|"If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." II Chronicles 7:14;|
Are We Israel? If So - Who Cares?
By Walter Baucum
It was interesting reading from In Transition magazine and other sources the flare up over the WCG denial, and "proof' of this denial, that we and the countries of Western Europe are Israel. WCG would say we are not Israel. They would say further that the ten tribes taken into captivity by Assyria returned to Palestine, some in large groups, some by trickling in over the years. Then those in other offshoots wrote articles showing their errors. Back and forth it went.
Well, are we Israel? Was Israel even to continue to be around thousands of years after their dispersal among the nations? Does our Creator have any plans for us, if we are indeed Israel? Should we care whether we are Israel or not? Nobody else seems to care.
Yair Davidy, among others, has researched this topic considerably and has written books about Israel and where they went. Barry Fell, in the three books he wrote before his death, took up the story where Davidy left off, although in order not to appear controversial among his many critics, never called these early white people to the Americas Israelites. He called them Celts, North Africans (Berbers), Phoenicians, Iberians, Vikings, and even Arabs. But he proved (to me and many others) beyond a shadow of a doubt that Dan and perhaps other Israelite tribes were here over a thousand years BCE. Just as the tribes entered Britain in waves, so too did they enter the North American continent in waves, the last ones coming, of course, after Columbus.
Much of what follows is taken directly from Yair Davidy's Lost Israelite Identity. It will be in three parts.
"Almighty 'God' said: 'As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and 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. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant to be a 'God' unto thee and to thy seed after thee." (Gen. 17:4-7)(Y.D.)These same promises are passed on down to Isaac and to Jacob (Israel) (See Gen. 17:15-16,19; Gen. 26:3-5,24; Gen. 28:13-14).
In Gen. 22: 15-18, the ETERNAL promised Abraham that his seed not only would multiply as the sand on the seashore but also would possess the gates of their enemies. In Gen. 26 Isaac was told that in his seed would all the nations of the earth be blessed. This was repeated to Jacob in Gen. 28. This promise was expanded in Gen. 35:11:
"And 'God' again appeared to Jacob and said, I am 'God' Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of their loins."
So even before Israel became a nation of thirteen tribes, our Creator had a special Divine intention to create a people who would multiply into uncountable numbers, who would be a people under His special care and guidance, in whom the nations of the earth would be blessed, who would become great in commerce and maritime pursuits and in military achievements, even possessing the gates (major passes and sea trade routes of the world) of those who would hate them on the earth. Davidy says that:
"These promises were given to the patriarchs and their seed in such absolute and unchangeable terms that 'God' precluded Himself by an oath from taking them away."Nowhere in these passages does it say that our CREATOR would take away these promises from Israel if Israel sinned. We know that later Israel did sin, was carried away into captivity for awhile, lost its identity as the people of ETERNAL, and lost the knowledge of the Sabbath and the Holy Days. The exception, of course, was the tribe of Judah and some few others of the tribes who remained associated with them. This does not mean that Israel was not to be punished, or corrected, for going astray.
This happened, we know, when the northern Kingdom of Israel, together with a large part of the southern Kingdom of Judah, was carried away into Assyrian captivity. Later the rest of the southern kingdom was taken into captivity by the Babylonian empire. And this is the point where WCG erred in its research (if any real research had been done). Or, as Yair Davidy says:
"Some theologians blindly declare, without the shadow of proof, without one historical fact to support it, against all prophecy and reason (even hazarding the contradiction of Scripture against itself) that the ten tribes of Israel returned to their land with the remnant of Judah (for the first time called 'Jews') from the Babylonian captivity. Others declare that because 'God' has caused Israel to be driven from the land of Palestine, He hath cast them away forever. In doing so, they teach, 'God' has brought His kingdom, established at Mount Sinai, to an end and in its place has chosen what they term the 'Gentile church,' or 'Spiritual Israel.'" (Y.D.)These "arguments" obviate completely ETERNAL's oath, sworn on Himself (because He could not swear by any greater) to Abraham as ETERNAL declared:
Israel was dispersed, but not back to their homeland in Palestine. Notice Hosea 9:17:
"My 'God' will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto Him; and they shall be wanderers among the nations."
