The American Wisdom Series


Chapter 13

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:



Chapter 13

"The Present Epistle."

II Corinthians 13:1 "This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established."

This is the third time Paul's intensions were planned for his visit to Corinth. The second time planned for his going to Corinth fell through, but in his third attempt he did make it there.

II Corinthians 13:2 "I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present the second time; and being absent now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare:"

So Paul is reminding them that with this letter it is as if he were there the second time. What he was going to tell them on that second trip, he wrote to them in this letter instead. Thank God for now we have those words to guide us even today. Paul is letting them know that just because he has been away a long time, it doesn't mean that he will not correct them in their ways. I will chastise those that need chastisement, so this is a warning before I get there, get you act together and straighten out your lives.

II Corinthians 13:3 "Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, Which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you."

Paul is telling them that it is Christ that gives us our power when we are weak. How did Paul know where their weakness were? He is the one that planted the seed in Corinth. He is the one that straightened them out and established the church in Corinth in the first place, and he knew the people there.

II Corinthians 13:4 "For though He was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you."

Paul is reminding them that when they are at their weakest, then they are at their strongest, for their strength is Christ that is within them. We can do all things through Christ that strengthens us. It is at the time of our weakness when we have our most trouble. That is just the way it is, but our faith should be such, that during those times Christ will pick up where we simply can not do for ourselves. "Faith" is relying on those unseen forces that go before us clearing the path that we are to take. We walk by faith, not by sight and something you can see, but by the very promises that God has given us in His Word. However, there is a condition to this all, and that is "If you suffer these things for the sake of Christ."

When we are doing His work in our normal Christian lives. Remember what God said in II Corinthians 12:9 to Paul after he returned from the third heaven? "My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness."

At the crucifixion Christ defeated death, and though these flesh bodies will die and go to the grave, the inner man returns to the Father that gave it, and lives on in paradise. We will live by faith, and not by sight because we simply cannot see into that dimension from these flesh bodies. However we know that we have the victory in Him, because He will take care of us. In Christ's death He defeated Satan and this proof is recorded in Hebrews 2:14.

Hebrews 2:14 "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil."

This is the reason that Christ came to earth in the flesh, that by His death, Satan would be destroyed. Through the crucifixion Christ defeated death, which is to say the devil.

II Corinthians 13:5 "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"

We are to continually examine ourselves as to whether we are in the faith. Prove that you belong to Jesus Christ through your lives, and then know for sure that you are Christ's. "Reprobates" means that you have slipped back and are playing church. When you pretend to be something that you are not, you become a reprobate.

If you are of Christ, then He will give you power over all your enemies, as Jesus promised in Luke 10:17-19.

Luke 10:17 "And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, "Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Thy name."

Luke 10:18 "And He said unto them, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven."

Luke 10:19 "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you."

Satan's little serpents are his children the Kenites, offspring from Cain even to our generation. The scorpions are the fallen angels that we read of in Revelation 9:1-10, that are given the power to sting but not kill those that are living in the final generation. These evil angel, or spirits will come to earth with Satan at the sixth trumpet, however their spirits are here today. God has given us the power over them, to order them out of our lives here and now; Our authority to do so is the power we have in the name of Jesus Christ. God is within us to see that we will have that victory. "WE HAVE POWER OVER ALL OF OUR ENEMIES."

II Corinthians 13:6 "But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates."

Paul is telling them, don't play at being a Christians. You either have the faith or you do not. To play at being a Christian when you are not makes you a reprobate. You either believe or you do not, and why would you repent to anyone if you did not believe that you had sinned. If you cannot see your sinful nature, and know the sinful state that you are in, why would you repent to Jesus when you thought of him has nothing but flesh and blood man. So Paul is telling these Corinthians that they know when they are reprobates within themselves.

Ask yourself, do you believe that Jesus Christ was really the Son of God, made flesh in man through the virgin Mary? Do you believe that the whole purpose for His coming was to provide a way of salvation for sinners? Do you believe that the shed blood of Christ is all that is necessary to cover all the sins of everyone that would repent to the Father "in Jesus name"? Then when you repent you have the faith that the gilt of those sins were taken from you in the blood of Christ.

