Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
NUMBER 12, PAGE 23b-25

The Armstrong Cult

Lloyd Moyer

It would be impossible to give a detailed review of this Cult in this article; however, I will touch on some of the high points of the theories they preach.

Herbert W. Armstrong and his son, Garner Ted, conduct radio and T. V. programs (world wide), and publish books and magazines to promulgate their theories concerning the "coming of Christ," and what they please to call "THE WORLD TOMORROW."

Their theories concerning "the coming of Christ," His "reign on David's Throne in literal, earthly Jerusalem," and the "utopian period here on earth" are simply a revival of old pre-millenialist arguments with a new twist and some variations. Their "WORLD TOMORROW" is composed of both humans and Spirit Beings. The ruling class are Spirit Beings while those ruled are humans. The appeal is materialistic, earthly, fleshly, carnal, and physical in nature. They describe what they imagine to-morrow's world will be like in the books, "THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF TOMORROW, WHAT IT WILL BE LIKE" and "THE UNITED STATES AND BRITISH COMMONWEALTH IN PROPHECY." (All my quotes of Armstrong will be from these books. L.M.)

Simply stated, the theory is that the "10 lost tribes,"* or "House of Israel" is "our white, English-speaking people" today. Britain is Ephraim, and the United States is Manasseh, (the sons of Joseph) in prophecy. David's throne is (we are told) in London, England; now occupied by the Queen, who is supposed to be the descendant of David through one of the daughters of Zedekiah. (They tell us this daughter of Zedekiah is "the tender twig" of Bible prophecy.) Furthermore, Christ is to come and all the "righteous dead, even the Old Testament prophets," are to be raised "from the dead"; and those righteous living "shall be instantaneously changed from mortal to immortal...and together with those resurrected, shall rise to meet the descending glorified Christ in the clouds in the air. They all will be with Him when he comes out of the clouds. These changed, converted saints, now made immortal, will rule the nations." It is further stated that Christ will remove David's Throne from England to Jerusalem where He will FORCE His divine government on the world. Those who resist and oppose Him will be destroyed by their "flesh rotting" while they are "still on their feet," and the "eyes will rot in their sockets."

There will be no disease, ill-health, (guess folk will live forever; sorry, I mean for a thousand years) hunger, nor any thing to mar the physical life. In fact, the very things man longs for now, will BE FORCED upon man in their "WORLD TOMORROW." By juggling, twisting, perverting and mis-applying scriptures they try to make Old Testament prophecies picture almost every modern day event, particularly in the Middle East, as pointing to the eminent (soon to be) "return of Christ to this earth." The "lost ten tribes" ("our white, English-speaking, people") will be established again in Palestine in fulfillment of the promise God made to Abraham. It would take a large book to state all the features of their "World Tomorrow," and another book to examine all the prophecies claimed to prove their theories. One does not have to trim all the limbs from a tree in order to cut it down. Neither do I have to deal with the host of twisted and perverted prophecies to dis-prove the "Armstrong Theories." I merely have to cut down the whole tree by cutting out the roots.

As I see the matter, there are THREE ROOT PRONGS to this fancied tree. To cut away just one of these prongs would destroy the whole tree of Armstrong. However, I shall root up all three.

ONE: Armstrong says that the Old Testament Prophecies are "for us in our time — this twentieth century." He claims to have "the key" so that he can tell us exactly which "nations today are referred to in the prophecies." The writer of the Hebrew letter denies what Armstrong affirms. (Heb. 1:1-2) "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets. Hath in these last days spoken to us by his Son." Here is a flat statement that contradicts Armstrong. He contends that God IS speaking to us TODAY by the prophets, but the inspired writer says God "spake in time past by the prophets," and NOW speaks "to us by his Son." The New Testament is OUR standard of authority in this (the last) age. One has to ignore what Jesus and His apostles say, and go back to the Old Testament prophecies to follow these modern-day millenialists. This takes care of number one.

TWO: Armstrong claims the "land promise" made to Abraham and its being repeated to others has NOT been fulfilled, and must YET come to pass. However, the Bible plainly states that Israel DID receive the land promised in Gen. 15:18. Note: (Josh. 21:43-45) "And the Lord gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto the fathers: and they possessed it, and dwelt therein... There failed not ought of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel: all came to pass.- (Emp. mine L.M.) Their continued possession of the land was conditional upon their faithfulness to God. See Josh. 23:15-16 and chapter 24. Solomon is said to have reigned over All the kings from "the river" (Euphrates) unto the "border of Egypt." (II Chron. 9:26). This is exactly the land mentioned in the "land-promise." The Bible tells us that God "hast performed thy words:" concerning the giving of the land (even names the people) which He promised to Baraham. (Neh. 9:6-7) These passages emphatically state that the "land-promise" HAS been fulfilled. It would be a perversion of scriptures to try and apply any passage concerning the "land-promise" to some modern-day or future-day event. It makes not one whit of difference whatever the circumstances or events are in the Middle East today, they do not portend any future promise made to Abraham. That promise has already been fulfilled. That takes care of number two.

