However, each will be rewarded according to his (her) work. For we are God’s co-workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. Using the grace God gave me, I laid a foundation, like a skilled master-builder; and another man is building on it. But let each one be careful how he (she) builds. For noone can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). Some will use gold, silver or previous stones in building on this foundation; while others will use wood, grass or straw. But each one’s work will be shown for what it is; the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire – the fire will test the quality of each one’s work. If the work someone has built on The Foundation survives, he (she) will receive a reward; if it is burned up, he (she) will have to bear the loss: he (she) will still escape with his (her) life, but it will be like escaping through a fire. – 1 Corinthians 3:8-15
Within the above text there are a mayhem of metaphors! I will list them:
– precious stones
Each one of these words symbolize something done inside a soul (mind, heart, which reside within a physical body). So each word means something other than what the actual physical thing is. Every physical thing God has made represents a function of spiritual reality. For instance, one hardly can apply gold, silver, precious stones, wood, grass or straw to the foundation within a soul. (Though there are actual instances of where some have tried… and failed). Tattooing Adonai’s name over our chest where the actual heart is located – even in gold – will not place Him any closer to our heart of hearts.
So what do all these words actually mean? What function do they serve in the physical realm? How does Adonai use these words in context to Himself in all the Bible? He has from Genesis to Revelations used each one repeatedly. How can we possibly hope to understand these words taken all together here in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians if we don’t understand where and how Adonai has used and taught through and with them throughout His history with us? Make note of the way that last statement reads. His history with us, not our history with Him. The difference between these two is the difference between wisdom and foolishness. The direction or flow of all things begins with God.
God -> beginning -> heavens -> earth -> plants -> animals -> man -> and so on…
In the beginning God…
He is the direct object of all things, the beginning and end, all arrows point to Him and point from Him. So how He has used these words from the beginning is essential to knowing Him at any point along the way – especially at the end… where we are!
Word studies are not for pastors and leaders or teachers. They are for each Follower of Yeshua. He is the Word. To know Him we must dive into what He’s made of and make it part of ourselves. Adopt His ways as our own. This is essentially what building means, and the labor of tearing down our own house, walls, roof, plumbing, electrical and so on and beginning again (aka starting over from scratch) according to His design (from the beginning) is the work being spoken of here. The actual learning of the true meanings of the words is simple. The building and labor of living them – well this is where we begin to understand why He said “narrow is the way and few are they who find it“. (Matt. 7:14) There are as many excuses as sands on a beach for why we don’t study our instruction manual (aka God’s Word) and instead read it. What gives our souls absorbing quality to it is the study of it. To read it, even memorize it, we will still be as a rock by which it rolls over and around us; perhaps even eroding away some small parts of us, but never truly becoming and transforming us.
Yeshua is as profoundly in the Old Testament as He is in the New. Do you see it? Do you see every word He spoke as He lived and walked in human flesh only repeats everything from Genesis to Malachi? Do you see why we become Israel – Jews by being grafted in? Note: Abraham was not a Jew by blood. He was called, chosen by God and hence the Jews became. The only reason God kept a blood record was to prove He keeps His promises; specifically His promise to Abraham. Exactly and precisely as He said He would. So we can know He will keep His promises to us exactly and precisely as He said/says to us! Jews are the chosen people of God, not a bloodline heritage or ethnic group. However offended it may be taken. That is fact backed by God Himself. Isn’t it written in the New Testament that He chose us not the other way around. (John 15:16) And that this is the distinction between religious people and God’s people. And did He, Himself not say to Abraham all the people’s of the world would be blessed through him? (Gen. 22:18)
Many of the words in the list above are very misunderstood by mere human logic alone. The word fire for instance. Even those having been educated in the long ranks of “believers” only see this word as testing. But as suffering? The Christian comfort prone doctrine has failed to teach what the whole of scripture has taught and especially Yeshua Himself and all His disciples after Him. We must take heed to be corrected every time we study God’s Word. Why? Because His ways are not our ways nor His thoughts our thoughts. (Is. 55:8) For every word in scripture is God’s thoughts but where we go with our thoughts with them is full of historical facts of us twisting them to make sense to us. Mostly due to us not being taught to study the Word instead of reading and memorizing it. It’s not a newspaper or book. It’s God. And what does He say about Himself? “Our God is a consuming fire.” (Heb. 12:29) And oh, how we suffer to have our minds renewed, changed. Our egos (aka pride) suffers most in the transformation. Even those of us who credit ourselves as ‘open minded’ don’t begin to understand how His fire consumes until we begin to study His Words and let them burn down our “houses” consuming everything in its wake in ways we couldn’t begin to imagine!
Now, see that every word written above points to and clarifies the words in the list above and begins to open the door for us to enter into the true meaning in the Scripture at the top. He (she) who has ears let them hear.
Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah