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Bringing Tongues Of Fire From The Sparks Of Faith...

 


LESSON 23

FIRST AND SECOND CORINTHIANS

By Rev.  G. Evan Newmyer  



INTRODUCTION TO LESSON 23 

The Romans were a snap compared to the Corinthians, for the Romans it was a matter of focus; getting their eyes back on Jesus and off others. To the Corinthians it was getting them to open their eyes to their own selves. The most dangerous situation a leader can find their self in is facing the Corinthian mindset; yet fighting the carnal with the carnal is like one tornado fighting another, an awful lot of innocent people get hurt. Whenever we attempt to minister or disciple to anyone through our soul alone, it ends with the blind leading the blind. Paul’s approach toward the Corinthians is for them to look at their own selves as they are seen. They had the Spirit, but they were not Spiritual, rather they were still carnal. To us it seems impossible, but here we find it. Nonetheless, this letter will lead us to discover some wondrous things, it’s a wonder Paul didn’t kill them. We will find some areas where our Doctrine will be strengthened, some where your eyes may be opened. Corinth is also an example of how the “gates of hell” are implanted, as well as how to respond when facing them.

Second Corinthians gives us our first real look at “friendly fire” from within the Body, and how the waster was created to destroy. These two working manuals help those who are called to the ministry, those called into intercessory prayer, and those called.

Romans showed us the self-danger, or what we do to ourselves when we fail to discern; Corinthians shows the damage we do to others when we fail to enter the Spiritual. When we fail to walk in the Spiritual we will remain carnal in nature, but as Paul said in Romans, to be carnal minded is death.


FIRST CORINTHIANS - WRITTEN 59 AD

One thing we're going to discover is the carnal minded and the Babe in Christ are different, yet both appear to have some of the same traits, but their intents are different. Paul begins this adventure by telling the Corinthians they are not Spiritual, thus he has to speak to them as if they were Babes. Not saying they were, only their understanding was still in the fetal stage. The Babe in Christ is like any baby, they need help to eat, guidance in playing, with a great deal of attention and instruction. Yet, if a person has been in the Body for some time, but they are still using natural reasoning as their guide, still judging the event by the event, still trusting in their own intellect, still getting mad when things don't go their way, still giving their opinions, still unable to discern Spiritual matters, still taking the glory, still run by their emotions, they are carnal.

The approach to the carnal is much different than to the Spiritual, yet one can’t minister “carnal to the carnal”. We have to keep in mind how the Corinthians did some things by the Spirit, but they still were not Spiritual, thus activity and understanding are different. We can speak in tongues, pray, teach or prophesy and not know why. Therefore, one can have the Spirit of Christ, but not the Mind of Christ. The carnal minded expect Christ to adhere to their mind, it’s our mind needing to be renovated and outfitted with the Mind of Christ. The Corinthians were on the very border of “Spiritual wickedness”, they had the Spirit, but failed to enter the Spiritual realm. They were above many things, yet without being Spiritual they were unable to discern, or understand Spiritual matters.

Corinth had the worse of all possible elements, carnal leadership. They heard "the word of the Lord" from the Apostle, but termed it "something a person said", then demanded for Paul to prove himself. They investigated Paul, rather than discern the words spoken. The carnal mind will always investigate to prove something wrong, so they won't be held responsible to the "word spoken". They question the Bible, question the teaching, challenge what they don’t want to receive while holding unbelief, all to avoid the call to be Spiritual in nature, yet being Spiritual is the “Image” God desires.

The proof of the carnal mindset will be displayed in the Corinthians view of baptism, they twisted it into social importance, or personal validation. They held self-induced suspicious opinions to attack Paul, just as the Pharisees did against Jesus; for the same reason, not to be held accountable to the word spoken. It didn’t make any difference if they received the Word or not, it was spoken, once spoken they were accountable.

Discernment is a Spiritual attribute, Paul will discern the Corinthians, but the Corinthians won’t discern Paul, or themselves. Two things are certain, if someone has set out to prove what the Spirit is doing is wrong, they are in dire need of the Holy Ghost to set them on the true and correct path. The "error" if any, is discernable by the Spirit: it's the Spirit doing the proving, not man. Paul was accused of the Corinthians of failing to have a sign of Christ speaking through him, thus they thought they found him in error. Both of the letters show the error was with the Corinthians; therefore, in their endeavors to prove Paul in error, they only proved they were the ones in error. The carnal mind is the mother of the hypocrite, they accuse others of what they are doing.

Discernment will be our lesson in these letters, this one area will be the difference between "I wish you all prophesy", and "not all are prophets". Just because we gave a word doesn’t mean we’re a prophet, just because we teach Bible history, or what others say about the Bible doesn’t mean we’re a Bible teacher. One attribute regarding a Bible Teacher is the ability to open mysteries so the student can apply the Truth in their own lives, as well as being a teachable teacher; what good is an unteachable teacher? The Corinthians are the evidence of the carnal mind, they refused correction proving they were unteachable, yet an attribute to the Wisdom of God is to be easily entreated. It doesn’t mean they accept any wind of doctrine, it means they are open to hear sound teaching. 

The Corinthians were members of the Body, they were a local body began by Paul, he termed himself their "father", yet he also termed them "carnal". Raise a child in the way they shall go? It was his hope, but they would have to enter the way. The foundation was sure, the seeds were planted and watered, it was time for God to bring the increase, if they submitted and allowed it.

If Romans 8:6 says to be carnally minded is death, if the carnal mind is an enmity toward God, if those of the flesh cannot please God, why even fool with these carnal minded Corinthians? Grace is Grace, it’s a driving force to see the lost saved, even if the lost are within the Body. The Corinthians are a prime example of a people who accepted the Plan of God, but refused to enter it. They have the Potential, God gave them what it takes, all they needed to do is submit to the Spirit to enter the process.

 We have to make the division between acts of the flesh to please God, and having a carnal mind. "We just did that". No, we find the word Carnal in Romans 8:6 as the Greek Sarx, translated over and over again as Flesh. However, here in First Corinthians 3:1, 3:3, 3:4 and 9:11, as well as in Second Corinthians 10:4 we find the word is the Greek Sarkikos meaning Putting the mind, or Allowing the mind to center on temporal matters, external, worldly, natural, sensual, earthly, or using the mind by itself as the ruling element of reason. In Romans it was acts of the flesh in a religious sense, here it's using the natural mind of man as the guide and instructor. Romans were judging people so they could feel superior, the Corinthians were intellectuals, void of Spiritual discernment, thus to remain carnal is the same as remaining natural.

In searching the areas of the soul we find other Greek words relating: Phusikos meaning the physical, Somatikos pertaining to the outward appearance, and Psuchikos meaning soulish, or where the old nature rules. When we use our resources to enhance the flesh, for the sake of the flesh, we are Psuchikos. When we minister through our hurts, pains or experiences void of the Spirit we are also Psuchikos. All of these various areas of the soul run life style define what the Corinthians were doing, so were they saved? Yes, they were saved from the world, they had the Spirit, but were they going to make it in the First Resurrection? Not on the path they were walking.

This letter will give us some insights, we will find the “spirit of man” and the “spirit of the world”, how they are either opposed, or ignorant to the things of God. We will also see how baptism is not always associated with “water”, but is associated with realms, or as a means of identification to enter a Covenant.

What then is the difference between these Corinthians and a Babe in Christ? A Babe in Christ is still natural, but they are fighting to become Spiritual. A Carnal Christian has stopped in the process, desiring to remain natural, yet they have the Spirit and Mercy of God. They want the benefit, without the responsibility. If we have the Spirit, we must also know there is a growth process. We must submit to the New Man, allowing Him to witness Jesus through us.  

A flesh minded Christian is still locked into deeds of the flesh to impress God, or impress the people of God, far too often they are impressed with their own selves. A Carnal Christian is one who trusts in natural intellect, one who uses the knowledge of people as their standard, but they have failed to gain the Knowledge of God, or the love to couple with the Knowledge. They chase after natural reasonings, usually making gods out of people, especially teachers or scholars they like, but they also make devils out of the people of God they don’t like. So, then how does one deal with them? Hire another pastor who doesn’t know them? No, Paul didn’t run from the problem, neither did he approach it by using the same methods as the Corinthians used against him. He was not about to engage in a camel swallowing contest, or some “oh yeah” debate. He fought the good fight, knowing a soul is a priceless commodity, it’s the treasure in all this. 

Although the Corinthians were not Spiritual, Paul will spend a great deal of time teaching them the Spirituals. The instruction into Spiritual matters in First Corinthians regards the basic elements of the Spirituals, those simple signs of the Spirit in us. Without the Spirit we haven’t a chance, but if we have the Spirit, yet remain carnal, we ignore our chances. 

We also find the teaching technique of using metaphors by Paul, can be twisted by the carnal mind. Was Paul wrong in using metaphors and allegories? No, not at all, the presentation is there, it would take a desire to enter the Spiritual for them to discern the teaching. Parables, metaphors and allegories are God’s way of presenting matters so we can find the Truth, while at the same time exposing the carnal minded. It is the Glory of God to conceal a thing, but the honor of the kings to search out the matter (Prov 25:2). A sign of carnal leadership is how they take a Spiritual concept, then twist it to the flesh. Just because someone twists a teaching, doesn’t mean the teaching is wrong, it means they twisted it. It could be a simple ABC type of teaching, if they don’t want to submit, they will twist it. Paul’s teaching on the “husband and wife” is a perfect example, if we presume he is speaking of gender, then we have to cut the head off the husband and put it on the wife, or since he speaks only of husbands and wives, it means the wives must remain silent, but the widows and single women do not, clearly partial and out of order. If the woman is to remain silent, yet her mouth is on her face, her face is part of her head, yet her head is her husband, who then is to remain silent?

For the most part if someone is knee deep in carnal activity, and we tell them they are carnal, they will get mad, or attack, or enter a “I’ll show you” mindset, which only proves the point. They will punish us by not talking to us, truly a “babe maneuver”. However, if they ask questions, or seek ministry, it’s a different matter. If they didn’t want to know the answer, they shouldn’t ask. Paul is answering questions sent to him, while at the same time showing how the questions revealed the source of their thinking. Paul didn’t have to “read their minds”, their minds were displayed in their carnal questions.

The difference between ministry and psychology is of course ministry to the masses is by the Holy Ghost, in the one on one by the Holy Spirit, but psychology is using the intellect of natural man to discover the mind of natural man, much like a Corinthian ministering to a Corinthian, this letter will show the error in the premise. The Corinthians were using psychology, Paul was ministering. The Corinthians were using formed natural intellect to attack the anointing of Paul: Paul on the other hand went to the Creator and obtained his ability to minister. The Corinthians were attempting to push Paul away, Paul was reaching out to restore, encourage and edify.

Most people would not consider these letters in the area of "edification", yet in the true sense of being Edified they are. It's our concept of edification producing the problem; edification means to build up, in a Godly sense it’s limited to building someone in the Lord. The counterfeit would be building the person in the person, or enhancing their flesh, ego, or pride. If we simply say, "to build up", we can be building the ego of someone, thinking we're edifying them. We're ruining them, not building them. The very purpose for coming together in the assembly is to exhort one another, a far cry from going to church to have our egos exalted. In Second Corinthians we will find an attribute of Godly edification is correction with sharpness in love by the Holy Ghost through the Spirit (II Cor 13:10).

We will see in just a short time how Corinth was highly influenced by the oracles in Delphi, the location of the temple of Apollo the Greek god: just as the people in Ephesus were influenced by Dianna the Greek goddess. As strange as it seems in Greek mythology Apollo and Dianna were brother and sister, thus one had a temple in Delphi, the other had one in Ephesus. The evil influence was not only because Delphi was across the bay, but because Corinth had it's treasury located in Delphi, the banking center of Greece. The influence caused the Corinthians to engage in a common error, mixing the things of the world into the things of God. Paul shows how its a danger, the realms are completely different. Paul’s response to the Corinthians is a perfect example of how God exposes the devil’s use of divination through the natural thinking of carnal minded people, yet Paul also shows how the tricks of the enemy have no effect on the Spiritually minded. If we’re in the Body of Christ, and Jesus is above all things, surely we are above the ways of darkness. Discern to learn and we will never burn, or get burned.

Now to the historic side of Corinth, we just saw how Corinth was located across the bay from Delphi. Delphi was an important cosmopolitan city within the Roman province of Achaia, located within Delphi was the temple to Apollo, the Greek god. Some of the Delphic temple rites ran a close parallel to the Manifestation of the Spirit; however, there were some major differences. The damsel who was possessed with a spirit of divination in Acts 16:16-19 would have been associated with the Delphi temple. The damsel had a "spirit of divination", the word Divination only appears once in the New Testament (Acts 16:16). The Greek word is Puthon, from Puthon comes the Greek Pythian as the name of the ritual conducted at Delphi, Puthon was a serpent from which the rites of Pythian came.

According to Greek mythology when Apollo was still a baby he came to Delphi where he found Python the serpent son of Gaia (Mother Earth). Apollo killed the serpent, at the same time abandoned Delphi to purify himself. When his purifying was done, he came back to Delphi, crowned himself then took over the position of being the oracle, causing the temple to named after him. He then instilled the rites of Phthian, which is the mother of all mind control and divination. The rites of Pythian were related to the mystic abilities of a snake to charm it's prey, even today there are secret societies who still engage in the rites of Pythian. Using devils to tell them of ones past, then telling the person of their past, to gain their confidence so they can entrap their mind to future events, yet it’s still witchcraft. The Pythian would entrap the person’s mind, make suggestions about the future, then the person would make the event happen, thinking the Pythian was telling the future. People who claim to talk to the dead use the same Pythian method, they are not talking to the dead, but to devils, yet the person makes it appear as if they hear the dead.

The Pythian in the temple would speak of facts known to the victim, usually things of the past, when the victim becomes impressed, they have enticed themselves. The evil oracle would start telling them of their future, but the purpose is to make the victim a mental slave. The same demonic mystic form of prophecy is around today, it’s a matter of giving words to the lust in the person, a form of a lust speaking to a lust under the guise of being prophetic. The false prophet attempts to find someone who is run by a lust of importance, or acceptance, or being superior, they speak to the lust, the person becomes so excited they accept the word, but it’s not the Word of deliverance, it’s a voice of darkness. It’s the worse of all soul-ties, but it begins when a carnal mind thinks the dark mystic practices are “Spiritual”. We will find the Bible concept of “Spiritual” is limited to the Spirit of Christ in us manifesting in our lives. The unclean spirits are centered on one thing, to keep us from Grace and Salvation, the Spirit of Christ in us is centered on one thing, the saving of our souls. It’s difficult at best to have a saved soul, yet follow mystic dark practices.

Accordingly, the priestess engaged in the Pythian divination was trained in how to entice a person's ego, or lusts. It’s simply a lust hunting out a lust, the same premise James talks about, a person with a lust tempting another with a lust. They couldn’t read the mind, rather then implanted their own suggestions into the person’s mind. They could make a person believe something happened, when it didn't. This same trick is found in fortune readers, or Tarot card readers, they use familiar spirits and devilish soul-ties. Thank God for the Holy Spirit, if nothing else we can see how Paul was not even phased by this type of demonic activity, he was able to discern. The damsel said the right things, but from the wrong motive, for the wrong purpose. Paul discerned the devil in her, then cast it out. She was in bondage, seeking to set others in bondage, but Paul set her free. The damsel followed Paul and Silas saying, "These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation" (Acts 16:17). We saw this in Acts, but for here we want to see how it relates to the misuse of prophecy. Was Paul and Silas servants of God? Yes, were they sent on a journey to show people the way of salvation? Yes, so what was wrong with the words of the damsel? She was exalting the men, not God. This act was not limited to the Pythian priestess; history shows even the prophets of God can fall into the same danger of speaking to the lusts and souls of people form their own fears, yet adding "so saith the Lord". How can it be? The prophet Ezekiel ran into the same problem, not saying he gave false prophecy, rather he was almost the victim of it. Paul will quote the experience from Ezekiel to show the Corinthians how dangerous their position was; they were saying things attempting to make God bring them to pass.

Paul lived with the Corinthians for some time, yet in Second Corinthians we find these carnal minded rejected Paul, yet accepted false apostles, who came in with the outward appearance of righteousness, but inside Satan still reigned. Couldn’t they tell the difference? No, they were carnal, moved by emotions, or natural intellect. Their hope was in the words of Paul, yet they were rejecting them for the words of Satan. Why? Enhancing the self, a sure sign of the carnal mind. The carnal mind is open to the Pythian witchcraft, thus carnal attracts carnal, lust for lust. However, wasn’t Paul discerning the words of the Corinthians? Yes, so was he Pythian? No, his discernment was by the Spirit, his goal to save them, not trap them. 

The city of Corinth was also known as one of the more wicked cities of ancient times, yet it also had some of the more intellectual Greeks living therein. Interesting, today we hear how we have more intellectuals, or how they are better able to give us a "more perfect translation"; however, the Author is still the Holy Ghost, producing a translation which best suits our wanton theology is hardly "more perfect". The concept of Truth is found in how the context of the Bible hasn't changed, it’s still the Rule Book, it still defines itself. As long as the Holy Ghost is here, He is still interpreting it for us.

The letters to the Romans and the Corinthians show us the two major world powers of the time. We know Rome was over Israel, as the "warring" faction of the time, but the Greeks were the intellectuals of the time. The Greeks were not a threat to the Romans, thus the Romans left many Greek areas intact. Both Corinth and Delphi were favored in Rome for their idols and temples. The idol is nothing, what man does with it determines the influence. The Jews called idols, "devils", since idol worship edified the devilish sin nature of man. Paul called them devils, yet he also said they were nothing. It’s not the “thing”, it’s what we do with it. Money is money, the love of it causes the problems. There were many unscrupulous business practices done in Corinth, immorality, pagan practices, and the worship of Aphrodite was common. Paul used the self-based love of Aphrodite to show the contrast between the Love of God and the love of man's self-based heart. Aphrodite was not a real person, she was an idol, but she also represented the self-love, self-motivated mindset of man, displayed in her son Eros (Cupid). Idols are the works of the hands of man, as such they tend to take on the nature of man. Hero was an idol represented by a real person, but he was hardly a "hero". There were others who were real people, but in the hands of the Greek poets they became gods and goddesses. On the same note there were other idols based on the fathoms of the mind of man, in either case the importance of the idol was in the mind of man, not the idol.

Aphrodite was their goddess of love, but her type of love would kill or destroy to gain a "good feeling", hardly the same as God's love. Many of the people who worshipped idols did so out of fear, they were afraid the idol god would punish them, or bring some natural disaster to destroy them, or one god would get in a war with another, then use the people as some toy to war with. Then along came Paul who preached this Christ of Faith, a Loving and Caring Lord, a real subject who could live up to the title. A Lord who could provide much more than all the idols put together. Even today if we’re caught in a natural disaster we tend to think we’re being punished, or God is using us in some war of good versus evil, even to the point of calling it, “an act of God”. The earth groans, waiting for the Judgment to take effect. 

In reading the New Testament we know there were other bodies of believers, such as the church in Jerusalem, yet there is no letter to the “Church of Jerusalem”, the reason is they didn’t need correction. There were other bodies as well, but like Jerusalem they didn’t need correction. The New Testament letters are guides along the edge of the path, warning signs of the danger of moving from the path. 

 

I Cor 1:1-31

The History of Corinth helps explain why Paul tells them in First Corinthians 1:10 to be "perfectly joined together", or better, to mend what has been divided. The gates of hell were being established as division, contention and heresies. Paul begins by showing his position was not “self-appointed”. Verse 2 is a Godly division as a result of an ungodly division; “to them who are sanctified”, rather then “to all”. Paul begins by addressing his letter to those who are Set Apart, but he also included us in the phrase, “called to be saints, with all in every place who call upon the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord”. We know the term Name refers to Authority, in a few verses we will find how some of the Corinthians forgot they were accepted by the Name of Jesus.

The first time Paul visited Corinth he worked with Aquila and Priscilla in the art of tent making, not because they always did, rather there was a special reason why they did so in Corinth. The word, "tentmakers" is a compound Greek word meaning one who constructs tabernacles, as a tent. We know from other letters the reason Paul worked as a tentmaker was to care for those of his ministry, rather than himself (Acts 18:3). We also know other churches cared for Paul, yet Paul himself said a man should work in order to have to give (Eph 4:28). Corinth was a very rich community, when the call for the collection of the saints in Jerusalem went forth, it was Corinth who said they would give much. Their zeal encouraged other bodies, but when it came time to collect Paul found they where not in line with their words. In Second Corinthians we find some time has passed from "we'll give" to the actual giving, thus we find the carnal minded are quick with their mouth, but slow with their actions. Paul's concern was in taking money from the carnal Corinthians, they might take on the attitude of "you owe us Paul", which is Simony in reverse.

During the first visit we find Paul would enter the local synagogue on the sabbath to reason with the Jews (Acts 18:4). Until the prophet Silas (Acts 15:32) and Timothy showed up to encourage Paul. As a result, one Crispus, a chief ruler of the synagogue believed on the Lord, as well as many other Corinthians. However, some of the Jews turned on Paul, one by the name of Sosthenes (meaning Of safe strength), who was the chief ruler of the local synagogue handed Paul over to the civil authorities, saying "this fellow persuades men to worship God contrary to the law" (Acts 18:13). It was a religious question, not a civil one. Gallio, the civil authority refused to hear religious matters, thus he refused to judge Paul.

Paul was released, yet Sosthenes was beaten before the judgment seat (Acts 18:15-17). So what? Look at First Corinthians 1:1, wow, there is Sosthenes again, only this time he is a "brother". Paul knows if one like Sosthenes can be turned around, surely these carnal minded Corinthians can.

Paul’s time with Corinthians during the first visit wasn’t a two week camp meeting, he was there teaching them for nearly a year. They had the personal attention of the apostle, yet they were carnal. Was it Paul’s fault? Did he fail? Not hardly the evidence of the other bodies shows how they received the Logos, became Born Again, then moved on with the Lord. The Corinthians were spinning their wheels, making much noise, going no where.

Paul’s approach will lay out the path of recovery, in verse 3 we find the first two steps, Grace and Peace, two things the Corinthians were missing. Grace and Peace will become the central theme of this letter. Get Grace, find Peace with God, then overcome carnal thinking. Paul reminds them how Grace was given to them, they had the Spirit, the Seal of Grace, yet they were not walking in Grace, or even trying. The Romans felt the Cross justified them, here they stopped in the process. The Corinthians assumed by having the Spirit they were Spiritual, Paul will judge the evidence, showing their precept was  wrong, nearly dead wrong.

The word Peace is the Greek Eirene meaning the opposite of war or dissension (Luke 14:31, et al), Peace means health, welfare, prosperity, every kind of good, we see it as the “way of peace”, or the Gospel of peace, the God of peace, or the Prince of peace. In the Septuagint it was used Exodus 18:23, thus it’s the Greek equivalent to the Hebrew Shalom meaning health, well-being, wholeness, soundness and prosperity. God is the God of Peace, He is not one who needs Peace, but one who dispenses it, thus Jesus said, “Peace I give unto you”. Prosperity is not centered on things, one can have tons of things, yet be at constant inner war. Although one cannot exclude things, since Jesus said He would add the things (Matt 6:33); however, we don’t want to become “unbalanced”, by rejecting Prosperity, neither do we want to focus all our attention on it. John tells us true prosperity comes as our souls prosper, thus if our souls prosper, so will we (III Jn 2).  Under the Old Covenant there were ways for one to prosper, but the Commandment would fall on them, finding them guilty, then worthy of death.

Interesting enough God rewards those who practice His type of Peace (James 3:18), but punishes those who don’t (Rom 3:17). Peace is the center of stability, it keeps our faith on track, knowing we are at Peace with God. However, when one is in strife, or producing it, they are not in Peace. Although Peace it is part of the Gift, one has to accept it in order to have it. Clearly when Paul uses “Grace” and “Peace” in conjunction, showing one connects to the other. Peace is not an easy task, yet James says the true warrior for God is the person who knows the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them who make Peace (James 3:18). 

Paul will use another Greek word for the English Peace in 14:30, there it’s the Greek Sigao meaning Keep silent, it was pointed toward the leadership. When we get to the metaphors we will find Paul is not against women, he is opposed to carnal leadership. Without understanding the metaphors will we make a carnal doctrine out of something  purposed to remove carnal thinking. 

The word Given in verse 4 is the Greek Didomi meaning to give of one's own accord with good will, without regard for the "goodness" or lack thereof of the person the gift is being given to, but it does suggest how the Giver expects the good to be manifested after the gift is given. This shows Grace is given to those of us who have no foundation to receive it, but once it’s given, God expects us to use it in accordance with the qualities of Grace. If it’s the case, and it is, then remaining carnal is either ignoring the gift, or misusing it (Jude 4).

In verse 5 the word Enriched is the Greek Ploutizo meaning to make rich, or to bestow an abundant supply. The word Utterance is the Greek Logos, it was their utterance becoming questionable. Paul points to Knowledge, giving us two more elements added to his teaching. Grace with Peace, then Grace with the Knowledge to know what they mean.

The word Confirmed in verse 6 is the Greek Bebaloo meaning Established, thus the ability was there, the Seed was planted, but there appeared no growth. How can this be? Doesn’t God bring the Increase? If so, how can this group remain carnal? A mystery? Not really, God is fully able to bring the increase in accordance with our obedience, belief and faith. 

Verses 6 and 7 confirm they are called, as well as in the Body, they are not Heathens; they have accepted the terms and conditions. In verse 7 the word Gifts is the Greek Charisma, which is the activity of Grace (Charis), thus he is showing the theme of his letter, if one speaks the Logos, yet has Charis they should be Charisma centered, meaning they are not carnal. In essence there is no reason for them not to be Spiritual, they had all the tools and equipment required to do the job.

In verse 8 the word Confirm is again the Greek Babaloo thus showing Paul’s desire was not to see the Corinthians removed, but for them to reach the Potential God has for them. This is confirmed in verse 9 showing the Faithfulness of God, thus God wasn’t done with the Corinthians, neither was Paul, but we have to see the language. “by whom you were called”, showing a past tense endeavor, “unto” showing the future purpose of having, “fellowship”, which becomes the issue. The word Fellowship is the Greek Koniona, this is not relationship, but fellowship: fellowship takes the same frame of mind, same likes, same desires, same goals, with the same manner in which to obtain those goals. In order to have fellowship with God, we must treat the people of God in the same manner as God does, something the Corinthians were lacking.

Many years after this letter was written, a disciple of Paul’s, Clement by name wrote to the Corinthians of his day. Clement’s letter shows the problem continued, although the correction and means were presented by Paul. God wasn’t done, the problems continued, and God continued to reach to restore, even years later.

The opposite of Division is "perfectly joined together", the phrase is the Greek word, Katartizo meaning To adjust to fit, or complete the purpose of something. The Corinthians needed to adjust their thinking and ways in order to have the "same mind" in order to walk in the "same judgment" (v. 10). The word Judgment is the Greek Gnome meaning To discern. This is a vital element of the Spiritually minded, the ability to Discern things seen, or not seen. Paul read the letter sent to him, but by the Spirit discerned past the questions to the problem, thus he will address the questions, but only as they relate to the problem. He is not reading their minds, he is reading their words, as a pathway to their thinking. By their words they were condemned, Paul is simply telling them what the Spirit saw. The carnal mind has a difficult time in this area, they assume the saint is attempting to read their mind, when in fact their fruit has been judged.

If there are divisions and contentions, then the carnal mind is making decisions. The two Unities of the Body are the Unity of the Faith, and the Unity of the Spirit, the carnal mind lacks either. The gates of hell were being planted by carnal thinking people who had leadership positions, the division began within the local body, yet if allowed it would continue to break the Body into unattached segments. With Division comes contentions, then confusion, leading to all sorts of evil works (James 3:16).

Paul views the question regarding water baptism, knowing carnal minds were doing the asking. Our water baptism is our induction into the Body, but once in the Body, we’re in the Body. If we are in the Body, then our water baptism worked, more important if Jesus baptized us with the Holy Ghost, we are being formed into the Church. Whether our water baptism was “in the Name of Jesus”, or “In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost”, it didn’t matter, if it worked, it was right. The Token was by us, it didn’t make any difference who the person was who baptized us, as long as they were in the Body.

The most profound evidence of being a member of the Body is the Spirit, do we have the signs of the Spirit? If so then we no longer ponder “what Name”, it worked. Here the Corinthians are fighting over the “best baptism”, failing to consider why they were baptized in water. Fighting over matters meaning little tend to ignore the evidence, if they had the Spirit, it worked. However, they were looking at who baptized them as a sign or validity, or importance; they didn’t mention their own belief. We know they are contending over water baptism since the names of men are used, if we were baptized in the Name of Jesus, or the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and it worked, there is no debate.

The one area where there seems to be more confusion than any other element is “baptism”. What name? What type of water? Dipped? Sprinkled? The answer is always the same, “did it work?”, if so, then get on with the Process. It becomes clear the first two points of carnal thinking are Debates and Bragging, in this case it was water baptism by their favorite person of God. It would be the same if they fought over location, “I was baptized in the Jordan”, or “I was baptized in the Red Sea”, “Ah gee, I was baptized in the little lake over there”. If we get caught up in these areas of much to do about nothing, it’s a sure Sign (if we are looking for one) how we are yet Carnal.           

Carnal minds seem to enter mentor worship quickly, they hold the words of man above those of God. They tend to trust in their talent, ability or gift, forgetting why they have a talent, ability or gift.

The world has their money barons, their leaders, their stars, and their "idols". Carnal minds are moved by personalities, natural reasoning and intellect, it’s the same worldly premise, different idols. The carnal mind will give man the glory, before giving God the glory. It’s the case here, they gave Paul the glory, Apollos the glory, but not God. They get caught up in the emotionalism of the day, missing the entire point of being baptized. The carnal mind jumps from meeting to meeting looking for the “Spiritual connection”, or the new star, or the latest wind of doctrine. They are impressed with stardom and intellect, not Truth.

The phrase, "Christ sent me not to baptize", would almost seem out of order, especially when Jesus commanded us to baptize. However, the context doesn't mean Paul refused to baptize, it shows baptism alone wasn't the call, it included teaching, baptize, then teach the more, thus the Corinthians failed to receive the first teaching, as they were stuck on their carnal reasoning regarding baptism, missing the disciplining of the second teaching. Simply baptizing a bunch of people in water is not the call of Christ, it's the teaching in conjunction with the baptism making the baptism count for something. On the part of the candidate it’s their belief, if we baptize anyone, yet they have not made some indication of their belief, we have violated the Commandant. Many know the day they were baptized, but how many know Why?

The phrase "Wisdom of words", is the same as using man's wisdom, or man's intellect to preach the Gospel, words from death still produce death. The Gospel does not come in word alone, later Paul will tell these same Corinthians about the Wisdom of God. Here Paul tells them he didn't come with fancy based carnal wisdom, or some star attitude, but as a called Apostle with a message ordained by God. They were looking at the man, not the message.

Verse 18 connects to 17, back in verse 17 the phrase “to preach the gospel” is the Greek Eauggelizo meaning To show good tidings, but in verse 18 the word Preach is the Greek Logos, thus Paul came not to baptize, but to introduce the entire Gospel, the Corinthians were stuck on one point wherein they could place some self-importance, another sign of a carnal mind. It wasn’t who baptized them, but why they were baptized. It doesn’t take away from the fact the person doing the baptizing has to be in the Body, but the Corinthians were taking it further. They equated the effectiveness of the baptism based on who did the baptizing, rather than their belief.

The most dangerous condition is to be in the Body, have the Spirit, yet view everything from a carnal prospective. Jesus told the disciples they couldn’t speak of Him being the Christ of Grace for this very reason, to them Spiritual matters were foolishness. To the Corinthians it was even worse, they had a few Spirit attributes, the basics, speaking in unknown tongues and prophecy, something Cornelius and others did two seconds after they received the baptism with the Holy Ghost (Acts 10:45-46). The Corinthians had the position, but if they approached it from the carnal mind, they would mistreat the position. The evidence was in their approach to Paul, especially evidenced in their division.

Then in verse 18 we find the Logos of the Cross to those who perish is foolishness, is it foolishness to the Corinthians? Or were their carnal ways making it appear foolish? However the Logos (Jesus, Word) of the Cross to those who are saved (Sozo) it is the Power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, bringing to nothing the understanding of the prudent (v. 19). The wisdom of man is exactly what the Corinthians were trusting in. The word prudent is the Greek Sunetos meaning Intelligent or Learned, neither the “wisdom of the wise”, or the “prudent” refer to Spiritual matters, rather they relate to the natural intellect of man. The Corinthians couldn’t see past the mundane, to the importance.

Where is the wise? The scribe? The intellect? Has not God made Foolish the wisdom of this world? Simply hasn’t God shown how foolish the natural reasoning of man is?

Now the division between the wisdom of man and the Wisdom of God; the prior references to the “wisdom” connect to the “strange woman” in Proverbs, whereas the Wisdom of God connects to the Spirit of God. The Corinthians had the Spirit that is of God, but lacked the Wisdom of God. Rather than deal with their own questions in a Godly manner, they were attempting to use the wisdom of man, causing them to end in debates, or contentions. Paul is not going to add to the contention, but he will answer the questions. Paul will use Mercy in his approach, but it doesn’t mean he will ignore the problem. Mercy applied righteously deals with the problem through the Wisdom of God seeking restoration, rather than condemnation.

The next step is to “save” them who believe, the word Save is Soteria meaning Salvation. Prior the Power of the Gospel was for those who were Sozo, or saved from the world, here the Progression points to Salvation, even the salvation of our souls. This is the very element the Corinthians were missing, they felt they won the race, in truth they haven’t even started (v. 21).

From those who Believe to the Jews require a sign, the Greeks seek after wisdom, but we are neither, rather the signs follow the Believer, the Wisdom of God guides the Believer. If one seeks a sign then Preaching offends them, it becomes a stumblingblock, but if one seeks wisdom the same preaching appears as Foolishness (v. 23). Why? The acceptance of the Cross of Jesus is so easy a child can understand it, but to the carnal intellect it seems too simple, below their intellect, it isn’t a challenge to their thinking. To the Jew the preaching isn’t entertaining enough, they what to see some signs. However, to the seeker of Truth, Truth is the motivating instrument of their faith. Once they believe, then the signs follow them (v. 22-23).

Unto the Called, whether Jew or Greek, yet the key is the Power of God which is Christ, coupled with the Wisdom of God (v. 24). This is important, it connects to chapter 2 and 11. The head of the leader is Christ, the head of Christ is God. Here the word Power is the Greek Dunamis, meaning Power, it would be known to us as the metaphor Horn, but we can see the Authority to gain the Power in order to operate in a Godly manner is found in the Wisdom of God.

Even if Paul preached from the foolishness of God, it was still greater than the best the wisdom of man could offer. We begin to see the type of exposure, the Corinthians felt Paul was weak, he didn’t fight back, he was always one of those “mercy people”. Later they will demand a sign of Christ speaking through him, they will even tell him, he is weak. However, who does God pick? The foolish things of the world to confound the wise, the weak things to confound the might, the base things which are despised to bring to nothing the things that are (vs. 26-28). The words, Weak, Base and Foolish tell us what we were like in the world. The word Weak is the same Greek word Paul used in Romans 8:26-27, meaning Comatose, or asleep in reference to the things of God. The word Base means Ugly in more ways than one. The word Foolish is the same Greek word from which we gain our English word Moron. If we are picked by God we were in one or more of those areas, or all three at the same time, which is usually the case, thus we were comatose, ugly and a moron, just the type of person God is looking for.

The wise in the world will tell God how things should be run, the mighty attempt to make God do it their way, yet they seem to despise those picked of God. God uses us by His Spirit to bring to nothing the wisdom of the world. Why would Paul put this in? Is there a reason? Yes, the Corinthians were so impressed with their own natural intellect and carnal behavior they didn’t want to be Spiritual. They didn’t want to give up what they felt was their “person”, yet they were living a lie. We can be so proud of who we think we are, we refuse to be who God wants us to be. God can’t use those who take pride in their natural state, they will attempt to force God to do what they want, but they will refuse to do what God wants. The perfect example would be the Corinthians, they wanted Paul to condone their activity, when he didn’t, they got mad, then started the famed, “we don’t see it”, “we don’t have to listen”, “you haven’t proven it yet”, childish behavior. Even to the point of demanding a sign of Christ speaking through the man, the very same man who brought them to the Lord. They felt speaking in tongues was a “sign of Christ speaking”, but it’s a sign the Seed is planted, a sign of Christ would be words of Mercy and Grace. This entire letter is a sign of Christ speaking through Paul.

If these Corinthians had the Spirit, it means the Holy Ghost granted the Seed, which means they were presented, which means Paul laid hands on them, yet they want a “sign”? Carnal minds forget Godly matters, or twist then into the flesh. However, the saved fool, weak, base person knows who their God is, they give Him the glory. If anyone Glories, let them Glory in God. Those who have the Spirit of Christ do glory in God, but the spirit of the world uses the fear and cares of the world, but the spirit of man is natural, centering on the ignorance of the things of God.

 

I Cor 2:1-16

In verse 1 we find the division between the wisdom of man, and the Wisdom of God. Although God's Wisdom is not defined here as it is in James, we nonetheless find a division. Paul didn’t speak from man's wisdom when he was with them, he is not speaking from man's wisdom now. Did he have a choice? Yes, in verse 2 he says he determined, the word determined is the Greek Krino better known to us as Judge. This is another verse showing Spiritual judgment is a matter of dividing the Precious from the Vile. It also stands there is no way anyone is going to gain God’s Wisdom without the Spirit and without asking in faith.

Some of us think we must feel the anointing before we act, but if we have the Spirit, we are also able to Hear, meaning we can speak as an oracle of the Lord’s. Paul was among those who could say, "the Lord has spoken, what can I do but prophesy". Paul didn't come boasting in his position, or telling them the things of God were "too deep" for them, he came preaching Jesus Christ and Him crucified (v. 2).

Now wait, does all this mean Paul didn't preach the Resurrection? Not hardly, "Jesus crucified" includes the Resurrection; the purpose of the Cross was to reach the Resurrection to bring about the Gospel. If Jesus would have stopped at the Cross then our Entrance into heaven could not take place, neither could our Entrance into the Kingdom of God. Without the Resurrection we would be forgiven, yet dead. We needed Life beyond death to add to our forgiveness.

God's Wisdom holds an speaking attitude of Mercy, with correction. The Corinthians were presented the Wisdom of God when Paul first came to them, but they had to receive, in order to gain. He didn't teach them how to make fishing nets, or tents, he taught them Jesus. His teaching was simple, their understanding of it became complicated since they attempted to receive the Gospel through the wisdom of man.

The context of "weakness, fear and trembling", was a rebuke toward their supposed courage, strength and wisdom. They relate back to the Foolish, Weak and Base things Paul just talked about:  

 

1 Corinthians 1:27-28

1 Corinthians 2:3

Foolish

Fear

Weak

Weakness

Base

Trembling



Each area Paul alluded to would be areas where the Corinthians failed to discern. Paul didn’t come to them with the intellect, or wisdom of man, he came to them as a simple man with a powerful message by the Holy Ghost. Where we think we are strong, we will not allow the Lord to work, but if we know we are weak, we will humble ourselves and allow the New Man to work through us. 

If prophecy is comfort, edifying, and exhortation, don't you think we would have examples here in this letter? Yes, in First Corinthians 14:24 we find prophecy will open the "secrets" of ones heart, so what is that? Exposure, far from a pat on the head, but edifying. In First Corinthians 1:9 Paul said, "God is faithful, by whom you were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord", an example of Comfort. In First Corinthians 3:1-3 Paul told them they were so carnal he had to speak to them as babes, which is exposure, yet edifying. The sad part is they thought they were Spiritual and Paul was in error. Evidence, always look at the evidence. Who is fighting over baptism? Paul? Or the Corinthians? Who is divided? Paul? Or the Corinthians? Who has the manifestation of the Spirit? Paul? Or the Corinthians? Who has the evidence of God’s Wisdom? Paul? Or the Corinthians? Clarity at times is so obvious you have to force yourself not to see it.

In First Corinthians 6:11 he said, "And such were some of you" but you are washed....", this would be Exhortation calling them to continue in the washing to be sacrificed and justified in Jesus by the Spirit. He is not projecting some future event, but he is reaching to the future based on a past event. They stopped in the middle of the Jordan, failing to see the reason they entered was to get to the other side.

The word Prophecy is the Greek Prophetes which is a compound word meaning Before (Pro) and To declare or make known before (Phemi), but we also know Prophecy is God speaking through a person, thus speaking words of Grace would be a form of Prophecy. We tend to link Prophecy with someone saying "So saith the Lord", although Prophecy is the Lord saying, the person doesn't have to qualify it by saying, "So saith the Lord" each time they prophesy. In this letter Paul desires for them to speak continually from the Spirit, which of course they were not. The wisdom of man speaks words of division, strife, envy, pride and deception, the Wisdom of God speaks words of unity, Grace, Mercy, and faith. The wisdom of man seeks self-exaltation, the Wisdom of God exalts Jesus. The words determine the source, Paul points to Jesus, the Corinthians to their own importance. Where does the wisdom of man come from? And where does the Wisdom of God come from?

Paul displayed at least two elements when he was with them, words (Prophecy) and Power (Signs). Paul admits, although he was weak, in fear and trembling, the Spirit of God was in Demonstration and Power. The signs were there, now it was time for the signs to follow the Corinthians. The wording, "in demonstration of the Spirit" has a connection to the Manifestation of the Spirit defined in Chapter 12, but here Paul is taking it further as he includes the anointing on his office. The Wisdom and Power were already presented, Paul acted as a person in the Office, as the Office manifested. The Anointing spoke and acted, but what did they do with the presented evidence?

The Greek word Apodixis translated as Demonstration is only found here in 2:4, although it does mean To Manifest, there is more to it. Why didn't Paul use the same Greek word here as he does for Manifestation of the Spirit? It would seem to fit, but here he is talking about preaching before the group, rather the Manifestation of the Spirit in Chapter 12 is used in a one on one situation. From the wording used here we know there is a difference between the Demonstration of the Spirit of God, and the Manifestation of the Spirit (New Man or Holy Spirit) in the one on one situation.

This is leading to a simple explanation regarding the Spirit the Corinthians received, this area shows the Spirit of God Identified (baptized) them into the Body, it was not their intellect, or wisdom. The purpose in receiving the Seed was to be Spiritual in order to understand the things of God. The reference to Spirit of God here shows the completeness of God, the entire Report called them into the Body. The Mercy of the Father, the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus, with the Holy Ghost. Therefore, he doesn’t use the title Holy Ghost, rather he is pointing to how much God has invested in them, and how they have the keys regarding God’s investment.

In this case Paul tells them to remember how the Demonstration confirmed the Gospel, they received and were Sozo from the world, now it’s time to enter the Salvation of their souls. Verse 5 is a powerful verse showing direction, their faith “should not” stand in the wisdom of man, but in the Power of God. Even after we enter the Body we can fail to put our Faith in God. Here the Corinthians had theirs in the wisdom of man, yet it was the Power (Dunamis) of God sent to save them. Taking us back to verse 1:24, “Christ the power of God”, thus they needed to put their faith in Christ the Power of God, rather than man. 

Verse 6 begins another division, “we speak wisdom among them who are perfect”, say What? Perfect? The arrogance of the man. No, not at all, perfection is within, this is merely Paul saying he is speaking to the Spiritually minded, or those who have the potential to be Spiritual. The division is the Wisdom of God on Paul’s side, not the wisdom of “this world”, nor of the princes of this world, which comes to nothing.

Verse 7 brings more clarity, Paul is speaking the Wisdom of God in a mystery, it centers around, “the Greeks seek after wisdom” (v. 1:22). However, he is showing them there are two types of wisdom, the one they were using is worldly in nature, the one he was using is Godly in nature. They were seeking wisdom, but the wrong kind, from the wrong source. They were speaking as the princes of this world, the same ones who put Jesus on the Cross.

The Greeks were very proud of their wisdom, some of the rotten baggage remained with the Corinthians. Like the acts of Pharaoh being carried by the children into the wilderness, the Corinthians brought the Greek wisdom of man by a spirit they should have rejected.

The Wisdom of God was long before there were any Greeks, even before world (v. 7). This Wisdom was “unto our glory”? Could it be right? Yes, our Glory is found in the New Man, Christ in us, the hope of Glory. The same Glory none of the “princes of the world” knew, for if they had known, they would never have crucified the Lord of Glory (v. 8). If these princes of the world, are of the world, what spirit do we think they would use? The spirit of man? Correct, the division is between the spirit of man being ignorant of the things of God, but the spirit of the world being opposed to the Spirit that is of God, meaning the spirit of the world did not come into existence until after Pentecost. This is clear when John tells us of the “he in the world” is antichrist in nature, thus the spirit of the world is overly concerned about the cares or fears of the world, causing them to bring terror and fear into the Body regarding what the world is doing. This in turn removes faith, causing a falling away from the faith. On the other hand the spirit of man is the spirit of disobedience, or spirit lusting to envy, a product of the Fall, it is ignorant regarding the spiritual things of God. We will find how the Spirit of God removed us from the realm of the spirit of man by bringing us into the kingdom. Therefore, the spirit of the world attempts to combat the purpose of the Spirit which is of God by mixing the cares of the world into a religious doctrine not conducive to the work of the Holy Spirit.

Paul also understands the Plan is the Plan, as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for them who Love (Agape) Him. But God Has Revealed them unto Us by His Spirit, for which is Born of the Spirit is Spirit, and the Spirit searches all things, yea even the deep things of God, for deep still speaks to deep (vs. 9-10). The context here shows only the Spirit of God knows the things of God, yet the Spirit of Christ in us knows us, as well as the things of God. It also shows the Spirit that is of God is from God, but the New Man is not all God is.

As we did in Romans we are now looking at “us” and “you”, and the differences between the two. If the Corinthians were walking in the Spirit, none of the questions they presented would have come to their minds. The Spirit is not going to say, “who baptized you?”. The mere fact they had the Spirit proves the baptism was accepted. Often the question asked, and how it’s presented will tell us if the source is carnal, or Spiritual.

In verse 9 the wording "have entered" is the Greek Anabaino meaning to make entrance in one direction. The word Enter in reference to Entering the Kingdom of God (sheepfold) in John’s Account it’s the Greek Eiserchomai meaning Entry in either direction, it also entails the purpose of entry. Jesus said once we enter the sheepfold the training begins, then we can go in and out. The Corinthians were standing at the Door, really they were blocking the entrance. The Greek Eiserchomai was used to show one entering with a purpose, or making entry to reach a result, then being able to venture in and out by right.

Verses 11 and 12 are vital, the spirit of man knows the things of man, but doesn’t have a clue regarding the things of the Spirit of God. The spirit of man can be very intellectual, know the original languages, study what others say the Bible says, but still ignorant regarding spiritual matters.  Only the Spirit of God knows the things of God, for no man knows the things of God. Here is the exposure, they had the Spirit, but they were using the spirit of the man to define spiritual matter. Their questions revolved around issues showing they didn’t know the Things of God, they were listening to the voice of the Stranger.

This also links to verses 9 and 10, it’s not separate from them, but showing the division in the body of the Corinth was merely a sign of the division in the people. In this case Paul tells them they are ignorant, but if they were set against the things regarding the Spirit that is of God, they would be antichrist in nature, more serious.

The division was evident by their words, the spirit of man is the fallen nature. They may say they are Christian, but they if they give man the glory they are using the spirit of man. Did the spirit of man control them? No, it’s the point, they had the Spirit of Christ, thus they had the power and authority to reject the spirit of man.

However in verse 12 we find a slight change, as the spirit of the world, not the spirit of man, but we also find “the Spirit which is of God”, rather than the “Spirit of God” as we found in verse 11. Why not use the title Holy Ghost in verse 11? Because Paul is speaking of the entire Report, God in fullness, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, as God is Spirit. The Spirit of God called us into the Body, so we could have the Spirit which is of God. In essence Paul is telling the Corinthians he is not of “the spirit of the world” come to harm them, rather he is speaking from the Spirit which is of God. The natural mind cannot tell the difference between being discipled, or controlled, at times they simply don’t like anyone telling them what to do, thus they run to another body to become the invisible.

The spirit of the world is seen as the “he in the world”, it did not come into being until the Holy Ghost began to reprove the world, thus the spirit of the world is the Beast of the Sea, who holds the authority, power and seat of Satan, yet the Beast of the Earth is the he in the world, who uses the authority of the Beast of the Sea. The spirit of the world is opposed to the Spirit which is of God, as the Spirit which is of God is the Holy Spirit in us. The spirit of the world will use social pressure to make us reject the voice of the Holy Spirit for the voice of the world. However, we find the he of the world is run by the spirit of the world, through the authority of the world. Verse 13 confirms it, the Corinthians were ignorant, meaning they are more listening to the spirit of man, not the spirit of the world. In truth it was their hope, being ignorant is far cry from using the spirit of the world.

Those same deep things of God, are the things Paul speaks of, not by the wisdom of the Greeks (world), but the in the Wisdom of God. Now he speaks of the Holy Ghost, as the Holy Ghost teaches by comparing Spiritual things with Spiritual. Therefore, the Holy Ghost is spiritual, the New Man is spiritual, they compared matters, yet if we are carnal minded we won’t have a clue to what is being compared. Therefore, the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are Spiritually Discerned (vs. 13-14). Having the Spirit isn’t the end of the race, our souls being formed into a spiritual nature is the goal. This above all else shows this is a Process, as we grow.

