Vol.VII No.IX Pg.5
November 1970

Armstrongs Folly

Robert F. Turner

Few if any cults or our clay have deluded more people, with greater error, than has Herbert W. Armstrong and his Radio Church of God. Thousands hear his son, Garner Ted, and swallow his smooth speech without realizing the background of Anglo- Israelism that is in his prophecy nor the consequences of its error.

Herbert W. wrote: We want to impress here that Israel and Judah are not two names for the same nation.... The House of Judah always means Jew. This distinction is vital if we are to understand prophecy.... The next place where the term Jew is mentioned in the Bible, the House of Israel had been driven out in captivity, lost from view, and the term only applies to those of the House of Judah. There are no exceptions in the Bible. (Where Are the Ten Lost Tribes? H.W. Armstrong, p.8.)

The mere smatterer in Bible history will remember that following the reign of Solomon, The Israelites were divided into two nations —the two southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin being called Judah while the ten northern tribes kept the name Israel. This distinction is found frequently in Chronicles, etc., and in the writings of the Prophets during this time. But the Prophets foretold reunion (Jer. 30:1-4 etc.) and Nehemiah prayed for Israel. All Israel gave portions to the Levites (Neh. 12:47); some of the children of Israel returned with Ezra (Ezra 6:21 7:7); and men of Israel repented of having taken foreign wives (Ezra 10:25). Isaiah said the Lord would set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people... from Assyria, etc. (Isa. 11:10-f.) The first time points to their physical restoration. referred to above. The second time refers to redemption in Jesus Christ, where both Jew (all Israelites) and Gentile (all others) have equal opportunity to be one in their salvation from sin.

The New Testament does not maintain the strict distinction which Mr. Armstrong says is so vital if we are to understand prophecy. Jesus sent His disciples to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, the cities of Israel;— and they went to the Jews. (Matt. 10: 6,23) (Israel was not as lost — physically— as Armstrong seems to think.) Paul was of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an impossible combination if Armstrong is right. (Phil. 3:5) But the truth is that the Judah-Israel distinction of divided kingdom days was not maintained; some of Israel as well as some of Judah (not all) returned to Jerusalem (Anna the prophetess was of the tribe of Asher, Lu. 2:36) and Armstrongs idea that the British and American people are the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh. the ten lost tribes — is foolish.

It is Armstrong who does not understand prophecy. His special brand of folly, first advocated during the plush Colonial days of Britton, is a superior race concept; although the current reaction to such a spirit may cause this facet of the doctrine to be soft-pedaled. The materialistic basis, like all premillennialism, refuses to accept the Holy Spirits explanation of prophecy and the church.