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
"Macedonian Assemblies, Examples and
"Reason for Appeal, the Tithe [8-12]."
"Titus and Others, Qualifications [16-23]."
"Paul's Appeal to the Corinthians ."
Paul is saying, I must tell you that the grace, or unmerited favor that God granted you in Corinth, has spread here to the churches of Macedonia.
II Corinthians 8:2 "How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality."
The Macedonian "liberality" in the Greek tongue is "haplotes" and it means "a single-mindedness that is not self seeking". It is a overwhelming generosity. Though these Macedonian Christians were very poor, and in poverty by Corinthian standards, their generosity was sufficient because they would give of themselves in their ministry work, and the planting of seeds of God's Word. They made up for their lack of money to give to the work of the Lord, by their personal efforts in being doers of the Word of God.
Many churches today think and relate their efforts and spreading of the Word by what comes into the offering plate. They relate a successful church as one with many members and a huge budget. This Macedonian church was growing, and its growth was accomplished by the success of the joy in doing the work of the Lord, and His Word shining out of their lives. "Doers of the Word" understand the work of God, and they simply cannot help themselves from becoming a part of the Work.
II Corinthians 8:3 "For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power, they were willing of themselves;"
In other words, what they could not give, they more than made up in their giving of their soul and self to their ministry and the spreading of the gospel.
II Corinthians 8:4 "Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints."
These Macedonians understood Paul's ministry, and they desired to be part of that spreading of the gospel. They prayed with us and gave their tithe freely, and their gifts were given to be of service and help in our ministering to the saints elsewhere.
II Corinthians 8:5 "And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God."
II Corinthians 8:6 "Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also."
Paul is using the excitement that Titus had at Corinth as a comparison that is happening here in Macedonia. You can see the working of God even in the places where poverty was all around. When people had no money to give, they gave of themselves all the more for their lack of money to spread of the Word of God. They prayed for the Work to go forth, and they passed on the Word on to their neighbors, and spread the gospel in the ways that they could. The Word of God is unchanging, even though the methods may be different. The Corinth church was rich, whereas this Macedonian church was poor, but the same gospel went forth by different means.
Paul is now going to give us some very good advise on tithing and the giving of offerings. The Word teaches us how we are to give, and these are the reason for the giving. Giving, even in this poverty stricken area is just as it is where there is great wealth. God will not bless it unless it is given of your own free will. If some man cons a gift out of you by pleading and forces your giving out of an emotional threat, or by vow, it is not given of your free will. God will not accept it, nor will He return His blessings for that gift for it is not a tithe, but the servicing of a vow. So when you are giving to an emotional cry of the pastor or some other preacher with his begging bag open, it is not given to God, but to that beggars need. The beggar has given you the emotional kick of his promises for your money, so don't expect the blessings from God.
II Corinthians 8:7 "Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also."
Paul was very pleased with the Corinthians, for they excelled in everything. They excelled in their faith and what they would say and teach from the Word of God, and in their knowledge of His Word. They were diligent in all their duties and matters as well as showing their love for Paul and those that were with Paul.
The Grace of God is God's unmerited favor given to us through His Son's death on the cross. However the "grace" that is spoken of here is "giving", the tithe of when you give money, time or what ever and expecting nothing in return. So now we are going to see what advice Paul is going to give this Corinthian church concerning giving of their tithes and love offerings.
II Corinthians 8:8 "I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love."
Paul is telling the Corinthians that he is not giving this commandment concerning the tithe and giving as an order, but only as one giving advice in the sincerity of the love that you have for me. Paul is not giving this advice because of their need for the instruction, because you have already set the example of what I am about to say. So we see that it is a guide line to follow governing their giving practices. Paul was already pleased with the Corinthians by this time.
II Corinthians 8:9 "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich."
Paul is calling attention to the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, in that through Christ's grace, He gave everything that He had in the physical realm. He gave His own life on the cross for the sins of those that would repent of their sins in His name. When Christ gave His life, He gave you eternal life, and Jesus is our example for giving. When Jesus gave up everything in His physical body, He also gave up the right to control of the entire world, and all the wealth and power that was at His command, and faithfully went to the cross. He became poverty so that you and I could become joint heirs with Him in our Heavenly Father's eternal kingdom.
