Caution to students of God's Word - Please remember two things when using our studies: #1. Our commentary is not God's Word. It is only our interpretation or understanding of "His Word" and even though we try our best to be accurate we may or may not be correct. #2. The King James translation, or any other translation, of the original Hebrew text has some words which were given different translations at different places probably because of the interpreters preconceived ideas of what they think God meant to say. For example: According to the notes in the "Dake's Annotated Reference Bible" the Hebrew word hayah in the KJV is Trans. (became) 67 times, (becamest or came to pass) 505 times, (become) 66 times, and (come to pass) 131 times, but for some reason in Genesis 1:2 it is translated (was)! That sure changes the way a person perceives the original creation of the earth, doesn't it? Gen. 1:2 And the earth was (became) without form, ... Having said that, let us continue with our "Key Knowledge" lessons. These are pamphlets containing knowledge, we believe, you must have to fully and accurately unlock and understand the Word of God.
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
This Bible Study was originally written by Roger
published at http://www.theseason.org/
Without the leading by the Holy Spirit, there is no understanding of the truths, for all the truth of the Scriptures are revealed to us by God's Spirit.
Now here is our revised study of:1 Corinthians
"The Wisdom of God, in our Private
"Denominations and Divisions."
Even today we have those that claim to be of Luther, or Calvin, and some claim to be with John or Charles Westley and say they are Methodist, while others claim to be a democracy in their worship. Some identify with Baptism, while others with speaking in tongues, which they have no understanding of; and still others call themselves Unified, Federated, or Reformed. What the name does is single their mind to a small part of God's Word and excludes the rest. The bottom line to all this, is that they have all closed their minds to what Paul is telling us here, and they simply like to pick and chose the selected verses that tickle their fancy.
Each time you have a new group with a new idea you have a new denomination breaking away from its body, and focusing on some other point of the Scripture that they have determined to be more that the others. If you want to understand this third chapter, you cannot let these fractions be your rule of the thumb. You simply cannot understand the entire Word of God if you allow divisions, which is strife enter into any part of studying God's Word. There is only One Word, and that is God's Word, written by the hand of His prophets in the manuscripts, and those words are what is important.
True Christianity frees you from denominationalism. True Christianity which is the studying of God's entire Word delivers you and sets you free from denominationalism. It is that simple.
I Corinthians 3:1 "And I brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ."
Paul has just finished telling us that once we are grounded in the Word of God, the things of this world seem so foolish in the way we think and do. However, at the same time, those that are of this earth age world have no idea of what you are saying when you speak of our Father's Spiritual plan, and how it works. When you speak of the three world ages, the overthrow and rebellion by Satan, their minds are blank to those thoughts. There is simply no discernment in their minds. What Paul is saying here is that when they had split up into their little groups, they had lost their spiritual discernment to understand all of God's Word. They had fallen back into what they used to be, babes in Christ.
Paul is telling them that this is why he now has to talk to them in the most basic form possible for they have no discernment. They just would not understand what he is saying if he spoke to them with any spiritual depth. They are now on the level of the carnal mind, which is to say in the flesh, and they could not see the spiritual. Spiritual things can only be discerned by those that think spiritually.
I Corinthians 3:2 "I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able."
Just as I fed you with milk when I was there with you in person, I still have to feed you with the milk of the Word. Why is this? Because of your denominations you still can't think in the spirit. The church of Corinth is too involved with their divisions and the clicks that they have built, that their minds are not able to discern what Paul would like to tell them. Paul tells them, you could not understand it when I first established you as a church, and you are no farther along they when you started.
Can you see what Paul is trying to point out to us here? When you get to deep in dominationalism, then you are so focused on the things of the Word that make you different from the others, that you miss the entire spiritual plan of God. You throw out most of the Word for the sake of defending your position. You are wandering through the forest bumping into the trees, and you don't even know that the things you are bumping into are trees.
This is why we are to study God's Word chapter by chapter and verse by verse, and include the entire Word of God. In denominationalism there is a focus on salvation and baptism, over and over to the same people, and they never get beyond the spiritual milk bottle. Sucking on the spiritual bottle and the changing of spiritual diapers is the depth of their sermons. The milk of the Word is beautiful, but for growth a Christian needs the meat of the Word to give them strength in their understand. It is in the meat of the Word that gives us our spiritual armor, that will protect us and enable us to stand in these final days.
