Fred R. Coulter—March 7, 2009

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This is a special Bible study. I have accumulated some questions that have come in concerning various topics in the Bible, and so we will look at those and analyze those, and answer the questions concerning it.

Now first of all, let me give you just a little background in my thoughts and approach of first translating the New Testament, and then with the great help of Michael Heiss—who’s in the back row there and he believes in what Jesus said. I told Mike that I could handle the English part of it if he would handle the Hebrew part of it—and he’s done a wonderful job of going through and bringing up to clarity and everything up to what we need to have so it accurately reflects the Hebrew and gives us the sense of what it’s really talking about.

Now the first question is‑‑let’s come to Amos 3:3. Now someone sent me a question on this because on a Church of God website, they put up there that Amos 3:3 means that to walk together means to have an appointment. Now it could mean that in the Hebrew, but they stretched it to mean that that applies to the appointed Feasts of God, which it doesn’t. So let’s read it here.

Amos 3:1 (pg 672): “Hear this word that the LORD has spoken against you, children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, ‘You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities’” (vs 1-2). Now that’s what we’re going through today, and I’ve got a letter coming out (a nine page letter) showing that it’s not the physical problems or the economic problems that are our problems, it’s the underlying spiritual problems behind that; that the nation needs to repent of. Because the economic problems, the political problems are only a reflection of the moral problems and the one who was elected president was elected by the majority of people who believe very similar to what he believes. So we are seeing some of the punishment here.

Verse 3: “Can two walk together unless they be agreed?” Now walking together means you walk with God in His way. Now you could stretch it to mean an appointment, but to stretch it further to mean an appointmentwith Feast days—though that may be generally a true premise—that is not what the verse means. It means just what it says. If you’re going to be on God’s side, you walk with Him. God is not going to compromise and come on your side, your way. You have to repent, and come to God on His side and walk in His way. Most of the Christian denominations of the world have it backwards. So that’s the meaning here. Does not have anything to do with Holy Days.

Now in that vein, what was my approach to translating the New Testament and the Old Testament? Well, first of all the Bible tells us, ‘Your Word is truth.’ The Bible says that

·   Your commandments are true,

·   Your laws are true, and

·   Your Word is true from the beginning.

So what was given in the original books of Moses; the Prophets; the Writings; the Gospels; the General Epistles; the Epistles of Paul; the book of Revelation; the originals were inspired directly by God and Paul calls them God breathed. Now always remember this, because the excuse comes up, ‘Well, men wrote it’—true, but remind them of Baalim. Because Baalim was a false prophet; Baalim wanted to do his own thing; Baalim wanted to have the money, and when he got up to curse, what happened? God made him bless. Right? Simple answer—if God can made Baalim speak the truth, who is an inveterate liar and greedy and covetous, can He make men dedicated to God write the truth and put it in the way that He wants it? Of course.

Now let’s come to 2-Peter, the first chapter, and we’ll see how Peter brings it out. So we approach all of God’s Word as truth, which means that we need to get the best Hebrew text and the best Greek text to translate from. And that’s why we have the commentary concerning which text, how do we know which one, and so forth. We have all of that covered there in the commentary. Now here’s another reason that Jesus did what He did, because just like with us, I’m sure in our lives in coming to God, what did God do with us? Was there a signal point in your life that you can look back and remember and say, ‘Yes, God started dealing with me here.’ Everyone can raise a hand, right? Yes, indeed. The twelve apostles were with Jesus three and a half years and He took Peter, James, and John up to the Mount of Transfiguration. He didn’t take all twelve, just those three; and was transfigured before their eyes and they saw Moses and Elijah talking, kind of like we would say today, in a vision would be like a television projection, only from God. And what was the message from God directly to those three apostles? ‘This is My Son, My beloved Son, in whom I am delighted. Listen to Him.’ Now that burned in their minds.

Now let’s take Peter one step further. Remember in the last chapter of the Gospel of John, when the disciples were out there fishing, and Jesus came and fixed the fire alongside the shore. They hadn’t caught anything so He said, ‘Throw the net down on the other side,’ and they brought in a fantastic haul of fish. And after they were done eating, Jesus said to Peter, ‘Peter, do you love Me?’ Hesaid, Yes, Lord, I love you. He said, ‘Feed My sheep.’ Now I won’t go into the particulars of the two different words of love there. That’s for a more in-depth study.

So He asked him a second time, ‘Peter, do you love Me?’ And he said, ‘Yes, Lord, you know I love you.’ He said, ‘Shepherd My sheep.’ So He asked him the third time—now why did He ask him three times? That’s the juxtaposition of denying Christ three times, right? He said, ‘Peter, do you love Me?’ He said, Yes, Lord! He was grieved. He said, ‘Feed My lambs.’ We will see Peter learned that lesson. All the other apostles were standing there watching this take place. They learned that lesson as well. So here we have men, called of God, filled with God’s Spirit, dedicated to the Truth, dedicated to going into all the world and preaching the Truth; and yes, that prophesy extends down to our day through their writings because we preach the Word. They wrote it and now we have it.

