July 1, 2022 Brethren Letter
Last week, I sent out the first half of Mr. Armstrong’s “Personal from the Editor,” written in the Good News magazine of February, 1972. Tonight, I’ll send the second half of the article. There’s such excellent information for us to glean throughout his entire article. Please have a wonderful Sabbath!
Your Brother in Christ,
The Good News of Tomorrow’s World
Personal from the Editor (Herbert W. Armstrong)
The 19-Year Time Cycles – What HAPPENED Jan. 7 —
What My Commission IS!
The early Church was given 19 years for the first phase of its ministry, when the door was opened to carry the Gospel to EUROPE! The same, TO THE PRECISE DAY, was true in our case! And that is FACT!
Yes, this seemed SIGNIFICANT!
It SEEMED we would have a second 19 years to get the Message “in all the world, as a witness to all nations.”
I admit we were somewhat excited by this realization of FACT. We are HUMAN! Our hearts are IN God’s Work to which He has called us. This was, to some extent, an emotional revelation. Would YOU have the same normal human reaction, had you been in our place? I think all but dour, prejudiced, hostile critics, who would like to see God’s Work destroyed, would have reacted as we did!
I said at the beginning, “Emphatically I am NOT a prophet.” Later, “Now a word about what my Commission is NOT. It is NOT to become an infallible expert on or to preach chronology.” Later again, “But we are only human, and it is natural that we should have been curious to know, as far as possible, how much time we had to GET THE JOB DONE. That, however, in fact, is not our MAIN PURPOSE, OR OUR COMMISSION — which is to proclaim Christ’s Announcement of the advance good NEWS …. Our Commission is TO GET THAT JOB DONE! We have been GETTING IT DONE!”
This is the PARAMOUNT FACT our readers and Co-Workers need to keep uppermost in mind!
Our human interest, and enthusiasm about facts and indications pointing to the probable amount of time we had left is of MOST MINOR consequence compared to the BIG point of the Commission — WHICH WE HAVE BEEN GETTING DONE!
Now let me continue.
It has never been our intention to SET DATES! Time after time, I have said — Garner Ted Armstrong has said — our literature has stated — “WE DO NOT SET DATES!”
Yet, in our human zeal and enthusiasm for getting this greatest mission on earth done, we have a few times come close to it or appeared to — and that we deeply regret.
If we were not human enough to be virtually carried away with what appeared inevitable — in the light of fact and probability — we surely would not have been imbued with the energy, vitality, sense of urgency and enthusiasm to GET the job done!
So let me give you a few actual QUOTES:
In 1959, we issued a booklet, (now out of print) “A True History of the True Church”, by Herman L. Hoeh. He said: “God … opened a DOOR to the apostle Paul AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SECOND NINETEEN-YEAR CYCLE by which the Gospel went to Europe (Acts 16:9; II Cor 2:12-13). So now, just before the second coming of Jesus Christ, God has given His Church …
JUST TWO nineteen-year cycles in which to carry the Gospel to the world! The first cycle PASSED. Then God suddenly opened the door for the second cycle in January 1953, and the Gospel is now going to all the world!”
My only comment: By the end of the second cycle we HAD gotten it into all nations — and not even six months before. We still face the question: How THOROUGHLY must all nations be reached?
An edition of a booklet, “1975 in Prophecy”, issued 1957 — now for some time out of print — had the following:
“Feverishly science, technology and industry are working to produce a fantastic, push-button world of leisure by 1975.”
Let me say here in regard to this booklet, the title date, “1975” had NOTHING to do with any prophecy, or fulfillment of any prophesied event whatsoever. It was a date set by certain scientific and technological sources, for accomplishing certain materialistic objectives. Scientists set dates for the times they HOPE to accomplish certain breakthroughs. But does anyone discredit THEM, if they set the wrong date? Of course not!
Let me give you other examples:
Sir Philip Noel Baker (Nobel Prize winner in 1959) before television cameras, radio mikes, newspaper and magazine reporters, this dedicated man of science, deadly serious, said, “I believe that WITHIN TEN YEARS we will all be dead and the earth will be an incinerated relic.” That ten years passed three years ago. But no one calls Sir Philip a false prophet. At any time during that ten years his statement COULD HAVE come true! What he said is even more of a possibility today than in 1959. There are MORE WAYS to destroy man kind now than then!
