Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why is this information important?
This information is vitally important for several reasons. First, you cannot understand Bible prophecy without knowing to whom it is directed. Some prophecy is obviously telling of what will happen on a planet-wide basis, but much of it is targeted to specific nations.
Second, you must know the correlation between the names of ancient nations mentioned in the Bible, and their modern counterparts.
2. What is so important about a single man living 4,000 years ago?
A single solitary individual is important because God always begins something through the tiniest beginnings with a solitary individual. He began His plan through a single individual, Adam, and will eventually encompass every human who has ever been born or will be! Jesus Christ said that the Kingdom of God is like a tiny grain of mustard seed, the tiniest of seeds, which grows to become a huge tree that the birds land in (Matt. 13:31-32). Anything God starts He starts small.
With Abraham God began a legacy of descendants, His own model nation, and promised that they would become the wealthiest most influential people on the face of the earth. In addition, through him would come a Saviour who would reconcile all people to God.
The Bible is a book which deals with God's relationship to the descendants of this one man. The Bible was written for them and to them. It only deals with other nations of the world as they interact with Abraham's descendants.
In other words, the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis cover 2,000 years of history--one third of all human civilization--up to the time of Abraham. Starting at Genesis 12, it requires some 1178 chapters to record the Legacy of this one man!
In fact more chapters are devoted to the biography of Abraham the person than any other person except for Jesus Christ! God wants readers of the Bible to get the point!
Thus is the importance of this one man living four millennia ago.
3. God made a covenant with Abraham. Just what is a covenant?
covenant is a word that is not used as much in modern language as it was in the past, when most transactions were done on a verbal basis. Simply put, a covenant is an agreement between two parties to do or not do something. A covenant is generally perpetual while contracts conclude with the stipulated term.
In the Bible we find many conditional and unconditional covenants between God and humans. A conditional covenant would be when one part agrees to do something and the other party agrees to do something else in exchange. Examples are in Lev. 28 when God says "If you will diligently harken unto me..." then proceeds to list all manner of physical blessings. These are conditional on the other party agreeing to do their required responsibilities. If the party involved agrees to the terms and then turns their back on God, the terms of the covenant have been broken, releasing God from His promises.
An unconditional covenant is one in which God promises to do something with no conditions attached. An example of this is when God promised Noah after the flood that He would never again destroy humanity (Gen 8:21). However with unconditional covenants we find that they are given by God after the other party has already done something to prove obedience to God--such as Noah. God is responding with an unconditional promise to which no further conditions are attached. Even if the person would turn his back on God, God will still honour His promise.
In Abraham's case, God started with conditional promises and then expanded them even further with unconditional ones.
4. Weren't Abraham's descendants known as Israelites and aren't they just the Jews?
It is true that Abraham's descendants were known as the Israelites, but it is a gross error to assume than they are just the Jews. Why? Because Judah is Abraham's great grandson! Israel consisted of 12 tribes who are from the 12 sons of the man Israel and only ONE of these twelve tribes were Jews, either physical descendants of the man Judah or more recently, converts to the religion of the Jews.
After Solomon, there was a split into two separate nations--one of Judah, or the Jews, and a separate nation of Israel which comprised the ten tribes. In fact, from then on, the Bible chronicles the many clashes and wars between the Jews and Israel. A sibling rivalry!
Details about these two groups are found on this site.
[The modern nation of Israel today should have called herself Judah not Israel!]
5. Weren't the so called 'Lost 10 Tribes' lost forever from history?
While it is true that the Assyrians conquered Israel and took many of the people away in the 8th century B.C.E., one of the purposes of this site is to show that the Israelites were never really "lost" from the pages of history at all. They were the ones promised national greatness by The God who always keeps His promises. But God didn't specify when! He withheld the birthright for over 25 centuries, when we find the descendants receiving the promises and becoming powerful nations. God said during the intervening period that he would sift the Israelites through the nations, but not one would be lost (Amos 9:8-9).