So let’s read right here in 2-Peter 1:16 (pg 1,134): “For we did not followed cleverly concocted myths as our authority, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His magnificent glory…. [So here he is talking about he is going to die pretty soon—did he remember it? Yes, indeed. Motivated everything that Peter did except his mistakes.] …Because He received glory and honor from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, ‘This is My Son, the Beloved, in Whom I am well pleased’” (vs 16-17). Now he is making a point here. He wants them to understand about the Word of God.

Verse 19: “We also possess the confirmed prophetic Word…” Now what does that mean? Not only the prophesies of the Old Testament concerning Christ being confirmed to them, having been with Christ and lived with Him for three and a half years and taught by Him for three and a half years, but it was confirmed by Christ Himself who was God manifested in the flesh. So even though we’re small and we’re a small little part of what God is doing, we need to do what we can do, and ask God to bless us and help us and inspire us in everything that we do. Just like it was impacted here upon Peter, “…the confirmed prophetic Word.”

Now the other meaning of this is: the confirmed, inspired Word of the New Testament; so this contains the meaning of both. Just like Paul wrote to Timothy that ‘you knew the Holy Writings from a child’; and that ‘all Scripture—meaning Old and New Testament—is God breathed.’ So what I am doing, I’m covering this to see the Bible approach on what we need to do, and the Bible approach on how I did the translating because when I read the question here, you’ll understand. “…which you do well to pay attention… [Which he said he was going to write it so they would remember it] …as to a light shining in a dark place… [The Word of God is a light, in darkness; Christ is the Light of the world; the world is darkness, so this is for us who are living in a dark world; but we know how to live our lives because of the light of the Word of God.] …until the day dawns… [that means the return of Christ] …and the morning star rises in your hearts” (v 19). That’s the resurrection, because those who are resurrected are going to what? Shine as the stars of heaven. Dan. 12 and Matt. 13:43, right? Yes.

Now, put all of that together with v 20: “Knowing this first, that no prophesy of Scripture… [now prophesy does not mean just the Old Testament prophesies, this means anything that God has inspired] …originated as anyone’s own private interpretation…. [Now the King James does not have that properly translated. This makes it clear and this is what I have done in translating the New Testament and Old Testament as well.] …Because prophesy was not brought at any time by human will, but the Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (vs 20-21). So that’s how I approached it.

So the question is‑‑Romans 14 (a letter was sent to me):

In discussing Romans 14:5 you added the words, for eating meat.

So the question is why did I do that?

The person with whom I was discussing it said, ‘Fred is being presumptuous with the text as he attempts to clarify a common error regarding what day of the week is Holy.’

Wrong assumption. We’ll get to that. ‘

 ‘It was not, what day do we eat meat? Fred’s translation puts a different slant as to the subject as if when to eat meat was the only thing people were judging their brothers about.’

Not quite, misunderstood. See, when you come to a Bible question you have to ask….that’s why we have the Fourteen Rules of Bible Study.

By the way, in the homeschooling magazine The Link we put an advertisement for the Bible in there, and we’ll do three issues. And also they started a religious section; so I asked if they would like an essay. They said sure, send it. You know what the essay was about? The Fourteen Rules of Bible Study. And that’s in the Bible and that’s in the New Testament. There’s a way to study the Bible. You do not come with preconceived notions.

Just like when first confronted with the problem concerning the 14/15 Passover, I had to ask the question, because you have to be honest. If you can’t be honest with the Word of God, what can you ever be honest with in anything, right? And so, the word was coming down that the Passover really was on the fifteenth. We were keeping it on the fourteenth; and that between the two evenings meant between noon and evening on the fourteenth. And that’s the typical Jewish interpretation; because in the Diaspora they cannot keep a fourteenth Passover because Num. 9 says they have to be in the land when they keep it. So the Jews who do not accept Jesus are right in what they are saying concerning the fifteenth Passover for the Jews in the Diaspora, but they are not correct because Jesus said, ‘Go into all the world and teach them everything that I have taught you,’ which included the fourteenth Passover.

So, I just finished with the first edition of the Harmony of the Gospels and in there I had written that if there were any changes or information concerning the Passover, I’d be sure and let everyone know and change what needed to be changed; because that’s what has to be at every time. Because as human beings we can make errors, and we can do things that are not right; inadvertently, that can happen. So I said to myself, Okay, if we cannot find in the Bible where ba erev (sunset) is used and ben ha arbayim (between the two evenings) is used, to show exactly what God meant by those two Hebrew terms, if we can’t find it in the Bible, then we have to go with what the Jews have given as the interpretation of it. And so that’s what started out the study which became the Passover book, which is now over 500 pages, which if you don’t have one, we’ll send it to you.

