Romans is one of the most life-changing Books in the New Testament. Romans 1:1-17 explains Paul's close bondservant relationship with Jesus, and his apostolic authority, and that the devil kept opposing Paul's travel to Rome. And the famous For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ... Then Romans 1:18-32 explains that God talks to everyone, including all unsaved rebels as they grow darker, into stages of sin, and the wrath of God increases in stages, against all pagan behavior everywhere in the world. Romans 2 condemns arrogant Jews who claim their heritage from Abraham as their salvation, while rejecting Jesus (their Jewish Messiah). Then chapter 3 proves that all Jews and all Gentiles are condemned by their own willful sins. Romans 3 stops every mouth from justifying themselves. And that there is no way for anyone to save themselves by good works, from God's eternal judgment. Then in Romans chapters 4-8 & 10:9-13 Paul explains saving faith and spiritual growth. And there are many more messages we plan to study over the next few months as we work through Romans.
The devil built 7 world government empires from after the flood until the end of time on earth;
(1) the tower of Babel,
(4) Babylonian, (5) Meade & Persians,
(7a) Roman empire,
and (7b) the revived Roman empire; it is of the seven in Revelation 17:11.
The devil worked so hard to build the 6 previous evil empires, but God had already ruined them. In the capital city of Rome, the devil planted in Rome, every false religion he could make, to keep Rome as a pagan nation. So also, the devil opposed Paul going to Rome to preach the gospel, because the devil knew God's truth would ruin the false religions of Rome too.
Church history is very encouraging, but most books on Church history overlook key details we are given in Scripture. Our reports try to search for and fill in some of the missing pieces of Church history, also because they are important to this report and those details are interesting. We try to insert approximate dates too. We mostly follow Usher's dates because we don't know a better source. We also try to adjust Usher's numbers slightly to what we gather from the Bible, and other historical texts and sources. The information is helpful because it gives the reader the progress of the gospel going into the known world, and an overall picture. If you know of a better source for dates, please share it with us.
A brief overview of Paul's ministry years should help some brethren. When the early Church reset the calendar to Jesus' life, they probably missed by 3 or 4 years. So Jesus was probably born 3 BC or 4 BC, but we have decided to use Usher's numbers and make slight adjustments when we think he slightly missed it. We are looking for a better source for dates. Jesus was born 0 AD, and Paul was probably born 2 AD or 3 AD. Paul finished school about 32AD or 33AD, and about the time of Stephen's death. About 34 AD Paul got saved on the road to Damascus, then went home to learn from Jesus by revelations until about 43 AD. Then Barnabas found Paul to help train Christians being persecuted in Antioch. Paul's first missionary journey was with Barnabas from 47AD to 49AD. Paul's second missionary journey with Silas and Timothy started 50AD then a year later Aquila and Priscilla replaced Silas, ending about 53AD. And 53AD started Paul's third missionary journey in until 57 AD. After Paul's third missionary journey Paul had a prison journey to Jerusalem and Caesarea from 57AD to 59AD, then to Rome from 60AD to 61AD.
Then Paul went on his fourth missionary journey from 62AD to 67AD. Paul probably went to Spain as promised in Romans 15:24 & 28. Also Paul visited the Philippians 2:24. We know Paul and Titus spent many months on Crete, and Paul left Titus to fast and pray to appoint pastors Titus 1:5. Then Paul and Timothy went to Ephesus where Paul confronted Alexander (1 Timothy 1:20). Then Paul had a team with him going south along the coast of Asia. The end came in Ephesus when Alexander the coppersmith made legal attacks on Paul, see 2 Timothy 4:14. The trip back to Rome was mean and cruel, most of Paul's team ran for safety, or got sick from the stress and hate. Paul wrote 2 Timothy in Rome asking Timothy to come quickly. Then Peter and Silas went to Rome and they wrote 1 Peter on the outside of Rome proper, then Peter and Silas wrote 2 Peter while Peter was in prison waiting to fulfill Jesus' prophecy to Peter in John 21:18.
know most Christians respect and believe the religious teachers and leaders in
America. But if they are so honorable; why don't they explain Paul's fourth
missionary? Instead most of them try to pretend the third and fourth missionary
were the same trip. There are about 35 evidences that prove Silas wrote
Hebrews. If those religious leaders are so great then why do
they say they don't know who wrote Hebrews? Im not the smartest Christian in
the 20th and 21st century, but the clues are in the Biblical texts. So there
has to be another reason they don't want the American Christians to know those
Those Bible stories are very important, please make sure you find those truths, and those blessings.
