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The Epistles of Paul - 1 Corinthians Part 6: The Judgment of the Saints
While discussing 1 Corinthians chapter 5 last week, although in that chapter Paul himself did not state anything explicit in regard to worldly governments, we noted the historical fact that Christians are powerless to execute the laws of Yahweh their God under the beast governments in which they have been and in which they are even now held as captives. Paul did explain the function of the worldly governments in the plan of God in Romans chapter 13. Studying Paul's ministry and epistles, it is evident that the epistle to the Romans represents much of Paul's most fundamental teaching, since he had not yet been to Rome when he wrote that epistle. But since Paul had already spent a year and a half with these Corinthians, which we see in Acts chapter 18, and since after he departed from Corinth he had written to them at least one epistle before this one, which we may see here in 1 Corinthians 5:9, we can rather safely assume that the Corinthians understood the things which Paul had also written to the Romans. This is especially true since, as Paul tells them in 2 Corinthians chapter 7, he had already “spake all things to [them] in truth”, indicating that he had already taught the Corinthians the fundamental aspects of the Gospel and the prophets that he was obligated to teach them.
Christians in the Roman empire were in a position whereby they could not execute the judgments of the laws of Yahweh their God. Examining the history of the children of Israel and their relationship to Yahweh through the prophets we should note that this was an aspect of their own punishment, and that the Christians in Israel would have to suffer it along with the sinners in Israel. The whole Society being under the power of Satan, as the apostle John tells us rather explicitly, Christians were being taught to come out from the Society, meaning not to engage with the Society and its sin, while at the same time having to coexist with the Society. For this reason, the Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus wrote that Christians were incendiary, and that they had anti-social tendencies.
Another fundamental aspect of the Christian gospel which is related to this relative inability to execute judgment and which Paul did teach in 1 Corinthians, in chapter 4, is that Christians should not condemn their brethren because only Yahweh God Himself can justly judge those who are perceived to be sinners. In this regard Paul said “5 Consequently, do not judge one prematurely, until the Prince should come, who will both illuminate the secrets of darkness, and make known the counsels of hearts; then at that time to each there will be approval from Yahweh.”
Therefore, because Christians could not condemn sinners, Paul also taught the assembly to ostracize, or perhaps an appropriate word would be excommunicate, those who commit unlawful acts, putting them out of their assembly and then praying that Yahweh judges them. That is what Paul had meant in 1 Timothy chapter 1, and here in 1 Corinthians 5:5 where he mentioned the delivering of sinners to Satan. Yet in spite of the common Roman Catholic perception, which is also something the historian Flavius Josephus explained that the Pharisees in Judaea had believed, sinners are not delivered to Satan so that they may spend an eternity in hell being tormented by demons. Rather, that is what happens to sinners in this life! Paul said in 1 Corinthians 5:5: “... deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” And all of Israel shall indeed be saved.
However delivering a man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh meant separating a man from one's Christian community entirely. The model Christian community is found in the early chapters of the Book of Acts, and there Christians are depicted as forsaking their homes and living with a central community of believers, working, eating and living together while sharing all things in common. Men pushed out of such a community for committing some sinful act would have to return to the world, where having nothing he would surely be taken advantage of and enslaved by the enemies of God.
But not all early Christians attempted to form such communities. Many of the Christians turning to the Gospel worked in the world and had houses in the world and kept them, as Paul indicates in several places, and which we also see in the Book of Acts. In 1 Corinthians chapter 11 we read in another context: “have ye not houses to eat and to drink in?” So while Christians were expected to share their lives and belongings with their brethren for the benefit of Christ, they were not impelled to forsake everything that they had. Forsaking everything, how could you ever support your family or help your brother? Rather, your wealth should be put to work for the benefit of your Christian brethren while you also maintain yourself and your family (1 Timothy 3:5, 5:8). Therefore many of the Christian assemblies which Paul addressed were at the houses of particular individuals. Christians of substance gave space to others of their Christian brethren, and then they all worked together for the common good of Christians everywhere, building wider communities through the examples which they were setting with themselves. However when there are sinners, Christians must put those sinners out of their homes and their communities, and have nothing to do with them. The sinners no longer being able to live, work, or have community with Christians are then compelled to join themselves back to the wicked society. From there they may either repent or Yahweh God will see to their chastisement.
In 1 Corinthians chapter 5, Paul had said such things of a fornicator, a man who had evidently slept with his father's wife, that he should be put out of the community. Paul was greatly offended that such behaviour had been exhibited by an individual among the Christians at Corinth, and he urged that they excommunicate him. However Paul did not have all the facts of the matter, since he had indicated that he was not given a full account but that he was able to determine through the spirit who it was who had committed the act.
We have already established in these studies that this first epistle to the Corinthians was written during Paul's final months in Ephesus, which are recorded in Acts chapter 19. Then Paul's second epistle to the Corinthians was written perhaps as long as a year later, as Paul was traveling from Macedonia into Greece to visit the Corinthians once more, as it is recorded in Acts chapter 20. In his second epistle to the Corinthians, we learn that the assembly did not put this fornicator out, but forgave him instead. Paul must have learned of this by a letter from the Corinthians which is now lost, however this is clearly the topic of his conversation in 2 Corinthians chapters 1 and 2, which we shall cite here:
From 2 Corinthians, from the Christogenea New Testament: “1:23 Now I appeal to Yahweh as a witness upon my soul, that sparing you I had not yet come to Korinth. 24 Not because we lord over your faith, rather we are colleagues of your joy: for you are established in the faith. 2:1 But I have decided this within myself: not to come back to you in grief. 2 For if I grieve you, then who is gladdening me, if not he who is being grieved by me? 3 And I have written this same thing, in order that coming I do not have grief from those whom there is need for me to be delighted with; having confidence in all of you, because my joy is of all of you. 4 From much tribulation and anguish of heart I have written to you through many tears, in order that you would not be grieved, rather that you would know the love which I so abundantly have for you. 5 Now if anyone causes grief, he does not cause me grief, but in some part (at which I should not be burdensome) you all. 6 Befitting such a one is this penalty, which is by the many. 7 Consequently, on the other hand still more you are to show kindness and encourage, lest perchance such a one would be consumed in more abundant grief. 8 On which account I encourage you to confirm love in regard to him. 9 For this also I have written, in order that I would know of your tried character, if in everything you are obedient. 10 Now to anyone whom you are obliging, likewise I am; and for my part whomever I oblige, if anyone I oblige, it is for your sakes, in the presence of Christ; 11 in order that we are not taken advantage of by the Adversary, for we are not ignorant of his designs.”
We see in 1 Corinthians chapter 4, in verses 18 through 20, that some of the Corinthians had become indignant when they requested that Paul come to them and he did not, but that he had sent Timothy instead and promised soon to come himself. Here we learn that Paul made this decision because he did not want to have to deal harshly with the assembly, where at least some of the Christians in Corinth had acted wrongly in the manner in which they had handled the case of this fornicator. So Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians: “1:23 Now I appeal to Yahweh as a witness upon my soul, that sparing you I had not yet come to Korinth.” Then Paul makes a statement which discredits any notion that he had ever asserted or sought to assert temporal authority over any Christian assembly, where he says “24 Not because we lord over your faith, rather we are colleagues of your joy: for you are established in the faith.”
