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God appeared to Abraham for the first time and gave him a command and a new plan for his life. This is recorded in Genesis 12:1-5 (NKJV):

“1 Now the Lord had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, from your family and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." 4 So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5 Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So, they came to the land of Canaan.”

It is to be noted in these promises that all peoples on earth shall be blessed materially and spiritually through Abraham’s descendants.

Abraham was completely obedient to God and did not question why God asked him to go to Canaan. He did not argue with God to bless him in the land where he was rather than being ask to go to a strange land. He simply obeyed God’s instructions and departed. 

God later began to add more details to His promises. Genesis 13:16 adds (NIV): “16 I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted.” This means descendants of Abraham will increase greatly in population.

God then further expanded the scope of His promises to Abraham in Genesis 17:1-7 (NKJV): “1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless. 2 I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers." 3 Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4 "As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” 

Now the promises include instead of one nation, many nations being formed from the descendants of Abraham, and he becoming an ancestor of kings. Also, God promised him all the land of Canaan in which he was a stranger.

Later when Abraham was willing to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice, God’s promises to him became unconditional. The account is stated in Genesis 22:11-12, 15 -18 (NKJV):

“11 But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" So he said, "Here I am." 12 And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me…15 Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, 16 and said: "By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son-- 17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."

This time the promise of Abraham’s descendants possessing the gates, meaning narrow land and sea passages of access to enemies’ lands and strategic islands around the world is added.

Promises to Abraham Passed on to Isaac and Jacob

God then reconfirmed His covenant or unconditionally binding agreement [meaning Abraham had to do nothing more, but God was binding Himself to do His part and perform His promises to Abraham] with Abraham’s son Isaac and his descendants in Genesis 26:1-5. Then in Genesis 27:26-29, 28:1-4, 10-14, 25:9-12, the covenant and the promises were reconfirmed with Abraham’s grandson Jacob. 

In confirmation of God’s promises to Jacob, many interesting details of the promises are revealed. First of all, Jacob received the birthright, which naturally belongs to the firstborn. Esau the firstborn sold the birthright to his younger brother Jacob for bread and stew of lentils.

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia explains that the birthright was "the right belonging naturally to the firstborn son...Such a person ultimately became the head of the family, the line being continued through him. As firstborn he inherited a double portion of the paternal estate...The firstborn was responsible for...exercising authority over the household as a whole" (1979, Vol. 1, "Birthright," pp. 515-516).

Isaac pronounced the following blessing on his son Jacob in Genesis 27:28-29 (NKJV): “28 Therefore may God give you of the dew of heaven, of the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and wine. 29 Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be master over your brethren, and let your mother's sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be those who bless you!"

Isaac also let Jacob know that the promises of Abraham were being passed on to him in Genesis 28:3-4 (NRSV): “3 May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and numerous, that you may become a company of peoples. 4 May he give to you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your offspring with you, so that you may take possession of the land where you now live as an alien—land that God gave to Abraham." Here Jacob is promised that his descendants will become a company of peoples, meaning many nations.

God then revealed through Jacob what the birthright and the blessing entailed in Genesis 28:14 (NKJV): “Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” 

God promised that peoples and nations would serve the descendants of Jacob and bow down to them, meaning they will be the foremost nations on earth. They would spread around the world in all directions, north, south, east and west, from the Middle East.  They would multiply greatly in numbers, as the dust of the earth. These are not idle words. When we consider what God has in store for humanity for eternity in the universe, descendants of Jacob will literally multiply in numbers as the dust of the earth and the stars in heaven.

Jacob Passes on God’s Promises to his Twelve Sons

Before Jacob’s twelve sons, God had passed on His promises to Abraham to one son, preferring him over the other son. Abraham’s promises were passed on to Isaac instead of Ishmael. Then Isaac passed on Abraham’s promises to his son Jacob instead of his older son Esau. But then God began to pass on Abraham’s promises collectively to all the twelve sons of Jacob. Among the twelve sons of Jacob, God chose out two sons for special national blessings.

