Tag Archives: Exile

Has the Church replaced Israel?

jewsnotallowed1Mainline Christianity believes today, that the children of Israel have lost their position as the people of God, being replaced by the Christian Church. This Christian doctrine which is generally known as replacement theology, has even led some to believe that the people of Israel, commonly known today as the “Jews” are the ones who should be blamed for Messiah Yeshua’s(Jesus’ true name) death, and that they are cursed because of it. So, has the “Church” replaced “Israel”? Has the “Christian” replaced the “Jew”? We will delve into the Scriptures for answers as usual… let us begin.

The first thing we must do before anything else, is to define what the words “Church“, “Jew“, “Christian“, “Israel” really mean in the Scriptures. Please see a brief definition of each of these words, given below.

A Jew is a descendant of Judah – one of the 12 sons/tribes of Israel. After the Assyrian Exile of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, The Southern Kingdom of Judah was also exiled to Babylon – but returned to the land after 70 years. From that time onward, all of Israel are also referred to as Jews sometimes, as the majority of the tribes were lost and scattered as per prophecy. (Please read this post for a detailed account of this summarized definition) 

Israel was the new name given to Jacob by the Almighty, and was later used to refer to his descendants – the Children of Israel or the Tribes of Israel. Israel is referred to as God’s People Forever, and consists of not only the native born, but the stranger who joins himself unto them. Israel of the Scriptures, is not a land or country, but a group of people.  (Please read this post for a detailed account of this summarized definition) 

Church is the body of people, the “called out” ones – and not a building, institution or place. It is an assembly of people, and is not a new entity created in the New Testament (Please read this post for a detailed account of this summarized definition) 

Christian was a word coined by the world of the 1st Century to refer to believers of Yeshua. Only used 3 times in the whole of the New Testament, other names like “The Way” & “The Nazarenes” were used by believers, to refer to themselves. Furthermore, there was no new religion borne as Christianity in the 1st Century, and all believers were considered a sect with the only difference being belief in Yeshua as Messiah.  (Please read this post for a detailed account of this summarized definition) 

Looking at the above definitions, you may be able to see already that there is a major disparity between Biblical Definitions and the meanings of these words in mainline Christianity today. Further study will reveal that the proposition of “Christians replacing Israel” is both absurd and unbiblical, going against the Old Testament Scriptures, Yeshua’s words, as well as the letters of the Apostle Paul.

Before we delve into the subject in hand, we must understand that most of us are blind, even though we read our Bibles and hear amazing sermons. Spiritual Blindness is the major hurdle that each believer must get over, if they are to run the good race.

Spiritual Blindness
Many of us have been successful in reading the Bible (at least the New Testament) a few times over, And all Christians from all the different denominations with their diverse doctrines, believe what they each know or have read, to be the final truth.

The apostle Paul was similar to us in this way. He was a learned student of Gamaliel, with an unparalleled zealousness towards God(Act 22:3). He believed that imprisoning all who believed in Yeshua to be Messiah, was a service towards God. As we all know, it took a divine intervention to open Paul’s eyes. With all his knowledge, he had been blind – but now the scales had fallen off, and he could see.

After the Resurrection, the disciples went through a similar experience. Yeshua explained how all things concerning Him had to be fulfilled according to Moses (5 books of Moses known as Torah), the Prophets (All prophetic books known as Nevi’im) & Psalms (Other writings inclusive of the book of Psalms, known as the Ketuvim) (Luk 24:44). Luke writes that “He then opened their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures”(Luk 24:45). Similar to Paul, the disciple also received divine understanding of the Scriptures from that point onwards.

The Kingdom of Israel restored in the future?
After He rose from the dead, Yeshua appeared to the disciples for a span of 40 days, and was finally ready to ascend to the Father. And as the disciples gathered around Him, they asked Him an all important question that all Christians seem to gloss over, when reading the book of Acts. The question was:-

Act 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

The disciples who had divine understanding of the Scriptures by this time, were asking Christ about the restoration of the Kingdom of Israel. Christians would think of this as an absurd inquiry. And if it was absurd, Yeshua would have reprimanded the disciples for sure, calling them “fools” or “ones without understanding”, as He had done many times before. But what did He say?

Act 1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

It is beyond any doubt, according to the above verse, that the Father will Restore the Kingdom of Israel, in His own Time. Anyone who believes or teaches “Israel” was replaced by the “Christian Church” is not only mistaken, but in grave danger of going against God’s own Word.

To understand the “Restoration”, we must know about the “Scattering/Exile”
A Christians’ answer to the question “who did God make the New Covenant with” –  is usually the “church” or “christians”. But the Word says otherwise; “the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah(Heb 8:8). If the New Covenant is made with “the house of Israel” and with “the house of Judah”, shouldn’t we be part of it? Shouldn’t we at least know what these two houses are?

