Two Or Three Witnesses
Before I began todays message. I would like to ask for your prayers for myself, and my wife Kathy. I will be having a heart cath. on Tuesday, and my wife needs for you to pray for her healing as well. Thank you my brothers. ..... John.
2Corinthians 13:1 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
Here Paul says, "This is the third time that I have come to you". (The 1st two times he physically visited the church at Corinth, but this time he is coming to them by written letter).
2Corinthians 13:2 I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, the second time; and being absent now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare:
Paul says that he is writing both to them who have sinned and to those who are living righteously, that if he physically came to visit them least he will not spare, (saying that he would speak sharply to them who had sinned, if he were physically present, so he has chosen to write to them instead).
2Corinthians 13:3 Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.
2Corinthians 13:4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.
They were seeking proof that Christ was speaking through him, and he is stating that he and those living righteously are doing so by the power of God toward them.
2Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
Paul tells them all to examine themselves, that they certainly should know themselves, and thus know that Jesus Christ is inside them. If they do not find Jesus Christ in them then they are reprobates and need themselves to be made righteous.
2Corinthians 13:6 But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.
Here Paul states that he trusts that each of them know that Paul and his fellow deciples are not reprobate.
2Corinthians 13:7 Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.
Paul says here that he prays to God that they would do no evil, but that their lives which they live should exhibit an honest effort to live Christ like.
2Corinthians 13:8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.
The truth of God through His son Jesus Christ is only truth, and no one can do nothing against that truth.
2Corinthians 13:9 For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection.
Paul wishes that they would achieve perfection being made even stronger that Paul himself. That he wishes for the church at Corinth to make Paul and his fellow deciples appear weak.
2Corinthians 13:10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.
Here again Paul is telling them why he has chosen to write to them rather than visit them. He says that he is afraid that if he were present that he would misuse the power that the Lord has given him and that the words that he might speak to them would be destructive rather that speaking edification to them. (edification means to lift up or to make others to fill good about themselves, or ones own self. We are to always try to speak edifying words unto our brothers in Christ and not to speak destructive sharp words).
2Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.
2Corinthians 13:12 Greet one another with an holy kiss.
2Corinthians 13:13 All the saints salute you.
2Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
Brothers, Paul is saying much of what he says to the Church at Corinth for the third time. This is his third witness to them.
John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
Brothers, I to have witnessed unto you many times that Jesus desires for us his children to be one, having no divisions among us just as He and the Father have no divisions among themselves, and that we are not to have anything or anyone dividing us His children from each other. Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior prayed this to God the Father shortly before he was taken into captivity to be crucified on the Cross for our fleshly, carnal sins.
Brothers, please desire to be one with your brothers in Christ Jesus. If anyone believes that Jesus was the only begotten Son of God, that he died for our sins, that he arose on the third day following his death, that He now sits at the right hand of God the Father and that He will receive us unto himself. Then he is your brother in Christ.
It does not matter if he worships with a different group of believers than you do. Put aside different man made doctrines, which are what seperate us now. Please turn away from that which divides you from your brother. That division is of the devil and has to place in brotherly love.
Jesus himself in verse 21 of John 17: was praying to God the Father that we would be one even as Jesus and God were one. That by us being one the world who is lost might see us as one and that by seeing our oneness they might believe on the name of Jesus.
Why would you require more proof of Jesus' desire for us to be one than what He himself prayed in John Chapter 17. Read it over and over until you see the truth. Pray for God's wisdom and understanding. As always ask the Holy Spirit of God the Father to show you this truth and He will show you. Jesus promises this to us his children that we will be shown ALL TRUTH CONCERNING ALL THINGS. Praise God!
HVM - C22314