"Go to the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel"
Jesus said to a Gentile woman, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matt. 15:24). But knowing he was soon to die, Jesus commissioned his twelve disciples to fulfill that divine mission, and also Paul. But where did they go? Why did the twelve apostles suddenly disappear? Why do we only read about some of Paul's travels?
Where Did Paul Travel?
Paul was commissioned to go "before the GENTILES and KINGS, and the children of ISRAEL" (Acts 9:15). If we knew the full details of his travels, we would know where Israel was in the first century. Even Paul's travels to the "GENTILES" may have simply meant uncircumcized scattered Israelites. People BLINDLY assume Paul was sent to non-Israelites ONLY. But we know he FIRST went to Cyprus, southwestern Turkey, Greece, Crete, Malta, Sicily and Rome where PAGANIZED ISRAELITES ("uncircumcision") were living. Also Paul went to MOESIA (Macedonia) where the people of MOSES dwelt. Herodotus tells us they revered a man called Zalmoxis who lived prior to Pythagoras. "Zal" means "chief" and "Moxis" is "MOSES." This was his commission to "GENTILES."
A two-year inprisonment in Rome allowed Paul to meet with KINGS -- his second commission. At the end of that time, when no accuser appeared, Paul would have been automatically released according to Roman law. Toward the end of Acts, Paul met Felix (24:22), King Agrippa (26:1-2), Caesar (27:24) and "Caesar's household" (Philippians 4:22). Who was "Caesar's household"? In 2 Timothy 4:21, "Claudia" Rufina, the BRITISH wife of the high Roman official Aulus Rufus "Pudens" (see Romans 16:13) is mentioned as a friend of Paul. Martial, Epigram 11:53, praises her in the first century: "Foreign Claudia native of the BRITONS." Irenaeus, a disciple of Polycarp wrote in 180 A.D. that "The apostles having and built up the church of Rome, committed the ministry of its supervision to Linus. This is the Linus mentioned by Paul in his Epistle to Timothy" (Irenaei Opera, lib. iii.c.l) who was the brother or son of Claudia (Clemens Romanus' epistle). She was also related to Constantine the Great (A.D. 265-336) who was born and educted in BRITAIN (Baronius, ad ann. 306; Sozomen, Eccl. Hist., lib. i.c.v.). Were "Pudens, Linus and Claudia" (2 Tim. 4:21) ROYALTY?
The first notable British Christian was probably a man named Bran, who was the father of Caractacus, KING of the Silurian tribe in Britain. He, and his family were taken captive to Rome in 50 AD, and faced a public execution. Included in this party were Bran's father Llyr Llediaith, his son Caractacus, and the children of Caractacus who included the beautiful CLAUDIA and probably LINUS. When they arrived in Rome, in chains, the emperor Claudius had Caractacus brought before the Roman Senate. There he made an impassioned speech and as a result was not only given a pardon but also a pension and rooms in the Imperial palace. Caractacus was eventually returned to England as a puppet KING but his ROYAL family were retained in Rome as surety for his loyal behaviour. They were allowed to live normally in Rome. It was probably during this time that the whole ROYAL family became Christians. We do know from Paul's epistle to the Romans, written in 58 AD, that there were several Christians in Caesar's household at this time. It is very likely that these people shared the Christian gospel with the ROYAL hostages who were also living in the imperial palace.
It is possible that it was this same Linus who became one of the leading members of the church in Rome. A Linus eventually became its senior elder or bishop in the latter half of the first century. Clement, the early church father, who lived in Rome at this time wrote of the "saintly Linus, brother of Claudia". Bran, Linus and Claudia's grandfather, eventually returned to Britain in AD 58 where he was the focus for the church that developed around him. The ancient Welsh Triads tell us that, "Bran brought the faith of Christ to the Cambrians." It was likely that this same Claudia married a young Roman Senator named Pudens, whose full name was Rufus Pudens Pudentia. His family owned a large home in the centre of Rome. A Spanish poet, called Martial, lived in Rome at this time. He was not only a contemporary of Pudens but also his friend. He usually wrote short scurrilous poems but he treats his friends marriage with great respect. Several of his poems mention this marriage: "O Rufus, my friend Pudens marries the foreigner Claudia." Although Claudia was a relatively common name, the following poem suggests that this Claudia was the daughter of Caractacus. Concerning Claudia Rufina - "Seeing Claudia Rufina has sprung from the azure Britons, how come she has the feeling of a Latin maid? Thanks to the gods, she has borne many children to her holy husband."
