A study by Gavin Finley MD
endtimepilgrim.org - 2017
The two sticks become one. (Ezek37)
Image from Batya Wootten's book.
THE TWO HOUSES of ISRAEL.The ultimate Restoration of Israel is much spoken about by the prophets of Israel. And the question arises, just when might we expect this glorious reunion and restoration to occur? We are seeing some signs of this already. So could it happen soon? Or will it not happen in its fullest extent until we come into the latter days, with the repentance and awakening that comes in the future 70th Week of Daniel?
WHAT CAUSED THE BREAK-UP?
AND WHEN WILL THE PROMISED
RESTORATION COME? AND HOW?
Many in the evangelical and Messianic quarters have been pondering the underlying issues involved with the promised restoration of Israel. But they are scarcely aware of the Two Houses of Israel. So the Restoration of Israel is more than the return of the nation of Israel to the land in 1948. And it is far more than the promised future epic corporate salvation of the Jewish house we see in Zechariah 12:10. It also involves the coming in of a "melo hagoyim", a fullness of the Gentiles. But even that magnificent element to the story does not exhaust the full scope of the Restoration of Israel. Because all of the above is prophesied to come in association with something very wonderful scarcely mentioned by today's Bible teachers. All of the aforementioned wonders are to be attended by a reunion and restoration of the two houses of Israel.
Unfortunately today's Biblically unfocused Christians have been told almost nothing about this. The are most likely to exclaim,"Two Houses of Israel!But this is a well-founded Biblical truth. And what happens to the two houses of Israel at the conclusion of the End-Time drama is prefigured in the two sticks of Ezekiel 37:16,17. And the story of the two houses, where they split, when they split, and why they split is a narrative to be found and featured in a host of other Biblical themes as well.
None of our Bible prophecy teachers ever told us about that!"
The reunion of the two houses of Israel is a lynch-pin to our understanding of what Yehovah_God will be doing in the latter days. And this awesome prophesied convergence of holy history is prophesied to happen very clearly in the pages of the Bible. Sadly, very few Christian and Messianic followers of Messiah are seeing how important this is, and how the continuing 2900 year old schism between the Jewish House of Judah and the non-Jewish House of Israel presents a growing risk antisemitism. And to add to that it is becoming abundantly clear that both parties to the dispute are demonstrating very clearly that they are far from ready to address this pivotal issue.
Our first indication of this refusal to address the deeper issues of the reunion of the two houses of Israel needed to restore the unity in Israel is simply this. Very few are taking responsibility for the vital role God's covenant people in the church, the non-Jewish house, are going to play in the resolution of this schism and blood-feud in the latter days.
Of course for the megachurches intent on serving the middle of the road average Christian these matters of the reunion of the two houses of Israel in the latter days is a non-issue. For them Christianity today is just a business, and way to "do church". Many in the amillennialist and postmillenialist Catholic and old line denominations have quite obviously come to the conclusion that this deep division between the churches of Christendom and the synagogues of Jewish tradition may never be resolved. And while Biblical evangelical Christians know in a vague way that this promised reunion and reconciliation and restoration of "all Israel" will happen many of them want to kick that mysterious matter of the restoration of Israel up into the Millennium.
Evangelical Christians who open their Bibles and ask questions are in a better situation. Because of the work of Sir Robert Anderson they are aware that this restoration may well happen during the time of Jacob's trouble, inside the future 70th Week of Daniel, the final seven years of this age. Yes, we are talking of Israel's restoration somewhere up ahead between the upcoming two Fall Feasts of Israel and especially during the final 3.5 years during the trials and the refining of the Elect during the Tribulation period.
Well, as it turns out, some Christian believer actually DO want that job!, an holy nation,
But they are not the low grade contract level Western Christians we have today.
They are the persecuted Chinese and Indonesian Christians we see in places abroad
These are the higher grade Christian witnesses who have dived into the normal blood covenant Christianity outlined in the pages of our Bible. Oh yes. The "contract level" "make a deal with Jesus" Christianity we have in the Western nations today from a Biblical perspective is abnormal.
Nevertheless, there are a few Western Christians who do take responsibility and who are willing to take the baton and finish the race Paul exhorts us to run as we see in Hebrews 12:1. These committed saints are the wise spoken of by the angel Gabriel to the prophet Daniel in Daniel 12:4,5,6,7,8,9,10. They know the score and are asking God for His covering as they go up to witness in the latter days. They know God will do wonders there, just as He has done for His covenant people in times past. And so, come what may, they have embraced a certain zeal, a blood covenant commitment to Messiah. They know for a certainty that they cannot do it alone. But the serve the God of Abraham who carried His exhausted and overwhelmed servant Abraham through the pieces of the sacrifice when they made covenant together all those years ago. Accordingly there are some people taking an active and vital interest in delving into the deeper issues that involve the reunion of the two hoiuses of Israel and the restoration of Israel and are seeking the face of God to ask Him just what our responsibility in all this might be.
And our Pre-Trib Rapture brethren? Are they interested in this? Not so much. And why should they? In their eschatology they are sure that before things get difficult they will be "outta here!" By embracing that escapist doctrine without questioning it they have rendered themselves comfortable, but irrelevant.
THE SHIP OF STATE, OF WESTERN CHRISTENDOM IS
ABOUT TO COME IN TO SHORE. WHAT IS OUR TASK?
So a few Post-Tribbers, Christian and Messianic believers in Yeshua/Jesus, from out of both houses, have found themselves drawn into the discipline of the two sticks of Ezekiel 37 we see in the image above. They are taking responsibility for the whole party, both houses of Israel, Jewish and non-Jewish, everyone on board, even as the ship and the world system and the Constantinian Church as we have known it since the Council of Nicaea comes in to break up shore. As we come into the end-time drama there are a few men on deck dealing with the growing storm and caring for the passengers below. Unlike the sailors we saw in Acts 27 at the shipwreck of the apostle Paul they are not looking to "go AWOL". Nor are they embracing an end-times scenario that has them deserting the Captain and leaving the ship before they are given leave to do so. See this article on the shipwreck of the Apostle Paul. They have read their commissioning papers and they know full well when their commission expires. And by God's grace and in His strength alone they will stay on duty until that time arrives.
