Paul: Much More Than a UPS Driver!

December 2, 2008 by: KJVOnly

Here are some thoughts and notes from reading 1 Corinthians 11-14. This is by no means exhaustive, neither is it a verse-by-verse study. These are some things that popped out and really shook me up when I read them. It is very rare for me to want to go back later and make sure I write some things down.

  1. Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

  2. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

  3. But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

1 Corinthians 11:1-2 KJV

It’s pretty clear that Paul keeps emphasizing that he is not the object of praise and worship here. It amazes me that people still think that way.

I think the word we need to keep pointing them to is “delivered” in verse 2. If we receive a package from our postman or UPS /FedEx person, do we really think that he or she created the package and gave it to us? Of course not! Why then do people want to think Paul came up with what he’s DELIVERING?!?

Similarly, do we then worship the UPS man? Of course not! We honor and thank the one who created the package and PAID to send it to us! We should be honoring Christ Jesus for paying the inconceivable price so we could be made free from the law of sin and death! THANK YOU LORD!!!

  1. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

  2. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Romans 8:1-2 KJV

Look at 1 Corinthians chapter 3:

  1. For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

  2. Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

  3. I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

  4. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

  5. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.

1 Corinthians 3:4-8 KJV

Verses like these make the actions of today’s “Christians” even more ridiculous! Not only is Paul EXPLICITLY disavowing any “specialness” on his part, but he goes to great lengths to make sure his audience understands they will be judged on their own merits!

I don’t know what society was like back then but too many people today want to treat Christianity as some giant Amway plan. They think God gives them credit for whatever good deeds their disciples do. The more people downline from you, the more credit you’ll have, hence the greater reward!

The problem with pyramid schemes like this is you constantly have to keep bringing new people in so the people upline can get their payments. If new people aren’t coming in, no rewards that month. Since these people use James 2:26 as their guiding verse, no new people coming in is a sign that their faith is dead.

  1. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

James 2:26 KJV

These people can’t admit Paul is only passing on what he received from Jesus. It would be admitting their way doesn’t work.

I’m not going to go into a long discussion about Chapter 11. It just seems fairly obvious that it was for the time before the King James Bible, because so many passages speak of physical happenings or consequences for actions.

I like how verse 14 talks about how “nature itself” teaches that long hair is a shame unto a man. That puts it outside the reach of anyone who wants to say “Sure, it’s perfectly ok for a man to have long hair now.” A man’s long hair is a shame whether you’re under the law or free from the law because the law had nothing to do with it!

  1. Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?

1 Corinthians 11:14 KJV

I would like to make one other point. Chapter 11 helps us to see that all these things, the “ordinances”, men uncovering their head and women covering theirs, the Lord’s supper, etc., were all designed to bring people closer to Christ Jesus, until the Book was completed. These were done to help set apart Christians from the world and to bring Christians closer.

Now that we have the Book, we see Jesus (spiritually) face to face! He is IN us! We can’t get any closer to him!

Verses 27-29 alone should make that clear.

  1. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

  2. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

  3. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

1 Corinthians 11:27-29 KJV

If we are dead and up with Christ in heaven, and Christ liveth within us, how in the world could we possibly “eateth and drinketh damnation”? Christ cannot condemn Himself!!!!! THAT is the whole reason we can have confidence in the Rapture! When Christ removes Himself from the earth, he HAS to take us with him because HE is in us! He would not subject Himself to the Tribulation.

  1. But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

  2. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

  3. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

  4. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

  5. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

  6. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 KJV

Let me just take this opportunity to publicly thank the Holy Spirit for living up to His task. I have read 1 Thessalonians enough to remember it talked about the Rapture. I started turning toward there and “Chapter 4” came into my mind. I looked and, sure enough, there it was!

  1. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

  2. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

  3. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

John 16:13-15 KJV

Similarly to chapter 11, chapter 12 shows how spiritual gifts were a temporary measure that passed away when the King James Bible was completed. It also lays the wonderful foundation that culminates in 13:10. Pay special attention to 12:8.

  1. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

  2. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

  3. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

  4. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

  5. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

  6. To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

  7. To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

  8. But all these worketh the one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

  9. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:4-12 KJV

  1. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

1 Corinthians 14:33 KJV

The above verses only make sense if people didn’t have a common Book that they could all refer to. Why do we need someone with the word of wisdom today? We don’t have prophets wandering the countryside, tying themselves up, lying still and speaking of broken cisterns. We do have people coming up to you and saying “I have a word from the Lord for you, brother.” but the Word itself proves them wrong.

Just the fact I can say “the Word itself proves them wrong” is testament to my point. That I can look up a verse for myself and not need someone to explain it to me shows that the spiritual gifts of wisdom and knowledge have been done away with.

  1. When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

Deuteronomy 18:22 KJV

I submit that everyone who calls himself a prophet or an apostle today is condemned by Deuteronomy 18:22. The standard was clear: A prophet had to be right 100% of the time. If they were wrong ONCE they were shown to not be a prophet of God. God is perfect so how could someone speaking the words He gave ever be wrong?

