It is completely mind boggling to watch all the people and groups that are trying
to track the Tribes of Israel for one reason or another.
One reason is to replace actual Israel with the Church or America or some other entity.
We have British Israelism which teaches the ten tribes migrated to Britain and the U.S.
Mormonism teaches that Jesus came to the Americas and preached to the Indians who really
were the Jews, though there is no archeological or anthropological evidence for this.
The Ephraimite Error which teaches "that members
of the 'born-again' segment of the Christian church are, in fact, actual blood descendants of the ancient Israelites who were
exiled in the Assyrian invasion of Israel in 722 B.C.E.1 "
Then the question of whether the tribe of Dan is the tribe that the AntiChrist is going
to come from.
Like there needs to be a whole rebellious tribe to produce one Bad Boy or that The Antichrist
cannot just lie to the Jews about whether he is from one of the tribes or not.
Christians don't have to know what tribe he is from to know whether he is the antichrist
Since we know (except for Preterists), that Jesus is coming as he left. (Acts 1:11),
that the real Messiah will not make a seven year covenant with Israel, so this must be the antichrist. (Daniel 9:25-27)
So what tribe the antichrist is from will not be of importance to us.
I want to look at the different theories enough to show the futility of tracking things
that require us figuring out where the tribes or the non tribes are.
God knows where all the tribes are and will regather them when the time comes.
"These twelve Jesus sent forth, and charged them, saying, Go not into [any] way
of the Gentiles, and enter not into any city of the Samaritans: 6
but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matthew 10; ASV)
British Israelites typically would define the 'House of Israel' as the ten tribes that
were lost geographically, even at the time of Christ, though Christ commands the twelve (which probably came from each tribe-Luke
22:30) to go to the 'sheep of the House of Israel' who were lost spiritually not geographically because the twelve could not
go to them if they were lost geographically.
James also says:
1 James, a servant of God and
of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are of the Dispersion, greeting. (James 1)
Here the twelve tribes are mentioned as being part of the scattering but that doesn't
stop James from writting a letter to them.
There are many that want to know where they are, though they somehow believe that the
Church is really Israel.
"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ
Jesus our hope, 2 To Timothy my true son in the faith:
3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus
so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer 4 nor to devote themselves to myths
and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God's work--which is by faith. (1 Timothy
"neither to give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questionings,
rather than a dispensation of God which is in faith; [so do I now].
5 But the end of the
charge is love out of a pure heart and a good conscience and faith unfeigned: 6 from which things some having swerved have turned aside unto vain talking; 7 desiring to be teachers of the law, though they understand neither what they say, nor whereof
they confidently affirm." (Ibid, ASV)
Notice what these scriptures say is really important.
Though try to get much discussion about these things in egroups and fellowships.
'Dispensation of God which is in faith.'
'Love out of a pure heart and a good conscience and faith unfeigned.'
There are Mormons that will follow genealogies just to get baptized for the dead.
Despite what people may think, we are presently saved by Grace not race and in the end
the Physical Jews will 'look upon him whom they have pierced.' (Zechariah 12:10 ; Revelation 1:7,8) and God himself will
recreate and regather them. (Ezekiel 36)
But that is neither here nor now and what we need to be concerned about is our own relationship
Even pagans will promote reincarnation that believes we can be recycled until
we get it right rather than receiving or rejecting the grace that comes through faith in Christ, and 'after this the judgment'
Their endless genealogies comes through hypnosis, joining with familiar spirits and regressing
to who they think they were before this life.
Have you ever noticed that it seems that they were always someone really great in the
I haven't heard of anyone who claims that they were a serial killer in a past life or
something like that.
The following message is an attempt to better understand the basic thinking
of particular groups (British Israelism or offshoots) that seem to be teaching race and replacement theology rather than grace
in this present dispensation.
Maybe some folks can help me understand this better.
Paul said, 'If ye have heard of the DISPENSATION of the GRACE OF GOD which
is given me to you-ward: 3 How that BY REVELATION he made known unto me the MYSTERY; (as I wrote afore in few words,' (Ephesians
Which means that presently our salvation is based on 'grace through faith'
not grace through race. (Ephesians 2)
Grace simply presents the opportunity for us to be saved through faith.
God's present grace doesn't save all, it just gives all an ample opportunity,
else we would have universalism.
'For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon
all.' (Romans 11:32)
Doesn't this mean that race, genealogy or ethnicity didn't get the Jews what
Some that don't believe in two different programs may mix up grace with race
and assume that because they are Jews or because they are of Ephraim or Manasseh that this provides them some kind of spiritual
edge over the rest of the sinners.
, 'Did Jesus make race an issue when he said, 'These twelve Jesus sent forth,
and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go
rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.' (Matthew 10)
'The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that
he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. 27 But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is
not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. 28 And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet
the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs.' (Mark 7)
Does this prove that Jesus presently shows grace based on race or does it
show that we need to see the transition in the scriptures that proves the universal sinfulness of all and the transition from
race to grace.
That is why I say, the gospel accounts and the book of Acts are transitional.
Some may deny this but there is an inherent danger today in believing that
today race determines God's grace, or that God's grace towards us gives us some kind of physical edge over others.
And how can two programs exist simulataneously, one based on race and one
And if my salvation is by grace through faith then where is the guarantee
of some kind of physical lineage or inheritance in that.
What this verse means to me is that the Jews throughout the gospel accounts
and Acts demonstrated that they were no better than the Gentiles (everyone else). (Romans 1-3;Acts 13:46; Acts 10)
This is why Paul declared all to be sinners. (Romans 3)
He didn't say all the people in the two tribes or only the Jews but ALL.