Changing of spiritual dippers should not have to wait for a Sunday service, but should take place daily, when the sins take place. That is what our faith in Jesus Christ and the freedom that we have in Him is all about. When we sin, we should confess our sins to Father in Jesus name, and God will then blot them out from His memory and forget them. You don't drag those dirty dippers of sin into the church so that the whole congregation gets a whiff of the filth, but you dispose of them, and forget them. Once those dippers are in the trash which is what you do when you confess and repent of them, its gone and over, blotted out from God's memory and your memory. Don't bring them up again.
I Corinthians 3:3 "For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envy, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?"
In your denominations, which this chapter is all about, you are in the flesh and you think in the flesh. Stop and think for a moment of all the strife that goes on in a church that focuses on division. The back-biting that goes on, and the clicks that are formed prevent the entire body from helping one another grow spiritually. The mind of this congregation is carnal, the talk and the walk is focused on the outside world.
Today it is even pampering things and people that God says He hates. Though they are our brothers in Christ and we love them, it should concern us over their satisfaction of just staying spiritual babies all the time. It seems like their only concern is the head count, and the money that comes through the door. It has become a popularity contest both within the church, and between the various divisions. Does this sound like a healthy body of Christ, or a corpse being taken apart at an autopsy? They have changed the role of God and Satan in their thoughts, and say that God will burn you in fire if you do not come to our church. Any threat that is attached with the church is strictly carnal and of the world. We not only serve a living God but we serve a loving God, and when that focus is lost it becomes lost to discernment of spiritual matters.
The souls that are blotted out in the fire, as recorded in Revelation 20:14, are not blotted out in ignorance, for they should have known the truth and by choice they have taken Satan. Today many Christians simply are not getting the truth, and that is why, thank goodness, there is going to be the Millennium kingdom, which Paul will discuss in chapter fifteen.
Revelation 20:14 "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death."
The second death is the death of the soul, your spiritual body that we will be living in through the Millennium age. So Paul is telling these Corinthians that they will not get into the meat of the Word, as long as the stay in this division.
I Corinthians 3:4 "For while one saith, "I am of Paul"; and another, "I am of Apollos"; are ye not carnal?"
Paul is telling them that even when they say the words identifying themselves of Paul and Apollos you are thinking in the flesh [carnal].
I Corinthians 3:5 "Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?"
Stop and think of what we are saying when we identify with Paul or Apollos. Who is Paul and who is Apollos? We [Paul and Apollos] are the ministers that brought you the Word of God, and you believed that what we told you was exactly what the Lord Gave to each of us. God gives each teacher what He would have that teacher pass on to the ears of the soul listening. That Word is not given to cause dispute with another, but it is given to fill in another piece in His overall spiritual plan. As you receive each of these pieces of spiritual truth it allows you a greater overall understand of God's Word.
I Corinthians 3:6 "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase."
Paul is saying, I was the one that planted the original church in Corinth, that made you babes in Christ. It is important that you understand what Paul is saying here, for it identifies exactly how true Christianity is to work. Apollos came along after the church was established and did the watering of the seed that Paul planted, or established. It is essential that each of these works took place, for the planting must take place before the watering will take effect. If there is no seed in the ground, there is nothing but water being wash over barren ground; and when the seed is in the ground, it will die without water or just lay dormant.
Traditions creep into the church that restricts members of the body of Christ from understanding, and in time the weeds of those traditions will overtake the spiritual garden and destroy the crop from reaching maturity. Traditions cause the divisions within the body of Christ and restrict the Spiritual development of those persons from becoming adult mature Christians. This is not speaking of physical maturity, for many times a child will have a far greater Spiritual maturity than one that has been in a church for many years, and has restricted himself to his spiritual milk bottle. These traditions even include things like putting restrictions on the taking of the "table of the Lord" [Communion], or oaths that must be sworn for entry for membership. Many churches are getting all wrapped up in traditions that prevent them from ever really get deep down into God's Word.
Those traditional ideas did not come from God, but they came from within ones self, by taking your eyes off God and focusing on the world around you. It doesn't matter what church you belong to, and you may even have a great Bible teacher there, but free yourself of tying your mind to a traditional line of thought and seek understand from the entire Word of God. We are living in a time when it becomes vital to our maturity to understand the times that we are in. We must have the watering of the Word over our minds to be able to stand in these end times. It is what is called our "spiritual armor".
Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:10-20 of this spiritual armor:
Ephesians 6:10 "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might."
Natural instinct is the using of common sense. We must allow our own natural instincts and common sense to become aware of what is false. When we arm ourselves in the Word of God, we take on the the power and strength of His Word to set the direction for our own lives. The Spiritual discernment that His Word gives us makes us able to know the truth from false teaching, false doctrines, and false information.
To be "Strong in the Lord", means to be sure in your mind of your standing before the Lord. Our strength which is our might, comes from the things that we do in the authority of Jesus Christ's name. God's might is where all power and authority comes from.
Ephesians 6:11 "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."
Luke 11:22; "But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils." Jesus is telling us that before we put on our armor to go into battle against the enemy [Satan], we are to scout out the enemy to see the strength of his [Satan's] enemy forces. How many troops does he have, what is he armed with, and what does he intends to use against us. Once we know Satan's strength, we are to take inventory of our strength, and our ability to stand against Him.
We are in the end times and the battle that is going to be fought in our day will not be with guns and rockets, but with words and ideas. It will even be fought with words that come right out of the Word of God, for that is how Satan does battle. The battlefield is in your mind; it is what you think and perceive to be truth. Satan will take those things that you believe to be of God and try to twist them in your mind to be something he would have you believe, and that is why the entire Word of God is important. Much of the spiritual armor that you will put on, must be on and in place before this final battle starts. Much of that armor comes right out of the Old Testament, and the Book of Revelation, which gives us the ability to know those events that we shall see as they happen before our eyes, and not be deceived by them.
The "whole armor" is the entire Word of God from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. It is all knit and woven together like a fine glove to fit snug over your mind and give you the ability to fight of any idea or tradition that Satan, his children the Kenites, or any false teacher may bring your way. It gives you the ability to know the events that are suppose to happen, and when they come to pass you will keep your senses about you. For you know the fifth trumpet comes before the sixth, and the sixth before the seventh. Thus the deceiver Satan, the spurious messiah, must present himself to the world in the role of the deceiver before your eyes will behold our Lord Jesus Christ. The "whole Armor" is your only protection to stand against the lies, tricks and deceitfulness that Satan will bring against you.
Ephesians 6:12 "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
The battle that is coming against us will not only be against the things we see of the flesh, but it will be against those that are not of flesh and blood. Satan and his princes of darkness, the fallen angels, will be cast out onto the earth very shortly, as is written in Revelation 12:7-9. There is a battle going on right now in the heavenlies, and when it is over Satan and all his fallen angels will be here on earth.
Revelation 12:7 "And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,"
Remember that this writing given by Jesus to John was given at the time of the "day of the Lord", the day when Jesus Christ will return to earth to set up his Millennium kingdom. John was taken there in the spirit. This is why it states that the war was fought in the past tense. This war with Michael was fought in heaven, and is going on right now today. But John witnessed it 2000 years ago when he was taken into the future, "in the spirit".
Revelation 12:8 "And prevailed not, neither was there place found any more in heaven."
Satan will be confined to this earth completely, once he has arrived. That means he will never again be accusing Christians before the throne of God. However, all but the elect of God, those sealed in their minds with the truth, will know Satan's identity as being the false Christ, for.beware, the traditions within the Church houses, today, will instruct most Christians that he is the Messiah. Those that are deceived will be deceived by what they believe to be true, when in fact it is a lie. Satan is not on earth in person yet, so we know that the battle in heaven has not been finished yet.
Revelation 12:9 "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."
If you have ever had any doubt who the dragon, the old serpent, and the devil is, there should be no more doubt in your mind. Those are the different role that Satan played as the deceiver, and Satan and all his fallen angels will be cast out onto the earth with him. The purpose of Satan's mission to earth is to deceive the people living on the earth in the flesh. That is all part of the over all plan of God, just as God allow the ignorance of the Kenites to kill Christ which put the final touches to their own spiritual death.
Those Christians that are all wrapped up the the brotherhood of mankind, the rapture, the one world system and so on, will be taken immediately because they have no idea in the world of the plan of God that is given in His entire Word. They were too busy infighting in denominationalism, picking and choosing what tickled their fancy, and they just threw out the most important part of their spiritual armor.
Ephesians 6:13 "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."
