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17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
Paul compares all mankind to two olive trees of the wild and cultivated species. The twelve tribes of Israel to whose country the olive is indigenous he likens to "a good olive tree," with a "holy root," representing "the fathers" Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, on whose account the whole nation is beloved.
The rest of mankind he compares to "a wild olive tree," which is smaller and inferior in all its parts. Eliphaz in Job xv. 33, compares a wicked man to an olive tree whose flowers fall before their season, and consequently brings no fruit.
Such is the primary import of these two trees, symbols of Israel and the Gentiles.
But, the Israelitish Olive Tree, and the Gentile Olive Tree, signified something more than this in the symbols before us. There was a specialty to be represented which had been apostolically elicited. This was the adoption of believing Gentiles into the Israelitish Family, that they might be Israelites in every particular, except the accident of birth according to nature.
This adoption, Paul styles "grafting in;" and figuratively represents the process, as a breaking of branches off from the wild Gentile olive, and inserting them into the place of certain sapless branches of the good Israelitish olive, which had also been broken off, and cast away.
This teaches allegorically that while the good olive tree represents the Israelitish peoples generally; there is nevertheless a Gentile element in the nation, equally interested in the promises made to their fathers, which are "the fatness of the tree."
Thus, the good olive tree represents "the Israel of the Deity," constituted of Israelites and Gentiles, who believe "the promises covenanted to the fathers;" and who, since Pentecost, A.D. 34, have believed "the truth as it is in Jesus," and by immersion into him, have been adopted, or grafted into the Commonwealth of Israel, as it will be in the times of restitution.
This union of Israelites and Gentiles into One Body, or Holy City, was represented to Zechariah, by connecting the two trees by means of two golden pipes with the one golden bowl of the lightstand; the idea of branch-union being set forth in the connection of the pipes with certain branches of the trees.
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?
The destruction of Jerusalem was the breaking off, not of Israel, but of "some of the branches" of "the Good" Israelitish "Olive Tree," whose stock is rooted in Abraham "the
friend of God;" and these branches, which lie withered on the ground, will, like Aaron's Rod,
become full of sap and bear much fruit, by being again ingrafted on the parent tree;" for God
is able to graft them in again"-Rom, xi.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, 1860 - The Olivet Prophecy.
The apostles have also taught us that the Spirit-Lightstand, or one light-bearing body, is constituted of two classes of mankind, which are fitly represented by Two Olive Trees; the one, "a wild olive tree," and the other, "a good olive tree" (Rom. xi. 17,24).
The former, we are taught in this chapter, represents the non-Israelitish portion of mankind; while the latter is representative of the twelve tribes of Israel. In the Zechariah-group of symbols, these two olive trees are united to the light-bearing body by the two golden pipes extending from a branch of either tree.
This intermediate union of the two trees is allegorical of the union of Israelites and Gentiles in one body through Jesus Christ. In the apostolic allegory, the union of the two classes is represented by grafting branches taken from the wild olive trees among the branches of the good olive tree, whose root and fatness supply wholesome nourishment to the grafts.
In other words, the engrafting is done by "the word of truth," which is therefore styled
"the engrafted word received with meekness, which is able to save the soul" (James i. 21).
This word received with meekness by wild-olive men, makes them intelligent believers of "the things concerning the kingdom of the Deity, and of the name of Jesus Christ;" and, by causing them to be immersed into the Christ-Name, they become members of the one body. By adoption, or engraftment, through Christ Jesus, they become good olive-men; and being "cut out" of the wild olive in all "the times of the Gentiles," during which blindness afflicts Israel, they supply the place of the Jewish branches broken off because of unbelief.
This transfer of branches from the wild to the cultivated olive is the reason of there being two olive trees in the symbolic group. In the first few years of the apostolic era, there had been no breaking off of branches from the good olive tree; and no grafting in of wild olive branches in their place. The engrafted word was preached and received by Israelites alone; for, until Peter was taught to "call no man common or unclean" (Acts x. 28), the gospel was not preached to the Gentiles; so that the one body consisted only of believing and immersed Jews.
But, when it was found experimentally that Israelites were fast becoming deaf and blind to the word, it was propounded to the Gentiles, from among whom a rich fulness has been separated.
As faith decayed in Israel it grew vigorously among the Gentiles. The natural branches of the good olive became sapless; and were broken off with violence, when the Little Horn of the Goat received a host against the daily because of transgression, and cast down the truth, in its Mosaic representation, to the ground (Dan. viii. 9-12, A.D. 70).
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.
Israel wanders without hope. God has not given them eyes to see that the law was but a shadow of good things to come, that the body (or substance) is of Christ, in whom all the good things typified are and will be realised.
Bro Roberts - Consolation
36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. (1 Tim 6:16).
For in him we live, and move, and have our being (Acts 17:28)
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. (Psa 139:6)
All things must be embraced in the power from which they have sprung, and which sustains them in being. We must be in the presence of God. ...
...Well, then, if that is beyond us, how inscrutable is the other point presented to our faith, though its truth is evident as a matter of reason, viz., that there is, in relation to that universal element of power or existence, a personal controlling centre, from which it is but an eternal emanation, and with which it is ONE indissoluble-the First Cause-the Eternal Antecedent of all things-the seat of Ineffable Wisdom and power-the Father, who is above all and through all by his diffusive spirit, and yet personally resident at a point
of the universe, variously described in the Scriptures as "light unapproachable," "heaven of
heavens," "heaven thy dwelling place." ....
For instance, Jesus says "Our Father, who art in heaven."-(Matt. 6.) David says, "Unto thee I lift mine eyes, O Thou that dwellest in the heavens."-
(Psalm 123:1.) Solomon, at the dedication of the temple, makes frequent use of the phrase "Hear Thou in heaven, Thy dwelling-place, and when Thou hearest,forgive."
These are illustrations of the statements that teach the localization of the Father in central light-the sustaining principle of creation, in, as it were, what you may style focus, or intensity of development. They teach that though that principle is universal, the Personal Intelligence from whom it emanates, dwells in local habitation; yet that He has conscious relation to infinitude, He fills all because He is The Spirit and you cannot divide spirit from spirit. You cannot divide any one part of God from Himself.
The Christadelphian, May 1870 - The Operations of the Deity