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“If I can’t make America great by living the way of Christ, then I want no part in that greatness. And I don’t think God does either.” We should all shout a hearty AMEN! to this comment from Pastor Chris Gilmore on the Huff Post blog.
There is a time for everything under the sun, including a time for national humility. I’m afraid, this is that time.
Even so, enough with the insinuations of a rising fascism because Donald Trump wants to Make America Great Again. There is nothing wrong with that aspiration. The path to greatness is what is important to scrutinise, not the ambition itself. Living on this side of the pond there is little toleration for any sense of American greatness. Certainly I understand but usually it smacks of some ingratitude to me. America has been generous in internationally-unparalleled ways and paid dearly for freedoms people enjoy all over the globe. And yes, sadly America has fallen so so so far from her height and she is dead wrong if she thinks greatness has anything to do with great military strength. But my point is patriotism and national pride don’t always equal fascism. I enjoy Scottish national pride, and Irish pride, and Greek national pride, and the pride of wherever else I am. My family has wonderful memories of sitting late at night with friends from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe laughing at their jokes about how much better they are than the Oglala Sioux Tribe on Pine Ridge. National identity and pride aren’t necessarily bad things.
No, we shouldn’t baptise patriotism and replace the cross with the flag. However if the church is to be a House of Prayer for Nations then carrying nations to the altar for mercy and blessing is what we are called to do. Really, it is no different than the high priest of Israel having twelve precious stones representing each tribe on his breastplate as he goes into the Holy of Holies.
When I read the passages of the Bible that speak of all nations bending their knee before the Lordship of Christ I don’t see anything that would indicate they must first give up their national identity, calling and culture. Like the Twelve Tribes that made camp each under their individual banners around the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, national identity is part of God’s beautiful diversity in the earth. Each nation has redemptive gifts, purposes and callings.
The promise to Abraham was national greatness: “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great and you will be a blessing.” (Gen. 12:2) And the promise wasn’t just for one nation; from Abraham’s great nation would come a company of great nations (Gen. 17:5-6; 35:11). Where it gets really fascinating is in Genesis 49 where Jacob blesses his twelve sons and speaks prophetically about who they will become as great nations at the time of the end of the age (Gen. 49:1ff).
Through migrations over four thousand years these blood descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are now scattered all over the earth– God even promised their sons would sit on the thrones of nations, would possess the gates of their enemies –both things identifiable even into the modern age. God’s promises to the descendants of David came true. They did and still do sit on the thrones of nations and historically they have and still do control the main geo-political gates of the world; Gibraltar, the Suez Canal, Singapore, and Hong Kong to name a few.
I’m sitting in Aberdeen, Scotland as I write this only 55 miles north of Arbroath. In the fifteenth century, Mary Queen of Scots traced her royal lineage back to King David and this was made evident in the Scottish Declaration of Independence, also called the Declaration of Arbroath, which expressly states:
Most Holy Father and Lord, we know and from the chronicles and books of the ancients we find that… the Scots… journeyed from Greater Scythia by way of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Pillars of Hercules, and dwelt for a long time in Spain… Thence they came, twelve hundred years after the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea, to their home in the west where they live today… [The Scottish Declaration of Independence reprinted in The Declaration of Arbroath, The National Trust for Scotland, 1970.]
It is apparent that five centuries ago the Scots considered themselves blood descendants of Abraham and were aware of the specific migration routes that brought them to their new homeland. Elsewhere I’ve written on how we have lost any awareness who we really are; just like Hosea 1:10 said would happen. More on that from me here: I call it Recognition Theology. Yep, I made up that term and others are now using it.
With regard to America, of particular interest is to look carefully at where the people of Joseph ended up (vs. 22-26). Later Joseph’s blessing was divided between Ephraim and Manassah, making a 13th tribe, if you will. The prophetic fulfilment and end time placement of the nations in Genesis 49 is one of the most exciting Bible’s studies one can do. You’ll never look at world news the same.
Whether or not any of that is agreeable to you, or even makes sense, at least get the point of this post which is to say God blesses nations to be a great blessing. Greatness should be an aspiration because greatness is God’s intention for nations that call on his name. The opposite of greatness is mediocrity or worse. The path to greatness is humility and servanthood.
