Well now, weíve been going through the book of Romans and weíre up now to one of the favorite chapters of mine, the eleventh chapter. I was just making a brief little outline of Romans up-to-date from the beginning.
In chapter one Paul addresses his letter to all that are in Rome. Now remember he wrote this letter before he had even been there and heís writing it too, of course, to those in the church. And some of them had been Romans and were Gentiles, but also several of them were Jews (converted Jews) and he is addressing both.
Now in chapter one he addresses himself to the Gentiles who were going along with the Greeks at that time and with the intellectuals, who considered that they were the salt of the earth, and they were superior because they had great intellect and they were going into great knowledge. It is just like today, they go into great physical knowledge.
They take the universe apart and they take man apart. They dissect man in physiology and in, well psychology (they examine the mind), anthropology and other allied subjects. They even get into it in physics. And they take man apart inch by inch and still donít know what man is, and they donít know why he is or how he came to be here. They still donít know much about him, when you get down to it.
And that is the way with those of the Gentile world in Rome and over in Athens and in Greece at that time. He addresses himself though to those that are Gentile born, but those that had been called by God and he said the gospel was to the Jew first, but also then to the Gentile. But then he mentioned the intellectual world from Greece and of those people who thought they were so very great. They were way above the Jews.
The Jews, they looked on as illiterate nothings and they looked down on the Jews. But they themselves held back the truth, even though originally they had known some of it, and they suppressed the gospel. And even the reality of God had been shown to them by the things that are visible in the earth, but the Gentile intellectuals changed the truth into a lie. They were mostly corrupt. They did not retain God in their knowledge. God was just put out of their knowledge and anything spiritual, and so God gave them over to corrupt minds.
Now in the second chapter Paul addressed himself to the Jewish Christians. Now they felt they were superior and they looked down on the Romans. They were superior because they had the law. They had Godís law and that made them superior. Now they looked on the law, both the spiritual law of the Ten Commandments and the ritual law (or ceremonial law) well at least those two, and circumcision and everything of that kind, and they felt that made them very superior.
Well as Paul said, they taught it to others and felt they were superior and yet they themselves didnít keep the law. They were just preaching the law but not obeying it themselves.
In chapter three, what superiority then did the Jew have? Well Paul said they had much in every way, but not because of their own performance. The scriptures had been entrusted to them and that was not anything they did but what God did. But they were under sin just as the Gentiles were. He showed that that weíre justified by faith and not by obedience to the law; that you obey Godís spiritual law. That is only what you must do today anyway, otherwise you are sinning.
But obeying the law today doesnít wipe out or justify you for your transgressions of the law yesterday and last year, and the year before that. And justification has to do with clearing up your guilty past, and justification came only by faith in Christ. So keeping the law today is only their duty anyway.
Chapter four, he gets into old Abraham and says that Abraham was justified by faith rather than obedience. Now Abraham was obedient to God when God said go sacrifice his only son. He took him out. He actually got to the place where the dagger, or the knife, or whatever he was using, he raised his hand ready to plunge it down into his son. Had him right on the place to be sacrificed and with all the kindling underneath and everything to catch it on fire and burn him up.
And his son asked him, ďWell what are you going to do? And if youíre going to make a sacrifice, where will you find a sacrifice?Ē And Abraham replied, ďWell God will provide a sacrifice.Ē And at the last second God did.
And that reminds me of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, the companions of the prophet Daniel, who were in Babylon and they were threatened that if they didnít bow down to Nebuchadnezzarís golden image when the band began to play, that they would be thrown into a burning fiery furnace. They told the king that the God they served would protect them, and they said that even if He didnít, that they still would not bow down to that image.
Well God tested their faith to the last second. They were actually thrown bound into that furnace, heated seven times hotter than usual, and it was at that last fraction of a second that God did something to them so that not a hair of their head was singed, none of their clothes were scorched and they walked around inside of that great furnace.
And finally Nebuchadnezzar saw them and called them out, and they just walked out. And God provided a great miracle. Well that shows how some, in times past, have had a faith that Iím afraid we donít have today.
But Paul went on in chapter three to tell the Jews at Rome that they were under sin because the law is over us and they had broken it, so the law was over them (or its penalty was over them) the same as the Gentiles. And the salvation did not come by obedience to law, but only Ė because that was only a duty anyway.
Oh yes then in chapter four, how Abraham was justified by faith rather more than obedience. However, in James you will read; that was he justified by faith only? No, he proved his faith by his works. Then in chapter four Paul talked more of the law.
Chapter five Ė the love of God comes by the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit is the love of God in us by the love that does fulfill Godís law. And it is by faith in God that we receive His love, and that we can keep the law. Not that we shouldnít keep the law, we must, but we have to keep it by faith and spiritually and not by our own efforts alone. Chapter five: Love of God by the Holy Spirit that through God and receiving the Holy Spirit, weíre reconciled to God by Christ.
Now thatís a very important point. Remember I stressed on that a great deal. Billy Graham will tell you that all you need to do is come and just receive Christ. He is on the getting side. You get, you receive, you take Christ Ė and hocus pocus, youíre automatically saved. Well youíre not anything of the kind. Christ alone canít save you. The blood of Christ alone does not save anybody.
The blood of Christ only wipes out your past guilt because it paid the penalty in your stead. But first youíve got to get reconciled to God, because your sin was against God. Now Jesus paid the penalty in your stead, but when you come to Christ (and you come to God by way of Christ) you have to come to Christ first, but youíve got to get straight with the Father by REPENTANCE.
Repentance is toward God the Father - repenting of your past law breaking. Youíve got to begin to keep the law and be obedient from now on and live a different life. And so we are only reconciled to God by the death of Christ, and not saved by the death of Christ. But we are saved by His life Ė by His resurrection, as you will find in (letís see, I forget the verses now) but anyway itís in chapter five.
In chapter six, since it is grace (which is Godís undeserved pardon and free gift that He gives us) since that saves us rather than deeds that we perform ourselves, then he asks; ďshall we sin that grace may abound?Ē Now I think you will remember when we were on that chapter, I mentioned there had been the sect of the Nicolaitanes who, they reasoned that when you sinned, grace is much greater than the sin and that magnifies God, that God is able to have grace and to forgive, and through the sacrifice of Christ.
And ď...God [the Father] so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son [Christ] that [we] ...should not perish, but have everlasting life.Ē (John 3:16). So they figured that the more we sin, the more there is for God to forgive, and the greater that magnifies God. That meant the more God forgives, the greater God is. And so they even had Temple prostitutes Ė prostitutes right in the Temple because they figured that was a great sin.
Well thatís one of the things that God tells us in the book of Revelation that He hates. So Paul said that we are not to sin in order to magnify or exalt God in a greater way. The law is a way of living, the way we ought to live anyway, today and tomorrow. And living that way today and tomorrow doesnít make up for the wrong we did yesterday (or the transgressions of yesterday).
And ďthe wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.Ē Thatís in the twenty third verse of Romans 6.
Then we came to chapter seven. The law has dominion over us all of our lives. Now like the marriage law is for life, and if you leave a husband or wife and marry another, you are committing adultery. And Godís law is the way we must live and if we transgress it we are sinning, and thatís for as long as we live in this life
Then he goes on to show us that the law is a spiritual, holy law, and he is talking about the Ten Commandments (the spiritual law) and only the Holy Spirit in us can fulfill that law. And the Holy Spirit comes by faith and by reconciling us first to God through the blood of Christ, and then we get saved by His resurrection in the time when we will be resurrected ourselves if we die between now and then.
Then Paul went into a great deal about (in the seventh chapter) about his own personal struggle and how with his mind he served the law of God. He knew Godís law was the right way to live and he wanted to, but somehow he didnít always do it. And he wound up by saying that he was such a miserable man who was going to save him?
Then he comes in to the Holy Spirit in chapter eight (which is the Holy Spirit chapter) and that God will save us through the power of the Holy Spirit. In chapter eight then; ďto be carnally minded [having only the human spirit] is death; but to be spiritually minded [having the Holy Spirit of God added to the human spirit with which we were born] is life and peace.Ē (verse 6) That we need the Holy Spirit.
Then he gave the definition of a Christian in verse 9. If you have not the Holy Spirit of God and are not being led by it and following the Holy Spirit, (and through the Holy Spirit living the way of Godís law, because it is the love of God that fulfills Godís law) then you are not a Christian Ė you are ďnone of His.Ē
And verse 11 Ė if the Spirit of God is still living in you and you are being led by it and following it, that at the time of resurrection you will be resurrected and given immortal life by the Spirit of God that dwells in you and that you will come to eternal life.
Then he mentions how the Holy Spirit witnesses with our spirit. Weíre born with the one spirit but we need a second spirit, the Holy Spirit of God. And when His Spirit comes it witnesses with our spirit. The spirit in man is what imparts intellect to a physical brain. Now a cow or a horse has a brain as good as a man, and just about as large.
An elephant, a whale and a dolphin all have larger brains than a human brain and just as fine, just as good, and formed and shaped the same way. But they donít have the mental powers, they donít have the mind output that the human brain does. The difference is that there is a spirit in us that works with the physical brain and imparts that power.
