Israel is “Fallen” and “Cast Away” Temporarily

A 2-Part Study of

Israel’s Current State Before God,

Being Temporarily Set Aside During Today’s Gentile Age of Grace

Part 1 - Is Israel ‘Cast Away’ or Not?

Romans 11:1-2 “I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew…”

Now consider how the seemingly conflicting ideas here in Romans 11 give rise to the questions as to whether Israel is cast away or not “cast away,” and is Israel “fallen” or not. These seeming contradiction of very beginning of the Romans 11 cause most people to stop trying to understand it before they’ve even begun to study.

Now we will look into the Romans 11 verses that most people find troublesome and share other Bible verses that shed light on these seeming ‘problematic’ verses. Romans 11:15 typically confuses most Bible readers.

For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world (mankind), what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?” (Romans 11:15)

It is obviously clear in Rom. 11:15a that Israel has in fact been cast away,” and yet from Rom. 11:15b Israel will bereceived again; as coming to “life from the dead.” (see also Rom: 11:26, Zech. 12:10).

The above Scriptures present seemingly contrasting ideas. Verses 1-2 say God has not cast away His people (Israel), while verse 15 says God has cast away His people Israel.

So, the question is, has Israel been cast away or not, and if so, How?

Again consider, Romans 11:1-2: “Hath God cast away his people? God forbid [May God never let that happen!]. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2God hath not cast away his people…”

The expression “God hath not cast away His people (Israel)” (above) has a twofold meaning.

  1. When Paul wrote the book of Romans (around the time of Acts 20), Jesus’ “little flock” remnant (v5) of believing Messianic Jews were still living. Jesus’ little flock” (Luke 12:32) of Messianic believers were led by the Twelve Apostles. They are what Paul calls “the Israel of God” in Gal. 6:16. So, during the Acts period, there were these believing Jews who had come out of the Apostate National Israel by being water baptized with John’s “baptism of repentance.”
  2. Also, during today’s grace age, Paul’s “the Church, the Body of Christ,” includesgrace believing Jews; whereby they are one with the believing Gentiles, on an absolutely equal basis, without regard to race as equal members of “the church, the body of Christ.”

“There is neither Jew nor Greek (Gentiles), there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28 (KJV)

All the believing Jews of Paul’s day, whether of Jesus’ “little flock” or as members of “the Church, the body of Christ” proves that God had not cut-off all contact with all Jews.

  1. The believing Jews of the “little flock” still had access to God while alive during the Acts period, then dying out
  2. The unbelieving Jews were still being offered fellowship with Him. But now, any Jews could only be saved by receiving and believing Paul’s Grace Gospel of faith in Jesus and His cross alone, in order to become a member of the joint “Body of Christ” that consist of Jews and Gentiles.

Paul here summarizes the basis of his gospel, then how to be saved, and he declares it is a gospel for ‘all mankind,’ without respect to racial distinction, state in life, or gender.

“Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Cor. 15:3-4).

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved (Acts 16:31)

There is neither Jew nor Greek (Gentile), there is neither bond nor free, … neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3:28)

Additionally, Israel’s “little flock” was the remnant group of Israel’s Messianic believers that God envisioned from the time of Abraham. God has not forever removed National Israel from his promised program for her. He has not permanently rejected Israel. He has only ‘set Israel aside for a time,’ the time of the Gentiles.

It’s clear that the Triune God will deal with and recover some of ‘fallen Israel in the future “ages to come” because Rom. 11:12 speaks of Israel’s fulness as opposed to her “diminishing.” Two-thirds of Israel will die in the 7-year Tribulation period. Romans 11:15 also discusses God’s “receiving of them (Israel)” as opposed to God “casting [her] away.”

Then in Romans 11:26 Paul declares that ultimately, “all Israel shall be saved,” meaning her ‘spiritual blindness’ of Romans11:25, which exist during today’s “dispensation of the Grace of God,” will end following today’s grace-age, which will end with the fulness of the Gentiles” the adding of a final grace age believer … just before the Rapture of the body of Christ.

