I believe there are principles here that we need.
2 Corinthians 12
J.B. Phillips New Testament
I have real grounds for “boasting”, but I will only hint at them
12 1-10 No, I don’t think it’s really a good thing for me to boast at all, but I will just mention visions and revelations of the Lord himself.
I know a man in Christ who, fourteen years ago, had the experience of being caught up into the third Heaven. I don’t know whether it was an actual physical experience, only God knows that. All I know is that this man was caught up into paradise.
(I repeat, I do not know whether this was a physical happening or not, God alone knows.) This man heard words that cannot, and indeed must not, be translated into human speech.
I am honestly proud of an experience like that, but I have made up my mind not to boast of anything personal, except of what may be called my weaknesses.
If I should want to boast I should certainly be no fool to be proud of my experiences, and I should be speaking nothing but the sober truth. Yet I am not going to do so, for I don’t want anyone to think more highly of me than his experience of me and what he hears of me should warrant.
So tremendous, however, were the revelations that God gave me that, in order to prevent my becoming absurdly conceited, I was given a physical handicap (My add- He did not say sickness we really don’t know what it was)—one of Satan’s angels—to harass me and effectually stop any conceit.
Three times I begged the Lord for it to leave me, but his reply has been, “My grace is enough for you: for where there is weakness, my power is shown the more completely.”
Therefore, I have cheerfully made up my mind to be proud of my weaknesses, because they mean a deeper experience of the power of Christ. I can even enjoy weaknesses, suffering, privations, persecutions and difficulties for Christ’s sake. For my very weakness makes me strong in him.
This boasting is silly, but you made it necessary
11-13 I have made a fool of myself in this “boasting” business, but you forced me to do it. If only you had had a better opinion of me it would have been quite unnecessary.
For I am not really in the least inferior, nobody as I am, to these extra-special messengers. You have had an exhaustive demonstration of the power God gives to a genuine messenger of his in the miracles, signs and works of spiritual power that you saw with your own eyes.
What makes you feel so inferior to other churches? Is it because I have not allowed you to support me financially? My humblest apologies for this great wrong!
What can be your grounds for suspicion of me?
14-15 Now I am all ready to visit you for the third time, and I am still not going to be a burden to you. It is you I want—not your money.
Children don’t have to put by their savings for their parents; parents do that for their children. Consequently I will most gladly spend and be spent for your good, even though it means that the more I love you the less you love me.
16-18 “All right then,” I hear you say, “we agree that he himself had none of our money.” But are you thinking that I nevertheless was rogue enough to catch you by some trick? Just think.
Did I make any profit out of the messengers I sent you? I asked Titus to go, and sent a brother with him. You don’t think Titus made anything out of you, do you? Yet didn’t I act in the same spirit as he, and take the same line as he did?
Remember what I really am, and whose authority I have
19 Are you thinking that I am trying to justify myself in your eyes? Actually I am speaking in Christ before God himself, and my only reason for so doing is to help you in your spiritual life.
20-21 For I must confess that I am afraid that when I come I shall not perhaps find you as I should like to find you, and that you will not find me coming quite as you would like me to come.
I am afraid of finding arguments, jealousy, ill-feeling, divided loyalties, slander, whispering, pride and disharmony. When I come, will God make me feel ashamed of you as I stand among you?
Shall I have to grieve over many who have sinned already and are not yet sorry for the impurity, the immorality and the lustfulness of which they are guilty?
Several thoughts here before reading compare this with today’s western church with all the hype, fame and money.
Here we need titles and accolades to give us power there they just needed the Holy Spirit and His power.
Paul was beginning to be known by the evil spirit are we known?
When he wasn’t received at the synagogue because of the kingdom and the power they just went to a meeting place and continued teaching there for 2 more years.
How long has it been because of someone getting free from a demon do you hear of people getting rid of all their occult books and music by burning them.
Here we grow bigger buildings and ministries there it was the word of God was powerful and grew mightily.
