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Consider these seemingly paradoxical facts:
God says he is not a respecter of persons. Is he, then, a respecter of nations? Does he have a favorite?
Did you ever realize that God denied his chosen people salvation--save only their prophets? That the chosen nation was given only material and national promises--that God's Holy Spirit was inaccessible to them?
Did it ever occur to you that the Holy Bible is the book of and concerning only that one people Israel? And that other nations are mentioned only if and as they came into contact with Israel?
And here's another shocker!--almost totally unrealized today by Christianity--even by Judaism and not recorded or understood by historians! The northern kingdom of Israel was not Jewish! The first place in the Bible where the word Jews occurs is in II Kings chapter 16 and verse 6, where the nation Israel was at war, in an alliance with Syria, against the Jews!
The truly amazing truth about Israel is a mystery totally unknown by any religion--by Christianity--by even Judaism!
It is indeed true that the nation Israel was God's chosen people. But understand: They were not chosen as "teacher's pet" nor for special favors. They were chosen for a special PURPOSE preparatory to the ultimate establishment of the kingdom of God!
It is an intriguing story! The answer to this chapter title, "Mystery of Israel," has great significance in God's PURPOSE for all peoples! One cannot understand the real purpose and incredible potential of man without this vital knowledge.
Seven generations after the Flood, the Eternal found a man who would obey him. His name was Abram. He lived in Haran, in Mesopotamia. This man was to become a type of God the Father. It was from him that the nation Israel descended. Through this nation God raised up his prophets, and in due time God's own Son, Jesus Christ.
To this man, Abram, God commanded: "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: and I will make of thee a great nation" (Gen. 12:1-2).Here again we see the principle of duality. Abram was in the very center of this world's developing civilization. Remember, it was a world held captive--a world developing on Satan's pattern. God had chosen Abram to become the patriarch of his nation Israel, the congregation or church of the Old Testament. The principle of duality is interwoven all through the workings of God in fulfilling this great purpose through humanity on earth. There was the physical congregation of Israel under tho Old Testament and the spiritual Church of God under the New Testament. The word church as originally written in the Greek of the New Testament was ekklesia, which means called-out-ones.
Here was a command, which was a condition and a PROMISE, provided the condition of obedience was met.
And so now, as God had started the whole world with one man, he started his own peculiar nation in the world from one single man--Abraham. As the world, which has strayed far from God and the blessings of God's worship and rule, was started with one man who rebelled against God and rejected his rule, so God's own flesh-born nation, from which is to be reborn the kingdom of God, was started with one man who obeyed God without question, and accepted his divine rule.
Did Abram stop to argue and reason? Did he say: "Let's reason this out a bit first; here I am in Babylon, in the very center of all this world's commerce, society and gaiety. Why can't you just as well give me this promise right here, where everything is pleasant and alluring? Why must I leave all this and go over to that uncivilized land?"
Did Abram quibble, resist, argue, rebel? He certainly did not!
The inspired Scripture account states simply: "So Abram departed." There was no arguing with God. There was no human reasoning that God was all wrong. There were no foolish questions: "Why must I leave here?" "Can't I do as I please?" There was no stopping to say, "Well, here's the way I look at it."
"Abram departed." Just plain, unquestioned obedience!
As Israel of the Old Testament was the physical forerunner and type of the Church of the New Testament so God now called out the progenitor of the nation Israel from Satan's world. Abraham later regarded himself as a stranger, a sojourner and a pilgrim in the earth. This was not his world:
"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country [a different civilization]. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city" (Heb. 11:13-16).Seeking a better country, a heavenly country, which will be the kingdom of God filling the earth.
And God established this man [Abram], whose name he later changed to Abraham, as the father of his nation, Israel! To Abraham and his descendants were all the promises of God made. And we must become like Abraham, and through Christ, one of his children, if we are to inherit the promise of eternal life in God's kingdom.After 430 years, God raised up his nation Israel--descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, whose name God changed to Israel.
Of his peculiar flesh-born nation, Israel, the Eternal said: "This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise" (Isa. 43:21). That prophecy shall yet--and soon--be fulfilled!
Dual Promises to AbrahamFew have realized it, but a duality runs all the way through the plan of God in working out his purpose here below.
There was the first Adam, material and carnal; and there is Christ, the second Adam, spiritual and divine. There was the Old Covenant, purely material and temporal; and there is the New Covenant, spiritual and eternal. God made man mortal, physical, of the dust of the ground and of the human kingdom; but through Christ he may be begotten of God to become immortal, spiritual and of the kingdom of God.
And in like manner there were two phases to the promised God made to Abraham--the one purely material and national; the other spiritual and individual. The spiritual promise of the Messiah, and of salvation through him, is well known by the most superficial Bible students. They know that God gave the spiritual promise to Abraham of Christ to be born as Abraham's descendant-- and that salvation comes to us through Christ. But--and this will sound unbelievable, yet it is true--almost no one knows what that salvation is; what are the promises of salvation we may receive through Christ; how we may receive them, or when--incredible though that sounds! But that truth belongs in another chapter.
What is essential to the theme of this chapter is the fact that God also made another entirely different, most amazing national and material promise to Abraham which has been almost entirely overlooked.
Notice now again how God first called Abram, and the twofold nature of his promises: "Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: and I will make of thee A GREAT NATION....and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" (Gen 12:1-3).
