T HE S ECRET OF H IS P URPOSE …. T HE P LAN FOR THE F ULLNESS OF THE T IMES
TO HEAD UP ALL THINGS IN THE KING,
E VERYTHING IN THE H EAVENS AND ON THE E ARTH ,
IN JESUS ….
By – Stuart H. Pouliot
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This is a companion to several articles that you are encouraged to check out with these links.
Abraham's Multitude of Nations http://www.kingdomandglory.com/art/art63.pdf
Fullness of the Nations—All Israel Saved http://www.kingdomandglory.com/art/art64.pdf
Wake Up America! http://www.kingdomandglory.com/art/art67.pdf
Dualism, Reversionism, Graftage http://www.kingdomandglory.com/art/art39.pdf
Until Shiloh Comes http://www.kingdomandglory.com/art/art66.pdf
1. Nehemiah—Feast of Booth and Olive Branches
So they proclaimed and circulated a proclamation in all their cities and in Jerusalem, saying,
"Go out to the hills, and bring olive branches and wild olive branches, myrtle branches,
palm branches and branches of other leafy trees, to make booths, as it is written."
(Nehemiah 8:15 NASB)
When Nehemiah and a remnant of Judah returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the city and the temple
(534-515 BC), Ezra the scribe was asked to bring forth the book of the law of Moses which the
Lord had given Israel. On the first day of the seventh month the law began to be read to the
people. On the second day they found written in the words of the law that in the seventh month
they were to live in booths, celebrating the feast of booths or tabernacles (Nehemiah 8:1-2, 14)
as a sign of coming out of the wilderness and into the promised land. As a reminder, as Stephen
testified before the high priest, he referred to Israel as the ecclesia (church) in the wilderness
(Acts 7:38). This should cause some pause for those who teach replacement theology. We who
believe today are in a long line of those who had faith all the way back to Abraham.
Olive branches weren't the only branches used to make the booths, for the myrtle, palm, and
other leafy trees were included; however, the olive tree was the only one identified with two
types of branches, one was simply called olive branches and the other wild olive branches .
It appears that the olive branches came from the domesticated or, as Paul called them (Romans
11:17, 24), cultivated olive trees, and the wild olive branches came from trees that appear in the
wild, not in the cultivated orchards. Depending on the translation, the wild olive branches are
also described as branches from the oil trees , branches from beautiful wood , pine branches , or
branches of field olives .
The field olives most accurately and prophetically describe the wild olives that began to be
grafted into the Lord's cultivated olive tree, especially after Calvary, nearly 600 years after
Nehemiah.
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However, we must not lose sight of the prophetic significance of the relationship between the
two types of olive branches and tabernacles. The fact that Nehemiah referred to cultivated and
wild olive branches in reference to tabernacles is quite significant, for it links the olive tree to the
next great event that inaugurates the next age and the character of that age referred to as
tabernacles.
For all who are under the new covenant (i.e., Christians), tabernacles is about sonship and coming
into a new dwelling out of heaven or, as Paul wrote, to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven
(out of, not in heaven, as many are incorrectly taught), so that what is mortal will be swallowed
up in life (2 Corinthians 5:2, 4). Tabernacles is about putting off mortality and putting on
immortality (1 Corinthians 15:53). In case you never considered this; it is not about a piece of real
estate on earth—it is about a new body conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus. Paul makes
this clear for us.
For our realm is inherent in the heavens, out of which we are awaiting a Saviour also, the
Lord, Jesus Christ, Who will transfigure the body of our humilation, to conform it to the
body of His glory, in accord with the operation which enables Him even to subject all to
Himself." (Philippians 3:20-21 CLV)
Paul is also the apostle that speaks the most about the adoption of sons or sonship, which, I
believe, he saw in light of the prophetic blessing given by Jacob- Israel to Joseph's two sons,
Ephraim and Manasseh, when he adopted them as his own and gave them his God-given name
Israel . However, it was Ephraim who was given the greater blessing—from his seed would come
a fullness of nations, a phrase Paul adopts in Romans 11. For more on this, go to the link for
Fullness of the Nations shown at the beginning of this article.
To rouse your interest on the subject of sonship, consider these verses.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive
a spirit of slavery again to fear, but you received a Spirit of adoption by which we cry, Abba!
Father! (Romans 8:14-15 LITV)
And not only so, but also we ourselves having the firstfruit of the Spirit, also we ourselves
groan within ourselves, eagerly expecting adoption, the redemption of our body; for we
were saved by hope, but hope being seen is not hope; for what anyone sees, why does he
also hope? (Romans 8:23-24 LITV)
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, having come into being out
of a woman, having come under Law, that He might redeem the ones under Law, that we
might receive the adoption of sons. And because you are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of
His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba! Father! (Galatians 4:4-6 LITV)
Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who blessed us with every spiritual
blessing in the heavenlies with Christ, even as He elected us in Him before the foundation
of the world, for us to be holy and without blemish before Him in love, predestinating us
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to adoption through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will….
(Ephesians 1:3-5 LITV)
Returning to Nehemiah. On one level, his prophetic olive branches speak of the one new man
that came about when Christ broke down the dividing wall between the commonwealth of Israel
and all the nations [ ethnos ] on earth (Ephesians 2:11-22).
On another level, it speaks of a remnant of grace from the Israelites (mostly from the Jewish
component of Israel in Paul's days) that were saved and continued on as the cultivated olive tree.
And yet, on another level, it speaks of the lost sheep of the house of Israel as wild olive branches
in the field of the world grafted back into the cultivated olive tree as well as all the nations
ultimately being grafted into the cultivated olive tree. All are destined to come under the new
covenant, all in relationship to the rich root of the cultivated olive tree, which is Christ. So, all
Israel shall be saved (Romans 11:26).
2. Cultivated and Wild Olive Trees—Pruning and Grafting
Paul picked up Nehemiah's theme of the olive branches and wild olive branches in his epistle to
the Romans in which he referred to a remnant of grace being saved from among his fellow
Israelites, with the majority broken off [pruned] from the cultivated olive tree.
