Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Seven Thousand Year Plan

I've been wondering about the 7 annual Holy Days (as recognized by Armstrongism) and the teaching regarding "the 7,000 year plan of God." I plan on chewing on this subject a bit over the next several weeks, just in time for the Spring Holy Days. First, I had a few questions.

The seven Holy Days represent the 7,000 year plan of God? Why? Because, "7 Holy Days; 7 days in the week; 7,000 years"? Where does it say that in the Bible?

What are the seven Holy Days?

Passover is not a Holy Day; it is a memorial (according to Armstrongism). A memorial of what? There are really two ways to look at this.

1) A memorial of the Exodus and not Christ. Because in the Old Testament we see it was a memorial of the Exodus. The Sabbath is the same way.

(DEU. 5: 15) And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.

2) Or we can see Passover as a memorial of Christ and not the Exodus. Because He said it should be a memorial of Him (LUK. 22: 19; I COR. 11: 26). What does the Exodus have to do with Gentiles? After all, the Sabbath and Holy Days were just shadows anyway, and the substance casting the shadow is Christ (COL. 2: 16-17; HEB. 10: 1, 11-14). Why chase after the shadow when you now have the substance? In fact, if you cast off the Old to participate in the New, then you are one body and blood with the substance!

(I COR. 10: 16-17) 16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17 For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.

I don't know about in your church, but in mine we spent the Passover (carefully avoiding the term "Lord's Supper") in memorial of Jesus' sacrifice and death. A fine thing! No real complaints about that. However, for the rest of the following week, we concentrated on the Exodus. Am I opposed to remembering the Exodus? No! Not at all. But it must be kept in perspective that it is a shadow and not the substance. We got a bi-annual Holy Day sermon about the symbolism of the Exodus and how it related to us. I don't have a real problem with that either. We were at least mostly keeping things in perspective.
My point is to emphasize that according to Armstrongism Passover was not one of the seven Holy Days; it was a memorial. If it were a Holy Day, it would not be called the Day of Preparation (MAT. 27: 62; MAR. 15: 42; LUK. 23: 54; JOH. 19: 14, 31, 42) and Christ would not have been crucified on it.
[We at ABD have much to disagree with about the Armstrongist timing of Passover. Please see our article History of Easter - part I for more.]
Nevertheless, if it isn't a Holy Day to them then we must discount it here.

So what are the seven Holy Days?

1&2) The First and Last days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (LEV. 23: 5-8; DEU. 16: 1-8).
3) Pentecost (aka the Feast of Weeks, also Feast of First Fruits) (LEV. 23: 15-22; DEU. 16: 9-12).
4) The Feast of Trumpets (LEV. 23: 23-25).
5) The Day of Atonement (LEV. 23: 26-32).
6) The first day of the Feast of Tabernacles (aka Feast of Booths, also Feast of Ingathering) (LEV. 23: 33-43; DEU. 16: 13-15).
7) And lastly, the Last Great Day (aka. Last Great Day of the Feast of Tabernacles) (LEV. 23: 39; JOH. 7: 37).

There we are. Seven days.

Now, let's do a cursory review of what Herbert Armstrong taught that these days mean according to his version of prophecy:

-Passover & Unleavened Bread: Our being taken out of sin (Egypt), experiencing baptism (Red Sea), and our journey through this life and towards the coming Kingdom (40 year wandering & Promised Land).

-Pentecost: The start of the Church of God and the giving of the Holy Spirit.

-Trumpets: Armstrongism had very little to say about this day. To the Jews it's their New Year and a time to prepare for Atonement, but Armstrong never really cared about that. Originally it was taught to be the day Christ would return. The main thrust of why was taught was because Christ would return at the seventh trumpet blast, and this day was named "The Feast of Trumpets."

A controversy arose after the death of Herbert Armstrong regarding the timing of the return of Jesus Christ. This weighs heavily on Trumpets.
Armstrong taught that Jesus would return on Trumpets, but after his death people have started teaching that Pentecost will be the day when Jesus will return.
This controversy robs Trumpets of its Armstrongist meaning. To put meaning back in, people have speculated that Trumpets will be the day of the first trumpet blast. Others speculate that Jesus will return to gether His saints on Pentecost, have the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (REV. 19: 7-9) while the vials of God's wrath are poured out on the world (REV. 15: 5-7, and following chapters), and then He will return to earth yet again to fulfill Rev. 19: 19-21.

In my opinion, this all just demonstrates that Armstrongism really has no deep understanding of the Feast of Trumpets at all.

-Atonement: The Beast and False Prophet would be destroyed, Satan would be imprisoned, and mankind would begin to experience the Millennial reign of Christ.

-Tabernacles: Pictures both the 7,000 year plan of God as well as the Millennial reign of Christ on Earth.

-Last Great Day: Pictures the time after the Millennial reign of Christ on Earth, when the Great White Throne Judgment would occur (REV. 20: 11), and the sum total of humanity that are saved will become part of God's Kingdom.

Now, with that background in place, I would like to move on to a few observations.

These explanations picture the 7,000 year plan? Where is Genesis in there? No fall of man. No Noah. No Abraham. According to the two dominant dating theories, the Exodus occurred around and abouts the year 1440 B.C. or 1290 B.C. That's a bit late for the start of the picture, wouldn't you say?
Or does the Exodus really mark the start of what was pictured in the Holy Days? Let us never forget that the Sabbaths and Holy Days were merely shadows pointing to Christ. And by this it is clear the Bible is referring mainly to His first Advent (HEB. 9: 9). Even Armstrongism accepts that the Passover pointed to Christ's death, Pentecost was fulfilled at that same time, and the majority of Atonement was fulfilled at that same time. So, depending on how we want to look at it, Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread do not point to the 1400's B.C. at all, but to the 30's A.D. This puts the beginning of the picturing of the plan ahead considerably.
If they picture a 7,000 year plan, I would suppose they would picture the whole thing. But as it stands, do the Holy Days picture the 3,000 year plan, beginning in the 30's A.D. and continuing on through the end of the Millennium?
Now let's move closer and take a better look at each of the Holy Days again. Let's look at them with a critical eye this time.

On to the First and Last days of Unleavened Bread.

They picture putting sin our of your life. This will happen for your lifespan, not 7,000 years. Problem is, these days are supposed to point to Christ, not us. But let's just say this refers to the bigger picture.
Did mankind possess any ability to truly put sin out of their life before the death and resurrection of Christ? No. Nothing in man's power, nothing in the blood of goats, nothing in any of the world's many religions, is there anything remotely like the cross that takes away the sins of the world. Each and every one of the world's religious systems either denies sin, or employs a works-based system where a person is to earn their own way out of their past indiscretions. Christ and Christ alone is the propitiation that opens the way to the complete forgiveness and removal of sin. Thus, they do point to Christ.
So, once again, we see the picture starts in the 30's A.D. Where are the first 4,000 years??

Here we are 2 Holy Days and a memorial down, and we only have 7 total. 5 holy days remain to picture the 7,000 year plan.

On to Pentecost.

Any person who reads the Bible can plainly see that Pentecost is the memorial of the giving of the Holy Spirit. Christ fulfilled the wave loaves ceremony and man was accepted by God. Proof is none other than the giving of the Holy Spirit - the indwelling of God within man. And, again, we have time focused on the 30's A.D. Where does this leave us for end-time prophecy?

Some say Jesus will return on Pentecost. Why? Does Revelation say that? Does Daniel say that? Does Jesus say that? No, no, and no. So it's pure speculation regarding timing. Nothing more. There is no substance to it other than some interesting idea we conjure up in our own minds. I'll readily admit it's an interesting thing to ponder. But I'm not going to base my doctrine on speculation.

