First Corinthians

Corinthians 1

1 Corinthians 1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will   of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 1:2 Unto the church of God   which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to   be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ   our Lord, both theirs and ours: 1:3 Grace be unto you, and   peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul specifically addresses the saints at Corinth and these instructions are applicable to ALL of the saints; everywhere and for our day as well.  He begins by complementing them and immediately launches into criticism of some things which are a massive problem in the church today.

1:4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which   is given you by Jesus Christ; 1:5 That in every thing ye are   enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; 1:6   Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 1:7 So   that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:   1:8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be   blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Paul thanks God the Father who called out those who are Pillars of Faith; because he has enriched us in the knowledge and understanding of the Word of God; so that we may be blameless at the resurrection.  God is faithful to keep his promises: If we are faithful to him.

Christ is confirmed in us by our faithfulness to keep God the Father’s Word:

If we remain faithful to God in zealously keeping his Word, we shall not lack for any necessary spiritual gift and our development in the faith will not be hindered..

1.10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus   Christ, that ye all speak the same thing [speak the same Word of God and doctrine that Christ taught], and that there be no [doctrinal] divisions among you; but that  ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind [the mind of Christ] and in the same judgment [as God’s Word].

1:11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.   1:12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

1:13   Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? 1:14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; 1:15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. 1:16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words [not with deceitful or clever words], lest the cross of Christ [perverting the sacrifice of Christ into a license to remain in sin] should be made of none effect.

Brethren: Is this not the state of affairs in the “Christian” world today.   Everywhere men follow other men AWAY from God!  Most follow the false traditions of men away from living by the Word of God.  They may pay lip service to Christ or God the Father, but they DO NOT li8ve by every Word of God!

Paul condemns this following of men; declaring that the faithful called out are all brothers   and children of the SAME FATHER. We must all learn to put our Heavenly Father: FIRST!

Men can be a great help, yes they can: even as Paul was a great help and remains a help for us today! That does not mean that we should not continually prove  that men are being faithful to Almighty God!

Yes; we should check, check, check; and prove, prove, prove: all things by the Word of God.

It is God the Father who should always come FIRST.  Men are only elder brothers who are   responsible for focusing each of us on God our Father.

If they try to focus us on themselves or their organizations; if they compromise with God’s Word; if they exalt themselves: Almighty God will deal with them! And if we follow them in   their error: WE SHALL ALSO BE CORRECTED!

God the Father will not tolerate disobedient children and Jesus Christ will not tolerate a rebellious  bride.

1:18 For the preaching of the  [Sacrifice of Christ] cross is to them that perish   foolishness; but unto us which are saved  [delivered from the power of sin] it is the power of God.

1:19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the [worldly] wise, and will bring to nothing   the understanding of the prudent. 1:20 Where is the wise?   where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made   foolish the wisdom of this world?

1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by [worldly] wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching [the wisdom of God, which is foolishness to the worldly] to save them that [have faith in God] believe.

1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a   stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks [the worldly, then and now] foolishness [beyond their understanding]; 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 1:25 Because the   foolishness of God is wiser than [much wiser than the understanding of carnal man] men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men   after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, [of this world] are called: 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things [those that are ignorant of worldly wisdom] of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; [so that no flesh should glory in itself; and so that all men would eventually understand that all glory belongs to God alone] 1:28 And base things of the world, and things   which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not [are nothing in the eyes of this society], to bring to nought things that are: 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 1:30 But of him are ye   in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and   sanctification, and redemption: 1:31 That, according as it is   written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Those steeped in worldliness will consider the wisdom of God to be foolishness and will not respond positively to it. Therefore God must call out those ignorant in worldly wisdom who will respond positively to the wisdom of God.

No man can say that he understood the things of God by his own efforts.   Understanding is the gift of the Holy Spirit which guides into all truth and provides us with understanding of the things of God.

God does not call many worldly  wise in this society lest they become vain and proudly self-righteous; falsely thinking that they have understood and become righteous by their own efforts.

God calls the poor in the spirit of pride, self-will and rebellion against God, who are contrite of heart, the humble before God; because they will exalt their God and will not exalt themselves.

Those who exalt themselves will be abased, so that being humbled they too can be saved. It is the spirit, the very mind and nature of God dwelling in us which gives us the wisdom, righteousness and sanctification of God!

Jesus Christ dwelling in us through the Holy Spirit; will empower us to obey God the Father [as Christ did and does] and such obedience will be rewarded with the gift of even more understanding!

The wise of this society think that obeying God is foolishness and will not obey God’s Word.   Therefore they cannot receive the Holy Spirit which gives understanding;  until they have been humbled.

The Spirit of God is the wisdom, truth and mind of God; And the Word of God defines God’s mind and nature; therefore if we reject any zeal to live by every Word of God, we are rejecting God and God’s Spirit!

If we refuse to DO what is godly; we are rejecting the very nature and Spirit of God!

The leaders and elders of the various Assemblies who reject Nehemiah because they want to pollute the Sabbath; are rejecting a part of the very mind of God!  They are rejecting the Spirit of God!

When we Prove All Things and hold fast only to what God has proclaimed in his Word; then we are building the nature of God within ourselves!

When the brethren do as the men over these organizations tell them to do, contrary to  any part of the whole the Word of God; we are exalting such men over God’s Word; which is   IDOLATRY and spiritual ADULTERY against our espoused Husband Jesus Christ! 

Idolatry and adultery are forbidden by God’s law, and if we do what men say instead of what God commands;  we are rejecting the very nature and mind of God!  We are rejecting Almighty God and God’s Spirit, for idols of men!
 
  
1 Corinthians 2
1 Corinthians 2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with Excellency   of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2:2 For I determined not to know [teach]  any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 2:3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear [for you], and in much trembling. I came among you not to impress [anyone] with my learning and fine rhetoric, but in all humbleness to teach   Jesus Christ!

2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Paul writes that he did not teach the wisdom of men, rather he taught the wisdom and power of God.

2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not   the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: For the wisdom of men is   foolishness in comparison to the wisdom of God. 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a   mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

The hidden mysteries of God are revealed to God’s faithful, so that God can glorify his called out.

2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they   known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 2:9   But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man [the mysteries of God are unknown to men and are revealed by God’s Spirit alone], the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 2:10   But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

The Spirit or nature of God, knows all the things of God, for it is the very mind and nature of God.

2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

The knowledge of God is a gift of God through his Spirit, given to those who obey God. 

Acts 5:32  And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

Human beings have a spirit or mind that lifts us above the animals; and God has a greater   spirit or mind than any man, which makes him far superior to the wisest man.

1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the [carnal men] world, but the spirit which is of   God; that we might know the things that are freely given to [to those who repent of sin and  obey God; Acts 5:32] us of God.

2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

The sincerely repentant person is given the very nature of God through his repentance and willingness to partake of God’s nature; and through the diligent seeking out of that nature;  which is contained in, and defined by the Holy  Scriptures of God.

When we learn of God and keep his Word, we are internalizing his very nature his Spirit; and when we obey him and do as he would do in any situation; we are internalizing the very mind, nature, deeds and Spirit of God!

2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. That is why it is so very WRONG to depend on the teachings of unconverted minds for Doctrine or Prophecy.

To do so is the foolishness of the blind man seeking out the blind for guidance.  And many have been led astray and will end up in great tribulation for the sin of accepting the false doctrines of the unconverted.

Those who do not obey God: DO NOT have his Spirit. They CANNOT understand spiritual   things and are blind. To Follow them is to follow the spiritually blind and to enter the VERY SAME SPIRITUAL DARKNESS THAT THEY ARE IN!

These groups by learning the teachings and prophecies of the ignorant unconverted; have gone far astray and are standing on their false teachings; rejecting the truth of God. 

They are rejecting the very nature and Spirit of God, preferring the nature of the spiritually blind.  

Because they reject the  knowledge of God, and mix the falsehood of pagan error with the truth, creating a polluted false teaching; they shall all fall into the ditch and face severe correction.

2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, [The godly person questions and tests all things by the Word of God] yet he himself is   [The godly person cannot be condemned by men, for he is faithful to his judge: Almighty God] judged of no man.

2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, [What carnal mind understands the things of God; and what can the carnal person teach God?] that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

The faithful commandment keepers have the Holy Spirit, the very nature  of God; if we remain steadfast to obey him.

 

1 Corinthians 3

1 Corinthians 3:1   And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual [Paul could not write to them as being spiritual people], but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye   were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

The brethren have strayed so far from God that they need to be taught the basics again,  and are not able to learn the more difficult matters.  This is true even in the spiritually called out Ekklesia today. They have departed from the very basics of loving God enough to be diligent to learn and to live by every Word of God with enthusiasm and zeal; therefore they cannot understand the solid meat of God’s Word.  That is why they are ignorant of the prophets and the meanings of the Festivals, because they are not zealous to keep the whole Word of God.

3:3 For ye are yet carnal [worldly minded]: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as [behaving as worldly men and not as spiritual men] men?  [This is so in the brotherhood today.]

3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?  [Do not the people declare that I am of this man or that man, this corporate assembly or that one; today?]

3:5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?  [Today: Who are these human leaders, but only men whom the people idolize in place of exalting the Eternal Mighty One?]

3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; [Mortal men are not important compared to0 God, no matter what titles they claim, and everything they say MUST be proved out by the Word of God in personal study, for it is God who calls and gives his Spirit of understanding] but God that giveth the increase.

3:8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one [laborers]: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye   are God’s husbandry [flock or branches], ye are God’s building [Temple]. 

IF the leaders and elders focus the people on God to keep God’s Word, then they are true laborers with God.  But if they focus the people on themselves and their organizations, then they are not laborers with God but laborers for themselves and their own gain.

3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a [God has allowed me to teach faithfulness to HIM.] wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. . . . .

WE are to be built on the foundation of the Holy Scriptures, and Paul wrote a major part of those Scriptures.  Men today wrote nothing in the scriptures and their words are to be questioned and proved by the scriptures.

Now, in this later day, we must be careful that we use the true Scriptures and not be deceived by some pagan fraudulent writings passing themselves off as the scriptures like the NKJ and the NIV.

1 Corinthians 3:10 . . . But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Our foundation MUST be the whole Word of God, which was inspired by Jesus Christ as the chief corner [foundation] stone  Jesus Christ sent the apostles and prophets who write the Holy Scriptures; and Christ inspired what was written; therefore our foundation is the Logos, the WORD of GOD, Jesus Christ in print.

We must be very careful to use the best possible translation of the Word of God;   and to avoid those abominations like the fraudulent NKJ and NIV produced by the Ecumenical Movement; for the express purpose of undermining Jesus Christ as the ONLY Mediator between God and man, and making the commandments of God of no real practical effect; falsely presenting grace as a license to compromise with the Word of God and commit sin..

3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the [judgment] day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 3:14   If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a  reward.

The work [life] that is based on the foundation of the Holy Scriptures shall abide in the day of testing and judgment.

3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

The called out are tested; and at this time we are facing an imminent test; when God will see whether we have built our spiritual house out of spiritual stubble upon the shifting sands of the doctrines of false teachers,  or whether we have built an enduring spiritual house of gold on the solid rock of every Word of God the Father and Jesus Christ, the true foundation of Godliness.

3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

If  any man defile his mind [Temple] by accepting false teachings contrary to God’s Word, by blindly following idols of men without questioning by the Word of God: His rejection of the Word of God to follow the false teachings of men will be destroyed: and that foolish man who follow idols in place of any zeal to follow the Lord of his baptismal Covenant will also be destroyed along with his idols: if he does not sincerely repent.

Such foolish men will be rejected by Christ as per the letter to Laodicea;  because they have already rejected the wisdom, words, laws, nature and Spirit of God.

Stand on the strong foundation of the Word of God, and test ALL teachings of men by the Word of God!

Brethren: BE NOT DECEIVED. It is no man can save you: it is Jesus Christ; who is the ONLY propitiation for our sins; and the ONLY intercessor for us with God the Father; Jesus Christ is our ONLY Saviour!

To compromise with God’s Word; and with our zeal for God the Father; is to compromise with God’s righteousness as contained in the whole Word of God; it is to reject the very nature of God Almighty: It is a rejection of the Spirit of God!

3:18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool [He must turn away from the wisdom of wickedness], that he may be wise [in Godly righteousness through living by every Word of God]. 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. 3:20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the [worldly] wise, that they are vain [Their end is death].

The wisest thoughts of the wisest men are nothing in comparison to the wisdom of God.  The knowledge and wisdom of God brings salvation and life eternal, while the wisdom of worldliness brings decay and death.

3:21 Therefore let no man glory in [the worldly wisdom of] men. For all things [The wisdom of God is given to us through his Spirit if we believe and obey him] are yours; 3:22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things  present, or things to come; all are yours; 3:23 And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.

We are to follow godly men who teach the godliness of sincere repentance from past sins; and the diligent keeping of our baptismal commitment to “Go and sin no more.”  We are to seek the knowledge and wisdom of God through the passionate learning and keeping of the whole Word of God; and to prove every word of men by the whole Word of God.

We are not to try to understand the WORD of God through the worldly teachings of the spiritually blind, who have NO understanding of spiritual things or of the ways of God!

It is one thing to get proven physical facts from the worldly; it is quite another to rely on their lack of understanding, misinterpretations and ignorant conclusions on doctrine and prophecy.

 

1 Corinthians 4

1 Corinthians 4:1  Let a man so account of us, as of [consider Paul and his associates to be] the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

A minister of Jesus Christ, a good steward of Jesus Christ: Must be faithful to the example and teachings of Jesus Christ and not to any other in place of Christ.  What did Christ teach?  He taught us to live by every Word of God the Father (Mat 4:4). 