But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in
among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree… For if you
were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature
into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be
grafted into their own olive tree? (Romans 11:17, 24 NASB)
Interestingly, Paul did not explain the meaning of the cultivated olive tree, as if his readers
understood what it meant, and yet, it is not specifically explained in scripture either. Delving into
all the olive tree references in scripture is not the intent of this article. As noted at the beginning
I have already done this in the article Olive Tree in Scripture . My intent in this article is to delve
into the olive tree and its branches according to Paul as presented in Romans 11. This is not
meant to be an in-depth study. In a way, it is more of a continuation or extension of the study of
the olive tree.
Now, let us see what Paul has to say about the olive tree and its branches.
3. Abrahamic Covenant
Paul starts chapter 11 with a reminder that he was an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, which
gives his emphasis a nationalistic flavor; although, ultimately, even nationalism must boil down
to the individual saved by grace through the faith of the Son. In this regard, the root of the olive
tree of Romans 11 signifies the Abrahamic covenant, meaning it signifies God's covenant to bless
all the nations through Abraham the father of a multitude of nations. God's plan to achieve His
purpose of all in all is to bless all the nations—a blessing that I see incorporates all of humanity.
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Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and
from your father's house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great
nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and
I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the
families of the earth will be blessed." (Genesis 12:1-3 NASB)
"I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you exceedingly."
Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying, "As for Me, behold, My covenant
is with you, and you will be the father of a multitude of nations. "No longer shall your name
be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the father of a
multitude of nations. "I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you,
and kings will come forth from you." (Genesis 17:2-6 NASB)
The LORD said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, since Abraham will surely
become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed?"
(Genesis 18:17-18 NASB)
There is much more to the promise made to Abraham than can be addressed in this article
without it becoming too long. I refer you to the link for Abraham's Multitude of Nations .
4. Paul's Fellow Kinsmen—Israel
Paul's focus is clearly on the branches in reference to his fellow countrymen, genealogical
(physical or ethnic; alternate terms) Israelites, being broken off (pruned) and grafted back in as
branches of the cultivated olive tree. By extension, Paul also includes in this grafting and pruning
all believers from among the nations (wild olive), including the lost sheep of the house of Israel
that had been scattered among the nations (wild olive), centuries prior to Paul's day.
It is without question that, in using the term Israelites , Paul meant physical Israelites, his kinsmen
according to the flesh "at the present time," meaning in Paul's day. Today, even Paul would be
hard pressed to identify true Israelites according to the flesh.
(9:3) For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my
brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh (4) who are Israelites, to whom belongs the
adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple
service and the promises… (10:1) Brethren, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for
them is for their salvation. (Romans 9:3-4; 10:1 NASB)
I say then, Did not God thrust away His people? Let it not be! For I also am an Israelite, out
of Abraham's seed, of the tribe of Benjamin. "God did not thrust away His people" whom
He foreknew. Psa. 94:14 Or do you not know what the Scripture said in Elijah, how he
pleaded with God against Israel, saying, Lord, "they killed Your prophets," "and they dug
down Your altars," "and only I am left, and they seek my life." 1 Kg. 19:10 But what does
the Divine answer say to him, "I reserved to Myself seven thousand men who did not bow
a knee to Baal." 1 Kg. 19:18 So then, also in the present time a remnant according to
election of grace has come into being. (Romans 11:1-5 LITV)
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In using the term Israelites , Paul was referring to the 12 tribes of the ancient and united kingdom
of Israel. Some believe he was referring to the 10 tribes of the house of Israel that lost their
national identity when they were taken captive by the Assyrians, never to return to their land as
a nation. However, Paul identified himself as an Israelite of the nation of Israel and a Benjamite
(Romans 11:1; Philippians 3:5), meaning Benjamin was an Israelite. I believe that it is sound to
conclude that Paul was not referring exclusively to the Jews who made up the southern kingdom
of Judah and were comprised of Judah, Benjamin, and many of the Levites, except when they
were counted as one of the 12 tribes of Israel. It is interesting that Paul stated: To the Jews I
became as a Jew (1 Corinthians 9:20), as if being an Israelite was the basis of his identity. At any
rate, as you read what follows, think of Israelites and not Jews.
But let us be very clear on one point: Although he referred to ethnic Israelites, Paul never asserted
that, just because the Israelites according to the flesh received the promises, they were
automatically under the new covenant or, for that matter, since they had been incorporated as
a kingdom under the old covenant that this gave them the right to remain under the old that was
made obsolete (Hebrews 8:13). He knew the flesh profits nothing and that one is not saved by
the flesh or the works of the law (e.g., John 1:12-13; 6:63; Romans 3:10-11, 28; 9:8; 2 Corinthians
5:16). What he also knew was that, in his day, God had saved a remnant of grace from among
the Israelites that came from the line of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and he was proof as one of
them.
5. Meaning of the Cultivated and Wild Olive Branches
Of course, there is much spiritual truth in Romans 9-11, but this study is limited to the olive tree
and, in this case, primarily the branches of the cultivated and wild olive trees. The question is:
What does Paul mean by these two trees and their branches?
It is quite clear that, according to Paul, the branches of the cultivated olive tree signify Israelites
who had been justified by grace through faith in his day. In other words, they believed on the
Lord Jesus as the Son of God and Israel's Messiah and Savior of the world. In Paul's day, they
formed the remnant of grace. But let us be abundantly clear that they were a remnant of grace,
not because of their flesh (descendants of Isaac [Romans 9:7]), but because of their faith in and
obedience to the Lord. Being an ethnic Israelite was like icing on the cake, so to speak.
However, the cultivated olive tree (and its branches) was not a new phenomenon that came
about after the cross, for it existed even under the old covenant. We could say that the branches
of the cultivated olive tree signified any and all from the ancient house of Israel that had faith in
God and obeyed His commands, remaining in covenant relationship with the Lord. They are His
peculiar treasure.
'Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My
own possession [peculiar treasure] among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine…'
(Exodus 19:5 NASB [KJV])
Notice that the old covenant was conditional. If…then! If they obeyed His voice and if they kept
His covenant, then they would be His people, a kingdom of priests as a blessing to all the families
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and nations on earth. But what was the outcome if they did not fulfill this condition? Instead of
being blessed and being a blessing, a curse would come upon them and they would be an
example of unbelief and disobedience to all the kingdoms of the earth. They would no longer be
"My people" (Hosea 1, 2). Furthermore, they would cease to be a kingdom themselves, for the
Lord would remove them from their land and send them into captivity, placing them under the
rule of others [iron yoke], or would allow them to remain on their land, placing them under the
rule of foreigners [wooden yoke] (Deuteronomy 28; Jeremiah 28:13, 14). Take special note of one
of the curses that would befall them.
