The British-Israel World Federation (BIWF) has called a fast for this Saturday for the peoples of “the Covenant Nations.”
The British-Israelites formed their federation in 1919, but their beliefs can be traced back to the previous century. As the British Empire expanded during Queen Victoria’s reign and America was spreading westward fulfilling its “manifest destiny,” so the number of believers grew. Their belief is based on God’s promises to Israel in Genesis 48, that the two sons of his son Joseph would grow into a “company of nations” and “a great nation” – the British Empire and the United States of America.
It was a widely-held belief in the trenches of World War I, when men from all over the British Empire fought against Imperial Germany. The losses were so great that people became disillusioned with both religion and the empire.
As Britons turned increasingly away from their Christian heritage, so BIWF lost some support. The organization was supported by some prominent members of the British establishment, the most famous of which was Princess Alice, one of Queen Victoria’s granddaughters. In the 1930’s, as the Countess of Athlone, she was married to the Governor-General of South Africa; from 1940, following the sudden death of John Buchan, the popular Governor-General of Canada, she and her husband moved to Canada in war time, so that he could serve there, replacing John Buchan. They remained in Canada until 1946. On two occasions, they hosted President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill at Rideau Hall, the official residence of the Governor-General. King George VI, father of Queen Elizabeth II, also made supportive statements reflecting a belief in BI. A former prime minister of New Zealand was also a member. They have branches in a number of countries, including all the “covenant nations”.
The idea still persists, in spite of Wikipedia’s claim that the theory has been disproved, for which they give no evidence. Yair Davidy’s Brit-Am organization in Israel supports the theory with archaeological evidence. An American organization called “Truth in History” publishes a magazine, which also upholds the teaching. Additionally, the Churches of God that came out of Herbert W Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God, continue to believe – their interpretation of prophecy is heavily influenced by British-Israelism.
Some are dogmatic in their support of BI, while others are equally dogmatic in their dismissal of the belief. There are those who believe the evidence supporting BI is overwhelming, but there are others who don’t consider it conclusive and reject the teaching.
Whether you believe the theory or not is largely irrelevant. The fact Is that the “covenant nations” are in deep trouble, hence the call for a fast. Coincidentally, the date chosen for the fast is also the Jewish Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the year for Jews. On this day, believers are expected to fast completely, abstaining from all food and drink. The idea is for everybody to humble themselves before God, to be “at-one” with God, through prayer and Bible Study, as well as worshipping Him with others of like mind.
It’s also a day for repentance. Repentance means to change, to overcome sin and return to God with great fervor. It’s unlikely that the peoples of the “covenant nations” will go that far.
Followers of BI believe that Ephraim is the ancestor of the British peoples and nations that became dominions after independence (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa). Note what God said to Ephraim in Hosea 7:8-10:
“Ephraim has mixed himself among the peoples; Ephraim is a cake unturned. Aliens have devoured his strength, but he does not know it, yes, gray hairs are here and there on him, yet he does not know it. And the pride of Israel testifies to his face, but they do not return to the LORD their God, nor seek Him for all this.”
A little over seventy years ago, the descendants of Joseph, the peoples of the covenant nations, the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic peoples, dominated the globe. The British Empire and the United States had emerged victorious after World War II and it seemed as if God had given them supremacy all over the globe. But things started to go wrong immediately. The British lost their empire in the twenty years after the war; and the United States and Britain now seem unable to win any conflicts.
The Commonwealth has largely unraveled and may not survive the death of the Queen and ascension of her son, Prince Charles.
Certainly, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are not as close as they once were. They no longer form an effective military force and no longer see themselves as fulfilling a common destiny. They have also taken in millions of people from other cultures who do not share the same values inherited from Britain. (“Ephraim has mixed himself among the peoples”; “aliens have devoured his strength.”)
At the present time, the greatest threat comes from Brexit and this is why BIWF has called for a fast. Brexit negotiations are not going well. The United Kingdom seems to be intimidated by the European Union, lacking in self-confidence, its stance somewhat reminiscent of Neville Chamberlain prior to World War II. (“Grey hairs are here and there upon him, yet he knows it not.”)
BIWF’s call for a fast and a day of prayer has this to say about Brexit: “On 29th March 2017, Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty was triggered for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. We need to pray that the LORD will deliver the United Kingdom completely from the Babylonish EU as the difficult negotiations proceed.”
BIWF publishes a book called “We Have a Guardian” recording historical evidence that shows God’s intervention to help Britain in times of trouble. “Dunkirk” was one example in 1940. They are calling for God to intervene again, to save Britain through Brexit and to restore the country to its former self, when many of the people were devout Christians. They are mindful of the Queen’s Coronation Oath, to maintain the laws of God and the true religion, two promises that all the queen’s governments in each of her dominions have conveniently forgotten.
They are also mindful of the threat to the United States and the rest of the world posed by North Korea, calling upon their members to pray about the situation so that a devastating war can be avoided. Such a war would finish off North Korea, but may also set back the United States, allowing other nations to fill the vacuum.
Remember to pray for your country on this fast day.