2 Corinthians 11
Chapters: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
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2 Corinthians 11
1 Would to God ye could bear with me a little in [my] folly: and indeed bear with me. 2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present [you as] a chaste virgin to Christ. Lev 21:13; 1Kg. 19:10,14; 3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. Gen 3:4; John 8:44; 4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or [if] ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with [him]. Gal 1:8;
5 For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles. 6 But though [I be] rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things. Jn. 18:20; 2Tim. 3:10; 7 Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely? Mt. 10:8; 1Cor 9:12; 8 I robbed other churches, taking wages [of them], to do you service. Lk. 8:3; 9 And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all [things] I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and [so] will I keep [myself]. Acts 20:33; 2Cor 12:13; 1Thess 2:9; 2Thess 3:8; Phil 4:15;
10 As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia. 11 Wherefore? because I love you not? God knoweth. 12 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. 13 For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. Mt. 24:24; 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Rv. 12:9; 15 Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. 2Pt. 3:16; Rv. 20:12,13;
16 I say again, Let no man think me a fool; if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me, that I may boast myself a little. 17 That which I speak, I speak [it] not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting. 18 Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also. 2Cor 10:13; 2Cor 12:5-6; 19 For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye [yourselves] are wise. 20 For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour [you], if a man take [of you], if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face. Mt. 24:49; 2Pt. 2:3; 21 I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also. Phil 3:4;
22 Are they Hebrews? so [am] I. Are they Israelites? so [am] I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so [am] I. Acts 22:3; 23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I [am] more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 1Cor 15:10; Acts 9:16; Acts 21:11; 2Cor 6:4; 24 Of the Jews five times received I forty [stripes] save one. Deut 25:3; 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; Acts 16:22; Acts 14:19; Acts 27:9; Acts 27:41; 26 [In] journeyings often, [in] perils of waters, [in] perils of robbers, [in] perils by [mine own] countrymen, [in] perils by the heathen, [in] perils in the city, [in] perils in the wilderness, [in] perils in the sea, [in] perils among false brethren; 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. Acts 20:18; 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? 1Cor 8:13; 30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities. 2Cor. 12:5; 31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not. Rom 1:9; Rom 9:1; 2Cor 1:23; Gal 1:20; Phil 1:8; 1Thess 2:5; 32 In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me: Acts 9:24; 33 And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands. TOC
2 Corinthians 11 - The apostle apologizes for expressing his jealousy relative to the true state of the Corinthians; still fearing lest their minds should have been drawn aside from the simplicity of the Gospel, 2Co. 11:1-3; From this he takes occasion to extol his own ministry, which had been without charge to them, having been supported by the Churches of Macedonia while he preached the Gospel at Corinth, 2Co. 11:4-11. Gives the character of the false apostles, 2Co. 11:12-16. Shows what reasons he has to boast of secular advantages of birth, education, Divine call to the ministry, labors in that ministry, grievous persecutions, great sufferings, and extraordinary hazards, vv. 16-33. — Clarke
2 Corinthians 11 -
In this chapter the apostle goes on with his discourse, in opposition to the false apostles, who were very industrious to lessen his interest and reputation among the Corinthians, and had prevailed too much by their insinuations. I. He apologizes for going about to commend himself, and gives the reason for what he did (2Co. 11:1-4). II. He mentions, in his own necessary vindication, his equality with the other apostles, and with the false apostles in this particular of preaching the gospel to the Corinthians freely, without wages (2Co. 11:5-15). III. He makes another preface to what he was about further to say in his own justification (2Co. 11:16-21). And, IV. He gives a large account of his qualifications, labours, and sufferings, in which he exceeded the false apostles (2Co. 11:22 to the end). — Henry
The apostle desired to preserve the Corinthians from being corrupted by the false apostles. There is but one Jesus, one Spirit, and one gospel, to be preached to them, and received by them; and why should any be prejudiced, by the devices of an adversary, against him who first taught them in faith? They should not listen to men, who, without cause, would draw them away from those who were the means of their conversion.
It is far better to be plain in speech, yet walking openly and consistently with the gospel, than to be admired by thousands, and be lifted up in pride, so as to disgrace the gospel by evil tempers and unholy lives. The apostle would not give room for any to accuse him of worldly designs in preaching the gospel, that others who opposed him at Corinth, might not in this respect gain advantage against him. Hypocrisy may be looked for, especially when we consider the great power which Satan, who rules in the hearts of the children of disobedience, has upon the minds of many. And as there are temptations to evil conduct, so there is equal danger on the other side. It serves Satan's purposes as well, to set up good works against the atonement of Christ, and salvation by faith and grace. But the end will discover those who are deceitful workers; their work will end in ruin. Satan will allow his ministers to preach either the law or the gospel separately; but the law as established by faith in Christ's righteousness and atonement, and the partaking of his Spirit, is the test of every false system.
It is the duty and practice of Christians to humble themselves, in obedience to the command and example of the Lord; yet prudence must direct in what it is needful to do things which we may do lawfully, even the speaking of what God has wrought for us, and in us, and by us. Doubtless here is reference to facts in which the character of the false apostles had been shown. It is astonishing to see how such men bring their followers into bondage, and how they take from them and insult them.
The apostle gives an account of his labours and sufferings; not out of pride or vain-glory, but to the honour of God, who enabled him to do and suffer so much for the cause of Christ; and shows wherein he excelled the false apostles, who tried to lessen his character and usefulness. It astonishes us to reflect on this account of his dangers, hardships, and sufferings, and to observe his patience, perseverance, diligence, cheerfulness, and usefulness, in the midst of all these trials. See what little reason we have to love the pomp and plenty of this world, when this blessed apostle felt so much hardship in it. Our utmost diligence and services appear unworthy of notice when compared with his, and our difficulties and trials scarcely can be perceived. It may well lead us to inquire whether or not we really are followers of Christ. Here we may study patience, courage, and firm trust in God. Here we may learn to think less of ourselves; and we should ever strictly keep to truth, as in God's presence; and should refer all to his glory, as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed for evermore. — MHCC
Here we may observe, 1. The apology the apostle makes for going about to commend himself. He is loth to enter upon this subject of self-commendation: Would to God you could bear with me a little in my folly, 2Co. 11:1. He calls this folly, because too often it is really no better. In his case it was necessary; yet, seeing others might apprehend it to be folly in him, he desires them to bear with it. Note, As much against the grain as it is with a proud man to acknowledge his infirmities, so much is it against the grain with a humble man to speak in his own praise. It is no pleasure to a good man to speak well of himself, yet in some cases it is lawful, namely, when it is for the advantage of others, or for our own necessary vindication; as thus it was here. For, 2. We have the reasons for what the apostle did. (1.) To preserve the Corinthians from being corrupted by the insinuations of the false apostles, 2Co. 11:2, 2Co. 11:3. He tells them he was jealous over them with godly jealousy; he was afraid lest their faith should be weakened by hearkening to such suggestions as tended to lessen their regard to his ministry, by which they were brought to the Christian faith. He had espoused them to one husband, that is, converted them to Christianity (and the conversion of a soul is its marriage to the Lord Jesus); and he was desirous to present them as a chaste virgin - pure, and spotless, and faithful, not having their minds corrupted with false doctrines by false teachers, as Eve was beguiled by the subtlety of the serpent. This godly jealousy in the apostle was a mixture of love and fear; and faithful ministers cannot but be afraid and concerned for their people, lest they should lose that which they have received, and turn from what they have embraced, especially when deceivers have gone abroad, or have crept in among them. (2.) To vindicate himself against the false apostles, forasmuch as they could not pretend they had another Jesus, or another Spirit, or another gospel, to preach to them, 2Co. 11:4. If this had been the case, there would have been some colour of reason to bear with them, or to hearken to them. But seeing there is but one Jesus, one Spirit, and one gospel, that is, or at least that ought to be, preached to them and received by them, what reason could there be why the Corinthians should be prejudiced against him, who first converted them to the faith, by the artifices of any adversary? It was a just occasion of jealousy that such persons designed to preach another Jesus, another Spirit, and another gospel.
After the foregoing preface to what he was about to say, the apostle in these verses mentions,
I. His equality with the other apostles - that he was not a whit behind the very chief of the apostles, 2Co. 11:5. This he expresses very modestly: I suppose so. He might have spoken very positively. The apostleship, as an office, was equal in all the apostles; but the apostles, like other Christians, differed one from another. These stars differed one from another in glory, and Paul was indeed of the first magnitude; yet he speaks modestly of himself, and humbly owns his personal infirmity, that he was rude in speech, had not such a graceful delivery as some others might have. Some think that he was a man of very low stature, and that his voice was proportionably small; others think that he may have had some impediment in his speech, perhaps a stammering tongue. However, he was not rude in knowledge; he was not unacquainted with the best rules of oratory and the art of persuasion, much less was he ignorant of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, as had been thoroughly manifested among them.
II. His equality with the false apostles in this particular - the preaching of the gospel unto them freely, without wages. This the apostle largely insists on, and shows that, as they could not but own him to be a minister of Christ, so they ought to acknowledge he had been a good friend to them. For, 1. He had preached the gospel to them freely, 2Co. 11:7-10. He had proved at large, in his former epistle to them, the lawfulness of ministers' receiving maintenance from the people, and the duty of the people to give them an honourable maintenance; and here he says he himself had taken wages of other churches (2Co. 11:8), so that he had a right to have asked and received from them: yet he waived his right, and chose rather to abase himself, by working with his hands in the trade of tent-making to maintain himself, than be burdensome to them, that they might be exalted, or encouraged to receive the gospel, which they had so cheaply; yea, he chose rather to be supplied from Macedonia than to be chargeable unto them. 2. He informs them of the reason of this his conduct among them. It was not because he did not love them (2Co. 11:11), or was unwilling to receive tokens of their love (for love and friendship are manifested by mutual giving and receiving), but it was to avoid offence, that he might cut off occasion from those that desired occasion. He would not give occasion for any to accuse him of worldly designs in preaching the gospel, or that he intended to make a trade of it, to enrich himself; and that others who opposed him at Corinth might not in this respect gain an advantage against him: that wherein they gloried, as to this matter, they might be found even as he, 2Co. 11:12. It is not improbable to suppose that the chief of the false teachers at Corinth, or some among them, were rich, and taught (or deceived) the people freely, and might accuse the apostle or his fellow-labourers as mercenary men, who received hire or wages, and therefore the apostle kept to his resolution not to be chargeable to any of the Corinthians.
III. The false apostles are charged as deceitful workers (2Co. 11:13), and that upon this account, because they would transform themselves into the likeness of the apostles of Christ, and, though they were the ministers of Satan, would seem to be the ministers of righteousness. They would be as industrious and as generous in promoting error as the apostles were in preaching truth; they would endeavour as much to undermine the kingdom of Christ as the apostles did to establish it. There were counterfeit prophets under the Old Testament, who wore the garb and learned the language of the prophets of the Lord. So there were counterfeit apostles under the New Testament, who seemed in many respects like the true apostles of Christ. And no marvel (says the apostle); hypocrisy is a thing not to be much wondered at in this world, especially when we consider the great influence Satan has upon the minds of many, who rules in the hearts of the children of disobedience. As he can turn himself into any shape, and put on almost any form, and look sometimes like an angel of light, in order to promote his kingdom of darkness, so he will teach his ministers and instruments to do the same. But it follows, Their end is according to their works (2Co. 11:15); the end will discover them to be deceitful workers, and their work will end in ruin and destruction.