Actually, primarily what it does, it is the depository of memory. Youíve always heard that memory is stored up in the gray matter in the physical matter of your brain. Thatís poppycock, that is not true. Your memory is stored up in that spirit. When you die the spirit returns to God and everything else that is in you is physical.
And that is you, you are wholly physical because the spirit in you is not part of you, it is something IN you. But that spirit leaves. But that spirit is like a mold and it carries the exact form and shape and your countenance, your look and how you look in your face and the form and shape. It carries your fingerprints, and your footprints, and it carries your character and all that is in your mind and memory.
Now then, when you come up in the resurrection, because of that spirit, everything thatís in you in this life will come right back, and all of your character. Youíll be right there just as you are. Thatís a wonderful thing and very few people understand that, very few people understand it.
But that one spirit is not enough, it can only memorize the knowledge you receive. And the knowledge does not come through the spirit, the knowledge comes through the brain. Well, it comes through the eye, the ear, the sense of smell and feel or touch and hearing. But you can only see physical, material things. You can only hear physical, material things which vibrate and which produces what we call sound.
So the average person without Godís Holy Spirit is confined in knowledge to the physical realm. And thatís the way those Romans were back there that thought they knew everything. It is interesting why God formed Israel. Iíve written a chapter on that this past week. Iíve completed it and sent it in and it will be in the next issue of the Good News.
And why did God raise up the nation Israel and deny them the Holy Spirit? God never offered them eternal salvation. They had no salvation. They couldnít be, as they call it, saved or get eternal life. Now I wonder what people who think you go to heaven when you die, what they think happened to the Israelites? They didnít have salvation. Where did they go when they died?
Well, of course you donít go to heaven when you die anyway, and what the Bible promises is the resurrection at the time of Christís second coming, which is yet future. And the resurrection is made possible by that spirit. And the body that comes is not the body that you plant, it rots and decays and never comes back. Itís another body though, because the spirit is like a mold, the new body will be a different substance, but it will be in the same identical form and shape.
It will have the same fingerprints. Itíll have the same knowledge in the brain. Itíll know everything you knew. Itíll have the same character and the same attitude exactly, that we have had now. But the Holy Spirit witnesses with our spirit that we already now, having had the Holy Spirit, are the children of God.
Now weíre only begotten children, not yet born, but the begettal of human beings is just like an unborn child. It has been begotten but it hasnít been born yet. And thatís the way we are now. We are in the motherís womb so to speak, and the mother is the church. And the church has to protect us and feed us just like a human mother protects and feeds the fetus before itís born as a human baby.
All creation, the whole universe, is now awaiting that spiritual birth when we will be born again. Then weíll be spirit. Weíll be composed of spirit. Weíll be spirit beings and we wonít have any flesh and bone and blood circulating in our veins. We wonít be like we are now. Weíll have the same form and shape. Weíll look like we do now. Weíll have the same fingerprints, maybe the FBI will still get after us, I donít know. But anyway, we will then be born immortal.
Now, in chapter 9, Paul has a heavy heart because of his concern about Israel. He was hoping that they could have spiritual salvation and they didnít. Well, as a matter of fact, God never offered it to them, but He did by the time of Christís coming and in the preaching of the Apostles and Paul.
Now Paul said that to them pertains the sonship. Again, what advantage is it to a Jew? Well God gave them (not just a Jew but all Israel) and remember the Jew; there are only the three tribes of Benjamin, Levi and Judah. Jew was a nickname for the tribe of Judah.
Paul had a heavy heart because of Israelís sins, and to them he said pertains the sonship, because weíll be born as actual sons of God. Now weíre already children of God but as yet unborn, only begotten. Weíre heirs now. When weíre born of God weíll be possessors, no longer heirs, then weíll be inheritors.
The Covenants, the glory and the promises all pertain to Israel, and others have to become Israelites through receiving the Holy Spirit in order to inherit those things. And Christ even was of Israel and born as one of them.
But the carnal minded who have only the one spirit and donít have Godís Holy Spirit, are not the children of God, even though they were born as Jews, or even though they were born as Israelites. Now the people of the United States are Israelites of the tribe of Manasseh, but they donít know it. We donít know who we are. We have lost our identity.
The British are of the tribe of Ephraim, and the French are of the tribe of Reuben. And we are all of the ten tribes of Israel, who became known as The Lost Ten Tribes. And they sure are lost. But God calls whom He chooses.
Now Christ said in John 6:44; ďno man can come to [Christ] except the Father... draw him.Ē God, at the time of Adam and Eve, drove them out of the Garden of Eden. And God closed the door on receiving the Holy Spirit to all except to those to whom God would call and give the Holy Spirit. And all others have been cut off from God and from the Holy Spirit.
