“I Will Cut Off”

“As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this glorying in the regions of Achaia. Wherefore? Because I love you not? God knoweth. But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them that desire an occasion that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, fashioning themselves into apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for even Satan fashioneth himself into an angel of light. It is no great thing therefore if his ministers also fashion themselves as ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Cor. 11:10-15).

When Paul speaks of his glorying in the region of Achaia which “no man” would stop him from; the immediate context before his words relate how that he took nothing from the Corinthian brethren for his labors with them, although there was a time when he was present with them and in want (v. 9). His need had been supplied from brethren from Macedonia. His unwillingness to ask and receive help from them was not because he had no love for them. God knew he did.

He states that what he was doing was to “cut off” an occasion from those who desired an occasion — that is these critics in Corinth were his fiercest and severest critics: they were searching for something — anything — that they might criticize Paul.

This “hunting for a speck or mote” is evident from the charges they apparently laid against Paul. Why would he not take the Corinthians’ support? He didn’t love them? He knew he was not really an apostle and had no right to their support? Either charge was empty and hollow and they manifest how flimsy such charges were. Is that the best they could offer?

Paul would not let go of this glorying — of serving and sacrificing for them, taking nothing of them that, in addition to the true reason why he would not accept their help (“The children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children,” 12:14), he would make all things equal. Let his critics serve as he served. Let them refuse the help of the Corinthians as he had done. Nothing would show more clearly the true colors of those who maligned him in Corinth.

Paul unmasks their real nature to his and their brethren. These men were not apostles at all yet they snipped and snapped away at him who truly was. Christ had not sent them. Their claims were false. They were deceitful workers who were not interested in the Corinthians’ well-being: it was their own selves whose interests they sought. And brethren at Corinth should not have surprised at their behavior: “Satan fashioneth himself into an angel of light”!

Grandiose are the claims of the wicked one. How boldly and confidently did he call God a liar when he told Eve she would not die if she ate of the forbidden fruit. He charged God with uttering such a warning to keep Adam and Eve from becoming like God (Gen. 3:4-5)! He still is as a roaring lion, walking about seeking whom he may devour. And how sad that the majority of the world should be deceived by his claims.

So, his ministers follow his bold actions and rail against the Most High One. They laugh at believers, railing against them and despairingly assess them to be ignoramuses and simpletons. Believers in the Lord must not be moved by such ridicule and sarcasm. God has prepared a place for the devil and his angels (Mt. 25:41). Paul warned the Corinthians that those of Satan’s helpers in their midst would be rewarding for their works. The fate of wicked and evil men of today has not changed one iota.

Jim McDonald