Paul's shipwreck; A specter of the Constantinian
Church and Western Christendom about to come to shore.
And what is the wonderful redemptive message given?
'I have given you the lives of all who sail with you!'
Those who take responsibility for the latter days are a special company. They are determined to be there to finish the relay race of the saints Accordingly they are finding themselves increasingly drawn to study the end-time mysteries. And they do so fearfully, under the unction of Yehovah-God. They do not want to get ahead of His leading, nor stride out in the flesh using some human political or ecumenical means to resolve this issue. But as they begin to look at the blood-feud in broken Israel they find that in a spiritual sense they are beginning to take on almost a therapist's role in resolving an old divorce. And so going to the Bible they begin to perform a root cause analysis of the issues. Just what happened to Israel back in the past? Immediately we see that there is a deep root of bitterness between the Congregation of Israel in Messiah, ("the church"), and Jewish national Israel. Where did that come from? And how did it begin? And why do we in both houses all have a collective amnesia for the event?
The Ten Tribes curse the royal Jewish House
of Judah and walk out. In this rebellion they
lose their national sovereign identity in Israel
THE ANCIENT SPLIT IN ISRAEL.So they look into the Bible to the history of Israel to see what the Holy Spirit might be leading them to see. And lo and behold, what do they discover? They find that there is a deep rift that goes back to a certain grievous event in the distant past. Over 2900 years ago after the death of Solomon a huge break-up occurred. During the reign of his son Rehoboam there was a great divorce that split Israel in two. This was the Breach of Jeroboam. The woodcut illustration here is by Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld. (1794-1872)
THE BREACH OF JEROBOAM
The Breach of Jeroboam was that sentinel event that caused Israel to split into two kingdoms. The rebelling ten tribes split off to form the northern kingdom. The royal Jewish house of Judah with Benjamin and elements of Levi remained in the southern kingdom centered around Jerusalem. This was a wrenching split in the 12 tribes, a deep and grievous wound in the unity of the family of Israel. And yet this is not a common topic for discussion in either the Christian or Jewish quarters today. It appears to be a dark family secret that no ones on either side of the break-up wants to talk about.
However, that state of affairs and the silence in the family of Israel over the matter cannot go on forever. And a few very diligent and responsible Biblical Christian and Messianic believers are becoming aware of the issue and its dangers and beginning to talk about it. They are very keen to do whatever God seems to be opening up for them. They find themselves energized to see this schism resolved. They know for a certainty that up there in the future somewhere this restoration of Israel will definitely occur. There is no question about this at all. Because it is spoken of in Isaiah 49:6 and all through prophetic Scripture.
This is not just a matter of religious dialogue and recognition of past events and a mutual determination to "learn coping skills" or "relaxation therapy" and to "get over it". It very definitely involves an inspirational issue and is related to a great end-time awakening. Many see the image of the two olive trees dripping the oil for the menorah, the great lamp stand of Israel, and they know what it means. They are looking at the true dual or double anointing. They long to see the coming glory of God that will become manifest in the dual anointing that is between the two olive trees. This is a splendor yet to be seen. In their hearts they sense the coming majesty of all this as the Light of Israel shines brightly between the two candlesticks not for their own glory but to bring in the fullness of the Gentiles.
So many Christian and Messianic believers know that the full realization of a restored Israel will surely come. In fact, along with the in-gathering of a huge multitude of saints from among the Gentiles, this will be a vital part of a glorious awakening and revival set to unfold in the latter days. This is the magnificent End-Time Revival of Joel 2:28-32.Joel 2The apostle Paul in Romans 11:26-27 concludes his 3 chapter dissertation on restored Israel by saying, "and so all Israel shall be saved".
28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. 32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
OUR CURRENT PROBLEM: ISRAEL ISBut there is a problem. Because even as Christians and Jewish Messianic believers gather together and someone begins to probe more deeply into this ancient schism and what might still be dividing us and how Messiah may have a fix for us in the Commonwealth of Israel the room suddenly goes silent. The atmosphere becomes so thick you can cut it with a knife. Then come the dismissive comments, and body language revealing that hearts are strangely heavy and deeply disturbed. The ones who do not get up and leave show in their demeanor that they have no desire to hear any more of this. They make it abundantly clear that they want to shut down the conversation right there and then.
DIVIDED AND DYSFUNCTIONAL, SPLIT
INTO THE TWO HOUSES OF ISRAEL. AND
IT SEEMS NO ONE WANTS TO TALK ABOUT IT.
This guarding of a past grievance and the refusal to address the issues that trigger memories of that past grievance is a well known psychological phenomenon. Memories of painful past events can be repressed and forgotten. And when these memories are brought to light and the amnesia clear for a brief moment they can become manifest in expressions of deep emotional distress. This is something that therapists see when they are beginning to expose a deep hurt between two feuding parties. We might well imagine that the same applies to the two feuding houses of Israel. In fact we are seeing that same discomfiture and rising agitation right now even as we begin to bring up the deeper issues of the dysfunctional relationship between "the Church" and the Jewish house in Israel.
"The Church", (so called), vs. the
royal Jewish house of Israel. This
unresolved schism raises the risk
of a return to Antisemitsm.
A root-cause analysis is something airlines do to trace the cause of mishap. They usually find it. They probe into the pieces left and find a little fracture that extended itself somewhere. It is a fracture line that widens and then a part breaks loose at some point. Suddenly the destructive event occurs. Perhaps an engine explodes. And all at once the situation becomes critical.
And so in like manner we look into the history of Israel. What happened back then? And how did that traumatic event play out in the centuries since that sentinel event?
Well, as we survey the evidence we can very clearly see that there was and there is today a fracture line in Israel. And that fracture line is over Law vs. Grace. One faction cites the royal decree, "Everyone under Messiah must be brought back under God's Torah, His RIGHTEOUS LAW". The other faction states, "I love Messiah. And by His MERCY and GRACE I walk with Him, rejoice with Him, and obey Him". Both are true. But neither side can see eye to eye right now. It seems clear that the reconciliation can only be realized by the combined ministry and rule of the indwelling Messiah. Because in the New Covenant He personally comes into human hearts. And what does He do there? He establishes His altar and His throne there in the hearts of His Elect to both minister and rule. In this way He reconciles both Law and Grace. That is what He does as comes into the lives of His covenant people. They are scarcely aware of this dual operation unless they stop and consider. There in the hearts of Hie covenant people He performs two offices. He both ministers and rules. There at His altar He ministers to wounded and dysfunctional souls. And there at His throne He leads His people in the paths of righteousness in the gentle bonds of love.
This combined operation of the indwelling Messiah is happening in the hearts of the Elect right now. But the full reconciliation will come toward the end of the age in an epic, collective, and historic way during the great end-time Revival. This will unfold at the peak of the Holy Spirit outpouring, the one Joel spoke about in Joel2:28,29,30,31,32, even as Messiah is about to return at the close of this age. Messiah will return in wrath upon His enemies as we see in Isaiah 63 and come in deliverance to the captives at Mystery Bozrah, and come in deliverance to His Holy City Jerusalem. Then as King of kings He will return in the clouds to gather His Elect.
The Breach of Jeroboam was the big breakup of Israel. That was where the Law/Grace fracture broke. But the division actually began in the hearts of God's called out people long before that. That Law vs. Grace dichotomy in our theology is nothing new. It was and still remains an old unresolved theological problem for rationalistic theologians. Without consideration of the indwelling Christ or having an experience of that great wonder they simply cannot find a rational point of reconciliation between the two. But this Law/Grace issue was resolved at the cross of Calvary. The ultimate covering for sin is more than a temporary covering as in an accepted IOU. On that final Day of Atonement the blood of Christ carries our sins away as far as the east is from the west.
And that blood of atonement for sin that reconciles men to God from every nation, race, and tribe is witnessed by the two angels that hover over the mercy seat. One looks to see that the Law is satisfied. The other angel looks to see that God's Mercy and Grace is satisfied. This Law-Grace matter is at the center of the breakup of Israel. And it was very specifically addressed some 40 years ago by the renowned evangelical theologian and writer Francis Schaefer. Back then he had a wonderful ministry in L'Abri, Switzerland.
But without an appreciation of this that schism between Christendom and the Jewish house continues to this day. In the church it gave rise to our replacement theology which is still there in the Catholic and older denominations. This was the bad doctrine that caused the medieval persecutions of Jews, the great tragedies experienced on all sides during the Crusades, the Inquisitions, the antisemitic pogroms of Eastern Europe, and the Holocaust. But lest we focus on faulting Germany and Central Europe for these policies and the perpetration of genocide we must look to our own house in America and the English-speaking world.
AN "US AND THEM" ATTITUDEThe truth is, this same "us and them" attitude is very definitely being taught from the pulpits in the evangelical churches. In fact, this separation of paths and destinies is a very key part of their dispensational theology. The mainline Bible prophecy teachers very pointedly proclaim that "the Church" has a separate role and a separate destiny from Israel and the Jewish house, both their nation and their religion. And they are hostile to their members showing an interest in Hebrew roots, even the Seven Feasts of Israel and the Fall Feasts.
BETWEEN "THE CHURCH" AND ISRAEL;
BETWEEN THE TWO HOUSES OF ISRAEL.
We must face the facts here. In our evangelical churches we have a dispensational eschatology that very pointedly alienates the Jewish house. If this dualism is not resolved and an end-time pathway of reconciliation is not laid out clearly from a correct reading of Scripture then what sort of untoward political events might this dualism spawn in America if the economy goes bad? We just do not know.
So what is our situation now? Well both houses may smile at each other, do politics together, do some religious showcasing together, and make money together in political and ecumenical gatherings. But deep down they do not really see eye to eye. Nor do they recognize each other as brothers and sisters in Messiah. They may be waving flags for each other and coming together politically, even scheming together in the international arena. But the fact remains. They are not enjoying a deep fellowship in the spirit of their common Messiah. Nor do we see either party finding any close deep fellowship on the basis of anything else for that matter.
The fact is, both parties to the dispute are still nursing a deep hurt. And quite clearly this began with that ancient parting of the ways that cut them off from each other over 2900 years ago. That repressed grief has caused a deep amnesia of the event. We know this because any robust discussion of the Breach of Jeroboam and what happened back there is not featured in our Christian seminaries. Nor is it discussed by our Messianic rabbis in their Torah portions. So it comes as no surprise that we find out that neither party is in any mood to discuss the Breach of Jeroboam. Nor are they interested in knowing how the rift is healed by the blood of Messiah in the Commonwealth of Israel.
There is no way we can leave out the New Covenant and personal salvation in our search for the ultimate reunion and restoration of the two houses of Israel. In our Messiah we discover in a serendipity that there is a very wonderful restoration of the fellowship to be found with our Messianic friends and also our yet to be saved Jewish brethren. In fact there is a sublime peace to be found there as we rediscover our Hebrew roots in Messiah. But this only comes when we make Him first in our lives. He must take precedence over tradition. And this wonderful reconciliation between the Jewish and non-Jewish house just happens as a matter of course among those who know Messiah. It just happens when we surrender our broken state to Him and let Him guide us into the peace that only the Prince of peace can bring.
THE ISSUE OF THE LOST TEN TRIBES.There is a deeper matter here that we shall discuss briefly. Because whenever Christian and Messianic believers gather together and the Biblical discussion begins to address the lost ten tribes and what became of them the room grows quiet. And when Biblical and historical evidence is presented that the ten tribes of the northern kingdom which were taken into captivity and scattered in 722 B.C. and did not all return under the Jewish house of Judah 185 years later in 538 B.C. and later in the following century with Ezra and Nehemiah but instead, having been divorced from the sovereignty and nation of Israel they drifted West in their tribal groupings into Europe, things get very tense. Often the discussion ends in a deep gloom or erupts into a furor. All too often when we speak of the lost tribes all sorts of bitter responses and angry accusations start to come out.
IS THIS A MATTER FOR A LATER TIME?
Why is that? Is the identity of the lost tribes of Israel a truth that is only to be revealed in the latter days?
Regrettably, it seems that this is probably the case. It appears to be a truth sealed away in the mystery. And there is a very real possibility that in the plans and purposes of God these truths regarding national identities should remain under wraps until the time appointed.
There is solid Biblical and historical, as well as linguistic research that the tribes went west into Europe and beyond. And Jewish researcher and author Yair Davidiy as well as American evangelical scholar Steven Collins have both presented a compelling body of evidence that this is what happened. Yair Davidiy's website is www.britam.org. This author had the privilege of doing a video interview with Yair during a visit to Jerusalem in 2007. Here is a link to that interview for those who are interested.
Nevertheless, this realization as to which tribe became which European nation, and just who is who, is a revelation that is probably going to come rather late. Perhaps it may come as as a delayed collective epiphany. And in the plans and purposes of Yehovah-God this may be the way He has ordained it to be. For most this may well be the way the story is meant to play out.
So perhaps we should not broach the issue of the lost ten tribes right now. That may be a bridge too far. That big "Eureka!" moment may have to wait for the epic end-time gatherings during the future 70th Week of Daniel. We are told in Jeremiah 16:16"Behold, I am going to send for many fishermen," declares the LORD, "and they will fish for them; and afterwards I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them from every mountain and every hill and from the clefts of the rocks.Perhaps the great hidden secrets will be unsealed when the saints are gathered together in the great camp meetings the prophet Micah alludes to in Micah 2:12,13, and John speaks of in Revelation 12:6 and Rev. 12:14 during the awesome events that are set to unfold at the end of the age.
A BIG LEAD TO RECONCILIATIONSo then. What truths are Yehovah-God giving us the go-ahead to speak about now? Well we can at least talk Biblically and ponder those Scriptures under the guidance of the Holy Spirit concerning the Commonwealth of Israel. This is beautifully illustrated for us in Zechariah chapter 4 with the vision of the two olive trees. That truth is sitting right there in our Bible. Christians are having a hard time accepting that in the New Covenant they are in Israel. Even reading Galatians 3:29 and knowing that in Christ, the promised Seed, singular, of Abraham they are adopted into Israel and reading in Romans 11:16,17, that they are as a wild olive branch grafted into Israel many Christians are still not getting the message. They read Ephesians 2:11,12,13,14 but they are still unable to grasp the meaning of the words written down in front of them that they are now in the Commonwealth of Israel. In this passage of Scripture we discover that in the New Covenant under the blood of Christ we not only come into membership in the Congregation (church/assembly)of Israel but we also come into the citizenship in the Nation of Israel as well. This does not come by race or DNA. Rather, it comes to us by grace through faith of Abraham, and under the blood of Israel's promised Passover Sacrifice Lamb.
AND A CLEAR BIBLICAL PATHWAY FORWARD
TO THE ULTIMATE RESTORATION OF ISRAEL:
SPOTLIGHTING THE COMMONWEALTH OF ISRAEL
Ephesians 2:11-14This inability to receive a plain message from God demonstrates that we as Christian believers are still in partial blindness. We cannot see that in the New Covenant in the the blood of Messiah we find our ultimate citizenship is in Israel. In our partial blindness we are not unlike the royal Jewish house of Judah who are still for the most part partially blind to their Messiah in His first coming as the Suffering Servant of Isiah 53. We turn to see the words written down on the page of our Bible in black and white. But we do not yet "see it". At least not yet. Both houses seem to suffer from a certain partial blindness. Our apostle Paul spoke about this in Romans 11. But Christians do not see that this partial blindness applies to them just as much as it applies to their Jewish brethren.
11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
For true Christian believers all this will change as we come into the latter days. Matters of citizenship and just who we ultimately belong to will become a hot topic of conversation when we enter into the future 70th Week of Daniel. In those times the Gospel of the Kingdom and our national identity, (wherever that might be), will become a burning issue in the hearts of many just as much as the Gospel of Grace has been among evangelicals.
The the Commonwealth of Israel should not be a problem for those who love Messiah. Because in its basic essence is not racial. It is safely apolitical. And just what the Holy Scriptures are telling us is plain for us to see. (That is, if we are not hypnotized). The fact is, we can be under a spell of tradition imposed on us by our national experience and by repetitious teachings by our elders as well as our political and religious leaders. And so we tend to hold close to our bosom a notion of our national and religious identity that is somewhat fixed. And indeed, it seems that right now, all the called out people are quite immovable in their beliefs.
The Papuans from New Guinea seen here were once pagan animists. Then they came to Christ. Then they loved Israel. Here on the Feast of Tabernacles in 2007 the author photographed them leading the march through Jerusalem in support of Israel. Where did all that come from?
The statement our apostle Paul lays out in Ephesians 2:11,12,13,14, is very clear. Every person saved born-again under the blood of Christ, people from every nation race or tribe, yes, even people drawn out of the the goyim, are now in the Commonwealth of Israel. I believe it is in the unction of Yehovah-God to bring out this truth now, and ASAP. A unity of the faith in Messiah has the potential to save both houses from much grief, and perhaps even prevent bloodshed.
