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You are here: Home arrow Articles arrow Religious History arrow In Defense of the Anglo Israel Message
In Defense of the Anglo Israel Message E-mail
The Roots of America
Doctrinal differences within the body of Christ have existed since the first century believers. Even the Apostles Paul and Peter had a face to face confrontation (Gal. 2:11-14). The church council at Jerusalem was characterized by “much disputing” (Acts 15:7). In spite of these differences there were no strong denunciations excluding anyone from the body of Christ or committing one to the region of the damned. One lesson that every mature Christian learns is that there are genuine saints in other dimensions of understanding that would strongly disagree in different areas of doctrine, but this gives no right to utter condemnation upon another Christian believer. This attitude seems to be toward everyone except those who believe the Anglo-Israel prophetic perspective.

A reminder of the acceptance of the Anglo-Israel Truth in Modern Church History

This belief has been generally referred to as “British Israelism” or the “Lost Ten Tribes of Israel.” Most Christians have heard of this only from a negative perspective and without investigation, consider it a cult. It may come as a pleasant surprise or a devastating shock to learn that many of our Pentecostal forefathers believed and taught this historical and prophetic perspective. The acceptance of this perspective was believed by many ministers and laity from a wide range of Christian persuasions and denominations. Many of these saints were held in high esteem by their peers and were on the forefront of Christian evangelism in their day. Naturally, it would be impossible to name everyone of the past who held to the Anglo-Israel point of view, because their oral or written testimonies are lost.

Briefly stated, the essence of this Biblical truth goes back to the division of the Israelite kingdom after the death of King Solomon. The various deportations of the Israelites (745-721 BC) of the northern kingdom and the cities of the southern kingdom of Judah, excluding Jerusalem, by the Assyrian kings resulted in the diaspora (dispersion) as prophesied by the prophet Hosea (1:2-5). This was typified through the name of his son Jezreel, which means to scatter, but when seed is scattered it is also sown which results in a harvest of increase. Contrary to the fallacious amalgamation theory, these dispersed Israelites migrated throughout the Mediterranean and European world. Eventually thousands of them over the centuries arrived in Northwestern Europe and the British Isles and became known as the Angles, Saxons, Germanic, Scandinavian and related peoples. This makes perfect sense when you consider the natural western expansion of civilization.

According to common knowledge, these same people accepted Christianity very early after the passion of our Lord. Polydore Vergil, the learned Italian historian in England wrote: “Britain, partly Joseph of Arimathea, was of all kingdoms, first, that received the Gospel.” It was even recognized by four church councils of the fifteenth century that Britain had accepted the Gospel in 37 AD. They conceded that “the churches of France and Spain, must yield in point of antiquity and precedence to that of Britain, as the latter church was founded by Joseph of Arimathea immediately after the passion of Christ.” (The Traditions of Glastonbury, by E. Raymond Capt). This was the fulfillment of God’s promise to make a “new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah” (Jer. 31:31-34) which is the Christian covenant that Jesus ratified by the shedding of His blood on Calvary (Matt. 26:26-28). This is part of the Gospel of the Kingdom that John the Baptist and Jesus proclaimed saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mtt. 3:1; 4:17), or the kingdom is now being restored under the terms of the new covenant. Even the apostles knew that there would be a time when the kingdom would be restored to Israel (Acts 1:6). To many opponents of these facts, this translates into some form of superiority, therefore they launch their vitriolic attacks. Instead, this is servanthood and responsibility in order to spiritually and materially bless all the families of the earth as promised to Abraham (Gen. 12:1-2). From Western European Christendom, the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been taken to all the peoples of the earth through great missionary efforts for the last 400 years.

The incomplete list of prominent names would include Martin Lyman Streator (1843-1926), state evangelist and home missionary for the Christian Church, a friend and student to Alexander Campbell; Joseph Wild, D. D. (b.1834), pastor of the Union Congregational Church of Brooklyn, NY and the Bond Street Congregational Church of Toronto whose Sunday sermons were published in Canada’s largest newspapers; Richard Reader Harris (1847-1909), English barrister, counselor to Queen Victoria, founder of the Pentecostal Prayer League and personal friend of Oswald Chambers; Elieser Bassin, Christian Jewish scholar who stated in his book, “the Hebrew Scriptures point to the British Isles as the home of God’s first born”; William H. Poole, D.D., prominent pastor in Detroit who authored “Anglo-Israel or the Saxon Race? Proved to be the Lost Tribes of Israel” (1889), which received widespread favorable reviews throughout the Christian literary world.

Recognizable names for many contemporary Christians would include, Dr. Mordecai F. Ham (1877-1961) under whose old fashioned Gospel preaching Billy Graham and Grady Wilson were converted to Christ; Dr. William M. Groom (1884-1957) served pastorates in Texas; the popular Lincoln McConnel, D.D., who served the famous People’s Church in Atlanta and speaker in large national conferences; great soul-winning evangelists such as Jay C. Kellogg who authored “The United States in Prophecy” (1932) and Henry Wellington Stough D.D. (1870-1939) a young associate of D. L. Moody, personal friend with evangelist Bill Sunday and preaching associate of J. Wilbur Chapman.

Among the Church of the Brethren would be M.M. Eshelman, prolific author and co-founder of Lordsburg College in California, University of LaVerne and McPherson College in Kansas; of Presbyterian persuasion was Roger Rusk (1906-1994), University of Tennessee professor of physics, expositor of scientific, historical and Biblical studies and brother of Secretary of State, Dean Rusk; prominent clergymen of the Church of England would be Bishop J.H. Titcomb and Dr. Dinsdale T. Young (1861-1938) the master pulpiteer and a host of others too numerous to mention. The name of Harry D. Clarke (1888-1957), song writer, Moody Bible College professor, song leader for four years in the Billy Sunday campaigns and founder of the Billy Sunday Memorial Tabernacle in Sioux City, witnessed to this great truth.

Great Holiness preachers would include Maynard James (1902-1988) a leading figure in the International Holiness Mission of Great Britain, Foreign missions Director, co-founder of Beech Lawn Bible College and co-organizer of the Church of the Nazarene in Britain; and A.M. Hills (1848-1935) Yale Divinity School graduate, first president of the Texas Holiness University, co-founder of the Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma where he served as professor of theology, Dean of the School of Religion for years, held evangelistic meetings in Great Britain and America and authorized over thirty volumes in “Defense of the Christian Faith”, plus tracts and booklets including, “Christian Education and Anglo-Israel.”

Further witnesses are George O. Barnes, pastor and missionary evangelist; Luke Rader (1890-1952), author, pioneer radio broadcaster, founder and pastor of the River Lake Gospel Tabernacle of Minneapolis. His nationwide ministry was instrumental in bringing over 60,000 people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. He associated with the most well-known ministers of his day and held one of the most successful campaigns for Dr. Oswald J. Smith at the People’s Church in Toronto.

Today, with the breakdown of national pride and the rise of globalism, most Christians have lost touch with the religious heritage of their past. The Biblical consciousness of ancestral origin that many of our forefathers possessed has been lost in the noisy clamor of modern philosophies. It was general awareness among many Anglo-Saxon people around the turn of the 20th century that by divine election the two great nations of Great Britain and the United States were the embryonic stage of the coming kingdom of God on earth. In his book Yale and the Ministry, Roland H. Bainton explains prevailing ideas among professors and students of Yale Divinity School in the 1890’s. One idea taught by professor Samuel Harris was that “with Edwards and Beecher he found the locus for the realization of the future holy commonwealth in these United States. God has always acted,” said he, “by chosen peoples. To the English speaking people more than to any other the world is now indebted for the propagation of Christian ideas and Christian civilization. It is a remarkable fact in this day that the thinking of the world is done by the Christian nations; that the enterprise and energy of the world are mainly theirs.” To voice these thoughts today would be considered anathema to most Pentecostal Christians, in spite of the fact that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit verified these principles to be true.

Pentecostal history students will recognize the name of Dr. John Alexander Dowie (1847-1907), one of the most prominent of the modern divine healing movement who made many recorded statements such as “Israel today is to be found in the Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian races.” Other believers included Dr. John G. Lake, whose powerful ministry shook all of South Africa and F.F. Bosworth (1879-1958), healing evangelist, author of “Christ the Healer”, gave a scholarly masterpiece in his sermon, “The Bible Distinction Between the House of Israel and the House of Judah.” We must not forget Charles F. Parham (1873-1929) Pentecostal pioneer; George R. Hawtin, acknowledged as a father of the Latter Rain movement; H.A. Maxwell Whyte, Toronto pastor and missionary evangelist; Charles O. Benham (1891-1974) early Assemblies of God evangelist and friend of many Pentecostal leaders; Frank W. Sandford (1862-1948) founder of “The Holy Ghost and Us Bible School”, among his students was A.J. Tomlinson of the Church of God, Cleveland, Tennessee; and Gordon Lindsay whose articles published in the “The Anglo-Saxon World” of Canada in 1940 clearly expressed his belief in this truth along with his father Thomas Lindsay.

