Paul's Committed Ministry

 

One of the New Testaments most important teachings begins in the book of Corinthians, written from Ephesus by the Apostle Paul sometime between 53 - 57 A.D. Paul, who started as one of Christianity's most zealous enemies, was hand-picked by Jesus Christ to become the gospel's most ardent messenger. His message was that Christ is the church and Christ only deserves the credit. Paul preached (as Christ did), against denominationalism. He taught Christ Crucified, and that everything in the Word is of Christ, not of man. Paul addresses the issue regarding challenges to his apostleship and defends the issue by claiming that it was given to him through a revelation from Christ. The salutation (the first section of the letter), reinforces the legitimacy of Paul's apostolic claim. Paul was appointed by God: (2 Timothy 1:11). Paul preached to the Gentiles, the Kings, and the children of Israel. (Acts 9:15-16). Peter gives Paul solid credentials: (2 Peter 3:15). Paul founded the church in Corinth: (Acts 18:1-17), then spent approximately three years in Ephesus. (Acts 19:8, 19:10, 20:31).


Church In Corinth founded by Paul

1 Corinthians 2 (The Mystery)

1Co 2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. Paul is saying that he never used fancy speech and big words to impress the people. He didn't use mans wisdom to tell about god's secret plan. Paul taught straight forward with simple speech and common sense. Gods Word is for the humble and common people, the ones like Jesus kept in touch with.

1Co 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. Paul taught Jesus crucified and left out all the nonsense that causes division among the churches. Most churches today are on the right track professing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and preaching Christ crucified. However, it seams that most church denominations want to keep themselves separate from one another in fear of losing members of the congregation. i.e. they lose their income.

1Co 2:3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. I came to you humble and as a frail man.

1Co 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: Teaching plain and with the power of the Holy Spirit. Not with the wisdom and words of man. (Romans 16:18, 1 Corinthians 2:13, Colossians 2:4).

1Co 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. I did this so you would not trust in man; trust in God and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. It is true that we all want to be there for the people as teachers of the Word. However, the truth is that we have very little to offer. "Teach people to trust in Jesus, not in you."

1Co 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: When Paul taught the mature believers the meat of the Word, it was not his wisdom, or the wisdom of the world. Paul taught God's wisdom through the Holy Spirit. (Hebrews 5:14).

1Co 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: We speak of the wisdom of the mystery of God. His plan that was previously hidden from the beginning of the world. (Matthew 13:35, Romans 16:25-26, Ephesians 3:4-9, 2 Timothy 1:9). The word "mystery," used here in the Greek Strong's Concordance #3466 is "Muo," a secret or mystery).

1Co 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. Who are the rulers of this world that should have known the mystery? The worldly wise, the unbelievers, along with Satan.

1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. No man has seen, heard, or even imagined what God has ready for those who love Him. (Isaiah 64:4-8, 1 Peter 1:12, James 2:5).

1Co 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. "God reveals His deep secrets to us through the Holy Spirit.” (Amos 3:7, Matthew 13:11, 1 John 2:20). However, you need to search the scriptures for yourself with the help of the Spirit.

1Co 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. No one can know the thoughts of man except God. (Proverbs 20:27, Jeremiah 17:9). No one can know the thoughts of God except the Holy Spirit. (Romans 11:33-34). "Only the Holy Spirit can reveal the true thoughts of God." (1 Corinthians 2:10).  

1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. The gift of the Holy Spirit is the most important gift you could ever have. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can know the wonderful things God has "freely" given us. (Romans 8:32). Since God gave His only begotten Son for us all, as believers and His children, don't you think He will give us everything else? 

1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. Man has nothing to offer you when it comes to Spirituality. Spiritual truth comes from the Holy Spirit through the study of Gods Word. (Mans word is just nonsense).

1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. People who do not have the Holy Spirit within (the flesh man), cannot receive the truths of Gods Word. "It is just foolishness to them." Only those who have the Spirit of God within can understand Gods truths. (Matthew 13:11-17, John 10:26-27, 14:26, 1 John 5:20). (Mans understanding is just foolishness).

1Co 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. Discern all things, but judge no man. (1 John 4:1). Don't believe everything you hear just because someone says it is a message from God. There are a lot of false prophets and teachers in the world. Be familiar with God's Word and you will not be deceived. Remember that all wisdom comes from God. (Proverbs 1:7). (Mans wisdom is worthless).

1Co 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. Who can know the thoughts of the Lord? (Isaiah 40:13-14, Romans 11:34). However, when you have the "Holy Spirit," you can have the thoughts of Christ through His Word. (John 15:15, 16:13-16). "That is true wisdom."

1 Corinthians 9 (The Gospel Committed to Paul)

1Co 9:1 Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord? Paul kind of insuring his credentials. Paul was a sent one and free born. (Galatians 5:1). Paul tells them that he has seen the Lord and has brought them the truth of the Word. (Titus 1:1-3).

1Co 9:2 If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord. Even if others think I am not an apostle, I certainly am to you. My credentials are shown in my work. (2 Corinthians 12:12). Your calling comes from God to teach His word, not from some man or seminary. (Seminary teachings barely get you a sixth grade education in the word).

1Co 9:3 Mine answer to them that do examine me is this, This is my answer to those who question my authority.

1Co 9:4 Have we not power to eat and to drink? Don't we have the power to live in our homes and share our meals?

1Co 9:5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? Don't we have the right to bring a Christian wife with us as the other apostles and as Cephas? (Surname of Peter). Yes, Peter had a wife. (Matthew 8:14). Jesus healed Peters mother-in-law. (Do you think those who claim that Peter was the first pope will mind that he was married)?

1Co 9:6 Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working? Barnabas and I work to support our own way. (1 Thessalonians 2:9). "Were not beggars." (Just as The Good News Ministry is totally self suppored; we pay our own way and God always provides). 

1Co 9:7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? i.e. You do have the right to be paid as a pastor, or teacher of the Word. (I find that learning and sharing the truth in the Word is reward enough).

1Co 9:8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? Paul is saying that this is his human opinion. However, the law says the same thing. 

1Co 9:9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? It is written. (Deuteronomy 25:4, 1 Timothy 5:18).

1Co 9:10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. Speaking of humans also. A hard working farmer benefits from the harvest.

1Co 9:11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? We have planted spiritual seed among you, so aren't we entitled to a harvest of at least food and drink? 

1Co 9:12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. Even though others were paid, Paul never took a salary for teaching the Word. "Paul was full of zeal and just liked teaching the Word." (His reward will be greater in the eternity).

1Co 9:13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? The priests always took their part of the sacrifice. It was their right to partake.

1Co 9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. In the same way, those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it. However, the important part is that you feed the people the truth. You can be more truthful with the people when you are not depending on their money. This way you do not need to feed them what they want to hear just to keep them in the congregation as many churches do.

1Co 9:15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void. I haven’t practiced any of these things. I do what I do because I believe in what I do. (Christianity was a reality to Paul, not someone who just goes through the motions). He conversed with the Lord and shared his teachings without any payment. "Not something most priests, or pastors can boast about."

1Co 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! Yet preaching the Good News is something I cannot boast about. Paul was compelled by God to do it. (It was necessary to Paul to teach, and he taught on many levels so all could understand).

1Co 9:17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. Paul is saying that if he was doing this on his own, he would deserve payment, but God has given him this work to do. (Dispensation used here in the Strong’s Concordance is Greek #3622 Oikonomia,” meaning stewardship or, administration). A sacred trust or special privilege to teach the Word without payment.

1Co 9:18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. Paul's reward was his teaching people the Word. (Makes you feel good when someone comes to Christ and accepts the truth). I know it makes me feel good everyday when I study and teach the Word, and that is plenty of payment for me.

1Co 9:19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. Paul didn't need to answer to any man or denomination. However, he considered himself a slave to the people to bring many to Christ. It is a good feeling not to be under bondage of a denomination, or organization when teaching God's Word. (The only way you can teach truth).

1Co 9:20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; When Paul taught the Jews he followed the Jewish law, even though he was not subject to that law. Paul was led by the Spirit. (Galatians 5:18). However, the law is good and keeps us on our toes. (Romans 6:14-15). Sin should no longer be your master because you are no longer under the requirements of the law. You are free from bondage and you can live under the freedom of God's grace. (John 1:17). Does this mean because God's grace has set us free from the law that we can go on sinning and ignore the law? Not at all. "We are still under the law of the Ten Commandments." Break one of these commandments and see what it brings you. Lets take a couple of examples. If you steel something from a store and get caught, you will be prosecuted. Commit murder and chances are you will end up in jail for a long time, or may receive the death penalty. You get the picture. "Christ did not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill the law." (Mathew 5:17).

1Co 9:21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. When with the Gentiles who did not follow the Jewish law, Paul spoke using natural teachings to explain the law. (Romans 2:14). Even those who do not have the written law, show that they know Gods law when they obey it.

1Co 9:22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. When Paul was with those who are weak, he would share their weakness. Paul was there before and knew how they felt. Paul's heart was to communicate with those who were lost. (Learn to bring yourself to the level of the person you are talking to). This goes for life itself when you want to communicate with others.

1Co 9:23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you. Spread the Good News and share in it's blessings.  

1Co 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. Do your best when teaching the Word. Make it interesting with your individual touch, but keep it true to the teachings of Christ. (Then you would have run the race to win).

1Co 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. The difference in the race we run is that athletes are disciplined in training to win a prize that will fade away. (Forget the trophy's, they mean nothing). We are disciplined in the Word and run the race for the crown of eternal life. (2 Timothy 4:8, 1 Peter 5:4, Revelation 2:10). "Eternal life is the real prize."

1Co 9:26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: Paul is saying that he runs with purpose in every step. (He is not just shadow boxing).

1Co 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. Paul disciplined himself like an athlete to do what he should. Research and know about what you are teaching like Paul. Then you know that the people are getting the whole truth and nothing but the truth. (2 Peter 1:10). Work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen, and you will not fail.

1 Corinthians 15 (The resurrection and changing to our Spirit bodies)

1Co 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; Paul preached the good news to these people before and they received and stand firm in it. "Always stand for truth in the Word." (Romans 5:2).

1Co 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. Paul is referring to the substance of his teaching based on the facts of the Lord's death and resurrection. Some of the false teachers of Corinth challenged his teachings. (You will always find those against you when you teach the truth).

1Co 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; Paul's message was that Christ died for our sins as it is written. (Psalms 22:15, John 19:30).

1Co 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: Buried and raised from the dead (defeating death), just as the scriptures said. (Psalm 16:10, Isaiah 53:10-12, Jonah 1:17, Hosea 6:2, Matthew 12:39, Luke 11:29).  

1Co 15:5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: Cephas (surname of Peter). Witnessed by all twelve of the apostles.

1Co 15:6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. Seen by many of His followers at one time. (Some still alive at the time and some passed on). 

1Co 15:7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. James (half brother to Jesus. (Galatians 1:19). Believed by many scholars to be head of the church in Jerusalem. "James seen Jesus in His transfigured body." (After that all the apostles seen Him).

1Co 15:8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. Paul is saying that he didn’t see him at the time He was with them, but when he was struck down on the road to Damascus, he had seen Him. (Acts 9:3-5).  

1Co 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. Paul saying he felt the least of the apostles because of what he have done to other Christians. (Remember that Paul, as a Roman soldier, persecuted the early Christian church). (Acts 8:3, 22:4-5, Galatians 1:13).

1Co 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Paul worked harder that any other apostle, but would still not take credit that he wrote most of the new testament. (He knew that it was God working through him). 

1Co 15:11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed. We all preach the same message of the "Good News" you have already believed. "Preaching Christ crucified." (1 Corinthians 2:2, 15:3-4).

1Co 15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? If Christ rose from the dead, why would you teach that people are still dead in the grave. (When you die, your soul and spirit returns to the Father form which it came). Remember, you have a physical body (your flesh), you have a soul (which is yourself, as a unique person), then you have your spirit (the intellect of the soul, or your thought process). "Body, Soul, and Spirit." (Not mind, body, and spirit, like many may tell you).

1Co 15:13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. "You can't have it both ways."

1Co 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. If we say there is no resurrection, then our preaching is useless.

1Co 15:15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. If you say that there is no resurrection, you are saying that Christ did not rise and that we are just liars. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17). Those who die, return to the Father in spirit from which they came. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14). Those who are alive when Christ returns at the second advent, will gather back to Him in their spirit bodies. (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17). (This is not a rapture of the church). Christ returns at the seventh trump right here on earth. No need to fly away like many want you to believe.

1Co 15:16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised.   

1Co 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. If you believe that Christ has not been raised, then your faith in unless, and you are still guilty of your sins. 

1Co 15:18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. Not only is your faith useless, but all who have died believing in Christ are lost. (Gone forever)!

