Unbanned Bible Publications
Defending God’s Truth in Church Doctrine and Political History – Renette Vermeulen
LOST TRIBE OF THE ISRAEL VISION; FACT OR FICTION?
Courtesy, NOW UNBANNED PUBLICATIONS, C.C.
THE TRIBES OF OLD ISRAEL:
According to the full context of Scripture, ALL the tribes of Old Testament Israel, the only physical, ‘chosen’ nation of God on earth, are accounted for. British Israelism, the doctrine of the ‘lost tribes of Israel,’ is a deception. And so is Messianic Judaism, which is infiltrating all churches.
Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of the dangerous, cultic Worldwide Church of God, and others, who teach the so-called ‘Israel Vision,’ white extremist groups, seated in the racial hatred and discrimination of Nazism, the Afrikaner A.W.B. and the Masonic Klu Klux Klan, would like us to believe that they are ‘descendants’ of the ‘lost’ tribe of Dan; the so-called ‘chosen’ tribe of Old Israel.
[Read about the dissemination of the doctrines of these denominations in the book, “Witchcraft – (pagan & Christian,) what is that?” under the heading, ‘Rebuilding of the third Jewish temple is the New Apostolic Reformation dogma’ and in the article, ‘Should we call Him Jehovah, Yahweh, Yahwah, Yah, Yeshua, Joshua – or Jesus?’
In truth, the Amplified Bible states in Rev. 7:4: “I heard how many were sealed (marked) out of EVERY tribe of Israel…” And in v:9: “After this I looked and a vast host appeared… gathered out of EVERY nation, from ALL the tribes and peoples and languages…” The Spirit Filled Bible, too, clearly states, “I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of ALL the tribes of the children of Israel…” Vs. 9: “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of ALL nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues…”
The Afrikaans, 1953 translation confirms, “Uit AL die stamme van die kinders van Israel…” Vs. 9: “Uit ALLE nasies en stamme en volke en tale…”
Even the Old Dutch Bible from 1900 states, “En ik hoorde het getal dergenen… verzegeld uit ALLE geslachten der kinderen Israëls.” Vs. 9: “Een groote schaar, die niemand tellen kon, uit ALLE natie, en geslachten, en volken, en talen…”
Scripture is clear on this matter. All the tribes of Israel, as well as all other tribes from the Gentile nations, are accounted for. There was definitely NO mistake concerning the so-called ‘lost’ tribe, and these verses were NOT translated incorrectly either.
THE TRIBE OF DAN WAS REPLACED BY MANASSEH:
ALL the tribes of Israel are clearly listed in Rev. 7:5-8. But the tribe of Dan, one of the twelve tribes of Old Testament Israel, is not mentioned, because, in this New Testament passage, it had been replaced by the tribe of Manasseh.
However, the tribe of Dan was not ‘lost.’ Dan was not ‘chosen.’ Dan was not ‘special’ in any way. Consequently, the so-called ‘descendants’ of Dan were definitely not ‘chosen’ above other people, races, nations, or denominations.
God declared in Jn. 3:16-17, “God so loved the WHOLE world, that He gave His only begotten Son…” And in Rev. 5:9, “You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of EVERY tribe and tongue and people and nation…”
In fact, the Old Testament tribe of Dan was rejected by God, and therefore Dan was not incorporated by the New Testament representation of the salvation of Israel as a nation, (See Rom. 11.)
OLD TESTAMENT JEWS AND THEIR HEBREW MESSIAH VERSUS NEW TESTAMENT JEWS:
Jews are still waiting for their ‘messiah.’ Jesus is the CHRIST of the New Testament Covenant. Messianic Judaism, which prefer the ‘messiah’ to the Real Jesus Christ, is a great deception.
We have to interpret the Old Testament literally, and the New Testament figuratively.
The first is the symbol of the last – the first is physical, the second spiritual. Although the Old Testament is the root, the example, the foundation of the second, the second Testament REPLACED the first. Jesus FULFILLED the law, and HE became our spiritual sacrifice, temple, altar, High Priest, etc: Heb. 7-10.
The OLD Testament pertained to the physical nation of Old Israel, while the NT pertains to spiritual BELIEVERS of ALL nations - physical Jews included.
THE SEALING OF BORN AGAIN JEWS FROM EVERY TRIBE:
According to Rev. 7 the exceptional sealing of the 144,000 is that of a literal band of Jews, who will be still alive during the great tribulation. They will be the GODLY remnant of Old Israel, bought with the blood of Jesus from EVERY tribe, which God Himself had sovereignly chosen during Old Testament times – 12 tribes in all.
Rom. 11:26-32 declares that God will deal with National Israel shortly before Judgment Day– exactly when and how God will do this, is somewhat of a mystery. We do know for certain, however, that everyone who accepts Jesus as the Christ and serves Him wholeheartedly, will be saved. Thus, the Book of Revelation refers to those who were born again by the blood of Jesus, whether they are physical Jews, or Gentiles. As a result, the Jews from ALL the tribes of Old Israel, referred to in Rev. 7:4, have to be people of Jewish blood, who chose to accept Jesus as the Messiah, (just as the Gentiles listed in Rev. 7:9,) as NO ONE comes to the Father except through His Son Jesus Christ!
THE TRIBE OF MANASSEH:
The reason why God replaced the tribe of Dan with Manasseh in Rev. 7, centers on the following Old Testament events.
Joseph, who was sold into Egyptian slavery by his brothers, had two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, (Gen. 41:50-52.)
Manasseh means, “God has made me forget all my toil and all my father’s house.” And Ephraim means, “God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.”
The two sons of Joseph symbolize much more than two tribes. In effect, they symbolize the cursed, Old Testament, Gentile nations and the blessed, Old Testament, Jewish nation, (Gen. 48:14-20.) Old Testament Israel, (or Ephraim,) would be the ‘greater’ among the nations of the earth, although Ephraim was the ‘younger.’ The nation of Israel, the Jews, was, and still is, the physical, blessed, OT nation of God. And so, Ephraim, the symbol of Jewish salvation and blessing, represents the nation of Israel, not just an Old Testament tribe.
More importantly, one son, (Manasseh,) represents the curse of toil, which is in the past. The other, (Ephraim,) represents the grace to be fruitful, which is in the present. Hence, Manasseh and Ephraim are also symbols of the Old- and the New Testaments. The Old Testament represents the Law, while the New Testament represents grace in Christ. The OT represents works or obedience to the entire Law; the NT represents blessed fruitfulness in Christ, and rest from legalistic works, (Heb. 4.)
Moreover, the OT represents the old, sinful, cursed STATE in the world without Christ, (Manasseh,) while the NT represents the new life, or STATE of forgiveness and blessedness in Christ, (Ephraim.) [Please read Jn. 1:12-13.]
New Testament, born again believers cannot cling to the old, fulfilled law, (Manasseh,) in an attempt to earn their salvation and blessing. They have to turn away from Manasseh, or the works of the Law, to live in and rely on Ephraim, the salvation and blessing of the New Testament Christ, (Gal. 3:10-14; Phil. 3:13-14.)
Manasseh means religious slavery; Ephraim means born-again liberty: Gal. 5:1. Thus Ephraim, the younger, (who represents the New Testament,) was chosen and blessed above Manasseh, the elder, (who represents the former, or Old Testament.)
EPHRAIM’S MISTAKE AND MANASSEH’S INCORPORATION:
The Jewish nation crucified Christ and rejected their Messiah. Consequently, according to Rom. 11, God will judge – and had already judged – physical Israel as a nation. However, God will not reject them entirely and forever. God also plans to restore them to Himself.
During OT times, the OT prophet declared in Hos. 7:8 “Ephraim, (who represents the entire Old Israel as a nation,) has mixed himself among the nations…” 9:3 “He shall return to Egypt…” (11) “His glory will fly away…”
But after God’s judgment on Israel, (or Ephraim,) the prophet declared in Hos. 14, “I will heal their backsliding and love them freely, for My anger has turned away from him… [Ephraim or Israel’s] branches shall spread. His beauty shall be like an olive tree… Those who dwell under his shadow shall return… Your fruit is found in Me…”
Ephraim represents the remnant of the spiritual, New Testament Israel, which God will sovereignly save, while Manasseh represents the root of Israel, the former, Old Testament life, or the OT Law.
God chose Ephraim above Manasseh, but God did not reject Manasseh, because the two different dispensations of the Bible, the Old and the New Testaments, (Law and Grace,) are inseparable. Jesus did not annul the Law; Jesus fulfilled the Law. Old Testament Israel, the chosen, physical nation of God on earth, was therefore not forgotten or completely discarded, although the religious structure, (the Old Testament dispensation,) which they upheld, became obsolete. So, representatives from ALL the tribes – or a remnant, which represents Israel as a nation – will ultimately be saved.
TWELVE TRIBES, NO MORE:
The number 12 signifies completion.
The physical nation of Old Israel consisted of 12 tribes. Similarly, Jesus chose 12 disciples or ‘apostles’ to represent His New Testament dispensation of Grace. There could never be 13 ‘apostles,’ and so, there can never be 13 Israeli tribes.
God told Joseph in Gen. 48:5-6: “Your two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh… (representatives of the Jews and Gentiles, the Old and the New Testaments,) are MINE…”
Thus, Jacob, Joseph’s father, ‘blessed Ephraim before Manasseh,’ as Manasseh, (the former, or the elder,) would serve Ephraim, (the latter, or the younger.) Yet Manasseh, (the OT Jewish nation, which represents the Law,) remained the root, or the beginning of the latter, although the latter, (Ephraim, which represents the dispensation of Grace,) would be the greater.
Consequently, Manasseh was chosen to represent the Old Testament, Jewish nation in the passage of Rev. 7:6. Here, Manasseh typifies God’s promise to restore the nation of Old Israel to Himself, although only a remnant, or a born again few, from EVERY tribe of Israel will be saved, (Rom. 9:27; 11:5.)
DAN WAS OMITTED NOT LOST:
The reason why the tribe Dan was omitted from the symbolical salvation of Israel, and replaced by Manasseh, is another of God’s sovereign decisions. But a closer look at the history of the tribe of Dan will enlighten their ultimate fate, (Judg. 1:34, 5:17, 6:17, Jos. 22:9; 19:29, 40-48, 18:1-31.)
The tribe of Dan was called “serpent by the way.” They settled east of the River Jordan, but the Amorites forced Dan into the mountains and they could not come down.
Where Judges 6:17 stated that Dan ‘remains on ships,’ it does not mean that they left Israel and escaped to other parts of the world, as their so-called ‘descendants’ interpret these passages. The tribe of Dan did not become ‘lost’ – in the literal sense, that is. This verse merely describes how the tribe of Dan settled in the land bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
Historically, God gave Dan, as each of the other Israeli tribes, an allotted place to occupy. A certain territory, which they were supposed to defend, cultivate, and control. In effect, God had already revealed His will to Dan and gave them their inheritance, which was located between the territories of Judah and Ephraim. However, the tribe of Dan could not, or would not maintain control over their land, and preserve it through battle and steadfast faith in God. Eventually cowardice, disobedience, lack of faith - and their misplaced trust in a religious, backslidden priest/prophet led them to leave their inheritance and embrace a foreign land.
A backslidden Levite proclaimed a false message, which suited the double-minded tribe of Dan, and he even authenticated his false prophecy by using the Name of the Lord. Rejecting the REAL will of God, and their REAL inheritance in Him, the tribe of Dan encountered a passive, ‘secure’ people, and captured Laish as an inheritance.
Although Laish was the pleasant path of least resistance, the path to so-called ‘peace’ and ‘acceptance,’ the ‘passive’ people, whom they embraced in this foreign land, were hardy idolaters. Subsequently, Dan fell into idolatry and even set up a centre for idol worship – a Danite shrine in opposition to true worship, and eventually God erased the name of Dan from among the tribes. As a result, God did not incorporate them into His spiritual Israel either, but replaced them with Manasseh, the type of Old Israel.
THE TRIBE OF DAN REPRESENTS DISOBEDIENCE AND IDOLATRY:
If ever the tribe of Dan became ‘lost,’ it was in a spiritual sense. A dreadful life of spiritual darkness and bondage to their enemies awaited the tribe of Dan after God had discarded them. To proclaim oneself a so-called ‘descendant’ of Dan, therefore, is to choose a life without the true Christ, and a future without eternal salvation.
The history of Dan is a classic example of the subtle, enslaving power of religion, versus our responsibility to guard and cultivate the New Testament, spiritual life in Christ. God gave us Christ, His COMPLETE atonement; the fulfillment of the Law, and led by His Holy Spirit, Jew and Gentile alike can worship Him in SPIRIT and in TRUTH, (Jn. 4:21-24.)
Insincere, religious believers, however, find it impossible to withstand the enemy and guard their freedom in Christ, (Gal. 5:1-6; Jam. 4:7-8.) They do not regard their God given inheritance and inherited blessing, (Gal. 3:10-14,) and think it necessary to eek out another spiritual ‘house;’ another ‘way,’ another ‘blessing, another ‘inheritance’ for themselves, until they settle in the ‘easy, acceptable’ land of religion, where they embrace its deadly doctrines, legalism, ritualism, and idolatry.
Sadly, the future of religionists is clear; the spiritually ‘lost’ tribe of Dan is the epitome of disobedience to God. However, John proclaimed in Rev. 3:5: “He who overcomes [the whiles of the enemy of our soul] shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name form the Book of Life…”