“…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 (Israel):” (Romans 11:25b-26)

When Romans 11:1-2 says that God has not cast away His people Israel, it simply means that they are not eternally out of God’s program. He still has His eternal purpose and plan for them. Israel is simply “cast away” in that God has, justifiably, temporarily rejected them in order to deal with us Gentiles (v15). God has a specific purpose for the Gentile “body of Christ” and a different destiny than Israel. Ours is to “reign in heaven” (2Tim. 2:12, Philip. 3:20-21, 2Cor. 5:1b); Israel will ultimately “reign on earth” (cf. Rev 5:10, 20:6).

With Israel’s unbelief and rebellion, God removed Israel from her elevated and privileged position as “above all people” (Exo. 19:5). But since Israel was in unbelief and unwilling to reach Gentiles on God’s behalf… He temporarily set Israel aside in order to Directly Deal With ‘ALL People’ As Lost Gentiles (that is Jews and Gentiles) in His longsuffering kindness. So, this age of God’s pure grace is offered to both lost unbelieving Jews and Gentiles... now with “ALL MEN” SEEN AS LOST GENTILES... needing to be saved.

“For God hath concluded all (mankind) in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all(Rom. 11:32).

Again, “For if the casting away of them (Israel) be the reconciling of the world (of Gentiles) ….” (Rom. 11:15). This truth is also briefly mentioned and confirmed here in 2 Corinthians 5:19.

“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling ‘the world(inhabitants, Gentiles) unto himself, NOT imputing (not counting) their trespasses (sins) unto them; and hath committed unto us (believers) the word of reconciliation.”

Then when Father God has completed forming “the Church… the Body of Christ” of “the mystery” program, He will return to forming the Nation Israel per His ‘prophecy program’ for its dominion and blessing on the earth.

Part 2 - Is Israel ‘Fallen’ or Not?

Romans 11:11-12 “I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid [May God never let that happen!]: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. 12Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?”

Notice the contrasting ideas in the above Scriptures. The first part of v11 says Israel did not fall, while the rest of vs 11-12 say Israel has fallen. So, did Israel fall, or not?

Again, this sounds like double-talk but it isn’t. Actually, Romans 11:11-12 spans a period of time rather than occurring in a moment or all at once.

  • First, Israel stumbled at the Cross, but did not fall.
  • But, later, Israel did fall. What exactly does this mean?

We must look into the context of the Scripture as a whole for explanatory verses. We need to see how that Israel’s “stumble” goes back to what Paul wrote here in the closing verses of Romans 9.

“But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. 32Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; 33As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him (Christ the Stumblingstone) shall not be ashamed.” (Rom. 9:31-33)

Jesus is that “stone of stumbling.” Peter explains Israel’s “stumble” over that “stumbling stone”

Ye (Israel) also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a ‘chief corner stone’ (Jesus), elect, precious: and he that ‘believeth on him’ shall not be confounded. 7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, ‘the stone which the builders disallowed (rejected),’ the same is made the head of the corner, 8 And a ‘Stone of Stumbling,’ and a ‘Rock of Offence,’ even to them which stumble at the word,’ being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.” (1Peter 2:5-8)

According to 1 Peter 2:5-8 (above) the “stumblingstone and rock of offence” laid in Zion was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. Specifically, this refers to His earthly ministry toward Israel only, seen in Matthew through John. Israel stumbled in that she made the grave error of rejecting Jesus as her Messiah/King.

While this occurred throughout the three years of Jesus’ earthly ministry, Israel nationally and formally rejected Jesus during His trial before Pontius Pilate, at the end of His earthly ministry. Speaking on behalf of their nation, Israel’s religious leaders cried out, “We have no king but Caesar” (Jn. 19:15). They officially rejected their birthright as the children of Abraham, wanting no part in being God’s special people to “bless ALL the families of the world” (Gen. 12:1-3), as promised to come through Abraham’s seed.

Though Israel called for Jesus’ crucifixion, God did not then immediately cast them aside as a nation at that time. Recall, Jesus pleaded from Calvary, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34). Father God did forgive Israel of the crucifixion of His Son, their Messiah.

So, God gave them a renewed opportunity for repentance during the early Acts period. Israel had one year to change their minds about who Jesus was, and to “repent and be (water) baptized.” The one-year is alluded to here in the parable of Israel as the Lord’s “fig tree.”

