In the articles entitled “What is Courage?” and “Cowards VS. Courageous Ministers: How to Differentiate them?” we have known that our Lord God commanded Joshua to be strong and to be courageous three times (Joshua 1:6, 7 & 9). It is because unlike in the role of Moses who leads Israel out of Egypt, Joshua’s role is to recover the Promised Land from its current inhabitants and divide it unto the children of Israel. Because of this, Joshua will going to face many battles in conquering the Promised Land.
We have also known that the Natural Israel lead by Moses and Joshua is the type and shadow of us (the Church) – the Spiritual Israel. This means that what happened to them (Natural Israel) will also happen to us (Spiritual Israel).
THE FIRST TWO SEPARATION: SEPARATION FROM EGYPT AND THE WILDERNESS
This is the reason why just like the Natural Israel who has undergone two kinds of separation: the separation from Egypt and the Wilderness; the Church (Spiritual Israel), had also experienced two kinds of separation namely: the separation from Roman Catholicism (Egypt, Mother Harlot of Rev. 17:5) and Denominationalism (Wilderness, Daughters of the Harlot e.g. Pentecostals, Baptist, Methodist, Adventist, Born Again Churches, Lutherans, Calvinist and all kinds of denominational churches today).
Just like Moses, Brother William M. Branham was also sent to separate the Church from today’s Egypt and Wilderness and pointed us to the Promised Land (Bible, Word of God). But along this process of separation, we have known the other kind of believers called the “Foolish Virgins” of Matthew 25:1-13. They are the members of the Church of Christ who have heard the message of brother Branham (Moses, Midnight Cry) and they have also risen from their slumber and trimmed their lamps after they heard the message (Matt. 25:7), which means that they are also Endtime Message believers just like us. The only difference is that, they have never entered into the Wedding banquet of the Lord because they don’t have enough oil.
So even though these foolish virgins are also Endtime Message believers and have also risen to trimmed their lamps, they have actually never left the wilderness. They are still in the dark. Unlike us who are already in the Promised Land and are enjoying the rich products of the land, they are still wondering in the spoken word messages of Brother Branham and are still enjoying the manna of the wilderness. They have never come to the full Bible. Some are even forming a denomination in the name of Brother Branham and have made themselves Branhamites. They have not separated themselves in the wilderness and it would be too late for them when they realized that they need to go to the Promised Land. Just like the children of Israel, they will also die in the wilderness.
THE RED SEA
There are two bodies of water in the Bible that our Lord parted for the children of Israel to pass through. They are the Red Sea (Exodus 14) and the River Jordan (Josh. 3:14-17).
Let’s first tackle the Red Sea.
The Red Sea marks the end of Egypt. Once the children of Israel pass the Red Sea, they are no longer in Egypt. They are already separated from Egypt. But in order for them to be separated from Egypt, they need first to face the great and the wide Red Sea.
If you’ve got a map, it’s actually not certain on where Israelites actually crossed. Most of the Bible maps say that the crossing was somewhere within the Gulf of Suez, but some believe that they crossed at the Gulf of Aqaba. This is because it’s within the Gulf of Aqaba that a beach that would encamp two million people is present. A location that suits the Bible description that Israelites have encamped before the crossed the Red Sea. Also at this beach, the waters are about three thousand feet deep on either side of it. Where God caused a wind to part the waters, which became a wall to them, on either side, and that they went through on dry ground.
The people of Israel can’t cross that wide and deep of a sea. Even Moses can’t cross it. They need the Lord to make it possible for them to cross it. And the Lord parted and dried it for them. So they safely cross it and they became free and separated from the bondage of Egypt.
Now, according to 1 Corinthians 10:1-2:
“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;”
The crossing of the Red Sea is a baptism upon the children of Israel. And we know that baptism symbolizes death, burial and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-7). This means that the Red Sea crossing symbolizes death and burial of the children of Israel from the bondage and slavery of Egypt and their resurrection into a new beginning, a new life.
Just like the Natural Israel, the Church (Spiritual Israel) had also experienced this kind of Baptism and its exodus from Egypt.
After the ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, and after the Apostles proclaimed the Gospel and ministered to the early Church, it was around 325 AD that the Roman Catholicism was founded by the Roman Emperor Constantine. In an attempt to unify “Christianity,” too much persecution was received by the Church from this religion. For over 1000 years, the Church was persecuted, oppressed and was enslaved by Roman Catholicism. This man-made church was the “Egypt” of the Spiritual Israel.
