1 Kings 12:24;
24 Thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel: return every man to his house; for this thing is from me. They hearkened therefore to the word of the LORD, and returned to depart, according to the word of the LORD.
In 1 Kings 12 we find the recording of the division of the Twelve Tribes of Israel into two houses, namely the House of Judah, consisting of the tribes of Benjamin and Levites, and the Priests and the House of Israel namely the Ten Tribes. Now what happened? You will find that, when you read the whole of 1 Kings Chapter 12, that after the death of Solomon, his son Rehoboam became king.
Then the people, of all twelve tribes, came to Rehoboam and said to him that “we had things very difficult under your father, Solomon. We paid heavy taxes etc. Can’t you make the burden for us lighter?” Rehoboam went to the counsellors, who were counsellors to his father, the old ring heads, the elders, and they said to Rehoboam: “That’s right, listen to the people, and make the burden lighter”. But he also went to his age group, to the younger counsellors, and he said to them: “What do you say?” And they said: “No, these people are only rebellious. Make it harder for them, and make the burden even heavier for them.”
In 1 Kings Chapter 12 you will find he listened to his younger counsellors and went to the people and said to them: “You are just rebellious and I am going to turn the screw on even tighter”. Then the Ten Tribes said: “Well, if that is the position, we are going to break away from the house of David, and they went and made Jeroboam their king”.
Now I don’t want to go into too much detail about this, but if you even go to the previous chapter in 1 Kings chapter 11, you will see how that Solomon had already started to backslide when he went completely and directly against the law of the LORD as far as marrying into other nations and he had many strange wives and they turned his heart away from the LORD.
It was then that the LORD by his prophet had already spoken to Jeroboam. So they made Jeroboam their king and they rebelled against the house of David. So then, Rehoboam, the king, said: “Very well then, I will call up my army and I will compel them by force to return” and it is from there that we found this verse, which we have read together. The LORD sent the prophet to Rehoboam as we see in verse 23: “Speak unto Rehoboam, son of Solomon, king of Judah, and Benjamin to the remnant of the people say for “this thing is from me” (that scripture we read together - 1 Kings 12:24).
Well, praise God, he hearkened to the voice of the LORD, spoken through the prophet and he didn’t move against the Ten Tribes, and from that day until this, that division has existed. When we go through the Bible we find that they set up different kingdoms. They each had their own line of kings. They set up their own capitals, the house of Judah retained Jerusalem as their capital, and the Ten Tribes went and made Samaria their capital.
Now this is very significant if we want to understand the Bible, if we want to understand the times, we must pay close attention to this, though the churches do not, and that is why, especially in these crucial and critical days in which we are found where we have to understand the scriptures because we have come into the final fulfilment of the prophecies of the Bible.
Great and mighty prophecies; times and circumstances that move towards the return of the King, the Lord Jesus Christ. But, we must see these two houses then, as separate. We must see the plan and the purpose of almighty God otherwise we will never understand. It is the same with the book of Romans. That’s why I start here.
Any Bible teacher, any preacher, pastor, minister, whatever title, if he doesn’t see this difference, he will not know what Paul meant when, for instance, he said: “First to the Jew and then also to the Greek.” etc. and then further on in Romans.
So that is my first important scripture and one you must never forget, not only for the book of Romans, but for the whole Bible. This thing said the LORD through the prophet to Rehoboam “This thing is from me” – (1 Kings 12:24).
It is a verse in the Bible that we should frame: “This thing is from me”.
Now, seeing that “this thing is from me”, we must turn to our Lord, Jesus Christ. When our LORD came upon the earth, what did He come to do? – if “this thing is from me”. We must also look out for that in the ministry of our Lord Jesus, in the teaching of the Lord Jesus, in the whole mission of our Lord Jesus, and that is exactly what we find.
Let’s turn to Matthew 10:5-8;
5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
So what did the LORD tell his disciples to do? He said: “But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”. Now remember, when this division took place, and that’s basic. The Twelve Tribes were divided into two houses, the house of Judah, that’s Judah and Benjamin with the Levites, and the priests, and the house of Israel, the Ten Tribes. Therefore, we can’t just change it around as we please.
We can’t say, when I say the house of Judah, that means all Twelve Tribes, or that means the ten tribes. No, the house of Judah is the Two Tribes, and when the Bible speaks about the house of Israel, it means the Ten Tribes. Therefore if the Lord Jesus says, and it is important, go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, he meant the Ten Tribes. If we then interchange them as we please, we lose the whole meaning. That is absolutely important.
Remember that, and now while we are there, in Matthew 10, let us look at the 23rd verse. Jesus was still speaking to his disciples, it’s a wonderful chapter, as a matter of fact, and it is especially precious to me because it is part of my own personal testimony. When I was still in secular work, doing research work because I’m a scientist by training, and this is how the LORD finally spoke to me. I wrestled with the LORD, and He wrestled with me for three years, to resign my work and to go and work for Him. Matthew chapter 10 was finally one of the calls of the LORD. You will receive great blessing when you read Matthew 10, and you will also see the demands of discipleship.
So Jesus was speaking to his disciples and He came to verse 23:
23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.
This is a tremendous statement.
In other words, by the time that Jesus will be coming, we will not even have reached all the cities of Israel.
When we think of the Western world, and writing here from South Africa, I can say our whole country lies almost untouched. But what about our Western world, the British Isles, the United States of America. Think of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Western Europe. All these still have to be reached before Jesus comes, and they have to be reached with this message, telling them about their identity. What a tremendous challenge.
Let us look now at these with you before we can enter the book of Romans. Matthew 15:24; (this is where the Syrophenician woman came to the LORD so that her daughter could be healed).
24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Jesus considered his whole mission to be to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. In the general preaching this “lost sheep” of the house of Israel are made of all kinds of things – very inconsistent, for instance, one of the main teachings is that you become Israel when you become converted, no matter of which nationality – black, yellow, white or brown. If you receive the Lord Jesus Christ, you now become spiritual Israel, or you become a child of Abraham, you become part of the covenant of Abraham, and so there are all kinds of teachings along these lines.
If you become Israel because you have accepted Jesus Christ then according to that argument you are no longer lost, and therefore, if you are then sent unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel and you’ve become the house of Israel through faith, then you are not lost anymore. “But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel”.