Do you now see why we must take on the entire armor of God? It will be so easy on that day of the sounding of the sixth trumpet to worship that supernatural created being, who is a man called Satan. He will arrive here on earth and you would not worship him as Jesus Christ if you knew the counterfeit is coming first because God's Word stated he would. You will not worship him because you know he is a fake. He will sound like Christ, look like Christ, do the things that you expect Christ to do, but he is the "instead of Christ". He is the fake and fraud that some call "the Antichrist". If you bow to him even in ignorance, what ever works, or rewards you have earned to that point in time you are giving to Satan, and you have condemned your soul.
This is why we place the "rapture doctrine" [fly-away doctrine], also known as "the any moment doctrine"] right there with Sodomy and murder, because it will lead ignorant souls to accept the false christ who is Satan. This also is why Paul does not want us to tie ourselves to any man, or attach ourselves into clicks or divisions, for those divisions or church systems that will many Christians to Satan through their traditions. The traditions of men make void the Word of God, and prevent you from getting into the real meat of God's Word that prepares you to stand in that day for Christ. You can go to any church, but don't make a religion out of the shingle that they fly, it doesn't matter what man does the watering, or what man does the planting, it is God that gives the increase of the knowledge of His Word to your mind.
He is the one that heals you, that make you prosper and gives you comfort when hurt inside, and that comfort comes from His Word that is in your mind. His Spirit is what makes that Word known to you. This is why we must have the tools of seeking and digging out the true meaning of those English words that don't make sense to us, and get back into the Greek and the Hebrew with a numbered dictionary to those English words of our King James. You should either learn the language of Greek or Hebrew, or learn to use the Strong's numbered Concordance that is numbered to the Greek and Hebrew numbered Dictionaries.
I Corinthians 3:7 "So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God That giveth the increase."
In other words, any increase that comes to you, the church, or the knowledge that you or the congregation may have, comes from God. We are all one in Christ with many different offices within the same body of Christ. The divisions that enter into the Body of Christ originate within man, it is not of God. Try to base your understanding on the entire Word of God. It is important that you base your entire religion on Christ, and be a brother or sister to anyone that believes in Jesus Christ. It is God that gives the increase and not some denomination or man.
I Corinthians 3:8 "Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour."
It doesn't matter who does the planting and watering for all men and women that are in Christ are one in the body of Christ. When you do the work that God has given you the ability to do, and you do it unto the Lord, then God will give you the exact reward that you deserve. When you do labor, then you can expect payment for the work that you do. There is only one thing that you and I can take with us when we return to the Father at the death of our flesh body, and that is our Works done from Him while in the flesh.
Revelations 14:13 "And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, "Write, 'Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.' "
Your works are the only thing that you can take with you, for it is what goes to make up what you will be wearing for all eternity. Today the common saying in many churches is, "All you have to do is just believe." That is being lazy. God has give each person a gift to be used for Him and He expects each of us to use what He has given to us. You are accountable only for those gifts that you have, and how you used it for the glory of God. It may be just a smile, or helping that neighbor when it is necessary, or planting a seed for thought that causes someone to be prepared to have that seed watered at a later date. "Works" is being happy in all that you do, and making others happy around you. Works includes your tithe, and it is important that you tithe where you are spiritually fed. Know where your tithe is going and that it is going to support an active work. You are rewarded in heaven according to the labor that you do for God.
Jesus Christ does the saving, but your works are the wages for what you do for Him. On that day of the wedding feast in heaven when you as the bride of Christ go in, the wearing apparel that you wear into that feast are made up of your righteous acts.
Revelation 19:7 "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready."
Revelation 19:8 "And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints."
Every day that you live here on earth, the things that you do and say are all part of the garment that you will be wearing at the marriage feast of the Lamb. You are making yourself ready now, as you go to work, as you raise your family and do those common every day things that are necessary to live and bring up a family.
I Corinthians 3:9 "For we are laborers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building."
We are co-workers together with God. God expects you to do the work in His garden, for that is where the seeds must be planted, and the watering has to take place. God has laid the foundation in this earth age through the death of His only begotten Son Jesus Christ. It is on that foundation of Christ that we are to build our eternal house. Once you have repented to the Father in Jesus name, then you become a member of the many membered body of Christ that the entire church is resting upon. It doesn't matter what name is on that shingle you hang out on a temporary basis, if the house that you are is not build on the firm foundation that is Christ, it will not stand in that day when it counts.
I Corinthians 3:10 "According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon."
