Prepare to Meet Your God, O Israel | Tomorrow’s World — May/June 2024

Prepare to Meet Your God, O Israel

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For twenty-five years, this magazine has predicted the fulfillment of biblical prophecy, especially regarding the end-time “House of Israel”—modern descendants of God’s ancient nation. How can you know that our words are true?

The Bible gives a sober warning to those who falsely claim to have received a message from God—who assert that He has spoken to them when He has not. There have aways been, and continue to be, individuals claiming the status of divine prophet. However, Ezekiel, a true prophet, conveys God’s warning against making predictions that supposedly come from Him, then hoping they will come to pass.

Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who prophesy, and say to those who prophesy out of their own heart, “Hear the word of the Lord!” Thus says the Lord God: “Woe to the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! ... They have envisioned futility and false divination, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord!’ But the Lord has not sent them; yet they hope that the word may be confirmed” (Ezekiel 13:2–3, 6).

God does not mince words regarding false predictions wrongly attributed to Him, calling them lies and nonsense. Ezekiel continues: “Have you not seen a futile vision, and have you not spoken false divination? You say, ‘The Lord says,’ but I have not spoken. Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Because you have spoken nonsense and envisioned lies, therefore I am indeed against you,’ says the Lord God” (vv. 7–8).

So, why does Tomorrow’s World talk so much about prophecy? And how can you know that our words are true?

Understanding Bible prophecy can be a challenge. It would be easy if God spoke to us plainly in visions and dreams as He did with the prophets of old, but that is not presently the case. None of us here at Tomorrow’s World claim to be prophets. We are therefore left to read what they wrote and discern two key points: the intended recipients and the times when the prophecies are to be fulfilled. Furthermore, we have a responsibility to pass along those inspired words of God.

Let me explain why.

Ezekiel and the House of Israel

God gave the prophet Ezekiel an unusual commission. He was told to take a message to the house of Israel and that he would be held accountable if he did not do so. But why should this matter to you? And what does that have to do with the work of Tomorrow’s World and its sponsor, the Living Church of God?

Ezekiel was given a small scroll, on which was written a message for the future. He was then told to eat it, and was commanded:

Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them. For you are not sent to a people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, but to the house of Israel, not to many people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, had I sent you to them, they would have listened to you. But the house of Israel will not listen to you, because they will not listen to Me; for all the house of Israel are impudent and hard-hearted (Ezekiel 3:4–7).

Notice that, four times in four verses, the intended recipient for Ezekiel’s message is made clear: the house of Israel. Now, this presents a significant problem that few people understand. Yet it is not difficult to solve. After King Solomon’s reign, the nation of Israel split into two separate nations: the house of Israel to the north and the house of Judah to the south. The house of Israel was made up of ten tribes, while the house of Judah included only Judah, Benjamin, and many Levites. You can read of this split in 1 Kings 12.

Most people think that the terms Judah and Israel are synonymous. This is not so. Israel is a broader term that includes Judah (or Jews) as well as other peoples. It is true that all ethnic Jews are descendants of Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel. Therefore, they are children of Israel. But not all Israelites are Jews, just as not all Americans are Californians. Similarly, those living in Canada, the United States, and Mexico are in a broad sense “Americans” because they live in North America—but Canada, Mexico, and the United States are three different countries.

The Bible devotes four books (1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles) to the histories of these two separate nations. The house of Israel went into captivity to Assyria around 721–718 BC. The house of Judah was taken captive to Chaldea (Babylon) by Nebuchadnezzar between 604 and 585 BC—more than a hundred years after the northern house had ceased to be a nation. Both secular and scriptural history show that these two nations have never since been a single nation. Yet both will exist at Jesus Christ’s return and will at that time become one nation again, as is clearly shown in Ezekiel 37:15–28. Take time to read this passage. It describes the future, when King David will have been resurrected and God will have set up His kingdom on earth (vv. 23–28).

Some interpreters misrepresent the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, contradicting Ezekiel 37 by claiming that Israel and the Jews were already one people, as we find that some Jews returned from Babylonian captivity after the fall of that empire in 539 BC. They point out verses such as Ezra 10:5 and Nehemiah 12:47: “Then Ezra arose, and made the leaders of the priests, the Levites, and all Israel swear an oath that they would do according to this word…. In the days of Zerubbabel and in the days of Nehemiah all Israel gave the portions for the singers and the gatekeepers, a portion for each day.”

However, claiming that these are references to all twelve tribes is ignorance at best and deception at worst. A careful reading of Ezra and Nehemiah shows conclusively that these passages describe returnees from Babylonian captivity who were Jews, Benjamites, and Levites—the house of Judah. No one from the other tribes of Israel, who had gone into Assyrian captivity 120 years earlier, is mentioned in either of these books. Remember, Jews are Israelites, but they are not of the northern house of Israel—a distinction that is important for us today, as we shall see.

Ezekiel Knew to Whom He Was Sent

Was Ezekiel sent to preach to Israel or Judah? Ezekiel lived in the southern nation of Judah, and was one of the many taken captive to Babylon. He knew the difference between the two countries that had descended from the patriarch Israel. But how do we know that Ezekiel did not refer to the Jews when he spoke to the Jewish captives about the house of Israel? Did he understand that the focus of his message was for the northern nation and not his own?

The answer to this question is a mystery to both clergy and laymen alike, but it need not be. It is part of one of the most exciting biblical truths—a profound truth that helps make sense of our current world and explains why we at Tomorrow’s World do not neglect prophecy. Go back to the beginning of the book of Ezekiel. Open up your own Bible and read these things for yourself. Don’t believe us just because we say so; believe it because you read it in your own Bible!

The Jews went into captivity in stages over a 19-year period. Ezekiel was among the earlier captives, and the book by his name begins six years before the fall of Jerusalem. “Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year… as I was among the captives by the River Chebar… in the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, the word of the Lord came expressly to Ezekiel the priest… in the land of the Chaldeans by the River Chebar” (Ezekiel 1:1–3).

Now turn to chapter 4, where the prophet is told to portray on a clay tablet the upcoming siege of Jerusalem. He was to set up battering rams and other miniature instruments of warfare. Why? “This will be a sign to the house of Israel” (v. 3). But Jerusalem was the capital of the house of Judah (the Jews). So, why was the siege of Jerusalem “a sign to the house of Israel”? Did Ezekiel not know the difference? Did God not know the difference (obviously I jest) when He spoke to Ezekiel? What follows proves that Ezekiel did know the difference. Read it for yourself. Right after telling Ezekiel that the siege of Jerusalem would be a sign to the house of Israel, God gave him this unusual command:

Lie also on your left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it. According to the number of the days that you lie on it, you shall bear their iniquity. For I have laid on you the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days; so you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And when you have completed them, lie again on your right side; then you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days. I have laid on you a day for each year (Ezekiel 4:4–6).

Though these prophecies were taken to the Jews, and some prophecies do apply to them, the real focus of the book is for the house of Israel—a different nation. But when are the prophecies to be fulfilled?

Connect the dots: In the opening chapters, God tells Ezekiel to go to the house of Israel (Ezekiel 3:1, 4–5, 7). Moreover, he was commanded, “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me” (v. 17). Furthermore, as we have seen, the siege of Jerusalem was to be “a sign to the house of Israel.” Ezekiel was only able to transmit God’s message to his own people, those of the house of Judah, who were also in captivity with him—but his message, as seen in the clay tablet portraying the siege of Jerusalem, was a message for the house of Israel.

A Watchman’s Duty

Ezekiel was told that he was to be “a watchman to the house of Israel.” We see this in the introductory chapters where his commission is explained. After describing the hardheadedness of his audience, God said, “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me” (Ezekiel 3:17).

Look now at a crucial passage found in chapter 33 that confirms Ezekiel’s responsibility to be a watchman—not to the Jews, but to the house of Israel. A new element is added: the gravity of his calling.

“Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’ So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me” (vv. 2–7).

We have already seen that ancient Israel became divided into two separate kingdoms. And while Ezekiel was a captive in Babylon, his main prophetic message was for the northern kingdom of Israel. He was to eat a little scroll and take to the house of Israel the message it contained (Ezekiel 3:1). The siege of Jerusalem was a message for the house of Israel (Ezekiel 4:1–3).

And we now see God’s confirmation of Ezekiel’s calling and the importance of carrying it out: “I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel.” The warning is that if they do not repent, they will go into captivity.

But “Houston, we have a problem”: The northern ten tribes had already been taken captive more than 120 years earlier. It would appear that Ezekiel was more than a century late. Or was he?

As explained earlier, the most challenging part of understanding biblical prophecy is discerning who the message is for and when it is to be fulfilled. Sometimes it is obvious; other times it is not so obvious. From what we have described, we understand that much of the book of Ezekiel is not for the Jews, but for the northern ten tribes.

But why would God warn a nation 120 years too late that it will go into captivity unless it turns from its evil deeds? Furthermore, why would God choose a man to do so who was himself in captivity in a different location and who had no ability to take the message to the intended recipients?

We must conclude that God had Ezekiel record that message for a future watchman who could take that warning to the house of Israel. But when?

It is interesting that we find the phrase “house of Judah” just five times in 48 chapters, though there are clearly other references to the Jews. However, the northern ten tribes of the house of Israel are mentioned more than 80 times! Some of Ezekiel’s prophecies were a witness against the Jews of his day, but the majority of God’s message was for the house of Israel—and it was not for that time, but for ours, at the end of the age.

How Does Ezekiel’s Message Apply Today?

Ezekiel contains many references to the time leading up to the end of the age and the beginning of Christ’s rule on Earth. Eight chapters are devoted to descriptions of a temple and its services in the Millennial age (40–47). And chapter 48 describes the borders between the twelve tribes of Israel after the return of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah. We learn that the two nations will not get back together until the time of the resurrection (37:15–28).

Also, there is a direct reference to the Day of the Lord—the time of God’s end-time intervention. “O Israel, your prophets are like foxes in the deserts. You have not gone up into the gaps to build a wall for the house of Israel to stand in battle on the day of the Lord” (Ezekiel 13:4–5).

The intended recipients of Ezekiel’s prophecy are not the Jews, nor those of the house of Israel of his day, but the end-time descendants of the ten-tribe nation of Israel. Therefore, there must be an end-time watchman—but who? It can only be someone, or some group of people, aware of who these tribes are and where they are located at the end of the age. Outside of those of us here at Tomorrow’s World and a few other remnants of the Worldwide Church of God under the leadership of the late Herbert W. Armstrong, practically no one else recognizes the clear teachings of the Bible in this matter.

And even apart from this understanding, God makes it clear that His servants have a responsibility, for which they will be held accountable, to warn those heading for disaster: “Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, ‘Surely we did not know this,’ does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?” (Proverbs 24:11–12).

According to the Bible, the house of Israel exists somewhere on earth today, and it is not an obscure player in geopolitics. Those who know where to find the descendants of the twelve tribes of Israel see them stumbling to the slaughter, and the outcome of their stumbling is going to be horrendous beyond imagination.

If you would like to discover what the Bible tells us about these people at the end of the age, request your own free copy of The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy from the Regional Office nearest you or read it right here at

God’s Punishment for Israel’s Sins is Coming

Is it coincidence that the American and British-descended peoples, along with the Jews in the modern nation of Israel, find themselves beset with troubles on all sides, at the very time they abandon their Creator and embrace the most repulsive sins? Lawlessness abounds. Violence is on the rise. Hostility toward God is open and heated. The Ten Commandments are widely rejected—even by many who call themselves “Christian.” Adultery is rampant, and along with it, divorce (or separation, since many don’t even bother to get married), with children left in angry confusion. Mothers bring their toddlers to Drag Queen Story Hours. Do they not consider what the outcome may be?

Unless the American and British-descended nations—such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa—turn from their sins, slavery is in their near future, as difficult as that is to believe. God is not mocked, and when He withdraws His protective hedge, the downfall will come suddenly, as Isaiah wrote:

Now go, write it before them on a tablet, and note it on a scroll, that it may be for time to come, forever and ever: that this is a rebellious people, lying children, children who will not hear the law of the Lord; who say to the seers, “Do not see,” and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us right things; speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits. Get out of the way, turn aside from the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.” Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel: “Because you despise this word, and trust in oppression and perversity, and rely on them, therefore this iniquity shall be to you like a breach ready to fall, a bulge in a high wall, whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant” (Isaiah 30:8–13).

No, we at Tomorrow’s World are not prophets—but we can and do point out what the prophets of God recorded for the two houses of Israel for our time. Anyone with eyes to see should recognize that these are momentous times and that disaster is on the horizon. It need not happen if the people that make up the house of Israel and the house of Judah will turn from their evil ways—but, sadly, there is no evidence of that.

The prophet Amos described how everything would seem to be going in a bad direction and then warned, “Therefore thus will I do to you, O Israel; because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel” (Amos 4:12).

Remember where you heard this message.


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