The Berean Expositor
Volume 28 - Page 159 of 217
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and Paul, our difficulty about the believing branches of the olive tree will be resolved.
Doctrinal standing is not in view in Rom. 11:  The grafting in of the unbelieving
branches into their own olive tree at the end represents the restoration of Israel's national
position "in that day". The rest of the natural branches that were left standing in the olive
tree manifested the same unbelief that had caused the removal of so many before them--
so that at the close of the Acts, we have a believing remnant of Jews and Gentiles,
already being prepared for their higher position as the Bride, and also the unbelieving
nation which, having resisted all the overtures of grace, is set aside. At the present time
the Jew is not first. Neither in Paul's Epistles of the Mystery, nor in John's Gospel for
the "world", can the olive tree be discovered. The New Covenant and the hope of Israel
are in abeyance, and not until God's good time will they be put into operation. Hosea,
speaking of the day of Israel's restoration, uses the same figures as we have been
considering--the restoration of the separated wife (Hosea 2:, 3:), and the spreading
branches of the olive (Hosea 14:). Any difficulties we may have as to the fate of the
believing remnant during the Acts, or of the branches representing believers, are solved if
we distinguish between the dispensational terms of Rom. 9:-11: and the doctrinal terms
of Rom. 1:-8:
We have more to consider, but as this article is already longer than usual, we must
close, realizing only too well how little we can do in so vast a field.
Fullness, Reconciliation and Doxology (11: 11-36).
pp. 148 - 155
Most of our time was occupied in the last article in discussing the purpose behind
Paul's illustration of the olive tree. We saw that the grafting in of the wild olive was with
the intention of provoking the flagging tree to new fruitfulness. The salvation and
blessing of the Gentiles during the Acts, before the nation of Israel were saved and ready
for their great mission to the families of the earth, were "contrary to nature", and intended
to "provoke Israel to jealousy". We must now return to the opening verses of this section
to give a little closer attention to the blessings that accrued to the Gentiles as a result of
Israel's hope.
The Apostle here uses an argument which may be described as a minori ad majus:
"If their fall has brought about so much, what must we not expect as a result of their
restoration?" (Rom. 11: 12).
The failure of Israel is expressed in the following terms: the "fall" (paraptomai:
verse 11);  the "diminishing" (hettema: verse 12);  the "casting away" (apobole:
verse 15);  "broken off" (ekklao: verse 17);  "spared not" (pheidomai: verse 21);
"blindness" (porosis: verse 25); "enemies" (echthros: verse 28); and "concluded in
unbelief" (sugkleio: verse 32).  In these eight terms, we behold the "severity" of God
(verse 22).