The Book of Romans : Chapter One
A verse-by-verse commentary by Max Klein
Παῦλος δοῦλος Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ, κλητὸς ἀπόστολος, ἀφωρισµένος εἰς εὐαγγέλιον θεοῦ,
Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus called [to be] an apostle through having been appointed because of [remote meaning: giving the reason for his appointment] the gospel [to communicate the good news of the gospel and the spiritual life] from God [ablative of source].
Paul means little and the perfect name for a person who understood the love of God and that he had no rights before God. He understood that that Jesus Christ is the ruler of the church as per Ephesians 1:22, “And He put all things (fallen angels) into subjection under his feet and gave Him head over all things with reference to the church.” Paul recognized that Jesus Christ was the ruler of the church universal and oriented to this authority structure “Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus.” By using this term, he recognised that as a mature believer he had no rights. Paul was a slave and being a slave, it was the responsibility of God to provide everything he needed by way of logistical grace.
The rest of this verse indicates that it was a judgment call on the part of God which resulted in Paul becoming the twelfth apostle.
The Greek word, apostolos (apostle) is an Attic Greek word which was already 500 years old when used in the New Testament. First, it was used for the highest naval admiral in command of the Athenian fleet and the army in time of war. These men were chosen by a special council and were given absolute authority. This would be equivalent to the authority given to the twelve apostles sent to evangelize the unbelievers of Israel and to the twelve apostles commissioned in the Church Age for the primary function of evangelizing, establishing Churches and writing the New Testament Canon. Regarding its secondary meaning, the Athenian government would delegate authority to a person for the purpose of governing an Athenian colony. This new governor of the colony was called an apostolos as well. Paul, for example, delegated authority to many pioneer missionaries that they might have the necessary power to execute their responsibilities. Therefore, both uses of this word are found in the New Testament.
Who were the apostles to the Lost Sheep of Israel?
Jesus had approximately 5000 disciples at one point in his ministry. Out of these disciples only a small number would be promoted to the position of apostleship. Jesus realizing that he needed to promote some of his students to apostleship went up to a mountain and prayed all night regarding this matter. The next morning, he came down with a promotion list. Twelve disciples were promoted to the temporary rank of apostleship. It was temporary since they would hold this position until 30 A.D. when the Church Age would begin. As believers taught by Christ himself, their responsibility was to give the gospel to the “Lost Sheep of the House of Israel”.
“And it was at this time that he went off to the mountain to pray, and he spent the whole night in prayer to God. When he returned, he called his disciples (approximately five thousand) to him and chose twelve from among them whom he named his apostles [to the lost sheep of Israel]: Simon whom he also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James and John; Philip and Bartholomew and Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot who became a traitor.” (Luke 6:12-16)
What was their responsibility? Jesus gave these twelve the authority and responsibility to evangelize the unbelievers of Israel (Matthew 10:5, 6) and to announce that the rule of the Messiah was coming nearer (Matthew 10:7). They were given the gift of healing sickness and diseases and to cast out demons to identify themselves as the Lord’s apostles as per Matthew 10:1. (Their sensational gifts of healing and miracles were never designed to remove suffering. If so, they would have healed all and performed miracles to benefit all, but they didn’t.) These gifts of healing and miracles were designed to gain an audience and then to give those in the audience the gospel message.
Who were the apostles in the early church?
In the Church Age in order to become an apostle, one had to see the resurrected Christ. “One of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection” (Acts 1:22). The resurrected Christ appeared to the eleven disciples, and to Paul conferring on them the permanent rank of apostleship in the Church Age. “And that he appeared to Cephas (Peter) then to the twelve (the twelve is a title, actually there were only eleven left at that time). After that he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now (still alive), but some have fallen asleep (died); Then he appeared to James (Lord’s half-brother), then to all the apostles (the eleven) and last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared to me (Paul) also.” (1 Corinthians 15:5-8)
What was their responsibility? These twelve men had absolute power and authority to teach the spiritual life of the Church Age, to establish churches, to train men for the ministry and to write the New Testament epistles (Also, a few others wrote who were closely associated with apostles). They had rank with absolute power to get the Church Age started.
As the Athenian Commander had absolute power over the Athenian Navy so the twelve apostles had absolute power over the Churches. To illustrate their power, Paul had the authority and power to turn a Christian over to Satan for the purpose of being tortured to death (1 Corinthians 5:1, 5).
Others were called apostles in the early church!
The second meaning of the Greek word apostolos was used for pioneer missionaries who were under the authority of the apostles. They had tremendous powers, but they were delegated powers. They were called apostles because apostolos is also used for a Greek who founded and governed a colony as we mentioned in the introduction. They did not possess the spiritual gift of apostle, but held such gifts as pastor-teacher, evangelism, prophets etc. Since Barnabas helped Paul on some of his missionary journeys, Paul delegated to him authority to function as a pioneer missionary. “But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their robes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting out” (Acts 14:14).
Also, Epaphras, Andronicus, Junias, Timothy, Silvanus were called pioneer missionaries (In the Greek: apostolos) just to mention a few.
“But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your spiritual ruler (in the Greek: apostolos), a minister to my needs.” (Philippians 2:25)
“Pay my respects to Andronicus and Junias, my cousins, and fellow prisoners who are prominent among the missionaries (in the Greek: apostolos), who also have been in Christ before me.” (Romans 16:7)
“Nor did we (Paul, Silvanus, Timothy) seek glory from men, either from you or from others, even though as apostles (Paul, Silvanus and Timothy) of Christ we might have asserted our authority.” (1 Thessalonians 2:6)
ὃ προεπηγγείλατο διὰ τῶν προφητῶν αὐτοῦ ἐν γραφαῖς ἁγίαις,
Which [gospel] was promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Writings [writings set-apart for the formation of the Canon].
The gospel was taught in the Old Testament as it is in the New, obviously with some differences because the cross had not occurred historically during the time of the writing of the Old Testament. The aorist tense of this participle is a constative aorist; it takes the writing of the Old Testament canon and gathers it up into a single entirety, from when Moses wrote Genesis all the way to the last book, 2 Chronicles. [Malachi is in the middle section in the Jewish canon]. The middle voice emphasises the agent with a view toward participating in the results which means that every man who wrote an Old Testament book was saved and knew the gospel very well. The indicative mood declares the historical reality of the gospel previously promised.
περὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ τοῦ γενοµένου ἐκ σπέρµατος ∆αυὶδ κατὰ σάρκα,
concerning his son who was born from the seed of David according to the flesh [true humanity],
Jesus had to be true humanity and he had to be descended from the line of David. Matthew 1:18, 21, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: His mother, Mary [descended from David via Nathan] had been contractually married to Joseph [descended from David via Solomon] but before [emphatic form in the Greek] they had come together [in sexual intercourse], she was found to be pregnant from the source of the Holy Spirit. [She provided 23 chromosomes from the line of David and the Holy Spirit provided 23 male chromosomes.] (21) She will give birth to a son and you [Joseph] will call His name Jesus for He will save His people [the Jews] from their sins.”
Jesus Christ has three royal families namely divine, Davidic and the Church. As eternal God Jesus Christ is royalty. His title is Son of God equal with the Father and with the Holy Spirit who are His royal family. Jesus Christ in His humanity was born into the Jewish royal family. As humanity He is the Son of David, and therefore the entire family of David which preceded Him and all the family of David that followed Him are His royal family. As a result of his strategic victory over Satan, the resurrected and ascended humanity of Christ was seated at the right hand of the Father and given the designation, King over kings and Lord over lords (to be fulfilled at the 2nd Advent), and with this new title he would be given a royal family namely the universal church. Since the royal family must be formed the Age of Israel came to a halt and the Church Age intercalated.
τοῦ ὁρισθέντος υἱοῦ θεοῦ ἐν δυνάµει κατὰ πνεῦµα ἁγιωσύνης ἐξ ἀναστάσεως νεκρῶν, Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ κυρίου ἡµῶν,
who was marked-out, [by the Divine Decree] Son of God [emphasizes the identity of Christ before the virgin birth/incarnation] by means of power according to the Holy Spirit [the proto-type spiritual life given to the humanity of Christ as per Isaiah 11:2] by means of resurrection from death [physical death; the plural of this noun is many times used for the singular], Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Greek word, horizo in this context means “appointed” or “marked out” by the divine decree. The constative aorist tense takes the action of the verb and gathers it up into one entirety. It takes the virgin birth, the hypostatic union, and everything related to the first advent, and gathers it up into one entirety.
