Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the book of Romans. Tonight will be study 3 of Romans, chapter 1, and we will begin by reading Romans 1:1-4:
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
In our last study, we were looking at the Bible’s teaching that Paul was a pattern to the believers, and not just any “believer,” but a true believer in the real sense of that term; that is, one of God’s elect. For example, we read in 1Timothy 1:16:
Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
He is a pattern to the believers that receive eternal life, and that applies only to those chosen before the foundation of the world, or God’s elect children. That is who Paul represents. We saw that within the Greek word, Strong’s # 5179 translated as “pattern,” which is a compound word, there is the word “too-pos.” and you can almost hear our word “type,” as in type and figure, and this word, Strong’s #5179, is actually translated as “figure” in Romans 5:14, where it says that Adam was a “figure” of Him to come and, of course, Adam was a type of Christ or a figure of Christ. So we can see that this word does point to God’s tendency to set up types and figures to hide truths in the mystery that is the Gospel of the Bible.
We also saw it was translated as “examples” and as “ensamples” in 1 Corinthians 10,verses 6 and 11, as it spoke of the sojourning of the Israelites in the wilderness and the crossing of the Red Sea, and the water gushing out of the “rock,” and we are told that Rock was Christ. They were types and figures. Then God said that these things were an example. They were types and figures for us, spiritually, that we should not miss.
I just want to look at one more verse before we continue, and that is in Hebrews 5 where we see the Greek word that was translated as “pattern,” and which has word “too-pos” within it (#5179). It says in Hebrews 8:4-5:
For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
God is almost spelling it out for us. First, He referred to the example and shadow of heavenly things, and then He gave the example of Moses making the tabernacle. He was told, “See that you make it according to the pattern,” because it was to reflect the spiritual reality. It was to be a figure of spiritual things that were true and faithful within the kingdom of God.
And that was true of Paul. He is a pattern, and the word “pattern” is a compound word that includes the word “too-pos,” or types or figures, as we could understand that compound word to mean since it can be translated as “in” or “with,” so he was set up by God as an example of those that believe to life everlasting. So that is why he was called Saul. He had two names. Saul identified with the Jews, and the Jews relate to the church, spiritually, and his name Paul related to his Roman citizenship as he would be the Apostle to the Gentiles; he would be the one sent to Rome. Remember, we looked at a couple of verses that said he would go to Jerusalem first, but he would also see Rome, or as it says in Acts 23:11:
…for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.
Two periods of testimonies. Two locations. Two names – Saul and Paul – because he was a figure of God’s elect that would first minister the Gospel within the churches and congregations (as typified by earthly Jerusalem), and then they would minister outside the churches in the world. So Paul would move on and go forth to Rome.
It was God’s will and decree for Paul in ordering his circumstances, as He allowed Paul to go into the temple at that particular time, and as He allowed the Jews to misunderstand his intentions when they thought he had brought a Gentile into the temple; then He allowed the Jews to remove him from the temple, drawing him out with violence. The word used when they drew Paul out of the temple is a word that identifies with God’s drawing, and it is the same word used in John 6:44 where it says, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.” It is a very forceful or “violent” action that is required. In other words, God takes the elect (whom Paul pictured) and making it sure through the Jews casting of Paul out of the temple. Remember the verse in John 16:1 that says they will throw you out of the synagogues and kill you, which has to do with spiritual killing. So at the time of the end at the end of the church age during the Great Tribulation, God arranged things to force His children out of the churches and congregations of the world. So Paul had no other resort except to appeal unto Caesar. Then Festus said to Paul, “Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go.” In other words, he would go to Rome, and from there we are eventually led in the book of Acts to Acts 27 and the ship that was taking him to Rome being made shipwreck. It hit a bad storm at sea, Euroclydon, and the ship was broken, just as God had spoken about the ships of Tarshish being broken, as a ship in the Bible pictures the churches and congregations; they were to be about God’s business of being “fisherman” and to sail the seas, and not to sink in the seas, but they were to be a place of refuge to those in the water that would come up out of the sea or out of the wrath of God. And, yet, at the time of the end, the ship would be broken, as we also read in 1Timothy 1:19:
Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander…
Is this not interesting that God speaks of a shipwreck and then mentioned two men, Hymenaeus and Alexander? Why two men, and why such a direct tie-in with the shipwreck? It is because they are a picture of the caretakers of the Gospel within the churches and congregations when God would bring judgment and make their faith shipwreck; that is, He would destroy the Gospel that would be going forth and their witness would be finished. The “two witnesses” that spiritually portrayed the witness of the Word of God within the churches would be finished.
Notice that after He said the faith that had been “made shipwreck: of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander,” it said, “whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.” Who was delivered unto Satan? It was these two men, and the number “two” represents those that are caretakers of the Gospel and the “ship” that was wrecked points to the corporate church, and God did, indeed, deliver the corporate church over unto Satan for their destruction at the time of the end. He loosed Satan and Satan took his seat in the temple, showing himself that he was God.
So these were the circumstances that God established regarding Paul who is a figure to represent all God’s elect. And he was within Jerusalem: “for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem.” And then it said, “so must thou bear witness also at Rome,” and God would make sure he went to Rome. So we read in Acts that Paul appeared before King Agrippa and a Roman governor, and he appealed to them, laying out the whole scenario. They found no fault with him, but because he was appealing to Caesar, they had no choice but to send him to Caesar at Rome. There we see the predeterminate foreknowledge of God working through the circumstances and arranging for this to take place, because Rome was a picture of the world, as was Egypt and other figures in the Bible that can represent the world. And as a picture of the world, notice how Rome had gained ascendency over Judaea and over Jerusalem, and that was the time of the end of the nation of Judaea when the veil of the temple was rent in 33 A. D. They were over and done with, so at the time of the end of Judaea, God is picturing the time of the end of the corporate church and the calling out by God of His people. That is the picture we saw in Genesis 19 when God came to the city of Sodom in the form of two angels or messengers. He met Lot at the gate, and He warned him that he must leave the city. Remember it said in Genesis 19:11:
And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.