One of the vital verses in the concept of Spiritual abilities is found right here. Spiritually Discerned, it’s our safety net, our ability to see past the here and now, to the intent, as the cares of this world will not invade our thinking. The word Discerned is the Greek Anakrion meaning to examine, or investigate, but it depends on the word it’s attached to. Here it’s Spiritual, not carnal. The Corinthians were using the wisdom of man, which is earthly, sensual and devilish, they held the cup of devils up as their testing source.

These verses are perhaps the most rebuking of any Paul used toward members of the Body, they are stronger than the ones used toward the Romans. The Corinthians were in the most dangerous of all places, they had the Spirit giving them position to speak about the Cross and Resurrection, but they were using the wisdom of the world by the spirit of man as their teacher and guide. The same elements used by the princes of the world used in their reasoning for putting Jesus on the Cross.

Verse 15 uses the Greek Anakrion as the word “judge”, meaning to Discern, or Judge righteously. If we use the word Discern in place of Judge we could read this as, “but he who is Spiritual discerns all things, yet he himself is not discerned of man (natural)”. This doesn’t mean the Spiritual person is not to judge their self, it means no carnal natural person can discern what God is doing with a Spiritual person, but the Spiritual person can always discern what is going on with the natural, carnal minded. How? By the Spirit. The Spirit hears words, by the words the person’s heart is discerned, then we address the intent of the heart. This is what Paul is doing here, he had their questions and from the questions he discerned their hearts. You don’t have to read someone’s mind to know their intent, you hear, discern, and respond.

If the Corinthians were in the Body, why were they acting this way? The Gospel has two areas, Mercy (Kingdom of Heaven) and Grace (Kingdom of God), the first part of this promise is the Living Soul condition, or Zao Psuchikos, but the second part is the Quickening Spirit or Zoopoieo Pneumatikos. As a Living Soul we have life, but it's imputed, as a Quickening Spirit we have Imparted Life. Both conditions are important, but we can't remain a living soul, when the call is to become a Quickening Spirit.

Paul quoted Isaiah 64:4, but Isaiah 64:5 shows God comes to those who Rejoice and work Righteousness, but He is wroth at those who sinned, unless they repent. If they repent, then they shall be saved, thus Paul is calling for repentance, the jack hammer to the stronghold of a carnal mind. The only way any of us will know what the predestined plan of God is for us, is when we have the Witness. Paul isn’t boasting, he is pleading, the Corinthians have all it takes, all they need do is submit by putting their faith in Christ.    

The word Instruct in verse 16 is the Greek Sumbibazo meaning to uplift, we find Paul using Old Testament foundations to correct the New Testament carnal minded.  However, he has to, since they are carnal minded and unable to understand Spiritual matters. He just said the Holy Ghost teaches by comparing Spiritual to Spiritual, but these people are not Spiritual, meaning Paul must use carnal reasoning. The Holy Ghost is instructing, but they consider it foolishness.

Jeremiah says, "For who has stood in the counsel (secret) of the Lord, and has perceived and heard His word? Who has marked His Word and heard it?" (Jere 23:18). Isaiah 40:12-13 says, "Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being His counselor has taught Him?". Both of these don't answer the questions, they merely ask them. Who indeed, but we have the Mind of Christ through the New Birth; we are Instructed in the things of God, by the Mind of the Lord. We could see this is the Mind of the Lord by the Holy Ghost instructing us by the Mind of Christ which is the Spirit in us which is of God to our souls.           

Godly division is a matter of separating the Precious from the Vile, but the Holy Ghost isn't done yet, there is more to this hammer of truth. 

 

I Cor 3:1-3

This is very interesting, since Paul just finished saying the natural mind can't understand the things of God, he now separates the carnal from the Spiritual, but in so doing we find one can be in Christ, yet carnal, if carnal they are yet natural. In Romans we found one can be in Christ yet mind the things of the flesh, here we find one can be in Christ, yet remain carnal. On the same note, let us not forget we can be in Christ and Spiritual. This explains Romans 8:1 as well, both the Romans and Corinthians were in the Body, but hardly Spiritual, thus there are some in the Body who mind the flesh, but there are some who mind the Spirit. The Corinthians and Romans would be examples of those who "sleep in Jesus", they have the Spirit, but their works of mercy will have to pass the fire, but those who are Spiritual have entered the Rest of God, ceasing from their own works.

We have three things noted here in verse 1, the Spiritual, the carnal and babes. Are there Babes in Christ? Yes, it's why we call them "Babes in Christ", rather than "Babes in Jesus". Do we teach them as we would the "youngmen"? No, of course not. However, the Babes in Christ have the Spirit, yet they are seeking to be Spiritual, here we find something different. The Greek word for Babes is Nepios, meaning Natal, or in the womb, denoting the Corinthians were not Born Again, yet they had the Spirit. By Paul using Nepios it really is “edifying”, or building them up. It’s best to know you’re not there, rather then live in the deception thinking you’ve already made it. The Corinthians were living the illusion of thinking since they had the Spirit, thus they were Born Again, by Paul using the Greek Nepios the illusion is cut off at the roots. Their actions were carnal, their questions were carnal, their debates were carnal, yet they had the Spirit. Their ways tell the tale, they are still in the fetus stage, their faith was in the wrong area, causing their growth to cease.

These verses are examples of Discernment, Paul by the Spirit saw behind the questions to the problem. He is addressing the problem, and will do so for a number of chapters. He will answer their questions, but as they relate to the real problem, their carnal nature. They had power over the spirit of man, meaning they had the ability to say No, but they were using the spirit of man by using the wisdom of the world. Once we come to Jesus we have authority over the spirit of man, which is spirit lusting to envy.

In chapter two Paul made reference to the wisdom of the world six times, then he ended by saying, "We have the mind of Christ". He begins chapter three with You, thus separating the one difference between We and You based on which wisdom one uses. In Romans it was "we" and "they", here it gets more personal in nature, for good reason. The Romans were about to destroy themselves, here the Corinthians were about to destroy themselves and others.

The "sure sign" of being Born Again is Love, yet do the Corinthians show Love? Hardly, they are divided, in strife and envy, acting as natural men. If they act as “men” what spirit is driving them? The spirit of man. If they operate in envy what spirit are they using? The spirit lusting to envy. If they use the wisdom of the world, what spirit are they using there? The spirit of man, indicating they haven’t a clue to the things of God.

Because they are using their carnal minds, they are also ignoring the call to be Spiritual, meaning they could just barely handle Milk, much less Meat. Milk often pertains to the knowledge of the Gospel, or the basic matters understood by the natural mind, but Meat involves Spiritual discernment, or doing of the things of God. Paul will give them knowledge regarding Spiritual matters, but neither he or God will force them to walk in the Spirit.

The signs of the carnal mind are the displays of envy, strife and division. This same envy and strife leads to hate and bitterness. Wait a minute, didn't this same Paul say even if someone preaches Jesus from envy and strife, at least Christ is preached? Yes, but in the context the reward is to those preached to, it doesn't relate to the one preaching. Both James and John write how the signs of envy and strife in our lives as signs of still being in darkness. One can read Scripture aloud, if the hearer is willing to receive the Truth, they will; although the speaker is not holy, the words spoken are. In Mark we found even if one preaches, yet doesn’t believe, there may be a hearer who will (Mark 16:16-18).

When Paul was in Corinth, Apollos was in Ephesus, yet all Apollos knew at the time was the baptism of John, explaining why some Greeks were baptized under John’s baptism (Acts 18:24 & 19:2). This explains the phrase “Name of Jesus only”, since some were being baptized under John’s baptism. John was not a member of the ministry of Jesus, thus John’s baptism after the Cross really availed nothing. As Apollos was preaching in Ephesus a husband and wife team of Aquila and Priscilla explained the Way of God, which would include the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus. When Paul was in Ephesus, Apollos was in Corinth. Apollos was an eloquent speaker, mighty in the Scriptures (Acts 18:24). The Corinthians considered Paul weak, but Apollos mighty, thus they were bragging in who baptized them, or under what Name was the real baptism. Carnal minds hurt many people, simply because they haven’t a clue regarding Spiritual matters.

The Greek word for Envying is Zelos, but it also means one who is Zealous for God. The difference? In the case of Envying it's coupled with the old man, in the case of being Zealous for God it's coupled with the New Man. It’s not the same word James uses for envy in the phrase spirit lusting to envy, the word for Envy means completely in capable of doing good. Here Paul uses Zelos for good reason, they had the Spirit, they could put their faith in Christ to be Zelos for God, or they could continue to listen to the spirit of man, ending Zelos for religion, but not Spiritual.  

The Greek word for Strife is Eris meaning one who loves strife, or one who causes strife, contention or wrangling. In this case it means one who starts things, or the one who causes the fight. Questions and opinions used to belittle or trap someone are methods of Strife. There are some who plan out strife, they speak to people about others just to get them all worked up into some soulish tornado. The result is removing Peace, exactly what the Corinthians were doing among their own, and others.

The word Divisions is the Greek Dichostasia meaning one who separates by dissension. Seditions or divisions are works of the flesh, in Romans Paul warned us to stay away from those who cause such things (Rom 16:17). If it’s the case, what is he doing here? Adding fuel to the fire? No, correction, these people are still his children in the Lord; they may have many teachers, but not many fathers: the phrase means one who began the local church, Paul is still teaching them as a parent would a child.

If the carnal mind doesn't like the people or event, it will divide through strife. If it can't have it, it will destroy it, discredit it, deny it, or discard it. The carnal mind seeks to be the center of attention, if the attention is not on them, envy enters their heart, causing them to attack. Later Paul will show certain things affront the unlearned and the unbeliever; the purpose demonstrates how the Corinthians were the unlearned in Spiritual matters.

           

I Cor 3:4-23

Verse 4 defines the carnal mind, an exposure we must all keep in mind. "For while one says, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are you not carnal?". Division into groups to exalt ourselves is carnal, in this case they divided themselves based on who they felt were more Godly. "I'm of this denomination", or "we're non-denominational", “I was baptized in this name”, “I’m better I was baptized under this name”. Carnal minds seek to be superior over the rest of the Body, to have a special something making them better than the rest of us. A title they feel exalts them, or something else placing them above the others, sadly it’s based on envy, the lust to be better than the total. The evidence is here, one says they are better because Paul baptized them, another says they are better because Apollos baptized them. The Body is divided based on envy, yet the Church is never divided.

Paul tells them they are carnal, he already said they were unable to understand the Spiritual, yet he says they are of the Body, even the Temple of God, they even have the Spirit, making them a potential Tabernacle (vs. 3:1-3 & 3:16-17). "Wow, the Temple, must be great". Could be, if one keeps it in context, but remember when the disciples told Jesus how great they thought the Temple was, He said it would be destroyed. Being the Temple of the Spirit doesn't mean the flesh is holy, or we as individuals are “the Temple of the Spirit”, since before we could gain the Spirit we had to impute the flesh dead. The temple is the structure, wherein the people go, but we find another place outside of the temple as well. If we are the Temple of the Spirit, yet the flesh is dead, then Paul must be talking about another element, rather than the flesh of man. The Temple must be "holy", but can the flesh be holy? Not hardly, what then is this “body” he is talking about? The Temple  Paul is talking about is the Body of Christ, which is Holy, it becomes our Flesh after we imputed the old flesh dead. Will the Body be broken? Yes, in a few chapters Paul will make the point using the night of betrayal as an example of someone defiling the Temple. If it’s dangerous for a Novice to teach, think of the danger of having carnal minded leadership.

What two things caused the Temple to be destroyed? The iniquity of failing to make it a house of prayer, plus the sin of selling the dove. Ahh, the Building process, only here Paul uses the metaphors of man’s treasure to show it’s far better to use gold, sliver and precious stones, than wood, hay and stubble. Gold points to purity, silver to redemption, and precious stones to the attributes of the Spirit. Wood refers to the things of man, including man's wisdom; hay to the works of man's hands, stubble to the knowledge of man. The foundation Paul laid was firm, it was the building materials the Corinthians were using producing the problems.

The word for Temple is the Greek Naos, generally was used to refer to the inner parts, or most sacred part of the temple. Often Naos pointed to the holiest place in the Temple, which would fit the context better. The Spirit is the Mercy Seat of Grace within us, our souls akin to the holy place, but all of us are in the Temple (Body of Christ), yet remove the Spirit and we have a defiled, broken temple. However, it’s getting ahead of the context.

Paul didn’t cause the increase, neither did Apollos, but they both worked together for the benefit of the Corinthians (v. 8). It’s always God who brings the increase, we can try all the programs we want, but if we are serious about this, we leave the Increase to God, we take care of the planting and watering (v. 5-6). It had nothing to do with induction into the Body, the Corinthians were in the Body, it was up to them to do some building, so God could bring the increase. Unless they join to the building, God will not increase. If the seed is planted, yet never grows, what good is it? If one waters the ground, yet there is no seed, or increase, what good is it? It’s the increase producing the product, if Paul hadn’t planted, God would have sent someone else; if Apollos hadn’t watered, God would have sent someone else, but only God can bring the increase (v. 7). The Corinthians were putting the importance on men, rather than God. Carnal minds seem to pick their favorite person of God, assuming the anointing is a result of the person, rather than God who anointed the person. 

The foundation is Christ, they have the Spirit, but what are they using for building materials? Spiritual? Or carnal? Back in verse 10 Paul shows the foundation is the result of God’s Grace, yet Grace is not carnal. The foundation is sound, but the Corinthians were attempting to make the building carnal. Jesus said we should not attempt to build on sand, here the foundation was correct, the building materials faulty.

Now the hard part, Paul knows his “reward” is according to his labor, but he tells the Corinthians their “work” will be revealed by fire. The word for Labor in verse 8 is the Greek Kopos meaning To cause one trouble, or a troublesome type of labor, usually associated with a beating of the chest in sorrow. This shows his labor toward the Corinthians was related to the sorrow of seeing his labor treated in a carnal manner.

The word for Laborers (together) in verse 9 is the Greek Sunergos meaning Fellow-laborer, or companion in work, it holds the thought of one helping the other. The word for Work in verse 13 is the Greek Ergon which is the suffix to Sunergos, Ergon is often used for “works”, business, type of work, or deed. Putting it all together we find a rebuke to the Corinthians, Paul and Apollos worked together, there was no division between them, their goal was hard, and troublesome, the foundation being laid in the “camp of the carnal” is always difficult, but more hurtful was seeing what the Corinthians were doing to the foundation. The foundation was correct, the water was correct, but the building process was no longer in the hands of Paul or Apollos. Yet, if God brings the increase, what is so wrong here? God wasn’t being allowed to bring the increase, they stopped short of the place where God could bring the increase. They were attempting to use carnal endeavors to build a Spiritual house, the result would be defiling the Temple, not establishing it.

Verses 14 and 15 would appear to be at the Judgment, except for the word “saved”, which is the Greek Sozo, not Soteria, but it would be the case if they were saved from the world, yet not able to enter the First Resurrection. They would fit those who Sleep in Jesus through the Night, then stood up on the last day. If Paul would have used the Greek Soteria it would reflect on them making the First Resurrection. We have to put this with First Thessalonians 5:5-6, there are those who Sleep in Jesus, but the warning is let us not Sleep, not be with the drunken who go into the Night, but rather let us become Spiritual to become children of the Day.

The wording “every man” has to be taken into context as to time and position. Both Jew and Gentile have to find their name in the Book of Life, thus no matter who you are, you must come through Jesus. For those in the First Resurrection they enter the Door by having Jesus in them of a truth, which means they are Spiritual in nature, or at least trying to be so, meaning their names are in the Book of Life. 

We have two areas to consider in these verses helping us understand the Temple - Tabernacle principle. We are God's "husbandry", His "building", two things not one. The word Husbandry points to a field, it comes from two Greek words, one means A cultivated field, the other means A farmer, we are not the Farmer, but we are the field, the same field in which God planted the Seed. Then comes the Building, which is the Greek Oikodome meaning a Building in the process of construction, or an edifice, generally it means edification, or building up, it doesn’t mean the completed building, rather it points to one in construction, giving us Process. The same Greek word is used in First Corinthians 14:26-31 telling us to let all things be done for the edifying of the Body, showing the connection. This also shows the “temple of the Holy Ghost” is not our fleshly bodies, but the Spirit securing us in the Body of Christ. The temple of the Holy Ghost is in us, yet what is in us connecting to the Holy Ghost? The Spirit, thus this has nothing to do with the fleshly body, it relates to the Spirit and soul. The Corinthians needed to submit to the building process to become Spiritual in nature.

Of course we could look at the word “man” as the New Man, keeping this in context we can see the "Spirit” will be saved, but the soul lost. This is confirmed by Jude's comment, "having not the Spirit", which could also read, "Not able to hold unto the Spirit" (Jude 19). Surely the spirit of man is not going to be saved, the only Spirit this could refer to is the New Man, the New Man being the Holy Spirit will go home in the Rapture.

The word Defile is the Greek Phtheiro meaning to make corrupt, or to cause to be destroyed. Surely they will not cause the entire Body to be destroyed, but we do know the Body will be broken. In their case the Temple is the place within, connecting them to the Body. This goes right with, “let no man deceive himself” (v. 18). The word Deceive is the Greek Exapatao meaning Beguiled or deceived; the word Beguiled means To distract ones attention from one thing to another. The evidence of this was of course the dispute over baptism. In the case of the baptism controversy it was, “who baptized me?”, rather than “why was I baptized?”.

Verse 19 goes right back to the “wisdom of this world”, showing the source of the foolishness, thus to the carnal mind Spiritual things are foolishness. Again, the Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, yet Paul just said the spirit of man doesn’t know the things of God. The spirit of man knows man so well, it can take the deep things of man, and beat man stupid, while man thinks he is superior. The thoughts of the wise of this world are vain, attempting to impress people with their knowledge, yet their knowledge lacks Truth.

The phrase “He takes the wise in their own craftiness” is interesting, the word Craftiness is the Greek Panourgia meaning A false wisdom or Subtle, going right to the methods of the beasts of the field (Gen 3:1). The problem with the carnal mind, or the natural mind, is the use of manipulation and subtle methods based in the nature, yet the person is blinded to their folly. Discernment looks past the mask to the source, just as Paul is doing here. This is made clear in verse 20, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, and they are vain”, which goes right back to, “Who has known the Mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him, but we have the Mind of Christ” (v. 2:16). The word Vain is the Greek Mataios meaning Devoid of truth, or of no purpose.

Verse 21 goes back to 1:31, “let him glory in the Lord”. The spirit of man glories in man, the spirit of the world in the things of the world, the Spirit of Christ in God. This was another area where Paul discerned the carnal nature, their debates over baptism was an attempt to place the glory on man. 

Verse 22 shows the authority, whatever was given to the Corinthians by Paul, who planted, by Apollos who watered, as Cephas who assisted, unto life found in the Spirit which is of God, or things in the present, or things yet to come, are all theirs, they have the ability in hand. They can use the spirit of man, or submit to the Holy Spirit. They are not trapped into using the wisdom of the world, or the spirit of man, none of them rule them. They are a people of Authority, they just forgot they were under Authority as well.

Verse 23 becomes important later, they are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. The head of the man is Christ, the head of Christ is God. There was no reason whatsoever to be carnal, they had the Spirit, they had Authority. All they had to do was make the decision, then submit to the Spirit. 

The Corinthian stronghold was self-deception based in the confusion they created, they needed some Light to see themselves as Paul did. This stronghold is different from the religious conceit held by the Romans, yet both entailed self-deception; however, history shows the Romans received the Word, remaining firm until 315 AD. Whereas the Corinthians had to hear again from Paul, then later from the church fathers, yet they still refused to accept the Truth, finally faded into nothing. They never got the idea, they were so self-deceived the generations thereafter followed suit. They taught the next generation the same foolishness they retained, causing it to continue on, until the spirit of man overcame them. If this were not a serious issue, we wouldn’t have it written for our sakes. We learn, so we can discern, so we won’t burn.

           

I Cor 4:1-5

Paul is a Minister of Christ, a Steward of the mysteries of God, going back to “but we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery”. The word Minister is the Greek Huperetes meaning anyone who serves with hands, it was used to describe those who rowed ships in unison. One might think Paul is saying he is a minister to Jesus, but it’s not the case, he is a minister to the Body of Christ by Jesus. This is made clearer by the word Stewards which is the Greek Oikonomos meaning the manager of a household, not the master of the house. A manager is one who manages the affairs, they do not create the affairs they manage, thereby showing the difference. The Corinthians were attempting to be master and manager, which is out of order. This Greek word was also used to show the position of a treasurer, such as one who holds the wealth of another. Paul isn’t boasting, but he does remind them, “you came to me for answers, but here is what the Lord has to say”. If they didn’t like the answer, don’t ask the question.

Verse 2 shows Responsibility, Paul also had the power to deliver, or not to deliver, he could just answer the questions, ignoring their carnal minds; however his duty as a  Master of the Household was to bring these matters to light, thus he did as the Lord directed. The purpose? To belittle the Corinthians? No, to build them, but the exposure had to come before the building.

Verse 3 explains how the Corinthians were asking on one hand, but judging Paul on the other. Which is another sign of the carnal mind, if Paul agreed with them, then they would refer to him as a “anointed”, if not, they had their judging to fall back on, allowing them to reject Paul’s words. They would be wrong, but it’s nonetheless a method of the carnal mind. It often comes down to, “Oh yeah, well you…”. Camel swallowing contests are useless endeavors of the flesh.

Verses 3 and 4 use the word Judge in one form or another four times, the word Judge in the phrase “judged of you” is the Greek AnaKrino which is a compound word from the emphatic Ana (On or Upon), and Krino (to judge). The Greek Krino is a root word from which we get the English word Hypocrite. A Hypocrite is one who judges others under them, or judges to make themselves feel superior, yet they are doing the same as they are judging; yet in many cases they are so self-deceived they don't think they are doing the same. It’s why we come to the Table of the Lord as we allow the Spirit to examine us, of course one must have the Spirit.

The word Judgment in verses 3 and 4 is the Greek Hemera meaning Day, in fact the TR renders this "or by a man's day", which doesn’t make a whole bunch of sense, unless we know this is the Day, coupled with the reference is to “man’s judgment”. During the day natural man still judges based on disobedience. The metaphoric context is man judging man by man's rules and concepts, which is still being a hypocrite.

In all this we learn there are several words for "Judge", and "Judgment", this is good place to view them up. In Matthew 7:1-2 Jesus told us, "Judge not, so you won’t be  judged. For with the same Judgment you judge, you shall be judged". Put it with Paul's statement about judging ourselves, and we go "tilt". In Matthew the Greek word is Krima meaning To place one in damnation, or condemnation of wrong. This is an attitude of seeking fault, it's not merely judging, rather it's the mindset of finding fault by judging. Jesus went about doing good, yet when fault appeared He would deal with it in a Godly manner. How do we know? Simple, He told the Pharisees their faults, He told Peter, "Get thee behind Me Satan", yet in each case He also provided an escape. The difference is dependent on what one is seeking, the Pharisees were spending all their time seeking fault, Jesus was spending His doing good, yet He didn't ignore fault when it appeared.

Here in verse 4 in the phrase “He that judges me” refers to the Lord doing the judging, the word Judges is the Greek AnaKrino again, thus it’s not the judging, but who is doing it. Man judges to exalt himself, the Lord judges so we won’t be condemned with the world. In essence Paul is tell the Corinthians go ahead and judge me, I will discern, you can’t help me or hurt me, but the Lord through me is reaching out to help you. 

Verse 4 tells us why Paul wouldn't Judge himself through himself, he had noting from which to compare of his own. He had the Declaration of Justification, but if he was Justified, there would be no need to Judge him. He was in the process of being Justified by Christ, as he was Judged of the Lord, thus what he thought was something in him, maybe something leaving him. What he thought may be the cause of the problem, may be the fruit. It's impossible for any of us to use the soul to judge ourselves, we must allow the Lord to judge by the Spirit. Therefore in order to “judge ourselves” we must have a standard, the standard is the New Man, not other people. Therefore, when we judge ourselves, lest we be judged it has nothing to do with using our natural mind or soul to judge ourselves, it’s a matter of the New Man judging us by comparing Spiritual to Spiritual; meaning the Holy Ghost who is Spiritual teaches to the New Man who is Spiritual, the New Man teaches us, but if we are carnal, we won’t understand any of the teaching, or we will twist it to carnal.

If we continue looking at the word Judge we have to jump ahead for a moment to  First Corinthians 6:2, where we again find two different Greek words; the phrase "shall judge" is the Greek Krino (the root word to Anakrino above) meaning To separate, or discriminate between good and evil. Above we had the addition of Ana, meaning upon, thus the Corinthians were laying Judgment on Paul, but their intent and purpose was evil in nature. In answering them on the question Paul was right, he didn't judge himself in like manner; however, in this case we find Paul did judge himself in a Godly manner. In each case we find the word "judge", but with completely different intents, and purposes.

Paul never used the old man as his guide or judge, whether the judging came from others, or toward others, but he did allow the New Man to judge and discern. The fine line between judging a person, and judging things is the issue. If we can put a face on what  we judge, we are judging people.

In First Corinthians 6:2 the phrase "unworthy to judge" gives us the Greek Kritherion for the word Judge. The Greek Kritherion means A lawsuit, relating to the one who does the judging, or the one who has the authority to judge, becoming a very important issue. The Corinthians were using a carnal source from the spirit of man to judge a saint of God. Paul on the other hand was allowing the Holy Ghost to judge the Corinthians, as the New Man judged him.

The old man has no authority whatsoever to judge anything or anyone. Will he? In a heartbeat, but lacking authority makes the judgment hypocritical, and illegal. Since the old man is a waster by nature, he judges to get us under judgment. Once we figure it out, we stop judging people, by allowing the New Man to discern. The paradox is how the old man judges people to place them in a lower class, making the one who is judging think they are better, but in Romans we found it produces the opposite. What one judges, they are doing. It’s not the same as correction, in order to bring correction one must have the proper authority and position. Paul as the teacher of these people had right standing to correct them, they did not have right standing to judge him.

We are the only ones on this earth who have this opportunity to be judged of God before the Judgment, so we won’t be condemned “with the world”. If one uses the spirit of man in a religious manner, they will be condemned with the world. Paul’s plea is for the Corinthians to enter the Spiritual, in order for their souls to become Spiritual. He shows them how they were using the spirit of man, if they remained carnal, they would need a Law based in carnal ordinances, the only one open to them was the Law of Moses, yet it’s purpose is to hunt out sin, convict and proclaim the punishment. Perhaps it’s for this reason we find Paul making references to the Law of Moses as he applies it to these carnal people. 

This will take us to First Corinthians 11:31 where we find one more Greek word, coupled with those we have already talked about. In the phrase, "For if we would judge ourselves" we find the wording "would judge" is the Greek Diakrino, this word uses the same root word of Krino, but now we have the addition of Dia. We may recall the word DiaMerismos meaning to completely separate, but Merismos means to open up in order to discern. Jesus said He came to "diamerismos", but the Word in us will Merismos. The concept in DiaKrino is to Separate (Dia) from the world (what is judged), we do so by knowing we are the Bread as the Body given by the Lord. The baptism was their token of being separated, yet they were using it for some social importance.

The Corinthians were using the ways of the world to judge Paul, but Paul tells us to judge and determine if we are Separated from the ways of the world by allowing the New Man to judge us. In the phrase "should not be judged" the Greek word for Judged is Krino the root word for DiaKrino. If we Separate ourselves (Judge), we will not be judged (joined to the world). The method is words and actions, are we using the spirit of man? We will be judged with the world, but the Spirit that is of God will be saved.

All this connects to the difference between Godly principles applied by the Spiritually minded, or by the carnal minded. Same principle, but different sources for the application, ending in different results. The carnal mind uses natural reasoning and carnal intellect, the Spiritually minded submit to the New Man using Godly Knowledge and Wisdom. The only Judge is Jesus, the New Man being created after God’s True Holiness and Righteousness has the authority to judge us individually. 

Many of us find ourselves waiting for our day in the Sun, yet for some when it comes we get all haughty, or full of pride, we failed to DiaKrino, yet we are being Krino. When we're down in the valley, we begin to look for the fault in others so we can feel better, it’s a failure to DiaKrino, yet we're being Krino. Are we doing what the Lord wants us to do? Or are we doing what we want? These are Discerning questions only the New Man can answer.

Paul didn't fall for the deception of allowing the old man to judge him, nor did he use his opinions, fears, or any emotion to judge him, but he did allow the New Man to judge him. The separation between man's judgment and God's judgment is vast in many areas, but can almost appear the same to others. The fine line is still a line between Light and darkness. The Corinthians thought they were being Spiritual, thus they felt they were judging Paul as "saints", but they weren't even close. Paul on the other hand was able to deal with their carnal attacks through Mercy, Love, and God's Wisdom. It comes down to intent, purpose and motive, all of them play a part in the judging process.

First Corinthians 4:5 shows three areas, "will bring to light", "will make manifest" and the "counsels" of man, all showing how all things will be made manifest in due time; however, for some it will be too late. It's far better to stand naked and open before Him we have to do with now, rather than later (Heb 4:12-13). The word Counsels is the Greek Boule meaning the intent; we know the Word in us discerns the intent before the intent can form words (Heb 4:12). Far better to have the Word in us discerning, then Jesus judging us on the last day.

           

I Cor 4:6-21

Paul explains the relationship he and Apollos had as an example of how two men of God work together, yet neither thinks of their self above the other. The phrase, "have in a figure transfigured" is the Greek Metaschematizo meaning A change in condition, it was used in Second Corinthians 11:13-15 in reference to the self-transformed. So does it mean Paul is saying Apollos is self-transformed? No, it shows how he and Apollos discussed the Corinthian problem, seeking God to deal with it to benefit the Corinthians. Metashematizo could best be described as a change in the outward structure, as one would change an English garden into a Dutch garden. It's still a Garden, the difference is the outward structure. The word would not fit if we took the garden and made it a soccer field, it would then be Metamorphoo, thus Satan can Metashematizo but he cannot Metamorphoo. Why use this word? Paul and Apollos had to discuss the problem, so were they judging? Or discerning? They addressed the problem by seeking a solution, they were Open, yet the Corinthians were applying pollution by deception. We must seek the solution, we never exalt the pollution; our example is what Paul and Apollos were doing, the opposite is what the Corinthians were doing.

Some of us are troubled over events, yet we think we can’t discuss them or we would be “judging”. The key to judging or discerning is intent, if we are seeking a way to deal with the event or problem in a Godly manner, it’s different than using the event to exalt ourselves. The Corinthians were bragging in their position, they lacked Spiritual discernment, the only reason they judged was to exalt themselves. Their position was fine, it was Christ based, but they presumed the race was over. Anything the Corinthians received they received by God through the men of God based on God’s goodness, not their goodness; however, they took the same Precious information, filtered it through their carnal strongholds, turning it into the carnal intellect, or the natural reasoning of man. The exact reverse of the intent of God, we have the Keys.

Verse 7 is a classic identifier of a carnal mind, wanting to be the special of the special, smarter than the smartest, to be elevated above others. “My baptism is better than yours, my man of God is more anointed than yours, my mom can beat up your mom”. Childish behavior, thus Paul said it would be difficult to speak to them, it would be like teaching the fetus the third year of college.

The Corinthians were very wealthy, they had many things, but they felt those things came by the power of their own hands, thus they felt all things came by the power of their own hands. Paul asks an important question, "For who makes you to differ from another? (v. 7)”. The wording "makes to differ" is the Greek Diakrino again, meaning a Separation to make a distinction or difference, in this case it means to separate based on ones own natural reasoning. The carnal mind simply can’t understand Spiritual matters, to the carnal mind there is no difference between “the faith of Jesus”, and “faith in Jesus”, yet the two differ considerably.

The Corinthian mindset forms little clicks, little groups of separation for the purpose of self-enhancement, which was displayed in, “I am baptized of Paul”, “I am baptized of Apollos”, all carnal conclusions, none of which came from Paul or Apollos. Paul never said, “Yeah I know what Apollos said, but Remember thou were baptized by me”, rather he shows baptism was a commandment, but connected to teaching. The Corinthians forgot the teaching, rather they used baptism as a means to exalt the self, or to judge others by. There are some who exalt water baptism above measure, thus they turn a Godly event into an idol by exalting it higher than God has. Whenever we use an attribute of God, whether it’s water baptism, the anointing, or the office to exalt ourselves we have made a golden calf. Water baptism is important, but the Corinthians took it beyond the intended purpose, producing error. They used it to exalt their self, making it an idol. Who gives us the right to baptize anyone? Jesus, who baptizes us with the Holy Ghost? Jesus, thus without Jesus we are nothing.

The Corinthians were kings, as kings they had the power to accept or reject, but they were accepting the wrong “visitors” into their kingdom realm, while rejecting the true Ambassador of Christ (v. 8). Who made them kings? Rome? The stock market? Nay, Jesus has made us kings and priests (Rev 1:6). As kings they could band the wisdom of man, yet receive the Wisdom of God with open arms. As kings they could band the spirit of man by walking with the New Man (Spirit which is of God).

Here in verse 9 Paul shows God set the Apostles last, yet in I Corinthians 12:28 he says the Apostles are first. The word Last means last in time or place, whereas the word First means first established, thus the Apostles were the first group established, but became last in reference to the honor given the other members of the Body. The Offices are gifts given to the Body, to assist the Body. Paul understood the calling, yes they were to give him honor, but he made himself servant in order to minister to them. If we think we are better than the people we minister to, we have yet to learn what ministry is.

Paul is simply saying he had gone through many things based on his calling, so the Corinthians and others could be established. The Corinthians thought of themselves as kings who are not subject to authority, but they should act like servants in order to reign as the called kings.

We can also see Paul suffered many things, but the Corinthians either did them or caused them, it should not be. They forced Paul to work with his hands, they were using their knowledge of Grace in an ungodly manner, thus their knowledge puffed them up. It’s not simply knowledge puffing up, we all have knowledge of something. It’s knowledge used to belittle others, or exalt ourselves becoming the problem.

He also shows us this knowledge is specific, rather than knowledge in general. His reference is to Liberty, thus one can be knowledgeable of Liberty, yet use it in an ungodly manner. The Corinthians knew they were free, yet absent Love they used their knowledge to belittle those who were weak in the faith. The same can be true regardless of the knowledge, they could have knowledge of a language, yet use it to belittle others, while exalting their selves. Paul told the Romans, if you keep the day, or not, keep it between you and the Lord. It does connect, the knowledge of being free of the Law of Moses means we can eat, or not.  

Surely this can’t mean simply because we have knowledge we are puffed up, since information is knowledge. “Well brother the Bible says knowledge puffs up”, “oh, man, where did you get that?”, “From my knowledge of the Bible”. Oops. An example of the principle, using knowledge in an ungodly manner ends puffing up. What is the distinction? Paul and the Corinthians, they were using knowledge to impress themselves, Paul was using it to save the Corinthians; both were using knowledge, but for two completely different reasons. 

On the other hand, if Paul would have held the same type of love these Corinthians had, this letter would be about three sentences long, nor were there be a Second Corinthians. We would read something like, "You are carnal minded idiots, see you around, have a nice day, I never knew you, love Paul". No, the man was reaching out to them like a father to his son, yet they became a thorn in his flesh, they mocked him, sent messages from the wrong source, yet they were a people God loved, whom God loves, Paul loves.

Paul isn't writing to shame the Corinthians, but to warn and persuade them to seek the Spiritual nature of the Lord. He is not calling them into the Body, they were already there, he is not calling them to receive the Spirit, they had the Spirit, rather it’s to move forward to become Spiritual in nature.

Their attitude toward Paul was a disgrace, they failed to give honor where honor was due, moving deeper into a carnal mindset. Paul thought of himself as a servant, but disciples should honor their teacher, yet there is a difference between giving honor, and seeking it (vs. 10-14).

Verses 15 through 17 don’t mean Paul is violating “call no man father, but your Father in heaven”, since the context means Lordship, rather he is talking about the Apostle function of beginning a new body in an area where there is none. The metaphor “father” refers to someone who begins something. Abraham is known as the “father of circumcision”, since circumcision as it relates to a Covenant began with him. Therefore, we find will have many teachers, perhaps many prophets, or pastors, but we won’t find many who started us on our path of Grace unto Salvation. It’s true the Holy Ghost called us, but He did so through a person. How can they believe unless they hear, how can they hear unless someone is sent.

Paul is their father in the Lord, he sent another son to them, thus it was as if Paul himself were there. The Corinthians displayed the exact reason Paul refused to take money from them, “You said you would come, look at all we did for you, how dare you send this Timothy!”. Yeah, look at all you did, you considered the man of God weak, buffeted him, knew he had no certain dwelling place, but you had homes, made him labor, reviled him, persecuted him, defamed him, yes look at all you did to him. Their perception of their “goodness” was blinded by their carnal minds, what they perceived as “good”, was not good in God’s eyes.

They will have many instructors (Greek Paidagogos meaning A teacher of children), but they will not have many "fathers" (Greek Pater meaning father, the same word used in First John for the position of growing to become a father). They were "begotten" which is the Greek Gennao, the same word used in John chapter three for Born Again, not by Paul, but by the Holy Ghost. The position of the Holy Ghost is to plant the Seed, the purpose is for our souls to become Spiritual in nature, but it doesn’t mean the one with the Spirit is Spiritual, but it does mean they have the potential to be Spiritual; the change in natures is from flesh to Spirit.

Back in verse 14 Paul called them "sons", by saying he was warning them, which is a duty within the Prophetic Office (Direction). The Office of Prophet does many things which differ from the manifestation to "prophesy" as Paul will point out. Here the Office is giving a warning, showing what God desires on one hand, and what the carnal road of destruction holds on the other, pertaining to Direction. The information will be presented, the choice will be clear, what the Corinthians do with it, is up to them. This also shows one person can hold more than one Office in the Lord’s Administration, but it still takes the Holy Ghost to say, “separate unto Me” (Acts 13:1-3).

Verse 18 shows how some of them were puffed up, it also shows not all the Corinthians were in this carnal condition, there were others who were Spiritual, thus Paul gives them encouragement. Nonetheless Paul did want to come to them, but by now they may be having second thoughts. This issue will pop up again in Second Corinthians, when Paul doesn’t show, again they will get puffed up. Would they rather see the man of God coming with the Rod of Correction? Or the staff of guidance? The power of edification? Or the meekness of love? What they do with the given Knowledge will tell the tale (v. 20-21).

 

I Cor 5:1-5

The Corinthians were judging Paul the man, so they could avoid his prophetic utterances, yet they had things going in their own midst considered an abomination in the world, much less the Body. They needed to judge their own selves. The correction of this man in order for him to be ministered to, would be one thing, allowing it to continue while giving the man's actions glory and honor something quite different. What would be the worst of these? The latter of course, so why doesn't Paul turn the entire body over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh? The source is the problem, thus if one cuts or removes the source, they stop the spread of leaven. Why doesn’t Paul tell them to minister to the man? They are carnal, what would they use? Formulas? Questionnaires? Natural Psychology?

This was not adultery, but fornication, a man having his father's wife, this could mean the man's mother or step-mother, since both are covered under the same aspect of the Law (Lev 18:8 & Deut 22:30). It could also mean his father died, now he was committing fornication with his mother. The simple excuse would be, "well brother Paul, we just walk in mercy, knowing the flesh is dead, we really didn't want to cause this man to stumble". The man not only stumbled, but was falling quickly into the grasp of hell. The man was honored by leadership, since they condoned his acts, yet they never attempted to save him from the result of his folly. This goes right back to them judging Paul, yet they failed to judge their own. This is the result of using the spirit of man, allowing the influences of the world would to guide the Corinthians by allowing this man to continue, assuming there is no difference, Grace is merely allowing sin, rather than getting rid of it. The leaven would soon spread to other bodies, causing more problems.

This is one of those interesting areas, Paul said, “It is reported commonly”, this is not a question, but something coming to his attention. What else did this tell Paul? The condition of the leadership was feeble, weak and unable to deal with the situation. They lacked the Wisdom of God to deal with the event in a Godly manner, they just ignored it.

If Paul allowed this act to continue with the knowledge of it, then others in other bodies would think it was condoned. We are never to hide or condone wrong doing, but it would seem in this case Paul is failing at ministry. Why not cast the devil out of the man? There was no devil, although the man was doing devilish matters. Since the leadership didn’t minister, it left Paul no choice, but to do, what he had to do (v. 2).

Verse 4 has several things to consider, one is how this letter is a “visit”, becoming the second time Paul is coming to them. Second Corinthians will be the second letter, but the third visit. These people were a thorn in the flesh, they were carnal, as they pushed at the flesh of Paul. This is a warfare, Paul had to remain Spiritual in the face of carnal attacking attitudes. It’s easy to retaliate in like manner, but it’s playing the devil’s game, hardly the position of an Apostle. Paul couldn’t write any of them off, the Lord’s Grace is always sufficient.

Paul was the father of this church, in the role he had the authority to take action according to the Holy Ghost, but not according to Paul's personal conclusions. Several points have to be considered; was the man in sin? Were the leaders avoiding the situation? Did Paul have the authority to act? Did the Holy Ghost motivate Paul to act? Was it the man's soul, or his flesh needing to be corrected? Was the man's soul sick and using the flesh to vent the sickness? A little leaven was too much, it would move through the church like wildfire, thus was the man’s action hurting others? Turning someone over to Satan is not something done based on our own desires, surely not based in our anger. There are two considerations, is there harm being done to others in the Body? And is it the only course for the person to see their error? The method is taking the person off the altar of God, to place them in an unprotected state so they can feel the conviction as a heathen facing the Cross, rather than a protected saint with the Cross. This is the same as two or three, if the man refuses the efforts of restoration, he is to be treated as a heathen.

Paul knew exactly what to do, before he acted he applied Mercy by forgiving the man before turning him over. In Second Corinthians these same Corinthian leaders will attempt to exalt themselves by proclaiming they forgave, and restored the man, but Paul will show he forgave the man before turning him over to Satan, thus Paul’s action was really mercy based, done for the overall good of the Body. If Paul would have turned the man over to Satan based on his anger, then he would have turned himself over to Satan, he was not ignorant of Satan’s devices  (II Cor 2:5-13). 

This displays another point fitting it with Chapter 11 in the Authority of leadership, they were damaging their own position by not acting. They were placing a false carnal covering between them and Christ, a very dangerous move, especially when Paul will show it has serious effects on the Congregation. A congregation under carnal covering has to remain silent, their prayers in the gathering whether with the understanding or in tongues are useless, their prophecy in the gathering is tainted, all because of a little leaven reigning in the leadership. 

           

I Cor 5:6-13

The glorying of the leaders regarding the man's acts made the sin seem approved, thus the other members would soon engage in other acts of the flesh assuming they are condoned as well. This doesn't mean we are suppose to get on the pulpit and preach against the person, it shows there is a means to Restore, without destroying. It's one thing to know someone has a sin while encouraging them to join to the Spirit in order to see the flesh die, it's another to encourage the flesh to reign. Whether we condone, or condemn, it makes no difference, both acts are soulish. Paul’s action served a two fold purpose, to allow the man to see his sin, while keeping the leaven from spreading.

All this goes back to verse 3:14, “if any man’s work abide”, surely the man was lead away by his own lust, his work would not abide. The Corinthian leadership ignored the obvious, the ship was sinking, yet they felt “all is well”. The leaven was spreading, first the man, then the leaders, then the entire church, three parts of leaven, yet these people were in the kingdom of heaven. Purging out the old leaven is not a act of mind power, but one of submission to the Spirit. Paul's reference to "Christ our Passover" goes right to the Communion Table, explaining the term Unworthy. Knowing the purpose of Remembering is a sound reason to engage in Communion; however, if we think we’re so holy we create water, then we are unworthy. The unworthy state is not being in need, it’s thinking we don’t need the Table. The Table is the place where we bring our honest open hearts before the Lord, it's our place to find the delivering power of Christ. Surely if the Corinthians are told to partake, we can. This bread issue will be the his first area of teaching on Communion, then the cup, but the Corinthians were holding the cup of devils, calling it the cup of the Lord. They were holding the leavened bread, calling it unleavened, yet they thought they were rich and in need of nothing. Carnal minds become cloudy in their self-deceived condition.

There is a division between the soiled bread and the holy bread (see below).


Soiled

Holy

Leavened

Unleavened

Malice

Sincerity

Wickedness

Truth



Prior Paul told them not to associate, the wording means to intimately gather together, it doesn't mean to shut them out completely. The wording shows we don't "pal around" with those of the world. It would include using the wisdom of the world by the spirit of man. They were walking in the things of the spirit of man, yet calling themselves Spiritual. When we seek the pleasure of men, we will either condone their sin, thereby become a partaker, or we will condemn them to please other men.The letter Paul refers to in verse 9 as the “epistle”, is the same one referred to in Acts 15:20. The letter said, "to abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication", here we find the question of eating those things sacrificed to idols, the man in fornication was a violation of the letter. The clues show the Corinthians refused to eat things sacrificed to idols, presuming they were doing what the letter called for, but Paul is showing they are also allowing fornication, they were ignoring the leaven, but it was growing nonetheless.They were the Bread, whether it was the unleavened, or the leaven, yet the leaven will be tossed out.


We go among the world to bring Light, we don't go among the world to be the world. Paul was a Jew to the Jews, a Greek to the Greek, but he was both Jew and Greek,  he never said he was a sinner to the sinners. The context of "I'm all things to all men", means he was a Jew and Gentile, it’s not saying he was a plumber, carpenter, or candlestick maker.

We can tell Paul is talking about intimately association by the use of "not to eat" in verse 11. This has nothing to do with the work place, it has to do with treating them as “family”, or being partakers of their folly by condoning their activity. If we go to the bar to witness Jesus, yet buy the boys a round of drinks, we are self-deceived. If we go there to yell and scream at them, we are taking pleasure in them who do such things. Their sin is making us feel superior, but we are doing nothing to pull them from the fire.

There are several things noted here, the word Fornicator is the Greek Pornos meaning to sell ones self, or one who prostitutes their self, or one who has relations with someone they are not married to. The word Covetous is the Greek Pleonekets meaning A defrauder for self gain, it connects to Envy. The word Idolater means one who worships, gives honor, trusts, or has faith in anything, or anyone who is a creation. The Corinthians, like us are betrothed to Christ, we cannot forsake our vow to the Lord in order to appease the nature of the world.

In verse 11 the word Railer is the Greek Loidoros, it means one who makes fun of another, or who jests at the costs of another, or one who uses others in a discouraging manner. Making jokes about others so we can feel popular, or superior over them would make us Loidoros. This alone has to show Paul was not belittling women in chapter 11, or in 14, or in Timothy, it would be a violation of his teaching here. Making fun of ones mate would fall into this area, when we belittle someone close to us, just to get a laugh, we are yet carnal.

The word Drunkard is the Greek Methusos meaning a drinker of wine who drinks continually to excess. The word Extortioner is the Greek Harpax meaning Rapacious, or one who is given to rapacity, which means one who is greedy. This would seem out of place, since the problem was within. Until we read verse 12 where we find Paul's concern is for those things to remain without, yet some have gained entry. The evidence here is of course the Corinthians saying they would give, yet over a year later they still haven’t. Later Paul will talk about things sacrificed unto idols, noting how some of the Corinthians have taken the cups of devils. They had no excuse, the history of Israel was written for them. The children did raise up to play, a to be made by Paul. 

Did the Corinthians feel what they were doing was acceptable? Yes, if not, they would have hidden it. How could anyone be so blind? Carnal thinking, all of us should desire for God to expose those areas in our lives, in order for us to be corrected, in order for us to be healed, so we can be made perfect by the perfection of Christ in us. God will use people with position and authority to expose those things in us. God will use sources to help us, children, a person down the block, just as He will use people to encourage us.

We don't judge them who are in the world, they are already judged, we judge ourselves to the Body and Blood as we seek the Spirit for correction, perfection and guidance. It's not a matter of using mind power, but one of facing Jesus by the Spirit as we are honest, seeking the exposure and cleaning by submitting to the Spirit.

Not only was the man turned over to Satan, but he was suppose to be put away from fellowship, not only fellowship with the Corinthians, but fellowship with the Father and Son as well, he was suppose to be treated as one without, not within. Why? He was using the power of darkness, the leaders were condoning it, thus the Babes would see the condoning, then assume they could do the same.

In verse 13 Paul calls this man a "wicked" person by using the Greek Ponenos meaning an evil person who will corrupt others. The same Greek word was used to define the sons of perdition (II Thess 3:2). This was not a good thing going on, the leaven was moving into other areas. This helps us define the term Wickedness, showing the man was within, he was allowing darkness to rule him, his actions were corrupting others who were within, but he really didn’t care what harm he caused. The last issue is the key, the man could care less, thus the leaders didn’t know how to handle him.

 

I Cor 6:1-20

Judging those on the outside, or allowing those on the outside to judge us brings the same evil result. Were they bringing actions against one another? Verse 6 says so, but this also goes back to "it is commonly reported" (I Cor 5:1), thus showing the actions of the Corinthians were known by others. They left themselves open to be judged by the world, since they failed to judge themselves. “Who are those people telling us to repent? They are doing evil things we wouldn’t allow”. When we use the wisdom of the world, we are still connected to the world.

