Monday, July 11, 2016

Visions and Revelations

2Co 12:1  It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. 
2Co 12:2  I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. 
2Co 12:3  And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) 
2Co 12:4  How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 
2Co 12:5  Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. 
2Co 12:6  For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. 
2Co 12:7  And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 
2Co 12:8  For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 
2Co 12:9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 

I would like to comment on a few things here. Paul knew a man who had a vision, being caught up into the third heaven, paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which are not lawful to utter. There are many people now who have had out of body experiences, some had died and seen a vision of heaven and have testified of what they saw and heard. We are to be careful how we process what we hear from these extra Biblical experiences. We are not to exalt these people and their experiences, but to make note of them. Many people now seem to want to hear and see the "supernatural". Paul had a vision and a new calling from Jesus on the road to Damascus at the beginning of his Christian walk. He had personal revelation knowledge from the Lord. 

Gal 1:11  For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man's gospel. 

Gal 1:12  For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. 

Paul in verse 7 says that he had an abundance of revelations and with them came a messenger from satan, a thorn in the flesh, so that in his flesh he would not be  glorified. All glory belongs to God.  The thorn in the flesh may have been a physical ailment, poor eyesight, or even the enemies of Christ that opposed him wherever he preached. Do not expect an easy road in your ministry; be humble, be obedient and Christ is your strength and healer; his grace is enough. A revelation probably is for you personally, a prophecy is to be shared. All that is heard must be aligned with God's word, the Bible. Paul was concerned that there were false teachers who were leading them away. 

2Co 11:13  For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 
2Co 11:14  And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

We are to be careful of what we hear and believe. Do not glory in appearances, appearances can be deceiving, glory in the LORD who reveals himself to us. We serve Him with joyful hearts overcoming all hindrances by his grace.

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