J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
Ephesus has its own Pentecost
19 1-2 While Apollos was in Corinth Paul journeyed through the upper parts of the country and arrived at Ephesus. There he discovered some disciples, and he asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” “No”, they replied, “we have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
3 “Well then, how were you baptised?” asked Paul. “We were baptised with John’s baptism,” they replied.
4 “John’s baptism was a baptism to show a change of heart,” Paul explained, “but he always told the people that they must believe in the one who should come after him, that is, in Jesus.”
5-7 When these men heard this they were baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus, and then, when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them and they began to speak with tongues and the inspiration of prophets. (There were about twelve of them in all.)
Paul’s two-year ministry at Ephesus
8-12 Then Paul made his way into the synagogue there and for three months he spoke with the utmost confidence, using both argument and persuasion as he talked of the kingdom of God.
But when some of them hardened in their attitude towards the message and refused to believe it, and, what is more, spoke offensively about the Way in public, Paul left them, and withdrew his disciples, and held daily discussions in the lecture-hall of Tyrannus.
He continued this practice for two years, so that all who lived in Asia, both Greeks and Jews, could hear the Lord’s message. God gave most unusual demonstrations of power through Paul’s hands, so much so that people took to the sick any handkerchiefs or small-clothes which had been in contact with his body, and they were cured of their diseases and their evil spirits left them.
The violence of evil and the power of the “name”
13-20 But there were some itinerant Jewish exorcists who attempted to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus when dealing with those who had evil spirits. They would say, “I command you in the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches.”
Seven brothers, sons of a chief priest called Sceva, were engaged in this practice on one occasion, when the evil spirit answered, “Jesus I know, and I am acquainted with Paul, but who on earth are you?” And the man in whom the evil spirit was living sprang at them and over-powered them all with such violence that they rushed out of that house wounded, with their clothes torn off their backs.
This incident became known to all the Jews and Greeks who were living in Ephesus, and a great sense of awe came over them all, while the name of the Lord Jesus became highly respected.
Many of those who had professed their faith began openly to admit their former practices. A number of those who had previously practised magic collected their books and burned them publicly.
(They estimated the value of these books and found it to be no less than five thousand pounds) In this way the Word of the Lord continued to grow irresistibly in power and influence.
2 Corinthians 11
J.B. Phillips Translation
Why do you so readily accept the false and reject the true?
11 1-6 I wish you could put up with a little of my foolishness—please try! My jealousy over you is the right sort of jealousy, for in my eyes you are like a fresh unspoiled girl who I am presenting as fianc?e to your true husband, Christ himself.
I am afraid that your minds may be seduced from a single-hearted devotion to him by the same subtle means that the serpent used towards Eve.
For apparently you cheerfully accept a man who comes to you preaching a different Jesus from the one we told you about, and you readily receive a spirit and a Gospel quite different from the ones you originally accepted.
Yet I cannot believe I am in the least inferior to these extra-special messengers of yours. Perhaps I am not a polished speaker, but I do know what I am talking about, and both what I am and what I say is pretty familiar to you.
7-10 Perhaps I made a mistake in cheapening myself (though I did it to help you) by preaching the Gospel without a fee? As a matter of fact I was only able to do this by “robbing” other churches, for it was what they paid me that made it possible to minister to you free of charge.
Even when I was with you and very hard up, I did not bother any of you.
It was the brothers who came from Macedonia who brought me all that I needed. Yes, I kept myself from being a burden to you then, and so I intend to do in the future. By the truth of Christ within me, no one shall stop my being proud of this independence through all Achaia!
11-15 Does this mean that I do not love you? God knows it doesn’t, but I am determined to maintain this boast, so as to cut the ground from under the feet of those who profess to be God’s messengers on the same terms as I am.
God’s messengers? They are counterfeits of the real thing, dishonest practitioners, “God’s messengers” only by their own appointment. Nor do their tactics surprise me when I consider how Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is only to be expected that his agents shall have the appearance of ministers of righteousness—but they will get their deserts one day.
If you like self-commendation, listen to mine!
16 Once more, let me advise you not to look upon me as a fool. Yet if you do, then listen to what this “fool” has to boast about.