If you do not know about the 2 Houses of Israel (also known as the Divided Kingdom of Israel, please read this study) I will attempt to give a very short summary for your benefit:- After Moses and Joshua led the people into the promised land, the people were under judges until the time Saul was anointed King of Israel. After Saul, David came to the throne and Solomon after that. When Solomon was in his old age, he was seduced by his many wives to disobey God’s Commandments (1Kin 11:4-13). As punishment, God divided the Kingdom of Israel into 2 parts (1Kin 11:30). Ten tribes were handed onto Jeroboam – the servant of Solomon (1Kin 11:31). Solomon’s son, Rehoboam ruled over the other two tribes which were Judah & Benjamin (1Kin 12:17,23). From this point onwards, Israel became divided into 2 parts/kingdoms known as “The House of Israel” & “The House of Judah” (Jer 3:18) both were led astray by most of their rulers. This continued until finally according to all the prophets “The House of Israel” was taken into captivity by Assyria (2Kin 17:6,18,23), and scattered among the nations(Hos 8:8, Jer 31:10). Approximately 150 years afterwards “The House of Judah” was taken into Babylonian captivity (Dan 1:1,2), but was let back into the land by God after a 70 year exile period (Jer 29:10, Ezr 2:1, Neh 7:6).

God had prophesied the scattering/exile way before it happened (Lev 26:33, Deut 4:27, 28:63-68, 32:26, Jer 9:16, Ezek 20:23, 22:15). In the same way, He had also prophesied that He will gather/restore His people (Deut 30:1-5, Isaiah 11:10-13, 27:12, 43:5-7, Jer 3:12-15, Amos 9:9, Ezek 11:17, Ezek 37).

Yeshua came for the scattered and lost House of Israel
Even though it is hard for us to believe, Messiah’s own words and the Gospel account of John both proclaim that He was sent for the scattered and lost House of Israel. It is the two divided kingdoms of Israel – namely, the House of Israel & the House of Judah, which were called “Lost Sheep” in the Scriptures (Jer 50:4-6, Mic 2:12, Eze 34:6, Jer 50:17).

Mat 15:24  But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.   

Joh 11:49-52 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.

Joh 7:33-35 Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me. Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come. Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?

It is also clearly evident that the Apostles understood that the message needs to go out to the scattered, as we see below.

Jas 1:1  James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

1Pe 1:1  Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

Israel is never replaced, but is prophesied as part of future events in the New Testament writings

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

Luk 1:32,33 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob* for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. (*The House of Jacob is the collective of the two houses of Israel)

Luk 22:30  That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel

Act 2:36  Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Heb 8:8  For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah

Rev 7:4  And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel

Rev 21:12  And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 

Surely if the Church had replaced Israel, the names of the seven churches should have been written on the gates of heaven instead of the names of the tribes of Israel. If the Church had replaced Israel, the disciples would have sat judging the church instead of the 12 tribes of Israel. If the Church had replaced Israel, the angel Gabriel should have told Mary that He will reign over the church instead of the House of Jacob, equivalent to the 12 tribes of Israel. And finally, if the Church had replaced Israel, the new covenant should have been made with the church instead of the House of Israel & the House of Judah.

If the “church” does not replace “Israel”, where does the “Christian” fit in all this?
The Apostle Paul, is the main spokesperson on how new believers fit into the overall plan of God. The Father has had only one plan – and that was to scatter His people and reap a wider harvest from the ends of the earth.

Paul who understood this perfectly, through his newly opened eyes, knew that “Israel” was not discarded, but that “the strangers or gentiles” were also allowed access to be part of His people along with the returning Children of Israel. His words were that Gentile believers were “fellowcitizens” and of the “commonwealth of Israel”, being “built together” and made into “one”.

Eph 2:12-14 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: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

Eph 2:18-22 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Eph 3:6  That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

This is why he spoke of one body with Jew and Gentile worshiping together as one with no separation or difference.

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Rom 10:12  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

Gal 3:28  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.

Col 3:11  Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

Paul was quick to correct the Roman Congregation of believers, of the error of “Replacement Theology” in his letter to them. In Romans Chapter 11, he tackles the question head on. The following are a few snippets from his corrective words, where he explains how the Children of Israel cannot be cast away. How they can be grafted back into His people. How not to be high-minded in thinking they have been cut off so the Gentiles can be grafted in as the new people of God. And how all of Israel shall be saved.

Rom 11:1,2 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,

Rom 11:11,12 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?

Rom 11:16-26 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

Rom 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

The Restoration of the Kingdom of Israel explained by James
At the Jerusalem Council, as the Apostles got together, James explained the restoration of the Kingdom using the Scriptures to the whole congregation.

Act 15:14-17 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.

In it, he quoted Amos 9:11,12 speaking of how the rulership of the Davidic Messiah Yeshua would return and how it will contain not only the Children of Israel, but also the gentiles. It was never the “Children of Israel” OR the “Gentiles”. It was never the “Gentiles” replacing  the “Children of Israel”. But that the “Children of Israel” would contain the “Gentiles” who believed as one people.

Conclusion
In the eyes of God, there is no “Christians”. No “Church”. No “Jew”. There is only His people – Israel. We are either citizens of the Biblical Israel or not. (I want to make it clear again, that the Israel mentioned on this post is not the same Israel we see on the News. It is not a country or a geographical location – It is His people). As our Messiah Yeshua himself proclaimed:

Joh 10:14-16 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

Let us not be high-minded like Paul said. Let us not think that we have superseded the Children of Israel in anyway. Let us ask our Father in Heaven to lift our Spiritual Blindness, so that we may see His truth – His Word. Only then will we clearly see, that there is only one group. One people. One shepherd. One plan. No replacements. No Plan B’s. No divisions. Only restoration of the Kingdom of Israel!

