2 Corinthians 10
2 Corinthians 10:1 Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence [Paul wrote; I did not need to be bold among you when I was with you; but now I need to be bolder in my letter, because he is now absent.] am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:
10:2 But I beseech you, that I may not be bold [Paul hopes that he does not need to be as bold when he is present, as he is in his letters.] 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’s words were being twisted even then, into falsely claiming that Paul taught people to minimize the law, when Paul did the exact opposite and was mighty in defense of the Law and every Word of God.
10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war [We may be in the flesh now, but our conduct must be spiritual.] after the flesh:
10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
10:5 Casting down imaginations [let us destroy false teachings with the truth], and [destroy] every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity [disciplining our minds, subjecting our very thoughts to our Lord] every thought to the obedience of Christ;
10:6 And having in a readiness to revenge [to correct and root out] all disobedience, when [so that we may fulfill all obedience to every Word of God] your obedience is fulfilled.
Dear Brethren, that is the very function and purpose of this work: To conduct a spiritual warfare against all disobedience to God and the whole Word of God; while encouraging all to a passionate diligent faithful Christ-like zeal to live by every Word of Almighty God!
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 [also] Christ’s. 10:8 For though I should [Paul had the authority of the truth he taught] boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for [the authority of the truth is to be used for everyone’s benefit] edification, and not for your destruction, [Paul hoped to delight in their godliness and not be ashamed of any wickedness in them.] I should not be ashamed: 10:9 That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters.
10:10 For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible. 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. Let the evildoer beware; that as I am bold in my letters, so will I be bold in deeds when I come.
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.
We ought to compare ourselves to every Word of God, then we will have a true picture of what we are really like.
Comparing ourselves with others makes us think too much of ourselves. Thinking too much of ourselves is not wise.
Paul then says that when they come to Corinth they will act according to the authority that God has given to them; and that they will not exalt themselves but will exalt the Word of God. How unlike so many today who exalt themselves and their own ways above the Word of God. See the Primacy of Peter and the Legitimate Ministerial Authority articles.
We will not be judged by the false traditions of men, but we will be judged by the Word of God.
10:13 But we will not boast of things without our measure [The godliness of our labors and not boasting or grand claims; demonstrate our calling.], but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even [we must NOT make claims without the fruits to back them up.] unto you.
Even then our boast should be in the LORD who has given us all that we have.
10:14 For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure [Paul does not take more authority than he was given], as though we reached not [the authority of God’s Word extends to everyone] unto you: for we are come as far as to you [We preached the gospel of truth to you and you should accept that we have authority as long as we remain in the truth of God.] also in preaching the gospel of Christ:
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,
We hope that our preaching will result in much spiritual growth in you, which will give us occasion to boast of your faith.
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. 10:17 But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
10:18 For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.
If I commend myself or if the whole world commends me; it is nothing. What is important is what Almighty God thinks of me.
2 Corinthians 11
Paul begins to boast for the purpose of reminding the Corinthians of how faithful he is to God.
Paul compares himself with the false apostles who have crept in and would enslave the people, leading them away from the purity and simplicity of Christ to gain followers for themselves.
Paul points out the difference in conduct and example between a true apostle and minister, and false teachers. He teaches the truth of Christ and asks them why they would want to be enslaved by such men.
We have been warned that many such false teachers will creep into the Assembly in the end time (Mat 24, Jude, 2 Ti 4:3), and we should carefully consider Paul’s words and apply them in discerning false from true teachers today.
2 Corinthians 11:1 I would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband [Jesus Christ], that I may present you as a chaste virgin [We are to be faithful to Jesus Christ and not adulterously consorting with false doctrines and following idols of men and corporate entities away from God the Father and Jesus Christ.] to Christ.
11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted [by false teachings] from the simplicity that is in Christ.
Many have been beguiled away from God the Father and Jesus Christ to follow idols of men and false traditions away from any zeal to live by every Word of God. It is far past time for a great revival and a wholehearted turning back to our Lord!
