THE EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THOSE OF ISRAEL RACE IN ROME
(PART THREE - FINAL)
the late Allen Green, England
In this chapter. Paul sets out the national purpose of God in the Israel race, and although his treatise is addressed to those of the Israel race in Rome, he deals with the nation as a whole, at that time widely scattered, but in process of being rebuilt (Jeremiah:.1 and 18). He was directly in touch with Israel in Rome, but cut off from the bulk overseas, who were equally his concern, as revealed in verse 3.
Verse 3: F.F.,"I could wish myself to be cut off from Christ instead of my brothers, my kindred by race, who are Israelites." Dispersed Israel were still cut off from knowledge of their Redeemer (cf. Romans 10:14).
Verse 4: Here are set out the attributes that are the inherent property of Israel, and which are applicable to no other nation:
The Adoption: as sons of God (Hosea 1:10, Ephesians 1:5, Romans 8: 14-23, 9:26, 1 Peter 2: 10)
The Glory: (Isaiah 42:8, 46:13, Jeremiah 13:11, Luke 2:32)
The Covenants: From the Abrahamic to the New Covenant.
The Giving of THE LAW:THE LAWOF THE LORD given to Israel at Sinai. No other nation was given this LAW (Deuteronomy 4:8, 26:16-19, Psalm 147:9-20)
The Service of God: Israel administering the LAW OF THE LORD.
The Promises: All God's contracts with His race for His purposes (Jeremiah 31 :36).
Verse 5 : " .. Whose are the fathers ... " That is Israel in lineal descent from the patriarchs, Abraham and Jacob.
Verse 6: The theme continues along the racial line of lineal descent, and from that context it cannot be taken. The traditional approach of spiritualising a material people distorts the Word of God and His promises to Abraham and his seed for ever.
This verse in particular can only be understood in the concept of race, for it must be realised that there were aliens "not of my sheep" - of Esau descent, who were posing as of Israel race (John 8:37, 10:26). The sense of this verse can be stated thus: For they are not all of Israel race who pose as being Israelites.
Verse 7: This rendering is confirmed by the next verse. Esau was of the seed of Abraham: but God disinherited Esau. and Jacob are the Children of the
Verse 8: Only one seed or line of descent through Isaac and Jacob are counted as children of the promise (Galatians 4:28). The children of the flesh refer to
all Abraham's other chilldren, of whom Esau was his grandson.
Verses 9-13: repeat the lineal descent of the physical race through Sarah and Rebecca to Jacob, with Esau and his progeny displaced from the line. The unchanging purposes of God are here positively stated. His choice or election of Jacob (Israel as the father of His called nation was predetermined, and declared while Jacob was yet unborn. The election is arbitrary, unequivocal and national. Individuals, creeds, cults and nations are utterly powerless to change or modify the choice.
Verses 14-24: This passage continues Paul's exposition of the purposes of God in choosing or electing the Israel nation. The culmination is reached in verse 24, where he identifies the called as both those two sections of Israelites in Rome, the one termed Jews, the other gentiles. Is man to question God as to His choice? In verse 14.F.F.the question is put: Is there injustice in God?
Verse 20 :F.F.The question isanswered, "Indeed, man, who are you to criticise God?" God shows mercy on whom He will. He showed His power against Pharaoh, that Israel might go free. The former was a vessel Unto dishonour, the latter a vessel of mercy, destined to glory when remoulded by The Potter (Jeremiah 18:1-9). The outstanding selection instanced in this chapter is the choice of Jacob, with the line of Esau disinherited.
Verses 25-29: The national theme continues, with Paul quoting Hosea as the destiny of the Children of Israel, that is all Israel of all the tribes. The Apostle's
next reference is to Isaiah l0:22-23, where the prophet declares that God's purpose in Israel will beconsummated, as per:
Verse 28: F.F. "The Lord will perfect His intention on the earth." His intention is national, and covers the bulk of the nation, vast in numbers, which will return to Him with righteousness. Much nonsense has been written about the term remnant by those ignorant of God's purpose in the nation, who apply it to the very elect. The word frequently means the remainder or part, and often a large part, of all Israel, such as the Dispersion. Verses 27-28, F.F., would indicate that Paul has in mind not only those Israelites in Rome but the vast numbers scattered abroad who were no less destined to come into the fold, namely, those "standing outside" his immediate vicinity.
Verse 29 is quoted from Isaiah l:9. and shows that God always reserves a few in Israel to carry out His national purpose for the survival of His people.
Verses 30-33: Here Paul reverts to the controversy existing between the Israel ethnos (gentiles) of erstwhile pagan leanings, and Israelites (Israel) who follow the law of righteousness (the Ordinances). Keeping in mind the national theme that runs through this chapter, all that is required to be clarified are the terms so consistently used by Paul by which he names the two sections of Israel, and his meaning of the term righteousness, which in this context has to do either with Old Testament propitiation or New Testament atonement. Verse 30 : Gentiles (pagan Israelites) who followed not after Old Testament cover or propitiation,
have attained New Testament atonement by belief in His sacrifice.Verse 31: But Israelites (Jews) who followed after the Law of Ordinances did not attain
Old Testament cover.
Verses 32-33:Wherefore? Because they sought the atonement of the Old Testament in a perfunctory manner by Ordinances obeyed in insincerity, stumbling in unbelief in the Deliverer of Israel (Isaiah 28:16).
With this last word. Paul leaves Israel founded in Christ, their Redeemer.
Note: "Righteousness which is of faith" simply means belief in His Sacrifice, and this is the firm foundation of the faith delivered to Israel, the roots and beginnings of which are belief in God's purposes in the race, in the preservation, the polity and righteous government of Israel.
In this chapter. Paul reverts to his difficulty in dealing with Israel of the Jewish faith. He bears record that they have a zeal of God that is faulty.
Verse 3: Not having the Atonement in the gift of God's Son, they continued in "their own," in propitiation by Ordinances, and did not submit themselves to the new order in Christ.
Verse 4: Christ is the end, the aim, the terminal and culminating point of the Law of Ordinances to everyone believing in His Sacrifice.
Verse 5: Propitiation by the Law of Ordinances contrasted with
Verse 6: Faith in His Sacrifice-Note the same phraseology in verses 5 and 6 as in Romans 3:21.
Verses 6-11: Amplify that belief in The Atonement gives hope for life eternal in the ages to come-a future state.
Verses 12-13: That Paul's theme is racial is evident, for in these verses he dwells on the two sections of Israel so frequently referred to as the Jews and the
Greeks: he explains to them that there is no difference, since now that both believe in their Messiah, all other orders and dogmas are cancelled.
Verse 14: Here Paul widens his approach from Israelites in Rome, who have received the message, to those overseas who have not.
Verse 15-18: The Apostle visualises how faith will eventually reach all Israel when the word is taken to them. Note: Cf Ephesians 2:11-17: Jesus, " ... having
abolished in His flesh ... " the Law of Ordinances, the two sections of Israel are united in one body. The "middle wall of partition," the Law of Ordinances,
formerly kept Israel of the circumcision and Israel of the uncircumcision stubbornly apart. This being removed, the two sections come together in one faith, the faith delivered to Israel (Jude 3).
Cf. I Corinthians 12:13. Galatians.3:16-29, Colossians.3:10-15. All these passages refer to Israel only, and to no other peoples.
There is no message for peoples other than those of Israel race.
Israel, His People whom He pre-ordained (v.2, F.F.) as a servant nation, were at this time, circa 60 A.D.. "dispersed" (v.15, F.F.) in many widely separated areas.
To understand Paul, the history of Israel's components and their locations must be known. The bulk of the nation, in process of being remoulded and rebuilt (Jeremiah 18) after being banished from the land, were scattered out of reach. They were not in Paul's immediate vicinity. And for the time being, they were
blind to their destiny (v.7).
Nationally, they had stumbled (v.11), but their fall (v.12) was not to be permanent. The Most High always retains within the nation those reserves (v.4) to carry
forward His purpose in the Israel polity.
Even at this date, "a fragment has come for enrolment with the gift" (v.5, F.F.). Here Paul refers to those few Israelites around him, and to Caradoc in
Britain, who had come to knowledge of the Sacrifice which had replaced the works or ancient ritual.
Verses 2-12: "They," "Israel," "the rest," "them," refer to dispersed Israel. In verse 2. "ye" refers to those Israelites in Rome who had, or should have had,
knowledge of the scriptures, something that would not be known to any other race or peoples.
Verse 13: "You gentiles" refers to Israelites in Rome of the ethnos or nation of Israel, Paul's brethren of his own race.
Verse 15: "Them"- dispersed Israel. God's purpose in them, the policy and polity for world uplift, is set out (cf 2 Samuel 7:10).
Verse 16: "The root" -the parent stock of Israel.
Verse 17: (a) The broken off branches: all those of Israel race who succumbed to idolatry, and were still in unbelief.
