How Anglo-Israelism Entered Seventh-day Churches of God
a history of the doctrine from John Wilson to Joseph W. Tkach
1 A photograph of this letter appears in both the 1967 and 1973 editions of Armstrong’s Autobiography. It is not in the 1986 two-volume edition. Nor does the HWA Personal Papers Catalog by Date list it.I am returning from the Arkansas conference... and have just finished the manuscript on the Third Angel’s Message and British Israel.... You have put much work on this and I am impressed to write you now while the matter is fresh on my mind.... I have seen no work near its equal in clearness and completeness. You surely are right, and while I cannot use it in the paper at the present you may be sure that your labor has surely not been in vain.... There is a purpose in your having gone into this matter so deeply... and you will hear more from these truths and the light herein revealed later. (A. N. Dugger to Herbert W Armstrong, 28 July 1929, The Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong, 1967 ed., 406)1
Did this Church accept and proclaim this vital new truth — the key that unlocks the doors to all prophecy? Here was the key to understanding of one third of the whole Bible. But this Church refused then to accept it or preach it or publish it... though their leader frankly confessed it was truth and a revelation from God!Yet here was the Church which appeared to have more truth, and less error than any other.... Truly, this was bewildering! (ibid., 346)
|This paragraph refers to Jacques Abbadie (and other spellings), 1654-1727. He wrote in French for French Huguenot refugees in England, extolling the virtues of Britain and its monarchy. Some of his works were translated into English and German. He wrote the Le Triomphe..., which was published in Amsterdam. He was made Dean of Kilaloe in Ireland in recognition of his support for William of Orange. His work, Le Triomphe... is available in several academic libraries - see the Union Catalog.Mike Linacre, Research Associate, University of Chicago|
2 Melton J. Gordon, Encyclopedia of American Religions (Wilmington, North Carolina: McGrath Publishing Co., 1978), 447.
3 A.B. Grimaldi, "History of the Rediscovery of Israel," The Watchman of Israel, July 1919 (vol. 1, no. 9), 195.
4 Grimaldi, "History of the Rediscovery of Israel," The Watchman of Israel,July 1919 [vol. 1, no. 9], 193–6).
5 Cecil Roth, The Nephew of the Almighty (London: Edward Goldston Ltd., 1933).
6 How much weight should we give to Grimaldi’s account? The problem with Grimaldi is that he tried too hard to give Anglo-Israelism credibility by "proving" it was not a recent innovation. In so doing he uncritically lumps Brothers and Wilson together as fellow Anglo-Israelites. He makes no mention of Brothers insanity, nor the extremes to which Brothers’ insanity took him. That Grimaldi gives one of two versions of the Abade story further weakens his credibility.
7 John Wilson, Our Israelites Origins, 1st American ed., 1850, Millerites and Early Adventists (University Microfilms), Section 3, Reel 15, part 24.
8 Louis Billington, "The Millerite Adventists in Great Britain, 1840-1850," The Disappointed: Millerism and Millenarianism in the Nineteenth Century,Ronald L. Numbers and Jonathan M. Butler eds., 2nd ed. (Knoxville, Tennessee: University of Tennessee Press, 1993), 59, 66.
9 The Jehovah's Witnesses are considered an Adventist sect because their founder Charles Taze Russell was a disciple of the Adventists Jonas Wendell and Nelson H. Barbour, from whom he learned the conditional state of the dead.
10 A. N. Dugger and C. O. Dodd, A History of the True Religion (Jerusalem, Israel: 1968), 296. Prior to 1923, the Church of God (Seventh Day) was called the Church of God (Adventist). Despite the name change, the 1926 U.S. census continued to call the Church by its older name. The older name clearly identifies its origin among the Adventist movement. For the sake of clarity I have used the current name, Church of God (Seventh Day) throughout the article. However, those doing historic research on this sect, should be aware of the variety of names the local congregations of this sect have been known by throughout its formative period from 1863-1923. See note 15.
11 Another much smaller sect, claiming to uphold the original teachings of the Church of God (Abrahamic Faith), also retains the older name. This leads to some confusion, of which researchers should be aware. Much ill feeling exists among the smaller group for the larger.