Notice the twofold promise 1) "I will make of thee A GREAT NATION"--the national, material promise that his flesh-born children should become a great nation--a promise of RACE; 2) "...and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed"--the spiritual promise of GRACE. This same promise is repeated in Genesis 22:18: "And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." This particular "one seed" refers to Christ, as plainly affirmed in Galatians 3:8, 16.
Right here is where those who profess to be "Christians"--and their teachers--have fallen into error and scriptural blindness. They have failed to notice the twofold promise God made to Abraham. They recognize the messianic promise of spiritual salvation through the "one seed"--Christ. They sing the hymn Standing on the Promises--falsely supposing the promises to be going to heaven at death.
This is a pivotal point. This is the point where professing "Christians" and their teachers jump the track of truth. This is the point where they switch off the track that would lead them to the missing master key to the prophecies. They miss the fact that God gave Abraham promises of physical RACE as well as spiritual GRACE.
But the plain fact that the "great nation" promise refers alone to race--not the "one seed" of Galatians 3:16, who was Jesus Christ the son of Abraham and the Son of God, but to the plural, multiple seed of natural fleshly birth--is made certain by God's repetition of his promise in greater detail later.
Israel to Become Many NationsNotice carefully! Understand these promises!
"And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly....thou shalt be a father of MANY NATIONS. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of MANY NATIONS have I made thee" (Gen. 17:1-5).
Notice, the promise is now conditional upon Abraham's obedience and perfect living. Notice, the "great nation" now becomes many nations--more than one nation. This cannot refer to the "one seed," Christ. The following verses prove that.
"And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings [more than one] shall come out of thee" (verse 6). Notice, these nations and kings shall come out of Abraham--physical generation-- multiple seed, in addition to the one descendant through whom scattered individuals may become Abraham's children by spiritual begettal through Christ (Gal. 3:29). The scattered, individual Christians do not form NATIONS. The Church, it is true, is spoken of as "a royal priesthood, an holy nation" (I Pet. 2:9), but Christ's Church is not divided into "many nations." This is speaking of race, not grace.
"And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations..." (Gen. 17:7). The "seed" is plural--"in their generations." "And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan [Palestine], for an everlasting possession; and I will be THEIR God" (verse 8).
Notice, the land--material possession--is promised to the plural seed, of whom he is "their," not "his," God. The plural pronoun "their" is used again in verse 9: "and thy seed after thee in their generations."
But now examine this PROMISE carefully!
The future of great nations rests on the promises the eternal Creator made to Abraham. The only hope of life after death for anyone--regardless of race, color or creed--is dependent on the spiritual phase of these promises to Abraham--the promise of grace through the "one seed"--Christ the Messiah!
How Much Land--What Size Nations?These are not casual, incidental, unimportant promises. These are basic--the foundation for the establishment of the greatest world powers: the basis for any personal salvation spiritually; for any hope of eternal life for humans. These are stupendous promises. The future of mankind is based, by the Creator God, on them.
Jesus Christ came "to confirm the promises made unto the fathers" (Rom. 15:8)--Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. These same promises were repromised to Isaac, Abraham's son, and to Jacob, the son of Isaac.
To lead these people out of Egyptian slavery and to the Promised Land, God called Moses. Moses was not seeking God. But God had caused Moses to be trained specifically for this commission by having him reared as a prince in the palace of the Egyptian pharaoh. So now again, after Moses had been specially trained for leadership, God called him out of the world to lead the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob out of Egyptian slavery.
One point to notice here. The probability is that these people were all--or nearly all--of the white racial strain, unchanged since creation.
After Jacob and his sons and families had come into Egypt at Joseph's behest, they were kept in the locale of Goshen-- geographically separated from the Egyptians, marrying among themselves.
In this connection, go back momentarily to Abraham. He prevented his son Isaac from intermarrying among the dark Canaanites then in the land. He sent his chief servant to his own family and racial people to find a wife for Isaac. Abraham said, "...thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell" (Gen. 24:3).
The next generation, Jacob married Leah and Rachel, daughters of Laban, nephew of Abraham, who lived in the land of Haran, brother of Abraham. The whole community of Haran, where Laban lived, was of the same family ancestry as Abraham.
Jacob had six sons by Leah, two from Rachel--all of the same original racial stock, and two each from the maids of Rachel and Leah--12 in all. Even the maids of Leah and Rachel undoubtedly were of pure Hebrew stock. These 12 became the progenitors of the 12 tribes of the nation Israel.
But God specially prepared from birth and called Moses, with Aaron his brother to assist as his spokesman. (Moses stuttered.)
In the plagues God caused against Egypt, God was turning the Egyptian gods and objects of worship against them to show them that these were not gods. Even the plagues were sent in LOVE for the Egyptians.
The final plague followed the sacrifice of the Passover on the 14th day of the first month of God's sacred calendar--starting in the spring. The Israelites went out of Egypt during the night part of the 15th. They reached the Red Sea. But pharaoh had meanwhile changed his mind and, with his army, pursued them.
The children of Israel had reached the Red Sea, and they were stopped as if dead. There was no bridge. It was too far to swim, with their women and children. Behind them the pharaoh's army was in hot pursuit. There was nothing they could do. They were stopped- -HELPLESS! At that point they had to rely on GOD!
In Egypt God had caused their release from slavery by a series of supernatural plagues. Now God caused the waters of the Red Sea to roll back to form a watery WALL on either side, with a wide path on the dry sea floor between.
The Israelites walked on through. On the opposite side they looked back and saw the Egyptians entering the seafloor path. When the Egyptians were all within the seawall passage, God allowed the waters to flow back, drowning the Egyptian army.
