It is clear from Paul’s ministry and his letters written up to this point that Paul’s Gospel is a Jewish Gospel. It is based upon the social and moral impact of sharing in the sufferings of The Cross of Jesus the Messiah. Such sufferings are to be faithfully endured in light of the imminent Parousia of Jesus the Messiah. Only the generation to which Paul and the other Apostles have been sent has the opportunity of believing the Gospel and sharing in its sufferings of The Cross.
The Cross is
associated with the nullification of the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant and the
initiation of the spiritual promises made to Abraham. This Gospel concerned
with the affect of The Cross of Jesus the
Some time after leaving
Failure to correct the community’s pseudo-liberal walk in spirit threatens severe judgment at the soon-to-come Parousia of Jesus the Messiah. Those continuing in unrighteousness are jeopardizing their salvation out of this evil, malignant eon, leaving themselves vulnerable to the indignation of Yahweh about to be poured out against all apostate Jews, Messianic Jews, and Messianic Gentiles hearing but suppressing in unrighteousness the present truth of the Gospel.
If such unrighteousness within the Corinthian Messianic Community is not appropriately corrected, the entire holy ecclesia will become contaminated, corrupted, and open to the covenantal extermination of the desacralized community in the day of Yahweh’s indignation against the unrighteous. Thus, the Corinthian forbearance of those parting from the social and moral requirements of the way of The Cross of Jesus the Messiah is a serious offense against the Gospel, potentially incurring severe judgment.
Prior to Paul’s learning of the Corinthian problems associated with living as crucified with Christ, he had left Corinth, with Priscilla and Aquila, intending to sail back to Syria where he would revisit the Jerusalem ecclesia and the ecclesia of Antioch (Acts 18:18-23). Again, Luke reminds the reader of the accuracy of Gallio’s judgment. Paul’s proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah is a Jewish Gospel arising out of the midst of an intra-Jewish movement.
The intra-Jewish question of dispute had to do with the
identity and covenantal significance of the crucified Jew from
Therefore, the intra-Jewish dispute is between the Messianics,
believing in the crucified and resurrected Jesus as Messiah, and the
non-messianics, still unconvinced of this identity and significance of this
crucified Jew, though some among them are already convinced antimessianics. The
Messianics and non-messianics agree as to their concern to maintain continuity
with Jewish traditions, especially the seeking of continuity with the
covenantal history of the Hebrew Scriptures (the Law and the Prophets). The
intra-Jewish dispute has continued to produce much zealous search and
interpretation of the holy scriptures concerning this issue increasingly
becoming a political, social, and religious crisis for the Jewish nation
scattered throughout the territories of the
In this report, Luke, once again, confirms Paul’s commitment to fulfill the requirements of the Mosaic Law to the honor and glory of Yahweh, indicating that he did not instruct Jews to depart from the observance of Jewish customs. He only instructed Messianic Jews not to place their faith in such works of law for their justification, their being accounted by Yahweh as righteous sons of Abraham having a right to the promises by their faith in the faithfulness of Jesus the Messiah.
Sailing from Cenchrea, Paul, Priscilla and Aquila reach
During Paul’s absence from
However, he does not seem to be familiar with the resurrection
of Jesus and the consequential pouring out of the spirit. He may have heard
(and most probably had heard) of the death of this prophet Jesus. But he
certainly is not aware of the proclamation of Peter, “Repent and be baptized each of you in the name of Jesus Christ for
the pardon of your sins, and you shall be obtaining the gratuity of the holy
spirit” (Acts 2:38 CV). He is neither a disciple of John the Baptist nor
Jesus. He had been instructed concerning the prophetic ministries of these two
prophets, but had most likely not been acquainted with them personally. He is a
Jew whose heart is circumcised. He anxiously and eagerly awaits the soon-to-come
restoration of the glory of
However, he is ignorant of the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant which has been revealed as the fulfillment of the proclamation of Jeremiah and Ezekiel. He has been called by Yahweh and has heard the call. He is among the chosen of Yahweh, for he has obeyed the voice of Yahweh speaking in the Gospel of the Kingdom. Now, he has been brought by Yahweh under the elective proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah, completing his faith and knowledge.
Hearing him speak boldly in the Ephesian synagogue on behalf of the Gospel of the Kingdom as proclaimed and taught by the Baptist and Jesus, Priscilla and Aquila, taking him aside, “expounded the way of God [Yahweh] to him more accurately” (Acts 18:26b CV). Apollos now learns of the significance of the death of Jesus. He learns of His resurrection, ascension, and exaltation to the throne of David. He learns of the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah and the life associated with the Cross of the Messiah. He learns of the nullification of the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant superseded now by the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant issuing in the new life of the spirit which had begun to be poured out on the day of Pentecost following the death and resurrection of Jesus. He is instructed in the justification, the righteousness, of the Kingdom, which justification is accounting the faith of Yahweh’s people as righteousness, thereby giving them the right to the promises of Abraham.
Receiving these truths of the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah, he becomes a Messianic faithful son of Abraham, enjoyer of the soon-to-come Celestial Allotment. He is now a royal-priest-warrior serving Jesus the Messiah the Commander-In-Chief of the spiritual forces of Yahweh. He is enlisted as a spiritual-warrior in the national spiritual militia of the Newly Restored Davidic Kingdom of promise under the New Davidic Warrior-King.
In this new, liberating spiritual-militia, he is immediately commissioned an officer, having been appropriately prepared by his profound knowledge of the word of Yahweh revealed in the Law and the Prophets. Apollos, being a Jew, would then be baptized in the name of Jesus (with water, making him a priest after the order of Melchizedek) and then baptized with the spirit of promise, thereby identifying him in the death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah. In Christ, he is a new creation, a new man.
Luke, assuming the reader is now familiar with the pattern, does not record Apollos’ spirit baptism. This process is implied by the previous historical record of his book. Luke’s main concern is to record how Yahweh is completing His call and salvation to even those over the years who, though believing the Gospel of the Kingdom proclaimed by the Baptist and Jesus, had not yet heard the complementing Gospel of Jesus the Messiah. The proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah would not be completed until all who have been called would come under its elective hearing. This Gospel is being directed, not by men, but by Yahweh’s spirit.
After spending the necessary time in Ephesus to receive his
doctorate in the complete Gospel of Yahweh revealed in and through Jesus the Christ, Apollos, receiving a letter
of recommendation from the Ephesian Messianics, travels to Corinth, continuing
his mission, now being fully equipped to proclaim the full truth of Yahweh
revealed in the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah. Arriving in
While Apollos is in
In the eyes of Paul, this had established them as Jewish disciples of the way of Yahweh first spoken by John the Baptist and Jesus. These men possess circumcised hearts tenderly sensitive to the voice and word of Yahweh. They are faithful children of Abraham seeking the righteousness of Yahweh. These Jews are loyal disciples of Yahweh. They had received Yahweh’s word spoken through John the Baptist and had been eagerly awaiting the coming of the Messiah Whom the Baptist had announced. They had repented of their sins, having believed the Gospel of Yahweh announced by the Baptist. These, indeed, are disciples. Like Apollos, they merely lack the completing knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah.
Recognizing this, Paul seeks to lead them to Jesus, for Whom John the Baptist had prepared them. Paul, aware of this accomplished preparation, asks them rhetorically “Did you obtain holy spirit having believed?” (Acts 19:2 CV). He full well knows the answer they are about to give. They had not even heard that the spirit had been given, let alone obtained it.
Paul, then, asks them another rhetorical question, “Into what, then, were you baptized?” (Acts 19:3 CV modified). If they were disciples of the Baptist and had not even heard of the giving of the spirit, they could only have received the baptism of John. Paul is leading them into the complementing truth of the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah.
These Jews have already been brought back into a righteous relationship with Yahweh under the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant. That had been John’s purpose. These Jews, then, were loyal, righteous members in the Sinatic household of Yahweh. However, they needed to be led out of the nullified Sinatic household into the New Household of the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant of Abrahamic sonship associated with Jesus the Messiah Whom John had proclaimed as imminently arriving.
Thus, Paul accomplishes this exodus, this transfer (from John the Baptist to Jesus the Messiah, from the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant to the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant, from the fleshly kingdom of Saul to the spiritual kingdom of the restored David, from Apostate Israel to the New Born-From-Above Israel of Yahweh), when he announces,
John baptizes with the baptism of repentance, telling
the people [
Upon hearing the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah, these Jewish disciples of John and Yahweh immediately recognize the Gospel fulfilling, completing, the Gospel of the Baptist. They had been well prepared. No further explanation need be added:
Now, hearing this, they are baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And at the placing of Paul's hands on them, the holy spirit came on them. (Acts 19:5-6a CV)
Thus, their salvation, initiated by John the Baptist, is completed in Jesus the Messiah, being affirmed by the pouring out of the spirit upon them. Again, Luke records this event in order to assure his readers that all those who had responded faithfully to the Gospel of the Kingdom proclaimed by John the Baptist would not be deprived of hearing the complementing, fulfilling, Gospel of Jesus the Messiah necessary to the completion of their salvation.
Now whom He [Yahweh] designates beforehand [the elect children of Abraham], these He calls also, and whom He calls [the elect children of Abraham, both circumcised and uncircumcised], these He justifies [the children of Abraham Yahweh is accounting as Abraham’s faithful sons as a result of their faithfulness to the end] also; now whom He justifies, these He glorifies [the conquering ones, the ones faithful to the end] also [during the period of the Approach/Arrival of the Parousia]. (Romans 8:30 CV)
However, “some were
hardened and stubborn, saying evil things of the way [Jesus the Messiah] before the multitude [in the synagogue]” (Acts 19:9a CV). The malignant
apostate Jews, like their fathers in the wilderness under the leadership of
Moses, harden themselves against the Gospel which they cannot justifiably
refute. They stubbornly malign the truths of the Gospel, revealing themselves
to be a stiff-necked people rebelling against the obviously revealed mighty
hand of Yahweh, even as their evil and malignant fathers had done in the face
of the mighty works of Yahweh performed before their very eyes in
These Jews represent the last evil, crooked, perverted generation of Israel of whom the prophets, speaking in the name of Yahweh, had commanded the faithful in Israel to “Depart, depart, go out from these [Jerusalem as contaminated by the uncircumcised-in-heart and the spiritually unclean]. Touch nothing unclean; Go out of the midst of her, purify yourselves, . . .” (Is. 52:11 NASB). These sons of Cain had contaminated the holy synagogue of Yahweh’s people, making it unclean. Paul, following this word of the prophet applied to the present situation, withdraws the faithful Messianic Jews and Gentiles from the now clearly spiritually contaminated and unclean synagogue of the children of The Adversary. He severs the disciples of Jesus the Messiah from this now unholy place of assembly for Yahweh’s people (Acts 19:9b). Withdrawing into “the school of Tyrannus” (Acts 18:9c CV), Paul continues daily arguing and persuading from scripture the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah, drawing to himself both Jews and Greeks seeking to hear the word of Yahweh, the life-giving word of the Gospel.
Paul’s teaching the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah in the
all those dwelling in the province of
command through the guidance of the spirit, the exodus out of the Jerusalem
below (represented in the diaspora by the blaspheming Satanic synagogues)
officially is initiated, beginning among the diaspora apostate Jews, eventually
working its way to the center of Israel’s contaminated and, thus, unholy
nation: Jerusalem and the Temple. Although opposed by apostate Jews, the
Gospel is not hindered at this time from being proclaimed to the gentiles.
Satan remains bound in the
The Jews in the synagogue of
The exodus of Yahweh’s people has begun. The confrontation and destruction of the army of Pharaohic Israel will soon take place at another sea, a metaphorical sea, before which the people of Yahweh will appear to have no way of escape. But the authoritative word of Yahweh and Jesus the Messiah will, like the bold assertion of Moses, resound in the ears of Their people, “Stand still and see the salvation of Yahweh” (Ex. 14:13 KJV modified). At which time, the parted water of Yahweh’s salvation for His people will come crashing down upon the pursuing enemy, astonished at the turning tide of an event they had confidently believed would culminate in their glorious triumph in the name of their elohim. For Yahweh’s faithful people, the water of the word of the Gospel is salvation, but for Yahweh’s renegade people, the water of the word of the Gospel is destruction.
Following the withdrawal from the synagogue and the miracles
produced by the hands of Paul, a group of wandering Jewish exorcists arrive in
As the Jewish synagogue has become unholy and contaminating, having no spiritual authority in the eyes of Yahweh, so these Jewish priests claiming to have authority in the name of Jesus and Paul over unclean spirits are demonstratively shown to be unholy, pseudo-Jews pretending to possess powers to release the sick from evil spirits. Such power had been claimed on the basis of the Jewish special covenantal relationship with Yahweh Elohim. The humiliating demonstration of the power of the evil spirit over them is another confirmation of the truth of the Gospel and the identification of the authentic covenantal people of Yahweh.
The Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant no longer possessed the power of
Yahweh. Like Samson, apostate Jews had been shorn of their covenantal holiness
unto Yahweh. Their only hope, like Samson, called for repentance and the
opening of the blind eyes whereby they could regain their holiness by turning
to Jesus, the Gospel, and the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant. This, the elect,
blind, ignorant, and deceived faithful remnant remaining in the midst of this
apostate and contaminating pseudo-nation would later experience. Like Samson,
Jews would have their spiritual eyes opened, repenting of their disparagement
of the Gospel and their persecution of the followers of Jesus the Messiah. Like
Samson, their last great act of faithfulness to the holiness of Yahweh revealed
in the Gospel would bring down the contaminated, unholy
This significant humiliation of Judaism, together with the
powers demonstrated through the hands of Paul, had a formidable affect on both
Jews and Greeks dwelling in
Yahweh The One, True, Living Elohim of Israel and His Anointed Son/King alone have the power to cure physical and psychical sickness, but not through magical incantations and formulas. Spiritual power is not a commodity to be dispensed by the pronouncement of some magical incantation or name. It is the result of a personal relationship with the crucified and resurrected Messiah Jesus. The magic arts are to be associated with the ancient world-order of the gods, the darkness and ignorance of infantilism, the products of a retarded mind.
Thus, the withdrawal from the synagogue is contrasted with
the casting-out of the hypocritical Jews falsely claiming in the name of Jesus
and Paul to have power and authority due to their special covenantal relationship
with Yahweh. The growth and triumph of the
In the spring of 55 a.d.,
while Paul has been engrossed in his two-year ministry in
Consequently, factions and discord had infected the members of the ecclesia of Yahweh, resulting in destructive rather than constructive effort in the task of edifying, building up, unifying, bringing to spiritual maturity the members of the corporate body of The Christ dwelling in Corinth. The near expectation of the Parousia of Jesus the Messiah should have inspired these Messianic believers to endeavor to meet the spiritual, social, and economic needs of their fellow-Messianics. These covenantal needs were necessary in order to contribute to the glory of Yahweh and Jesus the Messiah, which glory was to be revealed in them during the Parousia/Approach. However, this expectation, had, in fact, become an instrument prostituted in such a way as to shame and dishonor The Christ by shaming and dishonoring their fellow-believers in The Christ.
Such misinterpretation and misapplication of the truth of the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah amounts to walking in the flesh when they should be walking in the spirit. Some walking in the flesh were abusing the freedom in Christ to justify licentiousness. If they should continue in such a walk, Paul warns,
Or are you not aware that the unjust shall not be enjoying the allotment of God’s [Yahweh’s] kingdom? Be not deceived. Neither paramours, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor catamites [male prostitutes], nor sodomites [homosexuals], nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards; no revilers, no extortioners shall be enjoying the allotment of God’s [Yahweh’s] kingdom. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 CV)
Walking in the flesh will disqualify one from entering into
Paul begins his letter by referring to himself as “a called apostle” (1 Cor. 1:1 CV). By this he means he has received a personal commission by a personal call from Jesus the Messiah. His authority comes directly from the One, True, Living Elohim of Israel. His message is not his own and his demonstrative powers enabling him to proclaim Yahweh’s Gospel with confirming signs and miracles are neither from men nor the pseudo-gods of the idolatrous nations. He has been directly commissioned by the authorizing call of Jesus the Messiah according to the will of Yahweh.
Together with Sosthenes the brother (most likely the specific
brother in Christ writing down Paul’s dictation of this letter), he addresses “the ecclesia of God [Yahweh] which is in
This One Ecclesia (of which the Corinthian assembly is a part)
is “hallowed [sanctified] in Christ Jesus, called saints, together
with all in every place who are invoking the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ,
both theirs [uncircumcised Gentiles]
and ours [circumcised Jews]” (1
Cor. 1:2b CV). The Ecclesia of Yahweh consists of circumcised Jews designated “saints,” holy ones, those consecrated,
set apart for the special worship and service of Yahweh, and uncircumcised Gentiles.
The circumcised Jews are “saints,” a
special nation and kingdom of priests set apart, consecrated, called of Yahweh
to first receive the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah with the purpose of becoming
Yahweh’s light to the uncircumcised nations. This is the significance, the
advantage, the firstborn responsibility of the elder son (circumcised
Paul, in this address, refers to the Gentile Messianics as those who, in addition to the Jewish Messianics (the Saints, the holy ones consecrated to Yahweh as a nation/kingdom of priests), are invoking (appealing and requesting as a simultaneous act of commitment and trust) the authoritative name of Jesus Christ as Lord together with all the other Messianic Gentiles dwelling within the other local assemblies scattered throughout the territories of the Roman Empire. Thus, Jesus Christ is Lord both of the circumcised Jews and the uncircumcised Gentiles (“both theirs and ours,” 1 Cor. 1:2c CV).
The Messianic Gentiles have become “fellow-citizens of the saints [Messianic Jews] and [now] belong to God’s [Yahweh’s] family” (Eph. 2:19 CV). As fellow-citizens, these Messianic Gentiles are also sanctified and made holy as members of the holy nation in relation to those outside the holy nation. Within the holy nation, the Messianic Jews retain a special holiness associated with their historical relationship to Yahweh as the circumcised children of Abraham. Thus, Yahweh and His Anointed Son/King designate them Saints, distinguishing the responsibility of their circumcised calling from the responsibility of the uncircumcised calling of the Messianic Gentiles. This is the significance of Paul’s exhortation later in his letter:
Each as God [Yahweh] has called him, thus let him be walking. And thus am I prescribing in all the ecclesias. Was anyone called having been circumcised? Let him not be de-circumcised. Is anyone called in uncircumcision? Let him not circumcise. (1 Corinthians 7:17b-18 CV)
In Christ, circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing (1 Cor. ). However, during the reign of Jesus the Messiah as The Son of David in the process of restoring the divided Kingdom of David and restoring the Kingship of Yahweh in Yeshurun (culminating in the official inauguration of the Kingdom of Yahweh), the circumcised Messianics have a distinct and holy calling distinguishing them from the uncircumcised Messianics. The circumcised Messianics function as a kingdom of priests serving the spiritual needs of the uncircumcised Messianics.
This distinct and distinguished function, or calling, is
referred to in the analogy of Jesus and the Apostle John, wherein
In the analogy of the bride, Israel is depicted as the holy, circumcised nation and kingdom of priests in the process of becoming a blessing to the uncircumcised nations depicted as guests called to the wedding celebration of the marriage of the bride (Israel) to the Royal Son (Jesus the Messiah). This is only an analogy and must be understood in terms of the truths the analogy seeks to communicate. The analogy of the bride and the guests depicts, in the Ecclesia of Jesus the Messiah, the relationship between the Messianic Jews and Messianic Gentiles while participating in the Davidic Kingdom of Jesus the Davidic Warrior-King.
The analogy of the Body depicts the unity of all the members of the corporate National Body of the Ecclesia of Jesus the Messiah. In this analogy, each member exists, participates in the functioning (the growth and development), of the Corporate New Creation, the New Israel of Yahweh, as She approaches full maturity, qualifying Her for entrance into Her Celestial Allotment where She shall reign as the queenly Body, Complement, Spiritual Wife of Jesus the Messiah, the Son of Yahweh.
The Bride in the one analogy and the Body in the other analogy both refer to the one and the same Ecclesia of Yahweh and Jesus the Messiah. The Bride eventually will become the Wife and the Body will eventually become the Complement. However, neither will eventualize until the work of the Parousia of Jesus the Messiah is completely fulfilled.
Paul, next, thanks Yahweh his Elohim for the grace He has
extended to the Messianic brethren in
The world-order set in motion at Sinai is now being fulfilled to the glory of Yahweh through the people participating in the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant of Jesus the Son of David, the Seed of Abraham. This participation requires walking in spirit faithfully carrying out the task Yahweh has placed upon them as they patiently await the Parousia, the unveiling, the revelation in glory, of their Lord Jesus the Messianic Savior and King (see 1 Cor. 1:4-7). Their faithful Lord will be confirming their celestial status, their status as sons of Abraham and sons of Yahweh, guaranteeing their part in the coming inauguration of the Kingdom of Yahweh and their entrance into the Celestial Allotment belonging to all those in Him who remain faithful to the end by walking in spirit, crucifying the flesh with the prostituting lusts, while consecrating the members of their bodies to the service of Yahweh’s purpose in Christ, thereby glorying in the holy, consecrated cross of Jesus the Messiah.
The Cross of Jesus the
Messiah and the crucified life in
His service must be perceived in the light of the imminent, triumphant Parousia of Jesus the crucified, resurrected,
and exalted Son of Yahweh. If His Parousia fails to occur, their faith will
have proven misplaced and their cross-of-Christ
sufferings will have become a dishonorable shame and a waste. The promise
of His imminent return in glory and
just judgment is the hope, the expectation, upon which the faithful, crucified
life of service to Yahweh makes sense. The sufferings of the current evil era
are not worthy to be compared to the promised imminent glory associated with the triumphant Parousia of their
Lord Jesus the Messiah only if this Parousia occurs, as promised, in their own
present generation. The faithfulness of Yahweh and His Anointed Son/King is
dependent upon the coming of the Parousia within the present lives of those
sharing in the contemporaneous sufferings of the contemporaneous cross of Jesus
their Lord. Paul assures the Messianic brethren in
Faithful is God [Yahweh], through Whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:9 CV)
Consequently, Paul can now entreat these presently vulnerable
followers of Jesus the Messiah to be speaking the same, unified, holy word of
the Gospel, to be practically living out in their relations with one another
the sound mind of the Gospel of The Cross
of Christ in order that “there may be
no schisms among you, but you may be attuned to the same mind and to the same
opinion” (1 Cor. 1:10b CV). He, then, proceeds to rebuke the ecclesia as a
corporate body for allowing the presence of unmessianic strife and division within
the fellowship of the Messianic Community. Such unholy boasting in fleshly
status of honor (whereby some, attempting to gain a more honorable and esteemed
social status, exalt one honorable leader over another, thereby creating
fleshly competition where there should be spiritual cooperation,
complementation among fellow-citizens of the new
Such thought and conduct are unworthy of the faithful sons of
Abraham, sons of the Jerusalem Above, the heavenly
Ironically, Paul declares he must, once again, bring to the
ecclesia of Messianic followers of Jesus the Messiah dwelling in
the evangel [Gospel], not in wisdom of word, lest the cross of Christ may be made void [empty]. (1 Corinthians 1:17b CV)
Paul must reproclaim the Gospel, but “not in wisdom of word” (1 Cor. 1:17 CV). Wisdom is the practical application of knowledge. Wisdom should result in thought and conduct which conform to the acquired wisdom. The wisdom of mere words is a wisdom void of practical application in one’s thinking and behaving. The Corinthian Messianics have received the wisdom of the word of the Gospel, but it has remained a mere word void of spiritual application. It has become a distorted word leading to thinking and behaving in accord with the flesh.
Instead of inspiring love and service for others aimed at their spiritual edification as members of the new, holy nation and kingdom, The wisdom of the Cross has been emptied of its substantial power to transform the life of the old man into the life of the new man. The wisdom of the Cross has been distorted so as to produce a selfishness that produces strife, discord, and division caused by the desire for self-esteem, self-fulfillment, self-assertion. Such pseudo-wisdom has emptied the cross of its special wisdom, prostituting The wisdom of the Cross of the Christ by reversing its power to subvert all fleshly distinctions of race, class, gender, and status. Such unworthy, fleshly distinctions produce unrighteous relationships among people, resulting in injustice, ungodliness, dishonesty, arrogant pride, greed, and shame parading as honor.
The word of the Cross is stupidity to those who are perishing (1 Cor. 1:18a). Paul primarily is referring to the Jews clinging to the terms of the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant that has been superseded. In the broader context of the Sinatic world-order, this would also include all those worshiping and serving the gods according to the elements of the world-order and seeking their own welfare on the basis of the wisdom of men whose minds and imaginations have been severed from the wisdom of Yahweh the One and Only, True, Living Elohim.
Paul is not writing of physical perishing. He is referring to spiritual, covenantal perishing. Apostate Jews are perishing covenantally and spiritually because they prefer the childish status of dependency to the freedom of adulthood, full sonship. They desire to continue living under the fleshly wisdom (worship through the elements of the world-order) of the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant which cannot deliver the old soulish humanity from the affects of physical death and personal, social, political, religious, economic, and psychical sin (mistakes, all varieties of missing the mark of Yahweh-designed life, love, justice, honor, goodness, etc.).
The idolatrous gentiles are perishing in their covenantal separation from Yahweh. They are steeped in the darkness and ignorance of their mythopoetic perception of the natural world, under which they are enslaved to the elements of the world-order. They prefer childish dependence on the capriciousness of the gods of their own imaginative creation to the responsible supervision over the natural world-order and over the social relationships designed by the Creator, Yahweh Elohim, for the welfare and dynamic development of the human race.
However, to the Messianic believers in Jesus the Messiah, The Cross is the power of Yahweh. Those in the Christ are in the process of being delivered, saved, from the perishing world-order of the Sinatic Covenant, from the perishing ancient world-order of the gods. They have been rescued out of the world-order of the Sinatic Covenant into the world-order of the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant. They have been delivered, saved, out of the world-order under the headship of Adam into the world-order under the Headship of Jesus the Only-Begotten Son of Yahweh.
Thus, the word of the wisdom of The Cross as the power of Yahweh transforms one’s relationship to Yahweh, humanity, and the natural world. The wisdom of The Cross frees the old soulish man from the powerful affect of physical death and personal, social, political, religious, economic, and psychological sin. It powerfully renews the mind, heart, and body of all those identified with the death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah. Through the power of the indwelling spirit, the Messianics live in a new relationship to Yahweh and their fellow men thereby hitting the Yahweh-designed mark of life, love, justice, honor, and goodness.
This, of course, means suffering in relation to a world-order which perceives such thought and conduct as being impractical foolishness, stupidity. However, this sharing in the sufferings of The Cross of the Christ is only for a relatively short period of time. Only the Messianic Community, the One Ecclesia of Jesus the Christ living in that present elect generation is elected by Yahweh to endure the age-shattering, world-order shattering, sufferings associated with The Cross of the Christ.
Paul declares that Yahweh is in the process of “destroying the wisdom of the wise”
and repudiating the understanding of the intelligent (1 Cor. 1:19 CV). The wise
and intelligent here referred to are primarily the wise and intelligent
power-elite of Apostate Israel under the wisdom and understanding of the old
Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant now made obsolete by the superseding New
Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant of Jesus the Messiah. In the broader context of the
Sinatic world-order of
In both cases, the power-elite need not always include the marginal cultural, social, philosophical, and literary lovers of truth attuned to those truths of Yahweh which could be detected at the margins of the ancient world-order of Israel and the nations. It is the wisdom and the understanding of the antagonistic power-elite of Apostate Israel and the idolatrous nations which Yahweh is in the process of destroying and repudiating, not the wisdom and understanding of such great men as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle who sincerely and honestly sought truth, even at the expense of the traditional wisdom and understanding of their own cultures.
The wisdom of the distorted world-order of Sinai, associated with the nations coming into existence after the Tower of Babel and in association with the necessary elective call of Abram, is, according to Paul, made stupid by Yahweh when compared with the wisdom of Yahweh revealed in The Cross of the Christ (1 Cor. 1:20). The wisdom associated with a mere empty, vain, pseudo-word of Adamic man’s disqualified mind is foolishness and stupid from the perspective of that which is upright in the eyes of Yahweh.
Paul had just previously quoted from Isaiah 29:14 concerning Yahweh’s destruction of the wisdom of the wise and His repudiation of the understanding of the intelligent. In the context of Isaiah 29, wisdom in word is associated with the power-elite of Israel, the king and his counselors and advisors, the princes and judges in the land, those seeking to control political, social, economic, and religious power for their own selfish welfare. Isaiah had written,
Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote [memorization of words having no affect on the heart and mind], . . . Therefore . . . the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, And the discernment of their discerning men shall be concealed [hidden, vanished, nullified, proven foolish, stupid, false]. (Isaiah 29:13-14 NASB)
The apostate Jewish power-elite (the Sanhedrin, the priests, the scribes, the rabbis, the social and political office holders, the rulers of the synagogues) worship and serve Yahweh only with their lips. They acknowledge the words of Yahweh only as empty words memorized and flaunted for the sake of social and religious honor and status. These words, however, are not acted upon for the sake of justice, mercy, compassion; for the sake of the welfare of the people of Yahweh. These pseudo-wise men are wise in matters of political, social, economic, and religious strategies aimed at maintaining their power, prestige, honor, and wealth. Such wisdom is that which is perceived as upright in the eyes of men as opposed to that which is upright in the eyes of Yahweh.
This does not mean there were no wise and understanding men in
However, the power-elite as a corporate body representing and guiding the nation considered it necessary to crucify this dangerous Jewish self-made rabbi. Afterwards, at the proclamation of the Gospel of the glory of The Cross of the resurrected Messiah, this same corporate power-elite rejected the message of The Cross as absurd, foolish, stupid, and dangerous to their distorted, contaminated, polluted Sinatic/Mosaic Covenantal world-order.
Consequently, their wisdom, during the proclamation of the Gospel of the glory of The Cross of the Christ, was in the process of perishing, being nullified, being defeated, being proven unwise and stupid. For, unlike the strategies and plans of such dishonorable power-elites, the strategies and plans of Yahweh never fail to produce the intended purpose of Yahweh. The Cross of Jesus the Christ is the turning point in the history of humanity, the vortex point reversing the process and outcome of the historic destiny of humanity. The Cross is Yahweh’s wisdom whereby He was, at that time, in the process of destroying, nullifying, terminating the world-order of an entire age running its course from the casting out of Adam from Eden to the casting out of Jesus on the Cross.
Adam’s personal rule outside
The world-order of the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant of law had been
designed and initiated by Yahweh on behalf of
In spite of
Paul declares, that although the wisdom of Yahweh manifested in the world-order of the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant did not result in the corporate acknowledgement of Yahweh (in thought and conduct) by Israel and the nations, Yahweh had now accomplished this acknowledgement in the proclamation of the Gospel glorying in The Cross of the Christ, which the corporate world-order now judges as stupidity. What the present world-order (the Sinatic world-order of Israel over the nations) considers absurd, the Messianic Community of faithful ones deems the wisdom of Yahweh achieving the salvation of all those believing the Gospel and remaining faithful in thought and conduct to the wisdom of Yahweh revealed in The Cross of the Christ (1 Cor. 1:21).
The Jews, as a corporate body, writes Paul, request signs in accordance with the Law and the Prophets. However, when Yahweh sends them signs, they disregard them (the signs delivered by the prophets, John the Baptist as a sign, Jesus as both a sign and producer of signs, the Apostles as producers of signs, The Cross of the Christ as the sign of Yahweh’s wisdom).
The Greeks, as a corporate body representing the nations, seek the wisdom of strategies and plans designed to order and control the political, social, economic, and religious institutions of human culture, as well as the natural forces associated with the gods. However, their wisdom results in tyranny, social, legal, political, and economic injustice, slavery, greed, jealousy, false honor, and war.
The Jews, as a corporate body seeking but disregarding the
signs from Yahweh, having been sent the glorious sign of Yahweh’s wisdom
revealed in The Cross of the Christ,
are ensnared by the proclamation of a crucified Messiah (1 Cor. 1:23). From the
perspective of their own wisdom, their Messiah would come in great power and
glory, overturning the political, economic, and religious structures controlled
by the power-elite enemies of
The Greeks, as a corporate body representing the nations of
However, for those called by and receiving the proclamation of Christ crucified, both Messianic Jews and Gentiles, Jesus the crucified Messiah is the power of Yahweh overturning the entire history of the world-order of humanity. The Power of The Cross of the Christ is the wisdom of Yahweh which accomplishes all that the wisdom of the power-elites would not and could not achieve. Only as the power-elites of humanity conform their wisdom to the wisdom and truth of Yahweh will humanity as a corporate body achieve its Yahweh-designed potential.
The wisdom of The Cross of the Christ, although appearing weak, powerless, impractical, and absurd, in reality, is the force changing, guiding, and directing the actual progression of humanity towards its dynamic status as the image and likeness of Yahweh Elohim. What the men making up the power-elites of humanity (both Jew and Gentile) consider stupidity (The Cross) is wiser than that which these same men consider wisdom. What these same men consider weakness (The Cross) is stronger than anything these men can advance as strength.
Paul, now turning to the situation in
Paul’s point is that such power-elite people possessing so many advantages are very reluctant to risk these advantages for the sake of acknowledged truth and justice; how much more reluctant will they be to risk their advantages for what is perceived as stupidity, The Cross of the Christ?! The Cross of the Christ is more likely to be received by those not possessing great advantages; by those holding little or no social or political status; by those victimized by the power-elite; by those dwelling at a disadvantaged social, economic, political, and religious distance from the center of the present world-order of the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant and the present world-order of Rome.
Yahweh chooses the stupid things (those things considered intellectually, politically, socially, religiously, and economically inferior and/or worthless by the power-elite and those coming under their cultural influence) of the world-order of the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant in order to be disgracing, dishonoring, the men tenaciously occupying positions within the ranks of the power-elite of Apostate Israel. Such men acknowledge the works of law, the traditions and commandments which honor primarily the letter of the law of the Mosaic system of worship and service at the expense of the spirit of the law. These things considered by the power-elite the backbone of the Mosaic Law, the essential elements of worship and service, the sacred time-honored doctrines of Judaism (the wise and honored things representing the strength of the Judaic Mosaic system), Yahweh has discounted (1 Cor. 1:27).