This doesn't include areas where the Holy Ghost has instructed someone to do something; however, one better know it was directed by the Holy Ghost, and not an act from the spirit of man. Back in 2:12 Paul told us how the spirit of the world is an enemy to the Spirit which is of God, thus if we use the spirit of the world, we are antichrist in nature, we will come against the spiritual things of Christ in the Body.

The saints judge the world by their prayers of mercy and grace, they judge the angels by their actions. The angels noted here are not the winged angels in heaven, but the called messengers of God. The failure to judge the man who was living with his father's wife was taking effect, the Corinthians were judging each other in courts of law, then accepting the verdict of the heathen, but refusing to judge their own righteously.

The carnal Christian is still under the Law of Moses, they can't hear God, thus they still need written carnal rules and ordinances. The fact of this man being accepted in his present state was evidence enough to show the leaders of Corinth needed the ABC's of sin spelled out for them, Paul's comments all point it out.

The real exposure to their pride is found in verse 4, let the least esteemed in the church judge. Would pride allow this? No, it would make peace at any cost to avoid being judged by some underling. Verse 5 explains this, “I speak to your shame”, they thought they were mature, yet the evidence shows they were still in the fetus stage. It would be better for the Babes in Christ to judge, than a carnal minded person who doesn't know a thing about Christ. The Corinthians were so carnal, they were trusting in the intellect and judgment of natural man, which is the same as allowing the spirit of man to judge the Body.

Paul again makes reference to the Law of Moses, showing how the Corinthians have placed themselves in their own predicament by their own folly, it wasn't God who brought this evil, it was God who was exposing it. Of course we know when Paul says, "set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church" it must be taken with, "I speak to your shame. Is it so, is there not a wise man among you" (vs. 4-5). If the wisest among them is the least esteemed, they are in sad shape, and should be ashamed.

Verse 6 shows they were using the Greek and Roman civil authority to judge their matters, the same Roman civil authority who condoned putting Jesus on the Cross. If the princes of this world didn’t know the outcome of the Cross, how could they judge the affairs of Body? The Corinthians would listen to the opinions of the Unbelievers, but rejected the voice of God. Dumb? Carnal minded people do those things. Solution? Don’t be carnal minded. It’s so typical, a carnal mind will hold the intellect of natural reasoning over Spiritual discernment.

Verse 7 is the basis for their warfare; why seek "justice"? Why not take the wrong? They are being "defrauded" by going to the world to get what they presumed was theirs. They have robbed God, not in tithes, but in how they trust in the world to meet their need. This is a pattern, they trusted in the spirit of man to judge them, opening the door for the spirit of the world to guide them by intruding false apostles.

Verse 8 lays it out, "Nay, you do wrong, and defraud, and that your brother". Even if the brother stole, cheated, or tricked them, take the wrong, count the loss a gift to another. It's unrighteous to defraud, although they had the Spirit, if they become unrighteous, they will not inherit the Kingdom of God (v. 9). Didn’t he say “he himself shall be saved”? Now, we see how the verse doesn’t not apply to someone who is carnal, or who refuses to be Spiritual. They were righteous by the Spirit, but they also had the ability to make their righteousness, unrighteousness, which is iniquity.

Paul lists several fruits of the worldly minded, then says, "and such were some of you" (V. 11). Isn't it the truth, such were some of us, but the key word is "were". The Corinthians "were", but now they have the Spirit, the ability to win was in hand, it wasn’t something out of reach.

The violations of the church of Corinth were noted in the Law of Moses, Paul makes reference to the Law of Moses several times, showing these people were not Spiritual. They had no idea what the Law of the Spirit said, neither would they in their present state; therefore, Paul is directing them to a Law sent to the carnal minded. If they didn't like it, they had the choice to become Spiritual. This also shows the word Sanctified doesn't mean they were holy, rather they were set apart. They had the potential and opportunity to be holy through the Spirit. By applying the Law it also shows they have not picked up their cross, they were still at the Cross where the Law of Moses was nailed.

It's amazing how someone can stand in the Law of Moses, using the excuse, "well Corinth used the Law", the evidence shows the leaders in Corinth couldn't understand Spiritual matters. The leaders had a veil a mile thick between Christ and God,  they put the Yoke back around the Neck of Christ, bruised the Shoulder of government, failed to discern the Body, were being rebuked to the bone by the Apostle. Never do what a carnal body does, then use it as our excuse to continue to be carnal. It’s the same as using words of unbelievers to justify our unbelief.    

All things are lawful to those who walk in the Spirit, but not all things are profitable to God. It was possible for the Father to take the cup from Jesus, but not profitable. Faith is not having what we want, faith is pleasing God. Although all things are lawful, not all things please God. It's far better to be a blessing to God, as we thank Him for all He has done, than run around self-based demanding a blessing from God.

Verse 14 has two different Greek words for the phrases, "raised up", the first is the Greek Egeiro meaning To rise from a sleep, the next is the Greek Exegeiro meaning To wake out of a sleep. It would appear they mean the same, but they don't. The first  was used in reference to Jesus coming out of the grave, relating to a power within. Exegeiro in the second usage of the phrase "raised up" means to raise or exist, it was used in reference to Pharaoh being raised for a purpose, or a power from without, or something outside the person causing them to be raised. In the case of Jesus being raised from the dead, it's akin to each of us getting up out of bed, it's based on a power within, but the second usage is different, it shows those who are raised on the Last Day are raised by a power without, which would be like someone lifting us out of bed. We also have to keep in mind to whom Paul was speaking, these are carnal people, if things continued as they were, they would not be partakers of the First Resurrection, but they would be raised on the last day.

Neither does this reference mean our flesh is holy, rather it makes the connection between each of us as the Body of Christ. If the Body is holy, so are those who make up the Body, since all are under the Unction. Were the Corinthians holy? Were the children in the wilderness holy? The children in the wilderness were holy by association; God was dealing with them as children, in our case it’s by association within the Body. The Body of Christ is holy, but it has nothing to do personally holiness. Our personal holiness is found in the New Man, who is created (formed same word) after God's True Holiness (Eph 4:24). By the Unction over the Body we find there is a Power granted the Body based on God’s Mercy, meaning there is also a Holiness upon the Body because it is the Body, but they are general in nature, when the Body goes, so goes the Unction, Power and Holiness. This helps us define what happened to the man who was turned over to Satan, or better, he was removed from the Unction. The Corinthians were operating under the General Unction, but they needed to see the separation and differences between being Covered, and following the Greater He within.

Verses 16 through 20 have little to do with our body of flesh, this is found in the phrase, "But he who is joined to the Lord is One Spirit" (I Cor 6:17). The word “Spirit” is in reference to the New Man, coupled with the Unity of the Spirit. However, he doesn’t indicate they are Born Again, merely they have the Spirit. This explains how the kingdom of heaven has a Unction, the Kingdom of God is within. The Corinthians thought they were the Kingdom of God, but the Kingdom of God is Spiritual, since God is Spirit and Spiritual. The kingdom of heaven is a place, referring to the Body, it’s were the Corinthians were, yet the purpose for having the Spirit was to become Spiritual.           

The phrase "Body of the Temple" goes back to verses 4:16-17, thus the Temple is the Body of Christ. The Gift of (or from) the Holy Ghost is the New Man making the inward parts the temple, this is not the flesh, since we imputed the flesh dead. To assume this is referring to our flesh, twists the concept, placing our minds on the flesh, hardly the case after reading Romans. From this we find why Paul called them the Temple, rather than the Tabernacle. The Temple is always in need of cleaning, it's the place where man desired God to dwell, but it was the place where man was in charge. The Tabernacle was the place God desired to dwell, there were never any idols in the Tabernacle, it was the place where God was in charge. "Oh yeah, what about the golden calf?", it wasn't in the Tabernacle, it was in the wilderness before the Tabernacle was built. We can see the Body as the Temple, the Church as the Tabernacle, thus God desires for us to Tabernacle with Him.

All in the Body are all bought with a price we can't pay, but nonetheless we owe a debt, we glorify God in the Body which belongs to God. These verse exposes the  "double-mind" as one attempts to use the Mind of Christ, yet retain the carnal thinking of the old man, thus the "fornication" is an outward sign of an inward condition and position. Okay, which “body”? We glorify God in the their own local bodies, something these Corinthians were not doing, their folly was about to spread to the Body. This is the same context as Hebrews 10:38-39, the Just know Jesus paid the price, thus He has made sure we have the Spirit so our souls can be saved and “redeemed”.

 

I Cor 7:1-5

It took this much time to reach a point where Paul could answer the questions of the Corinthians; his introduction shows their actions and ways were carnal based, thus their questions were also carnal. So, why doesn't Paul just say, "Your questions are carnal, and I refuse to answer them"? Because the response would have been carnal, no matter how carnal the question, the teacher must give an answer, even if the answer is a rebuke; yet not get involved in a theological debate.

The evidence? Yes, why be concerned over a wife and husband if they allow some man to have his father's wife? The phrase, "let every man have his own wife" is another reference to the man who had his father's wife. This shows the man's disrespect for the Body, the condoning attitude of the leaders showed their disrespect for the Body as well. The two being one goes further than two people living together for fifty years, it goes to having a like mind while holding like desires in the Lord. There is no way a husband and wife can be one, if they remain independent.

The wife can't use her body as hers, it belongs to the husband. However, the husband belongs to the wife as examples of how we belong to Christ, as the Body of Christ belongs to us, something the Corinthians were remaining ignorant of. Paul isn’t speaking only on marriage, he is making a metaphoric point. 

The phrase "husband has not power" in verse 4 also means "the husband is not master of his own body". This would seem completely out of order if the husband is the head of the wife, unless he is making two completely separate points.

This is a difficult area, the husband is not his own, he gave himself to his wife, thus the phrase, “shall leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife”, yet the wife is not her own, she gave herself to her husband, this mystery is akin to Christ and the Church, it can only be accomplished by the Spirit. However, this in no way means a husband can abuse his wife, rather it means treat the other as we would like to be treated.

Prior Paul showed how the Corinthians were defrauding one another (vs. 6:7), now the same attitude was drifting into their marriages, a little leaven was causing the whole lump to be leavened. This also connects to leadership, the congregation does not belong to the leaders, it’s God’s property. The leaders are not the congregations property, they belong to God. Carnal marriages and carnal bodies have all the same traits, division, envy, self-based desires, belittling one another, demanding others meet their expectations, while they refuse to meet Lord’s, judging one another, while refusing to be judged, using deception, manipulation, or other carnal means to get their own way. If the marriage matches the actions of the Corinthians it’s time to put away the old man, and walk in the New.

It doesn't take much leaven, yet Hidden leaven causes more problems, than obvious leaven. One key word here is "benevolence", which is the Greek Eunoia meaning Good will, or favor. This clears up the issue by removing it from someone who would say, "the Bible says your body is mine". It's not only a carnal statement, but it shows there is no Good will in the person. One must show Favor to the person by the Spirit, before they can fit these verses.

 

I Cor 7:6-11

Paul now tells us matters by permission, they are not commandments, but by permission granted to him by the Lord, yet still instructional in nature. We also have to take into considering who he is talking to, in some cases it’s far better not to marry, but he is not telling us “to abstain from marriage”. We also have to keep this in the proper context, these are carnal minded people who must be taught as little children. These areas are not instructional in order to become a leader, they are suggestions depending on the person and circumstance. If these are qualifications to become a leader, it would mean Peter was self-appointed, since Peter and others had wives, even Paul says he was free to have a wife. Peter tells us to be content with what we have, in some cases the Lord is impressing on us to be married; however, if we filter the desire through a lust we grab a cage, then start looking for anyone. The Lord is fully able to bring a mate to us, or lead us to the one just right for us, but on the same note we must be willing to wait, or willing to accept the result. Knowing about someone, and knowing them are far different, God knows who is best for us.

One thing is for sure in these verses, the Lord will not match an unbeliever with a believer. Paul said he was a Pharisee of Pharisees, which means he had to be a member of the Sanhedrin, yet to be a member of the Sanhedrin one had to be married. So, where is his wife? He will tell us. 

In verse 10 it changes from teaching to a commandment, in respect to those who are married. Let not the wife depart, means just that; however, this is also in reference to both husband and wife being Believers. Metaphorically it connects to the Body of Christ, pointing to the body at Corinth, the wife (congregation) is not to depart because the leadership is carnal. God has a plan, thus we stay put, discern, grow in Wisdom, and be a guide to the blind.

This does connect with the teaching of Jesus in this area, to commit fornication, yet be married, means the person rejects the vows, or acts as if they are not married. 

The most interesting part of this is how the wife has the authority to leave, in the Jewish culture it was the man who had the power of “divorce”, not the woman. This has to be more metaphoric than a simple teaching; thus we can't look at the local body as “corrupt”, then depart from the Body, yet claim to be the Wife. If she must depart, let her not marry another, but seek instead to be Reconciled to her husband. The husband in this case is not “dead”, as we saw in Romans, so we are getting another type of lesson. For these people it was the carnal leadership, don’t leave, but on the same note we have to recognize this was the “only show in town”. They didn’t have another church down the street, this was it for the Corinthians. Paul does not address this letter to “the First Holiness Church of Corinth”, it’s to “the Corinthians”.

This is also a reference to backsliders, if they depart, let them not marry the world again, rather we pray for them to be reconciled to the Lord. On the same note, let not the husband put away his wife. The same mystery as we find in the Church, the Husband is to love his Wife, the Wife submits to Her Husband. However, the husband forcing the wife to submit, or the wife forcing the husband to love is not the context, each considers their role, asking God to form them into the role. Forcing submission usually ends in slavery, yet submission is not slavery, rather it’s refraining from debate, control, argument, and strife.

 

I Cor 7:12-16

This is not by permission or commandment, but by experience; stemming from Paul’s knowledge regarding his own experience, as the Lord handled it in his life. However, we also know his experience involved God, thus he is giving us information regarding a lesson God gave him.

Prior the husband and wife were believers, here we find if the unbelieving desire to no longer live with us, let them go, we are not under bondage in such cases; however, it doesn’t mean we can shove them out the door then claim, "they departed". If they have a desire to see the Believing engage in Christian activities, then the desire will soon pull them to the Cross. If the unbelieving depart, the Believing mate is Not under bondage to the marriage or the person, or the Law. It’s important since it condones divorce under certain circumstances, clearly if we’re not under Bondage to the marriage, we are free.

As long as the unbelieving mate remains, they are sanctified (set apart and protected to become holy), if they leave they are no longer sanctified. The children of the believing mate are always considered holy, regardless. God honors many things we forget about, some we don't even consider. If a one mate beats the other, they are an unbeliever, in essence they have already departed. Abusive and unbelieving are different.

If the unbelieving mate remains, the potential for salvation is always there, how do we know what seeds are being planted? Or who is planting them? Someday God could bring the increase making the "jerk", a "jewel".

In reference to the Body of Christ we find the unbelieving will leave, yet the Body is not under Bondage in such cases. John said the antichrist ones were not of us, but they came from us, they went out so they may be manifest, or known (I Jn 2:19). John’s teaching connects here, the antichrist were of us, yet unbelieving, they left, we are not under bondage in such cases. Simply, if the unbelieving desire to leave, let them, we are not under bondage in such cases (got it?).

If this is by experience we know Paul had to be married to be a Pharisee of Pharisees, yet he also makes it clear if the unbelieving go, we are not under bondage, yet he also said he was free to marry. Not a license, but nonetheless a teaching. 

 

I Cor 7:17-24

Paul told the Romans to work within the gift and calling, the same is true in marriage as well. If God desires for us to be married, then allow Him to furnish the perfect mate as He sees fit, not the mate we deem fit. Since we really don't know what mate is best for us, or we for them. "Well, man I love her", perhaps, and perhaps it's flesh based, and will soon fade. "Well, I prayed and know this guy is for me, and I'm going to get him", huh oh, the spirit of man desiring what it wants. Praying is only half the equation, hearing what God has to say is the other half.

If God has given us the gift to remain unmarried, then do so in the Lord, not in the flesh. Again this is like Romans, we do not make it doctrine, nor a qualification. Whether married or not, there is no greater glory in either, it's obedience bringing the glory.

If one is called a Jew, let him not become a Gentile, for the sake of obedience, if a Gentile, let him not be a Jew, for the sake of obedience, both for the sake of the Lord. This verse tells us we can’t become something God has not desired for us, if we are suppose to be married, yet remain single we will be miserable. If we are Gentile, don’t become a Jew for the sake of appearance; if we are Jew, don’t become a Gentile for the sake of appearance. There is no greatness in being a Jew, nor being a Gentile, but the doing of the Commandments of God, which includes accepting His Son. We are all called to be servants unto the Lord, yet in service we are made free.

Paul was born a Jew and a Gentile, his mother was a Jew, making him a Jew, his father a Roman making him a Roman (Gentile), thus he could claim both. Before he came to Jesus he was also a sinner, but we don’t see him being a “sinner to the sinners”. 

Again we see, we are bought with a price, just as a slave is purchased from one owner to another, thus the Lord paid the price placing us in the kingdom so we could be saved.

 

I Cor 7:25-40

The reference to virgins could be confusing, if one assumes this means a female as a piece of property belonging to another person, they missed the point. The Greek shows this is talking about a person's own virginity, if they can maintain it fine, if not, then it's okay to get married. This goes back to one who wants to remain unmarried, it has nothing to do with owning a virgin, it points to the person retaining their own virginity. In the Old English usage it means the person’s virginity, but today it may appear as if they owned virgins, not so, this goes right back to remaining single, or married.

Paul begins this by talking about the difference between the unmarried and the virgin (v. 34), then moves into the aspect of virginity, thus in the Greek this reads "this has judged in the heart of him, to keep of himself the virginity, well he does. So both the giving in marriage well does he, and not giving in marriage better does". This has nothing to do with being a leader, since Peter, and many others were married, rather it points to one who wants to remain unmarried, or one who wants to marry, they settle it in their own hearts, neither is a requirement for service. Leaders are expected to be the mate of one mate, but it’s not the issue here.

The Law of Moses is noted again, but from the questions being posed to Paul it's obvious the Corinthians are carnal, and under the Law. Those who walk by the Spirit have no problems in these areas, they know the Gift of God, the calling of God, as well as the call of God to love and submit, with all the rewards involved.

Although he speaks this of himself, Paul also knows he has the Spirit, he also speaks by the Holy Ghost. We can receive or reject, but only those who receive gain the reward. Paul knew if he was not speaking as the Lord desired, the Lord would quicken him, or stop his words, but he also knows by the questions asked, the Corinthians failed to understand the Spiritual, since all their questions were flesh based, or carnally related.

Here a Righteous man as a Prophet came in his own name (authority granted), but will they receive him to receive the reward? They  were looking for excuses to reject the man by their natural reasoning. Did Paul tell them the Truth? Yes, were they responsible? Yes, even if they reject it, they are still responsible. Running from it, refusing to show up to hear it when it's presented, or making excuses after we've heard it never takes the responsibility away. Using words of unbelievers to excuse our own unbelief never negates our unbelief. The same is true here, if God told us to go and listen, yet we refuse to receive, it doesn’t negate us from the responsibility. If we ask the question and the Holy Ghost responds, we can’t ignore the response. Just as Jesus expected the disciples to be on the other side of the lake, the Lord will treat us as if we heard and received. God presented the Truth to the people in the Old Testament, at times they rejected it, so were they not responsible? Babylon became the place for them to figure it out; when they rejected the Word, then ended in captivity. 

 

I Cor 8:1-13

It's not knowledge puffing up, but knowledge without love. Also it's not general knowledge, but knowledge of a specific matter. Paul shows he also has knowledge in the phrase, "we all have knowledge". This shows how the carnal mind trusts in their natural intellectualism, but lack love. If it was knowledge alone, Paul would be double puffed up, since he said he had it, plus he is giving it. Simply saying "knowledge puffs up" is not the quoting the context of these verses, it's knowledge of Grace absence love puffing up. It's amazing how the carnal mind proves the point, a carnal minded person will hear knowledge or exposure from someone, then retort with "knowledge puffs up". How did they know? By knowledge, thus they are also puffed up, in truth they have no idea what the verse means. Let's examine this area so we won't go about telling everyone, "knowledge puffs up".

Clearly Paul says we of Grace have the knowledge of Grace, we know the meat is nothing, the idol is nothing. However, there are those who don't know, if they see us playing with the food of idols, they will presume it's okay. There are some things meaning nothing to us, but are great hindrances to others. Reverence is also seen here, we can have knowledge of Liberty, yet belittle someone who is weak in the faith only showing we  lack knowledge with love. In Romans it was between the person and the Lord, here Paul shows there are some who use their Liberty as a weapon to exalt their own self, while belittling others, they have the knowledge, but lack the love.

It's better to hunger after God, then after the things of God. Of course we know this Knowledge is specific in nature, it’s same context as Peter alludes to in the concept of using our Liberty as a cloke of maliciousness (I Pet 2:16). This is an important area, since many chase the things of God, yet they don’t hunger after God.

We can have knowledge of Grace as well as the Liberty coupled to it, yet without Love we will use the knowledge as a weapon. An example was the virgin aspect we just read about, we know now if we want to remain unmarried it’s between us and the Lord, yet we can make it a requirement, showing we have knowledge, yet lack reverence for others.

There is only one God and one Lord, God must be the point of concern and worship, not the idols. If we center our mind on the Lord, we won’t chase after idols. If we center on the fear of idol worship, we will fall into idol worship. The meat or the idol can't condemn us, we condemn ourselves through fear. Paul exposes the fear, not the idol; he even goes so far as to tell the Corinthians if someone puts meat before them it's better to eat, then offend. The Corinthian fear made them subject to the meat, thus fear always makes us subject to what we fear. Every one is drawn away by their own lust, it’s not the “thing”, it’s what we do with it.

Verse 6 has some interesting statements; we see, "the Father of Whom are all things", then we see, "one Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom are all things". Now wait, is he saying the Father and Jesus are one in the same? In reference to the Father we read, "and we in Him", but in reference to the Son we read, "and we by Him". Putting these together we find the correlating differences (see below).

"The Father of Whom are all things"  ....   "and we in Him" – (Holy Ghost)

"One Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom are all things" ...  "and we by Him" – (Holy Spirit)


Clearly we see a difference, the word "by" could also read, "through" in reference to Jesus, it's the same Greek word as "by" in the phrase "by Him". It's the connection of the Father and Son, not saying they are one in the same, yet in truth they are One. This would also connect back to 2:11-12 to the Spirit of God, and the Spirit which is of God. The Father relating to Mercy, the Son to Grace. We can have knowledge of Grace, yet lack Mercy, rather than set people free, we go about putting them in bondage as we lord over them with our Liberty. On the other hand we can have Grace operating within, the Mercy of the Father being displayed outwardly as a saint of the Most High God. 

We have two different Greek words for "of" and "in" in the phrases, "of Whom" and "in Him". The word "in" could also read "for", but in either case the mystery is found in the Greek. In reference to the Father we find the Greek word for "of" in the phrase "of Whom" is Ek, a common Greek word, but it has several meanings, with the primary meaning of "out of", it refers to objects which were before in another. The Greek word for "in" in the phrase "in Him" is Eis which has the primary idea of motion, or direction. The Greek word for the word "by" in the phrases "by Whom", and "by Him" is Dia meaning through a place. Both seem to indicate a motion, or pointing to coming out of something, the other pointing to coming through a place. The Holy Ghost came from the Father based on the efforts of the Son. The Holy Ghost planted the Seed, which is Christ in us. As we find in First John, the Record is the Father, Word and Holy Ghost, the Witness is the Water, Blood and Spirit (I Jn 5:7-8).

The context of all this is eating something sacrificed unto idols, as strange as it seems, not only did they buy those things sacrificed unto idols, but the temples used the money for more idols. It was kind of a restaurant for idols, pay the check and you are supporting the idols. Verse 10 points this out, in the Received Text (TR) it reads, "For if anyone sees you, the (one) having knowledge, in an idol temple sitting", which clearly points to being seen in the idol temple sitting, or involved in the activities, which is the same context as one knowingly sitting down to eat something sacrificed unto idols. Is this Knowledge? Yes, they know the idol is nothing, yet love makes them aware of their surroundings, or how their actions effect others. It’s the point, they wanted to know if it was okay to eat meat sacrificed unto idols, but why? Some of the better animals were used, thus the better meat. However, Paul in answering points to those who would see them involved in buying, or eating meat sacrificed unto idols. What would be their witness? The idol was nothing? Or Christians were involved in idols? We don't allow our Liberty to become a stumbling block to others (v. 8).

We can't presume the test won't come either; the weaker one is the victim. When we condone the activity the Babe considers “why not? Come on? Who cares?”; however, if we simply say, “no thank you", we show our witness is not to offend. We also know, or have seen the weaker in the faith read labels, or ask “what’s in this?”, but for those of the Faith they know, "don't ask, just eat". Without love we would see “pork” on the label, then make sure the weaker knew it, we would then eat it in front of them, just to belittle them, knowledge, absent love. Pride will use knowledge to belittle another, so it can exalt itself, yet love takes into consideration the effects on the other person. 

It settles the meat issue, what about beer, or something else? Yes, it's the same premise, moderation is fine, but if the moderation will cause another to fall we apply love by refraining. The danger is not in us falling, rather it’s we may cause one who is weak in the faith to fall. Therein lays the Love, being fully aware we are at Liberty to do, also means we're at Liberty not to do as well (v. 9).

The key to all this is "make my brother to offend", which was not the question asked by the Corinthians, rather they wanted an excuse, or permission to do as they wanted, whether it offended or not. Paul went to the heart of the matter, the question was Is it okay to eat? Paul said, yes it's okay, but don't forget knowledge must be used with a love for the brethren, especially the weaker ones (v 13).

 

I Cor 9:1-27

There are some who assume this is "Paul's self-justification"; however it would be using carnal weapons against carnal weapons. We prefer to see this as the prophet setting the record straight, while expanding on the questions asked. The Corinthians wanted to know if they could eat things sacrificed unto idols, but Paul wants to know where the heart of the question lays. The question should have been, "Do you think it would cause someone to stumble if we ate things sacrificed unto idols?". Is there is a difference? Yes.

Paul has the Knowledge of Grace, he has the power to eat, or drink without condemnation, he even has the power to wed if he so desires. Was Paul correct in partaking of the Corinthians sources? Yes, they are his vineyard, the place where he planted seed. Were they the type to “muzzle the ox”? Yes, it was a problem (v. 9). Rather than attacking Paul for giving them answers, they should think back on how he gave to them, as they took and took.

Verse 11 is a double meaning verse, if Paul sowed Spiritual things, was not he entitled to their things as well? Yes, but this goes further, since Paul did plow and plant Spiritual things, should he be subject to their “carnal things”? The phrase “carnal things” is the Greek word Sarkikos meaning carnal, or pertaining to the flesh, thus it could mean things for the physical substance of Paul, or it could point to their attitude toward him, or both. Verse 12 narrows it down to the physical substance, but doesn’t negate the metaphoric meaning as a rebuke. If others have taken from them, should not Paul as well? However, knowing the Corinthians as Paul did, it was better to work with his hands, lest the taking from the carnal would hinder the Gospel.

Verse 13 shows Paul’s position as a minister, he is not taking up a collection, or asking for their money, rather he is showing why he didn’t take their money. Not because it was commanded for him not to, or some rite of being an Apostle, rather he shows he had the Freedom to take, or not to. He was not their slave, or employee (vs. 14-15). The position of Paul was not a job, it was not some employment from heaven, it was a calling and commitment based on his appreciation for what Jesus did for him. As leaders we must know we are under the hand of the Holy Ghost, we are not employees of a local church, it’s a calling, not a job.

The real test of freedom comes when we release something for the sake of others, although Paul was free, he made himself servant to all for the sake of the Gospel. To the Jew he was a Jew, but he was never a sinner to the sinner (vs. 19-23).

Verse 24 is another rebuke, there are many ways to run a race, but the real winner runs it lawfully. Verse 25 is not restrictive, it means one is Temperate, or content. Verse 26 is a comparison between the false who run the race unlawfully, as compared to Paul and other Spiritual runners who run it lawfully. The false run for a corruptible crown of self-importance, we run for the incorruptible crown of life. We run because we know the goal, they run so people will look at them.

Verse 27 shows Paul is free, but what he does, he does for the Babes, as well as not to hinder the weak in the faith, lest they misunderstand his freedom. It would be better for him to do not, then to do causing a Babe to stumble.

 

I Cor 10:1-12

Paul will now address the questions, their excuses seem to stem from the phrase, "it was the Old Testament, it doesn't count", or, "we're saved, we're not subject", as well as the opposite, “We must do the Law and Commandments”. Paul shows God did deliver the people, but like Jude, Paul also points out how the Lord having saved the people, destroyed those who failed to believe (Jude 5). There was more to their salvation than being delivered from the world, to assume they were saved by being once saved from the world was not Scriptural, nor was it sound Doctrine, rather it bordered on the doctrine of men. There will be several areas Paul will cover, all of which relate to the children in the wilderness. The point being they were saved from Egypt, but held to their unbelief, causing them to miss God, and the Reward; what makes the Corinthians think then can continue in the same errors, and not lose?

The Corinthians were Gentiles not Jews, yet verse 1 begins with "our fathers". They may have been Paul's fathers, but the Corinthians? Wait, the connection is through the nation God picked, thus it points to people God is working with. God delivered the children, just as He delivered the Corinthians. The children in the wilderness were "under" the cloud, but "passed through" the sea, so where is the Fire? Was not the Fire and the Cloud like bread and butter, one with the other? Wait, the Cloud was for the Day, the Fire for the Night. A separation is being made; Paul is only addressing those of the Day. The Book of Hebrews says they crossed the Red Sea by faith (Heb 11:29). However, faith was not seen again until walls of Jericho fell (Heb 11:30). The lesson in the Red Sea crossing was faith based in desperation, behind was death by Pharaoh, ahead was dry land, perhaps safety, nonetheless a route of escape. The point Paul makes is true with any of us, we escaped the pollutions of the world, but it didn’t end the race.

Next we see a strange thought, the children were baptized? Wait, it's not "by" Moses, but "unto" Moses, this is an area where the verb is important. This was not "in water", or "with the Holy Ghost", or "Fire", or sand, it was "unto Moses", which means they identified with Moses through the Law, or joined the Body (Law) of Moses. If we think Moses went around baptizing we missed the point, since this is “unto”, just as we accepted water baptism Unto the Body. The connection is how the Corinthians joined the Body by their token of water baptism, yet it’s clear God destroyed those in the wilderness who believed not, how then do these Corinthians think they shall escape?

How did the children get into the Wilderness? A train? No it was the Spirit of God guiding them by using Moses, yet Moses was not Born Again neither did he have the Spirit, rather he was guided by the Spirit of God. Paul will make another reference showing the Spirit of God called us to identify with the Body. If we accepted the Body, we were also accepted by the Body as “family”, which would mean Paul and the Corinthians are of the same family, one based on Love.

The first two verses lay out the foundation, the Corinthians like the children in the wilderness were protected by God, delivered from Egypt by God, they were identified unto the Body, just as the children were identified unto Moses. What then? The children did eat "the same Spiritual meat", they did "drink the Spiritual drink"? Oh man, what does this mean? Did the children have Communion, where is it written brother Paul? The word "meat" is the Greek Broma, it has several meanings, it can mean the food allowed by the Law of Moses, or the food not allowed by the Law of Moses, or food in general, it was also used in First Corinthians 3:2 in the phrase, "I have fed you with milk, and not with meat", What "meat" did the children eat? The direction of God, plus God gave the children manna, Jesus gave us His Body, we are the Bread. Jesus also said He was not the manna, thus Paul is giving teaching references as metaphors to show how God delivered the children, but did they appreciate it? 

The "drink" here is not Wine, but Water, in the wilderness the Water came from a rock, the children were not the Rock, they were not the Water, they did partake of the Water from the Rock. Paul calls it "the Rock", then defines the Rock as “Christ" (vs. 3-4). In a few verses he will show the head of the husband is Christ, as the head of Christ is God. Christ in this reference is still the Rock, Jesus said He would build His Church on The Rock, here the term Rock is defined for us as "Christ",  as in “The Body of Christ”, but it's the water from the Rock becoming the issue. What did the Water represent? Mercy, the Corinthians were failing at being Spiritual, but they were also void of love and mercy. They were looking at a piece of the Rock displaying mercy while they were condemning it.

Paul will cover several areas, the Bread, Mercy, and the Cup, here it’s the Living Water which comes from the Christ nature within us (Jn 7:37-39). Being Spiritual in nature does allow the Living Water to come forth, thus Paul is pointing out the iniquities of the Corinthians, they did things, but they were unbalanced. The Water and Living Water are connected but different. The Water represents Mercy, but the Living part points to the Life in the Spirit, coupling the Mercy with Grace to bring forth Living Water.

Verse 5 is the eye opener, the children were protected by the cloud, they crossed the sea, they were identified with the man God picked, they had a Law of their own, they had the manna, something no other people on earth had before, or since, they had God's mercy poured out on them, yet God was not well pleased with many of them. God was not displeased with all of them, but many is bad enough. The Corinthians were in the same boat, they thought Grace covered all things, they could do as they pleased, after all God hasn't struck them down as He did Sodom. They must be right with God: Wrong, the evidence Paul is about to present will prove the point.

What was the cause of the failure of the children in the wilderness? Not mixing the Word with faith? The Bible says they did fail, but it’s not the cause, although it was a sign of the cause. They could not enter in because of unbelief, their foundation was wood, hay and stubble. Their lack of belief, removed any foundation for faith, thus they failed to mix the words spoken with belief to enter faith to reach the other side. Even when they found “peace” they were not happy with the manner in which God was training them, so they rebelled. The Corinthians crossed as well, they had faith to enter, but they were failing in the belief area. The failure to believe caused the children to attack the man of God; sound familiar Corinthians? (v. 6).

In all this Paul will give five areas of God's protection, as he shows areas of the children's response to God's Mercy:              

Protection                                           Children's Response

Cloud                                                   Fornication

Passed through Sea                           Murmuring

Identified with Moses                       Tempted Christ

Eat Spiritual meat                              Idols

Drink Spiritual drink                        Murmuring-Complaining


The Water from the Rock was a product of God, but the unbelief of the children was twisting the good into evil, yet God gave them many blessings. Being under the Protection of God is not a free license to hold unbelief, it must be repented of, or paid for at some point, after all belief is a choice.

There is another point in all this, the Rock and Moses’ downfall. Paul is taking the warning, rather than strike the Body in Corinth he ran to Jesus and found Grace sufficient, Moses got mad, then allowed his anger to guide his actions. Both Moses and Paul were humans, but Paul had the advantage of having the Grace of God. The "example" was well taken by Paul, this letter proves it, but will the Corinthians learn from the example? This is one of those areas where a group says they want Truth, but do they? Why did Moses strike the Rock, was he mad at God? No, he was mad at the people. When he stuck the Rock it was an outward sign of him striking the children. Wait, didn't God strike a bunch of them dead? Yes, it was God, not Moses. Moses was told to "give" to the children, but he took his anger out on the Rock. The Rock still brought forth Water (Mercy), although Moses was lacking at the time. His position called for him to put away his anger by walking in Mercy. Our position is no different, we put away lying, and walk by faith, yet faith also entails walking in Mercy and Grace.

The connection between "idols", the meat and drink is found in verse 7 where the children played with the golden calf one day, but hurried to keep the sabbath, then the day after the sabbath they played, drank and did eat. Each area will have something  correlating with the Corinthians, even the golden calf. Does it mean they had a golden calf hidden in the basement of their church. Yikes, Come out! No, the golden calf began in the minds of the children as a replacement for the man God gave them as a leader. Don't forget the children who played these games never left the wilderness, yet the wilderness is a metaphor for the kingdom of heaven, not the Kingdom of God.

The reference Paul addresses for the idol worshipping error of the children  is found in Exodus 32, Moses delayed in coming down from the mountain, just as Paul was delayed in coming to the Corinthians. The children then took all the gold earrings they obtained from Egypt then made the golden calf. The golden calf was not to take the place of God, it was to take the place of Moses (Ex 32:1). Ahh it sounds like “I’m of Paul”, “I’m of Apollos”, golden calf makers. Exactly, it’s the exposure, the very reason Paul uses the Law of Moses in reference to the Corinthians, carnal ordinances for carnal minds.

Even Aaron got involved in the evil, he made an altar before the golden calf (Ex 32:5). However, the next day was a feast day, thus they cut their idol worshipping short so they could keep "the feast to the Lord" (Ex 32:5). One day is was serving the devil, the next was to wake up like nothing happened, so they could feast Unto the Lord. What was Moses doing? He was up on the mount getting the Ten Commandments from the Lord (Ex 32:15). What were the children doing? Breaking every one of them. Although mentor worship is idol worship, the carnal mind sees nothing wrong with holding a little hero worship, but Exodus 32:10 shows God's wrath was waxing hot. 

The next area is fornication, the reference is Numbers 25:1-9, but in order to understand why, we must go back to the time when Balaam taught Balak how to make the children fall into idol worship. Balak accepted the “doctrine of Balaam”, then sent women of Moab to the men of Israel. Balaam was also from Moab, he knew what it would take to cause the children to fall. Israel joined unto Baal-peor; and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel (Numb 25:1-3). Granted everyone is draw away by their own lust, thus the children were still natural, still under the fall nature, but the Corinthians on the other had the Spirit; the point being, what excuse could the Corinthians have? None.

It started when the prophet Balaam wanted to gain monetary gain from his position; although he could not prophesy against the children, he did step out of his office to “teach” Balak. The result was the sons of God mixing with the daughters of men, they committed whoredom (Ex 25:1), then came the idol worship. A little leaven, leavened the whole lump. In Exodus 25:9 we find there was a plague where "twenty and four thousand" (24,000) died, but Paul says it was "three and twenty thousand" (23,000), so what gives? A mystery. Right after the "three and twenty thousand" were killed there was another census, the second one. In Exodus 26:62 we find the mystery number of twenty and three thousand, referring to the males of Israel. So? In Exodus 26:65 we see how they will all die in the wilderness, except for Joshua and Caleb. The point? Those who made it past the plague still paid for their folly, if the Corinthians think they are getting away with their folly, they better think again.

Okay what then was the fornication? The act of ignoring the vows the nation made to God, they were in the wilderness, entry into the wilderness was akin to the Corinthians entering the Body, thus it was “Israel” who committed fornication, not “the children”. Once the vow is made it’s made, yet if one acts as if the vow was never made by engaging in intimate acts with another, they have committed fornication. Adultery is when one considers their self still married, yet they have an affair with one not their mate. This will be the issue in chapter 11, if the leadership has separated itself from it’s Head (Christ), yet still considers itself married, it has committed adultery by using the old man (carnal) in place of the anointing of Christ.

The next area is in reference with the "serpents" in the wilderness; the event is found in Numbers 21:4-9 and 32:7-9, it again connects to the children not being satisfied or content with the manner of training. The children were discouraged, some of us think discouragement is not a sin, it very well can be. "No way, it’s Old Testament". True, but we were taken here by a New Testament teaching, as Paul makes the correlation by telling us not to be like some of them.

The word Discouraged in Numbers is the Hebrew Qatsar, opening the teaching, since the meaning points to "harvest" connected to sowing and reaping, it's translated as "cut down", "to dock off", “reaper”, and "mourn", all of which are a type of cutting, or falling down, showing when we are discouraged we feel “cut down”. The Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon shows this word in Job 4:8 as "those who sow wickedness reap the same", relating it to "short of arm", or coming short of something, or failing to all presented. Discouragement derails faith, forgets the hope, in most cases causes others to be discouraged, therein lays the sin. All this is important, but we also find in John 3:14 Jesus said, "as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up". Here is a connection we can't deny, the error in Corinth was coming against the Cross of Jesus without outwardly doing so, indicating how the purpose was for them to be Spiritual, but they were remaining carnal. Their actions were opposed to the Purpose of the Cross, yet they accepted the Cross, and the Spirit. Going back to Numbers we find the Intercession of Moses brought about the deliverance (Numb 21:7), here Paul is pleading as he intercedes for the Corinthians to look at the benefit of the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus. They could say they love the Lord, they could say they respect the Lord, but actions talk louder than words. We become discouraged when we fail to “remember” what Jesus did for us. 

Did the serpent experience correct the children in the wilderness? Not at all, yet the next experience was one wherein we gained the gospel song, "Spring up oh well" (Numb 21:17). They had blessings in hand, plus victory in battle (Numb 21:24), then another victory (Numb 21:35). All these signs of God's mercy, power and ability, then comes Balaam causing the children to commit whoredom (Numb 25:1). It's obvious the children were blessed, Balaam knew he could not curse what God has blessed, so how could the children end cursed? "Oh they weren't", not so when they took on the idols of Moab, they also took on the curse of idol worship. "Ahh, no one could curse them, but they could curse themselves". Right, it’s Paul's point, the Corinthians had it all in hand, they were Christ's, they held the presented Gift, all they had to do was submit to it. Their use of the carnal wisdom of the world was the same as playing with idols, since the same wisdom is connected to the spirit of man.

Paul isn't against the Corinthians, he is opposed to their carnal thinking. Of course they were assuming Paul was against them, so they attacked him. He spoke the truth in Love, they murmured in their tents, which brings us to the last area. Murmuring was something the children in the wilderness did often, but Paul uses the experience to expose the division, strife and envy of the Corinthians. The first time we find the children in their murmuring state was three days into the wilderness (Ex 15:24). In all we find some 22 times wherein the word Murmur is used in some fashion regarding the children (murmur - Ex 16:7, 16:8, Numb 14:27 [twice], 14:36, 16:11 & 17:5: murmured - Ex 15:24, 16:2, 17:3, Numb 14:2, 14:29, 16:41 & Deut 1:27: murmurings - Ex 16:7, 16:8 [twice] 16:9, 16:12, Numb 14:27, 17:5 & 17:10). Of course some of these are repeats, but the one we're looking for when the "destroyer" came on the people, and how it happened. It's fairly clear Paul is showing the destroyer came, but it was not the purpose or will of God, rather God knew, nonetheless the cause was based in the actions of the people. They gave place to the destroyer, the Corinthians were giving place to the old man (spirit of man). Can't very well blame God, not even when it's His own people who cause the problems.

In Numbers 16 there was Korah, a subject used in Jude's letter as an example of the Wicked. This man was a Levite, a man of the clothe, whose family order cared for the things of the Tabernacle, yet the man was not happy with his appointed position, thus he launched an attack against Moses. What was the intent based on? Envy, Korah wanted to remove Moses from leadership, which is termed by some as the "spirit of Korah", or the attempt to remove someone from an office, so we can have it. Korah used deception coupled with reasoning to entice some of the people to his side. When the time came, God did a new thing, Korah and his followers died as the earth opened and consumed them (Numb 16:30). It didn't stop there, a fire consumed those who offered strange incense (Numb 16:35). The people then entered more foolishness by blaming Moses for the death of Korah (Numb 16:41). The people "murmured against Moses and Aaron" (Numb 16:41),  we know the Corinthians were murmuring against Paul, thus the connection. It came to pass when the congregation was gathered against Moses and Aaron the Cloud covered the Tabernacle. Instead of attacking the people, Moses and Aaron went to the Tabernacle to hear from God (Numb 16:42-45). What they heard was, "Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a moment". Did Moses say, "well I tell you what, it's about time"? No, both Moses and Aaron fell down and prayed for those who persecuted them. These men, who didn't have the Spirit were acting more like Children of God, then the Corinthians who did have the Spirit. Was God the destroyer? No, it was the people who destroyed their own selves by their murmuring and complaining, it’s Paul’s point; the Corinthian carnal attitude was eroding their foundation.

All this is leading up to Communion, Paul knew the Corinthians were taking Communion, but they were doing so in an unworthy manner. Some of us have tortured ourselves by holding a false concept of being "unworthy, we think unworthy means we have sinned in some way, or we’re so bad we can't partake of the Bread or Cup. The Table of the Lord is a place to be free of sin, but one is unworthy when they mock, reject or ignore the purpose, or if they attack members of the Body of Christ as a matter of habit. On the other side of the coin, if we respect the Table shows we're worthy.

Paul ends this section by showing how the children in the wilderness felt they were perfect in the sight of God, after all they were the ones who built the Tabernacle, they made the Ark of the Covenant, they made the golden candlestick, the Law of Moses came to them, they saw the Cloud and Fire, they were partakers of God's delivering, saving power; oh yeah they made the golden calf, they murmured, complained, and attacked the anointed leader, they were Unbalanced and Unequal. However, then we read, "Wherefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" (v. 12). Standing in faith, and standing in pride calling it faith are miles apart. The Corinthians being carnal, as well as being arrogant with false confidence, using their faith for self-pleasure, found wanton.  

 

I Cor 10:13-33

The context of verse 12 begins with the concept we are already standing, yet the questions from a prideful attitude of some who presumed they are standing, really exposes they were sitting. This points back to the discouragement, as it gives way to depression, depression forgets the hope, without hope we will put our faith in ourselves. However, they had the Spirit, the Holy Ghost would not have granted them the Spirit if the potential for victory was not there; thus Paul preached to the potential.

No temptation comes to us is some strange thing, it doesn't matter if it comes from God or not, the truth remains, God has a way for us to get out of it. "Well, you don't know what I'm going through", perhaps not, but God does. "Well this is some strange thing, no one has ever been through", there is no temptation taken you, which is not common to man. The truth of this for the Corinthians is seen in how they were tempting Paul without success, but since the temptation is coming from them, they are the ones in temptation. There is an escape, God has a way for them to turn this around. How do we know? The examples given prior, what was used to free the people of the serpents? A brass serpent provided by God. What was in the hands of Korah to save him? The Ark of the Covenant. What about the idols? Flee from idolatry. God gave us feet to walk by, but there are times when running isn't a bad idea.

On the same note, James tells us God cannot tempt us with evil, it's our own lust tempting us. There are several areas to consider, temptation comes from someone who has a lust, if the temptation takes root in another, then the temptation has completed itself; however, there must be a lust in the one being tempted, before it is complete. God can also send us a good gift, we can then filter it through a lust making the good evil (Jude 4). We can use the measure of faith in any number of ways, we can have faith in our self-ability, or must anything, thus the commandment is “have faith in God”. The Corinthians evidenced their temptations in their questions, since the questions were carnal in nature, attempting to pull Paul to one side or the other. They became a thorn in the flesh, a “thorn” is a pressure point, something irritating us. The thorn would be the tempting us to use the flesh, something Paul is fighting against by remaining Spiritual in nature. 

The exposure was before them, exposure leaves us with two things we can do, we can ignore it thereby falling headlong into the pit. Or we can see it as something in us which has to go, if so, we received the purpose, the Word in us will bring us into the perfect place of cleaning unto perfection.

If we fell for the temptation, then we have a lust which needs to go. If we discerned the temptation, yet didn’t fall, we were tested, making our faith stronger. If the temptation overtook us, God will still make a way of escape for us by using the same temptation. This is not saying God brought it, rather by the temptation we learn how to overcome  further temptations. It doesn’t mean we complete the temptation thinking we won, it means we can learn as we are cleaned from the lust.

Using a lust to our advantage is not the goal of God, rather the desire of the enemy is for us use to the lust, while ignoring the exposure. It's also a trick of the enemy to bring condemnation, causing us to enter self-guilt, again attempting to get us to ignore the exposure. Pushing the lust back down isn't freedom, submitting to the Blood to be cleaned is always victory.

One of the temptations enticing the Corinthians was idol worship, their means of escape was "flee from it". What idols? I’m of Paul, I’m of Apollos. Paul didn't bring the idol worship, but it's clear the Corinthians had the lust. Whether it was idols of stone, or flesh and blood didn’t matter it was still the same lust. All they did was transfer the lust from one thing to another; there are some who do the same with anger, they forgive the person, but hold unforgiveness against others for allowing the hurtful event to take place. In truth they haven’t forgiven, just transferred the anger.

Another clue to their lustful desires is their over concern about "eating things sacrificed unto idols". Where do you think one could purchase meat sacrificed unto idols? At the local synagogue? Hardly, at the local idol temple. The Corinthians were carnal, they were caught with meat sacrificed unto idols on their faces. Their question gave them away, in their attempt to look holy before Paul with the question, the question itself became the evidence of their folly. They were tempting Paul in the matter of Liberty, all things were theirs. Where they? Yes, but he also taught them not all things are profitable.

The purpose for Communion is to Remember, the Corinthians needed to remember why the Cross was presented to them. The Greek has four words which relate to the word Communion, the one used here is Koinonia which points to the concept of Fellowship, the subject of First John. If we say we have Fellowship, yet use the means of darkness, we lie and the truth is not in us. Fellowship with the Father can only be accomplished when we treat the people of God, as God does, by walking in the Light, since God is Light. It’s why we take the Bread first, the Cup points to our relationship with Jesus, but the Bread refers to Mercy and the Body. We don’t take the Cup first, Jesus never taught us so. The Bread must be the first issue, have we treated the people of God as God does? Have we attempted to fleece the sheep? Have we abused the sheep? Have we attacked leadership? Have we prayed our wills into the lives of others to get them to do what we want? The Bread has many members, but it’s still the Bread, meaning One in purpose and Unity. There is the Unity of the Faith, and the Unity of the Spirit, thus through the Spirit we are in the Faith, bringing the Unity of the brethren. Having like theology is not Unity, it’s merely a joining of the minds.

