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The Epistles of Paul - 2 Corinthians Part 12: Christian Transcendentalism

 
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The Epistles of Paul - 2 Corinthians Part 12: Christian Transcendentalism

Since the middle of 2 Corinthians chapter 10 Paul has been defending himself and his ministry against those in Corinth who were also attempting to undermine and corrupt the Christian assemblies there. Therefore he found it necessary to discuss some of the trials and challenges which he had faced in the conduct of his ministry. He considered his having to do that as boasting, even if he is simply found to be reiterating plain facts. This too should stand as an example to Christians as to what constitutes boasting.

As Paul began defending himself, he laid forth another sound principle: that the Word of God is the measure which Christians must use in order to estimate the value of those who are administering the Gospel of Christ. Therefore, if one comes to you preaching a Gospel other than the Gospel of Christ, or who claims to have some sort of esoteric knowledge which is not consistent with the Word of God, that person must be rejected as a false apostle, a treacherous worker, and is perhaps even a minister of Satan.

The Epistles of Paul - 2 Corinthians Part 11: Ministers of Satan

 
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The Epistles of Paul - 2 Corinthians Part 11: Ministers of Satan

From the early portion of 2 Corinthians chapter 10, from verse 7, Paul of Tarsus has been discussing those men in Corinth who had been causing disturbances within the Christian assembly, boasting and inflating themselves during the troubles that the Corinthians had in relation to the fornicator whom Paul discussed in 1 Corinthians chapter 5. Doing so, Paul had told the Corinthians that they “must look at things according to appearance”, asserting that even if his adversaries were of Christ, he was also of Christ, and that the fruits of his ministry according to the standards of the Word of God are the proof of its legitimacy, while those in Corinth who were opposed to him were only exalting themselves according to their own standards. One aspect of the standards of which he speaks and which he expected his readers to notice is the edification of the Body of Christ which had come by his ministry, where he suggests that his adversaries sought the destruction of that same body. He also asserted that his ministry edified and magnified the Body of Christ through knowledge of the Gospel, while his adversaries took to “boasting in others' troubles” whereby they magnified themselves.

In the opening verses of 2 Corinthians chapter 11, Paul of Tarsus had asked that the Corinthians abide with him in a little foolishness. It shall become evident later in the chapter that Paul had considered that foolishness to be his having to boast in the fleshly aspects of his own ministry, including both how he had conducted himself in Corinth, and the trials which he had suffered in order to perform his ministry, in contrast with those who were opposing him.

The Epistles of Paul - 2 Corinthians Part 10: Judging by Appearances

 
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The Epistles of Paul - 2 Corinthians Part 10: Judging by Appearances

We have already summarized the theme of the earlier chapters of Paul's second epistle to the Corinthians, but we shall do so once more here. Over the first five chapters of this epistle, Paul had expounded at length upon the affliction and the encouragement which the children of Israel have in the Gospel of Reconciliation to Yahweh their God, and Yahweh's plan of mercy for Israel in that reconciliation. Then in 2 Corinthians chapter 6 Paul illustrated the responsibility which the children of Israel have as recipients of that Gospel and of that mercy, which requires those who are turning to Christ to separate themselves from all of the sinners and from all of the unclean of the other races, and then Yahweh their God shall receive them and dwell with them. Then in 2 Corinthians chapter 7 Paul had turned to express his gratitude that the Corinthians, being grieved, had chosen to repent from the problems which Paul had addressed in his first epistle to them, and the joy which Titus had transmitted to him on account of their repentance and their abiding in Christ. In the eighth and ninth chapters of this epistle, Paul had turned to discuss the collections he had been taking on behalf of the poor of the saints in Jerusalem. However this is also a part of the Christian obligation which Paul had begun to discuss in chapter 6 of this epistle.

