A Compnay Of Nations
In the book of Genesis, we find the intriguing prophecy that predicts that God will make of Israel "a nation and a company of nations." (Genesis 35:11) Various British-Israelite adherents encompassing what is called Christian Identity or Israel Identity have widely sought to interpret this passage as proof that their version of the so-called "lost tribes" scenario is accurate.
This teaching tells us that the Northern tribes of Israel that were carried off into captivity as a result of the Assyrian war in 756 BC ended up settling in the British Isles and became the British - and subsequently the Americans. In addition to the English branch of Freemasonry, this "British Israelism" was a staple of the doctrines put forth by Herbert W Armstrong and his World Wide Church Of God.
While there is some evidence of at least a partial Israelite presence in Western Europe during Old Testament times, the Scriptures plainly contradict the "lost tribe" scenario. In II Chronicles, decades after the Northern 10 tribes had been dispersed we find good King Hezekiah seeking to re-unite Israel in Jerusalem. The Bible tells us:
"Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, to keep the Passover unto the Lord God of Israel. So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beer-sheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the Passover unto the Lord at Jerusalem...So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah...saying Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you, who are escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria. So the post passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, even unto Zebulun; but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them." (II Chronicles 30:1,5,6, 10)
This priceless passage provides us with several important details concerning this period. First, we see that Hezekiah knew where the Israelites were as he was able to send them letters. Second, if they were in slavery at that time, how would they be able to receive correspondence from their free brethren? Third, the "posts" were only sent to the land of Israel ("from Beer-sheba even to Dan") - precisely where one might expect to find Israelites.
We also see that although the call to repentance was heavily rejected, at least a remnant responded. That remnant of Israel was said to encompass "a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun" (II Chronicles 30:18) in addition to the Levites, Benjamin and Judah who were already at Jerusalem.
While the text implies there were other Israelites that were not present at the great convocation (II Chronicles 30:21), we see that "the Lord hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people." (II Chronicles 30:20)
It is not inconsequential that in the very next chapter after Hezekiah's reforms are completed we see that "Sennacherib, king of Assyria, came, and entered into Judah, and encamped against the fenced cities...." (II Chronicles 32:1) This is a solid indicator that the Assyrians were well aware of the regathering of Israel under the sceptre of Judah (Genesis 49:10) and wanted to decisively suppress any spiritual resurrection of their hated foe. This is a further indication that the leadership of the nation that was once collectively called Israel had shifted from the Northern kingdom to the Southern kingdom based in Jerusalem.
As Assyria came against Hezekiah and Judah, the Lord intervened and crushed the massive Assyrian army (Isaiah 37:36) - thereby paving the way for a further repatriation of Israelites back to their native land. The fact that many chose not to return is seen in the statement relating to the great Passover kept by Josiah - Hezekiah's great grandson - in which the text again seems to imply that not all the children of Israel were present. (II Chronicles 35:17)
Seven hundred years later, Jesus Christ walked the streets of Jerusalem saying He was sent "unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matthew 15:24). When He instructed His disciples not to go to the Gentiles, but to "go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matthew 10:6), there is no indication the twelve sailed up to England! Indeed, Israelites were found throughout Judah as well. For example, in Galilee Jesus sees Nathanael and exclaims "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile!" (John 1:47)
While "Identity" proponents continue to point at evidence of an ancient Israelite presence in various Western nations in order to support their system of Anglo pre-eminence by connecting the prophecy that Israel is to be "a company of nations" with the British political dominance of the 19th and 20th centuries, they usually fail to mention the substantial evidence indicating the Hebrews had already gone around the world during the time of Solomon - several hundred years before the Northern tribes were deported to Assyria. For example, archaeologists have now found paleo-Hebrew inscriptions in Tennessee that go back 3,000 years!
At this point it may be instructive for the reader to recall the peculiar custom of how the American Indian tribes are all called nations.
In North Carolina, native Americans known as Machapunga circumcise their infants and have ceremonial practices eerily similar to Old Testament ritual. Familiar customs which parallel Israelite practices are seen in the Savanna Indians from the banks of the Mississippi. Astonishingly, deep in the middle of the New Mexico desert, an ancient stone inscription of the Ten Commandments has been found - written in an archaic Hebraic script. The truth is, the Israelites appear to have planted their seed all over the world - and centuries before the Assyrian deportation at that.
Writer William Dankenbring has demonstrated that the Yuchi Indians of Oklahoma keep a festival which is clearly derived from the Israelite Feast of Tabernacles. He writes how "they are racially and linguistically different from their neighbors. Every year on the fifteenth day of the sacred month of harvest, in the fall, they make a pilgrimage. For eight days they live in `booths' with roofs open to the sky...." (True Discoverers Of America, W Dankenbring).
