Grace Bible Church of Rolling Meadows

Romans Highlights


Presented by Steve Walker

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Romans Highlights

Rightly-Dividing and LOVE (pt. 1)

Jan 08, 2023

We are reaching the end of our long journey through the most important book in the world, God and Paul's Letter to the Romans. Now, Paul is going to conclude the book by taking it to its highest and most important teaching. He wants to made sure the Romans and every reader ever since is left with the ONE OVERRIDING ALL-IMPORTANT truth to remember from Romans; and that is that today in the Dispensation of Grace the whole Triune Godhead is powerfully working in and through the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ as revealed in and through the distinct and unique apostleship and ministry of our Apostle Paul (Rom. 15:15-19). That is the primary, fundamental truth we need to get from the Book of Romans. That is the one major thought that Paul wants to leave them and us with as he closes his letter. That is what he wants to put foremost in their minds. Everything else in Romans, while being of infinite and eternal importance, is secondary truths that flow out of the primary truth of Paul's distinct apostleship. If you go right with Paul's distinct apostleship, you will go right everywhere else in Romans. If you understand Paul's distinct apostleship, you will not have any problem understanding justification, sanctification, glorification, etc. by grace through faith. Paul's distinct ministry is the key that unlocks every divine lock. It explains not only what God is doing today, but what He had been doing in the past and will be doing in the future. It explains everything! Of course, there is a flip side to this coin. Be warned: Since the whole Triune Godhead is now powerfully working through Paul's distinct apostleship, to reject that apostleship, to ignore that ministry and rebel against it (as most of historic Christianity has done and continues to do!) is to REJECT, IGNORE AND REBEL AGAINST THE WHOLE TRIUNE GODHEAD!

But just “knowing” these things isn't enough. There is one more essential ingredient, and that ingredient is LOVE, the LOVE that flows out of PAULINE GRACE! Rightly-dividing the Bible is what gives us increasing knowledge and understanding of what God is doing today, but it is just the starting point for the Christian walk that pleases God. It is the tool God uses to produce an ever-increasing flow of LOVE whereby we are empowered to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service (Rom. 12:1). Not to be conformed to the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom. 15:15-16), that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Rom. 12:2). And this is all accomplished through the Grace that is given to Paul (Rom. 12:3; 15:15), Pauline Grace Mystery Truth (Rom. 16:25).

Romans Highlights

(Rom. 14-15)

Jan 15, 2023

In Romans 14-15, God gives the solution to virtually all the problems, errors and confusion that have characterized most of historic Christianity over the past 2,000 years. In Rome there was a small group of believers who came out of Judaism, and they were confused about how to handle God's Word correctly. God's Word through Moses, for instance, said there are a lot of unclean foods, don't eat any of them, and if you do it will affect your standing before God (Lev. 11). But God's Word through Paul said there is nothing unclean, everything is pure, eat whatever you want, and it has no effect on your standing before God. Well, which is it? What should you follow? You can't really do both. How do you decide which is the way that pleases God today? The wrong answer and the worst answer is to take the instructions God gave to Israel in the Mosaic Law and mix them up together with the instructions He gave to the Body of Christ in Pauline Grace, creating a big mish-mash of confusion. As one Bible teacher said you can throw all the leftovers into the blender but no matter how you do it what comes out will just be a mess.

And that's what was happening in Rome. Some were confusing God's Prophetic Program for the Nation of Israel with His Mystery Program for the Body of Christ, which allowed the flesh to gain a foothold in their assembly, fulfilling the lusts thereof (Rom. 13:14), dividing it up and causing all kinds of problems. By bringing the Mosaic Law (the food regulations and feast days) into Pauline Grace, the “weak in the faith” (that is, weak in their understanding of God's change in programs and the role of Paul's distinct and unique apostleship) were judging and condemning the “strong in the faith” (that is, strong in their understanding of God's programs and the role of Paul's distinct and unique apostleship—Rom. 9-11) for not following the Law regulations. The implication of which was that that the “strong in the faith,” which was made up mostly of Gentiles, did not have a full and complete right-standing before God. Ultimately, this suggests that Christ's Work on the Cross isn't sufficient. You need the works of the Law as well, calling into question everything that God is doing in the world today.

Now, if we remember that Paul just explained in Rom. 9:30-33 that Israel fell because in focusing on a righteousness that came from the works of the Law, they missed out on the righteousness that comes through faith based on Christ and His Work on the Cross. They stumbled at that stumbling stone and rock of offence (Rom. 9:32-33). Israel tripped over Christ because of the works of the Law.

