The Prize

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1 Corinthians 9:23-25: NKJV: Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you. Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the Prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate (not lasting laurel) in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.

 

The beginning of mankind, the first man and woman our God created were in a race to receive life. By temptation and deceit, they chose the wrong tree. They chose the tree of death instead of the tree of life. From that day mankind continues to pitifully wallow with swine, demons of the world in a dilemma with the same temptations. * 1 Corinthians 10:20: Rather that the things which the Gentiles (pagans) sacrifice they sacrifice to demons (Leviticus 17:7) and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. * The apostle Paul taught the Corinthians three truths: 1: Within the ages, all mankind has received the same recurring temptations. 2: God is faithful. 3: When we choose God, HE will provide a way to choose a victorious path through the mire but not necessarily removal of the recurring temptation.

 

Hebrews 12:1-2: Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight (impediment), and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with, endurance the race that is set before us. * The cloud of witnesses is the faithful servants and teachers of truth. The many sins that easily ensnare us are lust of passion within inordinate affection and covetousness, which is adultery (Colossians 3:5). We must run the race to achieve life with perseverance. The path of the race is laid out for man, by God, saying: Deuteronomy 8:3: ….Man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.

 

A great cloud of inordinate affection, passion and lust with covetousness ensnared many of the deeply devoted Jews in Thessalonica which received a worldly prize from Rome in 168 BC. The Romans rewarded this city so that the wealthier and powerful classes were allowed to continue much as before when the apostle Paul arrived in AD 50-51 as documented by Acts. As a reverent Jew, Paul preached each 7th day Sabbath in the synagogue in Thessalonica (Acts 17:1-3) and reasoned with them, as was his custom. This is the recurring Bible commands of God (beginning Genesis 2:2-3). As was the custom of Christ the Jew, the converted Christian Jew Paul preached each Sabbath day, and is recorded ten times in the book of Acts. Paul departed from Thessalonica to Berea, to Athens, then to Corinth.

 

Acts 18:12-13: When Gal’lio was proconsul of Achaia (region of Thessalonica and Corinth), the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him to the judgment seat, saying: This fellow persuades men to worship God contrary to the law.*  Historical records indicate each proconsul was for a one year term documenting the time Paul was expelled from Thessalonica. Shortly before (A.D. 49) Emperor Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome.

 

Acts 18:1-3: After these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a certain Jew name Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them. So because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers.* Paul used his wages as a tentmaker to support the ministry of God’s truth. He gave all to preach the Gospel of Christ (all the Bible). He never asked any church for personal support. While in Athens, a city full of idols, Paul changed and expanded his method of preaching. * Acts 17:17: Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there. * Paul reasoned on the 7th day in the synagogue and preached in the marketplace the other six days. His custom of speaking to the Jews on the 7th day is outlined in Acts, chapter 13. This was his first missionary journey in Antioch (A.D. 48). The Athens philosophers of their gods (a gift of the devil) took him to Areopagus (Mars hill), saying: May we know what this new doctrine is of which you speak?  

 

Acts 17:22-24: Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus (literally Hill of Ares) and said: Men of Athens. I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the ONE whom you worship without knowing, HIM I proclaim to you. God, who made the world and everything in it, since HE is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Verse 29: Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. Verse 32: And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said: We will hear you again on this matter. * However some believed as some believe to this day. The speech of Paul is still affixed on a tablet at the entrance of the outdoor theatre. Most Athenians then and now missed the opportunity to receive the true God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Much of the world, descendants of Jacob’s trouble begins drawing to close.

 

Jeremiah 30:5-6: For thus says the Lord: We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask now, and see, whether a man is ever in labor with child? So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins like a woman in labor, and all faces turned pale? Verse 9: But they shall serve the lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.  * Choose God to obtain the prize, the imperishable crown.  Be blessed until we meet again.            Visit:   cogmessiah.org   *   Visit: christisking.us