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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 apostle Peter had taught these same things, in a comparatively brief manner, in his own epistles. Peter, in chapter 2 of his first epistle, also teaches that the purpose of the Gospel is the reconciliation of the long-dispersed children of Israel to Yahweh. In verse 9 of that chapter Peter informs his readers: “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”. Saying these things Peter can only be referring to the children of Israel who sat in darkness, which is precisely how Isaiah had described the children of Israel of the ancient captivity. The other terms which Peter had used in that verse purposely invokes the language used of the children of Israel in the Exodus and other books of the Old Testament.
Then in verse 10 of that chapter Peter cited Hosea chapter 2 and said “who at one time were 'not a people' but now are the people of Yahweh, those who 'have not been shown mercy' but are now shown mercy.” Saying these things, Hosea is referring to the same children of Israel who were being alienated from God and sent off into the Assyrian captivity. None of these things could possibly refer to Jews, or to the remnant of Israelites in Judaea who still had the temple and the priesthood and the covenants and who still maintained themselves to be the people of Yahweh. Looking at the opening lines of Peter's epistle, we see that he is writing to the Christian assemblies of the west, those which were in Anatolia and which Paul had founded. This is why in his second epistle, written to those same Christian assemblies, Peter is found writing in support of Paul. So in the next verse, in verse 11 of 1 Peter chapter 2, the apostle said “Beloved, I exhort as emigrants and sojourners”, referring to dwellers in foreign lands, because the ancient children of Israel deported by the Assyrians were just that, children of Yahweh sojourning away from the presence of their God. Peter was teaching the reconciliation of scattered Israel to Yahweh in Christ, which were Greeks, Romans and Galatae in these assemblies to which he had written.
Explaining in the balance of the chapter how they were to conduct themselves during the time of their sojourn and how they were called to God in Christ to follow after His example as He had died on account of their sins, after citing Isaiah chapter 53 Peter then exclaims in verse 25: “For you were as sheep wandering astray, but you must return now to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls!” As Christ had come “but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel”, Peter was indeed teaching the reconciliation of those lost sheep, making an exhortation for them to return to their Shepherd. Likewise, Paul beckons here in 2 Corinthians chapter 5, from verse 20:
20 Therefore on behalf of Christ we serve as ambassadors, as Yahweh is exhorting through us. We ask on behalf of Christ: you be reconciled to Yahweh.
In the Christogenea New Testament, the word ἀπόστολος (Strong's # 652), or apostle, is translated as ambassador. Here the phrase “we serve as ambassadors” is from a form of the verb πρεσβεύω (Strong's # 4243), which means “to be the elder or eldest” and also “II. to be an ambassador or go as one, serve or negotiate as one...” (Liddell & Scott).
Paul's insistence that “Yahweh is exhorting through us” is yet another reference to the Word of God concerning Israel which is found in the prophets, such as where it states in Hosea chapter 2 “ 2 Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts”. The children of Israel, reconciled to God through Christ, are beckoned in Hosea to repent of their sins, and that is precisely what Paul shall plead here in the next chapter of this epistle. The comfort which Paul mentions in chapter 1 of this epistle had been prophesied in that same chapter of Hosea where it says: “14 Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.”
21 For He who knew not error, on our behalf had caused error, in order that we would come into the righteousness of Yahweh with Him.
The verb translated as “[he] had caused” is a form of the verb ποιέω (Strong's # 4160), which is “to make, produce, create...II. to bring to pass, bring about, cause...” (Liddell & Scott). Where Paul says that Christ had “caused error”, or sin, he is admitting that the plan of God was to be the author of His Own execution. That does not mean that Yahweh Himself is responsible for the sin of the crucifixion, but that He authored the circumstances by which it was destined to happen. This is clear in the prophetic writings, and it is expressed in all four gospels.
First, from Matthew chapter 26: “24 Indeed the Son of Man goes just as it is written concerning Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It was good for him if that man had not been born! … 31 Then Yahshua says to them: You shall all be made to stumble by Me on this night. For it is written: 'I shall smite the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered'!”
