SEPTEMBER 1, 2007
How pleased am I that Paul wrote those three wonder-filled words in Romans 3: 19, "Now we know." It would seem, throughout the whole of this book, a musical chorus should be chanting in the background, "Now we know." So very much is cleared up in the pages of Romans that Christendom would be lacking without it. Answers appear even before their time in history, as the book of Romans "works through" conjecture, hearsay, man's wisdom and heresy. Its themes validate Truth, shine light from the heavens upon the schemes of men and offer to the reader a huge repository of principles to grasp by faith.
These bulldozer words, "Now we know," have taken away mountains and made straight the way of the Lord. Job's testimony, at the end, might have concluded with "Now we know" as joy returned to his life.
"Now we know" is linked to Paul's statement, "we shall know as we are known."
Bursting through the door marked "unknown" enter myriads of saints who do not fear its "other side." These are those who shout, "Now we know." Over religious systems, over deception and over scriptural twisting (to form doctrinal barriers) there comes the shout, "Now we know." Over the deception of politicians and machinations of financial pundits comes that ever freeing chant. Through the Spirit, "We will know!"
Paul's testimony of "now we know" is the testimony of every saint, because God does not leave His people in ignorance; He supplies His people with "guidance into all truth." The Holy Spirit produces a people "who know" upon whom they have believed!
Review of Chapters 1-2
Just in the first two chapters of Romans, which have been the target work for the past two months, readers can proclaim, "Now we know:"
l. "We know" the Sealing of Paul to the gospel of God as an apostle to be to the nations. (The word "separation" in this context means to be sealed into [1:1].) Rome, the capital of all national embassies during this time, was the perfect recipient for a message to the nations. Romans carries a message to all nations. Its truths are primary for all national existence. Paul understood, as both practicing Jew and as a born again believer, the propensity of being a witness to nations. Romans succinctly declared that the Jews were given the Oracles of God as keepers of the truth and were to be the witness to all nations. They botched their duties. Did it make God a liar and a failure?….NO. Similarly, he knew that the saints were given the New Testament Scriptures that are in unity with the Old Testament. He knew their duty was to be a witness to the nations…he cautioned them not to follow the footsteps of folly and be fools.
2. Now we know it is the Spirit of Holiness, who declared Jesus' Son-ship and raised Him from the dead. This is the same Spirit that fell on the day of Pentecost and the One into which Jesus baptizes.
John G. Lake in his message, "The Power of Consecration to Principle," offers this explanation:
"The real miracle of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost was not the outward demonstration of tongues, etc.; but it produces such intense unselfishness in the hearts of all baptized, that they each sold their lands and estates, parted the money to every man as he had need. They were moved by God into one family. Their brother's interest was equal to their own. That was 'Blessed are the poor in spirit.'"They divested their worldly goods, abandoned their selfish dreams and became citizens of the kingdom of God. "Now we know" a principle, which was a part of the great move of God in John Lake's life and perhaps answers many questions about why we have no comparable ministries today.
3. "Now we know" that Paul's view of the calling of God was one of Holiness: (v. 7) "To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints." The word for Saints is "agios" which is translated either saint or holy and would better read: Holiness Ones. He already tied everything else said to verse 6, "Among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ."
In other words, the same calling he received was upon them. The same calling that fell on all the Disciples and those who were in the upper room was to be evident and visible in the Roman church.
(Soon "we will know" the reason why the Church at Rome became what it is today. In Chapters 3-5, Paul laid down markers which defined the holy and the profane. He determined they and all the world should know why catechisms could not be substituted for intimacy with Christ any more than Judaic Law could be. From the first word of Romans, Paul revealed that everything is about Jesus, His relation to the Father, His death, burial and what was garnered through His resurrection…after all he wrote the epistle to the Ephesians and prayed over the saints the prayer beginning in 1:17. He wrote, "That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection (Phil 1:10)."
Rome was the seat of Imperial authority, but a greater authority reigned. Rome was also the center of debauchery, the likes of which the world is only now re-approaching as the Last Days rush toward closure. The wrath of God (1:18) which has been revealed will soon be reality to those who "suppress the truth in unrighteousness." (No greater commentary could be spoken over the Vatican and its Jesuit promoted Universal error.) Although the Roman Church was once an enclave of Jewish believers, who were in majority, it represented a world view due to its centrality. (Fellowshipping believers, I believe, would naturally gravitate to the Roman church, when they visited the capital city of the empire. This would fit with Paul's initial statement about their faith be known all over the world. I also believe that the road to compromise came when the Roman church incorporated belief systems that were taught them from others and eventually compromised their faith by accommodating those who did not have the gospel of Paul.)
Paul's supernatural understanding of future events was given by the Spirit. Herein is why he started in chapter one and spoke against rebellion against the Lordship of Christ and included the sin of homosexuality. *[For those readers in the U.S. a special message is posted at the end of this newsletter.]
