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Who Are You, Really?

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When you look in the mirror, do you see a future son or daughter of God? Most people do not even begin to realize how God is using their history to prepare them for a future more amazing than they could possibly imagine.

Do you, personally, really know who you are?

Do you know your actual ancestry? Your family background and other information may have an enormous impact on the way you function, the types of talents and strengths you are likely to possess—and on your real future!

Most of us take out our old family photographs once in a while, to see what our grandparents or great-grandparents looked like. We may look at information in an old family Bible that lists some of our ancestors. We probably know that we are descended from English or Welsh ancestors, or from Italians, or Yoruba or wherever. We may think to ourselves, "This is all sort of interesting, but does it really matter? Does it have anything to do with my daily life, my career or my future?"

Emphatically, yes! It certainly does!

The current approach of sociologists and historians (which usually changes every generation) emphasizes that our ancestry makes virtually no difference in who we are, and the current emphasis on "political correctness" can make it difficult to discuss openly some matters that were often taken for granted a generation ago and are often as obvious as the nose on your face! But most of us who have experienced life for a number of decades certainly know better! If we are willing to acknowledge that the Holy Bible really is the inspired word of God, then we can begin to understand all kinds of information that this confused world is uncertain about—or simply "dead wrong" about.

One obvious example would be to consider objectively the tendencies and strengths of the Jewish people. Instead of trying to blame them for Christ's death, or come up with some "Jewish conspiracy" theory to try to identify them with some great evil movement, what does the Bible clearly indicate that the descendants of Judah would be like? And are they, in fact, clearly reflecting the strengths and examples shown by Judah and his descendants, as revealed in God's inspired word?

Of course they are!

Most genuine Bible students know that names are important to God. He names people and things what they are. For instance, in the beginning, Satan was named "Lucifer" or "Light Bringer"—then he rebelled and his name was changed to "Adversary." So, what does Judah's name mean?

Judah's Name Means "Praise"

In the Hebrew language, Judah literally means "praise." For Judah's mother, Leah, was so happy to have a fourth son that she said, "'Now I will praise the Lord.' Therefore she called his name Judah" (Genesis 29:35). Later, God inspired Jacob to laud Judah in these words, "Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father's children shall bow down before you. Judah is a lion's whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bows down, he lies down as a lion; and as a lion, who shall rouse him? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to Him shall be the obedience of the people" (Genesis 49:8–10).

Indeed, as a whole, the Jews are an absolutely brilliant race or ethnic group. Although comprising only about two tenths of one percent of the world's population, the enormous accomplishments of the Jewish people stagger the imagination of those who honestly look into the matter! Some years ago, I was talking with a number of professional musicians about the truly outstanding pianists and violinists on the world scene. Out of the top half-dozen pianists in the entire world—men like Artur Rubenstein and Vladimir Horowitz—most were Jewish. Out of the top few violinists, again most were Jewish—including Jascha Heifetz, Isaac Stern and David Oistrakh, who were Russian Jews.

Some time ago, an authoritative list was put out naming the world's most important scientists involved in the development of nuclear weapons. Again, the number of top scientists in this very demanding field of science who were Jewish was almost beyond belief! Of course, Albert Einstein is nearly always recognized as the "father" of nuclear physics—the entire field. Then, the man most feel was responsible for the development of the atomic bomb was J. Robert Oppenheimer—an American Jew. An English Jew, Edward Teller, has been recognized as the father of the hydrogen bomb. Many, many other Jewish scientists were on this list—out of all proportion to the number of scientists from any other ethnic group!

In almost every field of human endeavor involving the highest levels of human intelligence, guess which ethnic group is normally most heavily represented—far beyond their numerical representation in the human race? The Jews!

Judah was named "praise." And you and I had better come to understand that our Creator did put special talents or strengths in certain ethnic groups—and we are, in fact, willfully ignorant if we are not willing to admit that obvious reality!

Of course, as we in this Work have always taught, we are definitely all equal before God in spiritual matters. We are all given awesome potential by God to become His full sons, and to partake of His very nature through His Holy Spirit. But, in this human flesh, we are different in many respects that should be understood and appreciated. Men are definitely different from women in key respects. There are different strengths in general in peoples of different ancestries—German, Chinese, Italian and whoever. And there are certain strengths and abilities among the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic peoples of the nations of Britain, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. These are important differences—and we and our neighbors are missing out on vital information if we do not come to understand and to appreciate these different strengths and weaknesses.

For, by understanding all this, we can more fully know who we are—and what we should be doing!

Who Are the "Sons of Joseph?"

One absolutely vital bit of ethnic information is to understand who today are the "sons of Joseph"—descendants of the biblical patriarch described in Genesis. For if we can discern that identity, we can know who was prophesied to control much of the wealth and power of the entire world in modern times! We can know who would control the vital "gates" of international commerce and the passage of military vessels and supplies. We can know who was to become the greatest empire in history and who would be the greatest single nation in modern times.

