Paul’s Journey to Rome
Was Entirely Piloted
BY THE LORD!
PAUL’S JOURNEY TO ROME
WAS ENTIRELY PILOTED
BY THE LORD!
The first part of this article-series gives us a scenario which explains to us how it was when Jesus sent Paul to Rome, to have the Jewish leadership converted – for if they did, then Israel would have been spared of the destruction which came in 70 AD.
I explained how God and Christ guided/piloted Paul immensely and accurately to have him meet that Sanhedrin Counsel (11 Jewish leaders) at Rome. He was also told by Jesus that he should be standing before the Emperor. And we are maybe a bit puzzled that He did not send Paul to Rome to visit the existing assembly of Messianic believers there – the very addressees in his epistle to the Romans!
Absolutely everything we read of Paul in this narrative were planned and put into action by God and Christ! There were no co-incidents happening.
The result was that these eleven council members – as they in this situation represented the nation Israel, refused to repent and believe on Jesus Christ as their Messiah (Acts 28:27). This disastrous attitude of unbelief brought upon the entire nation of Israel a full destruction, like we have learned from Biblical Roman history.
It so happened, that as Paul was in Rome, the Sanhedrin at Jerusalem – with High Priest Ananias II as their leader – took advantage of the absence of Governor Festus (he went to Rome for cure of sickness, but he died still), and had James and all the elders in the Messianic assembly stoned to death, and the assembly thus fled up to Pella. This evil deed made the cup of wrath run over in the mind of God, and Israel was given up to judgement and doom. The violent killings at Jerusalem combined with the denial of Christ by the Sanhedrin at Rome, made the Lord fully reject Israel and cut all contact with them abruptly. This happened in spring 60 AD, and Luke tells us that Paul still kept preaching/teaching ministry to the Jews until 62 AD. Acts 28:31.
THE ABOLISHMENT OF THE LAW OF MOSES
Such an action by the Lord was unheard of at that time.
We learn from Eph. 2:14, 15 that at the time of Paul writing that epistle (62-63 AD) the Law of Moses was abolished, it was ‘littered’ and cast into the waist bin.
It seem to me an obvious matter of fact that as long as the Law was in effect and standing, so was also Israel as a nation for God, in spite of all their troublesome attitudes and much unbelief…whether we think O.T. times or N.T. Many times over, God had punished them for disobedience and unbelief, sending His prophets to chastise them for it. It was often followed by foreign hostile armies attacking them for their evil uproar against the Lord.
To me it seem that the Law of Moses was not just taken off the roster, and then in due time to have it re-introduced to the nation in the future millennial kingdom. I think it was abolished for good. Finite, over and out!
For in the millennial reign of Christ, it will be His Law (Law of Christ) which will be preached and the new Israel of God will follow that Law (Read: Covenant) – and not the old Law of Moses which was weak and fainting towards total disappearance (see Heb. 8:7-13).
Isaiah 2:1-5 is lending us a hand to understand this, Ampl. Bible,
“The word which Isaiah son of Amoz (revealed) concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2: It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be (firmly) established as the highest of the mountains and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow to it. 3: And many people shall come and say, Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that He may teach us His ways, and that we may walk in His paths. FOR OUT OF ZION SHALL GO FORTH THE LAW AND INSTRUCTION, AND THE WORD OF THE LORD FROM JERUSALEM. 4: And He shall judge between the nations and shall decide (disputes) for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war any more. 5: O house of Jacob (Israel), come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.”
We easily understand this known Bible passage, as The very passage speaking of the establishing of the millennial Kingdom of God on earth, when Jesus shall be the ruler and the ‘Supreme Court’ in one and the same. He shall be the Lawmaker – not common men. The Law of Moses of old is not mentioned, but the new law of the Lord (Jesus Christ) is.
We find in Mat. 15:24 that Jesus straight forward told those present, that He was only sent to the house of Israel (and thus not to any Gentiles).
Paul agreed to this as he wrote Rom. 15:8…I tell you that Christ became a servant and a minister to the circumcised (the Jews) in order to show God’s truthfulness and honesty by confirming (verifying) the promises (given) to our fathers. Ampl. Bible.
The Law of Moses was at that time in perfect order and was followed.
Jesus even referred to the Law, saying of Himself, that it was written of him there, as well as in the Prophets and Psalms. Had they only believed on Moses, they would have believed on Me, He said to the Pharisees.
And the same Law was up and followed in the entire time of Acts – and the offer to Israel of the new covenant in the blood of Jesus, came between them and God – if they sinned, so that the new covenant freed them of guilt and they would not be judged by God. Paul sums it nicely up,
Acts 13:39: “And that through Him (Jesus) everyone who believes (acknowledges Jesus as his Savior and devotes himself to Him) is absolved (cleared and freed) from every charge from which he could not be justified by the Law of Moses and given right standing with God.”
This was not Paul talking of the free Grace Gospel, like the gospel we have in our dispensation. It was the Gospel of “what God had promised to our forefathers” – Acts 13:32. In other words, the New Covenant Gospel, that of Jesus crucified for their sins, raised from the dead, and now living in glory at His Father’s right hand (verses 26-34).