(b) Theni-Israelites in Rome, also those others in Greece and Asia Minor who had been separated from the parent stock for centuries, termed by Paul, the wild
olive tree, wild, because, separated from the parent tree, yet an integral part of Israel as represented by the olive tree which symbolised the nation. History
confirms that this wild offshoot was those who had separated from the main body from the time of the Exodus, had found their way to the Isles of the West,
and after a time had retraced their steps to become located, from circa 400 B.C. onwards, in the localities visited by Paul from Rome and through to Galatia and beyond.
Verse 18: "The root thee" confirms that the peoples represented by the wild olive were descended from the root stock of Israel.
Verse 25: "Ye"- Israelites of the wild offshoot. Israel. the dispersed nation, was blind to its destiny until the Israel Company of Nations became mature.
Verses 28-36: Note the contrast between "ye," Israel of the wild offshoot, and "they," the parent stock.
To understand Paul, a bold statement in one Epistle must be compared with all others that maintain the same theme. The important statement in Romans 12 concerns the one body.
Paul, addressing Israelites in Rome states, "So we (Israel), being many, are one body in Christ ..." (v.5). The rest of this chapter is an exhortion to those of Israel who are enlightened to distribute knowledge and hospitality to their racial brethren, who are termed saints in verse 13.
I Corinthians 10:17 : " ... for we (Israel) being many are one bread and one body."
I Corinthians12:12-13: " ... one body, whether we be Jews or Greeks." Also verse 27 : "Now ye (Israelites in Corinth) are the body of Christ, and members in particular" ... or the race which is christos (anointed). Here, as in many passages, the common noun, christos, does not refer to the Saviour. It refers adjectively to the anointed people to the Israel race. (Cf. Ephesians 5:30).
Ephesians 2:11-18: Addressed to the two sections of Israelites in Ephesus termed the Uncircumcision and the Circumcision, v11, "that he might reconcile both (sections of Israel) with God in one body by the cross ... " (v.16). (Cf Colossians 2.14).
Ephesians 3:6: Paul addressing Israelites - the saints - located at Ephesus (Ephesians l: 1), announces that they of Israel nations (gentiles) by reason of their ancestry, are "fellow heirs of the same (one) body ... " or nation. The mystery referred to in this chapter concerns God's eternal purpose in the race according to His plan of the ages. Note v.9, the words "by Jesus Christ" are omitted in F.F.and the A.R.V.
Ephesians 4:4: "there is one body and one Spirit, even as ye (Israel) are called in one hope of your calling."
The Israel nation is the one body, imbued with the Holy Spirit (see "The Comforter, Israel's National Blessing," Series 1-14) called for God's national purpose in His plan for the ages, with His assurance of eternal life, the hope of their calling in Jesus the Anointed.
Verse 12: "For the perfecting of the saints (Israel)... for the edifying ... " of the anointed or christos race or body or assembly or congregation.
Ephesians 5:2 3: Christ is the head of the (Israel) assembly, and He is the Saviour of the nation (body). V.30," ... For we (Israel) are members of His race (or
body)" by physical descent. V.32 : " ... I (Paul) speak concerning Jesus, the Anointed" and the christos or anointed congregation of Israel.
Colossians 1:18: ''And He (the Son) is head of the nation (body) in the congregation of Israel" (A.R.V.). (F.F.)" ... the gospel that you have heard preached in all creation under heaven."
At this date, the Gospel of the Kingdom had only been preached to the scattered sections of Israel (Matthew 10:5-7).
Colossians 1:24: " ... for His body's sake, which is the ecclesia .. " Paul is not talking about Our Lord's body; he is saying that the afflictions have been endured for the sake of the Israel congregation (the edah or ecclesia of Israel).
Colossians l:25-27: (See F.F. and A.R.V.) Paul, addressing Israelites in Colosse, tells them that he is appointed by God to inform them of the divine intention which was to be completed in the Israel polity. It was a secret that had been hidden from the World, but was now made manifest to His people, to Israel (saints), so that in time to come they would make known to mankind "the riches of the glory, of Christ in you (Israel)." Cf Romans 9:4, "Israel, to whom pertaineth the glory."
Colossians 2:14-17 (cf Ephesians.2 15): The Law of Ordinances is the subject matter of these verses. That section of THE LAW was superceded, nailed to the cross, declared a shadow of things to come, the substance being in Christ's Sacrifice: or, as F.F. presents it, " ...the substance belongs to Christ."
