The Epistles of Paul - Romans Part 2, 04-04-2014: Ancient Pagan Israel

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The Epistles of Paul - Romans Part 2, 04-04-2014

Presenting the first half of Romans chapter 1 last week, we left off with verse 17 and Paul's citation of Habakkuk 2:4 where he says that “the just shall live by faith”. In commenting upon that citation, we established that in the context of the original remark as it is found in Habakkuk, the statement intends to describe the righteous of those of the children of Israel who were going to be taken into Babylonian captivity. Because the Law had failed when the rulers and priests of Israel began to deal unjustly, the people were fated to be oppressed and forced to live under the laws of Babylon, a situation which was to endure for an appointed time. In Ezekiel chapter 21 we have corroboration for this interpretation, where Yahweh said He will cut off from the land of Israel both the righteous and the wicked. From Habakkuk chapter 2: “3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. 4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.” In the epistle to the Romans, Paul was teaching the fulfillment of these words in Habakkuk, which is assured where the prophet wrote “in the end it shall speak”, meaning that the fulfillment would indeed become evident. Paul is showing us that fulfillment is in the turning of the dispersed children of Israel to Christ. This is why, in the next several chapters of this epistle, Paul demonstrates that those of Israel who are just in the eyes of God are not manifest in a keeping of the rituals of the Law, but instead they are manifest by a turning to the faith of Christ along with an exhibition of the law which Yahweh promised would be written in their hearts. The next few verses of this first chapter of Romans fully demonstrate that the children of Israel, and no others, certainly remain the focus of the Gospel message.

18 For the wrath of Yahweh is revealed from heaven upon all profane and unjust men, who withhold the truth with injustice.

This difference may sound trivial on its surface, but here the verb in the final clause is κατέχω, and it has a much stronger meaning than simply to hold, where the verb ἔχω alone would have been appropriate. The word is “to hold back, withhold … check, restrain, control, [or] bridle (Liddell & Scott), and thus the phrase is properly read “who withhold the truth”. This further reveals that Paul is meaning to describe people who had the truth in the first place.

The highest god of pagan Rome was Jove. However it can be demonstrated etymologically that Jove is phonetically equivalent to the Hebrew name Yahweh, regardless of how insistently the Judaized academics deny it. The meaning and origination of the name Jupiter, a name which was synonymous with Jove throughout Latin literature, is in the words Jove, pater, or Yahweh, father. The Romans must have indeed had the truth of God, and changed it into lies, as Paul is about to tell us, by turning away from their earliest profession and adopting all sorts of pagan idolatry.

While we do not agree with their assertions concerning “Indo-European roots”, for a similar explanation of the name Jove, see the website Behind the Name, which gives etymologies and histories for many names in history and mythology. There it says of Jove:

From Latin Iuppiter, which was ultimately derived from the Indo-European *Dyeu-pater, composed of the elements Dyeus (see ZEUS) and pater "father". Jupiter was the supreme god in Roman mythology. He presided over the heavens and light, and was responsible for the protection and laws of the Roman state. This is also the name of the fifth and largest planet in the solar system.

If this sounds like an ancient Israelite belief, it is because it is an ancient Israelite belief.

19 Because that which is to be known of Yahweh is visible among them, since Yahweh has made it known to them. 20 Namely, the unseen things of His from the creation of the cosmos are clearly observed, being understood in the things made both of His eternal power and divinity; for this they are inexcusable.

In Acts chapter 16 Paul encountered and preached the gospel to certain men in Philippi, who then complained that Paul and his companions “... teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans” (Acts 16:21). In Rome it was not lawful for men to adopt the religious understanding being declared by Paul and his companions because religion was regulated by both law and tradition. There were strong ties between Roman civil and social life and their pagan rites and religious beliefs. Therefore Paul evidently had the intention of specifying certain men who withheld the truth, choosing to maintain the State decreed paganism and the cult of the emperor in spite of truth.

As he does here, in Hebrews chapter 11 Paul also professed an understanding of the physics of Creation, where he said that “3 By faith we perceive the ages to be furnished by the word of Yahweh, in which that which is seen has not come into being from things visible.” In Acts chapter 17 Paul professed that Adamic man should “should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us”.

In Amos 3:2 Yahweh said unto Israel that “You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” In Deuteronomy chapter 31 Yahweh warned that as part of that punishment “I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought”.