There was a wealthy family in Jerusalem near the temple, their home had a large upper room. Jesus served the Lord's Supper there; Mark 14:13-15. We are not told the man's name as the master of the house but he must have got old and died shortly after the Last Supper, then his wife Mary's name became prominent. Their son was John Mark, he helped Peter write Peter's gospel teachings called Mark, and Mark told us he was there as a young child when they arrested Jesus. After Jesus' resurrection, Jesus commanded the disciples to stay in Jerusalem until you are endued with power... by the Holy Spirit Luke 24:49. About 120 saints stayed in the upper room at Mary's home, and Peter preached from there on the Day of Pentecost to the crowd of Jerusalem temple students and Jewish visitors from Rome; Acts 1:12-14. Barnabas was of the same family. Barnabas brought John Mark about 20 yr. old with him on Paul's first missionary journey, but John Mark quit and went home, quitting was a very bad failure. The apostles changed Barnabas' name, he was called Joses, the apostles changed it to Barnabas, which is translated son of encouragement.Luke summarized Barnabas' ministry For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. And Barnabas is a great hero in Heaven right now and forever. But you know God's Word tells the hard truths too.
While Paul was getting ready for the second missionary journey, Barnabas downplayed John Mark's previous failure, because Barnabas wanted to bring his lukewarm nephew John Mark again. But Barnabas was also becoming proud of so many miracles God did through them because of Paul's calling 51AD, Acts 15:39. Paul gave a strong rebuke to Barnabas and John Mark, and they separated. That was a big scandal for Mary's family, many Christians secretly talked about it. Some of that scandal got resolved about one and a half years later when Barnabas visited Paul in Corinth.
Then Paul decided to take Peter's friend Silas on his second missionary journey. They went to the Churches Paul and Barnabas started, and sharing the letter from the Jerusalem's council that Gentiles don't have to obey Mosaic customs. The prophet Silas from Jerusalem was one of the writers of their decision. Then God sent Paul, Silas and Timothy to Macedonia; Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, then Athens and Corinth. About a year later; Silas had finished that special training. God made the separation by giving Silas a different ministry strategy. Paul's normal plan in a new city was to preach the gospel to the Jews in the Hebrew speaking synagogues. In Corinth the Hebrew speaking Jews started a dangerous persecution against them, and all of them became afraid to preach. That was when Silas concluded that many Hebrew speaking Jews were mean or violent. The Book of Hebrews proves that Silas decided that the Greek speaking synagogues would be more receptive. The evidence points that Silas wanted them to leave Corinth and go to the next town, and preach to the Greek speaking synagogue, but Paul didn't agree. So Silas went back to Jerusalem to study Greek, and how to preach from the Septuagint. But Paul decided to stay. Then Jesus spoke to Paul Do not be afraid... and Jesus promised protection. Corinth became the seal of Paul's apostleship 1 Cor. 9:2. The wisdom of God decided to let Paul think it was a ministry argument, or Silas quit too soon, rather than Paul know he boosted Peter's ministry through Silas. That tension between Paul and Silas was healed in Rome at the end of Paul's life; after Philippians 2:21 and after 1 Peter 5:12; but before Hebrews `13:23. At the end of Paul's life he learned that Peter and Silas used many of his ideas, along with many of their own ideas.
