR LAST 19 YEARS HAVE ALREADY SPED BY!  Only 14 more short years remain! 


  8. Plain Truth, June 1958, p.1 "SLAVE LABOR CAMPS are coming back! America is heedlessly plunging toward the greatest national humiliation of her history! It’s time you faced the cold FACTS of prophecy - it’s time you KNEW the truth about YOUR OWN FUTURE!"


  9. Plain Truth, October 1958, p.4 "Now turn to Ezekiel 25. Here is another prophecy for our day. Here is a prophecy revealing what is going to be the fate of the Allied intervention in Jordan and the Lebanon. This is a prophecy to be fulfilled in the early 1970’s. This prophecy has never been fulfilled before! ... My sanctuary, [a temple or sanctuary is yet to be built by the Jews in Jerusalem!) when it was profaned [which shall happen in less than 14 years from now]..."


  10. Plain Truth, November 1958, p.4 "Jesus said certain specific things HAD TO HAPPEN prior to the “end of the age.” Read it! This is a prophecy for NOW! ... In the pages of The PLAIN TRUTH, and over The World Tomorrow broadcast, you have been reading and hearing forewarnings of these very occurrences that are NOW BEGINNING TO MAKE THE NATIONS’ HEADLINES! It’s time to wake up, and realize WHO is causing it to happen!"


  11. Plain Truth, January 1959, p.3 "Jesus Christ Himself had foretold this event! [The first broadcast of the World Tomorrow radio show]... What really occurred that Sunday morning precisely at 10 o’clock was a momentous event. It was the fulfilling of a definite corner-stone prophecy of Jesus. More than that, it was the initial, start-off event of the fulfilling of some 90% of all the prophecies in the Bible! And approximately a third of the whole Bible is prophecy!"


  12. Plain Truth, January 1959, p.8 "For years, The World Tomorrow broadcast and The Plain Truth magazine have been shouting this message - revealing from the prophecies in your Bible the coming UNITED EUROPE now being formed. But first Germany must PULL OUT of NATO, and she must have an understanding with Russia!"


  13. Plain Truth, Jan. 1959, p.8 "YOU LIVE IN THE PROPHESIED 'TIME OF THE END!' The end of all man’s allotted 6,000 years is at hand! And it's MUCH CLOSER THAN YOU THINK!"


  14. Plain Truth, January 1959, p.9 "Prophesied for OUR TIME! ... This [speculation about reunited Germany spearheading a European 'Beast Power'] is conclusive PROOF the prophecy is for OUR TIME - the time just prior to the return of Jesus Christ. ... Almost unnoticed by the world that CRISIS IS ALMOST UPON US! ... As already reported in the pages of The Plain Truth, a vast TRADE WAR is underway."


  15. Plain Truth, January 1959, p.14 .. "Jesus promises protection from the colossus that is rising to bathe the world in blood. A time of GREAT TRIBULATION is just ahead - and may well come within 13 years!"


  16. Coworker Letter February 13, 1959 "Today we are in the SEVENTH YEAR of our SECOND 19-year TIME-CYCLE which God has allotted for this MASS-PROCLAIMING of THIS MESSAGE FROM GOD! If God does not cut the time short, we may have another 12 years to complete this GREAT COMMISSION.


    1. BUT—speaking of this terrible world-chaos now INTENSIFYING rapidly, Jesus said man would develop to the place where he would WIPE ALL LIFE FROM THE EARTH, UNLESS God Almighty intervenes with supernatural power to CUT SHORT these days. And, said Jesus (Matt 24:22), "For the ELECT'S SAKE, those days SHALL BE CUT SHORT!" Does that mean we have far LESS than the remaining 12 years of our allotted two 19-year time cycles? lT MAY! LET ME TELL YOU, IT IS LATER THAN WE THINK!"


  1. Plain Truth, April 1959, p.5 "Here, Daniel saw four great BEASTS. And again, nearly all of the commentaries, the Bible reference books, are agreed on the historical fulfillment of this chapter. But almost NO-ONE, it seems, understands the PROPHETIC SIGNIFICANCE FOR OUR DAY, NOW!"


  2. Co-Worker letter, August 13, 1959 "I say to YOU, now, that your money—your home—every material thing you have—will be taken from you SOON—probably in 12 to 13 years, certainly in 15 or less!"


  3. Plain Truth, August 1959, p.3 "Mr. Armstrong reports from Germany the world‘s greatest miracle of our time. It was prophesied. It spells DOOM for U.S.A. in ten to fifteen years - unless we HEED!"


  4. Plain Truth, August 1959, p.3 "And yet, about 90% of all of the prophecies in the Bible pertain to events that are yet to happen in the next 10 to 20 years from now, believe it or not!"


  5. Coworker Letter, February 13, 1959 "Today we are in the SEVENTH YEAR of our SECOND 19-year TIME-CYCLE which God has allotted for this MASS-PROCLAIMING of THIS MESSAGE FROM GOD! If God does not cut the time short, we may have another 12 years to complete this GREAT COMMISSION."

  6. 1950’s World Tomorrow Radio program In this radio clip HWA states that a famine “ will ruin the United States inside of less than 20 years.”


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWAtvE1xiRk   (Start listening at 5:11 through 5:42.)


  1. Co-Workers letter, December 22, 1960 "In 12 years or less the U.S.A. will suffer the worst depression ever suffered by any nation."


  2. Plain Truth, July 1962, p. 4 "Do these heads of state know that a whole third of the Bible is prophecy - and that about 90 percent of that lies bare in advance world events that will occur within the next ten to fifteen years from now?"


  3. Just What do you mean…Kingdom of God? booklet, 1962 HWA stated that either God will step in to set up Kingdom of God, "...or else there will not be a human being alive on this earth 20 years from now!"

  1. Plain Truth, January 1963, p. 21 "Possibly not more than seven years from now - America suddenly will wake up to the gigantic THREAT that shall be rising, or even then have arisen, in Europe. ...."


  2. Plain Truth, January 1963, p. 21, "Somewhere along about seven to ten years from now the REVOLUTION IN THE WEATHER will become a national and international calamity. Drought, epidemics of disease, will reap a mounting harvest of death across North America -- and in Britain. Economic depression will strike ... And the time will be right for the new United Europe to strike!"


  3. Plain Truth, March 1963, p. 4 " ... the present movement of events, together with the prophecies, strongly indicate that the BIG CRISIS - the threatened invasion - will not come about until 1972 . De Gaulle will be too old by that time. THAT IS ONE REASON HE IS HURRYING" to unite Europe and keep Britain out.


  4. Co-Worker Letter, July 31, 1963 “Time is running out on us. Only a few more years remain to finish God's Work! …But the Work is, as of this moment, still, RIGHT ON SCHEDULE! …There is time to finish His Work--BUT NO TIME TO LOSE!”

  5. Plain Truth, October 1963, p. 3 "ALL HUMAN LIFE will be blasted out of existence by nuclear warfare and other means of mass destruction - perhaps not more than twelve or fifteen years from now!"


  6. Co-Worker letter, October 27, 1963 "We may now have only eight or nine more years to FINISH His Work!"


  7. Co-Worker letter, Nov 22, 1963, "in eight years all of our ministers will be silenced."


  8. Co-Worker letter, Nov 30, 1963 "We have only eight years to finish the Work."


  9. Plain Truth, January 1964, p. 4, "We may have an occasional good year in the weather, but the trend in general will continue until--probably by 1971-1972--it will become an acute disaster, especially to the United States, Canada, Britain and Australia."


  10. Co-Worker letter, December13,1965, "Everywhere on earth events are HURLING this world toward the prophesied grand-smash Climax. We may have barely six more short years to finish this great Work the living CHRIST is doing through YOU and me! I say MAY--I am not setting dates, yet biblical prophecies indicate the strong possibility that time remaining for us is indeed JUST THAT SHORT!"


  11. Co-worker Letter, June 27, 1966, WE MAY HAVE ONLY ONE OR TWO MORE YEARS LEFT TO FINISH THE WORK THE LIVING CHRIST IS DOING THROUGH HIS CHURCH! Time is running out on us! It is now FAR later than you think!


  12. Plain Truth, Feb. 1967, page 47, "The 'Day of the Eternal' ... is going to strike between 5 and 10 years from now!"


  13. Co-Worker Letter, April 17, 1967 "God says He will do nothing without first WARNING the people (Amos 3:7). Very soon, now, God is going to INTERVENE in WORLD AFFAIRS, just prior to Christ's Coming... Through this rapidly growing Work, NOW WORLDWIDE--God has been WARNING THIS WHOLE WORLD..."


  14.        ...And now, HERE IS THE STUPENDOUS ANNOUNCEMENT! ...Right now, just prior by probably not more than five to seven years, to the coming terrible DAY OF THE LORD, the living CHRIST has moved swiftly to OPEN THE ALL- IMPORTANT DOOR THAT HAS BEEN CLOSED SINCE THE DAYS OF THE ORIGINAL APOSTLES!

    "...After TURNING HIS BACK on Jerusalem ever since 69 A. D. after turning Jerusalem over to be "trodden down of the Gentiles," since 69 A.D., ALMIGHTY GOD HAS OPENED TO THE WORLD TOMORROW, E X C L U S I V E L Y, THE GIGANTIC DOOR OF SUPER-POWER RADIO F R O M J E R U S A L E M ! "...THIS VERY THING NOW OPENED TO US IS FORETOLD IN PROPHECY! Thousands of years ago, the Almighty GOD said He would open this very DOOR! Yes, this event is written IN YOUR BIBLE! That, alone, makes it an event of INCREDIBLE MAGNITUDE! "...I want you to notice the thrilling PROPHECY: It's in the remarkable 40th chapter of Isaiah. It refers to THIS VERY WORK --to THIS VERY BROADCAST GOING FROM JERUSALEM!


  1. Plain Truth, February 1967, p. 47, " The 'DAY OF THE ETERNAL'—a time foretold in more than thirty prophecies—is going to strike between 5 and 10 years from now! You will know, then, how REAL it is. You will wish, then, you had heeded. I am not writing foolishly, but very soberly, ON AUTHORITY of the living CHRIST!"


  2. Plain Truth, February 1967, p. 47, "The God who is REAL says of OUR PEOPLES: 'Prophecy against the prophets of Israel . . . O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes of the deserts. Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up a hedge for the House of Israel TO STAND in the BATTLE IN THE DAY OF THE ETERNAL (Ezek. 13:1-5).' That is NOT a message to ancient Israel—but to OUR NATIONS TODAY. The 'DAY OF THE ETERNAL'—a time foretold in more than thirty prophecies—is going to strike between 5 and 10 years from now! You will know, then, how REAL it is. You will wish, then, you had heeded. I am not writing foolishly, but very soberly, ON AUTHORITY of the living CHRIST!"

Basil Wolverton’s scenes of the imminent tribulation were often featured in WCG publications.

  1. The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy, Introduction, 1967, "A STAGGERING TURN in world events is due to erupt in the next four to seven years. It will involve violently the United States, Britain, Western Europe, the Middle East."


  2. The U.S. and the British Commonwealth in Prophecy, 1967, pages 12, "The events prophesied to strike the American and British peoples in the next four to seven years are SURE! That is why the events of the next four to seven years may prove this to be the most significant book of this century. These colossal world events, shrinking the first two world wars into insignificance, WILL COME, on schedule."


  3. The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy,1967, page 184 "Now, other prophecies reveal, we are to have soon (probably in about four years) such drought, and famine, that disease epidemics will follow taking millions of lives ... Well, we have been getting foretastes of that! That condition is coming! And I do not mean in 400 years—nor in 40 years—but in the very next FOUR or FIVE!"


  4. The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy, page 185 "You need to look at the prophecies of Jesus of Jeremiah, of Isaiah, and others, describing how much more INTENSE is to be the punishment God is going to lay on the British and American people in five to seven more years!"


  5. The United States and Britain in Prophecy, 1967, on p. 212, paragraph 3 he states: "By God's direction and authority, I have laid the truth before you!" referring to the impending doom.


  6. Co-Worker letter, July 5, 1967 "the Jews will demolish the Dome on the Rock."


  7. Ambassador College Correspondence Course, Lesson 5, 1969, p. 15 "I know whereof I speak, for no organization on earth has a more knowledgeable grasp and understanding of world conditions, trends, and causes, than ours. ..."


  8. Ambassador College Correspondence Course, Lesson 44, 1969, p. 16 "There is very little time remaining. You now know only a minority of humanity will remain alive just a few years from now."


  1. Coworker Letter, August 8, 1976: “This is the END-TIME: Never in the history of mankind have world conditions been so VIOLENT—never so much TROUBLE—never before so many NATIONS and their GOVERNMENTS toppling and being overthrown so often—now one a month on the average. NEVER such VIOLENCE by man. Never such VIOLENCE in NATURE—SUCH MASSIVE AND VIOLENT earthquakes—TIDAL WAVES—floods. … Read and study Revelation 10. The timing of this prophecy is NOW. Satan KNOWS. …Satan will try to cast a spell over you so you will disbelieve"

  2. Co-worker letter, January 20, 1977 "During this generation--within 60 to 90 years or less-from 1927--Christ will come again..."

  3. Coworker Letter June 22, 1978 "We are in the very LAST DAYS of this present evil world of Satan's. Satan knows he now has but a SHORT TIME. It is desperately important that we know that too! Christ, through me—with you BACK OF ME 100% (as so many of you have written me)—is now proclaiming IN POWER and IN ALL THE WORLD the fact that Christ and the KINGDOM OF GOD—and the abolishment of Satan—is SOON to happen—IN OUR PRESENT LIVING GENERATION!"

  4. Coworker Letter November 28, 1978: “Brethren, could all these NEVER BEFORE evils be the FIRST RUMBLINGS of the GREAT TRIBULATION? I want to tell you, THEY ARE A WARNING TO ME! And they had better to YOU!”


  5. Coworker Letter April 12, 1979: “TIME IS SHORT. These are the LAST DAYS!”


  6. Coworker Letter September 20, 1979: “THIS WORLD is now very old, and nearing its END! We are in the LAST DAYS!”. These are the LAST DAYS!”


  7. Coworker Letter October 26, 1979: “The movements of the present Pope are strongly indicative that the “resurrection” of the medieval “Holy Roman Empire ” could “ easily be under way NEXT YEAR!” Then the GREAT TRIBULATION would follow swiftly…”


  1. Co-Workers Letter, January 3, 1980 "The actual movement of world events as prophesied WARNS US that all this MAY now occur in the decade we entered day before yesterday--and, if delayed past 1990, most certainly during the decade of the 90s."


  2. Coworker Letter January 3, 1980: “TIME IS NOW SHORT! IT IS LATER THAN WE THINK! TIME IS MARCHING ON—and PROPHECY is now being fulfilled.”


  3. Coworker Letter November 30, 1981: “We are the FINAL EXAM period of the END TIME before the end of this work..”


  4. Coworker Letter December 27, 1981: “We are right now in the preliminary stages leading to “THE GREAT TRIBULATION” of Matthew 24:21-22…”


  5. Coworker Letter September 17, 1982: “I call on you to AWAKEN! We seem numb to the frightening SIGNIFICANCE of events in Europe and the Middle East! …World events are moving swiftly toward the grand-smash climax at the CLOSE of this world—THIS CIVILIZATION!”


  6. Coworker Letter August 8, 1984: “… nuclear scientists set the DOOMSDAY CLOCK forward one more minute—from four to ONLY THREE MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT. Midnight is the END of the world and of civilization as we know it! …Will we listen to what our God warns us?”


  7. Plain Truth, September 1984: Personal from Herbert W. Armstrong "The Plain Truth brings you UNDERSTANDING of the very Word of God, the SOURCE of TRUTH--and of the PROPHECIES of events soon to occur, in the next two, five or 10 years!"


  8. Mystery of the Ages, 1985, p. 298: "And, secondly, to reveal—preserved in writing for us TODAY—what is to happen "in the latter days"—actually within the next two decades—THIS LAST HALF OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY!"


2. The consistency of Herbert W. Armstrong's speculations

When examined, Mr. Armstrong’s end time projections were not at all consistent (other than in failing). God had not revealed to Mr. Armstrong exactly how world events would unfold. Mr. Armstrong had merely speculated about future events. Sometimes he conjectured the end was near, while at other times, it seemed to him to be more distant in the future.


3. Mr. Armstrong never claimed to be a Prophet

Critics claimed that Mr. Armstrong made many bold predictions about future events that later failed and, as a result, labeled him a false prophet. His supporters countered that Mr. Armstrong was not a false prophet as he had never claimed to be a prophet, nor had he prefaced his predictions with statements such as "thus spoke the Lord".

Had Mr. Armstrong claimed to be a prophet or not?

This document evaluates Mr. Armstrong’s own statements regarding his role in order to settle this question. Specifically, to demonstrate whether Mr. Armstrong had:

  1. Clearly stated that he was not a prophet and that he had no special prophetic abilities in advance of speculating about future events.

  2. Avoided making statements that could lead some to believe that he was actually a prophet or had unique prophetic abilities.

  3. Claimed to be a prophet of God.

  4. Implied that he was a prophet (without specifically stating that he was).

  5. Made claims consistent with the definition of a prophet.

  6. Clearly stated that he was not a prophet and that he had no special prophetic abilities but only after being heavily criticized for a major failed prediction.

  7. Continued to make claims consistent with the definition of a prophet, and implied that he had unique prophetic understanding shortly after denying that he was a prophet.

