What does the Restoration of Israel mean for us today? How does it relate to the kingdom of God? These and other important questions are answered in this third lesson.

ROBERT >> Good morning, and thank you for joining us here on The Truth In Love. Over the last several weeks, we’ve been studying Bible prophecy and the last days; and recently we’ve been talking about the restoration of Israel to the land of Palestine and the rebuilding of the temple there in the city of Jerusalem. We have learned that God promised Abraham and his descendants, Israel, the land of Canaan. But we also noticed that this promise has already been completely fulfilled.

We do not look for fulfillment of that prophecy in the end times, but rather we see it was promised to Abraham as an inheritance for his descendants, and that not at the end times, but soon after Moses led them out of Egypt during the days of Joshua, we see the fulfillment as they come in and they possess the land and as their territory was extended to its furthest extent during the times of David and Solomon. The possession of the land by Israel was always conditioned upon their faithfulness to God. In time, they were removed from the land because of their disobedience. But God also promised to return those who were removed from the land when they returned to him. But remember, this would only be a remnant of Israel. There’ll be no national conversion of the Jews, as some contend from Romans 11:25-26, we find all Israel will be saved. The all Israel of Romans 11, as we learned last week, is not the entire Jewish race, but the remnant of Jews and the many Gentiles who come to faith in Christ.

The church, made of Jews and Gentiles, is the Israel of God for his people today. But now this morning we want to look further into this idea of the restoration of Israel and the rebuilding of the temple, because some contend that the lost tribes of Israel were never restored to the land, only Judah. I hope you’ll stay tuned. We’ll take a look at that together in just a moment.

SINGING>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth,
speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> So people are asking, what about the lost tribes of Israel?

They were never restored to the land, only Judah. Those of the other tribes, as God promised, from every tribe people would be returned back to Judah; but let’s notice that ever since the division of Israel in the days of King Rehoboam, Judah had always included some from the other tribes.

We go back to 2 Chronicles chapter 11, and you can look at that whole chapter, but especially look at these verses with me today. In verse 3 the Bible says, “Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying. All Israel in Judah and Benjamin.”

They were taking up residence in these tribes, that is, some from every tribe, and they would come down and they would visit in these tribes.

And you notice in verse 14, “For the Levites left their common-lands and their possessions and came to Judah and Jerusalem, for Jeroboam and his sons had rejected them from serving as priests to the Lord.”
v Again, notice verse 16: “And after the Levites left, those from all the tribes of Israel, such as set their heart to seek the Lord God of Israel, came to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord God of their fathers.”

And so those from all the tribes were coming to Jerusalem, and others would come to join themselves with Judah during the reforms of King Asa a little bit later on.

Here in 2 Chronicles 15:9, the Bible says, “Then he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and those who dwell with them from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon, for they came over to him in great numbers from Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him.” And then later during the days of Hezekiah.

Go to 2 Chronicles chapter 30 and notice verse 1. “And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, to keep the Passover to the Lord God of Israel. And so they came down from Ephraim and Manasseh, these large tribes, down to keep the Passover there in Jerusalem.”

And in verse 18, reading a little further, “For a multitude of the people, many from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulon had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the Passover.” And so we see others from other tribes as well joining them.

And in verse 25, “The whole assembly of Judah rejoiced, also the priests and Levites, all the assembly that came from Israel, the sojourners who came from the land of Israel, and those who dwelt in Judah.”

So there were many from all the tribes coming from all of these other places, some of them, many of them dwelling in Judah as a permanent residence.

Even in chapter 31 and verse 1 it says, “Now when all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the cities of Judah and broke the sacred pillars in pieces, cut down the wooden images, and through down the high places and the altars – from all Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh – until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the children of Israel returned to their own cities, every man to his possession.”

Now, later on, when Israel was taken captive by Syria in the north, there were some that were left in Samaria.

In Amos chapter 5 we read about this. In the prophet Amos he reminds us of this great attack by the Assyrians upon Samaria and how many of them were scattered and taken; but there were some that were left there in Samaria.

Look with me in Amos 5:1-3. “Hear this word which I take up against you, a lamentation, O house of Israel: The virgin of Israel is fallen; she will rise no more. She lies forsaken on her land; there is no one to raise her up. For thus says the Lord God: The city that goes out by a thousand shall have a hundred left, and that which goes out by a hundred shall have ten left of the house of Israel. For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel: Seek Me and live; but do not seek Bethel, nor enter Gilgal, nor pass over to Beersheba; for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nothing. So we see that some were taken and some were left. And we also see that some returned to Judah even later during the reforms of Josiah.”

Let me go back again to 2 Chronicles chapter 35. 2 Chronicles chapter 35 brings us to the time of king Josiah when he was making many reforms in the land of Judah, bringing the people back to God and back to the proper worship of the law.