Amos 8:12 further verifies this:
"And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even unto the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of YHWH, and shall not find it." (Amos 8:12)
Don't these verses say that the Israelites were not to remain in the lands of their captivity but would become a migratory people, a lost people? Nowhere are we told that they would return to Palestine, until the end time, that is. Even in the so-called "New Testament" the man called 'Jesus' declared:
"I am not sent, but unto the lost sheep of the House of Israel." (Mat. 15:24)
In 2 Chron. 34:9, a "remnant" could easily mean a few had remained while the majority had gone. Or... "had gathered" could mean that they had given (these offerings) before leaving and returning to Jerusalem. "They" also could mean just Shaphan, Maaseiah, and Joah, not necessarily the tribes. My reading would indicate that the majority had gone elsewhere, with just a few (perhaps some who had married into the tribes of Judah and Levi) remaining to return. Yair Davidy makes an excellent argument that Israelites had begun leaving the area of Palestine even before the Exodus and had begun populating Greece, Troy, Spain, and other places as early as 1700 BCE.
These people, then, have to be somewhere. They certainly have not disappeared from history, although the knowledge of who they are has disappeared. James wrote:
"to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad." (James 1:1)
"Peter" addressed his epistle to the:
"strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia." (I Peter 1:1)
Whether the entire "New Testament is or is not a hoax, the people [who wrote it] knew where the tribes had gone. The ex-Armstrongites are not the only people who know where we, the United States and the British Commonwealth, came from or who we are. To quote just a few:
Professor Freeman, from Israel in Prophecy and History, pg. 68, "Tribe after tribe, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Frisians, poured across the sea to make new homes in the Isle of Britain. Thus grew up the English nation--a nation formed by the union of various tribes of the same stock. The Danes hardly needed assimilation. He was another kindred tribe, coming later than the other. Even the Norman was a kinsman."(Y.D.)Israel indeed was removed from its land, the kingdom that David had forged, but it never became lost to its CREATOR. That these Israelites did not stop in the British Isles and Scandinavia, but came on across to North America, can be attested to in the books of Barry Fell: America B.C., Saga America, and Bronze Age America. Only an ostrich with its head buried in the sand cannot see this.
William Camden, The Seed of Isaac, pg. 168, quoted by J.D. Granger, "I think the conjecture of those learned Germans, who imagine that the Saxons are descended from the Saci, the most powerful people in Asia; that they are so called, as if one should say Sacasones, that is, 'the Sons of Sacae'; and that out of Scythian or Sarmatia Asiatica, they poured little by little into Europe, along with the Getes, the Swevi, and the Daci; deserves credit the best of any other. And indeed, the opinions of those men who fetch the Saxons out of Asia, where mankind had its rise and growth, does not want some colour of reason."(Y.D.)
From Racial Elements and European History, Professor Gunther, a German ethnologist, states, "Whatever peoples, whatever individual Viking bands, may have trodden English ground-Celts, Angles, Jutes, Danes, Norwegian and Icelandic Vikings, Normans--they were always predominantly Nordic peoples."(Y.D.)
According to Fell, about 3,000 years ago bands of roving Celtic mariners crossed the North Atlantic to discover, and then to colonize, North America. They came from Spain and Portugal, by way of the Canary Islands, sailing the trade winds, as Columbus was to do long afterward.
Most landed and settled on the coasts of New England. They established a new European kingdom which they called Iargalon (Land Beyond the Sunset).
(Doesn't this word sound a little like "Oregon"???? "Iargalon or Bust," or "Manifest Destiny," as we called it later, might have been (in different wording, I am sure a slogan used by Israel from early times as they worked westward in waves to claim their "Promised Land.")
They built villages and temples, raised Druids' circles, and buried their dead in marked graves. In their wake came the Phoenician traders of Spain, men from Cadiz who spoke the Punic tongue, but wrote it in the peculiar style of lettering known as Iberian script. Some were traders but some remained here and, together with Egyptian mariners, became part of the Wabanaki tribe of New England.
Farther south, Basque sailors came to Pennsylvania and established a temporary colony there, leaving behind only grave markers bearing their names. Libyan and Egyptian mariners entered the Mississippi from the Gulf of Mexico, penetrating inland to Iowa and the Dakotas, and along the Arkansas and Cimarron Rivers. Norse and Basque visitors reached the Gulf of St. Lawrence, introducing various mariners' terms into the language of the northern Algonquian Indians. Descendants of these visitors are also to be found apparently among the Amerindian tribes, several of which employ dialects derived in part from the ancient tongues of Phoenicia and North Africa.
(We know, of course, the relationship and intermarriage of Dan and Phoenicia.)
In secluded valleys and on hilltops, priests (or Druids) erected temples and circles of standing stones required for their religious beliefs, using, like their European cousins, the great stone boulders left upon the land by retreating glaciers at the end of the Ice Age. In Europe the Celts doubtless did the same, but when Christianity came to the Celts, the priests caused all the ancient pagan inscriptions to be erased, replaced by Christian Ogam, or left blank, while all the offending fertility paraphernalia were totally destroyed.
In America, Christianity never came to the Celts, or it came much later, so their old pagan inscriptions remain intact and a host of giant phalluses characterize the places of worship. We can now read and see the ancient inscriptions of the rites of initiation to manhood and see the rites of ritual worship of the powers of fertility in nature.
Now 2,500 years of American prehistory must be transferred to history, for history begins when writing begins and we now have the oldest written documents of our nation and the names of the men who wrote them. British children continue to learn the history of Britain from the remotest stone-age era, through the Celts, the Roman invaders, the Saxon invasions, the Norman invasion, and so on through the middle ages into the present era. American children though, until now, began their history with Christopher Columbus in 1492. We can now date our history as far back as can British people.
All of this, much of which is gleaned from Barry Fell and Yair Davidy, shows clearly that Israel is not lost or destroyed, just scattered. In spite of the Biblical and archaeological evidences of the identity of the Anglo-Saxon, Germanic, Scandinavian, Celtic and kindred peoples as Israel, many people treat this knowledge with indifference. My belief is that if we knew we were Israel, it would help us to know what ETERNAL has in store for us, what promises He has made.
"For I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth." (Zeph. 3:20)Yair Davidy says, and I agree with him, that
"To ignore these precious promises to Israel is to tempt or mock 'God' by unbelief in His Word. Rather we should 'Search the Scriptures' and see if these things are so, in order to 'Prove all things and hold fast that which is good."'Do we personally have a stake in this? Isa. says:
Even if United Hebrew Congregation cannot do a great worldwide work, we can be witnesses of this knowledge because our eyes have been opened. Forty years ago, all of us in WCG believed we were Israel and believed in the promises made to us from our CREATOR through the Patriarchs.
Now only a few of the scattered churches believe it. Their mind set seems mainly to be on proving who of the scattered churches is right. But our small group is trying to prove what the Truth is, as ETERNAL knows it to be, and what our CREATOR wants us to know and to do.
So, Are we Israel? Yes.
Is Israel lost? No, not to us for we know who we are and where we are.
Does the ETERNAL have plans for us? Yes, we know He does.
Should we care whether we are Israel or not? Definitely!
Promises were made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Israel was removed from its land of promise because of idolatry, the breaking of the first Commandment, which thing many in Israel are still doing today with Baal worship. But although removed, Israel was never forsaken by its CREATOR and because He swore by Himself, these promises will be carried out. We have much to hope for and look forward to.