´¯`•. September 15, 2016

……….chapter ten……….

Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.  vs 1-5

Did you know that there is a given progression of events in every believers’ life, if they let human nature supercede the influence of the Holy Spirit?  I didn’t know this until last night, when I was studying this chapter.  This progression, ironically, is seen in the Exodus story.  I say ‘ironically’, because that Exodus story is an illustration of a LOT of different Truths on a LOT of different levels, and I just keep seeing more and more of them, as I continue my studies.  Pretty amazing!

We have Israel under the protection and guidance of the ‘cloud’, which ushered them out of the world.  Likewise, today we have the ‘Holy Spirit’ protecting and guiding those who are destined to choose to develop a lasting and deep relationship with the Creator ushering them to Truth.  We see (verse 1&2) Israel passing into salvation by way of the Red Sea… which I never saw as the RED (blood) SEA (water), or two parts of today’s spiritual salvation – as we are saved by the blood and water of Messiah (John 19:34 – and yes, christianity throws out half of Messiah’s salvation with their ‘♪♫Nothing but the Blood♪♫’ nonsense.  It actually strips away 50% of the salvation offered to us, and do YOU really want to be a part of a belief system that cuts in half the very tenets it should be standing on?  It’s like buying a two-wheeled car.  But I digress.)  The RED SEA… who knew both had futuristic undertones, just to the name!

Continuing, then we have Israel nourished by Manna, as we are in present times nourished by the Word (both the ‘Word’, the Man and the ‘word’, His message.  Israel drinks from the Rock, while we drink of Living Water from the Rock of our salvation.  Pretty cool, how it all fits, right?  But just went you’re thinking that, it all goes south.

Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.  vs 6-10

From verses five thru ten, we see a downward spiral.  We see people who achieved a close relationship with Yehovah backsliding down this HUGE hill.  First there’s doubt, then a desire for material things, then a fixation on the things that leads to an idolatrous mindset.  And it can be (in our time) electronics, school, work, our kids, money, church… there are a million options out there to put higher than God.

From there people turn their back on Him, committing spiritual fornication.  It moves into physical fornication (which doesn’t necessarily have to be sex, but can be).  Following that is a belligerent spirit coming from a personal arrogance, and from there, the elevation of self leads straight into denial and disobedience.  You can see it, all around you.  Even in your own life, yes?

Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.  vs. 11

Talk about zinging us with a verse.  Do you see what Paul says?  He says this isn’t just a picture of the demise of a person’s faith, but also a picture of the bigger picture, and how it will all come down, to the end of the world.  From Messiah to Armegeddon.  Right there, illustrated for us.  In fact, if you think about it, Israel was the holiest it had ever been at Mt. Sinai, fifty days after the Red Sea Crossing.  But by the time they were wrapping up their 40 years in the wilderness, they were in such a state, it was the end of the line.  From there, they would experience an ushering into the Promise Land with a warrior leader who initiates battle in order to bring about our place in the dwelling God has in mind for them.

Now apply that to us:  When Messiah ascended, the apostles were the closest they’d ever been to Him.  They were performing miracles, preaching and teaching in His name, so close to Him.  By the time we’re wrapping up the ‘age of grace’ that we’re in?  We’re in such a state, it’s the end of the line.  From here, we will experience an ushering into the Promised New Earth with a warrior Messiah who will initiate battle in order to bring us to the place God has in mind for us.  Wow.  Just wOw.

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.  Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.  vs 12-14

People always use this verse to say, ‘be strong – God won’t ask more of you than you can give’.  Which… okay, that’s true, but it’s utterly out of context, and it doesn’t really address what’s being said here.  This is about the natural progression of human behavior.  It says these things are ‘common’ to man – everybody has the same temptations.  The point here isn’t about what WE can bear or give, but about what HE provides, so that we don’t have to give it.  Did you get that whole ‘way to escape’ thing?  With God, we don’t have to.  HE will… as long as we cling to Him.  It’s like that line on ‘The Matrix’:

Neo:  Are you saying I’ll be able to dodge bullets?
No.  I’m saying that you won’t have to.

I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.  The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?  For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.  vs. 15-17

There are three kinds of people who are going to be addressed next, and this section of verses identifies the first group.  These are the ‘wise’ men who ‘judge’ what Paul says (weighs it against scripture for themselves, understands Truth and seek it, as well as God’s will).  Paul say that these people align with Messiah, whose sacrifice is observed as a means of identifying with Him.

And no, I’m not talking sacraments or the mass.  That’s the calling down of Yeshua to embody the elements to be sacrificed, yet again… nullifying the once-for-all sacrifice on the cross that Hebrews assures us did the job fine, thanks.  Catholicism is WAY off-base on this one.  But we’re wandering off track.  This is the True believers, he’s addressing, not christians.

Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? vs. 18

Odd way to put this, but since Messiah died, we have Jews (born Jewish), and Jews (Romans 2:29).  So to differentiate, Paul calls these people ‘Israel after the flesh’, or physical Jews.  And he says that they don’t accept Messiah’s sacrifice, so they have to keep sacrificing at the Temple.  Which is why God took the temple away.  Even so, the physical Jews are still all about the altar and the Temple.  They aren’t True believers, either.  It breaks the Lord’s heart, that stubbornness.

What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?  But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. vs. 19-20

Third group.  Gentiles don’t have the blood/water of Messiah to cover them.  They aren’t Jews who are still trying to use other blood/water to cover them.  They have false representations of Messiah (Jesus, Confucius, Buddah, Gaia, etc.), which Paul calls ‘devils’.  Anything that isn’t Truth is anti-Truth (1 John 4:3).

Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.  Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?  vs 21-22

We can’t belong to Yehovah and be aligned with the people who are upholding false representations.  But how do we know who is upholding a false representation? you ask.  Isn’t Jesus the way?  NO.  Messiah Yeshua is the way.  Jesus abolished the Commandments and brought a *new* way, He shed blood to save people.  Messiah Yeshua came not to abolish the Commandments (Matt 5:17), and shed both blood AND water to atone for ALL sins, sacrificial and purification.  How do you know who is upholding a false representation?  Compare their faith to scripture that addresses this.  Here’s verses in 1 John to compare people’s faith to:

And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep His commandments.  He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are inHim.  He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.  Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.   1 John 2:3,4,5,6,7

(NoTe:  I had to write that out, because it’s got all seven numbers in it.  It’s perfection.  Perfect Truth!)

Ouuuuuuch.  The True believer – according to the third from the last book in the Bible?  Is the person who keeps Torah out of obedience, in a desire to emulate and reflect Yeshua.  Hey, how much Torah-observance do you see in your church?  Do you see Christmas, or Sukkot?  Do you have Easter, or Firstfruits?  Is worship and the day of rest on Shabbat – the seventh day – or Sunday?  Ye shall know them by their fruits.  (Matt 7:16)

Do you know what people throw up in my face, whenever I talk about Torah observance/Law-keeping?  THAT’S LEGALISM.  No, it’s not.  Legalism is trying to earn something by way of deeds.  Obedience is trying to show our thanks for what we *didn’t* have to earn, by pleasing Him.  There’s a HUGE difference.  Abstaining from unclean foods, keeping the feasts, and observing the sabbath are small things to show we love Him.  We don’t have to earn anything.

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.  Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.  Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:  For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.  If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.  vs 23-27

Okay, so… let’s talk about law-keeping.  (Paul wants to, anyhow.)  He says, the point is to show our faith, and to help ‘grow’ other people’s faith.  We’re not to be militant about it.  He says if we put the ‘rules’ before the people, we’re screwing it up.  After all, everything on earth is allowable, but we have to be wise about what we do.

Here’s something we encountered two weeks ago in Buckley.  My cousin had his 40th birthday, and they were going to have hot dogs on the grill.  He knew we are Torah observant, and was talking to Brian.  “You don’t eat pork, do you?”  he asked.  Brian said, “Well… no.  But if that’s what you’re serving, we’ll eat it, too.  We’re not going to make trouble or anything.  If it’s our house and our food, yes.  If it’s your place, we’ll go along with whatever you have.  Don’t worry.”  Steve snorted.  “I wish everyone were like that.  [My niece] is Jehovah’s witness, and she won’t eat pork at all.”  THAT’S legalism.  And kind of against 1 Corinthians 10:27, no?

But if any man say unto you, this is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof:  Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience?  vs. 28-29

Okay, but if someone is being intentionally provoking, trying to stir you up or ‘test’ your faith by offering you something?  You can tell what’s going on.  You stand for what’s right.  That’s a different situation – it’s not a matter of ignorance or faux pas or whatever.  And this is all kind of common sense stuff.

For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?  Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:  Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.  vs. 30-33

Whatever we do, we have to show ourselves as serving the Lord… by not stirring dissension, by not ‘taking the bait’, by standing by our convictions when it’s not at the expense of others.  It’s about giving God the glory without being offensive.  Christianity can be so offensive.  I’m just saying – it’s so blatantly ‘better than you’.  Messianic Judaism is much the same.  There’s no humility to be found there.  But what we’re to be, to do… is to show a servant’s heart with a spine of spiritual Truth behind it.  It’s no wonder it takes a diet of ‘meat’ to be a strong believer!

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