However Paul's first epistle to the Corinthians must have grieved the assembly, and Paul addresses that issue in the opening verses of 2 Corinthians chapter 2, where it becomes clear that the assembly had deliberated over this man who had committed fornication and over Paul's instructions regarding what should be done about it. Where Paul wrote in verse 6 “Befitting such a one is this penalty, which is by the many” he refers to the grief which such a sin had caused the community. Then Paul wrote that “7 Consequently, on the other hand still more you are to show kindness and encourage, lest perchance such a one would be consumed in more abundant grief. 8 On which account I encourage you to confirm love in regard to him.” Therefore we see that the assembly chose to forgive this man rather than put him out of their community, and choosing to do so it is evident that because they forgave him Paul advised that their forgiveness be complete. The man, portrayed here as grieving, therefore must have been repentant of his sin. Where Paul wrote that he wanted to know of their character, as to whether they had been obedient, he means obedience to Christ, and not obedience to him, as he himself would not rule over their faith. Paul initially demanded that they excommunicate him, and instead they chose to forgive him, demonstrating that Paul was not an authoritarian of any sort, and that the assembly governed itself.
Finally, in closing his discussion of this topic, Paul had written in 2 Corinthians chapter 2 “10 Now to anyone whom you are obliging, likewise I am; and for my part whomever I oblige, if anyone I oblige, it is for your sakes, in the presence of Christ; 11 in order that we are not taken advantage of by the Adversary, for we are not ignorant of his designs.” In the King James Version here we see the word forgive, rather than oblige. Everywhere in the Gospel where forgiveness of sin is mentioned, the Greek word is ἀφίημι (Strong's # 863), which is literally a letting go of something. Here, however, the Greek word is χαρίζομαι (Strong's # 5483), which primarily means “to say or do something agreeable to a person, shew him favor or kindness, to oblige, gratify, favour, humour”, according to Liddell & Scott. Christians may be more familiar with the noun form of the word, χάρις, which is grace or favour, and which is the word from which we derive our English word charity. To oblige someone in the sense where the word appears here is to do as someone asks or desires in order to help or to please them. Therefore, even though Paul had recommended that such a sinner be put out of the community, because the community decided to forgive him instead, Paul would be obliging. But Paul's kindness was not necessarily for the benefit of the sinner. Rather it was offered for the benefit of the community, so that no longer would there be grief and so that the Adversaries, who are the anti-Christ devils outside, would not be able to use any disagreement within the Christian assembly to their own advantage. This is an important lesson which even Identity Christians today must learn to follow.
However, if the fornicator of 1 Corinthians chapter 5 were an unrepentant sinner, the Christian assembly would indeed have no righteous recourse except to put him outside of their community. With this in mind, in 1 Corinthians chapter 6 Paul continues by discussing judgment in relation to the Christian assembly:
1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, have it decided before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?
Christians should have nothing to do with the ungodly. Or at least while Israel is still in captivity, they should have as little as possible to do with them. From the opening lines of the very first Psalm: “1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”
In the Roman world of the first century, most everyone was a pagan of one sort or another, and most of those who were not pagans were anti-Christ jews. However most Christians were formerly pagans or formerly caught up in Judaism. Certainly, Christians had to interact with both pagans and jews to some extent. For instance, Paul himself was a tent-maker, and had to sell tents to someone in order to obtain his daily bread. In all likelihood, he sold tents to both pagans and jews. Yet the pagans were not necessarily ungodly simply because they had not yet heard the gospel. When Yahshua told Paul in a vision, recorded in Acts chapter 18, “for I have much people in this city”, He was not talking about jews or Christians, but about the people of God in their dispersions regardless of their religious profession. While in Corinth, Paul was charged in a Roman court by the jews, so he had to appear at the judgment seat of Gallio. While Gallio was evidently a pagan, he must have nevertheless been one of those people of God who acted fairly in judgment, and he neglected to hear the charges against Paul.
Today Christians are in a different situation. We have a justice system which developed atop the foundation of Christian principles, and although it still has a facade of righteousness but it is certainly wicked. These past two centuries it has become very anti-Christian because not only has it been heavily infiltrated, and even usurped by the anti-Christ jews and their Talmudic principles, but many of those Christians who remain engaged with it have completely turned away from Christ. They are all ungodly. Jewish humanism and anti-Christ sentiment have destroyed our Western systems of justice. Therefore Christians should certainly not initiate actions in worldly courts against other Christians. Christians should not put themselves or their fellow Christians before the ungodly. Doing so is the equivalent of committing oneself as well as one's brother into the hands of Satan. Rather, when a Christian is wronged and his fellow Christian is unrepentant, the Christian should inform the balance of the assembly, and they should decide what to do in the matter. If the wronged Christian prevails, the fellow Christian should make appropriate amends, or he should be ostracized from the community, and all Christians should pray that Yahweh judge the sinner.