Just to make a long story short to show you how if you search the Scriptures with an open mind, you will find the answer; but you never go with a pre-conceived conclusion in your own mind first, except you want the Truth of God and rightly divided and rightly put it together.

So there’s a distinct place in Exo. 16 that tells us exactly how God used ba erev (sunset) and ben ha arbayim (between the two evenings), and that was essential because if your knowledge of Hebrew only goes to Strong’s Concordance, you will never find ben ha arbayim there, because it is under erev. You need to understand this, just like in English. The verb to be is used how many different ways? I am, he is, she is, they are, they were, they have been, I was, I have gone, all of those are of the verb to be. So if you go into a concordance and try and look up a derivation of the declension of that verb, you won’t find it. Likewise, with erev and between the two evenings. You will never find it in Strong’s Concordance, because he didn’t break it down that fine. So there it was, He said, ‘At sunset (ba erev) you’ll see the glory of the LORD,’ and at sunset… [which on the Sabbath day ends the Sabbath day, and it was the Sabbath day, He sent the quail] …He said, ‘You will eat flesh between the two evenings’—between sunset and dark. Now you can’t eat the quail before they come. And God was teaching them about the Sabbath, so do you think God would work on the Sabbath to give them an excuse to say, ‘Well, God worked on the Sabbath; therefore, we can work on the Sabbath’? No way. So there it was, when I found that I bolted right out of bed because I was studying in bed about eleven o’clock at night trying to figure this out, and I was going through McGill’s Hebrew Interlinear and I could see that the two words were different. There it is. So that’s in the Bible. So it doesn’t matter who says what; what is sunset; what is evening. That is God’s definition of using it, quoting God Himself. No higher authority.

So I will show you why, in Romans 14, I have translated it the way that I have translated and there’s a very good reason for it. Continuing now:

‘Some chose to fast on some days.’

We will see not so, but that is in a commentary, so if you read the commentary and you don’t know the Greek and you don’t know how Greek is laid out, then you will assume that the commentary is correct, because you know less than the writer of the commentary, correct? But don’t assume that all commentaries are correct. You must prove all things by the Word of God.

‘Some ate meat on some days, some never ate meat at all, and they were disrupting and judging each other.’

That part is correct, over what days and what days to not eat meat on.

‘If we are presumptuous with the text, someone who knows the text will use our words to discredit our teachings. Fred is not completely wrong, but his added words do not accurately reflect the complexity of what Paul was writing.’

And we will see that they do.

‘I found this common to Fred’s teachings.’

Whoever that man is, have him address them to me. That would be nice.

‘He’s presumptuous with too many things that hurt his credibility.’

So let’s come to Romans 14:1 (pg 1,158). Now first of all I’m going to read it in the King James. If you have a King James, you can follow along; if you don’t have a King James, you can see the difference in it. “Him that is weak in the faith receive you, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believes that he may eat all things…” (vs 1-2). Now people read that and say, ‘Oh, you can eat unclean meats!’ But here’s another thing that’s important to understand which is this: you have to put it together with all the rest of the Bible. We’ll do that in just a minute.

You know in the Old Testament we are not to eat certain meats. If you watch the Travel Channel you can see these guys consume everything. I even saw them eat in a Vietnamese restaurant, came in and—you order a live snake and the waiter brings it right up to your table and he kills it right there in front of you and takes out the heart and you it eat while it’s raw and still beating. So if want some stomach-turning events watch the Travel Channel, and watch those guys eat those things. I don’t know how they could eat them. Anyway, in watching that, especially when he went through the Chinese markets, I could understand Acts 10 more with everything coming down from heaven, all kinds of animals, and so forth, because at any Chinese, how shall we say, fast-food bazaar you can get anything that you want. There was one thing that I remember that this big fat fellow really loved, he said, ‘Oh, that donkey-hide was really delicious.’ We’ll see, no, you can’t eat all things. Try a little arsenic, that will help prove it to you. “…another who is weak, eats herbs. Let not him that eats despise him that eats not…” (v 3, KJV). What is it talking about? Eating food with meat and eating herbs with no meat. That is the subject. We’ll see that a little later.

