BIBLE STUDY SERIES #611, 612 and 613

10 August, 2003

JOSHUA 24 -CLOSING EXHORTATIONS - PART II

Douglas C. Nesbit, B.A.

Our present series of Bible Studies, which has continued for a number of years sequentially from the Call of Abram in Genesis 12, had, on our last Bible Study, covered the Scriptural record to that which is found as far as the first part of Joshua 24.

For new listeners we should mention that we have recently been studying the Biblical record of the entry into The Promised Land by the Israelites under the leadership of Joshua. We followed their progress at Jericho and Ai. We saw how all of South Canaan was taken, followed by the assembly at Gerizim and Ebal for a service of national dedication and following that, how a confederacy of the northern Canaanites had met disaster in Joshua 12 by confronting Israel. We followed the taking of territory and its distribution to each of the tribes of Israel by lot. Joshua 18 spoke of the setting up of the Tabernacle for worship at Shiloh, and then with each tribe having received its allotment, how six cities of refuge were assigned, and after that, the various other cities given over to the remainder of the Tribe of Levi to accommodate their civil service and religious assignments. At the middle of Chapter 22, we had found that a misinterpretation of events just as Israel ought to have been feeling relaxed from the difficulties of conquest, they had come near to causing a war within Israel itself, before matters were settled, in this situation.

Chapter 23, had shown us another threat to peace, not so obvious, but nevertheless even more dangerous for that very reason, because it brings us to some of those dangers which God's people have faced down the centuries and the millennia, and we are today perhaps even more in need of the warnings which this chapter contains than were understood by those ancestral Israelites of so long ago.

We saw that by this time, Joshua was an elderly man, and much concerned lest, when he passed on, the people might not be ready to take on the stern challenge of life in the context of the newly occupied Promised Land, surrounded as they were by the corrupt religious practices of the neighbouring peoples.

Joshua had called the leaders of the tribes together, in order to make clear what they faced. It is here, at this culminating point in his long life, at the beginning of Joshua 24, that Joshua, now feels compelled to go farther and to call a general assembly of the tribes so that he may review God's dealings with them throughout their past history, and the commitments made by the nation with Yahweh, the God Who has cared for them, and brought them through many trials to their present occupancy of the Land of Promise.

We had read to Joshua 24:15, and today we pick up our reading at verse 16:

16. And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;
17. For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed:
18. And the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God.
19. And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.

Here The Companion Bible note explains of those words ""Ye cannot serve" that "the Ellipsis must be supplied by adding from verse 14, 'unless ye put away your idols'. The Hebrew for God is El."

20. If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.
21. And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the LORD.
22. And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the LORD, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses.
23. Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel.

Here again, The Companion Bible notes that "strange gods = strangers' (or foreigners') gods."

24. And the people said unto Joshua, The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.
25. So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem.

Again, The Companion Bible adds the notation of the words "made a covenant: i.e. by sacrifice."

26. And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD.
27. And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God.
28. So Joshua let the people depart, every man unto his inheritance.

Here, The Companion Bible marks a distinct break by noting that the rest of the chapter forms an Epilogue. The next verse, according to that reference marks Joshua's death "in 1434, after living seventeen years in the land."

At this point, The New Bible Commentary, under the heading "c. Joshua's death and burial (xxvi. 29-33) notes "So Joshua died at a good old age, and the greatest tribute to his life was paid when the sacred writer wrote, 'And Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua (31). The book closes with the account of the burying of the body of Joseph, carried through all the wanderings of the wilderness and at last laid to rest in the Promised Land. It may be, as many commentators have maintained, that his burial took place long before the death of Joshua. But surely it was inspired editing which placed the account of it here, symbolizing at the close the message of the whole book of Joshua - the faithfulness of God. The author of that particular commentary note is appended as "Hugh J. Blair."

29. And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old.
30. And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathserah, which is in mount Ephraim, on the north side of the hill of Gaash.

The Companion Bible notes of Gaash at this point that "The Sept. adds here: 'And they placed with him in the tomb in which they buried him the knives of stone with which he circumcised the sons of Israel in Gilgal, when he brought them out of Egypt, as the LORD appointed them; and there they are until this day." In the next verse, the expression "all the days" draws this observation: "not necessarily a long period. In 11:18 it = seven years; in 23:1 = within 10 years; here it = three years."

31. And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the LORD, that he had done for Israel.
32. And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for an hundred pieces of silver: and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph.
33. And Eleazar the son of Aaron died; and they buried him in a hill that pertained to Phinehas his son, which was given him in mount Ephraim.

Before closing these studies in the Book of Joshua, we ought to make reference to the New Bible Dictionary pp. 663-664, Item "Joshua, for its "Section V, Spiritual Content." It says:

"The importance of Joshua for Christians lies chiefly in the evidence it provides of God's faithfulness to His covenant (cf. Dt. vii. 7, ix. 5, 6), the development it records of God's purpose for the nation of Israel, the reasons it gives for the failure to carry out God's plan, a failure already becoming evident (see, e.g., xvii. 13, xviii. 3), and the analogies which can be drawn for Christian discipleship because of the spiritual issues of faith, obedience, and purity which the book shows quite clearly were at stake in the invasion.

Israel under Joshua showed better morale than under Moses, but was no less susceptible to polytheism and nature-religion (Nu. xxv; Dt. iv. 3, 23). Determination to extirpate the Canaanites and their religion was therefore of prime importance (cf. Gn. xv. 16; Ex. xx. 2-6, xxiii. 23-33, xxxiv. 10-17; Nu. xxxi. 15 ff.; Dt. vii). The Israelites could not yet understand a redemptive approach, while daily contact with Canaanite culture would jeopardize their own faith in a unique, all-powerful God, as well as their moral standards, as the sequel showed. Moreover, spiritual salvation could not be generally offered (as under the New Testament) before its necessary judicial ground had been publicly set out in Christ's death; but we see a pattern of it in God's dealing with Rahab (cf. Heb. xi. 31). In general, we may say that God's purpose at the time was not to teach Christian principles, but to prepare the way for Christ through Israel.

As Christians we should note that the experiences of Israel in Canaan, as in the deserts, were "written for our admonition" (1 Cor. x. 11). In particular, the chief theme of the book is that God gave Israel rest, which their unbelieving fathers had failed to obtain (cf. Ps. xcv. 11). In Heb. iv. 1-11 it is shown that this is a "type"; i.e. the principle which the Psalmist applied in his own generation is equally valid for the Christian, and the promise is finally and completely fulfilled (verse 8) only in the rest which God has provided for us in Christ (cf. J. N. Darby, Synopsis, I, p. 328).

We shall continue with other Bible Studies in future.

17 August, 2003

TIME FOR A FEW QUESTIONS - PART I

By Douglas C. Nesbit, B.A.

Our previous series of Bible Studies, which had, with some minor interludes, continued for a number of years sequentially from the Call of Abram in Genesis 12, had, on our last Bible Study, reached a convenient terminal point at the end of the last chapter of Joshua. As we have now drawn up to a point at which a certain break in our meditations would appear to be in order, it seemed suitable to switch our attentions to some other themes for a short interval. We might consider taking up the Book of Judges thereafter. Today, I have brought forward some thoughts which can be conveniently introduced under the heading "Time For A Few Questions."

Our last week's Study which concluded with the end of Joshua 24 was delivered under the title "Closing Exhortations, Part II." In that Scriptural focus, we saw Joshua, the aged General and religious successor to Moses, giving expression to his great concern to see that the instructions of God were firmly entrenched within the religious and cultural heritage of Israel, God's National wife of Sinai. We had thus reviewed most of the five Books of Moses, starting with the twelfth Chapter of Genesis, and had also added to that the study of Joshua. Through the years during which that series of Studies received our attention, we have seen how God had developed His nation of Israel from the seed of Abraham and Sarah, and had led and taught the people, and taken them out of the bondage experience in Egypt, and in a further generation brought them to their possession of the Promised Land.

We have followed the progression of that national wife of God, which was miraculously, and yet literally developed from the loins of Abraham and Sarah in accordance with the prophetic covenant made with these patriarchal progenitors by The LORD of all the earth. This progression has a particular interest for ourselves, as we, of the British-Israel-World Federation, continually assert, with a focus upon Scriptural verities, augmented by consistent evidences from both Old and New Testament times, that Israel has been re-formed anew in the same genetic descendants of ancient Israel, now revealed as the generally Anglo-Celto-Saxon and kindred peoples.

Now I want to raise some points which will perhaps answer a few questions which arise upon hearing what I have just stated. This reformation is confirmed in the New Covenant relationship expressed by The Almighty God through Jeremiah 31:31-37, and Malachi 3:6. Jeremiah 31:31-37 had recorded God's commitment to bring about the re-establishment of God's New Covenant with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah in time to come, specifically in the following words:

31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
35 Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name:
36 If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.
37 Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.

