Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Origin of Halloween


The Plain Truth October 1967

What about this strange festival? What have goblins, witches and ghosts to do with this feast of All Hallows Eve? And why the demoniacal masks and gaudy decorations?

by Gerhard O. Marx

EACH YEAR millions around the world observe the strangest of all festivals, Hallowe'en -- All Hallows Evening. Especially so in Great Britain, Scandinavia and the United States. Every autumn, young and old alike anticipate its revels. It's a night of frolicking fun and frivolous foolishness. All kinds of nonsense and superstitions are associated with this festival.

But Why?

On the eve of this night children dress in outrageous costumes and put on witch-like masks. Then they are turned loose to frighten or otherwise induce people into giving them food items and other gifts. Millions are familiar with the "trick-or-treat"
threat associated with Hallowe'en. Buildings are desecrated, windows broken and other fooleries are resorted to.

WHY do so many keep Hallowe'en? What useful purpose does such a celebration fulfill in this "enlightened" scientific twentieth century? What purpose did it ever serve? Is it merely a harmless celebration to amuse our children? It's about time we checked into this observance to see WHERE and WHEN it really originated and FOR WHAT PURPOSE it was established.

You may not have realized it, but the ancient pre-Christian Druids in Britain, the pagan Romans and Greeks, and even the Babylonians, among others, kept a Hallowe'en festival.

Not Christian

Yes, Hallowe'en long antedates Christianity! It was only later introduced into the professing Christian world -- centuries AFTER the death of the Apostles.

Notice! "The earliest Hallowe'en celebrations [in Britain] were held by the Druids in honour of Samhain, Lord of the Dead, whose festival fell on November 1" (see Halloween Through Twenty Centuries, by Ralph Linton, p. 4). "It is clearly a RELIC OF PAGAN TIMES"! (The Book of Days, Chambers, v. 2, p. 519.)

Further, "It was a Druidical belief that on the eve of this festival Saman, lord of death, called together the wicked spirits that within the past 12 months had been condemned to inhabit the bodies of animals" (Enc. Brit., 11th ed., v. 12, pp.857-8). Read what this November celebration was like! It was a pagan belief that on one night of the year the souls of the dead return to their original homes, there to be entertained with food. If food and shelter were not provided, these spirits, it was believed, would cast spells and cause havoc towards those failing to fulfill their requests. "It was the night for the universal walking about of all sorts of spirits, airies, and ghosts, all of whom had liberty on that night" (Highland superstitions, Alexander Macgregor, p. 44). Literal sacrifices were offered on this night to the spirits of the dead, when, so the belief went, they visited their earthly haunts and their friends.

There was a reason why November was chosen for that particular event. The Celts and other Northern people considered the beginning of November as their New Year.

This was the time when the leaves were falling and a general seasonal decay was taking place everywhere. Thus it was a fitting time, so they reasoned, for the commemoration of the dead. Since the Northern nations at that time began their day in the evening, the eve leading up to November 1st was the beginning of the festival.

According to the Roman calendar it was the evening October 31 -- hence, Hallowe'en -- the evening of All Hallows.

Observed Everywhere

Hallowe'en, or "All Souls Eve," was kept throughout the ancient pagan world. The observance was widespread. "There was a prevailing belief AMONG ALL NATIONS that at death the souls of good men were taken possession of by good spirits and carried to paradise; but the souls of wicked men were left to wander in the space between the earth and moon, or consigned to the unseen world. These wandering spirits were in the habit of HAUNTING THE LIVING ... BUT THERE WERE MEANS BY WHICH THESE GHOSTS MIGHT BE EXORCISED" (Folklore, James Napier, p. 11).

To exorcise these ghosts, that is, to free yourself from their supposed evil sway, you would have to set out food and provide shelter for them during the night. If they were satisfied with your offerings, it was believed they would leave you in peace. If not, they were believed to cast an evil spell on you. "In Wales it was
firmly believed that on All Hallows Eve the spirit of a departed person was to be seen at midnight on every crossroad and every stile" (Folklore and Folk-Stories of Wales,, Marie Trevelyan, p. 254).

In Cambodia people used to chant: "O all you our ancestors, who are departed, deign to come and eat what we have prepared for you, and to bless your posterity and to make it happy" (Notice sur le Cambodge, Paris 1875, E. Aymonièr, p. 59).

This sort of Hallowe'en festival was strenuously observed throughout the non-Christian world. Pagans would pray to their false gods to prevent "DEMONS" and "witches" from molesting them. Notice! "The Miatecs of Mexico believed that the
souls of the dead came back in the twelfth month of the year, WHICH CORRESPONDED TO OUR NOVEMBER. On this day of All Souls the houses were decked out to welcome the spirits. Jars of food and drink were set on a table in the principal room, and the family went out with the torches to meet the ghosts and invite them to enter. Then, returning to the house they knelt around the table, and with their eyes bent on the ground, prayed the souls to accept the offerings" (Adonis, Frazer, p. 244).

This, then, is the way the heathen world celebrated their Hallowe'en, their "All Souls Day". Although some aspects of the Hallowe'en festival varied with each country, the overall pattern and purpose remained the same.

Hallowe'en "Christianized"

But how did the professing Christian world come to accept and keep such a day? Here is what you, probably, haven't been told. In 607 A.D. the Roman Emperor Phocus defeated the Barbarians who were in control of Rome. The Pantheon in Rome, a pagan edifice which had been wrested from the barbarians, was given to pope Boniface IV. Originally, Emperor Hadrian built the Pantheon -- around 100 A.D. He dedicated it to the pagan goddess Cybele and to the other Roman deities. This temple became the central place in Rome where the pagans honored and commemorated their gods. With this splendid edifice now falling into the hands of professing Christians, the question was, What should be done with it?

The pagans had dedicated it to Cybele and all their gods. But the Roman bishop now CONSECRATED IT TO THE VIRGIN MARY AND ALL THE SAINTS of both sexes (see The Mysteries of All Nations, Grant, p. 120). Thus this pagan building became "holy." No more did the pagan Romans use this edifice to pray for their dead. It was now the professing Christians who employed the Pantheon in praying for their dead.

This re-dedication of the pagan temple to Mary and others occurred in 610 A.D. Now converted into a Christian shrine, an annual festival was instituted to commemorate the event. The day chosen was May 13.

This May 13 commemoration of the dead saints was known by the name of "All Saints Day." It continued to be held in May for over two centuries -- until 834 A.D. In that year the NAME and the DATE WERE CHANGED. Notice! "The time of celebration was altered to the FIRST OF NOVEMBER,and it was then called ALL HALLOW" -- from where we get the name Hallowe'en, ALL HALLOW merely meaning ALL HOLY, and the "een" is a contraction of evening (Folklore, James Napier, p. 177).

Thus in 834 A.D. the Church in the Middle Ages began tocelebrate Hallowe'en on the FIRST OF NOVEMBER for the first time. This was the very same day the Druids in Britain, the Norsemen in Scandinavia, and the pagan Germans among others were keeping their festival of ALL SOULS EVE, in commemoration of Saman, lord of death, and his demons.

Reason for Change

Why did the church change the date to November 1st, thus coinciding with the pagans' feast of ALL SOULS? There is a reason!

It was a general practice of the restored Roman Empire, now professing Christianity, to "convert" the pagans within the empire as quickly and on as large a scale as possible. Changing dates of festivals often made it easier to influence newly conquered peoples.

Ever since the time of Constantine -- who made a state religion out of Christianity -- the Roman emperors realized how essential it was to have a UNIFIED empire, in which as many as possible would be of ONE MIND. The civil and religious leaders saw how important it was for the sake of unity to ALLOW ONLY ONE RELIGION within the restored Roman domain. It became therefore a stringent state policy to force all non-Christians to accept the new state religion. Here is how the plan was carried out.

Conversion of Germans

When the German Frankish king Charlemagne invaded and conquered parts of Eastern Germany, he compelled the conquered German king, Wittekind, to be baptized and to accept Christianity. Having no choice and seeing his life was at stake, this heathen ruler who knew little or nothing about Christ -- was forced into this "conversion." And with him his entire people. This policy brought complex problems.

These pagans, who were usually baptized EN MASSE, were still pagans at heart.
Even though they became nominal Christians, they still yearned for many of their heathen practices, which they were expected to discard.

With Wittekind's baptism, for example, a vast number of barbarians were suddenly added to the roll call of the church. Wittekind's Germans, now professing Christians, and other conquered pagans, had a profound influence on the ecclesiastical affairs of the church in the early 800's A. D. These barbaric and uncultured people brought with them many outright pagan practices and celebrations, Hallowe'en merely being one of many. They were fervent in clinging to their past ceremonies and observed them openly -- yet supposedly converted to Christianity. What was the church to do?

Excommunicate them and thus reduce her membership? This she would not do. Was she to force them into discarding their heathen practices and adopt Italian or Roman ones? This, as she had learned in past times, was not possible.

There remained only one other way. Let the recently converted pagans keep certain of their heathen festivals, such as Hallowe'en or All Souls Day -- but label it "Christian." Of course the Germans were asked not to pray to their ancient pagan gods on this day. They must now use this day to commemorate the death of the saints.

To make it easy for them, the Roman Church even CHANGED HER DATE of All Saints Day from May 13 to November 1st to satisfy the growing numbers of Germanic adherents. The Church understood the yearnings the Germans and others had for their old ways.

Throughout history, the Christian-professing world has resorted to this action. We have the theological explanation of this given to us by Pope Innocent. He refers to a heathen festival the pagans kept in the early part of the Roman Empire and explained how the professing Christian world should treat this day: "The heathen dedicated this month [2 Feb.] to the infernal gods ... In the beginning of this month the idolaters walked about the city with lighted candles, and as some of the holy fathers COULD NOT EXTIRPATE SUCH A CUSTOM, they ORDAINED that Christians should carry about candles IN HONOUR OF THE "VIRGIN MARY" (Folklore, James Napier, p. 181).