In Genesis 35:11-12 (NKJV) God promises Jacob: “Also God said to him: "I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body. 12 The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I give to you; and to your descendants after you I give this land." Here God promises Jacob that a great nation and a company or commonwealth of nations would proceed from him.

That part of God’s promise Jacob then passed on to his two grandsons, Manasseh and Ephraim, the sons of Joseph in Genesis 48:14-19 (NKJV): “14 Then Israel [Jacob’s other name] stretched out his right hand and laid it on Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh's head, guiding his hands knowingly, for Manasseh was the firstborn. 15 And he blessed Joseph, and said: "God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, The God who has fed me all my life long to this day, 16 The Angel who has redeemed me from all evil, Bless the lads; Let my name be named upon them, And the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; And let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth." 17 Now when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him; so he took hold of his father's hand to remove it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's head. 18 And Joseph said to his father, "Not so, my father, for this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head." 19 But his father refused and said, "I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations."

So, God’s promise to Jacob that a great nation and a commonwealth of nations would proceed from him is conferred by him on his son Joseph’s two sons Ephraim and Manasseh. This way, the birthright that conferred a double portion of the paternal estate was given to Joseph. However, not all dimensions of the promises to Abraham would go to Joseph. Judah received a very important promise of great physical and spiritual dimension.

Through Jacob God prophesied in Genesis 49:10 “the scepter [ruler’s staff] shall not depart from Judah.” That prophecy pointed to the dynasty of Israel’s future king David, a descendant of Judah, and also to Jesus, a descendant of Judah and king David as the Messiah, and ruler of the earth as King of Kings.

1 Chronicles 5:2 clarifies these two promises: “…Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph's.” Thus, the birthright promise of great material blessings and to become a great nation and a company or Commonwealth of Nations went to the descendants of Joseph, but the promise of rulership went to the descendants of Judah.

Details of Promises to Joseph and Judah

When Jacob was close to death, he called his twelve sons together and prophesied what would happen to descendants of each of them in the last days, meaning our time. These blessings provide more details on the birthright promise to Joseph. 

Genesis 49:1 states: “1 And Jacob called his sons and said, "Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days.” Then Genesis 49:22-26 (New Century Version) states: “22 "Joseph is like a grapevine that produces much fruit, a healthy vine watered by a spring, whose branches grow over the wall. 23 Archers attack him violently and shoot at him angrily, 24 but he aims his bow well. His arms are made strong, and his strength from the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel. 25 Your father's God helps you. God Almighty blesses you. He blesses you with rain from above, with water from springs below, with many babies born to your wives, and many young ones born to your animals. 26 The blessings of your father are greater than the blessings of the oldest mountains, greater than the good things of the long-lasting hills. May these blessings rest on the head of Joseph, on the forehead of the one who was separated from his brothers!”

These prophetic blessings pronounced on Joseph's descendants "in the last days" mean that they will live in a very fertile, well-watered highly fruitful land. They will be a people “whose branches run over the wall” means they will expand their territory by being a colonizing people. At times they will be attacked by their enemies, but they will remain strong and victorious through God’s miraculous intervention and help.   

Their population will continue to grow steadily, enjoying blessings of great herds of livestock, bumper crops due to climate favorable for agriculture, and extensive mineral resources to support a robust economy. They will receive these blessings "in the last days," meaning in our time.

God’s promise of the scepter [or kingship] to Judah would be fulfilled through the descendants of King David. After David planned to build a temple for God, He made a covenant with David which provides details of the promise of that kingship as stated in 2 Samuel 7:12-16 (NKJV): “"When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name [which was fulfilled by David’s son King Solomon], and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever." Here God promised David that his dynasty would last forever.

Summary of God’s Promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

God’s promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Judah and King David can now be listed as follows:

1)  God promised incredible material blessings of resources of the earth and riches to all of Jacob’s descendants, but primarily to Joseph’s sons Ephraim from whom would come the company or commonwealth of nations and to Manasseh from whom would come the single great nation. These blessing would be theirs in the last days, or our time.