And—get this!—we would know why those great nations would be brought down, humbled, and finally taken into the greatest national captivity in history—finally freed when Jesus Christ returns as King of kings. So, you see, the identity of these peoples is a vital "key" to understanding biblical prophecy! In fact, about 90 percent of end-time prophecy cannot be understood unless one understands the true identity of the "Ten Lost Tribes" of Israel—and, especially, the identity of the sons of Joseph.

So who are the sons of Joseph today? Just as the Bible describes the nature and abilities of the Jewish people, has it also described the nature and abilities of the sons of Joseph—thousands of years in advance?

Yes! It certainly has!

If you will read carefully the entire story of Joseph and his sons, you will find some fascinating information. For Joseph was not only an extremely capable manager who was appointed by the Egyptian Pharaoh to be in charge of the entire nation of Egypt, but his father, Jacob, was inspired to prophesy that Joseph's sons would be two of the greatest powers of the entire world in the "last days"!

Wow! Who are those powers today?

Remember, the patriarch Joseph's strengths and abilities led two different leaders to appoint him as a leading manager. First, after he was sold into slavery and brought down into Egypt, "Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there. The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand" (Genesis 39:1–3). So Joseph was very capable of leading and managing people and property. That is an important key element to remember!

Later, we find that Pharaoh—the king of all Egypt—saw these same qualities in Joseph and made him, in effect, second-in-command over the entire Egyptian empire! Notice: "'You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.' And Pharaoh said to Joseph, 'See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.' Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph's hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, 'Bow the knee!' So he set him over all the land of Egypt" (Genesis 41:40–43).

Guided by God, Joseph wisely organized a system throughout the entire nation so that they set aside massive quantities of grain to prepare for the prophesied famine, which was to last for seven years (v. 54). Then, in a businesslike but very generous way, Joseph began to share this grain with the surrounding countries (v. 57).

Therefore, it is obvious that Joseph had a tremendous ability to manage people and property—and was by nature very beneficent in being willing to share the extra wealth and foodstuffs that God had given the Egyptians under his direction. He was a blessing to all the nations around!

Joseph's Two Sons

Meanwhile, God blessed Joseph with two sons—Manasseh the elder, and Ephraim the younger. When the patriarch Jacob (whose name had been changed to Israel) was preparing to die, God inspired him to foretell these two boys' future. Stretching out his hand to bless them, Jacob deliberately put his right hand on Ephraim's head (though Ephraim was younger) and his left hand on Manasseh's, and he said prophetically, "Let my name [Israel] be named upon them and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth" (Genesis 48:16).

Remember, the Bible makes it clear that the Jews came from Judah—just one of the twelve tribes of Israel. The other eleven tribes—including Benjamin, Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Naphtali, etc.—were all different peoples, and grew into different nations through the centuries. Chapter after chapter of 1 Kings and 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles and 2 Chronicles, describe wars between Israel and Judah. Yes, the Israelites were fighting against "the Jews" (2 Kings 16:5–6, KJV). They were different peoples.

Of course, your Bible makes it clear that Judah—the Jewish people—were to bring forth the Messiah and to preserve the kingly line leading right up to the Second Coming of Christ (Genesis 49:10). However, a totally different future was predicted for the sons of Joseph, who were not "Jewish" yet were part of Israel! Notice what Israel said in his deathbed blessing to Manasseh: "'He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.' So he blessed them that day, saying, 'By you Israel will bless, saying, 'May God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh!'" And thus he set Ephraim before Manasseh" (Genesis 48:19–20).

If you believe the Bible, it is clear that the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh would become "great" peoples, and the younger brother, Ephraim, would become a multitude of nations—or, as some translations have it, a "company" or commonwealth of nations.

Later, God describes the future of Joseph's descendants. He reveals that the descendants of Joseph would be given blessings above all other nations, "with the blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lie beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb. The blessings of your father have excelled the blessings of my ancestors, up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills. They shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers" (Genesis 49:25–26).

When Americans read that passage, "blessings of heaven above… up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills," we might be forgiven for being reminded of the very words we use in singing, "God bless America… from the mountains to the valleys to the oceans white with foam!"

Nowhere else in Scripture is there any other prophecy, about any other peoples, that foretells such a profound blessing to come upon any nations in the end-times, as is promised in Genesis 49. For they were to have the blessings of a "fruitful bough" (v. 22), "blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies beneath" (v. 25). Obviously, they were to have rich and bountiful harvests. They were to have rich mineral and petroleum deposits from the "deep that lies beneath." They were to be blessed above all nations.

So, again, who are these wonderfully blessed people?

God had earlier prophesied other blessings for Israel's descendants, saying to him: "I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body. The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I give to you; and to your descendants after you I give this land" (Genesis 35:11–12).