Paul did not stop at one sinful lifestyle, but showed how a permissive society sanctions many actions outside the will of God, including homosexual degeneration; such approval (1:32) by society leads to a public who is "undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful." Western Culture, where the Bible has been proclaimed, is not ignorant of these truths. Willingly not only the secular but, alas, the religious community has chosen to disregard the challenges laid down by Paul. These are the societies who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, "Practice such things that are worthy of death [v. 31-2]." Those societies are without excuse before God. Now we know that whoever "approves" those who practice such rebellion are condemned with them. "Condemned by what one condones" becomes a cardinal principle used by God in righteous judgment. (It has been so from the time the Roman church disregarded these principles and plunged itself into a sea of compromise even to the point of a homosexual clergy.)
4. Now we know, "He is not a Jew who is one outwardly…but he is a Jew who is one inwardly and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God." Thank God the body of Believers can rest assured that ALL believers have their salvation through Jesus. There is no separate road for Jews and Gentiles. The covenants of Adam and Abraham come through our Melchizedek-ian High Priest and no other.
In 1955, a Rabbi was presented on stage at East Texas Baptist Univ., Marshall, Texas. He told the audience, "Jews and Christians worship the same God. We are just climbing up the mountain to His City from opposite sides, but we will meet at the top." That was a lie then and it Still is!Chapter 2 revealed the true universal principle. Neither Law nor catechized regulation will save a man from eternal damnation, ONLY Jesus! Over and over in Romans, Paul rips the cover off any man's scheme to circumvent Jesus and His position and power.
Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the WORLD may become guilty before God. THEREFORE by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.True to his mission to the nations, Paul incorporated every scripture from Romans 1:1 to Romans 3:18 in these verses with the word THEREFORE. Rumbling forth from this spiritual volcano is a message to the nations. Summarized it is simple: You will not find redemption in following Jewish Law and tradition (neither could the Ethiopian Eunuch, who was seeking God through this method), nor through catechisms or apostolic regulation. The planned redemption is through the "righteousness of God."
But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being WITNESSED by the Law and the Prophets, EVEN the "righteousness of God" which is through FAITH in Jesus Christ (Messiah) to All and on ALL who believe. For there is no difference.(Author's Note: May the many Messianic groups, who are proliferating across the world, get this truth. Your work and ministry have great place in these last days. To familiarize saints with the Torah and the whole spectrum of the Old Testament is a holy work. Ignorance abounds, because the Old Testament has not been taught in its entirety in Christian churches and groups; such ignorance is inexcusable and the blame is squarely on the clergy. Its re-emphasis has brought revival and restoration like in Ezra's day when the promises of God were proven to be never changing. It has been my observation that the carrying out of the great commission diminishes greatly in Messianic groups, which tend to look inward rather than touch a lost and dying world…do not let this happen, Truth reaches out!
There is also a tendency among these groups to embrace robes, symbols, blow the Shofars and shout in Hebrew, while observing feasts and days, while excluding some brethren or distancing themselves from others…let it be remembered that Romans 3:21 and 22 incorporated the totality of Judaism and crowned only Jesus. The Old Testament, with all it encompasses, is incomplete without the New.
This is why Paul made reference from the Old Testament 26 times before his fourth "THEREFORE." He cited Genesis, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Psalms, Proverbs and the prophets: Habakkuk, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Hosea, Malachi, and Ezekiel (in that order). He quoted passages from the Old Testament five times, including the one which would have broken the bondage of Romanism, "The just shall live by faith." He did all this before Chapter 3:19. (Author's Note: I speak this in love to all the Messianic groups, for there is a great need now to examine all the motives of Christian groupings meeting today. Examination must take place to see if they are in the complete will of God and pure before Jesus. This is not just for the Messianic, but all groups-churches, conventions or fellowships---judgment is now beginning at the house of God.)
(["The Just shall live by faith."] The Protestant Reformation was not just the inspiration of Luther, Knox and Zwingli. It was the Word of Faith advancing on the Roman church, a heavenly word, spoken on earth by Paul. Catholicism has consistently sought to negate that word and even today, in the words of a Louisiana Republican running for office, can be heard again in his writings prior to 1990, "Protestants (are) scandalous, depraved, selfish and heretical.")
Houston Chronicle, August 23, 2007, page A-12
Paul continued reaching into the future, as he laid down four major rules and silenced forever those who claim special dispensations for populations "who never heard the gospel because of their aboriginal or distant origins." He jerked down the banner of "special covenant Judaism" and lay bare, from Genesis to Malachi, the plan and purpose of the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Paul did all this in less than three chapters. (Author's Note: How dare congregations, by the thousands, accept what passes as "pulpiteering" to continue its paltry display of "so-called" power, amounting to nothing more than a "dog and pony show," shouting and spouting that which has no resemblance to power under the direction of the Spirit of Holiness. (Scripture says, "(John 15:5) I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.") Too long audiences that have assembled in the name of Jesus have been exposed to far less than the "Big Life of God.")