It might surprise, and even shock, some listeners who have been taught that the New Covenant is a Spiritual work with all and sundry within church establishments, to read that passage with attention to the particular details specified therein. However, by including mention of their fathers who broke the Sinai Covenant, this is a promise which is being directed not to a "spiritual" kind of succession to Abraham, but to the Israel which sinned and was deported for that sin, for it is indeed an unambiguously genetically literal one. It does specify quite literally that those with whom God will establish His New Covenant are specifically and by the tone of the passage, uniquely, the house of Israel in the last days. I believe that Christians would probably universally concede that this New Covenant is one brought about and sealed by Jesus Christ as He died on the Cross of Calvary.

Hence we ought not to wonder upon reading or hearing of early accounts from Spain, France and the British Isles as well as other lands which fringed the coasts of the Mediterranean, and elsewhere, which attest the arrivals in those parts of the Roman Empire and beyond its reach, of disciples of Our Lord, tasked as Matthew 10:5-7 directed. This passage informs us:

5. These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
6. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

We have examples on record which attest these visits. Perhaps I might mention a few of them, taken from a leaflet of such arranged by The Rev. G. H. Nicholson:

- Tertullian. A.D. 155-222. The Church's first great genius after the Apostles wrote "The extremities of Spain, the various parts of Gaul, the regions of Britain which have never been penetrated by Roman arms have received the religion of Christ." (Tertullian Def. Fidei, p. 179).

- Eusebius. A.D. 260-340. The Church's first great historian, wrote: "The Apostles passed beyond the ocean to the isles called the Britannic Isles." (De Demonstratione Evangelii, Lib. III).

- St. Dorotheus. Bishop of Tyre, A.D. 303 said: "Aristobulus, whom Paul saluted, writing to the Romans (Romans ch. 16, v. 10) was Bishop of Britain" (Synopsis de Apostol. Synops 23 "Aristobulus"). He also mentions by name another Disciple as visiting Britain. "Simon Zelotes preached Christ through all Mauritania, and Afric the less. At length he was crucified at Brittania, slain and buried." (Synopsis de Apostol. Synops. 9. "Simon Zelotes.")

- Theodoret the Blessed, Bishop of Cyrus in Syria, writing in A.D. 435, said, "Paul, liberated from his first captivity at Rome, preached the Gospel to the Britons and others in the West. Our fishermen and publicans not only persuaded the Romans and their tributaries to acknowledge the Crucified and His laws, but the Britons also and the Cymry" (the Welsh). (D. Civ. Gracae Off. Lib. IX).

- St. Athanasius. An outstanding leader of the Early church against heretical doctrine, writing A.D. 353, describes the churches of Britain as adhering to the faith of the Council of Nicaea, A.D. 325. (vide Ussher. De Brit. Ecc. Primord. Cap viii).

- St. Chrysostom. Patriarch of Constantinople, A.D. 347-407, writes "Though thou shouldest go to the ocean, to the British Isles, there thou shouldest hear all men everywhere discoursing matters out of the Scriptures with another voice, but not another faith, with a different tongue but the same judgment." (Chrysostomi Orat. O Theos Xristos).

- Gildas, (Albanicus) the Wise. A.D. 425-512, the early British historian wrote, "Christ, the True Son afforded His light, the knowledge of His precepts, to our Island in the last year, as we know, of Tiberius Caesar." (De Excidio Britanniae, Sec. 8, p. 25). This was in A.D. 37, only four years after the Crucifixion!

Thus, in concert with all these testimonials, when we turn to Malachi 3:6, written a few hundreds of years prior to Christ's First Advent, we find that these literal Israelite descendants are assured, though their condition is sinful, of The LORD's commitment, spoken thus through the words recorded by that prophet: "For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." The Israel Tribes, had been an almost totally deported people carried away by the Assyrians by the time when Malachi wrote, together with most of the nation of Judah, and thus they form the house of Israel and the house of Judah of Malachi's prophecy. The later deportation, for some seventy years, of the people taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar in a later century and of whom, in part, come today's Jews, is of a separate entity from those two houses aforementioned in Jeremiah 31. Notably, those Jews of the time of Christ's First Advent did not require His disciples to preach to them of the kingdom of heaven, for they had already heard Jesus Himself preaching to them, and likewise the preceding words of John the Baptist. The command given in Matthew 10: 5-7 was to the long previous deported tribes who are often called "The Lost Tribes" even today. They were not lost as to geographical location, or Christ's directive would have had no target. They were set aside for following the ways of the Canaanites, and serving those gods and goddesses which Joshua so long before had warned them to avoid. The twelve disciples were expected to arrive among the "Lost Tribes" within the remaining years of their own lifetime, bearing news of the implementation of that "New Covenant" following the marvellous days of Christ's Crucifixion and death, burial, Resurrection and Ascension.

