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II Timothy 4 Part 6

New King James Version 17. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

When all men forsook Paul, the Lord stood with him. He did not abandon His faithful apostle when all men turned away. Paul was teaching what He wanted him to teach, and so the Lord strengthened him to make his defense. The Lord had a goal for Paul and He would not allow him to be stopped short of reaching that goal: that through Paul the proclamation might be accomplished. We are not sure all that this entailed, but we do know that, at this first defense, Paul still had II Timothy to write. The Lord was not going to allow him to be stopped short prior to finishing this great task. This task was important so that all the nations might hear Paul’s proclamation. This was being proclaimed to them, and it was the Lord’s will that it get through to them, as Paul stated in Acts 28:28.

The Lord was with Paul to the end. We are reminded of Stephen, standing before the outraged Sanhedrin who were about to stone him. Gazing up into heaven, he saw the glory of God, even Jesus standing on the rights of God, and he said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing on the rights of God!” (Acts 7:56) Stephen was about to die, but the Lord was there, watching and encouraging him. Paul knew the Lord stood with him as well, even though all men had abandoned him. May we realize that He stands with us too at our moment of trial. He is faithful above all, and we know He will be there to welcome us back to life when the time comes for our resurrection. Praise the Lord that He does indeed stand with us! Read the rest of this entry »

II Timothy 4 Part 5

New King James Version 13. Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come—and the books, especially the parchments.

Next Paul mentions a cloak he left with Carpus at Troas. A cloak is something warm for the winter. Probably summer is getting on, and Paul knows he can use his cloak in the coming winter. Yet why is this statement here? Why was it important for this minor detail to be in the Word of God? Some have actually argued against the inspiration of Scripture based on this, claiming that such an insignificant statement shows II Timothy to be a merely human document! Yet I reject such an idea utterly. I think the Lord wrote this like He did all Scripture, and there is a lesson in it: that God cares for the needs of His people. He wants Paul to be warm in the wintertime. He cares for people, even in the little comforts we enjoy and need like a warm cloak in the winter. This is a good thing to know about our God. His tenderness is revealed in it. He cares for us.

This also shows us that Paul is not expecting to be executed at any moment. Why would Paul worry about warm clothes, if he was about to lose his head to a Roman executioner? This makes no sense. Paul’s preparations for winter show us that he is not expecting to die at any moment. It is his ministry, given to him by God, that is drawing to a close. His life may continue for some time yet. Once again we see evidence that his persecution was on the part of believers who were rejecting the truths he was teaching, not on the part of Rome.

This is our only mention of Carpus. The name Karpos in Greek means “Fruit.” This person is probably a fellow believer, since Paul entrusted some of his things into his care. Probably the winter was over when he left Karpos, and so he did not need the cloak. Now, as winter is again coming on, he will need it. Read the rest of this entry »

II Timothy 4 Part 4

New King James Version 9. Be diligent to come to me quickly;

Now Paul charges Timothy to be diligent to come quickly or speedily. The word for “be diligent” is spoudazo, the same word used in II Timothy 2:15 wherein Paul told Timothy to “study” or apply himself diligently to show himself approved unto God as a workman. In this case, the diligent work Paul wants him to do simply has to do with him coming to Paul quickly.

As we have seen earlier in the epistle, Timothy has completed his work in Ephesus completely unsuccessfully. The believers in Ephesus want nothing to do with him really, and so he has little work left there to do or that he even can do. Therefore Paul calls on him to be diligent to hurry and to come to him speedily. He wants to see Timothy now, and he wants Timothy with him. Read the rest of this entry »

II Timothy 4 Part 3

New King James Version 6. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.

The Resultant Version 6. For I am now ready to be poured out, and the time of my being untied is at hand.

Paul now states that he is already being poured out as a drink offering. One of the offerings in the temple was the drink offering, and this offering was always poured out. First and foremost, it was part of the morning and evening daily offerings, as set forth in Exodus 29:38-41. Read the rest of this entry »

II Timothy 4 Part 2

New King James Version 2. Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

The Resultant Version 2. Herald the Word! Be instant in doing this whether it is the opportune time or the inopportune time. Enlighten, rebuke, exhort, with all patience and teaching.

This at last is the charge Paul was making to Timothy from the last verse. Remember, he was charging him before God, even the Lord Jesus Christ, Who will make a determination regarding the living and the dead at His blazing forth even His kingdom. Before Him, then, Paul charges Timothy to herald the Word. Heralding is not the same as preaching. A preacher uses some text in Scripture and then tries to fire up the troops to go out and live in certain ways based on that passage. He often uses his own words, ideas, and thoughts to inspire people with what he says. Yet this is not what Timothy was told to do with the word. He was not to use it as one of his sources for writing an inspiring sermon. Instead, he was merely to herald it. He was to repeat what God said, interpret what God said, and explain what God said. Yet he was not to give his own message or promote his own thoughts. He was to be a herald. He was not to add to the message with ideas of his own.