Then a priest named Martin Luther was used by God for the exodus of the Church. But just like the Natural Israel, the Church needs to face the great and the wide “Red Sea.” During that time, the age of reformation is only starting and Roman Catholicism had already influenced almost the entire world. This “Red Sea” of people under Roman Catholicism needs to be overcome by the Church. They cannot cross it if it was only them. They will get killed. But then the Lord made a way for them just like what He did to the natural Israel. He sends the wind that parted the Red Sea and dries up the seafloor. Then, they have safely crossed the other side of the sea. Of course, Egypt pursued them but they all drowned in the waters.
This is the time that the Church has overcame Roman Catholicism and they are no longer enslaved by it. This is the First Separation.
The crossing of the Red Sea marks that the Israelites are no longer in Egypt but in a new land called the Wilderness.
It is in the wilderness that the Israelites are longing for the fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, garlic and the pots of meat in Egypt (Exo. 16:3, Num. 11:5) that they wanted to go back. It is in the wilderness that they have set up graven images of their gods in Egypt to worship (Exo. 32:1-6). It was also in the wilderness that Moses send 12 spies to spy the Promised Land (Num. 13), that after hearing their reports, the Israelites choose to die in the wilderness or return to Egypt than go to the Promised land (Num. 14:2). And so the Lord made them wander for 40 years in the wilderness and they died there except for Joshua and Caleb and those below 20 years old (Numbers 14:22-35).
You see? Even though these people are physically no longer in Egypt, their minds and their hearts are still in Egypt. The system and ways of Egypt are still in them.
This is the reason why even though the Church was delivered from Roman Catholicism, they still brought with them its ways and its system. They just built other cages patterned with it. That’s why according to Revelation 17:5, the Mystery Babylon which is the Roman Catholic Church (Egypt), is a MOTHER of Harlots. This means that Roman Catholicism has daughters. And who are her daughters? It is no other than the protestant churches who were founded by those who left Roman Catholicism only to create another harlot churches. They are the Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, Adventist, Pentecostals, Charismatics, Born Again and many more who have also built cages to cage the Church. This is how Roman Catholicism became a mother. These churches system is patterned from their mother.
This is why according to Matthew 25:5, the Church (which is composed of the wise and foolish Virgins) “slumbered and slept”. They have been taken from the darkness of Egypt but they have put themselves again in the darkness of denominations.
Then Brother William Marrion Branham was sent to wake the Church through a “Shout” stated in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 which is also the Midnight Cry of Matthew 25:6. Both of the Virgins waked up. But only the Wise ones made it to the Promised Land. The foolish ones are still wandering in the wilderness until today with the quotes from bro. Branham as their food. These quotes whom they considered as “Manna” are without nutrients anymore for those who have set their foot on the Promised Land. Just like the Natural Israel, they will also die in the wilderness.
THE RIVER JORDAN
Before leaving the wilderness, the Israelites are again faced with another hindrance before getting on the Promised Land. As there was a hindrance in coming out of Egypt (The Red Sea) there is also a hindrance in coming out the Wilderness. This last hindrance is the river Jordan. The river Jordan marks the end of the wilderness. But unlike the Red Sea, the river Jordan is not that wide and deep. Still, during that time of their crossing, according to Joshua 3:15, the river is flooding and it is too dangerous for any human to cross.
In Joshua 3:5, the Lord instructed the Israelites to sanctify themselves first before crossing the river. Then, as soon as the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant reached the river Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, according to (Joshua 3:16):
“The water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho.”
This crossing of the river Jordan marks again of the death, burial and resurrection (Baptism, Rom. 6:3-7) of the Israelites. They need to die twice and be resurrected twice before they can enter the Promised Land.
This is also the type and shadow of the Church, the Spiritual Israel. We need also to be separated twice. First from Roman Catholicism (Egypt) and next from Denominationalism (wilderness, daughters of the Harlot). But before we can cross the final hindrance, our Lord required us to sanctify ourselves first. When we say “Sanctify”, this means to set ourselves apart and offer it to the Lord that He may have His way in us, and that He may have the right to lead us wherever He so chooses to.
This is why all those believers who have arrived in the Promised Land (Bible) must wholly offer their selves unto the Lord. You must have no other master apart from our Lord. You must not belong to any group because He had already freed you from those cages. Too sad, Endtime Message Believers especially the ministers today who are already in the Promised Land are not sanctifying their selves. They are into groups of ministers influenced by Nicolaitism that’s why the Lord cannot use them.
