What happened to the tribe of Dan?

Scripture: Revelation 7:1-8, Romans 11:24
What happened to the tribe of Dan? In Revelation 7 Dan and Ephraim are not listed. There are meaning in names and if you look at the references to Dan and Ephraim you will discover something interesting. This broadcast also discusses the 144,000 and spiritual Jews.
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Co-Host:  We’ll go to Nampa, Idaho, and we have Eric on the line Doug.

Pastor Doug:  Ok.  Eric, are you there?

Caller:  Yes I am.

Pastor Doug:  Yes sir, and your question?

Caller:  My question is about the tribe of Dan.  In Numbers 11 there are 12 tribes…

Pastor Doug:  Right.

Caller:  …and 13 including Levi.

Pastor Doug:  Right.

Caller:  Levi was separated, but in Revelation 7, Dan is missing from the number and Levi is added in.  Could you tell me what happened to the tribe of Dan?

Pastor Doug:  Not only is Dan missing, if you’ll look very closely there at Revelation chapter 7, it’s telling us that Ephraim is also missing.

Caller:  Ok.

Pastor Doug:  Now the secret to understanding this is – and this, friends who are listening in, this is Revelation 7.  We’re looking at the 144,000.

One of the verses in the Old Testament tells us when Jacob was blessing his children, “Dan shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel.  Dan shall be a serpent by the way and a viper by the path that bites the horses heels so that its rider shall fall backward.”  And regarding Ephraim, the Bible says, “Ephraim is joined unto idols.  Let her alone.”

The names of the 144,000 mean something.  The name of Levi was included.  And the name of Manasseh, but Ephraim, well Dan means judgment for one thing and for the 144,000 judgment has passed – so it included the names of Joseph instead of Ephraim, and Levi instead of Dan.  So it continued the number of 12.

Now this may sound a little confusing to our friends.  We always talk about the 12 tribes of Israel, but in reality, Jacob had 12 sons.  Joseph was separated from his brothers when they sold him as a slave in Egypt.  When Joseph had two boys, Ephraim and Manasseh there in Egypt, Jacob said that instead of Joseph, his two sons will be counted among the 12 tribes and Levi was not given an inheritance because they were a nation of Priests for all 12.  So in reality, there was really 13 tribes, but you sound like you already knew that Eric.

Caller:  Yes.  Um let’s see – my next question was uh – was that just for Israel, or was that a New Testament type and shadow for the New Testament church too?

Pastor Doug:  I’m not sure what you mean by that.

Caller:  You know like how a lot of things in the Old Testament have like types and shadows of New Testament things?

Pastor Doug:  Ok.  Yes.

Caller:  Was that just for the tribes of Israel then?  Or was there a New Testament shadow?

Pastor Doug:  Well I think there is a New Testament shadow.  Here’s something very interesting.  First of all, at the Last Supper, how many people were there?

Caller:  Uh, 12.

Pastor Doug:  Keep thinking.

Caller:  13.

Pastor Doug:  Twelve Apostles and Jesus right?

Caller:  Yes 13.

Pastor Doug:  Ok that comes to 13.  Just like there were 12 tribes in Levi who was the Priest, which made up 13, right?

Caller:  Yes.

Pastor Doug:  Then when you go to Acts chapter 1 – something very interesting – before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, do you know what was lacking?  Judas had committed suicide.  God’s leadership of the church numbered in 12.

Peter said we need to replace this position.  It was an office that Jesus had established among the Apostles.  Judas killed himself, and so they chose somebody.  They cast lots between two characters, and I think Matthias was chosen.  They chose somebody to fill the vacancy to bring the number from 11 back up to 12 Apostles, then the Holy Spirit was poured out.

You know what that makes me think?  God is going to pour out the Holy Spirit in the last days when the 144,000 are prepared.  There’s going to be another outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Caller:  You don’t think that has happened yet?

Pastor Doug:  I think it’s happening right now.

Caller:  Isn’t this now the time of the Gentiles though?

Pastor Doug:  Well, um, yes – but now there are several approaches to what you’re discussing there, and I don’t have a conflict with it being the time of the Gentiles and the 144,000 being prepared.

Now let me tell you why – hold on to your seatbelt – now of course you know, or you may or may not know, most of our listeners know I’m half Jewish.  My mother was Jewish.  But I don’t believe that the 144,000 are literal Jews.

I think that when you look at Revelation, it’s telling us that these names are spiritual symbols.  Jesus Himself said that many will come from the East and the West and sit down in the Kingdom with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the children of the Kingdom – the literal children – are cast out.

John the Baptist said to the Jews who came to hear his preaching, ‘I’m able to raise up children unto Abraham from these stones.’  And again, Paul says, ‘he that is in Christ, he is Abraham’s seed.’  Now uh, are you a Christian Eric?  I assume you are.

Caller:  Yes I am.

Pastor Doug:  All right.  If you’re in Christ, you are a Spiritual Jew.

Caller:  That’s right.

Pastor Doug:  See what I’m saying?

Caller:  Yes.

Pastor Doug:  And so the 144,000 – and just think about it for a second – you read your Bibles, 10 of these tribes were carried away captive by the Assyrians.  They inter-married with their captors and basically disappeared as a distinct people.  The ones who came back from Babylon were from the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi.

The majority – and that’s where you get the name “Jew” from the tribe of Judah – the majority of the 10 tribes had ceased to exist as a people.  You cannot find 12,000 people from the tribe of Zabulon.  You cannot find 12,000 literal people from the tribe of Issachar.  They don’t exist as a pure blood.  They intermarried, and so, who knows, you might have a little Issachar blood in you.

So the idea that God is going to raise up 12,000 pure blood Jews from these 12 tribes is really absurd if you read the whole Old Testament.  They are Spiritual Jews.

Caller:  Well what about like where Jesus said the first will be last and the last first?  Is that like how Israel will be saved in a day?

Pastor Doug:  Well I think a lot of the prophecies and promises regarding Israel in the New Testament are speaking, just like Paul said, of Spiritual Israel.

Caller:  Ok.

Pastor Doug:  See, Paul tells us the Gentiles are grafted into that tree.

Caller:  That’s right.

Pastor Doug:  Remember the vision of the sheet that came down that Peter had?  And God said, ‘I cleansed the Gentiles.  Don’t call them unclean anymore.’

Caller:  That’s right.

Pastor Doug:  And the Gospel went to the whole world then.  Jesus said to the Disciples to begin preaching beginning at Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and then the uttermost parts of the earth.  They started at home and then they went from there.

Caller:  What about in Romans where it says if we unintelligible against the tree, we don’t, we’re not partakers of Israel?

Pastor Doug:  Right.  Now I do believe we still have a work to do among literal Jews.  I was just talking to a friend about that yesterday.  And that of course, is mentioned there in Romans as you said.  But I think many of the prophecies and promises regarding Israel in the New Testament are talking about Spiritual Israel – those who are grafted in.

Caller:  All right.

Pastor Doug:  Matter of fact, if you look at verse 24 of chapter 11 in Romans, it says, “For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these were natural…[in other words, the natural Israelites rather than the Spiritual]…natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?”  The most natural people to preach to are Jews.  The whole Bible is a Jewish book.

I was talking to one of the Amazing Facts’ Evangelists who’s Jewish yesterday about what we could do to reach the Jews more – the literal Jews – because they’ve got the foundation for the Gospel and they would be the easiest ones to reach.  It’s so much easier to preach to a Jew than maybe go to someone who has no Bible background.

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