Friday, September 6, 2013

HWA Says Little Book Refers to him (1976)

In 1989 one insignificant WCG minister made a book, Malachi's Message, claiming that he had received a new revelation from God. He used this book to cement his authority among his followers as (for them) the legitimate continuation from HWA, later even forbidding his followers from associating with people in other COGs as part of his 'no contact' policy. (However it is widely suspected that Malachi's Message plagiarized ideas from Jules Dervaes' Letter to Laodicea.)

In time he said that Malachi's Message was in fact the Little Book mentioned in Revelation 10.

There is a problem with this idea.

Herbert W. Armstrong's November 19, 1976 Co-Worker Letter says the Little Book refers to his numerous visits to world leaders.

Here is what HWA speculated was the meaning of Revelation 10.
Could it be possible, after proclaiming the Gospel of THE KINGDOM OF GOD, as well as Ezekiel's warning to the people of Israel, that, beginning January, 1972, when my PRESENT CAMPAIGN of walking through the doors God said He would open (Rev. 3:8) to KINGS, and many NATIONS of DIFFERENT LANGUAGES commenced, that it is the FULFILLMENT OF THIS PROPHECY OF REVELATION 10?



This is punch line, so to speak, of HWA's speculation as to the meaning of Revelation 10.

Others have commented on this co-worker letter before, such as PCG Information.

This is a desperate attempt by HWA to distract WCG members' attention from his disastrous prediction that the Great Tribulation would begin in 1972.

Before 1972 HWA taught that "God's Church" was operating according to two 19 year time cycles. This idea appears to have taken hold within HWA's group around 1953, partly prompted in response to the first broadcast on Radio Luxembourg.

The first time cycle (1934-53) began January 7, 1934 and ended January 7, 1953 and represented "God's Church" attempt to preach to America.

The second time cycle (1953-72) began with the first broadcast on Radio Luxembourg and represented the span of time "God's Church" would have in preaching the truth to the entire world, not just Israel.

It was anticipated that 1972 would witness "God's Church" being rendered unable to preach the message, presumably due to the start of the Great Tribulation and "God's Church" would be miraculously taken to a place of safety, widely thought to be Petra, Jordan.

Of course nothing happened in 1972. In a desperate attempt to breathe new life into this failed doctrine HWA said that the third time cycle represented "God's Church" prophesying again with his visits to world leaders.

HWA tried to say that the end of the second 19 year time cycle in 1972 coincided with his ministry to world leaders. This is not true. HWA started visiting world leaders before January 1972.

Notice the following from HWA's Autobiography, Chapter 75:

October 28, 1970
Dear Fellow Co-Workers: 
returning from Sydney, Australia to Djakarta for my conference with President Suharto, of Indonesia. An appointment had been set, but he was unable to see me until the following day. On that following day I had an appointment with President Marcos of the Philippines at his palace in Manila. I felt it incumbent on me to keep that appointment, and so was unable to wait over in Djakarta.

I had an important meeting with President Marcos. And while in Manila, President Suharto tried personally to reach me by telephone to arrange a meeting the next day. Prior commitments did not allow time to fly back down to Djakarta. Result, I am now scheduled to meet General Suharto the middle of December. 
Bruce Renehan's book, Daughter of Babylon, provides further details on how HWA's visits to world leaders started.
But now that it appeared that such prophecies might fail, a new thrust needed to be emphasized. In 1969 this happened when the German office of the Plain Truth magazine was contacted by the throneless king of Belgium--Leopold III. Leopold had abdicated his throne after World War II because he had been a Nazi sympathizer. He had a love for nature photography and was contacting magazines that might want to use some of his safari photos.

Armstrong was ecstatic. He sought the opportunity to use the king as a liaison to arrange meetings for him with other heads of state. One thing led to another until Armstrong was portrayed to the church as the modern apostle Paul who was travelling the globe "preaching the gospel" to royalty about the soon-coming millennium.

He lectured men like Anwar Sadat, saying patronizingly, "Allah's way was a way of giving." Sadat was cordial and accepted expensive gifts, such as Steuben crystal, from Armstrong. Armstrong was happy because he got to associate with royalty and be seen as a man of destiny to his followers. 
HWA started visiting world leaders before 1972. His analogy fails completely.

It also needs to be mentioned that the wasteful expense of these visits, and the fact he was not preaching the doctrines of Armstrongism to these world leaders, was a major cause for the turmoil of the 1970s

So that is what HWA said the Little Book was about. What egotistical nonsense!

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