This Old House

This old house is just shy of being 3000 years old. It is the same house to whom Christ said he was only sent. It is the same house to whom he is Savior and Redeemer. It is the same house to whom he sent out his apostles. And it’s the same house on the first day of Christianity that Peter addressed his remarks to in Jerusalem. For the most part, this old house sits abandoned today; a derelict greatly in need of major repair.

Those of you who have read our books and the on-line articles know by now that Christians in the first century knew they were of the nations of the House of Israel. Not surprisingly, the Catholic Encyclopedia refers to these early Christians as “Jewish Christians.” The word Jewish is misused here, however. Correctly, it is a reference to those of the nations, the House of Israel rather than the House of Judah, the Jews. [See Mat. 15:24; also the Feature articles, The Good News Colour Revolution, Galilee Of The Gentiles and Why Was Jesus Jewish, But Not Moses?]. For most Christians, we’ve lost this knowledge. Foolishly, we are lead to believe we are gentiles. And because we are deceived about our Biblical heritage, we’ve wandered off the path of truth only to find ourselves enveloped in a tangled thicket of deceit, none the wiser for our predicament. [See the Feature article, Moving Forward]. But our actions, due to our ignorance concerning our Biblical identity, do come with a price.

As the prophet Ezekiel wrote, “Now will I [our LORD] shortly pour out my fury upon you [the House of Israel], and accomplish my anger upon you: I will judge you according to your ways, and will recompense you for all your abominations. And my eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity … and you will know that I am the Lord that strikes the blow.” [Eze. 7:8, 9; see the Feature article, Back To Square One]. This yet to be fulfilled prophecy refers to the events described in the Book of Revelation. As the apostle Paul told the ekklesia in Galatia, “Don’t be deceived. God is not mocked. For whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap.” [Gal. 6:7]. Today, the House of Israel is beginning to reap the fruit of its willful ignorance. [See the Feature article, Why Do We Believe The Lies?].

The book of Ezekiel was written about 590 BCE, when he was captive among the House of Judah, by the river of Chebar, about fifty miles north of the city of the ancient city of Babylon. Ezekiel describes himself as a priest in his thirtieth year. Most likely he was a Levite, the priesthood to all the nations of Israel. [Eze. 1:3]. Previously, the House of Israel, divorced from their covenant relationship with God, had been taken captive by the Assyrians about 140 years earlier, 732 BCE, and were scattered throughout its empire [c. 824-625 BCE]. Along with some history, the first half of the book of Ezekiel encompasses a prophetic warning for the House of Israel in the last days. [See the Sneakers article, The Context Of Prophecy]. Ezekiel was made a sign by our Lord to the House of Israel. [Eze. 12:6]. But when we are ignorant of our heritage in the Biblical record, we can’t heed the timely warnings given to us.

Ezekiel’s chapters are not “Don’t worry, be happy” reading material, but are somewhat akin to a doctor telling us we have a terrible disease, but it’s not terminal if we do something about it right away. While the news is not good, the worse thing we can do is to bury our collective heads in the sand. We are given the opportunity to make amends. The Lord GOD said to Ezekiel regarding the House of Israel, “When I say to the wicked [Heb. rasha’, those hostile to God] ‘You wicked shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.” [Eze. 3:18]. In all this we need to keep in mind that it is our Lord’s judgment of our behavior according to his standards, not ours, that counts. [See the Feature article, And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor].

Our Lord cautioned Ezekiel not to get his hopes up. After all, the nations of the House of Israel don’t listen to our LORD, so he shouldn’t expect that they will listen to him. “And you [Ezekiel] shall speak my [our LORD's] words to them [the House of Israel], whether they will hear or whether they will forbear, for they are most rebellious.” [Eze. 2:7]. We certainly are.

We don’t listen to what God tells us because we are “hardheaded and obstinate” [Eze. 3:7; foreheads of brass in Isa. 48:4], which translates into the fact that we “ … have not walked in my [LORD’s] statutes, neither executed my [LORD’s] judgments, but have done according to the customs of the gentile nations that are round about you.” [Eze. 11:12; see the Feature articles, Our Corrupted Compass and Easter, Babylon And The Antichrist]. We’ve even come so far as to not only having adopted gentile customs, but we’ve come to believe we are gentiles rather than the House of Israel. [See the Sneakers article, His Treasured Possession].