If a pagan practice or festival could not be forbidden, it was reasoned, "let it be tamed." Thus many were persuaded to TRANSFER devotion from their former gods to the Christian God. So it was with the festival of ALL SOULS EVE. Notice this admission: "Thus, at the first promulgation of Christianity to the Gentile nations ... THEY COULD NOT BE PERSUADED TO RELINQUISH many of their superstitions, which, rather than
forego altogether, they chose to blend and INCORPORATE with the new faith" (Popular Antiquities of Great Britain, John Brand, p. xi).

What About Our Time?

Now come down to the twentieth century. You'll be surprised to what extent we have inherited pagan rites and ceremonies from our forefathers, so obvious in the celebration of Hallowe'en. Note this classic example. "In many Catholic countries the belief that the DEAD RETURN on this day is so strong, that food is left on the
tables and people still decorate the graves of the dead [on this day]" (Dictionary of Folklore, Funk and Wagnalls, v. 1, p. 38).

In Protestant countries many pagan superstitious beliefs and practices have become an integral part of each year's celebration.

In many parts of Britain, BONFIRES are set alight on the eve of Hallowe'en. Of course fire has nothing to do with praying for dead saints. The original reason for the fire, however, was to frighten away witches and evil spirits on this night. Fire has always been an essential part of Hallowe'en in Great Britain.

You and Your Children

What about you and your children? What comes to your mind when thinking about Hallowe'en? The truth of the Bible? Not at all! Instead, weird and FRIGHTENING MASKS -- persons PORTRAYED AS WITCHES AND DEMONS. Pumpkins and turnips hollowed out in the shape of EERIE-LOOKING faces! Lighted candles are placed inside to help bring out the more frightful side of these carvings. Dough is baked into small figurines RESEMBLING WITCHES AND SPIDER'S WEB CAKES are baked by the dozen for this occasion. Children, dressed up in the most revolting garments, are let loose on the neighbors, trying to
scare the daylights out of them.

Let's be honest. I have before me the Good Housekeeping's Book of Entertainment, which my wife picked up from the local library. On page 168 of this much-read book, there is a section on what to do on Hallowe'en. Notice the astonishing advice given!

"Halloween decorations are quite as important as the food. When planning them, remember that if the room is to be dimly lit (preferably by candle and FIRELIGHT) the decorations must be bold to be effective. Orange, black and red, THE DEVIL'S COLOURS, are the colours associated with Halloween and THIS SCHEME SHOULD BE CARRIED OUT as far as possible ... Have paper streamers and lanterns hanging from the ceiling, or, if you would like to have something less usual, you could make a giant SPIDER'S web with black and orange strings, or in narrow strips of crepe paper coming from the four corners of the room, complete with a LARGE SPIDER -- one of the DEVIL'S FAVOURITE FOLLOWERS."

Notice where the stress lies! Read further of the black magic associated with this festival. "To decorate the walls, make large silhouettes of CATS, BATS, OWLS AND WITCHES ON BROOMSTICKS ... For the supper table small WITCHES WITH BROOMSTICKS can be
made by using lollipops on 4-inch sticks."

Weird lanterns, witch-balls, and witches' cauldrons are some other objects, the book suggests, which must fit into the evening somehow. How pagan can you get?

NOWHERE does the Bible command us to observe Hallowe'en. Hallowe'en and other common festivals which people observe in the Christian-professing world have NO BIBLICAL BASIS.

They originated in paganism. The testimony of history stamps Hallowe'en as a HEATHEN festival. It's built on a PAGAN FOUNDATION.

Your Bible warns: "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (I Cor. 3:11). Which is the BASIS of YOUR practice and belief?

Turn to Deuteronomy 12:29-31 and read God's condemnation of Hallowe'en! And write for our free article on Hallowe'en which covers many other startling facts not included here!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Mama Evans

Mama Evans

Erma Evans, a widow in the Church of God, served as a perfect example of what the Apostle Paul called for from our senior women (Titus 2:3). She touched the lives of many and was affectionally called "Mama Evans" by the young fellows of the Worldwide Church of God in Toledo, Ohio: Church singles whom she graciously would have over for a home-cooked meal every month.

Mrs. Evans knew all about southern hospitality since she was originally from Mud Creek, Kentucky. She would offer the meal, after we prayed, and would often then fall asleep on her couch, practically purring like a kitty, content as we fellowshipped and played board games or cards.

The following is a letter from "Mama Evans" that she sent me when I was living in Israel (August 1989), getting ready to begin a work-study program at Kibbutz Sdot Yam near Caesarea. It reveals a little more of this precious woman God blessed us with:

Dear David:

Just a few lines to say hello and that I miss you very much and get a thrill of thankfulness and joy when I can speak of having a son in Israel.

This must be a dream come true. All my life I have dreamed of going to all the far off places. I think I was born a wanderlust child.

Any place even as a little girl that I read or heard about it just filled me with desire to get up and go. Even today I feel the same way.

My Dad must have been the same way because his books of which he had many were about places all over the world.

He would talk to me even when I was 5 yrs. old about the far corners of the earth even China, but I never got any farther than Toledo.

But in the world tomorrow I hope to be able to flit from place to place. When I looked at the picture I could picture Christ walking on the shores of Galilee.

I pray for His Coming to rescue the world. It can't be too soon for me.

Everyone who knows you misses you. You are a special kind of guy. A little rebellious with a head full of dreams mixed with knowledge, There can't be another like you. I have a feeling you are very special to God.

Take care honey and don't forget all that you know of God's Truth. Bye for now.
Love you,
Mom Evans

This letter shows how loving Mama was... She was always gentle but firm if necessary, but you never doubted she always had your best interests at heart. She used to say "a little love goes a long way, " "they need love the most who deserve it the least" and "tears purify the soul."

I was pleased to write this poem for her one Sabbath day (on the spur of the moment, wanting to help let her know how much we loved and appreciated her), and gave it to her at our Church services before I left, getting a big hug and kiss in return:

Mama Evans

Her warmth and love is known both far & wide
Her wonderful smile illuminates lives
Her sweet laughter uplifts many hearts
Helping both young & old she knows is her part
Giving hugs & kisses, making many meals
Veritable love feasts from a woman sincere
GOD BLESS OUR ERMA we need her so dear
Keep her close to your Kingdom
Help her bring You near.

Mama Evans, 89, died October 29, 1998. We know she rests in peace and awaits the First Resurrection. Meanwhile, Mama lives on and shines through the eyes of those who remember her and have tales to tell of her from the heart.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Reopen Rabin assassination file!

"Zion shall be redeemed with justice" (Isaiah)

The Israeli prosecutor of the ALLEGED assassin of Yitzhak Rabin has now publicly expressed doubt and asked questions, raising concerns the real killers still walk free and Shimon Peres got away with murder.

New evidence further PROVES Yigal Amir did not kill Yitzhak Rabin. It's past time Israelis demand: REOPEN THE RABIN FILE. And now with the release of the Kempler video of Yitzhak Rabin's staged assassination, many are doing just that!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Herman Hoeh: Where Did the Twelve Apostles Go?


When Paul preached the gospel at Rome, where was Peter? Why is
the book of Acts strangely silent about the twelve apostles after
their departure from Palestine? Here, revealed at last, is one of
history's best-kept secrets!

By Herman L. Hoeh

WHY HAS the truth about the journeys of the twelve apostles been
kept from public knowledge?
You read plainly of Paul's travels through Cyprus, Asia
Minor, Greece, Italy. But the movements of the original twelve
apostles are cloaked in mystery.

Now It Can Be Told!

Did it ever seem strange to you that most of the New
Testament, following the book of Acts, was written by Paul, and
not by Peter?
Did you ever wonder why, after Peter initiated the preaching
of the gospel to the Gentiles at the house of Cornelius (Acts 10
and 11), he and others of the twelve apostles suddenly vanish
from view? And why only Peter and John reappear, for a fleeting
moment, in Jerusalem at the inspired conference recorded in Acts
You read, after Acts 15, only of Paul's ministry to the
Why? What happened to the twelve apostles?
Let's understand!
There is a reason why the journeys of the twelve apostles
have been cloaked in mystery until now!
You probably have been told that Jesus chose the twelve
disciples, ordained them apostles, sent them, first, to preach to
the Jews. When the Jews, as a nation, rejected that message, you
probably have supposed that they turned to the Gentiles. Nothing
could be further from the truth.
It was the apostle Paul, called years later as a special
apostle, who was commissioned to bear the gospel to the Gentiles.
To Ananias, who was sent to baptize Paul, Christ gave this
assurance: "Go thy way: for he" -- Saul, later named Paul -- "he
is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles,
and kings, and the children of Israel" (Acts 9:15).
It was Paul, not any of the twelve, who said: "From
henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles" (Acts 18:6).
Jesus would not have called Paul as a special apostle to
carry the gospel to the Gentiles, if the original twelve had been
commissioned to preach to the Gentiles.
Then to WHOM -- and where -- were the twelve apostles sent?

Jesus' Commission Tells

Notice the surprising answer -- in Matthew 10:5-6: "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: but go rather to the LOST sheep of the house of
Read it, from your Bible, with your own eyes: "Go NOT into
the way of the Gentiles, ... but go rather to the lost sheep of
Jesus meant what He said! He "COMMANDED them." The twelve
were forbidden to spread the gospel among the Gentiles. It was
Paul who was commissioned to that work. The twelve were to go,
instead, to the "lost sheep of the house of Israel" -- the Lost
Ten Tribes!
Granted, Christ did send Peter to the home of Cornelius
(Acts 10 and 11) to open the gospel to the Gentiles, but Peter's
life mission was to carry the gospel to "the lost sheep of the
House of Israel." Peter merely opened the door, as the chief
apostle, for the Gentiles. It was Paul who went through the door
and brought the gospel to the nations.
Granted, Peter, in his capacity of chief apostle, made one
trip to the gentile Samaritans. But that was not to bring the
gospel to them. PHILIP HAD DONE THAT! Peter and John merely
prayed for the Samaritans that they would receive the Holy
Spirit. (See Acts 8, verses 5, and 14 through 17.)
Now we know TO WHOM the twelve apostles were sent. They were
not sent to the Gentiles, but to "the lost sheep of the House of
Israel." It was Paul who went to the Gentiles. It is the true
church today which, via radio, the printing press and TV, must
"go into all nations" to preach the gospel until the end of this
age comes (Mat. 28:19-20).
Now to discover WHERE Peter and others of the twelve went
after they left Palestine.
That has been one of the best-kept secrets of history! If
the world had known the lands to which the twelve apostles
journeyed, the House of Israel would never have been LOST from
view! But God intended, for a special purpose, which few
understand, that the identity of the lost House of Israel should
not be revealed until this pulsating twentieth century!

