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A Heavenly Experience (16 of 19)
Series: THE BOOK OF II CORINTHIANS
II Corinthians 12:1-10
August 24, 2005
1. In this chapter, Paul continues to defend himself against those who sought to discredit him as an apostle. Remember, some were accusing him of preaching for financial gain and of attempting to promote himself. This is why he is defending himself: In (11:5), he said, For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.
a. Then in (11:7-9), he addresses the money issue:
Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?  I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service.  And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.
2. Chapter 12 is a continuation of his defense. Here he demonstrates his apostolic superiority and seeks to validate God's calling on his life by sharing his heavenly experience.
a. Though he is speaking in the third person, there is no doubt, he is referring to himself. In (vs. 6a), he states; "For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool."
3. Let me give you three things:
I. His Experience In Heaven
II. His Thorn In the Flesh
III. His Attitude In Suffering
I. HIS EXPERIENCE IN HEAVEN (VV. 1-6)
A. Paul's Translation
1. In (vs. 2b), he said that he knew a man some 14 years ago, who had been caught up to the third heaven.
a. The first heaven is our atmosphere, the second heaven contains the galaxies--the stars, the sun and the moon; the third heaven is where God is located--seated on His throne. Psalm 103:19, The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.
2. Paul states that he didn ...
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