SERVANTS' MINISTRY, Inc.
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Our Awesome God is called:
#1. The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor.1:3; 11:31; Eph.1:3; 3:14; Col.1:3)
#2. The Father of Mercies (2 Cor.1:3)
#3. The God of all Comfort (2 Cor.1:3)
#4. The Father of Glory (Eph.1:17)
#5. The Father of All (Eph.4:6)
#6. The Father of Spirits (Heb.12:9)
#7. The Father of Lights (Jam.1:17)
#8. The God of Peace (Rom.15:33; 16:20; 1 Cor.14:33; Phil.4:9; 1 Thes.5:23; Heb.13:20)
#9. The God of Peace and Love (2 Cor.13:11)
#10. The God of truth (Deut.32:4; Ps.31:5; 86:15; Isa.25:1; 65:16)
Things we should not be ignorant of:
#1. God's faithfulness (2 Cor.1:8-10)
#2. Gospel responsibility (Rom.1:11-18)
#3. Spiritual gifts (1 Cor.12)
#4. God's purpose, and love for Israel (Rom.11:25-32)
#5. The resurrection and future life (1 Cor.15; 1 Thes.4:13-18)
#6. God's judgments on backsliders (1 Cor.10:1-13)
#7. God’s Promises to TRUE believers (Mat.25:32-34,46; Jn.3:15-16; 5:24; 14:2-3; 1 Pet.1:3-5)
#8. God’s Promises to unbelievers (Mat.25:32-33, 41-46; Mk.16:16; Jn.3:18,36; Heb.2:3; 12:25; 1 Jn.5:10; Rev.20:15)
#9. IF a person takes the strait gate and narrow way, Jesus will light the path and be constantly with them (Jn.1:4,9; 8:12; 12:46; Eph.5:14; Heb.13:5-6)
#10. Jesus is your Friend, IF you obey Him (Jn.14:15,21-24; 15:10-14; Jam.2:23)
#1. Does not exempt us from guilt (Ge,20).
#2. Must accompany forgiveness (Mat.18:35).
#3. Is a command (Josh.24:14; 1 Cor.5:8).
#4. Must portray our service (Eph.6:5-7; 1 Cor.10:31; Tit.2:7)
#5. Must portray our love for God (2 Cor.8:8,24)
#6. Must portray our love to Jesus (Eph.6:24)
#7. Must portray our faith (1 Tim.5)
#8. Must portray our love to others (Rom.12:9)
#9. Must portray our preaching and teaching (2 Cor.2:17; 1 Thes.2:3-5)
#10. Must depict our whole lifestyle (2 Cor.1:12)
#11. Godly sincerity is a characteristic of truth and honesty (1 Pet.2:2)
3 Godly things in 2 Corinthians:
#1. Godly sincerity (2 Cor.1:12)
#2. Godly sorrow (2 Cor.7:10)
#3. Godly jealousy (2 Cor.11:2)
I think that we should pay close attention to what Paul says here. The saints of God (TRUE believers) are indeed by grace, and established in family of God. Grace is an extremely important doctrine of Scripture (Acts 15:11; Rom.3:24; 4:16; 5:15; 11:6; Gal.2:16; Eph.2:5,8; 2 Tim.1:0; Tit.2:11; 3:7; Heb.13:9).
And here Paul, by the Holy Ghost declares, that God's people, when they are regenerated, are brought into unity with Christ, and our interest in Him is established and anointed. And He, the Holy Spirit, that does this mighty act, and has sealed, as well as anointed the Church, is God! God who has also given us an earnest of His work by His Spirit in our hearts. Regeneration is said to establish the child of God in grace. It should be understood, that all the Persons of the Godhead agree to it. By the electing grace God the Father, He establishes them in Christ (Jn.15:16; Eph.1:4; 1 Pet.1:2). They are given to Him (Jn.10:29), accepted in Him (Jn.3:3-8; Jn.5:24; 1 Cor.6:9; 1 Thes.2:12; Tit.2:11-14), justified in Him (Rom.3:22,28; 4:5,11; 5:1,9,18; 8:30,33), sanctified in Him (Jn.17:17; Rom.15:16; 1 Cor.1:2,30; Eph.5:26); and given eternal life in Him (Jn.1:4,12; 3:15-16,36; 5:24; 6:47-54; 10:10,28; 14:6,19; 17:2).
Because Christ lives, they shall live also. And they are anointed and sealed, as the Scripture says, by the earnest of the Spirit in their hearts. A regenerated soul has unified testimony of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
What about that person whose mind is flooded with doubts, fears and misgivings? My friend, as long as there is any doubt remaining in the mind; whether Christ has or has not accomplished deliverance for His people; and as long as the child of God doubts and fears of his interest in Christ, there can be NO solid, substantial joy and comfort in the soul. BUT . . . how sweet is it when the soul is regenerated, anointed in Christ and sealed with the earnest of the Spirit in their heart, and all doubts and fears disappear!
Sad to say, there is endless uncertainty in some precious, but weak saints that doubt their salvation, but that does by no means weaken, or make void, the doctrine of the Gospel. Every TRUE child of God wants to know for sure, on something so important, and the Bible tells us we can know if we have eternal life!
John 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (KJV) . . . What John records in his Gospel, is to give full proof that Jesus Christ is God; that He is the promised Messiah; and that He really suffered and rose again from the dead; and that through Him every believer might have eternal life (Jn.3:15-16; 17:2-3; Rom.5:21; 6:22-23; 1 Jn.2:25; 5:13,20). John wrote this Gospel, the biography of our Lord Jesus Christ, to encourage and persuade his readers to believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God; a thing which was of great concern to them, and that eternal life depended on it; for it is ONLY through Jesus’ Name alone, that eternal life can be obtained (Jn.14:6; Acts 4:12).
1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (KJV) . . . John is writing to those who believe in the Son of God, so that they may KNOW they have eternal life. John says the same thing in his Gospel. John 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (KJV)
1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. (KJV)
We know that Christ Jesus, God’s Son, has come to help us understand the TRUE God. And now we are in God because we are in Jesus Christ His Son, who is the only true God and eternal Life (Jn.17:2). The third “(we know”) certainty is ‘we have fellowship with the true God’.
We have knowledge that Christ is who He said He is (1 John 1:2; 3:5, 8; 5:10-12; John 1:1, 18; 14:21; 17:3, 21-23). Christ Jesus is our Redeemer, and our Revealer. He is a divine Person! We not only ‘know’ Him, but we ‘abide’ in Him, and He in us! He is our Life, both here on Earth, and in the future, for eternity! If you ‘know’ and ‘have’ Him, you HAVE eternal Life, (John 5:24; 14:6), for He IS Eternal Life! Without Christ Jesus, there is everlasting destruction in Hell (eternal death). If you have not accepted Christ as your Saviour and Lord, it is NOT too late! God is speaking to your heart, right now! Do NOT reject His precious love, that He so graciously and willingly offers to you. The ‘Gift’ He holds in His Hands is yours for the taking . . . NO charge; eternal life in Heaven. Just reach out and grab hold of it, and it’s yours! God loves you!
