Who is the House of Israel?
A study of the first two chapters of Hosea shows us that Israel was to be cast off and divorced from God. They were to be scattered (“Jezreel”); they were to have no mercy (“Lo-ruhamah”); and they were to be no longer God’s people (“Lo-ammi”). But at the same time, God promised that they would be regathered under one Head (Jesus Christ) and come out of captivity. In fact, God told them He would “betroth thee unto Me in righteousness” (Hosea 2:19). The prophecy culminates with a Hebrew play on words. The name “Jezreel” means “God scatters,” but it also means “God sows.” (One must scatter the seed in order to sow it in the field.) Thus, at first the name prophesies that Israel was to be scattered; but ultimately it shows God’s Purpose—to sow Israel in the earth in order to multiply her as the sand of the sea, so as God remains faithful to His promise to Abraham.
Hosea 2:23 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.
In other words, even though God did indeed cast off His people Israel, scattering them in the nations by the hand of the Assyrians, God’s ultimate Purpose was to sow them in the earth, so that they would multiply and fulfill the promise to Abraham. Furthermore, Hosea prophesied that; in the very place (of their captivity) where it is said that they are not God’s people (Israel), they would be Christians known as; “the Sons of the living God." Hosea 1:10, Romans 9:24-26
The problem is that most Christians try to make the Jews fulfill these prophesies, when the House of Judah, is fact, fulfilling an entirely different set of prophecies. God in His great mercy has allowed them nearly 2000 years to change their hearts to Him and to accept Jesus as Messiah.
If people realized that the Jews are to fulfill the prophecies of the House of Judah, instead of those dealing with the lost House of Israel, they would not have made this mistake. The Jews were certainly “cast off” in 586 BC and again in 70-135 A.D., even as Israel was cast off during 745-712 B.C.—but the difference is that the prophets uniformly prophesy good things for lost Israel even during the time of their captivity; while severe judgments were pronounced upon Jerusalem and the Jewish people.
Note that Ezekiel 21:14 tells of 3 Judgements. The next one, to come; will be by the Hand of the Lord Himself. Ezekiel 21:1-7
In Jeremiah 18:1-10, God says that the House of Israel was marred in the Potter’s hand, so God was going to beat down the wet clay and remake it into a vessel fit for His use. Then beginning in verse 11, God begins to prophesy about Jerusalem and Judah. First comes an indictment for their sins, and then in Jeremiah 19:1-15 we see that Jeremiah was to take an old earthen vessel (as opposed to wet clay that was pliable), he was to go to the city dump and smash the earthen vessel there, saying: Even so will I break this people and this city, as one breaks a potter’s vessel, that cannot be made whole again, and they shall bury them in Tophet, till there be no place to bury. Thus will I do unto this place, says the Lord, and to the inhabitants thereof, and even make this city as Tophet.
God’s choice of an allegory to suit each House is amazing!
An old clay vessel, once broken, cannot be remade into another vessel. Only wet, pliable clay can be used to remake a vessel. The House of Israel is like the pliable clay; but the House of Judah will be smashed and never again be built into a vessel of honour.
At the end of the first Temple era, God departed from it and Ezekiel saw the glory depart. Ezekiel 10:4-19 It has never returned to the Temple. Even when Zerubbabel rebuilt the Temple in 515 B.C., the glory did not return to it when they dedicated it to God. The work was good and was allowed by God, but the site itself was cursed.
This is consistent with the New Testament prophecies regarding the cursed fig tree, Matt. 21:21 the parable of the vineyard, Matt. 21:43-44 and the parable of the citizens who hated Him and would not allow Him to reign over them. Luke 19:27
The point is, these peoples must still be around to fulfill these distinct prophecies for Israel and for the cursed fig tree. The lost House of Israel must exist to be remade into another vessel and Judah must exist to be virtually wiped out. Isaiah 22:14 The problem comes when people think that the smashed vessel is going to be rebuilt into a vessel fit for God’s use, and when those same people think that the original House of Israel is lost forever.