Lost Prophecy

Churches of God and Their Lost Prophecies. Click to enlarge.

Here we are 7 years later at the anniversary of the first one and a second hurricane has been battering New Orleans. The Armstrongists are delighted at the death, destruction, devastation of the “sinners” being punished as being the descendants of a Lost Tribe of Israel who are not obeying God. It would seem like a fulfilled prophecy of some sort, but it just isn’t. In fact, it’s worse than a false prophecy from false prophets — it’s lost prophecy.

 Amos 3:7

Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

God did nothing to reveal much of anything to the Armstrongists claiming to be His servants — whether they claimed to be prophets, End Time Apostles or mere Evangelists and bungled future news entirely, signing the prognostications “In Jesus’ Name”. One would think that Christ would be mighty irritated with those who claimed to speak in his name and gave false prophecies.

But it’s worse than just being a false prophet with these bottom feeding losers: They lost the prophecies they should have made.

Sure, it’s bad enough to claimed that the United States and British Commonwealth would lose World War II and be taken off radio by the United States Government until things were sort of sorted out. It’s really bad to come out with a booklet in 1956 called, 1975 in Prophecy, claiming that end time events would lead to the return of Jesus Christ by the mid 1970s. It’s terrible for Roderick Meredith to be a false prophet for over half a century and predict the horrible events to happen in the next decade in 1962 of famine, floods, drought and be completely wrong about it. Yes, Ronald Weinland is not called Rotten Ronnie without reason with his spectacular failed prophecies, written in a book and quite specific, all to fail. It was a terrible mistake to predict for Herbert Armstrong to predict that Mussolini was going to be the Beast Dictator of Revelation fame, but when Mussolini died, Herbert had to move on to Hitler. World War II came and went and so did the Beasts of that era. The next biggie became Franz Josef Strauss (embarrassing because he paid Ambassador College Pasadena a visit and certain materials had to be hidden from view). Then Otto von Hapsburg became the next favorite, but, alas, he seems to have died too. Gerald Flurry has favored Edmund Stoiber, but that seems to have also gone the way of all flesh — at least as far as prophecy has gone. There was even a second Italian candidate in the past Millennium, whose name is lost. The latest incarnation of the Beast of Revelation before the third coming of Christ is Baron Karl zu Guttenberg proclaimed by Robert Thiel of the Living Church of God.

Some of these gems get lost. For example, in the Plain Truth, February 1965 on Page 48, in the article, Religious Martyrs, Roderick Meredith confidently proclaims:

Frankly, literally dozens of prophesied events indicate that this final revival of the Roman Empire in Europe–and its bestial PERSECUTION of Bible-believing Christians–will take place in the next seven to ten years of YOUR LIFE!

He also prophesied that the Pope would resurrect Hitler.

Now there’s something we bet that he’d like to take off his resume!

There are dozens of false prophecies which have fallen flat.

Herbert Armstrong said, “Prove us wrong and we will change!”. He was proved wrong. He never changed: Yet another false prophecy, indicative of the level of integrity of the ravenous wolf parading in sheep’s clothing (in this case, a carefully tailored $1,200+ Armani Suit). I have more confidence in chicken entrails and casting runes.

But what of the lost prophecy of significant world events which actually happened which were never prophesied by the Armstrongists?

There was that Six Day War of June 1967: The Jews claimed some important real estate. Certainly, God would have been interested in that and told his prophets, the Armstrongists. But no, alas, God had to keep it a secret so it would succeed, not that anyone would have believed Herbert Armstrong and his pathetic Myrmidons, mind you. They just didn’t get it! In a hilarious irony, Herbert Armstrong had negotiated an exclusive contract with the Jordanian Government for the broadcast of The World Tomorrow from Jerusalem, but the Six-Day War aborted the contract when Israel seized both sectors of the city. I guess God just didn’t have the time to warn Herbert after all that negotiation with Jordan would be completely pointless and his crowing about being to go forth from Jerusalem went up in so much smoke. No really — smoke! There didn’t seem to be a way to slip a semi-Christian Yahweh past the Israelis. Perhaps, God was protecting them from yet another false prophet. It’s understandable, though, that Herbert Armstrong would miss out on prophesying this, since the Plain Truth Magazine in 1965 said that east Jerusalem would remain in Gentile hands until Christ’s coming.