This man of science, well informed, trying to get SOMEONE to heed the deadly SERIOUSNESS of the world condition, boldly stated that he felt it would be decided WITHIN TEN YEARS!
Author Gordon Ratray Taylor put the threat to the extinction of mankind this way: “THE THREAT IS TOO SERIOUS TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY.”
John Platt of the University of Michigan has stated in “Science” magazine, “We may have even less than a 50-50 chance of living until 1980!”
The Federation of American Scientists IN 1960 declared, “It appears unlikely that the world will avoid a nuclear holocaust if another 15 years pass without arms control agreement!” HE set a date — 1975!
In 1966 Dr. Binay Sen, Director of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization said, “If the rate of food production cannot be significantly increased, we must prepare for THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE.”
We are living in a lost, empty world, hopeless, just about to commit cosmocide! Concerned, dedicated, sincere, intelligent, sober men in government, science and education are sounding a unanimous alarm: MANKIND WILL END BEFORE THIS CENTURY DOES!
THE POINT: Because these men added a date to their concerned comments regarding mankind’s future, does it mean that their concern, and all the overwhelming facts which cause that concern, are wrong? NO! When the house is on fire no one seems interested in the exact number of minutes one might have before he is finally consumed! When it gets down to the last few straws, no one volunteers to lie down under the loaded camel whose back is about to be broken.
Time marches on inexorably, and so do all the prophetic events leading to the collapse of mankind’s experiment in self-government. And better yet, the sure coming of God’s Kingdom to save man from himself IS NEAR!
Emphatically, if we — in our dedicated enthusiastic ZEAL to get God’s WARNING of the end of mankind’s world before this sick, sick world — DO, even though we intend not to, appear to set a date, I FEEL I DO NOT NEED TO APOLOGIZE! No one but the enemies of ALL GOOD will accuse!
Now, continuing the booklet, “1975 in Prophecy”, on page 3: “MAN does not know the WAY to peace and happiness and joy. What man is bringing on the world is the diametric opposite — such catastrophic and terrifying destruction that human life will be erased from the earth in 25 years UNLESS GOD ALMIGHTY INTERVENES!” That would be by 1982.
On page 10: “While modern science and industry strive to prepare for us a push-button, leisure-luxury world by 1975, United States Assistant Weather Chief I. R. Tannahill warns us unofficially to really fear ‘the big drought of 1975.’ But the indications of prophecy are that this drought will be even more devastating than he foresees, and that it will strike SOONER than 1975 — probably between 1965 and 1972!” I said “indications are” and “probably.”
On page 20: “Yes, millions of lukewarm inactive professing Christians will suffer MARTYRDOM — and that BEFORE the anticipated push-button leisure-year of 1975 dawns upon us!” I did not set that 1975 date — spokesmen for science and industry did. I still say it will occur BEFORE their dream-world materializes!
In THE PLAIN TRUTH, October 1965, appeared the following (page 16): “But we know that the time is soon coming — PROBABLY at the end of the second 19-year time-cycle of this Work — when our voices shall be stilled — our printing presses stopped!” The main statement remains as certain today as then — ONLY the “PROBABLY” by 1972 has proved to be premature.
In a reprint from an issue of THE PLAIN TRUTH during 1963, an article, “There Is a Way of Escape,” by Herman L. Hoeh, has this: “The new slogan of the neo-Nazi parties is that the west is ‘THROUGH by 1972′ …. It is time we recognized that civilization has less than 15 years to go.” The Nazi slogan, dating 1972, was OFF — but Dr. Hoeh has six more years to go before his is!
In my “Personal,” THE PLAIN TRUTH for February 1967, I said: “I wish ALL OF YOU could realize that this wonderful coming world (that Jesus’ GOSPEL announced) is REAL — AND MOST OF YOU WILL BE IN IT — I hope as one of its changed IMmortals. It’s not only REAL — it is coming SOON. Possibly (I do not set dates) in less than ten years! Yes, VERY POSSIBLY that soon!” I still say, it WAS — and still IS — possible; but I specifically said “I do not set dates.”
In a Co-Worker letter to those contributing financially, dated December 29, 1969, I said: “While I EMPHASIZE, WE CANNOT SET DATES, yet I am prepared to say now, for the first time, the second coming of Christ COULD happen during this coming decade, which we enter later this very week. Don’t under any circumstances take this as setting a date — but we are now far
closer to the END OF THIS WORLD — and the beginning of the HAPPY and PEACEFUL WORLD TOMORROW than people realize.
TIME IS SHORT!”
That one statement epitomizes what we have said all along.
Scores and scores of times we have said, “We do not set dates.” Yet, in our zeal, we have used “possibilities” and “probabilities” and even appeared to set dates we really didn’t intend to set.
Scientists have done the same. Other writers in other fields have, also. I’m sure all our sincere readers UNDERSTAND OUR INTENT!
Hundreds of times I have said — Garner Ted Armstrong has said — our other speakers and writers have said — “DON’T believe ME because I say it — but listen with open mind, without prejudice, search your own Bible, and BELIEVE WHAT GOD SAYS IN YOUR BIBLE.”
I have never tried to induce leaders to FOLLOW ME — but to follow CHRIST, and to follow me ONLY as I follow HIM.
NOW A FINAL SUMMARY:
Let me give you now what was our thinking, based on prophecy (which does foretell certain EVENTS to come, but NOT their dates), based also on world events and trends, and at the same time being influenced to some degree by the 19-year time cycle that HAD DEFINITELY OCCURRED, ON THE VERY DAY. I do not mean merely my own thinking, personally. I include the combined thinking of our top men here at Pasadena in the Work.
First, in 1945, before the end of World War II, I was saying on the air that the Nazis were organized to go UNDERGROUND, in case of defeat, and to COME BACK.
By war’s end, later in 1945, it seemed history might repeat — it often does. It had taken Germany 21 years from the armistice bringing the end of the first round of world war — an “armistice” is a RECESS — to be ready to start the second round, World War II. The armistice had COME OF AGE — 21 years!
So, we looked then to 1966 as a POSSIBLE date for the next round — nuclear World War III. I do not remember ever having stated this publicly, either on the air or in print. It was merely our PRIVATE thinking of a POSSIBILITY. But by no means even as a probability.
By 1952, when my elder son, Richard David, and Herman Hoeh spent a summer in Britain, France, and Germany, their glowing reports of German progress in a post-war COMEBACK even strengthened our private view of POSSIBILITIES.
But, after the astounding fact of discovering our first broadcast into Europe and Britain had been 19 years — TO THE VERY DAY by both Hebrew and Roman calendars — we gained further insight into the probable time it would require to reach all nations. And we knew this HAD TO BE accomplished before World War III would break out. It seemed, then, it would require another 19 years at least.
Then we DID begin to mention the possibility of God’s Work extending another 19 years — or at least until January 7, 1972. In fact, we were so overwhelmingly impressed — perhaps more than we should have been — by the FACT of what happened after 19 years, we did, a few times, go further than we should with it — though basically, we continued, time and again, to say “we do not set dates.” But some statements gave the IMPRESSION that we did set the date, January 7, 1972. It is difficult to control sincere, dedicated enthusiastic ZEAL; and we were human!
However, after June, 1967, and the six-day war between Israel and the Arab nations, just when world events COULD HAVE plunged suddenly by that impetus to a climax in a few short years, world events, instead, began to slow down. But we could not discern that for a year or more.
De Gaulle, in France, began to slow down the Common Market moves toward POLITICAL union in Europe, in order to prevent Germany from dominating. He wanted to dominate.
In the Vatican, in Jerusalem, in Germany and Europe, in United States economy, affecting THIS WORK, the pace SLOWED! But we were so impressed with what already had happened in the 19-year time-cycle, that we failed to divorce actual contemporary world events, as they were slowing, from our time-cycle analogy.
During the past two or three years, the realization came upon us more and more that events were slowing — that the world-crisis would NOT be reached by January, 1972. All this has happened SINCE the 1967 edition of the “U.S. and British Commonwealth in Prophecy” book came out: This book contained statements that seemed justified in 1967 — before this slowing down was noticeable — such as: “Events of the next five years may …” in the very beginning — and, “A staggering turn in world events is due to erupt in the next four to seven years.” And again, “the next five to seven years” on page xi.
You will notice that, even here, we were not setting a definite YEAR, but expressing a general period in different ways. On page xii, the statement, “The events prophesied to strike the American and British peoples in the next four to seven years are SURE!” By this we meant the EVENTS are SURE — not the “four to seven years.” Lower on the page, however, the statement was made that these events will come “on schedule, BUT NOT UNTIL THE WARNING HAS BEEN MADE AVAILABLE” — which certainly qualified it.