4:3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: [I don’t care what men think of me] yea, I judge not mine own self. 4:4 For I know nothing [I have no spiritual understanding by myself, spiritual understanding is the gift of God through his Spirit] by myself; yet am I not hereby justified [we are not justified by men]: but he that judgeth me is the Lord [ I care about the judgment of God].

4:5 Therefore judge [condemn] nothing before the time, until the Lord come, [God is the ultimate judge] who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness [make known the secret things], and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every [faithful] man have praise of God.

4:6 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to [Ii this letter I have said that neither I or Apollos are anything] myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

Do not think over much of your teachers, for they are but men whose purpose is to exalt God the Father and Jesus Christ.  And you teachers, do not become puffed with pride, vanity and self importance as very many have been.

Brethren, it is a shame that we should exalt any man to follow them above a dedicated faithfulness to our baptismal vow to live by every Word of God

4:7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? [we receive all our understanding and even our very lives from God] now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst [created it on your own] not received it? 

Why does man glorify himself when all he has that is good, is a gift received from God?  I want to take this opportunity to say that if anything I say is true; it was a gift of God and did not come by my own human wisdom.  God gave the knowledge, God gave the understanding, God gave the opportunity to share it, and God brought the visitors to see it. 

4:8 Now ye are full, now ye are rich [the faithful are rich in spiritual things], ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign,  [The diligently faithful to live by every Word of God, have control over their conduct, and Paul would that we all should reign in God’s kingdom.] that we also might reign with you.

4:9 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last [as the least], as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle [example] unto the world, and to angels, and to men. 4:10 We [appear as fools to worldly men] are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.  

Paul here humbled himself before the Corinthian brethren.

4:11 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; 4:12 And labour, working with our own hands [because few would support us]: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: 4:13 Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.

That is hardly the state of religious leaders today; who exalt themselves and extort every cent they can, while they seek out the very best for themselves.  This, of course is the general rule to which there have been and are exceptions. There are still some very good elders around.

4:14 I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. Glory not in the things of this world.   Follow the whole Word of God and godly spiritual things

Follow and keep the whole Word of God and spiritual things; do not exalt physical things, or idols of men, false traditions and corporate entities. 

4:15 For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 4:16   Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. [be followers of Paul and follow the writers of the Holy Scriptures who were led by God’s Spirit in the writing of God’s Word] and be ye not followers of men.

4:17 For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son [in context this could mean a son in the faith, not necessarily a physical son], and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ [to remind you of the ways and Word of God], as I teach [the ways and Word of God] every where in every church [literally:  Ekklesia, congregations or Assemblies].

4:18 Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you.

As some thought that Paul would not visit them to correct those who exalted themselves in that day, many of the brethren today are puffed up in their own minds; thinking that God delays and that they will not be judged by the Master Builder.

For two thousand years, converted men have said maybe next year; now the false prophets are saying; He cannot come for years.

4:19 But I will come to you shortly   [Jesus Christ is coming very coon now, and whether we are ready or not, He will not delay], if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power

If Christ permits, Paul would come quickly to them and will speak with authority and power, and not with the vain ungodly words of those who are puffed up in themselves. 

So it will be when Christ comes, for he will judge with authority and will separate the sheep from the goats; separating the zealously obedient from those full of themselves who depart from and reject the Word of God.  Yes, God does divide the holy from the profane!].

4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in [mere words only] word, but in power 4:21 What will ye? Shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?

Those who exalt themselves: Do you want our Lord to come to you with correction or a blessing? 

Turn to him to enthusiastically learn and live by every Word of God; that he may bless and not chastise!

 

1 Corinthians 5

Those who pride themselves on tolerating sin, ignorantly supposing that tolerating sin is love; are just like the brethren of Corinth.  Here is what the scriptures have to say about that.

1 Corinthians  5:1  It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. 5:2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned [mourned over (been disgusted by) the sin and rejected the sinner from among you], that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.

The word here rendered “fornication” is PORNEA; which actually means any kind of   Biblically illicit sexual behavior.  In this case one wonders about the woman involved and why it is not commanded for her to also be rejected; perhaps she was not part of the assembly?

Today when a spouse loves others more that the marriage partner it is called emotional adultery.  In the spiritual context, the word pornea also includes the concept of emotional or spiritual adultery by following idols and false religious teachings, in competition to our espousal to Christ.

The spiritual parallel of eating things sacrificed to idols; is to internalize their false teachings. PORNEA is not limited by the English definition of fornication as strictly premarital sex.

Today spiritual fornication against the Word of God with false doctrines, false teachers and false religions is tolerated, allowed and often encouraged.  Commentaries; written by commandment rejecting unconverted men; who do not obey God; and  who cannot understand the things of God: are often used to supposedly “prove” doctrinal or prophetic errors.

Those who quote the false teachings of worldly prophets and the false teachings of the unconverted in support for their own positions; are simply blind men, following blind men; and they shall all fall into the same ditch of ignorance of the truth of God.

5:3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus   Christ, 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

The Holy Scriptures command us to reject those who sin wilfully without sincere repentance.

We are to root out sin from within ourselves and our organizations by wholeheartedly seeking to become like God, by removing all sin and rejecting all the wilfully sinful, and we are to internalize the very nature of God as defined by God’s Word. 

We are not to flirt with the blindness of carnal men which is spiritual and moral idolatry. Willful sin  should NEVER be tolerated in our congregations.  The leaven of wickedness should be purged out of our organizations and out of each individual before our Creator corrects us himself. For if we follow the spiritually blind; will we not fall into the same ditch? 

Paul goes on to say that a little sin pollutes the whole congregation and commands that the leaven of this sinful person be removed from the assembly.  Today the Nicolaitane church governance system of placing a ministry between man and God – in place of a ministry that focuses the brethren on God and not on themselves – has grown and polluted the whole body of believers with a multitude of sins. 

Paul teaches that all willful sin must be removed from the whole body and from each individual and not tolerated; because Christ was sacrificed for us so that we could be liberated from the bondage of sin.

5:6 Your glorying [in tolerating sin] is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:

We are to remove ALL sin and cast it out before it destroys us, either individually or destroys the congregation collectively.  We are to seek out the eternal life that true godliness brings. 

We are not to reject the sinner with malice, but are to repent of sin and to reject the unrepentant in the hope that he will also come to repentance

5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast [the whole Feast of Unleavened Bread; not just two High Days], not with old leaven [not remaining sinful], neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread [turning from sin and tolerating sin unto godliness] of sincerity and truth.

We ARE to keep the whole seven day Feast of Unleavened Bread with the eating of unleavened bread every day as we are commanded; which is symbolic of internalizing the Bread of Life, the  sincerity and nature of Jesus Christ, forever.

If we do not eat unleavened bread every day; it is symbolic of rejecting Jesus Christ and if we eat LEAVEN during that Feast it is symbolic of internalizing SIN.

5:9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: 5:10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world [we can do business with worldly people but we must NOT follow their doctrines], or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 

If we cannot discern and remove the wicked in our own congregations; how do we expect to judge the nations as kings and priests?  This is not talking about tares who appear Godly and have not been called; this is commanding concerning willful sinners. 

Today the brethren have been deceived by the wicked, into thinking that they must not remove sinners because of the parable of the tares. 

Brethren, the tares are those who appear to be godly but do not bear fruit, tolerating them does not mean that we are to tolerate willful sinners.

5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company [We are commanded not to tolerate and associate with willful sin in our assemblies], if any man that is called a brother be a [do these things] fornicator [pornea; ALL sexual immorality] , or covetous, or an   idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 5:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?

We are to discern as to who we should assemble with; judging by the Word of God.

Holy Scripture here commands us NOT to assemble with evildoers; and the spirit of this command is that we are to assemble with like minded DOERS of God’s Word; and NOT with those who do not diligently learn and KEEP the whole Word of God.

5:13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

We are commanded to remove the willful sinner and most especially those who attempt to justify their sins and refuse to repent, from our assemblies. 

We must judge who we will keep company with, and assemble with; so that we are not keeping company with evildoers; whom Almighty God shall judge.

 

1 Corinthians 6

The following is speaking about lawsuits between members of the body of believers.  Paul backs the instructions of Jesus Christ the HEAD of the body in Matthew 18.  We are to do our best to try and work out our disputes and if that cannot be done then we are to go to the Ekklesia for a judgment, based on the whole Word of God. 

1 Corinthians 6:1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge   [oversee, supervise, rule over; angels in the future] angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

Paul is here referring to the command of Jesus Christ in Matthew 18:15-20.  Paul shames them by saying that the least in the Ekklesia should have more spiritual wisdom than the unconverted.

6:4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. 6:5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? 6:6  But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.

What is to be done if the oither side will not accept a man of faith judging the dispute?  Jesus tells us plainly in Matthew 18 that such a one is to be rejected from the brotherhood.

6:7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? [as Christ also commanded us to endure the wrong and forgive] why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded [as Christ taught]?

6:8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

The situation today of the divisions in the brotherhood is only exacerbated by going to the public law against one another.  Does that engender peace and reconciliation, or does it engender high costs, hard feelings and more division? 

6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?  Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind [homosexuals], 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor   drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

6:11 And such were some of you: but [if you sincerely repent and commit to “Go and sin no more”] ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Let us NOT go back into the swill that we were delivered out of!  Let us not tolerate any leaven of willful sin remaining within us or within our religious associations!

6:12 All things [that] are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient:   [Just because something is lawful does not make it a wise thing to do in all circumstances] all things [that] are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

We should not blindly bow to idols of men without checking and proving every word of men by the whole Word of God.  To do so places us in the power of such men; and makes us the servants of men, and not the servants of God.  

We must not be addicted to, or controlled by anything.  That is one reason why we should not smoke or take drugs or voluntarily subject ourselves to others as in voluntary military service.  Even alcohol although lawful is not to be taken in excess. 

6:13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them [all flesh will perish and eating meat is lawful as long as it has been sanctified as clean and lawful to consume  by the scriptures]. Now the body is not for fornication [pornea: all biblically unlawful sexual activity], but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.

We are to be separated from sin and set apart to holiness; therefore we are not to become “one flesh” with others outside of marriage;  because marriage is an allegory of the called out becoming one spirit in a permanent relationship with Christ.

We have espoused ourselves to Christ and if we remain faithful to HIM and keep all of his   teachings, internalizing his very nature and Spirit of God the Father:  We shall be chosen as a part of his permanent spiritual bride and given eternal life with HIM!

6:14 And God [the Father] hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. 6:15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.

6:16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.

Why then will we be joined and become one with a false religion or a false doctrine?   To be joined with and to mix God’s Word with false teachings on doctrine or prophecy is contrary to God’s Word.  Such spiritual pornea makes us one with the evil false teachings; for even a little leaven leavens the whole lump. 

Jeremiah 10:2  Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. 
 
Deuteronomy 18:9  When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. 18:10  There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times [astrologer], or an enchanter, or a witch. 18:11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 18:12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee. 18:13 Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God.
 
Brethren, if we read the writings of the demon inspired unconverted; it is the same as doing these things ourselves.  Reading horoscopes and the writings of unconverted prophets, instead of relying on the Word of God is a very grave sin.

Daniel 12:10   Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

1 Corinthians 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit [with God].

And he that is joined with a false spirit is committing spiritual adultery against his espoused Lord!

6:18 Flee fornication. [flee from all pornea both physical and spiritual.]  Every sin that a man doeth is without [outside his own body] the body;  but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

Physical pornea defiles our body because it makes us one flesh with others, and spiritual pornea defiles our spirit and our relationship with Jesus Christ and is the sin of pornea against the Husband of our baptismal commitment, Jesus Christ.

6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

We  belong to God and Jesus Christ. Our life has been redeemed from death at a great price. To then go consorting with foreign gods, unscriptural teachings and idols of men, is an affront to the Majesty on High.

You men: How long would you put up with a wife who goes whoring after other men?   Why should you then, go whoring after other gods?

Do such actions not devalue your relationship to nothing? You become just one man among many to your wife. And does not your God become just one God among many idols to you?

If you want the truth: then go to the source of all truth: the Word of Almighty God.

If you want to be deceived into the foolishness of carnal man; then go study the doctrines of commandment rejecting men. The carnal [unconverted person] man cannot understand spiritual matters!

Paul tells us so. God’s Word tells us so. Why go to the unconverted seeking spiritual   enlightenment when they are in the depths of spiritual darkness and spiritual blindness?

Can a man serve two masters? Can a woman serve two husbands?   Can any house with divided affections long stand?  Can a person serve both God and idols?

God the Father and Jesus Christ WILL NOT TOLERATE DIVIDED AFFECTIONS; Jesus said so (Mat 10:32-37).

Our espoused Husband is a Majestic and Awesome King and High Priest. If we demonstrate no respect for him: Why should he have any respect for us?

Brethren; there is a very great sin among God’s people: it is the sin of Spiritual Adultery and Spiritual Idolatry.

We accept teachings that contradict God’s Infallible Word; and we exalt mortal men by accepting them as our ultimate moral authority making them our idols in place of: THE WORD OF GOD!
 

1 Corinthians 7
1 Corinthians 7:1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. 7:3 Let the husband render unto the wife due   benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

A wife cannot refuse her husband and a husband cannot refuse to be one with his wife; without an exceptional reason such as health issues. 

All things must be done in love and consideration for each other. That means that a wife should care for the needs of her husband and that he should care for her needs, in a loving and considerate manner.    

This is symbolic of a total commitment and unity between them both. The kind of commitment and unity that Jesus Christ expects spiritually of his bride!

We are to be ONE in mind, spirit and actions with our Lord at all times. Can a loving husband refuse any good thing that he has to a loving cooperative wife? Can our loving Lord refuse those who love, cooperate with and esteem him?

