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Saturday, 24 July 2010

What The Olive Tree of Romans11 Represents and How it Speaks of God's Plan For Israel and the Church

One of my hobbies is growing things in the garden. Although I am not an expert on grafting I happen to know that you can graft in a broken branch, shoot or twig from the same tree or bush. So what Paul wrote in Romans chapter 11 makes perfect sense! The scriptures do not teach nonsense unless it is an allegory like "beast with 7 heads" in that case an explanation to the meaning will be given. I believe that unless an explanation is given (eg the parables of Jesus) it is to be taken literally, but with some God given sanctified common sense.

For example,  Romans 11 verse 17 would not make sense to interpret the verse to say that a whole wild olive tree is grafted into the cultivated olive tree, because two trees have separate roots as separate entities (especially when we consider verse 24). Can you take the roots of two trees and make them become one tree?   Romans 11  describes and discusses two separate trees: a cultivated olive tree and a wild olive tree. It clearly states that the natural "branches" (not root or whole tree) were cut off to make way for wild (gentile) branches.

In Romans 11  verse 17 (KJV) it states "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". Some suggest because it mentions "tree" here and not "branch" that it is the whole olive tree.

Just because KJV and verse 17 states "tree" (incidentally verse 24 infers branch) it does not mean that the whole tree is grafted in.  The whole wild tree is made up of all gentiles. The believing gentiles make up the part of the tree that gets grafted into the cultivated tree. Verse 24 is the key (quoted shortly). So it must be referring to  

a "branch" of the tree, not the whole tree. Incidentally one scripture says that Jesus hung on a tree, but we know it was not a whole tree just a part of a tree a cross cut out of a tree. So because it says tree does not necessarily mean the whole tree but a part of it, if we take the whole teaching of scripture into context.

Now using God given sanctified common sense, the gentile tree has branches that accepted Messiah, so was cut out of the "wild" (unholy) tree to replace Jewish branches in the Chosen Olive Tree. Replacing those that rejected Messiah.

Romans 11 verse 24 says:

"After all, if you were CUT OUT of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!"

It says "cut out of a wild olive tree" ie it is a branch - not the whole tree.

Having established this, let us take it to the next level and see what God's future plan is for Israel and the Jewish people.

God's olive tree has been "cultivated" whereas the other olive tree is "wild".

I ask the question, is it the root that supports the olive tree or the ground? Surely the life comes from the soil and the moisture within the soil? So that tells me that the root brings sap to the branches through feeding from the soil. So that must mean that the soil is the life of God. It says the olive tree of God is cultivated whereas the wild olive tree is not.  This means the wild one does not get its spiritual life from God, but the cultivated one does! The wild one gets its energy from godless sources. We read in 1 John 5  that those outside Christ are under the control of the evil one.

The root of the cultivated olive tree is surely God's kingdom on Earth which was initially Israel (fed by God through the life of the Holy Spirit). The whole olive tree are the people of God within that kingdom (initially Jews, then later both Jews and gentiles who trust in Jesus as Messiah). The branches are the individual people of God.

If that is the case (which is reasonable to believe taking the whole of chapter 11 into context) then individual believers from both olive trees are branches of the cultivated olive tree whether natural branches or grafted in.

Those who don't believe in the Messiah Jesus do not belong to that good olive tree. Jewish unbelievers were cut out of that tree to make room for gentile believers.

If I am correct in what seems obvious exegesis, then (taking Romans Chapters 9 to 11 into context) it is saying that those Jewish people who rejected Jesus were cut out of God's Kingdom (not ALL Jews though were cut out) and replaced by gentile believers.

This DOES NOT mean that the church totally replaced Israel nor that God had completely rejected them. Neither does it mean that all the Old and New Testament prophesies now refer to the (mostly gentile) church,  because much of the scriptures and the whole Bible (in context) is specifically speaking of the Nation Israel and the Jewish people.

The scriptures are mostly NOT referring to the church (although there are SOME promises that clearly are prophesying regarding the church). Romans 11 says the gentiles  were grafted INTO the olive tree. The Olive tree still exists as it did in Old Testament times and will always exist as long as this Earth exists..