Then from the very similar words of Mark chapter 14: “21 Because indeed the Son of Man shall go just as it is written concerning Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is handed over! It is good for him if that man had not been born! … 27 And Yahshua says to them that All shall be made to stumble, because it is written: 'I shall smite the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered'!”
Then from Luke chapter 18: “31 Then taking aside the twelve He said to them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things written by the prophets for the Son of Man shall be completed.” Then also from Luke chapter 22: “22 For the Son of Man shall go in accordance with that which is appointed, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!” And again, from Luke chapter 24: “44 Then He said to them: These are My words which I had spoken to you while yet being with you, that it is necessary to fulfill all the things written in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms concerning Me. 45 Then He opened their minds for which to understand the writings. 46 And He said to them that Thusly it is written that the Christ is to suffer and to be resurrected from among the dead in the third day”.
Finally, from John chapters 18 and 19: “37 Therefore Pilatos said to Him: Then are You King? Yahshua replied: You say that I am a king. For this I had been born and for this I have come into Society: in order that I may testify to the truth. Each who is from of the truth hears My voice.” And in John 19: “10 Therefore Pilatos says to Him: You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You and I have authority to crucify You? 11 Yahshua replied to him: You do not have any authority over Me if it was not given to you from above. For this reason he who delivered Me to you has greater fault.”
At the very least (and without engaging in a lengthy discussion of the perception of free will) these verses all demonstrate that Yahweh God is indeed the Author of the circumstances of the lives of men, and that He knows beforehand how men will react in those circumstances. Therefore while He who had not sinned was the author of sin, the men who engaged in that sin are nevertheless the ones who are held responsible for it, Christ had told Pilate “For this reason he who delivered Me to you has greater sin.”
With this we shall commence with 2 Corinthians chapter 6, with the admonition that even if Yahweh God has foreseen all of the sins of men, when men sin they with their own minds consent to those sins. Therefore the call to Christ in the Gospel is also a call for the same children of Israel to depart from sin, as Paul said in Romans chapter 1 in reference to Christ, that through Him “we receive favor and a message for compliance of faith by all of the Nations, in behalf of His Name, among whom also are you, called of Yahshua Christ”, meaning that the Romans were of the scattered people of Israel. The text of 2 Corinthians chapter 6 opens with the conclusion to what Paul had said in chapter 5:
1 Now working together we also exhort you not to accept the favor of Yahweh to no purpose.
Working together is the natural result of Christian reconciliation: that those Israelites who are turned to Christ are reconciled to God and join the Body of Christ, submitting themselves to His desire for His people to love one another and cooperate as a community in building His kingdom. Claiming to be a Christian and yet remaining in sin, one is accepting the favor of God without purpose because one is either neglecting or refusing to help build His kingdom. Therefore Paul had written in 1 Corinthians chapter 6: “9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” Later here in this chapter we shall see that Christians reconciled to Yahweh are therefore admonished to separate themselves from anyone who is outside of the faith as well as from those who continue to be sinners. A Christian who refuses to join the body of Christ in the endeavor to build the Kingdom of God is like an eye which refuses to see, or an ear which refuses to hear, as useless to the rest of the body as it is to its Maker.
Paul is frequently labeled as an “anti-nomian”, as having somehow done away with the need for the law, as if Paul could overrule Christ. The charges are patently ridiculous. Paul quite consistently taught the need for Christian obedience to the commandments of God, as he also said in Romans chapter 6: “1 Now what may we say? Shall we continue in sin that favor would be greater? 2 Certainly not! We who have died in sin, how still can we live in it? 3 Or are you ignorant that as long as we are immersed in Christ Yahshua, into His death we are immersed? 4 So we were buried with Him through immersion into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the honor of the Father, so then we in newness of life should walk.” This is the same thing which he had taught in a different way in chapter 5 here in this epistle where he had said that “14 The love of the Christ constrains us, having decided this: since one has been slain on behalf of all, then all have been slain; 15 and on behalf of all He has been slain, in order that those who are living would no longer live for themselves, but for He who had been slain on behalf of them, and has been raised.”