My in-box last night contained notes from friends alerting me to a matter Glenn Beck is presently underscoring in his media world. I’m delighted this is all getting revisited. Below I decided to paste a redacted chapter section from my forthcoming book The Fall Away Factor. In chapter three I listed not standing with Israel as a significant factor in the Great Apostasy foretold in 1 Timothy 4:1 and elsewhere. Most of the chapter is a denouncement of Replacement Theology. The part I’m pasting below is the latter third of the chapter where I introduce the reader to what I dub Recognition Theology, which is what Glenn Beck is basically putting forth. Another recent book on the topic is Timothy Ballard’s book: The Covenant: America’s Sacred and Immutable Connection to Ancient Israel. You can also read a related post from me on this topic here and here. The best source are the four books by my friend Steven M. Collins which I cite in the footnotes below. His books are available here.
Out with Replacement Theology, in with Recognition Theology
In my view, Israel issue is the greatest oversight in the history of Christianity. Hosea 1 is a passage on a previous list I mentioned of one hundred fifty chapters in the Bible relating to the end of the age. Hosea 1:10 tells us the Israelites will be innumerable at the end of the age. “Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted.”
We know God made promises to both Isaac and Ishmael regarding their descendants. We also know that today there are nearly 400 million Arab people in the various Arab tribes (Ishmaelites). Yet, it’s commonly stated that there are somewhere between 12-14 million Jews today (only .002% of the present population of the world). The math here is straight forward and stunning actually: 400 million Ishmaelites today and only 14 million descendants of Isaac. Did God keep his promise to Ishmael but not Isaac or could it be God did keep his promise and the descendants of Isaac are a far larger group today than those we presently recognize as Jews.
Considering a world population now exceeding six billion people, we are either still a millennium or longer away from the end of the age or God’s covenant promise did not come true. Or, more likely, God considers “Israelites” to be a far broader group than merely the Tribe of Judah. Either we are still many, many generations from the end of the age, or there are more blood descendants of Abraham than are presently recognized right now. In fact, that is what we read next in Hosea 1:10. “In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’” For reasons known to God, the true identity of masses of people at the end of the age is presently veiled.
The next verse speaks of an end-time reunification of the people of Judah and the people of Israel. “The people of Judah and the people of Israel will be reunited…” From the time of the divided kingdom, the designations Judah and Israel ceased to be synonyms either in Scripture or in historical records. These verses in Hosea suggest the identity of the House of Israel will be veiled and not recognized until that latter time when the tribes are reunited.
During the reigns of Jeroboam and Rehoboam, the twelve tribes (thirteen counting Joseph as Ephraim and Manasseh) divided into two kingdoms. Two/three tribes made up the southern kingdom of Judah, ten tribes made up the northern kingdom of Israel. Soon after that we find passages in the Bible that speak of the “Jews” going to war against “Israel.” They were separate peoples from this point forward and this is a critical point in correctly understanding Biblical prophecy.
Recognition Theology is a term I coined a few years ago to refer to the unveiling of the identity of millions of the blood descendants of Abraham who presently do not even know who they are. The reason I call this Recognition Theology is because in the providence of God, he has kept this veiled until its forecast recognition or unveiling at the end of the age.
Recognition Theology contends that numerous nations and peoples, including America, are absolutely identifiable and recognizable in Bible Prophecy, archeology, genographic migration studies and haplotype studies. The promise to the descendants of Abraham was that they would grow into “a nation and company of nations.” No doubt the nation Israel is that nation. However, as that verse clearly indicates, the descendants of Abraham were not limited to that nation. We know that Israel today is by and large made up of descendants of the tribe of Judah and Benjamin, as those were the two tribes that returned from the exile. Interestingly there is a company of approximately one hundred “Christian” nations today, most of whom support Israel.
In 586 B.C., when the First Temple was destroyed and twelve tribes were exiled from the Holy Land, it is estimated that they numbered around ten million. During the time of Nehemiah and Ezra, only a remnant returned (43,000 families which may number approximately 250,000 people). The remnant was mainly, though not exclusively, from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Millions of blood descendants of Abraham, almost entirely from the other ten tribes, assimilated into the surrounding pagan nations. Over the last twenty-five hundred years these covenant people migrated and literally populated a number of the nations on earth today. At present, only God knows exactly who and where they are, but we are certain that his promise for those people is irrevocable.