Paul is now referring to the establishing of the church at Corinth. The church that was establish in Corinth was established according to the grace or favor, in the wisdom of God by His Spirit. God is the wise master builder who gave the instructions to Paul, who laid the foundation at the first, so that Apollos and the other teachers could come along later and continuing the building of that church. We are not talking about a church house, but the temple which is the body of Christ. Now be careful what you add to that temple that has been already laid. No matter what kind of building you build, the most important part of that building beside the foundation is the materials that you select to go into it. We are not speaking of brick and wood here, but the love that you have for God and your fellow man, and the doctrine that you chose to place into your mind that you will build your entire life around. Naturally a master builder is going to build with the very best material, or he would not be considered a master builder.
The base rule is this: Christ is the foundation, and we are to be careful what is selected to be placed upon Him.
I Corinthians 3:11 "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
Jesus Christ is the only foundation that you can build on, and have it eternal. Everything on the face of this earth that you can construct with hands is very temporary, for the construction that we are talking about is your spiritual house, which is your soul. The foundation for that house is Jesus Christ Himself.
I Corinthians 3:12 "Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;"
When you build any structure, one of the important things to consider is that structures ability to withstand fire. Our God is a consuming fire, and every one of these materials will be destroyed under the heat of God's fire. As gold or silver are heated under fire each of these are purified and gets better as the heat is turned up. However we know that wood, hay and stubble are turned to ashes when as the same flames devour them.
If you are going to build your life on Jesus Christ, it had better be genuine, and from your heart. Though we all sin and fall short of God's standard from time to time, however at repentance for those sins God gives us new life.
I Corinthians 3:13 "Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is."
We are talking about "works" here, and every man's works are going to be made known for the intentions that those works were given. When you do the work of God, and diligently seek to please Him in all that you do, God will give you credit for those works. Friend, it is God only that gives the increase, however we plant the seeds and prepare the seeds so that the Holy Spirit can do the work and convict that man of his sin. When you teach God's word to the point that others come to the understanding of God's love for them, the conviction comes only by the drawing of the Sprit of God. You may have the gift of teaching or preaching, but the test as to your ability to use your gifts is whether that person remains in the Word.
Have you taught a new babe in Christ to use the Word enough to grow in the Word to where have the spiritual strength to stand against the spiritual battles that come their way? Are they strong in the Lord, or will the first wind of false doctrine blow them away? The way that they have built their spiritual house will be tested by fire and God is that consuming fire that will test their will to seek after the truth. Don't be to hasty to find glory in your work, for what ever glory there is, is not for you, but to God for He is the one that gives the increase. Just count yourself worthy to have the privilege to serve Him in whatever capacity that He sees fit to place you in.
I Corinthians 3:14 "If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward."
Here again the documentation is Revelation 14:13, which states that the only thing that you can take with you at death is the works of your righteous acts. "Righteous acts" are what you do for the glory of God and the body of Christ. This is Christ telling John to write to those living in this earth age of the flesh and informing us that we will be well rewarded for the righteous works that are done for the Lord. Your works is the only thing that you have that brings you any rewards.
I Corinthians 3:15 "If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."
The works that you do in this earth age for yourself should be for that which is necessary to sustain you and your family in this life. Riches are not a sin, but ill-gotten gains are sin. God blesses those that do things His way, and those blessings that God gives in this life are to be enjoyed. There is no sin in being rich when when you know that they come from God.
If your works are for vain glory, then when God tests those works they will burn just like wood and stubble in a fire. Though you may lose your works because they were given to boast your own pride, even though your souls will be snatched from the fire and you can make it into eternity. What this means is that you are going to be ashamed of your works when you stand before the Father on that day of judgment. You simply can't out give God, and just like we like to reward our earthly children for doing well, God finds pleasure in rewarding those that do well for Him.
I Corinthians 3:16 "Know ye not that ye are the Temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"
It is God's Spirit that is within you that gives you all of your gifts. We are to use the temple that His Spirit has given us to give people a lift and do His Word and be part of His team. This is not in reference to your habits, but the works that you do for God.
I Corinthians 3:17 "If any man defile the Temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the Temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."
When the Holy Spirit dwells within you, you love the Lord. Jesus Christ is in you and with you in all that you do. Then if you defile any part of the Temple or body of Christ, you are actually hurting yourself.
I Corinthians 3:18 "Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise."
It may be pretty hard for someone else to deceive you, but you can deceive yourself very easy. Pride is how Satan fell and it is also how most people today will fall. What God requires of you and me as part of the body of Christ looks foolish to those that are of the world. The way of the world is typically to do harm to your brother before he puts harm on you. Whereas this is just contrary to how the body of Christ treats each of its members. We find no joy is watching our brothers in Christ fall, and but we can take comfort in seeing our Christian brother get ahead. We know that whatever gifts that person has received, he received it from God to the glory of God for the whole body of Christ.
I Corinthians 3:19 "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, "He taketh the wise in their own craftiness."
All the wisdom of this world age is nothing but foolishness in the eyes of God. It is temporary and a passing fad. God allows Satan to use those foolish thing of this world to tempt the men and women. This is written in Job 5:12, 13:
Job 5:12 "He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise."
Job 5:13 "He taketh the wise in their own craftiness, and the counsel of the froward in carried headlong."
Paul again is using the Old Testament to explain his writings of the New Testament.
I Corinthians 3:20 "And again, "The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that are vain."
Paul again goes to the Old Testament to explain how we should live in the New Testament age. This verse comes directly from Psalms 94:11: "The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity." In other words, the words that come from mans thoughts are just empty. Lets read on:
Psalms 94:12 "Blessed is the man whom Thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of Thy law;"
God uses His Word and regulations to chasten us when we do wrong, and He also teaches us from that same Law, which is His Word.
Psalms 94:13 "That Thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, Until the pit be digged for the wicked."
When you follow the Word of the Law, which again is to say His Word, He will take care of you and give you counsel through the Word. He will keep you from falling into those pitfalls of this life, and falling into the pit along with Satan in the next.
Psalms 94:14 "For the Lord will not cast off His people, Neither will He forsake His inheritance."
The words of this world are empty, but the promises of our Heavenly Father are something you can count on. When you make an attempt to get through those times of adversity, God will be there with you, and He will never forsake you when the going gets tough.
Psalms 94:15 "But judgment shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it."
When you know what is right in your heart, and the ways of righteousness, you will follow those ways even when it is not popular.
Psalms 94:16 "Who will rise up for me against the evil doers? Or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?"
When the evil doers come against you, will you stand firm? It is time for Christians to draw the line in the sand of this world age, and take a stand from what we know by God's Word to be right.
Psalms 94:17 "Unless the Lord had been my help, My soul had almost dwelt in silence."
If I don't take a stand for what I know to be right, I might as well be in the grave.
Psalms 94:18 "When I said, "my soul slippeth;" Thy mercy, O Lord, held me up."
This is where the difference comes, for those that are grounded in God's Word, and seek to follow His ways have our Lord to reach down and pick us up when our we slip a bit. This is where most fall for they forget the Lord when the going gets a little tough. You may fall almost to the ground, but the Lord will still pick you up.
Psalms 94:19 "In the multitude of my thoughts within me Thy comforts delight my soul."
When you have the words and the thoughts and the teachings of God's Word, it doesn't matter how bad it seems to get, there will be a thought or promise from God's Word that will pick you up and get you going again.
Psalms 94:20 "Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with Thee, Which frameth mischief by a law?"
What did Satan tempt Christ with? of course the misquoting of the law. He tempted Jesus with the Scripture itself. This is why we need the Spirit of God to prepare our minds to do spiritual battle when they come using the very Word of God to side track us into their false and evil ways. When you can't remember the exact Scripture, then don't fool around with Scripture lawyers that like to form it to their liking. That is a good way to be taken down the broad road that the world likes to travel. But take time to go back into the Word and seek the truth for yourself.
Psalm 94:21 "They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, And condemn the innocent blood."
Psalm 94:22 "But the Lord is my defence; And my God is the rock of my refuge."
Jesus Christ is the rock of my refuge and the very foundation which we build on, and we shall not be moved. God will turn their own iniquity down on their own heads, and what they plan against you, God will put right back on their own heads. This world will shake and this earth age will shake but we shall not be shaken. Jesus Christ is the rock of our foundation, and He is the only foundation that will stand throughout all eternity. Jesus said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you"; and that is His promise to you and it is the only thing that you can count on today. I believe it with all my heart.