THREE: Armstrong claims that since the "Birthright is Joseph's" and was passed on to Ephraim, it never was given to Judah or the "Jews." He claims the "Jews" and "the house of Israel" are not the same people at all, Furthermore, the "house of Israel" are the "lost ten tribes," and the "Jews," so named for Judah, are the tribes of Benjamin, Judah and Levi. He says Israel NEVER returned from captivity to Canaan, but some way found themselves in the British Isles, and later part of them (Manasseh) settled in the United States: while the "Jews" returned to Palestine. So, the "Jews" and the "House of Israel" or "Israel" are entirely two different people; the Jews in Judea and the "lost ten tribes of Israel" (remember, according to Armstrong these are "our English-speaking, white people") in England and the United States.

This is simply the figment of a fertile imagination. The truth is that the terms "Jews" and "house of Israel" or "Israel" refer to the same people in the New Testament. Any one who reads the New Testament knows that the "House of Israel" or "Israelites" were in Judea during the time of Jesus. Our Lord sent forth His disciples to "the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Matt. 10:5-6). The disciples preached to the "Jews" of that land. Did they disobey Christ? No! They found the "house of Israel" in Judea. The ONLY sense in which Israel was lost is spiritually, NOT physically...The "Jews" of Christ's time on earth WERE "the house of Israel," and away goes

Armstrong's Scheme Of Things.

Mark 1:4-5 teaches that John preached repentance and "there went out unto him all the land of Judea." But Acts 13:24 tells us John "preached repentance to all the house of Israel" (Emp. mine L.M.)

Nicodemus was a "ruler of the Jews" (John 3:1), but in verse ten Jesus called him "a master in Israel." Did Jesus make a mistake? Armstrong would have had to say, 'Wait, Lord, you made a mistake! This man could NOT be "a master in Israel" since he is here in Judea and "Israel" is "lost" over in the "Isles." Shucks!

Again: The gospel (word) was preached unto the "Jews only" (Acts 11:19), but Acts 10:36 tells us the "word" (gospel) was sent unto "the children of Israel." Hence, the "Jews" and the "children of Israel" were the same people, Armstrong not withstanding.

Once more: There were "Jews out of every nation" dwelling at Jerusalem on Pentecost (Acts 2:4), but Peter called them "ye men of Israel" in verse 22. If there was any difference between "Jews" and "Israel" none of the inspired apostles knew it.

Read the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. You will see that the people are called "Jews" 8 times and "Israel" 40 times in Ezra, "Israel" 22 times and "Jews" 11 times in Nehemiah. Of course, only one people was being considered.

Now, after driving the nail through, let us turn over the plank and clinch it on the other side. Armstrong bases his whole hallucination on the fact that the "birthright was Joseph's." The Bible knocks his theory into a cocked hat. Please note: "Moreover he refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim: But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved." (Psa. 78:67-58) So, what difference would it make if the "tribe of Ephraim," along with others did get "lost", and finally located in England and the United States? The Bible plainly shows that the Lord "REFUSED THE TABERNACLE (HOUSE) OF JOSEPH, AND CHOSE NOT THE TRIBE OF EPHRAIM." (Emp. mine, L.M.) This takes care of number three.

A close study of every prophecy Armstrong uses to try and prove his theories will reveal that he twists and perverts the passages. He appeals to the masses by using sensationalism. Every earthquake, tornado, flood and any other event is given special meaning by Armstrong; and is supposed to portend Christ's eminent return. He seems to forget that these SAME things have been happening since time began. Also, he should be reminded that others have been, for the last couple of hundred years, prophesying the SAME things and that "Christ was to return" immediately: but these prophecies failed. Why does Armstrong think it is any difference today? His mistaken idea of a "return to Palestine of Israel" and a "re-establishing of Old Judaism" leads him to place special emphasis on events in the Mid-East. His misconception of the "house of Israel" being "our white, English-speaking people" makes him a "racist" of the first order. He preaches a different gospel than that which Paul preached and will, therefore, be accursed. (Gal. 1:6-10)

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