➊ Christians Dynamic Character In The Grapes Of Wrath
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Read on. These are not gifts given for title or to give people job descriptions. They are given because there are people out there who need our help! The church needed the Apostles. They were the ones who were the foundation of the church. They were the ones who saw Jesus in the flesh and were taught by Him personally. They wrote the New Testament Scriptures. Though the gifts of apostle and prophet are different today than in biblical times, the gift of evangelism, pastoring, teaching and others are still the same. A person who is an evangelist does not just have a title so he can rule over people. The reason that he has the gift to be an evangelist is so that he can tell others the good news.
Why do we have pastors? Are they supposed to rule the church and get everyone to support them and bow to their demands? They are to serve the church by helping people to come to a fuller knowledge of Jesus Christ, to equip the saints to become more like Jesus every day. The true structure of Christianity is symbolized as an inverted pyramid! Will it just be a surprise for those who claim to be Christians who will get a slap on the wrist by the Lord but still proceed to heaven? Will they simply lose rewards but still gain the ultimate reward? What is this darkness that the brethren are not in? But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day.
We are not of night or of darkness;. In my article " Blasphemizing the Bible " I give a number of examples of how a lot of modern Bible translation societies are putting the names of "supreme beings" in the Bible in the place of God or YHWH. In this article I'm going to examine two of the excuses they make for making those substitutions in the Bible in many hundreds of different languages today. By generic I mean a word that can be used for any deity whether of the one true God or other false gods who claim to be God. I will go through both of these excuses and show that they are both unbiblical, therefore the Bibles they have translated with names of other gods in them, or names they claim are generic, prove that they have "blasphemized" those Bibles.
This is always a feature of the Hegelian Dialectical process put into action by praxis, thus diaprax. In order to form a new paradigm or worldview the leadership of these movements must vilify orthodox Biblical Christianity. Go here for product information. There are so many "Christian" leaders out there that teach delusional teachings. These teaching are dangerous and can lead a person to shipwreck their faith. A good subtitle for this article might be "Practice What You Preach!
But the false doctrines of the Word-Faith Movement about "declaring" healing, "name-it-and-claim-it", etc. If you don't know about where these famous "faith healers" go when they need healing, you may be surprised. Why couldn't they heal themselves when they purported to be able to heal others by virtue of their superior faith? What happened to the extraordinary faith they claimed to have, enough faith to heal and be healed? Since they are the ones who taught that all you have to do is claim the healing that is in the Atonement Is. Don't their deaths prove that what they were preaching was a lie and pragmatic witchcraft rather than biblical relality?
I have proven this time and time again in my articles on the subject but I am going to consolidate the information from the Bible in this article by studying the false gods named in the Bible. I am sure I will not be able to cover every instance of supreme beings mentioned in the Bible but I 1 want to deal with some of the major ones 2 show you where they are found in the Word, and 3 prove that they were the "supreme beings" of those nations named by the patriarchs, prophets and Apostles and that they were not monotheistic gods but polytheistic in the tradition of Babel where the false religion of polytheism first took root through the worship of Nimrod and Semiramis.
I am writing this article to address a subject that I have often observed. It is the fact that if you do not get the leaven out of your church the leaven will become the leadership. The Bible teaches quite clearly that if you let the leaven in you will leaven the whole lump. Galatians A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough. We see this often in the case of many "Christian" movements that have allowed a small error to exist in their churches and have not dealt with those issues.
It then ends up metastasizing into worse and worse problems as time goes by. Now, I bet you read the title of this article and thought I had misspelled the word "pantheism". Just so that those of you who write to me advising me of words I have misspelled in articles and I do often I want to tell you that I am using the term "panentheism" as coined by Karl C.
Some of those teachers even have, what would be considered, a fairly typical statement of faith or doctrinal statement they endorse. But by what they teach they end up promoting a false unbiblical view of God, especially through their actions and experiences. The whole phenomenon of "slain in the spirit" and all the antics that go with it are brainwashing an entire generation of Christians to put their faith in another Jesus, another Spirit, another Gospel.
This new "Jesus" and "Holy Spirit" is clearly pantheistic or panentheistic in nature. Though some of these teachers would claim to be believing in the God who is One God in Three Persons, by what they teach they deny the very revealed character of God from Scripture. How do you answer an invitation to attend a meeting where you know nothing about the speaker or what will be done there? What happens if they want to announce the meeting at your church and invite everyone? What do you say to a person who tells you that you don"t have the Holy Spirit even though you are a Christian? What should you do if you think something is wrong, or your conscience is bothering you about something that was said or done?
The answer? The Bible has all the answers to your questions. This little booklet is an attempt to deal with a few of the typical statements you will hear from people who have become involved in the Third Wave revival movement. Hopefully the statements and answers in this booklet will set you off on an investigation of your own in the Word. If you need help, and you have access to the Internet, you can visit my web site called "Deception In The Church" that deals with these issues and has the articles mentioned in this booklet. It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill.
The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice,. If you see what I see in this passage, this argument cannot be used for people like Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and the hundreds, even thousands of Third Wave ministers today who are not merely envious and self ambitious, but are also teaching outright false doctrine. Paul was not talking about heretics in this statement, but "brothers in the Lord" who preach the Gospel with wrong motives. Third Wave teachers not only have wrong motives, they also have the wrong message. This argument cannot be used for people like Hinn, even if they manage to preach enough of the "Gospel" for people to come to a saving knowledge of the Lord, because they are also teaching and practicing heresy.
Satan often disguises himself with the purpose of deceiving people. One way in which I believe he is putting on a masquerade is by appearing as "Mary" to millions of people worldwide. So much heresy is entering the churches these days. As you would suspect, sometimes it is due to a pastor attending a conference or reading a book and becoming diapraxed with unbiblical ideas. He then starts to weave those ideas into his messages and begins to invite speakers to the church who expound on those ideas. Then when confronted by someone in the church who has reservations about the new stuff being taught, they are told to not talk about it and just go along with the program. If that person does not they are ostracized, slander behind their back, and often told to leave which is what they should do in any case.
But my observation is that it is not only the pastor who causes unbiblical changes to influence a church. Often the pastor is blissfully unaware of influences coming into his church. They often come in through 1 the worship team 2 women"s groups 3 bookstore 4 children"s programs 5 interdenominational prayer efforts and 6 relief and mission organizations. If unchecked this type of infiltration is much more subtle and can become deeply rooted.
Colossians See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. In context Paul is especially addressing, though perhaps not to the exclusion of other false religion, what had become the false religion of the Pharisees and Jewish leadership. There were many Jewish so-called "Christians" making the rounds among the fledgling early churches who were trying to get the Gentiles to come under the Law from which Christ had purchased their freedom. John Gill states this case well in his commentary.
The current fad of interfaith solidarity and unity is simply a thin guise of inclusivism, Universalism and pluralism. Universalism is defined by Dictionary. Source Universalism is a religion and theology that generally holds all persons and creatures are related to God or the divine and will be reconciled to God. Pluralism is defined as: The doctrine that reality is composed of many ultimate substances. American Heritage Dictionary, Source. Inclusivism is: "Inclusivism posits that even though the work of Christ is the only means of salvation, it does not follow that explicit knowledge of Christ is necessary in order for one to be saved. In contrast to pluralism, inclusivism agrees with exclusivism in affirming the particularity of salvation in Jesus Christ.
But unlike exclusivism, inclusivism holds that an implicit faith response to general revelation can be salvific. God expects from man a response proportional to the light given. Saving faith is not characterized so much by its cognitive content as it is by its reverent quality. We deal with these old heresies brought forward to modernity, these ideas that all men have have a relationship with God that will cause them to be able to avoid judgement in our book on the teachings of the World Gathering on Indigenous People movement called "Idolatry In Their Hearts". The idea that all men who worship a "god" are worshipping the true God, YHWH, has bubbled up to the very top of our societies and religions, and even Christendoom, and should sound a warning alarm to true Biblical Christianity.