Here is another rule I want to lay before you and to which we must strictly keep. The Bible never changes its terms. When the Bible calls anything by name, it keeps to that name all the time. Therefore, when Jesus spoke about the lost sheep of the house of Israel, remember this, dear people, Jesus always had the whole scripture in his mind and in his heart. Jesus came to fulfil the scripture.
Even if you make a study of the words of Jesus on the cross, it is thrilling! It is a blessing to see! Jesus said this that it might be fulfilled. Jesus came strictly to fulfil the scriptures. And therefore when Jesus spoke about the lost sheep of the house of Israel, Jesus had exactly in mind what the Old Testament said, who the house of Israel was – the house of Israel, the Ten Tribes, and nothing else and no one else.
Therefore what Jesus said, He said: “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel”. That is what Jesus said, because that is what the house of Israel means. Now that is something to meditate on until it sinks into your spirit and therefore we must know – this was what Jesus had in mind all the time. And if He said this to his disciples, would his disciples go and do something else?
Therefore let us take a few scriptures and see what these disciples, who heard the voice of Jesus, went and did. How did they carry out this commission?
But before we go to that, turn to:
21 Then said Jesus unto them again, - - - -
(This now He said to his disciples after his resurrection and before his ascension. On one of the occasions on which He appeared to his disciples)
- - - - Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
Look at Matt. 15:24 again where Jesus said, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel”. Now, take the emphasis on the word ‘sent’, “are not sent, but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel”. And here He appears to his disciples after his resurrection and said: “as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you”.
For what purpose did the Father send Jesus? He sent Jesus only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. He says to his disciples, as the Father sent me, so I send you. In other words, to whom must they go? They must go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. They must not go all over the world; they must have a specific target, because God has a purpose in that.
Only when Israel comes back into the place where God had ordained for them to be, then only will the world be able to see the glory of God. And we have come and changed that right around. No wonder the world is in the state in which it is. But can you also see our challenge; because the devil wants to have it this way. In this way he will keep us in darkness, especially seeing that that teaching goes out from our pulpits, into the hearts of our people.
So where is your greater deception? Your greatest deception is coming directly from the pulpit. What an influence there is that we have to break by the grace and the power of God. Let us not be fainthearted, but let us be strong and full of faith. Because as Jesus enabled and empowered his first disciples, I believe, if we take the truth and the word of God and we yield ourselves to be filled with the Spirit of God again, I believe the LORD will enable us to do a short work of tremendous importance in these last days. Jesus said: “as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you”.
Let’s go to Act’s Chapter 15 from the 14th verse.
In the “Scofield Study Bible”, above the 13th verse of Chapter 15, there is the following heading: James declares the result: (1) the out calling of the Gentiles agrees with promises to Israel.
Reading from the 13th verse then (by the way, this was after they had a discussion, you could almost say a dispute concerning these Gentiles as they were called, but this word Gentiles in die Greek - (Etnos), means nations).
When these nations, to whom the disciples went, came to conversion, decrees had to be handed down to them that they must observe. So they had this council meeting in Jerusalem over which James preceded, and after their discussion this was the summing up of the findings and James acted as spokesman.
This is now Acts 15:13-15;
13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying: Men and brethren, hearken unto me:
14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles (nations) to take out of them a people for his name.
15 And to this agree the words of the prophets, - - -
(And here we need to be re-educated, we need to study our Bible all over again, even for a series of studies like these, we need to have as our background, a thorough knowledge of the Old Testament. Therefore, when he says, “and to this agree the words of the prophets”, verse 15, we ought to know precisely what the prophet is saying.
Let me say this, and please check it up for yourselves, when you go to Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, or any of the prophets, or the Psalms, or the books of Moses, you will find that no where do they speak anything about other nations, apart from Israel coming to conversion, of finding the LORD, in other words, the entire Old Testament only mentions contact with Israel. But Israel is the nation that is spoken of by the prophets.
So, when James says there in Acts 15:15;
- - - - as it is written.
We must go and look what the prophets said.
And the prophets in glowing terms speak of the conversion and the return of the whole Israel, that’s the house of Israel, and the house of Judah, to the LORD. And that is in the fullness of time when the Messiah Jesus will come and gather Israel, and with them as his nucleus will rule over this world. Will bring this world back into harmony with God, and bring peace to this world, and all the other nations that will survive this time of judgement that will lead up to it.
They will be subject to God’s Israel people and walk in the light of them. That is what the prophets foretell, and is exactly what is at stake today. It is what the devil knows and therefore, if you want to sum up, the challenge of the times in which we live. All our political analysis, all our economic analysis, why is our economic situation the way it is, why do we have all these racial problems etc.
The summary is this, the devil is stirring up the nations to destroy God’s Israel People, whom we find amongst our Western Christian Nations, because if we can be destroyed either by annihilation or by bastardization, the mixing of our blood, we will not be Israel any more and according to the prophets Jesus will not be able to return; because God then would have been made a liar. The result is, Jesus cannot return, and the devil can just carry on with his reign of darkness. That’s the whole summing up of the situation in which we find ourselves today.
What a tremendous challenge!
Let’s go back to James’ discourse in Acts 15:15-18;
15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written.
16 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:
(In other words, Jesus, the Messiah says that He will return and restore again the entire kingdom of David. Now over whom was David king? David was king over the Twelve Tribes of Israel. That situation will be restored, the throne of David will be restored, and Jesus will sit on the throne of David and will be king over this world).
17 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.
18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
In other words, God has set out his plan, and God will not deviate from it, and if we want to know what God’s plan is, know the Scriptures, and we will also know what his plan is.
So, He will set up the tabernacle of David, and restore everything, so “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”. Who are these nations upon whom the name of the LORD is called? Has the name of the LORD ever been called upon the Philistines? Upon the Hittites? Upon the Moabites? Upon the Ammonites? Where in the scriptures will you find that the name of the LORD had ever been called upon them?
But now, let’s go to scriptures and let us see who the nations are upon whom the name of the LORD had been called.
Let’s read Deuteronomy 28:9-10;
9 The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he has sworn unto he has sworn unto thee, if thou should keep the commandments of the LORD thy God and walk in his ways.
10 And all the people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD and they shall be afraid of thee.
To whom are these words addressed?