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was sorely missed by the Armstrongists. Assuredly, after predicting that Germany would rise again and be reunited, one would think that God would have revealed the obvious, but, again, alas, no.

Long before the Soviet Union fell and the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) dissolution on December 25th, 1991, one would have thought that the WCG would have been able to predict the event. In fact, so pathetic is Armstrongism, that it failed to predict the dissolution of the WCG itself less than a decade later. One would have thought that the WCG would have been able to foresee that, but sadly not. Maybe it’s a Mayan Calendar thing — the Mayans weren’t able to see their disappearance either, apparently, but here the whole world seems intent in believing that they could predict the end of the world in December 2012. What’s with that? Even Bob Thiel knows better, and that’s saying a lot, what with the rise of his secret sect and all. Herbert Armstrong said shortly before his death that “If this church is God’s only true church on earth today the gates of hell can not prevail against it!” We’re not sure about hell, but the WCG didn’t survive the Tkaches.

For an ever amusing look at failed prophecy, one should not miss Garner Ted Armstrong’s “Fifty Years of Warning”. Someone should have warned GTA that he would be on television and not in a good way. Not to put too fine a point on it, the legacy has pretty much ended, except it still lurches along like a zombie under the care of his son. Some warning: None of it is true and nothing like that is going to happen… ever.

The fave of all time is September 11, 2001. Just before this day, the United Church of God, an International Association minister, flew out to Tacoma to give a sermon about “Tipping over the Barrel” to chastise the couple who was suffering from a stalker in the UCG for considering getting a restraining order in court. He thundered on (or is that droned) in that church daylight basement about how the United States was going to have its “barrel tipped over” and so would any rebellious recalcitrant church members who did not fall in line with the Home Office. He shook my hand after services and pretended he didn’t know who I was, when we both knew perfectly well, he did. Again — and this is probably the biggest example of Lost Prophecy ever — the Armstrongists missed what came just 4 days later. They didn’t hint at it and they didn’t have a clue. [He went on to be a part of the formation of the CoGWA.] In the interest of full disclosure, and considering the dictum to mark those who cause division, although his immediately preceding paternal ancestry cannot be verified confidently, he is of Italian extraction, but the specifics of the kennel in which he originated is beyond our ken.

My friend from IBM helping to install LINUX on the IBM Mainframe at Pierce County and I were up late Sunday night into the wee hours of Monday Morning and came in late to the County-City Building to continue the install. We were puzzled by the long lines by the door going through security. I had identification which should normally allow me into the premises, but this particular day, I had to go through the metal detector and my stuff was xrayed. It took awhile. We found out what all the fuss was when we entered the computer center where my colleagues were watching the news live on television. We were all in shock. Flights were cancelled and grounded for several days (except for 400 flights for the children of Arab leaders of oil countries). The atmosphere had significantly less pollution in that short week as a result of a reduction of jet exhaust reaching the ozone layer.

We also remember the transformation of the assault upon the United States and the rest of the world: The economy took a really big hit; bigger though, was the impact that American citizens could no longer feel safe in a way never anticipated.

Security in airports made flying a drudge rather than a joy. We have never been the same or even close to it.

And the Armstrongists predicted none of it: They aren’t just late to the party, they missed the boat entirely!

So here we are: Hurricane Isaac hits New Orleans exactly seven years after Hurricane Katrina. I remember the Feast that year, especially since the hotel where I was staying, had a family who had fled Katrina and stayed there in the hotel. They were checking out: It was a husband and a wife with their son in his twenties. I overheard them and their angst. They were not certain whether or not any of their home had survived and looked forward to rebuilding it and their lives. They were some of those fortunate enough to get away and have enough resources to stay in a nice hotel while the hurricane passed. As a side comment, they did not look or sound particularly evil to me and did not seem to have merited God’s punishment. I was happy that they had as much as they did at the time. Maybe my justice meter is off or something. The Armstrongist god is terribly vengeful. I would not particularly like to get to know him. He seems rather merciless and strict — sort of like Roderick Meredith.

So there you have it. Certainly, there are far more examples of Lost Prophecy on the books. Feel free to add your own. It will be amusing.

We all wonder if Jesus Christ would say to the Armstrongists on his return: “I never knew you”.

Would he be wrong?