It was the unbelief of the Jews that caused Paul to finally turn to the Gentiles.
Some even seem to define Gentiles as something other than the obvious.
Gentiles=ten tribes or Ephraim or Manasseh.
I don't see that.
Why would God say that he concluded all in unbelief, and all only means the
two tribes, so that 'he may have mercy on all' meaning only the other tribes.
This just goes from rejection of a race to election of another race.
What about those that are not of those tribes. Are we to conclude that God
made a determination of NO grace based on race here?
If he declared those not his people, his people, based on adoption, then what
would any kind of lineage have to do with it?
Didn't God make the younger the prominent one when it came to Ephraim and
Manasseh, thus proving that the biological and genealogical realities have absolutely nothing to do with the 'dispensation
of grace', which is in effect today?
I am compelled to look at Jacob and Esau, Ephraim and Manasseh. First Jabob and Esau. When we look at Romans it says,
'Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.' (Romans 9)
This was true before they were born and despite the fact that Esau
was actually the firstborn.
What does this prove?
Well, one thing it seems to prove to me is that 'I will have mercy on whom
I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor
of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.' (Ibid), and that God in this 'dispensation of grace' (Ephesians 3) is not bound by ethnicity, biology
Some people refer to Romans to prove Predestination or that Israel will not
see the fulfillments of prophecy in the future, but I don't think this is what this is teaching.
When it speaks of God loving Jacob and hating Esau before they were born and
that he will have mercy on whomever he will have mercy, he is saying that he is having mercy on the Gentiles as a whole.
This 'turning to the Gentiles' (Acts 13:46), is giving the Gentiles an OPPORTUNITY
to be saved. It is still up to each individual to receive God's grace extended to them.
"He has concluded all in unbelief so that the might have mercy on all.' (Romans
The same goes for Ephraim and Manasseh.
When Jacob blessed Ephraim and Manasseh he crossed his hands so that the younger
was blessed with his right hand and the firstborn with his left, going against the normal way of operating.
If you compare scriptures, you will see that this was such an
move that the scripture goes on to define the younger as the firstborn. (Genesis 41:51,52; 46:20; 48:13,17,20; Jeremiah 31:9)
More important than trying to figure out who Ephraim and Manasseh are today,
I think we need to see that God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy....
This is all to show that he is giving Gentiles the opportunity to be saved,
not that we should try to figure out who is a gentile.
This is concerning salvation today, yet God promises to fulfill His promises
(regathering, restoration, recreation) to Israel as a nation, in the end, not because of their unfaithfulness but because
of His faithfulness. (Ezekiel 36; Zechariah 12)
This means that the promises made to Israel of the OT cannot be rescinded
because of Israel's unfaithfulness because it is because of God's faithfulness that He gave them and will fulfill them.
"(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil,
that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12 It was said unto her,
The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of GOD THAT SHOWETH MERCY. (Romans 9) And Joseph called the name of the FIRSTBORN MANASSEH:
For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house. 52 And the NAME OF THE SECOND CALLED HE EPHRAIM...(Genesis
41:51,52) And Joseph brought them
out from between his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth. 13 And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his
right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near unto
him. 14 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. 15 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, 16 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. 17 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. 18 And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head.
19 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)
'...for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.'
So we can see that in the OT the younger was sometimes declared the firstborn
and prominent one over the one that was the firstborn biologically speaking.
This sets the stage for the NT meaning of the greek word firstborn (prototokos)
Read the following link and you will see that firstborn in the NT greek and
according to context often meant first in order and/or importance.
Firstborn often meant prominent one.
This is an important point because it affects whether one will come to a faulty
conclusion or not.
For example in Colossians it says that Christ is,
'the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature....the beginning,
the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.' (Colossians 1)
Here the JW's take this to mean that he was the first in the order of creatures
and created only everything else after him.
As the God man, Christ was not the first created and in the eternal scheme
of things not ever created. The Word which was with God and was God took on flesh at a certain point in time but this was
not creation. (John 1:1)
This word 'firstborn' refers to preeminence as I explained before.
Jacob and Ephraim were not the firstborn either but were the prominent ones
according to God.
Jesus was never created and never first in order of created beings but was
the prominent one because of who he was.
29 For whom he did foreknow,
he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans
This passage says, he was firstborn among many brethren.
This refers to his first in order and prominence in relation to the resurrection.
Certainly this is not referring to the brothers that Mary had after he was
The Preterists get this one wrong. His resurrection was first in order, importance
and prominence and set a pattern for future resurrections.
Yet, the full Preterist will accept the fact that Jesus was not firstborn
of many creatures but the prominent one and the first in order of the resurrection but then they deny that we will be resurrected
as He was.
Preterists deny a physical resurrection for everyone but Christ.
JW's deny that Jesus physically rose.
Either way the final results are the same, they are still in their sins.
Yet in First Corinthians it says,
"16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17
And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins." (1 Corinthians 15)
The Preterist preaches that the dead rise not. This passage says that this
means that Christ is not raised either.
There is no such thing as a spirit only resurrection but yet that is what
the JW's teach concerning Christ and the Preterists teach concerning us and the result of that is that Christ is not raised
So both the JW and the Preterist are in trouble.
Jesus was the first and prominent one in a physical resurrection that sets
the pattern for our resurrection one day.
Our place with Christ has nothing to do with our biological order but in the
fact that we place our faith in Christ who was the firstborn/prominent one and God almighty.