If Mr. Armstrong’s statements are found to be consistent with options 1 or 2, then the position of HWA’s supporters is accurate. If his statements are found to be consistent with options 3, 4, 5, 6 and/or 7; one could soundly argue that his failed speculations are significant and that Mr. Armstrong’s critics would have justification to question his overall credibility and integrity.

Before evaluating his statements, it may help to review the definitions of speculation and prophecy:

Example statements from 1942 through 1985

Co-Worker letter, Dec. 23, 1942 “Before being converted and called into the ministry, I had devoted twenty years to writing for newspapers and magazines. The news today rapidly fulfills Bible prophecy. No news analyst can rightly UNDERSTAND or interpret world events today, without the background of sound understanding of the Bible and its prophecies. Likewise no minister could take advantage of this fact in broadcasting, without a practical newspaper background. I began to realize God had so guided my life that I had BOTH.

Besides proclaiming the true GOSPEL---the Good News of the KINGDOM OF GOD---the Eternal has commissioned us who are Co-Workers together in this work to WARN THIS NATION... that GOD HIMSELF is sending this war upon us as a JUDGMENT..."

Co-worker letter February 16, 1943 - “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.

My wife had a most unusual dream---perhaps more of a vision than a dream ---in which she "saw" the second coming of Christ... 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.”

Plain Truth July 1953, p.6 "I do not speak to you by authority of men, or any politically organized church of men - but in the name, and by the AUTHORITY of JESUS CHRIST, the living HEAD of the TRUE CHURCH OF GOD!"

Plain Truth Aug.-Sep. 1954, p.1 "And the time has come for The Eternal - the Creator - RULER of the universe - to reveal to usexactly HOW world events, from here, are going to work out the tremendous CLIMAX of that divine PURPOSE!"

Plain Truth Aug.-Sep. 1954, p 2" The prophecies and mysteries of God, sealed until now, are today REVEALED to those whom God has chosen to carry His last Message to the world as a witness! Jesus Christ, Head of His Church, is the REVEALER! Christ has opened these mysteries to His servants! The time has come for God’s servants to open up to YOU-to lay bare before your startled eyes-these tremendous prophecies of the Book of REVELATION!"

Plain Truth Aug.-Sep. 1954, p.7"THERE’S the key to this riddle! The Lion of the Tribe of Judah - the ROOT of David - is JESUS CHRIST! No MAN can interpret this momentous prophecy- but Jesus Christ - God the SON - here standing BEFORE the throne of God the Father - here standing at the very RIGHT HAND of God - is able to open these seals, and to REVEAL to us the meaning."

"1975 in Prophecy", 1956, pages 10, 12, 20"... At the outset of this article I stated that the KEYS that had kept prophetic doors locked and closed from human understanding have now been found -- or, more properly, been given to us by God ...”

Plain Truth Dec. 1956, p.3 "Is there any way to test if it really is a prophecy? Is there any way to prove if it really is from God? Don't take myword for it; read it for yourself!

"Scripture is full of warnings about false ministers and false prophets. The world is filled with such men and organizations... ...God must somewhere have His work TODAY. How do you recognize it? Here is the test Jeremiah was inspired to give: 'The prophet that prophesieth of peace, when the word of that prophet shall come to pass, THEN SHALL THE PROPHET BE KNOWN THAT THE LORD HATH TRULY SENT HIM' (Jer. 28: 9). That is how you can know who is preaching the truth today - when what he says comes to pass."

"But who today understands what the prophets foretold? Why, only the ministers today whose word comes to pass! - those who are appointed and guided by God to preach the truth! ... we have been warning you about is happening! - precisely as we have stated.... This is how you can know that our work is not of men but of God!"

WHERE ARE  God’s true prophetstoday! In this age of world chaos and sudden death, you had better rid your mind of preconceived ideas and prejudice and honestly seek to find out! Listen! This work has been warning America of definite and tremendous events to come for many years! ... They use the words “may," “could,” or “might.” They are afraid to be definite and specific! The truth of the matter is that they DARE NOT be specific about the future because they just DO NOT KNOW what the Bible says is going to happen! But on “The World Tomorrow” broadcast and in this magazine we have dared to unlock the Bible prophecies and apply them to specific nations and events that are NOW being affected. Do you grasp the SIGNIFICANCE?

Member Letter March 29, 1957 "I call upon all of you in the name of Jesus Christ, as God's Apostle, and your  Minister...”

Co-Workers Letter Nov. 27, 1958 "I'm going to give you the frank and straightforward answer. You have the right to know all about this great work of God-- andabout me. First, let me say - - this may sound incredible, but it's true - - JESUS CHRIST FORETOLD THIS VERY WORK - - IT IS, ITSELF, THE FULFILLMENT OF HIS PROPHECY (Matthew 24:14 and Mark 13:10).

1950’s World Tomorrow Radio program In this radio clip HWA states that a famine “will ruin the United States inside of less than 20years” and then challenges his listeners to judge him against the Bible’s definition of a prophet, whether he speaks the truth of God or if he was speaking his own words:

..Alright, I stuck my neck out right there. You just wait 20 more years and see whether I told you the truth. God says, if a man tells you what's going to happen, wait and see. If it does not happen, he was not speaking the word of God; he was speaking out of his own mind. You watch and see whether these things happen. You'll see who's speaking to you, my friends."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWAtvE1xiRk (Start listening at 5:11 through 5:42.)

1962 Booklet "Just What Do You Mean… KINGDOM OF GOD?" (HWA)

It’s about time you come to know who are the false prophets, and WHO is speaking the true word of God faithfully."

February, 1967 Plain Truth, p. 47 “The ‘Day of the Eternal’—a time foretold in more than thirty prophecies—is going to strike between 5 and 10 years from now! You will know, then, how REAL it is. You will wish, then, you had heeded. I am not writing foolishly, but very soberly, ON AUTHORITY of the living Christ.”