The reason John states here is that we may ‘KNOW’ we have eternal life. In my years of teaching, it saddens me when I ask the question: “Are you going to Heaven?” or, "Do you have eternal life?" The answer I receive most often is: “I hope so.” It is extremely rare to hear, Yes, I am going to Heaven. Eternal life is NOT based on feelings (whether or not we feel close to God); but instead it is based on facts! It is a FACT that all who believe on the Name of Jesus have possession of eternal life now! 1 John 5:11-12 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. [KJV] . . . Do you have the Son of God in your heart? If you do, you HAVE eternal life, NOW!
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (KJV) . . . ‘Perish’ means everlasting destruction in Hell. (2 Thes.1:9).
John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. [KJV] . . . Please notice one word in this verse: “HATH” or has. If you believe in Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you HAVE eternal life . . . NOW! You will face physical death (unless Jesus comes at the Rapture 1 Thes.4:13-18), BUT ‘eternal death’ (Hell), you shall NEVER see!
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. [KJV] . . . Again, the word “HATH”. You have it now, IF you believe on the Son!
John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. [KJV] . . . If we ‘see’ Jesus with our heart, and believe on Him, we HAVE eternal life . . . and . . . we will be resurrected one day, so that we shall be ‘bodily’ in Heaven one day!
John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. [KJV] . . . Again!!! “HATH.” Any time Jesus uses the words “Verily, verily,” what He is about to say is extremely important. I think it is so very important that we KNOW in our hearts (for sure), that we have eternal life. We simply cannot have peace and joy in our lives if we are not sure! If you have Jesus, you HAVE eternal life; because Jesus IS eternal life! You have no need to worry. God has promised it to all those who accept His Son. God cannot lie (Tit.1:2), so it is guaranteed! Believe on the Name of the Son of God, and eternal life is yours!
Comment on sin and Satan: Satan never stops trying to push us one way or another. Satan gets the advantage of SO many Christians because they are unforgiving. There are two things that we rarely hear even in our conservative churches: people admitting their sins and asking for forgiveness, or people forgiving those who repent and confess their sins. There is an unforgiving spirit in many of our churches. We must remember that we ALL are capable of any sin. Whatever that sinner has done, we also are capable of doing. When such a man repents from his sin, he should be restored in the spirit of meekness, and brought back into fellowship. This is part of the ministry.
Another work of the devil is to shut one's eyes to immorality. That is what is going on in the world today! It is rampant throughout the world! On the news this morning, England now allows dastardly same-sex marriage! So, Elton John will now marry his long time live-in. My friend, . . . . . homosexuality is a SIN in God’s eyes! http://www.hisservants.org/homosexual_sin_h_s.htm
Same sex marriage is a SIN in God’s eyes!
I have taught the Bible for well over 40 years, and I KNOW for a FACT that homosexuality is WRONG! It is an abomination in God’s eyes! Whether you believe me or not, is up to you. It is an ABOMINATION to God!
Leviticus 18:22-23 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. (KJV)
What comes to my mind in all this? One Passage in the Bible! Matthew 7:13-14 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (KJV) . . . There are only TWO gates leading to eternity. To me, it is so sad that millions CHOOSE the broad way that leads to Hell. That wide gate leads to a big broad road. Actually, BOTH these roads picture a funnel. Think about it. If you enter the funnel at the broad end, it keeps getting smaller and smaller. The longer a person stays on the broad, dark road, the harder it is to get off! It is dark because it is the devil’s road! That road keeps narrowing until you come to deeper darkness, death, destruction, and finally Hell.
Now, consider the narrow road. Picture it too, as a funnel. On this narrow road, that only a few ever walk, you enter the funnel at the narrow part. That’s where Jesus is! He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He says, “… I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Now, on this narrow road, the longer you walk with Jesus, the wider it gets. Remember that Jesus is Light (John 1:4,9; 8:12), and as long as we walk with Him, the road is brightly lit. In Ezekiel’s prophecy (ch.47) there was a river flowing out from the throne of God which began as a little stream and widened out until it became a great river. That pictures the life of a child of God . . . it gets better every day. And the longer we stay on that narrow road, the wider it becomes, and the easier it is to stay on. Words of wisdom: When you pray, thank God, in Jesus’ Name, for His blessings each day.
Seventy five Old Covenant and New Covenant Contrasts
#1. First covenant . . . Second covenant (Heb.8:7; 9:1; Heb.7:7; 10:1-9)
#2. Came by Moses . . . Came by Christ (Jn.1:17; Heb.8:6; 9:15)
#3. Law of Moses . . . Law of Christ (Acts 13:38-39; Gal.6:2)
#4. Law of sin . . . Law of righteousness (Rom.7:23; 8:2; Rom.9:31)
#5. Law of the flesh . . . Law of the Spirit (Rom.7:5-6; Rom.8:2)
#6. Not of faith . . . Law of faith (Gal.3:12; Rom.3:27)
#7. Yoke of bondage . . . Law of liberty (Gal.5:1; Jam.1:25)
#8. Ended by Christ . . . Started by Christ (Rom.10:4; Heb.8:6; 10:9)
#9. Brought death . . . Brought life (2 Cor.3:7; Rom.8:2; Gal.3)
#10. Makes guilty . . . Makes free (2 Cor.3:9; Gal.5:1; Jn.8)
#11. A shadow . . . A reality (Col.2:14-17; Heb.10:1-18)
#12. Fulfilled . . . Now in force (Mat.5:17-18; Heb.8:6; 10:9)
#13. Demands righteousness . . . Gives righteousness (Lk.10:28; Jn.1:17; 3:16)
#14. Makes imperfect . . . Makes perfect (Heb.7:19)
#15. Glorious . . . More glorious (2 Cor.3:7; 2 Cor.3:8-10
#16. Powerless to save . . . Saves to uttermost (Heb.9:9; 10:4; Heb.7:25)
#17. Many sacrifices . . . One sacrifice (Heb.9:12-13; Heb.10:12)
#18. Temporary priests . . . Eternal priest (Heb.7:23; Heb.7:17)
#19. Remembers sins . . . Forgets sins (Heb.10:3; Heb.8:12; 10:17)
#20. Yearly atonement . . . Eternal atonement (Heb.10:3; Heb.10:14)
#21. Of Levi . . . Of Judah (Heb.7:11; Heb.7:14)
