A VERY Intelligent quote of the day from Byker Bob

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This is a question guaranteed to boggle the minds of anyone with Armstrongist pinnings.
First of all, imagine all of the farcical occurrences in the WCG, totally avoidable if the leaders had really been tuned into Jesus when He plainly stated that nobody, including Himself, knew when the end was coming.  Had they listened, you would not see all of the people with messiah complexes running around, proclaiming themselves to be end time Apostles, one of the two witnesses, Elijah or Elisha, etc. ad nauseum!  “The End” would not have been used to instill fear into people as a motivational tactic to make them single source their beliefs to a man, or organization of men.  There would have been no gunlaps, no cries for more money to finance the gasping out of that final message to warn the world.

Had this been the case, the church would have been able to preach the real gospel.  The one concerning Jesus Christ having died for our sins, the one in which Jesus Christ comes into our lives and lives His life through us, bringing many spiritual and physical blessings into our lives right now!

If we think this through, we begin to realize that if “the end” were simply a matter of making mathematical calculations, certainly Jesus would have known precisely when He was going to return to earth, split the Mount of Olives, and allow the living waters to burst forth, healing the world, and ushering in the new age, God’s Kingdom.   For centuries now, people such as William Miller, Herbert W. Armstrong, and HWA’s pupils, have been busy with their calculators, attempting to do something that Jesus Christ said could not be done!  They start with the premise that 6,000 years are allotted to mankind.  They then use the geneologies of the Old Testament to mathmatically calculate when Adam was created,  and add the time elapsed since Christ was born.  Or, they take clues from prophecies in the Book of Daniel, and assign arbitrary values to such things as the “time of the Gentiles”.  They add to this prophetic house of cards, by speculating that the letters to the churches contained in the Book of Revelation actually refer to church eras, being careful to pick the “best” era for themselves.  They factor in more extrabiblical information, like 19 year time cycles.  And, then, they preach their calculations as “revealed” or “inspired” truth to the stalwart followers, and get frustrated, because, guess what!  The end does not come.  So they recalculate or make excuses for their error, even blaming the members for not being ready.

If God had a timeline for the end, which could be mathematically calculated, not only would Jesus, the most intelligent man ever to walk the face of the earth, know how to do the math, all the angels, Satan, the demons, and any preacher with an eighth grade education would know how to calculate it!

The reason nobody CAN know it is that it’s not a matter of math!  I believe that God is going to make a judgement call, based on the condition of the planet He lovingly created for us, and the behavior of the majority of the people populating the earth.  It’s the only thing that makes sense, and the only reason why nobody else could know when the event will take place.  The examples in the Bible show that God interacts with mankind, based on man’s behavior, not on math!    When He senses that 1) the planet is about to be destroyed by man’s activities, or 2) mankind has become so depraved that it is no longer safe for the “good”  people, isnt’ that when He would logically pull the plug?

—Byker Bob making excellent points on J’s Shadows of WCG message board that dates DO NOT matter but how God relates to people MATTER when it comes to the second coming of Jesus Christ! Bravo BB, if only some in the splinters put aside their binary thinking and begin to grasp that concept!

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14 thoughts on “A VERY Intelligent quote of the day from Byker Bob

  1. Hi Felix.

    I appreciated that part about Christ waiting until things got so bad before he’d return. But I have a question about this. Doesn’t that reward bad behavior? I mean, why should we encourage society to do good if there is a better chance that Christ will return when it is bad?

  2. Bob has expressed himself well and makes excellent points to think on. So much more good could have been accomplished if leaders had approached things with this perspective and attitude.

    There may be some in positions of power within splinter groups who know that time cannot be calculated but to openly acknowledge it would take away from their control over members lives and pockets. It would be a choice for these leaders who do know..whom to obey ..man dictator ruling over them or God.

    I think also that there are people who sit in splinter groups who have Gods understanding working in their lives about this or other areas as well but keep it quietly to themselves. This would be survival to remain in a particular group for average members who as yet are blinded to where they are sitting as yet.