12 Restorationism should not be confused with the modern Christian Reconstructionist movement, which seeks to order America’s government along the lines of the old covenant. Christian Reconstructionism is post-millennial while restorationism is pre-millennial.
13 R.V. Lyon, The Scattering and Restoration of Israel, Thomas G. Newman publisher (Seneca Falls, New York: 1861), 31, 33, 34. This tract explains Lyon’s basic teachings on prophetic Israel. Many of his tracts can be found in the Jenks Memorial Collection in the library of Aurora College in Aurora, Illinois.
17 The Advent and Sabbath Advocate, 9 December 1884.
18 The Advent and Sabbath Advocate, 5 May 1885.
19 Perhaps The Bible Banner of 1884 was another independent Church of God periodical. A 1905 offshoot of the Church of God (Seventh Day) published a paper using that name, yet there is no indication the two periodicals were related. Through the years, various churches have titled their periodicals The Bible Banner. A recent search on the Internet turned up two such publications, neither of which were the ones mentioned above. The list probably does not end with them.
20 The Advent and Sabbath Advocate, 19 May 1885.
21 Nickels, 251.
22 During A.F. Dugger’s association with the Church paper, it underwent several name changes. Originally called The Hope of Israel, it later became the Advent and Sabbath Advocate then the Sabbath Advocate and Herald of the Advent. Not until late 1900 was it decided to call the paper The Bible Advocate and Herald of the Coming Kingdom. That has since been shortened to the simpler Bible Advocate.
23 Nickels, 153–4. Nickels sources are tracts published by A.N. Dugger from Jerusalem sometime between Dugger’s move there in the early 1950s and 1975. See also "The Chastisement of the Jewish People," The Bible Home Instructor. My copy of The Bible Home Instructor is a 1982 reprint with a few edits to bring it up to date. It deletes most of the original illustrations. (Reprint by George L. Johnson, Decatur, Michigan.)
24 Nebuchadnezzar’s siege began in 605 b.c., not 606 (Edwin R. Thiele, The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings [Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1983], 183–5). 2,520 years later is not a.d. 1914, but 1916. (One must add 1 to the sum when crossing from b.c. to a.d. dates.) Dugger was off by two years.
25 Richard Nickels incorrectly identified Guinness as Australian (Nickels, 153).
26 H. Grattan Guinness, The Approaching End of the Age, E. H. Horne editor and reviser (London: Morgan and Scott Ltd, 1918), 257–258.
27 Dr. and Mrs. H. Grattan Guinness, Light for the Last Days, edited and revised by E. P. Cachemaille (London: Marshall, Morgan and Scott Ltd., 1934). Not quite as popular as his first book, it still underwent seven editions prior to 1893.
28 Ibid., 244.
The year is...doubly indicated as a final crisis date, in which the "Seven Times" run out....There can be no question that those who live to see this year 1917 will have reached one of the most important, perhaps the most momentous, of these terminal years of crisis. (Light for the Last Days, 253, 255)
29 Ernest R. Sandeen, The Roots of Fundamentalism (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker, 1978), 147.
30 Nickels, 153.
31 J. Gordon Melton, Encyclopedia of American Religions, 4th ed. (Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1993), 119.
32 Edmond Charles Gruss, Apostles of Denial (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker, 1978), 173.
33 Directory of Sabbath-Observing Groups, 6th ed. (Fairview, Oklahoma: The Bible Sabbath Association, 1986), 138.
34 Nickels, 250.
35 The Bible Advocate, 1 March and 3 May 1927.
[In 1928] Rutherford...openly condemned resorting to non-biblical sources in the attempt to discover the will and plan of God. He specifically mentioned the Great Pyramid as an example. This provoked violent criticism from older members of the movement who had grown up under Russell’s teaching and many of them withdrew. (Charles S. Braden, These Also Believe [New York: Macmillan, 1949], 362. See also Edward Charles Gruss, Apostles of Denial [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1978], 61–2)
Yes, there are many strictly scientific proofs that The Great Pyramid is more than a mere tomb these days, and I advise you, if you want the REAL THING in the way of proof to send to the A.A. Beauchamp Pub. Co., 603 Boyston Street, Boston., Mass. and get Davidson’s great book on The Great Pyramid.... Then you will have plenty to occupy your time for months to come and will also have the most recent as well as the most scientific work ever written on the subject....
