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The Epistles of Paul - 2 Corinthians Part 3: The Old Testament is only for Christians
In 2 Corinthians chapter 3 we saw Paul of Tarsus change the subject of his epistle away from the grief within the assembly at Corinth. Doing that he turned to discuss the service of the New Covenant in the Spirit of Christ as opposed to the service of the Old Covenant in the letter of the Law. It must be noticed that in the course of that discussion, Paul refutes several of the claims which are commonly made by the modern denominational sects concerning both Jews and Christianity. For instance, we often hear it repeated that the New Testament alone is for Christians, while the Old Testament is for the so-called Jews. Yet in that chapter Paul had explained that there is a veil over the Old Testament, and that it cannot be properly understood unless one turns to Christ. With that statement, Paul is stating unequivocally that the Old Testament is for Christians, and that it is not at all for the so-called Jews. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:15 of those who rejected Christ that “until this day, whenever Moses is read a veil lies upon their hearts”, and then he says of those who accepted Christ in verse 16 “But when perhaps you should turn to the Prince, the veil is taken away.” So the Old Testament is not for the so-called Jews and the Jews are blinded as to its meaning. Rather, the Old Testament is only for Christians! Only those who have turned to Christ have the ability to understand the Old Testament, and without Christ it is left unemployed.
Therefore Paul of Tarsus refutes the idea of the “New Testament Christian”. That idea is a poor excuse for the so-called Jews and it is a false theology which was long ago refuted by those who withstood the Marcionites. Instead, as Paul told the Romans in chapter 15 of his epistle to them: “Now whatever things have been written before, have been written for our instruction, so that through patient endurance and the calling of the writings we may have expectation”. Making such a statement, Paul was referring to the Scriptures of the Old Testament. It is the Christian obligation to examine the Old Testament as well as the New, and to accept both Old and New as one faith. That was also the original meaning of the term catholic, before it was corrupted into its medieval definition.
Therefore all denominational sects are wrong about the Old Testament, and Paul's simple words have been laying in plain sight, right in front of their faces, since the printing press was invented nearly 600 years ago. But they have not yet understood them. Now we shall commence with 2 Corinthians from the beginning of chapter 4:
1 For this reason, having this service, just as we have received mercy we do not falter.
The service which Paul refers to here is “the service of the Spirit” mentioned in 2 Corinthians 3:8. Paul had told the Corinthians in verse 3 of that chapter that “you are Christ's letter, ministered to by us; having been inscribed not with ink but with the Spirit of the living Yahweh; not on tablets of stone, but on fleshly tablets of heart”, and he further proceeded in verse 7 of the chapter to contrast that with “the service of death in letters, being engraved in stones”. So there was at one time a service of the letter of the Law upon which the Old Covenant was based, engraved in stone tablets, and now there is a service of the Spirit of the Law on which the New Covenant is based, engraved in fleshly tablets of heart. The old service in the letter of the law is left unemployed in Christ, as Paul describes in the latter verses of that same chapter. Therefore according to the Christian gospel, there is no valid foundation for the continuation of Judaism, as Christ Himself had said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Judaism cannot by accepted by Christians as a valid religion, or those Christians cannot truly be Christians.
In addition to his understanding of the Gospel, Paul has an Old Testament authority by which he said such things, which he later quotes in his epistle to the Hebrews and which is found in Jeremiah chapter 31: “ 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. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
The New Covenant was a matter of prophecy, and it was to be made with the same children of Israel that the Old Covenant was made with. This New Covenant was also prophesied in Ezekiel chapter 37 where the Word of God says: “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.” The laws of Yahweh their God would be written on the hearts of the children of Israel rather than upon tablets of stone. The fulfillment of these promises is the announcement of the Gospel and the basis for the ministry of Paul of Tarsus. He is teaching that fulfillment here in 2 Corinthians, just as he had taught it in diverse ways in 1 Corinthians and in his epistle to the Romans. Every descendant of the children of Israel spread across the nations of Europe eventually heard that Gospel according to the teachings of Paul of Tarsus. Soon they had all learned of their reconciliation to God through Jesus their Lord in accordance with the words of Jeremiah that “they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them”.
