Home Bible Study

"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.
Revelation 22:20

This is a Home Bible study. It exists to promote the Word of God as it's written, which means nothing added or taken away, and minus opinions.

The Bible is the only source of Divine Truth in the world today. Although it is helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible might not tell us everything we want to know but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know.

My role is to guide you through the Scriptures; to explain what this book says and in some cases what it does not say because this is just as important.

Ultimately, you have a decision to make concerning your salvation - no one can make it for you. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, has given everyone the ability to make choices - this is is called "Free Will." I pray you consider your choice wisely.

II Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas 2014

Home Bible Study ©
Established November 2008
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
(2 Timothy 2:15)

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1Timothy 2:3-4

Christmas 2014

Home Bible Study breaks from the regular routine during the Christmas Season.
Instead of producing the next Bible lesson in line, I write a lesson about the birth of our Savior.  I’ve been doing this for so long it’s become a holiday tradition around here.
We’ll return to the book of Romans after the New Year holiday.

Before I begin I want to take the time to wish each of you a Merry Christmas.
Please remember to be thankful to God 
for His gift of everlasting love, 
for His precious gift of grace,
 and for His gift of life, in Christ Jesus.

I’m going to visit Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth this year and the reason for this will unfold as the lesson goes along.   It’s necessary to fill in some details before I get started, “to properly set the scene.”  First, Luke was not an apostle.  Second, it appears that he wasn’t even an eyewitness to any of these events he writes about.  You pick up on this fact by the use of the pronouns “we” and “us” which he uses throughout his gospel. 

Basically, Luke was a reporter or better yet a bearer of good news.
Let’s see what he has to say about this.  Please turn to Luke, chapter 1.

Luke 1

1: Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us,

2: just as they were handed down to us by those who from the (what) beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word (Jesus Christ),

3: it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus (a Roman official);

Luke doesn’t claim to be an eyewitness to any of these events, but he does claim to be a “careful investigator,” receiving eyewitness testimony and then writing it down. 
The reason for this is given in the following verse.

4: so that you may know the exact truth about these things you have been taught.

In short, Luke is saying that he carefully investigated everything (meticulously) regarding Jesus Christ from the beginning before he wrote all these events down in consecutive order so – that you (and the whole world) may know the exact truth. 

I added the words “and the whole world” to the text because the birth of Jesus Christ affects everyone from Adam to this age and beyond; and both Jew and Gentile alike.

The book of Luke is the first volume in a two volume set. 
The book of Acts is the second volume (Acts 1:1-2).

The book of Matthew, an eyewitness, was the first gospel written, as early as 50 AD.

The book of Mark, an eyewitness, followed between the years 55-70 AD.

The book of Luke, who was not an eyewitness or an apostle of Jesus, but he was a companion of the Apostle Paul.   Therefore, Luke had ample opportunity to meet the other apostles who not only knew Jesus but worked side by side with Him during His ministry here on earth.  This gospel was probably written around 62-65 AD.

The book of John, an eyewitness, was written between the years 80-90 AD.

Luke wrote his gospel account so that those who are interested may know with all certainty that Jesus was born of a virgin, in Bethlehem, just as God the Father promised and just as the prophets proclaimed to Israel (Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14, 9:6; Micah 5:2).

Let’s read some truth together.  Please go to Luke, chapter 2.

Jesus Birth in Bethlehem

1: Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth.

2: This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.

3: And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.

4: Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,

5: in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.

6: While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.

7: And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in (swaddling) cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

This is how Jehovah, the Creator God, the Savior of the world arrived…unobserved. 

Jesus came but He didn’t descend from the clouds in a chariot of gold, leading an army of angels, nor did He arrive sitting atop a white stallion leading a vast Israelite army to overthrow Roman supremacy.   He came silently and simply just as Luke reports it; Mary gave birth, she wrapped Him in (swaddling) cloths, and laid Him in a manger because there was no room for them. 