But it is clear to us now, due to Paul’s writings – the epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians – that the Law of Moses are gone forever, and in this dispensation of the free Grace Gospel (see Eph. 3:1-9) it is the one and only preaching/teaching of a salvation message to the entire world. We don’t read from the Law or the Prophets or the Psalms in regard to the free Grace of God in Christ. No, we stick to the two only writings of faith-doctrine for this dispensation, namely Ephesians and Colossians. That free Grace Gospel cannot be found in any of the historic gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Neither is it found in Acts or in any of the epistles written during Acts period.
When the Law was ‘up and alive’ – so was also Israel as a nation for God. It was “Jews first, then Gentile” Rom. 1:16. And the salvation message was to Jews and proselytes, under the Law of Moses but assisted in the Grace of God seen in that New Covenant with Jesus Christ for Israel.
The Law was still valid during the time of Acts (28-62 AD) - Rom. 3:31,
“Do we then by (this) faith make the Law of no effect, overthrow it or make it a dead letter? Certainly not! On the contrary, we confirm and establish and uphold the Law.”
Romans was written during Paul’s stay at Ephesus in 56-57 AD, just before he went on his travel to reach the Pentecost in time, as we read in Acts 20-21 (see Acts 20:22) – and so it was at least 5 years before Jesus revealed to His apostle the Mystery, mentioned in Eph. 3:1-9 and Col. 1:25, 26. The dispensation of the Church and the free Grace Gospel, internationally addressed.
Jesus had said of Himself that He was sent only to Israel’s house (thus NOT to us Gentiles!)… like I quoted from Mat. 15:24.
But as we get to Acts 22:21, we find a change in that saying,
“And the Lord said to me (Paul), Go, for I will send you far away unto the Gentiles!”
Paul as he defended himself before the Jewish mob at the temple site at Jerusalem in the feast of Pentecost 58 AD.
It pleased Jesus Christ that Paul should be the one to go to us Gentiles – and not Himself as such. When Jesus came in ministry around 25 AD, He was sent only to the house of Israel, and He called them “the lost sheep of the house of Israel”.
Paul saying this to the mob, made them go ‘bananas’…infuriated they tore up their clothes and threw dust and sand up in the air ….and Captain Claudius Lysias had to bring Paul into a secure place in the Antonia Fortress.
The Law of Moses was still in operation when these things took place…the fierce attitude of the mob was based on the fact the Gentiles were not permitted at the temple site. Shortly before this, Paul had taken upon him the Nazirite wow shaving off his hair and bringing offerings to the temple, so that the Jews would know that he KEPT THE LAW OF MOSES. This was not a show piece for the gallery; it was a genuine rite which Jews could perform as a Jew and in sincerity before the Lord. Paul was a Jew, and he lived as a Jew all through Acts period.
The Law of Moses, when it was in effect and valid, meant that so was Israel.
Israel was God’s chosen nation on earth as long as the Law of Moses was valid. The Law is called in Heb. 8-9 for “The Old Covenant” – so it was not just a book with a Law, but it was a Covenant between God and Israel.
Jer. 31:31-34 is clear, - especially verse 32, when the old covenant is compared to the new one, saying,
“Not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, MY COVENANT WHICH THEY BROKE, although I was their Husband, says the Lord.”
As long as we find that the Law of Moses is the reference for the faith doctrine in Acts when the apostles preached the Kingdom-Gospel and the New Covenant, we find that Israel is still God’s chosen nation on earth. And the time of the Church dispensation was not yet come. God cannot have two separate callings going on in parallel.
The calling to Israel contained the Kingdom in Israel with Jesus as King as their hope of salvation. An earthly type of salvation, however it would last for one thousand years (Rev. 20:4).
But reading Paul’s Grace Gospel to the entire world, no longer especially for Israel, we find that the Law of Moses is done with, and the calling and hope of salvation is in the heavens up above where Christ is sitting by His Father’s right hand in glory. In other words, Israel is gone, and is no longer God’s chosen nation on earth (as long as the dispensation of the Church is lasting).
The logic in this is also clear: When Israel was His nation, they had to abide by His Law, but as they fell from their status as God’s chosen nation because of their ultimate Christ-denial at Rome Acts 28:25-28 in the presence of God’s apostle Paul, there was no need any more of the Law of Moses: The recipients of this Law were out and gone, they had no more contact with God since their ultimate Christ-denial was a fact. No Israel, thus NO LAW.
But we find that God will receive any Jew who takes to faith in Christ as an individual person, are saved according to the new free Grace Gospel of Paul.
God made the two, Jews and Gentiles, into ‘One new man’ when entering faith in Jesus Christ, and so the previous wall of partition (the enmity between the two, caused by the Law) was torn down. Jew and Gentile are now on same standing before God in faith in Christ. Eph. 2:14, 15.
Col. 3:11 is very clear,
“There is no room for and there can be neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarians or Scythians, nor slave or free man: but Christ is all and in all.”
This because 1: Israel is now fallen from God 2: Thus the Law of Moses is entirely irrelevant and no longer valid, it has been cast into the litter box, for all times.
When Jesus has come back to Israel after the end of the Great Tribulation, His word and settling doctrine and rule, shall bring forth a NEW LAW, which entirely will be taught to the new Israel in the coming millennial kingdom. Isa.2:1-5 will come to fulfillment indeed.