I Corinthians 3:21 "Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;"
Remember that the body of Christ is a many membered body, and God has given to each membered of the body certain gifts just for that person. We all rejoice together when one member of that body does well in the gifts that God has given. If you sing well, the whole church will be blessed by your using that talent. If you are well off in Business, God will use you in ways that are needed for your talents. What ever you do it is not you that gets the glory for what you do, but God, and when you take the glory that belongs to God, then that is your just reward here and now, for there will be no reward eternally when you take what is rightfully God's.
Paul is telling the Corinthians, don't look at Apollos, or me or anyone, for it is not the man that gets any of the glory. Don't look at men, for it is God that is within them that gets all the glory. God brings forth all the increase that comes from whatever you do.
I Corinthians 3:22 "Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas [Peter], or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are your;"
It doesn't matter what church is that exists, for if it exists for the glory of God, then it belongs to all of the body of Christ. If it is a church that is stressing baptism, or doing their worship a certain way, and it claims to be part of the body of Christ, then it is not to themselves but to all of the body of Christ. It either serves the whole body of Christ or it is not part of the body of Christ. There are no divisions in the body of Christ, and if one claims to be separated to itself then it simply is not part of body of Christ. Christ's body is not hatched up into many pieces, but it is an whole live and functional body that is magnifying Jesus Christ and our heavenly Father.
Whether of Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the church of the piano, or the church of the lighter dipped, or the church of the rock, or what ever you want to call yourself, you are either of Christ, or you are a fake. This is the message that Paul is trying to get across to us in this chapter. So what church is the best? Any one that teaches the Word of God as it ought to be taught, the whole Scripture, Old and New Testament, from cover to cover. Line upon line and precept upon precept, verse by verse with the full understanding from the manuscripts.
If what is taught is not of God's Word, and supported by it, then what you are teaching is nothing more then man's traditions, and you might as will stay home. It is time to get out of those places of nonsense, for true Christianity frees you from denominationalism. It allows you to get into the deep truths of the Word of God. Come out of pettiness, and the clicks that are running wild in the church houses of today. There is only ONE CHRIST, ONE FOUNDATION, and you can fellowship with anyone you so well please.
I Corinthians 3:23 "And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's."
When you put the meat on the platter in the house of the Lord, you will always have someone there to partake of the meal. When the meat of the Word of God is put before the congregation, the people will become fed and desire more and more. In John 21 Jesus appeared to his disciples for one of the last times, after His resurrection. This was after Peter had denied Christ three times, and Jesus knew of Peter's love and devotion to Him. Jesus asked Simon Peter:
John 21:15 "So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these? He saith unto Him, "Yea Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee." He saith unto him, "Feed My lambs."
The "lambs are the little ones, and it doesn't matter how old they are, they are just babes in Christ. these babes in Christ just can't seem to get beyond the milk of salvation and baptism. These are the ones that need to start being weaned off the bottle with some more stable form of diet of the Word of God. If you love Me, Peter then show it by feeding my little lambs. Then Jesus asked the same question again.
John 21:16 "He saith to him again the second time, "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me?" He saith unto Him, "Yea Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee." He saith unto him, Feed My sheep." "
The sheep spoken of here in the Greek are the "probation", they are the young adult sheep that are no longer the little babes, but nourish as an adult. This is another level of teaching that will give the one eating to find nourishment on their young adult level. Then Jesus asked Peter the third time:
John 21:17 "He [Jesus] saith unto him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me?" Peter was grieved because He said unto him the third time, "Lovest thou Me?" And he said unto Him, "Lord, Thou knowest all things; You knowest that I love thee." Jesus saith unto him, "Feed My sheep"."
The sheep as used in this third time of feeding are the old will aged sheep that have long passed the milk stage, and the teachings that one who has been saved for several years should know and understand. Peter denied Christ three times and now after three times Peter is starting to get the picture. There is a responsibility to loving our Lord and Savior, and that is to the feeding of His sheep on all 3 levels. Pay attention to the lambs (level #1) and the young adults (level #2), as well as the old well established sheep (level #3) in the Word. They all need to be fed, and it is the duty of those that claim to be Christ's to do the feeding on the level where they are..
Friend, when you say you are a Christian and love the Lord, that is just the start, not the end. The duties are now just starting and before you can teach and instruct anyone you have to know what you are to teach. That requires study of the Word. It is God that draws whom ever He will, and when He brings them to you for the feeding, He will give you the understanding of the level that that person is on. God created your soul, and He placed your soul in the embryo at the time of your conception. He is your Father whether you like it our not.
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