The Jews are the smaller part of the Israel of God.
The Israel of God will have descendants that are like the sands of the sea; that cannot be numbered.
Although many today would call all descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob ‘Jews’, it is not the terminology that God uses. The presumption that the northern kingdom of Israel, that went into captivity 2700 years ago, no longer matters to God is erroneous at best and deceptive at worst. Scripture such as Hosea 1:9-10, written of the northern kingdom of Israel, states:
9And the LORD said, “Name him Lo-ammi, for you are not My people and I am not your God.” 10Yet the number of the sons of Israel Will be like the sand of the sea, Which cannot be measured or numbered; And in the place Where it is said to them, “You are not My people,” It will be said to them, “You are the sons of the living God.”
Verse 9 says they will not be a covenant people [lo-ammi] anymore. ‘Lost for ever’ some might say; ‘needing to come back into covenant through Judah’ others might say. However, verse 10 tells us that the judgment is reversed at a later date and they once more become “sons of the living God.”
We Christians will immediately understand how they become “sons of the living God.” Paul tells us, in Romans 9:24-26, that the gentiles are the’lo-ammi’; or ‘not my covenant people’ of Hosea chapter 2.
The Calling of the Gentiles
…24even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. 25As He says also in Hosea, “I WILL CALL THOSE WHO WERE NOT MY PEOPLE, ‘MY PEOPLE,’ AND HER WHO WAS NOT BELOVED, ‘BELOVED.'” 26“AND IT SHALL BE THAT IN THE PLACE WHERE IT WAS SAID TO THEM, ‘YOU ARE NOT MY PEOPLE,’ THERE THEY SHALL BE CALLED SONS OF THE LIVING GOD.”…
It is by being reconciled to God, through the blood sacrifice of Yeshua ha Mashiah – the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, that we become ‘sons of the living God‘!
So where are these ‘lost’ Israelites, these ‘lo-ammi’ Israelites, now? I would suggest to you that large numbers of them are to be found inside the ‘church’.
‘Replacement theology!’ I hear you say.
I argue that this is not replacement theology. Replacement theology is the idea that the church replaces Israel as the sons of God. I suggest that the Israelites, throughout history, become the church and, therefore, no replacement has taken place. In the following paragraphs I will give evidence that ancient Israelites indeed were brought into the church.
A book written by missionary Asahel Grant M.D., in 1841 called ‘The Nestorians: or, the Lost Tribes‘, gives ample evidence that the people of Asia Minor who were left from Assyria, known also as Nestorians, were part of that northern kingdom of Israel. They remembered that four apostles had come and taught their people: Thaddeus, Matthew, Bartholomew and Thomas. They are one of the earliest Israelite [northern kingdom] nations to convert to Christianity. Today they are suffering again 100 year after the genocide of 1915-18; that took 750,000 of their people to their graves. How many of these people would remember their true identity after these systemic attacks by the evil ones? We would know these people, in Western nations, as ‘Assyrians’ from the Assyrian church. But I know that God remembers them and He knows exactly who they are – “Sons of the living God“.
Thomas, the Apostle, also went to India. According to Dr. Avigdor Shachan, in his book In the Footsteps of the Lost Ten Tribes, Thomas had gone to the Israelites who were all along the sea border of India. At the bottom of page 221 he writes:
“Following an interlude of 700 years from the exile of the Ten Tribes until the advent of Thomas, the Israelites unquestioningly accepted his [Thomas] message as the logical continuation of the Torah of Moses. Christian-Israelite churches flourished in the east, in places steeped in Israelite spirit and faith, but in time their names became distorted, often to the point where they were barely recognizable.”
Thomas had told them Jesus was the messiah according Shachan in the previous paragraph. At the top of page 223 Shachan goes on to quote:
In the 7th century, Patriarch Nestoriani wrote that Christianity had gotten a foothold among the Israelite community, which encompassed 1,200 parsangs in India, some 5,000 kilometers of the Indian coast. This was a very large area and it is difficult to estimate the size of the population, but the assumption is that there were hundreds of thousands of Jews [Israelites] in the region.
Today we would know them as the millions of Christians of southern India. Dr. Avigdor Shachan, goes on to say the many of these Christians were later forced in Islam. So many Muslims, in this part of the world, are probably ancient Israelites as well!
In the third century BC the Tribe of Manasseh are documented as living in near the Hindu Kush, and suffering defeat at the hands of Alexander the Great; according to Robert Mock M.D. from bibleresearchers.com. It is my hypothesis that they fled to places like Kyrgyzstan who have the Epic of Manas. Risbet, [Richard Hewitt] in his book Manas Lost and Found; A Bridge Linking Kyrgyzstan’s Epic to Ancient Oracles links the Manas Epic to ancient Israelites. The ancient oracles he refers to, we would understand as the bible.