Once we accepted the wrong-headed notion that we are gentiles and not of the House of Israel [Again see the Feature article, Moving Forward], ours was a quick and slippery slope to behaving as the heathens do, except we are under the self-righteous delusion, led by our religious shepherds, that our practices are Christian despite their pagan origins. But as we just read in Ezekiel 11, try telling us anything different, and you’ll hit a brick wall every time. Nevertheless, it must be said, “We are the nations of the House of Israel, and our observed customs are not of Christ our Lord.” We need to quit being hostile to God and have a love of the truth of the word of God that we might be saved. [See 2 Ths. 2:10; also the Feature articles, Isaiah 63: Big Brother and Is The US (And UK) In End-times Bible Prophecy?].

It’s said of us in these end times, “Son of man [Ezekiel], prophesy against the prophets [Heb. nabiy’ those who claim to speak for God] of [the House of] Israel who are now prophesying. Say to those who prophesy [speak for God] out of their own imagination: ‘Hear the word of the LORD!’ This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! Your prophets, O Israel, are like foxes among the ruins. You have not gone up to the breaks in the wall [customs of the pagans that are used in Christianity] to repair it for the House of Israel so that it will stand firm in the battle on the day of the Lord [what we commonly refer to as the Apocalypse]. Their visions are false and their divinations a lie [i.e., Christmas, Easter, etc.]. They say, “The LORD declares,” when the LORD has not sent them; yet they expect their words to be fulfilled.” [Eze. 13:2-6; also see Jer. 10:21].

A recurrent theme running through these chapters in Ezekiel is, “You shall know that I am the Lord,” which implies that right now we don’t. Atheists take note. This comment usually follows something not so nice happening to the House of Israel by the hand of our Lord. We may deceive ourselves otherwise, but if we don’t know that we are the House of Israel, then we really don’t know our Lord, obstinate objections to the contrary. Our shepherds have led us through the gaps in the wall of truth bringing us to forage in the decaying ruins of deceit. Our house is a shambles. But there will come a day when we will truly realize that doing as the gentiles do with Santa and the Easter Bunny, seeking after the falseness of earthly riches and power, these were incredibly poor choices. In the book of Ezekiel, God characterizes our poor choices as “exceedingly great iniquities.” [Also see Mat. 6:19-34].

We have been seduced. We have no peace. [See Eze. 13:10]. When watching the evening news or surfing the internet, it is rather apparent that our land is filled with bloodshed and our cities with perversions. Somehow we think God has forsaken the Earth. “Doesn’t God see what’s taking place? Why does God let this happen?” Even upon retiring, Pope Benedict said much the same thing. " ... it seemed that the Lord was sleeping." [Read Eze. 9:9-11]. No, he is biding his time. We have the knowledge of good and evil. We have the free moral agency to choose which way we will follow and the culpability that goes with it. Therefore, we reap what we sow. We greatly err if we confuse the current forbearance of our Lord concerning our iniquities with absenteeism or a divine siesta regarding our daily affairs.

But our LORD’s patience, regarding our making amends, will not last forever. “Therefore say to the House of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Repent! [change!] and turn from your idols [Santa, Easter Bunny et al] and renounce all your abominable practices!’” [Eze. 14:6; see the Feature article, Christ Against Christians?]. Ezekiel wrote a promise from God to those of the House of Israel, " ... if he trusts in his own righteousness [rather than as determined by God], and commit iniquity, all his righteousness shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he has committed, he shall die for it ... if he [that commits iniquity] shall turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; if the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he has robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity, he shall surely live ... none of his sins that he has committed shall be mentioned to him ...." [Eze. 33:13-16]. This puts the ball squarely in our court.

To help us get started on the path we need to be walking, let’s begin with something positive, yet simple to accomplish. Get a print Bible and a colored pencil, any color you like. Then read through Ezekiel’s first 20 chapters and clearly underline each time the specific phrase “the house of Israel” appears. Hint, it appears in 43 verses in these chapters alone. Don’t concern yourself with understanding the details of everything you read. Rather focus on grasping the big picture and what is being said to us.

Next go to Mat. 10:6, Mat. 15:24, Acts 2:36, 7:42, and Heb. 8:8, 10 in the New Testament and underline the House of Israel there too. Then take some time for yourself to reflect on what you’ve read. We are the people of the nations of the House of Israel.

This old house is the House of Israel. We are Christ’s. For as the apostle Luke wrote of us in the first century, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people.” It’s time we realize this and change from our gentile ways, which are hostile to God, and build anew our old house. [See the Feature article, And It's Still A Mystery].

Italics and [ ] are the author’s.

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