Jesus’ Gospel Revealed to Prophets, Apostles and Believers, chapter 4

(To 8,014 in resident churches: people God is making temples of His spirit.)

12/5/17,  God’s 9th month, Kislev 17, 5778 until sunset.

      Almighty God: help us understand Your methods of correcting and disciplining us. We notice unbelieving idol worshiping people seemingly getting along better than we and contemplate the benefit of Your Potter’s Wheel. But do keep us in The Way, lead us from evil, temptations and make us holy because You are holy. Gift us Your understanding and Your gifted repentance; we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

        Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph’s experiences are historically preserved for our learning, Remember, the name Jacob was changed to Israel, meaning; “God Fights.” Thus Israelites lived under the protection of The Lord God, “Jesus” until their rebellion got to the point that He dispersed them to the nations they desired to mimic. Spiritual Israelites, “people drawn to worship Jesus” have inherited a like nature. “Nature desiring popularly with unbelievers.” Lets realize, our fleshly nature pulls are much like that of Cain’s: “who thought, “surely God will be pleased with me sacrificing as seems right to myself.”

      As are followers of Jesus in this age; “Abraham was called to separate from the world at large and follow His Creator.” He, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph were led to know they were a set aside people and  learned perseverance as they practiced God’s Way. We need to know; as followers of Jesus, “we are a set aside people.” Our conduct and practices are being observed by unbelievers who one day will realize why we were different. We followers of Jesus in this age are the firstfruits: looking forward to Israel’s miraculous saving. The whole House of Israel will yet worship God and be an example to the world. 

       (Ezekiel 20:39-44; “‘As for you, O house of Israel, this is what the sovereign Lord says: Each of you go and serve your idols, if you will not listen to Me. But My holy name will not be profaned again by your sacrifices and your idols. (40) For there on My holy mountain, the high mountain of Israel, declares the sovereign Lord, all the house of Israel will serve Me, all of them in the land. I will accept them there, and there I will seek your contributions and your choice gifts, with all your holy things. (41) When I bring you out from the nations and gather you from the lands where you are scattered, I will accept you along with your soothing aroma. I will display my holiness among you in the sight of the nations. (42) Then you will know that I am the Lord when I bring you to the land of Israel, to the land I swore to give to your fathers. And there you will remember your conduct and all your deeds by which you defiled yourselves. You will despise yourselves because of all the evil deeds you have done. Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for the sake of My reputation and not according to your wicked conduct and corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, declares the sovereign Lord.’”) As a set aside people; Paul is teaching how we need to conduct ourselves at this present time.

      (1 Cor 8:4-6; “With regard then to eating food sacrificed to idols, we know that “an idol in this world is nothing,” and that “there is no God but One.” (5) If after all there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), (6) yet for US “we Christians” there is ONE God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we live, and ONE Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we live.’)

       Idols are nothing but figments of imaginations. A Believer IN could never sacrifice food to an image! If a Believer eats food sacrificed to pagan idols; “unbelievers faith is made weak, getting the idea that the Believer condones such. Christians need to carefully demonstrate that there is ONE God the Father and ONE Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are ALL things and through whom we live. PAUL’S explanation to the Colossians sheds light.

       (Col 1:15-20; “He “Jesus” is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, for all things in heaven and on earth were created by Him – all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers – all things were created through Him and for Him. He Himself is before all things and all things are held together in Him. He is the head of the body, the church, as well as the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead, so that He Himself may become first in all things. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in the Son and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by making peace through the blood of His cross – through Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven.) See Jesus’ apostle John at John 1:1-5)

      God the Father and God the Son are living spirits that can manifest Themselves physically at will. The Spirit emitted from themselves is holy. (By the Father’s Holy Spirit Jesus was fathered, thus holy in the womb. Through His Holy Spirit God the Father makes followers of Jesus His literal Children. A people “born from above - born again - begotten or “fathered.” It’s the mystery of the ages! God in man, man in God. It’s  God’s Way of transforming fleshly people into spiritual people. A lesson is revealed from the event of Jesus’ mother Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth; John the Baptist’s mother.

      When “Mary” entered Elizabeth’s home, John leaped in his mother’s womb and Elizabeth was begotten by the Holy Spirit. This happened soon after Jesus was fathered in Mary’s womb and when Elizabeth was about six months pregnant with John. Each spirit led in their thinking.

      (Luke 1:39-45; “In those days Mary got up and went hurriedly into the hill country, to a town of Judah, and entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She exclaimed with a loud voice, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child in your womb! And who am I that the mother of my Lord should come and visit me? For the instant the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that what was spoken to her by the Lord would be fulfilled.”)

        As human fathers may father many children with varying characteristics and talents: “so it is with God’s fathering His children by His spirit.” (A certainty is; “each individual fathered by God grows spiritually in the loves of the Father and the Son.) Accordingly, the Holy Spirit’s teaching; “we must love one another.” PAUL continues.

      (1Cor 8:7; But this knowledge is not shared by all. And some, by being accustomed to idols in former times, eat this food as an idol sacrifice and their conscience, “because it is weak, is defiled.”) SEE Paul‘s point? For conscience sake, don’t allow the old practices dominate your life. In Paul’s second letter he finalizes his subject.

       (2 Corinthians 6:16-18; “And what mutual agreement does the temple of God have with idols? For we “Christians” are the temple of the living God, just as God said, “I will live in them and will walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people.” Therefore “come out from their midst, and be separate,” says the Lord, “and touch no unclean thing, and I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,” says the All-Powerful Lord.”) We Christians, “as temples of God’s spirit, cannot righteously condone this world’s system of things.”

      (1Cor 8:8-13; “Now food will not bring us close to God. We are no worse if we do not eat and no better if we do. But be careful that this liberty of yours does not become a hindrance to the weak. For if someone weak sees you who possess knowledge dining in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience be to eat meat offered to idols? So by your knowledge the weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed. (or is destroying himself) (12) If you sin against your brothers or sisters in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. (13) For this reason, if food causes my brother or sister to sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I may not cause one of them to sin.”) Foods sacrificed to idols was mostly meats. Remember Paul is writing to Christians and NEW Christians need to see Godly faith in mature Christians.

      (1Cor 9:1-5; “Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? If I am not an apostle to others, at least I am to you, for you are the confirming sign of my apostleship in the Lord. (3) This is my defense to those who examine me. Do we not have the right to financial support? Do we “apostles” not have the right to the company of a believing wife, like the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas? )

        Paul was not married at the time of his pastor of the Corinthian church. He indicates Peter, Jesus’ brothers “James and Jude” had wives. They all had a right to financial support from Believers IN. The support principle includes, “not accepting support from unbelievers.”

      (1Cor 9:6-12; “Or do only Barnabas and I lack the right not to work? Who ever serves in the army at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its fruit? Who tends a flock and does not consume its milk? (8) Am I saying these things only on the basis of common sense, or does the law not say this as well? (9) For it is written in the law of Moses, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” God is not concerned here about oxen, is He? Or is He not surely speaking for our benefit? It was written for us, because the one plowing and threshing ought to work in hope of enjoying the harvest. If we sowed spiritual blessings among you, is it too much to reap material things from you? (12) If others receive this right from you, are we not more deserving?

But we have not made use of this right. Instead we endure everything so that we may not be a hindrance to the gospel of Christ.”) Though deserving, Paul did not want these “mostly new converts” to think he was teaching for monetary gain.

      (1Cor 9:13-18; “Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple eat food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar receive a part of the offerings? In the same way the Lord commanded those who proclaim the gospel to receive their living by the gospel. But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing these things so that something will be done for me. In fact, it would be better for me to die than – no one will deprive me of my reason for boasting! For if I preach the gospel, I have no reason for boasting, because I am compelled to do this. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward. But if I do it unwillingly, I am entrusted with a responsibility. (18) What then is my reward? That when I preach the gospel I may offer the gospel free of charge, and so not make full use of my rights in the gospel.”)

      It would be a negative thing within worldly denominational circles, for a pastor to follow Paul’s example. When taking pay from a particular assembly, one is responsible to that body and they are entrusting him with responsibility to themselves. Paul refused to be confined.

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