Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 10, 1962

"The World Tomorrow" According To Armstrong

Wm. E. Wallace

Many people listen regularly to "The World Tomorrow," a radio program by Herbert W. and Garner Ted Armstrong. The program is broadcast from coast to coast and abroad. The Armstrong's "World Tomorrow" is also taught through various publications. The "world tomorrow" theory is not based on the truth of the Bible. It is another fanciful, fantastic, religious theory based on perversion and misinterpretation of scripture; indiscriminate and erroneous use of Bible prophecy.

The basic assumption of the theory is that modern nations are definitely and specifically identified in Bible prophecy. The key to prophecies of the Bible is said to be "a definite knowledge of the true identity of the American and British people in biblical prophecy." But this "key" is actually the erroneous assumption upon which the whole theory is based. Working on this assumption, passages and prophecies are misused, twisted, perverted, and wrested, to form an untrue trail, an unbiblical chain of thought.

The trail of "world tomorrow" theory begins with the misapplication of passages in Genesis. It runs beyond Bible times through suppositions involving history, word studies, and genealogies to an identification of the Anglo-Saxon people as the true Israel of God. It leans heavily on coincidental occurrences and similarities between Bible expressions and modern events. It offers a concocted; theoretical picture of the future. The British throne is declared to be the true throne of David; the Anglo-Saxon people are marked as the "10 lost tribes of Israel." The United States is declared to be the Manasseh of Old Testament prophecy; Britain is marked as Ephraim. Jesus Christ is expected to return to take the throne in London and move it to Jerusalem. This "world tomorrow" theoretical system is refuted by a study of the claims it makes regarding Bible passages and words.

One of the basic claims of this "world tomorrow" theory is that the word Jew, first appearing in 2 Kings 16:6, is never used to refer to the house of Israel. It is claimed that Jews are one group, and the house of Israel another. Armstrong is dogmatic and asserts; "House of Israel NEVER means 'Jews'....the TEN tribes, headed 'by Ephraim and Manasseh from this time on are called 'Israel.' They are not Jews and never were called Jews."

Peter the apostle did not recognize a distinction between the words Jew and Israel. In Acts 2:5, we read of "Jews from every nation under heaven." In verse 14, Peter addresses them as "men of Judea." In verse 22, he calls them "men of Israel." In verse 36, he labels them as "all the house of Israel."

When the Jews were in Babylonia under captivity, God told Ezekiel to speak to them: "Go speak unto the house of Israel.... to them of the captivity.... that dwelt by the river Chebar" (In Babylonia). (Ezekiel 3:1, 5, 11, 15) At this time, according to the "world tomorrow" theory, the 10 tribes (Israel) had been lost and the "Jews only" were in Babylonia. Well then these Jews in Babylonia are referred to by God as the "house of Israel"! Note the following on the true use of the term Israel: "Remember that the term 'Israel' actually embraces the two kingdoms of Israel (Ephraim) and Judah, making it possible to refer to them as 'the two houses of Israel.' (Isaiah 8:14) Thus, even after the Northern kingdom had fallen, the term still applied to Judah."

The word "Jew" is not always used to refer to Judah only. Cruden's Concordance states the truth on the use of the word Jew thusly: "The Jews are always spoken of in the New Testament as the twelve tribes, never as two, and Ezra 6:16-17 certainly indicates that they were thus considered at the time of the return."

The reason for this distinction made by "world tomorrow-ism," is seen in its identification of English speaking people as the true Israel. True Jews are of Judah, and the "house of Israel" or the "ten lost tribes," are Anglo-Saxon people — this is what we are told. But we have shown that the dogmatic assertions concerning the use of "Jew" and "house of Israel" are wrong. The terms are used interchangeably. Dr. Cyrus H. Gordon, a professor of Old Testament, and chairman of Graduate Facilities, at Brandeis University, points out: "The context alone can tell the reader whether 'Israel' (in the time of the Hebrew monarchies) refers to all the tribes or only to the northern ones." He also observes: "It is convenient to call the people 'Jews' (derived from `Judean') after the Babylonian exile changed their status into a predominantly international folk."

We next consider the theory about the "10 lost tribes of Israel." We know that there was a split in Israel; that two nations were formed — Judah and Israel; that Israel was carried into captivity by Assyrians in 721 B. C. and Judah by Babylonians in the period 606-586 B. C. Armstrong speaks of the 10 lost tribes. He assumes, as many others do, that the ten tribes were completely lost before the restoration of Jews to Palestine after 536 B. C. He then finds them in Britain and America! He thinks!

The 10 tribes were first under Assyrian captivity. Later they became subject to and absorbed under Babylonian rule. The 10 tribes lost recognition as a separate nation from the other Israelites, but people of the ten tribes continued to be known and identified with the international race called Jews, Hebrews and Israelites.