17-21 I am not now speaking as the Lord commands me but as a fool who must be “in on” this business of boasting. Since all the others are so proud of themselves, let me do a little boasting as well.
From your heights of superior wisdom I am sure you can smile tolerantly on a fool. Oh, you’re tolerant all right! You don’t mind, do you, if a man takes away your liberty, spends your money, makes a fool of you or even smacks your face?
I am almost ashamed to say that I never did brave strong things like that to you. Yet in whatever particular they enjoy such confidence I (speaking as a fool, remember) have just as much confidence.
22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I.
23 Are they ministers of Christ? I have more claim to this title than they. This is a silly game but look at this list: I have worked harder than any of them. I have served more prison sentences! I have been beaten times without number. I have faced death again and again.
24 I have been beaten the regulation thirty-nine stripes by the Jews five times.
25 I have been beaten with rods three times. I have been stoned once. I have been shipwrecked three times. I have been twenty-four hours in the open sea.
26-27 In my travels I have been in constant danger from rivers and floods, from bandits, from my own countrymen, and from pagans. I have faced danger in city streets, danger in the desert, danger on the high seas, danger among false Christians. I have known exhaustion, pain, long vigils, hunger and thirst, going without meals, cold and lack of clothing.
28-29 Apart from all external trials I have the daily burden of responsibility for all the churches. Do you think anyone is weak without my feeling his weakness? Does anyone have his faith upset without my longing to restore him?
30-31 Oh, if I am going to boast, let me boast of the things which have shown up my weakness! The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, he who is blessed for ever, knows that I speak the simple truth.
32-33 In Damascus, the town governor, acting by King Aretas’ order had men out to arrest me. I escaped by climbing through a window and being let down the wall in a basket. That’s the sort of dignified exit I can boast about.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.(not yet revealed to the physical senses- amp.) Heb.11:1
Real faith flows out of the heart not out of the head, It is unseen reality and it is more sure than what we can see. ( Mk 11:23-24 )
23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Real faith is based on what Jesus did and is born out of intimacy with the source of faith “The Lord Jesus Christ” it is not just a tool to get us out of trouble or a way of performance to get God to like us more, It is not 3 steps 10 steps or just another formula it is a relationship of trust with the Master. (Gal.3:11)
Real faith is the ability to see the end result, and rejoice as done now.
Real faith is rest based upon what Jesus has already done not what he will do in the circumstances ( Heb.4:3 )
Real faith is substance; hope is the vessel of the substance, and love is the force of the substance.
Real faith is always connected to grace, patience, mercy, hope, victory, and it needs no explanation.
Real faith has already defeated every enemy we could ever face in this life, it is the faith of Jesus Christ.
Real faith is the victory that has already overcome the world. (1 Jn.5:4)
Real faith is the Life Style of Jesus being witnessed in the earth through His people.
Real Faith Is found in Hebrews 12 which is the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ that has already won every battle and set down in rest.
We look away from abstract old testament hero’s of faith that obtained promises, but never the obtained the promise who is Jesus the source and completion of our faith.
Real faith praises, it breathes joy, has no fear of losing possessions positions or personal rights.
Real faith is not afraid of confrontation with demons or men, it lives in the reality that Jesus overcame all, and that is what made us overcomer’s.
Scott Stimson Sr.
2 Cor. 9:7-9 J.B. Phillips Translation Let everyone give as his heart tells him, neither grudgingly nor under compulsion, for God loves the man who gives cheerfully. After all, God can give you everything that you need, so that you may always have sufficient both for yourselves and for giving away to other people. As the scripture says: “He has dispersed abroad, he has given to the poor; his righteousness remains forever.”
10-14 He who gives the seed to the sower and turns that seed into bread to eat, will give you the seed of generosity to sow, and, for harvest, the satisfying bread of good deeds well done. The more you are enriched by God the more scope there will be for generous giving, and your gifts, administered through us, will mean that many will thank God.
For your giving does not end in meeting the wants of your fellow-Christians. It also results in an overflowing tide of thanksgiving to God.