1Co 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. If all our hope is only for this life and not eternal life, than we are worse off than anyone else in this world.  

1Co 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. Jesus Christ paved the way to eternal life for us all. (Acts 26:23, 1 Peter 1:3).

1Co 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. Death through man, resurrected life through Christ. (John 11:25, Romans 6:23). 

1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. Again, death through man, but all will rise for judgment through Christ. (The good, the bad, and the ugly).

1Co 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. The order of resurrection... Christ raised first, then all of us will be raised when He returns at the second advent. (At the seventh trump and not before). 

1Co 15:24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. At the end of the millennium. (The 1,000 year reign).

1Co 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. (Psalm 2:6-10, 110) will document this. (Christ will reign until He humbles all His enemies beneath His feet).

1Co 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. The enemy is Satan. (Hebrews 2:14). He held the power of death till Christ defeated death at the crucifixion. However, there is a second death for people who do not make it. Not only physical death, but the death of the soul. (Revelation 20:14). Remember, only God can kill the soul.

1Co 15:27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. i.e. Even though God has put all things under Christ's authority, God the Father will not be under authority to Jesus the Son.  

1Co 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. Once Jesus conquers all, God will be in full control.  

1Co 15:29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? This is a misunderstood scripture. What it is saying is... If you think Christ did not rise from the dead, why would you want to be baptized in a dead mans name. "You cannot be baptized for one who is lost or dead." However, you can be baptized in Jesus name. (Romans 6:3-4). "The one who lives."

1Co 15:30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? Why should we risk our lives hour by hour if there is no resurrection. "Many were tortured and put to death standing for the truth, especially during the reformation years." (Romans 8:36).

1Co 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. Paul is saying that he faces death daily, but he still rejoices.  

1Co 15:32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die. Paul is saying; why would I even do this if there was nothing to it. If there is no resurrection, lets just live for today and party on. (Acts 19:23-41).

1Co 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. Don't be deceived! (Matthew 24:4, 24:11, Galatians 6:6, Ephesians 5:6). "Bad company corrupts good character." (Proverbs 13:20). "Watch who you hang with."

1Co 15:34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame. Think about what is right (rightly dividing the Word), and stop sinning. Some of you don't even know God.

1Co 15:35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Some will ask, how will the body be raised? What kind of body will they have? (We have two bodies, a physical body, and a spiritual body). We will be raised in our spiritual body.

1Co 15:36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: Paul uses farming to illustrate his point. When you put seed into the ground, it doesn't grow unless it dies first. (John 12:24). The same goes for the physical body. It must first die before it can be raised into a spiritual body. 

1Co 15:37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: What you put in the ground is not the plant that will grow, but only a bare seed of what you are planting. i.e. Your physical body may be corrupt, but when you are raised into your spiritual body, you will be raised without corruption.

1Co 15:38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. God gives it the new body He wants it to have. Different plants grow from different seeds. (Genesis 1:11-12). The same goes for us. You will look the same in your spirit body as you do in your physical body. However, you will just be in a different dimension.

1Co 15:39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. Not all flesh is the same. Different kinds of flesh for humans, animals, birds, etc.

1Co 15:40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There are heavenly bodies (celestial), and earthly bodies (terrestrial), and the glory of the bodies are different.

1Co 15:41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. The sun, the moon, and the stars are all different from each other, just as we are. (You are unique in your own way, even though we have the same terrestrial bodies).

1Co 15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: An earthly body is sown in corruption and raised to incorruption. (Psalm 49:9). "The physical body dies and the spiritual body never dies."

1Co 15:43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: More difference between the earthly body and heavenly body. (Buried in brokenness and weakness, raised in glory and strength).

1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. Again, you have two bodies. (Natural and spiritual).

1Co 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. First man Adam "who sinned" (Romans 5:12-14). He became a living person. (Genesis 2:7). But, the second man Adam that is Christ is a "life giving" spirit from the beginning. (John 1:4, 5:21).

1Co 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The natural body comes first, the spiritual comes later. (Not the other way around).

1Co 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. Adam was made from dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7). Christ came from heaven. (John 3:12-13).

1Co 15:48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. Earthly is earthy and spirit is spirit. We need to work on the spirit within us and become more spiritual. (Let the spirit control the physical body, not the other way around). How do we accomplish this? "Exercise the spirit." The more you study and learn about God's Words, the stronger your spirit will become.