On the surface these are two seemingly disparate ideas, the invisible God and the punishment of Israel. However these two ideas are converged in Paul's second epistle to the Corinthians, although we must bear in mind that in Paul's first letter to the Corinthians (chapter 10) we have record that he indeed taught them that they were descended from the children of Israel who were with Moses in the Exodus. Therefore Paul understood that the Corinthians were a part of that Israel in punishment. From 2 Corinthians chapter 4: “15 All things are for the sake of you, in order that the favor, abounding over the greater number, would exceed the thankfulness to the honor of Yahweh.16 On which account we do not falter, rather then if our outer man is being destroyed, then our inner is being restored day by day. 17 For the present lightness of our tribulation, an exceedingly surpassing eternal abundance of honor is earned by us; 18 we not considering the things being seen, but the things not being seen; the things being seen temporary, but the things not being seen eternal.”

The reference to the “present lightness of our tribulation” is a reference to the suffering of the children of Israel in the period of their punishment which was ordained by God, as others of the prophets also said, and as Habakkuk had prophesied in that very place which Paul cited earlier, that “the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak”. During this period of punishment, Yahweh warned the same children of Israel that he would not manifest His presence to them, and that is why Paul professes in 2 Corinthians that our hope lies not in that which is seen, but in that which is not seen.

From Deuteronomy chapter 31: “16 And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them. 17 Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us? 18 And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods.”

Israel is given similar warning in Micah, where upon the Assyrian captivity it is said in Micah chapter 5 “1 Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek. 2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. 3 Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.” The smiting was in the Assyrian destruction and deportations of Israel and most of Judah. He would give them up, until they returned to Him in Christ, this being a Messianic prophecy. Paul is teaching the fulfillment of all these things.

In the end, when at the expected Second Advent Israel is again sanctified, Yahweh has promised not to hide from Israel any longer, where he states in Ezekiel chapter 39 that “29 Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.”

The children of Israel were forsaken by their God because they had forsaken Him. Yet they, and only they, once had the truth of God, and had turned to idolatry. But even in this idolatry would the children of Israel be preserved. From Isaiah chapter 42: “16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. 17 They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods. 18 Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see. 19 Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the LORD'S servant?” Paul's mission was to bring the Gospel of Christ to those very people, the dispersed of Israel, thereby opening the eyes of the blind. The ancestors of the Romans were dispersed much earlier than the Assyrian deportations, as were many other Israelites, including the Dorian Greeks. However they were Israel nonetheless. Many other statements in Paul's epistle to the Romans shall clearly elucidate the truth of that assertion.

21 Because knowing Yahweh, they thought of Him not as God, nor were they thankful; but they became foolish in their reasonings, and were darkened, their hearts void of understanding: 22 alleging to be wise they became fools, 23 and they changed the estimation of the incorruptible Yahweh into a resemblance of an image of corruptible man, and birds, and four-legged animals, and reptiles.

From the days of the distribution of the Adamic Genesis 10 tribes on the plains of Shinar only the children of Israel had known Yahweh. From Genesis chapter 18: “18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” Even Abraham's fathers had practiced idolatry, as we see in Joshua chapter 24: “ 2 And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.”

One example of God's having made Himself known only to Israel is found in Exodus chapter 5: “1 And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness. 2 And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go. 3 And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the LORD our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword. 4 And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works? get you unto your burdens.” So we see that Pharaoh, with all of the wisdom and knowledge of Egypt at his fingertips, was ignorant of the God of the Hebrews.

An explicit statement supporting this assertion is found in Psalm 89: “15 Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance. 16 In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. 17 For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn shall be exalted. 18 For the LORD is our defence; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.”

Yet in spite of the fact that the magnificence of the presence of God was found exclusively among the children of Israel, having the truth of God they nevertheless turned to idolatry. Here are three examples in the prophets:

From Isaiah chapter 10: “10 As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria; 11 Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols?”

From Jeremiah chapter 10: “14 Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them. 15 They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish. 16 The portion of Jacob is not like them: for he is the former of all things; and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: The LORD of hosts is his name.”

From Ezekiel chapter 7: “1 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2 Also, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD unto the land of Israel; An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land. 3 Now is the end come upon thee, and I will send mine anger upon thee, and will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense upon thee all thine abominations. 4 And mine eye shall not spare thee, neither will I have pity: but I will recompense thy ways upon thee, and thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee: and ye shall know that I am the LORD. 5 Thus saith the Lord GOD; An evil, an only evil, behold, is come. 6 An end is come, the end is come: it watcheth for thee; behold, it is come. 7 The morning is come unto thee, O thou that dwellest in the land: the time is come, the day of trouble is near, and not the sounding again of the mountains. 8 Now will I shortly pour out my fury upon thee, and accomplish mine anger upon thee: and I will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense thee for all thine abominations.... 18 They shall also gird themselves with sackcloth, and horror shall cover them; and shame shall be upon all faces, and baldness upon all their heads. 19 They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumbling-block of their iniquity. 20 As for the beauty of his [Yahweh's] ornament, he set it in majesty: but they made the images of their abominations and of their detestable things therein: therefore have I set it [meaning His “ornament”] far from them.”

In the light of the words of the prophets, one should never look abroad for Jews when searching for the dispersed of Biblical Israel. Rather, one must look for pagans, and those pagans are found in ancient Europe, which is why the apostles went there and not to Arabia, China, Ethiopia, Kenya, or to any other non-White nations. Here in Romans chapter 1, Paul is talking about Romans, and yet he is talking about Israelites: for only the children of Israel had the truth of God and changed it into lies, the evidence of Paul's assertions being found throughout the words of the prophets of Yahweh. The only valid conclusion, is that the Romans must indeed have been descended from Israelites, and therefore everything which Identity Christians should understand about Roman origins, that they descended from the Trojans who were themselves originally a colony of Israelites from Egypt, is demonstrated to be true. Subsequent chapters of this epistle shall corroborate these assertions.

24 On which account Yahweh hands them over to uncleanness in the passions of their hearts, their bodies to be dishonored among themselves: 25 every one who exchanges the truth of Yahweh with falsehoods, and reverences and serves the creation rather than the Creator, who is praised for the ages. Truly.

A passage we also offered in a recent presentation on the prophecy of Micah, this is from Ecclesiastes chapter 3: “17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work. 18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.” Without the guidance of the Spirit of God, His Word and His Law, men are indeed little but beasts. When men forsake God, God surrenders them to their own beastly desires, the unclean “passions of their hearts”. This is manifest in the struggle each man must face to suppress the desires of the flesh and the temptations of the world in favor of pursuing the things of the Spirit, which Paul describes at length in Romans chapter 8. For this the same writer of Ecclesiastes had said (3:10): “I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.”

26 Therefore Yahweh handed them over to a state of disgrace, for both their females exchanged their natural intimacy for that contrary to nature, 27 and likewise the males have given up the natural intimacy of the female, inflamed in their desires for one another, males with males perpetrating shamefulness, and their wandering necessitates the reward they are receiving among themselves.

Here we see that sodomy, which society today insists upon calling by a euphemism, homosexuality, is actually a punishment from God for sin, and explicitly for the sin of abandoning Him. Therefore, the professions of humanism, atheism, and the other false gods promoted primarily by the Jews lead us directly to homosexuality and lesbianism. Our very circumstances today are sufficient proof of the assertion. In this same respect, it was those same Canaanite bastards of the ancient world, the ancestors of many of today's Jews, by whom the children of Israel were led into paganism, and therefore sodomy abounded in Rome.

From Exodus chapter 23: “24 Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images. 25 And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.... 32 Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. 33 They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.”

Again, from Deuteronomy chapter 12: “29 When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; 30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. 31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.” And we likewise have abortion clinics today, operated primarily by Canaanite Jews.

The children of Israel failed to drive the Canaanite nations out from their land, and for that they were decreed to suffer. From Judges chapter 2: “1 And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you. 2 And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this? 3 Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.” Shortly thereafter, from the same chapter of Judges, we read “12 And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger.” The rest of the Bible, and the rest of history, are concerned with the return of the ancient children of Israel to Yahweh their God.

For many centuries Europe consisted of relatively Christian nations. Once Christianity became fully established, and once those invaders brought into Europe by the Jews were fought off, those nations began to conquer the rest of the world, for better or worse. It can be established in Scripture and history that those who are known as Jews today are indeed descended from the ancient Canaanites of Scripture. With their emancipation and acquisition of equal citizenship in the countries of Christian Europe beginning with the turn of the 19th century, humanism and egalitarianism and every related heresy have become the religion of the West, which has forsaken true Christianity. Therefore with the abandonment of God Sodom and Gomorrah have been resurrected, and all Christendom has been handed over to that same state of disgrace, while the rest of the world and all the non-White beasts once again overrun the children of God.