Moreover Timothy is to stand ready to do this both in a favorable season and in an unfavorable season. He is not to speak boldly only if people are willing and eager to hear what he has to say. If this is his motivation, he is likely to give up when he finds that people are not ready and willing to hear the Word. This, sadly, all too often happens. Read the rest of this entry »

II Timothy 4

New King James Version 1. I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:

The Resultant Version 1. I charge you therefore before God, even the Lord Jesus Christ, Who shall make a determination (or “determine what is right”) concerning the living and the dead in harmony with His blazing forth, even His kingdom.

Paul now gives Timothy a charge. However, we have to ask ourselves: is this charge before two people, God and the Lord Jesus Christ, or is it before a single Being? An examination of the Greek should clear this up for us. The word translated “and” in the New King James Version is the Greek kai. The Greek word kai was used in ways our English word “and” generally is not. It was often used between two words that mean the same thing. This may be called the “kai appositional principle,” when kai defines the previous word by attaching a second word that clarifies the meaning of both. In other words, instead of joining two separate things, kai can be used between two words that mean the same thing.

In many places, our translators recognize this aspect of the word kai. For example, in Romans 15:6 this meaning is clear. Read the rest of this entry »

II Timothy 3 Part 4

New King James Version 16. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

The Resultant Version 16. All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for teaching, for evidence, for correction, and for discipline in righteousness;

Now Paul makes a great and crucial statement about the Scriptures. When we realize that this was the last book of the Bible written chronologically, we realize that this is God putting His final stamp of approval on this Book. It is Him proclaiming His Own evaluation of His Word and the worth of it. We should pay attention to what He says, for whether or not to believe this is true is one of the most crucial choices we can make in our lives.

He speaks of “all Scripture.” This is not “every Scripture,” as some have tried to make it in order to make out that there are certain parts of the Bible that are in mind, but that other parts might be less Scripture and less accurate. No, this is the Greek word pasa, which means “all” and speaks of all Scripture. The Bible in Its entirety is true here. This is not truer of Matthew than it is of John, or truer of Romans than it is of Numbers. This is true of the entire Bible. Not one book, not one chapter, not one word is left out. Read the rest of this entry »

II Timothy 3 Part 3

New King James Version 10. But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance,

The Resultant Version 10. But you have fully known my teaching, my manner of life, my purpose, my faith, my forbearance, my love, my patience,

Though men in the last days might have the kind of character described in the first nine verses of the chapter, Paul does not. Remember that we have already learned that there were many in Ephesus who were rejecting the truth. Some of these were doubtless slandering Paul’s character, even to Timothy himself. They no doubt tried to get across the idea that Paul’s dispensation of grace teaching after Acts 28:28 was corrupted somehow, that Paul had gone off the deep end, that he had gone contrary to the truth, and that he and his new teaching could not be trusted. They probably approached Timothy with accusations along these lines.

Yet Paul reminds Timothy that he knows the truth. He cannot be deceived regarding these things. Timothy has been with Paul, both in the Acts period and afterward. He co-wrote some of those dispensation of grace books with Paul that his detractors took such exception to. He knew that this was the truth of God, not a deception worked by Paul or worked on Paul. No, Timothy knew these things. He knew Paul’s teaching. The word is didaskalia, and here no doubt means not just what he taught but from Whom he had this teaching. He knew Paul’s manner of life. This is one Greek word agoge which occurs only here. It is related to ago, meaning leading, and has to do with what one has been taught and led to believe and do, an upbringing, and therefore a resulting manner of life. Paul did have a manner of life he lived, and that manner of life had been taught to him by the most trustworthy of all sources: the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Read the rest of this entry »

II Timothy 3 Part 2

New King James Version 4. traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,

The Resultant Version 4. Traitors, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God;

Symptom 16. Traitors. This word may be understood when we realize that it is used to describe Judas Iscariot in Luke 6:16, “Judas Iscariot who also became a traitor.” Stephan also uses it of the Sanhedrin in their actions towards Christ in Acts 7:52, “Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers.” The word prodotes or “traitors” has reference to all those who would betray the Lord, His Word, and His work. Read the rest of this entry »

II Timothy 3

New King James Version 1. But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:

The Resultant Version 1. Be aware of this also that in the concluding days dangerously violent times shall come.

The Holy Spirit through Paul now goes on to speak to us of something that will take place in the last days. The word “last” here is the Greek word eschatos. This word does not necessarily mean the last one, as I might speak of my “last dollar.” We can see this clearly from the use of eschatos in Matthew 12:45.

45. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.

The Lord Jesus is speaking here of a man who had an evil spirit cast out of him. However, nothing has been brought in to take the spirit’s place, and so when it tires of wandering without a home and returns to the man, it finds its old home ready for it. Upon finding this happy condition of its old home, it goes to gather seven other spirits and then to return and enter the man with them. That is what results in the sad condition of the man the Lord mentions here. Read the rest of this entry »