|2 Corinthians 4 |
1 Therefore since we have this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart;
2 But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking slyly, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by revealing the truth, we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
3 If our gospel is hidden, it is hidden only in those who are perishing. [Who is perishing? For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, 1 Cor 1:18; those are perishing who do not believe the true gospel and are not on the inward cross of self-denial. The true gospel is to become through repentance delivered and freed from the bondage of sin, (even the desire of sin), to attain union with God and Christ, and to be translated into the kingdom of God — all while on earth before physical death. This gospel is hidden in those who are lost and hidden from Christianity in general, and those in Christianity are perishing. Belief in the true gospel, the power of God to salvation, creates hope of attainment, which hope motivates you to bear the inward cross that leads to salvation.]
4 For the god of this world [Satan] has blinded the minds of those who do not believe, so that the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine in them.
5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and we are as your servants for Jesus' sake.
6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.1 [Jesus appears, He is seen, He is revealed, in the purified hearts of believers. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus is recorded saying that some then standing with him, 2000 years ago, would see his glorious coming in the clouds with the Kingdom before they died. Later Paul, Jesus in Revelation, Peter, James, and John, — all said his appearance was: soon, the time is near, a little while, He stands at the door. It would be a cruel hoax to be waiting on Him to appear if the past 100 generations of believers actually had no hope of ever seeing Him.]
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the excellence of the power may be shown to be of God, and not of us.
8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.
11 For we who live are constantly progressing to death [crucifying the old man] for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus might be revealed in our mortal flesh. [As our selfish spirit, the old man, dies on the inward cross of self-denial, Jesus increases in us, like bread is leavened. From the Word of the Lord within: "I only know those who have been crucified." He knows everything, but his "knowing" you is for him to become one with you, which occurs after you have been crucified.]
12 So then death works in us, for Life [Jesus is the Life] in you.
13 We have the same spirit of faith as it is written, "I believed, and therefore I have spoken;" we also believe, and therefore we speak;
14 Knowing that he who raised up the Lord Jesus, shall raise us up also by Jesus, and shall present us with you [in his presence].
15 For all things are for your sakes, so that as more abundant grace extends to more people, the more thanksgiving may overflow to God.
16 For this reason we do not lose heart; for though our outward man is perishing, the inward man is renewed day by day.
17 For our light affliction, which is only for a moment, produces for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
18 Since we do not look at the things that are seen, but at the things that are not seen. For the things that are seen are temporary; but the things that are not seen are eternal.
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1 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. After you reach purity, you see God in the face of Christ Jesus. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Mat 5:8. Without a pure heart, you are now, and will be, banned from heaven. He appears to the purified heart of a believer — he is seen. This is his second appearance - this time to the purified in heart. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Cor 4:6. Christ is revealed in your heart; you see, and have knowledge of, the glory of God. The morning star rises in your hearts. 2 Pet 1:19. Jesus is resurrected in us to be our true Lord. 2 Cor 4:14, Col 2:11-12,3:1, Eph 2:6. And then:
When Christ, Who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Col 3:4. [When he appears, you enter the Kingdom, and also appear in glory.]
all of us, as with an unveiled face, behold as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, and are changed into the same image from glory to glory, by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Cor 3:18. We put on the newly created nature [of Christ], which is created in God's image of true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24.
When he appears, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. Everyone with this hope purifies himself, just as he is pure. 1 John 3:2-3
Only those who are like him, pure, will see him appear. Call on the Lord with a pure heart. 2 Tim 2:22
Your souls are purified in obeying the truth, through the spirit. 1 Pet 1:22. Your heart is purified by faith. Acts 15:9
The deficit sects teach that you don't have to be pure, you don't have to be perfect, you don't have to be holy.
If, as they incorrectly teach, he came back to the whole world, none of them would see him, because they are not pure.
The world will no longer see me; but you will see me. John 14:19.
Because if one has the hope of purity and seeing their savior, they will purify their hearts, by faith and grace, to see God appear within their hearts.
From the Word of the Lord within: "Seek his face. Seek his face in ever increasing glory."
Every man starts in spiritual darkness, walking in darkness, without the guidance of God's light. The light shines in the darkness, exposing our sins. After obedient repentance and after many revelations of hearing His word within our hearts, God causes his light to shine out of darkness to give us the light of knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will no longer be hidden, but your eyes shall see your Teacher, Isa 30:20. George Fox explains this further in his writing The Light Explained:
This the true light that enlightens every man that comes into the world, which light shines in darkness, and darkness knows it not. John 1:9, John 1:5
Now mark, it is there. What? Does it shine in darkness, and yet darkness does not comprehend it? Is this not the state in which the world did not know him, and the Pharisees did not know him, though the Kingdom of heaven was within them, Luke 17:21. And light shined in darkness, and darkness comprehended it not; here is the unconverted state. So he came to his own, and his own received him not; light shines in darkness, and darkness comprehends it not. For once you were darkness said the Apostle, Eph 5:8. but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light. Now mark, there was a time of darkness, but now they were light in the Lord. Now here were the converted and the unconverted. These were to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. The light shines in darkness, though darkness does not comprehend it, and you were at sometime darkness, and light shines in darkness, and darkness does not comprehend it; this defines the unconverted state, and the converted estate.
God has commanded light to shine out of darkness, and has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Now mark, here is light that shines out of darkness. God had commanded it to shine out of darkness. What? Was it not there before? Now it has come forth; before it was in darkness, light shined in darkness, and God has commanded it to shine out of darkness, and before you were darkness, but are the light of the Lord, which light that shines in the heart, gives the light of the knowledge of the glory of God; here is the converted state. Now while light shines in darkness, and darkness does not comprehend it, there is the unconverted state, 2 Cor 4:4-6, John 1:5.
The apostle was sent to turn people from the darkness to the light, from the power of Satan to God. Now this was the state of preaching to them while they were in darkness, whom the God of the world had blinded their eyes. They preached so that the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ should shine in them. Mark, shine in them. Therefore the god of the world has blinded the eye of the mind, and to such the Gospel is hidden. For darkness cannot comprehend the light, while the god of the world has blinded your minds. Therefore the Apostle was sent to turn them from darkness to the light, light shines in darkness. So the god of the world has blinded them, lest the light of the glorious Gospel should shine in them. Now where it shines in the heart, it gives the knowledge of the glory of God, where it comes forth. And where it shines in darkness, and darkness comprehends it not, there is the god of the world that has blinded the mind, and to such the Gospel is hidden, which is the power of God; and the light of the glorious Gospel is not comprehended, which is the image of God; and it does not shine in them, to give them the light of the knowledge of God. Now as such are turned to the light, the eye comes to be opened, and from the darkness these come; and these come from the power of Satan, the god of the world, that has blinded their eye, that the light of the glorious Gospel shines in them, to give them the light of the knowledge of the glory of God. To such the Gospel is not hidden, by the manifestation of the Truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. Now here is the state not turned from the darkness to the light, and their eye is not opened; then the god of the world has blinded them. Such are in the unconverted state. To the unconverted, the Gospel is hidden, though light shines in darkness, and the god of the world blinds their minds. So this is the time those, who are darkness, are not yet turned from the darkness, and the darkness does not comprehend the light. Now where God has commanded the light to shine out of darkness; (mark, out of darkness), such come to be turned from the darkness to the light, such witness conversion, and the image of God shines in them.
From the writings of yet another early Quaker, Francis Howgill: (written in 1676)
The appearance of God, who is eternal life, in his day, in his immeasurable Light, is a great joy, and source of rejoicing to the righteous. For he is to his people an everlasting light, and in his light they come to see light.
He reveals the secret mysteries of his kingdom in those who see his day appear in their hearts, which makes all things manifest, even the secrets of the Lord, and his hidden treasure, and his durable riches, which never canker or rust, but are fresh, and keep their pure image and impression. By this Light all the righteous, who have waited on God’s appearance, come to see Him. As it is written, “Lo! This is our God, we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice and be glad in his salvation.” Does he indeed come that you have waited for? Yes, come, “and his reward is with Him;” and they that see Him find contentment in Him, and in his reward. And what is his reward? Joy, gladness, peace of conscience, assurance of God’s love sealed in the heart by the pure Spirit of the Lord, the streams of Life flowing forth continually from the great deep, which refresh and keep cool in the greatest extremity and heat of temptation; and this is enjoyed by those that have waited and do wait for it; even in the body they bear witness of Him and his coming. What was the witness of his disciples? "The Son of God has come and has given us an understanding." Of what? Of God, of his day, of his appearance, of his power, of his wisdom, of his kingdom, of hope, of faith, of assurance, of peace, of joy, of comfort and consolation. What? In this life? Yes, a cloud of witnesses I might bring in former ages, and also in this age, blessed be the Lord; but my witness that gives me assurance, is nearer me than all their witnesses, although they are all true. Abraham, the father of the faithful, and of the righteous, who believed in God and was accepted, saw Christ’s day and was glad; that is, by faith; yes, he and all that ever saw Christ’s day, or the Father, saw Him by faith; by faith they saw Him who is invisible: "Behold! God is my salvation." Isaiah 12:2. What! Do you enjoy it already? Yes, He has become my salvation; and Simeon, who waited for the consolation of Israel, said: "Now let your servant depart in peace, for my eyes have seen your salvation." Luke 2:30. And this he said, who knew comfort and consolation: "As the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation abounds by Christ." They were made partakers of his Divine nature, and sat together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: and those who are in Him, and enjoy Him, who is the power of God, and the wisdom of God, know rest; and peace, and salvation, both from guilt and acts of sin. . . Those, who have not come to the day, do not know God’s work in themselves; and those, who have not yet heeded that in themselves, which manifests all things reprovable, and which reproves, have not yet come to know the appearance of the glimmering of light or of the day in themselves, which the saints witness in themselves, even all of those that are sanctified.
2 So that the life of Jesus might be revealed in our bodies,(4:10). So that the life of Jesus might be revealed in our mortal flesh. (4:11). This is the second appearance, the revealing (revelation) of Christ, in the hearts of individual believers; in those who have prepared the way for him in their hearts for the Lord to enter, be revealed, and rule as Lord. He, who has been hidden within, is revealed. Paul is speaking to the Church as a whole waiting for God to reveal Jesus in them; but Paul had already experienced this revelation: it has pleased the Father to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him. Paul again: I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. Gal 2:20. This revelation of Jesus Christ is simultaneous with salvation, entrance into the Kingdom, and the union of Christ with a purified believer, yielding an entirely new creature, with all things having passed away. However, the world does not see Jesus, for the new resurrected life of Christ in a believer is hidden from the world. The world will no longer see me; but you will see me. John 14:19. Other than the fruit of the Spirit, the world does not see Christ; for such a person's life in hidden in Christ Jesus. Col 3:3. When Christ, Who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Col 3:4. When Christ appears in you, bringing his kingdom, you will appear there also — in the kingdom within you — in glory. How are you going to appear in glory, unless it is inside of your heart, to your mind's eye? Your life in Christ is hidden from the world; even Jesus' life was hidden from the world; they crucified him, as well as killed the Apostles.
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