Sodomy in Rome at Paul's time was very real indeed. Paul's words are substantiated by the historian Tacitus, who inferred in his Germania that in the Rome of his time, immorality was considered fashionable or “up-to-date” in Rome, and indeed it was.

From Tacitus' Germania, 12: “The Assembly is competent also to hear criminal charges, especially those involving the risk of capital punishment. The mode of execution varies according to the offense. Traitors and deserters are hanged on trees; cowards, shirkers and sodomites are pressed down under a wicker hurdle into the slimy mud of a bog. The distinction in the punishments is based on the idea that offenders against the state should be made a public example of, whereas deeds of shame should be buried out of men's sight.” From Tacitus' Germania, 19: “No one in Germany finds vice amusing, or calls it 'up-to-date' to seduce and be seduced.... Good morality in Germany is more effective than good laws are elsewhere.” (Tacitus, The Agricola and Germania, translated by Howard Mattingly, Penguin Books, 1970 revised edition.)

By contrasting morality in Germany Tacitus fully infers the immorality of Rome where certain forms of morality could not even be upheld by law. In fact, in other Roman literature of the period, such as in the poetry of Catallus, Virgil, Ovid, Petronius, Juvenal and Martial, there are many references to sodomy and other indecent sexual acts and relationships. Martial's poetry is often so obscene that many parts of it are regularly omitted from even the most scholarly English translations. The Roman historian Suetonius also documented much of the sexual depravity of the courts of the various Caesar's, along with their immorality in other areas.

28 And just as they do not think it fit to have Yahweh in their knowledge, Yahweh [א and A have “he”] handed them over to a reprobate mind, to do things not fitting; 29 being filled with all injustice, fornication [the text here follows the MT, all other manuscripts wanting this word but being divided concerning the reading of the surrounding words], greediness, wickedness; full of envy, murder, strife, treachery, malignity, slanderers, 30 loud talkers, haters of Yahweh, insolent, arrogant, pretentious, contrivers of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 void of understanding, covenant breakers, heartless, [C and the MT interpolate implacable here] merciless;

The word rendered as covenant breakers, as it also is here in the King James Version, is the plural form of ἀσύνθετος (Strong's # 802). It may be better rendered as promise-breakers, or even merely as faithless, however the conscious attempt where it appears here was to keep the language in line with the Old Testament, that unbridled by decency, the nature of these people was to fail in their relationship to God as well as in their relationships to men. In the LXX, although the adjective is not always rendered in this manner by Brenton, frequently verbal forms of the same word are rendered as to break a covenant (see Ezra 10:2, 10, Nehemiah 1:8, 13:27, Psalms 72(73):15 and 77(78):57).

32 such as these who knowing the judgments of Yahweh [D interpolates “they do not understand”], that they practicing such things are worthy of death, not only they who cause them, but also they approving of those committing them.

All of these sins which first century Romans had been committing, which were all contrary to the laws of God, sodomy, fornication, and the other things Paul mentions here, all invite the penalty of death under the laws of God. At one time they also invited the penalty of death in Rome, however over time those laws were disregarded. However here Paul also asserts that those who approve of these things, whether or not they actually ever committed to them, are also liable to the penalty of death under the Laws of God. From Leviticus chapter 5: “1 And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity.” Perhaps the Septuagint will serve to help clarify the language: “1 And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and he is a witness or has seen or been conscious, if he do not report it, he shall bear his iniquity.” If a person witnesses a sin and does not testify against it or confess it, that person is just as liable for the penalty for that sin under the Law. Approval of a sinful act is indeed tantamount to denying that a sin had taken place.

From Isaiah chapter 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.”

Romans 2:1 On which account you are inexcusable, O man, all who judge, since in that which you judge another, [C reads “since in the judgment which you judge another”] you are condemning yourself: indeed you practice the things which are judged.

Paul is not denouncing judgment. Rather, he is denouncing hypocritical judgment. The “hate the sin, love the sinner” attitude of Judaized Christians is unacceptable, as Paul said at the end of Romans chapter 1 that not only those who commit certain grievous sins but also those who approve of those sins are worthy of death. In 1 Corinthians chapter 5 Paul urges a certain Christian assembly to cast a fornicator out of their company, quoting the Septuagint version of Deuteronomy 17:7 where he tells them “you will expel the wicked from amongst yourselves.” Christians are therefore expected to despise both the sin and the sinner, and to separate themselves from them. However Christians are expected to be obedient to Christ, which, if they truly are obedient, precludes any possibility of hypocritical judgment. The Romans, however, often condemned those who committed unrighteous acts while they at the same time were committing certain other unrighteous acts which had become, as Tacitus put it, “up-to-date”, modern or fashionable.

2 But we know that the judgment of Yahweh is in accordance with truth towards those who practice such things.

Ultimately, Christ is our only judge because only He can determine what is in our hearts, and only He can judge without hypocrisy. Yahweh manifesting Himself in the flesh as Yahshua Christ, He having experienced the flesh can indeed be a righteous judge of all flesh. From Romans chapter 8: “3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:”

3 And consider this, O man, who is judging those who practice such things, then practicing them yourself, that you will escape the judgment of Yahweh?

The Romans as well as the Greeks professed a belief in the continued existence of the spirit of man after death, the concept of Hades and the judgment after death for the deeds of a man in life which, although they were permuted by pagan influences, nevertheless reflected ancient Christian truths. Here Paul challenges such men as to whether they really believe that they could escape the judgment of God, that although they judged others they should somehow be above judgment. The old myths which the Greeks and Romans had kept even after they ceased believing them were indeed based on things which our race upheld to be true in the greatest antiquity.

From a segment of a poem attributed to Hesiod, who along with Homer is among the earliest of the surviving Greek epic poets, from Works and Days, starting with line 238: “But for those who practise violence and cruel deeds far-seeing Zeus, the son of Cronos, ordains a punishment. Often even a whole city suffers for a bad man who sins and devises presumptuous deeds, and the son of Cronos lays great trouble upon the people, famine and plague together, so that the men perish away, and their women do not bear children, and their houses become few, through the contriving of Olympian Zeus. And again, at another time, the son of Cronos either destroys their wide army, or their walls, or else makes an end of their ships on the sea. You princes, mark well this punishment you also; for the deathless gods are near among men and mark all those who oppress their fellows with crooked judgments, and reck not the anger of the gods. For upon the bounteous earth Zeus has thrice ten thousand spirits, watchers of mortal men, and these keep watch on judgments and deeds of wrong as they roam, clothed in mist, all over the earth.” With a few changes the text could almost be mistaken for a Biblical passage (compare the latter lines to Daniel chapter 4), and that is because the Greeks and Romans originally believed in those same things concerning sin and judgment and the resulting punishments by God in which the Israelites believed. They had the truth of God and turned it into lies, because they were indeed the descendants of Israelites turned to paganism.

4 Or the wealth of His kindness and the tolerance and patience that you think contemptuously of, ignorant that the benevolence of Yahweh leads you to repentance?

Paul takes a sharp rhetorical turn here, and hearkens to the fact that Yahweh God had promised mercy and a cleansing of sin to all of Israel, provided that they are repentant and turn back to Him. These are indeed descendants of Israelites whom Paul is addressing, since it could only be said of Israel that anyone “changed the truth of God into a lie,” where Paul is addressing Romans. An understanding in Israel that one's sins are forgiven should stimulate a desire for repentance and a turning to God.

From 1 John chapter 1: “9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

From Micah chapter 7: “18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. 19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. 20 Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.”

From Jeremiah chapter 33: “7 And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first. 8 And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.”

Of course, these promises only apply to the children of Israel, and therefore the Romans must be among those nations which sprung from Israel. Further proofs of this assertion lie in the balance of this second chapter, as well as in other subsequent portions of this epistle.

5 But in accordance with your stubborn and unrepentant heart you store up to yourself anger at the day of wrath and revelation [A reads “requital”] of the righteous judgment of Yahweh, 6 who “will render to each according to his works”.

The last phrase is a citation from Psalm 62:12 and Proverbs 24:12.

Psalm 62: “12 Also unto thee, O Lord (Adonay), belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.”

Proverbs 24: “12 If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?”