So one "great" nation and a separate "company of nations" were to proceed from the loins of Israel. Other prophecies show that these descendants would control the great "gates" of international commerce and military power. Notice God's promise to Abraham: "Blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice" (Genesis 22:17–18). Then we find that Rebekah was prophetically "blessed" with these words, "Our sister, may you become the mother of thousands of ten thousands; and may your descendants possess the gates of those who hate them" (Genesis 24:60).

These prophecies have far more meaning than many today realize. For, in modern times, the high mountain passes in various remote parts of the world have virtually had no effect on international trade or commerce. It is the vital "sea gates"—such as the Suez Canal, the Strait of Malacca, the Strait of Hormuz and other such gates—that have had enormous implications determining who can control world affairs!

If you read the world news carefully, you will see that the Iranians are constantly threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, through which about 70 percent of all the Middle East oil passes! You will read that the ships going through the Strait of Malacca are sometimes harassed nowadays because Britain's control of the seas is not as it used to be. You will recall that another great "sea gate"—the Panama Canal—has passed into foreign hands, with ominous implications for America's future.

At the peak of their power, who controlled all these "gates" and the other great sea gates of the entire world in modern times? They were, until a few years ago, almost totally under the control of Britain, with America controlling the Panama Canal! Now, most of that control is gone! For God has been taking these sea gates away from the Anglo-Saxon peoples of the British Empire and the United States.

The British and American Peoples Identified

You have no doubt guessed it by now: the modern descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh—the "sons of Joseph"—are the British-descended peoples of the United States and the British Commonwealth. The Anglo-Saxon peoples of these modern nations do have the same strengths and abilities as their forefather, the biblical patriarch Joseph. Much more than all other nations combined, these nations do tend to "store the grain"—so to speak—and feed the starving peoples of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and sometimes other nations as well.

Although most in the U.S. and Great Britain do not even know their national identity and ancient connection, they have tended to "stick together"—as in the two World Wars, the Korean War, the "Cold War," the Vietnam War and the two recent "Gulf Wars" in the Middle East. For the British and Americans are not merely "cousins"—as we sometimes say—they are truly "brothers"—descendants of the two sons of Joseph. Yes, brothers do fight and squabble sometimes, as we have done. But, on the major issues, since the American War of Independence—we tend to stick together when the going gets tough. Never forget that! For more than two centuries—in the midst of more war-like nations—we have maintained the "balance of peace." We have sent out more doctors, teachers and missionaries to help other nations than all other nations combined. Several years ago, when millions in India were facing starvation, it was America, following the example of its ancestor Joseph, that sent a massive flotilla of 600 ships—mainly American—to bring grains and other foodstuffs from the farms and fields of the U.S. and Canada to aid the starving.

Truly, the American and British-descended peoples have been blessed, "with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies beneath" (Genesis 49:25). However, in spite of being showered with all these blessings, we have turned away from God. We have certainly not honored the Creator who gave us all these blessings. As President Abraham Lincoln even stated in his day: "We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!"

What Is Our FUTURE?

So what does the future hold? Are the Americans and British-descended nations God's "pet" people? Will He continue to bless them?

No way!

For the Eternal God is not a respecter of persons, as the Bible says again and again. "For there is no partiality with God" (Romans 2:11).

Millennia ago, God warned our forefathers, "When you beget children and grandchildren and have grown old in the land, and act corruptly and make a carved image in the form of anything, and do evil in the sight of the Lord your God to provoke Him to anger, I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that you will soon utterly perish from the land which you cross over the Jordan to possess; you will not prolong your days in it, but will be utterly destroyed. And the Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the Lord will drive you. And there you will serve gods, the work of men's hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell. But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distress, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, when you turn to the Lord your God and obey His voice" (Deuteronomy 4:25–30).

Remember! God Almighty said, "All these things come upon you in the latter days" (v. 30). So the modern descendants of ancient Israel are not God's "pampered" people. For God—in His mercy—will humble us through the coming tribulations and teach us lessons that we would not learn any other way. But we need to know who we are, so we can understand why the coming catastrophes will descend on our peoples more than ever before! And you readers who are not descended from an Anglo-Saxon-Celtic background can understand that we are not trying to exalt ourselves because we understand God's purpose. For the future is indeed bleak for our peoples, unless we repent.

All of us—of every race and ethnic background—become "grafted" into "spiritual Israel" when we repent and are baptized into God's Church today (Romans 11:19–23). We must all, whatever our backgrounds, be willing to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God and cry out to Him for help in learning every lesson which He wants us to learn so we can be in His Kingdom for all eternity. So let us all watch world events with increasing zeal and understanding. Jesus Christ exhorted us, "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:36). If you have not already done so, please write today and request your free copy of our informative booklet, The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy. It will help you watch and be ready for the times just ahead!

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