6. What is the difference between "sceptre" or "birthright"?
The word "sceptre" (which is the British spelling; the American is "scepter") means rulership or a kingly line. It refers to a line of royalty. The word "birthright" has to do with the inheritance of both physical blessings and responsibilities. In ancient Hebrew society, as with many societies, the inheriting of a double portion of the physical possessions of the father usually went to the firstborn son as he had the responsibility of caring for the elderly parents. This was the "birthright." and kept the untaxed lands in family lines and free from fear.
7. Isn't this just "British Israelism"?
Over a hundred years ago, some people in Great Britain discovered that the promises of national greatness made to Abraham's descendants seemed to be fulfilled in the British Empire. They saw multiple promises from the Bible coming to pass in their country, and correctly made the connection. However, the mistake they made was in believing that Britain would always sit astride the world and was invincible. Many believed it was the Kingdom of God on Earth. They do not understand the duality of Bible prophecy in that there are many prophecies concerning future national captivity that parallels the national captivities of ancient Israel and Judah.
British Israelism seems to have slowly disappeared and was replaced by Anglo-Israelism and other groups which incorporated the United States. Many of these movements are founded in truth, but do not understand the ultimate destiny of Great Britain and the United States. In recent years, even some scholarly Jews have recognized that they did not inherit the birthright promises, but did inherit the sceptre promises in the perpetuation of the throne of David.
8. Wasn't British Israelism racist?
Some people have stated that special promises made to a selected group of people was and is racist in nature. Race is an evolutionary term and these promises are given in Tribal family lines. All of humanity will eventually be adopted and grafted into Israel.
If a patriarchal father with many offspring chooses to grant a special blessing to one of his offspring, that is his business and right. It does not mean that he dislikes the rest of his children. Likewise God, who is the Father of all people and is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34), chose the descendants of a faithful man for a special purpose. He wanted them to be set apart as a model nation showing the world that following Him and serving and obeying Him would bring peace, prosperity, and happiness on an entire nation. They were to be an example to the world. They were to be a holy nation, and the first fruits of all the nations in developing a relationship with the Creator God.
It may be true that some people in the past who have recognize the truth of Abraham's Legacy, have acted with an approach of superiority. This is not surprising since these people are no different that the rest of the human race in having carnal human nature. For a person who has the Spirit of God within them, this knowledge should be a humbling experience in knowing that the English-speaking peoples of the world inherited the birthright because God expected them to be an example to the world in humble obedience. Just as Abraham was.
9. Are there other covenants in the Bible?
Yes. The covenants made to Abraham and his descendants are not the sum total of all those made between God and mankind. They are just some of the most significant and important.
10. Isn't this all Old Testament stuff anyway?
Nothing could be further from the truth. While it is true that Abraham lived in Old Testament times and all the promises were given then, the New Testament says that Abraham has not received the promises yet. In fact, the promises were expanded in the New Testament to include eternal life! As it says "better promises" (Heb. 8:6). Much better than just material possessions.
11. Weren't all the promises fulfilled in Christ?
Some people believe that all the promises were fulfilled in Jesus Christ. While there are many types and parallels, the bottom line is that Jesus Christ does not YET sit on the throne of David. He is sitting on His Father's throne, as His right hand, right now (Rev. 3:21) and will sit on David's Throne in Jerusalem (Luke 1:32) WHEN he returns to Earth in the not-to-distant future.
There are many prophecies concerning Judah and Israel yet to be physically fulfilled by these nations. This includes the end time conversion of Judah, so that the elect may not exalt them selves against them. A time of national destruction and captivity will occur in the immediate future, and many promises regarding the tribes of Israel will be fulfilled beyond this under the millennial-rule of Jesus Christ.
12. What significance is this to a gentile Christian today?
These promises to Abraham are not only tremendously exciting to a descendant of Abraham, but also for a person who is not a descendant. They are no longer left out.
Under the terms of the Renewed Covenant with Jesus Christ, anyone regardless of lineage who believes in following what Jesus Christ said and lives accordingly, now is grafted into the promises. Anyone can develop a personal relationship with God, as did Abraham "the father of the faithful". By obeying God in faith as did Abraham, we too can inherit the promises. We are heirs, not yet inheritors. The promises of eternal life still go to Abraham's descendants, but now a Gentile Christian can also inherit the promises.
This is the most exciting news of all!
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