But even though it is a truth based upon a solid Biblical foundation there are Christians and Messianic believers who are not even happy to take this first step. They are not happy to entertain the idea of a the Commonwealth of Israel. This is a vital truth that is destined to bind us all together in Messiah at the end of the story. But most still do not want to hear about it. They are still deeply hurt over what happened after the break-up and the emotional impact of those grievous histories that followed. Each party is deeply hurt and feels victimized by the other party.
So the battle lines of established religion for both religious strongholds, Christian and Jewish, are firmly entrenched. Both parties see themselves as "the Chosen People". They are still isolating themselves in their self-imposed traditional religious boxes. And that is where they stay.
For those who are in Messiah this sad state of affairs just should not be. It is certainly not becoming for this animosity to continue between Messianic believers and Christian believers. Because under the blood of Messiah they belong to One Elect and Chosen people. Whether a Believer in Messiah is a Jew, a non-Jew, male, female, free or bond, all are ONE in Christ Jesus. SeeGalatians 3:28 (KJV)We serve the God of Life and health. And as we all know, nursing those hurt and bitter feelings and keeping them internalized is not good for our spiritual, mental, or physical health. The Holy Spirit is ever ready to bring healing. And the Balm of Gilead is right there in Messiah. By His Holy Spirit He is ever ready to minister both the healing and eventual the glorious promised corporate restoration of All Israel. This is just as the prophet Isaiah saw in Isaiah 49:6, as Jeremiah saw in Jeremiah 31:31, as Zechariah saw it in Zechariah 12, and as our apostle Paul states in Romans 11.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 1:10 (KJV)
That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, . . .
REUNION AND PEACE BETWEEN THE TWO HOUSES OF ISRAEL,So the restoration of the two houses can be addressed in a redemptive way appropriate for the time we are fast approaching. This understanding can open to door to helpful conversations that will bring reconciliation. And the promised peace between the two houses can begin right now. The promised reunion and restoration will start with us understanding and accepting this plain Biblical truth, that all blood washed born-again saints have come into the Commonwealth of Israel. We cannot deny or lambast this. It is a Biblical truth. This initiative in reconciliation is not a burden. It is a joy. We have the privilege to become peacemakers and the "repairers of the Breach" spoken of in Isaiah 58:10-12.
RECONCILIATION BETWEEN ISRAEL AND THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH:
THE RESTORATION OF ISRAEL, A PRESENT DAY IMPERATIVE.
And what if we neglect to attend to this due diligence? What if we shirk our role as ? Well, if we do not attend to this matter then that hidden untended wound will only fester and get worse. Then comes blood poisoning, a sepsis that shuts down the circulation, and a deep sickness that affects the whole body. If we continue to do nothing but brood over past hurts, forever considering ourselves as victims, alienating and shutting the door to our separated brethren in our hearts, then we are on the low road and have locked ourselves up in a house of Babylonian confusion. And if in our thinking we alienate the other party in our Bible Prophecy doctrines then we have laid the stage for a disaster. In a bad economy these untended conflicts can uncoil, rise up, and bite us. Then matters can rapidly go from bad to worse.
So that unresolved root of bitterness between "the Church" (so-called), and "Israel", in the minds of many, "the realm of the Jews" simply must be dealt with by both parties. We owe it to those among us whose families in past generations suffered and died because of this feud. If it is not addressed in a climate of love and reconciliation then it will continue to throw up bad theologies, which in turn will lead on to evil politics, and then more shameful bloody histories.
So peace between the two houses of Israel can and should happen. And as people who love Messiah we should make it our business to shine a light on those Scriptural truths that under the Holy Spirit will bring the enlightenment and make this reunion and restoration happen. And we must not become discouraged as we quietly present this Biblical truth. Because we know for a certainty that the full restoration will indeed happen at some point. That ancient blood feud between the two factions in Jacob/Israel can and will find a peaceful resolution. The fundamental dichotomy or dualism over Law vs. Grace will be resolved. It will be fully and completely resolved in Messiah. He alone can repair the Breach of Jeroboam. And even now, in our heart, He will begin to do just that, . . . . if we let Him.
And just how will that happen? As we read in Psalms 110:4 Yeshua/Jesus holds a dual office in the Order of Melchizedek. So He is both High Priest and King of kings. So in this dual office comes the administration of righteous Law and Justice as well as the ministry of Grace and Mercy. And that is what the two archangels look at when they see the blood on the mercy seat atop the Ark of the Covenant. They see God's Law fully executed as well as His Mercy and Grace shed abroad to all men.
Similarly we see the the two olive trees, the two witnesses, and the two candlesticks that stand before the God of the earth as He relates and communes and restores both houses of Israel. Messiah in the Order of Melchizedek is the main operative in the reunion and restoration of Israel. He alone by His Holy Spirit is bringing them into a complementary unity. Notice we do not see any mention of a royal nation, Israel under Jewish Judah, and Holy Priesthood, "the Christian Church". Rather, both Moses in Exodus 19:6 and the apostle Peter in 1Peter 2:9 speak of a cross-linked union, a royal priesthood and a holy nation.
"Candles at the Wall"
Image by Jewish artist Eizen.
Visit his gallery at art.com or
at the Israeli Poster Center
So as we see here, the descriptive designation of royalty
is NOT applied to the nation.
The spiritual character of royalty
is crossed over and applied to the priesthood.
And similarly the descriptive designation of holiness
is NOT applied to the priesthood.
The spiritual character of holiness
is crossed over and applied to the nation.Exodus 19:6 (KJV)
And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.
These [are] the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
1 Peter 2:9 (KJV)
But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood
a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him
who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: This is truly a wonderful recipe for peace. There is obviously a distinction between the two houses. The 12 tribes of Israel are all distinct and precious in the eyes of God. We see them featured on the High Priest's breastplate. There is no Scriptural evidence whatsoever that God intends to homogenize the tribes and the two houses at all. And for those in "the Church" to tell new Jewish believers to get saved and come into Church membership but to leave their Jewish roots at the door is obviously very wrong-headed. It is like telling a Scotsman to come into "the Church", and leave his kilts and bagpipes at the door. As we survey the New Jerusalem John saw coming down from heaven at the end of theage we see it has 12 gates, yes, every gate is a pearl, so there is a uniting feature there, but nevertheless, all 12 jewels and all 12 tribes, their special glory and individual spiritual flow, is represented in the 12 gates of the Holy City. This is another basis to understand the mind of God for the ultimate restoration that will surely come.
So the separation and alienation of the two houses is bad, and is slated by God to end. But not the distinction. This separation and this alienation of one house by the other that has been the cause of so much bad blood and heartache. But the distinction between the two sticks of Israel from Ezekiel 37 with those special names written on them is forever. and similarly 12 tribes of Israel will never be homogenized. Each of them are precious in God's sight and their distinct glories shining and sparkling as jewels are eternal. we see them on the High Priest's breastplate. We see them installed in the 12 gates of the Holy City, the New Jerusalem John saw descending from heaven in Revelation 21:2,12.
THE TWO HOUSES OF ISRAEL ARE CONNECTED TO
THE TWO STICKS OF EZEKIEL 37:16,17 AND TO
THE TWO TRIBES OF JUDAH AND JOSEPH
So a study of the the two houses of Israel and their ultimate reunion and reconciliation is important. We get a big clue in the prophecy of the two sticks in Ezekiel 37:16,17,. And for Christian believer this begins with a Biblical study of the royal Jewish House of Judah. The righteous LAW of Yehovah-God and the scepter of sovereignty and national identity in Israel is held by Messiah who is the promised Son of David, the Lion of the royal Jewish house of Judah. This is laid out for us in Genesis 49. There we see the blessings of Jacob given to his 12 sons, the patriarchs, who became the 12 tribes of Israel.
Does Joseph feature prominently in the restoration of the
"all Israel" the apostle Paul speaks about in Romans 11?
Did we not see him do that back in Egypt? And how about
Benjamin, the other son of the beloved Rachel, that last
brother, to whom the cup was passed? Click the image
for a video of the discipline of Joseph in the latter days.
And over in the non-Jewish house? There we see the Mercy and GRACE of Yehovah-God in the Gospel of salvation in Messiah is upheld by the other non-Jewish house we simply and generically call, "the Church". This last matter is still in the mystery and yet to be revealed. But we can get a fairly good idea that Joseph with his coat of many colors is involved here. His name means""increase" or "God will add". And did we not see him feed the world, and his brothers the Bread of Life, even through a seven year famine of bread? And was he not the brother with the coat of many colors, perhaps flags and banners. He was threatened with death, and a garment of weeping dipped in blood, was presented to his father, Jacob. He was thrown into the pit that was dry. He was sold into slavery, falsely accused by the harlot wife of Potiphar, the Chief Executioner and identified by a torn garment that when examined actually spoke of his innocence. And did he not hold his brothers to account over their lack of concern to make a true accounting of the 12 tribes, and who they were, and what happened to them? And in joy did he not see Judah reveal his royal character by offering himself as a surety for Benjamin? These are just some of the wonders wrapped up in the mysteries yet to be revealed in the latter days. and as our apostle Paul relayed to us in 1Corinthians 10:11."Now all these things happened to them as examples. They
They were written down for our admonition, the people for
whom the ends of the earth, the ends of the age, have come.
THE NOTION OF A "GENTILE CHURCH" IS
INCORRECT AND MISLEADING AND LEADS
TO MUCH VEXATION AND CONFUSION.
So this outmoded, ambiguous, and confusing label we use, that handle of a "Gentile Church" and "Jewish Israel" are both clearly falling short of the mark. Both of them represent false or incomplete labeling and are obfuscations of the truth. Each of these false designations are actually hiding something.
"The Congregation (or Church) of
Messiah in Israel was renamed
with the generic name "Church".
So when did that happen? Was it
here at the Council of Nicaea?
Is all Israel really in the Jewish house? That is something our Jewish friends and those in "the Church" need to ponder. And if the word "Gentile" means "outsiders, "aliens", "heathen", then the term "Gentile Church", meaning "heathen Church" is obviously quite incorrect and is an entirely unsatisfactory title. All we need to do is to stop and ask a few questions. At the Feast of Pentecost in the Passion Year we saw the Congregation of Israel we saw break out beyond Israel in the epic divine appointment, Holy Day, or moed called the Day of Pentecost.
The epic Holy Spirit outpouring seen that day overflowed the banks of Israel in a glorious flooding wave, which continues to this day. The overflow started in Jerusalem then spread out into Judea, Samaria, and onward to the uttermost parts of the world. There at Pentecost we can clearly see it was the Congregation of Israel.
A NAME CHANGE FOR THE CHURCHSo now we ask the big question. When did that company of the Elect of the Holy One of Israel stop being the Congregation of Israel? Who removed that original and correct title? Who took the personal and national designations off the assembly and replaced it with the simple nondescript generic name, "Church", which is the Greek word "ekklesia" meaning "a called out assembly or "congregation"? Were the descriptive titles that indicated a connection to Israel and her Christ or Messiah removed by Constantine and the committees of compromised Christians he had gathered there at the Council of Nicaea? Did his pagan sun-god worshiping priests also gathering there hold sway in the decision to cut "the Church" free of anything that smacked of an Israel connection?
- AT THE COUNCIL OF NICAEA
And let's ask ourselves this question related to that.