The most recent book on The Great Pyramid and a much easier one to read if you want this, is by "Discipulus," and can be had of the same people.... Its special value lies in the fact that it connects Pyramid truth with "British"-Israel truth in a fine way. (Reverend Lincoln McConnell to Herbert W. Armstrong, 3 June 1927, Herbert W. Armstrong Papers collection [HWAP]), #867).
I must say that if you really want to KNOW your Bible you will have to get the books on "Anglo-Israel".... You will never know the real truth the BOOK is teaching without this key. This sounds radical perhaps, but you will see when you study it that it's simple truth.
36 When I visited the main Portland library in the 1980s it had three separate catalogues. The newest was its computerized catalogue, another was the card catalogue that the computerized system had replaced, and the third was an even older card catalogue that apparently dated from the time of Armstrong’s studies. That older catalogue was stored on the second floor. It had several Anglo-Israelite titles not found in the newer catalogues, including the 1917 edition of Allen’s work.
37 Barkun, Michael, Religion and the Racist Right: The Origins of the Christian Identity Movement, revised ed. (The University of North Carolina Press: Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 1997), 22–3.
To the extent that a movement as diffuse as British-Israelism had an inner circle, Reuben Sawyer was in it. In 1919–20 he was instrumental in the establishment of the movement’s umbrella organization, the British-Israel World Federation. He helped draft the federation’s constitution and attended the first federation congress in London in 1920 (as did J.H. Allen). At the congress, Sawyer gave three addresses and presided over a session. He also spoke to large British-Israel conferences in England. When the head of the federation. Herbert Garrison, journeyed to Canada in 1929, Reuben Sawyer was on hand in Toronto to greet him, and he appears on the list of the federation’s vice-patrons with the likes of the Marchioness Dowager of Headfort and Admiral Sir Richard H. Pierse. (Barkun, Religion and the Racist Right, 23)
The Oregon Klan occupied Sawyer from 1921 until 1924. His first task was to make the Klan acceptable to the general community by packaging its nativist politics in soothing rhetoric. He introduced the Klan to Portland with an address before six thousand people at the Municipal Auditorium on December 22, 1921.... He spoke in a similar vein the following year in Eugene, where he appeared on a stage decorated with a sword, Bible, flag, and image of a burning cross. When he lectured again in Portland, fifteen hundred people had to be turned away from a packed hall guarded by robed Klansmen. (Ibid., 24–5)
Gentlemen:I have heard that the most recent book on the Great Pyramids is one by "Discipulus," published by you. I know nothing about this book, but if it is authoritative, giving accurate and reliable measurements of the interior passages as well as other measurements, I want it.
I have seen the works by Smyth, and have read The Miracle in Stone by Seiss. If this book is equally authoritative and dependable, but giving more recent data and information, you may send it to me at once, C.O.D.
What do you regard as the most authoritative and dependable book on the Anglo-Israel theory? I have seen many on this subject which I could not regard as at all reliable. One book which I have read, Judah’s Sceptre and Joseph’s Birthright, by Allen, appears to be more reliable than others I have seen. (Armstrong to A.A. Beauchamp Publishing Co., 28 March 1928)
Our Inheritance is a classic of its kind. Few books illustrate so beautifully the ease with which an intelligent man, passionately convinced of a theory, can manipulate his subject matter in such a way as to make it conform to previously held opinions. (Martin Gardner, Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science [New York: Dover, 1957], 176)
very good and up to date. Much of the information is based on a book by Davidson entitled The Great Pyramid: Its Divine Message. It...is one of the most remarkable and most interesting things that I ever read on the subject after Smyth’s great work....I am sending you...a series of articles by Davidson.... They confirm in every respect the noble work done by Piazzi Smyth and for which he suffered scorn and ridicule.