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The unknown Assyrian Exile

Most Christians have heard of the Babylonian Exile of the Israelites. We are familiar with the story of Daniel, and have heard about the Babylonian king named Nebuchadnezzar. But what about the Assyrian Exile? Why is it that Christians do not even have a clue about this event?

NationalGeographicDon’t believe me? Let’s turn to history. The National Geographic Society has published a book called “Essential Visual History of the World” which contains a very concise history of all the major civilizations and kingdoms of the earth. In this book, you find empires such as Egypt, Syria, Persia, India, China right upto Greece, Rome and even into modern history of the great World Wars. The interesting pages that caught my eye, was the ones that mentioned “the Israelites”. In page 42 & 43 of the book (pictured below), it clearly mentions the division of the Kingdom into North & South and of its fall into Assyria and Babylon respectively.

Divided-Kingdom-of-Israel

Click on thumbnail for expanded view

If you were like me, you would be scratching your head thinking where an Exile to Assyria is even mentioned in the Scriptures? The reason we do not know about this event is because very rarely do Christians read the lengthy, name heavy, books of Kings & Chronicles.

For a thorough examination of the Divided Kingdom of Israel, and how it effects our understanding of God’s Word, read the following posts;
Parable of the Prodigal Son and the 2 Houses of Israel
The Betrothal, Divorce and Re-Betrothal of God’s people, through Messiah

Here is a very brief look at what happened to Israel after the reign of King Solomon
1. After David, Solomon was anointed King and when Solomon was old, his many wives made him sin against God (1Kin 11:4-7).
2. As punishment, Solomon’s servant Jeroboam received 10 tribes to rule over, and the rest were ruled by Solomon’s son, Rehoboam (1Kin 11:30,31/ 1Kin 12:16,17).
3. Rehoboam ruled over the Tribe of Judah & Benjamin, collectively called the “House of Judah” (1Kin 12:23).
4. From this point onwards in the Books of 1st & 2nd Kings, Jeroboam and his Sons ruled over what was called “The House of Israel” in the north of the land while Rehoboam and his Sons ruled over what was called “The House of Judah” in the south of the land.
5. After much rebellion against God, and not giving ear to the Prophets, The House of Israel was taken captive to Assyria(2Kin 17:6,18,23).
6. The Majority of them were scattered among the nations(Hos 8:8, Jer 31:10).
7. Even though, The House of Judah, was much better than The House of Israel, they also disobeyed God and was taken captive to Babylon(Dan 1:1,2).
8. God let Judah return back to their land after 70 yrs in exile(Jer 29:10, Ezr 2:1, Neh 7:6).

The divided Kingdom of Israel, was known as the “House of Israel” & the “House of Judah” from the time after the death of King Solomon. The New Covenant was made exclusively with these two divided houses/kingdoms as we can see below.

Jer 31:31  Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
Heb 8:8  For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

The Scriptures do not speak of a New Covenant made with any other nation. Christ himself said “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Mat 15:24). This was the same Good News prophesied by Ezekiel when he spoke of a day when the 2 kingdoms would be united under one shepherd.

Eze 37:16-24  Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these? Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand. And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes. And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all: Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.

This is the same mystery that Paul spoke of, when he explained that all believers are grafted into the Olive tree, which is God’s people “Israel” in Romans Chapter 11. (Compare Rom 11:19 and Jer 11:16). All of prophecy in the Scriptures hang on the simple fact of the division, dispersion and regathering of His people under Christ our Shepherd. How can we understand any of these complex ideas given to us in Scripture, if we do not understand the basics that even History proclaims to be true?

My prayer for each of you who have not heard of this part of history, is that you would search the Scriptures and read for yourself, so you would be able to better understand everything written by the Prophets as well as the New Testament writers such as Paul, bringing you to a closer walk with our Heavenly Father.

Feast of Succoth/Tabernacles and our dwelling with God Almighty

The last of the Appointed Times given by our Heavenly Father, to His People is known as the Feast of Tabernacles. After the solemn remembrance of the “Day of Atonement” in which we repent for all our shortcomings, we step into the 8 Day feast of Tabernacles with much joy and rejoicing. This is considered the most joyous of the Appointed Times given to us in Lev 23. Let us study this Feast a bit more closer to understand and apply it to our life today as well as find out its Prophetic significance.

This study has been broken into 10 sections for your viewing ease. If you already know about any particular section, please feel free to skip through to the section that you are interested in.

1. Introduction to the Feasts/Appointed Times of God
God’s appointed times (also known as feasts) which are written in Lev 23 consist of 7 separate events which are “remembrances of God’s grace in time past” as well as “prophetic shadows of things to come”. Even though these feasts have been branded “Jewish feasts”, it is very clear that these were called “My feasts” and “LORD‘s feasts” by our Heavenly Father (Lev 23:2,4,37).

Contrary to popular belief, Yeshua(the real name of Jesus), His Disciples and even the highly misunderstood Apostle Paul, did not teach or abolish God’s Law. Just as God’s Commandments will stand till Heaven and Earth exists, The “Feasts” or “Appointed Times” of God (which are part of God’s Law), is, and will be in effect in the time to come. Out of the 7 events asked to be remembered, God has fulfilled 3 of these prophetic events in the time of the first coming of Messiah.

