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"Think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our Father" (Matt.3.9).
By GEORGE GOODMAN
THE THEORY STATED
It is difficult to state this theory accurately, as there are many varieties of it, but for my purpose I am giving it in the words of Dr. J. Mountain, who is the ring-leader of the cult in Tunbridge Wells. He puts it thus:
"We Anglo-Saxons are the lineal descendants of the Ten Tribes, we are the Natural Posterity of Israel, and we inherit the wonderful promises made to them. These promises we possess nationally. But we can become individually Israel's Spiritual Posterity only by being born again of the Holy Ghost."
I reply to this under three heads:
i. It is contrary to Fact. ii. It is contrary to Scripture. iii. If true, it would involve a curse and not a blessing.
BRITISH ISRAELISM IS CONTRARY TO FACT
1. The Anglo-Saxons are an uncircumcised race. This, according to Genesis 17:14, would absolutely debar them from any national blessing. For Spiritual Israel (Christians) circumcision is nothing (Gal. 6:15).
2. The British are a mixed race. The Anglo-Saxons have not kept separate as the Jews have, but have freely mingled with other peoples. It is well known that we are not pure Anglo Saxon.
3. Israel has always written from right to left; Anglo Saxons always from left to right. There is no record of Israel changing its method of writing in so radical a manner.
4. The Angles and Saxons were both a large-boned and very fair-haired race, as unlike the Semitic races as it is possible to conceive. The story of St. Augustine and the captive "Angles" is well known and confirms this.
5. The Anglo-Saxon origin and history is well known through their remarkably well preserved records, known as The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. For details see Encyclopedia Britannica under that heading. It is not Semitic.
6. The laws of the Anglo-Saxons show no affinity to those of the Israelites. See the article on the subject in the Encyclopedia Britannica, under the heading "Anglo-Saxon Law." In order to confirm this, I have had a letter addressed on the subject to Professor R.W. Chambers, M.A., D. Litt., who holds the chair of the English Language Studies in University College, london. His reply is as follows:
"I do not believe that there is any reason for regarding the West Germanic peoples as descendants of the Tribes of Israel which were scattered from Palestine during the early captivities. i. The racial characteristics are quite different. The present day Jew is typically different from the Englishman, Dutchman, or German. If he resembles them it is generally because he is not of pure Jewish descent.
ii. There is no trace of Judaism in Germanic folk lore.
iii. The Germanic languages are absolutely distinct from the Semitic.
iv. So are the old Germanic laws."
7. The "Chief" profit of Israel was that to them were committed the oracles of God (Rom.3:1,2), that is, they preserved the Old Testament Scriptures. The Anglo-Saxons never had this honour. They distribute many Bibles, but the Anglo-Saxons were never custodians of the "Oracles."
8. If we are the Ten Tribes, our Kings are not those to whom the promises were made.
The Royal tribe was Judah, which is not one of the Ten Tribes. British Israelites have talked a great deal about the genealogy of our present Royal House. If our kings are to fulfil the national promises, none of the ten tribes can produce such a king. To see the Ten Tribes with a king from another tribe would be an anomaly and untrue to history.
9. Dr Mountain argues that Israel is the "holy nation" referred to in 1 Pet. 2:9; although he adds: "St. Peter was addressing not only a Christian community, but also a Christian community of a high order."
I do not pretend to follow his logic, for Israel is certainly not a Christian community of a high order, nor are the Anglo-Saxons or the British. Those whom Peter addressed are described as being "born again" (1:23), "obedient children" (1:14), "living stones" in a "spiritual house" (2:5), and "strangers and pilgrims" (2:11). Is this the British nation?
But if Israel is the "holy nation," then the British Nation cannot be identified with it, for it is certainly not holy. Not a tenth of the nation ever acknowledges God by entering a place of worship.
As to the British Empire, it is a conglomerate mass of heathen, Mohammedan, Atheistic, and Roman Catholic peoples, as unholy as can well be conceived. If any can glory in this mass of "flesh" he is strangely blinded.
10. The British have not come under the New Covenant. (See Dr. Mountain's contention later). I set out the New Covenant in full:
"This is the Covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more" (Heb.8:10-12).
