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Ephraimites, Two Houses, Joes, Ten Tribes Teachings
10 October 2010, 2 Cheshvan 5771
1. Michelle Bowie: 
Karaite Episode is just a Phase?
2. Tessa Beswick:  "true Ephraimites", rejection of Rabbis and Need for Patience.
Brit-Am Protests Against The Attempted Emasculation of Brit-Am!
3. Towards a New definition of "Ephraimites".


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1. Michelle Bowie:  Karaite Episode is just a Phase?
 Re: Brit-Am Now no. 1576
#5. Brit-Am is Different!

Shalom Yair!
Happy 60th!
Your words below:
Ephraimites who adopt Karaite customs are suspected of having anti-Jewish motives.
In some cases these suspicions have been substantiated.
By Ephraimites  adopting so-called Karaite customs they are indicating to the Jews that they are probably of non-Israelite origin.
I beg to differ on this opinion and the reason being is this:
Many Christians seeking their Isrealite identity, come to realize they have erred in the doctrine of their religion. As a result, when they come to know or "feel" they are of Israel, they dive into the deep end of keeping Sabbath and Torah becoming what is affectionately known as Torah terrorists. Realize this is a stage of their new growth and new walk. It is temporary. Also, they find themselves frantically seeking out others of like mind and in doing so, end up following certain sects of Judaism that also have their man-made doctrine. Most come to realize this and move on to the next sect and just keep going until they figure out, if they just keep their head in scripture and follow that alone, they will continue to wander so-to-speak. It is all stages of growth and knowledge. Some of course, do end up sticking with these other doctrinal sects. Now, whether they stay there, or not, who knows and I'm not sure we should judge.
These ex-Christians usually end up being abandoned and ostracized by their friends and families and since all who live around them mostly continue on in their Christian doctrines and churches, these folks are left alone and feel quite isolated. So, because of our human instinct to belong, this is what causes many to seek out others and as I stated, they sometimes end up in the wrong group. Some figure it out quickly, others take time.
The one thing I hope we all have in common though, is the seeking out of truth. We don't all take the same path to do so, but if our hearts are right with the Almighty, then perhaps that is what it's all about.
Blessings, MB

2. Tessa Beswick:  "true Ephraimites", rejection of Rabbis and Need for Patience.
Brit-Am Protests Against The Attempted Emasculation of Brit-Am!

Subject: re
Touche! The Karaite Allies Threat to Brit-Am and the Brit-Am Answer

Shalom Yair
I have been following the current debate about Ephraimites, Karaites etc and it seems to me to be a counterproductive discussion which will only drive a wedge between Judah and Ephraim at a time when the two sides of the family are trying to draw closer together. There is no harm in recognising differences between us as indeed there should be recognisable differences - Ezekiel describes them as two 'sticks' which only become one in the hands of the Messiah and in his timing. But it is not our task to iron out these differences or try to persuade one side of the family to the other side. We each are who we are for good and valid reasons.
At the risk of inflaming the debate even more but for reasons of bringing some clarification, true Ephraimites have been given a specific constraint to abide by regarding spiritual covering. They may not call any man 'father', which is a hurdle for those leaving the Roman system, nor 'teacher', which is a hurdle for exiting Protestants who have multiplied teachers to themselves. What may not be so well known is that they also may not call any man 'rabbi', which is an immediate affront to Judah when no disrespect is intended. These constraints simply identify Ephraim and serve to keep him as a separate identity until the Messiah reunites the family.
I think Yair that you do a great job of researching and publicising the migrations of the tribes and related topics but all of us must tread carefully regarding theological and identity positions. It seems it was relatively easy to part company but getting back together again is tricky! Certainly Joseph experienced the same problem in his time and we should wait patiently as he did for the solution to unfold. We may all be surprised when that happens, just as the twelve brothers were.
Blessings - Tessa

Brit-Am Reply:
Tessa Shalom,
Would you like to emasculate Brit-Am?
To see Brit-Am occupy itself only with questions of Ancestral identity, ignore the literal and traditional meaning of Scripture, and not take into consideration the implication of its findings?
Would you like to see Brit-Am let itself be used as a tool with its findings serving as ammunition for the enemies of the Jewish people and of Joseph?
Brit-Am believes in the Bible.
We search for the literal truth of Scripture. We hold that our explanations are closer to the literal meaning of the text.
We often reach these understandings through the help of Rabbinical explanation.
In our experience the Rabbinical explanation enable a more literal understanding of the text than do those who go out of their way to deny the Rabbinical view.

Take the case of Ruth for instance as expounded upon in our article:
 King David and the Oral Law
The Rabbinical Explanation is more consistent with the literal meaning of all the Scriptural passages taken as a whole.