1Co 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Just as we are earthly, we will someday be heavenly. Just as we are now more like Adam in our physical bodies, in our spirit bodies, we will be more like Christ. (1 John 3:2). We can't imagine what it will be like later on, but we know that when Christ appears on the scene again, we will be like Him. Christ was 33 years old when He was crucified, and when He returns, He will be just as when He left. We will be like Him as a result of seeing Him as He really is.

1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. It is a different dimension. We would not survive God's presence in these physical bodies. You can’t enter the Kingdom of God with an earthly body. (It is a transition that takes place).

1Co 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, The secret Paul is revealing here is that; we may not all die and experience physical death, but we will all be transformed. (1 Corinthians 15:52).   

1Co 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. The last trump "the seventh trump." (Revelation 8:2). We will be raised to live forever in our spirit bodies. (Revelation 11:15).

1Co 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. Mortal is liable to die. We will be transformed into immortal. However, there is the second death. (Matthew 10:28, Revelation 20).

1Co 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. The flesh body will be transformed into the spirit body. "Then, death is swallowed up in victory." (Isaiah 25:8, Hebrews 2:14-15, Revelation 21:4).

1Co 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? Death doesn’t exist anymore, and the grave has no victory. (Hosea 13:14).

1Co 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. The law is good and lets you know when you are doing wrong. (Some of the ordinances were done away with, but the law still stands). "The ten commandments for example."

1Co 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank God we have Christ "the Anointed One," where we have victory over sin and death because of Him. (Romans 7:25).

1Co 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. Be strong and make a stand when you work for the Lord. (Hebrews 13:21, Revelation 14:13, 19:7-8). Your works in this life are the only thing you can take with you. (Let them be works the Lord loves).

1 Thessalonians 4 (Concerning the Spirit & gathering back to Christ)

The first letter to the Thessalonians was likely the second of all Paul's letters, probably written by the end of A.D. 52. It was written after Timothy had returned from Macedonia, relating the state of the church in Thessalonica (Acts 18:1-5, 1 Thessalonians 3:6). For the most part, the letter is personal in nature, with only the final two chapters spent addressing issues of doctrine, almost as an aside. Paul's main purpose in writing is to encourage and reassure the Christians there. Paul urges them to go on working quietly while waiting in hope for the return of Christ. This book addresses the second advent, and Paul gives us every sign of Christ's return.

 1Thess 4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. Live as closely to God's Word as possible. "Forget mans word; it will only get you in trouble."

 1Thess 4:2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. Speaking of the ten commandments of God.

 1Thess 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: Idolatry as well as adultery. Follow the ten commandments and Gods word; not idol teachings and traditions of men.

 1Thess 4:4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Sanctification is purification, or holiness. Paul would teach us that the flesh body always wars with the spirit. (Always strive for the spirit to rule). "This will set you aside from the rest of the world."

 1Thess 4:5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: To lust and desire for what is forbidden is what the heathens do. This only shows their ignorance of Gods Word. (The lust and practices of the world will never help you).

 1Thess 4:6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. What goes around comes around! Their are no unsolved mysteries with God; and He is the avenger.

 1Thess 4:7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. God wants us to be as pure and holy as possible; but man always comes up a little short of true holiness. (We are not perfect like God).

 1Thess 4:8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit. He who does not try and live by the Holy Spirit, but by evil spirits, hates God!

 1Thess 4:9 But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. The Thessalonians were doing just fine, and God was teaching them to love one another in Christ. (Good old brotherly love).

 1Thess 4:10 And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; Their brotherly love spread throughout the nation to all the Christian brothers and sisters and beyond.

 1Thess 4:11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; Live a quite life, minding your own business, and doing your own work.

 1Thess 4:12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing. Those who are not Christians will trust and respect you and you will not need to depend on others to make a living. If you have the truth and spread it around to help others, God will give you what you need to get by.

 1Thess 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. Paul is about to explain to them what happens to a Christian when they die, so when it happens, they would not be sorrowed. (This is a good thing to look forward to when we die).

 1Thess 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, we must believe that when a Christian dies, God will also bring them with Him. Upon death the body returns to the dust of the earth and the spirit goes back to the Heavenly Father who gave it. (Ecclesiastes 12:7). When we are absent from this flesh body, our soul (or self), and our spirit (intellect of the soul), is present with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:7-8). The flesh body is no more part of us when we die.

