The Scofield Factor--Part 3
Oct 31, 2011
One of the main keys of Scripture that neither Darby nor Scofield understood was the reason why Christ must come twice. They knew the fact, but not the purpose. And so Scofield's Reference Bible shows little depth in its explanation of Leviticus 14, a chapter depicting the two birds (i.e., Christ in His two appearances).
The first bird was to be killed in an earthen vessel, while the second was released alive into the open field after being dipped in the blood of the bird that was killed. The extent of his understanding was:
Birds. The bird slain, and the live bird, dipped in blood and released, present the two aspects of salvation in Romans 4:25, "delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification."
Certainly this is true insofar as Christ's work on the cross is concerned. Yet this view is confined to the first appearance of Christ on the earth. He did not see the bigger picture where the second bird represented the second coming of Christ. In fact, Scofield has no comment at all on Revelation 19:13, where the link is made:
(13) And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called the Word of God.
If Scofield had understood this, he would have seen that the overall purpose for the FIRST coming of Christ was to die, while the purpose of the SECOND coming was no longer to die, but to come as the Living, Resurrected Christ and to be released into the world (the "field") by the power of the Jubilee.
If Scofield had been aware of this, he might have understood that Christ's first coming was to claim the throne rights given to Judah (Gen. 49:9, 10), while Christ's second coming was to claim His birthright given to Joseph (1 Chron. 5:1, 2). Scofield would have seen that Joseph's robe too was dipped in blood as a prophetic type of the second coming of Christ. Gen. 37:31 says,
(31) So they took Joseph's tunic, and slaughtered a male goat, and dipped the tunic in the blood.
Hence, the second appearance of Christ, where His robe is said to be "dipped in blood," identifies Christ with Joseph as well as the second bird of Leviticus 14:6.
This prophetic connection shows the different purposes in the two comings of Christ. He had to be born in Bethlehem of Judea of the seed of David and of the tribe of Judah in order to lay claim to His throne rights. But because the scepter had already been separated from the birthright when it was given to Joseph, it was necessary for Christ to come twice--the second time as a manifestation of Joseph in order to lay claim to His birthright.
In other words, it takes two comings of Christ to repair the breach between Judah and Joseph and to reunite the tribes and their callings under one Head, as prophesied in Hosea 1:11.
Jacob's distribution of gifts and callings in Genesis 49 was not the cause of disunity, because it was presumed that the tribes would remain united. As long as they were in unity, each tribe could benefit from the callings of the other tribes, much the same as being in a church where there are various gifts and callings distributed among the people. It was only centuries later, when the tribes split after the death of Solomon (1 Kings 12:16), that the breach occurred between the scepter of Judah and the birthright given to the sons of Joseph.
From then on, the prophets speak either to Israel or to Judah according to whom their prophecies were to be directed. They never confused the two nations. The House of Israel was the nation to the north, while the House of Judah was the nation to the south, consisting only of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin (with some Levites).
When the House of Israel was conquered by Assyria and dispersed into the area between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea, the prophets spoke words of hope and comfort that God would somehow regather them in spite of divine judgment. Yet those Israelites (as tribal units) never returned. After the fall of Assyria, they migrated north and west into Europe, leaving behind only cemeteries to mark their paths.
Four tombstones in the Crimea (north of the Black Sea) read thus:
1. This is the tombstone of Buki, the son of Izchak [Isaac] the priest; may his rest be in Eden, at the time of the salvation of Israel. In the year 702 of the years of our Exile [i.e., 19 B.C.]
2. Rabbi Moses Levi died in the year 726 of our Exile [i.e., 6 A.D.]
3. Zadok, the Levite, son of Moses, died 4000 after the creation 785 of our Exile [i.e., 65 A.D.]
4. I Jehuda ben Mose ha-Nagolon of the East country, ben Jehuda ha-Gibbor of the tribe of Naphtali, of the generation Schillem, who went into the exile with the exiles, who were driven away with Hosea, the king of Israel, together with the tribes of Simeon and Dan and some of the generations of the other tribes of Israel, which (all) were led into exile by the enemy Shalmanesser from Schomron and their cities to Chalach, that is Baclack and to Chabar, that is, Chabul and to Hara, that is, Herat, and to Gosan, that is, Gozna, the cities of the exiled tribes of Reuben, Gad and the half of Manasseh, which Pilneser drove into exile and settled there (and from there they scattered themselves over the whole land of the East as far as Sinim)--when I returned from wandering in the land of their exile and from journeying in the dwelling places of the descendants of their generations in their resting places of the Land of Krim...
(Above quotations cited from Bible Research Handbook, Vol. 2, Serial No. 119c. It contains pictures of the first three tombstones showing the ancient writing.)
Sinim is China, and this is why even today, when news accounts speak of Sino-Russian relations, they are referring to the political relationship between China and Russia. The "Land of Krim" is the Crimea just north of the Black Sea.
The biblical story of Israel's exile is told in 2 Kings 17. It tells how the Assyrian King Shalmaneser overthrew Israel's King Hoshea and deported the Israelites to "Halah and Habor, on the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes" (17:6). Verse 18 adds,
(18) So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from His sight; none was left except the tribe of Judah.
Of course, we know that a century later, Judah was taken to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar for 70 years. They returned to their old land in order that Jesus might be born in Bethlehem according to the prophecy of Micah 5:2. Jesus was to be born of the House of David in order to claim His throne. Yet He was rejected, and His throne was usurped by the chief priests with the help of Judas, fulfilling the prophetic story of Absalom when he overthrew David with the help of Ahithophel (2 Sam. 15).
The second coming of Christ is characterized by a conflict over the birthright of Joseph. This is the chief difference between the two comings of Christ, and it is also the reason why the second appearance of Christ is through Joseph, rather than through Judah. Scofield never understood this, nor did any of the Dispensationalists. They assumed that the Jews were Israel, and their support of Zionism was based upon the belief that a Jewish state would fulfill the prophecies of the House of Israel. This mistaken belief was solidified in their minds when the Jewish state took upon itself the name "Israel" instead of Judah or some variation of Judah.
Hence, the Zionists usurped the birthright of Joseph by claiming to be Israel.
This is the third part of a series titled "The Scofield Factor." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones