The American Wisdom Series


1 Corinthians
Chapter 4

Caution to students of God's Word - Please remember two things when using our studies: #1. Our commentary is not God's Word. It is only our interpretation or understanding of "His Word" and even though we try our best to be accurate we may or may not be correct. #2. The King James translation, or any other translation, of the original Hebrew text has some words which were given different translations at different places probably because of the interpreters preconceived ideas of what they think God meant to say. For example: According to the notes in the "Dake's Annotated Reference Bible" the Hebrew word hayah in the KJV is Trans. (became) 67 times, (becamest or came to pass) 505 times, (become) 66 times, and (come to pass) 131 times, but for some reason in Genesis 1:2 it is translated (was)! That sure changes the way a person perceives the original creation of the earth, doesn't it?  Gen. 1:2 And the earth was (became) without form, ... Having said that, let us continue with our "Key Knowledge" lessons. These are pamphlets containing knowledge, we believe, you must have to fully and accurately unlock and understand the Word of God.

John 15:26
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

John 16:13-14
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

This Bible Study was originally written by Roger Christopherson,
 published at 

 and now edited by people at The American Wisdom Series  

Without the leading by the Holy Spirit, there is no understanding of the truths, for all the truth of the Scriptures are revealed to us by God's Spirit.

 Now here is our revised study of:

1 Corinthians

Chapter 4

"Application, Illustrations."
"Denominations and Divisions."

Because of our Heavenly Father loves us, He will correct us when we need correcting. When we are corrected by Him, that is the time to thank Him for setting our minds straight. Our Father's Word should be the center of our studies and not the traditions of men. Jesus Christ is the Rock of our foundation that we are to build our lives on, and it is through Him that we are conquerors of the things of life that seem insurmountable. Our foremost effort is to please our heavenly Father. When you please Him, it doesn't matter whether you please man or not, however in most cases you will.

I Corinthians 4:1 "Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God."

Paul is saying that when others look at you and me, and see our works and deeds, let them think of us as ministers of Christ. Look at us as the people that will bring you the mysteries of God, as ones bringing you Christ's teaching. There is only one Christ; there was only one Paul; and there was only one Apollos. Paul is saying, get this denominationalism thing out of your mind, and those things that would split the body of Christ. This is not saying get out of the churches, but get out of those things that separate you from receiving the whole Word of God. Sheep will come to the place where they can be fed, and when you feed the spiritual food from all of the Word of God, The sheep of our Lord will be there to feed.

If a church has members that have been there for many years and all they are receiving is the milk of the Word, then you have a dead church. To be stewards of the mysteries of God requires that you go to the depths of His Word. Paul taught many of those mysteries of God, and Peter spoke of those mysteries that Paul taught, reminded us even the learned in the Word wrestled with those mysteries, where as the unlearned in the Scriptures these mysteries are to their destruction.

II Peter 3:15 "And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given unto him, hath written unto you."

II Peter 3:16 "As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction."

Many of these mysteries were hidden before the foundation of this earth age, such as the choosing of God's elect. There are secret truths that most Christians just don't understand. Paul has revealed those things to them that love the Lord enough to search for those truths. We will see some very important mysteries that are hidden to most of the Christians before we end this book of I Corinthians.

There is only one God, One Father and One Son of God who is Jesus Christ, and they are One. When Jesus said in John 10:30; "I and My Father are One."; the Jews picked up their stones again to stone him for those words. The mystery of the "key of David" is the understanding of who the Kenites are. The Kenites are those stones that are worn smooth over a long period of time, a mystery to the religious leaders of most churches today. These Kenites have entered into their denominations and have planted the seeds of their lies that will lead God's sheep right to their father Satan.

Note: Just as you and your angel in heaven are one! Your soul was created by God prior to the 1st earth age where you had a celestial body, and you are in a flesh and blood body during this 2nd earth age  where god has  provided a way for you  to salvage your sinning soul.