2)  Descendants of Jacob would possess the gates of their enemies.

3)  All nations would be blessed materially and spiritually through the descendants of Jacob.

4)  The chief ruler would come from Judah through king David, with an everlasting dynasty.

Fulfillment of the Promises  

All these promises of God to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were major prophecies. To see how all these incredible promises have been fulfilled, we must first identify who the modern descendants of Jacob are. Fortunately, various Church of God organizations have published excellent books and booklets on the subject. For comprehensive proof that white Americans are mainly the modern descendants of Manasseh the son of Joseph, the son of Jacob or Israel, and the British are the modern descendants of Manasseh’s brother Ephraim the reader may refer to the following five booklets:

1. The United States and Britain in Prophecy; by Herbert W. Armstrong, available from the Philadelphia Church of God at

2. The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy; published by the United Church of God, available at

3. The Throne of Britain: Its Biblical Origin and Future, eBook published by the United Church of God, available at its web site under booklets.

4. America and Britain in Prophecy, by David C. Pack; published by the Restored Church of God, available at

5. The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy; published by the Living Church of God, available at

For detailed proof of where the other tribes of Israel are settled, the best source is “America and Britain in Prophecy” by David Pack. From his book, here is where the modern descendants of the other tribes of Israel can mainly be found:

Reuben – France

Simeon and Levi – Prophesied to be dispersed among all the tribes of Israel. Largest portion of Levi or the priestly tribe lives among the Jews.

Judah – The Jews worldwide, with a branch in Ireland.

Zebulun – Holland

Issachar – Finland

Dan – Primarily Ireland and Denmark

Gad – Switzerland

Asher – Belgium

Naphtali – Sweden

Benjamin – Norway, Iceland and among the Jews

Here is how God’s promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob have been fulfilled in the American, British and Jewish people.

1)  God promised incredible material blessings of resources of the earth and riches. This promise has been fulfilled in the descendants of Jacob in our time which are the people of the USA, British Commonwealth Nations, France, Switzerland, Ireland, Scandinavia, the Benelux countries and the Jews. 

2)  The nations of the earth would be blessed through them both materially and spiritually. The world has indeed been materially blessed through them by trading with them, and the British have been the engine of the world’s economy in the 19th and the Americans in the 20th century. The French too made significant contributions.

The world has also been spiritually blessed through them because the Savior Jesus Christ was a descendant of Judah, the son of Jacob. In addition, the knowledge of the true God has been preserved through them and propagated by the British and the Americans translating the Bible in virtually every language on earth and making it available to the world at low cost.  

3)  God also promised to bless those who bless them and seek their welfare, and curse those who curse them and seek their destruction. When the catastrophes that are soon to engulf the entire world are all over, we will see that this promise will have been fulfilled, and we will continue to see its fulfillment throughout God’s Kingdom into eternity.

4)  The patriarchs were promised that their descendants would multiply as the stars and the sand on the seashore in number. They already number more than 500 million today. But true fulfillment of this prophecy will go on throughout eternity.  

5)  The promises included the land where the patriarchs roamed.  The Jews today possess that land. But the true fulfillment of this prophecy will be in God’s Kingdom when descendants of Jacob will possess all the land between the Nile and the Euphrates rivers, as promised in Genesis 15:18. Eventually Israelites will fill much of the world with fruit, meaning with their population (Isaiah 27:6, “6 He [God] shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.”)

6)  In Genesis 17, when Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord changed his name to Abraham and promised that he would become the father of many nations and of kings.  Today, the Israelite nations, the Jews, the Arabs, the Turks and many other nations we may not fully know are all descendants of Abraham, including obviously all their royalty.  This promise stands fulfilled.

7)  Abraham’s promises were passed on to his son Isaac, who then passed on the promises to his son Jacob and not his brother Esau. Many more prophetic details were further added to the promises.  Isaac pronounced the following blessing on Jacob in Genesis 27:28-29: “28 Therefore may God give you of the dew of heaven, of the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and wine. 29 Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be master over your brethren, and let your mother's sons bow down to you.” 