Would that this were true of our godless nation! But, in fact, it is not, as all may observe.
BRITISH ISRAELISM IS CONTRARY TO SCRIPTURE
We need to remember that Abraham had two seeds, a Natural and a Spiritual; the latter being Christians. The "seed" is Christ (Gal.3:16), and all believers, whether from Jew or Gentile, are Children of Abraham (Gal.3:26-29). In Christ the distinction between Jew and Gentile is abolished (Gal.3:28 and Eph.2:14). So then, if the British are Israel they must be so after the flesh. The nation is certainly not Spiritual Israel. What then?
We Are Not the Nation of Israel
1. Because of Israel it is said: "Lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations" (Num.23:9). To say the British Nation or Empire is not reckoned among the nations in view of its history and particularly the League of Nations, is absurd.
2. Again it is written: "For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days" (Hosea 3:4,5). This is obviously not true of the Anglo-Saxons, whose line of kings is well known, but exactly suits the history of those we indiscriminately call Jews (who include Israel), who remain scattered, without a king, temple, sacrifice, or priesthood, as is well known.
3. Israel's national blessing is all connected with Jerusalem and the Land. It is plainly foretold that their national blessing will be:
(a) By union with Judah. "I will make them one nation in the land" (Ezek. 37:21, et seq., Jer.3:18). Specially consider the figure of the two sticks becoming one in the prophets hand.
(b) By dwelling in the land. "They shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt" (Ezek.37:25).
(c) Their King is to reign on David's throne in Jerusalem (Isa. (:7; Jer. 3:17; Ezek. 48:35).
(d) This will not take place until the fulness of the Gentiles shall be come in (Rom.11:25 and Luke 21:24), and the Times of the Gentiles fulfilled. Our Lord's words are: "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."
(e) They will remain a scattered people until then. This was to be their punishment for their disobedience. "The Lord shall scatter you among the nations" (Deut.4:27; 28:64; 32:26; and many others).
(f) Their gathering will be accomplished only when Christ comes. His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives, and then they shall look on Him whom they pierced, and a nation shall be born in a day (Zech. 12:9-14; 13:1,2; 14:4-9). Anything less like the history and condition of the British Nation or Empire it is impossible to conceive.
4. The Spiritual Seed will long before have been caught up to meet the Lord in the air, as described in 1 Thess. 4:14-18. This will not include the Natural Seed, for it is written: "Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham are they all children ... They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God" (Rom.9:7-8).
IF THE BRITISH ARE ISRAEL, IT INVOLVES US IN A CURSE AND NOT A NATIONAL BLESSING
Dr. Mountain suggests: "These promises we possess nationally." In reply we would remind him, and point out to all, that:
1. The promises made to Israel included an awful Curse on disobedience.
The two chapters, Deut. 4 and 28, are among the most terrible in the Bible. In such solemn words as these God speaks: "I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land; ... and the Lord shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen whither the Lord shall lead you."
This is followed by gracious promises, on repentance and turning to the Lord, which nationally has never taken place again. In Deut.28:58 we read: "If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD; then the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance ..." "And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from one end of the earth unto the other."
2. This judicial punishment they are still under, as we read: "Blindness (hardening) in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in" (Rom. 11:25).
And again: "Even unto this day when Moses is read the vail is upon their heart; nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away" (2 Cor. 3:15-16). Israel has not yet turned to the Lord, and remains to the present under the curse nationally - individuals being, however, saved from among them by faith in Christ. How then can present national blessings be possessed under the flagrant disobedience in our land?
3. That this wrath has come upon them we also learn from the Apostle Paul. He says of them: "Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us ... to fill up their sins alway, for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost" (1 Thess. 2:15,16). Read also Matt. 23:36-39.
4. On what ground then is this national blessing supposed to have come upon us? On the ground of merit? Surely our national sins and the godlessness of the immense majority of the people forbid such a thought. Moreover, the thought is contrary to Scripture. "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse" (Gal.3:10).
Hear Dr. Mountain's answer. Pressed into a corner by a Mr. Panton's able exposure of his false teaching, he says: "It is the Anglo-Saxon race, or the descendants of the Ten Tribes, who have come under the New Covenant by the acceptance of the Christian Faith."