God did not make them his nation, under his theocratic rule, without their consent.
Through Moses, God put to them his proposition. If they would obey his laws of HIS GOVERNMENT, he would prosper them, and make them the wealthiest and most powerful of nations. Yet God's birthright PROMISES were of a national and material nature--no spiritual salvation.
The people agreed. Thus they became God's chosen nation. BUT WHY?
This we know: God's purpose for them had a definite relation to preparing for the ultimate KINGDOM OF GOD--when the GOVERNMENT OF GOD would be reestablished over all the earth, and spiritual salvation would be offered to ALL!
Undoubtedly, one reason was to preserve the original physical racial strain. But there was much more.
Nations had developed knowledge. Mankind was limited, after Adam's rebellion, to the acquisition of physical and material knowledge.
But, like educated men and scientists today, they were saying, "Give us sufficient knowledge, and we will solve all problems and eradicate all evils--we will create utopia!"
Up to that time, mankind had been denied spiritual knowledge and fulfillment from God. God now decided to give them knowledge of his law--his kind of government--his way of life! He was going to prove to the world that without his Holy Spirit their minds were incapable of receiving and utilizing such knowledge of the TRUE WAYS OF LIFE. He was going to demonstrate to them that the mind of MAN, with its one spirit, and without the addition of God's Holy Spirit, could not have spiritual discernment--could not solve human problems, could not cure the evils that were besetting humanity. The nation Israel would be his guinea pig to demonstrate that fact. God had chosen a nation of almost perfect original strain in its generations--its ancestry. Also they had the quality heredity of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel).
So God entered into a covenant with them, making them HIS NATION. It also represented a MARRIAGE covenant, with Israel the wife, promising obedience to her husband--GOD. It was the physical type of the yet-to-come spiritual NEW COVENANT. And what did it prove?
Heredity--if of good and high quality--may start one off at an advantage. An inspiring environment, uplifting influences and right self-motivation may further improvement. Such environment may turn one of inferior heredity into a real success in life.
But a discouraging environment, evil influences and misguided self-motivation may turn one of excellent heredity into failure and an evil nature.
God started his chosen nation off--even though brought out of slavery--with all the natural advantages of a superior heredity. God pulled them out of slavery and gave them a new and fresh start. One might say they had everything God-given going for them.
But now WHY? Why did God so prepare and raise up this nation Israel?
Consider WHY God created mankind in the first place! GOD IS REPRODUCING HIMSELF THROUGH MAN! He is creating in MAN God's own perfect holy and righteous spiritual CHARACTER! And that, in turn, is purposed to restore the GOVERNMENT OF GOD over all the earth. And, further, to create BILLIONS OF GOD BEINGS TO FINISH THE CREATION OF THE VAST UNFINISHED UNIVERSE! And, beyond that?
Ah! God has not as yet revealed what he purposes beyond that! Everything God has done, since the creation of the first humans, has been another progressive step in God's overall supreme PURPOSE!
The kingdom of God is the actual begotten and born FAMILY OF GOD, which will first actually appear by a resurrection and instantaneous translation at Christ's Second Coming! And by begotten and BORN sons of God, emphatically I do NOT mean those deceived into the current "BORN-AGAIN" teaching--that anyone who "professes to receive Christ" is already, in this present human life, "born again." THAT IS A PARAMOUNT DECEPTION by which Satan the devil has DECEIVED those (the many in a so-called "Christianity") who have "accepted" a false conversion. They may be well meaning--but nevertheless DECEIVED! And of course a deceived person does not know he is deceived--he may be wholly sincere!
But now THINK! HOW does the Old Testament nation Israel play a part in progressively preparing for the KINGDOM OF GOD?
Of the nation ISRAEL, Moses, whom God raised up as their leader and lawgiver (though God the Father is the original real Lawgiver) in all probability will be under the Abraham-Isaac-Jacob team, but head over the national governments of the world during the coming millennium. And probably Joshua, who succeeded Moses, will be Moses' assistant in that office of worldwide national governments.
What of the nation Israel as a whole?
They, despite their favorable heredity, failed utterly to qualify. When God put the proposal of their formation as his nation before them, they replied, "All that the Lord hath spoken we will do" (Ex. 19:8). But they utterly broke their word and rebelled.
They were in a "husband-and-wife" relation with the Lord God. But the Lord said later of them: "Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the Lord" (Jer. 3:20).
The nation Israel under Moses was ONE RACE--very little interracial marriage had marred their racial nationality.
The Promised Land was then called Canaan. Canaanites, racially dark, had settled in the land. But God had given this land to the racial descendants of Abraham BY PROMISE! It did not belong to the Canaanites or other races settled there.
When God moved his two million-plus Israelites in there, he commanded them through Moses:
"When ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan; then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images...and ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it....But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell" (Num. 33:51-53, 55).
For them to intermarry with other races would result in two things: It would interbreed them into other races, and mix them into other idolatrous religions!
The Israelites DID NOT OBEY GOD!
Much later, after the captivities of both Israel and Judah, God sent a colony of Jews from the Judahite slave population in Babylon back to Jerusalem under Zerubbabel as governor of the colony, to build the second Temple.
Among this colony were the prophets Ezra and Nehemiah. Against God's command, the people of the colony began to intermarry with Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites and other races, "so that the holy seed [racially pure, for they had not the Holy Spirit] have mingled themselves with the people of those lands..." (Ezra 9:2).
