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.
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:
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
published at http://www.theseason.org/
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:Presents
2 CORINTHIANSChapter 3
"Character of Paul's
"Of the New Covenant [6-18]."
"Of the Old Covenant [7-16]."
God has given His gifts to man and when those gifts are used, it is God that gets the credits for the use of them. The gifts are given to bring the light of God's Holy Word to the hearts and minds of God's people, to cause a change in them for the glory of God. When man's traditions are taught it is man that seeks the credit for them, and in the end it will lead one to be deceived. This is why the true teacher of God's Word wants to receive no credit for himself because it is the Spirit of God that places the understanding of His Word in the teacher or minister's mind, and to God goes all the glory.
It is God that gives the gifts to an individual, and no man can take those gifts from a person once they are given by God, for God's gifts are given without repentance. Once God has given a gift, He is not going to change His mind and take the gift back. A man may fall all the way to the bottom, but that gift is still with him and that gift is beautiful. The reason that man cannot take credit for any gift, is a gift does not belong to man. It belongs to God for each of us are His helpers.
II Corinthians 3:1 "Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, of commendation from you?"
So now Paul is asking these Corinthians, Do we have to recommend ourselves all over? Do I need to give a recommendation from me to you when you yourselves are the proof of my work?
II Corinthians 3:2 "Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:"
You are our recommendation, all of you that read and believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Why is this? When a person studies under a teacher, that teacher should change the lives of those he is teaching. Your teacher should teach you to learn for yourself, to prepare you for receiving that hope which only God can give. Anytime you are joined to a group where by the pastor, elders or a board must do all your thinking for you, then your mind is being controlled, and you are in a wrong group. That is not a church, but a cult. Christ is not the head of that group, because the true teacher has his students as his credentials. For they learn to use the Word of God for themselves, and allow the Word of God to speak to them. Until you get to the point of being able to follow the Word back into the original languages, the Hebrew, Chaldee, and Greek within the numbered concordance; numbered to the Hebrew and Greek dictionaries, you need to listen more than you need to talk.
Proper use of a numbered concordance and language dictionaries teaches us that there is much more to our Father's Word then what might appear on the surface. The understanding of the idioms and figures of speech are required through our study to get out the exact meaning. It takes a little bit of wisdom to rightly divide the Word of God. "Rightly dividing" means to know who it is written to, what is being talked about, whether it is a parable or figure of speech, and to which time period it is written about. Is it history, prophecy, or a historical type of something that is to happen later? God is showing us through many stories within His Word what we can expect in our generation.
So Paul is saying, the teachers credentials are his students. My credentials are you Corinthian Christians. Paul had written them of their faults in the first letter, and they went back to the Old Testament and corrected themselves, and their ability to understand the Word of God and make those corrections should be the only credentials that I need. The reason that Paul is mentioning his credentials here is that some in that Church questioned Paul's abilities. So Paul is making it clear what made up his credentials.
Always think for yourselves, and learn to use the tools of study of God's Word. Paul was trying to get these Corinthians so they would not have to rely upon him, but their own ability to read and understand God's Word.
II Corinthians 3:3 "For as much as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone but in fleshy tables of the heart."
In other words, you are a living proof of God's letter by the way you live, speak and the way people act when they are around you. Do people come to you for advise and trust what you have to say? When someone has the Spirit of God, and understands the Word of God, people will seek out that one for advise. The ability to give Scriptural common sense answers to questions is a gift of God. Those answers are the evidence and proof that their is a gift from God. Then when this can be done within the entire group or church, the men on the outside know that this group is of God. The key again is the ability for each person to think for themselves on matters concerning God's Word; rightly dividing the truths from God's Word.
