A year ago I wrote all subscribers to The Plain Truth an unusual letter. For the first time in 27 years I was in position to GIVE something very fine, such as I had never been able to do before. And now I can offer YOU a gift just as fine ABSOLUTELY FREE, with even postage paid.
I doubt if anything like this has EVER been done before! It is just that unusual! Maybe it's a miracle—but this is THE very Work of God, and The Eternal Creator does perform miracles.
Candidly, I think it may be a little refreshing in this day of commercialism and come-ons, to be offered something SO FINE, so important and valuable—unobtainable anywhere else—which simply can't be bought, and with no strings, obligations, or follow-ups of any kind!
Let me tell you how it came about. If you have been receiving The Plain Truth for more than a year, you probably received my letter a year ago, and you know something of what I'm talking about. But our subscription list has grown rapidly. A third or more of our 400,000 subscribers probably did not receive that letter.
Of course you know, I'm sure, that you cannot pay a subscription price for The Plain Truth. You never heard a request for contributions on The WORLD TOMORROW broadcast—as you are accustomed to hearing on religious programs. Haven't you been a little surprised that when you subscribed for The Plain Truth, or requested other free literature, there was no request for money and NO FOLLOW-UP—except the semi-annual letter I write to all subscribers, offering to GIVE something important?
THIS YOU KNOW—that you never heard of anything like this before! A year ago I explained how it came about. I won't go into detail now, but our newer subscribers do deserve a brief summary of this most unusual work on earth. For no rich philanthropist, no big commercial or industrial corporation sponsors or supplies funds for this Work. It is God's Work, conducted GOD'S WAY—and that is something different that seems mighty strange in today's competitive, grasping, selfish world!
Beginning in 1920, when I was a rising and successful young man in the advertising business, the living Jesus Christ began dealing with me—beating me down, tearing out root and branch the idol of ambition to become "important" in the business world and to make money. When, in 1927, I was brought all the way down to self- abhorrence and real repentance, faith in and acceptance of CHRIST meant something! Accepting Christ meant submission to let the living Saviour actually COME IN to my life—henceforth to live my life FOR me — not as I would, but as GOD WILLS! It meant literally GIVING my SELF to HIM who had bought and paid for me. It meant living the life the Apostle Paul describes in Galatians 2:20 —a life totally CHANGED!
I didn't seek the ministry. But now I was literally thrust into it. I had been reduced to material poverty, but had been given spiritual riches. Soon I learned this: If I were to be FREE to proclaim GOD'S WORD faithfully, just as it is—free to be corrected constantly by God's Word, to admit error and publicly correct it when proved—l was going to have to look to God alone, IN FAITH, AND NOT TO MEN, to supply the financial need. God's BIBLE promised: "My God shall supply all your need"—Philippians 4:19.
If men, or any organization of men, paid me a salary, I learned I would have to serve men contrary to God. If any philanthropist, foundation, commercial enterprise, or church denomination sponsored me, I would have to serve the selfish financial interests of the commercial sponsor or preach the already-established doctrine of the denomination—whether according to or contrary to the PLAIN TRUTH of God's Word.
"You won't go far," one man advised, after I started on this course. "The Bible corrects and reproves people—tells them their sins," he explained. "People won't support anyone who tells them where they are wrong."
"Maybe people won't," I replied, "but GOD has PROMISED that HE WILL—and I believe Him."
Sure, it was a test of faith. But my life didn't belong to me any more. I had given it to God. If I served Him faithfully, it was up to Him, as my Employer, to provide the financial means. HE HAD PROMISED HE WOULD. I took Him at His Word!
WHO SPONSORS THIS WORK?—people ask. The answer is, GOD DOES! God Almighty began opening the gigantic door of radio and the printing press for the mass dissemination of His GOSPEL and His warning to a world nearing its end.
It started the smallest of any work I know—one little 100- watt radio station, with one half-hour program a week; and a crude little hand-mimeographed "magazine"—The Plain Truth. But the broadcast did faithfully proclaim Christ's very own Gospel—THE KINGDOM OF GOD—which will rule THE WORLD TOMORROW. The "magazine" did proclaim fearlessly THE PLAIN TRUTH. After three years God opened a second radio door—then a third, a fourth—then, through the years, more and more. After some years The Plain Truth became an 8-page printed magazine, issued six times a year. Then it went to 12 pages, then 16, then 24—every month.
We did not make any request for money over the air. I never took up collections in evangelistic meetings. There NEVER WAS a subscription price to The Plain Truth—-it never carried any advertising. There never has been anything commercial about this Work of God.
No wonder people are astonished! No wonder this work and its methods seem STRANGE to some! But God was faithful—He kept His promise. After 28 1/2 years, this has grown to a mighty world- wide Work of God, broadcasting over the world's most powerful radio stations into every continent—The Plain Truth published in three editions simultaneously, in Los Angeles, London, and Melbourne— beside the German edition printed here at Bricket Wood, England.
Does God miraculously rain down money from heaven, as He once sent manna to Israel? No, God does work today through human agencies. Somehow, He has laid it on the hearts of enough of the poor of the land to start giving voluntarily—entirely of their own volition and without solicitation, in spite of the fact the BIBLE Message we preach corrects and reproves them continually. But NO HUMAN on earth—no group, combination or organization of humans— has any voice whatsoever in what we preach to the world. We seek NOT to please MEN—but GOD!
NOW! My SURPRISE for you for THIS YEAR!
Some years ago we began to realize the time was coming when we must begin publishing something more than the booklets and pamphlets. The first need was a different kind of BIBLE STORY—not only for children, but for adults as well. Our ministry—so far— had been forced to neglect the children. That situation cried out for solution.
Most Bible-story books seemed to have no purpose other than to compete with existing fiction of violence. They seemed to contain only a group of entirely disconnected blood-and-thunder stories of murder, violence, and seduction. They missed entirely GOD'S MEANING. They failed to explain the real connection with the Gospel of such incidents as Cain murdering Abel, the cataclysm of the Flood, David slaying the giant Goliath, the seduction of Samson, Daniel in the lions' den.
What was needed was a Bible Story book portraying the true Bible meaning, and in even more thrilling and interesting form than anything before—carrying God's own continuous story and instruction in an interesting, understandable manner.
Many do not realize it, but there is a continuous story- flow running all through the Bible. Most, who read the Bible at all, read at random a verse here, or possibly a chapter there.
We needed a book in today's language, setting forth in lucid, interesting, easy-to-understand English, the plain, simple, continuous flow of the Bible Story.
God supplied the man for this assignment in nationally- known artist Basil Wolverton. Such mass-circulation magazines as LIFE, TIME, Pageant, have written about him and reproduced multiple pages of his work. His work has appeared in more than 50 national magazines. He is a trained writer, as well as an artist with a style all His own.
Mr. Wolverton was one of the earliest to be converted as a result of the broadcast, more than 20 years ago. He is a thorough Bible student, and a member of the Board of Trustees of Ambassador College.
By writing in simple words, yet with good style, at the approximate 10-12-year level, Mr. Wolverton is producing a book that is interesting to ADULTS, as well as to children. Thousands of adults, as well as children, have followed it avidly as it has been appearing in serial form in the pages of The Plain Truth. By reading it to them, with a little parental explanation, even children as young as four and five can grasp the interesting, all- important message.
It is profusely illustrated with Mr. Wolverton's striking, most realistic drawings.
Our big problem was how to publish and distribute such a book. Through the years we have been able to send out tons upon tons of attractive booklets and pamphlets, without any price— entirely FREE. But a whole BOOK—well, that was something quite different! How could we GIVE a complete book?
