Angelic Conflict part 227: Human history (the Church) – 2Co 11:1-15; 10:10; 2:12-17; 3:5-6; 1:8-11; Phi 2:21; 2Pe 2:3.

Class Outline:

Title: Angelic Conflict part 227: Human history (the Church) - 2CO 11:1-15; 10:10; 2:12-17; 3:5-6; 1:8-11; PHI 2:21; 2PE 2:3.



Our Lord entered into a war zone between light and darkness, between, between the ruler of this world and the King of kings and Lord of lords, between that which came from above and that which is from below, between what is of this world and what is not of this world, a war between God and satan.


Now, from the right hand of God, the Lord is using the benefactors of His cosmic victory (the church) to display to the angelic and human societies the greatness of the Creator's wisdom in defeating His foes. We who used to be captives of the satanic kingdom are now the very ones who proclaim its demise. The church is, as it were, God's eternal "trophy case" of grace and we are graced out in order to evidence God's brilliance and power in bringing about the destruction of His foes, and thus the liberation of His people. The enemies of God are mocked by His employment of their own former slaves to finish up the war.


In the Church age, satan has presented, through false ministers, a false Christ, a false gospel, and a false communion table in order to convince the believer that he is not as powerful as he is.


2CO 11:1 I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness; but indeed you are bearing with me.


2CO 11:2For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.


The picture that Paul is using is of a loving father whose daughter is engaged to be married as the Church is to Christ. If the daughter defiles herself with another man before the wedding supper then it is a dishonor to her and her father. As Paul continues this other man becomes apparent. It is satan the deceiver who is ever attempting to turn us away from our single minded devotion to our true husband, Christ.


2CO 11:3But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.


2CO 11:4For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully [sarcasm].


Failing to stand up to the falsehood of people is not love but a selfish desire to have a false peace or acceptance. Love does not compromise with lies.


2CO 11:5For I consider myself not in the least inferior to the most eminent apostles.


2CO 11:6But even if I am unskilled in speech, yet I am not so in knowledge; in fact, in every way we have made this evident to you in all things.


2CO 11:7Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you without charge?


2CO 11:8I robbed other churches, taking wages from them to serve you;


2CO 11:9and when I was present with you and was in need, I was not a burden to anyone; for when the brethren came from Macedonia, they fully supplied my need, and in everything I kept myself from being a burden to you, and will continue to do so.


2CO 11:10As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be stopped in the regions of Achaia [Greece].


His boast is that he teaches without charge and that there are gracious people who support him because of their love for the truth.


2CO 11:11Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!


His boasting is a source of conviction for the Corinthians who benefited greatly from Paul's teaching but refused to support him.


Teaching the truth dogmatically is going to step on the toes of some who hold onto falsehood. It shows a lack of love to be a people pleaser.


2CO 11:12But what I am doing, I will continue to do, that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting.


The truth from doctrine is the only light that exposes falsehood as well as the true motives of the false and deceitful workers.


Paul’s dogmatic stance on the gospel is protecting them. Paul is fighting for them at great cost to himself. This reveals his agape love for them, and after they have insulted him, rejected him, judged him, gossiped about him, and accepted and even paid false workers.


2CO 11:13For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.


2CO 11:14And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.


2CO 11:15Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds.


 “disguising - disguises - disguise” - metaschmati,zw[metaschematizo] = to change in appearance, to transform, or to alter oneself outwardly.


This shows us that you cannot tell who they are by their outward appearance but only by the content of their message.


This is hypocrisy and is in contrast to the true inward transformation of the believer into a brand new humanity at salvation followed by the inner transformation of soul, heart, and mind through doctrine after salvation.


TIT 3:5

He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,


ROM 12:2

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.


They disguised themselves as apostles and maintained that Paul was a false apostle.


They claimed to have divine authority as God's servants, but their authority was bogus. They claimed that the true servants of God were all impostors; in Paul's day, they said this about him. They even claimed to be "super-apostles," on a much higher level than Paul With their clever oratory, they mesmerized the ignorant believers, while at the same time they pointed out that Paul was not a very gifted speaker (2CO 11:6; 10:10).


2CO 10:10 For they say, "His letters are weighty and strong, but his personal presence is unimpressive, and his speech contemptible."


How tragic it is when unstable believers are swayed by the "fair speech" of Satan's ministers, instead of standing firm on the basic truths of the Gospel taught to them by faithful pastors and teachers.

"They are not 'super-apostles' at all!" warned Paul. "They are pseudo apostles - false apostles!


Their motive is not to glorify God, but to get personal gain by capturing converts. Their methods are deceitful. (2CO 2:17; 4:2).


2CO 2:12 Now when I came to Troas for the gospel of Christ and when a door was opened for me in the Lord,


2CO 2:13I had no rest for my spirit, not finding Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I went on to Macedonia.




It appeared in Asia that Paul's plans had completely fallen apart. Where was Titus? What was going on at Corinth? Paul had open doors of ministry at Troas, but he had no peace in his heart to walk through those doors. Humanly speaking, it looked like the end of the battle, with Satan as the victor. Except for one thing - Paul had a conquering faith! He was able to break out in praise and write, "Thanks be unto God!" (2CO 2:14) This song of praise was born out of the assurances Paul had because he trusted the Lord.


2CO 2:14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.


We do not fight for victory, we fight from victory.


2CO 2:15For we are a fragrance [sweet smell] of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;


2CO 2:16to the one an aroma [same as vs. 15 without the “well” prefix] from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?


God made it so that life smells sweet and pleasant while death has a sickening and terrible smell. To some the gospel is sweet smelling and to others it is detestable.


Our fruit, the greatest of which is God’s love, are always a fragrant aroma to God.


EPH 5:1-2

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.


This was pictured when Mary, the sister of Lazarus, anointed Christ just days before His death.


JOH 12:3

Mary therefore took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.


PHI 4:18

But I have received everything in full, and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.


God loves to see love in action.


2CO 2:16to the one an aroma [same as vs. 15 without the “well” prefix] from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?


Paul has life and death in his ministry. He brings life to one person who believes and death to another who does not believe. If there were no Christ and no gospel we would all have an excuse and none of us would be accountable. But there is a Christ and there is a gospel and because of this no one has an excuse.


JOH 15:22

"If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.


ROM 1:20

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.


So since Paul understands the gravity of his ministry he states humbly, “who is adequate for these things?” And this question he will answer. The great Saul of Tarsus is not adequate, but God is completely adequate.


2CO 3:5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God,


2CO 3:6who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.


Again, our point,

Their motive is not to glorify God, but to get personal gain by capturing converts. Their methods are deceitful. (2CO 2:17; 4:2).


2CO 2:17 For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.


PHI 2:19 But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition.


PHI 2:20 For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare.


PHI 2:21 For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus.


2PE 2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.


2PE 2:2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned;


2PE 2:3 and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.


The way you look at your ministry helps to determine how you will fulfill it. If you look on serving Christ as a burden instead of a privilege, you will be a drudge and do only what is required of you and grudgingly. Some people even look on service as a punishment from God. When Paul considered the fact that he was a minister of Jesus Christ he was overwhelmed by the grace and mercy of God. His positive attitude toward the ministry had some practical consequences in his life.