"House of Israel" Identified

From the sons of Jacob -- surnamed Israel -- sprang twelve
tribes. Under David they were united as one nation -- Israel.
After the death of Solomon, David's son, the twelve tribes were
divided into two nations. The tribe of Judah split off from the
nation Israel in order to retain the king, whom Israel had
rejected. Benjamin went with Judah. The new nation thus formed,
with its capital at Jerusalem, was known as the "House of Judah."
Its people were called Jews.
The northern ten tribes, who rejected Solomon's son, became
known as the "House of Israel." Its capital, later, was Samaria.
Whole books of the Old Testament are devoted to the power
struggles between the "House of Israel" and Judah. The first time
the word "Jews" appears in the Bible you will discover the king
of Israel, allied with Syria, driving the Jews from the Red Sea
port of Elath (II Kings 16:6-7).
The northern ten tribes, the House of Israel, were
overthrown in a three-year siege (721-718) by the mighty Assyrian
Empire. Its people were led into captivity beyond the Tigris
River and planted in Assyria and the cities of the Medes around
lake Urmia, southwest of the Caspian Sea. In the now-desolate
cities of the land of Samaria the Assyrians brought in Gentiles
from Babylonia. These Gentiles (II Kings 17) had become known as
Samaritans by the time of Christ.
The House of Israel never returned to Palestine. The nation
became known in history as the "Lost Ten Tribes." To them Jesus
sent the twelve apostles!

PHOTO CAPTION: This map illustrates where Lost Ten Tribes were in
apostolic days. From Assyria and Media, the lands of their exile,
they spread east into Parthia and northwest around Black Sea.
Others, meanwhile, fled from the Assyrians westward to North
Africa. Note the early migration to British Isles under Joshua
(1430 B.C.), who is known in Welsh history as "Hesus the Mighty"
(compare with Hebrews 4:8). The Hebrew name Joshua is Jesus in
Greek. In Welsh it was pronounced Hesus.

The House of Judah -- the Jews -- remained in Palestine
until the Babylonian invasion, which commenced in 604 B.C. Judah
was deported to Mesopotamia. Seventy years later they returned to
Palestine. In history they now become commonly known as "Israel"
because they were the only descendants of Jacob -- or Israel --
now living in Palestine. The ten tribes -- the House of Israel --
became lost in the land of their exile.
Jesus "came to his own" -- the House of Judah, the Jews --
"and his own received him not" (John 1:11). Jesus was of the
lineage of David, of the House of Judah. When His own people --
the Jews -- rejected Him, He did not turn to the Gentiles. It was
Paul who did.
Instead, Jesus said to the Gentile woman: "I am not sent but
unto the lost sheep of the House of Israel" (Mat. 15:24).
To fulfill, later, that divine mission -- for Jesus was soon
slain on Golgotha to pay for the sins of the world -- He
commissioned His twelve disciples. THEY were commanded: "Go to
the lost sheep of the House of Israel."
They did go, but history has lost sight of where they went!
Their journeys have been shrouded in mystery -- until now!

What New Testament Reveals

The history of the early New Testament church is preserved
in the book of Acts. But have you ever noticed that Acts ends in
the middle of the story? Luke doesn't even finish the life of
Paul after his two-years' imprisonment ended!
You will find the answer in Christ's commission to Paul.
Even before Paul was baptized, Christ had planned the future work
he was to accomplish. First, Paul was to teach the Gentiles --
which he did in Cyprus, Asia Minor and Greece. Second, he was to
appear before kings -- an event brought about by a two-year
imprisonment at Rome. At the end of that two-year period, during
which no accusers had appeared, Paul would automatically have
been released according to Roman law. It is at this point that
Luke strangely breaks off the story of Paul's life. See Acts
But Paul's third mission was not yet accomplished! Christ
had chosen Paul for a threefold purpose -- "to bear His name
before the Gentiles, and kings, AND THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL" (Acts
9:15). There is the answer. He, too, was to end his work among
the Lost Ten Tribes!
Luke was not permitted by Christ to include in Acts the
final journeys of Paul's life. It would have revealed the
whereabouts of the children of Israel!
It was not then God's time to make that known. But the
moment has now come, in this climactic "time of the end," to pull
back the shroud of history and reveal where the twelve apostles

Three MISSING Words

Now turn to the book of James. To whom is it addressed? Read
it: "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, TO THE
You probably never noticed that before. This book is not
addressed to the Gentiles. It is not addressed exclusively to
Judah -- the Jews. It is addressed to ALL TWELVE TRIBES. To the
House of Judah and to the House of Israel -- the Lost Ten Tribes.
Have you ever noticed that the letter of James, like the
book of Acts, ends abruptly, without the normal salutations? Read
it -- James 5:20.
Compare it with Paul's epistles. In the original inspired
Greek New Testament everyone of Paul's letters ends vith an
"Amen." Everyone of the four gospels ends with an "Amen." The
book of Revelation ends with an "Amen."
This little word "Amen," of Hebrew derivation, signifies
completion. In the Authorized Version (most modern versions are
incorrect, and in several instances carelessly leave off the
proper ending found in the Greek) every one of the New Testament
books ends with an "Amen" except THREE -- Acts, James and III
John. In these three, and these three only, the word "Amen" is
not in the inspired original Greek. It is purposely missing. Why?
Each missing "Amen" is a special sign. It indicates God
wants us to understand that certain knowledge was not to be made
known to the world -- until now, when the gospel is being sent
around the world as a final witness before the end of this age.
God purposely excluded from the book of Acts the final
chapters in the history of the early true Church. If they had
been included, the identity and whereabouts of Israel and of the
true Church would have been revealed! It is part of God's plan
that the House of Israel should lose its identity and think
itself Gentile.
If the book of James had ended with the ordinary salutation,
the nations of Israel would have been disclosed. Paul often ends
his letters with names of places and people. See the last verses
of Romans, Colossians, Hebrews, for example. This is the very
part missing, purposely, from James!
And why was the short letter of III John missing an "Amen"?
Let John himself tell us, "I had many things to write: but I will
not with ink and pen write unto thee" (verse 13). John reveals,
in the letter, a pagan conspiracy. It was a diabolical attempt by
Simon Magus and his false apostles to seize the name of Christ,
gain control of the true Church, and masquerade as
"Christianity." God did not permit John to make known, in plain
language, the names of the leaders of that conspiracy, and the
city of their operation. That is why John cut his letter short.
The missing "Amen" is to tell us to look elsewhere in the Bible
for the answer. It is described, if you have eyes to see, in
Revelation 17, Acts 8 and many other chapters of the Bible. The
time to unmask that conspiracy is now (II Thessalonians 2), just
before the return of Christ.
But to return, for a moment, to the letter of James.

Wars Reveal Where

From James 4:1 we learn that WARS were being waged among the
lost tribes of Israel. "From whence come WARS and lightings among
you?" asks James.
What wars were these? No wars existed among the Jews until
the outbreak, several years later, of the revolt against the
These wars absolutely identify the lost House of Israel --
the lands to which the twelve apostles journeyed. James wrote his
book about A.D. 60 (he was martyred about two years later
according to Josephus). The world was temporarily at peace --
cowed by the fear of Roman military might. Just prior to A.D. 60
ONLY TWO AREAS of the world were torn by wars and civil
lightings. When you discover which areas these were, you will
have located where the Lost Ten Tribes, addressed by James, were
then living! All one need do is search the records of military
history for the period immediately before and up to the year A.D.
60! The results will shock you! Those two lands were the BRITISH
ISLES AND THE PARTHIAN EMPIRE! (See the accompanying map for the
location of Parthia.)
But these were not the only lands to which the exiled House
of Israel journeyed. Turn, in your Bible, to I Peter.

To Whom Did Peter Write?

To whom did Peter address his letters?
Here it is. "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the
STRANGERS scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia,
and Bithynia" (I Peter 1:1).
These were not Gentiles. Peter was not the apostle to the
Gentiles (Galatians 2:8). Paul was. Peter was chief apostle to
the lost sheep of the House of Israel.
Notice the word "strangers." It does not mean Gentiles. The
original Greek is "parepidemos". It means "a resident foreigner,"
literally, "an alien alongside." It refers not to Gentiles, but
to non-Gentiles who dwelt among Gentiles, as foreigners and
aliens. Abraham, for example, was a stranger, an alien, when he
lived among the Canaanite Gentiles in Palestine.
Peter was addressing part of the lost ten tribes who dwelt
among the Gentiles as aliens or strangers. He was not writing
primarily to Jews. He would not have addressed them as
"strangers," for he was himself a Jew.
Now notice the regions to which Peter addressed his letter.
You may have to look at a Bible map to locate them. They are all
located in the NORTHERN HALF of Asia Minor, modern Turkey. These
lands lay immediately west of the Parthian Empire!

PHOTO CAPTION: The Near East in New Testament times. This is the
region to which Peter addressed his letters. Here Andrew labored.