#22. Many animal sacrifices . . . ONE Human sacrifice (Heb.9:12; Heb.9:14-28)
#23. Earthly tabernacle . . . Heavenly tabernacle (Heb.9:2; Heb.8:2)
#24. Sinful mediator . . . Sinless Mediator (Gal.3:19; 1 Tim.2:5)
#25. No inheritance . . . Eternal inheritance (Rom.4:13; Heb.9:5)
#26. Sanctioned by animal blood . . . Sanctioned by the precious Blood of Christ (Heb.9:16-22; Mat.26:28)
#27. Law of works . . . Law of grace (Rom.3:26-31; Jn.:17)
#28. Law worketh wrath . . . Christ saves from wrath (Rom.4:15; 5:9)
#29. Law could not redeem . . . Christ Redeems (Heb.10:4; Gal.3:13; Heb.9:12-15)
#30. Law could not satisfy . . . Jesus does satisfy God (Isa.1:13-14; Heb.10:15-18)
#31. Circumcision . . . No circumcision (Ex.12:48; Rom.4:9-25)
#32. Made to change . . . Made eternal (Heb.9, Gal.3; Heb.13:20)
#33. Faulty . . . Perfect (Heb.8:7; Jam.1:25)
#34. Weak . . . Strong (Heb.7:18; Heb.7:25)
#35. Unprofitable . . . Profitable (Heb.7:18; Heb.7:19,25)
#36. Daily program . . . Finished program (Heb.7:27; Heb.10:10-18)
#37. Weak priests . . . Perfect priest (Heb.5:2; 7:28; Heb.7:26)
#38. No salvation . . . Eternal salvation (Heb.10:2-4; Heb.5:9; 10:10)
#39. Nothing perfect . . . Makes perfect (Heb.7:19; Heb.10:14)
#40. No intercessors . . . Two intercessors (Isa.59:16; Rom.8:26,34; Heb.7:25)
#41. Costly program . . . Free for all (Heb.5:1; 9:9; Eph.2:8; Rev.22:17)
#42. Earthly agents . . . Heavenly agent (Heb.5:1-4; Heb.9:24; 10:12)
#43. Wearisome failure . . . Glorious success (Heb.10:11; Heb.10:10-18)
#44. No personal access . . . Personal access to God (Heb.9:7; Heb.4:14-16; 10:19)
#45. Many offerings . . . One offering (Heb.9:12-13; Heb.10:10-14)
#46. Good promises . . . Better promises (Deut.28:1-14; Heb.8:6)
#47. A good covenant . . . A better covenant (Rom.7:12; Heb.7:22; 8:6)
#48. Many priests . . . One priest (Heb.7:23; Heb.7:24-28)
#49. Many sufferings . . . One suffering (Heb.9:12-13; Heb.9:26; 10:14)
#50. Present things . . . Things to come (Heb.9:9; Heb.10:1)
#51. Physical tabernacle . . . True tabernacle (heb.9; Heb.8:2; 9:11)
#52. Dead works. . . Living service (Heb.9:14)
#53. Made at Sinai . . . Made at Calvary (Gal.4:24; Mat.26:28)
#54. No mercy . . . Complete mercy (Heb.10:28; Heb.8:12)
#55. Handmade things . . . Heavenly things (Heb.9:15,24; Heb.9:23-24)
#56. Given by angels . . . By the Holy Spirit (Gal.3:19; Heb.10:15-18)
#57. An old way . . . A new and living way (Heb.8:13. Heb.10:19-20)
#58. Carnal ministry . . . Spiritual ministry (Heb.9:9-10; 2 Cor.3:6)
#59. Ministration of condemnation . . . Ministration of righteousness (2 Cor.3:9)
#60. Glory covered . . . Glory uncovered (2 Cor.3:13; 2 Cor.3:18)
#61. Brings bondage . . . Brings liberty (Gal.4:24-25; 2 Cor.3:17)
#62. Cannot justify . . . Can justify (Gal.2:16; Acts 13:38-39)
#63. Brings a curse . . . Redeems from it (Gal.3:10; Gal.3:13)
#64. Live by works . . . Live by faith (Gal.3:10; Gal.3:11)
#65. Cannot give life . . . Can give life (Gal.3:21; Jn.6:63-68)
#66. Exposes sin . . . Covers sin (Gal.3:19; Rom.4:1-8)
#67. Under law . . . Under grace (Rom.6:14-15; Gal.22-25)
#68. Produces persecution . . . Produces tolerance (Gal.4:29; 1 Cor.13)
#69. Abolished . . . Remains (2 Cor.3:13; 2 Cor.3:11)
#70. Cast out . . . Not cast out (Gal.4:30; Heb.8:6)
#71. Taken away . . . Not taken away (Heb.10:9)
#72. Blotted out . . . Not blotted out (Col.2:14-17; Heb.8:6)
#73. For Israel only . . . For all people (Deut.4:7-8; 5:3; Mat.26:28)
#74. Old Testament . . . New Testament (2 Cor.3:14; 2 Cor.3:6)
#75. Could not satisfy . . . Does satisfy God (Isa.1:13-14; Heb.10:15-18)
See the parable of the two covenants: (Gal.4:22-31)
Comment: Death is simply separation of the body and spirit. See Different Kinds of Death:
It is my opinion that upon our physical death, our soul (spirit) goes immediately back to God.
Ecc. 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. (KJV) . . . IF (and only IF) we are a TRUE believer in Jesus, we are allowed access to Heaven. ALL the souls of unbelievers (the lost) who have rejected Jesus, shall go directly to Hades (the temporary holding place, Lk.16:23) to await judgment of ALL their sins. See Hell and eternal death. http://www.hisservants.org/hell_h_s.htm
We ALL are SPIRITUALLY dead until we accept Jesus as our Saviour and Lord. The moment we truly believe and accept Him, we are born again spiritually into God's family, and are forgiven of ALL our sins (John 1:12-13; Jn.3:3; Jn.3:15-18; Jn.5:24). IF you are born again spiritually into God's family, when you die, you go immediately into the Lord's Presence! . . . 2 Cor.5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (KJV)
ANYONE who refuses to believe God (1 Jn.5:10), and rejects His one and only Way of salvation (Jesus), are ETERNALLY dead and will have as their eternal home the agony of HELL. The decision is in YOUR hands. I pray you make the right one, for IF you make the wrong decision, there is NO second chance, NO reprieve, NO purgatory, NO reincarnation, NO more mercy and NO exit doors! Once you pass through the door of death into Hades (the temporary Hell), you can NEVER pick up your belongings and leave because you do not like it there! Once you die, it is over for you. Once you die, you can make NO more decisions. So make sure you choose wisely!
2 Cor.4:4 . . . Who Is "the God of This World"?
It is VERY clear that the Bible (including the parts that Paul wrote) teaches that there is only ONE God (Deut.6:4; Isa.44:6; Jn.17:3; Rom.3:30; 8:4; 10:12; 1 Cor.8:6; Gal.3:20; Eph.4:6; 1 Tim.2:5; Jam.2:19). So then . . . WHO is "the god of this world"? WHY does Paul refer to another god, if he believed that there is only one God?
As a Jew, Paul divided world history into two ages: this age and the age to come (Eph.1:21). This age is a period of time when Satan has a major sway in the world, but in the age to come God's Kingdom will be fully revealed and God shall set right ALL the wrongs from this age. When Paul submitted to Jesus as his Messiah, he gained a new view on this division of time. In Jesus the age to come had already come. TRUE Christians have already entered this age under the control of God and they already experience the Kingdom in the fruit of the Spirit (Rom.14:17) and the Spirit's power (1 Cor.4:20). This does NOT mean that the kingdom is fully present, for the full ability of the Kingdom is in the future, when it will rule the Earth (1 Cor.15:24-25). As a result, Christians experience the Kingdom both now, and are yet to inherit the Kingdom in the future (Col.1:12; Eph.1:11,18; 1 Pet.1:2-5).
BUT . . . everyone is not a TRUE Christian. This evil world is still very much present (Gal.1:4). In this age there is a power of darkness (Col.1:13) in which people are controlled by the prince of the power of the air (Eph.2:2). Paul refers to the human rulers of this age as the princes of this world (1 Cor.2:8), the philosophers of this age as wise (1 Cor.1:20) and the standards of this age (1 Cor.3:18). In this Passage Paul refers to the being that controls this age as the god of this world (or age), rather than using one of his other many titles, such as Satan (2 Cor.11:14). Paul refers to Satan by such a title, NOT because he is a god in the sense of being an ultimate being, but because he is the created being (not a God), who controls the lives of unbelievers, including blinding their minds. Very few unbelievers would admit that Satan is their god! They think that they are serving their own self-interest or some particular deity.
For Paul, there only is one TRUE God. The true God is the ultimate, one and only God, the one ultimate, the first and the last (Rev.1:8,11), because in the end, Christ will put down all other powers and authorities, including, and especially that of Satan, and deliver the kingdom to the Father (1 Cor.15:24). SATAN IS NOT GOD! He is a being who will in the end bow the knee before God (Isa.45:23; Rom.14:11; Phil.2:10). BUT . . . for now, Satan has control over this age everywhere that people have not turned to Christ. Unbelievers have NOT been transferred from the power of darkness into the kingdom of God's dear Son (Col.1:13). Satan is absolutely NOT the ultimate God! But, for those who have NOT yet turned to Christ, this dark, evil lord is all the god that they know. The terrible reality of this is what Paul recognizes in this verse.
Also consider the following from our commentary on First Corinthians:
1 Cor. 8:5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) (KJV)
For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) . . . the words "are called gods" appear one other place in the New Testament (2 Thes.2:4), where Paul speaks of "the man of lawlessness" who "will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped," prior to the Coming of the Lord. In both cases, Paul knows that the pagan world is involved in the belief in, and worship of gods (idols). Temples to the many Roman and Greek gods in Corinth were sufficient testimony to this fact. In neighboring Athens, (Acts 17), Paul called the Athenians "very religious," for he found there many "objects of worship," including an altar "to an unknown god."
While knowing the certain reality in the pagan world, Paul forcefully stresses that these supposed “gods” are ONLY "called" gods. In other words, whatever degree of reality that is assigned to these "nothing idols," when Christians speak of "God" they speak of the God of Israel and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and THIS cannot be claimed by any of these pagan idols.
1 Cor. 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, and we by him. (KJV)
But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him . . . no matter what the idolatrous heathens think or believe, to us who are Christians, there is but one God, who is truly and essentially God. And even though there is indeed more than one Person in the Triune Deity, the Father, is the Fountain of the Deity, communicating His Divine nature to the other two Persons, Jesus the Son and the Holy Ghost . . . and of whom are all things. This is a term which means that He is the primary Cause and Author of all things. We exist because of Him, according to the apostle Paul (Acts 17:28): In him we live, and move, and have our being. For we are for Him, created for His honor and glory.
And one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things . . . Jesus is the Second Person in the Holy Trinity. Something to consider: That although the Name of God is often given to Christ Jesus, yet in NO place does Paul mention God the Father as Lord. This seems to conclude, that the term of Lord given to Christ, means HE has pre-eminence above all things, (except the Father), according to what the apostle Paul says (1 Cor.15:27). SO . . . it is by Christ Jesus, that are all things: All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made (Jn.1:3).
So, the Passage in verse 6 shows us, the order of working in the Holy Trinity. All things are of the Father by the Son.
And we by him . . . and we, says Paul, are by the Son of God created, redeemed and saved!
Abaddon (Hebrew: Destroyer, Rev 9:11)
The accuser of our brethren (Rev 12:10; Eph 6:10-12; Rev 2:10, 13; 12:10; 13:1-18; 16:13-14, 16; 20:2-3)
The adversary (1Pe 5:8)
Angel of light (2 Cor.11:14)
The angel of the bottomless pit (Rev 9:11)
Apollyon (Greek: Destroyer, Rev 9:11)
Beelzebul (Mat 12:24; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15)
Belial (2Co 6:15)
Confirmed sinner (1 John 3:8)
The Devil (Mat 4:1; Luke 4:2,6; Rev 20:2)
Our common enemy (Mat 13:39)
Evil spirit (1 Sam 16:14)
The father of all lies (John 8:44)
Gates of hell (Hades, Mat 16:18)
Great red dragon (Rev 12:3,4,7,13,17)
The liar (John 8:44)
Lying spirit (1 Ki 22:22)
The murderer (John 8:44)
That old serpent (Rev 12:9; Rev 20:2)
The power of darkness (Col 1:13)
The prince of this world (John 12:31; John 14:30; John 16:11)
The prince of devils (Mat 12:24)
The prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2)
Roaring lion (1 Pet 5:8)
Ruler of the darkness of this world (Eph 6:12)
Satan (1 Chron 21:1; Job 1:6; John 13:27; Acts 5:3; Acts 26:18; Rom 16:20)
The serpent (Gen 3:4,14; 2 Co 11:3)
The schemer (2 Cor 2:11; Eph 6:11
The serpent of old (Rev12:9,14-15; Gen 3:1-5,13-15; 2 Cor11:3)
The spirit that works in all disobedient people (Eph 2:2)
The Tempter (Mat 4:3; 1Th 3:5)
The god of this world (2Co 4:4)
Unclean spirit (Mat 12:43)
The wicked one (Mat 13:19,38)
Kingdom of, to be destroyed (2 Sam 23:6-7)
With the context of (Mat 12:29-30; Luke 11:21-22; 1 Jn 3:8)
The synagogue of Satan (Rev 2:9; Rev 3:9)
Personal pronouns (Job 1:6-12; 2:2-6; Isa14:12-14; Eze 28:12-17; Mat 4:1-11; Luke 22:31-32; Rev12:12-13)
Satan’s creation (Eze 28:12-17)
Satan’s fall (Isa 14:12-14; Eze 28:15-17; 1 Tim 3:6 Luke 10:18)
Evil enemy (Mat 13:25, 28, 39)
The Strait Gate
As we consider the strait gate and narrow way; what do we know about this gate?
#1. Jesus says that it is the gate that leads to life, clearly meaning that it is the gate that leads to Heaven.
#2. Jesus says that it is a strait gate. The word strait means difficult. Jesus tells us clearly that entering Heaven will NOT be easy. This is a big surprise to most people, because many have been taught that the way to Heaven is easy. They have been taught, all you have to do to be saved is believe in Jesus. There is a BIG difference between what men teach today and what Jesus taught then. See Saving Faith: http://www.godcannotlie.org/saving_faith.htm
#3. Jesus tells us that there are not many people going in through this strait gate and narrow way. He says, Few there be that find it. This too, is a surprise to many people, because they believe that most people will be saved because most people believe in God. The doctrine of Universalism is FALSE! It is the devil’s doctrine! http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_f_d%20_universalism_not_biblical.htm
Jesus has told us three things about the strait gate.
