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1 CORINTHIANS CHAPTERS 15 & 16

KJV    NAS

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1-4 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 

 

1Cor 15,1-4

(86b) Thy kingdom come >> Belief >> Treating the knowledge of God as fact >> Believing is the result of the resurrection

(106d) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Hearing from God >> Attaining the hearing ear >> Knowing the sound of His voice >> God speaks from the Scriptures – It is nice to have a passage in the Bible that for the record succinctly spells out exactly what we believe. Without the Scriptures we wouldn’t know about Jesus, that He died for our sins, that He was buried and was raised on the third day. The written word is our source of knowledge about these things. Without it these events would have been lost or distorted in time, but reading the Scriptures we know that after He was raised He appeared to more that 500 people at one time, and he also appeared to James, and to all the apostles. Last of all, as one untimely born, He appeared also the Paul, who is now exonerating the the Old Testament, which was the only Scriptures at the time, showing its importance to our faith. Jesus' entire ministry was prophesied centuries before it came to pass. God did not entrust His knowledge to memory, passing it to the next generation orally as was the case for so many other cultures throughout the millennia but committed it to paper. It needed a system of writing and storage to protect its accuracy and the material once penned. Throughout the Old Testament it was the ministry of the Levitical priesthood, one of the tribes of Israel, who cared for the nation’s religion. Paul here is showing its importance, giving us a bulleted list of all the purposes the Scriptures serve. It is the gospel that Paul preached to save those who believe. It is the foundation upon which we all stand, believing in the blood sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for the remission of our sins, and the written word is the basis of the Holy Spirit's ministry, who makes our faith work, and gives us a miraculous relationship with the Father though Christ.

1Cor 15-1,2

(86i) Thy kingdom come >> Obedience >> Be doers of the word >> Clothe yourself with the word of God >> Live the truth – If we believe in a way of salvation other than faith in Jesus’ blood sacrifice, we have believed in vain. We run the risk of losing our salvation if we turn from Him, meaning that God will not remember the faith that we once showed Him if we recant, unless we repent of our unbelief, which is not always possible, so it is better not to recant at all. This is the true faith; there is no other way to God. We should clothe ourselves with faith in Jesus and walk in the result of His blood sacrifice, which is the indwelling Holy Spirit, letting Him lead the way. This is the true salvation and eternal life.

(107d) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Hearing from God >> Word creates faith >> Believing the word creates faith

(137d) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Jesus is the foundation of God’s favor in our lives

(207c) Salvation >> God makes promises on His terms >> Eternal security? >> God will accept you into His heaven if you overcome >> Overcome temptation to give up the faith

1Cor 15-1

(149fa) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Preaching the word to the world >> The gospel of the kingdom >> Preach the gospel of salvation -- This verse goes with verses 11&12

1Cor 15-2

(170k) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Outward appearance >> Vanity >> Vain effort >> Effort frustrated by failure

(232i) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the kingdom >> Embrace (Jesus during the storm) >> Take hold of the hope of His purpose

1Cor 15,3-8

(248j) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Values >> The Highest Values >> Top Priority

1Cor 15-3,4

(141g) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Old Testament bears witness to the new >> It bears witness to Jesus >> Prophesy about Jesus’ resurrection

1Cor 15-4

(39a) Judgment >> Jesus defeated death >> Resurrection of Jesus Christ – The phrase “According to the Scriptures” refers to Bible prophecy, and prophecy is important because it authenticates the Scriptures. We have hundreds of witnesses who saw Jesus alive; we have witnesses in the apostles, who walked with Jesus throughout His ministry, who were ultimately martyred for their faith, and then we have the Old Testament bearing witness of Jesus' death and resurrection in various passages, none more eloquent than Isaiah chapter 53. it begins by saying, “Lord, who has believed our report?” What makes the Old Testament so important, it is an objective and miraculous witness in that the Jews believed it was the word of God. We have them testifying with great conviction about their strong belief in their ancient manuscripts. They were tremendous advocates of Moses and his laws, suggesting that the Jews believed in their prophets, so it was never a question of faith in their Old Testament; it was always a question of obedience; they believed the Scriptures were true, yet they didn’t follow them. The real significance of Bible prophecy is in the fact that God doesn’t predict the future; rather, He literally visits the future and sees what will happen. He knows the future like the past, and so the things that are written have their fulfillment, meaning that we can be more confident in Bible prophecy than our knowledge of the past. When God said hundreds of years before it happened that Israel’s Messiah would die a martyrs death and then rise from the dead, how much more can we be sure of it after the fact?

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

5-9 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; 7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; 8 and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 

 

1Cor 15,5-8

(23n) Sin >> Poverty (Oppression) >> Fear of the unknown >> Fear the appearance of Jesus – When Paul boasted that Jesus appeared to him, he said it as to assume Jesus appeared to him in the same manner that He appeared to the others, but He didn’t; Jesus appeared to Paul in His glory. We could say that Paul was the only person to have seen Jesus in His heavenly state and heard his voice, but the book of Revelation says that John also saw the voice that was speaking with him (Rev 1-12). John saw a vision, whereas Jesus literally appeared to Paul. There were companions with Paul when Jesus appeared to him, and it says that one saw a light and the other heard a voice, but only Paul both saw and heard the Lord.

(152c) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> Apostles >> Investment of their lives proves apostleship – Jesus appeared to His twelve disciples first; then He appeared to five hundred others at one time, and He appeared finally to certain persons that Paul named, “James, then to all the apostles.” We know the disciples became the twelve apostles, but they weren’t the only apostles. Although James was a very popular name back then as it still is today, we know there was James among the twelve, but since Paul had already mentioned them, this James was someone else. There were others, and we can assume many of them came from the seventy, who were a group not well known who also walked with the Lord (Lk 10-1). Other apostles may have come from this seventy, and we can assume that James was one of them. From this we can say that a criterion for being named one of the original apostles is that he must have seen and walked with Christ.

(144b) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> The Church bears witness of Jesus >> It bears witness of the cross – Paul was a unique apostle; He wasn’t like the others because of the manner in which Jesus appeared to him, but also because the person of Paul was unique, being zealous beyond his fellows even before he met the Lord. Paul was totally absorbed in His work, obsessed with capturing Christians and imprisoning them with the expectation of prosecution, torture and death, and after his conversion, he became obsessed with the gospel, more than anyone else, and part of that was due to his personality. Jesus appeared to Paul in his glorified state and spoke to him, and it changed his life forever, and he became like no other person on earth. The apostle Paul was the most consumed man with the gospel. He cared nothing for his life, but because He was useful, God protected him for years, though he suffered the most horrendous punishments imaginable. They beat him with rods, flogged and stoned him and imprisoned him for years in dingy prisons, yet Paul didn’t care. The only thing that mattered to him was preaching the gospel and telling as many souls about Jesus as possible. Paul knew that after his departure “savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock” (Act 20-29,30); he knew that apostasy would follow him, replacing his influence in the Church, and so Paul was determined to give the gospel a good sendoff before his time was done.

(245d) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestations >> Literal manifestation of Jesus Christ >> Jesus literally gives sight to the blind

1Cor 15,8-10

(56i) Paradox >> Opposites >> Last is first and the first is last

1Cor 15-8

(63h) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Sarcasm >> Ignoring the truth to convey the truth

(214b) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> God’s timing >> God’s timing transcends our comprehension >> God’s time does not make sense to the natural mind

1Cor 15-9

(193e) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Repent >> Bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance >> Testimony of Paul’s life – Paul was not being modest when he said he was unfit to be called an apostle, since he persecuted the saints to the death. Others were left in prison for years or possibly their whole lives, because of their faith, believing the prophecies of the Old Testament that their countrymen didn’t understand. Israel was a spiritual nation, the only nation that was born from faith, the faith of Abraham, a nation whose laws were built around their religion. Anyone who broke the laws of Israel was not just a criminal but a blasphemer, and anyone who habitually broke the law was not just a career criminal but a reprobate. This is how Paul viewed the saints and then later become one, but he became a reprobate to Israel, which claimed to serve the same God. This disparity still hangs over the nation of Israel through their disobedience of unbelief.

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

10&11 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

 

1Cor 15-10

(31j) Gift of God >> Gift of His grace >> Being responsible with it -- This verse goes with verse 58. There is a difference between "mercy" and grace, and it would behoove us to keep them separate. "Mercy" is God's undeserved favor, whereas grace refers to His undeserved power; in this verse Paul uses grace to mean both. The Church doesn’t have a problem believing in the grace of God, except that most don't understand it. The teaching is extremely popular and also wrong that He bestows His grace apart from our works. God's sovereignty apart from our works better describes His mercy. The Father sent His Son to die on a cross, and we receive His mercy through a simple faith in Jesus' blood sacrifice apart from any works; that is "mercy", but He works with us to bestow His grace. An example of both mercy and grace is the cross of Christ, who was given while we were sinners (Rom 5-8), yet Jesus too was a man of flesh who endured the cross for our sake in obedience to His Father, and so in Christ we see God and man working together. For this reason we say that Jesus worked with the grace of God to forge a covenant to implement His mercy. Once we are forgiven, God makes us holy, hence the works that he prepared for us are holy (Eph 2-10). However, this idea is like sand in the eyes to fundamentalist Christians who teach that grace is strictly hands-off; otherwise it is not grace. Rom 11-6 says exactly that, "If it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace," but Paul here was talking about His mercy, implying that the Bible uses these words interchangeably and suggesting they are related. Many Christians sit on their hands waiting for God to instill His grace in them, while God has been waiting for them to work with Him. Read this verse again, noticing this time how God incorporates the works of man in his grace, and realize that there are dozens of passages that speak the same way.

(53j) Paradox >> Opposites >> Contradicting your own standards >> Believing in something you don’t understand – The paradox of those who would see Working The Grace Of God as heresy is that they believe we must recite the sinner’s prayer in order to be saved. Isn’t reciting the sinner’s prayer an example of man’s input in receiving the grace of God? We need to avail ourselves to Him so He can use us for whatever purpose He has in mind. The scariest thing about God is that He will let us believe and do whatever we want. God is not worried about getting His way in the world; He will get His way with or without us. He is willing to use us if we answer His call, but we often don’t heed Him, because we are too busy waiting for God’s grace to do everything for us. We just don’t seem to understand that grace is a composite of both God and man working together. So what do people do while they are erroneously waiting for God? They commit more sin so they need God's mercy all the more; meanwhile God is still waiting for their cooperation to establish them on the road to righteousness that He had prepared for them (Eph 2,8-10).