The deity of Christ is called the Son of God because of his role as it relates to the human race. It does not imply that the Son is subordinate, obedient or inferior to God the Father for they are co-equal, co-eternal and co-infinite and have the same attributes etc. As such, God the Son obeys no one. Just as God the Son functions like a son so God the Father functions like a father toward mankind, but God the Son is not a son, and God the Father is not a father.
1. In the divine decree of eternity past the second person of the Trinity was marked out as the Son of God because of His ministry regarding the first advent.
2. It was Jesus on the cross bearing our sins who was judged by the justice of God. This judgment of sin on the cross freed the righteousness of God to provide eternal salvation for anyone who would appropriate the gracious work of the cross by faith alone in Christ alone.
3. Consequently, salvation was completed during the substitutionary spiritual death of Christ on the cross namely he paid the penalty for our sins. After he had paid that penalty, he dismissed his human spirit as per John19:30.
4. The resurrection, ascension and session not only demonstrated the efficacy of Christ’s work on the cross but also His victory in the angelic conflict.
5. For the person who rejects the work on the cross, rejects the love of the Lord Jesus Christ and that of God the Father. For that, he will be punished for all eternity in the Lake of Fire. (Revelation 20:12-15)
διí οὗ ἐλάβοµεν χάριν καὶ ἀποστολὴν εἰς ὑπακοὴν πίστεως ἐν πᾶσιν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν ὑπὲρ τοῦ ὀνόµατος αὐτοῦ,
Through whom [Jesus Christ our Lord] we have received grace and apostleship [there must be a communicator] for the purpose of obedience to doctrine [must learn under authority] among all the nations [believers come from all nations] for the sake of His person,
1. Apostleship is a communication gift. It has no counterpart today in the extension of its authority over all the churches.
2. Pastor-teacher is the comparable gift, but with authority extended over one congregation only.
3. A communication-gift is necessary for every believer to advance to the point of reciprocating God’s love.
4. Believers cannot advance spiritually except under the teaching ministry of their right pastor, whoever he might be.
5. Believers must hear the Word taught for spiritual advance. This involves the concept of academic discipline, respect for authority, and good manners. No one has capacity for life who rejects any system of legitimate authority.
6. The sacrificial life of constant study and persistent teaching is the responsibility of the pastor.
ἐν οἷς ἐστε καὶ ὑµεῖς κλητοὶ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ,
among which [nations] you also are elected [to privilege and opportunity] of Jesus Christ [We are the privileged royal family of Christ.]
Election is the believer’s entrance into the plan of God and expression God’s sovereign will for the believer to have His best. To demonstrate this, he deposited in eternity past great blessings for the Christian in time as well as eternity which we call Escrow Blessings. The equal privilege and opportunity of election means there never has been and never will be a Church age believer who did not have exactly the same privilege and same opportunity to fulfill God’s plan, to reach spiritual maturity, and to receive the fantastic blessings provided for him by God the Father in eternity past.
πᾶσιν τοῖς οὖσιν ἐν Ῥώµῃ ἀγαπητοῖς θεοῦ, κλητοῖς ἁγίοις· χάρις ὑµῖν καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ θεοῦ πατρὸς ἡµῶν καὶ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ
To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called saints [a reference to union with Christ], grace to you and prosperity [escrow blessings] from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ [the Father is the depositor of our Escrow blessings; Jesus Christ is the Escrow Officer].
There are three categories of sanctification in the Christian way of life. Positional sanctification is union with the person of Jesus Christ at the moment of salvation. Experiential sanctification refers to the spiritual life after salvation. Ultimate sanctification refers to when the believer receives his resurrection bodies at the Rapture. Positional sanctification makes every believer in union with Christ a saint (set apart in Christ) positionally higher than angels as taught in Hebrews 1-2. Positional sanctification removes all the barriers related to arrogance, prejudice, antagonism, and discrimination. It removes racial prejudice, cultural differences, social distinctions, personal antagonisms, economic barriers, ideological differences, sexual discrimination, environmental subjectivity, pre- salvation religious prejudice.
Escrow blessings are infinitely superior to all other categories of divine blessings for both time and eternity. There are no set of circumstances that can hinder the conveyance of your escrow blessings. You will receive your escrow blessings as a mature believer even though the rest of the nation may be falling apart all around you. Escrow blessing is a metaphor designed to explain the ultimate blessings available to every Christian in time and eternity.
A metaphor is the application of a phrase or a concept to an object or concept it does not literally denote in order to suggest a comparison. Escrow is defined as a deed, a bond, or other valuable asset in the form of a written agreement delivered to a third person by the grantor, to be delivered to a party of the second part on performance or fulfillment of the escrow conditions. Escrow conditions for us are the execution of the protocol plan of God under the concept of equal time, equal privilege, and equal opportunity. Race, culture, sex, and economic standing are no hindrance to the conveyance of your escrow.
God the Father created an escrow that He might bless us to the maximum. So, the grantor is God the Father who deposited in heaven in escrow greater blessings that stagger the imagination for both time and eternity. Each believer is a grantee. God the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, is the escrow officer and the depositary of these blessings. These blessings remain on deposit until we fulfill the conditions of the escrow by executing the protocol plan of God.
Metabolized doctrine leads to blessing both for time and eternity. During our post-salvation experience as believers, through maximum doctrine circulating in the stream of consciousness, we grow up. We grow spiritually through the various categories of Bible doctrine. Spiritual growth is accelerated by using the Problem-Solving Devices in time of problems, heartaches, difficulties, and trouble. We are tested periodically by God, which helps accelerate our spiritual growth. God never blesses us in time until we have the capacity. Capacity for blessings is in the soul and depends on metabolized doctrine circulating in the stream of consciousness. At spiritual maturity we receive our escrow blessings for time which blessings are doubled after passing Evidence Testing. Immediately after the rapture of the Church, the mature believer receives the distribution of his escrow blessings for eternity. These blessings were irrevocable as of eternity past. If they are not conveyed, then they remain on deposit forever in the heavenly hall of records.
The believer who attains spiritual maturity is classified as a winner, one who glorifies God through the execution of the protocol plan of God, and as an invisible hero who has maximum impact on human history when he reaches spiritual maturity and maximum impact upon angelic history when he passes Evidence Testing. The combination of these two impacts glorifies God to the maximum.
The first thing God ever did for us is the means of glorifying Him. Billions of years ago, God the Father actually deposited into escrow for you as a Church Age believer, greater blessings in two categories namely escrow blessings for time and escrow blessings for the eternal state. Ephesians 1:3, “Worthy of praise and glorification is the God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ.” The term “spiritual” blessings is used because God is the source, not because they are necessarily “spiritual” in nature, for they include many temporal blessings.
Spiritual blessing means maximum awareness of life. You are very much alive, and you savor every moment of life, whether in adversity or prosperity. You have zest for life and an enjoyment of every moment of life, regardless of what it brings. This zest for life excludes being depressed or upset by the ups and downs of life. Spiritual blessing means orientation to objective reality, a maximum amount of objectivity in your life, and the accumulation of all the characteristics of spiritual adulthood. This means a combination of all the characteristics of spiritual self-esteem, spiritual autonomy, and spiritual maturity which results in maximum contentment, tranquility, and happiness in life regardless of your station, circumstances, or status quo in life. Spiritual blessing means maximum use of the Problem-Solving Devices provided by God for spiritual adulthood. (These Problem-Solving Devices are used in varying degrees until you reach spiritual maturity when they are used to the maximum.) The use of these Problem-Solving Devices gives you an edge on life which no one else has. In a moment’s time, you can use occupation with Christ, your personal sense of destiny, plus H, personal and impersonal love, doctrinal orientation, grace orientation, the faith-rest drill, the filling of the Spirit, and rebound; all of which produce a fantastic confidence that is unique and exclusive to spiritual maturity.
Spiritual maturity means maximum blessing in the relationships of your life with God, people, and self. Your relationship with God is fantastic and is based upon a tremendous confidence that, while you have never seen God, you know Him and understand Him as He wants to be understood through the mystery doctrines of the Church Age. You will be blessed in your contacts with all kinds of people, both loving and antagonistic. People can no longer disturb you or cause you to be disillusioned and full of self-pity. Furthermore, you have a relationship with self that is honest and virtuous.
Some of the spiritual blessings specific to spiritual maturity include the following:
Maximum contentment, the stability of happiness.
Maximum tranquility, the backbone of happiness.
Maximum poise, the overt manifestation of happiness.
Maximum capacity for life, for love, and for happiness. This is having a zest for life simply because you’re alive, regardless of the circumstances. Your consciousness of just being alive in relationship to God gives you a zest for life that no system of adversity or suffering can disturb; even in suffering this blessing is never lost.
Maximum production in Christian service from true motivation. This results in receiving gold, silver, and precious stones at the Evaluation Throne of Christ. Your Christian service is related to whatever is your spiritual gift so that you are not in competition with other Christians.
Maximum function of your spiritual gift. If you attain spiritual maturity, don’t worry about your spiritual gift; God will see to it that you are using it.
Personal sense of destiny. You cannot have reached spiritual maturity without having a personal sense of destiny. It’s a wonderful warm feeling to know that you have arrived without being arrogant or vain, yet you do have a sense of destiny. You know that one day in the future you will die. Knowing that you have no control at all over the time, manner or the place of your death gives you great confidence, for death and resurrection are strictly the Lord’s victory.
Maximum virtue instead of self-righteousness.
Maximized personality identification.
As an invisible hero, you have invisible but real impact in four categories: personal, national, and if a missionary international and finally angelic.
The ability to interpret historical trends and to evaluate life from the divine viewpoint.
You are not in any way influenced by the worst things that happen to believers e.g., arrogant self-righteousness, pious hypocrisy, legalism, human good rather than divine good, crusader arrogance, and all the other functions of pseudo-spirituality. Instead, you have maximum grace orientation to life; maximum dependence upon the grace policy of God, therefore, eliminating human dynamics as having any part of the spiritual life; and maximum utilization of the unique features of the great power experiment of the Church Age.
You live within your human limitations in life. You live within the limitations of your environment, and you do so without embarrassment, regret, inordinate ambition, or inordinate competition. You have a dynamic spiritual life (not necessarily a dynamic personality) which glorifies God in every circumstance.
Therefore, you have finally arrived at complete niche orientation, at the point where you can say God’s plan has been executed in your life.
Other spiritual blessings include cognitive invincibility, mental stability, orientation to reality, and grace orientation to life, which includes grace thinking and subsequent grace motivation, grace decisions, and grace actions.
Therefore, you have maximum control of your life through the function of the Problem-Solving Devices of spiritual adulthood. This eliminates the three Cs of the disorganized life: (1) Competitiveness from arrogance, a destroyer of life. (2) Comparativeness from subjectivity. (3) Conspiracy from inordinate ambition.
Categories of Temporal Blessings or Prosperity.
1. Although the emphasis is on spiritual blessings, God does provide the mature believer with temporal blessings as a promotion. However, if God doesn’t promote you, you’re not promoted. God doesn’t promote any mature believer above his limitations, or into a sphere of activity where he would be distracted or his spiritual life neutralized.
2. All mature believers have spiritual prosperity, which is maximum occupation with the person of Christ. Spiritual prosperity means equating living with dying and adversity with prosperity.
3. Temporal blessings vary with the individual mature believer and with his environment. But some of the categories can be noted.
a. Establishment prosperity include the blessings of privacy and freedom; the enjoyment of both life and property; protection from crime, reprisal, violence, and vindictiveness from others; contentment under national disaster; and acceptance by one’s own peers, whether they like you or not.
b. War and national emergency prosperity include the blessings of efficiency, success, promotion, and for some leadership, whether soldier or civilian.
c. Professional prosperity is maximum success or efficiency in a profession, whether law, medicine, engineering, science, military, teaching, law enforcement, athletics, art, music, literature, etc.
d. Business prosperity, where pertinent, means success in business as an owner or an executive of a large corporation, success as a salesman, administrator, laborer, etc.
e. Social prosperity is the possession of loving, faithful, reliable, and stable friends, and maximum enjoyment of your relationships with them. It is the ability to handle all sorts of social situations. Your great happiness and enthusiasm for life is expressed both vocally and in silence with friends.
f. Romantic prosperity can mean a wonderful relationship with a member of the opposite sex where happiness replaces sinfulness. Sinfulness refers to the whole realm of mental attitude and verbal sins. Those are the areas that destroy romance much more than the obvious overt sins of unfaithfulness and adultery. Romantic prosperity is perpetuated under all circumstances of adversity and prosperity. This includes sexual prosperity in marriage. Or it could just mean peace from a nagging wife; nevertheless, a successful marriage is reality.
g. Mental prosperity is the ability to concentrate; to organize both your thinking and your life; to synthesize, to analyze; greater cogitation and perspicacity; courage, which is the ability to think under pressure; the function of wisdom in the exercise of the intellect; the development of common sense and an excellent sense of humor. Mental prosperity includes freedom from the mental sins of fear, worry, and anxiety. The development of normality in life comes from thinking objectively. You will become more observant and aware of others, and therefore not do the things that hurt them. You will have a relaxed mental attitude and a true sense of humor.
h. Cultural prosperity is maximum capacity for good entertainment; the enjoyment of the best in music, art, literature, drama, history, and whatever your hobbies may be, from horticulture to equitation.
i. Health prosperity is given to some mature believers, but if you have violated too many principles of health already you may not have good health, but you will have the ability to cope with your lack of good health. This prosperity means nervous energy and nervous stability, though not necessarily freedom from pain. You can be in good health and have pain. An abundance of nervous energy and stability is a characteristic of all great men of history.
j. Leadership dynamics, though not for everyone, is a blessing for some by virtue of either their genetics or spiritual gift, or it can be acquired. This is the ability to take any assigned responsibility and do it efficiently, cheerfully, and effectively. Therefore, it is the ability to assume authority and responsibility without loss of virtue and integrity, and without tyranny. This is true leadership, not micromanagement or petty bureaucratic behavior.
Several passages refer to some of these prosperities.
a. Proverbs 8:18, “Riches and honor are with Me [doctrine], enduring wealth and virtue [righteousness].”
b. Psalm 23:5-6, “You have prepared for me a table in the presence of my enemies. You have anointed my head with oil. My cup [of blessing] is overflowing. Only prosperity and grace pursue me all the days of my life [escrow blessings for time], and I will remain in the house of the Lord forever [escrow blessings for eternity].”
The impact related to spiritual maturity and escrow blessing is as follows: personal, national, international and angelic impact.
Personal Impact is a category of blessing by association with the winner or invisible hero. Everyone who has contact with him has contact with an invisible hero. All relationships and contacts with an invisible hero result in blessing. There are two categories of blessing by association and/or personal impact namely direct and indirect. Direct blessing from God to those persons associated with the winner or invisible hero. This means fantastic blessing is given to those who are undeserving but who have a relationship with a mature believer. This includes family, friends, loved ones, business associates, and pets. Indirect blessing from God comes by means of the mature believer. Because he possesses all the virtues of spiritual maturity, the mature believer is thoughtful, considerate, kind, tolerant, and often very generous, though in a quiet way. Because of his attainment of spiritual maturity, he shares his wisdom in conversation, and shares whatever else he has. Therefore, to be in his presence is a pleasure. You can count on him not to verbally sin against you or stab you in the back. The mature believer shares both his virtuous personality and his material blessings with those associated with him. He is a source of stability in the life of those around him.
