Expositional commentary on Scripture using an inductive exegetical methodology intent upon confronting the lives of Christians with the dogmatic Truths of God's inspired Words opposing Calvinism and Arminianism, Biblical commentary, doctrine of grace enablement, understanding holiness and wisdom and selfishness, in-depth Bible studies, adult Bible Study books and Sunday School materials Dr. Lance T. Ketchum Line Upon Line: Grafted into the Holy Root

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Grafted into the Holy Root

Biblical Zionism XIII
Grafted into the Holy Root

          Biblical faith begins with believing that the Bible is a God breathed book.  That means God gave every Word of the Bible to different men over a span of thousands of years that were written down by those men.  Therefore, the Bible is inspired by God, inerrant, and preserved by God. 

Secondly, faith comes by reading and understanding what God has recorded in the Bible.  “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).  Biblical faith is anchored to the facts revealed in the Bible about God and His promises.  Therefore, Biblical faith is dependent upon properly understanding (interpreting) what the Bible says.  If the facts of the Bible are incorrectly interpreted, faith will be corrupted to the degree of that misinterpretation.
Therefore, the chain of transference of the teaching of the facts of God’s Word is absolutely critical to the continuum of faith transference.  These facts are called “doctrine” in the Bible and the science of this process in called theology.  This studying, learning, and then teaching process called discipleship is laborious.  God’s Word says, “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine” (II Timothy 5:17).  Most people do not see coming to church as necessary work that involves them in the detailed learning of the intricate details of the facts revealed in the Word of God.

Satan’s “wiles” seek to minimize the intricacies of detailed interpretation, instruction, and teaching of the Word of God.  After all, detailed interpretation, instruction, and teaching of the Word of God is difficult.  It is difficult to ascertain exacting interpretation and it is difficult to ensure people have accurately comprehended what has been taught, even when it is taught accurately.  Teaching accurately does not presume accurate understanding of what has been taught.  

In Romans 11:12, Paul says if the incomprehensible spiritual wealth of all that connects to salvation is offered to “whosoever . . . of the world” and the “diminishing,” or the failure and respective loss of this all to Jews, we can expect a greater revelation of God’s spiritual blessings when the “fullness,” or full restoration, of Israel takes place at the end of the Tribulation and the beginning of the Kingdom Age.  At the beginning of the Kingdom Age, there will not be one lost person still living in this “world.”  The nation of Israel that begins the Kingdom Age under Christ’s rule will be made up of nothing but “born again” Jews in the fulfillment of the Palestinian and Davidic at this moment in history.  It is into this new pure national Israel that the new Melchizedecan Priesthood of all Church Age believers will be grafted to share Christ’s Kingdom Age rule. 

The word “root” of Romans 11:16-18 is defined in Romans 15:12 to be Jesus.  Jesus is the Promised One, “the Seed,” of the Abrahamic Covenant and the basis of God’s offering of the gift of salvation offered solely of grace received solely through faith.  God’s purpose in setting aside the Mosaic Covenant and the corruptions of the Levitical Priesthood is to return the Jews back to seeing salvation purely of grace through faith in the promised Messiah as detailed in the Abrahamic Covenant.  The Levitical priesthood had added the conditions of the Mosaic Covenant. 

22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them {backslidden Jews} which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, {now begins a warning} if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in {to Jesus}: for God is able to graff them in again. 24 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” (Romans 11:22-24)?

The olive tree is not just a type of Israel.  The olive tree is a type of the new creation of cultivated spirituality out of what was normally wild and not very productive.  The olive tree portrays the potential for spiritual life after the fall into sin and God’s curse on His first creation.  The “husbandman” knows what is necessary to restore what is fallen and to get the most spiritual fruit from what He has created.  
The olive tree is by nature wild and produces very inadequate fruit and often none as it ages.  The oldest olive trees in Israel are those enclosed in the Garden of Gethsemane.  The cultivated olive tree is one that is pruned.  Then branches from young trees bearing fruit are grafted into the root/trunk to produce a large harvest.  

The nation of Israel was chosen and cultivated to be God’s cultivated olive tree.  Obviously, God expects a cultivated tree, to which He provides all spiritual sustenance, to produce spiritual fruit and a godly testimony to God’s glory.  When Israel ceased to ensure that even her own sons and daughters were trusting in the grace of God’s promise in the Abrahamic Covenant for their salvation, God started pruning again.  God was not going to graft in more non-productive olive branches.  So, God began to graft in saved Gentile branches that were bearing fruit.  The wild olive branches are young, new Gentile believers.  Do we somehow think that God will be content with the wild branches grafted in to the root, which is Jesus, if we do not produce the fruit of His glory?  That is the warning of Romans 11:22-24.  The warning contextually connects with what has already been said in Romans 10:17-21.

17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. 19 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. 20 But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. 21 But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people” (Romans 10:17-21).

The emphasis of Romans 10:17 is that someone must be responsible for teaching/preaching “the word of God.”  The point of the text is that every believer is responsible to tell as many as will listen of the wonders of God’s grace in the gift of salvation.  By the time of Christ, most of the Jews in Israel just looked down their noses with contempt upon the lost and especially upon the Gentiles.  The priesthood of Israel in most part looked upon the uneducated Jews with the same kind of contempt.  The average Jew did not have the depth of understanding afforded the priesthood that was received through the rabbinical schools.  The Pharisaical term for these common Jews without rabbinical education was the word “sinner.” 

In most part, these self-righteous hypocrites isolated themselves from the very people they were called of God to teach.  They frequently complained that Jesus regularly ate with “publicans and sinners” – uneducated, common people.  

30 But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? 31 And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. 32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:30-32).

Jesus was trying to minister people who needed what He offered.  The self-righteous Pharisees saw themselves without need of Christ and His gift of a New Creation in the gift of salvation.  The self-righteous are the most difficult of people in need of repentance for it is their hypocritical self-righteousness that made them “children of hell” (Matthew 23:15) and their proselytes “twofold more the child of hell.”

Therefore, the point of Romans 11:25-36 is do not forget your message and your mission – the kind of righteousness necessary to enter God’s presence in glory cannot be achieved.  God-kind righteousness must be received.  The very best of man-kind-righteousness comes far “short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  This was the great failure of the priesthood of Israel.  They added the conditions of the Mosaic Covenant to the gift of grace salvation in the Abrahamic Covenant thereby completely corrupting the doctrine of salvation.  The Mosaic Covenant was for the already redeemed and was sanctificational in its purpose, not salvational.  

This corruption has been repeated in Replacement Theology (Covenant Theology) in every form.  They profess salvation by grace through faith but add the necessity of keeping the Law (Sacraments, good works, and Moralism) to receive salvation and to keep salvation.  Salvation is a gift of God-kind righteousness (justification) given by grace and receive solely by faith apart from any person’s works or sacraments.  Anything other than this fact is a corruption of faith and a corruption of the doctrine of salvation.  Those who accept the falsehood of grace plus works/sacraments will remain in their lost estate believing they have something they do not have.  

“25 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. 26 And so all Israel shall be saved {through the 144,000 saved seal Jews who will return to earth from heaven in glorified bodies during the last half of the Tribulation along with the two great witnesses; Revelation 11:3}: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer {second coming of Christ Jesus}, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins {national Israel’s Mosaic Covenant national curse to restore them nationally to the place of blessing}. 28 As concerning the gospel, they are (Christ rejecting Jews} enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes {they are to be viewed as actively hostile against the message of the Gospel.  This does not mean they should not be evangelized}. 29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. 30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. 33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? 35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen” (Romans 11:25-36).

          We are given six chapters of Scripture that give us the primary details of the Palestinian Covenant:

Leviticus chapter twenty-five
Deuteronomy chapters twenty-eight through thirty
Jeremiah chapters thirty and thirty-one

The Palestinian Covenant is really nothing more than the details of prophecy regarding the fulfillment of the land promises (or real estate promises) of God to Abraham in the Abrahamic Covenant.  Therefore, the Palestinian Covenant is not a covenant separate from the Abrahamic Covenant, but merely details how God will fulfill those land promises to Abraham and national Israel in the last days before the establishment of the Kingdom Age on earth.  This restoration will take place during the time of “Jacob’s trouble” or the seven yearlong Tribulation.  The complete fulfillment of the Palestinian Covenant will not take place until the second coming of Christ.  This is one aspect of the meaning of the word “fullness” in Romans 11:12. 
          The second aspect of the meaning of the word “fullness” in Romans 11:12 is found in the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant.  This is fulfilled in the second coming of Christ as Prophet, High Priest, and King of Israel during the Kingdom Age.  The Kingship of Jesus in the Davidic Covenant is always spoken of as being on earth.  Therefore, the premise of Progressive Dispensationalism, Covenant Theology, and Reformed Theology that Jesus is reigning on the throne of King David in heaven presently and that the Kingdom of Christ is a spiritual kingdom is a false premise.  Jesus reigns wherever He is because He is Lord.  However, He is not now reigning over the Kingdom on Earth because has not yet been established.  It will not be established until the purging of the nations at His second coming.  The Kingdom is defined as a Israeli worldwide empire with Jesus ruling the world from Jerusalem through His new priesthood of all faithful believer-priests from the Church Age.