The description of a Roman Senator as being 'holy' is most unusual and taken together with other information does suggest that he had become a Christian. This affluent couple used their home as a Christian centre, and it is likely that Paul might have visited their house. At first this house, which still stands in Rome was called the 'Palatium Britannicum', presumably because of the link with the family of Caractacus. Another name was the 'Hospitium Apostolorum', or 'Apostles House'. The apostles referred to probably included Paul and Peter. Today the house is called 'St. Pudentiana'. There is an inscription on the wall of this house saying,
This is the house of Sanctus Pudens, in which many martyrs were buried by Pudentiana and Praxedes themselves.
Praxedes was one of the sons of Pudens and Claudia. It is known that the children of this couple were martyred for their Christian faith. Another interesting fact is that Emperor Constantine the Great, the first Christian Roman Emperor, was himself a fourth generation descendant of Caractacus through another of his sons, Cyllinus. Cyllinus' son was named Coel, who during his short reign founded the fortress town of Colchester in Essex, which still bears his name. Most people know of him as 'Old KING Cole' of nursery rhyme fame! Coel's daughter, Helen, was a Christian and she became the mother of Constantine the Great. Although the precise details of this story are not proven, they are likely.
But there the story ends, his mission to KINGS having been completed. But what about his third commission -- to ISRAEL? Where did Paul travel after being released from house arrest? These travels would indicate the location of the main body of Israelites. Irenaeus says Paul "established many churches among the KELTOI (Celts)." Clement of Rome says Paul was the "Herald in the WEST" and that "he had gone to the EXTREMITY of the WEST." Chrysostom says, "Paul preached in SPAIN." Dorotheus, Bishop of Tyre (303 A.D.) recorded, "Aristobulus, whom Paul saluted, writing to the Romans was Bishop of BRITAIN" (Synopsis de Apostol. Synops. 23 Aristobulus).
Christ said to Paul, "I will send thee FAR hence unto the Gentiles" (Acts 22:21). "I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ENDS of the EARTH" (Acts 13:46-47). Roman authors use this phrase for BRITAIN. The ancient MS. in Merton College, Oxford, which purports to contain a series of letters between Paul and Seneca, has more than one allusion to Paul's residence in SILURIA. Theodoretus in A.D. 435 testifies: "Paul, liberated from his first captivity at Rome, preached the Gospel to the BRITONS and others in the West" (Theodoret, De Civ. Graec. Off., lib. ix).
If we knew where Paul travelled later on, after he visited KINGS, we would know where ISRAEL was in the first century. But God intended to HIDE this knowledge until modern times. That is why the Book of Acts ends without finishing the life of Paul. We never find out where Paul went after that. If the final chapter of the Book of Acts had been included, everybody would know who the lost sheep of the house of ISRAEL are. That was his final commission.
Let us now quote briefly from the "C. S. Sonnini Greek Manuscript" found in the Archives at Constantinople which claims to be the 29th chapter of Acts: "Paul ... departed out of Rome, determining to go into SPAIN (Rom.15:24,28) ... and was minded also to go from thence into BRITAIN. For he had heard in Phoenicia that certain of the children of ISRAEL, about the time of the Assyrian captivity, had escaped by sea to "the isles afar off," as spoken by the prophet, and called by the Romans BRITAIN. And the Lord commanded the gospel to be preached far hence to the Gentiles, and to the lost sheep of the house of ISRAEL (Acts 9:15; 22:21). And Paul preached mightily in SPAIN ...and Paul ...finding a ship in ARMORICA sailing unto BRITAIN ... they reached a port called Raphinus (Sandwich in Kent)... he came and stood upon Mount LUD (Ludgate Hill and Broadway where St. Paul's cathedral stands in London) ... and he prophesied saying, Behold in the last days the God of Peace shall dwell in the cities, and the inhabitants thereof shall be numbered: and in the seventh numbering of the people, their eyes shall be opened, and the glory of their inheritance shine forth before them (The seventh British National Census took place in 1861 about the same time the British Israelite Movement began).... And ... certain of the DRUIDS came unto Paul privately, and showed by their rites and ceremonies they were descended from the Jews which escaped from bondage in the land of Egypt, and the Apostle believed these things, and he gave them the kiss of peace.... And after these things Paul ... sailed unto Atium in GAUL.... And there came to him certain of the BELGAE ... And after much preaching and toil Paul... passed into HELVETIA ... And they went forth and came unto ILLYRICUM" (1-26). These countries must have fulfilled his commission to the ISRAELITES. Eusebius says Paul finally suffered "martyrdom at ROME, under Nero" (3:1).
Where Did James, Peter, Thomas, Andrew, Simon Zelotes & John Travel?
The "twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go NOT into the way of the GENTILES, and into any city of the SAMARITANS enter ye not: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of ISRAEL" (Matt.10:5-6). (Acts 8:5-17 apparently is the only exception). If we knew where the twelve apostles went, we would know where ISRAEL was in the first century. But God intended to HIDE this knowledge until modern times.
Just like the book of Acts, the book of James ends without an "Amen." Why? Because James is addressed to "the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting" (1:1). If it had ended with the ordinary salutation, the location of Israel would have been revealed. Paul often ended his letters with names of places and people.
James, the brother of John, was killed "with the sword" by Herod (Acts 12:2). Peter wrote his first letter from BABYLON (1 Pet.5:13) in PARTHIAN territory. Metaphrastes, the Greek historian, reports "that Peter was not only in these western parts" (Western Mediterranean) "but particularly that he was a long time in BRITAIN, where he converted many nations to the faith" (Cave's Antiquitates Apostolicae, p. 45). Of his visits in BRITAIN we have the corroboration of Eusebius Pamphilis, A.D. 306, whom Simon Metaphrastes quotes as saying: "St. Peter to have been in BRITAIN as well as in ROME." The Scottish Declaration Of Independence, written by Robert the Bruce in 1320 A.D., testifies that the apostle Andrew converted SCOTLAND to the Christian faith.
Eusebius also says, "Thomas, according to tradition, received PARTHIA as his alotted region; Andrew received SCYTHIA, and John, ASIA (minor), where, after continuing some time, he died at EPHESUS." Peter appears to have preached through PONTUS, GALATIA, BITHYNIA, CAPPADOCIA and ASIA (1 Pet.1:1 -- northeastern TURKEY), to the STRANGERS that were scattered abroad; who also, finally coming to ROME, was crucified with his head downward, having requested of himself to suffer in this way." Who were the STRANGERS? They were resident foreigners -- NON-GENTILES dwelling among GENTILES -- "STRANGERS and pilgrims on the earth" (Heb. 11:13), like Abraham dwelling among the Canaanites. Captive STRANGERS among the Assyrians.
"Many conquered peoples (ISRAELITES) were removed to other homes, and two of these became very great colonies: the one was composed of ASSYRIANS and was removed to the land between Paphlagonia and Pontus, and the other was drawn from MEDIA and planted along the Tanais" (Diodorus Siculus 2:43). (The River Don in ancient Scythia -- southern Russia). Israelites were removed to the areas north and south of the Black Sea. How do we know they were Israelites? Because these colonies came from ASSYRIA and MEDIA. "So was ISRAEL carried away out of their own land to ASSYRIA unto this day" (2 Ki. 17:23). "The king of ASSYRIA took Samaria, and carried ISRAEL away into ASSYRIA and placed them in Halah and Habor by the River of Gozan, and in the cities of the MEDES" (2 Ki. 17:6)
"The CAPPADOCIANS are known to the Greeks by the name of SYRIANS.... they had been subject to the MEDES" (Her. 1:72). Strabo called them "White SYRIANS" in CAPPADOCIA (5:383) (east Turkey), since ISRAEL was known as SYRIA at the time (7:285). Herodotus said "the SYRIANS of Palestine" practiced circumcision (2:104). Xenophen mentions a city called DANA in CAPPADOCIA.
It is axiomatic that since FRANCE was also called "GALATIA" (Strabo 1:3:21; 4:2:1), it would have many of the same peoples (including Israelites) as the GALATIA which Peter visited. Ptolemy 5:1 says the "Chalcedoni" occupied the PONTUS area and Scotland was anciently called Caledonia. "Simon Zelotes traversed all MAURITANIA and the regions of the AFRICANS (who later came to Britain themselves -- Geoffrey of Monmouth 11:8,10), preaching Christ. He was at last crucified, slain, and buried in BRITAIN" (Dorotheus, bishop of Tyre, A.D. 300, Synod. de Apostol.). "The apostles passed beyond the ocean to the isles called the BRITTANIC ISLES" (Eusebius in 320 A.D., De Demonstratione Evangelii, lib.3). All ISRAELITE areas. "The UTTERMOST PART of the earth" (Acts 1:8) was then the expression for the most Western province of the Roman Empire -- the BRITISH ISLES.