Continuing with Paul's words in Romans chapter 6: “5 Therefore if united we have become in the likeness of His death, then also shall we be of His resurrection; 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body would be left void of sin, that no longer are we in bondage to sin. 7 Therefore, dying one is judged worthy apart from sin.” So here in chapter 5 of this epistle Paul had declared the fulfillment of Isaiah 43:19 where he exclaimed that “17 Therefore if one is among the number of Christ a new creation, the old things pass away. 'Behold! New things have come!'”
And continuing again with Paul's words in Romans chapter 6: “8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we also will live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ having been raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer lords over Him. 10 Therefore when He died, the sin upon all died; but because He lives, He lives to Yahweh.” Likewise, in chapter 5 of this epistle Paul had said “since one has been slain on behalf of all, then all have been slain; and on behalf of all He has been slain, in order that those who are living would no longer live for themselves, but for He who had been slain on behalf of them, and has been raised.”
And finally, once again from Paul's words in Romans chapter 6: “11 In that manner you also consider yourselves to be dead indeed in sin, but living to Yahweh, in Christ Yahshua. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, for which to submit to its desires. 13 Neither should you surrender your members as instruments of wrongdoing in sin, but present yourselves to Yahweh as living from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to Yahweh.” So Paul says here “we also exhort you not to accept the favor of Yahweh to no purpose”, because if we do not repent of our sin then there is no purpose for our acceptance of the favor of Yahweh in Christ. As Christ had said, “if you love Me, keep My commandments”, we who remain in sin may as well be dead because we are useless to both our brethren and our God.
2 (For He says, “In an acceptable time I have listened to you, and in a day of deliverance I have come to help you.” Behold, the present time is well acceptable. Behold, the present day is of deliverance.)
Paul is quoting from Isaiah chapter 49, from verse 8, and he is once again teaching that the prophecy which concerns the ancient children of Israel is fulfilled in their descendants who are among the nations of Europe and turning, or returning as Peter had beckoned, to Christ. While it is difficult to understand, this chapter of Isaiah is actually a dialogue between an Israel which is portrayed as an individual and Yahweh his God. In the dialogue, the answers provided by Yahweh are a prophecy of salvation for Israel, yet Israel is also portrayed as knowing his purpose. However the Israel of the prophecy may also at times seem to be a type for the Messiah. This is because salvation is for Israel, but it is also through Israel. So God Himself, who as Paul says in Hebrews chapter 2 had taken upon Himself the seed of Abraham, is depicted as the Redeemer of Israel, and His servant apostles being of Israel and delivering the Gospel are raising the tribes of Jacob. So that we may see the context of the words in Isaiah we shall present the text from the beginning of the chapter, which begins with a proclamation portrayed as coming from Israel himself:
“1 Listen, O isles, unto me [meaning Israel]; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. 2 And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me; 3 And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified. 4 Then I [meaning Israel] said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the LORD, and my work with my God. 5 And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant [meaning Israel], to bring Jacob again to him [the scattered tribes brought back to God through the apostles of remnant Israel], Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I [meaning Israel] be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength. [So the purpose outlined here in Isaiah was also one of reconciliation, just as we see in the purpose of Paul.] 6 And he [meaning Yahweh] said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Nations, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. [These two ideas are a Hebrew parallelism: the apostles of Israel were the light for the nations of Israel to raise up the tribes of Israel which were scattered and no longer considered Israel. This seems to be an oxymoron, but it is nevertheless true. The light of the nations was the Gospel of Christ which the apostles of Israel brought to the dispersed of Israel and in the name of Israel, to raise up the tribes of Israel and restore them to Yahweh God their Redeemer.] 7 Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation [the Septuagint has the word nation in the plural, which makes perfect sense understanding that this is talking about Israel] abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee [Israel shall be chosen by their God and Redeemer]. 8 Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee [Yahweh had heard Israel when it was acceptable to Him], and in a day of salvation have I helped thee [Yahweh has brought Israel salvation]: and I will preserve thee [Yahweh shall save Israel], and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages [salvation is for Israel, but it is also through Israel so that Israel may inherit the desolate heritages] 9 That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. [Israel was in darkness in alienation from God, and Israel was manifest in the world when they accepted the Gospel of Christ.] They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places. 10 They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them. [All of this refers to Israel in their dispersions, and that Christ would come to lead them.] 11 And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted. 12 Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim [or the south]. 13 Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.” The purpose of the Gospel is to be a comfort to an afflicted Israel, that Israel be reconciled to God. The balance of this chapter of Isaiah reaffirms the special position which Israel has with Yahweh their God, in opposition to all of the other nations and races. There should be no doubt in the minds of true Christians that Paul was quoting that same passage of Isaiah chapter 49 in reference to the same children of Israel whom Isaiah had intended. Paul was teaching covenant theology and reconciliation theology, which is the theology of the law and the prophets, and these things can apply only to genetic Israelites in accordance with the law of God.
