Notes on Pastor Lawrence's Bible Study Course
Fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant Promise:
TO BECOME MANY NATIONS, Part 1
Pastor Don Elmore's Review Notes
Pastor Lawrence has written a great Bible study course that he gives to those who are desirous of learning about what the Bible teaches. The purpose of the course is to develop and form a consistent biblical theology based on the examination of the evidence of the Old and New Covenant Scriptures through objective interpretation of what the Bible says and what it means by what it says. The objective of this particular class was to discover the fulfillment and meaning of God’s promises to Abraham to become many nations.
The Scripture for this lesson goes back to Genesis 48:3-20 where we have the very unusual but important death scene of Jacob/Israel with his most loved son--Joseph--and his two sons. Notice the misunderstanding which leads to much displeasure on the part of Joseph:
And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me.
And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a MULTITUDE OF PEOPLE, and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession.
And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born into thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.<
And thy issue, which thou begettest after them, shall be mine, and shall be called after the name of their brethren in their inheritance.
And as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan in the way, which yet there was but a little way to come unto Ephrath; and I buried her there in the way of Ephrath; the same is Bethlehem.
And Israel beheld Joseph’s sons, and said, Who are these?
And Joseph said unto his father, They are my sons, whom God hath given me in this place. And he said, Bring them, I pray thee, unto me, and I will bless them.
Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them.
And Israel said unto Joseph, I had not thought to see thy face: and lo, God hath shewed me also thy seed.
And Joseph brought them out from between his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth.
And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them near unto him.
And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh’s head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn.
And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day.
The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a MULTITUDE in the midst of the earth.
And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head unto Manasseh’s head.
And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thine right hand upon his head.
And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a MULTITUDE OF NATIONS.
And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh.
This reading was the blessing of Jacob/Israel upon Joseph’s two sons. Jacob had children from four different women—two wives and two concubines.
|Leah (wife #1)||Zilpah (concubine)||Bilhah (concubine)||Rachel (wife #2)|
|1. Reuben||7. Gad||5. Dan||11. Joseph|
|2. Simeon||8. Asher||6. Naphtali||12. Benjamin|
|10A. Dinah (daughter)|
Joseph’s life was an incredible story—but we will just say that his half-brothers were jealous of his dream that he had when he was a teenager. When given the opportunity, they decided to murder him. They put him in a pit, deciding how they were going to murder him, when Judah came up with the idea that they could sell him. Soon after, a caravan came by and they offered their brother and the men of the caravan bought him and took him to Egypt. So Joseph had spent much of his life away from his home and his father was told and he grieved bitterly that Joseph had been killed by an animal. It turned out that Joseph eventually became the savior of his family.
In 1 Chronicles 5:1-2: it says that Reuben originally was the firstborn of Israel, but because of his sexual sin he lost the birthright to Joseph:
Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn: but, forasmuch as he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel; and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright.
For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the BIRTHRIGHT WAS JOSEPH’S.
Reuben, was the firstborn son with Israel and his first wife Leah (Genesis 29:32). But Reuben lost his birthright when he slept with Bilhah, one of his father’s two concubines (defiled his father’s bed). But who was to take his place? It would be up to the God of the covenant. It did not go to the second-born son--Simeon or third-born son--Levi; but to the eleventh-born son of Israel: who was also the firstborn son of his wife that he loved—Rachel.
This eleventh-born son and firstborn son of Rachel was Joseph. All ten of his half-brothers wanted him dead; but instead sold him into Egypt. While in Egypt, after spending many years in jail on a false charge, he married and had two sons—Manasseh and Ephraim. Chapter 48 of Genesis tells us that when Israel was about to die—he called for all of his children to come to his bedside; but first he called Joseph (who he had thought was dead for many years) and his two sons. Israel was blind due to his old age (147 years old). Did you notice why Joseph disagreed with his father about who was to receive the firstborn blessing?
Israel crossed his arms and gave the special extra-ordinary blessing on Joseph’s two children who became Israel’s children. Joseph was given the special blessing of having his two children literally to take his place—become sons of Israel. In other words, Israel adopted them. Israel blessed the younger son—Ephraim with the birthright blessing; that it would be his seed who would become a MULTITUDE OF NATIONS. To his older brother he said that he would become a GREAT NATION. The grandsons (now sons) of Jacob/Israel, especially the younger would become a MULTITUDE OF NATIONS and the elder A GREAT NATION of Abraham.
It should be noted by any serious student of the Bible several important questions:
- Who were the multitude of nations that Ephraim was to become?
- Are there any nations that have the "crossing of the hands of Jacob/Israel" as part of their symbols or flags?
- Who was the great nation that Manesseh was to become?
- And this was only two of the tribes of Israel--so how many nations was Israel to become?
As Thomas Payne discussed that this could not be the Edomite/Ashkenaz/mixed multitude Jews--for they did not become many nations. For it is even against Talmudic law that the one nation they now have (begun in 1948) should not be in existence--their law teaches that the Jews cannot have a nation until they rule the world.
As you read on in the Bible you will see that these thirteen sons (eleven sons and two grandsons) became the nation of Israel their father. Later you find that they split into two kingdoms—the northern kingdom of Israel with Ephraim as the leading tribe (birthright) and the kingdom of Judah with Judah as the scepter (kings) tribe. Notice these two portions of scripture which teach that the northern kingdom was called many times by the name of its leading tribe--Ephraim:
In Isaiah 11:13: The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.
The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it. For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and for all the house of Israel his companions:
And join the one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.
And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these?
Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.
These are just two of many scriptures that shows that Ephraim was the name given to the northern House of Israel as well as Judah for the southern house.
So, Israel became like two different men: one circumcised the other uncircumcised, the one without hope, without God in the world, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise….divorced—no longer the people of God for over 700 years…but now in Christ Jesus you who sometimes were far off are made near by the blood of Christ (Galatians 3:13). The birthright kingdom of God and the scepter kingdom became united once again by the blood of our Redeemer; The New Covenant. Was this who the Apostle Paul was referring to in Ephesians, chapter 2?
For many years the birthright kingdom with its promise of becoming a multitude of nations has been lost to many in the mainstream religious world. I guess they just believed that this was a failed promise--but the promise was made to Ephraim by the power of our GOD! Our GOD has never made a promise that He did not keep.
Or they changed the recipients of the promise to mean all of the spiritual seed of Ephraim--spiritual seed and not physical? But they were to become a multitude of nations--what nations were they to become? Can you name them! This is one of many important questions that remains unanswered in the mainstream "Christian" Churches of our day. In fact, the question is seldom, if ever, even asked.
I believe that this is one of the situations that makes the Apostle Paul's writings doubted by many Bible scholars--they don't understand who his ministry was to. When you take Jacob/Israel's death scene, given in Genesis 48, where he makes a "X" with his hands; instead of just putting them in the normal form of a "II"--and you understand that he was blind--then you can understand that this promise came from our GOD. Joseph did not understand this at first, but after his father explained it to him--then Joseph accepted his blessing: his younger son, Ephraim, would receive the "greater" birthright blessing--for he would become a "multitude of nations."
Thomas Payne knew that these writings were not fulfilled in the Jews, and thus, he forsook the Bible as being a myth. He was not wrong in his belief that these writings DID NOT REFER to the Jews, but he did not know that they referred to the true seed of the birthright people--a people who were unknown to their Israelite brothers for many years. And was this one of the promises to Abraham that the Israelites (Britishers) in the church at Rome were to understand were fulfilled in the birthright kingdom (Romans 4:17 and 18)? As quoted from the Old Testament writings: "I have made thee a father of MANY NATIONS" and "...that he might become the father of MANY NATIONS"--who were these many nations? Was that who the readers of Paul's letter were: Ephraim--"lost sheep of the House of Israel"?
(To be continued)