Crusade for Christ
COL. GORDON "Jack" MOHR, AUS RET.
April 16, 1999
Dear Israelite Kinsfolk:
Enclosed you will find a letter written to men in my Prison Ministry, and an enclosed study on the Book of Romans written especially for them.
I did not have the funds available to print these in quantity, as they cost $2.65 each for printing, postage and handling. I had a few left over which I am sending to selected people on my Mailing List who I thought would be interested in the kind of material I share with men in the gulag.
My first interest is in reaching them with a "saving knowledge of the King", and secondly to root and ground them solidly in their Identity faith. I wish I could share with you some of the letters I receive, and show you how many are responding eagerly to a message they never heard before in their Judeo-Christian church. Thank you for your help in making this work possible, and may the Father richly bless and protect you and yours during the critical days which lie ahead.
Your brother and servant in the service of Christ the King,
Crusade for Christ
COL. GORDON "Jack" MOHR, AUS RET.
TO:- ALL MEMBERS OF THE CRUSADE FOR CHRIST PRISON MINISTRY. VARIOUS PRISONS U.S.A.
Dear Spiritual Son,
The enclosed message was written especially for you and comes from my heart. It was designed to help you better understand the Israel Identity Movement of which this Ministry is a part, also the sometimes rather difficult teaching of one of the greatest First Century Christian leaders, our Israelite kinsman, the Apostle Paul.
The Apostle Peter, speaking about Paul's teaching in 2 Peter 3:16 said, "As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned (in the scriptures) and unstable wrest, (twist) as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction (condemnation)." The purpose of this message is to try and explain, at least in part, what the Apostle Paul was trying to convey to modern day Christians regarding the Laws of God, and their responsibilities to obey them.
It has been my privilege for a number of years now; to have been your instructor in the Word of God and our Israelite heritage. Some of you have been in this ministry for several years, others only a few months. Some have been avid correspondents, with scarcely a month passing that we have not been in contact. Some have written only once in the past six months and are in danger of being dropped from this Ministry as a result. Some will drop out from this Prison Family, because my teaching from God's Word, does not conform with what you were taught in your Judeo-Christian church, and seems to difficult for you to accept. I challenge you to show me where I have been Scripturally wrong.
This drop out is to be expected for only "THE CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE" (Romans 8:28), which means those of you who have been convicted by God's Holy Spirit of your rebellion against Him, and have come to Him for forgiveness, and have accepted His Son, Jesus, as your Savior and King can be regarded as the "CALLED OUT ONES". You have become the new creature spoken of in 2 Corinthians 5:17 -"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things have past away; (you no longer seek to "do your own thing", but to obey Him) behold, all things have become new." Many of you in this Ministry have had this personal experience with the King. Some of you pretend to have it, but I can see from your letters that you are far short of what God wants for you. I am not easy to fool, since I have been in the business of working with men for over fifty years; 22 years in the Army, including three wars, and over eighteen in the Prison Ministry. Please do not try to fool me by using Christian or Identity phraseology when you do not mean it. Remember, I am trying to help you and it costs you nothing.
I would need to see you in action, when you face disturbing circumstances, before I could make an honest evaluation of your intentions, so I will not attempt to do this. Your actions are between God and you, and you will have to answer to Him one day. I go by the old adage: "What you do shouts so loud we can't hear what your say!" In other words, as the Apostle James said, (James 2:20) ". . . that faith without works is dead?"
The books I have sent you were meant to lead you to the truth, not only about God's Word, but dealing with our heritage and our enemies. Being a fallible man, I do not claim to be free from error, but have never, and will never deliberately lead you astray from the truth.
Like me, many of you came from a Judeo-Christian background where the traditions of the church had hardened around your mind like cement. In my case, it took the "dynamite of God" through a traumatic experience to blow this away, so that I can now read my Bible and see what it says, not what some seminary educated pastor says it says. Many of you have accepted the truth, not because Jack Mohr taught it, but because the Holy Spirit has shown you, through His Word, that it is correct. You are a joy to me akin to seeing a son graduate from college, "summa cum laude", only much more important.
The message I am including with this letter is important, and I urge you to study it carefully, asking the Holy Spirit to guide you to the TRUTH. It involves one of the most controversial books in the Bible, Paul's epistle to the Church in Rome.
Paul was an Israelite (Romans 11:1), from the Tribe of Benjamin. He was an Israelite brother by birth, and a Roman by citizenship (Acts 22:24-28), and until his conversion to Christianity on the Road to Damascus, (Acts 9) was a Jewish Pharisee, educated by the foremost Rabbi of his time. As Saul of Tarsus, he hated Christians and persecuted them.
Today, there are some in Identity circles, especially among those who accept SEEDLINE teachings, who say that Paul, the greatest, most respected Christian teacher of the First Century A.D. was a Jewish spy, who infiltrated the Christian church to destroy it. They do this on a deliberate misunderstanding of Paul's teachings regarding the law. They are known as "Paul Bashers". In their disagreement with Paul, they often "throw the baby out with the bath water."
This study is designed to explain Paul's teachings to the Christian church, in modern terminology and I pray it will clarify some problems some of you may have had as you read Paul's Epistles and the comments of fallible men concerning them. I believe I have the witness of the Holy Spirit on my side.
Paul was a great believer in FAITH, the kind of FAITH exhibited by the Old Testament heroes mentioned in Hebrews 11, Hebrews and Israelites alike, such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, none of whom were Jews. These were our blood kin.
In Romans 3:31, the Apostle Paul settles once and for all his understanding of God's Law and whether it still exists for believers when he said, "Do we then make void (of non effect) the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law."
I pray you will benefit from this study and if it raises any questions in your mind, feel free to ask. I will do my best to give you an honest answer.
Your kinsman and servant in the service of the King,
THE EFFECT OF PAUL'S TEACHING
ON THE KINGDOM MOVEMENT!
First let me explain what I mean by the KINGDOM MOVEMENT. It is the belief, commonly called Israel Identity, which correctly identifies the White Nations of Christendom, as true Israel. There is over 200 fingerprints in the Bible that establish this Identity. We are the descendants of what are erroneously known as the Lost Tribes of Israel who went into Assyrian captivity for their rebellion against God, and lost their identity as Israelites. (Hosea 1:10)
These people escaped from Assyrian captivity and made their way west and north to Western Europe, the British Isles, and later Australia and South Africa. We KNOW these people are true Israel, for Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." No other nations or people have readily accepted Christ's message. The Judeo-Christian pastors, educated in Jew tainted seminars will tell you that the ten tribes who went into captivity were, lost in the fog of history and that today the Jews are all of Israel. Our Savior repudiated this Himself, when He told the Jewish leaders in John 10:26 "But ye believe (me) not, because you are NOT OF MY SHEEP." This seems mighty plain to me!
Later, the risen Lord called the Jews the synagogue of Satan, (Revelations 2:9, 3:9)
Paul, was educated as a Jewish Pharisee, although he was an Israelite by birth from the tribe of Benjamin (Romans 11:1), and was a Roman by citizenship, who had been educated by the foremost Rabbi of his time, a man named Gamaliel. (Philippians 3:5, Acts 5:34, 35-39)
Paul became the Apostle to the Gentiles, who at that time were a remnant of the Lost Tribes who had settled in Asia Minor. Notice that Paul's Missionary work was all in this region, and when he wanted to go to Asia to preach, he was restrained by the Holy Spirit. (Acts 16:7-10) The reason is obvious, Paul's ministry was to be to his people Israel, who had lost their identity and were now contemptuously called GENTILES by the Jews. Our brainwashed pastors still call us GENTILES, when Hosea 1:10 says we shall be known as the sons of the living God, Christians.
These Paul Bashers love to point out that no one was a witness to Paul's conversion and that we have to take his word for the fact that a voice from heaven spoke to him. (Acts 3:9) They are careful not to point out that God sent a disciple named Ananias to Saul, to restore his sight and baptize him. (Acts 9:10-18) It's amazing how some men are willing to accept parts of the scripture they like, and discard those which do no fit their preconceived notions. I call this Cafeteria religion.
As I mentioned before, these Paul Bashers come mostly from those who teach the SEEDLINE fallacy, which is one of the Jewish fables Paul warned us about in Titus 1:14, and which comes straight to us from the Jewish holy book the TALMUD.
This message is specifically written to you men in the gulag ministry, to give you a spiritual insight into what the Apostle Paul taught and why it is so important to us today. (The modern Judeo-Christian church has also taken Paul's teachings and twisted them around in a direction opposite those of the Paul Bashers. According to the Scriptures, they are both wrong!) What Jack Mohr believes has nothing to do with it, it's What saith the Scriptures?
I will not have time in this message to hit the high points of Paul's message to the Israelite Christian church, contained in his Epistles. I will concentrate on his letter to the church at Rome, which I believe is the most controversial.
A good deal of the information I give you will come from a book titled THE BIBLE READER'S COMPANION, authored by a Judeo-Christian named Lawrence 0. Richards. I am marking my copy at the present time, to show where he has been led astray by Jewish tainted teachings. For the most part this book is excellent and will soon be available to you through the Prison Lending Library. It is one of the finest overall commentaries on the Bible, Old and New Testament I have ever read.
While the book of Acts gives an overall account of the life of the Apostle Paul, beginning with his conversion in Acts 9, Paul's letters to the Christian Israelite churches scattered abroad, begin with the Epistle to the church at Rome. None were written to a Jewish Christian church, for no such animal has ever existed. (You cannot be JEWISH and CHRISTIAN at the same time, for they are headed in different directions and worship different Gods). These letters were for instructional and correctional purposes.
In the Epistle to the Romans, Paul sees himself as a servant of Jesus Christ, sent on a special mission and in verses 3,4 of the first chapter affirms the humanity and deity of Jesus Christ. As a descendant of Adam, and later the Davidic family, He qualifies through His human nature, as Israel's Messiah (Isaiah 11:1).
The physical resurrection of Jesus (Romans 1:4) didn't make God's Son, but demonstrated the truth that He was. Paul recognized this reality and gave Jesus His appropriate name and title. JESUS was His name (some in Identity call Him Yashua, one and the same), and CHRIST, which identified Him as Israel's coming King. He is our LORD, identified in Hebrew in the Old Testament as YAHWEH, which is His personal name in Hebrew and is used by many in Identity.
Salvation in His name gives the believer past (forgiveness for rebellion), present power (to live Godly, God pleasing lives), and future (resurrection and transformation). It brings salvation to ALL, who believe the Word, and are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God (Romans 8:14).
The wrath of God revealed in verse 18, is the result of the rebellion of the creature against his CREATOR. It makes life painful for those who reject Him. It is not that men cannot KNOW the TRUTH, but that they deliberately ignore it because it goes contrary to doing their own thing! CREATION in itself sends a message to all mankind everywhere that there is a Supreme Being, we call God. Man's sinfulness is not seen so much in his wicked acts, but in the manner in which he responds to God.
When men KNEW God, they retreated from this knowledge to worship the creature instead of the Creator and the consequences can be seen in verses 26-32.
Today, we find the general public and even many in the church world, approving practices that God looks on with disgust, (verse 32).
While Richards says: "The Jews had God's Law and were proud of it and their superiority", God's Law was never given to the Jews but to the Israelites at Mt. Sinai. There were no people called Jews anywhere in the world at this time.
Paul's evident intent here is not to describe the way of salvation, as it is the fruits of salvation.
When God judges what we do, those who are saved and possess eternal Life, do so on the basis of Christ's sacrifice for the sins of the world. Our good works cannot produce salvation, for we are saved by the GRACE of God, through FAITH, (Ephesians 2:8). Good works are the result of our salvation, and without them our Christian witness is worthless.
Paul speaking to the Edomite leaders of Jewry is verse 17 says that they "break the Law of God, while boasting of their superiority". This is nothing but an expression of raw pride! Some in Identity have this same weakness.
Circumcision, which was given to Abraham, a Hebrew, never a Jew, was as outward, physical sign of membership in God's Covenant Community. But true relationship with God requires the spiritual circumcision of the heart. Those who rely on circumcision, or keeping the Law, to get into the Kingdom are going to be left outside, weeping and gnashing their teeth.
Romans chapter three begins with a verse that causes some confusion, since it asks the question: "What advantage hath the JEW, or what profit is there in circumcision," He then goes on to explain that "Much in every way; chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God". I am not one who when I come to a portion of Scripture I don't like, say: That MUST be a mistranslation! This quite obviously is, for we KNOW that the Jews received no oracles (this is the Greek word logion, which means utterance of God) and these were NEVER given to a people called JEWS, but to ISRAEL.