3 Not one by any means giving offense, in order that fault would not be found with the service [D has “with our service”];
The service of which Paul speaks is the “service of the Spirit” in the New Covenant which he had mentioned at 2 Corinthians 3:8, of which he had then said “having this service, just as we have received mercy we do not falter” in 2 Corinthians 4:1. Here he has also identified that service as “the service of reconciliation” and his Gospel as “the word of that reconciliation” in 2 Corinthians 5:19. The words service and servant are interchangeable with ministry or ministration and minister, as the King James Version translates the Greek for in these passages.
In Romans chapter 15 Paul had said “15 Now more daringly have I written to you, brethren, in part that I am reminding you, through the favor that has been given to me by Yahweh, 16 for me to be a minister (or servant) of Yahshua Christ to the Nations, performing the service of the good message of Yahweh, in order that it be a presentation acceptable of the Nations, having been sanctified by the Holy Spirit.”
Paul did not have many different ministries, but one ministry, which was the service of reconciliation to the nations of Israel, as he explained that the nations to whom he had brought the Gospel were indeed of scattered Israel in Romans chapter 4 and 1 Corinthians chapter 10 and elsewhere.
4 rather in everything engaging ourselves as servants of Yahweh;
The Greek word συνίστημι (Strong's # 4921) which is rendered as approving here in the King James Version has a wide variety of uses which all stem from the literal meaning of standing together with someone or something. Therefore, as Liddell & Scott explain in their lexicon, it may mean to be engaged with or involved in a thing, as we interpret it here of the ministry of which Paul speaks. But the verb does not mean approve.
with much endurance in tribulations, in constraints, in difficulties, 5 in calamities, in imprisonments, in disturbances, in labors; with wakefulness, with fastings, 6 with purity, with knowledge, with patience, with kindness, with the Holy Spirit, in love without acting, 7 in the word of truth, in the power of Yahweh; through the arms of justice on the right and left; 8 through honor and dishonor; through bad words and good words, as are deceptions and truths;
The word πλάνος (Strong's # 4108) is an adjective which means “leading astray, cheating, deceiving” and therefore it is a deception here, as it also often stood in classical Greek in place of the noun πλάνη. The word is not accompanied by a Definite Article and is therefore not necessarily referring to a person, as the King James Version has deceivers since the word is plural.
9 as if being ignorant, and discovering; as if being slain, and behold, we live; as if being disciplined, and not being condemned; 10 as if being grieved, but always rejoicing; as beggars, but being much enriched; as having nothing, and possessing all.
All Christians, having accepted the word of reconciliation, should be engaged with building the Kingdom of God, and therefore Paul is describing the manner in which all Christians, and not only apostles, should maintain themselves in the face of the trials they are certain to face. Verses 4 through 7 describe the challenges, and verses 9 and 10 some of the unseen rewards which Christians may expect in return for facing those challenges. These challenges Christ had warned of in the Gospel, here from Luke chapter 21: “10 Then He said to them: "Nation shall arise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There shall be both great earthquakes and famines and plagues in various places. There shall be both terrors and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all of these things they shall lay their hands upon you and persecute you, being handed over to the assembly halls and prisons, being led before kings and governors because of My Name. 13 It shall result in a testimony for you.” He had also warned in John chapter 15: “20 Remember the word which I spoke to you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they have persecuted Me, they shall also persecute you. If they have kept My word, they shall also keep yours. 21 But all these things they shall do to you on account of My Name, because they do not know He who has sent Me.... 23 He hating Me also hates the Father!”
