2 CORINTHIANS

Second Corinthians “A Ministry of Reconciliation” – This is a unique letter with a writing style that is very personal, bold, at times sarcastic, and very defensive – It shares the concern, passion, intimate feelings and thoughts of an Apostle [Paul] who is defending his own apostleship and ministry in a church which he founded – The letter is the least systematic [theology] of the Apostle Paul’s writings – Even a casual reading gives the impression of a man who is on his feet fighting a battle with his feelings and personal biases clearly involved – It reads almost like a man who expresses freely his feelings about himself and his ministry in a journal

Second Corinthians reveals Paul's deep concern for a troubled Greek church. The Church at Corinth had great potential, but its history was marked by dissension, confusion in theology, distortions in worship, and apathy in moral concerns. Therefore, it is a letter of extreme relevance for churches in our day and age. This is a unique letter with a writing style that is very personal, bold, at times sarcastic, and very defensive. It shares the concern, passion, intimate feelings and thoughts of an apostle who is defending his own apostleship and ministry in a church which he founded. The letter is the least systematic of the Apostle Paul's writings. Even a casual reading gives the impression of a man who is on his feet fighting a battle with his feelings and personal biases clearly involved. It reads almost like a man who expresses freely his feelings about himself and his ministry in a journal. Thus analysis of this letter is almost impossible. Try outlining it for yourself. Read with pencil in hand. ... CHRONOLOGY OF RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN PAUL AND THE CORINTHIANS: 1. Paul visited Corinth on his second missionary journey and established a church there about A.D. 50 Acts 18:1-17). 2. While in Ephesus (A.D. 55), Paul heard of moral problems within the Corinthian church from Chloe's people and wrote a letter of instruction to them. He referred to this "previous letter" in 1 Cor. 5:9. This letter no longer exists; it was lost without trace. We will call it Paul's "Corinthians A" letter after F. F. Bruce's designation. 3. Paul received a letter from some of the members in the church concerning serious problems within the fellowship (I Cor. 7:1). They sought Paul's counsel in dealing with the issues. The family of Chloe came with news of the church (I Cor. 1:11), and the visit of Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus (I Cor. 16:17). On the basis of the letter and other information that reached him in Ephesus about problems in the church, Paul wrote what is now called 1 Corinthians in about A.D. 55 and sent it to Corinth via Timothy (I Cor. 4:17). We will call 1 Corinthians letter "Corinthians B". 4. The pastoral letter, 1 Corinthians, was not successful and the situation grows worse. In fact, it seems to have stimulated further rebellion against Paul's authority. In response Paul probably made a brief visit across the Aegean Sea to Corinth in a personal attempt to resolve the crisis (2 Cor. 2:1; 12:14; 13:1-2). This is often referred to as the "painful visit" which breaks his heart. Paul was rebuffed by members of the church. The opposition comes to a head with one member in particular defying his authority. The leadership in the church took no effective action in Paul's defense. Paul, deeply humiliated, left Corinth. 5. The "painful visit" didn't accomplish its goal, therefore Paul returned to Ephesus and wrote a third letter to the Corinthians "out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears." It is referred to in 2 Corinthians 2:3-4, 9, and 7:8, 12. This "exceedingly severe letter," delivered by Titus (2 Cor. 2:3f, 13; 7:13), is often called the stern or rebuking letter. This letter left Paul almost sorry that he had written it. We will call it letter "Corinthians C". 6. Titus visited Corinth with the "severe letter" in an attempt to reconcile the situation. Paul, in the mean time, was so anxious to hear from Titus that he left Ephesus traveling north to Troas seeking him (2 Cor. 2:13; 7:5, 13). Somewhere in Macedonia, probably Philippi, Paul received the good news from Titus of a change in attitude in the Corinthian church. The leader of rebellion had been rejected and disciplined. The church was once again open to Paul's counsel and desirous of his friendship. 7. Paul responded by writing 2 Corinthians from Philippi around A.D. 56 or early A.D. 57. We will call this letter "Corinthians D." 8. Paul made a final visit to Corinth (Acts 20:1-3) during which he solidified his relationship with the church and received the mission offering for the Jerusalem church. On this stay in Corinth Paul probably wrote his letter to the Romans. He sends Titus back to them with two other friends. F. F. Bruce is of the opinion that "this second visit of Titus to Corinth was not so happy as the former one. . . Paul was really putting them on the spot. . . . A new feeling of resentment showed itself among some members of the church, and it was fostered by certain visitors to Corinth who did their best to undermine Paul's prestige in his converts' eyes." He bases his theory on 2 Cor. 10-13. PURPOSE OF SECOND CORINTHIANS: False teachers who claimed to be apostles had infiltrated the Corinthian church with the goal of discrediting Paul's ministry and apostleship. This letter was written with the purpose of refuting these intruders. Paul is defending his integrity. 1. Paul wrote to prepare the Corinthians for his visit and insure the restored relationship with them (chapter 1-7). 2. He wrote to remind the church of their commitment to the offering for the poor saints at Jerusalem (chapters 8-9). 3. Paul defended his apostolic authority (chapters 10-13). 4. "He wrote to reprimand the obstinate remnants of the 'Cephas' (Peter) and 'Christ' factions for their persistent opposition" (Shepard, p. 273). THEME OF 2 CORINTHIANS: The joys and sorrows in Paul's ministry at Corinth at a time when his authority is undermined and severely questioned. ... GENUINENESS OF THE EPISTLE: Many scholars are of the same opinion as J. W. Shepard regarding the genuineness of 2 Corinthians. He writes: There is abundant proof of the circulation and genuineness of this epistle previous to 120 A. D. Polycarp and Irenaeus are among those who testify to this fact; through citation and otherwise. The evidence is yet more copious for early circulation dating from 175 A. D.; the Muratorian Fragment, Marcions Canon, and the citations from Clement of Alexandria and others. . . The internal evidence of Pauline authorship is so clear in the matter of style, vocabulary, and character of its general teachings as to render its authenticity unmistakable. So strong is both the external and internal evidence that only a small group of 'eccentric critics' any longer call in question its genuineness. [link]

2 Corinthians 1 – The Apostle Paul begins what in the Bible is 2nd Corinthians though possibly it is his 4th letter to the Church at Corinth – Paul was a simple straightforward man from a medium sized city (Tarsus) – In Corinth one of the true metropolises of the ancient world the seemingly unsophisticated ways of Paul were almost completely rejected by the highly cultured and complex people of Corinth — ‘2 Corinthians 1:-2 Paul, an Apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the Church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia [grater Greece]’

2 Corinthians 1:9-24 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, *but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us; Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf. For our rejoicing is this, the Testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly [physical, worldly] wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward. For we write none other things unto you, than what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end; As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus. And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second benefit; And to pass by you into Macedonia, and to come again out of Macedonia unto you, and of you to be brought on my way toward Judaea. When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness [Paul didn't neglect the Church at Corinth]? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay? But *as God is True, our word toward you was not yea and nay. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay [devious], but in Him was yea [God is straightforward, steadfast]. For all the promises of God in Him are yea [yes], and in Him Amen [lit. Truth], unto the glory of God by us. Now *He [Holy Spirit] which establishes us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not [postponed] as yet unto Corinth. Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith [redemption (cross) and salvation (resurrection) equal faith] ye stand. - Paul continues to attempt to remove the focus and adoration of the highly cultured Church at Corinth off of individuals and off of society in general and instead seeks for them to focus on the eternal Kingdom of God.

2 Corinthians 1 (Part B) – Intermixed in Paul’s letter is his own personal memoirs and contributions to the Christian Church as a whole — ‘2 Corinthians 1:3-5 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.’

2 Corinthians 1:6-10 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation [wellbeing], which is effectual [an example] in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted [it is also an example], it is for your consolation and salvation. *And our hope [of your success in Christ] of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation. For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: *But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but *in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us; - Paul is revealing that the struggles he is facing day to day in life on the road as a Missionary is very much a constant struggle of life and death.

2 Corinthians 2 – Paul sets out that he is in Ministry to reveal Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world and not for fame, fortune or even wealth — ‘2 Corinthians 2:14-17 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour [sweet aroma] of His knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour [aroma] of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one [unsaved] we are the savour [reminder] of death unto [their eternal spiritual] death; and to the other [fellow Christians] the savour [reminder] of life unto [eternal spiritual] life. And who is sufficient [worthy] for these [eternal – Kingdom of God] things? For we are not as many [hired pastors – imposters], which corrupt the Word of God: but as of sincerity [of an Apostle – Evangelist], but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.’

2 Corinthians 2:6-11 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him. For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things. To whom ye forgive anything, I forgive also: for if I forgave anything, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage [turning our worship into socializing] of us: for we are not ignorant of his [Satan's] devices [tricks]. - Paul now mentions again the person referred to in 1st Corinthians who was removed from fellowship for immoral behavior. The Church in Corinth is instructed to allow the repentant worshiper back into the congregation because Christianity is not a social group and it is not a social gathering it is a place of fellowship, worship and obedience unto the almighty God.