The only Christian paradigm which can account for the worldview which Paul of Tarsus reflects in his epistles is Christian Identity. Where Paul says “just as we received mercy”, we must also ask who he is talking to and why he can make such a statement. This is important because where Paul says other things he can be easily perceived as being in contradiction with himself by those who do not understand Christian Identity. The children of Israel required mercy because they had violated the law of Yahweh their God and they were being punished for that violation. As it says in Jeremiah chapter 31: “The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest.” The mercy of Yahweh God for Israel was a constant theme in the prophets, and especially in Hosea and Isaiah. When the children of Israel were alienated from their God, they were punished without mercy. However that same God through His prophets promised them reconciliation and mercy in the future, and He says in Hosea chapter 2, speaking again of the children of Israel: “ 23 And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.” All of these things refer exclusively to the cast-off children of Israel, and along with the Old Covenant they can only be properly understood by Israelites who have turned to Christ, because that is when the veil is lifted. In 2 Corinthians chapter 5, Paul explains that his ministry is a ministry of reconciliation for this very reason.
2 Rather, we renounce the covers of disgrace, not walking in villainy nor disguising the word of Yahweh; but in the manifestation of truth, establishing ourselves against all consciences of men in the presence of Yahweh.
As Paul has explained elsewhere, such as at the end of Romans chapter 3, Christians should seek to establish the law of Yahweh their God as a result of their faith in Christ. However in his epistle to the Galatians Paul had refuted the Judaizers who sought to keep men tied to the letter of the Law in the rituals, in chapter 2 where he wrote: “4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage”.
Here in chapter 3 of this epistle Paul, according to the King James Version, had said “17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” But here once again he beckons men to renounce sin rather than engage in it. Peter spoke in this same manner in the second chapter of his first epistle where he wrote “ 15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.” Likewise James also beckoned Christians to obedience in Christ, in the first chapter of his epistle where he said “21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.... 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” James, writing to the “twelve tribes scattered abroad” and referring to the “engrafted word” is also referring to Jeremiah chapter 31 and the law which Yahweh had promised to inscribe upon the hearts of the children of Israel.
Translating this passage, whether the preposition πρός (Strong's # 4314) is interpreted as against, as it is here, or as to, as it is in most other translations, is in the opinion of the translator. The verb συνιστάω may have been rendered as introducing, as it is in our translation at the beginning of chapter 3. Therefore we can relate this passage to Paul's statement in that verse, in a literary sense, and the clause may have been read “introducing ourselves to all consciences of men” (or “every conscience of men”). We chose instead to reflect the sense wherein Paul was also making a reference to the adverse effect which the Gospel has before the world, which is seen in the context of the following verse:
3 And if then our good message is covered, by those being destroyed it is covered;
Here the verb for cover is from a form of the noun which is translated as veil in chapter 3, which is literally a cover. Therefore Paul is making a play on words which also informs us more fully of what he had meant in chapter 3 of this epistle, speaking about the veil or cover which lies over their hearts when they read the Old Covenant and which is only understood in Christ. To cover the meaning or message of something is not necessarily to hide it, but also to obfuscate or conceal its true interpretation or application.
Paul explains the reason for the division in Judaea reflected in the New Testament in Romans chapter 9, where he attests that not everyone in Israel is of Israel, and compares Jacob and Esau. Paul calls the Israelites “vessels of mercy” and the Edomites “vessels of destruction”. This explanation accords with the historical testimony of Flavius Josephus, who informs us several times in Book 13 of his Antiquities of the Judaeans that the Judaeans under the Maccabees had converted many cities of the Edomites to Judaism, and that thereafter they were circumcised and were considered full and equal citizens with the original Judaeans who were Israelites. This also accords with the words of Christ in Revelation chapters 2 and 3 where he refers to those who “say they are Judaeans, and are not, but are of the synagogue of Satan”. Likewise, Christ had said to His adversaries, as it is recorded in John 10:26, that “ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.” Ever since the ministry of Christ began, the enemies of Christ, “those being destroyed”, have endeavored to obscure the Gospel. The denominational sects of today do not understand either New Covenant nor Old because they follow the so-called Jews rather than following Christ.