It says that a time is coming when the Jewish people will return in repentance and accept Jesus as their Messiah. At such time they will be grafted back into their own tree. There is a warning that a time will come when the gentiles will get too arrogant over their inclusion in the olive tree and stop believing. They will hold to a form of godliness but deny the power. It says that a time will come when the "time of the gentiles" comes to an end and then the whole of Israel will be placed back in because of gentiles unbelief.

Romans 11 gives reference to Jeremiah 31 which talks about God making a New covenant with the House of Israel. Some say that Jeremiah is referring to the Christian church but please read verse 37 which says:

"This is what the LORD says:  "Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Israel  because of all they have done," declares the LORD" ". All the descendants of Israel is ISRAEL not the church. It says "all that they have done" ie their unbelief and wickedness and rejection of Messiah Jesus. It cannot be referring to the "saved" church because their sins have been washed clean by the blood. Look at David. God said that he was blameless even though he sinned greatly against the Lord. David was blameless because God had forgiven him and therefore, if forgiven, God counts us as righteous in His sight. But in the verse above it says that they had done wrong.

It is clearly referring to Israel. The verses are amazing because God declares that He will never totally reject The Jews or Israel but in the last days will restore a remnant of those remaining. 

Most of the prophets talk about a time when Israel will again be brought back into the olive tree. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah are the most vocal on this. Romans 11 is talking about such a time as this when the olive tree will come much more alive. Romans 11 verse 12 says " how much greater riches will their fullness bring" and verse 15 "what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?". 

So the Olive Tree (as it stands under the New Covenant) is the church made up of believing Jews and Gentiles. At the time just before Jesus return, when Israel finally say "blessed is HE who comes in the Name of the Lord", the church will experience  a massive inflow of Jewish believers joining it.

Here are 2 other articles, related to this subject, which you may like to read (please click on the links):

Has God Finished With The Jews And The Nation Of Israel?

Present Day Israel Is A Nation Of Miracles, Created By God. The Overwhelming Facts!


Expected Imminently said...

Hi John
It has occured to me that the heirarchy of Purpose Driven' and 'Emergent'are indeed boasting, but if that is against the branches, I'm not sure? Certainly against God. As I have said previously, this lying deception may be in line for a series of 'heavy pruning' one way or the other, as they are undoubtedly mocking God and leading astray the inexperienced and vulnerable.

Further, I have been considering something rather troubling. I am not a prophet - I am not saying 'thus saith The Lord'; but I have been rather tentatively, holding something before the Lord!

P.D. and Emergent MAY be going to self destruct from the inside out? This over sexual sin, and general immorality, that will flare up like tall flames of fire from their midst. In particular, among those in leadership positions.

In any event, God is not mocked, and he will not strive with them for much longer.
IF true, many souls will be as those 'lost at sea' struggling blindly to survive. IF this happens - Big IF- then we must be ready to snatch them from dark depths, to pray for them and make plain the truth to them.


John Chingford said...

Thanks Sue

I have one reservation in what you are saying. If The Emerging Church and the whole emerging ecumenical movement which is joining itself now to all religions under the Tony Blair initiative, proves to be the whore of Babylon, then it will get stronger and stronger and especially after the rapture. My own feeling is that it is the whore and is readying itself to accept the ac.

God will judge it and it will fall but probably not until after the revealing of ac. However, if the whore shows itself as another organisation then I would agree with you.

I am wondering why you feel God is showing you it will fail seeings you seemed to believe this strong movement to be the whore before?

Expected Imminently said...

Hi John
I havent been very clear have I! I don't think PD and E will fall 'to rise no more', I am with you regarding the whore. As I said, I am not a prophet, I may be totally wrong. However in my past experience with all cults, and they ARE cults, sexual sin has always made itself known eventually.

There are many that are led astray whose hearts are genuine before The Lord, but deceived by this apostasy. It is these people who I feel would be severely jolted by such revelations.

No doubt 'it' will carry on regardless in similar vein as that heretical Bentley chap (is it Todd?) with other leaders making excuses for him. The foolish no doubt continue to follow them like Lemming's.

Those who would be shaken awake by this, as in the past, will be at first numbed by the shock. Especially if they are close to those involved. Later they have become very upset, even angry. It may not happen, I have no evidence that it will, but I will be surprised if the old pattern doesn't present itself eventually (isn't that the way of a whore?)

