Grafting, Cutting & The Mystery
There is a lot of confusion and misunderstanding surrounding Romans chapter 11 specially verses 16 – 24. Therefore in this study we will take a close look at this chapter. Does it teach that you can lose your salvation? Does it teach universal reconciliation? As we apply the God ordained bible study method found in 2 Timothy 2:15 we will begin to see what this chapter is really all about. And what it is about may be a surprise for you.
For the most part we will go verse by verse however we may look at several verses at a time. But first we must give a general doctrinal overview of the book of Romans so as to adjust our perspective of chapter eleven.
The Book Of Romans
The book of Romans stands at the head of the Pauline epistles as a fundamental book of doctrine. I never tell a new convert to begin reading anywhere other than the book of Romans. Why? Because new believers must be established in sound Pauline doctrine in order to be stable in their faith. The faith which the “professing church” has tried to keep buried for the last 1500 years or so.
The Four Foundations Of The Book Of Romans
The book of Romans is divided into 4 distinct foundation stones. Just as if you were going to build a house to live in, Romans builds for the believer the foundation of doctrine in which the soul is to dwell.
The first foundation stone is Justification By Faith and covers Romans chapter 1-5.
The second foundation stone is Living Under Grace and covers Romans chapter 6 -8.
The third foundation stone is What Happened to Israel and covers Romans chapter 9 – 11.
The fourth foundation stone is Practical Instructions and covers Romans 12 -16.
Having a basic understanding of the “lay of the land” so to speak let us take a look at the third foundation stone.
Romans Chapter Eleven
VERSE: Rom 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.
COMMENT: “I say then” is in reference to chapter 10 of which we will quote the last verse. Rom 10:21 But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people. In chapter 10 God demonstrates the length to which he extend himself to save Israel but to no avail because they had chosen not to believe.
“Hath God cast away his people?” Paul’s response is God forbid!! Perish the thought! This is a term of absolute denial. God in no way has cast away his people, however in line with their past history Israel (nationally) cast God away. Paul then testifies of his own salvation and his Israeli lineage as proof that God is still saving Jews, however, as we shall find, he is not saving them through “favored nation status” but rather through saved Gentiles. The “tables” as we might say, “have been turned”. God today has a new agency – the church the body of Christ.
VERSE: Rom 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, 3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.
COMMENT: Paul continues his logical argument concerning the faithfulness of God to the nation of Israel. He does so by employing a well known O.T. story wherein Israel being led by the despicable Ahab and Jezebel were trying to eradicate the prophets and God’s ordained worship system.
Now do not miss the point of this illustration: Israel was in apostasy. God did not leave Israel, Israel left God, and yet God remains faithful to the believing remnant. Remember Hosea!
“God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew” is a reference to God’s eternal purpose for the nation of Israel. Rom 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
Definition: “Wot ye not” = Do you not understand?
Rabbit: “what the scripture saith” = I just wanted to point out that as we “rightly divide the word of truth” we must be careful not to throw out (as dispensationalist are often accused of) the Old Testament. If we follow the Pauline design of bible study we will recognize the tremendous value of the O.T. . Rom 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. 1 Cor 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Rabbit: “how he maketh intercession to God against Israel” Notice here that intercession can be made for or against. There are some things we should pray FOR but there are also things we should pray AGAINST.
VERSE: Rom 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. 5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
COMMENT: This is not a Calvinistic “reservation” based upon “Calvin’s” idea of predestination. Rather this reservation is based upon election, the election of grace. Election in the bible simply means: God chooses those that choose him. Those 7,000 men (prophets) had chosen not to go the way of national Israel. Heb 11:32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of … the prophets: … 35 not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:.
“Even so then at this present time also” – historically when Paul wrote Romans.
“there is a remnant” = God has always had his people. The word “remnant” here does not mean “left over” as in a carpet sale. It does mean those who remain and in this context those who remained faithful. These faithful Israelites are identified by the Lord Jesus Christ as the “little flock”. Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Who is this “little flock?” Israel could be divided up between two groups of people, religious and believing. The Lord Jesus Christ, in his earthly ministry, identified religious Israel for us.
Mat 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
Mat 23:1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: 3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
Buried within religious Israel was believing Israel. Keep in mind here that the prophets were clear about the coming of Christ. The Old Testament scriptures foretold.
Where HE would be born – Micah 5:2
How HE would be born – Isa 7:14
When HE would be born – Dan. 9
How to identify HIM – Isa 35:1-6
Not only this but the wise men were following astronomical prophecies written in the stars – Gen 1:14. Religious Israel rejected the verses above but believing Israel was looking for him when he showed up – they were not surprised at his coming.
Isa 25:9, Luke 2:25 – 2:32, Luke 2:38, Luke 24:21, Mark 15:43
“according to the election of grace.”
Definition: Election = God chooses those that choose Him.
Definition: Grace = Total Provision by and of God
VERSE: Rom 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.
COMMENT: Grace and works will not mix. You cannot have it both ways. Israel’s good works could not save them anymore than they will save today. Salvation, i.e. eternal life, has always been by grace through faith. Under Israel’s “short account” system their faith was expressed by their works. It was the difference typified by this passage: Luke 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Grace is the total provision of God and by God. Apart from him we are indeed undone and unrighteous.
VERSE: Rom 11:7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded… unto this day.
COMMENT: “Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for” WHY? Because they did not come God’s way.
Luke 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
“but the election hath obtained it” – WHY? Because they believed the scripture, because they believed John Baptist, because they believed the Lord Jesus Christ was who he said he was.
“and the rest were blinded… unto this day” – This blindness was self induced from the standpoint of choice.
VERSE: Rom 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.
COMMENT: God gave them what they asked for… and by the way, he always does.
John 8:43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.
Also see: Deu 28:13-44 where God tells Israel he has made them the head and not the tail with a warning!
VERSE: Rom 11:9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompense unto them: 10 Let their eyes be darkened that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.
COMMENT: Paul is now quoting from Psa 69:22,23. In this Psalm David is praying against his enemies. Paul applies the verse here to help us understand that religious Israel was the enemy of the truth.
“Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompense…” religious Israel was eating at the “table” of blessing which they did not deserve. The blessing of God’s provision would now be made a “snare” and a “trap” and a “stumblingblock” and a “recompense” (payback).
Just to be sure you have not missed the point. God will give you what you ask for. If you do not wish to have his blessing you can have the cursing. Religious Israel chose the cursing as unbelievers do when they reject the truth of the word of God as shown in the following verse.
2 Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
VERSE: Rom 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.
COMMENT: “I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall?” Or.. another way to say this might be: “Was the stumbling designed to make them fall?” The answer– God forbid. But religious Israel did what any self induced blind man would do with a stumbling stone in his path – Fall.
At any point in time religious Israel could have removed the blinders (and many did) and believed the truth.
Rom 9:31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. 32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; 33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Mat 21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? 43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. 44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. 45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. 46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.
Christ of course is the stone which the builders (religious Israel) rejected. Because they rejected the stone the kingdom would be given to another nation (the little flock – believing Israel). The fruits in verse 43 is synonymous with belief. If you fall on the stone you will be broken (contrite, repentant) but if the stone falls on you it will grind you to powder (rendered useless for the purpose intended). When religious Israel heard these things and understood what was being said they willingly blinded themselves.
“but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles” – Notice now that the salvation of the Gentiles does not come through Israel but in spite of Israel. They have lost their agency. They are no longer God’s agent to the Gentiles to bring them to salvation. We are beginning to tread on mystery ground now because this is unprophesied information. The Old Testament clearly teaches that the Gentiles were to be saved through Israel – but now – with the fall of Israel salvation must come by another means. This other means is the content of the Mystery made known to the apostle Paul the apostle to the Gentiles in the dispensation of the grace of God.