Paul teaches the doctrine of total depravity which many in the modern church detest. This means that ALL have sinned. That nature in this imperfect state, is unacceptable to the Holy God, (verse 12).
The Law was a standard for right living. It never had anything to do with salvation. In the Old Testament, a man or woman's sins were forgiven on the basis of a blood sacrifice. We do not need this now, for Christ has become our once and for all time sacrifice for sin.
When individuals fell short of the Law in the Old Testament they had to get back in a right relationship with God through a blood sacrifice. We will not be judged by God, we have already been judged and found guilty. (verse 21) shows us that any righteousness found in the Law must come from human works, while any righteousness God provides comes from His GRACE, as we approach Him for forgiveness.
In verses 22, 23, Paul makes another rather stunning statement, that all the righteousness that comes from God is taught in the Law and the Prophets of the Old Testament. This is not simply a New Testament truth.
Those Christians who delight in calling themselves New Testament Christians, are way off base, for they are saved the same way the Old Testament people were saved. In the Old Testament they looked forward to Christ's death on the cross, while we look on it as an accomplished fact. We are both saved by the same act of FAITH.
In the Greek language, the English word PROPITIATION, is HILASTERION which means: "The averting of just punishment." In Hebrew culture it implies the sacrificial death of a substitute which is what Jesus did when He died on the cross. In 1 John 2:1,2 we are told, "He (Jesus) is the propitiation (the one who saves us from the just punishment of our lawlessness) for our sins, and not for ours (Israel's) only, but for the sins of the whole world." The next time someone tells you that only Adamites can be saved, ask him to explain this scripture.
When Jesus died, He took on His shoulders the awesome penalty for the sins of theworld and we are told in John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world (not just Israel), that He gave His only Begotten Son (Jesus), that whosoever (all inclusive) believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." This is why on the cross we find Jesus crying in agony, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" At that moment God had turned His back on His own Son, that we who believe might have everlasting life. He took our rejection by God on His own shoulders.
Some Identity state that Paul's teachings about GRACE and salvation by FAITH deny the Old Testament revelation of God. Paul says that it upholds it, and gives it the place God intended it to have. In Romans 3:31 he said, "Do we then make void (of non-effect) the Law, through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.1'
A Christian keeps the Law, because under the New Covenant, it has become engrafted in his heart. The writer of the book of Hebrews understood this and explained it in chapter 9.
Christians since the death of Christ do not keep the Law in order to be saved, for Christ made that once and for all sacrifice for our sins on Calvary. This is all we need. We keep the Law because we know it is pleasing to God. In Romans 4:1, when Paul speaks about "Abraham our father according to the flesh," he was speaking to Israelites about their fleshly forbear, not the Edomite Jew who controlled Judaism at this time. He goes on to prove that a right relationship with God, was anchored in FAITH, just as it is now.
Paul indicates that this is not an act of God for the service we have rendered Him. Instead, God relates to us through His promises and we must relate to Him through faith, as shown by our GOOD WORKS. (Romans 4:4) We are not SAVED by them, they are evidence of what has taken place in our lives. The Apostle James gives a concrete example of this in James 2:14-17, when he says that if a brother or sister who are destitute come to us for help and we tell them "be ye clothed and fed", and do nothing to help them "what doth it profit?" It means nothing, for our FAITH without WORKS to back it up is useless.
Our SALVATION depends on God keeping His promise to us, and when we OBEY, this is shown by the kind of life we live, in GOOD WORKS. This is why I have often told you, "What you do, shouts so loud that we can't hear what you say!" You can shout to the roof tops that you are born again, but when a guard gives you and order you don't like you curse him, or as one man did, threw hot coffee in his face, your salvation experience is nothing but hot air, and you are shown up as a hypocrite.
ALL the blessings we have in this life come from God. We could not exist for one minute without Him. The sunshine we enjoy, the air we breathe, the water that is necessary for our existence all come from Him. He can wipe us out like an insect at any time, if He so desires, and we only live because of His gracious longsuffering with us when we are rebellious against Him. In 1 Peter 3:20, the Apostle mentions how in the time of Noah, a long suffering God waited for men to repent, before He destroyed the world with a flood. We KNOW that Noah preached repentance for 120 years as he worked on the Ark, yet only his own immediate family listened to him and were saved. Think about that when you get discouraged with witnessing to your fellowman.
Never think of Christianity as pie in the sky, and the sweet by and by. It is a positive relationship with the King, right here and now, that will carry over into eternity. The Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 2:9, quoting from the Prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 64:4) tells us, ". . . Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love (and I might say, obey) Him." For OBEDIENCE is the sign of our LOVE for HIM. Not what we say, but what we do. We are sitting at a banquet table, piled high with a spiritual feast we can enjoy right now, with much more to come when He returns.
We often complain about the troubles and persecution we receive as Christians, but Romans Chapter five indicates that this suffering shapes us up for that which is good verses 3-5 tell us, ". . . we glory in tribulations also: knowing that TRIBULATION worketh PATIENCE; and PATIENCE EXPERIENCE; and EXPERIENCE HOPE; and HOPE maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us."
In verse 6, we see where the proof of Christ's love for us was shown in His willingness to die for us while we were yet in rebellion against God. Theologians love to debate how death came unto all men through Adam's sin, and our racial heritage from Adam to the present time has been one of sin, disobedience and death, as God promised in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:17) ". . . for in the day that thou eatest (not have sex with, but eat) thereof ye shall surely die." It was the serpent's lie in Genesis 3:4, that convinced Eve that they would not die, but would become like God. Man has believed this falsehood ever since.
How this curse applies to non-Adamic people I cannot answer, but we know it does, although the vast majority of mankind does not come from Adam's seed.
Now that we have accepted Christ as Savior, we belong to a new race. Our heritage is not that of Adam, for whom God cursed the ground so that he would eat in sorrow all the days of his life, and have to combat thorns and thistles, only to die and return to dust. NO INDEED! Now through Christ's righteousness, we can look forward to eternal life in God's presence.
The sin spoken of in Romans 5:11-21, may refer to specific actsof rebellion against God, but may also serve to focus our attention on the corruptness of human nature. The Bible says, ". . . there is none that doeth good, no, not one." (Romans 3:12, Psalm 14:1) In this sense, SIN is a principle that LIVES (dwells) in the human personality. (Romans 7:17) It warps and destroys our desire to understand the will of God and destroys any desires we may have to chose that which is right.
Romans 6:3 does not refer to water baptism, when it says we are ". . . baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?" It refers to the work of the Holy Spirit by which we become organically united with Jesus. (see 1 Corinthians 12:13) "For by one Spirit (notice the word Spirit is capitalized, so we know it refers to the Holy Spirit) we are baptized into to one body . . ." (see Colossians 2:12, Galatians 3:27) The salvation God gives us when we conform to His will is in the present tense and is complete. We are being saved by Christ, right now, as He releases us from the control of sin and Satan, to live a life pleasing to Him.
The tendency to sin remains embedded in our human personality, even after we are saved. This reminds me of a story I heard once about an old American Indian preacher who was trying to illustrate this truth. He said, "It's like there were two big dogs inside of us, a good White dog, and a bad Black one (this illustration would be frowned on today, because of the colors involved) that are always fighting to see who will be supreme." When asked which one won, he replied, "The one I say 'sic em too!" Never be so foolish as to say, "I couldn't help it, or Satan made me do it", for we choose to BELIEVE God and obey, or do our own thing, and DISOBEY! Of course we suffer the consequences for the Law of Harvest immediately goes into effect, that says, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man (woman) soweth, that shall he also reap." (Galatians 6:7) This Law, which is as sure as the Law of Gravity, was written to Christians, it's for Christians, but it operates for everyone, be he President, Pope, a billionaire, or the drunk in the gutter.
When you are saved, this does not mean you have freedom to disobey the Law, but to OBEY it. You do this automatically because you know it is pleasing in the eyes of God.
When a mother tells her little boy, "Don't eat these cookies, they are for your sister's Girl Scout sale", her DON'T makes those cookies that much more appealing to the little boy. Paul reviews the Law system and says that what is wrong with the system isn't a flaw of Divine standards. God's Laws are holy, just, and good. It is you and I who are flawed. We automatically want to do what God says is bad for us. We look at the Law and see where it states, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." We know that we can't keep God's law in our own strength, so we go scurrying to find a way out of our perilous predicament. Paul says the Law becomes the school master to bring us to Christ, for only He has the answer for the sin problem, and is the only way we can reach the Father. (John 14:6)
Paul's experience is that of many Christians. We struggle to do right, but seem to fail again and again, as the thing we know we should do and want to do, we can't seem to do; while the things that are wrong, seem so easy to commit. Our hope is to stop fighting against God, and seek the route of OBEDIENCE to Him which brings about righteous living and happiness.
The question we many ask is how can a Christian live a righteous life without a constant struggle to keep the Law? In Chapter eight, Paul introduces another universal principle. This is the LAW OF LIFE LIVED IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
In verse 1 he says, "There is therefore now no condemnation (Greek, HETAKRINO, meaning: adverse sentence against) to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, (lusts of the flesh) but after the Spirit." (Note that the word Spirit is capitalized indicating it refers to the Holy Spirit) He goes on in verse 2 to explain, "For the law (Greek, NOMOS, meaning: specifically the law of Moses) of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." verse 3: "For what the law (of Moses) could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:" Nothing with doing away with the law here, but strengthening it.
In verse 4 we find, "That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." He then goes on to state an observable fact in the life of a genuinely saved man or woman. Verse 5: "For they that are after the flesh (unsaved) do mind (follow) the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit (the truly born again ones) the things of the Spirit."
It is natural for a genuinely saved person to keep God's Law, since it has become engrafted in his or her heart, The Apostle James backs this claim in James 1:21 when he tells Christians, "Therefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity (Greek, PERISSEIA meaning: abundance) of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted (in your heart) word, which is able to save your souls." He goes on in verse 22 to say, "But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving you own selves." He gives an example of a man in verse 26 who makes a show of his religion, but refuses to control his tongue (gossiping). James said, ". . . this man's religion (belief) is in vain."
Paul has already told us in Romans 2:29, that an Israelite, ". . . which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God."
Remember that circumcision was given to Abraham, a Hebrew, not to the Jews, as there were no people in existence called Jews until 1200 years later. So if a pastor says that circumcision was given to the Jews, you know he is wrong.
Today, under the New Covenant, we focus our attention on responding to God's Spirit, and when we do, we automatically keep His Law. So our obligation as Christians, is not obeying the Law, but obeying the Spirit, and when we do we will keep the law.
Romans 8:14 tells us that, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God (not by His law but by God's Spirit), they are the sons of God."
Paul then looks forward to the day when creation itself will be renewed. While we wait for this day, God's Spirit helps us in our weakness and prays for us in words that cannot be understood by the human ear (verses 26,27).
It is our relationship to God through the Holy Spirit which gives us victory over the flesh and the devil. God has chosen that His CALLED OUT ONES will live in VICTORY, not in the muddy pit of sin. We are to be CONFORMED (Greek SYMMORPHOS, meaning: jointly formed; similar to), the image of His Son.
When we live in OBEDIENCE to God's Spirit, nothing can separate us from His love, (verses 38,39) no earthly force has the power to do this. It is when we live in conformity to His will, that the promise of Romans 8:28 goes into effect, "And we KNOW that ALL things, work together for the good to them that love God, to them who are THE CALLED according to His purpose." The word called as used here comes from the Greek KLETOS, meaning: those who have been invited or appointed.
You become one of THE CALLED, when you accept Him as Savior and turn control of your life over to Him. Paul said in verse 30, "Moreover whom He (God) did PREDESTINATE, them He also CALLED: and whom He called, them He also JUSTIFIED: and whom He justified, them He also GLORIFIED.
While it may seem in chapter nine that God has set aside His ancient people true Israel, and did divorce them for a spell for their disobedience, until the death of their King on Calvary, but now for those who accept Him and His sacrifice for their sins He has given them ADOPTION, and the COVENANTS, and the giving of the LAW, and the SERVICE of God, and the PROMISES. Remember once again, that these things were never given to a people we know as Jews, but to true Israel.
Paul re-emphasizes the fact that it is true Israel, who are God's chosen, then makes a distinction between a descendant of Abraham through the flesh, and a member of the Covenant family. You can be a pure Israelite of the family of Abraham, and never make it into God's Kingdom, that's why Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:3, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see, the Kingdom of God." You get into the kingdom through what you do with the King, not through your bloodline.