11:4 For if he [anyone] that cometh preacheth another Jesus
If anyone preaches a false Christ who would tolerate sin, and who is NOT absolutely passionately zealous to live by every Word of God the Father; teaching a false Christ who allows men to exalt themselves above the Word of God the Father, binding and loosing God’s Word at their personal will; teaching a false Christ who kept the commandments for us so that we need not live by every Word of God with the same zeal that HE DID: REJECT THEM and run to the Eternal God just as fast as possible!
. . . 11:4 whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, [Reject the false gospel about a coming kingdom, without preaching the way into that kingdom which is sincere repentance.] which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
Today most people seem to tolerate the false teachers who are working to deceive us.
2 Timothy 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
Today, we, to our great shame, seek the easy way and desire the soft words of worldliness to comfort us, so that we can think that we are acceptable to God even in our many sins as we reject much of the truth of the whole Word of God.
4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears [for every strange and false doctrine]; 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Paul defends his office and teaching
2 Corinthians 11:5 For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles [Paul is zealous in doctrine and the gospel; therefore listen to what Paul says.]. 11:6 But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been thoroughly made manifest [our calling is revealed by our example and teachings] among you in all things. 11:7 Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely? 11:8 I robbed other churches, taking wages from them to minister to you.”
11:9 And when I was present with you, and [was in need] wanted, I was chargeable to no man [Paul took nothing from them so as not to burden them in their poverty, but received support from others.]: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.
Paul had the authority to take tithes and offerings from the brethren, yet he made no such demand on the Corinthians. Rather he was supplied by the Macedonians so that the Corinthians might be spared for a time.
11:10 As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia. 11:11 Wherefore? because I love you not? God knoweth [how very much Paul loved them].
11:12 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion [Paul would prevent people from accusing him of enriching himself at the peoples expense]; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. 11:13 For such [false accusers] are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into [falsely appearing to be] the apostles of Christ.
11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
Satan sends false apostles to confuse and lead astray the people of God.
We must judge men by their works (Mat 7:15-21, Deu 13): Only those who do God the Father’s will and teach all men to zealously live by every Word of God the Father will enter the resurrection to spirit.
11:16 I say again, Let no man think me a fool; if otherwise, yet as [Paul asks them to allow him a little boasting so that he might present his defense against his detractors.] a fool receive me, that I may boast myself a little.
11:17 That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting. 11:18 Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also. 11:19 For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.
Today’s brethren accept men taking power over them, exalting themselves over the people and over the Word of God.
11:20 For ye [Tolerating men dominating us in place of God is a great evil.] suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.
Many brethren allow false teachers to mistreat them and lead them astray and will not accept correction from the Word of God.
11:21 I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also. 11:22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. 11:23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
Paul is more a servant of God the Father and Jesus Christ than all these false teachers who would pervert the True Gospel of Warning, Repentance and Salvation.
Paul was ZEALOUS for every Word of God; Paul was ZEALOUS for the Gospel of Salvation which is sincere repentance to live by every Word of God, as the way into the Kingdom of God!
Yet, there are those who would pervert the words of Paul into a certain license to continue in or to tolerate sin in the name of organizational unity.
11:24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 11:25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 11:26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 11:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
11:28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. 11:29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? 11:30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.
11:31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not. 11:32 In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me: 11:33 And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.
All these things Paul suffered for preaching the Gospel of Warning and Repentance and proclaiming that all persons should repent of sin and internalize a Christ-like zeal to live by every Word of God the Father; in the letter and in the full intent, purpose and spirit of the law.
Then along came many false teachers claiming to be some great persons, teaching a false Gospel focusing on the reward and distracting people away from the way to salvation, the way into eternal life, the way INTO that Kingdom: Which is to internalize the very nature of God the Father and Jesus Christ through sincere repentance and living by every Word of God.
False teachers have also come into today’s assemblies, falsely teaching us to follow the false traditions of men.
Jesus Christ and Paul taught us NEVER to tolerate any sin; to NEVER compromise with our passionate love for God the Father and our espoused spiritual Husband Jesus Christ; to never compromise with any part of the Word of God: and to ALWAYS hate, despise and loathe every compromise with God’s Word as the path to decay and eternal DEATH.