"Only the Church of God has the Key of David which is the understanding of where Israel is today - Rev. 3:7. God has set open the door of radio before His Church today - Rev. 3: 8. We are the only generation to have been allowed to understand the future. Most of the Bible was written for the understanding of the last generation HERE! NOW! To us only - to have a near complete understanding."
-Wilbur Ball, "Church of God News", Chicago-Midwest edition, August 1963, volume 2 Issue 8, page 3
How did they get the "Key of David"? Only Jesus Christ has the "Key of David" (ISA. 22: 22; REV. 3: 7). Herbert Armstrong and friends often claimed to have this key, but if you read the letter to the Philadelphian church in Revelation 3: 7, we see that the Jesus has the key. For all the talk about how God opens doors, one would think that God had the key, but Herbert Armstrong somehow has obtained said key.
Near complete understanding, eh? Last generation? In case you're confused as to the technical definition of a "generation", Wilbur Ball gives us that:
"A generation is considered to be 35 to 40 years."
-Wilbur Ball, "Church of God News", Chicago-Midwest edition, August 1963, volume 2 Issue 8, page 3, column 1, paragraph 3.
This definition is something I've wondered for a while. What is the working definition of "generation" in the WCG. Now I know.
Seeing as that article was written in 1963, and that this article you now read was written in 2010, a difference of 47 years, I see a discrepancy. Of course, that generation didn't begin in 1963, it was already under way. In fact, knowing what was being preached in that era of the Worldwide Church of God, the generation was to come to an end by 1982 at the latest. Remember, the work was to end in 1972 so the church could flee to Petra during the Great Tribulation in anticipation of the second coming of Jesus in the "push-button, leisure year of 1975." (For a great deal more detail about this, see the article "All Systems Are Go!")
"'We are not setting any dates,' said God's Evangelist Mr. Roderick Merideth, 'but it could be as short as 6 1/2 YEARS TO COMPLETE THIS WORK!'"
-Jim Howell, "Church of God News", Chicago district, August 1965, Vol. 4 Issue 8, p. 1, in article "Only 6 1/2 Years to Go!!!".
Take August 1965, add 6 1/2 years, and you get..... 1972!!!
..But we're not setting any dates here!! No sir. We're not setting any dates down to the half-year; not here, nor in countless other articles and publications and sermons and private conversations that don't set that exact same 1972 date.
So, did they get it right? Did they have near complete understanding? Well, I can tell you that I wasn't even conceived in August 1972, so I am personally going to go with "no" on this one. In 2007, a generation of 35 years had passed since 1972, 40 years will pass in 2012. It has been a generation since the last generation! Did they understand the future? Taking into consideration thie STARTLING and EARTH SHATTERING information, I'm only all the more motivated to go with "no" on this.
If "Most of the Bible was written for the understanding of the last generation," then it wasn't written for those people who said it was written for them, it certainly wasn't understood by those people who said they had "near complete understanding." The proof is in the undeniable fact that what they said would happen did not happen!
"During this time we are to herald the Kingdom of God because it will be set up in our time."
-Raymond Cole, "Church of God News", Chicago-Midwest edition, August 1963, volume 2 Issue 8, page 3.
Sure. ...Or not.
(ACT. 1: 7) And He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority."
"We were only speculating," they say in desperate self-justification. Here is one example of many:
"So what are all those predictions Herbert Armstrong made? Rather than call them prophecies (which they were not) and Him a false prophet (which he was not), his predictions are more correctly speculations, theories based on true but insufficient and unclear evidence."
-Richard Ritenbaugh, "Was Herbert Armstrong A False Prophet?", Forerunner "Prophecy Watch", January 2000, p. 5.
Is that so?
“I want to tell you that all this weather disturbance means a terrible famine is coming on the United States that is going to ruin us as a nation inside of less than 20 more years. 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.”
HWA all but comes right out and says that God gave him that timing, and bet his legitimacy on it!
He "stuck his neck out" and taunted both man and God with Deuteronomy 18: 20-22. Read those verses, they are what his quote here is referring to. How can he bet on this in 1956, but cop out and claim it doesn't apply in 1972 and beyond? Not possible!
Speculating? Not setting dates? Not prophesying? HA! Laughable.
I will close with one of my personal favorite quotes of all time:
"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! Those whose utterances do not come to pass have not spoken the prophecies truly. We give you here the record of what we have been proclaiming for the past 2 years-a message which no other voices, to our knowledge, have been proclaiming.... But what 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!"
-Rod Meredith, Plain Truth magazine, December 1956, p. 3.