II Corinthians 3:4 "And such trust have we through Christ to Godward:"
We trust that God, through Christ's Spirit will send these gifts to manifest or show themselves within the many membered body of Christ. If a church is formed, and the members are in Christ, God will send them a teacher or give someone within their midst the gifts that are necessary to direct those members to God's ways [God ward]. You don't have to ask for those gifts, for it will be obvious that the gift or gifts are there. So what Paul is telling these Corinthians, don't look to me for God is the author of the epistle or letter that I sent. Look to Christ and to the Father for it is from the Holy Spirit that these gifts flow. Sure you can recognize your teacher, but don't loose sight that all gifts come from God ward, from Him through His Spirit.
II Corinthians 3:5 "Not that we are sufficient of our selves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;"
In other words it is not we that do what we do, but our sufficiency is from God. What ever is given us in understanding, is revealed to us through the Holy Spirit. Our abilities and our credentials to those abilities are made possible by the gifts that His Spirit has placed within us. What ever gifts that God places within you are never taken back, for it is up to you whether you desire to use those gifts for His glory, or for your own. That is why we must give God the credit for whatever we do, for it is not ours to claim. It is important that we know this within our own heart, no matter what your position is within our Lord's service in supporting the body of Christ.
If you have the ability to take that which is complicated from the Word of God and put it on a level to where the listener can understand it on their level, it is a gift of God. It may be to children or to the highly educated, however, it is important is that the listener understand on his or her level.
II Corinthians 3:6 "Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life."
The "New Testament" is the way of following Christ. It is not of the Old Testament ways, but by the Holy Spirit that gives us eternal life. The laws of the Old Testament were given to condemn man of their sins. You could not be saved by following it, but you were condemned by it because you could not keep it. In the New Testament, the Spirit of God quickeneth or brings you alive spiritually.
This old flesh body of ours messes up a lot, and when we do fall short of God's standards, by the Old Testament we are dead. The instructions given by the law for those that have committed many sins was the killing of an animal for a blood sacrifice, or to take that sinner out and stone him or her to death. The Old Testament was a letter of death in that respect, for we all mess up at times. When we sin under the law, the punishment was death. Does that mean that the Old letter was bad? Of course not. It is not the law that was bad, but the fact that man was a sinner. Flesh man is bad because he is under the influence of Satan.
It is because of man's nature, and his yielding to Satan that this New Letter, which is to say the Spirit, is necessary for us to come to Christ in repentance and be forgiven and become the child of the living God. When we are in Christ's Spirit, the Holy Spirit we have eternal life
II Corinthians 3:7 "But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:"
All of the glory that was present when God gave that Old Letter of the laws and commandments on Mount Sinai would later fade, but that glory would not go away. God forbid. But that glory of God was fulfilled in the New Testament. When Moses went up on mountain Sinai and the finger of God cut the letters in the stone tablets, the presence of God was before Moses in that burning bush. God's presence caused Moses' countenance to so shine that Moses had to put a cloth over him so that the Israelites could stand and look upon him.
If the presence of God touched Moses in that way, than how much more can the glory of the New Testament, which is Christ be to us today. The law brought judgment on man, while Christ brought freedom to the souls of those that would come under His shed blood on the cross. We do that when we by faith repent to the Father in Jesus name, for when we say "in Jesus name" we are acknowledging to the Father that we believe that Jesus was the only begotten Son of the Father, and that the price that Jesus paid on the cross is sufficient to cover our sins. So "in Jesus name" is our credentials to approach the very throne of God in repentance, to be released from each of our sins and set free from the gilt that sin hold over our heads. That is the freedom that we have in Christ; God removes those sins from our account in the heavenly books, and places our names in another book, the "Lamb's book of life". "Jesus Christ" is the sacrificial lamb who shed His sin free blood for many, and the "life" that is offered is the eternal life of your very soul.
II Corinthians 3:8 "How shall not the ministration of spirit be rather glorious?"
It is far more glorious having Christ in you, than just carrying the tablets of stone down off the mountain side. It is the taking of God within yourself.
II Corinthians 3:9 "For if the minstration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.?