When the Assyrians conquered the land of the ten tribes, they transplanted the population. After moving the Israelites out, they moved alien, conquered peoples from distant lands in. (2 Kings 17.24) So the 10 tribes lost their homeland. Their land was given to others. They had no homeland to which to return. But when the Babylonians conquered the land of Judah and carried the Judean away, they did not repopulate the land of Judah, as Assyria had done in the land of Israel. Then when the Persians gained world supremacy, and King Cyrus allowed conquered peoples to return to their original homelands, Israelites of the ten tribes had no homeland to which to return, so they joined Israelites of Judah, in the land of Judah, to become one reunited nation — the house of Israel. The return of Israelites or the tribe of Judah is emphasized in the Bible because Judah had been destined to be the family line of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The restored nation of Jews or Israelites was not an independent one. The nation enjoyed autonomy only in religion. There was no mass exodus to Palestine of either Judah or Israel. The immigration took place over a period of several generations. It is noteworthy that some of the restoration prophecies of Jeremiah (chapters 30 and 31) were addressed to Ephraim (Israel), Ephraim had been carried away a century before Jeremiah's prophecies. But Jeremiah's speaks to these scattered people of the 10 tribes and includes them in the promises of restoration to Palestine.

Armstrong says, "They (Israel) did not return to Palestine with the Jews in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah." But Jeremiah 23:7-8, tells us that those of the "house of Israel" would return, and Ezra 2:70 speaks of "all Israel" in the return. It is true that many Jews of the two tribes and of the ten tribes were lost or dispersed. But there were Jews of both groups in the return to Palestine. Ezekiel 37 pictures the "whole house of Israel' in return from Babylonian captivity (verse 11), and tells how the two groups, Judah and Israel, would be one nation after the return (verse 22). The Bible is right and Armstrong is wrong. Jesus sent his disciples to the "lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Matt. 10:5-6) Note that the disciples were told not to go to Gentiles and Samaritans at that time, but to the "house of Israel." (Matt. 15:24) So the Lord found them in Palestine before Armstrong claimed to find them in Britain and America!

Two major contentions of the Armstrong theory have fallen. We now take a third. "World tomorrow-ism" asserts that David's throne is now occupied by the Queen of England, and that Christ will take this throne over, when he comes again, move it to Jerusalem and reign on it. But the Bible teaches that Christ now reigns on the throne of David, at the right hand of God. Peter, the apostle, quoted prophecies concerning David's throne, and points out that these prophecies refer to Christ. God told David he would raise up one to sit on this throne. (2 Sam. 7, Psalms 110 and 16) After Christ was raised up, Peter said that God was speaking of this resurrection of Christ when the Lord told David that one would be raised up to sit on the throne. (Acts 2:29-36) Christ was raised to sit on David's throne, he is now occupying that throne — exalted "by the right hand of God." In Revelation 3:21, Christ promises that he will allow the faithful to sit with him "in my throne." Armstrong would have us believe that Elizabeth II occupies David's throne. But Christ is on it!

There are many other errors in the Armstrong system of religion. Where the Bible speaks of "isles" and "ships," they ignore the nations and events of ancient, biblical times and tell us the isles and ships have reference to modern Britain. They are guessing — and lifting verses from contexts. A careful study of all the passages they use, in contextual settings, will show that the "world tomorrow" is a figment of religious imagination. The "world tomorrow" religion is sensational speculation. People like to listen to such spectacular claims. The "world tomorrow" religion appeals to the imagination and takes advantage of the lack of knowledge among people relative to Old Testament prophecies.

The best way to keep people from getting infected with "world tomorrow-ism," is to get them to consider the prophecies used by Armstrong in their true settings, and contexts. Every assertion made by the Armstrong's regarding the prophecies of the Old Testament can be exploded.

The following selection from an article by Yater Tant gives the background of the religion which is taught by Herbert W. and Garner Ted Armstrong:

Richard Brothers (1756-1824), "a half-pay officer of eccentric habits in the British Navy," has given to the world one of the most amazing religio-political theories to be found in all history. It was this odd character who was the first, in modern times, to advocate the singular theory that the British nation is in actual fact and truth the real Israel of God. He claimed that the Anglo-Saxon race was descended from the "ten lost tribes" of Israel that he, himself, was a lineal descendant of David, and the rightful claimant to "David's Throne"; that very shortly God would overthrow all the enemies of Israel (England), and that he, Richard Brothers, would, become the ruler of the whole world.

Quite understandably, the Britishers confined this man to a lunatic asylum, but even so he secured and retained many admirers. Outstanding among them was C. Piazzi Smyth, astronomer-royal for Scotland, who made certain measurements of the Great Pyramid of Ghieh, and deduced from these mathematical computations that Brothers was right in all his claims except one — namely, the matter of the royal line of David. Smyth believed that the Great Pyramid established the right of Victoria, the Queen of England, to the throne of David, and that while Brothers was absolutely right in claiming descent from the ten lost tribes, he was mistaken in thinking he was the rightful heir to the throne."

The complex system of "world tomorrow-ism" is not a part of the faith once delivered to the saints. (Jude 3)

It is not a part of the doctrine of Christ. (2 John 9)

Those who have been concerned with it, or troubled by it, can see the falsehoods in it, by reading and studying the contexts of the passages used by it.

— Box 407 Poteau, Oklahoma