Instead, as usual in our day, most Christians are asleep at the wheel while Universalists claim that you can pray to a "god" like Allah and be praying to the true Trinue God, YHWH. I'm going to warn you now. I am going to let you in on some information tonight that is going to radically change your world view. You are likely going to experience the beginnings of a reverse paradigm shift and after tonight there will be no way to go back the way you came. You will be faced with choices that you may never have known you had. You will be faced with a new way of looking at things that is going to cause you to rethink everything that is being taught in the Emerging Latter Rain churches.
It is going to be radical because the basis for this message doesn't come from Jesus Christ visiting my room last night bodily, but from His holy written Word. So buckle down your seat belts, you're likely in for a bumpy ride! They come to you in sheep"s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. Many will say to me on that day, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?
Away from me, you evildoers! I often receive requests to present updated false teachings and false prophecies by the myriad of heretics out there. We do try to keep up with all the latest. But I have to remind people that those we have exposed as false on our site have not repented of what they have already done in the past, which is why they are still on our site. So what they are doing now has no relevance as to whether or not they are now to be considered a true Biblical teacher. If and when they repent, that is renounce their false teachings and false prophecies, make restitution to those they have deceived, and begin to teach sound Biblical doctrine we will give you that information.
As of now NONE of the people we have exposed have repented of their Latter Rain, Word of Faith teachings, heretical practices or their false prophecies. But in the interest of helping you to respond to a person who inquires by saying: "Those articles are old and you need newer materials" well, here is some newer stuff you can add to the pile. For you and me this really makes no difference, but for those who are living in deception perhaps it might demolish one of their arguments against the truth.
Sometimes I really wonder why someone who claims to be a Bible believing pastor, for instance, refuses to listen to the truth. It frankly boggles my mind. I don't know if it is as a result of the postmodern paradigm or just that they have no love of the truth left. I don't know how that can happen in a truly regenerate person. You would think that the Holy Spirit would confirm the truth to them, first in their conscience, and finally through the written Word.
But these days it is a miracle if it gets that far. I don't know if their conscience has been so seared that they don't hear the Spirit or if they just don't want to know the truth because then they would be responsible for it. I know that I cannot know their motives or the reasons why they reject truth and refuse to talk about false teaching, but I do know one thing: we are called as true believers to test the spirits.
We must do this even if the result is not to our liking or befuddles us as to the reasons. In running a web site with thousands of articles, million hits per month from all over the world, and hundreds of e-mails per week, I have come to realize, with time, that there is a terrible problem in Christendom today. The problem stems from an existential subjective view of the world that has filtered into the church from secular society, but also from the teachings of heretical wolves who have taught an entire generation of churchgoers completely unbiblical methods of discernment or to get rid of any discernment altogether. Matthew Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
KJV Matthew "Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, Is laid for your faith in His excellent word! A house built on the rock will stand. The Rock is God and in particular, Jesus Christ. Anyone who wants to prove anything theologically, historically, scientifically or anything else needs to start with correct information.
If you start with a faulty foundation, as you build your arguments, they begin to fall apart because they are not supported in God"s truth. If you want to build on a firm foundation, you need to start the process by a careful study of God"s Word in context of the verse and according to the whole counsel of God"s Word. The Bible is the best commentary on the Bible. Good intent and good deed contribute to good karma and future happiness, while bad intent and bad deed contribute to bad karma and future suffering. Karma is closely associated with the idea of rebirth in some schools of Asian religions.
In these schools, karma in the present affects one's future in the current life, as well as the nature and quality of future lives - or, one's samsara. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name. The reason I wrote this article based on Zech is that I was reminded of how many so-called Christians, who are influential in the churches, are promoting the worship of God in the names of other gods. So, as you can see, the root of this teaching is that Israel no longer holds the distinction of being the tree from which the Root of David Jesus-Rev. They are no longer the "natural branches" Israel-Rom. According to Replacement Theology, Christianity has now become its own branch apart from Israel the natural branch that produced the Root and all the promises of the Bible to Israel have been taken away from them and given to the Gentile Church.
This is why you hear so many false teachers taking verses out of context from the Old Testament and willy-nilly applying them to the Gentile Church. This methodology has been going on for decades in liberal churches and has been popularized by many false teachers on TV. But the fact is that Replacement Theology is utter false doctrine. It denies promises made to Israel, some of which have already been fulfilled and some which are yet to come to fruition. But when you add the fact that the Inclusivist WCGIP proponents are now saying that God planted hundreds of different trees, cultures all over the world, that are not connected to the natural branch, tree and Root, you have what can only be termed Replacement Theology on steroids! The Scriptural definition of maturity is to learn to discern truth from error so that the Christian will no longer be double minded, blown about by every wind of teaching and by the schemes of crafty people.
But the problem today is that so few Christian teachers are feeding their flock's solid food. They are serving up milk and, because of that, people are starving. Yet they often don't even know they have been on a starvation diet. Amos " The days are coming," declares the Sovereign Lord, "when I will send a famine through the land - not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. Lying is a problem for all people Ps.
We are all sinners Rom. Those of us who are Christians are "sinners saved by grace" Eph. But we still live in our "old self" which we must "put off" Eph. The difference between unbelievers and those who are truly born again is that believers no longer "practice sin" 1 John , see my Bible study on 1 John! They have the indwelling Holy Spirit Rom. True believers then repent 1 John and go on to "practice righteousness" 1 John with the Lord's help. The unregenerate, the false brothers, or those who have fallen away Gal. They practice a lifestyle of lying because their consciences are seared 1 Tim.
These four books were widely read by Christians from virtually every denominational background before their ramifications and the movements they would spawn were known. They lay error alongside truth so were considered not to be a threat to churches. Therefore these books then became part of the consciousness of many Christians and churches, thereby laying the basis for the introduction of the modern day false teachings of the NAR, EC, CG and WCGIP that have become part of the landscape of Christendom today. With the resurgence of the old religion of Hawaii and the continual invocation of Pel" and other "deities" for years in the secular culture and even in churches with regards to worshipping 'Io, is it any wonder that those beings are beginning to manifest again?
In a story called "Night Marchers" on the Kawaihae site and in a YouTube video on the same subject, eyewitnesses claim all kinds of sightings that they think are the warriors, ancestors and demi-gods of Hawaii coming back. Since Kikawa claims that 'Io is the True God and one that the Hawaiians worshipped in secret, we have to wonder if Kikawa also thinks 'Io is showing up in these night marches? I am doing a Bible study right now on what I would call "renewing our minds". It is based on this verse:. Romans Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.
The only way to renew our minds is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, confess our sins, and be saved, then to study the written Word and allow the indwelling Holy Spirit to teach us. Our minds are corrupted by virtue of the sin nature and what we have learned in life because our filters are off. I gave an illustration of straining coconut to make coconut milk. If you use a 1 inch screen everything will pass through. Even if you use a quarter inch screen you will get mostly coconut meat in your milk. You have to use a fine screen in order to separate the milk from the leftover. Our filters are off and the first thing God begins to do is correct our worldview, because if your worldview is off you will not understand God's reality.
We need to learn to see things from His perspective. This is why I started this study by going back to an original problem. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the li e, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
This has always been an interesting passage to me for a few different reasons. What is "the lie" that is talked about here in verse 9 and 11? What are the ways that "wickedness deceives those who are perishing" and how long has this been going on or does this only begin to happen at the coming of the lawless one? In what way does "the lie" cause those who do not believe the truth to "delight in wickedness"? But it does have it's own distinctives that are driven by the works of Daniel Kikawa, Richard Twiss, and Don Richardson in particular.
They are teaching Christians to "redeem" their cultures by worshipping their former gods, pretending they are YHWH. Go here for ordering information. There are a number of the leadership of the Emerging Church EC who do not believe that the Bible is the highest authority for the Christian faith. Most do not believe that the Bible is inerrant in the original manuscripts and many do not acknowledge that the Bible is our highest revelation. Yet this is a core doctrine over which true believers and false brethren must separate.
