I Timothy 4



v. 1“the Spirit speaketh expressly” -  (rJhtw~v); only

here in the New Testament, and very rare in classical Greek. But the

adjective rJhto>v, in the sense of something “laid down,” “definite....

expressly mentioned,” is common. It was, doubtless, on account of these

prophetic warnings of a falling away from the faith, that the apostle gave

the preceding heads of Christian doctrine in such a terse and tangible form,

and laid such a solemn charge upon Timothy.  shall fall away (ajposthsontai) –

[apostasy) - So St. Paul says (2 Thessalonians 2:3) that the day of Christ will not be,

except the falling away (hJ ajpostasi>a) come first” (comp. Hebrews 3:12) –

the faith; objective (see 1 Timothy 3:9 and 16). This “falling away” is to take

place ejn uJste>roiv kairoi~v; not, as in the R.V., in “later times,” but as in the

A.V., “the latter times.” - u[sterov - hoos’-ter-os; - means “the last,” as opposed

to “the first” - “giving heed (prose>contev) pros-ekh’-ontes - to seducing spirits” –

(pneu>masi pla>noiv). Such were the “lying spirits” who deceived (hjpa>thsan)

Ahab to his destruction (2 Kings 22:22). Pla>nov, seducing, is not elsewhere found

in the New Testament as an adjective.   The idea is “causing to wander,” or “go

astray.”  John warns his people against such deceiving spirits (John 4:1-6). He calls

them generically pneu>ma th~v pla>nhv, “the spirit of error.Doctrines of devils

(daimoni>wndemons – incorrectly translated devils) - i.e. teachings suggested by devils. 

(Naturalism, Darwinism, Marxism, Freudism, Hedonism, Realism, Pragmatism,

Pseudo-psychology – [THESE ARE PHILOSOPHIES – NOT

SCIENCES] any of the modern “isms” that are johnny-come-latelies which

attempt to contradict Divine Revelation in the Bible and has led many in the world

and America astray – “caveat emptor” – “let the buyer beware” – CY - 2009)


v. 2 – “Speaking lies in hypocrisy” - The construction is rather obscure, as the

most obvious way of construing is that of the A.V., where yeudo>logwn –-

speaking lies”must agree with daimoni>wn – “demons”  -  But

then the clause, “having their conscience seared with a hot iron,” does not

suit “demons” -  It is therefore, perhaps, best to translate the clause as the

R.V. does, and to explain, with Bishop Ellicott, that the preposition ejn,

which precedes uJpokri>sei, (hypocrisy) defines the instrument by which they

were led to give heed to seducing spirits, viz. the hypocritical pretenses of the

men who spake lies, and whose consciences were seared (modern playrights,

college professors, movie directors, etc. and any of the general populace

“who love to have it so” – Jeremiah 5:31 – CY – 2009). If yeudolo>gwn

agrees with daimoni>wn, we must conceive that St. Paul passes insensibly

fromthe devils” to the false teachers who spake as they taught them. In

the Gospels, the speech of the devils, and of those possessed by devils, is

often interchanged, as e.g. Luke 4:33-34, 41; Mark 1:23-24.

Men that speak lies (yeudolo>gw); only found here in the New

Testament, but occasionally in classical Greek. Branded

(kekauthriasme>nwn); here only in the New Testament, but used in

Greek medical and other writers for to brand,” or cauterize;” kauth>r

and kauth>rion, a branding-iron. The application of the image is

somewhat uncertain. If the idea is that of “a brand,” a mark burnt in upon

the forehead of a slave or criminal, then the meaning is that these men have

their own infamy stamped upon their own consciences. It is not patent only

to others, but to themselves also. But if the metaphor is from the

cauterizing a wound, as the A.V. takes it, then the idea is that these men’s

consciences are become as insensible to the touch as the skin that has been

cauterized is. The metaphor, in this case, is somewhat similar to that of

pwro>w pw>rwsiv(porosis – denoting a hardening, a covering with a porov -

a kind of stone, indicating a process and is used metaphorically of dulled

spiritual perception)  Mark 3:5; 6:52; John 12:40, etc.). The latter

interpretation seems to suit the general context best, and the medical use of

the term, which St. Paul might have learnt from Luke. The emphasis of

th~v ijdi>av, - “their own conscience,” implies that they were not merely

deceivers of others, but were self-deceived.


v. 3 – “Forbidding to marry” – (these FALSE TEACHERS and THEIR

MODERN COUNTERPARTS and those “who love to have it so” – Jeremiah

5:31 - are to blame for the current dismal condition of the family in the world –

 illegitimacy,shacking up”, “living together arrangement”, out of wed-lock


partners, LESBIANISM,  divorce, incontinency (ajkratei~v akratees

denotes want of power, want of self-control – Webster’s Dictionary’s first

definition is:  the failure to restrain sexual appetite - [see II Timothy 3:3] –

a sign of the “last days” - MAN DOES NOT HAVE THE RESOLVE TO

DEAL WITH THIS BUT GOD DOES AND WILL!  God asks in that same

verse mentioned above from Jeremiah “and what will ye do in the end thereof?”