#1. It is the gate that leads to Heaven.
#2. It is difficult to enter.
#3. There will not be very many people who go in the strait gate.
We should have no trouble understanding what Jesus has said. While it may not agree with what most have been taught and believe, it is clear and easy to understand.
Yoked with Unbelievers! A Hard Saying!
2 Cor. 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (KJV)
There are two ways in which 2 Cor. 6:14 may be viewed as a hard saying. It may be hard because we do not like the hard effects it seems to have for our everyday relationships with persons who are not believers. It is hard because: #1. It presents the lack of agreement and harmony between believer and unbeliever more clearly and intently than other New Testament texts, and #2. It is not clear what being yoked together means precisely and how it is to be put into practice. A closer look at the text and its context might help.
From Paul’s earlier letter (1 Corinthians), it is clear that there were several regions in their life, both as a congregation and as individual believers where God's grace seemed to be in vain: they continued taking part in pagan cultic rituals (1 Cor. Ch.6, and 1 Cor. Ch.10) taking their squabbles into pagan courts (1 Cor.ch.6). How can receiving God's grace in vain (1 Cor.6:1), be avoided? 2 Cor. 6:14 is Paul’s reply to that question.
The Greek word for yoked together is found only here in the New Testament. In the Greek Old Testament, the word is used in the ban against breeding cattle with a different species of animal (Lev.19:19). From this use of the Greek word comes the meaning mismating or mismatching, which simply means: believers are NOT to unite themselves with unbelievers; because they are NOT fit mates for you, NOT fit companions for you. From this translation of the word has come what is probably the most common understanding . . . Paul warns against marriage between believers and nonbelievers.
But, although this understanding may be a valid application of the idea, the context of the Passage suggests that marriage was not what Paul had in mind here. He seems to use the term in its more general meaning of unevenly yoked. Deut. 22:10 Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together. (KJV) . . . Placing animals of a different species in the same yoke was a no-no to the Jews. Paul may have used the ban against such yoking as a sign, to show the clear difference between the Christian and the non-Christian. There is a definite mismatch which must be recognized and which has references for life in an environment of unbelief.
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers . . . is followed by a series of five opposing questions which define the nature of incompatibility (mismatching) between believers and unbelievers. The questions are spoken and the answers are obvious. The questions: #1. What do righteousness and wickedness have in common? #2. What do light and darkness have in common? #3. What do Christ and Belial (Satan) have in common? #4. What do the believer and unbeliever have in common? And #5. What do the Temple of God and idols, have in common? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! TRUE believers are the temple of the living God (2 Cor. 6:16).
1 Cor. 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (KJV) . . . The temple of God was already laid before the Corinthians in Paul's earlier Letter. There Paul reminded the Corinthians that God's temple was sacred (holy), and they were that temple (1 Cor. 3:17). They were to flee from sexual immortality (1 Cor. 6:18) and flee from idolatry (1 Cor. 10:14), because ALL forms of wickedness oppose the Kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9-10). In 2 Cor. 6:14-18 the reminder that they are God's temple is followed, by means of a series of Old Testament texts, by the call to really be God's holy people among whom He is present as in a temple (Rom.8:9-11). We must purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God (2 Cor. 7:1).
NOT being yoked with unbelievers means that the Christian is in the process of moving toward holiness. The idea of holiness, as applied to both the Temple and the people of God, is grounded in the Old Testament. The Hebrew word meaning separated always has a double meaning . . . separated FROM evil and dedicated TO the service of God. Separation from evil is ALWAYS confirmed by a unique way of life which is proof of right and moral behavior of the highest order. Dedication and devotion to God's service is demonstrated by the rejection of all idolatrous contamination (1 Cor. 10:14; 2 Cor. 6:16), be it ancient or modern idolatry. Idolatry is giving the highest allegiance, loyalty and honor to beings, powers or things, instead of God.
My friend, to be yoked with unbelievers is to be of one heart and mind with them, choosing the values that guide them, being seduced by their commitments to various gods and lords (1 Cor. 8:5), being conformed to an outlook of things that dismiss absolute truth and morality. Christians, according to Paul are new creations (2 Cor.5:17), and they should live imitating the life of Jesus. TRUE children of God are to live as children of light, bearing the fruit of the light which is goodness, righteousness and truth (Eph.5:8-9).
It is WRONG for believers to join with the wicked and profane.
An unbeliever is someone destitute of TRUE faith. Any true pastor will boldly caution their dearly beloved children in the Gospel, NOT to be unequally yoked with an unbeliever. The fatal effects of neglecting Scripture guidelines as to marriages are clearly there! Instead of marriage bringing a help mate, the union of a believer and an unbeliever brings a deceptive trap. Anyone who is unequally united, should not expect God’s comfort in it. When believers enter into such tragic unions, against the precise warnings of God's Word, they must be ready to expect much distress. The caution also extends to common lifestyle. We should NOT join in a close friendship and acquaintance with wicked men and unbelievers. Although we cannot totally avoid seeing and hearing them, and being around them, we should never choose them for friends. We must not defile ourselves by a close lifestyle with those who defile themselves with sin. 2 Cor.6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, (KJV) . . . We would be wise IF we would just take God’s advice that He gives us through Paul. We are to come out from the workers of iniquity, and separate ourselves from their vain and sinful pleasures and pursuits. We must NOT conform to the corruptions of this present evil world. We are NEVER to envy any privilege or pleasures of someone more better off (worldly), than we are. We must always remember what privileges and happiness we have as being sons and daughters of Almighty God, that unbelievers can never expect, unless they change the road they are on (Mat.7:13-14).
Separation From Evil Associations: (Gen.19:14; Ex.32:26; Num.16:21,26; 33:52; 1 Sam.15:6; 1Ki.13:9; 2 Ki.3:13; 10:23; 2 Chron.25:10; Ps.1:1; 6:8; 17:4; 26:4; 84:10; 101:4; 139:19; 141:4; Pro.14:7; 20:19; 24:1; Isa.52:11; Jer.6:29; 9: 2; 15:17; 16:8; 51:6; Lk.8:54; Jn.15:19; 17:6,16; Acts 2:40; 5:13; 15:14; 1 Cor.5:2; 10:20; 2 Cor.6:14,17; Eph.5:11; 2 Thes.3:6; 1 Tim.5:22; 2 Tim.2:21; 1 Pet.4:4; 1 Jn.2:15; Rev.18:4)
Separation From False Teachers: (Eze.20:38; Mat.18:17; Acts 19:9; 1 Cor.5:11; 2 Thes.3:6,14; 1 Tim.6:5; 2 Tim.3:5; 1 Jn.2:19; 2 Jn.1:10)
Separation From The Wicked In Last Day: (Deut.29:21; 2 Sam.23:6; 2 Ki.10:23; Ps.1:5; 5:5; Eze.20:38; Mat.3:12; 13:30,41,49; 22:13; 24:40,51; 25:32,46; Lk.3:17; 13:27; 16:23,26; 17:34; Jn.15:6; Acts 1:25; 2 Thes.1:9; Rev.20:15; 22:15)
Babylon is often described as wickedness:
#1. Pride (Isa.13:19; 14:4; Jer.50:29-34; Rev.18:7-8)
#2. Oppression (Isa.13:1; 14:2-22; Jer.51:24-25; Rev.18:24)
#3. Pleasures, sins, luxuries (Isa;47:8-11; Rev.18:3-19)
#4. Idol worship (Jer.50:2; 51:47; Rev.9:20-21; 13:14; 14:9-11; 16:2)
#5. Fornication (Rev.14:8; 18:3-9)
#6. Demonism, occult (Rev.18:2)
#7. Sorcery, witchcraft, enchantments (Isa.47:12-13; Rev.18:23)
#8. Martyrdom of saints (Rev.18:6,24)
Chapters 8 & 9
Should We TITHE?