4 by whom the ‘god’ of this age has blinded [not hardened, as it is at 3:14] the minds of the unbelieving, for not to shine [the MT has has “shine upon them”; the text follows P46, , A, B, C, and D] the light of the good message of the honor of the Anointed, who are the image of Yahweh.
The Greek word for ‘god’ here is θεός. When we encountered the word θεός while translating the Christogenea New Testament, nearly everywhere it refers to the Creator,, to the God of Israel, we wrote the transliterated word Yahweh, rather than the English title God. We call the word Yahweh a “transliterated word” because it represents for us the Tetragrammaton, the word consisting of four Hebrew letters which we consider to be an appellative description employed as a name for God and not properly a name by itself, in the English sense of the term. In Hebrew it is employed as a name and it is clear throughout the Old Testament that most Hebrew names, if not all, were actually appellations – words or phrases that had a definite meaning and were used as names. Therefore in Hebrew Yahweh is an appellative, but it is also a name. We should have that same understanding when we use the term in English. And in the case of the Hebrew form of the word for Yahweh, since it most likely means “the one who is” or therefore “the eternal one”, it can only accurately describe the one true God. Of course, we have been criticized for this, however to Christians if Yahweh is God then we should have no problem making the association, and we shall continue to do so in spite of our critics. [We have long hoped one day to make an audio presentation devoted to defending such criticism. Yahweh willing, we will do that one day soon.]
Paul's reference to the “'god' of this age” is a sarcastic one. Christ called His adversaries, who were the rulers and authorities in Judaea, the “prince of this world”. He must have used the singular term in a collective manner, because He had said in John chapter 12 “31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. 32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” Saying that, He could not have been referring to a singular event or to a singular individual, but to a process which would unfold throughout history future to His Own time, which is later described in the Revelation, and to a collective of individuals. If He had meant “now” in the immediate sense, Paul could not have written 25 years later, in chapter 2 of his first epistle to the Corinthians, of the “princes of this world”. As the devil on the mountain had said to Christ, “All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them [the nations of the oikoumenê]: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it”, Paul in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 had explained that the “son of perdition” was sitting “in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” Both Yahshua Christ in John chapters 12, 14 and 16, and Paul later in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, could only have been referring to the Edomite Jews.
In reference to the “light of the good message of the honor of the Anointed, who are the image of Yahweh”, the translation of this clause is a matter of Biblical perspective. The King James Version translation is literally acceptable, but did Paul really mean to refer to Christ, or was he referring to His people? And if Paul was referring to Christ alone, why would he immediately state “we do not proclaim ourselves”, as if there may be some confusion over who he was referring to? Indeed, here Paul refers to the collective body of Christ, as those who were predestined to be conformed to His image (Romans 8:29), and clarifies his intention in the passage which follows:
5 We do not proclaim ourselves, but Prince Yahshua Christ; and of ourselves, your bondmen for the sake of Yahshua. 6 Because Yahweh speaking out of darkness shines forth light, which has shone in our hearts, for illumination of the knowledge of the honor of Yahweh in the person of Yahshua Christ.
The 3rd century papyrus P46 and the Codices Ephraemi Syri (C) and Claromontanus (D) have the last clause of verse 6 to read in part “for illumination of the knowledge of His honor in the person of”; the text follows the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A), Vaticanus (B), and the Majority Text. Where at the end of the verse the text here has “Yahshua Christ” the Codices Alexandrinus and Vaticanus want “Yahshua”, where the text follows P46 and the the Codices Sinaiticus, Ephraemi Syri and Coislinianus (H 015), and the Codex Claromontanus which has “Christ Yahshua”.