There are six areas of blessing by association.
a. The spiritual periphery refers to those associated with the mature believer in the local church, prayer meeting, prep school, mission board, or in some Christian service organization.
b. The family periphery refers to those associated with the mature believer as husband, wife, father, mother, children, relatives, and even pets.
c. The social periphery refers to friends associated with him.
d. The geographical periphery refers to those associated with the mature believer in his neighborhood, city, county, state, or nation.
e. The professional or business periphery refers to those associated with the mature believer in business, in schools, on athletic teams, medical clinics, law firms, law enforcement organizations, engineering firms, banks, corporations, symphony orchestras, and military organizations.
f. There is blessing by association after death. Those loved ones who are left behind receive the greatest insurance policy provided by association with the mature believer. This could be classified as heritage blessing for the next generation of those who have been associated with the mature believer. Blessing by association continues after the death of such a believer; it extends to the next generation, and sometimes even to the third. This explains how bereaved ones associated with the dead mature believer, regardless of their spiritual status (even unbelievers) receive blessing and prosperity by association. Again, this is part of the explanation as to why some wicked prosper.
National Impact of the Invisible Hero.
1. The mature believer or winner in the protocol plan of God becomes a part of the pivot in the client nation to God, and if he passes Evidence Testing becomes a member of the Pleroma Club (those receiving the fullness of blessing from God).
2. The size of the pivot in the client nation becomes the basis for blessing or cursing to that nation. A large pivot of mature believers means national blessing, national prosperity, and historical preservation. A small pivot of mature believers means the administration of national discipline from God. (This also applies to the number of Pleroma believers)
3. The principle is that as goes the believer in the client nation to God, so goes that client nation.
4. As the pivot shrinks, the client nation to God declines and is eventually destroyed by the administration of the fifth cycle of discipline.
5. Reversionism and apostasy among believers result in national disaster, while having anywhere from 5% to 10% mature believers means national prosperity.
6. This can be called the salt principle, as per Matthew 5:13 or Mark 9:50, where we are said to be “the salt of the earth [land].” This is the pivot and pleroma principle.
7. The client nation to God provides many wonderful things such as: freedom for evangelism, for Bible teaching and the function of the local church, for missionary activity, and for Christian service; free enterprise; and fulfillment of manifest destiny. So, a client nation to God has tremendous responsibility even internationally.
International impact occurs through missionary function.
1. One of the important functions of a client nation is to send out spiritually mature missionaries.
2.The mature missionary must have wisdom and avoid legalism, making an issue only out of the Gospel and doctrine. He must understand salvation, the mystery doctrines of the Church Age and of course the spiritual life as found in the New Testament epistles, and to be able to give a clear exposition in the native language.
3.When mature believers go to non-client nations as missionaries, they are the real source and usually the only source of blessing to that non-client nation.
4. So, through indigenous modus operandi to non-client nations, there is blessing for nations that have no other source of blessing other than the Laws of Establishment. A non-client nation can be blessed by association even with just one missionary who is a winner and an invisible hero.
Angelic Impact of the Invisible Hero:
The Angelic Conflict and Evidence Testing
Evidence testing is Satan’s cross-examination of every witness presented by God in the historical trial of all fallen angels. In human history, man’s thoughts, motives, decisions, and actions are entered as evidence, exhibits, precedents, and arguments in Satan’s appeal trial. Every believer who attains maturity is an argument or witness for the Prosecution against Satan. Evidence testing is Satan’s cross-examination of every witness presented by God.
No believer qualifies as a witness until he has attained spiritual maturity, tantamount to the fulfillment of the protocol plan of God. The three stages of spiritual adulthood (spiritual self-esteem, spiritual autonomy, and spiritual maturity) are the prerequisites for facing and passing the three categories of suffering for blessing, providential preventative suffering, momentum testing, and evidence testing. Passing evidence testing as the highest category of suffering for blessing results in the doubling of your escrow blessings.
Every believer who attains spiritual maturity is a witness for the prosecution, either in the formal trial of Old Testament history, or in the rebuttal phase of the First Advent and Church Age, or in the closing argument and summary phase of the Second Advent and the Millennium.
Evidence testing in two categories is Satan’s attempt, through his cross-examination to discredit those believers who attain spiritual maturity. It appears that Satan in most cases administers evidence testing, but under restrictions imposed by God before the evidence testing begins. For example, Satan was not permitted to kill Job. The two categories of evidence testing are as follows: the relationship to the plan of God test is illustrated by our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 4:1-11 and the relationship to life test is illustrated by Job. Whether it be this category or that category, evidence testing is administered only to the mature believer, for only he is a witness for the Prosecution. Apparently, the spiritually mature believer does not take both tests, and which one he receives is a matter of the sovereignty of God.
A few more points on Evidence Testing.
1. By means of passing evidence testing, the winner or invisible hero becomes a witness for the Prosecution in the rebuttal phase of Satan’s appeal trial which is coterminous with human history. Evidence testing is designed for the maximum glorification of God in the historical extension of the angelic conflict. Evidence testing related to Life often temporarily removes certain escrow blessings distributed at the point of spiritual maturity, as in the cases of Abraham in principle, and Job. Usually, evidence testing comes to the mature believer without warning, since it is generally administered by Satan. To resolve Satan’s appeal trial in favor of the Prosecution and to see if the Source of blessing is greater than the blessing itself, the mature believer enters into this stage of suffering for blessing. Evidence testing as undeserved suffering for blessing demands the highest function of personal love for God as your motivation. Passing this test causes the elect angels to cheer.
2. Temporary loss of escrow blessings in time as part of Evidence Testing is the ultimate honor that God can bestow on an individual. The temporary loss of escrow blessings in time provides the ultimate in spiritual experience. To be deprived of everything and to be totally occupied with the Lord is the highest function in the spiritual life. Job said in Job 1:21, “The Lord gives, the Lord takes away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” While the blessing may be removed, the Source cannot be and will not be removed. If you still have the Source, even though the blessing is gone temporarily, you still have that Source and the possibility of even greater blessings. The real blessing comes from knowing the Source is permanent. As long as you have the Source, you have everything even when you have nothing.
Dying Blessings belongs to the Invisible Hero, the mature believer who has taken Evidence Testing. This represents the doctrine of dying grace which is the dying status of the winner or mature believer. Whether he has a quick and painless death or a prolonged and painful death, the mature believer will have the greatest blessing of his life as he crosses the high golden bridge between time and eternity. God gives him through the objective reality of the absolute truth of Bible doctrine the greatest tranquility that his soul has ever experienced. The believer in spiritual maturity has learned how to die, since he has also learned how to live. In spiritual maturity he dies magnificently as unto the Lord. Philippians 1:21, “For me living is Christ, and dying is profit.” Psalm 23:6, “Only prosperity and grace shall pursue me [prosperity looks for the mature believer] all the days of my life [dying is the last segment of living].”
Πρῶτον µὲν εὐχαριστῶ τῷ θεῷ µου διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ περὶ πάντων ὑµῶν, ὅτι ἡ πίστις ὑµῶν καταγγέλλεται ἐν ὅλῳ τῷ κόσµῳ
First of all I thank my God [the Father] through Jesus Christ [our High Priest] concerning all of you [Roman Christians] because your faith is celebrated in the entire world.
Thanksgiving is that form of worship in which the Church Age believer acknowledges the gracious benefits received from the three members of the Trinity. The power for worship is found in John 4:24, “God is a spirit, and those who worship Him must worship by means of the Spirit [the Filling of the Spirit] and by means of truth [doctrine].” The Filling of the Holy Spirit plus the metabolization of doctrine plus the Problem-Solving Devices on the FLOT line of the soul equals true thanksgiving. The application of doctrine through the use of the Problem-Solving Devices produces the only true thanksgiving. Thanksgiving has no meaning, even for believers, until they are consistently functioning under the spiritual skills. Thanksgiving is a part of the daily function of the ten problem solving devices deployed on the FLOT line of the soul. Thanksgiving is a part of the spiritual life and of worship. Thanksgiving is not some shallow, fleeting system of gratitude for something. Thanksgiving is a moment-by-moment mental attitude produced by metabolized doctrine in the stream of consciousness. Thanksgiving is the mental attitude forged from cognition and inculcation of Bible doctrine plus subsequent capacity for life from metabolized doctrine in the right lobe. Colossians 2:7, “Having been rooted and having been edified in Him, and being stabilized by means of doctrine as you have been taught, overflowing with thanksgiving.” There is a relationship between your consistent perception of Bible doctrine and your attitude of thanksgiving toward God. Bible doctrine gives capacity for gratitude. Colossians 1:12, “Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us for a share in the endowment of the saints in the light [of the infallible word of God].” Thanksgiving is the expression from capacity for appreciation of God and the mental attitude of gratitude toward God. Only winner-believers have capacity for true thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is more than an expression of gratitude, more than appreciation in a human sense. It is appreciation for God, which cannot exist apart from the function of the spiritual skills. Ephesians 5:20, “always be thankful with reference to all things toward God, even the Father, through the person of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Thanksgiving is first of all directed toward God, and as an overflow it is capacity for life and appreciation. Thanksgiving is an index of the spiritual status of the believer. The greater the content of metabolized doctrine in the believer’s right lobe, the greater the capacity for mental attitude thanksgiving in the life. The increased usage of the Problem-Solving Devices of the protocol plan of God results in increased capacity for thanksgiving toward God.
