Trimmed, Not Replaced :: By Daymond Duck

Replacement Theology is the idea that the Church has replaced Israel.

It says Israel rejected Jesus; so all of God’s covenants, promises and blessings that were destined for Israel have been transferred to the Church.

I was away from my computer and unable to keep up with current events for a few days, so I decided to discuss one of the most important reasons why I believe Replacement Theology is wrong.

In Rom. 11:16b-27, Paul used the Olive Tree to represent Jews and the Wild Olive Tree to represent Christians.

The root of the Olive Tree represents the beginning of the Olive Tree (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob).

As the Olive Tree (Israel) grew, it put on branches (some lived; some died).

Living branches represent later generations of believing (spiritually alive) Jews (such as King David, Isaiah, Daniel, Mary, Peter, James, John, etc.) that grew out of the root.

Dead branches represent later generations of unbelieving (spiritually dead) Jews (such as Ahab, Caiaphas, some members of the Sanhedrin, etc.).

Below are my comments on Rom. 11:16b-27.

Rom. 11:16b “If the root be holy, so are the branches.” 

Paul wrote about two parts of a tree: the root and the branches. If the root is holy (Paul means set apart by God, not morals), the entire tree is holy (the entire tree is set apart by God). If Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were set apart by God, the Jews that came after them were set apart by God.

Rom. 11:17 “And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;” 

Notice that Paul wrote about removing some (or part, not all) of the branches of the Olive Tree (Israel). Notice that he said nothing about destroying or replacing the root and the fatness of the Olive Tree. The unbelieving Jews are removed, but the believing Jews and the root and the fatness of the Olive Tree remain.

Paul referred to the Christians in Rome (Gentiles) as a wild Olive Tree. He said if they are grafted in among the branches that are not removed in such a way that they are nourished by the root and the good part of the Olive Tree

Rom. 11:18 “Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.”

Christians shouldn’t speak against Israel. Christians are not natural branches on the Olive Tree. Christians are not natural descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The root didn’t originate with Christians. The root brought forth Jesus. Jesus brought forth Christians by grace through faith.

Rom. 11:19 “Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.” 

You will argue that the unbelieving Jews were broken off to make room for believing Gentiles.

Rom. 11:20 “Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:”

Right! Some of the Jews were broken off because of their unbelief, and Christians were added because of their faith. So, don’t be seized with pride. Show respect for God. He didn’t add Christians to the Olive Tree because they are worthy. He added Christians to the Olive Tree because they accepted Jesus as their Saviour.

 Rom. 11:21 “For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.” 

 Paul wanted the Romans to understand that if God didn’t spare the unbelieving Jews, they need to get their relationship with Him right or He won’t spare them.

 Rom. 11:22 “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.”

Notice two characteristics of God: Goodness and severity. God’s judgment of those that continue in unbelief is severe, but His judgment of those that continue in faith is good. Those that don’t accept His grace through faith will be cut off.

Rom. 11:23 “And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.”

Paul returned to the dead branches that were broken off. If the unbelieving Jews will become believers, God is able to graft them back onto the Olive Tree (restore them). Messianic Jews are being grafted back onto the Olive Tree today.

Rom. 11:24 “For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?”

This means if God can take unnatural branches from the Wild Olive Tree (Gentiles) that are not descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and graft them onto the good Olive Tree (Jews), it is reasonable to believe that He can easily put the natural branches back onto the good Olive Tree (restore the unbelieving Jews).

Rom. 11:25 “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.”

God doesn’t want ignorance in the Church that will cause members to fall into a trap of their own making. The blindness of Israel is temporary. It will end when the times of the Gentiles end (at the Second Coming of Jesus).

Rom. 11:26 “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:” 

This means: Because of what Paul has already said, the Gentiles in Rome should know that Israel as a whole (the Jews that believe in the God of Abraham) will be saved. This will fulfill the prophecy that a Deliverer (Jesus) will come out of Israel (a Jew) and save the Jews that turn from their unbelief (Isa. 59:20).

Rom. 11:27 “For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.” 

 Paul reminded everyone that God made a covenant to take away Israel’s sins, receive the Jews as His people and to be their God (Jer. 31:33). He went on to add that “The gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Rom. 11:29).

God promised that He would never go back on His covenant with Israel. All of Israel will be saved (not replaced) when their Deliverer takes away their sins.

In conclusion, the root or the beginning of the Olive Tree (Israel) was Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and the root was never replaced, nor was the fatness of the tree, nor were the good branches.

The only thing that was replaced was the bad branches (the spiritually dead, unbelieving Jews).

It would make no sense to graft branches from a Wild Olive Tree (Gentiles) onto a dead root and trunk (Israel). Branches will live if they are grafted onto a living root and trunk, but they will die if they are grafted onto a dead root and trunk.

The bottom line is that the Olive Tree was trimmed, not replaced, which means Replacement Theology is wrong.

Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck