ISRAEL AND JUDAH REJOINED AND RESTORED
Most Christians have been taught for years that the church has replaced Israel as the chosen nation, taking over her mission in the world. The many prophetic passages that promise the restoration of ALL the twelve tribes back to the Land, have been allegorized and applied, either to the church or to salvation in heaven.
But since Jesus came and extended salvation to all who would accept it, the Israel of God consists of every person born again in His Spirit. People of every tribe, race, nation and language are true Israelites; Christians, mainly from the Western, Christian nations, who are mainly descended from Jacob.
The Bible tells how the House of Israel [the Northern 10 tribes] and subsequently, the House of Judah [the Jews] were taken into exile because of their sins. The Lord ‘hid His face from them’. Deuteronomy 31:17-18, Deuteronomy 32:20, Micah 3:4.
However this ‘hiding of His face’ is neither rejection nor replacement. Actually, the very purpose of the exile is to prepare for the full restoration of ALL Israel. These exiles are always understood as a discipline, for a set period of time. Ezekiel 4:4-6 When Moses mentions the exile, he then gives the promise of the restoration. Deuteronomy 30:1-14.
These promises were given to all the people of Israel. The 10 lost tribes, having lost their identity as God planned it, will rejoin with their brother, Judah. Ezekiel 37:15-22
The prophets consistently and carefully distinguish between the two ‘Houses’. This separation and eventual restoration is a major theme of all the prophecy.
Israel [that is the 10 tribes] is scattered among the nations, as many ‘as the sands of the sea’ and they think of themselves as Gentiles, but God says ‘not a pebble will be lost’. Amos 9:9. They will surely return, to Judah and to the Land. Micah 4:6-7
God’s promises to all Israel are absolute and unconditional. There are over forty separate passages in Bible prophecy which deal specifically, in great detail with this great story of the regathering and settling of His people, righteous Israel into all the area given to Abraham, so long ago. Genesis 13:14-17.
These Bible texts cannot be ignored or spiritualized if one wishes to seriously interpret scripture. They have never been fulfilled in the past, not in 516/17BC, when a few thousand Jews came back to a small portion of the Land, nor yet in our day. The establishment of the Jewish state of Israel in 1948 is a ‘firstfruit’ sign of what is to come. The Prophets tell how Judah will return first, and their return is a concrete proof of how God has not and will not cast off His people – including the 10 lost tribes.
The prophet Jeremiah says: Israel is holy to the Lord, the firstfruits of His harvest. This image of the firstfruits relates to the symbolic meaning of Israel’s holy days and the harvest seasons, as set out in Leviticus 23. The Plan of God will be realised through the ‘great nation’ as promised to the Patriarchs’, then the full harvest will follow. There is nothing racist about this Plan, it is a matter for God to use those who He has determined and prepared for His purposes, thus fulfilling His promises. As God Himself declares: This restoration of all Israel will be a vindication of His holy Name. Ezekiel 39:27.