324 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 4 - Book 27 - 1 Corinthians 9:19 - 10:17 - Part 2

324: 1 Corinthians 9:19 – 10:17 – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 4 Book 27

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 27

I CORINTHIANS 9:19 – 10:17 – PART 2

Let’s begin in I Corinthians Chapter 10. Remember what kind of city Corinth was, and here comes the Apostle Paul preaching The Gospel that we’ll be teaching in a few weeks in Chapter 15 (how that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again according to the Scriptures). That’s The Gospel that saves you if you believe it for your Salvation, and it was the only Gospel that Paul knew. And out of that came pagans – multitudes of them to believe that Gospel, and as it says in the Book of Acts, Paul turned the Roman empire upside down with this message. Now to these Corinthians who are plagued with all these temptations, and problems, and testings, Paul says in verse 13:

I Corinthians 10:13

“There hath no temptation (or testing) 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.”

Let’s look at Hebrews Chapter 4 for a moment. Remember, as believers we are going to face temptations everyday. We’ll never leave temptations until we leave this life, but we do have these promises, and this is what we have to learn to hang onto.

Hebrews 4:14-16

“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, (remember when Christ presented His own blood as we studied back in John 20, fulfilling the priesthood of Melchisedec the High Priest of all.) Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. (Because we have someone who is constantly aware of our moment by moment existence.)For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched (now that’s the negative – let’s read it from the positive approach) For we have a high priest who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; (why?) but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Where we fail, He didn’t. Now since He was sinless, and perfect (but since He tasted every situation that we have to come up against), oh look at the invitation in the next verse.

Hebrews 4:16

“Let us therefore come boldly (we don’t have to shrink to come into the presence of God. We can come right into the throne room at any time, day or night.) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

The door is always open. Often you’ll read of new executives, presidents, or football coaches, saying they have an “open door policy.” That means their employees or players can come into their office anytime. But they’re not the beginners of that. God instituted it, The Lord has an open door policy. All right so what are the points in which he was tested like we are? Well we need to start with I John Chapter 2, verse 15. Most of you have seen this before, but I’m realizing that the more you repeat something the more likely you will remember it. Now verse 15:

I John 2:15-17

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world, If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (our priorities are upside down). For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (and here’s why we shouldn’t get taken up in the world) And the world (this whole world system) passeth away (and when it leaves the desires for it will also pass away), and the lust thereof, but he that doth the will of God abideth for ever.”

How many times have you heard me say, “Young people, why gamble your eternity for 15 or 20 years of the fast lane here? It’s not worth it.” I have to tell people, “Look at the lives of some of our famous people – entertainers and such. They are living high on the hog, but for how long? Just a few years! And then the flush of beauty wears off and they’re just cast away and are no longer important; and how many of them end up committing suicide? How many end up in the Betty Ford facility for alcohol treatment?” Well, this just says it all. The things of this world pass just like a blade of grass that comes up in the morning and you cut it off in the afternoon. But, he says, the things that are eternal are going to last forever. Now, let’s go back to Genesis. Poor old Eve is going to be the first to face these areas of temptation that are common to all men. And as John listed them, the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life.

Those are the three areas of temptation that every human being is going to have to face almost everyday. Eve was the first, back in Genesis Chapter 3 and starting at verse 6. Satan has already approached her and is holding this conversation and tantalizing her and, after all, there was something more to be gained if she would listen to him and eat of this forbidden tree. Remember Eve has already got it pretty good. I’ve always said she had the best husband that was ever made! The guy was sinless, perfect. What more could you ask for? They were living in all the beauty of paradise. They had no sickness, no death, no disease, no insects, no thorns. But she wasn’t satisfied. And Satan detected that and so he comes and tells her that there’s something better.

Genesis 3:6

“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, (in other words, it was beautiful appearing fruit. It wasn’t an apple. I think it was some form of a grape-type fruit. It just appealed to the eye) and a tree to be desired to make one wise, (there’s the pride aspect. She had everything else, but now if she could be just as wise as God, that appealed to her pride), so she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, (now she wouldn’t have eaten if she was stuffed full like after a Thanksgiving meal, so what must she have been? Hungry! And so the natural appetite was in high gear.) and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”

The eye says, “Have you ever seen anything so beautiful to eat?” And then Satan, on top of that, says she would be wise as God – and those are the three areas that mankind is still confronted with. The lust of the eye, the pride of life and the lust of the flesh. The words `lust of the flesh’ doesn’t always mean that (we can desire a lot of things in a proper amount and they are certainly good for us). Now when Jesus told Paul that he had tasted every temptation as was common to man, we see them in the temptations back in Matthew where He’s been out in the wilderness those 40 days fasting and it was a perfect setup for the temptations. And sure enough, the Devil comes along, realizing that He’s been out there in the desert and that He’s hungry.

Matthew 4:3,4

“And when the tempter came to him, he said, `If (that’s a strong word isn’t it?) thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.'” Well, if he’s hungry, what does the thought of bread do? It just sends those taste buds crazy. And so now he is to be tempted with this whole concept of satisfying his hunger. And so what does Jesus answer? Look in verse 4.

“But he answered and said, `It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.'”

Now what’s the lesson? In spite of our physical appetites, whatever they are, what do we have to temper them with? The spiritual things that are far more important. I’ve tried to stress, not only to my own kids, but to other people and myself and my wife, that we have to keep our priorities straight. So many people mean well, but they’ve got their priorities upside down. And when that happens you’re headed for trouble. So now, Jesus is saying, “Listen Satan, there is something more important than feeding the physical. The most important is to feed on the spiritual.” Now in verse 5 Satan doesn’t give up. He comes back and takes Him up in the holy city and puts him on the pinnacle of the Temple with all of the Temple crowds down below. And remember the Temple pinnacle wasn’t as high as some of our skyscrapers today, so it was no problem seeing someone up there on the pinnacle of the Temple. That was easily within eyesight.

Matthew 4:5,6

“Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on the pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, `If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down; for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.'”

We’ve already seen the first temptation, the lust of the flesh – hunger. The next one is the lust of the eye, whether ours or someone else’s. In this case, it’s someone else’s, because what is Satan setting? A great showmanship event! I can just see him like a Madison Avenue advertiser. “Now look, If we could just send you sailing off the tip of this temple, and then at the last moment have angels just sweep down and pick you up and spare you from hitting the ground, look what it would do to that crowd of people! Can you imagine it.” What a show that would have been. And old Satan says, “Just imagine, if you could do that, what we could do to those people down there on the Temple pavement.” Let’s see what Jesus said:

Matthew 4:7

“Jesus said unto him, `It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.'”

He is saying, “I’m not going to do it. I don’t care what you tempt me with.” That’s the second one and now comes the third one, which was the pride of life. Now I don’t suppose anybody really can understand this next temptation except politicians, or maybe military commanders. Someone who can get to the place of controlling massive numbers of people. Power just literally grabs them. That is what true pride is all about – to get control over other people. That’s why some of your notorious emperors have come, such as Napoleon, Stalin, Hitler, or whatever. They get so power hungry because they can control massive numbers of people. Now let’s look what Satan does to Jesus.

Matthew 4:8

“Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;”

Jesus and Satan are both spiritual. Even though Christ is here in the flesh, He’s here in the spiritual. And so from the spiritual concept, Satan could let Jesus look all the way back to Nebuchadnezzar and maybe all the way back to David’s great kingdom and could show him forward and all the great empires that would yet be coming down through human history. He says to Jesus, “Just think, if you’ll fall down and worship me, you can have control over all these nations. They’ll be bowing at your feet because they are yours.” Quite a temptation wasn’t it? But isn’t it amazing, Satan must not have known, and I think there’s a lot of things that Satan doesn’t know, that one day these same nations will be under Christ’s rule when He rules and reigns. And they’re going to come as a result of His Sovereignty.