Here we have a further excuse that the apostle makes for what he was about to say in his own vindication. 1. He would not have them think he was guilty of folly, in saying what he said to vindicate himself: Let no man think me a fool, 2Co. 11:16. Ordinarily, indeed, it is unbecoming a wise man to be much and often speaking in his own praise. Boasting of ourselves is usually not only a sign of a proud mind, but a mark of folly also. However, says the apostle, yet as a fool receive me; that is, if you count it folly in me to boast a little, yet give due regard to what I shall say. 2. He mentions a caution, to prevent the abuse of what he should say, telling them that what he spoke, he did not speak after the Lord, 2Co. 11:17. He would not have them think that boasting of ourselves, or glorying in what we have, is a thing commanded by the Lord in general unto Christians, nor yet that this is always necessary in our own vindication; though it may be lawfully used, because not contrary to the Lord, when, strictly speaking, it is not after the Lord. It is the duty and practice of Christians, in obedience to the command and example of the Lord, rather to humble and abase themselves; yet prudence must direct in what circumstances it is needful to do that which we may do lawfully, even speak of what God has wrought for us, and in us, and by us too. 3. He gives a good reason why they should suffer him to boast a little; namely, because they suffered others to do so who had less reason. Seeing many glory after the flesh (of carnal privileges, or outward advantages and attainments), I will glory also, 2Co. 11:18. But he would not glory in those things, though he had as much or more reason than others to do so. But he gloried in his infirmities, as he tells them afterwards. The Corinthians thought themselves wise, and might think it an instance of wisdom to bear with the weakness of others, and therefore suffered others to do what might seem folly; therefore the apostle would have them bear with him. Or these words, You suffer fools gladly, seeing you yourselves are wise (2Co. 11:19), may be ironical, and then the meaning is this: “Notwithstanding all your wisdom, you willingly suffer yourselves to be brought into bondage under the Jewish yoke, or suffer others to tyrannize over you; nay, to devour you, or make a prey of you, and take of you hire for their own advantage, and to exalt themselves above you, and lord it over you; nay, even to smite you on the face, or impose upon you to your very faces (2Co. 11:20), upbraiding you while they reproach me, as if you had been very weak in showing regard to me,” 2Co. 11:21. Seeing this was the case, that the Corinthians, or some among them, could so easily bear all this from the false apostles, it was reasonable for the apostle to desire, and expect, they should bear with what might seem to them an indiscretion in him, seeing the circumstances of the case were such as made it needful that whereinsoever any were bold he should be bold also, 2Co. 11:21.
Here the apostle gives a large account of his own qualifications, labours, and sufferings (not out of pride or vain-glory, but to the honour of God, who had enabled him to do and suffer so much for the cause of Christ), and wherein he excelled the false apostles, who would lessen his character and usefulness among the Corinthians. Observe,
I. He mentions the privileges of his birth (2Co. 11:22), which were equal to any they could pretend to. He was a Hebrew of the Hebrews; of a family among the Jews that never intermarried with the Gentiles. He was also an Israelite, and could boast of his being descended from the beloved Jacob as well as they, and was also of the seed of Abraham, and not of the proselytes. It should seem from this that the false apostles were of the Jewish race, who gave disturbance to the Gentile converts.
II. He makes mention also of his apostleship, that he was more than an ordinary minister of Christ, 2Co. 11:23. God had counted him faithful, and had put him into the ministry. He had been a useful minister of Christ unto them; they had found full proofs of his ministry: Are they ministers of Christ? I am more so.
