Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Reader Responds About the COG False Prophets

A reader here responds that Herbert W Armstrong and the Church of God NEVER predicted anything was going to happen in 1975.  No tribulation, no famine, no pestilence, no war, no Petra.  Nothing   was ever predicted. We all just dreamed it up to discredit HWA, Meredith, and Waterhouse.  It apparently is all a figment of our imaginations.

I am not here to defend David C.Pack/Herbert W.Armstrong, nor bash them. However,I have read Mr . Armstrong's booklet '1975 In Prophecy',and nowhere in the booklet did he state definitively that the Great Tribulation would begin in that year. The booklet was written years before we and was an exposé on the advancement of science; and how these advancements could lead to a world that culminated in 1975. Whether you like Mr.Pack or Mr . Armstrong or not;is up to you, but I doubt any of those griping and complaining here have been as widely read or acknowledged as these two.


Byker Bob said...

We've discussed in times past that there were two facets to the church literature. One was the specific written words as contained in the actual booklets. We must remember also that these booklets were revised from time to time, and it is difficult to know which version the reader actually read.

The second facet was the verbal teaching in sabbath services, Bible Study, and the feasts in discussion of these pivotal doctrinal booklets. The Good News Magazine was for baptized members only, and, like the sermons, added to what was in the booklets which were ordered by the general public who heard them advertised on the World Tomorrow Broadcast. So, what was in the booklets was often verbally underscored and intensified.

My parents were baptized in 1957. I grew up in the time leading up to 1972-75, and attended Ambassador College from 1966-1968. I can assure you that all of us in the church during that time believed that the tribulation would begin in 1972, those who had qualified as Philadelphians would be transported to Petra, and 3-1/2 years later, in 1975, Jesus Christ would return. I believed that at age 27, I would be instantly turned into a spirit being. We based our daily lives on this, and were horrified that all of our friends, neighbors, and relatives would have to face the Germans.

When I got to Ambassador College, in Bible Class, we were taught not one, not two, but three separate mathematic equations "proving" that Christ had to return in 1975.

Reader, it is entirely up to your own discretion as to who and what you choose to believe. But, I can assure you that these "wolves" have played it fast and loose with peoples' lives, expectations, and finances for decades, and virtually nothing they have ever forecast has come to pass. You will also need to make decisions about British Israelism, the origins of mainstream Christianity (they take some of their beliefs on this from the pseudo-Clementine Recognitions and Homilies, via Alexander Hislop), and whether real Apostles or Prophets even exist during our current dispensation. Again, it's your life. My own opinion is that these are not the good guys, not the people you would want to waste your time excusing or defending.


Redfox712 said...

HWA's "reasoning" to conclude that the Great Tribulation would begin in 1972 and that Christ would return in 1975 is not in 1975 in Prophecy.

But it is in Herman Hoeh's A True History of the True Church.

That details their ideas regarding 19 year time cycles, that the original apostolic church operated for 38 years (AD 31-69) before they had to flee to a place of safety.

Near the end of that booklet he states that the same thing will happen again, that HWA's work will only operate 38 years (1934-72) before needing to flee to a place of safety.

If you look at any writing made by the Radio/WCG in the 1950s-60s odds are you will find implications that the end of the age is coming within twenty years or so.

It is such a terrible shame that so many of HWA's followers have blinded themselves to what he did in order to continue living within his deceptions.

DennisCDiehl said...

Anon notes:

"The booklet was written years before we and was an exposé on the advancement of science; and how these advancements could lead to a world that culminated in 1975."

I have to say that this was my own personal understanding, even back then, as to the nature and intent of the booklet 1975 in Prophecy. The book was not written with 1975 in mind as a prophetic date . The above quote was the intent as far as I recall and saw in the book.

However, putting a date on a book with the word prophecy in WCG times was asking for trouble. Weinland's "Prophecied End Time-2008" was the kind of meaning the date as a start date of of end result in prophecy. 1975 was not written in that way or with that in mind from my understanding. It was an unfortunate choice of title and the prophecy types ran with it . Gerald Waterhouse got his start in off the track prophecy with that one I am sure.