Just before Paul's death, the Book of Hebrews was Silas' reintroduction to Philippi after an 18 year gap. Hebrews shows us that in Jerusalem Silas also studied Israel's past failures, and the men of great faith in the Old Testament, and Silas adopted the teaching style of Stephen. But the biggest reason God sent Silas back to Jerusalem was for Peter. Peter was being humble, so God was ready to start Peter's best missionary journey with Silas to Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia 1 Peter 1:1. While Silas was studying in Jerusalem he also told Barnabas he could find Paul in Corinth. We get that from 1 Cor. 9:6. Paul would not have mentioned Barnabas if Barnabas was still off-track, or if the Christians in Corinth didn't know Barnabas. That proves that Barnabas came to Corinth to resolved his errors from Acts 15:37-39, about a year and a half after their parting of ways. We see that same John Mark the cousin of Barnabas and Peter's spiritual son was with Paul during his first imprisonment in Rome: Philemon 1:24 and in Colossians 4:10. Then on an assignment for Paul in 2 Timothy 4:11 when Paul's last letter to Timothy said Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry. John Mark, the rich kid, was about 52 yrs. old at the end of Paul's life, and Peter's life. My guess is Mark went with Silas and Timothy to Philippi after Paul's death and Peter's death. So that family and that home in Jerusalem were important players in the New Testament Churches all the way through Paul' and Peter's lives. You can find many more details in our Silas wrote Hebrews study.
Most New Testament Churches were started by apostles, but the home Churches in Rome were started in Jerusalem. Their story starts when Jesus condemned the scribes and pharisees in Matt. 23:15 For you travel land and sea... The scribes and pharisees went through all of the known world to bring the sons of Jewish families to the seminary in Jerusalem; and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of Hell as yourselves.. I believe those students were part of how the chief priests stirred up the crowd yelling Crucify Him in Mark 15:1. Continuing on to the Day of Pentecost, those sons of Jewish families were in Jerusalem, and also visitors from Rome Acts 2:8-12. Those visitors from Rome came to Jerusalem for the Passover, then stayed until the Feast of First Fruits.
The Jewish feast of First Fruits also became the time when the Holy Spirit started His larger ministry on Earth. The Holy Spirit announced that change with the sound of a rushing mighty wind, and looked like tongues of fire. The Jewish sons and those visitors followed the Holy Spirit's wind and fire to Mary's house, and Peter preached a convicting sermon. That day 3,000 people got saved, about 26 or 27AD. Those seminary students and the visitors from Rome (some were the parents of those sons) they took the gospel back to Rome and started Rome's home Churches. We gentiles should notice that God made to Feast of First Fruits to also became the Day of Pentecost. Those new believers were the first fruits of the Church Age. We gentiles should figure that date; the Day of Pentecost, and we should celebrate when the Holy Spirit became more active to help everyone learn about salvation.
But why did Paul write such a strong rebuke to the Rome Churches? How did Paul know Rome Churches had problems? When Paul, Silas and Timothy were finished in Macedonia and Athens; Paul wrote 1 Thessalonians and sent Silas and Timothy back to Thessalonica to deliver his letter, while Paul went ahead of them to Corinth. In Corinth, Paul went to the Hebrew speaking synagogue and met Aquila and Priscilla from Rome. They were Christian Jews, completed Jews, and they became Silas' replacement for Paul. Aquila and Priscilla were both tent makers so they had extra money to travel, and Paul was a tent maker too, so he stayed with them. Aquila and Priscilla were active Christians in Rome until emperor Claudio chased all Jews out of Rome. They explained to Paul that the Rome Churches had Jewish Christians, unsaved Jews, and pagans coming into the Churches and making problems. There must have been many court cases too. Emperor Claudio solved many court cases by chasing all Jews out of Rome. When Paul preached that Jesus is the Christ in the Hebrew synagogue in Corinth, those Hebrew speaking Jews started a great persecution, they were obeying the Jerusalem's temple instructions. That is when Paul and Silas had a difference in ministry plans, and Silas went back to Jerusalem, and Aquila and Priscilla replaced Silas.
