Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Judah and Israel

I'm not sure about the idea that the northern tribes are 'lost' and still have to be restored. Where do they get that idea from?
I know Israel were taken captive by Assyria about a hundred years before Judah was taken captive by Babylon - but the Bible says all Israel returned.
By the time they returned, Assyria had already been annexed by Babylon, hadn't it? So Israel and Judah were likely already seen as simply Jews, across all 127 provinces from Ethiopia to India, wouldn't they?
And a Prophet had foretold that when they return, both sticks would from then on be one stick, no longer two separate nations.
The New Testament (in the Gospels) mentions people from other tribes back in the land, besides just Judah, Benjamin and Levi.
And Paul said all twelve tribes were serving God. So Paul evidently didn't see the northern tribes as 'lost'.
The Apostles stated that God had fulfilled all His promises to Israel.
See, if Israel's restoration is still future, it implies that Jesus was too early in history to be Messiah - because the same Prophecies stated that Messiah was to come to Israel at a time when Israel was already restored to their land.
Another problem is that it would imply Israel must return to Levitical-style worship in future - because the same Prophecies also described Levitical-style worship being reinstated at that time when Israel gets regathered to their land. But Levitical-style worship is no longer relevant or possible, this side of the cross.
But by understanding the Apostles' assertion that Israel's promises had been fulfilled - we have a Scriptural and historical case for saying Jesus is Messiah. It also eliminates the need for Judaism in our future.
And it's not antisemitic - because if God has fulfilled His promises to Israel, and has never since revoked it, then the sky is the limit for modern Israelis, just like for all nations...
...but only through Jesus, not Judaism.
That sounds like the Gospel!

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