The problem, as always, was that HWA or GTA or whoever NEVER corrected wrong impressions. The idea of Petra started as speculation and quickly exploded into truth. That lame idea and misapplication of anything the Bible says is with some to this day. Of course, they will die like all men and never get to open a Petra-Hut or corner the toilet paper market in Petra.

So, just in sticking to the intent and tone of 1975 in Propehcy, I have to say this seems the reasonable explanation for the booklet itself and was my understanding of it way back.

It may explain why HWA was busy building not realizing that date had taken on a life of its own under his nose and among his prophetic haunted types. HWA was never good at staying on top of the goof balls speculating on simple things taken out of context that he may also have said or thought about .

Kissing up to HWA by the RCM types was epidemic and anything that expanded on what HWA may have just said with vast biblical understanding was a way some, consciously or unconsciously, could win favor for agreeing with him overmuch.

Anyway...this time, I feel the comment is more accurate in reality than the hype and confusion that followed from putting a date on a book like that.

Anonymous said...

But he DID set a date for the End by saying in booklet "...and all this BEFORE the promised pushbutton utopia of 1975". There was no way for him to Unprint the booklet once the 1970s came and his critics used it to tear him to shreds.

Anonymous said...

HWA left himself more wiggle-room for false prophecies than have Weinland or Pack.

HWA spoke out of both sides of his jowels, giving contradictory messages like-

1) "But I definitely have NOT been called to be a PROPHET... Emphatically I 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"


2) "The Bible is the written Word of God—and, for our time now, it is COMPLETE! Never have I believed or claimed that God reveals to me new truths not contained in the Bible"


3) "God surely had a special reason for revealing this new truth to me."

So, this gives HWA's followers the fall-back to claim HWA only was divinely inspired to notice what prophecies are in the Bible.

It's all part of his, "Don't believe me, believe your Bible!" followed by, "And I'll tell you what the Bible REALLY says!" schtick, although it also came with the loving message of, "You'll be cast into the Lake of Fire if you disagree!"

Douglas Becker said...

No, no, Herb Armstrong was a phalse proffit back in the 1940s predicting that the United States and British Commonwealth would lose World War II.

1975 in Prophecy made bold statements how all those reading the booklet back then would see all these things come to pass and regret not taking action.

Read the book and be thoroughly embarrassed and scandalized.

Nevertheless, he was a false prophet decades before and subject to the eternal death penalty in a fiery permanent demise if we are to believe Scriptures from the New Testament.


Assistant Deacon said...

"...I doubt any of those griping and complaining here have been as widely read or acknowledged as these two."

As widely read or acknowledged as HWA and Pack. Really.

Sounds like somebody didn't take their meds.

Anonymous said...

Do I really need to go through all the quotes of magazine articles by HWA, RCM and the like of "three to five years", "seven to ten years", etc? They said it, it didnt happen, still hasnt happened, and yet theres still folks wantinf to reframe it using omission/selective memory to justify these men.

Guys, if you need these men to explain the Bible to you, you need to do some serious questioning.

Byker Bob said...

In my original response, I missed one other key vehicle by which these prophecy booklets and their dates were amped up: the frequent member letters. HWA would always stress the shortness of time to create a sense of perpetual urgency for the moneys needed to get the work done.

Because they were always signed "in Jesus name"' members were told to heed and apply as if the words in the letters had been written by Jesus Christ himself.

One humorous side note: The science did play a part, and HWA would always express it with a grammatical error. I can't tell you how many times he stated that unless Jesus Christ returned, mankind would blast himself from off the earth. I always facetiously wondered how man would get off the earth to be blasted from off the earth, but hey, that was just the state of HWA's education.


Head Usher said...

Well, let's take some specific quotes from the book itself.

Right from the very start, it claims to be esoteric knowledge that is just as reliable as it is (or was before HWA spilled the beans) secret.

