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Bible Prophecy





by Jacques More

Yep, I said it, "simply explained". To do this will mean missing out explanations of any great length, or greater length that is, since the overall presentation here is not (exactly) small, but where I skip, I will give links or, make mention of other places, so the reader can fill in for themselves what I cannot include, all in order to keep things as short and "simple" as possible.

First it is needful to note that the bible was not originally written with chapters and verses. Chapters were added in the 13th century and verses in the 16th. Paul in writing this "chapter" assumes the reader knows his bible well. For his first readers this meant the Old Testament (OT) and this they read in the Greek of their day, the version we now call The Septuagint (LXX). So, appreciating the context of the OT passage which Paul refers to is imperative, in order to understand at all what he is speaking about. This is true in several places in R9. As stated I will refer on in these places, but still provide a gist of what those contexts reveal. What also must be included is an appreciation of what Paul had earlier written in his letter to the Romans.

Paul begins by saying,

I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.

Paul finished his previous chapter with,

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


In talking of what it is like for those in Christ, Paul then begins "R9" with wishing his brethren, the Jews by birth, could be in Christ too. He does this to the extent that he is willing that he himself would be "accursed from Christ" in order to make this happen. This is also an allusion to how Moses expressed this similarly on behalf of the Jewish nation, and Paul goes on to refer to this event with Moses, in R9:14. So, I will return to that. But, here then R9 begins, to talk about the Jews as a whole and about those in Christ.

It is of note that Paul mentions Christ in the flesh as God:

"according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God"

Paul continues,

But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, "In Isaac your seed shall be called".

Having begun saying the Israelites are apart from Christ, he now says seemingly otherwise, as Paul now refers instead to the true Israel of God, the true people of God, the saints. These are not apart from Christ. And he speaks of the "word of God" which he is about to share more about, this will show the difference. Just as not all Israel (the true) who are of Israel (of all among the Jews), so also not all are true children (for God's purposes) who are born from Abraham.

In order to provide "the word of God" which "has taken no effect", the word which he has in mind, Paul has now mentioned another category of people. Three different kinds of people Paul has brought into view, God's true people: the saints (those in Christ), then the Jews as a whole and then those God uses for His purposes in the nations: Isaac being the first mentioned. Not forgetting that in beginning "R9" with the Jewish nation, Paul is also conscious of a 4th category, the Gentiles as a whole.

His first example of the "word of God" is Isaac as being *promised* as the seed to separate as (to be) forefather of the nation of God's chosen people, the Jews. This promise is the "word of God" in view. This connection with a promise God made, His "word" links up with Paul's extended earlier mention of God's word, His promise to Abraham in R4: faith being the reason for such a promise to Abraham (personally) for such a word of God. Faith is what gives access to God's grace. Paul said "we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand" (R5:2). This element Paul is mindful of all along in R9 and this is shown us as he concludes later in R9:30 with the words: "the righteousness of faith" (R9:30b). We know this is a vital concluding remark because Paul introduces it with "What shall we say then?" (R9:30a). A question Paul likes to use to wrap up at least 6 times in Romans, of which 2 are in R9.

And this promise of faith was all discussed by Paul in R4. R4 is Paul's "*go to* place", his foundation, for the Gentiles to be part of the promise of righteousness, by means of the faith of the individual.

But the "word of God" (now in view) is, Isaac "promised" as the heir of Abraham instead of Ishmael his eldest son.


That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.

So the connection is made that only as a child of promise can someone be known as a child of God, just as God's promise of Isaac, God's "word", is what made him to be the heir of Abraham, so the word of promise God gives to those who have faith, like Abraham in R4, makes one a child of promise.

Isaac is the promised one from whom the nation of Israel would come. Ishmael his brother was not to be the heir, though born first as a child of the flesh. And the "word of God" in view Paul now specifies,


For this is the word of promise: "At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son."

Remember, the specific kinds of people Paul has in view here, God's true people: the saints, Israel as a whole and, those God uses for His purposes in the nations: here Isaac is in view as that chosen person for the purpose of being the Grandad of the nation of Israel, whilst Ishmael is the person used for the nation which he then gave birth to (Genesis 21:13, 18), but not the nation of Israel.

Then, Paul mentions Isaac's children as a further example of a "word of God", a promise.


And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), it was said to her, "The older shall serve the younger." As it is written, "Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated."

