November 10, 2012
I apologize for not updating my blog for a few weeks. My plan is to make regular posts from now on.
Last enemy is death and the resurrection of life
1 Corinthians 15:1-2 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
Notice the “if” makes this conditional. Salvation is based on what you believe – believing makes the difference. Christ conquered death. All men have to face death and their fear of death. On what is your faith rooted and grounded? There is a spiritual mandate to overcome death. In dying we are raised up from death. But if we don’t believe Jesus was raised from the dead our faith is useless. So many Christians are afraid of death. We need to believe in the resurrection of the dead and our personal resurrection.
1 Corinthians 3-4 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures…
Any time the Scriptures mention the third day there is a reference to the rapture.
Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days.
There are 300 prophesies about the resurrection of the dead.
The first mention of the third day is with the Creation.
Genesis 1:9 Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so.
In Scripture, waters refers to both people and water – and the gathered together in one place -
When the rapture occurs the antichrist will be revealed (dry land) dry implies no water, and Scripture also refers to the Water of the Word.
There is always a reference with third day/month/week. The Bible doesn’t use the term rapture – it refers to a quickening, catching away, resurrection.
1 Corinthians 15:4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
Rose again on the third day.
1 Corinthians 15:5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.
This is an important verse – nonbelievers ask how do you know he rose from the dead. They imply that the disciples might be agreeing to lie about this. But the disciples died terrible, torturous deaths instead of denying that Jesus rose from the dead. Cephas is another name for Peter. So Jesus was seen by the twelve, but the following verse adds more details to this.
1 Corinthians 15:6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.
Soul sleep is not what this is referring to, but fallen asleep refers to death. There were over five hundred who saw Jesus at once, and many of them are still alive when this letter was written. Any one of them could have denounced the truth of seeing Jesus.
John 11:3-4 Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
Jesus is not saying Lazarus is sick so that God can get the glory. But God can take what the enemy means for harm and turn it to good. When good comes of a sad situation, God gets the glory. The devil is the one who brings sickness, disease, and death. When you get healed, God gets the glory. The devil would rather you feel the situation is hopeless instead of seeking God’s help.
John 11:6-11 So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” These things He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.”
Jesus stayed two days before making the journey. He wanted the Jewish mourners to be sure that Lazarus was dead. When Jesus says that Lazarus is sleeping, it is really that he is dead.
John 11:12-15 Then His disciples said, “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.” However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.”
The disciples misunderstood Jesus, and Jesus tells them plainly that Lazarus is dead. But, as Jesus told them, This sickness is not unto death.
There is physical death, where the body dies and the spirit leaves the body. And then there is spiritual death. Spiritual death is eternally separated from God. God does not will that for man, but if man really wants to be separate from God, God will not force Himself on man. The only place man can go is the place God reserved for the sinning angels and those who blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, the lake of fire.
Someone in our Bible study asked if they could inadvertently commit the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, and Pastor Don assured them that only those who operate fully in all the gifts, who have accepted Christ as their Savior, and are well-grounded in their faith, if with that full knowledge, they choose to turn their backs on the Savior, they have committed blasphemy. New Christians, those who are hurting that might be angry with God for a season are not in this category. This is reserved for mature Christians. Because Jesus died once for our sins.
2 Corinthians 11:13-14 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.
There are false apostles and deceitful workers who speak for the angel of enlightenment. Don’t forget that satan was the angel of light until he fell. Now he tries to trick people into accepting his teachings as truth, even though the teachings go against the truth of Scripture.
2 Corinthians 11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
This verse will not happen until the Day of Judgement. We need to have discernment in these last days. There are many who claim that they are of God, but they are not teaching the truth and the fruit of their ministry doesn’t match up with the truth of God. We let evil slide and don’t call it for what it is. One example of false teaching is those churches that claim that Jesus doesn’t heal any more and the miracles of the Apostles are not for today. How could a loving God let us spend times in these end days without equipping us to deal with the powers of darkness? Isaiah tells us that by His stripes we are healed. Jesus told us that we would do greater works than He did.
James 5:13-15 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
If James tells us to lay hands on the sick, how can these churches claim that Jesus doesn’t heal any more?
2 Corinthians 11:4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!
Paul is saying that people may come preaching things Jesus didn’t say. Don’t tolerate wrong teachings or evil. Make sure you don’t follow erroneous teachings.
2 Corinthians 11:28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.
Paul is saying that he is worried about the churches. The Holy Spirit tells us not to worry because if you are worried you are not in faith.
2 Corinthians 11:29-30 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation? If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.
boasting is a sin, if you are boasting for yourself and what you do. It is not sinful boasting if you are praising God for what He did.
2 Corinthians 11:31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.
Paul was willing to boast that what he was able to accomplish he did through Christ Jesus.
In the Bible the original scrolls were not divided by chapter and verse. So chapter 12 is a continuation of what is discussed in Chapter 11.
2 Corinthians 12:1 It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord:
Paul is not boasting – he is going to share a revelation he had from the Lord. When the writers of the Bible wrote about themselves they did not say “I or Me” so he is going to say I know a man…
2 Corinthians 12:2-4 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
He was caught up into the third Heaven. He was caught up either in the body or in his spirit, and he heard words that were inexpressible. Because we see a vision does not mean that it is meant to be shared with others.
2 Corinthians 12:5-8 Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities. For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me. And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
This passage has been misinterpreted. Some say that Paul had eye problems or a sickness. That God would use sickness to teach Paul a lesson. Paul suffered, but not at the hands of God. It was a messenger of satan which came to buffet him, to keep him humble. Paul wrote 63% of the Gospels. He paid a high price with his body. We read of shipwrecks, imprisonment, stonings, and he still persisted in sharing his message despite all the obstacles that the enemy tried to put in his path.
A lot of Christians use this passage to say that they are suffering sickness or setbacks for the glory of God. God is not glorified by our suffering, but He is glorified when we use His principles to overcome suffering. Most who say they are suffering for the Lord are not really doing that, the ones who suffer for the Lord are the ones doing God’s will and if difficulties come, then it is suffering for the Lord. Not every sickness or disease is for the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
To understand this passage, we need to realize that grace is not the same as mercy. Mercy is unmerited favor, but grace comes with the idea of empowerment from God to do the work that God wants us to do. In the Greek, infirmities mean weaknesses, emotions, psychological problems, lack of ability. We can trust that God will help us to overcome these challenges. So when we are challenged, we rely on the grace of God (empowerment) to do what we cannot do on our own, and thus we give glory to God.
Pastor Don pointed out that there are many things that become traditions in our churches that are not biblical. He told us that in the Baptist church, before communion they were to examine themselves to see if they were in sin before they took communion. This practice is based on the following verse.
2 Corinthians 13:5-6 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified.
But the passage does not say to see if you are in sin – it says to examine yourself to see if you are in faith. If you are not in faith it is displeasing to God, so we are to examine ourselves to see if we are in faith. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. We can sin in thoughts and deed. But if we find sin, it is not hard to come back in alignment with God. All we need to do is remember 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. This verse is true past, present, and future. When we go to God and confess our sins, He forgives all our sins. We are not in sin when we confess, for our sins are covered by the Blood of the Lord. We need to be in faith and take communion in faith.
2 Peter 2:24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.
Are we in faith to believe that Jesus did this for us?
Jesus never said that we had to examine ourselves to see if we are in sin. This is what He said.
2 Corinthians 11:24-26 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
Jesus told us to eat the bread and drink the cup and use that to remember what He did for us until the day He comes.
Communion should be the happiest time for it is a way to help us remember what Jesus did and also the fact that He will come again.
Jesus is our bread of life. Even in the Old Testament God provided Manna in the wilderness to preserve life until the people reached the promised land. Now we are offered the bread of life to give us strength and courage until He comes again.
Praying your day is blessed.