God makes a distinction between the physical seed of Abraham, and what He considers His true children, who are spiritual after the faith of Abraham in their OBEDIENCE TO God. Then in verse 6 he makes a rather strange statement, ". . . For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: verse 7: Neither, because they are the seed (bloodline) of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called." This refers to Genesis 21:12, where God told Abraham, ". . . for in Isaac shall thy seed be called," and again in Hebrews 11:18.
God considered some of Abraham's progeny as seed of the flesh, but the children of promise, those who come from Isaac were those from whom the Savior came. In verse 11, he goes on to explain a bit about ELECTION, which has become a bone of contention to many Christians. Going contrary to traditions of the day, God made a choice between the sons of Isaac, Jacob, and Esau, and before the twin boys were born, and had committed any good or evil, He chose the younger, Jacob. In verse 13 he said, "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated." God could look into the future and see that Esau would sell his birthright for a plate of red beans and rice, and would break God's Law by inter-marriage with a Canaanite, while Jacob would be OBEDIENT.
Paul indicates that some people will believe that God is unrighteous in playing favorites and said, "God forbid!" He explains how that God has mercy on some, while the minds of others are hardened, such was the case of Pharoah. So when someone says, "Why does He (God) find fault with me1 when He made me this way?" Paul said, "Who are you to question God?" He goes on to say that when a potter makes a vessel of clay, he has the right to make a vessel of honor (beauty), or a vessel of dishonor (a chamber pot), out of the same lump of clay. He also has the right to destroy what he had made. Then Paul hits on the theme of true Israel in verses 25-27 - "As He saith in Osee (Hosea 2:23), 'I will call them my people which were not my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved." Remember God divorced His Israel people when they went into Assyrian captivity for their disobedience. In verse 26 he said, "And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them (Israel), Ye are not my people; (the counterfeit Jews and Judeo-Christians still call us Gentiles), there shall they be called the sons of the Living God." (Christians) He goes on in verse 27 to say that through the number of the children of Israel shall grow to where they can't be numbered, only a remnant will be saved. You are part of that remnant, if you have a genuine salvation experience with Jesus Christ. The word REMNANT IN Greek, refers to a few. This takes us back to Jesus' statement in Matthew 20:16 - ". . . for many be called, but few chosen." Some of you can relate to this in a personal way, for you have seen men who were under conviction for their rebellion, who refused to accept God's mercy and forgiveness. They cannot enter the Kingdom, through they may be white and of Israel.
Writing about this almost 600 years before the time of Paul, in Ezekial 20:37,38, we read, "And I (God) will cause you (Israel) to pass under the rod, and I will you into the bond of the Covenant: verse 38: And I will PURGE (Hebrew, BARAR meaning: examine, select, choose, purge) out from among you (Israel) the rebels, and them that transgress against Me: I will bring them out of the country where they sojourn (live), and they SHALL NOT enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the Lord." I do not believe this refers to Old Palestine, but to the new land where Israel would go after their Assyrian captivity. We are living in that land today.
Paul uses his argument to show that the chosen people, are not only Israelites, but those who at that time were called GENTILES. Remember they lost their identity as Israel in Assyrian captivity and are now no longer known as Israel, but as the sons of the Living God, Christians. (Hosea 1:10)
When God made His Covenant with Abraham, He chose which of Abraham's seed would inherit it. He chose Isaac over Ishmael, and Jacob over his elder brother Esau. According to Hebrew tradition, Esau should have received the birthright, because he was the first born of the twins. But he had contempt for his birthright and sold it to Jacob for something of monetary value. Hebrews 12:17, says, that he sought the blessing later with tears. (see Genesis 27:34)
God gives no reason for His hatred of Esau, but refers to it again in Malachi 1:2-4, which we see taking place now in old Palestine. God said the Jews will try and rebuild the land, and what they rebuild, He will destroy, because He has anger against them forever.
Paul points out that God is not like a potter who squeezes unresponsive clay into a lump. He does not do this even with those who reject Him. He bears with great patience those who are to become objects of His wrath, but as I said before, "He does not balance His books at the end of the year."
Humans are not clay, and God is not responsible for their sinful condition. Those who are prepared for destruction, are those who choose to disobey God and do evil. Yet in spite of the fact that their evil cries out for Judgment, God remains patient with them, while giving them every chance to repent. A. good example is that of President Clinton, who while claiming to be born again, brings disgrace on the name of Christ by his ungodly living. He has had, and will have other chances to repent. To date there is no visual evidence that he has. "For by their fruit shall ye know them."
God has Sovereign power, and only He can be trusted to use such power wisely. No man other than Jesus Christ, has ever lived who has had this ability. God has proven to us, through His Son Jesus Christ, that He uses this power to choose the course of love and grace in His dealings with the human race.
In chapter 10, Paul argues that God has not rejected His people Israel, but they rejected Him. Remember again, that this refers to His Israel people not to Those who say they are Jews are not, but are of the synagogue of Satan. (Revelations 2:9, 3:9)
Paul had a passionate love for his people, which we should have today. He knew how they had time and time again turned their back on God, and how the Book of Judges has many references to Israel doing evil in the sight of the Lord, and sold them into the hands of their enemies. He also knew how they had gone about to obtain righteousness through their own acts, which is impossible. In verse 3 of chapter 10 of Romans he said, "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." The same is true today. Paul insinuates that while the Good News of the Gospel had been preached to Israel, few had accepted it. Today, our Christian churches are filled with so called born again believers, who to all intents and purposes have become the salt He spoke about in Matthew 5:13, that has lost it's saltiness, it's ability to act like salt and hold back corruption. He said, ". . . it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and trodden under foot of men." It was only good for the garbage heap! Today churches are filled with professing Christians, who instead of being on the front lines in this struggle against wickedness in high places, have become spiritual foxhole dwellers, hiding inside their foxholes, as they ask Jesus to come back and Rapture them out of the results of their Christian apathy. It won't happen!
Over and over again in the Old Testament, God sent prophets to His people Israel and they refused to listen to them. In fact they mistreated many and killed a few who came with messages of warning. Today, the Judeo-Christian church has turned their backs on the WATCHMEN of God, who are trying to warn them from God's Word, about the evils that are about to descend on the country and label us as hate mongers, Right Wing Extremists, and Anti-Semites. Paul indicates that while the message had been preached, few responded to it.