God makes it clear in this verse that if the prophet is wrong, the prophet was speaking his own words, not God’s. Once again God shows that when we sinned, it was not His doing. He did not make us sin, we chose to sin. (Thank you again, Lord, for freeing me from the law of sin and death!)

I thank God also for my Pastor because I know he would not be offended in the least by this statement: I have learned far more from my own quiet reading than I have from his sermons. I choose to attend his church because he is a man of God in the sense that he follows God’s leading and speaks to us what God would have him speak about. I learn a lot from each sermon but each sermon consistently points me back to the Book and fuels my desire to read more for myself. The pastor eschews any cult of personality and makes sure we are looking to Christ Jesus our Lord and not to the pastor.

In my reading I have Christ himself speaking to me. Why in the world would I ever choose to totally rely on a fellow human being when I have CHRIST JESUS HIMSELF ready and willing to teach me whenever I am willing to read His word? I would be a fool to place Joel Osteen, Rick Warren or ANYONE over Christ Jesus!

Yet, in those times, they did not have the Book, so they had to rely on other people. I am so THRILLED that those days are gone and we have it so much better than they did!

Another reason we can confirm these “in part” things have been done away with is just to look at the results. Look at 14:33 quoted above. God is NOT the author of confusion, but of PEACE! Do we have peace today? Silly question. People today don’t know what real peace is. Even in so-called “peacetime” in this country’s history, we still had military build-ups, troops stationed around the world, etc., just to be ready for the next way.

From the end of WWII to around 1989, we had the Cold War. We’d basically been at war for almost 50 years! A year or so later we had the Gulf War and we’d fought Saddam ever since, with the No-Fly Zones, sanctions, etc. Now we have Gulf War 2. Is there anybody alive who’s ever known real peace? Even my parents, born in the Great Depression, knew hard times and war was raging in Europe. I was born in the midst of the Cold War. Physical peace doesn’t exist because the physical realm is not where God manifests Himself today. There is peace but it’s spiritual peace.

  1. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

  2. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

  3. But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

  4. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

  5. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

  6. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Philippians 4:8-13 KJV

The rest of chapter 12 continues the theme of how we are not to be haughty, proud and self-obsessed. God (through Paul) uses an earthly example to illustrate a heavenly theme: our physical body is a picture of the body of Christ.

  1. But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

  2. And if they were all one member, where were the body?

  3. But now are they many members, yet but one body.

  4. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

  5. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:

  6. And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

  7. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:

  8. That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

1 Corinthians 12:18-25 KJV

On the face of it, this all sounds wonderful. We’re all together, those parts of the body who have no need should give to those who don’t have enough. Look at Acts 2 for a similar example.

  1. And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

  2. And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

  3. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

  4. Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Acts 2:44-47 KJV

This is the goal modern churches aspire to. This is their model, their picture, their dream. Yet look at verses 46 and 47. Is that happening today? Absolutely not. Not only do Christians not have “favour with all the people” but we’re actively mocked and derided every day!

The notion of everyone contributing to a main pot and taking out what they need sounds good but is a pipe dream. It’s socialism and it’s been shown to not work. The people who have worked hard stop working when most of what they have is taken and given to someone else.

Every idea nowadays that attempts to include anyone winds up going to the lowest common denominator. Programs intended to lift everyone have the opposite effect. Why? Because that is not the model today. It wasn’t even the model in Paul’s time.

  1. But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints.

  2. For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.

  3. It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.

Romans 15:25-27 KJV

How can Paul say that the saints in Jerusalem are the debtors of them in Macedonia and Achaia? How can he turn around and say it’s the DUTY of them in Macedonia and Achaia to minister to the saints in Jerusalem? Isn’t this just a happy, shiny world where everyone’s happy to give to each other and giving doesn’t have to be compelled?

No, it’s not. The final straw is shown in Acts 28. (By the time Acts 28 was written, the events in 1 Corinthians were long past. However, Paul is summarizing what’s taken place.)

  1. And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.

  2. And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.

  3. And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,

  4. Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:

  5. For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

  6. Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.

Acts 28:23-28 KJV

A more timely example is in Acts 13.

  1. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

  2. And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.

  3. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.

  4. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

  5. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.

Acts 13:43-47 KJV

We are living in a time intended to bring the Jews back to God. If the Jews had not rejected Jesus and crucified him then rejected Stephen and stoned him, we wouldn’t be here! The Tribulation would have come and gone, the Millennial Reign would have started and concluded and time would have ceased.

The reason we have the Book is to provoke the Jews to jealousy.

  1. I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles for to provoke them to jealousy.

  2. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?

  3. For if I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

  4. If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.

  5. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be , but life from the dead?

Romans 11:11-15 KJV

We cannot be proud or boastful because we have done nothing to deserve this. (If we were justly rewarded we would all be in the lake of fire.) Let us cast off these doubtful disputations about spiritual gifts and learn what Christ would have us do with these magnificent gifts we have been given.

Filed under: Studies
Tags: , ,