Defining Two House

I’m situated as a friend of folks in Messianic Judaism, the independent Messianic movement, Hebrew Christians, Hebraic roots gentiles, One Law Messianics, Two House folks, Bilateral Ecclesiology Messianics, regular Christians, some agnostics, a few atheists, and my family.

With these diverse friends, anything I say is bound to offend someone. This creates a problem for me; I want to avoid conflict.

Winston Churchill summed up my problem well:

The reserve of modern assertions is sometimes pushed to extremes, in which the fear of being contradicted leads the writer to strip himself of almost all sense and meaning.

I don’t want to cause conflict. But, I refuse to strip myself of all sense and meaning. So I’m left to offending people.

This is one of those posts that is bound to offend people. But I feel this post is a necessary one, as a lot of misinformation has been thrown around, and a lot of folks are fighting over things they ought not be fighting about.

What is Two House?

At its core, “Two House” is a simple theology that everyone agrees with: there were 2 houses, or nations, in ancient Israel: the House of Israel and the House of Judah.

This is recorded in the Bible and is recognized by biblical scholars, Christians, Jews, all flavors of Messianics, and your grandma. No controversy here. The Bible itself is “Two House” in that sense.

If this was all there was to Two House theology, there would be no controversy. But Two House theology is very controversial in the Messianic movement.

Why is it controversial?

Built atop this, there is the somewhat-contested belief that one of the houses never returned from captivity.


Quick historical recap:

The Bible records both nations were invaded and taken into captivity: Israel was first taken captive by Assyria. Later, Judah was taken captive by Babylon.

Judah returned from captivity and rebuilt the Temple, but Israel never formally returned. Israel was essentially kept in perpetual captivity until assimilation.


Although occasionally contested, this, too, isn’t particularly controversial: the Jewish historian Josephus speculated on where Israel went after captivity, suggesting rabbis of his time knew their locations. Rabbis in the Talmud comment on these Israelites that never returned. The book of James in the New Testament is addressed to the “12 tribes scattered among the nations”.

The idea that Israel hasn’t returned isn’t particularly new or controversial.

No, the Two House movement is controversial, in part, because it holds that Israel never returned and that, per prophecy in the Bible, Israel will return in the eschaton.

Is that it?

Almost.

For some, that is the entirety of “Two House”.

I include myself in this category: it seems to me that this Ezekiel 37 thing has never happened, and that, when Messiah returns, he will somehow, someway, regather Judah and Israel, make the restoration of all Israel a reality, maybe rebuild the Temple, and generally institute All Kinds of Awesome®. I believe the Messianic movement is part of that big plan. To me, this is the what Two House is.

But for some, there is another element to the “Two House” theology, and that is the belief that all or some of the gentiles in the Messianic movement are, in fact, blood descendants of Jacob, descended from those captives who never returned.

This is the most controversial idea, as you might imagine.

Messianic Jews, particularly those who are trying to legitimize the movement to the greater Jewish world, find this Two House idea embarrassing, as it further delegitimizes a Judaism that is already frowned upon by the Jewish world.

And many Messianic Jews consider the idea insulting. As one Messianic Jew recently wrote,

The troubling aspect of this latter incarnation were people with no genetic connection to Jewish people, the biological descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, claiming to be part of various tribes of Ancient Israel; one woman announcing to me that she was a Levite Princess. After five minutes of uncontrollably laughing, I was deeply grieved by her trivializing my heritage. As I look at this latter group, I am reminded of a minstrel show complete with Velcro peyos, and tzitzis tied to their belt loops, rather than anything that is genuinely Jewish, “having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.” I am as offended by their caricature as an African-American would be of a minstrel show.

Is that what most Two House people believe?

No, not in my experience.

Perhaps the largest Two House organization out there is Messianic Israel Alliance. I have friends in that organization.

Their focus seems to be not on blood lines, but on Jews and gentiles being co-heirs through Messiah. (Indeed, they just relabeled themselves to Alliance of Redeemed Israel, focusing on the redemption through Yeshua.)

In my experience, the focus of most Two House folks is this: because of Messiah, Jews and gentiles are one body, and that body is Israel. If you think “2 house” is something different, please understand this is the prevailing belief, this really is what we believe.

Maybe your local leader told you otherwise? Well, I’m here to tell you, first hand, this is really what we believe: 2 house is this: Jews & gentiles in Messiah as one body. Not about bloodlines. Not about gentiles being secret blood relatives of Jacob. Not any scary thing, really.

What about you, Judah?

On one hand, I believe in the restoration of all Israel, and that includes non-Jews through adoption and faith.

And yes, it’s true, we do know of some descendants of lost Israelites, some of whom have been verified with DNA testing: Bene Ephraim of India, Bene Israel of south Asia, Bnei Menashe of India, Beta Israel of Ethiopia, Bukharian Naphtali of Asia, Persian Ephraim, Igbo of Zevulon from Africa, and of course the Samaritans are all groups claiming Israelite descent, with varying degrees of validity. The Ethiopian Jews are unique in that the Chief Rabbinate of Israel has deemed them descendants of Dan. It is plausible there are more descendants of Israel abroad.

On the other hand, I can’t take seriously someone who, out of nowhere, calls themselves a Levite princess. If all I have is your word that you heard it from God, well, that’s no more reason for me to trust you than, say, the Christian minister who thinks God told him to burn all Qur’ans.

“God told me so” is not particularly convincing.

You can dream you’re the head of 100 Yeshivas, but it is not so until 100 Yeshivas make you their head.

I am convinced God is doing something with the Messianic movement. The gentiles in the Messianic movement are here by God’s hand. It seems to me Ezekiel and Hosea and many others suggest something big is going to happen and God’s going to bring back and reunite all of Israel, and this will happen only when Messiah rules over them.

Until God makes that happen, I’m going to have strong opinions, weakly held. Especially on prophetic events which humans are famous for misinterpreting.

Thanks for listening.

105 comments:

  1. Judah,

    Thanks for writing this. I've been meaning to ask you about it since I listened to your first podcast with Jewzilla and you mentioned that you're Two House "because you believe that Ezekiel 37 has yet to fulfilled." I thought, "Hmm...but wait, what if I believe that too? Does that make me Two House?" Somehow I didn't think so.

    Anyways, you've enlightened me somewhat: it seems that the difference is that you believe that the Messianic movement is prophetically related to the fulfillment of Ezekiel 37, that the presence of Gentiles in large numbers in the Messianic movement is part of this restoration, and that all who are drawn to the Messianic movement should be considered equal members in Israel.

    So--maybe I'm reading you right, or maybe I'm just rambling here. Confession: I'm really just posting this comment so I can check the box that emails all the other followup comments to my inbox. :D

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  2. That's pretty much it.

    I've made it no secret I believe gentiles are no longer strangers to the covenants with Israel, and are members of the commonwealth of Israel, fellow heirs, first-class citizens.

    I'm...skeptical, shall we say, of folks that say, "I'm a blood descendant of X tribe". I mean, unless I know you and trust you and have good reason to believe these claims, I'm not really going to believe you. I think such claims have done more harm than anything.

    Also, it's not clear to me why it matters. If even a gentile with zero blood relation to Jacob follows Israel's Messiah, he's part of the commonwealth of Israel. That's my thinking. So whether one has blood relation to Jacob is not a big concern to me.

    (Oddly enough, if you're an adherent to the more popular theologies of Divine Invitation or Bilateral Ecclesiology, then blood relation is a concern. Kind of ironic. But that's another story...)

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  3. Two points:

    1) Since there are enough evidence that the tribes came back, the assertion of the so-called "lost 10 tribes" is just folly. I had a e-mail exchange with Batya Wooten, the invetor of this "two-house" bizarre doctrine, I asked her if she is Jewish, she replied that she is an "ephramite". I asked her how does she know, she replied: "How do you know that you are Judah?" I told her that I am not from Judah, I am from Asher, can she prove me wrong? Needless to say she did not reply.

    The chutzpha these people have to label me when they don't have a cintilla of proof that they are descendants of the "lost 10 tribes..."

    2) Ezk. 37 is a big chapter for this doctrine, but of course they conveniently omit chapter 36, which of course describes exactly what is happening today as far as the nation of Israel is concerned.

    Verses 24-28 say that God will bring Israel back in disbelief, only AFTER He will cleanse them (25), and I thought the the Wottens and their cohorts are believers, no?

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  4. Judah,

    Would you describe your Two House position as One Law? If not, can you explain what the difference is?

    (Don't worry--I'm not looking to blast you--I'm just asking for the sake of understanding.)

    Yahnatan

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  5. Interesting. so, you believe that the church is equal and the same to Israel ? That promises to Israel are, by definition, promises to the church, and vice versa ?

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  6. Dan, I don't mean to not-address Ezekiel 36. We can talk about that if you want.

    Yahnatan, Two House and One Law have precisely one thing in common: they both have numbers in their name. LOL. Dan here is One Law, but not Two House. I would say that most Two House people are One Law. But not the other way around. Confused yet? LOL.

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  7. CG, dude, long time no chat.

    Good question. I'm hesitant to say because the church has, in the past, saw themselves as a replacement of Israel, which has led to persecution of Jews by the Church.

    Are Christians Israelites? Well, the most we can say is that Paul says followers of Messiah are co-heirs and members of the commonwealth of Israel. What implications that has remains to be seen.

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. Judah,

    So Two House people generally are One Law (i.e. all the mitzvot are equally applicable to all peoples in Messiah). What distinguishes someone who is One Law but not Two House from someone who is Two House / One Law?

    Yahnatan

    P.S. I realize that these terms weren't necessarily chosen by the advocates of the corresponding theologies, but I'll keep using them for expediency until someone announces a name change.

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  10. Yanathan,

    One-law never advocated Gentiles belong to Israel by blood connection.

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  11. I guess what I mean is, Paul and Jesus both tell us that the church is going to rule with Christ. Rule over who ? Revelations says that when the church has risen to be with Christ, our job will be to help restore Israel. Do some people really believe that all 12 tribes were reunited ? The Bible says that the main body of Israel was to be lost amongst the nations. That's why they need Jesus' return in order to be restored to their rightful place. In the meantime, the remnant of Judah has intermarried until today the people who are called Jews, are members of a religion, but not all the same people.

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  12. Dan, you wrote:

    Yanathan, One-law never advocated Gentiles belong to Israel by blood connection.

    But Judah already said that he's not that flavor of Two House. I'd like to know what distinguishes his theology from yours. Is it simply that he's willing to share a name (Two House) with some people who believe something he thinks is wacky, while you're not?

    Yahnatan

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  13. Israel returning has NOT happened yet!!! It is imposable to say it has!Consider the following...

    - When this happens the meaning of Pessach will change Jer 16:8-21

    - Amos 9:8-15 Talks about how great this "Return" will be and tells us that the "Fallen Sukkah/Tent of David" is the "Whole house of Israel"

    - Acts 15:14-16 reference Amos 9 and talks about Believing Gentiles playing a part in restoring Israel!

    - Also Gentiles/Aliens/Foreigners (GARE in Hebrew) Grafted into Israel is not just a N.T idea (Rom 11, Eph.3) it is all over the O.T...This word “Gare Strong's H1616” is used in reference to the FOREIGNER(H1616) keeping the Passover (Exo 12:19&Num 9:14) and being circumcised (Exo 12:48) keeping the Sabbath (Exo 20:10,Exo 23:12&Deu 5:14) offering sacrifices (Lev 17:8) abstaining from blood (Lev 17:10) observes the dietary laws (Lev 17:13) shall be as the native born (Lev 19:34) gives tithes and free-will offerings (Lev 22:18&Deu 26:12) ONE TORAH for native Israeli and the “Gare” (Num 15:16,Num 15:29&Deu 31:12) they are to rejoice at the Temple (Deut 16:11) and do the Feast’s (Deut 16:11) the “foreigner” was blessed with the native Israeli (Joshua 8:33) 153,900 lived in Israel during King Solomon’s reign (2Ch 2:17) they will be added to Israel (Isa 14:1) is judged like the native Israeli (Ezek 14:7) has an inheritance with Israel (Ezek 47:22-23) Gentiles being “Grafted into Israel” existed long before Romans 11 and Eph. 2 Rom 15:9= GareH1616!

    Im not some crazy Gentile grasping at things, I am a JEW who believes this... fyi ~ GREAT POST JUDAH!

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  14. CG,

    "Paul and Jesus both tell us that the church is going to rule with Christ"

    Can you show me that? I've never seen where Jesus or Paul talks about that.

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  15. Yahnatan,

    Good question. The answer probably lies in how gentiles are considered within the context of Israel.

    Moderate Two House might be more focused on the equality of Jews and gentiles within Israel.

    One Law might be more focused on the commandments applying equally to both groups.

    Obviously for the populist Two House views, there are some major differences, as Dan is quick to tell you. :-)

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  16. Jesse,

    Good points about 'ger' and the non-native having a heritage with Israel.

    If I could make a suggestion, use fewer exclamation points.

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  17. jainapetYahnatan,

    The tow-house doctrine that we discuss today is not but a rehash of the "british-Israel" doctrine of infamous Herbert Armstrong, and the widw world church of God. The Two-house insisted on being Israwel by blood and belonging to the so-called "lost 10 tribes. They will try to tell you otherwise, but when it walks like a duck, quaks like a duk, it ain't no chicken.

    Like every other cult that had to change their theology because they were debunked exegeticall and historically, the two-house movement had to do it too, that is why we suddeny hear of a "moderate" two-house fuction.

    I am sure, and Judah can affirm this that he also in the begining fell for the blood relationship. How do I know? Well, still today he mentioned some DNA findings.

    Eph. 2:11-15 says that Gentiles extend Israel, they do not become Israel by blood. The 2 house-the second coming of British Israel will meet the fate of their model...Armstrong Church disintegrated, god did show them, didn't he?