Thanksgiving reaches its peak in personal love for God the Father and occupation with the person of Christ. Thanksgiving fulfills the divine mandates of 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Ephesians 5:20, “Always be thankful with reference to all things to God even the Father through the person of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 9:15, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.” Revelation 7:12, “Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and ability belong to God forever and ever. Amen.” Psalm 100:4, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, honor His person.”
Thanksgiving is a function of prayer. Ephesians 1:16, “I do not cease giving thanks for you, and I make mention of you in my prayers.” 2. Colossians1:3, “We give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.” Colossians 4:2, “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.” Philippians 4:6, “Stop worrying about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Giving causes thanksgiving, 2 Corinthians 9:7-12, “Each person to the degree he has determined [not a percent] by means of his right lobe [by means of his thinking from metabolized doctrine] so give, not from distress of mind [never give because you are pressured], not under compulsion of emotion [giving is worship so worship must be related to doctrine, not emotion] for God loves a grace oriented [gracious] giver. (8). God is able to make all grace abound to you [the grace-oriented believer] that always having a sufficiency in everything [money to give] you may have an abundance for every good deed [Ephesians 4:8]. (9): Just as it stands written [a quote from Psalm 112:9], “He scatters abroad [God gives money to certain people]; he gave it to the poor. His righteousness abides forever.” (10): Now he who supplies seed to the sower [capital] and bread for food, He God will supply and multiply your store of seed [your capital] and increase the harvest of your righteousness [Christian service]. (11) You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. (12): This service [giving is recognized as Christian service] that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanksgiving to God.”
Food should be accepted with thanksgiving, 1 Timothy 4:3-5, “[men] who forbid marriage [and advocate] abstaining from foods, which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. (4) For everything created by God is beneficial, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with thanksgiving. (5) for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer” This applies to all food, anytime, anywhere. God has created food to be received with thanksgiving. Thanksgivings before meals is a part of grace orientation with special emphasis on the appreciation of God’s logistical grace provision. Thanksgiving and asking God to sanctify the food, protects the believer’s health from any possible impurities in the food and so that the food will fulfill the requirements of the body when metabolized.
Capacity for blessing means thanksgiving potential. Thanksgiving potential depends on the amount of Bible doctrine in the soul of the believer, so that the believer who is blessed is occupied with the Giver as well as the gift. And to enjoy the gift, the person who is thankful must be occupied with the Giver. True happiness is loving the Giver more than the gift. Capacity for life is to enjoy the Giver more than the gift.
µάρτυς γάρ µού ἐστιν ὁ θεός, ᾧ λατρεύω ἐν τῷ πνεύµατί µου ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ, ὡς ἀδιαλείπτως µνείαν ὑµῶν ποιοῦµαι
For God is my witness, whom I serve by my spirit by means of the good-news [how Paul was saved and lived his life] with reference to his son, how I constantly make mention of you,
“I make mention” is the present middle indicative of the verb poiew. The present tense is a historical present, it views the past event of Paul’s intercessory prayers for the Romans with the vividness of a present occurrence. He remembers them in prayer even though he doesn’t know them. Their fame has gone before them; their attitude toward doctrine has become well known. Their dynamic attitude toward doctrine motivates Paul to pray for them. Note that Paul makes intercession for believers whom he has never seen.
πάντοτε ἐπὶ τῶν προσευχῶν µου, δεόµενος εἴ πως ἤδη ποτὲ εὐοδωθήσοµαι ἐν τῷ θελήµατι τοῦ θεοῦ ἐλθεῖν πρὸς ὑµᾶς.
always in my prayers when I offer a petition if somehow now [in 58 A.D.] at last I will succeed by the will of God to come to you.
It was God’s will for Paul to go to Rome. In 58 A.D., Paul intended to go to Rome as he should have since they wanted and needed his teaching. However, he becomes emotional for his countrymen who are neither interested in the gospel nor in learning the spiritual life. Due to emotionalism which led to an irrational decision to postpone his trip to Rome as was the will of God, he decided to go to Jerusalem. This resulted in the Lord punishing Paul with 2 years of incarceration in Caesarea and 2 years of house arrest in Rome.
Though Paul knew it was the will of God for him to go to Rome in 58 A.D., he in emotional revolt of Reversionism, went in the apposite direction. Instead of going to the unbelievers in the West who wanted the gospel, he went to those who had already rejected it in the east namely Judea. Instead of going to the Christians in Rome who were waiting eagerly for the teaching of Paul, he went to those legalists who had no desire to listen to Paul’s grace messages.
ἐπιποθῶ γὰρ ἰδεῖν ὑµᾶς, ἵνα τι µεταδῶ χάρισµα ὑµῖν πνευµατικὸν εἰς τὸ στηριχθῆναι ὑµᾶς,
For I am longing to see you that I might share with you something [of importance] with reference to my spiritual gift [from my spiritual gift as an apostle] with the result that you might be stabilized.
Paul longs to see them because he knows that he can help them through his knowledge of the spiritual life and his spiritual gift of teaching.
τοῦτο δέ ἐστιν συµπαρακληθῆναι ἐν ὑµῖν διὰ τῆς ἐν ἀλλήλοις πίστεως ὑµῶν τε καὶ ἐµοῦ.
But this must be added namely to be encouraged together with you through one another's doctrine [faith], both yours and mine
They will be stabilized and encouraged through Paul’s teaching of doctrine from his spiritual gift of apostleship, and Paul will be encouraged by their learning and application of doctrine. The communicator is encouraged by the advancement of the members of the congregation. When the church is functioning properly there is mutual benefit between the communicator, and his congregation.
οὐ θέλω δὲ ὑµᾶς ἀγνοεῖν, ἀδελφοί, ὅτι πολλάκις προεθέµην ἐλθεῖν πρὸς ὑµᾶς, καὶ ἐκωλύθην ἄχρι τοῦ δεῦρο, ἵνα τινὰ καρπὸν σχῶ καὶ ἐν ὑµῖν καθὼς καὶ ἐν τοῖς λοιποῖς ἔθνεσιν.
Moreover, I do not wish you to be unaware, brethren, that often I had intended to come face to face with you but was forbidden until now [in 58 A.D.] that I might begin to have some production [from teaching the spiritual life] among you as among the rest of the gentiles [in Antioch, Syria and the regions about, Asian Minor, and Greece].
Until 58 A.D., Paul had to start many churches in Asian Minor and in Greece. Furthermore, he had to stabilize these Christians in these churches through the teaching of the spiritual life. By 58 A.D. he not only had accomplished this, but he has also appointed pastors for these churches. Now, finally, he is free to move westward to Rome. Paul started in Antioch, Syria and had been moving westward, and by going to Rome he would have been continuing his westward ministry.
1. God’s timing is perfect. Until now, the Roman believers were not even ready for Paul’s ministry, though they didn’t know it.
2. Rome is now open to Paul’s teaching. Up until now it had not been.
3. This Roman epistle was to be an introduction to Paul’s teaching in Rome.
4. While Rome is now open Jerusalem is closed.
5. Shortly after writing this letter Paul must decide between Rome and Jerusalem, between doctrine and emotion.
6. It was Paul’s erroneous decision to go to Jerusalem which resulted in his reversionism and incarceration.
7. When you have a choice to make between doctrine and how you feel, never go by how you feel.
Only God knows the open and the closed doors. Therefore, the greatest issue in our lives is divine guidance. What appears to be an open door may be a closed one. What appears to be a closed door may be an open one. The only way one can make a rational decision about it is to have enough doctrine to be led by the Lord.
Ἕλλησίν τε καὶ βαρβάροις, σοφοῖς τε καὶ ἀνοήτοις ὀφειλέτης εἰµί·
Both to the civilized and to the uncivilized [unbelievers] both to wise [mature believers] and to the ignorant [includes baby, adolescent, and reversionistic believers] I am under obligation.
Paul had a sense of obligation based upon a sense of honour. From that sense of honour toward God comes a sense of duty or responsibility toward others.
Literally, it states, “both to the Greeks, and to the barbarians.” The Greeks designates Greek pride, Greek cities, Greek states bound by common custom, culture, religion, race, and so on. The Greeks called everyone else, the barbaros because when others tried to pronounce Greek is sounded to the Greeks like bar bar bar. So, the Greeks called the non-Greeks barbaros transliterated as barbarians. So, the Greeks represent the civilized and the barbarians represent the uncivilized. The dative of advantage means that it will be to the advantage of these unbelievers to hear Paul communicate the gospel message to them, and it would be to the advantage of all believers to hear Paul explain the spiritual life since Paul understood it better than anyone else.
The spiritual gifts of communication whether it be an evangelist or a pastor-teacher, has an obligation to mankind. The gift of evangelism is obligated to all categories of unbelievers among mankind. The gift of apostleship and pastor-teacher is obligated to both the positive and the negative believers in the royal family of God.
οὕτως τὸ κατí ἐµὲ πρόθυµον καὶ ὑµῖν τοῖς ἐν Ῥώµῃ εὐαγγελίσασθαι. Οὐ γὰρ ἐπαισχύνοµαι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον, δύναµις γὰρ θεοῦ ἐστιν εἰς σωτηρίαν παντὶ τῷ πιστεύοντι, Ἰουδαίῳ τε πρῶτον καὶ Ἕλληνι·
Thus, my eagerness to proclaim the good news [both the gospel and the spiritual life] to you who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the good news regarding salvation, for it is the power of God for providing salvation to anyone who believes in Christ, both to the Jew foremost [first in privilege] and likewise to the Gentiles.
The information below is taken from the booklet Witnessing page 14 by R. B. Thieme Jr.
You cannot communicate what you do not understand! The more limited your grasp of the Gospel, the less effective your presentation. As a result, the person to whom you witness may get a distorted or inaccurate picture of the Gospel. Fervent but ignorant witnesses can mistakenly regard true conversion as giving up certain sins and changing wicked ways. Too much zeal and too little knowledge is a dangerous combination. So, you do not obscure the true issue of salvation, an accurate description of the person and work of Jesus Christ must be presented. However, before examining pertinent doctrines necessary for reliable witnessing, note these principles in summary.
1. The responsibility for witnessing belongs to every believer.
2. The basic knowledge of witnessing involves the person of Jesus Christ and His accomplishments on the cross.
3. The challenge of witnessing comes from the doctrine of unlimited atonement (1 John 2:2)—Christ died for all mankind.
4. The method of witnessing is enhanced by your positive mental attitude related to your spiritual growth or maturity (John 15:2–16; 2 Pet. 3:18).
5. Confidence in witnessing comes from your own assurance of eternal security (John 10:28).
6. The effectiveness of witnessing depends on the ministry of God the Holy Spirit (John 16:7–11).
7. The communication of witnessing occurs in two ways—the example of your life (2 Cor. 3:3; 6:3) and the words of your lips (2 Cor. 5:18–21; 6:2).
8. The reward for witnessing is a part of your blessings in time and eternity (Dan. 12:3).
δικαιοσύνη γὰρ θεοῦ ἐν αὐτῷ ἀποκαλύπτεται ἐκ πίστεως εἰς πίστιν, καθὼς γέγραπται, Ὁ δὲ δίκαιος ἐκ πίστεως ζήσεται. Ἀποκαλύπτεται γὰρ ὀργὴ θεοῦ ἀπí οὐρανοῦ ἐπὶ πᾶσαν ἀσέβειαν καὶ ἀδικίαν ἀνθρώπων τῶν τὴν ἀλήθειαν ἐν ἀδικίᾳ κατεχόντων,
For [by the same Gospel] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith [at salvation] to faith [in the spiritual life]; as it stands written [quote Habakkuk 2:4] "But the righteous one [believer executing the spiritual life] shall live by means of faith”. For the wrath of God [ira deum] is being revealed [made evident, plain] from heaven [decisions and judgments from the Supreme Court of Heaven] against all ungodliness [heathenism or unbeliever reversionism] and unrighteousness [after they rejected the truth some become immoral and anti-establishment, others become self-righteous] of mankind who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness,
The paragraph below is taken from the booklet, Heathenism page 7 by R. B. Thieme Jr.
PEOPLE OF PRIMITIVE CULTURES have lived for centuries in the remote mountains, jungles, and deserts of the world. Wherever they are, these communities are far removed from the mainstream of commerce and civilization despite the advances in communication technology. They may be the Papuans of New Guinea, the Hottentots of South Africa, or an Indian tribe in the Amazon. Inevitably the skeptic of Christianity will ask, “What about the ‘heathen’ who have never heard the Gospel? How can these people decide for or against Jesus Christ?” If the skeptic truly wants an answer he should ask, “What about those who apparently have never heard the Gospel?” Although he may be ignorant of the facts of worldwide evangelism, the underlying implication of his question is clear, “God is unfair! How can a loving God condemn anyone under these circumstances?” This accusation against God is a demonstration of their total ignorance of history and the Word of God.
διότι τὸ γνωστὸν τοῦ θεοῦ φανερόν ἐστιν ἐν αὐτοῖς· ὁ θεὸς γὰρ αὐτοῖς ἐφανέρωσεν.
because what may be known [evident, plain] about God is revealed in them [in their souls at the point of God consciousness]; for God has made it plain to them.
God consciousness is defined as the point at which a person becomes aware of the existence of God through at least five theistic arguments for the existence of God. It may also be classified as the point of accountability. If any member of the human race, regardless of geographical or linguistic barrier, desires relationship with God after reaching God consciousness, then God will provide the necessary information (the gospel message) through which that person can believe in Christ for eternal salvation. Every unbeliever has equal opportunity. If any person at the point of God consciousness does not desire to know God, then 2 Cor 4:3-4 applies. 2 Cor 4:3-4 says, “And even if your gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world [Satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelieving.” This does not prevent evangelization of the human race in every generation of human history, even the most isolated places on earth and the most difficult language barriers to overcome. Scripture documents the fact that the gospel has been presented throughout the world, Col 1:6, “that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.” So, no person with normal processes of mentality has an excuse before the justice of God. Exceptions should be noted: those children who die before reaching God-consciousness or accountability are automatically saved; those who are morons and therefore never reach God-consciousness. The love of God automatically provides salvation for those who cannot or do not reach the point of God-consciousness and/or accountability.
There are five ways in which any normal human being can attain an awareness of God. These five ways are called in theology theistic arguments for the existence of God.
1. The Religious Argument. The religious argument contends that God exists because mankind universally believes in His existence. Creatures do not crave what does not exist, and men seek after God. Even religious instincts indicate the reality of a Supreme Being. The concept of man seeking God is found in Acts 17:27, “that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him though He is not far from each one of us.”
2. The Moral or Anthropological Argument. This argument says that to a greater or lesser degree man’s soul possesses both volition and conscience with an urge to choose right over wrong. The structure of human society is based on the recognition of virtue and truth. This phenomena has no explanation apart from the existence and influence of a Supreme Being possessing perfect and eternal integrity. A material, ungoverned universe can know nothing of moral values apart from the absolute righteousness of a Supreme Being. Acknowledging the existence of virtue and truth eventuates in becoming aware of the source of virtue and truth.
3. The Ontological Argument (the Greek stem ont means being) Ontological reasoning says that since the human mind possesses the idea of a perfect and absolute being, such a being must exist. Apart from the religious and moral tendencies, the existence of God is a necessary idea to the human intellect, and beyond the relative which mankind measures there is the absolute which gives value and character to the relative. Anselm in the 11th century a theologian and philosopher began with the concept of God as that which nothing greater can be conceived. He concluded that to think of such a being as existing only in thought and not also in reality involves a contradiction. Remember that the soul of man was made by God in His shadow image. So, the soul, the shadow image should have someway of relating to the reality.