What a daring and atrocious denial of the facts. Has the Anglo-Saxon race "accepted the Christian Faith" and "come under the New Covenant?" Dear reader, do you believe it?
If the Anglo-Israelite doctrine depends on our receiving this as a fact, well and good, we know that it is false.
Even if it were true it will not do. For if Anglo-Saxons have "accepted the Christian Faith," then they are Christians and are found "in Christ," where there is neither circumcision nor uncircumcision, Jew or Gentile. A Heavenly, and not an earthly, people. In other words, they have become the "Spiritual Seed" by the faith of Christ.
But the whole argument of the British Israelite is that we are the Natural Seed, and are enjoying blessing as such. If we are the Spiritual Seed, of course the fullness and blessing of the New Creation and the Covenant of Grace are ours, but this is not the question. How do we come into this National Blessing. That is the point.
By "acceptance of the Christian Faith," says Dr. Mountain. By becoming Christians? Or do "acceptance of the Christian Faith" and "coming under the New Covenant" mean something else?
Then as to the British Empire, that mass of heathen, Mohammedan, and Romist peoples: we are told they, too, are enjoying blessing as part of the "multitude of nations."
Again pressed by Mr. Panton, Dr. Mountain says: "The fact is that they (peoples of the Empire) cannot become part of the Comity of Israel, except by surrendering individually to the governance of Christ."
In other words, by becoming individually Christians. Then the peoples of the British Empire are not in their present state enjoying any national blessing now!
The whole British Israel theory, if Dr. Mountain is its true exponent, hangs upon this, that the British people have accepted the Christian Faith, and come under the New Covenant, which would mean that they are born again. Alas! It is impossible to think it.
Why go about advocating that which can only encourage men to hope in the flesh? Let us rather warn of the wrath due to sin, and point to Christ the Lamb of God and call to faith in Him.
British Israelism is a false and dangerous theory, that can only lead men to hope in the flesh, to expect "national" blessing, while they continue in personal rejection of Christ and disobedience to God.
THE TEN TRIBES
There is no evidence that the Ten Tribes were lost. They returned with Ezra and Nehemiah and shared with the whole 12 Tribes the final dispersion that took place in A.D. 70. The following Scriptures show this.
1. The Decree of Artaxerxes included all the tribes. "Artaxerxes, king of kings, ... I make a decree that ALL THEY OF THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL, and of his priests and Levites in my realm, which are minded of their own free will to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee" (Ezra 7:13).
2. Israel as well as Judah is expressly named as coming up. "Now these are the chief of the province that dwelt in Jerusalem: but in the cities of Judah dwelt every one in his possession in their cities, to wit, Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants. And at Jerusalem dwelt certain of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin" (Neh. 11:3,4).
3. All Israel are represented in the Sacrifices offered on the occasion. "The children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy, And offered ... for a sin offering FOR ALL ISRAEL, TWELVE HE GOATS, according to the number of the tribes of Israel" (Ezra 6:16,17).
"The children of those that had been carried away, which were come out of the captivity, offered burnt offerings unto the God of Israel, TWELVE BULLOCKS FOR ALL ISRAEL"
4. That Israel cast in its lot with Judah in large measure even earlier is stated in 2 Chron. 15:9: "And he (Asa) gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh ... for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that the Lord his God was with him." See also 2 Chron. 11:16 and 35:18.
5. Frequent references to the Twelve Tribes appear later in Scriptures, e.g.,
At Pentecost - "Let all the house of Israel know assuredly ..." (Acts 2:36, see also vs. 9-11).
By Paul before Agrippa - "Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come" (Acts 26:7).
James addressed his epistle to those dispersed of the Twelve Tribes.
The final vision of the New Jerusalem showed it to have twelve gates, on which are the names of the Twelve Tribes of the Children of Israel.
There is no distinct national blessing for only ten of the tribes.
6. Our Lord said, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matt. 15:24); and "Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matt.10:5,6). If Israel had not returned to the land could this be true?
From The Peoples Gospel Hour Archives
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