“…and let not him which eats not… [meat, not fasting. You can’t interject fasting here in the middle of this, because it’s completely out of context.] …the one which eats not, judge him that eats…” (v 3). We could have today. We have a lot of vegetarians today. I even have a cookbook, A Hundred Percent Vegetarian Recipes. I haven’t read it yet, but at least I’ve got it. And there are many people today because of the diseases that we have today, they have to be vegetarians. They cannot eat meat, especially in the case of cancer; because the protein feeds the covering on the cancer tumor so it gathers in more of the dead cells to build the cancer tumor even bigger, because that’s the body’s reaction to try and get rid of the cancer if it can’t get rid of it otherwise. Because we all have cancer cells in our system every day, which are the slough-off cells when they die. I remember a minister in the big church we used to go to, there were some brand new Seventh Day Adventist converts who did not eat meat and did not drink wine. So after they were in the Church for two weeks, brand new people, he invited them over for a barbeque and gave them, ‘Here’s a glass of wine, friend, and here’s a big steak.’ Welcome to the Church. That’s not the way that you handle it.

Verse 4 (KJV): “Who are you that judges another man’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Yea, he shall be holden up and God is able to make him stand. One man esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind” (vs 4-5). What does that mean? Can you choose which day to worship on? That’s what the Protestants believe. Then why have the command for the Sabbath? Why did Jesus keep the Sabbath when He was here? Why did the apostles keep the Sabbath? Why did Paul in Acts 13 teach the Gentiles to keep the Sabbath and preach grace on the Sabbath? Because you see, you need to realize Protestantism is filled with the spirit of anti-Christ, which has so many counterfeit doctrines and teachings to lead people away that sound blessedly true. Well, they’re not. So we won’t get into that.

“He that regards the day, regards it unto the Lord… [for what? What are you regarding to God? What does that mean?] … and he that regards not the day to the Lord, he does not regard it. He that eats, is eating to the Lord, and he gives thanks; and he that eats not, to the Lord he eats not and gives thanks” (v 6). Now fasting is not just the abstinence of food, it is what? Abstinence of food and drink.

So let’s see if we can unravel this. Let’s come over here to another verse just across the way, v 14. You take verse one and verse fourteen and you tie those together and I just imagine, I don’t know how many of you have been Protestants, but you’d be in a Protestant church and the minister would stand up and say, ‘See, we can eat anything we want to.’ And here’s another mistranslation. Verse 14 (KJV): “I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself… [So, a hog is not unclean, but they still can’t figure out the smell in Iowa and they need $140-million from the government to run a study on it. Now what does that mean? Unclean. And why did I translate it common?] …but to him that esteems anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.” Now, what is that? Is that a new doctrine? Can you declare beef unclean when God says it’s clean? Well, if it’s got a lot of hormones in it, been fed the way men feed it today, it’s probably very unhealthy. But they didn’t have that problem then.

Let’s read on and we’ll get the topic here. “But if your brother be grieved with your meat, now walk you not charitably. Destroy not him with your meat, for whom Christ died. Let not then your good be evil spoken of; for the Kingdom of God … [now here is the subject] … is not meat and drink” (vs 15-17). He starts out with meat or vegetarianism and here v 17 he says it’s not meat and drink. He doesn’t say it’s not Sabbath/Sunday. So one of the fourteen rules of Bible study is:

·   who wrote it

·   when did he write it

·   to whom was he writing it

·   what is the context of it

·   what is the verse before

·   what is the verse after

·   what is the context of the chapter in the whole book, if you need that

and so forth. So we will apply that. “…but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit” (v 17).

Hold your place here in Romans 14 because we’ll come back. Let’s answer the question number one, which is right here. Romans 14:2 (pg 1,158): “Now on the one hand, one believes he may eat all things that are lawful… [now I inserted the words in italics that are lawful. Why? Because that’s a Biblical interpretation of what this means. Otherwise God would be a liar, wouldn’t He? If He said things were unclean and you shouldn’t eat them, and even today if you’re not in the Church and go to the doctor and you have heart problems, he says, ‘Stop that swine.’ Right? Because they know it’s not good for you. Why did I insert that are lawful? I’ll answer that in just a minute.] …but on the other hand, another one, who is weak, eats only vegetables.”

Now let’s come to 1-Timothy 4 and we will answer the question. Here again I also did some insertion of words to make it clear, because they come to 1-Timothy 4:1 (pg 1,218) and read it and say that if you ask a blessing on it, you can eat it! Well, try that with arsenic. So what I did in translating here, I used the Greek, I followed the Greek, I was honest with the Greek, I prayed every day, ‘God, help me so I am not presumptuous. I don’t want to put in anything that should not be there. I don’t want to add to it; I don’t want to take from it.’ But when you translate from one language to another, you sometimes need more words than you do in the original Greek. And in our modern day you sometimes need some clarifying words so it becomes understandable, and all of those I put in italics, so the reader would know.

1-Timothy 4:1: “Now the Spirit tells us explicitly that in the latter times some shall apostatize from the faith, and shall follow deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons; speaking lies in hypocrisy, their consciences having been cauterized with a hot iron, forbidding to marry… [wonder what church has that] …and commanding to abstain from meats… [So I have and commanding, because] … …forbidding to marry; and commanding to abstain from meats… [Now notice, here is the key understanding to lead you to the truth. So when in doubt, read the verse] …which God created to be received with thanksgiving by the faithful, even by those who know the truth” (vs 1-3).