Moreover, your very giving proves the reality of your faith, and that means that men thank God that you practice the Gospel that you profess to believe in, as well as for the actual gifts you make to them and to others. And yet further, men will pray for you and feel drawn to you because you have obviously received a generous measure of the grace of God.
15 Thank God, then, for his indescribable generosity to you!
Giving From The Finished Work:
Everything we preach or live is to flow out of the finished work of Christ giving and money are no different, when this happens it will be from a posture of rest. God has already given us all things that pertain to life and Godliness. 2 Pet.1:3; Eph.1:3; Rom 8:31;1 Tim. 6:17;
The problem arises when we take it out of the finished work and seek to have God give to us beyond what He has already given us in Christ and He really can’t give you more because you already have all things we just don’t recognize it,
When we do this it opens the door to manipulation, greed, fear tactics, covetousness, and then we take our eyes off of Him and put them on other things and people which will disappoint.
When we understand that we have all things and our minds are set on the eternal then giving is not a threat to us we will then take charge of our world by turning it into a garden and plant seeds in the soil He has provided us seed for the sower.
We are already rich in Christ we don’t give to become rich or hoping that God will give to us, he has already blessed us. (Ephesians1:3) our world may not know it nor see it in the present tense but the truth is in Christ not in our world.
It is especially easy for preachers or religious leaders to become susceptible to the errors of financial manipulation because we get our living from the gifts of the people, but we must avoid financial temptations no matter what it takes.
Many today run their ministries through public relation and consulting firms who then will market the teachings and the worship for them, this is normally justified by we get the word out this way and we make a lot of money for the ministry, I personally feel uneasy about this sort of thing.
I have been approached myself in the past about it and refused,I think how did Jesus do it without a pr firm or the apostles I can see no foundation for this except through a Babylonian religious system.note read Revelation 17-18.
Most will not deny they do this and they will not come an preach unless you guarantee a hefty fee, for some it can be 5,000 -40,000 a service or even more with luxury cars to pick them up plus luxury hotel suites all in contract and that is just the beginning.
My response to this many years ago and many who read this can testify was to start giving prophetically to the congregation for example calling someone out and putting money into their hands as personal ministry was given, there are so many miracles i could share and I now have a vision to pay off mortgages and buy cars for people all by the Spirit leading in personal ministry to the people.
Please understand i’m all for honoring ministry and caring for them I always have tried to do my very best including taking from my own to make sure they were well cared for.
Now the problem is that those who demand these things have magnified their own importance and have sacrificed their own pure faith, there are ministries who in the natural may have nothing and yet they possess all things for they are an offering to the people and not just trying to get one.
Trusting God in ministry may at times mean suffering financially for a season or working with our own hands “IT IS WORTH IT” besides anything we compromise to keep we eventually lose the joy of it.
Finances in the earth operate under the laws of creation examples gold silver crops oil etc.etc. yet we live by the faith of Jesus under the laws of redemption we must reconcile these two laws to work in harmony with each other not against.
Finances are carnal, faith is spiritual:
One last thought: Beware of anyone who promises blessings or curses associated with your giving. ”read Micah 3 and 4 for more on this”
The truth is you are already blessed, very rich, and cannot be cursed unless we curse ourselves, we do that by believing a lie that we are cursed.
We are not giving to get but giving because we have all things showing visible proof of our faith.
Scott Stimson Sr.
Jesus said: I am the way, the truth, and the life.”John 14:6″ “Sound doctrine (our belief) is the application and the experience of the truth”
The truth is not a creed or a particular belief about something, but it is a person it is founded on the person and then grows into that person, and of course that person is Jesus He is the truth.
In the increase of knowledge it seems easy for us to hold to certain doctrines “at the expense of the Love of God” If our doctrine (teaching) causes us to attack those who don’t fit our way of believing or thinking then our teaching has become our God.
If we can’t love those who don’t think like us and reach out to them with pure love then it is not Christ nor is it sound doctrine, but our own belief system has gotten in the way, and has now made us it’s servant.
Jesus said: “John 13:35″ By this shall all men know that you are my disciples because you have love one to another.
Religious dogmas are the primary cause for so many discouraged and shipwrecked people it keeps people self condemned, living in sin consciousness, afraid of God and men.
