16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. 20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. The absolute confusion that exists among interpreters of this passage is mind boggling. Most see these two trees actually representing elect Jews and Gentiles or all the elect. This is fallacious as those grafted in can be broken off and those broken off can be grafted in and if the elect could be broken off and grafted in again that would teach saved today and lost tomorrow and saved again as Israel was the natural branches but then broken off and then to be grafted in again. Notice verse 16 that Paul begins with the "fruit" and works back to the root. The root represents the promises to Abraham. Not every branch of a tree produces fruit but every branch that does you know has a connection all the way to the root. Thus salvation is not by merely being grafted into the root but in actual production of fruit. The two trees represent two SPHERES of operation where God calls out an elect people. God has a people among Israel and God has a people among the gentile nations. God broke off the natural olive tree (nation of Israel) and grafted in the wild tree (gentile nations). The breaking off of national Israel does not mean they were saved and now lost nor does the grafting in of the Gentile nations mean they were formerly lost but are now saved by virture of being grafted in. No! It only means that gentiles are now in the position for God to call out of them a people for His name and when the gentile nations come to the same point as the nation of Israel where as a whole they reject Christ and thus when God is finished his redemptive work among the Gentile nations (Rom. 11:25) God will graft back in again the Nation of Israel and resume His saving activities among them (Rom. 11:25-28). Romans 11:28 should drive the final nail in the Preterist and A-mill interpretation of this chapter: As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. Who are your "enemies"? Can't be the elect "remnant" of Israel as God has never cut them off. Who represents the natural olive tree? Who has God cut off that the gentile nations may be grafted in? ANSWER: NATIONAL ETHNIC ISRAEL. They were the "enemies" - "concerning the gospel" not the elect remnant. What God cut off God will graft in "again" (v. 22). What God cut off for rejecting the gospel God will not only graft in "again" but "touching the election, they [cut off ethnic national Israel) are beloved for the Father's sake." "They" are the subjects discussed beginning in verse 25 and concluding in verse 28: 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. 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: 27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. 28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.