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    August 26, 1902

    “The Lost Tribes of Israel. (Concluded)” The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 79, 34.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    (Concluded)

    That the ten tribes were no more lost after the close of the Babylonian captivity than they were before, is as plain from the Scriptures as that the tribes of Judah and Benjamin were not lost. How does anybody know that these two tribes were not lost, that is, lost to sight?-By the simple fact that we find reference to them after the captivity; individuals belonging to those tribes are mentioned by name. In the same way we know that the other tribes existed as distinct after the captivity as before.ARSH August 26, 1902, page 9.1

    Not all the people of Israel were carried away to Babylon; the poorest and least prominent were left in their own land. But the majority of all the tribes were taken away, and so in the royal proclamation at the close of the seventy years, the permission to return was universal, as follows:—ARSH August 26, 1902, page 9.2

    “In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the heart of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a royal proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, the Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and He hath charged me to build Him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel (He is the God), which is in Jerusalem.” Ezra 1:1-3.ARSH August 26, 1902, page 9.3

    The permission to return was unlimited, but not all of any tribe took advantage of it. All the tribes, however, were represented; but those that remained were not thereby necessarily lost. A family cannot be said to be “lost” because they live in a foreign country. Later on Artaxerxes in his commission to Ezra wrote: “I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of His priests and Levites in my realm, which are minded of their own free will to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee.” Ezra 7:13.ARSH August 26, 1902, page 9.4

    Immediately following the proclamation of Cyrus we read, “Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, with all them whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem.” Ezra 1:5. We know that the services of the sanctuary were re-established, and none but Levites could be employed in them; and in Ezra 3:10-12 we read that when the foundation of the temple was laid, “they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with symbols to praise the Lord.” Even after the resurrection and ascension of Christ we read of Barnabas, “a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus.” Acts 4:36.ARSH August 26, 1902, page 9.5

    In Luke 2:36-38 we read of “Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher,” who recognized the infant Jesus as the Lord, “and spake of Him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.”ARSH August 26, 1902, page 9.6

    Here we see representatives of two of the ten tribes that are supposed to have mysteriously disappeared, expressly mentioned by name as dwelling in Jerusalem. It is most certain that a thing cannot be lost when you know exactly where it is.ARSH August 26, 1902, page 9.7

    The other tribes are not specified, but in Ezra 2:70 we read, “So the priests, and the Levites, and some of the people, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, dwelt in their cities, and all Israel in their cities.”ARSH August 26, 1902, page 9.8

    When the Apostle Paul was on trial for his life, before King Agrippa, he said, “Now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers; unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come.” Acts 26:6, 7. Here we find that the twelve tribes were in existence in the days of the Apostle Paul, and were looking forward in hope to the fulfillment of the promise which God made to the fathers.ARSH August 26, 1902, page 9.9

    Again, the Apostle James addressed his Epistle “to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad.” James 1:1.ARSH August 26, 1902, page 9.10

    We have here sufficient evidence that no one tribe of Israel was ever lost more than another. All tribal distinctions are now lost, and no Jew can tell to which of the twelve tribes he belongs; and so in that sense, not merely ten, but all of the tribes are now lost, although all the twelve tribes are represented in the Jewish people scattered over the earth. God, however, keeps the list, and in the world to come will put every person in his proper place, for the city for which Abraham looked, the capital of the inheritance promised to him and his seed, the New Jerusalem, has twelve gates, and on the gates are “the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.” Revelation 21:12.ARSH August 26, 1902, page 9.11

    The last two texts suggest another fact, namely, that God’s reckoning of the tribes is not after man’s reckoning. “Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh upon the heart;” (1 Samuel 16:7), and “he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; ... but he is a Jew which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart.” Romans 2:28, 29. All those who are saved will “enter in through the gates into the city,” (Revelation 22:14), but each of those gates has the name on it of one of the twelve tribes, showing that the saved compose the twelve tribes of Israel. This is evident also from the fact that “Israel” means an overcomer. The Epistle of James is addressed to the twelve tribes, yet there is not a Christian who does not know that its instruction and promises are for him.ARSH August 26, 1902, page 10.1

    And this brings us to the fact that in reality all the tribes are lost, “for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all;” (Isaiah 53:6); therefore when the Lord Jesus came, He said, “The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10. He declared, “I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Matthew 15:24.ARSH August 26, 1902, page 10.2

    Here at last we have located the lost tribes of Israel. Not ten only, but all of the tribes are lost, so completely lost that the only hope of their salvation is in the death and resurrection of Christ. In this condition we find ourselves, and therefore we can read with delight, as pertaining to us, the promises concerning the gathering of Israel. Whoever acknowledges himself lost, and depends wholly on Jesus for salvation, will surely be saved, and will be numbered among the twelve tribes.ARSH August 26, 1902, page 10.3

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