Temporarily we solved the problem by publishing it serially in The Plain Truth, starting with the November, 1958, number. Last year the book publishers, printers of TIME, LIFE, Newsweek (West Coast editions) and The Plain Truth (U. S. and Canadian edition), came up with the final solution. They presented a very attractive cover design, produced by their art department. By going into mass production, with a high grade cardboard cover instead of cloth board, the production cost could be reduced to a point that we could offer it—a volume at a time—ABSOLUTELY FREE, just as we always have offered all our literature!
When this became possible, all of us at world Headquarters in Pasadena, California, were elated. I had always been determined not to sell anything. Yet we seriously needed to produce certain complete BOOKS—just as we realize the need to follow this one with a full-volume book embodying Garner Ted Armstrong's series of articles on Child Rearing. There is a heavy demand for the Autobiography in book form. There is serious need for a frank and complete book about GOD'S purposes and laws respecting sex—a complete and frank treatise on the subject of sex—the ignorance of which has made perhaps two-thirds of all marriages unhappy. Shelves of bookstores contain many books on the subject of sex today—yet not one reveals the IMPORTANT FACTS which can come only from a knowledge of God's revelation, in conjunction with biological and medical knowledge. I hope to begin this book in serial installments soon, in The Plain Truth.
Just as I was excited and elated, a year ago, when we were able to offer readers of The Plain Truth a FREE copy of VOLUME I of The Bible Story, so, now, I am simply OVERJOYED to be able to offer you VOLUME II of this book.
A year ago, the response to this free offer was absolutely breath-taking. We had ordered a mass-printing of 50,000 copies. We were deluged with requests. That 50,000 was exhausted in a few days. Immediately we ordered a second printing of another 50,000 copies. Soon they were all gone. That volume is now out of print.
But today I can announce to you that we are now ordering the production of 100,000 copies of Volume II. And frankly, I anticipate this entire 100,000 will be claimed within ten days from the mailing of this letter from our three publishing centers— Pasadena, California; London, England; and Sydney, Australia.
I suggest you request YOUR FREE COPY, the very day you receive this letter, in order to be sure of receiving it before this entire edition is gone.
The first volume included the first 13 chapter, which appeared as the first 13 installments in The Plain Truth. The chapter captions describe the progress of the story.
These were the thirteen: In the Beginning; "Thou Shalt Surely Die;" Noah Builds The Ark; "And the Flood Came;" The Tower of Babel; Abram Journeys to Canaan; Abraham Gives up His Son; Esau Sells Jacob His Birthright; Jacob Falls in Love; Joseph's Adventures in Egypt; Joseph Becomes Ruler of Egypt; "I Am Joseph;" and Seven Years of Famine.
Volume II picks up the Bible Story from there. For the first time in your life you probably will see these interesting, all-important Bible events actually LIVING before your eyes. You will see what those events have to do with OUR LIVES TODAY—with the PURPOSE being worked out here below—the connection with the true GOSPEL of Jesus Christ. Mr. Wolverton, truly, makes the Bible COME ALIVE! He has a rare talent for narrating these Biblical events in simple language that children can understand—language which will grip and hold the interest of adults of all ages—with pictures that are astonishingly realistic.
As we found necessary last year, we must or necessity impose a few precautionary restrictions. We can send only one copy to a family or household. We cannot send copies to others at your request—only to those who request it for themselves. We cannot send bulk copies for you to distribute.
But I'm delighted, happy, and grateful God has made it possible to send you YOUR copy absolutely FREE, including postage paid.
So, don't let this wonderful opportunity slip. Before you lay this letter down, I hope you will fill out the IBM card by marking an "X" in the box for your copy. It MUST be on personal request—for we do not want to send God's truth to any who do not want it—only those who welcome it. We never try to force truth on anyone. The enclosed self-addressed envelope is our way of knowing that YOU are entitled to YOUR free copy—now waiting for you! So use it—the first thing you do!
THANK YOU, from the heart sincerely, for your interest and for allowing us to have the pleasure of presenting this to you.