But notice what it says here, 2 Chronicles 35:16-17. “So all the service of the Lord was prepared the same day, to keep the Passover and to offer burnt offerings on the altar of the Lord, according to the command of King Josiah. And the children of Israel who were present kept the Passover at that time, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days.”

So what do we see here?

Again, we see all of these tribes coming back into Judah. The fact is that a remnant of all the tribes of Israel returned from Babylon after they were taken captive. They came back into the city of Jerusalem to rebuild Jerusalem.

In 1 Chronicles 9:1-3, I want you to notice what the Bible has to say here about these various tribes. “So all Israel was recorded by genealogies, and indeed, they were inscribed in the book of the kings of Israel. But Judah was carried away captive to Babylon because of their unfaithfulness. And the first inhabitants who dwelt in their possessions in their cities were Israelites, priests, Levites, and the Nethinim. Now in Jerusalem the children of Judah dwelt, and some of the children of Benjamin, and of the children of Ephraim and Manasseh.”

So having been taken captive to Babylon, now we see some of various tribes, not just Judah, but the various tribes of Israel dwelling, these were some of the first dwellers in the city of Jerusalem when they came back to rebuild that place.

Go to the book of Ezra and notice Ezra 1:1-5 when it also speaks of these very same things. Here it says in verse 1, “Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put in writing, saying, Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem. And whoever is left in any place where he dwells, let the men of his place help him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, besides the freewill offerings for the house of God which is in Jerusalem. Then the heads of the fathers houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, with all whose spirits God had moved, arose to go up and build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem.”

In Ezra 2:70 the Bible says, “So the priests and the Levites, some of the people, the singers, the gatekeepers, and the Nethinim dwelt in the cities, and all Israel in their cities.”

Look at it in Ezra 6:16-17. “Then the children of Israel, the priests and the Levites and the rest of the descendants of the captivity, celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy. And they offered sacrifices at the dedication of this house of God, one hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs, and as a sin offering for all Israel twelve male goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel. So all the tribes of Israel were represented in the coming back from Babylon back into the land of Judah.”

Look at it is chapter 7 and verse 7 of Ezra. “Some of the children of Israel, the priests, the Levites, the singers, the gatekeepers, and the Nethinim came up to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes.”

Ezra 8:35, the Bible says, ”The children of those who had been carried away captive, who had come from the captivity, offered burnt offerings to the God of Israel: twelve bulls, ninety-six rams, seventy-seven lambs, twelve male goats, all this as a sin offering. And this was a burnt offering to the Lord.”

I want to read one other passage in the book of Nehemiah. In Nehemiah chapter 1, notice what Nehemiah has to say beginning in verse 4. He says, “So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven. And I said: I pray, Lord God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments, please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that you may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses. Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; but if you return to Me, to keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling place for My name. Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand.”
v Folks, the restoration of all the tribes of Israel back to the land of Judah to rebuild their temple has been fulfilled. There were no lost tribes that did not make their way back into the city of Jerusalem. No, by the time Jesus came to the earth and established his church, Jews from every tribe and from every place had come to the city of Jerusalem. We read about it in Acts the 2nd chapter in verses 5 through 11. But now somebody says, but Robert I know that God promised this land to the descendants of Abraham, and I know he gave them that land, and I know even though they were taken off, that those that turned back to the Lord, that remnant were brought back into the land; but doesn’t the promise to Abraham say that the land was promised forever, that it was an everlasting promise?

Well, I want you to notice that the term used, translated forever or everlasting does not always mean without end, but it often simply refers to a long time. For example, this term is used to describe how long a slave would serve his master in Deuteronomy 15:17. Here, forever cannot mean without end, but only as long as the slave lives.

Look at it with me here in Deuteronomy 15:17. Notice in this verse and how it’s translated here. “Then you shall take an awl and thrust it to his ear to the door, and he shall be your servant forever. Also to your female servant you shall do likewise. Your servant forever. He’s not going to be a servant forever, but he may be a servant for a long time, as long as the slave would live. The term is also used to speak of a long time in the past.”

Let me go with you to Isaiah chapter 63, and notice in verse 11. “Then he remembered the days of old, Moses and his people, saying, Where is He who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of His flock? Here you see the term used to speak of a long time in the past. Here translated the days of old, it has reference to the days of Moses, not to the eternal past, not forever ago. And the same thing is found in many other passages.”

For example, when you read about circumcision in Genesis 17:13, “

when God made this covenant with Abraham long ago, he said, He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised; and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. Circumcision was everlasting. The same thing was said of the Passover.”

