The Key of David
Chapter 1: The Key of David Vision
When Herbert W. Armstrong was being called into God’s Work, something really puzzled him. The church he affiliated himself with had more of God’s truth than any other, but the work it was doing was insignificant. He couldn’t understand why God wouldn’t have a more powerful work!
Mr. Armstrong recognized from Scripture that individuals need to accept correction from God in order to grow. He believed that the same principle must also apply to a church, but he never heard of a church publicly admitting error and making changes. He decided to test this church to see if it was the same way.
Mr. Armstrong recognized a clear error in this church’s teaching, even though it was a minor point. He wrote a 16-page manuscript explaining it and sent it to the church leaders. The president of the church’s general conference wrote him back—and admitted Mr. Armstrong was correct! But he also said they couldn’t correct that publicly because members would be upset and wouldn’t accept it. So they felt they had to continue to preach the error.
That was quite an admission from what we recognize now to be the Sardis era of God’s Church.
That incident really shook Mr. Armstrong’s confidence. He saw that these church leaders had faith in the people more than in God!
Mr. Armstrong wondered, If this is not the true Church, then where is it?
“A little later I tried the second test,” he wrote in his autobiography. “After exhaustive study and research, I had found it proved that the so-called ‘lost 10 tribes’ of Israel had migrated to Western Europe, the British Isles, and later the United States—that the British were the descendants of Ephraim, younger son of Joseph, and the United States modern-day Manasseh, elder son of Joseph—and that we possessed the national wealth and resources of the birthright which God had promised to Abraham through Isaac, Jacob and Joseph.
“This truth was written in a lengthy manuscript of close to 300 typed pages, and mailed to this editor and leader of this church. I explained that although this new truth seemed to be proved beyond doubt, yet I was still comparatively new in Christ and scriptural knowledge, and wished the judgment of one more mature and experienced in things biblical.
“I think it was some six months before the reply came. It was written on a train late at night. This church leader stated in his letter (which I still have) that I was most certainly right—that this was a wonderful new truth revealed by God, and that God surely had a special reason for revealing this new truth to me. However, he stated he did not know what use, if any, he could make of it at that time, but was sure I would hear more of it later.
“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 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 revelation from God!
“Yet here was the church which appeared to have more truth, and less error, than any other. It did ‘profess’ the commandments of God and have ‘the testimony of Jesus Christ.’ It did have the true name of the Church Christ built. Its members did love what truth they had and sacrificed for it! In spite of the fact this church did not appear to be dynamically alive spiritually—in spite of its little or no accomplishment—still it came closer to the biblical characteristics of Christ’s true Church than any I knew!
“Truly, this was bewildering!”
That 300-page paper was the beginning of what ended up being The United States and Britain in Prophecy. The leader of that church, Andrew Dugger, said this about it in a letter he wrote to Mr. Armstrong on July 28, 1929: “You are surely right, and while I cannot use it in the paper [the church publication] at the present, you may be assured that your labor has surely not been in vain.”
That statement was absolutely true. Mr. Armstrong’s labor surely was not in vain. Mr. Armstrong did continue to associate with that church for a few more years, but he never became a member.
“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead” (Revelation 3:1).
Those are God’s words to the Sardis Church, the church that received that revelation from God through Mr. Armstrong, acknowledged it was correct—and then simply walked away from it. God called it a dead church! What a terrible condemnation. It was the attitude of the Sardis leaders that caused the church to die!
Few crises are greater in magnitude than the death of one of God’s churches!
“Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. …” (verses 2-3). The Sardis Church had a good history at one time, but had forgotten it. Be watchful! God said. I’m going to send you the truth! I will warn you and give you an opportunity to change! God did that through Mr. Armstrong, but they didn’t heed. And what does God say would happen if they failed to “be watchful”?
“If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee” (verse 3).
Individuals die spiritually. So do churches. But God always warns us—and Scripture shows that He usually does that through an apostle or prophet whom He has chosen (Amos 3:7; Luke 11:49; Ephesians 2:20; 3:5; 2 Peter 3:2).
Realize what was going on at this point in the Church’s history! The Sardis era had died—and yet God sent a man with special revelation to give the Sardis people an opportunity to revive—a chance to repent and turn things around! He always does that when we go off track.
This Sardis leader even admitted that this was truth “revealed by God,” and “that God surely had a special reason for revealing this new truth” to Mr. Armstrong.
Sadly, the leader did not accept the correction. We should all consider the eternal consequences! But God still says there were a few in that era who made it and are worthy to enter His Family (Revelation 3:4).
“He that overcometh [conquers], the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (verses 5-6). The implication is that if you don’t conquer, your name will be blotted out! That is the worst horror we could hear.
Because the Sardis people rejected new revelation, they were in danger of having their names blotted out of the book of life—as if they had never lived!
This is dangerous knowledge!
God was actually giving the Sardis Church an opportunity to receive understanding that lies at the very heart of the key of David!
The truth in The United States and Britain in Prophecy is at the core of the key of David vision, which God gave to the Philadelphians (verse 7). This was the loving God reaching out to His Family! What that would have done for the people of the Sardis Church had they accepted it!
God was trying to save the Sardis era! How could a loving Father not reach out and try to save His Family when He sees them going astray? Everything is at stake! God doesn’t want to see any of His beloved children have their names blotted out of the book of life. They rejected God’s correction—His new revelation—and the era died.
Members of God’s Church can die. It’s all too common! In a sense, God’s faithful people today are sandwiched in between the Sardis people, who died spiritually, and the lukewarm Laodiceans, 50 percent of whom will die forever! (see Matthew 25:1-12). It shouldn’t be that way at all. God does everything He can to prevent that.
When you talk about the key of David, you’re talking about a rulership opportunity that will never come again to any of God’s people. God doesn’t make this extraordinary promise to those in Sardis, or to the Laodiceans. But to the Philadelphians, who have this key, God says, “Him that [conquers] will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out …” (Revelation 3:12). These blessed individuals will be at headquarters in Jerusalem throughout eternity!
Can you imagine if the Sardis era had listened to Mr. Armstrong and turned it around? If it had accepted the key of David, how dynamically alive it would have become! Instead, most of the members embraced spiritual leaders who were dead. With all that power available, they were dead! Many of their names were blotted out of the book of life. What a missed opportunity. God delivered the warning to the leaders, and they ignored it. So they can’t come back and say they didn’t understand the seriousness of the issue. God holds us accountable for every word He gives us!
“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; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name” (verses 7-8). Here is how an end-time Christian lives or dies. He must embrace the key of David vision or he dies!
This royal key of David vision brings God’s kings and priests alive! This vision fills us with dynamic spiritual life. We must labor spiritually through prayer and Bible study to keep ourselves energized by this vision.
There is no mention of the Sardis members being in the Jerusalem headquarters ruling with Christ and the Philadelphians. Why? Because they rejected this vision and failed to prepare and qualify for the most majestic opportunity that God ever has offered or ever will offer one of His churches!
What a missed opportunity! What eternal glory they rejected.
Look how this vision brought the Worldwide Church of God alive under Herbert W. Armstrong. Mr. Armstrong was on over 400 television stations and had a Plain Truth magazine circulation of over 8 million—greater than Time and Newsweek combined at the time. Mr. Armstrong was reaching the largest audience possible.
It was the strongest global message God’s Church has ever delivered to this world!
What the key of David vision can do for individuals and organizations is hard to even calculate.
Soon this vision will fill the Earth with unparalleled joy. Finally the world will be pulsating with excitement as people understand and live as the Father and Christ have lived for all eternity.
Individually, we probably need to re-prove some of the truth in The United States and Britain in Prophecy today. It is vital understanding. Are we as certain about that truth as Mr. Armstrong was when he approached Sardis?
God wanted those in the Sardis Church to live! He wants all of us to live now and forever! God wants our names written in the book of eternal life! That’s why we are here! To learn to live and live, and never stop living! Look how dramatically alive the Philadelphia era became because one man yielded himself to God, and God was able to surround him with supporters. God truly gives His people the opportunity to really live and to have a real impact on this world! How inspiring to see what God will do if only we’ll yield to Him.
God used Mr. Armstrong to build beautiful buildings—the crown jewel being God’s house in Pasadena, California. It was the most beautiful building of its kind on Earth.
The Philadelphia era was throbbing with spiritual life! It all flowed from the key of David vision.
The Philadelphia Church in the Laodicean era is being used by God to “raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen” (Amos 9:11). Why is it called the tabernacle of David? Because we have the same key of David message that Mr. Armstrong had. Only people with that vision could raise up God’s Work again in this end time and give one final warning to this dying world—and give the inhabitants of this Earth a message of hope like they have never received before!
Most people have no hope or an empty hope. But our hope is based on the almighty power of a loving God. It can never fail. Only men who don’t have that hope, or have it and then lose it, can fail.
The only people who understand the key of David vision today are God’s very elect—the only people who will sit on David’s headquarters throne in Jerusalem forever. This vision actually identifies God’s very elect today!
Those who hold this key are qualifying to rule from God’s headquarters for all eternity. They will go no more out (Revelation 3:12).
Today, we have built another house for God. It is the ultimate message to the Laodiceans and this world in our day. The Head of this Church, the one who gave the key of David vision, has a house and lives on the Herbert W. Armstrong College campus in spirit!
That house illustrates that God is alive on this campus and in God’s very elect. That house is the greatest sign of hope on Earth! That hope is embodied in the key of David vision, which is the dominant vision emanating from that auditorium. Those who understand and proclaim this vision are the only ones empowered to do God’s worldwide Work!
What Is the Key of David?
Christ has the key of David—but He wants to give it to us (Revelation 3:7). If we accept that and step out in faith, then He opens powerful doors so we can tell the world about it! (verse 8). The purpose for the open door is so the Philadelphians can tell the world about the key of David!
It takes Philadelphians in the last two eras to fully explain that key. The understanding of the key of David always comes through Philadelphians in this end time.
What is the key of David? It is the royal gospel viewed through the eyes of the Father, and the Husband, and the headquarters Bride—the highest level of God’s government through all eternity.
That’s right—the headquarters Bride. That Bride consists of those who will go no more out from God’s headquarters temple—those who will be ruling with Christ there in Jerusalem forever (verse 12). That is the highest calling for a body of God’s people ever! That is the resplendent reward awaiting those who teach the key of David! They will be sitting on the headquarters throne of David forever! So this is the gospel viewed through their eyes too.
Those during this Laodicean era who reject the key of David will not have that reward. Fifty percent of them will repent and be in God’s Family, but they will not be at headquarters, because they rejected the key of David, the greatest vision of the Bible. Revelation 3 makes it clear that anyone who goes into the Tribulation will not be stationed at God’s headquarters.
The very elect comprehend God’s family government far better than most of God’s people.
The big question is this: Will you understand and submit to this government in the age of man’s rule of man and act while there is time?
Consider this carefully: The royal key of David gospel is understood now only by the headquarters kings and priests in embryo! If you fully understand and submit to this teaching now, you are going to reside in Jerusalem forever.
Only 5 percent of God’s own people in the Laodicean era have remained faithful to God—and only that 5 percent will qualify for that level of royalty in this end time. We can’t drift into such an exalted position. We must work hard and fervently support God’s Work today.
In past ages, God has only prepared a small number of His people to rule from the Jerusalem headquarters.
It is hard to fathom the level of royalty God’s Philadelphians truly are. God has given them knowledge He never gave to the other eras of His Church because He is specifically training His headquarters personnel who will teach the key of David vision to the world. That is why God gives us that vision from the perspective of headquarters in Jerusalem forever! He is revealing this vision with greater clarity all the time. Christ personally gives it to the Philadelphia era and to the Philadelphians in the Laodicean era. But only a small percentage of both eras qualify for headquarters rule in Jerusalem.
Armed with this key of David knowledge, we will be better able to support the prophets, apostles and leaders that God prepared in past ages.
The biblical account of King David’s life unlocks this key of David message. David was a king who united and ruled over all of the 12 tribes of Israel. We are going to rule with Christ on David’s throne and unite the world.
The Gentiles will be grafted in as a part of Israel.
This practical plan of God’s will absolutely bring peace and joy to this evil and violent world. How wonderful to be able to help Christ achieve that goal!
We must develop a deep understanding of this prophetic key of David. The Laodiceans’ bad example shows that our personal spiritual lives are in grave danger if we do not develop that understanding.
When we work hard to grasp this all-encompassing vision, we learn that we will share in God’s royal glory.
“And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:31-33). This prophecy was given to Mary by the archangel Gabriel. It shows what Jesus Christ will be doing throughout eternity. But it also gives us some exciting history.
King David is a great example of the way God works. God bestowed incredible honor upon King David as well. He gave David the honor of actually starting Christ’s throne on Earth. David’s throne is going to directly connect all mankind to God! That is why it is called David’s throne—not Christ’s throne, which it is. It is named after an ordinary mortal man.
When we understand the depth and magnitude of these three verses in Luke, it is truly mind-boggling what God plans to do with mankind. David’s life is an inspiring example of what God plans to do with all humanity! David—a man—represents all people who will have ever lived.
Verse 31 shows that Mary was to give birth to a son who was to be called Jesus. He was not to be any ordinary son. He was the Son of the Highest! The only Son who was eternal before His birth! Verse 32 shows that He was born to be King. And the throne that He was to ascend was David’s throne. Verse 33 shows that, once Jesus takes that throne, He will rule over the house of Israel forever.
How did Christ’s throne begin? It began with one man—David. And it began in the humblest of ways. David was a shepherd boy and the youngest son of Jesse. He was the least likely to assume the throne. Yet God had the Prophet Samuel anoint him king (1 Samuel 16:1-13). God used this young boy to start revealing His vision for humankind.
God describes David as “a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will” (Acts 13:22). But he was not perfect. For example, he committed adultery with Bathsheba; when she became pregnant, he arranged the murder of her husband, Uriah, to conceal his own sin. How could God still give him all this honor?
David was an unusually humble individual. He did struggle with many temptations, but he knew how to repent before God. When he sinned, he knew that he was sinning against God (Psalm 51:4). It was God’s law that he transgressed. He also recognized that he almost lost it all (Psalm 73:2). This is the great beauty to David’s life and the key to his righteousness: David mastered repentance. David made some serious mistakes in his life, but he did not get caught up in foolish human reasoning to avoid repenting! When God sent a prophet to correct him, David didn’t argue. He repented! True repentance is the most noble and royal attitude any human being can learn.
God described David as “a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will” (Acts 13:22). David did all of God’s will. Whatever God asked of him, David did everything possible to do. Not 80 percent of it, or 90 percent—not even 99 percent of God’s will. David strived with all his heart to do 100 percent! That is quite an attitude. He sang for God—he danced for God—he dressed for God—he served for God. It was all for God!
That beautiful attitude has a lot to do with the key of David. God calls this glorious, all-encompassing vision “the key of David” because this is the profound understanding He wants all of us to have!
The House of Jacob
That passage in Luke 1:31-33 also shows us the royal gospel through the eyes of the God Family at the highest level: Christ is referred to as the Son of the Highest. This is a Father-Son relationship. Soon, Christ’s very elect will be with Him, sitting on David’s family throne in Jerusalem forever.
Have you ever wondered why God says that Christ will reign over the “house of Jacob”—rather than the house of Israel? Jacob was Israel’s name before he was converted. The main reason is that we need to realize that when we receive our positions of authority, we will begin by dealing with unconverted people. This is the house of Jacob, and we’re going to have to teach them how to become converted—how to become spiritual Israel! That is our calling: to help Christ in converting all humanity!
This is why it is so critical God’s people become educated in how to be teachers today. This world doesn’t know God! All those people are Jacob, spiritually speaking. They desperately need to be taught! We are talking about billions of unconverted people. This is a monumental job. And Christ is asking us to help Him do it.
How do you teach people to become converted if you are not converted yourself? How do you teach them to become spiritual Israel if you are not spiritual Israel?
Jesus Christ died for the world. Soon, all those people will need education in becoming converted. Can you see why Christ needs a wife to be His helpmeet?
God did not call you just for your benefit. We are preparing to share the throne of the King of kings and assist Him in spreading this truth and converting every person who has ever lived, if they want to be in God’s Family.
This truth ties in with another key of David prophecy, given through Jeremiah: “In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness [Jesus Christ] to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land” (Jeremiah 33:15). The “land” is referring to the whole Earth! The Messiah is about to come and sit on David’s throne and rule the Earth!
Judah and Israel are about to be reunited under that throne (verse 16). In fact, this world is about to become spiritual Israel, united by the throne of David. All mankind will be looking to that one throne, the “key of David” throne. The key of David unites everyone who has ever lived—if they choose life.
God’s Church today has members in nations all over the world—because we are going to teach the whole world!
That throne will eventually unite the whole universe! “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever” (Isaiah 9:7). This is the key of David message. What a vision! That prophecy is talking about Jesus Christ, but again, as Luke 1 brings out, He is the Son of the Highest. The Father is always at the top.
What a future mankind has because of that throne of David!
Princes in All the Earth
The key of David unlocks the fact that God intends for every human being to become part of His royal Family. Those called now who remain truly Philadelphian will have the opportunity to sit with Christ on His throne—as His Bride in the future headquarters at Jerusalem. Jesus Christ stated, “To him that overcometh [conquers] will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame [conquered], and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Revelation 3:21). We must conquer Satan as Christ did! When we do, we become God’s precious royalty. This fact should be the inspiration and motivation behind our spiritual lives.
The key of David vision represents God’s plan for all mankind. It is not just for the adults of God’s Church; it is a message also for the youth. “With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king’s palace. Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth. I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever” (Psalm 45:15-17). Even though our youth are not yet baptized, God’s Philadelphia ministers must teach them by example and with words that they are royalty now. Verse 16 shows they will be taking over royal positions in the Millennium. God’s ministry must begin now to help shape our young people into princes and princesses—God’s royal youth! We must help our young people get the key of David vision into their minds.
We must continually remind our young people that they are God’s princes and princesses of the Earth. But they won’t remain princes and princesses. They are to become God’s kings of the universe! The most exalted calling in all eternity!
They must be taught and encouraged to uphold that royal standard—act like God’s royalty today. That is how they qualify for those supremely exalted offices.
Mr. Armstrong dedicated many resources to help the young people of God’s Church. He fully understood that young people (and adults) must be taught how to be God’s royalty. One of the ways we instruct our young people about being royalty is through our summer camp programs. This was a tradition started by Mr. Armstrong. A session of our summer camp only lasts three weeks, however. For the rest of the year, parents and the ministry must reinforce and teach the key of David vision to the youth. All of us, working together, must make the vision real for our precious youth.
How do we all learn to be royalty? “If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well” (James 2:8). We learn to be royalty by fulfilling the royal law, which is the Ten Commandments. There should be no doubt in our minds about this fact. Jesus Christ stated, “[I]f thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17). All of our young people should be fully instructed in keeping the Ten Commandments. Just like adults, if our youth want to enter into eternal life and become God’s royalty, they must keep the commandments. The ministry must set the example, but parents hold the major responsibility for this teaching. Each one of us needs to diligently study this message, many times, if we are to truly comprehend it!
The main lesson we need to get across to our young people is how to live the rich and abundant life now. Then they can help teach the whole world. This world is full of glitter and glamour and sinful “fun.” But it is only “fun” temporarily—not truly joyous living. When Jesus Christ returns and sets up the Kingdom of God, abundant living will begin for the whole world. No human being can truly imagine what life will be like in the Millennium, unless we let God show us through the key of David vision. The ministry and adults of God’s Church must grow in understanding this vision. When we do, then we can help our young people also grow in that understanding.
All of this paints such a beautiful picture. Jesus Christ reveals that those who are truly a part of His Church are already royalty. “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (Revelation 1:6; see also Revelation 5:10). If we as God’s Philadelphians continue to do our part, spiritually we are already God’s royalty! By working to deepen our understanding of the key of David vision, we are not only preparing for our own eternal life, we are preparing to bring real spiritual life to our children and to every person on Earth!
Chapter 2: The Open Door
Most of God’s Laodicean churches now say that the seven Church eras are only history. Smyrna and Ephesus were 50 miles apart. One is in tribulation (Revelation 2:10)—one is not. Why, if this is only history? The Sardis Church is dead (Revelation 3:1). A few miles down the road is Philadelphia—one of the best churches (verses 7-12). It doesn’t make sense if this is only history.
One of the Laodicean groups says “the seven churches could also represent the progressive state of God’s Church through the centuries.” “Could.” But they don’t know. They should know, because Herbert Armstrong taught and proved this subject forcefully.
Successive Church eras
In Mystery of the Ages, Mr. Armstrong wrote, “The book of Revelation records seven messages to seven churches that existed in Asia Minor toward the end of the first century a.d.
“These churches—Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea—were located along one of the mail routes of the old Roman Empire.
“Riders would follow the route—carrying messages from town to town.
“The messages to the seven churches have words of both encouragement and correction, and they clearly show the dominant characteristics of each of the congregations at that time.
“But these messages were intended for a wider audience than the Christians in these small towns.
“They are a series of remarkable prophecies, by which the future of the true Church was foretold in outline form, from the day it began on Pentecost, a.d. 31, until the Second Coming of Christ.
“The history of the Church would fall into seven distinct eras—each with its own strengths and weaknesses and its own special trials and problems.
“Just as a message could pass along the mail route from Ephesus to Laodicea, so would the truth of God be passed from era to era.
“It was like a relay race—in which the baton is passed from runner to runner, each one doing his part, until the finish line is reached.
“Some time during the early decades of the second century, the baton was passed from the Ephesian era to the people that God had called to the Smyrna era of His Church.”
This progression continued down to the present.
Church Eras Are Prophetic
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John” (Revelation 1:1). This was revealed to “shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass.” That is PROPHECY of the future.
Christ says Church eras are to show us the future. They are not just history, as the Laodiceans say they “could” mean. Church eras are to reveal the future to us, from the time of Christ to His Second Coming. Otherwise, why is this included in the book of Revelation?
The purpose of this book is to put prophecy into a time frame. The seven seals unfold from Christ’s first coming to the Second Coming. We see the seven successive resurrections of the Holy Roman Empire. Seven different times a political beast and the great false church emerge to bring savage destruction on the world. The final beast is forming right now! We can see that because of the time frame in the book of Revelation.
The history and prophecy of the great false church is included. Then doesn’t it seem logical that God would also reveal the far more important history and prophecy of His true Church in this book?
The book of Revelation is prophetic. Church eras are discussed because they are prophetic. God puts the eras of His true Church into a time frame too.
We can only understand the book of Daniel, Matthew 24 and many other Bible prophecies because of the time sequence in the book of Revelation.
The subject of the seven churches would not be in this book of Revelation if it weren’t prophetic! This is a book of prophecy! That’s what the 22 chapters are all about.
Revelation is a book of revealing. Those who fail to understand don’t have God revealing truth to them. They are in the dark.
They talk about could be because they lack faith.
Philadelphians in the Laodicean Era
Be prepared for your mind to be stretched and expanded by this magnificent vision—the key of David! There is no vision to compare to it!
When Christ introduced the end-time Philadelphia era, He emphasized this one vision. It was with this subject that He began His message to the Philadelphians. “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; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name” (Revelation 3:7-8).
This is the one vision that identifies God’s end-time Philadelphia Church. This is critical understanding. Christ introduces the Philadelphia era by saying He has the key of David. Then He relates how He opens the door for God’s Work. Today, Christ opens the door only for the very elect who have the key of David vision. That clearly implies that Christ wants the Philadelphians to deliver His key of David message through the door He opens. So we must know what that message is!
Why do the Philadelphians understand this vision? Christ gives three essential points in these two verses. First, there is the key of David vision; and second, the open door (television airtime, the Internet, magazines, books and booklets) through which to deliver that message. Third, these Philadelphians are given this understanding because they have not denied God’s “name.”
God praises all the Philadelphians for not denying Christ’s name. The Greek word for name here is onoma and means a name, authority or character. The Philadelphia messenger never denied Christ’s authority, or government! This is a vital lesson we must learn in this end time. The only way men can be successful in doing God’s Work is through God’s government. We must realize that the key of David vision and the knowledge about God’s government are intimately tied together. The key of David vision is all about God’s Family government.
Those members who do not deny God’s government are Philadelphians, in both the Philadelphian and Laodicean eras. The Philadelphians are the only members of God’s Church who submit to His government, or rule. That is the major characteristic that sets the Philadelphians apart as God’s very elect.
That is why the whole world can see the Philadelphian work—the open door. The message is sent around the globe.
The open door, or work, is what identifies God’s true Church to the Earth’s inhabitants!
The Laodicean, or lukewarm, church (Revelation 3:14-20) has no key of David vision and no open door to the world. That is because the Laodiceans have rejected God’s rule, or government, over them.
The Philadelphians kept God’s Word and did not deny God’s government. God gave them an open door, and they proclaimed the key of David vision. That is why they will teach it to all humanity in the World Tomorrow: because they prepared themselves for that job today.
The Laodiceans did neither of those things. If they don’t repent soon, they will lose their headquarters crown. God says He is going to make them see what they did and recognize the opportunity they squandered (verse 9). They will have to acknowledge that God exalted those who kept His Word and government to the top echelon of God’s rule in Jerusalem!
The key of David vision is the ultimate, all-encompassing vision of the Bible. That vision is intimately tied to Christ’s return and His rule over the world and the universe from David’s throne (Luke 1:30-33; Isaiah 9:6-7).
What could be more profound? What an uplifting and wondrous vision! Only the Philadelphians of this end time will share David’s headquarters throne. Philadelphian will be a very exalted word in the World Tomorrow.
The title of our television program is The Key of David. We believe that title was inspired by God.
We followed the twofold formula for loving God: keeping His Word and obeying His government. God gave us a powerful open door to proclaim the key of David. Then God prophesied that no man can shut that door. Many men have tried and failed.
If men attack our message going through that open door, they are attacking the living God!
“[B]ehold, I have set before thee an open door …” (Revelation 3:8). Behold can read, “Behold! Lo! Lo!”
Christ Himself opened that door to prepare for His Second Coming, and He wants God’s message strongly emphasized! “Behold! Lo! Lo!“ The key of David is being trumpeted to the world.
God decided to intervene dramatically in world affairs in the last two eras of His Church. He opened a door to send His key of David message around the globe. Nothing on Earth compares to this message.
God has not intervened in this world to any serious degree since the first century, until now.
All these terrifying problems we see in this world are a sign that Christ is about to return. “Behold! Lo! Lo!” Soon the whole world will focus on David’s throne forever. The world should be shouting for joy. Today, however, Satan leads some to try to shut that door—a direct and dangerous affront to their Creator.
Why does Christ give the Philadelphians only one vision? Because this key unlocks the whole Bible.
Knowing who Israel is unlocks the one third of the Bible that is prophecy. But the key of David makes it possible for us to fully see God’s master plan for the Earth and the universe.
Because of our loyalty and obedience, God is swinging doors open for this Work! We started in 1989 with $80, and today we have built a $20 million house for God! A mighty door simply opened for this Work. Who did that? God did. And when He throws a door open, He challenges anyone in this world to shut it!
Only the Philadelphians do God’s Work in the end time. They are God’s last Church to be loyal before the Great Tribulation. Christ gives the key of David message to His end-time Philadelphians because they are ruled by Him. They will help Christ teach it to all humanity, which will include billions of people!
The end-time Philadelphians have more truth than any other Church ever. They are going to work at headquarters in the World Tomorrow (verse 12). They will be better equipped to teach God’s complete vision than any other group. They probably will have more revealed knowledge than all the other Church eras combined.
All of that knowledge is unlocked by the key of David vision! The Philadelphians have a deeper understanding of this vision than members of God’s Church in any other era. When you find a Philadelphian, you find the key of David vision!
Christ places heavy emphasis on this vision. You and I must know why. Our eternal lives depend on this understanding!
Throne of David
God’s own Laodicean Church—95 percent of God’s people today—has lost this vision! Revelation 3:17 characterizes the Laodiceans as being blind. This means they have rejected Bible knowledge. A large portion of what they have rejected includes the knowledge about the key of David. The Laodiceans have lost God’s greatest vision, if they ever did “get it.” Unless they quickly regain that vision, they will lose everything—forever.
The Laodiceans today are disgracefully divided. They don’t want Herbert W. Armstrong’s book The United States and Britain in Prophecy, which reveals the truth about David’s throne and is the core teaching within the key of David vision. (Request a free copy if you do not have one.) That knowledge could unite them. In 1987, about a year after Mr. Armstrong died, the Worldwide Church of God (wcg) chopped out 70 percent of that book. A year later wcg leaders shelved it completely while officially saying they were only “reviewing” it. Neither do they want Mystery of the Ages, which also talks about the key of David. The real reason is, they don’t want God to rule them! These books were removed from publication after Mr. Armstrong’s death by faithless, liberal ministers.
Mr. Armstrong warned the Church against such liberalism when it had crept into the Church in the 1970s. He wrote, “Gradually, subtilely, systematically, while I was in other parts of the world carrying Christ’s gospel message, doctrines were being watered down, the college was being made secular, God and Christ were being cast out and a conspiracy was in progress to get rid of Christ’s chosen apostle, unless he accommodated the conspirators by dying.
“Church teachings were being changed. The most resultful booklet of all, The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy, was attacked, greatly deleted and later put out of circulation—the same with a number of other basic and important booklets written by Christ’s apostle.
“This group of liberals assumed the authority of setting Church doctrine. The one who primarily wrote the Systematic Theology Project later wrote, ‘My only goal in coordinating the project was to bring doctrinal consistency, stability and unity to the ministry’—that is, unity in watered-down doctrines that older loyal ministers did not and never would accept! That was not unity—it was division!” (Worldwide News, Feb. 19, 1979). Today, there is only one church that fully supports the The United States and Britain in Prophecy as written by Mr. Armstrong: the Philadelphia Church! One Laodicean Church has its own version, which was not inspired by God. It falls far short of the revealed version published by Mr. Armstrong.
A version of The United States and Britain in Prophecy written in 1945 had no copyright, and was therefore free to reprint. Yet the Philadelphia Church was the only church that did so. We also stood alone in our fight for the 1980 edition, which we have since acquired. God wants this truth revealed, not hidden! Jesus Christ taught the disciples, “[F]reely ye have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). It was Mr. Armstrong’s sincere desire to give this book to all who requested it—free of charge.
The Laodicean Church has casually given up the greatest vision in all the Bible! And look at the confusion in those churches. They are confused about Herbert Armstrong’s work. They are confused about God’s government. They are confused about doctrine. And even though they have a certain amount of wealth and many ministers, they are accomplishing little. They do not have God’s blessing. None of this would have happened to them if they had remained true to the key of David vision established by God.
Some of them ask, Why can’t we all get together? The only way that would be possible is if we all united under the key of David throne. The key of David vision will unite this whole world! It will unite America and China, Arab and Jew.
It truly angers Satan when we talk about David’s throne. He knows his reign is about over. He is composed of pure hatred and has nothing to lose. Thus, he is stirring up all kinds of hatred in this world—racial and other problems that can only be solved with the key of David revelation. The tighter we hold on to that vision, the angrier he gets—but the less he can harm us.
In terms of historical religious tragedy, the present Church crisis far outweighs the destruction of Solomon’s temple. It is the worst crisis in this end time, because so many eternal lives are at stake!
What a serious lesson for us. All those who wish to be true Philadelphians must concentrate their prayers, thoughts and studies toward understanding the key of David vision. You and I must stretch our minds to grasp this greatest of all visions! Please try to focus on this vision as never before. God will deepen our understanding when we faithfully do this.
Nothing will change your life as this vision will!
The Philadelphian Messenger
Malachi 4:5-6 show that God planned to send a man in the office of Elijah to this sick world just before Christ’s return. This Elijah would teach about God’s Family. Matthew 17:10-11 also show that this man would restore all things to the Church. (Please request our free booklet A Pivotal Sign of the End Time.)
Herbert Armstrong was that man. The many wonderful truths that Christ originally gave to the Church had become lost by the dawn of the 20th century. But God used Mr. Armstrong to restore the truth about government, the Sabbath, the holy days, the Family of God and much more. Mr. Armstrong faithfully taught these precious truths to the Church. Yet after he died, only a small remnant preserved them—the Philadelphia Church of God (pcg), in the Laodicean era.
God also used Mr. Armstrong powerfully to preach the gospel of the Kingdom around the world as a witness. That incredible task was prophesied in the Olivet prophecy (Matthew 24:14). Revelation 3:8 shows that he had an “open door” to fulfill this commission. An open door is always synonymous with the preaching of a message. Mr. Armstrong was given an open door to preach this message throughout the world.
Revelation 3:7-8 are part of the message to the Philadelphia era. Speaking of Himself, Christ states that He is holy and true. He holds the key of David. Verse 7 shows that the key of David vision is really Christ’s vision. He is the one who revealed it to the Philadelphians.
The key of David vision includes the history about Christ’s physical family—the lineage of David—and the prophecies concerning His own future rule as King of kings in the world to come. Included in the key of David vision is the knowledge of our own mind-expanding future of sharing Christ’s throne. We must realize that the history and prophecy concerning David’s throne is the essence of Christ’s gospel message, with a weighty emphasis on the God Family royalty. The most royal of all those positions will be given to the firstfruits—those called and chosen before Christ’s Second Coming.
Verse 8 shows that Christ opened the door for Mr. Armstrong to reveal and teach the foundation of this incredible knowledge. Mr. Armstrong faithfully walked through the doors Christ opened. When he did this, the Work always grew. And Mr. Armstrong always gave God the credit. One of his most quoted scriptures was, “… Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).
The Daily Sacrifice
One of the most important questions we must ask in this end time is, did the Work die with Mr. Armstrong? To answer that question correctly, we must look at the situation from God’s perspective. Otherwise, we will fall short every time.
Anciently, God’s Work was directed from the temple in Jerusalem. The daily sacrifice was offered continually, showing the close connection between God and His people.
Today, the Church is God’s temple on Earth (Ephesians 2:21). In this end time, Mr. Armstrong built God’s spiritual house. He often used a scripture taken from an end-time prophecy to teach this truth to the Church: “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto you” (Zechariah 4:9). Like Zerubbabel of old, Mr. Armstrong built God’s temple. Even in a physical sense there was a modern temple built in our day. Mr. Armstrong always referred to the auditorium on the Pasadena campus of Ambassador College as God’s house. The Work flowed from that physical temple. We have built a similar auditorium at our headquarters today. God always has headquarters buildings if there is a thriving Work.
The work of the Church represents the “daily sacrifice” spiritually today (Daniel 12:11). (I explain this truth in detail in our free booklet Daniel—Unsealed at Last.) In Daniel, the words “daily sacrifice” can be translated as continual. This should teach us that the Work does not stop with the death of a human being. It is God’s Work. God is eternal. Jesus Christ and God the Father gave Mr. Armstrong authority to do the continual in this end time.
The ministers who were taught by Mr. Armstrong should have remembered what God accomplished through that man. He did the Elijah work in this end time. When he died, the Elijah work should have continued. But it stopped temporarily. Those ministers who were to continue Mr. Armstrong’s work instead did away with all of his major writings.
God raised up the Philadelphia Church to continue the work established by Mr. Armstrong. No other ex-wcg group is doing that today, although most of them claim to carry the mantle of Herbert Armstrong. It doesn’t take a scholar to figure out who truly is continuing in the traditions of Mr. Armstrong. All one needs to do is examine the magazines and other printed materials of the various groups. Only one has consistently stayed true to what Mr. Armstrong taught—the Philadelphia Church of God. Only we have the daily, or continual, spiritual sacrifice.
Conquer or Be Conquered
“Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee” (Revelation 3:9). This verse reveals that there was a “synagogue of Satan” right in God’s Church—a church within a church. Even while Mr. Armstrong was still there, Satan conquered a great many members! Satan was right there even while God’s apostle was alive! He had a synagogue! Those in this synagogue did not keep God’s Word, and they denied God’s government. Consequently, they lost the key of David vision and were conquered by the devil. Satan established a beachhead in the strong Philadelphia era. These rebels were conquered by the devil, instead of conquering him.
So when Mr. Armstrong died, Satan used his synagogue to conquer 95 percent of God’s Church (now comprised of several different churches). It became the Laodicean era. Unless those Church members repent before the Tribulation, they cannot qualify to rule in the Jerusalem headquarters.
Do you see why we must overcome? (The word conquer as used in the Revised Standard Version is better.) Either we conquer Satan as Christ did (Matthew 4; Luke 4), or we can’t qualify to rule at headquarters with Christ.
The Laodiceans will not rule from headquarters because they are not qualified.
Satan is still alive today. He wants to take over the Philadelphia Church of God in these latter days. We must do all we can to make sure that doesn’t happen. God expects us to conquer the devil as Christ did so we can share David’s throne! (verse 21).
Satan took the key of David from the Church of God, and 95 percent of the members became Laodicean. The fruits show who conquered Satan and who didn’t.
We won a bitter six-year court battle with Satan the devil. We have had to fight and conquer Satan in many battles. With God’s very elect, that is a way of life.
Satan was cast down around the time Mr. Armstrong died, perhaps on that very day. He knows that his time is short (Revelation 12:12). He is on a violent rampage of spiritual and physical destruction.
We have God’s power to conquer the devil because we cling to the key of David vision.
The Jerusalem Dig
Isn’t it interesting how this Work is so involved in Jerusalem today? We are digging in the very spot where David’s throne once sat—and upon which Christ is about to establish His throne forever! We’re helping to clear away the rubble for Christ’s throne—the throne we are about to share with our Husband! God has laid up for us a crown (Revelation 3:11). If we deeply understand the key of David vision, we will be thrilled by that project in Jerusalem. Behold—LO! LO! There is something truly special here!
What do our activities in Jerusalem have to do with the gospel? Everything! Within just a few short years, every city and country around the world will be focused on Jerusalem! When they are, we’ll be teaching them about the same thing we are teaching now: the key of David. God wants the whole world to understand this vision. The key of David unlocks everything in the Bible, beginning with the third of the Bible that is prophecy. If you lose that, you become blind and forsake God.
Look through the entire description of the Laodicean era (verses 14-22), and you see nothing about the key of David—because the Laodiceans have lost it. That is why they are lukewarm or worse. Mr. Armstrong undertook projects in Jerusalem and tried to get God’s people excited about it for many years. If only they had latched on to that vision!
Satan knows what we’re doing in Jerusalem, and he is raging like a mad dog in his attempt to stop it. He knows what it means for us to build a house for God—it is simply another sign we are in the final phase of this Work. He is deeply disturbed by these developments. All he lives for is to try to destroy what God is building. The world is quickly moving into its worst suffering in history (verse 10). But God will protect His very elect. Even now, we see Christ’s hand at work; as the economy gets worse, we are doing our greatest work.
“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name” (verse 12). The human mind cannot grasp this reward without the Spirit of God. We must pray and ponder to even understand this key of David vision. We have a crown and will sit in Jerusalem forever. After the Millennium will come new Jerusalem! Everyone who still lives will be in the Family of God—and we will proceed out into the universe! The key of David is about endless rule! That is majestic leadership we must never lose sight of! What a King! What a crown! What an opportunity!
Isn’t it logical God would have our work involved in Jerusalem today? It’s our city forever! We’re going to rule the world from there—the headquarters of the universe, the most exciting city in the cosmos—forever!
Chapter 3: The Key That Identifies the Church
When Christ gives the key of David vision to a man, the people supporting that man must hold on to it. If that man dies, the vision must be preserved by those left behind—through another man whom God chooses.
Christ always reveals truth through one man at a time.
Let’s look at a companion verse to Revelation 3:7. “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” (Isaiah 22:22). In Bible prophecy, a key unlocks knowledge to human understanding. The key of David vision involves a message for all mankind. This verse speaks of laying that key upon the shoulder of one man, but the message wasn’t meant to be given to only him. It was meant for the whole world. Thus, a work had to be done in order to deliver the message. That one man could not do such a monumental job alone.
Herbert Armstrong was Christ’s end-time messenger. Christ used him to raise up a work to deliver the message. It was his responsibility to give Christ’s message to the whole world (Matthew 24:14). And this commission was supported by those who worked under him.
As we discussed in the last chapter, Jesus Christ opened the door for Mr. Armstrong to preach His message. Mr. Armstrong faithfully fulfilled his commission. While he was alive, those under him followed his lead. Mr. Armstrong died in 1986. Unfortunately, those leaders left behind rejected the message.
We ask, if the messenger dies, should the message be buried with the messenger? This is the number one question that must be answered by God’s people in this end time. Only a few today understand that the message must be kept alive.
Mr. Armstrong repeated key facts from The United States and Britain in Prophecy in his most important book, Mystery of the Ages. So Mystery of the Ages also teaches the key of David vision. A legal battle took place over this book. The wcg wanted to use its copyright to suppress and stop the distribution of Mr. Armstrong’s book. This is something God and Mr. Armstrong never intended. Mr. Armstrong repeatedly warned the Church not to allow his message to be stopped or suppressed. Why? Because it is Christ’s message! Mr. Armstrong fully understood this fact. The majority of those with him did not.
Christ’s Own Vision
Jesus Christ not only owns the message, but He also opens the door for the preaching of the message. Isaiah 22:22 and Revelation 3:7 both state clearly that no man can shut the door! If Christ holds the key and then gives that key to a human messenger, should we not also keep the key?
Ever since Jesus Christ walked on the Earth as a human, men have been trying to stop His message. Jesus Christ’s own life is proof that the message can’t be stopped until God allows it. Christ faithfully preached His message for 3½ years, and then God allowed Him to be killed. Scripture is clear on this fact. “Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not. But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me. Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come” (John 7:28-30). Jesus Christ brought God the Father’s own message, yet men wanted to stop that message. They even killed Christ. The message wasn’t stopped, however. Through the apostles, it spread even wider.
Mr. Armstrong was given Christ’s message to deliver. He fulfilled prophecy as the Philadelphia messenger. He did his part, and Christ praises him highly for having done so. “I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name” (Revelation 3:8). Mr. Armstrong did a great work, but he always gave God the credit for what was accomplished. When Christ opened a door, Mr. Armstrong walked through it in faith. For about 60 years he lived that way.
He never claimed perfection in his work; he recognized his own human shortcomings. He was known for admitting error when it was proved to him. But one thing was certain: He always kept the message that was delivered to him. Why? He knew Christ was behind the message. Christ’s authority always reigned supreme!
One Vision of the Future
How many visions of the future are there in the Bible? There is really only one: the key of David vision. It is holding true to this vision that makes one a Philadelphian. Can you imagine how bleak the future would be without this vision? The key of David vision holds humanity’s only hope.
Only God’s true Church is willing to teach this vision to the world. Thus, it identifies Christ’s very elect. The Laodiceans refuse to teach it. It is an embarrassment to them. Yet the greater evil they commit is that many of them want to suppress the knowledge of it! They do not want anyone on Earth to learn about the key of David. That thinking is out of the devil’s mind! They are trying to close the door that God has opened.
How does God answer the Laodiceans? “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee” (Revelation 3:9). The Laodiceans act like they really have it all together spiritually. They “say they are Jews.” This is referring to their spiritual, not their physical, genealogy. The Apostle Paul stated that “he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God” (Romans 2:29). (We will discuss this subject in detail in this book.) Christ says the Laodiceans are liars. They are lying to themselves and others about their true spiritual condition. They are very sick spiritually.
The Laodicean era followed the Philadelphia era in this end time (Revelation 3:14-20). The Laodiceans turned away from God. But there were serious problems in the 1970s, before the Laodicean era. This was a sign that the Laodicean problem was extant before Mr. Armstrong died. The synagogue of Satan was the Laodicean era in embryo!
God inspired the term synagogue of Satan in verse 9 because they WERE spiritual Jews, but they have been led astray by Satan. There is still hope for them (verse 19). They have turned away from the key of David vision. Their only hope is for God to correct them severely. They will go into the Great Tribulation unless they repent soon.
The only hope for today’s Laodiceans is to get back to what Christ revealed to Mr. Armstrong and what He is revealing to God’s very elect today. The key of David vision includes not only a message about the future, it is a message that must be believed now in order for us to take part in that future! The Laodiceans will have to admit that Mr. Armstrong was Christ’s messenger. And they will have to believe the message the way Mr. Armstrong did. This is the intended meaning of the expression, “I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.” The Laodiceans will have to prove to God that they believe what He revealed through a man. They will have to give up their lives for the message Mr. Armstrong taught and what the Philadelphians are proclaiming today. If they cannot prove that to God, then there is no future for them.
The key of David vision summarizes the royal gospel. It places special emphasis on the firstfruits’ government role in God’s coming Kingdom. Remember, the true gospel of Christ focuses on the coming Kingdom of God, which involves a king, a throne, a ruling Family of God, a set of laws, a government to implement those laws, a territory and a people over which the royal government will rule.
Satan’s greatest attack against the Laodiceans involved turning them away from this vision! This began to happen even while Mr. Armstrong was alive. Satan has now blinded them to this incredible truth.
Jesus Christ says, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17). Christ labels the Laodiceans as spiritually destitute—wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.
Which group of people is truly connected to Christ? The group that is connected to Christ’s message.
Several groups today claim to carry the mantle of Herbert W. Armstrong. But the group that is connected to Mr. Armstrong must hold great respect for him and what he taught. That must mean direct quotes and references to the original works by Mr. Armstrong. We fought a six-year court battle to win Mr. Armstrong’s writings and we are the only church that proclaims and gives these works to the world. The location of Mr. Armstrong’s mantle should be clear, even to the casual observer.
For their failure, the Laodiceans are promised rebuke and punishment. “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent” (verse 19). The words rebuke and chasten indicate severe correction and punishment.
The Philadelphians are promised a royal office. “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (verses 20-21). This is referring to our glorious future as kings and priests—as we share David’s throne with our Husband, Christ. More specifically, it refers to the Philadelphians who fully support Christ’s message during the Laodicean era.
Those who remain loyal to Christ and His message during this Laodicean crisis will share Christ’s throne, which happens to be the throne of His father David. This is the point where the key of David vision takes on thrilling reality. Christ warns us in verse 11 to never let a man deceive us into giving up our crown.
Only the Philadelphia Church of God is knocking on the Laodicean door for Christ. We are promised a place at Christ’s headquarters, on David’s throne. “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name” (verse 12). God’s temple is His headquarters. The Philadelphians are promised pillar status at God’s temple. This means we will be given significant positions in the coming Jerusalem and the new Jerusalem at the end of the Millennium. We shall have the glorious honor of sharing Jesus Christ’s rule and direction over the entire Earth and, ultimately, the universe! This verse says that we “shall go no more out.” This means we will hold our positions at headquarters forever. This promise is mind-numbing in its scope and magnitude!
The real spiritual tragedy in all of this is that the Laodiceans could reserve their place on David’s throne, but they fail to do so. We know that the Laodiceans who repent in the Tribulation will share Christ’s rule, but they will not have headquarters positions. Through the pcg, Christ is giving them ample warning. “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth” (verses 14-16).
Christ reveals Himself to the Laodiceans as the “faithful and true witness.” This is Christ’s way of emphasizing their disloyalty and deceit. They have been unfaithful and untrue! They have fallen into this sad spiritual condition because they have lost the key of David vision.
The Laodicean era is the final era of God’s Church. Because of their sins, God has to spew the Laodiceans out of His mouth into the Great Tribulation. This is a prophecy that the majority of God’s own people would go astray in this end time! But why? How could this happen? They lost the vision God revealed from the beginning. Verses 20-21 reveal the vision they have lost.
Remember, these are God’s own people. At one time, Christ was inside their lives. They have moved the great God outside their spiritual house. Is there any greater tragedy? Spiritually, this is the most colossal tragedy of all! This is why God says the Laodiceans are blind. They are so blind that they don’t see the ultimate spiritual disaster that has struck their lives.
Spiritual-sounding talk is all meaningless unless we have this key of David vision inside us. The Laodiceans talk endlessly about Christ and love. But their words have no real substance because they have rejected Christ’s own vision. They have rejected Christ. They want to tell Him how to lead His Church.
The Laodiceans are talking back to God. “I have loved you, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the Lord: yet I loved Jacob, And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness” (Malachi 1:2-3). These verses are just one example from the book of Malachi of how the Laodiceans talk back to God. Study the entire book. You will find many more examples of Laodicean disrespect. (Request a free copy of Malachi’s Message to fully understand the book of Malachi and the Laodicean rebellion.)
Christ in You
Unless Jesus Christ is living in us, our spiritual talk is empty. Paul taught the Colossians that Christ living in us is one of the greatest mysteries revealed in the Bible. “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). How can we expect to have Christ living in us if we reject His message? Any talk of love has a hollow ring unless this great Being is living in us. The Bible is Christ in print—we must eat and digest the Bible to let Christ live in us.
When Christ is living in us, we are always growing and changing. Peter expected this of all Christians. “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). Mr. Armstrong taught emphatically that spiritual growth was one of the signs of the true Church. God’s Church would be constantly growing in knowledge and grace. All those who have remained close to what Mr. Armstrong taught have joined the pcg. We are continuing to change and must change deeply. New truth is consistently revealed to us.
What does it mean when we say Christ is in us? It should mean the same thing that Christ meant when speaking of His Father. “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (John 14:10). Jesus Christ was completely under His Father’s authority.
When we personally claim that Christ is in us, we are saying that we have unconditionally surrendered to Jesus Christ and His government. It means that He rules us totally. Having Christ rule our lives is the only way we can truly grow and make the necessary spiritual changes. We must know that our spiritual growth is not meant just for this time. Our spiritual changes now are leading to the ultimate change—from that of mortal man to becoming God—a son of God! This will be a universe-shaking change.
Chapter 4: New Revelation About God’s Covenant
Westminster Abbey in London, England, holds the bones of the men and women who have ruled from the British throne. The abbey is a memorial to the British belief that a good king or queen can only be made through understanding the history of the throne. History comes alive when you walk through Westminster. No other nation on Earth holds such a monument! No other nation has such a precious view of history.
But today, it is only written in the memorial, not in the minds of the British people.
The key of David vision teaches us a similar belief. To be a good king or queen for God, we must understand the history and prophecy of David’s throne.
The world and many British people wonder why Britain clings to its throne. The amazing answer to that question can only be understood by God’s people: Jesus Christ is keeping the British throne alive.
Many people, including God’s people, wonder why the Philadelphia Church of God is so successful. Many wonder how we are operating on a such a royal level. There is only one reason. As with the throne in Britain, Jesus Christ, the son of David, is behind the pcg.
How real is this truth for God’s Philadelphians? Do we see the royal Christ behind us? This fact should be more real to us than the royal family of Britain is.
How well do we know the history and prophecy of David’s throne? We should know the details of this throne intimately. Why? God’s very elect are destined to share this throne with Jesus Christ.
Son of David
Jesus Christ was a physical Jew. More importantly, He was a spiritual Jew. “And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us” (Matthew 9:27). The expression “Son of David” is used 16 times in the gospels. Fifteen of these refer directly to Jesus Christ. He was of the physical house of David, who was one of Israel’s most important kings. Christ was a son of David. The Bible shows that He devoted His ministry to His fellow Jews. For 31/2 years, He took God’s message to that one family.
Even while He walked the Earth, Jesus Christ’s primary concern was on the spiritual. His gospel message focused on the time when David’s spiritual Family would govern the Earth and the universe. The expression “Son of David” contains the most hope-filled vision in all the Bible! Why wasn’t Christ referred to as the son of Joseph? Because that would have concealed the truth about God’s plan for man.
Jesus Christ personally taught that the Messiah was to be called the Son of David. “And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David? For David himself said by the Holy [Spirit], The Lord said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool. David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly” (Mark 12:35-37). These verses have deep meaning. Let’s analyze them carefully.
David said, “The Lord said to my Lord.” Who was David’s physical Lord? Nobody. What is David talking about then? He is telling us that the Father was speaking to Christ. The Father promised Christ that He would sit at His (the Father’s) right hand, “until I make your enemies your footstool.” Christ will sit at God’s right hand until Christ becomes King of kings. In Mark 12, Jesus Christ was speaking of the future time when He will rule the Earth. In verse 37, He raised the question, how can the King of kings be David’s son? Part of the answer lies in David’s physical genealogy. There are some 40 generations listed in Luke’s Gospel demonstrating that Christ emerged from the physical line of David. But Christ’s question was focused more on the spiritual. How can the King of kings be a son of David? To fully understand this question, we must include Christ’s spiritual genealogy as well.
Son of the Highest
Jesus Christ is a spiritual Jew. He is destined to rule from David’s throne forever. Let’s look again at the great prophecy concerning Jesus Christ in Luke 1:31-33.
Those verses describe Jesus Christ’s spiritual genealogy. The angel Gabriel brought an astonishing message to Mary. Through the power of God’s Holy Spirit she was to conceive a son (verse 35). Her son was to be the Son of the Highest—the King of the universe. Can you imagine how this must have impacted Mary’s mind? Her son was to be the Son of the one who is the Highest forever. God the Father will always be in charge, ruling over the God Family, forever.
The key of David vision has much to say about Jesus Christ’s relationship with God the Father. Jesus Christ came to Earth to reveal the Father. “All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him” (Matthew 11:27). Do we know God the Father? It is Jesus Christ’s job to reveal the Father. He did this when He walked on Earth. He is doing that same work even now—today. Otherwise it is not God’s Work! If we don’t have the Father revealed to us, then the Family portrait is shattered! God the Father is the central figure in Christ’s message (John 1:18).
Jesus Christ didn’t come to exalt Himself—He came to reveal the Father. Christ is the Son of the Highest! God the Father is the living Head of the entire Family. Jesus Christ came to make this fact known.
We will never understand the key of David vision if we don’t understand the role of the Father! God the Father is the Head of His Family. (Request a free copy of my book The God Family Vision.) If we become guilty of pushing the Father out of the Family picture, it shows that we have a serious government problem. God wants to teach us family government. One man should always head the physical family. This is the kind of family government that will be in force for eternity! God will not use collegial government. He will not use a republic. He will not use a democracy. He will use family government. God the Father will rule over His Family forever. And that Family will rule the universe forever.