I highly recommend that you read the separate studies on Passover, First Fruits, Pentecost & Trumpets (if you have not studied this subject before) from which, Passover, Firstfruits & Pentecost have been already fulfilled in its time and season at the time of the 1st appearance of Messiah Yeshua.

Let us review these Appointed times, their significance and their fulfillment –
1. The Sabbath – Every 7th Day (Lev 23:3) – Remembrance of God as Supreme Creator and the one who will provide us with rest in His Millennial Kingdom

2. Passover & the week of Unleavened bread – 14th of the 1st Month is Passover / 15th to 21st is the week of U.B. ; The 15th and the 21st are Special Sabbaths (Lev 23:5-7) – The deliverance from Egypt through the Blood of a Lamb & the Deliverance from Sin/Death through the Blood of Yeshua who is named Lamb of God (Yeshua died on the day of Passover)

3. First Fruits – The day after the 7th day Sabbath, which is right after Passover (Lev 23:10,11) – The lifting up of the First fruit of all Crops to God & the ressurection of the First fruit of all who will rise again – Yeshua – who was the First to have risen from death (Yeshua rose on the day of First Fruits)

4. Feast of Weeks also known as Pentecost – The 50th day counted from First Fruits (Lev 23:15,16) – The day of Thanksgiving for God’s provision for the Harvest and remembrance of giving of the Commandments at Mt.Sinai, as well as The day of remembrance of the giving of the Holy Spirit & the start of the Heavenly harvest of souls collected unto God. – (The Holy Spirit fell on the Disciples on the day of Pentecost)
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From the 3rd Month (when Pentecost is celebrated) until the 7th Month (when the last 3 feasts are celebrated) there is a period of silence, much like the time we are living in – awaiting His 2nd coming  ——————————————————————————————————————————————-
5. Feast of Trumpets – 1st day of the 7th Month (Lev 23:24,25) – The day Yeshua will return as the Bridegroom & King to reclaim the Earth and establish His Kingdom for a thousand years

6. Feast of Atonement – 10th day of the 7th Month (Lev 23:27-30) – The day of Judgement which is to come, it is day where we fast in repentance, asking God to have mercy for all our terrible sins.

7. Feast of Tabernacles – 15th to 22nd day of the 7th Month ; 15th & 22 are Special Sabbaths (Lev 23:34-36)

2. The “Appointed time” / “Feast” of Tabernacles
Lev 23:33-36,38-43 
Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD. On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein. Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
(Also read Num 29:12 onwards)

As seen in the above passage of Scripture, “Tabernacles” was a Week of Rejoicing before God Almighty. As per the Commandment that proceeds from Him, the 1st day is supposed to be a “Sabbath” and a day of “Assembly”. The Feast ended with the 8th day, which was similarly ordered to be kept as a “Sabbath” and a day of “Assembly” again. As we have seen throughout, all of these have been shadows or prophetic announcements of the work of Messiah. As you are now familiar, Christ fulfilled the Passover, the First Fruits and the Pentecost Feasts. The “fall feasts” as they are known, which are trumpets, atonement and tabernacles will be fulfilled in Him, when He comes as the “Son of David” to rule and reign in His Kingdom alongside His Bride.

3. Tabernacle = Booth = Sukkah = Temporary dwelling
The word “Tabernacle” which was also the same as “Booth” (H5521 – סכּה – sûkkâh) meant “temporary dwelling”. The name “Succoth” derives from the above Hebrew word. This word is first seen in Gen 33:17, in which Jacob makes “Sukkah’s” for His Cattle/Possessions. The “Booths” were mostly made of branches of trees (Lev 23:40, Neh 8:15). We see Jonah building himself a “Booth” outside of Nineveh to see what will become of the city (Jon 4:5). This feast also signifies the temporary state of this life, and that we should await the 8th Day in which all will be renewed and made new in Messiah.

4. A mandatory appearance before God
The “Feast of Tabernacles” or “Feast of Ingathering” as it is known, was one of the 3 Appointments that God Specifically said all should appear before Him. The people were supposed to come from their cities, wherever they lived, to God’s Temple in Jerusalem – Deut 16:16, Exo 23:16, 34:22,23.

5. Remembering Tabernacles/Booths – in the Wilderness, today and when we finally reside with Him
The Feast of Tabernacles is a remembrance of the time in which the Children of Israel dwelt in “Booths” in the Wilderness. It was a remembrance of the journey with God towards the Promised Land, after they were redeemed from Slavery in Egypt. Even After the return from the Babylonian Exile, the people of Judah remembered this Feast (Neh 8:14-17), probably because they were exiled from the Land, but God was still with them, in their exile. Today, we as believers who are grafted into Israel (Rom 11:16-26), are still in exile, waiting for the day when we would be let into the Promised Land through Messiah. In this we understand that the present life we live, is a “temporary dwelling” that we must abandon shortly (2Pet 1:13,14, 2Cor 5:1).

6. Ingathering of Harvest
All of God’s Feasts revolved around the Harvest of the Land. Generally, an yearly agricultural cycle consists of two main seasons. Subsequent to the flow of rain, in the “Spring” and in the “Fall”, the fields are harvested of its produce. God’s Feasts can be broken down into 2 main parts, as the “Spring Feasts” (Passover, Firstfruits & Pentecost) and “Fall Feasts” (Trumpets, Atonement & Tabernacles). Passover leading upto First fruits was the time of the ripening of the Harvest. And the First portion of the Harvest of that year was completed on Pentecost. Similarly, by the time of Tabernacles, the Second Harvest of the year was ready. This is the reason why this Feast was also known as the “Feast of Ingathering” (Exo 23:16, 34:22, Deut 16:13). When Christ appeared before, He became the “Firstfruit” and gathered an amount of people unto Himself as His first Harvest after “Pentecost”. The Second Harvest (The Greater Harvest) is what He talked about in His Ministry (Mat 13:30,39) and is further seen in Prophecy (Joe 3:13, Rev 14:15) which will come to pass with the fulfillment of “Tabernacles”.

7. Days of Rejoicing and Gladness
The seven days from the 15th to 21st of the Seventh Month are to be days of Rejoicing (Lev 23:40, Deut 16:14-16, 2Chr 7:8-10). There were so many things to rejoice about at the time of the Commandment and even today. The Israelites remembered how God fulfilled His promise in bringing them into the land given to Abraham. How God provided them on the way, and even after they entered, how God gave the rains on time, giving them plentiful harvests. They also remembered that they had stepped from death to life because there Sins were covered by the “Atonement Sacrifice” which was done 5 days prior to the “Feast of Tabernacles”. Today, similarly, we thank God for His provision and His mercy, as well as looking forward to the Day when we will “dwell” with Him for a Thousand Years (Rev 20:6, 21:3).

8. Learning God’s Word
The 7 day period of this feast has been a time which was exclusively separated for the study of His Word as well (Deut 31:10-13, Neh 8:18). It is a good time to refresh ourselves in His Word and audit our understanding and our doctrines to see whether it is Biblical & accurate.

9. 8th Day of the Feast – also known as the “Great Day”
Many sacrifices and ceremonies were done in the temple on the 8th day, Signifying a New Beginning or perfection (Lev 9:1, 14:10, 15:14, Lev 22:27, Eze 43:27). Circumcision was also to be done on the 8th Day of a Male Child (Lev 12:3). This is the day mentioned in Joh 7:37 in which Yeshua (Real name of Jesus) cried out “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink”. This signified the day which is mentioned in Rev 7:15-17. The 8th Day signifies a time when every thing will be renewed completely whether it be heaven or earth (Rev 21:1-6).

10. The Feast of Tabernacles in the Messianic Kingdom Prophecy
The Feast of Tabernacles is one of the feasts specifically mentioned in the prophecies about Yeshua’s Kingdom. It is clear that all who enter into the Messianic Kingdom will have to keep the Appointed time of Tabernacles (Zec 14:16-19). This is a clear indication that these feasts/appointed times/prophetic rehearsals are not done away after Yeshua’s 1st appearance on earth.

Conclusion
The last feast in the Calendar of Prophetic Appointments given by our Father, is the “Feast of Tabernacles”. As we have seen through the study above, it is evident that this Appointment will be fulfilled only at the end of the age, when God dwells/Tabernacles with us. Furthermore the 8th Day of the Feast signifies the renewal and perfection of all things, in which all of God’s Word would be fulfilled. Reading Zec 14:16-19, it is clear that everyone will have to be obedient to keep this feast in the Messianic Kingdom, which is yet to come. Why not start now, and get ready, by celebrating this Prophetic Rehearsal, before we are “ordered” to keep it, in His Kingdom?

The Betrothal, Divorce and Re-betrothal of God’s people, through Messiah

Have you ever wondered why Christ is called the Bridegroom, and the Church is called the Bride? (As shown in this study, the word “Church” does not mean a building, an organization or a denomination. In the New Testament and in the Old, it specifically refers to the Assembly, the believers and God’s chosen people). Is this relationship between Christ and His people, a New Testament idea? Or has God referred to His people in the same manner in the Old Testament? Today we will delve into this subject which, the Apostle Paul called “A Great Mystery” in Eph 5:22-32.

Most of the Christians today, (not because of themselves, but because of the lack of teaching) have no idea of what took place in the Old Testament, leading upto Messiah. We have been taught that the “Church” is the new Bride, and that “Israel” who were called God’s People forever (2Sam 7:24, 1Chr 17:22, 2Chr 20:7, Psa 125:2), have now been replaced by the Christians. The misunderstanding is in that, we are taught the “Church” replaced “Israel”, while very few understand who “Israel” is, and who “Church” is. Apostle Paul understood this well, when He called “Israel” an Olive tree that ALL believers are grafted into (Rom 11:16-26) and that ALL who believe in God and His Salvation, become part of the commonwealth of Israel (Eph 2:12).

Getting back to the study at hand, what did Paul mean when he said “A Great Mystery” concerning “Christ” and the “Church”(Believers)? Let us first take a look at the Old Testament and how God Almighty came into this relationship with His people as Bridegroom & Bride. And then we will travel through the Old Testament studying what became of this relationship, upto the New Testament and how Christ refreshed this relationship in Himself.

God Almighty & His People – Bridegroom & Bride
1. It is evident that God stepped into a relationship where He considered Himself “Engaged” or “Betrothed” to Israel.
Jer 2:2  Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.

2. This “Betrothal” happened at Sinai, when He made an Eternal Covenant with the people “Israel”.
Jer 31:32  Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:

3. From this point onwards, God considered Himself like a Husband unto Israel
Isa 54:5  For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.

————– brief summary of the Division of the kingdom of Israel upto their exile ————–
It is important to know what expired in the Old Testament, at this point. If you do not know about the 2 Houses of Israel (also known as the Divided Kingdom of Israel, please read this study) I will attempt to give a very short summary for your convenience:- After Moses and Joshua led the people into the promised land, the people were under judges until the time Saul was anointed King of Israel. After Saul, David came to the throne and Solomon after that. When Solomon was in his old age, he was seduced by his many wives to disobey God’s Commandments (1Kin 11:4-13). As punishment, God divided the Kingdom of Israel into 2 parts (1Kin 11:30). Ten tribes were handed onto Jeroboam – the servant of Solomon (1Kin 11:31). Solomon’s son, Rehoboam ruled over the other two tribes which were Judah & Benjamin (1Kin 12:17,23). From this point onwards, Israel became divided into 2 parts/kingdoms known as “The House of Israel” & “The House of Judah” (Jer 3:18) both were led astray by most of their rulers. This continued until finally according to all the prophets “The House of Israel” was taken into captivity in Assyria (2Kin 17:6,18,23), and scattered among the nations(Hos 8:8, Jer 31:10). Approximately 150 years afterwards “The House of Judah” was taken into Babylonian captivity (Dan 1:1,2), but was let back into the land by God after a 70 year exile period (Jer 29:10, Ezr 2:1, Neh 7:6).
————– brief summary of the Division of the kingdom of Israel upto their exile ————–

4. Even though God regarded Himself in a “Marriage covenant” relationship, His people disobeyed Him, even to the extent of going after foreign deities.
Eze 16:32  But as a wife that committeth adultery, which taketh strangers instead of her husband!
Jer 3:20  Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD.
Jer 2:32  Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number.
Hos 3:1  Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine.

5. God spoke through the prophets asking this adulterous wife to return back to Him
Joe 1:8  Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.
Jer 3:1b  but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD.
Jer 3:14  Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:

6. Finally, the House of Israel is “put away”/”divorced” while the House of Judah is exiled for 70years in Babylon for her indiscretions
Jer 3:8  And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.
Isa 50:1  Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.
Hos 2:2  Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts;

7. God knew that the “Divorced” (Broken Covenant) House of Israel had fewer people than the “Married” (in Covenant) House of Judah
Isa 54:1  Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.
(Please read Ezekiel Chapter 23 as well, to understand the disobedience of the 2 Houses and the punishment which was ordered)

8. But God had a plan of Re-Betrothal towards the House of Israel. He knew that “She” will return back to Him
Hos 2:7  And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now. (Look at the similarity of this proclamation and the parable of the prodigal son)
Hos 2:19,20  And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.
Isa 62:5  For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.

9. According to God’s own Word/Law, a woman who is divorced by her husband cannot be married back. She is under this Law till the death of her 1st Husband.
Deu 24:1  When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.
Jer 3:1a  They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted?

10. So how can God go against His own Word and take this wife (The House of Israel), again in marriage, who He put away because of adultery?
THE SHORT ANSWER IS MESSIAH!!!

11. Christ is referred to as the Bridegroom/Husband in the New Testament
Joh 3:29,30  He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.
Luk 5:34,35  And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.
2Co 11:2  For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
Eph 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Rev 19:7  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

12. It is important to note that He specifically said that He was sent only for the House of Israel. The House of Israel was the one who was “put away” by God (Jer 3:8)
Mat 15:24  But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

13. While Christ died for the Sin of all who believe in Him, He also died so that He could reconcile the “wife who was put away” – the ones scattered amongst the nations after the Assyrian exile.
Joh 11:52  And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.

14. The “House of Israel” was called the “Dispersed” or “Scattered”
Joh 7:35  Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?
Also read Eze 12:15, 36:19, Isa 11:12, 27:12,13, Zep 3:10, Jam 1:1, 1Pet 1:1

15. The House of Israel is amongst the Gentiles
Hos 8:8  Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein is no pleasure.
Also read Deut 4:27,28, 28:64, Jer 50:17, Isa 61:9, Jer 16:13-15, Eze 11:16

16. God has promised to bring back the scattered and rebuild His people
Read Deut 30:1-5, Isaiah 11:10-13, 27:12, 43:5-7, Jer 3:12-15, Amos 9:9, Ezek 11:17, Ezek 37

SO WHAT DOES ALL OF THIS MEAN
After the division of the Kingdom, part of Israel, known as “The House of Israel” was put away by God for breaking His covenant. They were taken to Assyria as slaves and scattered amongst the nations. But God had promised that he will take her back (Hos 2:7,19,20, Isa 62:5). But He could not go back on His word “of marrying her who was put away”. For this, Messiah Yeshua stepped forward. When He (The Husband) died, “The House of Israel” was let loose from the Law of Husband and Wife. Then Messiah rose again from the dead, so that He could be Re-Betrothed to “The House of Israel”. This is what Apostle Paul explained in Rom 7:1-4 given below

Apostle Paul, who knew the dilemma of God and His Betrothed, and that the wife who was divorced could not be remarried till the Husband died, explained it in this way.
Rom 7:1-4  Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.  So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.  Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law(the Law of Husband & Wife that Paul mentions above) by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

This was the “Great Mystery” that Apostle Paul spoke about in Eph 5:32 and again in Eph 3:4-6, how the Gentiles are “fellowheirs” and of the “same body” through Christ.