With this in mind, Paul's statement in Rom. 14:13 takes on much more urgency. Paul instructs the Romans, especially the “strong in the faith,” that they must do nothing that would put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in a brother's way or that would cause offense (Rom. 14:13b, 20). The Romans were in an extremely dangerous situation that must be resolved with the right answer immediately if disaster is to be averted. Like the Nation of Israel, they were at risk of stumbling over Christ again because of the works of the Law for righteousness thereby destroying their assembly.

Beginning in Rom. 14:14, Paul gives them the way that can avert the coming disaster, and it all starts with FOLLOWING PAUL BECAUSE HE IS THE ONE FOLLOWING THE LORD! Remember who, exactly, Paul was. He was a Hebrew of the Hebrews, who said of himself: My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation (Israel) at Jerusalem, know all the Jews ... that after the most straight sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee (Acts 26:4-5), and touched the righteousness of the Law, blameless (Phil. 3:5-6). From his youth, Paul was the strictest observer of all the works of the Law, including the food regulations and observance of feast days. Before the Risen Lord Jesus persuaded him otherwise, he would have stood proudly (as Peter did in Acts 10) and boasted that he had never eaten anything unclean in his whole life and never would!!

But then Paul had an encounter with the Risen Lord Jesus, who gave him the Dispensation of Grace (Eph. 3:2), through which He would introduce a new program called His Mystery Program, a new group of believers called the Body of Christ, and a new instruction manual called Pauline Grace. Therefore, when Paul makes the point that the Lord Jesus persuaded him—the ex-leader of the apostate Nation of Israel, the Pharisee of the Pharisees--that there is nothing unclean and everything is clean in Rom. 14:14 and 20, his point was that if the Risen Lord Jesus could persuade him of this fact, then He can persuade anyone of it.

If the Romans responded positively in faith to this epistle, the door would be opened to the persuading work of the Lord, and He would persuade them of the same thing He had persuaded Paul and the other “strong in the faith believers” of: The Jewish food regulations and feast days were no longer in effect because through Paul's distinct apostleship God is offering the whole world of enemy sinners, especially the Gentiles, a complete and perfect right-standing before Himself based on faith in the Work of Christ that is apart from Israel, through her fall and WITHOUT the works of the Law (Rom. 15:15-19).

This is the right answer. This is the answer that everyone in Rome must agree upon if disaster is to be averted. To turn away from the sole sufficiency of the Work of Christ for righteousness before God and go back to the works of the Law for righteousness was putting them at risk of stumbling over Christ all over again. But now the problem becomes what is the right way to lead someone who is embracing the wrong answer to embrace the right answer? Well, the wrong way to do this is the way the “strong in the faith” believers were responding in Rome. They were trying to enforce the right answer on the “weak in the faith” through flesh responses, by being unwelcoming, despising and neglecting and ridiculing the “weak.” But this way is not only unacceptable to God, it brings condemnation onto the “strong” and destruction onto the “weak” (Rom. 14:15, 20, 23). It works contrary to God and Christ (Rom. 14:15, 20). Forcing someone to do something they genuinely think will displease God is not the right way to resolve the matter. Making someone choose between pleasing you or pleasing God is a horrible thing to do, a stumbling stone indeed. Certainly, if the “strong” are really “strong in the faith,” they won't continue in such things any longer.

Instead, they are to follow the pattern of Paul, who was not only “strong in the faith” but also had a stronger Jewish background than anyone in Rome. He was the perfect mediator between the two groups. To follow Paul, they must do:

  1. Everything in (Agape) LOVE, the Love of God at the Cross of Christ, where He died for weak, ungodly, sinners on enemy status before Him as revealed in Pauline Grace Mystery Truth (Rom. 5:6-10). Being involved in God's Good plan without Love puts it in a bad light (Rom. 14:16). In short, if they are truly “strong in the faith,” they would know that Christ gave up everything and went to the Cross to die for His enemies. When this love is applied by the Spirit in heart, it empowers them to not think twice about giving up everything for a fellow believer (Rom. 14:15-16).
  2. Everything based on what is important to GOD AND HIS KINGDOM today as revealed in Pauline Grace Mystery Truth. If the “strong” are really “strong in the faith” they will recognize that as ones who belong to the Lord under the Headship of Christ, what God values most highly today is Righteousness (as revealed in Rom. 1-4), Peace/Reconciliation (as revealed in Rom. 5-6) and Joy/Victory in the Holy Spirit (as revealed in Rom. 7-8). Everything done in accord with these things is acceptable to God and beneficial to others because it selflessly edifies rather than selfishly destroys (Rom. 14:17-21).
  3. Everything by FAITH HELD BEFORE GOD in constant prayerful communion with Him based on Pauline Grace Mystery Truth in Love. If the “strong” are really “strong in the faith,” they will appreciate that the greatest blessing comes to those who operate in the presence of and communion with God, which will not bring condemnation onto themselves nor cause others to operate outside FAITH, which is sin (Rom. 14:22-23).