Tomorrow’s World, Feb. 1972 pp30-31): “EmphaticallyI am NOT a prophet, in the sense of one to whom God speaks specially and directly, revealing personally a future event to happen or new truth, or new and special instruction direct from God - separate from, and apart from what is contained in the Bible. And I never have claimed to be."

"...In our zeal, we used "possibles" and "probably's" and even appeared to set dates we really didn’t intend to set."

"...Emphatically, if we — in our dedicated enthusiastic ZEAL to get God’s WARNING of the end of mankind’s world before this sick, sick world — DO, even though we intend not to, appear to set a date, I FEEL I DO NOT NEED TO APOLOGIZE! No one but the enemies of ALL GOOD will accuse!”

Tomorrow’s World, February 1972, Personal from the Editor:  "I, too, received Christ's Gospel NOT from MAN. ... I was not taught by MAN. But I was taught, as was Paul, by the revelation of Jesus Christ — Paul from the living Christ IN PERSON — who is the Word of God in PERSON — but I from the WRITTEN WORD OF GOD — which is the SAME revelation, now set in print."

Coworker Letter March 18, 1974: “Even as Moses, the Apostle Paul and others, in early life, had been specially prepared for the special Mission to which God finally called them, so was I.”

Sermon, July 24, 1976 - "The gospel had not been preached until God raised me up to preach it.... That gospel you never heard from any preacher except one from this church. “

Member Letter, April 18, 1977 – “Dear Brethren of God's Church: This is a very personal announcement. Forty-three years ago God committed to me His GREAT COMMISSION -- to carry Christ's gospel -- the KINGDOM OF GOD -- to all the world… …the Work of God must go on, finishing the GREAT COMMISSION God committed to me, in this new and MOST IMPORTANT phase of the entire Work."

Coworker Letter June 22, 1978"  Jesus Christ, the living HEAD of God's Church, started and built the present era of the Church. HE DID IT! But He used me as His human instrument andONLY APOSTLE OF OUR TIME in this powerful WORLDWIDE Work." We are in the very LAST DAYS of this present evil world of Satan's. Satan knows he now has but a SHORT TIME.

It is desperately important that we know that too! Christ, through me—with youBACK OF ME 100%(as so many of you have written me)—is now proclaiming IN POWER and IN ALL THE WORLD the fact that Christ and the KINGDOM OF GOD—and the abolishment of Satan—is SOON to happen—IN OUR PRESENT LIVING GENERATION!"

 "...Jesus Christ has chosen and used only one apostle in our time. Let me say to you emphatically that the Living CHRIST has taken over as the HEAD of God's Church, and established me in FIRM CONTROL, under Him."   

Mystery of the Ages 1985, p. 9 From the book that Mr. Armstrong claimed as "the most important book written since the Bible" and in which he continues to make bold statements about his role:

But now God's time has come! He now sends a voice to cry out with amplified world-covering power to reveal the way out of this senseless madness, into the world of PEACE and righteousness that soon shall grip the earth! “

Page 10 continues: “Malachi's prophecy, like Isaiah's….refers to a human messenger preparing the way before Christ's now imminent Second Coming…

But that was a prototype [referring to John the Baptist], or forerunner of a voice "lifted up" (greatly amplified by modern printing, radio, and TV), crying out in the midst of today's spiritual wilderness of religious confusion, announcing the imminency of Christ's Second Coming… “

On pages 24-25, concerning himself, he writes: “But I had been called specially by the living God…I was taught by Christ what I did not want to believe but what he showed me was TRUE!

He in person, taught the original 12 apostles and the apostle Paul…Thus it was the same Jesus Christ who taught both the original apostles, beginning in A.D. 27 and 1900 years later, beginning in 1927, myself.”

Summary of Mr. Armstrong’s Statements

From 1934 all the way up to 1986, Mr. Armstrong consistently made bold claims about his calling, training, role, purpose and abilities. Specifically, he had claimed that:

Had Mr. Armstrong claimed to be a prophet or not?

Now it is appropriate to revisit the primary question of this section, had Mr. Armstrong claimed to be a prophet or not? It may help to first review Merriam Webster's definition of a prophet to assure a sound conclusion is reached:

1:  one who utters divinely inspired revelations:  one regarded by a group of followers as the final authoritative revealer of God's will;

2:  one gifted with more than ordinary spiritual and moral insight;

3:  one who foretells future events.

Clearly Mr. Armstrong’s personal claims met Webster’s definition of a prophet. He had claimed to speak divinely inspired revelations; he regarded himself as the final authoritative revealer of God's will for this age (and WCG promoted this view), he claimed to bespiritually and prophetically gifted, and he took credit for having accurately predicted future events.

Now it is time to return to the specific questions raised in the beginning of this section to be absolutely clear. Does Mr. Armstrong’s documented record indicate whether he had:

  1. Clearly stated, in advance of speculating (or predicting) about future events, that he was not a prophet and that he had no special prophetic abilities? No.

  2. Avoided making statements that could lead some to believe that he was actually a prophet or had unique prophetic abilities? No.

  3. Claimed to be a prophet of God? Not directly.

  4. Implied that he was a prophet (while not specifically stating so)? Yes.

  5. Made claims consistent with the definition of a prophet? Yes.

  6. Clearly stated that he was not a prophet and that he had no special prophetic abilities but only after being heavily criticized for a major failed prediction? Yes.

  7. Continued to make claims consistent with the definition of a prophet, and implied that he had unique prophetic understanding, shortly after denying that he was a prophet? Yes.

Since Mr. Armstrong’s statements were found to be inconsistent with options 1 or 2, it is clear that the position of HWA’s supporters is inaccurate or uninformed. As his statements were found to be consistent with options 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7; it is clear that Mr. Armstrong’s failed projections are significant and that his critics do have justification to question his overall credibility and integrity.