However when we grow in The Lord we will separate from our own beliefs (thinking) our reputation (feelings) our will (wants) unto Him who saved us and wash us in His own blood.
Remember that any teaching or prophetic word that does not exalt the Lordship of Jesus Christ, but exalts future events’ personalities, some cause, culture, or makes a religion out of being anti-religious is not the truth it may be true or factual, but that is not the truth.
When we are no longer controlled by religion we will understand that “A right spirit should be prized above a right doctrine” We can then enjoy our relationship with the person (The Truth) not just what we think about Him.
Any revelation that does not ultimately go back to God in worship is a vain revelation.
Scott Stimson Sr.
Gen.35:2—Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods from among you, and be clean, and change your garments.
There are several different words for change in both the Old and New Testament, one of the words in the Heb. “Chalaph” means to “get up, to grow up, to go forward and to renew” Growth does not ask us if we would like to change it forces us to change, if we are not changing then we are dying.
We don’t have to make ourself change by our own will power, but if we are placed in the right environment (Grace and truth) We will change effortlessly for the better.
There are sometimes when the need to change is very obvious, and we can’t seem to find the power or the way that is the time we need to exchange with the Lord, give Him the weakness and receive His strength, but never accept the weakness as being the final word for your life.
The Father is well able to turn our weaknesses into our greatest places of victory perhaps a key word for this hour is “stability with flexibility”.
How do I Know I need to change?
(1)–Lack of real peace–Col.3:15 -Isa. 30:18
(2)—When what we have been doing is no longer producing positive results.
(3)—Frustration instead of contentment because of a lack of power.
(4)—When we consistently do the same thing and continue to fail.
(5)—When we become inconsistent in our directions and in our timing by this we cause conflict with others by our actions.
(6)—When we yearn for more and are still not satisfied.
(7)—When we can’t get over the feelings of being displaced and out of joint The Father is more interested in changing us then He is our circumstances or even the people around us.
(8)—-When those who we have relationship with family, friends, ministry, co-workers etc.etc. seem distant for no apparent reason.
In the light of The love of God, the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the communion of the Holy Spirit through the process of change we should examine our motives message and methods in order that we don’t walk around the same old “never changing” mountain forever.
Scott Stimson Sr.
Acts 28:1-6 “shake it off or swell up”
Paul Ashore on Malta
28 Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. 2 The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold.
3 Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand.
4 When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, the goddess Justice has not allowed him to live.”
5 But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects.
6 The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.
Overcoming Negative Relationships :
(1) Learn to respond rather then react; a response is to who they are as a person with feelings, family, and friends in mind, reaction is when we are solely focused on what they may have done or we think they are doing.
(2) Use the conflicts to bring about long awaited changes in us; it may be that the Father is removing old attitudes and selfish motives from us and using a negative relationship to help bring that about, what may be happening is an old hurt has surfaced having nothing to do with the immediate person in this case expose it to His presence and ministry to be healed with truth.
(3) Forgive—This does not mean to pretend they have done no wrong the word means to turn loose or send away the offence not necessarily to trust them again either,
but it does mean to let them go meaning you counted the cost, you acknowledge the wrong, and you choose to release them through the grace given unto you through Christ.
(4) Recognize The Holy Spirit will allow some people in our lives only for a season, they were never meant to be a permanent part, pastors and spiritual leaders really need to understand this we can bless those who leave our church and ministry without resentment or thinking they missed God make it easy for people to leave if they desire to by blessing them in every possible way.
(5) The things you dislike in others may be the picture of your own soul that you haven’t yet come to terms with.
(6) Negative relationships can become positive ones when we grow, adjust, and make changes in how we treat others the person closest to us is often the most neglected make sure family is cared for.
(7) Avoid the blame game….This is a sign of immaturity; rise above accusations and a critical spirit this never helps anyone.
(8) Understand the freedom of being delivered from people, so that you may be sent to people in purity and love.
“We must have thick skin and a tender heart” “Be greater than their criticism and smaller than their praise”
Scott Stimson Sr.