(91a) Thy kingdom come >> The called >> God’s purpose for us is to fulfill His calling >> Walk in the anointing to fulfill God’s purpose

(100f) Thy kingdom come >> Diligence >> Diligence in working the grace of God The subject of Working The Grace Of God is found on page 114 of this concordance, but this topic (diligence) is on page 100, meaning there are 14 more pages leading to the subject of “Working the Grace of God.” Thy Kingdom Come, the longest chapter in the concordance as a list of prerequisites, suggests there are many underlying factors in working with God's grace. Paul credited his accomplishments to God, saying, “His grace toward me was not in vain….” If we had to finish this verse, what would we say? Paul finished it saying, “I labored even more than all of them.” That doesn’t sound like anything the Church would say, suggesting that we have wandered from the Scriptures. It is not possible to work with God's grace without diligence. Paul said about the grace of God that he labored, and then turned and said, “yet not I, but the grace of God with me.” He was saying that his work and God’s work were indistinguishable. Who then was doing the work; was it Paul or was it God?’ The answer to this question is critical. It was a hybrid between the two. It looked like Paul doing it, but he was accomplishing things he could have never done without God.

(114a) Working The Grace Of God (Key verse) The operator of heavy machinery climbs into the backhoe and digs a hole in the ground by pulling a few levers and stepping on a few peddles, and by the end of the day he’s tired, depicting the weakness of man's flesh, yet the hole he dug was enormous compared to using a shovel. Prayer is like the levers of the backhoe; we spend a few hours in prayer and the things we accomplish are greater than the things we do throughout the rest of our day. The subject of Working the Grace of God encapsulates the power of God in human flesh. It is a biblical subject that is virtually unknown to the Christian Church, though it is etched into the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation. Obviously the Church knew about it in the days of Paul, since he wrote about it, and Jesus’ teachings revolved around this ethereal subject, so why don't we know about it? The Church fathers after the apostles fell asleep never mentioned it in their writings, being totally absent in Church history, making this subject the first doctrine to be truncated from Christian theology. There is a reason the devil slated this doctrine for immediate expulsion; it was his greatest obstacle in his quest to enslave the Church. Working the Grace of God is not something the devil could allow people to believe, though had the Church stood its ground he wouldn't have had a choice.

(115k) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Through obedience of faith >> Through diligence -- This verse goes with verses 57&58. This is the concept of working the grace of God: the Holy Spirit and man operating together to fulfill the vision that God has for each of us with the goal of edifying the Church. This is the idea of fitting into the body of Christ and fulfilling our designated role through obedience of faith. Acquiring the hearing ear to learn the will of God and then doing it constitutes our calling. Paul worked day and night for the sake of the gospel; he devoted his entire life to it. He spent breathless hours, often suffering from exposure to the elements, hunger, and persecution from every side, and he accomplished more in his lifetime than anyone before or after him, how? He knew the secret of working with the grace of God. It didn’t seem he was working at all; he simply woke up in the morning and lived for Jesus, and what came of it was a never-ending effort to please the one who had forgiven all his sin, and called him to His grace and kingdom. If we find ourselves working too hard for the Lord, then we need to embrace the grace of God as Paul did, and allow Him to turn His work into the joy of our life, that we too might find it impossible to differentiate between our efforts and God's grace working in us.

(117h) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Eyes of your spirit >> Vision >> Real-eyes God’s purpose >> Understand God’s purpose for your life -- This verse goes with verse 58

(228f) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> God is working in you to place you in His will >> To place you on the trail of good works -- This verse goes with verse 58

(231c) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Mystery of godliness >> God’s grace is the mystery of godliness >> God working in you is a mystery

1Cor 15-11,12

(149fa) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Preaching the word to the world >> The gospel of the kingdom >> Preach the gospel of salvation -- These verses go with verse 1. Paul was talking about not going in places where other people have preached the gospel, partly because that was their jurisdiction, and partly because all the apostles of the early church had the goal of reaching the known world at the time, and they couldn’t do that going over the same turf. Paul revisited the churches to encourage the brethren, considering himself their father, because they first heard the gospel through him. Had he gone to a church that somebody else established, he would not consider himself their father, so there were jurisdictions in a sense, but not on a competitive or rival basis but on the basis of efficiency and spiritual affection for those whom they personally won to the Lord. Jesus said to make disciples of all nations, not just converts, and so those they won to the Lord they felt obligated to disciple, and if somebody else discipled them, they would think it strange and unusual. They were all one in Christ, yet the jurisdictions stood among the apostles, and they respected them.

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

12-16 Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. 15 Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised;

 

1Cor 15,12-58

(38c) Judgment >> Jesus defeated death (Satan) >> Resurrection overcomes death – According to 1Cor 15-23, the blessed First Resurrection is scheduled to occur at His second coming. Jesus was the first to be raised from the dead, meaning that no one else before Christ has ever been raised in the fashion that Christ was raised, never to die again. It says in 1st Thessalonians chapter 4 that the dead shall be raised. At that point, both old and new covenant Christians who have been faithful to God will be raised from the dead in the First Resurrection. This will take place at the end of the great tribulation (the tribulation of the saints), between the trumpets and the bowls of God’s fiery judgment. A lot of people ask, ‘what happens when people die, where do they go?’ 2Cor 5-8 says that to be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord. So, when we die, our spirit goes directly to heaven, but our body sleeps in the earth. Those who have gone before us are currently disembodied spirits, until the time designated by the Father when we all will receive a body at the First Resurrection. We will not have the same body as our current one but a spiritual body, so it won’t matter if our old body was cremated. We will receive a new body that is indestructible, designed to last forever and never get old. We will receive new bodies that will be composed of some kind of spiritual material, just as physical as spiritual. It will be a type that Jesus had after His resurrection, who was able to transform His outward appearance so His disciples couldn’t recognize Him, yet they knew it was Him. See also: Resurrection; 245h

(191b) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Baptism symbolizes death, burial and resurrection >> Baptism is a sign of obedience – Paul uses language in his presentation on the resurrection from the dead with speech that doubles as a dissertation on baptism. The two subjects are inseparable, since baptism represents the resurrection. As everyone knows, baptism is meant to illustrate death, burial and resurrection. The water represents the Holy Spirit. The Christian’s old life dies through the agency of the Holy Spirit, who is then raised to new life in Christ, powered by the water of baptism. So, both death and life are in the water. When Paul said, “What will those do who are baptized for the dead?” he was indicating that there were those who had relatives who had died before the institution of baptism. These were people who loved the Lord, but died before Jesus came, and would have enjoyed participating in the ceremony of baptism had they been alive in Jesus’ day. So, Paul is referring to people who were being baptized in proxy for their relatives. It was a ceremony in memory of the faith of their grandmother, grandfather, aunts and uncles, though it wasn’t a ceremony that ensured people a place in heaven. Paul was using this to make his argument that if the dead are not raised, then why are people baptized at all?

(245h) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestations >> Manifestation of God’s righteous judgment >> The resurrection is a manifestation of His life Just as the resurrection of Jesus Christ was the literal manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s ministry in His life, so it will be to us one day when our bodies are raised from the dead. The Sadducees in the first century denied the resurrection, the spiritual realm as a whole and the existence of angels (Act 23-8), leaving virtually no room to believe anything, which probably was their aim, so they could keep their secular worldview. The contemporary church believes in all three, only most Christians don’t exactly know what to do with the Holy Spirit, as though He were a spare part after putting a car back together; in this case He would be the engine. Evangelicals are right in emphasizing the grace of God in their theology, which is no doubt the most important aspect of the gospel, but like the Sadducees they too fail to understand many teachings of the Holy Spirit. They believe only two doctrines about Him: He comes to live in our heart by faith the moment we are born again, and we are called to walk in the Spirit. Evangelicals take the safe road, afraid of false doctrine, and so throw out the baby with the bathwater. Is walking in the Spirit important as the resurrection from the dead? It would be too hard to explain the answer “yes”, so we'll just say no. However, fudging the doctrine of walking in the Spirit completely debilitates God's active role in our lives, which falls straight into the hands of the devil and explains how Satan has been so successful in controlling the Church throughout these two millennia. See also: Resurrection; 1Cor 15,12-20; 7f

1Cor 15,12-20

(7f) Responsibility >> Protecting the gospel >> Defending the truth – The teaching circulating in Paul’s day was that there was no resurrection, but if that were the case, then neither was Christ raised. Either there is a resurrection and we will be part of it, or there isn’t. For some reason there is incentive to believe there is no resurrection, which to Christians is the centerpiece of their faith. Only the Church will partake of the First Resurrection, but there is also a second resurrection, which is meant for those who have rejected Christ, and they will be raised only to be thrown into the lake of fire (Jn 5-28,29), and so for them there is plenty of incentive for denying the resurrection from the dead. Therefore, we can safely say that anyone who rejects the teaching of the resurrection does not belong to Christ. They don’t want to believe in a resurrection, because they don’t want a body to experience hell. See also: Resurrection; 177d

(94l) Thy kingdom come >> God’s perspective >> God reflects on His plan

(177d) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> False doctrine >> Doctrines of the precepts of men – The Corinthians were teaching that there was no resurrection from the dead, and Paul's answer was that if there were no resurrection, then neither is there a gospel. He taught that an existence where God intended to make us live in eternity without a body would not be worth suffering in this life for our faith. Paul claimed in verse 19 that to believe in God without a resurrection is a complete waste of faith. This is not just Paul’s opinion, it is also God’s opinion, who considers the material realm the essence of reality. This is why He demands we manifest our faith, and it is why He teaches that faith without works is dead, for if it doesn’t manifest, then it isn’t real. Sometimes we would like to be satisfied keeping our faith in the spiritual realm without obeying Christ when times get tough and we get discouraged, but God pushes us to demonstrate our faith even in hard times. He promises us a physical kingdom in eternity, and He wants us to demonstrate that kingdom now. See also: Resurrection; 1Cor 15,12-19; 171c

1Cor 15,12-19

(171c) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Outward appearance >> Vanity >> Vain experience >> Things you do in the absence of God – Without a resurrection from the dead we are still in our sins, for there is no point of forgiveness without a resurrection in that there would be no way to exact judgment on the offenders. God has forgiven us through the raised body of Jesus Christ, His blood sacrifice being the basis of His forgiveness, and His resurrection the completion of it, so our forgiveness is real as the material world around us. However, the resurrection also manifests God’s unforgiveness, in that it is the basis of His judgment on those who partake of the resurrection of the wicked. “Hallelujah! Her smoke rises up forever and ever” (Rev 19-3). See also: Resurrection; 1Cor 15,24-28; 66a

(178d) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Presumption (Hinduism) >> Presuming the facts about the circumstances >> Philosophy

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

17-23 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. 20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. 21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming,

 

1Cor 15-17

(186f) Works of the devil >> The result of lawlessness >> The reprobate >> Man’s role in becoming a reprobate >> The fool >> The heart of a fool

1Cor 15-19

(64j) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Weaknesses of God >> Foolishness of God

(75b) Thy kingdom come >> Motives of the heart >> Motives for doing the will of God -- This verse goes with verses 30-32

(121h) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Hope >> Expecting good things based on God’s character >> Expecting good things because He is God

(226e) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of the Kingdom of Heaven >> Reserved in heaven >> Our life is reserved for us in heaven In heaven everyone will be raised from the dead and have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them, walking by that Spirit. The symbolism of baptism will be completely fulfilled in our lives, and how did Jesus teach us to pray? “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” So if we are walking by the spirit in heaven, then we should be walking by the Spirit here on earth. There needs to be a resurrection from the dead and an endowing of the Holy Spirit for our faith to be meaningful both in this life and in the one to come.

