It is a fact that the house of Judah IS NOT the house of Israel!
you ever given any thought to how it is
that Christians sing in their hymnals about and say prayers unto "the God of our fathers,
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob"
and then turn right around and refer to them as Jews!
Think about this.
of those three were Jews,
for Judah was a son of Jacob (see chart below).
you know that the words Hebrew, Israelite, and Judah (Jew)
are NOT synonymous terms.
those who have eaten the Scroll, the Word of God,
and digested it in their bellies, do know the difference.
fact, they are instructed to educate their people
about those differences and so it is a very important "end times"
job of the watchmen.
Let's read about it.
Ezekiel 37:15 The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:
is something so extremely important that our Father wants
His watchman to continually teach it, all their lives!
What is it?
It is the fact that the house of Judah IS NOT the house of Israel!
They are split into two houses!
along with their allotment of Levites
and many from the tribe of Benjamin,
comprise the "House of Judah",
while Joseph, of whom the tribe of Ephraim was the largest,
along with the rest of the 10 northern tribes
comprise the other house, the "House of Israel".
There are two houses, two sticks, NOT ONE!
Here is why this is so important:
If you do not understand these two houses, then you are not a watchman unto the house of Israel, for you know not who to watch over. Furthermore, if you do not understand who these two houses are, then you cannot possibly understand Bible prophecy! Here's the test question, "Can you show someone where the United States of America, which has many times more Bibles in the land than people, is mentioned in God's Word?" You should not only be able to do that, but as a watchman you are commanded to show the two sticks to the dry bones! That's what this section of the 37th chapter of Ezekiel is all about!
That's the WRONG ANSWER!
the biggest problem is that most ministers and preachers
will tell you exactly the same thing,
that the Jews are the same as the house of Israel,
but they are "dead" wrong.
So much for their understanding of Bible prophecy, huh!
here's what you do:
You say to one of these bone heads when you encounter them,
"Don't move, I'll be right back."
Then go over to the nearest tree and rip off two small limbs... wait a minute!
and make sure this action is not in violation
of one the 57,002 environmental regulations in your township.
take a permanent black Sharpie and write "Judah" on one of the sticks,
hand it to skeleton man*, and say,
"Hold this up in your left hand a minute."
the other stick and write "Joseph" on it
and tell your sinew challenged friend to hold this up in his right hand.
say to him/her,
"Are you holding one stick or two sticks?"
he says, "Wow man, I don't know",
that means you are in a really arid section of town
where the bones are becoming petrified,
i.e. getting stoned.
say "Ok dude" and go repeat this process
perhaps in the suburbs somewhere.
(This is a fairly close analogy to the teaching job of a watchman.)
Anyway, you've got the picture in your mind concerning the TWO sticks, not one stick, right?
*Note: Gender cannot be readily determined by looking at a skeleton. Gender is a thing of the flesh. So doesn't that make you wonder why all the prehistoric skeletons they discover are always called "men", you know, Neanderthal Man, Pilton Man, etc. Maybe those who made the discoveries were totally wrong and it was really Neanderthal Woman they found! Women just aren't treated equally with men in the theory of evolution.
the less theatrical among us,
there is another way to use "sticks"
to demonstrate that which God wants His watchmen
to continually educate the dry bones about,
and that is simply to write on and hold up the two branches on the Family Tree,
one for Judah and one for Joseph.
continue with verse 17 where God now tells Ezekiel
that once the two sticks have been shown to be two separate sticks,
demonstrate that they will be joined together and become just one stick.
is prophecy and will happen at the restoration in the Millennium,
which begins at the 7th Trump, the return of Jesus Christ.
Ezekiel 37:17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.
 And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these?
simply say something like,
"Did you know it is written
(you could even say "in Ezekiel chapter 37" if you remember the chapter)
that God is going to restore the house of Judah and the house of Israel into one?
That is because they are two separate houses right now."
 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.
is the Lord GOD, not man,
who will restore His people, both houses you now know,
so that they and all the nations round about them
"Shall know that He is the LORD".
Ezekiel 37:20 And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes.
You stick to it!
To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits;
to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.
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