As the Psalmist wrote, Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. Therefore do not put yourselves in worldly courts, and do not compel your Christian brethren to face worldly courts. How can you plead a case in a worldly court today, and not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, or stand in the way of sinners? So Christ said in the famous Sermon on the Mount, as it is recorded in Matthew chapter 5, “39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.” Christians must understand that Yahweh God will indeed punish all of those who would persecute His ekklesia unrighteously, after the manner whereby he punished the Assyrians and the Egyptians.
2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the Society? And if by you the Society is judged, are you unworthy of the smallest trials?
In Leviticus chapter 19 we see some of the guidelines which the children of Israel were to keep in judgment: “15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.” And then a little further on in that same chapter: “18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.” These are similarly repeated in Deuteronomy, where we see that in matters which were not difficult to resolve the children of Israel had instructions whereby they should judge one another within their own communities. From Deuteronomy chapter 16: “18 Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment. [After the manner of Leviticus chapter 19.] 19 Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.” Yet only when the children of Israel could not make a decision in judgment for themselves, were they to go to the Levites or to the appointed judge of Israel of the time, such as an Eli or a Samuel, which we see in Deuteronomy chapter 17: “8 If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, being matters of controversy within thy gates: then shalt thou arise, and get thee up into the place which the LORD thy God shall choose; 9 And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days, and enquire; and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment: 10 And thou shalt do according to the sentence, which they of that place which the LORD shall choose shall shew thee; and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they inform thee: 11 According to the sentence of the law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do: thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall shew thee, to the right hand, nor to the left.”
The children of Israel were to a large degree punished in the Assyrian captivity because they had corrupted the laws and judgments of Yahweh. Therefore we see Micah declare, in chapter 3 of his prophecy: “8 But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin. 9 Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity. 10 They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity. 11 The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us. 12 Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest.” In Zechariah chapter 7 we see a plea for just judgment in Israel because the Israelites of the past had been corrupt in their judgment, where the prophet said: “9 Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother: 10 And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.” With this it is evident how the judges of ancient Israel had judged corruptly, what they had been doing in the past that was so wicked.
The Word of Yahweh God expects His people to be able to govern their lives and communities justly by His law. That is what we see in Deuteronomy chapter 16, and that is what Paul attests is the plan for Christians here in 1 Corinthians chapter 6. The original plan of God has not changed, but because of the sin and punishment of Israel only over time have the circumstances and the labels changed. From Daniel chapter 7: “21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; 22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.” That war is still ongoing today.
If the children of Israel look forward to their ultimate destiny in Christ as Kings and Priests in His Kingdom, then they must learn to judge the least matters before they can be entrusted with great ones. They should therefore not bring their disputes before the ungodly, but learn to resolve their disputes among themselves. They certainly should not resort to worldly authorities and devils with their problems.
3 Do you not know that we will judge Messengers, let alone the things of this life?
The Hebrew words el and elohim (Strong's #'s 410 and 430) can refer to a god or gods or they can refer to a judge or judges. According to the Gospel of John, Christ had interpreted it in the plural as gods (John 10:25), since the Greek word for god does not carry the meaning of judge. But if one ponders the notion of a god one may discern that one's judgment is fashioned after the form of one's god. Many of the most ancient lawmakers asserted that the laws they implemented came from their god. Yet the gods of the heathen are idols. If a man makes his own law, he is his own idol, imagining himself to be a god. The children of Israel are only granted the position of sons and daughters of Yahweh their God if they conform themselves to Christ, by necessity keeping His law. When they forsake His law they merit His chastisement. This is the theme of the 82nd Psalm.
