Seven hundred years before the birth of Christ, the 10 northern tribes of the House of Israel were taken into captivity by Assyrian invaders and disappeared into the lands of the far North, vanishing from the world scene.
The prophets of scripture, especially Jeremiah and Ezekiel, promised that they would one day return, called by God out of their hidden exile to re-establish themselves in the land of Israel. These prophets chastised the leaders of Judah for thinking and teaching that they (the Jews) had become the sole heirs to the promise of God.
Despite the warnings of the prophets, the Jewish leaders continued in their thoughts of pre-eminince, certain that the 10 northern tribes could never reappear out of what seemed to them to be the certain genetic disappearance of the other tribes of the House of Israel. Jesus changed all that. His was the call that aroused the spirit of these lost tribes to return and rebuild the ruins of Jerusalem.
They did not come as they left. There were no more tribal boundaries. They came as a single people in Christ. They did come in separate churches, of course; but in far more than ten. We are a part of that return. And the ruins rebuilt were not temples or physical monuments. It was a spiritual collapse they repaired, bringing the moral order of the Gospel into the philosophical landscape of mankind.
At the end of time, once all the people of God scattered throughout Babylon return via the path of Christ, another invasion from the North is called for in scripture -- the surrounding of Jerusalem by the troops of Armageddon:
"Announce it in Judah, proclaim it in Jerusalem! Sound the trumpet in the countryside, shout the message aloud: Mobilise! Take to the fortified towns! Signpost the way to Zion; Run! Do not delay!
I am bringing you a disaster from the North, an immense calamity. The lion is up from his thicket, the destroyer of nations is on his way, he has come from his home to reduce your land to a desert; your towns will be in ruins, deserted."
'That day -- it is God who speaks -- the king's heart will fail him, the princes' hearts will fail them too; the priests will stand aghast, the prophets stupefied. People will say, 'Ah, Lord God, how utterly you deceived us by saying: You will have peace -- even when the sword is at our throats!' (Jer.4:1-14).
'The Clock of God', Chapter 9, 'Return from the North'
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