Church leaders who rely primarily on Mr. Armstrong’s 1972 denials of being a prophet and his occasional inconsistent use of disclaimers (“may”, “might”, and “could”) in order to ignore the rest of the evidence are doing their followers a disservice. They are allowing a convenient, inaccurate history to persist which then opens the doors for critics, right or wrong, to imply this is being done for profit.

4. Mr. Armstrong’s dedication to preaching the gospel (1934 – 1959)

Some criticized Mr. Armstrong for being too aggressive (possibly even dishonest) in his demands for money. Others have stated that his approach merely demonstrated his commitment to his calling. This document examines Mr. Armstrong’s statements to clear the air on this subject. The sources of the quotations are cited and supplemented with facts that he provided within his co-worker letters, PGR’s, and two-volume autobiography.


Co-Worker letter, 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 soon 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 SAYS HE WILL REQUIRE THEIR BLOOD AT YOUR HANDS AND MINE!”

Co-worker letter March 1, 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 May 14th, 1941:  “We are at another crisis---we must go forward, or go backward---no work can stand still! The need is IMMEDIATE---and URGENT!  More so than ever before!  


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 24th1942: “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: “...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: “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 letterAugust 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 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…. 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… 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."

Additional information Mr. Armstrong provided about this time period

From his co-worker letters during this period, one would assume that the work was barely hanging by a thread. However, in his autobiography, he explains that he had also traveled first class through Europe for 6 weeks in 1947, and purchased a luxurious 4,159 sq-ft home upon his return. And from HWA's later accounts of the church's financial growth, we learn that:

These facts make it difficult to reconcile HWA's words with his actions.

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.

Details of HWA’s European tour: From Feb. 14, 1947 to Mar. 25, 1947, HWA and Loma embarked on a 6-week long First-Class overseas trip where they stayed in 5-star hotels and dined in very expensive restaurants. All the details are provided 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), or well above $50,000 for the whole trip. He stayed at the Dorchester Hotel ($600-$700/night), lunched at the Dorchester Grill ($60/person), and stayed at Hotel Storchen in Zurich ($400 to $2,000/night).

Details of HWA’s house purchase. Immediately after the trip to Europe (April 1947), and amidst another apparent financial crisis, Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong purchased a 7 bedroom, 4159 sq-ft home on 345 S. Hill in a nice area of Pasadena, adjacent to the California Institute of Technology. This home was valued at $2.4 million in early 2016.

According to HWA's own description of this event in his autobiography, Loma was surprised they were even looking at such a luxurious home. HWA explained that his real estate agent had determined that they "could not afford not to buy this home." The justification was that in order to buy a much less expensive, small tract home, he'd need a down payment whereas he could move into this large, well-crafted home without a down payment (inferring, that obviously, that would make it cheaper). Perhaps to some, this explanation might make sense. All the same, it is a false claim. Monthly payments for a large well-crafted home in a nice area will always exceed those for a small track home in a less desirable area.

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 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...

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..."


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.


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!  …  And, again, NEVER has the need been so great...


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! ...


Co-worker letter Dec. 4, 1947: "…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... "

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!…


January 29, 1948 co-worker letter: " 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. ..

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!  

...Yes, this work ONCE AGAIN is in a LIFE-AND-DEATH CRISIS!


February 11, 1949: "…PROPHECY is being rapidly fulfilled.  The whole world is swirling in the vortex toward the end of this world, into the WORLD TOMORROW!   ... 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? ... 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?

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!


 1952 Co-worker letter : " ...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." 


January 15, 1954 : "Here is BIG NEWS!  It may mean the end of this present world is much nearer than even we had supposed!… "


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! "


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!"


Co-worker letter, 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!"

Contradictory facts Mr. Armstrong provided in his Autobiography

Travel: Immediately after claiming a financial crisis that tested his faith more than ever, Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong again traveled in complete luxury throughout Europe for about 6-7 weeks, beginning August 5, 1954. They departed aboard the fastest ship in the world, the S.S. United States (see photo on following page), and then returned to the Dorchester hotel, and then traveled all over Europe and the middle east where he stayed at even more expensive hotels. These details were provided in his autobiography later on.

House upgrade: At some point during the 1950's, Mr. Armstrong also moved from his large home near Cal Tech into an even larger home on Millionaire’s Row on 363 S. Orange Grove. His son, Garner Ted Armstrong moved into the 4,159 sq-ft home near Cal Tech at age 27.

Mr. Armstrong later on moved from the 363 S. Orange Grove home into a 6,450 sq-ft home at 210 S. Orange Grove. This home was valued at $5.5 million in March 2015.

The SS United States was built for luxury and speed, shown departing New York City on its maiden voyage on July 3, 1952.

Mr. Armstrong’s 6,450 sq-ft home on 210 S. Orange Grove




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: " 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!"  


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!  

...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!   


January 19, 1956:  " ...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!  


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."


January 10, 1958:  " Here we are, in 1958!  Time is running out on us..."”  …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…   … AND HE EXPECTS US ALL TO GIVE, GENEROUSLY     ...Co-Workers, let us dedicate ourselves right now as Co-Workers together with CHRIST, as never before"


Additional facts from Mr. Armstrong’s letters:

Figures provided in 1978 showed the rate of growth for the income between 1955 and 1968 ranged from 3.2 to 35%, averaging 26.2% per year. The rate of growth slowed considerably after 1969.

The facts show that Mr. Armstrong’s statements about the church’s financial conditions were highly misleading and his lifestyle was inconsistent with his pleas for donations.

5. Mr. Armstrong’s dedication to preaching the gospel (1960 – 1986)

Part 1 covered Mr. Armstrong's requests for donations from 1934 through 1959 along with supplemental information that he had provided in various church publications. About 30 additional quotes are provided in this document covering the last 25 years of his ministry.




July 24, 1960: "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!"


January 15, 1962: “…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!


June 30, 1963:Right now there is VERY SPECIAL AND URGENT NEED! This need, of course, is continuous.”