Jesus came during a time known as Pax Romana or Roman Peace referring to the Roman Empire in its prime.  This term is a bit misleading because Roman expansion continued and Rome still had many enemies.   Rome had many gods and spirits and Augustus wanted to be counted among them.  The senate made him emperor of Rome, but he was determined that his people would see him as their supreme spiritual leader as well.   Early in his reign, Haley’s Comet passed over Rome, and since Romans were deeply superstitious, Augustus took advantage of this opportunity.  He claimed it was the spirit of Julius Caesar entering heaven.  If Caesar was a god then he, as his heir, was the son of a god!  In 27 BC, the Roman Senate granted Octavian the name Augustus, meaning the “exalted.” 

Our Savior was born in this environment.  The world was on the move…Augustus the god-man, the most powerful person on earth had spoken and the world responded.    Caesar Augustus had ordered a census be taken of all the inhabited earth.  Every male was commanded to return to their ancestral home to be counted.  This was required for two reasons:  for military purposes and for taxation.  Jews were not required to serve in the Roman Army but they were taxed.  This is why we find Joseph making his way up to Bethlehem from Nazareth.  Women were not required to go with them and they were not counted in the census, still we find Mary, with child, accompanying her husband on his journey.

Now we’re used to the Christmas story version where Joseph and Mary arrive in Bethlehem, just in the nick of time, to deliver her baby but that’s not what Luke says:

6: While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.
The Bible doesn’t say how many “days” they stayed in Bethlehem until she gave birth.  It could have one or two or even a dozen.  We do know she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped Him in (swaddling) cloths.

Most people overlook the significance of the “swaddling” cloths.  But if you read Luke’s account carefully starting at verse 12 we have this:  This will be a (what) sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in (swaddling) cloths and lying in a manger.”  (God used signs and miracles to validate His message or His messenger to the Jews.)

Jesus’ is proclaimed as the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of David, throughout the beginning of Luke’s gospel.  The angel Gabriel tells Mary that her Son, “will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; (Luke 1:32).  The Davidic theme continues throughout the tale of Jesus’ birth.  He was born in Bethlehem, the city of David.  Even the angels speak of Jesus’ connection to King David in verse 11, “for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord…

To locate the significance of the “swaddling” cloths you have to go back to King David’s first-born son, Solomon.  He was known for his humility (until he turned away from God).  Solomon prayed to God for wisdom; not wealth, not power, and not honor.

In Wisdom of Solomon 7, we have this:  And when I was born, I began to breathe the common air, and fell upon the kindred earth, and my first sound was a cry, like that of all. 4 I was nursed with care in swaddling cloths.  5 For no king has had a different beginning of existence;  6 there is for all mankind one entrance into life, and a common departure.  7 Therefore I prayed, and understanding was given me; I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.  8 I preferred her to scepters and thrones, and I accounted wealth as nothing in comparison with her.  9 Neither did I liken to her any priceless gem, because all gold is but a little sand in her sight, and silver will be accounted as clay before her.  10 I loved her more than health and beauty, and I chose to have her rather than light...

Jesus’ humble birth is a “sign” to the nation of Israel that He truly is the Son of David, who like Solomon is not about wealth, power, or honor…and then there’s the “swaddling” cloth. 

Moving further along in Luke’s narrative to,”…no room for them in the inn,” this is better translated: no space available in the guest room.  There were no road-side inns in Bethlehem, folks.  Jesus' birth predates the Holiday Inn era by quite a few years.

The word, “inn” in the Greek is Kataluma (kat-al’-oo-mah) and is best understood as a “guest room.”  We find Biblical evidence of this at Luke 22:11 and Mark 14:14. 

Joseph returned to the home of a family member in Bethlehem and because of the census order this small dwelling was full of people…there was no room for them.  There is no lack of hospitality here.  There is no sinister inn keeper.  That’s the Hollywood version.

The guest room is already taken.  The host is not expected to ask prior guests (or a recently married son for that matter) to leave so they make suitable accommodations for them.  Now this doesn’t mean that Joseph’s family suggests they go find a stable or a cave to stay in while they’re in town.  Please don’t swallow that Hallmark view of the Christmas Story.  The homes of that era usually contained a place in the rear for their animals.  They brought them in at night and let them out during the day.  This was practical for a couple of reasons.  The closeness of the animals at night helped heat the home in winter and it kept them from being stolen (Luke 13:15). 

