The Claims Of 'British Israelism'
The idea has been put forward by the likes of H.W.Armstrong that the promises to Abraham have been fulfilled in the British and American peoples, who, it is claimed, are the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. Members of the 'British Israelite' movement believe that the kings and queens of England are descended through the line of Judah which began with king David. In order to justify their theories, they have had to conclude that the Jews have been rejected as God's people and the British peoples chosen instead.
If the reasoning of Study 3 has been followed, it should be apparent that Biblically these claims are in no way justifiable. The following are just a few of the many additional points which could be made:
- All human beings are equally under the curse of sin (Rom.3:23), and therefore Christ died to enable people from all nations to have the opportunity of salvation. Whatever national background we are from is irrelevant if we have been baptized into Christ and become part of spiritual Israel (Gal.3:27-29). We have been commanded to preach the Gospel to all nations, baptizing those individuals who believe it (Mark 16:15,16); thus the new Israel is comprised of people from all nations, not just the British.
- It is very difficult to prove the origin of the British and American peoples; they are a mixture of people from many parts of the world. Just because someone was born in those countries does not mean that they are God's chosen people.
- British Israelites claim that the blessings promised to Abraham's seed have been fulfilled in the British peoples, regardless of their obedience to God. This runs contrary to the repeated principle that the blessings of God are conditional on obedience. The whole of Lev.26 and Dt.28 outline the blessings which would come upon Israel if they were obedient to His word, and the curses which would result from their disobedience. To claim that God has given Britain these blessings regardless of their obedience to His word, and often in the face of their distinct disobedience to it, surely does violence to the terms on which God offers these blessings.
- The implication that God has cast off His people of Israel and replaced them with the British flies in the face of passages like Rom.11:1,2: "Hath God cast away His people? God forbid. For I (Paul) also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham...God hath not cast away His people which He foreknew".
- The Kingdom of God was the Kingdom of Israel in the past (2 Chron.9:8). It was overturned because of their disobedience, but the Kingdom will be re-established (Ez.21:25-27). The Kingdom will return to Jerusalem (Mic.4:8) when Jesus reigns there on David's throne (Lk.1:32
- The presently scattered people of Israel are to be regathered from the various parts of the earth where they have been scattered: "I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone...and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel" (Ez.37:21,22). This is being fulfilled in the form of the natural Jews returning to their land; its complete fulfilment will be in the Kingdom, which Israel's present return to the land indicates must soon come.