July 31, 1963: “Time is running out on us. Only a few more years remain to finish God's Work!

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: “… 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!”


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: "... 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! “

July 17, 1958: “ Co-Workers, WILL YOU NOT ONLY PRAY FOR MY SON'S MIRACULOUS AND SPEEDY RECOVERY--but also for the financial salvation of this WORK OF GOD? I believe God allowed this terrible thing to happen for that very purpose. I am asking God to see that it reaches your heart, and touches it so that those of you who have been neglectful will AROUSE TO UNSELFISH AND GENEROUS ACTION for the work! I know that this has proved a heart-shaking and tremendous prod on all our staff at Pasadena.

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...


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.


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!"

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!”


Gulfstream II

Over a 17 year period, WCG owned the following planes:



November 2, 1972: "… Brethren… WE DARE NOT LET THAT HAPPEN! … Brethren, I KNOW the CAUSE of our present situation. WE AS A CHURCH HAVE BEEN LETTING DOWN… That means that NOT ONLY God’s WORK is in danger—MANY of YOU BRETHREN are in MORTAL DANGER! I say to you candidly, I know that some, if not MANY of you are in REAL DANGER of the LAKE OF FIRE! … Let’s not dodge the real issue—let’s not deny the REAL CAUSE—Let’s not PASS THE BUCK! Our own personal, individual SALVATION is at stake… Jesus Christ, has shown me THE REAL CAUSE—not merely of the present situation, BUT OF THE DIMINISHING INCREASE IN INCOME—and—consequently IN THE ENTIRE SCOPE AND POWER OF THE WORK these past three and four years!… I know that the ETERNAL LIVES of many—perhaps more than HALF… are at STAKE…"


February 27, 1973: “Unless you stand back of me and Jesus Christ, the HEAD of this great Work, loyally and generously we will be heading into a serious financial crisis in another 30 days.”


March 18, 1974: “I wrote you before that the attempted overthrow of GOD’s work a few weeks ago, would undoubtedly cause a temporary slump in the income for this MOST IMPOPRTANT WORK ON EATH. It has, and I need to ask all loyal Brethren and Co-Workers to make an EXTRA sacrifice right now…”


November 18, 1974: “…And it DIRELY NEEDS your most intensive supplications and prayers -- and even financial SACRIFICE NOW, as never before.”




March 15, 1976: “But I must also say to you who share this financial responsibility with me, that we have once again, as we have at intervals in the past, come to the point where I have to lay the problem frankly and candidly before you and ask you for SPECIAL efforts and for a VERY SPECIAL financial SACRIFICE for God's Work--a special and generous offering ABOVE regular tithes and offerings.”


March 22, 1977: “This is by far the MOST IMPORTANT WORK BEING DONE ON EARTH. It needs your EARNEST PRAYERS--and your most generous financial support-- that is YOUR PART--and you have a part the same as I. Time is getting shorter. Pray HARDER MORE OFTEN! GIVE more generously and more often. WE are being judged NOW and shall be REWARDED according to our works.”


October 23, 1978: “So, from here on in, let us fasten our eyes on JESUS CHRIST-- and on the ultimate GOAL, or finishing line. We are running for the GREATEST STAKES in the UNIVERSE! Remember God's way is LOVE-- the GIVING WAY, while Satan's way is "GETTING."

Let's rededicate our lives to GIVING of ourselves! ONLY ONE THING MATTERS from here on in! Lay aside the worldly interests, the pleasures of this life--jettison all those off--and keep our eyes on the ONE GOAL!


January 23, 1980: “Overall, THIS IS A TRULY GREAT WORLDWIDE WORK! The work is BOOMING! But the time is GROWING SHORT! There is still much to do—and it will take more money!”

We must be willing to SACRIFICE TILL IT HURTS”


December 19, 1980:  “Now I am ready to start this expanded campaign.  IT WILL COST MORE MONEY!  That is YOUR PART!”


March 19, 1981:  “Brethren, NEVER were your prayers so URGENTLY NECESSARY--both for YOU and the Work--and for me! My life has been threatened--but by faith in God it shall be spared until my work is complete. I now have to ask you to sacrifice and send in special EXTRA generous offerings more than ever before. Time is short. Soon there shall be a FAMINE of hearing the Word of God (Amos 8:11). “


July 14, 1981:  “As of the first of this month the income for the work in the U.S. was up some 22 percent…  But in the last 30 days—since we entered the summer months—there has been a significant DROP.  Now the month to date shows an increase of only 13.5 percent… THAT IS ALARMING!”


July 16, 1982: “NOTHING ELSE MATTERS NOW.  We must sacrifice and devote our all… in these closing days.”


Nov 25, 1985:   “BUT WE SERIOUSLY AND URGENTLY NEED INCREASED INCOME!  I …   I ask you, brethren, in Jesus' name, to put whatever you are able into God's Work in this crisis hour.”

1985 Gulfstream III ($17+million)



6.Observations regarding Mr. Armstrong’s statements

As stated in the beginning of this document, Herbert W. Armstrong was a controversial man and, as a result, it takes some effort to sift through the history, stories, and opinions on the internet in order to reach valid conclusions about him. This document was prepared accelerate the process by establishing a foundation of accurate, documented, verifiable history about Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong. This was accomplished by relying solely upon what he had said himself in Plain Truth magazines, member co-worker letters, his autobiography, and in recording statements made on the World Tomorrow radio broadcast.

Direct quotations were summarized in chronological order on the following topics:

  1. Mr. Armstrong’s speculations about future events.

  2. The consistency of Mr. Armstrong’s speculations.

  3. Mr. Armstrong never claimed to be a prophet.

  4. Mr. Armstrong’s dedication to preaching the gospel, Part 1.

  5. Mr. Armstrong’s dedication to preaching the gospel, Part 2.

This section includes observations regarding Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong’s own statements contained in this material.

Questioning or confirming Mr. Armstrong’s critics?