Paul did not preach in these districts. Paul spent his years
in Asia Minor in the SOUTHERN, or Greek half. "Yea, so have I
strived," said Paul, "to preach the gospel, not where Christ was
named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation" (Romans
15:20). Paul did not preach in the areas where Peter and others
of the twelve apostles had carried the gospel.
Nowhere in your New Testament can you find Paul preaching in
Pontus, or Cappadocia, or Bithynia. These regions were under the
jurisdiction of Peter and certain of the twelve.
Paul did spread the gospel in the province of Asia -- but
only in the southern half, in the districts around Ephesus. Paul
was expressly forbidden to preach in Mysia, the northern district
of the Roman province of Asia. "After they" -- Paul and his
companions -- "were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into
Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered [permitted] them not. And they
passing by Mysia came down to Troas" (Acts 16:7, 8). Those were
the regions in which the lost sheep of the House of Israel dwelt
as strangers among the Gentiles!
Paul did preach, on his first journey, in SOUTHERN Galatia,
in the cities of Iconium, Lystra, Derbe (Acts 14). But nowhere in
the New Testament do you find Paul journeying into northern
Galatia -- the area to which Peter addresses his letter to the
tribes of Israel!

Remnant of Ten Tribes on Shores of Black Sea

Notice the historic proof -- confirming Peter's letters --
that a remnant of the House of Israel was settled on the shores
of the Black Sea in northern Asia Minor in early New Testament
Greek writers, in the time of Christ, recognized that the
regions of northern Asia Minor were non-Greek (except for a few
Greek trading colonies in the port cities). New peoples, the
Greeks tell us were living in northern Asia Minor in New
Testament times. Here is the surprising account of Diodorus of
Sicily: "... many conquered peoples were removed to other homes,
and two of these became very great colonies: the one was composed
of Assyrians and was removed to the land between Paphlagonia and
Pontus, and the other was drawn from Media and planted along the
Tanais (the River Don in ancient Scythia -- the modern Ukraine,
north of the Black Sea, in southern Russia)." See book II, § 43.
Notice the areas from which these colonies came -- Assyria
and Media. The very areas to which the House of Israel was taken
captive! "So was Israel carried away out of their own land TO
ASSYRIA unto this day" (II Kings 17:23). "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
The House of Israel dwelt in captivity as aliens or
strangers among the Assyrians. When the Assyrians were later
removed from their homeland to northern Asia Minor, part of the
House of Israel migrated with them!
Here's the proof from Strabo, the geographer. Strabo named
the colonists in northern Asia Minor "White Syrians" (12, 3, 9),
instead of Assyrians. There were therefore, TWO peoples --
Assyrians and White Syrians. Who were these so-called "White
Syrians"? None other than the House of Israel which had been
carried into Assyrian captivity.
"Syria" was the Greek name for the whole eastern
Mediterranean coastal strip north of Judea. Because the House of
Israel lived in Palestine -- southern Syria in Greek terminology
-- the Greeks called them "White Syrians." By contrast, the
dark-complexioned Arameans remained in Syria and dwell there to
this day.
When the Assyrians were compelled to migrate to Northern
Asia Minor, their former slaves -- the "White Syrians" or
ten-tribed House of Israel -- migrated with them! We find them
still there in New Testarnent times. To these people -- the lost
sheep of the House of Israel -- the strangers among the Assyrians
(I Peter 1:1) -- the apostle Peter addresses his first letter!
Could anything be plainer? The chief apostle to the House of
Israel writing to a part of the ten lost tribes dwelling among
the Assyrians who originally carried them captive!
We shall see later WHEN and WHERE these "lost sheep"
migrated from Asia Minor to Northwest Europe.
Now to draw back the curtain of history. See where each of
the twelve apostles preached. You'll be amazed at the revelation.

What Greek Historians Report

Why is it that almost no one has thought of it before? If
multitudes of Greeks in Southern Asia Minor were being converted
to Christ by the ministry of Paul, and at the same time
multitudes among the lost ten tribes of the House of Israel were
being converted in northern Asia Minor, should not those Greeks
have left the record of which of the twelve apostles carried the
gospel there?
Consider this also. The Greeks have not lost the Greek New
Testament. They have handed it down from generation to
generation. Is it not just as likely that Greek scholars should
have preserved the we account of the ministry of the twelve
They have done just that!
Yet almost no one has believed them!
What the Greeks report is not what most people expect to
find! Some, who do not understand the difference between the
House of Israel and the Jews imagine the apostles went
exclusively to Jews. Even some of those who know where the House
of Israel is today often cannot believe that several of the
tribes of Israel were not, in the apostles' day, where they are
Scholars have long puzzled over the remarkable information
which the Greeks have handed down. These historical reports of
the apostles are altogether different from the spurious
apocryphal literature of the early Rornan Catholic Church. Greek
historians, in the early Middle Ages, have left us information
from original documents that apparently are no longer extant.
They had firsthand sources of information not now available to
the scholarly world. What do those Greek historians report?
One valuable source of information is the Greek and Latin
"Ecclesiasticae Historiae" of Nicephorus Callistus. Another, in
English, is "Antiqgitates Apostolicae" by William Cave.
Universal Greek tradition declares that the apostles did not
leave the SyroPalestinian region until the end of twelve years'
ministry. The number 12 symbolizes a new organized beginning.
Before those twelve years were up one of the apostles was already
dead -- James, the brother of John. He had been beheaded by Herod
(Acts 12). But where did the remaining apostles go?

Simon Peter in Britain!

Begin with Simon Peter. Peter was made by Christ the chief
among the twelve apostles to coordinate their work. Of necessity
Peter would be found traveling to many more regions than he would
personally be ministering to. The question is where did he spend
most of his time?
We know Peter was for a limited time at Babylon in
Mesopotamia, from which he wrote the letters to the churches in
Asia Minor (I Peter 5:13).
Babylon was the major city from which the apostles in the
east worked. Similarly Paul and the evangelists under him used
Antioch in Syria as their chief city (Acts 14:26). The order in
which Peter, in verse one of his first epistle, named the
provinces of Asia Minor -- from east to west and back -- clearly
proves that the letter was sent from Babylon in the east, not
Rome in the west. Rome did not become designated as "Modern
Babylon" until Christ revealed it, much later, after Peter's
death, in the book of Revelation, chapter 17.
Where did Peter spend most of his time after those first
twelve years in Palestine?
Metapirastes, the Greek historian, reports "that Peter was
not only in these WESTERN parts" -- the Western Mediterranean --
"but particularly that he was a long time" -- here we have
Peter's main life work to the Lost Ten Tribes -- "... a long time
in BRITAIN, where he converted many nations to the faith." (See
marginal note, p. 45, in Cave's "Antiquitates Apostolicae".)
Peter preached the gospel in Great Britain, not in Rome, the
capital of the Gentile world. Paul, not Peter, preached in Rome.
The true gospel had not been PUBLICLY preached in Rome before
Paul arrived in A.D. 59. Paul never once mentions Peter in his
epistle to the brethren in Rome, most of whom had been converted
on Pentecost in 31 A.D.
Not even the Jews at Rome had heard the gospel preached
before Paul arrived!
Here is Luke's inspired account of Paul's arrival in Rome:
"And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief
of the Jews together." Continuing, Acts 28:21. "And they" -- the
Jews at Rome -- "said unto him, We neither received letters out
of Judaea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came
shewed or spake any harm of thee. But WE DESIRE TO HEAR OF THEE
WHAT THOU THINKEST: for as concerning this sect we know that
everywhere it is spoken against. And when they had appointed him
a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he
expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them
concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the
prophets, from morning till evening (verses 21-23).
Here is absolute proof the Jews at Rome had never heard the
apostle Peter preach.
Oh yes, there had been a "Peter" in Rome ever since the days
of Caudius Caesar. That Peter was in a high office. He was chief
of the Babylonian Mysteries. His office was that of a "Peter" --
meaning an Interpreter or Opener of Secrets. The word "peter", in
Babylonian and Hebrew, means "opener" -- hence it is used in the
original Hebrew of the Old Testament for "firstling" -- one that
first OPENS the womb.
THAT Peter of Rome was named Simon, too. Simon Magus (Acts
8). He was the leading conspirator in the plot hatched by the
priests of the pagan Babylonian-Samaritan mysteries.
These plotters sought to seize upon the name of Christ as a
cloak for their diabolical religion. These conspirators became
the founders of what today masquerades in the world as the
"Christian Religion." (See III John.)
But Simon Peter, Christ's apostle, was in Britain, preaching
the gospel of the Kingdom of God. The very fact that Peter
preached in Britain is proof in itself that part of the Lost
House of Israel was already there! Peter was commissioned to go
to the lost tribes.
And significantly, about A.D. 60 great wars overtook Britain
-- just as James warned (in the fourth chapter, verse 1) the
twelve tribes of Israel! Could history be any clearer? For the
full proof of the identity of Great Britain as chief tribe in
Israel write for the booklet "United States and British
Commonwealth in Prophecy". It makes history and the Bible plain.

Where Are Peter and Paul Buried?

For centuries the Christian world has taken for granted that
Peter and Paul are buried in Rome. No one, it seems, has thought
to question the tradition.
Granted, Paul was brought to Rome about A.D 67. He was
beheaded, then buried on the Ostian Way. But are his remains
still there?
Granted, too, that universal tradition declared the apostle
Peter was also brought to Rome in Nero's reign and martyred about
the same time.
Many pieces of ancient literature -- some spurious, some
factual -- confirm that both Simon Magus, the false apostle, who
masqueraded as Peter, and Simon Peter himself died at Rome. The
question is -- which Simon is buried today under the Vatican? Is
there proof that the bones of the apostles Peter and Paul were
moved from Rome, and are not there now?
There is a reason the Vatican has been hesitant to claim the
apostle Peter's tomb has been found! They know that it is Simon
Magus, the false Peter, who is buried there, not Simon Peter the
apostle. Here is what happened. In the year 656 Pope Vitalian
decided the Catholic Church was not interested in the remains of
TO OSWY, KING OF BRITAIN! Here is part of his letter to the
British king:
"Ecclesiastical History", bk. III, ch. 29).
Could anything be more astounding? The bones of Peter and
Paul (termed "relics" in the Pope's letter) sent by the Pope from
Rome to Britain -- to the land of Israel!
About a century and a half earlier Constantius of Lyons took
the relics of all the apostles and martyrs from Gaul and buried
them in a special tomb at ST. ALBANS IN BRITAIN. (Life of St.
Germanus.) Is it significant that the work of God and God's
College in Britain are in St. Albans? Think that over!