You ask my opinion as to the most dependable book on the Israel theory? I have always thought myself that Judah’s Sceptre and Joseph’s Birthright was the best book. (A.A. Beauchamp to Armstrong, 5 April 1928, HWAP, #874).
38 As far as we know, only one copy of one volume of Beauchamp’s magazine has survived. Volume I (November 1918 through October 1919) of The Watchman of Israel, is preserved in the library of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. The Watchman took as its theme the poem ‘The Call of Judah" that drew its imagery from Isaiah 21:11 ("Watchman, what of the night?") and the star of Bethlehem. The poem interpreted the star as the sign of the promised "day of Israel." The watchman was the one who proclaimed the meaning of the stars to a darkened world.
J.H. Allen wrote the lead article of the first issue. Another article, presumably by Beauchamp, began a series on the Great Pyramid. Among the books advertised were the two works by Guinness mentioned earlier in this paper.
39 J. Gordon Melton, Encyclopedia of American Religions, 4th ed. (Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1993), 669.
40 Armstrong to Mr. and Mrs. Runcorn, 28 February 1928, HWAP, #807, 3, 5.
Now as my mind works on this subject, it appears thus: The theory is that England and the U.S. are descendants of Joseph. The Jews are the descendants of Judah, and possibly also of Benjamin and Levi. If we have them located, then where are the other eight tribes? Why, why not right here in the U.S., mixed, thru immigration and inter-marriage between different races? They would all be of the white race. We have married and intermarried with other white races, but not with Negroes, Japs, or Chinese, or Indians....
Now if my theory is worth anything, it is this: Salvation is for all the world who will come to Jesus and accept it, regardless of race. But the special blessings, many of which I believe are to pertain to the next world, promised Israel, are for that one blood race alone. (Armstrong to Mr. and Mrs. Runcorn, 28 February 1928, HWAP, #807, 4–5)
I wonder if there is not a real need, as well as a ready market, for a new book on the Anglo-Israel subject?.... I have read very little, as yet, of the book by Discipulus. However, judging from what little I have had an opportunity to read, I do not believe this book as sound and authoritative as the one by Allen. (Armstrong to Beauchamp, 4 May 1928, HWAP, #873, 1–2).
The book I have in mind would follow, in great measure, the line of thought and proof offered by Allen. I would endeavor to keep it as dependable and as sound in its arguments as Allen’s. But the ground covered by Allen would be covered in boiled-down form, condensed where possible.... The book would be written, moreover, in an entirely different style....If you believe there is a need and a market for such a book, and you would care to consider the possibility of undertaking to publish it, then I should like to go into the matter further and in more detail with you. (Ibid., 2–3, emphasis mine)
Your letter of May 4 at hand. In reply will say that I am quite sure that I would not be interested in publishing the book on evolution and as for the one on Israel I would not offer a great deal of encouragement. There have been three or four books on that subject brought out the last year, and I am now at work on the manuscript of one by the author of Judah’s Sceptre and Joseph’s Birthright, which I expect to publish some time during the fall. (Beauchamp to Armstrong, 9 May 1928, HWAP, #5044).41
