The Berean Expositor
Volume 12 - Page 39 of 160
Index | Zoom
wrath, "but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ" (5: 9). The second epistle to the
Thessalonians reveals that the Gentiles who believed during the Acts period formed part
of a company that will be on earth during the last days, during the rise and dominion of
the man of sin, and the time of tribulation (1: 5-12; 2: 1-12).
The first Epistle to the Corinthians shews us that the Gentile believer at that time came
behind in no gift "waiting for the revelation (apocalypse) of our Lord Jesus Christ",
which is parallel with I & II Thessalonians. These spiritual gifts, which so mark the
times of the Acts, were for a purpose:--
"In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto
this people: and yet for all that will they not hear Me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues
are for a sign" (I Cor. 14: 21, 22).
With this passage should be read Rom. 10: 19, 11: 11-14, where the place of the
Gentile and the object of his inclusion before the Millennium is explained:--
"But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will PROVOKE you to jealousy
by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you."
"Salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to PROVOKE them to jealousy . . . . . If by
any means I may PROVOKE to jealousy them which are my flesh, and might save some
of them."
Here is light upon the inclusion of the Gentile. It had the provocation of blinded
Israel in view. Like the Apostle to the Gentiles, they were "born out of due time".
The figure whereby the Apostle enforces and illustrates this position of the Gentile is
next given. The Gentile is likened to a "wild olive" graft (contrary to nature) into the true
olive tree. This is not a case of ordinary grafting, for it is usual to graft the choice variety
on to the wild stock. At this present moment, and for the identical reason, slips of one
variety of dessert pear are being grafted into another, not that the graft shall bear fruit, but
that it may "provoke" the flagging tree into more fruitfulness. The Gentile was included
during the Acts for Israel's sake to stir up, if it were possible, that people fast falling into
a deadly slumber.  It was of no avail.  The day at length came when Israel were
"dismissed" and the secret purpose of God for the Gentiles in the interim made known.
If we allow a place to the testimony of I Cor. 14: and Rom. 10:, 11: in our views of
Gentile blessing, we shall see how utterly impossible it is to try to make the teaching of
Ephesians fit in with the earlier teaching of the pre-prison epistles.