Why are we happy to continue with a generic word, "church" which means nothing?
So this "us in the Church" vs. the "Jewish Israel" is a dualism based upon insuffient as well as incorrect information. This notion of a "Gentile Church" from a Hebraic and Biblical perspective implies a "heathen Church". Yes, it is true, it is a Church that has been taken out of the heathen nations. But when those in Christ receive His salvation they receive His name and those being gathered to Him are identified by His title as well, that is Jesus Christ, Yeshua Hamashiach, Messiah of Israel.
And so the term "Gentile Church", that term meaning, a "heathen or goyim Church" will not cut it. It is an oxymoron. It is something that never was, nor ever could be. It is junk information. And the removed name tags identifying the assembly as belonging to the Messiah of Israel helps push elements within this now generic "Church" towards becoming a fake religion. Indeed, we are already seeing that happen.
This notion of a Gentile Church is false and misleading and it perpetuates the false dichotomy we have of "Us in the Church", vs. "Jewish Israel". This error in our labeling and in our thinking has been accepted and ratified as doctrine in the Church centuries ago and it was never addressed or corrected at the Reformation, nor any of the awakenings we have enjoyed so far. And it leads us to our present dangerous predicament of arguing as to who are the real chosen people. That argument, based upon our ignorance, always leads to vexation and strife, and sometimes worse.
Are there really two Elects? Because that is the natural assumption people have been led to accept. And since we have no Scriptural basis for two Elects then we must conclude that both our Replacement theology and our dispensational alienation of the Jewish house is just plain wrong. And with the rise of Antisemitism in the West, and even in America, it is also a potentially dangerous fallacy for our Jewish brethren. So quite clearly we are missing it somewhere.
Abraham was shown the myriad stars of heaven
and told, "So shall your descendants be".
The truth is, our present conflicted state does not square with the Biblical and historical facts. And here too we see evidence of a malformed or even nonexistent Israelology in the our list of theological categories. There is a huge inseen unheralded Commonwealth of Israel all across this world, and expanding in the Gospel every day. It is the family of faith of Abraham. The promise given to Abraham was of a promised land and Holy City and a myriad host of descendants that could not be counted for multitude. The family of Abraham is far greater than we have been told.
When Abraham made covenant with God he was shown the myriad stars of heaven. He was told, "So shall your descendants be". And that same starry host of descendants, a multitude that could not be numbered, are on the way to becoming the, the "melo hagoyim", or "multitude of nations" that Abraham was shown. It is a huge company, far more numerous than we know, and expanding every day in numbers and in glory.
'THE CHURCH', SO CALLED, IS THE
CONGREGATION OF ISRAEL THAT OVERFLOWED
INTO THE HEATHEN ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST
TO FULFILL THE 4th FEAST 2000 YEARS AGO
So for Christians our first helpful realization is that there is no such thing as a "Gentile Church". In Christ we belong to the same "Congregation of Israel" we saw at the outset, on the birthday of the expanding Congregation of Israel that overflowed into the Gentiles 2,000 years ago on the Day of Pentecost. The birthday of the Congregation of Israel on this day occurred on the very same Hebrew calendar date when the Nation of Israel made the first Old Covenant with the God of Israel at Mount Sinai.
Israel overflows into the heathen
gentiles on the Day of Pentecost
So we should have no hesitation in changing the name back to what it was originally. And the true invisible Church should be properly named again as The Congregation of Israel. That is what the ministerial Congregational gathering was under Jesus Christ our Messiah back then. And in its true essence the Congregation of Christ our Messiah in Israel is what the Church really is today.
As born-again believers we are today, (and always have been), the Congregation of Messiah in Israel. In his New Testament translation of the 1500's William Tyndale preferred the word "Congregation" over the word "Church". And he specifically stated that it was his deliberate intent to draw us away from the word "Church" with all its medieval trappings. The Greek word for "Church" is ekklesia, which is a generic term and it simply means "a called out assembly". That word needs another word to describe just who the "called our Assembly" is being called out to. The true Church of born-again believers simply refers to the Assembly, Church, or Congregation, being "called out" to Israel's Messiah.
So the notion of "The Church" as an entity separate from Israel is a deep error and misleading. It is based upon a medieval church tradition that goes back to Augustine and Constantine and Origen before them. "The Church" as an entity separate from Israel is not founded upon any Biblical truth whatsoever. And similarly the "us in the Church" vs. "them, the Jews in Israel", is evidence of a broken relationship. It comes from an ancient animosity going back to a rebellion in Israel that happened nearly thee millennia ago. And because of this persisting error in our theology the blood feud between "the Church" and "Jewish Israel" continues to this day.
So what are we left with? As we see, one faction, the Jewish house, champions God's righteous Law. The other side, the non-Jewish house, upholds His Mercy and Grace in the Gospel of salvation. They actually belong together and really should be united, complementary, and in harmony under Messiah. But they are not. Nor are they even really talking together about these things. What is the problem? Is their God double-minded or schizophrenic here?
Each one of the two aggrieved parties upholds one of the two great vital truths of God. But each thinks that they, their particular faction, are the kingpin and true chosen people of the God of Israel. This unresolved conflict is where we fall short. It is sin. It is the result of a carnal impulse, and a fight for dominion. Both parties in the dispute are carrying a great truth. But they think their truth is the be-all and end-all. So as each side lunges for dominion they are both wrong. Only a sharp correction that comes from a deep and sincere repentance on both side can change this entrenched state of affairs.
NO RESTORATION WITHOUT REPENTANCE.So again, where does this leave us as we view the current situation?
NO REPENTANCE WITHOUT CRYING OUT TO GOD.
NO CRYING OUT TO GOD WITHOUT TRIBULATION.
A well established truth upheld by the old order evangelicals was this."There can be no restoration without repentance."