Can you show me where Jesus told the church to tithe? It is NOT there!
Tithing was a "law" given exclusively for the nation Israel. It was a "law" given by God, to the eleven tribes of Israel. The tribe of Levi (Levites) were the ONLY ones ever given authority by God, to accept tithes from people.
Numbers 18:20-32 And the Lord spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel.  And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.  Neither must the children of Israel henceforth come nigh the tabernacle of the congregation, lest they bear sin, and die.  But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they have no inheritance.  But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the Lord, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.
 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,  Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the Lord, even a tenth part of the tithe.  And this your heave offering shall be reckoned unto you, as though it were the corn of the threshingfloor, and as the fulness of the winepress.  Thus ye also shall offer an heave offering unto the Lord of all your tithes, which ye receive of the children of Israel; and ye shall give thereof the Lord's heave offering to Aaron the priest.  Out of all your gifts ye shall offer every heave offering of the Lord, of all the best thereof, even the hallowed part thereof out of it.  Therefore thou shalt say unto them, When ye have heaved the best thereof from it, then it shall be counted unto the Levites as the increase of the threshingfloor, and as the increase of the winepress.  And ye shall eat it in every place, ye and your households: for it is your reward for your service in the tabernacle of the congregation.  And ye shall bear no sin by reason of it, when ye have heaved from it the best of it: neither shall ye pollute the holy things of the children of Israel, lest ye die. [KJV]
Hebrews 7:5 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: [KJV]
In the Book of Malachi, God calls "tithing" an ORDINANCE.
Malachi 3:7-8 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?  Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. [KJV]
Colossians 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; [KJV] Paul tells us very clearly here in this verse, that tithing (along with the rest of the Jewish Law) was abolished or canceled, nullified, revoked, rescinded, terminated, wiped out! We are NOT under the Mosiac Law, we are under grace! Thank You Jesus!
The Church of today (the Body of Christ), and giving.
Christian giving (the church) is a personal matter, between the individual and God!
If you want to give 10%, that is your option, BUT there is NO law saying you have to do so. Giving is between you and God. The law of tithing was ONLY for Israel!
Acts 11:29 Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea: [KJV] ---According to his ability.
1 Corinthians 16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. [KJV] --- As God hath prospered him/her.
2 Corinthians 8:12 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. [KJV] --- According to that a man/woman hath, and not according to that he/she hath not.
2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. [KJV] --- Give cheerfully, NOT grudgingly. IF you give only because you feel you must (have to), you may as well keep it in your pocket!
Mark 12:41-44 And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.  And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.  And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:  For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living. [KJV] --- Did this poor widow tithe? NO! She gave out of the abundance of her heart! Some people are very well able to give much more than a tenth of their earnings, whereas others, on a limited income, have great difficulty giving a tenth. The decision lies between the person and God. Pray about it. Let God lead you in this decision, as well as every other decision you make. Faith has a big part in all your decisions in life. If you trust God in all things, He will see you through.
Four things a person must do in giving:
#1. He must give willingly from the heart.
#2. He must not give grudgingly or reluctantly.
#3. He must not give under pressure.
#4. He must give cheerfully.
Seven things that God loves:
#1. The stranger (Deut.10:18)
#2. Righteousness (Ps.11:7)
#3. Judgment (Ps.37:28)
#4. The gates of Zion (2 Chron.6:6; Ps.87:2)
#5. The righteous (Ps.146:8)
#6. A cheerful giver (2 Cor.9:7)
#7. Those whom He chastens (Pro.3:12; 13:24; Heb.12:6; Rev.3:19)
God is well able to:
#1. Give you much more than this (2 Chron.25:9).
#2. Deliver you (Dan.3:17).
#3. Raise up children from stones (Mat.3:9).
#4. Destroy both body and soul in Hell (Mat.10:28).
#5. Graft them in again (Rom.11:23).
#6. Make him to stand (Rom.14:4).
#7. Make all grace abound (2 Cor.9:8).
#8. Subdue all things (Phil.3:21).
#9. Keep all committed to Him (2 Tim.1:12).
#10. Succour, help the tempted (Heb.2:18).
#11. Save from death (Heb.5:7).
#12. Save to the uttermost (Heb.7:25).
Four benefits of ministering to the saints:
#1. It supplies the needs of saints.
#2. It causes them to glorify God.
#3. It proves that the givers are true Christians (2 Cor.9:13; 1 Jn.3:17).
#4. It causes prayers of those supplied to go up for their benefactors (2 Cor.9:14).
When you give, it causes people to thank God for you. It is God who will get the praise and the glory, as it should be.
Some comments on chapter 9:
#1. Christ Jesus, is the Gift of God's love to sinful mankind. This Gift is an unspeakable blessing that no one can comprehend, much less explain, just how great and awesome this Gift really is! For that reason, Jesus may well be called the unspeakable gift, because He is the greatest and highest Gift God ever gave or can give to sinful man.
#2. The conversion (change, transformation) of a soul from darkness to light, from sin to holiness, from Satan to God, is no less unspeakable (incredible, extraordinary). We are a new creature (2 Cor.5:17; Gal.6:15), and for sure, God’s almighty creative energy CANNOT be comprehended, or explained. To have the grace of God rule in our heart, subduing all things to itself and filling the soul with the Divine nature, is an unspeakable blessing; and the energy that produced is a magnificent unspeakable gift, which can only come from Almighty God! This is the work of Christ in the soul that the apostle Paul terms as the super-abounding or exceeding great grace, and the unspeakable gift. Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift . . . this admirable loving-kindness, which proceeds from the work of Christ in the soul, and by which God is much glorified, and the Gospel receives the credit, because others are so much benefited, and you will be by God, abundantly rewarded. This is the sense of the Passage; and no other meaning can come from it. The Passage is an outstanding proof that every good disposition in the soul of man comes from God. Since Almighty God is the Fountain of ALL good, all that can be called good HAS to come directly from Him! James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (KJV)
#3. Most people cannot (or will not) see the Hand of God in the dispensing His mercy, which is abundant, remarkable and continuous. Our afflictions we hardly ever forget, while our mercies we hardly ever remember! How terribly sad! Our hearts are always alive to complain and moan, but they are dead to thankfulness. God is SO patient with us! Our complaints never stop . . . but our gratitude doesn’t even begin! How does God put up with us? The outstanding mystery of our preservation and our salvation can be there alone explained. God is SO good!