By the time Paul reached his fifth "therefore," he stopped the mouth of the Jew without Jesus. He also shut the mouth of those who failed to recognize the continuity of faith through the Law and the Prophets. NOW WE KNOW!
THEREFORE we CONCLUDE that man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. Or is He the God of the Jews only: Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not? On the contrary, we establish the law.
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand and rejoice in hope of the Glory of God.Since this verse appears in chapter five, let it be known it is coupled with the end of chapter four, regardless of how chapter breaks are governed. It is the ninth "therefore" of the 34 used in Romans. Paul was building a huge case for the nations.
Continuing to address the Jews on their turf, Paul focused upon Abraham, pointing out that BEFORE Abraham was considered the "primary Jew," he was a Gentile from an idol worshipping family (4:10). God chose him and faith changed him.
…The sign of circumcision, (was) a *"seal" of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also, and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the 'steps of the faith' which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised. For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, BUT through the righteousness of faith. ….THEREFORE it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be SURE to ALL the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (as it is written, 'I have made you a father of many nations.') in the presence of Him who he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did…"All nations of people can become "the seed of Abraham" by faith. Believers in Jesus Christ know they are recipients of all the blessings of Abraham through their Lord. They too are "not to be weak in faith." They too are not to "waver at the promises of God." They too are to be "fully convinced what He had promised He was also able to perform." They too are to "call things which do not exist as though they did." The saint (to whom this epistle is directed) holds firm verses 24, 25, "It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification."
One may adequately join together these verses with Romans 5:1, 2, while rejoicing with Paul that the message to the nations, whether believing Jew or believing Gentile, is one message: "It's all about Him."
Again, one must look to the end of the chapter to find a statement of premise for all that was taught before.
Moreover (in other words, "on top of all that has been said up to this moment") the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.Paul overwhelmed his audience with some of the most profound theology of the Bible; he extolled the Lord, who stopped him on the road to Damascus and turned his life around.
Battered by prison and beaten by enemies, he declared it to be nothing when compared to:
The love of God (that) has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.He punched through saturated soteriology and settled on the Saviour…it's all about Him. "Christ died for the ungodly (5:6)." Hallelujah! "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (5:8)." Hallelujah! "Justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him (5:9). Hallelujah! "We shall be saved BY His life (5:10)." Hallelujah! "Rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have NOW received the reconciliation (5:11)." Hallelujah!
Paul was running full force through religion and its trashy offspring called dogma and doctrine with a vengeance, when he showed that Jesus was the "Second Adam." He contrasted Jesus with the first Adam.
If by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. THEREFORE, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous.Paul declared that Jesus' offering was different than Adam's offense. In Adam's offense the whole world was plunged into sin. Man's blood and blessing were affected. Through Jesus, man has to choose to receive by faith what has been completed through God's Son. It is not automatic and those who teach such are gravely in error and sin.
If one takes a "therefore" look in Romans, it will illumine the study. Paul's heart is grateful for the grace of God. He is grateful for the mercy of God. He is grateful for Jesus' death and resurrection and what Jesus affected for him. (So are we! Hallelujah!)
Until Next Month, Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.
*Special Note to U.S. recipients: As it appeared in the Houston Chronicle, August 9th, Section A page 9,
"Only after a torrent of criticism from gay donors and supporters over their initial hesitancy did Clinton and Obama release unequivocal statements that they considered homosexuality to be moral, repudiating Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of The Joint Chiefs of Staff."(Based on Paul's letter to the Romans, no Born Again Christian can possibly vote for these two candidates or any others, who condone homosexuality, until they repent and openly confess their sin and error before the nation and the Lord Jesus Christ. To cast a ballot in their behalf would be to approve their statements and thereby enter into the judgment of the wrath of God.)
Message from the author: Thanks to all of you, worldwide, that prayed for me, interceded, sent emails, phone calls, visits and cards to me during my recent physical problems. I am supernaturally recovering and bless Jehovah Rapha, my healer.
Ministry Focus of the Month: Renewal Ministries, Namibia
Here is a synopsis of the Renewal Ministries as related in an email to our office in June. We at Zadok Publications believe it is time to release the knowledge of this ministry to our respondents and ask all of you to pray for them and be careful in the Spirit to do what He says regarding their work. Many references in this email are about the book "The Sons of Zadok."
"Thank you so much for taking time from your schedule to reply and give us permission to teach from your book.
