II Timothy 3
1 “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.”
(καιροὶ χαλεποί - kairoi chalepoi – perilous times; gievous times).
Grievous is not a very good rendering. “Perilous,” though in some contexts
it is a right rendering, is a little too restricted here. “Difficult,” “trying,”
“uneasy,” or the like, is nearer the sense. They are times when a Christian
hardly knows which way to turn or what to do. He has to live under a
constant sense of hindrance and difficulty of one sort or another.
Whether perilous or grievous, the times that follow are a strange prevalence
of moral evil and its coexistence with Christian forms.
The Perilous Times of the Apostasy (v. 1)
The apostle next proceeds to predict a further progress in error, with the
view of putting Timothy on his guard and sharpening his diligence.
· THE PERIOD OF THIS APOSTASY. “This know also, that in the last
days perilous times shall come.”
Ø The contextual injunction, “from such turn away,” applies to the
present rather that, to a far distant future. The Christian Church has in all
ages shown a condition of things only too closely represented by the moral
picture in the context. The apostle implies that there were “vessels of
dishonour” in the “large house” in his own day, such as Hymenaeus and
Philetus, as well as “vessels unto honour.”
Ø The language has a wide latitude, covering the whole space of the
Christian dispensation. The evil had begun to work in the age of Timothy,
but the worst development of anti-Christian apostasy will be in the closing
days of the dispensation. The “days of the Messiah” are often alluded to in
the Hebrew prophets as “in the last days;” literally, “the end of days”
(Isaiah 2:2; Hosea 3:5; Micah 4:1).
· THE DANGEROUS CHARACTER OF THIS APOSTASY. “Perilous
times shall come.”
Ø It will be a time of danger to the faith of God’s people.
Ø It will be a time of peril to their lives.
Ø It will be a time of abounding wickedness as well as error.
2 “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters,
proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,”
Men (οἱἄνθρωποι - hoi anthropoi – men; humans ); men in general,
the bulk of men in the Church; for he is speaking, not of the world at large, but of
professing Christians. Lovers of their own selves. (φίλαυτοι – philautoi –
lovers of self); only here in the New Testament, and not found in the Septuagint;
but used by Aristotle in a striking passage, where he distinguishes those who are
φίλαυτοι in a good sense, and those who are justly blamed for being
φίλαυτοι, i.e. selfish and greedy. The Christian character is exactly the
opposite (see I Corinthians 10:24; 13:5). Covetous. (φιλάργυροι - philarguroi –
lovers of money); elsewhere in the New Testament only in Luke 16:14, though
not uncommon in classical Greek; φιλαργυρία – philarguria – coveted; fondness
for money - is found in I Timothy 6:10. Boasters. (ἀλάζονες – alazones – boastful;
ostentatious; showy ); as Romans 1:30, and in classical Greek. It the derivation of
the word is ἄλη – alae - wandering, we may compare the περιερχόμενοι –
perierchomenoi - wandering - of Acts 19:13, “vagabond Jews.” Such vagabonds
were usually boasters. Hence ἀλαζών – alazon - came to mean “a boaster.”
Proud, blasphemers.. Υπερηφανία – huperaephania – proud; haughty and
βλασφημία – blasphaemia -–blasphermers; railers; calumniators are coupled
together in Mark 7:22; and ὑπερηφάνους – huperaephanous – proud and
ἀλάζονας - alazonas - boasters in Romans 1:30. In the New Testament
βλάσφημος – blasphaemos – blasphemer and βλασφημία –blasphaemia –
blasphemy are most commonly used of evil speaking against God and holy things;
but not always (see Ephesians 4:31; Colossians 3:8; I Timothy 6:4). Here
apparently it means generally “evil speakers.” Disobedient to parents.
(γονεῦσιν ἀπειθεῖς – goneusin apeitheis – to parents stubborn; unpersuadeable)
Selfishness is early to show itself in the form of self-will. The young generation are to
show impatience of being ruled by their parents, which is sure to grow into
impatience in respect of all rightful rule. In the grievous times there is to be
a large development of lawlessness, BEGINNING IN THE FAMILY
CIRCLE. Unthankful. (ἀχάριστοι – acharistoi - ungrateful); as Luke 6:35.
Found occasionally in the Septuagint, and common in classical Greek. Those who
are allowed to have their own way in early life are not likely to grow up to
show gratitude to parents for what they have sacrificed for them, nor are
they likely to show gratitude in the ordinary course of life, nor can we think
of them SHOWING GRATITUDE TO GOD FOR HIS MERCIES! Ingratitude
is to be a striking feature of the grievous times. The ingratitude which they showed to
their parents was a part of their general character. We ought to take special note
of this passive sin — the not being thankful for good received from God
and man. Unholy (ἀνόσιοι – anosioi); as I Timothy 1:9 (where see note).
There are certain sanctities which are everlasting, which are anterior to
all law and custom, which belong to THE DIVINE CONSTITUTION
OF THINGS e.g. the sanctities of the marriage bond. The unholy are
those who have no reverence or love in their hearts for THESE
EVERLASTING SANCTITIES. In the grievous times the most sacred
bonds are to be disregarded..