I also believe they fled across the silk road to China. From the Sambatyon River legend we know that the Ten Tribes crossed a river of sand. It was also said that these Ten Lost Tribes dwelt in a land where men had no noses; just two holes in their faces. It was here they were, as legend goes, ruled by a strong prince. This certainly sounds like the Chinese. The river of sand could be no other than the silk road passing through the Taklamakan Desert; between the Mountains of Heaven Tian and the Tibetan Plateau. Dr Avigdor Shachan says that Tak lam a kan is a Hebrew phrase which means “You will be destroyed here!”. No wonder the Sambatyon River legend says that these people could not come back!
In the early 1900’s, a Scottish missionary, Rev. Thomas T Torrance, found the remnants of a previously large group – loosely known as the ch’iang. It was here at the Min River that this Q’iang Min people were documented as having extraordinary likenesses to Israelite people with just as astounding Israelite traditions. See the book by Rev Torrance, Ancient Israelites: China’s first missionaries.
It was not at all a surprise to Torrance; for 80 years early Dr and Mrs Mason, in northern Burma, are reported by Rev John Trew:
It is supposed by some that the Karens are part of the lost tribes of Israel. How numerous would be the members of these tribes were the sum of all who are set down as belonging to them told! It certainly is convenient when you meet with a people whom you cannot account for, to give “the lost tribes” the benefit of the doubt.
There is, however, this to be said for the above-mentioned theory, that [564/565] Dr. and Mrs. Mason found very remarkable and accurate traditions regarding the creation, the fall, and future regeneration of man.1.
These Hill Tribe Karen are closely related to nine other Hill Tribes who all had a “Lost Book” story [as did the Q’iang Min in Sichaun, China] according Don Richardson in chapter 2 of Eternity in their hearts. One of these tribes is the Mizo tribe from NE India. Both the Mizos and the Karen have had converts to Christianity; 100% and 95% respectively in the past. They are both among the highest missionary sending groups, per head of population, in the world still today. We would say they certainly are “Sons of the living God“!
So in conclusion, these few examples have shown that known Israelite communities became Christians. This happened in the first century in Asia Minor and India, the nineteenth century with the Karen tribe and also the twentieth century with the Mizos and the Q’iang Min. I propose that this process of being found by the Living God and becoming “sons of the living God” has been continuous throughout the last two millennium. God has indeed fulfilled His promise to the House of Israel [Hosea 1:10] by making their descendants too numerous to count therefore the Lost tribes will be found in the Christian church in very large numbers. So next time you are praying for Israel, think bigger that just the Jews – remember those in Syria, Myanmar and China as well. You may even be praying for yourself!
– Post Script –
To find out where the Ten Tribes went and what nations they became I highly recommend you read Steven M Collin’s books. Also here. It is easy to recognize that these nations mostly became Christians at one time or another. It is precisely that the ten tribes became nations [gentiles] that we think the Ten Tribes are ‘Lost’. From God’s point of view He was simply fulfilling promises to Abraham by making him the father of many nations and that kings would come from his loins and through him all families on the earth would be blessed. See also Gen 12:3
– Post Post Script –
The two houses, Judah and Israel are getting back together according to prophecy.
Hosea 1:11 And the sons of Judah and the sons of Israel will be gathered together, And they will appoint for themselves one leader, And they will go up from the land, For great will be the day of Jezreel.
Ezekiel 37:15-23 (HCSB)
The Reunification of Israel
15 The word of the Lord came to me: 16 “Son of man, take a single stick and write on it: Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him. Then take another stick and write on it: Belonging to Joseph—the stick of Ephraim—and all the house of Israel associated with him. 17 Then join them together into a single stick so that they become one in your hand. 18 When your people ask you, ‘Won’t you explain to us what you mean by these things?’— 19 tell them: This is what the Lord God says: I am going to take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel associated with him, and put them together with the stick of Judah. I will make them into a single stick so that they become one in My hand.
20 “When the sticks you have written on are in your hand and in full view of the people, 21 tell them: This is what the Lord God says: I am going to take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them into their own land. 22 I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel, and one king will rule over all of them. They will no longer be two nations and will no longer be divided into two kingdoms. 23 They will not defile themselves anymore with their idols,their detestable things, and all their transgressions. I will save them from all their apostasies by which[a] they sinned, and I will cleanse them. Then they will be My people, and I will be their God.
- pp 564, 565 JOURNEY FROM RANGOON TO TOUNGOO, AND SIX WEEKS IN THE TOUNGOO MOUNTAINS OF BURMA BY THE REV. JOHN TREW, S.P.G. Missionary. From Mission Life, Vol. V (1874), pages 563-578.