Here instead of merely the land of Canaan, the promise of land is expanded to include the fatness of the earth, meaning lands that are richest in agriculture and mineral resources of the earth. Just look at the lands possessed by the British, American, French, Scandinavian and Benelux peoples to see how this promise has been dramatically fulfilled. And nations of the world have bowed down to and served the British during their colonial empire. 

8)  Then Isaac also let Jacob know in Genesis 28:3(NRSV) that his descendants will become a company of peoples, meaning many nations. Later Jacob passed on these promises to his 12 sons. The company of peoples promise has been fulfilled in the nations descended from the 12 tribes of Israel in Europe, and the Jews worldwide.

9)  When passing on these promises to his sons, Jacob singled out Joseph and his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim that they would become a great nation and a commonwealth of nations. Their descendants are the peoples of the USA and the British Commonwealth of nations. There has been no other single greatest nation on earth than America and the greatest Commonwealth of Nations than the British Commonwealth who have been closely allied ever before in the history of mankind. 

Joseph was given the birthright of the firstborn which is a double portion of a father’s inheritance. Joseph’s two sons Manasseh and Ephraim actually became two tribes, each receiving their separate inheritance, thus obtaining a double portion of their father’s inheritance.

The birthright people were also promised they would be famous on earth and possess the richest resources of the earth. At the zenith of their power, the British and the American people constituted only 4% of the world’s population, but possessed about 70% of the world’s agricultural and mineral resources.

10)  Then when Abraham was willing to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice, God’s promises to him became unconditional. In Genesis 22:11-12, 15 -18 the additional promise that Abraham’s descendants would possess the gates, meaning narrow land and sea passages of access to enemies’ lands was added. This incredible promise has been fulfilled in the British and American peoples who at the zenith of their power have possessed almost every major gate and strategic island on land and sea such as the Suez and Panama canals, the Rock of Gibraltar, the Khyber Pass, Hong Kong, the islands of Malta, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Singapore the Falklands Islands and virtually every other gate around the world. Outcome of the Second World War hinged on the possession of these strategic gates. Most of the world’s commerce also passes through these gates. Even the Strait of Bosporus has been possessed by the Turks, the descendants of Esau, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham.

11)  In prophesying the future of Joseph’s descendants, Jacob stated in Genesis 49:22:

“22 Joseph is like a grapevine that produces much fruit, a healthy vine watered by a spring, whose branches grow over the wall.”  A people "whose branches grow over the wall," or beyond their original borders, certainly means that they will be a colonizing people.  here have never been such a colonizing people in the history of man as the British and American peoples. Thus, this prophecy stands fulfilled about 3,500 years after it was given.    

12)  And finally, the promise of the scepter, meaning the chief ruler would come from Judah through King David, with an everlasting dynasty. Today, Queen Elizabeth II of Britain sits on that throne in unbroken dynasty from King David. In God’s kingdom, Jesus Christ, also a descendant of King David, will be the chief ruler over the earth, occupying that throne for eternity. What an incredible way for God to fulfill His promise and continue to have this prophecy come true throughout eternity?

From the founding of ancient Israel as a nation after the Exodus from Egypt around 1443 BCE till God began to bestow His blessings on Israel around 1800 A.D. there has been a time gap of more than 3,240 years. God gave many detailed and incredibly intricate prophecies to chart the future course of Israel and Judah after coming out of Egypt till these prophecies would be fulfilled in these ‘last days’. It makes for a story more thrilling than fiction and shows God’s Almighty power to fulfill all the prophecies over a period of more than 3,000 years.

 A people can fulfill one or two prophecies by mere coincidence, but when a people fulfill hundreds of prophecies, then probabilistically we can be absolutely certain of the identity of those people as the one whom the prophecies were written about.  If Britain and America fulfill hundreds of prophecies about Ephraim and Manasseh and Israel, then there can be no doubt in our minds that they are in fact the descendants of those patriarchs. We will look at these intricate prophecies next.

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