3 “Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent,
fierce, despisers of those that are good,” - Without natural affection
(ἄστοργοι – astorgoi); as in Romans 1:31, where in the Textus Receptus it is
coupled with ἄσπονδοι – aspondoi - implacable, as here. The verb στέργω –
stergo is “to love,” used primarily of the natural affection of parents to their
children and children to their parents. And στοργή – storgae is that natural love.
These persons were without this στοργή, of which Plato says, “A child loves his
parents, and is loved by them;” and so, according to Paul’s judgment in I Timothy 5:8,
were “worse than infidels.” Affection is that which sweetens life. In the grievous
times affection is to die out, even for those for whom nature specially claims affection.
Parents will act unnaturally toward their children Trucebreakers. (ἄσπονδοι –
aspondoi – implacable denotes “without a libation” (, negative, , “a libation”), i.e.,
“without a truce,” as a libation accompanied the making of treaties and compacts;
then, “one who cannot be persuaded to enter into a covenant,” – from Vine’s
Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words); only here according to the
Received Text, not at all in the Septuagint, but frequent in classical Greek.
Σπονδή – spondae was a solemn truce made over a libation which accompanied
the making of treaties and compacts. 'Ασπονδος – aspondos - at first merely
expresses that anything was done, or any person was left, without such a truce.
But, in a secondary sense, applied to a war, it meant an internecine war (destructive
to both sides in a conflict) admitting of no truce; and thence, as here, applied
to a person, it means “implacable,” one who will make no truce or treaty with his
enemy. The sense “truce breakers” is not justified by any example. The word
implacable supposes a state of variance. In the grievous times men are not to
come to terms with those who have given them offence, but are to pursue
them with all the might of their vengeance. False accusers. (διάβολοι – false
accusers; slanderers; adversaries); as I Timothy 3:11 and Titus 2:3. They are not to
be content with pouring contempt and bitterness on one another in ordinary evil
speaking, but they are to attack one another with falsehoods. (Think of the
change in the media’s way of handling things today – CY -2013) Thus the
diabolic character is to be developed in the grievous times. “ The arch-slanderer is
ὁ διάβολος - ho diabolos - the devil, (ὁ κατήγορυς τῶν ἀδελφῶν – ho
kataegorus ton adelphon - the accuser of the brethren - Revelation 12:10; see
John 6:70). Incontinent. (ἀκρατεῖς – akrateis - without self-control;
[sexually]); here only in the New Testament, not in the Septuagint but frequent in
classical Greek, in the sense of intemperate in the pursuit or use of anything, e.g.
money, the tongue, pleasure, the appetite, etc., which are put in the genitive case.
Used absolutely it means generally “without self-control” as here rendered in
the Revised Version. The Authorized Version “incontinent” (compare I Corinthians
7:5) expresses only one part of the meaning (see ἀκρασία – akrasia – excess;
Incontinence - Matthew 23:25) With self-will uncurbed in early life, it is not
to be wondered at that the men of the grievous times are to be men who
have LOST SELF-CONTROL. Fierce (from ferns, wild, savage);
ἀνήμεροι – anaemeroi – fierce - only here in the New Testament, and not found
in the Septuagint, but frequent in the Greek tragedians and others, of persons,
countries, plants, etc.; e.g. “Beware of the Chalubes, for they are savage (),
and cannot be approached by strangers” (AEschylus, ‘Prom. Vinct.,’ 734,
edit. Scholef.). It corresponds with ἀνελεήμονες – aneleaemones - unmerciful
(Romans 1:31). In the grievous times there will be loss of self-control, PROCEEDING
TO ACTS OF VIOLENCE. Despisers of those that are good. (ἀφιλάγαθοι –
aphilagathoi – averse to good; no lovers of good); only here in the New Testament,
and not at all in the Septuagint or in classical Greek. But φιλάγαθος – philagathos –
lovers of that which is good; is found in Titus 1:8. The Revised Version seems therefore
to be right in rendering here “no lovers of good,” rather than as the Authorized
Version “despisers of those which are good,” after the Vulgate and the new version
of Sanctes Pagninus. In keeping with the personal reference before and after, we prefer
to translate, “no lovers of good men.” With evil so active in them, like Cain (I John
3:12) the presence of good men will be burdensome to them. They are therefore
likely to make the times grievous to the good, by unjustly treating them.
4 “Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers
of God;” Traitors (προδόται – prodotai); Luke 6:16; Acts 7:52. It does not
mean traitors to their king or country, but generally betrayers of the persons
who trust in them, and of the cause of the trust committed to them; perhaps specially,
of their brethren in times of persecution. Fidelity is the sacred bond that joins friend to
friend. In the grievous times friend will be often found betraying friend.