Over and over again in the Old Testament, as God sent His prophets to warn His people, they are referred to as a stiff-necked people. They are called this in many places, Deuteronomy 9:6-13; 10:16; 2 Chronicles 30:8; Acts 7:51.
In Colossians 2:14, Paul speaks about the, "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us (Israel), which was contrary (opposed) to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross." He was not speaking about the Law. The Colossians knew what he meant, for in those days when a man committed a crime and was jailed, the list of his crimes and the sentence was written on a parchment called a libellus, which was nailed to the cell door. When he completed his sentence, or was pardoned, the judge wrote across the face of this parchment PAID IN FULL and signed it, and he could never again be charged with these crimes. This didn't mean he was free to go out and commit them again. Christ did the same with us, and when we accept Him as Savior, it is written across our lives, PAID IN FULL with His precious blood. We can never be held accountable by God for those sins, but this doesn't mean that because past sins are forgiven, we are free to go out and commit others.
When I was in Moody Bible Institute in the late 1930's, I remember an argument taking place among some Judeo-Christians. One made the foolish statement, "Now that I'm saved, I can do what I want and will never perish, for God gave me eternal life." This is why God gave us a safety valve for when we sin, and we will at some time or another." God has said, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9) We are treading a dangerous path, when we believe that because we belong to Him, we do not need to obey His Laws.
This thinking is implied in Hebrews 10:26,27, which says, "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, verse 27: but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation. . ." This is reinforced in Hebrews 6:4-6 - "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, verse 5: And tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, verse 6: If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame."
This backsliding thing is not the simple matter many churches make it out to be. It's exceedingly dangerous to one's spiritual health and can be fatal. Some people go forward to a church altar, read the sinners prayer, sign a commitment card, get baptized and join the church. The pastor tells them they are saved. Then something happens they don't like and they get mad at the pastor, or maybe even at God, and show their disgust by rebelling against God. They do this over and over, and think they can come back to God any time they feel like it. Not so! The only time they can return to God is as the Holy Spirit leads them. I'm not sure, but this may be the sin against the Holy Spirit Jesus spoke about in Mark 3:29. I have seen men and women who have been led to repentance over and over again, and have turned it down. Finally a time may come when the Holy Spirit no longer deals with them and when this happens there is no hope for them, either in this world, or the world to come!
In His sovereign grace, God chooses those who believe over those who think they qualify for His Kingdom because of their bloodline.
Even now, in spite of Israel's general rejection of God, He has reserved unto Himself those who have been chosen by virtue of His GRACE, and not on the basis of their GOOD WORKS.
GOOD WORKS are the barometer that proves FAITH and GRACE.
At this point in his book, Mr. Richards gets carried away with his Judeo-Christian logic and states that the present mass conversion of the Gentiles is a mystery not explained in the Old Testament. There is no such mass conversion of anyone other than Israelites from the Ten tribes who went into Assyrian captivity and can now be found among the White nations of Christendom. This is proven by the fact that over 200 fingerprints that identify true Israel in these closing days of this Age, point to these people. Not one of them applies to the anti-Christ's we call Jews. The reason these White people have responded to the Gospel message is because they are Israelites. Not one single colored nation has ever so responded. They are reached only with much effort, the expenditure of vast sums of money, and on many occasions, danger to the messenger.
I believe we are seeing the fulfillment of Ezekiel's Vision of the Valley of Dry Bones, as spoken of in Ezekiel 37, and that soon, these will stand on their feet, ". . . an exceeding great army". (37:10). Richards, like most J.C. preachers, says that the Gentiles have been engrafted into the Jewish tree. There never was a Jewish Tree, it was always Israelitish. Paul indicates that when the full number of GENTILES (Israelites) are saved, that God will keep His promise and all Israel will be saved. Again, this could not possibly have referred to the Jewish people.
Romans 11:14 says, "If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them." The word FLESH, used here has many meanings in Greek. It is SARX, which means: The body as opposed to the spirit; kindred; human nature with all it's frailties; a human being. He goes on to say in verse 15 - "For if casting away of them (who ever they may be) be reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?"
While the Judah side of Israel was never divorced from God, through inter-marriage with the Edomites, they produced a small percentage of those we today know as Jews. Most of the JEWS are Turco-Mongolian Ashkenazis who never had any connection with Abraham. So "if the root be holy, so will be the branches" and at no place in Scriptures do we find that the Jewish element, even those remotely connected with Abraham, are called holy. Jesus said, "they are not part of His sheep," in John 10:26. In John 8:24, He called them the children of Satan. This indicates to me that the olive tree Paul speaks about, must be true Israel, and not the Jews, who he said, ". . . please not God, and are contrary to all men:" (1 Thessalonians 2:15) The wild branches engrafted into the Israel trunk, must refer to true Gentiles, the heathen who Christ also came to save. He warns them not to boast against the Israel root, which is taking place today. One branch of a Black church, states that all the Patriarchs of the Old Testament, and the heroes of God were Black, and that Jesus was Black. This would have been impossible, for Christ's ancestor David, most assuredly was a White Adamite, since the Bible describes him as "ruddy (reddish complection) and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. . " (1 Samuel 16:12) In 1 Samuel 17:42, when David faced the Philistine giant Goliath, it says that when Goliath looked on him, ". .he was but a youth, and ruddy and of a fair countenance." In Song of Solomon 5:10, which is most assuredly written about Solomon, David's son, it says, "My beloved is White and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand." This is also a description of Jesus. The very word Adam in Hebrew is to show blood in the face; capable of blushing, which is a peculiarity only of the white race.
In a letter written by Pontius Pilate to Caesar, now in the Vatican Library, he describes Christ as having shoulder length chestnut hair and blue eyes. Most assuredly not an African Black.
Since this message is not about race, per se, I will get back to the book of Romans.
