Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Generation Since the "Last Generation"

It's time again for me to dive into the old Armstrongist material from days long gone and pluck out some choice quotes for you. Today we will answer what a "generation" is according to Herbert Armstrong's reckoning of time, and we'll add more fuel to the fact that the much-hyped "prophetic understanding" was no understanding at all.

"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.
-Herbert Armstrong, taken from audio recorded somewhere in mid-1950's

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.

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

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pentecost 2010

ABD would like to wish a meaningful Pentecost to all of the Armstrongists who will be observing it tomorrow, Sunday, May 23rd. And even the ones who will be observing it on Monday, May 24th.
I don't think anyone was left out, since this year the first day of Unleavened Bread was not on a weekly Sabbath and therefore the Church of the Great God will be observing the day with the general community.

God loves each of you with His whole heart, and calls you on this day to look towards the New Covenant, when the Holy Spirit first came to make a temple within men.

I pray that all that is said and done will be to the glory of God.

I pray that your messages will be centered on the sacrifice of Christ that is the pinnacle of God's work and the very cause of Pentecost and the in-dwelling of the Spirit. Without the cross, there is nothing for us.

I pray that if your messages must spend time in the Old Covenant, that those messages serve to reinforce and increase your faith in the New Covenant, being viewed through the lens of the New Covenant. I pray this knowing that the understanding of the things said and done in the Old were not revealed to us until Christ died and was resurrected into the New.

(JON. 1: 17) For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

(II COR. 3: 12-16) 12 Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech— 13 unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. 15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

These great mysteries of faith were not revealed even to the Apostles themselves until they first began being revealed at Pentecost, when Jesus sent the Comforter to teach us and be with us always.

I pray that your messages don't waste time speculating on the timings and order of what may be in the future. If they must spend time on prophecy, may that be to edify you and build you up in the joy of eternity with God -- all of which hangs on what Christ did on the cross; the first major blessing resulting from that work being the indwelling of the Spirit, first given on Pentecost.

So, a blessed Pentecost to you according to your understanding, and a wonderful future in the grace of God to you, from your vigilant and hopeful friends here at ABD.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dorothy Armstrong Has Passed

Rumors are flying that Dorothy "Dotty" Armstrong Mattson, daughter of the late Herbert W Armstrong, died recently. We are attempting to confirm the rumor.

COGWriter did report on Dorothy's death.
Thanks Max and Richard for the confirmation.

Death is always a sad occasion. Even though we here have more than our fair share of disagreements with HWA, we don't hold any of that against his family in any way shape or form (we're even trying to forgive him; God have mercy on his soul.) If certain other rumors that we will not mention here are true, she is more the victim than many of us will ever be. Our hearts go out to all who were involved in Armstrongism. May she rest in peace.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Why Does God Allow Evil

It’s often said that there are two ways to learn a lesson. One is by direct experience, the other by the observing of the experience of others, which would include second hand revelation. When God offered mankind a choice of directions represented by two trees, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is the path that the human race took. This is nothing less than the school of hard knocks, or ‘we choose to learn by direct experience rather than believing instruction from God’. People ask: “why does God allow evil?” The simple answer is that if God interfered with the cause and effect relationship between actions and outcomes, the school may actually teach a lie. God in his wisdom alone knows when his intervention will not dilute the final evidence from which a final verdict can be drawn.

The lessons of cause and effect aren’t only for the ones caught up in the current of events. The river of events will provide a virtually infinite supply of data for education for all time to come. It’s written that, Isa 9:7 “Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.” It’s also written, Rev 21:4 “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

I think that it’s reasonable to believe that all the experience of the lives of men and women throughout all ages are not only written down, but recorded in every detail Rev 20:12 “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.” A book was a means of recording that could be understood in ancient times, but we might take it metaphorically in the light of our technology. What we can do only serves to stir the imagination as to what God can and is doing since he is able to do infinitely more. God is able to record every moment of every life, Matt 12:36 But I tell you that men will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word they have spoken”. Is there any reason to doubt that God is doing this?

The actions of his chosen ones are exposed for all to see, for the education of all that were to follow. Does this apply to all the other called ones? Such a thought may not be too comfortable; Lu 12:48 “To whom much is given, much is required.” Perhaps this is one of the requirements. If the kingdom of God expands indefinitely and there is no longer any evil, does God leave all future generations ignorant, or does the story of man (his-story) stand as an expose’ of what is truly evil to contrast and emphasize what is truly good? I think so. God doesn’t interfere very often in the lives of people, in the lessons being recorded for all those generations to come. If he did, how could he expect the correct conclusions to be drawn?

