NOVEMBER 1, 2007
"For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either"
Viewing the carnage of Judaism, Paul's gut-wrenching sobs and "great sorrow" caused him to commit to writing his understanding of the righteousness of God in the halls of religion.
One must understand that he already possessed the heart of David, the style of Moses, the inward soul of the prophets. He identified with them because his life was in harmony with Jesus and in line with God's plan for the ages. Paul knew the sovereignty of God's election and held fast to the Divine Response toward Elijah.
The dilemma between a pronounced covenant and a wayward populace was a clear one to his pure heart.
The answer to the dilemma was simple, "There is a remnant." That remnant may be the seven thousand during ancient times who had "not bowed the knee" or some other small number as compared to the millions of "confessors" in modern time. It is to the "remnant" Paul directed his thoughts---it is only to them that he declared the truths of these chapters. The same dilemma stirs the heart of purity today…how can one equate the great promises of God to wayward congregations?
Romans 11:19-22 offered the reader a summary statement to pin Paul's previous conclusions upon.
You (Gentile Christians) will say then, 'Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.' Well said. Because of unbelief (of the Jews) they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear, for if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity, but toward you, goodness, IF you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.Paul, a Jew of the first rank, realized why his ministry to the Gentiles was important. His task was to bring into covenant the multitudes of Gentiles who would comprise a "remnant" and bring about a timetable, "the fullness of the Gentiles." In order for his people "remnant" (the Jewish remnant) to have an opportunity to return with all their heart, His work must be completed. It is both of these "remnants" (Jew and Gentile) that must be addressed.
Is this age not like Paul's? The modern "remnant" among Christendom stands out as prominently as the "remnant" of Israel. All the pleadings that John could muster were appeals to the believer "not to lose what has been given."
Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. 9 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; 11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.Paul's teaching was directed to the "remnant" of Israel. Though his heart broke for the condition of his brethren, his actions and preachment was for those who were the elect of God. He did not direct his attention to those of the "non-elect."
(Author's note: I believe the time has come to direct deep, Holy Spirit filled words to those able to receive them. It is high time to focus on calling out to the elect and revealing the encouragement and truths that are theirs. These holy saints need to know that in the plan of God their witness is the one which will stand the test of the ages. Theirs is the fellowship of the saints spoken of in scripture and whether or not the vast majority of congregants can hear and see is of little importance to the prophet. Every message, every preachment, every spoken utterance from pulpit and pew must be directed to the elect of God. The Holy Spirit is in charge of their hearing and seeing. Such utterances may sound cryptic to the multitudes-so let the multitudes examine themselves. The age of the Gentiles is closing and the pruning hooks stand ready.)
Paul had no design by which to fill the early churches with "non-remnant" Jews or compromise his message to accommodate them with titillations. His message was clear: what had happened to the Jews could happen to the Church.
Actually, it has happened. The churches are filled with branches broken off. How does one know this? Use the HOLY test as the method of determination.
For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? For if the first fruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.Let it be known that if the first saints of Israel were holy and their branches were holy, then the grafted braches must be holy. The "whole lump" (Jew and Gentile elect) is to be above all things-HOLY!
The apology of Paul
Romans 9: 2
I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart.Just as Paul aligned his heart with the ancients, so should the anointed by the Lord align their heart with the heart of Paul. The words "great sorrow and continual grief" should characterize every one who knows the heart of God. Paul stood as a lone sentinel at the spiritual gate of the elect. Few shared his grief, even fewer understood why he grieved.
But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel.Could it not be surmised that "they are not all saints who are of Christianity?"
Later, Paul penned:
That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are NOT the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.Much of what is called the church today can be simply stated as the "children of the flesh." They are no more the "children of God" than the Jews of Paul's day. The litmus of the Spirit, if applied to their ranks, would cause an explosion of resentment and a deluge of faith denying pronouncements. (If there is a fire-filled evangel still left on earth, it is time to enter the sacred halls and declare the whole truth of God, well knowing you will soon be removed, your ministry revoked and your reputation smeared by those who hear you. Remember, however, that this matter does not hinge on your will or strength or power, but the sovereign design of the Most High.)
