Why Twelve Tribes?
The appointed time has come. No longer strangers, no longer rootless — a nation is being gathered. No longer separated, no longer alienated — a commonwealth is being formed.
The ancient writings speak of a mystery: "…Come here, I shall show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb, the holy city, Jerusalem… with twelve gates… the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel…" Tribes? What are these tribes? "The tribes of Jacob, the preserved ones of Israel… a light to the nations, so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth…" (Isaiah 49:6). “...a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars...” (Revelation 12:1).
When we say "Twelve Tribes", it is not just some denominational title or brand name that we invented. Rather, we are speaking of people actually dwelling together in unity, living a tribal life in twelve different geographical areas on the earth, so as to be a light to the nations. The twelve-in-one nature of this spiritual nation is described in the Scriptures as the nature of the New Testament Church.
When Paul, in his defense before Agrippa, referred to “our twelve tribes” in Acts 26:7, surely he was not referring to the Jews who were accusing him. There was no point in flattering them about “earnestly serving God night and day.” The Master had already prophesied to the Jews that, “The kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and be given to a nation producing the fruit of it.”1 A new nation had to take the place of the old, and bear the fruit that the old nation didn't bear. .
Would you like to know more about each of the Tribes?
France and southeast Europe
Asia and Oceania
- 1Matthew 21:43