We discussed how this had to do with the judgment on the churches, as Christ is the “door” or the entry point into heaven. They had lost sight of the truth and they could not find it (Him), as they walked around in the darkness, being blind. Then God told them it was time to get out of that city, as it says in Genesis 19:12-16:
And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of JEHOVAH; and JEHOVAH hath sent us to destroy it. And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for JEHOVAH will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law. And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; JEHOVAH being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.
And there it is. The “hand” is a figure of an individual’s will. The two messengers or angels were God appearing as two men, so it was God grabbing hold of his will (and the wills of his wife and two daughters) and brought him out of the city. It was by the will of God. According to Lot’s will, he had wanted to stay because he had family there, just like many at the time of the Great Tribulation when God commanded His people to flee to the mountains and depart out of the midst. Judgment Day was coming on May 21, 2011, but many people lingered. They had wives. They had children. Their wives did not understand. Their families did not understand, so they wanted to stay and try to convince them: “Get out! Get out!” It was an urgent decree and command of God. And if they were His elect, God eventually brought them out of the “city,” or out of the corporate church.
It was the same situation with the Apostle Paul. He was within the nation of Judaea, and he was continuing to witness to them, but God arranged things so he would be forcefully taken out of that city. He was loaded onto a boat, a prisoner of Rome. He could do nothing about it. Of course, he was purposefully accepting of the will of God in this matter, but he was still a prisoner, although treated very well – God made sure of that. Paul went forth with all the other souls on board the ship, and then it was made shipwreck. It was destroyed and, yet, that was not the end of the story. All that were on the ship made it safely to land. There were 276 people, and the number “276” is “12 x 23,” representing the fulness of God’s judgment on the churches. The number “23” is the number of tribulation, identifying especially with the judgment on the churches. It is an extra special number, and I believe if you add up all the numbers from 1 to 23, it adds up to “276.” So that is a double emphasis on the number “23,” and a very special emphasis on that number. They all made it safely to shore, and that is one picture of God commanding His people to come out of the churches, and then making sure they did. Then they were on the island of Melita, and God blessed them.
But Paul still had to make it to Rome, so we read in Acts 28:11-16:
And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux. And landing at Syracuse, we tarried there three days. And from thence we fetched a compass, and came to Rhegium: and after one day the south wind blew, and we came the next day to Puteoli: Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days: and so we went toward Rome. And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and The three taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage. And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him.
It said, “And when we came to Rome,” Paul and the prisoners and the Roman soldiers took another ship after they had wintered at the island of Malta or Melita, and that ship had a sign of Castor and Pollux, and it had no identification with Israel or with Judaea (or with the churches). It was more of a worldly enterprise or merchant vessel, so it is not a picture of the churches resuming their role of sending forth the Gospel. But this is something different that God is using, historically, as He paints the picture of Paul finally making it to Rome.
Then while in Rome we read of the Jews that were in Rome, in Acts 28:21:
And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judaea concerning thee…
These Jews in Rome would be a picture of Christians that were not within the churches, but they are outside in the world (for various reasons) during the Latter Rain period, so they were in the right location, spiritually. Then it says in Acts 28:22:
But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.
The word “sect” was referring back to the Christians, and the word “sect” can also be translated as “heresy,” and that gives us the idea of how wrong people can be when natural-minded individuals take up the word “heresy” or “heretics” in their mouths. They can sling those kinds of “arrows” at those that are true men and have the true Gospel, just as some are doing today. Then it says in Acts 28:23-31:
And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not. And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it. And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves. And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.
This was the wide-open door, that great and effectual door God had opened so gloriously during the second part of the Great Tribulation during the Latter Rain period, wherein He saved the great multitude from every tribe, tongue and nation of chosen individuals, chosen before the foundation of the world. We know this from the use of the word “forbidden,” as it says, “no man forbidding him.” This word “forbidding” has a negative prefix here, but we find in 1Thessalonians 2:14-17:
For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.
You see, the problem all along with God’s plan to save the great multitude was that within the churches, it would be forbidden. “Oh, no, you cannot do this.” They would have been constantly contrary to the true teachings of the Bible: “What do you mean about the faith of Christ? What are you talking about the Sunday Sabbath? What is this doctrine of annihilation? The Reformers taught this other thing. Our confession says another thing.” There would have been constant bickering and constant fowls of the air coming down and snatching away seed from the heart of the Gentiles. So God said, “Enough. I am through with the churches. You are no longer to feed my sheep. You are no longer pastors, preachers and ministers of my name. You have lost all official sanction. I want nothing to do with you. I will send forth the Gospel using my elect that are outside of the churches, and when I do, no man will forbid. No man will shut that door. None will be able to hinder the coming in of the great multitude.”
That is the beautiful picture of Paul going to Rome and setting up his own hired house, and all came in. He was free to speak the Word of God and to share the truth of the Bible as God revealed it to him in the abundance of revelation. Paul was the recipient of abundant revelation, just as God’s elect have received abundant revelation during the Great Tribulation and now in Judgment Day.