Those who try to poke holes in Sola Scriptura make excuses like 1 we need to reinterpret the Bible through the lens of postmodern culture and religion 2 the Bible never uses the words "Sola Scriptura" therefore it is not a Biblical concept 3 there is new revelation for the church through the Holy Spirit apart from what is written and the precepts of the Bible and 4 the Bible just doesn't address our postmodern situation therefore we cannot rely on it for the truth and answers for our problems today.
I will prove that all the above arguments, and more, from EC leaders and others is exactly what they are teaching. I will give you quotes from their teachings, videos and books. The postmodern church and its "movements" are abandoning Sola Scriptura in their rush to be like the Roman Catholic Church, which takes its authority from a mix of Scripture and tradition. Page Updated DVD! I am writing this article as an apologetic against the Third Wave, Latter Rain, Word of Faith and Reformed Theology teachings that the Church is to rise up and take over the systems of government, businesses and every other aspect of life.
And the only way to overthrow a government is with a government. It won't happen otherwise. So therefore the government of the church has to get into place in the extended church just like we do have it very well in place, we haven't reached our goal yet What I wanted to do with this article is put the issue of dominion to rest by studying the definition the Bible gives to dominion and ruling authority. When we look at the subject we can easily ascertain what is going on today and what God requires of the Church.
Shepherd Or Hireling? The Bible lays out the definitions of both an overseer under shepherd and a hireling. John I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. KJV 1 Tim. Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.
NIV Titus Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless, not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach - and that for the sake of dishonest gain. Even one of their own prophets has said, "Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.
Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith. NIV A hireling does not really care about being a watchman, but is more concerned with protecting his reputation, position and income. A true watchman will guard the flock against wolves from within Acts and without Acts no matter the cost to his reputation, position or income. Following is a little quiz you can take to see if you are a true Biblical under shepherd as a leader in your church, are becoming a hireling, or are one now.
Too many churches today are allowing music to be used in their services that is not glorifying to the Lord and can actually be a hindrance to the teaching of sound doctrine. Pastors and leaders should be using their leadership role to test what is being played and sung in their churches. Though some are quick to test preaching and teaching from their pulpits, many ignore the music being used in the same services. This is a tragic mistake.
Music is a powerful medium. It is something that effects deeply the body, mind and emotions. It is a proven fact that music often stays with a person far longer than what is taught or preached. Songs roam around in our heads, especially if the melody appeals to us. What is often overlooked is the serious impression music makes on people, and the teaching they are getting over and over again as they allow the song to repeat in their minds and on their lips.
Music teaches things much more subtly yet sometimes far more effectively. That's why the lyrical content of music in the church, as well as its effect on the spiritual lives of those who perform and listen, should be vigorously examined by the leaders of the church. This is a 2-DVD set. Do you not realise that Christ Jesus is in you - unless, of course, you fail the test? People who call themselves followers of Christ or "Christians" and claim they are born again must believe certain things.
If they do not then they fail the test of faith. They can claim they are born again all they want and "once saved, always saved" but if they fail the test of faith there is no eternal security. Only God knows who will be saved, from beginning to end, because of His foreknowledge and omniscience Rom. God did not make an arbitrary judgment about who would be saved and who would not. His Spirit is given to those He foreknew, when convicted of sin by His Holy Spirit, would choose to believe and commit themselves to Jesus Christ.
We are not God and we do not have His omniscience. Therefore, according to Paul, we must be sure our belief system is in the right place once our eyes have been opened to the Truth. I am not saying we do not have assurance of salvation, but our assurance comes not only because of His Atonement and promises of salvation but from our continuing in the Faith, which is always the Biblical criteria. Those who would be Bible teachers must teach according to the whole counsel of God's Word.
Let me be clear. There is only one way to salvation. That is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. I will deal with a few of those issues following, but it is important to recognize that being saved is not just a matter of believing that Jesus lived, or that He was a man, or simply giving mental ascent to His existence in whatever form. I am going to go over an article I wrote back in in preparation for the book I wrote with Mike Oppenheimer called 'Idolatry in Their Hearts'. At the time that book came out no one really saw the dangerous ideas Richardson was promoting.
All they would have had to do was look at the two subtitles of that book to understand the implications. Those who read this book found some interesting cross-cultural ideas but apparently missed the false premise of the book starting with the subtitle. How could Christianity be "among folk religions" where the Gospel had not been preached Rom. At that time Christians who read the book were apparently satisfied that, though there was some questionable material present, it made for an interesting discussion on how to do cross-cultural ministry. This should have been a red flag for many Christians but then, who reads subtitles? I was talking with a pastor after a Wednesday night service and he mentioned that I said I had done an article comparing English Bible translations.
He called me up later and asked me to come back and present the contents of that article I sent out in about to my mailing list for the Pacific Waves Newsletter which, unfortunately, I can no longer afford to publish and mail. However an archive of past issues of that newsletter can be found here. In that article I detailed a number of good and bad resources for pastors including Bible translations, concordances, commentaries, Bible dictionaries, etc. I present an edited version of part of that article on this DVD, particularly dealing with English Translations of the Bible. Translation is a very detailed endeavor and should only be undertaken by those with a proper education in that subject and a sound doctrinal background.
I read a few books on that subject and it helped me understand the complexities involved. Hebrew is a rich language so it is hard to distill one Hebrew word down to one English word. Greek is a very technical language and it is also not easy to translate. This is why it is imperative to use the good English translations out there for comparison along with a good concordance and Bible dictionary. Some of the great Roman roads and buildings still stand there to this day.
And it so happened that, just at this time, there was a blaze of greatness in Spain. Many of the great figures who were writing their names on Roman history and literature were Spaniards. There was Martial, the master of the epigram. There was Lucan, the epic poet. There were Columella and Pomponius Mela, great figures in Roman literature. There was Quintilian, the master of Roman oratory. It was most natural that Paul's thoughts should go out to this land which was producing such a scintillating galaxy of greatness. What might happen if men like that could be touched for Christ? As far as we know Paul never got to Spain. On that visit to Jerusalem he was arrested and he was never freed again.
But, when he was writing Romans, that was his dream. Paul was a master strategist. He had an eye for the layout of territory like a great commander. He felt that by this time he could move on from Asia Minor and for the time being leave Greece behind. He saw the whole west lying in front of him, virgin territory to be won for Christ. But, if he was to launch a campaign in the west, he needed a base of operations. There was only one such base possible--and that was Rome. That was why Paul wrote this letter to Rome. He had this great dream in his heart and this great plan in his mind. He needed Rome for a base for this new campaign.
He was aware that the Church in Rome must know his name. But he was also aware, for he was a realist, that the reports which reached Rome would be mixed. His opponents were not above spreading slanders and false accusation against him. So he wrote this letter to set out for the Church at Rome an account of the very essence of his belief, in order that, when the time came for action, he might find in Rome a sympathetic Church from which the lines of communication might go out to Spain and the west. It was with such a plan and such an intention, that in A. Romans is at once a very complicated and a very carefully constructed letter. It will therefore help us to find our way through it, if we have in our minds an idea of its framework.
It falls into four definite divisions. Paul begins with a survey of the Gentile world. We have only to look at its decadence and corruption to know that it had not solved the problem of righteousness. He looks at the Jewish world. The Jews had sought to solve the problem of righteousness by meticulous obedience to the law. Paul had tried that way himself, and it had issued in frustration and defeat, because no man on earth can ever fully obey the law, and, therefore, every man must have the continual consciousness of being in debt to God and under his condemnation.
So Paul finds the way to righteousness in the way of utter trust and utter yieldedness. The only way to a right relationship with God is to take him at his word, and to cast oneself, just as one is, on his mercy and love. It is the way of faith. It is to know that the important thing is, not what we can do for God, but what he has done for us. For Paul the centre of the Christian faith was that we can never earn or deserve the favour of God, nor do we need to. The whole matter is one of grace, and all that we can do is to accept in wondering love and gratitude and trust what God has done for us.
That does not free us, however, from obligations or entitle us to do as we like; it means that for ever and for ever we must try to be worthy of the love which does so much for us. But we are no longer trying to fulfil the demands of stern and austere and condemnatory law; we are no longer like criminals before a judge; we are lovers who have given all life in love to the one who first loved us. In a real sense they were God's chosen people, and yet, when his Son had come into the world, they had rejected him. What possible explanation could there be for this heart-breaking fact? The only one Paul could find was that, in the end, it was all God's doing.
Somehow the hearts of the Jews had been hardened; but it was not all failure, for there had always been a faithful remnant. Nor was it for nothing, for the very fact that the Jews had rejected Christ opened the door so the Gentiles would bring in the Jews and all men would be saved. Paul goes further. The Jew had always claimed that he was a member of the chosen people in virtue of the fact that he was a Jew. It was solely a matter of pure racial descent from Abraham. But Paul insists that the real Jew is not the man whose flesh and blood descent can be traced to Abraham. He is the man who has made the same decision of utter yieldedness to God in loving faith which Abraham made.
Therefore, Paul argues, there are many pure-blooded Jews who are not Jews in the real sense of the term at all; and there are many people of other nations who are really Jews in the true meaning of that word. The new Israel was not a racial thing at all; it was composed of those who had the same faith as Abraham had had. In it Paul lays down the ethical character of the Christian faith. The fourteenth and fifteenth chapters deal with an ever-recurring problem. In the Church there was a narrower party who believed that they must abstain from certain foods and drinks, and who counted special days and ceremonies as of great importance.
Paul thinks of them as the weaker brethren because their faith was dependent on these external things. There was a more liberal party, who had liberated themselves from these external rules and observances. He thinks of them as the brethren who are stronger in the faith. He makes it quite clear that his sympathies are with the more liberal party; but he lays down the great principle that no man must ever do anything to hurt the conscience of a weaker brother or to put a stumbling block in his way. His whole point of view is that we must never do anything which makes it harder for someone else to be a Christian; and that that may well mean the giving up of something, which is right and safe for us, for the sake of the weaker brother.
Christian liberty must never be used in such a way that it injures another's life or conscience. The letter ends with a list of greetings and a final benediction. Many have felt that it does not really form part of the Letter to the Romans at all; and that it is really a letter to some other Church which became attached to Romans when Paul's letters were collected. What are their grounds?
First and foremost, in this chapter Paul sends greetings to twenty-six different people, twenty-four of whom he mentions by name and all of whom he seems to know very intimately. He can, for instance, say that the mother of Rufus has also been a mother to him. Is it likely that Paul knew intimately twenty-six people in a Church which he had never visited?
He, in fact, greets far more people in this chapter than he does in any other letter, and yet he had never set foot in Rome. Here is something that needs explanation. If Rom. It is here that Prisca and Aquila come into the argument. We know that they left Rome in A. We know that they went with Paul to Ephesus Acts We know that they were in Ephesus when Paul wrote his letter to Corinth, less than two years before he wrote Romans 1 Cor.
And we know that they were still in Ephesus when the Pastoral Epistles were written 2 Tim. It is certain that if we had come across a letter sending greeting to Prisca and Aquila we should have assumed that it was sent to Ephesus, if no other address was given. Is there any other evidence to make us think that chapter sixteen may have been sent to Ephesus in the first place?
There is the perfectly general reason that Paul spent longer in Ephesus than anywhere else, and it would be very natural for him to send greetings to many people there. Paul speaks of Epaenetus, the first-fruits of Asia. Ephesus is in Asia, and such a reference, too, would be very natural in a letter to Ephesus, but not so natural in a letter to Rome. It can be argued that the sixteenth chapter was originally addressed to Ephesus, but the argument is not so strong as it looks.
For one thing, there is no evidence that the chapter was ever attached anywhere except to the Letter to the Romans. For another thing, the odd fact is that Paul does not send personal greetings to churches which he knew well. There are no personal greetings in Thessalonians, Corinthians, Galatians, and Philippians, all of them letters to churches he knew well; whereas there are personal greetings in Colossians, although Paul had never set foot in Colosse. The reason is really quite simple. If Paul had sent personal greetings to churches he knew well, jealousies might well have arisen; on the other hand, when he was writing to churches he had never visited, he liked to establish as many personal links as possible.
The very fact that Paul had never been in Rome makes it likely that he would try to establish as many personal connections as possible. Again, it is to be remembered that Prisca and Aquila were banished by edict from Rome. What is more likely than that, after the trouble was over, six or seven years later, they would return to Rome and pick up the threads of their business after their stay in other towns? And is it not most likely that many of the other names are names of people who shared in this banishment, who took up temporary residence in other cities, who met Paul there, and who, when the coast was clear, returned to Rome and their old homes?
Paul would be delighted to have so many personal contacts in Rome and to seize hold of them. Further, as we shall see, when we come to study chapter 16 in detail, many of the names--the households of Aristobulus and Narcissus, Amplias, Nereus and others--well suit Rome. In spite of the arguments for Ephesus, we may take it that there is no necessity to detach chapter sixteen from the Letter to the Romans. But there is a more interesting, and a much more important, problem. The early manuscripts show some very curious things with regard to Rom.
The only natural place for a doxology is at the very end. But in a number of manuscripts it comes at the end of Rom. One ancient Latin manuscript has a series of section summaries. The last two are as follows:. That is equally clearly Rom. Clearly, these summaries were made from a manuscript which did not contain chapters fifteen and sixteen.
Now there is one thing which sheds a flood of light on this. In one manuscript the mention of Rome in Rom. There is no mention of any destination. All this goes to show that Romans circulated in two forms--one form as we have it with sixteen chapters, and one with fourteen chapters; and perhaps also one with fifteen chapters. The explanation must be this. As Paul wrote it to Rome, it had sixteen chapters; but Rom. Now no other letter gives such a compendium of Paul's doctrine.
What must have happened was that Romans began to circulate among all the churches, with the last two local chapters omitted, except for the doxology. It must have been felt that Romans was too fundamental to stop at Rome and so the purely local references were removed and it was sent out to the Church at large. From very early times the Church felt that Romans was so great an expression of the mind of Paul that it must become the possession not of one congregation, but of the whole Church. We must remember, as we study it, that men have always looked on Romans as the quintessence of Paul's gospel.
This is a letter from Paul, a slave of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart to serve the good news of God. This good news God promised long ago, through his prophets, in the sacred writings. It is good news about his Son, who in his manhood was born of David's lineage, who, as a result of his Resurrection from the dead, has been proved by the Holy Spirit to be the mighty Son of God. It is of Jesus Christ, our Lord, of whom I am speaking, through whom we have received grace, and an apostleship to awaken a faithful obedience for his sake amongst all the Gentiles.
You are included amongst these Gentiles, you who have been called to belong to Jesus Christ. This is a letter to all the beloved in Rome who belong to God, those who have been called to be dedicated to him. When Paul wrote his letter to the Romans he was writing to a church which he did not know personally and in which he had never been. He was writing to a church which was situated in the greatest city in the greatest empire in the world. Because of that he chose his words and thoughts with the greatest care.
In this word slave there are two backgrounds of thought. In Greek the word kurios describes someone who has undisputed possession of a person or a thing. It means master or owner in the most absolute sense. The opposite of Lord kurios is slave doulos. Paul thought of himself as the slave of Jesus Christ, his Master and his Lord. Jesus had loved him and given himself for him, and therefore Paul was sure that he no longer belonged to himself, but entirely to Jesus. On the one side slave describes the utter obligation of love.
