The re-union of the two houses of Israel focusses on Ephraim or his father Joseph and Judah. Ephraim is a handle on Israel for the ten northern tribes of Israel. The Northern Kingdom of Israel rebelled from the royal tribe of Judah went their own way. They ended up in gross idolatry. They were were divorced by God and cast off. – Jeremiah 3:8 They were taken captive by the Assyrians in 722 B.C.. The northern ten tribes never returned to the land of Israel in numbers sufficient to restore their tribal names or their sovereignty in Israel. These are the so-called ‘lost ten tribes’.

Judah is the royal tribe in the Jewish nation. They too went into idolatry and captivity. In their case it was Babylon that carried them off in 605 and 586 B.C.. They did return to the land of Israel in faith and numbers sufficient to re-establish a sovereign presence in the Holy City. Their temple was rebuilt under Zerubbabel, faith and devotion restored under Ezra, and the gates and walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt under Nehemiah thus securing Jerusalem’s sovereignty as a city state. Thus continued the saga of the Jews.

The Gospel is going out to the ends of the earth. The Shepherd of Israel will find all of these lost people and save their companions as well. He will seek out and find every last one of the lost sheep of the House of Israel, even on a dark and cloudy day. -Ezekiel 37:16 Then He will bring them home, every last one of them.- Ezekiel 34:12

Isaiah 11
12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations,
and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel,
and gather together the dispersed of Judah
from the four corners of the earth.
13 The envy also of Ephraim shall depart,
and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off:
Ephraim shall not envy Judah,
and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.
– Isaiah 11:12-13 KJV

In the His priestly office our Messiah is our Sacrifice Lamb and our High Priest. Two millennia ago He came as the prophesied Suffering Servant. But when He comes again as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, we shall see Him come as a conquering King in His royal or kingdom role.

These two offices of Messiah have been a puzzle and a source of wonder for the Jewish rabbis for a long long time. One theory they put forward was that there might be two messiahs.
The messiah of the kingdom office they would name Meshiach ben David.
The messiah of the priestly office they would name Meshiach ben Joseph.
Ben David would be the the messiah as King of Israel.
Ben Joseph would be the messiah as High Priest of Israel.

As we have seen from scripture, Jesus will fit the bill for both offices quite nicely. He will fulfill both in His two comings. In the fullness of time these two offices of Messiah. in the Order of Melchizedek will have been paraded into holy history by Jesus in the first and second comings of Messiah. A gap of two millennia will have separated them.

The first coming of Messiah came on the 10th of Nisan in the year of His passion. Our Lord Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. It was just 4 days before the Passover of His crucifixion. He came to His people in his priestly ministry as the ‘suffering servant’ riding on a donkey bringing the bridal price in his very life for the betrothal to His Bride and covenant people.

This next time He comes it will be quite different. He will return in His kingdom role as a ‘conquering King’ and riding on a white horse. He will rule in the royal or kingdom office of Melchizedek from the Throne of David.

The priestly office and the kingdom office complement each other. In the coming Millennium of Messiah the people and the creation of this world will have the best opportunity that they have ever had to find true happiness. Peace with God will bring peace with their fellow man. And this planet will be restored to order and beauty.

Ezekiel saw the kingdom and priestly offices of Melchizedek as well. He saw them exemplified by the two sticks that became one in his hand.

Ezekiel 37
15 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 16 “As for you, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it: ‘For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions.’ Then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions.’ 17 Then join them one to another for yourself into one stick, and they will become one in your hand. 18 “And when the children of your people speak to you, saying, ‘Will you not show us what you mean by these?’– 19 say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand.” 20 And the sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes. 21 Then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; 22 and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again. 23 They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God. 24 “David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd;
(Ezekiel 37:15-28 NKJV)

The final reconciliation of all Israel is also laid out for us in the Fall Feasts, the final three of the Seven Feasts of Israel. The fulfilment and culmination of all these seven feasts will finalize the kingdom agenda in Christ, even the ‘Gospel of the Kingdom’.

14. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world
as a witness to all the nations,
and then the end will come. -Mathew 24:14

The ‘Gospel of the Kingdom’ is spoken of quite often in the gospels. – Mathew 4:23, 9:35, 24:14, Mark 1:14. As Christian believers this mention of ‘kingdom’ in association with the Gospel sounds strange in our ears. This is because we are so focussed on the priestly burden of the Church which is the spreading of the Gospel of grace. The Kingdom, however, is the place of His rule. He rules first in the hearts of men in the gentle bonds of His love. Later, at His coming, He will minister and rule upon the earth from Jerusalem in the glorious future Messianic Kingdom.

This eventual union of the Kingdom and the Priesthood was laid out for the covenant people of God way back at Sinai. In Moses’s final address and charge to the Children of Israel he brought them this exhortation and challenge,

Exodus 19
5 ‘Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant,
then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples,
for all the earth is Mine;
6 and you shall be to Me
a kingdom of priests and
a holy nation.
-Exodus 19:5-6 NKJV

Notice that God does not speak of a ‘royal nation’ and a ‘holy priesthood’ as we would do today with our inclination, (in Greek logic and mindset), to totally separate and compartmentalize the political and priestly offices of church and state.
But rather God, through this message to us from Moses, crosswires the connections between the two virtues and the two offices.
The priestly virtue of holiness He applies to the kingdom, and
the kingdom virtue of royalty He applies to the priesthood.

So we have a ‘royal priesthood’
and we have a ‘holy nation’.

Our Apostle Peter brings us precisely the same message that Moses brought us 3500 years ago from out of the New Testament.

2:9 But you are a chosen generation,
a royal priesthood,
a holy nation,
His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises
of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
– 1 Peter 2:9

This is wonderful news indeed. In the coming Messianic kingdom/priesthood our Messiah intends to thoroughly crossover the royalty virtue of the kingdom or political office and apply it to the Priestly office of Messiah. And He will crossover the holiness virtue of the Priestly office and apply it to the Kingdom office of Messiah.

How wonderful! There will be no dichotomies, compartmentalizations, vaticanizations or bureaucratic hierarchies in the Kingdom of God. Every agency of Messiah’s Kingdom will be subject to Him and all the offices and anointings will serve each other. and bless and be blessed by Messiah and all His agencies agencies. This is demonstrated for us in the architecture of the New Jerusalem with its 12 gates and alcoves. – Rev.21 Each and all of the 12 gates into the Holy City are unique with their separate identity preserved. Every one of them, including the gate of the royal Jewish tribe of Judah, have privilege of place in the New Jerusalem even as there are 12 stones on the High Priest’s breastplate. The Throne of David, which is the place of Messiah’s Kingdom rule, will be at the gate of Judah. Indeed, the Apostle John, the writer of the Book of Revelation, saw Jesus as the ‘Lion of the Tribe of Judah’. -Revelation 5:5 His kingdom authority will go out from the Gate of Judah into the cosmos. But John also tells us that every gate is a also a pearl. This is even as the 11 brothers of Joseph bowed down to him and to his ministry of salvation and reconciliation. The Bread of Life and the Cup of the covenant are both showcased in the ministry of Joseph. The pearl, the white stone, has a central and special connection to all 12 gates. The 12 gates lead into a common area in the center where Messiah, as the Lamb of God presides. He and all His people from the 12 different spiritual streams commune together in a free and open interchange. And yet they all operate together in perfect unity and harmony.

These are our mansions!
And this is our city!
What a magnificent inheritance we have!

All these mysteries will be revealed,
When our greater Melchizedek returns,
And the saints return to stand at last,
At the gates of the Holy City.

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