Mr. Armstrong was emphatic when he wrote in his book, The United States and Britain in Prophecy about the master key in unlocking Bible prophecies:
One might ask, were not biblical prophecies closed and sealed? Indeed they were—until now! And even now they can be understood only by those who possess the master key to unlock them. …And the one central master key to prophecy as a whole is the identity of the United States and the British nations in these prophecies for today! (pp. 9, 13)
That central master key is the identity of physical Israel – the United States and the British nations, even including the modern Jewish nation. But could there be a spiritual counterpart to that master key, i.e., the identity of spiritual Israel and spiritual Judah?
To answer that, let us read what Mr. Flurry wrote in the Royal Vision about the identity of spiritual Judah:
THE KEY OF THE HOUSE OF DAVID
Isaiah 22:20-25 contain an end-time prophecy that God has revealed a great deal about to us – about Eliakim. Verse 21 says the man who fulfills this role “shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah.” There is a spiritual and physical application to these scriptures, but we look mainly at the spiritual today.
The “house of Judah” here is the faithful Church of God. You could say it is “the house of the Jews.” WE ARE JEWS – SPIRITUAL JEWS! And this man is a father to Judah.” (July-August 2012 issue, p.6)
MR. FLURRY EMPHASIZED THAT THE “HOUSE OF JUDAH” IN SPIRITUAL APPLICATION TO SCRIPTURES IS INDEED REFERRING TO THE PHILADELPHIA CHURCH OF GOD!
So when we read of the house of Judah in scriptures concerning prophecies in this end time, we can apply it directly to the Philadelphia Church of God, spiritually speaking!
For better understanding, let us consider what Mr. Armstrong wrote about the distinction between the house of Israel and the house of Judah:
CHILDREN OF ISRAEL BECOME TWO NATIONS
The house of Israel is not Jewish! Those who constitute it are not Jews, and never were! That fact we shall now see conclusively, beyond refute. …No place in all the Bible does the term “Israel” refer to the Jews exclusively. When the sense is not national but individual, the term “Israel” alone, or “children of Israel,” or “men of Israel” may, and sometimes does refer to or include the Jews…
Jews are Israelites, just as Californians are Americans. But most Israelites are not Jews, just as most Americans are not Californians. The Jews are the house of Judah only, a part of the Israelites. But when these people are spoken of as nations, rather than as collective individuals, the term “Israel” never refers to the Jews. “House of Israel” never means “Jews.” (The United States and Britain in Prophecy, pp. 63, 69)
Mr. Armstrong continues:
The average conception today seems to be that the tribe of Judah which remained carried the title “Israel.” Most people seem to think of the 10 tribes as merely certain tribes driven out from the nation Israel.
But it is Israel which now sets up its kingdom under the Ephraimite Jeroboam, in the land of Samaria, north of Jerusalem. It is not Israel, but Judah—a mere three tribes broken off from Israel—which is left behind in Jerusalem.
The 10 tribes were not broken off from Israel. Israel did not remain in Jerusalem. Instead, Judah was broken off from Israel. (ibid., p. 66)
“Israel did not remain in Jerusalem. Instead, Judah was broken off from Israel”– Have we heard of such news in recent modern history about a group of spiritual Jews that remained and stood by spiritual Jerusalem and eventually broke off from spiritual Israel? (Read Raising the Ruins book)
In this end time, could there be a duality in the fulfillment of such a division, this time between that of the spiritual house of Israel and of spiritual house of Judah?
