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  • Writer's pictureRob

The Hundred-Eighty-Seventh (Romans Part 16)

We’re about halfway through Romans, and what do you think so far?  Hopefully, as we’re going through this, things are starting to become clearer as far as what Paul wrote and why he wrote it the way he did.  You certainly cannot gain a complete understanding of his writings with just a superficial read, because what he wrote involves a deeper understanding of how YHWH created us and the universe, and how it operates.  Without knowing that everything is made up of two realms, the spiritual and the physical, and that the physical has its origin, all the way back to creation, in the spiritual, much of Paul’s writing seems like a bunch of contradictory gibberish.

We left off last week with getting through Romans 8:27.  We found out that when we walk and pray in the spirit, not only are we heirs of YHWH as sons of Him, He also helps us to bring about His will in the world through our actions and our prayers.  His Spirit helps us when we pray because of our weakness in being able to see and identify the spiritual things we need to either fight against or fight alongside.  In the rest of chapter 8, Paul goes on to talk about some things that give us hope as a result of this help from YHWH’s Spirit.  

Before we look at that though, let’s look at what we are heirs to since Paul mentioned that in this chapter.  Paul stated that we are co-heirs with Yeshua (Romans 8:17), so what is Yeshua’s inheritance that we will also inherit a part of?  If we look over in one of Peter’s letters, we find that he talks about inheritance as well (1 Peter 1:4).  Peter says the inheritance is indestructible, undefiled and unfading, and it is being kept, or guarded, in heaven for us.

Ok, so that gives a little bit of the characteristics of our inheritance and where it is currently, but it isn’t very specific about what it is.  Paul writes about this inheritance a lot, which is understandable because he received the knowledge of such a thing from Yeshua Himself (Acts 26:18).  This inheritance, Paul says, is not given by following the Law (Galatians 3:17-18), but by being in Yeshua (Ephesians 1:11).  He also says the giving of the YHWH’s Spirit to us, as a result of being baptized into Yeshua’s resurrection, is an “earnest” of this inheritance (Ephesians 1:14).  In other words, it is the proof that we will receive this inheritance in the end.

We get a little more detail of this inheritance later in the same chapter of Ephesians, when Paul says he wants the Ephesians to understand what this inheritance is and then he goes on to talk about Yeshua being seated at YHWH’s right hand ruling over all, with authority over all and everything being under His feet (Ephesians 1:18-22).  So, this confirms that the inheritance is in heaven, and it seems to indicate something to do with authority and ruling.

While words like indestructible, undefiled and unfading could possibly be applied to something non-physical like the concept of authority and ruling, it seems less likely that Peter was talking about this when he wrote his letter to the scattered.  Perhaps Peter was talking about the physical part of our inheritance and Paul was talking about the spiritual part.  In other words, Peter talked about where we were going to be and Paul talked about what our role would be there.

To figure out what exactly Peter was talking about, we need to jump to the end.  In Peter’s second letter, he wrote of this heaven and earth (the one we are currently in) being destroyed and there being a new heaven and earth where righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:12-13).  Now, some believe that what Peter was talking about here was fulfilled during the siege and destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70AD, however this doesn’t quite add up.  Yes, there was a fire that destroyed the temple at that time and destroyed the elements involved in the temple worship, but there was no difference in the dwelling of righteousness on earth before versus after that event.

We have seen before that our belief in Yeshua, acceptance of His salvation, and repentance of our sins is what enables us to receive righteousness.  It is through YHWH’s grace, and based on Yeshua’s sacrifice, that we are able to receive something for which, by all accounts, we are not worthy to receive.  The believers before 70AD had the same righteousness the believers after 70AD did, and the same righteousness that believers have now.  There was no difference in the amount or definition of the righteousness that dwelled in the earth before the temple destruction as compared to after.

So, Peter must be talking about the end end, not about the end of the Jews practicing the Law in the temple.  The end end is described more by John based on the vision he received on Patmos (and a few of the Old Testament prophets as well).  In that vision, we see a new heaven and new earth, which has to be referring to a physical heaven and earth because John says the first version of these (the ones that we’re in now) had passed away, including the sea (Revelation 21:1).  He then tells us that there was a new Jerusalem that was brought out of heaven and set on this new earth (Revelation 21:2, 10-21).

In this case, John has to be referring to a spiritual heaven, because he mentions twice that the new Jerusalem came from YHWH (Revelation 21:2, 10).  In it, Yeshua will dwell with YHWH (Revelation 21:22), so we see that His inheritance now includes the physical new heaven and new earth.  We also see that there is a distinction between those outside the new Jerusalem and those inside.  Nations and kings of the earth will be on the outside, and the Greek word used there for nations is the same one used to describe those that are not the chosen of Christ.  So, based on all these things, it seems to be that the inheritance we receive will be living in new Jerusalem, ruling with authority with Christ, in the indestructible, undefiled and unfading new heaven and new earth.  Pretty cool, huh?

This also seems to align with warnings of being repaid for things done in the body, and in one of those warnings, Paul actually referenced this inheritance (Colossians 3:23-25).  Why would believers need to be warned about doing things in the body if there were no consequences to this when we get to eternal life?  Getting back to finishing up Romans 8, we can have hope in this heaven and earth based on our walking and praying in the spirit.  Paul states that YHWH works things for good based on loving Him and answering His call (Romans 8:28).  He knew us before we were born (Psalm 139:16, Jeremiah 1:5), and chose us even then to be justified and glorified (Romans 8:29-30).  

If He did that, what do we have to fear?  As long as we keep our focus on Him and live for Him and His will, He helps us in whatever we need!  And like Paul says, if He, the Creator of all things, is doing that for us, who can come against us?! (Romans 8:31)  He has no hesitation to give us whatever we need, and no one can charge or condemn us as long as the only one with the ultimate power of justification justifies us based on the interceding of Yeshua in whom we live (Romans 8:32-34).

Not only that, Paul goes on to say that even if we do receive trials, tribulation, persecution, distress, danger, or anything else due to our walking with Yeshua, none of those things can separate us from YHWH’s love (Romans 8:35-36).  Yeshua conquered all through His death and resurrection, and as a result, we are also conquerors (Romans 8:37) with the ultimate fulfillment of that status being in the new heaven and new earth.  Nothing in creation can stop that fulfillment because it is a direct result of Yeshua’s love for us.

Paul goes on to list a few things to describe how strong YHWH’s love is for those that are in His Son, Yeshua (Romans 8:38-39).  Some interesting things he mentions are angels, principalities and powers, the present and the future.  As far as the present and the future goes, if you’re reading the Berean Standard Bible that may be a bit confusing because this is one example of where it gets the translation closer to the original language but adds some confusion in the process.  The Berean Literal Bible translates it the same as the King James in that it says “things present” and “things to come,” and by that we can understand that Paul is talking about anything that is happening to the believers at that moment, like persecution for example, and anything that may happen to them in the future.

When Paul talks about principalities and powers, he is referencing the same spiritual forces he mentioned to the Ephesians (Ephesians 6:12).  These are the forces of evil that are at work in this world through the things we see physically like political leaders, books that people write, movies and television shows, etc.  And the angels he talks about are not the ones working for Yeshua, but those working for The Adversary.  Remember, they’re still considered angels, because that term is just one that describes a certain type of created being, just like man is the term used to describe us.

Isn’t it exciting and confidence-building to know that none of the things Paul lists can separate us from YHWH’s love if we stay in Yeshua?  I know it is for me!  Think about that fact as you go through this week.  Shabbat shalom and YHWH bless you!

-Rob and Sara Gene

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