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Sunday, July 10 2016

Romans 11: The Branches Of A Wild Olive Tree

"That blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in ... And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches"

Grafting is a method of joining two different (but genetically compatible) plants so that they grow as one i.e. surgically inserting a branch, or shoot, of one plant into the tissue of another; after the union heals, they are a single living entity. The purpose of grafting is most often to unite a root stock with grafted parts that together produce some desired result e.g. peach trees tolerate sandy soil better than plum trees; plum grafts are made to peach root stock to permit the better growing of plums in sandy soil.

Grafting has been known for thousands of years, and was well-known to the people of Bible history, mostly from olive trees. Some varieties of olive trees had very vigorous roots, but produced poor olives, and vice-versa, so branches from good quality olive trees were grafted onto olive trees of stronger root stock which together made an all-round superior olive tree.

"Gentile" is a very misunderstood word. In Hebrew, it literally means a nation, any nation - of which Israel itself was a nation, a "gentile." Israel was created from the nations around them, the other gentiles, the other nations (see The Origin Of Israelites And Jews and What Are Gentiles Doing In Israel?), but "Israel" was created for a prophetic purpose (see When Will The Prophecy Of Israel Be Fulfilled?) that they unfortunately did not fulfill very well for themselves. The result, for now, is that many "gentiles" - people of other nations - have come to understand what "Israel" was given to be the first to know.

Olive Branch

"11:1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 11:2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, 11:3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. 11:4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

11:7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded 11:8 (According as it is written,

God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.

11:9 And David saith,

Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: 11:10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway." (Romans 11:1-10 KJV)

The apostle Paul, in some ways, had an easier task than, for example, the apostle Peter. Paul, a converted Jew, was the apostle to the "gentiles," while Peter was an apostle to his fellow Jews i.e. "2:7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; 2:8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles" (Galatians 2:7-8 KJV).

That was the reason that Paul was very specific in his teaching perspective of "the times in which we live."

"11:11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. 11:12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?

11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: 11:14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. 11:15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? 11:16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.

11:17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 11:18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 11:19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. 11:20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 11:21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

11:22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 11:23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. 11:24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?" (Romans 11:11-24 KJV)

Paul therefore warned that the "gentiles" who were blessed with understanding should not regard themselves wth haughtiness toward those whose time of growth is yet to come because they were bearing fruit from the roots of those other people: "That blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written."

"11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written,

There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 11:27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

11:28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 11:31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 11:34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? 11:35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen." (Romans 11:25-36 KJV)

Fact Finder: How is it that "Zion" has always been about Jesus Christ?
See When Zion Awakes


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This Day In History, July 10

48 BC: The Battle of Dyrrhachium in Macedonia. Julius Caesar barely escaped a catastrophic defeat to Pompey (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).

138: Roman Emperor Hadrian died (see A History Of Jerusalem: Hadrian and Simon bar Kokhba). He was succeeded by Antonius Pius.

988: Dublin, Ireland was founded.

1212: The most extensive of the early fires of London, England destroyed most of the city.

1460: During the Wars of the Roses, Richard of York defeated King Henry VI at the battle of Northampton.

1520: The Spanish explorer Hernan Cortes (also known as Hernando Cortez) was forced from Tenochtitlan, Mexico by Aztec leader Cuauhtemoc.

1553: Lady Jane Grey was proclaimed Queen of England. Her father-in-law, Lord Northumberland persuaded Edward VI to name Lady Jane as his successor. Her reign lasted only 9 days before Queen Mary, Edward's older sister, successfully claimed the throne. Lady Jane was imprisoned for treason and then beheaded in February 1554.

1584: William I of Orange was assassinated at his home in Delft, Holland.

1609: The Catholic states in Germany set up a league under the leadership of Maximillian of Bavaria.

1778: Louis XVI of France declared war on England. While France is mistakenly regarded by some to have supported the rebellion of the New England colonies, France tolerated no such independence movements in its own colonies in Louisiana; France sought only to weaken the military ties between England and New England in order to take the territories over for itself when the opportunity presented itself.
Napoleon's disastrous wars in Europe (England was fighting Napoleon's French Empire in Europe at the same time that it was fighting in the U.S. in the War of 1812-14) however prevented the French military from invading the new-independent New England colonies.

New France

1821: The U.S. took Florida from Spain.

1925: The "Scopes Monkey Trial" began in Dayton, Tennessee, after high school biology teacher John T. Scopes, 24, was charged with teaching evolution to his students. Clarence Darrow worked for the defense and William Jennings Bryan for the prosecution (see also Rescuing Charles Darwin From The Atheists).

1940: During the Second World War (1939-1945), the "Battle of Britain" air war began when German bombers attacked the docks in south Wales (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).

1943: U.S., British, and Canadian forces invaded Sicily in "Operation Husky."

1953: The Israeli freighter Haifa took aboard its first consignment of iron in Bremen. As part of the reparations agreed to be paid to Israel for Nazi war crimes, along with hard currency payments, shipments of goods would continue without interruption for 12 years.

1960: 7 year old Roger Woodward became the first human to fall accidentally over Niagara Falls and survive.

1962: Telstar, the first television telecommunications satellite, was launched. It made possible the first relaying of TV programs across the Atlantic Ocean.

1985: The Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior was sunk in the port at Auckland, New Zealand, by a bomb placed by French secret service agents; one crew member was killed.

1992: Manuel Noriega was sentenced to 40 years in prison by a Miami court for alleged drug dealing committed in Panama. According to international diplomatic and military law of sovereign nations, after he was captured and taken to Florida during the U.S. invasion of Panama, Noriega has claimed to be a prisoner of war (Noriega is a general in the Panama military), as well as being diplomatically immune from the civil laws of a foreign country.




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