1Cor 15,20-28

(119i) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Curse of sin is broken >> Curse of death is broken – The goal of the Garden of Eden was to test a people and prepare them for the task they will be called to do in eternity. He will call us to rule over a kingdom that will never cease to grow. In the days to come, after God does away with sin, He will have combined this victory over sin with our knowledge of sin to make a perfect people who are totally free. God needed us to literally experience evil and assuage our curiosity of it. He could tell us about evil, but without experiencing it we would never know what He meant. God is a God of experience; He had to experience evil for Himself on the cross; He needed to experience it in order to be complete. He did not want to exist without knowing something that His creation knew, and He found a way to experience sin while keeping His perfection intact, sending Jesus to the cross. He experienced everyone’s sin without having any sin of His own, thus establishing the perfect blend of experience without sin, and at the same time paid for our sins, so He could establish His creation in His own perfection, zealous for good works. “He who overcomes will inherit these things” (Rev 21-7). See also: Curse is broken; 1Cor 15,20-23; 248f

1Cor 15,20-23

(248f) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Jesus is first >> Jesus is first born of the Father – Paul compares the ministry of the first Adam with Christ (the second Adam) and points out the contrast in relation to God. Adam was disobedient, whereas Christ was faithful, but in order for there to be a comparison they needed something common among them. Adam was created to be the Father of all mankind, but now that place has been given to Christ, who is God in human flesh, who brought us closer to His divinity. God made man in His own image, and then He became a man, so now we are His sons and daughters, adopted through Christ. God has given us a better place with Him than He gave to Adam as a direct result of Adam’s sin; God has once more taken a curse and turned it into a blessing for us. See also: Curse is broken; 1Cor 15,20-28; 119i / Adam; 1Cor 15-22; 151g

1Cor 15-22,23

(237i) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Transferring the kingdom >> The Church is transferred to the kingdom >> The ascension >> Believers’ spiritual ascension

1Cor 15-22

(151g) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> New Testament bears witness of the Old >> Adam -- This verse goes with verses 42-49. Satan said to Adam and Eve, ‘If you eat the forbidden fruit, you will be as gods, knowing good from evil.’ There was a lot of truth to that statement, but at the same time he ignored what God said would happen to them, that they would die. Everything Satan said actually came true; now man knows good from evil, whereas before they ate, they didn’t know the meaning of evil. They also became as gods in that they were severed from the true God and as a result gained sovereign authority over their own lives. They could choose their own destiny now, whereas before the fall, they were connected to God doing His will. They didn’t know what it meant to have a will of their own, but when God put the tree in the garden, choosing to eat from it was the only way they knew to exercise their sovereign will to do something apart from God, thus they made their choice. However, immediately afterward they discovered a problem: they became unplugged from God's purpose and lost His favor. For us, then, relinquishing our will to God seems as though we are giving up our God-like status, thus erasing the benefit of the initial rebellion, but what we need to realize is that man apart from God is serving sin; we are not free as Satan promised, but when we surrender to God and take on His purpose, He will restore us in His favor and restore our freedom to a point before the fall and give us more authority than we could have on our own. See also: Adam; 1Cor 15-26; 29c

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24-28 then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death. 27 For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, "All things are put in subjection," it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. 28 When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.

 

1Cor 15,24-28

(13b) Servant >> Jesus serves His Father >> Jesus is under His authority – Everything is under the authority of Christ and Christ is under authority of the Father. Before Christ visited mankind He owned all things in joint ownership with the Father, but in the process of taking on human flesh He was stripped of these things and submitted His will to the Father and accepted the cross as His destiny. When God raised Him from the dead, He received back everything He willingly surrendered. Christ owns everything as He did before the cross, only now he owns them in a different way, through inheritance, and in the same way we have inherited all things from the Father through Christ.

(66a) Authority >> Lordship of Christ >> He is Lord over all creation >> over life and death – Jesus intends to abolish “all rule and all authority and power” on earth. "Abolish" means to nullify, to become nothing, to make obsolete so that death no longer exists. He abolished death in His own flesh at the resurrection and spiritually abolished death in us when He delegated the Holy Spirit to His people, so that the life of God dwells in us, and when we die, our bodies will be buried but our spirit will ascend to heaven, and one day at the First Resurrection we will receive new bodies. This is what it means to overcome death: it is a process. There is the contrast of Jesus dying on the cross, having all the sins of the world heaped upon Him and His Father turning from Him, to now receiving all power and authority from the Father, “So that God may be all in all.” Jesus is in the Father as Jn 10-38 says, “If I do [the works of My Father], though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.” Jesus is in the sphere of His Father’s favor and authority. To be in subjection to Him is to gain His authority, for the Father has delegated all authority to His Son, who in turn has delegated all His authority to His people, who collectively have the authority of God. See also: Resurrection; 1Cor 15-26; 34h

(72m) Authority >> Hierarchy of authority >> Authority makes you accountable >> Children are accountable to their parents

(253i) Trinity >> Relationship between Father and Son >> Father and Son glorify each other >> Son glorifies the Father in all things given to Him

(253j) Trinity >> Relationship between Father and Son >> Jesus is subject to the Father >> Jesus is under the authority of the Father – This period to which Paul is referring comes at the end of the Millennium, after the last rebellion, when those who are in Christ are in heaven and those who are not are removed. Once Jesus puts away sin, it will never return. God the Father will put away His last enemydeath, the consequence of sin, and He will place it under Christ’s feet, referring to hell and Satan. Once the Father has placed all things in subjection to Him, including all of mankind and the universe itself, the new creation, Christ will then subject Himself to the Father, so that God may be all in all. This means that in eternity Christ will not be in charge but the Father, because the Son permanently became one of God's creatures on Christmas night, though He maintains His divinity as a member of the Triune God. Christ will shepherd His people and lead us into the will of His Father, who is the final authority, demonstrating humility and trust with His Father.

(255i) Trinity >> Father, Son and Holy Spirit >> Three in one >> God is one – Christ will gladly submit to His Father’s authority, not forcibly but willingly, “that God will be all in all.” This is what the Triune God means, for prior to sin, no one saw the godhead as separate individuals. Now that Christ has defeated His enemies, peace will return to His kingdom, and God will be seen as one again. Three instances of one God is the picture of unity in absolute harmony, authority through submission, indistinguishable and identical in character and person.

1Cor 15-25

(48n) Judgment >> Jesus’ enemies are destroyed >> Enemies of His glory – Christ intends to use the Church to put all His enemies under His feet in the last days. The Church will begin to rule the world on a spiritual level as the glory of God within them increases, taking power away from the antichrist, even from those who are trying to destroy them. The Church will begin to reign by the power of Christ, until the moment comes for His second coming, when He literally puts His enemies under His feet. However, before He subjects their unbelief physically, He will subject them spiritually to His Church.

1Cor 15-26

(29c) Gift of God >> God is our advocate >> Delivered from death -- This verse goes with verses 55-57. God intends to abolish death by increments. Starting in the Garden of Eden where death was first introduced to man, when God said to Adam and Eve about eating the forbidden fruit, “You will surely die,” meaning separation. In this case Adam and Eve were separated from God. They died later and were separated from their bodies to fulfill the word that God spoke to them, so there was a spiritual death and a natural death. Thousands of years later, Jesus died on a cross, he went to hell and three days later rose from the dead, eradicating death in his own body for anyone who would believe in Him for eternal life. Through victory over death He now imparts life to us by His Spirit, who is the opposite of death. He took from Satan the keys of death and hell, thus overcoming death on a spiritual level. Then on a specified day God will implement the First Resurrection, thus destroying death more literally. Each victory over death is greater than the one before it, approaching victory in its final form, permanently removing death from His creation. Eventually, God will throw Satan in hell, which will be another victory over death, and then finally God will destroy this entire universe and create a new one in its place, so all traces of death will be forever eliminated. This way He will completely overcome death on every conceivable level, so that Paul can confidently say in verse 55, “O death, where is your victory: O death, where is your sting?” See also: Adam; 1Cor 15,42-49; 151g

(34h) Gift of God >> God is willing to Give >> The blessed First Resurrection – The First Resurrection is also the day of the Rapture, speaking of it in this way, “Then the seventh angel sounded [the last trumpet]; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever’” (Rev 11-15). During the first six trumpets some of the most horrendous judgments were loosed on the unbelieving world, but at the seventh trumpet, nothing appeared to happen, as though it were a dud. However, the next two verses say, “And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, 'We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign'" (Rev 11-16,17 ). Something tremendous occurred, but it doesn’t say what; the balance of power shifted at the seventh trumpet, but it doesn’t say how. We know that the Two Witnesses were just raised from the dead, which hints at the First Resurrection, especially in v52 of this chapter when it says the dead will be raised at the last trumpet, starting with the Two Witnesses. After that, most of what remains on earth are the wicked, whom the bowls of God’s fierce wrath will judge, while He takes His bride home to celebrate the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. There will be a small remnant that will remain, who didn't take the Mark of the Beast or believed in Jesus, and consequently they were left behind; they will have to make the arduous journey to Jerusalem, which is ground zero for the war of Armageddon though a haven for His remnant. There they will await Christ’s return, and these will become the seed that God will use to repopulate the earth during the Millennium. After the bowls of God’s fierce wrath and the war of Armageddon are finished, Christ will touch His foot on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem and meet His remnant there. See also: Resurrection; 1Cor 15,29-58; 224a

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29&30 Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them? 30 Why are we also in danger every hour? 

 

1Cor 15,29-58

(224a) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Description of heaven >> Describing the kingdom after he makes all things new >> Description of the resurrection – The theme of this chapter is the resurrection and the symbol of the resurrection is baptism. Verse 29 begins the discussion of baptism that lasts to the end of this chapter. Baptism has a duality in its symbolism that illustrates dying, in this case drowning, and then being raised from the dead, while it also signifies dying to self in order to live and walk by the spirit, suggesting that the water of baptism also represents the anointing. Paul emphasizes this fact in verse 30 saying, "I die daily." He dies daily to his interests, so he can fulfill the interests of Christ. A few verses down, Paul complains that the Corinthians are being baptized in place of others, but are not living the way that reflects the significance of baptism, saying in verse 34, "Become sober-minded as you ought and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame." Then in verse 35 Paul formally begins his dissertation on the resurrection, bringing up the concept of baptism again in verse 36, "That which you sow does not come to life unless it [first] dies," comparing the resurrection to a seed. The term germination signifies that the seed has died and is now preparing to take on new life as a plant. The plant is not like the seed, any more than our resurrected bodies will be like our current physical bodies. See also: Resurrection; 1Cor 15,35-49; 39b

1Cor 15,30-34

(193l) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Run to God >> Run to God in your freedom to choose righteousness – Question: why did Paul accept being in danger of death and constant labor and imprisonments, having been beaten times without number far more than the others (2Cor 11,23-33)? Answer: he endured all things for the sake of the elect (2Tim 2-10)! Had he done it from human motives, he would have of all men most to be pitied (v10). He did it because there will be a resurrection from the dead, both of the righteous and the wicked; the righteous will receive eternal life, but the wicked will be thrown into the lake of fire, and the smoke of their torment rises forever and ever (Rev 14-11). Everybody has a choice; we were born to make this choice; what do we want, eternal glory or everlasting contempt? To Paul it was just as important to save people from hell as it was to save them to heaven. This is the choice we were given simply for being born; we must pick one or the other. The person who determines in his heart to choose eternal glory will find it if he seeks it with all his heart, but if he accepts easy-believism and lives however he feels, how can he expect God to spare him from the wrath to come (1The 1-10)? When we listen to Paul, almost everything he said spoke to our hope of eternal life, but on the back burner simmers the constant reminder of the alternative, that those who do not receive Jesus as Lord and savior will lose their souls to the flames of hell. The determination of Paul represents the true urgency that is at stake; we too should show some urgency regarding our own souls and the eternal fate of our neighbors.

1Cor 15,30-32

(75b) Thy kingdom come >> Motives of the heart >> Motives for doing the will of God -- These verses go with verse 19. Only the most depressed person on the verge of suicide would ask this question: ‘What is the point of living?' When we look at all the artists and creative people, we see that those who made the greatest contributions to this world were melancholy, and they are the ones who most often ask this question, yet Paul is suggesting that each of us should ask this question of ourselves, especially those who don’t have a saving faith in Jesus Christ. Most people go on with their lives without ever thinking about eternity. Type A people are always upbeat and happy; they have lots of friends and consider this question answered in all their happiness that they enjoy, but Paul says, ‘It doesn’t matter how happy we are if we are going to die someday.’ All our happiness will come to an end, so what is the point of anything? Life as we know it will end, yet we ourselves will not end; we will continue living, but what kind of existence will we have? The answer to that question depends on what we do in this life! Who cares if we are happy now if we are going to die? If there is no solution to death, then all our happiness is for nothing; we will be forgotten as though we never existed. Paul says that the resurrection of the righteous answers this question and fixes everything in the resurrection of the righteous, and it is the reason we are willing to endure all levels of suffering and mistreatment. Paul was willing to suffer anything for the sake of those who would inherit eternal life.

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31-34 I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 32 If from human motives I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, what does it profit me? If the dead are not raised, LET US EAT AND DRINK, FOR TOMORROW WE DIE. 33 Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals." 34 Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame. 

 

1Cor 15-31

(84e) Thy kingdom come >> Words of your mouth >> Boasting >> It needs to be said and no one is saying it >> boasting of my weaknesses

(188a) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Die to the flesh >> Dying to self takes discipline – Paul’s boast was ultimately the Corinthian Church, which was his result of dying to self, dying to his desires, his visions and affections regarding this life. Dying to self is a daily process, though some people think they have already done it as though they had completed a project, but Paul taught that we never finish dying to self. Jesus died daily too, according to Heb 5-7, “In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety.” He often felt tempted to do things other than the will of God, no different from our own experiences; He felt this most succinctly in the Garden of Gethsemane prior to His betrayal and arrest, meaning that before He went to the cross, He had already died in His heart. The world, the flesh and the devil are against us, so we must read our Bible and pray daily to keep our mind in remembrance of God’s will, because we can quickly forget. We are either spiritually dead and allow sin to reign in our flesh, or we are spiritually alive and must place our sinful passions and desires under subjection to the will of God. Dying to self is an aspect of spiritual warfare, denoted as starving our appetite for sin. When we fast, the first thing that happens is we get hungry; our appetite subsides for a season and then returns with a vengeance demanding that we feed it. If we continue to deny our appetite, eventually our organs fail, and our brain feels like it is on fire from a lack of nutrition and sleep. Starving is the closest analogy to dying to self, and it is the same way when we deny our evil desires. Our sinful nature doesn’t literally die but goes into hibernation and waits for an opportunity to tempt us again. We wrestle with this wild maniac of the sinful nature that seeks freedom from its prison to ravage our lives. Dying to self isn’t easy or fun, but it is necessary if we want to have a relationship with God through obedience. Christ wants to control us, but if our flesh is controlling us, He can’t.

1Cor 15-33

(162h) Bad company (Key verse)

(162i) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Bondage >> Being slaves of men >> Bad company >> Bad company will entangle you in their bondage – We should not allow bad company to distract us from our prize of eternal life. Paul forewarned us not to marry unbelievers, and now he is saying that we should not even associate with them. We were once unbelievers, and then we got saved, and all our friends were unbelievers. We don’t forsake them; we preach Jesus to them until they forsake us or else get saved and follow us into eternal life. This way we are not rejecting them but they are rejecting us, and now that all our unbelieving friends are gone, we don’t go looking for more, but we look for believing friends, so they might encourage us as we encourage them in or faith. If we think our unbelieving friends don’t have it as their aim to dissuade us from our faith, we are naïve.

1Cor 15-34

(2o) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God >> Get out of His way >> Quit sinning – The term "sober-minded" means they were drunk in their souls and drunk with the worldly influence of sin. Paul was telling the Church to lose the world and embrace Christ, because people are watching us.

(78o) Thy kingdom come >> Renewing your mind >> Putting your heart on display >> Consequence of not renewing your mind – Unbelief does not exist in a vacuum but goes hand-in-hand with disobedience. If we have friends who discourage us from believing in Jesus, and we allow doubt to gain a foothold, eventually it will turn to unbelief, which will produce disobedience that feeds unbelief. We cannot control the destiny of others, but we can control ourselves, what we believe and what we say and do. We control whether faith grows in our heart or dies. Jesus warned us not to let the flame die in our heart in the parable of the Ten Virgins. Five of them didn’t take Jesus seriously and allowed the flame to die, and it happened in the last days, the very days in which we are living.

(153g) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> God bears witness against the world >> Shame >> Walking in condemnation >> Walking in sin

(175m) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Ignorance >> Ignorant of God

(192j) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Repent >> Stop practicing sin >> Stop sinning

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35-38 But someone will say, "How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?" 36 You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies; 37 and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38 But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own.

 

1Cor 15,35-55

(134e) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Composition of our bodies is from the earth >> We are physically excluded from the spiritual realm – In this life we have a body and we have a spirit, yet neither of them wants anything to do with the other. We don’t know if our spirit inhabits our brain tissue or if it dwells in us somewhere else or if our body is superimposed over our spirit, etc., but we do know that the brain offers a sense of consciousness, so the spirit of man and his brain seem to be working in tandem. That is, it is not the brain and it is not the spirit that renders consciousness but both at the same time. However, there is a disconnect between the spirit and the body, and the disconnect is so severe that we can’t really tell that we have a spirit.

1Cor 15,35-49

(39b) Judgment >> Jesus defeated death >> Characteristics of the resurrection – The implication of the resurrection is a physical body; we will enjoy a physical heaven. Someone might say that spiritual bodies are not actually physical, yet a body implies the physical attribute, otherwise it is not really a body. If it is a body that can touch only the spiritual realm and not the physical, it would be useless. Consequently, the future that God has planned for His people is utterly profound, more amazing than the most vivid imagination could conceive. 1Cor 2-9 says, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.” This was a quote Paul used from the Old Testament, so we have known for thousands of years that God has great plans for us. We will have a spiritual body that can directly interface with the physical realm and with the spiritual. The only way to comprehend a “spiritual body” is to give these words: spiritual and body equal weight. In other words, our bodies will be as much spiritual as they will be physical, suggesting that we can change phases at will, going from spiritual to physical and everywhere in-between (opacity). See also: Resurrection; 1Cor 15,35-44; 98g

1Cor 15,35-46

(238f) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Transferring the kingdom >> The kingdom is transferred to the Church >> New creation >> The new creation is our spiritual composition – There is more than one kind of seed in the Kingdom of Heaven, referring to our future resurrected bodies, meaning there will be quantitative differences between us, just as none of us look or act the same in this life. For example, some people are athletes, while others spend their lives in wheelchairs. According to another analogy in verse 39, it equates our bodies to fish, birds and beasts, suggesting there will also be qualitative differences between us. That doesn’t mean some of us will look like a fish while others look like birds; rather, our heavenly body will be inherently different from our earthly one. There will also be differences in glory between us, just as there are differences in brightness between stars in the sky. Some will shine brighter than others, depending on how we used our body in this life, that is, whether we lived for Christ or for ourselves.

1Cor 15,35-44

(98g) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> (Faith à Suffering à Glory of Christ) >> The resurrection – We know that a caterpillar turns into a butterfly and there is a chrysalis stage in-between, which represents the grave. Staying consistent with the analogy, before we were saved we were just an egg. This means that Christians live the life of a caterpillar. Our spirit has been redeemed, but our flesh is destined to rot in the grave. The question of our resurrected body being the same as the one in this life is irrelevant. For example, the cells of our body die and are replaced every eleven months, and so just about every year we get a new body; therefore, at the resurrection which body will we have, this one or the one we had eleven months ago? A person’s body decays into the ground, the molecules that once composed it have returned to inert material, leaving behind a rack of bones. Some say God can do anything; He can raise the same body if He wanted, but why would He go through the trouble of locating all the atoms that once composed our body and use them to create a new body that is totally different? The only reason people want the same body in the resurrection is that they have an ill-attachment to this life and to their sinful nature that resides in their flesh. See also: Resurrection; 1Cor 15,40-49; 226j

(192a) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Result of putting off the old man >> Gain by losing >> Life for life >> Losing your life to gain God’s life

1Cor 15,35-38

(187g) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man>> Die to the flesh >> Dying to receive the glory of God >> Dying to self precedes the resurrection

(229e) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Kingdom grows by itself >> God causes the growth >> Kingdom grows like crops in a farmer’s field

1Cor 15-35,36

(129e) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Bearing fruit >> Bear fruit by dying to self

1Cor 15-36

(56h) Paradox >> Opposites >> He must increase, but I must decrease -- This verse goes with verses 42-49

(232b) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the kingdom >> Count the cost >> The cost is more than you can imagine so don’t count

1Cor 15-38

(217b) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> God Is Independent Of His Creation >> No one can tell God what to do

 

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39-45 All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So also it is written, "The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 

 

1Cor 15,39-42

(136d) Temple >> Your spirit is the temple of God >> The body of Christ >> Variation in the body

1Cor 15,40-49

(226j) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of heaven >> Levels of reward >> Rewarded by levels of glory in our spiritual bodies – Those who are persecuted for the cause of righteousness, Jesus said in Mat 5-11,12 that their reward in heaven is great, which will be reflected in their resurrected bodies, as it says in Heb 11-35 “Others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection.” God intends to reward us in our resurrected bodies, which will be ours forever. It is unlikely that we will be able to rack up more rewards after this life, since our level of authority will not change, being directly proportional to our heavenly reward (Lk 19-17). The children of God shine like the stars of heaven, each star differs in glory, shimmering with an incandescence that mirrors the rewards they gained from obedience. “Star differs from star in glory,” the degree of our luminosity will determine our authority where God places us in the hierarchy of authority. There is nothing in our hand we must carry with us, no badge of honor we must pin to our robe or set on a mantel and later get shoved into a junk drawer. There will be crowns, though we will only wear them during ceremonies and festivals. Instead, our reward will be forever imprinted on our person for all to see at the resurrection of the righteous when He gives us a new spiritual body. Just by looking at us everyone will know our level of faithfulness we demonstrated to Christ in mortal flesh. Just like looking at a star in the sky, we will know what level of reward everyone received from God for his obedience in this life. There won’t be any jealousy about those who shine brighter than others, but it God attempted such a system in this life, wars would start the next day against those who outshined others. In heaven we will be without sin and living in a kingdom established on opposite principles of this present world. In heaven the brightest star is the servant of all, and the faintest is the object of their service. Heaven would not be heaven without servants, and the most radiant of all will serve the least. It is an honor to serve in heaven, and for this reason Jesus commanded us to serve our weaker brother (Act 20-35). See also: Resurrection; 1Cor 15,40-44; 243i

1Cor 15,40-44

(243i) Kingdom of God >> The eternal kingdom >> The indestructible kingdom >> The body of Christ is indestructible >> Our spiritual bodies are indestructible – Without the resurrection there is no hope; Paul doesn’t even acknowledge the prospect of life after death without a body. This doesn’t mean people who have died in Christ throughout the ages are asleep, waiting for the resurrection in a state of unconsciousness. Rather, they are disembodied spirits in heaven, which is the New Jerusalem, a spiritual place, so one does not need a body. It is a place that is outside the dimensions of this natural realm, but with the resurrection God intends to make us to interact with the natural universe that He will remake after He destroys this present universe and builds a new creation in its place, which will become part us. Rom 8,20-23 says, “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.” In this life we have a spirit that is subordinate to the body, but in the life to come God will give us a body that will be subordinate to our spirit, so we can decide the degree of our body’s opaqueness, whether it is fully visible or invisible or any level in-between. If our body is injured, though with no pain involved, we simply go fully opaque and then reappear. Our body follows the pattern of our spirit, retuning fully restored, whereas in this life the spirit follows the pattern of the body. If it feels pain, we feel pain, and if the body suffers a brain injury, our spirit is subjected to its condition. See also: Resurrection; 1Cor 15,50-58; 237b

1Cor 15-41,42

(226g) Levels Of Reward (Key verse)

1Cor 15,42-49

(56h) Paradox >> Opposites >> He must increase, but I must decrease -- These verses go with verse 36

(151g) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> New Testament bears witness of the Old >> Adam -- These verses go with verse 22. Adam was familiar with the very presence of God; He visited Adam in the cool of the day, so when he fell, he sinned knowing the very presence of God, just as Lucifer did, which was a profound sin, suggesting that Adam may not be with us in heaven. However, we have never seen God, so our sin is not as great as Adam’s. Plus, Adam initiated the rebellion, whereas we were innocently born into it. We live in a fallen universe based on our understanding of astronomy; there is no life anywhere except here. All the planets are dead, probably being the case of every planet in the universe. The stars themselves will eventually grow old and die, and so it is a dying universe, a slow death but dying just the same. The earth’s curse was repressed allowing life to continue, though requiring the Garden of Eden as an oasis from the curse. This equally describes the human body as cursed yet still with the capacity for life. The only way man could reverse the curse was within the garden, for he could not fix the earth being broken himself; therefore, when God said to the man in Genesis 3,17-19, “Cursed is the ground because of you,” it means that Adam was called to expand the garden throughout the earth and overtake the curse but failed and hence became part of the curse. The land remained cursed, and God made them accountable for it. God made man from dust of the cursed earth (Genesis 2-7,8), and then breathed a perfect spirit into him that staved off the curse from Adam’s body. It actually stands to reason that Adam’s body was made from a cursed material, since God said to the woman that her pain in childbirth would be greatly multiplied, meaning that it would have been painful even if they had not sinned, only to a lesser degree, pain being an aspect of the curse (Rev 21-4). We know from the above verse that there will be no sorrow or pain in heaven. This suggests a couple things; first, what God offered Adam and Eve was less than He offers us, now that Christ has been sacrificed. Also, they lived in fallible bodies, yet Adam and Eve would have never died had they not sinned, because their perfect spirits counteracted the curse. The same goes for Christ; His death was a miracle, since He was without sin. Death follows sin, but there was no clause mentioned in the law of sin that allowed for death without sin; thus, Jesus broke the law of sin through His death (Rom 8-1,2; Romans eight is an important chapter to this discussion). This means His death gained the victory over the curse and not His resurrection; His resurrection was a mere reification of His endless life, like a bobber that returns to the surface after the fish quits tugging on it. See also: Adam; 1Cor 15-47,48; 60g

1Cor 15-43

(9e) Responsibility >> God strengthens us from our weaknesses

1Cor 15-45

(254i) Trinity >> Holy Spirit’s relationship between Father and Son >> Jesus is equal with the Holy Spirit >> Holy Spirit is life >> Spirit of Jesus

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46-49 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. 47 The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.

 

1Cor 15-46

(250a) Sequence Of Priorities (Key verse)

(250f) Priorities >> God’s prerequisites >> Sequence of priorities >> Natural then the spiritual (obedience then anointing) A Christian has two natures, an earthly one and a heavenly one. The goal of every Christian should be to let his heavenly nature dominate our earthly nature. It says that Jesus is a life-giving Spirit, and what is Satan but a life-taking spirit? Jesus is God and he has an endless supply of everything, and the thing He offers is the Holy Spirit. He gives Himself to whomever will receive Him, but He says, “The spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.” This is a principle of the Kingdom of Heaven that we must follow throughout the Scriptures. We must first obey the Holy Spirit before we can receive His anointing, just as we must first live in our natural flesh before we can receive our spiritual bodies. However, at other times the spiritual is first, then the natural, such as when performing miracles; we must first have a spiritual relationship with God before He can manifest Himself. Another example is in Gal 3,16-18, Abraham believed God, who considers faith a spiritual material, and then the law came 430 years later, designed to govern man in his natural flesh. So, in this sense the spiritual came first, then the natural. This is the flipside of the same principle.

 

1Cor 15,47-49

(43c) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Conform to the character of Jesus’ image

1Cor 15-47,48

(60g) Paradox >> Two implied meanings >> Earthly—Tiller of the ground / Worldly – There is a difference between earthly and worldly. The world is rooted in the earth, which brings forth the curse, and the nations of the world are an expression of that curse. Farmers cultivate the earth as Adam was a farmer. Being earthen is our constitution, but when Adam sought to be like God in ways He did not approve, he became worldly. Before the fall, Adam’s physical composition was from the earth but not of the curse, in that he took on the attributes of the Garden of Eden when God placed him there (Genesis 2-8). The garden was located in the midst of a curse that extended throughout the universe as a result of Satan’s rebellion, so the only place that was not cursed was the garden, and He commanded Adam to till the ground and bring forth fruit and expand the garden to fill the earth and overcome the curse. However, when he sought the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, he was seeking fruit that laid beyond the boundaries of the garden, as though the garden were in the shape of a donut, and in the middle of it was an open space for the forbidden tree. For Adam to desire that fruit was to desire the knowledge of evil and to live outside the garden. It was Adam’s way of showing preference for the curse and contempt for the garden and for God and for all He had given the man. After making his choice, Adam was no longer of the garden but of the world, and so God expelled him into the world, and Adam took the curse into his body. See also: Adam; 1Cor 15-48; 167d

(134c) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Mediator between the natural and the spiritual realms >> Your body manifests whatever is in your heart – Some might say that Christianity and the world are not that different from each other, but the Bible teaches that there are two distinct kingdoms on the earth: the kingdoms of this world and the Kingdom of God, and the two are in opposition to each other. Like light and darkness, we cannot have both at the same time. When we turn on the light, darkness goes away; and when we turn off the light, darkness refills the room; therefore, a person who wants to be heavenly cannot be worldly. Jesus said about those who think they are heavenly but are in fact worldly, “If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Mat 6-23).

1Cor 15-48

(6i) Responsibility >> Spiritual >> Ministering to people by being in the Spirit

(167d) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Carnality/Secularism (mindset of the world) >> The carnal mind is set on the flesh >> Bound to the earth – Paul said, “As is the earthly, so also are those who are earthly,” meaning that those who are like Adam also desire his wisdom and live apart from God under the curse, so are the heavenly who seek God's wisdom and belong to the Spirit that dwells in them. Paul is talking about two natures: the nature of those who seek the curse and the nature of those who seek the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. As is Christ, so also are His children. There is no significant difference between Him and us in the very core of our being where the Holy Spirit dwells. We love God and seek His truth; our bodies comprise the earth, and we strive to avoid worldliness. These separate natures are opposites that repel each other. Just as the boundaries of the garden were well defined, so the boundaries of these two natures are well defined by the differences between their fruit. As those who love this world are worldly, so those who love the Lord are heavenly (Eph 6-24). See also: Adam; 1Cor 15,20-23; 248f

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50-54 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory.