Comment on chapter 11: From the Acts of the Apostles we can identify a few of the experiences of which he speaks. For instance, once was I stoned, that was as recorded in chapter 14. He speaks of being in deaths oft, and one occasion was in the riot in the Ephesian theatre, recorded in chapter 19, for he speaks of this as so great a death (2 Cor.1:10). But on the other hand we must remember that when Paul penned this list his experiences were not over. He had been shipwrecked thrice, one of the occasions involving a night and a day in the deep; being washed about in the waters of the Mediterranean, we suppose that means; but as yet the shipwreck recorded in Acts 27:1-44, had not yet taken place. So, that must have been number four, at least.
The most tiring sufferings of all were, seems to be those that Paul speaks of last; the care of all the churches. He had to bear with the instability of the weak, to listen over and over to the complaints of the offended, to correct the foolishness of saints, and struggle for the truth against false brethren. All this must have been the most difficult of all. Yet Paul did it.
The incident with which Paul closes this chapter seems to symbolize the whole of his life of service. He was let down, and that in a most degrading way. If secular history is to be trusted, the letting-downs never stopped until he knelt by the headsman’s block outside the imperial city Rome. But it was just these letting-downs and the sufferings they involved which put upon him the brand of the Lord Jesus Christ, and marked the apostle Paul out clearly as a servant of his one and only Master, Jesus Christ, in a surpassing measure.
Ten symbols of Satan:
#1. Serpent (Gen.3:14; 2 Cor.11:3; Lk.10:19; Rev.12:9,15)
#2. Leviathan (Job 41; Isa.27)
#3. Great red dragon (Rev.12; 13:4; 16:13; 20:2)
#4. Angel of light (2 Cor.11:14)
#5. Roaring lion (Ps.91:13; 1 Pet.5:8)
#6. Fowls (Mat.13:4,19)
#7. Scorpions (Lk.10:19)
#8. Wolf (Jn.10:12)
#9. Fowler (Ps.91:3)
#10. Adder (Ps.91:13)
50 Things of which Paul could boast:
#1. I am just as bold as they are (2 Cor.11:21).
#2. I am a Hebrew, just as they are (2 Cor.11:22).
#3. I am an Israelite, just as they are (2 Cor.11:22).
#4. I am of Abraham, just as they are (2 Cor.11:22).
#5. I am more a minister of Christ than they are (2 Cor.11:23).
#6. In labors more abundant (2 Cor.11:23).
#7. Stripes above measure (2 Cor.11:23).
#8. In prisons often for Christ (2 Cor.11:23).
#9. Often at the point of death (2 Cor.11:23).
#10. Five times scourged (2 Cor.11:24).
#11. Three times beaten with rods (2 Cor.11:25).
#12. Once stoned, supposedly to death (2 Cor.11:25; Acts 14:19).
#13. Three times shipwrecked (2 Cor.11:25).
#14. Twenty-four hours in the sea (2 Cor.11:25).
#15. In journeyings often (2 Cor.11:26).
#16. In perils of water (2 Cor.11:26).
#17. In perils of robbers (2 Cor.11:26).
#18. In perils by the Jews (2 Cor.11:26).
#19. In perils by the heathen (2 Cor.11:26).
#20. In perils in the city (2 Cor.11:26).
#21. In perils in the wilderness (2 Cor.11:26).
#22. In perils in the sea (2 Cor.11:26).
#23. In perils by false brethren (2 Cor.11:26).
#24. In weariness and pain (2 Cor.11:27).
#25. In watchings often (2 Cor.11:27).
#26. In hunger and thirst (2 Cor.11:27).
#27. In fastings often (2 Cor.11:27).
#28. In cold and nakedness (2 Cor.11:27).
#29. Daily care of all churches (2 Cor.11:28).
#30. Strength in God (2 Cor.11:29; 12:10).
#31. Zeal for the churches (2 Cor.11:29).
#32. Many infirmities (2 Cor.30; 12:5,9).
#33. Always speaks truth, never lies (2 Cor.11:31; 12:6).
#34. Miraculous deliverances (2 Cor.11:32-33).
#35. Visions and revelations (2 Cor.12:1).
#36. Caught up to Heaven (2 Cor.12:2-4).
#37. Experiences beyond our knowledge (2 Cor.12:2-3).
#38. Hearing unspeakable, unlawful words (2 Cor.12:4).
#39. Freedom from self-glory (2 Cor.12:5).
#40. Truth is equal to glory (2 Cor.12:6).
#41. Special personal persecutions (2 Cor.12:7).
#42. Answers from God (2 Cor.12:9).
#43. Submission to God's will (2 Cor.12:9).
#44. The power of Christ upon him (2 Cor.12:9).
#45. Pleasure in sufferings (2 Cor.12:10).
#46. Endurance through Christ’s grace (2 Cor.12:10).
#47. No boasting unless compelled (2 Cor.12:11).
#48. Equal with chief apostles (2 Cor.12:11).
#49. Humility in his greatness (2 Cor.12:11).
#50. Unselfishness (2 Cor.12:13-21; 13:10).
35 Other signs of false preachers:
#1. They lead people away from God (Deut.13:1-5).
#2. They speak arrogantly (Deut.18:20).
#3. They circulate errors (Pro.19:27; Isa.3:12; Jer.23:32).
#4. They have no sense of righteousness (Isa.5:20; Jeremiah chapters 11,14,32).
#5. They are destitute of light (Isa.8:19-20).
#6. They teach lies (Ia.9:14-16).
#7. They live like sinners (Isa.28:7).
#8. They are ignorant of spiritual things (Isa.29:10-11; 56:10-12; Jer.2:8; Hos.4:6).
#9. They compromise truth (Isa.30:10).
#10. They are greedy and lazy (Isa.56:10-12).
#11. They deal falsely (Jer.6:13; Eze.22:27).
#12. They do not pray (Jer.10:21).
#13. They destroy and scatter (Jer.12:10; 23:1).
#14. They preach lies (Jer.14:13-16).
#15. They commit adultery (Jer.23:14).
#16. They encourage sin (Jer.23:14; Eze.13:22).
#17. They are deceitful (Jer.48:10; Eze.13:10; Rom.16:18; Eph.4:14; Col.2:4-8; 2 Tim.3:6-13).
#18. They are sinful (Eze.22.25-28).
#19. They are liars (Jer.23:14; Eze.13:19-22).
#20. They are selfish (Eze.34:2-3).
#21. They are unfaithful (Eze.34:4-10).
#22. They are covetous (Mic..3:11).
#23. They teach doctrines of man (Mat.15:9).
#24. They work iniquity (Mat.7:15-23).
#25. They are blind (Mat.15:14).
#26. They cause divisions (Rom.16:17; 1 Cor.11:18; Phil.1:15-16).
#27. They corrupt truth (2 Cor.2:17).
#28. They teach doctrines of devils (1 Tim.4).
#29. They have a seared conscience (1 Tim.4:2).
#30. They are proud and perverse (1 Tim.6:3-21; 2 Tim.2:14-18; Tit.1:10-14).