In all likelihood, this is where the holy family wound up.  This is certainly where you’d find a manger – not the kind you see pictured on most Christmas cards though.  A manger is an animal feeder that is made of carved stone; nothing cutesy about it.  In fact, it has been said by some that the manger is another "sign."  It's a foreshadow of the tomb, also hand carved, in which Jesus will one day be laid and buried.

So, after carefully investigating and interviewing eyewitnesses regarding Jesus’ birth Luke writes his gospel so that you may know the truth…

But truth today is subjective.  Case in point:  I was following a car that had four decals in its rear window.  In the upper corners, they had placed two Joy FM stickers, in the lower right-hand corner there was a decal of a child kneeling at the cross, hands folded in prayer.  I was thinking to myself this guys obviously a Christian and enjoys Christian radio.  But then I looked in the lower left-hand corner and saw he had placed an Obama/Biden decal there and I started to wonder.  Then I thought maybe he doesn't know this president supports the killing of unborn children.  He should.  It's the voters responsibility to know the facts.  It' also a Christian's responsibility to know what the Bible teaches and then support it.  The truth is abortion is at odds with what the Bible teaches.  God’s against killing unborn children.  There’s no debate.  It’s right vs wrong.  

Because we live in an age of Relativism people treat truth like a ping-pong ball.     
Relativism is a philosophical position that all points of view are equally valid, and that all truth is relative to the individual.  Meaning all moral positions, all religious systems, all art forms, all political movements, etc., are truths that are relative to the individual and constantly changing. 

This philosophy is pervasive in our culture today.  With the rejection of God and His Word in particular, absolute truth is being abandoned.  This pluralistic society wants to avoid the notion that there really is a right and a wrong. 

If you doubt me concerning this, look at our deteriorating judicial system that has increased difficulty in punishing criminals, in our entertainment industry which continues to push the margins of immorality and indecency; our educational system which is permitted to teach the theory of evolution as fact but bans the teaching of creationism outright; our society promotes the protection of animals but kills 1.5 million unborn children annually.  In addition, moral Relativism is encouraging everyone to accept homosexuality, pornography, fornication, pre-marital sex, drunkenness, same-sex marriage, and many other sins that were once considered “wrong” but are now deemed acceptable and promoted by our society (Romans 1:28-32; 2 Timothy 3:1-7). 

God has communicated His stance on all these subjects but people aren’t tuning in.
Society scorns God and His Word…and that’s a foolish activity (Proverbs 3:34); but we have this.  

Jesus was born!

Luke reports the truth.  He tells it just as it happened that night in Bethlehem.  
Jesus came serenely and simply, shining His Light into our darkened world.  He came in at our level, humbly, poor in other words.  He wasn’t born in a palace, amongst kings and rulers, such as Caesar Augustus, for no normal person could imagine themselves being united with a Prince of Rome.  No, Luke in his gospel conveys Jesus as the Christ, rich in mercy and grace. 

Our apostle Paul writes,“…although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.  Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross.  For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:6-11)

Jesus wants the world-at-large to know, I am the way, and the truth…”

Truth doesn’t change.  It stands forever.  Can you say the same of philosophy and Science?  Yet, this is where the majority put their faith and their hope.  Listen, when all hope is lost, in steps Jesus Christ not only saying I have the truth but also saying, “I am the truth!  Come as you are.”

That’s the point of this Bible lesson – that you may know the truth.

God’s Word says that without His forgiveness you are dead in your sins and you’ll spend eternity apart from Him and His love in a place of torment especially made for you called the Lake of Fire.  You have a decision to make.  No one can make it for you.
You’re either for God or against Him.  There’s no middle ground.

Jesus has already paid the penalty for your sins at the cross.  All you need to do is believe in His death, burial, and resurrection to be saved (plus nothing else).  It’s that simple.    

The Apostle Paul writes, “Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.  For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

If you believe that Jesus’ shed blood paid the penalty for your sins, past, present, and future, then you are saved and eternally secure, in Christ Jesus.  That’s the truth!

I pray you’ll take the time to “investigatethis matter and respond in kind.