 

1Cor 15,50-58

(119i) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Curse of sin is broken >> Curse of death is broken – Sin and death work with each other against the sinner, like climbing down a ladder; sin takes a step and then death takes a step down, and the sting of death is sin. We know that hell is a place of suffering, but it is only a place of suffering because of sin. Jesus took the sin of the whole world with Him to hell and left it there. 1Pet 3-19,20 says, “He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark.” His Father lifted Him out of the pit and brought Him back to the earth in a resurrected body, and then He ascended to heaven. Jesus suffered the sins of the world that were heaped upon Him, which was the sting of death, though He personally never committed a sin. People in hell are suffering because of sin, indicating that the more people sinned in this life, the more they will suffer in hell. We don’t exactly know what that entails, though there are some theories, such as: sin itself will be heavy on the sinner, and when he is thrown into the lake of fire, his sin pulls him under the liquid-hot magma, and the deeper he sinks the hotter it gets. The Bible also speaks about living in darkness forever with no mention of fire (Jd-13), so it is possible that once they are thrown into the lake of fire, many will be able to swim to shore and seek a place of refuge in pitch black darkness. This is only conjecture, yet it follows the teaching of Scripture. See also: Hell; 1Cor 15-56; 26b

(237b) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> The Church is transferred to the kingdom >> The rapture >> Last trumpet – This passage refers to the Rapture. It is mentioned in the New Testament only 3 or 4 times (though the word "rapture" is never used). In this case Paul gives a key piece of information: the rapture will occur at the Last Trumpet. In Revelation chapters 8-11, there are seven trumpets, and so it is possible to pinpoint exactly where in the sequence of endtime events the Rapture will occur... at the “last trumpet”. However, we don't know when. This is what it says about the last trumpet, “The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever’” (Rev 11-15). This effectively ends man's tyrannical reign of terror, waged since the first transgression of Adam in the Garden of Eden. The Rapture is when God snatches away His faithful ones, who will not experience the third and final judgment of the bowls. The first of three sets of judgments began with the first five seals constituting Satan’s rage against mankind, then graduated to the trumpet judgments of God's wrath, starting at the sixth seal. The trumpets that followed were meant to correct man for conspiring against His beloved people (the Church will still be here but protected by God), but the bowls are a bloodbath, and for this reason God had to remove His people from the earth, because of their severity. Part of the reason people cannot see the Rapture in Revelation 11 is that they don’t understand its purpose. The Rapture indicates the beginning of God’s eternal reign. Man’s kingdoms are about to come to a close, while Christ’s kingdom is about to begin; the First Resurrection followed by the Rapture signifies this transition. See also: Resurrection; 1Cor 15-58; 99k

1Cor 15-50

(36i) Gift of God >> Inheritance >> Our inheritance can be withheld

1Cor 15-53,54

(113e) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> The anointing >> Heaven’s clothes >> Garments of the new creation

1Cor 15,54-58

(39h) Judgment >> Jesus defeated death >> Victory >> Jesus never fails

(39k) Judgment >> Jesus defeated death >> Jesus defeated the law of sin

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55-58 "O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?" 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

 

1Cor 15,55-57

(29c) Gift of God >> God is our advocate >> Delivered from death -- These verses go with verse 26

1Cor 15-56

(26b) Sin >> Consequences of sin >> Death is hell – “The wages of sin is death” (Rom 6-23) and, “The sting of death is sin.” Death means separation. The sinner is separated from his body on the day of his death, and his soul goes to a place that is separate from God, separate from His character outlined by the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, etc., and separated from His gifts and attributes, such as a sunny sky or a cold drink of water. All these things are absent from hell. It says, “the sting of death is sin,” but the natural mind has it backward; they think, ‘the sting of sin is death.’ That would denote a termination of suffering, as though once they died their life was over, but that is not the case. Paul's viewpoint suggests that life continues after death, and to die in their sin has the sting of eternal judgment appended to it. People go to hell because of sin, hell being the ultimate manifestation of death. Eventually all God's enemies will reside in hell. See also: Hell; 1Cor 15,50-58; 119i

(52c) Judgment >> Judging Church with world >> Law judges sin >> Power of sin is the law

(218f) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> Reaping the harvest >> We choose our actions, not their consequences >> wages of sin is death – A person can sin against God and become separated from His blessings; he can lose everything: his family, his wife, his children, his house and car; he could even become homeless. From that misery he can look for relief in drugs and alcohol, which will drag him further down the drainpipe from God's love and purpose, and deeper into pain and suffering in this life, all because of sin. In contrast a good man with a sincere faith becomes a Christian and has fellowship with God, but it usually takes many years to convince other people that his faith is real, and so the sting of death slowly fades in relation to his fellow man, though he can be immediately restored with God.

1Cor 15,57,58

(115k) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Through obedience of faith >> Through diligence -- These verses go with verse 10

1Cor 15-57

(39d) Victory (Key verse)

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1Cor 15-58

(31j) Gift of God >> Gift of His grace >> Being responsible with it -- This verse goes with verse 10

(90l) Thy kingdom come >> The called >> God’s purpose for us is to fulfill His calling >> Our purpose is to do God’s will – Ask born-again Christians if they know their purpose and calling in life, and most if they were honest would say they don’t. Most people in the Church act just as lost (if not more so) as those in the world that we should be trying to save. They go to church and go through the motions of liturgy, standing up and sitting down on cue, giving to the offering plate, and they consider this to be God’s calling. This may be part of it, but God has much more for us. Those who are trying to find His calling should be asking two questions: how will God’s purpose involve walking in love, and how will it involve our understanding of Him. We cannot have one without the other. If God reveals Himself to us, it is for the purpose of love, and if we walk in love, God will reveal His purpose to us. To perform random acts of love or to participate in a ministry that we were not led by the Spirit to do is to miss God’s true purpose, and it is to miss the blessing and eternal rewards that God had prepared for us. There are many good things we could do, but what does God want us to do? Are the good works we are doing an aspect of His purpose, or are we doing them because we don’t really know what to do?

(98d) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> Rooted deeply >> Be steadfast in the work of the Lord 

(99e) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> Enduring the will of God >> Endure the position of a servant

(99k) Thy kingdom come >> Perseverance (Working to keep in motion) >> Persevere in doing good – The context of this verse is the resurrection from the dead. The resurrection is the reason our toil is not in vain in the Lord, meaning we can devote our lives to God without a sense of futility because of the resurrection, which is the essence of eternal life, and for this reason all the effort we exert in our ministry and in striving against sin is not in vain. God will reward us for our service to Him, and the reward will be appended to our resurrected bodies. Some of us will have crowns, but the twenty-four elders in the Book of Revelation took off their crowns and threw them at the feet of Him who sits on the throne, suggesting they were separate from their bodies, but a bodily reward will remain with us forever and become our identity. Paul said, “star differs from star in glory” (v41); we look into the night sky and see that one star has a greater radiance than another; this will also be the case with us, being one aspect of Christ’s reward. Everyone who sees us will know the level the faithfulness we showed Him in this life, if we were steadfast and immovable and always abounded in the work of the Lord, or if we sneaked through the pearly gates by the skin of our teeth. See also: Resurrection; 1Cor 15,12-58; 38c

(101b) Thy kingdom come >> Zeal >> For the manifestation of God’s kingdom >> Zealous for good works

(117h) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Eyes of your spirit >> Vision >> Real-eyes God’s purpose >> Understand God’s purpose for your life -- This verse goes with verse 10

(127g) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Goodness >> Rewards for doing good >> Sow the seeds of goodness >> Do not grow weary of doing good

(227e) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of heaven >> God rewards endurance >> Keeping our rewards through endurance – What God calls us to do will be accompanied by zeal and spiritual wisdom, and the doors of heaven will open as we walk on His trail of good works. Everything will make perfect sense regarding the things of God; we will open the Bible and truth and wisdom will pour from its pages and through our lives. As we step into God's purpose, the things He has called us to do will be the easiest things we will ever do, but they will also require endurance and perseverance. We will be as geniuses regarding the Lord's will; we won’t even have to think about it; we will just know, and if we stopped and wondered how we know these things, we would realize we don’t know. We will become professionals in the place that God has given us. This is what God wants for each person regardless of his abilities; He will make a place for us all, and where place is not given, God will make a way. This is when God really shows His strength to His faithful ones by divinely opening a door that no one can shut, and we walk through it into His will under fierce protest of those who thought they had authority to stop us, but God went over their heads, who should be giving us place, and He will make our ministry bear more fruit than any man-made ministry (Rev 3,8-10).

(228f) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> God is working in you to place you in His will >> To place you on the trail of good works -- This verse goes with verse 10

(236e) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Invest your strength into the kingdom >> Invest your labors – What did Paul mean by “Your toil is not in vain in the Lord”? The phrase, In the Lord, means ‘In the faith.’ If we are doing something that was birthed from faith, then the Holy Spirit is leading our works. This may then be a good paraphrase, ‘Be steadfast, immovable, always abiding on the trail of good works.’ Before God created the universe He had a certain path for our feet in mind that if we followed it would define “the work of the Lord.” Regarding our purpose for which we were born, we would be wise to dedicate our entire lives to it, so nothing is lost or wasted. Everything that pertains to our calling is alive, but everything else is considered dead works, and they will all be forgotten in eternity. Much as we think we are achieving in this life regarding our strenuous efforts in whatever we are doing, if we are not doing them by faith, the fruit of our labors will terminate.

 

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Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible ® (NASB), Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. www.Lockman.org

 

1 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 16

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1-7 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also. 2 On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come. 3 When I arrive, whomever you may approve, I will send them with letters to carry your gift to Jerusalem; 4 and if it is fitting for me to go also, they will go with me. 5 But I will come to you after I go through Macedonia, for I am going through Macedonia; 6 and perhaps I will stay with you, or even spend the winter, so that you may send me on my way wherever I may go. 7 For I do not wish to see you now just in passing; for I hope to remain with you for some time, if the Lord permits.

 

1Cor 16,1-12

(130f) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Committed to caring for the needs of the body >> Committed to supporting one another -- These verses go with verses 15-18. Paul instructed the Corinthians to lay aside money on the first of the week so collections should be made and sent to Jerusalem, which was the hub of Christianity at the time. Christianity doesn’t have a hub today, but every denomination does what is right in its own eyes. The Jerusalem-based Jewish hub didn’t last long but disintegrated with the Jewish persecution, which scattered the saints throughout the nations in 70AD. The disciples went out from Jerusalem preaching the gospel of Christ, whose leaders were the original apostles who walked with Jesus for 3½ years, and so it will happen at the end of the age before Jesus returns that Jerusalem will once again become the hub of Christianity, and those who steer its doctrines will have an abiding faith in Christ as with the early Church. 144,000 Jewish witnesses will originate in Jerusalem and from there will span into all the nations of the world preaching the gospel, organizing the Church of the gentiles as they did in the early days throughout the earth, leaving Two Witnesses in Jerusalem to defend the city. A Christian revival of the scope that no one has ever seen will bring in more people than was saved during the last 2000 years.

1Cor 16,1-3

(72e) Authority >> Transferring authority >> Men delegate authority by their words

(101i) Thy kingdom come >> Ambition >> Be an ambitious businessman for God >> Investing spiritual currency – The Corinthians were to give an offering once a week that they would present to Paul when he arrived. Paul didn’t want to “pass the hat” while he was with them to see what he might get from them on the spur of the moment. Instead, he wanted it to be a planned effort that should mean something to them. Depending on how many weeks between the start of their giving and when Paul eventually arrived determined the size of their gift, which could have turned into quite a lump sum. He would receive it in the presence of all, and Paul would exhort the people for their generosity in promoting the gospel of Christ through their monetary funds, which was definitely part of spreading the gospel, yet the most important aspect of the gospel will always remain people. We are God's purpose for the gospel, and if it becomes about money, then we have lost our way.