And God does not change his purpose. The calling and the election of God is without repentance.
We turn now to Jeremiah 14:9;
9 Why shouldest thou be as a man astonied, as a like a mighty man that cannot save? yet thou, O LORD, art in the midst of us, and we are called by thy name; leave us not.
“Called by thy name; leave us not!”
We are still busy here with Acts – all the nations upon whom my Name is called, so that they can also know the LORD.
Now we go back to:
2 Chronicles 7:14; (That beautiful chapter in which Solomon prayed that beautiful prayer when he was anointed king).
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
We have come into the position, in our Christian walk of today, that we have departed so far from the pattern and the blueprint of God’s word, that it just comes automatically. My people that are called by my name means all Christians, black, white, yellow. We’ve had in the past a few such rallies on the Day of Pentecost and on a few other big occasions where people gathered on the Sports grounds, in Pretoria and various places.
Handbills by the tens of thousands were spread around and this was one of the verses – prominently displayed: “My people called by my Name” and then it’s black, white, yellow and everyone mixed. They are the people called by the Name of the LORD – completely unscriptural. There is only one people called by the Name of the LORD and that’s Israel! Isra-el – the word of God is in the Name – a Prince with God Isra-el; ‘El’ is one of the names of God.
They are the only people who have the name of God called upon them and it is with this people that God will yet complete his purpose and his plan upon this earth. That’s important!
Let us read two more Scriptures:
2 You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.
The LORD says to Israel – “You only have I known of all the families of the earth:”
Let us also read Joel 3:2;
2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.
So Israel is called God’s heritage, and no other people.
To summarize and emphasize why I have gone into detail about this; because Jesus said: “I’m not sent, but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel”. Jesus said to his disciples: “As the Father hath sent me, so send I you”. Therefore, we want to see if his disciples not only understood what he said, but also obeyed what he said, we must look at what they did.
We see James in this Counsel of Apostles and elders in Jerusalem, when he summarized about these nations who came to conversion. He absolutely concentrated on the building again of the Tabernacle of David which was fallen down and that He will build it again and that He will set it up and that for the residue of men; and then He specifies who they are, “those nations on whom the name of the LORD is called”, that they might seek after the LORD. So, that was the purpose, and that is how the disciples understood it, and that is how we must understand it.
Now, seeing that Paul wrote this letter to the Romans and we commencing with a study of the book of Romans, let us now look at the call of the Apostle Paul, and see what is the make-up of this man’s thinking and of what this man’s call was, then we will also understand what he meant when he wrote to the Romans.
Now let us look at the chapter describing his conversion to us, namely Acts chapter 9. In Acts chapter 9, verse 15, this was on the Damascus road, when he fell from his horse and this light that made him blind, and the Lord Jesus spoke to him and said: “I am Jesus who thou persecuted etc.”
15 But the Lord said unto him - - - -
(to Ananias who had to go and lay hands on Paul, so that he may receive his sight again)
- - - - Go thy way: for he - - - -
(that is Paul)
- - - - is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles
(or more correctly - nations),
- - - - and kings, and the children of Israel.
So that was Paul’s calling.
We go now to:
Acts 13:17; (This is Paul’s sermon in the synagogue at Antioch in Pisidia, and this is what he said:)
17 The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt and with an high arm brought he them out of it.
What did Paul say?
He said that the God of this people of Israel chose our fathers and exalted them. So Paul has not deviated, he has not got another calling as is ascribed to him, ‘Paul, the great apostle to the Gentiles’; God has forgotten about Israel, it’s a new Israel and that is now all the converted ones, regardless of nationality, that is not what Paul said here.
Paul had in mind that the God of this people of Israel, (he calls God the “God of the people of Israel”) chose our fathers. So Paul still adhered to that, so that we can understand Paul when we come to the book of Romans or any of the other epistles. That is very important.
We must see what the background of this man was and what he had in mind, so that we do not misinterpret him - that’s the 17th verse. Now we go to verses 21–23 of that same chapter, he is still busy with his address:
21 And afterward they desired a king; and God gave unto them Saul, the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years.
22 And when he had removed him, he raises up unto them David, to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.
23 Of this man’s seed hath God, according to his promise, raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus?
God has “raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus!”
If Paul had in mind that which they ascribed unto him today in our preaching, Paul would have said: God hath risen unto the world a Saviour, Jesus. But he didn’t say that, he said he had “raised unto Israel a Saviour Jesus!”
We must know Paul, we must know Paul’s thinking, otherwise we will not understand what he said to the Romans, or we will misinterpret what he said.
Let us proceed now to Acts 28:20;
20 For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you, because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.
This is where Paul was in Rome and they came to his house. This was just before his martyrdom – why was Paul bound with that chain, was he ready to be executed? For the hope of Israel so prominently, so centrally in his mind, how could we ascribe unto Paul in this modern day preaching, that he had completely forgotten about Israel. Was he now the great apostle to the heathen? And then it is especially today applied to the black and the yellow nations and so on and as far as we are then concerned, we are also the descendants of the heathen people, and quoted to us in all these epistles.
Let’s continue, and go to:
23 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him, into his lodging: to whom he expounded and testified - - - -
(Now that’s strong – expounded and testified)
- - - - the Kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.
And it is from there that he expounded concerning Jesus, what will we find? But that the law of Moses speaks of the restoration of Israel and of them only, leading to the coming of Messiah and the setting up of the Kingdom of God on this earth.
Acts 1:1-3, 6; (starting with verse 1 to get the full context).
1 THE former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost, had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen;
3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
(Now we come to the sixth verse)
6 When they, therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
Follow this closely:
For forty days after his resurrection, before his ascension, Jesus spoke to his disciples of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. What was the response? What was the question that the disciples asked? They said: “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?”
So what was Jesus then speaking to them about for forty days? Jesus was speaking to them about restoring the Kingdom to Israel – so we see that also uppermost in the mind of Jesus, after his resurrection, was the restoring of the kingdom again unto Israel. Jesus had only forty days where he would be speaking personally and for the last time, before his Second Coming, to his disciples.
Certainly He would not speak of minor things, isn’t that true, he would speak of major things, He would speak about the major purpose of Almighty God, and what was that; the restoring again of the Kingdom to Israel.