When Jesus was still alive, He could not come fully into His kingdom. However the moment that the price was paid on the cross by Him, which none of us could do within ourselves, then Jesus entered into that eternal kingdom, and He became our King. Our riches then are in that eternal Kingdom, and those riches are lasting and can never be taken from us. Riches of this world can vanish in one stroke of the judges gavel, or by our own ignorance, but the riches that are stored up for us in Jesus Christ's kingdom are forever, recorded in His books, and set aside and waiting for you on the day or your return to Him. That may be by the death of this physical body, or as I Corinthians 15 so well covered, on the day that we are changed out of our physical bodies and into our soul or spiritual bodiesYou.
You are part of that kingdom the moment that you by faith believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and repent to the Father in Jesus name.
II Corinthians 8:10 "And herein I gave my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago."
So Paul is now giving his advice concerning giving. It had been one year since Paul last spoke of this to these Corinthians, and back then they had all sorts of problems going on in the church, but giving was not one of their shortcomings. Now at the time of Paul's writings here, those other matters had been taken care of and Paul was going to give them this additional piece of advice.
II Corinthians 8:11 "Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have."
First of all you have to be a doer of the Word before you can expect the blessing of our Heavenly Father. God does not bless those people that do not do what he expects them to do. You cannot buy your way into God good graces and love, but you gain God's favor by studying His Word and following the instructions that are written there. It doesn't matter if you try and fail, but the important thing to the Father is when He sees the effort you are giving in earnest. The important thing is that you try to do the will of the Father.
This is why we have repentance for when we fall. God will pick you up and push you along a lot farther than you could accomplish on your own. You were ready, able and willing to do the Word of the Lord first, and then give to Him. Even when you have absolutely nothing, there is always something that you can give to His Word. Give God something to bless you for, for when you give something to God, no matter how small, it shows God that you have the will to please Him. It also documents the fact that you are a believer. Remember the widow and her two mites that were given to the same temple that crucified our Lord. What was important to Jesus was the intent that was within her heart. Lets look at this widow for a moment.
Jesus and the disciples had been in the Temple watching how the People have been treating the Temple and the things of God, as though they were common and of men. He is now going to give His disciples a lesson on giving. The people had been taught by the Kenite scribes and priest their fales doctrines, and Jesus warned them of these teachings.
Mark 12:38 "And He said unto them in His doctrine, "Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplace,"
Jesus is telling His disciples to take heed "Beware" of the things that these scribes are doing and keep away from doing the same things that they are doing.
Mark 12:39 "And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts:"
The "chief seats" were couches that were placed in the front of the entire congregation, such as in the earlier days where families bought their pews and set them aside as a identification of status in the community. These scribes wanted to be first at the feasts, and well recognized in the community.
Mark 12:40 "Which devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation."
The legal matters of these Kenite scribes is much like what is done today in their legal offices as attorneys for the families of today. They are the ones that draw up the agreements, and the loans and in those agreements that they draw up, they write in the authority that gives them the same rights to virtually steal the houses of the widows and orphans at the death of the father and husband. As they do their acts of the devil behind their closed doors, they grow very wealthy by their contracts, while all the time they put on the pretense of being something that they are not.
God reads the hearts of this kind of person, and without repentance for these deeds and a change of heart, they will go with their father Satan to a far greater damnation than they could possible receive while in the flesh.
Revelation 20:14 "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death."
Revelation 20:15 "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
Not even a thought of their existence will be remembered of them even in the mind of one of their loved ones that were found written in the book of life.
Mark 12:41 "And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much."
The treasury of the Temple was over in the woman's court, and it took up about two hundred square feet of space. It was surrounded by a colonnade which were the rows of columns that supported the roof of the Temple. The plate was not passed during any service, but you went to where the money was collected, and there is where the giving matters with tended to.