The prophet Ezra was ANGRY! He stood up before the congregation and said: "Ye have transgressed, and have taken strange wives, to increase the trespass of Israel. Now therefore...separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange wives" (Ezra 10:10-11).
Jesus Christ was born of the tribe of Judah, and it was necessary that HE be of the original pure racial strain, even as Noah was.
BUT--nevertheless, the Old Covenant with Israel at Sinai was a type and forerunner of the NEW COVENANT. It will be made with the New Testament CHURCH, which is the spiritual Israel and Judah (Jer. 31:31; Heb. 8:6, 10).
Meanwhile, an individual few in Old Testament Israel did obey God and by becoming God's prophets, they became part of the very foundation of the New Testament CHURCH OF GOD. The Church is built on the solid FOUNDATION of the prophets (Old Testament) and apostles (New Testament), Jesus Christ himself being "the chief corner stone" (Eph. 2:20).
Among them, Elijah probably will be head, under Christ and Abraham-Isaac-Israel, over the Church, worldwide. John the Baptist may be under Elijah. There are indications that the prophet Daniel will be head over all gentile nations, and under Moses and Christ.
I have already mentioned how the intellectuals and scholarly of this world feel that, given sufficient KNOWLEDGE, human carnal MAN could solve all problems.
God let many generations of ancient Israel and Judah PROVE by hundreds of years of human experience, that the best of humanity, without God's Holy Spirit CANNOT SOLVE HUMAN PROBLEMS AND EVILS!
I have spoken, during the past 20 years, to many heads of governments over Europe, Asia, Africa, South America. In China, I believe the Communist heads of government believe that communism, once it gains control of the earth, will solve all problems and evils. But many kings, emperors, presidents and prime ministers I have conferred privately with now realize the problems are beyond human ability to solve. And this I said plainly to many leaders of the People's Republic of China.
The problems and evils are of a spiritual nature. And a carnal mind without God's Spirit cannot come to grips with spiritual problems.
The many decades and centuries of ancient Israel PROVED THAT! Until Israel, God withheld knowledge of the right ways of human living from mankind. To Israel God gave his statutes and judgments, as well as his spiritual law. But these perfect laws did not, without God's Holy Spirit, solve the nation's problems!
God could say: "I am GOD. Take my word for it." But God gave PROOF, through Israel, that WITHOUT the Holy Spirit, MAN IS HELPLESS! They even had GOD to appeal to. But they did not have his Spirit within them.
Let this point be emphasized. When the first man, Adam, rejected the tree of life, and took to himself the knowledge of good and evil, he limited his power and ability to do good to the level of his human spirit. There is good as well as evil in human nature. Good is a spiritual attribute, not a physical or material action. Had Adam taken of the tree of life, the Holy Spirit of God would have entered him and joined with his spirit, uniting him with God as a son of God. The Holy Spirit meant more than spiritual knowledge of good. Not the hearers of the law (good) but the doers of the law are justified (Rom. 2:43). Love is the fulfilling of the law, but not human love. It requires the "love OF GOD...shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy [Spirit]" (Rom. 5:5).
God revealed his law to the nation Israel. One of the purposes of this nation was to prove by human experience that man without the Spirit of God within him cannot be righteous.
So, at this point, let us cover a brief synopsis of the actual history of the nation, and of the gentile nations of the world. A most important declaration and promise was given to the people of Israel, as recorded in Leviticus 26. Again I quote from my book The United States and Britain in Prophecy, starting page 110:
That national punishment--the withholding of the birthright promises of national prosperity and dominance, applied only to the House of Israel headed by the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh.
The Pivotal ProphecyIn this central prophecy, God reaffirmed the birthright promise--but with conditions--for those of Moses' day! The birthright tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh were then with the other tribes--as one nation. Obedience to God's laws would bring the vast national wealth and blessings of the birthright not only to Ephraim and Manasseh, but the whole NATION would automatically have shared them at that time.
Notice carefully that two of the Ten Commandments are mentioned for emphasis. These were the main test commandments! They were the test of obedience, and of faith in and loyalty to God. God said: "Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image...to bow down unto it: for I am the Lord your God. Ye shall keep MY sabbaths..." (verses 1-2).
There was a condition--a great big "if"--to their receiving actual fulfillment of this stupendous birthright promise in their time! God said: "If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase..." (verses 3-4). All wealth comes out of the ground. They would enjoy bumper crops the year round, one harvest on the heels of another. Verse 6: "And I will give PEACE in the land...and none shall make you afraid...neither shall the sword [of war] go through your land." What a blessing! What nation enjoys continuous peace, without fear of invasion?
Of course, in this world, every nation has enemies. What if enemy nations attacked? Verses 7-8: "And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight...."
Since many nations in this world always have been aggressors, Israel would have been attacked. A nation with the military superiority to defeat all attackers would soon become the dominant, most powerful nation on earth--especially with resources and great wealth from the ground. Verse 9: "For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you."
The Great Big IfBut here comes the alternative--IF the conditions are not met: "...if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments...I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague [fever], that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart [RSV: waste the eyes and cause life to pine away]: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you..." (verses 14-17). They would be invaded, conquered, become once again slaves--as they had been in Egypt before God freed them.
The Seven Prophetic TimesNow continue in Leviticus 26: "And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins" (verse 18)....