Contrary to the evaluation of those wise men according to the flesh, Yahweh has devalued, emptied, these strong things of their exalted estimation. He has exalted to high honor those things in the Mosaic Law, those things in the Law and the Prophets, which the power-elite of Apostate Israel have been accounting as weak, inferior, foolish; Yahweh has exalted those things not commendable, not admirable, in the eyes of the stiff-necked power-elite (such as the political, social, religious, and economic accusations of the prophets against the power-elite’s disregard of justice, mercy, and compassion, while hypocritically applying the letter of the law to their own selfish advantage).
Yahweh chooses the ignoble things of the Mosaic Law (from the perspective of the unrighteous power-elite) in order to disgrace, dishonor, devalue, disempower those things ennobled by the power-elite to the destruction of the righteous. The Cross of the Christ unveils what had been concealed in the Law and the Prophets. The Cross of the Christ exalts in the Law and the Prophets that which had been prostrated, abased, by the unrighteous, lawless power-elite. Yahweh has chosen to carry out, to execute, through the proclamation of The Cross of the Christ, the very things of the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant not being carried out by the power-elite of Apostate Israel (justice, mercy, compassion, grace, the spirit of the law) in order that He might be discarding the unrighteous, lawless things of the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant (as distorted by Judaism) carried out by the unrighteous, lawless power-elite opposed to the love, graciousness, kindness, mercy, compassion, and justice of Yahweh meant to be manifested and executed by those administering Yahweh’s Law.
Thus, The Cross of the Christ eliminates any possible boasting on the part of the men placed under the jurisdiction of the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant and on the part of all those in Christ. The faithful worship and service of Yahweh are only possible through The Cross of the Christ which is now a reality as a result of the faithfulness of Yahweh manifested in the faithfulness of Jesus His Anointed Son/King.
Paul reminds the Corinthian brethren that when he first proclaimed the Gospel among them he did not use sophisticated speech or communicate to them a highly exclusive wisdom requiring a special initiation. He had proclaimed to them Jesus Christ crucified (1 Cor. 2:2b CV). He had not hidden from them the significance of The Cross of the Christ. His speech had been plain and clear. The truth of his message had been demonstrated by powerful works of the spirit. Thus, their faith had not been in the wisdom of men committed to the world-order of the Sinatic Covenant, a covenant glorying in the worship and service of Yahweh through the elements of the world-order (1 Cor. 2:1-5).
Yet, Paul affirms that he and the Messianic Jews (the Saints) do convey a wisdom, but a wisdom not belonging to the present Mosaic Eon and not known or proclaimed by the chief men of the Mosaic Eon (men sitting in the Jewish Sanhedrin, Jewish scribes and rabbis, etc.). This wisdom can only be shared with the mature in Christ, those having been thoroughly and competently grounded in the truth of the Gospel, those having practically applied in their thought and conduct the power of The Cross of the Christ. The truth of the Gospel being proclaimed under the authority of the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant has discarded, nullified, the claim of the chief men of Apostate Israel clinging tenaciously to the old, decrepit Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant. These chief men continue to claim to possess and proclaim a liberating wisdom of Yahweh. This wisdom is to be had only within the holy Jewish nation blessed by the Mosaic system with the privilege of worshiping and serving Yahweh. To participate in this wisdom requires circumcision. But the wisdom of the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant has already been distorted and defiled by the traditions and commandments of Judaism and presently, as a result of The Cross of Jesus the Christ, has been discarded, nullified, by Yahweh Himself on the basis of the Gospel associated with the crucified Christ and proclaimed under the authority of the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant having superseded the now obsolete Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant.
Thus, the secret wisdom of the Gospel is Yahweh’s wisdom which has been concealed in the Law and the Prophets (the holy Hebrew Scriptures), but recently in Christ has been revealed to Yahweh’s Saints. This wisdom had preceded the eons. It had been designated by Yahweh for the glorification of all His people (throughout the course of the eons) who had remained faithful to Him throughout their lives. This glory associated with this wisdom of Yahweh had now arrived, declares Paul, and is in the process of being brought to its designated conclusion. Herein dwells the hope, the expectation, of the faithful sons of Abraham in Christ. The Celestial Allotment looked for by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had been concealed in the holy scriptures, but in Jesus the Christ it had now been revealed. In the light of this previously concealed wisdom, the Hebrew Scriptures were being opened up as never before to the renewed minds of those in the Christ.
If the chief men of the Sinatic/Mosaic world-order (the chief
men of the Jews first, but also the chief men of the
Unfortunately, for the Corinthian brethren, although they are in Christ and have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16), Paul cannot speak to them the more advanced spiritual things of the Gospel, since they remain minors in Christ, thinking and acting as men of flesh rather than as spiritually mature men responsibly walking according to the spirit dwelling in them (1 Cor. 3:1). These Messianic minors (primarily Messianic Gentiles) must be given only the milk of the Gospel to drink, for they are not yet mature enough to digest the solid food of the word of the Gospel (1 Cor. 3:2).
The report has reached Paul’s ear concerning the jealousy and strife among them caused by their seeking the fleshly honor of public recognition of special status. In the quest for such fleshly public honor, they have sought to identify themselves with the various reputable ministers among them. Rating these ministers according to the common Corinthian cultural standard of public honor and prestige, they have divided themselves into groups. Each group consists of members exalting one minister above the rest as being more worthy of public honor and recognition. In this behavior, they have divided The Christ, glorying in the flesh rather than in The Cross of the Christ.
Thus, Paul must reacquaint these spiritual minors with the power of The Cross of the Christ. Those ministering to them are not to be ranked according to local cultural standards of honor and shame. In Christ, all those ministering to them are servants of Yahweh and Jesus the Messiah, each being used by Yahweh to edify, build up spiritually, the one Ecclesia of Jesus the Messiah. Each minister administers the word of Yahweh, but the Ecclesia’s edification, spiritual growth, comes from Yahweh. The only One worthy of glory in the One Ecclesia is Yahweh. All Yahweh’s designated ministers are fellow-workers seeking the same goal, not their personal, selfish glory and honor, but the glory and honor of Yahweh and His Anointed Son/King manifested in the spiritual growth of the One Ecclesia.
Using an agricultural analogy, Paul declares that if he planted and Apollos irrigated, neither he nor Apollos deserves to be glorified. Neither should be exalted above the other, for it is Yahweh Who brings about the growth. Thus, the Ecclesia is likened to a plant. Paul sowed the seed, Apollos irrigated the ground into which the seed had been sown; Yahweh causes the labor of each minister to result in the growth of the plant.
However, Paul uses another analogy (1 Cor. 3:10-15). With this analogy he warns the ministers not to be caught up in this strife and jealously over cultural status. They are cautioned to be aware of how they are contributing to the construction of the Ecclesia which is likened to a building under construction. Each minister will be held accountable for how he labors and for what materials he uses in his contribution to the overall construction.
If a minister labors according to the spirit, he constructs with gold, silver, or precious stones (materials representing those truths, those teachings, associated with the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah, the sound teaching of the faith, Titus 1:9, 13; 2:1). His work, being tested by the fire of the coming great affliction taking place during the process of the Approach/Arrival of the Parousia of Jesus the Messiah, will remain unscathed by the fire of this affliction. This great affliction will come upon the Ecclesia as a whole. Those who have taught the truths of the Gospel, the sound teaching of the faith, appropriately preparing the members of the Ecclesia so as to make them fireproof (spiritually strong, mature), will have their work made apparent by the faithfulness (during the fire of this great coming affliction) of those whom they have prepared. These faithful ministers will receive wages for their worthy work (1 Cor. 3:14).
If, on the other hand, a minister labors according to the flesh, he constructs with wood, grass, or straw (materials representing unsound teaching associated with the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant; unsound teaching belonging to the old eon and the old covenant exalting Moses instead of Jesus the Anointed Son/King of Yahweh; unsound teaching based upon glorying in the flesh rather than glorying in The Cross of the Christ). His work, being tested by the fire of the coming great affliction taking place during the process of the Approach/Arrival of the Parousia of Jesus the Christ, will not remain unscathed by the fire of this affliction. In his case, his work will be made apparent by the faithlessness of those whom he prepared. Those not having been taught the sound doctrine of the faith will not have been appropriately prepared with the spiritual armor of the faithful ones. The fire of the great affliction will either overcome them in their weak resistance, causing them to become unfaithful though desiring to be faithful, or compel them to abandon the faith, some becoming apostates by returning to Moses and the Apostate Jewish nation.
If these unworthy workers had sincerely sought to teach the sound doctrine of the faith, but had been misguided themselves by other apostate, counterfeit workers masking themselves as Messianics, Paul writes, they “shall be saved, yet thus, as through fire” (1 Cor. 3:15 CV). They shall be saved on the basis of their own faithfulness through the great affliction, but they shall suffer loss in terms of the wage received for their labor. Their faithfulness to the end qualifies them for entrance into the Celestial Allotment.
However, those ministers hypocritically disguising themselves
as Messianics, but whose hearts had been from the beginning uncircumcised,
shall be made apparent during the process of the Approach/Arrival of the Parousia
of Jesus the Messiah which will be running its course simultaneously with the
Jewish revolt against
For many [counterfeit Messianics, antichrists] are insubordinate, vain praters [deceiving chatterers of empty words] and imposters, especially those of the Circumcision, who must be gagged, who are subverting whole households, teaching what they must not [teaching things not fitting the Gospel], on behalf of sordid gain. (Titus 1:10-11 CV)
Of these same ministers, Paul exhorts,
be exposing them severely, that they may be sound in the faith, not heeding Jewish myths and precepts of men who are turning from the truth. (Titus 1:13b-14 CV)
These ministers are to be severely exposed with the hope that they will return to the sound doctrine of the faith. Some may be deceived by the real antimessianics planted by The Adversary, infiltrating the Ecclesia in order to deceive and lead astray the followers of Jesus the Messiah.
Paul warns all the Corinthian ministers not to be deluding
themselves. They will be held responsible for their work. They should seek to
be worthy, holy ministers contributing to the holy status of the Ecclesia as the
Are you [plural,
all of you] not aware that you [every
member of the Ecclesia] are a
In this passage, Paul has shifted his metaphor from architecture in general (building) to the more specific metaphor of a certain kind of building (temple) associated with holiness.
Therefore, every living stone in this
Although Jerusalem and the Temple will be physically destroyed,
not all those who contaminate and not all that which contaminates The Holy
Ecclesia as Yahweh’s Holy Temple will be destroyed physically. Many will be
taken into captivity by the Roman army. Many Jews will continue to worship
their god in their synagogues, still clinging to their misconceived Mosaic
Law and still hoping for the coming of the promised messiah to politically
restore the ancient glory of the
The apostate Messianic Jews will have left the Messianic
communities to rejoin their fellow Jews in national revolt against
So that, be not judging [the final outcome of] anything before the season, till [whenever] the Lord [Jesus the Messiah] should be coming, Who will also illuminate the hidden things of darkness and manifest the counsels of the hearts. And then applause will be coming to each [faithful] one from God [Yahweh]. (1 Corinthians 4:5 CV)
When would this “coming” be? Again, according to Paul who was in agreement with all the Apostles, this coming is imminent, since it is the forerunner of the new age to come, and this new eon “is impending” (1 Cor. 3:22 CV).
Therefore, Paul’s warning recorded in I Corinthians 3:12-17 to those whose works shall be burned up is not to be understood as reassurance that in spite of their unworthy work and service their salvation is secured. There exists in this warning a definite threat of destruction to those who persistently teach and practice unsound doctrines alien to The Cross of the Christ, doctrines and practices which bring contamination to the One Living Ecclesia, Yahweh’s spiritual Temple. Those who persist in such unfaithfulness run the risk of losing their participation in the soon-to-come Celestial Allotment of the conquering sons of Yahweh.
This warning, however, is not an irrevocable sentence of condemnation. Repentance resulting in restoration to faithful service to Christ according to the Gospel associated with the glorying in His Cross remains an option, being in complete agreement with the testimony of Yahweh in Ezekiel 18:30-32:
Therefore I will judge you, . . . each according to his conduct. . . . Repent and turn away from all your transgressions, so that iniquity [your depravity] may not become a stumbling block to you. . . . For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies, . . . Therefore, repent and live. (NASB)
Since the One Ecclesia of Yahweh is characterized as the
A member of the Corinthian community has been committing sexual immorality. The community as a corporate body, in response to this potentially contaminating behavior, has arrogantly boasted in such immoral behavior, rather than grieving and mourning. Whereas the corporate body should have immediately judged this immoral conduct, thereby removing from its midst a contaminating agent, the community, misunderstanding the freedom in The Christ, has been glorying in such conduct. In this matter, not even Roman society and Greek culture condone such immorality.
Paul, recognizing the serious nature of the Corinthian
attitude toward such immoral behavior, calls upon the corporate body to
immediately expel this brother in The Christ, remove this living stone from his
place in its holy section of The Temple. Expelling this brother would cleanse the
community from spiritual, covenantal contamination, which, if left within the
holy community, would infect, not only the Corinthian ecclesia, but the entire
One Ecclesia of Yahweh, thereby contaminating the whole
Although Paul is concerned with the future welfare, salvation, of the offending party, his primary concern is with the holy status of the Corinthian Messianic assembly as a living, holy section in the larger structure of the New Spiritual Temple of Yahweh. Paul focuses his attention, not on the offender, but on the assembly’s response, as a corporate entity in the One Living Ecclesiastical Temple of Yahweh, to this contaminating sin in its midst.
Paul, thus, commands this holy corporate body, consisting of
Messianic members in The Body of The Christ, to come together immediately and
officially expel this immoral member from their holy Messianic Assembly by
handing over to Satan this corrupting member “for the extermination of the flesh” (1 Cor. 5:5 CV). By so doing,
this Messianic assembly would be repenting of its arrogant boasting associated
with the mind of the flesh and, thus, returned to a mind that boasts in the
spirit of the Christ which glories in
The Cross of the Christ, not the
deceiving freedom of the uncrucified mind of the flesh. If this assembly
continues to tolerate or even support such behavior as produced by an
uncrucified life of the mind of the flesh, this behavior, like leaven, will,
without fail, corrupt, contaminate the entire local assembly in
Corporate expelling of the offending member will, on the one hand, make clear to all the members the correct spiritual attitude and behavior toward such sin. Such action on the part of the assembly as a corporate body will encourage members to glory in The Cross of the Christ, thereby crucifying the mind of the flesh associated with the prostitutional lusts of the flesh. On the other hand, it will discourage other members of the community who may have been either contemplating such immoral behavior in the name of freedom, or even practicing such immoral behavior, believing such behavior to be a sign of the new freedom in The Christ.
The handing over to Satan of such an immoral member of the holy, Messianic assembly means the removal of the offending unfaithful son of Abraham from his status of sonship within the Messianic assembly participating in the spiritual, covenantal Body of The Christ. Only within the Messianic Community are his rights of sonship effective. Removal from this community changes his status from righteous son to prodigal son. As such, he no longer enjoys the rights of a son, rights only effective while within the sonship community. Outside the community of the Messiah, the prodigal son is treated only as a child of Abraham by the Messianic Community of Abrahamic sons. As such, he cannot be extended the rights of sonship granted to only those within the holy community. Thus, he is cut off from sharing in the resurrection life of the Christ.
Outside the community, the prodigal son becomes a wanderer in the midst of dangerous wolves, the dangerous wolves of the larger apostate Jewish community under the authority and strategies of The Adversary, Satan, to whom apostate Jewry bows the knee. Thus, if the prodigal son (authentically committed to the Christ but deceivingly misled by those operating according to the mind of the flesh and hypocritically disguising themselves as Messianics) is forced to endure the loss of sonship rights and relationships (together with the inferior and unsatisfying treatment of the larger Jewish Community of non-messianics, and the even more intolerable return to the idolatrous cultural web of mistreatment and abuse common to Roman communities), he will become sick in heart. He will, then, repent of what he now understands as clearly the immoral behavior of the destructive mind of the flesh. Being, thus, cleansed, he is welcomed back into the Messianic Community, restored to his holy place in the Ecclesiastical Spiritual Temple of Yahweh.
However, if he hardens his sick heart due to self-pity and/or arrogant sorrow, he will remain in the enslaving world-order of the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant, enduring in himself the ruin characterizing the terminating covenantal death of this obsolete world-order. If, however, this immoral member is in his heart an antimessianic, being expelled from the Messianic Community he will be merely returning to that world-order which represents the characteristic attitude of his uncircumcised heart.
Paul, therefore, is concerned with the purification of both the local assembly as a corporate body and the individual members making up the corporate body. By turning over to the hand of Satan the immoral member, Paul seeks to remove the contaminating leaven from spreading its contamination throughout the ecclesia. The ecclesia as a corporate body cleanses itself of this impurity by officially expelling the offending member from its midst.
The offending member is given up to Satan in order to potentially purify the unholy member by the “extermination of the flesh” (1 Cor. 5:5 CV). This expression is not meant to convey the death or the physical punishment of the offending member. Extermination of the flesh refers to the extermination of the mind of the flesh as the controlling factor in the thought and conduct of the offending member. If and when the mind of the flesh is recognized and acknowledged by the offending member as that which is upright only in the eyes of men (and, thus, is condemned as unrighteousness, lawlessness, in the eyes of Yahweh), the offender will be restored to the sound mind of the spirit. The offending member, having repented, will have disowned and disabled the mind of the flesh by having acknowledged once again his having been crucified with the Christ.
Repentance, thus, cleanses the impure member from the impurity imposed upon him by the deception of the mind of the flesh disguising itself as the mind of the spirit. Extermination of the flesh (as a result of being removed from the holy community of the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant, thereby losing one’s sonship status with its liberating rights and relationships while enduring the status of a prodigal son treated as an enslaved child under the elements of the world-order of the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant) destroys the mesmerizing affect of the mind of the flesh, opening the spiritual eyes of the victim to the deceiving agent. The sound mind of the victim being restored, the mind of the flesh is once again acknowledged as crucified with the Christ, thereby returning it to The Cross of the Christ where it becomes ineffectual, disabled, restoring the victim’s mind, body, and spirit to the guiding power of the spirit, which though still dwelling within the Messianic son of Abraham, had been restrained, quenched, from its indwelling active operation in accord with the truth of the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah.
Paul exhorts the Corinthian brethren to
Clean out, then, the old leaven [of the mind of the flesh], that you may be a fresh [healthy, pure] kneading, according as you are unleavened [in the Christ, having been crucified together with Him]. For our [the faithful sons of Abraham under the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant] Passover also, Christ, was sacrificed for our sakes so that we may be keeping the festival [the Passover festival associated with the exodus out of Egyptian bondage], not with [in the interest of] old leaven [the mind of the flesh], nor yet with the leaven of evil and wickedness [the fruit of the flesh], but with [in the interest of] unleavened sincerity and truth [the pure, undeceptive fruit of the spirit]. (1 Corinthians 5:7-8 CV)
The Corinthian Messianic assembly is to clean out, remove, discard, the old leaven of the uncrucified mind of the flesh as it produces contaminating fruit through unsound doctrine and unsound men behaving lawlessly. By discarding the old leaven, the ecclesia as a corporate body may continue as a fresh, new, pure, covenantally healthy and holy new creation in the Christ. For the One, True, Living Holy Ecclesia of Jesus the Messiah is a new fresh, pure, holy spiritual creation of Yahweh. Having been crucified together with Jesus the Christ, the One Ecclesia, with her individual members, has put off the mind of the flesh of the old Adamic humanity within which dwells the deceptive and destructive Law of Sin and Death.
These Messianic faithful sons of Abraham also have Jesus the Christ as their Passover Lamb. His sacrifice of Himself on their behalf has cleansed them from sin and has initiated a new exodus, not out of the inferior exodus from Egyptian bondage, but out of the superior exodus from the bondage of The Law of Sin and Death affecting the old, Adamic humanity, the humanity of the mind of the flesh deceptively seducing men into thought and conduct destructive to their welfare. All those in The Christ have been delivered up to the superior, liberating mind of the spirit, the mind of the Christ, undeceptively educating the newly resurrected men in thought and conduct advantageous to their Yahweh-designed welfare.
But their exodus is also out of the old Mosaic Eon into the New Eon of Jesus the Christ, a journey they have already begun, a journey through the wilderness of the dying Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant into the promised Celestial Allotment. This new exodus journey is the present eon-ending celebration of the final and ultimate Passover festival. This eon-ending festival will be observed, but not in the interest of the old leaven of the mind of the flesh nor in the interest of the leaven of evil and wickedness, the fruit of the flesh (exemplified by the strife, jealousy, and immorality practiced by some of the members of the Corinthian assembly and, apparently, either tolerated or supported by the ecclesia as a corporate body). This age-ending Passover festival celebrating the exodus of Yahweh’s chosen people out of the terrestrial realm into the Celestial Realm will be faithfully observed to the end of the present evil eon in the interest of the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, the worship and service of Yahweh in accord with the undeceptive mind and pure fruit of the spirit of Yahweh and His Anointed Son/King.
Here, again, is the glory and power of Yahweh revealed in The Cross of the Christ, whereby, as Paul has already written to the Galatian assemblies,
a world-order [the Adamic world-order of the alien deceptive mind operating within the members of the body of men and seeking to seduce each man into thought and conduct destructive to his welfare] has been crucified to me, and I to [this same] world-order. (Galatians 6:14b CV modified)
In what then should the Corinthian Messianics boast? Not in the mind and works of the old humanity of the alien law in the flesh, but in, and only in, “the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal. 6:14a CV).
The ecclesia as a corporate body is responsible for judging those within the Messianic Community. Yahweh is judging those outside the One Ecclesia. Primarily, the ones outside the One Ecclesia refer to those Jews still unconvinced of the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah. For it is the Jewish world-order of the Sinatic Covenant which is being nullified by the Gospel associated with the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant.
Keeping this in mind, Paul rebukes the Corinthian assembly for its failure to establish a tribunal within the ecclesia for adjudicating differences that arise, between the brethren, necessitating just judgment. Legal disputes between brethren have been taken before the local Corinthian courts for settlement. This is not to the glory of Yahweh and His Anointed Son.
The ecclesia in
You are to hear the disputes between your brothers, and you will judge justly between a man and his brother or his sojourner. You shall not recognize faces with partiality in judgment. You shall hear the small as the great. You shall not shrink away from any man’s face, because the judgment, it is Elohim’s. (Deuteronomy 1:16-17a CV)
As in the Sinatic Community of Yahweh, how much more in the Messianic Community?
The One Ecclesia is the
Paul indicates the Corinthian brethren are aware of adjudicating
just judgment: “Or are you not aware that
the saints shall [whenever the occasion necessitates, gnomic future] judge the world-order [of the people of
Yahweh]?” (1 Cor. 6:2 CV modified). This
world-order refers to the world-order of
The Jewish Messianics, as Saints
bearing a priestly responsibility, whenever the occasion warrants, stand up as
advocates for the new world-order of the New Covenant against the old
world-order in the process of being superseded. This judging pertains
especially to the upgraded placement of the Gentiles within this new
world-order. No longer are they guests, but fellow-citizens of the Born-From-Above
From an eschatological point of view, the trivial disputes among the holy brethren should be accounted nothing in light of the imminent Celestial Allotment within which they shall be enjoying celestial advantages far outweighing the benefits gained by their trivial lawsuits against one another for terrestrial advantages soon to be made obsolete and worthless. Eschatologically, Paul advises, it is better to suffer the injustice of the brother. For such greed, attempting to acquire terrestrial possessions, monetary or property gains, or social status is placing at risk one’s participation in the far greater advantages of the Celestial Allotment already lighting up the horizon signaling the coming new eon. Loving and seeking to acquire the products of the lusts of the flesh which deceptively promise fulfillment and satisfaction will result in forfeiture of the eschatological expectation promised to all those in the Christ who remain faithful to their heavenly calling in their present worship and service of Yahweh and His Anointed Son/King.
Paul testifies that all which is clean in the eyes of Yahweh is allowed to those in Christ. But not all which is clean is expedient, necessary, for the honorable and worthy servant who seeks to please his master. This faithful servant will not subject himself under the enslaving authority of anything or anyone, thereby remaining free to serve the will of his master, Yahweh, the Elohim and Father of his Lord Jesus the Messiah.
The members of the physical body of each servant of the Christ are not to be prostituted into becoming instruments through which Yahweh and Jesus the Christ are to be dishonored and shamed. The physical body, together with its members, is to be used by each individual in Christ to the interest of the Lord, even as the Lord (Jesus the Messiah) is actively operating to the authentic interest of the corporate body of The Christ.
Here, Paul extends the metaphor to apply to The One Living Ecclesia (and her members) as The Body of The Christ. The Body is for the use of the Lord as the Lord is for the use of The Body. As Yahweh had roused the Lord, so He is rousing The Body, the One, Living Ecclesia (consisting of her many faithfully conquering, obedient members), through His power being revealed in The Cross of the Christ. This rousing will be consummated at the soon-to-come eschatological consummation of the Parousia of Jesus the Christ, which consummation Paul (and the entire Living Ecclesia of Yahweh) firmly believes is soon-to-come, as his advice to the Corinthian brethren confirms:
This I say brethren, the season [of the last years of the Mosaic Eon] has been shortened [because many years have passed since the death and resurrection of Jesus]. From now on [about 55/56 a.d.] those who have wives should live as though they have no wives, . . . those buying commodities as though not possessing them for long; those making use of the political, social, and economic societal networks of the present world-order of the Roman Empire as those not becoming dependent upon them. . . . For the schematic design determining the present world-order of the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant is passing away. (1 Corinthians 7:29-31 my amplified translation)
Paul, as a Jew, a circumcised Messianic, has been called by Yahweh, through the personal encounter with the exalted Christ, to be an Apostle of Jesus the Christ. As such, he has been elected to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah, first to the Jew, but also especially to the gentile as his apostleship is designated as to the gentiles in accord with the Gospel of the Uncircumcision committed to his personal care and responsibility.
When Yahweh had called Saul, he had been a persecutor of the Ecclesia of Yahweh, a persecutor of those acknowledging and following the way of Jesus as Messiah. Thus, at that point, he had been an enemy of the Gospel, having heard it out of the mouth of Stephen and having been unable to refute its wisdom. But Yahweh looks behind the outward appearance, seeing into the heart.
Saul is a circumcised-in-heart Jew in the eyes of Yahweh. He is a victim of deception. The mind of the flesh had distorted the teaching of the Mosaic Law, deceptively prostituting it against the welfare of all Jews like Saul of Tarsus. When Yahweh opens his (Saul’s) mind to the deception of the mind of the flesh by revealing Jesus to him, Saul covenantally becomes Paul, recognizing and acknowledging the truth of the Gospel concerning the identity of Jesus.
Thus, the Jew, Saul (in bondage to the deception of the mind of the flesh, which mind is the alien within his members corrupting his mind into acknowledging a distorted Mosaic Law), is crucified with the Christ. The mind of the flesh is, thus, crucified so as no longer being able (if remaining accounted crucified) to deceptively mislead the mind of the resurrected Paul as renewed by the mind of the spirit. This spirit now takes possession of the house (mind, body, spirit) of Paul by dwelling within this cleansed house. Within this cleansed house, the mind of the flesh, having been crucified on The Cross of the Christ, is no longer free to implement its authority and power in the affairs of Paul through the individual members of his body (his brain, his eyes, his hands, his feet, etc.).
This new man (Paul), crucified together with the Christ, has been assigned the task
of proclaiming the Gospel. He has been appointed an Apostle. In this he has no choice. He must and will execute this
commission (for Yahweh will see to it that he does). Paul is not free to
disobey this commission (even as Jonah had not been free to disobey his
However, having this honorable burden placed upon him, he does have the freedom to execute his commission voluntarily. That is, unlike Jonah, he voluntarily chooses to carry out his responsibility as a mature son of Yahweh having come into complete agreement with the honorable truths of his Father. Such a son demonstrates the honorable and loving character of the Father in his own personal thought and conduct. Such thought and conduct reflect the son’s voluntary participation in the Father’s thought and conduct based upon his genuine filial relationship with the Father.
If, declares Paul, “I am engaging in this [apostolic commission] voluntarily, I have wages, yet if involuntarily [like Jonah], I have been entrusted with an administration [which if carried out involuntarily must be carried out, executed, as a slave warranting no wages]” (1 Cor. 9:17). How then can Paul earn wages in relation to the proclamation of the Gospel? By proclaiming the Gospel out of the love of a mature adult son demonstrating the honorable characteristics of his Father (love, justice, mercy, compassion, longsuffering, etc.). Paul’s wage will come to him when he proclaims the Gospel without requiring his right, his authority to be supported by those he serves (1 Cor. 9:18).
Paul is willing to suffer the loss of the relatively insignificant terrestrial rights and honors. He declares “woe to me if I should not be bringing the evangel!” (1 Cor. 9:16 CV). If he tries to shirk his commission to proclaim the Gospel, he will suffer under the painful discipline of Yahweh, resulting in his execution of the commission in spite of his will. Thus, Paul makes clear that he serves Yahweh and His Anointed Son/King as a free mature son. Lovingly bowing the knee, together with Jesus the Christ (in Whom all are sons of Yahweh), before the honored and glorified Father, he bows the knee as a loyal, filial son in complete harmony with the will of the Father (“I and the Father, We are one,” John 10:30 CV).
Being a free son in The Christ, Paul is slave to no man. Yet, as a result of being a free son of Yahweh, he voluntarily chooses to enslave himself to the welfare of all these men elected to hear the promise of the Gospel, in order that he should be gaining for Yahweh as many as possible (1 Cor. 9:19). In this act of faithfulness, Paul demonstrates the crucified life. He imitates the example of Jesus the Messiah. He conforms his mind to the mind of the Christ (Phil. 2:1-8). He becomes a man for others. He becomes his brother’s keeper sharing the truth of the Gospel with all his brothers, treating all his brothers without partiality, without preferential treatment based upon religious, political, social, economic, or genetical status.
In accord with the Gospel associated with The Cross of the Christ, he dies to the selfish, ambitious,
arrogant self-affirmation of Cain against his brother Abel. He willingly
surrenders his rights when those rights come into conflict with the truth of
the Gospel associated with The Cross of the
Christ. Life in the Christ must
conform to the Gospel of the Cross. The
crucified life is the resurrection life of all members of the One, Living, True
Ecclesia of Yahweh and His Anointed Son, the
Many among the Corinthian Messianics are living according to the mind of the flesh, because they are not acknowledging the reality of The Cross of the Christ. They are not faithfully accounting the transformation which has become a reality for each of them in the Christ. They are not accounting themselves crucified with the Christ. Thus, they are not accounting the mind of the flesh as disabled, crucified, without authority and power, without the power or authority to roam freely through the rooms of their houses (their individual bodies, especially including the room of their brain wherein the alien mind of the flesh can deceive their own minds into thinking and behaving against what is upright in the eyes of Yahweh as revealed in the Gospel associated with The Cross of the Christ).
The crucified life, that is, a world-order crucified to the believer and the believer crucified to a world-order, is the life of the coming new eon. It is crucially associated with the imminent Parousia of Jesus the Christ. The affliction, persecution, and crucifixion associated with this dynamically new life in Christ has as its goal the maturation of the One, Living, True, Ecclesia/Temple whereby she, as a Royal Queen wedded to her Royal Husband, is appropriately qualified to enter her Celestial Allotment. Many Corinthian Messianics are risking their qualification for participation in the imminent culmination of their present exodus, their present wilderness journey: entrance into the promised Celestial Allotment.
Paul, imitating the Christ, demonstrates, by his own calling as an Apostle, the path of qualification. As an Apostle, he has been assigned an administration from which he cannot escape. However, as a free son of Yahweh having been crucified with the Christ, he has been liberated from enslavement to the alien mind of the flesh (The Law of Sin and Death residing in the members of his body, see Rom. 7:21-23; 8:1-4). This liberation, this freedom, does not authorize him to do anything he wishes. This liberation has freed Paul to genuinely serve Yahweh as an adult son voluntarily standing alongside his Father as a chip off the old block, as an honorable son sharing in the character and work of the Father, a genuinely loving son both willing and able to manifest the love of the Father for all His children.
How does Paul put this into effect in relation to his Apostolic calling? No longer under the enslavement of the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant, but liberated to the new freedom under the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant, he is free to become a Jew to the Jews by continuing to observe the customs of the Mosaic Law. By so doing, he maintains a relation to the Jews allowing him to proclaim the Gospel among them, whereby he might gain as many of these Jews for Yahweh as possible. Thus, to those Jews strictly committed to the observance of all the Mosaic requirements (those Jews under the law, 1 Cor. 9:20a), Paul observes (as one under law) all these requirements himself, while among them.
However, not all Jews are strict followers of the Mosaic Law. Many Jews are living the life of a prodigal. They are Jews who may have a healthy respect for the law and the customs, but do not strictly observe the law and the customs. Other Jews, becoming, for one reason or another, discouraged with the Jewish law and customs have not even attempted to observe the law and the customs. They have chosen to live as the gentiles, disassociating themselves from the Jewish Community. These two groups of Jews represent those Paul designates as “without law” (1 Cor. 9:21 CV).
When in the company of those designated without law, Paul does not avoid them as would those Jews strictly observing the law and the customs. Like Jesus his Lord, Paul associates with them as one without law, as one unconcerned with the stigma given these Jews by the law-observing Jews. Thus, he does not allow their outcast status, their status as lawless Jews, as “sinners out of the nations” (Gal. 2:15 CV), to become a barrier obstructing association with them. No longer under law (the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant), he is free to associate with them without the traditional concern of becoming a breaker of the law and, thus, a lawless renegade.
However, becoming without law to those Jews not strictly observing the Law of Moses does not imply that Paul is lawless. For, although he is not under the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant of law, he stands within the sphere of the interest of The Law of the Christ which represents Yahweh’s Law as free from the constraints imposed upon it by the schematic design and purpose of the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant. The Law of the Christ within which Paul stands is being revealed through the interpretive instruction of the indwelling spirit. The Law of the Christ as Yahweh’s unbounded, dynamic Law is not static, as the Sinatic/Mosaic Law had become through corruption.
The Law of the Christ dynamically, creatively, appropriates Yahweh’s Law as it has been designed to meet the needs of the variety of specific circumstances and conditions arising in the affairs of life. Paul exemplifies the dynamic character of Yahweh’s Law as interpreted by The Law of the Christ when he quotes Deuteronomy 25:4 concerning the law muzzling the threshing ox (1 Cor. 9:9). Paul interprets the law dynamically as applying to the ministers of Yahweh under the New Davidic Covenant, those who are proclaiming His Gospel. These laborers are worthy of the support of those they serve. This is the judgment of the spirit of Yahweh’s Law.
The Law of Yahweh as constricted within the framework of the schematic design and purpose of the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant, however, belongs to the Adamic Eon during which all worship and service of Yahweh and/or the gods are conducted through the agency of the elements of the world-order (fire, water, earth, air: fire sacrifices, water cleansings, earth offerings, heavenly ascent of sacrificed smoke to the place of Yahweh or the gods). Such worship and service belong to the time of man’s childhood. The Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant had been designed by Yahweh for His people still living in the age of mankind’s childhood. It is a temporary covenant unfit for adult sons no longer requiring a guardian. This same covenant had not been designed and purposed for men blessed with immortal life. It had been designed and purposed for men victimized by mortality. Therefore, the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant of law could not, and had not been designed to, offer immortal life, redemption from mortality, physical death.
The New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant becomes a channel through which immortal life is being supplied to The One, Living, True Ecclesia/Temple. All those in the Christ begin to partake of the immortal life brought to mankind through the death and resurrection of Jesus The Son of Adam, The Son of Yahweh. This immortal life is not a product of this New Covenant, nor is it dependent on this New Covenant. For the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant is not made with all humanity but with the faithful sonship seed of Abraham. This New Covenant is merely “a” channel of immortal life, not “the” channel. Jesus the Son of Yahweh is “the” channel. Through this Jesus, the only legitimate, generated, personally sired Son of Yahweh, all humanity, barring none, will receive this immortal life.
Paul (a present receiver of this immortal life channeled through the Christ, through the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant as “a” channel through which the sonship seed of Abraham at that time was receiving as a foretaste of its powerful transformation which was to be completed for them in the new eon about to arrive) is now worshiping and serving Yahweh as an adult son, not a child. As a child freed for adult sonship, Paul worships and serves Yahweh in the power and authority of the indwelling spirit of Yahweh operating in association with the crucifixion, the disabling, of the mind of the flesh as energized by The Law of Sin and Death, that alien dwelling within the members of his body in order to activate the mind of the flesh (the mind of The Law of Sin and Death) with the purpose of producing the lusts of the flesh, the prostitution of the healthy function of the members of the body, whereby men think and behave contrary to their natural welfare as designed by Yahweh.
As Paul, for the sake of the Gospel, adapts himself to the Jew under the law and the Jew without law (1 Cor. 9:20-21), so also does he adapt himself to the gentiles, perceived and designated by the Jews as weak and inferior in status (1 Cor. 9:22). Paul freely associates with the gentiles, impartially disregarding their political, social, economical, and religious status. These gentiles in the eyes of his renewed mind are perceived as Yahweh’s children, potential faithful sons of Abraham. They are Paul’s brothers; Paul is their keeper. He proclaims to them, also, the Gospel whereby they can become enjoyers of the soon-to-come Celestial Allotment, as well as presently becoming fellow-citizens of the New Born-From-Above Israel of Yahweh. As such, they share in the reception of the spirit of Yahweh and the life of the coming eon.
Yahweh, in Jesus the Messiah, The Seed of Abraham, is blessing the nations with holy status. Paul, no longer under the restrictions of the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant, is free to serve his gentile brothers in the proclamation of the Gospel of the Uncircumcision and to serve his kinsmen after the flesh, the Jews, in the proclamation of the Gospel of the Circumcision. He, thus, can announce, “To all the seed of Abraham [circumcised and uncircumcised, to whom the Gospel is sent] I have become all things [appropriate to the concern and terms of the Gospel]” (1 Cor. 9:22b my amplified translation), in order that he might be saving some, those whose circumcised hearts reveal them to be accounted by Yahweh as the faithful seed of Abraham.
Consequently, by administering his calling as a voluntary service of love conducted as an adult son of the spirit conformed to the crucifixion death of the Christ, Paul seeks to be becoming “a joint participant of the character and purpose of the Gospel” (1 Cor. 9:23b my amplified translation). In doing this, he secures his status as a faithfully qualified conquering member of Yahweh’s holy nation and kingdom of priests.
Continuing the subject of securing one’s qualification as Yahweh’s faithful people, Paul exhorts the Corinthian Messianics to secure their salvation. Using the analogy of athletes racing in a stadium (1 Cor. 9:24-26), he warns the Corinthian faithful ones committed to the Gospel that not all the racers in the race obtain the prize. Though many enter the race, only the one best prepared obtains the prize.
The calling of the Gospel places all those responding to the Gospel in a race for the prize of the on-high, celestial calling. Unlike the athletic racers in the stadium, however, there will be more than one racer obtaining the prize. Hence, in order to obtain the prize of this race, one must reach the finish line. This demands self-control and endurance. Only those running the race of the Gospel according to the self-control and endurance of The Cross of the Christ will be able to finish the race. Only those running and finishing the race within the rules set by the Gospel will be accounted qualified to obtain the prize: the incorruptible crown authorizing the wearer entrance into the Celestial Allotment.
This prize, declares Paul, he is seeking. He is in the race. His goal is to run and finish the race by disciplining his life according to the mind of the spirit, the mind of the Christ accounting the mind of the flesh (the old humanity deceptively affected by The Law of Sin and Death) crucified together with the Christ. He now turns to another metaphor, that of a boxer, to depict this crucifixion of the mind of the flesh.
A boxer, does not punch mere air. His punches must hit the
target. Paul uses the Greek word hupopiazo
(to strike or hit, thus to punch under the eyes repeatedly, thus to blind the
eyes by swelling, 1 Cor. 9:27) in order to describe his strategy. When
Samson (one of ancient
Thus, a body having its sight blinded to the objective world is analogous to a body crucified to the mind of the flesh, crucified to the lusts of the flesh produced by the mind of the flesh (which mind walks by sight not by faith). This body now crucified to the mind of the flesh is free to become alive to the mind of the spirit, and, as such, alive to the worship and service of Yahweh and Jesus the Christ according to the terms of the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant as revealed in the truth of the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah. This body now walking by faith rather than sight is easily led by the mind of the spirit (The Law of the Spirit of Life). In this way, Paul leads his own body into slavery to Yahweh.
Paul’s body, now completely under the command of The Law of The Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:2), becomes the instrument through which the righteousness of Yahweh is produced, thereby enabling him to run and finish the race according to The Law of the Christ. Consequently, by crucifying the flesh with its lusts, the members of his body cannot be used as instruments of unrighteousness. If the members of Paul’s crucified body can only produce the righteousness of Yahweh, Paul is guaranteed to run and finish the race, achieving his goal: Being accounted by Yahweh as qualified to receive the prize, the crown of righteousness authorizing entrance into the Celestial Allotment prepared for the conquering servants of Jesus the Christ, the New Davidic Warrior-King.
Paul, therefore, warns all the brethren in
The loss of salvation is a grave danger to the members of the One, Living, True Ecclesia/Temple of Yahweh and His Anointed Son/King. It is not to be taken lightly. Those in The Christ participating in the exodus must be on guard during their wilderness journey to the Celestial Promised Land. The journey is difficult. The obstacles encountered will test the faithful endurance of those seeking to complete the journey. Those maintaining serious watchfulness will avoid disqualification. Those letting down their guard, those disregarding the need for strict, tough discipline will die (metaphorically, covenantally) in the wilderness, neither heeding the ancient warning of Moses nor the present warning of Paul to
guard yourself, lest you
should forget Yahweh your Elohim Who brought you forth from the country of
Guard yourself lest you should forget Yahweh your Elohim by failing to observe His instructions and His judgments and His statutes . . . Guard yourself lest you say in your heart: My vigor and the staunchness of my hand make for me this great estate. (Deuteronomy 8:11, 17 CV)
The wilderness journey of ancient Israel becomes for Paul a
type of the present journey of the new Israelites of Yahweh making their exodus
journey out of the old, obsolete
Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant, out of
the corrupt Israel of the flesh, out
of the old Saulic Kingdom, through
the present wilderness of affliction, persecution, and crucifixion, into the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant,
into the holy New Born-From-Above Israel of the spirit, into the New Davidic Kingdom of Jesus the promised Davidic Warrior-King.
Paul exhorts the Corinthian brethren not to be ignorant of the consequences
our fathers all were under the cloud [of Yahweh’s presence and guidance], and all passed through the sea [of Yahweh’s salvation], and all were baptized into Moses [identified with Moses as the agent of Yahweh’s salvation] in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food [the manna], and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they drank [the water coming out] of the spiritual Rock [Yahweh] which followed [them, protecting and providing]. But that Rock [Yahweh] began to be [imperfect tense] [for us] the Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:1-4 CV modified)
Every Israelite following Moses out of
This Rock, interprets Paul, represented the protective
presence of Yahweh providing them with the water necessary for life in the
wilderness as they journeyed to their destination, the Promised Land of
For the name of Yahweh am I proclaiming: Grant greatness to our Elohim! The Rock . . . (Deuteronomy 32:3‑4a CV)
Then he [
O Yahweh, . . . my Rock! . . . the Horn of my salvation, . . . (Psalms 18:2 CV)
To you, O Yahweh, am I calling out; My Rock, . . . (Psalms 28:1 CV)
Only in Elohim is my soul stilled; From Him comes my salvation. He only is my Rock and my Salvation, . . . (Psalms 62:1-2a CV)
For you [Apostate
However, the Rock in the wilderness representing Yahweh’s protective and provisional presence, the Rock which had been struck in order to produce the flowing water of life, that Rock had now begun to be, for the One, True Ecclesia journeying through the present Sinatic/Mosaic Covenantal wilderness, Jesus the Christ. For the New Born-From-Above Ecclesia of Yahweh, Jesus the Christ, the promised Messiah, has become the Rock, in the present wilderness, which had been struck by the blow of the cross producing the flow of the water of the life of the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah.
Jesus the Christ had been struck by the blow of the cross in order to become Yahweh’s Rock of salvation out of Whom presently flows the water of immortal life. Only by their identification with The Cross of the Christ could the Corinthian brethren (and all Messianic followers of Jesus the Christ) continue to drink of the life-sustaining water of immortal life flowing out of Yahweh’s present smitten Rock and continue to eat of the present spiritual manna descending from heaven, the revelatory instruction and guidance of the spirit. It is this spirit which provides the spiritual nourishment producing the spiritual strength necessary to successfully endure the hardships through the present spiritual wilderness of affliction and persecution and the necessary growth resulting in that spiritual maturity qualifying The One Ecclesia (consisting of her many individual members) for entrance unto her Celestial Allotment.
As Abraham could be associated with the symbolic imagery of the Rock, so Jesus The Seed of Abraham, The Son of Abraham, is associated with this symbolic imagery,
Listen to me, you [Israelites] Who pursue righteousness, Who seek the Lord [Yahweh]: Look to the rock from which you were hewn, And the quarry from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, . . . (Isaiah 51:1-2a NASB)
As Abraham is the Rock, the mountain, out of which Israel has been hewn, Jesus the Messiah is the stone severing itself from the mountain (Abraham as Rock) in order, as both the Son of Abraham and the Son of Yahweh, He might suffer the blow of The Cross, becoming in resurrection the Rock which would demolish the kingdom of the nations (the Roman Empire), becoming Himself a great kingdom confirmed for the eons, having no end (see Daniel 2:34-35, 44-45 CV). Out of Jesus the Christ as this Rock, Yahweh is presently, implies Paul’s use of the analogy, hewing out (cutting out of the Christ through the sufferings associated with The Cross) The One, Living, True Ecclesia which He is constructing into His Temple using the living stones hewed out of the Christ as the resurrected Rock out of Abraham.
As the Rock in the wilderness had been a symbolic agent of Yahweh’s saving and provisional presence following Israel through her wilderness journey, so, now, Jesus as the Christ, the Anointed Son of Yahweh, has begun to be (imperfect tense of the same verb used in 1 Corinthians 10:4b), for the New Spiritual Israel, the Living Rock, the Living Agent, of Yahweh’s saving and provisional presence following the One, Living, True Ecclesia through her present wilderness journey. All those Messianic members of the One, Living, True Ecclesia have drunk and should continue to drink from Jesus the Christ as this spiritual Rock from Whom flows the living water of immortal life. All have eaten of and should continue to eat of the spiritual nourishment provided by the spirit of Jesus the Christ.
All well and good, but Paul continues his analogy. Although all Israelites had experienced the protection of Yahweh’s presence in the cloud, had participated in the walk through the sea, successfully experiencing the salvation of Yahweh from Pharaoh’s army, had eaten of the miraculous manna descending from heaven, and had drunk from the miraculous water flowing from the Rock, all had not entered into the intended destination, the Promised Land of Canaan.
But not in the majority [those over 20 years of age belonging to the first generation] of them does God [Yahweh] delight, for they [this majority] were strewn along in the wilderness. (1 Corinthians 10:5 CV)
In spite of their having participated in Yahweh’s salvation under the agency of Moses (being baptized into Moses), the majority of those over 20 years of age belonging to the first generation had not remained faithful throughout the journey. Yahweh had been displeased with them.
Though they had been delivered (redeemed) out of Egyptian
bondage, though they had been delivered (saved) from Pharaoh’s army through the
divided waters of the sea, though they had eaten the miraculous manna, and
though they had drunk from the miraculous water flowing from the Rock, they had failed to secure
their qualification for entrance into the Promised Land. They had turned away
from faithfulness to Yahweh, turning back in their hearts to
Consequently, persistently doubting Yahweh, they continually put Him to the test, moaning, groaning, complaining, murmuring among themselves in private against Yahweh and against Moses. Taking for granted the miraculous provisions of Yahweh, they always demanded more. Presuming Yahweh’s faithlessness, His evil intent to destroy them, they had by faithlessly putting His provision and salvation to the test forced Yahweh’s hand into preserving them. In this stiff-necked, rebellious manner, they had dishonored and shamed Yahweh, while at the same time proving themselves unworthy of Yahweh’s elective calling, salvation, and promise.
Presuming their elective right to a comfortable, luxurious journey through the wilderness, they had prematurely anticipated a swift and self-indulgent journey to a sumptuous, paradisiacal land guaranteed them by the promise made to Abraham their forefather. They had perceived Yahweh as their servant, owing them His graciousness. He had to prove Himself worthy of being their god on their terms, or they would turn their attention and affection to another god more worthy of their worship.
Prematurely anticipating the deceptive trickery of a capricious Yahweh, they had arbitrarily disregarded the many demonstrations on their behalf of Yahweh’s mighty hand. They had chosen despair, instead of hope. Choosing despair rather than the sure hope of Yahweh’s faithfulness, they had chosen to put Yahweh to the test of their own terms and expectations. Thinking and acting faithlessly, Yahweh faithfully left their dead bodies strewn throughout the wilderness of their 40-year wandering warranted by their own capricious, arbitrary faithlessness.
Paul solemnly warns the Corinthian Messianics that such
disobedient acts, committed by these faithless Israelites having graciously participated
in Yahweh’s redemption and salvation, yet forfeiting their redemption and salvation
by their disobedience, are examples for all those in The Christ. As those
faithless Israelites had been baptized into the
If the majority under the salvation associated with Moses could be accounted unworthy of entrance into the promised terrestrial allotment, so, also, it is possible for those participating in the salvation associated with Jesus the Messiah to be accounted unworthy of entrance into the promised Celestial Allotment. Therefore, Paul warns the Corinthian brethren not to desire the evil things of the mind of the flesh. They are not to become idolaters, either turning back to the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant (more likely a temptation to the Jewish Messianics), or turning back to the idolatrous worship of the gods by participating in cultic feasts dedicated to the gods (more likely a temptation to the Gentile Messianics).
They are not to prostitute themselves by practicing a delusional, destructive freedom which prostitutes the true, authentic, and vital freedom associated with the glory of The Cross of the Christ. The freedom in Christ allows the free adult son of Abraham and Yahweh to serve Yahweh as one roused from the dead. The freedom of adult sonship raises one above the childhood status of worship and service through the elements of the world-order. The freedom of The Cross of the Christ crucifies the lusts of the flesh, freeing the members of one’s body to become instruments through which only that which is upright in the eyes of Yahweh can be produced.
All those in The Christ must not “be putting the Lord [Yahweh and His Anointed Son/King] on trial” (1 Cor. 10:9-10 CV) as the majority of the ancient Israelites had put Yahweh and Moses on trial. They are not to presume their elective right to the Celestial Allotment. They are not to presume Yahweh has freed them to do as they please. They are not to presume that Yahweh will and must protect them from persecution and affliction, that Yahweh will and must make the journey to the Celestial Allotment a journey of comfort, luxury, and self-indulgence.
They must not prematurely anticipate Yahweh’s relationship with them as being one of capriciousness. Yahweh’s way is righteous, not capricious. They must not prematurely anticipate the coming of the Parousia in order to avoid or limit living the crucified life. The Parousia is certainly imminent, but necessitates enough time for the Gospel to be preached to all whom Yahweh has sent it, enough time for The One, Living, True Ecclesia to attain maturity. It requires trust in the faithfulness of Jesus to keep His promise to return within their generation in order to lead them into the Celestial Allotment He had gone to prepare for them.
Eschatologically, they are in the last days of the Mosaic Eon. Thus, this eschatological season necessitates the appropriate amount of time, determined by Yahweh, to live the crucified life, sharing in the sufferings of the Christ which are in the process of divesting the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant of its waning authority. The coming eon is near. Their covenantal destination is within spiritual sight. They are to be watchful. They are to continue faithfully running the race with much endurance and discipline, eagerly seeking the prize to be awarded to all those who cross the finish line having run the race according to the righteousness of The Cross of the Christ.
All the examples taken from the exodus generation had been prophetically written for the admonition of those elected to participate in the last generation of the Mosaic Eon, especially for those responding faithfully to the salvation of Yahweh proclaimed in the Gospel. These faithful ones are marching in the final exodus prophesied in the Law and the Prophets. Paul writes that these things are written for the admonition of the Messianic followers of Jesus the Messiah, of whom, declares Paul, “the consummations of the eons have attained” (1 Cor. 10:11b CV). Each goal of each eon (age) occurring during the Adamic Age (within which age are the following eons: the Noahic Eon, the Abrahamic Eon, the Mosaic Eon, the Davidic Eon) is finding its fulfillment, its consummation, in The Cross of the Christ. They are all coming together in a final knot. That knot is the result of the crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and exaltation of Jesus the Christ, the Anointed Son of Adam, the Anointed Son of Yahweh. This knot represents the inversion of the vortex of human history.
So crucial is this period in time, so significant is this exodus, so decisive is their calling and their faithful response, that Paul again exhorts,
So that, let him who is supposing he stands beware that he should not be falling. No trial has taken you [fastened upon you] other than that which comes from the human condition [of having the alien Law of Sin and Death operating in the members of the body]. But Yahweh is faithful Who will not be leaving you to be tried beyond what you are able [to overcome so as to avoid becoming captive to The Law of Sin and Death with its mind of the flesh], but, together with the trial, [He] will also be making the sequel [the eschatological outcome] [a motivating expectation], the thing which enables you to stand up against its pressure [influence]. (1 Corinthians 10:12-13 my amplified translation)
Paul encourages the Corinthian brethren not to emulate those Israelites in the wilderness exodus from Egypt, who, participating in Yahweh’s redemption, salvation, protection, and provision, boasted in the confidence of their election, thinking that their elective and holy status should have guaranteed them comfort, luxury, and self-indulgence in their journey through the wilderness to the Promised Land. These, falsely supposing themselves to stand as royalty before Yahweh, fell in the wilderness journey, their dead bodies strewn out upon the land during the course of 40 years of circular wandering due to their arrogant obstinacy. In spite of their redemption and salvation, they had been barred from entrance into the terrestrial allotment. They had been disqualified in the running of their race.
Paul reminds those running the race in The Christ that the trials they are to undergo during the course of the running of their race are those common to the human condition. These trials must be understood to be threatening only because of The Law of Sin and Death operating in the members of their bodies. This law, stirring up the lusts of the flesh through the influence of the mind of the flesh, seeks to influence humans away from self-discipline into self-indulgence as a way of escaping the pain and danger associated with truth (in their case, the truth of the Gospel).
Man’s true, authentic welfare often requires the pain of self-discipline necessary to harness the members of one’s body into harmoniously becoming instruments of righteousness. Trials come from the attempt of The Law of Sin and Death, through the mind of the flesh, to prostitute the members of the body into becoming instruments of unrighteousness. Unrighteousness consists of baiting the five senses (the soul) and the mind (associated with the inspiration, operation, of the spirit) into exceeding the normal, healthy boundaries of their functions.
Such excess is designated as lust or covetousness in the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. In Greek, the word primarily used is epithumia, meaning literally, upon-desire, that is, desire which reaches beyond, above its healthy function, thus, leading to the destruction of one’s welfare, leading to enslavement, the loss of healthy freedom. Authentic, genuine, true freedom results in the power of the will to control and direct the members of the body in accord with a sound mind attuned to the laws of Yahweh. When the desires are allowed to exceed their intended function, the will becomes enslaved to the desires of the mind of the flesh, thus forfeiting its freedom, its responsibility for the welfare of the members of the body as one corporate, living man.
Paul reminds the Corinthian Messianics that Yahweh has faithfully provided them with the means of overcoming the trials they are to undergo. The mind of the spirit associated with The Cross of the Christ has disabled The Law of Sin and Death by crucifying the body to this destructive law. The power of the mind of the spirit crucifies The Law of Sin and Death to the members of the body, thus disabling it from intruding its distorted and infected mind into the operation of the healthy desires of the soul and the sound thinking of the mind.
The sound mind of the Gospel associated with The Cross continually reminds those in The Christ of the reality and nearness of the Parousia with its accompanying Celestial Allotment, the eschatological outcome of faithfully conquering, controlling, crucifying the flesh with its lusts, with its exceeding covetousness, its unsound, enslaving mind. Thus, the faithful expectation of the imminent Parousia and its accompanying Celestial Allotment become a powerful motivating factor for enduring the trials.
The physical endurance of the trials is further provided for by the special gift of the indwelling spirit empowering them to endure the abnormally ferocious, unbearably savage sufferings of the great affliction about to come on these faithful followers of Jesus. Only this generation of faithful sons of Abraham is given the gift of the dwelling-within-spirit, which through the mind faithfully accounting the body dead to The Law of Sin and Death permits this spirit dwelling within to indwell, take active possession of the house of the body (including the brain), empowering the mind and the body to endure the actual ferocious, unbearably savage persecution and affiliation about to come upon The One, Living, True Ecclesia.
spirit has endowed all those in The Christ with spiritual endowments. These
endowments are divided up among the individual believers. Each has been given a
spiritual endowment or endowments in order to serve the edification of The One,
Living, True Ecclesia. Some in
In order to illustrate this spiritual reality, Paul uses the analogy of the body. The One, Living, True Ecclesia of Jesus the Christ is likened to a single, corporate body. Paul designates this body as the Body of The Christ. The Christ becomes a title referring to The One, Living, True Ecclesia. The Ecclesia as The Christ is the complement of Jesus the Christ. Together, they are one complete, spiritual corporate body, metaphorically male (Jesus) and female (the Ecclesia).
As the corporate body of a human is one corporate whole consisting of many members, so the corporate body of Jesus the Messiah, the Ecclesia (The Christ), is one corporate body consisting of many members (1 Cor. 12:12). All the members of this one corporate body have been baptized into this spiritual body according to the interest of one spirit, the spirit of Yahweh, now shared by Jesus the Messiah with all those in Him. Hence, this baptism is not the baptism of water associated with the Jewish Messianics as a kingdom of priests after the order of Melchizedek. This baptism is performed by Jesus Himself. It is His baptism with the spirit: “He will be baptizing you in [the interest of] holy spirit” (Lk. 3:16b CV). John the Baptist came baptizing with water. Jesus the exalted and enthroned Son of Yahweh baptizes with (in the interest of) holy spirit. All who share in the spirit of the Christ belong to The Christ, The Ecclesia, the corporate spiritual body complementing Jesus the Christ: “Now if anyone has not Christ's spirit, this one is not His” (Rom. 8:9b CV). Whether Jew or Greek, whether slave or free, “all [of us] were given to drink of one spirit” (1 Cor. 12:13b my translation).
As the body of a human is not one member but many, so The Body of The Christ, the Ecclesia, is not one member but many. As the human body consists of arms, hands, legs, feet, eyes, and ears, so The Body of The Christ consists of groups of members functioning as arms, hands, legs, feet, eyes, and ears. No single individual part is independent of the whole corporate body. What would the body be if it were only an eye, or only an ear, or only a hand?
Each part contributes to the function of the body as a corporate whole. One part does not boast as being superior to any other part. The body is not complete without all the members together contributing to the identity of the body. If any part is severed or injured, the body as a corporate whole is defected. It is imperfect. It is reduced in functional capacity.
Though there are more prominent and celebrated members of the body, all such members are still dependent upon the proper functioning of those less prominent and celebrated members. If each member does not function as it is designed to function, the one corporate body breaks down, becoming dysfunctional, chaotic, and finally dying. Thus, the relatively inferior members are necessary for the coherent unity of the body.
A healthy body consists of a healthy functioning of all its parts in relation to one another. The internal organs, though not as prominent and celebrated, are, in fact, most vital to the functioning of those external organs given more attention. Thus, though receiving less attention, these internal organs are the engines running the operation of the external organs.
Some of the external organs are more presentable to the public than others. There are the publicly presentable limbs and organs and there are the private parts of the body hidden from public view. This does not, however, make the publicly presentable superior to the publicly unpresentable. Every member contributes its unique function to the welfare of the corporate body as a whole. Our embarrassment, however, over our private parts leads to our special attention and care to elaborately adorn them. Thus, the very necessity of hiding them from public view results in our glorifying them through the outward apparel with which we choose to adorn them.
Thus, The Body of The Christ, The One, Living, True Ecclesia, though consisting of many members is one corporate body. Though some members may receive more attention than others, due to their prominence and celebrity in public function, they are not to be favored with preferential, unjust partiality. The honor given them should not result in the dishonoring of other less prominent and less celebrated members. The Ecclesia of the Christ is to function as one coherent unity.
A healthy spiritual Ecclesia consists of a spiritually healthy functioning of all her various members in relation to one another. Those members performing the functions of the publicly presentable limbs and organs should not be treating as inferior or unnecessary those publicly unpresentable. Those functioning as the eyes, the ears, the tongue, the mouth, should not be exalting themselves above those members functioning as the hands, the arms, the feet, the legs.
Each member lives or dies, is healthy or unhealthy, is whole or crippled, is honored or dishonored, is glorified or shamed as The Ecclesia as a corporate body lives or dies, is healthy or unhealthy, is whole or crippled, is honored or dishonored, is glorified or shamed. Every member receives his identity from the Ecclesia as a corporate whole, as the One, United, Harmonious Body of Jesus the Christ. As such, The Ecclesia is The Christ,
For even as the body is one and has many members, yet all the members of the one body, being many, are one body, thus also is the Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:12 CV)
Hence, there is the necessity of walking in the spirit according to one’s calling, “Each one, in what he was called, brethren, in this let him remain with God [Yahweh]” (1 Cor. CV). He who is called being circumcised must function according to the role designated by Yahweh for the circumcised (Saints, priests). He who is called being uncircumcised must function according to the role designated by Yahweh for the uncircumcised within the corporate Body of the Christ. He who is called being a slave (uncircumcised) is Yahweh’s freeman. He who is called being free (the circumcised) is a slave of Jesus the Christ, the Commander-In-Chief of Yahweh’s spiritual militia (see 1 Cor. 7:17b-24).
Paul, therefore, concludes there is to be no schism in the Body. If one member suffers, all the members are sympathizing. If one member is esteemed, all the members are rejoicing with that member. This is precisely exemplified by Jonathan, son of King Saul, in his relationship with David. When David suffered at the hand of King Saul, Jonathan (King Saul’s son and thus heir to the throne) shared in David’s suffering and sought to relieve it. Of the Corinthian brethren, Paul declares,
Now you are the body of Christ, and members of a part, whom also God [Yahweh], indeed, placed in the ecclesia, first, apostles, second, prophets, third, teachers, . . . Not all are apostles. Not all are prophets. Not all are teachers. (1 Corinthians 12:27-29a CV)
All the Corinthian brethren are members in The Christ. Each differentiating member complements the other members, thereby maintaining, preserving, the corporate identity of The Christ, as well as the identity of the individual members. This is in accord with the order designed by Yahweh. There is to be no obsessive glorification of groups seeking their own impressive honor and welfare apart from and against the honor and welfare of The Ecclesia as a corporate body. There is to be no obsessive condoning of individual or group status relegating other individuals and groups within the One, Corporate Body of the Christ to an inferior status. Every member is to be honored and respected as to his membership in the one identity of all and as to his particular role or function in the edifying operations, life, and responsibility of The Ecclesia of Jesus the Messiah.
There is to be no schism in The One, Living, True Body of the Christ. Yahweh has designed The Body, The Christ, The Ecclesia to function ideally in fulfilling her task when the Apostles occupy the highest place of authority, followed by the prophets, followed by evangelists, the teachers, and so forth, as was then the reality to the consummation of the Parousia. There is order in The Body. This order complies with The Law of Christ. Thus, The Ecclesia is an organic, spiritual world-order, system.
The Ecclesia, when spiritually One with Jesus the Christ, the Son of Yahweh, becomes a New Man, a New Creation, whereby a New Humanity is to be generated. Hence, the practical outworking of the organization of The Ecclesia during her wilderness journey on the way to her Celestial Allotment is of no concern to humanity today. For that period and that organization, functioning in the terrestrial realm during the years 30-70 a.d., are over and completed. It has long been superseded by The Ecclesia’s position and organization in the Celestial Realm. Therefore, that ecclesiastical divine-order (Apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers, etc.) is irrelevant today and has been irrelevant for almost 2,000 years.
Although The Ecclesia has been endowed with many spiritual
endowments, Paul reminds the Corinthian brethren that although faith without
works is dead, faith and works without love is worse than dead; it is a
dishonor and shame to Yahweh and His Christ. It is an outright lie, arrogant
hubris, a hypocritical attempt to outwardly appear to emulate Yahweh and Jesus the Christ. It is unholiness at its
worst. Therefore, Paul exhorts the brethren at
If I should be speaking in the languages of men [of our world-order, the Roman world] and of the messengers [celestial beings], yet should have no love, I have become resounding copper or a clanging cymbal. And if I should have prophecy and should be perceiving all the secrets and all the knowledge, and if I should have all the faith, so as to transport mountains, yet have no love, I am nothing. . . . Be pursuing love. (1 Corinthians 13:1-2, 14:1 CV)
In the then present state of the Ecclesia, the members of The Christ exist within a spiritual cocoon. Within this cocoon, the Messianic brethren are endowed with spiritual endowments relevant to that state of being. These spiritual endowments associated with this state which is in the process of being transcended (such endowments as prophecy, tongues, eonic knowledge) will be soon discarded, since they will soon be obsolete for the Ecclesia departing out of the cocoon state into her new metamorphic state of celestial glory.
Within the present cocoon state, the members of the Christ are knowing out of an installment. Their knowledge is yet incomplete (1 Cor. 13:9). Thus, they know and prophesy only in relation to the terrestrial realm and the consummations of the eons belonging to this realm. They have an expectation of a Celestial Allotment, but this they grasp as if reflected in a metal mirror. It remains an enigma; it remains a blurred image; it remains an indirect image:
For at present we are observing by means of a mirror, in an enigma, yet then [in the Celestial Realm], face to face [directly, clearly]. (1 Corinthians 13:12a CV)
The Ecclesia remains in a state of minorhood compared to her imminent future state of complete maturity:
Now whenever maturity may be coming [at the consummation of the Parousia and entrance into the Celestial Allotment], that which is out of an installment [prophecy, tongues, eonic knowledge, apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers, etc.] shall be discarded. When I was a minor [under the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant], I spoke as a minor, I was disposed as a minor, I took account of things as a minor. Yet when I have become a man [in association with the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant of the Gospel], I have discarded that which is a minor's [the things associated with the minor under the elements of the world]. (1 Corinthians 13:10-11 CV)
Under the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant, Saul/Paul had been a minor. He understood as a minor; he spoke as a minor; he took account of his world as one perceiving through the Sinatic/Mosaic world-order. However, when he had encountered Jesus the exalted Christ and the Gospel associated with the new world-order of the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant, Paul had discarded the immature things of the Sinatic/Mosaic world-order, recognizing them to belong to the state of minorhood. When the Ecclesia has reached her maturity, the inferior things of minorhood will have been completely discarded.
While in the process of reaching maturity, the endowments are applied by The Ecclesia toward the edification of the Ecclesia in love. Love excludes schism, division, status, jealousy, greed, arrogance, and strife. Love, writes Paul, is “a path, suited to transcendence” (1 Cor. 12:31b CV). Though the spiritual endowments will be discarded, “Love is never lapsing” (13:8a CV). Love is the way leading out of the present cocoon of the consummations of the eons into the transcendent celestial metamorphosis soon to become a reality for the faithful, conquering Ecclesia of Yahweh and His Anointed Son/King.
Love will not be discarded. It will not become obsolete. The love of Yahweh revealed in and through Jesus The Anointed Son will, transcending the temporary spiritual gifts of the terrestrial realm, be magnified during its continued operation in the Celestial Realm.
Love is the motivating power of Yahweh. In the Gospel of Jesus the Christ is revealed this powerful love of Yahweh. Many of the Corinthian brethren, having received this Gospel from Paul, remain confused, lacking a coherent appropriation of the truths contained within the Gospel. Consequently, Paul deems it necessary to reiterate the significance of the Gospel, especially in relation to the resurrection.
He reminds the Corinthian brethren that among the first things which he had proclaimed to them were those teachings he had received:
that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that He was entombed, and that He has been roused the third day according to the scriptures, . . . (1 Corinthians 15:3b-5a CV)
These foundational teachings Paul held in common with the Twelve Apostles. This same Jesus, after having been roused, resurrecting Himself (standing Himself up out of death), had been seen by Cephas, the Twelve, and by many other brethren, the majority still alive, though some had died. Last to see Him had been Paul himself. Therefore, Paul declares,
Then, whether I or they [the Twelve Apostles], thus [the literal resurrection of Jesus from the dead] we [Paul and the Twelve Apostles, Jews] are heralding and thus you [Jews and Gentiles] believed. (1 Corinthians 15:11 CV)
In spite of this fact, some among the Corinthian Messianics are speaking out against the literal resurrection of the dead, thus denying, not only the possibility of the resurrection of those who have died, but the very fact of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. These brethren are most likely pseudo-Messianics from among Apostate Israel. Disguising or masking their Sadduceean affiliation, they parade around as Jewish Messianics distorting the Gospel by denying the possibility of literal resurrection. By doing so, they proclaim a gospel of another, different kind.
So vital to the Gospel is the literal resurrection of Jesus the Messiah from the dead, that the very proclamation of the Gospel and their faith in this Gospel becomes meaningless, empty of any value, if Jesus Himself has not been resurrected from the dead. The Apostles themselves become false witnesses, liars, if this be the case. If Christ has not been resurrected from the dead, the Corinthian brethren remain in their sins; those who have died in Christ have perished, having no expectation of a Celestial Allotment; and those still alive, having only an expectation of advantage and glory in this terrestrial life only, are made more pitiable than all other human beings (1 Cor. 15:17-19).
If Christ has not been resurrected from the dead, then why should all those believing this so-called deceptive Gospel endure the sufferings associated with it? If the sufferings are contributing to the overcoming of the old Adamic humanity and the world-order of the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant, it is because they are associated with both The Cross of the Christ and His resurrection. If there is no resurrection, there is no termination of the old eon and the old world-order. No termination of the old means no coming of the new. No coming of the new means no coming of a Parousia. No coming of a Parousia means no enjoyment of a Celestial Allotment. If there is no resurrection, then there is no new life, no expectation, no sound mind, no spirit. But the very fact that they do possess genuine spiritual gifts and that genuine spiritual miraculous works are being produced among them should put to rest these doubts concerning the literal resurrection of Jesus the Messiah.
Christ, however, has been roused and resurrected from the dead. His resurrection represents the firstfruit of the final harvest. Thus, He is the firstfruit guaranteeing the resurrection of those sons of faith who are sleeping. In Christ, those who are dead are merely sleeping, since they have the expectation of resurrection. A sleeping person can be awakened. Therefore, not all the dead will be resurrected at this final harvest of the Mosaic Eon. Only those dead in Christ, the ones sleeping as a result of their expectation, will be aroused, awakened, to participate in resurrection life.
Paul now develops the analogy of in Adam, in Christ. In this analogy he does not refer to all humanity. The analogy applies only to the elect. All humanity, all men, are not represented as being in Adam. In his letter to the Romans, Paul treats the theme of all humanity’s relationship to Adam (Rom. 5:12‑21). He does not use the preposition in to describe the relationship of all men to Adam.
The preposition in
is used only of a specific elect people. That elect people is
As in Adam, they are all dying, since they all transgress the Law of Yahweh. As a nation, Jacob/Israel transgressed a direct commandment of Yahweh at Sinai and brought upon himself the verdict of national death comparable to the verdict of death placed upon Adam, “to die you shall be in the process of dying” (Gen. 2:17 my translation). All Israelites under the law are, thus, dying in Adam. They are dying as those associated with, those in the sphere of, Adam’s transgression.
All Israelites are covenantally dying and, thus, need to be redeemed from the verdict of death rendered at Sinai after the worship of the golden calf. Christ (Jesus the Messiah of Israel) as the last (eschatos) Adam and as an Israelite born under the law, but without the taint of transgression, undergoing the death of The Cross in obedience to Yahweh, bears the verdict of death placed upon Adam and his progeny and the verdict of death placed upon Jacob/Israel and his progeny (all Israelites), thereby not only satisfying, but also nullifying both verdicts.
The in Adam verdict corresponds
to the verdict placed upon
In Adam and in Christ require acts of faith. A
decision must be made. Therefore, the Gospel of Jesus the Christ is first sent to
In Adam, the nation (consisting
of all individual Israelites) is dying covenantally. If any Israelite remains
under the Sinatic Covenant, he will forfeit his covenantal relationship to
Yahweh and the promised Celestial Allotment. He will die covenantally at the imminent termination of the
Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant which must be terminated because of the verdict of
death pronounced upon
Christ as the sacrificed lamb of Yahweh has become through His
crucifixion death the means of forgiveness for transgressions committed under
the old covenant. Faith in Jesus the Messiah redeems
Thus, in Christ
refers to the elect seed of
In Adam all Israelites are dying covenantally. By believing the Gospel, they become identified with the crucifixion death of Jesus the Christ, sharing also in His resurrection life by receiving the spirit poured out upon all those believing the Gospel. Believing the Gospel places them in Christ. As in Christ, they have already begun to taste the life of the new eon. They have already begun to share in His resurrection life. But only at the consummation of His Parousia would they share in the complete vivification of their bodies, thus sharing in the final phase of the resurrection. During this final phase, they would become completely justified in body, mind, and spirit to enter into and perform the service associated with the Celestial Allotment: “Yet each in his own class [rank]: the Firstfruit, Christ; thereupon those who are Christ's [in Christ] in [the sphere, the realm of] His presence [His Parousia]” (1 Cor. 15:23 CV).
The literal resurrection of Jesus the Christ (as the firstfruit of the harvest) guarantees the literal resurrection (complete vivification) of all those in Christ. Christ, as the best and most valuable firstfruit of the harvest, is resurrected from the dead, first. After which, at the consummation of the harvest, the consummation of His Parousia, all those remaining faithful to the end (thus, in Christ) will undergo the same literal resurrection/vivification as Jesus the Christ.
At the consummation of His Parousia comes the consummation, telos, of the Mosaic Eon. Having nullified (terminated) all sovereignty, authority, and power in the heavens (the sons of El appointed over the nations, Deut. 32:7-8 CV) and on the earth (the Chief Priest, priests and rulers of Israel, and the political and religious rulers of the nations), and having reigned as Davidic King placing all His enemies (the rulers and citizens of Apostate Israel) under His feet (conquering them), He turns the conquered Davidic Kingdom over “to His God [Elohim] and Father [Yahweh]” (1 Cor. 15:24a CV). Thus, The Son of Adam, The Son of Yahweh fulfills Yahweh’s prophetic word placed in the mouth of David,
When I consider Your heavens, the works of Your fingers, the moon and stars which You have established, What is a man that You take thought of him, or a son of man that You are visiting him? You made him a little lower than the celestial elohim, and with glory and honor You crown him. You gave him the rule over the works of Your hands; All have You set under his feet [in the terrestrial realm] . . . (Psalms 8:3-6 my translation)
Yahweh said to my [David’s] Ruler and King: Sit at My
right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool. Yahweh will send the rod
of Your [his king’s] strength out of
With this Age-Nullifying
triumphant conquest, the Son of Yahweh, having instituted a new world-order in
the name and authority of His Father, turns His conquests, achieved in the
power and authority of His Elohim and Father, over to His Elohim and Father. With
this obediently honorable exchange, the
In relation to the then present reign of Jesus the Christ, Paul writes, “The last enemy is being abolished: the
death” (1 Cor. 15:26 CV). The death is first referring to the death of the
Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant made with
However, as Paul is shortly to indicate in his letter written
to the brethren dwelling in
Again, this alien law was then being presently abolished (for those in Christ) in association with the Gospel of The Cross of the Christ whereby The Law of Sin and Death has been crucified with the Christ, being nailed to The Cross by the authority and power of The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. This new law was then operating within the members of the bodies of those in Christ. By faith, those in Christ were to be accounting themselves dead to The Law of Sin and Death and alive to The Law of the Spirit of Life.
This is what Paul means by “With Christ have I been crucified, yet I am living; no longer I, but living in me is Christ [The Law of the Spirit of Life]” (Gal. 2:20a CV). The mind, by an act of continual faith, must compute this new reality in Christ as the truth directing the operation of all members of the body. This mind is the mind of the spirit; this mind is the mind glorying in The Cross of the Christ,
Now may it not be mine to be boasting, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me [the disabling of the world-order of The Law of Sin and Death operating within his body members by the invading takeover of The Law of the Spirit of Life], and I to a world-order [the world-order of the mind of the flesh taking its orders from The Law of Sin and Death]. (Galatians 6:14 CV)
Thus, although the reign of these two deaths (covenantal and biological), in Paul’s generation, was being abolished for all those at that time in Christ, these deaths would not be (for those in Christ) completely abolished (their reign being terminated) until the consummation, the telos, of that present age at the then imminent consummation of the Parousia (Approach/Arrival) of Jesus the Christ.
Paul now turns his attention to the ministries of the circumcised Jewish Apostles, prophets, and teachers (qualified Saints) who perform the rite of water baptism. If the dead are not literally resurrected, then these baptisms are “for the sake of the dead absolutely” (1 Cor. 15:29 CV). The baptism required for the Jewish Messianic is on behalf of their status as dead in association with the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant. To remain under that now obsolete and powerless covenant is to suffer covenantal death. Believing into Jesus the Messiah, these Jews are redeemed from the death-curse of the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant of law into the life-blessing of the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant of grace.
If the dead are not literally resurrected from the dead, then this baptism with water is useless, neither delivering the Messianic Jew from the death of the Sinatic Covenant nor delivering him from the death common to all men. It is absolutely for the dead, since it cannot redeem from the curse of the law or the death verdict brought upon all humanity by Adam. If the dead are not literally resurrected, then Christ has not been resurrected from the dead; the Gospel proclaimed to and received by the Corinthian brethren is false; the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant has not superseded the old Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant; The Cross of the Christ is, indeed, stupid and foolish (1 Cor. 1:23 CV, KJV); and the expectation of the Celestial Allotment is a mythical delusion. If this is the case, then baptizing with water Jews covenantally dead under the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant is really baptizing those who have no expectation other than physical death, the death common to all humanity.
If the dead are not literally resurrected, argues Paul,
Why are we [Jewish Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Teachers] also in danger every hour? Daily am I dying [sharing in the sufferings of The Cross]. (1 Corinthians 15:30 CV)
Why endure the sufferings associated with the proclamation of
the Gospel? Why jeopardize one’s life in the proclamation of The Cross of the Christ? If the dead are
not literally resurrected, such activity is absurd and insane! Paul has risked
his life proclaiming and teaching the Gospel of Jesus’ resurrection from the
what is the benefit to me? If the dead are not being roused, “we may be eating and drinking, for tomorrow we are dying.” (1 Corinthians 15:32b CV)
Paul, then, exhorts those Corinthian brethren who speak such nonsense, and those who may be considering such nonsense, to sober up from such unsound, intoxicating thinking, clearing up one’s mind to the sound thinking of the mind of the spirit, the renewed mind attuned to the righteous thinking of Jesus the Christ. He warns them,
Be not deceived [do not continue being seduced]. Association with such a clique of evil [intoxicating, unsound] thinkers ruins spiritually kind [loving], reputable conduct. (1 Corinthians 15:33 my amplified translation)
The Corinthian brethren are not to continue in such sinful, apostate thinking. For some among them have an ignorance of Yahweh’s character and power due to either apostate understanding of the holy scriptures or their idolatrous understanding of deity. In a culture based upon honor and shame, Paul declares he speaks so accusingly in order to reveal the shame involved in such spiritually insane thinking (1 Cor. 15:34).
Those denying the resurrection sanctimoniously protest, “How are the dead being roused? Now with what body are they coming?” (1 Cor. 15:35 CV). These questions are posed in order to ridicule the very idea of a literal resurrection. Paul addresses those posing these questions as “imprudent” (1 Cor. 15:36a CV), intellectually naive. The very raising of these questions is meant to protestingly refute even the remote possibility of a literal, bodily resurrection. Their argument claims bodily resurrection is logically unintelligible. After all, it is commonly known that the body after death decays and in time becomes completely disintegrated. Thus, there cannot be a body to be resurrected.
Paul refutes their argument as fallacious. Their assumption about bodily resurrection reveals their lack of common agricultural knowledge and their lack of proper understanding of the character and creative power of Yahweh. The seed which is sown is not anything like the product which is produced. The seed which is sown is not vivified. The seed which is sown must die in order to produce its unique product. “what you are sowing, you are not sowing the body which shall come to be, but a naked kernel, perchance of wheat or some of the rest” (1 Cor. 15:37 CV).
Yahweh gives each seed its own unique body. The seed, therefore, is not resurrected. The seed dies. As a result of the seed’s death, Yahweh’s designed body for that seed is produced. Out of death comes new and unique life. Paul, then, states that “Not all flesh is the same flesh” (1 Cor. 15:39a CV). The flesh of men is distinct from the flesh of beasts. The flesh of birds is different from the flesh of fish. The quality and the form of various bodies are different from one another.
Paul illustrates this truth by pointing also to the celestial bodies:
There are bodies celestial as well as bodies terrestrial. But a different glory, indeed, is that of the celestial, yet a different that of the terrestrial, another glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars, for star is excelling star in glory. (1 Corinthians 15:40-41 CV)
The forms, the bodies of the sun, moon, and stars differ from one another. Yahweh gives the sun a body which reflects a greater glory than the body of the moon. Even the bodies of the stars differ from one another in the glory which they reflect. As there are variations in terrestrial bodies, there are also variations in celestial bodies. Yahweh has designed these variations in accord with His purpose.
These examples illustrate the principle by which Yahweh accomplishes the resurrection of the body. This principle and these examples are not unintelligible. The human body is sown in corruption, that is, the human body as a naked kernel through the process of corruption dies. Then, it is roused, awakened, vivified in incorruption, that is, out of the death of the old body (the naked kernel containing within it the principle of death) comes a new body within which is the principle of immortal life.
The new body cannot die. Its basic form or shape will be similar to the old, but its quality, its flesh, will be quite distinct from the old naked kernel which had been sown and died. The old body is sown in corruption (corrupted by the principle of death within it). The new body is roused in incorruption (incorruptible as a result of the principle of immortal life operating within it). The old body is sown in dishonor (as a result of mortality and sins produced). The new body is roused in glory (as a result of immortality and sinlessness). The old body is sown in infirmity (weakness due to the alien residence of The Law of Sin and Death within its members, distorting the mind and deteriorating the physical members of the body). The new body is roused in power, in strength and health as a result of The Law of the Spirit of Life indwelling its members, creating a new, sound, efficient mind and a continuous nourishment of the physical members of the body appropriate to both the celestial and terrestrial realms. The old body is sown a soulish body (possessing a latent, dormant, principle of mortality). The new body is roused a spiritual body (possessing only an active principle of immortality).
The soulish body is associated with the first man, Adam. After Yahweh forms his biological body out of the soil of the earth, he is organically alive. However, after Yahweh breathes into his nostrils the breath (spirit) of life, he becomes “a living soul” (Gen. 2:7b CV). Adam becomes mentally activated, conscious of himself and the objective world-order around him through his five senses. He becomes a consciously alert soul, having been a non-consciously alert soul (organically alive, but soulishly dead). It is the spirit breathed into him which makes him a living soul, a consciously alert soul.
However, the soulish body is capable of dying. Within it, lying dormant until activated, is the principle of mortality. Thus, the soulish man, Adam, is mortal. He is capable of dying. His body is temporal, temporary. His body is a naked kernel. It represents the first phase of Yahweh’s purpose. It has been designed to die in order to bring forth the superior, abundant, immortal life. Hence, Adam, the first man, is created an organically living body and becomes a living soul,
The first man, Adam, “became a living soul” [quoting Gen. 2:7] . . . (1 Corinthians 15:45b CV)
The last (eschatos) Adam, Jesus, becomes a vivifying spirit. In order for Jesus as the last Adam to become a vivifying spirit, He must have been a soulish man, a living soul. He must have been capable of dying. Yet, unlike all the other generated progeny of Adam, He must have been in the state Adam had been in before Adam activated the principle of mortality by committing his sin.
Hence, Jesus, not being generated by a sperm of Adamic contamination (a sperm carrying the activated gene of death within it), is generated a living soul having the principle of mortality lying dormant within Him. Thus, He is Adam’s only legitimate son. Hence, He is heir to the throne of Adam, whereby he (Adam) had been given rule over the whole world-order of the habitation created for mankind (the world-order recorded in Genesis, chapter 1). The holy scriptures identify Jesus as the rightful heir of Adam by referring to Him as The Son of The Man.
Therefore, at His birth, Jesus is identified as The Son of The Man (Adam), The Son of David, The Son of Yahweh. He is identified as The Son of The Man, since He is generated through the seed of the Woman (Eve/Mary). He is identified as The Son of David, since he is of the lineage of David through Mary. He is identified as The Son of Yahweh, since He is generated, sired, by an uncontaminated sperm provided by Yahweh.
Jesus, therefore, is both the only legitimate Son of Adam and the only legitimate generated Son of Yahweh. As a generated Son, He is superior to all the sons of El in the Celestial Realm who have been created, not generated. He was made a little lower in status, not by the fact that He was generated, but by the fact that He was generated in a soulish body in order that He might die. Thus, He was generated in a body of humiliation for the suffering of death, placing Him in a status lower than the status of Yahweh’s created celestial sons. Yet, even though He was placed temporarily in this lower status, He by birth was, and will always be, superior in essence and authority to all Yahweh’s created Celestial sons.