41 Beauchamp published another edition of Judah’s Sceptre and Joseph’s Birthright in 1930.
42 Armstrong to S.S. Davison, 26 September 1928, HWAP, #808.
43 Armstrong to Dugger, 1 January 1929, HWAP, #828. Dugger to Armstrong, 22 January 1929, HWAP, #849.
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth.... And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive [his] mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God. (Revelation 14:6–10)
There is no question; but, after a thorough consideration is given all texts concerned, that the First Angel’s Message embraces the proclamation of the everlasting gospel in the apostolic age, which continues to the end. The Second Angel’s Message includes the great Protestant reformation which illuminated the earth with light and was a direct cry against the corruption of Babylon, while the Third Angel’s Message sounds forth the final warning to the world, taking with it all accompanying light as yet unrevealed, preparing a people who will worship God "in spirit and in truth."... The Church of God is the body of people called to carry forth this wonderful work. (A.N. Dugger, The Bible Home Instructor [Jerusalem, Israel: Mt. Zion Press, 1982 reprint of an earlier Church of God publication], 338, 335)
Again the Third Angel’s Message has for its creed "The commandments of God and the testimonies of Jesus".... It is the remnant church that holds to the commandments of God and the testimonies of Jesus.... The commandments of God and the testimonies of Jesus and no other testimonies form the creed of the last message....Everyone knows that the Catholic church...observes Sunday today.... It was one of the doctrines, with many others, that they forced upon the world under penalty of death, and Sunday stands out prominently in this age as a sign to the world of their past greatness. It is a memorial of the dark ages when they ruled the world, and by taking away the Sabbath of God, which was declared to be His memorial forever, and putting in its place Sunday, they have exalted themselves above God, usurping a place not divinely given, and as the Third Angel’s Message advances the matter is being squarely put before the people of the whole world, Which will they obey, the pope of Rome or the God of heaven? (The Third Angel's Message[Stanberry, Missouri: Church of God Publishing House, 1925], 10–11, 20. See also Nickels, 199, 216)
44 P. Gerhard Damsteegt, Foundations of the Seventh-day Adventist Message and Mission (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1977), 135–46.
These men [the original apostles], carrying the FIRST Angel’s Message, had the faith to perform miracles of healing. These miracles...greatly aided in winning lost souls to Christ....
Then, glance for a moment, at the men whom God raised up to carry the Second Angel’s Message out to the world. Luther, Calvin, Wesley. Men who were filled with this wonderful power. Men who were heard around the world! Men who shook the world with their message and won millions to the side of Protestantism, out of the darkness and spiritual chaos of Roman Catholicism.
Now let us look frankly to the results being achieved by those who claim to be carrying the Third and last Angel’s Message. The prophecy says this Third Angel’s Message shall go forth "with a LOUD shout."...
The average man and woman today is not aware of the fact the Message has been going forth.... Most folks, it is true, are passively aware that there has been some agitation over the Saturday-Sunday question. But the question has not gotten actively into their consciousness....
The Third Message is no more unpopular than were the First and the Second. And we are blessed with facilities for spreading the message which never were so much as dreamed of in the days of the First and Second Messages. (Herbert W. Armstrong, "Have We Tarried for the Power to Carry the Third Angel’s Message?," The Bible Advocate, 16 October 1928, 1)
45 The surviving manuscript shows evidence that it has been edited. Pages 1–19[a] have been typed on a different, obviously newer typewriter, than the rest of the manuscript. The book title for these pages is The Real Truth About Israel. Based on a comparison of the manuscript with other writings of Armstrong from the late 1920s, it is my judgment that the surviving first 19 pages represent a rewriting of the original text. Pages 19[b] onward have been typed on a much poorer quality typewriter. The themes of these pages are those with which Armstrong concerned himself in the late ’20s. The title of the book for this older section is What is the Third Angel’s Message? The entire manuscript, as it now exists in its rewritten form, is document 8850 of the Herbert W. Armstrong Papers [HWAP] collection of the Worldwide Church of God. Correspondence that shed light on the development of the manuscript include documents 828, 829, 849, 850, 884, 931, 2559. Many addition letters of Armstrong’s from 1929 deal with Anglo-Israelism and its relationship to the Third Angel’s Message. [Since first writing this footnote the original 19 pages of Armstrong’s manuscript have been discovered among uncatalogued papers of the Herbert W. Armstrong Papers collection confirming the general observations made above.].45
46 The Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong (Pasadena, California: Ambassador College, 1973 ed.), 330.
47 Does he mean "I have spent all my available time writing," or "What time I had available, I have used for writing." Either understanding is grammatically possible. But note the context of his comments.
We had reached another crisis of hunger and desperate need. Again I prayed earnestly for God to either send us some money or provide a way for me to earn it.46
An hour or two later, a strange woman knocked on our front door. Mrs. Armstrong opened the door. There was something mysterious about the woman’s appearance. Who was she? She did not introduce herself. She gave no inkling of her identity.
"If your husband isn’t too proud to do it," she said in a low, quiet voice, "there are two truckloads of wood he can throw in at this address."... The mysterious woman walked quickly away and disappeared.... We were totally perplexed as to the identity of this strange woman. How did she know we were in such desperate need? Who was she? We never knew....