#31. They teach damnable heresies (2 Pet.2:1; 2 Jn.1:7-11).
#32. They deny Christ (2 pet.2:1; 1 Jn.4:1-6).
#33. They are consecrated to destroy the Christian faith (2 Pet.2:1-19; Jude 1 :4-11).
#34. They are hypocrites (Mat.7:15; 23:1-33; Lk.11:35).
#35. They can keep your name from the book of life (Rev.20:15).
The purpose of persecution
Although persecution is supposed to hurt and silence Christians, God most often uses it in the opposite way, to accomplish His good purposes by the way it:
#1. Allows us to share in the sufferings of Christ (1 Pet. 4:13). Jesus was abused, tortured and killed for us, and any time that we are persecuted for His sake, our suffering is counted as His.
#2. Tests our loyalty. The proof of our faithfulness to Christ is NOT found in what we say but in what we do when fiery ordeals come our way. That is when we either stay true to God, or we seek the world’s acceptance.
#3. Furthers the Gospel (Phil. 1:12). The Lord uses persecution to spread His message. Prison was the last place Paul expected to have an effective ministry, but it was there that he not only had a captive audience with the guards who were chained to him, he also had enough time to write the Letters to the Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, which have benefitted us greatly.
#4. Enables us to encourage others undergoing persecution. When we have been mistreated and yet then have experienced God’s help and strength to endure, we are well able to encourage others who are presently walking that same road of suffering.
HEAVEN . . . 2 Cor.12:2
When the term heaven is not used symbolically in Scripture, it usually refers to one of three realms.
#1. Our Immediate Atmosphere
#2. Outer Space (The Sun, Moon, And Stars)
#3.The Home where God resides
So, we see that the Bible speak of more than one heaven.
More Than One Heaven
The fact that Jesus passed through the heavens (plural) gives evidence there is more than one heaven.
Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. (KJV)
The Bible refers to the third heaven.
2 Cor.12:2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. (KJV)
So, IF there is a third heaven, common sense tells us that there must also be a first and second heaven. The Bible, however, does not mention a first and second heaven.
. . . . . #1. The Atmosphere . . . The First Heaven
The atmospheric heavens include the air that we breathe as well as the space that immediately surrounds the Earth. This supposedly extends about twenty miles above the earth. The space above this is called the stratosphere. The Bible uses the term heaven to describe this area.
Genesis 6:7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. (KJV) . . . Emphasis mine.
Matthew 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? (KJV)
The word translated air is the same Greek word that is elsewhere translated heaven. We have another example of this use in the book of James.
James 5:18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. (KJV)
. . . . . #2. The Celestial Heaven . . . The Second Heaven
This use of the term heaven refers to outer space or the stellar heaven. It includes the sun, moon, and stars.
Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: (KJV)
Stars are said to be in heaven.
Deut. 4:19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven. (KJV)
. . . . . #3. Heaven as the Home of God . . . The Third Heaven
The Bible is crystal clear that God is NOT and CANNOT be limited to any one geographical place.
1 Kings 8:27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded? (KJV)
Yet the Bible also teaches us that there IS a certain, definite geographical place where God resides. It is also called heaven.
The writer to the Hebrews said:
Hebrews 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; (KJV)
Stephen knew he was going into the Presence of the Lord.
Acts 7:55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, (KJV)
Heaven is called the presence of God, but the definite location of God’s Home is NOT revealed in the Bible.
Hebrews 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: (KJV)
. . . . . The Heaven of Heavens . . . does this also refer to God’s Home?
The Bible also speaks the heaven of heavens; which seems to be heavenly spheres beyond that which is visible from the earth. It is called the heaven of heavens.
Deut. 10:14 Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD'S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is. (KJV)
The psalmist wrote.
Psalm 148:4 Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. (KJV)
Summary: Sometime the word heaven is used symbolically in Scripture, but when used of an actual place, the Bible speaks of three heavens:
#1. The first is the atmosphere above us.
#2. The second heaven is the stellar heaven, the sun, moon, and stars.
#3. The third heaven is where God resides, above the other two regions.
But, please remember that God is NOT limited to one geographical place.
The Old Testament Dead
Luke 16 is the clearest Biblical account of what happens when a person dies. Luke 16:22-25 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. (KJV)
We learn from this awesome Passage of Scripture that the believer in Christ is escorted . . . CARRIED by angels at death to a wonderful place of peace. But, we also learn that the unbeliever goes directly to a place of torment.
Abraham's bosom is another term for the Old Testament place called Paradise. It is found only in Luke 16.
Hell (Hebrew: Sheol, Greek: Hades) is located inside the earth. Hades seems to have two compartments, in two different places: Paradise and Torment. We read in:
Ephesians 4:9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? (KJV)
Matthew 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (KJV)
When Jesus died on the cross, He first descended into the lower parts of the Earth . . . into Paradise. There are some who believe that Old Testament saints went immediately to Heaven, not Paradise, because of the following: 2 Kings 2:11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. (KJV)
Although both arguments are compelling, I personally think there is an existence of a place called Paradise, simply because of the abundance of Scriptures.
Whether you believe Old Testament saints went to Heaven or Paradise . . . either way you still believe in eternal life. The doctrines of eternal punishment and eternal life, are important doctrines of Biblical faith. IF life were to cease at death, then there would be no reason for Jesus Christ to have died upon the cross for our sins. IF there is no Hell, then there is no penalty for sin . . . so why worry about being saved? My friend, the doctrines of eternal punishment for the wicked, and eternal life for the righteous are VERY important to the Christian faith.
It appears to me that paradise and heaven are the same place according to the Bible, the place where God dwells. It is also clear from the Bible that every TRUE believer who dies today goes immediately (2 Cor.5:6,8), to this paradise or heaven. Jesus promised the thief on the cross today he would be with Him in paradise.
Phil. 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (KJV) . . . WHY??? WHY is dying gain??? Because Paul would be with the Lord Jesus in Heaven. There was NO waiting period, but rather an immediate transition from our final breath here on Earth to eternal life in Heaven. Thank You Jesus!
Three kinds of moral sins:
#1. Homosexuality, known in the lists of sins as uncleanness (1 Cor.6:9-11; 2 Cor.12:21; Rom.1:24-32; 6:19; Gal.5:19; Eph.4:19; 5:3; Col.3:5; 1 Tim.1:8-10; 2 Pet.2:10)
Also see: (Lev.18:22-24; 20:13-16)
#2. Adultery, fornication (Ex.20:14; Mat.5:27; Rom.2:22; 13:9; Jam.2:11; 2 Pet.2:14; . . . Rom.1:29; 1 Cor.5:1; 6:13,18; 7:2; 10:8; 2 Cor.12:21; Gal.5:19; Eph.5:3; Col.3:5; 1 Thes.4:3; Jude 1:7).
#3. Lasciviousness (Mk.7:22; 2 Cor.12:21; Gal.5:19; Eph.4:19; 1 Pet.4:3; Jude 1:4) . . . . . . . . . . . . See Gal.5:19-21: http://www.godcannotlie.org/book_of_galatians_ch5.htm.htm
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