Now God called the nation Israel, but He still kept the Holy Spirit cut off from them except for their prophets only. But anyway, God calls whom He chooses, and Iím learning more and more, that God calls those that He knows have the characteristics and the qualifications that they can perform what He wants accomplished. That they can do the job that He wants done by them.
Now, for example, He not only chose Moses as a man who by heredity and by birth had those qualities, but He had Moses trained until he was - for forty years I believe it was Ė as a prince in the palace of the Pharaoh (or the King). And he was highly and well trained for the job, but God didnít call him until he was eighty years of age. But God chose a man that was fitted for that.
God chose, for example, at the time of the flood God chose Noah because he was the only man on earth that had not come from a mixed breed. In other words he was of pure white strain from Adam on, and the only man that had not polluted the breed by intermarriage.
And the Israelites Ė thatís another thing I checked on down recently, and the children of Israel had almost no mixture of racial intermarriage when God started them out. But one of their greatest sins was wanting to marry other races, which God always condemned.
Now as I have said, if you are a raiser of livestock, and you plan on entering some of your prize stock in a exposition or a state fair, or a live stock show, you are not going to put mongrels in there. You are going to put those that are thoroughbred or pedigreed or pure blood, or whatever, that have not mixed in with some other variety.
Within every species there are a number of varieties. One species that God created is a flower, a rose. A rose is beautiful. We love roses. But look, some roses are pink, and some are white, and some are other colors. Some are yellow, and I think my wife would prefer yellow roses. And some would prefer red roses, and so it goes.
Well why did God have different colors? Because itís more beautiful and better to have a variety than as if they were just all one color, it would be all monotonous. Why did He then choose human beings of different color? Not to make one better than the other but for the sake of variety and beauty.
Now the first great men of the earth were all black not white. They were evil thatís true, but all humanity was evil. They were going the wrong way. But the first man that began to build a civilization was Nimrod and he was black.
So God decides who He will choose, and thatís why He chose Israel, and they were of a pure white stock, almost wholly. But God said they were not His people because they didnít obey Him but they shall ultimately be His people.
Well, now that leads us up to chapter eleven of the book of Romans. Paul says:
Romans 11:1 I say then, hath God cast away his people?
Now heís talking about the people called Israel. Heíd been telling how sinful they were. How they disobeyed the law and everything, and well we should read the verse before, the last verse in the tenth chapter.
Romans 10:21 But to Israel he said [God says] All day long I have stretched forth my hand unto a disobedient and [a] gainsaying people.
That tells the truth of Israel and how God looked on them. Then Paul says:
Romans 11:1 I say then, hath God cast away his people? [Oh no] God forbid. [You see God is not like a human being, Heís not looking for revenge. He isnít going to try to hurt them and destroy them] God forbid. For I (also) am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, [and] of the tribe of Benjamin.
Alright, I am an Israelite also, of the seed of Abraham and the tribe of Manasseh. But also I happen to be - there has been of course intermarriage. I donít mean racial intermarriage in this case either but I also am of the house of David. Iím a direct descendant of King David of ancient Israel. I am of the house of David and it rather figures. God would not have called a man for the job that He has laid on me, except in scripture will bear that out.
It had to be a man of the house of David and you study what the Bible says about the house of David and see what you find.
Romans 11:2-3 God hath not cast away His people which He foreknew. Wot ye not [or that is ďDonít you know?Ē] what the scripture saith of [Elijah]? How he [made] intercession to God against Israel saying. (3) Lord, [this is a prayer, and Elijah said, ďLordĒ] they have killed [your] prophets, [they have] digged down [your] altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.
Let me tell you, I have felt time and time again just like that, but ďGod [has] not cast away His people which He foreknew.Ē ďDo you not know about Elijah?Ē He said that he only remained. Well sometimes Iíve felt that, but what does the scripture answer (of God) to him? God said: ďI have reserved to myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.Ē (verse 4.)
Now they didnít have the Holy Spirit. They didnít have salvation, but they had not gone to the extent of bowing their knees in front of the false idol god Baal. Well, there were how many of them at that time? There were at least, at that time, when they came out of Egypt, when they started as the children of Israel, there were six hundred thousand men. That means on an average of about six hundred thousand women.
Now they were a very prolific race, and thatís a million, two hundred thousand. And if there were only four children per family, you would double it, and that would mean two million, four hundred thousand. So there were at least that many then. Now there must have been five, six, seven million of them at the time of Elijah because they were multiplying rapidly. And seven thousand out of so many million is a very small amount.
Well we have more than seven thousand that have not bowed the knee to Baal in the church today, but we are a very small minority. And thatís what we have. I donít know how many of them have Godís Holy Spirit, and I hope itís most of them.
Romans 11:5 Even so then at [the] present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
In other words, a small proportion of Israel had been converted. Now remember, at the time he wrote this, the ten tribes Ė not any of them had any salvation, they had all gone into Western Europe, and into Britain. And all they knew that were in Israel, and as far as Rome, and in the world over there, were those that were Jews, which only are the descendants of three of the tribes.
Now there are supposed to be about thirteen million Jews in the world today. Thatís all. There were more but Hitler killed (how many was it?) several million, that he had burned to death. So itís that way today, thereís only a small portion. Remember God did not give ancient Israel His Holy Spirit, but now heís talking about, you see Christ has come and salvation has been offered. And thatís out of the Jewish part of Israel.
Romans 11:6-7 And if by grace, then is it no more [by] works: [or rituals] otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be [by] works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. [Well thatís just a little play on words right there] (7) What then? [In other words, what does that refer to, or mean?] Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained [now the election are those that do have grace, regardless of whether they are Jew or Gentile.] The election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.
Now most of Israel were blinded and most of the Gentiles have been cut off from God so they donít know theyíre blinded too. They donít know anything about God and they canít. You go to China, the China history way back, they have never known anything about God. They never have. The oldest religion we can find that goes way back (way before the time of Christ) in China, was ancestor worship. Worshiping their own human ancestors.
Thatís one reason that they showed me such great courtesy while I was over there because they know of my age and that I was older than most of them, and because of that they gave me some attention that I wish they hadnít done. But nevertheless they meant it as a courtesy and as high respect. So "the rest were blinded.""
Romans 11:8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears (that) they should not hear) unto this day.
Now if God gave that to them itís not their fault, and that means that God is the responsible party and God then, must do something about it. Well in Ezekiel 37 youíll find what God is going to do so far as Israel is concerned. Heís going to bring them back in the Great White Throne resurrection. In the Great White Throne Judgment and so all Israel finally is going to have salvation.
But letís read on here now: God [gave] them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear; unto this day. (Romans 11:8) Now heís talking about Israel all the way back when he uses that kind of language.
Romans 11:9-15 And David saith, Let their [see he goes back to what David said of Israel in his generations. Let their] table be made a snare, and a trap and a stumbling block, and a recompense unto them.(10) Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back always. [Now thatís what David said; then Paul continues] (11) I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: [Now you are going to see that God is going to save them yet Ė but it hasnít happened yet] but rather through their fall salvation is come (un)to the Gentiles, for to provoke them [the Israelites] to jealousy. (12) Now if the fall of them [the original Israelites] be the riches of the world and [of course they didnít come to Gentiles until after Christ remember, not in Old Testament times. Thatís all in New Testament times]; now 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? [Now heís implying that salvation is yet going to come to them] (13) For I speak to you Gentiles, [Now Paul is addressing to the Gentile Christians at Rome] inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify my office. (14) If by any means [that] I may provoke to emulation [that is to copying me] them [that] are my flesh, and might save some of them.(15) For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be...
You see they are going to be received back. God has cast them away now but in the Old Testament, as he says that, (I think thatís in Hosea) that where it was said, ďyou are not my peopleĒ as God said. Yet the time will come when He will say, ďNow you are my people.Ē (Hosea 1:10) So Godís plan hasnít worked out yet.
Romans 11:15-16 ...what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead. [And it will be life from the dead because it will all happen in the Great White Throne resurrection] (16) For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
Now heís talking about a tree and the root of a tree, and the branches of a tree. And now in the seventeenth verse he begins to talk more about olive trees.
Romans 11:17 And if some of the branches be broken off, [Israel was called a natural olive tree]; some of the branches be broken off Ė [thatís through unbelief as they were ] and thou, being a wild olive tree, [Now heís talking to Gentiles and Gentiles are branches on a wild olive tree] ...and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
You see the branches of the wild olive tree are cut off from the wild olive tree, (which means their Gentile ancestry) and are grafted, contrary to nature, into the good olive tree to being converted and becoming Christian.
Romans 11:18-22 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. [Of course God is really the root and Christ is the main trunk of the tree, and weíre the branches] (19) Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. [Thatís what a Gentile might say] (20) Well [he says] because of unbelief [they were broken off], and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear. [you know just donít get cocky about it because you have been grafted in, because salvation has come to you. Donít get highminded and cocky, but youíd better fear and tremble] (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 shall be cut off.
Now remember, in the Old Testament God did not offer Israel the Holy Spirit, but He did give them His government. He gave them His laws. He gave them His way of life, and they, even then, wouldnít live according to it. The only way they could was the literal letter of the law. Without the Holy Spirit they couldnít keep it spiritually. But they wouldnít even keep it literally and according to the letter.
Romans 11:23-24 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, SHALL be grafted in: [Oh they have been cut off and they are going to be grafted right back in to that tree again. Theyíll be grafted in] for God is able to graft them in again. (24) For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild [you Gentiles from a wild olive tree] by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree;[which is Israel] how much more shall these, which be the natural branches; be grafted into their own olive tree.
How do Gentiles get in? If you are converted, you simply are a converted Israelite. Thatís all there is to it. ALL the promises pertain to Israel. Youíve got to become an Israelite to get into the promise of eternal life. The promises and the covenants, if you are going to make the New Covenant with God is going to be made with ISRAEL AND JUDAH, NOT WITH GENTILES.
You read that in Jeremiah 31 beginning with verse 31. Youíll read it also in the eighth chapter of Hebrews.
Romans 11:24-26 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 [are] the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? [God is going to bring them back into conversion yet.] (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 [or that part of Israel, meaning the great part, the big part Ė all but a few, have been blinded. Itís the big part actually] until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. [Or the number of Gentiles to be converted becomes complete Ė as other translations have it] (26) And so all Israel shall be saved: [ now get that; ALL Israel shall be saved...]
Now the expression ďall IsraelĒ is used many places in the Bible where it doesnít mean EVERY person in Israel, but it does mean Israel as a whole. It doesnít mean a little tiny part of Israel, it means the big portion of Israel. And they are going to be saved.
Romans 11:26 ...as it is written, There shall come out of Sion [Zion] the Deliverer, [thatís Christ coming out of the church. Heís the Deliverer] and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
Thatís Christ at His second coming on. Now, He will reign for the first thousand years on the earth and all of those still living at that time will be called. Those who have been converted of course will be there, immortal and living with and under Christ.
But, what about Old Testament Israel? Theyíre going to remain in their graves. After the first thousand years, then He is going to get around to them, and then theyíre going to be resurrected and then in that judgment they will have their salvation.
Romans 11:27- 32 For this is [the] covenant [now thatís a compact agreement with] them, when I shall take away their sins. (28) As concerning the gospel, they are [now heís talking about his own generation now Ė I mean as to time, not of the genealogy.] As concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sakes; [because most of the Jews rejected Christ] but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathersí sakes. (29) For the gifts and [the] calling of God are without repentance. (30) For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: (31) Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. (32) For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
Then he comes to the... he just has to make an exclamation about how wonderful God is and Godís way and he says:
Romans 11:33- 36 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and [the] knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! (34) For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counselor? (35) Or who hath first given him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? (36) For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
And that is the end of, I think, one of the wonderful chapters of the Bible, the eleventh chapter of Romans, that Christ is coming. And thatís referring to His second coming, because His first coming had already happened and He'd ascended back up to the throne of God when Paul wrote this. So thatís what he is talking about.
Now we come to the twelfth chapter and I want you to notice:
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
I know that when I was converted, back in the spring of 1927, that I did that. It is just like I presented myself, and I said; ďHere I am, I give this whole self to you. I donít think it is any account. Itís no good, I donít know how you can use such a worthless thing as I am.Ē
I was pretty well discouraged by that time. I had been very cocky and conceited. I had been very successful before that. But now two businesses had been swept out from under me by no fault of mine at all Ė forces out of my control, without my knowledge. And in fact I know that God had it done because He was having to bring me down to bring me to Him, and I felt my life was useless. But I said to God that ďHere is a life and I am giving it to you. ď I said, ďJesus Christ bought and paid for it with His own life, and you can have it if it is any good to you.Ē
You know, I saw a commercial (a Coke Cola commercial) the other day. I have seen it twice now recently. They have it on especially during the time when they had, last Sunday, the Superbowl football game. There was a great big, massive football player. He was a black man and he was all sweaty and had just come in from playing and was in the locker room.
He was going back to his locker. You didnít see any other players around, just that one man. And here came a kid about eleven years old, and he had a great big bottle of Coke. And he looked at that man wistfully and he said, ďWould you like to have...Ē He thought that Coke Cola would be good for a man all sweating and oh heíd been playing so hard and really Coke would taste pretty good at that time. He said, ďWould you like to have it?Ē
Well the man wasnít going to take that from out of the kid. He said, ďWell you can have it, it wonĒt... thatís alright, you can have it.Ē And finally the man said, ďWell okay.Ē He came and took it and drank the whole bottle of Coke. Well then he had a towel over him, and he didnít know what he could do for the kid, but he took the towel over his shoulder and threw it to the kid. And the kid thanked him and said, ďWell Iíll see you around,Ē the kid said and he walked off. The kid had felt pretty little and everything, but here was a great, famous big football player you know. He wanted to offer him what he had.
Well I felt I was not offering God very much when I offered myself but I meant to leave myself in His hands and I havenít always done it a hundred percent. Nobody has. Nobody has ever, from the time he was converted, left himself one hundred percent in Godís hands. Only one man has ever done that and thatís Christ Himself.
But when I have fallen down and made a slip I have repented of it. God has forgiven and God has taken that life and used it, otherwise you wouldnít be here today. So he says that we should present our whole self to God. We donít belong to ourselves, we belong to Christ. He bought us and paid for us...Ēacceptable to God which is your reasonable service.Ē Thatís all it is, just reasonable.
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world [Thatís what people want, to be conformed to this world. They want to live the way of this world. They want to do the way of this world. They want to be interested in the things of this world. And the ways and the things of this world are just a lot of rottenness thatís all, putrid] but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. [Now the Holy Spirit is the spirit of a renewed mind. Renewing of your mind - a changing of your whole mind and your attitude about everything] that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.
God says "prove me now herewith". God says "prove all things". Iíve gone after the proof, and thatís what we should do.
Romans 12:3-4 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; [I should have quoted this in a letter I wrote last night] but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. (4) For as we have many members in one body, and all [the] members have not the same office.
Now that is something we need to think about, we donít all have the same office. But there is one office that certain ones of them have wanted, and thatís my office. They wanted to take that away from me. And of course Iím selfish, and Iím just thinking of self and everything, if I donít just turn it over to them and let them have it. Now thatís not true. God is holding me responsible for what I do in this office and Iím going to hold on to it and I am going to try to equip myself for that responsibility that I have to account to Him for it.
...but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. (4) For as we have many members. [No I read that...one body]
Romans 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and everyone members one of another.
Now we are not the body in the sense that we are the arms and the trunk and legs and feet of Christ. Weíre not the body of Christ in that sense. We are a body of believers. We are a body that is a church body, but itís Christís church body and He owns it. He is the head of it. Thatís all that is. And it is a body of separate individuals, separate from Christ, who are going to marry Christ at His second coming.
But we wonít be like we are now. Our faces will be shining as bright as the sun when we marry Christ. Our eyes will be like flames of fire Ė just flames shooting out. Weíll be so different from we are now.
Romans 12:5-10 So we being many are one body in Christ and every one members one of another (6) Having then gifts differing [This reminds me of the 12th chapter of I Corinthians about spiritual gifts] gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; (7) Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; (8) Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: [and] he that giveth, let him [give] with simplicity; he that ruleth,, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. (9) Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. (10) Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
Weíve had too much of people differing themselves against the other, however weíre rid of most of those. I hope thatís all gone out from among us now.
Romans 12:11-21 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; (12) Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant [or constant] in prayer; (13) Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. (14) Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. (15) Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. (16) Be of the same mind one toward another. [We must as it says in I Corinthians 1; we must all speak the same thing, so be of the same mind one toward another. Now see we have violated some of those things in the church, and thatís where the trouble has been in the church lately.] Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. (17) Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. (18) If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. [In other words, there are times, and there are some men, itís impossible to live at peace with. And some women] (19) Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, [says the Eternal] saith the Lord. (20) Therefore if [your] enemy [is] hungry, feed him; if he thirst, give him to drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. (21) Be not overcome [with] evil, but overcome evil with good.
Now he comes into Ė heís been talking about the spiritual things Ė now heís coming into some political things. Now remember this is the letter he is writing to those who were then living at Rome. And this is just after there had been a great persecution. And itís after the people at Rome thought (and even many of the Christians were beginning to think) that the gospel of Christ was merely.....oh whatís the word I want? Itís the thing that the Scribes and Pharisees thought Jesus was when He was there.
They thought that what He was going to do was to tear down the Roman Government right then and turn everything over to the Jews. Now the Jews thought that that was what Christ meant. They understood the Kingdom of God to mean that He was going to destroy the government of Caesar and tear it all down.
Now thereís a little background that you need for this thirteenth chapter. We went into that once before and I just want to cover part of it and then we won't cover all of it because I already did that a couple of weeks, or three weeks ago.
Romans 13:1 Let every soul [thatís every individual] be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are [or were] ordained of God.
In other words God is the source of all power. Now actually, what God has done; God has said to Adam, ďLook youíve rejected my government, so go form your own governments.Ē But God told him that but the power of government comes from God. Now theyíve formed wrong governments and all of that but nevertheless the power to do it came from God and God could have prevented it if He had wanted to.
Now Paul was writing to those at Rome. There had been a great persecution there and the people didnít know quite how to act. (And subversive is the word I was trying to think of). The government was inclined to look on them as subversive and they were acting like subversives and thinking that maybe they shouldnít obey the government at all. And it is speaking to the individual here, it is not speaking to the church as a whole.
Now what assailed us - it didnít come against me. If they had accused me of stealing and I had not stolen, sure, the law itself gives me the right to defend myself and there would be a trial. I would to the trial. I would get the best attorney I could get to defend me and prove that I had not stolen, it was a false charge? Is anything wrong with that?
If I were guilty and they did, Iíd have to be subject to them and let them put me in prison and whatever they decided to do. Thatís what Paul is saying. But Paul is writing a letter to those in Rome. There had been a great persecution in Rome just before this. You need to get the history of a lot of that. Iím just going to read a few sentences here in one of the commentaries on this very first verse of this chapter.
ďIt has been asked if the ruler be an immoral and profligate man, does he not prove himself thereby to be unworthy of his high office and should he not be deposed? I answer No, he should not be deposed because he is an adulterer and he is divorced and remarried and heís done a lot of wrong things. No. If he rules according to the Constitution, nothing can justify rebelling against his authority. He may be irregular in his own private life. He may be an immoral man and disgrace himself by an improper conduct. But, if he rule according to the law, if he make no attempt to change the Constitution nor break the compact between him and the people, there is therefore no legal ground of opposition to his civil authority.Ē (Letís see) ďEvery act against him is not only rebellion in the worst sense of the word, but is unlawful and absolutely sinful. Nothing can justify...Ē
Now itís talking about a single man feeling he doesnít have to obey the laws. Thatís exactly what it is talking about here and you need the background, you need to know what was going on in Rome at the time to understand this.
ďNothing can justify the opposition of the subjectsĒ (That is the subjects, or citizens, an individual citizen) ďto the ruler but over the sense on his part to change the Constitution.Ē
Thatís exactly what the man is trying to do against the Church, is to change the Constitution. Weíre not against him because he is an immoral man himself, but thatís not the point. Weíre not concerned about that donít you see? But he is trying to change the Constitution. What he is doing is unlawful. Heís the one who is breaking the law, weíre not.
ďCan change the Constitution, or to rule contrary to law.Ē (And thatís what theyíre trying to do in our case.) ďWhen the ruler acts thus, he dissolves the compact between him and his people, his authority is no longer binding because illegal...Ē (Heís the one that is illegal) ďand it is illegal because he is acting contrary to the laws of the Constitution according to which, on being raised to the supreme power he professed to govern. This conduct justifies opposition to his government.Ē
Now what do you think of that? That covers exactly the case of what we had, so Iím going to have that typed out so that I can really get at it and read it and write an article on it. Iím going to have to go into this thirteenth chapter. We went into this the other day and I just wanted to show you that it is talking about the individual anyway and what he has done is attack the whole church.
In other words, his power comes from God and what he is attacking is the God that gives him whatever power he has. So must God submit to him? We represent God. He is attacking God when he attacks us. Must God submit to a man breaking the laws and the Constitution of the Nation?
Now those that say we should have given in say, actually, that God must give in. I represent the Eternal, Immortal God. I donít just represent a bunch of people. I didnít ask any of you people to come into the church. I found that you came in, but I didnít bring you in. God is the one who raised me up. I gave my life to Him and He has made me His apostle and Iím His representative. And the church is His church and His body and the State of California has attacked the Body of Jesus Christ.
The State of California has attacked the GOD that gave them whatever power they have. That is not...God didnít give them that.
God gave them something to prevent people from stealing, from lying, from murdering, from... well at least from bearing false witness on the witness stand. If you lie in private to someone, the lawís not going to do anything to you. But they donít carry out Godís Ten Commandments altogether. Under certain conditions then they have the law against adultery. I donít know, but usually theyíre pretty laxed on that line. Of course murder and theft are the things they are really against. Then they have a lot of laws that God doesnít even cover.
Well we went through the rest of that chapter once before and I wonít go into that now, but I wanted to cover that point and show you that it is talking about the individual being subject to the powers that be, even though they are wrong.
Now we are to be subject to the powers Iíve said. What about the draft? And weíre going to have that coming along again. That we are to be subject but not to obey when it is contrary to God. God says we are not to fight and we are not to kill. In the army or the navy or any part of the military service they train you. Youíve got to learn to hate. Youíve got to want to hate and you have got to want to kill other human beings.
Now thatís exactly what it is all about and God has said we must not do that. Now in that case we will refuse to obey them but we will be subject to them. If they say, ďWell thereís a penalty.Ē Well I guess I have to pay the penalty then, I will not serve. And this time theyíre going to get our young girls from eighteen years of age on up to twenty or thirty, even married women.
That is what is coming. So I just wanted to show that Paul is talking to individual Romans and individual Jews who are at Rome. He isnít addressing this to a church group, but I think that will do for today.