(235d) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Tithing >> Offerings >> Help your weaker brother – What did Paul do with the gifts he received from churches? He used some of it for his personal needs, but he was very conservative when it came to money. The real purpose of the money was largely for the poor. Paul would travel from place to place interfacing directly with people who had needs, and he would give to the poor and show that the Church was meant for them. The Church was not an organization for rich people, but was dedicated to the poor, and if any rich man wanted to get saved, he was certainly welcome to fellowship with the saints, though the Church’s aim was to reach the poor with the gospel. That is where most of the money went, but also to help finance Paul’s missionary journeys. He needed a donkey or a horse to help carry his stuff, and they would get old and feeble. He also traveled by ship and needed money for the fare, so there were expenses. However, based on Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, this one-time gift to financing Paul’s needs was mostly a flop (2Cor 11-8).

1Cor 16-1,2

(10d) Responsibility >> Keeping order in the Church

(232f) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the kingdom >> Count the cost >> Procrastination – Paul is saying we are not to procrastinate about giving to God, but we should let it be the first thing we do as the first fruits of our labor. We are to lay aside a gift, going to the cause of Christ to promote the Church. We know that money is not the solution to everything, but money does play a part in some of God’s solutions, and for this reason Paul said to lay aside and save as we may prosper on the first day of every week. Back then the Sabbath was on Saturday, and now we celebrate it on Sunday, and whenever we receive our weekly or bi-weekly check from work, usually on Friday, we reserve some of it for our offering for the next Sunday service.

1Cor 16,2-12

(251a) Priorities >> God’s prerequisites >> Making plans >> Making plans according to the will of God >> Making plans within the boundaries of God’s will – Imagine traveling with Paul to deliver this gift to Jerusalem (Vs 3&4); the conversations we could have had along the way would have been rich. We could have asked him about his experience on the road to Damascus when he personally met the Lord in His glory, and he could have told us stories about his missionary journeys, or just expounded on his faith and entertained us all along the way to Jerusalem. Paul didn’t need an escort; he knew the way there, but he wanted a witness from Corinth to accompany him so he could testify what happened to the money, that it found the hands of the apostles in Jerusalem, who would distribute it as they saw fit. Paul was such an evangelist that he couldn’t have gone straight to Jerusalem but stopped along the way to talk to people and make more converts, visited churches and undoubtedly met a lot of poor people. This Corinthian gift of money was collected for a specific purpose, and so he wasn’t at liberty to hand it to any passerby that seemed down on his luck, but the gift was designated for Jerusalem and needed to find the hands of the apostles. Paul was not in the habit of going to Jerusalem, because his enemies lived there, who wanted to kill him, and so the journey to Jerusalem was probably the one that got him arrested and imprisoned for many years that led him to Rome.

1Cor 16-3

(142e) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Having a good reputation >> A reputation of being trustworthy

1Cor 16-6,7

(105h) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Led by the Spirit >> Into The will of God >> Led to the right people

1Cor 16-7

(216j) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> God is independent of His creation >> You cannot control God’s desire for you >> man is not in control of his own destiny – It wasn’t up to Paul what he did; God was controlling his life, what to do, where to go and how long he should stay. The only decision Paul made was to let the Lord lead him. Paul willingly submitted to God’s direction, who led him into great triumphs and changed history. He was given the honor of turning the world upside-down for Jesus’ sake, but it came at great cost to himself; the man was racked with the brand-marks of Jesus. He spent years of his life in prison, abused and treated shamefully, yet he lived to be an old man. The world could not kill him until God was done with him, having squeezed every drop of love and devotion from him, until there was nothing left of him, and then finally brought him safely to heaven, where he would enjoy the fruit of his faith forever in unimaginable joy, the blessings that lay in wait for those who are faithful. Paul prayed for the will of God and for his own will to mesh with His, that perhaps he could visit the Corinthians and stay a while, but he was ready to do whatever was necessary.

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8-12 But I will remain in Ephesus until Pentecost; 9 for a wide door for effective service has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. 10 Now if Timothy comes, see that he is with you without cause to be afraid, for he is doing the Lord's work, as I also am. 11 So let no one despise him. But send him on his way in peace, so that he may come to me; for I expect him with the brethren. 12 But concerning Apollos our brother, I encouraged him greatly to come to you with the brethren; and it was not at all his desire to come now, but he will come when he has opportunity.

 

1Cor 16,8-10

(101l) Thy kingdom come >> Ambitious to promote the Kingdom of God >> Preaching the gospel – Paul wanted to come to Corinth, but a wide door of ministry had opened to him at Ephesus, and he couldn’t pass it up, since these were human souls that God had prepared for salvation. His delay in coming to Corinth has led to the Church of the Ephesians and will result in his letter to them, which became some of the most beautiful words the world has ever known.

1Cor 16-9,10

(14a) Servant >> Servants of God’s word

(236i) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the treasures of the kingdom >> Invest in the gospel

1Cor 16-9

(29d) Gift of God >> God is our advocate >> Delivered from adversity

(148j) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Obligation to preach the gospel >> Preach even if it hurts

(165h) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Hardship >> The hardship of persecution

1Cor 16-10,11

(14j) Servant >> Ministry of helps >> Helpers are indirectly in charge of the word >> They have the heart of the one who trained them – Paul sent Timothy in his place until he arrived, telling the Corinthians to receive him, for he was doing the Lord’s work. Paul trusted Timothy with the souls he had led to Christ, who represented the jewels in his heavenly crown. He trusted Timothy because he had a good heart. He loved the Lord and lived the Christian walk, and he had a sincere faith and a genuine spirit. For this reason Paul warned the Corinthians not to despise him. Anyone with a close walk with God is despised in the world. Those who walk in their anointing and are tight with God are a peculiar people to those who are carnal and fleshly in mind, such as the Corinthians. Therefore, part of the process of receiving the truth was to receive those who brought the truth. The Corinthians receiving Timothy was the first step in receiving the truth he came to share with them, and had they despised Timothy, how much more did they despise Paul (2Cor 10,7-11)? Paul was so tenacious that he was able to rise above those who despised him and defended himself, whereas Timothy may have been a little more timid. Paul was not going to let anyone walk over him but told them to their faces, and explained to them that the reason they despised him was the result of their own shoddy walk with God, putting them in their place.

(130k) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Accept one another >> Love tears down social differences in the Church

(142j) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Having a reputable ministry of helps -- These verses go with verses 17&18. Timothy followed behind Paul after preaching the word of God to the people and helped set up the churches, teaching the doctrines of leadership and helped the people get on their feet before proceeding to his next town, where Paul was expecting him. Timothy was persecuted by the world just as Paul, only probably not nearly as venomously, so the last thing he needed was persecution from the Corinthians. The Church was supposed to be an oasis where he can enter from the storms of the world and feel welcomed and rested. After doing the work of the Lord, to feel a sense of appreciation from the people he was serving would have been encouraging, but the Corinthians were not very encouraging. It is sad after all the profound spiritual teaching Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he had to ask them to be nice to his fellow bondservant, Timothy.

(171f) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Outward appearance >> Decorating the outside to simulate the inside >> Playing the part to be accepted by men – Corinth was most like the Church in America, by far the least mature of all the churches, according to Paul's epistles. Paul did as he instructed Titus, "These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you" (Tit 2-15). He rebuked them more in his second letter for the way they treated him, and this is the reason Paul reminded them to treat Timothy with respect, because not even Paul was getting it from them. To tell the Corinthians that he was expecting Timothy with the brethren was to advise them not to rob him or throw him in a ditch, because he would immediately know about it, and come straight to the Corinthians for answers to his whereabouts. The Corinthians were not comfortable with authority figures, because they were rebellious. It hardly seems that Paul was writing to a Christian church.

(222l) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Conceit >> Thinking you are superior to others >> Treating people with contempt – It’s too bad Paul had to speak this way to the Corinthians; he never spoke like this to any of the other churches in his letters. He basically told them not to treat Timothy contemptuously and not to intimidate or harass him or give him any reason to be afraid of them. We know that hospitality is one of the great ministries of the Church, yet Paul had to tell them not to hurt Timothy. When Timothy arrived in Corinth, the first thing the believes should have done was welcome him into their homes and shower him with blessings both spiritual and material, and this would have ended the need for Paul to admonish them, but Paul said what he did, because he knew the Corinthians were not the most hospitable people, but in fact were capable of abusing Timothy, being an authority figure. Timothy was not the kind of person who would defend himself like Paul, who always had words and was forceful in his delivery. He used his words to get in and out of trouble many times. Timothy was probably more subdued and willing to take whatever cruelty the Corinthians dished to him, but this would have been embarrassing to Paul had they done this. Paul never had to make such demands on the Ephesians or the Philippians or any other church, who were far more mature than these Corinthians; they would have taken in Timothy and treated him like royalty without Paul having to say a word, but he had to tell the Corinthians not to mistreat Timothy.

1Cor 16-12

(76i) Thy kingdom come >> Desires of your heart >> Your interests – Apparently Apollos was doing something that he considered too important to drop and come to Corinth to visit the brethren. He probably had a personality like Paul that was focused until he was finished. Paul wasn’t able or willing to order Apollos but merely encouraged him. God is much the same way with us; he prefers to encourage us, rather than order us to do certain things, though there are some things he demands of us. For instance, He demands we stop sinning. Then, He has a calling in mind for us that He wants us to fulfill. He also has other interests, though if we preferred our own would simply encourage us to at least consider an alternative. So there are various levels of God’s will, as Paul mentioned in Rom 12-2: “[the] good and acceptable and perfect.” There are things he considers important just like we do, things He considers imperative, and things that are crucial. If we do what He considers important, we will always benefit.

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13&14 Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love. 

 

1Cor 16-13

(3k) Responsibility >> To the Family >> God addresses both genders >> Good men – Godliness appears in men with these characteristics: "Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith..., be strong." However, we all know all too well that this does not describe men in Church today, and Peter’s instruction to women when men fail the Lord was to set an example (1Pet 3,1-6). He didn’t tell them to take over and lead in their place, because that never produces the desired results, healing the family. Men must be leader in the home and in the Church, and women need to follow their godly behavior, for this is how they were made from the beginning, but when they go AWOL, only God can fix it, which means prayer is the best solution. There have been entire generations and centuries, eons when men refused to lead in the home and in the Church, and it has caused apostasy and wars. Unbelief was allowed to fester and overwhelm all avenues of faith so that people find it difficult to believe in God.