Regarding PARTHIA, the country south of the Caspian Sea, the Euphrates River was it's western border dividing it from the Roman Empire (p.83, Langer's World History). When Josephus said "there are but TWO TRIBES in Asia and Europe subject to the Romans, while the TEN TRIBES are beyond Euphrates till now, and are an immense multitude" (Ant. 11:5:2) it was tantamount to saying "in PARTHIA." In 65 A.D. King Agrippa tried to persuade the Jews not to rebel against Rome by saying, "Those of your own nation that dwell in ADIABENE" won't come to your assistance in a war (Wars 2:16,4). ADIABENE is the Greek name for MEDIA and PARTHIA. PARTHIANS are included among the faithful in Acts 2:9. The "Medes, and Elamites" and Mesopotamians are also included. These are the places the LOST TEN TRIBES were taken as captives and Peter calls them "Ye men of ISRAEL" (Acts 2:22).
A delegation of "Magi" from PARTHIA (Strabo 11:9:3) came to worship Jesus with royal gifts. "When Herod, the king, had heard these things, he was TROUBLED, and ALL JERUSALEM with him" (Matt.2:3). Jesus was of the ruling family of Phares (Matt.1:3) and therefore was a candidate for the thrones of both PARTHIA and SCYTHIA. Rulers of both PARTHIA and SCYTHIA had names incorporating the word PHARES or PRS (Pharesmenes; Gondophares; Phraates, Phraortes, Phraataces) indicating the ARSACIDS (Parthia's ruling family) were of David's line (1 Chr.3:17-24). PARTHIA'S first king and the city of his coronation were named after Isaac (Gen.21:12). The king was ARSACES and the city was ASAAK (Encyc. Brit. 11th, 20:870). An east PARTHIAN province was called SACASTANA (Saxon). The first capital city of PARTHIA was named DARA after the grandson of Judah "Dara" (1 Chr.2:6). PARTHIAN rulers throughout all its history were members of this one family -- the ARSACIDS. Yes, "David shall never want (lack) a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel" (Jer. 33:17). The scepter was given to Judah (Gen.49:10). When Satan offered Christ the thrones of the world if he would worship him (Matt.4:8-10), this was a very real possibility. Pliny mentions "the two superpowers, Rome and PARTHIA" (5:88). The apostles asked in Acts 1:6, "Wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" Also when Herod received the"Magi" he had to use caution. PARTHIA had ruled Jerusalem and Palestine from 40 to 38 B.C. (Rawlinson's Ancient History, p.485) and there was a quasi-peace in existence with rival PARTHIA. When the Magi asked, "Where is he that is born king of the Jews? " Herod was insulted because he thought he was king of the Jews. But Rome let Jesus alone to speak and travel as he wished even though he sometimes stirred up a commotion. Pilate even asked "Are you a king?" and allowed him to defend himself, finally giving the responsibility to Herod to try and avoid sentencing an innocent relative of PARTHIA'S emperor. The apostle John in the book of Revelation referred to the returning Jesus Christ as "the KING of KINGS" (Rev.19:16) which was a traditional PARTHIAN title for monarchs at the time John wrote (Brit. 21:215) indicating Jesus would inherit the throne of David in PARTHIA when he returns. The PARTHIANS spoke Hebrew. Changing "P" to "B" we get BARTHIAN or BRITAIN.
Numbers 26:35-36 mentions the sons of Ephraim as "Becherites," "Tahanites" and "Eranites" which became the SCYTHIC tribes of BACTRIA, DAHAE and ARIANA (Iran). Eran may have settled in Eran and Erandol India (14:625c; 14:382 F9). Although Josephus says BACTRIA came from Gether (Ant. 12:6:4), Strabo says BACTRIANA was once occupied by the SACAE (11:8:4). The EPHTHALITES or White Huns (Encyc. Brit. 9:679) of NW India were another tribe taking their name from Naphtali. They were overthrown in the sixth century and migrated to Scandinavia.
Josephus originally wrote his Wars of the Jews in HEBREW for the PARTHIANS. He said, "I have proposed ... for the sake of such as live under the government of the Romans, to translate those books in the Greek tongue, which I formerly composed in the language of our country (HEBREW), and sent to the upper barbarians (PARTHIANS) beyond Euphrates" (Preface 1-2). Rawlinson says, "Josephus ... regarded the PARTHIANS as familiar with the HEBREW ... and wrote his History of the Jewish War in his own native tongue, before he put out his Greek version, for the benefit especially of the PARTHIANS among whom he declares he had many readers" (Sixth Oriental Monarchy, p.424). When the Persian Empire was defeated by Alexander in 331 B.C., many Israelites migrated to Scythia. From Scythia came the Scots. According to Herman Hoeh, between 256-300 A.D. they migrated to Denmark under King Odin. Then in 449 A.D. they settled in the British Isles, where other tribes of Israel were dwelling since the days of Joshua (1430 B.C.) (who is known in Welsh history as 'Hesus the Mighty' [cp. Heb. 4:8]. The Hebrew name Joshua is the Greek Jesus. In Welsh it was Hesus). Accompanying them part of the way were the Medes who settled in Ukraine, and the Assyrians who settled in Germany.(Where Did the Twelve Apostles Go?, May, 1964).