We have also read that again, the Lord parted the water for Israel to cross. This is to remind us that every time we are facing great hindrances before us, we cannot cross without our Lord. It is Him who made a way for us. The water “piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea) was completely cut off.” Of all the towns named in the Bible, this town was named Adam. This shows that Christ died to make a complete sacrifice for sin all the way back to Adam up to the Sea of Araba (future generations). Our Savior was judged for the sins of the fallen human race on the cross, past present and future. The blood of the Lamb has the power to wash away our sins from the past. present and future generation.
So Israel safely crosses to the other side of the Jordan River. This is the Second Separation.
THE PROMISED LAND
Finally, the Israelites made it to the Promised Land. The Lord keep His promise to Moses and to the children of Israel. They are no longer in the wilderness.
They then enjoyed eating the corn of the land and the Lord made the manna not to be seen again (Josh. 5:11-12). The ceasing of manna is a sign that Israel should now get their food from the fruits of the Promised Land. This is also the reason why no matter how much you read and reread the spoken word messages of bro. William Branham, you can’t get any more Manna from it. The Wise Virgins should start getting their food from the Bible. The fruits of the Bible is much nutritious compared to the manna of the wilderness.
After the Lord instructed Joshua to be strong and courageous because he will going to face many battles in order to conquer and to divide the Promised Land, Joshua then prepared himself and the people for these battles (Josh. 1:1-12). But then, Joshua remembered the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh.
THE BORDERLINE TRIBES
Joshua 1:12-16 “And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spake Joshua, saying,
Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, The LORD your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this land.
Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side of Jordan; but ye shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valour, and help them;
Until the LORD have given your brethren rest, as he hath given you, and they also have possessed the land which the LORD your God giveth them: then ye shall return unto the land of your possession, and enjoy it, which Moses the LORD’S servant gave you on this side Jordan toward the sunrising.
And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go.”
Here, we are introduced to another kind of people. They are the tribes of Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh. What about these tribes? Why are they mentioned here? Just when Joshua is ready to go for battles reminding Israel that they will possess the Promised Land (Josh. 1:10-11), then he remembers these tribes.
Why did Joshua mention these tribes after mentioning that the children of Israel will possess the Promised Land? Well, it is because these tribes do not want to possess the Promised Land. They have no liking for It. They do not want It. They prefer not to have anything from It.
What these tribes want is the land outside the Promised Land. The land across the Jordan river from where they came. What they want is Gilead – the land outside the Promised Land and at the border of the wilderness.
Why do these tribes want this land instead of the Promised Land? Let’s do some background check first.
“WE DON’T WANT THE PROMISED LAND”
Numbers 32:1-5 “Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of cattle: and when they saw the land of Jazer, and the land of Gilead, that, behold, the place was a place for cattle;
The children of Gad and the children of Reuben came and spake unto Moses, and to Eleazar the priest, and unto the princes of the congregation, saying,
Ataroth, and Dibon, and Jazer, and Nimrah, and Heshbon, and Elealeh, and Shebam, and Nebo, and Beon,
Even the country which the LORD smote before the congregation of Israel, is a land for cattle, and thy servants have cattle:
Wherefore, said they, if we have found grace in thy sight, let this land be given unto thy servants for a possession, and bring us not over Jordan.”
When Moses was still alive and when the children of Israel are still in the wilderness, they have come to the land of Jazer and Gilead which are just on the border of the Promised Land (see the map below). These three and a half tribes saw that these lands are a place good for their cattle. And because these tribes have great multitude of cattle (Num. 32:1) and they are shepherds (Num. 32:4), they asked Moses and Eleazar if they can possess those land instead of the Promised Land.
These people are telling Moses that they don’t want the Promised Land and we know that Moses had been preaching to them for 40 years already about how good the Promised Land is and that they should all possess it. These three tribes come to him and say “Look, we know that God’s Promised Land for us is on the other side of the Jordan and we’ve come a long way to possess it, but we don’t actually want it. What we want is what we see here. This land is really good for our cattles. We don’t want what God has got for us as our inheritance on the other side of the Jordan. Our concern is for our cattles. We want this area that we see here. This is what we want to inherit.”
When you read the whole chapter of Numbers 32, you will see that at first, Moses warned these tribes about discouraging the people again just like the 10 spies did in Numbers chapter 14, least the Lord God will also kill them. But in the end, an agreement was made whereby if they will go to battles and help their brethren inherit the Promised land, then they can come back later and possess the land at the border. They agreed with it and we can read in Numbers 32:24-27:
“Build you cities for your little ones, and folds for your sheep; and do that which hath proceeded out of your mouth.
And the children of Gad and the children of Reuben spake unto Moses, saying, Thy servants will do as my lord commandeth.
Our little ones, our wives, our flocks, and all our cattle, shall be there in the cities of Gilead:
But thy servants will pass over, every man armed for war, before the LORD to battle, as my lord saith.”
By this, these two and a half tribes keep their promise. They crossed the river Jordan with their brethren and fought alongside with them so that their brethren will possess the Promised Land. Then after their brethren possessed the Promised Land, we can read in Joshua chapter 22 that Joshua made them to fulfill their agreement to Moses. He made them go back to the land that they wanted which is outside of the Promised Land and at the border of the wilderness. There they build their cities for their families and their sheep (Num. 32:24).
THE THIRD SEPARATION
Remember that our Lord God always works in three. What you have here is a separation that is happening within God’s people. Within those who have crossed the Jordan River. This is the Third Separation. But unlike the first two separations, the true inheritors of the Promised Land need not to cross any bodies of water anymore because they are already in the Promised Land, their final destination. However, the Bride of the Lord Jesus Christ who will be Raptured still needs to be separated from the two and a half tribes who will not possess the Promised Land. So, it is Joshua himself (The Lord Jesus Christ) Who made these two and a half tribes to leave the Promised Land and to separate them from the Bride (read Joshua 22:1-10). Our Lord Himself made them cross the river Jordan again (which symbolizes of going back to their old ways) and to dwell at the border of the wilderness.
Here, the Word of God is showing us the two kinds of people who have crossed the river Jordan and fought the battles to conquer the Promised Land. One group of people are really interested in God’s inheritance towards them. They crossed the river Jordan, fought for It and they want to possess It. While the other group here also crossed the river Jordan and fought for the Promised Land, however, the only difference is, they don’t want to possess It. What they wanted is the land outside the Promised Land which they see as good for their flock. Their only interest is for their flock which is their source of living. So in the end, they dwell at the border.
It’s amazing to think that after hearing about the land flowing with milk and honey for 40 years and all of the good things that God had stored up for them within the Promised Land, these people would still settle for something less. When they saw this land on the wrong side of Jordan and because of the fact that they had multitude of livestock (Num. 32:40) and they were shepherds (Num. 32:4), they were easily dominated by this thought and gave away what God had in store for them.
So what does this symbolized about the Spiritual Israel? We know that this story of the Natural Israel is the type and shadow of the Spiritual one. We are the Spiritual Israel who has crossed the Jordan river and leave behind us denominationalism (wilderness) in order to rightly divide and possess the Promised Land (Bible). We are now fighting to possess the Promised Land. But through this story, we have known that not all of us who fight today’s battles will actually possess the inheritance. Not all of us will be Raptured. The final destination of some of us who are fighting today is actually in the border of the wilderness.
So who are then today’s tribe of Reuben, tribe of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh who have also crossed the river Jordan and are also fighting alongside with us today? In order to know them, we will first examine one by one the description of the Bible about these two and a half tribes and relate them in today’s Spiritual Israel.
THE SIX CLUES ABOUT THESE PEOPLE
Below are the six clues that the Bible had given us to know who are these people today. These are their description according to the Bible. I encourage you to use your eagle eye to discern them.
1. THEY HAVE CROSSED THE JORDAN RIVER ALONG WITH US
This is the first clue.
This means that these believers are not in any denominational groups today. Just like us, they are also believers of the Endtime Message. They have followed the message of the Midnight Cry and left the wilderness along with us.
These believers are also not the foolish virgins of Matthew 25 who have never made it to the Promised Land. This means that they are NOT today’s Branhamites and quotationers of Bro. Branham’s spoken word messages. So when these tribes preach, we can hear them also using the Bible as there Absolute just like us, and not the quotes from brother Branham. In fact, they are also fighting for the Promised Land alongside with us today. Just like us, they are also conquering It. They are very like us and their ministers are also like the ministers of Joshua, fighting to conquer the Promised Land.
2. THEY ARE PASTORS
This is one of the most important clues that the Bible has given us.
