April 12, 2012 summary: In I Corinthians 10, Paul writes to the Messianic believers on conditions given for buying meat from the wet-market where meat sacrificed to idols are sold; and a hypothetical situation of eating at an unbeliever’s home where the possibility exists for the serving of meat offered to idols.

Shalom, shalom; peace, peace in the name of Yeshua. This is Crystal Sharpe and welcome to the Ancient Scrolls program.

I do have a website called one word, ancientscrollsonline.com. I post articles, sources, dreams and prophetic words: ancientscrollsonline.com.

We will do a brief review of last week’s program Last week I had covered I Corinthians chapter 8, and some of chapter 10 on Paul’s letter to the believers in Corinth. There were some believers who were taking liberties to attend the dining halls where obviously meat sacrificed to idols were served. Their logic to get around the edict (this edict was given by the Jerusalem council in Acts 15) of not eating food sacrificed to idols was there was only one God over everything, found in chapter 8:4-6, so it didn’t matter how many Gentile gods that were fabricated they believed in one source over all, I will read it: So, as for eating foods sacrificed to idols, we know that as you (meaning you Corinthians) say: “an idol has no real existence in the world, and there is only one God. The Complete Jewish Study Bible

For even if there are so-called “gods”, either in heaven or on earth—as in fact there are gods and lords galore—yet for us there is one God (this is in reference to the Shema: for us there is one God), the Father, from whom all things come and for whom we exist; and one Lord, Yeshua the Messiah, through whom were created all things and through whom we have our being. This is an expression of 3 in one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And you can hear it: The Lord God, the Lord is One.

His audience spoke the Shema every day, they all agree there is one source, and the gods of the pagans are man-made, but it does not clear them of their behavior in view that participating in meat sacrificed to idols in such public places also included them to be at the table of demons. This has spiritual consequences.

In the ancient Middle East, not just Israel, if the nations at that time made a covenant or agreement, they would seal this covenant by slaughtering an animal and then by eating it together; sometimes it was just by eating food together—this would seal the covenant. Paul understood that there are spiritual consequences attached to eating food sacrificed to animals, it is more than eating food—it’s a covenant.63

Paul agrees with their logic to a point. But then it is like he cross examines their position, and he does it in a diplomatic manner. He reasons with them, and wants them to get the understanding, are their actions being performed by them, are they at all beneficial to others in the faith community. Paul is drawing them to make a righteous conclusion, not just a conclusion, but a righteous conclusion to the whole matter. He is helping them to arrive at the correct choice on this issue. I see this, but then in a few more verses he becomes quite blunt with them.

In chapter 10, he gives examples of those in the wilderness, not just the Israelites (but the mixed multitude that came out of Egypt with them), that with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. He warns them that they should not be like their ancestors and lust after evil things. The Israelites died because of idolatry, sexual immorality, Balaam and Balak and the Golden calf incident, they tempted God and were destroyed by serpents, and some were destroyed by the destroyer.

He issues a warning concerning their corporate formula of liberty: Therefore, let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. His advice is the only advice that truly works well, flee all forms of it.

Shema

Shema O Israel, the LORD God, the LORD is One

Psalm 24

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; the world and those who dwell therein.

Father YHVH,

You are the King of the Universe, King over heaven and earth. Cleanse us from unrighteousness so our prayers will be effective during this time. We pray Your spirit of repentance will saturate this nation, the nations and Israel. Lord, save us and we will be saved, deliver us and we will be delivered. We have offended You with our sins, transgressions, iniquities and abominations. We have corrupted the earth and defiled the land with murder and sexual perversions. There are people in this nation who have made it their agenda to make war with You, they have insulted You, thrown You out of schools, and government buildings. A nation prospers with You as their God, and without You it diminishes among the nations. It would benefit this nation to turn to You. We pray You will make hearts sensitive in this time. In Yeshua’s name. Amen

Okay let us finish out I Corinthians 10:23-33

Paul begins this text with quoting their slogan the liberal Corinthians had been saying amongst themselves: “Everything is permitted”, you say? Maybe, but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permitted?” Maybe, but not everything is edifying.

24. No one should be looking out for his own interests, but for those of his fellow.

25. Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience,

26. for the earth and everything in it belong to the Lord.

27. If some unbeliever invites you to a meal, and you want to go, eat whatever is put in front of you without raising questions of conscience. But if someone says to you, “This meat was sacrificed,” then don’t eat it, out of consideration for the person who pointed it out and also for conscience’s sake—however, I don’t mean your conscience but that of the other person. You say, “Why should my freedom be determined by someone else’s conscience?” If I participate with thankfulness, why am I criticized over something for which I myself bless God?”

31. Well, whatever you do, whether it’s eating or drinking or anything else, do it all so as to bring glory to God.

32. Do not be an obstacle to anyone—not to Jews, not Gentiles, and not to God’s Messianic Community. Just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not looking out for my own interests but for those of the many, so that they may be saved.

We will break this down:

23. “Everything is permitted”, you say? Maybe, but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permitted?” Maybe, but not everything is edifying.

Paul brings this up from where he first addressed it in chapter 6. He is concerned with the abuses present among those who think they are permitted to do anything. This would be problematic in light of the imperative of edifying other believers.

Edifying could be interpreted to mean when one increases in holiness, in righteousness and justice. He loves God more than he loves himself, more than he loves going to the temples of idols, where there is a diminishing quality of life spiritually and morally. Edify is to be built up, to strengthen in the faith. To encourage for spiritual improvement.

24. No one should be looking out for his own interests, but for those of his fellow.

This is a more kingdom minded principle of Yeshua. The community of believers practicing the spiritual kingdom, the Biblical requirement to love your neighbor, not wishing to harm the neighbor in any way. In the spiritual kingdom the Word, the instructions of God are applied, they are active. In the kingdom of heaven everyone matters, no one has special privileges or rights. Everyone respects others in the Lord. Love is humble and does not seek to one’s own advantage but rather that of others.

Paul clarifies the characteristics of love in I Corinthians 13, and these are the attributes of God’s nature. Paul is driving home, persuading the Messianic synagogue to mimic the behavior of God.

I may speak in the tongues of men, even angels; but if I lack love, I have become merely blaring brass or a cymbal clanging (it is noise). I may have the gift of prophecy, I may fathom all mysteries, know all things, have all faith—enough to move mountains; but if I lack love, I am nothing. I may give everything that I own, I may even hand over my body to be burned (martyrdom); but if I lack love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind (fruit of the spirit, God’s nature), not jealous not boastful, not proud, rude or selfish, not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not gloat over other people’s sins, but takes its delight in the truth. Love always bears up, always trusts, always hopes, always endures.

Love seeks to do good; it pursues after goodness.

If you want to glory in anything, glory in love, not selfish rights or privileges.

25. Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, 26. for the earth and everything in it belong to the Lord.

Paul did not approve of those who thought it permissible to attend the idol temple dining halls and it was certain the meat eaten there had been sacrificed to an idol. But the matter of eating meat from the wet market, it is a different situation. At different periods, the Romans, or Greeks would sell meat having not been offered to an idol specifically for the Jews. It depended on the tolerance level of an emperor in authority at that time. He would issue an edict that would permit provinces and cities to accommodate the Jews in this manner. In this particular verse, it is difficult to know for certain if at this time the market is sensitive to the needs of the Jews. I would think not since Paul went ahead and encouraged them to not ask questions concerning if it had been sacrificed to an idol, just buy and eat it. It would be better than starving. The condition is that once an inquiry is made concerning it being offered to idols, this food would be unacceptable.

Then he goes to a hypothetical case where a believer is invited to dinner by an unbeliever.

27. If some unbeliever invites you to a meal, and you want to go, eat whatever is put in front of you without raising questions of conscience. But if someone says to you, “This meat was sacrificed,” then don’t eat it, out of consideration for the person who pointed it out and also for conscience’s sake—however, I don’t mean your conscience but that of the other person.

Even if meat did come from a sacrificed animal in this home environment, they are not eating it as part of an idolatrous feast or in company where they risk becoming partners with demons. But once it is known it had been offered, then guest is to decline eating it.

You say, “Why should my freedom be determined by someone else’s conscience?” If I participate with thankfulness, why am I criticized over something for which I myself bless God?” His response is:

31. Well, whatever you do, whether it’s eating or drinking or anything else, do it all so as to bring glory to God.

Glory in Greek is doxa and Hebrew kabod as that which makes something impressive, weighty or radiant with splendor. Our motives should be to honor God.

32. Do not be an obstacle to anyone—not to Jews, not Gentiles, and not to God’s Messianic Community. Just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not looking out for my own interests but for those of the many, so that they may be saved.

Paul’s criterion for all his actions was not what he liked best, but what was best for those around him. He was considerate of Jews and Greeks, treating both with dignity knowing the Lord loved all His creation with an everlasting love.

Paul’s statement is a good standard. If we make the good of others one of our primary goals, we will develop a serving attitude that pleases God and this brings him glory—to love God and love our neighbor would be applied or put into action.

Anyway, that is all I have. I am at the end of the program.

If it is God’s will, I will be here next program. Remember to walk by faith, not by sight. Ask God to cleanse you of all unrighteousness every day. Keep your spiritual garments clean from spot, wrinkle and blemish. Do two things this week: love and forgive. Love God and love your neighbor. Ricco Cortes will sing the Aaronic priestly blessing.