Sardis Era Leaders on Anglo/British Israelism

Rebuilt Gymnasium in Sardis


Mainly in the early 20th century, a portion of the Sardis era of the Church of God held to doctrines sometimes called British Israelism or Anglo-Israelism.  Sardis-era related Church of God leaders such as G.G. Rupert, R.K. Walker, Frank Walker, and J.W. Rich had “Anglo-Israel” (also known as “British-Israelism”) beliefs and teachings in the 20th century:

In 1920, R.K. Walker moved to Finley, Oklahoma, and soon met Elder M.W. Unzicker at Sardis, Oklahoma. This was the first Church of God man he had met. At the behest of Walker, Unzicker held meetings at Finley, and baptized Frank Walker to be a Church of God evangelist for the Oklahoma Conference, and Walker began his first meeting for the Church of God on May 19, 1923. Frank Walker began preaching at Crowder, Oklahoma in 1924. In 1987, Elder Frank Walker was independent and still publishing a paper, Hope of Israel, from St. Maries, Idaho.

It is interesting that the Walkers, Rupert and Rich held to “Anglo-Israel” beliefs. So did an Elder Ziegler, who put out a paper, The Torch of Israel, published in Washington, D.C. Ziegler tried unsuccessfully to work with Eyler.

G.G. Rupert established his own paper, the Remnant of Israel, published in Britton, Oklahoma, beginning in 1915. Rupert, a former Seventh Day Adventist minister, taught and practiced the keeping of all the annual sabbaths, or holy days. He also had a form of “British Israelism”…Rupert’s article on the holy days was printed in the Bible Advocates of 1913, and two of Rupert’s most popular books were the Yellow Peril and Inspired History of the Nations. (Nickels R.C. History of the Seventh Day Church of God. Giving & Sharing, Neck City (MO), 1988, p.76).

In December, 1919, Merritt Dickinson of Longdale, Oklahoma wrote a series of articles in the Advocate…Dickinson stated in the article that England is Ephraim and America is Manasseh, and presumably the rest of the Ten Lost Tribes are in northwestern Europe. (Ibid, p. 142)

Although the Bible Advocate was an official publication of the main Sardis group at the time, the Bible Advocate allowed teachings back then (and still somewhat does to this day) that the Church of God, Seventh Day did not actually accept.

And while versions of this Anglo-Israel view are still held by groups such as the Living Church of God, the main CG7 group, never would teach it.  But that does not mean that all the old leadership disagreed with it.    Notice what A.N. Dugger, a major CG7, wrote back in 1920:

Dear Brother Armstrong:

I…have just finished the manuscript on the Third Angel’s Message and British Israel…You are surely right…I cannot use it…May the Lord bless you…

(A photocopy of the signed letter from A.N. Dugger, dated July 28, 1929 in Autobiography, 1973 edition, p.372–note that this letter was removed from the 1986 ed. that was produced after his death).

So, while various leaders associated with the Sardis-era understood some of the truth on “British-Israelism,”  this was not a doctrine that the main body of Sardis at the time would publicly teach.  A.N. Dugger also admitted the truth of the Anglo-Israelism doctrine to Merritt Dickinson in 1912, but A.N. Dugger would not teach it (Nickels, p. 143).  Herbert W. Armstrong (the one the above letter was addressed to) considered that CG7 was the group in Revelation 3:1-10, the representatives of the Sardis era of the Church of God.

Now, as we appear to be in the time that Jesus referred to as the “beginning of sorrows” and so near the start of the Great Tribulation, understanding the truth about the identity of the Anglo-descended nations is critical to appreciate various aspects of end time prophecy.

For more information about CG7, Anglo-Israelism, and other subjects in this post, please prayerfully study the following:

Church of God, Seventh Day: History and Teachings Nearly all COG’s I am aware of trace their history through this group. Whaid Rose is the president of the largest CG7 group (Denver). Do you know much about them?
The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1600 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D. Discusses early history of the Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and COG-7th Day.
Who Was Herbert W. Armstrong? How is He Viewed Today? Includes quotes from the 1973 edition of The Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong and explains who he was and how he should be viewed today.
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now basically the Living Church of God.
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first?
Will the Anglo-Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people?
Canada in Prophecy: What Does Bible Prophecy, Catholic Prophecy, and other Predictions Suggest About the Future of Canada? There are prophecies that suggest involvement with Canada. And many are not positive about its future.
Who is the King of the West? Why is there no End-Time King of the West in Bible Prophecy? Is the United States the King of the West?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2012, 2013, or 2014? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000?
Unity: Which COG for You? Why so many groups? Why is there lack of unity in the Churches of God? Has it always been this way? What can/should be done about it?
There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God? This is an article for those who wish to more easily sort out the different COGs. It really should be a MUST READ for current and former WCG/GCI members or any interested in supporting the faithful church. It also explains a lot of what the COGs are all about.

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