The truth that God is a Family is so clear in Scripture. “Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy [Spirit] descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased” (Luke 3:21‑22). Jesus Christ was God’s beloved Son. God the Father and Jesus Christ shared a perfect family-type relationship before Christ became a man. And they shared a perfect father-son relationship when Jesus lived on Earth as a human. Christ always does those things that please the Father (John 8:29). We must get this point clearly, so we can remain in a close relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ. Never forget that within God’s plan there is a Father, there is a Son, and there is Family.
The fact that Christ is a Son of David and a Son of the Highest reaffirms that He is the one who gives us the key of David vision. The Father gave Him that responsibility. It is a vision which Christ will give only to spiritual Jews.
King of Kings
The prophecy in Luke 1 shows that the Father, the Highest, plans to give Christ the throne of His father David. This is a throne on Earth today. Christ is not returning to a nonexistent throne!
But the beauty of the prophecy in Luke 1 does not end with Christ. We must see that these verses also contain prophecies about the greatest royal Family in the whole universe.
Our future is tied directly to Jesus Christ and David’s throne. Revelation 17:13-14 describe Christ as being “Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” The familiarity of this scripture could cause us to overlook its deep, deep meaning. Jesus Christ is going to be the King of the firstfruits, who will become kings under Him. He will be Lord of the firstfruit lords. Can we envision Jesus Christ and the firstfruits ruling on the throne of David?
This prophecy does not apply to just anybody. It is only for the spiritual Jews who are willing to follow Christ before His Second Coming.
In the World Tomorrow, the firstfruits will be ruling with Jesus Christ as kings and lords—ruling both Church and state. We will rule it all! God the Father plans to bestow upon us awesome power, because we will have a big job to do. This is the vision of the Bible.
Throne That Unites
In the near future, at Christ’s return, a momentous occasion will occur. “And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first” (Jeremiah 33:7). Before God can build, He must destroy. That is what modern business people would call creative destruction. After punishing Israel in the Tribulation, God plans to reunite all of Israel into one powerful nation. The physical nations of Israel are extremely divided today. In fact, most nations of Israel have lost their identity.
Anciently, at the death of Saul, the nation fell into civil war. The nation of Israel was seriously divided. David was crowned king in Hebron and ruled Judah from there for seven years. He was finally able to unite the nation, and he moved the capital to Jerusalem. He ruled from Jerusalem for 33 years, making his total reign 40 years.
When His Kingdom is set up, Christ will reunite the nations of Israel first. “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness [Jesus Christ] to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land” (verses 14-15). God will use Christ, sitting on the throne of David, to shower blessing after blessing upon Israel. Remember that this is God the Father speaking. He is the “I” of verse 15. He is establishing a family throne.
“In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness” (verse 16). When Christ returns, He will go to work immediately. Judah will be saved. Jerusalem, the capital of ancient Israel and a biblical symbol of all Israel today, will dwell safely. Can we see the wonderful parallels here?
David, a Jewish king, used his throne to unite all of Israel. Jesus Christ, the spiritual Jew, will take David’s throne and unite the whole world!
Christ will accomplish this unity by grafting all of the Gentile nations into Israel. This is spoken about in principle by Paul in the book of Romans. “And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree” (Romans 11:17). Paul applied this scripture to the Church—the spiritual nation of Israel (1 Peter 2:9). Christ’s Church is not just for natural-born Israelites, it is for all people whom God calls—no matter what nationality or race. All members of God’s Church are citizens of spiritual Israel. What is happening in the Church today is a type of what will happen globally in the World Tomorrow.
From David’s throne, Jesus Christ will start uniting the whole world beginning with the nations of Israel. God focuses on Christ being a Son of David because of this truth. Jesus Christ, while sitting on the throne of David, will make all men spiritual Jews. To be in God’s Family, all men must become spiritual Jews—a spiritually Jewish Family. This is the kind of unity only God can give—the unity God and the Word have had for all eternity! What a mind-opening time that will be for mankind. This glorious unity will then expand into the Gentile nations and, later, into the limitless universe. Can we see the incredible future just ahead of us?
Some will be repulsed to think that God expects them to become Jews. But all men will be taught to look beyond this carnal life. Christ will ensure that the focus is not on the flesh but on the spirit. And at that time, no one will be able to lie about being a spiritual Jew. Both David and Christ were physical Jews. And both were spiritual Jews while in the flesh. We must learn to emulate their spiritual example.
Paul even taught this truth to the Philippians. He wrote, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). What unites spiritual Israel today? It is the mind of Christ. That exciting truth will be taught to the entire world from David’s throne! Understanding the key of David vision is the only way to achieve unity.
Christ’s mind will be extended to the whole world after His return. That is how the world will be united. All people who turn to God will become spiritual Jews. What fantastic unity! The prophecies concerning David’s throne hold many wonderful promises for our nations of Israel and this world.
How well do we understand the covenants made concerning David’s throne? “For thus says the Lord, David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel, and the Levitical priests shall never lack a man in my presence to offer burnt offerings, to burn cereal offerings, and to make sacrifices for ever” (Jeremiah 33:17-18; Revised Standard Version). These two verses reveal that God made two distinct covenants concerning David’s throne. Verse 17 discusses the covenant concerning David’s descendants on his throne. God promised that David’s throne would be in existence perpetually. This represents a phenomenal covenant from God. Someone would always be sitting on David’s throne. His throne exists even today (more on this later).
Notice carefully. The Levitical or ministerial covenant is made with a man. God promised that there would always be one leading minister proclaiming His message about the eternal throne of David!
Just as there is one man at a time sitting on David’s throne, there is one minister at a time whom God covenants with to teach about that throne. Of course, that minister urgently needs the help of God’s ministers and God’s people. The message cannot be delivered by one man alone. Nevertheless, the covenant here is made specifically with one man alone.
Certain as Day and Night
A covenant is an official agreement between two parties. When God makes a covenant with man, no man can change or stop what God plans to do. “And the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers” (Jeremiah 33:19-21). God tells us that we can rely on His covenants about David’s throne and a minister who will always be there to proclaim the message about that throne. They are as certain as day and night. No one but God could change the day from being day or the night from being night. The same applies to God’s covenants concerning David’s throne and God’s leading minister.
It is vital that God’s physical leader remains focused on this vision, since it was to be preserved until Christ’s return. But look at what the Laodicean ministers have done to it. Some have removed it altogether. Most have deemphasized the key of David vision. One Laodicean Church has written its own uninspired version of The United States and Britain in Prophecy. It has nowhere near the power of Mr. Armstrong’s version, which was inspired by God. Mr. Armstrong alone was the end-time Elijah to restore all things (Matthew 17:10-11). He alone was the end-time Zerubbabel with Christ’s authority (Zechariah 4:9-10).
All of the Laodicean churches are in disarray. They are all suffering from disunity. Satan has dealt them a blow that will be fatal unless they repent. Some are saying that Jesus Christ is working through all of the wcg offshoot groups. But in this end time, we have seen that there is only one leading minister in each of the last two Church eras with whom God has made this covenant. There is one covenant—there is only one man in the Laodicean era who has kept that perpetual covenant.
God made two covenants. The second one ensured that His message concerning the throne of David was taught. This means there was always a minister to teach the key of David vision!
Chapter 5: Zadok and the British Throne
Each time a monarch is crowned in England, “Zadok the Priest,” a coronation anthem by George Frideric Handel, is sung. Why would this song be included?
Queen Elizabeth ii was crowned Queen of the British Commonwealth on June 2, 1953. Leading up to the coronation, one of Britain’s leading historians at the time, Lawrence Tanner, released a series of articles condensed from his book The History of the Coronation, which explained what the coronation is, how it developed through hundreds of years, and how it would be done for Queen Elizabeth in 1953. In this chapter, I will relate excerpts from Mr. Tanner’s material as it appeared in the Elyria, Ohio, Chronicle-Telegram.
Notice this statement from the May 21, 1953, installment: “The communion service after the opening ‘recognition’ ceremony changes the atmosphere of the coronation to one of devotion and deep religious significance. It is from this point that the sovereign, having dedicated herself to the service of her peoples, is solemnly consecrated, like a bishop, for her task. … Meanwhile the choir sings, as they have sung at this point in the ceremony since the earliest known English coronation service, the anthem ‘Zadok the Priest.’” A song about Zadok the priest has been sung every time a king or queen has been crowned since “the earliest known English coronation service.”
Why a song about Zadok? If we study into the Bible history of this priest, we will find more proof of where David’s throne is today. How many people who attended the queen’s coronation understood why a song was sung about Zadok the priest? Probably very few. Yet the meaning behind this song involves far more than the royalty in Britain.
The story about Zadok and his sons is very inspiring, especially for God’s very elect. Let’s look into this amazing story.
Zadok’s Support for David
Because of his rebellion against God, Saul lost the throne of Israel to David, who began his reign at Hebron. Saul reigned from 1051 to 1011 b.c. Many men came to assist David when he took control from Saul. Zadok the priest was among these courageous men (1 Chronicles 12:26-28).
When David’s son Absalom tried to overthrow his father (2 Samuel 15:13-16), Zadok and his family remained firm in their support for David. Even toward the end of David’s life, when many of his closest companions left to support another rebellious son, Adonijah (1 Kings 1:5-6), Zadok remained faithful (verse 8). David was getting old and many were beginning to doubt his leadership abilities. But not Zadok! Throughout David’s life, Zadok remained loyal because he knew God was behind David! He had the faith to recognize whom God was using.
Zadok Anoints Solomon King
The Prophet Nathan was the one who warned David of Adonijah’s revolt. “And they told the king, saying, Behold Nathan the prophet. And when he was come in before the king, he bowed himself before the king with his face to the ground. And Nathan said, My lord, O king, hast thou said, Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? For he is gone down this day, and hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the king’s sons, and the captains of the host, and Abiathar the priest; and, behold, they eat and drink before him, and say, God save king Adonijah. But me, even me thy servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and thy servant Solomon, hath he not called” (1 Kings 1:23-26). Notice here that it is Nathan the prophet who informs David of Adonijah’s self-proclamation as king. Nathan also shows David who has remained loyal to him. Zadok the priest is at the top of the list.
Because of his unyielding loyalty, David bestowed upon Zadok great honor. “And king David said, Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. And they came before the king. The king also said unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon: And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel: and blow ye with the trumpet, and say, God save king Solomon. Then ye shall come up after him, that he may come and sit upon my throne; for he shall be king in my stead: and I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah. And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, and said, Amen: the Lord God of my lord the king say so too. As the Lord hath been with my lord the king, even so be he with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord king David” (verses 32-37). Here David instructed Nathan the prophet to make Solomon king. David gave the honor of anointing Solomon to Zadok.
“So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, went down, and caused Solomon to ride upon king David’s mule, and brought him to Gihon. And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon” (verses 38-39). Notice that Zadok personally anointed Solomon. This was truly a great honor. Solomon was made king and all the people cheered, “God save king Solomon.”
British Royal Traditions
Let’s now look at how similar this ancient tradition is to British custom. Here is Mr. Tanner’s description of Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953: “At 7:33 a.m. in Westminster Abbey, where for 900 years British sovereigns have been crowned, the archbishop of Canterbury gently lowered the jeweled crown of St. Edward to her dark hair.
“Then with a great roar, the peers and peeresses and heads of state in the abbey cried: ‘God save the queen.’
“The guns of Hyde Park, Windsor Castle and the Tower of London boomed 41 times. As the sound echoed throughout London and was relayed around the world by radio, in Britain, the nations of the Commonwealth and the colonies, the same shout went up among many of her 600 million subjects: ‘God save the queen.’
“It was more than a prayer for the 27-year-old queen. It held the hope of austerity-ridden Britons that this—as under former reigning queens—would be an era of greatness, happiness and prosperity.
“There to see his mother crowned was 4-year-old Prince Charles. He was clad in a white satin party suit.
“At the other end of the span of empire was 78-year-old Winston Churchill, most illustrious of the mighty assemblage of statesmen, peers, soldiers and foreign guests. …
“From the vast multitude of more than 2 million crushed into London’s center echoed the shout: ‘God save the queen.’
“Thus was perpetuated in the person of this girl of 27 a monarchy reaching back through the centuries to foundations begun shortly after the Roman legions left this island. …
“To others it was a deeply moving religious moment, a queen anointed in holy oil and thereby sanctified in the eyes of God” (June 2, 1953).
Is it just coincidence that the coronation of Israel’s kings so closely parallels that of the kings and queens of Britain?
Here is what was printed on May 19 of the coronation year: “The actual place of coronation has a history of 900 years behind it, but the ceremonies and rites wherewith our sovereigns are consecrated have a history which is older still.”
The British people recognize that their coronation traditions go back centuries. But what they don’t realize is that their traditions actually go back much further than when the Roman legions left the island. They go back all the way to King David!
Over the centuries, there have been many attempts to remove the religious aspects surrounding the British coronation ceremonies. But the religious significance of the coronation has been preserved. Mr. Tanner continued, “It can at least be said that the service which will be used at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth ii descends directly from the service used by Archbishop Dunstan at the coronation of King Edgar at Bath in 973. …
“The coronation of 1821 was held in the full time of the Romantic Movement, and George iv, with his extravagant ideas, succeeded in turning it into a magnificent pageant almost completely devoid of religious significance. …
“So little was the religious side of the coronation appreciated at this time that in 1838 the Times, in discussing the forthcoming coronation of Queen Victoria, announced that ‘the anointing is a part of the ceremony more recommended by antiquity than delicacy, and will probably be omitted altogether.’ But better counsels prevailed.”
At Solomon’s coronation, all the people cheered, “God save King Solomon!” When Elizabeth ii was crowned queen, all the people cheered, “God save the queen!” King Solomon was anointed with oil, in a religious ceremony, setting him apart in the eyes of God. So was Queen Elizabeth.
Today, the throne in England is very unstable. Is it because the British have forgotten God? Some in Britain might know that the royal family’s ancestry can be traced all the way back to King David. But it is not intellectually fashionable to proclaim that today.
God Save the Queen
The solutions to Britain’s problems can be found within the knowledge of the true ancestry of the British throne. God established David’s throne. The rich traditions surrounding the coronation point to a significance greater than most people realize today.
Mr. Tanner continued, “Furthermore the crowning was made the final and principal act of investiture, and it was immediately followed by a striking innovation when the Bible was solemnly presented to the sovereign as ‘the most valuable thing that this world affords’” (May 18, 1953). The Bible does contain much hidden treasure. It reveals the truth about the British throne and the solutions to Britain’s problems. Within the pages of the Bible lies the hope for Britain.
Let’s now look at a few highlights from the coronation ceremony. “The Bible, paten and chalice, and the regalia are placed on the high altar. … The queen, with her crimson robe and her cap of state removed, takes her seat in King Edward’s chair, wherein she is anointed …. The Lord Great Chamberlain presents the spurs and the queen is girt with the sword. … The queen seated in King Edward’s chair is crowned with Saint Edward’s crown by the archbishop of Canterbury. The Bible is presented to the queen. … The homage ended, the drums beat and the trumpets sound and all the people shout, crying out: ‘God save Queen Elizabeth! Long live Queen Elizabeth! May the queen live forever!’” (June 2, 1953).
Queen Elizabeth’s coronation was filled with deep religious significance. It certainly was meant to give great honor to God. Most of that honor of God is lost in Britain today.
Elizabeth marked her 40th anniversary as queen on June 2, 1993. Here is how she celebrated: “Queen Elizabeth ii planned a day at the races today with her husband and mother, but otherwise shied away from celebrating a milestone—her 40th year on the throne. The 67-year-old monarch, Prince Philip and the Queen Mother all were expected to attend the Derby horse race as they almost always do. In 1992 the queen picked the winner—one of few highs in a year of unprecedented royal scandal and public criticism” (Associated Press, June 2, 1993). Couldn’t there have been a better way for the queen to celebrate her 40th anniversary on the throne? It would have been the perfect day to give great honor to God. Why has there been so much scandal within the royal family? Could it be that the royal family has become more excited about a horse race than the throne of David—the very throne on which Jesus Christ will soon sit?
We need to recognize that much of the tradition surrounding the British throne comes directly from the book of 1 Kings. The book of 1 Kings is one of the books known as the former prophets—which means these books contain prophecy for today and have great meaning for us. Our job as Philadelphians is to teach the British and ultimately the whole world about the significance of David’s throne. Let’s now move back to the history of 1 Kings.
The people of Israel made a very great noise when Solomon was crowned king. The outburst of cheering was so great that Adonijah and his rebellious company heard and felt the clamor. “And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them. And Adonijah and all the guests that were with him heard it as they had made an end of eating. And when Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, Wherefore is this noise of the city being in an uproar?” (1 Kings 1:40-41).
Abiathar’s son, Jonathan, brought the news that David had appointed Solomon king. “And while he yet spake, behold, Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came: and Adonijah said unto him, Come in; for thou art a valiant man, and bringest good tidings. And Jonathan answered and said to Adonijah, Verily our lord king David hath made Solomon king. And the king hath sent with him Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and they have caused him to ride upon the king’s mule: And Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon: and they are come up from thence rejoicing, so that the city rang again. This is the noise that ye have heard. And also Solomon sitteth on the throne of the kingdom” (verses 42-46). Of course Abiathar and Joab would have rather heard different news.
King David was too ill to attend Solomon’s coronation. David’s loyal servants excitedly returned to tell him that Solomon was king. “And moreover the king’s servants came to bless our lord king David, saying, God make the name of Solomon better than thy name, and make his throne greater than thy throne. And the king bowed himself upon the bed. And also thus said the king, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which hath given one to sit on my throne this day, mine eyes even seeing it” (verses 47-48). The news was very exciting to David because God allowed him to see his successor to the throne.
Things with Adonijah were not so exciting. Adonijah’s feast of rebellion soon changed from one of joy to one of fear. “And all the guests that were with Adonijah were afraid, and rose up, and went every man his way” (verse 49). The loyalty of Joab and Abiathar to Adonijah was short-lived. Isn’t that the way it is with disloyal people? Hearing Jonathan’s report, they fled their rebellious coronation feast. Adonijah was left to himself.
In a desperate attempt to save his own life, Adonijah rushed to the temple. “And Adonijah feared because of Solomon, and arose, and went, and caught hold on the horns of the altar. And it was told Solomon, saying, Behold, Adonijah feareth king Solomon: for, lo, he hath caught hold on the horns of the altar, saying, Let king Solomon swear unto me to day that he will not slay his servant with the sword” (verses 50-51). Proclaiming himself king was an arrogant thing for Adonijah to do. All of his arrogance was now gone. Adonijah knew he was facing execution for his revolt. He sought mercy from his younger brother Solomon.
What was Solomon’s reply to his brother’s plea? “And Solomon said, If he will shew himself a worthy man, there shall not an hair of him fall to the earth: but if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die” (verse 52). Solomon did not execute Adonijah at this time. He sent him to his house (verse 53).
Zadok Made Chief Priest
David had great hope for his son Solomon. Nearing death, he gave excellent advice to his son about ruling Israel. “Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man; And keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself: That the Lord may continue his word which he spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel” (1 Kings 2:1-4).
David showed Solomon that the key to his success as king would be how well he kept the law of God, which included the Ten Commandments, the statutes and the judgments. David desperately wanted a son who would truly obey God.
After David’s death, Solomon began to deal with the rebels. He had Adonijah executed because he clung to his belief that he deserved the throne (verses 15, 19-25).
Solomon did show mercy toward Abiathar. “And unto Abiathar the priest said the king, Get thee to Anathoth, unto thine own fields; for thou art worthy of death: but I will not at this time put thee to death, because thou barest the ark of the Lord God before David my father, and because thou hast been afflicted in all wherein my father was afflicted. So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto the Lord; that he might fulfil the word of the Lord, which he spake concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh” (verses 26-27). Solomon showed him mercy because he had suffered many afflictions with David over the years. However, his disloyalty still deserved punishment. Solomon removed Abiathar from his office as high priest. This brought shame upon Abiathar and his family. Solomon also had Joab executed according to the last words of David (verses 5-6, 34).
What happened to Zadok? Again, the outcome for Zadok and the rest of the men loyal to David was far different.
“And the king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada in his room over the host: and Zadok the priest did the king put in the room of Abiathar” (verse 35). Zadok was put in Abiathar’s place as chief priest. What a fantastic reward for loyalty! What a fantastic honor!
Zadok’s undying loyalty is still being praised today. Look at the words of the song “Zadok the Priest,” sung at British coronations. The words are adapted from 1 Kings 1:38-40: Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anointed Solomon king. And all the people rejoiced and said: God save the king! Long live the king! May the king live forever. Amen, alleluia, amen.
This song was composed in 1727. Of course, the history goes back to about 1000 b.c. Just the fact that this song about Zadok the priest is sung at a British coronation strongly indicates that the throne in England originated with David and Solomon.
Britain’s enemies throughout the ages would have exposed it if these scriptures had been used fraudulently.
This song should also teach us a vital lesson about loyalty to God, His government and His leadership. God uses Zadok and his sons as a symbol for all Philadelphians today. Our coronation as kings in the future will be far more glorious than even Solomon’s. We may even hear the song “Zadok the Priest”! We need to ask ourselves, are we intensely loyal to God, His government and His leadership?
Zadok in Prophecy
The book of Ezekiel was written for this end time. It carries important messages, primarily for God’s people today.
Did you know that the book of Ezekiel contains prophecies about the sons of Zadok?
Ezekiel 40 describes the future temple to be built in Jerusalem after Christ’s return. (Request a free copy of Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet.) The sons of Zadok are assigned special rooms in that temple. “And the chamber whose prospect is toward the north is for the priests, the keepers of the charge of the altar: these are the sons of Zadok among the sons of Levi, which come near to the Lord to minister unto him” (Ezekiel 40:46). Notice that the sons of Zadok have a special distinction among the other Levites. They are privileged to inhabit the chamber that faces the north.
Remember, God’s throne is in the northern heavens. These priests are uniquely special to God. They are the keepers of the charge of the altar, which means they are in charge of the ministry—a very exalted position. They are able to come near to Jesus Christ’s throne. This is a similar description of the reward promised the Philadelphians in Revelation 3:12 and 21.
Those of us who remain loyal to the end will be pillars in the temple and share Jesus Christ’s throne on the Earth. Ezekiel 43:19 shows that the Levites of the seed of Zadok will be in charge of the ordinances at that future temple. There is great heritage in Zadok. Since we know those in God’s Church will be priests in the resurrection (Revelation 5:10), isn’t it important that we fully understand what it means to be of the seed of Zadok?
Strangers in the Sanctuary
Ezekiel 44 contains a description of the future temple’s sanctuary. Verses 1-4 describe the sacredness of this holy place. No human being will be allowed to enter into it.
This chapter also describes the state of God’s sanctuary today. We know that the word sanctuary in prophecy refers to God’s end-time Church. There are terribly tragic events happening within God’s sanctuary today.
“And the Lord said unto me, Son of man, mark well, and behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears all that I say unto thee concerning all the ordinances of the house of the Lord, and all the laws thereof; and mark well the entering in of the house, with every going forth of the sanctuary. And thou shalt say to the rebellious, even to the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; O ye house of Israel, let it suffice you of all your abominations, In that ye have brought into my sanctuary strangers, uncircumcised in heart, and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in my sanctuary, to pollute it, even my house, when ye offer my bread, the fat and the blood, and they have broken my covenant because of all your abominations” (verses 5-7).
Ezekiel was told to “mark well” what was happening in the sanctuary. God told Ezekiel He was very upset with what was happening there. God expected Ezekiel to deliver a message to the rebellious, referring to God’s ministry today. Remember, it was the priests who were in charge of the sanctuary.
These end-time, rebellious priests have allowed “strangers, uncircumcised in heart, and uncircumcised in flesh,” to enter God’s sanctuary. This means that God’s Church has become polluted in this end time. This also means that there was a time when it was not polluted. Has this happened in God’s Church today? Absolutely! Who has done this? These verses can only refer to the Laodicean ministry!
By letting strangers into the sanctuary, this rebellious house of Israel has also broken God’s covenant. The verses here are similar to Malachi 2.
God continues His indictment of these priests. “And ye have not kept the charge of mine holy things: but ye have set keepers of my charge in my sanctuary for yourselves. Thus saith the Lord God; No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel” (verses 8-9). These priests are disloyal to God. They have not “kept the charge” of God’s holy things. What priests are doing this today? In Revelation 3:10, Christ says the Philadelphians have kept God’s Word.
Why were strangers let into the sanctuary? Why was God’s covenant broken? “And the Levites that are gone away far from me, when Israel went astray, which went astray away from me after their idols; they shall even bear their iniquity. Yet they shall be ministers in my sanctuary, having charge at the gates of the house, and ministering to the house: they shall slay the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister unto them. Because they ministered unto them before their idols, and caused the house of Israel to fall into iniquity; therefore have I lifted up mine hand against them, saith the Lord God, and they shall bear their iniquity” (Ezekiel 44:10-12). The Levites, or priests, went far from God.
In this end time, which ministers have gone far away from God? The Laodicean ministers. God showed Ezekiel that the Levites caused the people to “fall into iniquity.” This means there was a time when these ministers were leading the people into righteousness. Laodicean ministers are leading God’s people into iniquity. God has strong words against those end-time Laodicean ministers. They will pay the penalty for what they are doing.
Sons of Zadok
Amid that terrible falling away, a little group remains loyal. God commends these individuals because—even as everyone else turns away—they don’t look to human beings or follow the multitude.
Notice the title God gives them: “But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord God” (Ezekiel 44:15). God showed Ezekiel that when the other Levites went astray, only the sons of Zadok remained loyal. Only the family of Zadok remained loyal through all of David’s rule! David experienced several trying rebellions. Zadok and his sons remained completely true to David’s throne.
In this end time, as the Levites went astray, only the sons of Zadok remained faithful to God. Can we begin to see the importance of this knowledge?
The book of Revelation shows that only the true Philadelphians remain loyal to God all the way to Christ’s return. Only the Philadelphians can be the sons of Zadok today. We have kept God’s Word. The pcg continues to teach about the U.S. and Britain in prophecy and David’s throne.
Here is what the present leader of the wcg wrote in a personal correspondence letter dated August 10, 1992, concerning the knowledge of Israel in end-time prophecy: “From a plan of salvation view: In light of the New Testament, and the centrality of Christ in God’s plan of salvation (as mentioned above) much of the relevance of our teaching on us&bip [The United States and Britain in Prophecy] is reduced to—so what!”
In light of Luke 1:32-33, isn’t this an incredibly dangerous statement to make? Jesus Christ is going to be given David’s throne. And He will rule over Israel forever! If we don’t teach the knowledge about the United States and Britain in prophecy, we may as well throw away one third of the Bible!
Only the pcg teaches that God’s government is from the top down. God’s government could never be democratic! Even though some Laodicean churches teach about the United States and Britain in prophecy, what good is that knowledge without the knowledge of the government that will rule from that throne? In reality, only we are remaining loyal to David’s throne. This makes us the sons of Zadok in spirit. We are fighting the same battle Zadok fought!
It is a great honor to be referred to as a son of Zadok. This is God’s evaluation, not any man’s. It does not matter what any Laodicean leader states about us. God is the judge of His people; judgment is on us today. God wants to know who is a son of Zadok. The sons of Zadok have a vital role to play in the future. God must measure and prepare us for that job now.