III. He chiefly insists upon this, that he had been an extraordinary sufferer for Christ; and this was what he gloried in, or rather he gloried in the grace of God that had enabled him to be more abundant in labours, and to endure very great sufferings, such as stripes above measure, frequent imprisonments, and often the dangers of death, 2Co. 11:23. Note, When the apostle would prove himself an extraordinary minister, he proves that he had been an extraordinary sufferer. Paul was the apostle of the Gentiles, and for that reason was hated of the Jews. They did all they could against him; and among the Gentiles also he met with hard usage. Bonds and imprisonments were familiar to him; never was the most notorious malefactor more frequently in the hands of public justice than Paul was for righteousness' sake. The jail and the whipping-post, and all other hard usages of those who are accounted the worst of men, were what he was accustomed to. As to the Jews, whenever he fell into their hands, they never spared him. Five times he fell under their lash, and received forty stripes save one, 2Co. 11:24. Forty stripes was the utmost their law allowed (Dt. 25:3), but it was usual with them, that they might not exceed, to abate one at least of that number. And to have the abatement of one only was all the favour that ever Paul received from them. The Gentiles were not tied up to that moderation, and among them he was thrice beaten with rods, of which we may suppose once was at Philippi, Acts 16:22. Once he was stoned in a popular tumult, and was taken up for dead, Acts 14:19. He says that thrice he suffered shipwreck; and we may believe him, though the sacred history gives a relation but of one. A night and a day he had been in the deep (2Co. 11:25), in some deep dungeon or other, shut up as a prisoner. Thus he was all his days a constant confessor; perhaps scarcely a year of his life, after his conversion, passed without suffering some hardship or other for his religion; yet this was not all, for, wherever he went, he went in perils; he was exposed to perils of all sorts. If he journeyed by land, or voyaged by sea, he was in perils of robbers, or enemies of some sort; the Jews, his own countrymen, sought to kill him, or do him a mischief; the heathen, to whom he was sent, were not more kind to him, for among them he was in peril. If he was in the city, or in the wilderness, still he was in peril. He was in peril not only among avowed enemies, but among those also who called themselves brethren, but were false brethren, 2Co. 11:26. Besides all this, he had great weariness and painfulness in his ministerial labours, and these are things that will come into account shortly, and people will be reckoned with for all the care and pains of their ministers concerning them. Paul was a stranger to wealth and plenty, power and pleasure, preferment and ease; he was in watchings often, and exposed to hunger and thirst; in fastings often, it may be out of necessity; and endured cold and nakedness, 2Co. 11:27. Thus was he, who was one of the greatest blessings of the age, used as if he had been the burden of the earth, and the plague of his generation. And yet this is not all; for, as an apostle, the care of all the churches lay on him, 2Co. 11:28. He mentions this last, as if this lay the heaviest upon him, and as if he could better bear all the persecutions of his enemies than the scandals that were to be found in the churches he had the oversight of. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is offended, and I burn not? 2Co. 11:29. There was not a weak Christian with whom he did not sympathize, nor any one scandalized, but he was affected therewith. See what little reason we have to be in love with the pomp and plenty of this world, when this blessed apostle, one of the best of men that ever lived, excepting Jesus Christ, felt so much hardship in it. Nor was he ashamed of all this, but, on the contrary, it was what he accounted his honour; and therefore, much against the grain as it was with him to glory, yet, says he, if I must needs glory, if my adversaries will oblige me to it in my own necessary vindication, I will glory in these my infirmities, 2Co. 11:30. Note, Sufferings for righteousness' sake will, the most of any thing, redound to our honour.
In the last two verses, he mentions one particular part of his sufferings out of its place, as if he had forgotten it before, or because the deliverance God wrought for him was most remarkable; namely, the danger he was in at Damascus, soon after he was converted, and not settled in Christianity, at least in the ministry and apostleship. This is recorded, Acts 9:24, Acts 9:25. This was his first great danger and difficulty, and the rest of his life was a piece with this. And it is observable that, lest it should be thought he spoke more than was true, the apostle confirms this narrative with a solemn oath, or appeal to the omniscience of God, 2Co. 11:31. It is a great comfort to a good man that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is an omniscient God, knows the truth of all he says, and knows all he does and all he suffers for his sake. — Henry
2Cor. 11:1,10,16: The Bible warns about boasting, that of pridefully exalting oneself out of selfish love for attention and esteem, (Prov. 8:13; 27:2; 1Sam. 2:3) but what Paul engages in here is the opposite of self-interest, that of attempting to bring the object of his love, who have run after deceitful workers, back to their senses. And which he does — like a heart-broken parent whose ignorant child has been enticed to run after corrupters of youth whose deceit the parents recognize — by expressing his proven sacrificial love for the Savior and for the church, in contrast to the self-proclaimed apostles who neither consistently manifest sacrificial apostolic love or genuine power, but who “glory after the flesh” and covetously make merchandise of their followers. (2Pt. 2:3) Sadly, the latter still ply their trade today and we most all are much lacking in love and power with God and with men.