© Copyright 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Romans by the Book (Lesson 74)

Home Bible Study ©
Established November 2008
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
(2 Timothy 2:15)

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1Timothy 2:3-4

Romans by the Book                                                                        Lesson 74

Welcome to Home Bible Study.
And thank you for electing to study your Bible with us.

If you’ve just dropped by for a visit please know we’ve been diligently studying the book of Romans for several months.  Lessons #1 thru #73 are available on this website and you may study these at your own pace.  We completed our review of chapter 8 two weeks ago and I’m currently “setting the stage” for our study of RC9.

After carefully considering this parenthetical segment of Paul’s letter and its subject matter particularly, I thought it would benefit the group to review Jewish antiquities before we started this new chapter.  I chose this path because so many people know so little about the Jews, their history, and the Old Testament in particular.  So, I started at the beginning, when the LORD God called Abram to be the father of a great nation, and he responded, in faith, believing what the LORD God had said, and I ended it where the Jews and the Gentiles conspired to kill God’s Son, their Messiah, and then crucified Him on a tree (Psalms 2:1-3; Galatians 3:13).  Jewish history didn't end there, of course.
I chose to pause at this event for a reason which will soon be revealed.

With last week’s lesson still fresh in our minds, we’re ready to tackle Paul’s opening paragraph.  If you’ll please open your Bible to Romans, chapter 9, we’ll start by reading some Scripture together.

Romans 9

1: I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit,

2: that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart.

3: For I could wish (pray) that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh,

4: who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises,

5: whose are the fathers, (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever.  Amen

After I read the first three verses this thought came to my mind:

Have you ever cared for something greater than yourself?

If you are currently serving in the military or if you have worn the uniform in the past we know something about sacrifice and service not only to this nation but also to our fellow brothers and sisters in arms.  Therefore, the phrase, “some gave all” holds special meaning to a veteran.

This latter demonstration of compassion is difficult to express in words.  To simply say that an individual “cared”  for another so deeply that they put themselves “in harm’s way,” or “laid down their life” for another is less than adequate considering their sacrifice.

Carrying this thought into our Bible lesson and with Paul’s first three verses in mind, our Apostle Paul’s love for his brethren (the Jews) is without question.  If we had nothing else from him in Scripture to go by, these compassionate opening remarks would suffice to say the least. 

Paul’s counterpart Moses had equal compassion for idolatrous Israel in the Old Testament.  While he was atop Mt Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments from the LORD God, God’s chosen nation was down below worshipping a man made calf of gold, claiming it was this idol who rescued them from Egypt.  The LORD God wanted to destroy them (Exodus 32:7-10).  Moses pleaded with Him to spare the people and forgive their sin.  But if not, Moses asked the LORD God to, “…please blot me out from your book which you have written!”  (Exodus 32:31-35).

Just as it is difficult to estimate the measure of love in a soldier or sailor who has laid down their life for another, it is equally as difficult to measure the love and compassion of Moses and Paul for their brethren.  I assure you our best attempt would fall well short of the goal.  Dr. John A. Bengel (1687-1752) put it this way:  “…our limited reason cannot grasp it, as the child cannot comprehend the courage of warriors!”

Filling in the Background

Paul knew many of the Jews were zealous (devoutly religious).  They gave themselves wholeheartedly to what they believed, just as Paul once did (Galatians 1:13-14). 
Unfortunately, they lacked the right understanding of what God had accomplished and was presently doing through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Paul wrote, “For I testify about them that they a have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with (heart) knowledge.” (Romans 10:2)

The LORD God had committed Himself to bless the nation of Israel yet now they’ve been nationally set aside, while Paul’s gospel goes out to both Jew and Gentile - for now there is no difference (Galatians 3:28).  

Paul's dilemma:  if God is committed to His chosen people, even though they have been disobedient and unfaithful, how does Paul reconcile the no distinction between Jew and Gentile program now in place?

Now let's read verses 4-5.

Romans 9

4: who are Israelites, to whom belongs the (Divine national) adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises,

5: whose are the fathers, (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever.  Amen

I’ve underlined several matters in these two verses in which the nation of Israel differed from all the other nations.  These items belonged to Israel and still belong to Israel today despite the unfaithfulness of the people. 