After Paul heard about the problems in the Rome Churches around 51AD, he wanted to go to Rome himself for 6 years, but the devil stopped him. So, God instead inspired Paul to settle and write the Book of Romans about 57AD. We are glad that Paul had to write Romans because that is how we got the Book of Romans, and it is one of the Churchs greatest treasures 2,000 years later. Paul met Aquila and Priscilla in Corinth, they worked with Paul for the last 16 years of his life. After Corinth, they went with Paul to several places including Ephesus for 2 years and then back to Rome. During Paul's 4 th missionary journey Paul sent Aquila and Priscilla back to Ephesus; 2 Tim. 4:19. They were in Ephesus when Paul was arrested for the last time: 2 Tim.1:18 & 4:14-15 in 66AD or 67AD, and probably stayed in Ephesus after Paul's death. The apostles made a great effort to preach the gospel in Asia. We believe that John went to Ephesus in the late 70's or 80's AD after Mary the mother of Jesus died. The pagans in Ephesus betrayed John too about 95AD. It looks like Asia didn't want a Jewish Messiah, so God sent them a strong delusion called Mohamed in the 6th century. Some Catholic priests helped Mohamed make his religion. The Roman Catholic church tried to use Islam to chase the Jews out of Jerusalem, but it didn't work their way. It's another example of the law of unintended consequences. That explains to you why Islam also shows respect for Mary and rosary beads, and they get visions of Mary. And most of their wars do not attack Catholic churches. If you wonder why sometimes we capitalize Church and sometimes we don't; we show respect for real Churches of Jesus, and we give an honest demotion to unfaithful churches who reject obedience to Jesus.
The devil didn't want Paul to go to Rome to preach the gospel, and he opposed that trip. Finally, six years later, Paul wrote the Book of Romans and sent it with a ministry partner named Phoebe in 57AD. Paul gave her a high commendation... a servant in the Church of Cenchrea. And she carried the authority of a prophetess under Paul's authority. The Book of Romans has several strong assertions of Paul's apostolic authority, which Paul also used to command the Rome Churches to receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you, Romans 16:1-2. Then Romans 16:3-4 mention Aquila and Priscilla, so the three of them worked together to deliver Romans to the Churches in Rome. Also Romans 16:1-4 is strong evidence that Phoebe stayed with Aquila and Priscilla in Rome and the three of them delivered Romans to all of the Church locations around Rome.
Paul's first journey to Rome is interesting. When Paul had such a great victory in pagan city of Ephesus, and no longer having a place that needs the gospel in these parts Romans 16:23, his thoughts remembered back to his old buddies in Jerusalem, and then finally a plan to get to Rome. Acts 9:28-29 & 22:17-2; Paul purposed in the Spirit to go to Jerusalem... I must also see Rome. Acts 19:21. As he said in Romans 1:13 I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), and Romans 15:23-24 and having a great desire these many years to come to you... I may enjoy your company for a while, and ... that I may impart some spiritual gift, so that you may be established Romans 1:11 No the devil still didn't want Paul there in Rome, but God designed a way to send Paul as a prisoner and make the Roman govt. protect him. In their travels was a shipwreck where everyone got saved, and Paul was the here in several ways, which led to Paul staying in a rental house instead of a dungeon in Rome Acts 28:16-31, about 60-61AD. When Paul arrived in Rome, the Churches were healthy and growing strong;. Paul in Rome as a prisoner, was preaching the gospel boldly to Roman soldiers and many of them got saved; Philippians 1:14 All the saints greet you, but especially those who are of Caesars household. And in Paul's letter to the Philippians 1:14 most of the Roman Church brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
Luke 28:16-31described Paul's ministry's success in Rome, then ended the Book of Acts before Paul was released. That is our clue that some formal charges accusing Paul of causing riots came to Rome, and Luke used Acts to defend Paul and prove that he was not the one who caused those riots. After two years, about 61AD, Paul was released in Rome, and he went on his 4 th missionary journey. For about 6 years. We give more detail in our Silas wrote Hebrews report, gleaned from Titus, 2nd Timothy, 1 & 2 Peter and Hebrews, and a few other verses.
The city of Rome was a major influence on the world back then, and some of those events still effect our lives now. About 64 AD Nero decided to burn Rome's wood buildings and rebuild Rome with carved marble. The fires ruined the wooden shacks people lived in, and their family businesses and the buildings of their gods. Some citizens caught Nero and were furious at Nero, so Nero had another evil idea to get the accusations off of himself - by blaming the Christians for the fires. Then Nero's troops tortured the Christians and killed them. Also Nero assembled about a million slaves to carve large stones, move them into Rome and assemble the new buildings.
A few years ago the Catholic Church made a movie about Paul, it was in the theaters. That movie was a total lie. It was an insulting attack from the devil. If you read the four Books of the Bible written in Rome about 67AD; 2 Timothy, 1 & 2 Peter and Hebrews; when you look at the strong bond among the Churches in the face of death. And including Peter's great respect for Paul in 2 Peter 3:16 ...Paul according to the wisdom given him... and 2 Timothy 4:21 and all the brethren 1 Peter 5:13 She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you And Hebrews 13:24 Those from Italy greet you. The Churches around the known world knew Paul and Peter were there in Rome, so they sent their questions to Rome. After Paul and Peter were killed there, many of their disciples stayed in Rome. So the churches still sent their essential questions to their disciples in Rome. Then in 70AD General Titus and his troops destroyed Jerusalem, so the Rome Churches became the new headquarters for the New Testament Churches. The Rome Churches kept growing strong spiritually. But you know those strong Christians who knew Paul and Peter got old and died, and then their sons got old and died, and their grandsons got old and died. Over the next 250 years there was a decline in the quality of church leaders in Rome. And eventually unsaved men infiltrated those Churches for the money and power. That decline eventually led to church leaders that were not saved. They looked Christian, but they acted like Christians for easy money, not real repentance, not born again. That is very much like the churches in America.
But how did the Rome church become such an evil enemy? In 312AD -313 AD emperor Constantine forced the unsaved Rome church leaders to meet with the leaders of paganism. There were too many labor interruptions. The different dates of holiday celebrations, the days the Christian slaves wouldn't work, and different from the dates the pagan slaves wouldn't work, it caused work interruptions for the million slave labor workers in Rome. Constantine forced the meetings and he didn't care what happened as long as they made the changes; to take the same days off. The Rome church leaders changed the remembrance of Jesus' birth to the Winter Solstice, a pagan holiday. That is how the Christians got infected by the pagan idols of cut and decorated evergreen trees, or palm trees depending on what is available in their area. But God condemned that pagan idolatry in Jeremiah 10:2-5. The pagan father time became santa = satan .
Those unsaved church leaders in 312AD 313AD also changed Resurrection Sunday celebrations, that is how pagan fertility symbols of rabbits and Ashterah eggs got in. The pagan's call that time Easter/ Ashterah with 40 days weeping for Tamuz. Then later; the unsaved Rome church leaders were probably involved with the fall of the Roman government. Or they were close enough to pick up the pieces of the Rome govt. after the Roman govt. collapsed from their debauchery. From that time on, the unsaved Rome church leadership has steadily gotten worse and worse, and spread around the world from then to now. That is my best findings to explain the power of the Roman Catholic church. The Roman Catholic church has already killed millions of Christians. They will be directly involved in the killing of 25% of the religious people left here on earth after Revelation 1:7 for seven years tribulation. They will be a part of Rev. 6:1-8 when the anti-Christ and the Roman Catholic church will kill 25% of the people Jesus will leave on the earth in Revelation 4:1-2. The Roman Catholic church will continue until the Revelation 17 judgments.
We hope this has encouraged you in your following of Christ. Please join us in part 2 of this study (in the works).
~ servants of Christ, the INCPU team