God gave one small nation harsh and unmerciful laws as I exhibited in Does The Law Teach Us How To Love  with a list of infractions in which the death penalty was required. I also showed that this was not truly representative of the nature of God. The Old Covenant law conflicts sharply with 1 John 4:8 “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”Legalistic cults seem to not notice the conflict, rationalize their way around it, ignore it, or are completely ignorant of it as is the case with the largest of legalistic cults which portrays God’s Character exclusively through a paradigm of OC intolerance. Here I’ll add another example of the intolerance of this law, Deut 13:12 “If you hear it said about one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you to live in 13 that wicked men have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, "Let us go and worship other gods" (gods you have not known), 14 then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you, 15 you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. Destroy it completely, both its people and its livestock. 16 Gather all the plunder of the town into the middle of the public square and completely burn the town and all its plunder…”

What I see when I consider what God did by his ‘eye for an eye’ law and his command of extermination is a God who is conducting an experiment. Not for himself but for us and all who will follow. Jesus showed that this harsh tact was not the desire of God in his dealings with the women caught in adultery, John 8:7 “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her; “and it is backed up by Gods proclamation that: Hosea 6:6 “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offering.” Which Jesus repeated: Matt 12:7 “If you had known what these words mean, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent.” I believe that the experiment required the sacrifice of these people for the good of eternity because the proof of the need of God’s divine nature to change the human heart is illustrated in the example of Israel. The land was decontaminated by the harsh law, but God knew it wouldn’t work and the record makes the point clearly. This lesson will be available for all eternity.

Unfortunately the believers in harsh law, be they the more mild cherry pickers like Herbert Armstrong or more intense followers of other legalistic cults or religions, miss the point of the experiment. It doesn’t work; and since God was not ignorant of this fact, I have to conclude that he commanded this repugnant thing to expose this fact to the ignorant; but now the very planet is threatened by people who just don’t get it. The heart needs to be changed. The gospel of salvation through Jesus is condemned by legalists as a whole as some kind of (to quote Ron Weinland) syrupy rubbish intended to make people feel all warm and fuzzy inside. These people deny that the one word law of God is sufficient, that one word law being 'love’. They insist that there must be harsh rules and penalties, and detailed directives as to how ‘love’ is to be implemented. 

Legalist cults in the world continue to make the point that the Old Testament eye for an eye type of law through its various mutant forms is not the way. God is not interfering to bring these poor people out of the grips of their deception. At least as far as the majority are concerned. I have much empathy for the enslaved people because I too was deceived, and it was a fight to be freed from its grip. These people are allowed to be a sacrifice, but the lessons of their misery will be available to promote wisdom in all generations of people throughout the universe for eternity. The suffering of the world’s people will not be in vain. Untold generations will be blessed to learn by observing the mistakes rather than by experiencing them. If this were not true, God’s promise that there will be no more tears would be false.

God does not make his own an exception from living with cause and effect results of the sinful acts of humanity. Jesus said, to his disciples, that when the bride groom is taken from them they would mourn. (Mark 2:18–22 Luke 5:33–39). I doubt that this refers only to the hours after his crucifixion. The Parable of the Wicked Tenants speaks of abuses against God's servants that he doesn't prevent during the time the Lord is away, it speaks of the time previous to, and including the time of Jesus’ coming, but I think if it applied to his prophets, the principle applies now, Matt 21 :35"The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third.” (Matt 21:33-45; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19). The servants of God suffered unjustly; they are portrayed by Jesus as the victims of the wicked, not as reapers of what they had sowed themselves.

The Parable of the Talents (Matt 25:14-30) shows that God leaves his servants to do as they will without interference, for good or evil, while the Lord is off in that far country to receive his kingdom. Nothing makes the point better than the following parable, Luke 12:42-48 “The Lord said, "Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his lord will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the right times? Blessed is that servant whom his lord will find doing so when he comes. Truly I tell you, that he will set him over all that he has. But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My lord delays his coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken, then the lord of that servant will come in a day when he isn’t expecting him, and in an hour that he doesn’t know, and will cut him in two, and place his portion with the unfaithful.”

Which of Gods servants of scripture was always protected against abuses? They even struggled with uncertainty of truth as we can see in Job, Psalms etc? The bible is filled with the reality that God allows people to do what they will, to abuse and cause real damage. Why do people always expect that God should do otherwise? As the above parable exemplifies, justice comes when the King comes, and not before. Until that time, the lessons of man are gathered, and I’d say they are more precious then we can imagine, for they will produce the fruit of wisdom forever. It’s often quoted that the Lord can take all the lemons and he makes lemonade; the value he can produce from the grotesque ugliness of human sinfulness is the greatest example, Romans 8:28 “All things work together for the good of those that love the Lord and are called according to his purpose.”

God is not cruel; he didn’t spare his beloved son from the suffering and sacrifice. Those who accuse God of being a monster don’t see the big picture from God’s perspective. God is love, and his love is extended to those who won’t be born for another million years. Can you fathom the immensity of what God is forming; Why God allows evil is so that eternal good can exist.


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


Tuesday, May 4, 2010


A little surprised, maybe? Yes, you're on the right site. As you can see, after a long while, we have changed the ABD theme! Fitting for Spring. And xHWA has designed us a gorgeous new logo. Did you notice the oil lamp under the blog title? It says ABD. Pretty kewl, huh? Thanks xHWA! And thanks for putting up with my picky taste.  :D

Anyway, hope you all love the new look as much as we do!

Happy Spring & God bless you all in your quest for His truth!

~Seeker :D

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