Regarding SCYTHIA, the country north of the Black Sea from the Carpathians to the Don, and PARTHIA , both were composed of the captive "remnant of Israel" (Isaiah 10:20). The Israelite Phoenicians were "such as are escaped of the house of Jacob" There were two separate groups. Eusebius says Andrew was assigned to SCYTHIA (book 3:1). He is also the patron saint of Scotland. SCYTHIA became SCOTIA. One SCYTHIAN tribe was called Massagetae after Manasseh. The Greeks called them SACAE or SAKA from Isaac (Gen.21:12). Of course, CIMMERIAN is similar to SAMARIAN. Epiphanius stated "the laws, customs, and manners of the SCYTHIANS were received by other nations as the standards of policy, civility and polite learning." Thus Paul draws a series of contrasts where he places SCYTHIAN and barbarian (Col.3:11) as opposites.
"From Whence Come Wars and Fightings Among You?"
From James 4:1 we learn that wars were being fought among the tribes of Israel. In 60 A.D., James asked, "From whence come wars and fighting among you?" What wars? No wars existed among the Jews in 60 A.D. In 60-61 AD., the east of BRITAIN exploded. Bitterness against Roman oppression had driven Boudicca, queen of the Iceni tribe, into a revolt that came close to expelling the invaders. Also the Roman–PARTHIAN War of 58–63 A.D. was fought between the Roman Empire and the PARTHIAN Empire over control of Armenia, a vital buffer state between the two realms. In 52/53, the PARTHIANS succeeded in installing their own candidate, Tiridates, on the Armenian throne. Rome removed him by force and installed their own candidate, Tigranes VI, and left the country. The Romans were aided by the fact that the PARTHIAN king Vologases was embroiled in the suppression of a series of revolts in his own country. As soon as these had been dealt with, however, the PARTHIANS turned their attention to Armenia, and after a couple of years of inconclusive campaigning, inflicted a heavy defeat on the Romans in the Battle of Rhandeia.
Should You Try To Convert Others?
Jesus commanded His true ministers to PROCLAIM the Gospel of the Kingdom in all the world as a WITNESS to all nations before the end of this present age (Matt. 24:14). He also said that the Gospel must be PUBLISHED among all nations (Mark 13:10). Paul VISITED the converted from house to house. He "sent to Ephesus, and called the ELDERS of the church" and said to them, "I...have taught YOU publicly, and from house to house" (Acts 20:17-20). Paul was teaching the leaders of the church in their own homes. He was NOT teaching the UNconverted from door to door! "And they (the twelve apostles and other disciples), continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness" (Acts 2:46). Notice that these people were all in harmony. They continued daily with "one accord." They were all of the same belief.
Many had congregated at Jerusalem from many nations in order to attend one of God's annual Festivals, Pentecost. Because they had traveled a long distance and because they had no home in Jerusalem, the brethren who lived there invited them to come to their homes and eat. (The eating of a common meal is referred to as "breaking bread" in the King James Version.) The converted brethren ate in the homes of other converted brethren — not in the homes of the unconverted. They did not go to the house of the unconverted to preach to them, rather they preached the Gospel to them in the synagogues and in the temple. They followed the direct command of Jesus Christ to the seventy disciples he had previously sent to preach the Gospel. He said: "Go NOT from house to house" (Luke 10:7).
The Apostle Paul had his own hired house at Rome where he "received all that CAME UNTO HIM, preaching the kingdom of God" (Acts 28:30). Paul did NOT go from house to house preaching to sinners and unconverted people. He preached to them in the synagogue. After some became converted leaders of God's true Church, then the Apostle Paul visited and taught them in their homes. "Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces" (Matt. 7:6). This is the example of Jesus Christ, the twelve apostles, and the Apostle Paul. Let us follow it.
With regard to the unconverted, a Christian is known by his good works (Matt. 5:14-16) — not by "good arguments" or "constant preaching." Our righteous lives — the way we live and the customs we keep — will influence others far more than our words. God has also commanded Christians to sound the trumpet in teaching people His ways (Isa. 58:1). That can be done by means of a web site or radio broadcast or published material. But on a personal level, remember, a light is easily seen, but makes no sound (Matt. 5:14). But if we are asked a question, "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear" (1 Pet. 3:15). The best way to bring another to conversion is to refrain from talking religion with that person! You cannot argue or talk anyone into conversion! Read John 6:44, 65 and 1 Timothy 2:4; then II Timothy 2:21-26,