But you see, Satan is naive enough to offer them to Jesus if He would fall down and worship him. Now you see, the whole idea of all of this is to show you and I that Satan is doing the same thing to us. He is constantly bombarding us with desires of the flesh. He is constantly bombarding us with things that appeal to the eye. If he didn’t, television would die overnight, because the only thing that keeps television going is the commercials. Now they are coming up with the infomercials. In fact, they are squeezing me off the air in a couple of places because these half hour infomercials can generate much more income than a little ministry like ours. But you see, it’s appealing to people seeing these things and they say, “I want it!” And then the next great temptation is to get to the place of permanence and power over people whether it’s a small or great number.

These are the three areas, as I’ve taught for 20 years, that every human being is faced with. Whether we are a believer or nonbeliever. That’s beside the point. There are still the three categories of temptation. But what’s our hope? Now come back to I Corinthians again. This is our hope, our comfort, that even though before the day is over I’m going to be confronted with something within these three areas and The Lord is going to show me that way of escape. Now we have to look for it. God isn’t going to put that way of escape smack dab in front of us. Here again, we become people of choice. And when we’re confronted with a temptation and we know it’s about to get us, we look for that way of escape, because God has provided it for us.

I Corinthians 10:14

“Wherefore, (because of that ability to find a way of escape) my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.”

Now don’t sit up and say, “Well, that doesn’t appeal to us. We don’t worship idols today.” Oh no? You know, I imagine that most idols in America today sit in that little part of the house we call the garage, isn’t that right? That automobile simply becomes their idol. I was showing somebody my cattle awhile back, and I’m proud of them, I love them. And the guy says, “Hey, Les, they’re not your idol are they?” Well, they could be! Absolutely they could be! And the same way with any of you, whatever it may be. It may be your garden, your kids, your grandkids, your business, your job. And so Paul’s admonition is to look out and don’t let something become your idol, but in everything put The Lord first and foremost. Let’s look at verse 15. And in spite of the fact that these Corinthians were carnal, they still had a lot of problems living the Christian life, how does he approach them? As what kind of people? Wise men!

I Corinthians 10:15

“I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.”

Fair enough? And it’s just as applicable to us today as it was to the Corinthians then. Now let’s go on to verse 16, and again, the best way I can put this is that he shifts gears. One commentary I read said Paul doesn’t write the book of Corinthians with a real continuity. I’m beginning to see it. All of a sudden he’s talking about something and then boom! He’s off on another thought. Well, the Holy Spirit is doing it for a purpose, I know. But here is a good example. Here he has just been talking about resisting temptations and fleeing from idolatry and all these things. Then all of a sudden in verse 16 he takes us to The Lord’s communion table.

I Corinthians 10:16

“The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? (The Lord’s table) The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?”

Where is the first instance of presenting the cup, the wine, the grape juice, or whatever your particular church uses, and the broken bread? The Lord’s upper room experience! And He said, “Take this cup and this is My blood which will be shed for you.” He hadn’t died yet so this was still future. You see, what I’ve always stressed to people when you look at those verses back there in the Four Gospels, is that even though Jesus did those two things, did He give any explanation? Did He institute it as something that somebody was supposed to do? No! It’s just dropped like a hot potato. You don’t see anything more of that cup and bread. Now, of course the first instance was way back when Abraham met Melchisedec, when it says they brought Melchisedec bread and wine. So you see, way back there we already had a picture of The Lord’s table. But when Jesus talked about it in the Matthew account, He merely said:

Matthew 26:28

“For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” He gave no explanation. There was no criteria for how to process it until here. Now Paul tells us what it’s all about and how it is to be practiced in the local church.

I Corinthians 10:17

“For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.”

You remember in Jesus’ earthly ministry and He told them that unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you cannot partake with me? What did many of His followers do? They about up-chucked and they left. They could not comprehend eating His flesh and drinking His blood. But you see, they were ignorant. That’s not what Jesus was talking about it. He was talking about a spiritual communion of His shed blood and His broken body.

323 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 3 - Book 27 - 1 Corinthians 9:19 - 10:17

323: 1 Corinthians 9:19 – 10:17 – Lesson 3 Part 3 Book 27

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 27

I CORINTHIANS 9:19 – 10:17

Let’s go back to I Corinthians Chapter 10, and the whole idea here is that Paul is addressing these carnal believers at Corinth. And he’s using everything at his disposal to teach them and to bring them to an understanding of his Gospel that was given him by the ascended, risen from the grave, Lord of glory: and how that Christ died for the sins of the world, that His blood was shed, and that He rose from the dead. And of course He has to constantly bring in all their behavioral problems, and they had them. They were constantly tempted to go back into idolatry, and immoral practices, plus all these other hang-ups that he has been addressing. So, as we saw in our last lesson, the Apostle Paul goes back to Israel’s experience in the wilderness, and how that when they cried for water, Moses at God’s instruction, struck the Rock, and out of the Rock came water, and Paul now makes it’s plain in Chapter 10 that that Rock was Christ.

Now you want to remember that all through Scripture from the beginning of the Old Testament to the end of the New Testament, whenever there is a typical reference to “The Rock,”that Rock is always Christ, and none other. So whether it’s back in Exodus when the Rock is struck or in the Book of Numbers when Moses was supposed to have spoken to the Rock, but he struck it again instead, that Rock is still Christ. You come on up to the Book of Daniel in Chapter 2 when Daniel has the vision of that Rock cut out with hands, and it strikes the image on it’s feet, that’s the 2nd coming of Christ pictured as a smiting stone. Then, when you get to Matthew, of course, Peter made that tremendous profession of faith in Chapter 16.

Matthew 16:16-18

“And Simon Peter answered and said, `Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ And Jesus answered and said unto him, `Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, (a stone) and upon this rock (speaking of Himself, Christ) I will build my church; and the gates of hell, shall not prevail against it.'”

So remember throughout all Scripture, the Rock is always Christ in typical language. Now let’s come on down to verse 5 in I Corinthians 10, and then we’ll have to go back to the Book of Exodus again. Remember these Israelites that had come out of Egypt (and remember they all came through the Passover experience, and the Red Sea experience) are all gathered around Mt. Sinai, and Moses had gone up the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments and what took place below?

I Corinthians 10:5

“But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.” Now in verse 6 we have a verse almost like the one we looked at in Romans’ last lesson.

I Corinthians 10:6,7

“Now these things (that happened to Israel) were our examples, (that we can learn from, it is like an object lesson) 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.'”

Well let’s go back Exodus and look at that account again, and we’ll find that in Chapter 32. And this is just as applicable for us today as it was for Corinth in Paul’s day, and just as applicable as when it happened back there in Exodus. Remember, I teach that we’re not under Law, but rather under Grace. But the God of the Old Testament, the God of the Mosaic Law is the same God that we deal with today, and He has not changed! He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Now this is what we must understand. The things that God hated way back in Genesis, He still hates today. The things that God admonished Israel not to do for their own good, he admonishes us today not to do for our own good. God hasn’t changed, and the circumstances of the world haven’t changed. In other words, the things that damaged the health of an individual back in Israel’s early days are no different than they are today. Now let’s look at the lesson, and we find that Moses had been up in the mountain now for almost 40 days dealing with Jehovah God. God has already written with His finger on the table of stones, the Ten Commandments. Joshua has joined Moses, and they are on the way down the mountain.

Exodus 32:1-4

“And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, `Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; (they were used to that in Egypt) for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot (know) not what is become of him.’ And Aaron said unto them, `Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, (the idea of men wearing rings in their ears is not new) and of your daughters, and bring them unto me.’ And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, (he worked at, he must have been a craftsman of some sort.) after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, `These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.'”