There were thirteen receptacles inside the walls of the treasury that were called "trumpets" because of their shapes. Nine of these receptacles were for legal dues, which we call "the tithe" today, and it is referred to as "Legal" because it is not your money that you are giving, but the Lords. The tithe is the first portion of everything that you make and earn, and the word "tithe" means "tenth".
The "tithe" is what is set aside to provide for the widows and the orphans, it runs the affairs of the Temple which in that day was the affairs of the government. The matters which we turned over to the government today. Back then the Temple handled those duties and that is why it is called "legal money", because the purpose of the tithe was written in the laws of God. The tithe was not the offering, but the giving back to God which was rightfully His, and God's people tending to the affairs of the as were laid down in His Word. The two moneys are handled quite separately. Rome had its taxes on the people, and the Temple had their separate source of income called the tithe. The offerings were what is given up and beyond both of these legal requirements.
Four of the thirteen trumpet shaped receptacles were for the gathering of the offerings. The offering is what is given to God of your own free will. This is not the tithe, but for the love of the work of God, and the needs that are pressing outside of the legal requirements of the tithe. When you short on the tithe, you are shorting on the legal requirements that God set forth in His laws, and you are shorting God of His money. As the money is cast into these metal receptacles it is made public, and you can see exactly what people are giving and no gift can be hidden. So we see that it is here that Jesus brought His disciples for this lesson in giving.
Mark 12:42 "And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing."
Sometimes the amounts don't matter much, but lets take a look at what she actually gave in the offering plate. The "mite" in the Greek is speaking of a "lepton" which is the small thin Jewish coin of brass that is coined only for the Temple. It is the smallest coin that was made. The word "lepton", comes from the Greek word "leptos" which means to peel down. The people exchanged their legal tender in exchange for these units of tender to be used in the Temple.
The "farthing" is the smallest unit of money that the Romans coined, and it took two mites to equal one farthing. In other words the Jewish religious leaders made it possible to give even a lesser amount than the Roman government coined. To relate the value of a mite in common term, it takes one mite to buy a sparrow, the lest of all the birds and the smallest in comparison. The two mites was the full wealth of this poor widow after the scribes were finished with the estate of her husband, and she cast those two mites of hers into offering plate in the Temple. Notice that this is after she had tended to the legal side of the treasure, it is from what she had left over to live on. She gave it all.
Mark 12:43 "And He called unto Him His disciples, and saith unto them, "Very I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:"
God's standards are not our standards, and what is recorded in the books in Heaven that we are judged upon. The only things that matters in eternity is what is entered on those books. Those books are not kept by some crooked accountant here on earth or money hungry super-preacher, but account for the true value of what ever you gave. In the books that our Heavenly Father keeps, this widow woman, as poor as she was, gave more than all the others; the rich and wealthy included, for she gave all that she had. Jesus could read right into her heart and mind, and He knew the intent of her love for God. To her that offering plate was the only avenue of her expression to God, and she gave all that she had to the Father in love.
Mark 12:44 "For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living."
When Ted Turner cast in his billion dollars to give to the one world government that was suppose to feed the poor, it was given for the fame and glory that it would in turn bring attention to Ted Turner. It was given for the gain and attention it would give him and his enterprises here in the flesh. When the wealthy gave in Jesus day, it was no different than what happens today. On the day that Mr. Turner committed his money, the check was made extremely large, and that check and Ted's face was flashed over television sets from Hong Kong, to Africa, from houses throughout America to the TV sets in Europe and around the world. Look and see what I have done for the one world government.
In the widow's mind, that was all she had to give. Her husband was dead and gone and the estate stripped from her, and the earning power of the woman was completely dominated by the men receiving her two mites, these temple heads.
Jesus knew that this woman was not just trying to please but that this was everything that she had. The point that we are trying to make here is not that you are to give everything that you have, but that certain things are expect by God, and the freewill offering comes up and beyond that commitment required by God. Where do you give? You give to the pasture that you are receiving you spiritual nourishment from. You give to where you are learning God's Word, and to where the ministry of God is promoted. Farmer Jones feeds his own sheep, he doesn't feed the sheep down the road. When you eat a meal at a cafe, you pay at the place were you have eaten, and you tip the waiter that waited on you.
God does not require that you give everything, but that we be good stewards of what He has placed within our hands. This goes not just for money, but in all the gifts that we have to give.
II Corinthians 8:12 "For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not."
This is the first thing that God wants to know; "Do you have a "willing mind" to give what you are going to give", or does someone have to force it out of you by emotional means. God's elect always carry their own weight. God only expects from you what you have the ability to do on your own. If you do not have money, then God's demands on you are not the same as the person that has an abundance of wealth.
The "willing mind" is one that is ready to commit what he or she is able to commit. "Accepted" in the Greek is "euprosdektos" meaning "well-received, and approved with favor". To some the requirement is very little while to many it is much more. God is the one that regulates that amount. There is a saying that is very true, and that is "God will never give you more than you can take care of." Some times that is not very much, and to others it can be a great deal. However it is up to you to show our Father through your willing mind your abilities, then He sets the limits upon you. You give from what you have, and God is just as pleased with that amount, as He is from those that have much and give a lot more than you.
II Corinthians 8:13 "For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:"
Paul is saying that it is not right for some to have an easy time in their giving, while others are left to carry the burden. God does not want you burdened at others expense. God wants you and your church to pay your bills and tend to what is the needs of your own people are, then after those needs are met, you can freely give to other ministries. If the ministry doesn't pay its own way by presenting the truth of the whole Word of God, then don't throw good money of the Lords into a field where it is proven that nothing will grow.
We take from the saints where there is a surplus for the sake of planting the seeds of truth in other areas. If the seeds of the Word do not germinate and take root, it is time to move on to other areas. The Spirit of God makes that seed germinate and grow after we have done the planting and watering, and when truths of God's Word is unaccepted and doesn't take hold, then it is time to plant elsewhere.
When you observe some super preacher on the television spending half of his time begging for money, it should be a reminder that something is wrong. What is that person teaching, and why is God not blessing his ministry? Either the man is in it for the money, and that is why he is begging for more and more, or God is not behind what is being taught there. Is he teaching God's Word, or the traditions of men? When one draws money from you other than by your willingness to give and to please our Father, you would not be a cheerful giver and giving of your own free will, but you would be giving under pressure. God doesn't like that, He wants you to be a willing giver, giving out of the lover for Him that is within your heart.
II Corinthians 8:14 "But by an equality; that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality:"
Giving should not be at the expense of one person, nor on a equality basis. When everyone enjoys pitching in with their tithes, gifts and free will offerings, and the expense is passed around on the basis prescribed in God's Word, then the ministry is a success and the Word of God goes forth. Every one gives as the Lord has blessed them, and those with an abundance give in direct response as the Lord has blessed them. The gift by the banker is no more important than the gift by the widow woman that is living on a shoe string income. You give with the importance of getting the Word of God out to others, and giving is one way of doing missionary work. Though you can't go out to do the work physically yourself, you share equally in the work when you give to a ministry.
II Corinthians 8:15 "As it is written, "He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.," "
Paul is quoting here from Exodus 16:18 concerning the manna that was given by God each and every day while the children of Israel were in the wilderness. The instructions were given because the manna would only keep for that one day, and would spoil by the next day. You had to take the manna or spiritual food each day for that days use, and God would supply exactly what you need on a daily basis.
Exodus 16:18 "And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, "It is manna:" for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, "This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat."
"Manna" is angel food, it is what sustains the angels in their spiritual or soul bodies.
Exodus 16:17 "And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less."
Exodus 16:18 "And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating."
If your requirements are a lot, than take a lot, and if they be small then take only what you can use. If you have a large family, than you will take far more than what a small family is in need of. So now look a little deeper into the spiritual aspects of this verse and relate it to giving..
