Category Archives: Christian Living

The Hunter

Don’t Eat Blood Or Meat Sacrificed to Idols

When the Jerusalem council met regarding what to require from the new Gentile believers, they basically summarized the requirements from Leviticus 17–18.  Leviticus 17 deals with the sanctity of blood and idolatry (offerings to demons) while Leviticus 18 focuses on forms of sexual immorality.  In this essay we will look primarily at Leviticus 17.

Leviticus 17:1-7 basically teaches that all clean animals must be brought as korbanot (offerings) and must be offered in the Sanctuary.  The location of the Sanctuary varied in the early days but eventually, the only place sacrifices could be made was in Jerusalem.  If anyone killed a clean animal and didn’t offer it to the Lord, he was guilty of bloodshed.  Sacrifices could not be made in the open fields or somewhere in the camp other than the Sanctuary.  These sacrifices were offered to goat-demons.  Since the Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D., no sacrifices to the Lord have been made because of this commandment.

Deuteronomy 12:13-16 re-emphasizes this commandment but gives permission to slaughter and eat clean meat in a manner similar to gazelle or deer whereas previously, the Israelites had to offer peace offerings when they wanted to eat meat.  From this point on, no matter where the Israelites lived they were permitted to eat meat whenever they wanted as long as they didn’t eat the blood.

Even though people could slaughter and eat meat where they lived throughout the Promised Land, offerings were still brought to the Temple in order to draw near to God.  You may be surprised to know that as Jews became believers in Jesus Christ, they still offered sacrifices at the Temple and made pilgrimages to Jerusalem for the feasts until it was destroyed in 70 A.D.  This was long after Christ’s death and resurrection.  This is evident in Acts 21 when Paul purified himself and took the men into the temple so they could finish their period of purification.


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As church history evolved, anti-Semitism sprang up and Constantine’s creed forced Gentile Christians to renounce and stop observing the new moons, Sabbaths and the Feasts of the Lord.  Gentiles also had to stop performing purifications, saying the Jewish prayers, and fellowshipping with Jews.  All of this did not end with the Reformation which was started by Martin Luther.  His writings indicate he was anti-Jewish as well.  This separation of Gentile Christians from Jewish practices has continued through the Reformation to the present.

Today, Christians have begun seeking their Hebraic Roots.  God is moving His people to read the Scriptures for themselves so they will choose to obey them despite the errant teachings of Christian churches.  Christian pastors can either find their Hebraic Roots and lead their congregations back to the truth of God’s word or continue to deceive their laypeople by continuing to teach what the seminaries and numerous commentaries have errantly taught them.

We should constantly seek the truth now because during Christ’s reign, God’s commandments will be regularly performed including sacrifices which will be offered only in the Temple.  They will not be performed in vain but with a sincere heart full of love and devotion to the Lord while remembering the sacrifice that Jesus made for the sins of mankind.  If you doubt this, read the description of the third temple shown to Ezekiel for more details.

As previously mentioned, the Israelites were commanded not to commit idolatry or offer sacrifices to demons (Leviticus 17:7-9).  In Acts 15:29, the Gentiles were specifically commanded by the Jerusalem council not to eat meat which had been sacrificed to idols.  In 1 Corinthians 8, Paul emphasized that non-believing Gentiles participating in idolatry were really sacrificing to demons and not to God.  This was probably because the new Gentile believers were still somewhat ignorant of the Torah.

Paul said some people had the knowledge that idols did not have any real existence in the world nor could they affect the meat which was sacrificed to them while others believed differently.   Paul suggested that believers should not eat meat sacrificed to idols so they won’t cause someone else with a weak conscience to stumble; however, this was not the primary reason to avoid meat sacrificed to idols.

Many Christians believe that believers are free to knowingly eat food sacrificed to idols when someone weaker in their faith is not around.  This could not be further from the truth.  Paul finally gives a better reason to avoid meat sacrificed to idols in 1 Corinthians 10.  In this chapter, Paul equates eating food sacrificed to idols to having fellowship with demons.  Clearly, we are not to eat at the table of demons.

Is this something we should be concerned about today?  Some think not.  Without the knowledge of the general public, meat packers in America are putting out meat that is ‘halal’ (lawful).  What is this?  This is meat that has been ritually slaughtered according to Islamic law – slicing the jugular vein with a sharp knife while reciting the name of Allah and allowing the blood to drain from the animal.  Even though a portion the meat was not burned as a sacrifice, shall we consider this a sacrifice to Allah?  It is obviously slaughtered in the name of Allah.  You will have to decide for yourself.  While you are at it, let me know what you think.

If you don’t know whether or not your meat was offered to idols (demons), don’t ask.  Just eat it with thanksgiving to God.  If you hear your meat was offered to idols, don’t eat it. Whatever you do, do everything to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:27-31).

Leviticus 17 also prohibits Israelites and foreigners living with them from eating blood.  This is because blood sustains life and it is to be used to make atonement for sin.  Blood is contained within our circulatory system.  Normally, it is circulated through our bodies and is not eliminated.  The cells carry oxygen to the cells to sustain life while the plasma carries other substances necessary for life.  The kidneys filter the waste products from the blood which pass out of the body in urine while the clean blood re-circulates to continually give life to other parts of the body.  Blood was not intended to be eaten and eliminated by our intestinal tract.  When life-giving blood is destroyed and excreted from the body this way, it is a picture of blood-loss and death.

You might be surprised to know that ordinary people eat blood in various places around the world.  Some people actually make sausage out of it.  I understand that it tastes very good but I have never eaten it.  Many eat blood without realizing God has forbidden it.  On the other hand, those who are involved in demon worship drink blood as part of their Satanic rituals.  Those who eat blood regardless of the reason will be cut off from the community of God’s people.

Remember, hunting and killing clean animals to eat is fine but the blood must be completely drained onto the ground and covered with dirt.  I suspect this is because God formed Adam from the dust of the earth.

Leviticus says that if someone eats meat from an animal that died naturally or that was torn to death by wild animals, he will be unclean.  Israelites or foreigners who became unclean because of what they ate had to be extremely careful to immerse themselves and wait for evening to come in order to avoid defiling the temple.  If they didn’t they had to bear the consequences of their wrongdoing.

All of this comes down to the letter of the Jerusalem council to the Gentile believers which upheld the Levitical laws:

But concerning the Gentiles who believe, we have written and decided that [they should observe no such thing, except that (this phrase is not in the Greek text)]they should keep themselves from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality (Acts 21:25).

Since the phrase “they should observe no such thing, except that” is not included in the Greek text, we should understand that since Paul kept Torah, Gentile believers should also be free to observe Torah (Acts 21:24), especially Leviticus 17-18 which is the core of Torah.

Copyright © 1989 - 2017 AIRRINGTON MINISTRIES | www.airrington.com |All Rights Reserved.

Jesus and the Truman Show


Does it really matter if the resurrection of Jesus is a total lie?

One Easter, a relative cornered me at a family dinner and wanted to talk about the resurrection of Jesus.  Let’s just call her my dear Aunt Sally. Some people try to stay away from politics and religion at parties. Not Aunt Sally. 🙂

Aunt Sally she started off by telling me that Jesus didn’t come back from the dead in any real sense–that the story of Jesus’ resurrection just emerged over decades after the crucifixion. She said that Jewish peasants who missed Jesus and needed a Messiah figure basically made the whole thing up–probably because it helped them feel better emotionally and things like that.

But she said something else, too. She said that it doesn’t really matter if the resurrection of Jesus actually happened. After all, can’t we draw inspiration from a story even if it’s not true?

 

How do you respond to these two challenges?

  1. It doesn’t matter if Jesus really rose from the dead
  2. The story of the resurrection of Jesus emerged over decades after the crucifixion

 

Does it really matter if the resurrection of Jesus is a total lie? I’ll bet you’ve heard this kind of question before: “Can’t we draw inspiration from a story even if it’s not true?”

Jesus and the Truman Show

This reminds me of an old Jim Carry movie: “The Truman Show.” If you’ve seen the movie, you might remember that Truman basically lived the perfect life. But he had no clue that he was part of this fantasy world that was made up by the people who produced the Truman Show. Truman had no clue his view of the world was built on a total lie.

Now I guess you could say, “What does it really matter?” I mean, he’s happy, right? But Truman got suspicious and he tried to figure out what’s going on. And I don’t blame him. I mean, what would you do?  Wouldn’t you want to know if your best friends were a bunch of fakes; if your idea of the world was based on a total lie? I would. That’s because the truth really matters–especially when we’re talking about spiritual stuff.

The apostle Paul thought so, too. Here’s what he wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:14-17:

“And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.  Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.  For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.”

Paul wasn’t a fan of drawing inspiration from fiction.

Paul was convinced that if Jesus didn’t come back from the dead in any real sense, the entire faith tradition is a waste of time–and that the Christian religion is based on a total lie. As a Christian, I’ve got to be OK with saying that if the resurrection of Jesus was faked, we’re in the same kind of spot that Truman was. We wouldn’t have hope in anything real. In fact, we’d be totally hopeless. Our worldview would be based on a total lie.

Sharing the Truth

You might consider sharing this illustration and idea with a skeptical family member who asks something like, “Can’t we draw inspiration from a story even if it’s not true?” on Easter Sunday.

It’s interesting that virtually every critical scholar believes that 1 Corinthians is an authentic letter of Paul. Even more, that Paul’s conversion is a fact of history.

Your personal production show

I want to ask you a more personal question.  Is your personal walk with Jesus a fake?  Do you really love Jesus or have you made a few changes on the outside in order to look religious?  Perhaps, it doesn’t really matter to you if you are religious or if you have changed on the inside to look more like Jesus.  If you are faking your Christianity and your whole Christian walk is just a production show like The Truman Show, I would challenge today to look to Jesus as the author and finisher of your faith.  Shed the religious skin that you have on like a snake sheds its skin and start making changes on the inside in order to look more like Jesus.  And, if you have not asked Jesus to come into your life you can do that right now.

Romans 10:9 says that we must confess with our mouth that we believe (John 3:16) that He died and rose from the dead and that we must repent and ask forgiveness of our sins (Acts 3:19) and finally we must invite Him in and have a personal relationship with Him (Revelation 3:20).

Welcome to the family of God…pray every day, read your Bible every day (start with the book of John (4th book of the New Testament) and find a good Bible preaching church in which to fellowship with other believers.

Copyright ©2011 Pastor Kevin R Airrington

Copyright © 1989 - 2017 AIRRINGTON MINISTRIES | www.airrington.com |All Rights Reserved.

Living Stress Free In Today’s World

Pastor Kevin R. Airrington

I.  Introduction

Just over 25 years ago, I wrote my first sermon.  It was entitled, “Why Worry?” I was excited to preach it.  When the day arrived, I am not certain if all the words came out right and at least one point my nerves got the best of me and even though I had notes in front of me…I completely lost my place.  Ironically, I began to worry, worry mostly about what others thought.   Sensing my distress, friend and mentor, Alan Baker of Medford, Oregon looked me in the eye, let a out a chuckle…then smiled and said, “You stinking devil!”   I heard a couple of Amen’s and suddenly, what the devil tried to rob…I was back in control of.

Worry and stress is part of life.  But is there a way we can recognize stress and attempt to minimize it?  Let’s find out.

Is it possible to live stress free in today’s world?  That’s a good question we should all ask ourselves, because stress is one of the prevailing characteristics in today’s world.  We live in a tension-charged, fast-paced world that is full of demands and complexities that have caused the stress level of the people of our society to reach epidemic proportions.

A couple of questions we must ask ourselves are, “Does Jesus offer us a stress free life?”  And does the Bible offer us solutions to living a stress free life?  I believe the answer to both of these questions is yes and that’s what I want to look at in this essay.  We will be looking at the subject of stress and the constructive solutions we can apply for living successfully in an environment that fosters stressful living.

1.  A Biblical Picture Of Stress Free Living.

Let’s begin by looking at a portion of scripture found in Matthew’s Gospel that shows us very clearly that Jesus intended for us to have a stress free lifestyle.

Matthew 6:25-33  “…do not worry about your life… Look at the birds of the air… why do you worry about clothing?  Consider the lilies of the field… if God so clothes the grass of the field… will He not much more clothe you… but seek first the kingdom of God… do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

This passage of scripture offers us some real hope in today’s tension-charged, fast-paced world that is full of the many complexities of modern life.

2.  Defining Stress.

Stress is simply defined as “a factor that creates a mental, emotional, or physical strain.”  It is “a state of unresolved tension arising from the pressures, irritations, and demands of life.

In biblical terms, the word “affliction” is the closest equivalent.  Affliction can also be defined as “the pressure which affects a person’s life.”  It is a broad term which includes many factors which contribute to stress.  Affliction in the Greek means anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulations, and trouble.

Keep in mind that God did not promise us that we would be exempt from the things that cause stress and anxiety, but rather He would enable us to live in such a way that these things would not affect us.

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Stress is a universal problem which periodically troubles Christians and unbelievers alike.  Even Paul referred to the stress he experienced when he wrote: “We were pressed out of measure”.

2 Corinthians 1:8 “For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life.”

II. Common Symptoms Of Stress.

How do you know whether you are experiencing stress or not.  Maybe you are and you are not even aware of it.  You may think that what you are experiencing is the normal function of life.  Stress can breed a host of destructive symptoms which affect us mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Here are some of the symptoms:

  • mental and emotional fatigue
  • drug and alcohol dependency
  • loss of appetite
  • physical weariness
  • high blood pressure
  • frequent headaches
  •  stomach problems
  • heart problems
  • migraines
  • ulcers
  • insomnia
  • hypertension

Stress often produces a sense of anxiety, irritability, frustration, restlessness, and depression.  It creates a feeling of hopelessness and disillusionment which undermines a person’s sense of purpose, direction, and meaning in life.  Stress can keep you from fulfilling God’s purpose for your life.

III. Common Causes of Stress.

What are some of the common causes of stress in our lives?  There are a number of things that contribute to stressful living, especially in our society today.  The unrelenting pressures of contemporary life, the constant challenges and deadlines of our fast-paced society, the ever-changing state of our unstable world, and the pressures of fear and uncertainties concerning the future all contribute to stressful living.

  • the tempo of life the strain of demands and responsibilities
  • a failure to seek adequate rest and relaxation
  • a poor use of time
  • a poor diet
  • vitamin deficiencies
  • wrong priorities
  • spiritual conflicts
  • a tendency to overextend ourselves
  • lack of exercise
  • insufficient communion with God
  • unresolved inter-personal conflicts
  • emotional problems
  • procrastination
  • unresolved sins

How to Join the Coronary Club: Membership Requirements

  1.  Never say No to a request ‑ always say YES.
  2.  Your job comes first; personal considerations are secondary.
  3.  Accept all invitations to meetings, banquets, committees, etc.
  4.  Go to the office evenings, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
  5.  Golf, bowling and hobbies are a waste of time.
  6.  It is a poor policy to take all the vacation time which is provided to you.
  7.  Never delegate responsibility to others; carry the whole load at all times.
  8.  Do not eat a restful, relaxing meal ‑ always plan a conference for the   dinner hour.
  9.  If your work calls for traveling ‑ work all day and drive all night to make your appointment for the next morning.
  10. 10. Fishing and hunting are a waste of time and money ‑ you never bring back enough fish or game to justify the expense.
  11. Take the briefcase home on the evenings when you do not go to the office.  This provides an opportunity to review completely all the troubles and worries of the day.

Unresolved stress can become an extremely destructive condition.  The accumulated effect of longstanding stress can eventually lead to a condition which is commonly referred to as “Burn-Out Syndrome.”

IV. Principles For Stress Free Living.

Let’s keep in mind that God desires for each one of us as His precious people to live a stress free life that is rich in God’s fulfillment.

Psalms 66:12  “…We went through fire and through water; but you brought us out to rich fulfillment.”

When we look to God’s solution in any matter that has the tendency to bring stress in our lives, He will bring us into a rich fulfillment.  The key is learning to trust Him and His way rather than our poorly devised plans.  Let’s look at some of God’s principles for stress free living.

1.  We Must See Things From God’s Perspective.

Life is filled with a wide variety of circumstances.  Some situations are positive, some are negative.  However, the circumstances we encounter, regardless of the nature, often produce feelings of stress.  This is especially true of the adverse situations which suddenly affect or alter the course of our lives.

A great deal of stress can be alleviated or minimized by viewing our circumstances from a godly perspective.  If we fail to perceive our life situations, at any point, as God perceives them, then we become susceptible to stress.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

This can be a real liberating revelation which has the potential of freeing us from much of the self-imposed stress we experience by seeing our circumstances in a negative light.

In one of Germany’s famous art galleries, a painting called “Cloud Lane” hangs at the end of a long dark hall.  It appears at first to be a huge, ugly mass of confused color ‑‑ unattractive and foreboding.  Upon closer examination, however, you see an innumerable company of angels.  Theodore Cuyler writes, “How often the soul that is frightened by a trial sees nothing but a conglomeration of broken expectations.  But if he analyzes the situation from a position of faith ‑‑ he will soon discover that the cloud is God’s wonderful chariot of providence, full of angels of mercy.”

2.  Deal With Unresolved Sins & Conflicts.

Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Sin generates inner tensions and conflicts and if it’s unresolved, whether public or private, we must sincerely seek Christ’s cleansing power and forgiveness.

Whatever your conflicts may be, learn to deal with them as they come up.  The more you put them off, and the more they pile on top of one another, the more stress you will experience.  If you are experiencing irritations in your marriage or whatever, deal with them.

Conflicts with others create incredible amounts of stress.  If we are harboring hostility, hatred, resentments, or offense, we should seek genuine reconciliation, healing, and forgiveness through the scriptural steps God provides.

Matthew 5:23-24 “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, “leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way.  First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”

3.  We Must Redeem Our Time.

Many people waste time and manage it poorly.   The inevitable result is a stress-filled consciousness.

Ephesians 5:15-16  “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

This also involves pacing ourselves in such a way that we do not take on to much in a given time, but we understand our limitations.  This also involves taking time for rest and relaxation.

4.  Give Everything To God In Prayer.

Philippians 4:6-7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

A great deal of stress is the direct result of shouldering the burdens of life without turning to The Lord in prayer.  We have access to “the peace of God” when we release our burdens to The Lord.

1 Peter 5:7         “…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”

When we fail to release our problems and cares to Christ, we begin to experience increasing tension, anxiety, and fear.  Prayer is one of the most powerful remedies for stress.

5.  Trust In God’s Word.

Romans 15:4  “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”

The promises and counsel of scripture provides us with a rich storehouse of stress-relieving comfort and peace.  Stress often results from failing to stand upon the absolute reality of God’s Word, in spite of our circumstances.

When we confront life’s problems, dilemmas, and uncertainties with the reality of God’s Word, we can effectively overcome a great deal of stress we suffer.

6.  Fellowship With One Another.

Romans 15:32  “…that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you.”

2 Corinthians 7:13 “Therefore we have been comforted in your comfort. And we rejoiced exceedingly more for the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all.”

Fellowship can often provide a potent remedy for stress. 

Studies have proven that interaction with loved ones and friends helps relieve the pressures of stress.

Those who isolate themselves and withdraw from people and relationships suffer a greater degree of stress-related problems.  Companionship with others provides access to warmth, love, understanding, comfort, counsel, and encouragement.

Copyright © 2011  Pastor Kevin R. Airrington.  All rights reserved.

Copyright © 1989 - 2017 AIRRINGTON MINISTRIES | www.airrington.com |All Rights Reserved.