Daniel 8: A wonderland of bad assumptions

Byker Bob relates:

  • As one of his axioms, HWA taught that fulfillment of prophecy was dual.

    That’s how he got away with applying Ezekiel 37 as a kind of filter to Revelation. According to him, all prophecy had a lightweight fulfillment, and then the cathartic, catastrophic version. I never saw any Biblical substantiation for this axiom, but I tend to doubt that it was original with HWA. Everything he taught was borrowed.

Allen Dexter responds:

I decided to do a little surfing on the subject of prophetic dualism. As I suspected, others have delved into this nonsense, including the Adventists. Herb was very familiar with Adventist doctrine and parroted some of it, while denouncing other aspects. Check out this site:

It wasn’t good enough once, it has to be done all over again — yet it is just stated, without one shred of evidence from the Bible or history to validate the premise. This time though, for Daniel 8, it’s even worse as the Armstrongists insult God and the Bible as His Word by denying history and inventing a future fantasy.

Some refer to Daniel 8 as the 2300 year prophecy.

What a stupid idea.

It is so amazing that people come up with such nutty ideas and they become the standard for decades and even centuries.

Let us see what happens when we apply the 2300 years: It takes us to 1844! And what, do pray tell, happened in 1844 that might be of prophetic interest? There was one event: The William Miller prophecy of the Return of Christ became The Great Disappointment [it should be pointed out that he was a Protestant minister at the time and did not keep the Sabbath — he began keeping the Sabbath and preaching it after this event].

So nothing happened then, but let us consider the silly trick of cutting the time in half to 1150 years, based on the morning and evening sacrifices (two sacrifices per day, therefore we have to count one-half the years). This brings us to the year 794. Well, in fact, there were a number of events worth noting in 794:

  • The Viking raid on the monasteries in Jarro and Wearmouth on the Northeast coast of England
  • Charlemagne forced Tassilo to renounce any claim to Bavaria
  • The Westphalian’s insurrection was put down by the Saxons
  • The Franks condemned the Iconoclasts and the 7th Ecumenical Council at their own Council of Frankfurt
  • New capital was established in Heian-Kyo (Capital of Peace and Tranquility), a city later known as Kyoto

Significant events, sure enough, but as fulfillment of prophecy, pretty much a spectacular bust.

Herbert Armstrong had another approach: It isn’t years, it is days and it isn’t 2300 days, it’s 2300 morning and evening sacrifices, leaving us with 1150 days — and it hasn’t happened yet: It’s a prophecy for the future a short time ahead in the Twentieth Century. For those who are still alert, it should be clear that we’ve already missed that one.

The description of the wonderland of bad assumptions leading to bad circular logic may be found in:

The Good News, June 1960 (Page 5)

and as recycled garbage in:

The Plain Truth, August 1965 (Page 25)

Both of these articles are basically the same. You may find some other interesting things in the magazines like “How to Know You Are ‘Called'” by Bryce G. Clark (leader of another weird Armstrongist cult today) in the Good News [and truly, we ask the question, “How do you know anyone in the WCG was ever called, let alone chosen”] and yet another homophobic puff piece of raw manhood by Roderick Meredith in The Plain Truth, “Christian MANHOOD — Is It a ‘Lost Cause’?” [and truly, we ask the question, “Could Roderick Meredith be a Real Christian and not just a False Prophet?”].

The most amazing thing is the statement:

The Final Fulfillment

This amazing prophecy of the 2300 evenings and mornings is yet to be fulfilled in our day. A great crisis is yet to occur in Palestime. After nearly 19 centuries a part of the tribe of Judah–the Jews–has come back to Palestine. In their war of independence in 1948 they gained possession of the new part of Jerusalem, but the Arabs still control old Jerusalem. Not only Jerusalem, but the whole land of Palestine is divided. It is an armed camp likely to ignite at any moment!

Daniel 8 indicates that in the near future we shall literally see fulfilled this mysterious prophesied event for Palestine–“the daily sacrifice” and “the sanctuary” restored before our very eyes.

The Bible does not give the exact sequence of events–only the duration. We must watch world news to discover how and when it will happen. Then will come World War III and the occupation of Palestine and half of Jerusalem.

A great European Church-State union will be in control of Palestine and the whole Western World. It will prohibit the truth. It will “cast down the truth to the ground. It will practice and prosper!

It will persecute and martyr God’s Holy people. It will be allowed to tread Jerusalem underfoot and to prohibit “the daily sacrifice at the sanctuary for 1150 days. It will substitute its own abominable, idolatrous rites in place of the evening and morning sacrifice. Jesus referred to this same event in Matthew 24:15. “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, STAND IN THE HOLY PLACE (whoso readeth, let him understand;) Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains… for then shall be great tribulation…” — climaxing in the second coming of Christ (verses 15-21).

The Gentiles will tread down Jerusalem for 1260 days (Rev. 11)–a period which includes the 1150 days. It is the time of the two witnesses who will prophesy in the streets of Jerusalem for 1260 days, then be killed, and just immediately–before the return of Christ–be raised in the sight of the people.

God will suddenly intervene in human affairs. He will put an end to this wicked idolatrous system. “The sanctuary shall be cleansed”.

We are very near the fulfilment of these amazing prophecies. It is time we wake up to world events and free ourselves from fables and traditions begun more than a century ago! It’s time we believe the Bible and not false teachers! It’s time we asked God for wisdom and ask Him to lead us and show us His Truth!

Do you feel like you’ve just been punked?! I feel like I’ve just been punked! What a bunch of… baloney! It’s embarassing–almost as embarassing as reading 1975 in Prophecy once again! Herman L. Hoeh certainly knew how to embarass himself: How could he know about the 6 Day War in 1967? I guess that God wasn’t interested in letting the Radio Church of God knowing what He was doing.

It’s going to be difficult to untangle this mess, so let’s get started (and in case you are an atheist or agnostic and / or don’t believe in the Bible, stay tuned, because this isn’t about Scripture, it’s about proving that Herbert Armstrong and the Armstrongist ministers are nutcases, which many of you may want to stay around to experience as we dismantle the Armstrong Delusion piece by piece — and, anyway, whether believer, atheist or agnostic, you can declare yourself a winner!).

Here the Armstrongists deny the fulfillment of prophecy in Scripture, acknowledged by every Bible Commentary on Daniel 8, by claiming history never happened!

Here is what the Bible Commentaries have to say on the topic:

Chapter 8 gives details of that which takes place from another side of Judea, with reference to the Jews. The two empires of Persia and Greece, or of the East, which succeeded that of Babylon under which the prophecy was given, are only introduced to point out the countries in which these events are to take place, and to bring them before us in their historical order. The Persian empire is overthrown by the king of Greece, whose empire is afterwards divided into four kingdoms, from one of which a power arises that forms the main subject of the prophecy.

The prophecies of Daniel 8 actually came to pass. Now the Believers have the victory saying that God brought the prophecy to pass. The atheists and agnostics say that it was written (or at least modified) after the historical events actually came to pass. No matter how you look at this, it is a win-win. Or you would think so — unless you believe what Dr. Herman L. Hoeh declared that it didn’t.

The Devil, as they say, is in the details, and some of the details here hold more intrigue than a season of Dallas on TV. The main character in this drama isn’t the kings of Media and Persia, nor is it Alexander the Great. The real central character to all of this is Antiochus Epiphanes. First, though, let us go through the history represented by Daniel 8 (assumed to have been written 531 BC or so) upon which the commentators seem to agree:

  • The Medes and Persians represent the Ram with 2 horns (two different kingdoms), beginning at the fall of Babylon with the beginning reign of Darius around 539 BC
  • Alexander the Great took the Kingdom of Persia by 330 BC and is considered the he goat with one horn
  • After the Death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC, four of his generals divided up his kingdom
  • The “Little Horn” that sprang up was reputed to be Antiochus IV Epiphanes of the Greek Seleucid Empire ruling from 175 BC to 164 BC
  • 171 BC Onias III, the Jewish High Priest murdered
  • Around 167 BC after being defeated by the Egyptians, Antiochus came to Jerusalem, persecuted the Jews, set up idol of Zeus, had pig’s blood offered on the altar
  • The Maccabeans revolt 165 BC and cleanse the temple

As it turns out, from the time of the execution of Onias III as the Jewish High Priest in 171 BC until the Maccabean revolt and restoration in 165 BC, the time is 6 years and 136 days, which equals 2,300 days. Thus it is that the prophecy in Daniel 8 is fulfilled. There is no antiChrist mentioned there. There is no future “shadow” fulfillment. There isn’t 2,300 years or 1150 years involved. There’s no Roman Empire (which began more or less officially in 50 BC) of any type mentioned in Daniel 8 — only two kingdoms are covered. And even though Jesus mentions the abomination of desolation like that in Daniel 8, the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel 8 was fulfilled by Antiochus Epiphanes. Since the Archangel Raphael told Daniel that he was sent to cause Daniel to understand the prophecy, Daniel did not have to wait until John wrote the Book of Revelation to interpret the events — else Raphael lied and God failed.

Yet, Armstrongism muddies and muddles the Scripture, actually impeaching its own witness, to fabricate a fabulous fantasy of some future scenario which never occurred in Herbert Armstrong’s time and quite evidently isn’t going to occur in our near future: It’s all a lie.

 

 

Herbert Armstrong did what he did for three reasons:

1) To gain power and control over the people so that he could get the

2) Money, in order that he could stroke his

3) Ego.

Dr. Herman L. Hoeh was a sycophant intellectual who took the ideas of those he served and fabricated support for those ideas. He did it for Herbert Armstrong. He did it for Joseph Tkach, Senior. He was the hired academic gun who assassinated the truth in order to fulfill the lusts of his masters, while hiding away from the dangers of the organization he supported.

This is just a high level quick review of the convoluted mess Herbert Armstrong and his Myrmidons managed to make as we proceed within the wonderland of bad assumptions upon which Armstrongism is founded.