Because of the way the WCG and other cults “co-opt” the time of the end, and make it appear that they, as God’s special agents, are going to be virtually presiding over it, it’s something that most of us had decided that we would have liked not to happen. Because these ACOG cults make it appear that when Jesus Christ returns, He will institute government just as it is practiced in their little church groups, using their own teachers, most of us who have left Armstrongism have been all too willing to jetison the doctrine of “the end”.
I don’t know how much time we have left. It would be difficult to assign a timeline. You can look at the prophecies in the book of Revelation, and contemplate global warming. How long will it take for the sun to become so much hotter, soas to fulfill those prophecies? You can also read about the beheading of the saints by the beast power and the antichrist, and wonder how long it will take for the Islamification of Europe to take place, so that that becomes a probability.
We know that some of the prerequisites are already in place. For one thing, in order for end time prophecy to even seem like a remote possibility, there had to be an Israel. Since 1948, that condition has been met. We are also told that the gospel would have to go out to all corners of the earth. The USA, a Christian nation, has been the main bastion of this activity. The many evangelistic associations from coast to coast have, for the first time in history, been translating the gospel of Jesus Christ into all of the known languages, and are disseminating it via satellite all around the world. They frequently review the entire globe to monitor how efficiently this has been accomplished, and target any identifiable deficient areas. I was quite amazed to learn of some of this. Christian leaders are being trained in China, India, and many other parts of the world, so that they can go out and train others. Each individual in these little training cells has a personal assignment to find and train 1,000 others. It is highly organized, and the progress is carefully measured. Many of the citizens of Arabic nations have satellite TV, and the gospel is going out to them in their languages. And, in these Islamic nations, where religious law is the secular law, the penalty for belief in Jesus Christ is death. Cell phones, and other similar devices, have programs on them related to the gospel message, and contain the actual and full text of the Holy Bible, and are being distributed around the world. A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting in church, turning to the scriptures referenced by the pastor, and the guy next to me took his Blackberry out of his pocket, and began following those same scriptures on its screen! Blew me away!
It’s just huge, and the reason I’m describing it all here is that I think that most of the people who have come from the Armstrong movement are probably totally unaware of it all. Because of what we were taught, and the way in which we were taught it, I’ve found that even the non-believers would not be looking at this activity. They would be watching the splinters to reassure themselves that none of them were suddenly gaining a major voice in all of this. Believe me, on the non-believer forums, they take special interest every time a Ron Weinland gains attention and then ends up falling on his face. But that is simply a distraction, or sleight of hand, and they are missing the real thing happening right under their noses! The kinds of people who are involved in this gospel spreading are not doing it to create empires and wealth for themselves. Their message is for people to get right with God, get Him into your life, and follow Jesus Christ. Find a Bible based church, and become part of a Christian community. It’s not manipulative, in that it doesn’t attempt to back people into a specific group or into an eclectic set of doctrines. The only action that becomes important is the development of a personal relationship with God, and then help others to understand the importance of this, as well.
Another detail. I don’t hear people setting dates. These spreaders of the gospel freely acknowledge that only the Father knows specifically when Jesus will return. But they also are saying that we can know the basic time of the season, and it’s going to be sooner than later.