Our supreme test is to “keep” all that God revealed through Mr. Armstrong and remain loyal to the leadership God is using today. If we are true sons of Zadok, then we will remain loyal to God’s truth. We will know which men are being led by God.
Zadok was with David from the beginning. He knew David intimately. He was there when David sinned with Bathsheba. He saw Absalom’s revolt. He saw Adonijah’s revolt. Zadok could have said he had had enough of David. But he remained loyal. Zadok stood by David because he knew David sat on God’s throne. Zadok never betrayed God’s throne! We should be able to see clearly why the British royalty would give honor to such unusual loyalty.
We have also witnessed much in these end times. We saw Mr. Armstrong and the wcg go through many trials. We must examine ourselves. Do we have the intense loyalty that Zadok did? We must remain loyal to that truth and God’s government. God loves Zadok for that loyalty—so much, in fact, that He labels the faithful 5 percent in the last hour as “sons of Zadok”! That is the title of God’s highest nobility in the last era of God’s Church!
Sons of Zadok is just another way of saying the Philadelphians today. Like Zadok, these individuals stay with the key of David. They hold on to the understanding about David’s throne. They remain excited about the idea of ruling with Christ in Jerusalem forever! They love that vision and won’t let anyone take it from them! Even when 95 percent of God’s own people turn away, they remain loyal.
Those faithful sons of Zadok are going to rule from the highest mountain forever if they stay true to the key of David.
“They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge” (verse 16). These sons of Zadok will be headquarters personnel forever, being near to God, ministering to Him!
How could we possibly get wrapped up in material things in this dying world—or be ambitious for ourselves—if we keep this glorious vision in mind?
Look again at Ezekiel 40:46. This “altar” is referring to the ministry in the World Tomorrow—the sons of Zadok. We will come near to God, receive our instructions directly from Him, and carry those instructions out—directing operations from headquarters throughout the universe and for eternity!
Notice this command: “And thou shalt give to the priests the Levites that be of the seed of Zadok, which approach unto me, to minister unto me, saith the Lord God, a young bullock for a sin offering” (Ezekiel 43:19). In other words, God is instructing people to give His precious sons of Zadok anything they need to get their work done!
God shares His throne so its occupants can serve Him and serve mankind. The sons of Zadok understand that truth: Above all, we are here to serve. That is actually what makes us priests. That title is meaningless if we don’t understand that.
Chapter 6: A Stone of Destiny
Inside Westminster Abbey in London, England, sits the old coronation chair on which the kings of Ireland, Scotland and England have been crowned. Until 1996 there was a stone under that chair. It was moved to Scotland, but will again be placed under the chair when a new king or queen is crowned. This stone, rich in history, will prove to be an integral part of the future solution to this world’s cataclysmic problems!
Herbert Armstrong wrote about this stone in The United States and Britain in Prophecy: “[I]n 569 b.c. (date of Jeremiah’s transplanting), an elderly, white-haired patriarch, sometimes referred to as a ‘saint,’ came to Ireland. With him was the princess daughter of an eastern king and a companion called ‘Simon Brach,’ spelled in different histories as Breck, Berech, Brach or Berach. The princess had a Hebrew name Tephi—a pet name—her full name being Tea-Tephi. …
“This royal party included the son of the king of Ireland who had been in Jerusalem at the time of the siege. There he had become acquainted with Tea-Tephi. He married her shortly after 585—when the city fell. Their young son, now about 12 years of age, accompanied them to Ireland. Besides the royal family, Jeremiah brought with them some remarkable things, including a harp, an ark, and a wonderful stone called ‘lia-fail,’ or ‘stone of destiny.’ A peculiar coincidence (?) is that Hebrew reads from right to left, while English reads from left to right. Read this name either way—and it still is ‘lia-fail.’
“Another strange coincidence—or is it just coincidence?—is that many kings in the history of Ireland, Scotland and England have been coronated sitting over this stone—including the present queen. The stone rests today in Westminster Abbey in London, and the coronation chair is built over and around it. A sign beside it labels it ‘Jacob’s pillar-stone’ (Genesis 28:18).”
Since the time that was written, English officials have removed the stone underneath the old coronation chair, giving it to Scotland. Why? Because England has degenerated in its faith. The once-great British Empire has lost the knowledge of its identity as Ephraim, one of the most important tribes of Israel.
Why is this stone called the “stone of destiny”? No other nation in history has had a coronation stone like England. No other nation on Earth can claim such a breathtaking, rich history for its throne.
When Christ returns to Earth to assume the throne of David, He will take over a live, existing throne (Luke 1:32). The very throne Christ will take over includes Jacob’s pillar stone. What a “stone of destiny”!
A Miracle Stone
Remember the remarkable origins of this stone. It is described in Genesis 28:10-22. There is something special here that commentaries go a little berserk trying to explain. But let’s just accept what the Bible says!
Jacob, tired after a long journey, stopped for the night. “And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep” (verse 11). Notice that it says he took of the stones—plural—and put them—plural—for his pillows, probably covered with his coat or some animal hide.
“And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not” (verse 16). What made Jacob think that?
“And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven” (verse 17). These are profound words! Jacob was commenting about something that had happened. He realized God was there, and there was a gate into heaven the way he viewed that.
“And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it” (verse 18). Notice—now those “stones” from verse 11 are a single “stone.”
These stones became a stone! There is no other way that you can read the Hebrew. You have to believe that no small part of what he was so excited about was this miracle! His statement “How dreadful is this place” is a poor translation. Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon defines the word dreadful as “to fear; to reverence as one’s parents; to tremble for joy; stupendous; admirable; wonderful.” Jacob was filled with wonder and joy at what had happened! He realized that God had performed a tremendous miracle! These stones had literally become a stone: Jacob’s pillar stone.
Thus begins the history of England’s “stone of destiny”!
What had been a pillow, Jacob turned into a “pillar.” The word for pillar, matstsebah in the Hebrew, means a memorial stone. What did God want us to remember about that stone? What is it a memorial of? This was an event where God was very personally involved, performing miracles! Jacob knew it was something to really get excited about!
If you want to have a gate right into heaven—or if you want to have contact with this God of miracles and of great power—here is how to do it.
Why are people so intent on not believing this? Why is it so hard for scholars to understand this? It really shows how strong Satan’s power is, that he could obscure such a wonderful miracle.
Verse 19 shows that Jacob changed the name of that place to Bethel, which means house of God. This stone was called the house of God, and that place where the stone was located was also called the house of God. God actually dwelled there, in that house!
This stone, which you can visit to this day, had great symbolism. God called that place His house because He was right there with that stone and performed a miracle to make it from stones into stone.
We know that this stone is the one that Jesus Christ is going to sit on, even out into eternity and to rule the universe. And it’s not an exaggeration to say that that stone is going to be God’s house right on out into eternity, if you understand it spiritually.
Jacob continued, vowing, “If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee” (verses 20-22).
He is talking about how God will protect us. This is really about how a nation can either survive or not survive, or how an individual can survive or not survive. That is how important this is! If you understand it, you can see that it is a great promise—and also a very great warning!
The whole world will have to come to understand what this stone is all about! It really does have to do with surviving as a nation or as a Church or as an individual. That stone ought to give you a special relationship with God. It isn’t today in Israel like it should, but it certainly should and it could.
Why did Jacob do this? Because there was no temple or even a movable tabernacle in his day. Yet he was given an incredible vision of the future about the place in which he slept. Jacob realized that God was going to have a house built to conduct His Work from that place—so he called the stone God’s house. The stone on which he slept was going to have great significance throughout Israel’s history. This is why it is so appropriate to call Jacob’s pillar stone a “stone of destiny.”
During Jacob’s lifetime, the stone was used to show where God was operating from. Is it possible that England could have possessed that same stone? The English people used to recognize that the stone under the old coronation chair was Jacob’s pillar stone written about in the book of Genesis. The history of that stone goes all the way back to the beginning of Israel’s history as a nation!
This knowledge has become embarrassing to the British because of their degenerating faith. Even prior to giving the stone to Scotland, they had removed the sign identifying it as “Jacob’s pillar stone.” Removing a sign does not change history! God has made Himself so well known throughout Israel’s history that they are without excuse!
There were 12 tribes in the nation of Israel. Mr. Armstrong taught us from Scripture that Ephraim (one of Joseph’s sons) was prophesied to be one of the main tribes. With his brother Manasseh, Ephraim was also to carry the name Israel (Genesis 48:16). Jacob, their grandfather, had his name changed to Israel when he became converted. And today, we see a stone that could identify where Israel is, if only the people would prove it from the Scriptures.
Jacob’s Name Changed to Israel
“And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel. And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land. And God went up from him in the place where he talked with him. And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon. And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Bethel [which means house of God]” (Genesis 35:10-15). This verse is a prophecy for the end time. Along with other scriptures it shows what Jacob’s nations would be like in our time. It reveals essential history about the birthright nations of Israel, which were to become “a [great] nation,” meaning the United States, and a “company of nations,” meaning Britain and its Commonwealth.
What did Jacob do when God revealed this knowledge to him? He set up a pillar of stone and poured wine and oil on it. Jacob’s pillar stone was directly associated with these two great end-time nations! This verse also shows a sacred promise from God to Jacob that his family would include two great nations in the end time. This promise is made in the context of a stone. Or you could say in the context of God’s house (Genesis 28:18, 22). But there is also an implied promise from God that at the end time, if you were to look closely into one of these two great nations, you would find a stone associated with this prophecy!
Jacob’s Name Passed to Joseph’s Sons
“And it came to pass after these things, that one told Joseph, Behold, thy father is sick: and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. And one told Jacob, and said, Behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee: and Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed. And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me, And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people …” (Genesis 48:1-4). Mr. Armstrong proved in The United States and Britain in Prophecy that Ephraim is Great Britain and Manasseh is the United States. He also showed that these verses applied to the end time.
“The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name [Israel] be named on them [Ephraim and Manasseh], and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth” (verse 16). Jacob was not only blessing Joseph’s two sons, he was also teaching a history lesson—a lesson we need to be reminded of. He was cementing in the boys’ minds the importance of the pillar stone by reminding them of the “Angel” that helped him. He was also showing the boys the significance of their roots. Their heritage came from Abraham and Isaac.
Can you hear the detractors of that day criticizing Jacob? They very well could have said Jacob was worshiping Abraham and Isaac! But Jacob wasn’t. He was carrying on a name and a tradition, giving them God’s words that had come through Abraham and Isaac. Jacob’s prophecies for Ephraim and Manasseh were to reach through the centuries to our time now.
This stone is a witness of God’s promises made to Abraham, Isaac and to Jacob, whose name God changed to Israel. Jesus Christ will soon return to this Earth and sit over that stone as King of kings and Lord of lords!
What a stone of destiny! Do you really comprehend what this stone means?
Two Sons Receive End-Time Blessings
“And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head unto Manasseh’s head. And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head. And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations” (Genesis 48:17-19).
This remarkable event foretold the history of England and the United States. God revealed to Jacob what would happen to his two grandsons during our time now! Collectively, they were to grow into a multitude of people on Earth. Ephraim, the younger son, was to be a “multitude of nations.” No other nation could fulfill this prophecy but Britain, with its Commonwealth. Ephraim’s older brother, Manasseh, was to become one great nation in the end time. Only the United States could fulfill this prophecy. The offspring of these two young boys were to assume great wealth and power. Who could deny that this refers to the United States and Great Britain?
What mind-staggering truth!
Scepter Was to Be Judah’s
“And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days” (Genesis 49:1). God had not revealed knowledge about Joseph’s future generations only—He also revealed what would happen to all of his sons “in the last days.” Before his death, Jacob called together all of his sons to reveal to them this important part of world history, spoken in advance. Jacob told his sons what would happen to their descendants in our time.
“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” (verse 10). This verse states that the scepter shall not depart from Judah. What does that mean? It means that Christ, salvation and a royal lineage were to come through Judah. It is a continuation and further clarification of the seed promise made to Abraham (Genesis 28:14). It is a specific statement from God that Jacob’s “stone of destiny” was directly tied to Christ, salvation and a kingly line that would remain upon a throne until Christ assumed it! The stone is a symbol of this great promise from God. The physical blessings of greatness and wealth were to be bestowed on Joseph’s sons—but the throne belonged to Judah, and salvation for all mankind would come through Judah. That throne ended up in Britain. Not only are the British people descendants of Ephraim, the royal line goes all the way back to King David and, ultimately, Judah!
“Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22). Jesus Christ was pretty blunt with the Samaritan woman. He told her that she did not know how to worship God. He told her directly that if she continued to worship in her way, she could not obtain salvation. He told her salvation was of the Jews, which would have been salt in the wound for any Samaritan.
Jesus Christ was not ashamed to say that Jews had a very important role in God’s plan. Of course, He was referring to converted people who would follow Him! Mr. Armstrong told the religious leaders of our day the same things. And he offended some. But that did not make him wrong.
Was Christ wrong? He was killed for preaching the message God the Father sent! Like Christ, Mr. Armstrong was required to preach a difficult message. The pcg has been called upon to preach a difficult message because we follow Christ. Mr. Armstrong was not ashamed to teach that some physical things, like a stone and a throne, have everything to do with salvation.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16). Paul was not ashamed of the truth of God. He knew that everyone on Earth would be invited to salvation. We know historically that it was offered to the Jews first. Many of the original Christians were Jews who believed the gospel of Christ and were baptized.
As we have said, all truly converted Christians become Jews spiritually! If you are converted, then as far as God is concerned, you are a Jew! If you are in God’s Church, you are a Jew! Even our young people are Jews inwardly because God’s Spirit is working with them. God says that a true Jew is one inwardly. “[S]alvation is of the Jews.” Circumcision is of the heart. And if you want to face the truth, Jews are sitting on the throne in England. Physical Jews have always sat on that throne for a very symbolic reason. If we are going to have a future position of rulership with Christ, then we must become spiritual Jews!
“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands” (Ephesians 2:11). All of us must face the fact that prior to our conversion, we were spiritual Gentiles. We were outside of God’s promises. But now, as Paul stated, “ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (verse 19). Because of Christ, we now have a future. And if Britain and the world understood the symbolism behind the British throne, they would know they have a great future as well!
A Coronation Pillar Stone
“Then they brought out the king’s son, and put upon him the crown, and gave him the testimony, and made him king. And Jehoiada and his sons anointed him, and said, God save the king. Now when Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and praising the king, she came to the people into the house of the Lord: And she looked, and, behold, the king stood at his pillar …. Then Athaliah rent her clothes, and said, Treason, Treason” (2 Chronicles 23:11-13). Here is additional startling history of Jacob’s pillar stone. Don’t you think it is interesting that God records the coronation of a king showing that it happened next to a pillar stone?
How many pillars do you think would be used in a coronation ceremony? Are there 5, 10, 50, 100? There is only one—Jacob’s pillar stone! After the king was crowned, the people said, “God save the king”! That sounds very English! Or should we say Jewish? It is a very biblical statement! Remember, this famous statement is made in the presence of the pillar stone.
This is the story of Joash’s coronation. At that time there was a great civil war in Israel. Athaliah was an evil queen who had usurped her authority by slaying all the princes. She ruled from 843 to 837 b.c. But Joash was hidden from her. These verses describe Joash’s coronation in a religious service by a pillar, of all things. The people had had enough of this evil queen and were becoming more religious. They were weary of the horrible times. They realized they had to get back to their roots—back to the religion and promises associated with Jacob’s pillar stone. If they did this, they knew God would back the nation.
There is a great lesson here for us today. We need to be sure we know where God’s house, or God’s pillar, is. If you are standing in God’s house, or with God’s pillar, and you get things right with God, then you will be standing on a rock. It will not matter how many evil kings or queens there are—the Rock will be with you. That is the ultimate symbol of the pillar—Jesus Christ, behind the Church collectively and behind you individually! You must locate God’s house! Jacob’s pillar stone shows that God’s house can be a 2-foot piece of rock. It can be an executive condominium, like where our original headquarters was located. God can make it so! Then He backs it up, if we trust Him. We need to learn to trust God whether He gives us a rock or a condo! If God is there, and we show Him we trust Him, then we really have the Rock with us!
The stone represents God’s house, or God’s Church, and salvation for the entire world. Eventually the whole world will learn about this pillar stone and live by the covenant of God!
Joshua’s Stone of Witness
“And all the men of Shechem gathered together, and all the house of Millo, and went, and made Abimelech king, by the plain of the pillar that was in Shechem” (Judges 9:6). Here is another interesting part of the history of Jacob’s pillar stone. In the time of the judges, a king of Israel was being crowned by the “plain of the pillar.” This phrase is better translated “by the oak of the pillar.” Is this “oak of the pillar” related to Jacob’s pillar?
“And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the Lord. And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the Lord which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God” (Joshua 24:26-27). These verses show that Joshua was pronouncing an important covenant in the same location as that spoken about in Judges 9:6. Which stone is Joshua talking about? It is the stone described in Genesis 28:18—Jacob’s pillar stone (the King James center reference makes the same connection). To which oak do these verses refer? The oak from Judges 9:6.
It is exciting to track the history of this stone. But what Joshua spoke here is far more important for all of God’s people today. The stone was to be a witness to all of Israel. Why? Because it heard “all the words of the Lord.” The stone doesn’t actually hear, but it does represent God’s house, which has recorded much of that history. What Joshua was really saying was that the stone and what it represented, and “all the words of the Lord,” would be a witness against Israel!
It all started with Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel at his conversion. So this stone had to be taken into Egypt and through the wilderness until Joshua’s death. But that is not all. Joshua 24:27 states: “it shall be therefore a witness unto you.” The word “shall” includes the future as well as the past. It continues to be a witness to the people of Israel until their birth into God’s Family.
Let’s not forget that Joshua is a part of the former prophets. That means it is prophecy for today and tomorrow.
Some religious critics scoff at this history and prophecy. But that only condemns their lack of faith—they don’t believe their own Bibles!
So we can see that Israel—especially the British people—have had a powerful witness against them by having the throne of David, with the stone of destiny.
God holds them accountable for that exceptional witness.
The Eternal holds His lukewarm Church today far more accountable for rejecting that precious truth!
Here is a quote from Dr. Herman L. Hoeh in the Plain Truth magazine: “[The stone] is steel gray in color, mixed with red veins, 22 inches long, 13 inches broad and 11 inches deep. …
“Many years later Jacob again speaks of this stone as a ‘shepherd.’
“Notice Genesis 49:1. Jacob called his sons together and told them what would befall them in our day, ‘in the last days.’ In verse 24, when speaking of Joseph’s descendants he interjects by saying that from the tribe of Joseph—not Judah—will be found ‘the shepherd, the stone of Israel.’
“This same rock—the coronation stone—accompanied the Israelites during their 40 years wandering in the wilderness. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:4 that just as the Israelites had manna as a type of Christ, so they had, as a type of Christ, a rock which gave them water and which followed or went with them in their wanderings! Christ provides spiritual waters—the Holy Spirit, and Jacob’s shepherd stone, a type of the divine Shepherd, miraculously provided material water in the wilderness.
“During those 40 years the stone accompanied Israel. That is undoubtedly why the two iron rings fastened to either end are so worn.”
When you view the whole story, you can see why Satan wants to destroy this important knowledge. Satan wants God’s Church to get away from The United States and Britain in Prophecy—from all this “Jewish stuff”—so he can move the Laodicean Church into paganism. To lose this knowledge is to lose the “scepter promise.”
“Salvation is of the Jews.” The stone is about salvation. These truths are not that difficult to prove. It takes faith to trust God; to look into the Bible and believe what it says. It takes faith to stake our lives on this knowledge!
Great Symbol of This Stone Today
“This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth” (Daniel 2:32-35). Jacob’s stone pictures Jesus Christ and God’s Kingdom. When Christ returns, He is going to destroy all the rebellious nations on Earth. They will become as chaff and will be blown away with the wind. The stone of His Kingdom will fill the whole Earth. This is the stone backing and supporting the Church today! There is great power behind God’s true Church because we have remained true to the Stone, or Jesus Christ. All we have to do is believe God!
“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure” (verses 44-45). This is the ultimate fulfillment of this “stone of destiny.” These are promises on which we can stake our lives! Christ says to the Church, “the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.”
Today, Britain, the United States and all of biblical Israel need the strong government of Jesus Christ. Our governments are wickedly corrupt.
“For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day” (Zechariah 3:9). Christ is going to remove the iniquities of Israel. “In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree” (verse 10). This Stone (Christ) will finally bring peace and prosperity to all nations—far beyond human comprehension today.
Spiritual Meaning Behind Stone
“Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner” (Acts 4:10-11). The scripture cited is Psalm 118:22. Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the ultimate meaning of Jacob’s pillar stone. Christ is our Rock. He is soon to reappear to take over the reigns of world government.
“Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded” (1 Peter 2:6). The greatest gift God has given the Church is Jesus Christ. He is the chief Cornerstone. If we follow Him, we cannot be confounded. We do not have to fear deception or the world, because of His great power.
Do we believe this with all of our being? We have a great Stone in which to put our faith and trust! As God’s people, we operate from a position of strength! The Philadelphia Church has this Stone as our support and our Head.
“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock” (Matthew 7:24-25). This is the stone, or rock, to which we should anchor everything in our lives. If we build our lives on this rock we will never be confounded. These verses are a promise from the Rock, or God’s house. Do we have the faith to believe Jesus Christ? We have heard great words from Herbert Armstrong and we are staying true to them. Why has the Philadelphia Church of God grown stronger? Because we are founded upon the Rock! Ephesians 2:20-21 show that the true Church is founded upon the Stone—Jesus Christ.
“And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it” (Matthew 7:26-27). Whether it is an individual, a nation or a church, unless it is founded upon Jesus Christ, it is going to fall. The Laodicean Church will fall greatly because it has rejected the sayings, or knowledge, of Jesus Christ.
The Laodicean churches no longer represent the stone, God’s house or the Work. Read Matthew 21:42. Jesus Christ said we should hold Him and His Work as a marvelous thing before our eyes. Is the work Jesus Christ is doing through Jacob’s stone, David’s throne and Mr. Armstrong marvelous in our sight? It should and must be if we are going to make it into the Kingdom of God. Christ’s Work is not a marvelous thing to the Laodicean Church, or it would not have rejected such precious knowledge.
“Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste” (Isaiah 28:16). God has given us vital knowledge. We hold fast to the knowledge of Jacob’s pillar stone because it represents the work of Jesus Christ throughout thousands of years. Those who believe the Bible history of Britain’s “stone of destiny” act from faith, not from fear. God says we have a tried stone—a sure foundation. Everything works out right for those who have the faith of Christ. We know who we are, where we are going, and the glorious outcome of end-time events—all because of Jacob’s pillar stone. Britain’s stone truly is a “stone of destiny.”
Chapter 7: Establishing the Throne
Remember Jeremiah’s prophecy: “For thus saith the Lord; David shall never [lack] a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel” (Jeremiah 33:17). That is a promise from God! That throne is on Earth today, and it’s going to continue forever!
Verse 18 shows that there will always be a man proclaiming the truth about that throne. That twofold covenant is all part of the key of David, and it is absolutely binding (verses 19-22).
Now, that covenant is interesting to consider in light of a prophecy in Hosea 3:4: “For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim.”
This is describing a very tragic period—the Great Tribulation—almost upon us. It is a prophecy about Ephraim, Manasseh and Judah, when they no longer have a king or even a prince. Jeremiah wrote that David’s throne would never lack a man sitting on it—yet here it says that for a time, Israel will have no king or prince. How can you reconcile this apparent contradiction? We must remember that the very elect of spiritual Israel is being protected by God at this time.
Consider this as well: The word image in Hosea 3:4 refers to Jacob’s pillar stone—the stone Jacob called “God’s house” that stayed with Israel for generations, and that to this day resides in Great Britain. God revealed to Hosea that in this end time, Ephraim is going to lose that stone.
Where do you suppose that stone will be? I believe that question becomes more interesting over time.
Britain to Lose the Pillar Stone
Anciently, when Judah went into captivity, it didn’t have a king, a royal family, God’s religion or the pillar stone. What happened to the stone? Mr. Armstrong taught us the history. The stone was passed to Jeremiah. He took this stone and the king’s daughter to Ireland. (The United States and Britain in Prophecy explains this history.) Do you think this may be prophetic? Will the stone be passed on again?
We have already explained how England has given the stone to Scotland on the condition it be returned for the next coronation. But this prophecy indicates that England will eventually lose total control of the stone.
Look closely at Hosea 3:5. “Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days.” After the children of Israel lose their king, royal family, religion and stone, they will seek God and King David. This verse is a continuation of the thought in verse 4, which ends with a colon. It is a prophecy for the latter days.
We know England is going to lose its king and queen. The royal family will be killed or taken into captivity. What will happen to that stone in the Tribulation?
What if God worked out a way for the very elect to obtain possession of that stone just prior to the return of Jesus Christ? This is what He did in Jeremiah’s time. God never let the stone fall into the hands of the Gentiles in the time of Jeremiah.
We don’t really know the immediate future of that stone and throne. But for over 25 centuries, the kings of Israel, Ireland, Scotland and England have been crowned on that stone. And yet nearly all of the people in Britain and the United States don’t know this precious history!
Hosea’s prophecy continues with this inspiring picture: “Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days” (verse 5). Imagine the peoples of Israel going into captivity and finally coming to their senses. When that happens, and they emerge from slavery, David will be right there facing them—resurrected as a fiery God being! At last, the peoples of Israel will believe God. They will believe and understand the key of David! They will realize that David, who was just a human being, has been exalted into God’s Family. And they will recognize that they too have an avenue into the Family. They’ll see their incredible potential!
Now, let’s answer the deep and electrifying mystery presented by Hosea’s prophecy! I believe it is explained by a passage in Isaiah 16—one that has become clearer to me in light of the projects we have been undertaking in Jerusalem.
Hiding God’s Outcasts
In the Soncino commentary, Isaiah 16:1 reads, “Send ye the lambs for the ruler of the land From the crags that are toward the wilderness, Unto the mount of the daughter of Zion.”
“Lamb” in the King James Version is better translated lambs. It is a collective noun. Crags is translated from the Hebrew Sela, meaning rocky fortress. The equivalent word in the Greek is Petra.
Someone here is sending special tribute to the ruler. In other words, there is a group of people who are respectful to the government. And they are located in Sela, this rocky place that is toward the wilderness—unto the mount of the daughter of Zion. So the daughter of Zion is there—which is God’s very elect! This is a picture of God’s own Church in a rocky fortress, giving a gift and respect to the government of the land.
“Like fluttering birds, like scattered nestlings, so are the daughters of Moab at the fords of the Arnon” (verse 2; rsv). Look at the context and you can see that this chapter’s events take place during the Tribulation. So the whole region, and the world, is seized with turmoil—and it is affecting Moab, which is modern-day Jordan. “[F]ords of the Arnon” means that the Jordanian people are trying to get out of there, and they are crossing a boundary at the shallow part of a river. The Soncino commentary says, “The inhabitants of the provincial towns, uprooted from their homes and in search of a resting place.” That is Tribulation-associated imagery. The king of the south has already been conquered by the king of the north (explained in our booklet The King of the South, free upon request).
There will be violent turmoil in the Middle East. Some of it will spill over into Jordan. The Earth’s inhabitants will be experiencing World War iii!