CY – 2009)


commanding to abstain from meats (vegetarianism??), which God

hath created to be received with thanksgiving -Observe the identity of

thought with Romans 14:6. These passages, together with our Lord’s action at

the last Supper (Luke 22:17-20), at the multiplication of the loaves

and fishes (Luke 9:16), and St. Paul’s on board ship (Acts 27:35),

are conclusive as to the Christian duty of giving thanks, commonly called

saying grace” at meals.


of them which believe and know the truth (as it is in Jesus –

 Ephesians 4:21)



v. 6 – “a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words

of faith and of good doctrine (in opposition to the “doctrines of devils”

in v. 1)


which thou hast attained” – (“which thou hast followed until now” -  

h+| parhkolouqh>kav). This is a rather more faithful rendering than that of

the A.V.; it is, literally, which thou hast kept close to, either for the

purpose of imitating it, or, as 2 Timothy 3:10, for the purpose of

observing it. Or, to put it differently, in one case so as to teach it

identically, and in the other so as to know it perfectly. In this last aspect it

is also used inLuke 1:3. The classical use is “to follow closely any

one’s steps,” or “the course of events,” when used literally; or,

metaphorically, “to follow with one’s thoughts,” “to understand.”


vs. 7-8 – “exercise thyself unto godliness…bodily exercise profiteth

little” - the metaphors are drawn from training for gymnastic



promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” – the

thing promised is “the life that now is”, meaning, of course, its

enjoyment in peace an happiness!  compare Psalm 34:12, 16:11.




v. 10 – “we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust

            in the Living God, who is the Savior of all men”


Paul suffered bitter reproaches and persecutions because of

his firm trust in the promises of the Living God!  (see I Corinthians

4:9-13, II Corinthians 11:23-27)


v. 12 – “be thou an example of the believers (a “pattern” or “model”) in:


  • “word” - teaching
  • “conversation” – manner of life - behavior
  • “love”
  • “spirit”
  • “faith”
  • “purity” – moral cleanliness, chaste, sexually pure


Timothy is exhorted to make it impossible for any one to question

his authority on the score of his youth by being a model of the

Christian graces required in believers.








Paul gave Titus similar advice – “speak thou the things which

become sound doctrine…..in all things showing thyself a pattern

of good works:  in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity,

sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that

is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say

of you” – (Titus 2:1,7-8)


v. 13 – “give attendance” or heed to:


  • “reading” – public and private reading and study of Scripture
  • “exhortation” – a calling to one’s side, an appeal, entreaty, comfort
  • “doctrine” – teaching


v. 14 – “Neglect not the gift (ca>risma - charisma) that is in thee” The verb

cari>zomai means “to give anything freely,” gratuitously, of mere good will,

without any payment or return (Luke 7:42; Acts 27:24; Romans 8:32;

1 Corinthians 2:12). Hence ca>risma came to be especially applied to

the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which are preeminently “free gifts” (see Acts 8:20).

It is so applied in Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 1:7; 12:4-12, 28, 30-31;

1 Peter 4:10.


This gift St. Paul bids him “not neglect” (mh< ajme>lei – carelessness, make

light of). The word contains the idea of contemptuous neglect — neglect as of

an unimportant thing.  In Matthew 22:5 the persons invited to the feast

made light of it, and went away to other things which they cared more



which was given thee by prophecy” - This seems to be explained by

Acts 13:1-3, where Barnabas and Saul were separated for their work by the

laying on of the hands apparently of the prophets and teachers, at the express

command of the Holy Ghost, speaking doubtless by the mouth of one of the

prophets. Timothy, it appears, was designated for his work by a like command

of the Holy Ghost, speaking by one of the Church prophets, and received his

commission by a like laying on of hands” by the elders of the Church. If

St. Paul refers, as he appears to do, to the same occasion in 2 Timothy 1:6,

then it appears that he laid his hands on Timothy, together with the presbyters,

as is done by the bishop in the ordination of priests.  Timothy is reminded that in

