To: World’s in Residence Churches of God. Lyyar 21, 5,780 until sunset. 5/15/20
Theme in last study was, “followers of Jesus’ are gifted with a desire to please Him in all things.” Pleasing God includes our yielding to governing authorities and supervisions in the work place, “not as man pleasers but as unto the Lord.” Jesus taught it through Moses and Paul.
(Colossians 3:22-24; Slaves - workers obey your earthly masters in every respect, not only when they are watching – like those who are strictly people-pleasers – but with a sincere heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with enthusiasm as to the Lord and not for people, because you know that you will receive your inheritance from the Lord as the reward.) We’ve all witnessed slackers goofing off when supervision is slack.” Likewise, business owners have their instructions.
(Col 4:1; Masters treat your slaves -workers with justice and fairness, because you know that you also have a master in heaven.”) Followers of Jesus know we’re spiritually led and ‘set apart for God’s purpose through Him.’ We’re saved from the result of lawlessness, ‘eternal death’ to eternal life through Jesus’ shed blood sacrifice or sin; “remitting our sins - taking away our sins.” He makes us at one spiritually with Himself and God the Father. No amount of law keeping, good works or attempting to make points with God saves from the result of our inherited sin nature.
Pray for the gospel mystery’s success.
(Col 4:2-6; “Be devoted to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving. At the same time pray for us too, that God may open a door for the message so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may make it known as I should. Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunities. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer everyone.”)
Making Jesus’ good news message known as we should requires His spiritual guidance. We can’t teach His truth in the flesh, “that is in and of ourselves.” We need understanding of God’s ultimate purpose. It helps to realize that unbelievers have a natural hostility toward giving up what seems right to their teaching. Most are fleshly led to twist and take sentences out of context when it satisfies their desire.
Sacrificing to idols isn’t pleasing God.
God’s set aside people do have leeway of conduct among unbelievers who practice what’s lawless in God’s view. Believers IN know idols are nothing, no need to be overly cautious among lawless practicing people, “except to look out for their conscience.” Unknowingly or carelessly committing some wrong in God’s view for conscience sake isn’t practicing sin. Jesus taught through His apostle Paul “protecting another’s conscience shows love and possibly could result in their salvation.”
(1Cor 8:4-13; 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.” If after all there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords) yet for us 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. (7) But this knowledge is not shared by all. 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. 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 “strengthened” to eat food offered to idols? So by your knowledge the weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed. If you sin against your brothers or sisters in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 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.”)
The above subject is idol worship and food set aside for that purpose. It’s a twist of scripture to assume the same Jesus that commanded His set aside people, “the Israelites” eat only certain clean foods, “is the same Jesus yesterday, today and forever.” Even when the earth was about to be flooded, it was the Lord Jesus that had Noah take in seven pairs of clean animals and two pair of unclean. See Genesis 7: and 8:20) The same Lord Jesus instructed Moses that only clean animal’s blood could be sacrifices. Our living as spiritual Israelites shows loving respect for Jesus, “but that isn’t what saves!”
Jesus had Moses write about foods that were clean and unclean for Israelites in great detail. See Leviticus 11: We need to know whether or not we’re spiritual Israelites and whether or not we need to spiritually separate ourselves from unbelievers. We need to understand, “translators of the Holy Bible have problems finding exact English words to fit Hebrew and Greek.” Being scholarly doesn’t translate into spiritual understanding. Followers of Jesus need to hold to and know the facts of Jesus’ deity: “that He is the Alpha and Omega, the same yesterday, today and forever.” Many unbelievers assume God the Father was Lord of the law and God the Son Lord of the new covenant. That’s wrong.
Paul’s letter to Timothy regarding food is a case worth examining in Light of all God’s word. Satan wants people to desert the faith.
(1Tim 4:1-4; Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the later times some will desert the faith and occupy themselves with deceiving spirits and demonic teachings, influenced by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. They will prohibit marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.”
Believers are led to pause and meditate on His Word. “Food God created to be received with thanksgiving are foods He set aside for His people “those who’re gifted to believe IN and know truth.” If we are gifted with God’s energizing Holy Spirit, “we don’t look for ways to be defiant but ways to honor the God we love” remembering “He loved us first.”
(1Tim 4:4; For every creation of God is good and no food, (Greek nothing) is to be rejected “if it is received with thanksgiving.” (Greek word -Nothing is replaced with “no food” by net bible translators.)
(1Tim 4:5; For it “food received with thanksgiving” is sanctified. “set aside” by God’s word and by prayer.” (No amount of prayer could make God sanctify an unclean animal for His people’s consumption.)
(1Tim 4:6-7; “By pointing out such things to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, having nourished yourself on the words of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. But reject those myths fit only for the godless and gullible, and train yourself for godliness. (Timothy was called to teach, Titus called to be a church overseer.”)
(Titus 1:9-16; “He, ‘an overseer’ must hold firmly to the faithful message as it has been taught, so that he will be able to give exhortation in such healthy teaching and correct those who speak against it. (10) For there are many rebellious people, idle talkers, and deceivers, especially those with Jewish connections, who must be silenced because they mislead whole families by teaching for dishonest gain what ought not to be taught. A certain one of them, in fact, one of their own prophets, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” Such testimony is true. For this reason rebuke them sharply that they may be healthy in the faith and not pay attention to Jewish myths and commands of people who reject the truth. (15) All is pure to those who are pure. But to those who are corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure, but both their minds and consciences are corrupted. They profess to know God but with their deeds they deny Him, since they are detestable, disobedient, and unfit for any good deed.”)
God the Father and God the Son are One in purpose, as is His church family, as a husband, wife and children family should be. As God the Son subjected Himself to God the Father, so should we to Jesus. Understanding Jesus’ deity as manifested in the Holy Scriptures is a foundation for understanding the whole. Review the last two studies.
Everything is lawful? Here again Paul cites certain slogans the Corinthians used to justify their behavior (1Cor 6:12-13; “All things are lawful for me”–but not everything is beneficial. “All things are lawful for me”–but I will not be controlled by anything. “Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both.”)
Paul agrees with the slogans in part, but corrects them to show how the Corinthians have misused these ideas. Jesus led Paul to stick to the premise “that only through Jesus can one be saved.” But Paul was led to get elementary with hard headed gentiles.
(1Cor 10:23-11:1; “Everything is lawful,” but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is lawful,” but not everything builds others up. Do not seek your own good, but the good of the other person. (25) Eat anything that is sold in the marketplace without questions of conscience, for the earth and its abundance are the Lord’s. (27) If an unbeliever invites you to dinner and you want to go, eat whatever is served without asking questions of conscience. But if someone says to you, “This is from a sacrifice,” do not eat, because of the one who told you and because of conscience, - I do not mean yours but the other person’s. For why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience? (30) If I partake with thankfulness, why am I blamed for the food that I give thanks for? So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. Do not give offense to Jews or Greeks or to the church of God, just as I also try to please everyone in all things. I do not seek my own benefit, but the benefit of many, so that they may be saved. (11:1) Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.”)
Remember Peter’s words to Israelites after healing a lame man after that Pentecost? (Acts 4:10-12; “let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, this man stands before you healthy. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, that has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no One else, for there is no other name under heaven given among people by which we must be saved.”)
Remember James’ elementary letter on behalf of the Jerusalem church to newly converted gentiles? (Acts 15:19-21; “Therefore I conclude that we should not cause extra difficulty for those among the Gentiles who are turning to God, but that we should write them a letter telling them to abstain from things defiled by idols and from sexual immorality and from what has been strangled and from blood. For Moses has had those who proclaim him in every town from ancient times, because he is read aloud in the synagogues every Sabbath.”)
Most gentiles then and now habitually look to many gods, sacrifice to idols, are sexually immoral and don’t know about God’s teaching in regard to “respect of life which is in the blood.” The Jerusalem church’s letter was not setting a different standard for gentiles, but demanding a show of turning to God’s Way. (There’s no forgiveness of sin except through the shedding of blood.)
(Gen 9:3-4; You may eat any moving thing that lives. As I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. But you must not eat meat with its life (that is, its blood) in it.) (Lev 7:10-11; ” Any man from the house of Israel or from the foreigners who reside in their midst who eats any blood, I will set my face against that person who eats the blood, and I will cut him off from the midst of his people, for the life of every living thing is in the blood. So I myself have assigned it to you on the altar to make atonement for your lives, for the blood makes atonement by means of the life.)
(John 6:53-57; Jesus said to them, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood resides in Me, and I in him.)