“He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. 7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? 8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this (1) year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: (Luke 13:6-8)

Sadly, Israel still, again, rejected that offer. After one year of trying to turn Israel around, with only a very few Jews converting, God finally ‘set Israel aside.’ In Acts 7, Israel nationally rejected the witness of Holy Spirit speaking through Stephen and the others in the early Acts period. Unlike the blasphemy against Jesus Christ at Calvary, which was forgiven, Israel’s blasphemy against the Holy Ghost could not be forgiven and so it was not forgiven of Israel. This then is ‘the unpardonable Sin’ for Israel.

“Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall NOT be forgiven unto men. 32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man (Jesus), it shall be forgiven him: BUT whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall NOT be forgiven him, neither in this world (age of the Law), neither in the world (Millennial age) to come.” (Matt. 12:31-32)

  • Israel did ‘stumble upon Messiah Jesus during His earthly ministry, but she did not fall before God at the Cross.
  • However, Israel later rejected the Holy Spirit in early Acts by stoning Stephen; this then was her fall.”

Through Israel’s “fallsalvation came to the Gentiles and this is where Paul’s ministry comes into view:

“I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their ‘fallsalvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. 12Now if the fall of them (Israel) be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them (Israel) the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?

13For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I (Paul) am the (one) apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify (honor) mine office: 14If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh (the Jews), and might save some of them (under Paul’s grace gospel).” (Rom. 11:11-14)


  1. Has God cast away Israel forever? Not according to Rom. 11:1-2. At that time during the Acts period, there was still a believing “remnant” in Israel, Jesus’ “little flock” (Luke 12:32) who were ‘saved by faith PLUS works.’ God will use this “little flock” to accomplish His will in the earth one day (Luk. 12:31-32; cf. Mat. 19:27-28; Rom. 11:3-7). While that group of ‘believing Jews’ does not exist today, it did exist during the Acts period when Paul wrote the book of Romans.

Israel is not permanently rejected. After today’s Gentile “dispensation of the Grace of God” ends, Israel, as a believing nation, will be restored Nationally to inherit all of God’s promises and blessings as was first guaranteed to Abraham and his seed; Isaac, Jacob, the twelve tribes of Israel, etc. (Rom. 11:25-29).

  1. Has God cast away Israel? “Yes,” according to Rom. 11:15. Why? God has temporarily rejected Israel He could save us Gentiles and form “the Church, the Body of Christ.” Israel is not His favored nation today. Today God considers all men in unbelief (Jews and Gentiles), so that He might have “mercy upon ALL (Rom. 11:32). Paul wrote that “As concerning the (grace) gospel, they [the Jews] are enemies for your sakes…” (11:28). While Israel is not nationally converted to JEHOVAH God today, individual Jews can be saved today, but only by believing Paul’s “gospel of the grace of God (Act 20:24, cf. Eph. 2:8-9, 1 Cor. 15:3-4). These Jews can become members of “the body of Christ” and take part in God’s plan for “the heavenly places.”
  1. Did Israel fall? “Initially, No.” Rom. 11:11 says Israel only stumbled when she rejected Jesus as her Messiah/King during His earthly ministry. God did not set her aside at the cross of Calvary. She did not “fall” at Calvary. He continued to deal with her nationally during the first seven chapters of Acts. Peter continued to call all of Israel to repentance and faith Christ’s resurrection in Acts 2, 3, 4, and 5. Then Stephen had a ministry attempting to convert Jerusalem in Acts 6. However, at the end of that year of preaching by “the twelve,” in Acts 7, then Stephen, speaking by the Holy Spirit indicted Israel for her persistent unbelief, they stoned him to death. Note there was no more offer of repentance in Acts 7, only a warning of impending judgment from God. This brought a pause in God’s dealings with Israel; while He then turned to the Gentiles with grace lest the whole world be consumed in His wrath.
  1. So, Did Israel fall? “Ultimately, Yes.” Rom. 11:11-12 says Israel did fall when she refused to hear the testimony of the Holy Ghost speaking through the 12 apostles and Stephen in early Acts. God finally set Israel aside with the stoning of Stephen and in Acts 7. God then turned to the Gentiles, through Paul, “the Apostle to the Gentiles” (Rom. 11:13), without fallen Israel as His intermediary. Gentiles today are “saved by grace through faith” alonetotally apart from Israel with its Laws, rituals, and rites.