By Gerald Flurry
Herbert W. Armstrong made some fascinating comments about a prophecy in Zechariah. Those comments help us to understand more deeply what the key of the house of David is.
“The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first [in the latter days—now just ahead of us], that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah. In that day [now soon to come] … he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel [messenger] of the Lord before them. … And I will pour upon the house of David … the spirit of grace …” (Zechariah 12:7-10).
Here is what Mr. Armstrong wrote about those verses: “Plainly the apostle (one sent forth—or messenger of God) God would use in these perilous last days would be of the house of David. The house of David is NOT one of the tribes—but those individuals descended from David.
“I have mentioned that some years ago I was contacted by a foundation, formed for the purpose of maintaining the genealogy of a certain family. My great-grandfather Armstrong, who had a biblical name, father of my grandfather Nathan Armstrong, had married into this family. So the foundation has my genealogy back to the kings of France, and King Edward i of England. The genealogy of the royal family of Britain carries every generation back to King David of ancient Israel. Therefore God has preserved my ancestry every generation from David, and I am of THE HOUSE OF DAVID!
“Plainly, in these tumultuous last days, God would raise up one who would know he is of the house of David , as Christ’s chosen apostle and messenger to the kings of the Earth, to carry the true message of Christ’s gospel, which was suppressed from the world from mid-century 1 to the middle of the 20th century” (Good News, May 1980; emphasis mine throughout).
I had a similar experience to what Mr. Armstrong had in tracing my genealogy back to King David. My aunt gave me what she and others had done to compile our family genealogy. It cost me $50 just to copy the typed material. There was one significant difference between my genealogy and Mr. Armstrong’s. My genealogy was traced back to the royal family of Ireland. The genealogy of the royal family of Ireland is one single dynasty, which also carries “every generation back to King David.”
So I can say what Mr. Armstrong said, “Therefore God has preserved my ancestry every generation from David, and I am of the house of David!”
All of God’s new revelation for His end-time Church has come through Mr. Armstrong and me. God’s Work has been done through supporters of that revelation.
Here is another statement Mr. Armstrong made, this one in his book The United States and Britain in Prophecy: “Of course it is well understood that the scepter went to Judah and was handed down through the Jews. King David was of the tribe of Judah. All succeeding kings of David’s dynasty were of the house of David, tribe of Judah. Jesus Christ was born of the house of David and the tribe of Judah.”
Christ was also a descendant of David, or of the house of David. So we can see a lot of emphasis placed on the house of David in these verses.
Herbert W. Armstrong College students have been working on an archaeological dig in Jerusalem, where we have helped to uncover David’s palace. We are clearing debris away from that site. We believe that Christ will rule from the very spot where David did anciently. We are getting ready for the imminent return of Christ!
That is the majestic conclusion of the succession of kings that was prophesied to sit on David’s throne!
The palace adds a most royal dimension to the house of David. David’s palace was where the throne was located when David ruled. So David’s palace is a powerful symbol of David’s house, with the emphasis on the dynasty of kings from David to the Second Coming of Christ!
Jesus Christ will share that headquarters throne with the very elect—spiritual Jews (Revelation 3:9, 21). We are getting ready to rule on that throne at our Jerusalem headquarters with Christ and God the Father forever!
We can clearly see that the highest royalty in God’s Kingdom revolves around the throne of David.
The Key to the House of David
There are only two places in the Bible where the key of David is mentioned: Revelation 3:7 and Isaiah 22:22. However, in Isaiah 22:22 it is called the key to the house of David.
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah” (Isaiah 22:20). Two names are mentioned here. Eliakim is doing God’s Work in this prophecy. He is the son of Hilkiah.
The timeline is “in that day,” which always refers to this end time. So we are spiritually blind if we don’t understand these prophecies.
“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” (verse 21). The government of God was passed from Mr. Armstrong, a type of Hilkiah (a Jew), to my office, typed by Eliakim (a Jew).
“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” (verse 22). There is an open door mentioned with the key of David. That means there is always a powerful work associated with that key.
There are three personalities mentioned in these verses: Hilkiah, Eliakim and the person from whom the robe, girdle and government were taken. His Bible name is Shebna (verse 15). They all appear “in that day”—or the end time.