The good message of the honor of the anointed is the good news of the reconciliation of the children of Israel to Yahweh their God. Yahshua Christ, Yahweh incarnate in the flesh, is the light come into the world for the benefit of the same children of Israel. Yahshua Christ is the Light, and He is not merely the recipient of the Light. Rather, the people of Israel are the intended recipients of the Light. As it is recorded in Luke chapter 2: “25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Sumeon and this man was righteous and devout, expecting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it was forewarned to him by the Holy Spirit, not to see death before he should see the Anointed Prince. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and in there being introduced to the parents of the child Yahshua, upon their doing that which is according to the custom of the law concerning Him, 28 then he took Him into his arms and praised Yahweh, and said: 29 'Now release Your servant, Master, in peace according to Your word: 30 Because my eyes have seen Your Salvation, 31 which You have prepared in front of all the people: 32 a light for the revelation of the Nations and honor of Your people Israel!'” This is the light, and the honor, of which Paul speaks here in verse 4.
7 Now we have this treasure in earthen vessels, in order that the greatness of the power would be of Yahweh, and not from us.
The “treasure in earthen vessels” is the true life of the Adamic man invested into his body by the Spirit of Yahweh God. Paul spoke of the spiritual Adamic body in 1 Corinthians chapter 15 where he said that “42 In this way also is the restoration of the dead. It is sown in decay [the physical body], it is raised in incorruption [the spiritual body]. 43 It is sown in dishonor [the physical body], it is raised in honor [the spiritual body]. It is sown in weakness [the physical body], it is raised in power [the spiritual body]. 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body; if there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual. 45 And just as it is written, "The first man Adam came into a living soul," the last Adam into a life producing Spirit. 46 But the spiritual was not first; rather the natural, then the spiritual: 47 the first man from out of earth, of soil; the second man from out of heaven. 48 As he of soil, such as those also who are of soil; and as He in heaven, such as those also who are in heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the likeness of that of soil, we shall also bear the likeness of that of heaven.”
Isaiah referred to this same spirit within the natural Adamic body in much the same way as Paul does here, in chapter 52 where the Word of Yahweh said through the prophet: “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.” Those in Isaiah who “bear the vessels of Yahweh” are those children of Israel who have the spirit which Yahweh had imparted to Adam. They were commanded to separate themselves from the unclean, and we will discuss that passage at length, Yahweh willing, when we present it as Paul cites it in 2 Corinthians chapter 6. From the Wisdom of Solomon, chapter 2: “23 For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity.” If we are Adamic men in the flesh, we have the image of Yahweh God in His spirit which is within us, through which we have eternal life.
8 Being oppressed in every way, but not crushed; being without means, but not destitute; 9 being persecuted, but not abandoned; being cast down, but not destroyed; 10 at all times bearing about the death of Yahshua in the body, in order that also the life of Yahshua in our body may be manifested.
Paul's words do not apply to himself only, but also to the children of Israel in general, who were destined to be punished for an appointed time because they had rejected Yahweh their God. From Amos chapter 3: “2 You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities. 3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” So the children of Israel would be punished into agreement with Yahweh. From Hosea chapter 12: “2 The LORD hath also a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will he recompense him.” From 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. 12 For thus saith the LORD, Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous. 13 There is none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up: thou hast no healing medicines. 14 All thy lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not; for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity; because thy sins were increased. 15 Why criest thou for thine affliction? thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee.” And also from Jeremiah chapter 50: “ 33 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The children of Israel and the children of Judah were oppressed together: and all that took them captives held them fast; they refused to let them go. 34 Their Redeemer is strong; the LORD of hosts is his name: he shall throughly plead their cause, that he may give rest to the land, and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon.” The reference to Babylon refers to mystery Babylon as well as the city of antiquity, and the prophecy has a dual fulfillment, one of the ancient city and another as of yet forthcoming.
Nevertheless, even before the covenant with Israel, the children of Yahweh had suffered from the beginning on account of the sin. In Hebrews chapter 11 Paul says “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.” Further on here in this chapter he will mention that same thing, the eternal and unseen rewards in which Christians of both the Old and New Testaments have hope. After mentioning that hope in things unseen in Hebrews 11, Paul proceeds in that chapter to list many of the trials and accomplishments of the Old Testament saints, from Abel forward, considering them to be a “great cloud of witnesses” to the truth which is in Yahweh their God.
The punishment ordained for the children of Israel was not ended with the cross of Christ. Indeed, the apostles had asked him, as it is recorded in Acts chapter 1: “ Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” He responded by saying “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.” Rather, with the spread of the gospel, those of Israel turning to Christ would be all the more oppressed, as Christ warns in Matthew chapter 24 referring to the coming destruction of Jerusalem: “8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.” It is this oppression to which Paul alludes in the passage that follows:
11 Always we who live with death are delivered for the sake of Yahshua, in order that also the life of Yahshua may be manifest in our mortal flesh; 12 consequently death operates in us, and life in you; 13 but having the same Spirit of the faith, in accordance with that which has been written: “I have believed, therefore I have spoken;” we also believe, therefore we also speak;
The 3rd century papyrus P46 has “if” (εἰ, 1487) rather than “always” (ἀεί, 104) here, where the verse may well be read “If we who live are delivered to death for the sake of Yahshua, that also the life of Yahshua may be manifest in our mortal flesh,” although ἴνα (2443), here “in order that” or “that” is not a customary answer to εἰ. The reading of the papyrus seems to reflect the idea that eternal life is granted only upon suffering for Christ.
In verse 13 Paul quotes from Psalm 116:10, and the passage is a Messianic prophecy which also forebodes the fate of those who are loyal to God and who convey His truth: “9 I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living. 10 I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted: 11 I said in my haste, All men are liars. 12 What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? 13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. 14 I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people. 15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” Ostensibly, because even being dead in the flesh, they live in the Spirit.
14 because knowing that he who raised Prince Yahshua, also will raise us with [the MT has “through”] Yahshua, and will be present with you.
As it is promised to Israel in Hosea chapter 13: “14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.” As it is described in the Revelation of Yahshua Christ, before the description of the City of God descended from heaven Hell and Death are already cast into the Lake of Fire.
Furthermore, if Paul says Yahshua “will be present with you”, and if our Adamic bodies are our earthly tabernacles, then His Adamic body must be the tabernacle of Yahweh which is mentioned in places such as Ezekiel chapter 37, as the Word of Yahweh says in reference to Himself: “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.”
15 All things are for the sake of you, in order that the favor, abounding over the greater number, would exceed the thankfulness to the honor of Yahweh.
All things in Scripture are for the sake of the children of Israel, and Paul establishes here and throughout his first epistle to the Corinthians that he is indeed speaking to Israelites of the ancient dispersions. Here Paul seems to be saying that the children of Israel cannot possibly be thankful enough for the magnitude of the favor of God which is bestowed upon them.
As we have just cited Ezekiel where Yahweh spoke of His dwelling with His people, so it says in Revelation chapter 21: “3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” Revelation 21:5 is a citation of Isaiah 48:19, and Paul also cites that passage here in 2 Corinthians 5:17. In Isaiah 48 Yahweh is also addressing the children of Israel: “19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. 20 The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. 21 This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise. 22 But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel.... 25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”
From Psalm 142, where prison is a euphemism for death as the apostle Peter later used the term in his second epistle, and this is also a Messianic prophecy: “ 5 I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living. 6 Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I. 7 Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.”
16 On which account we do not falter, rather then if our outer man is being destroyed, then our inner is being restored day by day.