Heady. (προπετεῖς – propeteis – headstrong); as in Acts 19:36. Neither “heady”
nor “headstrong” gives the exact meaning of προπετής – propetaes which is “rash,”
“hasty,” “headlong.” “Headstrong” rather denotes obstinacy which will not
be influenced by wise advice, but προπετής is the person who acts from impulse,
without considering consequences, or weighing principles. In the grievous times
headstrong men will go to daring lengths. Highminded. (τετυφωμένοι –
tetuphomenoi - puffed up; conceited); see I Timothy 3:6, note. The explanation
of their daringness is, that they have no right sense of their own position before
God — their insignificance, impotence, and responsibility. Lovers of
pleasures. (φιλήδονοι – philaedonoi – fond of own gratification; fond
of pleasure); only here in the New Testament, and not found in the Septuagint,
but occasionally in classical Greek. It is used here as an antithesis to lovers of
God (φιλόθεοι – philotheoi), which also occurs only here either in the New
Testament or the Septuagint.. It looks as if the men spoken of claimed to be
φιλόθεοι (lovers of God). A somewhat similar paronomasia occurs in
Isaiah 5:7, where מִשְׂפַהis opposed to מִשְׁפָט, and צְעָקָה to צְדָקָה.
“Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” MEN WILL BE
DARING, especially in SENSUAL GRATIFICATION. Pleasure will
be preferred to God.
The Love of Pleasure (v. 4)
“Lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.” “Pleasure” is a word used in
Scripture to denote, not lawful and wise enjoyment, but a carnal
sensuousness which often leads to sensuality. We see what an absorbing
power pleasure is, and how by degrees:
Ø it destroys the sense of duty and
Ø ignores the voice of conscience.
· HERE IS A GREAT FORCE. “Lovers!” Love will surely be exercised
in some form. Sin is perversion. We are so constituted as to love
something. There is an enthusiasm of evil. Men delight in sin; and so the
forces of the soul abound in weeds.
· HERE IS A WRONG OBJECT. Pleasure — instead of GOD. What a
contrast! We find that there is sometimes an aesthetic sensuousness that
finds pleasure in immoral “art” — where God is not, where there is:
Ø no reverence,
Ø no righteousness,
Ø no purity,
Ø no goodness.
And men worship before the shrine of pleasure till they become idolaters,
Ø worldly applause,
Ø fleshly satisfaction, and
Ø carnal joy.
There is a pleasure that is lawful and healthful; without it brain and body,
mind and heart, suffer; but it must ever be subordinated to an earnest life
and a godly devotion, or we become “lovers of pleasure more than
lovers of God.”
5 “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from
such turn away.” Having a form (μόρφωσιν – morphosin form). It should
be the form; i.e. “the outward semblance,” i.q. μόρφωμα – morphoma - form,
shape, figure, here in contrast with δύναμις – dunamis – power - the reality.
In Romans 2:20, the only other place in the New Testament where
μόρφωσις – morphosis (form) occurs, there is no contrast, and so it has the sense
of a “true sketch” or “delineation.” Denying. (ἠρνημένοι – aernaemenoi –
having denied); possibly more correct than the Authorized Version “denying,”
though the difference, if any, is very slight. The meaning is that by their life and
character and conversation THEY GAVE THE LIE TO THEIR
CHRISTIAN PROFESSION. Christianity with them was an outward form,
not an inward living power of godliness. “Holding a form of godliness, but
having denied the power thereof.” The remarkable thing is that the men who
have been described (we do not need to think of the characteristics being all
combined) should hold a form of godliness. The relation of the form of
godliness to the men who make the grievous times, is that it CONCEALS
THEIR TRUE CHARACTER! It is self throughout, in a more or less
hateful form, and therefore the real power of godliness is denied. But it does
not appear so nakedly and hatefully to be self where there is a form of
acknowledging God. The relation of the form of godliness to the grievous times
is, that it allows evil to work more insidiously. It is not so difficult to meet
pure heathenism as it is to meet a Christianity that has become heathenish.
From such does not give the sense at all clearly. The Authorized Version does,
though it omits the καὶ - kai – and – which is not wanted in English. In the Greek
it marks an additional circumstance in the case of those of whom he is speaking, viz.
that they are to be turned away from as hopeless. Turn away (ἀποτρέπου –
apotrepou – turn away; be you shunning); only here in the New Testament, or,
at least in the middle voice, in the Septuagint; but frequent in classical Greek in
different senses. Paul uses ἐκτρέπομενος – ektrepomenos – avoiding; turning
aside - in the same sense in I Timothy 6:20. This command shows that the apostle
treats the symptoms of the last times as in some respects present. With this
catena of epithets compare Romans 1:29-31.
The Hypocrite’s Garb (v. 5)
“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” There may
be conscious and unconscious hypocrisy. Either way godliness is “feigned.”
There is no pulsing heart of life in it. Its appearance is only like phosphorus
on the face of the dead; its activity is only the galvanized motion of a corpse.
