February 18, 2011


In reading through the bible we come across a theme surrounding the “Stone”. Often this “Stone” is a personification of the (Messiah) Jesus Christ. Many errors can be avoided in biblical doctrine if we were to identify clearly the usage of the term “Stone” by asking the following questions about each particular stone passage. It is really no more complicated than “Who”? “What”? “When”? “Where”? “Why”? Or in an even simpler form it may be just as easy to show the Old Testament declaration of the Stone, and then show how the New Testament writers identified the who and the when of the fulfillment of those stone passages.

I have sought to highlight some fairly obvious messianic prophetic uses and fulfillments dealing with the “Stone” and I have attempted to answer those questions in the text surrounding the place where it is used.

“But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)” Genesis 49:24

Who? - The Shepherd of Israel. This is the messiah. Jesus is the good shepherd. In 1 Peter 4:5 jesus is identified as our Chief Shepherd.

“And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”

When? - For the when of this passage you must go back to the introduction of this passage. We see in Genesis 49:1 Jacob, the father of the 12 tribes of Israel, the one in the line of Abraham and Isaac preparing to give a blessing to each of his 12 sons. He begins his blessing by giving the time frame of the fulfillment of the blessings.

“And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.”

So the “when” is during “The Last Days”. Does the New Testament tell us when these last days are or will be? Yes they clearly do. Hebrews 1:1-2 says that the last days are the days where “God… has spoken unto us by His Son.” There was ONLY ONE time in the history of the world where God spoke through His Son that was in the first century.

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these LAST DAYS spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;” Hebrews 1:1-2

In the previous verse (23) “The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him:” This could be a reference to the mistreatment that Joseph received at the hands of his brothers. He was thrown into a pit and sold into slavery, but then in Potiphers house he was lied about and falsely accused. Then finally when he was in prison he was mistreated by the prison keeper. In answer to this mistreatment Jacob gives the promise that “His bow will abide in strength…” He will be strengthened by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob. This is the why. Why is the stone going to come? He will come to give strengthen to the weak.

This is exactly what Paul says occurred in his day in the first century.

“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. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong”. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

So, the “Stone of Israel” who makes strong the hands of Joseph is the Messiah who came in the first century. This prophecy was fulfilled in Christ at his incarnation.

This next “Stone” passage is from Psalm 118:22. This is a very famously understood messianic passage and it is quoted directly by Jesus and by Peter and alluded to by Paul. This is about the “Rejected Stone”.

“The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the LORD's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity. Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.” Psalm 118:22-26

This is pretty obvious, the who is Jesus Christ, he is the rejected stone. In Matthew 21 Jesus is speaking in the temple when the chief priests the Pharisees and the rulers of the people begin to challenge his authority. He tells them a parable about a man who planted a vineyard. His conclusion is that when the husbandman comes to collect what he is due from the murderous abusive tenants, he will ultimately and utterly destroy those wicked men. And then Jesus quotes Psalm 118:22. Jesus saith unto them,

“Did ye never read in the scriptures, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?”

Jesus quoting this passage to the leaders of the nation of Israel is an explicit declaration that the time of the prophesy is here. The scribes know full well that Jesus is referring to them as the rejecters of the stone and it angered them so much that they sought to lay hands on him and kill him.

“And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.” Matt 21:45-46

So in answering the question about who and when it is clear that the stone in Psalm 118:22 is Jesus, and he is being rejected by first century Israel as represented by it leadership. This is all happening in the first century in the land of Israel, the city of Jerusalem.

In the context surrounding the promise of the rejected stone from Psalm 118:22 we find in verse 24 the statement 24;

“This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

This sounds an awful lot like 1 Peter 4:13

“But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”

In this same book Peter had much to say about the stone (see chapter 2). In Revelation 19:7 we read;

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.”

In a call to worship in light of the marriage of the Lamb, we see the allusion if not a direct quote of this passage from Psalm 118.

As well in Psalm 118:25

“Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD:”

During the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem the people were celebrating the salvation of God and laying palm branches in the way of Christ, riding on the donkey (Another fulfilled messianic prophecy). As he rode in, they chanted

“Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, Hosanna in the Highest.” Matt 21:9.

You guessed it; this is a direct quote from Psalm 118:25. The word Hosanna is a contraction of the words “save now”. So we see in each of the verses following the “Stone” verse in Psalm 118 that each one of them was fulfilled in the first century in direct connection with Jesus Christ. So the text is a fulfillment of the promise to reveal Jesus Christ to Israel?

“And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” Isaiah 8:14

In this text from Isaiah we have an interesting twist on the activity of the Stone. We read that the stone would be for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. For this we can refer back to the parable Jesus was telling the leaders in Jerusalem as he taught in the temple in Matt 21. In the response to the Chief Priests and Pharisees he told them that the stone would do the following. 1. Whoever will fall on this stone shall be broken. 2. But on whoever it shall fall upon, it will grind him to powder.

“Therefore say I unto you, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.”

This stone has a two-fold purpose; to break or to crush into powder. Neither one of these sounds good at all; does it? What Jesus is telling these Jewish leaders is in the form of a warning. He is giving them two choices. One Fall upon this stone and be broken. That is, repent! This has been Jesus message from the beginning. Even before Jesus entered public ministry the message of John the Baptist was;

“Repent! For the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matt 3:2.

Jesus after being tempted in the wilderness for forty days began his public ministry with the message;

“Repent , for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matt 4:17.

And when Jesus sent the apostles out 2 by two to the cities of Israel, he told them to preach the message;

“But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matt 10:6-7.

The message of the Kingdom of Heaven has always been to; Repent. This is what is meant by “falling upon the stone”. We are to fall before our savior in repentance, and this is an indication that we have been broken over our sin. So we can fall and be broken, or the other option; let the rock fall upon us and be crushed. This option involves judgment. This is very clear to the Chief Priests and Pharisees for they immediately recognize their predicament and they want to kill Jesus. This is the snare that the Jews find themselves. Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand –or be destroyed when the stone that you have rejected falls upon you in judgment. In Romans Paul quotes this passage from Isaiah directly.

“As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” Romans 9:33

Paul quotes this passage in a very clear teaching of how God is dealing with Israel. He leaves no doubt that it is Christ that is causing the first century Jews to stumble. In the two verses just prior to Pauls citiation of Isaiah he clearly sets the context.

“But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;” Romans 9:31-32

Israel was stumbling in their attempt to live by law, and they were stumbling because they had rejected Christ the stumbling stone. The stone that the builders rejected. So clearly the stone in this passage is Christ-the Who. He is also the judge, He is going to judge in the first century nation of Israel in Jerusalem. And finally he will judge because of Israel’s rejection of their messiah. This again shows a first century fulfillment of the Old Testament Isaiah passage of the Stone.

“Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.” Isaiah 28:16

This one is pretty easy to identify. In Acts chapter 4 we have Peter quoting this verse directly. After healing the lame man at the gate “Beautiful” in the temple, Peter and John were called before the Jewish leaders to explain themselves and they were told to stop preaching.

“Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:10-12

Peter in no uncertain terms states that this Jesus Christ of Nazareth…IS the stone which was set at naught of YOU builders, and that he has become the head of the corner…and from then on there will be NO OTHER NAME by which men must be saved. Peter does not give us the option to postpone this into the future. Peter is saying that this is a done deal. Christ is in fact (in the first century while Peter is still living) the rejected stone already laid as the foundation of the New Covenant church. We are not waiting for “Become” the stone, He is already the stone and fulfilled this prophecy in the days of the Apostles.

Peter is not the only Apostle to recognize this fulfillment. Paul as well indicates the the cornerstone, Jesus the Messiah has come and has set the foundation of the church, Himself being the “Chief Cornerstone”.

“And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:20

Again, Paul writes indicating that this is a done deal, a completed prophecy, not waiting for any other thing. It is here and now, and it was here than in the first century.

Lastly, Peter again makes it clear that this “Stone” is Christ Jesus and he has fulfilled all that was written in the Old Testament. In 1 Peter 1:10-12 Peter is declaring that those things that the prophets wrote were testimonies of Chist and that it is “Unto US” (the first century Apostles) that these things have been revealed., and now reported and preached in the gospel.

“Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.” 1 Peter 1:10-12

After Peter declares that these prophecies are coming to pass in his day as he is declaring the gospel he affirms in the next chapter the reality of the stone in the lives of believers.

“To whom coming, as unto a living STONE, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively STONES, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion A CHIEF CORNERSTONE stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the STONE which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a STONE of stumbling, and a ROCK of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.” 1 Peter 2:4-8

Here Peter really brings it all together. Jesus is that stone, the chief cornerstone, the stone of stumbling, etc. There is no part of the stone motif that is left unfulfilled. Jesus has completed all of the figures and types as the fulfillment of the stone.

One last passage to consider: Since Jesus is the first century once for all fulfillment of the prophetic stone passages found in the Old Testament, consider Daniel’s use of the Stone motif.

“Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.” Daniel 2:34-35

Here is the stone “Cut out without hands”, again this is pretty much universally recognized as the Messiah. He comes and he smites Nebuchadnezzar’s statue on the feet. Keep in mind that this statue by way of Daniels interpretations represents four kingdoms. They are: Babylon, Medes and Persians, Greece, and finally Rome. The stone strikes the statue at that place in the timeline of the statue that is Rome. There is no escaping the fact that this stone is the same messianic stone of Genesis 49, Psalm 118, and of Isaiah. All these stone references came to pass in the first century. When did Rome rule the known world? It was in the first century. This stone cut out without hands is crushing the empires of the world at the point in time that Rome is ruling…in the first century.

“Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.” Daniel 2:45

So, in the final analysis, we are partakers of the blessing of this stone today because all of the prophetic fulfillment of the stone motif was finished in the first century. We are not waiting for another stone. We are not waiting for a second stone. Christ has fulfilled all the types, shadows and pictures of the Stone. It is for us to but Speak to the ROCK and to eat and drink of the fullness of the blessings of our union with that stone, Jesus Christ.

“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: AND THAT ROCK WAS CHRIST.” 1 Corinthians 10:4

February 16, 2011


----How long is “A Little While”? Can “A Little Wile” be an “elastic” term that can mean any amount of time? Does the bible use the term “A Little While” with any consistency that we can at least allow scripture to interpret scripture? ...I think if we look at the uses in the New Testament we can gain some confidence in how to interpret and apply this elusive term.

“Then said Jesus unto them, Yet A LITTLE WHILE (μικρόν χρόνον) am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me.” John 7:33 μικρόν χρόνον (micron chronon)—Literally, A Little Time.

----Jesus was informing his disciples that he would only be with them, that is present with them for “A Little While”. We know that from this point in John it is months or maybe a little more than a year that this time frame refers to.

“Then Jesus said unto them, Yet A LITTLE WHILE (μικρόν χρόνον) is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.” John 12:35

----Here in John 12:35 Jesus was warning them that the time which they would have access to the “light” was short. Darkness was soon to overtake them. Here again, however, Jesus is speaking of his presence. His presence is light, and when he leaves the opportunity to behold “That” light would be gone. This little while is again a reference to Christ’s bodily presence on earth. From this passage it is a matter of days-even hours that this “Little While” would elapse.

“Little children, yet A LITTLE while (μικρόν) I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.” John 13:33

----This is similar to the previous two, it gives the disciples warning that Christ would not be with them for much longer. Only a “Little While” would he be with them.

“A LITTLE while (μικρόν), and ye shall not see me: and again, A LITTLE while (μικρόν), and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father. Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A LITTLE while (μικρόν), and ye shall not see me: and again, A LITTLE while (μικρόν), and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father? They said therefore, what is this that he saith, A LITTLE while (μικρόν)? We cannot tell what he saith. Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye inquire among yourselves of that I said, A LITTLE while (μικρόν), and ye shall not see me: and again, A LITTLE while (μικρόν), and ye shall see me?” John 16:16-19

----Here are two different “Little While’s”. Tthe first one is that Jesus would not be in the presence of his disciples but for a “Little While”. “A Little While” and they would NOT see Him. But then the next “A Little While”, they (ye) SHALL See me because I go to the Father. This brought no light confusion to the disciples. What??? We shall not see him, but then we shall see him? And they were baffled. But Jesus explains simply that He (Jesus) would be going back to His Father (in “A Little While). Then, in another “Little While” they would see him again at His return.