"You shall have olive trees throughout your territory but you will not anoint yourself with
the oil, for your olives will drop off." (Deuteronomy 28:40 NASB)
This is a prophetic picture of what Paul describes as the cultivated olive branches being pruned
off the cultivated olive tree. This is what happened when Israel broke the covenant with God. In
essence, they ceased being cultivated, and they became part of the wild olive tree of the world.
Using Nehemiah's phrase, they became branches of field olives .
Although the olive tree would be in their land if they were under a wooden yoke, they would not
have the benefit of its anointing oil, for the olive would not come to maturity or full growth. In
the spiritual sense, they would not have the benefit of the spirit of God, or more contemporary,
they would not receive an earnest of the spirit that is given to all believers (2 Corinthians 1:22;
5:5; Ephesians 1:13-14).
Thus, the branches of the cultivated olive tree represent Israelites that remained faithful to the
Lord in a covenant relationship. Before the cross, all who remained faithful were truly branches
of the cultivated olive tree; those who were not faithful were broken off, cast in the field to
become branches of the wild olive tree, metaphorically speaking. Scripture identifies many who
remained faithful, such as Joseph, Caleb, Joshua, Samuel, David, Daniel, and Nehemiah, to name
a few. As the Lord reminded Elijah and Paul reminded the believers in Rome, the Lord had His
7,000 men and women who had not bowed the knee to Baal; meaning, they remained faithful to
the Lord, even as the rest of the Lord's people went astray and even denied the Lord.
6. No Free Pass for the Flesh
Again, it is also quite clear that Paul never gave his kinsmen according to the flesh a free pass to
be a branch of the cultivated olive tree. Their bloodline identified them with the ancient
cultivated olive tree; but, with the new covenant, they were a branch of the cultivated olive tree
of Israel only by faith. Again, it is worth repeating; all that are part of the cultivated olive tree are
saved by grace through faith . This is essential.
7. If You Continue
It does seem, however, that Paul places a condition on being a branch of the cultivated olive tree.
One must be under the new covenant, saved by grace through faith, but notice how Paul inserts
a warning to those of faith being pruned from the cultivated olive tree.
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You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in." Quite right, they
were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but
fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. Behold
then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God's
kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. (Romans 11:19-
22 NASB)
Obviously, this does not sound like Paul's gospel of justification by grace through faith and not by
works, which is unconditional.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of
God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB)
With his conditional clause, is Paul implying that a person could lose his or her salvation? As Paul
cried out: "May it never be!" Actually, I don't believe Paul is presenting any sort of doctrinal
statement. Yet, perhaps, Paul is presenting another dimension to being part of the cultivated
olive tree that went beyond initial salvation. Again, let us be clear that one has to be saved to be
a branch of it, but there is a condition to remaining part of it that had nothing to do with losing
one's salvation.
For some commentators who teach that believers cannot lose their salvation, there answer to
this potential conflict is that Paul refers to nations and not to individuals. There might be some
merit in this thinking, but I am not sure that this fully resolves the issue. Let us see if scripture
provides some more clues, starting with the genesis of the name Israel .
8. Jacob Became Israel
Jacob was a believer in God, but it wasn't until he wrestled with the angel of the Lord all night
and "prevailed" that he was given the name Israel , which means "God rules." Jacob , the
supplanter, was his natural name given at birth, indicating his character in the flesh, but Israel ,
"God rules," became his spiritual name given by the Lord, indicating his new character in [the]
spirit. Thus, Israel is a spiritual name that one is identified with in spirit, not in the flesh.
Further, Israel is also the birthright name that Jacob-Israel bestowed on Joseph's two sons
Ephraim and Manasseh (Genesis 48; 1 Chronicles 5:1-2). The birthright belonged to Joseph, and
this signifies the kingdom of God, for it is the prophetic blessing of fruitfulness given to Joseph
(Genesis 49:22), and fruitfulness refers to bringing many sons unto glory (Hebrews 2:10) in the
kingdom of God.
When Jesus came the first time, in His inaugural manifestation, He was a type of Judah, for He
received the scepter of Judah as the king of Judah (Genesis 49:10), and he was also a type of
Joseph that manifested as Shiloh-Israel. Most commentators see Judah in the first arrival and
Joseph in the second; a view I once held as well. However, as I was writing Until Shiloh Comes , I
began to see it much differently. Please see this article for further detail.
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I have come to see that what are called Jesus' comings—the first coming and the second
coming—are better described as manifestations or arrivals, identified as inaugural (first) and
consummational (second). In His first arrival, Jesus inaugurated all that Judah and Shiloh ̶ Israel
(Joseph) signified in type. There is nothing lacking in fulfillment of these types or of all the law
and the prophets. It is finished! However, it must be worked out in the world, among the nations,
and in God's people—and, this has been progressively moving toward the day of Jesus' second
manifestation when He will consummate all that He finished through His earthly ministry, the
cross, and His resurrection, ascension, and glorification at the right of God the Father. At this
time, He will inaugurate His kingdom to rule and reign over the nations with His conquerors, the
sons of God. As further proof of this type, Joseph's coat was dipped in the blood of a male goat
by his brothers in order to deceive Jacob (Genesis 37:31). The King of kings is coming clothed in
a robe dipped in blood (Revelation 19:3).
Consequently, the branches of the cultivated olive tree signify what many commentators call
spiritual Israel or what Paul called the Israel of God or God's Israel (varies by translation).
As for me, God forbid that I should boast—except in the cross of our Lord Jesus the Messiah,
through whom the world has been crucified to me and I to the world. Circumcision, you
see, is nothing; neither is circumcision! What matters is new creation. Peace and mercy on
everyone who lines up by that standard—yes, on God's Israel . (Galatians 6:14-16 Kingdom
NT)
Clearly, Paul joins new creation with God's Israel , making them one, not two entirely different
entities, as some would have us believe. The proof is in the phrase those who will walk by this
rule . Paul's rule was based on the cross of our Lord Jesus working in his life so that the world was
crucified to him, and he to the world, along with the fact that after the cross there are no longer
any distinctions made in regard to who are God's people by faith. What matters is new creation,
and this means the old has passed away and the new has come; a theme Paul picks up in his
Corinthian letter.
