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The breach between Israel and Judah, or, more importantly, between the Birthright and the Scepter, is one of the most important themes of Scripture. It sets up the distinction between the King and His Kingdom in many of Jesus' parables in the New Testament. Often we read parables about a nobleman (Jesus) leaving to secure for Himself a Kingdom. In other words, the Heir to the Throne was in need of a Kingdom, and He had to ascend to heaven to get it.
In Solomon's day, when he fell into sin in his later years, a prophet came to him and told him that God was going to take "the Kingdom" away from him (1 Kings 11:11, 31, 34, 35). And so, in the next chapter, when the ten tribes of the north revolted and repudiated the rule of the house of David, it was "the Kingdom" that was taken from the house of David.
The effects of this breach are still with us today. When Jesus came as the Heir in His first appearance, He was rejected, and His throne was usurped (Matt. 21:38). The breach remained, and so He ascended to heaven to obtain for Himself a Kingdom. In other words, He had to go appeal His case directly to the Father.
The purpose of the second coming is to CLAIM His Kingdom. The breach created a prophetic situation where it became necessary for Jesus to come twice. The first time He came of the house of David and of the tribe of Judah in order to claim His throne, but it was usurped. The second time, however, He comes as Joseph with His robe dipped in blood (Rev. 19:13) as the Heir of the Birthright, but also as David returning to claim the throne from Absalom.
In so doing, He repairs the breach between Israel and Judah, reuniting the King with His Kingdom.
But alongside of these things, there is another very important event. This second coming is not done apart from the Sons of God. 1 Thess. 1:10-12 says,
10 when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed--for our testimony to you was believed. 11 To this end also we pray for you always . . . 12 in order that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you and you in Him. . ."
In His second coming, He will have a Body--the Body of Christ--in which to manifest His glory. In that day these "saints" will be "marveled at." So one cannot properly study the second coming of Christ without seeing its context in the manifestation of the Sons of God. I believe that these events must take place on the autumn feast days, the second set of feast days: Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles. These days prophesy of the Resurrection, Repentance (of the wheat company), and Manifestation of the Sons of God (the barley company).
Look at the story of Hezekiah with this in mind. He became mortally ill, and Isaiah told him to get his house in order, because he was going to die. But Hezekiah prayed, and God gave him another 15 years of life. This was confirmed by the clock returning "ten steps" on the sundial.
It is yet unclear how this 15-year extension applies to us today. But we know its results in Hezekiah's life. Three years into this extension, he had a son, an heir to the throne. His name was Manasseh. We know the timing of his birth because Manasseh was 12 years old when his father died (2 Kings 21:1).
Manasseh was named after the son of Joseph, but he was of the tribe of Judah. In that sense, he foreshadows the reunification of Judah and Joseph. But he was a wicked king that ruled 55 years (21:1). He was so bad that he even sacrificed his son on the altar to Baal (21:6). The prophets prophesied dire judgment upon Jerusalem (21:10-15).
The story of Manasseh is told more fully in 2 Chronicles 33. It is the 400th chapter of the Bible, and as we see so often, the chapter number has to do with the meaning of the number itself. In verse 6 we find that Manasseh "used witchcraft." The word is kawshaf, translated witchcraft or sorcery. It has a numeric value of 400, because that is the biblical meaning of number 400. Whenever this number appears in Scripture, it involves witchcraft or is a prophecy about witchcraft in some way.
2 Chron. 33:10, 11 says,
10 And the Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. 11 Therefore the Lord brought the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria against them, and they captured Manasseh with hooks, bound him with bronze chains, and took him to Babylon.
This ungodly king was a prophetic picture of us today. We too have been brought captive to Babylon for the sins of our leaders--who were doing according to the hearts of the people. But there is also good news for us.
12 And when he was in distress, he entreated the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. 13 When he prayed to Him, He was moved by his entreaty and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.
This is our great hope as well. This "hope" is not just wishful thinking. The prophetic pattern has already been written, and so it is our EXPECTATION. It will happen again. Our leaders will repent, and the nation will be restored. But first they must experience the "distress" of captivity. This is what is happening now.
King Manasseh serves as a double type and shadow. This is because he had two entirely different life styles. The first was in witchcraft, the second was as a true believer. In his first life, he serves as a prophetic type of Israel ("Manasseh, son of Joseph") that is currently in a degraded life style in the name of "freedom." In his second life, however, he serves as a repentant believer to whom the Kingdom is given.
In other words, he represents the Birthright people, the Sons of God, those who are united with the House of David (Jesus). The name "Manasseh" means forgetting. Back in the days of Joseph, his son was named to prophesy that his sons would forget their father's house and lose their identity as Israelites (Gen. 41:51). This was fulfilled when the northern tribes of Israel were "lost." It is not that the people ceased to exist, but that they forgot who they were as they immigrated across the Caucasus mountains from Assyria into Europe. They became known as "Caucasians."
In our own context, "Manasseh" indicates that we have forgotten much more than that. We have also forgotten God--which was the reason God cast Israel out of the land in the first place. Those descended physically from these Israelites have little to be proud of. In fact, it is more of an embarrassment and an occasion for sorrow, because we read in 2 Chron. 33:9,
9 Thus Manasseh misled Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the sons of Israel.
In other words, God had judged the Canaanites for their sin, but Judah and Israel were worse than the Canaanites! Anyone who thinks that their genealogical connection with Israel makes them more righteous than others should read the Scriptures!
Nonetheless, the life of King Manasseh is a prophecy of the end times. When Manasseh was restored to the throne of David, it prophesied of the repair of the breach.
Last April I spoke at a Passover conference in Manassas, Virginia. We will be returning there next Passover as a double witness to the restoration of Manasseh to his throne. We live in interesting times. When we are led by the Spirit, God leads us to do things that give us a basic structure of understanding, so that we know how specific prophecies are being fulfilled today.