First of all, we know that it was God that supplied the manna for their daily bread, while God's people were in the wilderness. We know that in the last days, We are going to be in the wilderness, but the famine is not for a lack of bread to eat or water to drink. Amos 8:11 tells us what this famine of the last days is for.
Amos 8:11 "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine for bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:"
Everything that we have comes from God, and even the gifts that we use for His service comes directly from Him. He placed those gifts within your grasp because He wanted you to use them in His service. The shed blood that Jesus Christ shed while on the cross was far more than just paying a price for our sins, but that blood also included the gifts that we use to pass on to others His Word so that they will hear and be saved also. These gifts are the gifts of the Holy Spirit of teaching, giving and any other thing that you can do to promote the Word of God. It may be in the way you smile, pray, or sing, but everyone has some gifts or gifts that enable them to be a servant for our Living God, Jesus Christ.
God provides the manna or gifts that you need to serve Him each day, and He expects you to take the manna or give what you are capable of giving. Jesus spoke of another kind of manna in Revelation 2:17; "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.' "
This "hidden manna" are the truths that are hidden within God's Word that only those with the ears to hear with understanding will know what the Spirit of God is saying to him or her. The "white stone" is the stone of victory that is only given to God's elect who are the overcomers. They overcame both the deceit of Satan the Antichrist, and by Satan's children, the Kenites. If you have the ears to hear, you also will understand what the Spirit is trying to tell you in this verse.
When Jesus was on the earth in the flesh, He spoke in parables so that the Kenites would not understand what He was trying to say. After Jesus spoke the parables, He took his disciples aside and taught them the mysteries of those parables He just gave. Part of this key to understanding was knowing what happened in the Garden of Eden when Satan seduced Eve, and from that sexual union came Satan's son Cain. Though the church world today is all wrapped up in the Kenite fairy-tales of apples, disguising not only their heritage, but also these Kenites' true nature [that of their father Cain, the first murderer, but also their other father Satan]. Though Cain's offspring claims to be of Judah, and call themselves Jews, they are not of Judah or God, but of their family of the house of Rachab and Satan.
I Chronicles 2:55; "And the families of the scribes which dwelt at Jabez [Jerusalem in the unclean state], the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and Suchathites. These are the Kenites that came of Hamath, the father of the house of Rechab."
In the "song of Moses" given in Deuteronomy 32:30-31 it is clear that Satan is presenting himself as a rock, or stone. To the overcomers, the elect, we are aware that "this rock is not like our Rock", who is Jesus Christ. Today most Christians don't know the difference between the two rocks, so it is no wonder that they will be taken immediately upon the arrival of the Satan when he comes with all his supernatural powers, for they will accept Satan, the counterfeit of Jesus Christ.
Though in English the words "stone" and "count" are far apart, in the Greek they are not. They have the same prime root meaning in the outdated Greek word "stigma". So by giving the number 6-6-6, that number has the same root meaning as the counting and identifying of stones or rocks. The whole idea of taking a number like a branding on ones body and having that brand commit you to Satan is out-right stupidity and ignorance. For by force anyone can be branded, however all of God's children can be branded in such a manner, but they still will not lose their salvation, for that is not what is meant by being sealed with the number in your forehead.
Jesus is telling John that the "key" to being
acceptable to Him, is when you are able to know the difference between the two
rocks; the true Rock being Jesus Christ; and the fake rock which is Satan in
his role as the Antichrist.
Both rocks, or men are coming back to earth, and they will both be exactly alike in actions, (Satan will act like most pro-claiming Christians are expecting Jesus to act) only one is a fake, and cheep imitation of the other. One (Satan) comes at the sixth trumpet, and the other (The Real Jesus Christ) comes later five months at the seventh trumpet. We discussed this in I Corinthians 15; and to those that have the hidden manna know that they will not see the true Christ while still in their physical body.