In my opening statement I said I would reveal why I stopped our tour through Jewish antiquities at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and here we are.  Starting with verse 4 and ending at verse 5, one of the first things I take note of is there are 8 matters all totaled with the eighth consideration being Jesus Christ Himself.

I don’t believe these 8 matters listed here are an accidental occurrence or that Paul sat alone for hours trying to come up with eight items exactly before he dictated this letter to Tertius.  I do believe the Holy Spirit was working through Paul as he spoke to his co-worker in Christ. 

I also don't think it was a coincidence that Paul named Jesus Christ as the eighth matter belonging to the nation of Israel.  The number 8 by itself in Scripture is associated with Resurrection and Regeneration and the beginning of a New Order of Things. 

It has been said that God is the great Geometrician and does everything after a plan and by number, weight, and measure.  Therefore, every careful reader of Scripture should be aware that there are certain numbers which appear frequently in both the Old and the New Testaments such as:  4, 7, 10, 12, 40, 70, and so on.  These numbers and others like them have a "symbolic" significance. 

Here are just a few examples of how this is represented in Scripture:

Noah was the eighth person (2 Peter 2:5) and his family consisted of 8 people.

Abraham was commanded to circumcise every male child on the eighth day (Genesis 17:11-14) - this rite symbolized that Abraham and his descendents were a New Race.

Abraham sired 8 sons (Ishmael, Issac, Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah).

David was the eighth son of Jesse; he introduced a New Order in Israel (1 Samuel 16:10-11).

Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the first day of the New Week - the eighth day.

Jesus showed Himself alive 8 times after His resurrection:  Mary Magdalene, Mark 16:9-11; two disciples on the road to Emmaus, Luke 24; all the disciples except Thomas, John 20:19-24; one week later He appeared to them all, including Thomas, John 20:26-29; according to Paul, Jesus was seen by 500 Believers at one time 1 Corinthians 15:4-7; Jesus met His disciples at the appointed place in Galilee, Matthew 28:16-17; and on Galilee's shores, John 21:1-24; His final meeting was on the Mt of Olives, where he gave His followers instructions before ascending to heaven, Acts 1.

Eight is the number of Jesus, whose name in the Greek adds up to 888.

The New Testament was written by 8 men (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, James, Peter, Jude, and Paul).

Now I want to take the time to examine each one of these 8 matters so that we can fully appreciate the blessings God gave the nation of Israel. 

1) (Divine national) adoption as sons – I prefer to let this book do the talking.  “Israel is My son, My firstborn… (Exodus 4:22)

“For you are a holy people to the LORD your (Jehovah) God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.  (Deuteronomy 7:6)

“You only have I chosen (known) among all the families of the earth;  (Amos 3:2)
God’s election of Israel as His chosen people is eternal, per Scripture:  “For just as the new heavens and the new earth Which I make will endure before Me,” declares the LORD, “So your offspring and your name will endure.”   (Isaiah 66:22)

2)  the glory – the LORD went before His people, leading them through the wilderness, in a pillar of cloud by day, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night (Exodus 13:20-21).

The LORD led them safely through the Red Sea (Exodus 14:13-31).

Some may not be aware of finer details such as the LORD commanding Moses to, “make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.”  (Exodus 25:8; 2 Chronicles 5:13-14). 

God has not dwelt among or interacted with any other nation in this manner.

3)  the covenants – earlier Paul wrote, "...what advantage has the Jew?  Or what is the benefit of circumcision?  Paul answers:  "Great in every respect.  First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God" (Romans 3:1-2). 

The Israelites had every advantage (and still do) and the gentiles had none.  The Bible speaks of 7 different covenants, four of these are with the nation of Israel (Abrahamic, Palestinian, Mosaic, and Davidic), of these four three are unconditional which means regardless of what the nation of Israel does (obedience or disobedience) God will still fulfill these covenants with His people.  Only the Mosaic covenant was conditional; it brought blessing or a curse depending on Israel's obedience or disobedience.  The remaining three covenants are between God and mankind in general.  These are the Adamic Covenant (Grace), The Edenic Covenant (Innocence), and the Noahic Covenant (which ushered in the dispensation of Human Government).