When you see ALL these things LOOK UP for our redemption draws near.

Also, just to repeat that this thread on the tree is great - do you know, I thought it was a Vine, not an Olive? I must re-read that Scripture more carefully. The principle still applies!

God is blessing your work John.

John Chingford said...

Ok Thanks EI

That is MUCH clearer. It could happen in the same way as it is happening within the Word Faith organisations, just as you say.

Expected Imminently said...

Hi John
I’m sorry if I have been confusing you. I did know Romans 11 was about the Olive Tree; you were perfectly correct and I haven’t got a clue why I thought it was the Vine. I think I did warn you that my concentration is poor at present?

I have been trying to find the Scripture about the Bema seat judgment and its timing, but my mind keeps hitting a ‘brick wall’. Maybe I’ve got brain strain? Advice from hubby ‘get an early night’, I think I am confusing him as well?
God bless

John Chingford said...


May the Lord give you His peace that passes all understanding. I pray God's peace, joy and healing to you.

I have replied re the Bema seat to your personal email address.

little warrior said...

Persecution of Messianic Jews in Israel is Getting Worse

A court case has been going on for the past 5 year, after there was a riot against a
Messianic congregation while it was holding services.

This congregation which is in Beer Sheva, Israel, was attacked by approximately 200
extremist orthodox Jews who destroyed the congregation as congregants were inside!

Once inside the building, the mob of ultra-orthodox Jews threw chairs and other items,
damaged audiovisual equipment and threw equipment and other items into the Mikvah (baptismal pool)
and pushed the Messianic Leader of the congregation, Howard Bass into the pool as well.

Mob of Orthodox Jews outside of the Messianic congregation

Police were called to the scene but could not control the crowd. This group of orthodox Jewish men,
were totally out of control and were on a mission to terrorize the congregation.

Two years later in 2007, Messianic leader Howard Bass filed suit for inciting this riot against Yehuda Deri,
who is the chief Sephardic rabbi in the city of Beer Sheva, and Yad L'Achim, an anti-missionary
organization that fights against Messianic Jews in Israel.

This year, the court ruled…. Can you believe it, AGAINST the Messianic Jewish congregation! That’s right!

After the Believers in Yeshua were faced with a riot in their congregation which was videotaped,
the court ruled in favor of the extremist ultra-orthodox Jews. The nation of Israel is against Yeshua (Jesus)
and anyone who believes in Him.

The verdict was "totally distorted,” and there are strong legal grounds for an appeal, but I do not believe
it is God's will to appeal the court, Howard Bass said.

I want to show you how extreme persecution against the Believers in Yeshua can be.

Just days before the riot, Yad L'Achim sent out a strong rallying call that there was going to be a
“Christian” water immersion (mikvah) service (baptism) taking place. This drew the ultra-orthodox
out to storm the Messianic congregation. After the riot, on a talk radio program Yehuda Deri, the
chief Sephardic rabbi proudly spoke about the incident of the riot with great pride of how many people
showed up to protest the Messianic Jews.

A couple of years earlier, about 1,000 protestors went to the same congregation during a service
and threw rocks and spit on congregants.

Howard Bass and his wife
Howard Bass said that the court’s verdict is a "message from God" that injustice toward Jews who accept Jesus as the Messiah is now the "state of things" in Israel.

And here’s the crux! The judge ordered Bass to pay a fine to the defendants and cover their legal expenses
for a total of approximately 155,000 shekels (US$40,123). This is outrageous.

Howard Bass said the verdict may embolden those who want to attack Messianic Jews in Israel. At minimum,
he said, the verdict leaves open the potential for future violence.

Bass continued saying that Jesus' trial was the perfect example of a public defeat and a travesty
of justice that God used in a great way.

John Chingford said...

Hi Little Warrior

Thanks for the news article. It is appropriate in this section because it shows how some Jewish People are returning to the cultivated Olive tree, whereas others show how cut off they are.

It is almost like reading the Book of Acts, all over again. It seems the religious Jews still behave in the same way against believers.

Let us all pray for the protection of our brothers and sisters and God's intervention against the opposition.