However, before there can be the spiritual body, there must first be the soulish body (1 Cor. 15:46‑47). The naked seed must precede the fruitful grain. The naked seed must die before the fruitful grain can be produced. Adam as the first man is a soulish (psuchikon, 1 Cor. 15:44) man. He is a naked kernel. But as a soulish man, as a naked kernel, a naked seed, he became contaminated. This contamination of the seed made it impossible to produce fruitful grain at death. His sin had corrupted his ability to become, through death, a vivifying spirit, a spirit of life vivifying (producing) much grain, much fruit resulting in an enormous harvest of grain or fruit.
Jesus as the last (eschatos)
Adam is generated by a sperm from Yahweh. As the last Adam, He is a perfect
soulish man. He is without blemish. He is a naked kernel, a naked seed
uncontaminated by personal sin and uncontaminated by the activated gene of
mortality causing all humans generated by an Adamic sperm to enter the world of
Adamic life with the gene of mortality activated within them from conception. His
life as Yahweh’s firstborn Son, superior to all other created Celestial sons by
virtue of His generated sonship (His lineage from Yahweh), is meant to
manifest, reveal, the character and the purpose of Yahweh in relation to
humanity. He is generated in order to exemplify to mankind His Father’s love, justice,
mercy, compassion, faithfulness; in order to provide and reveal His Father’s
redemption and glorification of both
His uncontaminated, unblemished, perfect soulish life is to be given up to death in accordance with the commandment of His Father. As the last (eschatos) Adam (the only legitimate Son of Adam), He is to activate the principle of mortality dormant within His soulish body in obedience to the will of His Father. As a perfect, uncontaminated naked seed, His death, His falling into the ground and dying, His crucifixion death and burial, activate the power within the seed to produce, first, the vivification of His own life (the soulish body becoming the spiritual body), whereby He becomes the firstfruit of the resurrection from the dead; and then the vivification of the lives of those in Him, whereby they become the end harvest of His resurrection life. Thus, His resurrection becomes complete. The dying seed “is bringing forth much fruit” (Jn. 12:24b CV).
The covenantal resurrection of Jesus the Christ is completed at the consummation of His Parousia at which time the resurrection of those in Him takes place. Those whose soulish/soilish bodies had already died are resurrected from the realm of soulish death to the realm of spiritual life represented by the spiritual body with which they will have been clothed. Those who had remained alive in their soulish/spiritual bodies to the consummation of His Parousia will have experienced the transformation of the resurrection of the Christ as a dynamic process whereby the soulish/soilish body perished instantaneously, being superseded simultaneously by the new celestial body.
The resurrection from the dead of those not in Christ (those having died prior to the consummation of the Parousia, including those of the ancient world) would occur after the entrance of Christ and His Ecclesia into the Celestial Allotment. The resurrection of those members of the human race who experience death after the general resurrection of the dead (which general resurrection would take place following the entrance of the elect faithful ones into their Celestial Allotment) takes place independently of the resurrection of The Christ (Christ and His Ecclesia) and occurs individually at the personal death of each individual. This resurrection of the rest of humanity occurs as the result of Christ’s becoming a vivifying spirit. In His exalted status of glory, together with His Ecclesia, He has been given the authority by Yahweh His Father to vivify individually all the members of the Adamic race as they individually die to their own soulish/soilish body. This authority comes in relation to His becoming the Second (deuteros) Adam, the New Man out of heaven.
The first man had been out of the earth. Paul, then, adds the word soulish to describe this first man (see 1 Cor. 15:47-49 CV, NGEINT). The first man, Adam, had been formed out of the earth. As such, he was an organically living being, an unanimated, unconscious corporate body. Having the spirit breathed into his nostrils, he becomes a living soul. As a living soul, he is not identified as soilish. He becomes identified as soilish, by Paul, after the commitment of his personal sin, when Yahweh had declared “for soil you are, and to soil are you returning” (Gen. 3:19b CV).
Soil, therefore, signifies the contamination of the naked kernel, the soulish body, by the unauthorized activation of the dormant principle of mortality. The first man, Adam, thus, is no longer capable of becoming a spiritual man. He and all his seed generated by means of his sperm are conceived and born soilish men and women. They are soulish because of the spirit activating their consciousness to the input of information coming from the five senses. They are soilish as a result of the alien Law of Sin and Death residing and operating within the members of their bodies. This law dishonors the body when it seduces the mind of the body to produce unrighteous thinking and conduct through the prostitution of the natural functions of the members of the body.
Hence, the first man, Adam, is soulish (1 Cor. 15:45 CV, NGEINT). Disobeying Yahweh’s command not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, Adam activates the principle of mortality which had been dormant within him. He now becomes soilish (1 Cor. 15:48 CV, NGEINT), a soulish man contaminated by the activated principle of mortality, which, activated without authorization from Yahweh, becomes The Law of Sin and Death, an alien law dwelling and operating within the members of his body against the welfare of the corporate man.
The Second (deuteros,
1 Cor. 15:47b CV, NGEINT) Man is to be distinguished from both the first man
and the last (eschatos) man. Jesus as
the last man is a soulish man. He is the perfect naked kernel. He is not
soilish. He is a soulish man possessing a soulish body uncontaminated by the
unauthorized activation of the principle of mortality dwelling within Him. As
such, He continually obeys the law of Yahweh. He does not commit sin or
transgression. He fulfills the ministry commissioned Him by His Father,
proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom and teaching the Law of Yahweh to His
At the appropriate time determined by His Father, Jesus is given the authoritative command to activate the principle of mortality within Him. The perfect, uncontaminated naked kernel, the unsoiled soulish body of the holy soulish man, as the last (eschatos) Adam, now is given over to the principle of mortality and given over to the hands of men to undergo the death necessary to produce the Second Man, the superior Spiritual Man predetermined by His Father, Yahweh.
Thus, the Last Man, dying, becomes the Second Man through the process of arousal, resurrection, ascension, and exaltation over all His celestial stepbrothers, no longer superior to Him in status because of the body of humiliation He had been generated to bear in accord with the will and purpose of Yahweh His Father. As the Last Man, He is resurrected from the dead (together with His Ecclesia, His Body, His Complement) to become the Second Man (together with His Ecclesia, His Body, His Complement, His Spiritual Wife), a Vivifying Spirit. As a Vivifying Spirit, the Second Man, heading up a New Humanity of Spiritual Men (as opposed to soulish men), is given authority to vivify in spirit every soulish man and woman, without exception (see Rom. 5:12, 18). He is presently accomplishing this task together with His resurrected and exalted Ecclesia, in His Celestial Rule on behalf of the welfare of mankind as predetermined by Yahweh His Father. It is the death of the Last Man, not His crucifixion death, which authorizes Him to resurrect the remainder of mankind from the dead to the higher and superior spiritual life lived in the new spiritual body of Christ’s resurrection, ascension, and exaltation. The crucifixion death (crucified with Christ, Gal. 2:20) is associated with the life lived in the soulish body by the spiritual man/woman (the man/woman living between the years 30-70 a.d. who hears and believes the Gospel sent to him/her) accounting himself/herself dead to the alien schemes of The Law of Sin and Death dwelling and operating within the members of his/her soulish/soilish body. The Spiritual Body is put on only after the physical death of the soulish/soilish body.
The first man, Adam, was out of the earth (1 Cor. 15:47a CV, NGEINT). He possessed a physical body formed from the soil of the ground. The Second Man, Jesus The Christ, is out of heaven (1 Cor. 15:47b CV, NGEINT). He possesses a physical body formed out of a higher and superior material or organization of celestial quantum mechanics (1 Cor. 15:47). This same superior physical body becomes the possession of all humans at the death of their soulish/soilish bodies formed out of the materials organized from the soil of the ground.
Therefore, it must be understood that not all humanity is referred to by Paul as being either in Adam or being in Christ. In Adam and in Christ refer to an elect group called out of humanity in association with the crucifixion death and resurrection of Christ as the Last Adam, the Last Man. The death of the Last Man is necessary to redeem all humanity from the physical death Adam passes on to them through biological generation (conception and birth), but not as a result of being in Adam or in Christ.
Adam’s one act of deviation results in the physical death of all his progeny, apart from their personal responsibility. Jesus’ one act of obedience (as the Last Man activating the principle of mortality within Him in obedience to the authoritative command of Yahweh, whereby He would die, satisfying the verdict of Yahweh against Adam and his progeny) results in the right of all Adam’s progeny to the new physical spiritual body formed out of the higher and superior celestial material. This is theirs only after their death to the old physical soulish/soilish body formed out of the lower and inferior terrestrial material. It is theirs apart from their personal responsibility (their choosing or not choosing to believe in that which has been achieved on their behalf).
To the Corinthian brethren who are both in Adam and in Christ, being associated with the crucifixion death of Jesus, Paul warns,
as we wore the image of the soilish man, we should be wearing the image also of the Celestial Man. (1 Corinthians 15:49b CV modified)
In Adam, they “wore [Grk. text, past tense] the image of the soilish man,” that is, they transgressed the Law of Yahweh through the seduction of The Law of Sin and Death dwelling and operating within the members of their physical soulish/soilish bodies. However, now that they are in Christ, they should be wearing the image of the new Celestial Man, that is, they should be obeying The Law of the Christ through the power of The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ indwelling the members of their physical soulish/soilish bodies.
The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ has disabled the soilish by crucifying The Law of Sin and Death. But the image (or law) of the soulish man must be accounted as crucified, as disabled, by the mind of those in Christ. That same mind must account the physical members of its soulish body as dead, crucified, disabled in relation to the seductions of the mind of the flesh coming from The Law of Sin and Death.
If this accounting of faith continually occurs, those in Christ will be actively crucified to the soilish man and the soilish man will be actively crucified to the soulish man, thereby liberating the soulish man from the destructive affect of the soilish man. This will result in the new soulish/spiritual man sharing in the likeness of the resurrection of the Christ, thus walking in the newness of life associated with the image (law) of the Celestial Man (Jesus as the Second, deuteros, Man).
If Paul’s warning is not taken seriously, the soilish man will be allowed to disqualify that member in Christ. As a result of its being liberated from The Cross of the Christ, the soilish man will destroy that person’s walk in newness of life, contaminating that member’s holiness. This, in turn, will contaminate the Ecclesia/Temple, which contamination will not be allowed to continue for an indefinite period of time,
If anyone is corrupting the
All those in Christ should no longer be walking in the oldness of life wherein the soulish man is hampered by the infirmity imposed upon him by the image of the soilish man (The Law of Sin and Death). In Adam, the soulish man walks in the infirmity inflicted by the soilish man. Walking in Adam nullifies The Cross of the Christ. In Christ, the soulish man walks in the strength made available by the new spiritual man glorying in The Cross of the Christ, thereby walking in, wearing, the image of the Celestial Man (The Law of the Spirit of Life). No man can serve two masters. Either one is wearing the image of the soilish man, or he is wearing the image of the Celestial Man. The former (old man) is spiritual/covenantal death; the latter (new man) is spiritual/covenantal life.
The soulish/soilish man
cannot enjoy the allotment of the
Finally, Paul writes of the secret of the resurrection. Apparently this particular secret had not been revealed to the Corinthian brethren by Paul as it is now being revealed. These Messianic followers of Jesus the Messiah had been instructed in the Parousia/Resurrection in accord with the account recorded in 1 Thessalonians, chapter 4. But Paul is now revealing to the Corinthian brethren some new aspect of this resurrection. Not all presently in Christ will die (sleep in Christ) as some already had (1 Cor. 15:6). However, those who do remain alive to the consummation of His Parousia “shall be changed, in an instant, in a twinkle of an eye, at the last trump [announcing the consummation of the resurrection]” (1 Cor. 15:51‑52a CV).
At the blasting of the last trumpet, the dead in Christ would be roused incorruptible, that is, they would be roused out of the sleep of death, finding themselves clothed in the new Celestial Body composed of the superior atomic arrangement of celestial quantum mechanics (1 Cor. 15:52b CV). Simultaneously, those still alive would undergo instantaneous chemical and atomic transformation of the counter-altered soulish/soilish body (the soulish/spiritual body) in which they had begun to walk in the newness of resurrection life at their reception of the Gospel call.
Consequently, “we all shall be changed” (1 Cor. 15:51b, 52b CV), both those alive and those sleeping in Christ. All those in Christ shall then have been clothed with the New Celestial Body of celestial atomic structure. Though the body is completely new, continuity of identity is maintained by the spirit of each individual which remains intact while undergoing renewal. The spirit of man is not resurrected. Only the body is resurrected, and that through physical death. The spirit incorporates the conscious identity of each human being.
The body sown in death is not the body roused and resurrected. This is at the heart of Paul’s understanding of the literal resurrection of the body. This understanding is exemplified and confirmed by the literal resurrection of Jesus the Messiah.
This present body, representing the being, the person, the spirit clothed in this body, is decaying and must put on through the physical death of its terrestrial form (a naked kernel) the new undecaying form of the Celestial Body. This mortal terrestrial body must put on through physical death the completely new immortal Celestial Body (1 Cor. 15:53). Paul, then, continues:
Now, whenever [the imminent consummation of the Parousia arrives] this corruptible [decaying body housing the spirit] should be putting on incorruption [perpetual generation characteristic of the new Celestial Body] and this mortal [body housing the spirit residing within it] should be putting on immortality [the immortality of the new Celestial Body], then [at the time of this imminent resurrection for all those in Christ] shall come to pass the word which is written, . . . (1 Corinthians 15:54a CV)
At this point, Paul quotes from, first, Isaiah 25:8, “Swallowed up was the Death by victory”
(1 Cor. 15:54b CV modified). This passage in Isaiah is referring to the
period during which Yahweh restores the
Both covenantal death and soilish death began to be conquered in Christ. The total victory over covenantal death and soilish death would occur, for all those in Christ only, at the imminent consummation of the promised Parousia of Jesus the exalted Messiah. At the finalization of the resurrection of The Christ (the firstfruit Christ and the harvest, His Ecclesia), the victory over the physical death brought into the race by Adam would have been secured and confirmed on behalf of all humanity by its fulfillment experienced by Christ and His Ecclesia.
Paul next quotes from Hosea 13:14, “Where, O Death, is your victory?” (1 Cor. 15:55a CV). In this
passage, Yahweh is promising to ransom His people
Paul concludes his series of quotations by quoting from the last lines of Hosea 13:14, “Where, O Death, is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:55b CV). Hosea has Yahweh asking “O Sheol, where is your sting?” (Hos. 13:14d NASB). Paul, therefore, is asking, where is the sting of the grave, hades, sheol, since the resurrection of the Christ? The implied answer is It is removed!
Paul is, here, also alluding to Matthew 10:28, where Jesus declares, “And do not fear those who are killing the body, yet are not able to kill the soul” (CV). The apostate Jews and those instigated on their behalf can kill the body. But they cannot deny the soul of those in Christ a place in the Celestial Allotment. The loss of one’s soul is in the power of Yahweh alone. He alone can deny the soul life in the coming eon. The only way to lose one’s soul is to be unfaithful to the Gospel of Jesus the Christ.
Jesus continues, “Yet be fearing Him, rather, Who is able to destroy the soul as well as the body in Gehenna [metaphorically referring to the imminent destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple representing the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant]” (Matt. 10:28b CV). For those in Christ suffering the killing of their bodies for the sake of the Gospel, the death of the body in sheol, the grave, has lost its sting, since Yahweh has promised to save their souls from the death of the old covenant to the life of the New Covenant through the resurrection from the dead.
Paul continues his paean to the victory of the Resurrection, “Now the sting of the Death is the Sin” (1 Cor. 15:56a CV modified). The sin of Adam (resulting in The Law of Sin and Death) injects all soulish humanity with the death common to all men. The sin of Corporate Israel at Sinai injects the holy nation with national covenantal death. Both these stings have had their affect nullified.
Paul continues, “yet the power of the Sin is the law” (1 Cor. 15:56b CV modified). The power, the authority, the affect of the Sin of Adam is The Law of Sin and Death residing and operating within the members of the bodies of all soulish/soilish men and women. The power, the authority, the affect, the reign of the Sin of Corporate Israel at Sinai is the Law of Moses which counts up sins. The power of both these laws has been abolished.
The Resurrection of the Christ has confirmed the defeat of the Sin of Adam and the sin of Corporate Israel. The victory over Sin and Death has been won by the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, Paul offers his thanks to Yahweh,
Now thanks be to God [Yahweh], Who is giving us [all those in Christ] the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57 CV)
Paul concludes chapter 15 by encouraging the Corinthian brethren to
become settled, unmovable, superabounding in the work of the Lord always, being aware that your toil is not for naught in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:58 CV)
They are to continue faithfully worshiping and serving Yahweh by carrying out the work assigned them by their Lord Jesus the Messiah. Their labor is not in vain. Their Lord is about to come in judgment against His enemies and in triumphant conquest on behalf of His faithful servants whose faithful service will be rewarded with the completion of their resurrection and their entrance into the Celestial Allotment. The consummations of the eons have come upon them. The Parousia of their Lord and Savior is near. Their expectation of resurrection is on the horizon of the new eon soon to come in its fullness, consummating all previous eons.
Paul closes this first letter to the Corinthians with
instruction concerning the collection for the Saints in
He then offers his final word of exhortation. He remains confident in the faithfulness of the Corinthian brethren. He knows how they have received the Gospel. Their faith is authentic; their toil for their Lord is not in vain. The Parousia of their Lord is near. Therefore, they are to “Watch! Stand firm in the faith! Be manly! Be staunch! Let all your actions occur in love!” (1 Cor. 16:13-14 CV).