Paul, re-established the doctrine of Sovereignty
So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy…Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills; and who He will He hardens…Does not the potter have power over the clay? … 'I will call them My people, who were not My people, and her beloved, who was not beloved (the Gentiles), and it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, 'you are not My people, there they will be called sons of the living God.'Paul showed in the text that the inclusion of the Gentiles was an offence to the Jews. Moreover, the Rock of Offence was the place the Jews first stumbled and the inclusion of the Gentiles was proof of their "cut branch."
The rock of offense is the same rock of offence today. The stone of stumbling is the same stone. The Jews rejected the Messiah-ship of Jesus. Similarly, the church has rejected Him, His Spirit and His Sovereignty. As He is, we are to be on this earth. He rules and reigns in holiness.
This begins the "Then I say" portion of Paul's treatise, but not before laying before his audience the essence of his soul.
Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.So, the heart's desire of all who are holy and who comprehend the broad scope of world Christianity is the same desire. However, the effort of every true man of God is now directed to the "remnant." Regardless of the mega approaches which are thriving across the globe, the message of the Spirit is directed to the few.
(Author's Note: Relish the passages of Romans 10:8, 9, and 10.* Use them to call the lost to salvation, but do not forget their context. They are hung under this banner:
For they being ignorant of God's righteousness and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.*(At the close of this newsletter, I will spend a moment on Romans 10:6-17.)
The law of the "rightness of God" is greater than any righteousness of man, but it is appropriated to man. Hallelujah. The sons of God are characterized only as "those who are led by the Spirit."
The modern church falls under the same condemnation as the Jews in Paul's day, always resisting the Spirit.
Paul conceded that Israel had heard enough gospel to be saved. They had known enough to bring them to repentance and to the door of salvation, but they hadn't been redeemed. The purpose of the Christian life is to bring the reality of the redemption, purchased by Jesus, into the human heart. Being redeemed is that reality taken hold of and applied in every area of man's being, both for himself and others.
Alas, the words used by Paul are relevant beyond the average churchman's belief:
All day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and contrary people.The issue of the hour is the same as then--that of determining who God's people are. Are they not the same now as in Elijah's day, according to Paul? Are not they the ones whom God has known as His and has sealed? Are not they the ones who have not bowed their knee to Baal? Are not they the Holiness Ones who are not in step with the status quo, but are those small, hidden quantities among the multitudes that can be summonsed by the Lord.
God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew, or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, 'Lord, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.'? But what does THE DIVINE RESPONSE say to him? 'I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.'Let those who honor the Lord wait for His Divine Response. The hidden ones know they dare not move until they hear from the Lord.
Most often the worldly church will not wait, but offers their versions and remedies without consulting the Spirit.
Baal (the economy) still rules in most circles. Sermons are determined by what response the crowd will produce, either in approval through the offering plate or continued assembling at a special locale.
Baal rules only when the saints of God do not rise up and challenge their priests with a God of Fire. (Consider this newsletter a gauntlet across the face of all who are not marshaled by the Spirit.)
What then? Israel (the natural) has not obtained what it seeks; but the ELECT have obtained it, and the rest were hardened.Paul continued:
As it is written: 'God has given them a spirit of stupor…Israel, to Paul, fell away because of the Divine Purpose in order that the Gentiles have an opening to salvation.
He envisioned the Jews' testimony to the world when they finally turn:
For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be for life from the dead?Paul envisioned the same type event happening to the church of the last days:
THEREFORE consider the goodness and severity of God; on those who fell, severity but toward you goodness, IF you continue in His goodness. OTHERWISE you also will be cut off.Paul's "therefore" means "based on everything said before." All the chapters and verses and teaching leading to Romans 11:22 caused him to declare,
"I do not desire brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that hardening in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in…for God committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all…Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!"From front to back, it is all about Him. It is not about the machinations of doctrine or one's belief system. It is not about buildings and programs and fancy schedules. It is about Jesus and the elect.
For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever, Amen.
This holy group has one basic commonality: they are a living sacrifice group and are holy. They are the community of the redeemed. (John Lake said it best. He declared that Jesus has been welcome in our spirits and maybe even our minds, but we have been closed bodied. We have been unwilling to loose ourselves from control and let Jesus control our bodies, so His power can flow through us and heal and touch others.)
"Acceptable to God" means He is the One to be pleased.
"Not conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of your mind."
(This transformation is not a determined will; it is acknowledgement of the mind of Christ within the elect.)
Paul spent the remaining chapters of Romans illuminating the reader about the character of the elect ones:
For I say:
Think soberly as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.No wonder Paul challenged the reader to "make his calling and election sure."
