Unbanned Bible Publications
Defending God’s Truth in Church Doctrine and Political History – Renette Vermeulen
LOST TRIBE OF THE ISRAEL VISION; FACT OR FICTION?
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THE TWELVE TRIBES OF OLD ISRAEL
According to the full context of Scripture, and as described in Rev. 7:1-8, all the tribes of Old Testament Israel, the only physical, ‘chosen’ nation of God on earth, are accounted for.
Armstronginism, the Sacred Name Movement, and British Israelism, or the doctrine of the so-called special, elite, chosen, ‘[ten] lost tribes of Israel,’ is a masonic deception. And so is Messianic Judaism, fiercely disseminated by mason John Hagee, which has infiltrated most, if not all churches.
Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of the Worldwide Church of God, [who came from the Sacred Name Movement, powered by Seventh Day Adventists and Jehovah’s Witnesses, who also teach the so-called ‘Israel Vision;’] White Extremist Groups, (seated in the racial hatred and discrimination of Nazism,) the Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB) and the Masonic Klu Klux Klan, would all like us to believe they are ‘descendants’ of the ‘lost’ tribe of Dan; the so-called ‘chosen’ tribe of Old Israel. Because the tribe of Dan is not mentioned in Rev. 7:1-8, they were allegedly sealed ahead of time to prepare the world for God’s physical Kingdom here on earth. [The Kingdom Now dogma is another great deception.] If only these people, like all others, would read their own Bibles in context!
In truth, the Amplified Bible states in Rev. 7:4-8, “I heard how many were sealed (marked) out of every tribe of Israel: 144,000 of all the tribes of the children of Israel, [Hebrew tribes, not from any church denomination, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, masonic orders, or any specific nation such as the British, Americans, Afrikaners, etcetera] were sealed: 12,000 of the tribes of Judah… Reuben… Gad… Asher… Naphtali… Manasseh… Simeon… Levi… Issachar… Zebulon… Joseph… Benjamin…” And in v.9: “After this I looked and a vast host appeared… gathered out of every [non-Hebrew or Gentile] nation, from all the tribes and peoples and languages…” In fact, this passage means, there is not a single tribe on earth, either from the Hebrew nation or from non-Hebrew or Gentile nations, which is excluded from salvation through personal faith in Christ, (Jn. 3:16; 1:12-13.)
The truth of Scripture is unmistakable 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 so-called ‘lost tribe of Israel’ or any other ‘lost tribes,’ and these verses were not translated incorrectly either.
TWELVE TRIBES, NO MORE
In Hebraic culture 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.
OLD TESTAMENT JEWS AND THEIR ‘COMING CHRIST’ VERSUS THE NEW TESTAMENT JESUS
Jews are still waiting for their christ because they rejected Jesus The Christ. There is no doubt that Jesus is the prophesied Christ of the Old Testament Covenant, which fulfilled the New Testament Covenant law and prophesies in totality, (Mt. 5:17.) Messianic Judaism, which prefers the so-called ‘coming Jewish messiah’ to the Christ Jesus of the New Testament Covenant, is a great deception.
The first Testament or Covenant is physical, the second Testament or Covenant spiritual.
The first covenant was done away with at Golgotha (Heb. 8:13) and is now only the symbol of the last Covenant in Christ that is everlasting. Although the Old Testament is the foundation, root, and example, (1 Cor. 10:11; Rom. 15:4,) the second Testament wholly replaced the first Testament.
Jesus fulfilled both the Moral and Ceremonial Law, the entire dual law of the Old Covenant, and He Himself became the perfect spiritual sacrifice, temple, altar, High Priest, Kingdom, etcetera of the spiritual New Testament Covenant, (Mt. 5:17; Jn. 1:29, Heb. 7-10; 8:13.)
The Old Testament pertained to the physical nation of Old Israel, but the New Testament pertains to spiritual believer-disciples from all the nations of the earth - Old Hebrew or ‘Jews’ included.
THE SEALING OF BORN AGAIN JEWS FROM EVERY TRIBE
According to Rev. 7:1-8, the exceptional sealing of the 144,000 “of all the tribes of Israel” is that of literal believing and Scripturally born again Jews, who will be still alive during the end of the end-time. They will be the Godly remnant of physical Old Israel, bought with the blood of Jesus from every tribe of the nation of Israel, which God Himself had sovereignly chosen during Old Testament times.
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 a mystery. We do know for certain, however, that everyone who personally accepts Jesus as the Christ and serves Him wholeheartedly will be saved, (Jn. 1:1-13; 3:3-5.) Thus, the entire Book of Revelation, just as the entire New Testament Covenant, always refers to those who were born again by the blood of Jesus, whether they are physical Hebrews or believers from the Gentile nations. As a result, the Jews from all the tribes of Old Israel, referred to in Rev. 7:4, must be people of Hebrew blood, who chose to accept Jesus as the One and Only Christ of the Bible, (just as the Gentiles listed in Rev. 7:9,) because absolutely “no one comes to the Father except through His Son Jesus Christ!” (Jn. 14:6.)
THE SO-CALLED “LOST” TRIBE OF DAN WAS “REPLACED BY MANASSEH”
God told Joseph in Gen. 48:5-6: “Your two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh… (seen as representatives of the Hebrew and Gentile nations; 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 Old Testament Hebrew nation, which represents the Law and the prophets,) remained the root, or the beginning of the latter, although the latter, (Ephraim, who typifies Jesus’ New Testament dispensation of Grace,) would be the greater.
Ephraim, the New Covenant, is “greater” because in Jesus all the nations of the earth, Hebrews included, are included in His Gospel of grace. Paul explained in Rom. 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first, [because Jesus came to minister to His own nation first, Jn. 1:1-13,] and also for the Greek [which symbolizes all the non-Hebrew nations of the earth.]”
It is therefore possible that, although not mentioned by name in this passage in Rev. 7, Ephraim represents the incorporation of all the tribes from all the Gentile or non-Hebrew nations, (Rev. 7:9.)
All the tribes of Israel are clearly listed in Rev. 7:5-8. But the tribe of Dan, one of the tribes of Old Israel, is not mentioned, because, in this New Testament passage it had been replaced by the tribe of Manasseh. Dan was omitted from large portions of Old Testament Scripture as well. However, the view that God chose to incorporate Manasseh and not Dan because Dan fell into idolatry, holds no water, (Judges 18:29-31.) All the tribes, the whole of physical Israel, constantly fell in and out of idolatry.
Thus, the incorporation of Manasseh instead of Dan is somewhat of a mystery. It is widely believed but not proved that ‘a more Godly’ Manasseh was chosen to represent the Old Testament, Jewish nation in the passage of Rev. 7:6. (Judges 18:30-31.) The twelve tribes together adequately represent Israel as a nation, but because God reigns sovereignly, it is possible that in this passage, Manasseh typifies God’s promise to restore the nation of Old Israel to Himself by presenting to the whole of Israel the New Testament Covenant of Grace in Christ. The nation of Israel had rejected Jesus, but under the New Testament dispensation, each now receives the grace to personally choose Him as Lord and Savior, just as in the case with everyone else on earth, (Jn. 1:1-3; 3:16-17.)
The Messianic Jewish story that the entire nation of Israel will be ‘automatically saved’ at Jesus’ return is therefore just that: a story.
God will in no way nullify or change His eternal New Covenant structure and precepts in Christ. Where Scripture speaks of a “remnant” of Israelis that will be saved, it is always based on individual and personal faith in, acceptance of, and discipleship in Jesus Christ, (Rom. 9:27-33; 11:5.)
DAN WAS OMITTED NOT LOST
The tribe of Dan was not ‘lost’ because “Dan was specially chosen.” Dan was not chosen at all. Neither was Dan ‘special’ in any way as certain types of Israelism allege, (Judges 18:29-31.) Consequently, the so-called ‘descendants’ of Dan were definitely not ‘chosen’ above other people, [as Calvinism or the Dutch and other Reformed churches explicitly teach,] races, nations, masonic orders or church denominations.
Jn. 3:16-17 declared, “God so loved the whole world, that He gave His only begotten Son so that everyone who [personally] believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” And in Rev. 5:9, “You [Jesus] were slain, and have redeemed [all personally believing followers] to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation… [the Hebrew nation included.]”
Instead of being lost, it is believed that the Old Testament tribe of Dan was rejected by God, and therefore Dan was not part of the New Testament representation of the salvation of Israel as a nation, (See Rom. 11.) Most say this is why the tribe of Dan was replaced by the tribe of Manasseh. However, in the full context of New Testament Scripture, not a single person is excluded from forgiveness and thus salvation in Christ!
The actual reason why the tribe Dan was omitted from the symbolical salvation of personally believing Israelis in the Book of Revelation and replaced by Manasseh, is another of God’s sovereign decisions. To twist God’s Word and add to Scripture to supposedly fully understand this mystery is therefore a great sin. As Paul wrote in Rom. 3:9-24, “Are we [Jews] better than [non-Jews or Gentiles?] Not at all… Both Jews and Gentiles are all under sin [without Christ.] There is none righteous, no, not one. None who understands… or seeks after God. They have all turned aside… But now [under the New Covenant] the righteousness of God apart from the [Old Covenant temple or ceremonial] law is revealed…”
“Therefore [spiritually] there is no more Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free, man nor woman, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3:28.)
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO THE TRIBE OF DAN?
A closer look at the history of Dan will enlighten us to the fallacies, which British and other types of Israelism have built around this tribe, (Judg. 1:34, 5:17, 6:17, Jos. 22:9; 19:29, 40-48, 18:1-31.)
The tribe of Dan was allegedly 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 5:17 stated that Dan ‘remained 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 fled from battle to settle in the land bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
Footnote, Spirit Filled Bible, “Dan 5:13-18 review the responses of various tribes during the crisis with the Canaanites. The tribes of Ephraim, Benjamin, Zebulon, Issachar, and Naphtali were blessed because they mustered for battle. Reuben, Gilead (Gad), Dan and Asher were reproved for their lack of participation.” Here it is again: Dan does not seem worse than most of the other tribes. Why Dan was omitted in the Bible passages as described in this study, still remains a mystery and every other type of interpretation is merely in the light of “all Scripture” as no definite reason can be found.
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 of their land to 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 with its strange spirits and idolatry.
When Jesus warns New Covenant believers of the great deceptions and tribulations of the end of the end-times, which were designed by the devil to push them away form The Truth, Jesus Himself, into compromise, passivity and spiritually dead religion, He said, “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My Name’s sake. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved…” (Mt. 24:9-14.)
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 and embraced Laish as an inheritance.
Here is where the theory of “Godly Manasseh replaced idolatrous Dan” falls apart. Judges 18:29-31, “They called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was born to Israel. However, the name of the city formerly was Laish. Then the children of Dan set up for themselves the carved image; and Jonathan the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land. So they set for themselves Micha’s carve image which he made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh.”
Although Laish was the pleasant path of least resistance, the path to so-called ‘peace’ and ‘acceptance,’ those ‘passive’ people, whom they embraced and whom embraced them wholeheartedly in this foreign land, were hard core idolaters. Subsequently, Dan fell into idolatry and even set up a centre for idol worship – a shrine in opposition to true worship. If Dan and all the other tribes never repented from such brazen idolatry and witchcraft, God could eventually have erased all their names from among the tribes...
IT SEEMS THE TRIBE OF DAN REPRESENTS THE PEAK OF DISOBEDIENCE AND IDOLATRY
What cannot be refuted, is the fact that 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 seemingly 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.
If anything, 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 Jesus, His complete atonement; the fulfillment of the Law, to be led by His Holy Spirit so that Hebrew and Gentile alike can worship Him in “spirit and in truth,” through a lifestyle of discipleship and continuous repentance from sin, (Jn. 4:21-24; 1 Jn. 1:7-10.)
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 in Christ, (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 like the tribe of Dan did, where they embraced its deadly doctrines, legalism, ritualism, and idolatry, (Judges 18:29-31.)
Sadly, the future of unrepentant religionists is clear; the spiritually ‘lost’ yet unrepentant tribe of Dan is the personification 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…”
Casting lots to determine Gods will for a particular situation — can we still practice that under the New Covenant?
To follow just any spirit that speaks into our minds is “to exalt ourselves above the knowledge of God”