    Now that Paul has gotten the “strong in the faith” straightened out so that they stop making responses with the flesh--like being unwelcoming, despising, and treating the “weak” as nothing--and they have begun to follow Paul in the Spirit in accord with Pauline Grace Mystery Truth and the FAITH and LOVE it dispenses ... only after all that does Paul finally give them something to “do” with regard to the “weak in the faith.”
  4. They are to endure the weaknesses of the “weak,” even their reproaches that called into question the “strong in the faith's” right-standing before God. The “strong” are not to please themselves but to please the other unto edification (Agape Love) because that is God's GOOD plan and the way their Lord Jesus Christ responded when He fell under the reproaches of others (Rom. 15:1-3).
  5. Once the “strong” had brought the “weak” close by, welcoming and receiving them the way Christ welcomed and received them, they were to show the “weak in the faith” how to handle the whole Word of God correctly so that it would be a source of patience, comfort, hope, joy and unity. The “strong in the faith” would accomplish this by teaching the “weak in the faith” how to rightly-divide the Scriptures so that they could become “strong in the faith” as well, being persuaded by the Lord of the same things Paul and the “strong in the faith” believers were persuaded of. This was the only way that would bring the whole assembly together, so that they could praise God with one mind and one mouth unto His Glory, thanking Him for making them the beneficiaries of all that He is doing today in the world through the Person and Work of His Son on the Cross as proclaimed through Paul's distinct apostleship and revealed in Paul's Letters, which comprise Pauline Grace Mystery Truth (Rom. 15:4-19).

Romans Highlights

Israel's Spiritual Things and the Body of Christ

Feb 12, 2023

Rom. 15:27 can be a difficult verse for dispensational teachers. With a quick reading of the verse one might think that Paul was saying members of the Body of Christ today in the Dispensation of Grace are now participating in believing Israel's spiritual things. Therefore, they are obligated to share their material things with them. This is confusing because Paul had spent the last 15 chapters explaining that God is now doing something new in the world that is apart from Israel and through her fall.

This confusion is usually dealt with in one of two ways. Either in silence, skipping over it and moving on. Or, it is suggested that while we don't participate in Israel's “specific” spiritual things today, we do participate in Israel's “general” spiritual things. What they mean by this is that while we are not partakers in Israel's specific spiritual things like Israel's covenants, we are partakers in their general spiritual things like the Scriptures and Jesus Christ, both having come from Israel. While this is not false, I don't think it is what Paul is talking about in this verse. I think that through a close reading of the passage there is a much better answer, a simpler and more satisfying answer.

But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. 26 For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. 27 It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.

In verse 25, Paul explains to the Romans that before he travels to Rome he is first going to go to Jerusalem to minister unto the saints (members of the Believing Remnant of Israel) there. The Believing Remnant in Jerusalem is impoverished because in early Acts they had sold all they had and lived in perfect communion with each other and God, waiting for the expected return of Christ to deliver them and usher them into Israel's long-prophesied earthly Kingdom of righteousness, peace and prosperity (Acts 1-4). All that was needed was for Israel's leaders to receive Christ. But Israel's leaders did not receive Christ. In fact, they just became harder and more rebellious in their rejection of Him. Therefore, God shut down His Prophetic Program with Israel (temporarily) and began a new work in the world, especially among the Gentiles who were left in hopeless darkness with the fall of Israel, called His Mystery Program for the Body of Christ, which He made known through the apostleship of Paul (Rom. 9-11; 15:15-19; Eph. 3:1-11).

Then, in verse 26, Paul changes the group of people he is referring to from the Believing Remnant in Jerusalem to the Body of Christ whose members resided in Paul's far-flung churches throughout Macedonia (such as, the assemblies in Philippi, Thessalonica and Berea) and Achaia (that is, the whole Greek peninsula, such as, Corinth). These far-flung churches of Paul wanted to help the Believing Remnant of Israel in Jerusalem who were impoverished because when Israel fell, God shut-down His Prophetic Program with them.

