Taking the Epistle

A biblical journey through the epistles

Israel

tteisrael

Israel

There is a dangerous doctrine in the church today that suggests that the Christians have taken the place of the nation of Israel as God’s chosen people. Not only is this unbiblical it is fundamentally wrong. This particular doctrine is called “replacement theology”. If you look at Romans 11, it states quite clearly that us Christians, as new branches to the vine, (and adopted ones at that) are simply not to boast against the branches. (All text is King James Version of the Bible) We look at the book of Romans chapter 11 verses 13 – 27.

V13) For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: V14) If by any means I may provoke to emulation [them which are] my flesh, and might save some of them. V15) 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? V16) For if the firstfruit [be] holy, the lump [is] also [holy]: and if the root [be] holy, so [are] the branches. V17) 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; V18) Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. V19) Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. V20) Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: V21) For if God spared not the natural branches, [take heed] lest he also spare not thee. V22) 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. V23) And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. V24) 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? V25) 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. V26) 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: V27) For this [is] my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. V28) As concerning the gospel, [they are] enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, [they are] beloved for the fathers’ sakes.

That leaves the issue fairly clear in my mind. It stands to reason that if you are a branch that has been molded into the tree, that without the natural branches you will wither and die.

The question you first must ask if you wish to go down this route is “Has God abandoned Israel?” or “Has God cast away his people?” for anyone who thinks that I would advise them to go take a walk through the book of Hosea. Hosea was a prophet who God commanded to take a prostitute for a wife, when the lady went back to her old ways, God told Hosea to go get her, buy her back, clean her up and make her his wife again.

This is how it was with God and Israel. God has made an everlasting promise to Israel. There is a portion of the Old Testament that deals with Israel’s fall, but it was also in order that they may rise again. Just like Hosea had an unfaithful wife, Israel was just as unfaithful to God. God is a picture of never ending love and Israel was out chasing other God’s.

Paul at the start of this passage in Romans 11 verse 1 quantifies himself as an Israelite “I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin” so Paul knew who he was, an Israelite first, but now a believer in Christ Jesus since his conversion on the road to Damascus. Paul was not speaking to the Jews in this passage, but to us Gentiles.

Paul used to be a zealot called Saul, who persecuted Christians for the faith of his fathers. The Jews called him a traitor, who was he, this man who is telling folks that there was a Messiah? In verse 14, Paul has said, my heartfelt desire is that I save some of them. This made him a heretic by Jewish standards, but yet, Paul had one desire for the Jews, their salvation.

In verse 15, Paul advises that the sinful world had been reconciled through the spilling of blood of Jesus Christ. Now just the Jewish people, but the world.

Looking at verses 16 through to 20, Paul starts of by speaking of the first fruit, Abraham, the root which these people spread. When we move into verse 17 we see the real meat of this message. I believe that the Jews are a much persecuted people. The church as a whole does not have clean hands over this area. Even today, there are many ministers, priests, vicars and other men of the cloth who teach against Israel.

This position, as I said at the beginning of this article is not Biblical and I would certainly be interested to see what Biblical grounds these people have for standing against Israel. These people preach that “God has cut Israel off” That is most certainly not the case as you can read plainly for yourself.

I believe that as Christians, we should be like the apostle Paul, we should be praying for Israel, that they should be saved. We should not do what some other evangelicals do and do an even worse type of thing, they have an overburdening “Jewish love”, they will have benefit dinners, they will raise money to send Jews back to Israel, they are very pro Jewish in their actions, speech and deeds, but they do not tell the Jews the very thing that would send them to heaven. They will not evangelize to the Jews. That is great that you are doing so many great early things for the Jews but what about their soul? Have you no real love for the Jews?

The Jews have been struck by blindness; they are very knowledgeable in the Word of God, yet they are totally blind when it comes to Jesus Christ and the Messiah. The Jews (as it says in Verse 20) were broken off due to their unbelief; they are free to come back to God at any time.

Jesus said, “I am the true vine, My Father is the husbandman. Every branch in Me that bears fruit, He washes it that it might bring forth more fruit. Now you are clean through the Word that I have spoken unto you. Abide in Me, and let my words abide in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, neither more can thee, except you abide in me” (John chapter 15 verse 15) 

We are branches of that vine, we have been grafted in (placed in artificially) not according to the natural order or even nature. We receive the blessings of God, the blessings of the promises of God to Abraham and to David. We have received the benefit of them through receiving Jesus Christ, and we partake of the fatness and the richness and the fullness of God’s love and grace that He had promised unto Abraham, unto Isaac, unto Jacob, and unto David. But we only stand by faith. And again, we are encouraged to abide there. “For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He does not spare thee.”,

In verses 23-25, we learn that God will receive Israel when they turn from their unbelief. We also learn that we, as gentiles were cut from our wicked tree, and placed into the good (holy) tree of God. We also learn that as glorious as this is, how much more glorious would it be for a natural branch to come back to the tree.

Now in verse 25, it mentions the time of the Gentiles, we do not have all day to decide whether to follow God or go against him. There is no middle ground; you either chose life, or death. There will be a time when the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled and the blindness will be removed from the children of Israel. In verse 27, it states quite clearly that he will take away their sins. God will restore his people back into his bosom. As “there is still beloved for the father’s sake” (Verse 28) When God makes a covenant, he makes it for keeps.

God bless and I pray this was a blessing and please feel free to like, share or comment on here or whatever social media platforms you use as the Lord leads you to, as always I love questions about this or any other article so please feel free to fill in the form below, all comments are moderated to avoid profanity.
TTE
TGBTG
SDG

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