"Paul's Vindication of His Action."
This Bible Study is written by Roger
Christopherson, and made available with written
permission by http://www.theseason.org
II Corinthians 10:1 "Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:"
The subject of this chapter has now changed from the prior two chapters of giving. What Paul is addressing in this verse is that he desires that these Corinthians don't misunderstand Paul's humbleness and meekness by what he is about to say. When Paul is not with them, his means of communication to them is by letter, and in his writing Paul will be very bold. Paul is warning them that if they drift back into the state that they were in, then he will not have the gentleness of Christ when he comes to visit them. He will not be able to present himself with that humility and gentleness that he would desire to be.
A teacher must present himself in this bold manner if it becomes necessary to correct those under him. That is what an apostle and teacher is suppose to do. The teacher shows his love for those that he is teaching by being bold and correcting those weakness that present. That is how you make that individual a better person.
II Corinthians 10:2 "But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh."
Paul is not begging but he is requesting that they please listen to him. "Let me talk directly to your heart", he is pleading with them. Paul is telling them that though he desires to be gentle, there are some there that will require that he be bold with them. Paul desires not to be bold with these however. Just so there is no confusion, Paul is going to address the entire congregation on these matters. Paul is stating that he knows that there are some there at Corinth that walk after the flesh, and it is through their worldly attitude that they were trying to make a name for themselves, and not for the teaching of the Word of God. So Paul is telling the church that he will take care of those people when he is there in person.
II Corinthians 10:3 "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:"
Paul is telling them that when you look at us, we appear to be ordinary men. We have all the parts that any man has, and we talk just like all men do in their flesh bodies. However the war spoken of here that is fought by Paul, Titus and Luke is not with the arm, but it is a spiritual war. We may have to use things of war for your discipline, but our warfare is against evil spirits.
II Corinthians 10:4 "(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)"
The weapons that Paul uses are weapons that even you and I can use and they are not of a carnal or earthly nature, but they are the weapons that are used to bring down Satan's strong holds. We have that power in Christ that causes Satan and his little demonic spirits to run like rats to get away from the forces that can bring down on them. When a godly man or woman enters a room, these spirits are afraid of the forces that you can bring upon them, to bind them and send them back to where they came from.
This is why we are to put on the gospel armor of God, all of it to to protect us from head to toe. When you have that armor on and in place you posses the power of almighty God that is ready and capable to handle any force that Satan may send your way. The whole purpose of putting armor on is to go to battle, let Satan come for you will be ready for him. Lets go to Ephesians 6:10-20 and take a look at what this spiritual armor is all about. It is important so we will cover all of these verses.
Ephesians 6:10 "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might."
To "be strong in the Lord", means "to be sure in your mind of the Lord". Our strength is the Lord's and it comes from the things we do in the authority of Jesus Christ's name. God's might is where our power comes from, and God cares and gives to those who call upon His name the strength needed to see us through any difficult times.
Ephesians 6:11 "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."
Jesus tells us in Luke 11:22; "But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils." Our instructions are that before we put on the armor to go into battle against the enemy [Satan], we are to scout out the enemy to see the strength of his forces. We are to know many troops he has, and what he is armed with in spiritual forces to come against us. It is important to know the enemy before we go to battle with him, for then we can see what armor is necessary to put in place.
We are in the end times and in our generation we will face a fierce spiritual battle that is upon us even now. Have you scouted the enemy, and do you even know who the enemy is? Satan is the enemy, and his forces are made up of evil spirits, and his offspring on earth living in the flesh, called the "Kenites". These Kenites present themselves as something they are not. When you see them are you prepared for what they will tell you. Shortly Satan and another army of fallen angels will be among us and it is important for us to know of them also. God is giving these evil forces authority to exercise spiritual powers, and bring about the fulfillment of His plan for these latter days.
The Kenites are working through their one world political system to bring about the entrance of their father Satan, and the army of the Fallen angels. Satan will arrive here on earth exactly on time after Michael casts them to the earth. Revelation 12:9; "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." This is John writing to us from the time of the day of the Lord, looking back to the time of the sixth trumpet, which is still yet to come for us today. Satan and his angels have not been cast out yet, but it is coming shortly.
The "wiles of the devil" includes the preparation that Satan's children [the Kenites] are doing now to cause the world to accept Satan as their christ. This is done by bring the people under the subjection of their world wide political system, it's ten agencies, and their four hidden dynasties. That one worldism is what we call the "United Nations", while we know their ten agencies, or horns of power by names as the Red Cross, UNICEF, the Word Court, the World Bank, and so on. These horns of power work through their four hidden dynasties, which are Education, Economics, Politics and Religion. Knowing what to expect from them is the reason for sending out the scouts, to know what armor is necessary to put on. When you know what is being done, and what Satan will be like, as well as the supernatural powers that he and his angels will have, then none of their acts and words should not surprise you when it comes to pass before your eyes.
Friend, now is the time to prepare ourselves for this spiritual battle, for it will be against supernatural forces, not of men of flesh and blood, but Satan himself. "The wiles of the devil" includes all the lies, tricks and deceitfulness that Satan and his offspring [the Kenites] will bring down on Christians. "The whole armor" is all of the protection necessary to stand against those lies and deception. Your entire body has to be protected for the spiritual battle coming or Satan will out wit you, and you will not stand.
Ephesians 6:12 "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
The battle we are going to fight against in our day is not against "flesh and blood" such as the wars like we had in the past. This spiritual battle is against hidden and deceitful spiritual powers that will deceive all of those that have not prepared themselves from the Word of God. Satan is the prince of darkness, and spiritually he controls the minds and actions of not only rulers of this earth, but of all evil spirits in the heavenlies. These evil ones are the angelic beings existing now in the heavenlies in a fallen state.
Are you mentally prepared to do battle with them? This battle of the end times is not fought with guns and swords, but with words, doctrines, concepts and ideas which are the "fiery darts of Satan". It is Satan himself that will conduct the battle to enslave your mind. Satan is the "king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences," spoken of by Daniel in Daniel 8:22-24, and he has the ability and skills in the "dissimulation", or the twisting of the truth that is in God's Word. He can twist the truth by a letter here and a word there, to make what you think God's Word says an outright lie. Satan is the Antichrist that is coming first to this earth in the latter days, and we must never forget it.
Go back and read the study of I Corinthians 15, for it alerts us as to what we can expect at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Then if one comes and those things mentioned in I Corinthians 15:50-54 don't happen, you are looking at the fake. Satan is coming claiming to be the Son of God, in the flesh. This is why the rapture doctrine is so ruthless for it takes away the need to prepare oneself for the battle that Jesus and Paul had warned us against. You will be standing on that day of the sixth trumpet, in the flesh and blood body, and thinking you are at the seventh trumpet because of all the supernatural things that are taking place.
Ephesians 6:13 "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."
We will stand against Satan and all his forces. The "evil day" is just before the "Lord's day" and Jesus return. On that evil day we had better be ready to stand with our full armor on and in place, or we will be taken instantly by Satan who is the Antichrist.
Ephesians 6:14 "Stand therefore, having you loins girt about with truth, an having on the breastplate of righteousness;"
Your "girt" is your belt that holds up your pants, and our spiritual belt is the truth of god's Word; all of it. Like the belt, it also holds you together, and keeps you from flying off in every direction. If you know what to expect you will not stray off into Satan's camp in ignorance.
The "breastplate of righteousness" is our justification, or authority for everything we say or do. That "Breastplate of righteousness" is the Word of God. God's Word will protect you, but only if you are able to think for yourself, and have the wisdom to direct your thinking, and this protection can only come from the Holy Spirit of God. Without God's truth in your mind ahead of time, you stand spiritually naked, and defenseless against any spiritual battle.
Ephesians 6:15 "And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;"
This is the kind of shoes that we all must have on. There is only one true peace, and that peace is the peace which comes from Jesus Christ. The "gospel of peace" is "gospel of Jesus Christ" which is the good news of the "full plan of God". Your feet are used to walk and get you where you are going. While your shoes give the protection for your feet as your are doing the walking. In the final days you had better know where your feet are taking you, and what you should expect to see once you are there. God did not withhold any information from His elect and those that are to be sealed in these final day, for we can know exact how Satan will come against us. There are no secrets hidden from God's people who desire to put on the armor of God.
Ephesians 6:16 "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."
Paul is warning us that above all the other armor, the "shield of faith" is the most important of all the other armor. The "shield of faith" is used to quench [or snuff out] all of Satan's fiery darts. There is absolutely nothing Satan can send against you mentally, if you have the seal of the Living God. God is going to give Satan the right to use these fiery darts against his people, but God is also going to give His elect the protection to protect ourselves from those darts. It is the time for the final test, as to whether you chose God or Satan. Do you care enough about God and your soul to prepare for the spiritual battle that is coming?
The "shield" is our "faith" and it is the certain knowledge that we know when Satan will come against us. Our shield of faith or understanding will automatically be given the moves we are to take to shield ourselves from him. Your faith is not only your belief, but it includes your acting on that belief. It is what is in your mind that you believe to be true that sustained by your confidence that you know God will perform that what He said He will do. All things are going to come to pass exactly as God said it would and as He instructed His prophets to write those things in His Word.
Ephesians 6:17 "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:"
Our head is the most vulnerable part of our body; therefore your helmet or salvation had better be will secured and sure in our mind. Our "salvation" is the most sure thing we can have, for it is Christ that does the saving, and it comes through our belief in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross. Our salvation comes to us through Jesus Christ's death and resurrection, and our accepting that gift in full payment for our sins. That is why our prayers of repentance must be "in Jesus Name", for His is the only way to salvation. Then our sins are blotted out from those heavenly books of record, and He accepts us into the family of God and our name is placed in the Lamb's book of life. .
Ephesians 6:18 "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints,"
Make sure that it is your spirit that is guiding your prayers and not your flesh. We are to make intercessory prayers for each other, and give support and backing to our Christian brethren. We are to ask God for all the tools to help us fight this spiritual warfare that we face.
Ephesians 6:19 "And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,"
The "mystery of the gospel" was stated in Ephesians 1:4 "I chose you before the foundations of this world [age]", it was at the "overthrow of Satan" in the first earth age that the choosing took place. If you proved yourself worthy then, you will prove yourself worthy at the close of this earth age of the flesh. Romans 8 also documents this and gives us a second witness to this mystery, as to how you were chosen, and predestined.
Ephesians 6:20 "For which I am an ambassador in bonds; that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak."
Paul is commanding that when you and I speak the truths of God's Word, that we should be direct and forthright. We are to be bold in what we say and speak with authority. We can do that when we have the whole armor on, because our faith will allow you to speak with boldness and with confidence.
When you put on that gospel armor it is for a purpose, and that is to make a stand for all those things that are right and in accordance with God's Word. So Paul is telling these Corinthians that those people among you that are telling you that my instructions to you are not from God but of my own ideas, I will take care of them when I get there. Paul is trying to draw their attention to a higher level than just a scolding, but that there is a spiritual warfare that is going on also. The problem is not with these men in the flesh, but it is Satan that is working through them.
II Corinthians 10:5 "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;"
It is so simple to teach the Word of God in obedience to him. This is done by teaching the Scriptures chapter by chapter and verse by verse and it will allow you to search into the meanings of the entire plan of God. "The imaginations" are the reasoning's that are formed out of a man or woman's mind, and Paul is urging us to put aside all of our reasoning's that do not go along with the Word of God. Paul is telling us to keep all of man's traditions out of our minds. Man's tradition are vain imaginations and they pull you off of the subjects that your mind should be focused upon.
This is how it works, rather than sticking with the simplicity with our Father's Word and studying under a gifted teacher of God's Word, they would rather create their own source of wisdom, and take the authority of some man over God's holy Word. They set out to compare what one man has said in comparison to what some other good brother has said. They have put man's words over what God said and aside the Word of God, and become sidetracked in the mutterings and imaginations of men, rather than accepting God's Word as absolute.
Even though many Scriptures have more than one meaning, by the logic of men's tradition the outcome will be to accept a false reasoning and doctrine, rather than what is written in God's holy Word. Men's minds constantly drift off into all sorts of thoughts, so why not just stay with the simplicity of God's Word. When you get into traditions of men your thinking is not absolute. You are leaving the outcome of your belief up to the reasoning of unbelievers, rather than seeking what God is saying in the passage. God's Word always declares an absolute condition, and it is not a word based on precedence like our court system. Under the traditions of men, there are only shaded areas of truth, and that is why when Jesus spoke the people knew that Jesus spoke with authority, because there was no room for half truths. Anytime you are dealing with the traditions of men, you are dealing with laws of precedence, which becomes a lie because they are formed in the minds of men that just don't know what they are talking about, apart from the truths of God's Word.
II Corinthians 10:6 "And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled."
When someone sets out to do you wrong, God has his way to even the score. Paul is going back to verse two here, in reference to those that were really Paul's enemies.
II Corinthians 10:7 "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."
Paul is asking this question individually to the Corinthians, and ask it of yourself. Do you look only on the outward appearance of things? What does it take to get you into God's Word, some magnificent church building, or the recommendation from some great theologian? What do you judge other by?
So what Paul was saying here is that you may have some of those other preachers that you are judging by their outward appearance, because they have declared themselves to be man of God doesn't make them of God. Saying something doesn't make it so, unless what they say and do goes along with what God's Word says. Paul was assuring these Corinthians, you can look at me any way you want outside, and I can teach you just as much as they can, and even more so. Paul had a few enemies here amongst the Corinthians and he knew of them very well. Paul let it be known that when he arrived in Corinth he will get to the bottom of those problems.
II Corinthians 10:8 "For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, (which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction,) I should not be ashamed:"
When Paul gets boastful of the authority that he uses, he uses that authority not to raise money and not for beating other people down, but "for edification, and not for your destruction". Paul is telling them that, we have the power from God to build you up spiritually, to discipline you and to correct you.
This hits at the very core of the problems of the churches today; there is very little discipline and correction that is taking place. The move today is to "not offend each other", which in the true sense of the word means they desire that each be allowed to go in their own sinful ways uncorrected and undisciplined. The Sodomite wants to continue in sodomy, the adulterer wants to continue in his ways and whatever the sins that the people are doing, they simply do not want to be corrected and have the discipline of God's Word to have dominance in their lives.
The leadership of most churches today is to get along and don't rock the boat. It takes money to run the church, and peace and harmony is what they are after. It takes courage to enforce discipline and teach obedience to God, and that courage can only come when we have the gospel armor on and in place, and ready to take a stand on the side of the truths from God's Word.
We know that we have the power over the enemy, and knowing this we must have the brass to stand and the Words from God that we say are leading people to victory. Discipline is very necessary, and that is what the subject is that Paul is trying to get across. Paul is telling these Corinthians that he hopes that they are staying on the course that Titus has told me you were. In which case I am going to take my boldness out on those that need to be straightened out.
II Corinthians 10:9 "That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters."
Paul is hoping that he does not have to write any more letters as bold as the first ones that he wrote to you.
II Corinthians 10:10 "For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible."
Paul knew that to those other preachers and teachers that are teaching the traditions of men, anything that Paul wrote and any of those mannerism that Paul had would be contemptible to them. Paul removed the veil of false teaching from that was over their minds, and exposed their teaching and ways to be what they were, false.
II Corinthians 10:11 "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."
So Paul is telling them that anyone that thinks of me in that way, is going to see exactly how I am when I get there. Paul is saying that, "I don't change what I say whether in letters or in person, I am the same all the time."
II Corinthians 10:12 "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."
Paul is not out to boast himself up, and he is saying that I don't compare myself with those others that brag on themselves. This is exactly as the traditions of men come into being, the men compare what they are saying with one another, and in the end they come up with compromised positions were by they all can agree. In the end it is nothing but a lie, for in agreeing with everyone, is becomes a lie by everyone's standards.
Christians are only to compare ourselves with Christ, but when man takes his eyes off Christ and focuses it on each others dogma, and reasoning. The only thing that comes from it is lies and sets of half truths which are called traditions. We are not to compare ourselves with anyone except Christ, He is our standard, and He set the path for us to follow. If you are setting up some preacher for your standard, then you are setting a very low goal for your life, for all flesh and blood men and women have the same flesh weaknesses as you and I.
II Corinthians 10:13 "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."
This verse kind of loses its meaning in the translation from the Greek. Paul is going back to compare what he is saying to running a race in an arena, as we will see in the verses to follow. It is not given in the form of a competition but to reach the end of a race. Paul is using the analogy of our race as being our living of God's plan.
The "rule" in the Greek is "kanon", #2583 in Strong's Greek dictionary; "Kanon, kan-hon'; (a reed, i.e., a rod); a rule ("canon"), a standard (of faith and practice); a boundary, i.e., a sphere (of activity)."
The "measure" is the process used for the running of this race, according to a standard that is given and set by God. We will now take a look at this race to bring God's plan to these Corinthians.
II Corinthians 10:14 "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:"
In other words Paul and those traveling with him had not arrived at Corinth yet, for they were tied up in Macedonia. Paul is telling them to stay on course in their teaching of God's Word. Don't go off in other directions comparing yourselves with other men, but when you run this race, stay within the rule or standard of faith and the boundaries that God has set in His Word. We run this race and we do not stretch past the measure, or border and limits that God has given us. The "race" is that we are to say in God's plan, which is God's measure. Don't go off comparing yourself and your faith to other men or religions or you will end up not only deceiving yourself, but deceiving other people also.
Paul is saying this also in the sense to time and geographic location, because he intends that this measure be carried on beyond the time when he is with them. Paul is planning on leaving the area and traveling beyond Rome to other areas where the House of Israel has scattered, and he desires that a set standard will be continued long after he is gone.
II Corinthians 10:15 "Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly,"
In other words, when we stay within the true measure of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, we have the true example of what we are to follow and compare ourselves to. If these Corinthians will continue to follow in the measure, which is the true teaching that Paul has given them, then they will have the faith and hope necessary to bring it to many others. This will enlarge the church, which is the body of Christ. Paul is telling them to stay away from those other men that set their own measures that are not of God's Word. There is only one way that you can take the true Word forward, and that is to teach the Word of God, and not the measure or traditions of men. Why fool around with any tradition, and listen to the flowery speeches of those that do not teach God's Word with clarity?
II Corinthians 10:16 "To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand."
Paul is saying several things here. He is saying that he did not come to Corinth to saddle himself and take over some other man's work, but he is reminding them that he is the one that started the work there. Paul refined it and kept the church there in line with God's Word. We are refining you to the point that you can take the knowledge from our message to other regions beyond where you are.
II Corinthians 10:17 "But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."
Measure yourself in the Lord, and let the Lord's standards be the path that you strive to follow. When we measure ourselves by the standards of our Lord Jesus Christ, we appear to be quiet a worm. However, the point that Paul is trying to make here is that we are not to set another man as the standard for our lives. Man's word compared to God's Word simply will not stand up in any light. We are not only to run the race, but to stretch out and strive to go a beyond where we think our final goals should be.
II Corinthians 10:18 "For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth."
Our Lord will approve and commend whom ever he pleases to send. He will use us by the blessings that He gives us, and the gifts that He expects us to use. God knows who He can trust with His Word, and God will give His credentials through the gifts that He has given. Have you ever wondered why you have certain abilities to excel in one area, and are lacking in other areas? God leads you to what He desires you to do through the abilities and things that He puts in your mind and hand to use, and the time He gives you.
The reason that God gives gifts and blessings is that those gifts can be used in the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and bringing God's wisdom, and the knowledge of His Word to others. God's Word takes those broken lives of the sinners and makes them come to life. God will mend their hearts and minds in such a way, and with such strength that this person's new changed life will become a living part of the body of Christ. He or she becomes a child of the living God, with all the inheritance of the kingdom of God, and joint heirs with our Lord Jesus Christ. It is essential that God commends you, rather than you having to commend yourself.
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