What are they? See vs. 2-4, in which men who are “covetous, and
lovers of their own selves,” are associated with blasphemers and false
accusers, unthankful and unholy. All alike find their hypocrisy is
detected BY THE DIVINE INSIGHT. We may well search and
examine ourselves (II Corinthians 13:5); for do not men think lightly
sometimes of covetousness and selfishness, or of being unthankful or
high minded? Often, indeed, we look to great vices only as our destroyers,
and we forget that hypocrisy may be seen in masked ingratitude. Yet
here it is discovered, not under the cloak which hides evil enormities,
but under the veil which hides from our eyes the presence of the more
Ø Prayerless habit which leaves the spirit UNSUPPLIED
WITH THE NUTRIMENT OF COMMUNION WITH
Ø Consciousness of the fact that in the world appearances are
enough, and that religion is so respected and so respectable
that it will not do to live without its appearance.
Ø Fellowship with the world, which denudes us of all earnest
endeavors after the Divine life.
6 “For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive
silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,” Creep into
(ἐνδύνοντες – endunontes – creep into; ones slipping in); here only in the New
Testament. It has the sense of “sneaking into,” “insinuating themselves
Into.” Lead captive. (αἰχμαλωτεύοντες - – aichmaloteuontes - take captive;
capturing); as in Ephesians 4:3. The other form, αἰχμαλωτίζοντες –
aichmalotizontes – captivity - which is that of the Received Text is in Luke 21:24;
Romans 7:23; II Corinthians 10:5. The word well describes the BLIND
SURRENDER OF THE WILL AND CONSCIENCE to such CRAFTY
TEACHERS. Silly women (τὰ γυναικάρια – ta gunaikaria – silly
women; little women - diminutive of γυνή – gunae - woman); nowhere else
in the New Testament or Septuagint, but is used by some late Greek authors.
It is a term of contempt — he will not call them γυναῖκας – gunaikas –
female; woman — they are only γυναικάρια (silly women). In the
passages quoted by Alford from Irenaeus and Epiphanius, the women
made use of by the later Gnostics are called γυναικάρια. See, too, the
striking quotation in the same note from Jerome, specifying by name the
women whom Nicolas of Antioch, Marcion, Montanus, and others employed
as their instruments in spreading their abominable heresies (Since the word
heresy means choice, I cannot help but think of all the use and abuse of
women in promoting PRO-CHOICE.
The Greek word for heresy is αἵρεσις - hah’ee-res-is; - a choosing,
choice – then that which is chosen, and hence an opinion, especially
a self-willed opinion, which is substituted for submission to the power
of truth and leads to division, the formation of sects and finally,
APOSTASY FROM GOD! (Think of the origins, influences and
roles of PRO-CHOICE and the AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES
UNION in the
ALL BEGAN WITH A CHOICE – a la – HERESY – CY -2009)
a man is a living lie against the truth.
So true is Paul’s forecast in the text. Laden with sins (σεσωρευμένα ἁμαρτίαις –
sesoreumena amartiais); elsewhere only in Romans 12:20, “heap coals of fire.”
It occurs in Aristotle and other Greek writers in the sense of heaping one thing
upon another, and heaping up anything with something else. The last is the
sense in which it is here used. It seems to convey the idea of PASSIVE
HELPLESSNESS! Led away (ἀγόμενα – agomena); with a strong intimation
of UNRESISTING WEAKNESS (compare I Corinthians 12:2; Acts 8:32;
Luke 23:32). Lusts (ἐπιθυμίαις – epithumiais); all kinds of CARNAL and
SELFISH DESIRES (see John 8:44; Romans 1:24; 6:12; 7:7-8; Galatians
5:24; Ephesians 2:3; 4:22; Colossians 3:5; I Timothy 6:9; ch. 2:22; 4:3;
Titus 2:12; 3:3; I Peter 1:14-16; II Peter 2:18; I John 2:16-17).
7 “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the
truth.” Ever learning, etc. This is the crowning feature of this
powerful sketch of those “silly women,” whose thoughts are busied about
religion without their affections being reached or their principles being
influenced by it. They are always beating about the bush, but they never get
possession of the blessed and saving truth of the gospel of God. Their
own selfish inclinations, and not the grace of God, continue to be the motive
power with them.
The Insidiously Proselytizing Habits of These Apostates
· THE ARTS OF THE SEDUCERS. “For of this sort are they who creep
into houses, and lead captive silly women.”
Ø They were of a most proselytizing spirit. Like the Pharisees, they would
compass sea and land to make one proselyte (Matthew 23:15)
Ø They practiced unworthy arts. They wormed their way insidiously into
the confidence of families. There was a deceitful and tricky method of
gaining access to their victims.
Ø They used their stratagems to snare women rather than men. They
knew that women, as the weaker vessels, were more accessible to soft
blandishments and specious pretences of piety. They counted upon an
accession of female converts as, above all things, most contributing to
the success of their propaganda.
· THE CHARACTER OF THEIR VICTIMS. “Silly women laden with
sins, led away by divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the
knowledge of the truth.” These victims of their specious arts were morally
and intellectually prepared for them.
Ø They were, morally, under the sway of evil passions and desires, full, no
doubt, of “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life.”
(I John 2:16) Such women would welcome a short cut to peace, or any
reconciliation between religion and worldliness that could be devised
by the arts of apostasy. The words seem to point to the weight of former
sins burdening the conscience, from which they hoped to be released
under easier conditions than those prescribed by the gospel.