Christ told the Jews that He personally sent prophets to them. But the Jews often persecuted them and made His messengers flee. Many of them were even killed.
So no matter what people think, God does send personalities through whom He does His Work. We can’t understand these prophecies unless we know who these men are. Today they are types of those historical figures.
These three personalities are thoroughly discussed in my free booklet Who Is ‘That Prophet’?
Eliakim today is “a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah.” Eliakim could only be a spiritual father today. So these verses are primarily speaking to us spiritually.
Eliakim is also the father of “the house of Judah”—not the inhabitants of Judah. That means Eliakim is the father of a work in Judah. And it all revolves around the scepter promises.
The Scepter Promises
Genesis 49:10 contains a very interesting end-time prophecy. It reads, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” From verse 1 of Genesis 49, we can understand that this entire passage is for the “last days”—the time we are living in now. So, in the last days, God said there would be a scepter, or a ruler on David’s throne, at the same time there is a lawgiver.
Concerning the scepter promise, we have always believed it refers to a kingly line that would rule from the time of David right up to the Second Coming of the Messiah. The scepter also refers to the promise of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Verse 10 refers to a lawgiver from between Judah’s feet. The Companion Bible says this lawgiver comes “from between his feet,” which means he is to come from Judah’s descendants.
There is to be a scepter and a lawgiver in the “last days.” The lawgiver is a Jew who is here when Christ returns.
This is the same twofold covenant referred to in Jeremiah 33:17-18: “For thus saith the Lord; David shall never want [or lack] a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel [the scepter promise]; Neither shall the priests theLevites want a man [the lawgiver] before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually [a type of spiritual sacrifices].”
The coronation chair of the kingly line of the tribe of Judah continues to this day in Westminster Abbey in London. God said in Genesis 49:10 that a lawgiver would parallel that scepter promise, which continues until Christ returns.
Traditionally, we have believed this lawgiver to be Christ. In principle, that is true. Christ always gives the law. He is the source. But notice, the scripture says this lawgiver would not depart from Judah’s feet “until Shiloh [Christ] come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” Would it make sense to read that Jesus would not depart from Judah’s feet until Jesus come?
Shiloh refers to Christ, so this “lawgiver” must refer to another individual. God has always worked through one man at a time. Again, Jeremiah 33:18 says that God would choose one man to fulfill this commission. Since this prophecy about the lawgiver was not revealed to me until after Mr. Armstrong died, it specifically refers to my office today.
Mr. Armstrong had to establish God’s law and government. He was the Elijah who restored all things just before Christ’s return (Matthew 17:10-11). I have continued the same law and government that he taught. No other church can truthfully make that claim!
Mr. Armstrong and I each have been used to fill the role of lawgiver to God’s Church and the world. So today, where is the human lawgiver descended from David and the tribe of Judah? Who administers the same law that Christ will teach when He returns to sit on that throne of David? Those are questions you must be able to answer!
This man will be teaching about the scepter—the kingly line, or David’s throne, and the promise of salvation through Jesus Christ. It is the same throne that is about to be taken over by Jesus Christ forever (Luke 1:30-33).
In these last days, the kingly line, David’s throne, is not governed by God’s law. But the Church is ruled by Christ, that great Lawgiver—the King of kings who shall rule on David’s throne forever.
Here is what Mr. Armstrong wrote in The United States and Britain in Prophecy: “Now we come to a most vital distinction, and a bit of Bible truth known to but a very few. Very few, indeed, have ever noticed that the promises to Abraham were twofold. But the Bible itself makes sharp distinction between these two phases of the promises.
“The spiritual promises—the promises of the ‘one seed,’ Christ, and of salvation through Him—the Bible calls thescepter. But the material and national promises relating to many nations, national wealth, prosperity and power, and possession of the Holy Land, the Bible calls the birthright.
“Let us understand the meaning of the terms:
“‘Birthright: native right or privilege’—Standard Dictionary; ‘any right acquired by birth’—Webster’s. A birthright is something which is one’s right, by birth. It has nothing to do with grace, which is unmerited pardon and a free gift which is not one’s right. It has to do with race, not grace. Birthright possessions are customarily passed down from father to eldest son.
“‘Scepter: kingly office; royal power; badge of command or sovereignty’—Standard Dictionary. The promised kingly line culminates in Christ, and involves grace to all.