No matter who this mysterious woman was, I knew God sent her! And I realized instantly that God was answering my prayer his way, and not mine. I knew he was giving me a test to see whether I could accept a humiliating job. (The Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong, 1973 edition, 330–31)
We simply reached the end of the rope about a week ago, and I decided the time had come to fast and pray until I received a definite answer from the Lord. I received it. Will explain how when I see you, but the answer was to go ahead with this work as hard as I can and trust the Lord to take care of us. All our immediate needs have been taken care of. In fact, we were out of wood, and it came to our front door from a most unexpected source even while I was yet praying for it. I was made to see clearly that I have been given a commission to get this warning message out with the loud shout to the world. The true, full message never has been carried at all, much less with the shout. I don’t see how I am to do it. The Lord will open the way, and I must simply trust him and look to him for guidance. The means will be provided and the way opened, I am sure. (Armstrong to Brother Hobbs, 6 February 1929, HWAP, #850)
48 Within the Worldwide Church of God, some came to believe that this woman must have been an angel, yet Armstrong never made such a claim. A careful reading of the context shows her to have been mysterious only because they did not know who she was or how she came to know their need. The wood he stacked was at the "mysterious" woman’s house and it was she who paid Armstrong. Despite this, the Armstrong’s never learned her name.
I presume you think I am very neglectful of duty in not answering your letter before this, but it was a long while before your manuscript reached me on the Third Angel’s Message....I feel that we are entering into a new era for the message and that it is going to take on new life. In fact the time for the message is now here which I have long contended it would be when the events of the last few weeks came to pass. (Dugger to Armstrong, 26 February 1929, HWAP, #830. A photograph of this letter appears in Vol. 1 of the 1986 ed. of the Autobiography)
I am writing you for two reasons: I am going to point out what I believe to be a slight error in your argument.... and I feel that a great message based on this Israel truth has been revealed to me which must be powerfully broadcasted to the whole world without delay. (Armstrong to Mackendrick, 4 March 1929, HWAP, #848).
49 Armstrong to Dugger, 19 April 1929, HWAP, #842.
50 Dugger to Armstrong, 28 July 1929. For additional bibliographic information see note 1.
51 That Armstrong was influenced by a dispensationalist hermeneutic is evident from his approach to Daniel and Revelation, as well as his respect for the Scofield Reference Bible, the dispensationalist commentary. Using classic dispensationalist language, he wrote in What Is the Third Angel’s Message,page 147, "this present age, or dispensation" is called "the Church, or Gospel Dispensation." His Adventist influences have already been addressed.
52 Armstrong to Mr. and Mrs. Gross, 18 January 1930, HWAP, #806. Armstrong to Ballenger, 9 August 1930, HWAP, #931. The Grosses apparently were the Pentecostal family through whom he learned to trust God for healing.
53 See note for comments on the surviving text of What Is the Third Angel’s Message?
There is a purpose in your having gone into this matter so deeply right at this time which it is not difficult for me to fully see through, and you will hear more from these truths and the light herein revealed later. (Dugger to Armstrong, 28 July 1929. Also see note 1.)
If you are wondering what all this early history of the beginnings of Israel has to do with the Sabbath, the Mark of the Beast, the call to "Come out of her, my people," and the Third Angel’s Message, you will see, I am sure, before we are finished. The connection is very, very vital. (What Is the Third Angel’s Message?, 43).
54 Armstrong’s dependence on Allen is more evident in his later work, The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy. Though Allen is never mentioned in that text, the book so tightly follows Allen that the plagiarism is obvious.
Armstrong’s first direct quote of Allen in What is the Third Angel’s Message? is from page 227 of Judah’s Sceptre and Joseph’s Birthright: "It is a well-known fact that the history of no country on the face of the earth has so puzzled historians as that of Ireland." Armstrong’s second quotation, "It is unmistakably recorded in British history that the earliest settlers in Wales and southern England were called Simonii," is found in Allen on page 275. Allen frequently used phrases such as "It is a well-known fact," and "It is unmistakably recorded" to lend an air of authority to his work.