Fellowship means intimacy, a joint interest or feeling, how can we fellowship with God if we are yet carnal, or think as the world? God seeks those who are Spirit and Truth by nature, not those who are carnal, self-based, or using the spirit of man.

The other three words for Fellowship in the Greek are Dialaleo meaning To Announce, then Homileo meaning To converse one to another, but doesn't hold the concept of intimate fellowship. Then Sullaleo meaning To talk, or speak in a close friendly manner. This points to a common problem, failing to discern the carnal minded person from the Spiritual, ending in “sharing” something Spiritual, yet having the carnal mind view it as foolishness. At times it’s far better to keep things to yourself.

God cannot enter close Communion with the carnal minded, neither can the carnal minded enter close Communion with God. This is not the same as the Communion Service, although it does little good to partake without knowing why. Even if we are carnal, the Table is the place to seek the Spiritual order to enter close Communion with God. The table is not restricted to the “holy of the most holy people”, it’s for anyone in the Body who seeks the face of Christ. It’s for those who want to tell the Lord they do remember what He did. They may not be doing all they think they should, but they do appreciate what the Lord has done. The Corinthians were told to “eat” at home, since they were so carnal they had no respect for the Table, to them it was “eat”, yet for the saint it’s a form of worship. 

Paul uses the Cup in the first place, or before the Bread, which as we know, is not the order of Communion, but the proper order in reference to his teaching here. The Corinthians were out of order, this shows they needed to reverse their position, in order to have a healed condition. They were carnal, they needed the Blood of the New Covenant to become Spiritual in nature in order to treat the members of Body with respect.

Before the Blood of Jesus enters the Cup, the Cup must be cleaned, it's the Blood of Jesus making the cup holy, not the cup making the Blood holy. How do we clean the cup? Water, pointing to Mercy, if we attempt to take the Cup, yet refuse Mercy, we have polluted the cup before we begin. We are cleaned (scrubbed) by the washing of the water by the word. We are not cleaned by the washing of water alone, the  Word (Rhema) must be the cleaning agent, thus to presume water baptism cleaned the inside is error, it ‘s our token, it didn't complete the effort. We didn’t drink the water, we entered it.

The cup represents "love the Lord with all your heart" the Bread represents the second commandment, "love your neighbor as yourself"; neither represent "love yourself over God", or "love thyself, and forget thy neighbor". There are some who think the golden rule is, "do unto them, before they have a chance to do it to you". Twisting it, doesn't make it so. 

We are the Body (Soma) of Christ on this earth, thus we find two areas, Jesus gave us His Body, so we could impute our flesh dead by the Cross, but we don't impute the Body of Christ dead, thus we exchange body for Body. They we place our bodies into service, but our flesh (Sarx) is imputed as dead. Since we are of the Body, then the Body is of us, no man defiles his own body, why then would we attack a brother or sister in the Lord, if they are of our Body (Soma)?

Israel after the flesh (Sarx not Soma) took of the things sacrificed as a type and shadow of what was to come. Is the idol anything? No, but playing with it is. The Corinthians presumed taking of the meat sacrificed unto idols was the same as the Hebrew priests taking of the things they sacrificed. Carnal minds twist meanings to fit a wanton desire to fill a lust. We should not have fellowship with devils, or those who play with them. The Corinthians were so carnal they allowed false apostles into their group, in so doing they were playing with devils.

This exposure by the Holy Ghost is how He brings these hindering elements to our face. The Corinthians wrote a letter to Paul asking questions, thus they wanted answers,  yet they wanted their answers, what they got were answers from the Throne of God as the Word exposed the intent of their hearts showing where their problems came from. Paul wasn’t twisting their words, he was answering the intent, it was up to them to receive.

This area of Communion doesn't stop, it picks up again after Paul talks about the covering. This merely shows us a viewing of the Table, then comes the manner in which to "escape" the temptation. The biggest problem in Corinth was the out of order covering, their covering was not gaining any respect from the members, so they refused to give respect to the head (authority) over them. It’s not the manner of escape, it was the way into deeper entrapment. If everything produces after it’s own kind, how is Christ the head didn’t make the husband Christ Like? The Yoke of carnal activity, they had the Keys, yet they put the Yoke of bondage back on the Neck, separating Christ from the shoulder (government). Once the separation was in place, the concept of everything producing after its own kind continued, but from the carnal leadership down.

Paul refers to two cups, the cup of the Lord has the Blood of the Lord, the cup of devils belongs to the spirit of the world. The table of the Lord is a place to fellowship with God, the table of the old man is the place to fellowship with devils. Paul is in a tight position, if Grace was freedom why couldn't they be as the Gentiles to win the Gentiles? Because their intent was evil, it wasn't to win the Gentile, it was to engage with the devils of the Gentiles. All things were lawful, but not all things are profitable, the purpose must be to benefit Mercy and Grace in God. Freedom is great, but misused it becomes more bondage than the bondage of the world. Since we have freedom, we can refrain just as easy as we can do. We don't hang out with the "boys" anymore, because we don't want to, not because we "can't". We don't steal anymore, because we don't want to, not because there is a Commandment telling us not to. We don't do many things, not because there are Commandments telling us not to, but because we simply don't want to. We also do many Godly things we would not have done before, not because we force ourselves to, but because it’s our nature to do them. 

Did Paul have a valid concern? Yes, not only for this bunch, but we are the Bread, what happens to the Body, happens to all (v. 17). If they take of the meat, are they not also partakers of the altar? (v. 18). Good point, if we take of what was offered, are we not also included to the one offering? Yes, the very basis for Communion, yet if they take of the idols altar, are they not of idols? Rather than partake of the devil’s table of idol worship, Paul is calling them to partake of the Lord’s Table.

We partake of Communion as a review of the Contract and Covenant, but we also are involving ourselves into the very Sacrifice of the Lord. If the Body is the Body of Christ, and we are members, then we are part of the Sacrifice. We are all priests, each of us are told to present ourselves, as priests we have priestly duties. Therefore, if we partake of idols. or the things of idols, are we not becoming the sacrifice as well? Yes, thus Paul is pointing out the danger of equating the world to the kingdom, or using the things of the world when they benefit us, but using the things of the kingdom when they benefit us. Which hand has which cup? If we have to look, we’re in trouble.

Having "fellowship" with devils, is the same as having communion with them, not real smart. Some of us are under demonic attack for this very reason. The "unworthy" state would include compromise, one wherein we take the cups of devils, while at the same time holding the Cup of the Lord. The golden calf one day, the cup of the Lord the next. The word "partaker" is the Greek Metacho from Meta and Echo, meaning to Join to others by association. In this case the error would be attempting to mix the Spirit that is of God (New Man), with the spirit of man; going right back to "not to company with fornicators" (I Cor 5:9).

 Now the situation changes to the "meat market", which is another clue showing Paul understood more than these Corinthians wanted him to. The man was a prophet, as such he was able to discern (v. 25). This really does separate the prior verses, showing someone who just so happens to pick up something at the meat market, as compared to seeking out or buying meat from an idol temple. These people knew when someone offered an animal to the Delphi temple it was the best they could buy or raise. Making the meat somewhat desirable, thus the question was not “should we?”, but “can we?”. “Can we get drunk with the boys, if we think of Jesus once or twice?”. “Can we hang around the old gang, if we go to church on Sunday?”. Carnal minds look for the loophole so they can do what is forbidden to do, their source is the spirit of man.

We know Delphi had a big idol temple, with many sacrifices, and they sold the meat out of the temple. We also know Corinth was across the bay from Delphi, and we know the people of Corinth did business in Delphi. What about the products we pick up at the local market? We ask no question for "conscience sake", not ours, but theirs. “Does this have pork in it? I don’t eat pork”, it puts conviction on the other person by belittling them. If we don’t like it don’t eat it, but the eating, or not eating has nothing to do with holiness.

Some who are weak in the faith will not eat, or even touch pork for religious sake. It's fine for them, but when they dig through your trash to see if you are feeding them pork, they have fallen into error. Even if they ask, "is there any pork in this?", it's error. Why? "For the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof" (v. 26). Well, why not eat the meat sacrificed unto idols? Because of appearance, but appearance in the reverse is belittling someone because we want to enhance our supposed appearance.

However, there can be a trap in this, another key is "if any of them believe not bid you to a feast" (v. 27). Clearly it's the unbeliever doing the asking, not the believer. The trap comes if they tell you, "by the way, this was given unto idols" (v. 28).  Especially after you have a mouth full. Why even tell you? Why bring it up? If someone knew we don't eat things sacrificed unto idols, yet they serve us some, then say, "oh by the way, the meat in your mouth". If they didn't know, they wouldn't say a thing, thus they are tempting us, to see what we will do. Only those setting the trap would pull this, if they do, for their sake we eat not (v. 28). Why? To show we have power, we can eat, or eat not, but we will not submit to a temptation. We eat when we can give thanksgiving, if not we don't partake.

Why should our Liberty be judged of another person's conscience (v. 29). What has it to do with this? They told us it was sacrificed (or whatever), so they knew it was wrong. Don't give them cause to do it to another, it was their conscience bringing it up, let the power work on them unto conviction, but not unto condemnation.

Judging our liberty by what someone else does, is not liberty. Neither is allowing someone else to judge our Liberty. Do all things unto the Lord by faith, for anything not done is faith is sin. At times we have to think, “what would Jesus do?”, other times we know exactly what He would do.

From this point on Paul will begin to speak about Spiritual matters, some of the most detailed information we have on the subject is written to a carnal church, so what does it mean? The teaching is milk, the doing is meat. We can read all this information, yet use it to attack the Spirituals, but in the process we are showing we are yet carnal, and afraid of the Spirit. On the other hand we can learn of the great potential we have in the Spiritual area based in our perfect Law of Liberty.

 

I Cor 11:1-16

Paul begins by saying he would praise them if they remembered the Ordinances he delivered, the Greek word for Ordnance is Paradosis, meaning Tradition, or Doctrine, pertaining the to gathering, therefore, we are looking at metaphors as the relate to the gathering, indicating the husband as the leader, the congregation as the wife. What about Corinth? Paul being an Apostle completed his part in Corinth, what was lacking was this aspect of Teaching them again how to Teach. They were teaching all sorts of things, none of which were inline with the Doctrines (Traditions) Paul set forth prior, thus Paul said, "remember me in all things" (I Cor 11:2).

Paul is still talking about following him as he follows Christ; however, he is about to talk about husbands and wives, yet he is not married, giving us our first clue regarding the metaphoric content of the teaching. We also see Christ is the head of the husband, yet Paul wasn't married; therefore, how could they follow him? Paul is merely saying to follow Christ as he does as a leader, it’s not to make him the person between us and Christ. One of the carnal errors of the Corinthians was placing humans as idols: “I’m of Paul”, thus to assume Paul is saying to follow him as a human before we can find Christ would be a violation of him rebuking the Corinthians for doing just that (I Cor 3:4-5). No, we look at Paul, who was once a man by the name of Saul feared by Christians, yet Jesus took him, cleaned him, trained him, then put him into service. If Jesus can do it with Paul, He can do it with any of us.

Issues regarding Spiritual matters are also seen here, we know the Corinthians prayed in the Spirit by speaking in unknown tongues, Paul even said he more so than they, but he didn't say he prayed in tongues and they didn't, nor did he say he didn’t and they did, it wasn’t the praying, but the issue was why they were praying. Did they pray in unknown tongues to impress themselves? Did they refuse to, because they demanded control? They would also prophesy all over the place, yet not understand one word.

We have two metaphors pointing to Authority, Head and Name. The Head is the Authority over us, the Name is what we use to show our Authority. We don’t toss the "Name of Jesus" around like it's some personal tool to fill their desires. The Name of Jesus is only reserved for those in the Body of Christ, it’s the granted joined authority of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. It’s the Authority opening the Door so we could receive the Gift of Grace by the Holy Ghost. Authority, then Power, not the other way around. We don’t say, “In the Power of Jesus”, we say, “In the Name of Jesus”, thus pointing to our Authority, yet without the Power from on High we can say it, but not perform in it.

Paul uses metaphors to make a point, as a type of "tongue in cheek" humor, but only a carnal mind would reject "there is neither male nor female in Christ" for "let your women remain silent". There is no conflict in the phrases, just conflict in the carnal mind.

More evidence to this is found in the word "woman" which is the Greek Gune meaning a wife, it comes from the Greek Ginomai meaning To come to be, often it was used in reference to child bearing. In Ephesians Paul tells us the purpose of leadership is to assist the congregation to grow (Eph 4:10-14). If we make this section gender it would indicate the restrictions are placed on the married women alone, whereas the single women, or widows can make all the noise they want, including running the aisles yelling to the top of their lungs. It would also mean single men, or widowers are not allowed in church, since they are left out of the context. Clearly we’re speaking about something greater than gender.

Another point is how this is placed between two areas speaking of Communion, which means this area is a teaching on the subject of the “gathering”. This shows us why Paul used the cup then the bread, this area becomes a matter of Bread.

In truth, Communion is not a faith issue, it’s a belief issue, it looks back to Remember. Like any Covenant there are sides or duties, we know our first duty is to Seek ye first the Kingdom of God (Spirit), and His Righteousness (Scepter of the Kingdom). Therefore we could in fact take Communion, yet never view our condition in the Body, but it would make us unworthy, since we failed to consider the purpose of Communion. The Bread is a mercy issue, the Cup points to Grace. When we hold the Bread we remember how God forgive us with the proviso of us forgiving others. We ask ourselves, Do we hold unforgiveness? Are we walking in the Father’s Mercy? Then we can Remember the Blood of Christ in the New Covenant regarding our relationship with Jesus by the Spirit. 

Communion is like being at the Doctor’s Office, we are allowing the New Man to conduct an examination; much like “Physician heal thyself”. It doesn’t mean we can’t pray, it means Communion is to remember while allowing the New Man to examine us. Our prayers would be to seek Wisdom, honor the Faith of Jesus, asking for the Lord to restore us if we have made errors.

This is the place where Paul said the Lord judges him, lest he be condemned with the “world”. Of course if one is using the wisdom of the world, they will be judged with the world. However, this area still looks at the Authority of leadership and congregation, as well as what to do when things are out of order.

We must remember the center of this teaching is not Power, but Authority. We are not talking about the “horn of power”, but the “head of authority”. The Centurion was told he had great faith based on his knowledge of Authority; when Jesus cleaned out the Temple the religious leaders didn't question His power, since the cleaning showed He had the Power, it was His Authority (by what Authority do You do this?). Why? Power used outside of Authority is rebellion, and rebellion is like the sin of witchcraft. Both rebellion and witchcraft attempt to oppose, or overthrow the Authority of God. If the Pharisees could prove Jesus acted in Power, but lacked Authority, they would have found Him in violation of nearly every point of the Law. We know Jesus had the Authority and Power, as He used them accordingly.

Paul is faced with a situation where his covering over a Body is being abused, part of the Communion service is holding respect for members of the Body (Bread). Here we find the Apostle began this local body, but even his covering couldn't change or help them,  yet it did protect them. Paul could instruct, but he couldn't dominate them, or force them to comply. He trained them in the way they should go, it was up to them to accept the education. The same is true when we read Acts 15, the letter sent to the Gentiles was Doctrine, but the Apostles couldn't force the Gentiles to follow the Doctrine. Carnal leaders always attempt to manipulate or dominate, or force the congregation to follow rules and regulations. A carnal mind speaks of Liberty, but it’s still in bondage.

A lack of authority doesn't mean they lack power, it’s evident here in Corinth. They still had the Power, but they were using it without the proper Authority covering them, thus they were in rebellion. What to do? The Congregation had to remain silent, thus for them to hold a meeting to rebuke the leaders would be just as much out of order as having carnal leadership. Carnal rebuking carnal still leaves things carnal. The answer? Communion, another secret Paul alludes to, let them learn at home. Ahh, go home get with the Lord in your prayer closet. Prayer and Communion have a place in the gathering, as well as in our prayer closet. Jesus has made us priests and kings, thus as a priest we can administer Communion, even to ourselves.

On the other hand we could appoint a carnal board, then toss out the carnal leaders, but it leaves us with a carnal board. What to do? Pray the carnal board out? Pray them down? Pray them upside down? No, pray they gain clarity to what they are doing, ask Jesus to bring His correction and edification unto perfection. Perhaps Jesus will send someone, as He did here with the Corinthians. However, the prophet or teacher could show up with Truth, but without the Rhema ear, it won’t be received.

The separation between the males and females, or better between the husbands and wives is a clear rebuke, to those who know the Temple lay-out. The Temple had a place for the women, separating them from the men. Interesting side note, in the Temple the place called the Corinthian Gate was the entrance to the Women's Court. Paul's comments to these carnal minded Corinthians warn us all, if we fall to the carnal mind, or remain carnal in our thinking, we are under the Law, and still subject to the ordinances against us.

For some reason we pick up these areas of carnal activity and make them Doctrine, which is exactly what Paul was attempting to avoid. Entire sects hold "let your women remain silent", without understanding what it means. When our "women" are silent, the leaders are admitting they are carnal, or lack authority. Neither does it give us the right to remain carnal, yet tell the women to yell, thinking it makes us Spiritual.

The context is for the leaders and congregation to be Moved by the anointing, rather than attempting to move the anointed. Authority is an issue is vital, Jesus granted Authority before the Power came. Authority is the right granted to apply the Power, without Authority we have no position to pray or prophesy. Here in Corinth the problem wasn't the devil, it was their lack of Authority. They were the Bread, thus they were in the Body, their "head" was Christ, but they were carnal. Authority and the Anointing run hand in hand, the metaphor Hair points to the covering of the Anointing, but in order to have the Anointing one must have the Authority. This area connects to Isaiah 10:27, the metaphor Shoulder refers to Government, the place between the Head of the Body and the Body. A yoke is dependent on its purpose, Jesus gave us His yoke, which is based in Rest. However there is another yoke, one choking, or cutting off. In Isaiah 10:27 the context is Government, the Burden shall be taken away from off His shoulder, the Yoke from off His neck, then the Yoke shall be destroyed Because of the anointing, not by it. The Yoke in this case is around the Neck, it separates the Anointing in the Head from getting to the Shoulder, which means it also separates it from the Body. A Yoke of this type can be carnal minded thinking, traditions of men, doctrines of men, or imposed deeds from the Law of Moses, or anything not conducive to the Spiritual nature of the Doctrine of Christ.

In Verse 1 Paul is not saying make an idol out of him, or set him between man and God, it simply means use Paul as an example of one who follows Christ. This teaching Paul is about to give connects back to 7:14, the unbelieving husband (leader) is sanctified by the believing wife (congregation), lest the babes would be unholy. There was nothing artificial between Paul and Christ, no Yoke of separation, Paul had nothing on “his head” to separate his Head from God. However, the Corinthian leaders were placing a Yoke between them and the Christ (Anointing) for the Body, separating them from the Head of the Body.

Verse 2 begins by “I praise you”, yet in just a few verses he will say “I praise you not”, so did he change his mind? (vs. 11:17 & 11:22). This is a request, the facts come later, here in verse 2 he is asking them to remember Paul, by keeping the Ordinances as he delivered them, don’t change them, nor forget them.

Verse 3 then begins the teaching on Authority in the local body, connecting to “And you are Christ’s and Christ is God’s” (v. 3:23), as well as, “if any man defile the Temple (Body) of God” (v. 3:16). Authority differs depending on who grants it, we know the spirit of man uses the authority of darkness, thus if the leadership is using the spirit of man to make decisions, they are allowing the cup of devils to guide them. The gift (Doma) of the office is not to enhance the person, or to make them famous or rich, it's for the edification of the Body. James says, "My brethren, be not may masters (teachers or leaders), knowing we shall receive the greater condemnation" (James 3:1). To whom much is given, much is required. The appointments of God are based on God's form of government, which is known as Theocracy, meaning it’s based on Authority. No one can grant a position unless they have the authority to do so. Jesus gave us authority when He said, "Go in My Name (Authority)", but then He said, "Tarry for Power (New Man, Born Again) from on high". Two different things, the Authority (Name) came first, but we found from the first chapter of Acts what happens when we operate before the Power from on high is granted. The Power is always the ability to carry out the Authority in a lawful manner. Authority is the granted right to use the Power, thus Authority must come first, then Power.

Authority is only granted to those in position, thus anyone in the Body has Authority to do many things, even if they are a Babe, or Carnal, of Mind the Flesh. We baptize others in water based on the Authority in the Name of Jesus. We cast out devils by the same Authority, we do other things based on the Authority granted to the Body in general. There is an Authority in being Born Again, we have the position to allow the Spirit to Manifest. The Authority found in the Name of Jesus is not privy to anyone outside the Body, it would be someone not in position attempting to use an authority they are not granted. The result would be another Seven Sons Of Sceva fiasco. The same is true with the Office, only the Holy Ghost appoints to the five fold Offices (Acts 13:1-3), we can call ourselves most anything, but it doesn’t mean we have the Authority or the Power of the Office, thus the Office forms the person, it’s not the other way around. 

Some of us think the Anointing comes with Power, here Paul uses the metaphor "hair" for the Anointing (metaphor taken from Samson's experience), but the hair is not artificial, thus a hat is not hair. Hair being a metaphor for the Anointing, also relates to a covering, much like the Unction over the Body. However, can someone place a false, or artificial covering between them and their authority? Yes, leadership above all else is required to be Spiritual in nature, how can a leader hear the Lord if they are not Spiritual? How can they call Jesus Lord, but by the Holy Ghost?

If the head of the husband is Christ, the husband's head is not to be covered, who then is the head of the husband? We can't jump from the metaphor to the gender, then back again, the context is the same, metaphors. If this was not metaphoric then we see the wife of Joe walking down the street with Joe’s head. Perhaps stuff movies are made of, but not the things found in the life in Christ. This is a mystery, one defined by the context. If we really want to cause a stir, we have to see the head of the woman is the man, the mouth of the woman is on the face, thus if the woman is to remain silent, it’s the man’s head to remain silent; clearly metaphors. It’s the head of the woman who needs the long flowing hair, since the head of the woman is the man, or we are using metaphors to explain why the congregation in Corinth were having difficulties in answering their own questions.

The leader must be under Authority, which in turn brings the anointing of God as long flowing hair unto the congregation. Leadership must never allow any Yoke on the Neck separating "Christ and God". So where does it bring us? Defining Christ as Paul uses the title here, as the Anointing for the Rock, the basis for the Living Water. Therefore, God the Son is the Head of the Church, the Christ is the Authority and Power granted by Jesus to the Governments for the Body. No one is going to misuse, abuse or disrupt the Power and Authority of the Church, it’s not the issue here. Here it’s the Bread, or Rock, or Christ the Body. Within the Rock comes the Unction, or the Anointing of Christ. Paul is not concerned about the Corinthians wrecking their local church, his concern is how they are disrupting the Body. This makes more sense when we break down the metaphors, the husband is the leader, the wife the congregation, the hair the anointing, the head the authority. The leaders are not a separate Body, nor are they the Head (Authority of all authorities) within the Body. They are members like all of us, but with the addition of the mantel of leadership. The Congregation is not a separate Body either, they are of the same Body as the leaders. The leaders began as sheep, then Jesus called them to be shepherds, adding the responsibility of the calling. Jesus wasn’t going to force them to be leaders, it would remove Liberty, but if they accept the position, they also accepted the responsibility.

We can see this is a sound rebuke toward the leadership in Corinth, or toward any carnal leadership. Why would God allow it to begin with? Why not strike them with fire, not to consume them, perhaps just enough to get their attention. Because Jesus said, "take eat", then He gave us the Body, but He said He would build the Church upon the Rock. Ahh, we build the Rock, Jesus builds the Church (Jude 22-23). When we assume we build the Church we have usurped authority. We tend to use the term "Church" for both the Body and the Church, they are connected, but if we confuse one into the other we error. Paul is not talking to the Church, he is talking to a church. There are churches many in the Body, but it doesn't mean they are The Church. Therefore, whenever we as humans say we are "building the Church" we error, only Jesus can build the Church.

When we use the metaphors the verses may make more sense, "the authority of every leader is the Authority on the Body (Christ), and the authority of the congregation is the authority on the leader, the authority of Christ the Body is Jesus as God the Son”. When we force these verses to fit a gender, we end making a bunch of Frankenstein monsters, with a male’s head on a woman’s body.

For every leader praying or prophesying having his authority covered (yoked) will dishonor their authority, which is Christ. This is very important, they are not dishonoring their selves, they dishonor Christ. Every member of the congregation who prays or prophesies with their authority uncovered (lacking authority) dishonors their authority (leaders). The word Dishonor in both cases is the Greek Kataischuno, a compound word meaning To put to shame, it also means to Disappoint, or frustrate ones hope. To be “shaven” means to be void of the Anointing, thus connecting the Anointing with Authority. If the congregation is not covered by the proper Authority, let them be shorn, but if it's a shame for the congregation to be without proper authority, then let them be covered by having the proper authority in line providing the granted anointing Jesus established. This again shows the keys were in the hands of the people, even the leadership. They had the choice to remain carnal, or become Spiritual. Who gets hurt? The congregation, as a congregation, but not as individuals. Paul tells them to learn at home, thus two things are obvious, they didn’t learn a thing worth while in the gathering, but their relationship with the Lord must still be intact since they can still to learn at home. Home will be the place for the congregation to begin the road of restoration.

For the leader should never remove his authority in Christ from Jesus the Authority over the Body, for the leader is the image (representation) of the authority over them. If the Authority is in Order, the entire congregation can pray or prophesy as they keep things decently and in order (I Cor 14:40). For the leader is not the congregation, but the congregation is not the leader, neither was the leader created for the congregation, but the congregation for the leader.  Where does Jesus get His shepherds? From the sheep. This doesn’t diminish the purpose of the Gift (Doma), but it does show Jesus gains leaders from the congregation, it’s not the other way around (vs. 11).

For this cause the congregation is the cherished help meet of the leader, for this cause they must be the order of Authority (power in KJV, v. 10), because the angels are also under authority, and have authority as they are watch us. Nevertheless, neither is the leader without the congregation, or the congregation without the leader, in the Lord. For as the congregation is of the leaders, even so is the leader also by the congregation; but all things of God. Judge for yourselves: is it right for the congregation to pray unto God uncovered (void the authority and anointing)?

Then Paul changes to the anointing (Hair alone), showing how important authority is. The Body has an anointing over it, but here it's still the congregation. The congregation in Corinth was in division, strife, questions amounting to little or nothing, mentor worship, confusion, everyone wanting to be the center of attention, leading to the biggest mistake of all, the misuse of the Communion table. He just finished talking about Authority as it connects to the Anointing, but here it's not the "head" so much as the "hair" (Yikes the 60's revisited).

We know the metaphor Hair refers to the anointing, but isn't it strange how he says the leader should have "short" hair? Or does he? It's not short, but progression he is talking about. If the Authority is an issue of "I am a man with Authority, and I am under Authority", then the Authority above would be greater. Here the anointing seems to be the other way around, the anointing gets greater as it flows down from the leader. The leader isn't bald, but their hair on their Head is not "long", we have to consider who the “head” is, thus the Christ is the Anointing, but it grows as it flows to the congregation if the Authority is in order. The Hair on the head of the Woman must be long, but her head is the husband (leader). The body of the woman will lack the anointing if her head lacks authority. The Progression of the Anointing is the point, it’s based in Authority, if the congregation lacks the Anointing, it’s not the fault of Christ, rather the fault rests on the “head of the woman” (leadership). If we make this the marriage, we also remove the “two shall be one”, making it appear as if the wife is still under the fall nature (and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee - Gen 3:16). Perhaps it’s the point, they were using the wisdom of the world, thus they talked about Liberty, they were kings, yet by they lacked authority, meaning it was all talk, usually the wrong talk. 

There is a Mantel of authority for the Office, just as James had in Jerusalem, but he didn’t sit himself on a chair ten feet higher than everyone else. Unity calls for Unity. On the same note it also calls for Spiritual people in Spiritual positions.

This explains the Hair (anointing) comments Paul just made ( I Cor 11:14-15), we find all the miracles and such come when the Authority in the leadership (husbands) is in order. Leaders can complain all day long about how their congregation is not laying hands on the sick, or how their congregation is "silent", but the cause is the leadership being out of order, which is caused by either not understanding this area, or placing a Yoke between them and their Head. In some manner, their fault, or not their fault they picked up something as "doctrine" producing a false covering between their Head and Jesus. The Authority has to come from Jesus as the Head of the Body to produce the Anointing to the leader, then to the congregation. The purpose of leadership is to perfect the Saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ, thus it’s the Congregation who does the miracles, healings and such as the Anointing gains by the proper use of Authority (I Cor 12:28).

The Yoke or hindrance is blocking, or disrupting the Authority, which in turn stops the flow of the Anointing. The Power is still there, the Power to do all the things has not passed away, or fallen under the table, but if we have Yoked the Authority, the Power lacks the anointing, yet the anointing brings life to the power, thus the power without the anointing becomes so unstable it works today, but not tomorrow, sometimes not at all. Authority, not Power is the issue to bring the Anointing after the Yoke is destroyed, then the power enhances the authority bringing all things into a balanced nature.

An example? Yes, the most common, any leader who tells his people they cannot speak in other tongues has violated a commandment, setting their personal agenda as a Yoke, removing Liberty (I Cor 14:37-39). If someone doesn’t want to speak in unknown tongues fine, there is no Commandment telling us we have to, but there is one telling us not to forbid others from talking in unknown tongues. Yokes choke Liberty, in the process we find we are choking ourselves. Judas hung himself, in more ways than one, he went outside of his authority losing the anointing of the office, leaving him frightened,  bewildered, and lost.

Since this rebuke is limited to the meeting or assembling of ourselves together, the connection is between leaders and congregation, rather than the individual relationship one has with the Lord. We can also gain an understanding of, "not forsake the assembly as some do", considering it’s Paul is telling the women (congregation) to do. What? Yes, he tells them to remain silent, then learn at home, which means they didn't learn a thing in the "assembly". It's not the assembly some have forsaken, but the purpose for assembling some have forsaken. We assemble to exhort one another, we don't come to exercise our carnal behavior. “How is it then, brethren? When you come together, every one of you has a Psalm, has a Doctrine, has a Tongue, has a Revelation, has an Interpretation…Let all things be done unto edifying” (V. 14:26). Clearly this is the congregation doing the work of the ministry, yet if there is no Authority flowing to the congregation, they have to remain silent. Paul can’t say “every one of you”, then say, “wives remain silent”. It makes no sense at all, the phrase “every one of you” is all inclusive, thus the difference is Authority in the proper order.

We also find verses 2 through 15 lay out the authority issue, but then in verse 16 it seems like a “so what?”. However, looking at verse 16 we find if they are “contentious”, but does it apply to? The word Contentious is the Greek Philoneikos meaning to quarrel or found in strife, which means if they are carnal, they will probably reject the teaching. Then in verse 16 we read, “we have no such custom, neither the churches of God”. The word Custom is the Greek Sunetheia meaning a practice followed by people, which means “even if” he was talking about gender, it’s only upon carnal bodies, since no other church of God holds these restrictions; however, if we accept the metaphoric usage we can see none of the other churches had the problem with yoking the authority. Clearly if we tell the women to remain silent, we are acting Corinth in nature, setting carnal rules, because we have yoked the Authority from us. 

The Corinthians would sit and wait, when the teacher showed up it was, "okay teach me something", or, "ahh gee I'm not getting edified"; the Spiritually minded come to exhort. Some neglect the purpose for gathering, the Corinthians are a prime example of coming together, yet forsaking the purpose.

Division is the opposite of comfort: strife the opposite of edification: envy the opposite of exhortation. Paul saw many things wrong in Corinth, but they centered around their misuse of Authority. This will be evident in Second Corinthians when they challenge Paul by attacking his authority in the same manner as Korah challenged Moses. It’s one thing to see something wrong, dealing with it takes authority and wisdom. If we lack the authority and wisdom, we are to observe and learn, not interject.

Paul just went over the harmful ways of the children in the wilderness and how they were baptized unto Moses, but failed to honor Moses, or his authority, thus they "tempted Christ", which means they tempted the anointing and authority granted Moses. We know Jesus wasn't there in a physical body, we also know when Jesus came, Christ came, so was Paul teaching heresy? Not at all, rather it was the Authority granted the leader, with Authority comes the Anointing for the position, the leaders in Corinth remained carnal, which was "tempting Christ". The children in the wilderness were an example of the leadership being in order, but the congregation not. However, we know the out of order congregation caused the leader to fall. The children held the ability to believe or not to believe, the leadership had the same ability to be carnal or Spiritual. They had the Spirit, being Spiritual was the next step. Here in Corinth it was a mess, yet they had the ability to turn it around.

Further, these titles of Christ and God couldn't mean Jesus, and the Father, since we find the Husband's head is Christ, yet it's possible for him to place a Veil between Christ and God, but we know it's impossible for any human to separate the Son from the Father. Authority and the Anointing are the issue, not gender, nor not power (got it?).

Since this teaching also reflects on the Lord's Table, it will have a direct connection to why some are sick, weak and die. When there is evidence of division, strife and envy in the ranks, it's a clue to which spirit they are using, or is using them.

How do we know we're talking about Authority? In verse 10 we read, "For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels". The word Power is the Greek Exousia meaning Authority, but we also find the introduction of "angels", how did they get into this? The word Angel means a Messenger, thus if the covering is in error, then the Message will be perceived to be in error. Therefore, Paul rightly suspects they are engaged in heresies. Most heresies come about when a carnal mind attempts to define a Spiritual matter.

The metaphors haven’t changed either, the head of the woman is the man, thus  the question is, does the leader (head of the woman) have Authority? If so the anointing will show it. Once we see the context here is the ability to Pray and Prophesy in the congregation setting, we can also see why verse 14:34 goes directly to Prophecy and Prayer, while adding “silence”. Paul is not telling females to be silent, rather it shows the Woman (congregation) must remain silent in a carnal church, since it's so carnal every time they pray or prophecy they bring condemnation down on the leaders, yet if the out of order leaders pray or prophesy they shame (dishonor) Christ, thus making the Yoke tighter. Can it happen? Yes, in Second Corinthians we find these same people allowed self-transformed false apostles to gain entry into their body (II Cor 11:13-15). When the authority is disrupted, so is discernment, allowing those who fake the anointing by witchcraft to gain easy access.  

The women (congregation) in Corinth couldn't pray or prophesy, they had to remain silent, not because they did anything wrong, but because the leaders were carnal, in error, and have Yoked Christ from God. The result was the only other Law granted to the people of God, the Law of Moses. They were not beheaded (giving up personal authority for the authority of Jesus) for Jesus, they made their church headless from Jesus.

The process of the Anointing flowing through the Authority is the key issue in all this, if we were to view this as a chart we could see how the Authority opens a clear movement from Jesus as God the Son, or the Head (Authority) of the Body into Christ the anointing over the leadership, then to the leaders in the Body then unto the congregation in the Body, allowing the Operations to operate. However, if we place a false covering, or a yoke on the Neck we hinder the process of the Operations. The leaders in Corinth were not over the entire Body, so what's the big deal? Let them sink or swim on their own; right? Wrong, they were still loved of God, Paul was still their father.   

The word Pray used in these verses means to make a supplication, or ask for the supply. The word Prophesy means as an oracle of God in the meeting place. If the woman's head (leaders) are separated or uncovered, yet she prays or prophesies, she dishonors her head (leaders). The covering on her head (leader) must be long flowing Hair (anointing) coming from the Authority. This is the same knowledge the Centurion had, if the leader has placed a false covering between Christ and God, if the congregation begins to pray or prophesy, they dishonor their Leader, thus Paul tells the Leaders to tell the Congregation (women) to remain silent. How do we know? The wording, "let Your women remain silent", rather than "you women remain silent". This is a clear rebuke to carnal leadership who have followed the wisdom of the world, or were using carnal means to define Spiritual matters.

This first letter to the Corinthians is based on questions asked of Paul. What type of questions do you think they asked? Real deep Spiritual ones? Hardly, they were carnal, the answers to carnal questions require pointing to corrections. Paul is hearing "what carnal minds want to know", but he is telling them, "Spiritual corrections will set you free". This is the Test of True Theocracy. Are we in order? Look for the Glory on those under us. If Not? Look for the error in us, but stop making excuses for our lack of Authority and Anointing. We should never be surprised when the Anointing falls, it should always be in operation.

 

I Cor 11:17-34

Paul moves right from the Covering to Communion, thus they are connected. What good does it do to take Communion fifty times a day, if we go about with the Yoke of bondage on the Neck? Paul points to the night of betrayal, rather than the Day of the Cross, or the glory of the Passover, or even the Resurrection. The message here is much different from “you must believe Jesus is raised from the dead”, rather it points to the betrayal of Judas, as he attempted to misuse his office and position.

In the other three accounts of the last Passover we see Jesus Break, Bless and Give, but we don't see Him saying "this is My Body broken for you", where did Paul get this saying? Where is his reference? "Tell me brother Paul, where does it say that?". Was the Body of Jesus broken? No, not one bone, His flesh was ripped, but was His Body broken? No, then when did this happen, or perhaps when will this happen? Paul is warning the Corinthians, yet goes back to the twenty-three thousand who died (v. 10:8).

Why would Paul use the connection between Judas and the Bread? Jesus indicated the Rock, or Bread was already in function, the Church was yet to come. Judas wanted to do what Judas wanted to do, he was not only self-run and carnal, he was part of the Rock. Paul’s use of the betrayal is not to be taken lightly, neither is the use of the Broken Body. The Corinthians were right at the breaking of the Bread, they were neither the Good side, or the Broken off side, rather they could fall to either side.

Paul tells us Jesus said, "This is My Body broken for you" but He didn't say "has been broken". Where did he obtain the information? In Matthew Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, one of you shall betray Me” (Matt 26:21), then Jesus took bread, blessed then broke it (Matt 26: 26). In Mark Jesus took bread, blessed it, then broke it (Mark 14:22). In Luke Jesus took bread, gave thanks, then broke it (Luke 21:19). In each case the Bread was broken, in each case Jesus said, “this is My body”, yet Paul said we are the bread (v. 10:17). Not only do we remember Jesus did break the Bread, but we also remember Judas who began the position of the son of perdition.

When we Break the Bread we have two pieces, one representing the Wheat, the other the Tare, thus we take only half of the Bread, we don't take it all. Neither do we stomp on the other piece, or curse it, we simply discard it. This symbol is seen in the absence of the name of Judas after Acts 1, thus the other Judas’ mentioned are not the traitor. The Breaking is a symbol, we don't sit around saying, "wonder what half did they gave me?", rather we submit to the Spirit which keeps on the Side remaining in the Hand of the Lord. Although Jesus said, “this is My Body”, we find we are the Body, thus we are the Bread (vs. 10:17). We are not The Blood, the type and shadow shows the Body is centered in the Son of man, or Mercy. Whereas the Blood is the New Covenant of Grace. The Body is represented in the Bread, the Cup is just a Cup until the Blood enters, the Blood  is the New Testament, not the Bread or the Cup.

We are Worthy by Belief, unworthy by unbelief, thus this unworthy position would be a betrayal to our vow to continue to believe. Paul is not saying the Corinthians are Judas types, his concern is their carnal minds would receive the Judas types, a concern proved just, when it was later verified as he comments in Second Corinthians.

 Communion is based on Remembering, which points to believing. We review our decision and confession to determine if we picked up any unbelief, or hold to any concepts contrary to the Doctrine of Christ.

The Blood is the Power and Glory of God, it is the New Covenant, making the Body a safe place, but nonetheless the kingdom of heaven, not the Kingdom of God, thus the Kingdom of God is represented by the Blood. Have we truly believed in the Name of Jesus, or have we formed excuses to hide our unbelief? Do we simply believe in the Power of the Name, or do we believe in the purpose and means of the Name?

We "discern the Lord's Body", the Blood will discern us, the fault is never in the Blood. Have we truly opened our hearts for exposure? Or have we been backbiting, complaining, or have we become a thorn in the flesh? For this cause we are sick, weak (without power) and die. What is missing? Life, thus sick weak and dead are the opposites of Life.

If we judge ourselves openly and honestly before the Lord, we will not be condemned with the world. The Lord chastens those He loves, but if He has to chasten us 24 hours a day, something is wrong. In this we find a blessing, if the Lord has chastened us, it's because He doesn't want us condemned or judged with the world, He wants us to enter the Rapture. In James we find the cause of some sickness is fault between members of the Body, generally the same thing Paul is saying (James 5:16).

Verse 34 doesn't mean the Communion table was a place where big meals were served, rather it points to the self-interest of the person. If the only reason we come to the Lord's Table is for our self-interest, or to engage in a social experience, we missed the point of discerning the Lord's Body. It's still the Lord's Table, we must ask the Spirit, "Have we allowed, or have we been guilty of keeping a Yoke?", or "What has our walk done for, or against the Body?". If they have those areas in order, then it’s time to grow up and learn of the Spirituals.

 

I Cor 12:1-6

From the Covering, to the Table, to the Spirituals, all in order, all connected. The answer to the carnal question is always found in the Spirit, but it takes a Spiritual mind to understand the things of the Spirit. They had to reach above their carnal position and make a decision. Making the decision to be saved from the world is one thing, making the decision to be saved from the old nature another.

The word "gifts" was placed in the text by the translators, although it's proper, we tend to expand it beyond it's intended use. There are several gifts in the Body, each coming from The Gift of Grace, but we can't mix them into one element, or we lose the importance of the context of these verses. All this connects to the Paul’s teaching on Authority, it will also show the gathering is not the only place where a Christian can experience the power of Christ.

The word Ignorant has two meanings; one can ignore the purpose, or they can turn their back on the purpose, which is one meaning, the other is to be unaware of the fact. It would seem if the Corinthians couldn't understand Spiritual matters, Paul would be wasting time; however, not only is he taking the blood off his own head, but he is removing any excuse the carnal mind might have for not becoming Spiritual

These people Were Gentiles (past tense), rather than being Gentiles (present tense), but the reference to idols is still present tense. Any idol begins in the mind of man, thus we can tear down all the physical idols, yet hold idols in our minds. They were still using the wisdom of man, thus most everything they did related to idol worship. If it wasn’t making idols out of the people of God, it was making an idol out of their intellect. The spirit of man seeks to make idols, in one form or another.

Verse 3 divides the premise, whether one is speaking in unknown tongues, new tongues, prophecy or just speaking, if it’s by the Spirit they never call Jesus accursed. On the same note they can’t call Jesus Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. It doesn’t mean they can’t mouth the words, “Jesus is Lord”, or “Jesus is my Lord”, it means they can’t live up to them until the Holy Ghost has given them the Seed. The next few verses will be examples of how these two areas operate.        

Paul now links three areas to separate them from the fourth. Although we have gone over these areas before, we'll go over them again to make sure we understand the Manifestation of the Spirit is not the manifestations, nor is the Manifestation of a gift or gifts, nor is it the Holy Ghost manifestation, rather the Manifestation comes from the Gift of the Holy Ghost in us, which is the Spirit that is of God.

There are gifts by the Spirit, as we saw in Romans 12:3-21. The gifts are listed as Prophecy, Ministry, Teaching, Exhorting, Giving, Ruling and Mercy, all of which are given to Born Again Believers for the Body as attributes of the nature the Spirit engrafted in us. Part of discerning the Body is determining if we have used our Gift in accordance with Scripture with a Spiritual purpose.

Paul uses a conjunction linking verse 4 with 5, as he moves to the Administrations or Offices of the Lord. The Offices are the Doma gift given to the Body. The gifts of the Spirit are the Charisma of Charis by believers for believers, the Offices are filled by believers for believers. The Offices are listed in Ephesians 4:11 as Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers. There is a difference between the office of Prophet, and prophecy. Paul desires all prophesy, yet he says not all are Prophets.

We have to also recall how Paul said the “wife” (congregation) could not pray or prophesy when the leaders have separated themselves from Christ, the type of prophesy he will talk about shortly, as the type centered in Comfort, Edification and Exhortation. The Office is different, just because we gave a Word, doesn’t mean we’re a prophet. 

Paul uses another conjunction linking verse 5 with 6, as he points to the Operations of God, which is also filled by believers for believers. The Operations of God are found in 12:28, thus when the Charisma and Offices are operating, then the Body can exercise their gifts, but if there is a Yoke restricting the anointing, it means the gifts will lack, or be ineffective.

The Operations or the manner in which the bodies Should operate if they are in order. Attempting to force these things to happen is still carnal, the Operations Happen when things are in Order, we don’t make them happen. First each believer must know they have Charisma in Charis, then they most know the function of the Offices, thus from the Offices we find Apostle, Prophet and Teacher are essential before helps and governments can be established. If the Corinthians were attempt to reject the Apostle, as well as the Prophet, they were left Yoked from the authority.

After the Offices are in order then the congregation will experience gifts of healings and miracles. This Apostle began the body, or brought Commandment, the Prophet brought Doctrine, these are established for us from the Scriptures. However, we have our Apostle and Prophet, but the Teacher is different. The Teacher is the one who teaches us the Commandments brought by the Apostle, as well as the Doctrine delivered by the Prophet. The congregation checks the teaching to the Scriptures, not traditions. When those functions are in order then helps and governments can operate behind the scenes making sure all remains in order. Helps consists of the Bishops and Deacons, the area of Governments includes Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers. Elders are appointed from both groups, as those with Wisdom giving leadership suggestions.

From this we find there are gifts of Grace in each Born Again believer, which are the attributes of the Spirit forming us into sons of God. Then the offices of the Lord confirmed by the Holy Ghost (Acts 13:1-3). Man does not appoint people to the Offices, but leadership does appoint Bishops, Deacons and Elders; however, leaders confirm the callings of the offices. The Father is involved in the Operations, giving us an order, we must have Commandments of the New Testament, we must have Doctrine in accordance with the Doctrine of Christ, The Son gives us the Offices, the Holy Ghost appointing to the Office, also filling us to deal with masses. The Report, or manner in which the Godhead oversees the bodies in the Body is still the Mercy, Blood and Spirit. The next area is for those who are Born Again, and operate in the Spirit.

                       

I Cor 12:7-11

Paul goes from the gifts of the Spirit, the offices of the Lord, the operations of God, to the Manifestation of the Spirit. We can't assume the Manifestation is The Comforter, rather this is the area for Another Comforter, or the Spirit that is of God. This can be either in the gathering, or at home, showing the individual may be hindered by carnal leadership in the gathering, but not at home. These are the self same Spirit, we will not see one Born Again person countering another. The Spirit is One Mind in operation, thus we will see some checks and balances.

Paul linked verses 4, 5 and 6 together with the conjunction “and”, but verse seven begins with the conjunction “but”, separating it from the others. The Manifestation of the Spirit is for those one on one encounters regardless of who we are talking to. Prior the other areas were by believers for believes, here it changes. The Manifestation comes only from the Believer who is Born Again, but it’s directed at other Believers, or Non-Believers. This is the area where the Witness of Jesus operates through us displaying Jesus in us of a truth; as the area where we ministry to whomever. 

Although the Manifestation is by the Spirit, it also shows the submission of the soul to allow the Spirit to operate. This is the very reason Paul talked about Authority, since the New Man hears from the Holy Ghost it stands if we have allowed some separation to hinder the flow, the New Man remains silent, and so should we. However, if the Authority is in order, so will be the anointing. This area can operate in the gathering, yet still one on one, but more important it operates outside of the gathering. If the “women” remain silent in the gathering, they need not in this area.

The word Manifestation means Exhibition, or the manner in which the Spirit is Exhibits to prove the Witness of Jesus. This area is within The Gift, just as the gifts of Grace are within The Gift of Grace. The difference is the gifts of grace in Romans are attributes of the nature, here we are seeing the manner in which the Spirit in us reaches out to others. The Charisma of Charis (Grace) found in Romans 12 is a constant, it will operate in us 24 hours a day, day upon day. However, the Manifestation is not a constant; we may give a word of wisdom today, then nothing for days, or even weeks. We haven’t “lost the gift”, it’s based on time and timing. On the other hand we may be used in one or more areas one after the other for days on end, then nothing. These are Spiritual areas, but the real check for us would be the Charisma of Charis found in Romans. They should be a constant in our lives, one area or another will be seen. Therefore, Grace gives us the constant ability to prophesy in proportion of the Faith, to minister, as we wait on ministering, on teaching as we disciple, on exhorting, giving as a cheerful giver, showing mercy as we let love and cheerfulness guide our rejoicing in the hope to come, all trademarks of the Spirit in us.             

However, this is the Manifestation teaching, each area of the Manifestation points to something from the Spirit. A Word of Wisdom gives us the Word from God telling someone how God desires for them to deal with people or an event. A Word of Knowledge is a revelation of information, or knowledge, it doesn’t tell us how to deal with something, it tells us about something, or someone. This can be a revelation of Scripture, or something else revealed to the person to bring them clarity,  but limited to knowledge.

Prior Paul taught on the Wisdom of God, but he also said there was a wisdom of the world, thus one can determine which a person is using by how they deal with events and people. Here we find someone who has the Spirit giving a word to another how God desires for them to deal with a person or event. The carnal minded hear the “word of wisdom”, and say, “oh I know, but this is what I think I will do”. Paul goes over these areas to show the Spirit that is of God works in conjunction with the Spirit of God to bring the Corinthians into restoration.