 1Thess 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. Those who are alive when the Lord returns will not prevent (or precede), those who are dead, because the dead are already there with the Lord. Read our study topic titled: "Where are the dead."

 1Thess 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: At the last trump (7th trump), the dead in Christ of course will rise first because they are already there.

 1Thess 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. As "gathered like a cloud" is used as a statement. "Like a cloud of locust" or "cloud of witnesses." (Hebrews 12:1). Now, what about the ones which are alive to meet the Lord in the air? We must go back to the original Greek to translate air which is (Aer = Breathe, Strong's 109 Greek Dictionary), prime from (Psucho = To Breathe, 5594) prime from (Psuche = Breath or Spirit, 5590) prime from (Pneuma = Spirit or Breath of Life, 4151). When Christ returns at the seventh trump, we will be changed into our spirit bodies to meet him. (This is not a rapture of the church as many believe). "This is a gathering back to Christ." Do not be deceived with false doctrine!

 18Wherefore comfort one another with these words. Comfort and encourage each other with this news. The words of truth; not a bunch of fables and traditions of men.

2 Thessalonians 2 (Return of Christ and Son of perdition)

The second epistle to the Thessalonians was probably written from Corinth Greece not many months after the first. Apparently the first letter was misunderstood, especially regarding the second advent of Christ. The Thessalonians had embraced the idea that Paul had taught that (the day of Christ was at hand), meant that Christ's second coming was about to occur. This error is corrected in (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12), and the apostle Paul announces what first must take place before the end times. The "Great Apostasy" is first mentioned here.

 2Thess 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him. We are talking here about the return of Jesus Christ at the second advent and our gathering back to Him.

 2Thess 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Don't get upset or excited by rumors that this day of the Lord has begun. If you hear of people of having visions and special messages from God about this, don't believe them. Remember that the falling away must take place first.

 2Thess 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition. Do not be deceived! Christ will not return until the "Great Apostasy." (Rebellion against God, fallen away of the church, or one who gives up their professed beliefs). And the "son of perdition," one of Satan's names, be revealed. "The false messiah." (Revelation 17:8). Again, there will be no return of Christ before this happens; and there will be no "rapture" to precede this event. "Do not be deceived by false doctrine!"

 2Thess 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. He (the false messiah), will defy God and will try to take the place of God, sitting in the temple of God in Mount Zion. (Isaiah 14:12-16).

 2Thess 2:5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? Don't you remember I went into much detail about these things.

 2Thess 2:6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. The son of perdition can only come at his time.

 2Thess 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. The work this man of rebellion, will do when he comes is already going on. "We are speaking of Satan here." That war in heaven is already taking place till Michael cast Satan out of heaven. (Revelation 12:7-9). The key word here is "letteth" (katecho), Greek Strong's 2722, meaning to hold, keep, or retain. Michael the ark angel is the one holding Satan in heaven until he casts him out.

 2Thess 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming. This wicked one will appear and only be allowed a short time to do his work; till the Lord consumes him with the "Holy Spirit" and destroys him with the brightness of the Lord's presence.

 2Thess 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders. We are speaking of one of Satan's roles as antichrist. He will trick everyone with strange demonstrations, great miracles, and lies, because he is the father of lies. (John 8:44).

 2Thess 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. He will completely fool those who refused the truth of the Word that they might be saved. "Those who follow Satan will perish." Once saved always saved? I don't think so.

 2Thess 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie. If you want to be ignorant of God's Word and follow lies, deception, and traditions of men; God will send you strong delusion to believe those lies. "He will close your eyes to the truth." (Isaiah 29:10). Look at how people are so comfortable with their teachings. "Comfortable with their spirit of slumber."

 2Thess 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. They will all be judged for believing falsehoods, refusing the truth, and enjoying their sins.

 2Thess 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. God chose you from the very first to give you salvation, cleansing you with the Holy Spirit and by your trusting in the truth of the Word.

 2Thess 2:14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. You were told the Good News and were called by God to share the Good News and share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 2Thess 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Keep a strong grip on the truth of God's Word, not man's word.

 2Thess 2:16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace. That eternal grace and life that the Heavenly Father gives us.

 2Thess 2:17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work. Comfort your hearts with all comfort, and help you in every good thing you say and do. "The Word and works." Are you working for God?

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