Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of II Corinthians Chapter 12
Metaphysically Interpreting II Corinthians 12:1-10
12:1I must needs glory, though it is not expedient; but I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. 12:2I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I know not; or whether out of the body, I know not; God knoweth), such a one caught up even to the third heaven. 12:3And I know such a man (whether in the body, or apart from the body, I know not; God knoweth), 12:4how that he was caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 12:5On behalf of such a one will I glory: but on mine own behalf I will not glory, save in my weaknesses. 12:6For if I should desire to glory, I shall not be foolish; for I shall speak the truth: but I forbear, lest any man should account of me above that which he seeth me to be, or heareth from me. 12:7And by reason of the exceeding greatness of the revelations, that I should not be exalted overmuch, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, that I should not be exalted overmuch. 12:8Concerning this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 12:9And he hath said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 12:10Wherefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
April 25, 1918: II Cor. 12:1-10
Ministers of the orthodox churches in this day preach often of Paul's conversion, and lay special stress upon his obedience to the heavenly vision, yet if a member of any of these congregations should arise in prayer meeting and relate such an experience, he would be sung[?] down or ejected from the church. Such things are not “good form,” and those who have heavenly visions are considered crack-brained.
But Paul did have visions, and he was not timid in relating them. When Jesus stood by him in the dreams of the night and told him not to be afraid but to go on to Rome, Paul boldly told about it.
When he was “caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words,” he did not hesitate to relate the experience, regardless of the incredulity and ridicule that was sure to follow by those who had no knowledge of the spiritual kingdom.
There is a kingdom, interpenetrating the world in which we live, inhabited by Christ and the “saints in glory,” which in “Ben Hur” is described is “finer than beaten gold.” This is the “heaven” of Jesus and “Paradise” of Paul. When the superconscious or spiritual part of man's mind is lighted by the higher understanding, he finds his head and heart in heaven, although his body may be in the earth.
One day in passing a neighbor's house, on the porch of which sat a good Quaker over ninety years of age, a flippant youth exclaimed, “Hello, Uncle! I thought you were dead and in heaven years ago.” The saintly man replied, “Son, I have been in heaven over forty years.” It is not by dying but by living the heavenly life that we go to heaven. “But I tell you of a truth, There be some of them that stand here, which shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.”
– UNITY magazine.
December 17, 1950: II Cor. 12:8-10
Are sympathy and compassion always desirable? Only when they partake of the divine power of the Christ, which touches a problem and dissolves it or brings peace to replace stress and tension.
What does the power that is “made perfect in weakness” do for its possessor? It renews the inner forces and faculties, enabling its possessor to endure calmly for the time what he is unable to remove immediately.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 12-01-2013