So beginning there I invite those who wish to do so ponder these Biblically observed truths. These are truths that lead on to a certain sequence of events observed throughout the Bible and throughout Holy history, even to this day.
There can be no Restoration
Without Repentance.Truth #1So as we have seen, the restoration of Israel is essentially a spiritual restoration. It is not a racial or a political one. It will become fully manifest by the indwelling Messiah in a swelling wave of Revival that will come in the camps of God's covenant people, people from every nation, race, and tribe, gathered together at the end of the age. But right now we can lay the foundation for this wonderful restoration. We can start by sharing what the Scriptures plainly declare concerning the Commonwealth of Israel.
There can be no restoration without repentance.
There can be no repentance without people crying out to God.
We do not see people crying out to God without trials and tribulation.
And so therefore,
There can be no full restoration of Israel until we enter the 70th Week of Daniel, and the called-out people of God from both estranged and feuding houses of Israel go into the trials and tribulations of the final 7 years of this age.
So much for our understanding of God's Word, the Mind of Christ concerning reunion of the two houses and the the promised Restoration of Israel. But how about matters of the heart?
It is now becoming abundantly clear that repentance is the issue here. And if that repentance and restoration is not happening yet we must not lose hope. We should still proclaim this unfolding Biblical truth. Because it is set to become fully manifest in the latter days. We should work for it and wait for it. Because the restoration of the two houses of Israel will surely come. As we are seeing, there are those who are trying to restore Israel by ecumenical and political means. But these initiatives will fail. Because unless there is true repentance this promised restoration will not come.
So if we are not seeing repentance in the Western Laodicean Church right now is there any basis for expecting it in the future? As we survey Bible prophecy might there be something up in our future that will bring that repentance into full manifestation?
THE FALL FEASTS AND YOM TERUAH AND
The coming Yom Teruah or
Feast of Trumpets, an epic
future day of the Teruah,
of alarm, and of awakening!
REPENTANCE IN THE DAYS OF AWE. Well, yes, there is. That time of true repentance will most certainly come. It will begin in earnest as we come into the future 70th Week of Daniel, the final 7 years of this age. This will open up in some future Fall season. This epic day in Holy history will all come down on the new moon of the Hebrew month of Tishri. On this Hebrew calendar date in some future Fall Season we shall see the fulfillment of Yom Teruah, the Feast of Trumpets. This divine appointment will be the fulfillment of the 5th Feast of the Seven Feasts of Israel. That appointed time will break out into world history in spectacular fashion during some future Fall season. On that day, the Trumpets of Yom Teruah will sound. And on that very day we shall see the covenant people of God crying out to God in a day of shouting, a day of blowing of shofars, a day of remembrance, and a day that ushers in the ultimate days of awe, and the days of repentance. This is spoken about by the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 58:1 and by the prophet Joel in Joel 2:1. This will be a spellbinding day of alarm. Our Jewish friends have rehearsed all this for thousands of years. And so on a future Rosh Hashanah, Yom Teruah, even as the shofars sound the broken staccato sounds of the Teruah, the promised days of soul searching and repentance will have arrived. This will usher in something very wonderful.
YOM TERUAH, THE FEAST OF TRUMPETSThere is some good news about the end-time we almost never hear about. But the prophets of Israel speak volumes about a coming trial and then a stupendous End-Time Revival. They speak of a true and genuine Latter Rain. This wonderful message of encouragement is spoken of in Hosea 6:3, Joel 6:23, Zechariah 10:1, and James 5:7.
AN ALARM, AND AN EPIC AWAKENING,
Even Moses, in the sombre prophecy he gives in the Song of Moses he tells of the eventual reversing of the fortunes of God's covenant people at the end of the story. In the Song of Moses from Deuteronomy Moses is speaking to God's Covenant People back then at the beginning. And he is speaking to us prophetically right now and especially as we come up to the end of the age. He tells us that we shall undergo trials. But that if we return to the Lord we will remember the former things and find the ancient paths. then our collective National and Congregational amnesia will end. And in their returning to Messiah God's people will be fully restored.Deuteronomy 4
23 Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant
of the Lord your God, which he made with you, . . . .
24 For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.
27 And the Lord shall scatter you among the nations, . . . . . . ..
29 But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him,
if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
30 When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee,
even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be
obedient unto his voice; 31 (For the Lord thy God is a merciful God;)
he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget
the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.
THE GREAT END-TIME REVIVAL BRINGSThe time of trial and tribulations will see the covenant people from both houses of Israel crying out to God. And as is often seen to happen on such occasions, He answers in the outpouring of His Holy Spirit. That is how awakenings and revivals happen. This will be a stupendous visitation of God. And it will bring in the Great End-Time Revival of Joel 2:28, 29, 30, 31, 32.
THE PROMISED RESTORATION OF ISRAEL
For those in the normal world life will go on as it was in the days of Noah.
And as is stated in Amos 8:11 there will be "a famine of the hearing of the word of God".
But for those in the nursery of God's sequestered people they will see the unsealing of the books. And in their midst the glories of the latter days the deep mysteries of Israel will be revealed. Out of this genuine Joel Outpouring will come the repairing of the breach of Jeroboam and the reunion of the two houses. And just as we see presaged in the Joseph before his brothers, and also in Revelation 7, there will be the restoration of all 12 tribes of Israel, even as the fullness of the Gentiles is brought in.
The true and genuine End-Time Revival.
This is the grand climax to holy history.
A remnant shall return. (Isaiah 10:21-22, Micah 5:3)
"And so all Israel shall be saved." (Romans 11:25, Romans 11:26)
For more on this wonderful theme of restoration see,
This article on the Restoration of Israel
This coming August we shall be having a conference, the Denver Prophecy Summit. We shall be discussing many of these elements of the restoration of Israel as it will unfold in the latter days. Click the text link above for some info if you would like to attend.