Now we know that was a lie. That golden calf had nothing to do with bringing them through the Red Sea. Now in verse 5 we see Aaron building them an altar. You know I can never get over this man Aaron. He didn’t even give them any argument, and we know that he should have preached them a sermon, but he just did whatever they wanted him to do. It looks to me like Aaron is part and parcel to this whole act. I hope I don’t have Aaron confront me in eternity someday and say, “Hey what was the big idea that day down there in Oklahoma running me up one side and down the other.” But nevertheless I can’t figure the man out how he went right along with all this and actually helped them build an altar in verse 5.

Exodus 32:5

“And when Aaron saw it, (the calf) he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, `Tomorrow is a feast to the LORD.'”

Now think about that. Here he was mixing the worship of this idol and calling it a feast day of Jehovah. Now we think that’s terrible don’t we? And it is, but you know what? They’re doing the same thing today. I learned years ago that you can have some ultra-liberal preacher or theologian, and he can talk about resurrection, but he doesn’t mean what we mean. He’s talking about something totally different, and so much of the terminology of New Testament Christianity, they can use the same words, but it’s not the same definition. And so what do they do? They use Christian language, they refer to being led by the Holy Spirit, and to me it’s almost blasphemy, but they do it. Now that’s exactly what Aaron is doing, he’s taking the worship of this golden calf, pagan to the core, and then he says, “Tomorrow we’ll call it a feast day of the LORD.” Now verse 6. Now here is where the Apostle Paul is quoting from.

Exodus 32:6

“And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.”

Here they’ve had the proof of the Almighty God in fire on the mountain, the pillar of fire at night as they came out of Egypt, that pillar of a cloud during the day to give them shade from the sun, water from the Rock, and yet they can go right down into the depths of idolatry, and worship a stupid golden calf. A dead thing with no life – but again it was an emotional thing. It appealed to their emotion, do you see what they did? With that calf in the center of the camp, they sat down to eat, and drink, and rose up to play, it was the practice of the satisfaction of the flesh. In verse 7, God has to move Moses out of the mountain experience a little bit to see about the children of Israel.

Exodus 32:7

“And the LORD said unto Moses, `Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves:'”

Someone else didn’t come in and corrupt them, they did it of their own volition. They asked for it. You know, so often even in our own present time, people who are guilty of things that are anti-scriptural will try to take the whole idea, “Well I couldn’t help it, I’m a victim of circumstance.” No they aren’t. They are people of choice, and they make choices, and you can’t get away from that. It was the same way here. These children of Israel were a people of choice, they didn’t have to have that stupid calf. God was going to take care of them. Now we’re not going to read all these verses so come on over to verse 17 and we’ll begin again.

Exodus 32:17-21

“And when Joshua heard the noise of the people (remember there were millions of them) as they shouted, he said unto Moses, `There is a noise of war in camp. (Joshua thought the people were being attacked, and were screaming and yelling, running for their lives, but Moses said ) … It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear.’ And it came to pass as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing and Moses’s anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strewed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it. And Moses said unto Aaron, `What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them?'”

In other words I imagine Moses thought, “these people must have literally threatened Aaron with his life. Either you build us a god or we’ll kill you.” The Book doesn’t say that but, Moses is implying that the people put pressure on Aaron to bring all this about. And again I can’t understand Aaron. Look at his answer. Remember in the previous verses it says he took a graving tool and the gold and made the golden calf, but look what he says.

Exodus 32:22-24

“And Aaron said, `Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people, that they are set on mischief. For they said unto me, `Make us gods, which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot (know) not what is become of him.’ And I said unto them, `Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: (this next statement is shocking) then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf.'”

Now if it would have happened that way then I could see where Israel thought there was something supernatural going on, but that wasn’t the way it was. He melted the gold down and crafted it with a graving tool, and made it, but he tells Moses this story. It’s unreal isn’t it? Now you know often people will look at the Scripture, and this story, and think, “Why does God see fit to put something so ridiculous in His Word.” I’ll tell you why. To show us the bare human nature. All of these things that we think are so awful in the Old Testament, the instances of adultery, and drunkenness, and all the horrible things that make up human experiences. Why? To show us what man is really made of. Because whether it was 4000 years ago, or 10 years ago or today, man has not changed one iota, nor has God.

Now let’s look at verse 25. And remember it wasn’t just a casual worshiping with native folk dancing and so forth, but how were these people dancing? Naked! Immoral! So what had they done? They had taken that golden calf worship, and put it down on the same level of all other idolaters, and I’ve taught that as long as I’ve been teaching. Because when you go into abject pagan idolatry or mythology you always have rank immorality. And the reason for that is it’s satanically controlled.

Exodus 32:25

“And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:) Well anyway you know what happened there.

Exodus 32:35

“And the LORD plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made.”

We know from Scripture that there were 23,000 put to death through the plague because of this very event. Now coming back to I Corinthians again, see how Paul uses this not only to shake the Corinthians up and bring them out of their temptations to go back into these things, but for us as well. We’re no different than they were. We’re not a bit different than the Corinthian believers, and unless we come away from a babe in Christ’s situation, and begin to mature through Bible study, we’re not going to be any different.

I Corinthians 10:8

“Neither let us commit fornication, (or sexual immorality) as some of them committed, (and remember it was part of that worship of the golden calf) and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.

Remember these Corinthians knew all about that kind of worship, and it was a real temptation to some of them; they lived in the very midst of it, they bumped up against these immoral priestesses everyday. And it was a constant warning to flee from those things. See? Now verse 9.

I Corinthians 10:9

“Neither let us tempt (test) Christ, as some of them also tempted, (tested) and were destroyed of serpents.”

Do you remember the setting? As a result of Israel’s sin, God sent poison serpents out amongst the camp, and the little rascals would bite the Israelites, and it would kill those who were bitten. And that got their attention real fast. So now they had to run to Moses and say, “Do something about this.” Then Moses has to go to God for instruction. And what does God say? You put up a brazen serpent up on a pole, and tell the children of Israel when they get bitten by one of these snakes they can look at the brazen serpent and be healed. And remember brass always speaks of judgment in The Bible. Well that of course was another foreview of the work of Christ, when He took our sins on whom God’s judgment fell then of course we are healed of our sin problem in what we call forgiveness, and Salvation, and justification, and all the rest. Now verse 10:

I Corinthians 10:10

“Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.”

And again that’s a reference of their wilderness experience. They were constantly getting into trouble. Now verse 11, and here we have a repetition. And when you see repetition remember it’s there for a distinct purpose.

I Corinthians 10:11

“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples; and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. We’re suppose to learn from their mistakes. Now then verse 12. Here is a verse that I think is so applicable for every one of us.

I Corinthians 10:12

“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”

Everyone of us are candidates for falling as Israel did. None of us can get puffed up, and say, “Well that would never happen to me.” Oh yes it can. Let me show you another verse, and this one is found in Galatians Chapter 6 as Paul is writing to those churches up there in Asia Minor in the area that was called Galatia. And if this isn’t so appropriate for us today.

Galatians 6:1

“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, (especially the leaders of the Church) restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, (not in the spirit of arrogance and pride) considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”

So it could happen to anyone, and we have to be on guard constantly. Let’s come back to I Corinthians Chapter 10 again, and look at verse 13. What a promise we find here.

I Corinthians 10:13

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: (we’re not the only ones that are going to experience this. Everybody does by virtue of our living in this world, and even though we’re not faithful Who is?) but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted (or tested) above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

I was reading a Greek author, and his definition in the Greek here `a way to escape was really the picture of an army entrapped in a canyon of sort. And when it looked like there was no possible way to escape the commander finds another little canyon off to the side, that he can let his army escape into. And that’s the picture here. We can find ourselves seemingly entrapped in a temptation, and we think, “Oh no, what am I going to do, there is no escape.” But there is, and God will reveal it to us at the appropriate time. When we start the next lesson we’re going to show what the temptations are that are common to every man, woman, boy and girl living on this old planet earth. They’re the same for every individual, and of course The Lord Jesus Himself faced them all. He knows because He has been there.

322 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 2 - Book 27 - A Warning Example

322: A Warning Example – Lesson 3 Part 2 Book 27

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 27

 A WARNING EXAMPLE

Before we get back to our study, let me comment on the fact that if any of you want to make copies of our video tapes, or books to pass them on to others, feel free to do so. We’re not in this for the money, but rather all we want to do is see lost people saved, and that’s the only reason we’re doing this. Many times I think, what in the world have I gotten into, because I’m still a full-time rancher with all that responsibility, but yet The Lord has given us this ministry, and so we have to use it for His glory. Now let’s get back to our study.

We will begin in Chapter 10, and we have a lot of ground to cover in the next few verses. Because Paul here is going to go way back to the Book of Exodus, and we’re going to follow him in just a moment. Paul tells us that he’s going to add a lesson now to everything he has taught since Chapter 1. The whole purpose of Paul’s letters is to teach us, not just some of the simple things, but even how all of these scriptures tie themselves together. And if there’s anything I love to do it is tie the Old and New together, because they both fit so intrinsically.

I Corinthians 10:1,2

“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers (And of course Paul is speaking as a Jew) were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;(In the parting of the Red Sea, as the children of Israel left Israel.) And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;”

I always have to stop here because most of people in this Age of the Church, as soon as they see the word `baptized’ they think of water. Well even though they did have the Red Sea water parted, yet did they get wet? No. They walked through on dry ground. Well then, what’s the baptism? Let’s try to explain. The word `ecclesia’ means `a called out assembly,’ and was called the Church in the wilderness, but the nation of Israel was not baptized to become members of that ecclesia. Now let me show you what I’m talking about. Go back to the Book of Acts Chapter 7. And here Stephen is preaching this tremendous sermon to his Jewish religious leaders, and he’s gone all the way back to Abraham. He’s brought the Jewish history before them, and here beginning with verse 36, he’s referring to their forefathers who came out of Egypt under Moses.

Acts 7:36

“He brought them out, (That is the nation of Israel) after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, (it’s almost like it was in Christ’s earthly ministry. Remember Jesus had to show wonders and signs to prove to the Jewish nation that it was God’s doing, and here it’s the same way with Moses.) and in the Red sea and in the wilderness forty years.”

Now here Stephen is trying to prove to these leaders of Israel that Jesus was the Christ, so he continues on in verse:

Acts 7:37,38

“This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, (prophetically) A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. (In other words someone who would deliver Israel like Moses did.). This is He (Stephen says, speaking of Jesus of Nazareth) that was in the church (the ecclesia are that called-out assembly of the Children of Israel) in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: (the Law)”

Now when God called Israel out of Egypt, He brought them through a Red Sea experience which was a baptism, but without a drop of water. And they became a Church, but without any Church organization. Well it’s a matter of definitions again. The Church here is a called-out assembly, it’s not a New Testament Church. It’s Israel – in the wilderness fresh out of Egypt. And they’re also going to have a baptism that is not water baptism. Now coming back to I Corinthians for a moment. So they passed through the sea, and in that passing though the sea, going from one lifestyle of slavery under the heavy hand of the Egyptians to absolute freedom set aside as the people of God. What kind of a baptism was it? Well it sure wasn’t water, but rather they were simply placed under Moses’ leadership. They were placed under the Shekinah glory cloud that accompanied them, and it was called a baptism. So we must watch our definitions. Now in another place where baptism is used, and it never refers to water is when the disciples thought they could go and do whatever Jesus was going to do, and what did He tell them?

Matthew 20:22

“But Jesus answered and said, `Ye know not what ye ask, Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with…?'”

Well what kind of a baptism was He talking about? His death, His suffering, He would be placed under all of that, and He knew the disciples couldn’t do that. But He called it a baptism. He was placed under all the ramifications of His crucifixion, His burial, and resurrection, and He called it a baptism. Here, Israel coming though the Red Sea under Moses’ leadership, and the power of the Shekinah cloud, it’s still called a baptism. And it merely meant that they were identifying with Moses and his leadership. Now let’s move on to verse 3.

I Corinthians 10:3,4

“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.”

Now let’s back up a couple of pages to Chapter 5 here in I Corinthians, and here Paul refers to Christ as our passover.

I Corinthians 5:7

“Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. (That is, he’s talking to believers) For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:”

Now we’ll see Paul pull that lesson in Exodus as the Israelites prepare to leave Egypt, not only a lesson for the Corinthians, but for us as well. But let’s stop for a moment in the Book of Romans Chapter 15. Drop down to verse 4, and Paul is writing to the Christians at Rome.

Romans 15:4a

“For whatsoever things were written aforetime (back in the Old Testament) were written for our learning,….”

All those things written back there in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, etc., were written to the Jew under the Law, yet it was for our learning. And how many people today just shut their eyes to the Old Testament and think they have nothing to do with that today. The Old Testament is just a bedrock for the New Testament. You can’t understand the New unless you understand the Old. So, that’s what Paul is saying here in verse 4, that all these things were written for our learning, not our doctrine. You’re not going to find the plan of Salvation back in Exodus. You’ll find a picture of it, but you won’t find the Gospel (As we find it in I Corinthians 15:1-4) back in the Old Testament anywhere.

Romans 15:4b

“…. that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”

How in the world does understanding the Old Testament increase our hope? It makes it so much more believable. When you see how all this fits so beautifully, written thousands of years before by men totally unaware of the Church Age, and yet it all fits. How could it if God hadn’t been the Author of it. And so this is another one of the proof positives that this book is supernatural. Now, let’s go back to the Old Testament and see what we can put together here. Come all the way back to the Passover in Exodus Chapter 12. You’ve all known the story of the plagues in Egypt and how Israel was just being submerged in the suffering and the horrors of slavery under the Egyptian slave masters. And then finally Pharaoh told Moses not to ever come back and see him again.

Exodus 10:28,29

“And Pharaoh said unto him, `Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die.’ And Moses said, `Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more.'”

Then we come into Chapter 12 and God gives Moses and the nation of Israel the instructions for the Passover Lamb. They were to take it out (in verse 5 of Chapter 12) of the flock without blemish, a male, the first year, either from the sheep or the goats. And then in verse 6 they were to keep it penned up for three days until the 14th day of that month of April. And all of Israel was to have a Passover Lamb at their disposal. Now let’s go to verse 7.

Exodus 12:7

“And they shall take of the blood, (of that Passover Lamb) and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.”

Now let’s turn over to the same chapter and verse 12. I think in order to make this a little more graphic, the door of their little huts (they didn’t have fancy homes there in Egypt) were to be struck with a piece of hyssop, which was like our rag weed, and the blood placed on the two door posts and on the lintel (or the head board). Now they didn’t know it but we can see that that was the outline of the Cross and certainly that’s what God had in mind. Now they were to take the blood of that lamb, strike it on the two door posts and on the lintel, as the word is used in the King James anyway, and now verse 12. What was the purpose? This was the last plague that was going to fall on Pharaoh’s Egypt and you all know the plague of the death angel.

Exodus 12:12 (This is God speaking)

“For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods (small `g’) of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.”

Now let’s look at verse 13 and here is where the lesson really comes home to you and I.

Exodus 12:13

“And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where you are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.”

Now when we were teaching all of this years ago, back in Exodus, I made the point and I’m going to repeat it again. As those Jewish families stood in their little huddles, and they were to stand around the kitchen table with the Passover Lamb roasted and they were to partake of it to give them strength for their journey, this is the emphasis I’ve always said: when they knew that the blood was out there on the door posts, did they shake with fear all that night? No! Why? Because by faith they knew that the blood had kept them secure. They knew by faith, and that’s the word, that with the blood on the door that the death angel would never strike them. They were safe and secure. They didn’t have to shake in their boots. Now then, we’re going to come back to Exodus in a little bit, but for now, let’s go all the way back to Romans and look what Paul says there concerning the blood. And remember, he said in I Corinthians Chapter 9 that Christ was our Passover, and so if there’s a Passover Lamb, there has to be blood, because that was the whole idea – the shedding of the lamb’s blood, that it could be stricken on the door posts. Now look in Chapter 3 of Romans and this is our ground, doctrinally. This isn’t just an example. This is the real thing. This is what we have to latch on to just like the Israelites in Egypt rested on the blood of that lamb on the door, this is what we have to rest on even as Gentiles in this Age of Grace. Starting with verse 23.

Romans 3:23

“For all (every human being) have sinned, and come short of the glory of God:”

Every human being in his natural state is separated from God because he’s fallen short. He can’t meet God’s standards. But we’re not left with the dilemma of hopelessness. You move on into verse 24, that even though all have sinned,

Romans 3:24

“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption (or the buying back) that is in Christ Jesus.”

Now remember, all of scripture is always teaching that whole idea of something that was owned and was lost. For example, the nation was God’s Covenant people but because of the brother’s sin, where did Joseph end up? Down in Egypt. While Joseph was down in Egypt and the other brethren were in rebellion, God lost his chosen people. He’d lost control of them. So what is He going to have to do? He’s going to have to buy them back! And that’s what the book of Exodus is all about. It’s a book of redemption. And how did He buy them back? Through the blood of the Passover Lamb. Now, it’s the same way with us today. God lost us when Adam fell. And so He’s going to have the redeem us. How does He redeem us? With blood. It’s the only thing that God can use to purchase mankind’s redemption. Now let’s look at verse 25:

Romans 3:25

“Whom (speaking of Christ Jesus in verse 24) God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood,…..”

You don’t hear that much anymore do you? But there is only one way to experience the redemption of verse 24 and that is putting your faith in the blood of Christ. Now do you see why Paul took us back to the Passover night in Egypt? It’s the same setting. Just as sure as that Jewish family in Egypt was safe and the death angel couldn’t touch the first-born because of the blood out there on the door, so also for you and I who have had the blood of Christ applied, nothing can touch us! Nothing! Now, let’s look at Romans Chapter 8. Let’s go down to verse 37.

Romans 8:37-39

“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that love us. 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 creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Why? Because we’re under the blood. And nobody, no power on earth or heaven, can take us from under that blood protection. As surely as the Israelites were saved in Egypt, we’re saved today. What a beautiful security. We saw this even when we taught the flood, and God gave instructions to build that old ark. He was going to make it of wood and it was going to have to be up there in the raging sea for almost a year, so what did God instruct Noah to do to seal the ark so that it wouldn’t leak? Use pitch, which was a tar. I pointed out back there in that lesson in Genesis the same Hebrew word for `pitch’ was also the Hebrew word for atonement! It’s the same Hebrew word. So what did the pitch between the boards of that old ark really amount to? The sealing effect. It was the atoning effect. Just as sure as the blood seals out judgment and it can never touch us, the pitch sealed out the waters of the flood.

And so this is all the way through Scripture, that we are secure, not because of anything we do, or anything we deserve, but simply because we’ve placed our faith in the blood of Christ. Of course, it doesn’t stop there because we also place our faith in His resurrection, in the fact that He arose from the dead. Now come back to Corinthians for just a moment. This is after they came out of Egypt, out of the Red Sea experience, and were separated unto God. They are out in the desert. And all these millions of people there. I’m so tickled whenever I read an article like the one in the Jerusalem Post here a while back. A writer used the same numbers that I’ve used for years concerning the Children of Israel coming out of Egypt, 3 – 7 million. That’s unbelievable, I know it is, but that’s how many it must have been. Here they were out in the desert and out there there is usually no water. And they got thirsty. Whatever livestock they had, that always raises questions for me too. Why were they hungry for meat when they had all those sheep, cattle and goats. And their livestock were getting thirsty and the Israelites were thirsty. And so what did they do? They come up to Moses, Let’s go back to Exodus about Chapter 17, verse 2.

Exodus 17:2-6

“Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, (they were just irritating him. Almost screaming at him.) and said, `Give us water that we may drink.’ And Moses said unto them, `Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the Lord?’ And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, `Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?’ And Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, `What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.’ And the Lord said unto Moses, `Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, (remember back in Egypt it turned into blood) take in thine hand and go. Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; (Horeb is the same as Mt. Sinai) and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink.’ And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.”

And how much water did they get? They got enough for all the Israelites and all their cattle and there was enough left over that the neighbors started fighting for it.

321 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 1 - Book 27 - Israel in the Wilderness

321: Israel in the Wilderness – Lesson 3 Part 1 Book 27

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 27

ISRAEL IN THE WILDERNESS

It’s been a long time since I’ve put our timeline on the board, and sort of reviewed it, and for those of you who have been with us all the way from the Book of Genesis this will be old hat and a review for you. But I think for the benefit of our new listeners we’ll just run by the timeline again, and show you where we’ve come from since we’ve started in Genesis. On the timeline I like to start with the creation of Adam, and remember all these dates are approximate because I don’t set these things in concrete, but as near as chronology can ascertain, we find Adam coming on the scene in approximately 4004 B.C. then Noah’s Flood was the next big event in Genesis Chapter 6 & 7, and that was about 1600 years after Adam, or about 2400 B.C.

And then there was another 200 years after the flood, or about 2200 B.C. when that whole new generation of folks, from Noah’s son’s offspring, come together at the Tower of Babel. And from the Tower of Babel until the call of Abram (Abraham) in 2000 B.C. in the city of Ur in Babylon, God promised him with the Abrahamic Covenant that out of him would come a nation of people. And through that little nation of people God is going to consummate His whole plan of redemption. Then about 500 years later we find Israel a nation, they have come out of Egypt under Moses, and they have received the Law, and that would be about 1500 B.C.

Then we have this whole period from Abraham until Christ comes in His earthly ministry where God is dealing mainly with the nation of Israel. There are exceptions of course, where He deals with Gentiles, but very few. And then once the Law comes in and they get the tabernacle, and the Temple then the whole make-up of our Old Testament is Israel under the Law, with the priesthood, and the Temple worship and all that. That was interspersed with the Babylonian captivity in 606 B.C. when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem. Then about 70 years later God made commandments through Cyrus the king of Persia to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple, and that was under the leadership of Ezra. So Ezra rebuilds the Temple, and a little remnant of Jews come back from Babylon, and begin to set the stage for the nation of Israel at the coming of Christ. Then a few years after Ezra had rebuilt the Temple, another Syrian king, by the name of Artaxerxes, gave commandment to Nehemiah to go back to Jerusalem, and rebuild the city wall, because you know a city wouldn’t last long without the protection of a wall. So Nehemiah and some more of the Jews that came back with him then began to rebuild the wall.

