Scripture Queries and Answers: The Olive Tree

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 8
“J. K. M.”—It may help your understanding of the passages in Rom. 11, to know that the first allusion to the Church, the Body of Christ, in the Epistle to the Romans is in ch. 7:5. Even there we do not find the doctrine of the Church taught; but the practical walk of the members one with another as “One Body.” It is not the subject of the Epistle to the Romans.
The Apostle in beginning his subject of the Olive Tree, writes, “I speak to you Gentiles.” He does not speak to the Church as suck, although his teaching is for the Church. It is the Gentile dispensation which he has before him.
The Olive Tree symbolizes the line of the testimony and of the promises of God, under the figure of a tree, of which Abraham was the root, as being the depository of the promises—the nation of Israel—his posterity, the branches—the fatness, the promises of God.
This tree of promise begins in Abraham, and runs on into the Millennium; and God always maintains a stock, Christ), and the faithful of any dispensation, which sustains God’s testimony in the line of promise on earth. The Jewish dispensation proved itself a failure. They were the natural branches, and it was their “own Olive Tree.” “Because of unbelief they were broken off.” The Gentile dispensation commences, and the wild Olive branches are grafted into the stem, and thus brought into the place of testimony and line of promise (to them spiritual) in which they stand “by faith;” and in such a place responsible to continue in the goodness of God, or failing in this to be cut off. God, who did not spare the natural branches, would not much less spare them. The Gentile dispensation not having continued in the goodness of God, will be cut off. Meanwhile God has His own purposes to fulfill, “and the long-suffering of the Lord is salvation.” “Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.” Then the Jews will be grafted in again, as the natural branches, and thus Israel nationally will be saved-not individually as now.
It is not in anywise a question of the Church, as the Body of Christ; or of individual salvation, but of Jewish and Gentile dispensations, and the result of the failure in each of them.