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!