According to Number 32:4 “Even the country which the LORD smote before the congregation of Israel, is a land for cattle, AND THY SERVANTS HAVE CATTLE:”
Also, according to Numbers 32:24 “Build you cities for your little ones, and folds for your sheep; and do that which hath proceeded out of your mouth.”
These tribes are Pastors. Most of them are Pastors. This is their source of living. They and their families are dependent on their cattle. They feed their families and children from the income they get from their cattle and sheep.
The Word of God is showing us here that in today’s Spiritual Israel, these people have the gift of being a Pastor. The ministry of most of them is being a Pastor. In fact, they see to it that they are called “Pastors” by their sheep. And the Bible is also telling us that this is their source of living. These tribes have no other jobs but Pastoring. They called themselves “Full Time Ministers” because they have no other jobs when in fact according to Paul in 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15, ministers should “eat their own bread” and must not depend on their needs from the believers (sheep).
They feed their families through their cattle and sheep (the believers in their churches). This means that these group of people depends on the tithes and offering or any produce given by the believers from their fold. And because they get their income from the flock, they see to it that they get the tithes and offering from the believers.
3. THEIR CONCERN IS THEIR FLOCKS
Remember that according to Numbers 32, these tribes’ only concern is for their flocks. Why? As stated above, it is from their flocks that they get their source of income. They would sacrifice not inheriting the Promised Land as long as their flocks are okay. This means that when face upon choosing between the Word of God and their flocks, these people will choose their flocks over the Word. They will compromise the Word as long as their flocks are intact. This is the reason why they will not inherit the Word.
They have lost their focus. Instead of focusing on the Word (Promised Land), they focused on their flocks. They made their cattle and sheep their master instead of the Word.
These group of ministers will do everything to protect their flocks even if it means not inheriting the Promised Land. That’s why if someone will preach something that will cause their sheep to leave their group, they will feel threatened. Then they will do everything for that someone not to influence their flock anymore. They will disfellowship him so that their sheep will not depart from them. That’s why in this group, disfellowship is a common practice.
4. THEY HAVE VERY GREAT MULTITUDE OF CATTLE
Remember also that among the tribes of Israel, these two and a half tribes are the one who have “very great multitude of cattle” (Number 32:1). This means that among those believers who have crossed the river Jordan and are fighting for the Promised Land today, their groups are the one who has many believers. These groups have numerous believers attending in their local churches, compare to the Bride of Christ who is only few in number. They are really concern about the number of their sheep.
They will also do everything for their flocks to multiply. The greater the number means greater income also. Remember that this group is not from the denominations. But they saw that Denominational Churches have many members and since their aim is for their fold to be many, they will also copy the ways of the Denominations. This is the reason why they live at the border. They have crossed the Jordan and they are fighting alongside with us today but they copied the ways of denominations in order to attract more believers. Here are some of their denominational ways:
- They will see to it that they are called Pastors by their members, ensuring that they are above their flock. This way, they can exercise control and authority over the believers.
- They will frequently preached about how the Lord will bless the believers by giving tithes. They are also prosperity Gospel preachers. They even practice the “seed faith offering” every start of the year which is a denominational practice they copied.
- Just like the denominations, they have also their Elder Pastor and Associate Pastors in their churches. Just like also the ways of denominations, when they have planted their “outreach churches” they will make sure that the pastors on those churches are their relatives or are one of them. This way, they can ensure that the sheep on those churches will add to their fold, multiplying the number of their sheep. That’s why one will notice that the Ministers on this group are related to each other. They see to it also that they have regular ministerial meetings to ensure control over the ministers and the flock.
I can still mention many things here about the ways of these groups that they copied from denominations but the point here is, one will be too blind enough if one will not notice that these groups practice the ways of denominations just to multiply their flocks. And this is the reason why they are called the “border dwellers.” Their ways are just like those who dwell in the wilderness.
5. THEY ARE A GROUP
These tribes approached Moses as a one group (Num. 32:2). They came to him as a group. Take note of this clue. They form a group. They are the group of Pastors. That’s why these tribes today are also into one group. Their group is so important to them and they are loyal to it. Remember that these people should have died in the wilderness also but because they have agreed that their group will also fight for the Promised Land, the Lord did not kill them.
Today, these ministers will told you that they have no group. But you can see clearly that they have and that they are loyal to their group than to the Word. This is because their source of income depends on it. Their ministers are also their relatives that’s why even if their fellow ministers are contradicting the Word and they don’t agree with them, they cannot react. All they can do is to obey. Especially that their “Elder Pastor” is the one leading them. It will be very hard for these ministers to leave this group.