I'm going to be proactive and discount this day since the New Testament already gives us a perfectly fine fulfillment. That's 3 down, 4 Holy Days left to picture 7,000 years of plan.

On to the Feast of Trumpets.

Trumpets is just that kind of day where it's hard to nail down. It's the Jewish New Year celebration, and it's a memorial of blowing the shofar. A memorial - not a looking forward.

Judaism 101 says this about the Feast of Trumpets:

"The name "Rosh Hashanah" is not used in the Bible to discuss this holiday. The Bible refers to the holiday as Yom Ha-Zikkaron (the day of remembrance) or Yom Teruah (the day of the sounding of the shofar)."
It would appear that Herbert Armstrong simply invented whatever he needed regarding the day. I do not personally subscribe to this treatment of scripture, and I won't affirm it. To make up anything you want in order to buttress your prophetic speculation? It's irresponsible. Even the Jews can't tell you what the Biblical significance of the blowing of the shofar is. Not a single thing of what Herbert Armstrong taught matches Jewish tradition. We never so much as owned a shofar, let alone sounded one. One time only in my life do I recall a brass trumpet being blown. Where did HWA get his teachings, then? Not from the scriptures, that's for certain! It's pure speculation based on a preconceived idea. I will discount the Armstrongist meaning of the day until someone gives me something more scriptural than "It's the day Jesus returns because it has the word 'trumpet' in the name."
Where are we at now? Three Holy Days and a Memorial that picture the 30's A.D., and one Holy Day that pictures the second coming immediately prior to the Millennium (for no better reason than because we say it does.)
4 down, 3 to go. Three Holy Days to tell the missing portions scattered throughout this 7,000 year plan.

On to the Day of Atonement.

Did you know that at various points of my time in Armstrongism I was taught that the Azazel goat (scapegoat of Leviticus 16) represented Satan? It's true! Let's look so closely at this teaching.
We will break into the middle of Leviticus 16, a chapter which gives the details about the two sacrificial goats offered by the High Priest on the Day of Atonement.

(LEV. 16: 29-22) 20 “And when he [the High Priest] has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place, the tabernacle of meeting, and the altar [with the blood of the first goat], he shall bring the live goat [the scapegoat aka Azazel]. 21 Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. 22 The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.

Notice how the High Priest and first goat relate according to Hebrews:

(HEB. 9: 11-14) 11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

The High Priest is fulfilled by Christ. The first goat is fulfilled by Christ. These two things were not in dispute in Armstrongism. But the second goat, the live goat, the scapegoat/Azazel, was that Satan? It was taught that the fulfillment of the live goat could not come until either the beginning of the Millennium because that is when Satan will be imprisoned, or the end of the Millennium because that is when Satan will be destroyed. It was reasoned that Satan was the cause of the sins, and he will be rightfully blamed, and therefore he is the live goat. The live goat had all of the sins of the people confessed onto it, and it was sent away. But it was not rightfully blamed. I want you to call to mind one of the most profound verses in all of the Bible.

(II COR. 5: 21) For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Does that sound like Satan to you? Jesus Christ and none besides was made sin for us. Precisely as the sins of Israel were placed on the scapegoat, the sins of the world were placed on Christ. Jesus Christ, our Savior, is the One and only propitiation for our sins. God be praised!! I am going to take John the Baptist slightly out of context to make a point about who carries away the sins of the world:

(JOHN 1: 29) The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

And since that was the case, since Jesus became sin for us, He quoted Psalm 22: 1 when He cried out in His agony, "My God! My God! Why have you forsaken Me!" (MAT. 27: 46). Those sins were laid on Him, but not rightfully laid on Him. Even so, it pleased God to save us in this way. The scapegoat of Leviticus 16 is Jesus, and none besides. The very notion that the sins of the world will be placed on Satan's head - thus giving him a part in the salvation of mankind along with Jesus - is nigh blasphemous.