Plain conversation or Prophetic Shadow
Almost all Christians are familiar with the event where Yeshua talked with the Samaritan Woman. Few understand the prophetic significance in this event, and the true meaning of Yeshua’s Words. Let us examine His Words
Joh 4:16-18  Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.

Samaritan’s were not originally from “the House of Israel” or from “the House of Judah”(2Kin 17:25-41). They were a people engaged in mixed worship, and they inhabited Samaria which was the Capital of “the House of Israel” after the Assyrian Exile.

Look at Yeshua’s words again, in the context of Him being the Bridegroom and Samaria being the woman. While Yeshua surely is talking about this single individuals life, there is a “shadow” underneath, in which the “Bridegroom” of the woman is telling her how she has had many husbands (Samaria has worshiped many gods), and that the husband she is with (the god they are worshiping currently) is not the actual Husband (Yehovah should be their Husband). Plain conversation or Prophetic Shadow? You be the judge.

Conclusion
Christ and His people being called the Bridegroom and Bride, is not a new Idea, but an idea which is rooted deeply in the Old Testament Scriptures. Yeshua’s Death and Resurrection fulfilled multiple prophecies. He acted as a “Passover Sacrifice”(The Blood of the Lamb which redeems the people from slavery to sin), a “Firstfruits Offering”(The first of the harvest of people to rise from the dead) and an “Atonement Sacrifice”(Blood which is pure, that is offered as atonement for all our sin), while also becoming the “Husband” who died and rose again to free His Adulterous/Divorced Bride from the Law which made it impossible for her to become Betrothed back to God once again. In His Resurrection, we are once again Betrothed back to Him, becoming part of His people, “Israel”.

The Parable of the Prodigal Son & the 2 Houses of Israel

Many of us have grown up reading the Parable of the prodigal Son. And we have all identified with this disobedient child. We have been taught that the prodigal son is the common sinner and the Father is God Almighty. Is this interpretation correct? If it is correct, who is the other jealous son? Is there another interpretation to this Parable? Today, we will delve into one of the most used Parables in Christianity, and in my opinion, one of the least understood.

Before we begin studying this Parable, I believe all of us need a working knowledge of one of the most important, yet, one of the least discussed facts in the Bible. And that is “The 2 Houses Of Israel” also known as “The divided Kingdom of Israel”. Some of you must be knowing a lot about this subject. Some of you might have heard it somewhere at sometime. But most of the Christians around the world have no clue to this Historic Event that changed everything in the Scriptures, and the prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled concerning this subject. So let us get down to it.

What are these 2 Houses of Israel? A brief look at Biblical History
After Moses led the 12 Tribes of Israel (the generations that came from the 12 Children of Jacob) out of Egypt, God appeared to “His People – Israel” and gave them Commandments and led them to the Land of Israel. At this time there was no King over Israel, and God Himself reigned King over His People. After Moses’ death, Joshua acted as “Judge” over Israel and many others were appointed after Joshua(Book of Judges) for a span of around 450 years(Acts 13:20). When Samuel was acting as Judge over Israel, the people asked for a King to rule over them, to much displeasure from Samuel & God Himself(1Sam 8:5-8). After Saul’s reign, David was appointed as King and he ruled over all 12 Tribes of Israel/Jacob (2Sam 5:3-5). After David, Solomon was anointed King and when Solomon was old, his many wives made him sin against God (1Kin 11:4-7). As punishment, Solomon’s servant Jeroboam received 10 tribes to rule over, and the rest were ruled by Solomon’s son, Rehoboam (1Kin 11:30,31/ 1Kin 12:16,17). Rehoboam ruled over the Tribe of Judah & Benjamin, collectively called the “House of Judah” (1Kin 12:23). From this point onwards in the Books of 1st & 2nd Kings, Jeroboam and his Sons ruled over what was called “The House of Israel” in the north of the land while Rehoboam and his Sons ruled over what was called “The House of Judah” in the south of the land. After much rebellion against God, and not giving ear to the Prophets, The House of Israel was taken captive to Assyria(2Kin 17:6,18,23). The Majority of them were scattered among the nations(Hos 8:8, Jer 31:10). Even though, The House of Judah, was much better than The House of Israel, they also disobeyed God and was taken captive to Babylon(Dan 1:1,2). But God let them return back to their land after 70 yrs in exile(Jer 29:10, Ezr 2:1, Neh 7:6). The people who are called Jews today, are mostly, the descendants of the House of Judah. And the House of Israel has been dispersed among nations according to all of the prophecies of Scripture. These descendants are worshiping there own gods without knowing who they are, living in countries around the world(Deut 28:64, Neh 1:8,9, Eze 12:15). And God has said that He will bring back these people from the ends of the Earth.

These 2 Houses are specifically mentioned throughout the Scriptures
1Kin 12:21, 2Kin 23:27, Isa 5:7, Jer 3:18, 5:11, 11:10,17, 12:14, 13:11, 31:27, 31:31, 33:14, Eze 9:9, Hos 11:12, Mic 1:5, Zec 8:13, Heb 8:8

The scattering of His People was prophesied before it happened
Lev 26:33, Deut 4:27, 28:63-68, 32:26, Jer 9:16, Ezek 20:23, 22:15,

God has promised to bring back the scattered and rebuild His people
Deut 30:1-5, Isaiah 11:10-13, 27:12, 43:5-7, Jer 3:12-15, Amos 9:9, Ezek 11:17, Ezek 37

These 2 houses will become one people
Eze 37:16-19, Jer 3:18, 50:4,  Hos 1:11

Yeshua was sent for the Lost sheep of the House of Israel
Mat 15:24, John 11:52

Yeshua will rule over these 2 Houses forever
Luk 1:33 (The House of Jacob is the “House of Judah” & the “House of Israel”, together)

Everyone including the Apostles knew about the scattered
John 7:35, 1Pet 1:1, James 1:1, Acts 21:21

So what does the Division of Israel have to do with the Parable of the Prodigal Son?
I believe that the correct interpretation of this Parable can only be understood by someone after studying what happened to Israel, and what was prophesied about them throughout the Scriptures. consider the following explanation. (My Interpretation is added in underlined font)

Luk 15:11  And he said, A certain man(Father God) had two sons(The two Houses of Israel – Hos 1:10,11):
Luk 15:12  And the younger of them(The House of Israel/Ephraim – Jer 31:20) said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. (God blessed them abundantly with their inheritance – Eze 35:15)
Luk 15:13  And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. (The House of Israel sinned against God, doing all that they pleased, and was finally exiled – 2Kin 17:18)
Luk 15:14  And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. (In Exile, the house of Israel got scattered among the nations – Deut 4:27)
Luk 15:15  And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. (Among the nations they have become slaves to other God’s – Deut 4:28)
Luk 15:16  And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. (They fell to the depths of uncleanness – Hos 9:3)
Luk 15:17-19  And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. (They will finally understand their error and return to the Father – Jer 31:16-19)
Luk 15:20  And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. (The Father showed His ways through Yeshua, to whomever was in error – John 14:24)
Luk 15:21  And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. (The House of Israel is coming back to him with repentance – Acts 5:31)
Luk 15:22  But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: (The Father accepts the repenting House of Israel, and gives them back their rightful position – Hos 14)
Luk 15:23  And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: (Yeshua was sent for the Lost of the House of Israel – Mat 15:24)
Luk 15:24  For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. (Through Yeshua the House of Israel is alive again through a renewed covenant – Heb 8:10)
Luk 15:25-28  Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. (The House of Judah has a hard time accepting that the Father could accept the children that had disobeyed Him – Acts 11:3&18 , as the House of Judah did not keep company with other Nations – Acts 10:28)
Luk 15:29  And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: (The House of Judah, for the most part, have always been obedient to God – Hos 11:12)
Luk 15:30  But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. (The House of Israel, on the other hand has always been in harlotry with other gods – Jer 3:6)
Luk 15:31  And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. (The House of Israel, unlike Judah, was given a bill of divorce and put away by God, Almighty resulting in their exile and scattering- Jer 3:8)
Luk 15:32  It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found. (God will accept the repenting House of Israel, making his brother, The House of Judah, jealous – Rom 11:11)

FAQ 01 – Why would the House of Judah that has 2 tribes be called by Judah’s name?
According to Gen 49:10 Jacob prophesied that the ruler-ship shall not depart from the Tribe of Judah. David and all the Kings after him, including Messiah was from the Tribe of Judah. It could be because Judah was a dominant Tribe with the right to rule.

FAQ 02 – Why is the House of Israel called the House of Israel if it had only 10 tribes?
The reason could be, that they were the Majority, with 10 tribes. In some instances, the House of Israel is also known as Ephraim(Hos 6:10 ; 11:12 ; Eze 37:16). Ephraim was a son of Joseph. According to Josh 17:17/1Chr 12:30, the tribe of Ephraim, were a great people. (Also read, Hos 5:12,14 ; Judg 10:9). Jeroboam, the 1st ruler of the House of Israel after the division, was also from the tribe of Ephraim(1King 11:26)

FAQ 03 – Do we have to be physical descendants to be His? (Also read the Definition of Israel)
Whether you are a physical descendant or not, when you accept God Almighty, you become part of His people with the right to the inheritance given by God (Eze 47:22,23, Eph 2:12). Remember, that the House of Israel got scattered to the furthest corners of the earth. Because of this, anyone could be a physical descendant. Even if you are not, we can still be adopted into His People. Remember how Ruth, a “Moabite” woman, the great grand mother of David and from whom Yeshua, our Savior also proceed, became part of Israel. In Ruth 1:16, she says to Naomi, for where you go, I will go; and where you lodge, I will lodge: your people shall be my people, and your God, my God“. The important thing is to accept our maker with the right heart.

I hope that this post gives you a short glimpse to one of the main subjects in Scripture – The 2 Houses of Israel which showcases God and His plan to bring a people for Himself out of all nations. Most of the Parables as well as phrases that Yeshua uttered can be easily understood by having a knowledge of the back of the Book. Reading the New Testament alone, keeping aside the History of God can, and have, led to a lot of misunderstandings in defining who we are and what God is doing in the last days. The parable of the prodigal son, is such an instance, where the correct meaning cannot be understood without knowledge of the Scriptures. Start searching, start reading, start learning, for yourself. Do not believe anyone’s words. Believe only in His Words. May He lead you to the whole Truth!