If those stone tablets would cause Moses' face to shine, how much more does Christ's love within us cause us to shine. There is only one righteousness and that is the righteousness of Jesus Christ. He was the perfect one, and it is when we confess our sins in Jesus name, and in faith believe on Jesus' name that we take, or put on His righteousness. This is why we can say that "the righteousness of Christ exceedeth in glory." This is so because when you have Christ in you, He changes your life. It simply doesn't matter where you are, nor what you have done, but when you by faith receive Christ and His righteousness is in you, your life will be changed. Then God in a glorious way will change your mind and cause you to make the adjustments that you need. You then have become a child of God, instead of a slave to Satan.
II Corinthians 3:10 "For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth."
When we compare the Old Testament to the New Testament, the Old wasn't really that glorious.
II Corinthians 3:11 "For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious."
The Old Testament was given to offer a temporary way, but the New Testament is for ever, both are glorious and shall never end. The secret that many teachers miss is that they are both the same. The Old Testament was a promise of the coming of the New Testament, and that is what made it glorious. It was a promise of a coming Messiah, the Christ that would come with love and understanding and give us a glorious life. If you have God with you at troubled times, you are always going to be successful in those times. When God is with you, who can be against you?
II Corinthians 3:12 "Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:"
In that I know that you have this great hope, I can speak with great frankness to you concerning His Word and I can promise it to you. What I can give you is more than hope but an assurity of those promises that God has made in His Word.
II Corinthians 3:13 "And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:"
When Moses came down with the written tablets of stone hope in his arms it frightened the people, but in this new hope there is no need of a veil for the glory of Christ will shine through you. Let them see the presence of the Holy Spirit in you, for on that day that Christ died on the cross, the only veil that separated you from the Father was torn in two, and we now have access directly to the Father in Jesus name. Now any child of God no matter what race or kindred he or she is, can enter into the holy of holies and become a child of the Living God. Paul is speaking here of Exodus 34:33.
Exodus 34:32 "And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh: and he gave them in commandment all that the Lord had spoken with him in mount Sinai."
Exodus 34:33 "And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face."
Exodus 34:34 "But when Moses went in before the Lord to speak with Him, he took the vail off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded."
Exodus 34:35 "And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses' face shone: and Moses put the vail upon his face again, until he went in to speak with Him."
Anything that is hidden or covered is the seedbed of fear. Anytime something is unknown it causes you to be taken back, and that is human nature. So what Paul is saying in this verse, is that in Christ there are no unknown factors. When you read and accept the knowledge of the entire Word of God, all those fears of the unknown are gone. The wisdom of the Word of God has liberated us from the fear of the unknown of death and there after.
II Corinthians 3:14 "But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament; which vail is done away in Christ."
That veil is only taken away when you are in Christ. Unbelievers just do not have the eyes to see and the ears to hear with understanding when the veil is across their face.
II Corinthians 3:15 "But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart."
Even to this day, when the law of the Word of God is read their eyes are blind because of the covering of the veil over their eyes. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 23:1; "Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to His disciples, "
Matthew 23:2 "Saying, the scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:"
What Jesus is referring to here is that the law that God gave Moses was absolute, yea, yea, and nay, nay. There were no shades of the law as it was under the Kenite scribes and the Pharisees. The law of the Kenites were their traditions, and is present today as law by precedence. When one judge makes a ruling, then that ruling establishes the guidelines for how all other cases shall be ruled on, from that time forth. The law of God is absolute, and it is so much more peaceful to live under a law that is absolute, than the mess of shaded rulings and kickbacks and bribes that exists today. This is as it was under the Kenites of Jesus day that was referring to in verse two. The law of precedence means that you will be judged by man's reasoning and not by God's standards.
II Corinthians 3:16 "Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away."
The "veil" is what makes parts of the Word of God hid from you. Paul is saying that when you turn your life over to Christ, His Spirit will lift that veil from your mind and open your spiritual eyes to the truths of His Word. Freedom is peace of mind, and allows you to see what tomorrow will bring in your life. When that veil is removed from your mind it brings happiness.
II Corinthians 3:17 "Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."
When you learn the truth, the truth sets you free from those lists of dos and don'ts that the church world likes to hang around your neck, as well as the problems of this world age. "Christ" is the "key to David that unlocks doors that you can open and no man can close", as given in Revelation 3:8. The "Liberty" is in the sense that you can shut doors and no man can open them. That "key of David" is the key to the kingdom of heaven. It is only through Christ that we can find freedom and liberty.
There are many different beliefs in the world today, and in the eastern religions their stated end lead the way to Nirvana, which is the state of nothingness. Believe it or not, that is the state or condition that Satan and all those religions are going to enter into following the great white throne judgment. For their souls, right along with Satan's soul will be turned to ashes, and they will become nothing, not even remembered in the minds of their loved ones that were saved. All other ways are the way of Satan are the same, for in the end he and all his followers and his entire realm will end up in their nirvana [state of none existence] perished.
However there is another way to eternal life, and that way is limited only to those that have the faith in Jesus Christ and have repented their sins to the Father "in Jesus name". There is no half way, you either believe Him or you do not. Jesus told us exactly who He is in John 10:25-30, and when Jesus told the Kenites these Words, they took up stones and wanted to murder Him.
John 10:25 "Jesus answered them, "I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in My Fathers name, they bear witness of Me."
John 10:26 "But ye believe not, because ye are not of My sheep, as I said unto you."
John 10:27 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me:"
God knows the intent of your heart and mind, and when you are repentive and believe in Him, you are one of His sheep.
John 10:28 "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand."
With Jesus Christ there is eternal life for your soul, however those that do not have eternal life, their souls will become exactly as the eastern religions say they will do, perish or go to Nirvana, and state of none existence. It is strange how mankind would allow his mind to become so twisted by Satan, that he or she would look forward to their wheel of bliss of non-existence [perishing], when salvation and eternal life is offered to them.
John 10:29 "My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand."
John 10:30 "I and My Father are one."
You want to serve someone that will literally come down and touch your heart, and He will make something out of you. He will guarantee all the promises in His Word to you, and for you when you are one of His. Jesus Christ is real.
II Corinthians 3:18 "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."
When you turn to Christ, He will come down and touch your heart and mind and make His presence real to you. He will document the fact that He is real by His warming of your heart and mind, and removing doubt. Our Father will set you free from those things of bondage that hold you down. This "glass of glory of the Lord", means simply the "Purity" that we read of in Revelation, where by all obstacles and things of this evil world level themselves out and are removed. He allows you to see and understand clearly the love that He has for you. Then if we fail, Christ is with us to pick us up and carry us over those troubled times. The Father loves you very much and He is waiting to hear from you.
If you are to receive that same image of glory that Jesus has, the Father has to accept you. It doesn't matter if the entire world accepts you, the only one that counts is God the Father. If you come to him in humility and asking for forgiveness, and if He says "yes my child, take this key of knowledge, study My Word", then as you study His Word you come free of man's traditions and you find the freedom that is offered through the truth of God's Word.
The head of Christianity is Christ and he will bring you into His many membered body when you ask. He will make Himself reality to you, but you must first ask. He will change your life and bring blessings into your life. We are changed by His same Spirit from glory to glory, for we are made in the same image of almighty God. Like Father like Son, Jesus is supernatural just like the Father.
Our Heavenly Father has emotions and feelings just as you and I and all earthly fathers have. You are His child that He created when He created your soul which is your soul in the inner man. He touched you, molded you and nurtured you when you were a helpless babe in Spirit and soul, before He placed that soul into the embryo of your flesh body. He is real, and that is the liberty that we can have. We are made in His image because He is our Father. He wants you to accept Him and talk to Him and let Him know that you do love Him, and He will always return that love.
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