Jesus’ Gospel Revealed to Prophets, Apostles and Believers, chapter 20 of 20

(To 8,561 in resident churches: people God is making temples of His spirit.) 12/31/17,  God’s 10th month, Tevet 14, 5778 until sunset.

   : Heavenly Father: thank You for revealing Yourself through Your Son Jesus and Your inspired printed Word. May many be led to seek Your Way, is our prayer in Jesus’ holy name. AMEN.

      Idolatry takes on many forms. Whether the simplicity of image worship, scientific advancement or demonically twisting God’s Word. Long ago Jacob’s father in law “Laban” used figurine gods for worship. In this so called enlightened age, people still use and care for their figurines gods in worshipful fashion. Some wear images around their neck and carry then in their pocket. There’s a different figurine god “people pray to” for almost anything a person could wish or hope for. Others carefully take care of various seasonal decorative figurines that depict pagan seasons. In the book of Genesis, we have the account of Jacob’s favorite wife, “Rachel” stealing her daddy’s gods. When Jacob left Laban with all his belongings: Laban was mad about the situation, “but Jacob’s God warned Laban to be careful, “how he spoke to Jacob.” When Laban caught Jacob, he questioned him about his sudden departure, them accused him of taking his gods. (Gen 31:34-35; “Now Rachel had taken the idols and put them inside her camel’s saddle and sat on them.) Laban searched the whole tent, but did not find them. Rachel said to her father, “Don’t be angry, my lord. I cannot stand up in your presence because I am having my period.” Laban searched thoroughly, but did not find the idols.”) Whether planet, sun, denominational or figurine worship: “it’s idolatry “ When people advertise healing services, attempt to conjure up or duplicate the Pentecost miracle and teach a changing Jesus, differing His manifesting of Himself to be” it’s idolatry. 

     If Jesus did miraculous healings through Paul or any of Paul’s associates in Corinth, it isn’t recorded. It’s not in the nature of spirit led Christians to boast about anything; except gifted knowledge of God the Father and God the Son’s message. After Jesus’ 72 disciples returned from their mission and boasted of their power through His name; Jesus told them, (1) “rejoice that their names were written in heaven” and that you, (2) know Me and the Father “by revelation.”

       (Luke 10:17-20; “Then the seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in Your name!” So Jesus said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Look, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions and on the full force of the enemy, and nothing will hurt you. (20) Nevertheless, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names stand written in heaven.”

       (10:21-22; “On that same occasion Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I praise You Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because , (2) You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your gracious will. All things have been given to Me by My Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son decides to reveal Him.” (No amount of education helps people understand spiritual matter.)

        Rejoice when we understand these revealed truths. Worldly religions are prone to be prideful of membership, growth percentages, property holding and ability to influence. In Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’s day people began mixing paganism with the Lord God’s Word. Later evolving traditions and teaching an imaginary Jesus to gain pagan membership became the norm. This was and is the fulfillment of Jesus’ words, “many will come in My name, saying I am the Christ and deceive many.” Thus, Paul’s words at verses 3-4 of chapter eleven. (“But I am afraid that just as the serpent deceived Eve by his treachery, your minds may be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus different from the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit than the one you received, or a different gospel than the one you accepted, you put up with it well enough!”) AND (11:13-15,  “For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. (14) And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. (15) Therefore it is not surprising his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will correspond to their actions.”)

       In Paul’s day, people with credentials from educational institutions were claiming to be apostles, boasting of their credentials and deceiving the many naïve people. In every age people that want to be thought of as being good, are prone to be religious and flock to this type deceivers. Most never study or read Jesus’ profound Words preserved for our learning.

       (2 Cor 11:16-33; “I “Paul” say again, let no one think that I am a fool. But if you do, then at least accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. What I am saying with this boastful confidence I do not say the way the Lord would. Instead it is, as it were, foolishness. Since many are boasting according to human standards, I too will boast. For since you are so wise, you put up with fools gladly. (20) For you put up with someone making slaves of you, if someone exploits you, if someone takes advantage of you, if someone behaves arrogantly toward you, if someone strikes you in the face. (To my disgrace I must say that we were too weak for that!) But whatever anyone else dares to boast about (I am speaking foolishly), I also dare to boast about the same thing. (22) Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. (23) Are they servants of Christ? (I am talking like I am out of my mind!) I am even more so: with much greater labors, with far more imprisonments, with more severe beatings, facing death many times. Five times I received from the Jews forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with a rod. Once I received a stoning. Three times I suffered shipwreck. A night and a day I spent adrift in the open sea. (26) I have been on journeys many times, in dangers from rivers, in dangers from robbers, in dangers from my own countrymen, in dangers from Gentiles, in dangers in the city, in dangers in the wilderness, in dangers at sea, in dangers from false brothers, in hard work and toil, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, many times without food, in cold and without enough clothing. (28) Apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxious concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not burn with indignation? (30) If I must boast, I will boast about the things that show my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is blessed forever, knows I am not lying. In Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to arrest me, (33) but I was let down in a rope-basket through a window in the city wall, and escaped his hands.”) Read this historical account at Acts of the Apostles, 9th chapter.