7:4 The wife hath not power [control of] of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power [control over] of his own body, but the wife. 7:5 Defraud [refuse] ye not one the other, except it be with [mutual] consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and [then] come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

7:6 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment. 7:7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. . .

God created human beings male and female. He commanded them to come together and multiply. Paul says that some might remain unmarried due to their personal circumstances.

7:7 .  . . But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.   Some have a stronger desire and need for a marriage relationship than others.

I will say that marriage is a tremendous opportunity for learning and personal development.   A successful marriage can often involve considerable learning and this can be very positive in anyone’s Christian development. There are many reasons not to marry: such as no acceptable converted mate available, or health issues. Those who are unready for marriage probably should not marry.

7:8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. 7:9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

If we are a burning river of hormones, it is better to marry than to deal with a constant   temptation to sin through pornea.    Nevertheless, that is NOT a good reason to just marry anyone; we must find a mate who is suitable for us beyond mere sexual matters.

7:10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord,   Let not the wife depart from her husband [by God’s command: divorce is ABSOLUTELY forbidden for a couple in the faith Matthew 19:8-10]:

7:11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

7:12 But to the rest speak I, [Paul’s personal opinion] not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. 7:13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. 

This is speaking of people already married at baptism.  Once baptized we are forbidden to marry outside the faith.  It is to be understood that on occasion someone might marry a person in good faith thinking them to be converted who later fall away, and in that case the instructions regarding being married to an unconverted person at baptism hold.

7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and   the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

If a person is baptized already having an unconverted spouse, the unconverted spouse who is content to accept the baptism of their spouse, will be sanctified by that marriage as long as there is no opposition to the faith. The children are sanctified by their believing parents as long as they respect and obey their believing, obedient to God, parents.  That is, the accepting unconverted spouse and the children reap the benefits of a respecting and obedient to God faithful, believing spouse or parent.

7:15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a  sister is not under bondage [If an unconverted spouse abandon the marriage, the converted person is no longer bound by the law of marriage; for the unbeliever has departed; not the believer: and in departing also rejected the conversion of the mate; and rejected the Word of God.] in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

The purpose of marriage is to teach us about the deep loving single minded unity that Jesus Christ wants with his collective Bride.    It is to teach us of the love and passion that Christ has for his Bride.  Marriage is to teach us of the permanent loving unity of mind, nature, deeds and spirit that we are to have with our Husband Jesus Christ for eternity.

As we are physically united in marriage and that union develops over time into a union of mind and spirit as well when that initial love develops and grows; it teaches us about the nature of the relationship that Jesus Christ wants us to have with him for eternity.

Physical marriage also teaches us of the need to overcome our faults and to accommodate ourselves to the needs of our mate, and that we all need to replace our own natures with the nature of Christ through our passionate love for him.

We are to LOVE our espoused spiritual Husband and to internalize his nature and keep his commandments  and instructions, out of a genuine wholehearted love for him!  If we love him, we will seek to please him with all our being!

The keeping of the commandments is to obey our espoused Husband and to get into the habit of doing that for all eternity.

Those are the lessons that physical marriage is intended to teach.  Therefore when the unconverted spouse leaves and takes another; we are no longer bound to them, and are free to seek the true godly kind of marriage that teaches us the true ways and lessons that God wants us to learn.

7:16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy   husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife? 7:17 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk [remain in the marital state in which you were when you were called of God unless the unconverted spouse rejects you]. And so ordain I in all churches.

7:18 Is any man called being circumcised [this refers to an adult and not to the command to circumcise our sons]? let him not become [physically] uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised [again referring to called adults and not to the command to circumcise our sons on the Eighth Day].   7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing,   but the keeping of the commandments of God [obeying God is everything: Circumcision, or baptism or ordination are only physical symbols: the essential reality is that we live by every Word of God].

7:20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. 7:21 Art thou called being a servant? care [don’t be concerned] not for it: but if thou mayest be made free use it rather.  [avail yourself of freedom].

We are freed from bondage to sin by Christ; though we may be a man’s servant for a time, but we are truly free in the spirit. Free yourself from any physical slavery or obligation if possible, otherwise be a good servant; serving Christ first and then your earthly master.

7:22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant. 7:23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the   servants of men. 7:24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.

It should be understood that a person can be a slave to many more things than just other men. One should not allow oneself to be enslaved by drugs,  alcohol, voluntary military service. The military is very much a form of slavery; requiring absolute obedience unto death. 

The issue is not military service as such, but that of being a servant to unconverted men.  If there was a godly army that kept God’s Word and fought only righteously; military service would be acceptable and would teach many lessons about dedication, loyalty, perseverance, commitment etc etc:  however such an army does not exist in today’s world.

7:25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful. 7:26 I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress [in Corinth], I say, that it is good for a man so to be.

Economic or personal distresses can be reasons to put off marriage for a time.

7:27 Art thou bound unto a wife? Seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed [a widower or spiritual widower] from a wife? Seek not a wife [This instruction is for that time in Corinth, because of exceptional trials, and would be a wise course during the tribulation].

7:28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.

Paul is writing about delaying marriage because of serious trials.  Paul Is merely warning that those who marry during times of trouble will have difficulties.

7:29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; 7:30   And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though   they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; 7:31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.

Today the time is short and we should be focused on God and not on physical things, but if one burns it is right to marry.

7:32 But I would have you without carefulness [worries and deep concerns]   He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord [provided they are not burning with need], how he may please the Lord: 7:33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.

7:34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the [physical things] things of the world, how she may please her husband.

Of course this presupposes that the person is deeply converted and dedicated to God.  If the person is worldly in outlook they will still be focused on the things of the flesh and will  serve their own vanity.

7:35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely [suitable, appropriate], and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.   7:36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.

7:37 Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no [burning passion] necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep [wait for marriage] his virgin, doeth well. 7:38 So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.

The point being that if one refrains from marriage for a time and dedicates oneself to God; it is an honorable thing. Nevertheless Paul also commands elsewhere that a minister or deacon MUST be, or have had; the experience of marriage. See the letters to Timothy and Titus.

7:39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married [This is the law by which Jesus Christ could remarry after his death and resurrection. Marriages END at the death of one of the spouses.] to whom she will; only in [a person in the faith may ONLY marry in the faith] the Lord. 7:40 But she is happier if she so abide [an unmarried widow to focus on God], after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.

This is Paul’s personal opinion but he believes that he is within the law and God has seen fit to preserve this as Holy Scripture.

 

1 Corinthians 8 

The subject of 1 Corinthians 8 is knowledge, and how knowledge that an idol is nothing can puff us up to participate in idolatry. 

Today some will say that if we know that Christmas is nothing, we can attend Christmas [and other false] celebrations because we know it is nothing.  Their knowledge that these things are nothing, has puffed them up to participate in the evil.  Paul teaches that it is wrong to participate in such sin.

1 Corinthians 8:1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth [godly love builds up].  

Don’t get high minded because of your supposed knowledge, for it is godly love (which is the Word of God) which is true knowledge.

8:2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.

If a person is proud of his knowledge and thinks he knows very much, he has become self-righteous (Rev 3:17). Sadly this is the predominate attitude  today.

8:3 But if any man love God [is filled with God’s agape love; the Word of God], the same is known of him.

Don’t get high minded about how much you think you know, God knows those who love him enough to keep his commandments.

8:4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.

This whole coming argument is not specifically about eating, but about separating ourselves from idol worship and idolatrous feasts; and the need for setting an example of righteousness through living by every Word of God.

8:5 For though there be  [those] that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) 8:6  But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things [Paul is saying that Jesus Christ created ALL things], and we by him.

8:7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled..

8:8 But meat [offered to idols] commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the   better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. 8:9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.

Paul condemns knowingly eating things sacrificed to idols in an idols temple. 

He argues that an idol is a meaningless nothing and the Eternal is all, but that such knowledge can puff us up and lead us into the sin of associating with idolatry which is forbidden by God’s Word. 

8:10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened [others will think that it is alright to accept that idol because of your example; when you reject the idol and are just eating meat; therefore to do this is sin; DO NOT DO this sin.] to eat those things which are offered to idols;

Associating with pagans and pagan worship; is a sin against God the Father and against Jesus Christ.

8:11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 8:12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.

8:13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

Paul mentions meat in the market; this is not about clean and unclean  meats, but about meat which  might or might not have been sacrificed to an idol.  In those days at Corinth the pagan temples made much of their income by selling the sacrifices brought to their temples. One could scarcely buy meat in the market that did not come from some pagan temple. Therefore this was a pressing issue.

Paul is referring to buying meat in the market, which may possibly have been sacrificed to an idol, or to eating a festive meal such as at the wedding of a friend, which meat may have been sacrificed to an idol.   Paul advises us not to ask for conscience sake. 

Paul is also teaching that eating a sacrifice at an idol’s temple or partaking of idolatrous festivals and worship, even with the knowledge that such things are meaningless; is a grave sin. 

Jesus Christ takes the matter very seriously in Revelation 2:14 and Revelation   2:20. How do we reconcile these views?

Followers of pagan religions do not worship idols. They regard the idols as REPRESENTING something real. For example: A statue of Aphrodite was understood to represent a once living and very real person who was believed to now be in the heavens and able to intercede with the chief god, for those who worshiped her.

In much the same manner a Roman Catholic will tell you that they do not worship statues. They will say that their statues REPRESENT various saints who are in heaven and are able to intercede with God for those who pray to them. They are NOT praying to the statue; they are praying to the one that the statue REPRESENTS.

An idol or a religious statue REPRESENTS a being, or the belief in a being, or a teaching. Eating meat sacrificed to an idol or a statue REPRESENTS: accepting and agreeing with that teaching [doctrine]. When one eats meat; one takes the meat internally. The eating of meat sacrificed to idols or statues REPRESENTS internalizing the doctrine of that idol [religion]; and the doctrines that the idol or statue represents.

Eating things sacrificed to idols, spiritually REPRESENTS accepting and internalizing the false doctrines!

One of the most hateful to God, of these false doctrines is the acceptance of the Primacy of Peter blasphemy: Because this abomination exalts mere mortal men ABOVE GOD. This appalling execration which has been accepted by many COG Groups;  has been the backbone of false religion for over a thousand years.

Paul’s conclusions regarding the eating of meat sacrificed to Idols is this: the idol is nothing and therefore eating something sacrificed to it is nothing:  IF we understand that.  Therefore we should not worry that some piece of meat bought in the market was possible sacrificed to an idol; or in our day blessed by an unconverted person. 

Some will try to twist this to justify attending Christmas celebrations etc.  However our example is most important and we should not KNOWINGLY eat things sacrificed to idols because of the example we are setting for others; for the idol worshiper will say in his heart:  “he agrees with me”  and the converted man who does not understand this matter will think:  “he is a sinner!” 

Therefore we should not knowingly partake of any false custom like Christmas, because we are partaking in what we know is a lie and sin; and are not avoiding the appearance of evil.  We are snuffing out our light of example!

Like circumcision: this physical thing has spiritual implications.  Circumcision was the symbol of the Mosaic Covenant. However if one was circumcised and then failed to keep the Covenant by not obeying the Law; such circumcision of the flesh becomes meaningless. In the same way baptism becomes meaningless if we fail to keep the Marriage Covenant with our Lord to keep the whole Word of God that our baptism symbolizes.

The physical eating of things sacrificed to idols is symbolic of internalizing the false things that the idol represents. If we refuse to eat meat that was sacrificed to an idol and yet embrace a false doctrine [the Primacy of Peter] or a false prophecy [the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles representing only one thousand years {2 Pet 3:8}]; we are actually doing what the idol symbolizes; and are guilty of embracing false religious teachings  [the doctrines of demons].

It is the embracing of the doctrines of demons   [doctrine contrary to Scripture] that is the true sin: the mere symbol is nothing at all. However the commandment is clear that we should not eat things sacrificed to idols and we should not have anything to do with idols.

We are provided with symbols, to teach us the spiritual realities.

 

1 Corinthians 9

Paul now teaches that those who work in teaching the Word of God have the right to be supported by the brethren.

1 Corinthians 9:1  Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are not ye my work in the Lord? 9:2 If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.

9:3 Mine answer to them that do examine me [question me about taking tithes and offerings] is this, 9:4 Have we not power to eat and to drink? [to eat from the tithes and offerings of the brethren] 9:5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and  [the same as the other elders in the faith] as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas [Peter; also do]?

9:6 Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power [the right to abstain from physical labour and work full time in the gospel] and to forbear working? [to devote ourselves to the gospel] 9:7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?

9:8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? 9:9 For it is written in the law of   Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? 9:10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. 9:11  If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?

Those who serve God and the brethren in spiritual matters, especially those working in doctrine diligently working night and day, have a right given from God to fair wages for their service!  Do the brethren not profit from the work of God’s teachers?  If you persevere in learning the Word of God and grow through their sound biblical teachings you are gathering eternal spiritual treasures and eternal life.  

9:12 If others be partakers of this power over [to take tithes of you] you, are not we rather?  

Is it right to give large sums to those organizations which teach error and false traditions and the idolizing of men, while not supporting those who teach the sound doctrine of scripture and the truth of God’s Word?

. . . Nevertheless we have not used this power;  [Paul did not demand tithes because of the trials and poverty of the people of Corinth, because Paul would not be a stumbling block to the brethren of Corinth by burdening them] but suffer [endure poverty] all things, [Because of our love for you; and for your benefit] Lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.

Paul proves that the elders have a right to take tithes of the people, yet Paul did not insist on this right from the Corinthians, being merciful for the circumstances of the brethren in Corinth. 