And Andrew His Brother?

Britain, after A.D. 449, was settled by hundreds of
thousands of new people not there in Peter's day. History knows
them as Angles and Saxons. They came originally from the shores
of the Black Sea -- where the House of Israel dwelt! In A.D. 256
they began to migrate from northern Asia Minor along the shores
of the Black Sea to the Cymbric Peninsula (Denmark) opposite
Britain. These were the people to whose ancestors Peter wrote his
Which one of the twelve apostles preached to their ancestors
-- the so-called "White Syrians" -- while they abode by the
Bosporus and on the Black Sea? Listen to the answer from Greek
"In this division Andrew had SCYTHIA, and the neighboring
countries primarily alloted him for his province. First then he
travelled through Cappadocia, (Upper) Galatia and Bithynia, and
instructed them in the faith of Christ, passing all along the
EUXINE Sea" -- the old name for the Black Sea! -- "... and so
into the solitude of SCYTHIA."
One early Greek author gives these journeys in special
detail, just as if Luke had written an account of the other
apostles as he did of Paul. Andrew "went next to Trapezus, a
maritime city on the Euxine Sea, whence after many other places
he came to Nice, where he stayed two years, preaching and working
miracles with great success: thence to Nicomedia, and so to
Chalcedon; whence sailing through the Propontis he came by the
Euxine Sea to Heraclea, and from thence to Amastris .... He next
came to Sinope, a city situated upon the same sea, ... here he
met with his brother Peter, with whom he stayed a considerable
time .... Departing hence, he went again to Amynsus and then ...
he proposed to return to Jerusalem" -- the headquarters church.
"Whence after some time he betook himself ... to the country of
Abasgi [a land in the Caucasus] ... Hence he removed into ...
Asiatic Scythia or Sarmatia, but finding the inhabitants very
barbarous and intractable, he stayed not long among them, only at
Cherson, or Chersonesus, a great and populous city within the
Bosporus [this Bosporus is the modern Crimea], he continued for
some time, instructing them and confirming them in the faith.
Hence taking ship, he sailed across the sea to Sinope, situated
in Paphlagonia ..." (pp. 137-138 of Cave's "Antiquitates
Here we find Andrew preaching to the very areas in Asia
Minor which Paul bypassed. From this region, and from Scythia
north of the Black Sea, migrated the ancestors of the Scots and
Anglo-Saxons, as we have already seen. They are of the House of
Israel -- or else Andrew disobeyed his commission!
And what of the modern Scottish tradition that Andrew
preached to their ancestors? Significant? Indeed!

And the Other Apostles?

And where did Simon the Zealot carry the gospel? Here, from
the Greek records, is the route of his journey:
Simon "directed his journey toward Egypt, then to Cyrene,
and Africa ... and throughout Mauritania and all Libya, preaching
the gospel .... Nor could the coldness of the climate benumb his
zeal, or hinder him from whipping himself and the Christian
doctrine over to the WESTERN Islands, yea, even to Britain
itself. Here he preached and wrought many miracles ...."
Nicephorus and Dorotheus both wrote "that he went at last into
BRITAIN, and ... was crucified ... and buried there" (p. 203 of
Cave's "Antiq. Apost.").
Think of it. Another of the twelve apostles is found
preaching to the Lost Tribes of Israel in Britain and the West.
But what is Simon the Zealot doing in North Africa? Were remnants
of the House of Israel there, too? Had some fled westward in 721
B.C. at the time of the Assyrian conquest of Palestine?
Here is Geoffrey of Monmouth's answer: "The Saxons ... went
unto Gormund, King of the Africans, IN IRELAND, wherein,
adventuring thither with a vast fleet, he had conquered the folk
of the country Thereupon, by the treachery of the Saxons, he
sailed across with a hundred and sixty thousand Africans into
Britain ... (and) laid waste, as hash been said, well-nigh the
whole island with his countless thousands of Africans" (bk. xi,
sect. 8, 10).
These countless thousands were not Negroes, or Arabs. They
were whites -- Nordics -- who came from North Africa and
Mauritania, where Simon preached. These Nordics, declares the
"Universal History" (1748-Vol. xviii, p. 194), "gave our, that
their ancestors were driven out of Asia by a powerful enemy, and
pursued into Greece; from whence they made their escape" to North
Africa. "But this ... was to be understood only of the WHITE
nations inhabiting some parts of western Barbary and Numidia."
What white nation was driven from the western shores of
western Asia? The House of Israel! Their powerful enemy? The

PHOTO CAPTION: The area to which Andrew journeyed. The region
about the Black Sea was settled by Israelites who migrated from
Assyria and Media, the lands of their exile. While on the shores
of the Black Sea they founded the powerful Kingdom of the
Cimmerian Bosporus and Pontus.

For almost three centuries after the time of Simon Zelotes
they remained in Mauritania. But they are not in North Africa
today. They arrived in Britain shortly after A.D. 449 at the time
of the Anglo-Saxon invasion.
In A.D. 598, when the bishop of Rome sent Augustine to bring
Catholicism to England he found the inhabitants were already
professing Christians! Their ancestors had already heard the
message from one of the twelve apostles!

And Ireland Too!

Another of the apostles sent to the lost sheep of the House
of Israel was James, the son of Alphaeus. Some early writers were
confused by the fact that two of the twelve apostles were named
James. James, son of Alphaeus, was the one who left Palestine
after the first twelve years. The deeds of this apostle are
sometimes mistakenly assigned to James, John's brother. But THAT
James was already martyred by Herod (Acts 12:2).
Where did James, son of Alphaeus, preach?
"The Spanish writers generally contend, after the death of
Stephen he came to these WESTERN parts, and particularly into
SPAIN (some add BRITAIN and IRELAND) where he planted
Christianity" (p. 148 of Cave's work).
Note it. Yet another apostle sent to the lost sheep of the
House of Israel ends in the British Isles -- in IRELAND as well
as in Britain!
Eusebius, in his third book of "Evangelical Demonstrations",
chapter 7, admitted that the apostles "passed over to those which
are called the British Isles." Again he wrote: "Some of the
Apostles preached the Gospel in the British Isles." Could
anything be plainer?
Even in Spain James spent some time. Why Spain? From ancient
times Spain was the high road of migration from the eastern
Mediterranean Sea to the British Isles. The ancient royal House
of Ireland for a time dwelt in Spain. The prophet Jeremiah passed
through Spain into Ireland with Zedekiah's daughters (Jeremiah
41:10; 43:6). Even today a vital part of the Iberian Peninsula --
Gibraltar -- belongs to the birthright tribe of Ephraim -- the

Paul in Britain, Too?

Turn, now, to added proof of the apostles' mission to the
lost sheep of the House of Israel in the British Isles. From an
old volume, published in 1674, by William Camden, we read: "The
true Christian Religion was planted here most anciently by Joseph
of Arimathea, Simon Zelotes, Aristobulus, by St. Peter, and St.
Paul, as may be proved by Dorotheus, Theodoretus and Sophronius."
("Remains of Britain", page 5.)
Did you catch that?
Paul is now included! Had Paul planned to go from Italy into
Spain and then Britain? ... Here is his answer: "... I will come
by you into Spain" (Rom. 15:28). Clement of Rome, in his letter
to the Corinthians, confirms Paul's journey to the West. But did
that include Britain?
Listen to the words of the Greek church historian Theodoret.
He reports: "That St. Paul brought salvation TO THE ISLES THAT
LIE IN THE OCEAN" (book i, on Psalm cxvi. p. 870). The British
But was that merely to preach to the Gentiles? Not at all.
Remember that the THIRD AND LAST PART of Paul's commission, after
he revealed Christ to the kings and rulers at Rome, was to bear
the name of Jesus to the "children of Israel" (Acts 9: 15) -- the
Lost Ten Tribes. This is not a prophecy concerning Jews, whom
Paul had previously reached in the Greek world of the eastern
Mediterranean. This is a prophecy of Paul's mission to the
British Isles! Could anything be more astounding?

On the Shores of the Caspian Sea

James referred to Israel as SCATTERED ABROAD. We have found
them in Northwest Europe. And in North Africa, from whence they
migrated into Britain in the fifth century. And in northern Asia
Minor, associated with the Assyrians. In 256 they began to
migrate from the regions of the Black Sea to Denmark, thence into
the British Isles in 449.
But remnants of the Ten Lost Tribes were yet in another vast
region beyond the confines of the Roman Empire. That region was
known as the Kingdom of Parthia.
Who the Parthians were has long remained a mystery. They
suddenly appear near the Caspian Sea around 700 B.C. as slaves of
the Assyrians. "According to Diodorus, who probably followed 5
Ctesias, they passed from the dominion of the Assyrians to that
of the Medes, and from dependence upon the Medes to a similar
position under the Persians." (Rawlinson's "Monarchies", Vol. IV,
p. 26, quoted from Diod. Sic., ii 2, § 3; 34, § 1 and § 6.)
The Parthians rose to power around 250 B.C. in the lands
along the southern shores of the Caspian Sea. That was the very
land into which Israel was EXILED! What puzzles historians is
that the Parthians were neither Persians, nor Medes, nor
Assyrians or any other known people. Even their name breathes
mystery -- until you understand the Bible.
The word PARTHIAN MEANS EXILE! (See Rawlinson's "The Sixth
Monarchy", page 19.) The only exiles in this land were the ten
tribes of Israel! The Parthians were none other than the exiled
Lost Ten Tribes who remained in the land of their captivity until
A.D. 226. That's when the Persians drove them into Europe.
Now consider this. James addressed his letter to the twelve
tribes of Israel scattered abroad. He warns the Israelites
against the wars being waged among themselves. When James wrote
his letter about A.D. 60 the world was at peace except for two
regions -- Britain and Parthia! There is no mistaking this.
Parthia and Britain were Israelite.
Which of the twelve apostles carried the gospel to the
Parthian Israelites?
The Greek historians reveal that Thomas brought the gospel
to "Parthia, after which Sophornius and others inform us, that he
preached the gospel to the Medes, Persians, Carmans, Hyrcani,
Bactrians, and the neighbor nations" (Cave's "Antiq. Apost.", p.
These strange sounding names are the lands we know today as
Iran (or Persia) and Afghanistan. In apostolic days the whole
region was subject to the Parthians.
Though many Israelites had left the region already,
multitudes remained behind, spread over adjoining territory. They
lost their identity and became identified with the names of the
districts in which they lived.
Josephus, the Jewish historian, was familiar with Parthia as
a major dwelling place of the Ten Tribes. He declares: "But then
the entire body of the people of Israel (the Ten Tribes) REMAINED
IN THAT COUNTRY (they did not return to Palestine); wherefore
there are but two tribes in Asia and Europe subject to the
Romans, while the ten tribes are beyond Euphrates till now, and
are an immense multitude and not to be estimated by numbers"
("Antiq. of the Jews", bk. xi, ch. v, § 2).
There it is! The very area to which Thomas sojourned was,
reports Josephus, filled with uncounted multitudes of the Ten
Tribes! Josephus was, apparently, unaware of those who had
already migrated westward. But he does make it plain that only
the House of Judah ever returned to Palestine. The House of
Israel was "beyond Euphrates till now"!
Parthia was defeated by Persia in 226 A.D. Expelled from
Parthia, the Ten Tribes and the Medes moved north of the Black
Sea, into Scythia. (See R. G. Latham's "The Native Races of the
Russian Empire", page 216.) From there, around A.D. 256, the Ten
Tribes migrated with their brethren from Asia Minor into
Northwest Europe. This migration was occasioned by a concerted
Roman attack in the east. It backfired on the Romans, for hordes
of Israelites and Assyrians suddenly broke through the Roman
defenses in the West that same year!

PHOTO CAPTION: The final migrations of the House of Israel to
Northwest Europe. Notice the time element. Parthia was overthrown
in A.D. 226. The refugees settled mainly about the Black Sea.
From there they migrated between A.D. 256 to 300 under King Odin
of Denmark. Not until A.D. 449 did these Israelite exiles reach
the British Isles, where other tribes of Israel were already
dwelling since the days of Joshua. Note also that Assyrians and
Medes accompanied the Israelites part way into Europe.

Thomas also journeyed into Northwest India, east of Persia,
where the "White Indians" dwelt. These "White Indians" -- that
is, whites living in India -- were also known as "Nephthalite
Huns", in later Greek records. Any connection with the tribe of
Naphthali? They were overthrown in the sixth century and migrated
into Scandinavia. The archaeology of Scandinavia confirms this
BARTHOLOMEW shared, with Thomas, the same vast plains,
according to Nicephorus. Bartholomew also spent part of his time
in neighboring Armenia and a portion of Upper Phrygia in Asia
Minor. Nicephorus termed the area, in his history, the "Western
and Northern parts of Asia," by which he meant Upper Asia Minor,
modern Turkey today. This was the same district to which Andrew
carried the gospel, and to which Peter sent two of his letters.
JUDE, also named Libbaeus Thaddaeus, had part in the
ministry in Assyria and Mesopotamia. That is part of Parthia
which Josephus designated as still inhabited by the Ten Tribes.
The Parthian kingdom, which was composed of the Ten Tribes ruling
over Gentiles, possessed Assyria and Mesopotamia during most of
the New Testament period. From the famous city Babylon, in
Mesopotamia, Peter directed the work of all the apostles in the
Scythia and Upper Asia (meaning Asia Minor) were the regions
assigned to Philip. (See Cave's "Antiq. Apost.", p. 168.) Scythia
was the name of the vast plain north of the Black and the Caspian
Seas. To this region a great colony of Israelites migrated after
the fall of the Persian Empire in 331. From Scythia migrated the
SCOTS. The word Scot is derived from the word Scyth. It means an
inhabitant of Scythia. The Scots are part of the House of Israel.
Interestingly, the word Scythia, in Celtic, has the same
meaning that HEBREW does in the Semitic language -- a migrant or

Where Did Matthew Go?

Matthew, Metaphrastes tells us, "went first into Parthia,
and having successfully planted Christianity in those parts,
thence travelled to Aethiopia, that is, the Asiatic Aethiopia,
lying near India."
For some centuries this region of the Hindu Kush, bordering
on Scythia and Parthia, was known as "White India." It lies
slightly east of the area where the Assyrians settled the
Israelite captives. A natural process of growth led the House of
Israel to these sparsely populated regions. From there they
migrated to Northwest Europe in the sixth century, long after the
Apostles' time. Dorotheus declares Matthew was buried at
Hierapolis in Parthia.
The Parthian kingdom was, in fact, a loose union of those
lost tribes of Israel who dwelt in Central Asia during this
period. The Persians finally drove them all out. Whenever Parthia
prospered, other nations prospered. Whenever the Parthians
suffered reverses, other nations suffered. Remember the
Scripture: "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him
that curseth thee" (Genesis 12:3).
Ethiopic and Greek sources designate Dacia (modern Romania)
and Macedonia, north of Greece, as part of the ministry of
Matthias. Dacia was the extreme western part of Scythia. From
Dacia came the Normans who ultimately settled in France and
The French tradition that Mary, the mother of Jesus,
journeyed into Gaul (modern France) lends heavy weight to John's
having been in Gaul in his earlier years. It was to John that
Jesus committed Mary's care. She would be where he was working.
Paul knew Gaul to be an area settled by the House of Israel. He
bypassed Gaul on his way from Italy to Spain (Romans 15:24, 28).
Gaul must have been reached by one of the twelve.
How plain! How can any misunderstand! Here is historic PROOF
to confirm, absolutely, the identity and location of "the House
of Israel." The identity of Israel, from secular sources, is
itself also independent and absolute proof of where the twelve
apostles carried out God's work.
How marvelous are the mysteries of God when we understand

The Plain Truth
May, 1964

© 2004 Origins of Nations Research Project or original author

Joseph stands before you!

The United States and Britain in Prophecy

Joseph Isn't Jewish!

Origin of Nations

German-American Israelites?

The Plain Truth About the "Lost Ten Tribes" and Why You Need to Know!

Brit Am Israel

The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Where are Enoch and Elijah? by Herbert W. Armstrong

Where Are Enoch and Elijah?
by Herbert W. Armstrong (1892-1986)

Enoch was translated that he should not see death. Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. Yet the Bible reveals they are not in heaven today! Here's the astounding truth.

Part One: Where Is Enoch?

Enoch was "translated." Where did he go? Was he immediately taken to heaven? No! Because Jesus Himself said: "No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man" (John 3:13). Here are Jesus' own words that no man, except Himself, had ascended into heaven!

And how did He know? Why, He came from there!

Then where is Enoch? Let's see what the Bible says.

Enoch Walked With God

At the age of 65 Enoch had a son named Methuselah. "And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and he begat sons and daughters" (Gen. 5:22).

Here was a man that pleased God, a man that walked with God.

Enoch had to have faith, for in Hebrews 11:6 the apostle said, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe the He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." So Enoch walked with God. He obeyed God, and followed Him in His paths by faith.

No one can walk with God unless he is in agreement with the will of God and doing it. Amos the prophet said: "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3.) So in his generation Enoch was the only recorded person who followed the ways of God—even though it took him sixty-five years to learn to walk with God!

But how long did Enoch walk with God? The scripture says that he "walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years." So Enoch followed God's ways for three hundred years. Notice that Moses did not record that Enoch is still walking with God. The scripture says that Enoch walked with God for three hundred years and not one year more! Then Enoch is not still walking with God! Why?

Because "all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years" (Gen. 5:23). All the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. Not just part of his days, but all his days! If Enoch did not die—if he was changed to immortality—and thus continued to walk with God, then his days would have been more than three hundred and sixty-five years. But the Bible plainly says that all his days were just that many, and no more!

This expression "all his days" is used in the same fifth chapter of Genesis about a dozen times and always it means that the person lived for that length of time only "and he died." So Enoch lived no more than three hundred and sixty-five years because "all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years." As he lived only for this length of time then he must have died!

But what about his translation? Does that mean he didn't die?

That's what most people carelessly assume without proof.

What Really Happened at Enoch's Translation

Remember, Moses didn't write that Enoch did not die. Rather Moses wrote that "Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him" (Gen. 5:24). Paul records the same event by saying that he "was not found, because God had translated him" (Hebrews 11:5).

Thus the scripture records that Enoch was not found because God took him, or "translated" him. The Bible does not say that Enoch went to heaven when he was translated. Instead it says he was not found.

Certainly Enoch was "translated," but what does the word "translate" mean?

The original Greek word for "translate" is metatithemi. According to Arndt-Gingrich's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, 1969 edition, the primary meaning is to "convey to another place . . . transfer" (p. 514).

The same Greek word is rendered "carried over" in Acts 7:16. Here we read that after Jacob died his body was "carried over"—transported, translated—to Sychem where he was buried! That's what your Bible says! Jacob was transported or translated to the place of burial!

That is why Moses said that God took Enoch. God removed—translated—him so that he was not found. God took Enoch and buried him!

In Deuteronomy 34:6 we read also how God took Moses from the people after which he died and was buried by God. "But no man knoweth his sepulcher unto this day." God removed Moses—God translated him—and he was not found either!

So Enoch was not made immortal after all! He was taken away and was not found. All his days were three hundred and sixty-five! That's as long as Enoch lived.

Notice another proof that "translate" does not mean to make immortal. It is found in Col. 1:13: the Father "hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son." Here the Bible says that Christians are already translated—but Christians still die! We are not immortal bodies, but mortal flesh and blood. Although we were once part of the darkness of this world, now we are translated, removed from darkness in to the light of the Kingdom of God.

