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Tabernacle For Whom Was it Written Lesson 54
Manchaca Bible Fellowship
7 March 2004 Bible Lessons
Operation Outreach
1 Corinthians 10:5 But with most of them (Israelites in the Wilderness) God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. 6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust (greed) after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play." 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor murmur, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed by the destroyer.

By this time in the series, when the theme passage pops up on the screen, I'm sure some are saying, or at least thinking, "Where is that 'Pop-up Blocker', so we can eliminate this nuisance passage and get on with something important?"

Well, I'm sorry! I don't see much relief in sight. We haven't really gotten a good start on this passage, yet. However, these six verses are not the object of our study for today, BUT the next three verses will be our object for a few lessons.

11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
Admonition = (Greek) A mild rebuke, intended for correction.

The Holy Spirit wants us to know these examples and not just glibly pass over them. These things are intended as "mild rebukes with the intent of bringing corrections in our lives".

It's strange, but most us do not want to hear "mild rebukes" when we come to church. Sad to say, many of us have been rebuked often, AND we know what should be corrected and how to correct it, BUT we have no intentions of making any move to bring about that correction.

You would think, that IF a person took the time to come to church, they would WANT to know how to live a life more like Christ. That's one of the major purposes of Church, isn't it?

Too often we hear,
"That's the way I AM,
and you'll just have to accept me, as I am."
I believe Christ might disagree with that philosophy.
He came to die so we could be FAR different than we are!!!!

On the other hand, there are some who desperately want to make the corrections, and have tried over and over again, but find that the harder they try to make those corrections, the less they seem to have victory in such a project. It seems that the more they try to bring about correction, the more things pop up in their lives that need correcting.

Have you ever been there????
You're not alone, so was the Apostle Paul.
Romans 7:15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

For the next few lessons, I would like to direct our thinking to another aspect of this passage. Not in an attempt to lessen the importance of the "examples", but let's see to whom these "examples" are directed and what and how we can profit from them.

1 Corinthians10:11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come.

This admonition in 1 Corinthians 10:11, is for US, "on whom the ends of the ages have come". I would like to spend a little time on that phrase, and then move on to some other truth.

Ages = (Greek) The world (system); A continuing duration; An age; A Messianic period.

Which one of those different "shades" of meaning best describe how the word is used in this passage? Or is it a combination of all four?

Obviously, Paul is not saying that he is bringing this admonition to those who are living during a period of time in which the earth will be destroyed. After all, some 2,000 years have passed and the earth is still here. However, it could and does indicate a Messianic period.

Messiah = (Hebrew) The anointed one; The one consecrated for the task (by implication - elect)

The Greek to English equivalent of Messiah is the title "Christ". Since the earliest time of humanity, God has promised that Someone "SPECIAL" would bring redemption to the human race. Right after the sin of Adam and Eve, recorded in Genesis 3, God promised that a Special Person, the "seed of the woman" would come and deliver the death blow to the head of Satan.

Beginning with that sin until this very day, there have been Messianic "ages", or different stages of the coming of this promised Redeemer. Paul is confirming that fact in this passage.

There were many promises given by God throughout time. Each of those promises could only be fulfilled by andin the Messiah of God. Only God's elect could accomplish God's purpose on this earth.

The Old Testament is a progressive revelation of God's promises and some aspects of the fulfillment of those promises. The Gospels are the account of this promised Messiah coming to earth, His rejection by the Jews and the world in general. The Gospels continue with the account of Christ's redemptive payment for the sins of the world past, present and future.

The Epistles give us the guidelines or doctrines by which we are to live in this last Messianic Age. The "end of the ages" is the period between the first coming of the Messiah and His return to complete or consummate redemption in its fullness.

There will be one more unique "stage" of this last Messianic Age. The Messiah has come. He offered Himself as king. That kingship was rejected by both the Jews and ruling government of the world at that time. In that unique "stage" of this final Messianic Period, Christ will personally rule and reign over the world and its system.

Let's go back and apply some information we've learned and reviewed several times. The written revelation from God:

  3. Must be "RIGHTLY DIVIDED"
  4. Is in"COMPLETE HARMONY" with itself

Most of us in this class understand that there are many ways of dividing the Scriptures so that they are understandable and relevant. Those familiar with the Walk-Through know that we use a system of dividing the Scriptures, we have called "Administrative Periods". Pastor Eric has referred to this procedure several times in his present series. There are also other ways of dividing the information of Scripture.

Allow me to quickly reestablish this procedure of "rightly dividing". The Scriptures can be divided in many ways. The only wrong way of dividing the Scriptures is to make divisions within the Scriptures that do not agree with all Scripture.

You could divide the Scriptures by taking all the passages that deal with "peace". Bring that information together and categorize it according to obvious divisions, such as personal peace, national peace, world peace, God's peace, peace with God, etc. You could also rightly divide the Scriptures by collecting all the passages dealing with love or sin or death, etc., etc., and follow the same procedure as above.

The more detailed you divide the Scriptures and compare those divisions with all other divisions in harmony, the greater becomes your understanding of the truth of God. Start with broad divisions of the Scriptures from cover to cover, then subdivide those broad divisions, and continue subdividing the subdivisions.

By the way there, is NO other religion that is willing to put their "source book" under such vigorous scrutiny. I don't know of any other religion that wants or encourages its believers to thoroughly compare its written theology with all its other religious proclamations. Religions know that their "source books" are filled with contradictions, nor are all the parts in harmony with each other.

Not only are Christians
to rightly divide and compare Scriptures,
we are
to do so.

The MORE a person compares and harmonizes the many diverse parts of Scripture, the greater will be their confidence in its truth, and the closer that person will walk with the Lord.

We present, in the "Walk-Through", some broad general division of Scripture. We have dubbed these divisions as "Administration Periods".

After the Sin of Adam, God gave the responsibility of administering the earth and His program to Adam and his descendants. That was a unique period of time. The people all had one basic language and generally they were one race. For lack of a better term, I have dubbed this period as the Administrative Period of the Gentiles. This period of time went from the fall of Adam to the call of Abraham.

From the call of Abraham to the crucifixion of Christ is another unique period of time. I call this division the Administration Period of the Jews. God gave one nation the responsibility of administering His program here on earth.

Then from the crucifixion of Christ until the Rapture, or if you prefer the resurrection of the saints, we have another unique period of time in which a Spiritual organization or literally a Spiritual organism is the responsible agent to administer God's program on earth. That organization is called "His Church", which is made of many local churches. Therefore, I call this period, the Administration Period of the Church.

The last period of time will be administrated by Christ, personally, and His kingdom will be here on earth. I have called this period of time the Administrative Period of Christ or the Kingdom, and with good reason, the Bible calls it the "Kingdom". Between the Church age and the kingdom is a short period of about 7 years called the Tribulation or Daniel's 70th week.

I highly recommend using this basic method as your starting point in the process of rightly dividing. However, there are other very good methods of rightly dividing the Scriptures. Let's look at the method introduced to us in our "theme passage" for this series.

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come.
Ages = (Greek) The world (system); A continuing duration; An age; A Messianic period.

Please look briefly at some of the "Messianic Periods" of Scripture, and especially at this one "Messianic Period" referred to here as the "end of the ages". To look at these "Messianic Periods", we will proceeded in a very similar manner as dividing the Scriptures according to the "Administrative Periods".

Before actually digging our "teeth" into the Messianic Periods, let's review some material that is very important to these periods. The reason the Messiah, the Second Person of the Godhead, came to the earth was to provide Redemption.

God's plan for this period of eternity, called "time", is
REDEMPTION - of the human race, the earth, and all things. There are many aspect of God's redemptive program. Four of the more obvious aspects are:

  1. The Redemption of humanity
  2. The Redemption of the earth from the domination of Satan
  3. The Suspension of the curse of Genesis 3
  4. The Conquest of ALL enemies

Each of the "four aspects" of redemption have at least 4 phases

  1. The promise
  2. The sacrifice
  3. The application
  4. The consummation

In our brief study of this subject of Messianic Periods, we will not be able to look at all the ins-and-outs of these periods, BUT if we had the time, we would see clearly BOTH the four aspects of redemption and the 4 phases of each of those four aspects.

As you read through the Old Testament, you will see the clear references to the Messiah or the Anointed One, Who is to come. This One to come will not always be identified as the Messiah, but the evidence of what He is to do will leave no question that ONLY One sent and Anointed by God could accomplish such tasks.

However, the information about the Messiah and the gift of redemption He will bring with Him are definitely presented from a different perspective at different times throughout the Scriptures. It is always the same truth, but a different aspect of that progressive plan.

If a person only studied one part of the Bible, they would have a completely different concept of redemption, than if they carefully brought all the information about redemption into one "pile", and sorted that information and placed it in different categories.

Remember, the truth of Scripture…

  3. Must be "RIGHTLY DIVIDED"
  4. Is in"COMPLETE HARMONY" with itself

With those things in mind, let's take a quick overview of these Messianic Periods. There is not much recorded about what God revealed to Adam and his descendants concerning redemption.

However, even to Adam, it was revealed that redemption was through the blood. We see this in the first sacrifice provided by God for Adam and Eve's covering and forgiveness.

The blood aspect of redemption is also seen in the offerings of Cain and Abel. Cain brought of the "best" of the fruit of the ground, and Abel brought a lamb. Cain's offering was rejected, Abel's offering was accepted.

In the first period from Adam to Noah, we are not given much about the promised Messiah, except in Genesis 3 and by the example of sacrifices. We do learn a great deal about the need for redemption, in that early history of mankind. The need for redemption was not caused by the environment, pornography, drugs, bad movies, etc. The need for redemption was caused by two things:

(1) Human nature
(2) Human choice

We want to see how redemption will "cure" both of those maladies, AND how the process of redemption will make it possible for us to overcome BOTH of these, right now in this life.

Adam chose to disobey God.

Genesis 3:6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

Cain chose to bring the wrong sacrifice, and he chose to kill Abel.

Genesis 4:6 So the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 "If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it." 8 Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose against Abel his brother and killed him.
Joshua 24:15 "And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
Proverbs 3:31 Do not envy the oppressor, and choose none of his ways; 32 for the perverse person is an abomination to the LORD, but His secret counsel is with the upright.
Proverbs 12:26 The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.

The people of Noah's time allowed their thoughts (nature) to control their actions.

Genesis 6:5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

In the lessons to come, we will look at more of the details of these Messianic Periods. We also want to see what impact the coming of the Messiah has or should have on us today.

© Clyde White, Austin TX, 2004