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  18. Yahnathan;

    I suggest you read this:

    http://www.torahresource.com/EnglishArticles/Two%20House%20Fatal%20Errors.pdf

    hope this will help

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  19. Jesse,

    I wonder why you conveniently omit that Israel were GERIM in Egypt. Does it mean that Israel accepted the Egyptian belief and helped Egypt in their rituals?

    You need to learn more what the term GER implied in Scriptures.

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  20. Good post, Judah. I've always been skittish about saying anything one way or the other about "two house" theology, since it seemed there could be a lot of things that people mean when they claim they are "two house". Thanks for clarifying...

    And that whole "strong opinions, weakly held"...classic. Love that. Let's just say I resonate. ;)

    How does one become a Jewish pirate, anyway? Jump in anytime, Jewzilla. :)

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  21. Wow. Look what happens while I sleep.

    Thanks for the explanation of Two-House, Judah. It's what I've always understood it to be, but I thought I must be missing something along the way.

    Seems that, if you're Two-House, you must believe in three classes of people: 1. The House of Judah, who we consider the Jewish people today. 2. The House of Israel, who are all the "Gentiles" who are involved in some part of the Messianic/Hebraic movement. 3. Everybody else, which includes Gentile Christians who do not feel attracted to Hebraic or Jewish worship in any sense.

    The only thing that distinguishes Two-House Gentiles from "generic" Gentiles is that TH Gentiles find themselves in Messianic congregations, home fellowships, or study groups, and believe that they have a "spiritual" attraction to their "Jewish" origins.

    As my wife would say, "Oy".

    That actually is insulting to we Gentiles in the movement, too. It's saying that a Gentile cannot find beauty and wonder in God's Torah or in the Shabbat at all. Only Gentiles who are really "Jews" can find that beauty.

    That also flies in the face of Yeshua saying in John 10 that he would bring both the Jewish sheep pen and the Gentile sheep pen into one flock, IMHO.

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  22. >> It's saying that a Gentile cannot find beauty and wonder in God's Torah or in the Shabbat at all

    No, certainly not.

    I think for 2 House folks, it's simply the belief in the regathering of Israel.

    I've never met a Two House person who says, "Nevermind him, he's just a goy!" You won't find any of that.

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  23. Judah,

    I am not against or for what you are saying, simply open to the discussion.

    I do not believe that the two houses of Israel are united or that this has prophetically happened yet or that it will happen any time soon... So we do share that for Two Houses, lol.

    I have a question though, many people in the Two House movement have claimed they are Ephraim or some other tribe, even leaders, do you not consider this sadly immature to make such claims without proof? There has to be proof for such an extreme claim... Would it not be better to hide in a corner and then show up for the party when/if it is valid, than to make claims that make them look absurd?(I am not trying to be offensive...but lets be honest, many people find Two House claims to be extreme fringe/absurdity as you mentioned above)

    Please share your opinion on this.

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  24. OK. Let me put it this way. You have two guys. Neither has an identifiable Jewish background. As far as anyone can tell, they are both non-Jewish. Both guys end up in a Messianic synagogue. One believes he's there because he is a member of one of the "lost tribes". The other believes he's not Jewish but is there because he was "called" to this form of worship in order to honor the Messiah as a Jew. How do you know which is which?

    Given all of the forced conversions of Jews and similar activities over the long centuries, I don't doubt there are people out there who are Jewish or who have ancestors who were part of the tribes, but who have no awareness of this fact. I believe that God, at the right time, will return the tribes to their rightful heritage. I just don't believe that we individually get to use our imaginations to tell ourselves that we're "Jewish", when there isn't a shred of evidence that points in that direction except our "feelings".

    I'm very, very conservative when people say their only "evidence" of this or that is an emotion which they believe is an indication of a supernatural event. How can they tell the difference between a spiritual event and their imagination?

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  25. @James, you said,

    >> I'm very, very conservative when people say their only "evidence" of this or that is an emotion which they believe is an indication of a supernatural event.

    I'm with you.

    I said the comments above,

    "I'm...skeptical, shall we say, of folks that say, "I'm a blood descendant of X tribe". I mean, unless I know you and trust you and have good reason to believe these claims, I'm not really going to believe you. I think such claims have done more harm than anything."

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  26. @Zion,

    Certainly. If a person is claiming blood relation to Jacob, I'm not really going to believe him unless there's some evidence.

    "God told me so" is not particularly convincing.

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  27. Judah,

    It is not that they claim to be part of Israel only, they have the chutzpah to claim 10th of land of Israel. Say what? as an Israeli to me they are not better than the Hizzbbulla who also want a part of my land.....

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  28. "as an Israeli to me they are not better than the Hizzbbulla who also want a part of my land....."

    Dan, never thought I'd be defending 2House, but I would say that they ARE much better than Hezbollah - I am yet to hear of any 2Houser murder or even threaten to murder any Jew, Israeli or not.

    In fact, I would have loved to have some 2Housers around growing up (so I would have been the only "heeb" to pick on), but they all stayed in the shadows (apparently).

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  29. "I would have been the only "

    Meant to say "wouldN'T have been..."

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  30. Judah,

    Years ago I had a discussion with a 2 houser. She told me: "when the Arabs start to kill you, then you will run to us for help."

    I rest my case.

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  31. Hey Judah

    Some Bible verses I was thinking of:

    1Cr 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

    Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

    Mat 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

    The church exists at least in part because God said in the Old Testament that He would remain faithful to Israel, and the church is the vehicle God will use to do that. The northern tribes were taken away by the Assyrians, as I am sure you are aware, and were lost to history. Yet, God made promises to all of Israel that require Israel to exist, and the book of Revelation talks about a 1000 year period during which the church rules with God, with the aim of restoring Israel to her proper place. That is why there's a millenium spoken of in Revelation at all, it's what differentiates that 1000 years, from all the time that will come after then. The 2 1/2 tribes of Judah did not take the place of Israel, although they are part of the original 12, and therefore, part of Israel.

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  32. Dan Benzvi said...

    Jesse,

    I wonder why you conveniently omit that Israel were GERIM in Egypt. Does it mean that Israel accepted the Egyptian belief and helped Egypt in their rituals?

    You need to learn more what the term GER implied in Scriptures.

    To my point exactly, they were "Foreigners for 400 yrs" and that's what Israel is today. According to scripture they will be returned. Just as they were once already.

    (No exclamation points for JUDAH) ohhh wait!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Also CG you way off, the word "church" never even appears in text anywhere in the entire Bible, NOT EVEN ONCE!

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  33. LOL, thanks for those exclamation points, Jesse. :-)

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  34. *grin* well, I'm not sure how the existence or not of the word 'church' in the bible proves any point, but the word 'church' (ekklesia in the Greek) is all through the new testament. Some people make the mistake of thinking that it means a human organisation, when the Bible says 'one church', the JWs, for example, assume that means them. It doesn't mean them, or the church I go to, it means all the people who are gathered by the common experience of recieving the Holy Spirit with evidence, it means all the people who will rise to meet Jesus in the air, and who will go on to judge and rule over a restored Israel.