9:13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? 9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

Those who are clearly teaching the doctrines and teachings of Jesus Christ; who are living by every Word of God and teaching others to do so, and those who are preaching the True Gospel of Warning and Repentance; are deserving of your support.

9:15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.

Paul would rather die than burden God’s people; sounds a lot like the  Church of God today: doesn’t it?  Of course I am being sarcastic here!

9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! 9:17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed [it is my responsibility required by God] unto me.

God’s people have a responsibility to preach the true Gospel of Warning and Repentance, of the way INTO the Kingdom of God. We must all do our part as a moral obligation from God in appreciation for God’s calling to the gift of eternal life and much treasure in his kingdom. We must ALL do what we can in preaching, in teaching, in prayer or support, as God provides the opportunity to us.

9:18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power  in the gospel.

9:19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 9:20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law,  that I might gain them that are under the law

9:21 To them that are without law [the Gentiles], as without law, [without the laws of the traditions of men, yet always keeping God’s law] not without law to God, but under the law to Christ, that I might gain them that are without law.

9:22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 9:23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

29:4 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 9:26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Paul says: “I subject myself to God’s Word, so that I might win the prize.” and we are to do likewise.

 

1 Corinthians 10

Paul points out that an idol is nothing, but that it is a sin to participate in idolatry. 

1 Corinthians 10:1   Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all  passed through the [Red] sea; 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

Paul declares that Jesus Christ was the ROCK which led Israel out of Egypt; and Christ is the Rock which leads the “called out” out of sin! The law given to Moses was given by Jesus Christ before he was made flesh! 

Drinking the water out of the rock, pictured taking in the Holy Spirit flowing from Christ, which is given to all those who obey God the Father (Acts 4:32).  

Paul points out that very many of those baptized in the Red Sea to follow Christ; FAILED to overcome and desiring to go back into Egypt as a type of going back into sin were destroyed by God.  The same is true spiritually with the Ekklesia, when those who make a baptismal commitment to obey and follow Christ and live by every Word of God turn aside from following the whole Word of God to follow idols of men and the false traditions of men.

10:5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

Being called out by God does NOT mean that we have it made; we must still please God; by CONTINUING in obedience to every Word of God through the power of God – the Holy Spirit – dwelling in us. 

Brethren they fell away not having God’s Spirit; while we fall away HAVING God’s Spirit because we do not follow God’s Spirit. 

10:6 Now these things were our examples, [We must do better and not return to the bondage to sin which we have been delivered out of,  as many in the wilderness sought to return to bondage in Egypt. to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Seeking to return to Egypt. 

They desired to follow idols and to rebel against the Word of God and today we also  want to follow men and not God, and we love the pleasures of sin [like buying food for personal pleasure on the Sabbath].

10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, [we must NOT follow the teachings of false gods and make idols of men who would deceive us into false teachings.] and there were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play [before the calf idol they had made].

10:8 Neither let us commit fornication, [Pornea; Physical sexual disloyalty whose spiritual counterpart is becoming of one mind – disloyalty to God – with false teachings and false doctrines] as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.

10:9 Neither let us tempt Christ, [Do not tempt our espoused Husband to jealousy by seeking after the false teachings of unconverted men who know not God; or by exalting organizational teachings, idols of men and false traditions above God’s Word.] as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.

10:10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, [do not be chronic complainers and accusers of your God; blaming your troubles on Him. Our troubles are mainly of our own doing, or from our Adversary who seeks to discourage us.] and were destroyed of the destroyer.

10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. For he is self-righteous; [let us rely on God to hold us up].

All the major religions of today think that they stand; they think that they know it all spiritually and have need of nothing as it is written in Revelation 3:14-22.  Those who are not teachable and are not standing on the solid foundation of the whole Word and commandments of God; Shall fall!

10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Therefore live by every Word of God without compromise, and your God will be pleased with you and will deliver you.

10:14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. [Avoid placing anyone or anything above our God! Do not exalt men as idols above the Word of God, but check and prove the words of men by the Word of God.

10:15 I speak as to [as if to spiritually wise men] wise men; judge ye what I say.  10:16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood  of Christ?  [taking the Passover wine is an acceptance of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and a commitment to live by every Word of God; and not to any man]

The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? [The Passover unleavened read is symbolic of  JESUS CHRIST; the Bread of Life being broken for us: and does NOT represent any human leader.

10:17 For we being many are one [one in full unity with God together in the same body of believers], and one [spiritual] body: for we are all partakers of that one bread [picturing Jesus Christ].

If we sincerely repent and commit to internalizing God the Father and Jesus Christ by eating the symbols of unleavened bread and wine: we become one with God the Father and Christ, and one with all others who share in the same commitment; however we remain one in unity with God, only as long as we are faithful to follow and live by every Word of God in Christ-like zeal.

10:18 Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?

As physical Israel was to eat certain of the sacrifices to God; symbolizing the internalizing of the things of God; we must also eat {internalize} the Word of God and not seek out and internalize the false teachings of idols of men.

10:19 What say I then? that the idol is any thing,  or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?  10:20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.

Paul is now clear; he commands that we are not to knowingly eat things sacrificed to idols or take part in the festivals of idols. 

10:21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table [God’s  Word], and of the table [teachings of] of devils.

Physically speaking we are not to partake of idolatry, like attending Christmas and Easter festivities, and following idols of men and their false teachings.

Spiritually speaking we are not to eat {internalize or participate in} false teachings; sitting at the table of demons; and then think we can mix these abominations with the things of God!

10:22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? [by following idols of men away from God’s Word]. are we stronger than he?

Do demons and commandment rejecting men know better than God?

Why will these false prophets within the Ekklesia come up with some idea and then seek support for it from the teachings of the unconverted? And then dare to call themselves godly, polluting the Word of God with the doctrines of demons?

I tell you the truth as also Moses did and the scriptures declare: You SHALL NOT learn the [religious] ways of the heathen; and try to mix them with the Word of God!

Such false prophets will be corrected by God in great tribulation along with their followers.

10:23 All things [that] are lawful for me, but all things are not [always] expedient:

Not everything that is lawful, is appropriate in all circumstances. It is wrong to cause our brothers to stumble if we can avoid that, which is why Paul did not demand financial support from the Corinthians for a time.  It was lawful that Paul have the support of their physical things, but it was not expedient to avail himself of their support at that time.

. . . All things [that] are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

If an action is lawful but will not edify {help, assist, encourage] others if we do it, we should restrain ourselves until the right time.   We are not to place stumbling blocks before others like litigating against other brethren. We are to give to them with gladness; and if we do that; God will also give to us in joy at our faithfulness to him.

10:24 Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.

Let us always consider the affect we have on others by our conduct ,and live our lives as a GOOD EXAMPLE of true Godliness.

10:25 Whatsoever is sold in the shambles [market] that eat, asking no question   [This is not a reference to unclean meat but is concerning asking whether it was sacrificed to an idol; for that is the contextual subject.]  for conscience sake: 10:26 For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.

10:27 If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast [as a wedding feast or personal matter and not an idolatrous religious observance]], and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question [concerning whether it was sacrificed to an idol; which is the subject here] for conscience sake.

10:28 But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof:

10:29   Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty [to eat] judged of another man’s conscience?

Do not insist on doing things even if they are lawful; when it is not edifying to others to do so.

In the fertility religions of ancient Greece the pagan temples made money mainly in two ways 1) all girls were expected to do a period of service as prostitutes with earnings going to the temple 2) meat from animals sacrificed to the gods was sold in the markets [shambles].

Paul advises that for the sake of conscience when buying in the shambles [market] do not ask if the animal was sacrificed to an idol, but if it is known to have been sacrificed to an idol we are not to buy or eat it.

The point is that if we are ignorant as to whether an animal was sacrificed to an idol the issue is not important for idols are nothing anyway; but if we KNOWINGLY eat things sacrificed to an idol that knowledge implies that we are acknowledging that idol and we are to avoid even the appearance of wrongdoing.

1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Today this is almost a non issue as our animals are not killed in sacrifice to idols.  The issue today is to abstain from any appearance of evil, like even entering the door of a restaurant on the Sabbath day.

1 Corinthians 10:30 For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 10:32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:

10:33 Even as I please all men in all things,   [By avoiding offending them in nonscriptural matters; yet still not offending God by breaking any of his commandments] not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

Oh, that God’s people would care so much for others that they would love them enough to try and avoid giving needless offense. We have gotten so very far from God that we no longer have the spirit of godly love dwelling within us;  and the more people proclaim love, the less love for God’s Word and people they exhibit. 

The various Groups are full of offending Almighty God by provoking him to jealousy through following idols of men, instead of relying on God’s Word.

This is a Great Shame and a Great Evil.

 

1 Corinthians 11

1 Corinthians  11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

Jesus Christ taught us to live by EVERY WORD of God the Father in Christ-like zeal to live by every Word of God (Mat 4:4) IN ALL THINGS AND AT ALL TIMES!  

Jesus Christ  is the ONLY High Priest, effectual sacrifice and intercessor with God the Father.  ONLY he can save us!    

Judge and test the words of all men against the Word of God!

11:2 Now I praise you, brethren, [because] that ye remember me in all things, and keep the   ordinances [Word of God], as I delivered them to you.

11:3 But I would have you know, that the head [ruler, authority over] of every man is Christ; and the head  [ruler, authority over] of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ [ruler, authority over] is God.

11:4   Every man praying or prophesying, [with his head covered dishonors God] having his head covered, dishonoureth his [his ruler, his LORD] head.

Therefore if the hair is the covering, all men ought to shave their heads and go bald! Obviously the hair is not the covering; which covering is specifically a cloth; an  akatakaluptos!  

11:5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered [akatakaluptos: specifically not being covered with a cloth] dishonoureth her head: [her husband and her husband’s LORD; who is her head] for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

For a man to cover his head, or for a woman to fail to cover her head, while worshiping and praying is disrespectful dishonoring God.  Men ought not to cover their heads in prayer or worship, and it is disrespectful to God for a woman to refuse to cover her head in prayer or worship.

11:6 For if the woman be not covered [katakalupto: specifically a cloth covering], let her also be shorn: . . .

If the woman’s hair is her covering; why should she be shorn for not covering her head with her hair?  If her hair is her covering, then her head is already covered so why should her hair be shorn?

And if the woman have no hair to cover her head: how can she then be shorn? Therefore since the covering is NOT her hair,  if a woman refuse to cover her head with a cloth in respect for God during prayer and worship; she should have her head shorn.

11:6 . . . but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered [with a katakalupto: specifically a cloth covering].

If she is ashamed to have her head shorn, then let her cover her head in respect for God during worship and prayer.

11:7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, [If the hair is the covering; then all men ought to go bald!] forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.

11:8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. 11:9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 11:10 For this cause ought the woman to have power [a cloth covering as a symbol of respect for authority] on her head because [as an example for] of the angels.

11:11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. 11:12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.

11:13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely [proper] that a woman pray unto God uncovered [without an akatakaluptos; a cloth hat, shawl or veil]? 11:14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?

For a man long hair is a shame; but to a woman her hair is a glorious crown that should be covered in respect for her head [God and her husband] during prayer and worship.

11:15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering [A peribolaion: a glory [a covering not of cloth, her glorious hair]; quite different from v 6 and 7 katakalupto meaning a cloth

The word group katakalupto which includes the words translated “cover” and “uncover” in verses 5, 6, 7, and 13 is never used anywhere to refer to the hair, but is used to refer to some other type of covering. cover, cloth, veil.  

In verses 6 and 7 translates katakalupto which means cover, cloth,  veil and in the middle voice “cover oneself.”  The word occurs only here in the New Testament, but it is found several times in the LXX. It is used in Genesis 38:15 of Tamar where it is said that she had “covered” her face. It can easily be seen from the preceding verse that she did not cover her face with her hair but with a veil. Similarly the word is used in three manuscripts in Esther 6:12 where it says that Haman hurried to his house in mourning with his head “covered.” Here again it is obvious that Haman had not grown his hair long to show his shame, but had thrown something over his head. “Uncovered” (“unveiled”—ASV, RSV of verse 5)

In verses 5 and 13 uncover is translated from akatakaluptos which simply means “uncovered.” The word in Leviticus 13:45 where it is said that one with a leperous baldness should “uncover” his head. (For this see the King James Version; the Hebrew literally says, “let the hair of his head hang loose.”) Here again it can be seen that “uncover” is not cutting off the hair but is removing a cloth.

The words “cover” in verse 6 and “covering” in verse 15 translate from two entirely different Greek words.

The noun translated covering in verse 15 is not katakalupsis or katakalumma, but peribolaion, which is a generalized covering of any kind, not specifically of cloth like katakalupsis; the fact that Paul uses an entirely different and very general word for hair; shows that he is not referring to the same type of covering as katakalupsis [a cloth].

Paul’s point in verse 15 is that since nature gives woman one type of covering [her hair], she ought also to wear another type of covering over the first covering while praying.

A woman’s hair is her covering crown of glory, her mantle or veil of glory. Therefore she must show respect and cover her crown of glory in the presence of her God to show humility before her head.  More below.

11:16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.

This instruction is in response to the Jewish practice of men covering their heads in prayer and Corinthian women praying without being covered by a cloth. 

That was NOT the custom of the Ekklesia and Paul says that no argument in this matter is to be tolerated.  In the Ekklesia the men do not cover their heads with a cloth [or anything else]  while praying or in worship; and the women DO cover their heads with a cloth while praying or in worship.

Paul teaches that a man is the head of the woman; and as such the man is a figure of Christ; while the woman is a figure of the Church and is to show respect before her God by covering her crown of glory in humility, when coming before God in prayer or worship.