In the Old Testament it is the regular word to describe the great men of God. Moses was the doulos of the Lord Josh. Joshua was the doulos of God Josh. The proudest title of the prophets, the title which distinguished them from other men, was that they were the slaves of God Am. When Paul calls himself the slave of Jesus Christ he is setting himself in the succession of the prophets. Their greatness and their glory lay in the fact that they were slaves of God, and so did his. So then, the slave of Jesus Christ describes at one and the same time the obligation of a great love and the honour of a great office. In the Old Testament the great men were men who heard and answered the call of God. Abraham heard the call of God Gen.
Moses answered God's call Exo. Jeremiah and Isaiah were prophets because, almost against their will, they were compelled to listen to and to answer the call of God Jer. Paul never thought of himself as a man who had aspired to an honour; he thought of himself as a man who had been given a task. Jesus said to his men, "You did not choose me, but I chose you" Jn. Paul did not think of life in terms of what he wanted to do, but in terms of what God meant him to do.
He was conscious of a double setting apart in his life. Twice in his life this very same word aphorizein is used of him. He thought of God as separating him for the task he was to do even before he was born Gal. For every man God has a plan; no man's life is purposeless. God sent him into the world to do some definite thing. Paul was conscious of having a task to do for God and for the Church of God. Grace always describes some gift which is absolutely free and absolutely unearned. In his pre-Christian days Paul had sought to earn glory in the eyes of men and merit in the sight of God by meticulous observance of the works of the law, and he had found no peace that way. Now he knew that what mattered was not what he could do, but what God had done.
It has been put this way, "The law lays down what a man must do; the gospel lays down what God has done. All was of grace, free and undeserved. He was set apart to be the apostle to the Gentiles. Paul knew himself to be chosen not for special honour, but for special responsibility. He knew that God had set him apart, not for glory, but for toil. It may well be that there is a play on words here. Once Paul had been a Pharisee Php. Pharisee may very well mean The Separated One. It may be that the Pharisees were so called because they had deliberately separated themselves from all ordinary people and would not even let the skirt of their robe brush against an ordinary man. They would have shuddered at the very thought of the offer of God being made to the Gentiles, who to them were "fuel for the fires of hell.
He had felt himself separated in such a way as to have nothing but contempt for all ordinary men. Now he knew himself to be separated in such a way that he must spend all his life to bring the news of God's love to every man of every race. Christianity always separates us, but it separates us not for privilege and self-glory and pride, but for service and humility and love for all men. Besides giving his own credentials Paul, in this passage, sets out in its most essential outline the gospel which he preached. It was a gospel which centred in Jesus Christ Rom.
In particular it was a gospel of two things. He told of a Jesus who was really and truly a man. One of the great early thinkers of the Church summed it up when he said of Jesus, "He became what we are, to make us what he is. He preached of one who was really and truly one with the men he came to save. If Jesus had lived a lovely life and died an heroic death, and if that had been the end of him, he might have been numbered with the great and the heroic, but he would simply have been one among many.
His uniqueness is guaranteed forever by the fact of the Resurrection. The others are dead and gone, and have left a memory. Jesus lives on and gives us a presence, still mighty with power. To begin with, I thank my God for you all through Jesus Christ. I thank him that the story of your faith is told throughout the whole world. God, whom I serve in my spirit in the work of spreading the good news of his Son, is my witness that I continually talk to him about you.
In my prayers I am always asking that somehow, soon, at last, I may by God's will succeed in finding a way to come to you. For I yearn to see you, that I may give you a share of some gift which the Spirit gives, so that you may be firmly founded in the faith--what I mean is, that you and I may find encouragement together, I through your faith and you through mine. I want you to know, brothers, that I have often planned to come to you--and up until now I have been prevented from doing so--that I might have some fruit among you too, as I have amongst the rest of the Gentiles.
I am under a duty to Greeks and to barbarians, to wise and to foolish. So, then, it is my eager wish to preach the good news to you too in Rome. After almost nineteen hundred years the warm affection of this passage still breathes through it, and we can feel Paul's great heart throbbing with love for the Church which he had never seen. Paul's problem in writing this letter was that he had never been in Rome and had had no share in founding the Roman Church.
He had to make them feel that he was not a trespasser on their preserves, interfering where he had no right to intervene. Before he could do anything else, he had to get alongside them so that the barriers of strangeness and suspicion might be broken down. He told them that he thanked God for that Christian faith of theirs which all the world knew. There are some people whose tongues are tuned to praise, and others whose tongues are tuned to criticize. There are some people whose eyes are focused to find faults, and others whose eyes are focused to discover virtues.
It was said of Thomas Hardy that, if he went into a country field, he would always see, not the wild flowers, but the dung-heap in the corner. But the fact remains that we will always get far more out of people by praising them than by criticizing them. The men who get the best out of others are the men who insist on seeing them at their best. There never was, and never has been, anything quite so beautiful as the civilization of the Greeks at its highest and its best, and T. Glover once said that it was founded on "a blind faith in the average man.
He saw men at their best and at their worst. He once wrote home, "If I survive this war I want to write a book called 'The Living Goodness,' analysing all the goodness and nobility inherent in plain people, and trying to show how it ought to find fulfilment and expression in the Church. He describes how the beloved captain picked out the awkward ones and taught them himself. No one can ever even begin to save men unless he first believes in them. A man is a hell-deserving sinner, but he has also a sleeping hero in his soul, and often a word of praise will awaken that sleeping heroism when criticism and condemnation will only produce resentment and despair.
Aidan was the apostle to the Saxons. Away back in A. The missionary came back talking of the "stubborn and barbarous disposition of the English. It is ever a Christian privilege and duty to bear our loved ones and all our fellow-Christians to the throne of grace. In one of his sermons on the Lord's Prayer, Gregory of Nyssa has a lyrical passage on prayer:. Through prayer we guard our chastity, control our temper and rid ourselves of vanity. It makes us forget injuries, overcomes envy, defeats injustice and makes amends for sin. Through prayer we obtain physical well-being, a happy home, and a strong, well-ordered society. Prayer is the seal of virginity and a pledge of faithfulness in marriage. It shields the wayfarer, protects the sleeper, and gives courage to those who keep vigil.
It will refresh you when you are weary and comfort you when you are sorrowful. Prayer is the delight of the joyful as well as the solace of the afflicted. Prayer is intimacy with God and contemplation of the invisible. Prayer is the enjoyment of things present and the substance of the things to come. Even if we are separated from people, and even if there is no other gift which we can give to them, we can surround them with the strength and the defence of our prayers. He began by saying that he wished to come to Rome that he might impart to the Roman Church some gift which would confirm them in the faith. And then he changed it. He wished to come to Rome that he and the Roman Church might comfort and strengthen each other, and that each might find precious things in the faith of the other.
There are two kinds of teachers. There are those whose attitude is that they are standing above their scholars and telling them what they should and must accept. And there are those who, in effect, say, "Come now, let's learn about this together. It takes humility to teach as it takes humility to learn. He was under obligation because of all the kindness that he had received, and he was under obligation to preach to them.
This highly compressed sentence means, "Because of all that I have received from them and because of all it is my duty to give to them, I am under an obligation to all sorts of men. It may seem strange that Paul speaks of Greeks when he is writing to Romans. At this time the word Greek had lost its racial sense altogether. It did not mean a native of the country of Greece. The conquests of Alexander the Great had taken the Greek language and Greek thought all over the world. And a Greek was no longer only one who was a Greek by race and birth; he was one who knew the culture and the mind of Greece. A barbarian is literally a man who says bar-bar, that is to say a man who speaks an ugly and an unharmonious tongue in contrast with the man who speaks the beautiful, flexible language of Greek.
To be a Greek was to be a man of a certain mind and spirit and culture. One of the Greeks said of his own people, "The barbarians may stumble on the truth, but it takes a Greek to understand. What Paul meant was that his message, his friendship, his obligation was to wise and simple, cultured and uncultured, lettered and unlettered. He had a message for the world, and it was his ambition some day to deliver that message in Rome too. I am proud of the good news, for it is the power of God which produces salvation for every one who believes, to the Jew first and to the Greek. The way to a right relationship with God is revealed in it when man's faith responds to God's fidelity, just as it stands written, "It is the man who is in a right relationship with God as a result of his faith who will live.