Therefore we can determine that outside of a few short digressions, Paul's purpose so far in this epistle has been to present two great themes in a series of smaller discussions. While sometimes the themes are interwoven one with the other, the first theme dominates the context of the first part of the epistle, and likewise for the second theme. The first theme is the Gospel of Reconciliation and the mercy of God for the children of Israel. The second theme is the obligation of the children of Israel upon accepting that offer of reconciliation to God, which is through Yahshua Christ. The first theme dominated the first five chapters, and the second through verse 6 of this tenth chapter, where Paul had attested that the children of Israel would have a part in avenging all disobedience once their own obedience had been fulfilled.

The Epistles of Paul - 2 Corinthians Part 9: Fulfilling Obedience

 
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The opening remarks are found here at the Christogenea Forum: http://forum.christogenea.org/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=7825

The Epistles of Paul - 2 Corinthians Part 9: Fulfilling Obedience

In 2 Corinthians chapter 8 Paul turned his conversation from a rather expansive explanation of the Gospel of Reconciliation to discuss the collection which he had undertaken for the poor in Jerusalem, in which he had assurances that the Corinthians would participate. The apparent need for such a collection was never discussed, however that such a need indeed existed can indeed be determined from history in the records of Josephus and from the Book of Acts. We see in Acts chapters 4 and 5 that the apostles had founded an independent and self-sufficient Christian community. However we see in Acts chapters 6 and 7 that their community was persecuted and scattered, and that the apostles were being oppressed. When Paul had made his first trip to Antioch as it is recorded in Acts chapter 15, as he had explained in his epistle to the Galatians, that was 14 years after his conversion to Christ on the road to Damascus, and we had established in our commentary on Acts chapter 9, that the year was either 48 or 49 AD. As Paul seems to explain in Galatians chapter 2, this is where his promise to “remember the poor” had originally been made. Since the records in Acts and in what remains of Paul's epistles are quite incomplete, we can only piece together parts of some of these things, as there is no complete record of any of them.

The Epistles of Paul - 2 Corinthians Part 8: Communion, Not Tithes

 
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Comments on our experience in Naples are found in the Christogenea Forum:
Here concerning T-shirts:
http://forum.christogenea.org/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=7547&p=22162#p22162
And here concerning the Bible Study at the First Baptist Church of Naples:
http://forum.christogenea.org/viewtopic.php?f=68&t=7783&p=22187#p22187

The Epistles of Paul - 2 Corinthians Part 8: Communion, Not Tithes

After expounding at great length upon the affliction and the encouragement which the children of Israel have in the Gospel of Reconciliation to Yahweh their God, as well as Yahweh's plan of mercy for Israel in that reconciliation, in 2 Corinthians chapter 6 Paul illustrated the responsibility that the children of Israel have as recipients of that Gospel and that mercy. That responsibility requires the children of Israel to separate themselves from all of the sinners and from all of the unclean of the other races, and then Yahweh their God shall receive them and dwell with them. Then in 2 Corinthians chapter 7 Paul had turned to express his gratitude that the Corinthians, being grieved, had chosen to repent from the problems which Paul had addressed in his first epistle to them, and the joy which Titus had transmitted to him on account of their repentance and their abiding in Christ. Here in this eighth chapter of 2 Corinthians, Paul turns to the more worldly tasks related to the fulfillment of his ministry, which in this case include the collections he had been taking on behalf of the poor of the saints in Jerusalem.

Upon the completion of the initial year and a half which he had spent in Corinth, Paul had a brief sojourn in Ephesus. Then upon his departure from there, after promising the Ephesians that he would soon return to them, if indeed Yahweh desired it, we then see Luke record in Acts chapter 18: “22 And coming back into Caesareia, going up and greeting the assembly he went down into Antiocheia. 23 And spending some time he departed, passing through successively the land of Galatia and Phrugia, confirming all of the students.” Paul of Tarsus had written his epistle to the Galatians shortly before his actual visit there, and after he had seen the apostles in Antioch during the travels which Luke records in that passage of Acts 18. After those travels he did return to Ephesus, where he remained for three years.

Two Papers by Clifton Emahiser - The Unseen World Within Our World and A Truth Hidden For 2,700 Years

 
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Here William Finck presents two of Clifton Emahiser's essays introductory to Christian Identity: The Unseen World Within Our World and A Truth Hidden For 2,700 Years

The Epistles of Paul - 2 Corinthians Part 7: Touch Not the Unclean

 
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The Epistles of Paul - 2 Corinthians Part 7: Touch Not the Unclean

In the latter portion of 2 Corinthians chapter 6 Paul of Tarsus had warned his readers, as it is translated in the Christogenea New Testament “14 Do not become yoked together with untrustworthy aliens; for what participation has justice and lawlessness? And what fellowship has light towards darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Beliar? Or what share the faithful with the faithless? 16 And what agreement has a temple of Yahweh with idols? For you are a temple of the living Yahweh; just as Yahweh has said, 'I will dwell among them, and I will walk about; and I will be their God, and they will be my people.' 17 On which account 'Come out from the midst of them and be separated,' says the Prince, and 'do not be joined to the impure, and I will admit you'. 18 'And I will be to you for a father, and you will be mine for sons and daughters, says the almighty Prince.'” With all certainty all of these statements are inter-connected and were intended to be a single admonition. Sadly, the meaning of this admonition is lost on nearly all Christians of modern times. Here Paul had quoted from Isaiah chapter 52, and he is warning his readers to come out from among certain unclean people. Not things, as the King James and other versions insist, but people. The impure, or unclean, of verse 17 are the “them” from whom Christians are to come out from among in verse 16, among whom are also the untrustworthy aliens Christians should not be joined to in verse 14! The apostle John was teaching very similarly where he in turn had warned his readers, in his second epistle, that “9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” John was not merely talking of those who profess Jesus or of those who do not profess Jesus, but more specifically of those who abide in His doctrine, or those who do not abide in His doctrine, and Yahshua Christ had constantly admonished His followers to keep His law.

The Epistles of Paul - 2 Corinthians Part 6: Come Out from Among Them and be Separate!

 
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The Epistles of Paul - 2 Corinthians Part 6: Come Out from Among Them and be Separate

In these first 5 chapters of Paul's second epistle to the Corinthians we have seen a rather expansive explanation of Yahweh God's plan for mercy and reconciliation for the children of Israel. Among Paul's first topics were affliction and comfort, and we had seen the Old Testament prophecies of Israel's affliction and comfort in their punishment and chastisement as they were alienated from God. Paul then contrasted the Old Covenant service of death in letters to the New Covenant service of the spirit in Christ. The Old Covenant letter of the law demanded of men a punishment of death for sin, whether it was the death of a sacrificial victim or of the sinner himself, depending on the nature of the sin. But the New Covenant service of the spirit is one of mercy and forgiveness for sin, which also demand the recognition of sin and repentance. We then illustrated from the Old Testament those prophecies relating to the New Covenant, and in that manner we had seen how Paul was teaching the fulfillment of those prophecies in those same children of Israel. Paul had explained that rather than the death which they had merited in the flesh under the law, that by the mercy of God in Christ men have eternal life in the spirit in spite of their sin, and all men are urged to repent on account of the revelation of the greater purpose of God which was revealed in Christ.

In 2 Corinthians chapter 5 Paul had made the assertion that since Yahweh had not excluded any of the children of Israel from His plan for mercy, men should in turn have that same mercy upon their brethren, so long as they too are repentant and willing to abide in Christ. With this we examined many of the prophecies in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel which all foretold of the cleansing of the sins of the children of Israel, and the completeness of that cleansing as Paul had explained it here. Because Yahweh has forgiven all of the children of Israel of all of their sins, then Christians - who are properly the children of Israel reconciled to God in Christ - should forgive one another in like manner. Doing this, Paul had also asserted that in Christ new things have come, and he cited Isaiah 43:19 where Yahweh through the prophet had said in part, according to the King James Version: “Behold, I will do a new thing”. With this we examined at length that same section of Isaiah, which concerns the alienation and eventual reconciliation of the ancient children of Israel, and, in conjunction with other prophecies, what would happen to them during their period of alienation - how Yahweh God had prophesied that they would grow into an innumerable people and become many nations and how both the prophet and Paul himself also reveal that these were the European nations of later history to whom Paul had brought the Gospel. For that very reason, towards the end of 2 Corinthians chapter 5 and his explanation of these things concerning the covenants, sin and mercy, Paul called his ministry the ministry of reconciliation, and referred to the Gospel as the word of reconciliation.