    What did you mean, because I am sure that there's no translation of the Bible that omits the word 'church'.

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  35. @Dan,

    I've never met a Two House person who wishes to take land away from Jews. I'm sorry if you've run into such a fool.

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  36. CG,

    Let me parrot back what you're saying. Tell me if this is accurate:

    "The church will rise with Christ. When they do, they will help restore Israel (because Jews today aren't the same people due to intermarriage). Then, the church will judge and rule over Israel."

    Am I hearing you right? And is there a question in there?

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  37. Yes, the church is the people who rise to be with Christ, who escape the judgement because they have already been judged in this life. Yes, in Revelation it tells how God will restore Israel, in tandem with the church. That is in part the 'new and better promises' that are given to the church in the NT.

    Hbr 8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

    That's why anyone, Jew or not, is better off through becoming a Christian.

    What's recognised as Jews today, is indeed a mix of people from all races, but Israel ( the 10 northern tribes ) won't be restored to the exclusion of Judah, in my opinion, Israel in this sense means the reunited 12 tribes. I would be surprised if there's a whole lot of Israel left that's not in some ways intermarried, also. The point is to reunite and restore the 12 tribes, not to some how purge or deal differently with the Jewish portion. I confess I do not claim to know all of the details, but I do know that the promises God made, He made to the 12 tribes.

    Are you asking if I have a question, or asking if what I am saying raises a question ?

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  38. How about Gen 48:19 His father refused, and said, “I know, my son, I know. He also will become a people, and he also will be great. However, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his seed will become a multitude of nations.” Jacob prophesies that Ephraim will become the fullness of the gentiles. A rement did return but certainly Ezekiel is not talking about this small remnant. We are grafted into the Olive Tree of Israel by Yeshua. We who have been grafted in may or may not have any Israeli blood, but you cannot argue that it was not prophesied that the blood of Jacob through his grandson Ephraim would not become a mutitude of nations.

    C.F.

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  39. I don't see the gentiles mentioned in that verse at all, I think that's an interpretation. I'd say that verses like:

    Gen 35:11 And God said unto him, I [am] God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;

    are what we can use to identify Israel, despite their having lost their own identity.

    If the church is going to rule over Israel, how can the church be Israel ? It's a common mistake to read Old Testament promises to Israel and assume they are also given, verbatim, to the church. The church is founded on *new* and *better* promises, but it's founded on the promises of God, and is therefore grafted into the vine of Israel, which is the thread of God's activity towards people from the Old Testament onwards.

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  40. Jesse,

    "and that's what Israel is today"

    Prove it!!!!!!!!

    Some exclamation ponts.....

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  41. Judah,

    Ezk. talks about the regathering of Israel, not the regathering of Gentiles who delud themself to be Israel. Big difference.....

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  42. CG...
    "christian" theologians pick and choose when to translate "G1577 ἐκκλησία ekklēsia ek-klay-see'-ah" as "church" and when to use another word...
    ""Acts 19:32 So then, some were shouting one thing and some another, for the assembly (G1577) was in confusion and the majority did not know for what reason they had come together.""
    So in bad light "ecclasia" is something else, but in good light lets translate it "church". What a scam! That's why the word "church" doesnt exist in text... someone added it selectively.

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  43. To Christian Graus, (Gen 48:19) last four words zera'H2233 . hayahH1961 . melo'H4393 . gowyH1471Seed become fulness of the nations or gentiles...fairly clear.
    C.F.

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  44. OK - I see what the word 'church' means in the Greek. But, how does that matter ? It's just referring to the group of people who are followers of Christ, and that's all I mean by the word. Again, I don't mean that it's some human organisation, or that some human denominational differentiation means anything to God. How does the fact that the word 'church' just means a gathering of people, change anything I said ? I'm not claiming that it means anything else, I am simply using it in the sense that the Bible, as translated, means it, the gathering of those people who are Christs.

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  45. CG,

    Now I think I understand what you're getting at: In the eschaton, the church judges Israel, therefore the church cannot be Israel.

    My interpretation differs because I'm not convinced the church judges Israel. I suggest you're reading into the text something that isn't there.

    In my view, God's people has always been Israel. It is difficult to imagine Jesus coming to create a new religion with a new people.

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  46. According to the concordance:

    1) nation, people

    a) nation, people

    1) usually of non-Hebrew people

    2) of descendants of Abraham

    3) of Israel

    b) of swarm of locusts, other animals (fig.)

    This word means Israel, descendants of Abraham and usually non Hebrew people ? I think the meaning given is somewhat contradictory, and I wonder if it's given precisely to support a particular viewpoint. For example, in the Greek, pneuma is explained as:

    1) the third person of the triune God, the Holy Spirit, coequal, coeternal with the Father and the Son

    a) sometimes referred to in a way which emphasises his personality and character (the "Holy" Spirit)

    b) sometimes referred to in a way which emphasises his work and power (the Spirit of "Truth")

    c) never referred to as a depersonalised force

    2) the spirit, i.e. the vital principal by which the body is animated

    a) the rational spirit, the power by which the human being feels, thinks, decides

    b) the soul

    3) a spirit, i.e. a simple essence, devoid of all or at least all grosser matter, and possessed of the power of knowing, desiring, deciding, and acting

    a) a life giving spirit

    b) a human soul that has left the body

    c) a spirit higher than man but lower than God, i.e. an angel

    1) used of demons, or evil spirits, who were conceived as inhabiting the bodies of men

    2) the spiritual nature of Christ, higher than the highest angels and equal to God, the divine nature of Christ

    4) the disposition or influence which fills and governs the soul of any one

    a) the efficient source of any power, affection, emotion, desire, etc.

    5) a movement of air (a gentle blast)

    a) of the wind, hence the wind itself

    b) breath of nostrils or mouth


    Yet, that last definition is only supported by one bible verse:

    Jhn 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

    The word even appears in this verse twice, once as wind and once as Spirit. Youngs Literal Translation, which attempts to not interpret verses, but just translate them, gets this verse right:

    3:8 the Spirit where he willeth doth blow, and his voice thou dost hear, but thou hast not known whence he cometh, and whither he goeth; thus is every one who hath been born of the Spirit.'

    This truth, that when someone is born of the Spirit, the voice of the Spirit is heard, has been lost to the mainstream of religion, and so the translators did their best with a verse they did not understand because, while they knew a lot of Greek, they knew little about spiritual things. Don't make the mistake of pouring over concordances trying to find definitions that suit your theology. It's easily done, I've done it myself, but it's a trap. Israel did indeed become a nation and a company of nation, God kept all His promises to Israel.

    Gen 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him [shall] the gathering of the people [be].

    How do you think this promise has been kept, for example ?

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  47. C.F.,

    Agreed - this is one of the prophecies that suggests that Israel being scattered was God's doing, and coupled with Ezekiel, suggests the reunion of all Israel is a future event.

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  48. @Dan,

    Yeah, it does. I think that hasn't happened yet.

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  49. Hey Judah. I'm certainly glad I followed your facebook link, this has proven to be a very interesting discussion.

    Mat 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

    How do you understand this verse ? What do you make of Revelation ? Do you think that Israel rises to be with Jesus when the church does ? If so, who are they restoring and ruling over ? If not, why is it not Israel that's being ruled over and restored ? Why is someone else being raised up by the church and Israel, if that's what you believe ?

    "In my view, God's people has always been Israel. It is difficult to imagine Jesus coming to create a new religion with a new people."

    Well, Israel will always be God's people. As I said, the church is founded on new and better promises. But, Jesus didn't come to create a new religion. He came to fulfill the law, which we could not keep, and create a new way to have the access to God that was intended by the Law for Israel. The thing to remember is that God knew the end from the beginning. He gave us the Law knowing we would not keep it. He made promises to Israel knowing she would be unfaithful. The point of all this is that God could not create an arbitary creation, under Him, He is bound by righteousness. It is just and right that man had a chance to live by God's law, and that Jesus died so that a way was made for us to fulfill the law, in the Spirit. It's just that He keep His promise to Israel, and that He made promises to one nation, and yet in the fulness of time created a way that people of all nations could enter in. The scope of God's plan is not random, it's precise and specific. He needs to go through this process to create a way for us to freely choose to be part of the church, if we want, and for the price to be paid to make what He is giving us, fair and right.

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  50. The comment starting with Hey Judah is an answer to your questions, so those questions would be directed to you. The post that starts with 'according to the concordance' is a reply to C.F. Sorry if it was unclear.

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  51. Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel".

    Who is Yeshua talking to? At the moment he said these words, he was talking to his Jewish disciples (you who have followed me), who were certainly members of at least some of the 12 tribes. Christian, when you say "the church" will judge Israel, you make it sound like a bunch of Southern Baptists are going to drop the hammer on a bunch of Jewish people, and that's not what I read in this verse.

    I think the best you can say here is that, the faithful disciples of the Jewish Messiah (Jewish and Gentile) will be judging the twelve tribes of Israel with the Jewish Messiah, however that process may be operationalized.

    It's important not to yank a single Bible verse out of context and build a whole concept around it. As we've seen here, it can be pretty misleading.

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  52. Hey James. Are you suggesting the 12 apostles will judge Israel alone ? That only Christians who are also Jewish will judge Israel ? The most likely interpretation I can see is that the Apostles, by moving forward into the church age will, with the rest of the church, judge Israel. Some more bible verses on this:

    1Cr 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

    If the whole church is going to 'judge the world', why is the whole church not involved in judging Israel ?

    Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

    What's the point of the thousand year rule ? It's to restore Israel. If you read all of Revelation, this becomes very clear. The second death is the judgement at the end of the millenium, the future for all unsaved people. Christians escape the 'second death' because they are already judged of God in this life, and are found able to take part in the first resurrection.

    Yes, I'd quoted them before, but as you suggested I was taking one verse out of context, I thought I'd requote and provide some context to explain the verses.

    "I think the best you can say here is that, the faithful disciples of the Jewish Messiah (Jewish and Gentile) will be judging the twelve tribes of Israel with the Jewish Messiah, however that process may be operationalized."

    If you choose to take that one verse and not use other verses to complete the picture, that's probably the best you can say, yes. If you use other verses, it's clear that the whole church is going to judge the world, that there's a 1000 year period spoken of in Revelation where Israel is restored ( you're right, that means the 12 tribes, not 2 1/2 ), and it seems somewhat sensible to suggest these verses all refer to the same thing.

    Your flippant suggestion has two problems.

    1 - Jews are not the 12 tribes of Israel
    2 - Southern Baptists are not the sum total of Christianity, nor will Jesus care about human denominations when He returns. Some southern baptists may well be part of this group, but some will not, and many of the people involved will have no idea what a Southern Baptist ever was.

    I got a grin out of it tho :-)

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  53. CG,

    Ditto, I'm glad you followed the link here. It is good talking with you. I am cautious to argue with you, though, seeing how monstrously you've ripped CSS in the CP soapbox over the years! :-)

    Ok.

    You believe the church judges Israel in the eschaton. You asked how I could not agree, given Matthew 19:

    Mat 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

    Your interpretation of that is "the church will judge Israel".

    My thought: that the 12 disciples will sit on 12 thrones and judge Israel does not mean the whole church will judge Israel. Remember, the 12 disciples were all Jews themselves. One way to interpret this is, "you disciples of Israel's Messiah, as spiritual heads of Israel, will judge Israel".

    It does not have to mean a group of Christian people will judge Jewish people.

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  54. Looks like James had thoughts similar to me before I posted mine. Oh well. :-)

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  55. Hey James. Are you suggesting the 12 apostles will judge Israel alone ? That only Christians who are also Jewish will judge Israel ?

    Please read what I actually wrote: I think the best you can say here is that, the faithful disciples of the Jewish Messiah (Jewish and Gentile) will be judging the twelve tribes of Israel. You could say that the Jewish and Gentile disciples will judge the rest of Israel, but that's an interpretation, too.

    I don't see how the rest of the verses you quoted change my interpretation. Yes, I was somewhat tongue-in-cheek in my response, but your presentation seems to draw a line between Gentile Christian judges and Jewish Israel "judged". At the point in time the "judging" will be going on, there will be Gentile and Jewish believers and Gentile and Jewish unbelievers. If I understand these scriptures, the former will be judging the later.

    With that said, please be careful with what looks a great deal like "replacement theology" in your statements, as if Jews who become disciples of the Jewish Messiah have their Judaism eliminated and merge with non-Jewish Christianity. We Gentiles are the ones grafted in to Israel, not the other way around.

    Oh, and I'm glad I gave you a grin. ;-)

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  56. Hey Judah. Truth is, I left the soapbox because I didn't like the side of me it brings out. CSS attacks me constantly, and I've tried to help him in the past, but my more vengeful side has come out in response to his attacks, and I'm not proud of it, not at all. I prefer to live in peace and have peaceful, respectful discussions with people who respond to me intelligently and not with personal attacks.

    "My thought: that the 12 disciples will sit on 12 thrones and judge Israel does not mean the whole church will judge Israel. Remember, the 12 disciples were all Jews themselves. One way to interpret this is, "you disciples of Israel's Messiah, as spiritual heads of Israel, will judge Israel"."

    Well, that's one possible interpretation, but it doesn't gel with the further explanation given in the other verses I quoted. All the church will judge the nations, and in Revelation, will help to restore Israel. If you have different thoughts, I'd like to know how your thoughts gel with the other verses I quoted.

    James:

    "At the point in time the "judging" will be going on, there will be Gentile and Jewish believers and Gentile and Jewish unbelievers. If I understand these scriptures, the former will be judging the later."

    Yes, I agree. The 12 apostles are the first example of people who were both of Israel, and who availed themselves of the 'new and better promises' of the Gospel, thus being able to move from being judged, to judging.

    "With that said, please be careful with what looks a great deal like "replacement theology" in your statements, as if Jews who become disciples of the Jewish Messiah have their Judaism eliminated and merge with non-Jewish Christianity. We Gentiles are the ones grafted in to Israel, not the other way around."

