God’s 12th month, Adar 26, 5777: 3/24/2017. To the called “in resident churches.”
The good news Jesus and His apostles brought did not eliminate His prophetic words through Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Habakkuk regarding His millennium reign. Consider a portion of Jesus’ word through Habakkuk and His prophecy about this end time age being likened to Noah‘s day.
(Habakkuk 2:13-20; “Be sure of this! The Lord who commands armies has decreed: The nations’ efforts will go up in smoke; their exhausting work will be for nothing. For recognition of the Lord’s sovereign majesty will fill the earth just as the waters fill up the sea. “You who force your neighbor to drink wine are as good as dead – you who make others intoxicated by forcing them to drink from the bowl of your furious anger, so you can look at their genitals. (nakedness) But you will become drunk with shame, not majesty. Now it is your turn to drink and expose your uncircumcised foreskin! The cup of wine in the Lord’s right hand is coming to you, and disgrace will replace your majestic glory! (17) For you will pay in full for your violent acts against Lebanon; terrifying judgment will come upon you because of the way you destroyed the wild animals living there.
You have shed human blood and committed violent acts against lands, cities, and those who live in them. (18) What good is an idol? Why would a craftsman make it? What good is a metal image that gives misleading oracles?
(Oracles? Hebrew “or a metal image, a teacher of lies.” The words “What good is” in the translation are supplied from the previous parallel line. “Teacher of lies” refers to the false oracles that the so-called god would deliver through a priest.)
Why would its creator place his trust in it (image or teacher of lies.) and make such mute, worthless things? (19) The one who says to wood, ‘Wake up!’ is as good as dead – he who says to speechless stone, ‘Awake!’ Can it give reliable guidance? It is overlaid with gold and silver; it has no life’s breath inside it. But the Lord is in His majestic palace. The whole earth is speechless in His presence!”)
Oracle, from our English dictionary. Source of wisdom, prophetic saying or a God given message. Allow Paul’s definition. (Romans 3:1-4; “Therefore what advantage does the Jew have, or what is the value of circumcision? Actually, there are many advantages. First of all, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. What then? If some did not believe, does their unbelief nullify the faithfulness of God? (4) Absolutely not! Let God be proven true, and every human being shown up as a liar, just as it is written: “so that you will be justified7 in your words and will prevail when you are judged.” Quote from Psalms 51:4) The oracles of God include the law, God’s calendar and times He set aside ‘sanctified’ for our benefit and understanding.
(Matthew 24:37-39; “For just like the days of Noah were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be. For in those days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark. And they knew nothing until the flood came and took them all away. It will be the same at the coming of the Son of Man.”)
Paul knowing and understanding these things makes his letters more significant. Before the mystery of God’s spirit gifted to people, no one understood our relationship.
(1Corinthians 3:16-23; “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? (Temple? Greek: You are God’s temple refers here to the church, since the pronoun you is plural in the Greek text. (In Corinthians 6:19 the same imagery is used in a different context to refer to the individual believer.) (6:19-20; “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body.”)
(1Cor 3:17-22; “If someone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, which is what you are. Guard against self-deception, each of you. If someone among you thinks he is wise in this age, let him become foolish so that he can become wise. For the wisdom of this age is foolishness with God. As it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness.” And again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” So then, no more boasting about mere mortals! For everything belongs to you, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future. Everything belongs to you, (23) and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.”) Remember; no boasting except in the Lord.
People are persecuted; many have been killed for teaching this awesome truth.
Digest what Jesus is saying as recorded in John’s gospel.
(John 10:33-38; “The Jewish leaders replied, “We are not going to stone You for a good deed but for blasphemy, because You, a man, are claiming to be God.” Jesus answered, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods’? Quote from Psalms 82:6)
(35) If those people to whom the word of God came were called ‘gods’ (and the scripture cannot be broken), do you say about the One whom the Father set apart and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? (37) If I do not perform the deeds of My Father, do not believe Me. But if I do them, even if you do not believe Me, believe the deeds, so that you may come to know and understand that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me.”) Consider those deeds and those Jesus did through His apostles.
(1Cor 4:1-5; “One should think about us ‘we apostles’ this way – as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Now what is sought in stewards is that one be found faithful. So for me, it is a minor matter that I am judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not acquitted because of this. The one who judges me is the Lord. So then, do not judge anything before the time. Wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the motives of hearts. Then each will receive recognition from God.”) Paul’s focus in on the resurrection and his promised change.
(1Cor 4:6-7; “I have applied these things to myself and Apollos because of you, brothers and sisters, so that through us you may learn “not to go beyond what is written,” so that none of you will be puffed up in favor of the one against the other. (7) For who concedes you any superiority? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you received it, why do you boast as though you did not?”) Puffed as yeast puffs bread.
God’s energizing Holy Spirit changes outlooks, makes us mindful of our gifted circumcision of heart, but doesn’t perfect immediately. Thus we need to grow in His grace and knowledge. Overcome to the end! (see Revelations 2:26)
A little knowledge made some arrogant, but not the apostles.
(1Cor 4:8- “Already you are satisfied! Already you are rich! You have become kings without us! I wish you had become kings so that we could reign with you! For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to die, because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to people. We are fools for Christ, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, we are dishonored! To the present hour we are hungry and thirsty, poorly clothed, brutally treated, and without a roof over our heads. (12) We do hard work, toiling with our own hands. When we are verbally abused, we respond with a blessing, when persecuted, we endure, when people lie about us, we answer in a friendly manner. We are the world’s dirt and scum, even now.”)
(1Cor 4:14-21; “I am not writing these things to shame you, but to correct you as my dear children. For though you may have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, because I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I encourage you, then, be imitators of me. For this reason, I have sent Timothy to you, who is my dear and faithful son in the Lord. He will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church. (18) Some have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. But I will come to you soon, if the Lord is willing, and I will find out not only the talk of these arrogant people, but also their power. For the kingdom of God is demonstrated not in idle talk but with power. What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline or with love and a spirit of gentleness?”) Paul isn’t suggesting that he be called father, but reckoning himself as a spiritual parent. His duty included encouraging and correcting.
(1Cor 5:1-5; “It is actually reported that sexual immorality exists among you, the kind of immorality that is not permitted even among the Gentiles, so that someone is cohabiting with his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you have been deeply sorrowful instead and removed the one who did this from among you? (3) For even though I am absent physically, I am present in spirit. And I have already judged the one who did this, just as though I were present. When you gather together in the name of our Lord Jesus, and I am with you in spirit, along with the power of our Lord Jesus, turn this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.”) A congregations responsibility is to formally and lovingly remove such an individual from the family of believers in hope of seeing genuine repentance. Not hateful ostracizing that would cause disdain. Followers of Jesus are in this world, but can’t be part to the world’s corrupt system of things.