Well, the CHURCH SPLIT between the Worldwide Church of God and the Philadelphia Church of God could very well fit in to be the spiritual counterpart of that DIVISION in this end time! (Read Malachi’s Message under the chapter Church Division, p. 114)
Mr. Armstrong then further discussed that division between Israel and Judah:
From any exhaustive concordance you can learn that the first time in all the Bible that the word “Jew” occurs is in 2 Kings 16:6.Nowhere in all the Bible before this does the name “Jew” appear. Notice it!…
The first place in Scripture where the name Jew appears, the Jews were at war against Israel! They are of a different national together. They are, individually, children of Israel. But they do not have that national title—house of Israel. (ibid., pp. 67-68)
In this end time, spiritual Jews (Philadelphia Church of God) were also at war with spiritual Israel (Worldwide Church of God)! A strange coincidence? Not at all! Mr. Armstrong often said that the fulfillment of Bible prophecy is DUAL. In his book, Transformed by Truth, Mr. Joseph Tkach Jr. wrote:
In February 1997 we filed suit against the Philadelphia Church of God – one of our splinter groups headquartered in Edmond, Oklahoma – to block the republication of Mystery of the Ages. The Worldwide Church of God still holds the copyright to this book, and we contend that no one else has the right to publish it. We feel it is our Christian duty to keep this book out of print… (p. 203)
What followed was a grueling six year court battle between the two Churches of God – Worldwide Church of God vs. Philadelphia Church of God. Here is what Mr. Flurry wrote in his Habakkuk booklet:
The Philadelphia Church of God (PCG) has been involved in a court battle with the Worldwide Church of God (WCG) for well over five years now. We have been restricted from printing Mystery of the Ages and any other material by Herbert W. Armstrong for over a year. (Habakkuk Reveals the Outcome of Our Court Case, p. 1)
Now, Mr. Armstrong even emphasized that the distinction between the house of Israel and the house of Judah is vital in understanding prophecy:
For many generations Israel and Judah remained as separate nations, in adjoining territories, having their own separate kings. Why should ministers and professed Bible students be in ignorance of this, when four whole books of the Bible, 1 and 2Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles, are devoted to explaining it and recording the history of these separate, rival kingdoms? Look at the maps in the back of your Bible. There you will see the territory of each nation plainly shown.
Judah retained the city of Jerusalem, its capital, and the territory known as Judea. Israel occupied the territory north of Judea. Samaria became its capital city, and the house of Israel often is called “Samaria” in prophecy. This, too, is a vital “key” to understanding prophecy. “Samaria” never refers to the Jews in prophecy—but always the 10 tribes, the house of Israel.
We want to impress, here, that Israel and Judah are not two names for the same nation. They were, and still are, and shall be till the Second Coming of Christ, two separate nations. The “house of Judah” always means “Jew.”This distinction is vital, if we are to understand prophecy. Because most so-called Bible students are in ignorance of this basic distinction, they are unable to rightly understand prophecy! (ibid., pp. 69-70)
Do we get it? According to Mr. Armstrong, we will only be able to rightly understand prophecy, if we shall see the vital distinction between the house of Judah and the house of Israel.
So in principle, we could also apply this spiritually as Mr. Flurry did in his Royal Vision article referring to the Philadelphia Church of God as the house of Judah or simply the spiritual Jews, while as for the Worldwide Church of God and the other splinter groups, it would then refer to the house of spiritual Israel in Bible prophecy for this last end.
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah: And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. (Isa. 22:20-21)
Again as Mr. Flurry being the fulfillment of the end-time Eliakim, “shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah,” that is, to the PCG Headquarters and the PCG membership around the world. Now, notice this striking parallelism:
In this end time, God revealed to Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong the key of David, which is the identity of physical Israel and physical Judah – America, Britain and the Jews of the Middle East. It is a master key to understanding of the end time Bible prophecies.
“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth, and shutteth, and no man openeth.” (Rev. 3:7)
While in this last end, God has also given Mr. Gerald R. Flurry the key of the house of David which is the identity of spiritual Israel and spiritual Judah – the Laodiceans (Worldwide Church of God and its splinter groups), and the Philadelphians (Philadelphia Church of God). It is a master key to understanding of the last end Bible prophecies.
“And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.” (Isa. 22:22)
From here on, we may now be able to understand Bible prophecies pertaining to the last end because of this key that God gave to Mr. Flurry.
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