((( Missionary Alert )))
are brief sermons to be
taken for what they are worth.
''... the ends of the world are come.'
You can also download this study as a pdf file.
Volume 1, Study 11
1Corinthians 10, Luke 10:17-24, Romans 5:1,10
‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth... let not your heart be troubled...' (John 14:27 and 16:33)
My brief Bible Studies on this website are meant to be just that: brief Bible Studies as the Lord infers to me to share some of my personal times in scripture. My personal times usually and often are when I just open my Bible at random and begin reading and then somewhere in the page(s) I find myself in a study of some verses or of a passage. It is only when I sense that I should share them do they become fixed on this website and I try to make them brief and to the point…which point is not sermonizing, but simply going verse by verse and making short comments hopefully to shed some little light on a verse or several verses. I am doing this, I feel, as the Lord has implied that I do it.
In other words, each study is presented so that the reader of it will have his own time with the Lord and scripture and little of me. This is meant to encourage the reader in a particular passage, but more so it is meant to encourage the reader to get into a similar habit as presented in these studies for himself. On the Ministry Links page can be found the e-Sword link, which is the software I use on a regular basis for much of my work. But it is a great tool for personal study. With it I primarily use the King James Version (with and without Strong’s numbers), yet e-Sword has many translations, Bible dictionaries, concordances, and other study tools. And it contains a note system for a user’s studies.
However, in this particular study I suspect that I will be sermonizing. I sit here writing on the morning of October 21, 2008. A new President of the United States will soon be decided. The industrial counties of the world are in turmoil economically due to financial shenanigans coming home to roost. America’s first glimpse of it came suddenly and painfully and it seemed to be America’s sin; in that we did not realize that our shenanigans, worked undercover here for twenty years or so, had also been copied and worked abroad for nearly as long.
In the last few weeks I have been asked, “Do the things happening politically have Biblical consequences?” With the financial morass bursting onto the scene with just enough light for common folk to see a little of it, I have been asked, “Do the things happening in the world have even more Biblical consequences?” Such questions were framed in more detail than I care to mention here and if I would give any answers here they would be mere speculation and inconsequential. Life goes on regardless and, for Barbara and me, we walk by faith as best we can with the Lord’s help and we spend little time in such contemplations; for if the Lord wanted us to know something then He would indicate as much. If Jesus did not know the kind of things so many Christians want to know then why should we strive regarding such things? In turbulent times for his disciples, Jesus said to them in John 14:27 and 16:33 ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’
Besides continually working on this website and beginning what may become another book and doing these studies, etc., my days are busy also in this season of the year in other ways: I have finished digging potatoes which are in onion sacks (saved for me at our local supermarket…only one food store in town) and the carrots will be dug as soon as the ground dries from the rainy days yesterday and today. Spinach and other greens have been dried and put in sealed jars to sprinkle on salads and stews. Zucchini has been harvested and some of it frozen and stored in our 21 cu inch freezer situated in our root cellar (it was not a good year for zucchini).
We cannot grow tomatoes or corn or winter squash and the like because our summer nights are too cool and the season too short. We used to can elk meat and string beans (when we had a good bean year which we have not had in quite a while), but Barbara has not been in the canning mood for some years so all of it goes into the freezer except when I get the idea to jerky some of the meat, which I did year before last. Last year we were given half an elk and a deer (this is my eighth year not to hunt here in Wyoming…but did so for 24 years) and in cutting it up (I do all of that myself) I put all of the meat for grinding in the freezer to take out when I have time to grind it. Since we had some ground meat left over from the year before I just did not get around to doing that particular chore.
Well, two weeks ago we were given a front quarter of a five point bull elk (in any other state but Wyoming it would be referred to as a 10 pointer). I skinned it, cut it up, and put packages of roasts and steaks along with the meat for grinding in the freezer…and could hardly get it all in. So, day before yesterday I began cleaning out the freezer (it was raining and I took a day off from the computer) and put all of the meat that I had not ground earlier in the bathtub with a small electric heater focused on it for thawing. Then yesterday morning I began the process of grinding. Most of the meat was elk and some was deer and I like to put some of the fat from a slaughtered goat in with it. Barbara and I wrapped hamburger and then weighed it before taking it to the root cellar to put it in the freezer. The hamburger weighed fifty-two pounds. Another thirty pounds of hamburger still sits in the refrigerator waiting until I am through with this study for me to make it into sausage…which we will put in smaller packages and place them in the freezer.
Then last evening I took over twenty-five to thirty packages of roasts and steaks left over from last year to some Assembly of God friends who work part time at the local Forest Service district headquarters. Several years ago they decided to move here permanently and now they are in the last stages of building a house, which they call a small cabin. It is a nice little two bedroom house and they are sleeping in the living room (with the wood stove installed now and roaring happily when I visited) while they continue working at the Forest Service and working on finishing the house. They are doing quite a good job of it. Lloyd plays the guitar in a “blue grass” style and Winnie leads the song and praise service at the Assembly of God church.
I still have to till the garden when it is finally finished (if it does not freeze up before I get to it) so that it will look neat to the neighbors passing over the bridge to their homes on their cul-de-sac road. Already I have installed our storm windows and I built a fire in our wood stove nearly a week ago. Once the fire is going usually it never goes out unless we leave home for several days or more. Surely there are other jobs yet lurking around needing my attention before winter takes full control, but I cannot think of them right now.
Dear reader, you may be asking, “Why the description of your little duties in your little place on your little river in your little town?” Perhaps you will understand as we go along.
I begin well into the chapter to prepare our study for the circumstance of the people to whom Paul is writing. What was happening in Corinth was happening also (in some stage of process) in other churches in Paul’s circuit of ministry. These happenings were a great concern as well to all the apostles in their ministries. We must understand that there was a Fundamental Mindset that motivated all of the churches, both Gentile (where Paul ministered) and Israelite (where Peter and other apostles ministered). Here is that Mindset -
1Corinthians 10:11-12) Now all these things happened unto them [of the Olden Scriptures] for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth [i.e. firm with little need] take heed lest he fall.
The Christians of that day truly believed they were in the last stage of the Olden Scriptures…when ‘the ends of the world are come’. In truth, they were very near the time of the Great Tribulation and the coming of the Antichrist. Their Bibles and the apostles left these Christians with no doubt.
Moreover, these Christians knew from their Bibles and from the apostles that before the time of the end arrived there would be a delay - ‘the time of the Gentiles’ - wherein would be worked out the bringing in of many unto the Lord. And so in the day of these Christians, the Church (the ‘Assembly’) was being spread around the known world (a world known to them only as much as the Roman empire was making it known).
As the ‘time of the Gentiles’ was being worked out, the churches already established were feeling…well, established. God’s people can only wait so long for the end times before present things of the immediate world force themselves to the front of our consciousness. Trying to focus on the coming of the end and being prepared for it, while at the same time having to deal with the world that considers Christians strange and threatening to other religions (like present day Humanism in Europe and America and the other Isms of the world) brought difficulties into the very homes of the early Christians. Some were worried and fretful. Others were stiffening their resolve and trying to take control of their lives as best they could.
All of them were into ‘spreading the word’ even while trying to figure out just what was the best way to do it. They would approach non-believers perhaps somewhat fearfully, not knowing if any particular non-believer was sociable or anti-sociable. Persecutions were going on among more than a few churches in separate regions of the Roman empire. Some regions were experiencing famine and churches which had enough provision were sending aid to churches in need. Believers who ‘thinketh he standeth [i.e. firm with little need]’ were of particular concern to Paul. Their lack of physical need deceived them into thinking of themselves (in considering that many other Christians were suffering) that God was especially looking out for them. Such deception opens Christians to trouble in the spiritual realm. Such was the case in Corinth.
13) 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.
The Greek word ‘tempt’ has more to do with ‘trials’ than with our common concept of ‘temptation’. Paul knew that the Corinthians were undergoing difficult trials, not the least of which were ‘temptations’ to become judgmental of the brethren who differed in any manner, whether it be hardships or differing concepts of doctrine, or how to go about spreading the gospel, or even how to live the Christian life.
14) Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
In this case, ‘idolatry’ had to do with how some were working the Lord’s Supper and that they wanted the rest of the church (i.e. meeting in homes scattered throughout the city of Corinth) to do the same. This supper was being treated as a time of joy during very difficult times; as such there was the ‘temptation’, because of their ‘trials’, that the true meaning of the event be overshadowed by momentary joyful relief and fellowship.
