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Christian Living

True Christian living requires us to live according to Kingdom standards which bring Heaven to earth

BOASTING AGAINST THE BRANCHES
By Neville Fowler

“And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.” (Romans 11:17).

Have you ever meditated on this text? Have you ever heard a sermon preached on it, or read a tract or chapter in a book that deals with it? My guess is that you have not. Sadly many Christians tend to be so full of a sense of their own supreme importance in God’s scheme of things that they lack the humility to see that they are merely wild twigs grafted into God’s kingdom-tree. They become complacent, even proud, haughty and arrogant, unwilling to recognise their true status.

“Do not be haughty, but fear.” (Romans 11: 20).

Such people have little doubt that they and their fellow Christians are the apple of God’s eye. They are satisfied that they are God’s chosen people and that all the things God’s Word promises are to be fulfilled in them and in them alone. How good, how important that makes them feel. And what a dangerous position they are in! “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12).

“Where ignorance is bliss, ‘tis folly to be wise,” said Thomas Gray.  It may well be true that the innocent ignorance of childhood so approved of by the poet, is a precious and blessed state, but Christians who desire to be mature in their faith are not satisfied with the spurious comfort that ignorance might afford them. They want to know the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth. Said the apostle Paul: “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”  He thinks that we too should put away childish ignorance: “For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” (Romans 11:25).

The Jews (some of them, most in fact) have been blinded temporarily to the truth about Christ until the full number of Gentiles has been admitted to God’s church. This is all part of God’s plan. Their disadvantage has been to the Gentiles’ advantage -- for the time being. That time is coming to an end. How can we know that? Because the prophecies of the bible relating to the Jews in these last days are being rapidly fulfilled. Prophecies relating to the Jews? Yes my friends. This is where the arrogance, the boasting, of self-satisfied, ignorant, ‘denominations’ is making the Gentiles blind to God’s truth. They have declared God’s chosen people, the Jews, cast off forever. Every promise God has made concerning the Jews, the Gentiles have arrogated for themselves, no matter how much twisting of texts might be necessary. They say ‘The Jews were disobedient so God wrote them off, and chose us instead. We now are the elected, they are the rejected.’ If you think like that you should learn that it is NOT what the bible says. Listen:

“Concerning the gospel they [the Jews] are enemies [temporarily] for your [you Gentiles’] sake, but concerning the election [the choice by God] they are beloved [by God] for the sake of the fathers. [the patriarchs, their ancestors]. For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.” Did you hear that? Not conditional. Irrevocable. Unalterable. Not callable back. God still loves the Jews.

We are not saying that there is any way into God’s kingdom except through faith in His Son. This is what Paul says: “And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.” (Romans 11:23). Paul’s whole point is that the time will come when they will not continue in unbelief, once the full number of Gentiles has come in. “And so all Israel will be saved.” (Romans 11:26). ALL ISRAEL comprises Jews and Gentiles who through faith in God are spiritual Israelites, the seed of Abraham. Together they will inherit the promises God made to Abraham.

Those irrevocable promises that God made to the Jews are being fulfilled. The first stage of the process has been going on for over fifty years and it is only inexcusable ignorance or blindness that prevents many or most Christians from recognising the controlling hand of God in present day events. “Thus says the Lord Jehovah: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land.”  (Ezekiel 37:21). For absolute certain, says Jehovah, I will re-gather the Jews from around the world and bring them back to Palestine. How could God express Himself more plainly? How more obvious could that re-gathering be? After almost 2,000 years the dead nation of Israel has been brought to life, resurrected from the grave. The “very dry bones” of a long dead people (Ezekiel 37:2) have been re-assembled (verse 7). The Spirit of God has brought this to pass. (Ezekiel 37:14) Yet how many Christians consider it to be of the slightest importance? Do you? Won’t you study more of what God’s Word says about the times we live in and the things soon to happen? Or do you prefer to remain in ignorance, “wise in your own opinion.”?

FRIENDS OF CHRIST

The Old Vicarage, Llangynog, Carmarthen SA33 5BS

Hebrew: ruach = spirit, breath, wind]. All that exists was brought into being through  the Spirit of Jehovah.(Genesis 1:2). All God’s promises are fulfilled through the working of His Spirit. For God is Spirit.[Greek: pneuma = spirit, breath, wind] (John 4:24). There is no other God. The Holy Spirit is the Father. The Holy Spirit is Jehovah. The Spirit of Christ is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not some person or entity separate from the Father and the Son. When Jesus promised the comforter, the Holy Spirit he said “I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you.” (John 14:18).  “If anyone loves Me, he will keep my word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (John 14:23).  “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20). 

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