Armstrong uncritically points to Allen as the authority who tells us that Simonii is the plural of Simeon. Armstrong’s lack of any training in lexicography, etymology, linguistics and historiography made him vulnerable to unfounded conclusions that appeared to support Anglo-Israelism. Training in sound linguistic and hermeneutical principles would have made him a bit more cautious.
55 To arrive at 1917, Armstrong incorrectly dated the fall of Jerusalem to 585 b.c., though he was aware that 587 was the more widely accepted date. See Thiele, Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings, rev. ed. [Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1983] for a scholarly discussion of how Jerusalem’s fall can accurately be dated.
56 What Is the Third Angel’s Message?, 120.
all the Promised Land to Ephraim-Israel, or Great Britain — a date 2,520 years from 585 B.C. ... Many different prophecies fix the date in the same year, 1936, and this coincides exactly with the Great Pyramid date.... In this connection, it must be especially emphasized that I do not say 1936 is the date of our Lord’s return. In fact, were it not definitely ordained that no man may know the day or the hour of that even, I should be inclined to expect it before 1936 — perhaps as early as the spring of 1933. But we do not know when that shall be. What we do know is that the balance of Palestine, including the land of the North of Jerusalem — formerly Samaria, now called Syria — is definitely destined to fall into the hands of Great Britain in the year of 1936. (Ibid., 120–21)
If Armageddon must be the battle which accomplished the delivery of this territory, then we say Armageddon must be fought in the year 1936. And well may it prove to be so. We know Russia is secretly allied with Turkey and Germany, lusting for a war of revenge against Britain, swearing to take Palestine from Great Britain at all costs. We expect Mussolini to be in some manner prominently identified, and he expects to be ready with many millions of armed men and so many airplanes their shadow will hide the sun over all Italian soil, by 1935. The recent alliance between Mussolini and the Pope may well have startling significance bearing on these very events. (Ibid., 121)
The Great Pyramid is here referred to and used as a symbol of the nation Israel. It is significant that the corner-stone, which is the top stone of the Pyramid, is MISSING, as if it had been rejected by its builders. (Ibid., 138B)
What difference does it make? Unless we know our identity as Israel, we cannot understand the mighty personal warning which the Almighty has published in every English Bible to every individual Israelite....
Just as surely as it was given to God’s holy prophets to foretell 2,500 years ago that in the year 1917 A.D. the Army and Air forces of the British throne should take Jerusalem...so he has revealed thru those same prophets what is yet to take place before all things are fulfilled....
These things could never be understood except thru a knowledge of Israel’s twentieth-century identity. For instance, the book of Ezekiel is addressed primarily to the United States and Great Britain, and to those of our present generation. In it are recorded events destined to take place within the NEXT SEVEN OR EIGHT YEARS. (Ibid., 146D–146E, emphasis his).
Many of these so-called "Minor" Prophets contain a most solemn personal, individual warning to every one of us — a part, if you please, of "the Third Angel’s Message," — which has never been understood or preached. (Ibid., 146F)
Russia, too, is destined to play a tremendous part in theses closing days.... Russian is gaining control in China. She hopes to gain it in Japan, by fomenting race-prejudice against White, or Western, or, if you please, Israelitish, power, dominance and civilization.... She is now bending Herculean efforts to foment unrest among the populous and ignorant Negroes of our South, painting herself as their champion against what she tells them is the tyranny and oppression of our country. (Ibid., 146G–146H)
58 For an excellent survey of this phenomenon in American evangelicalism read Paul Boyer’s When Time Shall Be No More (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap/Harvard, 1992). It helps one see how Armstrong’s prophetic views where in line with their social-historical context.
59 Ibid., 165.
Why didn’t the apostle Paul, sent to the Gentiles, more openly and definitely teach observance of the seventh day? Why have the eyes of such great men of God as Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Moody, Finney, Cartwright, et al., been blinded to this truth? Why did not the Holy Spirit lead these men into this truth, when they unquestionably were men filled with the Holy Spirit? (Ibid., 196)
Israel was blinded in part, until the end of the times of the Gentiles (1917-1936)...and in the case of those individuals who repented, and returned to the true God, and accepted salvation, God winked at this blindness....