(9i) Responsibility >> Strengthen one another >> Be strong – Paul was a sergeant in God’s army, ‘Act like men, head up, chin out, stomach in, chest out, back straight, stand firm, be strong!’ That makes us soldiers in God’s army. “Onward Christian soldiers fighting as to war…,” but instead of possessing weapons of conventional warfare, God gives us weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left (2Cor 6-7). The one thing all soldiers have in common is discipline; any soldier that doesn’t know discipline is no soldier at all. We Christians ought to be self-disciplined. Students are also highly disciplined. The knowledge in their books doesn’t jump off the page into their heads; they must study and learn until they become professionals in their field. This too is how we become “strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might” (Eph 6-10). It doesn’t just happen on its own; we must open the book and read even when we don’t feel like it. It builds confidence in our faith that we are pursuing the truth, even as God has apprehended us.

(84ca) Thy kingdom come >> Be on the alert >> Be faithful until Jesus comes >> Endure to the end

(98a) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> Rooted deeply >> Standing firm in the faith >> Be strong

(137k) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Maturity >> Stages of maturity are levels of accountability >> It is our responsibility to be mature

1Cor 16-14

(75b) Thy kingdom come >> Motives of the heart >> Motives for doing the will of God – We have the substance of love abiding in us, and He is asking us to allow this state to manifest in our behavior. These things don’t seem to be apparent, because we are living in a body that craves sin, and our body is the very thing we use to express God's love. We are heaven-bound living in a fallen body that is unable to express the new state that God has given us, except by simulation; we often don’t understand ourselves, for we do things against our own will (Rom 7,14-25). That which has been renewed is eternal, but our flesh is destined for the grave. God will give us a new body at the resurrection of the righteous, and then we will be redeemed body, soul and spirit, but until then we are only simulating the Kingdom of Heaven through the flesh. What we have inside us is real, but when we try to express it, all we can do is simulate the changes that have transpired in us. Our body doesn’t want to obey God; we must force ourselves, but the day of the First Resurrection is coming when body, soul and spirit will come into agreement, so that obeying God will come naturally to us, but until then sin is the natural thing, and for this reason He commands us to do all things in love.

(124c) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Acts of love >> Love is the proper motive for all you do – We understand that love is an action, for if it doesn’t manifest in the natural realm, then it isn’t love, but love exists before it is an action. Love is one of the fruits of the Spirit, which are all states of being, so love is a spiritual state. Faith and love are the same, and Heb 11-1 says, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” This means love too is a substance, the very core of our faith. It says, ‘Let all things be done in love,’ so one day God will create a new heavens and a new earth in love, sowing love into the very fabric of creation. If there were one word that best defines love, it would be “giving”, but we currently see all things "taking", being part of the curse, the creation having been separated from God. Jesus is the first fruit of the new creation, and we will follow Him in glory, and when God makes all things new, He will pattern us after Himself, and then pattern the creation after us, for it is written, “The anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God” (Rom 8-19).

(250a) Priorities >> God’s prerequisites >> Sequence of priorities >> In all things ... >> Glorify God in all things

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15-18 Now I urge you, brethren (you know the household of Stephanas, that they were the first fruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves for ministry to the saints ), 16 that you also be in subjection to such men and to everyone who helps in the work and labors. 17 I rejoice over the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have supplied what was lacking on your part. 18 For they have refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge such men. 

 

1Cor 16,15-18

(72j) Authority >> Hierarchy of authority >> More Authority The More Responsibility >> The strong shall help the weak – Paul encouraged the Corinthians to receive the household of Stephanas. They devoted themselves to the ministry of building up the saints, instructing the Corinthians that they should be in subjection to such men and to all those who help in the work of the Lord. For Paul to say this demonstrates the Corinthians' level of immaturity to despise those who were faithful in Christ, possibly interpreting it as weakness. Those whom Paul sent to them understood their calling and were sent to model Christianity for them in hope that they would follow their example. The Corinthians still clung to a worldview that was essentially satanic, whereas those who served the Lord sent by Paul to help encourage them in their faith were at peace, and wanted nothing more than to walk in love. They were not interested in competition of any sort, only service, and the Corinthians didn’t understand this. They weren’t at a level of maturity to fully comprehend this kind of life, and apparently had a hard time understanding those who did.

(73c) Authority >> Respect your leaders >> The ministry to the saints 

(100m) Thy kingdom come >> Devotion >> In your ministry to people >> Devoted to ministering to their physical needs

(130f) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Committed to caring for the needs of the body >> Committed to supporting one another -- These verses go with verses 1-12

(236e) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest your strength into the kingdom >> Invest your labors – Paul gave a list of people who were supporters of the Churches, who went as missionaries helping people serve the Lord and strengthening their faith, demonstrating the kind of life the Christian has been called to walk. These are men of God whom Paul was most grateful. He mentioned numerous times that he felt alone in the world, because the Church was largely unwilling to serve the Lord, though Paul was very demanding and expected nothing less than everything. Imagine the problem he had with the Corinthians who were sloppy in their faith. For this reason people like Timothy and others who supported him and the Churches were a tremendous encouragement to Paul. To know there were others who had a genuine heart and a kindred spirit, gave him optimism on those lonely nights in his prison cell.

1Cor 16-15,16

(15a) Servant >> Ministry of helps >> Helpers are hard workers – If lay-people are committed to ministering to the saints, we must subject ourselves to them, regardless of their lack of title and status. It is the extent of dedication to the faith that determines the parameters of our submission. A person can be without a title and be more committed and effective in ministry than those who feel they are entitled to our respect because of their credentials as men of the cloth.

 

1Cor 16-17,18

(14i) Servant >> Ministry of helps >> Helpers are Indirectly in charge of the word >> They minister to God's leaders – The main role of the ministry of helps is they lighten the load for ministers and church members alike; they see something that needs to be done and do it. They are part word bearers and part workers. They are the jack-of-all-trades and masters of none, and when they touch our life we know it, because we are refreshed.

(139a) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Encouragement >> Our brothers encourage us in our adversity

(142j) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Having a reputable ministry >> A reputable ministry of helps -- These verses go with verses 10&11

1Cor 16-17

(14m) Servant >> Ministry of helps >> Helpers fill in the gaps >> They are always there when you need them

(197b) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Spiritual laziness >> Rebelling Against what God wants you to do >> Refusing to take on responsibility

1Cor 16-18

(235a) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Be a blessing >> God blesses those around you

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19-24 The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Prisca greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. 20 All the brethren greet you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. 21 The greeting is in my own hand -Paul. 22 If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be accursed. Maranatha. 23 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. 24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

 

1Cor 16-19

(29bb) Gift of God >> God delivers us from our enemies >> Church assembles in people's houses (underground) – Expensive Christianity has corrupted the Church, so what is the alternative but to have church in people’s homes. Sometimes that can be impractical, yet it may be the best way to conduct church. It is convenient to consider the building "church" put on our Sunday duds and make the trip to the Church building and find our favorite pew and follow the liturgy, shake hands with our fellow parishioners, discus the coming social events, fill in certain friends on the details of our week, and then go home for Sunday dinner, but it is better to consider "people" the church. The person who has church in his home is an all-day event if not all week to plan and prepare. Those who do this have church in different homes each week, thus spreading the responsibility and privilege of practicing hospitality among the saints. This method works very well in times of persecution, but when times are easy, people like to go to church, though it is more expensive. The less money is involved in our fellowships, the more we receive from one another and the better we concentrate on the real issues of the faith; otherwise, the money-burden has a tendency to divert our attention to worldly matters, instead of focusing on God and one another.

(123g) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Spiritual affection >> Ministry of the saints >> Emotional benediction toward helpers -- This verse goes with verses 21-24

1Cor 16-20

(123k) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Spiritual affection >> Being in love with the body of Christ >> Physical affection with spiritual motives – Greetings back then involved an embrace and a holy kiss (on the cheek), which got out of hand and was eventually shortened to a simple handshake. Jesus started the tradition of kissing His disciples, being the reason Judas Iscariot used the kiss to identify Him at His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was the gesture of Christianity for the first couple centuries, but then it became increasingly inappropriate as young men would hold a kiss on the girls a little longer. Now we shake hands or give a hug, and we mustn’t forget about diseases, flu season and spreading bacteria. The handshake is just as good a transmission pathway as any.

1Cor 16,21-24

(123g) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Spiritual affection >> Ministry of the saints >> Emotional benediction toward helpers -- These verses go with verse 19

1Cor 16-21

(151a) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness of Jesus >> Speak the word >> Speak the logos (written word) – Paul didn’t personally write all his epistles. For example, In Rom 16-22 it says that a man named Tertius wrote the book of Romans at Paul’s dictation. Paul didn’t write it probably because his eyes were bad. Peter didn’t write his own epistles either, probably because he wasn't a fluent writer. Some of the writing style can be lost through dictation, but when we look at the style of Romans and compare it to his other epistles, it is identical, so it seems that Tertius wrote Romans verbatim at Paul’s dictation, for the very reason to maintain the writing style as evidence of it being his letter. In contrast, when we look at the book of Hebrews, the writing style in no way resembles Paul, though many affirm that Paul wrote it.

1Cor 16-22

(20k) Sin >> Disobedience >> Rejecting the word

(26k) Sin >> Consequences of sin >> Curse >> Deeds that return to the doer >> God’s blessings are a curse if you don’t walk in them – Those who do not love the Lord have a curse that can only be removed through faith in Jesus Christ.

(201b) Denying Christ >> Whoever is not with Jesus is against him >> You are against Christ when your unbelief materializes >> Our disobedience is against Christ – Paul was writing to the Church about unbelievers among the people of God; we are to be wary of them. The fact that they are already in the Church and have heard the teachings of Scripture and still don’t believe, suggests they have a hardened heart, making them potentially unreachable, like Judas Iscariot. Paul didn’t say we should try to win them to Christ; he said, “Let him be accursed.” There is nothing we can do; trying to reach them with the gospel after so many years in the Church is like offering a drowning man a glass of water, he already has a mouthful and he doesn’t want anymore. The man does not have the love of God in him; he has heard the gospel and has rejected it.

(209c) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Personal relationship >> Counterfeit relationship through religion >> I never knew you – Anyone who does not love the Lord has a curse on his life. The Bible teaches that Jesus came into the world to save sinners, suggesting that everybody had the curse of sin on their lives until Jesus came and saved us, but those who have not received His forgiveness still has the curse of sin hanging over them; it has not been lifted. In fact, the curse has increased, since Jesus came to save them and they rejected Him, so when they die in their sins and meet the Lord, He will have more against them than had He not sent His Son. There is no greater sin than rejecting the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; it is the essence of blasphemy against God, being the one thing that everyone in hell has in common. For those who have come to know and love the Lord Jesus the curse has been lifted and the sentence of hell removed, and now they have the hope of eternal life with God in heaven, what a blessing to know and love the Lord.