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Paul had been talking about temptation, and he says "Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry."

Makes sense, but it is more than worshipping false idols. "idolatry" in Gk."eidololatreia" has also the connotation of:
" of the formal sacrificial feats held in honour of false gods"

Wait a minute Paul, there are no weak brethren there, the Gentiles (pagans) are offering food - Why can't I sit down and eat "anything" like you do when you are with Gentiles? I am not worshipping their idol. I am just getting a "free" meal.

What is the big deal if we know idols are nothing, therefore the meat has no significance to us?

They are right. Idols mean nothing, meat has no significance, but the ceremony involved is worshipping and being offered to "demons".

The idol is nothing, the meat is nothing, but the worshipping and offering to demons IS SOMETHING in Pauls view.


Because demons exist. If they did not, then Paul would not object. Based on the same grounds as idols (themselves)and meat being insignificant to a Christian.

This is the first time, I remember Paul being so explicit on the naming of the Devil and his minions. (I could be wrong).

[I am still waiting for someone to interpret references to Satan by Christ, and "demons" here in an allegorical, metaphorical sense. As a nebulous evil force, rather than as actual entities.

As before: I promise to not respond or try to debate the issue. I just want to see the reasoning behind it. Why? So it will help when I talk to people who believe the "nebulous evil" idea outside of this blog.]
The Corinthians have used human wisdom and rationalized all kinds of activities. There are times when they should invoke self-denial.

-Meat is in market: buy it and eat it.
-Meat is in Gentile's home - eat it.
-Meat is around a weak brother - abstain.
- Meat is offered by Gentile but referenced to "being sacrificial meat" - abstain.

Use "discernment" and in all you do give glory to God - whehter in strong faith or in yielding out of love to another.

Whatever you do, and whatever we as modern day Christians do - WE ARE NOT to be in a ceremony or sacrificial place that give honor or worship to demons or Satan. Not out of curiosity, not out of friendship to a non-believer, not for a "free meal.

Nehemiah 13 (NKJV)
So I contended with the rulers, and said, “Why is the house of God forsaken?” And I gathered them together and set them in their place.
Then all Judah brought the tithe of the grain and the new wine and the oil to the storehouse.

Whether all believers see the “tithe” as for the NT or not, consider this: Jesus and the Father are one. When the Father did something, throughout eternity Jesus was—and is—
in total agreement and acting along with His Father. This was not just while on earth as fully human and fully God.

Jesus told the Pharisees they should tithe, but not forget mercy while they are tithing. All Jesus was saying was that it is shallow to obey God’s Word outwardly if the heart is not in the right place.

Matthew 23 (JB Phillips version)
23:23-24 - "Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you utter frauds! For you pay your tithe on mint and aniseed and cummin, and neglect the things which carry far more weight in the Law - justice, mercy and good faith.”

“These are the things you should have observed - without neglecting the others. You call yourselves leaders, and yet you can't see an inch before your noses, for you filter out the mosquito and swallow the camel.”

23:25-26 - "What miserable frauds you are, you scribes and Pharisees! You clean the outside of the cup and the dish, while the inside is full of greed and self-indulgence. Can't you see, Pharisee? First wash the inside of a cup, and then you can clean the outside.”

Even if one does not believe in tithing for the NT, we need to giving regularly and sacrificially to the local body of believers. Giving—like everything else in our lives—is to be patterned after Christ Himself. He is an expression of God’s grace, and He gave Himself sacrificially.

Giving is a grace, and we are always to give sacrificially as God gave Jesus.

How does one work through the reality that we are to obey like Jesus and give sacrificially along with we are to give willingly as our heart prompt us?

The answer is that Christ is our Supreme Pattern also in this. He gave willingly—and in doing so He gave sacrificially. There is never to be a separation between the two.

I have noticed among the people I know who do not believe in tithing that they do not give regularly and do not give sacrificially as an act of worship. They only give when it is convenient.

I am sure the Holy Spirit is asking to us the same question He asked through Nehemiah: “Why is the house of God forsaken?”

2 Corinthians 9 (NKJV)
But as you abound in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us—see that you abound in this grace also.

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.

Again, I am sure the Holy Spirit is still asking the question to us today that He was asking through Nehamiah: “Why is the house of God forsaken?”

If I meet someone who is truly giving sacrificially and regularly who does not believe in tithing, I will be happy to eagerly shake their hand and tell them how much I respect and admire them for their regular obedience to the Lord.


Nehemiah 13 (NKJV)
Thus I cleansed them of everything pagan.

May we do the same. I am far from reaching this goal right now. But, Christ gives us grace each day. We can take a little baby step to God in really changing our lives through God’s grace and prayer—this little step contains a huge amount of faith and love in the Lord.

And it is not forgotten or despised by God. God, in fact, rejoices in it, as in James 4 (NKJV):
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

Also, one person cannot build a wall of protection against the enemy for the Body of Christ. The church needs to be protected from what is pagan and from spiritual attacks.

We all need each other for this--as Nehemiah needed help in building the phyical wall for the protection of Jerusalem and the Temple.

WE REALLY DO NEED EATH OTHER, and we need to be committed to our local fellowship in building it up through regular prayer and participation as we use the gifts God has given us.

I Corinthians 11 (NKJV)
Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.
But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

We are called to imitate and be like Christ Who—in His role as the Son of God—was in submission to the Father. Christ and the Father and the Holy Spirit are all equal in worth and being—they are all fully God.

However, each has a unique role; in that role, Christ is in submission to the Father and the head of Christ is God the Father.

John 5 (JB Phillips version)
5:19-20- Jesus said to them, "I assure you that the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. What the Son does is always modelled on what the Father does, for the Father loves the Son and shows him everything that he does himself, Yes, and he will show him even greater things than these to fill you with wonder.

"By myself I can do nothing. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is true because I do not live to please myself but to do the will of the Father who sent me.”

May we always truly spend time with the Lord Jesus—away from TV or whatever it is that distracts us. May we truly “lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily besets us” and may we truly “fix our eyes of Jesus Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising its shame”. (Hebrews 12)

Psalm 35 (NKJV)
Plead my cause, O LORD, with those who strive with me; fight against those who fight against me.
Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for my help.
Also draw out the spear, and stop those who pursue me. Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.”
Let those be put to shame and brought to dishonor who seek after my life; let those be turned back and brought to confusion who plot my hurt.
Let them be like chaff before the wind, and let the angel of the LORD [Or Angel of the LORD] chase them.
Let their way be dark and slippery, and let the angel of the LORD [Or Angel of the LORD] pursue them.

As I spend quality time regularly with God in praise and worship, God will honor the prayer of the Holy Spirit to God on my behalf: Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.”

He will do the same for all Who come to Him for He is no respecter of persons, and His grace is available to all. HIS GRACE IS IN HIMSELF—as we spend time with Him, we are able to partake more and more of His wonderful and amazing grace!

Romans 10 (NKJV)
For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” [Isaiah 28:16]
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.
For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” [Joel 2:32]

As God is good, so the devil and his schemes are fully bad.

They are in no way whatsoever equals—the devil is a loser angel and is nothing compared to the true and living God Who is the Sustainer and Creator all things. He is our Wonderful Savior!

As we spend time with the Lord in His Presence partaking of His Goodness and Grace, then the Holy Spirit will be able to reveal and release the Lord Jesus to us—He is the “Angel of the Lord” in the OT.

From Psalm 35—
note the prayer of the Holy Spirit for protection from the regular attacks of our enemy the devil. Also note God’s provision for us as we spend time in prayer:
Let them be like chaff before the wind, and let the angel of the LORD [Or Angel of the LORD] chase them.
Let their way be dark and slippery, and let the angel of the LORD [Or Angel of the LORD] pursue them.

God desires to be my all in all, and He desires to be our all in all. If we spend quality and regular time in praise, worship, and drawing from Scripture as God teaches us, we can know God in intimacy.

What an amazing privilege and honor! God Himself is the basis of true prosperity—which is spiritual.

No matter what we have in material goods—little of a lot—we are nothing without God, and without Jesus!

John 15 (NKJV)
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

GRACE AND PEACE to you in Jesus’ Name.


I would like to add MY thoughts to Mike’s statement, “I know it can seem a bit tricky to figure out when the Bible should be taken literally word for word and when we need to consider context.” I believe that the teachings of the Bible should be and must be taken literally but not the cultural norms of the times in which they were taught. Let me give you some examples of what I mean.

In the teaching regarding giving to support the church – we are expected today to support our churches and ministers. That is the lesson the Scripture gives us! However can you imagine what it would be like to arrive at your church on a Sunday morning to find dead livestock heaped up at the door and the grounds filled with corn and soybeans, etc.? If we took every word of the Bible literally then that is exactly what the farmers would be expected to do. We have to understand the cultural norms of that day in order to apply the lesson to the cultural norms of our day.

Another example is proper attire in church. As Mike pointed out, in those days in Corinth pagan prostitutes served in pagan churches and they were identified by their hair length. In today’s culture a man would not consider a woman standing on a street corner dressed in a conservative manner as a potential “pick up” but a woman dressed in spike heels, lots of makeup, fish-net hose, short skirt and dipping top might be propositioned. That attire would certainly now represent the attire of a Christian lady ready to enter the doors of church. The lesson the Scripture is giving us is not to one of physical appearance per se but as Christians we are not to act in such a manner that our actions or attire can be construed as unchristian by our cultural norms.

We do have to be very careful that Christians not sanction today’s cultural norms – such as couples living together outside of marriage – as acceptable just because everyone is doing it. The Scripture sanctions marriage, not just living together, and cultural norms must not override the basic teachings or lessons presented to us in the Scripture.

God Bless!

WHOOPS! I just caught a typo that changed the whole meaning of what I was saying. The sentence "That attire would certainly now represent the attire of a Christian lady ready to enter the doors of church" should read NOT represent the attire of a Christian lady ready to enter the doors of a church. NOT, folks - NOT represent.

My apologies.


The task of building the wall (God's work) had been finished, the priests were set up in the temple, Jerusalem was populated (to a degree), and the people had renewed their covenant with God, and promised to be faithful.

Sounds Good? What happened next?

Here we go again :( Over time the people turned away from God. It may not have been an act of "commission" for most, but an act of "omission" by not objecting to the violations of the covenants by some. They were silent and/or said or did nothing to rectify the situation.

1)Violated separation of Gentiles ( Ammonite or Moabite) from the temple.
2) Violated keeping the Sabbath Holy.
3) Violated (lo and behold) the command that there be no intermarriage with the Canannites - an age old problem.

Nehemiah came in and rectified all the above, purified the needed elements and people, and set things back on the right path.

May there always be a Nehemiah amongst God's people so that when assemblies stray and the brethren are silent, we can be called back to walk in the path of Christ. Not that we can be actually righteous, but being declared righteous through our faith in Christ, we can strive to be on that path.

Even if sometimes it takes an outsider (but a Godly person/leader) to get us re-directed. I believe that while Satan never quits in his attacks on the "body of Christ", that even more so - God Provides. Here it was in the person of Nehemiah? Has there been a Nehemiah in your life?

I am new to this site and I pray that the Lord teaches me his words.

On Augest 17, 2006, I WAS SAVED!

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