Ø They were incapable, through their sinful life, of attaining a true
knowledge of THE TRUTH! They were “silly women,” with light,
frivolous, unbalanced judgments; “ever learning” — with a morbid
love of novelties in religion, an insatiable curiosity for the mysteries
promised by their false guides, and a constant craving for an adaptation
of doctrinal views to their evil desires — “and never able to come to
the knowledge of the truth.” Because their hearts had become
hardened through an evil life, and so made inaccessible to
THE TRUTH! (Hard in more ways than one – CY - “....the way of
the transgressors is hard.” (Proverbs 13:15)
8 “Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also
resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the
faith.” Jannes and Jambres; the traditional names of the magicians who
opposed Moses; and, if Origen can be trusted, there was an apocryphal
book called by their names. But Theodoret ascribes their names to an unwritten
Jewish tradition. Their names are found in the Targum of Jonathan on Exodus
7:11, 22; and are also mentioned, in conjunction with Moses, with some
variation in the name of Jambres, by Pliny (‘Hist. Nat.,’ 31:2), who
probably got his information from a work of Sergius Paulus on magic, of
which the materials were furnished by Elymas the sorcerer (Acts 13:6-
8). Withstood (ἀντέστησαν – antestaesan); the same word as is used of Elymas
in Acts 13:8 (so ch. 4:15 and elsewhere). (κατεφθαρμένα τὸν νοῦν –
katephtharmena ton noun - of being depraved minds; corrupted in mind);
elsewhere only in II Peter 2:12, in the sense of “perishing,” being “utterly
destroyed,” which is the proper meaning of καταφθείρομαι – kataphtheiromai.
Here in a moral sense κατεφθαρμένοι τὸν νοῦν – katephtharmenoi ton noun
means men whose understanding is gone, and perished, as διεφθαρμένος τὴν
ἀκοήν – diephtharmenos taen akoaen means one whose hearing has
perished — who is deaf. In I Timothy 6:5 Paul uses the more common
διεφθαρμένων.– diephtharmenon – deprived; corrupt. . Reprobate (ajdo>kima –
adokima); as Titus 1:16, and elsewhere frequently in Paul’s Epistles. It is just
the contrary δόκιμος – dokimos – approved; qualified; ch. 2:15, note).
succeeded in getting the children of
tradition tells that Jannes and Jambres perished in the
THIS IS THE HISTORY OF ALL FALSE TEACHING AND OF
ALL SPIRITUAL TRICKERY! It may succeed for a time, but its very
success often works its ruin. The time comes when its impostures are found out,
and IT CAN PROCEED NO FURTHER. So we can believe that the great
development of evil in the last days will end in complete exposure, and in the
brilliant triumph of good.
Corruption Within (v. 8)
“Men of corrupt minds.” It is here that evil begins, though it does not end here.
“As a man thinketh in his heart,
so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7) but he does
show in himself the development of evil at once. The hour of revelation, however,
will surely come; for “they that be otherwise [than good] cannot be hid.”
(I Timothy 5:25)
· THEY RESIST THE TRUTH. For this reason the truth will not let them
alone. It is an active searching power. It is “a discerner of the thoughts and
intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12), and men resent the intrusion of this
all-discovering, all-judging power. Impurity hates purity. Falsehood hates
truth. Worldly minds resist the claim of God’s Word to supremacy over
their hearts and lives. They resist its right to reign, and its claim to dominate
thought and action too.
· THEY BECOME REPRORATE.* Reprobation is no hard decree of
God’s; it is man’s own act and deed, and it is the result of the “corrupt
mind.” This breeding corruption spreads. The seeds of evil are scattered
here and there till the soul is like a wilderness, and the mind which was
made to be a garden of holiness becomes a graveyard of sin. Moral death
ensues, and with death always comes corruption.
*reprobate - ἀδόκιμος – adokimos - signifying “not standing the test,
rejected” – was primarily applied to metals (compare Isaiah 1:22); it is
used always in the New Testament in a passive sense,
(a) of things, Hebrews 6:8, “rejected,” of land that bears thorns
(b) of persons, Romans 1:28, of a “reprobate mind,” a mind of
which God cannot approve, and which must be rejected by
Him, the effect of refusing “to have God in knowledge”
· THEY BECOME REVEALED. “Their folly shall be made manifest”
(v. 9). The secret sin becomes a public shame. The thought incarnates
itself in deed, and retribution takes the form of disgrace.
9 “But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest
unto all men, as their’s also was.” Shall proceed (προκόψουσιν – prokopsousin –
they shall be progessing); as ch. 2:16 (where see note) and v. 13. The
apostle’s meaning here is, as explained by the example of the magicians,
that heresies SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST the truth. Απὶ πλεῖον –
epi pleion means beyond the point indicated in his description of their future
progressive evil. They would “proceed further in ungodliness,” as he said
in ch. 2:16, but not up to the point of destroying the gospel, as history has
shown. The various forms of Gnosticism have perished. The gospel remains.