Of course, none of these passages can be interpreted outside of this context: that the Law and the Word of God is for the children of Israel exclusively. From Isaiah 63: “19 We are thine: thou never barest rule over them; they were not called by thy name.” To apply these words universally is tantamount to stealing from God. The same Christ who said “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” in Matthew chapter 15 also said “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” in John chapter 10, and He also said “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.... I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil” in John chapter 17.

7 Surely to those with endurance in good works, honor and dignity and incorruptibility they seek, eternal life. 8 But to those of contention, and they who disobey the truth, but are persuaded by injustice: anger and wrath, 9 affliction and strait, on every soul of man who labors to accomplish evil, both of the Judaean at the beginning, then of the Greek;

Here in Romans 2:9 and 10 and in Romans 3:9, and also in 1 Corinthians 10:32 and 12:13, as well as twice in John 7:35 the King James Version translated the word Ἕλλην (Strong's # 1672) as “Gentile”. This was patently dishonest, since Ἕλλην is the Greek word for “Greek”. To substitute a word which in turn is incorrectly said to refer to anyone who is not a Judaean is to intentionally pervert the intended meaning of the original text. Paul's message is describing Greeks and Judaeans and we cannot imagine that he is including anyone else. This is a prime example of the dishonesty which has been injected into Scripture in order to serve universalism.

To the Judaean at the beginning, and then to the Greek because among the tribes of Israel the tents of Judah are to be saved first, which we see proclaimed in Zechariah chapter 12, and therefore Christ proclaims in John chapter 4 that “salvation is from among the Judaeans”, and most of the true Israelites among the Judaeans were indeed of Judah. But they were not the sum total of Judah, by any means. Yet the spread of the Gospel fit the pattern of the will of God. The Judaean assemblies throughout Europe were used as a bridge for the Gospel to reach the dispersions of Israel, which is fully evident throughout the Book of Acts. For this reason also, it was necessary for Paul to go to Makedonia before he went into the Greek cities of Asia, as it is explained in Acts chapter 16. Two notable people came from the dispersions of the Trojans: the Romans and the Illyrians who were also found among the Makedonians. While it is not recorded in Acts, in Romans chapter 15 Paul professes that he preached the Gospel in Illyricum. Ostensibly, the Gospel reached much of the ancient dispersions of Judah, as well as the Judaeans, before it was preached in the cities of the Greeks. From Psalm 114: “2 Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion.” The denominational sects do not understand the identity of Judah or Israel, and they have no concept of Judah as opposed to Israel. Failing to distinguish them they instead imagine Christianity to be a universal religion, which is contrary to the Bible and the words of Christ.

From Leviticus chapter 26: “18 And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. 19 And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass... 23 And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me; 24 Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins. 25 And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.”

Yahweh told the children of Israel by the prophet Amos (3:2) that “You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” In Hebrews chapter 12 Paul says: “6 For whom Yahweh loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives. 7 You endure discipline; as sons Yahweh engages with you. For what is a son whom a father does not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline, of which you all have become partakers, then you are bastards, and not sons [a biological distinction]. 9 Accordingly we have had as disciplinarians our fathers of the flesh and we respect them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of Spirits, and we shall live? 10 Indeed they for a few days had disciplined in accordance with that which is determined by them, but He for a benefit, for which to have a share in His holiness. 11 Now any discipline for the present seems not to be of joy but of grief, though later returns peaceable fruit of righteousness to those having been trained by it.”

Yahweh punishes His children for chastisement, and Yahweh punishes His enemies out of vengeance. Therefore not all punishment is the same. From Deuteronomy 32:43: “43 Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people.”

10 but honor and dignity and peace to everyone who labors for good, both to the Judaean at the beginning, then to the Greek: 11 for there is no respect of the stature of persons with Yahweh.

This Greek word προσωπολημψία (Strong's # 4382) appears three times in the epistles of Paul and also in James chapter 2, where the word is best defined. In the Christogenea New Testament this word προσωπολημψία is the respect of the stature, or status, of persons. A closely related word, the noun προσωπολήμπτης, occurs in the New Testament only in Acts 10:34 and it is a respecter of the stature, or status, of persons. A related verb (προσωπολήμπτέω) appears only at James 2:9. Apparently, these words are found only in the New Testament and in later ecclesiastical writings.

[A further technical discussion of these words shall be included in the notes to this podcast, however we shall omit it here.]