My dear readers, if we don’t see this and we don’t have this centrally in our lives, we will never understand the Bible and we will never understand the times in which we live.
Let’s go to:
30 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house and received all that came in unto him,
31 Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concerned the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.
“Preaching the kingdom of God”.
Now that kingdom of God is not the kingdom as it is preached to us today, it is the kingdom of God as we find it in the Scriptures where God will again restore the tabernacle of David and all that is fallen down etc. But we will see more of that further on.
What we are busy discussing is the fact that Jesus said: “I am not sent, but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”. And we see that the disciples that heard Him were obviously doing just that, which proves that not only were they obedient to the LORD, but that they also understood Him correctly and that they carried out what He had commanded them to do.
From a few excerpts from the life of Paul, we have already seen in the book of Acts that this is what Paul did and what he had in his whole vision. This is exactly what Paul in his letter to the Corinthians says:
1 Corinthians 10:1-6;
1 MOREOVER, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea,
2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.
5 But with many of them God was not well pleased; for they were overthrown in die wilderness.
6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
So, of whom is Paul speaking here?
He is speaking of the Israelites!
The real Israelites, because it is they who went through the sea, and it were they that lusted after evil things, and it were they that drank of that spiritual Rock, and it was with them that God was not well pleased etc. and God punished them and they fell in the wilderness, yet what does Paul say to these Corinthians?
He says to the Corinthians that those people were their fathers, their ancestors. Read verse one again, where he says: “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea”.
There were no spiritual fathers passing under the clouds and through the sea, they were actual, real people, they were Israelites, and yet Paul says to these Corinthians that those people were their fathers or their ancestors. In other words, who were these Corinthians? These Corinthians were Israelites. They were descendants of those who passed through the sea and under the cloud. In other words, these Corinthians weren’t heathen in the sense that it is understood today, people with no Israel connection at all. So, to whom did Paul go when he went to these Corinthians? He went to Israelites, still carrying out the commission of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now let’s go to:
23 But before faith came, were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
24 Wherefore, the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
To repeat: “But before faith came, we were kept under the law;” in other words, before the Christian Gospel came to you, Galatians, and before the Christian Gospel came to me, to emphasize, he says ‘we’, so, before the Christian Gospel came, ‘we’ were kept under the law.
Who were under the law?
Only Israelites! No heathen, no Moabites, no Philistines, no Ammonites, or any of these other heathen nations. None of them were ever under the law, so if he says ‘we’ who were kept under the law, then these Galatians were Israelites. So, therefore, also when Paul went to the Galatians, he went to Israelites. That is of the utmost importance. Wherefore the law was ‘our’ schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ and to be justified by faith.
And that is exactly what God intended with Israel when He gave them the law. It was to be their Schoolmaster, to be their teacher, their pedagogue, to train them and prepare them for the day when Christ would come. And when Christ did come, not to set aside the law, but by His blood and by the Holy Spirit, to write that law in their hearts, in other words, the “New Covenant”.
The next book is James, starting at:
1 JAMES, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
To whom is this letter addressed?
To the Twelve Tribes scattered abroad!
Now James was one of those disciples to whom the Lord Jesus said: “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, go not into the city of the Samaritans, go rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel”. James 1:1 – To whom? “To the Twelve Tribes scattered abroad”.
Did James just take his course and run haphazardly into the world and say: I am a preacher and I love the Lord Jesus, and I must go and tell the world that Jesus saves, did he do that? No, He went to the Twelve Tribes which were scattered abroad and to none other. Therefore also here, even James understood the Lord Jesus correctly; therefore he also obeyed Him explicitly.
Let’s take Peter and read:
1 Peter 1:1-2;
1 PETER, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.
2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God, the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
“Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied”.
To whom is this letter addressed? To the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. Those strangers scattered in those areas, were Israelites and all Bible Scholars agree that that was so, because they were the dispersed, and they were the scattered abroad ones. So Peter didn’t just go haphazardly, but he went with a specific aim in view, and it was to those who were scattered abroad in those areas. Now we could make a complete study of that word: “elect”.
If we look at that word, “elect”, we will find Israel, mine elect, time and time again. And therefore even when we come to:
1 Peter 2:9-10; (when he says)
9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; - - -
(These are all terms taken out of the Old Testament. You can just take a good Bible Concordance and take the word: “chosen generation”, you can take the word: “a royal priesthood”, “a kingdom of priests”, “an holy nation”, and see who they are and “a peculiar people”, and in Deuteronomy 7 you will see that they are Israel).
- - - - ye shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;
10 Which in time past were not a people but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
Therefore also Peter obeyed the LORD and he also understood the LORD correctly. He didn’t go (as in today, with all due respect and love) directly to Africa, but rather to the dispersed of Israel because that is where the ‘lost sheep’ were found.
Moving on to Ephesians, let’s start with Ephesians chapter two. This ground work must be done properly if we want to understand the book of Romans.
11 Wherefore remember, that ye, being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision - - - - -
(Who are the circumcision? The Jews, or the Judeans, because they were the only circumcision, and very proud of it and boastful as well. The uncircumcision were these Ten Tribes who had been cast away, taken captive and made Lo-Ammi, they were called the uncircumcision. Also called that, as a word of scorn, used in a derogatory sense to humiliate them and to show them that they were the cast off ones and that the Jews were the only favoured ones and they had now inherited all the promises of God, but the Ten Tribes are the castaways)
- - - - in the flesh made by hands.
12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.
13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.
15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances, to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.
17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
19 Now, therefore, ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord;
22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
In general, this teaching in the Christian Church is a ‘glorious’ and ‘wonderful’ example of how the heathen, meaning the heathen as it is generally understood today, is being brought into the fellowship of the Jew and that they both form one new man, and then the preachers of this doctrine go into raptures of excitement on this, when this is actually one of the most wonderful aspects of this glorious Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Certainly it is true that the LORD will not turn anyone away that will come to Him.
Let’s have a look; I have already explained circumcision and uncircumcision of verse 11. So let us move on to verse 12 – “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world”.