So that we, from now on, are acquainted with no one according to flesh. Yet even if we
have known Christ according to flesh, nevertheless now we know Him so no longer." So
that, if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: the primitive passed by. Lo! there has
come new!" Yet all is of God, Who conciliates us to Himself through Christ, and is giving us
the dispensation of the conciliation, how that God was in Christ, conciliating the world to
Himself, not reckoning their offenses to them, and placing in us the word of the
conciliation." For Christ, then, are we ambassadors, as of God entreating through us. We
are beseeching for Christ's sake, "Be conciliated to God!" (2 Corinthians 5:16-20 CLV)
This is a great topic in its own right, but the point is that the Israel of God is made up of a people
who, in heart, are truly no longer of this world system; they have taken up their cross and
followed the Lord wherever He goes. They have been fully reconciled to god as a new creation,
not based on flesh but on spirit. Another way to describe them is by the term conqueror or
overcomer as the Lord identified them in Revelation 2-3. The conquerors are the ones who will
rule and reign with Christ in the coming kingdom; they are the glorified sons of God, the sons of
the kingdom; the first to experience Tabernacles, the first fruits of the kingdom of Christ.
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Thus, Israel is a spiritual name signifying "God rules." Conquerors are ones who have been
crucified to the world and who submit to God's rule over their lives. Consequently, spiritual Israel
is comprised of all the conquerors in Christ, whether genealogical descendants of Isaac or not.
Stated another way, physical Israelites, like Paul, were branches of the cultivated olive tree, not
so much because of their bloodline or pedigree, but because of their conquering faith and
obedience to God's rule. They were cultivated olive branches only because they had the bloodline
as physical Israelite, but this did not make them a special class within the olive tree. No! They
were part of the tree in the same manner and under the same grace as the wild olive branches.
And yet, another way of stating this is that the branches are ones who started with Passover,
moved on to Pentecost, and are pressing on toward Tabernacles.
9. Hope of Israel—Kingdom
It seems clear that spiritual Israel signifies the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ (Revelation
11:15), especially in light of the next age of tabernacles. Paul does not state so directly, but let us
recall that Nehemiah prophetically identified the branches of both the olive and wild trees with
tabernacles. Paul's ministry was centered on Jesus and the kingdom of God, which was the hope
of Israel (Acts 28:20, 23), and the true hope of spiritual Israel.
10. Considered Worthy of the Kingdom
Putting all this together, it is a sound conclusion that Paul's grafting in or pruning branches from
the cultivated olive tree is based on one being counted worthy to enter the coming kingdom, that
is, to be counted among the conquerors who will rule and reign with Christ over the nations for
as things really crank up, so to speak, as all things are made new (2 Peter 3:12; Revelation 21:5).
It all boils down to this; first one must be rooted and grounded in Christ, the rich root and the
fatness of the cultivated olive tree, and then one must be considered worthy of the kingdom of
God (2 Thessalonians 1:5) as a conqueror in order to remain a branch of this tree.
This has nothing to do with immortal life that all who believe are promised and by grace will
receive. The issue is a question of when one will receive this new life, either through resurrection
and transfiguration that yields eonian-immortal life in the next age, or through a general
resurrection that yields immortal life in the ages that follow. Saved, yet so as through fire (1
Corinthians 3:15). The conquerors receive eonian-immortal life to reign with Christ in the next
age, which is the heart of Revelation 2-3.
The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered
and sat down with my Father on his throne. (Revelation 3:21 ESV)
As an aside, do not look upon this verse as all future. We are called to conquer in this day, and to
the extent we do, we are reigning with Christ. Let us not forget that Paul presents the Lord's
people, us, seated with Christ in the heavenlies now, not in some far distant time. We are in the
now of His kingdom and, as Paul continually reminds us, we must walk in a manner worthy of this
kingdom.
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Much like the good fig tree of Judah, the cultivated olive tree rooted in Christ began with a
remnant of ethnic Israelites (mostly Jews). The good news is that by the consummation of the
eons (ages), all Israel will be grafted back into the cultivated olive tree, and so all Israel will be
saved (Romans 11:26), so that God may be all in all (1 Corinthians 15:28). But let us not overlook
the fact that all mankind will be saved as well, for the cross was and still is a 100% success in the
reconciliation of all things (Colossians 1:20).
Vine and Branches
Actually, the conditional concept of becoming a conqueror was first given by Jesus as He spoke
to His disciples about the true vine and the branches (another metaphor). If we truly want to
know what a conqueror looks like and how to be one, then, as branches connected to the vine,
we must learn to abide in Christ who is the true vine.
"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. "Every branch in Me that does not
bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may
bear more fruit. "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the
vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. "I am the vine, you are the branches; he
who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
"If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they
gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. (John 15:1-6 NASB)
Special note should be taken of Jesus' use of the conditional if . If you keep My commandments …
If you abide in Me and My love and My word … This is all done with the purpose of bearing fruit,
and this only comes through abiding in the vine of love. Every branch that does not bear fruit is
broken off; cast away from the vine to be dried up and burned in fire. Broken off branches will
not enter into the kingdom of God to rule and reign with Christ in the next age.
Having said this, however, I must add some balance to the Lord's metaphor. He was speaking to
a predominantly Jewish audience as He walked this earth. He knew He was about to be rejected
by His own people, especially the Jewish component of Israel that was in Judea. He also
prophesied that Jerusalem and the temple would be totally destroyed by fire, which it was in 70
AD, by the hand of the Roman army under Titus (Matthew 22:7). The figure of the vine referring
to Israel was nothing new, so that, on a basic level, the vine in John 15 that faced being cut off
and burned was physical Israel itself or, more specifically, the Jewish component of it. They
ceased bearing kingdom fruit, and the kingdom was taken away from them and given to a nation
producing the fruit of it (Matthew 21:43). Jesus also used the fig tree as another illustration in
the same vein as the vine and the olive branches. In the case of the fig tree, He cursed it, and it
ceased bearing figs (or, perhaps, good figs)—a curse that remained on the Jews to the present.
Without any doubt this is the very heart of Paul's message about his fellow kinsmen according to
the flesh and the matter of being a branch broken off from the cultivated olive tree.
Jesus is looking for fruit that comes forth from those who draw their life from Him who is the vine
and the root of the cultivated olive tree. All will ultimately be saved, for Paul taught that all Israel
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will ultimately be saved, and I add based on my own studies, all mankind will be saved eventually
as well. The important question is when one will enter into glory as a son of God. Those who do
not abide in this age will be broken off, even though they have believed on Jesus. They will not
lose their salvation unto immortality; however, they will not be counted worthy of the coming
kingdom age to rule and reign with Christ, sitting on His throne. Most of genealogical Israel, called
to be sons of the kingdom, lost this privilege (Matthew 8:12); only a remnant will be counted
worthy. The same thing applies to all Christians today. Personally, I believe only a remnant of
Christians will be counted worthy as well.
By the way, this does not conflict with a point that I make in other articles—for the last two
millennia, the spirit of God has been calling a people unto Himself from among the nations and a
component of these called-out ones are physical descendants of Abraham. However, this does
not make these descendants conquerors anymore than called-out ones that are not descendants.
If you have read my articles, you know I stress that these descendants have no memory of their
ancestral roots back to Abraham or any of the ten tribes of Israel that were lost to history; thus,
they are not a special class.
11. Olive Tree in the Field
So far, we have focused on the cultivated branches in light of spiritual Israel; but what about the
wild branches?
The Greek word for a wild olive tree is agrielaios , which comes from the Greek word agrios ,
meaning "living in the fields," and agrios comes from the Greek word agros , meaning "a field."
Thus, the wild olive tree is one that exists in a field. This links Paul's wild olive tree to Nehemiah's
branches from field olives or an olive tree in the field .
"Go out to the hills, and bring olive branches and wild olive branches, myrtle branches,
palm branches and branches of other leafy trees, to make booths…." (Nehemiah 8:15
NASB)
(17) Some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in
among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree… (24) For if
you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to
nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches
be grafted into their own olive tree? (Romans 11:17, 24 NASB)
To understand the wild olive tree, we need to know who Paul was writing to in Rome. It is a safe
assumption that most people think Paul was writing to Romans, but this is not entirely accurate.
First, Paul wrote to all that are in Rome, called to be saints (Romans 1:7), so his intended readers
were those in one specific city, not the entire country, and who were saved by grace through
faith (i.e., Christians). In other words, Paul was not trying to reach the lost in Rome but was trying
to teach, encourage, and exhort the believers in Rome.
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Second, history reveals that all the Jews and Christians had been expelled from Rome six years
prior to Paul writing this letter, so his audience had to be rather small.
Third, history also indicates that his audience was most likely a royal family from the British Isles
that had been converted by Joseph of Arimathea (Jesus' great uncle) who took up residence in
Cornwall, England shortly after the crucifixion of Christ (~35-36 AD). This Christian family was
subsequently captured and brought to Rome, and this is who Paul wrote to and identified as wild
olive branches.
However, there are two more pieces of evidence that give more specificity to the identity of these
British Christians. First, the words Britain and British come from Hebrew phrases that mean
"covenant land" and "covenant people," respectively, and the British language in those days was
a form of ancient Hebrew. This alone indicates that the British Isles had been populated in the
past by Hebrews. Second, the Sonnini Manuscript, a very old copy of the book of Acts, contains
a 29 th chapter that is not included in our bibles. Some call it the lost chapter of Acts. Whether we
accept this or not, it does seem to offer some valuable insight to Paul's Romans epistle and fits
nicely into the migration of the Israelites out of Assyria and into Europe.
(2) For he had heard in Phoenicia that certain of the children of Israel, about the time of
the Assyrian captivity, had escaped by sea to "the isles afar off," as spoken by the prophets,
and called by the Romans, Britain. (3) And the Lord commanded the gospel to be preached
far hence to the Gentiles [i.e., ethnos , nations], and to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.
In the Greek, the word often translated as Gentiles is ethnos , which simply means "nation" or "an
ethnic group of people." It does not mean "non-Jew," which is how most seem to define the
word. Further, it does not mean a "non-Israelite" either. It means "nation" and, as such, the
context in which the word is used determines the nation in view. In the context of the above, the
Gentiles include the lost sheep of the house of Israel that were taken captive by the Assyrians
and scattered, as well as others (non-Israelites) from the nations.
Putting all this together, an argument could be made that Paul wrote his epistle to British
Christians from the genealogical lost sheep of the house of Israel, which he identified as wild olive
branches grafted back into the cultivated olive tree by their conversion. In other words, the lost
sheep of the house of Israel had become branches of a wild olive tree when it broke the covenant
with the Lord and were scattered among the nations. They were broken off (pruned) from the
green olive tree (Jeremiah 11:16) or the cultivated olive tree and its rich root of the Kingdom of
God. They were cast into the field (i.e., world) and their national identity as Israel taken from
them.
This leads to Jesus' mission.
12. Jesus' Mission—Lost Sheep of the House of Israel
We know that Jesus came as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29),
but He also made it very clear that he had a specific mission.
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But He answered and said, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
(Matthew 15:24 NASB)
As I stress quite a bit; when Solomon's kingdom was split in two after his death, there were two
houses, the house (nation) of Judah and the house (nation) of Israel. From then on, the prophets
generally referred to the two as distinct houses. Judah was comprised of the tribes of Judah,
Benjamin, and most of the Levites. Israel was comprised of the remaining 10 tribes with Ephraim,
the primary holder of the birthright name Israel , as the central tribe.
The only exception to this is when the prophets refer to all 12 tribes as one; in which case, all the
tribes together are always called Israel and never Judah . Genealogically speaking, Judah could be
included in Israel, but Israel is never included in Judah. The context determines these exceptions.
Another way of stating this is that an Israelite could also be a Jew (from the tribe of Judah,
Benjamin, or Levi), but most Israelites, based on the number of tribes, are not Jews. Yet, another
way of stating this is that, as one of the tribes of Jacob-Israel, the Judahites (Jews) were also
Israelites just as Reubenites or Simeonites were also Israelites but not Jews.