ALL scripture is for US as Paul himself explains, and this is not merely a Corinthian cultural issue. it is absolutely appropriate for women to cover their heads in respect for God and as a symbol of the bride of Christ, showing respect for Christ, during study and in prayer or in a formal church services.

I know that in our ultra liberal and permissive society this is not a popular position; yet I will stand with Paul. This is my position and is not open to argument.

Our salvation does not depend on whether we cover our heads, but our salvation IS dependent on our obedience, humility and teachableness before God.

Remember the story of Naaman in 2 Kings 5; if  we are not wiling to do as the scriptures command, perhaps the issue is pride? 

If one will not even place a cloth on the head during worship or prayer it begs the question:  Is eternal life and the treasures of the Kingdom of God worth so little that we will not even place a cloth on our head? 

This is one of the “little things,” yet one who is faithful in little things will be faithful in much; and one who is not faithful in little things cannot be expected to be faithful in other things.  The “little things” are TESTS as to whether we can be trusted with bigger things. 

Paul now instructs about taking the Passover

11:17 Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. It is shameful that your gatherings bring strife among you.

11:18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions [disputing] among you; and I partly believe it. 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

A departing from the way by the faithless has come today as well, so that the faithful can be clearly seen and known.

11:20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the [a full Passover meal] Lord’s supper.

11:21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.

11:22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink   in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall   I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. 11:23 For I have  received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you,

Paul is instructing that on Passover the people meet to partake of the Unleavened Bread and Wine, in memory of the Sacrifice of our Lord; and  are not to meet for the purpose of eating our fill which can be done at our homes.

. . . That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 11:24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

11:25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament [the symbol of the shed blood of Christ which effects reconciliation with the Father and opens up the New Covenant] in my blood: this do ye, as oft [this is an anniversary of the event of Christ’s death on Passover and therefore should be done annually on the Passover day; following the example of Jesus Christ who himself instituted this service at his last Passover in the flesh.] as ye drink it, [do so] in remembrance of me.

11:26 For as often as ye eat this [unleavened Passover bread] bread, and drink  this cup [Passover wine], ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily,   [without sincere repentance from all things contrary to the Word of God] shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

Without sincere repentance and an honest commitment to stop sinning; one remains guilty of sin, for the atonement will not be applied to the unrepentant and habitual sinner.

11:28 But let a man examine himself,   [sincerely repent] and so let him eat of that bread, and   drink of that cup. 11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily   [without repentance and without understanding that we are committing to keep every Word of God through the power of Jesus Christ dwelling in us], eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

Not understanding the meaning of Christ’s sacrifice and the need to turn away from all commandment breaking.  The unrepentant will be corrected by God, for they are making a mockery of the Lord’s sacrifice.

11:30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep [are dead].

Because of the sin of making the sacrifice of Christ a license to continue in sin.

11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

If we examine ourselves and STOP living contrary to the Word of God; God will not need to correct us.

11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord [in the hope of saving us], that we should not be condemned with the world.

When it is needful that our God correct us; he does so to save us from being condemned and damned. Sometimes it is necessary to afflict the flesh to save the spirit.

That is what the great tribulation is about. It is to correct God’s people by afflicting the flesh so that the spirit might be saved. We have become so full of pride and so self-righteous that the only way to save us is for God to administer: major, serious, loving and merciful correction; upon the Church of God.

11:33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry [wait for] one for another. 11:34 And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.

 

Head Covering

Let me begin by asking: Who was Paul writing to?  To whom was this epistle addressed?

It was addressed to the brethren in Corinth, who were mainly Greek Corinthian converts.

Now let me ask:  Why was this issue addressed by Paul?

The various pagan religions of Corinth were mainly dedicated to fertility and the goddess Aphrodite [Dianna, Astarte etc are different names for the same goddess]; the Queen of heaven [Her statue is prominent in New York today, called “Liberty”]. 

In Corinth women had a major part of these religions; acting as priestesses, pagan prophets, and income earners as temple prostitutes.

The point is that:

1.  The women of Corinth had NEVER covered their hair in worship and therefore it was totally unnecessary for Paul to instruct them that they need not cover their hair.

2.  That in the pagan religions, women usurped the role of men and officiated as priestess teaching their religion, which Paul forbade.

The Religions Of Corinth

The temple of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, stood atop the Acrocorinth.

“A famous temple to Aphrodite had stood on the summit of Acrocorinth in the Classical Age… It had fallen into ruins by Paul’s time, but successors to its 1,000 cult prostitutes continued to ply their profession in the city below. Many of them were no doubt housed in the lofts above the 33 wine shops uncovered in the modern excavations. Corinth was a city catering to sailors and traveling salesmen. Even by the Classical Age it had earned an unsavory reputation for its libertine atmosphere; to call someone ‘a Corinthian lass’ was to impugn her morals. It may well be that one of Corinth’s attractions for Paul was precisely this reputation of immorality.” (The Biblical World In Pictures).

The city was filled with sailors who gladly spent their money there. The name “Corinth” became a synonym for immorality. This temple gave Corinth it’s reputation for gross immorality of which Paul often spoke (1 Cor. 6:9-20; 2 Cor. 12:20-21).

“She [Corinth]  had a reputation for commercial prosperity, but she was also a byword for evil living. The very word korinthiazesthai, to live like a Corinthian, had become a part of the Greek language, and meant to live with drunken and immoral debauchery … Aelian, the late Greek writer, tells us that if ever a Corinthian was shown upon the stage in a Greek play he was shown drunk. The very name Corinth was synonymous with debauchery and there was one source of evil in the city which was known all over the civilized world.

Above the isthmus towered the hill of the Acropolis, and on it stood the great temple of Aphrodite, the goddess of fertility. To that temple there were attached one thousand priestesses who were sacred prostitutes, and in the evenings they descended from the Acropolis and plied their trade upon the streets of Corinth, until it became a Greek proverb, ‘It is not every man who can afford a journey to Corinth.’

In addition to these cruder sins, there flourished far more recondite vices, which had come in with the traders and the sailors from the ends of the earth, until Corinth became not only a synonym for wealth and luxury, drunkenness and debauchery, but also for filth.” (William Barclay, The Letters To The Corinthians, p. 2-3).

Of equal fame in Corinth was the temple of Poseidon, ruler of the sea (on which Corinth’s commercial life depended) and maker of earthquakes (a frequent danger in the area). Poseidon had a very large temple at a nearby village where the biennial Isthmian Games were held.

Numerous other temples in Corinth include ones to Apollo, Hermes, Venus-Fortuna, Isis, and one dedicated to “All The Gods” (Pantheon). On the slopes of the Acrocorinth was the sanctuary of Demeter, which dates from the 6th and 7th centuries B.C.

In Corinth, as often found in other parts of ancient Greece, there was a shrine dedicated to Asklepios, the god of healing, and his daughter, Hygieia. The museum at Corinth has hundreds of terra-cotta votive offerings presented to Asklepios by pilgrims who sought a cure or who wanted to thank the god for a healing they attributed to him. Among these votives can be seen limbs, hands, feet, breasts and genitals.

In a time-honored tradition, petitioners to Asklepios had dedicated replicas of the particular parts of the body in which they were afflicted. (1 Cor. 12:12, 15-17).

The temple of Apollo stood on the hill overlooking the Roman city’s main forum which served as a reminder of Corinth’s ancient splendor, and was 700 years old by Paul’s time, but it was in ruins. At one time a bronze statue of Apollo stood in the temple. To Paul it would have served merely as a sermon illustration of the impotence of the Greek’s pagan gods. There were several sanctuaries to Apollo inside the city.

Paul was writing to and teaching the Corinthian converts, who had a background of seeing women as having a major part on the city’s religions.  And it was the custom of these women in pagan religions in Corinth, to preach and prophesy with their heads and hair uncovered.

It was to people who had come out of this praying without covering their hair religious society, that Paul wrote to teach them the proper and godly conduct that God expects from women in the faith. 

In short; these Corinthian women had NEVER covered their heads and hair in worship of God;  therefore there was absolutely NO NEED for Paul to say that they need not cover their hair!  or to even mention the issue; unless he was correcting their engaging in religious worship with their heads and hair uncovered as they had always done!

1 Corinthians 11 Head Covering

Paul begins by teaching that the Head of all things is God the Father and under him Jesus Christ; and under Christ the man, and under the man is the woman which is the biblical arrangement of godly headship and leadership.   In teaching this, Paul is rebuking the pagan system of women usurping men in religion.

1 Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

Paul then teaches that a man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, is shaming himself, disrespecting God and dishonoring his leadership position;  because the man has an office of headship from God; and because the family of man is an allegory of the family of God! 

In the physically family the man has the position of headship, leadership, example, teacher and authority; as commanded by God!  This is to teach us that God the Father is also the HEAD, LEADER, AUTHORITY, EXAMPLE and TEACHER of his spiritual family!

We are to live by every word of the Father in heaven.   

11:4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head

Therefore if the hair is the covering, all men ought to shave their heads and go bald! Obviously the hair is not the covering!  The man as the physical head of his family, represents the HEAD of the spiritual family God.

Yet every woman praying or prophesying with her head and glorious hair not covered; is shaming herself and disrespecting God and should have her head shaved.

11:5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered [akatakaluptos: her head not covered with a cloth] dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

How can a woman be shaved of her hair, for not wearing her hair? 

It is obvious that her hair is not the covering referred to;  for if she refuses to be covered, her hair should be shorn.  Now if she refuses to wear her covering of hair; how can her hair be shorn?  And if it is shameful for a woman to have her hair shorn; then she should cover her hair.

11:6 For if the woman be not covered [akatakaluptos: with a cloth], let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered [with a katakalupto: specifically a cloth covering].

The man should not have his hair covered because he is on a headship position representing  the HEADSHIP  of God the Father.

Yet the woman is the glory of man and should cover that glorious covering of hair, out of respect for her husband as the head of her family, and out of respect for God the Father as the head of the spiritual family. 

In other words the woman should not usurp the position of the man as her head; even as the members of the spiritual; family of the Father should respect and not seek to usurp God’s HEADSHIP.

The man as head and leader, reflects and represents, the HEADSHIP of God the Father; while the woman represents the bride, the wife of Christ, the spiritual Called Out family of God!  

11:7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, for asmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 

In physical terms the man was made first by God and the woman was made by God from man;  nevertheless from that time on, all men came forth from woman; therefore they are ONE FAMILY; with the man as head of the physical family by God’s design!!  

This is an allegory and object lesson to teach us the spiritual  Family of God is ONE FAMILY and that God the Father is the HEAD of that family; while Jesus Christ is the head of his bride! 

11:8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. 11:9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

In the allegory of family, the husband is representative of Jesus Christ the Husband and HEAD of the Bride;  and the physical father is a figure of God the Father; as the HEAD of the family.

The woman is an allegory of the Bride of Christ; and her respect and submission to her husband by God’s design, is an allegory of the bride of Christ being subject to him in all things.

11:10 For this cause ought the woman to have power [a demonstration of the authority of her husband over her head; as an example that the Called Out Ekklesia (the Bride) have the authority of their Husband Jesus Christ over them] on her head because of [as an example for others] the angels.

11:11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. 11:12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.

Paul then says that the hair is given to woman for a glorious crown, representing the Beauty of the Bride of Christ, but long [meaning effeminate] hair is a shame to a man because it dishonours the headship leadership position of the man; making him look feminine as one who is to obey and not to lead.

The woman’s hair is her glorious covering crown, covering her head with glory;  which should be covered as a symbol of humility and respect for authority, in prayer and prophesying.

This godly custom of the Ekklesia is to cover the hair as a sign of respect for the Husband Jesus Christ and God the Father; when praying or in worship, and  was  contrary to the Corinthian  practice of women praying and prophesying with the head and hair uncovered; and the pagan women usurping the authority of the men as priestesses teaching in the assemblies.

Because the headship of a man as designed and commanded by God over his bride is an allegorical representation of the headship of Jesus Christ over his spiritual bride; it is not appropriate that a woman come before the Father in heaven, not being covered by a veil or scarf; to indicate her humility before him.

11:13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered   [akatakaluptos, without a cloth covering her head]11:14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? 

11:15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. [A peribolaion; a general word for a covering of any kind, for her glorious hair; a quite different word from v 6 and 7; katakalupto specifically meaning a cloth]

Paul then says that in the Church of God, there is no such custom as men praying with covered heads, or of women praying or prophesying without their head and glorious hair being covered. with a cloth.

11:16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.

Women covered their heads with veils or scarves throughout the Old Testament Genesis 24:65, Numbers 5:18 and Isaiah 47:2 all indicate that women covered their heads.

God commanded the uncovering of women’s heads in cases of adultery; thereby implying that it was proper sign of righteous faithfulness for women to cover their heads outside the home. Paul allows this “outside the home” tradition to slip somewhat but insists that women’s heads be covered at least in worship situations, making the point that the headcovering symbolizes the submission of the woman to her husband as God had commanded in Genesis 3:16 “. . . thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee”. The headcovering being an example of submission to authority for even the angels to see.

The unveiling of a woman’s hair was considered a humiliation and punishment (Isa. 3:17; cf. Num. 5:18 on the loosening of the hair of a woman suspected of adultery; Jewish writings III Macc. 4:6; and Sus. 32).

In 1 Corinthians 11:16, Paul responded to any readers that disagreed with his teaching about the use of headcoverings: “But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God.” This indicates that headcoverings were considered a standard, universal Christian practice (rather than a local cultural custom). In other words, while the churches were spread out geographically and contained a diversity of cultures, they all practiced headcovering for female members.

 

Leadership roles

The women are not to be elders [priestesses] and are not to teach men religion in formal services as the pagan priestess did; and they are to show proper respect for their husbands by asking questions of their husbands first; and if he cannot answer, he should ask the true faithful to God, ministry. 

