All of this is nonsense of course, but Armstrong confidently taught it - whipping up a fear of the End Times - and many of his followers still continue in that delusion. It might have been a crowd pleaser in the wake of two world wars, but times have changed. Most COGs now relegate the German connection to the deeper waters of prophecy, still trotting out the proof texts when required, but preferring not to talk about it too openly. Not so the Modesto-based Church of God EIM and its leading spokesman Steven LeBlanc.
LeBlanc has swallowed the BI myth hook, line and sinker and regurgitated the anti-German claims in a booklet called Germany & Prophecy.
Over more than fifty pages LeBlanc pounds home his message. We have been very, very naughty. God is very, very angry. God (who obviously lacks much imagination in choosing such a brutal strategy) is going to send the nasty Germans to punish us. You have been warned.
BI believers loudly proclaim that their pet doctrine isn't racist, oh my goodness no. Reading through LeBlanc's booklet you might think otherwise. The racism here isn't however based on colour, it's based on a wretched misrepresentation of national origins.
The Biblical genealogy shows the ancestor of the great majority of Germans and Austrians (modern-day descendants of the Assyrians) is Asshur, the grandson of Noah through Shem (Genesis 10:22). The Assyrian Empire developed from the city-state of Assur (named for Asshur, a son of Shem – one of Noah’s three sons – see Genesis 10:1, 22). Asshur was a brother of Arphaxad, an ancestor of Abraham, who was the father of the Hebrews (Genesis 11:10–26). Most of the ancient Assyrians eventually moved westward from the Bible lands into Europe. (p.44)
The Bible states that God will use the end-time German-led Beast power as a “rod” to punish the United States, Britain, and much of northwestern Europe.I'm glad he left New Zealand and Australia out of it. Mind you, I think that was probably just an oversight.
Anciently, God used Assyria as “the rod of (His) anger” to conquer and deport the rebellious house of Israel in 721 B.C (II Kings 17:6). Later, God used Babylon as His tool to conquer the sinful house of Judah and to take them captive (Jeremiah 20:4). These punishments serve as types of the end-time punishments that will fall upon the United States and Britain. Notice the prophecy in Hosea 11:5: “…But the Assyrian shall be his king because they refused to repent.” Hosea 9:3 reveals that Britain will actually be conquered by Germany and taken into captivity before Christ returns. (p.52)I'm not sure exactly where those multiple millions of captive people would be taken to. Germany has enough logistical difficulty just taking in refugees from Syria at the moment. But why let that spoil LeBlanc's turgid fantasy?
Yet BI is still a doctrinal distinctive in most of the COGs, firmly attached to a colourful but totally wrong-headed reading of prophecy. Can you think of one such group (exempting GCI and CoG7) which isn't still invested in this nightmare eschatology?
The problem for LeBlanc - along with every other COG that holds to the Beast Power German invasion scenario - is that it's just not credible. Not on any level, genetic, biblical, historical or realpolitik. More than that, it's laughable.
It's a ticket to oblivion.