Jesus’ present position in heaven is that of the High Priest of the Church.  His priesthood is comprised of every “born again” believer alive on planet earth at any given time during the Church Age.  Jesus is working as High Priest to keep His Bride (the Church) pure throughout the Church.  If Jesus had established His Church as one large conglomerate, like was the nation of Israel, the defilement of any aspect of the Church would defile the whole.  Therefore, God has divided the Church during the Church Age into thousands upon thousands of local churches.  Local churches that become defiled lose their “candlestick.”  Which was the warning of Christ to the local church at Ephesus because they had “left their first love” (Revelation 2:4-5).  This is exemplified by the seven epistles of Christ to seven local churches in Revelation chapters two and three.  It is through the teaching and preaching ministry of local churches that Jesus strives to keep His Bride pure.  Therefore. the seven epistles of Christ in Revelations chapters two and three are addressed to the “angels,” or pastors/leaders of those local churches.  

Although there are numerous texts that speak of the Davidic Covenant, the text that gives us the most details is II Samuel 7:8-17.  

8 Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel: 9 And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth. 10 Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime, 11 And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house. 12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. 14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: 15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. 16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. 17 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David” (II Samuel 7:8-17).

          From this statement in Romans 11:12, Paul makes a statement that reflects God’s ongoing burden for the Jewish people to repent and be “born again.”  God still wants to see Jews saved. 

13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: 14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation {stimulate to jealousy; Romans 12:11} them which are my flesh, and might save some of them” (Romans 11:13-14).  

The Jewish people were not to be treated with distain or subjected to prejudicial brutalities as many so-called Christians of the Reformation have proclaimed.  Both Roman Catholicism and almost all the Reformers were horribly anti-Semitic and persecuted Jews unmercifully.  Although a Jewish soul is not preferred by God over a Gentile soul today, true Christians should have the same love and burden for Jews as they do for any other ethnicity.  Martin Luther was horribly Anti-Semitic.

“Accordingly, it must and dare not be considered a trifling matter but a most serious one to seek counsel against this and to save our souls from the Jews, that is, from the devil and from eternal death. My advice, as I said earlier, is:  First, that their synagogues be burned down, and that all who are able toss sulphur and pitch; it would be good if someone could also throw in some hellfire. . . Second, that all their books-- their prayer books, their Talmudic writings, also the entire Bible-- be taken from them, not leaving them one leaf, and that these be preserved for those who may be converted. . . Third, that they be forbidden on pain of death to praise God, to give thanks, to pray, and to teach publicly among us and in our country. . . Fourth, that they be forbidden to utter the name of God within our hearing. For we cannot with a good conscience listen to this or tolerate it. . .”[1]

          Hitler and the Nazis of the Third Reich merely became Luther’s executioners.  This was all due to Luther’s Theonomic world view.  The Nazi cross became Hitler’s symbol of Luther’s Theonomic world view. 

Through his sermons and his magnificent translations of the Bible, Luther created the modern German language, aroused in the people not only a new Protestant vision of Christianity by a fervent German nationalism and taught them, at least in religion, the supremacy of the individual conscience.  But tragically for them, Luther’s siding with the princes in the peasant rising, which he had largely inspired, and his passion for political autocracy ensured a mindless and provincial political absolutism which reduced the vast majority of the German people to poverty, to a horrible torpor and a demeaning subservience.  Even worse perhaps, it helped to perpetuate and indeed to sharpen the hopeless divisions not only between classes but also between the various dynastic and political groupings of the German people.  It doomed for centuries the possibility of the unification of Germany.”[2]

          The Jews claimed to have a corner on God’s blessings.  To some degree they were correct.  The history of God’s blessings in the world from the time of the calling of Abraham is primarily through the nation of Israel.  Salvation in the incarnation, virgin birth, death, burial, and resurrection of Messiah would come through Israel.  Christ said, “for salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22). 

However, after the beginning of the Church Age, the Jews now had no preferred status with God and would not again have such standing until the ending of the “times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24) at the beginning of the Kingdom age.  This was Peter’s message to the Gentile household of Cornelius, a justified Gentile proselyte to Judaism.

34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35 But in every nation {whosoever} he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. 36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) 37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; 38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. 39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: 40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; 41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. 43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:34-43).

[1] Martin Luther; On the Jews and Their Lies; 1543 A.D., http://www.nobeliefs.com/luther.htm;

[2] William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich : A History of Nazi Germany, http://www.nobeliefs.com/luther.htm

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Numerous studies and series are available free of charge for local churches at: http://www.disciplemakerministries.org/ 
Dr. Lance Ketchum serves the Lord as a Church Planter, Evangelist/Revivalist. 
He has served the Lord for over 40 years.

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