Imagine that millions of the blood descendants of Abraham, those we now consider the lost ten tribes, assimilated into pagan nations and migrated far from home. They did not vanish or disappear from the face of the earth, nor did the unconditional and irrevocable (Abrahamic Covenant) promises of God for their future get forfeited or canceled. God knows their identity in him even though they have no recognition of it. Jesus and his disciples were sent to the lost sheep of Israel. Their whereabouts were not unknown. They were lost in a spiritual sense. These tribes and people groups have since increased into many large nations—innumerable, exactly as prophesied —increasing even more by adopting many “foreigners” into their national (covenant) family. And precisely as the Bible predicted, the descendants of David still sit on the thrones of nations and possess the gates of their enemies.
God’s promises to the descendants of David came true. They did and still do sit on the thrones of nations and historically they have and still do control the main geo-political gates of the world; Gibraltar, the Suez Canal, Singapore, and Hong Kong to name a few. In the fifteenth century, Mary Queen of Scots traced her royal lineage back to King David and this was made plainly evident in the Scottish Declaration of Independence, also called the Declaration of Arbroath, which expressly states:
Most Holy Father and Lord, we know and from the chronicles and books of the ancients we find that… the Scots… journeyed from Greater Scythia by way of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Pillars of Hercules, and dwelt for a long time in Spain… Thence they came, twelve hundred years after the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea, to their home in the west where they live today…
It is apparent that five centuries ago the Scots considered themselves blood descendants of Abraham and were aware of the specific migration routes that brought them to their new homeland.
Queen Victoria, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, the abdicated King Edward the 8th, the Duke of Windsor, and notably, Winston Churchill recognized vast populations of Israelites (blood descendants of Abraham) as distinguished from those presently identified as Jews or Judahites. Of the various other notable examples, my favorite is President Harry S. Truman. That historic afternoon of May 14, 1948, State Department officials informed President Truman the new nation would be called Israel, which surprised him, as he noted that he thought they would name it Judea after the people, not Israel after the land. Obviously he was aware that what we call Israel today is mainly populated by the tribe of Judah.
This is an enormous and fascinating study, potentially permanently changing how we read the Bible. However, to continue on this will detract from the point of this chapter. Many will fall away at the end of the age because of an animosity toward Israel, fed by a total lack of awareness as to how this nation and company of nations fit into God’s end-time plan.
 1 Kings 12:21, 2 Chronicles 11:1
 Recognition Theology has several related but not-identical sub-streams including Two-House Messianics, British Israelism, Israelite Identity and various others who have interest in the identity of the so-called ten lost tribes of Israel. Recognition Theology vigorously rejects Replacement Theology, Mormon Theology, anti-Semitic or racial supremacy and Aryan race movements and other aberrant racialized theology variations. Recognition Theology celebrates the God who grafts the foreigner into his family and keeps every promise to raise up children of Abraham to be innumerable, a nation and a company of nations, blessing them to be a blessing to all nations.
 If this interests you please read a superb article by my friend Steven M. Collins called The United States of America in Biblical Prophecy available here – http://stevenmcollins.com/html/usa_in_prophecy.html I also highly recommend his four books which deal exhaustively with this topic – Volume One: The Origins and Empires of Ancient Israel; Volume Two: Israel’s Lost Empires; Volume Three: Parthia – The Forgotten Ancient Superpower and It’s Role In Biblical History and Volume Four: Israel’s Tribes Today.
 Entrine, Jon. Abraham’s Children: Race, Identity, and the DNA of the Chosen People. Grand Central Publishing, 2007.
 Genesis 35:11
 Matthew 10:6, 15:24.
 Jeremiah 33:17.
 Genesis 24:60.
 The Scottish Declaration of Independence reprinted in The Declaration of Arbroath, The National Trust for Scotland, 1970.
 The May 14, 2007 issue a Newsweek included an exclusive book excerpt entitled; “A Case for Courage.” The excerpt was from a chapter called “I Am Cyrus” about Truman and the birth of Israel from leading presidential historian Michael Beschloss’s book, Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789-1989.
I’ve been in George Washington mode for a couple months – just finished a thousand page biography of him and am just starting another thousand pages on him. (Here’s the book I’m reading now. Excellent, just excellent!) When I finish that book I have a little study plan mapped out in prep for Kaitlyn/my annual trip to DC and Mount Vernon in May. Here’s an amazing thing I uncovered today (in light of what I dub “Recognition Theology” — (America as “Israel” or as an Israelite nation and the nation we call “Israel” today, to be Biblically precise, actually being Judah).