The Israel tree was rooted in Abraham's FAITH and OBEDIENCE to God and the present massive Gentile (True Israel) conversion to Christ is evidence of their Israel ancestry. In John 10:26, where Jesus tells the Jews they are NOT OF HIS SHEEP, He goes on to say in verse 27 & 28: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." Before we get carried away with the Doctrine of the Security of the Believer, as my grandfather used to say, "No force can pluck the Christian out of God's hand, but as free moral agent, we can choose to step out", and many have done this and lost their souls. (Review again Hebrews 6:4-6)
The Phillips Translation of the New Testament catches the true meaning of Paul's words in Chapter 12, when it says, "Don't let the world around you squeeze you into it's own mold." Christians don't have to float with the worldly current, we are strong enough to swim upstream.
In verse 2 Paul is trying to tell us, Trust God's will to be good for you, test you confidence in Him by doing His will and OBEYING Him even when you can't understand why, and you will discover God's way is truly good, pleasing, and perfect.
Love is not some abstract concept in scripture it is a way of Life, verses 9-18. Verse 9 says1 "Let love be without dissimulation." The dictionary says that to dissimulate means to hide one's feelings through pretense. verse 10: "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another." In other words, put your Christian brother and sister first in your life. verse 12: "Rejoice in HOPE, be patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;" (pray without ceasing, or be in a prayerful attitude at all times) verse 13: "Distributing to the necessity of saints; (your Christian brethren) given to hospitality." (helping unfortunate folks) verse 14: Bless them which persecute you: bless and curse not." You men in the gulag take special note of this advice is coming from a man who had more persecution than you will ever see, not for doing evil, but for following God. It may seem stupid to you, but I dare you to try it and see for yourself how it works.
Verse 15: "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with. them that weep." verse 16: ". . . Mind not high things, (don't think you are better than other folks) but condescend to men of low estate. (be content with common things) Be not wish in your own conceits." (an aggravated opinion of how important you are) verse 17: "Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men." This is of special importance to you in the gulag, because there will be many men you come in contact with, who because of their actions, you would much rather beat up on. As a Christian you can't do that, or rather you won't want to do it. Many times it takes more manhood to keep from violence than it does to clobber someone you don't like. Now here is one that will be difficult for some of you to follow: "Avenge not yourself, but rather give place unto wrath; for it is written vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, I will repay!" Many men in prison feel that if they don't respond strongly to someone when they are insulted, it means they are a sissy. No! It means you have learned to control yourself, and this is a Christian virtue. In Proverbs 15:1 we are told: "A soft answer turneth away wrath; but grievous words stir up anger." The next time a Black or Hispanic curses you and dares you to fight him, give him a soft answer and see what happens. I'll guarantee that you will be pleasantly surprised. Paul, like Jesus, says that if we are kind to our enemies, we punish them by pouring "coals of fire on their head".
So as a Christian, always overcome evil by doing good. If someone curses you and you respond in kind, you are as bad as he is, and, in case you are a Christian, you are wors~ for you know better Returning good for evil will induce remorse in the most wicked man. It may not be visible right now, but it will be on the Day of Judgment, when he receives a more severe punishment from God because he returned evil for good. Always remember "The mill of God grinds very slowly, but it grinds exceedingly fine, and every good and evil deed a man or woman does will be recorded by God." In Revelations 20:12 the Apostle John, in his vision of heaven said, "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, this is the book of life. And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works". Here is where the blood of Jesus goes to work for us. In essence when the evil deeds we did before we were save are read, Jesus can say, "But Father, I paid for those sins on the cross, he's my sheep now!"
Romans chapter thirteen is possibly one of the most misunderstood books of the New Testament, both with the Judeo-Christian church and with Identity believers.
There is no reason for this misunderstanding for Paul is clear in what he teaches. He begins by telling us that Secular Government was set up by God to be His servant. Not in a conscious sehse necessarily, but because it serves His purpose.
It is a well known human fact that in order to avoid chaos, human government MUST enforce a minimum level of justice and restraints on it's citizens. It is when the government gets out of control, as the British government did under King George III did during the Revolutionary War, that free men had to fight for their God given rights, and where the watchword was "Resistance to tyranny, is obedience to God!" and "We have no King but Jesus!"
Early in the history of this world we read where "every man did that which was right in his own sight". There was no law to control them and the evil in man's nature surfaced to make this world a living hell.
Christians out of respect for this God given institution are expected to support it and give due respect to it's leaders. I do not believe this is respect for the individual as much as for the position. In this country we should respect the position of President, even though we have a reprobate sitting in that position.
There is no doubt that I will make some in Identity ranks angry by saying that in my mind, Christians should pay taxes for the benefits we receive from this government. Jesus lived under possibly the most repressive government that has ever existed, the Roman Empire. It ruled men and women with an iron fist. If did many things which were contrary to God, yet nowhere do we find Jesus criticizing it, or indicating to His followers that they should rebel against it. This was one reason the people of Judea would not receive Him. They wanted a king who would save them from Roman tyranny and when He indicated that His Kingdom was not of this world order, they turned against Him and crucified Him. Some extremists have tried to picture Jesus as a Hippie-type rebel, fighting against the government when this was not so! In fact, when the Edomite leaders of Jewry tried to trick Him into making seditious statements against Rome, we have His answer in Matthew 22:21 - "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's (taxes); and unto God, the things which are God's (the tithe)."
In Matthew 17:25-27 He discusses paying taxes with Peter. Then in verse 27 He tells this disciple to go catch a fish and that he will find a piece of money in it's mouth. He said, "Notwithstanding (in spite of the fact that sovereign citizens do not have to pay taxes), take the money you find and pay what we owe rather that offend the government." Many times the tax resisters in Identity have given a bad name to the rest of us, where we are pictured as Right-Wing EXTREMIST - LAWBREAKERS, when in reality we are the cream of Christian American society, interested in having a better country under God, to hand to our children, and willing to fight and die for this principle if necessary!
Christians have rightfully taught since earliest years, that when secular law conflicts with God's law, we MUST obey God. (Acts 4:17-21) We do this at the polls, and by peaceful protest, not by killing abortionists. This idea of a Phineas Priesthood still existing, is leading some of our hot heads into prison. I know of no instance where Jesus said, "If they disobey my Father kill them."
There was a happy time when our nations laws were mostly in conformity with those of God's. This is when this nation sprang into International prominence as a place of freedom and prosperity. Over a hundred and fifty years ago, the great French political philosopher, Alexis de Tocqueville, came to America, seeking the secret of our greatness. After returning to France, he wrote an American friend saying, "I came to America seeking the secret of your greatness. I didn't find it in your magnificent cities or harbors. I didn't find it in your giant steel mills, or in your vast fields of grain in your Midwest. It was not until I went into the churches of America, and listened as their pulpits flamed against unrighteousness, that I realized that America is great, because she is good, and if she ceases to be good, she will cease to be great." That day is here today, as this once great nation sinks into Third World Status.