Now when we come to the expression "then I will punish you seven times more for your sins" in Leviticus 26, it is evident both by its manner of wording in the sentence and by the fact of actual fulfillment that it was speaking of a DURATION of seven prophetic "times," or YEARS. And on this "year-for-a-day principle," it becomes seven 360-day years--a total of 2,520 days. And when each day is a year of punishment...the punishment becomes the withdrawing of and withholding the promised blessings for 2,520 years! For that is precisely what did happen!
How these promises were actually fulfilled at the precise time of 1800 to 1804 is one of the most amazing fulfillments of prophecy in the Bible and in the history of mankind. This fulfillment, step by step, is vividly revealed in our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.
This nation Israel promised to obey God. But they never did. Even while Moses was with the Eternal atop Mount Sinai receiving further instructions, the people melted and fashioned a golden calf to worship instead of the Eternal God. Because of their grumbling, their lack of faith and their disobedience, God did not allow them to enter the Promised Land for 40 years.
At the end of the 40 years Moses died. The Israelites were led across the Jordan River into the Promised Land under Joshua. During Joshua's life they obeyed God more or less but not fully. After Joshua died, every man did what seemed right in his own mind. These people through disobedience to God would fall captive to surrounding kings. Then they would cry out to the Eternal and he would send a leader to free them. Again and again this process was repeated.
God gave them what they wanted, King Saul, a tall and towering leader. But Saul disobeyed God and the Eternal replaced him with King David. David personally was not without sin, but each time he repented and turned from each sin. David became "a man after God's own heart." He wrote a most important book in the Bible, the book of Psalms. God made an unconditional and unbreakable covenant with David, assuring that his dynasty, ruling over Israelites, would continue unbroken forever. Finally, in God's due time, that throne will be taken over by Jesus Christ, at his Second Coming to earth.
Thereupon the people decided against the royal house of David. They named as king, Jeroboam, who had occupied the office we would today call prime minister, under King Solomon. Since Rehoboam was seated on the throne in Jerusalem, the people of Israel chose a new capital some distance north of Jerusalem. (Under a later king, Omri, they built a new northern capital at Samaria.)
Thereupon the tribes of Judah and Benjamin decided to remain loyal to Rehoboam. This brought about a secession of the rebellious tribes from Israel, and they became the nation of Judah.
Upon ascending the throne, Jeroboam deposed the Levites from the office of priesthood because he feared they might turn the hearts of the people back to Rehoboam and thereby he would lose his new throne. He also changed the holy festivals of the seventh month to the eighth month. There is strong indication that he also changed the seventh day Sabbath to Sunday, the first day of the week. The Sabbath had been made an everlasting covenant by God between him and Israel, by which they would be identified from all other people (Ex. 31:12-18) as God's nation Israel and by which they would be brought into weekly remembrance that the Eternal was their creator. For in six days God renewed or re-created the earth and creation is the proof of God.
During the time of 19 kings and seven dynasties, the 10-tribed kingdom of Israel continued in sin, rejecting the pleadings of prophets God sent to them. In a siege of war, about 721 to 718 B.C., the House of Israel was conquered by Assyria. They were moved from their homes, farms and villages and transported as a captive people to Assyria on the southern shores of the Caspian Sea.
From there, within a hundred years, they migrated northwest and became known as the Lost Ten Tribes.
The world has never known what became of them. The world in general, mistakenly, has considered that all Israelites were Jews. But in the Bible, the term Jew applied only to the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi. The Levites had joined the kingdom of Judah when they were expelled by Jeroboam.
How they finally, beginning the year A.D. 1800, regained the national dominance and wealth God had unconditionally promised Abraham is recorded in the book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.
Meanwhile, the Jews of the kingdom of Judah were conquered and removed from their land by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon about 585 B.C.
Among the Jewish captives taken to Babylon was a brilliant young man, Daniel, a prophet who wrote the book under his name in the Bible.
God used the prophet Daniel as a go-between between the Eternal and King Nebuchadnezzar.
This great gentile king had organized the world's first empire uniting several nations under one government. God used Daniel to make known to the Babylonian king that the Creator God ruled over the whole earth, and that Nebuchadnezzar held his throne only by God's will. Actually, God was giving this gentile king opportunity to come under God's rule and have the consequent blessings of God.
The prophecy of Daniel chapter 2 pictured a stupendous image, representing Nebuchadnezzar's Chaldean Empire, to be followed by the Persian Empire, and them, in turn, the Greco-Macedonian Empire, the Roman Empire, and the entire system of human governments to be destroyed and replaced by the kingdom of God headed by Christ as King of kings ruling all the earth.
Of course, although Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged the existence of God, he never obeyed.
Meanwhile, God kept hands off of the other peoples of the world.
The Persian Empire succeeded Nebuchadnezzar's Chaldean Empire. Seventy years after the captivity of Judah and destruction of Solomon's Temple God put it in the mind of King Cyrus of Persia to send a colony of captive Jews back to Jerusalem to build a second Temple.
This colony was headed by Zerubbabel as governor. The prophets Ezra and Nehemiah also joined this colony in Jerusalem. Zerubbabel built the second Temple, to which Jesus came some 500 years later. The Romans had come into power before the birth of Jesus. Just prior to the birth of Jesus, King Herod, who ruled over Jews and served the Romans, had remodeled and enlarged the Temple.
This colony of Jews sent back to Jerusalem some 500 years before Christ had expanded over the area of Judea. None of the kingdom of Israel had gone back to Jerusalem in this colony. They had migrated west by northwest and lost their Hebrew language, and even the knowledge of their identity. The world has called them the Lost Ten Tribes. More of them later.
