A wonderful new film presentation has just been released by the British-Israel-World Federation in Great Britain, entitled, “The Mystery of the Lost Tribes of Israel.” The DVD wrapper urges us to “Follow the journey of the Twelve Tribes of Israel who would ultimately form the Christian nations of Europe.”
This is a professional production, very well-researched and written, and utilizing production crews in Palestine, the Caucasus, and several areas of Europe. The filming is spectacular and the scenery is stunning in its beauty.
The BIWF website describes the video by saying, “In the 8th century BC, it was the setting for one of the largest deportations ever recorded in human history. Palestine, or Canaan, was invaded by the armies of the Assyrian Empire – this resulted in the subjugation and deportation of virtually the entire Israelite population into Assyria. This huge number of Israelites, taken captive by the Assyrians, became known as ‘The Lost Tribes of Israel’, not just because they lost their homeland, but also because they lost their Israelite name. The subsequent fall of the Assyrian Empire enabled these lost tribes to begin their migrations; journeys that would take many of them out of Assyria westward into Asia Minor and Europe. This film follows these people on a unique journey through the Dariel Pass and onwards through the Caucasus regions between the Black and Caspian Seas.”
This 44-minute film fills a very great need for a visual tool of evangelism that people can utilize to promote our message to friends and relations. People love to watch movies, and there is a dearth of films on historical Biblical subjects. The film of a few years ago, “The Passion of the Christ” was a huge box-office success despite the efforts of atheists and agnostics to ridicule both the movie and its maker. Similarly, our belief has long been disparaged by the same crowd, who will have a hard time refuting this fact-based production.
This film follows these people on a unique journey…
A good overview of Scripture is included in this presentation without being tedious or unduly theological. Important passages are given such as 2 Kings 17:6, “In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.” Our Christian critics oppose this with a hearty dose of agnosticism, using an Assyrian text in an effort to undermine Scripture. One example that is repeated by numerous critics is that, “Sargon, the King of Assyria, says that he carried away from Israel 27,290 captives. It is quite obvious that this was but a fragment of the whole population of the Northern Kingdom.” This argument completely ignores that fact that such extra-Biblical references represent just one Assyrian king and only one exile out of several. In contrast, Biblical scholars now agree that the Assyrian exiles of the tribes of both Israel and Judah were indeed just as extensive as the Bible declared them to be.
The Exodus from Egypt
Other important passages of God’s Word that are given include Genesis 35:11, which asserts that Israel was to become “a company of nations.” Various B.I. critics have come up with a ridiculous variety of innovative dodges and negations for verses such as this, each critic sure that they alone are right, but with few of them agreeing with each other or with Scripture! A fairly common evasion is to assert that the pagan non-Israelite nations of Midian and Ammon are the Israelite company of nations promised to Abraham. If so, then the unconditional Abrahamic covenant was defunct soon after it was given, ceasing to exist in early ancient times with the destruction of Midian and Ammon!
Another interesting Scripture passage presented is Amos 9:9, ” For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.” One of the staunchest critics of B.I. was the late cult-book author, Dr. Ernest L. Martin, who referred to this verse as his all-important “prophetic standard.” According to Martin, the word “fall” really means “be planted,” and that the House of Israel would not settle and take root anywhere else in the world except Palestine. If so, this would be a false prophecy by Amos, because most of Israel of both houses have long been planted outside of the Mideast. Even those who reject the idea of “lost tribes” will admit that nearly half of all Jews dwell outside of Palestine! Furthermore, the whole meaning of the passage would be garbled and hopelessly contradictory: Israel would be removed from Palestine and scattered throughout the earth, but not a single one of them would be found (“planted”) outside of Palestine! It is painfully obvious that truth and logic suffer when the one and only goal of the critic is to undermine British-Israel. Even Dr. Martin sensed the illogic of his position and insisted that the verse must be taken “Spiritually,” whatever that means!
Several other excellent Scripture passages are given in the film, and of them we should at least mention the Apocryphal book of 2 Esdras chapter 13: “These are the Ten Tribes, which were carried away prisoners out of their own land in the time of Osea the king, whom Salmanesar, the king of Assyria, led away captive, and he led them over the waters, and so came they into another land. But they took this counsel among themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go forth into a further country, where never mankind dwelt…And they entered into Euphrates by the narrow passages of the river…For through that country there was a great way to go, namely of a year and a half; and the same region is called Arsareth.”
…and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve,…
One prominent B.I. critic, the late Dr. C.T. Dimont, Canon of Salisbury Cathedral, asserted that British-Israel believers “pick a text out of one of the books of the Apocrypha…mistranslate it, and make it the starting-point of an identification on which their whole case rests.” Aside from the fact that the starting point for our case rests with the Abrahamic and other covenants of Scripture, not with the Apocrypha, this critic boldly claims that we mistranslate the text in Esdras. After making such a shocking claim, he strangely does not tell us how this passage ought to be correctly translated, nor have I found any alternate translation that changes the meaning in any significant way. In fact, none of the commentaries on Esdras gives any indication of a “mistranslation” of this verse. It almost seems as if it is our critics themselves who are willing to mistranslate Scripture in any way that they choose to in order to undermine our beliefs.
In summary, this new film presentation should be a welcome and effective evangelistic tool to reach new people with our message. Make use of it! Get the word out that our God has a covenant plan! Even your most hard-hearted relation will enjoy at least the beautiful scenery professionally filmed at historic sites from Palestine to Britain. In North America, copies are available from BIWF-USA, 405 West Searcy Street, Heber Springs, Arkansas 72543 USA, telephone 501-362-5299, web: biwf-usa.com. Contact them for price and shipping costs.