What is truth? ‘Your Word is the truth.’ What is the truth concerning clean and unclean meats? Lev. 11 and Deut.14. “…and nothing to be refused, if it is received with thanksgiving, Because… [Now this tells us you are not to pray over unclean meats, when you understand it.] …Because it is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer” (vs 4-5). Sanctified means being set aside as Holy by the Word of God. First He tells you, you can eat these things, you can’t eat these things, these are clean, and these are unclean. Isn’t that what it tells us? Yes! And prayer—isn’t that what Jesus did? Yes, when He fed the 5,000, He fed the 4,000. You notice He didn’t take the 2,000 swine into which He cast the demons and bless the swine flesh. No, He sent them on into the swine and what did they do? They drowned in the sea. Good riddance to bad swine flesh. Those were being grown there for the Roman soldiers, you know that don’t you, and for the non-believing Jews.

Being sanctified by the Word of God is the key. It could also be translated, food, but that also defines meat by the very nature of it. Let’s read v 4 again and see how I translated it in the light of what we just read. “For every creature of God designated for human consumption is good… [Now why did I put designated for human consumption?] (Because v 5 says): …it’s sanctified by the Word of God… [God designated it] …and prayer. [last part v 4]: …and nothing to be refused if it be received with thanksgiving.”

So when we come back here to Romans 14, now let’s go back there, this explains to you why I inserted the words all things that are lawful, because you are not going to eat things that are unlawful, if you follow the Word of God—because there’s unity of Scripture between the Old and New Testament. Romans 14:2: “…on the other hand, another one, who is weak, eats only vegetables.” Why? Now they had a particular problem where they lived. The problem was this: they did not have supermarkets like we have today and you can go and get everything all cut up and taken care of. And if you didn’t raise animals, because you didn’t live in the country, but you lived in the city, where did you get your meat? Well, you got your meat from the local temple, because that’s where they were sacrificed. And the local temple was pagan; that’s addressed in 1-Cor. 8. We won’t have time to go through that.

And Paul even allowed them to eat the cooked portion of the food at the restaurants which were right alongside the shanties, right alongside the temple, just like you see many of the markets in other countries where they have little shanties where they sell them. So he said, ‘If it’s sacrificed to an idol, an idol is nothing; and it doesn’t change the composition of the meat, and it is not contaminated, because an idol, we know, is nothing.’ Now other people said, ‘The sacrifice to an idol—I’m not going to eat anything there.’ And I can tell you this for sure, that if you have modern day Jews they go by kosher—correct? Yes. They wouldn’t buy anything from an outfit like that, you can be guaranteed and they would tell you, ‘I eat only vegetables, because I can’t find any meat fit to eat.’ Correct? Yes, you would, without a doubt. So this is what we are dealing with here. That’s why there were vegetarians and that’s why there were those who were meat eaters along with the rest of their food.

Verse 3: “The one who eats meat should not despise the one who does not eat it. And the one who does not eat meat should not condemn the one who eats it, for God has received him.” So there is the subject (vs 2-3)—to eat meat or not eat meat is the subject. Now in Greek when you go down, you could almost divide this into A/B. The one who eats meat, the one who doesn’t eat meat. A/B. And you go down and that’s how the Greek handles it. Fasting is not even in the picture. Sunday keeping or choosing any day to worship on is not even in the picture; has nothing whatsoever to do with what Paul is writing about.

Track 2 or Download

Let me just add here, in studying any Scripture, you cannot study a Scripture in isolation, unless it is absolutely clear in what it’s saying, like some of the Proverbs. Scriptures that have to do with doctrine, you must study, putting the rest of the Bible together: a little here, a little there; precept here, precept there; line here, line there; and you must put the Word of God together and remember this: Nevertake one part of the Bible to fight against or nullify another part of the Bible. That is the theory of subtraction. The way you understand the Scripture is to put it together, which is addition. You always addit.

Now let’s continue on and we will again see this A/B pattern. This is where the Protestants say that you can choose any day you want to worship on, this is where the Jehovah Witness’ say, ‘Well, every day is holy.’ My answer for the JW’s is this: if every day is holy, when do you work?

Romans 14:5: “…someone may prefer one day above another day… [for what? You know it can’t be Sabbath vs Sunday. Did God ever give man the prerogative to choose which day that man wants to make holy when God made the Sabbath Holy? Of course not! So what is it referring to? The subject is what? To eat food with meat or to not eat food with meat. Correct? So that’s why I added in here for eating meat. Because even today… well, I think the Catholics have done away with eating fish on Friday, but that would be an example of it.] …but on the other hand, another may hold every day to be alike….” (v 5). For what? For eating meat or for eating vegetables, no meat. It could apply to both.

