The Ephraimite Deception
A Lie to Lead Gentiles Away from Y'shua
Links relating to the Ephraimite Deception
Genesis 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
Genesis 26:3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;
Genesis 28:3 And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people;
G-d blessed Avraham, Itzak, and Yakov and their seed after them. Ever since that blessing was given it has provoked jealousy amongst all other people. And why not... who would not want to be blessed of the most high G-d?
Sometimes this jealousy is expressed in genocidal hatred as in the case of Haman. Sometime this jealousy is expressed in replacement as in the Christian concept of replacement theology, and sometimes this jealousy is expressed in both as in the Third Reich. In any event, this jealousy seldom yields the desired response and usually ends in the cursing of the one who wants to steal the blessing.
The Epraimite Deception is such a fruit of jealousy. It is the doctrine that the gentiles are the lost tribes of Israel and that they are in some way or fashion inheritors of the blessings upon Avraham, Itzak, and Yakov. As such it tickles the ears of gentile believers in Messiah with the promise that they are really heirs to the promises of the patriarch, not after the spirit but after the flesh.
So what is the problem with gentiles think they might be part of the lost tribes of Israel?
Rabbi Shaul (Paul) in Romans 11 made it clear that the natural branch of the olive tree which is Israel must be regrafted by faith into Israel just as the branch which is wild by nature must be grafted in.
Romans 11:24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?
The subtle deception of the Epraimite error lies in the idea that the gentiles are not wild by nature and thus by implication that they do not need to be grafted in It is a false pride that is empowered by the idea that gentiles are really internal to Israel after the flesh and not external to the promises by nature. Perhsps this is a product of the Messianic movement itself. For many years, the gentiles have wanted an equal position within this movement. Messianic organizations wanting to protect the movement from hoards of gentiles pretending to be Jews developed rules which restricted non-Jews from being recognized as Messianic Rabbis and in some cases from having any leadership role at all. This is itself an error since in Messiah there is neither Jew nor Gentile. But it is easy to see how such an error developed. The Antimissionary organizations routinely deny the Jewish ethnicity of Messianic Jews, claiming that they are either gentiles pretending to be Jews or Jews who were never educated in Judaism. As a defense against Messianic Gentiles pretending to be Jews and effectively corrupting our witness with the Jewish community, the leading Messianic Jewish organizations developed guidelines to ensure that the leadership of the community would be ethnically Jewish.
Such guidelines were considered as unfair by Gentiles who wanted to embrace the Jewish roots of their faith. As a result the enemy has entered into a situation developed from fleshly pride to create an even worse false pride amongst the Messianic Gentiles. The answer to this dilemma can only come from both Jew and Gentile recognizing their identity is not in the flesh but in Messiah through whom all the families of the earth is blessed. For more on this please read my article on Our True Identity.
In my opinion, the true origin of the Ephraimite Error does not lie in Messianic Gentiles, however. This concept is probably as old as Israel itself and is a demonic deception which has been looking for a home for several thousand years. Now please, if you are part of this movement I prayerfully ask you to read this next section on the history of the Ephraimite Error and consider the source and evolution of this concept.
The History of the Ephraimite Error
The Ephraimite movement is a derivation of the Millerite theology found in the various factions of the Adventist and Church of God sects throughout the United States. While a direct link between the modern Two House teachers and the Millerites is difficult to establish the doctrinal heritage is a direct match with those of Herbert W. Armstong and other British Israelists. Batya Wooten, herself, claims estensive study of other books in order to prove her Israelite heritage For more information on the history of the Millerites and British Israelism, a spiritual descendancy chart, and a quote for quote match, click here.
Why is this a Deception?
Romans 11 says plainly that the natural branch of the olive tree is Judah and that they must be regrafted into Israel just as the wild olive branch is grafted in. If the Gentiles are a wild olive branch then they can not be part of the NATURAL olive branch. The Two-House teachers routinely say that Ephraim is the white anglo-saxons of Europe and North America. This very statement points out the racism that is inherant in this doctrine. What of the negorid peoples, and even more critical: What of the Orientals? The promise made to Avraham was that through his seed (Messiah) all the families of the earth would be blessed. Therefore the wild olive branch which is grafted into Israel is those of all the families of the earth who come by faith to Messiah.
This inherently racist doctrine decieves white anglo-saxons into believing they are Israel after the flesh. But the flesh profiteth nothing. There is no inherant salvation in being a Jew any more than their is hope in being an "Ephraimite". The only way to life is through faith in the Messiah.
Yakov was renamed by G-d to Israel because of the faith he expressed at Peniel. Throughout the rest of his life whenever he is walking in the flesh the old name Yakov (Surplanter) is used. Whenever Yakov is walking in faith the name Yisrael (fights with G-d) is used. When the 10 northern tribes broke away from Judah and formed their own commonwealth, they chose to break from the Kingly line which G-d has established in Moshiach. A line which eventually would produce Messiah. For this rebellion they were taken out of Israel and lost to the faith. The subtle deception of the Ephraimite movement is that you can rebel against G-d and his promise that the scepter will not depart from Judah and still receive the blessing of G-d. Foolish gentiles, why would you want to identify yourself with rebellion and sin instead of recognizing the blessing which comes from joining yourself to Messiah.
Verses out of Context
Like many deceptive doctrines, these self-proclaimed "Ephraimites" search the scriptures for verses they can take out of context and strain to prove their point.
"lost sheep of Israel"
When Y'shua said he has come for the lost Sheep of Israel did he then go to Dublin, or to York, to to any place other than Yerushalaiyim (Jerusalem). This shows that the lost sheep of Israel are the Jewish people. Claims that the Jews are not Israel are founded in AntiSemitism for Yakov who is the father of all the tribes was renamed to Yisrael by G-d, himself!
"Not of this fold"
John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
British Israelists interpret this verse as refering to them by interpreting the reference to the other sheep as Ephraim. There are several problems with this interpretation. First, if the Lost Sheep of Israel are the lost tribes and not Judah then how can the "other" sheep also be those tribes? The two interpretations cancel each other out. a foundational rule of exegesis (Biblical interpretation) is any interpretation which creates self contradiction is an erroneous interpretation. The Two-House teachers also use this verse to support the necessity of Ephraim and Judah being joined again as one people. However, if the sheep of the other fold are not the Lost Tribes then they must be the Gentiles. This is consistent with Romans 11 and the idea that the natural branch (Judah) and the wild olive branch (the Gentiles) have been joined as the Assembly (Church) of believers.
A key component in understanding the doctrines of Anglo-Israelism and the Ephraimite Error is the concept of Word Games... the idea that common words in the Gaelic or other paleo-british languages have an Israeli origin. Common examples of this are:
Brit-Ish = Covenant of Man
Denmark, Danube, Danzig = mark the migration of the tribe of Dan
Saxon = Saac-Son = Sons of Issac
Scholars easily dispute such claims from multiple sources. First and foremost is the objection that these are one or two syllable words... the mechanics of human speech liit the number of phonemes that are available to human language. One could just as easily argue that:
Samarai = Samaritans
And that the lost tribes were taken to Japan.
Secondly, the etymology (origins) of these words is easily traceable to known cultural roots which do not lead to Israel.
Finally the lost tribes are repeatedly said in scripture to have been scattered amongst peoples of Asia Minor, there is no record in scripture or history to place them in north-western Europe.
2 Kings 17:23 Until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.
The real history of the people groups of Northwest Europe does derive some of them from the middle east but not from Israel.