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Last week I opened up the topic of hearing God’s Voice and I gave you the list of ways in which God had spoken to our Jakarta based Cell Group over th...

Are you Filtering God Out? (Hearing God’s Voice 2)

May 15, 2020

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Bible Gem 226 - What does Paul mean "All Israel"? (Rom 11:25-26)

March 26, 2019


For I do not want you to be ignorant of this secret, brothers, so that you will not claim to be wiser than you are. A partial hardening has come on Israel until the full number of the gentiles has come in. 

In this way, all Israel will be saved. As it is written, "The Deliverer will come from Zion; he will remove ungodliness from Jacob. Rom 11:25-26


What does Paul mean “all Israel”? I try to keep these Bible Gemz interactive as you will have gathered over the months. A number of people have responded on the matter of chess clock for Israel. One reader followed up with more questions. “Hi Ian, in light of what you say, could you please answer these questions for me.

  • Who is a Jew? Or should I say where... no longer one location, those in Israel being a Diaspora returned. No longer all resident in the land, but dispersed. No longer religious but secular, 

  • What do you understand the word  ‘Israel’ to mean  today. 

  • If the clock is to start ticking again, whom will it be for, and where?

The best way to answer these questions is to examine the textual issue of what Paul means by “all Israel”. Allow me to list for the theories that abound and then you can decide where you align on it all. You don’t expect me to do your thinking for you, do you? 


1.       Some commentators think Paul is referring to the “true spiritual” Israel. (viz Rom 9:6-8)

2.       Some think in line with the verses that follow that Paul is meaning all the Jews as an entire race.

3.       Others take this to be a parallel to the “full number of the Gentiles” – meaning all those who come to faith and experience God’s righteousness in Christ.

4.       “Israel" plus "fullness of Gentiles" equals "all Israel". That is the true Israel which includes all the true children of Abraham, the man of faith. Jew and Gentile.


In the time of Paul the Rabbis talked of “all Israel – except those who were not included” because of their sin or hardness of heart. 


Now you have the spread of ideas and opinion on this it is time to make up your mind. Go ponder. Suck it like a sweetie as Prof Brown used to say. I guess that adds new meaning to the words “it sucks”. 


I like Rick Warren’s new term he has coined – “Saturation Reflection”. He is using the term in the same way I have told you I had been taught in Bible College to read and read a passage until you achieve understanding. Rick Warren suggests read a chapter or a section once a day at least for a year. Prof Brown used to say read it 7 times and then would smile. Knowing that we knew he was using 7 as the perfect number. In other words read it until you understand it perfectly. Yes that may take you every day for a year. But each time you read it you will add to your understanding. Read and pray and investigate.  Learn to mine the Scripture and dig for it’s gold. 


Ok you’re on your own now on this one. Tomorrow we will look at “the fullness of the Gentiles”. 



To do a good thing in the world, first you must know who you are and what gives meaning to your life.  Robert Browning


Don't like the picture of your life? Get the crayons & colour your own world. Don't wait for others, they're busy colouring their own! Ian


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