II Timothy 1 Part 3

New King James Version 8. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,

In light of the spirit of power, love, and a sound mind that we have been given, Paul now urges Timothy to not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord. We might, indeed, have plenty of opportunity to be ashamed. In a world that is increasingly hostile to all things having to do with God and morality, testifying to such things seems increasingly shameful to many. Moreover, when it comes to the Christian world, if we truly testify of the truth for today that God is not working through a religion but through individual faith in and identification with Jesus Christ, we will also find that we can suffer much difficulty. Many people are very attached to their religion, whether it is their religious rituals or their religious works. To question these will lead to anger and rejection. Read the rest of this entry »

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II Timothy 1 Part 2

New King James Version 4. greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy,

Paul now expresses to Timothy his great desire to see him. He wants to do this particularly because he is mindful of Timothy’s tears. Timothy has undergone a great sorrow since the last time Paul saw him. I believe this sorrow had to do with the rejection of Paul in Asia, which Timothy was there to witness. Of course, as Paul was rejected, Timothy Paul’s representative was also rejected and experienced that rejection first hand. Also, since Paul represented the Lord Jesus, He was rejected as well by those in Asia, though they doubtless never would have admitted it. Yet Paul knew that Timothy had experienced this great sorrow, and so this inspired him to want to see him. Read the rest of this entry »

II Timothy 1

New King James Version 1. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,

The Resultant Version 1. Paul, a commissioned one of Jesus Christ through the will of God, in harmony with the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,

The book of II Timothy, like all of Paul’s books, starts off with the author’s name. We believe that this was because letters were written on scrolls at the time, and one would not want to roll the scroll all the way to the end to see who the author was before reading. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Genesis 31:34 Now Rachel had taken the household idols, put them in the camel’s saddle, and sat on them. And Laban searched all about the tent but did not find them. Why would Laban have idols in his home in the first place and why then would Rachel want them? Do we see her again with these idols?

It is fairly clear from this passage that Laban was an idolator, worshiping gods other than the LORD. He speaks of the LORD Jehovah in Genesis 30:27, but says that he learned from divination that the LORD was blessing him because of Jacob! And divination is a questionable practice for sure. When God met him when he was chasing Jacob in order to warn him not to speak to him good or bad (he was probably planning bad!), He meets him by His name ‘Elohim, rather than Jehovah, the name He uses for those He is in relationship with. Laban mentions Jehovah again in setting up the witness heap with Jacob, but he seems to do it as much because he was Jacob’s God than his own. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Genesis 32:1. So Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 2. When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is God’s camp.” And he called the name of that place Mahanaim. Why and who are these angles that meet with Jacob on his way back home to Esau?

This is indeed a great question, and it is a mysterious reference indeed. One would think that Jacob running into a camp full of God’s angels would color the story that follows a lot more than it appears to do! Yet after mentioning this camp of angels in the first two verses, we never hear of them again. What we do hear of again is a Man, clearly Jesus Christ in a pre-incarnate form, I believe, who wrestled with Jacob all night. This Man probably came out from the camp of angels, though we do not know that for sure. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Romans 11:26, “And so all Israel will be saved.” Are all the Jews going to be saved in the end?

At issue here is the meaning of “all Israel.” If we take this to mean every last individual Israelite, then we have universalism, at least as far as Israelites are concerned. But is that really the teaching of Scripture? Judas, for example, was an Israelite, and consider what is said of him in Mark 14:21, “The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had never been born.” If Judas will ultimately be saved, then of course it was far better for him to have been born. This shows us that Judas’ ultimate fate is NOT salvation, and therefore all Israelites clearly are NOT going to be saved. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question/comment:

I think I finally discovered why certain denominations say that the soul is immortal. They get it from the word “Image” found in the Bible where God tells Jesus and the Holy Spirit “Let us make man in our image” they say that because we are made in God’s image that man is eternal because God is eternal.

Do you have a way to really check the word Image in the Hebrew and Greek?

I think the biggest reason denominations say that the soul is immortal is that is their traditional, orthodox belief. The Bible is made to fit the belief, and not the other way around. In ancient times, the Catholic Church made a concerted effort to incorporate Greek philosophy into Christian doctrine, and the Platonic idea of the immortality of the soul came in with it.

The “image” argument is one that modern traditionalist teachers use. The problem here is that it ignores the fact that, while Adam may have been created not to die like God does not die, he was warned that he would die if he ate of the forbidden fruit. Since he did eat of the forbidden fruit, the fact that he, unlike God, was going to die was at that point assured. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Several months ago I asked you why you referred to Samaria being taken captive to Assyria when in reality it was Israel, the northern kingdom which was taken as hostage. SAMARIA was being constantly invaded, occupied and mixed with non-Jews of other several nations. Am I wrong or am I missing something you might have said in another CD I haven’t yet listen to?

Samaria was the capital of the northern kingdom of the nation of Israel. While part of the nation was taken into captivity earlier, including the land east of the Jordan River, when the capital fell the nation as a whole was conquered and taken into captivity. We would count, for example, that the southern kingdom of Judah was destroyed and taken into captivity when Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians. The same was true when Samaria fell to the Assyrians. The same is true in the United States: if Washington, D.C. were to fall, the United States would have fallen.

Thus my reference to Samaria being taken into captivity was using Samaria for the whole nation. The nation was taken captive when their capital was taken captive. The two went together.

I received the following question:

What are your views toward the state of the dead?

I suppose you know very well that the view that most Christians hold is that upon the moment of death one’s immortal soul travels either to a place called Heaven or a place called Hell and remains there being tormented or blessed for all of eternity. When it comes right down to Bible passages they have to wobble on this a little bit since it becomes clear that this simplistic viewpoint can’t explain all that the Bible says about life after death, but that is their basic viewpoint, if you want to get right down to the bottom line of it. Read the rest of this entry »

We have already studied through one letter of Paul to Timothy in our study of I Timothy. Therefore, we have already considered the man Timothy and who and what this young man was to whom Paul wrote these two letters. Timothy was a young man whom Paul chose to be the young assistant to himself and Silas when he started on his second apostolic journey. Timothy was probably in his mid-teens at the time, and he quickly rose in Paul’s estimation until he was sending him as his representative and to act on his behalf even before Timothy was out of his teen years. When we consider that this young man was acting as God’s representative to men some of whom might have been four times his age, we can see that great trust was placed in Timothy both by Paul and by God. Read the rest of this entry »