Will the preliminary turmoil open a way for our escape to a place of protection?
“Give counsel, grant justice; make your shade like night at the height of noon; hide the outcasts, betray not the fugitive” (verse 3; rsv). Here God is telling Moab to take care of some people who have been cast out. The Hebrew word translated “outcasts,” nadach, means to thrust forth, expel or drive away. How could Moab protect these people in a way that would make it somewhat like night, even when it was high noon? It seems that hiding them in caves would do so.
God is showing these people that they have in their midst a very special group. Don’t betray these people! He says. I want you to hide them! Though we can’t be sure, this certainly looks like the place where God’s very elect will be during the Tribulation.
“Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land” (verse 4). The context shows why most translations read “my outcasts.” God calls them my people who have been cast out—my Church. And He tells Moab to hide them while some others—extortioners and oppressors—are receiving some hard correction from God. God appears to be correcting the people of Moab, probably to make them receptive to God’s people.
Revelation 12:14 shows that God’s people will be protected from “the face of the serpent.” Here in Isaiah 16:4, God uses the Moabites to protect His very elect from “the face of the spoiler.” It is the same being and the same place of safety in both scriptures! Satan is fanatically trying to get at us! We will need protection. He is after us—he always has been and always will be until God puts him away. He will come after us head-on in order to destroy us. We must respond by using God’s power to conquer him!
Now look at verse 5—where God has revealed some new truth to me.
The Throne Shall Be Established
“And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness” (Isaiah 16:5).
Here you have the same tabernacle of David you see in Amos 9:11. The Anchor Bible says these two verses are talking about the same “tent,” or “booth,” of David. The tabernacle here means a hut, or temporary dwelling. The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible says, “The most common use of the term had to do with the yearly booth made in conjunction with the Feast of the Tabernacles.” Amos 9:11 shows that this temporary dwelling has fallen, and Christ has to raise it back up through the very elect.
So there will be a tabernacle over there in the Middle East, in the midst of a lot of trouble. It is there for an important reason. In this context, it is clearly where God is. If it’s the very elect tabernacle, God is right there leading His people. You can see that by the way God is talking to Moab in Isaiah 16—and I have a strong feeling that the people of Moab are going to obey! They’ll recognize that God is in charge here. But still, it is a temporary dwelling. The Kingdom of God has not arrived yet.
Now—look again at Isaiah 16:5. There is an added expression you don’t find in Amos 9:11: “the throne.” This says that the throne will be established in addition to the tabernacle. What throne is this talking about? David’s throne! The same throne that Jeremiah 33:17 says will always be occupied!
This is the only throne on Earth that will last forever! “The throne,” indeed!
That throne of David is in Britain today. For millennia, the kings and queens who have been crowned on that throne have done so over Jacob’s pillar stone, also called “the stone of destiny.”
How could that throne be established in the context of Isaiah 16? Only the stone of destiny could firmly establish the throne of David!
Is Isaiah 16 telling us that God will somehow give us that stone when God’s people go to the place of safety? After all, we are going to be sharing that throne with Christ in a matter of just a few years!
The stone of destiny is really the symbol of David’s throne—not the chair that sits in Westminster Abbey. That chair was constructed by men rather recently—but the stone has been around for millennia! It goes all the way back to Jacob! It was at one time called God’s house—where God dwelled!
Where will that stone be during the Tribulation? Again, Ephraim is going to lose it, according to Hosea 3:4. Where will that rock be? Will God give it to the Gentiles? I don’t believe for a minute that He would. He didn’t give it to the Gentiles when Judah was taken captive. Jeremiah was in a prison in Jerusalem—and yet somehow he ended up with the stone, and he eventually took it with him to Ireland!
Wouldn’t God want us to save that marvelous stone of destiny, or to gain possession of it? I can’t see this verse as anything but a strong statement about where that rock will be.
God says the throne will be established—and it’s in the context of a tabernacle, or temporary dwelling. The word “established” comes from the Hebrew word kuwn, which is used 25 times in Scripture to refer to the establishment of a dynasty. In this passage, it must be talking about the Davidic dynasty! God said there would never lack a man to sit on that throne—and here He says the throne will be established in a temporary, Tribulation setting, with God’s loyal people dwelling in a rocky fortress!
We must have faith to believe what the Bible says! This is an exciting prophecy!
Right now, the pieces seem to be falling into place for us to assist in uncovering the very place where David’s throne was, and where Christ will sit on His throne. Do you suppose God might also get us involved with that stone? Does it seem illogical that God would use His people, who have the key of David and are about to sit on the throne of David, to get that stone, which is a symbol of that throne and of Christ? Certainly not to me.
Who Will Sit on the Throne?
Who will sit on that throne at the time described in Isaiah 16? I don’t know—but I do know that someone will be on it, and it will be established—and it appears to be there in the Middle East during a terrible time on Earth.
At the time of Jeremiah, he had with him a queen from the royal family to sit on that throne. Maybe there will be a member of the royal family with us in the place of safety. However, considering Isaiah 16:5 says he will be “seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness,” that doesn’t seem likely.
There is much here we don’t know, but the context seems to imply that the “he” who “shall sit upon” that throne is a man from this Church.
As I point out in Who Is ‘That Prophet’?, Micah 2:13 refers to the office Christ has given me as that of “their king.” That couldn’t be referring to Christ, because the same verse separately mentions “the Lord.” The word king in that verse means the leader, or one in charge—but the word king is appropriate.
In Micah 4:8-9, God asks the Laodiceans, “[I]s there no king in thee?” They don’t have a king. (You can also read about these verses in our free booklet Micah—God’s People Rise Up as His Enemy.)
These scriptures are talking about a man who leads a breakaway from a rebellious church! It’s end-time prophecy in your Bible!
It shouldn’t be too upsetting to think of God calling a man in the Church a “king.” After the 3½-year period of the Tribulation, every converted member in God’s Church will be a king and a priest forever!
Among the jewels of the British Crown used at the coronation ceremony, there is a scepter. Genesis 49 (a prophecy for our day, as it shows in verse 1) says that the scepter will not depart from Judah, and that there will always be a lawgiver, who also descends from Judah (verse 10). God’s law is certainly not emanating from the throne of David today.
It did, however, come from Herbert W. Armstrong during his more than 50 years in the ministry. And since Mr. Armstrong died in 1986, God has given me the responsibility of continuing in that same law He established through Mr. Armstrong.
Some of you might remember how surprised Mr. Armstrong was to find that the ancestry on one side of his family could be traced back to King David. I too was shocked to discover this fact concerning my own lineage, also on one side of my family. Is there a reason why Mr. Armstrong and I both can follow our roots back to David’s kingly line—to the tribe of Judah? Does it have anything to do with this “lawgiver” coming from Judah’s feet—or Judah’s descendants—in the last days, “until Shiloh [Jesus Christ] come”?
Mr. Armstrong had to establish God’s law and government. He was the Elijah who restored all things just before Christ’s return. I have continued the same law and government that he taught. No other church can truthfully make that claim!
We must believe God’s Word. I don’t know exactly what God is going to do—but I know He made a promise to David that there would never lack a man to sit on that throne. Could that man be inside the Church of God, helping us to get ready to sit on that throne as kings and priests?
The word throne does not always refer to a literal throne, but the context here sounds very literal to me. It specifically says, “he shall sit upon it.” Someone will be sitting on something real. Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon says of the word sit, “specially, to sit is used of judges, where they sit to give judgment, kings sitting on their thrones.”
In that place, there will be the tabernacle—and the throne. There is only one throne on Earth that has such meaning for God and His people. Christ discussed it specifically with the Philadelphia and Laodicean eras in Revelation 3. This is all about the key of David, including the throne of David.
“And in mercy shall the throne be established.” What mercy God will shower upon this evil world. Yes, people will suffer. But so soon, they will receive abundant mercy from that throne, and that stone, which is a symbol of Christ Himself. Truth and justice will come from that throne in Jerusalem forever.
Why would God be revealing such details now? We must be getting awfully close to the fulfillment of these prophecies!
Remember Ezekiel’s prophecy about three overturns of the throne of David, which Mr. Armstrong discussed at length in The United States and Britain in Prophecy: “And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, 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 21:25-27).
God used a prophet to make the first overturn of the throne—and the stone—from Jerusalem to Egypt, then Spain, then to Ireland. An old, gray-haired prophet named Jeremiah traveled to Ireland with a beautiful young queen who sat on David’s throne. So that first overturn of those three was performed by God’s people. Might God’s people again gain possession of that throne—and stone?
Ezekiel shows that, after the overturns, when Christ returns, God will give that throne to Christ, whose right it is!
The projects that God is getting us involved in today make it obvious that we are getting very close to that coronation!
Let’s look more closely at how what we studied in Isaiah ties in with Jeremiah.
Notice Jeremiah’s commission. God ordained him from the womb “a prophet unto the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5). The only others specifically mentioned as being called from the womb were Samson, John the Baptist and Jesus Christ. This commission was incredibly important to God! “See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant” (verse 10). Jeremiah did warn the people of Judah, and negotiated with Nebuchadnezzar on their behalf. But his commission was to get that throne, and stone, and a ruler to sit on it—and take them to another land!
Jeremiah had to build and plant—but he also had to root out, pull down, destroy and throw down. We don’t know what all he had to do to procure the stone, the harp, the queen and so on. But this verse is quite emphatic, indicating he had to do some work to get them!
God may also require some hard work from us if we are to complete the commission that Jeremiah started.
What is interesting, in view of Isaiah 16:5, is how this passage in Jeremiah chapter 1 goes directly from Jeremiah’s key of David commission to this Work right now! It flows from Jeremiah’s commission right into ours. Jeremiah 1:11-14 immediately discuss the “rod of an almond tree,” which is a prophesied vigilant watchman, and a “seething pot,” which is the rise of the European beast power. (This prophecy is thoroughly explained in Jeremiah and the Greatest Vision in the Bible.) It is prophesying of a time when Britain loses the stone.
Is this an indirect way of God saying that the first and last overturns are transported by God’s own leaders? It won’t be long until we know for sure.
God said that in this end time, there would be a watchman and a warning. Just as Mr. Armstrong warned the Sardis people, the nations of Israel and the world, today God has a vigilant watchman posted to see what is going on and explain what it all means.
God gave Jeremiah a commission about the throne of David—and then God immediately began discussing our work in this end time. Maybe we get the honor of that last turn. No more turns—until the one comes whose right it is to sit on that throne! The people who will share that throne with Him at Jerusalem could play a key role in obtaining it and then presenting it to our Husband!
Chapter 8: Satan’s Great Wrath
“And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days” (Genesis 49:1). Jacob’s fantastic prophecy revealed knowledge about his son’s tribes, which have become nations in this end time. It is truly stirring once we let this fact firmly take hold in our minds. Here in Genesis, the first book of the Bible, we have a prophecy about what would befall the nations of Israel in this end time!
All 12 tribes, or nations, are named. But who and where are these modern nations today? We are living in “the last days” and must know who these nations are, or we will be blind to God’s end-time prophecies!
The last book of the Bible, Revelation, is also full of prophecies about Israel. So we have prophecies about Israel from the beginning to the end. The key of David vision has been spoken about for thousands of years. And we will be speaking about it forever.
Let’s look at the specific prophecies about Judah. “Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee. Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?” (verses 8‑9). These two verses give us great insight into the people of Judah, or the Jews in the Middle East. In verse 9, God uses the phases of a lion’s life to describe these people. God talks about a whelp, or cub, then a lion which would be best understood as a violent young lion, and then an old lion.
Historically, and even in our time, the Jewish people have exhibited many lionlike qualities. God warns at the end of verse 9 that all should be careful not to rouse the lion of Judah. In other words, leave him alone if he is at rest, or you will rouse his wrath.
Verse 8 states that Judah’s brethren would praise him. We know that this verse is primarily talking about the scepter promise (which we will explain later in this chapter). But it is also referring to the many benefits that Judah’s warlike qualities brought to the nation. It is a prophecy that Judah would have its hands on the necks of its enemies. Historically, Judah has had a rousing, warlike quality that gave security to the nation. From Numbers 2:3 we learn that while in the wilderness, Judah was assigned to take the lead in all marches. This was an impressive position of honor. Judah received the first lot in the Promised Land. Caleb, a great-grandson of Judah and one of the original 12 spies, had skill and mighty strength as a warrior (Joshua 14:11). And of course, the greatest Jewish warrior of all time was King David. There is no doubt he fought like a lion.
In our recent past, when the Jews had more faith, they were a terror in the Middle East. Now they have lost their faith. They are certainly weaker as a nation. Unfortunately, today’s Middle East peace process will lead to the tiny nation of Israel’s undoing (request a free copy of Jerusalem in Prophecy to know why).
There are many spiritual lessons we can learn from some of the physical characteristics God created in the Jews. For example, we should be lionlike when it comes to preserving the truth. Studying the Jews’ lionlike qualities also helps us to better see the qualities of the real Lion of Judah—Jesus Christ. True spiritual Jews exhibit the Lion’s qualities.
God does use physical people to teach us lessons. And we must be humble enough to learn these lessons. It should make no difference through whom we learn these lessons. Of course, we must put our emphasis on the spiritual, not the physical. But God wants to use the Jewish people for a high purpose. Paul shows us God’s goal. “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Romans 10:4). Our goal is to become like Jesus Christ—the spiritual Jew. This specifically applies to God’s true Church today. But it will apply to all peoples after Jesus Christ’s return.
Obeying Family Government
“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” (Genesis 49:10). Remember that this verse is prophecy for the end time. We must see the plan of God being worked out now. The word scepter is referring to David’s throne and Jesus Christ’s rule in the World Tomorrow. In addition to the scepter, there is a lawgiver who is a descendant of Judah (this too is explained in Who Is ‘That Prophet’?). All of this leads us to Shiloh, or the Messiah.
Notice that there is coming a great gathering of all people to Shiloh. All people will gather to the scepter of Judah, or the rule of Jesus Christ. The Hebrew word translated gathering is yiqqahah and means obedience, submission. What a wonderful picture! Why are we submitting to and obeying the government of God now? So we can be there when Christ gathers all people unto Himself! This gathering is pictured by the Feast of Tabernacles. All people will be gathered to the scepter of Judah and to Christ the Lawgiver.
Matthew 17:10-11 state that an Elijah would come and restore all things. Mr. Armstrong fulfilled this role. But he restored all things only to the Church. Compared to the number of people in this world, very few listened to Mr. Armstrong.
Jesus Christ will return soon and restore all things to the world. Christ’s return is described as the time of the “restitution of all things” (Acts 3:20-21). Jesus Christ is coming back to restore the government of God over the whole Earth—the same government that Lucifer established on Earth and then rebelled against. In the near future, all the world will learn to submit to Christ as He sits on David’s throne. This will require humility, obedience and submission on everyone’s part. The change in this world will be wonderful and truly miraculous.
So why did an Elijah come and restore God’s government to the Church? Jesus Christ wants His government here when He returns, so we can help Him implement His law. Only spiritual Jews will have this opportunity to rule with Christ.
Jesus Looked Like God
In the June 1956 Plain Truth, in the article “Was Jesus a Jew?”, Herman Hoeh wrote, “Jesus possessed characteristics both of Mary’s ancestry and the characteristics of the Father in heaven. Jesus looked like other Jews, yet He had the express facial resemblance of the Father Almighty—‘Who hath seen me,’ said Jesus, ‘hath seen the Father’ (John 14:9).” This impressive statement applies both physically and spiritually. Jesus Christ not only had Mary’s physical characteristics, He also looked like His Father—God the Father. Joseph was not Christ’s father. Mary’s pregnancy was from God (Luke 1:35).
“The Jews, then, more than any other race, must resemble the dominant personality of the heavenly Father. God is Supreme Ruler. Judah prevailed above his brethren, and the Prince, or Chief Ruler, was prophesied to come through him. Judah must have had special physical qualities for rulership. …
“The most important truth about this whole question, however, is not the flesh. ‘The flesh profiteth nothing’ (John 6:63). What is important is what we do with our lives. Through the sacrifice of Christ we can all—no matter of what race—become begotten members of the Family, or Kingdom, of God—the new man, as Paul expressed it—where there is no division …” (ibid).
Jesus Christ is predominantly concerned with the creation and development of spiritual Jews, not physical Jews. He wants to focus our attention on the spiritual Jew who will bring us into the Kingdom, or Family, of God. God’s Family will be a Family of spiritual Jews.
Why is there so much hatred for the Jews in this world?
Dr. Hoeh stated in that same article, “In the case of Jesus, the Logos was transformed into a physical sperm from the Father in heaven and was united with the ovum in the womb of the Jewess Mary. Therefore Jesus partook of the human [characteristics] of the tribe of Judah—Jewish flesh and blood.” In unparalleled humility, the Logos was willing to give up His glory and be transformed into a human sperm cell—the tiniest of cells—and impregnate a Jewish woman. Jesus Christ grew up as a Jewish lad. God directly involved the Jews in His plan. From these facts we must assume that God the Father and Jesus Christ have a close connection to the Jewish race—but only to further their spiritual plan.
So why is there so much hatred of the Jews? Look at the Middle East today. The Jews of the tiny nation of Israel are despised by their neighbors. Many Arabs want to see the Jewish nation destroyed. In our time the Jews have been hated in Russia. There is still anti-Semitism in the United States and other countries. And can we forget what Hitler and his Nazi scourge did to the Jews? Where is all of this hate coming from? A thinking person has to wonder! We know the Jews, like all humans, have helped to create some of their own problems. But we must see that there is something deeper behind anti-Semitism.
Satan the devil understands the plan of God. He has a great hatred for God. Because of the plan of God, the word Jew can really stir up Satan’s wrath. The Jews are a type of what all men are to become spiritually. It is God’s association with the Jews that has turned Satan even more violently against them! Hatred for the Jews has been inspired by Satan. He knows that he was never offered what has been offered to mankind. He wants nothing more than to destroy the plan of God.
Satan can stir up vicious hatred. He loves to use out-of-control emotions. A religion taken to the extreme—such as radical Islam—gives him a great field to work in. Nazi Germany exhibited fanatical hatred for the Jews. The Nazis also used emotion to stir up a repugnant hatred. The coming beast power will exhibit the same hatred for the Jews as well.
Most people who hate the Jews don’t even know why they do. Can we see Satan behind such lies and hatred?
Even more chilling is this fact: As much as Satan hates physical Jews, we must never forget that Satan’s hatred runs much deeper for spiritual Jews. Realize that Satan is going after spiritual Jews most of all!
Read these important words again: “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; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name [government]. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee” (Revelation 3:7-9). Notice: Spiritual Jews are mentioned in the same context as the key of David vision. It is their understanding of this vision that makes them spiritual Jews! It is what separates the Philadelphians from the Laodiceans, a group which sprang from the “synagogue of Satan.”
Verses 7 and 8 show that the Philadelphia era was truly a jewel in God’s sight. It was given the key of David—the single greatest prophecy and vision in the Bible. Mr. Armstrong and true Philadelphians have always treasured this key. God provided Philadelphia an open door that no man could shut. And though small by this world’s standards, the Church kept God’s Word and government.
In verse 9, we see that while Philadelphia was doing its great work, the synagogue of Satan was growing within its ranks. God has revealed that this synagogue of Satan was the Laodicean era in embryo. What is truly amazing about this new revelation is that God did not give it to us until the Laodicean era was already born. There is an important reason why. This astounding revelation is vital for God’s true Church today, in the Laodicean era.
Synagogue of Satan
God gave a harsh name to the Laodicean fetus, calling it the synagogue of Satan. This means that some within God’s own Church were falling prey to Satan, getting into worship of the devil even while Mr. Armstrong was alive! In Revelation 3:9 God also calls them liars. How did they lie? They were acting like Jews but were not true spiritual Jews at all.
Only the pcg understands Revelation 3:9 today—which means that most of God’s own people don’t deeply understand God or the devil!
Only those saints who have the key of David vision truly understand God and the devil!
The Laodicean era is identified as being blind. The overwhelmingly dominant trait of God’s people today is blindness!
This knowledge leads us to one of the most important questions of our time: Who are the true spiritual Jews? There are members of God’s Church who say they are Jews, but whom God calls liars. And there is a group of God’s people who are true spiritual Jews—they don’t lie! We must know the difference. This knowledge also reveals Satan the devil. A full understanding of the key of David vision must include knowledge of Satan the devil and his attack on God’s Church in this end time!
To the Philadelphians, God promises that all those people pretending to be Jews will He make “to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee” (verse 9). Christ uses the expression “I will make” twice in reference to the synagogue of Satan. God will force the lying Jews, today’s Laodiceans, to admit that Mr. Armstrong was right. He will make them admit that the Philadelphia Church was right. He will force them to know He loved Mr. Armstrong and the pcg.
Do we doubt God will do this? Christ says, “I will make ….” This is a very personal statement. If they refuse to admit Mr. Armstrong was right—if they refuse to admit the pcg is right and that God loved Mr. Armstrong and loves us, then there will not be any Family of God for them. How will God force them to do this? Through the terrors of the Tribulation. It would be far better for them to repent and admit this today, which is why warning the Laodiceans is a large part of our work.
In these verses, Christ shows clearly that the true spiritual Jews are deeply loved by God. Why? Because they are loyal to His key of David vision. They keep God’s Word, which includes the astonishing knowledge about David’s throne. They maintain God’s government and walk through God’s open door. How do we determine who are the spiritual Jews? By seeing who holds fast to the key of David. That vision not only gives us incredible understanding, it identifies true spiritual Jews.
The Laodiceans don’t understand God’s love. They have fallen prey to Satan’s deceit. True spiritual Jews know the meaning behind the key of David and cannot be deceived. Now look at what the Laodiceans are about to face—the Tribulation and the potential loss of eternal life.
Satan in a Rage
We have already shown you how deeply Satan hates physical Jews. The Holocaust of World War ii is a testament to that fact. But Satan hates spiritual Jews most of all.
“Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time” (Revelation 12:12). Christ warns us that Satan is full of great wrath. He has been cast back and confined to Earth. Upon whom did he first unleash his wrath? “And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman [God’s Church] which brought forth the man child” (verse 13). Satan has gone after God’s Church—the true spiritual Jews!
Never forget that Satan’s primary goal is to destroy God’s Work and Church. Within four years of Mr. Armstrong’s death, the Church suffered a serious split! This came as a devastating shock to many of God’s people. The destruction of the Worldwide Church of God has continued steadily since January of 1990. Today it is only a shadow of its former glory.
Satan has also stirred up much trouble for the nations of Israel. Just look at the British royal family. It has the royal Jewish heritage of King David himself. But today the monarchy has been so battered, bruised and beaten, it will never recover the dignity it once had. The walls of the palace have been riddled with scandal. Who has been the driving force behind the defamation of the royal family? Satan the devil. He desires to bring as much indignity to that throne as he can. Do we realize that the British royalty could stop all of the gross degeneration and its painful consequences? All they would have to do is be guided by God’s spiritual Jews.
If you look closely at the royal thrones in Thailand and Jordan, you see a very different picture. These two royal families are revered by most of their subjects, not ridiculed. These two families even had a close relationship with Herbert Armstrong through the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation. They respected and listened to Mr. Armstrong. God blesses those who honor His people (Genesis 12:3).
Why is the British throne declining in popularity while these other two are quite stable at this time? The throne in England never developed a close association with Mr. Armstrong. He did meet Prince Charles (and, also, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, when she was in power). Yet there was never a special project with God’s end-time apostle, as there was in Jordan and Thailand. Could that be part of the reason why that throne is not blessed today? Would it have been a little too embarrassing for the British royalty to join league with a religious old man? And yet there were two Gentile families who loved him and respected him. They realized how special he was and wanted to work with him. Britain all but shut the door on God’s Work. How typical of Israel to reject God’s prophets and apostles.
War Against the Jews
Satan hates the British throne. Remember, we must factor in the knowledge about Satan and his wrath if we are truly going to understand the key of David vision and the serious truth involving spiritual Jews. Only true spiritual Jews will be protected from the Tribulation to come upon the whole world. This is a promise from God.
When Satan realizes that he can no longer get to us as we flee, he will direct all of his violent efforts against the Laodiceans—even as they are beginning to repent because of the Tribulation. “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17). Satan’s anger is directed most at God’s Church. He detests our fantastic potential. In the Tribulation, the Laodiceans will recognize how wrong they were. Half of them will repent and return to God. They will return to the understanding they had rejected. They will reject Satan’s deceit. Because of their repentance, they will feel the full force of Satan’s wrath. At that time, he will have gained full control of all the negative and destructive forces on this planet. All Laodiceans who repent and obey God during the Tribulation will be marked for destruction. That is why it is so important to repent and obey God now.
Why does God offer His faithful spiritual Jews protection from what is coming? “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” (Revelation 3:10). The answer is simple. God always protects those who keep His Word. The Philadelphians are held in high esteem by God for doing so. They are people God wants to protect.
The name Philadelphian is synonymous with spiritual Jew. Our name, Philadelphia Church of God, did not come to us by coincidence. God gave it to us because we value His revelation. The Philadelphians have the key of David. They are not embarrassed by it or ashamed of it. They proclaim it to the world. They do not look to men—they look to the God who possesses the key of David vision (Revelation 3:7).
True spiritual Jews understand the vital importance of God’s revelation. “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?” (Romans 3:1-3). One of the greatest gifts committed to the physical Jews has been the preservation of the Old Testament Scriptures. In addition, God committed to the Jews the preservation of the sacred calendar, the knowledge of the Sabbath covenant and holy days, and the knowledge of tithing. These reflect the “oracles of God,” which could be translated divine utterances. Many faithful physical Jews kept these on the letter-of-the-law level—a physical level.
God always intended that the oracles entrusted to the Jews be understood by the Church. “This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us” (Acts 7:38).
God does not reveal new revelation about the oracles to physical Jews, but to His spiritual Jews—the Philadelphians today.
We know that God revealed His key of David vision to the spiritual Jews. The oracles of God are included in the context of that vision. What God revealed to Herbert Armstrong, He has given to His spiritual Jews to preserve. God has “committed” to the pcg what He gave Mr. Armstrong. This verse applies to us today in that way. (Edmond, the city where the pcg is headquartered, means “preserver of wealth.”)
This is why we fought a battle in court for Herbert W. Armstrong’s books and booklets. We really had no choice. This literature was given to the Philadelphians, whether we are in the Philadelphian or the Laodicean era. So where you find all of God’s truth that was revealed to Herbert Armstrong, you will find the spiritual Jews!
We continue the Elijah work. God’s Church cannot die (Matthew 16:18). Each one of us has the responsibility to know where that Church is.
Faith of God
As Paul states in Romans 3:3, we must understand what God has revealed and then use the faith of God to preserve that truth. Think about this. What is the faith of God? It is believing what God says. What brought people into God’s Church under Mr. Armstrong? The faith of God. We believed Mr. Armstrong taught what God revealed. What gave us the courage to move to the pcg? The faith of God. What keeps us in God’s Church? The faith of God.
We must use that same faith to preserve—never to reject or diminish—God’s oracles. We can be in God’s true Church physically and still not be a spiritual part of Christ’s Body. God lives in His oracles. Luke (who wrote Acts) referred to God’s oracles as the lively oracles.
We fought in court for God’s truth—in faith. We cannot preserve the key of David vision without faith!
That is what Romans 3:3 explains. Through faith the spiritual Jews knew precisely why they were in a court battle, fighting for God’s truth. The Laodiceans did not fight for God’s truth because Christ’s faith is not in them! That is why He is on the outside knocking on their door (Revelation 3:20).
Preserving God’s oracles requires great spiritual depth. It requires a spiritual Jew. Only the spiritual Jews have the faith of God.
God’s primary focus is always spiritual. The physical Jews fulfilled a critical role for God in preserving the oracles. But the role God has given spiritual Jews is far greater. All of God’s people who remain close to the divine utterances cannot be hurt by Satan the devil. Spiritual Jews have their heart, or their inner man, circumcised (Romans 2:29). They have been deeply converted to value what God values. They seek God’s praise, not the praise of men. They can detect Satan’s deceit and reject it. They are inspired by the key of David vision.
Chapter 9: Let No Man Take Your Crown
When Herbert W. Armstrong was alive, it was his tradition to host dinners in his home for the senior class at Ambassador College. By the late 1960s, the Work had grown so large that it had become more difficult to get to know Mr. Armstrong. The senior dinner was considered a big night at Ambassador College. On the night of my senior dinner, my wife was able to sit next to Mr. Armstrong.
Mr. Armstrong oversaw the preparation for the occasion, magnificent beyond description. The place settings used for this dinner were the Russian czar’s gold flatware and china. Seeing the grandeur of the occasion, one student remarked, “This dinner is fit for a king.” Mr. Armstrong answered, “You are a king.” As I remember, Mr. Armstrong’s comment ended the conversation. Yet his comment should have begun an inspiring conversation!
I imagine Mr. Armstrong was the only one at the table that night who deeply understood that statement.
Has Made Us Kings
We have been showing you that Herbert Armstrong was used by God to deliver the key of David message in this end time. He understood the vision. But God has added new revelation about the key of David vision since his death. Do we fully understand what the key of David vision means for us?
Those of us in God’s Church are already kings in embryo! “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (Revelation 1:5-6). Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness—He cannot lie—states that we have been made kings. Notice this is written in the past tense. As long as we remain faithful, we are kings. And there is even more. Verse 6 states emphatically that we are also priests. This means, in the future, we will be over church and state. We will be a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:5).
Are you preparing to share David’s throne? How real is this vision to you? Understanding this vision is what salvation is all about.
Many have trouble believing the full extent of this vision. But realize: The key of David is the only true vision of the future!
How often do our conversations focus on subjects like, “You are a king”? If you think about it, the key of David vision was more real than even the food we ate at Mr. Armstrong’s dinner!
Satan hates God. He proved that by trying to kick God off His throne (Isaiah 14:14). His punishment is to be the blackness of darkness forever (Revelation 20:10). Satan hates the message of the key of David vision because he knows that he has no part in God’s plan. So he wants to destroy that plan and prevent us from taking our place as royal sons.
Satan tried to destroy Jesus Christ before He could deliver the good news about this glorious plan. Even when Christ was a baby, Satan inspired Herod to kill all of the baby boys 2 years old and younger (Matthew 2:16-20). Christ’s stepfather, Joseph, was warned of this in a dream and fled with Mary and the boy into Egypt. Satan tried to destroy Christ spiritually through temptation (Matthew 4:1-11). Jesus Christ preached the gospel for 31/2 years before being crucified for delivering this message.
Yet Jesus Christ successfully destroyed Satan’s works. “… For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). We must overcome Satan as Christ overcame him. We do this by supporting the messenger and the message—by doing God’s Work.
Satan holds great hatred for the people who do God’s Work today. He hated Mr. Armstrong and worked constantly to stop him. We receive letters that show Satan hates us. The key of David vision contains a message that is so beautiful that only a very sick mind would hate the message. Satan is full of wrath against God’s people who hold true to the vision.
An Eternal Crown
Attaining the eternal glory encapsulated in the key of David vision is no easy task. We will have to endure a lot of suffering in this life to enter into that awesome future (Acts 14:22). Jesus Christ told the Smyrna era, “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). God’s people in this era suffered tremendously. They were severely persecuted for holding true to the message entrusted to them. Yet Christ promised them a crown of life for enduring what they suffered. God’s kings are going to have crowns!
Notice what Christ tells His Philadelphians: “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown” (Revelation 3:11). Christ tells us we already have a crown. In other words, we are already kings. But we must remain faithful. Jesus Christ warns us that a man could take our crown.
Mr. Armstrong not only believed these scriptures, he lived them! He had the seniors of Ambassador College over to his home, in the most royal setting possible, to drive home the lesson that they were royalty. He created a very special occasion as a spiritual teaching tool. God’s Philadelphians must seize every occasion possible to embed this vision into their minds. Teaching the key of David vision was Mr. Armstrong’s life. It must become ours as well.
When we have this vision etched into our minds, then we will recognize the opportunities to teach it to others. After Jesus Christ returns and puts the vision into effect, we don’t want to look back and wonder what could have been. We must actively teach this vision. Now is the greatest moment in the history of the Church. We have more truth than any Church era has ever had, and Christ is about to return!
Woman Clothed With the Sun
God’s Church is about to step into one of the most exalted offices for all eternity. “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars” (Revelation 12:1). Mr. Armstrong taught us for years that the woman in these verses represents God’s true Church. Satan’s great false church is represented by the whore in Revelation 17. The woman in Revelation 12 is clothed in a way no man could clothe her. She is dressed in apparel bright as the sun. Her clothing is a sign of righteousness. She is dressed the exact opposite of the fallen woman in Revelation 17, who is clothed in “scarlet” (verse 4). This earthly color represents sin (Isaiah 1:18).
The Church has the moon under her feet. This vision shows this woman has rule and authority. She holds a royal position. She is crowned with 12 stars, which represent the 12 tribes of Israel. This vision holds the key to understanding Israel’s past and the Church’s future. The depth of meaning in this verse is incredible!
Who is to rule the tribes of Israel in the future? Jeremiah tells us clearly. “For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him: But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them” (Jeremiah 30:8-9). David has already been appointed to rule over the 12 tribes of Israel—forever! Can we see the breathtaking glory that is coming?
There is more. Who will sit on David’s throne? Jesus Christ, the King of kings. Jesus Christ will rule over David, Israel and all Gentile nations. Who will share in this rule? The firstfruits. For a millennium, Jesus Christ and His royal Family will work to graft all of the Gentile nations into the family of Israel. What inspiring, royal offices the firstfruits will have. God’s firstfruits will be the only group with the Bride of Christ title (Revelation 19:7). Christ and His Bride will bring multiple billions of children into the Family. David’s life and reward are a symbol of how men have the opportunity to become a part of the Father’s royal family Kingdom.
The key of David emphasizes how majestic and royal the firstfruit positions will be. It focuses on how royal the gospel is.
Remember, the Kingdom of God is the Family of God. In God’s Kingdom there will not be any spiritual Gentiles—no rebellious children. All will become converted spiritual Jews. Can we see the end result of the key of David vision? All willing human beings will be converted into the spiritual nation of Israel. God the Father and Christ will be joyously ruling over them for all eternity. The creative work that will be accomplished will be mind-staggering!
Great Red Dragon
But the near future is fraught with grave spiritual danger. “And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads” (Revelation 12:2-3). Satan hates God’s Church. He desires to do us great harm. In symbol, John shows that Satan has seven heads, 10 horns and seven crowns. Satan holds authority over the nations today—deceiving the whole world (verse 9). He rules over men, but only as God allows.
In these scriptures, God’s Church is placed in direct conflict with Satan’s church. They are the worst of enemies. God’s people have suffered more persecution from the devil than anybody in all of man’s history. And it will be that way until the seventh head of the so-called Holy Roman Empire is destroyed (request our free booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire). But we have nothing to fear if we use God’s limitless power.
Luke reveals this fact in his record of Christ’s temptation. “And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine” (Luke 4:5-7). He offered all of the nations of this world to Christ. Christ rejected his offer. But Christ never denied that these nations were Satan’s to give.
Revelation 12:3 reveals that Satan has ruled over every resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. The final resurrection is now almost fully formed.
If Christ is King of kings, then Satan is king of beasts. Revelation 13 shows that man’s rule over other men is like the brute beasts running wild and dangerous. Satan is the inspiration behind man’s wicked rule.
The Roman Empire has won its fame by maiming and slaughtering—in the name of God! Who has inspired the violence? Satan has been attempting to accomplish his purpose of destroying God’s plan through that system. The soon-coming final resurrection will cause more destruction than any that came before—more than all of them combined! In spite of all the destruction, men still act like that system is a gift from God! Mankind has learned far too little from history, and look at the cost of that ignorance!
Jesus Christ is about to return and destroy the Holy Roman Empire forever. As Daniel prophesied, “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Daniel 2:44). All of Satan’s present plans will fail miserably in the end.
We must make sure we are not one of Satan’s casualties. “And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne” (Revelation 12:4-5). We must never underestimate Satan’s hatred for God’s Church. He rabidly hates each member! He hated Christ. He wanted desperately to destroy Him. Should Christ’s Church expect anything less?
Each faithful member of God’s Church is a terrible threat to Satan the devil! We are about to take his crown and rule with Christ from David’s throne. Satan knows his days are numbered (verse 12). He will soon lose his rule and authority. Our coming rule is more certain and more real than Satan’s is today.
Right now, Satan is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). But soon, under the guidance and instruction of the Family of God, everyone will worship God. “But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it. For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever” (Micah 4:4-5). When Christ returns and we are installed into office, peace will burst into full bloom over the entire Earth. Satan-inspired violence will end. The mass of humanity will no longer be deceived. All will be able to come to a true understanding of God and His family plan for man—most of them through a resurrection from the dead!
Place of Safety
We must know our enemy, Satan the devil. His attacks on the Philadelphia Church will continue as we fulfill our commission. His negative pressure will become much more intense. “And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent” (Revelation 12:13-14). Satan has only one great goal—to destroy the Church of God. He is a master strategist. Even during a period of relative calm, we must never forget that Satan is hard at work.
His attacks on the Church will eventually become so intense that the Church will have to be taken to a place of safety. God’s people will be “cast out” of their own nations (Isaiah 16:1-5). When we see that God’s very elect are “cast out,” it should be obvious that there will be a perfect storm of persecution leading up to this event!
Revelation 12:14 is referring to the same woman as verse 1—the one with a crown of 12 stars. What gives her the ability to withstand Satan the devil? She sees the crown of 12 stars. She sees the throne of David ruling over the tribes of Israel. Her mind is focused on the key of David vision. She is so inspired by the magnitude of the vision, nothing can dissuade her.
Our individual lives must be totally wrapped up in this vision, or there will be no place of safety for us.
War Against the Saints
God’s Church is in a war with Satan. What is the fighting all about? The battle is over ruling the Earth.
In the near future, Satan will be forced to face the fact that his life is a miserable failure. The war is real to Satan. It should be real to us. If we have the key of David vision firmly planted in our minds, we will understand the titanic battle raging against the Church.
Today our war with Satan is mostly spiritual. However, it is about to become physical. Satan is going to bring an army of this world against us (Revelation 12:15). In Bible symbolism, a flood usually represents an army. This army will undoubtedly come from the European political combine now coming to power.
This power is discussed in Revelation 13: “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy” (verse 1). This political power is the seat of Satan’s kingdom and church.
Notice, this power is comprised of 10 crowns. God’s Church is the greatest threat to this political power, because we are going to take those crowns away.
Satan and his human associates will use all violence to keep their crowns. Revelation 12:16 shows that Satan’s final move to destroy the Philadelphia Church of God will come to nothing. His final attack will fail. The earth will open up and swallow that army. This will anger Satan so much that he will turn all of his wrath against the Laodiceans. A great slaughter of God’s people will occur for the last time.
How important is the key of David vision to you? Remember, it is the only true vision of the future. God has called each one of us to prepare to rule with Jesus Christ. We are destined to share Christ’s own throne—that of His father David. We are kings. With this vision firmly planted in our minds we will be able to overcome Satan and take our place in the Family of God.
Chapter 10: How the Key of David Can Keep Us Positive
Here is probably the best single verse in the Bible to explain the key of David vision: “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:7).
What a vision! God is going to bring peace to the cosmos forever—and He is going to administer that peace from the throne of David.
Notice: The government, administered from that throne, is what brings the peace. There will never be peace on Earth, or anywhere else, unless it is administered from David’s throne.
This scripture shows that there will be no end to this glorious rule. No end of time—no end of space. Clearly, the throne of David represents extraordinary loyalty. You can see why, if we are to share that throne, God must try and test us so severely today.
One definition Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon gives of one of the Hebrew words for increase (which shares the same root as the one in Isaiah 9:7) is “progeny, increase of a family.” Does this mean that the Family of God will keep growing forever? It very well could! (Request our Prophesy Again booklet for a full explanation.)
The key of David is a marvelous key. David’s life unlocks something grand and wonderful! If we understand his life, it unlocks an unparalleled vision! David was a king ruling over Jerusalem and over all Israel. This vision is about God’s people today becoming kings, also ruling at Jerusalem and over all Israel—which will include all the Gentiles in the future. The whole world will be ruled from Jerusalem. We will be governing from that throne and will help extend peace that goes on and on, with no end! That is something to spend a lot of time thinking about.
Of course, David’s throne is really God’s throne. And just as David used it to unite Israel, we will use that throne—under Christ and under God the Father—to unite this world in peace. That is quite a spectacular feat, considering how disunited, hateful and violent the world is today. That fact should inspire us forever.
God’s people today must always remember that they are kings and priests in embryo, and must conduct themselves accordingly. This isn’t just what we shall become: God calls us kings and priests today! (e.g. Revelation 1:6; 5:10).
This is a vision, right out of the mind of the great God, that demands everything we have and more simply to grasp it!
Fantastic Training for Isaiah 9:7
Today, God, through His very elect Church, is raising the ruins of a work that was destroyed. He calls that work “the tabernacle of David.”
“In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom …” (Amos 9:11-12). “In that day” is our time now; “the days of old” is the time of Herbert W. Armstrong. The “remnant of Edom” means everything Mr. Armstrong left behind that was dismantled by Edom, or the Edomite Laodiceans (this terminology is explained in our Obadiah booklet).
Now God tells His very elect today, I will use you to raise those ruins right back up.
That is an enormous job, lifting and raising up such a work as God did through Mr. Armstrong. And though we will never match the size of that Work, nevertheless God commands that we work toward that end. We are great weightlifters—raising up these ruins as in the days of old. We must be excited and stirred if we are to succeed in such a monumental calling.
Building God’s house today could be the concluding chapter of raising those ruins. That magnificent building may go a long way toward blotting out what happened in Pasadena, the greatest tragedy of this age.
Wouldn’t you say that raising the ruins of the tabernacle of David is fantastic training for fulfilling the job described in Isaiah 9:7? We must see the connection between the temporary tabernacle of David and the throne of David graphically explained in Isaiah 9:7. Jesus Christ is going to rule from David’s throne. There is going to be an endless building program throughout the universe for all eternity—administered from that throne!
As we “raise the ruins” of the tabernacle of David today, we are being prepared to rule on David’s throne as the Bride of Christ. Satan has wrecked the Earth, the universe and God’s Church today. As we raise up the ruins in God’s Church now, we are qualifying to raise up the ruins on this Earth and in the universe. Christ is getting His wife ready to rule on David’s throne forever and ever. We are going to make this Earth and the universe look like the Garden of Eden.
The Philadelphia Church of God has already started on that endless building program today. The tabernacle of David is the key of David vision that propels God’s very elect—getting them ready to rule in the Jerusalem headquarters forever. This is the hope of all hopes—endless joy throughout the universe.
Our lives will be in ruins if we lose that vision!
To Help Us—Christ Personally Appears!
Look at the sobering truth that precedes the “raising the ruins” prophecy. The last part of Amos 8:14 says, “even they shall fall, and never rise up again.”
So when this tabernacle of David falls, it is the most dreadful catastrophe in this end time and one of the greatest ever.
Many thousands of God’s saints are going to die forever! The most powerful Work of God ever, in terms of numbers, has collapsed. God’s greatest Work has fallen from the highest mountain ever and been dashed, shattered on the rocks below. Never before has there ever been such a catastrophic fall.
Fifty percent of God’s people are going to fall, never to rise again. Their names will be blotted out of God’s book of life. Surely this is one of the strongest warnings in the Bible.
Amos’s prophecy about the Laodicean failure continues: “I saw the Lord standing upon [should read by] the altar: and he said, Smite the lintel of the door, that the posts may shake: and cut them in the head, all of them; and I will slay the last of them with the sword: he that fleeth of them shall not flee away, and he that escapeth of them shall not be delivered” (Amos 9:1).
What a remarkable picture: Here is the Eternal standing by the altar—not just any altar. The Anchor Bible explains, “[God’s] presence in the sanctuary, where normally the priest would be standing or officiating, would indicate that something out of the ordinary, something ominous, was about to happen.”
That extraordinary, ominous thing did happen! As I wrote in my booklets The Lion Has Roared and Habakkuk, in order to deliver His very elect in our court battle against the Laodiceans over Mr. Armstrong’s writings, Jesus Christ personally appeared! Even worldly commentaries studying these verses recognize that they describe God personally doing something very dramatic for His people!
This is one of the rarest miracles in all the Bible. It is some of the most dramatic revelation God has given this Church. As we raise the ruins of the tabernacle of David, we should never forget it or take it lightly! Read, or reread, those booklets to renew your appreciation for it.
Christ knows He has given us a mountain-size responsibility. He is the Head of this Church. So it shouldn’t surprise us that, as these scriptures reveal, He had to come personally—in spirit of course—to intervene on our behalf. Christ’s personal involvement in this Church is what makes us different from every other church and religion there is. Here is why this Church experiences such miracles!
When that tabernacle—a temporary dwelling—becomes permanent at Christ’s imminent return, it will never fall again!
Another Personal Appearance
Remember Habakkuk 3:1-3. There the prophet asked God to “revive thy work in the midst of the years,” and then “God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran.” As the Habakkuk booklet says, this is not talking about the time in the future, when Christ will return from Mount Paran—which is probably within the area where the biblically prophesied place of safety will be—with 10,000 saints (Deuteronomy 33:2). Here He came in the middle of the crisis years, without the 10,000 saints.
Why was Christ in Mount Paran during the Church’s present crisis? We can’t be certain about the details, but He was probably there to look after the area where He plans to protect His people in the future. It appears He personally took care of that! So there must have been a serious crisis, and a situation with no margin for error. (Shortly after the September 11 terrorist attack in the U.S., terrorists tried to bomb Petra, Jordan. However, the attack failed. Christ’s appearance could have been related to such an event.)
This is as dramatic as anything in the Bible! Here is scriptural evidence of two appearances Christ makes on Earth: one that had to do with saving the Work of God; the other that involved the place of safety.
There was an all-out attack on the Philadelphia Church of God by Satan the devil. He was trying to destroy God’s Work through a six-year court battle. He also apparently tried to destroy the area or get control of the country where the place of safety will be.
In both battles, Christ personally came to this Earth and stopped Satan! That may give us a good idea of how much more dangerous Satan and the demons are after they have been cast down and confined to this Earth. They are all full of wrath and know that their time is short! (Revelation 12:12).
Our war against Satan is vividly real. Those saints who fail to understand that are going to be conquered.
As Satan intensifies his warfare, God empowers His Church accordingly. Expect God to provide more and more miracles for His very elect in this end time.
Do you believe the Scriptures? Do we realize how active God is in His Church today? This is reality! This is the real world of the Philadelphia Church of God. Christ, our Head, is deeply concerned about His Church!
After all, His remnant Church is made up of the 5 percent of His people who—even as the tabernacle of David was being reduced to ruins—did not deny Him (Revelation 3:8).
And think about this: If Christ is that involved with His people as a collective body, how active do you think He is in your personal life? How concerned is He about helping you through trials, for example?
Jesus Christ knows exactly what is going on with His people. We should be sobered, and honored, and overjoyed about that truth. We are never alone. Do you really see the fathomless love God has for you?
How powerfully and completely our Husband provides for and protects His wife!
Habakkuk 3:4 says, “And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power.” Many times God hides His power, and we don’t see it.
But here is the reality. God says that when He opens a door for His people, no man can shut it (Revelation 3:8). That is a challenge God hurls out to anyone who would defy Him. I am opening this door—and you just try to shut it! If the Church’s enemies understood what they were up against, they would be scared to death!
Nobody can ever stop you from obeying God! They can even kill you—but you can die obeying God.
How mighty is God. If we have that power living in us, how can we not raise up the ruins? We must succeed!
God Challenged Baruch
One biblical example shows how easy it is for us to lose sight of this reality.
Baruch was Jeremiah’s scribe. He took the words from Jeremiah’s mouth and wrote them down. Those words became the book of Jeremiah.
“The word that Jeremiah the prophet spake unto Baruch the son of Neriah, when he had written these words in a book at the mouth of Jeremiah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, saying, Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, unto thee, O Baruch” (Jeremiah 45:1-2). This is a message directly from Christ. Jeremiah delivered it to Baruch—a “Thus saith the Lord.” Jesus Christ is the Head of His Church. He directly leads it. The Philadelphians understand that. The Laodiceans do not. When Christ sees one of His workers who was hired to do the Work get into a bad attitude, that is serious. Christ often deals directly with the problem.
Somehow, Baruch was doing far-reaching damage to God’s Work. This scribe was actually writing the Bible—not an insignificant responsibility! Perhaps he was neglecting his writing that was to become canonized. That would have caused acute problems for Jeremiah.
“Thou didst say, Woe is me now! for the Lord hath added grief to my sorrow; I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest” (verse 3).
Baruch was enduring a serious trial—and God held him accountable for how he handled it. Here God parroted Baruch’s words right back to him. God was thoroughly aware of everything that was happening in Baruch’s life.
In verse 4, God brought Baruch right back to the purpose of his calling. He reminded him of the commission He had given to Jeremiah (recorded back in Jeremiah 1:10), which Baruch should have been supporting! “Thus shalt thou say unto him, The Lord saith thus; Behold, that which I have built will I break down, and that which I have planted I will pluck up, even this whole land.”
The King James Version says “I will pluck up”—but the original Hebrew is written in the present tense. God was saying, I am plucking it up! I’m in the process of plucking up the throne of David right now! This was electrifying prophecy being fulfilled right before Baruch’s eyes—and he should have been passionately supporting God’s man! But instead, Baruch was wrapped up in himself!
Perhaps he got off track because Jeremiah was in jail so much. Clearly, to some degree, he had drifted from his calling and was out doing his own thing. God challenged him, “And seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not: for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith the Lord: but thy life will I give unto thee for a prey [or prize of war] in all places whither thou goest” (verse 5).
Nebuchadnezzar was about to conquer Judah. Baruch was about to enter into the holocaust of 585 b.c.—and yet he had become ambitious for himself somehow. Whatever he did, God was very upset.
How would you like to have God deliver a message to you personally through His prophet? And on top of that, God had it recorded in His Word to remain as a lesson for all time.
The correction God gave to Baruch is primarily for us today. God didn’t “bring evil upon all flesh” at that time—but He is about to do so today!
The good news is, Baruch turned it around. He did end up accompanying Jeremiah to Ireland. He made it to a place of safety.
God makes the same promise to us that He made to Baruch: I will give you your life as a prize in this war—even as everyone else loses theirs. We must remember that we are in a war with Satan in his worst wrath. God gives strong emphasis to that unparalleled war (Revelation 12:9-12). And considering the horrors ahead, the place of safety is a wonderful physical prize. That is a promise from God—so He has to look after that place of safety, wherever it is, to ensure He can fulfill that promise. God will never break a promise.
Baruch thought his trial was too much to bear—but God loved him, and saved him through correction. If we trust God, He will get us through every trial we
Like Baruch, we are all prone to allow our thinking to get off at times. But look at the big picture: Evil is about to come upon all flesh. Almost all humanity is about to be destroyed! How important is your life? How important, really, are the things you are concerned about? This is no time to have some great ambition for yourself.
Baruch had to get his mind off himself. Sometimes we must do the same. It saved Baruch, and it will save us—sometimes physically, sometimes spiritually.
Always remember: God gives us trials not to destroy us, but to save us!
The Key of David Perspective on Bad News
The world today is saturated with depressing problems, heavy with hopelessness. But even as the nations approach a nuclear Armageddon, God’s people must keep their spiritual balance and remain filled with hope. We must be positive people.
Look at how Christ teaches us this invaluable lesson using the key of David. This is a perspective that our ministers and all of us need to remember as we do God’s Work.
In Revelation 3, beginning in verse 7, when Christ speaks of the key of David, He is so inspiring and positive. Even when He gives bad news, He puts it in a positive context.
“Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie”—that is very bad news, but notice—“behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee” (verse 9). Half of the Laodiceans are going to make it into the Family of God! That is wonderful news that we must keep in mind.
You find more bad news in verse 10, about the Great Tribulation. But again, Christ supplies the positive perspective on it: “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” God’s faithful Philadelphians will not have to experience that trial. Again, God promises us a place of safety. That too is good news.
“Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown” (verse 11). This verse is directed to all of God’s people. Sadly, only 5 percent of them will hang on to their headquarters crown!
If you have that crown, you had better hang on to it! You are going to be in Jerusalem forever! (verse 12). Don’t let anyone take that away from you! God wanted every last member of His Church to hold their crown! But so many have lost it, and so many others have let someone take a big slice of that reward.
Those who hold that crown will be stationed right at headquarters in new Jerusalem, with God’s very name written upon them. What wonderful news. Even the bad news needs to be viewed from the inspiring perspective that the key of David vision provides.
There is a lot of darkness in this world. But don’t look at these as days of darkness—recognize them as the days when the darkness is about to end. Mankind has suffered horrendously for 6,000 years! God the Father and Jesus Christ and the great host of angels have all been waiting and waiting for this day—and now it is almost here!
Chapter 11: The Key of the House of David
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 midcentury 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.
At an archaeological dig in Jerusalem, Herbert W. Armstrong College students 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 eventually 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.
These “inhabitants of Jerusalem” are members of God’s Church.
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.
Look again at the prophecy in Genesis 49:10. 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, 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, who has a message about David’s throne.
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.
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. 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 true Church is ruled by Christ, that great Lawgiver—the King of kings who shall rule on David’s throne forever.
The Scepter Promises
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 the scepter. 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).
“‘[B]ut 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 surely 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 that 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 will 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 (comprised of all races) 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!”
The Key of the House of David
I went to Ambassador College in 1967. That was the year the Six-Day War broke out in Israel, in which God intervened miraculously to help Israel win. In that war, Israel gained control of the whole of Jerusalem.
The very next year, the Israelis began what they called the “Big Dig”—a massive archaeological excavation on the southern part of what the Jews call the Temple Mount. The year after that, Herbert W. Armstrong formed a partnership with Prof. Benjamin Mazar and Hebrew University in order to assist with that dig. Within two years, Ambassador College had 78 students over there helping, and Professor Mazar was asking Mr. Armstrong to triple that number.