Here is another example of a word of promise by God.
Jacob was chosen instead of Esau to father the nation of Israel, whilst Esau was chosen to birth the nation of Edom. Now, notice this specific which is mentioned in "the word", "the older shall serve the younger": there are no examples where Esau ever served Jacob. But it is an integral part of the very "word of God" quoted. Instead, we later see Edom, the nation that came from Esau to serve Israel, the nation that came from Jacob.

So here we see what is in view, it is only the nation of the Edomites in view as those who would serve the Israelites. It is not Esau in view prophetically, but the nation from his loins. We can see this further in Malachi which Paul is then quoting:

"I have loved you," says the LORD. "Yet you say, 'In what way have You loved us?' Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" Says the LORD. "Yet Jacob I have loved; but Esau I have hated, and laid waste his mountains and his heritage for the jackals of the wilderness." Even though Edom has said, "We have been impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places," thus says the LORD of hosts: "They may build, but I will throw down; they shall be called the Territory of Wickedness, and the people against whom the LORD will have indignation forever."

Malachi 1:2-4

The nation of Edom is in view, not Esau Himself. The very land of Edom is here and not the person of Esau. To suggest God hated Esau, the person, is not what is in view in Malachi. And this hate is also a relative situation. Paul throughout his letters quotes what we now call the Septuagint: The Greek translation of the Old Testament Hebrew Scripture. And in this very same Greek language Jesus said,

If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.

Luke 14:26

The word for "hate" here is the same in the Greek version of Malachi as it is in the R9 and in the Luke just quoted. The hate is a comparative type. Just as a man is called to love his wife, "Husbands, love your wives" (Ephesians 5:25a) and not really "hate her", but then to love God much more, so here Israel, the nation from Jacob is loved by God much more than the nation of Edom. Again, it is not Jacob and Esau as persons in view, but the nations that they represent. What Paul is dwelling on, is the "word of God" showing who is the child of promise due to such a "word", such a promise. This is Paul's 2nd such example.
Salvation is not in view in these "words of God" themselves, but a promise in regards to God's purpose to bring a nation about through that individual is in view.

Election here mentioned then is about the nation of Israel. It is God's choice that He reveals Himself through that nation, and that from Jacob. So that very choice of God, the election, was not dependent on Esau or Jacob doing any good or bad. It was made before they were born. But, with the nations from these guys being in view, salvation of these two persons is not in view.

But Paul also adds "not of works but of Him who calls"
Whilst his examples of a "word of God" with Isaac and then Jacob are to do with God's call (that very "word") of promise in regards to a specific purpose as nation starters, Paul is now also referring to salvation, to those in Christ by faith, by using the verb "calls".

Paul's allusion to this is in this mention:

"that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls"

This is also a reference back to Paul's list of verbs and his first mention of "the called" in R8. The list of verbs in mind is,

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined . . . whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.


And the first mention is,

And we have known that to those loving God all things do work together for good, to those who are called according to purpose;

Romans 8:28 YLT

I have deliberately used Young's Literal Translation here, as R8:28 is all part and parcel of Paul's teaching of conditional predestination. And in this version the word "His" is not added, as it is in the NKJV (et al): "the called according to His purpose" (NKJV)
["His" is not found in any Greek text, as recognised by the NKJV by placing the word in italics]

A purpose *is* in view, but in the flow of the text this very "purpose", this display of intent, this "showing" – the word for "purpose" Gk. PROTHESIS is the same word used for the shewbread, a showing, a presentation [See also the appendix PROTHESIS in my book Serious Mistranslations of the Bible] – and this showing pictured here is the love of God (R8:28a) as seen in the heart, the very heart having been searched (R8:27a). It is this seen which prompts God in setting the person up to a call, to be then predestined as described in the expansion of R8:28 by the list of verbs in R8:29-30. This is also then the gist of that alluded context referred to by Paul when he says "of Him who calls" (R9:11b), that is, as he wraps up later, because Paul affirms this use of "the call" in R9:24, as he says "even us whom He called".
But for now the call, the word of God is for an individual's purpose in the nations.

For a fuller explanation of Paul's teaching of conditional predestination

We now come to,

What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! For He says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion." So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.

Just in case the persons of Jacob and Esau, as well as Isaac and Ishmael are implicated in the mind of Paul's reader, *as if* their mention *was* about their salvation (here and now in this part of the ongoing text) i.e. as being decided before they were even born, Paul gives a question, "Is there unrighteousness with God?"

To send someone to an eternity without hope, through no choice of their own, makes God unrighteous. Why? Because to harm another without cause in Scripture is constantly given as a no no. It is unrighteousness personified to blame someone for something done by another. In Ezekiel 18, for example, God goes to great lengths, through his prophet, to separate the evil done by a parent as to be blamed on a son and vice versa. To God it is unrighteous to do so. No descendant of a parent is to be found guilty by the sin of that parent, is a categorical truth of Ezekiel 18. It is unrighteous.

"Is God unrighteous?" is given as a rhetorical question, with Paul answering it immediately with a "Certainly not!", but with also an example of why not: "to Moses" God says…
This is significant. Without the context involving what led up to God saying what He said "to Moses", the quote Paul then makes is dangerous material out of that known context. To suggest God decides who receives mercy without any reference to that person and only as a choice of God makes God unrighteous. As Ezekiel 18 makes clear:

Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine; the soul who sins shall die.

Ezekiel 18:4

No man is chosen by God to receive mercy if he sins, since to die - in a separation from God sense, i.e. eternally - is not to receive mercy. It is unrighteous then to suggest God decides who has mercy without reference to the soul sinning or not. All this is made clear in the very context alluded to by the words of Paul "to Moses".

"it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs" R9:16
Who willed in the context? Moses *willed* and expressed explicitly to God, like Paul at the beginning of R9, to be "accursed from Christ" though Moses words were "blot me out of Your book which You have written" (Exodus 32:32) as like Paul, he was willing to sacrifice himself to save his people Israel. Israel were in the *running* as the people in view to be saved in such a "deal", as prayed by Moses. This is the context and in the clear flow of events leading up to God saying "I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy" with God having already also said in response to Moses "whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book" (Exodus 32:33). God reinforces that in saying "I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy" (and thereby that means "No way, not you Moses!" - your name will *not* be removed from My book, because you Moses, I find righteous - all in the sequence of events). *That* is a clear demonstration that there is no unrighteousness with God.

There is no contradiction with the truth of scripture expressed, "With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful" (2 Samuel 22:26a) and, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." (Matthew 5:7). Whereas without that context assimilated, there would be a contradiction.

For a detailed account of the context with Moses, see my article here:
Is there unrighteousness with God? Explained - Romans 9:15 I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy

Paul then brings in another type of person whom God uses in the nations. There is a use for good like Isaac and Jacob; now is another type of use.


For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth."

Again Paul refers to a context familiar to a reader of the OT, the bible of Paul's day. The whole context of how God uses Pharaoh to show his power and mighty deeds among the nations is in view. The specifics are not yet explained by Paul, in regards to Pharaoh until verses 22-23 of R9. But, we begin to see his thinking as he summarises with,


Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.

Here is Paul's first mention of hardening. Pharaoh, to the familiar reader of his bible, was hardened by God in order for God to show His signs and wonders, so that Pharaoh would be forced to release the people of Israel.

But, how this happened reveals God's righteousness here too. 6 times Pharaoh hardened his own heart before God then (Hebrew) CHAZAQ "strengthened" that already hard heart to *remain* that way a further 6 times.

I expand and explain this in detail in a number of places. The most accessible place is under the subheading of Pharaoh in the following online article How does prophecy operate for an Open Theist?
There is more in the chapter Understanding Romans 9 in my book So you think you're chosen?

But is this fair? That God would punish one with mighty works against them in their lifetime and even punish eternally?


You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?"

The "You will say to me" is a singular "you" (a "thou" of older English). The question of finding fault, suggests blame and unsatisfied expectation of God. And the inability to resist expressed, gives rise to a feeling of an unfair dealing by God. So "Why?" then seems valid. Paul deals with this two fold: firstly God is sovereign and does what He wants with people's lives in His purposes in the nations, He had said "for this very purpose" (R9:17) and secondly, Paul retains the righteousness of God as already established by expanding on *how* God does this in regards to an individual.

Firstly God is sovereign in His "very purpose" among the nations:

But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, 'Why have you made me like this?' Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?

Paul continues the singular person objection throughout with the singular "you".
But, a well read mind will recall all the mentions of God as the potter with Israel and (indeed) any nation in Jeremiah. There the people are in view. Had Israel repented God would have treated them differently, "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?" (Jeremiah 18:6 see verses 1-11). With the individual in mind, Paul expands and explains himself. God uses an individual how He wishes in His purposes in the nations.

Secondly *how* God does this with the individual: how this relates to the individual's salvation is there seen, e.g. as above by hardening an already heard heart, by keeping it hard.
Paul clarifies the recognition of God's righteousness by *how* God uses a person in the nations and thus fully answers the fairness element in the raised objection.


What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory,

We are missing central and vital truth here in translation. A sentence makes a complete statement. This is always accomplished by the central use of the verb describing the action involved. Two verbs are here in 22-23. They are each connected to one or the other of the two different subjects: the vessels of wrath and the vessels of mercy. What is missing in translation is that they are not the same verbs. The vessels of wrath come first and these are "prepared" or "fitted". The vessels of mercy are mentioned second and these are "afore prepared".

"Afore prepared" is all one verb and is only used of the vessels of mercy; "prepared" or "fitted" is a different verb and is only used of the vessels of wrath.

The difference in these two verbs involves time. It is readily seen in "afore prepared" since being prepared in advance means ahead of the present. In contrast being "prepared" or "fitted" we can see involves much time in the lifetime of the person with the words added showing this well, where God is seen to endure "with much longsuffering". This is not action before the lifetime of a person but during their lifetime.

What does this reveal?
It informs us that no one is afore prepared as a vessel of wrath. [See also final note] One can only become "fit" as a vessel of wrath during their lifetime. You may recall how Pharaoh became a vessel of wrath and of his own accord hardened his heart 6 times before God then hardened (strengthened it to *remain* hard for His purpose) a further 6 times, to show His power in the nations.

Since there are only two types of vessels in view and both together represent every man, then this means we all begin as vessels of mercy, since only vessels of mercy are afore prepared. But, as we shall see in Paul's following words, only those called remain as (are confirmed as) vessels of mercy.


even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

And the called Paul explained in his preceding "chapter" as mentioned above with Paul's 1st mention of this type of "calling" in R9:11

As Paul begins his conclusion, his whole purpose is revealed as to of how the Gentiles are included and how the real Jews from among the people of Israel are found in Christ. The called from these two types of peoples, the Jews and the Gentiles, are those God affirms as vessels of mercy. Though we each and all, begin as vessels of mercy, since of the two types of vessels Paul mentioned, only one is "afore prepared" it is those who remain as such, known as the called of God who remain as vessels of mercy.

[Note aside: the question mark as found at the end of the verse in the NKJV is missing in the NASB and the YLT]

How they remain as vessels of mercy, the part the individual plays, Paul now informs us of as he concludes properly after a few quotes proving Gentiles are included and only few Jews from Israel make it. First from Hosea 2:23b and Hosea 1:10b,


As He says also in Hosea: "I will call them My people, who were not My people, and her beloved, who was not beloved." "And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, 'You are not My people,' there they shall be called sons of the living God."

Then from Isaiah 10:22-23 and Isaiah 1:9 Paul shows there is an Israel out of Israel, as he earlier mentioned (R9:6), a smaller number from the whole nation,


Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, the remnant will be saved. For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, because the LORD will make a short work upon the earth." And as Isaiah said before: "Unless the LORD of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we would have become like Sodom, and we would have been made like Gomorrah."

It is of note that by saying "the LORD of Sabaoth" Paul is quoting the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament (OT), as he does, as is shown us is different in our modern bibles with our OT translated from the Hebrew giving us "the LORD of hosts" in Isaiah 1:9.

So Paul fully concludes for the Gentiles,


What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith;

This act of faith of the individual Gentile, Paul has been mindful of since R4 (as I said earlier Paul's "go to" passage [is R4] to show faith as the means of access to grace "we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand" [R5:2] and access to righteousness "the righteousness of faith" [R4:13]) now in R9, explained as a "word of God", which is the individual "calling" (the word of God) in place and that, because of the faith discovered (as seen in the searched heart as per R8:27 – see Paul's teaching of conditional predestination referred to above, following the section on R9:10-13).

And Paul concludes with the Jews and reveals more about this faith,


but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone.

The Jews who ran by obeying the law, the works of the law, as their means of salvation "pursuing of righteousness this way" have not obtained it, since God has put in place faith as the true means, the means of the circumcised in heart, not trusting their own effort, but relying on God's truth revealed and believed – by faith – this choice to believe, this reckoning, this considering, this observing mentally (R4:19 – Greek verb KATANOEÓ), as exampled by Abraham. Indeed, this faith is shown us by Paul as not a work, because all Paul's repeated contrasts between works and faith involve the "works of the law" and faith. And this faith, Paul tells us, which is the part we play, our reckoning and our own decision, is not in the category of "works" for Paul, as he states it in contrast to the "works of the law". These are the "works" in view, when mentioned in contrast to faith, so faith is our part to play, as it was Abraham's.
       Expecting righteousness by works of the law, the Jews stumbled, they were blinded to the relationship of trust by faith required, as exampled by Abraham.

Paul then quotes a passage prophesying this very difficulty for them, this stumbling block,


As it is written: "Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, and whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame."

Paul then moves on in "R10" to expand on that very difficulty and stumbling block for the Jews. So, here ends "R9".

At R9:22-23 I discussed how only the vessels of mercy are afore prepared. And that thereby we all begin as vessels of mercy. How does this fit in with the idea we all begin as helpless?

In the tail end of the 4th century, so from the 5th century, Augustine of Hippo began in church doctrine to proclaim his original sin dogma out of his issues with universal concupiscence: the idea that we are all born with sinfulness. This is made into a total incapacity to interact or to seek God for ourselves at any spiritual level, except for God's new intervention to enable the person later in life. Only these can become believers and be saved. Thus began Monergism in the Christian world. What is commonly named as Calvinism some time since John Calvin re-taught Augustine. This is manifest error and is thereby in contrast to any idea we all begin as vessels of mercy.

We are described in scripture as having been given a spirit by God, so spirit life is in every man. And though this spirit is not fully formed initially, it is present and enables every man to connect and respond to God. It is not until fully formed that a spirit is then birthed. Being born from above, being born again, is not the impartation of previously non existing spirit life, but the now completely formed existing spirit, now fully active. We each are made by God in our mother's womb. We are known as innocent until we each turn to our own way, in our youth, and then become known as sinners.

I cover these truths of scripture in a number of the following articles:


Also helpful is how folk turn to Christ without knowing it is Jesus, e.g. from among the Jews called (as per R9). I explain how believing in the name as mentioned in John 1:12 is not believing in Jesus by name, but a less conscious situation,

Some wish to claim R9 for Monergism/Calvinism. To do so a context of R9 is given by mentioning "the elect" in the preceding chapter, where Paul said,

Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.


The word "elect" is a mistranslation. So is "chosen" or "selected" as a rendition of the Greek word EKLEKTOS. This is also true of the Hebrew word BACHIR which is only translated by EKLEKTOS in the Septuagint (LXX). I mentioned earlier that this Greek version of the Old Testament Hebrew was the bible of the 1st Christians and which Paul quotes in his letters. Where today in English bibles like the KJV we read "elect" the 1st Christians only read the word EKLEKTOS. A cursory look at the LXX shows this word means "excellent, the best, top quality"; an exhaustive look at the LXX reveals EKLEKTOS has no historical basis for being used other than that.

See my books
The Companion
Contains all needed to see for yourself (144 pages - Jarom Books)

Or, the exhaustive including every passage of every Hebrew word translated by EKLEKTOS
Deleting ELECT in the Bible
544 pages Jarom Books

For those who wish to take the time without it all laid out, here is a link to the LXX and one to Morrish's list for EKLEKTOS:
The LXX online
Morrish's list for EKLEKTOS

In The Companion where I include a chapter to provide a rendering of EKLEKTOS that reflects the research I give the following for R8:33,

Romans 8:33
Here in English the word "saints" or "faithful" serve well. Even though these, as mentioned above, are normally translations of their own separate Greek word counterparts. The "excellent" would be the literal rendering.

Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.

Romans 8:33

This then becomes,

Who shall bring a charge against God's saints? God is the righteous declarer.

Romans 8:33 JM

Ref. M.041

Unless otherwise stated Bible quotes are from the New King James Version

© copyright Thomas Nelson Inc. 1979,1980,1982.

Marked JM are by the author

© copyright Jacques More 2018. All Rights Reserved.

INFORMATION On copying & on giving

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