Romans Chapters 9-11 Study 3

Romans Chapters 9-11  Study 3

Romans Chapter 11


(Vss.1) “I ask, then, has God rejected His people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin.”

Paul was a believer in the Lord Jesus the Messiah and one of the followers of the Way but this in no way cancelled out the fact that he was Jewish. Over the centuries, because of anti-Semitism within Christendom many Jews think that if they become a believer in the Lord Jesus that they are no longer to consider themselves Jews but Christians, a term or nickname given to the believers at Antioch because they were followers of the Messiah. This kind of thinking is wrong in that when a Jew comes to saving faith in the Lord Jesus they enter into what it truly means to be Jewish, they do not lose their identity as a Jew. In fact Paul tells us what a true Jew is when he writes; “For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.” (Romans 2:28-29)

Paul never saw himself as anything but a Jew who had come to recognize and believe in the Lord Jesus as his Lord, Saviour and Messiah. When a Jewish person is circumcised in the heart or born again spiritually from above through the work of the Holy Spirit they are enabled to see the Lord Jesus in the scriptures from Genesis to Revelation and realise that Torah is all about Him and His atoning sacrifice for the sins of Israel and for the whole world. The veil over their heart is removed and they know by revelation that He is their Passover Lamb sacrificed for them. A Jew who comes to saving faith in Jesus their Messiah remains a Jew in the fullest sense of the word much to the misguided thinking of those into replacement theology.

(Vs.2a) “God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew.”

Once again we see God’s purposes of election. As we have seen already that the babies Jacob and Esau wrestling with each other in the womb of their mother Rebecca represented two nations and not two individuals. While God knew how things would turn out on the basis of His foreknowledge He chose Jacob over Esau because He saw that Jacob would respond to Him where as Esau would reject his birthright and thumb his nose up at God. It also shows that the second birth is what counts in the Bible. It was the same with Isaac and Ishmael. The Second birth was the one that counted in God’s providence and foreknowledge.

Isaac was born supernaturally by the Spirit whereas Ishmael was born of the flesh. Isaac was the spiritual one and Ishmael was the man of the fleshly appetites. The same thing occurred with Jacob and Esau. While God knew what would happen in the future He did not take away the human will. As it has been said; “all things are foreknown but the choice is still given.” God foreknew what would be the ultimate destiny of the descendants of Jacob as He did concerning the descendants of Esau. God has never rejected His people with whom He made covenants which He always keeps because He remains faithful and does not change. God made the New Covenant with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah and not with the Church. (Jeremiah 31:31)

The reality is that within Judaism and Christendom God has a faithful remnant that He has chosen whom He knows in His foreknowledge will come to saving faith in the Lord Jesus and become one in Him. Election has nothing to do with god electing some for heaven and others for hell. This kind of thinking negates the words “Whosoever may come” which are clearly revealed in scripture. If man’s will was not involved then God has contradicted Himself which of course He has not, but to follow the line of thinking that says God elects some for heaven and others for hell without human decision involved is unbiblical and a misunderstanding of election.

If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus then you are part of the elect people of God and a true descendent of Abraham and a member of the Commonwealth of Israel (the cultivated Olive Tree). Having said this in no way negates God’s purposes for Israel as a nation in the last days including their national and spiritual restoration.

(Vs, 2b) “Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.”

Things had become so bad in Israel under the leadership of King Ahab and his wife the witch Jezebel that Elijah came to the point where he thought he was the only prophet left that had not been killed by Jezebel. He was greatly discouraged by what had been happening in Israel. Undoubtedly the Temple still stood and the sacrifices were still being offered and the priests were still going about their duties and the people still attending worship in the Temple but going along with the demands of Jezebel and her prophets of Baal. It looked like Israel had ‘gone to the wall’ spiritually and nationally. The religious institution of that time had been infiltrated with false prophets and teachers and spiritual seduction through the prophets of Baal.

Some would look at Israel today and say of Jerusalem that it is a city filled with idolatry, hedonism, materialism, immorality, greed, love of money and even sodomy not to mention the false religious system of Rabbinic Judaism and they are right, but even so God has a faithful Jewish remnant chosen according to his grace and foreknowledge. In the time of Elijah God showed Him that there were seven thousand men in Israel who had not bowed down to Baal and that they were His elect or chosen ones. Their election was in the context of a group and not as individuals even though each individual had made the choice not to become idolaters. Down through the centuries God has always had His faithful servants’ foreknown to Him both within Christendom and Judaism.