Renewal Ministries started as a home church about 10 years ago, in a small town in the north of Namibia. After 6 years the Lord told us to start a church officially. That same year I started hosting conferences, mainly for women. Since last year our conferences now include men. Out of these conferences the heart of God for the nations was clearly reflected. Since 2006 we have begun to minister internationally (focusing mainly though on Africa). We believe God has given us a mandate to minister as Africans to Africa and from this platform to influence the rest of the world.
Currently, we are building a local church in Tsumeb and have planted our first church further to the North. Apart from the church we are continuing conferences and school where we teach and train intercessors. Your book has given language to what is in our hearts.
During the July, 2007, conference, our 5th National Conferences will be hosted in our Capital, Windhoek. Our theme is "The Threshing Floor." It will be an Apostolic, prophetic, intercession Conference where we are going to begin to teach on Zadok. (Referring to some parts of your book that some ministries focus on people and outward things and not on the ministry unto the Lord. Some huge ministries set the standard on how ministry should be, a lot of hype and running after only miracles, but if you ask them on what revelation they have of God they tell you about their miracles. So Africa is in need of the impartation of "The Sons of Zadok." It is Africa's time. (Authors Note: I wholeheartedly agree it is Africa's time.)
Namibia is prophetically seen as the womb of Africa. Many words have gone out that God is going to use this small nation to influence people for His Kingdom. For us at Renewal Ministries Int., the Lord has given a clear word to this nation, that if Namibia is not going to take up the mantle and take responsibility for it, God will shift it to another nation. So, this is part of our mandate, we have taken responsibility as a voice to the nation, as well as, to train them on the how-to's. In other words, Namibia can take up the challenge of teaching the nations and releasing Zadoks to go and influence the earth.
We cry out for Holiness for the African Bride!
Transcript, After the July Meeting:
"Our conference was a roaring success, we entered into a extreme fight with darkness the devil has put up a fight like I have never experienced before, but He that is greater that is in us than he that is in this world gave us the victory and we took territory in our capital. This past Saturday I went back to the capital for a follow up meeting and it was awesome."
(Author's Note: Now look at the enemy, in this excerpt sent upon their return)
"On our return in our home town we received news that another Christian church come pray during night times on our church property for us to leave the building and not succeed in ministry for they want the building. So the fight is on and we wait on God for strategy." (Author's Note: Does this type thing happen? The enemy is often of the "household." Think about this a while, don't answer until you read II Peter and Jude.)
Vision Statement from Renewal Ministries:
The heartbeat of this ministry is to equip people for prophetic intercession and spiritual warfare.
Our Local Church:
Yearly outreaches to other countries: IN 2006, we raised and trained 70 leaders in Zambia. 2007 is for Tanzania, where we will train more than 400 leaders in three different areas in the Northern part.
(Author's Note: Here are some pictures and biographic data on those who lead this work.
Ronell Jordaan is one of the founders of Renewal Ministries International, and Co-Pastor of Christian Renewal Community Church, in Tsumeb. She facilitated various conferences, locally and has extended her ministry boundaries already into other African Nations. She is a Visionary Leader and Pioneer with a heart to bring individuals and nations to their God given destiny. She answered to the Calling of God to equip His people for WAR. The Prophetic Word for Namibia, "that God will use this nation to influence other nations & the world, if the People of Namibia will not take it serious, that God will shift it to another nation," is taken extremely serious by her.
Sonnet Robberts is one of the founders and Co-Pastor of Agape Church, in Otavi. She facilitated many conferences and leadership training over the years. She is a Bible Teacher of Excellence. Her Gift of imparting & discerning Kingdom Revelation with wisdom and understanding is much needed & appreciated in the End-Time Church.
Gloria Mwashekela a Co-Pastor at Christian Renewal Community Church. She is also a mighty Warrior & Intercessor who will not stop short of the breakthrough. She has the ability to push through in sometimes difficult circumstances. Her Gift of discernment is highly valued & appreciated by the team and is much needed for the End-Times.
Tersia Johannessen is a minister to the children's church of Christian Renewal Community Church, in Tsumeb. She is a Battle Axe that does not stop fighting until she comes out with the spoil. She is a strong leader and has a gift of administration. Her Gift & understanding of Scripture Revelation is highly appreciated.
Rita Herz is a most valued member of the team of Renewal Ministries International, as an Intercessor and Teacher with an extreme prophetic anointing. She has a heart for counseling to see individuals being healed emotionally and spiritually to be able to fulfill their God given destinies. She is passionate and determined to see God's righteousness and justice being established and restored unto all people and in all circumstances
Karen Johannessen received her training as a missionary at Youth with a Mission in Worcester South-Africa. She is currently a minister at the Children's church of Christian Renewal Community Church. Her passion is to see nations step into their God given destinies through the redemption of Jesus Christ. She has a heart for young people, to see them enter into an intimate relationship with God. Her life reflects her testimony of a burning passion for Christ and the Kingdom of God on earth.
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