4. The Teleological Argument. This argument is the fact that the universe, by its telescopic and microscopic wonders, always form arrangement, purpose, and adaptation, which connotes a designer. Structure in the universe demands a designer. The more we discover about the perfect structure of the universe in science, the more we recognize the need for a designer. The order of the universe can no more be accidental than the shuffling of twenty-six letters of the alphabet into a beautiful poem. The chemical contents of the human body are never accidentally combined to form man.
5. The Cosmological Argument. This reasoning states that the intuitive law of cause and effect demands the existence of God as the initial cause. Order in the universe demands both a creator and a preserver. The universe presents an overwhelming demand for belief in the existence of God. John 1:3, speaking of Jesus Christ as eternal God, says, “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” Colossians 1:16-17 teaches that Jesus Christ is not only the creator of the universe, but that He also holds it together for the perpetuation of human history until the end of the Millennium, “For by Him were all things created both in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or empires or rulers or authorities. All things have been created through Him and for Him. He has existed prior to all things and by Him all things hold together.” Hebrews 1:10, “In the beginning, O Lord [Jesus Christ], You laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the workmanship of Your hands.” Hebrews 1:3, “He upholds all things by the word of His power.”
Rejection of the truth produces a vacuum in the soul resulting in the infiltration of the satanic lie and the blackout of the soul as per Ephesians 4:17, 18. Thus, heathenism is the result of negative volition either at God consciousness or Gospel hearing or sometimes both. People do not believe the lie until they have rejected the truth. Just as every believer has equal opportunity to fulfill the protocol plan for the Church, so every unbeliever in history has equal opportunity to believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life. To protect mankind from self-destruction, all the evil Satan seeks to perpetuate on humanity, and equal opportunity for salvation God provided both language separation and national boundaries. God also created a new racial species, the Jew to provide gospel information to the human race.
Heathens are heathen not because the Gospel has never been presented in their geographical area, but because they were negative at God consciousness and again at Gospel hearing. The unbeliever who is negative at either God consciousness or Gospel hearing or both enters gate number two of cosmic two and all too often remains under the influence of antagonistic negative volition toward the truth. This is described in 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, “But if our Gospel is hidden [veiled], it is hidden to those who are lost [unbelievers], in whose case the god of this age [Satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelievers [negative volition at God consciousness and Gospel hearing], that they might not see the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ who is the image of God.”
τὰ γὰρ ἀόρατα αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ κτίσεως κόσµου τοῖς ποιήµασιν νοούµενα καθορᾶται, ἥ τε ἀΐδιος αὐτοῦ δύναµις καὶ θειότης, εἰς τὸ εἶναι αὐτοὺς ἀναπολογήτους·
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly perceived, being perspicuous through the things He has created, namely, both His eternal power and His divine nature [such as grace, righteousness justice and omniscience] so that they [the human race] are without excuse. (No defense against the justice of God for negative volition at God consciousness).
Then, Paul states in Acts 17:26-27 that men of all nations should seek the Lord. “And He made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek God [at God-consciousness], if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him [at gospel hearing], though He is not far from each one of us.” Sometimes He directs Gospel information toward a person with negative volition so that those in his periphery with positive volition will have the opportunity to hear and believe. Such was the case with the Pharaoh of the Exodus. Moses told Pharaoh not only how to receive personal salvation, but also how to deliver Egypt from divine discipline. However, since the Pharaoh had been negative at the point of God-consciousness, he also rejected the truth at gospel hearing and hardened his heart. Not only did the divine judgments against Egypt namely the ten plagues demonstrate God’s power, but the news of Moses’ words to Pharaoh was also widely circulated (Exodus. 11:9). Before Pharaoh relented and released the Jews from slavery, there was a great revival throughout the empire so that when the Jews finally departed Egypt, they were accompanied by a large number of saved Gentiles namely the mixed multitude.
This verse emphasizes the teleological and cosmological approaches to awareness of God. Creation demonstrates His existence— His awesome “power and divine nature.” His wondrous works are visible to the heathen. Therefore, they have no excuse for a negative attitude because they have been provided with the clear opportunity to reach God-consciousness. If they desire to know more about God, hear the Gospel, and then reject Jesus Christ as Savior, “they are without excuse.” God is totally just in condemning unbelievers to the lake of fire at the Last Judgment (Rev. 20:12–15). (taken from page 6 of the booklet Heathenism)
For even though they knew him as God [at God-consciousness], they did not glorify [honor] Him [Christ] as God [negative volition at God-consciousness] nor did they feel obligated to thank Him, in fact, as a result of their negative volition they became futile [received worthless thoughts] in their speculations [evil deliberations], and their foolish heart [ignorant stream of consciousness] receives darkness [black out of the soul].
διότι γνόντες τὸν θεὸν οὐχ ὡς θεὸν ἐδόξασαν ἢ ηὐχαρίστησαν, ἀλλí ἐµαταιώθησαν ἐν τοῖς διαλογισµοῖς αὐτῶν καὶ ἐσκοτίσθη ἡ ἀσύνετος αὐτῶν καρδία.
Upon realizing that there is a God in heaven, the unbeliever should be extremely grateful to God. However, the negative unbeliever has no appreciation for his awareness of God and so rejects any desire to know God. This rejection of truth will bring about a vacuum in the soul which vacuum will suck in all kinds of falsehoods.
Ephesians 4:17-19. “Therefore, I communicate this and because of the Lord, I insist that you no longer walk [have a lifestyle] even as the gentile's walk in the vacuum of their thinking [Because the unbeliever has very little truth in his soul, he cannot defend against false concepts], (18) Having been darkened [by a lack of light (truth)] in their understanding and having been alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance which is in them [in their souls], because of the hardness [callousness, scar tissue] of their hearts [of the mentality of their souls]. (19) because they, having become calloused by scar tissue, and they have given themselves over to licentiousness [unrestrained sinfulness] resulting in the practice of every kind of immorality and with greediness [insatiable lust: there is never enough],”
φάσκοντες εἶναι σοφοὶ ἐµωράνθησαν,
Although professing themselves [delusional unbelievers] to be wise, they became fools [from blackout of the soul],
The delusion of heathenism [unbeliever reversionism] occurs when the unbeliever has negative volition at God-consciousness and if he should hear the gospel message negative volition at that point as well. As a result, he goes through the Eight Stages of Reversionism becoming an absolute fool. The present tense of professing is a pictorial present, it depicts the delusion of reversionism in the process of occurrence, a delusion which occurs in every generation. Several generations of negative volition and the nation goes out. Sodom and Gomorrah, Assyria, Chaldea, Persia, the Hellenistic monarchies, Rome, Hitler’s Germany, etc. can give testimony to this.
1. These “fools” accept darkness into their souls and then apply it to life, people and circumstances and call it wisdom—a delusion.
2. This affirmation of non-existent wisdom is the status of heathenism in the last three stages of reversionism—blackout of the soul, scar-tissue of the soul, and reverse process reversionism.
3. The reversionist sets up false norms for wisdom, then uses these false norms to allege and conclude the possession of wisdom.
4.This explains the blindness of the sincere liberal, the do-gooder, the person in politics legislating his delusionary ideas on the peoples of his nation.
5. Negative volition at gospel hearing triggered this unbeliever reversionism. The unbeliever may have been pro-establishment before his rejection of the truth at God-consciousness and gospel hearing. This rejection produces not only scar tissue but a vacuum in the soul by which he will believe every Satanic lie or any other falsehood.
καὶ ἤλλαξαν τὴν δόξαν τοῦ ἀφθάρτου θεοῦ ἐν ὁµοιώµατι εἰκόνος φθαρτοῦ ἀνθρώπου καὶ πετεινῶν καὶ τετραπόδων καὶ ἑρπετῶν.
and they exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and birds and quadrupeds and reptiles.
1.To be the kind of fool described in verse 22 there must be arrogance. and pride of reversionism.
2. Self-righteousness and arrogance in reversionism is creative in the sphere of evil even to the point of creating its own gods.