Prior to his public service, George Washington was a land surveyor (as was his father who died when George was 11.) Using his father’s surveying equipment, as a young man, Washington surveyed and purchased land. Below is a picture of the front cover of his surveyor’s notebook which as you can see, has some scribbles, a couple calculations, and a one-sentence, very cryptic quote in his own handwriting —- historians never mention this quote apparently disregarding it as being without context and therefore gibberish and entirely meaningless to us today.
Here’s the quote as it’s tough to read in the pic…
If you can’t find it in the book of Ezekiel, look for it in Israel.
It reads like a riddle – a prophetic surveyor’s riddle.
Google the riddle and you’ll see that absolutely nothing comes up. It’s on no historical radar anywhere that I can find. Yet, Peter A. Lillback does mention it. He discovered the page in the Library of Congress and he writes the following about why Washington might have written that on the cover of his surveyor’s notebook;
As Washington was taught the Scriptures by his Anglican childhood tutors, he learned that Israel was a nation marked out by very clear boundaries (Joshua 13-21), such as would be well understood by surveyors. And the book of Ezekiel concludes with a remarkable survey of the New Jerusalem (Ezekiel 40-48). The young surveyor apparently autographed his official record with this observation. His task in the pristine woods of the New World in some way reminded him of the Biblical accounts of marking off expanses of land that had been gifted by God. [George Washington’s Sacred Fire, by Peter L. Lillback, page 108-109]
Lillback obviously has a sense of what this is about— but I believe Washington knew that blood descendants of Abraham came here and that this land is the land of promise spoken of by Hebrew prophets like Isaiah, Ezekiel and Joel. It is foretold in Joel 2:20 that at the time they are attacked at the end of the age, the people of Israel will be occupying a vast land between an eastern and a western sea (America is the only non-island nation spanning from “sea to shining sea“). Perhaps you are aware that when Washington died, Thomas Jefferson wrote; “verily a great man hath fallen this day in Israel.”
What did these guys know about “Israel” that few recognize today? (Did you know Jefferson was a “Jew?”)
End Time Israel is not just a little nation in the Middle East but rather “a nation and company of nations” with a population as innumerable as the sand on the seashore, just as God told Abraham it would one day be. Hosea 1:11 foretells the coming day when “the people of Judah and the people of Israel will be reunited...”
Judah = Jews. “Israel” refers to the ten northern Hebrew tribes – the blood descendants of Abraham who were scattered and migrated mainly through the Caucasus Mountains and populated Europe and eventually the New World. It appears Washington had some sense of these things.
Happy Fourth of July to everyone in America today! We wish we were there to celebrate with you! In the absence of fireworks here, Thomas has resorted to taping matches together, wrapping them in tin foil and trying to make his own firecrackers. Don’t worry– we’ve redirected his energies more constructively.
A couple days ago we taped a brief video greeting to show tomorrow morning at Church at the Gate to introduce the message that will be given there in my absence.
Not finding a nice red/white/blue backdrop anywhere here for the video, I decided to hike up to one of the old seats of power that are in ruins today – these old fortresses and castles that dot the landscape here in Europe. Many are in ruins with only scattered foundation stones remaining.
I thought this a parabolic setting to illustrate how America is shifting off of, indeed abandoning, her historically righteous/Judeo-Christian foundations. Psalm 11:3 says “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” The Bible answers that question… the righteous are to call a Joel 2 sacred assembly and fast and pray. So that’s we are doing — Church at the Gate is joining over 28,000 churches tomorrow in setting aside time during the worship service to pray for America.
Most people look at the end-time prophecies in the Bible and, not seeing the word “America” erroneously conclude that since the word “America” is not mentioned in Bible prophecy, it must not be in existence at that point in history. Even many of my colleagues in the prayer movement (all of whom are, correctly, very much dialed in on us now living in the generation of the return of the Lord), since they aren’t seeing it mentioned in Scripture, they are concluding America in the last days must be nothing more than scattered foundation stones in the pile of extinct empires.