    Grafted in, in the sense of being attached to God's promises and blessings for mankind. The promises of the Gospel are 'new and better', and that's why becoming a Christian is an 'upgrade' from being of the tribe of Israel. Also, I don't know of any old testament verses that offered eternal life to Israel, the promises I see are all natural, in the sense of being part of a finite life. There's nothing I see that suggests that the people who are Israel at the start of the 1000 years, are alive at the end of it, or that the city that comes to exist at the end of Revelation is full of people who will live forever. I note that I keep referring to Israel, and everyone else keeps talking about Jews and Judaism. Israel is the 12 tribes. The restoration is of the 12 tribes, not of the 2 1/2. The 2 1/2 are PART of Israel, not all of Israel.

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  57. Wow - sorry for the flood of posts. The site kept telling me my captcha string was wrong, so I was trying different browsers, but it looks like it posted every time.

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  58. Judah,

    so you are backing away now from your original thoughts that the gentiles are NOT descendant of the so-called "lost 10 tribes?"

    And you think wrong. Did not happened? Read Amos 9:14-15. Do you not see it happens now as we speak, started in 1948? Do you understand the words "And they will not again be rooted from their land?

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  59. It is appaling to see how people are not satisfied to be fellow heirs, they want the whole anchillada...

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  60. Christian, I believe you can go in and delete the excess blog posts. There should be a garbage can applet just underneath the date. If not, Judah can take them out.

    You create the impression that Jesus arrived to change all the rules and create a new religion and that pre-Jesus Israel was pretty much set up by God to fail from the start. God isn't a God of changing His mind, and when He said they would be His "treasured, splendorous people" forever, He meant it. No tricks up His sleeve.

    The Messiah has always been part of the Jewish consciousness and expectation, which is how Peter and others knew who he was when he arrived. Yeshua didn't come to tell the Jews to swap out their faith and religion, but to rejoice in a prophesy fulfilled and to also give fresh meaning to Israel, and ultimately, the rest of us, being a light to the world.

    We Gentiles were also invited in to be fellow heirs with Israel, as Dan says, for the first time in history, to share in the covenant promises of God, but not to take over or to replace the Jews. Jews and Gentiles are supposed to be partners as Messianic disciples, working together and spreading the Good News to the rest of humanity.

    How did we ever get from discussing the definition of the Two House movement to this, anyway?

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  61. thanks so much for this, Judah. i've looked and been unable to find such a simple and concise explanation concerning this not-so-simple stance/belief. also, even though i never comment (because i feel so many here, including yourself, do such a great job, you don't need me mucking it up), i lurk daily. thanks for all the time and thought you spend and share here. great stuff (and challenging resource - in a very good way).

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  62. Hi James

    "You create the impression that Jesus arrived to change all the rules and create a new religion and that pre-Jesus Israel was pretty much set up by God to fail from the start. God isn't a God of changing His mind, and when He said they would be His "treasured, splendorous people" forever, He meant it. No tricks up His sleeve."

    I guess the question then is, does God really 'know the end from the beginning', or not. If He does, then is it not true that He created a law that Israel could not keep ? Isn't that what Paul says, when he says the law was perfect, it was man that failed ? Why did God create a law that man could not keep ? My answer is, He HAD to, in order to be righteous. He had to show that we could not keep the law apart from the Spirit, to create a law for Jesus to keep, so He could be the perfect sacrifice for our sins, and create a better way. If Jesus didn't come to show us a better way, why did He come at all ? What does the Bible mean by 'new and better promises' ?

    "The Messiah has always been part of the Jewish consciousness and expectation, which is how Peter and others knew who he was when he arrived. Yeshua didn't come to tell the Jews to swap out their faith and religion, but to rejoice in a prophesy fulfilled and to also give fresh meaning to Israel, and ultimately, the rest of us, being a light to the world. "

    I agree. Jesus fulfilled the law, that's what I said. He made it complete and made access possible without an intermediary. Paul writes a lot about this. God's plan from the start was for Jesus to do this. He knew the end from the beginning.

    "We Gentiles were also invited in to be fellow heirs with Israel, as Dan says, for the first time in history, to share in the covenant promises of God, but not to take over or to replace the Jews. Jews and Gentiles are supposed to be partners as Messianic disciples, working together and spreading the Good News to the rest of humanity."

    What good news ? Jews and Gentiles are meant to be partners in the gospel, by both availing themselves of it. If the apostles were fine as they were, being Jews, and only Gentiles needed to follow what Jesus said, then why did Jesus come to the Jews first ?

    Why does the Bible say that Christians will rule with Christ, if we are simply equal partners to Israel ? Why is it that no-one else talks about Israel, but instead talks about Jews, who are only the remnant of Israel ? What happened to the other 10 1/2 tribes ?

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  63. Christian, unfortunately I don't have time to rehash a topic which tends to be periodically revisited in Christian and Messianic blogs, but I will point you to a blog on the Messianic movement's opinion on replacement theology.

    Cheers.

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  64. @Dan,

    My original thoughts are, Israel hasn't been regathered. This is not particularly new or controversial. Israel will be regathered when Messiah reigns over us.

    That's all.

    I am 100% content being a fellow heir. :-)

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  65. @Luke,

    Thanks! It's great to hear from people like you. It is good to know you lurkers are out there and enjoy Kineti even if you don't regularly comment. :-)

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  66. Judah,

    So, you don't see the land of Israel as the regathering of Israel? It means that you also think that the nation of today can be destroyed and exiled again, right? That means that in your mind the citizens of the nation of Israel today are not really Israel, they are Jews from the tribe of Judah because you so decided?

    Why are you OK with being fellow heir, I thought you are a native born, are you not?

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  67. Dan, how can the people in Israel today be the Biblical Israel ? THe promises God made to them are not coming true for those people, nor are they a gathering of the nation Israel, but a gathering of all nations who have become followers of the Jewish religion over the years.

    Isa 35:10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

    I see plenty of sorrow when I watch the news. In any case, the return of Israel happens in Revelation, and Jesus rules over them, and He's not returned yet.

    James - I went to that site. "Replacement Theology - reduced to its simplest form - teaches that the Church has replaced Israel in God’s plan. " Well, I don't believe that. I believe Israel is Israel, and the church is the church. The church is NOT Israel, or 'new Israel'. It's God's vehicle for restoring Israel in the next age. If the church replaced Israel, then there would be no need to restore Israel, she could then be discarded. But God never breaks a promise.

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  68. @Dan,

    >> you don't see the land of Israel as the regathering of Israel

    That's a huge part of it.

    >> you also think that the nation of today can be destroyed and exiled again

    God forbid.

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  69. Christian,

    Don't let the facts on the ground comfuse you. Stay with you agenda and keep reading it into Scriptures.

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  70. Judah,

    I see you are trying to avoid the meat and potatos, so I will let you be.

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  71. Dan - I agree. My agenda IS the scriptures. The events on the ground don't line up with the scriptures that promise Israel's return. Israel will be reunited and restored in the millenium, ruled by Jesus Christ and His saints. In the meantime, Israel ( the physical location ) continues to be a 'cup of trembling' to the nations, and that area a constant place of unrest. So, what's happening there now, is also in the Bible, but it's not Rev 20.

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  72. "It means that you also think that the nation of today can be destroyed and exiled again, right?"

    Can anyone say with absolute certainty that G-d will not choose to do that again? How do we know that this regathering is the very last, final one?

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  73. @Dan. I suspect that Judah found your saying "they are Jews from the tribe of Judah because you so decided?" to be a little argumentative. Although it's as plain as day that, if Israel today is really a gathering of the 12 tribes, it's not something that's remotely apparent to the outsider. Where were the 12 tribes in the meantime ? How was this scripture fulfilled ?

    Gen 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him [shall] the gathering of the people [be].

    One could ask, how did you decide that the people in Israel today are indeed the 12 tribes ?

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  74. Christian,

    What bible do you use? since in my Bible Rev. 20 not once uses the word ISRAEL. Could it be your agenda is playing tricks on you?

    I guess your Bizarre Bible does not contain Zech. 14:16-17....

    Anyway, happy dreams.....

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  75. @Dan. I'm not sure why you feel the need to be argumentative, but if it makes you feel better....

    Zec 14:16 ¶ And it shall come to pass, [that] every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
    Zec 14:17 And it shall be, [that] whoso will not come up of [all] the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.

    My agenda continues to be the Bible. Which means understanding all of it, and using it to interpret itself. As I've already shown, Jesus told the Apostles they would rule over Israel. Revelation is a book of word pictures which need interpreting, yet it clearly speaks of a new Jerusalem, and of a rule by the saints which, using the Bible to interpret itself, can only mean the restoration of Israel. In Rev 21 ( from memory ), after the millenium, and after the people round about came against the new Jerusalem, all people are able to access the new city of God, which is what I think the verse you're quoting is referring to. My interpretation may be wrong, but you'll have to explain it and not just make snide comments about my 'agenda', if you want to correct me.

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  76. @Gene - in fact, if you believe the New Testament as well as the Old, then this cannot be 'the regathering' as Jesus and His saints are not the ones ruling over it.

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  77. Gene,

    "How do we know that this regathering is the very last, final one?"

    Amos 9:14-15. Does it describe Indonesia to you?

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  78. @Gene,

    A painful question to ask. I can't say with certainty, but, ahh, wasn't 2000 years enough? Another exile would be devastating.

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  79. Judah,

    "Not my intention to avoid anything."

    Then answer all my questions.

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  80. Christian,

    " In the meantime, Israel ( the physical location ) continues to be a 'cup of trembling' to the nations, and that area a constant place of unrest."

    You should spend a little more time in the Tanach, you know the book that starts with Genesis and ends with Malachi?

    Prov. 13:24, Oh, it is also in the NT, Heb.12:6....

    "Whome the Father loves, he chastens."

    But why are you trying to hijack the Op, 2 house?

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  81. @ CG,
    The whole point of showing that the word "church" is added in text, and SELECTIVELY translated was to show you the the "ASSEMBLY", always was/is/will be Israel...

    Strong's H6951 "Assembly"
    קהל
    qâhâl
    kaw-hawl
    Appears 123 times in the O.T most referencing Israel.

    Strong's G1577 "Assembly"
    ἐκκλησία
    ekklēsia
    ek-klay-see'-ah
    Is used 114 times (most reference the assembly of believers)who are "grafted into Israel" (see Rom.11 & Eph 2)
    And out of the 114 times, christian theologians only translated it "church" 68% of the time...

    CG, I can relate to what you said about trying to argue peacefully, violence is an easy tenancy for me as well, I can appreciate your attitude ~ Thanks!

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  82. @Dan,

    >> Then answer all my questions

    Sir, yes sir! :-)

    What would you like to know, my friend?

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  83. Judah,

    "Judah,

    So, you don't see the land of Israel as the regathering of Israel? It means that you also think that the nation of today can be destroyed and exiled again, right? That means that in your mind the citizens of the nation of Israel today are not really Israel, they are Jews from the tribe of Judah because you so decided?

    Why are you OK with being fellow heir, I thought you are a native born, are you not?"

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  84. I thought I answered those questions. Except the last one, it wasn't clear what you were asking.

    1) Yeah, I see the land of Israel as a very important part of the regathering of Israel. Obviously the regathering has already begun: Israel is in Jewish hands, for the first time in 2 millenia Jerusalem is in Jewish hands, and 6 million Jews are living in Israel. That's huge.

    2) No, I don't think Israel will be scattered again.

    3) Citizens of Israel are Israel. Of course, man! Jews are Israel.

    4) I'm not sure what you mean.

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  85. Judah,

    You are a little ambiguous with the terms "Jews" and "Jewish." Do you think that the Jews who live in Israel today are all from the tribe of Judah? Therefore, when you say, "the regathering has already begun" you mena it started with the tribe of Judah?

    4) Eph. 3:6 says that the GENTILES are fellow heirs. didn;t you say you are Jewish?

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  86. @Jesse

    "the "ASSEMBLY", always was/is/will be Israel..."

    OK, forgive me if I am a bit slow on the update. The 'church' in the NT, means Israel. Therefore, Israel is no longer a nation, but instead is the body of people who follow Jesus, which can include Gentiles. That's what 'church' means in the NT, so if that's Israel, then the nation is NOT Israel, any more. That's a monumenatal shift, where does the Bible suggest that God would abandon the nation. Or are there two Israels, is that what 'two house' means ? How does calling the church the 'second Israel' change anything, in that case ? Does it simply mean that the church can expect all the promises made to Israel, despite them being also made to the nation ? This sounds very confusing to me, and like it's all hinging on a play on words. Call the church Israel or not, how does it matter, or change the specific promises in the Bible ?

    A few random verses:

    Act 20:17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.

    How would it make sense that the original readers of this felt that it was talking about the elders of Israel, the nation that surely existed and had elders at that time ?

    Act 15:22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; [namely], Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:

    Surely this doesn't refer to all of Israel ?

    The most I can see is that you're claiming a synonym in meaning between Israel and the church, as both being bodies of people called out and chosen by God. I have no argument with that, but they are still two seperate bodies, with different roles and different promises in my mind. In that case, I don't see how getting fixated on the word 'church' changes anything or makes any real point. I'm obviously missing something, so please explain.

    @Judah - Jews are, by definition, 2 1/2 tribes. Jews are Israel, but is Israel only Jews ?

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  87. Judah,

    will you clarify how do you tie Hosea to all this?

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  88. @Dan,

    Jews today are more than the tribe of Judah. Paul and Mordechai were Jews, and they were from Benjamin. The Tenakh records some from Israel returned and assimilated into Judah. And Levi was scattered in both houses. So no, Jews aren't just the tribe of Judah.

    Regarding fellow heirs, Jews and gentiles are fellow heirs. (Yes, someone with zero blood relation to Jacob, a pure gentile, is a fellow heir.) I'm part Jewish, by the way, Dan, my dad is Jewish.

    Regarding Hosea, in speaking to the house of Israel, Hosea says Israel will reunite with all Israel when they "seek after David their king in the last days" (Hosea 3).

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  89. Judah,

    " Israel will reunite with all Israel"

    Where does it say that?

    Are Gentiles Israel? Do you mean Jewish Israel will be united with Gentile Israel? Where does it say this?

    Do you believe that in the land of Israel today there is no Jews from Ephraim, Asher, Isaschar, Zebulun, Naftali?

    How do you deal with Rom. 11:7? Arn't all the 2 housers believers? How do you reconsile this with Ezk. 36:24-25?

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  90. @Dan - why would Jewish Israel unite with Gentile Israel, and not with the other 10 1/2 tribes ? What is Gentile Israel ? Does a Jew who become a Christian, thus leave 'Jewish Israel' and join 'Gentile Israel' in your eyes ?

    I think the most important point in all of this is not to nick pick the details of what God will do ( although I think they are clear enough in the Bible to resolve a lot of these questions ), but to say that those who love God, obey Him regardless of the details. This is all most interesting, but it does sound a lot like straining at gnats to me, all the same :-)

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  91. Dan,

    >> Where does it say that?

    In the prophets. For example, Hosea,

    The people of Judah and the people of Israel will be reunited, and they will appoint one leader and will come up out of the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel.

    ..

    For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or idol. Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the LORD and to his blessings in the last days.


    See, that says to me that this reuniting of the two houses won't happen until Messiah is their king. That's why I say this hasn't happened yet.

    >> Are Gentiles Israel?

    Paul calls gentiles fellow heirs and citizens of the commonwealth of Israel. Does "commonwealth" mean fewer privileges and promises? That's up for interpretation.

    >>Do you believe that in the land of Israel today there is no Jews from Ephraim, Asher, Isaschar, Zebulun, Naftali?

    I'm certain there are.

    >> How do you deal with Romans 11:7? Aren't all the 2 housers believers?

    Same as you. Israel's heart was hardened. Dan, my belief that the house of Israel hasn't reunited doesn't mean all "house of Israel-ites" are believers.

    >> How do you deal with Ezekiel 36:24-25

    It says Israel will come back and live in the land. It's happening now, but won't find its completion until, as Ezekiel says a few verses later, "My servant David will be king over them". Because that has not happened yet, I suggest Ezekiel 36 & 37 describe future events. And thus, I'm Two House. :-)

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  92. Judah,

    "Paul calls gentiles fellow heirs and citizens of the commonwealth of Israel."

    Paul said Gentiles, not native-born, right?

    "Same as you. Israel's heart was hardened. Dan, my belief that the house of Israel hasn't reunited doesn't mean all "house of Israel-ites" are believers."

    So, you DO believe that Israel is the so-called "lost 10 tribes," right?

    Confused?

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  93. >> Paul said gentiles, not native-born, right?

    Yes.

    >> So you do believe the lost 10 tribes...

    I believe as Josephus, the sages, and the prophets did: Israel was scattered and hasn't fully returned. It seems to me the prophets say they won't fully return until Messiah comes.

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  94. "I believe as Josephus, the sages, and the prophets did: Israel was scattered and hasn't fully returned. It seems to me the prophets say they won't fully return until Messiah comes."

    Well, I have not returned yet (at least not for more than a few weeks at a time), and Dan scattered himself out of the Land voluntarily, so that must be true.

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  95. Judah,

    The very core of the 2 house theory is the presupposition that the 10 Northern tribes lost their identity and considered themselves Gentiles.

    Do you believe this?

    Gene,

    A good one...

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  96. @Dan,

    Yes. The house of Israel were scattered and assimilated into the nations. It doesn't mean all gentiles are Israelites. It simply means some Israelites have assimilated. And someway, somehow, God will bring them back like Hosea and Ezekiel said, when "my servant David rules over them".

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  97. Doesn't the Bible both say that the 10 tribes have lost their identity, and provide identifying marks by which they can be found ?

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  98. Judah,

    Congrats., don't you worry, we will get to at least 150 here....

    While it may be true that some individuals may have lost knowledge of their heritage after many generation of being dispersed among the nation, in general the dispersed tribes of Israel have maintained their identity in their dispersion. Many have rejected their covenant obligations (Shabbat, festivals, circumcision) and even wanted to be viewed as gentiles, but try as they would, their identity as physical descendants of ancient Israel could not be earased.

    You talked of the prophets. The prophets who spoke of the dispersion of Israel teach that even in her dispersion Israel remembers her true identity. (Hosea 2:7).

    Historical data, archaeological evidence. and other ancient documents point to the fact that even into the common era, the identity of the northern tribes was known and received.

    I think you have been sold a bill of demaged goods. There is a lot more, and i hope you are willing to continue to discuss this.

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  99. It doesn't really matter - I don't buy into the myth of all powerful Jewish (Hebrew/Israelite, in archaic Biblical vernacular) ) blood where someone can be mixed with countless generations of non-Jews, whose ancestors for generations lived as non-Jews, but all of a sudden, with smallest of evidence, start claiming to be Jewish.

    Please note one interesting fact: Samaritans were a mix of Jews and Gentiles. And yet, despite having some "Jewish blood" and even claiming Ya'akov/Israel as their father (see John 7-12 and note the fact Yeshua never corrected that woman's claim!), Yeshua himself called them "foreigners" (Luke 17:11-19) . What's more, he even told his disciples not to enter Samaritan cities, but to go through the cities of Israel instead (Matthew 10:5)!

    So, to summarize: being Jewish is not just about having some blood or a finding a Jewish ancestor from long ago. To be Jewish means having a shared history, culture, self-perception, shared persecution, having Jewish relatives, being part of Jewish community, thinking like a Jew, feeling shame when other Jews do something bad, hurting when Jews get hurt.... you can't just recreate all this from nothing.

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  100. @Gene - I note everyone here is still talking about Jews instead of Israel. It's important to note that Jesus had to come to the Jews, being the only visible remainder of Israel, but that the plan for the start was for His life to be the only one ever to keep the Law of Israel, making Him the perfect sacrifice that allowed the Holy Spirit to be given, and the church to both exist, and to be open to people of all nations. It's a common mistake to look at Jesus' actions and not consider their context, or how that context changed as a result of His resurrection.

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  101. Read in Ann Catherine of Emmerich, at the death of Jesus on the cross, "the earth was shaken and the bones of the death were once more covered with fless and their spirits returned to them" to give witness of the messiah and the fulfillement of Ezeqiel 37. And they (those once dead that were brought to live once more) walked the earth and spoke of the truth and the fact that Jesus was the messiah and those who recognized him were saved by faith from the captivity of sin. Those who blinded by sin decided to denny Jesus as the messiah, are still in darkness waiting for his coming.

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Husband, dad, disciple of the Jewish Messiah Yeshua, technologist. Author of Chavah Messianic Radio, MessianicChords, and EtzMitzvot. @judahgabriel


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