“We have seen how both sets of promises, right of birth and gift of grace, were unconditionally made by God to Abraham. Both the birthright and the scepter were repromised by the Eternal to Isaac and to Jacob. But the fact that should open your eyes, as a joyous truth newly discovered, is that from that point these two sets of promises became separated! The scepter promises of the kingly line culminating in Christ, and of grace through Him, were handed on to Judah, son of Jacob and father of all Jews. But the astonishing truth is that the birthright promises were never given to the Jews!
“Let that be repeated! Realize this! The birthright promises were never given to the Jews!
“Turn to these passages—read them in your own Bible!
“‘The sceptre shall not depart from Judah …’ (Genesis 49:10).
“‘… But the birthright was Joseph’s’ (1 Chronicles 5:2).
“Of course it is well understood that the scepter went to Judah and was handed down through the Jews. King David was of the tribe of Judah. All succeeding kings of David’s dynasty were of the house of David, tribe of Judah. Jesus Christ was born of the house of David and the tribe of Judah.”
The Jews received the scepter promise. What an honor! Could any race be honored more? We must tell the Jews what it should mean to them. It’s one thing to know about the scepter promises. It’s quite another to have them handed down through your race!
We must make these promises real and practical to ourselves and to the Jews.
God commissioned the end-time Eliakim to be “a father … to the house of Judah.” God wants us to emphasize the scepter promise that comes through the Jews. The kingly line of Jews leads us to the return of the Messiah. And not only that, the rule from David’s throne continues forever! (Isaiah 9:7).
The Jewish nation, America and Britain need to hear that most inspiring and precious message now so they can remember it when they are experiencing the holocaust of all holocausts!
Think about all those kings from the house of David who sat on David’s throne. They will continue doing so until Christ returns, which is extremely imminent. The Father, Christ and His angelic helpers are surly already well into planning and organizing for the Second Coming!
Why do I say that? Already Christ has used His Church to help uncover David’s palace, which is a symbol of all those kings who are to sit on that throne. We are helping to clear away the debris from where David’s throne sat in the past; that throne will surely be sitting on the same spot when Christ returns! We are helping to get that area ready for Christ’s imminent return! All those kings who sat on David’s throne lead us to that awe-inspiring point. It’s all about the Second Coming and Christ giving grace to all mankind who has ever lived—with the assistance of His Bride!
That is what our archaeological dig is all about.
This is a key part of why Eliakim is the father of Judah. The Eliakim work plays the crucial role for God today.
Behold Your God!
We are going to say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!” (Isaiah 40:9). The archaeology project will lead to the delivering of that message. And because the Jewish nation will not heed the warning, it is going to experience the Tribulation holocaust.
Hopefully, many Jews will still repent.
Now the Jews must hear about these scepter promises. Salvation for the whole world is on the immediate horizon. We must put more and more emphasis on the scepter promises. The kingly line has continued for about 3,000 years to its grand smashing climax—the Second Coming of Christ!
The Messiah is about to return with His reward for His loyal saints (verse 10). That illustrious, mind-stirring moment is almost here—at last!
Let’s read Isaiah 22:22 again: “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.” God gives the key of the house of David to Eliakim. That would seem to strongly indicate that he is of the house of David, or in the lineage of King David.
That gives us a constant reminder of the kingly line that sits on David’s throne from the time of David until Christ returns. Then the world will be filled with spiritual blessings!
That is why God gives an open door to this Work. We have a universe-shaking message to deliver to all mankind!
There is also a reason why God’s saints today are kings and priests in embryo (Revelation 1:6). We are getting ready to help Christ rule this world and the universe!
We are the Bride of Jesus Christ. God’s primary interest is in spiritual Jews (Revelation 3:9)—not physical Jews! Only about 5 percent of Christ’s Church today—the spiritual Jews—will rule in the Jerusalem headquarters forever. The stakes are lofty.
God wants us to think mainly about spiritual Jews who will help Christ teach grace from headquarters—who will share His Jerusalem headquarters throne forever.
God has given me a commission and supporters to do a work in Judah. Our archaeological dig is a constant reminder that God is finally about to sit on David’s throne!
We are to “say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!”
From the archives: Royal Vision, May-June 2009