In v. 27, Paul goes on the explain that the believers in his churches wanted to do this because they felt indebted to believing Israel. To explain why they felt this obligation in the present time, Paul begins talking about a third group of people, the Gentiles, and when he does that he also changes the verb from present tense to past tense. Now Paul points back to a PAST TIME when the Gentiles partook (PAST tense) of believing Israel's spiritual things. And that begs the question: When, exactly, did the Gentiles partake in Israel's spiritual things IN THE PAST?

Well, we don't have to look far. Paul explained this to us just a few verses before, and he did it somewhat repetitively so that we didn't miss it. In God's Prophetic Program with Israel, the Gentiles partook in God's spiritual things with and through Israel by becoming proselytes to Judaism or by being God-fearing Gentiles associated with Israel. In God's TIME PAST Prophetic Program, the Gentiles partook in the praise and worship of God indirectly WITH AND THROUGH BELIEVING ISRAEL (Rom. 15:8-12). This will also be true in TIME FUTURE—the TIME TO COME. After the Dispensation of Grace is over--God will re-start His Prophetic Program with believing Israel, and at that time the Gentiles will once again receive God's blessings indirectly WITH AND THROUGH BELIEVING ISRAEL, partaking in their spiritual things.

BUT NOW, in the PRESENT TIME, this is not how the world, especially the Gentiles, are now partaking in God's spiritual things. Today, we partake in God's spiritual things directly through Christ: We already have ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS IN HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST (Eph. 1:3) as revealed and manifested in Pauline Grace Mystery Truth the instant we believe.

So, a paraphrase of these verses might go something like this: Because the Gentiles, who in time past were spiritually impoverished, partook in God's spiritual things with and through believing Israel (in accord with God's Prophetic Program), NOW of the present Dispensation of Grace, believers in God's Mystery Program for the Body of Christ (who are spiritually rich now directly in and through Christ apart from Israel under the apostleship of Paul—2 Cor. 8:9) should accept the loving obligation of helping believing Israel in Jerusalem, who are now materially impoverished.

This explanation not only fits the immediate context (Rom. 15:8-19), but it also fits the larger context of the believers in Rome as a whole. We know from Acts 2:8 that there were Jews and proselytes (Gentiles who had converted to Judaism) in Jerusalem at Pentecost who partook in Israel's spiritual things being dispensed by the Holy Spirit through Peter's preaching in the past before the present Dispensation of Grace had arrived.

Romans Highlights

Knowledge and Prayer

Feb 19, 2023

It is common for believers to say something like: We don't need doctrine, we just need love. Doctrine divides, love unites. Of course, this is human thinking not God's thinking. The Apostle Paul, after thanking the Philippians for their steadfast support of his Gospel of Grace, for their defense and confirmation and participation in Pauline Grace Mystery Truth (Phil. 1:3-7), prays that the Philippian's (and our!) love may abound yet more and more in (full) knowledge and in all judgment (Phil. 1:9). Paul teaches us that doctrine and love are not two independent contradictory things. They are two interrelated and interdependent things. According to God and Paul, love flows out of the full-knowledge of understanding Pauline Grace Mystery Truth. While it is true that knowledge used wrongly out of selfish interest puffs up and destroys (1 Cor. 8:1), knowledge used rightly in accord with the Holy Spirit always results in God's Love being poured out in our hearts (Rom. 5:5). And that always results in the BUILDING UP, THE EDIFICATION of others! In short, increasing in the full-knowledge of Pauline Grace Mystery Truth increases the flow of the Love of God at the Cross of Christ for enemy sinners.

The same thing is true for prayer. With only human wisdom, we think prayer is our way to get God involved in our things; our way to get God to do what we want. We refuse to listen to what God says in His Word to us but then we think we can barge into His presence anytime we want, talk any kind of nonsense that pops into our heads, and demand that He listen. This is as unbiblical as the supposed incompatibility of knowledge and love mentioned above. Like love, prayer also flows out of knowledge. Paul beseeches the Romans to join together with him in prayer in the presence of the God of Peace (Rom. 15:29-33) because:

  • Now they fully know Paul's foundational doctrines as revealed in this Letter to the Romans;
  • Now they know that when God saved them, He did not place them in His Prophetic Program with the Nation of Israel but in His Mystery Program with the Body of Christ;
  • Now they are partaking in the ever-increasing flow of Love that comes from those doctrines through the Spirit—the Love of God at the Cross of Christ;
  • Now they can enjoy the fullness of the blessing of the Gospel of Christ with Paul when he visits them in person;
  • Now they are ones whom Christ has powerfully established according to Paul's Gospel of Grace, and the Preaching of Jesus Christ according to the Revelation of the Mystery, which had been kept secret since the world began (Rom. 16:25);
  • Now! Now that they know all this, Paul invites them to join with him in prayer in the presence of the God of Hope and Peace (Rom. 15:13, 33). True prayer originates from what the Spirit says in accord with divine wisdom. Prayer isn't our way to get God involved in our things. Prayer is God's way to get us involved in His things! Prayer isn't our way to get God to do what we want. Prayer is God's way to get us to do what He wants! When we understand Pauline Grace Mystery Truth, we can think the way God thinks. And when we think the way God thinks we can prioritize the way God prioritizes; make important what He makes important; value what God values; talk about what God wants to talk about.

And when that happens, we are communing together with Paul in the presence of the God of Hope and Peace. While Paul didn't always know how he was to pray as he ought (Rom. 8:26—certainly the answers God gave were not the answers Paul imagined), he did know that communing with God about the advancement of what He is accomplishing today through Paul's apostleship would always be answered, one way or another, in the affirmative!

To summarize: Increasing in the full-knowledge of Pauline Grace Mystery Truth through the Spirit, gives believers an increasing flow of the Love of God at the Cross of Christ, which gives them an increasing motivation to serve God by serving others unto edification, which brings them into the presence of the God of Hope and Peace where they can talk to Him about everything in the light of His divine viewpoint.

Romans Highlights

Doctrine and Christian Life

Feb 26, 2023

One of the biggest fallacies foisted on believers by much of historic Christianity Is the foolishness usually summed up in something like this: We don't need doctrine (teachings), we just need love. Doctrine divides: Love unites. But this is to get everything upside down and backwards, and it goes contrary to God and His Word. According to God, the love that the Holy Spirit produces flows out of sound doctrine. First comes increasing doctrine then comes increasing love. Or, as one pastor said: Love is the cascading waterfall that flows out of the pool of doctrine, God's Truth for today. It is not sound doctrine that divides. It is the rejection of sound doctrine that divides. I want to say as forcefully as possible that sound doctrine NEVER divides: It always unites (Rom. 15:1-19). What divides is THE REJECTION of sound doctrine!

And how, exactly, does doctrine (God's Truth for today as recorded in Paul's Letters) produce an increasing flow of (agape) love? To answer that question, we need to remember what God reveals in Pauline Grace Mystery Truth (PGMT). PGMT is the record and revelation of the Love of God at the Cross of Christ whereby Christ died for the weak, the ungodly, sinners, HIS ENEMIES! The Holy Spirit takes that Love, the Love of God displayed at the Cross of Christ for sinful enemies, and that Love ONLY, and pours it into the hearts of believers, recreating them and motivating them to serve God by serving others selflessly solely unto the other's edification—just like Christ did for them.

Here is the divine process of the Triune Godhead not just of Love but the whole Christian Life: First, we must be taught about the Love of God (the Father) as displayed at the Cross of Christ (God the Son) as revealed in the doctrines of Pauline Grace Mystery Truth and taught by the Holy Spirit (God the Spirit) (1 Cor. 1-2). Then, once we know these truths we meditate on them, rejoice in them, thank God (God the Father) for them and talk to God (the Father) about them. And as we do that, the Holy Spirit (God the Spirit) takes that Love, overflows our hearts with it, creating us anew and motivating and empowering us to serve God (the Father) selflessly unto edification of others just as Christ (God the Son) did for us.

This is the divine process for every aspect of victorious Christian living:

  • God's teachings through Paul (God's doctrines for today) are the source of abounding Love (Phil. 1:9):

    And this I (Paul) pray, that your love may abound yet more and more (how?) in full-knowledge and in all-judgment (Phil. 1:9).

  • God's teachings through Paul (God's doctrines for today) are not only the source of Love, they are also the source of true prayer:

    And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ. Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me (Rom. 15:29‑30).

    I Paul, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe (Eph. 1:16‑19).

  • God's teachings through Paul (God's doctrines for today) are not only the source of true Love and Prayer, they are the source of acceptable service unto God as well:

    Likewise must the deacons (servants) be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; HOLDING THE MYSTERY OF THE FAITH (Pauline Grace Mystery Truth) in a pure conscience (1 Tim. 3:8‑9).

