Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Are the Northern Tribes 'Lost'?

I'm not sure about this idea that the northern tribes still have to be restored. 

The Bible says all Israel returned to the land.

I know Israel were taken captive by Assyria about a hundred years before Judah was taken captive by Babylon - but by the time they returned, Assyria had already been annexed by Babylon, hadn't it? So Israel and Judah were likely already seen as all one and the same people, by then: just as Jews. Spread across all 127 provinces, from Ethiopia to India!

The Prophets said that when they would return, both sticks would become one stick. That must have happened, both sticks must have returned, because the New Testament (in the Gospels) mentions people from other tribes besides just Judah, Benjamin and Levi, back in the land.

And Paul said all twelve tribes were serving God. He evidently didn't see them as 'lost' tribes.

The other thing is: if Israel's restoration is still future, it implies that Israel must worship through Judaism in future - because the Prophecies described the resumption of Levitical-style worship at that time. But that's not relevant this side of the cross.

It would also undermine our basis for asserting that Jesus is Messiah - because Messiah was to come when Israel had been restored. If Israel's restoration is still future, then Jesus was too early in history to be Messiah.

But by understanding that Israel's restoration had already happened by the time of Jesus, it establishes our case that Jesus is Messiah; and it eliminates the necessity for Levitical-style worship in our future.

It puts the focus right back where it should be - on the Lord Jesus Christ and His Gospel. And that's the whole purpose of prophetic Scripture - to point us to Jesus, not to Judaism.

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