As one afterthought, we ought to note, incidentally, that it was over five centuries after the founding of the early British Church that the first representative of Roman Christianity came to these islands. The Monk, Augustine, sent by Pope Gregory, arrived in Kent in the year A.D. 597. Thus it was the Apostles of Our LORD who planted the New Covenant in Israel in these lands of the West. We shall continue next week.

24 August, 2003

TIME FOR A FEW QUESTIONS - PART II

By Douglas C. Nesbit, B.A.

Our previous series of Bible Studies, which had, with some minor interludes, continued for a number of years sequentially from the Call of Abram in Genesis 12, had, two weeks ago, reached a convenient terminal point at the end of the last chapter of Joshua. As we have now drawn up to a point at which a certain break in our meditations would appear to be in order, it seemed suitable to switch our attentions to some other themes for a short interval. We might consider taking up the Book of Judges thereafter. In line with this, last week, I had brought forward some thoughts which were conveniently introduced under the heading "Time For A Few Questions - Part I."

Our more recent Studies had concluded with the end of Joshua 24, in which Joshua, the aged General and religious successor to Moses, gave expression to his great concern to see that the instructions of God were firmly entrenched within the religious and cultural heritage of Israel, God's National wife of Sinai. That concern was embodied in Joshua's closing exhortations to Israel. In our previous series of Studies we have seen how God had developed His nation of Israel from the seed of Abraham and Sarah, and had led and taught the people, and taken them out of the bondage experience in Egypt, and in a further generation brought them to their possession of the Promised Land.

We have followed the progression of that national wife of God, which was miraculously, and yet literally developed from the loins of Abraham and Sarah in accordance with the prophetic covenant made with these patriarchal progenitors by The LORD of all the earth.

This progression has a particular interest for ourselves, as we, of the British-Israel-World Federation, continually assert, with a focus upon Scriptural verities, augmented by consistent evidences from both Old and New Testament times, that Israel has been re-formed anew in the same genetic descendants of ancient Israel, now revealed as the generally Anglo-Celto-Saxon and kindred peoples.

Last week I had raised some points which will perhaps have answered a few questions which arise upon hearing what I have just stated. This reformation is confirmed in the New Covenant relationship expressed by The Almighty God through Jeremiah 31:31-37, and Malachi 3:6, both of which passages we had quoted. They had recorded God's commitment to bring about the re-establishment of God's New Covenant with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah in time to come.

As there is today a teaching prevalent which tends to assign that "New Covenant" to all and sundry of a sort of "spiritual church substitute" instead of to the house of Israel and the house of Judah directly, I had taken some time to drive home the point that Jeremiah 31:31-37 makes the Covenant markedly with racial Israel, and indeed uniquely so. Thus, when we read in Matthew 10:5-7:

5. These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

many vaguely think, contrary to Christ's specific directive, that the Apostles drifted rather aimlessly from town to town and country to country picking up converts wherever they happened to be. However, I had shown that the Apostles tasked to carry out Our Lord's commands, were quick to make their way to the Israel peoples now under their new tribal names of Anglo-Saxon, Celtic and related kinsfolk, generally living towards the Northwest of Europe, as well as on various coastlines of the Mediterranean Sea.

Last week, I had quoted seven early Church Authorities, who attest, contrary to much of today's opinion, that Celtic Christians were hard at work in those Israel lands for more than five centuries before the Monk called Augustine, sent by Pope Gregory, arrived on Thanet, in Kent, in the South-East of England to preach the Roman Catholic brand of Christianity to the local Saxons. The date of Augustine's arrival, A.D. 597, incidentally, was the same year that St. Columba, representing over five centuries of previous Celtic Christianity, and having preached Celtic Christianity in Ireland and Scotland, died in a church on the Island of Iona in the NorthWest of Britain, in June of that year. Perhaps we might quote some further items which attest the Celtic stream of Christianity in the British Isles, likewise taken, as were the first seven in our list, from a leaflet listing such items, arranged by The Rev. G. H. Nicholson:

- In the Diocletian Persecution. A.D. 300, there were martyred in Britain, Stephen and Argulius, both Bishops of London; Socrates, Bishop of York; Amphibalus, Bishop of Llandaff; Nicholas, Bishop of Penrhyn (Glasgow); Melior, Bishop of Carlisle; St. Alban; Julius and Aaron, priests of Caerleon; and 889 communicants in different grades of society (Gildas. De Excidio Britanniae, Sec. 10. p. 10 Martyrology of Notker Balbulus, A.D. 894. Haddan & Stubbs, Vol. I, p. 32. Also Sozomen, circa A.D. 436. Hist. Eccl. Vol. I, p. 6).

- The British Bishops. Eborius of York, Restitutus of London and Adelfius of Caerleon were present at the Church Council of Arles in A.D. 314. British Bishops were also present at the Councils of Nicaea, A.D. 325, Sardica in Illyria, A.D. 347, and Ariminium in Italy, A.D. 359. (Mansi, Concilia. Vol. II, pp. 476-477. Haddan & Stubbs, Vol. I. p. 7).

- St Augustine, writing to Pope Gregory about the early British Church in A.D. 600 said: "In the Western confines of Britain, there is a certain royal island of large extent, surrounded by water, abounding in all the beauties of nature and necessities of life. In it the first neophytes of catholic law, God beforehand acquainting them, found a church constructed by no human art, but by the hands of Christ himself, for the salvation of His people" (Spelman, Concilia. p. 5).

- This refers to the Tradition that between the ages of 12 and 30, during which period the Gospels make no mention of Him (compare St. Luke, Ch. 2, vs. 42 and 49, with Ch. 3, v. 23). Christ Himself visited these islands with Joseph of Arimathea, traditionally supposed to be the Uncle of the Virgin Mary, and came to Ynis-witrin, later called Isle of Avalon, now Glastonbury, Somerset, and part of the mainland. Tradition and history further assert that, when St. Joseph of Arimathea returned here after the Resurrection and Ascension, he and the Disciples who came with him built a wattle church which was The First Church above Ground in the World, and upon the exact site of which the ruined Norman Chapel of St. Mary in the Abbey grounds now stands.

- William of Malmesbury. 1080-1143, the best British historian of his day, and who was asked by the monks of Glastonbury to write their history, says that after the Crucifixion, Joseph of Arimathea came here with 11 missionaries and that the King gave them 12 Hides of land. (De Antiquitate Glastoniae Cap. I).

- Domesday Book has the following entry which lends support to the above words of St. Augustine and also of William of Malmesbury "The Church of Glastonbury has its own ville 12 Hides of land which have never paid tax."

- Maelgwyn of Llandaff. A.D. 450. Lord of Anglesey and Snowdonia, and Uncle of St. David of Wales, who forswore his realm in order to become a monk, has left these words: "Joseph of Arimathea, the noble decurion, entered his perpetual sleep with his XI Companions in the Isle of Avalon." (Thick Vellum Cottonian M.S. See also Ussher. Antiq., p. 12. Ed. 1687).

- Polydore Vergil, a learned Italian historian in England, 1470-1555, wrote "Britain, partly through Joseph of Arimathea ...... was of all kingdoms the first that received the Gospel." (Lib. II).

- Superior Dignity and Antiquity was claimed for our National Church at the Church Councils of Pisa 1409, Constance 1417, Sienna 1424 and Basle 1434, on the grounds that "the Churches of France and Spain must yield in points of antiquity and precedence to that of Britain as the latter Church was founded by Joseph of Arimathea immediately after the passion of Christ." (Disputatio super Dignitatem Angliae et Galliae in Concilio Constantiano. Theodore Martin, Lovan, 1517).

There are more pages in the account by The Rev. G. H. Nicholson, from which we might, with profit, quote in pursuit of the same theme. However, for the moment, I shall leave the rest in order to add a comment or two of my own on these matters. It is significant that so very many sources can be found which confirm the general thesis which we set out to establish, namely, that the Disciples to whom Jesus Christ gave commandment in Matthew 10:5-7, that they should go to Israel, should have come Westward to the British Isles, and similar coastal sites on the route to The Britannic Isles. Let us review again those words of Matthew's Gospel:

5. These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
6. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Thus we believe that, in spite of ecclesiastical pronouncements to the contrary, Israel in the Western Isles was found receptive to that Gospel message of The New Covenant immediately after the passion of Our Lord, and that the Anglo-Saxon and Celtic peoples who were thus so early to receive that Word of God, were doing so because they were indeed the descendants of Israel of Old Testament times to whom, uniquely, those Apostles had been directed to turn their attentions. We might have something further to add on the next Bible Study.

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