Then we know from Daniel Chapter 9:24 that there would be 490 years of God’s time table prophetically upon and fulfilled in the nation of Israel. This prophecy began from the date of the command for Nehemiah to go back and rebuild the wall. Then we also know from history and the dating of it, that from the time of that decree until Christ was crucified (Daniel 9:26) the prophecy had only included 483 years rather than the 490 that was prophesied. Which means that when God left off dealing with the nation of Israel early in the Book of Acts, the 7 years of that prophecy had not yet been accomplished, and so then Bible scholars began to realize that these 7 years were somewhere out in the future. We don’t know when but we know that we’ve already come almost 2000 years and we feel we’re getting close to that 7-year-period of time that we call the Tribulation, which belongs to that 490 years prophesied in Daniel.

Now we know that Israel rejected the Christ. Peter and the eleven continued to preach to the men of Israel in the Book of Acts. Some believed that Jesus was the Messiah, but for the most part the nation of Israel would not believe that Jesus was the Christ. And finally God saw that Israel was not going to believe and receive her King, so He raised up another little Jew, the Apostle Paul, and the first thing He made known was that He was going to send that man to the Gentiles. And of course from there that opened up the Age of Grace, the Church Age, and Paul immediately goes to Jews first, and then to the Gentiles. I feel that from the time that Paul started ministering to the Gentiles with The Gospel of Grace, as found in I Corinthians 15:1-4, we have this undetermined period of time, we don’t know how long it will last, we only know that the Church Age has now come 1900 + years. And we know that the Church will have to be taken out of the way as we see in I Thessalonians 4:13-18 so that the 7-year-period of Tribulation can kick in, and God can pick up again where He left off with the nation of Israel, because that all belongs back in the prophetic program. Now then after the Tribulation, Christ will return, set up His Kingdom, and we who are Raptured will come back with Him, I think, to rule and reign with Him.

But back here in the Church Age is where we are now studying the writings of Paul chronologically. Paul does most of his ministry among the Gentiles, and establishing the Churches from about 40 A.D. until he ends up a prisoner in Rome in about 65 A. D. And in that period of time he not only establishes all these Churches throughout Asia Minor, and Greece, and Antioch in Syria, but from about 58 A.D. Paul starts writing his letters. Because the Churches have been established, and now they need doctrine, they need correction, they need instruction, and so the Holy Spirit is behind it all, and He begins to prompt the Apostle Paul to write these various letters. And in this letter of I Corinthians we find Paul dealing with the problems in this local Church. They had evidently written to him, and asked questions of how to deal with these different problems. And to show you what I mean just come back a few pages to Chapter 7, and here he makes it so obvious that he is writing this letter in response to their inquiry.

I Corinthians 7:1a

“Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me;…”

So all these things that he’s been covering now were in response to the congregation’s questions. And all their questions were resting on problems, and remember this Corinthian Church was the most carnal, and the least spiritual of all the Churches that Paul had anything to do with. Just compare the Corinthian letters to, say for example, Ephesians, Philippians, or Colossians, and it makes all the difference in the world. So we have to understand the setting. In fact, in all my years of teaching I’ve used various portions of I Corinthians, but I had never taught it verse by verse, and naturally now as I’m teaching it on television, I’m learning as much as you are. There is so much in here that I had just passed over, and thought that it wasn’t important, but it’s like T-Bone steak, spiritually! So I trust that you will continue to feed from this little letter even as we have.

Now getting back to our timeline, I want you to understand that we’re in the Church Age, The Body of Christ, waiting until the Body is complete. We’ve explained that in earlier programs, that when the last person is saved, and the Body is complete, then The Lord will come and deliver us from this old sin-cursed world, and we’ll be moving on into the eternal state. Now in I Corinthians Chapter 9, Paul is again having to defend his apostleship to these carnal believers at Corinth who are in a city of abject idolatry, horrible immorality, and with that kind of a background they have come out as believers. But naturally there is still that draw to go back into that old lifestyle, so consequently as Paul writes he has to constantly defend his apostleship and he tells these believers at Corinth that they are proof of his apostleship. They having been saved out of abject paganism as a result of his preaching are proof enough that he was an apostle. Now let’s start with verse 19, and here Paul makes some kind of hard to comprehend statements.

I Corinthians 9:19

“For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.”

Now you see Paul had only driving desire and motivation, and what was that? To see lost people saved. He didn’t care about material things, or comfort; all he wanted was lost people saved. Now reading verse 20. And this wasn’t always easy for Paul.

I Corinthians 9:20

“And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, (remember back in the Book of Acts when he has been decrying Law, and legalism, and Temple worship, yet what does the man do? He takes a Jewish vow and goes back to the Temple in Jerusalem to fulfill it. Well this is hard to understand and put together when the very thing that he’d been preaching against, he’s now practicing. In this verse is the answer to why he would do such a thing. He did all this in the hope) that I might gain the Jews; (spiritually) to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;”

And I think there he’s probably referring to the more religious element of Judaism. Now even today in the nation of Israel, I’m almost afraid that the Jews will end up in civil war themselves because of the tremendous confrontations between the Jewish secular community (who have no time for the things of God, and nothing in the area of faith), and then on the other hand you have your Orthodox Jews who are so wrapped up in Judaism that they even lose touch with reality. I think it’s the same way here. Paul had to approach the Jews that were not steeped in their religion and also approach those who were under the Law, and were practicing it. Remember how I made comment a few weeks ago that when we speak of the Law of Judaism at the time of Christ and of Paul, it wasn’t the pure Law of Moses’s day. This thing had been so watered down with man-made ideas that the Law of Paul in Christ’s days was a whole set of over 600 rules and regulations. That was the Law that the Jews really attained to – the laws that the Rabbis had put together studying the various aspects of the Old Testament. So Paul says but to those who are under the Law, I became under the Law. Now, he says, in verse 21.

I Corinthians 9:21

“To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without Law to God, but under the Law to Christ.)…..”

In other words, Paul never forsook the morality of the Law of God. He never went down and said, “Well I’m free from the Law and I can do as I please, so far as moral things are concerned.” No way! Now verse 22:

I Corinthians 9:22

“To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, (for what purpose?) that I might by all means save some.”

He knew he wouldn’t gain the whole world. But if he could just win some. Now those of you who have contacted missionaries, just as we have had contact with missionaries over the years and there’s one thing that every missionary learns real fast when they get into a foreign field. They have to live like the people amongst whom they are working. They cannot just all of a sudden come in and live with western culture and habits and food. They would never reach anybody. But they have to go into that foreign culture and begin to eat their foreign food.

I’ll never forget when we had a missionary friend who brought back a tremendous movie that he had made himself. This was way back in the time of the old 8 mm movie, I think. But he was on a mission field in Indonesia among pretty much uncivilized people. The favorite food for those kids there that was equal to any American candy bar, was a big black beetle. And boy, those kids would chomp into that beetle and then they’d give the missionary one. You can imagine what that would do to a poor American. But he said if you wanted to gain them, you had to eat that beetle just as well as those kids did. And there were some things even more gross, but I won’t pass them on because somebody in television may be having lunch while we’re doing this. Nevertheless, this is the idea of mission work. You have to step in to the very same mold that those people are that you’re trying to reach. And it began with Paul. So Paul says whenever he came to people who were spiritually weak, he understood their weakness. He didn’t come in like some spiritual giant coming down on them and ridiculing them and criticizing them. He understood where they were. And regardless of what their status in life, Paul would identify and try to be on an equal footing with them. Now verse 23.

I Corinthians 9:23

“And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.” All Paul had on his heart, was to see lost people saved. And then down to verse 24. He’s almost shifting gears as he comes in to almost a whole different train of thought.

I Corinthians 9:24

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.”

Now you remember Paul must have been a fan of the Olympics, because he refers to them so often in his writings for analogies, and that’s what he’s referring to here. When they had the Olympic ring, in Corinth it was the Isnian Games. They were the second greatest games in the Roman world after the Olympics. So, now he’s coming back to this whole concept of the Olympic Races. When these men raced, what are they running for? Just for the fun of it? No! To win! To be number 1! And so he says you do the same. You run your spiritual race that you may obtain. Not Salvation. He’s been referring to the carnal Corinthians all the way since Chapter 1 as believers, as brethren. So he’s not talking about running to gain their Salvation, but to gain rewards. Now read on.