      (2 Corinthians 12:1-10; “It is necessary to go on boasting. Though it is not profitable, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. (2) I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago (whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, (God knows) was caught up to the third heaven. (3) And I know that this man (whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, (God knows) (4) was caught up into paradise and heard things too sacred to be put into words, things that a person is not permitted to speak. (5) On behalf of such an individual I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except about my weaknesses. (6) For even if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I would be telling the truth, but I refrain from this so that no one may regard me beyond what he sees in me or what he hears from me, (7) even because of the extraordinary character of the revelations. Therefore, so that I would not become arrogant, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to trouble me – so that I would not become arrogant. (8) I asked the Lord three times about this, that it would depart from me. (9) But He said to me, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me. (10) Therefore I am content with weaknesses, with insults, with troubles, with persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ, for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.”)

      Some of Paul’s gifted understandings were about how the temple services, “as given to Moses and Aaron” related to “foreshadowing of” God’s planning. Study the book of Hebrews while asking for discernment.

      THIRD HEAVEN? There’s a heavenly throne out there. STUDY Revelations 4: Much of what’s revealed to John by Jesus in the book of Revelations may have been revealed to Paul. SUCH knowledge and understanding could well make a fleshly human arrogant, but Paul understood the Lord’s meaning in saying; “My grace is enough for you.” God taught Paul to be totally dependent on Him. Paul will be in the first resurrection and we Believers IN look forward to meeting him, “in whom God made great in His View.”

      (2 Cor 12:11-12; “I have become a fool. You yourselves forced me to do it, for I should have been commended by you. For I lack nothing in comparison to those “super apostles,” even though I am nothing. (12) Indeed, the signs of an apostle were performed among you with great perseverance by signs and wonders and powerful deeds.”)

       JESUS gave His apostles powers through Himself. (See Acts 28: Luke’s account of the miracles Jesus did through Paul on the island of Malta while in route to Rome.)

      (2 Cor 12:13-21; “For how were you treated worse than the other churches, except that I myself was not a burden to you? Forgive me this injustice! Look, for the third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you, because I do not want your possessions, but you. For children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. (15) Now I will most gladly spend and be spent for your lives! If I love you more, am I to be loved less? But be that as it may, I have not burdened you. Yet because I was a crafty person, I took you in by deceit! I have not taken advantage of you through anyone I have sent to you, have I? (18) I urged Titus to visit you and I sent our brother along with him. Titus did not take advantage of you, did he? Did we not conduct ourselves in the same spirit? Did we not behave in the same way? Have you been thinking all this time that we have been defending ourselves to you? We are speaking in Christ before God, and everything we do, dear friends, is to build you up. (20) For I am afraid that somehow when I come I will not find you what I wish, and you will find me not what you wish. I am afraid that somehow there may be quarreling, jealousy, intense anger, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorder. (21) I am afraid that when I come again, my God may humiliate me before you, and I will grieve for many of those who previously sinned and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and licentiousness that they have practiced.”)

      At one point Paul is boastful of the Corinthians, telling the church at Macedonia of their overcoming and complementing them on their freewill offerings for the church at Jerusalem. Now; Paul is afraid that many have gone backward spiritually. This is what can happens in God’s churches, “if and when unbelievers are allowed to gain leadership positions.” See Revelations 2: “Jesus’ admonition to the seven churches.”

      (2 Cor 13:1-10; “This is the third time I am coming to visit you. By the testimony of two or three witnesses every matter will be established. I said before when I was present the second time and now, though absent, I say again to those who sinned previously and to all the rest, that if I come again, I will not spare anyone, since you are demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me. He is not weak toward you but is powerful among you. (4) For indeed HE “Jesus” was crucified by reason of weakness, but He lives because of God’s power. For we also are weak in Him, but we will live together with Him, because of God’s power toward you. (5) Put yourselves to the test to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize regarding yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you – unless, indeed, you fail the test! (6) And I hope that you will realize that we have not failed the test! Now we pray to God that you may not do anything wrong, not so that we may appear to have passed the test, but so that you may do what is right even if we may appear to have failed the test. (8) For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the sake of the truth. For we rejoice whenever we are weak, but you are strong. And we pray for this: that you may become fully qualified. (10) Because of this I am writing these things while absent, so that when I arrive I may not have to deal harshly with you by using my authority – the Lord gave it to me for building up, not for tearing down!”)

       Jesus was weak purposely in the flesh, but powerful in spirit. Jesus allowed His own crucifixion. As He was being arrested Jesus said to Peter; (“Put your sword back in its place! For all who take hold of the sword will die by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot call on My Father, and that He would send Me more than twelve legions of angels right now? How then would the scriptures that say it must happen this way be fulfilled?” Matt 26:52-54) It takes strength to turn the other cheek. Paul exercised weakness rather than to arrogantly lord over people.

      (2 Cor 13:11-13; “Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice, set things right, be encouraged, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the Saints greet you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”) The gospel about Jesus was proclaimed through Abraham, Moses, David, all His prophets and His apostles. His messages, promises and planning for the future are foreshadowed through His holy Sabbaths and sure. His is the only way of life. Through Jesus is the only way to immortality.

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