Even to this day there is a remnant chosen by grace whom God knows will respond to Him whom as yet have not come to saving faith in the Lord Jesus as their saviour and Messiah but in his foreknowledge He knows they will come to salvation at the end of this age. (Zechariah 12:10-14; 13:8-9) They will co-reign on earth with their Messiah and the glorified saints in his Millennial Kingdom. In that day Israel as a nation will “possess their possessions” and “the mountain of the LORD’s Temple be lifted up higher above all of the other mountains (kingdoms)” (Obadiah 1:17)

The prophet Isaiah writes; “The word which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. Now it will come about that In the last days The mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains (kingdoms), And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 2:1-3) This is Israel as a nation, not the Church! This election has nothing to do with works but it has everything to do with God’s foreknowledge of how men will respond to His grace shown to them. Faith is also a key component in the process of God’s election. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

(Vs.7-8) “What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.”

When you consider Pharaoh of Egypt in the time of Moses, God in His foreknowledge foresaw that Pharaoh would harden his heart and not let the Israelites leave Egypt. He said to his servant Moses; “But I know that the king of Egypt will not permit you to go, except under compulsion.  “So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My miracles which I shall do in the midst of it; and after that he will let you go.” (Exodus 3:19-20) God knew that Pharaoh would harden his heart and so God decided to keep hardening his heart but only after Pharaoh had decided to harden his heart. God foreknew this but Pharaoh still had a decision to make. In the case of Abraham God foresaw that he would respond to Him and chose Him because He knew Abraham would choose Him. God said of Abraham; “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” (Genesis 18:19)

Abraham still had a responsibility to walk by faith. In the time of Paul there were individual Jews who believed in the Lord Jesus for salvation but as for the nation as a whole they have to this day refused to believe through their hardness of heart, but as we will see it is a partial hardening and not a complete one. Because Israel has hardened their hearts towards their Messiah God has hardened their hearts and withheld from them the spiritual capacity to see the truth. However, at the end of this age and for the sake of the patriarchs and more so for the sake of His covenant with Abraham and the New Covenant in Jesus blood, God will have mercy and a faithful believing remnant of Jews will come forth to inherit His Millennial Kingdom on earth. The prophets testify to this. As we will see this remnant will become one with the believing remnant of the Body of the Messiah. In that day there will be one shepherd and one flock. (John 10:16)

(Vss. 9-10) “And David says, “Let their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them;  let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see, and bend their backs forever.”

There are eternal consequences for those who harden their hearts towards the salvation offered in the Lord Jesus Christ and who reject the truth as it is in Jesus, and this is the same for both Jew and Gentile. As Paul has written; “He (God) will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honour and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.” (Romans 2:6-11)

It is a very serious matter to wilfully and with deliberate intent to reject God’s offer of salvation through our Lord Jesus the Messiah. Those who persist in this are already condemned to an eternity in the lake of fire unless they repent and turn to the Lord Jesus for mercy, pardon and forgiveness. This applies to both Jew and Gentile. Whether the laws is written down or written in the consciences of men all have sinned and must give an account to Him who is the judge of all men and the judge of both the living and the dead. Those who have not believed are already judged. When they appear before the Great White Throne they will appear for sentencing because they have already been judged because of their unbelief and stubborn refusal to believe.

(Vs.11)  “So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather, through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous.”

God wanted to see Israel turn back to Him and so He turned His saving grace towards the Gentile nations in order to bring about a jealousy in the Jews because they would see that salvation had come to the Gentiles and the blessings they received from that salvation. When you look at the history of Israel and the Church there is not much that the Church has done to make Israel jealous. Instead the Institutionalized Church by enlarge down through the centuries has persecuted the Jewish people instead of embracing them. God of course had always wanted to save Gentiles and had chosen Israel originally to be the instrument through which He would reveal Himself to the world but they failed in this.

Finally God stepped out of heaven Himself in the person of the Lord Jesus the Messiah who was God’s only begotten Son. The amazing truth is that God was still in heaven yet fully resident in the Lord Jesus who is also God and equal with God. During His ministry the Jews tried to stone him on more than one occasion because He said directly that He was God. (John 5:18; 19:7) When you look at the Church today has it made Israel jealous to have what Christians claim to have?

(Vss.12-14) “Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean! Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?”

Paul still had hope for Israel as a nation and that the unbelieving branches broken off from their own olive tree might be grafted back in again through faith in their Messiah our Lord Jesus. Because of their stubborn unbelief the LORD had embraced the Gentile nations and sent the message of salvation to them because even though Israel is His treasured possession He still loves all men and accepts all who repent of sin and put their trust in the Lord Jesus to save them from the power and penalty of their sin and rebellion. God is no respecter of persons but He is a respecter of faith. (Hebrews 11:6) Paul understood that he was an apostle to the Gentiles and had the hope that through God’s power working through his life and ministry might not only see Gentiles saved, but make his fellow Jews jealous to have what he had and consequently come to saving faith in their Messiah the Lord Jesus.