We accuse the Karaites and they who support them of creating an oral Tradition of their own and in effect denying the literal meaning of Scripture!

Brit-Am believes it represents both Judah and Joseph in matters concerning ancestral identity and the coming together of the two.
From the perspective of Judah the break with the Karaites is permanent and can never be bridged.
Our present writing concerning the Karaiates reflects an attitude and policy we had from the beginning.
Any rapport between Ephraimites and the Karaites implies distancing from Judah and works against  Brit-Am aims.
It will mean another barrier being placed on the part of Ephraimites in addition to the obstacles that already exist.
[See our definition below as to who the Ephraimites are!
3. Towards a New definition of "
Ephraimites". ]
The Ephraimites do not represent all of Joseph.
The Ephraimites do not represent  Joseph but only themselves.
If anything Brit-Am is more representative of Joseph than any single Ephraimite group.

I am surprised that you assume such a strong identity existed between the Karaites and Ephraim.
I doubt if other Ephraimites would be so happy with that.
If such really were the case it would mean the final break between Brit-Am and Ephraimites.
Not  that much of a connection ever really existed.
When Brit-Am began the Ephraimites, if they existed, had not been heard of by us.

You seem to have misunderstood  our intention.
You said that Ephraimites:
 # may not call any man 'rabbi', which is an immediate affront to Judah when no disrespect is intended. #
Apparently you are quoting New Testament doctrine.
There is a difference between recognizing the authority of and paying minimum respect towards or taking consideration of.

Brit-Am concentrates on matters concerning the identity of the Lost Ten Tribes.
We will not however be circumscribed (we are already circumcised) nor will we let others use our efforts in the service of idols and anti-Jewish doctrines.

I think the Ephraimites should get their act together.
First there were reports that they had been infected with a strong permeation of Conspiracy Theories against Judah and Joseph.
Then the presence of strong anti-Jewish elements and doctrinal streaks came up.
Now identification with the Karaites? Defending Karaites? Against Whom? What for?
What is next?

3. Towards a New definition of "Ephraimites".
Let us clarify a few matters.
First the definitions for the sake of discussion.
Judah means the Jews especially as the Jews identify themselves.
Joseph represents the physical descendants of the Ten Tribes.
Ephraim can mean the descendants of Joseph in the USA and Britain.

Ephraim is not synonymous with Ephraimite.
Ephraimite is an English word suggesting someone pertaining to Ephraim but that is not how it is used.

In Hebrew the word for someone from Ephraim is Ephrati (Judges 12:5  1-Kings 11:26).
Judges 12:
5 The Gileadites seized the fords of the Jordan before the Ephraimites arrived. And when any Ephraimite who escaped said, 'Let me cross over,' the men of Gilead would say to him, 'Are you an Ephraimite?' ...

Where the word translated as "Ephraimite" is "Ephrati".
In Biblical Times the name may have been pronounced as "Ephrathi" or "Ephrasi".

Today in Brit-Am and related Literature, the term "Ephraimites" is sometimes used for those Christians mostly descended from Joseph who are more or less aware of their Israelite ancestry and who adopt some Hebraic practices.

In effect this is inaccurate.
Christians who belonged to one or other of the offshoots of the WWCG of H.W. Armstrong also often fit the above definition but they would be reserved about having the term "Ephraimite" applied to them since this is associated with a particular psychological and religious attitude that they may have reservations about.

We should perhaps re-define the term "Ephraimites" so that it means ALSO:
Christians who in some way or other were associated with the Batya and Amos Wootten House of David ministry or with an offshoot from their group.
These Ephraimites often pride themselves on little formal organization and no appointed leadership.

Their numbers are not great but they are growing and their attitudes are very intense.
Quite a few of them are interested in Brit-Am and in the past we had some strong supporters amongst them.
Some of them however are reserved about us.
There are those of them who prefer to emphasize the spiritual awareness of being Ephraim without regard to Biblical or Secular proofs of it.
There are those of them who feel threatened by the perceived "Jewish" aspects of Brit-Am.
There are also those who are strongly into missionizing Jews, believe in Conspiracy Theories and/or have anti-Jewish sentiments.
In addition there are now those who are becoming Christian Karaites.

Maybe it is better that way.
Brit-Am always held that we should leave the resolution of religious differences to the Messianic Era.
There were always those however who were not satisfied with this. Some insisted on trying to missionize Jews.
Others wanted to become some kind of Jewish Christians.
This is impossible.
Maybe becoming Christian Karaites is the next best thing?

See our sister feature:
Telling it as it is.
Discussion of Ephraimite Questions in a Brit-Am Context


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