  3. I appreciate Mr. Pate’s sensitivities on this issue, but, in reading Revelation, can we honestly say that Jesus Christ is going to reward bad behavior by His return? It sounds to me as if there is going to be, at the very least, some correction, or punishment involved.

    Also Revelation seems to describe the same effects that scientist have been attributing to global warming, or the destruction of the ozone layer. I don’t want to do a Herbert W. Armstrong here, and teach my guesses, or suppositions regarding news events as compared to prophecy. A person can get himself into lots of trouble that way. However, there is a more than casual resemblance in this case.

    BB

  4. Welcome Byker Bob! Thank you for commenting here and I hope if you have some extra time, you will keep commenting but I know we all have schedules. I am in agreement what you said about the Book of Revelation. Actually, it is one of my favourite books of The Bible (yeah it’s the male macho testosterone kicking here). It is God’s ULTIMATE love for the righteous and his ultimate fight against the wicked. God probably has a time mechanism to bring about the return of Christ but this in no way deflects your point that dates do not matter but relationships do. We can ALL remember being in the historic WCG that dates WERE bandied about (anyone who argues otherwise is in denial and proud of it) and we did not have much of a REAL relationship with God—it was clean up your act or else you’d be in The Great Tribulation at best or in The Lake of Fire at worst. Dates were IN NO DOUBT and I propose beyond dispute, we were living in selfishly in our own “supposed” Christian walk. My I remind James (and BB you can call him James) being in the historic WCG that it was DATES that suggested that we should not make the world a better place, Jesus Christ is going to do it anyway (we can’t ruin God’s plan—which we know now as pure sheer nonsense). I believe that God will give us “reasonable” signs that Jesus is returning (and not some dreamy, out-of-touch, wild-eyed nutcase and proud of it’s type of silly and deceitful speculation) but again I believe BB’s point still stands and is unbended, God will be concerned about your relationship with Him and others ’til that coming day.

  5. Hi BB,

    You’re right on that! You don’t want to be a wicked person when Christ comes back.

    FT,

    Yeah, I know that the WCG put a lot of emphasis on dates, but that was before my time. I grew up in the Church of God, International, and I don’t remember it date-setting. But it was always saying that the end was near and was pointing to current events as “evidence.”

    But I still struggle with the Second Coming of Christ issue in general. Even without dates, why make the world a better place if Christ will come back and fix everything? I mean, what I often hear is “Don’t vote or do social activism. Humans are corrupt and so they can’t fix anything. God has given us these 6,000 years to show us that we can’t govern ourselves (Okay, I’m cheating here, since that’s somewhat of a date). Plus, the Bible says that evildoers will wax worse and worse.” It’s kind of a fatalistic outlook on things. “The world is sinking, so get on the ark and be saved.”

  6. Thanks for the welcome Felix. I will be commenting here from time to time, because I really enjoy your blog, and what you are doign.

    James: There is quite another school of thought, and that would be the one involving God creating a divine conspiracy, using Christians to revolutionize the world. In effect, this makes the individual Christian an undercover agent for God, promoting good, and being part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

    By practicing what Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount, a Christian has the opportunity to break many a bad chain that gets started by normal human reaction. It becomes fun to sabotage Satan’s activities!

    One of the reasons I hated the original Plain “Truth” Magazine was that every article which supposedly exposed a societal ill, in the closing paragraph, would state that there is no solution until the return of Jesus Christ. That killed any reasonable and legitimate Christian effort within the current world! It reduced a Christian’s effort to 1) funding an endtime message, and 2) going isolationist and only watching out for self and self’s immediate group. These guys, while waiting for the Ark, were entirely missing the boat!