Paul described Christians “as if being slain, and behold, we live” because, as he had explained in chapter 5 of this epistle, “1 Therefore we know that if perhaps our earthly house of the tabernacle would be destroyed, we have a building from Yahweh, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” He spoke of “being disciplined, and not being condemned” because it was the purpose of Yahweh to punish the children of Israel for their sins, but to also forgive them and grant them eternal life, as we have already seen Paul explain earlier in this epistle. As he said in Hebrews chapter 12: “8 But if you are without discipline, of which you all have become partakers, then you are bastards, and not sons.”
Then Paul mentioned “having nothing, and possessing all” because Christians are not to seek the riches of this world, however ultimately, as he also wrote in 1 Corinthians chapter 3, where he was also speaking against sectarianism and those who would be followers of men: “19 For the wisdom of this Society is folly before Yahweh; indeed it is written, 'He seizes the cunning in their villainy'. 20 And again, 'Yahweh knows the reasonings of the cunning, that they are vain'. 21 Consequently, not one should boast in men, indeed all is yours. 22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Kephas, or Society, or life, or death, or present, or future, all is yours; 23 but you of Christ, and Anointed of Yahweh.” While many Christians want and have nothing in this world, all things that truly matter already belong to those who are in Christ.
11 Our mouths have been opened to you, Korinthians, our hearts enlarged. 12 You are not straitened by us, but you are straitened in your affections.
The phrase “our mouths have been opened” seems to mean that Paul and his fellows have spoken freely and honestly to the Corinthians. Adding the words “our hearts enlarged” Paul makes reference to the Christian love which he has displayed to them. The Codices Sinaiticus (א) and Vaticanus (B) have “your hearts enlarged”, which certainly reflects a scribal error, as the Nestle-Aland (NA27) notes suggest.
The verb στενοχωρέω (Strong's # 4729) occurs in the New Testament only here and at 1 Corinthians 4:8, where in that context it is crushed, but here it is straitened. The word basically means “to straiten for room...to be crowded together” (Liddell & Scott).
The word σπλάγχνον (Strong's # 4698) is bowels in the King James Version, and literally it means “mostly in plural … the inward parts” but is also used “II. metaphorically, like our heart, the seat of feelings and affections...” (Liddell & Scott) and therefore it is affections here, as well as elsewhere in Paul's epistles.
13 Now for that same reward, (as if to children I speak,) you also be enlarged.
Paul exhorts the Corinthians to follow his example by displaying the same Christian love which he has displayed to them. The verses which follow contain instructions regarding how the Corinthians should be expected to display that Christian love. The reward he refers to are some of the benefits of eternal life in Christ which he lists in verses 9 and 10.
14 Do not become yoked together with untrustworthy aliens; for what participation has justice and lawlessness? And what fellowship has light towards darkness?
The opening sentence of this verse is very difficult to translate in a few words, although it only contains four Greek words. The Greek clause μὴ γίνεσθε ἑτεροζυγοῦντες ἀπίστοις is “Do not become yoked together with untrustworthy aliens”. The King James Version has translated it as “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers”, and therefore it may be interpreted as a religious statement. However such an interpretation would place Paul in conflict with other statements he had made, and in that manner he would be a liar. For instance, in 1 Corinthians 7:12-14 he had encouraged Christian men and women to remain with unbelieving spouses so long as they would have them. This is not a religious statement, as we hope to make evident upon examination of the words ἑτεροζυγέω (Strong's # 2086) and ἄπιστος (Strong's # 571).
The Greek word ἑτεροζυγέω is a verb which appears nowhere else in the New Testament, nor does it appear in the Septuagint. This word is a compound word from the adjective ἕτερος (heteros), which means other, and ζεύγνυμι, which means to yoke (see Strong's #'s 2087 and 2218). However the adjective, ἑτερόζυγος, does appear in the Septuagint at Leviticus 19:19. Since in either Classical or Hellenistic Greek this word and its related words only appear in late grammars or lexicons or other obscure works, including only one other ancient occurrence in the writings of a 3rd century BC engineer named Philo Mechanicus, we have chosen to define this word according to the use of the adjective in the Septuagint. Certainly Paul himself must have known the word from its use in the Septuagint.
For the corresponding Hebrew of the relevant clause in Leviticus 19:19 the King James Version has “Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind”, for which the corresponding Septuagint Greek is:
τὰ κτήνη σου (your cattle)
οὐ κατοχεύσεις (do not let gender, where the verb implies the act of sexual intercourse)
ἑτεροζύγῳ (with a diverse kind, and since the idea of being “yoked” is already implicit in the sexual act, the English translators did not need to repeat it rendering this word).
Brenton’s English from the Greek varies little from the King James Version English as it was translated from Hebrew, where he has “thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with one of a different kind”. And while the Liddell & Scott definition for the verb ἑτεροζυγέω follows the King James Version from 2 Corinthians 6:14 and says: “to be yoked in unequal partnership” the Liddell & Scott definition for the adjective ἑτερόζυγος follows the King James Version from Leviticus 19:19 and says: “coupled with an animal of diverse kind”. If we extend that to people it can only mean “to be coupled with someone of another race”, and therefore here in the Christogenea New Testament it is “yoked together with aliens”, preferring the idea that the verb as it was used by Paul surely bears the same meaning that the adjective did in the same Greek scriptures which Paul so often quoted verbatim.
Determining how Paul used the word ἑτεροζυγέω here, this word must also be contrasted with the similar word σύζυγος (Strong's # 4805), which was used by Paul in Philippians 4:3 and which Liddell & Scott define as “yoked together, paired” and the lexicon describes how Aeschylus used the phrase σύζυγος ὁμαυλίαι to describe a wedded union, how Euripides used the word σύζυγος as a feminine substantive to describe a wife, or how in the Iliad or the writings of Aristotle it was used as a masculine substantive to describe a yoke-fellow or comrade. It is of marriage that Christ used the corresponding verb, συζεύγνυμι (Strong's # 4801) as it is recorded in Matthew 19:6 and Mark 10:9. Using the word σύζυγος to refer to a comrade or yoke-fellow, as the Christogenea New Testament has it at Philippians 4:3, here Paul must intend for this word ἑτεροζυγέω to follow the Septuagint use of ἑτερόζυγος, not to merely be yoked together after the meaning of σύζυγος but to be yoked together with aliens after the meaning of ἑτερόζυγος in Leviticus 19:19.
As for the Greek word ἄπιστος, this word by itself is not a noun, as the King James Version treats it as a substantive and translates it as a noun, as “unbelievers” both here and in verse 15. Rather, ἄπιστος is an adjective which Liddell & Scott define as “not to be trusted...not trusty, distrusted, faithless”, and therefore here the word is translated as an adjective modifying the noun which is implied in the definition of ἑτεροζυγέω. In verse 15 here, ἄπιστος is opposed to πιστός (Strong's # 4103) where we have “the faithful with the faithless”. This word ἄπιστος is the same word which is translated as faithless in 1 Timothy 5:8 “Now if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially of kin, he has denied the faith and is inferior to one of the faithless.” Here it is evident that by using this term Paul is describing those without the faith, meaning those who are not included in the covenants which Yahweh God has made with Israel, the faith of Abraham Paul defines in Romans chapter 4.
With all of this, another way to translate this clause from Greek is: “Do not become yoked together with those of other races who are not to be trusted”, or perhaps “... who are outside the faith”, which is a message that is consistent with all Scripture.
15 And what accord has Christ with Beliar? Or what share the faithful with the faithless?
In Exodus chapter 23 we see the following concerning the Canaanites in the land which was to become Israel: “28 And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee. 29 I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. 30 By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land. 31 And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee. 32 Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. 33 They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.”
The phrase “children of Belial” first appears in Deuteronomy 13:13 where it is a label used in a warning describing anyone who in the future may perhaps attempt to entice the children of Israel to worship strange gods. Later, in Judges chapters 19 and 20 the phrase describes certain Sodomites and perverts who caused great trouble. In later Scriptures it was used more generally of those disobedient to God, whether they were apparently Israelites or not. The word appears only here in the New Testament. and it is a Hebrew word (Strong's #1100) which has a connection to something which was “mixed” (see Strong's #1098), and for that reason, “worthless”. It is of the same group of words from which the name of the city Babylon was derived, which is from a word which means confusion.