Verse 19: "The head," Jesus, "the body," Israel. Our Lord's body does not increase with the increase of God. But the Israel polity does so increase. Our Lord's body is perfect, and requires no increase.
Colossians 3: 11-15: The dispersed Israel nations are here called Greek, Jew, barbarian and Scythian. To them "Christ is all and in all." For the nation, redeemed, is the body, the called body. " ... Ye (Israel) are called in one body," destined to receive "the reward of the inheritance .... " in accordance with the Abrahamic, and all subsequent covenants made with Israel (v.24).
Hebrews 12:22;13:6: " ... to the full assembly and congregation ... " Paul in his Epistle to the Hebrews announces that "ye," Israel, are to come to Mount Zion, and the divinely ordered system founded on HIS LAW, and to Jesus, the mediator of the New Covenant made with Israel, "for you also are yourselves in the body, suffering like them" (13:3, F.F.). And of old time it was written of the Lord God, "He it is that doth go with thee, he will not fail thee nor forsake thee." (Deuteronomy 31:6). "Let Israel now say that his mercy endureth for ever. .. the Lord is on my side. I will not fear: what can man do unto me ?" (Psalm 118: 1-6).
Verse 1: "For there is no power but of God." It has to be realised that the government of man is that which is allowed by God, for therein lie "the powers that are ordained by God." In the history of Israel it is recorded that, time and again, God caused the enemies of Israel to exercise power over her for her rectification. It should be realised that to-day God is allowing subversive forces to infiltrate out jurisdiction in order to make us realise how far we have departed from the truth.
Verses 8-10: This passage sets out the old law."THOU shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" (Leviticus19:13-18). It does not establish a new law. This is made certain by John (2 John 5:6, and I John 2:7)
Verse 10: "Love is the fulfilling of the law." THE LAWOF THE LORD is operationally based on love. Barren of love, it would work out to perfection in
poverty. Given the driving force, love, in good measure, it will work to perfection in abundance. That is the perfection of wisdom in economic and social government. Very literally, therefore, love is the fulfilling, the enriching and bringing to completion in operation of THE LAW. The Greek word used, pleroo.
to make full, expresses this, and must not be confused with ginomai of Matthew 5:18 and 24:34, where fulfilled means brought to pass. Love cannot be said to make law void; such a premise would make simple logic stand on its head.
This chapter deals with "doubtful disputations," and is allied to "Jewish fables and commandments of men that turn from truth ..." which Paul had continually to contend against (Titus 1:14, Acts 15:29. 1 Corinthians 8: 1-10, 10:19, and 28).
Paul's teachings, here set out counter the false traditions of Judaism., "the Jews" religion, and have little to do with The Faith delivered to Israel. God's perfect LAW is the foundation of the Faith, and under no circumstances can Paul's sayings be deemed to cancel any jot or tittle of THE LAW.When the Apostle says "for one believeth that he may eat all things," he indicates all food that God decrees as good for human consumption, and not "the beasts that may not be eaten" (Leviticus l1 :47).
This chapter shows unmistakably that Paul treats of the Israel race.
Verse 8: "Now I say that Jesus Christ was minister of the circumcision for the truth of God to confirm the promises made unto the fathers." Only Israel had the Law of Circumcision. The promises were made to the fathers of Israel.
Verse 9: This is a quotation from Psalm 18:49. David did not give thanks or sing praise to the Lord "among the heathen." David did this within the confines of his own ethnos (nation), Israel.
Verse 10: "Rejoice ye (Israel) nations, His People." This verse is quoted from Deuteronomy 32:43, and the word with is not in the Hebrew. This greatly alters the sense.
Verse 11: This is another quotation from one of David's psalms in which he acknowledges the merciful kindness of Jehovah "towards us" (Israel). David exhorts all the nations of Israel, " all ye people" to praise the Lord. (Psalm 117.)
Verse 12: Quoted from Isaiah 11:10-12, a prophecy concerning the House of David. The ensign of the sceptred tribe of Judah was set up in Ireland, and to it
the ethnos of Israel were gathered (cf Genesis 49:10). The last sentence states " ... In Him shall the (Israel) nations trust" - trust, hope (see Matthew 12:18-21, as per Isaiah 42:.1-4). All this scripture deals with Israel in the racial concept. No other nations trusted in Him, for they did not know Him.
Verse 16: Paul reiterates that he is minister to the (Israel) nations (cf. Romans 11:13).
Verse 25: " ... minister unto the saints (Israel)."
Verse 31: Contrast between the alien unbelievers in Judah, and "the saints (Israel)" destined to accept THE FAITH.
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