    BB

  7. James, I would take Byker Bob’s anology about God’s plan as a conspiracy on another level—I see the Second Coming as a REVOLUTION and that my favourite book of the Bible (Revelation, of course) is a manifesto of that revolution. Believers are a part of the revolution against the oppressive and evil kingdom of Satan the devil and when Jesus Christ returns, he will violently overthrow Satan and usher in some SUBSTANTIAL changes in healing this planet. I’ll throw you this for you, it will be a lot better than the Castro revolution hands down and you will truly able to say in your heart, “Viva la Revolucion!”

  8. Yeah, it would be like inmates in a concentration camp rebelling against their oppressors because they know that the Allies are soon coming to liberate them, or something like that.

  9. All this premillennialism is making my head spin! 🙂

    (In all fairness it could be Weinland’s followers weighing on my mind as well.)

    The way I see it, whether you take a preterist view of the book of Rev. or a premillenialist view, or the view that John or whomever actually wrote it was toking up on kaneh bosm, it isn’t the text itself but what has been done with the text that speaks volumes.

    Don’t believe me? I have two words for you: Left Behind. Now we collectively as WCG survivors, could write a Left Behind series that would make the evangelicals’ ears curl.

    What WCG, and Armstrong, and all his follower-leaders since, have done with the text is hold it out like a carrot at the end of a big stick. It’s crowd-control, pure and simple.

    Don’t worry about today, don’t worry about being mired in poverty because you’re tithing thirty percent of your income to some guy in an ivory tower, don’t worry about your poor health, because you’re not allowed to go to a doctor (or subtly discouraged from doing so, by the promotion of “alternative health” remedies), don’t focus on the miserable present!

    Live instead, for “the wonderful world tomorrow”, and “the glorious future to come”!

    It was misdirection, pure and simple ministerial sleight of hand, while the apostle was fleecing the sheep. His imitators are doing the same.

    A real revolution would be all of the XCoG members abandoning their “faith” completely, for once and for all.

    That’s definitely too much to ask isn’t it?

  10. Maybe it is just that we could help ourselves and our fellow man and make things more pleasant, tolerable, and safe in our own generation and who knows how many more . Or maybe a good scripture would be iin the book of Esther 4:14 , “Who knows whether you are come to the kingdom for such a time as this”.

  11. In the mind of a cult leader the world tomorrow never comes and those are just sweet words to help influence people to give more towards helping the control abusive person to achieve goals they have set that fulfil their “own” needs within. They may ‘think’ they are doing for God but bottom line with the way they work they are only fooling themselves and those who cannot see clearly as yet.

    Whether it is in a one on one situation, or one man ruling over the many, a controlling abusive person has little care or consideration to how those around their lives think, feel or are hurting because the make up to that kind of personality trait is fully about themselves. Egos and pride and a high need of self fulfilling that is never quenched from examples seen along time unfortunately.

    Its about using people for selfish gains and a study/check on what personality traits come with an abusive person who needs keep control over others helps explain why things remain as they do within some splinter groups today that were happening when HWA was alive.

    Because of how such people think and operate, I would imagine that they would have a poor concept to know how to “allow” others to show the fruits of love that God desires a christian to live by.

    We need God working within out lives individually and those ‘out’ are the blessed ones who are now free to go according to Gods working and lead and sadly those who remain under such controlling authority will find it hard to freely express and live in line with Gods Will in their todays. Some may do so but the majority surely are being crippled by being held down so tightly as they are.

    Rebellion seems to have its cycles down through history and God allows some things unfold to cause people to cry out to Him so that we do turn fully to Him again.

  12. Thank you so much for placing the word to the description shared Douglas.

    I’d heard of Narcisists before but hadn’t placed my own thoughts to that title itself until you pointed it out. Honestly.

    So much that is written in that article link shared is just how it was under church authority. He must have been hell to live with now I think some more on it here!!

    I chose to gain and grow with Gods help and for that I am encouraged however it is so sad to know there were some who didn’t or couldn’t endure. For those people it hurts me deeply.

  13. I’m glad it helped. It took me years to understand the body of knowledge.

    Nevertheless, as you point out, it is a fairly rich resource to understand such organizations as the WCG rife with it.

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