But God's purpose and plan for the nation of Israel began with the call of Abram and the Abrahamic Covenant.  This unilateral covenant between God and Abraham is the foundation for all subsequent covenants God made with the nation of Israel.  God's plan in making the covenants was for Israel to become a "nation of priests" and "a holy nation" (Exodus 19:5-6; Zechariah 8:22-23; 1 Peter 2:9). 

God revealed in the Abrahamic Covenant that the Gentiles would be blessed through Israel and this is the only path by which a gentile may be saved - for salvation is from the Jews (John 4:22).  Not only does this mean that the Savior of all mankind would come from the Jewish nation but Jesus Himself said this about the Jews.  They are, "...the salt of the earth" (Matthew 5:13)

4)  the Law - as Paul said, it was a great thing to be entrusted with God's law.  I'll take this one step further.  Every writer of Scripture is a Jew.  The first five books of the Bible were written by Moses and are referred to as the Pentateuch which means, "five books." They are also known as the books of the law because they contain the laws and instructions given by the LORD God through Moses to the people of Israel.  The Jews are literally the custodians of God's Word (Deuteronomy 6:7; 11:19). 

5)  the temple service - the word service in the Greek translated is Latreia and means, the service and worship of God according to requirements.  We're talking about God's requirements which were "prescribed" to the nation of Israel only and in great detail in relation to tabernacle worship and afterwards to temple worship.  Since the destruction of the Jewish Temple in 70 AD by the Titus and his legions the Jews have not had the temple service.  But once the peace treaty is signed between the nation of Israel and the antichrist temple worship will resume (Daniel 9:27).

6)  the promises - there isn't enough space here to record for you all the promises Jehovah made to His favored nation Israel.  Two things worth mentioning:  these promises were made to the Jews.  They were not given to any gentile nation, even though many have appropriated them unto themselves.

FYI:  there is a difference between God's promises and His covenants with Israel. 
Here are but a few examples of God's promises to His chosen people:

'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).

For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust (2 Peter 1:4).

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).

But he who listens to me shall live securely And will be at ease from the dread of evil (Proverbs 1:33)

7)  the fathers - when referencing "the fathers," while discussing the nation of Israel, you have to go back to the beginning, once again, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob for these are known as the Patriarchs of both the physical and spiritual Judaism.  These men founded the religion known as Judaism and their descendents are the Jewish people.  It would be incorrect to label Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob a Jew, since the term was not used generally for hundreds of years after their time.  All Believers  in Christ Jesus have a spiritual connection to Abraham (Galatians 3:14, 3:29).

8)  the Christ (Messiah) - last on Paul's list but hardly least is Jesus Christ, Himself.  
At Romans 1:3 Paul states, "concerning His Son, who was born a descendent of David according to the flesh...," then at John 1:14 we learn, "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us...," and in the book of Hebrews 2:16 we read, "...He gives help to the descendents of Abraham."  
If you'll turn to the book of Matthew, chapter 1, you'll discover that this apostle follows the seed of Jesus Christ back to David, and to Abraham (Matthew 1:1).  I wanted you to see this and then hopefully you'll recognize it for what it is.  It's an exclusive honor for the nation of Israel - outranking all others.  Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, is a Jew (Isaiah 9:6).

Jesus is the 8th matter on Paul's list and once again this is not by accident or coincidence.    
The number 8 represents a New Beginning and a New Order or Beginning; it also represents Resurrection and Regeneration in Scripture.  So then, I believe the Holy Spirit, working through Paul, is attempting to establish some truth with these Jews in Rome and elsewhere.

a) their Messiah had come, as promised (Genesis 3:15, 12:1-4). 

 b) since God had kept this all important covenant related promise, even though the vast majority of the Jews didn't believe in Him or His gospel, there's no reason to think for one minute that God is unfaithful.   

The reason I believe this is because of what comes next.  We have these words from our Apostle Paul, But it is not as though the word of God has failed.

(To be continued)

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