his ordination he received a great ca>risma, and that he must value it duly,

and use it diligently. It must not be let lie slumbering and smoldering, but

must be stirred up into a flame. The lesson here and in 2 Timothy 1:6

seems to be that we must look back to our ordination, and to the spiritual

grace given in it, as things not exhausted. The grace is there, but it must

not be lightly thought of.  (You and I may not be ordained, but God has

called us to be a part of this world and to do our part, we also, must not

neglect the gift given us – may we utilize the grace given us by the

Holy Spirit and not lightly think of, or neglect, our gift! – CY – 2009)


v. 15 - Be diligent in for meditate upon, A.V.; progress for profiting,

A.V.; be manifest unto for appear to, A.V. “Be diligent” -  (au~ta

mele>ta). Give all your attention and care and study to these things. It is

just the contrary to mh< ajme>lei in v. 14. The verb meleta>w, besides this

passage, occurs in its classical sense of “premeditating” or “getting up a

speech,” in Mark 13:11 (where, however, the reading is doubtful), and

again in Acts 4:25, in the sense of “premeditating” certain actions. A

kindred use in classical Greek is “to practice” or “exercise” an art, as

rhetoric, dancing, shooting with a bow, and the like. It is very common in

the LXX., in the sense of “meditating,” practicing in the thoughts -  “give

thyself wholly to them” -  (ejn tou>toiv i]sqi); literally, be in these things; i.e.

be wholly and always occupied with them – “thy progress” (hJ prokoph>) –

progress, advance, or growth, is the idea of prokoph>.  The use of the verb

proko>ptw for “to advance,” “make progress,” is still more common (“And

Jesus increased in wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and man” –

Luke 2:52 – may that true of us as well); Romans 13:12; 2 Timothy 2:16;

3:9,14-15). It is used equally of progress in good or evil – unto all” –

among all persons” or “in all things.”


v. 16 -.“Take heed:


  • “to thyself”
  • “to the doctrine” (teaching”



continue in them” - (comp. Acts 13:43; Romans 11:22-23; Colossians 1:23. 

The things which he was to “take heed to” were his own conduct and example

(included in seautw~| - thyself) and the doctrine which he preached; and in a steady

continuance in these things — faithful living and faithful teaching — he

would save both himself and his hearers


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                                    ADDITIONAL NOTES


vs. 1-16 -Latter-Day Apostasies.


The history of the Christian Church is the history of the sowing of tares as

well as of the sowing of good grain; and it describes the work of seducing

spirits as well as that of the Spirit of God. The work of heresy is not merely

the denial of true doctrine, but it is the invention and propagation of a

multitude of false doctrines.   The spirit of prophecy revealed beforehand

for the Church’s warning that so it should be. The Holy Ghost, in no

obscure or doubtful words, made it known to the Church that there would

be apostasies many and grievous from the faith once delivered to the saints,

that the leaders of those apostasies would be seducing spirits — spirits of

antichrist, as St. John has it. Thus while Christ taught by His apostle that

marriage is honorable in all,” these forbade to marry; while

the Word of God declared that “every creature of God is good, and

nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving,” these

commanded “to abstain from meats,” saying, “Touch not, taste not, handle

not.” The Word of God teaches that God gives us richly all things to enjoy;

these enjoined every kind of austerity to the body — “bodily exercises”

which profited little. The Word of God bids us approach bodily to the

throne of grace through the mediation of Jesus Christ; these would keep

men back from God, and substitute, in the name of humility, the worship of

angels. And that these pernicious doctrines were not confined to the first

ages of the Church, the history of the Church too sadly teaches. The most

opposite forms of heresy which have in all ages distracted the Church have

always had this in common, that, pretending to improve upon the sound,

sober, and wise teaching of the Word of God, they have corrupted and

forsaken it. Enforced celibacy for pure-minded chastity; artificial rules of

abstinence for habitual temperance and self-restraint; groveling saint and

image worship for direct communion with the living God; self-righteous

separation from the world for holy living in the world; bruising the body

for mortifying the soul; pretentious rejection of wealth for self-denying use

of it; leaving the state of life in which God has placed a man, instead of

adorning the gospel in it; making those things to be sins which God has not

made sins, and those things to be virtues which God has not made virtues;

these have ever been the characteristics of those “doctrines of devils,”

the purpose of which is to turn the simple away from the truth. The good

minister of Jesus Christ” must hold his course boldly and straightforwardly

in the teeth of all such false doctrine. He must not parley with the teachers

of heresy, nor mix the wine of the gospel with the water of falsehood. He

knows that the Word of God is purer, and holier, and wiser, and higher,

than all the subtleties of human invention, and will stand in its glory when

they are all swept away into nothingness. And, knowing this, he must give

himself wholly to teaching the truth, whether men will hear or whether they

will forbear” – (Ezekiel 2:5,7, 3:11), being fully assured that in so doing he will

both save himself and them that hear him.



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