The point that Paul is making is that some of the Corinthians were claiming to be Christians and of the body of Christ, when they did not have the faith, nor did they believe that Jesus was the Christ. They saw that they could make money out of the Christian's willful and cheerful giving, and for the sake of the money, they called themselves Christians. These so called Christians are "reprobates". Some of these reprobates called themselves Christians because they were born into Christian families, yet their hearts and minds were as sinful as man can be. They just did not believe and you can tell who they are when you ask them of the things of God pertaining to salvation. They skirt the issue, and change the subject.

II Corinthians 13:7 "Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, thought we be as reprobates."

For a poor wretched human being to try to con God is the biggest joke that ever was. God knows your thoughts as you are thinking them, and only a fool thinks that he can hide from God. God knows your sincerity when you pray to Him and ask Him for forgiveness, and when we pray to God, our authority to approach the throne of our heavenly Father is "Jesus name". For when we say, "in Jesus name", we are telling God that we believe that Jesus blood and death was the sacrifice for our sins and we accept it for ourselves. Remember that Jesus is the only Way, the truth, and the Life whereby men can be saved.

When you stand before the Father on judgment day, there will only be you answering for the choices that you made in this life. Our Father loves you and cares for you. Now it is you that must examine your life to see if there be any wrong and sin, however then it will be God our Father does the examining, and your most inner thoughts will be known to Him. It is not time to go on a gilt trip, for we all sins and fall short, and when we do, that is the time to repent to the Father of those things and get right with Him. Our Heavenly Father is concerned with whether you love Him or not. He desires that you are true to Him, and that there is no doubt in your mind of those promises that He has given in His Word.

Paul knew where he stood before the Lord and where Titus, Timothy and Luke stood in their testimony before our Father. There was no doubt in either of their minds that Jesus was the Son of God, and there was no one that could doubt that Paul was, and consider him to be a reprobate.

So Paul is telling these Corinthians that we have given you such a beautiful truth, and I would hope that you would have accepted that truth in the manner that we gave it to you. I hoped that by now you would believe it, stand with it, and received the blessings of God; even if we were reprobates. It is a beautiful thought, and the truth of God's Word, His salvation and God's love is so obvious that it doesn't matter what we are. .

II Corinthians 13:8 "For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth."

Paul is saying that even if we failed the test, I would hope that you would still maintain the truth.

II Corinthians 13:9 "For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection."

The strength and perfection referred to here is in their character. Paul knew that they would not be perfect, because he wasn't. Paul was concerned though that they would mature in the Word, and the strength of their maturity would allow them to stand against any evil force and false doctrine that came their way. You mature as you study God's Word, and the maturity that you have brings blessings not only to you but to those around you.

II Corinthians 13:10 "Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction. "

Paul is reminding them that he has to be sharp at times and said things that he would rather not say, but his speaking out was for the building up of their faith, and not to destroy them in any manner. But, it is to bring about your salvation within yourselves, and cause you to examine yourself. When anyone speaks with the boldness that God gives, you can sense the love that this person has for the one he is speaking to. The concern is that the person being corrected receive eternal life. The destruction being talked about here is not for the death of your flesh, but that your soul be not lost in the lake of fire. That is the purpose of anyone doing the Lord's work.

II Corinthians 13:11 "Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you."

Paul is urging us in this final salutation that we should grow up in the Word, and mature, and find comfort of it. Then we can live in peace and the love of God and His peace will be with us each day of our lives. When you are of one mind, then you are teaching God's Word as it should, chapter by chapter, and verse by verse, and rightly dividing the truths within those Words, and it will give you peace.

II Corinthians 13:12 "Greet one another with an holy kiss.

II Corinthians 13:13 "All the saints salute you."

II Corinthians 13:14 "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen."

This completes the second letter or epistle of Paul's to the Corinthians. In this letter Paul has given us many warnings, including how it shall be in the end times. We noticed that Paul gave us an enormous amount of his time to alerting us of the false apostles and false teachers, and in those warnings he was not defending himself. He did not have to, but he was using this to warn us of the difference between the true Christ, and the false Christ that would be coming in the end times. Paul even pointed out in the eleventh chapter how that Satan, as well as his ministers would come disguised, not transformed as many are mistranslating, into an angel of light.


To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.

The "American Wisdom Series"


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