As his ministry began to develop and as his own doctrines moved further away from the denomination which ordained him, Herbert W. Armstrong took to the airwaves under the name of the Radio Church of God. Later still he broke away entirely from his original denomination and moved from Oregon to California where he incorporated a church using the name of his radio program.
Meanwhile the Radio Church of God broadcast changed its name to The World Tomorrow. The main speaker became Herbert Armstrong's son Garner Ted Armstrong who delivered a daily, thirty minute news/editorial format style of delivery in the manner of Paul Harvey. However, the editorial content of The Plain Truth magazine was anything but that of a mainstream news magazine, although its masthead proclaimed that it was "A magazine of understanding." The editorial was written under the name of Herbert W. Armstrong as publisher, but the features were usually written by graduates from one of the three Ambassador Colleges (one in California, another in Texas and a third in England.) Other contents included a world wide radio and later television log for The World Tomorrow program, which at its peak reflected the largest purchases of airtime on broadcasting and cable stations by any independent broadcasting organization anywhere in the world.
Central to its editorial approach were three main platforms. The first was a belief that the White, Anglo-Saxon peoples of the USA, UK, Western Europe and lands to which those people had migrated were the peoples of the "Lost Ten Tribes of Israel". The second was the celebration of several holy days including (but not limited to) the seventh-day Sabbath (instead of Sunday); Passover (instead of Easter) and the Feast of Tabernacles (instead of Christmas).
The main thrust of these prophetic claims was that a timetable had been set in motion by God and it was the sole purpose of Herbert W. Armstrong and his entire church to warn the world of what was going to happen, before time ran out. The Worldwide Church of God did not seek new members but it did accept new members by a complicated recruiting process. The time frame (called time cycles by the church), was first set in motion when the church began under the leadership of Herbert W. Armstrong. The first time cycle expired in 1953 when the second time cycle began with the broadcast of The World Tomorrow program over Radio Luxembourg in Europe. This event was compared to the Apostle Paul taking the Christian message to the world for the first time. This second time cycle of 19 years was set to expire in February of 1972.
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! Bible prophecy shows the Roman Axis forces will take Egypt, Suez, Palestine, — even Gibraltar. Britain will go down. And, unless we turn as a nation to God our beloved United States will have to go under ... we lack TOTAL Defense, without which we shall never win. We are at the END of the present order. ARMAGEDDON is now just a short way off.
According to Armstrong there was one key element that had to occur before the return of Jesus Christ as Messiah and that was the rebuilding of the Temple by the Jews. Since the location of the Temple had been in that part of Jerusalem which was a part of the modern day kingdom of Jordan, Armstrong believed that Israel would eventually retake that part of Jerusalem in order for construction to commence. On page 4 of the October 1958 edition, The Plain Truth magazine reported that:
A temple or sanctuary is yet to be built by the Jews in Jerusalem. It shall happen in less than 14 years from now (1972).
When Israel gained control of East Jerusalem in the Six Day War, Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in a 1967 editorial in The Plain Truth that:
There will be a Jewish Temple built in Jerusalem, with animal sacrifices once again being offered -- probably within about four-and-one-half years. It is going to take some time to build such a Temple. And I don't see how they have another month to spare. ... There will very soon be a Temple in Jerusalem, with daily sacrifices once again being offered.
In Australia this editorial was read by Michael Dennis Rohan who decided to act upon this same information and cause the destruction of the Al Aqsa mosque which he believed was preventing the Temple from being rebuilt. The aftereffects of his attempted arson are still being experienced today in attacks upon Israel which are carried out to avenge this act. The cause of the arson was, of course, not the State of Israel, but a person's attempt to carry out his interpretation of the editorial policy of The Plain Truth magazine.
After the vast majority of beliefs that the Worldwide Church of God taught under the administration of Herbert W. Armstrong had also been repudiated and having lost the majority of its original membership, the Worldwide Church of God sought and was granted admission to several mainstream evangelical groups.
Various successor churches of Armstrongism continue to publish their messages in various magazines. The United Church of God publishes The Good News magazine, which as of March 2006 has a worldwide circulation of 412,000. The Philadelphia Church of God sees its publication The Philadelphia Trumpet as a successor to Armstrong's The Plain Truth, which is sometimes cited by the Trumpet. Also the Living Church of God publishes the Tomorrow's World magazine. While the Restored Church of God publishes The Real Truth Magazine.