I Corinthians 9:25a

“And every man that striveth for the mastery…”

Now he’s talking about the Olympic contestants, and when they trained in order to win the race, did they go clear over board and just eat, eat, eat, because it took energy to run? No. On the other hand did they starve their bodies so they wouldn’t have to carry so much weight to the finish line? No. So what was the whole idea? Temperance! I wrote someone just the other day about being temperate in all things. The word temperate means in any area of life you maintain a balance. You don’t go clear off either end, but base everything on The Word of God, and then you maintain a balance. Looking at verse 25 again, we find Paul saying that these runners train temperately in all of their intake of food and drink to enhance their body strength.

I Corinthians 9:25

“And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to to obtain a corruptible crown; (a reward) but we an incorruptible.”

Paul says that we are running the spiritual race not for a crown of leaves and vines as these runners did, but we run for an incorruptible crown. One that will last for all eternity.

I Corinthians 9:26

“I therefore so run, not as uncertainly;…”

I’m not going to run not really knowing what I’m after. Because Paul knew what the prize was as he teaches us in the Book of Philippines.

Philippians 3:10

“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” And what was the purpose? That he might win the prize. Now finishing verse 26:

I Corinthians 9:26

“I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:’

Paul says that he’s not going to just beat the air, he’s not going to shadow box, but rather he is going to train himself spiritually to run this race of life that he might win the prize. Let’s finish the chapter with verse 27. I might add that this last verse has been so misconstrued because of the term in the King James.

I Corinthians 9:27

“But I keep under my body, (Paul is going to keep everything under control) and bring it into subjection: (so that I can run the spiritual race) lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

Now that doesn’t mean that he would lose his Salvation, but it goes back to a term in the potter’s house. If a potter would work a beautiful work on the wheel (we’ll say it was a beautiful vase; and it was supposed to contain a liquid), but after finishing it and painting it beautifully the potter discovered a fine crack in it where it wouldn’t hold water. Then, rather than just pitching the vase in the trash, the potter would sit this beautiful vase on the shelf for sale only as an ornament type vase. Now the term “a castaway” was too good to throw away, but it was no longer of any workable use. Now this is what Paul is talking about. You can’t lose your Salvation if you ever had it, but oh that we might work and maintain our testimony so that we won’t be put on the shelf as no longer usable, even though we may have all the outward appearance of being believers, but that we might also be functional. That we can do that which The Lord saved us to do.

320 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 4 - Book 27 - 1 Corinthians 6:11 - 9:7 - Part 2

320: 1 Corinthians 6:11 – 9:7 – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 27

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 27

I CORINTHIANS 6:11 – 9:7 – PART 2

We’re going to skip forward to I Corinthians Chapter 8, and we are going to deal with yet another problem that was holding the Corinthian Church at bay. They just didn’t know how to cope with meat in the market place or maybe at the table, of someone who had invited them to dinner, if that meat had been offered at a pagan temple. Now granted, in our society today we don’t have to face this particular thing, but still I think it’s appropriate for us to study it for a little bit because we have other things that we can liken to this problem they had.

I Corinthians 8:1

“Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.”

Now of course when we get to Chapter 13 we’re going to study the love chapter, and remember love is the very foundation of our whole Christian faith. Love is what prompted Christ to go to the Cross, love is what prompted Him to save us if we simply believe The Gospel. (Ref: I Corinthians 15:1-4) And then the other side of the coin is, love is the predominating factor in the life of the believer, whether it’s in our marriage relationship, whether it’s with our children, or neighbors. It all boils down to how much do we love them.

You know I was hit with that during the past week or so. I was reading one of the famous authors, and he was bringing this out, and the thought came to me that maybe that was one of my shortcomings. I just don’t love the unlovely as much as I should, I can’t help it, and I recognize it as a shortfall, and I have to confess it. When people do things that are so contrary to the Scriptures, and the good of the community, and the good of society, it irks me, and I’m not afraid to admit it. But what we always have to understand is, “We hate the sin, but we love the sinner.”

I got that taught to me years and years ago when I sold a man up north all of my fat cattle I had been feeding. This man was a very devout religious man. He would go to weekend retreats, but oh, he had language that was terrible. I can’t repeat all that he said, but one day he was telling me that his little five-year-old had come in crying because the kids down the street were picking on him, because he was a different religion than they were. So he says, “I sat the little fellow on my lap, and said now look son, you don’t have to like the little so-and-sos, but you’re supposed to love them for God’s sake.” And you know that was a lesson, and I’ve never forgotten it. There are people up and down the highways and byways of our life that we don’t have to necessarily like, and we certainly don’t like the things that they do, but we’re still supposed to love them for Christ’s sake, because He died for them. And that’s just a practical every day illustration. Now verse 2:

I Corinthians 8:2

“And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.”

In other words, when we think we have learned it all, we’re just getting started. There is no way we can exalt the things of God.

I Corinthians 8:3

“But if any man love God, the same is known of him.”

When we love The Lord Who first loved us, don’t you think for a moment that God doesn’t know you and I on a first name basis. Absolutely He does. We’re not just a number of millions, He knows us on a first name basis, He knows all about us. He knows our needs even before we ask. Now here comes the problem in verse 4.

I Corinthians 8:4-7a

“As concerning therefore (don’t lose sight of the motivation of love) the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, (small `g’) whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords man,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. (In other words He is the Creator of us all.) Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge:…”

Even these Corinthian believers who were babes in Christ did not have the full comprehension of Who and what God really is. And I dare say there are lots of believers today that are in the same boat. They’re saved, they’re still babes in Christ, and no comprehension of Who God really is. For us who have been Christians for a long time it is beyond us. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, except for my faith in The Word, and don’t think for a moment that I don’t believe it, yet from the human side, I just can’t comprehend that the One who created the universe, that the One who created man, and brought him up out of the dust, and breathed into him the breath of life, that same One went to that Roman Cross, and suffered at the hands mankind so that He could have me and you in eternity with Him. Now that’s beyond me. That is beyond me, why, and how the Creator did all that just for the Salvation of mankind, but He did. Some of these Corinthians although they were saved, still didn’t have the comprehension of our God in comparison to the powerless (for the most part) gods of idols. Reading on:

I Corinthians 8:7

“Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto the hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak (still young believers) is defiled.

What does Paul mean? For these weak, young in the faith believers, knowing where that meat had gone before it got to their table, they had some reservations about eating it. Now again I guess I’ll have to explain – whenever you’re under a pagan society remember the only way these pagan religious leaders can keep their people under control is to have them saturated with superstition. And you all know what superstition is? You’re scared to death to make a move in the wrong direction for fear that the powers that be will come down on you. Now this was the whole idea of pagan religion. They had their people steeped in superstition, and they were scared to death of the power of their god, and they knew all too well the powers of the demons in the air around them.

Now we here in America have been blessed that we’re not too plagued with demonism. Oh, we know it’s coming, but so far Christianity, I think, has been strong enough that it’s held the demon powers at bay. But you go into other areas of the world, and you’ll find demonism rampant, and real. It was at Christ’s time, as well in the time of Paul. And so these pagans understood demonic power. In Haiti their people know that voodooism has intrinsic power, it’s Satanic power, but it’s a power. Now these people in Corinth were so aware of the powers of the demons of the air that when they got ready to eat the meat, their superstitious mind said that if a demon was going to make entrance into his body the easiest way would be to get on that meat. So this was a big hang up.