3.Arrogance sets itself above the essence of God and distorts the perfect attributes of God into ridiculous images of human and animal power.
4. The arrogant man declares that the images which he has constructed are gods by which he may contact demons. The fact that man can manufacture a god is the epitome of arrogance, the quintessence of human folly, and total blasphemy.
Man is corruptible because of his old sin nature; man is mortal because of death; man is perishable because of the human body. All the same, images of men who exercise great power and authority in life are set up and worshipped. Many countries had some form of bird-worship since birds have the power and ability to soar like the hawk and the eagle etc. The bull was worshiped for his power in ancient Egypt and Crete. Today, the cow is worshipped in India. Snakes and crocodiles were also worshipped in many ancient countries. Today, the monkey and even the rats are worshipped in certain parts of India.
∆ιὸ παρέδωκεν αὐτοὺς ὁ θεὸς ἐν ταῖς ἐπιθυµίαις τῶν καρδιῶν αὐτῶν εἰς ἀκαθαρσίαν τοῦ ἀτιµάζεσθαι τὰ σώµατα αὐτῶν ἐν αὑτοῖς,
Therefore, God turned them over to the lusts from their stream of consciousnesses [the sin nature takes control of the soul in unrestrained sin nature function] to sexual impurity [any sex outside of marriage], for the degrading of their bodies with one another. [There is degradation and degeneration such as in homosexuality, lesbianism etc.]
How does God turn them over to their lusts? Though the lusts are part of the sin nature, they can use the vocabulary of the sin nature in tempting others. Furthermore, when the volition of the soul says yes to the temptation of the sin nature, the sin nature moves into and takes captive the stream of consciousness of the soul. Once that occurs, the lusts are now coming from the stream of consciousness. As the Christian rejects truth, a vacuum of the soul will suck in Satanic thinking which process is called blackout of the soul. This will leave the soul vulnerable to the functions of the sin nature including the lust pattern.
οἵτινες µετήλλαξαν τὴν ἀλήθειαν τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν τῷ ψεύδει, καὶ ἐσεβάσθησαν καὶ ἐλάτρευσαν τῇ κτίσει παρὰ τὸν κτίσαντα, ὅς ἐστιν εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας· ἀµήν. διὰ τοῦτο παρέδωκεν αὐτοὺς ὁ θεὸς εἰς πάθη ἀτιµίας· αἵ τε γὰρ θήλειαι αὐτῶν µετήλλαξαν τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν εἰς τὴν παρὰ φύσιν, ὁµοίως τε καὶ οἱ ἄρσενες ἀφέντες τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν τῆς θηλείας ἐξεκαύθησαν ἐν τῇ ὀρέξει αὐτῶν εἰς ἀλλήλους, ἄρσενες ἐν ἄρσεσιν τὴν ἀσχηµοσύνην κατεργαζόµενοι καὶ τὴν ἀντιµισθίαν ἣν ἔδει τῆς πλάνης αὐτῶν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἀπολαµβάνοντες.
for they exchanged the truth of God [understood at God-consciousness] for the lie, and they worshiped and served the creature [Satan and his cosmic system] rather than the Creator [the Lord Jesus Christ], who is worthy of praise and glorification forever, Amen.
For this reason God [the function of the Supreme Court of Heaven] he delivered them over to shameful lusts [of their sin natures]; even their own women exchanged their natural sexual function for that which is unnatural [autoerotism, lesbianism and even bestiality], and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural sexual function with a woman and were inflamed with their lusts toward one another [homosexuality], men with other men committing the shameful deed [homosexuality: indecent acts] and receive in themselves the due penalty of their perversion [many sexual diseases and plagues in history].
This is the degeneracy of homosexuality and lesbianism etc. and it influence where it is accepted and not punished by the law. It creates a degeneracy that destroys a nation.
1. Both homosexuality and lesbianism are not only perverted sexual functions of the sin nature but also manifestations of reversionism and will be punished by the Supreme Court of Heaven as illustrated historically by God’s judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah.
2. Psychologist Alfred Adler admits that “homosexuals have a deep-seated revolt against adjustment to the normal sex role”, plus “a tendency to depreciate females, plus a display of increased over-sensitivity, ambition, defiance, distrust of others, and a desire to dominate.” Lesbians have a similar attitude toward men.
3. No one is born as a homosexual or as a lesbian. Rather these perversions are the result of the rejection of truth.
4. Other sexual abnormalities include: a) Transvestism: A male sexually stimulated by wearing the clothes of a female, and vice versa. b) Sadism: The derivation of sexual pleasure through cruelty and inflicting pain, humiliation, and other forms of suffering on individuals. In other words, they are sexually aroused through brutality. c) Masochism: The derivation of sexual pleasure from experiencing pain and humiliation. d) Necrophilia: Sexual relationship with a corpse. e) Necrosadism: Sexual arousal through the mutilation of a corpse. f) Sexual murder: Sexual arousal by killing another person of the opposite sex. g) Narcism: Sexual arousal from contemplating, admiring, or caressing one’s own body. h) Pedophilia: Called pederasty in which an adult, usually a male, is sexually attracted to younger boys. i) Bestiality: Sex with animals. j) Incest: The sin and crime of having sexual intercourse with a parent, child, sibling, or a grandchild.
All abnormal involvement in sexual sins can be reversed, but the road back to normality is not easy. As it took many sins to get to the point of perverted sexual activity, and it will take many good decisions to recover. However, if the person is or should become a believer, he will need to become extremely consistent in learning the Word of God while simultaneously avoiding those sins.
καὶ καθὼς οὐκ ἐδοκίµασαν τὸν θεὸν ἔχειν ἐν ἐπιγνώσει, παρέδωκεν αὐτοὺς ὁ θεὸς εἰς ἀδόκιµον νοῦν, ποιεῖν τὰ µὴ καθήκοντα,
Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile, to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them over to a depraved [degenerate] mind, to do those things which are not proper [the sin nature controlling the mind],
Not all who reject God at God-consciousness become sexual perverts; some become mental degenerates.
πεπληρωµένους πάσῃ ἀδικίᾳ πονηρίᾳ πλεονεξίᾳ κακίᾳ, µεστοὺς φθόνου φόνου ἔριδος δόλου κακοηθείας, ψιθυριστάς, καταλάλους, θεοστυγεῖς, ὑβριστάς, ὑπερηφάνους, ἀλαζόνας, ἐφευρετὰς κακῶν, γονεῦσιν ἀπειθεῖς,
ἀσυνέτους, ἀσυνθέτους, ἀστόργους, ἀνελεήµονας· οἵτινες τὸ δικαίωµα τοῦ θεοῦ ἐπιγνόντες, ὅτι οἱ τὰ τοιαῦτα πράσσοντες ἄξιοι θανάτου εἰσίν, οὐ µόνον αὐτὰ ποιοῦσιν ἀλλὰ καὶ συνευδοκοῦσιν τοῖς πράσσουσιν
being filled with all categories of unrighteousness, evil, greed, malice; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit; vituperation [they are gossips], slanderers [vilification], haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, irrational, faithless [untrustworthy], implacable [no capacity for love], ruthless [unmerciful]; and although they know the ordinance of God [the Laws of Establishment are taught in a Client Nation], that those who practice such things [rape, kidnapping and murder for example] deserve death, they not only do the same, but they even glorify [also give hearty approval] to those who practice them."
There is no excuse for the heathen, the reversionistic unbeliever for he has rejected that which he has had total cognizance—the understanding of God at God-consciousness and the salvation message at gospel hearing.
Instant adjustment to the plan of God at salvation is as simple as Ephesians 2:8,9; Acts 16:31. Rejection of Christ as savior is instant maladjustment to the plan of God.
1. One of the blessings of instant adjustment to the grace of God at salvation is to have a permanent relationship with God.
2. On the other hand, to abandon the grace provision of God at salvation is the most awful thing which can happen to any individual.
3. The unbeliever in heathenism lives a horrible life and dies miserably only to be followed by eternal condemnation in the eternal Lake of Fire.
4. Therefore, there is a sign at the entrance into heathenism for unbeliever reversionism: Abandon all hope, he who enters therein.