Here Paul is evidently using the terms outer man and inner man as analogies for the fleshly body and the spiritual body. The outer man is the fleshly Adamic body, and the inner man is the “treasure in earthen vessels” which the enemies of Christ cannot destroy. This interpretation is substantiated not only in 1 Corinthians chapter 15, but in Paul's prayer contained in Ephesians chapter 3: “14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family [a reference to Israel] in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” The spirit of Yahweh instilled within the Adamic race is what Paul means when he refers to the “inner man”. When those who bear it are obedient to God in Christ, the Holy Spirit also takes up His abode with them, as Christ explains in John 14:23: “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”
17 For the present lightness [D has “present temporariness and lightness”] of our [P46 and B want “our”] tribulation, an exceedingly surpassing eternal abundance of honor is earned by us;
The word present is from the Greek word παραυτίκα (Strong's # 3910), which only appears here in the New Testament. Liddell & Scott define it in part as “present...momentary”, but the King James Version translators make an entire clause from the word, where they have “which is but for a moment”.
The apostle Peter in the opening chapter of his first epistle had summarized the same things which Paul relates to the Corinthians here, where he says “7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” Christians should expect to undergo trials in this life, and await their rewards for the next. That is the foundation of Christian faith. If Christians seem to be rewarded in this life, that too is a trial, albeit perhaps a temporarily more comfortable one.
In that same chapter of his epistle Peter also goes on to say: “ 10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.”
However everywhere that the prophets themselves are enquired of, these things are only promised through Christ to the children of Israel, the seed of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob. There is nowhere in Scripture where these promises are made to anyone but the children of Israel, and it is an endeavor to defraud God today if we imagine that any of these things could have been transferred to anyone other than the actual genetic children of Israel.
18 we not considering the things being seen, but the things not being seen; the things being seen temporary, but the things not being seen eternal.
As Paul said in his epistle to the Hebrews, in the opening verse of chapter 11: “1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Paul had also told the Romans in his opening chapter of his epistle to them, where he was speaking of men who had abandoned God, that they were at fault “19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Men should not deny the invisible aspects of creation, which indicates that there is more to the creation of Yahweh God than we in the flesh can see and understand.
Paul's words concerning the unseen rewards of God and the Godly life stand in stark contrast to the prevailing opinions of the time as they are described by the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus, who was writing approximately 100 years before Paul. Diodorus, who in turn was contrasting the prevailing opinions of his time to the seemingly ascetic philosophy of Pythagoras, said that “Pythagoras urged his followers to cultivate the simple life, since extravagance, he maintained, ruins not only the fortunes of men but their bodies as well. For most diseases, he held, come from indigestion, and indigestion, in turn, from extravagance. Many men were also persuaded by him to eat uncooked food and to drink only water all their life long, in order to pursue what is in truth the good. And yet, as for the men of our day, were one to suggest that they refrain for but a few days from one or two of the things which men consider to be pleasant, they would renounce philosophy, asserting that it would be silly, while seeking for the good which is unseen, to let go that which is seen.” (Library of History, 10.7.1-2). So even in the time of Diodorus Siculus, men refused to let go of the temporal pleasures of life in exchange for unseen reward.
In the opening verse of 2 Corinthians chapter 5, Paul once again makes an analogy in reference to the eternal spirit of man granted to the Adamic race:
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.
The Adamic man has an eternal spirit granted to him from Yahweh his God. For this reason the Christian must not fear death, but live for God in spite of the enemies of God. As Christ Himself had said, as it is recorded in Matthew chapter 10: “28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Only Yahweh our God has power over the body that counts: which is the Spirit of the Adamic man within each of the children of Israel.
Paul had said here that “Always we who live with death are delivered for the sake of Yahshua, in order that also the life of Yahshua may be manifest in our mortal flesh; consequently death operates in us, and life in you....” The life of Yahshua is manifest in our flesh when, seeing that Christ is an example, we lose all fear of death, we lose all concern for the rewards of this world, and seek to love and serve our brethren rather than ourselves.