“…and the one who does not regard the day is not regarding it to the Lord… [So you see that flies in the face of anything having to do with selecting Sunday vs Sabbath.] …The one who eats meat is eating to the Lord because he gives thanks to God; and the one who does not eat meat is abstaining to the Lord, and is giving thanks to God” (v 6). Does he still ask the blessing on his vegetables? Yes. So this has nothing to do with fasting, because Paul would be completely incongruous in writing this if the whole topic of the whole chapter is to eat meat or not eat meat and then all of a sudden have one verse just inserted there where it says, eat not, in the King James, that’s fasting. That’s not fasting! ‘Well, it’s in a commentary.’ That doesn’t mean the commentary is right.

“For no one among us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself…. [Now then he gives an overall principle here. Now when you take it with eating or not eating meat, then you understand it has nothing to do with Sabbath or Sunday. It has nothing to do with choosing which day you think is Holy, but here is the sum of the whole matter] …For if we live, we should live unto the Lord; and if we die, we should die unto the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s” (vs 7-8). And that’s the whole key for our lives. Don’t get all messed up with eating meat or not eating meat or vegetables or whatever it may be. They’re received of God; they’re accepted of God; and that’s what Paul is saying here. Because they were fighting back and forth, because there were Jews in with the Gentiles and the Jews were saying, ‘Oh, no, don’t eat any of this meat sacrificed down here at the temple of Zeus or Jupiter.’

Verse 9: “It is for this very purpose that Christ both died and rose and is living again, so that He might be Lord over both the dead and the living. Now then, why do you judge your brother?... [so that’s the topic, because when you choose a day to worship on from your own prerogative and your own choice, who are you judging? Another person or God? You are judging God. What did James say? ‘If you judge the law, you’re not a doer of the law.’ You end up like Job where God said to Job, ‘Job, why do you annul My judgments that you may be righteous?’ You can read about the book of Job.

“Now then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you despise you brother? For we all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Because it is written: ‘For as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God’…. [That’s going to happen; the day is coming.] …So then, each one of us shall give account of himself to God” (vs 10-12).

Now here is a great truth contained in this. If you cannot stand for the Truth when you are by yourself, or whether you’re in groups of people, then you have no conviction. Here’s another great truth with that. You are really who you are when you are by yourself and no one else there and it’s just between you and God. So whether you love God and keep His commandments or not and are faithful to God, it has to be at all times, whether you’re with people or whether you’re alone. Because if you can’t stand for the Truth alone, standing in a group or congregation is not going to make you stand for the Truth either as we have seen—correct? And that’s why we are all going to give account to God, because He is going to judge us individually according to our relationship with Him and according to the degree of our love and obedience to Him.

Now here’s another great truth that you need to understand. This has caused so many problems with people in many churches, not only Churches of God, but Protestant churches and so forth, which is this, and every Catholic needs to listen up. Never give your total love and devotion, which belongs to God alone, to a man, a pope, a leader, a priest, an evangelist, a minister or teacher. Because if those who are teaching do not teach the Word of God and they are selective in it and twist and distort the Scriptures, then they are serving themselves and have not been sent from God. Or you can have someone who you thought was honest and true and right; and later on they begin changing because something happens when they look and see their paycheck is going to disappear. That happens in all churches. Look what happened two weeks ago down at the Crystal Cathedral—split between father and son. Yes, and the father said, ‘All you loyal, big givers, send us money. We need money.’ Sound familiar? Yes indeed.

Those are great truths you need to understand. That’s why you are not to look upon a minister or a priest or an elder overly much, but that he should teach the Word of God. He is not in place of God and never give your love and devotion that goes to God to a man, because I’ll tell you what happens. When that man sins, because all men and women sin—correct? And when they sin greatly, then because you have not given that loyalty and love to God, what’s going to happen? You’re going to become disillusioned and you’re going to be mad and you’re going to be angry and you’re going to be hateful and bitter, because you looked to a man rather than to God. Now all people in those categories, regardless of where you are, regardless of whether you’re Catholic or Protestant or you’ve been in the Church of God, you need to do as the Bible shows us. Learn the lesson, but don’t relive it in your mind and your emotions, because you are polluting your mind and emotions with things from the past and you need to grow in grace and knowledge and develop the character and mind of Christ. So ask yourself a question, if it’s a dead horse, leave it alone. Just remember, you tripped over it; don’t do it again.

