You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
14 And he
shall be for a sanctuary; [miqdash] but for a stone ['eben] of
stumbling [negeph] and for a rock [tsuwr] of offence [mikshowl] to
both [shanayim] the houses [bayith] of Israel, [Yisra'el] for a
gin [pach] and for a snare [mowqesh] to the inhabitants [yashab]
of Jerusalem. [Yaruwshalaim] KJV-Interlinear
"Then He shall become a sanctuary; But to both the houses of Israel, a
stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, And a snare and a trap for the
inhabitants of Jerusalem. NASB
A sanctuary, 'miqdash,' is a holy place, a palace, a chapel, a place that is set apart, a consecrated thing, and is thus a place of security and safety as well as a private place for interaction with oneself, but especially with God.
A sanctuary is used in the Bible to designate a place for interaction with God. And, while on this earth most people look to churches of synagogues, or such buildings or private rooms, there is one and only one real and permanent place which is a sanctuary, and that is the fellowship sphere which you enter into when you confess your sins.
The fellowship sphere is the one and only place designated and designed by God which is always there with you, and easily accessible, regardless of who you are, or where you are in life or in this world. Everyone has equal opportunity and equal access to Gods sanctuary by merely confessing their sins and entering into fellowship, or the fellowship sphere as we call it. No one is denied access, and no one can prevent you from entering into Gods sanctuary.
And this of course applies only to believers, never to unbelievers. All access to God is through Christ. And entrance into the spiritual life is naturally through Christ. Refusal to enter Gods palace by means of His defined entrance, means that you do not get in at all. So faith in Christ is the pre-requisite for a spiritual life. Doctrine is the pre-requisite for a functional and fulfilling relationship with God
Now in our verse, most folks look to the things of this world, for their sanctuary, their place of security, their holy place of comfort, and the things of this world, regardless of what they are whether social or possessions or entertainment or passions or whatever, are not and never will be a place of security or contentment, and certainly they are never permanent.
And that is the stumbling block, which is a stone that they trip over but keep on going as they have been. They notice it, but do not pay attention to it, and keep on stumbling.
A rock of offence, which is a rock over which they fall or an obstacle which they cannot get around. The world will never be an answer to your wants or problems. Salvation is the only answer and doorway into a permanent solution.
To both houses of Israel, namely Judah and Samaria, which includes all people, unbelieving, and believing but negative believers, and anyone who ignores or rejects, or is indifferent toward Gods will and all inclusive plan.
For a gin and a snare, which are traps for catching birds.
And so, birds seem to think that they can come and go as they please, but sooner or later they get caught, and in this trap, they will never get free.
For the inhabitants of Jerusalam. And this last phrase is in reference to the one and only God, the only legitimate and living God, namely Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ controls history. There is no other god, no other force, no other philosophy or karma or arrangement of things or feng-shui, no nation or empire, no one and nothing that you can look to for safety or contentment, and nothing that can control or secure your life, except God and God alone.
There is nothing for unbelievers, regardless of who or what they think, believe, or do.
For both houses of Israel, for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the security and safety and prosperity of God applies to believers only, to those who are in the nation and family or God, and even to those who have advanced to high levels of spiritual maturity, lest anyone get to thinking that they have arrived and have no further need of God or doctrine.
In every case concerning believers, Gods will and Gods plan and Gods method for the spiritual life, must be followed, and never mans own invented method or design for spirituality.
You cannot be sincere, you cannot reason your own path, you cannot disregard Gods will and create your own version of spirituality, just because it is convenient or palatable for you.
You cannot present yourself before people and expect that God will accept your spiritual front.
The spiritual life must be done Gods way, not your way. And Gods way is very clear. No person is an authority to themselves.
You are mandated to study by means of instruction, daily, and learn so that you can come to an understanding of spiritual phenomena by means of that learning. You are to study and function in your spiritual life while in fellowship, or within Gods sanctuary. This then leads to the application of divine viewpoint to your daily life, which in turn leads to wisdom, which in turn leads to spiritual muscle and spiritual orientation to life, and that all leads to faith, a real and legitimate faith, which is based on the actual substance of spiritual thought.
If you are not doing this, then you are not even close to having a legitimate spiritual life.
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End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.