----Jesus uses the term “A Little While” to describe the time from His last evening prior to His departure to His (at the ascension). Then He uses it again to describe the time between his departure and his return. So from the last supper evening until His ascension would be, “A Little While”, and then from his ascension to His return would be “A Little While”.

“For yet a (very very) LITTLE while, (μικρόν όσον όσον) and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” Hebrews 10:37

----In Hebrews, the author modifies the micron (Little while) adding to it a repeated word, “Very Very”--μικρόν όσον όσον -- micron oson oson Here the greek is emphasizing the shortness of the time, but adding oson oson (very very) the repetition of the word adds emphasis to the shortness of the Very Very Little while in which the first century audience should have expected his coming. So the return of Christ cannot be 2000+ years after his ascension unless you can twist, distort, and warp the biblical language in order to stretch it that far. Truly the biblical authors knew nothing of “A Little While” meaning a very long period of time. In each case (at least) the phrase had its application to events that were to take place in the lifetime of the hearers and authors of those words.

December 16, 2010


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October 16, 2010


In Part one of "From The Old To The New" we left off looking at the seen and the unseen.

2 Cor 4:17-18 "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."

Here the transition is to faith..."look(ing) at the things which are NOT SEEN." How do we look upon that which is "NOT SEEN"? The only way to do that is by faith.

Again this is speaking of the contrast between the Old Covenant, Shadows, types, figures, etc., all which were seen. The temple, the priesthood, the sacrifice. These were constituent elements of the Old Covenant, ALL which could be seen. Paul says, do not look to those things, but look to the truth and reality of the New
Covenant that cannot be seen with the human eye, but MUST be seen by FAITH.

Paul gets to the concept of "FAITH" very soon in 2 Cor 5:7, (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

But before he gets there he says some very interesting things...

Starting chapter five of 2nd Corinthians, Paul continues his progression of his logical argument using the term "FOR". Continuing to build on what he has said prior, his use of this transitional term indicates that he is NOT changing topics but rather building on the already stated topic. This already stated topic is the transition from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant.

"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked." 2 Corinthians 5:1-3

Many theologians and preachers at this point find reason to change the topic from Covenant transition to the believers death. Funny, Paul does not mention the believers death here and the "FOR" clearly ties his allegory about the body to the topic of covenant transition.

For a more extensive look at the use of the term "Body" see my post from 4 April , 2008


Moving from the end of chapter 4 having stated that we look to those things that are NOT seen, and our focus is on the eternal New Covenant, Paul is not changing the topic. He is declaring, that Because of the focus on the unseen..."FOR"..."We will put off the earthly tabernacle, the building of God". The tabernacle here is not the believers physical body, but it is the Old Covenant tabernacle, temple, building of God that was going to pass away in 70 A.D. as a physical manifestation that the Old Covenant had completely passed away.

But we have a building from God. A house not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens. This is speaking of our New Covenant tabernacle which is Christ himself.

In the heavens:

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:" Ephesians 1:3

"Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places," Ephesians 3:20

"And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:" Ephesians 2:6

"To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God," Ephesians 3:10

Where are these heavenly places of which he speaks. It must be a place where we are sharing the presence of Christ right now. This is evident because the Apostle declares that both Christ and the believer are occupying that same place at the same time.

The Heavenly places Paul is speaking of is the place of the New Covenant, for where Christ (the master) is, there will his servant (the believer) be.

"But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;" Hebrews 9:11

"For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:" Hebrews 9:24

This is the same temple or city not made with hands that Abraham was looking for by faith.

By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Hebrews 11:8-10

For further reading on the typology of "The Body - The Building - The Bride - The Wife - The City - The Temple (or Tabernacle)" and how each of these literary pictures are all used to describe the church read my post from 12 June. 2010. Or just click on the link.


So here in 2 Corinthians 5 1-3 we find that Paul is building on the theme of the transition from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant...and he has not begun a new topic, but through his transitional phrases (FOR), he is continuing the same theme. This theme is highlighted elsewhere with Abraham and Christ in Hebrews.

To be continued...