Now v 13. This is the sum of the subject: “Therefore, we should no longer judge one another… [In what? In the things that he has covered here—right? Yes.] …but judge this instead: Do not put an occasion of stumbling or cause of offense before your brother.” Now let’s ask a question here that’s important. If this were a controversy between Sabbath and Sunday, don’t you think that that controversy would present a great stumbling block? By the very nature of it. So you can’t read into this that it’s about any day you want to make holy. You can’t read into it a day that you are fasting. The whole topic is to eat meat or not eat meat. Then what meat do we eat? Those that are lawful. So that’s why I inserted those things.

Verse 14 is another very problematic verse. “I understand and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus that nothing is…” King James says unclean by itself. That’s not the word for unclean. The Greek word for unclean is ‘akathartos’and the word for common is ‘koinos.’ Now what is the difference? So I translated it common because it is ‘koinos’—which means common. Where are these two words used together in the New Testament so we can have another understanding of the difference between common and unclean?

Let’s come to Acts, the tenth chapter, and then we’ll have a little explanation as to what is unclean and what is common. Now here again the Protestants go there and say, ‘Look, all these animals came down in sheets to Peter, and so forth, and that means we can eat unclean animals.’ All right, we’ll serve them up some lizard tail and see how they like that! Or how about snakes’ tongues. What did Peter say when he was commanded to rise and eat? What did Peter say? He says, ‘I’ve never eaten anything!’ Acts 10:28 (pg 1,094)—after he came into Cornelius’ house. “And he said to them… [now this is a key thing to understand] …‘You know that it is unlawful for a man who is a Jew to associate with or come near to anyone of another race… [Question. Where do you find that in the Old Testament? You don’t! Where do you find that law? In the code of Jewish law by the traditions of the Jews.] …But God has shown me that no man should be called common or unclean.” There you have the two words—common (koinos) and unclean(akathartos).

What is common in the Jewish point-of-view of mind concerning men? Common was a proselyte Jew who was circumcised and allowed entrance into the God-fearing section of the synagogue. They were common. They were allowed in, but since they were of Gentile origin, in the Jew’s mind, they would always remain common. The Jews considered themselves clean, because of circumcision and race.

Unclean. Why would he call a man unclean? That would be an uncircumcised Gentile. Now that’s why we send out the Code of Jewish Law to any who want it. Unless you have the Code of Jewish Law you cannot understand what Paul is writing about. And that’s where the Protestants all come completely wrong. So the next time you’re confronted with a Protestant, you need to ask him, ‘What do you know about Judaism? Have you ever read The Code of Jewish Law?’ What’s that? So we are not dealing with a law of God; we are not dealing with a categorization of common or unclean according to God’s way of doing things, but according to Jewish tradition. That’s where everybody gets off the beaten path. That’s why when you read Acts 11; those in Jerusalem were in an uproar when they heard that Peter had done this! Because even the Church at that time, the Jews thought, ‘The Messiah is only for us.’ So Peter had to say, ‘Hey! Wait a minute! No, it’s not.’

Paul is talking about there that nothing is common of itself. Now what about food? How could you have common food or unclean food, which has nothing to do with meats? This way; tradition of the Jews was this: if a Gentile made or kneaded bread, and there was not a Jew around to supervise it, it was unclean. Now bread of itself is not unclean regardless who baked it or kneaded it. Doesn’t contaminate it. Now if it was done under the supervision of a Jew, like a Gentile working in a Jewish household, and made the bread, it would be common. But that didn’t make it common anymore than if it was in a Gentile bakery, but the bread is unclean. So this what Paul is talking about here. ‘Nothing of itself is common.’ And the word there is common, it is not unclean.

Let’s come back to Romans 14 again. So if you don’t have the Code of Jewish Law, I have two hundred copies and I don’t know if I can get any more after that, so if you don’t have one, you get it and you will find how the Orthodox Jews, the successors of the Pharisees, got way off track and are completely wrapped up in their own traditions, wrapped around the Word of God. And that has become a stumbling stone to themselves and a lot of people.

Now back to Romans 14:14: “I understand and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus that nothing is common of itself, except to the one who regards anything to be common—to that one it is common…. [So here in order to assuage the problem, he said you can have personal conviction of this yourself, but do not force it upon anyone else. And I am sure that was for the Jewish converts who were together with the Gentiles that he allowed that.] …But if, because of meat, your brother is offended, you are no longer walking according to love. With your meat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died” (vs 14-15). That’s the whole subject here, not which day to worship on, not fasting, but the way that you eat.