The origins of these tribes are all dated long before Columbus supposedly "discovered" America. In fact, the evidence suggests that the Israelites (or the indigenous peoples emulating the Israelites) quickly became dominant forces in many of these ancient nations. Furthermore, some of these global contacts even predate the formation of Israel as a people. For instance, in Genesis we read how Cain, who apparently wandered to distant lands "builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son Enoch." (Genesis 4:17)
Although archaeologists have excavated extensively around the fertile crescent where Eden was believed to have been, no city with the name of Enoch has ever been found. However, Tenochtitlan was an important ancient city that carries the name - the only problem is, Tenochtitlan was the capital of the Aztec empire and later became known as Mexico City!
Further South, the Peruvian Incas have been repeatedly linked to the ancient land of Ophir - where Solomon was said to have significant interests in gold mining. There are linguistic connections that show the likelihood of this South American connection to the Solomonic throne. For instance, writer Hugh Fox has shown a clear connection between the Quechuans of Peru and the Phoenicians - who were employed in the sea-faring transport of gold on behalf of King Solomon in 1000 BC. (Gods Of The Cataclysm, Hugh Fox)
William Dankenbring, citing historians like Fernando Montesinos from the 17th century, points out that Peru was named for the Pirua dynasty. This word is sometimes pronounced with the sound of an F - as is Phirua. The linguistic cognate to the Biblical place Ophir is striking.
Other historian-researchers, such as video producer Simcha Jacobovici, are convinced they've located Israelite tribes scattered all over Central Asia. Old Testament verses tell us "the king of Assyria did carry away Israel unto Assyria, and put them in Halah and in Habor, by the river of Gozan...." (II Kings 18:11) In the border region between modern Afghanistan and Northwest Pakistan is the Khyber Pass - which is pronounced in a similar fashion to "Hybor." In the immediate vicinity is a river with the name of Gazni and a city named Harat - very similar to the Biblical place names.
The region is dominated by a people called the Pathans who follow a pre-Islamic code known as the Puchtanwalli - a harsh version of the Old Testament legal system. The 15 million strong Pathans say they are Musa'ha - or the people of Moses. Filmmaker Jacobovici, narrating in his magnificent video The Quest For The Lost Tribes, has shown the Pathans have multiple tribes known as Rabani (Reuben), Levani (Levi), Shinwari (Shimon), and Gadun (Gad). The Pathans most numerous tribe is called the Ephriedi - whereas the most numerous Israelite tribe was known as Ephraim.
Jacobovici also traces the Israelites to Bukhara and Samarkand in Uzbhekistan, Burma, India, and even China. In several instances, they were associated with a people group that ruled significant portions of India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan in the 5th and 6th centuries AD. In other words, they ruled a company of nations.
While there is a considerable amount of data concerning the multiple migrations of ancient tribal groups associated with the Israelites, the issue of the world's racial and religious heritage is destined to collide in a place in the modern state of Israel called Armageddon. The Bible prophesies a series of cataclysmic events wherein nations that believe they are following the will of God will ultimately come to a consensus behind the world government that is personified by one leader in the United Nations.
The war that is about to be unleashed will ultimately cause the UN to be relocated to Jerusalem, and the next leader of that political confederation will be the 8th Secretary-General (Revelation 17:11). He will be a professing Christian with a long-standing history of dealing with the Islamic, Jewish, and Christian worlds. Although the nations continue to rage, the Antichrist will rise and impose a spiritually expedient form of temporary stability on our war torn world.
The emerging understanding of the various "lost tribes" of Israel provides a clever distraction to the true issue of salvation. While religionists of every racial stripe jockey for position around their particular version of who is whom in terms of their historical identity, the truth is the only "Israel" that matters is "the Israel of God" (Galatians 6:16). The various groups that identify themselves as physical and historical Israel are all racing headlong to embrace the Antichrist - even as they call themselves Christians.
The only true Israel of God is that small body of believers that have truly left behind their racial and national aspirations, and have been born again in the Spirit of God - born again into what the Bible identifies as the Remnant of Israel. The Bible says "...the remant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the Lord, the holy one of Israel, in truth" (Isaiah 10:20). Because Jesus Christ IS the truth, this speaks of the Christians standing in the truth of Jesus. Those that are abiding in and sustaining the incorporated religious assemblies of the world are not standing in the truth because those corporations are in submission to their creator - the beast.
Most of the world's population believes they are to be saved because of their religious persuasion, yet the Bible says those that do not desperately love the truth are ordained to be deceived. This includes the overwhelming majority of what are called Christians - because "...they received not the love of the truth...and for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie...." (II Thessalonians 2:11). The various people that are descended from the scattered Israelite tribes believe their Messiah is coming - but they are also about to be ensnared by the Antichrist and his False Prophet.
Vast numbers of the world's "Christians" think they are leading the deceived Jewish people to the true Saviour - but they themselves are deceived as to who He really is (Matthew 7:22). Physical Israel and Spiritual Israel have both already become a company of nations - but all those nations are deceived.
While the heathen rage, the whore of Babylon is rising. All roads now lead to Jerusalem where the harlot is sitting in "...the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt." She is also called Babylon. The prophet tells us that "Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord's hand, that made all the earth drunken: the [company of] nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the [company of] nations are mad" (Jeremiah 51:7).
August 26, 2002 - James Lloyd
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