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Olive Tree

When should the Church tremble?

God explains through Paul in Romans about how the Gentiles are “grafted in” as unnatural branches into the olive tree that is natural Israel (i.e. the Jews).

If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. (Romans 11:17-18)

The Jewish root stays intact but some natural branches have been broken off to make way for the Gentiles. But …

You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. (Romans 11:19-21)

If you believe that the Jews have been cut off irredeemably, then tremble … because such a fickle God could do the same for you Gentiles.

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! (Romans 11:24)

This, and the following verse (Romans 11:25 – read it for yourself!) are some of the most neglected and ignored verses by the Church. It speaks of a future for the Jews, something the Church has fought against tooth and nail and one day will have to answer to God about!

The Jews are not yesterday’s people. The Gentile Church has not replaced them, it has been grafted into them, spiritually. Gentiles have not become Jews, but they now simply are nourished by their Jewish root. It is a shame that many in the Church have, instead, rejected this root. Perhaps if the olive tree had been a Christmas tree, things would have worked out better for them?!

The reality of the situation is brought home when attention is switched to the Jewish people today. In a study of American Jews by Pew Research in 2013, the most essential part of what being Jewish meant to them is remembering the Holocaust. For Christians it is a series of historical events one can read about, yet for Jews it is the key driver of their Jewishness. This difference speaks volumes, because the Holocaust sprung from Christian Europe, from the seed of anti-Semitism planted by the Church Fathers and well-watered by the writings of Martin Luther, the man who helped reclaim the Bible and reform the Church. Yet the shame of it is missing from most of the Church of today, instead it buys into the hateful propaganda of the World that sees the Nation of Israel as an aggressor, an apartheid state intent on bullying and persecuting the Palestinians living within its borders. This blinkered belief is the biggest offence of all and is a smokescreen that hides the fact that no people on Earth are so offended against as the Jewish people.

The Church should really know better and here I rest my case.

This is an extract from the book, Livin’ the Life, available for £10 at https://www.sppublishing.com/livin-the-life-151-p.asp

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