2 Corinthians 2 (Part B) – Paul is explaining that this rift between the Church and himself is taking a heavy personal toll on him — ‘2 Corinthians 2:1-5 But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness. For if I make you sorry, who is he then that makes me glad, but the same [people] which is made sorry by me? And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all. *For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you [possibly a letter after 1st Corinthians and before this 2nd Corinthians] with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you. But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge [breakoff relations with] you all.’

2 Corinthians 2:12-13 Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord, I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia [Greece]. - Apparently Paul wrote a very stern letter the "exceedingly severe letter" delivered by Titus from Ephesus to the Church in Corinth then Paul journeyed from Ephesus to Troas hoping to meet up with Titus and hear of how his stern letter was received back in Corinth. Paul was unable to find Titus so he went further towards Corinth into Macedonia. Titus (2 Corinthians 7:6) finally located Paul and his companions in Macedonia and gave him the good news that the [now missing] stern letter was well received by the Church in Corinth. After the news from Titus then Paul wrote this 2nd Corinthians letter. - Note: The often referred to "stern letter" could have actually been 1st Corinthians that is being mentioned and not a missing letter though Paul's first (memo) letter to Corinth is known to be missing.

2 Corinthians 3 – Glory brings about glory while dishonor brings about dishonor – In order to be conformed into the image of Jesus we need to be steadily transformed from spiritual victory (glory) to spiritual victory (glory) in the Holy Spirit — ‘2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all [Christians], with open [unveiled] face beholding as in a glass [the physical realm] the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image [as Jesus is already in] from glory [accomplishment] to glory [accomplishment], even as by the [Holy] Spirit of the Lord.’

2 Corinthians 3:11-17 For if that which is done away [the laws of Moses] was glorious, much more that which remaineth [the resurrection of Jesus and the giving of the Holy Spirit] is glorious. Seeing then that we have such [resurrection] hope, we use great plainness [outspoken boldness] of speech: And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face (Exodus 34:35), that the Children of Israel [Jews] could no stedfastly look [as the face of Moses dimmed] to the end of that [laws of Moses] which is abolished: But their [Jewish] minds were blinded [covered by the vail of Moses]: for until this day remaineth the same vail [vail of Moses] untaken away [when a Jew/Hebrew reads the Bible they see Moses not Jesus] in the reading of the Old Testament [by the Jews]; which vail is done away [removed from Christians] in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail [of Moses] is upon their [Jewish] heart. Nevertheless when it [Jewish heart] shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. - Paul is explaining that the Bible is not vailed to the Christian. When a Christian reads the Bible the meaning should be self-evident. We as Christians have the vail removed and we have the guidance of the Holy Spirit therefore we don't need to be instructed in the Bible as the Jews are instructed in the laws of Moses. Christians are to engage in their own readings, devotions and studies of the Bible and are not to rely on man or on classes taught by men in order to teach the Bible to us.

2 Corinthians 3 (Part B) – Don’t rely on men to teach you the Bible and in the same context don’t rely on men to recommend other men to you as men of good Christian character, conduct or ability – Assess each Christian man (leader, worker) yourself in prayer, in guidance and in discernment with the Holy Spirit and don’t look for other people to commend your ministry instead just look for ‘living’ Spiritual fruit from God as conformation for your work in Jesus — ‘2 Corinthians 3:1-3 Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles (letters) of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you? Ye are our [living] epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, *written not with ink [in the words of man], but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.’

2 Corinthians 3:4-6 And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; **but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter [the law of Moses or the recommendations of man], but of the [Holy] Spirit: for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life. - Trust in God and look to God both in personal devotions and in personal ministry service. The laws of Moses are constricting, blinding and irrelevant to New Testament service based in the Holy Spirit to God and the advice, council and approval of men is just as entangling, constricting, blinding and worthless in New Testament Christian service and devotions to God.

2 Corinthians 4 – Paul reiterates the equality we all have in Jesus Christ – One Christian person [regardless of service or human status] will be raised up just as the next Christian person — ‘2 Corinthians 4:14 Knowing that He [Father] which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up *us also by Jesus, and shall present [in Heaven] us [equally] with you.’

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward [physical] man perish, yet the inward [spirit-soul] man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction [difficulties of life], which is but for a moment [considering eternity], worketh *for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of [eternal] glory; While we look not at the [current] things which are seen, but at the [eternal] things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal [temporary]; but the [spiritual] things which are not seen are eternal. - Being reminded again of the eternal and complex nature of the spirit realm vs. the briefness and simplicity of the physical realm.

2 Corinthians 4 (Part B) – Christian work is difficult in fact it is doing the impossible therefore relax, enjoy and allow God to work naturally through your life in an extraordinary, supernatural way, a way unknown and not experienced by unsaved mankind — ‘2 Corinthians 4:8-11 We [Christian workers] are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, *that the [unselfish] life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the [extraordinary] life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal [body] flesh.’

2 Corinthians 4:1-7 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint [resign] not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, **nor handling the Word of God deceitfully; *but by manifestation of the Truth commending ourselves *to every man's conscience [discernment] *in the sight of God. But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god [Satan] of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, **[Jesus] who is the image of God, should shine unto them. *For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. *For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness (Genesis 1:3), hath shined in our hearts (Isaiah 60:1, 1 John 2:8), to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this [spiritual] treasure in [fragile] earthen vessels [bodies], that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. - When we allow God into our lives He will live in us and through us naturally in a natural, supernatural way not in a manmade way or in a man-mandated way but only in a spiritual, supernatural way.

2 Corinthians 5 – The physical human body is temporary and for the [saved] Christian will be exchanged for a an eternal spiritual body as given by God to each of us individually — ‘2 Corinthians 5:4-5 For we that are in this tabernacle [temporary physical body] do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed [unembodied], but clothed upon [with an eternal spirit body], that mortality might be swallowed up of [eternal] life. Now He that hath wrought [created] us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest [down payment – Firstfruits] of the Spirit.’

2 Corinthians 5:6-10 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the [physical] body, we are absent from the Lord: For we walk by faith, not by sight: We are confident, I say, and willing rather *to be absent from the [physical] body, and to be present with the Lord. *Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him [Jesus]. For we must all appear before the *judgment seat [lit. foot of the Throne - Bema, G968] of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his [physical] body, according to that he hath done, *whether it be good or bad. - Note: Humans because of sin are originally conceived [in the womb] separated from God but then can become spiritually 'born again' into the family of God as a "Child of God" and remain a child of God while in the physical body. After physical death and appearing in Heaven at the Bema (judgment of Jesus Christ) a holy (clean) person [Christian] is rewarded and adopted into the family of God going from a Child of God to a Son of God and as a Son receiving a new eternal spiritual body, a body in the (image - able to interact and associate with God) resemblance of the risen Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 5 (Part B) – Paul continues to instruct the Church in the ability to discern between the staged and planned exhibits of mankind and the actual eternal Spiritual life realm of God — ‘2 Corinthians 5:11-12 Knowing therefore the terror [lit. reverence] of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences [discernment]. For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory [accomplish] on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them [imposters] which glory in [human] appearance [standing], and not in [a godly soul, spirit] heart.’

2 Corinthians 5:14-21 For the love of Christ constraineth [restraints] us; because we thus judge, that if (lit. since) one [Jesus Christ] died for all [mankind], then were all [mankind were] dead [separated from God]: And that He [Jesus] died for all, **that they which live should not [anymore] henceforth live unto themselves, *but unto Him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore [for that reason - the unselfish sacrifice of Jesus on the cross - and now the eternal life resurrection] henceforth know we no man after the [physical] flesh: yea, though we have known Christ [came at one time physically] after the flesh, *yet now henceforth know we Him no more [physically]. ***Therefore if any man be in Christ, he [born again person] is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. *And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by [Himself] Jesus Christ, **and hath given to us the Ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that ***God was in [Jesus] Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing [holding] their trespasses [sins] unto them; and hath committed unto us the Word of reconciliation [forgiveness of sins in the blood of Jesus]. Now then we are Ambassadors for [Jesus] Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray [ask] you in Christ's stead [stand-in], *be ye reconciled to God. For He hath made Him [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; *that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. - Note: Jesus became sin for us, He took on our sin upon himself as he removed our sin from us. It is important to note that our sins [trespasses] did not affect Jesus permanently but only temporarily while He was on the cross for us. Jesus overcame our sins and as a result the sinless body of Jesus was able to rise from the grave. The Disciple John (Revelation 5:6) observes Jesus standing in Heaven in the midst of the Throne in His slain physical body. Jesus having no sin of His own and perfectly able to overcome our sins (all the sins of the world)was able to bodily resurrect. We humans are unable to overcome even our own sins by ourselves and therefore we do not bodily resurrect as Jesus did but we separate from our body our temporary physical body returns to dust and in the adoption we receive a new resurrection body a body vaguely similar [able to be in the presence of the Holy God and to worship and interact with God] to what Jesus has now.

2 Corinthians 6 – Paul now focuses on the opportunity that life is the opportunity to enter into an eternal life relationship with God — ‘2 Corinthians 6:1-2 We then, as workers together with Him [God – Father, Son Jesus, Holy Spirit], beseech you also that ye receive not the grace [personal individuality allowed by God] of God in vain. For He saith, I [God] have heard thee [prayers] in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured [assisted, aided] thee: **behold, now [today] is the accepted time [to become a born into the family of God – child of God]; behold, now is the day of salvation [eternal life].’

2 Corinthians 6:3-10 Giving no offence in anything [offending not the Jews, Gentiles or the Church of god], that the [Christian] Ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving [representing] ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes [whippings], in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, *in watchings [looking for the 2nd Coming of Jesus], in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy [Spirit] Ghost, by love unfeigned, By *the Word of Truth [Holy Bible], by the power [lit. life creating, resurrection eternal life power - Dunamis, G1411] of God, by the armor of [Jesus'] righteousness on the *right hand [in Christian fellowship] and on the *left [outside of Christian fellowship], By honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. - Note: Paul gives a list of precautions to take and he includes in his list of precautions to be equally cautious and alert inside of the Church [right hand of fellowship] as with those who are outside the Church [the left hand path]. Inside of a Church particularly a metropolis (city) [mega-Church] like Corinth was is no place to remove our Christian armor and no place to set aside our individual discernment. There can be and are just as many perils within Church fellowships as there are outside of Church fellowships and inside the Church there is always the ever-present wolves seeking take advantage of people in the fellowship with their Christian guard down and sometimes the wolves are behind the pulpits and in the Universities and in the classrooms and write books and broadcast on the radio and other very public and prominent positions so always be careful inside of Church as well as outside of Church. Also Note: Because we do have the discernment of God we can interact more with people both inside and outside of Church. This is not an invitation to close up and disassociate with others, just the opposite it is a calling to interact more in a fallen imperfect world but with the admonishment to maintain at all times a prayerful, purposeful Christian demeanor and attitude at all times and in all places.

2 Corinthians 6 (Part B) – Do to the behind the scenes and always hindering nature of spiritual warfare and because of the Christian maturity of the Apostle Paul the Apostle is actively seeking to keep the door of communication open and accessible with his Church in Corinth knowing that Satan prefers to deceive in darkness with rumors and through innuendos — ‘2 Corinthians 6:11-13 O ye Corinthians, our mouth [communication] is open unto you, our heart is enlarged [accepting you]. Ye are not straitened [confined] in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels. Now for a recompense in the same, I speak as unto my children [in the faith], be ye also enlarged [accepting].’

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what Communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial [Satan]? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the Temple of God with idols? **for ye are the Temple of the living God; as God hath said, *I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; *and I will receive you [clean - holy], And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. - Note: The relationship restored by Jesus Christ between God and mankind is now a family relationship it is closer than the mutual friendship between God and mankind that existed before as in the days of trouble and separation experienced by Job and others in that time.

2 Corinthians 7 – Paul continues to represent that Christianity requires individual self-effort – Christianity, a relationship with God, does not just happen by coincidence or by random circumstances it is the result of continued individual intentions and actions in deliberately seeking a personal relationship with God — ‘2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore *these promises [eternity in the family of God], dearly beloved, **let us cleanse ourselves [enter into a personal relationship with Jesus through His blood] from all filthiness of the flesh and [human] spirit, perfecting [completing in Jesus the] holiness in the fear of God.’

2 Corinthians 7:2 Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man. I speak not this to condemn you: for I have said before, that ye are in our hearts to die and live with you. Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: *I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation [troubled efforts]. - Paul makes mention that even with all the difficulties, the misunderstandings and the confusion of the present situation between Paul and the Church at Corinth that really the effort is worth it "exceeding joyful" because the Church at Corinth still has much to glory in as people are being saved there and are growing in the grace of God there as the original work of the Apostle Paul was continuing on despite the enormous controversy over Church authority that had erupted there.

2 Corinthians 7 (Part B) – Paul mentions a previous letter he had written to the Church at Corinth and how the letter was difficult for them to read but very necessary in order for them to regain some eternal perspective in Jesus Christ — ‘2 Corinthians 7:8-10 For though I made you sorry with a [previous] letter [1st Corinthians or possibly another letter no longer available], I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle [letter] hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. Now I rejoice, *not that ye were made sorry, *but that ye sorrowed to repentance [mind change – life change]: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. **For *godly *sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented [regretted] of: but the [self] sorrow of the world worketh death.’

2 Corinthians 7:14-16 For if I have boasted anything to him [Titus] of you, I am not ashamed; but as we spake all things to you in truth, even so our boasting, which I made before Titus, is found a truth. And his inward affection is more abundant toward you, whilst he remembereth the obedience of you all, how *with fear and trembling ye received him. I rejoice therefore that I have confidence in you in all things. - Paul is noting how the Church at Corinth, at least some of the people, understood the eternal ramifications of Christianity and "with fear and trembling" realized that Christianity is not something to be taken lightly but something to be taken very seriously as only True Christianity in Jesus Christ is the way to salvation and everlasting life a reality that the imposters in Corinth were neglecting to keep in mind themselves or to present to others.

2 Corinthians 8 – A healthy empowered Church-Fellowship is a body that is able to give to others while the week Church [regardless of size and location] is a Church that receives more than it gives — ‘2 Corinthians 8:3-5 For to their [other Christian Churches in Greece] power [of giving], I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the [offering] gift [for Jerusalem], and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints [in Jerusalem]. And this they did, not as we hoped [but exceeded the expectations], *but first gave their own selves to the Lord [Jesus], and [then donated] unto us by the will of God.’

2 Corinthians 8:7-15 Therefore, as ye abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this [ability to give] grace also. *I speak not by commandment [the Christian Church does not tithe it only gives], but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, **though He [Jesus] was rich [in Heaven], yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His [human appearance] poverty might be [resurrection] rich. And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before {Corinth had previous year started to collect donations for Jerusalem but the collection lapsed}, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago. Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. *For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality: As it is written (Exodus 16:18), He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack. - The Christian Church does not have the Old Testament law and therefore the tithe (tenth portion) of the Old Testament is not a part of the New Testament Christian Church. The Christian Church is composed of grace [individuality] not law [conformity] and therefore it is the freewill grace offerings of individuals that comprise the donations to the Christian Church.

2 Corinthians 9 – The Apostle Paul wants the Church in Corinth to experience the empowerment and the blessings of giving but he wants to be certain that they maintain an understanding that it is God that first and foremost gave to us in His free gift to us of eternal life in Jesus Christ — ‘2 Corinthians 9:5 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty [generosity], and not as of covetousness [provoked].’

2 Corinthians 9:8-14 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: As it is written (Psalm 112:9), He [the righteous man] hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth forever. Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness; Being enriched in everything to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the Saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection into the Gospel of Christ, and for your liberal [gift giving] distribution unto them, and unto all men; And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding Grace of God in you. **Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift [salvation - eternal life]. - We are to give to one another knowing that it is God who gave to us first and foremost in a reconciled relationship of eternal life in Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 10 – The Christian battle being a battle of eternity and for souls is a battle primarily being fought and waged in the spiritual realm – Later some physical observations and outcomes can be perceivable after the events or outcomes have been manifested from the spiritual realm into the physical realm — ‘2 Corinthians 10:3-6 For though we walk in the flesh [physical], we do not war after the flesh: *For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal [physical], **but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; **Casting down imaginations [imagination, fantasy], and every high thing [like pride] that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of [Jesus] Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, *when your obedience is fulfilled [having kept everything in a godly eternal perspective].’

2 Corinthians 10:7-18 Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? **If any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, *let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's. For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification [building up], and not for your destruction [tearing down], I should not be ashamed: That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters. *For his [Paul's] letters [epistles], say they [some in Corinth], are weighty and powerful; *but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible. **Let such an one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such **will we be also in deed when we are present. For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that *commend themselves: **but they measuring themselves by themselves, and **comparing themselves among themselves, ***are not wise [we are to compare ourselves to Jesus (Hebrews 12:2)]. But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you. For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the Gospel of Christ: Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labors; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly, To preach the Gospel in the regions beyond you [on into Europe], and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand. **But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. ***For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth. - Note: The biggest problem with modern day Mega-Church (Corinth) Christianity is that the Pastors or the leaders of the Mega-Church movement all got that way because they each pretend to be commended of God and they each pretend to have something more than the ordinary or average Christian has and therefore followers are encouraged to seek after them and their services, their crusades and their teachings (methods), etc. The problem with this false teaching is that it is opening the door wide open for the future Antichrist to be easily accepted by remnants of the Church. Modern Mega-Church leaders like Chuck Smith, Greg Laurie, Rick Warren and others are deceiving the people into thinking that they are in a unique and special relationship with God so therefore they seem to be preaching that people should seek them and what they have to offer when in actuality the Christian Gospel is clearly to seek Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ only. The real potential for disaster is that in having conditioned people to follow themselves, a few select Mega-Church men and even a couple of women then in the future when a stronger and even more deceiving personality arises on the scene people who are not grounded in Jesus Christ will more easily revert from following one person to the next eventually even embracing the Antichrist who being gifted with extraordinary abilities is going to make all of the modern lukewarm pastors look like the true incompetents and posers that they truly are in regard to spiritual matters. The audiences of deceived people having already been prepped and conditioned by the Mega-Church, the man centered gospel of modern Christianity, could easily be eternally deceived before the final coming of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His eternal Kingdom here on earth.

2 Corinthians 11 – Paul makes clear the Biblical concept that “subtlety” is the most dangerous Satanic element to the Christian and that many Preachers preach with a subtlety and a worldliness that can lead people away from Jesus and into the subtle worldly ‘good works’ and agendas that are actually of Satan — ‘2 Corinthians 11:3-4 But I fear, lest by any means, as the Serpent [Satan] beguiled Eve [in the Garden of Eden] *through his [Satanic] **subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he [self-aggrandizing, worldly personality preacher] that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with [accept] him [and his , worldly, vaguely entertaining but possibly highly Satanic preaching].’ – Note: It isn’t preaching the style that is being addressed but more the preaching content. The subtly ‘worldly’ preaching like Rick Warren at Greg Laurie’s 2009 Anaheim Harvest Crusade (parts available on YouTube) after being introduced by Chuck Smith he is then supposedly leading people in prayer to Jesus but then not really mentioning repentance, sin, the cross or even addressing Jesus in his prayer it is that ‘subtle’ preaching and teaching of worldliness and the acceptance and passing on of worldly cultural trends into the Church that can actually be so ‘subtle’ and so worldly that it becomes Satanic.

2 Corinthians 11:5-10 For I suppose I was not a whit [bit] behind the very chiefest Apostles. But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things. Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, **because I have preached to you **the Gospel of God freely? **I robbed other churches, taking wages of them,** to do you service. And when I was present with you, and wanted [needed money], I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself. As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia. - Note: The Church at Corinth was a large Church and could easily have been capable of donating to other ministries however they were almost completely self-focused on their own functions and agendas and the thought of donating money to the foreign Church in Jerusalem was itself a foreign concept in the self-aggrandizing Church at Corinth. Today Mega-Churches continue the exact same scenario as the selfish Corinth Church did. Mega-Churches receive millions in donations however only a miniscule amount of money actually leaves the Mega-Church that is not in some way responsible for promoting the Mega-Church or the Mega-Pastor. A good analogy of the large corporation Mega-Churches of today is the Dead Sea in Israel where everything flows into the Dead Sea but there is no outlet from the Dead Sea so the water just gets shifted around in the Dead Sea and eventually dies but the Sea of Galilee [also in Israel] has an outlet river and it passes along as much water as it receives and the Sea of Galilee [where Jesus spent much of His time] is teaming with abundant life.

2 Corinthians 11 (Part B) – The Apostle Paul is now going to contrast what true Kingdom of God Christianity is like compared to the worldly social Christianity that is beginning to be practiced in Corinth — ‘2 Corinthians 11:1-2 Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband [Jesus], that I may present you as a chaste virgin to [Jesus] Christ.’

2 Corinthians 11:18-33 Seeing that many glory after the flesh, [as a comparison] I [Paul] will glory also. For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise. For ye suffer [cultish hardship], if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face {some people accept and tolerate the oppression and abuse by the cults but do not want to accept the freedom and liberty of Jesus}. I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, I speak foolishly [worldly], I am bold also. Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. Are they ministers of Christ? I speak as a fool [in contrast to them] I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft [often]. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned [to death], thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils *by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings [looking for the 2nd Coming of Jesus] often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily [mentally], the care of all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? **If I must needs glory, *I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities [weaknesses]. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed forevermore, knoweth that I lie not. In Damascus [shortly after his conversion to Christianity] the Governor under Aretas the King kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me [because Paul so boldly spoke the Gospel]: And through a window [hidden] in a basket was I let down by [over] the [city] wall, and escaped his hands [of persecution]. - The Apostle Paul provides the Church at Corinth with some perspective of what true Christianity involves in contrast to the worldly social Christianity that was being adopted in Corinth.