So, the fulfillment of the Day of Atonement is past. Christ has fulfilled it all. What more does it look forward to? Not to Satan. Will you say it looks forward to Satan simply because Atonement falls after Trumpets? God forbid! Thus we have a gaping hole in the middle of the "7,000 year plan pictured by the Holy Days" theory. We made it to Trumpets which pictures the second coming, and went right back to the 30's A.D.

What's our tally thus far? Four Holy Days and a Memorial that picture the 30's A.D., one Holy Day wedged in out of order that supposedly pictures the second coming ('cause we say it does), and 2 Holy Days to go.

On to Tabernacles.

Tabernacles can be seen as picturing the Millennium. Each year, while we feasted before the Lord and drank wine or similar drink (I allude to Deuteronomy 14: 26), we were told this is what the Millennium would be like. The whole 7 day festival pictured the Millennium. Tabernacles was 7 days of Christmas and then some. I still think it cannot be rivalled for sheer enjoyment - if the daily church services were removed, that is. Some people like that part, too. At any rate, the Feast of Tabernacles was the culmination of the whole year. Not enough good could be heaped on it from the podium. Not only did it picture the entire Millennium in 7 days, it re-pictured the 7,000 year plan... all by itself. What a time!

But then cracks in the theory start to emerge.

Tabernacles cannot truly picture the entire 7,000 year plan because most of it would be about sin. Is it dual, then? We are partying while we should be remembering Noah's Flood or the death of Christ? What of the 1,900 years where the gospel supposedly wasn't preached until God supposedly sent Herbert Armstrong to preach it and usher in His return? That's almost two full days. Yet tabernacles was 7 days of fun for us.

Everyone understood it was the Millennium that the Feast of Tabernacles pictured, not those other times. We tossed the 7,000 year picture onto it because there were 7 days. After all, how can you have 7 days picture 1,000 years?
But on the other hand, Tabernacles is towards the end of the Holy Days. It is the only one that pictured the Millennium. Does it really picture the Millennium, then? We'll find out, I guess. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

The Feast of Tabernacles is a 7 day long festival, but it has only 1 Holy Day, and that being the very first day. If the Millennium is pictured on the Holy Day, what then of the following 6 days? We must discount them. Remember, it's the Holy Days that picture the 7,000 year plan, not the regular days. 
If we are to say "the Holy Days picture the 7,000 year plan because there are 7 Holy Days", then we can't count every day of the Feast of Tabernacles or there would be 13 days (7 days of Tabernacles plus the 6 other Holy Days). And then we would also have to count all 7 days of Unleavened Bread too! Then we would have 18 (the previous 13 plus the 5 uncounted days of Unleavened Bread). So, 18 days picture the 7,000 year plan? 

See some of those cracks yet? We're not even through.

To recap ... Four Holy Days (First and Last days of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, and Atonement) and a Memorial (Passover) that picture the 30's A.D., one Holy Day out of order that even though it is a memorial looking backwards most people would say it is part of the Millennium which is forwards (Trumpets), and one Holy Day that pictures the Millennium (first day of Tabernacles), with one left to go.
Nothing so far has pictured the time from creation to the Exodus, from the Judges to Jesus, or from the Apostles to the second Advent. This last Holy Day has a lot of gaps to cover!

On to the Last Great Day.

Here is something that I knew and even taught during my time in Armstrongism, but I never grasped the full effect of it: the Last Great Day does not picture the Millennial period.

Confused? Let us reason together.

The Millennium is done and gone by the time the Great White Throne Judgment period would arrive. Tabernacles is over, the Millennium it pictured has ended, the time of mankind is over, Satan has come to his end, the dead small and great have been resurrected to judgment, and the elements are soon to melt with fervent heat (this is according to Armstrongist understanding). Is not the Last Great Day another Holy Day entirely apart from Tabernacles? Were there not 7 days in the Feast of Tabernacles, and now the Last Great Day is an eighth day? It is a different day! It does not belong to the seven previous days. It is the eighth. Are we to understand that there is an 8,000 year plan? Not exactly. This day will never end. A new thing. A new day.

The Millennium isn't the most important part of our future anyhow. It is an important part, yes, but not the most important part. During the Millennium there is still death, there is still need and frailty, there is still a war to come, there is still judgment to come and all sorts of things. The new Heaven and new Earth are not made yet. It would appear to me that all of these years leading up to that recreation point are just an introduction. Yet we made a massive deal about the Millennium. Why? Because! Wasn't it obvious? The followers of Herbert Armstrong were to rule the Earth at that time. We were to be the stars of the show. Tabernacles was all about us! It's the carrot on the stick. That's why we emphasized it so heavily.
But according to our understanding, the Last Great Day pictured the time after the Millennium; the time after the seven thousand years.

So, what then of the seven Holy Days picturing 7,000 years? The fulfillment of the seventh Holy Day is not even during the 7,000 year span of time. Kinda blows the theory all to pieces, doesn't it?

Unless! Unless we rearrange things yet again and teach that the Great White Throne Judgment period must fall within the Millennium because the resurrected people who have never known God must get a shot at obedience before the end of a thousand years of Christ's reign. 
According to Herbert Armstrong there is supposed to be a 100 year period right at the end of the Millennium. But where do we get that? Do you really not know where Herbert Armstrong got that teaching?

(ISA. 65: 20) No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old, but the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.

That's it. There's the evidence for this teaching. Nothing more. Isaiah 65: 20 mentions "one hundred years." Not a lot to build a doctrine on, wouldn't you agree?

Now think about it a little..

Here is how most people think of the Holy Days. 7 Holy Days = 7,000 years.
0-1,000
2,000
3,000
4,000
5,000
6,000
7,000
1xDoUB
1xDoUB
Pentecost
Trumpets
Atonement
FOT
LGD
MILENNIUM

But, as you can quite see already, this makes no sense if we look at the meanings and fulfillments of the Holy Days. What does the second Holy Day of Unleavened Bread have to do with Noah? Instead, according to the original and traditional Armstrongist view, an even better view would be if we have three Holy Days to picture the last 1,000 years (Atonement, Tabernacles, and Last Great Day), and probably a fourth Holy Day as well depending on your personal opinion (Trumpets), and three Holy Days that picture the first 6,000 years (2xUB & Pentecost).
0-1,000
2,000
3,000
4,000
5,000
6,000
7,000
2xDoUB
Pentecost
2xDoUB
Pentecost
2xDoUB
Pentecost
2xDoUB
Pentecost
2xDoUB Pentecost
2xDoUB
Pentecost
Trumpets?
Atonement
FOT
LGD
Trumpets?
MILENNIUM

But Pentecost and Unleavened Bread still don’t fit that way if we pay attention to what we taught regarding the meanings of these days. Now we're left with a choice..

So, was that three Holy Days that picture the Millennium (LGD, Tabernacles, Atonement), one Holy Day that pictures the second coming immediately prior to the Millennium (Trumpets), and three Holy Days to picture the 30's A.D. rather than the past 6,000 years (2xUB & Pentecost)?
0-1,000
2,000
3,000
4,000
5,000
6,000
7,000
8,000+




2xDoUB Pentecost
Trumpets
Atonement
FOT
LGD

MILENNIUM

Or was that two and a half Holy Days that picture the Millennium (LGD, Tabernacles, 1/2 Atonement), one and a half Holy Days that pictures the second coming immediately prior to the Millennium (1/2 Pentecost & Trumpets), and two and two halves Holy Days to picture the 30's A.D. (1/2 Atonement, 1/2 Pentecost & 2xUB)?
0-1,000
2,000
3,000
4,000
5,000
6,000
7,000
8,000+




(½ Atonement)
2xDoUB (½
 Pentecost)
Trumpets
(½ Pentecost)