From Psalm 82, which is a Psalm of Asaph: “1 God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. 2 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah. 3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. 4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. 5 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course. 6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. 7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. 8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.”
Therefore Paul instructs the Corinthians in chapter 5 of this epistle to expel the wicked from among themselves, handing them over to the adversaries of God so that they may be chastised in the flesh. Then here Paul tells them not to bring matters of justice before the unrighteous. Christians should not accept the persons of the wicked, and all those who are not of Christ are indeed to be counted among the wicked.
Likewise from Psalm 149 we see absolute corroboration for Paul's statements here: “1 Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints. 2 Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. 3 Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. 4 For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation. 5 Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. 6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand; 7 To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; 8 To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; 9 To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.”
The Wisdom of Solomon speaks to the children of Israel, and ostensibly to those of Israel who love their God, and chapter 1 opens with this admonishment: “1 Love righteousness, ye that be judges of the earth: think of the Lord with a good (heart,) and in simplicity of heart seek him.” Then in chapter 3 of the Wisdom of Solomon we read the following: “1 But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there shall no torment touch them. 2 In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure is taken for misery, 3 And their going from us to be utter destruction: but they are in peace. 4 For though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality. 5 And having been a little chastised, they shall be greatly rewarded: for God proved them, and found them worthy for himself. 6 As gold in the furnace hath he tried them, and received them as a burnt offering. 7 And in the time of their visitation they shall shine, and run to and fro like sparks among the stubble. 8 They shall judge the nations, and have dominion over the people, and their Lord shall reign for ever.” If we examine this passage from the Wisdom of Solomon alongside of Paul's words at 1 Corinthians chapter 5, we see that the souls of the righteous who go astray are “punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality”, and therefore Paul was teaching the same things which Solomon had taught concerning sin, punishment and the eternal life of the Adamic spirit.
With these citations we should also perceive how Paul said that the saints of Yahweh shall judge the society, and even judge the messengers, or angels. But the angels of Yahweh who do His will certainly do not need such judgment. So which angels shall be judged by the saints? The apostle Jude, citing Enoch, may answer that question for us: “14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” However where Jude says “prophesied of these”, by “these” he means those “angels which kept not their first estate” who were “reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day” and who were the very subjects of his epistle. So it seems that the children of Israel shall ultimately judge the fallen angels, and all of the ungodly bastards who proceeded from them who were in the society at the time of Jude and who are still in the society today.
4 So then if you should have trial of things pertaining to this life, those who esteem themselves least in the assembly, those will be set to judge.
The Nestle-Aland text reads this verse as a question, which not even the King James Version has done. However many modern translations do follow the Nestle-Aland text in this instance, and with all certainty the result is precisely the opposite of Paul's original intent. The words “those who esteem themselves least” are translated from a Substantive consisting of a Participle with a Definite Article, τοὺς ἐξουθενημένους. There are modern Bible resources which list this form of the Participle as being Passive, where we would have to write “those who are least esteemed”, or even as some other translations have it, “those who are despised”. However the Participle form is not Passive. Rather, the form which appears here clearly belongs to a Medium Voice Participle and therefore the subject both produces and receives the action of the verb. Since the verb ἐξουθενέω (Strong's # 1848) means to make of no account, then the Medium Voice form of the verb means to make oneself of no account, and Paul is teaching the Corinthians to set the most humble men among them as judges in their disputes.
5 I speak from respect to you.
Here the Greek word ἐντροπή (Strong's # 1791) is respect. This noun appears in the New Testament only here and in I Corinthians 15:34, but in the King James Version on both occasions it is shame. Liddell & Scott define the word first as “a turning towards...respect or reverence for one”, as Greek writers from the time of Sophocles used it, and then as “shame, reproach”, as the King James Version translators interpreted the word for their New Testament. We noted the similar use and definition of the verb form of the word, ἐντρέπω, when we discussed 1 Corinthians 4:14.
As for my interpretations of the words ἐντροπή and ἐντρέπω, while this may seem rather trivial and even mundane, I am mentioning this as we proceed through our exhibition of Paul's epistles because there is a certain individual who has put forth my translations of these particular words as some sort of proof that I do not know anything about Greek. He insists that the renderings in the King James Version are the only way to translate these words, and that they can only mean shame. That individual, whose name I will not repeat but only say that it resembles the name of a typically meatless entree at an Italian restaurant, is easily proven to be wrong in this instance merely by opening a Liddell & Scott or a Thayer's Greek-English lexicon. I have followed the primary meanings of these words as those lexicons clearly provide.
As for the assertion that Paul is writing in this epistle to somehow shame the Corinthians, that is absolutely not true. Rather Paul has only been exhorting the Corinthians, and on account of them he transferred the illustration he was making to himself and Apollos, ostensibly so that he would not shame them, which he himself explained in 1 Corinthians 4:6! Therefore we should not imagine these words to mean shame here or in 1 Corinthians chapter 4:14 since it would be contrary to the context of the epistle and it would contradict Paul's other statements elsewhere in this epistle.
So is there among you not even one wise, who would be able to decide among his brethren? 6 But brother is brought to trial by brother, and this before those not believing!
The text of the Nestle-Aland edition marks verse 6 as a question, but the King James Version does not. It would be acceptable to read it as such, and without having to change a word of the English here. We do not have the facts which describe what Paul is referring to here, but evidently, whether it was connected to or if it was in addition to the problem with the man who had committed fornication, there were apparently disputes among the Corinthian Christians which resulted in an involvement with the worldly courts. Paul is dismayed that the assembly at Corinth could not settle their own disputes in a Christian manner, and he expresses outrage at the thought that a Christian man would bring his brother before a worldly and non-Christian court.
7 So then already there is altogether discomfiture among you, seeing that you have matters for judgment among yourselves. Why would you not still more be wronged? Why would you not still more be defrauded?
The Greek word μᾶλλον: here is quite literally translated as “still more”, nowhere alone (without “δέ”) would it be read as “rather”, for which see Liddell & Scott at μάλα, II.
Here Paul continues to illustrate two problems, the first being that Christians have such serious disagreements among themselves. The second, even more grievous, is that Christians would turn to worldly courts, which are the counsel of the ungodly, in order to resolve those disputes. Paul's questions are rhetorical. If a Christian feels he is wronged by another Christian and seeks redress in a worldly court, he would rightfully deserve to be even further damaged by the result of his actions.
8 You would rather do wrong and defraud, and this of a brother?
I have read this verse as a question, which is consistent with the context (i.e. verses 7 and 9) although it is not necessary. The Majority Text alone has “...and these things of a brother?” The text follows the 3rd century papyrus P46 and the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A), Vaticanus (B), Ephraemi Syri (C), Claromontanus (D), and 048.
Bringing a Christian brother to a worldly and ungodly court is tantamount to doing him wrong by attempting to defraud him. Today the worldly courts are the habitations of devils and we should never expect any righteous equity from them.
9 Or do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of Yahweh? Do not be led astray: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminates, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor rapacious shall inherit the kingdom of Yahweh.
Firstly, those who would bring their Christian brethren into worldly courts are being likened by Paul to thieves and covetous and rapacious men. In the words of Christ as they are recorded in Luke chapter 6 we read: “29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. 30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. 31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” Therefore Christians do not use worldly force to demand things of their fellow Christians. Yet there are other sins listed here which must also be discussed, since the perception of these things are corrupted by the mainstream denominations and others having perverted agendas.
In the King James Version, the plural form of ἀρσενοκοίτης is “abusers of themselves with mankind”, and there should be no doubt that the reference is to what we may call today homosexuals. The word homosexual itself is an excuse and a corrupted euphemism. When translating the Christogenea New Testament I had wanted to write sodomites, which would have been entirely appropriate in the 19th or early 20th centuries. Yet I wrote homosexuals because I wanted modern readers to know exactly what Paul was condemning, and that there should be no room to circumvent that condemnation.
The Greek word ἄρσην is a male and it was used in conjunction with other words to relate to men or to things masculine. The Greek word κοῖτος is a place to lie upon, or a bed. The feminine form of that noun, κοίτη, was used to refer to the marriage bed, as the bed upon which men and women were married. The large 9th edition of the Liddell & Scott Greek-English Lexicon defines ἀρσενοκοίτης only as sodomy.
From Leviticus chapter 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.”
There are people, especially those with a Roman Catholic upbringing, who believe that adultery and fornication are merely different terms describing the same act. Here we see that they are certainly distinguished as two differing acts, since they are mentioned separately. There are others who are persuaded that both adultery and fornication describe illicit sexual acts between a man and a woman, and that the distinction lies only in whether they have had a marriage ceremony in a church. Furthermore, there are others who have been taught that fornication is merely idolatry, since that is how the word seems to have been used in the Old Testament. Yet here we see that those acts are also distinguished as being different, since they are mentioned separately.
These terms can all be clearly understood, however they cannot be understood on the terms of the denominational sects. First, the organized religious sects do not understand Biblical marriage and divorce, so how can they understand adultery and fornication? Only when the proper meaning of the terms for marriage and divorce are understood can adultery and fornication be understood.
The Greeks believed that marriage happened in a bed, and therefore the word κοίτη referred to the marriage bed. This is also the proper Biblical understanding. In Genesis chapter 24 Abraham had sent a servant to fetch a wife for his son Isaac from among their kin in Padanaram. Isaac did not accompanying the servant on the trip. Here from the end of that chapter the result described: “63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming. 64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. 65 For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a vail, and covered herself. 66 And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done. 67 And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.”
The Greeks believed that they could simply put their wives out of their homes when they wanted a divorce, and they often did so. With this the Bible agrees, except that for the protection of the woman and so that there may be no undue charges against her or any man who takes her in, a requirement was made in the law for a bill of divorcement. From Deuteronomy chapter 24: “1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. 2 And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife.”
Yahweh God has given a man the power to marry, and He has given a man an allowance to divorce. Only now has government or pope assumed these powers, and man has somehow unwittingly surrendered them. If one thinks that the government or pope can marry him, then the government and the pope are his gods. However before Yahweh God, when a man goes to the tent with a woman, she becomes his wife. If a man sends a woman off, she may become another man's wife. The only precaution is that divorce was granted to man on account of his own fleshly weakness, and within the permissive will of God. Ideally, men and women should not be divorced. However ideally, men and women would not commit the other sins which so often lead to divorce.
Understanding that marriage happens in a bed, one can understand that there is no such thing as sex outside of marriage: one is either married upon the fulfillment of the act, or one has violated the marriage of another. In truth, there are no other options. Violating God's law of kind after kind, under which a man's wife should be flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone, as it is manifest in Genesis chapters 2 and 29, one commits fornication, which the apostle Jude describes as the pursuit of strange flesh. Fornication describes any of many illicit sexual acts, and race-mixing is one, which is also evident here in 1 Corinthians chapter 10.
What constitutes adultery is somewhat more complicated than the usual perception. In Leviticus 20:10 we read: “10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” In Jeremiah 29:23 we read, in part: “they have committed villainy in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbours' wives”. Therefore adultery can describe the act of an illicit union with the wife of another man of one's own people. But in the commandments of God given in Deuteronomy chapter 5 we read in verse 18 “Neither shalt thou commit adultery”, and then in verse 21 “Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour's wife”, and adultery seems to be more than simply having one's neighbor's wife because these two sins are distinguished. In Hosea 4:2, from the Septuagint, the prophet says, in part: “and adultery abound in the land, and they mingle blood with blood.” Blood mixed with blood describes race-mixing. Even though they are separate sins, fornication and adultery are often associated, as they are in Jeremiah 13:27: “I have seen thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredom, and thine abominations on the hills in the fields.” The word for whoredom is from another, related form of the same word often translated as fornication.