2 Corinthians 12 – The Apostle Paul explains that he is paying a severe price, often being harassed demonically, because of the abundance and magnitude of the Holy revelations that Paul has been able to deliver to mankind [much like the afflictions of the prophets Isaiah, Daniel and Jeremiah] — ‘2 Corinthians 12:7-10 And lest I [Paul] should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the [Holy] revelations, there was given to me a [demonic interference] thorn in the flesh, *the messenger of Satan to buffet [inflict] me, lest I should be [personally] exalted above measure. For [removal of] this thing I besought the Lord thrice [three times], that it [being demonic] might depart from me. And He [Jesus] said unto me, **My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect [complete] in weakness [as Jesus completes his strength]. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities [weaknesses], *that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: **for when I am weak, then am I strong [completed in Jesus Christ].’

2 Corinthians 12:12-15 Truly the signs of an Apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds. For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not [financially] burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong. Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will [still] not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours [belongings], but you [fellowship]: for the children ought not to lay up [finances] for the parents, but the [mature] parents [give an allowance] for the children. And I [as a mature parent] will very gladly spend [financially] and be spent [physically, emotionally] for you; **though the more abundantly I love you, **the less I be loved. - The Apostle Paul is touching on the truly Satanic depths that the Church in Corinth had begun to engage in. Previously the Church in Corinth had attacked Paul's speaking ability (2 Corinthians 10:9) and as an Apostle-Evangelist it was a direct Satanic attack from the Church directed at the Apostle Paul on his calling and on his abilities to fulfill his Christian Calling. Had the Church at Corinth encouraged Paul and his message it would have accomplished a lot to help Paul further the Gospel message he was given but instead the Church in Corinth took it upon themselves to cast doubt upon Paul, his abilities and his message. Secondly in another highly Satanic practice the Church at Corinth used the compassion of the Apostle Paul "though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved" as a tool in order to further attack the Apostle. When Paul was in their midst he was weak, compassionate and understanding and the Church in a worldly Satanic way took advantage of Paul using Paul's goodness and compassion against him [suspecting that with the goodness of Paul he would not retaliate]the Church perceived Paul to be a gentle and easy target *someone that they could form their social groups around as they ridiculed and asserted themselves superior to the Apostle Paul and in a worldly social way they probably were superior to Paul so it was no accomplishment to present themselves above Paul but in the spiritual Heavenly matters of Jesus Christ the Apostle Paul had much to offer them thought some simply because Paul was an outsider sought to reject out of hand his message of the Gospel.

2 Corinthians 12 (Part B) – Paul tells the Church in Corinth that his only objective is to build them up spiritually in Jesus Christ — ‘2 Corinthians 12:19 Again, think ye that we excuse [make excuses for] ourselves unto you? we speak before God in Christ: but **we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying [building up].’

2 Corinthians 12:1-6 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to** visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man [the Apostle Paul] in Christ [a Christian] above [more than] fourteen years ago {thought to be on the first Missionary Journey with Barnabas in Lycaonia (Acts 14:19)}, whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth; such an one [the Apostle Paul] {died and} caught up to the third heaven [Throne of God]. And I knew such a man [Paul speaking in 3rd person to avoid promoting himself], whether in the body, or out of the body, *I cannot tell [explain] {the experience was instantaneous}: [only] God knoweth; How that he [Paul] was caught up into paradise [Heaven], and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a [physical] man to utter. Of such an one [3rd person] will I glory: yet of myself [1st person] I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. *For though I would desire to glory [in religious, spiritual experiences], I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: *but now I forbear [forgo], lest any man should think of me [exalted] above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. - Regardless of what someone might want to call Heaven (paradise, 3rd heaven) and the Throne presence of God the Apostle Paul had personally been there and he had personally as a Christian experienced Heaven in the very Throne presence of God.

2 Corinthians 13 – The Apostle Paul concludes his much labored letter to the Christian Church in Corinth, Greece — ‘2 Corinthians 13:7-9 Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates. For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection.’

The Apostle Paul concludes the book of 2nd Corinthians: 2 Corinthians 13:1-6 This is the third time I [Apostle Paul] am coming to you. [Publically] In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, the second time; and being absent now *I write to *them which heretofore have **sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare: Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to [your perception] you-ward is not weak [weakness in Christ], but is mighty in you. 4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the [almighty] power of God. For we also are weak in Him [Jesus Christ], *but {if need be} we shall live with Him **by the power of God toward you. ***Examine yourselves, ***whether ye be in the [Christian] faith; ***prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that *Jesus Christ is in you, except [if Jesus is not in you] ye be reprobates [unsaved]? But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates. ... 2 Corinthians 13:10-14 Therefore I [Paul] write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification [building up], and not to destruction. **Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect [complete in Jesus Christ], be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and [Jesus Christ] the God of love and peace shall be with you. Greet one another with an holy [embrace] kiss. All the Saints salute you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the Communion [fellowship] of the Holy [Spirit] Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

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