The Painful Truth About The Worldwide Church of God

December 2004

Another Year Gone No Tribulation!


      2004 is in the books, another Year of Our Lord, and still no Second Coming.  Hell, not even a Great Tribulation.

       But it’s been an eventful year.  Christians around the globe have no doubt closely watched the war in Iraq (aka the War on Terror) with a grim certainty that this is indeed the Beginning of the End; “You shall hear of wars and rumors of wars...but the end is not yet”! (Matt. 24:6)

       How conveniently the preachers forget the final part of that verse:  The End Is Not Yet. 

 Nevertheless, millions believe the End is right on top of us, despite the fact that millions have been believing the exact same thing for 2000 years, and the End still is not yet!

       World events have certainly been chaotic.  The war in Iraq, terrorism in Russia, high-profile elections in the Ukraine and the United States, worldwide condemnation of American foreign policy (but not al Qaeda), scandal in the United Nations, and a devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean just for starters.  Some pretty bad stuff, all in all, and yet – pretty much like any other year.  Some years are worse than others, but there is always some pretty bad stuff.

       Does any of that prove out prophecy?  Does it portend a coming Great Tribulation?  Bring us any closer to Jesus returning?  I think not.

       Jesus (reportedly) said he could not return until there had been a great tribulation.  Herbert Armstrong told us the great tribulation couldn’t happen until ten nations in Europe united under a dictator known as the Beast and a False Prophet known as the Pope.  Unless memory fails, that just hasn’t happened yet.  And it certainly is nowhere near the horizon.  So the tribulation can’t come anytime soon.  (Seriously, do you think Jacque Chirac is the Beast?!!!)

       Unless Herbert Armstrong was wrong.  Is that possible?  Remotely?  I understand that some minor “apostles” in charge of certain WCG splinter churches (more commonly known as “loser groups”) have decided that the 10-toed beast might not be European after all, but Arabic!  Whoa!  Now that’s a scary thought! 

       Interesting theory, but it creates some problems.  One is that Arabs are never united in anything, not even their religion.  If they were, they would have driven Israel into the sea 50 years ago.  Arabs are best known for fighting among themselves, and to present a united front against the rest of the world seems at best difficult and at worst impossible for them.  It took a renegade terrorist to even dare attack the United States , and most of the Middle-Eastern governments, at least on the surface, disavow him.  So which ten Arab nations are likely to unite into a Beast power?  And how many years from now?

       And who would be their leader?  Osama? 

       And who would be their pope?  Ayatollah Khomeini is dead, and I know of no other imam who has as much influence as he did. 

       Finally, if the beast power is to be Arabian, Herbert Armstrong was a false prophet.  Bible says so.

       No, the real news out of 2004 is that two WCG superstars gave up the ghost.  Garner Ted Armstrong and Herman Hoeh both passed into the history books, neither living to see a single one of their hundreds of predictions come true.  All the old dinosaurs are dying off, the “end-time work” has ended, and there is STILL no tribulation or second coming.  That is the real news of 2004.

       Look for more dying dinosaurs in 2005.  A few years from now they’ll all be gone, and then those of us who were children under their iron rule will also begin to pass, and within a few years we shall all be just a laughable (but not very funny) chapter in the great Guinness Book of Cults.  Some day the History Channel will profile the legacy of Herbert Armstrong and his foolish followers, right along with Jim Jones, David Koresh, Joseph Smith, and all the rest.  Our epitaph will be that we were too self-obsessed and short-sighted to see through the fog of lies and deception and see the truth, that we squandered our youth, energy, resources, families, and our very lives to enrich the slave masters who recruited us.

       And it will all be true.

       Let’s put it on the table once and forever: there isn’t going to be any ten-toed beast power, in Europe or Arabia or anywhere else; and there isn’t going to be any Great Tribulation. 



      Happy New Year.

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