In this case, the lost sheep of Israel most probably refers to the 10 tribes that went into Assyrian
captivity never to return as a nation. Jesus could have been referring to all 12 tribes; however, it
is just as likely that he maintained the distinction made by the prophets. This point seems to be
supported by Jesus' use of the word lost .
Notice that Jesus did not state that He was sent to the Jews or to house of Judah . He stated that
He was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel , and He told His disciples to go to them as
well (Matthew 10:5-7). Scripture also tells us that He went proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom
(e.g., Matthew 4:23). So, He was sent to the lost sheep house of Israel, and He proclaimed the
kingdom.
There are three ways one could explain the house of Israel being lost: 1) They were lost physically,
that is, no one but the Lord knew where they were; 2) They were not saved spiritually; 3) They
lost their national identity as the house of Israel; perhaps, they even took on entirely different
names so no one knew who or where they were. Let us look at each.
1) They were lost physically, that is, no one but the Lord knew where they were. Although it might
be said that the world today has lost sight of where Israel is located—they are incorrectly looking
to the Middle East and a country named Israel —in Paul's day, the location of the so-called lost
tribes was well known by the disciples and by Jesus Himself.
Both James and Peter prove in their opening addresses in their epistles that they knew the
location of all 12 tribes of Israel.
James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes who are
dispersed abroad: Greetings. (James 1:1 NASB)
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout
Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen…. (1 Peter 1:1 NASB)
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Some historians have suggested that Jesus traveled extensively in His early years that the Bible is
silent about, including traveling to the British Isles and North America, as well as many other
areas of the world. There is some evidence that some of the tribes actually migrated to America
during the reign of Solomon. Think about it, if Jesus was sent to the lost sheep of the house of
Israel, and He never left Judea, how did He fulfill His mission? Interesting question, but we must
leave it as speculative, yet probable.
It seems clear that in Jesus' day the location of the house of Israel was generally known; however,
in our day, most people are ignorant of the fact that most modern-day western nations, which
go by many national names, were founded or populated by Israelites. These nations are where
the lost tribes of the house of Israel were hidden. Of course, migration throughout the world and
intermarriage has greatly changed the gene pool over time.
2) They were not saved spiritually. In Paul's day, a remnant of grace was saved mostly from
among the house of Judah (Jews) but, as Paul testified, also from among the house of Israel
(Israelites). They did not have to be grafted into the cultivated olive tree because it was their
tree. They were looking for the kingdom of God, and they found it in the form of Jesus Christ.
However, they did have the potential of being broken off the cultivated olive tree if they failed
to continue in the faith as conquerors, especially if they returned to the old covenant and
Judaism, essentially tramping on the Son of God (Hebrews 10:29). All non-believing Jews and
Israelites were broken off of the cultivated olive tree. By the same token, any from among the
nations, including genealogical Israelites, that believed and sought to enter the coming kingdom
of Christ as conquerors were broken off the wild olive tree and grafted into the cultivated one.
These made up the first of the Christians of the Pentecostal-era ecclesia.
3) They lost their national identity as the house of Israel. Again, we need to be reminded that the
house of Israel was taken captive by the Assyrians, removed from their land of Samaria, and have
never returned as a nation. Simply, they ceased being known as the nation or house of Israel.
Their identity was lost; a condition that exists to this day.
Do not be misled by the present-day Zionist state of Israel made up of a mixed gene pool of
people that call themselves Jews and Israelites. Surely, a certain percentage have DNA that could
be traced to a line indicating it could be to Judah but just as many could be from non-Jew descent,
for down through the centuries many have converted to Judaism, thereafter identifying
themselves as Jews . Cases in point are the Edomites, who were forced to convert to Judaism in
126 BC, and the Khazars, most likely descendants of Japheth, who, as a kingdom, around 620 or
740 AD, willingly converted to Judaism and later became known as the Ashkenazi Jews
throughout Eastern Europe. Some time back, I recall reading an article that said the Ashkenazim
comprise around 90% of Jewry. For balance, it must be noted that Jews today, including some
Christians, strongly refute that Ashkenazim Jews are not from the line of Shem. They insist that
the Ashkenazim are the real deal ethnically. Here's a question for them: If so, then why use a
word like Ashkenazi that according to your own scriptures refers to a Japhethitic son through
Gomer?
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The sons of Japheth were Gomer and Magog and Madai and Javan and Tubal and
Meshech and Tiras. The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz and Riphath and Togarmah.
(Genesis 10:2-3 NASB)
13. Genetic Mapping and Family Trees
Given the above, a word about DNA mapping may be in order, even if it is a bit of a side stream
from the subject at hand.
With the advent of improved DNA mapping technology, many people are curious to know their
genetic ancestral background. The Jewish community is no exception. With some degree of
confidence, based on current science, it appears that some can trace their Jewish roots to some
generic level, but "no test can give you unambiguous proof," as one Jewish website states. To my
knowledge, no one can trace their roots back to one of the ten tribes, specifically, that made up
national Israel after the breakup of Solomon's kingdom in 930 BC. For those outside what could
be considered a more homogenous Jewish community or any other like community, the gene
pool is quite a mixed bag due to much interracial or interethnic breeding enhanced through
migration from land to land. The point is that although some might get close to some traceable
genetic line that extends back a ways, there are limitations to the specificity of this tracing. Based
on scripture, there is one thing that we can say with some measure of assurance—we all came
from one ancestral man and woman roughly 6,000 years ago.
There are two more ways, however, for one to trace their ancient ancestors.
One way, and the most common and probably most accurate, is through public records of births,
deaths, marriages, etc., and family records passed down from generation to generation. Family
Bibles have served a useful purpose in developing family trees. The challenge with family trees,
however, is that, over time, records are lost or vital pieces, like a puzzle, are missing. Wars,
deportations, natural catastrophes, and the like all serve as destroyers of one's family history.
