Thursday, May 8, 2008

The US & Britain; In Prophesy? Pt.1 of 2

By CW (Contributing Writer)

I can barely imagine how the world must have looked to other kids my age as I was growing up. What I saw, I saw through a dark cloud of gloom. I saw, hanging over everyone’s head, the indiscriminate annihilation of virtually everyone in a grizzly blood bath by invading armies, followed by the burning, searing, element-melting nuclear holocaust that Herbert Armstrong so vividly described. On top of the tension of my Old Covenant authoritarian home, and the “us against all the outsiders” paranoia; this specter haunted my every waking moment. From Herbert’s perspective, most of the prophecies about Israel’s destruction were both, for the end times, and talking about my home, the USA. I was taught that we were Manasseh, the birthright tribe of the lost house of Israel, and the British Commonwealth was the tribe of Ephraim. I was taught Herbert’s hybrid version of British Israelism.

The theory of British Israelism goes way back before the times of King Henry VIII. Most experts on British Israelism agree, the theory was promoted by theologians to justify the break of the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church.

In its simplest form, British-Israelism claims that the British people are the descendants of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, deported, initially, by Tiglath Pilezer III, king of Assyria, when he launched an invasion of the Kingdom of Israel in 740 B.C.E., and later by the successor of Shalmaneser V, Sargon II, who destroyed its capital city, Samaria, in 721 B.C.E.” Excerpt from JUSTIFICATION FOR AN EMPIRE

What early proponents used for justification of authority, mutated in America, and Herbert, among others, connected prophesies of Israel’s demise, and applied them to the current time. Herbert continued promoting the idea that the British throne is of the line of King David of Judah. He cited ancient Irish legends as fact, and referred to non-existent annals of written history, as in this excerpt from United States and the British Commonwealth in Prophecy (henceforth ‘USBP’); “Then, in 569 B.C. (date of Jeremiah's transplanting), an elderly, white-haired patriarch, sometimes referred to as a "saint," came to Ireland. With him was the princess daughter of an eastern king and a companion called "Simon Brach," spelled in different histories as Breck, Berech, Brach, or Berach. The princess had a Hebrew name Tephi -- a pet name -- her full name being TEA-TEPHI.”
Funny thing is no legitimate scholar can find these annals. You can read more about this at the following link; JEREMIAH IN IRELAND--FACT OR FABRICATION?
I have such vivid memories of the voice of HWA booming through the house. This would have been the early sixties. He always spoke with such authority, and over the years his arguments became familiar. Quoting the Hebrew made him sound like the wise sage as he presented his argument that both, Gen. 12:2 and Gen. 48:19 say, “many nations” in a prophesy that he said “could only be fulfilled by the USA, and Britain.” When making his case about the blessing of Ephraim and Manasseh He pointed out ad nauseam the Hebrew word ‘gowy’ in the first, but did not bother to mention that gowy is not used in the latter, rather; ‘am and male maw-lay, as we will see below.

God promised Abraham; Gen 12:2I will make you into a great nation (H1471 gowy; nation)”, and 17:4 You will be the father of many nations” (H1471). 17:6I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you.” OK, But what’s the connection to the USA? Herbert believed that what Jacob told his children, were prophesies of what kind of nations they would become in the last days, before the return of Jesus, and thus, believed the promises to Abraham needed to have a physical manifestation before that time. He would ask, “How could God leave the most blessed nation on earth out of prophesy?”

Herbert’s ‘proof’ started with (KJV) Gen 49:1 And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, “Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.” To Herbert, any time the term, “the last days,” was used, it meant; “The time just before Jesus’ return.” The word translated, “the last days,” is (H319 achariyth; the last, or end, hence the future). It doesn’t say; “end times or days.” It’s an idiom for the future, and an example of Herbert jumping to conclusions.

Thus, Herbert decided that the following applied to the “end times;” (KJV) Gen 48:19 This is where Israel is adopting the sons of Joseph and crosses his hands putting his right hand on the head of the younger son. Joseph objected…; 19And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations. Herbert claimed, “This is a description of the British Empire and the US” (as do his disciples today - such as: Ron Weinland, Rod Meredith, Gerald Flurry,David Pack...); but Herbert didn't do his home work.

The verse I just quoted when read from the interlinear (the original Hebrew or Greek) reads: “He shall be a people,”H5971 (am; a people, as a congregated unit; spec. a tribe as those of Israel) “and shall become great. But his younger brother shall become greater than he, and his seed shall become the (fullness of the nations.)”(H4392 Male maw-lay; full, filling, fullness).

Herbert said it meant, (his famous); “a nation and a company of nations.” Nothing is said about becoming a separate nation, let alone a group of nations. The next scripture puts this into context; Gen 48:20 (Interlinear) “And he blessed them in that day, saying, in you shall Israel bless, saying, may God make you like Ephraim and like Manasseh.” They were blessed to the point that, nations of the day had reason to envy them. Look at a bible map of Israel during its pre-captivity days. Manasseh had two large parcels of land on either side of the Jordan River. They had the birthright, thus, were given a double portion exactly as per Deut 21:17 “… the firstborn by giving him a double share… The right of the firstborn belongs to him.

Followers of Herbert say, “Either the nations promised to Abraham are here in the world today, or God lied, and God can’t lie,” but read Isa 60:21, it tells of these very things promised to Abraham being fulfilled in a much more amplified way;
21 “
Then will all your people be righteous and they will possess the land forever. They are the shoot I have planted, the work of my hands, for the display of my splendor. 22 the least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. I am the LORD; in its time I will do this swiftly.”
That’s an enormous promise that happens when all the people are righteous. This is obviously yet to come. So why believe that the ‘Kings and nations’ promised to Abraham must be present now?

Zech 10:4 From Judah will come the cornerstone, from him the tent peg, from him the battle bow, from him every ruler.” If every ruler comes from Judah, then the Promise to Abraham will be fulfilled, in that; not just rulers come from him, but every ruler. And these rulers come through Jesus, in light of what He said in Rev 3:21;To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne;” and what Gal 3:7 says about those who believe; 7 “Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.

As his disciples do to this day, Herbert relied equally on; text supposed to prove the line of descent of the English royal family from the house of David, and other texts that claimed to reveal the identity of Britain and the United States, as mutually supporting his claim that they are of Israelite origin.

Herbert claimed that the throne of David would be maintained without a break from David’s time, until Jesus returned to claim the throne. His proof was (NIV) 2Sam 7:12When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. 15 But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.” Herbert claimed that this could only be King Solomon because of the line:” When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men.”

On pg. 21 of the USBP, Herbert speaks of a, “self professed scholar’ who makes some “ridiculous statement” to “reject this important truth.” Herbert could condescend to the “ignorant” while failing to show any scholarship himself. If he had looked at the original language for, “when he does wrong, I will punish him " he would have seen; “When he sins,” is derived from a single word; (H2399 chet: a crime or it’s penalty). Then, “I will punish him,” is derived from the single word; (H3198 yakach),which does mean to correct, but can also mean to convict. So I ask you; who for sin (chet) is convicted (yakach), and is a physical descendant of David whose kingdom will last forever? Who was convicted of crimes he didn’t commit and was punished to death with the rod of men? This seems more consistent with the bibles pivotal message; Jesus, but more proof is needed to confirm the choice of words.

Herbert conveniently avoided a verse that is virtually a duplicate of (NIV) 2Sam 7:12-14; 1Chron16:11-14, v11 When your days are over and you go to be with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my love away from him, as I took it away from your predecessor. 14 I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will be established forever.” Does God set Solomon over his house forever, or Jesus? The verses in 2Samual and 1Chronicles are talking about the same thing.

Herbert pointed out that when the name Israel is used in scriptures, it doesn’t necessarily mean Judah, he’d say with an exasperated tone, "Israel and Judah were no longer one kingdom after 2Chron 10." He was right about this, therefore when Israel is addressed, it may include Judah, but it definitely means the tribes of the Northern Kingdom (all the other tribes).
How then could he reason around Ho 3:4For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or idol”. (This is the situation until when?) 5Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the LORD and to his blessings in the last days.” If England is Israel, it should have no king.
Herbert claimed a king of the Davidic line would always rule over at least part of Israel. This verse disagrees, as does the next example; Ez21: 25 "O profane and wicked prince of Israel, whose day has come, whose time of punishment has reached its climax, 26 this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Take off the turban, remove the crown. It will not be as it was: The lowly will be exalted and the exalted will be brought low. 27 A ruin! A ruin! I will make it a ruin! It will not be restored until he comes to whom it rightfully belongs; to him I will give it.” Both these verses tell us that there will be a long period of time without a king over Israel that only ends when Jesus returns.


Anonymous said...

Ah, Ez. 21 - the "Three overturns" - from Israel to Ireland, Ireland to Scotland, and Scotland to Britain. This was my bedrock scripture for Anglo Israelism.

The problem is, every translation except the Old King James reads like you quoted at the end - a threefold intensity of destruction of the kingship. It will be "overturned," all right - much like a fine vase is overturned - totally destroyed.

Seeker Of Truth said...

Actually CW (Contributing Writer)said...

The original language used in KJV Ez. 21:27 doesn't say overturn or ruin, it says work, enslave, etc.
Herbert needed this word to be "overturn" because he could use it to create a mystery and a mind-boggling revelation. The NIV used a broader range of source material than the KJV, thus, often their scholars arrived at more precise shades of meaning. Does saying 'work' three times mean work-to-death?
Only a scholar with a good understanding of idioms of the time can say.
The word translated "overturn" in KJV Ez.21:27 is (H5654 ebed edown; from the activity of H5647 obad; a primitive root; to work in any sense; by implication to serve, till, (causative) enslave, etc.

Weinland Watch said...

"Most experts on British Israelism agree, the theory was promoted by theologians to justify the break of the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church."

The King James Version Bible was a direct result of this (it was, in reality, a unified version of the various Bishop's Bibles in use in Anglican cathedrals at the time), so odds are more than likely that the KJV translation is going to support Anglo-Israelism over and above any other translations.

Just as an interesting aside, did you know the Anglican Book of Common Prayer quotes only eight passages from the book of Revelation, throughout the entire liturgical year? Moral of the story, the Anglicans weren't big on dual-prophecy either, even if we did get BI from them.