*Now a brief treatise on those most quoted verses in Romans 10:6-17
Paul began with an assertion contrary to those who depended on works and the law.
But 'the righteousness of faith' speaks in this way, 'Do not say in your heart, "Who will ascend into heaven?" (That is, to bring Christ down from above) or, "Who will descend into the abyss?" (That is to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? 'The word (rhema) is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart' (That is, the word [rhema] of faith which we preach.)Word study of this verses reveal some things that translators wrestle with…in depth meaning. It is one thing to translate word by word; it is another to convey the meaning via context. "The righteousness of Faith" speaks differently. It is the speech of Jesus. This means we must walk, talk and feel like He does. We must think like He thinks. We must submit to the will of God like He does. That is the embodiment of the faith walk. It is unnecessary to bring Him back to earth for rhema (revelation). It is unnecessary to bring Him from the abyss, for rhema. The reason we don't need this activity is that the Revelation (rhema) of Faith is near our mouths and near our hearts already-through preaching.
Intricately woven into this passage is covenant. "If thou will confess (covenant) with thy mouth the Lord Jesus."
Next comes belief which means "entrust" or "pisteuo" (believe) with your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." (Note: NT: 4100 pisteuo [pist-yoo'-o]; from NT: 4102; to have faith [in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing)], i.e. credit; by implication, to entrust (especially one's spiritual well-being to Christ): KJV - believe, commit [to trust], put in trust with.)
It is with the heart man entrusts to righteousness (He is out righteousness) and with his mouth covenant is made unto salvation (Romans 10:10). Jesus opened the way for Jew and Gentile to have covenant through Him.
The Jews, in Paul's time, were concerned about being ex-communicated from the temple and the synagogue. The next verse deals with that issue and more, for it is a promise as sure as salvation.
For 'whoever believes (entrusts his total being) on Him (Jesus) will not be put to shame.'Verse 12 emphasizes the fact that Jews and Gentiles all get saved the exact same way, by calling on Jesus.
(NT:1941 epikaleomai calling, [ep-ee-kal-eh'-om-ahee]; middle voice from NT:1909 and NT:2564; to entile; by implication, to invoke [for aid, worship, testimony, decision, etc.]:KJV - appeal [unto], call [on, upon], surname.)
For whosever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be savedTracking this verse are those beautiful verses related to evangelism. Verse 14 asks the question, "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher (a proclaimer or publisher)?
No person can be long in the field of evangelism or missions before these next verses apply.
How beautiful are the feet of them who carry the gospel(Author's Note: I remember distinctly in Busan, S. Korea, Airport (1975) an event that touched me to my very inner being. Having just completed a tour of evangelism in one of the complex suburban areas in Busan (Pusan), a few of those who had believed and put their trust in Christ came to the airport to see me off. Among them was a small woman, I would say, about 30 yrs of age. With a bit of hesitation, she humbly came up to me and looked me in the eyes with tears streaming down, then she took my hands, fell to her feet and kissed each finger for gratitude in bringing her the message of salvation. Then she stepped away and, along with the others, waved goodbye. That was the first of what would be many such occasions over 32 years of ministry in 53 countries. Indeed, "how beautiful are the feet [and hands] of those who bring the gospel.")
Now verse 17:
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word (rhema) of Christ.Yes, the word "God" is a translation of Christos. The word "word" is rhema or revelation.
No wonder Paul's next verse was:
Their sound has gone out to all the earth, and their revelations to the end of the world.Until Next Month,
Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD
Montgomery, Texas 77356
Notes: Don and Beverly Davis, Kerrville, Texas, along with the team of Danny and Peggy Thornton, are taking 350 copies of Sons of Zadok in Spanish to their Honduras meetings. Please pray for them and the distribution into the hands of leadership in that country.
Notes: Kim Freeborn and Passion for Souls Ministry are taking 10 CD's into Germany for leadership meetings there; our blessings on them as they distribute the German Version of Sons of Zadok to those contacts. www.pfsi-ministry.org
Focus On Philippines:
Frank and Hily Carrel : email@example.com
Often, our readers are unaware of the small ministries that we focus upon and have supernatural contact with. Such is the case of a Filipino ministry that is in Iraq, sponsored in part by civilian personnel working there. Some of these personnel are ministers and have dedicated themselves to working in the Philippines after their tour of duty. Shilo Ministries with Frank and Hily Carrel, for instance, report weekly to OEA of their many blessings.