Surely, the three diasporas of the Israelites (745-721 BC) and Jews (604-597 BC; 70-134 AD),
especially the destruction of the temples, led to loss of vital records. Interestingly, British
Israelism claims the modern-day British monarchy can trace its roots back to King David, proving
to them that David's throne has always been occupied, in spite of Jesus being from the line of
David and taking the scepter of Judah two millennia ago. Of course, there is a whole dialogue
that goes along with this.
The other way—the one I stress in my articles on this subject—is through historical, archeological,
anthropological, and etymological evidences that trace the migratory footsteps of ancient people
groups from as far back as the three sons of Noah and later through the Israelite tribes, in
particular, the ten tribes, called the lost tribes of the house of Israel , that were deported out of
Samaria from 745-721 BC and dispersed among the nations, never to be reunited nationally as
Israel.
As an example, consider this. In captivity, the ten tribes of Israel were called the House of Omri
(Beth-Omri or Beth-Gomer) by the Assyrians. Hosea the prophet called them Gomer , after his
wife who signified Israel. In this case, this is not the same Gomer from the line of Japheth. The
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reason is that dispersed Israel was no different than the gentile nations in which they had been
dispersed. They had become wild olive branches.
As they, along with some from Judah, migrated out of the regions in which they were held captive
and into Europe, they became known by many names such as the Khumri, Sacs, Anglo-Saxons,
Celts, and Caucasians, to name a few. They formed and populated many of the European nations
that became known by other names. They then spread to America and other parts of the world
as well. Most people, including many Christians, do not realize that Israel is now found within
what are called the western nations of the world. Many nations that are considered Christian
nations, even if in name only, could rightfully be called Israelite Christian nations. Examples
include the UK, the USA, and Canada.
Thus, it is easy to see that Israel has lost its national identity but has not ceased to exist. It has
merely spread out to occupy a greater portion of the earth. This was in the plan of God all along,
for in this way the gospel of Christ and of His kingdom has spread throughout the earth through
missionaries and a multitude of media developed or advanced by the industrialized nations.
14. To Seek and Save the Lost
"For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost." (Luke 19:10 ESV)
Given His mission, it seems quite obvious that Jesus was drawing upon the prophetic word that
He had already spoken to Ezekiel many years earlier.
"Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to those
shepherds, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding
themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock?" (Ezekiel 34:2 NASB)
"My flock wandered through all the mountains and on every high hill; My flock was
scattered over all the surface of the earth, and there was no one to search or seek for
them."'" (Ezekiel 34:6 NASB)
(11) For thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them
out. … (16) "I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered…. (Ezekiel 34:11, 16 NASB)
Jesus is the Lord God of both the old and the new testaments. He is the one who kept Israel while
they wandered in the wilderness, and He is the one who came seeking the lost sheep of the house
of Israel. The shepherds in His day had no interest in seeking out the lost sheep as evidenced by
several of Jesus' parables, including the parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15:4), as well as by His
harsh assessment of the religious leaders of that day.
15. Treasure Hidden in the Field
The question is: Did Jesus find that which was lost? The answer is discovered in His kingdom
parable about the hidden treasure.
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(38) "And the field [ agros ] is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the
kingdom… (44) The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field [ agros ], which
a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys
that field." (Matthew 13:38, 44 NASB)
In this parable, Jesus is the sower and purchaser of the field; the field is the world; the good seed
are the sons of the kingdom; and the treasure is Israel, His peculiar treasure (Exodus 19:5;
Deuteronomy 14:2; 26:18; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 2:9 KJV).
For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure. (Psalm
135:4 KJV)
Again, the Greek word for field is agros , which adds to and supports Nehemiah's olive tree in the
field and Paul's wild olive tree . The agros is where one finds the wild olive, and this is what is like
a treasure hidden in the field ( agros ) or in the world. The plan of God was for His Son to purchase
the whole field with His life, not only to redeem the peculiar treasure of Israel but all of mankind.
It was not uncommon for a man to hide his treasure on his own land. We could say that a man's
land was his safety deposit box . Under biblical law, it is a theft to take what a man has hidden on
his own land. Consequently, to be lawful, Jesus had to own the field in which He hid His treasure,
if He were to claim rightful ownership of it. So, He emptied Himself, taking on the form of a bond-
servant and humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death (Philippians 2:7-8),
giving up His life on the cross in order to purchase the whole world. In this way, He not only owns
the field but also the treasure hidden in it. His Father sold it to Him.
Ask of Me, and I will give the nations as Your inheritance; and the uttermost parts of the
earth as Your possession. (Psalms 2:8 LITV)
Do we think that the Son of God refused this offer? Of course, He didn't. Jesus asked His Father
and received the whole world when He offered Himself up on the cross, paying the maximum
price with His own blood in order to purchase the whole field of the world in which He had hid
His treasure. The reason He hid it in the field is because it was and still isn't the time for the true
identity of the new creation to be revealed to the world. Most do not know the new identity of
the new creation as the Israel of God. How can they when they think that the Jewish nation of
Israel is the true Israel that God has always intended to have, when it isn't? The cultivated and
the wild olive branches are still hidden in the field, as if waiting to spring up out of the ground to
reveal the kingdom of God that is also hidden within their hearts. They (we) are like a seed
germinating in the ground ready to assume their (our) rightful place in the kingdom. We have
been hidden in the field as we are being trained for that glorious day when our King arrives and
we meet Him in air to escort Him to this earth.
It seems like it is taking a long time for our Lord to return; after all, it has been nearly 2,000 years.
Why the wait? First, the Father has fixed the time by His own authority as God.
"Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?" … "It is not for you to know
the time and the epochs which the Father has fixed by His won authority" (Acts 1:6-7).
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Second, we wait for the fullness of the nations. This fullness will comprise a people from every
nation, tribe, tongue, and people, both descendants of physical Israel and those who are
descendants. The prophets confirm this for us.
Isaiah stated this glorious good news very clearly.
"Also the foreigners [from other nations] who join themselves to the LORD [salvation], to
minister to Him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants, every one who keeps
from profaning the sabbath and holds fast My covenant [New Covenant]; even those I will
bring to My holy mountain [kingdom] and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their
burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; for My house will be
called a house of prayer for all the peoples." The Lord GOD, who gathers the dispersed of
Israel, declares, "Yet others [from other nations] I will gather to them, to those already
gathered." (Isaiah 56:6-8 NASB)
But this glorious news goes back further to Solomon as he dedicated the temple.