That is why Dwight L. Moody was blinded to the Sabbath truth! That is why Luther, Calvin, Wesley, and all these great latter-day men of God were blinded to this truth!
Israel was blinded to it until the fullness of the Times of the Gentiles (Rom. 11:25), because God did not desire the House of Israel to be identified or known by the world until then.
This too disposes with that question: What about my parents and grandparents...who knew nothing about the Sabbath? Were they saved? The answer is now plain.... If these people had accepted Jesus Christ and his sacrifice...if they were willingly obedient to God so far as they had light or knowledge to be obedient, then God winked at their blindness in part. They were not held responsible for that which they did not know. (ibid., 209–10)
We are ready to explain it, the true Third Angel’s Message — the last, final warning Message which God is going to shout to a complacent, tradition-loving, self-seeking world before the falling of the Seven Last Plagues and the re-opening of the final terrible War Tribulation which is destined to culminate in the Battle of Armageddon in the year 1936 — this true Third Angel’s Message is, after all, just one more last and final warning from Almighty God....
In these closing chapters, God has placed this final eleventh-hour warning in his word. And in these closing chapters we shall examine this very definite, specific, last-minute warning, just as the Bible has it, for this very present generation. (ibid., 237–8)
This third and last stage of the Gospel is, simply, the gospel of the kingdom. It is this gospel which is to be preached to all the world just before the "end" comes. It is a warning not to worship the beast or the image of the beast, nor to have his mark, and it has something to do with keeping the commands of God. (ibid., 245)
Just as the tendencies of the times required, in the apostles' day, that the grace aspect of the gospel be stressed, so now the tendencies of the times require that the obedience aspect be stressed. (Ibid.)
60 Herbert W. Armstrong, "What is Going to Happen," PT, June–July 1934, 4.
And for Great Pyramid students,...the present depression, or tribulation, is there symbolized as occupying the entire low passage continuing from May 29, 1928, when the tribulation struck Europe, until September 1936. (Herbert W. Armstrong, "What is Going to Happen," PT, June–July 1934, 5)
61 Herbert W. Armstrong, PT, July, 1935, 5.
62 PT, August–September 1940, 2.
This time is a time of great suspense. Apparently the Allied forces are not prepared, yet, to launch the much-advertised invasion of Hitler’s Europe.... We have made but the slightest little dents in the Jap defenses in the Pacific, and at the present rate (played up dramatically in news headlines and broadcasts as if actually we're winning the war) it will take us about twenty years, and more resources than we possess, to take enough of these island defenses to smash thru to the central objective and WIN....
The prophecies of Almighty GOD tell us bluntly that WE ARE GOING TO LOSE — unless our people will REPENT and turn to ALMIGHTY GOD in real earnest, and in FAITH — trusting HIM to deliver us! And instead of doing that, we are trusting in the enthusiastic and exaggerated news reports, believing we are WINNING, and meantime as a nation OUR SINS ARE INCREASING AT A TOBOGGAN-SLIDE RATE!
God has called me to the special mission of WARNING THIS NATION. But I cannot do it alone.... You are one of my co-workers, and I am depending upon you to remain steadfastly back of me, with your earnest believing PRAYERS, as well as the material help you are sending. We must never let up.... This business of SHOUTING and THUNDERING out this warning on which our destiny as a nation depends. (Herbert W. Armstrong, co-worker letter dated, based on its content, to early 1944. Emphasis is his. For those familiar with Armstrong’s preaching style, notice the emphasis on shouting.)
63 Mystery of the Ages (New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1985), xi.
64 Ibid., 9.
65 Ibid., 10.
66 Ibid., 161. In saying this he placed the date for the first writing of The United States and Britain in Prophecy as pre-1935. Actually, it was written later. As we have shown, The United States and Britain in Prophecy was built upon an earlier manuscript, What Is the Third Angel’s Message? It is to that manuscript he must refer.
67 Ibid., 195.