I couldn’t disagree more. And so, tomorrow morning at CATG, in my absence, I’ve asked our very own teacher and scholar Steven M. Collins to speak on the topic: The United States of America in Bible Prophecy. Those unable to attend can read a lengthy article by him on this topic. Steve has written five full lengths books on the topic of ancient and present day Israel and the migrations of God’s people throughout history into the present age. His conclusions lay the testimony of Scripture alongside the secular historical record, including a geo-political saga spanning four millenia on every inhabitable continent and archaeological evidences. He is an expert on the subject of the so-called Lost Ten Tribes and a frequent guest on Israeli National Radio on this topic. His exposition of Genesis 49, identifying present day nations and people groups according to the prophetic identifications about what will become of each of the sons of Jacob, is riveting.
America is absolutely identifiable and recognizable in Bible Prophecy. I have coined a new term dubbing this topic: “Recognition Theology.” To clarify, he and I both vigorously reject “replacement theology” but I use the word “recognition” because, to date, billions of blood descendants of Abraham don’t recognize that is who they are. (Though scientific haplotype studies, archeology, genographic migration studies, etc. etc. are now confirming this reality.) Another reason I call this “recognition theology” is because, in the Providence of God, he has kept this veiled until it’s forecast recognition at the end of the age.
But it’s been there all along. Really, we all need to read our Bible’s more carefully. Consider these points…
- God promised he’d make Abraham into a nation and a company of nations. There are over 100 Judeo-Christian nations today. The covenant promises to Abraham weren’t just to the tribe of Judah (Jews and the nation Israel as we know them today)
- Abraham’s descendants would be as vast numerically as the sand on the seashore. The “tribe of Judah” (Jews) today is somewhere between 12-14 million (only .002% of the present population of the world). Considering a world population now exceeding six billion people, either we are still a millennium or more away from the end of the age or, God’s covenant promise didn’t come true, or most likely… God considers “Israelites” to be a far broader group than merely the tribe of Judah.
- During the reigns of Jeroboam/Rehoboam, the twelve tribes (thirteen counting Joseph as Ephraim and Manasseh) divided into two kingdoms; two/three tribes made up the southern kingdom of Judah, ten tribes made up the northern kingdom of Israel. We soon start reading passages that speak of the “Jews” going to war against “Israel.” These were separate peoples from this point forward and this is a critical point in correctly understanding Bible prophecy.
- Millions of Israelites migrated/fled out of the Promised Land in the 8th century BC and the people of Judah all were exiled by the 6th century BC. This constitutes a defection which some estimate exceeds ten million people. And only a remnant of Judah returned during the days of Ezra and Nehemiah (43,000 families may number approx. 250,000). That means millions of the blood descendants of Abraham, those we now consider the “lost ten tribes” assimilated into pagan nations and migrated far from “home.” They didn’t vanish or disappear from the face of the earth; nor did the unconditional and irrevocable (Abrahamic Covenant) promises of God for their future get forfeited or canceled. God knows their identity in Him even though they have no recognition of it. These tribes/people groups have since increased into many large nations, innumerable- exactly as prophesied – increasing even more by adopting many “foreigners” into their national (covenant) family – and descendants of David – as the Bible predicts – still sit on the thrones of nations.
- Jesus spoke of the lost sheep of Israel and sent his disciples to them (Matthew 10:6). At that time it was known where they were located, otherwise they wouldn’t have been able to go to them. At that time they were only “lost” in the sense that they were spiritually lost.
- The Bible forecasts at the end of the age that “the people of Judah and the people of Israel will be reunited…” (Hosea 1:11). Ezekiel spoke of these two “sticks” being joined as one at the end of the age. (Ezekiel 37:19-23… read it).
Prophecies central to the end times directly deal with Israelite nations today, not just Judahites. The Bible comes alive when we recognize the role the United States of America and other major nations today play in Bible prophecy.
Only a fraction of what can be said about America in Bible Prophecy has been alluded to here in this introductory post to the topic. I highly recommend you read Steve Collins books – you can order them from him on his website or you can do so on-line at his publisher’s website. Your comments are welcome here and I have asked Steve Collins to monitor the comment string here and help me respond personally to them as he is able. We do plan to produce both a CD and a DVD of his message tomorrow at CATG and share these through his website and on youtube. I’ll post updates on those links soon.
Happy 4th America! May you fulfil your destiny in God.
UPDATE: Here’s the link to the audio podcast and the powerpoint that supports it.