Nevertheless if a woman does not have a converted husband or father; then she should ask the elder in private and not disrupt a service.

This is about the godly system of headship and leadership in the family that the woman not usurp the headship of her husband; and that elders not usurp the authority of the husband by end arounding the husband, to interface with the wife without her husbands knowledge.

What of Deborah and the other women of God? 

They NEVER usurped the authority of the godly priesthood!  They did not claim to be priests; and even the daughters of Aaron were not priests.

These were godly wise women to whom others came for advice and judgment but they were not priests. 

There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with men seeking advice from women.

What is praying and prophesying?

I think we all know what prayer is; and that men are to remove their hats out of respect when praying.  When a woman is praying or is in a service where prayer is being made, she should have her hair and head covered.

A woman can certainly pray without her head covered in emergencies or unexpected situations; but that should be the exception and not the rule.  Further a woman should cover her hair in any planned and formal prayer; such as services and bible studies.   

1 Corinthians 14:34   Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. 14:35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church [properly in the assembly of meeting] .

Godly women should not exercise authority in the assemblies, nor usurp their husband, their HEAD; and should cover their hair in any prayer, formal service, or Bible Study. 

Does that mean that when someone asks them a question, a woman needs to rush off to cover her head before giving an answer?  NO!  She is merely answering a question and not teaching in the sense of an elder standing before a congregation. 

Most certainly she should be diligent to teach the word of God to her children and to answer any questions put to her by others, and if she cannot answer them she should ask her husband to explain the answer to her so she can pass it along.  In this way women have an opportunity to learn to teach others when they are Chosen to enter the resurrection of the Chosen.

Women can teach outside of formal church services; the issue of speaking in the services is not about women teaching, but about proper decorum and order during formal services.

Constance has her own articles on the subject here. 

1 Cor 11: Covering the Hair in Prayer

and   The Role of Women in The Faith

 

 

1 Corinthians 12

1 Corinthians 12:1  Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 12:2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. 12:3 Wherefore I give you to  understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed:  and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

This statement is about those who use the name of Christ or of God to deceive others into following themselves.

John 8:19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.

It is also true that many will say that Christ is Lord and will do so only to deceive away from Christ; do not have the Spirit of God.

Matthew 24:5  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

The Spirit of God is not divided against God and it leads us to accept the authority of the Father and the Son over us and to submit to and obey them. No person can keep Christ’s teachings which include living by every Word of God the Father with enthusiastic zeal, except by the Spirit of God. 

Paul now explains that God’s Spirit is a gift of God, and that the Holy Spirit brings with it various gifts for different individuals for the good of the whole body of believers.

1 Corinthians 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 12:5 And there are differences of   administrations, [different kinds of service] but the same Lord. 12:6 And there are diversities of operations[activities], but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit  is given to every man to profit withal. [We may all have different gifts]; but we all have the same spirit; [if we obey God!]

12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

The word of knowledge is the Holy Scriptures themselves.

If we are called by God and sincerely repent committing to “go and sin no more,” and if we diligently study the scriptures and zealously live by every Word of God, following the lead of God’s Word and Spirit:  We shall be filled with the knowledge of God.

This gift is about more than just reading God’s Word; millions have read God’s Word and have not retained it, nor have they understood it.  The gift of the word of knowledge is the actual knowledge itself especially including the gift of retaining and understanding it.

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:

God’s Spirit in us will fill the faithfully diligent of the called out with the knowledge of God; and will write the knowledge of God on our hearts and in our minds.

Jeremiah 31:33  But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

The word of wisdom on the other hand, is the proper Godly use of knowledge.  Wisdom is learned through the experience of applying the knowledge of the Word of God.

As knowledge of God and his word is a Gift of God’s Spirit; so God can give an increase of wisdom as a Gift of his Spirit.

God’s Spirit is the very nature of God; and God is truth, love and wisdom personified.

God’s Spirit gives the gift of the Word of God and the gift of godly wisdom to those who diligently seek God’s gifts.

Wisdom is found by keeping all of God’s Word and seeking godly wisdom from God by asking for it; and by diligently studying God’s Word and thinking about its application in various circumstances.

Finally  wisdom comes through applying the whole Word of God in our lives and by living by the whole Word of God day by day, so that we learn wisdom through experience.

God gave Solomon the gift of wisdom when he was faithful and submissive to God and when he asked for God’s wisdom; nevertheless Solomon became lifted up with pride and turned aside like Lucifer.

Seek the godliness of living diligently by every Word of God; and seek godly wisdom with all your heart; but beware the sin of pride.

1 Corinthians 12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit;

Spiritual faith means to trust God.  It means that we must believe and trust that there is a God; that Jesus Christ was the Creator who died for the sins of humanity, and that he was resurrected to spirit and eternal life by  God the Father, because he kept his Father’s Word.

Spiritual faith is an unshakable knowledge and belief that if we follow the lead and example of Jesus Christ to please God the Father in all things, that God will also raise us up to spirit and eternal life.

Such faith is a Gift of God.

God the Father must call us to this faith by opening our minds to understand and believe his Word.  The very first thing that we must do is to believe the Word of God, and to believe the deeds recorded and the blessings and curses promised for obedience or disobedience.  This initial calling and belief in the Word of God, is a Gift of God through the agency of the leading of the Spirit of God.

Then we must believe the Mighty Deeds of God recorded for us, so that we might grow in faith and might be fully persuaded that God has the power to keep his promises; for the good of those who love him and keep his Word; or for the correction of those who will not obey.

We must believe and know that if we sincerely repent and commit to follow the whole Word of God; that God is able to save us from death, as Jesus himself was raised up from the grave as an example for us, that we might also be raised up to spirit and eternal life, if we are full of Christ-like zeal to obey and please the Father in heaven.

We must also know and fully believe that those who reject God’s Word will be strongly corrected in God’s own time, and if they refuse to sincerely repent, the wages of sin will be death in the lake of fire.

Faith standing alone is not enough and will not increase but quickly die, unless it is  accompanied by the works of faith, which are dedicated obedience to God and God’s Word.

Then as we go through life diligently passionately loving and obeying our beloved Father in heaven, our faith in God and His Word will increase day by day, as He helps us to overcome and learn his ways more perfectly.

More Gifts of the Spirit

. . .to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

Various individuals are given the gift of healing, or the gift of the power to perform miracles or an understanding of prophecy, or the ability to discern good [God’s Spirit] and evil spirits. 

Each individual is not to be puffed up with his gift but to use their gift for the good of the whole body of believers.

12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits;  to another divers kinds of tongues   [The ability to speak in languages not known by the speaker are not the only sign of God’s Spirit; but are only one gift of the Spirit, given only to a few. Other gifts are given to different people by the very same Holy Spirit]; to another the   interpretation of tongues:  [The interpretation of tongues is the ability to understand a different language as opposed to speaking a strange language.]

12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he [as God wills] will.

12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

12:13 For by one [by the same Spirit] Spirit are we all baptized into one body, [That is, we are all brought into the body of “the called” to Christ by the same Spirit.] whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

12:14 For the body is not one member, but many. 12:15   If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 12:16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 12:17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

God has called and set in the body each individual, giving them gifts as it pleased God.  Each individual and each gift are placed in the body for the good of the whole body. 

12:18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body [of the called to Christ], as it hath pleased him.

12:19 And if they were all one member, where were the body? 12:20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.

12:21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

12:22 Nay, much more those members of the body,  which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 12:23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

The elderly may be physically slowing down and yet very strong in experience and wisdom; the young person may be filled with an infectious excitement and enthusiasm. The poor may be rich in faith and prayer. All persons have their place and function in the body.

12:24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: 12:25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

Where is the love to live by the Word of God today?

12:26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles [to preach to the public and raise up assemblies], secondarily prophets [to communicate God’s will to the brethren], thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments [organizers, administrators], diversities of tongues [languages].

Each of these gifts can be given to any person as God wills, and each is to be used for the good of others.

It is true that none of these things are any proof of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit; for Satan can send false apostles, false prophets and counterfeit miracles and gifts.  How then do we differentiate the Holy Spirit from a false spirit? 

This is the subject for tomorrow.

12:29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers?

These are differences of service, functions and responsibilities in the brotherhood, and such differences are not to be used to exalt one over the other!

Notice that the diversities of tongues {languages} is mentioned last.

. . . . Are all workers of miracles? 12:30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

There are many gifts and many brethren; not every person has all gifts, but each person is given gifts as God pleases, for the good of the whole body. In spite of all the various gifts of God; people tend to focus on the gift of tongues.

The gift of speaking in tongues.  First it is not given to all converted people, but to only a few. Second it is about the ability to speak in a language of another person without any personal knowledge of that language; for the purpose to teaching God’s Word to a stranger, as was done at Pentecost. 

Acts 2:8  And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 2:9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 2:10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,  2:11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

Many have misunderstood this and claim that speaking an emotionally ecstatic induced gibberish is evidence of the Holy Spirit.  They believe that by giving up control of their minds to this level, that it means that they have God’s Spirit. 

Of course the scriptures say something very different, for God’s Spirit is the spirit of power and of a sound mind to control oneself (1 Ti 1:7); and the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets (1 Cor 13:32); that is, the Holy Spirit leads, it never takes control. 

This giving up of the mind to ecstatic utterances has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit and is often demonic in nature with the foul spirit entering an open and inviting mind.

Please click the red links to the other studies on this subject at the top of this post.

 

Discerning the Spirits

It is vital that we be able to discern between God’s Spirit and deceitful false spirits.  Here are a few keys to spiritual discernment between God’s Holy Spirit and the many counterfeit spirits trying to deceive us and lead us astray.

Satan presents himself as an angel of light counterfeiting the gifts and fruits of God’s Spirit.

2 Corinthians 11:14  And no marvel; for Satan himself is [presents himself] transformed into an angel of light. 11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also [present themselves] be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
2 John 1:7  For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come [Jesus Christ will come to dwell in our flesh, through his spirit Romans 8:9]  1:8 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. 1:9 Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 1:10  And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.)empowering us to live as he lived keeping the whole Word of God] in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

How can we discern between the Holy Spirit of God and the counterfeits presented by Satan to deceive us away from God?

The Spirit of God is truth and leads those who follow it into all truth.  The Word of God is truth, therefore the spirit of God and the Word of God are always consistent. 

John 17:17  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
 
The first key; 
God’s Spirit is the Spirit of Christ and will do the same thing that Jesus did, and will keep the whole Word of God.  The Holy Spirit will lead us to live by every Word of God without any hint of compromise.  It would NEVER lead us to compromise with any sin; it would never lead us to set aside sections of scripture to enable us to justify our sins; instead it would lead us into all truth and into a zealous keeping of the whole Word, the truth of God; as Christ did and does.

 John 14:15   If ye love me, keep my commandments. 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

God’s Spirit is not available to the worldly; because the worldly, the carnally minded, are not subject to God and cannot be.  God’s Holy Spirit is given ONLY to those who keep God’s law. 

Acts 5:32  And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

John 14:23   Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 14:24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.  14:25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

What did Jesus teach?

Matthew 19:17  And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

God’s Spirit is the Spirit of truth and is the very nature of the Father and Christ;  that nature is a Gift of God the Father to dwell within all those who have sincerely repented and committed themselves to keeping all of his commandments.

The Holy Spirit is ONLY given to those who obey all the teachings [doctrines] and commandments of the Father and Christ; for the Holy Spirit is the very nature of God and is not, and cannot, be divided against God.  It is ONE in complete UNITY with Christ and the Father; and if it is dwelling is us, it will lad us into complete whole hearted UNITY with the Father and Christ.

Those who have not sincerely repented of breaking or compromising with the commandments of God, and who have not committed to STOP sinning and to START learning of God and keeping all of God’s commandments with passionate zeal:  Will NOT be given the GIFT of the Holy Spirit!  and if they did have it and have gotten lax for God’s law; they are quenching that Spirit!

John 15:26   But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

God is spirit (John 4:24); the Holy Spirit of Christ is the spirit of truth (John 14:17, 1 John 5:6, John 14:18-28).

What is truth?  God’s Word is truth (John 17:17).

Ephesians 5:8    For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: [therefore] walk [live] as children of light: 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

The Spirit of God leads us into all truth and proves in our minds what is acceptable to God through the Word of God.

5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

We are to have nothing to do with false doctrine or willful  sin, and we are commanded NEVER to tolerate, but to reprove all false doctrine and sin.

5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

 James 1:22    But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 1:23  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 1:24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty [from bondage to sin], and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Therefore, in John 16:7 Christ said:  Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

Jesus Christ had to fulfill his mission and die for the sins of the world so that those who are called of the Father, to come to Christ and believe on him; called to repent of disobedience to the word of God; those who commit themselves at baptism, washing away the sins of the past and become alive to Christ and dead to sin; might then receive the GIFT of God’s spirit.

God’s Spirit is a gift given ONLY to those who obey all the commandments of God without compromise.

Acts 5:32   And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

It is time to be absolutely clear:  God is NOT divided against himself; God the Father and the Son are ONE in complete unity; and their Spirit is ONE in complete unity with them:  The Holy Spirit is the nature of God the Father and of the Son; and is NOT divided against them! 

The Holy Spirit will lead us into the truth of the whole Word of God; and will NEVER lead us to compromise with that Word or to reject parts of it, or to countenance and tolerate anything false, or any willful sin. 

Therefore any spirit which teaches tolerance for doctrinal diversity, or teaches that doctrine is not important; and any spirit that teaches that a little willful sin is all right because Jesus will understand and forgive: and any spirit that rejects sections of scripture [like on the Sabbath or Calendar or Holy Days] to justify false teachings and sin: Is the false spirit of antichrist, it is a satanic spirit attempting to counterfeit God’s Spirit and lead us astray from Almighty God! 