That word ‘aliens’ from the commonwealth of Israel; if these Ephesians were pure heathen people in the sense of being non-Israel, then how could he have said to them: ye were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel. This word ‘alien’ let me explain, e.g. we in South Africa, have the very sad fact today, especially here in the Johannesburg area and surroundings, that we have a tremendous divorce rate, one in every three marriages are dissolved in a very short time after marriage. Therefore the word alienated is a very frequent word e.g. the husband and the wife became alienated.
But I, for example cannot become alienated from your wife. I can only become alienated from my wife; I cannot become alienated from someone else’s wife, because I never knew her, in the sense of a wife. Therefore when it says here: being alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, he is speaking to a people who once belonged to the commonwealth of Israel, but had become alienated. He could not say this to genuine heathen people.
In Bible terms there are only two groups of people, the one group is Israel, and the other group is those who are not Israel. That is the first broad division of the peoples of the world as far as the Bible is concerned. Those groups who are not Israel are called by the general term, heathen. In other words, non-Israel people. Because our translators have applied that word ‘heathen’ too generally it is part of the reason of our confusion that we are in today. These people have become aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, in other words, they once belonged to the commonwealth of Israel. That’s very important. He could not have said that of heathen people in the sense that we understand heathen people who are non-Israelites.
“And strangers from the covenants of promise”. Only my wife and I can become estranged from each other; if that sad thing were to happen to us. We could become strangers. It’s a sad thing, and it was very sad for God as far as the Ten Tribes were concerned. But I cannot become a stranger to another man’s wife; we are strangers in any case and strangers from the covenants of promise. Who received the covenants of promise? Only Israel received the covenants of promise. There are mighty covenants of promise in the Bible and they are all covenants of promise between God and Israel only.
Nowhere will you find that God made a covenant with any non-Israel people. Therefore, if these people, these Ephesians to whom Paul is writing and says to them: you have become strangers from the covenants of promise, it means they also were once under those covenants of promise. Having no hope and without God in the world. Certainly very sad, as sad as it is when a man divorces his wife, she’s out of the shelter of his home, and she’s out of the shelter of his care. There are perhaps very few people in the world that are more to be pitied in a general sense, than a divorced woman; without 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”. If we take this exposition of this verse, as it is generally taken, then it means that there are near sinners, and that there are far sinners. Because he says here that ye who were sometimes far off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. There are none righteous, not one, so whether I have been a murderer of an adulterer, robber of a terrorist whatever, it may be or just told one “white lie”, I’m just as lost as that murderer etc.
There are no far sinners or near sinners, we’re all sinners, so that exposition does not apply, but if I say: But in Christ Jesus ye who were far off (these Ten Tribes) were removed far away from God, taken into Assyrian captivity, they were far from the temple, they were far from the priests, they had become uncircumcised, they had lost their coherence and their sense of real wonderful code of the law and of living close to the LORD. There was no–one even to minister unto them, they were far off in distance; they were much further than the Two Tribes who went into their Babylonian Captivity.
Jesus came and died upon the cross to heal the rift between Israel and Judah. Jesus came to die upon the cross to wipe away the sins of his people, to make of them one nation again, to prepare them for His Coming, when He would come as King and restore this whole world and give it back in perfection to God.
That’s the Plan and the purpose of Almighty God, but it would be worked out through God’s Israel people. That was God’s purpose, and the calling and the election of God is without repentance. God has nowhere replaced his calling of his people by a heathen, that is, a non-Israel people brought in, called the church. So what those apostles were doing, was that they were going after these Ten Tribes to go and bring them the Good News that Jesus had died upon the cross, that it was not necessary for them to be alienated anymore, or to be strangers anymore, or to be ‘far’ off anymore, they had been made nigh by the blood of Christ.
That was the Good News, and that is what the Gospel means and why I’m mentioning that, let me also do this, although it might seem a lengthy introduction, you will see as we go along. I’m laying the ground work for many terms that I will not explain again in detail when we enter the book of Romans.
Gospel – what is gospel? It means Good News. Just, to illustrate: Say, for instance, my son passes his metric with seven distinctions, and there is a person who does not know me at all and he reads that in the paper when the results are published, is that good news to him? No, because he does not know me and that my son has passed his metric with seven distinctions, does not mean anything to him, so it is not good news to him, he doesn’t even know me. But when I read that in the paper, that there is the name of my son with seven little stars behind his name, that is good news to me, I want to jump through the roof.
Now the Gospel - to whom is it Good News? It is not Good News to the non-Israel; it is Good News to Israel, because it was Israel that became estranged. It’s Israel that was made afar off, these disciples had to track them down and hunt them out and tell them the Good News of which all the prophets spoke about, that all the prophets made them to believe.
Eph 2:14 – “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, (which both? - Israel and Judah, who became separated; 1 Kings 12:24 – ‘this thing is from me’) and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.’ Perhaps you will also marvel at this, and say: my word, I have read the Bible so many times, but why have I never seen that? I am a reasonable person; I know my language reasonably well. When there is reference to a middle wall it must be under one roof, of the same house, otherwise it’s not a middle wall. So, if a middle wall of partition between us is spoken about, it’s the general roof of the 12 tribes, but there was a middle wall of partition erected between them when they became separated after the death of Solomon under the reign of his son Rehoboam, because of the reasons we have seen. So, there is a middle wall of partition. There can’t be a middle wall of partition between Israel and non-Israel because they were never under the same roof – that is of the utmost importance.
……..“the middle wall of partition between us, having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances (and that was also only given to Israel) to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby, And came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to them that were near” -- those who were afar off and to them that were near -- those who were afar off were the Ten Tribes and who were near? The Two Tribes; they were right there, there was the temple, and there was Jerusalem, there Jesus was born, they were near, but the Ten Tribes were not even there when Jesus was born, and therefore the Ten Tribes were not responsible for His Crucifixion. When the Jews cried out: “His blood be upon us and upon our children – it applies only to the Jews and not to the Ten Tribes, because they were not there.
Verse 18-20: “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now, therefore, ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens 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;”
The foundation of the prophets never spoke of non-Israel ever coming under the throne of David. The throne of David is over the twelve tribes of the House of Jacob – the foundation of the apostle and prophets.
Let us read Matthew 19:27-28;
27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?
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.
So the Apostles will sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
When we go to Revelation 21, we find that in the foundation of the New Jerusalem are the names of the 12 Apostles of the Lamb; on the gates, the Names of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
Jesus says to these Ephesians, you are built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets. So the Apostles are over the Twelve Tribes of Israel, the Prophets speak only of the restoration of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, and he says to these people: You are built upon that foundation.
Can that be non-Israel people that he is speaking to?
So, that took a little time to explain, but it is important as you can see, these missionary journeys were made to these Ten Tribes, who had become lost to the world, but not lost to God.
When we look at Paul’s missionary journeys, we find that he only preached and ministered in those areas, where the dispersed of Israel were found. I think in most of our Bibles at the back we will find maps of Paul’s missionary journeys. It will be very profitable to you if you take the time and look carefully at all three of those missionary journeys and see where Paul went; he didn’t go to Africa, or Asia, but he strictly went on the tracks where these Ten Tribes were found at that time.
Now we go to Peter’s address on the day of Pentecost.
Looking at Acts 2:5-13;
5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
(To emphasize - that word Jews, more strictly, Judeans, but devout men out of every nation under heaven, because in the general preaching much emphasize is laid on the day of Pentecost and that there were all these different nationalities there. In other words, the Gospel is now open and free for all, but these Judeans, they were all Judeans, but they were just from the various nations under heaven. In other words they resided there, they lived there, but they were specifically in Jerusalem at that time, because it was the feast of Pentecost, and that’s why they came there, but they were not different nations, they were all Israelites.)
6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans?
8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
So note the different countries they came from, but they were Judeans, all of them coming from those various countries. Peter’s address to the crowd in:
Acts 2:22, 36;
22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
(What does he call them? ‘Ye, men of Israel’ - so they were all Israelites).
Peter is just busy winding up his address:
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.
“Let all the house of Israel know!”
The house of Judah and the House of Israel has been explained, but keep in mind they are all still Israelites. So also the house of Judah and Benjamin of the Levites, they are all Israelites in the sense that they are all the descendants of their father Jacob, whose name was changed at Jabot into Israel. Therefore it is quite correct if the Jews, or the Judean, that is those of pure stock, are also called Israelites, but the house of Judah cannot be called the house of Israel, and the house of Israel cannot be called the house of Judah, but they can all be called Israelites.
39 But Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people.
So Paul calls himself a Jew.
3 I am verily a man which am a Jew,(or a Judean) born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.
Let us look at:
1 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.
So, Paul calls himself a Jew and also an Israelite, and particularly of the tribe of Benjamin. He can be a pure Judean and also an Israelite and a Judean in the sense of descent are synonymous. Bear that truth in mind when you read about either, so as not to be confused.
5 Circumcised the eighth day, - - - -
(Paul speaking of himself here)
- - - - of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;
We have already discussed the definition of a heathen, in general terms that is a person not of Israel stock.
Paul refers to Hosea in the book of Romans as the prophet to the Ten Tribes. That is very important.
1 The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.
(Please note how Hosea makes the difference between Judah and Israel; mentioning the kings of Judah, and the king of Israel – there’s a difference, and that is very important, but that difference is not seen in our general preaching of today, and that is why the Bible is not understood.)
2 The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD.
3 So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son.
4 And the LORD said unto him, Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel.
(So the deportation of Israel is prophesied here.)
5 And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.
6 And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And God said unto him, Call her name Lo-ruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away.
(That is very important.)
7 But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.
8 Now when she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son.
9 Then said God, Call his name Lo-ammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.
10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.
11 Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.
In the “Scofield Study Bible” (page 921)
There are two very valuable notes on this subject.
Note 1 is in verse 9 – “my people” is an expression used in the Old Testament exclusively of Israel, the nation. It is never used of the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, see Matthew 2:6. So that’s important. My people is used exclusively of Israel the nation (That’s very useful to know). Read verse 10 again!
Note 2 “Israel” in Hosea means the Ten Tribes, forming the northern kingdom as distinguished from “Judah” the tribes of Judah and Benjamin forming the southern kingdom which adhere to the Davidic family (see 1 Kings 12:1-21). The promise of verse 10 awaits fulfilment. See “Israel” Gen. 12:2-3; Rom. 11:26
The reason why this was taken is that we will see that Paul refers to this portion in his Epistle to the Romans. There are a few essentials we need to look at.
Firstly: as we have seen, is that the book of Hosea is addressed to the Ten Tribes called Israel, or the House of Israel.
Secondly: in this symbolic marriage that the prophet had to make with this woman of whoredom, that he had to have children by her and then call them by the following names (in Hosea 1:6) “And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And God said unto him, Call her name Lo-ruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away”. This is important this daughter was to be born of whoredom, because Israel went a whoring. Now in the Bible spiritual whoredom means: when Israel departed from the living God and went after idols, after the gods of the heathen – that was called spiritual whoredom.
That was exactly what the Ten Tribes committed. For this great sin, the LORD was going to cut them off, the LORD was going to give them a bill of divorce and the LORD was going to allow them to be taken into captivity by these heathen nations. But because God had made an everlasting covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, this cutting off was to be just for a period. God would never divorce them forever. And that is very important.
Therefore He told the prophet to go into this symbolic marriage with this whore and have these children with her and this daughter that was born was to be Lo-ruhamah, and that was to be symbolic of the Ten Tribes during this period of captivity and estrangement. He would have no pity on Israel, the same as He would have no pity upon the heathen. This is a very crucial point namely that Israel, the Ten Tribes, were for all practical purposes, to become exactly like a heathen, as a proper heathen nation.
This is where the misunderstanding has come in. The church in general has never understood this, because the Ten Tribes were to become exactly like the heathen, they were to become alienated as I have previously explained and so on, and that they had considered that God had completely cast off the Ten Tribes and would never let them come back. So, they were to be un-pitied. It says there, call her Lo-ruhamah for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel, but I will utterly take them away.
The next one was in Hos. 1:8 – “Now when she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son”.
Hos. 1:9 – “Then said God, Call his name Lo-ammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God”.
This is how graphic this cutting off had to be. It was also a portrayal and a prophecy of the relationship between God and the Ten Tribes during the duration of the punishment period. That they were to be “not my people” and the heathen were not God’s people. Therefore the Ten Tribes were to be exactly like the heathen people, for all practical purposes.