Work in the Philippines:
Bro. Frank and Sis. Hily have opened a fellowship, a school, a feeding ministry and headquarters for other minister's training. Their goal is to be full time on the field by 2009 and have operations in such a condition financially as to expand to larger endeavors.
Shilo Missions International (or SMI), is a Ministry of Unity in the Philippines, Asia, and the Middle East. We 'network' with various ministries and assist them, and in return, they assist us as well.The November l, newsletter dedicates its missionary focus to them.
Example of weekly report:
Work In Iraq:
Here are a few photos from both the Iraq work and the Philippine ministry.
Front Row: Brother Ritchie, Brother Ramon (one of the Elders, Pastor Moore, Borther Norbert.
Front Row: Pastor Moore, brother Jeremy, brother Jun, brother Jaime (now in the Philippines).
Sister Hily Carrel leading services and singing in the Philippines
Praying for the sick and
Feeding Ministry in the Philippines
News From Africa:
Loren and Celeste Davis: firstname.lastname@example.org
We praise God for the great victory we got in the crusade. Kisii was very tough! The day after we arrived a giant 26 wheel semi-truck lost control and sped into Kisii town and slammed into 3 mini busses crammed with people. 33 were killed and 10 were critically hurt. It happened by where we were staying. It was the worst carnage imaginable. It was very traumatic.
We had to prepare for the crusade with the town in great mourning. This was supposed to be the dry season, but it rained torrential rains everyday, especially in the afternoons when the crusade was scheduled. It looked like there would be no crusade. Kisii is also the headquarters and strong hold of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in East Africa. They literally worship the Sabbath there and are the modern day Pharisees. Religion had a great stranglehold on Kisii. Besides that, the people were deeply steeped in the worst kinds of witchcraft, including cannibalism. This was not a city, but a big town.
We prayed, and miraculously the rain stopped for the four days of the crusade! It was truly the hand of God. Preaching was like hammering stone, the city was so hard, but people started coming to the Lord and being saved and healed. Finally, we had a breakthrough. The last day thousands attended and responded to accept Christ, although the field wasn't packed as we are accustomed. The last day of the crusade, we had a memorial for those who lost their lives in the accident, prayed for their families, and I preached about Eternity. It was a very moving day. God visited us with great miracles and the pastors said it was the biggest breakthrough they had ever had in Kisii. We also held a conference in the mornings during the crusade and taught 300 pastors who came in from surrounding villages.
We held another two day conference in Kisumu, Kenya and had over 1200 pastors attend. The theme was Sound Bible Doctrine. Twenty Six (26) of the 28 Bishops of the Kisumu District attended the conference. You would be amazed how far off the Bible so many of the pastors in Africa have gotten, but we thank God, it's starting to turn around. Kisumu is a city of 1 million people. At the end of the conference, the bishops and pastors invited us to come in February 2008 for a major crusade. After prayer and meeting further with them, we have accepted. We are expecting a massive harvest of souls in Kisumu. We need to start building up our crusade account now because we will be home less than three months before we return for that crusade. Pray what part the Lord would have you do. We also taught a two day conference in Kampala, Uganda where 1700 attended, 1300 of them were pastors and evangelists. God really did something mighty there.
We will be in Kenya for another five or six more weeks evangelizing and building 18 churches in villages that have nothing and installing pastors. Thanks for standing with us in prayer and with your finances. Let God use you to hold up our hands as we continue to get this great African harvest in the interior.
From the Mail Box:
Ray/ Sheila, Johannesburg, S. Africa:
TREASURES INDEED- A testimony
One day, towards the end of last year, we felt strongly to go and pray with our friend who was leaving for Israel to speak at a conference. After a time of fellowship she fetched a book given to her, which she had not read yet and asked us to read this while she was away. Ray opened the book, "The Sons of Zadok" (not at the beginning) and started to read a few paragraphs. The words were dynamic and confirming.
We have since read through "Sons of Zadok", "El Punto", and "The Regal Pair." We have just started on "The Seal" and must now go back and study very carefully. Not only has this all become a great treasure (a segulah) to us, but we delight also in the very descriptive and excellent language in which they are written.
There is no doubt that in His grace, Abba Father led us to these books and that with His help we "will go far deeper in the water" than we ever dreamed of.
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