October 11, 2010


To break a paradigm you must be willing to look at something from a different, maybe not so obvious, new perspective. In my bible study I try to do this as often as I can. I have found that a great deal of what I have heard from the pulpit in the last 30 years of listening to preachers has been a party line or a denominational position.

In trying to live a berean life and wanting to be able to hear God's spirit for myself, I have had to throw off much of the "Christian Party Line" and the denominational dogma.

Another passage that has confronted me lately in my paradigm shift is 2 Corinthians. After an extended introduction in chapters 1 and 2 Paul begins in Chapter 3 to highlight the superiority of the New Covenant over the Old Covenant.

2 Cor 3:3 "Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart."

Here contrasts the Old Covenant written in stone and the fulfillment of the prophecy of the New Covenant coming to pass by the Spirit of the living God writing the epistles of Christ (the teachings of Christ--the Law of Christ) on our fleshy tables of the heart.

2 Cor 3:4-7 "And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:"

Paul next declares our full sufficiency to be found in God, and then elaborates on the nature of the Old Covenant compared to the New. The "Letter", or "Ministration of Death", or that which is "Written and engraven in stone", brings about "DEATH".

But the "Spirit", or the New Covenant brings "LIFE". He declares the Old Covenant as possessing some form of "Glory", but that Glory was being done away with. The Glory of the New Covenant was however superior to that of the old.

2 Cor 3:8-11 "How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious."

Here we see that the Old Covenant was being done away with in Paul's day and the New Covenant was to remain. The New Covenant is referred to in Hebrews as an "Everlasting Covenant".

Hebrews 13 20 "Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,"

2 Cor 4:1 "Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;"

Here in 2 Corinthians 4 Paul begins a series of logical arguments based on this covenantal transition in chapter 3. He uses terms like "Therefore", "Wherefore", and "For" All purpose clauses intended to point us back to the previous point of the argument for substantiation, but all of them finding their root and context in the covenantal change that Chapter 3 reveals.

Let's follow this logic trail of Paul's.

"Therefore seeing we have this ministry...: What ministry Paul? It is the ministry of the New Covenant.

Since we are now ministers of a New Covenant we "have received mercy", "we faint not", "But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God." 2 Cor 4:1-2. In verse 3 we have not "hid the gospel", but others have blinded the minds of those who do not believe (The New Covenant).

2 Cor 4:5 "For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake." At the center of this New Covenant Gospel is Christ.

2 Cor 4:6 "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

In the New Covenant, it is God who commands the light (the truth of the New Covenant) to shine in our hearts by way of Jesus Christ.

2 Cor 4:6 "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us."

Having this treasure of the New Covenant in Earthen vessels allows the praise to go to God, but in verse 7 we see that those in the first century who participated in the transition from the Old to the New will be misunderstood and persecuted because of this New Covenant.

"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body." 2 Cor 4:8-10

2 Cor 4:11-14 "For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you."

So the New Covenant will bring persecution that will lead to death, but Paul encourages those who will be faced with that death to recognize that their death will result in the bringing of life to others, just as the death of Jesus resulted in resurrection. This is following the pattern of putting away the Old Covenant of DEATH in favor of the New Covenant of LIFE.

2 Cor 4:15 "For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God." This suffering and possible death results in the grace of God toward those ministering the New Covenant, and ultimately gratitude.

2 Cor 4:16 "For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day." Because Grace is promised the ministers of the New Covenant can move forward without fainting, knowing that the New Man of the New Covenant will be renewed day by day.

2 Cor 4:17-18 "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." Here the transition is to faith..."look(ing) at the things which are NOT SEEN." How do we look upon that which is "NOT SEEN"?? The only way to do that is by faith.

Again this is speaking of the contrast between the Old Covenant, Shadows, types, figures, etc., all which were seen. The temple, the priesthood, the sacrifice. These were constituent elements of the Old Covenant, ALL which could be seen. Paul says, do not look to those things, but look to the truth and reality of the New Covenant that cannot be seen with the human eye, but MUST be seen by FAITH.

Paul gets to the concept of "FAITH" very soon in 2 Cor 5:7, (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

But before he gets there he says some very interesting things...

To be continued.