"YOUR own future is laid bare, now, in prophecy! The curtain of the future is drawn back. Prophecies that were closed and sealed tight now stand REVEALED. This mystifying, neglected third of the Bible now becomes plain. Mysteries of God, never before understood, now become crystal-clear. God's own time for this revealing has come. The KEYS that locked the future have been found. But what is actually going to happen is not what the world expects! ... You'll have to live into these tremendous times. This is YOUR life! You live here, in this erupting world! It behooves you to know what the Creator-RULER of the Universe now makes known!"

Um-hm. The keys were found... What is actually going to happen... This is your life... The Creator-Ruler of the universe now makes known...


In the center of the book, under shocking titles such as, "Terrifying - Yet GOOD NEWS!", "World War Resumed!", and "Americans-Britons-Made SLAVES" he says the following:

"And so now God is about to punish! First, He will punish our nations-professing Christians - His own chosen people, chosen for a service they have refused to perform!"

"Only one in three of your friends-of your loved ones-will remain alive -UNLESS they heed the warning and come under God's divine protection according to HIS conditions!"

"THINK OF IT! Unbelievable? Preposterous? No, IT'S Real--very soon,--of this very present generation-of all people you know now-ONLY ONE THIRD of them will be left alive!"

"Yes, millions of lukewarm inactive professing Christians will suffer MARTYRDOM-and that before the anticipated push-button leisure-year of 1975 dawns upon us!."

DAYUM! I guess this guy knows! He seems very sure. What if he really has found the keys? I better get on the right side of future history. Where's that number to call?

Um-hm. Indeed.

Let's face it, HWA was writing to a much more god-haunted population in 1956 than we currently have, and he wrote to shock people, and he did shock people. And he got people to sign up, not necessarily because they believed him, but more, just in case, as an insurance policy. He was fishing for people who were too fearful NOT to "believe" what he said.

But he was a charlatan and a liar.

Anonymous said...

1975 in Prophecy contains specific predictions that did not and cannot come to pass. Read it again if you didn't see that!

They repeatedly said the end would come "within 10 to 15 years" and it did not come in that time frame.

Add 15 years to when they said that and you have a DATE even if they didn't give the date in so many words. Sheesh.

Lurker said...

I have always wondered what the hell a push-button leisure-year was anyway.

Retired Prof said...

Anon 1:22 points out: "They repeatedly said the end would come 'within 10 to 15 years' and it did not come in that time frame.

"Add 15 years to when they said that and you have a DATE even if they didn't give the date in so many words."

Rod Meredith's practice over the past 50 years or more makes it clear that "within 10 to 15 years" actually applies from the most recent time you read or heard the prophecy, not from the time it was originally made. At present that rule places the date somewhere around 2025.

Byker Bob said...

Got it, Prof! Apparently, it is analogous to pressing the snooze button, or resetting the clock!


Redfox712 said...

I actually talked about this topic in one of my first posts, Why 1975?

Let me quote from Herman Hoeh's very untrue A True History of the True Church.

Here it is all but stated that the church could only preach openly until 1972. (Italics are mine.)


The time had come for the gospel TO GO AROUND THE WORLD!

Having tested and proven that Mr. Armstrong would remain faithful and subject to His government, God opened before him and a few faithful brethren the marvelous DOOR of radio and the printing press to carry forth the gospel. From a minute beginning in Oregon, in 1934, the work of God spread to cover much of North America in 19 years. In 1953 it leaped to Europe and the world!

This is very significant.

God gave the Apostolic Church JUST TWO nineteen-year cycles to carry the gospel to the Old World. He opened a DOOR to the apostle Paul AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SECOND NINETEEN-YEAR CYCLE by which the gospel went to Europe (Acts 16:9; 11 Cor. 2:12-13).

So now, just before the second coming of Jesus Christ, God has given His Church -- THIS CHURCH -- JUST TWO nineteen-year cycles in which to carry the gospel to the world!

The first cycle PASSED. Then God suddenly opened the door for the second cycle in January 1953, and the gospel is now going to all the world!