Saturday, May 10, 2008

The US & Britain;InProphesy? Pt. 2 of 2

Once Herbert had established in the minds of his follower the Idea that the US, Britain, Canada, Australia and others, are Israel, he could begin to introduce alleged prophesies of destruction as, pertaining to the present, and to these countries.
Deut 28 is called the blessings and curses chapter. And if you read it you might note that once the curses part starts, there is nothing about a mid punishment reprieve. As a matter of fact the text repeats that the curses continue until Israel is destroyed. Example; Deut 28:48 “therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty; you will serve the enemies the LORD sends against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you.”

I recall hearing this next verse in church as a kid; it and others created a profound dread of the future, and a sense of utter hopelessness. Deut 28:64Then the LORD will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship other gods—gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known. 65 Among those nations you will find no repose, no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the LORD will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart. 66 You will live in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, never sure of your life.” I was taught that these things would be in my future; that the USA was going to go into national captivity.

Elevating ones speculation to the level of dogma seems to be a legacy of Herbert, now being carried on by his disciples, such as; Ron Weinland, Rod Meredith, Gerald Flurry, etc.
Israel went into captivity, and according to Herbert they were blessed again 2500 years later in a whole new land, only to sin and be cursed all over again. Ho.11:8 disagrees, 8My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused. 9 I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I turn and devastate Ephraim. For I am God, and not man— the Holy One among you. I will not come in wrath. 10 They will follow the LORD; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling from the west. 11 They will come trembling like birds from Egypt, like doves from Assyria. I will settle them in their homes," declares the LORD.” After the captivity God has compassion, and does what? Bless them on the North American continent? No, he settles them in their home. Again notice Jer30:3The days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their forefathers to possess,' says the LORD.”

Herbert used every prophecy sent to Israel and applied them to the USA and Britain, admitting that they had been fulfilled in what historically happened to Israel (both the Northern Kingdom and Judah). He continually hammered on the biblical principle of duality, which is entirely extra-biblical, so there are no references to refute. Yes, there are two comings of Jesus; there’s the physical house of Israel and the church. But a principle that prophecy is fulfilled twice, that’s unsupported supposition.
After reading “Every Prophecy of the Bible,” by John F. Walvoord, I came away unequivocally aware that; prophecy is usually very straight forward; its symbolism, when used, is explained; or when not explained, metaphoric material is essentially clearly evident.

Clarity doesn’t provide a basis for a cult to draw a following where gnosis does. Inserting arcane meanings into everything, cultivating suspense, makes for a better story. Herbert was a conspiracy theorist. Herbert spun such a captivating tale, always nurturing a sense of mystery that appeals to the suspicion and cynicism lurking in peoples’ minds.

The pushing forward of prophecy claiming 90 percent of it applies to the end time is based on shallow arguments like; “The prophets prophesied after Israel went into captivity, so the prophecies couldn’t have been for them in their day.” Josephus the Jewish historian said in the first century, “Yet the Ten Tribes who are beyond the Euphrates till now, are an immense multitude, whose numbers cannot be estimated." (Antiquities 11:5:2:133)

I’m confident Ezekiel knew where Israel was, and could deliver the message he wrote, when God told him to; Ez2:3He said: "Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me.” It’s pure conjecture to presume the prophets message was waiting for the “end times, but to Herbert, it was fact.

It’s almost amusing how the ones who read Ezekiel 5 claiming it’s referring to the USA don’t mention that God is no longer addressing Israel (Northern Kingdom) .By their theory, The USA is Israel, but this is addressed to Jerusalem. They say the USA is first in punishment, but this says it’s Jerusalem, and Israel thereafter. Ez5:11 "Now, son of man, take a sharp sword and use it as a barber's razor to shave your head and your beard. Then take a set of scales and divide up the hair. 2 When the days of your siege come to an end, burn a third of the hair with fire inside the city. Take a third and strike it with the sword all around the city. And scatter a third to the wind. For I will pursue them with drawn sword. 3 But take a few strands of hair and tuck them away in the folds of your garment. 4 Again, take a few of these and throw them into the fire and burn them up. A fire will spread from there to the whole house of Israel.” God is speaking to the people of Jerusalem. Just read Josephus’ horror story of the fall of the city (Wars of the Jews – Books 5 & 6); these things have already occurred. The only way one could apply this to a latter day Israel is via the so called “principle of duality,” which again is a fabrication. There is one punishment. Ez5:8I myself am against you, Jerusalem, and I will inflict punishment on you in the sight of the nations. 9 Because of all your detestable idols, I will do to you what I have never done before and will never do again.

The preceding verse was addressed to Judah, but earlier I quoted Ho 11:8-11 which addresses Israel, and the following addresses both; Ez34:11For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. 12 As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains (This is referring to geography not governments, note; ravines and grazing) of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. 14 I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD. 16 I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.” The bible has set a precedence of being straight forward, but Herbert’s disciples create confusion by claiming such verses to be entirely metaphoric, thus “spiritualizing” clear meaning into the netherworld of ambiguity.

These doom and gloom promulgators rarely dwell long on the verses showing that the next appearance of God is to save. There is one punishment and then God saves; Micah5:3Therefore Israel will be abandoned (no recess) until the time when she who is in labor gives birth and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites 4 He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. 5 And he will be their peace.” Again, I repeat, nowhere is there any verse that speaks of a reprieve in the middle of the punishment. It lasts until Jesus comes.

I have vivid memories of the silent sober audience hearing from the pulpit about the death that shall befall us, quoting Isa6:10Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes.” (‘See how true this is’, says Armstrong’s disciples, ‘very few hear our true gospel.’) “Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn” (turn to disciples of Herbert, according to them) “and be healed." 11 Then I said, "For how long, O Lord?" And he answered: "Until the (“US?”) cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged, 12 until the LORD has sent everyone far away and the land is utterly forsaken. 13 And though a tenth remains in the land (What we call Palestine), it will again be laid waste, (the ‘again’ is still in this time frame, not in the distant future). But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land."
The land is Israel (Palestine), and nothing says the stump grows back into a tree just to be cut back down again. After a tenth is all that remains in Palestine, they’re whittled down again until they become a stump. The word “again” doesn’t mean 2600+ years later, but until there is nothing left but a stump. History records this all to have occurred. Also the calloused state of mind remains until their punishment is complete. But today’s prophets of Armstrong are still crying out; “God’s word says the USA and Britain will be destroyed leaving only a tenth alive.” How many more kids have to grow up like I did, living in fear or terror of shadows, because their parents buy into this kind of claptrap.

What makes seeing God as the angry avenger, easier than seeing him as the loving Sheppard? Why not dwell on the post punishment mode of God, and nurture a healthy mind? Isa40:11He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” But this doesn’t keep people in fear, and people without fear can’t be controlled.

From my earliest years I heard, “the great tribulation is coming; Israel will be destroyed, and Israel is us.” Whether the purpose of the preachers of this darkness is to create terror or not; the indiscriminate spreading of their errors has that effect.

After believing their misconceptions most of my life, only detailed study could free my mind from the prison of terror. Nothing is as I was taught.

Even the “tribulation” is something other than what was always presented. It has more to do with the following; Zech12:9On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem.” The fact is that even God’s wrath is an act of salvation, but this is a whole other study.
Take a peek at pictures we grew up with; Armstrongism: Beware Of False Prophets
You may also be interested in:

Is Germany Assyria as taught by Herbert and his disciples? A bit weighty, but enlightening: Assyrian Identity
For those of us who suffered at the hands of the WCG, this is a well know experiment exposing The perils Of Obedience


Richard said...

A lot here to consider. But methinks you mean Deut. 28, not 26.

Weinland Watch said...

Glad I'm not the only one who sees the parallels between the Milgram experiments and the Levitical priesthood.

Another interesting bit of trivia, if you read the Old Testament texts, particularly those of "the major prophets" (barf) in English translation of the Judaic texts, they seem to be much more straightforward and clear in meaning than the wiggle room that is allowed, some would say encouraged, by the KJV.

I was going through one of the old YES lessons, checking through the verses that were proof-texted there, and reading the same verses of "thirds" in context, in the Judaic text versus the Christian text, dual prophecy is much more difficult to stretch the Judaic text towards.

There are also differences in geography between the two texts; Philistia becomes Palestine and vice versa, in at least two places, between one English translation of the Torah, and the KJV.

Glen Erickson said...

Thanks Richard,half the time I can't read my own writing.

Anonymous said...

I have not found any Scripture/s that speaks specifically of the U.S. in the Bible.

But, Scripture states that ALL nations will come against Jerusalem to battle (Zech.14:2 below), which would then also include the United States.

Zech.14:2 For I will gather ALL nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished: and half the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

Patricia (©) Bible Prophecy on the Web
Author of the self-study aid, The Book of Revelation Explained © 1982

Glen Erickson said...

Isa34:2 The LORD is angry with all nations; his wrath is upon all their armies. He will totally destroy them,
Joel3:1 "In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, 2 I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel,
Joel3:12 “Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat,
for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side
Ez39:17 "Son of man, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Call out to every kind of bird and all the wild animals: 'Assemble and come together from all around to the sacrifice I am preparing for you, the great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel. There you will eat flesh and drink blood. 18 You will eat the flesh of mighty men and drink the blood of the princes of the earth
Isa24:21 In that day the LORD will punish the powers in the heavens above and the kings on the earth below. 22 They will be herded together like prisoners bound in a dungeon
Zeph3:8 therefore wait for me," declares the LORD, "for the day I will stand up to testify. I have decided to assemble the nations, to gather the kingdoms and to pour out my wrath on them— all my fierce anger. The whole world (H776 erets: to be firm; the earth, at large or partitively a land)will be consumed by the fire of my jealous anger.
Isa66:18 "And I, because of their actions and their imaginations, am about to come and gather all nations and tongues, and they will come and see my glory. 19 "I will set a sign among them, and I will send some of those who survive to the nations (Witnesses are sent to tell of the destruction, it's not world wide.)
Rev19:17 Come, gather together for the great supper of God, 18so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great."
Ob1:15 "The day of the LORD is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.
My take on all these verses is illustrated most effectively by the first one in this list. What I’m seeing is God gathering the disease to one location and eliminating it, which is an act of salvation for the world. Maybe you can think of it as chemotherapy for a terminally ill planet. All the destructive power of modern weaponry and the thugs who so readily use them are the disease. The idea that Jesus comes and destroys indiscriminately is what I find offensive. The following verse is an insight into the mind of a God whose wrath is like the kind a father would have toward one who would harm his daughter. His wrath is not to be feared by those abiding in his love.
Ez34:18 Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? 19 Must my flock feed on what you have trampled and drink what you have muddied with your feet?
20 " 'Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says to them: See, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21 Because you shove with flank and shoulder, butting all the weak sheep with your horns until you have driven them away, 22 I will save my flock, and they will no longer be plundered.

Anonymous said...

When we were children we are told of a mystical, magical god that loves all and is just. We are told that governments exist to provide us with justice.
We are told that the cure for despair is hope but having existed in this world for for over half a century I have come to learn a greater truth about god and government that is far from the mystical and magical lessons we are taught in childhood.
Unfortunately many of us would rather continue to drink from the pap than take up a knife and fork and fill ourselves with reality.
I hope and pray all will go well for those in despair.