When you can count those hidden pebbles which are the Kenites, than you will know what they are doing, and why. They are setting the entire world up to accept their father which is Satan, at his coming. Even many Christians will accept Satan, for they will be lead to him by their church leaders in ignorance. We are to be able to count those pebbles the Kenites , and know the fake Jews from the real ones. There were only two of the seven churches of Revelations that could tell the difference, and they were the churches of Smyrna and Philadelphia. (Read Revelations 2:9 & 3:9)
Revelation 2:9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
The knowledge of the hidden manna that Jesus gives us is what makes us the child of the King, and gives us our inheritance into His kingdom. We are to be willing and living servants for the living God. Within the hidden manna we are instructed of the conduct and common sense that we are to use, and how we are to apply it in our lives. However what God desires most is your love and an obedient attitude, and a willing character.
If you are lacking in understanding, God will add to you the gifts and the understanding that you need. If you want to be a believer, it is necessary that you know that these things are true, and that God loves you.
II Corinthians 8:16 "But thanks be to God, Which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you."
Paul is now reminding the Corinthians that Titus is an apostle of Jesus Christ, and when he was there in Corinth, he wanted to share his knowledge and gifts with them.
II Corinthians 8:17 "For indeed he accepted the exhortation; but being more forward, of his own accord he went unto you."
Titus saw the trouble that you where having in Corinth, and he was willing [more forward] to come to you and help you and share his knowledge and understanding with you.
II Corinthians 8:18 "And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches."
Though most teachers say that it is unknown who this brother was, but within the manuscripts, it most likely was Luke. Luke was the one that everybody trusted, no matter where they went and what was going on there.
II Corinthians 8:19 "And not that only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind:"
So why would they send two men to the churches in their travels? They are talking about collecting money here to be sent on to the poor in Jerusalem. They sent two because they would have two witnesses of what was going on in the churches.
II Corinthians 8:20 "Avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us:"
II Corinthians 8:21 "Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men."
Two witnesses are also going forth to bear witness of the Word of God in the end times. Even in our court system today, in most cases it is required that there be two witness. Without two witnesses it becomes one man's word against another man's word. In our generation God is going to send two witnesses to bear witness against Satan before that "day of the Lord" comes. They are the two olive trees of Zechariah 4:3,11, and 14 which will stand on the earth and witness to all the people of the earth against Satan. The world will love it when Satan kills these two witnesses, and according to Revelation 11:11 it marks the last three and one half days of this world age of the flesh.
So even in your own life, always protect yourself in honesty for your character is a wonderful thing. In protecting your honesty, you are protecting your character, and that is what is needed for you to be believed when you are witnessing to other of God's Word.
II Corinthians 8:22 "And we have sent with them our brother, whom we have often times proved diligent in many thing, but now much more diligent, upon the great confidence which I have in you."
Paul is still talking about Luke, the brother that Paul sent with Titus to the Corinthians. Paul was a very thoughtful writer, and and he most certainly would give a vote of confidence for the brother that he sent with Titus. Many times Luke is not mentioned in the writings, such as in the book of Acts, Luke was the one writing it all down, and he did not feel it necessary to attach his name to what he was writing. Luke was writing as Paul was dictating to him. However, it is also obvious that Luke was doing the writing because He was a medical doctor, and terms that were used pertain to medicine and not to law, which was Paul center of study.
II Corinthians 8:23 "Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be enquired of, they are the messengers of the church, and the glory of Christ."
This is the finest set of credentials that anyone can have. Titus and Luke are identified here as the apostles of the the church. Jesus Christ has touched them both, and through His Spirit both of them are able to preach and teach the Word of God. They have knowledge, they are of honor, and they are capable of bringing the Word of God with understanding.
II Corinthians 8:24 "Wherefore shew ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf."
Paul was very pleased with the Corinthians at this time, as he was also of Titus and Luke. While Paul knew what to expect from the ones he is sending to Corinthians, he desires that the church at Corinth display the love of Christ to Titus and Luke. Paul is anxious to put on display this church for they are one of the first that he has established. Paul never received a salary for his teaching, and he would rather work as a tent maker, and provide for his own living. He did not want to be found to be a burden on those that he was teaching, and the churches that he was establishing.
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