"Also concerning the foreigner who is not of Your people Israel, when he comes from a far
country for Your name's sake (for they will hear of Your great name and Your mighty hand,
and of Your outstretched arm); when he comes and prays toward this house, hear in
heaven Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, in
order that all the peoples of the earth may know Your name, to fear You, as do Your people
Israel, and that they may know that this house which I have built is called by Your name. (1
Kings 8:41-43 NASB)
Notice the inclusiveness in both sets of verses. It is not merely about Israel; it is about ALL
peoples. Israel was and is meant to be a blessing to ALL the nations of the earth.
But it all goes back even further, starting with the promise to Abraham.
The LORD said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, since Abraham will surely
become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed?
(Genesis 18:17-18 NASB)
Let us not overlook, however, that there is another people group that has yet to be grafted back
in order for the vision of the prophets to be fulfilled—the modern-day unbelieving Jews whose
ancestors, as cultivated olive branches, were cut off from the cultivated olive tree. These ones
have continued in the steps of their forefathers in rejecting Israel's Messiah. To this end, there
has to be a Jewish contingent in the world that will be grafted back into the cultivated olive tree
at the end of the age. God's gifts and calling are irrevocable. They are beloved for the sake of the
patriarchs. God has not forgotten them. The breaking off of Israelite branches (mostly Jews) from
the cultivated olive tree was necessary for God to ultimately save the whole world. A part of
Israel has been hardened and blinded to the truth of the good news. While they have been cut
off from their tree, God has been grafting wild olive branches (Israelite descendants and non-
descendants alike) into His cultivated tree.
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What is God the Father driving toward? The answer is in the word ALL!
Solomon, Ezekiel, and others simply repeated or confirmed the truth that God revealed to their
patriarch Abraham. God has always intended to bless ALL the nations and ALL the families of the
earth, and His plan calls for doing this through His peculiar treasure, now known as the Israel of
God, the new creation.
God's plan has been and continues to be to reach ALL the nations on earth, reconciling ALL things
to Himself and, ultimately, bringing ALL mankind into His house, until ALL Israel is saved.
It starts with Abraham called to be a blessing to ALL families on earth. Today, ALL who belong to
Christ are Abraham's spiritual descendants; or, put another way, those who are of faith are
blessed with Abraham, the believer (Galatians 3:9, 29). They are called spiritual Israel and
Christians. Ultimately, ALL of mankind will come into this blessing.
Then, the Lord called Israel to be a priestly nation to ALL nations, and He had Solomon build a
temple as the house of prayer for ALL people. Then, the Lord cast off Israel and hid them in the
world, so that, ultimately, they would be reunited in His kingdom along with ALL nations of the
earth.
This is the glorious plan of God; it is the glorious gospel of God. Since Calvary, God has been
progressively implementing His plan, starting with the Jews, but then rejecting them as He set
out to conciliate the rest of the world to Himself.
For if their casting away is the conciliation of the world, what will the taking back be if not
life from among the dead? (Romans 11:15 CLV)
What day it will be when there will no longer be the walking dead in the earth! In Christ, all shall
be made alive! This leads us to the tree itself
16. Christ the Root
Up to this point, we have focused on the branches, but what about the tree, especially its rich
root? This is the best part! The cultivated olive tree signifies God's tree that is rooted and
grounded in His Son, the rich root of the tree; it is spiritual and of the Spirit. But, in respect to
Christ, it is also more than this, for His life fills the entire tree—the root, the trunk, the branches,
the leaves, and the fruit and its oil.
Another way to look at it is that the cultivated olive tree is rooted and grounded in the word of
God. The Son of God, the Lord Jesus, is the word of God and, as such, He is the rich root. We
could say that He is also the fatness of the cultivated olive tree. The fact of the matter is that,
metaphorically speaking, Christ is the root and trunk of the tree, and the branches are collectively
spiritual Israelites that draw their life from Him through His spirit.
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Of course, there are other facets of Christ that could be applied to the root. For example, it speaks
of righteousness. The root of the righteous will not be moved (Proverb 12:3). The root of the
righteous yields fruit (Proverb 12:12). After all, the Lord is our righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6).
Another example is given through Isaiah who prophesied of Christ coming as a shoot from the
stem of Jesse and of the two works of Christ manifested in His first and second comings. A glorious
day is coming when the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the
sea (Isaiah 11:9).
Take special note of the next verse and what Jesus Himself stated at the end of Revelation.
Then in that day the nations will resort to the root of Jesse, Who will stand as a signal for
the peoples; and His resting place will be glorious. (Isaiah 11:10 NASB)
"I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root
and the descendant of David, the bright morning star." (Revelation 22:16 NASB)
Jesse was the father of David the king, who became king over both Judah and Israel. Jesus is from
this root and is the King of kings in fulfillment of the prophetic blessing given by Jacob-Israel to
his son Judah (Genesis 49:10). Christ is also the holder of the birthright as a type of Joseph and
as the firstborn Son of all creation (Colossians 1:15). He alone repairs the breach between Judah
and Israel and brings forth the united kingdom of Israel, the true spiritual ecclesia of God, which
is also New Jerusalem.
In the days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will blossom and sprout, and they will fill the
whole world with fruit. (Isaiah 27:6 NASB)
Again, this is speaking of the age to come based on tabernacles, in which Christ will rule over the
nations. Notice how the nations will resort to the root of Jesse. This is similar to the nations being
grafted into the cultivated olive tree whose root is Christ. Also note that the whole earth will be
blessed through the fruit of Israel, the cultivated olive tree. In this respect, the cultivated olive
tree also signifies the kingdom of God on earth among the nations, until the kingdom overtakes
all the nations. What a glorious day that will be!
This is God's plan revealed through the olive branches. God and His Son will not fail!
What are we to do until then?
Let Christ dwell in your hearts through faith; be rooted and grounded in love, knowing the love
of Christ which surpasses knowledge, and be filled up to all the fullness of God.
People of God it is time to be walking worthily of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and
glory , as we wait for the Son of God, the love of our life, to come from heaven, the one the Father
raised from the dead and who will do likewise for us, according to the power He has to subject
all things to Himself.
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