Look at many churches and think about what they are doing!  They are rejecting the Holy Spirit of truth for false demonic spirits of deceit and sin!  They are quenching God’s Holy Spirit by rebellion against any zeal to keep the Word of God; and because they have rejected any zeal to keep the Word of God, Jesus Christ is going to reject them and spue them out of his body  (Rev 3:16). 

This is serious!  This is a salvational matter!

Therefore God in his mercy, willing to try to save us, will cast us into great tribulation that through the affliction of the flesh the spirit might be brought to repentance and be saved.  But we are forewarned and can TEST and PROVE the spirits: whether they are of God or of the Wicked One.

How do we discern the spirits whether they be holy or evil? 

We are commanded to test and prove out all things by the whole Word of God.

1 John 4:4 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

1 Thessalonians 5:21  Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

That is the reason for the scattering of the COG groups today:  We have apostatized and blindly followed idols of men, not proving all things as to whether they be true like the Berean’s  and have refused to be zealous for God’s commandments:  We have quenched the Holy Spirit of God!

In all honesty, we have rejected God’s ways and replaced God’s commandments with our own traditions and with our own ways that we think are right.  And in so doing, we are about to be thrust OUT of the mouth [body] of Christ, Rev 3:15; just like Adam and Eve were thrust out of the garden.

We have become speakers and NOT doers of God’s will!  Paying lipservice to God and his will, while doing what is right in our own eyes!  They say and do not!  Just like the Catholics and so many others.

We have rejected any zeal for God’s ways, turning to our own ways and quenching God’s spirit by our rebelliousness, and then daring to call ourselves godly and righteous!

We have been deceived into equating obedience to idols of men as obedience to God, and have been led away from any zeal for the practical application of God’s commandments in pour lives.

The Holy Spirit is the GIFT of God to those who have sincerely repented of following the false traditions of men, and who have committed themselves to love and cherish God and all his commandments. 

By leaving our first love to turn back into the spiritual Egypt of slavery to the false traditions of men; we have been deceived into rejecting much of God’s Word, and because we have rejected him:  He will also reject us until we repent!

Righteousness and Discernment

The fruits of a spirit, or a man; are the results of their thoughts and actions, and these fruits sum up the character of the person or spirit, whether it is godly or evil.

As Christ commanded:

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

A wolf feeds himself first, and ravages the flock.

Ezekiel 34 the entire chapter is about those shepherds in BOTH physical and spiritual Israel who are wolves and feed themselves with all the good things of the flock while neglecting to feed the flock with the truth is due season.

Those who are  political and seek the chief seats, who seek self aggrandizement and personal advantage; are the wolves hiding among the sheep. Today there are very many wolves who do not feed the sheep the true Gospel of: warning, repentance, and diligent faithful obedience to God and salvation. Which is the way of life, the very Word of God, and the way to salvation.

Ezekiel 34:1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 34:2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?

Matthew 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

If any man teaches tolerance for sin out of a phony false love; if any elder tolerates sin [the breaking of God’s commandments, not the breaking of some organizational edict] without rebuke; if any organization does not preach a message of warning and repentance to the world; They are corrupt branches that will be pruned off at the judgment!

The True Good Shepherd feeds the flock with the words of truth; with the teachings that lead to salvation; strongly rebuking all sin. We are to follow that true Good Shepherd with the diligent KEEPING of the whole Word of God, so that the whole flock internalizes God the Father and the Son; growing into a full spiritual unity with God!

John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

Matthew 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

The good tree is that Good Shepherd who is working to bring the whole flock into a fullness of unity with Christ and the Father! We are to follow that Good Shepherd who gave his all, his very life for the Father’s flock and did not seek his own.

We are to follow that example that was set for us, and faithfully serve the Father by feeding his flock with the very Word of God, the very nature of God; without fear or compromise; regardless of what men think or do.

There are some good shepherds among you even now, who teach the true way of salvation and are alert watchmen discerning the signs of the times. They may be kept down, ridiculed and even persecuted by others, yet the Father will reward them.

Luke 12:42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?

12:43 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

12:44 Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.

Matthew 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

The evil servant.

Luke 12:45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;

To abuse others and seek his own pleasures.

12:46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

12:48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

Matthew 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

You shall know the good shepherds by their love of God and their diligent keeping and teaching of the commandments of God and by their diligence to do the will of HIM who called them.

Matthew 23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

Those who internalize the nature of God the Father and Jesus Christ; who become one with them in total spiritual unity, through a deep love for God and all the things of God, those who love the passionate keeping of all of their commandments and who set a good example of godliness and FEED THE FLOCK with the good pasture of the Word, watering them with the Spirit of Godliness, are building on the foundation of the Word of God: Which shall NEVER be moved.

Ephesians 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

Matthew 7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 7:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

The words of Christ are not taught  today, because they are NOT KEPT!  It is because the Word of God exposes the many false shepherds among us!  It is because the Word of God cuts sharply into the very heart and spirit of our organizations and convicts us of our sins and egocentric complacency; and our lack of Christ centeredness; exposing our almost total lack of Christ-like zeal for God the Father’s will and ways!

Jesus Christ stands at the door of each of those called to him; knocking (Rev 3), calling us to repent of our self righteous idolizing of our own ways; calling us to a diligent dedicated passionate obedience to the commandments of God; calling us to a zeal for the keeping of God’s Word and instructions; calling us to sincerely repent of our self seeking embracing of worldliness.

We are to test all men and spirits by the scriptures and we are to discern between the righteous and the wicked, by their fruits [deeds]. 

Today many make a big deal about claiming to be led by the Holy Spirit.  They are trying to hide their moves towards even greater apostasy by falsely claiming they are growing in godliness as led by God’s Spirit; when they are going further and further away from godliness and following a spirit of deception and apostasy. 

If the spirit they are following were godly, it would lead them towards a deeper unity with God through the diligent and enthusiastic keeping of the whole Word of God. Instead they are doing the exact opposite and departing further and further from any zeal to keep the commandments of God. 

Why is this happening? 

We have been called to RULE the nations in the future and God is TESTING us to be certain that we will be absolutely loyal and faithful to follow the whole Word of God forever, regardless of trials or temptations to do otherwise.  God  does not want another Lucifer on his hands; he needs to KNOW us and therefore needs to TEST us.

It is to PROVE and TEST us for our fitness to rule with him for eternity that God has allowed the COG groups to go astray.  God has allowed strong charismatic leaders; to TEST us as to whether we will blindly follow idols of men, or whether we will follow God and the whole Word of God! 

Deuteronomy 13:1  If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, 13:2  And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;

Regardless of appearances [for Satan and his ministers present themselves as angels of light]  we are to  prove all things by the scriptures; we are to follow the whole Word of God and not idols of men.

13:3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

God’s Spirit will always be totally consistent with the truth of the whole Word of God, and a false spirit will decry any zeal to live by every Word of God and will try to get you to live contrary to the Word of God!

There is NO authority in any man; all authority is in the Word of God and any man who teaches contrary to God’s Word, is NOT of God and has absolutely NO authority! 

Working miracles, healings, or ability to speak many languages is no indicator of the presence of the Holy Spirit of God.   

Matthew 7:21   Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Point Two

2 Timothy 1:7  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
God’s Spirit is the Spirit of a sound mind and power; it is the Spirit of self control.  God’s  spirit is not the spirit of the loss of self control or of extreme emotional ecstasy.  The Holy Spirit is a Spirit of self control that strengthens us to calmly and wisely decide to do right and refuse to do wrong; empowering us to keep the whole Word of God. 
 
A false counterfeit spirit of extravagant emotional feel good experience, in place of zealous law keeping, which is God’s definition of godly love; is NOT the Holy Spirit of God.  
Many have been deceived about the spirit they are following, because they are not zealous to keep the whole Word of God; and they are leading others astray with them. 
 

God’s Spirit is love and what is love?  Love is defined by God’s Word as:

 

2 John 1:6  And this is love, that we walk after [live by] his commandments.

 
1 John 2:5  But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk [live], even as he walked [lived and lives].
 
John 14:21   He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him 14:22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?  14:23  Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him 14:24  He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

Let us prove all things by the Word of God, and live by every Word of God; in doing so we show that we love God and Christ:  and if we do not do that, we do not love God the Father or Christ no matter what we claim. 

Romans 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves

In spite of all the various gifts of God; people tend to focus on the gift of tongues.

This gift of tongues is not given to all converted people. Second it is about the ability to speak in a language of another person without any personal knowledge of that language; for the purpose to teaching God’s word to a stranger, as was done at Pentecost 31 A.D. 

Speaking in tongues is not about giving up ones self control, for that is giving up God’s Spirit of a sound well controlled mind. 

Acts 2:8  And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 2:Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 2:10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 2:11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

Speaking gibberish is NOT evidence of the Holy Spirit; giving up control of our minds to this level, is the exact OPPOSITE of the Holy Spirit of God. God’s Spirit is the Spirit of controlled thoughts and actions based on the truth of God’s Word and the keeping of the whole Word of God. 

The scriptures teach quite differently insisting that those with God’s Spirit are to be self controlled persons, not giving up their self control to emotional excess. God’s spirit is the spirit of power and of a sound mind to control oneself (1 Ti 1:7); and the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets (1 Cor 13:32); that is, the Holy Spirit leads, it never takes control. 

This giving up of the mind to ecstatic utterances has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit and is often demonic in nature with the foul spirit entering an open and inviting mind.

In these perilous times it is more important than ever that we do not blindly believe everything that we are told, and that we discern men and spirits whether they be holy or profane.

Ezekiel 44:23   And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.
 
Study the scriptures and learn to discern between good and evil.
 
Hebrews 5:14   But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Prove all things, spirits and men, by the whole Word of God, and hold fast that which is good and consistent with the whole Word of God.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 3:6 In all thy ways

 

1 Corinthians 13

Paul now begins speaking of the chief gift of God’s Spirit which is [Agape] love as defined by the Word of God.  Love is defined by Almighty God as the keeping of the laws, statutes, commandments, judgments and living by every Word of God.  If we do not love God enough to be zealous to live by every Word of God; than NOTHING else matters.

1 Corinthians 13:1  Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels [though I speak all languages], and have not charity [agape love], I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

We are like a sound that is here and gone in the night; if we do not zealously live by every Word of God which define true godly love.

13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity [the agape love of God and every Word of God], I am nothing.

We are like a sound that is here and gone in the night; if we do not zealously live by every Word of God which defines godly love.  In other words there is no lasting value to anything that is not consistent with the whole Word of God which defines godly love.

13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity [we must have enough love for God to live by every Word of God in Christ-like zeal], it profiteth me nothing.

13:4 Charity [Godly nature is love, and is defined by the Word of God] suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil [does not lust after evil or meditate on wickedness]; 13:6 Rejoiceth not  in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

This is the exact opposite of the false “love” being pushed by many today.  They reject the truth and any zeal to live by every Word of God, they are easily provoked and they are filled with pride

God’s Word is TRUTH.

13:7 Beareth all things [endures all trials to keep God’s Word of love], believeth all [godly] things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 13:8 Charity [Godly love as defined by the  Word of God] never faileth [God’s Word goes on forever]: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail [come to an end, having been completed; but the Word [nature and love] of God can never end]; whether there be tongues, they shall cease [languages are living changing things]; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away [be replaced by more complete knowledge].

13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I   understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put  away childish things.

13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know [after the change to spirit we shall know the things of God more fully] even as also I am known.

13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity [Godly love as defined by God’s Word].

As Solomon said; we are nothing but a passing noise with no permanency: if we do not zealously live by every Word of God which is the definition of godly love.

Ecclesiastes 12:13  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

 

Where Has the Love of God Gone in Today’s Ekklesia?

I live in a very mountainous area and it is common to fence off steep precipices:

Why?  To warn of the dangers and to protect people from bad falls; to warn of dangers that we might not notice before getting caught up in them.

God’s law is a protective fence to keep us from danger; to keep us from hurting others; and to keep us from getting hurt ourselves.

God’s law is love; we love, first by obeying God our Father as he teaches us how to do good toward him, ourselves and others. God’s law is love because it protects ALL of God’s children from hurting one another; it brings peace and stability; God’s commandments are the Constitution of his Kingdom.

If we have God’s love in us, we would be obeying our Father: To disobey our Father is not loving him.

To break God’s law and harm others is not loving them. To love is to live by every Word of God; and to be kind and quick to forgive repented faults as God is quick to forgive.

If we truly loved God and our neighbor, we would be zealous for the Law of Love; we would be zealous to keep that law of love with all our hearts and beings; and we would be zealous to encourage our brethren to do likewise, for their own good because we love them.

Would it be love to stand and watch as our brother is run down by a truck?   Or would it be love to give a shout of warning? God’s law warns us of the dangers in our lives and if we keep God’s Word it protects us from those dangers.

For far too long, zeal for God’s law has been regarded as Pharisaic when the exact opposite is the truth.

Who drove the money changers out of the temple: Jesus Christ or the Pharisees? Who made the law of God of no effect by their traditions; Jesus Christ or the Pharisees?

Jesus Christ was filled with zeal for his Father’s law; because Jesus Christ LOVED his Father and he gave himself for our lawbreaking to pay for our sins and give the sincerely repentant a new start, because he LOVED us.

The religion of Christ is an ACTION oriented love. Jesus Christ died because he LOVED his Father’s law and he died to reconcile us to God the Father by cleansing us from our law breaking and turning us back toward God the Father.

How are we turned back to God the Father? By turning back to keeping God’s LAW OF LOVE. God is LOVE; his LAW IS LOVE.

To be one with God; we must BECOME LOVE as God is LOVE: which is defined by the whole Word of God.

