Set current time
If your hardware clock is set to utc, then
hwclock --utc --show
should show the (approx) correct local time. If your hardware clock is set to localtime, then
hwclock --localtime --show
should show correct local time.
When you use "--utc", the software treats the output of the hardware clock as if it were UTC, then applies the correction to change that to the corresponding local time.
Names of time zones
In order to conform with the POSIX style, those zone names beginning with "Etc/GMT" have their sign reversed from what most people expect. In this style, zones west of GMT have a positive sign and those east have a negative sign in their name (e.g "Etc/GMT-14" is 14 hours ahead/east of GMT.)