So, when people ask why I talk about Pauline Grace Mystery Truth (PGMT) so much, I tell them it is because (and it is no overstatement to say so!): THE DOCTRINES OF PGMT ARE THE SOURCE OF EVERYTHING THE BELIEVER NEEDS FOR LIFE AND MINISTRY—LOVE, PRAYER AND SERVICE! Or stated in the reverse: To belittle or throw away Bible doctrine--God's Truth for today, Pauline Grace Mystery Truth—is to belittle and throw away the one source of true Christian Love, real Prayer and acceptable Service, leaving behind powerless believers who are being led away from God and His Word!

Romans Highlights

Trampling Satan Underfoot

Mar 05, 2023

After giving the Romans the capstone truth of rightly-dividing God's Word in the light of his distinct apostleship (Rom. 15:4-22), Paul closes Romans by “beseeching” them to do two things: They are to join together with him in prayer in the presence of the Triune God for the advancement of his apostleship (Rom. 15:30). And they are to mark and avoid those who teach contrary to the Apostle Paul (Rom. 16:17). “Beseeching” is a grace term. The underlying Greek word refers to “calling to one's aid” or to “one's side,” which is extended to such concepts as invite or intreat or exhort. On the one hand, Paul invited them to join together with him in prayer, and on the other hand exhorted them to separate from those who taught contrary to what he taught.

Here, Paul really gives the key to the whole Christian Life, one that produces a walk that God uses to trample Satan and his evil plan under our feet (Rom. 16:20). The primary way Satan and his co-workers work today is by confusing God's two Purposes, Programs and Peoples. He gets people to think they are in God's Prophetic Program with the Nation of Israel to re-establish His Glory on Earth when they are really in God's Mystery Program for the Body of Christ to re-establish His Glory in the Heavenlies. It takes little imagination to see how this quickly ruins everything and leads into countless errors and overwhelming confusion.

This is so exceedingly deceptive because the believer who falls into this trap thinks they are walking spiritually (it's from the Bible!!) when in fact they are walking carnally in accord with the “good” words and “fair” speeches of those who deceive the simple (Rom. 16:17-18) rather than God's Good Word for today as recorded in Paul's Epistles to establish believers (Rom. 16:25). Unfortunately, a walk based on man and his traditions rather than God and His Word can't be used by God to trample Satan underfoot. Instead, Satan just takes the one he deceived and leads them further away from God.

Satan does this through very human teachers who teach contrary to the Apostle Paul. They deceive the hearts of the simple (Rom. 16:18) by corrupting their minds from the simplicity that is in Christ. They preach another Jesus, whom we (Paul) have not preached, or if ye receive another Spirit, which ye have not received (from Paul's teaching) or another Gospel, which ye have not accepted (through Paul's preaching) (2 Cor. 11:3-4). These false teachers replace Paul's preaching of the Risen Lord Jesus seated in the Heavenlies as the Head of the Body of Christ, with the preaching of the Gospel Account's Lord Jesus in His earthly ministry as King for the Nation of Israel. They replace Paul's preaching of the work of the Holy Spirit for the Body of Christ with Peter's preaching of the work of the Holy Spirit for the Nation of Israel at Pentecost. And they replace Paul's Gospel, the Gospel of the Grace of God, especially to the Gentiles (Acts 20:24), with the Gospel of the Kingdom, especially to the Jews (Mat. 10:5-7).

These traps are especially deceptive because Satan's co-workers aren't profligate sinners who participate in all manner of gross immorality. No, they are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works (2 Cor. 11:13-15). They are Bible preachers and seminary theologians promulgating the “good” words and “fair” speeches that their man-made religious systems and man-centered theological systems have designed to cover up and do away with God's Pauline Grace Mystery Truth (Rom. 16:17-18).

Rom. 15-16 provides the only way of escaping these deceptive traps. We must return to the Bible rightly-divided, learning about the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ as revealed in Pauline Grace Mystery Truth (Rom. 15:4-20), whereby we are then invited to join with Paul in prayer, together thanking and praising God for making us the beneficiaries of His Mystery Program for the Body of Christ, praying on behalf of its defense and advancement, and talking with God about ways to participate in its proclamation (Rom. 15:29-32). And when we are doing this, we are in the presence of the God of Peace, who tramples Satan and his evil plan and all the deceptions it promulgates through his human dupes underfoot QUICKLY (Rom. 16:20)!