In the latest edition of that book, ALL THESE STATEMENTS HAVE BEEN CORRECTED.
As I have said, Moses made mistakes, Abraham made mistakes, David made mistakes, Elijah made mistakes, Peter made mistakes, and so have ALL MEN God has ever called and used. Making a mistake is NOT any evidence at all that a man is NOT being used of God. But these men CORRECTED their mistakes! AND SO HAVE WE! And I am correcting a few in this very “Personal”!
The BIG POINT is — WE HAVE BEEN GETTING THE JOB DONE — and no one else on earth has!
One point remains. The question, HOW THOROUGHLY does God intend His Work to reach the nations?
It DID take a second 19 years to get the message into all nations — but, as of January 7th, 1972, we had reached many of them ONLY SUPERFICIALLY — not intensively!
I know of no place in the Bible where, in specific plain words, this question is answered. The one possible answer is in Matthew 24:14, the very prophecy defining our COMMISSION for this latter day. There we are to preach and publish this Gospel OF THE KINGDOM in all the world FOR A WITNESS unto all nations. The answer may be tied up in the words “for a witness.” One
commentary, on this phrase, has: “AS A WITNESS: God never sends judgment without previous warning.” In Amos 3:7 may be found a corollary:
“Surely the Lord Eternal will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:2) The inference is that God’s servants warn the people, as Jonah did Nineveh, of God’s judgment to come.
If that is the meaning intended, then we must say that God does intend many nations to be warned more intensively than as of now. We have gotten the Message into Japan, for example, in the past six months — but reaching only a superficial fraction of the people. To say Japan has been warned would not be the truth.
In view of WHAT DID HAPPEN, on January 7th, it seems God has revealed no uncertain language, BY THE VERY THINGS THAT HAPPENED on that day, that we must now reach all nations MORE INTENSIVELY!
1) On that very day, the MOST POWERFUL DOOR so far opened to us, swung wide open. We had hoped for it, but not really expected it. We had no idea WHEN the answer would come. On that day the purchase of advertising space in the ENTIRE UNITED STATES edition of “Reader’s Digest” opened before us. Total circulation, 17,750,000 copies — with a readership of 50 to 70 MILLION people — by far the largest of any magazine. That is from 1/4 to more than l/3 of ALL the people in the U.S. The first two-page ad will appear in one half of that circulation in the April number, and in the other half of the circulation in the May number! For years we have purchased advertising space in overseas editions. Now the entire U.S. is opened to us!
2) On that day we received from our bankers the signed, sealed and delivered financing for 80% of the superb new auditorium, NOW ACTUALLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION on the Pasadena campus. Since, besides being the college auditorium, for us it will also serve to honor GOD at the present Headquarters in Pasadena, it seems God assures us of a few more years at least to go, since it will take two years to complete it.
The other 20% of the financing was already on hand, received and accumulated from Co-Workers. So the financing is 100% completed! Only we still must — over several years — repay the 80%.
Since, one of the most powerful radio stations, KOA Denver, has opened time for THE WORLD TOMORROW at 7:30 every evening, seven nights a week, and for the Garner Ted Armstrong T.V. program at noon Sundays.
Since then, the NUMBER ONE independent T.V. station in the U.S. — top rated outside the major networks — WOR, New York, has opened PRIME TIME — actually in the very center of prime time for New York — 10 p.m., Sunday nights, beginning February 13th!
Yes, THINGS DID HAPPEN January 7th! And now THE MOST POWERFUL DOORS ARE OPENING. Next watch for major openings in
Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, and elsewhere.
So where are we, now, in the Work?
ALL SYSTEMS ARE “GO!”
Welcome aboard! Glad you’re GOING WITH us! You know, I’m reminded of the time Jesus was criticized, persecuted, misrepresented by His enemies. He asked His disciples, “Will ye also go away?”
“Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? THOU hast the words of Eternal Life!”
And we in His Work, today, have those SAME WORDS OF ETERNAL
Yes, ALL SYSTEMS ARE “GO!”
With renewed energy, greater than ever before, WE PLUNGE ON TO FINISH THE WORK WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN TO DO!