In the October 1971 issue of Tomorrow’s World magazine, an article about developments on the dig said: “[I]n 1967, after the unification of Jerusalem, the archaeological institutions of Israel began considering the feasibility of a full-scale excavation of the entire Southern Wall area. With encouragement by the mayor of Jerusalem and the Israel Exploration Society, the present ‘Big Dig’ was launched in 1968, headed by Prof. Binyamin Mazar. …
“In the first winter recess, Ambassador College entered into the project jointly with Hebrew University and the Department of Antiquities. Beginning December of 1968, Ambassador began providing financial assistance to put the project on a full-time continuous basis, and in 1969 began to provide summertime student manpower. Work has continued unbroken since that time.”
At the time of that dig, there was a young girl there with her grandfather, and she was getting very well acquainted with and deeply impressed by Mr. Armstrong and the Ambassador College students. She grew up to be an archaeologist herself. Now she directs what we believe to be the most important archaeological dig in the world!
Benjamin Mazar’s granddaughter, Eilat Mazar, has since told me that her grandfather was very concerned at the beginning about whether or not it was a good idea to get so deeply involved with a Christian organization from the United States. But of course, he soon became very happy that he did.
During the course of the massive Temple Mount excavations, layers related to the Muslim, Byzantine, Roman and Hellenistic period were investigated, documented and removed. Discoveries from those periods include the 2,000-year-old foundations of an ancient staircase to the Temple Mount (also known as Robinson’s Arch) and the massive stairway leading to the southern wall of the Temple Mount.
Only during the final year of Professor Mazar’s excavations did the top of First Temple Period walls begin to be discovered. Dr. Eilat Mazar continued with the excavation of these ruins in 1986; they were fully excavated in 2009–2010 with our Herbert W. Armstrong College participation. In many ways, the excavations of Benjamin Mazar and the Ambassador students were a preparation for our Ophel excavations. Their excavations removed many later period remains, allowing us to reach the biblical period far sooner.
Look at the difference in interest between what they found during Mr. Armstrong’s day and what we are finding today! God has truly blessed our efforts in a special way. There is an important prophetic reason for that, as we will see.
Under Mr. Armstrong, there was a lot of excitement in God’s Church about the archaeological dig in Jerusalem. But when he died in 1986, that excitement fizzled. The Laodiceans showed they had no interest in the dig, or even in Jerusalem.
Dr. Benjamin Mazar died in 1995. What would have happened to that great project if his granddaughter hadn’t decided to continue it?
Actually, it goes deeper than that. Dr. Eilat Mazar is being used in an amazing way to uncover the palace of David and the wall of Nehemiah—but it is really God resurrecting this project and raising up the ruins. And today, God’s faithful remnant Church is reviving the excitement and the understanding God has given us about that dig.
Do you know why we are involved in that project? What is it about? Is God really behind it?
An Ominous Sign
In that same Tomorrow’s World issue, Ernest Martin wrote an article called “Jerusalem Through the Ages.” The quip read, “Ever since David made it his capital some 3,000 years ago, Jerusalem has been a ‘cup of trembling’ and a ‘burdensome stone’ to all nations.” He briefly discussed the city before the time of King David, and then showed how David conquered it. “Once David had secured this fortress, he adopted it as his capital city, naming it the City of David. Because of the site’s majestic appearance and its towering eminence, he also called it Zion (a city resembling the impenetrable fortress of God in the heavens). The ark of God was then transported to this elevated citadel.”
Now notice this inspiring conclusion to Dr. Martin’s article: “In Zechariah 14, there is a prophecy telling us that ‘living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea [the Dead Sea], and half of them toward the hinder sea [the Mediterranean Sea]: in summer and in winter shall it be’ (verse 8). These streams will appear once this major topographical change takes place in the area of Jerusalem. The Mount of Olives, just to the east of Jerusalem, will be split into two separate mountains and a valley will be formed between them (verse 4). Then, apparently at the same time, a further topographical change takes place. ‘All the land [near Jerusalem] shall be turned as a plain [leveled out] from Geba [five miles north of Jerusalem] to Rimmon south of Jerusalem [about 30 miles south]: and it [Jerusalem itself] shall be lifted up [a large mountain will rise on the site of Jerusalem], and [Jerusalem shall be] inhabited in her [usual] place’ (verse 10).
“Jerusalem will become a new ‘Mount Zion’ around which the redeemed tribes of Israel will gather (Jeremiah 31:6-9). On this mount will be built a new city. Streams will issue from a new temple which will be there (Joel 3:18). The Prophet Ezekiel further tells us that the eastern stream coming from this newly elevated Jerusalem will flow into the Dead Sea, making it a fresh sea with an abundance of fish (Ezekiel 47). This is the new Jerusalem of the future—the coming joy of the whole world.
“And though Jerusalem has suffered terribly from human rampages over the centuries, a glorious Jerusalem is soon to emerge which will make all other cities of the world insignificant by comparison. God will demonstrate how He can take the ‘worst’ in man’s opinion and make it into the ‘best.’ This is what He will do to His Jerusalem—the Mount Zion of the future! God speed that day.”
What inspiring words! Ernest Martin was honored to be deeply involved with that dig—in fact, he directly assisted Dr. Herman Hoeh on the project. Yet he left God’s Church before Mr. Armstrong even died. Then, just a few years ago, he died on January 16—the same day Herbert Armstrong died in 1986. Is that an ominous sign? Was his death a sign of what happens eternally to saints who reject the instructions of God’s end-time apostle?
Mr. Armstrong was given the key of David! We are honored to have been given the key of the house of David and more. We need to realize that this work in Jerusalem is tied directly to our salvation and our reward in the Kingdom of God. We can’t think of it as being merely interesting or fun. Our being involved in what God is doing there has a lot to do with our salvation!
What is that key going to unlock? It will unlock a great deal more than just the palace walls, which have already been uncovered. When God gives a rare, royal key, you know it’s going to unlock a lot!
“And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons” (Isaiah 22:24). Do you suppose we might find some amazing things over there? This palace is physical. The vessels in the temple are physical and spiritual. We’ve already gotten the spiritual vessels. Are we going to find some physical vessels as well?
Three Specific Commissions
When God says in Isaiah 22:22 that He will lay this key on a man’s shoulder, that is a symbol of this message being a burden. Several scriptures show why this message may be somewhat of a burden. Proclaiming this message won’t be all smooth sailing. This world doesn’t want to listen to God.
“O [you] that bringest good tidings [to Zion], get thee up into the high mountain; O [you] that bringest good tidings [to Jerusalem], lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!” (Isaiah 40:9, see the King James Version margin reference). That one scripture mentions three different jobs God has for us in this end time. First, we have a message for Zion, or God’s sinning Laodicean Church. So the time frame is after the Laodicean rebellion. Then we have a message for “Jerusalem,” which is a type of all the nations of Israel, especially America, Britain and Judah. Finally, we need to go directly to the “cities of Judah,” or the Jewish state in the Middle East called Israel. Judah must be warned in a special way—and notice the positive approach God tells us to take: “Behold your God! Good tidings for Jerusalem and the world! Your God is about to return!”
Why are those three commissions all linked in that verse? I believe there may be a special reason for that.
We have been working diligently to fulfill those first two commissions for several years. God may mention them in this context because they are now winding down.
Now, consider how those first two commissions might lead directly into our fulfilling the third.
Chapter 12: Behold Your God!
God’s people today must consider the implications of an end-time prophecy delivered by the Prophet Amos.
“And the high places of Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword” (Amos 7:9). As our booklet on Amos explains, “high places of Isaac” is a coded expression referring to the Laodiceans—a religion that started with God’s great power and then turned away from God (request a free copy of The Lion Has Roared). The religious places of Isaac are going to be desolate. They need to be warned about that. Of course, that won’t be a popular message. In fact, Amos shows that it will lead to a direct confrontation with the Laodiceans.
“Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel: the land is not able to bear all his words” (verse 10). This verse prophesies of a major governmental attack against God’s very elect in the end time. The “priest of Bethel”—or God’s own house—is sending this message to the king of the land: Amos has become a traitor! Our Amos booklet explains how this describes a direct confrontation between the Laodicean and Philadelphia churches.
There is a reason Amos uses the name Jeroboam for the leader in this scenario. Anciently, this message went to Jeroboam ii, about 35 years before Israel fell. He was the last leader the prophets appeared to directly. But this also points back to the Jeroboam who assumed rulership over the 10 tribes of Israel when they broke away from Judah. From that point forward, Israel never again had a righteous king! Judah did and was able to last longer. But Jeroboam changed Israel’s day of worship away from the Sabbath, and he moved the dates on which Israel kept the festivals, among other anti-God acts.
This indicates the kind of leader the United States will have when God’s people flee to a place of safety! Though he may appear religious, that individual is going to come in the evil, anti-God spirit of Jeroboam! We must face this—we shouldn’t be surprised when it happens.
The fact that the land can’t bear all our words must mean the problems are so serious that people can’t ignore what we are saying! But if the people cannot bear the message, what are they going to do to the messenger?
Prophecy shows that they’re going to cast out God’s people (Isaiah 16). “Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there: But prophesy not again any more at Bethel: for it is the king’s chapel, and it is the king’s court” (Amos 7:12-13). For some reason, they want to exile us to the land of Judah, today called Israel. This may be how God’s people will begin their journey to the place of safety.
It appears God puts that thought into the minds of the persecutors. It is also quite possible that they know we have an important work in Judah. How would they know about that? Could it be because of some impressive archaeological find? Is it because of the key of the house of David, and what we’re doing over there even now, and what that will lead us into? Perhaps that is why they will say, Look, you’re over in Judah—get out of this country and go over there and prophesy!
Will those events flow directly into Isaiah 40:9?
Perhaps, after being booted out for prophesying to the Laodiceans and Israel—the first two of those commissions—we will be sent to Judah on our way to the place of safety. God may say to us, You’ve been kicked out of that country—now I want you to go to this country and lift up your voice—in person—and tell the Jews, “Behold your God! He is coming to sit on David’s throne—right where David sat on it!” Or maybe we will just conclude our message before the Tribulation then. Regardless, there is an interesting connection to Judah.
Be Not Afraid
There in Isaiah 40:9, God tells us, “[L]ift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid”! Don’t be afraid! Don’t be timid! Use the Spirit of God, and tell them the Messiah is about to arrive!
We must have strong courage to lift up our voice and not be afraid!
Will you be afraid? Will I be afraid? Will we be Laodicean—or will we be Philadelphian? These are important questions. If we’re not Philadelphian now, how will we be then? If we’re acting carnally now, how are we going to be spiritual then, and not be afraid? The only way to fulfill that job is with the power of God! We need to be growing in that power today!
Though authorities disagree on exactly how Amos died, several sources say it was some kind of martyrdom. One says Uzziah killed him by hitting his forehead with a glowing iron. Another says Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, fatally struck him in the head. Whatever happened, it gives you an idea of just how fierce the opposition to God’s message can get. It will take a pretty tough Christian to be able to endure.
Could God rely on any of the Laodiceans to deliver His message? They can’t do it—they’re too weak! What about us?
Can you see why this might be a burden on Eliakim’s shoulder? We all need each other’s prayers.
But this is not a negative message—it’s a message of good tidings! We can’t be timid about it. We’re telling the Jews and everyone else that the Messiah is about to arrive!
Notice something else that God connects to the key of the house of David in the context of Isaiah 22: “Thus saith the Lord God of hosts, Go, get thee unto this treasurer, even unto Shebna, which is over the house, and say, What hast thou here? and whom hast thou here, that thou hast hewed thee out a sepulcher here, as he that heweth him out a sepulcher on high, and that graveth a habitation for himself in a rock? Behold, the Lord will carry thee away with a mighty captivity, and will surely cover thee” (verses 15-17). This talks about a modern type of Shebna being a part of a mighty captivity—a captivity that will befall Judah (the Jewish nation), Ephraim (Britain) and Manasseh (America) simultaneously (e.g. Hosea 5:5). “He will surely violently turn and toss thee like a ball into a large country: there shalt thou die, and there the chariots of thy glory shall be the shame of thy lord’s house. And I will drive thee from thy station, and from thy state shall he pull thee down” (Isaiah 22:18-19).
It is right after this that Isaiah speaks about Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah (verse 20), being given the key of the house of David (verse 22). Lange’s Commentary says, “On the day when Shebna must quit his post, Eliakim the son of Hilkiah will occupy his place. … He was in all probability of the priestly race. For Hilkiah, as his father was called, was a common name of priests.” We are looking at that spiritually, but it is all connected.
There is a captivity associated with the key of the house of David. This talks about Shebna having his authority stripped from him and given to Eliakim, and Shebna being carried away in a mighty captivity. This is a serious warning—to all of us.
Jerusalem is about to be trodden underfoot by the Gentiles into the muck and mire in the worst captivity ever known to man! (Luke 21:24; Revelation 11:2). That is a chilling prophecy about Jerusalem—and it applies to all Israel! The stormy, outer edges of the “times of the Gentiles” Christ spoke about are already here!
The Message of the Key
Lange’s continues on the subject of the key, “[T]he key opens the entrance to the house, to the apartments and to all that is in them. He, therefore, who alone has this key, has alone also the highest power [or authority]. The expression reminds us … of Isaiah 9: (‘on his shoulder’ is a symbolical representation of the office as a burden to be carried) ….”
This key is a burden on this man’s shoulder. It is specifically talking about the message of the key of the house of David!
Can you imagine, as we deliver the message of Isaiah 40, how much we might be talking about this archaeological dig? What a message we could deliver to Judah if we built it around the excavation in Jerusalem! We could talk about David’s throne and how and why it left the city. When Jeremiah emerged from the dungeon, he had to take that throne to another country because Judah was going into a mighty captivity and the temple was going to be utterly destroyed!
We could tell them about David’s throne and that history, and about The United States and Britain in Prophecy. We could explain why we are so excited about a dig in Jerusalem: because it connects to the coming of the Messiah! We could also show what is prophesied to happen before He gets here. There is a powerful warning about a mighty captivity! And it’s all connected to that dig.
There is quite a message in what Dr. Mazar has uncovered and what it means for Judah. There is such a story—such a history and such a prophecy—revolving around that dig! It’s surely one of the most incisive, piercing messages they could possibly hear. True, the message is for all Israel, but the Jews who are right there can understand some of it far better than the nations of Britain and America can.
After quoting several biblical passages, Mr. Armstrong drew these conclusions in The United States and Britain in Prophecy: “1) The king of Babylon slew all the sons of Zedekiah who were heirs to the throne of David.
“2) He also slew all the nobles of Judah so as to leave no possible heirs for that throne.
“3) Finally, after putting out Zedekiah’s eyes, the king who sat on David’s throne was himself taken to Babylon where he died in prison.
“4) Thus, as it appears, and as the whole world has believed, the throne of David ceased, with no possible heirs, or sons, to keep the dynasty alive. Certain it is that from that day on, the throne never again has existed in Judah, in Jerusalem, or among the Jews!”
But did that throne just cease? To the world, it looked like that was the end. But that would have broken God’s promise to David! So what happened to that throne? Well, it’s still in Israel—not the Israel of the Middle East, but the Israel of the Bible. And even though Nebuchadnezzar and Satan did everything they could to destroy any heir to that throne, Jeremiah was able to take a daughter of Zedekiah with him to sit on it.
All of this is clearly explained in The United States and Britain in Prophecy (request your free copy). It is prophesied in your Bible!
The Jews need to know about that history! They need to know why we are helping to dig and to clear all the rubble away. They’re going to suffer the mightiest captivity ever inflicted upon mankind! How can you even endure such a brutal and horrifying captivity unless you KNOW that the Messiah is about to come? This message may agitate them today—but the time will come when it will give them hope! They need hope and inspiration, and so do America and Britain.
Royal Seals of Jeremiah’s Accusers Found
The two largest finds in Dr. Mazar’s dig at the City of David were David’s palace and Nehemiah’s wall. But the two smallest finds contain the strongest warning.
During the last days of the kingdom of Judah, the Prophet Jeremiah warned the residents of Jerusalem of their impending captivity at the hands of the Babylonian army. But, instead of heeding that warning message, the princes of King Zedekiah’s administration attacked the messenger and plunged him into the depths of a miry dungeon (Jeremiah 38:1-6).
One of Jeremiah’s accusers, Gedaliah the son of Pashur, had his name stamped on a small clay seal that was recently discovered about 600 feet south of the Temple Mount. Dr. Mazar found the bulla in early 2008, in mint condition, while wet-sifting debris excavated under a tower at the north end of the City of David—the original site of ancient Jerusalem.
In 2005, Dr. Mazar had found another seal bearing the name Jehucal the son of Shelemiah on it—mentioned twice in the book of Jeremiah. The Jehucal bulla was found on the platform above the Stepped Stone Structure, where Dr. Mazar has uncovered a small section of what used to be King David’s palace.
Both princes, the Bible relates, unsuccessfully petitioned for Jeremiah’s execution and were responsible for his imprisonment on two separate occasions.
Incredibly, the Prophet Jeremiah survived the destruction and captivity.
Mazar’s two clay seals survived as well—buried under 2,600 years’ worth of debris. “It’s not often,” Dr. Mazar said, “that such discoveries happen in which real figures of the past shake off the dust of history and so vividly revive the stories of the Bible.”
We need to be reminded of what Jeremiah’s commission was: “See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant” (Jeremiah 1:10). This verse reveals Jeremiah’s commission and the main subject of this whole book.
Jeremiah not only had a commission. He understood the greatest vision in the Bible: the key of David.
Here is an excerpt from The United States and Britain in Prophecy: “Notice, Jeremiah was set over nations—more than one kingdom. He was a Jewish lad, living in Judah. He was set a prophet over Judah—but not Judah alone. Over nations—over kingdoms! He was set over these kingdoms to do two things: first to ‘pluck up,’ or ‘root out,’ to ‘pull down,’ or to ‘overthrow,’ and second, to build and to plant. …
“It is well known that Jeremiah was used in warning Judah of the impending captivity, and the ‘pulling down’ or ‘overthrowing’ of the throne of David in the kingdom of Judah. …
“But note it! See it in your own Bible! Jeremiah was divinely commissioned to pull down and to overthrow that very throne of David in Judah—but notice the second half of the commission. To build and to plant! To build and to plant what?
“Why, naturally, that which he was used in ‘rooting out’ of Judah—the throne of David which God swore He would preserve forever! Jeremiah was set over not just the one nation, Judah—but over nations. Over the kingdoms—the kingdom of Israel as well as Judah!
“He was used in ‘rooting out’ that throne from Judah. Then what was Jeremiah commissioned to do in Israel? Notice the second half of his strange and little-understood commission—to build and to plant!”
He built and planted the throne in Ireland. Later it was moved to Scotland and England.
The Jews and all of us need to know what happened to Jeremiah in the process of rooting out the throne of Judah. For years he was warning Judah as the Jews violently persecuted him. This was part of the rooting out process!
Just finding the two small clay seals reminds us of how Jeremiah had to suffer in rooting out David’s throne from the rebellious Jews and fulfilling the commission that God gave him.
Jeremiah also prophesied that David’s throne would return to Judah when the Messiah comes. And here is the terrifying part. What the Jews suffered under Babylon was only a type of their suffering and captivity just before the throne is returned to Jerusalem at the Messiah’s coming. The Jews will experience the worst suffering ever on this Earth!
Anciently, Jeremiah had a strong warning for Judah. “Then Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah the son of Pashur, and Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashur the son of Malchiah, heard the words that Jeremiah had spoken unto all the people …” (Jeremiah 38:1). Here are the two princes whose names were on the royal seals: Gedaliah, the son of Pashur, and Jucal (or Jehucal), the son of Shelemiah. Both of them hated Jeremiah’s message.
“Therefore the princes said unto the king, We beseech thee, let this man be put to death: for thus he weakeneth the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words unto them: for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt” (verse 4). Again, both these princes tried to have Jeremiah put to death!
It is phenomenal that we found the clay seals of these two princes. What a hideous warning it is for the Jews today!
God’s end-time prophecies warn the Jews of a much greater catastrophe than Nebuchadnezzar inflicted on them. This modern Babylon is going to create the holocaust of all holocausts!
Jeremiah was put in prison and was about to die of hunger (verses 6-9). There was no more bread left in Jerusalem. That is only a type of the famine that is about to strike in three nations of Israel: Manasseh, Ephraim and Judah.
Our Relationship With the Jews
The Jerusalem dig was an open door for Mr. Armstrong. God also used the dig itself to open many more doors in Israel. Mr. Armstrong had a number of close contacts among the Jews that all came about as a result of his involvement with that archaeological project.
In November 1968, Mr. Armstrong visited Jerusalem to decide whether to enter a joint participation on Dr. Mazar’s archaeological dig. He said he wasn’t sure whether to do it at first. I’m sure he thought, Well, let’s see. I’m to get this message out to the world. Does God really want me involved in Jerusalem in an archaeological dig? I can understand why he didn’t make an immediate decision.
He returned a few weeks later, however, and decided to proceed. This time he met with the Israeli president, along with those involved in the dig. “It was a memorable—perhaps an historic—meeting with President Zalman Shazar and our Israeli friends at the preceding visit,” Mr. Armstrong wrote. “On that date we formally entered into the joint participation with Hebrew University and the Israel Archaeological Society. Some little time after that we entered into participation in the iccy (International Cultural Center for Youth), founded by Eleanor Roosevelt and Minister of Tourism Moshe Kol. We have continued both participations. Beginning with the summer of 1969, we sent students every year during summer vacation to work on the dig—some years up to 100 students” (Good News, February 1979).
Having hundreds of students on that dig over the years was impressive. But where are they today? Did they learn what they were supposed to learn from that dig? What good did it do them? Not very much, if you look at the whole picture.
Mr. Armstrong’s contacts in Israel began to flourish. The mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek, visited Ambassador College in Pasadena and was very impressed—then he wanted to show Mr. Armstrong his own efforts to beautify Jerusalem. Receptions and dinners were held in Mr. Armstrong’s honor. Mr. Armstrong funded the construction of a children’s playground at Liberty Bell Park in Jerusalem. It was meant to promote friendly relations between Arab and Jewish children. In some ways, that was a minor project—but Mr. Armstrong really did know the way to peace. Here he showed that in a practical way by reconciling Arab and Jewish children. Also in Jerusalem, there is a courtyard measuring about 75 by 100 feet that was named the Herbert W. Armstrong Square.
Mr. Armstrong also wrote, “Sunday, 7:30 p.m., the mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek, hosted a special dinner in my honor at Mishlenot Shaananim. Many of Israel’s most prominent people were present.
“Monday, a luncheon in my honor at Beit Mayersdorf in the Mount Scopus campus of the Hebrew University, hosted by Professor Mazar and Dr. Aviram and the deputy prime minister of Israel, Yigael Yadin. This luncheon also was attended by many of Israel’s most prominent people.
“Tuesday was a very busy day. There were several meetings at the Knesset, with Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan, Shimon Peres, who was prime minister two different times, chairman of Israel’s leading Labor Party, and the speaker of the Knesset Itzhak Shamir. Then a visit at the president’s residence, with the president of Israel, Itzhak Navon.
“All in top offices in Israel were enthusiastic about starting another decade of mutual cooperation and friendship” (ibid).
Those Israeli leaders wanted that friendship to continue perpetually! But the Laodiceans let that relationship die. In fact, they killed it.
How do you suppose Mr. Armstrong became such close friends with all those prominent people?
Notice this end-time prophecy in Hosea 11:12: “Ephraim compasseth me about with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit: but Judah yet ruleth with God, and is faithful with the saints.”
Was Mr. Armstrong’s relationship with the Jews prophesied? You try to develop friendships like that in 10 years. See what you can do in reaching that level with a government in this world. God says here in this prophecy that the people of God would find favor from the Jews. That is the primary reason those contacts developed so quickly and deeply.
Look at what is happening even with God’s Church today in Israel. We too are finding incredible favor over there. Was that prophesied as well?
God is so deeply involved in these events! After all, the Messiah is about to sit in Jerusalem and rule from David’s throne!
The Palace ‘Established Forever’?
Mr. Armstrong believed that Christ’s throne will sit on the same spot where David’s throne sat anciently. If you were to go to Jerusalem and look for where David’s throne was located, how could you find that if you couldn’t find David’s palace?
Another scripture seems to indicate that not only will David’s throne last forever, but also the palace—though not in its original form. This is speculation, but it is based on a passage that seems to be more than just speculation. These verses made me think again about the fact that so much of David’s palace has been preserved, only to be uncovered in our day—as if it was just waiting for us to find it!
In 2 Samuel 7, God gives the Prophet Nathan a message to deliver to King David. It draws specific attention to the palace of David. In verse 11, for example, God promises David that “he will make thee an house.”
Verse 12 reads, “And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.” That is talking about Solomon. “He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever” (verse 13). There God refers to a “house for my name,” which is talking about the temple. The house of God is the temple of God, which Solomon built.
God continued, saying to David, “And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever” (verse 16). This is a promise that there’s going to be a throne established forever, and that there will be a kingdom throughout the ages and eternity to sit on that throne. The throne is referring to the royal office, and the kingdom is referring to the royal family sitting on the throne of David.
But notice! This verse also says that David’s house, or his palace, would be established forever. The word house is the same as in Isaiah 22:22. Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon calls it “a royal house, a palace” or “the house of God.” The house of God is the temple. But this is spoken to David, and it says not only “your kingdom,” and “your throne,” but also “your house.” It’s not God’s house, but David’s.
David certainly seemed to understand that God was talking, at least in part, about a physical house. “[W]hat is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?” he asked. “[T]hou hast spoken also of thy servant’s house for a great while to come” (2 Samuel 7:18-19). David was amazed at how much emphasis God put on a palace for David.
Read how David continued talking to God about this in verses 25 through 29: “And now, O Lord God, the word that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant, and concerning his house, establish it for ever, and do as thou hast said. … [L]et the house of thy servant David be established before thee. For thou, O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, hast revealed to thy servant, saying, I will build thee an house …. [T]hou hast promised this goodness unto thy servant: Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee: for thou, O Lord God, hast spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever.”
We know that David’s throne is going to remain forever, not only from this scripture, but also based on Isaiah 9:7 and Luke 1:30-33. Perhaps the palace will last forever as well. Why else would God say David’s palace will be there forever? It certainly looks like that is what this is saying—though again, I would still consider this speculation. But this scripture is difficult to explain any other way.
That palace didn’t remain whole, but somehow it was preserved, just waiting for us to dig it up. I’m absolutely certain that God had a hand in preserving that palace, particularly in light of Isaiah’s prophecy that He would give the key of that palace (a symbol of the house of David) to Eliakim in this end time!
Again: We can’t find where the throne was if we can’t find the palace! You must have the palace in order to locate the throne room where Christ is going to establish His throne when He returns. Christ had to preserve that. He could easily also preserve a palace for David throughout eternity.
I believe this is a very interesting scripture. Will David’s palace always exist, as well as David’s throne? I’m not sure, but I think it could fit within the temple in the Millennium—perhaps in the center of it, or on the top of it. I don’t know how you can read these scriptures any other way. Of course, there would be changes; it would be a different kind of palace when the new Jerusalem gets here, but there could still be a palace of David.
When God is ruling this Earth, there will be many people who were human like David that will be there as eternal sons of God. They will be ruling from David’s throne with Christ. That should not seem peculiar. After all, men and women were created to enter God’s Family and rule with Him forever!