FOT
LGD
(½ Atonement)


MILENNIUM

Or was that one Holy Day that pictures a time after the 7,000 year plan (LGD), two that picture the Millennium (Atonement & Tabernacles), one that could be part of the Millennium or a few days before (Trumpets), and three that picture the 30's A.D. (2xUB & Pentecost)? Now is it an 8,000 year plan??
0-1,000
2,000
3,000
4,000
5,000
6,000
7,000
8,000+




2xDoUB Pentecost
Trumpets?
Atonement
FOT
Trumpets?
LGD

MILENNIUM

If you want an extra kick in the seat, according to traditional Armstrongist understanding, Passover as well was not supposedly fulfilled until the Millennium because we were told these three verses (Mat. 26: 29; MAR. 14: 25; LUK. 22: 18) indicated Passover would not be fulfilled until we were with Christ in the Millennium. How's that for a mind bender!

At any rate, none of this fits! Look at the empty millennia. The teaching about the Holy Days doesn't fit the teaching about the 7,000 year plan!

I bring this up to emphasize the titanic leaps of human reasoning, the disfiguring contortion of scripture, the wild and unconstrained speculation that must occur to force the Holy Days to fit this theory.

Now do you see any of those cracks?

What's the big deal about this topic anyway? I will tell you that my reason for this post is because there are a lot of Armstrongists out there feeling confident enough in this teaching that they are judging and condemning people who do not adhere to it. "Those people don't keep the Sabbath and Holy Days because they have forgotten God's 7,000 year plan." It has become a convenient excuse to bring other God-fearing people down (the unavoidable converse of that is setting one's self up.) It has transitioned from prophetic speculation to doctrine to doctrine required for salvation. It's not just "God's 7,000 year plan." No sir. It's "God's 7,000 year plan for salvation." This is incredibly dangerous territory!

Am I saying there is no 7,000 year plan at all? I'm not saying that. There has been talk of a 7,000 year plan since Irenaeus. Irenaeus never used the Holy Days as evidence for it, though. (Armstrongists call him the "heretic Irenaeus" because nearly everything else he says contradicts their beliefs - but since he agrees here, they're more than happy to quote a heretic.) I'm saying it's all speculation - even interesting speculation - but speculation none the less. 

I would like to caution people to pay close attention to those cracks in the theory. Notice how unsteady the foundation is. It's definitely not built on Christ. Interesting, yes, but please reject the temptation to make this a salvational issue.

As an aside, what about the seasons?

We were taught that there are three "Holy Day seasons." This was nothing else besides an attempt to turn Deuteronomy 16: 16 into an excuse to extract money from the congregation on all seven Holy Days. 

Rather than reading the Bible and letting it interpret itself, Herbert Armstrong changed the meaning of the verse. Deuteronomy 16 works with Exodus 34 and tells us that three pilgrimages were to be made every year to the place where the Lord puts His name, which can be shown to mean the tabernacle (which most of the time was the Temple in Jerusalem, but is not any longer.) It does not in any way tell us there are three "Holy Day seasons" during which people were commanded to give 7 Holy Day offerings.

Two things resulted from this reinterpretation: 1) We unaware of any command to travel three times a year as opposed to just once at Tabernacles, 2) The congregation was obligated to give "Holy Day offerings" in the form of money at each of the seven Holy Days. The seven Holy Days all fell within the three Holy Day seasons, you see.

Now, let me ask you this: which is the summer Holy Day?
Pentecost comes in May or early June. Summer doesn't start until June 21st. Technicality? I think not. Trumpets usually falls in mid to late September. Summer ends September 21st, so technically Trumpets falls in the summer months some of the time. BUT some of the time it does not. It fluctuates from year to year. In 2013 even the Feast of Tabernacles will begin before the end of summer, but the majority of the time it falls after the beginning of Autumn. It was a harvest festival after all. 
There is no definitively "Summer Holy Day." Even when we referred to the Holy Days in our own vernacular it was "Spring Holy Days" and "Fall Holy Days." It was obvious to all that there is no "Summer Holy Day." That didn't stop us from redefining Deuteronomy 16: 16.