Since 70AD Israel as a nation have been rejected by God because of their stubborn unbelief and hardness of heart but God has not given them up forever but will turn His mercy towards then again, not because they have deserved or earned His favour, but because of His call and covenants with them as a people. As Paul writes; “The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable” and this directly applies to Israel as a nation. For the Gentiles who believe it means reconciliation with God but for Israel it will mean a dramatic spiritual resurrection from spiritual death and more so because it is Israel to whom belong the adoption as sons; the divine glory and the covenants; the giving of the Law, the temple worship, and the promises and the patriarchs, and from them proceeds the human descent of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever worthy of praise! Amen! When a Jew repents and comes to saving faith in the Lord Jesus spiritually speaking they are no joke but enter into the fullness of what it means to be a true Israelite and child of Abraham. They do not cease being a Jew! (Romans 2:28-29)

(Vs.16)  “If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.”

Paul now introduces the illustration of the Olive Tree and its root, the root sustains and nourishes the Olive Tree and causes the branches to bear fruit. The sap spreads through the tree and into the branches just like dough spreads through a loaf of bread affecting every part of it. God’s people are to be Holy and their holiness is derived from the root which is the Lord Jesus the Messiah in whom resides “wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption” and if He lives in us as a believer then these manifestations of His nature also dwell in us through God the Spirit who also live in us. Everything we have of any spiritual value and virtue has its source in the Lord Jesus the anointed Messiah.

(Vss.17-18) “But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.”

The Olive Tree Biblically represents the nation of Israel. The fact that it is called a cultivated Olive Tree is because it is God’s planting and His vineyard. Paul makes it clear that this cultivated Olive Tree is Israel. There are two Olive Trees; the cultivated one represents the nation of Israel and the other uncultivated one represents the Gentile nations without the laws and commandments of God written down. The ‘branches’ represent people. The cultivate branches from the cultivated Olive Tree are individual Jews and the uncultivated and ‘wild’ olive shoot or branches are individual Gentiles.

Now according to replacement theology they say the Church has replaced Israel and is now ‘the new Israel’ or ‘spiritual Israel’ but these terms are not found anywhere is scripture. The branches broken off from the cultivated Olive Tree (Israel) are individual Jews who have been broken off because of unbelief in their Messiah and His atoning work at the cross. The Cultivated Olive Tree (Israel) still stands. As for the ‘wild olive shoots’ these are individual Gentiles who have come to believe in Israel’s Messiah as their personal saviour and Lord. These have been cut off from their wild uncultivated Olive Tree (Gentile nations) and grafted into the cultivated Olive Tree (Israel) among the natural believing branches (Jews) still connected to their own cultivated Olive Tree (Israel). The Gentile believers share in the spiritual nourishment and the fruitfulness of that cultivated Olive Tree.

Having said this both believing Jews and Gentiles are spiritually nourished and sustained by the root which is the Messiah, “the root of Jesse…the root and descendent of David.” Never forget that the Lord Jesus is Jewish and on earth He was the full embodiment of what Israel should have been to the Gentiles as a light to guide them back to God their creator. He was the light of the world and He still is. In the Millennial Kingdom on earth His light will be fully reflected in the faithful believing remnant of Israel and the glorified saints, who all together, are co-reigning with their Messiah our Lord Jesus. In the New Jerusalem, after the Millennial Kingdom on earth has run its course, He Himself will be the light that penetrates the new heavens and earth. The Millennial Kingdom on earth will be the foreshadowing of the final and eternal state to come after the Millennium.

Because of the potentially schism forming between the believing Jews and Gentiles in Rome Paul wanted to show how the faithful Church and Israel are connected and all share in the same nourishing spiritual root which is the Lord Jesus the Messiah. Because all of the Jews, including Jewish believers, had been expelled from Rome under Claudius, the Gentile believers had started to think that they were somehow superior to the Jews. This was the seed of a form of replacement theology and anti-Semitism which Paul saw fermenting at Rome and which he had to deal with and ‘nip it in the bud’ before it spread. The believers at Rome had a good testimony throughout the Roman Empire and even beyond and Satan wanted to destroy the unity among the believing Jews and Gentiles and hinder their witness as the Body of the Messiah. The problem most probably started after the Jews had left Rome and was further compounded when the Jews came back Rome at the request of the Roman Emperor Nero.

(Vss.19-21) “Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare you.”

There is a strong tendency among those who advocate replacement theology to speak harshly about the unbelief of the Jewish people and they do this with a seemingly arrogant attitude. Among the Calvinists, most of who have a background in reformed theology, consider they have the truth and that Israel has been completely rejected and that they themselves are now the New Israel of God. What they need to understand is that they stand only by faith and that like Israel if they are not spiritually circumspect they can fall into the same sin of unbelief and be cut off from God. The possibility of falling away from the faith is relevant to every believer whether they are ethnically Jew or Gentile. Only the root can sustain the branches and cause them to bear fruit.

The Lord Jesus Himself said; “Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. I am the vine and you are the branches. The one who remains in Me, and I in him, will bear much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers. Such branches are gathered up, thrown into the fire, and burned. (John 14:4-6) Notice it is conditional and not arbitrary. As we have seen election has to do with nations and not individuals. God does not choose some for heaven and others for hades (hell) as Calvinism teaches. This is a misinterpretation of the Biblical revelation of election and God’s nature. If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus then you are part of the elect of God.

Once again it needs to be said concerning individuals that all things are foreknown to God but the choice is still given. This is correct Biblical theology related to election. Replacement Theology, at its core, promotes spiritual pride and arrogance and is the breeding ground for Anti-Semitism as we see in the latter years of Martin Luther in Germany whose anti-Jewish rantings many believe were the seed for the murder of six million Jewish people under the Nazi regime of Adolph Hitler. Many churches in Germany were anti-Jewish at the time although, there were some individual believers who defended the Jewish people in Germany and lost their livelihood and in some cases their very lives as well.

(Vss. 22-23) “Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.”

While God foreknows how things will turn out He still allows His people to make choices to trust Him or even to deny Him. The history of Israel and Christendom clearly has multitudes who professed faith and were genuinely being saved out of this present evil age but who apostatized and forsook the living God, having loved this present world. Once again Paul allows for the exercise of the will in this matter of salvation. Even though there is a partial hardening of the hearts of most Jews even to this day they still need to hear the message of the gospel because God has the power to graft them in again to their own cultivated Olive Tree if they should exercise faith. If individual Jews are convicted by the Holy Spirit of their unbelief in the Lord Jesus as their Saviour, Lord and Messiah and return to Him through exercising repentance and saving faith in their Messiah then God will graft them in again. All of us stand by faith and as it is written “he who endures to the end will be saved.”

(Vss. 24-26)  “For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will banish ungodliness from Jacob”; “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”

If God shows great mercy to Gentiles who believe then how much more will He show great mercy to those in Israel who believe. Theirs is the Olive Tree, they are the natural spiritually cultivated branches and for them it will be like coming home to their father who created them to be His special people. They share the spiritual nourishment of the toot and are co-heirs of the blessings of Abraham along with the Gentile believers who have been grafted in. The common link is faith in the Lord Jesus for salvation. Gentile believers then need to watch out for arrogance towards their Jewish brothers and sisters in the Messiah because, as former ’wild olive shoots,’ the Gentile believers have been grafted in because they were not the natural branches to begin with. This partial hardening will not be forever. The veil over their hearts will be lifted and a faithful believing remnant of Jews will come forth from the Time of Jacob’s trouble, purified and holy and fit for the masters use and to inherit the Millennial Kingdom on earth and to co-reign with their Messiah and the glorified saints of all the ages.

From 70AD the LORD has been saving Gentiles and in the light of what is happening today in the Middle-east the times of the Gentiles are coming to a close. In 1948 God started to turn His grace towards His people Israel once again. At present the nation as a whole is away from the LORD but He is arranging things in such a way that they will be brought back to Him. Sadly two thirds will perish in Israel because of their sin and rebellion but a third will remain and come to faith in the Lord Jesus. (Zechariah 13:8-9) In that day all Israel will be saved. We always need to keep in mind that the New Covenant was made with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah and not with the Church. (Jeremiah 31:31) Believing Gentiles then are grafted into Israel and partake of the spiritual blessings and the Olive Tree and the root remain in place. When the Lord Jesus comes back He will banish all ungodliness from Israel. In His Millennial Kingdom there will be no unclean thing in the whole of the City of Jerusalem or throughout the whole land of Israel. No longer will there be unbelief, immorality, hedonism, materialism, idolatry and even sodomy, these will have been banished. Their sins will have been removed from them because of the New Covenant cut in the blood of their Messiah. Israel must pass through the night of Great Tribulation also called the Time of Jacob’s Trouble but will be saved out of it. (Jeremiah 30:1-7)

