Elmer Josephson on the subject of
The Two Houses

Married to Elmer for 35 wonderful years, we grew in spiritual learning together as we endeavored to accomplish practical projects to bring better understanding between Jews and Christians.

The study of God’s Word is ever enlightening. Often Elmer would come to a greater revelation of a truth and share it with me.  After his “promotion to glory” I continued in the practical projects and in diligent study of God’s Word. Those “revelations” didn’t stop and I continued to learn. I received understanding on a subject we had discussed many times. It came with a brilliant impact that hasn’t stopped to this day.  I endeavored to show the Biblical foundation and basics of this study in the book, “Judah, You are Not Alone; I am Joseph, Your Brother.” (Available at our BLI office in Ottawa, KS for $10 donation.)

The two houses of Israel are often called in the Bible the Kingdom of Judah and the Kingdom of Israel, or Judah and Ephraim. In our discussions on this subject, and the thought that Christians might be a part of the “lost tribes”, my late husband often said it seemed to be the “British Israelism” teaching which was clearly replacement theology.

However, he privately expressed, “But, Chris, I still do not understand what those promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob about multitudes mean. We can spiritualize it and say those who come through Christ are Abraham’s seed, which is correct concerning faith, but the promises clearly involve a physical people – ­Israel, that cannot be counted for multitude. However,  the Jewish people can be counted today, so where are the others?”

Lately, I’ve been going through his well-known book again, “Israel, God’s Key to World Redemption” I found some passages quoted below, that indicate how close he was to this understanding.

“The day is approaching when the Almighty [El Shaddai] will have the nations of the world as a colossal philharmonic orchestra, blending their diversified and interesting cultures into a most beautiful symphony. . . One of the biggest Biblical discoveries of my life came after years of careful study when I learned that the New Testament (Covenant) was originally made exclusive with the House of Israel and the House of Judah. . . This ‘new covenant’ is within the Abrahamic Covenant, as is the Davidic Covenant (II Samuel 7:4-16). . . .”

Speaking of the Messiah, Elmer said: “He was destined to be ‘King of the Jews’ who ‘shall rule my people Israel’ (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1-2,6).” And quoting Matthew 10:1-6 & 24, “Go rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.’ . . .  ‘I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel’.”

In commenting on Luke 22:7-30, Acts 1:6, concerning the apostles sitting on thrones ruling the people of the twelve tribes of Israel, he said, “not ruling just a remnant nor mere segments.”

He went on to say:

“Satanic forces through the centuries have terribly misrepresented the crucifixion. Religiously wicked men have manufactured christs of their own which they have twisted into weapons to persecute and torture Christ’s own brethren and accusingly cry, ‘Christ-killers’. This completely nullifies the John 10 passage and disproves Christ’s claims.

“Caiaphas, who was the Jewish High Priest the year Jesus was crucified said, ‘Ye know nothing at all nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people that the whole nation perish not.’ And this spoke he not of himself; but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation. And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather in one the children of God that were scattered abroad (John 10 and 11:49-52).”

Significantly the passage Elmer quoted says right after this that Jesus went to a city near the wilderness called “Ephraim” and continued there with his disciples.

When a bright light shines, some become so blinded they can’t see straight, and bring in their own take on the subject, causing many “spins”.  The two-house movement has, and continues to have, its ups and downs, its rigid teachers who want everyone to see – and perform – exactly as they do. That is why it is so necessary to individually study God’s Word for your own understanding. There are methods of study, set forth in Elmer’s book, “Key Tips to Reading your Bible” which will help keep you on track. (Send for your free copy.)

As for me, I will continue to walk and work the best I can in the ­Bible’s light. I’ve seen Elmer’s reaction through many a “new revelation” that cut across established teachings. I am confident that if he were still with us, he would be walking this road with us. Our close friend, Gwen Hamlin, who departed this life last October, agreed. (She knew Elmer longer than I did.) He often said that when the Word had many clear passages on a subject, if there were one or two places that seemed contrary, we must accept the majority teaching of the Word and at the same time do more research on the minor.

When once blinders come off so we can see the everlasting promises are to the “whole house of Israel” (the northern tribes as well as Judah), those ‘majority’ Scriptures are all over the place.

Midrash (sharing Bible Study) after the Sabbath meal. "Ephraim" (Christians) learning with "Judah" (Zev Kedem).

All over the place, also – that is, all over the world – are the scattered seed. This was Jacob’s prophecy regarding Ephraim – that he would “fill up the nations” (Gen. 48:19). The heart of El Shaddai is for the whole wide world. (Please study the article “Seeds and Signs” beginning on Page 3.)

There is no room for replacement in the joining together again the two flocks of sheep – the two houses. Rather restoration is the word, not only for the Jews and the “lost tribes” but for all the world.

Watch for the next issue of the Bible Light on the News coming from Zion where the light began and shines brightest when viewed in the context of the eternal Word of the Lord.