As I type this, I recall another question. What year is it anyway?
MikeDDTFA reminds us that, according to the Hebrew Calendar (which many Armstrongists refer to as "God's Sacred Calendar") it is only the year 5770. In a 7,000 year plan, do we really even know what year it is?

The inconsistency in Armstrongism never ceases to amaze me. In one breath they proclaim the accuracy of the Jewish keeping of the seventh day. "They were given the oracles of God," we would say. But in the next breath, we proclaim how nearly every other detail about Jewish timekeeping was incorrect. Well, were they correct or not? Can they be depended upon or not? On one hand, we proclaimed the accuracy of Herbert Armstrong’s Biblical predictions (that’s “predict” as in fortune-telling, not “prophesy” as in speaking under inspiration of God). On the other hand, we ignored the legions of his predictions that failed. In excess of 200 failed predictions.
At any rate, one thing is for certain - these teachings of Armstrongism are inconsistent when we closely investigate them.

Does all of this speculation and droning on about calendars glorify God? If not, then it isn't part of His plan. I pray God blesses you with His love through faith. Not in speculation, but in His only begotten Son Jesus - our only salvation, our only propitiation, our only redemption, our only substance, our only way and truth and life. God speed you into His New Covenant and His wonderful eternal promises.

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It is important that you understand; Everything on this blog is based on the current understanding of each author. Never take anyone's word for it, always prove it for yourself, it is your responsibility. You cannot ride someone else's coattail into the Kingdom.
Acts 17:11
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7 comments:

angel said...

Wow. Once again I am in awe of what the Lord can do.

I'm talking about how He changed your mind and your heart. It's hard to imagine, reading the excellent points you brought up that illustrate the inconsistencies of Armstrongism, that you could have ever embraced those teachings; which only makes it more wonderful that God rescued you from them!

I hope that anyone involved with Armstrongism, reading this, will see that you supported all your points with scripture; and that if they are tempted to argue them because it contradicts what HWA said - that the light bulb would go on and they would understand they've been trusting a man rather than God's word.

purplehymnal said...

"There is a controversy arising after the death of Herbert Armstrong regarding two returns of Jesus Christ, where Pentecost is being said to be the day where Jesus will return to Earth with His angels to fulfill the prophecies [snip] and the Church will be taken to the throne of God to be accepted and experience the Marriage Supper of the Lamb while the vials of God's wrath are poured out on the world ."

WHAAAAAAAAT? Are you seriously telling me the splinter groups are teaching Rapture theology now??

Wow. Just. Wow. So much for "holding fast to the truth once delivered." Not that any of it was true, mind you, but the fact that they're accusing Junior of changing everything around, then they go on and change everything themselves (or the parts that suit them best at least), that's just....The doublethink goes up to 11!!

xHWA said...

PH,

Here's an example from Harold Smith of the Church of God Fellowship, dated 10-25-2003:

End Time Chronology Q & A

Pay attention to the second thick-black vertical line from the right, labeled "The 7th Trumpet".

purplehymnal said...

"Pay attention to the second thick-black vertical line from the right, labeled "The 7th Trumpet".

LOL I remember when those charts were commonplace. Everyone had their version of "Kingdom Come" mapped out, I think. (Mostly based on Gerald Waterhouse sermons, of all things.) As for Smith's "7th Trumpet", all I can say is wow.

We were really, really, crazy weren't we? :-(

xHWA said...

"We were really, really, crazy weren't we? :-("

I like to think that adds to our charm!
Crazy like a moose.

purplehymnal said...

It adds to something, all right! LOL.

xHWA said...

I updated this post. Added some table charts. Nothing major.