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Saturday, February 13, 2016

God, David and Anglo-Israelism (Part 2)

In chapter seven of his booklet "The United States and Britain in Prophecy," Mr. Armstrong wrote about "Jeremiah's mysterious commission." He quoted part of the passage that characterized that mission as being "to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant." Jeremiah 1:10 Unfortunately, Mr. Armstrong apprropriated this scripture to describe the prophet's supposed mission to save the royal family of Judah; and he missed/ignored the fact that verse nine indicated that these things applied specifically to the prophet's MESSAGE. In other words, verse ten applies to everything that Jeremiah did as God's prophet - not to some secret mission regarding the survival of David's House. Hence, to learn more about Jeremiah's commission, one would expect to do that by studying the entire book that bears his name.

However, Mr. Armstrong insisted on the correctness of his speculation regarding that commission by drawing his audience's attention to a cryptic prophecy in the book of Ezekiel. The passage in question reads: "Thus saith the Lord God; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him." Ezekiel 21:26-27 According to Armstrong, this prophecy applied directly to Jeremiah's mission to Ireland and what would become of David's House once it was established there. Nothing could be further from the truth - look a little closer folks!

Remember context, this prophecy clearly refers to the impending invasion of Jerusalem by the king of Babylon. Ezekiel 21:18-25 It is interesting to note in this connection that the Bible describes King Nebuchadnezzar's subjugation of Jerusalem and overthrow of David's dynasty as occuring in THREE stages (overturn, overturn, overturn). II Kings 24-25 and II Chronicles 36 He deposed Jehoiakim, whom the people of Judah replaced with Jehoiachin. Then Nebuchadnezzar deposed that king and replaced him with Zedekiah, who was the last king of Judah. In each case, the king of Babylon abased one man (the then current occupant of David's throne) and replaced (made high) him with one that was low (a Prince who had not been originally destined to be king). Didn't have to reach as far for that one, did we?

Moreover, Mr. Armstrong attempted to explain away the clear implication of this passage that David's crown would remain fallen "until he come whose right it is" - a clear reference to Jesus Christ. He did this by inserting the word "overturned" after "and it shall be no more." Which, incidentally, is not consistent with Amos' prophecy that God would "raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen" in the day that "He" restores Israel (future). Amos 9:11

Indeed, Mr. Armstrong's error seems to stem from a fundamental misunderstanding (or intentional distortion) of the nature of the Davidic covenant. If we review God's promise of an eternal throne to David (II Samuel 7:12-16 and I Chronicles 17:11-14), it is clear that the promise would be fulfilled by ONE male descendant (Christ). This is affirmed by numerous passages in Isaiah and elsewhere in the Bible. Isaiah 9:6-7, 11:1-16, Matthew 1 & 2 and Luke 1-3 After all, Solomon's (and David's male descendants through him) participation in the Davidic covenant was made contingent upon his (their) personal behavior. I Kings 9:4-9 and II Chronicles 7:17-22

Finally, in considering this from the perspective of Scripture, we would be remiss not to note the nature of the way the concept of a dynasty/house is understood throughout the Bible. In other words, the Bible is overwhelmingly paternalistic in this respect. Please note that ALL of the genealogies recorded in the book are father to son. In fact, females are only included (named) in a handful of the stories about the principal families of the book.

Both the Hebrew and Greek words used to delineate David's dynasty literally refer to his house. Hence, the folks who live in the house or household - the family. Likewise, both words imply the presence of a patriarchal structure or paternal descent. (www.eliyah.com) This fact will be important as we take a look at the relevant royal history of Great Britain in the third part of this series.

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