The research had been undertaken to determine the truth about Mr. Armstrong rather than to prove or disprove a particular position about him. The truth is more important than the opinions or agendas of Mr. Armstrong’s critics or those of current COG leaders. The results of this research were both surprising and disconcerting. Mr. Armstrong’s own published statements in official church literature validated a number of claims made by his critics, including:

What does it all mean? What conclusions may be supported strictly from Mr. Armstrong’s statements regarding his calling, role, prophetic understanding, prophetic track record, financial need and self-sacrifice? That is the purpose of this section.

Observations regarding Mr. Armstrong’s prophetic claims

In the first three sections, it was demonstrated that Mr. Armstrong had strongly implied that he was a true prophet with knowledge that had been revealed from God. He had made a copious amount of exaggerated claims about this calling, training and purpose and he had stated his prophecies in exceptionally dogmatic terms. He even challenged his radio listeners to test his claims to know that he was speaking for God rather than on his own behalf (“You watch and see whether these things happen. You’ll see who’s speaking to you, my friends.”) Nevertheless, Mr. Armstrong’s projections were found to be quite inconsistent when examined in detail. On occasions he implied the end was imminent while at other times he stated that it was 15-20 years distant. And, more importantly, all of his projections ultimately failed.

* Sometimes Mr. Armstrong dared to be specific while at other times he used the very words he accused false prophets of using (“may”, “could”, “might”).

Mr. Armstrong had been willing to repeatedly make major claims regarding his calling, training, role, understanding and prophetic abilities that proved to be dead wrong. What does this say about him as a man? What does it say about him as having been a true servant of God? It begs the question, “Had Mr. Armstrong been sincere?“

It seems there are but two choices:

  1. Mr. Armstrong had been sincere but was also mistaken about his calling, role, and prophetic understanding.

  2. Mr. Armstrong had not been deluded about his role and prophetic understanding but chose to make such bold claims anyway.

It seems difficult to support the first choice (Mr. Armstrong was sincere but mistaken). In terms of his prophetic abilities, the evidence shows that Mr. Armstrong clearly wanted his follower’s to think of him as a prophet, yet he was unwilling to specifically state that he was. He made frequent, audacious claims that implied that he was a true prophet sent by God to reveal future events to the nation yet when key projections failed, he strongly denied that he had ever claimed to be a prophet, nor set any dates although he clearly had. This behavior demonstrates that Mr. Armstrong knew he was not a prophet.

The evidence persuasively supports option two (Mr. Armstrong was not deluded about his prophetic abilities but chose to make brash claims anyway). Not only had Mr. Armstrong implied he was a prophet, and later denied that he had claimed to be one, but he returned to his habit of taking credit for being specially called and trained by God for a special end time commission and making self-assured projections about future events shortly after he had denied having special abilities. This behavior lends a great deal of credence to the argument that Mr. Armstrong had been insincere regarding his prophetic statements.

Observations regarding Mr. Armstrong’s requests for donations

In the last two sections, we learned that Mr. Armstrong had been incredibly consistent in his approach to raising money for over 50 years. He claimed an almost perpetual series of financial crises, each one seemingly worse than ever before even while the church income had actually been growing at substantial rates. Mr. Armstrong preyed upon people’s guilt and, at times, made threats regarding their salvation if they were not generous enough in response to his requests for money. At the same time he was urging his followers to make huge sacrifices for the “the most important work on earth work”, Mr. Armstrong was elevating his own standard of living to what ultimately became completely absurd for a man claiming to be God’s servant, administrating “God’s government on earth.”

Implications regarding Mr. Armstrong’s sincerity based upon his own statements

What does all of this behavior suggest regarding Mr. Armstrong’s sincerity when one considers both his prophetic claims and requests for donations? Perhaps there are four choices:

  1. Mr. Armstrong was sincerely dedicated to getting the gospel but was unaware that he was using unseemly tactics to do “God’s work”.

  2. Mr. Armstrong was sincerely dedicated to getting the gospel out to the point that he was willing to use unseemly tactics to do so.

  3. Mr. Armstrong was sincerely dedicated to his ministry but also had a weakness in regard to spending money on things that he desired.

  4. Mr. Armstrong may have been a con man rather than a dedicated servant of God.

When considering Mr. Armstrong’s numerous failed projections and requests for “urgent” financial donations in hindsight, it is difficult to argue that Mr. Armstrong had been sincere but unaware that his use of exaggeration, manipulation, and opportunism had been inappropriate. It is also unreasonable to assume a sincere minister could threaten members with the Lake of Fire regarding the amount of their offerings.

Although some may argue that option two applied to Mr. Armstrong, is a weak and unseemly argument. It would also carry more weight if Mr. Armstrong had apologized for his errant prophetic statements in 1972 and had lived a frugal life. However, this was not the case.

Most individuals, whom are unaware of Mr. Armstrong’s full history, are likely most comfortable with viewing him as being sincere but flawed. In retrospect, however, does the documented evidence support this option? The repeated brash claims Mr. Armstrong made about this role, raining, and understanding did not hold up. The repetitive overstated claims he made about the church’s dire financial situation also did not hold up. If neither his claims about his role, training, and understanding nor his claims about the churches financial needs held up; can one honestly conclude that past assumptions and perceptions regarding Mr. Armstrong’s sincerity are valid and supportable?

Mr. Armstrong’s critics most often contend that Mr. Armstrong had been a con man rather than a sincere minister. By reviewing official church literature, it was determined that Mr. Armstrong’s own statements could be used to support such a conclusion.


If Joseph Smith (founder of the Mormons), Charles Taze Russel (founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses), Joel Olsteen (of Joel Olsteen Ministries), or Creflo Dollar (Creflo Dollar ministries) had made similar claims to those included in this document, few COG members would have difficulty in reaching the conclusion that such individuals were false prophets who were greedy for gain.

Is it logical, or defendable, to reach a different conclusion about Mr. Armstrong?

-Kevin (5/7/2017)