Didn't Receive the Promise

Enoch is included by Paul (in Hebrews 11) among the fathers who obtained a good report through faith; but "these all, having have obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise" (Hebrews 11:39). What promise? The "hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began" (Titus 1:2).

So Enoch therefore is one of "these all" who have not yet obtained the promise of eternal life and inheritance. Enoch and all the worthies of old will receive the promise of eternal life at the return of Christ, the same time Christians obtain it (Hebrews 11:40). That is yet future!

Since Enoch has not yet inherited eternal life he must be dead! This is exactly what Paul writes in Heb. 11:13! Paul says Enoch died! Notice it! "These all died in faith, not having received what was promised." Who were these "all"?

Paul tells us: Abel, Enoch, Noah, and the patriarchs and their wives. Hebrews 11:1-12 lists those who had faith and Enoch is included among them. Then in verse 13 Paul proved that they had not inherited the promises by saying: "These all [including Enoch] died in faith."

But what about Paul's saying that Enoch "should not see death"?

Which Death Did Enoch Escape?

Enoch lived only three hundred sixty-five years. Then what could Paul possibly have meant by saying: "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found because God had translated him"? This verse nowhere says that Enoch did not die. Rather, it says that Enoch "should not see death." But what does it mean?

Remember, there is more than one death mentioned in the Bible. There is a first death, and there is a second death (Revelation 20:6). Which death did Paul mean?

The first death is appointed unto men (Hebrews 9:27). That death cannot be humanly evaded. It is inevitable. That death Enoch died, as we have already proved.

But Paul was not writing about that death. The phrase "should not see" is in the conditional tense of the verb, having reference to a future event. It is not in the past tense, that he "did not see" death—but that he "should not see death." So this death that Enoch escaped by being translated is one that he can escape in the future on certain conditions!

Did Jesus ever speak of a death that might be escaped? He certainly did! In John 8:51 Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death"—shall never see—that is, suffer—the second death! And again in John 11:26, "Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die"—or "shall not die forever."

This death is one that can be escaped on condition that men keep the saying of Jesus and believe Him. This death is not the first death, because Christians who keep Jesus' sayings die this first death. Then the death which Enoch should escape must be the second death which will never touch those who are in the first resurrection (Revelation 20:6). And Enoch will be in the first resurrection because he met the conditions!

Enoch had faith. He believed God and walked with God, obeying him. In keeping the sayings of God, Enoch kept the sayings of Jesus too; because Jesus did not speak of Himself, but spoke what the Father commanded Him (John 14:10).

Thus Enoch met the conditions so that he should not see death. The second death shall never touch Enoch, because of his faith and obedience.

Two Translations

Now we can understand Hebrews 11:5: "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God."

This verse plainly mentions two translations.

Examining this verse fact by fact, we notice the Enoch had faith and was translated. This translation—removal, transference—was on condition of faith. Now what translation mentioned in the Bible is on condition of faith? Why, the one we read about in Colossians 1:13. The Father "hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son."

This is a figurative translation—a figurative removal or transference from the spiritual darkness of this world to the light of the family or Kingdom of God and Christ. In verse 10 Paul shows that to abide in this Kingdom we must "walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing." This is exactly what Enoch did. He walked with God, and pleased God.

Then Enoch, the same as Christians, was delivered from the power of sin and darkness in which he had been living for sixty-five years. He was removed (translated) from the ways of the world and lived three hundred years according to God's ways so that he might inherit eternal life at Christ's return, and should not suffer the second death.

By faith Enoch was separated—removed or translated—from the world, the same as Christians who are not to be a part of the world, although living in the world.

Not only was Enoch figuratively taken from the society of his day, but he was also literally removed—translated—so that he was not found.

God took him physically away from the people, just as He later took Moses. And God buried each so well that neither has ever been found since!

A Premature Death

We have already read that "all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years" (Gen. 5:23). Now look at the entire fifth chapter of Genesis. The shortest lifespan described, aside from Enoch's, is the seven hundred and seventy-seven years lifetime of Lamech. The longest is Methuselah's nine hundred and sixty-nine. But Enoch lived only three hundred and sixty-five. Why?

Clearly Enoch died a premature death! He did not complete his normal life cycle. He was cut off, as it were, in the midst of his days.

But what happened? Does the Bible give us any clue?

Lamech's Boast

Lamech, a descendant of Cain (not the same person listed in genealogy of Genesis 5), boasted to his two wives: "I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt. If Cain be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold" (Gen. 4:23-24). The "man" was Cain. Hence Lamech's reference to the fact that God would take vengeance on anyone who dared to murder Cain. But who was the "young man"?

Enoch at age three hundred and sixty-five would certainly be considered a young man by his generation.

Enoch walked with God. Furthermore, he prophesied of the coming of Christ to execute judgment and to convict the ungodly (Jude 14-15). He was in effect a "preacher of righteousness" (compare II Peter 2:5).

But God's message has never been popular. As a servant of God, Enoch undoubtedly convicted and enraged many by his message. His life was in danger. Finally that ungodly generation tolerated Enoch's preaching no longer. By comparing Lamech's saying with the age of Enoch at his death, we may deduce from Scripture that Lamech (by himself or with a mob) stilled Enoch's voice by murder.

Don't think this strange or unusual. Hebrew tradition reveals that Noah, the great grandson of Enoch, had to flee for his life in order to carry out the Work of God.

"But Noah was very uneasy at what they [the pre-Flood world] did; and being displeased at their conduct, persuaded [urged] them to change their disposition and their acts for the better: but seeing they did not yield to him, but were slaves to their wicked pleasures, he was afraid they would kill him, together with his wife and children, and those they had married; so he departed out of the land" (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, book I, chapter 3, section 1, Whiston translation).

God allowed Enoch to be martyred. But He would not permit his body to be desecrated or publicly displayed. God physically removed his body, very likely in the sight of his murderers—before they could defile it. Otherwise how would anyone have known that God had taken him?

A Sign from God

God gave Enoch this sign of physical removal as a type for all those who should later follow Enoch's example of faith. He was taken physically from the people just as Christians are to be spiritually removed from the ways of the world. The physical translation or carrying away of Enoch was also a sign from God that his faith had been accepted—God often gives signs (Isaiah 38:7).

The question may arise, why did God allow His righteous servant Enoch to die? The Bible contains—in you have eyes to see—a chronicle or obituary of the death of the prophets and apostles of God throughout history. Many of the greatest men of the Bible were martyred.

God is concerned with one's physical welfare. But He is more concerned with one's spiritual state and one's eternal life. Enoch had to be willing to die for the truth he preached.

Like every true saint, Enoch is awaiting the hope of the resurrection and the return of Christ, the Messiah (Jude 14, 15).

The Longevity of the Patriarchs Prior to the Flood

Adam (930 years)

Seth (912 years)

Enos (905 years)

Cainan (910 years)

Mahalaleel (895 years)

Jared (962 years)

Enoch (365 years)

Methuselah (969 years)

Lamech (777 years)

Noah (950 years)

Why were "all the days" of Enoch only 365 years?

Inset: Is David in Heaven?

If heaven be the reward of the saved, where the righteous go immediately at death, we should certainly expect David, of all people, to be in heaven. God called David, king of Israel, "a man after mine own heart" (Acts 13:22). Further, in Acts 7:46 we are told that David "found favor with God." Yet the Apostle Peter, in the first sermon of the New Testament Church, was inspired to say: "Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day" (Acts 2:29).

Peter then added: "For David is not ascended into the heavens" (verse 34).

Plainly, David is dead and buried, in his grave, and not in heaven! God's Word says so!

In Hebrews 11:32, David is included among those who died in faith. Now turn to verse 39 of this same chapter: "And these all [and that includes David], having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they [including David and all the worthies of old] without us should not be made perfect."

David's resurrection is spoken of in Jeremiah 30:9: "But they [Israel] shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up." Notice the time setting of this event is yet future. Ezekiel adds, ". . . And my servant David shall be their prince for ever" (Ezek. 37:25). This is the time—still to occur—when David will receive eternal inheritance in God's Kingdom.

Furthermore, David could not possibly be in heaven. Jesus said, over 1000 years after David had died, "No man hath ascended up to heaven. . ." (John 3:13). Jesus had been in heaven. He knew!

David himself knew and described what happens to man at death. He wrote: "His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish" (Psalm 146:4). There is no knowledge or consciousness in the grave (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6, 10). The dead, Scripture says, await a resurrection (I Thess. 4:15-17; I Cor. 15:50-52; Dan. 12:2).

How plain! David is dead and buried, awaiting the resurrection with all of God's saints. At that time he will receive the promises. To find out what these promises are (you'll be surprised to find they do not include heaven at all!), be sure to read the booklet What Is the Reward of the Saved?

Part Two: Did Elijah go to Heaven?

You have been told that Elijah went to heaven. Yet over 875 years after Elijah was taken up by a whirlwind Jesus Himself said. "No man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man" (John 3:13).

Is this a Bible contradiction? Did Elijah really ascend to the heaven where God's throne is—even though Jesus said he didn't?

If Elijah is not in heaven today, then where did Elijah go?

Which Heaven?

There are three heavens mentioned in the Bible, not just one! And if, as Jesus, no man, which included Elijah, had ever ascended to the heaven where He came from, then the heaven into which Elijah was taken was a different heaven!

Which one was it?

The third heaven is the heaven of God's throne, where Jesus is today. Jesus, being the High Priest of God, is the only one who has the right to be in that heaven with the Father.

Notice why! Hebrews 8:1-5 explains that the original earthly tabernacle under the Old Covenant, with its most holy place, or compartment, was the type of the throne of God in heaven. Only the high priest—type of Christ as High Priest now—was allowed to enter!

The second heaven represents the expanse of this great universe—the space where we find the sun, moon, stars, comets and planets. How often do we find the Psalmist admiring the "heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon, and the stars, which thou hast ordained" (Psalm 8:3; Genesis 1:15-17).

Beside the heaven of the stars, we find that the atmosphere, the air that surrounds this world, is also called heaven. Birds fly "in the midst of heaven"—certainly not God's throne in heaven—for we read in Genesis 1:20 of "fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven." In blessing Jacob, Isaac said, "God give thee of the dew of heaven," and Moses joyed that the "heavens shall drop down dew" (see Gen. 27:28 and Deut. 33:28).

This first heaven, from which dew comes, means the atmosphere, where the clouds and the wind roam. Everyone of us is right now breathing the air of heaven!

Since Elijah could not have gone to the heaven of God's throne, then to which heaven did he go?—for the Scripture reads: ". . . And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven" (II Kings 2:1, 11).

The answer ought already to be quite obvious! Elijah "went up by a whirlwind into heaven"—not to the heaven of God's throne, but into this earth's atmosphere, the first heaven.

There could be no whirlwind in any other place but in the atmosphere surrounding this earth—in the first heaven, in which the birds fly. You certainly have seen the great lifting power of a whirlwind, haven't you?

Why Taken Up?

What was the reason for this unusual act of God? Why did He take Elijah up into the atmosphere? Was it to make him immortal? No! The Scripture says no word about that! The ancient prophets—including Elijah—did not receive any promise of immortality prior to or apart from us. Notice it in Hebrews 11:32 and 39: "These all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise"! And we shall not receive it until Christ returns (Hebrews 11:40).

So Elijah was not to be made immortal—for that would give him pre-eminence above Jesus. But what does the Bible reveal as the reason for his removal? II Kings 2:3 and 5 has the answer.

Notice now what the sons of the prophets said to Elisha: "Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head today?" Or as the Smith and Goodspeed translation has it, "Do you know that today the Lord is about to take away your master from being your leader?" Christ is the head of the Church today as Elijah was the head or leader of the sons or disciples of the prophets in that day. God had sent Elijah as His prophet to wicked king Ahab and to his son Ahaziah. Now God wanted Elisha to direct His work, as Ahaziah the king had died (II Kings 1:17-18) and a new king was ruling.

So what did God do?

He could not allow Elijah to be among the people with Elisha directing the work now. That would have been the same as disqualifying him! Since God never takes an office from a man when that man has been performing his duty will, the only thing God could do would be to remove Elijah so that another would fulfill the office.

This God did. When he was taken up, Elijah's mantle dropped from him and Elisha picked it up. See II Kings 2:12-15.

And what did the "mantle" mean?

In Clarke's Commentary we note that it was "worn by prophets and priests as the simple insignia of their office" (vol. 2, page 484).

The purpose of God in removing Elijah was to replace him with another man who would occupy Elijah's office in Israel for another generation. This work had to start under a new king, for Ahaziah had just died. And Elijah was already aging. So as not to disqualify Elijah in the sight of the people, God took him away from the sons of the prophets and the people, allowing the mantle which signified the office of Elijah to drop into the hands of Elisha. Thus God preserved the name and office of His prophet.

How Taken Up?

Having crossed Jordan near Jericho, Elijah was taken up by a whirlwind in what appeared to be a chariot and horses of fire. The violet motion of the wind pulled the mantle off the prophet as he was seen to ascend into the sky. You probably remember reading the promise of Elijah that Elisha would have a double portion of the Spirit of God if he would be allowed by God to see Elijah taken up (II Kings 2:9). All this meant that Elisha was to be the leader, the new head of the sons of the prophets.

Having ascended into the air, Elijah was borne away out of the sight of the new leader—beyond the horizon. But—

Where Did Elijah Go?

This has been the perplexing problem to so many!

He did not ascend to the throne of God. Jesus said so! Yet he couldn't remain in the air forever.

And God did not say that Elijah was to die at that time. If he were, Elisha could have assumed his new office without the removal of Elijah, for we know that Elisha died in office after fulfilling his duty (II Kings 13:14).

The sons of the prophets who knew that their master was to be removed also knew that Elijah was not to die then. That is why they were fearful that the Spirit of God might have allowed him to drop "upon some mountain, or into some valley" (II Kings 2:16). Elisha knew that God would preserve Elijah from falling, but at their insistence he permitted men to go in search of him—to no avail.

Elijah was gone!

And where to? Certainly the whirlwind used by God could not take him beyond the earth's atmosphere. Neither does the Bible account leave Elijah in the air!

The Answer Unfolds!

Immediately before Elijah disappeared into the distance a new king had come to the throne in Israel (compare II Kings 1:17 with 3:1). The new king's name was Jehoram, or Joram, as this name is sometimes spelled. He was another son of Ahab. The first year of Jehoram's sole reign, which was the sixth year of his joint reign—first with his father Ahab, then his brother Ahaziah,—was 849-848 BC. During Jehoram's reign Elisha was the recognized prophet of God (II Kings 3:11).

Meanwhile, in Judah, the son of Jehoshaphat began to reign as co-regent along with his father (II Kings 8:16). This king, who began to reign in the fifth year of the joint reign of Jehoram, king of Israel, was also named Jehoram (or Joram). This Jehoram was associated with his father Jehoshaphat on the throne for nearly six years.

Jehoshaphat died in the year 845 BC. This was full four years since Elijah had disappeared (remember, he had disappeared almost immediately after Jehoram of Israel began his sole reign in 849). When Jehoshaphat was dead, his son Jehoram, now sole king of Judah, slew his brothers and some of the princes to further secure the throne (II Chron. 21:1-4).

The year after the death of Jehoshaphat, Edom revolted from Judah's king Jehoram (II Kings 8:20-24 and II Chron. 21:8-10). After that brief war, Jehoram of Judah set about to build high places and introduce pagan customs (II Chron. 21:11). He followed the ways of the nations about him and did evil in God's sight.

A full four years had now expired since Elijah was taken from the people. But what do you think was about to happen?

A Letter Comes from Elijah!

Yes, after this wicked rule by the Jewish king, God chose Elijah to write a letter and have it sent to the king!

The contents of the letter are found in II Chronicles 21:12-15. In part it reads: "Because thou hast not walked in the ways of . . . thy father . . . but hast walked in the way of the kings of Israel . . . and also hast slain thy brethren of thy father's house, which were better that thyself . . . thou shalt have great sickness by disease."

From the wording of the letter, it is clear that Elijah wrote it after these events had occurred, for he speaks of them as past events, and of the disease as future. Two years after the king became diseased, the king died (843 BC)—having reigned only eight short years (II Chron. 21:18-20).

This proves that the letter was written in the fifth year after Elijah had been taken to another location by the whirlwind

God used Elijah to convey the message because he was the prophet of God in the days of the present king's father—and the son was not going in the ways of his obedient father, Jehosaphat.

The letter he had others deliver was recognized as his—proving that he was known to be alive someplace. Just how much longer he lived, the Bible does not reveal. But in that "it is appointed unto men once to die"—Elijah must have died somewhat later. See Hebrews 9:27. All human beings born of Adam, and that includes Elijah, must die—for we read: "In Adam all die" (I Corinthians 15:22). Elijah was a man "subject to like passions as we are" (James 5:17)—subject to human nature and death! Elijah the prophet, being mortal flesh as we are, died. He is certainly one of the "prophets" (Hebrews 11:32) who died in faith not yet having received the promise (verses 13 and 39).

To suppose that God gave him the power of an endless life of nearly three thousand years already is to read into the Bible what is not there! He was mortal, subject to death, and after being lifted into the atmospheric heavens, spent the remaining years of his life at some unidentified location on the earth, living as every human being, before he naturally died.

Was Elijah on the Mount?

Now what about the appearance of Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus? The record of the even is found in Matthew 17:1-9; Mark 9:2-10; Luke 9:28-36.

Leaving the mountain, Jesus told his disciples: "Tell the vision to no man" (Matthew 17:9). A vision is not a material reality but a supernatural picture observed by the eyes.

Moses died, and was buried (Deut. 34:5-6). Both he and Elijah were still dead in their graves, but in vision both they and Jesus were seen in the glory of the resurrection—an event to which Moses and Elijah have not yet attained (Hebrews 11:39). The vision was granted the disciples after Jesus had spoken of the glory of immortality in the coming Kingdom.

An Elijah to Come

The only remaining text that may have puzzled people is Malachi 4:5-6: "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."

This little-understood prophecy refers to the time immediately before God's intervention in human affairs, prophetically called "the Day of the Lord."

Jesus spoke about this prophecy in Matthew 17. He showed that the work of John the Baptist was a preliminary fulfillment of Malachi's prophecy: "And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias [Elijah] must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, that Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed [whatever suited them]. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist" (verses 10-13).

Luke was also inspired to write about the work of John: "And he [John] shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord" (Luke 1:17).

Luke said John was "in the spirit and power of Elijah," NOT that he WAS literally Elijah. That Elijah had died centuries before. But John the Baptist was empowered by the same spirit which had guided the Elijah of old to point Israel's eyes to the true God, and for much the same purpose.

An Elijah is yet to come, however, said Christ—after John was already dead. So just as John the Baptist was the forerunner of Jesus Christ at his first coming, another is to come before the great and dreadful Day of the Lord, as a forerunner of Jesus Christ at his second coming. He, like John, will come in the spirit and power of Elijah to fulfill the commission of Malachi 4:5, 6 "lest I come," says God, "and smite the earth with a curse."

The world of Christ's day did not recognize John as coming in the power and spirit of Elijah. And neither will the world today recognize the one whom God sends in the spirit and power of Elijah shortly before the terrible Day of the Lord, when the Jesus Christ of your New Testament will intervene in world affairs to set up the government—Kingdom—of God on earth.

How plain the Bible is! Elijah is dead in the dust of the earth awaiting the resurrection of the just. Elijah, some years after being removed in the whirlwind, went to the grave, but will rise again to live forevermore!

© 1973 Worldwide Church of God