As many of you know, this ministry has been harassed by the I.R.S. for the past fifteen years, with seven audits during this period that has cost this ministry over $108,000. I could have avoided this harassment by accepting a 301 (c) 3 tax exempt status, but to do so would mean that they could dictate what I can and can't preach. So when I began to warn about the dangers posed by Judaism in our National government and the church, within a month after my first lecture on this subject I was hit by my first audit. They have just completed a year of levies on my Military Retirement Pay that cost me $24,000.
While the government has coercive powers which force citizens to obey it's laws, Paul says that Christians should obey the law, not because we have to, but because it's the right thing to do. So though we may believe 60 MPH speed limit is stupid on a straight country road, most of us comply because as Christians we are taught to do so.
Verse 8 of Romans 13, speaks about debt in the normal sense. It is not a good idea for Christians to go into debt, for as the Bible says in Proverb 22:7 - ". . . the borrower is the servant (slave) to the lender." This has become true in this country since we came under control of the International bankers in 1913.
God knew that if Christian Israelites were motivated by love for others, even those who were not of our race, we would fulfill the requirements of the law. Jesus indicated that this was the second great commandment. (Matthew 22:39)
The commandments of the Old Testament were given so that Israel might understand God's will for their lives. We may not like His food laws for instance, but they were written for Israel's health, and even today, with good refrigeration, honest dietitians will tell you that pork and shell fish represents a health hazard.
I remember reading many times, when we lived on the Gulf Coast, warnings in the newspapers against eating oysters harvested from certain areas, because they had become contaminated by sewage. Being scavengers, it was inherently a danger. We may not like these Laws, and eating pork or shellfish will not send a man or woman to hell, but it could very easily pose a health problem to them. We are told in 1 Corinthians 3:16,17, that our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, and if we do anything to harm it, God will destroy us. This doesn't mean we will be struck by a bolt of lightning, after eating a pork roast, but that in the long run we will suffer ill effects that may shorten our lives.
Since the night of sin ends when we accept Christ as Savior, we should throw off the works of darkness, and make no provision to fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
I do not believe it is worth while to argue about things that God does not put into His Word, and I have found that arguments always generate far more heat than they do light, and often drive men and women away from the truth. When we present the Identity message, we should do it with humbleness, and not try and drive it's truth down others throats. We should not pass judgment on others, on the basis of our beliefs or convictions, but only as we use God's Word as a guide.
When a person engages in an act the Bible defines as sin we are not passing judgment, when we speak out against it. We are agreeing with God.
It amazes me to see the number of professing Christians who in defending the immoral acts of President Clinton say, "Let he that is without sin cast the first stone." They never seem to remember that Jesus told the woman taken in adultery "Go and sin no more."
The local church has the right to discipline it's members who sin, and remember that "Sin is transgression of the Law. (1 John 3:4) So it is only logical to say that if the Law has been done away for Christians, then there can be no sin, and we KNOW how ridiculous this is.
As followers of Christ, we are accountable to Him. Far too many church leaders set themselves up as little kings and believe their followers are accountable to them. By doing this they deny Christ's rightful place in the lives of believers. When we judge others on the basis of our opinions, likes and dislikes, rather than on God's Word, we break God's commandment to "judge not, lest ye be judged."
The last part of the chapter can be explained by this simple story. Most of you have seen pictures of Greek temples, which were beautiful marble structures with immense colonnades, and steps leading up to the interior. Few Christians know anything about how these temples were used, other than for the worship of idols. As you entered the main doors, to the right was the temple bar where alcoholic beverages were sold. To the left was the temple restaurant which served the best meals in town, since their meat came from the choice animals who were offered as sacrifices. In the central room stood the idol being worshiped and every morning the animals offered for sacrifice were led by the priests around this idol, then were taken to the rear and slaughtered in the shambles, the temple meat market, and the choice cuts were sent to the temple restaurant.
Now let's suppose that Jack Mohr is a deacon in the local church. One day he decides to have a good meal, so makes his way to the temple restaurant. The fact that this meat had been offered to idols means nothing to him since he knows that this does not make it forbidden. (1 Corinthians 8:4) says "As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one." In verse 13 he says, ". . . but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. But if any man be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably (in love). Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died."
So Brother Mohr has his good meal and goes home satisfied. But another brother who has just been saved sees Mohr enter the temple. He says to himself, "Brother Mohr is a deacon in the church, so if it's okay for him to go in there, I guess I can go too!" He walks up the steps and turns into the temple bar where he has a few, then in an inebriate condition, he ends up in a rear room with one of the temple prostitutes.
Paul tells us in verse 20, "For meat destroy not the work of God..." Then in verse 21, "It is good neither to eat flesh, not to drink wine, not anything whereby thy brother stumbleth or is made weak". In 1 Corinthians 8:10 we are told, "But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak". Verse 13 says, "Therefore if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend." The question to a Christian should not be, "It is okay for me to do it?", but "Will it please the Master?"
Paul begins chapter fifteen by stating that those who are "strong in the faith" should bear the infirmities of that brother or sister who is weak. Instead of causing them to stumble by the lives we live, we should help them be strong.
How often have you seen a professing Christian, who instead of trying to please God, is more interested in doing their own thing, whatever that may be. We can see this in the sayings that have. become so popular, "You've come a long way, baby! Don't let anyone tell you how to live!" or "You only go around once in life, so live it with gusto!" Jesus spoke to a man once who felt like this, and said, "Thou fool! This night will thy soul be required of thee? Then what will these worldly things be worth to you?"
By showing love and concern for our weaker brethren we build a spirit of unity in the church body.
Chapter sixteen sums up this great Epistle by commending a woman by the name of Phoebe, who was a deaconess in the church at Rome. He also mentions Priscilla and Aquila who are introduced in Acts 18, and with whom he resided when he was in Rome.
In closing he warns against infilterators, such as we see in the modern church, who cause "divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine of Christ". Then he closes with a word of encouragement, "And the God of peace, shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen."
There is no better way for me to close this message, which I pray has been a blessing to you, JM
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