Now we could do the same thing today in a little different way. What if your health is such that you just cannot eat anything with refined sugar in it? And then you see someone come along with a huge dessert, a giant banana split with four big scoops of ice cream and you have all kinds of syrup just oozing and goozing down and you used to eat those things and think it was good. And it was topped with whipping cream and it looked so good and you say to yourself, ‘Oh, boy, they’re certainly bad people for eating that.’ What it is, is this: one day they will have to pay the penalty for it, but in the meantime if they can still handle it, that’s their choice. But if they come to you and say, ‘Why don’t you eat this?’ You can say, ‘I used to eat that, but my body can no longer handle it and maybe you need to consider that the day may come when you can’t handle it either.’ Well, what should I do? Today we can answer it very easily. Go on line; go to the web site: white sugar is sin. But don’t run up to them and say, ‘Look what you got! Don’t you know what that’s going to do to you?’ Hey, man, this is great stuff. Get away from me! That’s how it would be. So this is what he is saying here: don’t destroy people for how they eat. By the time they come in a congregation, they know about the Sabbath, they know about the Holy Days, they know about clean and unclean foods, so those are not the questions involved here.

Verse 16: “Therefore, do not let your good be evil spoken of. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking; rather, it is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (vs 16-17). Now notice what Paul does—he takes you from a mundane issue of eating meats or not eating meats, then the spiritual principle behind judging and not judging, and then he brings you back to what? Looking to Christ. Paul really had a purpose in this and you have to go through the whole chapter to get the flow of it. So he’s saying now get your bearings to understand what is the principle thing first. The Kingdom of God.

Verse 18: “Because the one who serves Christ in these things is well pleasing to God and acceptable among men. So then, we should pursue the things of peace and the things that edify one another. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of meat” (vs 18-20). Now this is another Scripture that has been twisted and turned around—right? Because everyone thought the work of God was the work being done at headquarters somewhere. That’s the work of God! Oral Roberts said it was over at his place and he built his big tower and said, ‘If you don’t send the money to build this big tower, God is going to let me die.’ Here comes in all kinds of money. Well, he didn’t die and he built the tower, and one of these days there may be an earthquake in Oklahoma City and it’s gone.

What is the greatest work of God? Conversion. Which is what? The work of God in you; the inner working of the Holy Spirit; the changing and converting of your mind and your heart, and dedication to God. That’s the work of God that he is talking about here. The work of God is not publishing or books or magazines; that assists people to help let them yield to God so God can work with them, but that is not the work of God. Because you can take a Bible, you can have a Bible, and if you put it on your shelf even though it may be considered a work of God, it is doing absolutely no work on the shelf—right? You’ve got to read it. So don’t destroy them for that.

“…All things that are lawful are indeed pure” (v 20). Now why did I put all things that are lawful? Is adultery pure? Fornication pure? Lying, cheating, stealing pure? No. No. So it has to be all lawful things, so where you have the phrase all things, it does not include anything that is unlawful; otherwise that would be contrary to the Word of God.

“…but it is an evil thing for someone to cause an occasion of stumbling through his eating. It is better not to eat meat, or drink wine, or anything else by which your brother stumbles, or is offended, or is made weak” (v 20-21). That is the sum of the whole chapter, right there. Having nothing to do with Sabbath keeping, having nothing to do with which day you will choose to worship on and you could apply regarding the day the way the Protestants look at as the holidays that they keep.

“But the one who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not of faith; for everything that is not of faith is sin” (v 23). So there you get into your right conscience or wrong conscience or whatever. So there’s the meaning of chapter 14.

Now, the other questions I’ll have to save for when I get back to Hollister and to Fairfield, because I don’t have time to go into those. So we’ll go ahead and end it here, but I hope that this helps you understand Romans 14 more, and I hope it helps you to understand why it was translated the way that it was. And I didn’t do anything arbitrary in it. I didn’t do anything presumptuous in it, though some people may think that it was presumptuous. But all of the italicized words were added to clarify the flow of the meaning as it comes down through the Greek, so that we can understand it. And that way then we’re able to read it and understand it realizing there’s no conflict between what is called the Old Testament and the New Testament. There’s no conflict between any of the other things that we know we need to do and keep.

Scriptural References:

1)      Amos 3:1-3

2)      2-Peter 1:16-17, 19-21

3)      Romans 14: 1-6, 14-17

4)      Romans 14:2

5)      1-Timothy 4: 1-5

6)      Romans 14:2-9, 13-14

7)      Acts 10:28

8)      Romans 14:14-21, 23

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

·   Daniel 12

·   Matthew 13:43

·   Numbers 9

·   Exodus 16

·   Acts 10, 11, 13

·   Leviticus 11

·   Deuteronomy 14

·   1-Corinthians 8

Also referenced:

Books:

·   Fourteen Rules of Bible Study by Fred Coulter

·   The Link, (home-schooling magazine)

·   Harmony of the Gospels by Fred Coulter

·   The Christian Passover by Fred Coulter

·   McGill’s Hebrew Interlinear

·   Strong’s Concordance

·   Code of Jewish Law by Solomon Ganzfried & Hyman E. Goldin

FRC:lp

Transcribed: 5-5-09

Formatted: bo—5/24/09

BOOKS