The word προσωπολημψία and related words are a compound of the word πρόσωπον (Strong's # 4383, another compound), which means “the face, visage,’s look...outward appearance, beauty” (Liddell & Scott) and a form of the verb λαμβάνω (2983), which means to receive. The meanings of the underlying words clearly implicate not the body of the person himself, but the appearance, or as it is rendered in the Christogenea New Testament, the stature of a person. In Greek, there were common, simpler and clearer words used to describe the reception of the bodies of persons, such as λαοδόκος and the related verb λαοδέχομαι. This assessment agrees fully with the spirit of the term as it is employed in James chapter 2, and also at Leviticus 19:15, Deuteronomy 1:17, Job 34:19, and Isaiah 11:3-4. Paul uses πρόσωπον in this same context at Galatians 2:6, with the verb λαμβάνω. Likewise he used πρόσωπον by itself to signify appearance at 2 Corinthians 10:1 and 10:7. Similar phrases combining πρόσωπον with the verbs βλέπω (to look) or θαυμάζω (to wonder, marvel) are found at Matthew 22:16, Mark 12:14, Luke 20:21, and Jude 16, and should be treated in the same manner.

The following is repeated from our commentary where we encountered this word in Acts chapter 10:

Many commentators would insist that the use of these words in Scripture somehow proves that Yahweh God does not distinguish between the races, however that assertion is contradicted in many places. As James illustrates in the second chapter of his epistle, this idea rather describes such a difference as that between a wealthy man and a poor man, and he gives a lengthy example:

James 2: “1 My brethren, do not with respect of the stature of persons hold the faith of our Prince Yahshua Christ of honor. 2 For if perhaps a man should enter into your assembly hall with a gold ring in a shining garment, and a beggar should enter in a filthy garment, 3 then you should look upon he wearing the shining garment and say 'You sit here comfortably', and to the beggar you should say 'You stand there', or 'Sit beneath my footstool', 4 have you not made a distinction among yourselves and become judges of evil reasonings? 5 Listen, my beloved brethren: has Yahweh not chosen the beggars in society to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? 6 But you dishonor the beggar? Do the wealthy not exercise power over you, and they themselves drag you into trial? 7 Do they themselves not blaspheme the good name labeled upon you?”

The “stature [status] of persons” here had nothing to do with race, since both Romans [or Greeks] and Judaeans were at the time racially indistinguishable except for their status, which included their dress and customs such as circumcision. Flavius Josephus, in Book 12 of his Antiquities of the Judaeans, explains that if the Judaeans hid the circumcision of their genitals, they could “appear to be Greeks” even if they were naked (Antiquities 12:241). Notice that James compares the treatment of the wealthy to the poor, and says that by discriminating against the poor “have you not made a distinction among yourselves and become judges of evil reasonings?” With this language, James affirms that the wrongful distinction being made is among the recipients of his epistle, and not between those recipients and any outsiders. James' epistle is addressed to the “twelve tribes scattered abroad”, and to nobody else. Therefore he is telling those people that they should not discriminate amongst themselves. The phrase “respecter of persons” must be understood within the context of all of the promises of Scripture which are exclusive to Israel, and the commandments that Israel is to remain exclusive, found in the New Testament in such places as 2 Corinthians chapter 6 and 1 Peter chapter 2. This word προσωπολημψία and the related words and relevant phrases are not to be understood in contradiction to the promises and commandments. Therefore it is a respecter of the status of persons, and it has nothing to do with race, for the non-Adamic races are never included in the covenants of Israel, Old Testament or New. While Peter [where he uses this term in Acts 10:34] mentions “each nation”, he then says that Yahweh God “sent the account to the sons of Israel”, and Peter never intends to transgress that statement, because the Scripture cannot be broken.

The text of Paul's next statement, in verse 12, shows that Paul is contrasting those without the Law and those with the Law, while in the text of verse 16 Paul cites a prophecy of Jeremiah concerning the children of Israel, and he cites it in relation to those without the Law. The entire context proves that Paul is distinguishing the Israelites who were put off from Yahweh, who no longer kept the Mosaic Law, to the remnant of Israel among the Judaeans who maintained the Mosaic Law. When we present the next segments of this epistle, we hope to illustrate these things even further. The comments in Paul's epistles must be understood in their own context, and not removed one verse at a time in order to serve a perverse and unscriptural universalist agenda.

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