To become LOVE as God is love, we MUST become like him; and we become like him by doing what he does and commands us to do.

Among some in the major religions there is a very strong drift toward the shallowness of an emotional kind of false love which neglects the practical application of the Word of God.

I have heard of this laxity in the very highest places. This false “love” is the first step AWAY from the true love of God; replacing an action oriented KEEPING of the commandments; with a shallow emotional experience. 

Lip-service is paid to the commandments while the practical application of those commandments is compromised.

This attitude of replacing the action of godly love with a good time experience, makes the law and love of God of no effect,

It is a great sin against godly love to rely on false teachings that can be shown to fall short of a good understanding of sound doctrine; instead of being willing to continually look into the mirror of God’s Word to diligently learn and obey the whole Word of God, which is true godly love.

The love of God is an action, based on God’s law. God’s law defines who God is [which is LOVE] and reveals how we can become like him!

We become like God by doing what God says and does.

Yes, Paul is correct; We NEED to be filled with God’s love; which is defined by and described by: God’s Word.

The only way to fulfill the love of 1 Corinthians 13 is to live by every Word of Almighty God; including fulfilling the mercy of God.

God forgives those who sincerely repent of breaking the law of love;  God will NEVER  accept his mercy and grace being used to justify continuing in sin defying him and his Word!

In that case there is NO more Sacrifice for sin, (Heb 10:26)

The law of God is the foundation of Godly behavior;  the Word and Law of God is the foundation of all proper behavior.

All other things must be consistent with God’s Word and must not be contrary to God’s law.

God’s Word, commandments and teachings are the foundation of all Godliness; and if the foundation is allowed to fall into decay in our lives: we will be rejected by Christ into severe correction until we have learned our lesson.

 

1 Corinthians 14

1 Corinthians 14:1  Follow after charity   [Seek to be filled with the love of God; through diligently living by every Word of God], and desire spiritual gifts, but rather earnestly desire the gift of prophesy; [This does not mean to predict events only; it means to teach God’s Word through the inspiration of God.] that ye may prophesy.

14:2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him [no one understands the strange speech]; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

If we speak Greek to an audience of Chinese; only God will understand what you are saying.  Your words will be a mystery to your listeners.

14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

The gift of prophecy [inspired speaking] benefits all who hear and keep it!

14:4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself [for only he understands his own words]; but he that prophesieth edifieth the [whole] church.

14:5 I would that ye all spake with tongues [many languages], but [more so] rather that ye prophesied: for greater [more value to the congregation] is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.

14:6 Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, [My words will profit only if they are understood, therefore it is better to speak under inspiration of God.  This proves that “Tongues” is only the inspired knowledge of languages.] except I shall speak to you either by [inspired] revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?

These gifts of the Spirit are very closely related, for the same spirit inspires an understanding of languages, and the same Spirit gives the gift of inspired speaking; and all gifts are from God because we are zealous to keep God’s Word which is godly love.  To keep God’s Word we also need the gift of faith in God;  and how can we teach God’s Word if we do not have the gift of knowing and retaining God’s Word of knowledge?

14:7 And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? 14:8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

Isaiah 58:1  Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

1 Corinthians 14:9 So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. 14:10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.

The warning must be crystal clear and loud enough to be heard so that all the brethren will hear, know and understand the warnings; so that many will turn to the Eternal and that those who do not, will have no excuse before God against God’s correction.

14:11 Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. 14:12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel [Excel in inspired speaking that you may instruct the Church] to the edifying [The building up of the Ekklesia into a bride without fault before her Husband] of the church.

14:13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray [When we desire to pray or speak before the brethren, in a language different from them, we must keep silent unless there is someone there who can interpret so all will understand] that he may interpret. 14:14 For if I pray [publicly pray (speak) before the assembly] in an unknown tongue [language], my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful [The hearers may also be praying in spirit, but do not understand what is being said; and so cannot agree with the speaker.].

14:15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. 14:16 Else when thou shalt   bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen [How can a man agree with another and say Amen, if he does not understand what has been said?] at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?

14:17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified [If he does not understand your words]. 14:18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues [Paul spoke more languages than others in the congregation] more than ye all: 14:19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five   words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

Why then would Paul not write in the language of his addressees?  Paul wrote to the Greeks in the Greek language, and to Jews in their own language; as he himself taught men to do.

14:20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice [be not malicious but full of childlike innocence from sin] be ye children, but in understanding [of godliness] be men [be mature and filled with godly understanding]

14:21 In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. 14:22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not:

This is a use of the metaphor of “tongues” [foreign languages] to indicate how the unconverted [spiritually uncalled] cannot understand the things of God.  It was as if they were hearing the things of God in some strange foreign language that they could not understand.

It takes the Spirit of God to interpret [give us understanding] the Word of God to our minds; and it takes a physical interpreter to give us understanding of a foreign language otherwise incomprehensible to us.

14:23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with [different languages]  tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad [They will say that this is incomprehensible confusion]?

14:24 But if all prophesy [in one local language], and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, [because he understands what is being said] he is judged [he is convicted by the message because he understands it] of all: 14:25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. [Let everyone speak, in decent order and in the language of the audience, and not in a confused commotion]

14:27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three [in foreign languages], and that by course; and let one interpret. 14:28 But if there be no interpreter, let him [who does not speak the language of the local brethren keep silent if there is no interpreter] keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself [speak quietly n his mind], and to God.

14:29 Let the prophets [inspired speakers] speak two or three, and let the other judge [Let the brethren judge his words by the Scriptures].

14:30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. 14:31 For ye may all prophesy one by one [provided they are orderly and are consistent with God’s Word], that all may learn, and all may be comforted.

`14:32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.

God’s Spirit does not possess and control a person; it guides,  teaches and leads. Those who have God’s Spirit have a choice whether to follow or not to follow God; and if people refuse to follow God’s Spirit, that Spirit will be quenched within them. When a spirit seizes a person in an uncontrollable manner; that spirit is of Satan the devil

14:33 For God is not the author of confusion [God does not allow confusion within his own household: God does author confusion among his enemies], but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

The context is proper order and decorum in the service, and in a formal worship service a woman is to be subject to her father or her husband if she has one.  If she has neither, she should ask outside of the formal services.

14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches [the word “church’ is not in the bible, properly this “in the services / meetings” and refers to people interrupting the service]: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. 14:35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

This is about standing up before the saints and teaching them in a formal service.

This forbids a woman to enter the ministry for it is would be unseemly and unlawful for a woman to publicly teach and reprimand her husband, or the husbands of other women; because they are under their own husband’s or father’s authority.

A woman may certainly discuss the Scriptures with her father or husband, with other women, and with her children; and with the elders in the Church with the knowledge and consent of her husband.  She may teach like Priscilla and Deborah, only she is not to usurp her husband or father or the ministry; or the proper order and dignity of formal worship services.

14:36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? [Did you originate the Word of God, or did it come to you from God?] 14:47 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.

This includes everything written in First Corinthians and all the word’s of Paul in all his epistles [including his words on hair covering]

14:38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. 14:39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. [Don’t forbid people to speak in different languages, but insist that all things be done in an orderly manner, with proper interpretation, for the benefit of the hearers.] 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

 

1 Corinthians 15
1 Corinthians 15:1  Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, [Remember and continue in faithful obedience to Paul’s instructions and the doctrines (teachings) of the whole Word of God; If we do not, all of our past faithfulness will count for nothing.] unless ye have believed in vain.

Ezekiel 33:13  When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.

1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; [how Christ fulfilled the law of sacrifice.] 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the [At the end of the third day. The term “on” was designated by the translators according to their bias for the false Friday crucifixion and Sunday resurrection teaching] third day according to the scriptures: 15:5   And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 15:6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

15:7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 15:8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

Paul declares the many witnesses to the death and the resurrection of Christ and declares that he himself had seen the resurrected Christ, and I dare say that he probably also saw the crucifixion as most Jews in Jerusalem saw it.

15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Paul regrets his persecution of the Ekklesia; and fully understands how very great a mercy God has shown to himself.

15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which   was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

Knowing how great God’s grace and mercy was to him, Paul is one of the most humble men in spite of his great learning; and he worked day and night to please his Lord and not to please men.

15:11 Therefore whether it were I  [Paul says that God’s work MUST be done, whether by Paul or by some other] or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

Paul defends the doctrine of a resurrection.

15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 15:13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

We must have faith not only in the sacrifice, but also in the resurrection of Christ, and must also have faith that God will raise us up, if Christ dwells in us through the Holy Spirit

15:15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 15:16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 15:18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. [Having no hope.] 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

The word FIRST, clearly meaning that others will follow in a similar resurrection to spirit.

15:21 For since by man came death, by man [Jesus Christ was a man in the flesh; having given up his God-hood to be made flesh] came also the resurrection of the dead. 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

15:24 Then cometh the [final end] end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even [to] the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. [After he has destroyed Satan, Revelation 20:10.]

15:27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, all things are put under him, it is manifest that he [God the Father] is excepted, which did put all things under him.

15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him [Christ shall continue to be subject to God the Father] that put all things under him, that God [the Father] may be all in all. 15:29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for [Into the death and the resurrection.] the dead [If Christ be not raised from the dead what will happen to those who are baptized into the death and resurrection of Christ?], if the dead rise not at all?

If we cannot rise from the dead; why are we baptized in a symbolic death and resurrection? 

Baptism is more than a commitment, it is an allegory demonstrating how we shall die physically and be raised a NEW being of spirit like Christ; if we continue in Christ-like zeal to learn and live by every Word of God!

Baptism is a symbolic death of the past sinful self; and a rising to a new life in Christ: If there be no resurrection and Christ is not risen; why do we then baptize as a demonstration of the coming resurrection?  For if we will not be resurrected then we should remain under the water as being dead.

No, baptism pictures the death of the wicked law breaking person; AND the rising up of a new being faithful to God the Father and Jesus Christ, in a resurrection to life in the spirit; at one and united with God!

15:30 And why stand [Why do we place ourselves in danger and persecution if there is no hope of a resurrection to eternal life?] we in jeopardy every hour?

15:31 I protest [against the false teaching that there is no resurrection from the dead] by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die [Paul suffers and endures for the sake of rejoicing in the resurrection of the brethren.] daily.

15:32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not?   [if there is no resurrection we have no hope and are fools to endure so much for nothing.] let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.

15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications [False teachings corrupt good conduct.] corrupt good manners.   15:34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

Paul commands us to live by the Righteousness of the Word of God and not to sin!  We are to continue in Christ; loathing sin and compromise with the Father’s commandments, as Christ hated such sin.

There is no such thing as “once saved, always saved.” We must continue and build upon our commitment to “go and sin no more” that we made to Jesus Christ at our initial repentance. 

We must not turn back into Egypt as some in Israel did and were destroyed for their wickedness.

15:35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?

15:36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: 15:37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: 15:38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

God decides what new body he will give each person.

15:39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. 15:40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 15:41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.

15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 15:43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

Sown in physical death, to be reaped into a new spiritual body; even as baptism shows a   person being buried under the waters with a physical carnal nature, to be raised up a new person with  a new spiritual nature!  We must then continue in the spiritual nature of God and not seek to turn back to the carnal physical nature that we are being delivered out of.

15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a [Jesus Christ was changed from flesh to spirit.] quickening spirit.

15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

15:48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 15:49  And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

If we sincerely repent of breaking God’s law and then continue in living by every Word of God we shall be raised up to eternal life.

15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

If we remain carnal and not subject to the Word of God; we shall NOT enter the resurrection   to spirit.

15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, [the physical will be changed to spirit] and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?   15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the [The breaking of the law for which the penalty is death.] law.

15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory [victory over commandment and law breaking, which is sin] through our Lord Jesus Christ.

15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Take a stand to keep the commandments of God without compromise; and you shall, by   internalizing the very nature of God as defined by every Word of God; be changed into spirit as God is spirit!

 

1 Corinthians 16

1 Corinthians 16:1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.

Paul instructs them to do as the Galatians are doing.

16:2 Upon the first day of the week [Sunday, a common work day] let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

Organize and prepare things that all may be ready when I [Paul] arrive.

16:3 And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.

I [Paul] will send those whom you have chosen to bring your assistance to Jerusalem.  Paul says that he will also go to Jerusalem as written in the book of Acts.

16:4 And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.

516: Now I will come unto you, when I shall pass through Macedonia: for I do pass through Macedonia. 16:6 And it may be that I will abide, yea, and winter with you, that ye may bring me on my journey whithersoever I go. 16:7   For I will not see you now by the [Paul will delay for only a short time] way; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit.

Paul would like to spend some time in Corinth instead of just passing by and therefore might or might not go to Jerusalem with the gift at that time.

16:8 But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost. 16:9   For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.  [at Ephesus]

16:10 Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do. 16:11   Let no man therefore despise him: but conduct him forth in peace, that he may come unto me: [send Timothy back to me in peace]  for I look for him with the brethren.

16:12 As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time.

16:13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. 16:14 Let all your things be done with charity [with godly agape love and obedience to every Word of God].

16:15 I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas,  that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,) 16:16 That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth.

16:17 I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied. 16:18 For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.

16:19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. 16:20 All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an   holy kiss. 16:21 The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand.

16:22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ,

Love is demonstrated by seeking to please and desiring the good of the loved one.  We, being the espoused bride of Christ, demonstrate our love by pleasing him with our attentiveness and obedience to him.  We please our espoused Husband by esteeming him [and His Father] above ALL others, and by keeping his teachings and doing his will!

Love is an action, based on the principles that God has revealed in his Word! Love is NOT a worked up emotion or feeling! 

. . . let him be Anathema Maranatha. [Rejected by Christ]

16:23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. 16:24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

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