|About the Book|
But the teaching of Scripture is explicit, that Christ Himself is the vine, and Israel the olive. For God hath NOT cast away His people whom He foreknew. Most true it is that they have been temporarily set aside. Some of the natural branches of theMoreBut the teaching of Scripture is explicit, that Christ Himself is the vine, and Israel the olive. For God hath NOT cast away His people whom He foreknew. Most true it is that they have been temporarily set aside. Some of the natural branches of the olive tree have been broken off, and wild olive branches have been engrafted in their place. But the tree remains, and the tree is Israel.1 But the very same Scripture which records this, declares explicitly that the wild branches which, contrary to nature, partake of the root and fatness of the olive tree, are liable to be themselves broken off, and then the natural branches will be again restored. While, therefore, the apostate Church claims to be the realization of Gods supreme purpose for earth, the intelli- gent student of Scripture knows that even in its pristine purity the Gentile Church was an ab- normal, episodical, temporary provision- and that the divine purpose for this age is to gather out the true and heavenly Church, the body of Christ- and then, dismissing the earthly church to its predicted doom, to restore to their normal position of privilege and blessing that chosen people to whom belong the adoption and the glory and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises- whose are the fathers, and of whom is Christ as concerning the flesh. (Romans 4:4-5)That these inspired words of the, apostle are no mere reference to a past economy, but a state- ment of abiding truth, is made definitely clear by the sequel ending with the words: For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. (Romans 11:29)2 And it is truth which may help not only to a right understanding of the Epistle to the Hebrews, but incidentally to the solution of the problem of its authorship.