“for to provoke them to jealousy” – God continues to extend his hand to Israel this time through the Gentiles in another unprophesied provocation. It was never recorded in the Old Testament that Jewish salvation would come through the Gentiles and yet this is exactly what is going on in this passage and others we will list below. The provocation ministry of Paul to Israel was to show the “blessings of God” were now being poured out on the Gentiles. And again, if Israel was to be saved, in this dispensation of the grace of God, they would have to become as GENTILES, a humbling experience indeed for proud Israel.
Notice: Rom 11:30 For as ye (Gentiles) in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their (Israel’s) unbelief: 31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God hath concluded them all (Jew & Gentile) in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. 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! 34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? 35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
And… 1 Cor 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
VERSE: Rom 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?
COMMENT: This verse is packed!! First of all is the FALL of them. This is definitive proof that God started something new. God’s agency fell and he knew they would. God was not surprised, rather he was expectant and prepared. Prepared before the foundation of the world!!
Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; 3 But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;
Before he made a when or a where God had us (the world, Gentiles) in mind all the time. But this message was not made known in ages past (Eph. 3) but today it is made known (manifested) through the preaching of his word COMMITTED UNTO PAUL BY THE COMMANDMENT OF GOD!!
The result of the fall of Israel brought about the riches of his grace to the world.
2 Cor 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
Israel fell but the world was made rich! But there is more…
“and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles” – Here we see two things.
One Israel was diminished which means – “to lessen the authority, dignity, or reputation of”. They were set aside slowly. They stumbled and then they fell, it was a progression. Now I am sure you have stumbled and have not fallen because you caught your balance and righted yourself. But have you ever stumbled, tried to regain your balance and still fell? It was a progression. Your balance was diminished i.e. lessened and then you fell.
I bring this to your attention because this will help you to understand the transition that took place between the fall of Israel and the rise of the body of Christ found in the book of Acts.
Two… this diminishing brought about riches to the Gentiles in particular. Why? Because the Gentiles could now do something they never could do under Israel or the Law of Moses. They could become apart of what God was doing. They could in fact become God’s agency to the planet.
Eph 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
If Paul was the least of all saints (and the Holy Spirit agreed with him through the divine operation of inspiration and preservation of the scriptures) then what does that make YOU and what does that make ME? The world has yet to see what the Grace of God can do in a man or woman fully given to the ministry of Grace!!!!
But there is still more to come… “how much more their fulness?” This means… JUST WAIT AND SEE ALL THE GLORIOUS THINGS GOD IS GOING TO DO WITH REDEEMED Israel!!!!
VERSE: Rom 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: 14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. 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?
COMMENT: “For I speak to you Gentiles”. Why? “Inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles” – Again, further evidence of a dispensational change for now the Gentiles have their own apostle. The definite article “The” is very important for it designates “one in particular” or “for certain”. Just as we are certain of “the faith” we are definite about “the apostle” to “the Gentiles.”
Note that Paul does not magnify himself here but his office. How sad it is that Christendom as a whole does not magnify the office of the apostle of the Gentiles.
“If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.” Provoke to emulation here means to “stimulate or stir up to jealousy” by his ministry to the Gentiles. The end result being that those “which are of my flesh (Israel), and might save some of them. Not through the law but by grace through faith.
Israel is “cast away” but the world is reconciled (to bring into favor again). “..what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead” not doubt has to do with Ezekiel’s vision in chapter 37. This vision, the dry bones aptly represent the ruined and desperate state of both Israel and Judah; and the revivification of these bones signifies their restoration in the kingdom to follow. Again, the gifts and callings of God are without repentance.
THE PROBLEM VERSES…
The following eight verses can cause a lot of problem if you do not keep the context in mind which is why I began this study in verse 1 instead of verse 16.
So far we can conclude, conclusively that Israel stumbled, tripped along and then fell.
This fall resulted from their unbelief.
The result of their fall brought about the dispensation of the grace of God and the revelation of the mystery.
Their fall also established a new agency through which God would now work.