When we come to these two verses, the preliminaries are over and the trumpet call of Paul's gospel sounds out. Many of the great piano concertos begin with a crashing chord and then state the theme which they are going to develop. The reason is that they were often first performed at private gatherings in great houses. When the pianist first seated himself at the piano, there was still a buzz of conversation. He played the crashing chord to attract the attention of the company, and then, when attention was obtained, the theme was stated. Up to these two verses, Paul has been making contact with the people to whom he was writing; he has been attracting their attention.
Now the introduction is over, and the theme is stated. There are only two verses here, but they contain so much of the quintessence of Paul's gospel that we must spend some considerable time on them. Paul began by saying that he was proud of the gospel which it was his privilege to preach. It is amazing to think of the background of that statement. Paul had been imprisoned in Philippi, chased out of Thessalonica, smuggled out of Beroea, laughed at in Athens and in Corinth his message was foolishness to the Greeks and a stumbling-block to the Jews.
Out of that background he declared that he was proud of the gospel. There was something in the gospel which made Paul triumphantly victorious over all that men could do to him. In this passage we meet three great Pauline watchwords, the three foundation pillars of his thought and belief. At this time in history salvation was the one thing for which men were searching. There had been a time when Greek philosophy was speculative. Four and five hundred years before this men had spent their time discussing the problem--what is the one basic element of which the world is composed? Philosophy had been speculative philosophy and it had been natural philosophy. But, bit by bit, as the centuries passed, life fell in.
The old landmarks were destroyed. Tyrants and conquerors and perils surrounded men; degeneracy and weakness haunted them; and philosophy changed its emphasis. It became, not speculative, but practical. It ceased to be natural philosophy, and became moral philosophy. Its one aim was to build "a ring-wall of defence against the advancing chaos of the world. Epictetus called his lecture room the hospital for the sick soul. What we needed, he said, was "a hand let down to lift us up. Men loved their vices, he said with a sort of despair, and hated them at the same time.
In that desperate world, Epictetus said, men were seeking a peace "not of Caesar's proclamation, but of God's. There can seldom have been a time in history when men were more universally seeking for salvation. It was precisely that salvation, that power, that escape, that Christianity came to offer men. Let us see just what this Christian soteria, this Christian salvation was. It was not a completely other--worldly thing. It aimed at rescuing a man in body and in soul. It was not that it gave a man a life free from perils and dangers, but it gave him a security of soul no matter what was happening. The Christian salvation makes a man safe in a way that is independent of any outward circumstance. It is from a crooked and perverse generation that a man is saved Acts The man who has this Christian salvation has a kind of divine antiseptic which keeps him from infection by the evil of the world.
It was to seek and to save the lost that Jesus came. The unsaved man is the man who is on the wrong road, a road that leads to death. The saved man is the man who has been put on the right way. Men are like slaves in bondage to a master from whom they cannot escape. The Christian salvation liberates them from the tyranny of sin. We shall have occasion in the next passage to discuss the meaning of this phrase.
It is sufficient to note at the moment that there is in this world an inexorable moral law and in the Christian faith an inevitable element of judgment. Without the salvation which Jesus Christ brings a man could only stand condemned. That is to say it is a salvation which find its full meaning and blessedness in the final triumph of Jesus Christ Rom. The Christian faith came to a desperate world offering a salvation which would keep a man safe in time and in eternity.
In the thought of Paul this is a rich word. When Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, he wished to know about their faith. That is, he wished to know how their loyalty was standing the test. In 2Th. Faith is the enduring fidelity which marks the real soldier of Jesus Christ. It means the conviction that something is true. Faith is the assent that the Christian message is true. In 2 Cor.
It means "betting your life that there is a God. Faith begins with receptivity. It begins when a man is at least willing to listen to the message of the truth. It goes on to mental assent. A man first hears and then agrees that this is true. But mental assent need not issue in action. Many a man knows very well that something is true, but does not change his actions to meet that knowledge. The final stage is when this mental assent becomes total surrender. In full-fledged faith, a man hears the Christian message, agrees that it is true, and then casts himself upon it in a life of total yieldedness. Now there are no more difficult words to understand than justification, justify, justice and just, in all the New Testament.
We shall have much occasion in this letter to meet them. At this point we can only lay down the broad lines on which all Paul's thought proceeds. The Greek verb that Paul uses for "to justify" is dikaioun, of which the first person singular of the present indicative--I justify--is dikaioo. We must be quite clear that the word justify, used in this sense, has a different meaning from its ordinary English meaning. If we justify ourselves, we produce reasons to prove that we were right; if someone justifies us, he produces reasons to prove that we acted in the right way. But all verbs in Greek which end in "oo" do not mean to prove or to make a person or thing to be something; they always mean to treat, or account or reckon a person as something. If God justifies a sinner, it does not mean that he finds reasons to prove that he was right--far from it.
It does not even mean, at this point, that he makes the sinner a good man. It means that God treats the sinner as if he had not been a sinner at all. Instead of treating him as a criminal to be obliterated, God treats him as a child to be loved. That is what justification means. It means that God reckons us not as his enemies but as his friends, not as bad men deserve, but as good men deserve, not as law-breakers to be punished, but as men and women to be loved. That is the very essence of the gospel. That means that to be justified is to enter into a new relationship with God, a relationship of love and confidence and friendship, instead of one of distance and enmity and fear. We no longer go to a God radiating just but terrible punishment.
We go to a God radiating forgiving and redeeming love. Justification dikaiosune is the right relationship between God and man. The man who is just dikaios is the man who is in this right relationship, and--here is the supreme point--he is in it not because of anything that he has done, but because of what God has done. He is in this right relationship not because he has meticulously performed the works of the law, but because in utter faith he has cast himself on the amazing mercy and love of God. In the King James Version we have the famous and highly compressed phrase, The just shall live by faith.
Now we can see that in Paul's mind this phrase meant--It is the man who is in a right relationship with God, not because of the works of his hands, but because of his utter faith in what the love of God has done, who really knows what life is like in time and in eternity. And to Paul the whole work of Jesus was that he had enabled men to enter into this new and precious relationship with God. Fear was gone and love had come. The God whom men had thought an enemy had become a friend. For the wrath of God is being revealed from Heaven, directed against all impiousness and wickedness of men, who, in their wickedness, wilfully suppress the truth that is struggling in their hearts, for, that which can be known about God is clear within them, for God has made it clear to them, because, from the creation of the world, it has always been possible to understand the invisible things by the created things--I mean his invisible power and divinity--and things have been so ordered in order to leave them without defence, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify God and they did not give him thanks, but they have involved themselves in futile speculations and their senseless mind was darkened.
They alleged themselves to be wise, but they have become fools, and they have exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the image of the likeness of mortal man, and of winged creatures, and of four-footed animals, and of creeping reptiles. In the previous passage Paul was thinking about the relationship with God into which a man can enter through the faith which is utter yieldedness and trust. In contrast with that he sets the wrath of God which a man must incur, if he is deliberately blind to God and worships his own thoughts and idols instead of him.
This is difficult and must give us seriously to think, for here we meet the conception of the wrath of God, an alarming and a terrifying phrase. What is its meaning? What was in Paul's mind when he used it? Archived from the original on December 3, Archived from the original on October 19, Archived from the original on July 14, Retrieved July 12, Archived from the original on July 22, Retrieved July 19, Archived from the original on September 10, Retrieved July 26, Retrieved August 2, Archived from the original on September 11, Retrieved August 9, Retrieved August 16, Retrieved August 23, Archived from the original on September 14, Retrieved August 31, Archived from the original on October 13, Retrieved September 7, Archived from the original on September 24, Retrieved September 13, Archived from the original on October 3, Retrieved October 3, Retrieved October 10, Archived from the original on October 17, Retrieved October 17, Archived from the original on October 24, Retrieved October 24, Showbuzz Daily.