Perhaps these new God beings will dwell in David’s palace forever.
“And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David” (Luke 1:31-32). David bridges the gap between God and man. Again, we must not forget, this is not really the throne of David—it’s the throne of God! But God wants to bring men into His Family, and make us royalty of the highest level.
This is all tied to the Jerusalem dig. Mr. Armstrong prepared for it in a spectacular way. Those who followed him showed nothing but contempt for the work he did there, and look where they are spiritually today. Consider the vision behind that project, and you can understand why God would say that they are unfit to be His royalty!
That project is about Jesus Christ returning to sit on David’s throne! God has given us the key of the house of David! We are preparing Jerusalem for its King!—even in a physical way. Mr. Armstrong was given the key of David, and God has even expanded our understanding about that since Mr. Armstrong died. Now He has also given us the key of the house of David! We are getting so close to the end of this age of man, to the point where we are clearing off the very spot where Christ is going to put His throne! That’s what this project is about. It’s about Christ ruling the Earth for a thousand years—and then ruling the universe for eternity under God the Father!
The Throne in the Millennium
Here is a picture of how the Messiah will use the throne of David in the Millennium: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land” (Jeremiah 33:14-15). All of Israel will unite around that throne. Everyone will become a part of spiritual Israel.
The archaeological excavation of King David’s palace is actually the beginning of this prophecy! We are preparing—even in a specific, physical way—for the imminent return of Jesus Christ. Christ is going to sit on that throne, which will undoubtedly be right where it sat when David ruled on it, and that area needs to be cleaned up. God is helping us grasp and prepare for that future by involving us in a physical project anticipating Christ’s return.
Jerusalem above is the mother of us all (Galatians 4:26). So we are concerned about physical digs that have such profound spiritual meaning. God the Father and His Son have a vested interest in that place—after all, the greatest event ever to occur in the universe is about to happen in Jerusalem! The Son of God is coming. Then, a little over a millennium later, the next greatest event ever to occur in the universe will happen in Jerusalem! The Father is coming. World headquarters is going to be in Jerusalem shortly—and then, when God the Father comes to Earth, universe headquarters! It’s all about Jerusalem!
“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name” (Revelation 3:12). Look at what we are a part of! Jerusalem is truly special to the people of God! We are going to be there with Jesus Christ, and then with God the Father, forever!
Can you see why God will have no Laodicean as a part of this? God is going to put us in headquarters forever because we have remained loyal to David’s throne—and because we’ve been given so much that we can teach!
How much do we thank God for this wonderful future?
Do you understand what is happening? God is already getting us focused on Jerusalem. It’s not about Jerusalem today. In fact, it’s not even about Jerusalem during the Millennium. The ultimate goal is new Jerusalem when God the Father comes down and all converted people enter into the Family of God and begin to rule the entire universe. That is what the Jerusalem dig is ultimately about!
The Jerusalem dig is only a tiny beginning. It introduces us to what is about to explode on the world scene!
This world is about to become a God-ruled utopia. All of the dreadful evils of this world are about to disappear forever. God’s majestic glory is about to fill this Earth!
The building program for the entire universe is about to begin in Jerusalem!
What a wondrous dimension to this prophecy God has added through this archaeological dig. We are so close to the end! The key to David’s palace is an inspiring conclusion. God is making it vivid and tangible. The whole world can see it! We’re getting ready for the spectacular return of Jesus Christ, and we have students digging with their hands in the dirt to prepare for Christ’s throne. He is about to come back, and we are on schedule.
That is a real message! This is the conclusion to all that we’re doing on this Earth today. What an honor God has given us to be a part of this inspiring, wondrous Work!
Chapter 13: Looking to New Jerusalem
The most pressing question facing planet Earth today is human survival. Weather conditions, from floods to droughts, are damaging food production. Supplies are low. Natural disasters are taking their toll on lives and properties, and economies are overtaxed with the cleanup. Hatreds among peoples are reaching fever pitch, resulting in terrorism and other threats. With weapons of mass destruction, mankind has developed the technology to destroy all human life. It is not a question of if man will use these weapons—but when. Bible prophecy shows that the period known as the Great Tribulation is almost upon us—the most devastating time of all human history (Matthew 24:21). Nuclear World War iii is imminent. The near future will be a time of immeasurable human suffering.
Yet God promises His people a place of physical refuge. When the Tribulation begins, God’s faithful Church will be taken to a place of safety somewhere on Earth (Revelation 12:14).
Sinners in Zion
But most of God’s people will not escape what is coming. “The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?” (Isaiah 33:14). In prophecy, Zion means the New Testament Church. Today there are sinners in Zion whom God calls hypocrites. A hypocrite is someone who pretends to be something he is not. This verse can refer only to the Laodiceans today. They scoff at our message now, but soon they will be extremely “afraid.”
The Laodiceans will have to “dwell with the devouring fire,” or nuclear bombs. Nuclear fire will wake them up to their tragic spiritual condition. What an incredible price they will have to pay to get back in step with God! When the doors of the Tribulation close in around them, they will suddenly realize how wrong they have been. The Laodiceans have deceived themselves about their lying, but deep down they still know they are liars! So God must punish them. That is their only hope to be in God’s righteous Family.
Isaiah clearly shows who will escape the coming nuclear nightmare. “He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil” (verse 15). Those members of God’s Church who live righteously now will escape. As discussed in Revelation 3:10, these people are living true to God’s Word. They have remained faithful to what they were taught concerning the key of David vision.
King in His Beauty
Details of this promise are given in Isaiah. “He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure. Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off” (Isaiah 33:16-17). Munitions of rocks is better translated strongholds of Sela, referring to the famous city of Petra. This rock fortress has been used over past centuries as a well-defended stronghold. It is the perfect place for God to protect His people from nuclear fallout and other dangers of nuclear war. Still, we don’t know for certain where that place of safety will be.
Notice that God also promises His obedient people food and water. God’s Philadelphians will not suffer hunger and thirst.
Verse 17 shows that the protected people will also see the “king,” Christ, “in his beauty.” And they will be able to see into “the land that is very far off.” From their mountain stronghold they will be able to see into the holy land—into Judah. At Christ’s return, they will witness Him taking over the throne of David in Jerusalem. This will be a truly beautiful sight.
Many Laodiceans exhibit a casual attitude about the coming Tribulation. Some have even stated that they can handle it when it comes. How unwise! God is giving His people a choice. No one has to go into the Tribulation. Even though 50 percent of the Laodiceans will repent in the Tribulation, they will have to die physically. Of course, the far worse tragedy is that 50 percent will perish spiritually.
Look at what the Laodiceans will miss. All of us would agree that losing eternal life is the single greatest loss for any human being. But even the physical loss of those who repent is tremendous. They will suffer in the Tribulation as no people ever have. They will also lose their reward of being a pillar in God’s headquarters temple forever!
It does not have to be that way. God pleads with His Church through Isaiah, “Thine heart shall meditate terror” (Isaiah 33:18). God says to meditate on the terror to come. We must face it.
Today the cities of the United States and Britain are plagued with appalling evils. Because of youth gangs, drug pushers and terrorist acts, many of our cities are war zones. World troubles are also mounting. Armed conflicts are taking place in many parts of this world, such as the Balkans, Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East. Innocent lives are being wiped out by the multiple thousands. And this is all just the beginning of sorrows.
Verse 19 reveals that the greatest armed terror to strike the world is now building in Europe. This fierce power will be led by a thoroughly revitalized Germany. The U.S., Britain and the Jews of the Middle East—modern-day Israel—will suffer at its hands, except for the faithful few whom God will protect.
It is not difficult to understand why the Father wants to protect righteous Zion from destruction. These people have a universe-shaking vision of God’s Family growing into eternity. They recognize the Father as the Head of His Family. They believe and obey their Father. Those who truly believe the key of David vision know there is an awe-inspiring Father building a family.
The patriarch Abraham saw this same vision clearly. “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:8-10).
Think about the spiritual depth of this man! He looked forward to the city built by God the Father. He was able to look past all of God’s abundant physical promises and focus on the fantastic spiritual promises of new Jerusalem. Abraham was motivated by the vision of God’s Family being complete. Abraham lived for the time when God’s government and throne would spread throughout the universe. What a breathtaking vision! What glory!
The next several verses in Isaiah 33 are proof that the righteous in Zion, like Abraham, are able to see all the way to new Jerusalem. “Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken. But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby” (verses 20-21). The wonderful beauty of new Jerusalem is described here. At that time, Jerusalem will be a quiet habitation. Some may think this refers to the Jerusalem of the Millennium, but notice, Jerusalem is described as “a tabernacle that shall not be taken down.“ The Jerusalem of the Millennium will be taken down in the final fire after Christ delivers the Kingdom of God to the Father (1 Corinthians 15:24; 2 Peter 3:10-13; Revelation 20:14-15). The Jerusalem described here is a tabernacle that shall not be taken down. This can only be referring to new Jerusalem. God the Father will inhabit new Jerusalem. It will last forever.
Referring to this “tabernacle,” Isaiah 33:20 says “not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed.” The word for stake here is the same word for nail in Isaiah 22. Gesenius’ Lexicon defines it: “[A] nail or pin is used metaphorically of a prince, from whom the care of the whole state hangs …; the same person is called a corner stone, on whom the state is builded.”
Understand the depth here! The people of Zion in the place of safety not only see the land that is very far off—they not only see the King in His beauty—they see the time when not one nail will be removed from the tabernacle! What an extraordinary vision! Not one of the leaders in God’s Family will ever be removed. A companion verse is found in Revelation 3:12: “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out ….” God’s family government will be permanently established. It is important that we not only see the nail in God’s holy place today, but that we see the nail in the land very far off as well. When we expand our minds in this manner, we finally begin to see God the Father’s vision for His Family.
A Family Throne
The key of David vision has royal family written all over it. When we fully understand this, the vision begins to explode with excitement. David’s throne is discussed in the context of a Father and a Son. Jesus Christ is described as the “Son of the Highest,” or the Father. David’s throne is a family throne.
God’s plan for restoring His government on Earth began with Jesus Christ. It started out in the smallest of ways. But Isaiah 9:7 shows that the increase of God’s government and peace will never end. God’s government will be forever expanding.
The key of David vision is about family. It shows that both physical family and God Family are vital. Our physical marriages and families must be strong. Human families are God-plane relationships. Our physical families are a type of the God Family. The Church is going to marry Jesus Christ (Revelation 19:7), typed by physical marriage. The God Family will never end. This understanding requires that we live according to this vision now!
I Stand at the Door
How well do we grasp this vision? Do not take this question casually. What we are teaching in this message is the only reality. It is not easy to grasp the full magnitude of what God is offering to all mankind. It takes great effort on our part to understand what God has revealed.
Remember, most of God’s people in this end time just do not get it! Jesus Christ is using the Philadelphians to knock on the Laodiceans’ door (Revelation 3:20). What is the knock all about? What message are the Laodiceans failing to hear?
Verse 21 is the answer. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” They fail to hear that Christ now shares the Father’s throne. Two personages share the same throne. Soon Christ will be given David’s throne. His Bride will share that throne with Him. Christ and His Bride will work to make all humanity obedient and loyal to that throne. When that is completed, the Father and Son will rule from that throne for eternity! What an awesome project God has started! We will be able to share the family throne with the first Family of the universe! We are in the process of preparing for that job now. Do we understand what God is offering us?
During the Millennium, we will assist Christ in bringing the rest of humanity into submission to the throne of David. At the second resurrection, all who qualify will become spirit beings. For all eternity we will share David’s throne, which had its origins in the evil age of man. This will be a reminder that we once were lowly men. We will be able to appreciate deeply what God and Christ have planned for us. We will have intense joy because of our godly, royal responsibility.
Can we see where the key of David vision is leading us? Living in new Jerusalem will be the best of times forever. God the Father will come to Earth and enjoy the rich fruits of His Family. And that is just the beginning!
Chapter 14: The Father’s Vision
God the Father’s plans for His Family reach into eternity. God has revealed His plans to His Church. The unveiling of His plan officially began with the birth of Jesus Christ, and it will eventually involve all humans who submit to Almighty God.
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not” (1 John 3:1). Though we are still in the flesh, God calls us sons. We are sons of the Father. Think deeply about this for a moment. If we are sons of the Father, then that makes us family. This spiritual fact is more real than our own physical families. This is truly mind-boggling.
Even the Apostle John was awestruck by this incredible revelation. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (verse 2). It is very difficult for any human being to grasp what God the Father is offering to humanity. We are destined to be spirit beings, just like the Father. God the Father will always be the Head of the Family. But just as physical children share the characteristics and nature of their parents, we will share God the Father’s divine nature and spirit form.
How well do we grasp this extraordinary future? The Father desires to deepen our vision and understanding of His family government. This will only happen when we have a childlike attitude toward Him.
“And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (verse 3). This verse has great depth. We will not be motivated to change our evil human nature to God’s nature without this hope. We will not be able to face and conquer our God-given tests! John is telling us that if we have this hope in us, we will change. And there can be no change if this hope is absent. Getting the key of David vision deeply into our minds is the great source of hope for us. The key of David vision is filled with hope. All too often, people bog down in their trials. When we have the hope of the key of David vision in us, no trial can stop us. The main job of the Philadelphia ministry is to fill the lives of God’s people with hope! The key of David vision is that hope.
Christ—The Everlasting Father
Let me repeat two of the most incredible verses in the Bible: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:6-7). This states that the growth of God’s government will be without end. In other words, the throne of David will expand eternally.
God the Father, rich in mercy, planned to give Jesus Christ as a Savior to a failed humanity. This shows the depth of the Father’s love for man (John 3:16). When Jesus Christ walked the Earth, He was God’s only begotten Son. He was the only Son who could make it possible for the Father to have many more sons. These verses in Isaiah show that God has placed His government upon Christ’s shoulder. The primary spiritual issue for all humanity is God’s government—God’s family government. God gave the world His Son. That means family. With His Son He established His government. It is the same government that rules God’s true Church today. That same government will rule the Earth and then eventually the universe. When we talk about the true gospel, we are talking about God’s royal Family, which administers God’s government forever.
Jesus Christ has many names: “Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” One of His names is the everlasting Father. Jesus Christ is a type of God the Father.
Paul states this about Christ in Colossians. “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell” (Colossians 1:17‑19). Creating for God the Father, Jesus Christ was the beginning of all life. He is the Head of the Church. He is the firstborn from the dead. His position in God’s plan is much like the Father’s. But we must never forget that He is the Son, not the Father.
At the time of the new Jerusalem, the whole God Family will be ruling from the throne of David. There will be one throne for the entire Family. Think about how much history and prophecy is carried in the name throne of David. This incredible knowledge reveals how God and Christ create their royal Family. It all began with one begotten Son—Jesus Christ. All humanity would have lived in vain if Christ had failed. As humans change into spirit, we will never forget how God worked out His plan of salvation. We will always remember that God was able to change sinful flesh into immortal God.
We must develop real faith to finish this process God has begun in us. We are going to need real faith in the key of David vision to make it through the tough times just ahead, the time of Satan’s greatest wrath.
This vision has helped many of God’s leaders through the difficult trials of their calling. Let’s look again at the example of Abraham.
Faith of Abraham
Abraham is known as the father of the faithful (Romans 4:16; Galatians 3:7). He had real faith in a real vision. Exercising faith in God’s promises, Abraham obeyed God, left the home of his father, and inhabited tents in a strange country. Why was Abraham able to do this? As we wrote in the last chapter, he clearly saw the key of David vision all the way into new Jerusalem. Paul states that he looked for a city which has foundations (Hebrews 11:8-10). One translation says “sure foundations.”
You should meditate the rest of your life on that statement! The quality of our faith must have “sure foundations.” Our faith must be so strong, so real, that it is established on the “sure foundations” of new Jerusalem!
We can build our faith to have that astonishing reach! We must pray fervently and meditate seriously on that expression to comprehend its depth. It is a mind-dazzling faith with sure foundations. This is the foundation of the key of David vision.
Understand the time element. This is speaking of the time when God the Father brings new Jerusalem to the Earth. God will have made the foundations of this city sure. Can you imagine—project Earth completed! God will have re-created Himself into multiple billions of Family members. It will be a majestic and royal Family. This vision carries within it the only goal for every human life, if we are to live beyond this world.
Why is this mind-stretching family goal so important? It is the only vision that gives deep meaning to God’s plan. He even gave us physical marriage and physical family, types of our marriage to Christ and the God Family, to give this vision deeper meaning. God the Father’s vision of the future is a family vision. God paid a great price to give us this vision of the future. He allowed His Son to be crucified so all humans could be a part of the future spiritual Family.
Abraham—Type of the Father
Why was Abraham so willing to sacrifice his son Isaac? Because he understood the key of David vision. “And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him” (Genesis 22:1-3). God’s requirement for Abraham to sacrifice Isaac was the supreme test. It was even harder than sacrificing his own life! Think about the love he had for this special son, promised by God, for whom he waited 25 years! There had to be intense emotions and strenuous mental battles. In this test, Abraham became a type of God the Father giving up His only Son.
This was Abraham’s greatest test! Think about sacrificing one of your children. Imagine the agony. Abraham fully planned to sacrifice Isaac. “And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me” (verses 9-12).
How could Abraham sacrifice his son? He knew that giving up Isaac was so little compared to the Father’s plan to sacrifice Christ! Remember, when God sent His Son to Earth, there was the chance that Christ could have failed. If Christ would have sinned, the plan for man would have also failed. If Christ had failed, God the Father would have been alone for the rest of eternity!
Can we see how profound Abraham’s obedience test was? His willingness to sacrifice Isaac is one big reason why he will have one of the top positions in the Kingdom of God forever. Abraham held God the Father’s perspective. He saw the Father’s love and Christ’s love, and he wanted to be just like the Father. That is why Abraham became the father of the physical nation of Israel. That is also why he became the father of the faithful—spiritual Israel. He had the Father’s perspective—the Father’s view—the whole God Family picture. We must also learn to see the key of David vision as Abraham did. We must strive to develop the same royal faith that Abraham had. It is possible for us to do so.
Jesus Christ’s message to His Church right now is that He is coming quickly and is carrying a reward for all those who have remained faithful. “… I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name” (Revelation 3:12). Christ is writing the name of new Jerusalem in the minds of all Philadelphians today. That is an incredibly far-reaching vision!
At the beginning of the Millennium, we will still be looking forward to new Jerusalem. We must get the new Jerusalem perspective now so we can be ready to teach it in the World Tomorrow. We must have the complete God Family picture in our minds—now!
What really separates the Philadelphians and Laodiceans today? It is this vision of the completion of God’s Family. The faithful Philadelphians hear what the Spirit is saying to them (verse 22). They grasp the vision about the royal Family of God. Because of this fact, God adorns them with the name of new Jerusalem. That is because today they envision this majestic, eternal city! It is a part of their daily thinking. However, the Laodiceans are blind to this incredible God Family vision.
David ruled from Jerusalem. Christ will rule from there in the World Tomorrow. The Father will rule from new Jerusalem.
Philadelphians see as Abraham did. They hold fast to the Family vision. In that sense, they also share the Father’s perspective—seeing all the way to new Jerusalem. It is an incredible, incredible vision. They can see all the way to the time when the Father is here on Earth and His entire spirit-born Family is working with Him. God’s family plan will not be complete until the Father is on the Earth. And this entire vision is explained by the key of David. None of us can get this vision into our head without a lot of spiritual digging.
A Better Resurrection
What does it mean to have the name new Jerusalem written upon our foreheads? It must mean that we will be right there in new Jerusalem with God the Father! What a mind-stirring, magnificent future.
Christ saw all the way to new Jerusalem and beyond. He was able to endure all that He suffered to open the way for us to make it there. Paul wrote in Hebrews, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). Abraham, like Christ, saw far into the future and was willing to do whatever it took to make it there. Grasping this vision now unites us with Christ and Abraham and all faithful people who have come before us. It is this key of David vision that motivates God’s people to always move forward.
Study Hebrews 11, known as the faith chapter. Paul shows us here that some of God’s people were tested to the point of death. But the threat of death didn’t stop them, because they also had this vision. Before Christ returns, some of us may also have to give up our physical lives. This shows the importance of the key of David vision. There is a direct connection between how well we endure trials and the depth of our understanding of this vision. This is what Hebrews 11 is all about.
How do we make our place secure in new Jerusalem? It is by grasping this vision now. In Revelation 3:12 Christ promises that we will “go no more out.” This represents a fantastic blessing and opportunity. All Philadelphians are promised a secure headquarters position that cannot be taken away from us. But is this position for the Millennium only? No. When Christ says we will “go no more out,” this is within the context of new Jerusalem! We are destined to work at headquarters with Christ during the Millennium and with Christ and God the Father in new Jerusalem. Astounding revelation!
No city even remotely compares to the grandeur of new Jerusalem.
This magnificent city will be over 1,500 miles in width, length and height (Revelation 21—a furlong is one eighth of a mile). If placed in the U.S., that city would extend from the East Coast to the center of the country! It would cover nearly half of America! And imagine the height. Planes only fly about 5 or 6 miles high. Just the foundation of new Jerusalem could be that high!
Does it seem unreal? Remember, this will be headquarters of the universe! And to Abraham, this city had “sure foundations.”
How does your faith compare with Abraham’s? Or Christ’s?
The only way we will grasp this vision is through the use of God’s Holy Spirit. After the letter to each era, Christ says, “[L]et him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22). He makes this statement over and over for good reason. Most of God’s people don’t hear what the Spirit says. Are we listening to what the Spirit says today? How could we possibly get this vision without God’s Spirit?
To allow ourselves to become carnal and reject this vision is such a shameful sin. To fail to grasp the key of David vision in all of its significance and beauty is truly a tragedy.
The Philadelphian Work
Can we begin to see the importance of the work of the Philadelphia Church of God? Someone must deliver a strong message to the Laodiceans about what they are throwing away. They are giving up their royal positions in the Family of God! Look at how Christ feels about what they are doing. “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent” (Revelation 3:19). Jesus Christ says the Laodiceans need rebuking and chastening. Christ always rebukes in love. But if there is no response to the rebuke, He must resort to difficult chastening.
The Philadelphia Church is often criticized for promoting an “attack gospel.” In truth, Jesus Christ is using us to knock on the Laodiceans’ doors. He is working through us to help them see God’s family government vision. They all have lost the key of David vision.
Who does the rebuking? God doesn’t personally do it. It has to be done by His spiritual Jews who remain Philadelphian to the end.
God is using the Philadelphians to “rebuke” the Laodiceans. If they don’t heed the message, God will “chasten” them in the Great Tribulation. This is all done in the context of God’s love (verse 19). We do not attack others, but we do attack sin in the context of God’s love!
All of the Laodicean groups fail to see their wretched spiritual condition. Christ is on the outside of their churches. He is knocking to get in. He is not inside their churches directing them and guiding them as they suppose and teach.
Christ in Us
Revelation 3:20 shows that Christ must not only be in our Church, He must live in all of us individually as well. The Laodiceans don’t have the key of David vision within their churches, and their individual members don’t grasp this vision. The vision is not in them. It must be in us. It must motivate our every act. If we see what Christ and God the Father see, then Christ and God the Father are in us. The Laodiceans do not see as Christ sees. All of them have rejected the government of God. How can they ever help establish the throne of David if they reject its government now?
The Laodiceans have allowed themselves to become trapped in an attitude of spiritual arrogance. In this wretched spiritual condition, they have rejected revelation. “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes” (Matthew 11:25). Jesus Christ revealed marvelous truths about the key of David vision through Mr. Armstrong. And Christ is adding new revelation through the Philadelphia Church. God has always revealed truth to people who are babes in attitude.
Whether we live or die spiritually revolves around God’s revelation. God’s truth is revealed. If we are stubborn, self-willed or rebellious, God will cut us off from His revelation. We will never understand the meaning behind David’s throne unless we are in a humble, childlike frame of mind.
We must believe that there would be abundant and spectacular revelation in the time just before Christ returns!
Thayer’s Lexicon defines the word revealed in Matthew 11:25 as “God revealing to men things unknown. To uncover … what has been veiled or covered up. Disclose what before was unknown. Of Christ teaching men.” The key of David vision represents some of the most incredible revelation from the mind of God! Yet to whom is God giving that revelation? To babes. When will men learn this vital lesson? We must be childlike to have God speak to us through new revelation (Matthew 18:1‑3). When we remain childlike, Christ will continue to reveal to us. When we become stubborn, self-willed or rebellious spiritually, the revelation stops.
Never, never, never will we be able to understand the deep vision of David’s throne unless we are childlike in attitude! Remember, the key of David vision is the Father’s vision. As God’s begotten sons, let’s do all we can to grasp this royal vision of splendor. When we do, we will ensure our place in new Jerusalem and will be a part of God’s completed Family.
I watched the birth of my two children. It was an emotionally overwhelming experience! I also watched the last six hours of the labor and agony of my daughter giving birth to my first grandson.
When her baby was born, she was very tired and drained from the labor. Then they showed her the baby. The glow on her face lit up the whole room! “Oh, I have a baby boy!” she joyfully exclaimed. Her pain and agony quickly faded when she saw her beautiful son—made in the likeness of God.
Imagine how the faces of the Father and Christ will glow when we are born into God’s Family! Our faces will also glow.
There is a giant lesson in the physical birth. We experience trials and tests—or labor pains—as God prepares us to be born into His Family. We struggle and shed tears as a mother does to give birth—especially with the firstborn child. The firstfruits have a harder struggle to be born than the other children. But we are also given a much greater reward! So it’s worth it. We must keep our minds on what it means to be truly born again. Suddenly, we will become vibrant spirit beings whose faces will shine like the sun in its full strength! All we need to do is envision our birth to know the struggle is worthwhile.
When you see a child born, you can better understand what it means to be born again. You finally see the head crowning, and then suddenly there is a child before you. It’s a living, breathing human being. That’s about the way it will happen spiritually! It’s going to be a magnificent event!
Our spiritual Father is going to shed some tears when He sees our birth—just as my son-in-law did when his son was born. Life is so precious if we view it in the context of the God Family. These babies are precious beyond words to describe. Words are inadequate to explain our incredible human potential. That is why the mainstream conception of born again is so diabolical. It hides from most people the truly awesome meaning of being born again.
The Royal Gospel
David was a king who sat on a throne. The key of David vision is the gospel put into a royal Family of God framework. The very elect, men and women like David, become royal God—as God is God! It is God’s ultimate, most majestic creation.
There is the supreme, royal Father, who is the Head of the royal Family. Then there is the royal Son of the Highest—the Father’s beloved Son. He is Christ, the royal Husband of the royal Bride—the firstfruits. They are not only kings and priests, but kings and priests who are God!
This royal government shall sit on a royal throne and administer God’s royal law. Billions of royal children shall be brought into God’s royal Family.
This is royalty unknown to the mind of man apart from God. These kings and priests are called today to have the most exalted crowns in God’s Family.
Not even the angels were offered these positions of royalty. It will be the supreme royalty of the universe forever!
God creates sovereign Gods out of clay!
Even today, I can address God’s very elect as “Your Royal Majesties, Sons of God,” because they are God in embryo.
Let’s seize this most godly, royal moment!