But now look at the 10th verse: “Yet the number of the children of Israel (that’s these Ten Tribes that were to be Lo-ruhamah, un pitied, Lo-ammi, not my people) shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; (that’s how they will multiply in numbers) and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God”.
This is very important, follow me carefully; “There it shall be said of them ye are the sons of the living God”, now there is only one way a nation, or an individual can become a son (or a daughter) of the living God, and that is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. That was the only way e.g. in John 1:12 – “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name”.
In the place where it was said, ye shall be called the sons of the living God, were the same people who were to be called Lo-ruhamah and Lo-ammi. In other words, God promised that there would come a time when this cast off Israel who is to become Lo-ammi and Lo-ruhamah would become the sons of the living God. They would accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour, that’s why, when Jesus came He said: “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel”. That is to change that position of Lo-ammi to Ammi, from not my people, to my people, from Lo-ruhamah, un pitied, to Ruhamah – having obtained mercy. It is for that purpose that God sent out his apostles and the disciples and said: “go not to the heathen, go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and tell them that the Kingdom of God hath come”.
This is the Good News and the good message! This is the whole purpose of the Gospel, to bring these people back from their Lo-ammi state to their Ammi state. And this is where we have the advantage that we can look back over centuries of time and see that that is exactly what happened. Looking back over history, when these disciples went out, which nations became Christians? Not the Indian Tribes, if we start right back in the Far East, not the Chinese or Japanese. When we go to Africa, no African Tribe. When we take the North, not the Russians or the Mongols.
But the Nations of Western Europe – the White People, they became the Christian Nations. And as we have proved in the Series of the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel, and if anybody who with an open mind would follow that through, will find that these Ten Tribes who escaped from Assyrian Captivity and started to move into Europe landed up in Western Europe and those were the Nations who accepted the Christian Gospel.
They were the Nations who became the Reformation Nations. They were the only Nations who accepted the Reformation. And when you come to the so-called Latin countries, they remained Roman Catholic, because they were not of pure Israel stock. If you go through the major part of France, Italy, Greece – right through, those nations remained either Roman Catholic or Greek Orthodox which is just another branch of the old Roman Catholic Church. The split came later on and they had two capitals – Rome and Constantinople or Istanbul.
So, this is important, where it was said of them you are not my people, ye shall be called the sons of the living God.
Commencing with verse 11 of Hosea Chapter 1: “Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel”.
That off course takes us to the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ - after they have become truly the sons of the living God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, both Judah and Israel, they shall gather together and appoint unto themselves one head and that is of course, Messiah. That speaks of the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus and that again is appointed to us a very important pointer – which is: if this can be stopped, if this can be caused not to happen then Jesus cannot come back according to the prophecies.
Therefore the devil has only got one object and one aim, and that is, if he can destroy Judah and Israel either by annihilation, or by bastardization by the mixing of their blood, this prophecy cannot come to pass and then Satan cannot be bound. So that is, what is actually at stake in these days in which we are found right now. That is important and we will see it in Romans as well.
Let us turn to:
9 For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.
That’s exactly what happened, they were made Lo-ammi, they went into captivity, yet the LORD watched over them; although they moved through many nations and fought many nations and fought many battles and followed many diverse paths (some of the groups of tribes moved right into Russia, others moved down the southern coast of Europe, the others moved over the Caucasus mountains). Yet in the fullness and in the course of time they all met together again in Western Europe.
And although by that time they had completely lost the sense of their identity and they were unknown to one another, even fought one another, yet they merged eventually into one global homogeneous people. The only homogeneous group of people on the whole earth.
In my series on the “Lost Ten Tribes of Israel” – we see how that one can start from Northern Europe, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, come through the British Isles, through Western Europe, and all the nations that came from them e.g. us here in South Africa, New Zeeland, Australia, the basic nation of the United States (of Anglo – Saxon stock) and Canada.
If you can take a representative young man of each of these nations and dress them in the same uniform, and line them up next to each other, cut their hair the same etc - you will not be able to tell the difference until they speak. Because they are so homogeneous, there is no other group like this. On the contrary, the most heterogeneous people are the Jews. If you had to line them up like that; you would find that they vary from black to blond and all in between. Where is the unified nation there? It’s made up of all kinds of groups. That is what most people don’t know.
But now the lost Ten Tribes were considered to be heathen, that’s Lo-ammi, and that’s very important, and that is why when Paul speaks to them, he often refers to them as heathen. He speaks to them as Gentiles, of the Nations. They were to be considered heathen or Lo-ammi by God, also by the Jews, and by the other nations – that is a very important point to notice.
Let’s turn to Romans 9:24-26;
24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?’
(That word ‘Gentiles’ should be ‘nations’, if you look up that word ‘of’, in the Greek it is ‘EK’ which means ‘out of’.
Therefore it should correctly read like this: ‘from among the Gentiles”.
In other words it doesn’t mean all the Jews and all the Gentiles, but those from among the Jews – in other words, those from pure stock among the Jews, and also not all the Gentiles, meaning all the nations, but from among the nations.
25 As he saith also in Osee (Hosea), I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.’
Note here, how Paul quotes exactly from this portion of Hosea 1; let’s read also Hosea 2:16, God is still speaking here to the lost tribes whom He hath made Lo-ammi and afterwards made Ammi.
16 And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi (my husband); and shalt call me no more Baali (my Lord).
17 For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name.
18 And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.
19 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.
20 I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.
21 And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the LORD, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth;
22 And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel.
23 And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.
That is the prophesy concerning the Ten Tribes and looking again at Romans 9:25-26;
25 As he saith also in Osee (Hosea), I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.
If these Romans were heathen in the real sense of not being Israel, why quote to them from an Israel prophecy, it would be of no use. And that is what todays preachers do. They take an Israel prophecy as for instance this one, and then apply it to the heathen. No wonder there is such confusion that people cannot understand the Bible and that many people therefore just put the Bible to one side. And that’s why they can’t understand the times and the days in which we are found.
Let’s turn to the Book of Revelation. Here in Revelation 1, it is where Jesus spoke to John and gave him a message:
Read: Revelation 1:4, 11;
4 JOHN to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
The seven churches which are in Asia are named in verse 11 and we will see where they are. Those churches in Asia are exactly where the Ten Tribes were in that time;
11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
It will be interesting to look at the map in the back of your Bible and find them on the west coast of what is called today modern Turkey, that is exactly where you will find them, and that is where some of the Ten Tribes found themselves at that time.
Very interesting to note in these letters to the seven churches. Jerusalem is not mentioned. In Jerusalem were the Jews, but in those areas were the Ten Tribes. So that these letters of revelation, and the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, was addressed to the Ten Tribes. That’s tremendous!
Just a note here in:
Galatians 2:7-8; (having already explained that they were Israelites):
7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;
(We know already what they meant by the uncircumcision, they were the Ten Tribes.)
8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)
Still in preparation, let’s read:
1 WHAT shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?’
Or as in some modern translations; “what shall we say then, that Abraham, our ancestor hath found, Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh”:
In other words, he says to these Romans that Abraham was their literal father. So many think of Abraham as their spiritual father when you become a child of Abraham by faith. You cannot become a son of Abraham by faith. You can only be a child of Abraham by birth, by descent, so these Romans to whom this letter is written, are descendants of Abraham. He was their ancestor, their literal forefather that is important.
Going on to Romans 7:1;
1 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?
In other words, these Romans knew the law, at least these Romans to whom this letter was sent. We must never make the mistake that this letter was addressed to the whole Roman Empire, it was only addressed to the believers at Rome; that is important, and that these believers at Rome to whom this letter was addressed; Abraham was their ancestor and they knew the law and as we shall see as we come to the end of Romans, some of them of course, were real descendants from Judah, and others were descendants from the Ten Tribes, all of them were Israelites by birth, or at least descendants of Abraham, and therefore at least Hebrews. So they were not heathen in the sense of not belonging to Israel at all.
Let’s compare this with:
13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: -
I speak to you, Gentiles, in other words, I speak to you, nations, remembering what we read in
Romans 4:1, - that Abraham was their ancestor;
And Romans 7:1, - they knew the law;
So it seems as if these Romans were not so far away that they had even lost the sense of their identity.
Romans 16:7, 11;
7 Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.
So Andronicus and Junia belonged to this group in Rome, and they were called kinsmen, and Paul was a Benjamite.
11 Salute Herodion my kinsman. Greet them that be of the household of Narcissus, which are in the Lord.
Please follow this with me, this is my point, and very important; remember Paul said in Romans 11:13, – ‘You Gentiles’, and in several places yet, here are three already to whom he refers as his kinsmen. In other words, they were Benjamites and therefore from the house of Judah.
So in the sense where Gentiles is used, in the sense of not being of Israel stock at all, it is a contradiction of this. So we must take careful note how he uses this word Gentiles, when he speaks to these Romans. He speaks to them as gentile or as ‘of the nations’ in the sense of them being in their Lo-ammi state in general.
Going on to Romans 16:13, 21;
13 Salute Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.
So, this mother of Rufus was also Paul’s mother, perhaps of two fathers, but of the same mother. So Rufus was also a kinsmen of Paul, yet he speaks to them as Gentiles.
21 Timotheus my workfellow, and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you.
So there are six that Paul calls his kinsmen, yet when he speaks to them, he speaks to them as Gentiles.
Another very important point, Peter was not the founder of the church in Rome. Remember, we are dealing with the Epistle to the Romans, and it is a fairly general statement and belief that Peter was the founder of the church in Rome. f course, the whole Roman Catholic Church believes that. But that is not so!
Let us look at:
20 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation:
So, if Peter had gone into these people of the Church of Rome and he was the founder of that church, he would have built on another man’s foundation. In other words Peter was not the founder of the church in Rome.
One more term we must clarify before we can move into the proper study of the book of Romans, is this word – Greek. In several places you will find that Paul says to the Jew first, and also to the Greek! Who were these Greeks?
Let us turn to:
33 Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me.
34 Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come.
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?
36 What manner of saying is this that he said, Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come?’
In some of the other translations the word ‘Greeks’ is used instead of the ‘Gentiles’. That means those Israelites that lived there in that time: “will he go there” the Jews asked? - Because they were then jealous of the Ten Tribes. They wanted to keep all the promises to themselves. They knew all about Lo-ammi, and Lo-ruhamah, they knew that God had said that, but they didn’t want the other part where the LORD said: in the place where you were not my people, there you would be called the sons of the living God. They didn’t want the Ten Tribes to hear the message, because they wanted it all for themselves, and because they knew all the promises that were still yet to come – the promises that were made to Israel proper.
There is yet another term that we will find in Romans and also in some of the other letters, which is ‘Barbarians’. The word Barbarian or non-Greek. What that means is that all people who did not speak Greek at that time were called Barbarians. Greek was the language of the sophisticated of the learned people, because the Greeks were the nation of culture etc. at that time; that’s rather interesting too that these Ten Tribes were the leaders of culture in that time, and of Greek civilization.
There are very interesting facts about that if you go into the history of the Spartans and so on; you’ll find that those people were Israelites. You’ll also find, if you go to the Apocrypha that there was correspondence between the Greeks and the high priest in Jerusalem, exchanging notes with one another that they were kinsmen.
About this, the ordinary people know nothing, but it is there for anyone who wants to go into it. Therefore, remember that when you come across the word Barbarian, that there were some who did not speak Greek, but that does not mean that they weren’t Israelites, they were just non-Greek speaking.
Let’s read from:
49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,
50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.
51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;
52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.
That is exactly what was prophesied by the prophets and what Jesus also said to his disciples. That is what He was sent for and that is what Paul did, what Peter did, and James; they went after these Ten Tribes and told them that their time of Lo-ammi was over, their time of Lo-ruhamah was over, and the way had been prepared for them to come back again into the covenant and to come back again into the commonwealth of Israel.
A short note on Hellenists – taken from “Conybeare & Howson”, a very highly respected book by theologians. He said: “Hellenists or Jews (and of course to them all Israelites are Jews, learned as they are) were Jews who spoke Greek”. From the book – “The life and Epistles of St. Paul” by “Conybeare & Howson”.
Greek, according to them was considered the language of idolaters, and rightly so, because these Ten Tribes were the uncircumcised and so on. And therefore they didn’t like the Greeks one bit; they were considered idolaters and also their competitors in the sense that they knew who the Ten Tribes were.
This introduction has been very lengthy, but very important, in order to understand the book of Romans.