This agency has as its leader “the” apostle of “the” Gentiles, the apostle Paul.
The following eight verses then (by the way eight is the number of new beginnings) serve as an illustration of what we have so far learned and will give us a hint as to the conditions surrounding the end of the current dispensation of grace.
VERSE: Rom 11:16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
COMMENT: “For if the firstfruit be holy” – The first offering is set aside for unto God for a particular purpose. This same word (holy) is translated as “saint/s” or the “sanctified”. The saints are holy or set aside for a God intended purpose. The point here is that the firstfruit is holy and therefore so is the “rest” or lump. Conclusion: What God is doing is holy. Then he says: ” and if the root be holy, so are the branches.” Same as above, he restates his point in a different way to get the point across. The root is holy therefore the branches are holy.
Note: I believe the firstfruit is God’s eternal purpose, as is the “root” in the second half of the verse. The lump then and the branches are the agents through which God’s purpose will be focused. Eph 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven ( the body of Christ) , and which are on earth (Israel); even in him:
VERSE: Rom 11:17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
COMMENT: The olive tree is symbolic of spiritual vitality. But do not be to distracted here with the tree this issue here is the root. The “broken off branches” of course refer to “religious Israel”. While the “grafted in branches” are the Gentiles. They are not to boast against the branches because of the root.
Note: There is a real correlation here between “Israel and the little flock” (the little flock being that righteous nation within the corrupt nation) and the “Gentiles and the body of Christ” (the BOC being that righteous people within the corrupt).
VERSE: Rom 11:19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. 20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith (rememberRomans 9:31-32) Be not highminded, but fear:
COMMENT: National Israel was NOT broken off for the sake of the Gentiles in the sense of favoritism but because of unbelief. Now it is important that you remember that as we work through this passage.
We stand by faith not by position i.e. Israel positionally has the heart of God… so show some respect (fear).
VERSE: Rom 11:21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
COMMENT: Show some respect, do not boast of your position, remember who you are, you were grafted in you are not the natural branches.
“… take heed lest he also spare not thee”. = “Spare not” here has to mean “removal from agency”. Eternal life is not at issue here “agency” and God’s eternal purpose is at issue.
VERSE: Rom 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.
COMMENT: The key to this verse is the last phrase: “… if thou continue in his goodness”. How did Israel cease to “continue in his goodness” ?? Whatever it is that caused them NATIONALLY to be broken off will be the environment in which the Gentiles NATIONALLY will be cut off.
Why was Israel broken off as the agency of God? UNBELIEF!! And even though there was a light burning in the lamp of the camp of the “little flock” the light was being extinguished by the very people it was sent to save.
This is the very condition in which Gentiles nations will find themselves at the “catching away” or the “rapture” of the church the body of Christ. The “rapture” is the snipping off of the Gentiles as God’s agency it is the judgement that brings and end to grace.
Note: Please understand that without “a believing remnant” inside any given people, in any given dispensation, agency cannot exist – but the reverse is also true, i.e. you cannot have believers without unbelievers. It is when the general condition of the multitudes is that of total rebellion against God coupled with the ineffectiveness of the gospel witness that God closes a dispensation.
A good example of this would be Noah. He preached for 120 years and had only 8 converts. Why? Because the multitudes “did not like to retain God in their knowledge”.
You may say… “Well, isn’t that the condition of the world today? Will God end this dispensation soon?”
I do not believe that the whole world is in the same condition as the pre-flood population was. There are still many, many people that are open to hearing the truth. I do believe that as time goes on “men will wax worse and worse deceiving and being deceived”. As far as “when” this dispensation of grace will end we do not know – yet. Even though we get tired of all that we see and long for our home we should actually be praying as Paul did… Eph 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
VERSE: Rom 11:23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
COMMENT: God will graft Israel back in as his agent – “in the dispensation of the fullness of times”. They will not abide still in unbelief according to Jeremiah.
Jer 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
They are the natural branches, they will be grafted in again after the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
The Mystery Revealed
VERSE: Rom 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.
COMMENT: Here we have reference to the largest denomination today – the “ignorant brethren” . Ignorant because the “refuse” to:
- Rightly divide the word of truth
- Acknowledge the unique apostleship of Paul
- See the mystery given to us today through Paul
- Understand that we are not spiritual Israel today but the “one body” of Christ
Verse 25 is Paul’s conclusion to the question “What happened to Israel?” The Gentiles have been reconciled (brought into favor) and will continue until the time comes when God closes this dispensation with the catching away of the church the body of Christ.
VERSE: Rom 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: 27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
COMMENT: When the “fulness of the Gentiles” is completed then verse 26 & 27 will happen.
“And so all Israel shall be saved: – Isa 11:11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
Psa 106:47 Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise.
Isa 59:20 And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD. 21 As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.
Keep in mind here that – Rom 9:6 … For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Only true Israel shall be saved and that means believing Israel.
When the Lord roars out of Zion he deliver his people.
Joel 3:16 The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.
“And this is the covenant” – Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; 20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
Rabbit: Do a study on the terms: “since the world began” and “since before the world began”.
Israel will be saved when Christ returns – notice also in the verse above that their sins will not be blotted out until then. It is part of “mystery truth” that we today in the age of grace have complete and total forgiveness and acceptance RIGHT NOW!
VERSE: Rom 11:28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.
COMMENT: “As concerning the gospel” – the gospel of grace not the gospel of the kingdom.
” they are enemies for your sakes” – The Jews religion, like religion today, is the enemy of the gospel of grace. – 1 Th 2:14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: 15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: 16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.
“but as touching the election” – Rom 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
“they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes” – The “fathers” here are the Patriarchs i.e. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob etc. And the promises made unto them.
Deu 9:5 Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Rom 15:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:
Rom 9:4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; 5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
2 Pet 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
Rabbit: The root promise made to the fathers was the promise of resurrection!!
VERSE: Rom 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
Definition: Repentance = change of mind NOT as is commonly taught “to turn from sin”.
COMMENT: God finishes what he starts.
Num 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
Mal 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
VERSE: Rom 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
COMMENT: The Gentiles have obtained mercy through the grace of God directly apart from Israel. Now, in this dispensation of grace Israel must come through the Gentiles gospel.
“For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all” – Don’t miss the import of this verse. The Gentiles DO NOT become spiritual Israel – NO INSTEAD – God has concluded them ALL both JEW and GENTILE in unbelief THAT (purpose statement) “he might have mercy upon all”! This is an “every man” ministry with an every man message. The ground now is level at the foot of the cross. God will save all those who come to him regardless of FACE, RACE, or PLACE.
VERSE: Rom 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!
COMMENT: It is only the proud arrogance of man that pits his wisdom above the wisdom of God!
1 Cor 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
Isa 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
VERSE: Rom 11:34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
COMMENT: Religion and tradition try to!!
Mat 22:15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.
Luke 11:53 And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things: 54 Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.
Mat 22:35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
Mark 10:2 And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him.
But they never did catch him because HE IS THE LIVING WORD OF GOD!
VERSE: Rom 11:35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
COMMENT: What can we bring to him when he gives all to us?
Job 35:7 If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand?
1 Cor 4:7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?
VERSE: Rom 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
~ Conclusion ~
God has not cast away his people Israel. Israel stumbled and fell because of unbelief. God slowly over a period of time diminished the prophetic program as he brought in the dispensation of the grace of God. Paul illustrates this falling and rising using a horticultural example familiar to all those he would be writing to. Israel is broken off and the Gentiles are grafted in. The Gentiles are not to boast or brag about their position as if they were somebody. The Gentiles are warned that they to can be cut off for the same reason that Israel was, i.e. unbelief. When the Gentiles become unreceptive nationally as Israel did the “catching away” of the body of Christ will be ushered in, this dispensation will end and God will once again begin dealing with the nation of Israel.