It was during this 500 years that God sent so-called minor prophets to the Jews in Judea. Also it was during this period that the Jewish rabbis altered points in the religion started through Moses into the Judaism religion among Jews in the lifetime of Jesus. The stage was set for his appearing.
Now let us return to the 10-tribed kingdom of Israel. As stated above, they had, before the captivity of Judah, migrated west by northwest. The Assyrians settled in central Europe, and the Germans, undoubtedly, are, in part, the descendants of the ancient Assyrians.
However, the so-called Lost Ten Tribes--the kingdom of Israel- -continued into western Europe and Britain. We cannot be positive in respect to the various tribal identities today, but probably France or at least the northern French are the tribe of Reuben. Ephraim and Manasseh journeyed on into the British Isles. They became a colonizing people, and according to prophecy they were to lose their first colony.
"and Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn. And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, the Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth" (Gen. 48:14-16).Continuing from The United States and Britain in Prophecy:
Let who grow into this promised multitude? Let whose descendants become that numerous seed, which shall number into billions? Not Judah, the father of the Jews-- note it!--but EPHRAIM AND MANASSEH! Why have the eyes and understanding of church leaders and Bible students been blinded to this plain fact of Scripture?
Notice, Israel did not confer this blessing on just one but on both--"Bless the lads," he said. This blessing went upon them jointly. "Let my name be named on them" was part of this blessing. His name was Israel. Hence, it was the descendants of these lads, not the descendants of Judah, or the Jews, who were named Israel. How clear it is that the name ISRAEL was to be indelibly stamped on EPHRAIM and MANASSEH!
A shocking fact--and yet plainly proved, right before your eyes! And remember, this scripture needs no "interpretation" or "special meaning" or "hidden symbolism" for you to understand! Here is the plain, simple statement that Jacob's name, which was changed to Israel, would become the very POSSESSION and property--the label on the peoples of Ephraim and Manasseh!
WHO, then, according to your Bible, is the real Israel (racially and nationally) of today?
Ephraim and Manasseh! Ephraim and Manasseh together received the right to the name ISRAEL. It was to become the national name of their descendants. And their descendants were never Jews! Fix this fact firmly in your mind!
Thus it is that many of the prophecies about "Israel" or "Jacob" do not refer to Jews or to any of the nations that are today the descendants of the other tribes of Israel. Mark that well! Few, indeed, are the clergymen, theologians, or professed Bible scholars who know that today. Many refuse to know it!
Together the descendants of these two lads, Ephraim and Manasseh, were to grow into the promised multitude-- the nation and company of nations. These national blessings are poured upon them jointly. These are the collective blessings which the lads together received-- but not the other tribes
Jacob Crosses HandsBut at this juncture, Joseph noticed that Jacob's right hand was not resting upon the head of the firstborn. He endeavored to remove it.
"Not so, my father," said Joseph, "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 [Manasseh] 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 [or, COMPANY] of nations. And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh" (Gen. 48:18-20). Here the promises are no longer collective, possessed jointly. Jacob now was prophesying as to the blessings of each, individually.
So it now becomes plain and clear that after the 2,520 years, beginning A.D. 1800 it was the descendants of Joseph, subdivided into two nations descended from Ephraim and Manasseh, who were to become the wealthiest and most powerful nations on earth.
In Genesis 48 Jacob first passed the birthright on to the two sons of Joseph jointly, speaking of them both together. Then, finally, he spoke of them separately--Manasseh was to become the single GREAT nation; Ephraim, the COMPANY of nations.
And in his prophecy for these latter days Jacob said, "Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall" (Gen. 49:22). In other words, Joseph-- Ephraim and Manasseh jointly and together--was to be a colonizing people in this latter day, their colonies branching out from the British Isles around the earth.
Together Ephraim and Manasseh grew into a multitude, then separated, according to Jacob's prophetic blessing of Genesis 48. Our people have fulfilled this prophecy.
But how can the U.S.A. be Manasseh when a large part of the population have come from many nations besides England? The answer is this: A large part of Manasseh remained with Ephraim until the separation of NEW England. But our forefathers were to be sifted through many nations, as corn through a sieve, yet not a grain to fall to the earth or be lost (Amos 9:9). The people did filter through many nations. Ephraim and much of Manasseh finally emigrated to England together, but many others of Manasseh who had filtered into and through other nations did not leave them until they came, as immigrants, to the United States AFTER the New England colony had become the separate nation. This does not mean that all foreigners who have emigrated to America are of the stock of Manasseh, but undoubtedly many are. Israel, however, always did absorb gentiles, who became Israelites through living in Israel's land and intermarrying.
The U.S. has become known as the "melting pot" of the world. Instead of refuting a Manasseh ancestry, this fact actually confirms it. The proof that the U.S. is Manasseh is overwhelming. Manasseh was to separate from Ephraim and become the greatest, wealthiest single nation of earth's history. America alone has fulfilled this prophecy. Manasseh was in fact a thirteenth tribe. There were twelve original tribes. Joseph was one of these twelve. But when Joseph divided into two tribes and Manasseh separated into an independent nation, it became a thirteenth tribe.
Could it be mere coincidence that it started, as a nation, with thirteen colonies?
But what about the other tribes of the so-called Lost Ten Tribes? While the birthright was Joseph's, and its blessings have come to the British Commonwealth of nations and the United States of America, yet the other eight tribes of Israel were also God's chosen people. They, too, have been blessed with a good measure of material prosperity--but not the dominance of the birthright.
We lack space for a detailed explanation of the specific identity of all of these other tribes in the nations of our twentieth century. Suffice it to say here that there is ample evidence that these other eight tribes have descended into such northwestern European nations as Holland, Belgium, Denmark, northern France, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway. The people of Iceland are also of Viking stock. The political boundaries of Europe, as they exist today, do not necessarily show lines of division between descendants of these original tribes of Israel.
An important additional proof of modern Israel's identity is found in a fantastic, detailed and most specific prophecy found in Micah 5:7-15. It is speaking specifically about the "remnant" of Israel--modern Israel today--wherever it is. It describes the wealth, the beneficent dominance among nations, and then the coming downfall of the American and British Commonwealth peoples in detail!
Notice: "And the remnant of Jacob [not Jews] shall be in the midst of many people [nations] as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men" (verse 7). Remember that dew and showers are absolutely necessary to agricultural productivity and are a symbol of national BLESSING and WEALTH from God.
Continue: "And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver" (verse 8).
Again, this symbolism describes the last generation of Israel as a GREAT POWER--as a lion among the other nations of the earth. "Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off" (verse 9) or defeated. They WERE defeated from the beginning of God's birthright blessing on America and Britain starting about 1803, through the First World War, the Second World War, until the turning point of the Korean War at the end of 1950.
Since that time, however, these blessings are surely being taken away--and neither America nor Britain has come out on top in any major conflict since that time!
So this prophecy shows that at the very time we were receiving God's blessings, we were a tremendous BLESSING to the other nations of the earth--for it is our peoples who have rescued the other nations of the world time and again through the Marshall Plan, the Point Four program, the Alliance for Progress, the hundreds of millions of bushels of wheat for starving nations.
The Hoover Program saved up vast food supplies after World War I. It saved millions in other nations from starvation!
Anciently Joseph saved up the wheat and food and made it available to others. MODERN Joseph did also. BUT--we are stiff- necked and rebellious toward God and his law, while our ancient forefather Joseph served and obeyed God with a whole heart.
It is our peoples who have been like a "lion" among the other nations of the earth--preserving in two great world wars the peace of the world and stability for all human life on this planet!
"And it shall come to pass IN THAT DAY, saith the Lord, that I will cut off thy horses" ["war-horses," Moffatt translation]--tanks, ships, rockets--"out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots: and I will cut off the cities [by hydrogen bombs?] of thy land, and throw down all thy strong holds" (verses 10-11). (Notice, all the strongholds.)God says he will do this! God determines the outcome of wars (Ps. 33:10-19). How plain can you get? Here God identifies the GREAT peoples of the earth who are the most wealthy and beneficent, the most POWERFUL--yet at the very time their power reaches its zenith, he suddenly "breaks" the pride of their power (see Leviticus 26:19), cuts off their implements of war and destroys their cities! Why?
Because, as the prophet continues to explain, we have too much "witchcraft" and too many "soothsayers" (astrology) and false ministers in our lands who refuse to preach with authority the commandments and ways of the living God!
In America, we print on our money "In God We Trust." But instead we rely on foreign allies and our own human ingenuity, not in God.
"Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."After the year 1800 we prospered because of Abraham's obedience and God's unbreakable promises to him. But now having received such individual and national prosperity, we sin by stealing from God. That has brought our nations under a curse. We have won our last war. Nothing but troubles now lie ahead until we repent.
God's tithe is holy to him (Lev. 27:30). God's Sabbath, the seventh day of every week, is holy to him. Yet we have put no difference between the holy and the profane (Ezek. 22:26).
Very early in 1927, when I was in my first biblical studies, leading to my conversion, my wife and I often visited various churches. I was searching for the truth. One Sunday morning we attended a church service at a leading downtown Baptist church in Portland, Oregon. They were announcing the conclusion of a contest at which a very handsome new Bible was awarded to the winner. The contest question had been, "What is the most universal sin?" The winning answer was "Ingratitude."
Assuredly that is a very prevalent sin. Another very prevalent sin, and one of the oldest, is the misuse of sexuality. Indeed, prostitution is often spoken of as "the world's oldest profession."
Satan has seized on this sin to make it far more universal than is generally realized. Satan, himself, has no sex. He is resentful of the fact God has endowed humans with sex. Therefore, Satan sways humanity into making sexual sins one of the most universal and destructive.
During most of the so-called "church age" in Roman Catholic teaching, and in England and the United States since the Victorian age, sex was a virtually forbidden topic of conversation, seldom mentioned. Satan made sure sex was considered as "shameful" and so evil it was not talked about. About the turn of the century, Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis, changed all of that. Up until World War I it was illegal in the U.S. to publish, sell, or even loan a book containing sex knowledge. After World War I the legal barriers on the imparting of sex information toppled. An avalanche of books, pamphlets, newspaper articles descended on the public. Yet in all this the most vitally needed dimension of knowledge was missing.
It provides this missing dimension of knowledge. Beginning the middle of the twentieth century, the catch phrase "the new morality" was completely changing public attitudes. Today sexuality is openly discussed in public media, especially in television, turning promiscuous sex into public acceptance. Today it may be questioned whether as many as 2 percent of young brides go to the altar as virgins. Marriage for much of society is on the way out. In some areas divorces virtually equal marriages. Family life is being broken down though the family is a basic building block of any stable civilization.
More and more, children are not wanted. Abortion is fast gaining public acceptance.
God created sex, not only to keep humanity alive, but to bring delectable, joyfully pleasurable happiness in pure and wholesome love between husband and wife, and as a means of binding tightly together a happily married couple. But under modern attitudes, the cord supposedly tying a husband and wife tightly together is proving to be the cord that cuts the marriage in two.
It's time you knew the truth about the missing dimension in sex. It is set forth frankly, fearlessly, rationally and spiritually, as well as physically, in our book mentioned above.
God condemns homosexuality. He destroyed the whole populations of Sodom and Gomorrah for this sin. It is condemned in the first chapter of Romans, saying no such person can enter the kingdom of God. Then we try to change the ugly, reproachful name homosexual, and call those who practice it "gays." The public media and the public in general are coming to make this perversion acceptable by calling it "sexual preference." We are becoming nations of drunkards and thousands are being killed on our highways by drunken drivers. Yet excessive drinking of alcohol is encouraged through millions of dollars of advertising on TV commercials.
We inflict on ourselves through sin, such diseases as alcoholism, AIDS, herpes and other venereal diseases, and then try to prevent the penalty of those sins by medical and scientific studies to produce cures that will allow the sins to continue.
Now continue the prophecy in Micah 5. Therefore, God will punish and destroy us--unless we repent--just before and leading up to the utter destruction to come "upon the heathen" (verse 15), which will take place at the VERY END of this age and at the second return of Jesus Christ as King of kings!
There is no other people that even remotely fulfills this great prophecy! But the American and British peoples fulfill it precisely!
As the "pride of our power" continues to be BROKEN, as the British gradually lose their foreign sea gates and possessions around the earth, as America signs away ownership of the Panama Canal--control over this vital sea gate--as the gold supply drains away, and weather upsets increase, this focal prophecy alone represents giant PROOF as to where the modern "remnant" of the peoples of Israel resides today!
But they are not the only nations to suffer corrective disaster. God is Creator of all other nations, too! God is concerned about the people and races we have called "heathen." They, too, are human. They, too, are made in God's own likeness, with the potential of being molded into God's spiritual and character IMAGE! God sent the apostle Paul to gentile nations!
All mankind has rebelled against, rejected, and turned from God and his ways! There can never be peace on earth until all nations will have been turned to God and his ways, ruled by his supreme government!
All mankind, right now, is caught in the vortex of the swiftly accelerating crisis marking the utter destruction of this world's man-built, Satan-inspired civilization.
Through Jeremiah God says: "A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the Lord hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh"--how? Right now the World Tomorrow program carries his peaceful pleading worldwide, but the world, except for scattered individuals, does not heed this kind of "pleading." The next words tell HOW God is now about to plead: "...he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the Lord....Behold, EVIL shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth" (Jer. 25:31-32).
God will use a United Europe to punish Britain-America. Then he will use the Communist hordes to wipe out the Roman Europe.
We are entering a time of world trouble--utter WORLD chaos! There is war, strife, violence is Asia, Africa, South America, Central America, Ireland, the Middle East--as well as Europe and North America. The population explosion is a worldwide threat to human existence. Crime, violence, sickness, disease, inequality, poverty, filth, squalor, degeneration, suffering--these infest ALL nations!
But, as salvation is given first to Israel, so is corrective punishment!
"For thus saith the Lord; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's TROUBLE..." (Jer. 30:5-7).Remember--in passing on the birthright to the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh (Gen. 48:16), Jacob said, "Let MY NAME be named on them"--on Ephraim and Manasseh--who today are Britain and America. This tells ON WHOM this most terrible of national calamities is to fall--on Britain and America!
But now when is it to fall? Do not assume this is referring to anything that did happen to ancient Israel. Read right on--see WHEN this prophecy is to be fulfilled!
Continue in Jeremiah 30:7:
"...it is even the time of JACOB'S trouble; but he shall be saved out of it." (After he has learned his lesson IN it!) Continuing from RSV, "And it shall come to pass in that day, says the Lord of hosts, that I will break the YOKE from off their neck [yoke of slavery], and I will burst their bonds, and strangers shall no more make servants of them. But they shall serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them."(David, at the time of the RESURRECTION--at the very time of Christ's COMING!) So the time is just prior to Christ's COMING- coming to liberate our peoples--even as Moses liberated ancient Israel from Egyptian slavery.
The apostles had asked Jesus privately WHEN his Second Coming would occur--and the END of this world and the beginning of the happy world tomorrow. Jesus said the SIGN by which we might know when this is very NEAR would be that his original gospel of the kingdom of God would be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations (Matt. 24:14). But what else--just before his coming?
"For then shall be GREAT TRIBULATION, such as was not since the .beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved [alive]: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened" (Matt. 24:21-22).Here is described the greatest time of TROUBLE--TRIBULATION-- in all history, or ever to be. Jeremiah described it as "Jacob's trouble," so great "that none is like it."
Daniel described the same most severe trouble of all history. Speaking of a time now in our immediate future, Daniel foretold:
"And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince [archangel] which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of TROUBLE, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time" (Dan. 12:1). The same most intense punishment on Britain and America. And WHEN? Continue, same verse, "...and at that time thy people shall be delivered [from this enslaved trouble], every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep [are dead] in the dust of the earth shall awake [RESURRECTION], some to everlasting life..." (verses 1-2).The time is just before the RESURRECTION of the just, at Christ's coming. Christ's Second Coming will end this world's civilization and start the wonderful peaceful, happy world tomorrow.