So Paul is telling us that if we are to be ministers of Christ, we are to learn to be wise stewards of the mysteries of God. Learn those mysteries and don't let the pettiness of any denomination keep you from understanding the entire Word of God.

I Corinthians 4:2 "Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful."

To be "faithful" is to be "trustworthy", and sure and reliable to where others can count on you to be fair in all matters. When you are a faithful steward you are committed to God in your labor. Your faithfulness is to Christ and His teachings and the use of those gifts that each of us has received. Don't allow another man to do do your thinking for you, for that is getting into a cult.

Anytime someone teaches you to think for yourself it is not a cult. This is why we must look out for any denomination that requires us to rely upon them. When they spoon feed the Word of God with highly selective teachings, they become a cult. Don't let your pastor do your thinking for you. Check out what He says,  and learn to carry the words back into the languages that they are written in.

I Corinthians 4:3 "But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self."

Paul is saying that he is not concerned with any man that may judge him, but it is God's judgment day that he is concerned with. That is where we are judged as to whether we are good stewards, and trustworthy in the eyes of God. Our concern should be to build up all of the members of the body of Christ where we can make a difference. Don't let some man judge you.

I Corinthians 4:4 "For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but He that judgeth me is the Lord."

The only one that we should seek to please, is the Lord. He is the only one that can make you justified through repentance, and he is the only one that matters when it comes to the condition of your soul. We should follow the ways of Christ's teachings in the Word of God, and if that pleases man then that is fine, and if it doesn't then that is also fine.

I Corinthians 4:5 "Therefore judge nothing before the time until the Lord come, Who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God."

"Therefore criticize nothing," don't you be the judge of another man's ways, but let the Lord do the judging at His coming. Many of those things that are hidden from the minds of men, that men consider of the light, are of darkness. Truths are hidden from those Christians that have not gone beyond the milk of the Word. God reads the very thoughts of your mind as you think those things, and he know the counsels or intents of your mind. He knows why you do what you do, and you may fool all of the people, but you will not fool God. Judgment is coming at the close of this earth age, and that is when every man will have praise of God [Jesus Christ]. Every knee will bow and worship Him on that first day of the Millennium age.

Romans 14:11 "For it is written, "As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.."

Paul quoted this from the book of Isaiah in Isaiah 45:23.

Isaiah 45:22 "Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else."

This was written to our generation, to all those that are living at the end of this earth age of the flesh. That generation started when the Jews reestablished their tiny nation of what they call "Israel". They are not of the House of Israel, but, in part, the House of Judah, and Jesus marked their return as the time when those that would be born in the generation after that date would see all of the events of end time prophecy.

Live Link to-[the parable of the fig tree]

Isaiah 45:23 "I have sworn by Myself, the word is gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear."

At the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet every knee shall bow to Christ.

Romans 14:12 "So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God."

Romans 14:13 "Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way."

This shall happen because God is completely fair in all of His judgment of men and women and to their works and deeds.

I Corinthians 4:6 "And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sake, that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another."

Paul is saying that he has used Apollos and himself as examples here, but in a way what I am saying applies to all ministers and teachers of God's Word. Paul is telling us not to think of the man that is doing the speaking, but it is the gift of the Spirit of God that is instructing your mind. Don't let any strife come between you because of the teaching that one man gives over another. All teachers of God's Word are equal in the eyes of God, and any gift that any teacher has comes directly from God, so don't allow a division to be built up over the limitations of one minister to another. There is no gender with regards to what is said here.

I Corinthians 4:7 "For who maketh thee to differ from another? And what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

What gift is there that you have that you did not receive from God above? In other words, if you honestly got it from the Father, and received it from His Spirit, then why are you strutting around and praising yourself as if it was your victory? If God gives someone the power within their prayer life, to reach out and touch someone in Jesus name and heal some one, that is Jesus doing the healing through, not the person. There is no glory in the person with the gift of healing but Christ gets all the glory for that ministry.