Zechariah the prophet describes the conditions in Israel and Jerusalem after the Messiah has come back. Zechariah writes; “And on that day there shall be inscribed on the bells of the horses, “Holy to the Lord.” And the pots in the house of the Lord shall be as the bowls before the altar. And every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holy to the Lord of hosts, so that all who sacrifice may come and take of them and boil the meat of the sacrifice in them. And there shall no longer be a trader in the house of the Lord of hosts on that day.” (Zechariah 14:20-21)

(Vss. 28-32) “As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. For God has consigned all to disobedience, that He may have mercy on all.

From the Day of Pentecost the faithful Body of the Messiah were persecuted by the Jewish religious leaders up until 70AD when the Romans destroyed the Temple and sacked Jerusalem. Even today in Israel Messianic believers are often targeted by Orthodox Jews and even by some secular authorities who see Messianic believers as extremists and detrimental to the interests of Israel as a whole. As a nation of people they are hostile to the gospel but according to God’s purpose of election they are a chosen nation and even though numerically they are like the sand on the sea shore only a remnant of them will be saved. This remnant will enter into all of the blessings of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and this includes inheriting the whole land of Israel from the Wadi of Egypt to the Euphrates River.

Gentile believers have received mercy because of Israel’s disobedience but at the end after the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, Israel as an elect nation will be saved due to the gifts and calling of God which are irrevocable. What God called Israel to be they will be and in the Millennial Kingdom the light of the Messiah reigning from Jerusalem will be seen in the lives of the redeemed and Israel in that day will truly be a light to enlighten the Gentiles because the Light of the Word will be there among them in that day. Because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob their descendants, faithful Jewish believers in the Messiah, will inherit the blessings of Abraham and the sure mercies shown to David.

The “All” in the text are all unbelieving Gentiles and Jews in the world. God’s mercy is extended to all of them. All have sinned and fall short of God’s glory whether they are Jew or Gentile and God has shown mercy upon all men by sending the Lord Jesus the Messiah to bring them salvation. His mercy extends to all but sadly not all will respond to it including Jews as well as Gentiles. As the apostle John writes; “He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:11-13) His mercy is still being shown in that He is gibing men time to repent before the axe of His wrath falls and it surely will when the iniquity on the earth has reached its full measure.

(Vss.33-36) “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counsellor?” “Or who has given a gift to Him that He might be repaid?” For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.”

God is infinitely wise and just in all that He does and as it is written; “Shall not the judge of all the earth do right.” Who can know the depths of His riches, wisdom and knowledge? What is a mystery to us is as plain as the daylight to Him. As it is written; “Even the darkness is as light to you.” In His wise, benevolence He is rich in wisdom and knowledge and knows the beginning from the end and how everything will turn out in the end. As the late David Wilkerson used to say; “God has everything under control.”

In His foreknowledge He has an elect company of those who have already come to faith and those who are as yet to come to faith in the future. They will decide to follow Him but He already knows they will and will give them the grace to do just that when they respond to the gospel message. None of us can repay God for what He has done for us in sending His One and Only Begotten (not created) Son into the world to save His people from their sins. If we believe in Him who shed His atoning blood for our sins then we are part of God’s elect and his elect includes both Jew and Gentile linked together as one through faith in the Lord Jesus as their Saviour, Lord and Messiah. (Romans 3:28-30)

The Middle wall of partition separating the Jew from the Gentile has been broken down in the Messiah and all believers are one flock under one shepherd and all members of the Commonwealth of Israel and all connected to the cultivated Olive Tree (Israel). The believing branches are spiritually nourished and sustained by the root which is the Lord Jesus the Messiah who supplies the rich ‘sap’ of the Holy Spirit to the believing branches that they might bring forth much fruit for God! Everything that exists and that we have as His children in this life and that we will have in the life to come is through Him and for Him and by Him. He is the ‘sun’ around which the whole universe is upheld and sustained by His powerful word.

All glory is given to Him alone who is the Eternal God who became flesh and tabernacled among us, one who is worthy of our adoration and worship. The late Derek prince used to say; “Do we have room for the sovereignty of God because He does what He wants, when He wants and in the way He wants, and asks no man’s permission.” Having said this we need to balance things off in saying that ‘All things are foreknown but the choice is still given.” Who of us then can really know fully the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God? Who can understand fully how unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways? Who has been able to be His counsellor or to repay Him for His mercy, kindness and benevolence to all that He has made? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.”