The believing Pentecostal ministers of Great Britain are numerous which include, Principal George Jeffreys (1889-1962) of the Elim Pentecostal Alliance; Stephen Jeffreys, William O. Hutchinson, James Brooke, Albion Gaunt, Daniel and James Williams and many more of the Apostolic Faith movement.

Contrary to the mistaken accusation, the Anglo-Israel truth does not fit the description of a cult in any form or fashion. Some of the distinguishing marks of a cult are the following:

  • A cult possesses and promotes a “sacred” book other than the Bible produced by its founder or followers. The Anglo-Israel truth has no other “sacred” book other than the Bible, upon which its belief and practices are founded.
  • A cult has an elevated earthly leader, even though they acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ. This leader, whether dead or alive, demands obedience and allegiance and is usually the last word on any issue of doctrine or practice. This wonderful Kingdom truth has no Mary Baker Eddy or Joseph Smith.
  • A cult always has an additional doctrine that must be believed or followed in word or practice in order to receive salvation. Usually this is simply salvation by works as opposed to the Biblical principle of salvation by Grace. Paul said, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” Eph. 2:8-9.
  • A cult demands utter allegiance to its cause, its history, its leadership and fellow members. Usually this allegiance and obedience is in the area of inordinate control concerning the time, money and devotion of its members.

The truth of the Anglo-Israel message and the ministers and laity that believe this Biblical perspective do not meet any of the above descriptions of a cult. The thousands of people of the past and present that believe this Gospel of the Kingdom have been members of a wide range of Christian, Protestant denominations and groups. Many prominent true men of God have believed this wonderful truth and have incorporated it into their prophetic perspective of Scripture. They have been true Biblical scholars that have kept the proper focus of Christ in their message and have been instrumental in leading thousands of people to a personal knowledge of salvation by grace through faith. The major doctrinal difference between those who adhere to the Anglo-Israel perspective and other evangelicals is in the areas of history and prophecy. The correct identification of the historical people determines the correct identification of the people in modern day fulfillment of prophecy. Being that Anglo-Israel believers have much in common with other evangelicals in the areas of salvation, divine healing, the ministry of the Holy Spirit and many other Biblical doctrines, we have been compatible in fellowship and ministry without contention. We seek the good of the whole Body of Christ.

In an effort to discover why so many Christian people look upon the Anglo-Israel message with disdain and consider it a cult, the following reasons would apply. The obstacles to understanding this truth would be:
  1. Ignorance. Which is the lack of knowledge. People just simply do not know the facts.
  2. Prejudice. This would be judgment before investigation. Solomon said, “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him” Prov. 18:13. Dr. Paley said; “There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all argument, and which cannot fail to keep a man or woman in everlasting ignorance. This principle is ‘contempt prior to investigation.’”
  3. Misinformation. This is caused from the ministry giving false information to the laity, because they have not done their research. Therefore they teach what they have been previously taught by their mistaken leadership.
  4. Uneasiness. The acceptance of new information disturbs one’s comfort zone. Most Christians are comfortable in their religious environment and ecclesiastical shell that they or others have created for them.
  5. Fear of the unknown. This automatically brings intimidation to many people who are unsure of and/or do not trust themselves in doing research into new areas of thought.
  6. Fear of rejection. The parents of the blind man that was healed by Jesus is a typical example. John 9:22-23 says, “These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him.”

Unfortunately it appears as though most Christians, mainly ministers are afflicted with the disease of cognitive dissidence, commonly known as resistance to knowledge. The prophet Isaiah said, “And wisdom and knowledge, shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: The fear of the LORD is his treasure.” Isa. 33:6

We, the believers in the Gospel of the Kingdom feel extremely fortunate that the Holy Spirit has opened our minds and hearts to this great Biblical truth and we long for the day when our Israelite brethren shall be partakers with us in this Bread of Life. This truth makes the Bible come alive to one’s understanding and gives Christ Jesus His rightful position as Prophet, Priest and King among His people.

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