If you have the gift of understanding of the Word of God, then God has given you the ability to make sense out of the mysteries of His Word. When you as a teacher go to others, it is the Spirit of God within you that is forming the words in that your mind. That the same Holy Spirit will in turn open the mind of the listener to receive it with understanding. The gift is of God and the glory for the use of it is also to the glory of God.

When you see a teacher or person taking all the glory of any gift that God has given them, mark them well for they are not of God. There is no gift that any person has, that is not from God; and no person can take any credit for a gift that God has placed with them. That gift is a responsibility of that person to God, and each of us will be held accountable for how we used that gift on judgment day. Paul is speaking in irony here, and he is asking the question; What are you praising any man for?

I Corinthians 4::8 "Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you."

Paul is telling them here that they are claiming now to be little christs, little gods. You are claiming that you have given yourselves the gifts and you are the one reigning over the judgment of men. You are acting as if Jesus Christ has returned and you are reigning with Him over all the earth, when He hasn't come yet.

I Corinthians 4:9 "For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men."

What Paul is saying here in ridicule is that God had saved the apostles and teachers and ministers to be last. We are to be ridiculed by everybody, and made a spectacle to all men of this world age of the flesh. We are made as a theater, whereby people are sitting in the balconies and watching down on us performing for God. God has set us aside to be made fun of by both men and the angels. Remember that Paul is still talking in irony in this verse.

Paul is telling these Corinthians that this is the way that they all act. They cause the men of the world to look at God's ministers and make fun of us through your actions. They look at us as though we are a comedy act on a stage, because of all your boasting of your glory, when in fact you have none. This is how the non-believer gets the wrong information of Christianity, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

I Corinthians 4:10 "We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised."

Because of the Christian's way of life, and the doctrines that we hold to be true, the world thinks of us as fools. When you teach and study the Word of God chapter after chapter and verse upon verse, even many within the church world think of us as fools. The modern way of doing things today is to look only at the positive side and forget the negative; However the negative side of God's Word is important also. It is through the negative side, the Kenites, and the crucifixion of Christ that we even have salvation today. This is why it is important to learn of all of the deep truths of God's Word.

We are wise in Christ, and thought we are weak, we are strong for our strength is in Christ. The honor of this world age is not the same honor that is important before the throne of God. If this world honors you, it is time to take account of your actions, for this world does not give any honor to God's ways, and those that teach the real Word of God. The irony in the tone of Paul's words stops right here.

I Corinthians 4:11 "Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace;"

Paul is reminding the Corinthians that even right now, as we teach the Word, we still hunger for food, and drink like other men, and we are not as well dressed as others. We constantly are rebuked by others for what we teach, and there is no place that we can call home.

I Corinthians 4:12 "And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:"

Paul is reminding these Corinthians that when he comes to them, he will not have a begging bag, but he will earn his own way with his hands. Paul was a tent maker, and when he arrived in a community he sought employment in that field. We are reminded of this in Acts 18:1-3

Acts 18:1, 2 "After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them."

Acts 18:3 "And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought for by their occupation they were tentmakers."

I Corinthians 4:13 "Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day."

Paul is now lowering the boom on the Corinthians as how they are to act when the world around makes fun of them. When we are cursed, we bless them for the cursing us, and when they do evil worldly deeds to us like laugh and scorn us, we forgive them for their evil done to us. When Paul was defamed for the sake of Christ, he learned to take the cursing. When we are made the garbage of this world age, we take it for the name and sake of Christ. This is exactly what the world thinks of Christians and those that seek to do it God's way. Nothing but scorn, the butt of jokes, and the garbage of the society. You see it on the TV news, and shows, you hear it from all areas of society. Paul is saying that if you try to make your own way, claim your own glory for those things that God has given to you, you can expect this. The world will take the very words that you say and turn them against you.

Remember that that is exactly how Jesus said it would be if you take up His cross and follow Him. Mark 13:13; "And ye shall be hated of all men for My name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."

Editors note: That means, don't be worshiping Satan when he comes claiming he is Christ.  Learn to tell the difference between what is holy and what is profane!

I Corinthians 4:14 "I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you."

Paul was calling these Corinthian men his sons because it was Paul that first brought the message of Christ to their community. He was warning them of what will happen to them if they continue in their petty bickering, their division of breaking down into clicks. Paul was disappointed with what he saw going on within that church. We are out here being persecuted for teaching the real truth, while you are sitting there playing church and carrying on and making division like the world does. That is the way people play Satan's games, and the world gives them credibility because they identify with those things. When you follow the teachings of Christ, you go against their system and this brings the ridicule on you by them.

So even if you attend a so-called respectable church of this world, don't forget that Jesus Christ is your foundation. No matter where you attend, you had better let our Heavenly Father know that you love Him, and His Word had better be first place in your mind, rather than some traditions.

I Corinthians 4:15 "For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel."

You may have many teachers of the Gospel of Christ, but you have only one founder of your church, and I am it. I told you the truth in the beginning when I established your church, and listen to that gospel that I gave you then. It hasn't changed.

I Corinthians 4:16 "Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me:"

Paul is stating, be an imitator of my actions. The whole point to all of what is said in these first four chapters is; there is only one Christ; He is that foundation, and your works are going to be tested for their real value. Don't get into divisions with the body of Christ, but stay focused on Jesus Christ, and when you do that God will give you the increase. This has been Paul's teaching to this point.

I Corinthians 4:17 "For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church."

Paul is going to send Timothy to them, to remind them of the instructions Paul gave them, which are the ways of Christ. What Timothy teaches you, is exactly as I am teaching to every church that I go to. There is not one teaching for the Ephesians and another for the Romans, and still another for the Corinthians. The Word of God is the same for all mankind where ever they are, in all generations. The reason for this, of course, is that there is only one Christ, one Salvation, and one Way and Christ is that Way unto salvation. That Way includes the entire Word of God from Genesis to Revelation. Paul preached from the Old Testament, it was a foundation for the New Testament of which he writes a good portion of,, with the Holy Spirit's guidance.

John 14:6 "Jesus said unto him; I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me."

I Corinthians 4:18 "Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you."

Paul is telling them that some of you think that you are better then every one else, and you don't think I will come back to you. Those people thought that Paul was afraid to come and face them himself, and that is why he is going to send Timothy in his place.

I Corinthians 4:19 "But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power."

Paul is telling this to those that would question his words and authority, that give lip service as to how great Christians they are. When I will come, I will look at what works you have done. I will come with the power of Almighty God, and with the presence of the Holy Spirit. That power cuts deep into revealing the values and intent of their works and deeds.

I Corinthians 4:20 "For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power."

The true power of God is not in the words of what you claim to be, but in the deeds that you do in the name of Christ. Those deeds demonstrate whether the power of God's Holy Spirit is with you. That power can be seen in the deeds that are done, and the correction that the Spirit of God has given, and that is what documents as to whether the power of God is with you.

I Corinthians 4:21 "What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?"

Paul is asking, What will it be? It is up to you how I come unto you, shall I come with a rod to chastise you, or in the spirit of love and meekness? I can come and bring wrath down upon all of you with the power of God, or I can come in love. If you tend to what needs correcting, and get a handle on those things and straighten them out, it will be a time of seeing the power of God in our midst.

With this question asked, Paul now goes into a great lesson in this next chapter as to how to straighten out a group that has drifted from off the path of Christ.


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 "The Two Sowers of Seed", both the Good (Adam's sons) and the Tares (Satan's sons) in one Combined  Pamphlet #7000/7007  (Jesus Christ told His disciples (which means you if you are one) that unless they understood the "Parable of the Sower" they would not be able to understand any of His parables.) You can't understand "The Parable of the Tares" until you understand "The Parable of the Sower" and you will be lost comprehending "The Parable of the Fig Tree" until you know who both sowers were and their deeds.
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Jesus said Learn it! Mark 13:28 Now learn a parable of the fig tree;...'

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