15-17) 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.
18) Behold Israel after the flesh [as the priests work the Law]: are not they [the priests] which eat of the sacrifices [also] partakers of the altar?
Paul is appealing to the scriptures regarding how God’s people Israel were to work at the Law. This, Paul implies, teaches an eternal truth regarding holy things. It also teaches about ‘common’ things not holy.
19-21) What say I then? that the idol is any thing [special or particularly unholy or evil], or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing [special or particularly unholy or evil]? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not [want] that ye should have fellowship with devils. [For] 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.
In the arguments about this supper (within which the Lord’s Supper was separately being observed) were varying concepts of the people about sacrificial meats available at cheaper costs in the marketplaces, which monies paid for them went to the temples where the sacrifices were performed. Since these Christians were undergoing varying difficulties, many of them took advantage of buying the cheaper priced meats…which probably were brought into the church suppers…including this supper in question. Paul is making known what he considers very real problems brought up by their arguments against each other…to which he is going to provide very real answers that go beyond their petty concerns and arguments.
22) Do we [i.e. apostles like Paul] provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we [apostles] stronger than he?
In his chastising of these Christians, Paul implies that their way of having the Lord’s Supper provokes the Lord to jealousy (a phrase often used in the olden scriptures about God’s attitude to wayward Israelites). And since more than a few of the Corinthian church dislike Paul and they will accuse him of “provoking the Lord” as he too often interferes in church affairs, Paul anticipates their charge against him; and he includes with him the other apostles when he says ‘we’. The answer implied in such a question is “No.”
23-26) 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 [benefit, desires, etc.], but every man [seek] another's wealth [and wellbeing as Paul consistently does]. Whatsoever is sold in the shambles [i.e. marketplace booths], that eat, asking no question for conscience sake: For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof.
27-30) If any of them that believe not [the way you believe and] bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake. But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for [his] 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? For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?
31) Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do [of like things], do all to the glory of God [who provides to His own in very difficult times when the gods do not provide in the same manner to their worshippers].
This verse in itself is very often misused to mean “anything you chose to do, do it to God’s glory” as if anything you or I chose to do could every time be made to glorify Almighty God. Remember that Paul is speaking of the arguments among Christians about this or that “spiritual” thing, and that he is pointing out, in their time of need, how God is blessing them with enough provision to get by, and that they should partake of such God-provided-provisions in a sober and truly thankful manner that pleases God and brings glory to Him in a world that has no use for a God who blesses His own while their gods cannot.
32-33) Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God [which contains Jew and Gentile]: Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
Even as Paul functions in the spirit of this verse, many believers and non-believers find fault in him, and Satan was trying to kill him as often as he could. All of the verse and all of what I have just stated amounts to doing ‘it to God’s glory’. This is what Paul means in verse 31.
We see the Mind Set of most of the churches to which Paul felt responsible in his ministry. There was a confusion of minor doctrines that too often brought God’s people into a condition that ‘provokes the Lord to jealously’. Sometimes such misguided minor doctrines combined under a popular person who was developing a following of Christians seeking a sure shepherd. This, too, required Paul and other apostles to attack men in their teachings who seemed to be conscientious leaders. Thus, God’s sheep took up sides. Such a spirit is alive and well today, and so is the spirit of fear that has been creeping into the Church in America. We have been attacked over many years by the enemy and we have been losing ground everywhere: in the courts, in the federal and state and local governments, in the schools and universities…everywhere. It has been like a rising tide.
Now we have politics promising to ratchet up this tide. Election day is only twelve days away as I sit writing this. The economic situation in America and world-wide continues in morass. Are the great many Christians ready if things turn much worse? Are the many Christians who are now loosing their jobs and/or homes ready? Are the many young people needing jobs or tuition for college ready? Is our society ready if governmental socialism comes in like a flood offering to help where fearing and doubting people await with open arms for the governments to become our gods? How about the fearing and doubting Christians who for so long “have done everything that they do to the glory of God” in their churches? How many of them have bills to pay (which they had considered within God’s will for them), but now have no way to pay them…or put gas in the car…or…?
How faithful is God? How faithful has He been while most of us have been presumptive about His Will…as we have run up debts for the style of living which we had convinced ourselves that He wanted for us? Surely He was faithful all that time. Surely He is still faithful. Will He provide for all of His people? I leave the questions and answers to the reader and I focus upon God and His Word as I go through this study. I sincerely hope that the reader will come with me.
The apostles and the early Christians had no idea of how long ‘the time of the Gentiles’ would be. Neither do we. In any age when difficulties were even though to have come upon the people, Christians have suspected that the ‘time of the end’ was fast approaching.
Paul would laugh at us and say, “When your world becomes as bad as the Roman empire in its last days then I will sympathize with you…and it sure looks like your world will reach its worst much quicker that did Rome. Even so, God is the same yesterday and always, and how He handles His people in any age is right there in your Bible. Pay attention to the things I wrote and you will have more than a clue. You do realize, don’t you, that God who judged Israel also judged Rome and found ‘Rome wanting’. Do you think America would be ‘wanting’ if God decided to require her to answer for her doings?”
Perhaps Paul would tell us to look more to America’s future (perhaps eminent) fall and the associated problems to all of her people (but especially to Christians) than to the Bible’s ‘time of the end’. If both are soon coming then probably the former will come before the latter.
1Corinthians 10:1-4) 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.
5-7) But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness [by Him]. 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.
Paul is going to end up chastising these Christians regarding their suppers and especially the Lord’s Supper as we saw above. The time of the escaped Israelites form Egypt was very difficult for the great majority of them, even as it was in Paul’s day with the early Christians. “What is wrong with a little break and forgetting the difficulties for a while as we have a little party, even celebrating what God has done for us?” Well, we Christians in America have had none of the problems of the Israelites or the early Christians. Compared to them we have been living it up even while many Christians of our day have been persecuted and hunted down and killed. Have American Christians been having a very long party?
8) Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
This occurred after Israel had conquered the Amalekites and were near crossing over the Jordan River to conquer the Canaanites. All the story of the Exodus Epoch is in God’s Rock. This final sin and God’s chastisement of it was God’s final weeding out of His people Israel before the remnant entered and conquered Canaan. Is there always a weeding out? Is there always a remnant?
9) Neither let us tempt [i.e. test] Christ [in the things we do], as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
This occurred in the early and extremely tough going as Israel was going around Edom on their way to the land east of the Jordan River where a remnant defeated the Amorites. This also is in God’s Rock. This particular incident occurred because many of God’s people were simply fed up with continually having to eat Manna each day because it was the only provision that God was giving them in very tough times. Paul is reminding these Christians that God’s people had gone through much tougher times; that they had rebelled enough at God to outwardly protest; and that God had not taken it kindly but had stricken them with snakes in the encampment.
Paul also mentions ‘Christ’ because God had Moses raise up a brazen serpent upon a pole as the token of salvation. Each person snake bit who ran to look up at the brazen serpent on the pole was saved. It was an incident to which God would remind His people Israel as they viewed Christ Jesus upon the cross. Elsewhere in his writings Paul makes the association very clear.
10) Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
This also is in God’s Rock and I will leave it to the reader to find it in that book. All teachings of God in scripture are built upon the inspired writings of Moses.
Let us take seriously Paul’s warning to the Corinthians who felt very established in their home churches even as they were undergoing many and varied troubles, even persecutions. Their problems with God are our problems with God. Now let us look at Jesus’ disciples as they return from a very good, blessed, and trouble free missionary excursion -
Luke 10:17) And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.
18) And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
Satan is proclaimed defeated because of Christ Jesus fulfilling his role in God’s Plan of the Ages. Satan is now confined to this planet and its atmosphere, which means that his fight to take over the kingdom of heaven is over, but his fight continues to usurp Christ Jesus’ kingdom that shall be set up on earth.
19) Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
This passage also is much misused. It is not about going out to defeat Satan or demons, etc. Since Satan is now confined to Planet Earth, he is out to usurp and destroy those who are called unto ‘the testimony of Jesus’ (Revelation 19:10). Jesus has given his apostles power that even the dark things of earth will not harm them…and neither can ‘the power of the enemy…hurt you’. It is not an order to attack.
In taking one’s stand where God has placed him, in allowing God to motivate him into a ‘walk of faith’, in becoming valuable in the cause of Christ and in ‘the testimony of Jesus’, such a one is left standing among the remnant. Such a one need not fear Satan who cannot hurt him. War is the theme, but it is God against Satan and not you or I against Satan. The New Testament has many such passages from Matthew unto Revelation. Satan is beaten. Let us not become beaten in trying to beat Satan.
20) Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
This must have been viewed by the returning victorious disciples as a reproof from Jesus. Yet, it was and is the ultimate complement…for one to have his name written in heaven as those ‘that have the testimony of Jesus’.
21-22) In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.
23) And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
John 20:29) Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
Let us focus on God’s words and not upon anything that we consider an enemy or something that might hurt us like loss of a job or the fear of loosing a job or a home. It is true, if you are one who has not been allowing God to get him ready for what may be coming, then you will suffer. However, ‘let it be to the glory of God’ as He gets your attention now. Many of those who were included in a remnant experienced much testing. If your testing is starting now or in the near future then ‘let it be to the glory of God’. I hope in our Lord that this has been of some encouragement, enough for you to get alone with your Lord and Master and in your Bible to seek Him who is ‘a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.’ (Hebrews 11:6)
Romans 5:1) Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
However, concerning ‘justified’ Paul also writes -
5:9) Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
That is, the child of God is ‘justified’ by Christ Jesus’ ‘blood’ and the child has entered ‘justification’ through means of the ‘faith’ of heaven which God placed in us so that we could believe (i.e. faith’s action).
‘…we shall be saved from wrath through him’ obviously does not mean “saved from our sins” as so often the word “saved” is interpreted.
This study has been about the times in which we live that are becoming scarier regarding our freedoms, our livelihoods, our lifestyles, etc.
And above I commented about a remnant…for I am concerned about the majority of Christian brethren who, it seems to me, are unprepared to walk through difficulties unless their walk changes from working for God for Him to help them with the desires of their hearts unto the simple walk of faith which is ever humble, humble, humble…which means that we should be seeking that God glorify Himself in our times far more than we should be seeking His help (i.e. first things first).
To put it another way: If we be walking in faith, justified by his blood, then we shall be saved from wrath (both God’s wrath and man’s wrath against us) through him. The Father is the saving One and the Prince is the Father’s personal Warrior who stands in the midst of such salvation.
5:10) For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
What is ‘saved by his life’? It is not some abstract notion that because Jesus was resurrected from the grave and is alive that we are saved and God forever protects us, etc. Hardly.
Jesus’ ‘life’ is lively…alive! I will say it again, “He is the Father’s Warrior who stands in the midst of saving salvation.”
5:5) And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Why does Paul in this wonderful passage write ‘hope maketh not ashamed’? Why should we even think about being ashamed?
5:6,8,10) For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly [i.e. you and me]. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners [i.e. you and me], Christ died for us. For if, when we were enemies [i.e. you and me], we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
I am no longer ‘ungodly’, but neither am I ‘godly’ compared to many of the saints of scripture. I do not know about you. I am yet a ‘sinner’ saved by ‘grace’, as expressed in this passage by ‘faith’ and ‘the blood’. Ah, but you and I are no longer ‘enemies’.
5:11) And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
So, dear reader, why did I give a description of my little duties in our little place on our little river in our little town? I had said, “Perhaps you will understand as we go along.” It is because we have found ourselves in Rest (the rest described in Hebrews 4). We Rest in all of the above because we seek that God glorify Himself in these times far more than we seek anything else from Him. We ‘walk in faith’ with His ever present help, trying to be pleasing to Him. As for anything else...we talk to Him about some things, but leave it with Him… ‘thy will be done’. This, then, is our ‘hope’: 5:5) And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Moreover, our hope is that you have been encouraged in this study (more by God’s Word than by my words) regarding the faith of heaven in you. God’s Hook is all about the faith of heaven - Biblical faith.
Sincerely, C. Ronald JohnsonYou can also download this study as a pdf file.
- C. Ronald Johnson at Christian Wilderness Press -
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