The fulfilled message scares people. It scares people because it wrecks presuppositions and long held traditions within the church. To me though, that isn't scary at all. In fact, if it makes sense of the scriptures far better than the former way, then so be it. I am all for it.
I cannot stand hearing people say "well that could lead somewhere bad so I will stay away from it."
Bottom line is that we should go where the bible leads. Whether or not it wrecks your traditional cherished beliefs. Whatever makes the most sense and fits within the scriptures the best should be "where we go". Period.
The passage I want to look at here comes from Romans chapter 1 and we all know it well.
People quote it all the time to speak of humanity in general. They say that humanity as a whole has known God and yet has denied Him therefore they (humanity as a whole) is without excuse.
But as I am about to show, this portion of Romans 1 is actually only concerned with Israel. Natural Israel. God's Old Covenant bride.
Let's start by quoting the passage from Romans 1. Here it is...
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, FOR GOD HAS SHOWN IT TO THEM. For since the CREATION OF THE WORLD, His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, ALTHOUGH THEY KNEW GOD, they DID NOT GLORIFY HIM as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who EXCHANGED THE TRUTH OF GOD for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason GOD GAVE THEM UP to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due." Romans 1:18-27
Ok, so obviously there is a LOT there. But let's focus on a few things that Paul says about these people whom the wrath of God was revealed against in those last days. Paul lists the following details about these people. Let's see if it rings any bells based on everything we know about Israel in the Old Testament.....
-These people suppressed the truth in unrighteousness
-God showed them His attributes but they denied them
-Although they KNEW GOD, they did not glorify Him as God
-They were not thankful and became foolish and darkened
-They changed the glory of God into corruptible images
-God gave them up to lustful living
-They exchanged the truth for a lie
-They engaged in vile passion and sexual sins
Ok so keep those key things in mind and let's start connecting some dots.
In Numbers 25, we read a bit about Old Covenant natural Israel. Let's take a look at what it says...
"Now Israel remained in Acacia Grove, and THE PEOPLE BEGAN TO ENGAGE IN WHOREDOMS WITH THE WOMEN of Moab. They invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. So Israel was joined to Baal of Peor, and the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel." Numbers 25:1-3
So right off the bat we see whoredoms. Harlotry with women of Moab. Sexual sins and lustful living. For the sake of keeping this short I will only give one example of each but let me assure you, there are TONS TONS TONS of examples all throughout the Old Testament of Israel engaging in wicked acts of sexual sin. They had exchanged the glory of the true God and worshiped false gods and in turn, sexual sin was part of this. Doesn't this match what Paul says about these people in Romans 1?
Let's now look at 2 Kings where we will read more about Old Covenant natural Israel...
"For so it was that the children of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and THEY HAD FEARED OTHER GODS, and had walked in the statutes of the nations whom the Lord had cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made. Also the children of Israel secretly did against the Lord their God things that were not right, and they built for themselves high places in all their cities, from watchtower to fortified city. They set up for themselves sacred pillars and WOODEN IMAGES on every high hill and under every green tree. There they burned incense on all the high places, like the nations whom the Lord had carried away before them; and they did wicked things to provoke the Lord to anger, for THEY SERVED IDOLS, of which the Lord had said to them, “You shall not do this thing.”
Yet the Lord testified against Israel and against Judah, by all of His prophets, every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways, and keep My commandments and My statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets.” Nevertheless THEY WOULD NOT HEAR but stiffened their necks, like the necks of their fathers, who did not believe in the Lord their God. And they rejected His statutes and His covenant that He had made with their fathers, and His testimonies which He had testified against them; they followed idols, became idolaters, and went after the nations who were all around them, concerning whom the Lord had charged them that they should not do like them. So they left all the commandments of the Lord their God, made for themselves a MOLDED IMAGE and two calves, made a wooden image and WORSHIPED all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire, PRACTICED WITCHCRAFT and soothsaying, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger. Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel"
2 Kings 17:7-17
Again, do you see what I see? Literally everything Paul said in Romans 1, we see Israel doing here. Worshiping images, serving other gods, etc.
Now check out what Psalm 78 says...
"They did not keep the covenant of God; They refused to walk in His law, AND FORGOT HIS WORKS AND WONDERS THAT HE HAD SHOWN THEM.. Marvelous things He did in the sight of their fathers, In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan. He divided the sea and caused them to pass through; And He made the waters stand up like a heap. In the daytime also He led them with the cloud, And all the night with a light of fire. He split the rocks in the wilderness, And gave them drink in abundance like the depths. He also brought streams out of the rock, And caused waters to run down like rivers. But THEY SINNED EVEN MORE against Him By rebelling against the Most High in the wilderness." Psalm 78:10-17
Do you see a match to what Paul said in Romans 1? God showed them His attributes yet they denied him anyway. God did all these incredible things before them and yet they DID NOT GLORIFY HIM. God revealed Himself to them and yet they were foolish. Seems like another perfect match to me.
Now for the icing on the cake, let's look at Exodus 32....
"They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a MOLDED CALF, and WORSHIPED IT and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’” And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people!" Exodus 32:8-9
Wow. Did you see a Golden Molded CALF in there?
What did Paul say in Romans 1 about this people whom the wrath of God was now revealed against? He said...
"Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an IMAGE made like corruptible man—and birds and FOUR FOOTED ANIMALS and creeping things."
Now, the four footed animals is a direct match to the GOLDEN CALF. Paul is speaking directly about Israel and their history here. This is a direct flashback to the Exodus account of them worshiping the calf. Young's Literal Translates the passage from Romans like this...
" and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of fowls, and of QUADRUPEDS, and of reptiles."
The cow or the "golden calf" is directly tied to Old Covenant Israel and this is exactly what Paul is referring to when speaking of the wickedness that was going to be judged in those last days.
Lastly, I know you must be thinking, well what about everyone else. If this is just about Israel what about everyone else?
Well consider what Paul said in Romans 1 about these people whom he was speaking of. He said this...
"because, ALTHOUGH THEY KNEW GOD, they did not glorify Him as God, NOR WERE THEY THANKFUL"
Ok now keep that in mind. These people whom Paul was speaking of "KNEW GOD" and they were "NOT THANKFUL".
Now let's go to another letter that the same guy, Paul, wrote to the Ephesians and let's see what Paul says about the Gentiles there...
"Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, HAVING NO HOPE AND WITHOUT GOD IN THE WORLD. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ." Ephesians 2:11-12
Wow. So Paul actually says that Gentiles were once WITHOUT HOPE AND WITHOUT GOD IN THE WORLD. He says they were ALIENATED FROM ISRAEL.
Alienated means distanced, far away.
So how could he also be talking about Gentiles in Romans 1 when he said "ALTHOUGH THEY KNEW GOD, THEY DIDN'T GLORIFY HIM NOR WERE THEY THANKFUL"????
Doesn't make any sense! Total contradiction!
On one hand Paul says that they "KNEW GOD" and on the other hand he says "THEY HAD NO HOPE AND WERE WITHOUT GOD"??
See the problems? It's abundantly clear.
The only people who were ever in Covenant with God and the only people who ever "KNEW" the true God and saw His Divine signs and wonders but yet did not glorify Him as such and instead traded the glory of the true God for images made like cows, was Old Covenant Israel.
Paul in Romans 1, with keeping the theme of the soon approaching last days judgment, is speaking of Old Covenant Natural Israel.
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