The confusion over these terms, how they are used and what sins they describe, stems from the fact that all those who attempt to define them fail to recognize that marriage in Israel is two-fold. First, there is marriage between a man and a woman. But transcending that there is the marriage relationship of Israel to Yahweh their God. This relationship is mentioned in many places in Scripture, such as in Jeremiah chapter 3 where it says: “Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion”.
Having a sexual relationship with those of other races is a violation of Yahweh's law of kind after kind, and therefore it is an illicit union, so Jude describes fornication as the pursuit of strange flesh. However if an Israelite does such a thing it is also adultery because it violates the commandment of Yahweh that Israel remain separate from other races. From Psalm 135: “4 For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.” Likewise, from 1 Peter chapter 2: “9 But you are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, so that you should proclaim the virtues for which from out of darkness you have been called into the wonder of His light”. Both admonitions are exclusive to the children of Israel.
Complicating this understanding is the fact that Israelites were permitted to marry people from other Adamic nations. However the mixed and alien nations, such as the nations of Canaan, Israelites were forbidden to mingle with. Esau violated this and married Canaanite women, and in his epistle to the Hebrews Paul calls him a fornicator. But Judah also violated this, and married a Canaanite woman, and he is an example of God's mercy because of the promise to Jacob. Nevertheless, it says in Malachi chapter 2: “11 Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god. 12 The LORD will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the LORD of hosts.” When Israelites marry people of other races, they too “profane the holiness of Yahweh”.
This concept has not changed with the New Covenant, which was also made exclusively with the children of Israel. Therefore in Revelation chapter 2 we see the following: “20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. 21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.”
So we see the words of Christ profess that He will kill the children of fornicators with death, ostensibly because they are bastards. One mixing with the other races is pursuing strange flesh and committing fornication. Yet the Israelite mixing with other races is also violating the commandments of Yahweh made with Israel in His marriage with the nation, and is therefore committing adultery as well, just as a wife would commit adultery by sleeping with a man other than her husband.
11 And these things some of you may have been, but you have cleansed yourselves; moreover you have been sanctified, moreover you have been deemed fit, in the name of Prince Yahshua Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.
Where the Christogenea New Testament has “but you have cleansed yourselves”, the King James Version reads only “but ye are washed”. The difference once again lies in the reading of a verb of the Medium (or Middle) Voice. The verb ἀπολούω (Strong's # 628) is to wash, but the Middle Voice ἀπολούομαι is even recognized in the Enhanced Strong's Concordance as meaning to wash oneself.
Even Jezebel, according to the Revelation of Yahshua Christ could be given space to repent of fornication. So we see that adultery, fornication, and even homosexuality can indeed be repented of. However cleansing oneself of those things one must put away the behaviour and the consequences of it. One scriptural example of repentance from fornication is given in Ezra chapter 10: “1 Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there assembled unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children: for the people wept very sore. 2 And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered and said unto Ezra, We have trespassed against our God, and have taken strange wives of the people of the land: yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing. 3 Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law.” So we see that the children of Israel in the days of Ezra repented of fornication by putting away all of their alien wives, and the children that were born of them. If the departure from one's sins is not complete, then one has not truly cleansed himself.
The reference to washing ourselves is not a reference to absolution, but a reference to departure from sin in repentance. Christ has cleansed us from our sin, as we see in Revelation 1:5 where it mentions “He who loves us and has released us from our errors with His blood”, however when the children of Israel accept Christ and repent they are described as having cleansed themselves in Him, as we see the description of the innumerable multitude in Revelation chapter 14 where it says that “These are they coming from out of the great tribulation and they have washed their robes and have whitened them in the blood of the Lamb.”