I am again reaping the benefits of editing together all the assignments for my group for our commentary (see this post for some more team insight). I was editing the latest research from Sarah-Beth, a woman who lives, eats, and breathes the Word. The girl thinks in cross-references — I hope to know the Word half as well as she does one day.
I had poked around at 2 Corinthians 11 a bit myself, but hadn’t really gotten too emotionally involved in it. Paul was counteracting the claims of false apostles. Okay. Check that lesson off the list. False apostles bad. Gospel good. I don’t know any false apostles, therefore I’m not connecting with the relevance to my personal life. Leave it to Sarah-Beth to take it straight to the end times.
I was in a bit of a hurry when I first got the email from her with the latest research she had done. She had been incredibly thorough and had a lot of good information, so I unfortunately had to skim through her notes due to my time restraints at the moment. But she had written a sentence that really grabbed my attention. “This warning set forth in 2 Corinthians will be of utmost importance before the conclusion of this age.”
I stopped and blinked. Really? Was she reading the same 2 Corinthians 11 I was? I had to pack up my computer for the moment, but the phrase nagged at me until I was able to go back and study it out.
Where my methodical, line-by-line brain recognized the historical content of the passage, Sarah-Beth, while acknowledging the history of the passage, also connected it to the ultimate false ministers at the end of the age — the Antichrist and false prophet. They will have the same sort of self-promoting pride that Paul had to combat in the false apostles of his day. They will be preaching a different gospel and a different Christ than the apostolic witness. The parallels are unbelievably blatant in the passage — and were I not blessed to be with such an amazing team of budding Bible scholars, I would have breezed right past it.
It really caused me to marvel again at the eternal value of the Word of God. His Word truly does stand forever (Isa 40:8). And there is truly nothing new under the sun — the enemy really doesn’t have any creative ideas between Paul’s day and the end of the age (Ecc 1:9). Just as Paul was equipped in his day to wage holy warfare against the deceptive ideas of the false teachers (2Cor 10:4-5), I believe that the Bride of Christ will be able to stand in spiritual might in the last days of this age and speak the truth that is powerful enough to radiate the glory of God in the midst of the darkest and most deceptive hour of history.
So to sum it up: God’s Word is eternally true and practical. The Lord absolutely knows what He’s doing at the end of the age. And Sarah-Beth is a genius.