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December 26, . Robert B. After a long hiatus, Larry begins performing stand-up comedy again in order to prepare for the special. However, hours away from the show's scheduled filming, Larry becomes nervous and lies to the HBO executives about the illness of his nonexistent stepfather in order to get the special canceled. Larry's baggy new pants create awkward misunderstandings among Larry, Cheryl Cheryl Hines , and her friend Nancy Robin Ruzan at a movie theater.
An argument between Larry and a female 'stranger' Sofia Sofia Milos leads to tensions between Larry and his friend Richard Lewis because she is Richard's girlfriend. Larry jokingly refers to Cheryl as " Hitler " during a car speakerphone conversation with his best friend Jeff Jeff Garlin and his attempts to hide it from her—and to appease Jeff's Holocaust -sensitive parents Mina Kolb, Louis Nye —backfire disastrously. Kathy Griffin makes a cameo appearance. David Steinberg. October 22, Larry and Cheryl go on a double date at a bowling alley with new celebrity friends Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen , where Larry's shoes are stolen and he confronts the thief.
Larry goes shopping with Mary's mother Anne Haney. Larry worries they have been uninvited to a Paul Simon concert because he reacted with disgust at lunch when he realized he had been drinking out of Mary's mother's glass. October 29, He gets lost driving there; first an elderly woman tears up his directions to Gil's house after arguing with Larry, and then a man Larry offended earlier at a golf course refuses to give him directions. Cheryl, who planned to only stop by the party for 15 minutes after they ate at a restaurant, is annoyed to realize they are attending a dinner party. Gil disgusts Cheryl with graphic tales from his porn days, and Gil's wife shouts at Larry because Larry accidentally broke a rare lamp and did not adhere to her house rule of taking his shoes off.
In the hospital after a routine checkup, Jeff says he needs emergency bypass surgery and asks Larry to hide his porn collection from Susie Susie Essman in case he dies. Larry watches one the videos in this stash—starring Gil, when Jeff's parents walk in on him. November 5, Larry wants to buy a bracelet for Cheryl, but he is not buzzed into the store because he is wearing his workout clothes and looks like a homeless person.
Richard then decides to buy it for his girlfriend, which upsets Cheryl. Larry and Richard Lewis help a blind man Patrick Kerr move into his apartment but he becomes belligerent and ungrateful. Larry returns to a restaurant where he left behind his credit card, but his car is blocked in by the head waiter because Larry did not tip him the previous day. Larry runs to the jewelry store to try to prevent Richard from buying the bracelet; they fight outside the door resulting in neither being buzzed in. November 12, Larry, who injured his finger fighting with Richard Lewis, is angered by the operations of his doctor's office, when another patient whose appointment was after his Marissa Winokur is seen first because she signed in before he did after he was chivalrous and let her exit the elevator first.
This causes him to miss his appointment with Diane Keaton. Cheryl hires an interior decorator, Carmen Rose Abdoo , who also works for Diane. Larry loses Diane's phone number and the interior decorator refuses to give it to him, which causes Larry to fire her. He fights with the interior designer at Diane's house and injures his finger again. Back at the doctor's office, he races with the same woman to be able to sign in first, only to have her called in first because her appointment was first and they changed their policy based on his suggestion.
His finger is broken but his doctor refuses to help him until Larry pays his bill with his wife. November 19, November 26, Cheryl holds a dinner party; Larry test drives Jeff's car and disastrously mistakes the trademark double-horn sound-effect in an AAMCO radio commercial for a real horn. It angers the driver behind Larry, and they bump Jeff's car, causing it to need repairs by a specialist Mike Hagerty. Cheryl's parents Paul Dooley , Julie Payne ask Larry to write an obituary for Cheryl's aunt, then blame him for a horrifying typographical error when it is published in the local newspaper. Cheryl's sister Becky's boyfriend asks Larry if it is a good time to break up with her.
After Becky confronts Larry about him advising her boyfriend to break up with her, Cheryl kicks him out of his own house. Larry then goes to Jeff's house only to be kicked out again for supposedly harassing Jeff's mother. He tries to stay at a hotel room, but is unable to because it is full. December 10, Larry offends an African-American doctor by joking about affirmative action. Larry and Cheryl travel across L. Jeff offers Cheryl a role in The Vagina Monologues. Larry runs into an ex-girlfriend Melanie Smith who asks him to go to an incest survivors group with her—one whose members include the director of Cheryl's show Laraine Newman. In order to fit in at the group, Larry falsely claims to have been sexually abused by his uncle; when the director meets the uncle, she shouts at him.
Larry experimentally decides to take a job as a car salesman, but is soon fired after arguing with Richard as he is trying to sell a car to someone. Larry and Jason Alexander contemplate making a new TV series about an actor who cannot find work because he is typecast as his character from a hit television show. September 30, Larry helps Jeff move out as he is splitting up with Susie. Larry tries to meet with Jason Alexander about their new show, but the two have a falling out after arguing about where they should have the meeting. October 7, Larry refuses to give candy to uncostumed trick-or-treating teenage girls on Halloween , so they toilet-paper his house and spray-paint "Bald Asshole" across his front door.
Larry attends a movie premiere of his disabled friend, who is angry with Larry when he finds out that Larry joked to his wife that he would like to have sex with her. Larry is confronted by another Jewish man in the queue for whistling Wagner , and later discovers that he is the father of one of the girls. Larry hires an orchestra to play Wagner in his house, then conducts the orchestra outside the man's house. October 14, Larry accuses HBO executive Allan Wasserman of stealing shrimp from his Chinese food, so he decides not to commission the show. October 21, Larry wants to discontinue his counseling when he sees his therapist John Pleshette wearing a thong at the beach.
Rob Reiner convinces Larry to be a celebrity lunch partner as a prize in a " Groat's syndrome " charity auction, but he offends the winner Tom McGowan when he starts eating first. October 28, When his father dies soon after, Larry is blamed for the death. Larry's neck problem improves significantly, which leads to a dispute between the two men as to whether or not Larry owes him the money. November 4, Larry and Julia successfully pitch the show to ABC. Larry upsets the executive's daughter and her mother by cutting her expensive doll's hair off. He and Jeff steal the same type of doll's head from Jeff's daughter Sammi's collection to give to the executive's wife, which upsets Sammi and Susie.
Larry accidentally trips Shaquille O'Neal at a Lakers basketball game, which suddenly seems to give him good luck. Keith Truesdell. November 18, Larry interrupts the baptism in a river, thinking that he is being drowned. Becky cancels their wedding because she only wants to be married to a man who is a Christian like her. Richard accuses Larry of stealing his outgoing answering machine greeting. Larry and Julia make a final attempt to pitch the show with CBS. Larry and Cheryl dine at a restaurant. The staff phone the police when Larry tries to take a fork and napkin to his chauffeur Tom Booker.
Larry receives a massage from Jeff's masseuse Kathleen York , during which the she gives him a handjob , which he tells her to stop. Cheryl is told by a psychic that Larry is having an affair with a woman who fits the masseuse's description. Cheryl accuses Larry of having an affair, to which he says that he is not. Larry is convicted of stealing the fork and his sentence is to wear a sandwich board stating "I steal forks from restaurants" while standing outside the restaurant. The couple encounter the masseuse outside the restaurant.
Larry becomes obsessed with a shirt he sees his dead friend Chet wearing in a photo. September 22, The reception on Larry's first call on his new cell phone cuts out, leading to Cheryl not hearing from him that Richard's new Christian Scientist girlfriend, Deborah, has a nut allergy. Deborah is taken to hospital after an allergic reaction to nuts in brownies, but she refuses medication. Larry puts Benadryl in some new brownies and gives them to her. Restaurant manager Jim teaches Larry a restaurant tip about stains.
After Chef Randy quits, Larry, Jeff and Ted are searching for a new chef for the soon-to-be-opened restaurant; Larry becomes tennis partners with Cheryl when he becomes jealous of her current partner, Brad, whom he thinks wants to have sex with her. Larry and Cheryl are looking for a year-late gift for their friends, Ed and Melanie Loeb. A household shop worker Laura Silverman falsely accuses Larry of stalking her after he drives behind her. October 6, Jeff and Susie get back together after Jeff finds out that Susie is pregnant.
Larry gets a restaurant investor's nanny Cheri Oteri —who used to work at Six Flags Magic Mountain Looney Tunes Lodge—fired when he convinces her to let him use the investor's private bathroom. At Larry's recommendation, Susie employs the nanny, who soon attacks Susie, so Susie fires her. October 13, Wanda Sykes warns Larry and Cheryl that — according to a well-connected acquaintance of hers — there will be a terrorist attack in L. Several people whom are told about it leave the city for the weekend, but no attack occurs. October 20, Larry's mother Adele dies, but he does not learn about it until after her funeral because he was busy working in New York City on a movie directed by Martin Scorsese and Larry's father Nat Shelley Berman said that she did not want him bothered.
Larry uses her death as an excuse to get out of several situations. Larry is angered when Adele's remains are put in a special section of the cemetery due to her having a tattoo and teams up with Nat, Larry's cousin Andy Richard Kind , and Jeff to put it right. Larry lets Richard use his meditation mantra. October 27, The restaurant's opening is in three days and Larry manages to find a chef Ian Gomez in the last moment. Larry decides to hire the chef just because he is bald. The restaurant's opening date comes even closer but then the crew starts to think there might be a body underneath the floorboards because the Greenes' dog Oscar reacted to the site. The opening date is delayed while digging work is done, but only a bra is found.
Larry talks Sammi, the Greenes' daughter, into giving Oscar away because Jeff is allergic to the dog. However, Sammi agrees while drunk due to unintentionally drinking wine from Larry's glass. Susie is angry with the dog being taken away, so Larry later tries to persuade Susan Braudy to give the dog back, but she refuses, so Larry uses a dog whistle to get the dog to run out of the Braudy's house to him.
November 3, The rapper tells Larry to keep it secret, but he reveals it to Cheryl. Wanda finds out that he is cheating on her and she breaks up with him. Larry searches L. Cheryl threw away the one he previously wore on set, so he goes to a store to buy a similar one, but annoys the owner and is thrown out. He borrows one from Killa, but he takes it back because he blames Larry for Wanda finding out about his cheating and dumping him. November 10, Larry begins having problems with his housekeeper Dora. In an attempt to help Jeff avoid Susie avoid knowing that he was talking to a woman on the phone during the early hours, Larry supports his lie to Susie, which is that Larry made the phone call to Dora while he stayed there when Susie was away.
Larry tells Susie that Dora was going to quit due to a disagreement with Cheryl. This leads to Dora thinking that Cheryl dislikes her—and Dora resigns. Cheryl invites her family home for the holidays. Larry eats edible nativity figures, so he tries to hire a Christian group to portray the nativity, but the man playing Joseph rejects that plan in reaction to Larry's question to him about if he is attracted to the woman playing Mary.
With the restaurant opening in days, Larry fires the chef, accidentally break a food critic 's Paul Willson thumbs, and hire a new chef Paul Sand who has Tourette syndrome. Ben Stiller will be playing Leopold Bloom. Larry reminds Cheryl of an anniversary gift she had promised him ten years earlier in order to encourage him to marry her: he is allowed to have sex with another woman one time. Mel accidentally hits Larry with a door, slightly injuring his head. Larry sees a doctor about the injury, and argues with him. January 11, The show's blind piano player Michael has an ugly girlfriend who has tricked him into believing she is a beautiful model. Larry tells Michael that she is lying about having good looks. Michael breaks up with her, but blames Larry for the breakup and guilts him into helping him with several tasks.
At Ben Stiller's birthday party, Larry angers Susie by saying tits during a game of telephone with children. Ben is perturbed that Larry did not bring a gift — despite him telling attendees not to bring gifts — and that he refuses to sing " Happy Birthday to You ". While demonstrating a golf swing, Larry accidentally stabs Ben in the eye with a wooden skewer. Richard's friend's attractive daughter, Kim, shows Larry her new breast implants and places his hands on her bare breasts.
Cheryl sees Larry and Kim through a window and angrily tells Larry that he has used up his anniversary gift. January 18, After Larry angers Ben by insisting on sitting in the back seat of Ben's car, Ben quits the musical and is replaced with David Schwimmer. Cheryl's teenage cousin Stewart Anton Yelchin is staying with the Davids for a few days. He performs a card trick but will not tell Larry the secret, though a mentally disabled man later figures out the trick. Larry is driving Cheryl's car when he has it cleaned by four mentally disabled men, one of whom steals his sunblock. Larry accidentally lifts off her veil when he opens his umbrella; Haboos is mortified and goes in her house, while Larry is horrified that she is ugly.
After seeing Cheryl and Susie wearing sexy outfits before going to a costume party, Larry makes Cheryl wear Haboos' burqa instead. Larry is disturbed when Susie appears in his fantasy about Cady Huffman, who plays Ulla in the musical. January 25, Larry and Cheryl attend a dinner party at the Greene house. Sammi is disgusted when she sees a hideous photograph of Larry's tooth. Larry falls into the toilet bowl, injuring his back. A television meteorologist 's wrong forecast of rain angers Larry, who accuses the weatherman of deliberately falsely predicting rain in order to clear the golf course for himself. Larry attends a testimonial for Marty Funkhouser's father Leo, where he argues with a couple and incurs the other attendees' wrath when his injured back prevents him from participating in a standing ovation Larry plays golf despite the weatherman's forecast of rain, but this time the prediction is accurate and Larry is caught in heavy rain.
February 1, Larry faces termination from his country club because of his messy locker. Larry makes plans for an encounter with his dentist's assistant. Larry complains to David that there are too few cashews in his father's raisin and cashew snack. At Leo's funeral, Larry recognizes his 5-wood golf club in the dead man's hand and secretly swaps it for Jeff's club. At the service, Marty notices the different club and knows who is responsible, because Larry accidentally dropped a cashew in the casket and Jeff's club bears his name. The memberships of both men and their wives are canceled, which Cheryl and Susie are angry with their husbands about.
Oscar bites Larry's penis, causing Larry to cancel his date with the dental assistant. Larry and Cheryl interview at an elitist country club without many Jewish members, pretending to be conservatives to gain favor. February 8, The episode ended up unexpectedly notable in real life. Unused footage of Dodger Stadium was used to exonerate Juan Catalan from a charge of murder by the district attorney by giving him an alibi during the time the murder was committed.
February 22, Larry and Cheryl are annoyed that their friend Marilyn phones after every night's syndicated episode of Seinfeld. At the doctor's office, Larry complains about the outdated magazines in the waiting room. Larry fails a medical test when his heart rate jumps after looking at an attractive nurse, so he must wear a heart monitor for the next 24 hours. Richard is dating a black woman but feels intimidated and asks Larry to find if there is any truth to the rumor that black men have very large penises.
Wanda berates Larry when he mistakes a black driver for a valet. She angrily refuses to answer Larry's question about Richard's concern. Larry goes to a baby shower, where he gives a mulatto doll to a couple who have hired a surrogate mother. He also gives a present to the surrogate and inadvertently convinces her to keep the baby. While leaving a voicemail for David's father, a car collides into Larry's car, causing him to mistakenly leave a profane message. When the enraged driver threatens Larry with a tire iron, Larry uses his heart monitor to fake a heart attack, and an ambulance takes him to hospital. A biracial nurse answers Larry's question about black men. The surrogate changes her mind and gives the baby to the couple.
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