Who are the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel?
To understand the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel we first
need to clearly understand the word Gentile. There is a lot of misunderstanding about the meaning of the word
Gentile and it's correct
GENTILE is a generic word. Like the words Foreigner and Stranger it has no specific meaning until the user places it in a specific context. A Foreigner to one person is a Countryman to another. A Stranger to one person is a Friend to another. A Gentile to one group of people is a Relative to another group.
GENTILE simply means "not one of us", or "not one of our group". Mormons call non-Mormons "Gentiles", and Jews call non-Jews "Gentiles". But outside such a specific context the word Gentile does not stand on it's own.
When the word is used as slang, "Gentiles" are (1) Any who are "uninitiated", as in amateurs or neophytes; (2) Those who are naive, like potential victims, or customers; or (3) Anyone not of our group, like competing sports teams or competing companies.
For Example: The Lost Sheep of the House of Israel are a unique sub-set of Gentiles who are Israelites, but they are not Jews. Viewed from a Jewish perspective, being non-Jews they are Gentiles. But viewed from an Israelite perspective, they are not Gentiles but fellow Israelites. All Jews are Israelites, but not all Israelites are Jews.
Matthew 10:5-6 These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: "Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the Lost Sheep of The House of Israel."
In order to understand this verse we need to remember the title House of Israel was assigned exclusively to the Northern Kingdom when the Davidic Kingdom split. The Northern Kingdom was never Jewish, therefore Jesus command to first go to the Lost Sheep of The House of Israel was NOT a command to go first to "lost Jews".
Jesus was both an Israelite and a Jew. He said in effect "do not go to Israelite Gentiles." (That is, "do not go to non-Israelites.") A common misinterpretation has Him referring to Jewish Gentiles by saying "do not go to non-Jews". That is not what Jesus said.
The post Davidic House of Israel soon became The Lost Tribes of Israel which won their freedom from the Assyrians ~610 BC. These 5 MILLION non-Jewish Israelites spread quickly to the West and Northwest as they exploded into history as The CELTS, who's offspring would later be known as Europeans and Americans. It was to these non-Jewish Israelites in Galatia, Ephesus, Corinth, etc. that Jesus first sent his apostles. These are the people to whom Paul wrote his Letters to Young Churches.
These Northern Kingdom Israelites which received so much attention from Paul were not Jews, but were Gentiles in the Jewish sense since they were not Jews. However they were not Gentiles in the Israelite sense because as offspring of Jacob/Israel they were Israelites. The huge Northern Celtic Kingdom of Israelites was (and is) simply called the The Lost Sheep of the House of Israel.
These Celtic Israelite Gentiles made up the bulk of the early Christians and their offspring are the backbone of Christianity today. Only their identity was temporarily "lost" from history as part of God's specific punishment for the Northern Kingdom. (The Southern Kingdom received it's own punishment.) But his promises to them were never lost. All the promises their ancestors received as pre-split Israelites, plus those extra promises they received as post-split Northern Israelites still apply, for Gods inheritance has no statute of limitations.
Return to MENU: