Angelic Conflict part 228: Human history (the Church) – 2Co 11:13-15; 1:8-11; 4:1-4; 1Co 13:1-13; 11:17-20; Phi 4:4-9.
length: 66:05 - taught on Jan, 3 2014
God’s mercy kept Paul from being a quitter. He confessed to the Corinthians that his trials in Asia had almost brought him to despair (2CO 1:8).
2CO 1:8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life;
2CO 1:9indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves in order that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead;
2CO 1:10who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us,
2CO 1:11you also joining in helping us through your prayers, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed upon us through the prayers of many.
In spite of his great gifts and vast experience, Paul was human and subject to human frailties. But how could he lose heart when he was involved in such a wonderful ministry? Would God have entrusted this ministry to him so that he might fail? Of course not! With the divine calling came the divine enabling, he knew that God would see him through.
2CO 4:1 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart,
A discouraged Methodist preacher wrote to the great Scottish preacher, Alexander Whyte, to ask his counsel. Should he leave the ministry? "Never think of giving up preaching!" Whyte wrote to him. "The angels around the throne envy you your great work!"
It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven — things into which angels long to look.
to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things; in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord,
That was the type of reply Paul would have written, the type of reply all of us need to ponder whenever we feel our work is in vain.
God’s mercy kept Paul from being a deceiver.
Gnostics, Judiazers, legalists, stoics, epicureans, and many others were infiltrating the churches that Paul established with false teachings. We have many false teachers today who claim to base their doctrine on the Word of God, but false teachers handle God's Word in deceptive ways. You can prove anything by the Bible, provided you twist the Scriptures out of context and reject the witness of your own conscience. The Bible is a book and it must be interpreted according to the fundamental rules of interpretation. If people treated other books the way they treat the Bible, they would never learn anything.
2CO 4:1 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart,
2CO 4:2but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
2CO 4:3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,
2CO 4:4in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
2CO 11:13For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.
2CO 11:14And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
2CO 11:15Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds.
The basic idea here is that of using bait to catch fish. They offer church members a Christian life that is "superior" to that described in the New Testament, a life that is an unbiblical mixture of Law and grace.
Instead of being empowered by the Spirit, these ministers are energized by Satan. Three times, Paul used the word "disguise"in referring to their work. This Greek word simply means "to disguise, to masquerade." There is a change on the outside, but there is no change on the inside. Satan's workers, like Satan himself, never appear in their true character, they always wear a disguise and hide behind a mask.
satan mimics God in order to dupe people and gain their trust in a false system. People, believer and unbeliever, find themselves trusting in the work of a creature, or the creature itself for deliverance from death and deliverance in life.
The greatest power against this is God's divine, virtue love. And so I want to remind you of the importance of agape love.
1CO 12:31 But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way.
1CO 13:1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong [marketplace] or a clanging cymbal [hired mourners or cultic worshippers].
1CO 13:2 And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
The impatience, the envy, and the pride in the Corinthian (or any) church would all be removed with divine, virtue love.
1CO 13:4 Love is patient [long tempered], love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
1CO 13:5 does not act unbecomingly [defiance of divine standards]; it does not seek its own [not selfish but seeks the welfare of others], is not provoked [to anger], does not take into account a wrong suffered [doesn't keep a list],
1CO 13:6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness [iniquity], but rejoices with the truth;
1CO 13:7 bears all things [covers all things], believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love is ... long tempered, kind, not jealous, doesn't brag, not arrogant, doesn't defy divine standards, not selfish, not provoked to anger, doesn't account wrongs suffered, doesn't rejoice in iniquity, rejoices with the truth...
Love conceals the faults and imperfections of others, believes the best about others, supposes future deliverance of others, and bears up under all pressures. [vs. 7 expanded]\
Look at this description carefully. It is a list of divine virtues. It is a list of character and divine honor.
Love is a manifestation of the essence of God through the heart of a fallen creature. It is the ultimate declaration of God's transformation of man without undoing all the evil that man has done.
1CO 13:8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.
This gift of agape love to the church is eternal, while temporary spiritual gifts will cease.
In contrast, what are the Corinthians valuing? They esteem the spectacular gifts as these feed their pride and have neglected God's virtue love.
1CO 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part;
"the part" is not the unfinished canon but all the partials (including the finished canon) that we can know in our finite minds. These will be done away in eternity and the eternal things, Christ, virtue, the truth, election, predestination, adoption, faith, hope, etc will be made complete. These are the things that we should be investing in during this time of the partials.
1CO 13:10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.
The word perfect is the Greek word for complete, finished, as well as perfect in reference to God, Christ, and God's will. It would seem here that it is a reference to eternity when all of human history is complete, all judgment is complete, and all believers have been brought into glory and there is no more death. At this time, actually without time, all the partials will be done away with and all that will remain is that which is perfect and eternal.
False doctrine believed ensures a lack of love, joy, peace and rest and the believer loses all capacity for life, love, and happiness.
PHI 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
PHI 4:5Let your forbearing [gracious, patient] spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.
PHI 4:6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
PHI 4:7And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
PHI 4:8Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.
Whatever is truly honorable, right, holy, of love, worthy of approval, virtuous, and worthy of praise are not miscible with the things of the world.\
"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."
JOH 16:8 "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment;
Joh 16:9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;
JOH 16:10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me;
JOH 16:11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.