Look in Exodus 12:14. Exodus chapter 12, when God gave the instructions concerning the Passover to his servant Moses, here it says, “So this day shall be to you a memorial, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance. Passover was an everlasting ordinance. And then there’s the Levitical priesthood.”

In the book of Numbers, in Numbers 25:13, notice how it is described here. And it shall be to him and his descendants after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was zealous for his God and made atonement for the children of Israel. So the Levitical priesthood was everlasting, the Passover was everlasting, circumcision was everlasting or forever. But all of these came to an end when they were fulfilled, when they served their purpose. The law of Moses was abolished, these covenants were abolished, they were taken out of the way, as we read in Ephesians 2:14 and Colossians 2:14. Being fulfilled, they came to an end, having served their purpose. And that was true with the land promise. God made the promise to Abraham and his descendants, they possessed it, the promise was fulfilled; after they were taken captive, he brought folks from every tribe back into the land that turned to him. But all of that served its purpose, it found its fulfillment in time. Even those who propose a future restoration of Israel to the land, a restoration to Israel to the land in the last days, they believe it will all come to an end after a thousand years. Indeed, not only the land of Palestine, but the whole world will come to an end when our Lord comes again.

Read it with me in 2 Peter 3:10-13. 2 Peter speaks of the coming of Christ at the end of the world. 2 Peter chapter 3, let’s take a look beginning in verse 10. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?”

Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. And so the land promise was forever, it was everlasting. That is, until it would serve its purpose, until it found its complete fulfillment, for a long time it would continue, but not until and going into eternity. No, this entire world will one day come to an end until we’re brought into that new habitation for man, that new heaven, that new earth, that eternal home with God forever.

Folks, there’s more that we want to talk about in this study concerning the restoration of Israel and the rebuilding of the temple, but that’s all we have time for today. I do hope that you know that our God is a God who always keeps his promises, that we can always rely upon his word. And just as surely as the Lord kept his promise to Abraham and his descendants concerning that land, the land of Palestine, so we can be certain that God will keep his promise concerning the greater land of Canaan, the greater promised land, that heavenly land, that heavenly place that God has for us with him forever. And I hope that you are right with God today, that you have prepared your heart to meet him so that you know you’ll be a part of that grand promise, that you’ll be ushered into that eternal home with our Father, and I pray and we hope that you would let us know here at The Truth In Love how we can help you towards heaven today.

SINGING>> We place you on the highest place,
for you are the great high priest.
We place you high above all else,
all else, and we come to you and worship at your feet.
We place you on the highest place,
for you are the great high priest.
We place you high above all else,
all else, and we come to you and worship at your feet.
And we come to you and worship at your feet.

ROBERT >> Thank you so much for watching our program today. I want you to know that our interest in you with regard to our program is about your eternal salvation. It’s not about money. It’s not about anything like that. But we are interested in your soul.

The Bible says that for a person to be saved, they have to first of all believe in Jesus Christ, but not just believe in him generally; you must believe that he is indeed the Son of God.

He said, “Except you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins,”

John 8:24. But he also said that a person must repent of sins. And that means to change your mind about your sinful past and to decide to change your action and live for God.

“ Except ye repent, you will perish,” Jesus said in Luke 13:3.

Paul said that,” God commands all men everywhere to repent,” Acts 17:30.

The Bible also teaches us that in order to be saved, we have to be willing to confess to others our faith in Jesus Christ.

Paul wrote to the Romans in Romans 10:10, “With the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

But even that’s not enough, because the Bible also teaches that a person must be immersed in water to have their sins washed away by the blood of Christ.

Peter said on the day of Pentecost to those “who asked what they must do to be saved, Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved,” Mark 16:16.

When a person does that, they don’t earn their salvation; but that’s the moment at which the blood of Christ washes sins.

As Revelation 1:5 tells us, “it is the blood of Jesus that washes away our sins.”

In Acts 22:16 we learn when that blood washes. “ Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

I hope that you’ll study these things for yourself to see if they be so, and I hope and pray that if you’ve not obeyed the gospel that you will before its everlastingly too late.

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, if you’d like a personal home Bible study or special prayers, if you’d like more information about the lesson today, or if you’d like to order today’s lesson or any other lesson on CD, DVD, or in manuscript form, let me encourage you to write The Truth In Love at P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053.

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All our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So again, let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

SINGING>> Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so,
showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.
Sing to me of heaven,
let me fondly dream of its golden glory,
of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall.
Sing to me of heaven,
sing the sweetest song of all.
Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low
till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go.
When my heart is weary,
when the day is long,
sing to me of heaven,
sing that old, sweet song.
Sing to me of heaven,
let me fondly dream of its golden glory,
of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall.
Sing to me of heaven,
sing the sweetest song of all.