The Epistles of Paul - 2 Corinthians Part 5: The Ministry of Reconciliation

 
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The Epistles of Paul - 2 Corinthians Part 5: The Ministry of Reconciliation

In 2 Corinthians chapter 1 Paul had started the epistle off by writing about the sufferings and the consolation, or encouragement, which the children of Yahweh should expect to have for as long as they are in the flesh. Then while explaining the changes he had made in his own travel plans, since he was indeed on his way to visit the Corinthians, he talked about all the grief which had been caused within their assembly on account of a certain individual, who was with certainty that fornicator of his earlier epistle to the Corinthians, and whom he had addressed explicitly at 1 Corinthians chapter 5. During that discussion Paul had encouraged the Corinthians, since they chose to be forgiving of that individual, that their forgiveness be complete and that they should confirm their love for him, and also put an end to the grief which they had regarding his sin. Paul then continued to further discuss his travels, and the sufferings that Christians should expect to face in the flesh.

In chapter 3 of this epistle, Paul had asked quite rhetorically whether he should be reintroduced to the assembly at Corinth, an assembly which he himself had initiated and where he had spent over 18 months of his life. With that, in a rather esoteric manner he began to explain the differences between the Old and New Covenants, and that the Old Covenant was rendered idle in the New Covenant service of the spirit in Christ. From there he discussed the “treasure in earthen vessels” which is the spirit of the Adamic man, and the restoration of that spirit in the reconciliation to God which it has in Christ. With this Paul explained that it is the unseen rewards for which men should strive in their fleshly walk, or sojourn as he called it. Now Paul will come back around in a circle to allude to the fornicator once again, here in this latter half of 2 Corinthians chapter 5. Doing all of this, he is actually giving a quite lengthy lesson on why Christians should have forgiveness for their kindred Christians.

The Epistles of Paul - 2 Corinthians Part 4: Treasure in Earthen Vessels

 
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The Epistles of Paul - 2 Corinthians Part 4: Treasure in Earthen Vessels

In 1 Corinthians chapters 3 and 4 Paul had made an analogy of the Old Testament “service of death in letters” in comparison to the New Testament “service of the Spirit” which he called the “service of righteousness in honor”. Doing so, he explained that the judgments of the Mosaic Law were left unemployed in Christ, and for that reason Christians should seek to keep the spirit of the Law written on their hearts. Paul then spoke of the “treasure in earthen vessels” and the unseen hope of eternal life in the face of physical death which Christians have in Christ. Paul then explained that “having the same Spirit of the faith” Christians should live to serve Yahweh their God in the knowledge of hope in that eternal life because “if our outer man is being destroyed, then our inner is being restored day by day”, ostensibly referring to that same “treasure in earthen vessels” as he had called it, which is the Adamic Spirit that exists within the children of Yahweh.

Paul of Tarsus had clearly taught that there is an eternal spirit within the Adamic man, and that through that spirit there would eventually be a resurrection to life in the physical world, which he had illustrated in 1 Corinthians chapter 15. But this possibility was a topic of literature for two thousand years before the Christian era. In the Greek myths of Orpheus and Eurydice or Heracles and Alcestis or in the much older Sumerian legends of Inanna or Gilgamesh we see exhibited the belief in a continued existence of the spirit after the death of the body. Many other ancient legends of those same cultures reflected the belief of the continuation of the spirit after death, such as in the Iliad where Odysseus visits the netherworld and converses with the spirits of the departed, or in Virgil's Aeneid where Aeneas converses with his own deceased father.

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