From Exodus chapter 23 and many other warnings and accounts in the Old Testament, we see the children of Israel had become confused, and began adopting the idols of the Canaanites, because of the Canaanite presence in the land. Paul in turn warns that Christ has no accord with Belial, in further admonition to his warning that Christians should “not become yoked together with untrustworthy aliens”. As the Gospel of John informs us, “... the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not” (John 1:5), the children of Israel who have accepted Christ cannot have any positive relationships with anyone who does not belong among the number of Christ.
However neither should Christians have any communion with those of their own who have rejected Christ and who continue in sin. For that reason the sons of Eli, the judge of Israel, were also accounted in later Scriptures as “sons of Belial” (1 Samuel 2:12). We see Paul express this same attitude in a different manner in 1 Corinthians chapter 5 where he demanded that the fornicator be delivered “unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh” or much later writing 1 Timothy chapter 1 where he spoke of “Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.” A sinner forced outside of the Christian community is depicted by Paul as being delivered to satan, or the adversary, since it is said of those in Christ that “We know that we are from of Yahweh and the whole Society lies in the power of the Evil One” (1 John 5:19). So it is of those whom Paul described as having voluntarily left the Christian community, where he says “For some are already turned aside after Satan” (1 Timothy 5:15).
16 And what agreement has a temple of Yahweh with idols? For you are a temple [C and D have “we are a temple”; א has “we are temples”; the text follows P46, C, and the MT] 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.”
As we asserted commenting upon verse 2 of this chapter, Paul was teaching covenant theology and reconciliation theology, which is the theology of the law and the prophets, and these things can apply only to genetic Israelites in accordance with the law of God. In the law of God, in Leviticus chapter 26 it says “ 9 For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you. 10 And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new. 11 And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. 12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people. 13 I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright. 14 But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; 15 And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: 16 I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. 17 And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you. 18 And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.”
But it never says anything about the children of Israel being replaced with any other people, as the modern denominational sects so falsely assert. So after the children of Israel were found to be disobedient, we see in Jeremiah chapter 30: “ 10 Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid. 11 For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.”
Then in the first verse of Jeremiah chapter 31 we again see the same language which Paul uses here: “1 At the same time, saith the LORD, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.” Then again later in the chapter in connection with the New Covenant: “ 31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
For another witness, there is Ezekiel chapter 37: “26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 28 And the nations shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.”
Both the King James Version and the American Standard Version punctuate 2 Corinthians 6:16 in much the same manner as the Christogenea New Testament, having a semicolon before the clause which reads in the ASV “even as God said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Therefore Paul is clearly saying that God will walk among and dwell among His people Israel just as he had said he would in the Old Testament. Since in the Old Testament Yahweh had said that only in relation to the twelve tribes of Israel in Leviticus chapter 26, in relation to the house of Israel and the house of Judah in Jeremiah chapter 31, that Israel would be cleansed or sanctified in Ezekiel chapter 37, then Paul also must also be referring to the people of God in that same manner as Yahweh Himself had said these things in relation to Old Testament Israel.
Here in 2 Corinthians, Paul is teaching the very fulfillment of these passages found in the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel, and Paul has already demonstrated in Romans chapter 4 and in 1 Corinthians chapter 10 that his ministry is to those of the faith of Abraham, which are the nations sprung from the loins of Abraham, and to “Israel according to the flesh”, which are the pagan nations of Europe put off in punishment by Yahweh for seven times, as it also states in Leviticus chapter 26! All of these things are interlocking, and Paul is teaching covenant theology and reconciliation theology: the only valid Christianity. As we asserted presenting the previous chapter of this epistle, the Gospel of the New Covenant in the New Testament scriptures cannot be separated from the promises of the New Covenant in the Old Testament scriptures. This is especially true as Paul himself is cementing them together!
We have just seen in Ezekiel chapter 37 the statement by God that “I the LORD do sanctify Israel”. Discussing 2 Corinthians chapter 5 we presented the many prophecies where Yahweh God had promised to cleanse Israel of her sins. Understanding who Yahweh had sanctified, we can perceive who are the “impure”, or as the King James Version has it, the “unclean thing” (where thing is not found in the Greek text) of 2 Corinthians 6:17:
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”.
The Greek word ἅπτω (Strong's # 681) is to be joined to here, the form of the verb being a 2nd person plural passive, but in the King James Version it is merely to touch. Either of these are valid translations of the word, yet the stronger sense is merited since the word’s basic meanings are “to fasten, bind fast...to join...to fasten oneself to...” while touch is among the later of the many possible meanings given by Liddell & Scott, yet there are many other words which may more simply and literally mean touch in Greek. Among them are θιγγάνω (Strong's # 2345, Colossians 2:21, Hebrews 11:28 and 12:20) or ψηλαφάω (Strong's # 5584, Hebrews 12:18 et al.) The same word is used by Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:1 in reference to sexual relations between a man and a woman, and its use here should be inclusive, although not limited to, that same idea.
Paul quotes from the Old Testament once again, from Isaiah chapter 52, which we shall present in part here from the King James Version: “Isaiah 52:1 Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. 2 Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion. 3 For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money. 4 For thus saith the Lord GOD, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. 5 Now therefore, what have I here, saith the LORD, that my people is taken away for nought? they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the LORD; and my name continually every day is blasphemed. 6 Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I. 7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! 8 Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion. 9 Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. 10 The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. 11 Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean
thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD. 12 For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward. 13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. 14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: 15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.”
This is clearly a Messianic prophecy related to the Gospel and the sanctification of Israel. As Christ had told His apostles, recorded in John chapter 15, “3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” The many nations which Christ had sprinkled are the Israelites of the dispersion, the seed of Abraham which had become many nations in their captivity. Since only the children of Israel were to be sanctified by the Word of Yahweh then anyone who is not of Israel is of the impure, or unclean, and the children of Israel are to separate themselves from them. In Isaiah chapter 52 we see that separation from the unclean is a condition of Yahweh's receiving the children of Israel upon the publication of the Gospel message. For that same reason, in 1 Peter chapter 2 the apostle had said of those whom he was encouraging to return to the “Shepherd and Overseer” of their souls that they were “an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people”, and that is the same language which was so often used of Israel in the Old Testament. From Deuteronomy chapter 14: “1 Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead. 2 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.” Paul has evidently quoted this passage in support of his earlier statement where he said “Do not become yoked together with untrustworthy aliens”, or with those outside of the faith who cannot ever be Christians.
Where Paul referred to the body as an earthly tabernacle in 2 Corinthians 5:1, here he states that “you are a temple of the living God”, again referring to the fleshly body. Here in Isaiah chapter 52 we see the words “be ye clean, that bear the vessels of Yahweh”, and neither was Isaiah talking about people carrying around bowls and bottles. Rather, Isaiah was also referring to those children of Israel who had the Spirit of Yahweh within them, the spirit which was bestowed upon our Adamic race. That is the “treasure in earthen vessels” which Paul had also referred to in this epistle.
18 “And I will be to you for a father, and you will be mine for sons and daughters, says the almighty Prince.”
As we had presented Isaiah chapters 42 and 43 along with 2 Corinthians chapter 5 and Paul's explanation that his ministry was a ministry of reconciliation, the children of Israel in their alienation and captivity were nevertheless the sons and daughters of Yahweh their God. Thus it says, in part, from Isaiah chapter 43: “1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.... 5 Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; 6 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; 7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.”
If it were not for the systemization of deception, the term “Christian Identity” would not even exist. Paul of Tarsus was teaching Christian Identity: bringing the Gospel of God to the literal descendants of Israel who were the people of God even though they were alienated and dispersed into the nations of Europe. That is the only true Christianity, and Paul's own words reflect again and again that his ministry was a ministry of reconciliation of the children of Israel to God, while his historical remarks also show many times that the nations to whom he had brought his message were those very same dispersions of ancient Israel.
White Europeans, becoming aware that they are actually ancient Israelites who are cleansed in Christ and beckoned to return to their God, must realize that in order to do so they must come out from among all of the jews and all of the races other than their own, for they are all unclean and rejected by God.