6. THEY ARE ALSO FIGHTING FOR THE PROMISED LAND
Again, these tribes are very much like us. They are also fighting for the Promised Land. Their Ministers are also teaching the Word. In fact, according to Joshua, these tribes obeyed him whatever he commanded them (Josh. 22:2). This means that during these battles, they are also obeying Joshua (our Lord Jesus) in commanding them. Only that, one day, the Lord will make them to return at the border (Josh. 22:4).
When they look at the border at the other side of the Jordan, they saw it as a “a place for cattle” (Num. 32:1). Their dwelling place are also good for cattle because it is still at the border. You can still have good pasture at the border. This means that you can still learn a lot from them. When you listen to their preaching, you can still be filled. But they will not inherit the Promised Land.
Again, in order for us to know who are these people being represented by the two and a half tribes of Israel in today’s Spiritual Israel, here is the summary of their descriptions:
1. They have crossed the Jordan river along with us.
2. They are Pastors.
3. Their concern is their flocks.
4. They have very great multitudes of cattle.
5. They are a group.
6. They are also fighting for the promised land.
I hope you now recognized who are these people. It’s as clear as crystal. The Word is showing us who are these people so that we won’t be deceived by them. The Word is telling us that not all those who have left the denominations will be Raptured. Not all that are having the gifts of Pastor will be Raptured. Not all ministers showing concern to the flocks will be Raptured. Not all churches having multitude of believers will be Raptured. Not all those who fight for the Promised Land will be Raptured. And certainly, our Lord is not in groups.
Take heed therefore. If you are among these modern-day tribes of Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh, the Lord is calling you out right now. GET OUT FROM THIS GROUP. Their fate will be outside the Promised Land. They will not inherit anything from the Promised Land. They will not be Raptured.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THESE TRIBES AFTER THEY LEFT THE PROMISED LAND?
So what happened to these tribes after they left the Promised Land? According to 1 Chronicles chapter 5, from verse 18 down, it says that these tribes have got lots of men and they became really strong. In verse 21, it says that they have got lots of goods. They increase their lands. Yet, when you get down to verse 25 and 26, it says:
1 Chronicles 5:25-26 “And they transgressed against the God of their fathers, and went a whoring after the gods of the people of the land, whom God destroyed before them. And the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, and the spirit of Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria, and he carried them away, even the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, and brought them unto Halah, and Habor, and Hara, and to the river Gozan, unto this day.”
From the twelve tribes of Israel, the first ones to go against God were those two and a half tribes. They’re the first to go after other gods and because of these, God allowed them to be taken captive by Assyria. Because they live at the border, they are easily influenced by the lifestyle of the wilderness. They were totally influenced by the ways of denominations.
So, yes, they wanted to live at the border. Yes, they wanted their earthly lot. It was really good for their flocks and for their income, but everything comes at a cost. If your flocks are what you are after, sure you can go and do that, but there will be a cost. Therefore, these two and a half tribes in the scripture is a warning given by our Lord to us – the Spiritual Israel.
During the time of our Lord Jesus in the New Testament, our Lord actually visited the descendants of these tribes.
In Matthew 8:28-32, we read that our Lord Jesus goes across the other side of Israel, in the land of the Gergesenes who are the descendants of Gad; it is the present-day Jordan. And what do these Gergesenes do? They are pig farmers (Matt 8:30)! So these tribes are still Pastors, only that their herds are not cattle and sheep anymore but pigs! And we know that pigs are unclean to the Jews. So what becomes of these people is that, they were not only influenced by the wilderness, they totally became the wilderness (denominations).
Our Lord Jesus arrives at their land and is confronted by two men with legion of demons that no one can bind. He sends the legion to the herd of pigs at the hillside and the legion possessed the pigs and were drowned in the water. When they heard about what happened, what is the response of the remnants of Gad? They told our Lord to depart from their region. They actually cannot receive our Lord. Their pigs have been destroyed, and it is their source living. This is what they do. This is where their income came from. That’s why they can’t accept our Lord.
The Messiah comes into their land, but the people are not able to receive Him because their herds have been destroyed. This is the fate of the two and a half tribes. A time will come that they will herd pigs and not sheep because they chose to live at the border.
May the Lord will guide us into all truth is my prayer.
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