2Cor. 11:2: Just as there is such a thing as righteous anger, as in the reaction of love for God and for holiness in response to rebellion against God, (1Ki. 11:9; Ps. 7:11; Eph. 4:26) so there is a “godly jealousy,” which is the only kind which is holy. UnGodly jealousy is a cousin to envy, as while envy selfishly lusts after that which others have, unholy jealously is angry over losing that which it selfishly want to keep. In contrast, God's requirement of worship of Him, which people covenant to give, is not of selfishness, as God needs nothing (Acts 17:25) but is the One who gives all good things. (Acts 14:17; Jas. 1:17) And is commanded because it is right and is to man's benefit to worship that which is holy, perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, and who can never be unjust or fail. The only alternative is to worship that which is created, which is unworthy, being finite and, corruptible. And whatever we really live for, whatever is our chief object of heart affection and ultimate source of security, is our god, at least at that time such has our heart.
Many times God declared that He is a jealous God in the Old Testament, (Ex. 20:5; Dt. 4:24; 5:9; 6:15, etc.) which unreasonable unbelievers use as a pretext to justify their raving antagonism against Him and His authority. But in so doing they manifest that they are jealous, ostensibly for man's sovereignty and independence which they “jealously” guard, but which is typically animosity toward dominion outside themselves (thus atheism is usually a cousin to anarchy and or oppressive rule), expressed in Lk. 19:14.
Rather than narcissistic lust for esteem and attention, what is manifest by Godly jealousy is that it is a virtuous attribute of holy affections, with committed love to what is pure, just and good, and which things are is beneficial to those who choose such, and therefore this love is zealous to guard against that which works iniquity and the destruction of the object of its holy affections. This type of virtuous jealously, such as manifested by God toward Israel, might be (rather inadequately) likened to that of a captain of integrity in combat, whose selfless commitment to his beneficent country, the care and life of his men and their righteous cause is manifestly proven, and who knows that their preservation and their victory over an enemy sworn to their destruction depends upon obedience to wise readership, proven integritous character, with loyalty and care for each other. He evidences that unselfish faithfulness results in peace, and knowing the insidious destructive nature of their enemy, is watchful to guard against infiltrators who would work evil and bring ruin to this cause, country and men. Yet whose existence he endures with much longsuffering, which exposing their wickedness.
Perhaps this jealous affection of God toward Israel is most poignantly expressed in the book of Hosea, in which God likens idolatrous Israel to a harlot, who has destroyed herself, yet God calls her back to Himself and faithful love. This jealous love by God for Israel is also expressed in such places as Zech. 1:14-16; cf. 8:2,3, in which God states that He is “jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.” Meaning that God was jealous for their well-being, as while corrective chastisement was necessary to that holy end, the wicked, which is often God's instrument in effecting such, (Ps. 17:13) went overboard, and thus God returned and would return with mercies to Israel, while judging its enemies. The Lord Jesus similarly expressed His love for Jerusalem (representing the Jews) in Mt. 27:33,34, but foretold the judgment that would follow their rejection of the Light. (cf. Jn. 3:19-21) And like unto Paul toward the Corinthians, Elijah stated, “I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” (1Kg. 19:10,14)
2Cor. 11:3-4: Together with Paul's references to Adam, this attests that he (by the Holy Spirit) affirmed Gn. 3 as a literal story. In v. 4 we see the subtlety of the serpent, in which he does not first deny that there is a God, and Christ and gospel, but promotes a corruption of them. This is manifest in many forms today, from the Jesus who has heavenly secretaries taking prayer requests and whose hand of judgment is held back by a seemingly more compassionate Roman Catholic Mary; And a gospel that fosters confidence in having merited eternal life by his works of faith, to that of the Watchtower society, whose Jesus was created and offers salvation to those who submit to its gospel of works merit, (in contrast to Jesus being Divine, and the gospel in which God-given faith justifies, but is a faith which follows); To the Jesus of Mormonism, which is a brother of Lucifer, being born of a polygamous god — having become a god himself through eternal progression (which was said to be Adam in early teaching) — after having sexual relations with one of his wives (Eve). And which is just the beginning of its “cunningly devised fables”, 2Pt. 1:16) and which also holds to salvation by submission to men who effectively are superior in authority to the Bible, which they denigrate.
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