Stumblingblock

Stumbling: Tripping; erring; puzzling

Block- prevent from completion

A great stumbling stone was foretold in the book of Isaiah:

Isa.57:[14] And shall say, Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumblingblock out of the way of my people.

At a future time the Scriptures foresaw there would come a stumbling block to the Jewish people. Something which prevented them from entering into the promises God had made to them His covenant people. Something which would trip them up on the path of following God. The scripture not only foresaw this but also foresaw the removal of this stumbling block and the restoration of the chosen nation.

The prophets not only identify the fact there will be a stumbling block and a removal but tells the Jewish people who the stumbling block will be for we read in Isaiah:

Is 8: [13] Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.

[14] And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

[15] And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.

The stumbling block for BOTH houses of Israel will be the Lord Himself. Indeed He came and was crucified and Resurrected becoming a stumbling block to the Jews.

Look at Romans chapter nine:

Romans 9:1-4

The Jews were going along happy and content in what they were doing but along came the Lord in the flesh and they rejected Him and refused Him.

Rom.9:[32] Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;

[33] As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

The Jews have indeed stumbled at the crucifixion. Having crucified their Messiah they have placed themselves under the wrath of God for a time. They fell as a nation about forty years after the crucifixion and exited the world stage as a nation for almost two thousand years.

Let us look in First Corinthians chapter 1:

1Corinthians 1:[23] But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

The church message remains unchanged. We preach Christ crucified as the only means of salvation. This being a stumbling block to the Jews due to their trusting in the law for salvation and placing their security in their own works as a means of being right with God. (Ro. 9:32)

Let us look in the gospel of Matthew chapter 21 where Jesus spoke of the stone.

Mt. 21: [42] Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

[43] Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

[44] And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

This stone has indeed caused the nation of Israel to stumble but has been the salvation of the Gentiles and become the cornerstone of His body the church. We read in Ephesians:

Eph.2:[20] And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

There should be no question as to what or rather Who the stone of stumbling is. The Scripture has clearly identified Jesus Christ, the Lord Himself as the stone which has been rejected and the stumbling of the nation of Israel. This also being foretold in the book of Isaiah. We find in Isaiah 28:

 

Is 28: [14] Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.

[15] Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:

[16] Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

In 1st Peter we read:

1Pet.2:[6] Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, 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, 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.

So then this stone which they have rejected has been salvation to untold numbers of Jew and Gentile alike having provided a better way for us. This stone to this day stands as a dividing between the Jews and God. As God continues to call a people through the gospel. There will come a time when this stumbling block is removed and God will once remember His people the nation of Israel and fulfill all of His promises He has made to them.

Having stumbled they have not completely fallen from the thoughts and plans of God but have been temporarily set aside. For we read in Romans:

Rom.11: [9] And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumbling block, and a recompence unto them:

[10] Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.

[11] I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

Why provoke them to jealousy? For one reason and one reason only. So they might become jealous and desire to return to their God having seen the marvelous grace which God has extended to mankind through the shed blood and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Continuing in Romans 11:

Ro. 11: [15] For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

[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.

[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.

[23] And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.

they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.[24] For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?

[24] For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?

[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,

[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.

The nation of Israel is to be resurrected and brought into prominence and favor with God again. This cannot happen until the stumbling block be “Cast UP!!!!” When upon the fullness of the Gentiles having been brought in the stumbling block will be removed! (verse 25)

Let us look again in Isaiah 57:

Isa.57:[14] And shall say, Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumblingblock out of the way of my people.

Notice the peculiar direction in which the stumbling block is cast! It is not cast DOWN but indeed is cast UP!  Why up and not down? Jesus was caught up as indeed when the fullness of the Gentile bride will be brought in it will go UP!!!!

1Thes.4:[17] Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

This casting up will be the return of the nation of Israel into prominence and favor with God. We read further into Isaiah 57.

Is. 57: [14] And shall say, Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumblingblock out of the way of my people.

[15] For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

[16] For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made.

[17] For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart.

[18] I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners.

[19] I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him.

[20] But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.

[21] There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.

When the body of Christ is brought in the people of Israel will be restored into prominence once again.

As the scripture says, the fullness of the Gentiles will be brought in. The mysteries of Christ will have been completed when we, the body of Christ, are removed and the mystery of iniquity will go forward at full force.

Colossians 1: [24] Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

[25] Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;

[26] Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

[27] To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Ephesians 5: [28] So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

[29] For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

[30] For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

[31] For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

[32] This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Ephesians 6: [18] Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

[19] And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

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

[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.

1Timothy 3:[16] And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

Not only is Jesus Himself a stumbling block but also the gospel of His grace and His body the church. With the removal of His body from this world, the stumbling block which has prevented the completion of God’s plans for Israel will also be removed.  We read in Second Thessalonians chapter 2:

 

 

2Thes.2:[1] Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

[2] That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

[3] Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

[4] Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

[5] Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

[6] And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.

[7] For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

[8] And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

[9] Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

[10] And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

[11] And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

[12] That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.