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Sixth Edition, 1915
By Dr. John Thomas (first edition written 1861)



Chapter  7


The Tribes of the Apostasy



That the tribes from which "the Remnant of the Woman’s Seed" was to be separated were not the tribes of Israel after the flesh, appears from the specification of them. The reader will see from the following table, that the lists enumerating and specifying their names, vary according to the speaker or writer passing them in review. Thus:


Apocalypse Ezekiel Jacob Moses

1. Judah 1. Dan 1. Reuben 1. Judah

2. Reuben 2. Asher 2. Simeon 2. Issachar

3. Gad 3. Naphtali 3. Levi 3. Zebulun

4. Asher 4. Manasseh 4. Judah 4. Reuben

5. Nepthalim 5. Ephraim 5. Zebulun 5. Simeon

6. Manasseh 6. Reuben 6. Issachar 6. Gad

7. Simeon 7. Judah 7. Dan 7. Ephraim

8. Levi 8. Benjamin 8. Gad 8. Manasseh

9. Issachar 9. Simeon 9. Asher 9. Benjamin

10. Zebulun 10. Issachar 10. Naphtali 10. Dan

11. Joseph 11. Zebulun 11. Joseph 11. Asher

12. Benjamin 12. Gad 12. Benjamin 12. Naphtali


In the apocalyptic specification Levi and Joseph are inserted, and Ephraim and Dan omitted. Ephraim and Dan are both inserted in Moses’ distribution of the tribes into Four Camps. This diversity shows that two different organizations called Israel are signified; nevertheless, though diverse, yet related according to the principles I have before explained. In the apocalyptic Israel, the tribe of Levi is not Yahweh’s especial inheritance, lot, or clergy, as in the natural Israel; although, after the destruction of Jerusalem, the "Jews of the Satan’s synagogue," who set up for apostles, and by the saints in Ephesus were found to be "liars," claimed to be the Lord’s clergy, as at this day, in place of the natural tribe of Levi. "Yahweh’s inheritance is his people;" not a particular tribe of them. Joseph is inserted instead of Ephraim in the apocalyptic polity by which the division of the natural Israel into two nations and kingdoms under Judah and Ephraim is repudiated. The future union of the natural Israel under Jesus and his Brethren is foreshadowed in the union of the symbolic Israel. In the regeneration, when the apostles sit on the twelve thrones of the House of David ruling the twelve tribes, there will be but one nation and kingdom in the land upon the mountains of Israel, with Yahweh’s servant as their Prince for ever (Ezek. xxxvii. 15-28).

In Ezekiel xlviii, the two tribes omitted by John are inserted, because Ezekiel is treating of the allotment of the land of Israel among the natural tribes restored from their long dispersion. Levi has no allotment of territory as under the Mosaic law.

The 144,000 sealed ones being separated by the truth believed and obeyed from the apocalyptic tribes of apostate sons of Israel, become themselves exclusively the Foursquare Community, or "Israel of the Deity." They are not his kingdom, but "the Heirs" of it, through the gospel thereof they believe. They constitute the only temple, or habitation, he has upon earth. He dwells in them, and walks in them, by the truth believed, which is his moral power, or spirit. The Spirit in Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." Hence, in the individual, or community, in which the truth dwells, the Deity dwells. It is a body anointed with the truth, and therefore the Body of the Anointed, or Christ. Being founded upon the Square Root -- upon the Root and Offspring of Israel -- it is regarded as consisting of twelve tribes, though no fleshly, territorial, or political divisions among the faithful exist; for "they are all one in Christ Jesus."




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