Now in order to counteract that, these pagans would take their meat to their pagan priest, and the priest would put some kind of blessing on it that would keep the demons off their meat so they could eat it safely. Now all these things enter in, and a lot of times we don’t understand. So here comes a believer now and his best friend’s daughter is getting married, and he’s going to be going through all the pagan rites of marriage, and he’s invited to the wedding feast. Paul never tells these believers to stay away from that, they were free to go. But Paul says remember that even though your friend who is an idolater, feels that the meat has to be blessed and sacrificed to a pagan god, you don’t have to worry about it. Those idolatrous gods can’t do anything to you because you are a believer. Go ahead, and eat the meat, and don’t worry about it.

Okay, but over here on the other side of the table at that same wedding feast is a brand new Christian, and he hasn’t grown to any maturity whatsoever. And he looks across the table and there sits the Christian that has been a believer for 12-18 months, and he’s eating that meat. What do you suppose this new Christian thinks? How in the world can he sit there and eat meat that’s been offered to an idol? Now then, what’s Paul going to say? “Listen, if you are going to cause that young believer to stumble and have problems over this, then don’t eat the meat.”

Now again remember that when these pagans took their animals to be sacrificed in a pagan temple the priest would keep a certain portion of the meat for themselves much like the priests of Israel would. Then they would give the remaining part of the carcass back to the individual, and it was his to do with as he pleased. So if he wanted some cash in hand, what do you suppose he would do with the remaining meat? He would take it down to the butcher shop and sell it to the market. Now here comes unsuspecting people buying a chunk of that meat that had been sacrificed at the temple. These Christians knew this, so they had to write and ask Paul what they were to do, because most of the meat had already been offered to a pagan god.

I Corinthians 8:8

“But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse,”

It’s plain as day isn’t it? The Bible never demands that a believer be a vegetarian. I have to say that because I’m a cow man, and I like to sell beef, the more the better, but never in Scripture are we admonished not to eat meat. Paul says it doesn’t make any difference whether you do or you don’t.

I Corinthians 8:9-11

“But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.” (And I’ve already covered that. Don’t eat the meat if it’s going to make a new believer stumble, or cause him problems.) For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; And through thy knowledge (those of you who are mature) shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?” Are you going to cause him to stumble? Now verse 12:

I Corinthians 8:12

“But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.”

Paul says, “you don’t have to worry about the believer who is grounded in the faith, and is mature, but consider the poor fellow who is still weak.” And that’s what we all need to take into consideration. Watch out for that weak brother, because The Lord knows where that weak person is. He also understands where the mature person is, and He knows they have the wherewithal for all to make it a level playing field. Now verse 13.

I Corinthians 8:13

“Wherefore, if meat (offered to idols) make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.”

And that’s basically what Paul said back in Romans. If something that you feel you’re mature enough in, and it’s not going to hurt you, but it will bother the weak believer, then for his sake don’t do it. That’s a lesson that we can apply in so many areas of life today. I can probably do things that so far as The Lord and I are concerned, are perfectly legitimate. I have that liberty under Grace, but maybe there’s somebody just down the road who would see me do that, and would take tremendous offense at my actions. It could be a believer or an unbeliever, and if they think what we’re doing is wrong, then for their sake we just stop doing it.

I’ve made the statement over the years in my classes, “Do you realize that the unbelieving world is far more critical and judgmental of you and I as believers than God is?” Just think about that. Remember God has given us the guidelines in His Word, and we know that we have this amount of liberty that we are determined to do or not to do, as the Holy Spirit gives us guidance, and not by what our neighbors think. But we still have to take into consideration what is our neighbor’s attitude lest we cause him never to become a believer. As we start Chapter 9 we see the Apostle Paul again having to defend his apostleship.

I Corinthians 9:1,2

“Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord? If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you;…”

How could Paul say that? Because he had seen them saved out of abject idolatry only because of his ministry. So he says, “you’re the proof of the pudding, and if I were not an Apostle then you would still be in your paganism.” I’ve had people say to me, “Well who do you think you are? You’re just a layman with no theological education, what business do you have standing up there teaching The Word?” And you know I probably would have questioned that myself years back, but do you know what I’ve got as proof of the pudding? Umpteen people who have been saved out of an especially sinful background. That’s my proof that The Lord has honored what we’re doing, by seeing so many people come out of darkness, and into the light of The Gospel. And that is what Paul is saying, “Hey, my apostleship is proven by you yourself, because I have led you out of dark idolatry.” Now verse 3:

I Corinthians 9:3-6

“Mine answer to them that do examine me is this, `Have we not power to eat and to drink? Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? (Peter) Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?'”

What was the big complaint against Paul? Well, from especially the Jewish community, that he wasn’t one of the Twelve. They would say, “You didn’t walk with Jesus three years like Peter did. You never had that experience of being with him day and night for three years, you’ve never even seen Him. “But what could Paul say, “O yes I did. I saw the resurrected Lord,” and he’s going to point this out more clearly in a coming verse. But Paul was always being accused of not being what he claimed he was, because he did not have that three years of experience that the Twelve had. Well that is logical. But here he comes back, and says, “You are my proof of apostleship,” It wasn’t just Peter and the eleven that The Lord used. Besides Paul, He used Barnabas, but later on He will also use Silas, Timothy, Titus, and others. Now verse 7 – he’s still dealing with his apostleship.

I Corinthians 9:7

“Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?”

What is Paul going to start driving at? He’s going to start showing from the Scriptures, the Old Testament as well as the New Testament, that a servant of God whether he be a pastor or teacher or an evangelist, is worthy of his labor. He’s saying in verse 7 that when a nation calls a man into the armed forces, is he expected to buy his own necessities, and pay his own wages? Of course not. Who pays it? The government. Or he says, “If someone plants a vineyard, and puts all the work into getting that vineyard to produce, is he supposed to turn around and say, `but I don’t want to profit from it?'” No. But what does a vineyard owner deserve? A return for his labor and capital. Now Paul takes it one step further. Are you going to feed a flock of sheep or goats, and not even partake of the milk they produce? Paul is trying to show that as an Apostle he deserves a certain compensation for his time, and expenses, but did Paul ever take that compensation? No he never took it, and it was for the simple reason that he didn’t want anyone to ever point a finger at him and say, “Paul you’re just doing this for the money.”

Back when Paul was still in Judaism that was a factor as we will see in the Book of Galatians Chapter 1. And this was another reason that he was so adamant against taking any kind of pay or compensation for his work as an Apostle. Just because he had seen in his earlier life how it could corrupt him. And I guess my biggest fear, even in a ministry such as his, is taking money out. I think this was what was driving the Apostle Paul. Now verse 11:

Galatians 1:11,12

“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” In other words when he saw Christ face to face, and The Lord revealed these doctrines of Grace to this Apostle. Now verse 13:

Galatians 1:13,14a

“For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion (as a Pharisee, as a member of the Sanhedrin), how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: And profited (now there’s only one way that you profit, and how is that? Monetarily.) in the Jews’ religion above many my equals…”

I’ve shared with my classes at least here in Oklahoma, when we go to Jerusalem we’ll see the archaeological dig of the ancient house of Caiaphas the high priest, and it was sumptuous. Those people capitalized on their religious position and Paul did also while a member of that religion, and he says he did. And I think now that being a preacher in the Age of Grace Paul is going to do just the opposite. He is not going to let anyone accuse him of getting rich by his ministry. Oh listen we’re seeing so much of that today. I remember when I was just a kid getting out of High School, and one of my best friends said, “I think I’ll just go into the ministry, because it’s pretty easy money.” Well he certainly wasn’t looking at it from a believer’s standpoint. But this is what Paul is talking about in I Corinthians 9:7.