The gift of Faith is not some super faith in us, it’s when the Rhema is spoken and someone else gains faith. A good example of this is found in Acts 14:9, when Paul spoke to a man, when the man received the words he gained the faith to be healed (Acts 14:9). There are times today when someone says we don’t have the faith to be healed, well here we find they may not be speaking the Rhema so we could have the faith.

In the Manifestation we have “gifts” (plural) of “healing” (singular); however in the Operations we find “gifts” (plural) of “healings” (plural - I Cor 12:28). The difference is of course the Manifestation is one on one, the Operations for the gathering. The word “gifts” is the Greek Charisma, showing it’s a product of Grace, not something carnal.

The working of miracles means the creation or development of something where there was no foundation for it to exist. Much like the man in John 9 who was born without eye balls, thus the clay produced his eyes. Of course the greatest miracle is the New Birth. Healing on the other hand is a restoration of something existing, this area could also pertain to casting out devils, which is a type of healing for the victim. The healing is not limited to the physical body, a healing in mind or soul is included, making it “healings”.

The prophecy noted here is the personal area, it may be guidance, but it’s only for the person, or the local body. In this regard it’s comfort, edification or exhortation. The discerning of spirits is what Paul has been doing with these Corinthians, it’s the clarity of what spirit a person is using, or being used by. This would also fit with Paul’s discernment of the damsel in the Acts 19, she spoke facts, but was being led by a spirit of divination. The damsel had a devil, thus the discernment coupled with a healing, Paul cast the devil our of her setting her free, which is a healing. Another type would when the Spirit in Paul stirred when he saw the idolatry of the people (Acts 17:16), or the discerning could detect a false prophet, even when they don’t have a devil (Acts 13:6). This would also include reading what someone said, or hearing someone, yet knowing they are playing a mind game, using deception, or are using unbelief.    

Tongues and interpretation of tongues are also manifestations, all of these are of the self same Spirit. We are Born Again to have the Spirit, but it doesn’t mean we all have independent spirits in us. The New Man is designed just for us, but it’s the Same Spirit in purpose, performance and deed, as the Spirit from where He came. It’s the same as Jesus saying, “if you have seen Me, you have seen the Father”, indicating the word Seen means to perceive, since Jesus was doing the will of the Father, it stands when they saw the Will of the Father being displayed they saw the Father. The same is true here, when they see the Will of Jesus being displayed by the Manifestation of the Spirit, they have seen Jesus.

In verse 11 we find “dividing to every man severally as He will”. The dividing is not among the Believers, but among those to whom the manifestation would be directed. This is an area where we must submit, the Spirit may want to give a word of Wisdom, but our soul says, “no knowledge”. This is not the soul being activated, this is the New Man doing what He does so well, heal, restore and save.

Someone who operates in the manifestation could be a person who says nothing most the time, a carnal mind might say, “they are stuck-up”, but it’s not the case at all, they speak as they are moved, if they are not moved, they don’t speak.

The Interpretation of tongues is different from a Translation, really there is no human Translation; therefore, one might run all over the world thinking they have a translation, but they have nothing. It's always the interpretation we seek, yet only the  Spirit can interpret the tongue. Early church records show Mark was the Interpreter for Peter, thus the two were one in the speaking and interpretation, but both the speaking and interpretation came from the Spirit. The biggest question we must ask, If the Spirit is the one who interprets, yet we find someone running all over looking for a translation, are they merely ignorant? Or do they lack the Spirit?

Going all the way back to chapter two we find the spirit of man is opposed to the Spirit of God, also the spirit of man may know the things of man, but it doesn’t know the things of God (I Cor 2:11). In this area of the Manifestation enemy is the spirit of man, who is opposed to the Spiritual things of God. The spirit of man will tell us these things are really evil, although we have been clearly told they are not. This tells us the spirit of man is opposed to these areas because they are spiritual in nature, or the spirit of man will misuse them, a situation we find in Corinth. The spirit of man will attempt to deny, mock,   avoid, or destroy a believers confidence in the Spirit. The spirit of the world may attempt to counterfeit these areas, but it will fail, it will always insert the “glory of the world” into the speaking, exposing itself.

We also have to recall how the congregation could not “pray or prophesy”, yet Paul is about to enter the area; the method of prayer he will speak on is praying in unknown tongues. Opening the entire teaching, bringing a great deal of light to an otherwise darkened place. Elements are required in the two areas of praying and prophesy, we can see why Paul desired the congregation to remain silent, but why? Could it be they spoke by the Spirit of Christ, yet attempted to interpret by the spirit of man?

Prophecy from the Office requires interpretation as well, but the prophet who spoke is not to interpret the prophecy, rather the “other” prophets judge the prophecy. Tongues need the interpretation as well, thus in both cases we find Interpretation is required, the question is then, who interprets?  

 

I Cor 12:12-31

There is a difference between being baptized into the Body and being baptized With the Holy Ghost, or being baptized as a means of identification. Paul understood the baptism of the Holy Ghost (Acts 19:6), but why would he say, “for by one Spirit are we all baptized into One Body”? if the Spirit doesn’t baptize anyone? The Spirit is the result of the Baptism with the Holy Ghost, not the cause. This is the same context as we found in Romans, the Spirit of God relates to the entire Report, but more important this also goes back to “baptized unto Moses” (v. 10:2). The Spirit of God identified all of us, whether we mind the flesh or the Spirit, whether carnal or Spiritual, whether Babe, Blade, Youngman, or Father, it was still God as Spirit who brought us to the Cross, then into the Body to operate in Unity, and be of one mind (vs. 12-11). Our Water baptism was our token, here we find God’s Token was calling us into the Body, knowing we would be provided all we needed to win the race. Simply, we are in the Body because the Spirit of God called us to the Body, so we could identify with the Church. As the people were baptized unto Moses to be one nation, we are baptized (identified) to be One Body so the Lord could form us into the Church.

This is still the Body functioning in Unity, the foot is the motivation, thus we walk by faith. Can the faith people say they are not of the Body? No, the Hand is representative of reaching out, can the evangelical say we have no need of the faith people? No, can the charismatic say, since I am not evangelical I am not of the Body? No, we were put in the Body, although we cast the Net and build the Body, it’s still the Holy Ghost who puts the bait in the Net.

What does all this have to do with the Corinthians? Much, simply because they say "Paul is no longer of the Body", it didn't make it so. Just because they can’t say, “we will start our own Body”, doesn’t mean they can. The Name of Jesus with the Power of Christ are assigned to One Body. If we accepted the terms of the God’s Mercy, we are in the Body, we may not like a center denomination, but if they are in the Body, we can’t say they are not.

This is also a division between the New Man and the old man. If someone speaks in unknown tongues, it’s the Spirit giving them utterance. Can they fake it? Yes, but the interpretation will say so. Someone could fake the speaking, then hear, “you are a stiffnecked people”, then say, “that’s not what I said, I quoted Psalm 22 in the Hebrew”. It may be what they quoted, but it wasn’t the interpretation, the interpretation pin pointed the faker, then marked them as stiffnecked. Deception is not of God, even deception to catch a false brother is wrong. Why use the same evil to catch evil? It still makes us as evil as the evil we caught!

The Body is tightly fitted, each member has a job, a place, and a performance just for them. God has placed us in the area where we are best suited for the betterment of the Body, but the purpose is not for exalting our ego, or to make us supper stars. We may not be given the ability to teach on Faith, perhaps our area is Love, should we then attack the Faith teacher? If we do, we may have taught Love, but we failed to live it.

If we cause a member to sorrow, or damage a member, we have damaged ourselves, if we cause a Yoke, we have yoked ourselves; think, pray and beware lest we destroy ourselves assuming we are doing God a service. The second we determine one person in the Body, carnal, or believer, or a group of believers are not worthy, we have made ourselves unworthy, we are the Body of Christ, not bodies of Christ, yet we are Members in particular. It's when we fail to discern the Body we introduce yokes and void ourselves of the Power and Glory, then we run to God hoping for "the Glory to fall" when we caused it to fall from us.

Paul also links this to offices, showing we all have a duty in the Body. If all want to be Bishops, who then will be the Deacons? If all Apostles, who then will deliver the Doctrine? If all Prophets, who then will teach the Doctrine delivered? Desire to be in the Office for the prestige, and wanting an Office in order to serve are different. 

Verse 25 tells us there should be no schism, this is the same word translated as Divisions in 11:18 in the phrase, “I hear there be divisions (schisms) among you”: There shouldn’t be, but obviously there were. The gates of hell are schism makers, the more we are divided, the weaker the Body becomes. The Body of Christ is slowly being Broken, until the time when He who now lets, takes us out of here, but we need not be the cause for the Broken Body, we can be the Balm of healing sent for Unity.

Verse 27 shows each has something to do, but fighting over who does what is hardly Spiritual in nature. From all this Paul was able to show the Function of the Operations of God. Remember chapter 11 was showing them how out of order they were, now Paul is bringing the “escape” by showing them the Seal of the Holy Spirit operating in the area of the Spiritual. They had the Spirit, it was being Spiritual they lacked. One can be carnal, have something of the Spirit happen, yet rather than gain from it, they become proud, or puffed up. They needed the understanding of the Spiritual to keep balanced in order to discern what was going on.

The Operations of the Body are the methods, manners and procedure God has Willed for the Body to operate. It may not be the manner in which we operate, but if not, it's not God's fault. First we find the established offices, yet prior Paul listed the gifts before the Administrations, thus the Two shall be One, to be One in God. The Charisma of Charis must be in the person before they can operate efficiently in the office. We know about the three offices being established and accepted. However, two offices are not found, one we can understand, but where is the pastor? The Pastor keeps it all running as a member of Governments, the Evangelist is out casing the net.

The Greek language, like most has a method of giving a question, then answering it at the same time, we call it a rhetorical question. The question, “Are all apostles?” denotes a negative response by the question. The error is assuming All are apostles, when Paul just  said it was not the case. If all were apostles where would the teacher be? Can the apostle say to the teacher, I have no need of thee? Can the teacher say to the one speaking in tongues, Since you speak in tongues you are not of the Body? Can the one speaking in tongues say, Since I am not the teacher, I am not of the Body?

Paul covered the error of pride in verse 15, the error of envy in verse 16, now he shows the offices, gifts, operations, with the manifestation can be working, yet something can be missing. What were the Corinthians engaged in? Envy and strife, but the error in their misdirection in reference to baptism was an indicator of how they sought self-glory.  Paul is going to the source of the problem, showing them if they would have been engaged in the Manifestation of the Spirit by submitting to the Spirit, they would have seen how foolish their carnal attitudes were.

There is a more excellent Way, a Way keeping us in the Way; however, this doesn't mean we can do the Way and not the Acts, rather it means there is a Way to enhance the Acts. Moses saw the Acts of God, but he wanted to know the Ways of God, thus both the Acts and Ways are important. However, all of this isn't going to happen unless we get the Authority in order. Then we will see the Manifestation of the Spirit as we should, but if we don’t get things in Order we will end more interested in self-image, then the Image of Christ.

This area shows how the metaphor usage of "Christ" in chapter 11 points to the Anointing on the Body. How do we know? We just finished an area teaching about the Body, as each member is a member in particular. What did we learn? "For as the Body is One, and has many members, and all the members of the One Body, being many, are One Body, so also is Christ" (I Cor 12:12). Christ is One Body, the Head of Christ is Jesus as the God the Son. Then we saw the "division" can happen when we remain carnal, or allow the old man, the flesh, the spirit lusting to envy or carnal thinking to place a Yoke around the neck of Christ, which is the same as putting the Veil (middle partition) back in place. The Partition or Veil is a point of division, there "should" be no schism in the Body, we found the word schism is the same word found in 11:18 as "divisions". This type of division is ungodly, it leads to all sorts of problems, such as clicks for the purpose of exalting one group over another. The next step is separatist movements, dividing the Body further. When this begins the competition begins, as the wild soul of man seeks to find its own revelation, or doctrine to prove their sect is the only one with the Truth, which leads to more division.

When division comes, then comes the many false teachings. Why? All wanting to be better than the other, all wanting to appear holier than the others, or wiser, or more knowledgeable, or more moral. Yet, they're full of pride, ego and arrogance. First it was the examples of the children in the wilderness, then the lack of authority from the leadership effecting the congregational setting, then Communion itself, then the Spirituals, then Order within the Body, then the manner of Operations (I Cor 12:28), now we come to the only Sign truly telling us if one is a Christian; Love, the one element bringing us to a More Excellent Condition in our Position.

Once we have all this, now what? We better have a motivation keeping all things in Order, something so powerful it will be a witness by itself, something keeping us from attacking one another. There is an attitude attached to the New Birth, it’s an attribute of God’s character. Wonder what it could be?

           

I Cor 13:1-13

This chapter becomes the defining issue, linking the Spirit to the Spiritual, as it does the Believer to Grace. This area gives us a Purpose of Communion, a reason to seek, knock, and ask for the Love of God to manifest. If holding knowledge without love puffs up, surely having knowledge with love keeps on humble. The same issue would be prophesy without love, or leadership without love, thus whatever the activity, without love it will tend to puff up, but with love it will edify, exhort, ending in victory. Paul will use aspects from the gifts, offices, operations and manifestation, indicating the Acts must have a Godly Way attached to them in order to be beneficial.

The first area covered is speaking in unknown tongues, thus showing the Corinthians may have spoken in other tongues, but tongues without Love is merely a noise. This area isn't saying to stop speaking in tongues, nor is it saying speaking in tongues is like a brass noise maker, it's telling us to couple Love into the Act so we can be a benefit. If we presume this is telling us tongues are evil, we also have to say feeding the poor is evil, or prophesy is evil, or faith is evil, since Paul is going to cover those areas as well. The Act is not the problem, the lack of love is. This is the "more excellent way", not the only way, or the only excellent way, but a Way to add to the Act.

This also links back to Chapter 11, the first two things we see here have to do with "prayer" and "prophesy". Chapter 14 will center on these two issues, but in Chapter 11 the problem with the lack of Authority caused the prayer and prophecy to cease. From the beginning of his teaching on Authority through Chapter 14 Paul is showing how to bridge the gap, heal the wound to get things back in order. The first order of business was the Table of the Lord, get right with God, get the remembrance in order, if Jesus died so we might live, let us live for Him by the Spirit. Then understand what areas belong where, then what order has to be established, allowing the Lord to establish those areas. With those areas in place, the Acts are ready to begin, but let’s get the more excellent Way operating so the Ways and Acts can benefit all. An unequal area would be having the Acts, but not the Ways, or seeking the Ways, but rejecting the Acts.     

This Love is not only for one another, it begins with a Love for God, becoming the mending Balm securing members in the Body. This type of Love is a Spiritual endeavor, it is not something humans have, but it is something a Born Again child of God has. Jesus didn’t say, “It’s okay to be Born Again”, He said, “Ye Must be Born Again”. Receiving the Spirit is the beginning of the Commandment, being Spiritual is completing it. 

This Love is not the Agapao love God had for the world, this is the Pure selfless Agape Love of God. The Agape love of God comes with the New Man, just as God's holiness and righteousness come with the New Man. We know we can reject the righteousness of God, by seeking our own self-righteousness. We can reject the holiness of God when we attempt to form our own self-holiness. Therefore, we can reject the Love God has given us by putting on a mask of affection. Jesus commands us to Agape one another as He has Agaped us, the only way to accomplish the task is by having the Spirit which is of God in us, since God is Agape. How does Jesus love us? If we sin, and ask Him to forgive, does He? Or does He make us write 700 times we're sorry, or does He punch us in the eye, or does He deal with us through Love to restore us, heal us, as the washing gets rid of the lust? He who says he loves his brother, yet slanders him, is a liar, and the Truth is not in him. Agape love can not be earned, it has to be received, but if rejected the person becomes Anti the Christ nature. However, it’s like Wisdom, Patience is the key, there will be times when we are not acting in Love, other times when we are; yet Patience will move us to the point where Love is part of our New nature.

Agape is one element keeping pride at bay, there is no way pride can enter when we walk in Agape. Therefore, Paul will begin by showing the danger in having Acts, yet rejecting Love.

Although our praying in the Spirit can be helpful, and when interpreted it will help others, yet if we as the voice lack love the benefit for us would be like pounding two trash can lids together. Wow, hold it son, back off, it’s the Spirit in me doing the praying. Right, it’s the point, if we lack Love we will not discern what is going on, rather we will get all puffed up and haughty because we speak in tongues. On the other hand we could pray in the understanding for hours, yet without love we gain nothing, because we're all puffed up thinking our prayers save the world, or our prayers are the might behind the power of Christ. The issue is not prayer, but how prayer without love ends in a prideful, ego infested soulish mess. It’s the same with faith or giving, if it’s done without love the person becomes puffed up, assuming their great efforts not only obtained God’s attention, but God moved heaven and earth just for them. The issue is not faith, but faith without love, it’s not giving, but giving without love, it’s not praying, but praying without love. James will tell us faith without works is dead, Paul is saying the same thing, faith without love is just as dead.

Jude tells us to pray in the Holy Ghost to build our most holy faith, but the context is to pray in order to deal with the masses as we toss the net, here Paul is telling us to pray in conjunction with the purpose of the Spirit in us. Praying in unknown tongues, or in the understanding without love is so self-based it usually falls to the ground. We are to pray for things, but love tells us the Why. Some of us think "praying in the Spirit" is always tongues, not so, it can mean praying in conjunction with the will of the Spirit. If we pray by the Spirit, we should also pray In the Spirit. There is a difference, we can pray in the understanding yet be praying from pride, anger, or a carnal mind. We can also pray in the understanding from a Mercy based intent, one seeking the will of the Lord to be done. There is a difference between praying for the will of the Spirit to be done, and praying for our will to be done. The Spirit is sumantilambanomai, with the goal to save our souls so we can toss the net allowing others to walk the path of Grace. It stands there must be a common area, and there is. Faith? It’s how we gained grace; so, it must be Grace. It’s how we're saved, the ground based in Mercy, will also have Love. Love is a attracting force the world can’t give, but longs for. The one thing repelling the world is the hate, strife and bitterness they see in the Body. The carnal mind is still joined to the spirit of man, but the spirit of the world is opposed to the Spirit that is of God. The spirit of the world, uses the he of the world to slander the Body from within, but when the masses see someone in the Body displaying the Love of God, they fall into the net willingly. For us the truth remains, Love still covers a multitude of sins, it’s still a Witness to the character of God.

The "gift of prophecy" also points us to the gifts of the Spirit found in Romans, thus the context will now include the Charisma of Grace as an attribute to the gifts the Spirit.  The words “the gift of” were added by the translators, but proper, since this is not talking about the office, but prophecy through the gift. We can have the Charisma of Grace, yet without love we are still nothing. What was the evidence the Corinthians displayed? Love for one another? “I am of Paul, I am of Apollos”, no, love was not one of their attributes.

We can give and give, yet without love it profits us nothing, we will soon think our giving is our righteousness, meaning we will become puffed up. We can minister and minister, yet without love, it benefits us nothing, we will assume our greatness is the ability, and we will become puffed up. We could give prophesy regarding direction for the entire Body, yet without love we will end filled with pride. Love will destroy pride, bringing us to a humble state wherein we can truly enjoy the Gift to it's fullness.

Understanding mysteries is a positional matter, one pointing to the offices of Apostle and Teacher (Mark 4:11). Prior Paul said he was a steward of the mysteries (v. 4:1), here he is showing without Love the same stewardship could turn into a ship wreck.

Knowledge is the awareness of facts and truths, one could quote all the verses, know the original languages, yet without love it ends in a haughty attitude. It's interesting how these verses don't simply say, knowledge, but all knowledge, indicating the knowledge of man, as well as the Knowledge from God. We could have all the knowledge of the sufferings of Christ, yet without love we will use the knowledge to make others suffer.

Faith to remove mountains refers to the removal of carnal, natural things joined to the spirit of man, yet without love we will think it was by our hand and our might, then we will go about bragging about our faith, or how much our faith does, but we won't understand how faith in the Godly sense is to please God, whether we're pleased or not. Where did the faith come from? An apple tree? No, the measure of faith is still a gift from God. Without the gift we couldn’t move an empty can, much less a mountain.

We can give ourselves for service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but without love it profits us nothing. It won’t take long before we start to belittle others because they don’t put in the hours we do, pride will sneak in, turning our temple upside down. 

We know there are various forms of love, we also know the Greek language has different words for love, perhaps therein we may find the answer. We know about Eros, as the type of love for the flesh. There is Agapao a love based in a joy, then Phileo a brotherly love, all based in some feeling or emotion, for some reason we tend to equate the word "love" with emotions. Man has love, God is Love, there is a difference, but if Love is emotional then God is an emotional wreck. Not so, God isn't Agapao, He is not Phileo, yet He does Agapao and Phileo. God is Agape, the subject matter here, it's not based on emotions, it's based on treating people in the same manner as God would, thus it’s based on Nature and Character; meaning the Spiritual nature has Agape love as an attribute. It's the very heart of "love one another as I have loved you". It’s not a matter of thinking, “what would Agape do here?”, it’s a matter of doing it by the very nature of Christ in us. Jesus went about doing good, because it was His nature.

Will Agape rebuke? Did Jesus rebuke Peter? Yes, but He Loved him. Did Jesus allow Judas to hang himself? Yes, He loved him as well. Did Jesus allow Satan to sift Peter? Yes, because He loved Peter. Did Jesus protect His disciples from the Pharisees? Yes, because He Loved them. Paul is giving us eight sign posts centering on things Agape will do; in the doing it will not do other things. If we attempt to love "all people" by using natural love., we'll fail. Love and Trust are different, some of us mix one into the other. We can love someone, yet not trust them. We can honor them, yet not put our trust in them. If we trust in them, yet they fail, we fall all the harder. If we love them, and they fail, we are there to restore them.

In the Book of Revelation the church of Ephesus held it's second love, but failed to do it's first work, which was its first love. Our first love is to Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength (Rev 2:4-5). The Greek word used there for love is Agape, so it would appear they were doing the right thing, by treating people as God would. Yet, it wasn't their problem, they did the second love correctly, their love toward God was lacking. They were unequal in the matter of Love, it can happen to anyone in ministry. Our First love is toward God, then we treat the people of God as God does. We can be so involved in "saving the world", we forget about our First Love. God so loved the world, but Jesus didn't pray for the world, He prayed for those in the world who would enter the Body. Does it mean He doesn't love the people in the world? Of course He does, but to have Agape love one must be Born Again. However, we must keep in mind to "love one another", is a far cry from "love everyone". So, do we hate the world? No, we Agapao the world, the Joy is knowing they have a door of escape before them, our job is to point it out.

Before Paul tells us the eight things God's Love can't do, he presents two foundations proving his letter is being presented in God's love. Those two foundations are Mercy and Grace, which gave Paul the ability of Longsuffering in the face of adversity. What adversity? Your kidding, the people in Corinth. These people saw, heard and were with Paul for a considerable amount of time. They also saw the acts and ways of Paul, but when it came time for them to walk in the Way, they rebelled, attacked, and got real nasty, but what would Paul do? “I’ll be Nasty right back? After all, they were". Doesn't matter if they are nasty, we must be "kind", gentle and longsuffering.   

The term Longsuffering doesn't mean we take the blows, then curse the darkness, rather it means we hold up under pressure maintaining a posture of Love, which Paul was doing here. Many of us would have written the church of Corinth off before the first letter, much less the second. Some consider longsuffering as "well brother I forgive you for this wrong, because I'm a child of God"; it's ego, not longsuffering. Longsuffering is defined as bearing injuries for a long time in patience, or being steady under adversity or offense. Some of us are about as steady as whirlwind when adversity comes. The Greek word for Longsuffering is Makrothumeo or Makrothumia meaning To be opposed to hasty anger by being in Peace, or Not giving up the Faith, while Exercising understanding and wisdom in the intent of the words or actions of others, rather than reacting to those words or actions. The key is Peace, longsuffering is maintaining Peace in the face of any adversity.

The word Kind is the Greek word Chrestuomai meaning Useful, to stand beside, to be help in time of need, to be a partaker, or willing and ready to assist or help in the time of need; it relates to having a good and benevolent nature or disposition; which is a heart with Mercy, thus Kind relates to Mercy, Longsuffering to Grace, these two elements become the motive behind Paul’s comments. We do not render evil for evil, or in this case nasty for nasty, rather we treat nasty with kindness.                

Paul shows he has acts in his life as well, he not only spoke with unknown tongues, he had the gift of prophecy, understood mysteries, held knowledge, moved mountains, fed the poor, held offices, preached, but he also had the Ways (Love) of God displayed in his manner of behavior. Taking us back to “follow Paul” it defines how Paul wasn’t saying to make him a hero, but to use his life as an example of one who has the ways and acts, something the Corinthians were missing, yet had the capability.

God is Love, thus God is (1) long suffering, (2) kind, (3) rejoices in Truth, (4) bears all things, (5) believes all things, (6) hopes all things, (7) endures all things, and (8) never fails. If we look at these for just a moment we will find out something about God. He doesn't give up on us, even when we give up on ourselves. He is kind, when we are yelling, busting holes in the walls, frustrated to the point of tossing everything away, God is still kind and gentle. When our cross becomes so heavy it seems like we can't go another step, the Love of God carries us and our cross. When there appears no reason to believe again, the love of God gives us many reasons to believe. We tend to forget God is looking at the plan, then telling us what He sees. We tend to look at the Now, wondering what God is seeing. “Huh? Me? No way, I’m not like that”. What did God tell Jeremiah? “Stop saying you are but a youth”. God speaks to our Potential, as He treats us as if we have completed the potential. God knows our heart, but He is trying to save our souls, the Plan has all things well in hand, it’s the Witness bringing them to pass in our lives.

The New Man is a product of the Seed of God, if God is Love, if God said everything produces after its own kind, then we have the Love of God in us, that Born of the Spirit is Spirit. If we have the New Man, then it's not a matter of obtaining, rather it's a matter of learning to submit, yield, and walk in what we already have. It’s not a matter of making it work, it’s a matter of submitting to the Spirit so we can be formed into the Image of God’s Son, as sons of God.

We also see the other eight, these eight things in which it's impossible for God to do. Why? They are the opposite of God's Love, thus they display the spirit of man. Therein lays the mystery, God is Love, making the Spirit which is of God also Love based: the Love of God is granted in the New Birth, it’s a matter of being changed into the nature of Christ in order for our souls to fit the classification of Love. On the same note any of us can work not to do the eight negative things, yet never do the eight positive. The idea is to walk in the positive by the Spirit, making it impossible to do the negative.

If a lust to envy is afoot, then it's not God. The word for envy here is the Greek Zeloo, it can be used in a good sense or bad, in the negative it means to be moved by anger, which is the context here. In James the word envy in the phrase spirit lusting to envy we recall is the Greek Phthonos meaning incapable of doing good. God will never vaunt, or be rash, sarcastic, nasty or rude. God is void of pride, thus His love will void us of pride, bringing us into a humble and teachable frame of mind.

God is open to hear our cries and prayers, He is never too busy to listen to us. God will not belittle us, but exposure at times can seem embarrassing, but it’s usually the old man attempting to hide behind the mask of pride. God never seeks His own, neither does His Love. Agape is always seeking the betterment of the other person, regardless of the cost to the holder. Therefore, Jesus said no greater love is there, than when one lays down his life for another.

God is not easily provoked, but we know He can be. After all God said the children in the wilderness did provoke Him, but was it easy? No, it shows why the workers of iniquity are called "workers", they have to work at it: they work harder at iniquity than one would at Grace. Whatever the situation we never "think evil", God doesn't, so why should we? If we think evil, we will find it, yet God is thinking Victory, so should we. God never rejoices in the failures of others, He never uses the failures of others as a means to exalt Himself. Some of us not only use the failures of others to exalt ourselves, we use them as a scale to determine our holiness. It will never work, since we can look around and find someone walking closer to the Lord than we. 

Now to take a closer look at some of the words used, the word Vaunts means to brag inwardly, it’s the opposite of humble. Being humble is not an outward attribute, it's an inward behavior evidenced on the outside. Being Puffed Up is an outward expression of pride, connecting to an inward haughtiness. This also associates to the prior statements, God’s Love will not puff up, thus the idea is to have knowledge with love. To Behave Unseemly is an outward behavior displayed by unbelief. Does not seek her own would connect to, Think not every man on his own things, but on the things of others, let this Mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. The word Provoked means to cause one to anger, it doesn't mean one is angry, rather this points to the trouble maker, or strife maker, or the person going about making others angry. In most cases they cause the trouble, but in so doing they take pride in their efforts of causing disruption. They cause wars, or produce strife, showing they are run by the spirit of man, not the Spirit of Christ. Could they have the Spirit? Yes, the Corinthians did, but Paul also saw strife, envy and division among them. Having the Spirit and walking in the Spirit becomes the lesson in this letter, they had the Spirit, but were using the ways of the spirit of man.

God’s Love Thinks no evil, as a compound word, entailing the putting together in one's mind those things they presume are evil in nature, whether they pertain to one's self or others. They are usually fables, or illusions, things one thinks are evil, which shows they are draw to the conclusions by their own lusts. The word Evil also points to a cowardly soldier who runs from the battle, they produce anger, hate, bitterness, strife and envy, to avoid the responsibilities of Mercy, Grace, and Love.

Rejoices in iniquity, is holding joy in reference to the failures of others, which causes us to exalt ourselves bringing about the false concept of being so holy and righteous we could never slip. This not only pertains to the iniquity of others, but to our iniquity as well. Holding a false sense of joy in our failures is neither Faith, or Truth.

We saw Longsuffering (1) and Kind (2), the remaining six positive elements of God's Love are: 3) Rejoicing in the Truth, 4) bears all things, 5) believes all things, 6) hopes all things, 7) endures all things, and 8) never fails, giving us Eight, the number of New Beginnings, we see the word “things” rather than “people”. We judge things, not people, the carnal judge people not things.

When we approach the concept of Believe all things, we must take caution, this doesn't say we believe in all things, nor does it say we simply believe. We can believe there is a devil, but it doesn't mean we believe in the devil. We can believe there is a concept of hyper-Calvinism, but it doesn't mean we believe in it. If someone asked, "well Christian so you believe all things, so you must believe the devil is God". It’s not a "thing", what we believe is there are those who lie in wait to deceive, we believe there is deception, in which the false concept of the "devil being God" would fit. As for the concept itself? It's not whether we believe it or not, it's whether there is enough evidence to make it a "thing" worthy of belief. Is there? No, there is no evidence in the Bible giving the phrase validity, thus it’s neither believed it or disbelieved, rather it's not considered, becoming a moot proposition.

Belief and Hope are sisters giving our faith foundation, belief without hope is still unbelief. James says the devils believe there is One God, but they also tremble at the aspect. Do the devils obey? Yes, when commanded by one who has the authority, they have to. However, it’s not the point? The devils have to obey, we don't. Obedience on our part is a choice, but the devils obey without choice, thus we do not rejoice in the devils obeying, they have no choice, but we have the choice as to whether or not our names are written in heaven. It's a sad note, but the Pharisees resisted Jesus more than the devils. Therefore, simply believing there is One God isn't enough, one must also Believe In the Son of the One God, as we obey freely.

The things passing are nonetheless of God, but it's when they pass and why, explaining the text. If we speak in the tongues of men and of angels, which of the two will pass when we are in heaven? Why use prophecy when we are face to face with Jesus? Knowledge pertains to the awareness of things, when we are face to face with Jesus we will be known as we are known. If tongues has passed, so has knowledge, yet God’s people perish for a lack of knowledge. These elements are Spiritual attributes, thus when the Spirit is gone, so are the attributes, but if the Spirit is still here, so are the attributes.

Now we see through a Shadowed Mirror, a Mirror where we see Jesus vaguely, yet we still see Him. We see Him within us, working, dividing asunder, bringing Hope, cleaning the field, using the most holy Golden Plow to remove bad roots and soiled plants not planted by the Father, we know the work is going on, although we can’t always see it.

Today we still prophesy in Part, we know in Part, we hear the Interpretation in Part, but in Part is still a foundation. The context of In Part points to a mystery, often the prophesy is a mystery. Prophesy proves itself by coming to pass, we don’t prove it by making up events to make it come to pass. For the most part we have no idea what the Prophecy specifics are, so we make up some, then attempt to make it appear as if the prophecy came to pass, then brag in our involvement. Meaning we allowed pride to rule, where patience and humbleness should have reigned. Prophecy is a sign of God personally active in our lives, He has set a sign post in the future for us, when it comes to pass, we know God not only cares for us, but He has the future well in hand.

Hope is future tense, our Hope is be partakers in the First Resurrection, but Hope also tells us we want to Know Jesus, as we are Known. Knowing ourselves is the beginning of clarity, knowing what we are capable of without Jesus is the basis of a sound fear of God. Often the exposures are removing masks we have used for years, to get to the real us, so the Word in us can bring about who we are suppose to be in Christ.

All this is contained in the wording "shall fail", it would seem Paul is saying prophecies, tongues and knowledge will fail. Not so, the Greek word for fail is Katargeo meaning Completeness, showing when these things reach their purpose, then they will cease, but until then, they will not. What time? The end of the Day.

The word Abideth means Remains; therefore, Tongues, Prophecy and Knowledge are all for the Body of Christ, but on earth: therefore, they have to do with being Born Again. When the time comes for us to stand before the Lord, what will be left? Will we preach to Jesus to show Him our great knowledge? Will we speak and interpret tongues for Him? Will we prophesy? It better be Love and Faith. What about Hope? Our Hope is to be a Partaker in the First Resurrection, here the question is what will we do when we stand before Jesus. The “Lord, Lord haven’t we” people told Jesus all the things the Name of Jesus did, they had nothing else to say. It’s Paul’s point, what will be left? Our tapes with all our great and powerful sermons? Our list of things we did for Jesus? What will be left? Is this a rebuke for the Corinthians? Absolutely, perhaps for us as well. Paul's comments to the Corinthians shows they did some Acts, but the Acts were from God, yet when the time comes, what will they have to pass through the Fire? It better be Love, or it counts for nothing.      

Phileo love can span from loving someone based on their personality, to loving them as a brother or sister, while overlooking faults for the sake of the love. Agape not only overlooks faults, but forgives the person before the fault is exposed, Agape sees the potential of Christ in the person, it's the Christ calling as a nature. Of course we know both Phileo and Agapao can be twisted to an evil sense. Phileo in the evil sense is loving others for the self-benefit, we are told by Jesus Agapao can love the darkness, but both are based in the fall nature to do evil, thus Agape is based on the Ways of God dividing it from the other forms of love. Agape being God cannot be tempted to do evil, neither can it do evil, neither will it tempt others to do evil, or deceive others, or trick them.

Faith, Love and Hope are Fruits (Ways), not Acts, thus Paul's edifying correction points out where the Corinthians were out of order. They had many things going for them, but a bunch more going against them. The connection of prophecy, prayer and knowledge with faith, love and hope show the balance. They could pray in the understanding and tongues, yet turn right around and slander. It would be one thing to be slack because they lacked the ability, here we find they had the ability (Spirit), but they were remaining carnal by choice. If it’s by choice, than one can make the choice to reverse the situation and walk in the Spirit. The same is true with belief, we have the choice to believe, or not to.

 

I Cor 14:1-40

We follow after Love, but we nonetheless desire the Spirituals, but rather we should prophesy, yet he just said prophecy was one of those areas to pass away, thus the passing away has nothing to do with our Acts on earth, it has to do with the time when the Church is taken to meet the Lord in the air. The word Follow is a much stronger word than Desire, Paul is now moving back to the Acts of God. The word Follow is the Greek Dioko meaning To pursue with diligence, the word Desire is the Greek Zeloo meaning To be filled with zeal. On the surface they appear real close, and they are, but Dioko is more of a diligence, it entails never, never, never giving up until the fullness of what we seek is completely in hand. Also we find to Follow is a decision to seek after something, Desire is a willingness, we can desire something, yet not be willing to follow after it. 

Both Tongues and Prophecy are Acts, both are good and needed. Since the concept here is “prayer and prophecy” we know this connects back to Chapter 11. Here is the proper method for the “wives” (congregation) who retain the Long Hair (anointing) on the their Head. Prophecy is understood, it’s from the Spirit, but in words of a language which is earthly in nature. Unknown tongues are also from the Spirit, but in a language known only by the Spirit. This area still connects to Love as we do the Acts with the Ways. Let’s face it there are some who speak in unknown tongues, but use the ability as means of pride, they speak so everyone knows they have the Spirit, but it’s what the Corinthians were doing. There are some who pray in the understanding with the same purpose. Paul wanted them to become Spiritual in nature, so they could understand why the Spirit spoke. Somewhere along this Path we gain the revelation, if we pray for others, God will take care of us, if we spend all our time praying for ourselves we end self-based, or go about  telling everyone how great our prayers are.

Prophecy speaks from the Spirit in us to men, but tongues is from the Spirit in us to the Spirit of God. Simply prophecy comes from the throne, tongues to the throne. When the New Man speaks he intercedes for us by speaking of the great and wonderful things of God in a heavenly language. The New Man speaks to us in the understanding, but he speaks to ABBA Father in the tongues of angels. Tongues will place the desire of God into the natural by using a natural voice box, yet the language is not earth based, it becomes one of the ways heaven is loosed. Why? Spiritual things are for the Spiritual, it takes a natural voice to bring those "words" into the natural, but they are so holy no earthly language can utter them without committing blasphemy; even if we find a language on earth it will blaspheme the unknown tongues. Paul makes the same statement in his next letter when he talks about the third heaven, as he points out how any attempt to describe what he saw in an earthly language could not do the third heaven credit, thus his effort would be blasphemy. Why? No earthly language could do it justice, the same is true with unknown tongues. The greatness of God is so great, no earthly language can utter it; thus we seek the interpretation, not the translation.

It’s obvious if speaking in unknown tongues is the Spirit speaking, thus it takes the Spirit in us before we can even consider speaking. It takes submission on the part of the soul, as well as a confidence it is the New Man. "Well, what if it's some devil", what is some devil doing in you? The speaking is internal, if it’s a devil, then someone should cast the thing out. From this we find the Spirit in us is speaking in unknown tongues, our souls speak in the understanding; therefore, our souls won't understand the language, meaning the Spirit is the only one who can interpret His own language. The Spirit gives the Interpretation to our souls, then our souls speak the Understanding of the matter. In 14:27 we find one, two or at the most three can speak in unknown tongues, but it only takes one to interpret, clearly this is not translation, but gaining the purpose of the speaking. The Interpretation is the meaning of the words, not the exactness, rather it’s what the Author had in mind when the words were spoken. Showing a Translation does no good, we must know what the Intent is, to determine what is the Spirit telling us. This Language is so heavenly it can’t be translated into human language, but it can be Interpreted. It also divides the carnal from the Spiritual, the Spiritual know it’s the Spirit who interprets, the carnal run all over the world looking for a translation to prove a self-imposed error, which means from them seeking error they lack the Spirit. If the Spirit interprets, why would someone look for a earthly language? Because they don’t have the Spirit.

This may sound strange, but David by the Holy Ghost said The Lord said to my Lord, Sit You on My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool; however, David spoke in the understanding, thus his speech was one of prophecy by the Holy Ghost, it was not unknown tongues by the Holy Spirit, showing until the Spirit was given, no one spoke in unknown tongues. Even when the disciples received the Ingress Aires they didn’t speak in unknown tongues. The first recorded experience was on the Day of Pentecost after they received Power from on High. Therefore, the experience connects to the Power from on High, as Peter and Paul testified (Acts 10:46 with 11:15-16 & 19:6).

Why doesn't God just say what He means so we can understand it? There are several reasons, the language cannot be translated, there are times when God doesn't want us to know the event, thus the interpretation must come from the Spirit who brought the Words. It’s the Glory of God to conceal a thing, but the honor of the kings to search it out, it’s also a sign and a test of our faith. If it goes beyond the natural, then our faith and trust in God are being tested: do we really trust God? Or are we demanding control over God? Do we really want to submit to the Spirit? Or we just say we do? There is the other side of the test as well, do we brag, or take pride in the ability? Or do we know it is God doing the speaking?

The Spirit of God bears witness with the Spirit that is of God, thus the Spirit that is of God speaks the desire through the natural, but guess what's between the two? The soul, there are times when it's better for the soul not to know. God uses the voices of men to project His desire and will into the natural, thus we are either justified by our Words, or condemned. However, there is another element, the natural mind cannot understand Spiritual matters, making this one area the devil attacks constantly. The devil is a spirit, but limited to the natural, no devil has a clue to what is being said. The Interpretation is based in the wonderful things of God, but the exactness of those things are a mystery. We also find no man understands what is being said, it's the Spirit who interprets.

Speaking in unknown tongues is a mystery, we need the Interpretation, not the Translation (did we say that?). Only the Spirit can interpret His own language, He uses the same process as He did to bring the words, the voices of people. Prophecy is unto Men, not unto God, thus prophecy is used to expose hearts, or build the faith of the believer. Tongues is also an expression through the Spirit to edify us, this is in no way is self-edification, or self-exaltation, since it would mean the Spirit was edifying Himself, yet we know the Spirit testifies of Jesus. Tongues build our faith, becoming another aspect of submission, which also builds our faith. It’s takes faith in God to submit to speaking a language one doesn’t understand. It takes trust in God to believe the Promise has been received, the speaking proves it has. The word Edification means to charge the person to accomplish an act beyond their ability, yet there are two areas. One can charge their own self, or they can be charged from another source. The common car battery is an example, it is charged by another element in the vehicle, or by a “battery charger” outside the vehicle. In our case we find the internal Charger is the New Man, the external is when someone speaks as the interpretation comes. When we read the Bible do we become edified? Yes, so is it “self-edification”? It can be, but in most cases we find the Spirit taking the written word and bringing hope where there was none. In First Thessalonians 5:11 we are told to edify one another, in Ephesians 4:16 we find the Body edifies itself. However we also know self-exalting is not of God (Luke 14:11). The premise Paul speaks of indicates the place from where the tongues comes from, the one doing the speaking knows it’s the Spirit in them, thus they are assured the Seal of the Holy Spirit is active, giving them edification. However, if they think it’s by their hand and their power they twist the edification into self-adulation. Of course the same is true with teaching, prayer, or anything attributed to God. One can preach from the anointing, then presume it’s their great intellect, studies, discipleship, or performance producing the anointing, they are not edifying their self, they are self-adulating. Regardless of the activity of God we give God the glory.

The need for the interpretation is for the gathering, if there is no interpreter, then they person still speaks, but to themselves and God. Showing the primary conversation is between the Spirit that is of God to the Spirit of God. In verse 16 we find the speaking in the presence of the "unlearned" leaves the "unlearned" in the dark. The "Learned" know what is going on, the Unlearned do not, if they are carnal, yet in the Body they will attack based on their envy regarding what they don’t understand. In their attacking they are self-exalting their selves, presuming they are some secret agent on God’s payroll. Even these carnal Corinthians who used the wisdom of the world had an understanding of where the unknown tongues originated.

We find the word "rather" in verses 1 and 5 as the Greek Eukopos meaning Easier, or Light fatigue, or to lighten the fatigue. This shows for the carnal it's Easier to prophesy, than speak in tongues. Why? They demand to understand what is said, on the same note when someone carnal does speak in unknown tongues, or even prophecy they seem to get puffed up, or make a “show” of their “ability”, thus they turn a Spiritual experience into a theatrical endeavor. However, what is worse? The theatrical endeavor? Or attacking the experience? Both are out of order, each causes the Yoke to tighten the more.  

Paul isn't saying Tongues are out of the question, rather he points out prophecy is something wherein the words are easily understood, usually more quickly received, rather than attempting to explain tongues, or the interpretation. If the unlearned can hear the actual words they can either reject or receive, but if they are like the third group on Pentecost, they will think the congregation are drunk, leaving the carnal at a loss to explain the event. It's Easier to hear the understanding, than to seek the interpretation. For those who are Spiritual in nature this is good news. For years they have heard speaking in tongues is "self-edifying", yet Paul desires we "all" pray in tongues as much as he did (vs. 14:14-15 & 14:18).

On the Day of Pentecost Peter spent more time in explaining tongues, than he did the Cross. Tongues are only found in the manifestation and operation, but prophecy in one form or another is found in all the areas (the gifts of the Spirit, the offices, the operations and manifestation), thus it becomes a link to all areas. Clearly Paul's desire is for all speak in tongues, but rather, or slightly better, for all prophesy, "except he interpret", then tongues become an equal to prophecy (v. 14:5). The difference between speaking in tongues with the interpretation denotes whether tongues are equal to prophecy. We also have to keep this teaching separate and in order. It refers to the gathering, not one's private prayer life, there is little need for an interpreter in our prayer closet to explain to the unlearned, by the way, what is the unlearned doing in our prayer closet?

Simply because we gave a “Word” doesn’t mean we’re a prophet, it means the Spirit manifested. Prophecy being words from God to man, shows how Paul desired for these people to prophesy, simply because the words they were speaking were hardly from God. However, when we give a word, then presume we’re a Prophet, we either have no idea what happened, or we are seeking some self-glory. Once it happens we presume we must always have a Word, which leads to speaking from a lust, or giving false words of divination making it appear as if we are a prophet (Ezek 13:1-7).

The prophecy Paul desires we all do is speaking what God desires, words of comfort, edification and exhortation from the New Man. God does not speak words of the Self, Condemnation, Manipulation, or Deception. When someone gives us a word exalting the self, we know it’s not “so saith the Lord”. When we prophesy as Born Again Believers we do so in proportion of the Faith, or within the limits of the Faith. The old saying “What Would Jesus Do?”, is more “What Would Jesus Say?”, in this area.

If the prophecy is from God, then it’s first person, not third person. A word would be “God loves you”, a prophecy would be “Be it  know I love you”. The first is a third person rendering, the latter is a first person rendering. We need prophecy, we don’t need carnal interventions, or hindrances. On the same note we find those who reject prophecy, "I don't need prophecy, I have the Bible"; however, the Bible says, "despise not prophesyings" (I Thess 5:20). The word Prophesyings means either the word spoken, or the person speaking. Simply, if we believe Greater is He in us, why not let Him speak? Submission also removes the soulish desire for control; as the desire to know what is said, before it’s said, but faith says "God Is", not "perhaps God isn't". Tongues are not a sign of being Born Again, they are a sign of the Seed being planted by the baptism with the Holy Ghost (Acts 10:45-46), thus the Corinthians spoke in tongues, but they were carnal, showing why Paul referred to them being in the fetus stage. Neither is tongues a sign we are carnal, they are a sign the Seed is planted, ye they do help in the growth process, since they are a sign of the Seal of the Holy Spirit, yet we know we can grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13 & 4:30).

The word Understanding as it's used here, isn't the understanding of God, but the understanding of the language being spoken, referring to earthly languages. This helps make the separation between Unknown tongues and Known tongues; thereby showing the sound of the unknown tongue is Unknown to the minds of man, but Known to God. On the Day of Pentecost the hearers received the interpretation, but the speakers didn't. It's always interesting to note the teaching on tongues is given to a carnal church, not the Spiritual bodies. The context shows, some were offended by tongues, another sign of the carnal mind.

Every sound has some significance, but one must discern the sound in order to gain from it. We may not know the meaning of the voice, but the speaker does, thus we seek the speaker (Spirit) in order to discern. On Pentecost the speaker was not the person but the Spirit in the person. The Holy Ghost moved on some outside the upper room allowing them to interpret, yet there was the third group, who felt the disciples were drunk. Three groups, one speaking, one gaining the interpretation, another making natural determinations. The sign was there, the Spirit was active, the Holy Ghost displayed the time of the Day had opened, the Church begun, it was the opening of the Season for the New Birth. There is a sign connected we need to consider, if the Spirit was not given until Jesus was Glorified by the Resurrection, then the tongues and prophecy are a sign to us of Jesus being Resurrected, our Hope is secure in the Lord, the New Man in us proves it.

The trumpet makes a noise, but not by itself, it takes someone behind the trumpet to produce the Wind to make the voice. The trumpet can't tell us what is being said, it takes the one using it to tell us the meaning. It also takes Understanding to determine which Trumpet is being played; is it the First, Last or Great?

Tongues being the Spirit within us speaking the great things of God, means the person who is unlearned has no idea what is going on, they may blaspheme unknowingly, the danger Paul is speaking about. It’s better to speak in the understanding, then produce a situation where the unlearned may gain, of if they do blaspheme it will be knowingly.

Prophecy being from God to man opens two areas, first is exposure, as the secrets of the heart are manifest. Which usually means they are also secret to the person being prophesied to, but there is another area. When the Spirit hits the nail on the head by giving an answer to a problem only the person knows about, they will know God is in us of a truth. Remember when Nathanael was under the tree, then found Jesus knew what the man was thinking? (Jn 1:43-51). When Nathanael heard, “when you were under the fig tree I saw you”, he knew Jesus was surely the Christ. It’s exactly what Paul is saying here, prophecy may bring the answer to a problem, something hidden, or being pondered,  when revealed, they will know only God knew. It can be as simple as, “you must forgive them”, or “God knows the pain you’re in, and wants to help you”, things only known to the person. Another would be the woman at the well, Jesus told her things she knew, but no one else knew, the secrets of her heart were manifest. In each case they knew God was among them of a Truth, but how did they know it was God and not some New Age witch? Love, concern, the absence of manipulation, or domination to control.

We also find different words for the word "understand": in verse 2 it's the Greek Akouo meaning To hear, thus it could read, "for no man hears Him; however in the Spirit He speaks mysteries". This would mean one needs the Spirit in order to gain. This also  connects to verse 21 where we are told it is written God will speak to these people with other tongues, yet they will not believe.

In verse 20 the word Understanding is the Greek Phren meaning the seat of intelligence, or the reasoning, or something understood in the mind as clear. It was used in the Septuagint in Proverbs 7:7 showing the simple one is void of understanding, again in Proverbs 9:4 showing a desire to find understanding. In verse 16 the word Understand is the Greek Nous meaning the mind. All these are important, in verse 16 it’s the natural mind, or the source the unlearned use, they don't listen to God, or the Spirit, even if they have the Spirit. They use natural intellect, if they don’t understand what is being said they consider the matter foolishness. This goes right back to the unlearned mocking something of God, because they lack knowledge. It’s far better for us to remain silent regarding tongues around an unbeliever, than have them think the Spirit speaking through us is foolishness. Not for our sake, but for theirs. In many cases it’s far better to remain silent around an unbeliever about anything God is doing with us. God may be giving us a sign on a daily basis as a confidence builder for us to remain in the wilderness or cave until Patience has had her perfect work. It might be something as simple as God turning the grape juice we use for Communion into wine, or a dove at our window every morning, or a saint contacting us with a word of encouragement, but share any of it with the carnal minded and they will mock it, make us feel like idiots, or tell us were crazy. Carnal minds are centered on the self, if it didn’t happen to them, it can’t happen to anyone.  

If there is no interpreter in the gathering, we pray we may interpret so the Body can be edified, but if we don’t gain the interpretation, we speak to ourselves and God (14:28). Again its important to keep in mind this is in reference to the gathering, it connects to the assembling together to edify one another, going back to chapter 11. This is not the same as our private prayer life, we don’t need the interpretation in our private prayer life, we trust the New Man knows what he is doing.

Our private prayer life would fall under, “let them learn at home”, we can see how Paul is still teaching from the lesson back in Chapter 11, the carnal minds were running wild, they spoke in tongues, mostly to hear themselves. They gave words, mainly to exalt themselves. Therefore, they should remain silent in the gathering, for two reasons. The most obvious is their carnal usage of Spiritual matters, but more important was, “but every woman (members of the congregation) who prays or prophesies with her head (leader) uncovered, dishonors her head” (11:5). Paul is showing how they may have been “having fun”, but they were also dishonoring each other, and Christ. Fun coupled with the Spirit is really Fun and Joy, but Fun by carnal minds attempting to be Spiritual is completely out of order.

There was controversy, the Corinthians were carnal, they spoke in other tongues,  they gave prophecy. What then? Do we cast out tongues for prophecy because the carnal minded didn’t understand? Or do we fear it since the Corinthians did it. Hardly, we pray in the understanding, and in tongues, we sing in the understanding and in the Spirit, let the Two be One so we may be One with God (v. 14). We can't forget Paul didn't cast it away, he merely prayed the more: not a bad idea. It’s obvious Paul is talking and teaching to  carnal minded people to encourage them to enter the Spiritual area, but why? So they can be more carnal? Nay, so they can become Spiritual, allowing them to understand Spiritual matters.

Wait, didn’t Paul tell them back in Chapter 11 to remain silent? Yes, it’s the point he is going to make. Here he is speaking “as if” they took his correction, like his prayers, he believed the word spoken would be received. Why pray if you don’t think God is going to answer? Paul had confidence in his prayer life, he prayed the Will of the Spirit, knowing his prayers for the saints would be answered. He is not attempting to control the Corinthians, nor is he using his prayers to make them do as he desires. His prayers are for them to be enlightened, to gain the understanding of the Lord’s love for them. His teaching here is based in the desire for the betterment of the Corinthians, giving us a clue to his prayer life.

We can even bless our food in the Spirit, yet if there be the unlearned around who can't agree with us, it’s better to speak in the understanding. Verse 16 shows Tongues produce Blessing, not cursing; therefore, speaking in unknown tongues never curses, nor calls Jesus accursed (12:3). If tongues were bad in any degree Paul surely would have warned this carnal minded bunch not to engage, but he didn't, he encouraged them. Even the carnal minded can’t accurse Jesus when they speak by the Spirit, interesting.

 This area of Blessing is very important, the word Bless is the Greek Eulogeo meaning Well spoken of, it was used to show the blessing God grants on us. The word Thank is the key to all this, it's the Greek Eucharisteo meaning Good Grace, or the Very goodness of Grace. This one Greek word was never used in the Septuagint, rather when it came to the Goodness of God they used Eulogeo. Here Paul says when we pray in tongues we are giving Eulogeo, but we did Eucharisteo. What does it mean? When we pray in tongues we are praying in the language based in all of God’s blessings, which would be the wonderful things of God. It has to edify our souls, knowing we are not merely seeking the Goodness of Grace, we are doing it.  

Paul had Confidence in the Greater He, he knew if the person's heart was to find God, God would find them. Paul goes back to the purpose, showing the Doctrine and understanding are more important than goose bumps. Verse 21 tells us Who is doing the talking, thus removing the interpretation from man, as well as removing any self-imposed glory we may attempt to gain from tongues. It's God doing the speaking through men, thus this unknown language is only unknown to the mind of man, thus it takes God to interpret His own language. Wait I thought it was the Spirit? It’s the Spirit which is of God, showing it’s God doing the speaking, one should be careful in attacking the act.

Tongues are a negative sign to the unbeliever and unlearned, but not to the Believer. When the unbeliever or the unlearned hear tongues they get mad or scared, they run, attack, or mock, thus we find three groups involved, just like we did on the Day of Pentecost. One group spoke, one group gained the interpretation, the third group mocked the speakers (Acts 2:7-13). In this area Paul doesn't mention the interpretation, rather he says "and all speak with tongues" (v 23); therefore, it means all were doing the speaking, but no one interpreting, causing confusion in the minds of the unbeliever and unlearned. Yet, we are sent to bring the unbeliever into the Body, as we bring clarity to the unlearned.

If we prophesy is in the understanding, but still from God. The person's heart will be exposed, since they can understand the words spoken. Falling down on their face, they will declare God is among us; however, it was God doing the speaking in unknown tongues as well. It's not we who must know God is among us, it's for the unbeliever and unlearned to know; therefore, tongues are a negative sign, but only to the unbeliever and unlearned. When anyone responds in a negative manner to speaking in tongues, they have proven the point.

Now the Women or Congregation, with the long flowing hair on her “head”, this is the result of order. When we come together every one can have a Psalm (song), a doctrine (teaching), a tongue, a revelation, the interpretation for both the tongue and a revelation, but all things must be to the edifying of the Body, of which we are all members (v 26). How are you going to do this, yet remain silent? One could say the use of “brethren” limited this to males alone, but if it were the case, then no female could enter the Body. The Greek word for Brethren is Adelphos meaning Of the same womb, or family, A fellow believer, which includes both leaders and congregation, as male and female. The phrase, “let all things be done to edifying” settles the question on tongues being “self-edifying”, since he included tongues in this area. 

Two or Three can speak, yet it only takes one to interpret. This wasn't given to limit us, but to remove the carnal mind. We can see how the carnal church did speak in unknown tongues, but instead of two or three, it was fifty or hundred, which means many lost in the interpretation. The speaking was still from the Spirit, thus Paul isn’t saying No, he is simply calling for Order so the rest can be edified. The concept of being silent is again seen, only in this case it’s when there is no interpreter (v. 28). However, the person should not forbid speaking, they merely keep it between them and God. This also shows tongues are from us To God, prophecy is from God to us.

Paul told us to speak to ourselves and God, the Corinthians just got louder, or the reverse, in so doing they exposed their carnal minds. Again, this has to be in the gathering, since our prayer closet would get very crowded with "two or three". The old thought of mixing our private prayer life into this area produces the concept of "you must know the interpretation or it's not God"; not so, the interpretation is only for the “other”, we in our prayer closet need to be edified, but we don’t need the interpretation. Seeking the interpretation is also seen here in the gathering, so the other can be edified. If speaking didn’t edify us, what makes us think the interpretation would?

The next area is for prophecy, linking this right back to chapter 11. When they spoke, let it be two or three, which is slightly different from tongues, in each case we find no more than three, for when two or three are gathered together we have a sound check and balance (v 29). The term Other means other prophets, not other people in general. The prophet is not to judge their own prophecy, the worse thing we can do force them to interpret their own prophecy. Prior it was Pray so we might interpret, but we don't find it  with prophecy, rather we find let the others judge. God has set checks and balances, if the speaker of the prophecy is forced to interpret their words, they have breached the check and balance. In their frustration they will invent a meaning, or mix the world into the Kingdom. This is not the Office of Prophet, although they also allow the judging by other Prophets, rather this is still the “pray and prophecy” as it relates back to Chapter 11, only in this case it’s after the Authority is established.

The context also shows it's by two or three, never one, problems come when we have one prophetic voice. Cults begin because they only have one prophetic voice allowed by the leader, which is usually the leader. The rule is clear, two or three, never one. History shows every time this rule has been violated, a cult system developed, it doesn't mean the prophet was in error, rather since there were no other prophetic voices the prophecy or prophecies were left open to carnal interpretation, or cultist thinking.

The test is the prophecy proving itself, there are times when the Spirit ends, yet the soul begins. At times we just know something should be said, or we’re so hungry for a word, we make one up. This check and balance gives the hope of knowing we won't interweave some fear, or personal concern into the prophecy. As the prophecy comes forth, there are times when it sounds so good, we know the time is perfect to interject our views, desires, fears, concerns, or thoughts, but the other prophets judge. If we keep the premise in mind, it will keep us from interjecting into the Word. The purpose is to Learn so others can be Comforted (exhorted) in the Lord, not to vent our personal opinions, then add, "so saith the Lord" on the end giving it validity.

The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets, this is a warning to all (v. 32). Ezekiel 13:2-3 says, "son of man prophesy against the prophets of Israel who prophesy, and say you unto them who prophesy out of their own hearts (spirits), Hear you the word of the Lord; thus saith the Lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirit (minds), and have seen nothing". The context links to Paul's teaching showing the minds of the prophets are subject to the prophets, meaning a prophet can interject their own fears, concerns, or agenda into the prophecy, yet they will think it was God. If it takes place God will have the other prophets judge the saying. This is clear when we read it was Ezekiel who judged the other prophets, yet there were other prophets in the land who judged Ezekiel's prophecies as True. Ezekiel 14:9 says, "and if the prophet be deceived when he has spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived the prophet, and I will stretch out My hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of My people Israel". When the prophet uses the office for self-purposes the time will come when they assume they are giving Truth, when in fact they are delivering deception, yet God allows based on their “Balaam mindset”. Since God cannot tempt us to do evil, because God has no evil in Him, it stands He cannot deceive us since deception is a product of darkness, yet God is light and in Him is no darkness (I Jn 1:5). How then does God deceive? By allowing the prophet who has allowed their own mind to counterfeit the voice of God to continue as a test for the rest of us. When we judge their words righteously, we begin to see how they mix the fears into the word into the prophetic word. Does the word spoken sound like God? Do we follow the person blindly? Balaam thought God ordained his folly, but found an angel in the road about to take his head off. A donkey judged Balaam by speaking as a prophet. There are times when God will send a jackass to judge the jackass prophet. It’s far better for the prophet to make sure it’s truly “so saith the Lord”, then submit to the check and balance of the others judging. A sure sign of someone who makes up their own prophecy, is their reluctance to have the other prophets judge.

If the others Judge, it means we must be open to correction. There are some when questioned about their “prophetic word” they retort with, “You calling God a liar?”. A very manipulative statement, said as if one did question, they were calling God a liar, but not so, they are merely determining the source, or if they have crossed the line and introduced “soul prophecy” into the realm of the “Spirituals”. Any of us can hear ourselves and think, “oh man it’s good, you know what, I will add…..”, or any of us can have some lust, or fear, or soulish prideful desire enter into the prophetic word. We could have 85 percent God, 15 percent soul, or 15 percent God, and 85 percent soul. Having the others Judge keeps us honest.

In Ezekiel God says, “Woe unto the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing” (Ezek 13:3). What were they doing? They were giving “vanity and lying divination” (Ezek 13:6), in this case they heard nothing, it was 100 percent soul, they were attempting to speak in order to make God bring it to pass, it’s divination, it ended with the people believing in a false hope (Ezek 13:6). Generally they were speaking from a fear to a fear, or from a lust to a lust, defining “soul prophecy”, a danger leading to being a false prophet. They were saying, “The Lord says”, but the Lord had not said, so who did? Their own souls, yet they assumed the word was from the Lord, the people liked it, they liked it, it made them feel important; however, it was not of God. Rather than edify the person in God, they were feeding a lust, giving a false direction, or presenting false doctrine. Rather than bring comfort to the soul, they were bringing comfort to the flesh. Rather than exhorting the person toward Jesus, they were exhorting the lust of the flesh. Everyone is led away by their own lust, when a lust gives words to a lust, the result is an empowered lust. Not good, not good at all.

This area is the concern of Paul, he saw how Ezekiel was a priest who was taken captive, then called of God to be a prophet against the prophets. In our case we are suppose to be motivated by the Spirit with God’s Wisdom, which means we should be teachable and open to Godly correction. After all Peter received the Godly correction from Paul, shouldn’t we be as open? (Gal 2:11-14).

In Acts 15:32 the prophets went out to deliver doctrine, but in Acts 16:16 a certain damsel possessed with a “spirit of divination” also gave a “word”. We know this damsel followed Paul and Silas around, but what was Silas? A confirmed prophet (Acts 15:32), as was Paul. The prophets judged, finding the words of the damsel wanton. What did she say? “These men are the servants of God, which show us the way to salvation” (Acts 16:17). Were Paul and Silas servants of God? Yes, was their mission to show the way of Salvation? Yes, yet there was something wrong with the “intent” of the damsel. If we judged the words alone, we would say, “man it’s God, Praise the Lord”, but what was behind the words was not of God. She was fishing for the egos of Paul and Silas, searching for a lust, seeking some bait in which she could put in her hook and capture their minds, causing them to give her honor, then she could then preach her god as the one bringing salvation; which in her case would have been the god Apollo (not to be confused with Apollos).

Our hope is of course it didn’t work, because Paul and Silas were servants of the most high God. However, if we have a lust or ungodly desire seeking superiority, and someone begins to prophesy to the lust we will be enticed and led away. In most cases we can examine the words to determine the source, but in other cases, like the damsel we must listen to the Spirit discern the spirit.

This is not to scare us, or cause us to reject prophecy, rather it’s to show how we must be open for correction, especially thinking, “I am the only one who hears from God”. If we’re not sure of the words spoken over us, seek out a confirmed prophet, or an Elder who has the evidence of God’s Wisdom, ask them to judge the words. In some bodies the person is told to write down the words, but it’s not easy at times. It takes the mind and soul to write the words, but it’s the Spirit doing the talking. Tape the words, or have another write them down, whichever is easier at the moment. The prophets of old didn’t write down their own words, they had scribes do the writing. If the prophet refuses to be judged, or goes about saying “You calling God a liar?”, every time someone wonders about the validity of their words, they are in grave danger.

Can corrupt theology be a hindering factor to the prophet? Yes, how many times have we heard “the whore of Babylon” in some phrase which is attached to “so saith the Lord”? There is no whore of Babylon, the City is the Whore, who is also Babylon. Corrupt theology sneaking into the message shows how the spirits of the prophets are still subject to the prophets. The Spirit speaks, the words travel through a wanton theology, or traditions, then the prophets who judge have to sort through the words to fine the prophetic words God is speaking.

Since any of us in the Body who are in Grace have the capability to prophesy in the context noted here in Corinthians, it stands even the carnal minded can get into the act. Before Peter was Born Again he had a word from the Father about Jesus, but Peter didn’t understand it. It seems it’s the same situation in Corinth, Paul wants them to benefit, but if they remain carnal they will have no idea what the prophecy or tongues is bringing forth, or what God is doing.

The Manifestation of the Spirit is the New Man operating, yet we find there are some who give a Word of Wisdom, or even a personal prophecy, then they thought they were a Prophet, they become self-ordained, self-appointed, and begin a self-involved ministry, using what God did in their life as a means of validity. God works in all our lives, it doesn’t mean we’re all Prophets or Apostles. This very issue is addressed by Paul, he desires we all prophesy, but he also notes not all are Prophets.

If we’re the prophetic voice, we must be open to the judging, in fact we should seek  the judged openly. However, never allow a carnal mind to judge Spiritual words. A true judge of prophecy brings the Sword of Truth, coupled with the Wisdom of God, which is always able to remove the Vile while saving the Precious.

Whatever Word is given it's to bring Peace among the brethren, not war. God doesn't Author confusion, man does. Confusion is the result of the soul fighting the Spirit, or the spirit of man bringing strife and division against the Truth. When the prophet allows his lusts, anger, opinion, political prejudice, personal feelings, or some other non-Spiritual element to interject into the prophecy we end with a mixed word holding some God, some soul, or worse a little God, with a great deal of personal opinion.

How does, “let your women remain silent” fit with “let the others judge” and “God is not the Author of confusion”? Perfect, if we understand how Verse 34 is not by itself, it links to the teaching in chapter 11, as well as the prior verses it becomes a rebuke to the leaders, showing it has nothing to do with gender. Prior the congregation was to remain silent (vs. 11:5), here it’s the same thing, yet Paul just finished saying he wished they all prophesy, as he also explained the proper order for tongues in the assembly. After telling them all the wonders of the Spiritual things of God, he then tells them their present state is to remain silent, and learn at home, the gathering was a wreck waiting to happen.

The context has to relate, “to Prophecy” drawing this to "every woman praying or giving prophesy, having her head (husband or leader) uncovered dishonors her head (husband or leader)". This also shows the spirits of the prophets, and how carnal minds introduce faulty interpretation. As was the case with Caiaphas, who gave a prophecy because of his position, then he attempted self-interpretation missing the mark by miles (Jn 11:50-53).

To bring all this into the conceptual teaching Paul is giving, we find the word for "speak" is the Greek Laleo which means To talk at random, it doesn't mean to remain completely silent, it means not to speak randomly, or without meaning. This connects to  the entire message, speak as an oracle, not as a carnal minded person who hasn’t a clue to Spiritual matters. Don’t remain carnal, yet think you are Spiritual just because you give a word, or speak in tongues. These are signs of having the Spirit, but left with a carnal mind to determine the purpose leaves us missing the importance of why we are speaking. In this case the rebuke stands, if they remain carnal, then remain silent in the gathering.

If Paul would have used the Greek Lego then some of those who desire to keep the female gender silent would have a point, but since Paul used Laleo we know this connects back to chapter 11, showing how the carnal congregation rambles much, but says nothing, we can see this has nothing to do with gender. 

Only a carnal mind would see this warning by Paul as the wives causing disruption, it's clearly asking the congregation who are subject to carnal leadership not to pray or prophecy until the leadership has repaired the Authority issue, since it would shame the leaders, as the leaders shame Christ. When the congregation is more Spiritual than the leadership, it’s not only a shame to the leaders, it’s a hindrance to the congregation. The carnal leader hears the word, interprets it by carnal means, misses the meaning, or twists it, then produces more carnal doctrinal thinking; thus many are sick, weak and dead.

We must see this is not a rebuke to the "wives", it's a rebuke to the leadership. This links prayers with speaking in unknown tongues, thus it wasn't the doing, but the lack of covering producing the problems; therefore, Chapter 14 is the end of the teaching which began in Chapter 10. The entire teaching must be linked together or we will miss the importance, thus producing more bondage, or more carnal thinking from a teaching given so we could be void of carnal thinking. The evidence is clear, carnal leaders took the teaching, twisted it into carnal thinking, interpreted it by carnal means, introduced a carnal ordinance to “keep females silent”. The carnal mind still lacks understanding in reference to Spiritual matters, thus the Holy Ghost still teaches by comparing Spiritual to Spiritual.

Since the carnal minded were unable to enter Spiritual discernment it's obvious the prophecy could be correct and right, but their interpretation faulty. Thereby the carnal interpretation would make the prophecy carnal in nature. Like the story of Ruth, it's a great love story, but unless one interprets it to focus on the Redeemer they miss the entire point. It would be better for the women (congregation) to remain silent, since the leaders were in such carnal shape any Godly Word coming forth would be twisted into another carnal doctrine. Got it? Hope so, since in most cases Godly prophets are kept silent by carnal leadership, it’s a shame. The Godly prophet has a word to bring the leadership into Order, but the egos of the leadership reject it. Of course if we have a carnal prophet attempting to force Spiritual leadership to do things the carnal mind wants, then the carnal prophet needs to be corrected. How do we keep it straight? Let the others judge, a Godly manner of check and balances.

A key verse here is 34 in the phrase "saith the Law", which means they were still under the Law, yet they had the Spirit and were called the Temple of God, and told they were baptized into the Body. Unless we walk with the Spirit, we must follow carnal ordinances. Did they think the Word (Logos) of God came from them? Did it not come unto them? What kind of ordinances does the Law of Moses have? Carnal, so it’s sent to the carnal minded. Who is the Law of the Spirit designed for? The Spiritually minded.

Verse 35 makes no sense at all if we are talking about gender, clearly if the head of the wife has to gain knowledge at home, then there is nothing to gain at the gathering. If she is to "learn" let her ask her husband at home? What is that? So widows can ask in church? Single woman must also be able too as well, since they have no husband at home. This is not gender, it goes right back to the congregation remaining silent in the congregation, but seeking the Lord at home. This relates to the individual, chapter 11 to the gathering, thus as individuals our covering is the Lord, but in the gathering the Operations show the leaders are our covering. We can we be correct and in order at home, but our gathering is a carnal mess.

Paul ends this area of the teaching with the test, if any are Spiritual or think they are a prophet, judge the prophecy (direction) he just gave; however, if any desire to remain ignorant, let them, we are not under bondage in such cases. Now we have another definition for carnal, remaining ignorant by choice. This goes to God’s people being destroyed for a lack of knowledge, God didn’t withhold it, rather they rejected it. Here for all of us is the written knowledge regarding tongues and prophecy in the gathering, if we make the choice to remain ignorant, so be it, no one can make us believe.

The evidence was clear, the escape was presented, the choice was now up to the Corinthians. These are not opinions, they are the commandments of the Lord. The  Corinthians didn’t lack the ability or the wherewithal to be Spiritual, they had the Spirit. They had the opportunity, but it called for Warfare, the old man was still ruling in their lives. They allowed the spirit of man to counter the Spiritual things of God (v. 2:11-12). They needed to see just how destructive the old man is, as he was preparing them to be destroyed. Once we figure out how nasty, mean and deadly the old man is, we’re ready to engage in Godly warfare, but as long as we think the lust is our friend, the old man a better companion than the New Man, or the carnal nature superior to the Spiritual nature we are headed for destruction.

The word Covet in this case means to seek after, but the command is never to forbid speaking in tongues. We may not speak in tongues, we may even dislike it, but we never forbid anyone from doing it. What would be the evidence of carnal leadership? Making the people remain silent, or forbidding them to speak in unknown tongues.

Since all these ordinances are directed at carnal bodies, what do you think would be the call to a Spiritual body? Pray and prophesy, speak as an oracle of the Lord, but let the others judge.

Then Paul really draws this together, telling us all these are Commandments of the Lord. The Apostle in his office was delivering Commandment, it’s up to us to follow the Commandment. If we love the Lord we will do His Commandments. 

The wording Decently and in Order also goes back to chapter 11, the word Decently means In Honor, when the man has his head (Christ) covered, he dishonors his head (Christ). The word Order is not a command to cease, it’s really granting permission to engage, but to keep the matters in order so all could gain. Get Spiritual, enjoy the Spirituals, remain carnal and be a hindering force.

All this gives us the difference between the saying "there is neither male nor female in Christ Jesus" coupled with, "ye are under the Law"; therefore, the difference is either walking in the Spirit, or being carnal. If one is carnal, there is a difference between male and female. If our leaders are carnal, or have Yoked or veiled their Head they are withholding the anointing, we as the congregation remain silent. Let us learn at home, since we are not going to learn in the gathering.

 

I Cor 15:1-58

Since carnal leadership is void of any real effectiveness, it stands if they want to be partakers of the First Resurrection, they need to put off the carnal, to become Spiritual. This section is on the Resurrection, Paul doesn't limit it to the last day alone, but makes a separation to show us the various types of Glory, as well as the Mystery at the Last Trump. Why put this here? If the leaders have separated themselves from the Head, they missed the entire purpose of their Hope. Our Hope is to be partakers in the First Resurrection, thus Acts are part of our Witness, but the Ways are our passport for entry through the Door. The real question Paul asks is here, if they don’t care about being Spiritual, why are they in this? What possible motive could they have to remain ignorant? If you were baptized to identify with the death and resurrection of Jesus, why did you stop at the death?

He begins again looking at the Gospel being preached to them, they received, but they had to stand. In verse 2 the word for Saved is the Greek Sozo showing they were saved from the world, making the spirit of man, or the spirit of the world ineffective in their lives. Like most who remain carnal, pride entered, causing them to think they were the Gospel, yet they should “keep in memory” what Paul preached and why they received, or they have believed in vain. What did they believe? The Gospel, the Process to gain the nature to make it in the First Resurrection.

Paul didn’t make up anything, he gave them what he received (v. 3). He preached on the Cross, Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, which would mean he used the Old Testament to prove the Cross (v. 3). Then he adds the second step, “that He was buried, and He rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures (v. 4). From the Gospel study we know it was three days and nights, yet this is a basic teaching before water baptism, the belief of the person must be in the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus, or their water baptism was a bath, back stroke, or a short swim. This is Foundational, they received the premise of the Cross and the Resurrection, two things, the Cross imputes the old nature dead (ineffective), but the Resurrection is the Power of the Spirit of Holiness.

Verse 5 could be confusing, “seen of Cephas then of the twelve”, what twelve?  The name Cephas is found once in the Gospel, yet used five times by Paul, with four in the letters to the Corinthians. Cephas is identified as Peter in John 1:42, but if Peter was of the twelve, would it not be “Cephas and the eleven”? However, there was another Simon, not Simon Peter, but Cephas nonetheless. In Luke there were two men walking, one of them was named Cleopas, the other is not named until Luke 24:34, where we find “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon”, then we find they begin to tell the twelve about the events on the road, and how the Lord broke bread with them (Luke 24:35). Cephas means Stone, the same as Peter; however, by Paul using the phrase “then of the twelve”, we must be talking about another Cephas, who is identified in Luke 24:34. However, the more plausible explanation would be Paul using the Quorum approach. Just after Peter denied the Lord until John chapter 21 he was referred to as Peter, but not among the disciples (Mark 16:7), the number of disciples would then be Ten, a Quorum, meaning it would be proper for Paul to use the number “twelve”. The point is the Proof of the Resurrection is found in the eye witnesses (v. 5).

After Jesus was seen of more than 500 brethren at one time, so when was that? When He walked with the disciples during the forty days after the Resurrection, yet before the Ascension (Acts 1:3). The upper room on Pentecost held the members who received the Ingress Aires, the rest joined later. Paul also shows the greater part of those who saw were still around, if the Corinthians didn’t believe Paul, go ask someone else, but at least make the effort to believe (v. 6).

After Jesus was seen of the five hundred, He was also seen of James (the less), then of All the apostles which would have been at the Ascension (Acts 1:6-11). Later Paul saw Him on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-12). Maybe none of the Corinthians saw the Resurrected Jesus, but they knew people who did. However, the evidence of the Resurrection is having the same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead: unless of course you are carnal and ignore the evidence.

Paul isn’t “acting humble” in verse 9, rather he is showing his past didn’t keep him from accepting and believing. None of the other apostles persecuted the Body, true some ran and hid at the time of the Cross, even Judas betrayed Jesus, but none of the others had the background Paul did, yet God’s Grace by the Holy Ghost brought him to the Cross, then used him. What excuse could any of us hold? To whom much is forgiven, they love much, Paul proves the point. Whether it was John, the disciple Jesus loved, or Paul the one saved from the bondage of religion, it was the same Gospel, the same Hope the same Faith. The Gospel didn't come by the will of men, although some use their will to present it, neither does it consist in word alone, it came by Power from on High, proved in the New Birth, backed up by the Holy Ghost with much assurance (v. 9-10).

How frustrating, he spent all this time with them, signs of the office, wonders of the Lord, then comes the carnal questions, opinions, with the disciple attempting to impress the apostle. His entire focus was to see them walking in the Spirit, they had the Spirit, they were of the Body, yet they were still carnal. Nonetheless, Grace is sufficient, it always is.

Verse 11 is somewhat bewildering to Paul, the Gospel centers on the Cross and Resurrection, yet some of the Corinthians said there was no Resurrection. This doesn’t mean the Resurrection of Jesus, but the Resurrection of our Hope. This is made clear in verses 12 and 13, “if there is no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain”. If they had no hope in being resurrected, what were they doing? What did they believe?

This also helps us see why Paul used the term “some sleep” when he was talking about those who saw Jesus. Why would he make the distinction between those who are Dead in Christ and those who Sleep in Jesus, if there was no distinction? The reasoning is found here, these people were carnal, the premise of them making the First Resurrection was slim at best, but for them to Sleep in Jesus was in hand. However, if there is no Resurrection, they would not “sleep”. 

Verse 15 shows how carnal minds view Spiritual matters as foolishness, Paul’s life was centered on the death and resurrection of Jesus, he preached it to the Corinthians, they received and believed, now some doubt? If it’s not true, than Paul is a false witness, as well as James, Peter and the others. For if there is no Resurrection, then Christ cannot be raised. If Christ is not raised, we could not have the Spirit. If Christ is not raised who was walking with the disciples those forty days? Yet if we speak in unknown tongues we do have the Spirit, if we have the Spirit, then Christ is raised. How could a person speak in unknown tongues by the Spirit, yet deny the Resurrection? (v. 15-17 & 14:2).

If Christ is not raised, then the Cross is not real. If the Cross is not real, they are sill in sin, under bondage to the spirit of man and lost (v. 17). If it’s the case, then those who sleep are lost (v. 18). Now we see the connection, to teach these people the concept of Dead in Christ would be a waste, but teaching then some sleep makes the connection. Where is their Hope, wait, where is ours? If it’s not to be partakers of the Resurrection, then all this is one big mind game (v. 19).

Now the other side, there is Belief, If Christ is risen, He has become the Firstfruits of them “that slept” (past tense – v.20). Who are they who slept? The captivity Jesus took captive. They had the measure of faith, they didn’t have the Spirit, they didn’t have the Body, all their faith together couldn’t bring the Promise, but they believed to a hope, when Jesus preached they received.

The logic of the apostle, if death by sin came by one man, then life in the Resurrection of from the dead also came by one man. For in Adam all die, whether living soul or not, but so IN Christ shall all be “made alive” (vs. 21-22). This again shows why he speaks of those who sleep, rather than the Dead in Christ. He is back to the basics, the milk to the fetus. In verse 23 there is a division, every man in his own time in reference to the Resurrection, Christ the Firstfruits; afterward they are Christ’s at His coming. Clearly a division, those who are Christ the Firstfruits are those who have the same Spirit of Holiness who raised Jesus from the dead. Then on the last day those who belong to Christ as those who are resurrected unto life.

Verse 24 shows the sudden destruction, the “end”, when Jesus shall have delivered up the Kingdom “to God”, even the Father: He shall have put down all rule and all authority, and all power, with the only authority, rule and power in heaven. For Jesus must reign, till the Father had put all the enemies of Jesus under the feet of Jesus as the footstool (v. 25). The last enemy to be destroyed is the first death, the one Adam’s sin produced. Therefore, it’s still appointed for man once to die, then comes the judgment.

Verses 25 and 26 refer to a time yet to come, but if Christ is not raised from the dead, how can He reign? Verse 27 shows all things are under the feet of Jesus now, but if He is not raised how can anything be subject to Him? If Jesus is not raised, then nothing is under the feet of the Corinthians, they are not kings, nor priests, lacking any authority or power.

There remains the first death of all mankind, then the Judgment, thus when all things “shall be subdued unto Him” them shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him who put all things under Him, then God may be all in all. During the Day the only Godly authority on earth is found in the Name of Jesus, after the Judgment Jesus will give the Kingdom to the Father, as it was promised in the Garden. One God all in all, for all time.

Verse 29 doesn’t mean we water baptize ourselves in the place of people who are dead, he asks, what about those who were water baptized who imputed death? This goes back to their carnal reasoning over water baptism, I was baptized by Paul, I was baptized by Apollos, but they didn’t receive the purpose for their baptism. If the dead do not raise at all, why did they become water baptized? Why did the disciples? Why did hundreds and hundreds of others? This is made clearer in verses 30 and 32, where he includes himself. Why do we stand in Jeopardy every hour if the dead do not raise? Paul “died” daily based on the Token of his baptism.

What beasts did Paul fight in Ephesus? When in Ephesus Paul spoke in the synagogue, not only did they fail to believe, they spoke evil of the Way (Acts 19:8-9). Then there was a riot in Ephesus, Paul faced the beasts of Demetruis the silversmith and Alexander (Acts 19:23-40), but why stand if his goal is not to be Resurrected? If it’s all for nothing, then eat, drink the cups of devils, who cares? However, it’s not all for nothing, he warns them to be careful, for evil communications corrupt good manners. They should Awake to Righteousness, rather than remain in the sin of unbelief, for their shame is in their deliberate ignorance of the Spiritual ways of God (vs. 31-34).

Verse 35 is still approaching the subject of “God’s knowledge”, how are the dead raised, and what type of body? Will it be the same body we have now? If so why do we impute the flesh dead? The Resurrection is based on the principle of death to life, the seed must die, before it can bring life. So, then is the Seed of God in us dead? No, Jesus died so the Seed could remain in Life based on the Resurrection.

The body we have now, is not the body we will have. The Rapture is not all these bodies floating away, our souls coupled with the Spirit meet Jesus in the air (vs. 36-37). The New Body is heavenly in nature, one pleasing to God. The one we have now is a reproduction of the forming of the earth, from the earth it came, to the earth it must go, ashes to ashes, and dust to dust (v. 38).

So if we watch a cow die, will it be resurrected? All flesh is not the same, but each has a glory since all things are created or formed by God. There is the flesh of fish, they were not formed of the earth, neither did God breath into them. The flesh of birds, the flesh of beasts, then there is the flesh of man, and man’s flesh was formed by the hand of God, but reproduced over they years (v. 39).

There are two realms of interest, the celestial which is the heavenly, and the terrestrial which is earthly, but there is no “celestrial”. The body we have now is designed for the terrestrial (terra-firma) since it’s earthly. The body for the celestial is also a product of the hand of God, it’s designed for the saved soul with the Spirit for heaven (v. 40). The phrase “white robes” is used three times in the Bible, all three in the Book of Revelation, all three refer to the resurrected bodies we will acquire (Rev 6:11, 7:9 & 7:13).

There are various glories, the sun (Israel) is one, the moon (Zion of the earth) is one, the stars by number are one (tribes of Israel), the stars without number (Church), the stars differ one from the other depending on Season (v. 42).

There is the resurrection of the dead, it is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption (v. 42). This explains Justification as a process, the corruption is death, the incorruption is void of death, or the position of being Glorified. In Philippians 3:10-11 Paul used two different words for the word Resurrection, in verse 10 the word means raised from a power within, denoting the First Resurrection, or the Resurrection of Jesus completed. In verse 3:11 of Philippians Paul used a word meaning to be stood up from a power without, referring to the last resurrection. Here in 15:42 he used the one showing a power from within, connecting it to the Resurrection of Jesus. This all links, some may deny the Resurrection, thus their concept was not “soul-sleep”, it was a ceasing of consciousness, or a nothing state. Paul not only shows a Resurrection, but there will be two, both with parts. The First Resurrection will complete the Resurrection of Jesus, some will sleep in Jesus, some will be the Dead in Christ, some will be the drunken who go into the Night (I Thess 5:7). The Last resurrection will see those resurrected unto Life, and those resurrected unto damnation, with the  damnation as the second death.

The flesh is sown in dishonor, it is raised in Glory, it is sown in weakness, because the flesh is weak, it is raised in Power (Dunamis), although this flesh is sown, the flesh awaiting is different (v. 43). Therefore it is sown a natural body, but raised a Spiritual one, there is the natural body (terrestrial) we have now, but there is also the Spiritual body (celestial) waiting for us (v. 44)

So it is written, the First Adam “was made” a living soul, the last Adam a Quickening Spirit. However, what was first is natural, what was second Spiritual, meaning there is a new body waiting. It also shows we were natural, the Spirit is forming us into a Spirit nature, since God is Spirit. The Second Adam is of course Jesus, but we fit the position as well. We were Adam like without life before the Cross, Adam like with Life by the Cross, but Christ Like by the Spirit based on the Power of the Resurrection making us quickening Spirits: that born of the Spirit is Spirit (v. 46-47).

The First Adam is earthly, they who are like him are also earthly. Those like the Second Adam are heavenly, like the Second Adam. We have all borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly (v. 48-49). This is inclusive of those who fit the process to be the image, it doesn’t mean those who are not Spiritual. Becoming the point, the Corinthians had the Spirit, but they were not Spiritual, thus they were more like the earthly Adam; their ways seem to prove it.

However, the first Adam was flesh and blood, just as our natural terrestrial bodies are, but those bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, neither does the corrupt body inherit the incorruptible (v. 50). Not all “will sleep”, some will discovery the mystery of why they fought the good fight by becoming Spiritual. They are the Dead in Christ, those who don’t sleep through the Night. There will be the drunken who go into the Night, yet they few indeed. We shall be changed in a “twinkling” of an eye, not the Blinking of an eye. The word Twinkling is the Greek Rhipe meaning a beat of time, or a moment of time so small it is faster than the speed of light. This split moment of time will come on the “Last Trump”, not the Great, or the First. The Last Trump will close the Day, to open the Night; however, the Great Trump announces the Judgment (v. 51-52).

For this corruption (soul coupled with earthly flesh and blood) must put on incorruption, and this mortal (subject to death) must put on Immortality (absent death, and not subject to time – v. 53). The moment the corruption becomes incorruption the Justification process will reach it’s purpose to become the Glorification. At the time death will no longer be the enemy, it will be defeated in our lives for all time (v. 54-56).

Is it possible by the carnal mind? Nay, by the works of the flesh? Nay, but Thanks be to God, which Gives us the Victory over death, hell and the grave Through our Lord Jesus Christ (v. 57). No one calls Jesus Lord, but by the Holy Ghost (12:3). Therefore, be steadfast in the conviction of faith, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for those who cease from their works have entered the Rest of the Lord. Take the Yoke of the Lord as we cast off the yoke of carnal behavior. Our labor is not in vain, it is true, Jesus is raised, the same Spirit who raised Him is raising us daily (v. 58).

                  

I Cor 16:1-24

The close of the letter takes care of the business matters, including the collection for the saints. The money was promised here, the next letter was written well over a year later, yet these people had not given their pledge. This is much different from Acts 5, but it does show the Corinthians were long on mouth and short on "do". In Acts we find no one told Ananias to give, it was up to him as he made his vow to the Lord. Here Paul asked, thus they made their pledge to Paul, which was fortunate for them to say the least. If we vow, or say we're going to do something "in the Name of the Lord", we must. Why? A liar in the Lord is a covenant breaker, just as a vow broken separates us from the Lord's Mercy and Grace. Until repentance takes hold; so why wasn't Ananias restored? No repentance, Ananias heard the words of Peter, but never responded (Acts 5:5).

The "gathering" of funds will be done on the "first day of the week" (v. 2), this shows these people were gathering together on Sunday. The Sabbath according to the Commandment was Saturday, as the last day of the week. Even back in the very early days they went to temple on sabbath to preach to the Jews, but it didn’t mean they kept the sabbath day. They gathered together on Sunday, the day of discovery, which should have answered the question regarding the resurrection. Why gather ye on Sunday the day of the discovery of the Resurrection, if you don’t believe in it?

The word "Store" in verse 2 is the Greek Thesaurizo which means The treasury, or to reserve, it was a common word for what we call an Offering, this is the first place where we find such a request. This was not giving to the local body, or to a specific ministry, this was a request to help the body in Jerusalem who were going through some very difficult times. What? Wasn’t James, the pastor in Jerusalem a man of faith? Yes, but opportunity comes in various forms, as do tests. 

Paul's comments about coming to them through Macedonia, will come back at him later, but he also shows Timothy would come to them as well, thus one was the same as the other.

Paul ends by telling them to quit like men, the word Quit means to be Strong, thus it means to act as true Men of God, Be Strong in the Lord, keep things in order, hold to the Love of the Lord, which describes what a true person in God is like (v 13-14). This is a continuing rebuke, the leadership is failing at being the "husband" of the congregation, division was their trademark, strife was their motivation, bitterness will soon follow, leading to destruction. They must start acting like "men of God", rather then the carnal minded.

 

SECOND CORINTHIANS - WRITTEN 60 AD

 

Second Corinthians was written about one year after First Corinthians, the letter itself was penned by Titus and Lucas for good reason, since at this time in history Paul was under arrest in Jerusalem. The news of his arrest traveled fast, the Corinthians had the excuse they wanted: “Could this Paul really be a man of God? He's in jail and God hasn't delivered him, God must be punishing him. Remember how the Spirit told him not to go, and he went anyway? Is God really speaking through him? Should we believe what he told us? After all we’re free, we must be doing things right, we have money, we’re blessed, and since he won’t listen to the Holy Ghost, why should we listen to him?”. Of course they were still in division, still carnal, still in a congregational mess. This Letter also changes tone in role of the Apostle, we find the thorns in our flesh are the result of so-called “friendly fire”, which is hardly “friendly”, but it comes from a “friend”. It's sad, but nonetheless true, friendly fire hurts the most, we expect slander from the outside, but from within?

 

II Cor 1:1-24

First Corinthians began by Paul saying he was "called to be an apostle", now it's "an apostle of Jesus Christ"; prior it was "to them who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints", now it's "the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia". Paul didn't address the saints in Corinth, nor did he address Corinth alone, rather this letter reaches out to all the saints in Achaia, thus he is bringing Corinth before the Body. If we compare the greetings between First and Second Corinthians we can see  this second letter is more to the point, has less doctrine, and tends to be firmer than the first letter.                                 

I Cor: 1: 1-2 + II Cor 1:1-2

Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus + Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ

Christ through the will of God + by the will of God and Timothy

and Sosthenes our brother, unto + our brother, unto the church of

the church of God which is at + God which is at Corinth, with all

Corinth, to them that are sanctified + the saints which are in all Achaia:

in Christ Jesus, called to be saints + Grace be to you and peace from

with all that in every place call upon + God our Father, and from the

the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, + Lord Jesus Christ.

both theirs and ours:

 

Prior Paul told the Corinthians to judge their own selves lest they be judged, now the Body in all of Achaia will judge them. The concept was already talked about in the Gospel accounts, Paul was doing what Jesus commanded, prior Paul made a visit to set things in order, then his first letter (not to be confused with the general letter in Acts 15), now the second letter, which becomes the Third Witness.

Paul gave Commandment before, from the context of this letter we find some agreed to repent, but the leadership continued to play their carnal mind game. Now Paul presents the Correcting, Rebuking Apostle position to deliver those who desire to be delivered. This would be the third time, seems to be a number appearing often in these matters. Peter was warned three times, denied the Lord three times, was asked the question of Jesus three times. Jesus prayed three times in the Garden, now the three times for the Corinthians, Paul didn’t write them another letter. The prior letter held the metaphors, the allegories, the things making the inquisitive student to dig, hunt out  and find, but here it’s blunt, to the point, yet he is still reaching out to them, but this time it’s for the sake of the Lord by the Grace of the Lord.

The dilemma is something some of us have seen, the leadership is out of order, meaning the congregation is either frustrated, or simply weary of being quiet. God sends the prophet, the Word comes forth, the Congregation knows to remain silent, but they nonetheless apply wisdom to knowledge by repenting, getting right with God, then seek the Spirituals. Here in Corinth it’s what the Congregation did, the leadership did not. The Congregation wanted to be free, but were under carnal leadership. Could they now leave? In this case the position Paul as Apostle started the church in Corinth, he remained it’s “father”, but the father was about to spank the rebellious son. This is not Paul being a dominating leader, it means they began based on God sending Paul to them so they could be saved. They heard and accepted the Gospel, were water baptized, had the Spirit, but they remained carnal even after the intensive teaching on the benefits of being Spiritual.

Paul doesn't address himself in the Second letter as "called to be", rather it's "an apostle". So, what happened? Did the boys give Paul his papers? No, this letter is one of Authority and Commandment, this is not a request. For the most part carnal Christians have a difficult time with order and government. They fail to respect the leaders over them, or they tend to usurp authority. They want to impress everyone, including themselves. There are even times when they enter witchcraft attempting to "pray down" or "pray out" leadership, so they can have their own way. Thank God Grace overlooks foolish babes, while giving honor to those who stand in faith. The Holy Ghost said, “separate unto Me”,  He never gave any of us the authority to remove a leader He has established.

Paul uses the word Comfort several times, which points back to his first letter indicating the purpose of prophecy is to learn, be corrected, then find Comfort in the restoration, but it only works if we receive the words of the prophet. We also find the word "consolation" used several times. The word Comforted is the Greek Parakaleo meaning to call to ones side, it was used to define the Comforter. The word Consolation is the Greek Paraklesis meaning an act of exhortation or encouragement toward virtue, including admonition for the purpose of strengthening a believer's position. Both words connect to the word "Comforter", all this goes right back to the First letter.

Paul will define the Ministry and the duties; today we hear terms such as, “ministry of healing”, or “ministry of prophetic words”, but in truth there is no mention in the Bible of a “ministry of healing”, every Born Again believer should be able to lay hands on the sick. The Ministry we all are called to is the Ministry of Reconciliation, healing, prophetic, and many other facets fit into the Ministry of Reconciliation with a focus on restoring mankind to God, the other matters are facets within the Ministry.

Paul was in the midst of a suffering, one brought about by others, yet he doesn't say, "I was framed"; rather he counted it a joy, a means to learn more of the Lord as he gained through adverse events. The hope for Corinth was for them to learn, rather than remain ignorant (v 8). Wasn't it the theme of the first letter? Yes, as the old saying goes, "if only they would have..", but the evidence shows they didn't. Does it mean they will end up in hell? Paul doesn't think so, or he wouldn’t be writing them, rather he would send then black roses.

Paul draws back to the teaching on the Resurrection, showing it’s God Who raises the dead. Any suffering Paul did, he counted it an opportunity to apply Mercy, thereby granting him more confidence in being in the Resurrection. When God comforted him in the peril, he was able to comfort others. Like Paul we find when we seek the Precious we will also find God has delivered us, is delivering us, and will deliver us, this hope we have in Him.

The rejoicing is found in the comfort coming from Grace, not the suffering. It stands, look for the Precious to find the purpose. Counting the stripes and forgetting there are victory metals causes self-pity, holding the victory brings joy. Often we forget “we came through it’, yes we were in it, but now we are through it, God delivered us again.

We don't want to miss the premise, it's one thing to suffer for a wrong done, another for one not done. Paul was accused of bringing a Greek into the temple, yet we know he didn't. It's important to know the charge against him was in the eyes of man, thus Paul was falsely accused of one thing by man (bringing the Greek into the temple), but another by these Corinthians, not only them, but others in the various bodies as well. We already know Paul was told not to go to Jerusalem by the prophetic word, but he went anyway. His goal was not self-importance, but to see the Jews were given the opportunity to be saved. Paul could see no event left for the Rapture to take place, thus he was willing to give his place in the First Resurrection to see his Jewish brothers had opportunity. Of course we know the out come, we also know no one came to the Lord as a result of his preaching there. The problem was of course the Spirit told him not to go, and he went. Paul was a man of God, but nonetheless a man. His mistake only proves we can make mistakes, but it doesn’t mean Jesus will reject us because of them. The Corinthians did however reject Paul because of the mistake, yet he was still their father in the Lord.

The Corinthians had the first letter, now they were looking for fault to escape the responsibility. Even if they found fault, does it mean they are free of the Words of the Prophet? Not hardly, Paul never said, “”these are my commandments”, but he did say, “these are the Commandments of the Lord” (I Cor 14:37). They were so carnal they couldn’t see the test being applied. Although the main purpose may or may not have been the test, the test was nonetheless there. Are the words true? Then believe them, or reject them, regardless of the man who delivered them. We must be aware and listen, God can use the carnal to give us a word, just as He can use the Spiritual. Of course it’s somewhat harder to find the Truth in the words of the carnal, but the hunt can be exciting.

What has all this to do with the subject at hand? In reading the verses we see how God is the Comforter to Paul, thus because Paul was comforted, he was now able to comfort others. From the mistake he gained in the Lord, why then can’t the Corinthians?  Paul isn't excusing what happened, he looked for the lesson, so he can benefit others. If the sufferings abound, then the Consolation abounds. If they think faith is mountain top to mountain top, they are mistaken. We endure sufferings by the Comfort of God in us, we learn by seeking the Precious in the event, thereby gaining in order to help others. This experience Paul went through made him a better Christian, some of his best letters came after the event in Jerusalem. Being Comforted by God will be the central theme of this letter; whether it's taking down Strongholds, facing the self-transformed, the attacks of the carnal minded, or any number of perils, the Comfort found in the Grace of God is always sufficient.

In verse 11 we find the prayers of the Corinthians helped Paul, but why would he even consider their prayers? They are carnal, for all he knows they could be praying against him. The word "gifts" is Charis, or Grace, this has to do with the ability of Grace as the Charisma. The Grace bestowed on others is a result of the anointing, in verse 12 it’s made plain. Verse 12 shows for "conscience sake", Paul knows what he has done, where he is at, but he also knows how the Grace of God was with him, just as God was with Joseph.

Since they presumed they found fault, they went on a "fault hunt", thinking they came up with another. In verse 15 Paul talks about a "second benefit", the word Benefit is the Greek Charis, which we know means Grace. This connects with verse 11, and with the verses to follow. Back in First Corinthians 4:19 Paul said, "but I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power". So? He said "I will come to you shortly", thus since he didn’t, he must not be in touch with God, becoming their excuse to attack. Paul is about to address the issue, showing they forgot the wording, "if the Lord will". Back in Acts the disciples understood, when Paul was determined to go to Jerusalem, they simply said, "the Will of the Lord be done". It’s not only a wise saying, but it means those who say it are willing to submit and accept the will of the Lord. For all they know the will of the Lord was for Paul to go regardless of what the warnings. Like Peter gaining from the sifting of Satan, Paul gained from his experience.

Of course Paul was in custody, meaning he couldn’t visit Corinth, but to the Corinthians it didn't matter. To them if the man was a prophet, then he would have known he would end in jail, thus his yeas were not yeas. This attack is calling Paul a hypocrite, yet Jesus said hypocrites are not to be followed. Paul then shows how his yeas were yeas when he preached before them, thus Timothy and Silas (Silvanus) were there in Paul’s place. The principal shows how Jesus may not appear before us personally, but the anointed preaching of Him being crucified places Him before us. Therefore, Paul wasn’t personally there, but he was there in the form of his representative Timothy, just as Paul in the past appeared before them as the representative of Jesus.

The Corinthians were merely seeking some excuse to reject the teachings Paul delivered to them in his last letter. After all if we reject the teacher, we can reject the teaching, right? Wrong, if God sent a person to us, even if we reject them, refuse to hear them, or run them out of our church just because we don't like them, or like what they say, it doesn't change the responsibility. We prayed for God to send us someone with the Truth, He did. However, we didn't want Truth, we wanted someone to enforce our strongholds, or to exalt us. The responsibility of the Word spoken remains, even if we attempt to ignore it. The promises of God are always Yes and Amen (so be it in the faithfulness of God), from this we know God's yeas are always yeas, although from time to time ours are not.

Verses 21 through 24 speaks of how God established Paul with the Corinthians and anointed both, thus Paul is not separated from the Body, the Corinthians can’t say, “we think he is no longer of the Body”. God Sealed the Corinthians and Paul in the same Body, they are one family in the Lord. Verse 23 connects with 13:10, here Paul calls God for a “record”, not a witness, the reason Paul didn’t come to them was to spare them, it’s not saying Paul had dominion over their faith, rather whatever he says to them is by the Spirit, designed to strengthen their faith. Even a rebuke is sent to strengthen our faith, by Paul using the plural “we”, he included Timothy. This is an area where the carnal mind views discipleship as control, or domination. They feel because Paul is instructing them, he is attempting to control them, but he assures them his instruction is to build their Faith, not control it.

 

II Cor 2:1-17

Although Paul wanted to come to them, it was far better to send Timothy. Paul determined not to come to them with heaviness, which means a sadness on the condition of their position. Paul then asks a rhetorical question; if the truth makes them sad, do they think the rebuke made Paul glad? No, it makes him sad as well, if they hold their Joy in the Lord, then he would hold joy as well. A carnal mind seems to get some pleasure in rebuking others, a Spiritual mind does not take pleasure in delivering a rebuke. This goes right back to 1:24, they may have been chastened, but the purpose was to save them, thus bringing Joy by the end result of their faith being strengthened.

Clearly Paul didn't want to bring the rebuke, but it was based in love for their good (v 4). Really no leader enjoys rebuking others, but they do what the Lord tells them to. There are times we misconstrue love as pity, yet real love is concerned about the condition of the person, even if it takes a rebuke. The rebuke was not over the limit, nor did Paul dream up charges, nor did he go about looking for fault. The information came to him, he didn't go looking for it, they were the ones who asked him questions. This is important since the heart of a Pharisee is to look for fault, much different from what we have here. The Truth can be presented, Faith can come, yet we can reject it. The righteous man and the prophet can be before us giving us Truth after Truth, yet if we don't respect them, we will reject what they say. Neither do we wan to confuse respect with being impressed by their appearance, or personality.

Paul now talks about the man who was turned over to Satan, yet in this we find the Corinthians were attempting to set a trap. The last thing Paul wanted to do was turn this man over to Satan, but the Corinthians claimed it was the first thing. However, Paul shows the punishment was sufficient, so they forgave him, making it appear as if they had more love and compassion than Paul. We can see the carnal mind working, the Corinthians assuming "you see, Paul turned this guy over, and got turned over himself, I told you we didn't have to listen to him". They forgot the first letter also laid out the method of recovery for the man, it was up to them to be obedient. They may have forgiving him, but did they help him? Verse 10 shows they assumed Paul hadn't forgiven the man, when in fact Paul forgave him before he was turned over to Satan, which is the main key element before the act can take place.

The device or scheme of Satan noted here is unforgiveness, one method would be turning someone over to Satan to seek revenge, rather than stop the leaven from entering the Body. The trap was seen by Paul through the Spirit, "let's forgive this guy, and Paul will be stuck with his unforgiveness and we can be free of the rebuke". The best laid plans of mice and carnal minds oft times go astray. Their thinking was carnal, still attempting to "out God" Paul. "We forgave this man, and you turned him over to Satan, we're so much more holier than you". By their carnal thinking they assumed they could reject all Paul told them. Typical of carnal minds, wanting to be the better than the best, more special than the special, the one and only “true church” of God.

The carnal mind works to avoid, the Spiritual mind seeks to do. The same is true today, some spend their entire life looking for fault in other members of the Body, then claim they are "defending the faith". They are defending their thinking, not The Faith. "Well, they said Adam had wings, so we know they are false". Perhaps they did, we know Adam didn't, but do we toss away everything they said based one error? Hardly, but the Corinthians were. Ahh the ways of the carnal mind, find fault in one area, to avoid the call of the Holy Ghost in another. It’s exactly what we are seeing here, some of the Corinthians wanted to reject what Paul said, so they looked for error or fault in another area. As they attack Paul, he seems to find more Grace in Jesus, Grace is sufficient.

In verse 7 we again find the word Comfort, we also see forgiveness and comfort run hand in hand. Verse 8 shows the entire matter was a test for the Corinthians. If they truly loved the man whom Paul turned over to Satan they would work to see him restored. If not, they would leave him turned over for the destruction of his flesh, or use him to attack Paul’s words. Paul showed more love for the man and the Body by turning the man over to Satan, then the Corinthians did condoning the man’s fornication.

Here in verse 8 the Lord turns the tables, as He often does. The Corinthian leaders felt, "we got Paul now, he says he has forgiven, but we did it first", but then they found Paul forgave the man before the man was turned over, thus the forgiveness was mandatory before the act could take place, something the Corinthians failed to discern. The carnal mind sees the act of turning the man over as punishment, Paul saw it as a means of exposure, unto correction to gain restoration.

This is all very interesting, it shows failure is not always the fault of the leader. Paul began this church, he lived among them for a considerable amount of time, he gave them many things, yet now they attack and reject all he told them. How did they gain the knowledge of Christ? By Paul, they had many teachers, but not many fathers.

The question now is, Did they want Truth? Or did they want to keep the old nature so could play at religion? Ahh, the mystery, Faith came, but carnal thinking rejected it. Was it Paul's fault? Hardly, we can't blame our covering for our own unbelief.

Obstacles happen, things happen, Paul reminds them how he found the door open for him to go to Troas, yet he couldn't find Titus, but it didn't stop him from preaching the Gospel. Just because Titus wasn’t there, when Paul expected him, didn’t mean God didn’t know where Titus was, thus Paul did as he was suppose to, yet he didn’t accuse Titus for not being there. He is not saying forget your yeas, rather he is saying Hear God and obey, even if you have to discount a yea or a nay. James tells us we don’t know what lays ahead, it’s best to say "if the Lord wills", rather than make promises we can’t determine to keep (James was also written around 60 AD).

Regardless of the mistake, if we obey the Lord, we will Triumph in Christ. Whether the people we are sent to receive us or not, we know to them who are saved by the Gospel it's unto life, to them who reject it, it's unto death, but at least we obeyed and preached the Gospel in love. We didn't corrupt the Word of God, we brought it sincerity, we spoke it as if God Himself was watching every word and deed.

Paul ends this chapter with a Mizpah; may God watch over you when I can't (Gen 31:45-49). How easy it would have been to react with "hello you carnal jerks, this is Paul, you’re toast, may God give unto you, the same trash you're trying to put on me, see ya, Paul"; however, when God's Grace moves, His love also abides as Mercy flows. The Corinthians, regardless of how carnal, were still members of the Body, Paul couldn't say because they were not the Hand, they were not of the Body. The approach for Paul has to speak by the living waters in the face of adversity. If not he might find himself striking the Rock, something he truly doesn’t want to do. The carnal mind is bent on destruction to exalt itself, the Spiritual is determined to see restoration.

The last four verses not only reflect the victory in Paul's life, it's a promise to the Corinthians. First we find "thanks", the word Thanks in verse 14 is Charis, which we know as Grace. Whether we like the words of Truth or not, let Grace be unto God, but wait, Paul made a mistake here. Poor Paul, doesn’t he know God is a personage, why would he say “which always causes us to triumph in Christ”? Because the subject is Grace, centered “In Christ” (v. 14). Grace then connects to “making manifest the savor of His knowledge by us in every place”. By Us? Oh the rebuke again. Further we find the “we” again in verse 15, if we are in Grace several things are firm, we will triumph in Christ regardless of the event; the knowledge of God will manifest, we are unto God a sweet savor “of” Christ, “in them” who are saved (Sozo), as well as in those who perish. Both groups? How can this be? To the one we are a Savor of death, unto death, to the other the Savor of Life unto Life. The Cross has two sides, Salvation is first presented in the Day, then judgment in the Night. The division is between those who are saved (Sozo), and those who are not. Which group did the Corinthians belong? Which did they act like they belonged to?

The word Savor in verse 14 is the Greek Osme meaning a smell, as in a sacrifice, but the word Savor in verse 15 is the Greek Euodia meaning a Sweet smell, or one pleasing to God. The smell of his Knowledge is good, but the smell of the servant who walks in knowledge better. In verse 16 the word Savor in both cases is the Greek Osme, pointing back to Knowledge. To those who are saved the Knowledge is received, to those who perish it is not, yet it’s presented through the Gospel to all.

The Few and the Many are evident again, there were some who corrupted the Word of God, this doesn’t mean they misused the Bible, it means they misused the preaching regarding Jesus. The Few, of whom Paul included himself know they are in the Sight of God and in Christ, so they speak the Truth in Love.

 

II Cor 3:1-18

This chapter begins by talking about "other" letters, not all sent by Paul, rather they were letters of "condemnation" sent by others to the Corinthians, as well as some from them. Did Paul write letters? Yes, this is one of them, yet he tells them they are the epistle (v. 2). If the epistle is written on the heart, then the heart will determine what type of epistle they hold. If the heart is hard, then the epistle will reflect the hardness, if the heart is soft, then it will reflect the softness.

Verse 4 brings the confidence of Paul together, showing his confidence is not in the Corinthians, but in God. The Corinthians are in the Body, they belong to God, they moved from darkness to the Light, but were keeping the Ways of darkness as their guide.

Later Paul will say Grace is Sufficient, here he uses the words Sufficient and Sufficiency, do they connect? We'll have to see, we saw the word Sufficient in 2:6, 2:16, and here in 3:5, in all three cases it's the Greek Hikanos meaning Enough, or more than is required to complete the task at hand. We also see the word Sufficiency in verse 5 which is the Greek Kikanotes relating to Hidanos, it means Able, as in able to stand. We could  read verse 5 as, "Not that we are enough of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves, but our Ability is of God". Now we move to 12:9 to the phrase "Grace is Sufficient", where we find a different Greek word, Arkeo meaning To satisfy, or to be strong, able to assist someone, it carries with it the thought of Comfort or Contentment. This all connects, we will find God's Comfort is found in His Grace, which is the protector keeping the intent of the adversity from invading our souls. The attack may strike our flesh, but there is no reason for it to hit our souls.   

In the last letter Paul talked about the glory of the earthly and the glory of the heavenly, now he will expand the premise for the Corinthians. One can think a correction is condemnation and miss the point; others assume it's condemnation as they retaliate, missing the point, by placing their selves deeper into despair. The Corinthians sent letters of condemnation to Paul in response to his letter of correction, one could make the mistake of assuming since everything produces after is own kind they were right in so doing. However, the facts for their condemnation were produced from their own envy and carnal minds, but Paul’s letter was by the Holy Ghost. Instead of edifying they entered self-justification, or retaliation unto destruction, much different.

The real answer is found in the epistle written on our heart. Ahh, Paul wrote from the heart, the Corinthians from their carnal minds. There is a Godly epistle written on our souls by the New Man, but the Corinthians were the Epistle, thus as they projected the source of their Epistle by their actions as if they were reading the Epistle out loud.

Verse 3 doesn’t avoid the Corinthian problem, but it does show they have all it takes to correct the situation. They are “manifestly declared” which is the Greek Pheneroo meaning to make known what was unknown. One could say, “yeah it’s right, they had a mask of holiness, but they were carnal, and it shows”: however, it’s not what Paul is saying. He continues with “to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us”, which changes the concept. It was not “you are the epistle of Christ”, rather it was “to be the epistle”, showing the hope of Paul for a change to take place in the Corinthians from their carnal Epistle, to the Epistle of Christ by the Spirit in them. They had two Epistles, one of the Spirit, which they were ignoring, and one based on their carnal nature, which they were using.

In the last letter Paul gave Commandment, here he is showing it was not some human endeavor, rather than written on stones, they are written on their hearts by the Spirit (v. 3). It’s the Epistle he desired to see, rather than the one he did see. Verse 4 shows the trust Paul has in God; knowing God is fully able to bring to pass in the Corinthians what the Gospel promises. Paul does not assume for a second he is able to bring it to pass, but rather his confidence and sufficiency is of God (v. 5).

Verse 6 is often quoted, for the Letter kills, the Spirit gives Life, but it must be taken in the context with the rest of this letter. Rather than write letters in pen and ink, or on stone as Commandments, the Corinthians are Sealed by the Holy Spirit, the purpose of the Spirit is Life. What then is the Letter? The Letter of the Law is unto judgment, the Spirit unto Life. Paul desired for them to turn toward the Spirit, their New Heart, rather than force others to write letters. Paul’s last letter laid the pathway to the Spiritual, did they walk it? Or reject it? Their words will tell the tale.

The Law of Moses pointed out sin, condemned the doer, invoked death as the penalty, the Corinthians were forcing God to impose a Law based on carnal ordinances. How do we know he is speaking of the Law of Moses? Soon Paul talks about the "veil" which hid the glory from the children in the wilderness, the same veil is still in place when the Law of Moses is read. Is the Law of Moses evil? No, not at all, but it's designed to point out sin, thus it became the law of sin and death by definition. Remember, it's not who wrote the law, but to whom the law was written.

Verses 6 and 7 also display how we are free of the Law of Moses by the Spirit, not by simply saying we are Christian. It’s the entire point, they had the Spirit, but they were carnal. Being carnal put them under the Law, yet it was unto death. Walking with the Spirit was unto Life.

God made Paul and the others with him “able” ministers of the New Testament, yet we know he was a scholar of the Old. Wait, being a scholar, doesn’t mean one is a minister. The word Able is the Greek Hikanoo meaning To make sufficient. The word Ministers is the Greek Diakonos often translated as Deacon, or a Servant. What happened? Isn’t Paul an Apostle anymore? Yes he is, it’s not the context here, rather we find Paul is a Servant or Helper (Deacon) of the New Testament, but he is also an Apostle of Jesus Christ. Paul, or any Spirit filled leader isn’t going to minister the Letter of the Law, they minister by the Spirit.

The “ministration” of the Law of Moses was death, it’s foundation was written on stones, yet because it was from God it was “glorious” (v. 7). When Moses received the Law his face did shine as a result of the glory, but the children could not “steadfastly behold” the face of Moses, “which glory was to be done away with”. The face of Moses did shine, but only for a period of time, it soon returned back to flesh. Did it mean the glory of God vanished? No, it means the Letter of the Law fades, it was never intended to save, or produce Life, but it was intended to point out, and define sin.

The New Testament is much different, it gives us the Glory of God within, it doesn’t fade (Rom 8:18). If the ministration of the condemnation is a glory, how much more is the glory of the Righteousness of God? In these verses we see the word Ministration several times, so do we find different Greek words? No, they are all the Greek Diakonia, meaning a service, or better executing the commands of others. Therein lays the difference, the Corinthians being carnal looking at the “letter”, they could never see behind the visible. The Spirit gives leeway, the Letter does not. 

Verses 10 and 12 show how a Greater Glory replaces a lesser Glory, even if both came from God. If what Remains is a Glory, then it must be greater than the faded Glory. With Moses the glory was external, it was a covering obtained by the experience, but the Glory of the Righteousness of God is internal. The Children couldn’t bear the lesser glory on the face of Moses, because of their unbelief. They put a “veil” over the glory because it frightened them. They could not see the purpose, or source of the glory.

 The Law of Moses is good, it came from God, how could it not be good? However, the Law of the Spirit is far better, it removes Veils, it never places them before us. We know of the Veil between the holy place and the holy of holies was a separating element, but here the Veil points to the one Moses wore. As we found, the glory was kept from the people, because the people desired it. Clearly the Holy Ghost had Paul use this allegory of the veil to connect back to verse 2:16, thus when the people are veiled it's unto death, yet by the Spirit they are free, holding the Glory within.

Each time the Old is read by the children of Moses, the Veil is placed in force hiding the glory, each time we use carnal thinking, the veil of self becomes enforced; however, if they, or we, turn to the Lord the Veil can be removed, for the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Lord is, so is Liberty. The Liberty of the Lord is found in the Spirit giving us the Way to enter the Most Holy Place by the Blood of Jesus (v. 17). Therein lays the difference between the Letter and the Spirit, the Letter doesn’t bring Liberty, it brings condemnation, then death, but the Spirit brings Liberty. What one element binds us to the Letter? Unbelief, for the unbelief of the children kept them from the glory. A legalist uses the Letter on others, not their self, making them a hypocrite. In this area it depends on which one they attach themselves to by their thinking and attitudes. They may claim to be New Testament, but they are using the same letter of condemnation unto death the Law does,  thereby placing themselves under the Law by association.

This chapter concludes with a growth process, from glory to glory, meaning the Law had a glory which frightened the people, but the Spirit has a Glory saving us. Verse 18 has several words of importance, the wording "are changed" is the Greek Metamorphoo which we found in reference to the Mount of Transfiguration. This change brings the Glory from within to the surface, Paul assures us this Change is by the Spirit of the Lord. What hinders the change? Carnal thinking, based in unbelief, or natural reasoning.

The phrase "we all, with open face beholding" goes right back to the veil. If we don't have the Veil then we are Open faced, we’re ready to see the glory of the Lord. However, if we hold to the veil then we won't be able to look upon the Glory, we would then fit the “could not steadfastly look to the end” group (v. 3:13). Since our Glory is within, it stands if we retain the Letter and the Veil, we make ourselves unable to hold to the Spirit. 

Sounds bad for the Corinthians doesn’t it? Not so, the next chapter is the primer, it takes us into an area where we never give up. There is a Comfort in Sufficiently.

 

II Cor 4:1-18

Paul begins by saying "seeing" we have this ministry, we are not centered on condemnation, what are we centered in? Mercy? Wait, what happened to “Grace unto God”? It’s still there, but Mercy unto Restoration is the issue here. All this still connects to the man being forgiven, as the Corinthians were saying, “See Paul, we forgave him”, which was good, but did they also forgive Paul? Ah, it’s the point, isn’t it? Even if Paul made a mistake, why do they forgive one of their own, but not Paul? Especially if both are in the same Body? They were attempting to prove Paul a hypocrite, but in the process they proved they were. The Ministry here is one Ministry, which Paul will soon define.

The Ministry in this case is based in Mercy as it refuses to impute sin on others, it seeks to forgive and restore. Paul is not imputing sin on the Corinthians, why are they attempting to impute sin on him?

The Ministry and Mercy don’t ignore sin, rather they deal with it in the hope of the person being free. Paul didn’t hide from the exposure, he renounced the hidden things of “dishonesty”. Now the exposure for the Corinthians, he didn’t walk in “craftiness”, or handle the Word of God “deceitfully”, giving us words of importance as clues to how the Corinthian carnal mind operates. Dishonesty, Craftiness, and Deceitfully, the three sisters of deception based in carnal thinking. Dishonesty is the Greek Aischune meaning the confusion of one who is ashamed. This would mean someone who is exposed, yet they allow the shame to overcome them, rather than Rejoice. If shame rules, they will retaliate with dishonesty, which usually includes falsely accusing the person who brought the exposure. Craftiness is the Greek Panourgia meaning false wisdom, or cunning, or better subtlety (difficult to detect, a hidden agenda, a hidden plan or trap). Deceitfully is the Greek Doloo meaning to ensnare, it would connect to “those who lie in wait to deceive” (Eph 4:14). The carnal mind still thinks along the lines of the spirit of man, the evidence is the Corinthian carnal mindset. 

Verse 4 could be taken out of context, the phrase “god of this world” in the original text reads, “God of this world”, the Greek word “god” is Theos meaning a deity, or power, but between verse 3 and 4 we find two groups. In verse 3 it’s the lost, but the Gospel is “hid” from them, yet it’s God Who puts them in a type of slumber, but in verse 4 it’s the blinded minds of those who believe not. However, the key is found in the little words, in verse 3 Paul does not say the Gospel is hid, only “if” it is, which changes the context. The word Lost is the root word meaning Death, or Destruction as in Perdition. This would mean the vessels of dishonor being formed as such, if God hid the Gospel, it’s because they didn’t want to face it.

There are more groups fitting the “slumber” area, the Remnant yet to come is one, we know of some who hear the Gospel over and over, yet show no interest, but then one day the Cross lays on them, they are no longer blinded. Also back in verse 3:16 even if they are blinded, they can turn to the Lord, having the veil removed. There are some things to consider to narrow this “god” down, the veil was the result of something. The Gospel accounts showed us how the devil can’t stop a devil possessed person from running to Jesus. If the “god of this world” is the devil, it would mean the devil on his own can stop anyone from gaining the Gospel, which would negate the “whosoever”, as well as negate the Power of the Gospel. The context in verse 4 shows the “god of this world” has blinded minds, but back in 3:14 it was the Veil blinding the people, the Veil was something the children desired to separate them from the glory on Moses, yet Moses is the namesake for the Law. The Veil as Paul shows is established every time there is a reading of the Old Covenant; therefore, the Veil separated the people from the Glory, and still does. The Law of Moses is good, but the Law of the Spirit is the place where Liberty and Salvation are found. This has to give us a clue, the Law of Moses is a Power, it has Authority to bless or curse, it’s a principality, yet it’s from God. The Law becomes the very “books” opened at Judgment for those who use the Law. If the Law can Judge, if the principality for the Law is the world, then this “god” represents God, yet it’s the representation pointing to sin and death. The “god” of this world is not the God of heaven, but it nonetheless came from God. Therefore, the “god of this world” is the Law of Moses, Paul just said the Veil is in place when the Law is read, thus it blinds the self-righteous from the Righteousness of God. Could God do that? Nay, it’s based on the people. The Corinthians received the Gospel, they are not blinded, they have no excuse. 

This also relates to the other references, such as Romans 11:7 and 11:25, which shows there is a blindness to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles is complete. in John 12:38-42 Jesus quoted Isaiah by saying, “the saying of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke, Lord who has believed our report: and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again, He has blinded their eyes, and hardened their hearts; so they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted and I should heal them”. Here it’s God who blinded them for a purpose, but how? The Law, the people placed the Law between them and God, by their own request and desire. The Night has the Law and Prophets as Witnesses dressed in sackclothe (repentance), rather than shinning as the Glory.

In verse 6 we see, “for God, who commanded the Light”, the word God there is the same Greek word for god in verse 4.The Law of Moses is from God, the Law is a power, it does judge in God’s place. The Law of Moses represents God to the people of God, yet it also separates them from God, but nonetheless it represents God. Anyone who represents God is termed a “god”, as Moses was a god to Pharaoh, of course there is Psalm 82 proving the point. The entire matter is how Paul separated these groups, yet left no means to tell one from the other. The purpose tells us we don’t know who is blinded by God, blinded by their own unbelief, blinded by the veil, or has refused to hear the Gospel. We cast the net, we don’t pick through it.

The context for the Corinthians, and us refers to the failure to continue to believe after we enter the Body. The person has power over the veil, they can turn to the Lord, thus the veil isn’t a god, it’s the result of not being able to look upon the Glory. The Law itself is a god, it holds the Letter, not the Spirit. To the Corinthians the Gospel is not hid, even “if” it was, it’s because they made the choice to ignore it, not God’s fault.

Verse 5 points back to the “servants”, showing how Paul didn’t preach himself, or talk about his great faith, rather he pointed to the Lord Christ Jesus. He also made himself a servant of the Corinthians for the sake of Jesus, not theirs. This connects to the prior statements, Paul didn’t attempt to establish another veil, yet the Corinthians placed a Yoke and Veil between their Head and God. Paul was a servant to the Corinthians for the sake of Jesus, not for their sake. They didn’t own him, he was not their employee, he served the Lord, part of the service was to serve the Corinthians. 

The word “God” in verse 6 is the same Greek word found in verse 4, we know the devil can do nothing unless he is given place, either by God or us. The Glory and the Light are connected here, the Glory and Light are found in the heart of the one who is Born Again, they are the ones with the Epistle of Christ written on their hearts, they are the ones who follow the Spirit, rather than having to have the “letter” guide them. The “letter” is for those who lack a Godly conscience, they must be told not to steal, or not to trip a blind person, but one who has the Spirit has the conscience of God, they follow the Spirit.  

Verses 7 and following enforce the calling on Paul, he has a confidence, he has sufficiency in his earthen vessel, by the Excellency of the Dunamis is of God, not of man. By having the Spirit which is of God in him he faced trouble, yet was not distressed; he even became perplexed, but not in despair; was persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about the Body in dying toward the Lord Jesus, as he died daily, so the Life which is also of Jesus might be made manifest.

Verse 12 might seem strange in light of Galatians 2:20, but in context with this letter it makes sense, the Corinthians claimed Paul was no longer of life, but even if it was the case, he carried the Death of Jesus, so they could have Life. Paul believed in the Gospel, as he believed he spoke; on the same note the Corinthians failed to believe, as they spoke from their unbelief. Yet, since they are in the Body, Paul shows they may not accept Paul now, but he and they will nonetheless be presented to the throne of God.

Verse 16 shows the “dying” of Paul doesn’t mean he lacked life, rather the process is the death of the flesh, yet day by day the Inward Man is “renewed”. The word renewed is the Greek Anakinoo in this context it points to a New vigor, it doesn’t mean Paul was Born Again, and Again, and Again, or saved everyday. Paul imputed the flesh dead daily, so he could be renewed daily, the reward was the daily Vigor coming from the New Man, glory to glory, growth to growth.

The Corinthians were looking at the things seen, they could not see the unknown, yet Paul was looking forward to the things which are not seen, things eternal, which is the Vigor of “inward man”. The things seen are temporal, including the flesh (v. 18). How can Paul deal with this? God’s Wisdom, an attribute of God’s Wisdom is “full of Mercy” (James 3:17).

 

II Cor 5:1-21

The context changes slightly from the earthen vessel of the body of flesh, to the earthly house of this Tabernacle, yet both mean what houses the real us. Paul wasn't the Temple, but the Corinthians were.

The phrase "not made with hands" in verse one is a direct reference to Genesis, as God "formed" the flesh of man of the earth, but it wasn’t the real person, it was merely a tent to hold the real person. Our souls are created, they are the result of the breath of God, the soul is the real us. Our Resurrected Body is not formed, it's created as well, washed in the Blood of the Lamb. Wait, hold it, stand fast isn't the New Man a creation as well? Yes, sort of, the Greek word can mean Formed or Created, but in the sense of a New Creature it would mean the New Man has made us the New Creature. The New Man is the Spirit, thus once the Spirit enters we are in the Birthing Process, bringing to pass that Born of the Spirit is Spirit. Our souls joined to the flesh becoming natural, carnal or fleshly, but joined to the Spirit they become Spirit in nature. The New Man is the Glory within, when we accepted the Seed we also agreed to submit to the New Man so we could become Spiritual. Another aspect of the Communion Table, are we holding to our part of the agreement? If not the Table is a great place to repent and get it right.

Carnal minded people have a tendency to demand control, even control over the Spiritual aspects of God. So it was with the Corinthians, instead of joining the soul to the New Man, they wanted the New Man to become carnal.

In verse 6 we find the context begins to take on a new course, instead of talking about the body of flesh, the context shifts to the Body of Christ. We must keep the two separate, or we will assume Paul was at home in his flesh. The Groaning is the same as noted in Romans 8, it can't be uttered, it's purposed toward growth by the travailing, which brings the promise of Glory revealed. We are burdened with the flesh, but thanks be to God we don't war after the flesh, rather we join with the Spirit by imputing the flesh dead. If we walk by the Spirit we will win, but if we attempt to us the soul alone to war against the flesh, we will end a legalist, or become twice the sinner we were.

God has given us His Spirit to complete the effort, rather than trusting in our works to complete the effort. To be At Home In The Body is not at home in the flesh, it's at Home in the Body of Christ. We are the Bread, we gave up our “earthly” position by imputing death on the Cross, to obtain the Body of Christ. We are the Tabernacle, not the Temple of God: to assume our flesh is the Tabernacle is error, to desire to remain the Temple is a greater error, the Spirit imputes the flesh dead based on our vow to impute the flesh dead, thus if we assume our flesh is the Tabernacle we have become the Temple of death.

When we leave this earth as the Church, we will enter heaven as the Bride, the Bride made Herself ready by allowing the Spirit to clean her through the Blood. As God gave the first Adam an Eve from Adam's body, so it is with the Second Adam. The time will come when we put off this tabernacle to put on the Glory of the Lord as His Bride.

How do we know this has changed context? Paul included the "we", rather than "me", we are Confident in the Body of Christ, yet more than willing to be absent from the Body, and to be present with the Lord. This verse was a hammer to the stronghold of the Corinthians. Not only is Paul saying he will make it, but he is also saying Grace is sufficient. If we are absent from the Body, it would be either we are dead in Christ or the Body is Broken, which means we are caught away, thus the day will come when Paul and we will be with the Lord forever more.

We walk by faith, those who do the Law of Moses walk by the flesh, since the Law of Moses concentrated on the flesh by the Letter; whereas faith is by the Spirit. Whether we are present in the Body of Christ, or face to face with the Lord, the intent is the same, to be accepted of Him.

Anyone who doesn't know the Terror of the Lord lacks a Godly fear of God, thus God can take the same lump and make it a vessel of dishonor or a vessel of honor, we work out our own salvation by fear and trembling. The "judgment seat of God" is found in two places, the Table of the Lord, and on the last day, which one we end up in front of depends on us. If we Judge ourselves, we Shall not be condemned (judged) with the world. Ahh, back to the Communion Table. The Corinthians rejected Paul's first letter, yet the letter held all the hope they needed to gain a Spiritual confidence in their calling.

Paul was in jail, yet he asked the Corinthians to take joy in his tribulation, by giving God the glory. This is warfare as Paul knew it, the Corinthians were seeking to place blame, Paul tells them give God the glory. What does it sound like? If I cast out devils by the finger of God, give God the glory, if Satan does, give God the glory. The carnal mind gives everything and everyone the glory, yet often fails to give God the glory.

The Love of God keeps us from taking the Glory for something God has done, or turn it into a bragging session. If we in fact have the Life of Christ, then we no longer live for ourselves, but for Him who gave us Life. This is an area some ignore, it's the area the Corinthians were ignoring. Jesus died for us, we are expected to die for Him. Why? A Bride gives all for her husband, a slave knows who the master is, yet a self-based, in it for the self-pleasure person doesn't care about the needs of others. Judas could care less what they did to Jesus, as long as it provided him what he wanted.

There was a time when we were Babes where we wanted the flesh under control, just to have the outward sign to show others we were Christian. The time changed when we found the change begins on the inside, as the change metamorphose to the outside. There are times of growing, a time to know flesh and blood will not inherit the Kingdom. Verse 15 lays it out as plain as it gets, when we came to the Lord we were still listening to the old man, but the time came when we turned our ears to Rhema hearing to gain Faith. We began to see Jesus more clearly, anyone who has Seen Jesus is no longer impressed by humans, rather they have a deep, unmovable love for the Lord. 

A New Creature is not a recreation, but New, the Creature is the result of the New Man forming our souls into the image of Christ. There comes a time when we make the Stand and simply said “no", we have imputed the flesh dead, we refuse to use the deeds of self, we will not allow anger to speak or act for us; above all, we decided to allow the New Man to make our souls Spirit. We knew to die for Jesus was far better than to seek gain. There are some who will kill over their traditions, but they won't die for Jesus. 

Paul now opens the context of the Ministry of Reconciliation: it's our job to reconcile people to God, but the means is not accusing them of sin, but like God did for us, we do not impute sins on others. The second we accuse someone of sin, we ourselves are accused and found guilty. If it’s the case what about the man who was living with his father’s wife? Paul forgive the man, before he was turned over, thus the Ministry did apply. However, the Corinthians imputed sin on Paul.

We are Ambassadors, an Ambassador must act like the government who sent us.  A spy looks like the people in the land they are spying on, an Ambassador appears like the people in the land they represent. Jesus was made sin for us, so we might be made the Righteousness of God in Jesus, thus while in the Body of Christ we have no right to accuse anyone of sin, regardless of who they are, if there is any accusing to be done, Jesus will do it with prophecy, not with carnal tongues of condemnation. Pointing out sin, and accusing someone is different. Jesus told the Pharisees they would die in their sins, but He also provided a means of escape. Mercy and Reconciliation see the sin, but the intent is still Reconciliation, not condemnation. As long as we know there is an escape, we must provide the escape.

The word Reconciliation is the Greek Katallage meaning a change in positions, which causes a change in conditions. The change is provided by Kata (from a higher place to a lower one), it involves Allasso meaning To change. Since this is process, Paul also knows growth is involved, each step is another one closer to seeing the Glory in us being revealed. The wording "faint not" means Not unfortunate, usually it points to one who will not lose heart, or have a shaky heart, meaning one is steadfast in the faith.

We already know what the word Reconcile means, but look at the word "impute", didn't we see it in Romans? Yes, in Romans it was to impute the old man dead, as well as God not imputing sin on us. Here it's the same, if we impute sins on others, then our sins are imputed back on us. It doesn't mean "go ahead and sin I won’t impute it on you", rather it means there is a method of reconciliation unto God, one wherein Jesus paid the price. A means wherein we can enter into the Body in order to be a Born Again child of the Living God, to be made free of sin. God in Christ reconciled the world unto Himself, we are the Body of Christ. Whether the world receives it or not is up to them. The Plan is for all to come to the saving knowledge of the Gospel. One element we can hold to during those times when the enemy brings up our past is the Truth of ALL things are New in the New Man. God is not going to impute sin on us, how can He if He has forgiven us?

Paul reached out to reconcile the Corinthians, now they were attempting to impute sin on him. Where is their reconciliation? Where is their hand? Is it reaching out? Where is there Mercy? Carnal minded people seldom think about Mercy unless it benefits them. They seldom think about anything unless they can get something in return, glory, honor,  something to enhance their self, if they don't get something in return, it's not worth the effort; of course it’s the way of the self nature isn't it?

 

II Cor 6:1-18

This chapter shows the Comforter stood with Paul, as well as explaining why it was important for the Corinthians to come to the Table of the Lord to be healed. They were attacking Paul, but he shows they and he were workers together, yet there is an interesting statement, “you receive not the Grace of God in vain” (v. 1). Jude tells us some twist the Grace of our God into Lasciviousness (Jude 4). The word Vain is the Greek Kenos meaning Without a gift, or empty handed. Grace is the means, yet here he shows in their present state they are in danger of losing Grace. The same context as we find in Hebrews 12:15 as well as in Galatians 5:4. So where is our confidence? In the Spirit, not in our abilities or lack thereof. As long as we are at least attempting to walk in the Spirit, we’re in good shape. The Corinthians were failing to make an attempt to walk in the Spirit, yet they had the Spirit.

Did they have to Remain carnal? Of course not, Now is the Acceptable Day of Salvation (v. 2). This is again a "we" and "them" situation, Paul wasn't going to put forth anything causing the Ministry of Reconciliation to be blamed. What blame? A failure to reconcile; Paul being a fellow worker with God in the Ministry of Reconciliation, begs them to walk in the Liberty of the Spirit, not the Letter of the Law. The connection between Mercy and Grace is being established, the Corinthians were unequal, they wanted all the Acts, but rejected walking in Mercy.

The phrase “in a time accepted” points to the Jubilee, a time when the wrongs were forgiven, and things were restored. In our case we surely don’t want the old nature restored, but we do want to be forgiven (v. 2). The Jubilee was a two-edged sword, it sounds great to have your goods restored, but the other side is restoring all you received as well. It best to be Restored unto God through the ministry of Reconciliation.

Verses 3 and 4 are joined by a conjunction, thus walking in the Grace of God will keep the ministry of Reconciliation from having an offense laid against it. Rather in all things approving us as the ministers of God in Grace, with much patience. The word Approving is the Greek Sunistao meaning To put together, linking it to the Ministry of Reconciliation.

The affliction, necessities and distresses were all marks of Paul's sufferings, but he didn't count them as his glory, rather it was By knowledge, longsuffering, kindness, the Holy Ghost, love unfeigned, the Word of Truth, the Power of God, the Armor of Righteousness on the right and on the left, all things found in Grace (vs. 5-7).

Then he shows the division of those who received, and those who didn't, as he speaks of honor and dishonor, by evil report, as deceivers, yet true (which was the accusation of Corinth), as unknown to some, but well known to others, as dying, yet living, as chastened and not killed, as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing, as poor, but making many rich, as having nothing, yet possessing all things, it all depends if one is looking for the Precious or the vile. All these things did happen, but between them and Paul stood the Comfort of God. Did the Corinthians have Comfort? No, they were yet carnal.

We have a series of things "in", then some "by" then some "as", each shows the power of the Comforter (Holy Ghost - Jn 14:26). When the Comforter is with us we will stand by faith in the adverse situation, He will be By us in pureness, knowledge, kindness, and longsuffering. By love unfeigned, by the Word of Truth, by the Power of God, and the armor of righteousness. We have a report with God, but man's report is always mixed. So it was with Paul, on one hand it was by honor, on the other dishonor, and so on. All these show how natural fallen man views the people of God, yet for those in Life they see us as Life, to those in death, they see us as a threat.  

This also shows the Corinthians may have had the Spirit, they may have been water baptized into the Body, but they had yet to die for Jesus in order to Live for Him. Who brought them into the Body? Paul’s intellect? No, great preaching? No, the Spirit  of God drew them by the words Paul spoke, but it was nonetheless God. They accepted the call by receiving the Spirit which is of God, but they were failing to fulfill their commitment to become Spiritual.

We tend to think once someone accepts Jesus they are automatically Born Again, or crucified with Christ, this letter proves it's a process not some automatic one prayer, one day venture. The Corinthians had the Spirit, but they were not Born Again. They couldn't see, nor could they enter into the things of God (I Cor 2:7-3:3).

Paul now reaches out to the Corinthians the more, yet not Paul alone, rather all the saints reach out. They all have an open heart, one of forgiveness, in which they refuse to lay any fault against the Corinthians. The word Straitened in verse 12 means To crowd, or To be constrained, or Unable to express oneself, thus the context shows Paul wants them to be open, but open in love, whereas he would reserve his feelings. They sent words of condemnation, but Paul is not about to allow his mouth to speak beyond the Unction of the Lord. It's one thing to say what we want at the moment, another to wait on the Lord to determine if it should be said. Neither is Paul going to allow his personal feelings to interfere with the Ministry of Reconciliation, it's more important to receive a brother, than end in some form of self-justification, or camel swallowing contest.

They had many teachers, but not many fathers, Paul will speak as a father to a child. Prior in First Corinthians Paul noted how he had to speak to them as if they were Babes, here it’s children. The word for Children in verse 13 is the Greek Teknon which refers more to a teen, often this word was used to describe a disciple in the first forms of training.

The evidence indicated to Paul not all the Corinthians were rebellious, rather there were those who received his words. Titus visited Corinth prior to this letter, later in 8:17 we find Titus was exhorted toward the Corinthians as Paul was.

Back in First Corinthians we found if the unbelieving mate goes, let them, we are not under bondage in such cases. Here it’s close association with unbelievers, as Paul uses the word “Yoke”. There are different types of Yokes, but they all have the same premise of joining one to another. The term Unbeliever is not limited to the heathen, it means anyone who fails to believe. The term “unequally yoked together” is the one Greek word Heterozugeo meaning to join to one who is unequal. In this case it goes further than simply making friends with unbelievers, this will connect to, “For such are false apostles” (v 11:13-15). An uneven Yoke would be a mouse on one side, and a bull on the other.

In verse 14 we find the word Fellowship, which is the Greek Metoche meaning close companionship. This is different from the word Communion used in this verse, which is the Greek word Koinonia a word used for the English word Communion. This goes right back to mixing cups, but in this case it’s not at the table, it’s fellowshipping with those who are unrighteous, or still walk in darkness. Verses 14 through 16 give us the opposites, if we have Christ in us, why would we want to mix with Belial? What agreement could they have? Or better what do the two have in common? What common ground allows them to communicate? What does Light have in common with darkness? What does the Spirit of God have in common with the spirit of man? Or what does the Spirit which is of God have in common with the spirit of the world? There is no common ground, no place of communication, no place for fellowship. If one likes to fellowship with those in darkness, they lack the Light.

In the Book of Revelation God tells His children “come out of her, be not a partaker of her sins” (Rev 18:4), here Paul tells the Corinthians “come out from among them, and be you separate says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty”. Paul quotes several Old Testament areas to make the point; don’t play in the devil’s sandbox, you may find yourself in quicksand. This is more than a causal association one would have in the workplace, or even with unbelievers in their own family, this is the attempt to make the unbeliever a companion in fellowship. Being kind, and having fellowship are different.       

 

II Cor 7:1-16

Paul is not out to justify himself, he is making a plea for the Corinthians to think about what they are saying and doing. The Corinthian mindset is a dangerous one, they felt since they were water baptized and had the Spirit, it was all they required, yet they were falling into the iniquity.

The reference here to "spirit" takes us back to "the spirit of man”, in this case it means to disassociate from the use of the deeds of the spirit of man. This doesn’t mean to Clean the New Man, he doesn’t need cleaning, we do. Putting their mind on the flesh was polluting the soul, causing the soul to bring unrighteousness against the Spirit.

They had the Righteousness of God by the Spirit; they were making Righteousness Unrighteous, but the escape was also present, “let us clean ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh, and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God”. This connects the flesh to the spirit of man, taking them back to First Corinthians 2:11-12. James tells us to lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness and receive with meekness the Engrafted Word which is able to save our souls (James 1:21). If the Seed of God is of God, based in God’s True Holiness and Righteousness, surely we’re not going to find any “filthiness” in the New Man!

How were they to do this? Another work of the flesh? No, continue to use the deeds of the spirit of man? No, submit to the Spirit which is of God by placing their minds on the things of the Spirit. This is not a case of lacking the Spirit, they had the Spirit, but refused to put their minds on Spiritual matters. Prior Paul showed the Manifestation of the Spirit was one Spirit, but here we find a mystery, as the spirit of man, as the spirit lusting to envy are one evil entity, later identified as the spirit of disobedience, or the product of the Fall, yet set against different elements.

Here is the area of Knowledge without Love, if anyone thinks they know anything, they really know nothing (v. 2). There is one revelation to the disciple, the more we study, the more we find we don’t know. The day we think we have all the knowledge there is in the Bible, is the day we have deceived ourselves. Intellect is not evil, but it will be a hindrance if it lacks the Spirit. Real knowledge comes when we know ourselves, as we are known by the Spirit.

Verse 2 might seem strange, especially knowing Paul’s background when he was still Saul. Oh wait, behold all things are new. Evidence is the key, has Paul defrauded them? Has he condemned them? Not at all, even when he corrected them, he spent a great deal of time teaching them about the Spirituals. Condemnation goes further than seeing fault, it makes a determination of guilt, without recourse. Paul saw the fault, it was presented to him, but he dwelt with it in a Godly manner.

Back in 3:2 he told them they were his epistle written on his heart, he is still not condemning them, but they were condemning him. The difference? The intent and whether or not Mercy is applied. Paul was reaching out to them, they were pushing Paul away. Paul wanted them to experience the greatness of Christ, they wanted to see a sign of Christ in Paul.      

Verse 4 goes right back to "comfort", although they were attacking Paul, he found comfort. What comfort? He will tell us how these carnal attacks keep him from being exalted above measure. It’s not saying he shouldn't be exalted, only he shouldn't be exalted above measure. When they were saying, “I am of Paul”, it was exalting the man above measure.

The word Comfort in verse 4 is the Greek Paraklesis meaning to exhort with the intent to encourage. A prophet can be blunt, really blunt, but the exhortation is to get us out of our pit, then back to the path of Faith. The paradox is seeing how Paul is telling the Corinthians they are carnal, the Corinthians are telling Paul he has fallen, yet Paul is encouraging the Corinthians, they are condemning him. When the Corinthians spoke it was obvious they removed the path of escape. If someone is speaking to us and there is no route of escape, or path to righteousness. Then it’s condemnation, not restoration.

Paul wasn’t looking for a pat on the back, but neither was he looking for a slap in the face. In any regard he knew seeking the Precious would bring a gain, it not only kept him humble, but it kept others from making an idol out of him. It easy for the nature of man to exalt someone above measure, but a Spirit filled Christian knows better. 

The Corinthians needed some reconciling within, the "fruit" of their carnal thinking was still based in their envy, strife and division, rather than the Spiritual fruit of faith, hope and love. Now they were attempting to separate Paul from them, they were using strife as a weapon, but it was still based in their envy. Envy? Yes, they had the Spirit, but were using the ways of the spirit of man. The evidence? Verses 2 through 4, didn’t he answer this question in his last letter? Yes, but they didn’t like the answer, so here comes the same question again.

Paul was in Macedonia before he went to Corinth the first time (Acts 16:5 & Acts 18:1), it was in Macedonia where he and Silas were imprisoned (Acts 16:16). It was also there where Paul ran into the damsel who was possessed with a spirit of divination (Acts 16:16). The damsel would have been trained in the temple in Delphi, the same area where the Corinthians had their treasury. Paul was a man of faith, yet he shows there were fightings on the outside, fears on the inside; however, he also shows God “comforted” him, and is comforting him, thus God hasn’t left him, and he hasn’t left the Corinthians.

In verse 7 we find Titus came to Corinth in Paul’s place not to condemn, or make a “got you” report, but to comfort them. Then Titus reported to Paul how the Corinthians mourned for Paul, were concerned for his behalf. So, did Titus lie? Or did the Corinthians put on a show for Titus? If Titus is so Spiritual, why didn’t he see the mask? Perhaps not all the Corinthians are involved in this rejection of Paul, perhaps many did learn at home. Often the loud negative voice is not the heart of the majority.

Paul doesn't repent (feel sorry) now, but when the Lord moved him to write the last letter. He loved them, but knew if he said nothing, their blood was on his head. He obeyed the Lord, it made him sad, but it was a sorrow in a Godly manner both for him and them. Paul like the rest of us probably prayed "What could I have done different" or "where did I go wrong" but he found Grace did it's work, it was the receivers who failed to do theirs. Zeal without compassion often runs amuck, Paul had a Zeal with compassion to see the Corinthians become victors, the Corinthians had a zeal without any compassion to see Paul rejected. The letter was sent with the intent of reconciliation, not condemnation (v.9).

As we know Godly sorrow always works repentance, if there is no sorrow in the exposure, then self-deception will work iniquity. Carefulness is a fear of God, being careful not to miss God, injure Him, or disappoint Him, plus our fear, or awareness of how any of us could end on the wrong end of one the rebuke.

There are times when we are disappointed, but we have to ask if we have disappointed God before we make any claim of God disappointing us. This is clear when we see how the repentance brought Comfort, Paul was Comforted in their Comfort (v. 10-13). This also shows some, if not many of the Corinthians did repent, their repentance produced a fear of God, a desire to be pure before God, a zeal for God, a revenge against the iniquity which caused the problem to begin with. Exposure removed the self-deception, bringing repentance, thus repentance produced an approval before God.

Verse 12 separates the two groups in Corinth as the Isaac, Ishmael principle was at work, there were those who sought after God for God's sake, those who sought after God for their sake, the latter group were causing the problems, unfortunately they were also the leaders.

Titus was an Overseer, when he visited Corinth to determine if the first letter was received and understood, he found some who received, repented and entered the change. It was the good news, thus Paul heard part of the report and joy came. Giving a Word, and having it received are different, the joy comes when the Word is acted upon. When Titus came on the scene the fear and trembling of the Corinthians who received also came, the fear and trembling was a sign of the New Man as a Godly conscience convicting them, not a fear of punishment or destruction, rather it was the fruit of exposure having her perfect work. They also saw the love of Titus assuring them the purpose was not to condemn, but restore. By Titus showing up it would appear as if Paul sent the “big guns” to clean up Corinth, but Titus as an overseer would also place things in order, Corinth needed some Order (Titus 1:5).

 

II Cor 8:1-24

Chapters 8 and 9 go back to the time when the Corinthians said they would give to help out the church in Jerusalem. Paul reminds them of the churches in Macedonia, who were afflicted and poor, but were very rich in Joy and Liberty, thus they gave out of their need, just as the widow woman (Mark 12:41-44). How did their Joy and Liberty become rich? By their giving, some of us limit God to money alone, but giving includes many areas. We assume the hundred fold return pertains to money alone, here we find it includes Mercy, Joy and Liberty. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty.

The churches in Macedonia were willing of themselves to give when they found there was a need, the Corinthians were quick with lip service, but slow on the doing. They wanted a sign of Christ speaking in Paul, but all they had to do was examine their own selves to determine if they were in Christ.

The churches in Macedonia didn't have much, but what they did have, they freely gave to help others. Titus was sent to collect as well as determine if Paul's first letter produced fruit. The question will be "is your check book as open as your mouth was?". Blunt? Well, it’s the context, sorry, but one of the biggest problems for the Christian is giving quick vows, with slow, or no response.  Our giving is individual, but once we say we will, we must. The Corinthians were telling Paul, “Your yeas, are not yeas”; hello? Where the Corinthians yeas, yeas? No, they were quick to say they would give, yet they were not giving. This area has nothing to do with the offering we give our local body, it has to do with two areas, saying one thing, and doing another, or accusing someone of something, when we ourselves are doing the same.

The key is the importance the other churches acted on their commitment, Paul explains the people in those churches were not rich, in fact many were in poverty, but they were filled with Joy when they saw the opportunity to give unto the need of the saints. All this is still saint giving to saint, as we found in Romans. In Romans Paul said giving was an attribute of the Charisma of Charis, it was also a sign showing some of the Corinthians were still listening to the spirit of man, they were looking for an excuse not to give. Paul told them to make the collection when they came together on Sunday, perhaps they did, but the leadership was holding back. Corinth was one of the richest, if not the richest church in the region, yet they had carnal problems. Their material possessions were not a sign of holiness, the Joy in the other churches show what Blessed really means (v. 2-3). It doesn’t mean their money made them carnal, it means a sign of their carnal behavior was how they handled money.

The Joy if the other churches was so full they insisted Paul take the Gift, so those in need could be ministered to (v. 4). The word Gift in verse 4 is the Greek Charis, which we know as Grace. It’s an interesting choice of words for Paul, since there are many Greek words which would fit better in the context. The Greek Doma would have fit better, since it means a Present. However, by him using Charis we are given a clue to the Nature of the giver, connecting right back to Romans 12 in the phrase, “distributing to the necessity of the saints” (Rom 12:8 & 12:13). It’s the purpose of the connection, the carnal Corinthians produced their own paradox, on one side there were those who could just make ends meet, but their Grace Nature drove them to give to the necessity of the saints; however, on the other side were the carnal natured Corinthians who had more than enough, who said they would give, but when it came to the action, they balked.

Verse 6 shows the reason Titus was sent was to receive the “gift”, to see the same Joy of Grace in the Corinthians. Wait, didn’t Paul already give to Jerusalem? Yes did, but the gift lacked the promised gift from the Corinthians. Here Paul is in custody, but he was the one who made the request, when the Corinthians said they would give, Paul was then responsible to see the gift delivered. He is completing his part of the bargain, would they theirs?

The main difference between a tither under the Law and a cheerful giver who tithes under the New is found in how a tither under the Law will ask how much should they give, but a cheerful giver asks how much can they give. A tither is willing to give ten percent, yet keep ninety, but a cheerful giver is willing to give a hundred percent. Jesus told the rich man to sell all he had, give it to the poor, then follow Jesus. It wasn't a "tithe", it was "all". Under the Law the priests were required to take tithes to keep the people from being cursed, under the new the priests Receive the tithes of the cheerful giver, knowing the cheerful giver is not only blessed, they are a blessing. Since all of us are kings and priests under the New, it stands we as kings can receive tithes from a priest, but as priests we can also give tithes to other kings in the Kingdom. The amount of tithes is determined by commandment, but without the command as to percentage, the amount is left open to the giver. The Tithe under the law was directed toward one storehouse, for the work of the Levitcial priestly order, yet we are all priests under Jesus our High Priest.

 One year prior, or when the First letter was written the Commitment went forth from Corinth to help in the ministering of the saints, now it was well past time to pay. We also have to keep in mind the situation in Acts 5 regarding a vow is different than this event, and should not be mixed one into the other; however, the Corinthians had to be aware of what happened. Ananias made a vow to the Holy Ghost, the Corinthians made a pledge to Paul. Ananias lied to the Holy Ghost, the Corinthians had yet to either pay, or refuse to, or hold back part. They had not yet entered the same area as Ananias who held back. 

When Paul was among the Corinthians he was very careful from whom he took money, he worked with his hands in order to give. He didn't want a dime from them, lest they think they own Paul, yet in other places he gave himself to reading and praying and took the gifts of the saints. So, why even ask here? The money wasn’t for Paul, it was for the brethren in Jerusalem. The Corinthians knew Paul was supported by other bodies when he was in Corinth, the problem was, they missed the opportunity, because they felt there was no need. Why give money to Paul, he seems to be doing okay, he seems to have money coming in, the tent business is going well. Wrong attitude from the wrong nature produced by the wrong spirit. The Cheerful Giver is not concerned about those issues, they are looking for opportunity

The Ishmael minded always say "the money is mine, I worked hard for it, I tell you it's mine, mine, mine". Most people never ask God what to do with their money, they give the leftovers, then wonder why they get God's leftovers. Before any giving is beneficial it must start with a willing heart. The discovery of the heart is at issue, if we say “my heart says the money is mine”, we need a circumcision of heart. If God gives seed to the sower,  the test is on the sower. If we have the New Heart (New Man), we give as the New Man directs.

In verse 8 Paul is not commanding them to give, it’s because others were talking about the Corinthians, “Yeah, they were quick with the mouth, but the Corinth people are all mouth”. Paul was in a tight spot, he couldn’t take the offering, since it would be taking tithes, yet they made the commitment to Paul, he told others, making him as responsible. Perhaps they felt by not giving it would make Paul look bad among the others, thus supporting their false concepts. Carnal minded people think by taking poison the other person will die.

Verse 9 connects to Grace, this will also connect to a “sign of Christ speaking” in Paul. Some get real upset with verse 9, but it’s really a hope. The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ shows us something, just as James shows the Faith of Jesus shows us something (James 2:1-3). Jesus though He was Rich, yet for our sakes He became poor, so we through His poverty might be rich. James defines the Rich and Poor not by classes of money, or material wealth, but by to whom was the Promise made. To a Jew a Rich man is the one to whom God has granted the Promise, the Poor is the one left out of the Promise. The same is true here, the Corinthians were rich before they came to the Lord, thus this has to mean something beyond money. The Corinthians were Gentiles, without hope, or God; however, Jesus who was Rich with the Promise and being a Jew, went to the Cross so Jew or Gentile could be Rich in the Promise. Adding to this, to whom was the collection for? Jerusalem, the Jewish aspect, now the Gentile is able to bless the Jew, yet both fit “neither Jew nor Gentile in Christ”. Although Paul doesn’t say it, we know James was the leader in Jerusalem, Jude shows James is the brother of Jesus. The Corinthians have a great opportunity in hand, but they were failing at it.

Verse 10 connects to “not of commandment”, showing Paul is giving them Advice, he is not taking the tithes, he has no commandment allowing him to, rather he is only reminding them of their words. The word Advice is the Greek Gnome meaning Knowledge, or Suggestion. In classic Greek it also pertained to ones opinion, but we know Paul isn’t one to give opinions. This is an opportunity for them to act Expedient, the wording “Is Expedient” is the Greek Sumphero meaning To be profitable, or Help, as in Helping others. Verse 11 continues the thought, “now therefore perform the doing of it”. There was a “readiness” when they made the commitment, where is it now? The word Readiness means a willing mind, it was a matter of putting an action to the words.

The time will come when the shoe will be on the other foot, how they give now, will determine how God moves to meet their need later. Even the test of the Manna proved some gained more, some less, but none went without. Titus didn't come to them to gain money for himself, or Paul, the requirement was for another body based on their word to give (V. 12:18).

History tells us the other brother is Lucas, thus Titus and Lucas were given the responsibility to gather the funds promised for the need in Jerusalem, yet it was Paul who took the first gathering to Jerusalem; it was the delivering of the first gathering which placed Paul in Jerusalem where he was arrested. The collection had nothing to do with his arrest, only the delivery of the collection placed him there.

One area we want to keep in mind, in order to keep all this in the right order. Back in First Corinthians 16:1 Paul gave "order", or commanded for this collection be taken.  Now he is saying the taking is not by Commandment, what gives? Wait, he gave order to the churches to take up a collection, it still doesn’t mean he commanded them to give any certain amount, only for a collection to be taken by all, thus giving all the opportunity, it was not to placed on one body alone. 

Titus being a partner and fellowhelper doesn't mean he was an Apostle, rather it means he was co-helper in the gathering of the funds. The "proof of love" points to the giving of the Corinthians, they made the commitment, but was it backed up in love? The proof of their giving will tell if their words were boasting, or sincere.

           

II Cor 9:1-15

Chapter nine continues the thought from chapter eight. The ministering of the saints was prophesied around 43 AD when Agabus the prophet signified by the Spirit of the great dearth which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar (Acts 11:28-30). The subject was covered in First Corinthians (I Cor 16:1-2), Paul shouldn't have to cover old ground, but he will invoke some knowledge regarding the Nature of the giver.

The Commitment was published about in Macedonia nearly a year ago, showing the length of time. Now it was past time to perform, it was time for their minds and mouths to join. Their words provoked (encouraged) others to give, but if they fail to add the performance to the vow their witness will be corrupt.

Paul sent the brothers before the time, so the Corinthians could be ready, and not made to look the liar. We covered the differences between the tithe under the Law, and the giving of a cheerful giver, but for the sake of review we will look at the wording used here.

The word Necessity means Based on the return: the word Grudgingly means Twisting the arm, or using manipulation, neither Necessity or Grudgingly are required to motivate the Cheerful Giver. Verse 8 gives us the promise of God's Love to the Cheerful Giver, they will abound in Grace, they will have all their sufficiency as their good works abound.  Because of the giving? Or the nature behind the giving? It has to be the nature, since cheerful is an attitude. There is no reason for anyone to twist our arm or promise us a return for us to give, an element of our Righteousness is seen in our giving (v. 10).

Paul asks the most obvious question: Where did the money come from to begin with? He who ministered the seed to us, expects us to sow it, when sown it will multiply to increase the Fruits and Righteousness. This adds to the giving by the Grace centered saint, they do receive a return, it’s obvious by the word “increase”, but it’s not the motivation, rather it’s by nature. They receive much more than money, their Grace abounds, the Love of God toward them abounds, their Joy abounds. The tither under the Law also gains, but the Law itself is a veil separating them from God, thus the Law rewards them, but it doesn’t love them. However, the cheerful giver is loved directly by God, there is no veil of separation. 

The "riches of His Glory" are the saints, it's through us God will produce the thanksgiving to others (v 11). Here it's the seed sown, prior in 8:15 it was what one takes. Those who had gathered much, had nothing left over. Those who gathered little had no lack, but the premise shows it was given. If it’s the case how come Jerusalem was in trouble? God providing opportunity, a test and a means to develop the nature of the cheerful giver. The paradox shows God supplied, some more than others, but they had more to give. The Corinthians fit the category, God gave them the Seed, it was up to them to Sow it.

A Cheerful Giver is one who enters "liberal distribution", Paul shows this was a test, an event purposed by God to determine if they would put an action to their words to Prove their own selves. If they truly Confess Jesus, they will also walk in the Love of God. There are times when needs arise to test those who have, to determine if their hearts are really centered on God for God's sake, or centered on what they can get from God for their sake. The Cheerful Giver listens to the New Man, then gives accordingly. There are times when the New Man tells us not go give, since there are times when giving money only makes the situation worse. Rather the New Man may have a word of wisdom, or knowledge, or have us sit silent. Whatever, we do as our “heart” leads, in the case of a Christian, they are circumcised of heart, thus they have a New Heart (New Man).

Now if God gave the seed to the sower, what did they do with the seed? Did they use it as God intended? Like the Quail, did they consume the gift on their own lust? Paul then tells them, plant sparingly, reap sparingly, plant bountifully, reap bountifully, but was is incentive? The word Bountifully means one who has a nature of being a blessing, or a desire to bless, regardless of the return.

It almost appears as if Paul is giving conflicting statements, "be a cheerful giver, who doesn't require incentive of return, but here is the incentive". However, look at who he is talking to, they are carnal, they don't understand Spiritual matters; however, one of the attributes of being Spiritual is a desire to Give (Rom 12:8), but if the only reason they are giving is for the return, they are not giving Bountifully. It’s important we understand the word Bountifully means one is a blessing, to provide a blessing, it’s much different from the premise behind the Tither under the Law of Moses.

 

II Cor 10:1-18

The point of division is found in this chapter, the time of conflict, a time for clarity, a time to reflect on our own hearts. Paul linked the giving with this chapter since both relate to the heart. For some when it comes to giving it's World War Six and a Half, for others it's no war at all. For the Corinthians it was a major battle, they said, but would they? Paul is giving them the Key to determining their own heart, to ascertain if by chance some of the them held strongholds in this area.

Really, one can tell the heart of a person in several ways, the evidence regarding the Corinthians was slander, envy and strife, showing Paul some of them were still using the spirit of man, the result was allowing false apostles who are guided by the spirit of the world into their midst. On the other hand Paul also sees some afraid to speak out, assuming they were coming against the anointing. Paul was standing for the Anointing, he wasn't coming against it. It was time for the Isaac’s to make themselves known, in so doing they would expose the Ishmaels.

The term "Spiritual warfare" is not found in the Bible, but we find six different Greek words relating to Warfare. Only one of the six is used by Paul in reference to our Warfare, which is the Greek Strateia meaning Military service, the other Greek words show various types of battles, or groupings for battle. To find the method Paul used we have to view the complete text. First Timothy 1:18-19 give us method, we find Holding to the Faith is an  aspect of warfare. Second Timothy 2:4-10 tells us Enduring is another. First Peter 2:11 shows a war going on against our souls, whereas, Paul will define the battlefield, the method we use, and the methods we don't use. We don't fight flesh and blood, either our own or others, often we fight  to remain Spiritual, if of course we are Spiritual to begin with.

There is a warfare against the Spiritual, which we don't do, there is a battle to reach the Spiritual, which we find is Paul's encouragement to the babes, there is a battle (conflict) to remain Spiritual, which Paul is doing here. Paul's Love in this matter is obvious, but how did he maintain, how did he face this event and fall to the flesh? What power did he have? Who is this man? Where did he get this power? How could Paul stand in the face of these personal attacks, yet say, "I love you", "come back", "God is good". The Corinthians held to their carnal thinking, they were moving deeper into darkness, they were self-deceived, they allowed false teachers and false apostles to control and guide them, yet Paul reaches the more.

There must have been some mystery Paul held to keep his mind free of heresy, yet walk the walk, knowing he was talking the talk. Some of us assume because our thoughts are based on Scripture it's not heresy, but heresy can use a verse, yet still be heresy. Carnal minds, even intellectual carnal minds still produce heresy. Heresy is based on natural reasoning and opinion; obvious heresy is discoverable in a second, the not so obvious is not. The Galatians were zealous for the things of God, they heard another Gospel, not different in the result, but different in obtaining the result. All heresy is self-based, self-centered, or places the person above the Body in some manner. Heresy can reach back to a Law God gave a different people, attempting to incorporate it into the New Covenant, which was the “other Gospel” presented to the Galatians. Here it’s using the natural mind of man, to replace the Knowledge of God. The result in Paul’s view was obvious, he discerned the carnal activities, but the Corinthians didn’t see how carnal they were, rather they felt they were more Spiritual than Paul.        

The war we fight is not against the people in the world, Paul makes it clear, the war pertains to the things within (v 2). The Weapons are noted in II Corinthians 6:6-8, the Greek word for Weapons is Hoplon referring to an instrument, or means; Paul said he overcame afflictions, necessities, labors, watchings, By holding pureness, knowledge, longsuffering, kindness, the Holy Ghost, armor of righteousness (which explains the Armor of God is in based in God's Righteousness), disproved the dishonor by honor, disproved the evil report, by giving a Good Report, called a deceiver, but nonetheless held the Truth, unknown by men, yet well Known to God, dying, yet holding life, chastened of God, but not killed, having reason to be sorrowful, but always rejoicing, being poor, yet making others rich, having nothing, yet possessing all the things of Christ. The context shows "wherewith I think to be bold against some which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh" with "we do not war after the flesh"; the trap was for Paul to use flesh to defend, or prove himself, yet he held to the Spiritual, even with a thorn in his flesh from the carnal.

Did the carnal have what they considered evidence? Did they have Scripture? Did they have what they assumed to be cause? Yes in each area, but in each area they either twisted, or misconstrued the events, used carnal reasoning and imaginations to define what they thought was going on, they were wrong. 

What did they have? The same old "Paul was in jail, thus he didn't listen to the Holy Ghost, so we don't have to listen to him". Simply because something may appear factual, doesn't mean we discerned the Truth. Paul was under arrest, it appeared he violated the Temple law, yet the truth showed Paul was a victim. He was arrested before, but this time the “Holy Ghost said”, to them if Paul didn’t have to obey, neither did they. It sounds right, but it doesn’t take into consideration the motives. For the Corinthians it was to avoid the Word, for Paul it was to deliver it. Paul viewed it as "God Is" the Corinthians as "God Isn't", producing error, whereas Paul’s motivation produced faith. Our weapons are not carnal, yet Paul told these people they were carnal; what then were their weapons? (I Cor 3:1-3 & v. 4). It doesn’t excuse what Paul did, only shows he sought restoration, and found it.

Flesh and blood means people, or their personalities, thus people are not the problem, even the Corinthians were not the problem, it was what held the mind of the Corinthians in bondage becoming the problem. Although Paul addresses the people, he also desires for them to be set free. Often the event is not our problem, it’s our carnal approach to the event becoming the problem. Carnal minds use carnal weapons, although most of the time they don't know it; we find the carnal mind is attempting to pull the Spiritual mind into the carnal. The old man knows which battlefield will give him the advantage, the spirit of the world uses the fears, or cares of the world to bring fear into the Body, robbing us of our faith. The carnal minded are uncomfortable around the Spiritual, the Spiritual are extremely uncomfortable around the carnal. In the last letter Paul defined the Spirituals, here he will define what is keeping these Corinthians in bondage.

The Greek word for Strongholds only appears here, as the plural. The Greek word means Trusting in an argument, but the word Argument means An angry discussion, or forming reasonings against a person, thing or event, hardly the concept of disputing the Gospel, or speaking words of Grace. If we use carnal reasoning regarding people or events we will form a fable, the fable will develop into a stronghold; protected by the strongman, a hidden place where the wiles of the old man are found. We think we know what happened, but we didn’t know, the proof is what the Corinthians assumed.

The Corinthians are the only ones to hear this teaching on strongholds, yet the Letter to the Ephesians is known as the “warfare letter”. In Ephesians we find “Spiritual wickedness”, which we know is the failure (iniquity) to be Spiritual, which would seem the case with the Corinthians. Why then bring up strongholds? Because the strongholds were preventing them from being Spiritual. Wild imaginations, reasonings, natural intellect used to define Spiritual matters, none of which are conducive to the Mind of Christ. They were “thinking” all sorts of things, many based on what appeared to be fact, some based on fact, but lacking Truth. Spiritual things to the carnal mind are still foolishness, they reject the Spiritual for the carnal.

A high thing comes against the Knowledge of God, it doesn't come against God. A high thing is a prideful opinion one holds regarding the Bible, person, or event. An imagination is a fable, perhaps an extended metaphor, a tradition lacking clear concise verses, making verses say something they don’t, or failure to define an event probably. In other areas an imagination is what we think is going on, it would include out of control emotions telling us something is happening when it’s not. In any regard neither a high thing or an imagination is a “devil”. An imagination would be the thought of strongholds being devils. An imagination would include twisting forgiveness into validation by making people say they are sorry. An imagination would be an assumed event which never took place,  thus one takes an event, adds opinion, takes some of the words from another, forces them to fit the fable, then they presume the fable is Truth. Strongholds use carnal weapons to defend themselves, or to project their fables. Anger, manipulation, dominating words are all carnal weapons using the spirit of man as a guardian.

A phrase in Parentheses is either defining the subject matter in the paragraph, or the subject matter in the paragraph is defining the words in Parentheses. We could write, “I  went to the store (downtown) to buy candy”, the word downtown in Parentheses tells us where the store was. We could also write, “I went (downtown to the store) to buy candy”, the phrase in Parentheses tells us we went to the store, which was downtown, keeping someone from thinking we went to a car lot around the corner to buy candy. Verse 4 is in Parentheses, it points to Strongholds, but they are defined by the wording around the Parentheses. A Stronghold is an imagination (reasoning), or high thing exalting itself against the knowledge of God. A Stronghold cannot go beyond the defined area, or it becomes a Stronghold about strongholds. We could say strongholds are places where devils remain, but it’s not the defined area, thus we took the word “stronghold” added a reasoning, and made a stronghold regarding strongholds.  

Although Strongholds cover all sorts of areas, they are nonetheless defined for us. Here in Corinthians it points to the reasoning the Corinthians were using: however, we can have a stronghold about some event in the past, or an event we’re in at the moment. A high thing is based in natural knowledge lacking Spiritual discernment. Paul used the Anointed Truth as a hammer against the strongholds of the Corinthians; they are not the enemy, he refuses to war against flesh and blood, since flesh and blood will never take the Kingdom. They are using flesh and blood to attack the flesh and blood of Paul in their personal attacks. Yet, he is bringing truth and knowledge regarding their condition. 

If our weapons are through God, what then are they? Or better where are they? We find the Armor and Weapons in the New Man, those Spiritual things of God within. The word Readiness means ceasing the opportunity, before the imagination takes on a life of its own, thus it must be “bound”, but how? Obedience? Yes, the word Obedience is the Greek Hupakoe meaning Submission. Wait, we take the thought, then submit? Close, we submit the thought to the Word in us. Discernment begins at home, if we have no idea what we’re saying, how are we going to discern what others are saying?

Verse 7 gives us some insight, the Corinthians were looking at the outward appearance, to them it seemed to be the fact, but they missed the event by miles. Paul will show in a few verses how the error carried over, as they accepted some who appeared on the outside as Apostles of Righteousness, but inside Satan was still reigning.

The strongholds the Corinthians formed are defined for us in the following verses, they said Paul’s letters are weighty, but the man weak, his speech contemptible (v. 10). In other words they said when he writes he is tough, but he doesn’t show up to tell us to our face because he is weak. Paul’s answer is simple, what you see in the letters, is the Power of God, the same Power would be in Paul if he were present (v. 11).

Verse 12 shows how Paul was not justifying himself, or saying he is a great and powerful apostle, rather he will not exalt himself above measure, nor will he allow anyone else to exalt him above measure (v.13-14).

Verses 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 center around “there was given me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure” (12:7). The word Measure appears several times, but it’s not always the same Greek word. The word measure in 12:7 is the Greek Huperairomai meaning to exalt the self, or to be haughty, or someone thinking they are superior. This doesn’t say Paul shouldn’t be honored or exalted, it was not to be above measure. The word Measuring in verse 12 of this chapter is the Greek Metreo meaning a standard or a rule. It’s the same word used in “measure of faith”, indicating a limit. The limit is set by God into the position of the person. 

Where is the references Paul uses? Joshua 23:13 and Judges 2:3 referring to the heathens as thorns. Judges 2:3 is condensed, but it also shows idols shall be a snare. The Corinthians were carnal, yet carnal minds form idols, whether made of money, or flesh. The Corinthians proved the point with, “I am baptized of Paul”, “I am baptized of Apollos”. They allowed false apostles to enter, they needed to run out the heathen thinking by becoming Spiritual in nature. 

The first word Measure in verse 13 is the Greek Ametros meaning things without measure, or immense. The second word Measure is the Greek Metron (not the same as Metreo above) meaning a measuring rod, or a staff to regulate judgment. All this still relates to the Stronghold, the Corinthians used the Amertros when comparing themselves, but the Metron when viewing Paul, they were not unequal. When Paul measured, he placed the restricted side toward himself, giving the Corinthians the broad leeway. Which is defined for us in verse 14, and following. On Paul’s part it’s not unequal, but the heart of reconciliation as he refuses to allow the flesh to rule.

Verses 14, 15, 16, 17 & 18 are all pointed at the stronghold, Paul did not come boasting in his great faith, but he did tell them they could have great faith. He did not remove Hope, he pointed to it. Verse 15 shows the “measure” was Increased toward the Corinthians, even Enlarged. Not saying Paul was so special, only Christ in him was. If a man is to glory, let him glory in the Lord. Verse 18 could read, “He tells us how great he is, is not approved, only those whom the Lord commends (approve or stand with)”.   

Once we see it's not the event becoming our problem, it was our soulish reaction to the event producing our problem we will see strongholds fall. This is perfect example of the spirit of man inducing fear, forming strongholds, attacking the work of the Spirit of God.

We can take assurance in the Gospel, adding a Spiritual confidence void of demanding, arrogant statements. We can know we are not ashamed of the Gospel, or His Name, neither are we ashamed of the Authority granted us, but we must know the Authority is for Edification, not destruction. It would include being not ashamed of the things of the Spirit as well. As carnal as Corinth was, Paul encouraged them to engage in Spiritual matters, the obvious result would have been a Spiritual body, rather than a carnal one.  

 

II Cor 11:1-33

Paul will now speak to those who received the correction; however, in so doing he is giving a third person account, thus he is speaking to them, as if he isn't. Huh? He is speaking to them, by speaking about them to those who held the Strongholds. It's in this section we find what happens when we fail to see the Stronghold in us. In the same house there are vessels of honor and vessels of dishonor, discerning the stronghold and strongman will determine which we become.

Paul "espoused" or promised the Corinthians to God as a chaste virgin, his prayers  centered on the premise. He didn't want them to end as vessels of dishonor, yet whether they receive the Truth or not was still in their hands, not Paul’s. Ahh the mystery, the Imputing of the Bride, we are Espoused, or Imputed to be the Bride, it's the Spirit making us the Bride, thus the Bride makes herself ready by submitting to the Spirit.

The fear Paul holds is based on their minds deceiving them as the serpent beguiled Eve, thus his teaching on the conflict was a battle between the Truth of God and the natural works of the spirit of man ruling their carnal minds. Here he is teaching them about warfare, yet he is in warfare because of what they were doing. Why? To get them to stop picking on Paul? No, to save them from their own folly.

The false ones made entry based on the carnal leadership, rather than take down the strongholds, they were reinforcing them. The invitation to the wicked was granted by the strongholds, take down the strongholds; remove the welcome mat for the Wicked. Paul was exposing them by bringing Truth as a Hammer to the Wall. When the exposure came, the false ones attacked Paul. Their attack was Slander based, they were using events without knowing the Truth of the event.

In verse 4 the Three areas of another Jesus, another spirit, or another Gospel are all covered in the points noted prior. The Wicked preach another Jesus, use another spirit, to bring another Gospel; all three are based in strongholds and high things coming against the Knowledge of God.

In the first letter Paul took great pains to show it was "The Same Spirit" not many spirits or minds producing the Acts, thus they should be of One Mind if they have the One Spirit; however, they would be of different minds if they allow the spirits (minds) of men to rule. What other "spirit" could they receive? We have the evidence, be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what Fellowship has Righteousness (Spirit of Christ) with unrighteousness (spirit of man), what Communion has Light (Spirit of Christ) with darkness (spirit of man)? What Concord has Christ (Spirit of Christ) with Belial (spirit lusting to envy)? Or what Part has he who believes (Spirit of Christ) with an infidel (spirit of man). The spirit of man comes against the Spirit of God, the spirit of the world against the Spirit which is of God (I Cor 2:11-12). 

Paul refers to his "speech" again, showing knowledge is more important than the manner of speech, but didn't he say prior knowledge puffed up? Yes, but it was a specific knowledge of Grace being misused because of a lack of Love and Mercy. Here he is telling them to gain knowledge regarding where they were mentally.

When Paul was with them he had needs, he had things required, but the Corinthians were so self-based they couldn't see it, yet those from Macedonia heard the voice of the Lord, as the Lord took care of the needs of Paul by the riches in Glory (saints); therefore, even if we are stuck in the midst of carnal junction, God will care for us. It may not seem so at times, but nonetheless God is able.

Paul speaks of those in Macedonia, the very place where he had fightings without, and fears within, yet the Christians heard, obeyed, then put an action to their faith. If Paul has not defrauded anyone, how can he rob other churches? (v. 8). Paul knew and understood how he couldn’t ask for money, when he was with the Corinthians he had need, God knew and sent brethren from Macedonia to care for Paul. In the Letter to the Philippians Paul shows it was the Philippians who brought the need (Ph’l 4:15-16 et al).

Corinth was invaded by those who came with another Jesus, not in content, but in purpose; another spirit, not in content but in deed; another gospel, not in content but void of Spiritual ability. The Corinthians were carnal, but intellectual, they looked for “wisdom”, so along came those who were naturally intellectual who held the wisdom of man. The Corinthians liked what they heard, since it matched the spirit of man they were using. How can this be? They had the Cross and Spirit, they had authority and power over the spirit of man, but desired the feelings the spirit of man gave them through the flesh. They made the choice to use the deeds of the spirit of man; the Wicked use the spirit of the world, but both have a tendency to set themselves against the things of God, one out of ignorance (spirit of man), the other out of pride and envy (spirit of the world).

We are not seeing Satan transformed, rather the wicked transformed themselves to hide the Satan nature. The Satan inside is wearing a mask, which is the meaning of the word Transformed used here. We are Transformed by God's Mercy, Transfigured by His Grace. Here the false ones put on a mask of righteousness, but true Righteousness is in one's heart. It’s a difference, the carnal mind looks to the outward appearance; if they dress like the other church folks, then they must be righteous. If they can jump and shoot like the other church folk, then they must be holy. If they can become emotional and cry on the pulpit, they must be Godly. Not so, those are outward signs, they may or may not be real, but outward appearances tell us nothing about the heart (v. 13-14). Words are not outward appearances, they are expressions from an inward source, they become signs to detect the heart.

Paul was very careful in this area, lest it appear as if he was justifying himself, causing him to lose the battle at the very point of victory. He made sure they understood this part was from him, not the Lord, yet it was in jest to make a point comparing himself to those they considered so wise. Paul covers three areas, Hebrew, Israelite and the seed of Abraham as it refers to the Jew, thus we find these attacks are surely from within, the so-called friendly fire comes from within. The title "Hebrew" is a generic name referring to those with a promise, but are still sojourning to find it. The title "Israelite" refers to a person who lives in Israel. The term, seed of Abraham refers to the Abrahamic Covenant, the promise for the sands of the sea.

To the Galatians Paul noted the seed of Abraham was One, as Christ, but here we must recall he is making a comparison to the false teachings, as he points out "seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also", thus the context points to the seed of Abraham as pertaining to the flesh, or the sand of the sea, not the Spiritual seed as One. The false claimed to be Ministers of Christ, but lacked the Fruit to prove it, thus Paul called them self-transformed. Just because they "appear" as ministers of Christ, doesn't mean they were, judge the fruit not the acts.

Things were not as the Corinthians saw them, some were blinded by their own strongholds. What opening did the self-transformed see? Carnal minded people with  strongholds. If they would have listened to the first letter, they would have been in a position to “discern the spirit”, rather than invite it in.

Paul lists the various attacks from without, then notes he had attacks from within as well. The Corinthians would fall within the realm of those who fight Paul from within, a man's enemies are still in his own household. However, his position and calling wasn't limited to Corinth, although the Corinthians thought it was, rather it covered all the churches. The only way he could do the calling was to be weak in the flesh, but Strong in the Spirit. The things of God came because Paul knew his limits and weaknesses, he was able to trust in God without self-deception, or a self-imposed greatness. Not only did he face trouble, he shows there are times when God plans a route of escape through a window, yet one must have ears to hear: God is fully able to deliver the righteous out of temptation and trouble.

 

II Cor 12:1-21

His wording is still giving a third person view of himself, to avoid being accusation of self-justification. Paul talked about the things he faced in the physical and natural, now he will shown visions and revelations. The man in Christ noted here is Paul, going back to the time when Paul was stoned, then presumed dead (Acts 14:19). Some claim this supports out of body experiences, but we find Paul couldn't tell if he was in the Body or not. The Third Heaven is under the Altar of God, the First heaven is the physical heaven, the second is the natural, or the old Abraham's Bosom until Jesus took captivity captive, then it closed, but the third is where the Dead in Christ wait, thus his reference points to him being In Christ among the Firstfruits, can the false make the same claim, do they have the proof of being among the Firstfruits? Fourteen years prior would have been around 46 AD, which was the time Paul was stoned, indicating he is referring to himself, but in the third person. Paradise today is for the Christian who has the Spirit, walks by the Spirit, is crucified with Christ, by being Born Again, the one who can leave this earth moving through the Door to the altar of God. Paradise could not be described in an earthly language, lest one would blaspheme. Interesting, it means it was so great, any attempt to use an earthly language to describe it would be blasphemy against it. Heavy words, yet true. Even if we are taken as Paul, we as Paul could not describe it without giving it just credit. This Paradise was under the altar of God, a place beyond our thoughts, yet it's not the Throne of God, the place where our Hope lays. What a glorious future we have, If we hold to the Faith.

From all these experiences Paul knows there lays a danger of appreciation turning to pride, thus he knew the Corinthian attacks may have been generated from their carnal minds, but there was still a Precious for Paul. Instead of getting mad, he got glad by thanking the Lord for the experience. Although some in Corinth were not in the will of the Lord for them, Paul knew he loved God, he was called of God, thus his confidence knew God would use what appeared as a horrid event in the eyes of man as something Good for Paul, so Paul could gain in the Lord, thereby being beneficial for others.

Paul also knew there remained those in Corinth who did love the Lord, he had to make a plea to save them from the clutches of the false apostles who crept in with their self-transformed, self-based forms of righteousness, but inside were full of dead man's bones. They enticed the carnal minded, planted tares of slander against Paul, then sat back as the carnal minded acted as “the messengers of Satan”. This goes back to Matthew when Jesus told Peter, “get you behind Me Satan”. It was the “message” not the man Peter, yet Peter spoke it. At the time Peter was not Born again, not privy to the Spirit, but these Corinthians were privy to the Spirit, so much so Paul said they had the Spirit, but they remained carnal, subject to the enticing words of the false apostles.

How was Paul going to deal with this? He couldn't justify himself, he found the result of the error at his arrest. What could he do, to whom would he go? Ah, the answer, don't curse the darkness, but come boldly to the throne of Grace to obtain Mercy and find Grace in the time of need. Grace is sufficient, it always is, thus on the way to Grace we obtain Mercy giving us the ability to stand in a Godly manner in the face of adversity, before the darts (thorns) could take their toll.

Paul used the word Satan five times in the two letters, we recall how he turned the man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh in First Corinthians, then noted how he forgave the man in this Letter. Paul just finished saying we don’t war against flesh and blood, but where did the thorn land? In the flesh, it was designed to get Paul to put his mind on the flesh, to react in the same manner as he was being attacked.

Around AD 64 he told the Thessalonians "Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us" (I Thess 2:18). At the point in time Paul was in jail in Rome, it was the Jews who hindered him through the arrest. Nero was taking advantage of the event, but nonetheless the cause was one Greek man from Ephesus, a Trophimus by name who was left at Miltetum sick. The Jews had information how this man was taken into the Temple by Paul, the violation? An uncircumcised Greek (Christian) in a place where only the circumcised could be, but why didn't Trophimus come to the aid of Paul? Why indeed, there was a deed afoot, one which caused Paul to be jailed, but caused a sickness on Trophimus, could it be Trophimus was turned over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh? Looks that way.

The Jews believed a lie, they attacked Paul, yet they knew Paul was born a Jew. The nation of the man attacked the man, would the Corinthians take the hint? Paul found the Lord could turn any event to Good for those called according to His purpose, and to them who Love Him. Paul fit both areas, thus the event did turn out for Good, since most of Paul's letters came after his arrest, not before. Not only did Paul believe in his prayer life, but added his belief in Jesus, thus his faith became stronger and proven, if the Corinthians wanted to see, all they had to do was look.

The word Buffet in verse 7 means to strike with the open hand, or better in this context to mistreat one, or their office. This is a "slap in the face" done with words. This wasn't a one time thing, it happened three times, each time Paul knew where the Power to overcome rested. Some tend to assume this was a sickness, in one respect it was, it was the sickness of the carnal minds in Corinth. The first time would be when Paul was with them, the second is the First letter, now the third is the Second letter, each as result of some carnal attitude sent as a thorn at Paul.

A messenger carries a message, this thorn wasn't a thousand people, fifty people, or people in general, it was a message, "who is this Paul to tell us what God says, this weak man who has such contemptible speech, who is he to tell us what to do?". The title Satan means One who slanders, was Paul being slandered? Yes, he isn't saying the people are Satan, rather he points out they are being used to carry the message. Where did the message begin? With Satan, but where was it? “And no wonder: for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed” (vs. 11:13-14). The false apostles produced the message, some of the Corinthians delivered it.

To the Ephesians Paul talked about the "rulers of darkness of this world” (Eph 6:12), for some reason we always want to put a face on the word "ruler", whether it's the face of a human, angel or devil. The word Rulers is the Greek Kosmokrator meaning an "order of the world", or something causing people to react, or causing them to make decisions. Anger ruling us is a ruler of darkness, wrath another, greed yet another,  stubbornness another, strife, envy, deception, and division are rulers if they cause us to make decisions, form our words for us, or motivate us. The Corinthians were allowing envy and strife to guide their decisions, their carnal minds formed imaginations, yet they were brethren, thus Paul could forgive the people, while coming against the source by showing them what the Spiritual nature consists of. True warfare begins by not using a like weapon to retaliate with, rather we find and use the weapon through God representing God's interests. Paul will go to the throne of Grace to obtain Mercy and find Grace, in the process he will find Grace is sufficient, not only to handle the hurts he suffered in this, but allow him to respond in a Godly manner. So then, what “weapon” did he use? Grace, he centered his mind on reconciliation, not retaliation. In essence he was seeking the solution, rather than promoting the pollution. Paul will pin point this matter in the next few verses, removing any doubt of the danger of having the Spirit, yet remaining carnal.

Where did Paul go for Strength? Did he curse the darkness? Did he form a plan of attack? Did he use the Name of Jesus over the city of Corinth to call down Satan? No, he went boldly to the throne of Grace to obtain Mercy and find Grace in the time of need, therein he found Grace is sufficient, it always is. He turned the other cheek, he was not about to use the same “slap in the face” to retaliate with.

The people who lie in wait to deceive formed the attack, they were the bad fish, vessels of dishonor, those who had the outward appearance of righteousness, but inside Satan reigned. Their purpose was to destroy the Gospel Paul preached so they could bring another, to make it appear as if Paul was preaching the wrong Jesus, so they could introduce the wrong spirit.

Look at all he had been through, all God delivered him out of, here this little bunch of carnal minded people cause him so many problems he had write more words than he did to any other church in the kingdom of heaven. However, he accepted the position, with it came many things, but Grace is sufficient, it always is (or did we say that?).

Does Paul want to be austere? No, but they compelled him, they forced the issue, by Grace he was able to walk the thin line between exposure and self-justification. Was he an apostle, did the Holy Ghost prove it? Surely they saw the signs, wonders and mighty deeds, where did those things come from? What did they prove?

This is the Third Time he is coming to them, to make the three times regarding the thorn. It seems the more Paul loves them, the less they love him, but nonetheless he will not allow it to defer his love for them. He caught them in a lie, the carnal false ones are always caught in a lie, yet they will claim we lie, as they did Paul, but they lack proof, yet they have twisted statements, or concepts taken out of context, but Truth? Nay they have none.

How many lies does it take to make a liar? It's a sad note, but there are some who hear lies, yet fall in love with a personality rejecting the lies as some "little thing" when in fact it's the sign of an evil lurking therein. Deception is another sign post, using one set of words to set the trap, then saying “no it’s not what I said” to slam the trap shut. We’ve seen how everything they accused Paul of doing, they were doing. They were looking at their own selves, thus what God showed them of their selves, they said Paul was doing. Paul saw opportunity, not only for Corinth, but for others. What others? You and I for two.

These attackers had a love for those who agreed with them, but they lacked the True Love of God, yet Paul displayed his Love in all points. The Living Water was flowing out of him like a cup overflowing, but the carnal mind couldn't see it, all they saw was what they wanted to see, yet their view was based in a stronghold. The warning to us is, beware lest we be snared by the enemy and his tricks, never judge the outward appearance, discern the ways; judge the Fruit. One of the nine areas of the Manifestation of the Spirit is discerning spirits, they lacked, but Paul didn’t. The false apostles were able to invade Corinth shows how some ignored the last letter Paul sent.

In the mouth of two or three witnesses a fact is affirmed, Paul, Titus and Lucas as the humans, Truth, Love and Faith from God, the Corinthians were judged inept. The phrase, "excuse ourselves unto you" means "should we have to justify ourselves?", which was the trap set by the Corinthians. The one thing Paul didn't want to get into was self-justification, it would cause the entire house to fall on his head.

The sins of debate, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings (pride) and tumults (causing the agitation, or confusion, the message from Satan) were all signs displayed by the carnal words, then used as weapons by the carnal minded.

With the ways of the carnal mind listed, he now goes to those who refused to repent of their uncleanness, fornication (referring to the man from First Corinthians who was turned over to Satan and those who joined the effort by "forgiving" the man, yet condoning his behavior at the same time). They forgave, but according to what we read here, the man didn't change, thus their forgiveness was moot, it was done so they would look holy, rather than based on the man being free. Paul forgave the man before turning him over, but the Corinthians didn’t know it, but they made sure Paul knew they forgave. They are telling Paul, they reversed the turning over by forgiving the man, yet the man has not changed, so what good did they do? None.

In all this, Paul was also forgiving the Corinthians, but he was also rebuking them through love, by not condoning their behavior. Two completely different intents, yet both Paul and the Corinthians forgave. Paul shows it's not a matter of condoning the activity and forgiving, but forgiving while not condoning the activity, to allow Mercy to work in changing the person. This is proven here, since he tells them, he forgave at the time the man was turned over, long before they did, but his purpose was still to save the man. Since they condoned the activity, they were just as lasciviousness as the man (sensual or carnal), thus Paul will bewail many. However, there is always hope, and some did repent. 

 

II Cor 13:1-14

In this last chapter of Second Corinthians we will find the confirmed truth of the thorn in the flesh as the carnal minded who rejected the correction of God for the message of Satan, they were about to reap what they sowed. Not only did Paul, Titus and Lucas form two or three witnesses, but now we find a third area having two or three witnesses became the times they sent the thorn, in each case Paul responded, but will they now receive? He told them before, First time, first thorn; he told them a second time in his first letter which was in response to the second thorn; now he tells them again the Third time, his second letter in response to the third thorn, If he comes again he will not spare them who continue to sin. The use of the word “If” means he didn't know one way or the other, thus he wasn't about to fall into the same trap of "his yeas are not yeas".

In verse 2 we read, "I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, if I come again, I will not spare"; so much for the Ministry of Reconciliation, or is this really overlooking the transgressions while going to the source? It's going to the source, they need to look inside to find they are sowing their own judgment.

They saw the signs and wonders, it didn't bother them, they liked the signs and wonders, they heard the Good News, it didn't bother them, they liked it, but then it came down to hearing the Truth about themselves, they didn't like it, thus they rejected the signs and wonders to say, "we want some proof (a sign) of Christ speaking through you". Exposure is how God deals with those hidden things we ignore, once they are there, we can ignore them, ignore the exposure, attack the person God used to bring the exposure, or deal with the exposure in a Godly manner. This is a prime example of a carnal mind reacting to exposure, they assume they are going to punish Paul, but they can’t.

The weakness Jesus was crucified through, is His Flesh, the Body, the Bread, yet the Corinthians said Paul was weak. If he is weak as they say, then he is also in the Body, but if they are as strong as they say, they are not in the Body. The truth remains we are His Body, we can either be Sarx (flesh) or Soma (body), the flesh is always weak, but the Spirit is always ready to save our souls.

Instead of accusing Paul, they should check their own hearts to determine if they are in The Faith, is not the measure of faith, but the Faith of Jesus. Surely they had some God isn't thinking, for they said "God isn't speaking through Paul" thus their words were not in conjunction with Belief unto Faith.

In verse 5 we see how they were to Examine their own selves, going right back to the Communion Table. Back in First Corinthians 11:28 the word Examine is the Greek Dokimazo meaning Tested, Proved or Examine, it comes from the Greek Dokimos meaning To receive as proven. It relates to being examined by a professional who knows what to look for, allowing them to find whatever they find. Here in Second Corinthians 13:5 the Greek word for Examine is Perazo meaning To experience a trial, or to prove anything in a good or bad sense. Prior the use of Dokimazo meant to allow the examining party to find the Precious, while discarding, or removing the vile. However, here we find it has changed, there is now more Vile than Precious, the evidence shows there is No Christ in the speech of the Corinthian leaders.

Paul believes his prayers are heard and acted upon, he prays they do no evil, yet they were up to their necks in evil. Nonetheless, the groundwork is laid, the seed for restoration given. Ah, but if God would allow the man of God to use his gift in a different way, but the man of God knows, use it in a different way, you enter Spiritual wickedness becoming what you hate the most. Nay, the Power is unto edification, not destruction. Was he tempted? Yes, look at his words, he would not use "sharpness", but he knew he could. The sharpness of tongue was an old comfortable manner, but it didn't fit the Born Again nature of Paul the Christian. If he would have allowed the old nature to venture forth, meaning the thorn took effect, something Paul fought against.

Right after he talks about the battles, he shows how the Power and Authority are to be applied in love. His weapons were not carnal, since we don't fight flesh and blood with flesh, it makes little sense to fight the carnal, with the carnal.

Finally, Be perfect? Be of good comfort? Be of one Mind? Live in Peace? could they? The ability was in hand, but was the performance? Correction from God is purposed to bring us into perfection, but we must receive it in order to reach the manifestation.

Paul then ends with three areas, the Grace of the Lord, the Love of the Father (Otheos), and the Communion of the Holy Ghost, the Trinity at work to bring us into the perfect place in Christ. Here Paul ends with the same method for the Corinthians to obtain the victory they needed. Get to the Lord's Table quickly, be examined, Commune with the Holy Ghost by allowing the Holy Spirit to find, expose and correct those things hidden from their own minds. What Confidence did Paul have? He was open to the Lord, he found to obey is far better than doing.

How many of us think the Corinthians felt the two letters from Paul were Scriptural? They looked at them as letters from a man named "Paul", they lacked respect for the office of the man, thus they lacked respect for the man. They never considered the Author of those words to be the Holy Ghost. The same is true today, some refuse to hear the Words spoken from the anointing, since they presume the Words come from a human, rather than through one.

Did the Corinthians attack Paul? Yes, they wanted to see a sign of Christ speaking in him. Were they divided? Yes, fighting over baptism proves it. Were they carnal? Yes, were they in the Body? Yes, were they called to the Body by the Spirit of God? Yes, did they have the Spirit that is of God? Yes. Paul being Spiritual wanted to remain Spiritual, he could not treat them in the same manner they were treating him. He found walking in the Spirit a far better means to deal with events and people, than getting mad, or allowing anger to speak for him.

Corinth was carnal, they had yet to reach up to the Spiritual nature by taking the New Nature in the New Man as their source. In their case it was reach to obtain, but what about those who have obtained the Spiritual nature? Are they also in danger? Yes, next we will learn how to put away fables as we continue to walk in the Spirit. The Letter to the Galatians will tell us what can happen when we drift back to the flesh after acquiring the Spiritual nature, as well as how to recover in order to win the race.

 

 

By Rev. G. E. Newmyer - s.b.i.les23rev9/© 2003