As we move into Sukkoth 5782 of a 73 year young modern state of Israel and a 54 year restored Jerusalem, we can look back on a 4.000 year long history since Abraham and now 2021 years of a Roman-Catholic calendar based on the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 2. Peter 3.8
It should be noted, that the Pope is the "Representative of Christ", who stays on this position, until the real Messiah comes, who has to fulfil not only the Jewish expectation, but the Christian expectation also.
Jews for Judaism argues: The concept of the Messiah has its foundation in our Jewish Bible, the Tanach, which teaches that all of the following criteria must be fulfilled before any person can be acknowledged as the Messiah.
Reason #2 – Ingathering of the Jewish Exiles – Jesus did not do this.
When the Messiah is reigning as King of Israel, the Jews will be ingathered from their exile and will return to Israel, their homeland (Deut. 30:3; Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 30:3, 32:37; Ezekiel 11:17, 36:24).
This has clearly not yet happened and we still await its fulfillment.
Ephraim's Answer #2
It is striking, that Jews for Judaism, like many other orthodox Jewish groups, are incapable to make a distinction between Israel and Judah, although the quoted passage from Isaiah clearly talks about these two different groups of people coming back to Israel.
He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth. Isaiah 11.12
Right in the very next verse, we see the core issue within the family of the children of Jacob.
Ephraim’s jealousy will vanish, and Judah’s enemies will be destroyed; Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, nor Judah hostile toward Ephraim. Isaiah 11.13
While the Torah and the prophets make a clear distinction between Ephraim and Judah, the House of Israel and the House of Judah, with a very obvious separate history of two kingdoms, in this modern generation everything is "Jewish", or "Christian".
But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Matthew 15.24
At no point in time, the Jewish people were "lost", but maintained their identity at all time. The "lost tribes" from the House of Israel were lost and in particular Ephraim, the firstborn son and heir of Israel.
Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples. John 11.54
In John 11 we read first about the resurrection of Lazarus, when Jesus waits for 2 days to visit his friend, to find him dead for 4 days at his arrival. In a parable Jesus talks about Lazarus, while he is in "Abraham's bosom", with a clear hint for anybody, who "believes in Jesus".
And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. Luke 16.31
2000 years, or 2 days have passed since Jesus lived and visited Ephraim, while 4000 years or 4 days have passed since Abraham. Since 11.8.1929 the Jewish Agency started to prepare for the return of the Jewish people, but also for the ingathering of the exiles an expression also used in the declaration of independence of Israel.
Zionism became the driving force behind the return of the Jewish people, who were supported at all time from Christian Zionists, up to this day, as we can see with the ICEJ's Feast of Tabernacles 2021 under the motto "Days of Elijah".
Zionism started out as a secular movement, with many Socialists in their ranks, who have no connection with the Torah whatsoever, which raises the often asked question "Who is a Jew?"
While Jews for Judaism confirms, that the genealogy in the Bible is maintained via the father, today a Jew is defined as somebody who has a Jewish mother, regardless if an individual keeps the Torah or not. Judaism became like Christianity a religion, whereas the Jewish and Democratic State of Israel grants the freedom of religion to all their inhabitants, with the acceptance of UN Resolution 217, "the Universal Declaration of Human Rights" in the "Fundamental Agreement between the Holy See and the State of Israel" signed 1993.
It is a matter of fact, that countless Jewish and non-Jewish Christians are living in Israel and are an integral part of Israel. Like Jacob in Genesis 48, especially orthodox Jews ask themselves "Who are these?"
Jews for Judaism operates out of Toronto, Canada, while people who believe in Jesus were drawn to the Land of Israel to live there. While there are still some theological "issues" to be solved, we can observe that Jesus actually did gather the non-Jewish exiles of Israel.
When we take a look at the Ezekiel 11 passage quoted by Jews for Judaism, we actually see the issues of today between Torah observant Jews and idol worshipping Christians. Ezekiel doesn't talk about "Jews" but "Israelites", which either are the members of the House of Israel or all descendants of Jacob. To call "Israelites" without any distinction "Jews" would be even a new form of replacement theology.
“Son of man, the people of Jerusalem have said of your fellow exiles and all the other Israelites, ‘They are far away from the Lord; this land was given to us as our possession.’ “Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Although I sent them far away among the nations and scattered them among the countries, yet for a little while I have been a sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.’ “Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.’ “They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols. Ezekiel 11.15-18
While preparing this answer, the UN General Assembly met in New York, where Palestinian Authority President Abbas held a televised speech 24.9.2021, demanding from Israel to withdraw to the 1967 borders, threatening Israel.
The disputed territory is called Judea and Samaria.
The head of Ephraim is Samaria Isaiah 7.9
It is striking, that the last words before the resurrected Jesus took off from Jerusalem clearly refers to Judea & Samaria, the home of Judah and Ephraim. Obviously the Kingdom of Israel was not restored 2000 years ago.
Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1.6-8
The resurrection by the spirit described in Ezekiel 37 happened and countless witnesses to this supernatural "born-again" experience are living in Israel today!
The timeline of Israel's restoration is in line with the prophecies of Hosea.
“Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days (2000 years) he will revive us; on the third day (3000 years since David) he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” “What can I do with you, Ephraim? What can I do with you, Judah? Your love is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears. Hosea 6.1-4