As theirs also was. (Exodus 8:18-19).
The Character and Aims of the Fake teachers (vs. 8-9)
The apostle vividly depicts their attitude toward the truth.
· THEY HAVE THEIR HISTORICAL PROTOTYPES. “As Jannes and
Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also withstand the truth.”
Ø These were two Egyptian magicians, called “wise men and sorcerers”
(Exodus 7:11-22), who appeared at the court of Pharaoh to resist the
wonder working power of Moses. Their names do not occur in the Old
Testament, but they are found in the Targum of Jonathan, and are also
quoted by heathen writers. What was more natural than that the apostle
should quote to Timothy one of the two traditions of his country?
Ø These magicians, reported to have been sons of Balaam, were thwarted
in their arts by the superior power that worked through Moses. The
parallel was therefore in a double sense apt.
· THE FALSE TEACHERS DIRECTLY WITHSTOOD THE TRUTH
OF THE GOSPEL.
Ø They may have used occult arts like their Egyptian prototypes to attract
disciples; for the word “seducers,” applied to them in the context (v. 13),
has this signification. The claim to possess such powers was not unusual
in that day (Acts 8:9-24; 13:6-12; 19:18-20).
Ø But, like Elymas, they withstood the truth of the gospel, by representing
themselves as possessing as much authority as the apostle himself , and
thus neutralizing its exclusive claims. They subverted the hopes of the
· THE EXPLANATION OF THEIR ANTI-CHRISTIAN ATTITUDE.
“Men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.”
Ø Corrupt affections depraved their mental judgments. Even that, mind,
which is the medium through which the Holy Spirit makes his
communications to man, had become darkened. “A corrupt head,
a corrupt heart, and a vicious life, usually accompany each other.”
Ø The doctrines of these teachers had been tested and discovered to be
worthless, like silver which was to be rejected by man. They had nothing
but the name in common with the Christian faith.
· THE CHECK THAT WOULD BE GIVEN TO THEIR PROGRESS.
“But they shall proceed no further; for their folly shall be evident to all
men, as theirs also came to be.” This passage seems opposed to ch. 2:16,
where it is said that “they shall advance to more ungodliness;” but in that
Ø the apostle is speaking of an immediate diffusion of error, in this of its
Ø in that place the advance toward ungodliness is asserted, here there is a
denial of its successful advance without exposure. The evil would
advance, but only to a certain point, and the true character of its
promoters — “their folly” — would be made as manifest as was
that of the Egyptian magicians.
10 “But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose,
faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,” Hast fully known.
(παρηκολούθησας – paraekolouthaesas – have fully followed; didst follow
which is the Received Text for παρηκολούθηκας, in the perfect, which is
the Textus Receptus). The evidence for the two readings is nicely balanced.
But Paul uses the perfect in I Timothy 4:6 (where see note), and it seems highly
improbable that he here used the aorist in order to convey a rebuff to Timothy
by insinuating that he had once followed, but that he was doing so no longer.
The sentence, “thou didst follow,” etc., is singularly insipid. The Authorized
Version “thou hast fully known” gives the sense fully and clearly. Timothy had
fully known Paul’s whole career, partly from what he had heard, and partly from
what he had been an eyewitness of. My doctrine. My teaching. How different
from that of those impostors! Manner of life. (ἀγωγῇ – agogae – conduct;
bringing up; manner of life); here only in the New Testament, but found in the
Septuagtint in Esther 2:20 (τὴν ἀγωγὴν αὐτῆς – taen agogaen autaes -
her manner of life — her behaviour towards Mordecai, where there is nothing to
answer to it in the Hebrew text); The Authorized Version “manner of life” is a very
good rendering. Purpose (προθέσιν – prothesin); that which a person sets before
him as the end to be attained (Acts 11:23; 27:13; II Maccabees 3:8; and in Aristotle,
Polybius, and others). Used often of GOD’S ETERNAL PURPOSE as e.g. ch. 1:9;
Ephesians 1:11. In enumerating these and the following, “faith, long suffering,
charity, and patience,” Paul doubtless had in view, not self-glorification,
which was wholly alien to his earnest, self-denying character, but the
mention of those qualities which he saw were most needed by Timothy.
Long suffering (τῇ μακροθυμίᾳ - tae makrothumia – the far feeling
patience ); as I Timothy 1:16, of the long suffering of Jesus Christ towards
himself, and elsewhere frequently of human patience and forbearance towards
others. Patience (τῇ ὑπομονῇ – tae hupomonae – patience; the endurance).
This is exercised in the patient endurance of afflictions for Christ’s sake. It
is coupled, as here, with μακροθυμία – makrothumia - long suffering, in
afflictions, which came unto me at
Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all
the Lord delivered me.” Persecutions (διωγμοῖς – diogmois ); as
Matthew 13:21; Acts 8:1; 13:50; II Corinthians 12:10, etc.
Afflictions (τοῖς παθήμασιν – tois pathaemasin the sufferings); usually so
rendered in the Authorized Version (Romans 8:18; II Corinthians 1:5;
Colossians 1:24. etc.); rendered “afflictions” in Hebrews 10:32; I Peter 5:9.
14 of Acts. It was at Paul’s second, or rather third, visit to Lystra that he
chose Timothy for his companion (Acts 16:1-3). I endured (ὑπενεγκα –
hupenegka – I endured; I undergo); not simply “suffered,” but “underwent,”
willingly and firmly suffered (see I Peter. 2:19). As regards the construction,
the antecedent to οῖα – hoia – the which - is παθήμασιν – pathaemasin –
afflictions; suffering - and the difference between ἁ – a and οῖα is that ἁ
would limit the reference to the actual παθήματα – pathaemata – afflictions
sufferings. The proper English rendering is “such as befell me.” But the clause
at the end of the sentence should be rendered “what great persecutions I
endured.” The sentence, οἵους διώγμους ὑπένεγκα – hoious diogmous
hupenegka – what persecutions I endured is an amplification of the preceding
διώγμοις: “Thou hast fully known my persecutions…viz. what great
persecutions I endured.” Out of them all, etc. This is added for
Timothy’s encouragement, that he might stand fast in the face of
persecutions and sufferings. Delivered me (με ἐῥῤύσατο - me errusato –
rescued me; delivered me). Had the apostle in his mind the clause in the Lord’s
Prayer, “Deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13)? Compare ch. 4:18, where the
resemblance is still more striking. Observe the testimony to Christ’s omnipotence
in this ascription to Him, in both passages, of Paul’s deliverance (compare
12 “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer
persecution.” Yea and all (καὶ πάντες δὲ - kai pantes de – and all
yet). As though he had said. “Mine is not a solitary example of a servant of
God being persecuted; it is the common lot of all who will live godly in Christ
Jesus” (compare John 15:20 and I Peter 4:1, 12-13). To live godly is to take
the rule of our life from God. This can only be carried out in communion with
Christ Jesus. Were all living according to the Divine rule around us, we should be
abundantly encouraged. But seeing we live in the midst of so many who
hate goodness and do not like to be reminded of God, we must expect to
suffer persecution, i.e. to be misjudged, to be opposed, to be assailed, if
our godliness is active and aggressive against evil, as it should be. We must
have a mind to LIVE GODLY whatever consequences it entails. It was
because he lived according to the Divine rule that Paul was stoned. As the
principle involved was universal, Timothy, in proportion, to the vitality of
his godliness, must expect to suffer persecution.
The Career of the Apostle Commended as
an Example to His Youthful Disciple
The apostle recalls to Timothy’s mind the facts of his own checkered
career. partly to mark the contrast between his life and that of the false
teachers, partly to stimulate Timothy to like faithfulness and endurance.
· IT IS GOOD FOR YOUNG MINISTERS TO OBSERVE AND
FOLLOW THE WAYS OF THEIR ELDER BRETHREN. “But thou didst
follow my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith.”
Ø They will thus be stimulated to greater effort.
Ø They will be guided by wiser counsels.
Ø They will be guarded against many mistakes.
Ø They will be better able to endure persecutions and trials.
· IT IS ALLOWABLE FOR A CHRISTIAN MINISTER TO SPEAK
OF WHAT GOD’S GRACE HAS ENABLED HIM TO DO AND TO
SUFFER FOR THE GOSPEL.
Ø It glorifies God’s grace. The apostle always made this grace the
supreme factor in his success. “By, the grace of God I am what I am; Yet
not I, but the grace of God which was in me” (I Corinthians 15:10).
Ø It is an encouragement to other ministers to labor with equal self-denial.
· THE METHOD OF THE APOSTLE’S MINISTRY AND LIFE. “My
teaching,” in allusion less to his doctrine than to his manner of giving
instruction; “conduct,” or manner of life, in allusion to “my ways which be
in Christ” (I Corinthians 4:17); “purpose,” for he remained true to the
spiritual objects of his life, and, above all, to his mission to the Gentiles;
“faith,” in allusion to his belief in the fundamental doctrines of the gospel,
linked with “long suffering” toward his bitter adversaries, whom he longed
to lead into truth — “the faith and the patience” being necessary to the
inheritance of the promises (Hebrews 6:12); “love,” which seemed
never to fail, “believing all things, bearing all things, hoping all things;”
linked with “endurance,” as before (I Timothy 6:11; Titus 2:2),
because it is the sustaining element of this endurance; “persecutions,
afflictions, which came to me at
expelled by the Jews; “at Iconium,” where both Jews and Gentiles made an
assault upon him; “at Lystra,” where he was stoned and left for dead — the
three cities being named because of Timothy’s intimate acquaintance with
them, the apostle’s sufferings there being the earliest in his missionary life.
He gratefully records his deliverance out of all his persecutions by the good
hand of the Lord.
· THE ATTITUDE OF THE WORLD TOWARD GODLINESS. “Yea,
and all that would live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
Ø The persons thus described.
o Those who aim at a godly life — who “wish to live godly.”
This is the highest aim of man in a world with many lofty ideals.
o They are not merely godly, but live in all the outward amenities
of gospel godliness. “As ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord,
so walk ye in him.”
o This life of godliness finds its source and spring in Jesus Christ.
It is “in Christ Jesus.”
Ø Their lot in this life. “Shall suffer persecution.”
o This was Christ’s prediction. “If they persecuted me, they will
also persecute you” (John 15:20).
The world is
essentially at war with the
“Because ye are not of the world, therefore the world hateth
you” (ibid. v. 19).
o Better to suffer as Christians than as evil doers.
13 “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving,
and being deceived.” Evil men (πονηροί - ponaeroi – evil; wicked). In ch.4:18
it is παντὸς ἕργου πονηροῦ – pantos hergou ponaerou – every evil work.
The adjective is applied indifferently to persons and things — evil men,
evil servants, evil persons, evil generation, evil spirits, etc., and evil deeds,
evil fruits, evil eye, evil works, etc. SATAN, THE EMBODIMENT OF
EVIL is ὁ πονηρός – ho ponaeros. Seducers. (γόντες – gontes – seducers;
swindlers; impostor); only here in the New Testament. In classical Greek
γόης – goaes is a juggler, a cheat, an enchanter. Paul still had the Egyptian
magicians in his mind. Shall wax worse and worse (προκόψουσιν ἐπὶ τὸ χεῖρον –
prokopsousin epi to cheiron – shall be progressing on the worse);
see above, v. 9, note.
The Coming Apostasy (vs. 1-13)
(ἀποστασία – apostasia - an apostasy or falling away from the Christian
Faith. The language has a wide latitude, covering the whole space of the Christian
dispensation. The evil had begun to work in the age of Timothy, but the worst
development of anti-Christian apostasy will be in the closing days of the
dispensation. The “days of the Messiah” are often alluded to in the Hebrew
prophets as “in the last days;” literally, “the end of days” (Isaiah 2:2;
Hosea 3:5; Micah 4:1).
“Perilous times shall come.” (v.1)
Ø It will be a time of DANGER TO THE FAITH of God’s people.
Ø It will be a time of PERIL TO THEIR LIVES.
Ø It will be A TIME OF ABOUNDING WICKEDNESS as well
degeneracy is marked by a widespread moral decay. The apostle,
after his usual manner, groups the characters into classes for more
Ø THE SELFISH CLASS. “For men shall be lovers of self, lovers
of money” (v.2). Selfishness heads the dreary list. It is regarded by
many theologians as the root principle of all sin.. Selfishness is a
hard represser of love. The “love of money” has been called
“the daughter of selfishness.” (Shylock in The Merchant of
would come, He said “Because iniquity [anarchy] will abound,
the love of many shall wax cold.” – Matthew 24:12)
Ø THE CLASS OF ARROGANT BOASTERS. “Boasters, arrogant,
railers” (v. 2). The first are ostentatious in speech; the second, full of
pride and contempt for others; the third are full of insults to men.
Ø THE CLASS WHICH IS DEFIANTLY REGARDLESS OF
HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS. “Disobedient to parents,
unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, implacable” (vs.
2-3). He who is regardless of filial duty will he ungrateful to others,
and he that is ungrateful will have no regard for holiness of character;
for he will keep covenant with no one, whether parent or benefactor.
Ø THE CLASS DISTINGUISHED BY RECKLESS AND
self-control, fierce, no lovers of good, traitors” (v. 3).
o The first term points to the disposition to bring the good
down to the level of the base;
o the second, to the absence of all restraint from law,
(In the 21st century, they have gone a step further and seek to
change laws concering the family; homosexuality; controlled
substances, etc. – CY – 2013) human or Divine. (See
Daniel 7:25 which speaks of such a time apostasy as we
are discussing. – CY – 2013)
o the third, to the savage temper that delights in cruelty;
o the fourth, to the spirit that “loves darkness rather
o the fifth, to the class of men who could betray their
Christian brethren to their persecutors, or behave
falsely in any of their existing relationships.
Ø THE CLASS OF HEADY AND CONCEITED ACTORS.
“Headstrong, puffed up” (v. 4). Rashness and conceit are
Ø THE CLASS OF PLEASURE SEEKERS. “Lovers of pleasure
rather than lovers of God.” It represents a dissipated class under
a Christian profession, who have no serious pursuits, and prefer
the friendship of the world to the friendship of God. (We know
that “friendship of the world is enmity against God.”
PROFESSION. “Having a form of godliness.” (v. 5). Thus the
antichrist looks like a lamb but speaks like a “dragon” (Revelation 13:11).
The picture is that of a CHRISTIANIZED PAGANISM in the church.
There was to be a scrupulous regard for all ritualistic regularity; an outward
show of devoutness under strict forms, and the mask of godliness over all
to cover A HEART IN SECRET ENSLAVED BY SIN!
denying the power thereof.” (v. 5)
Ø The power of godliness consists in love to God and love to our
neighbor. These were both repudiated. The class referred to were
strangers to experimental religion, which they dishonored by saying
one thing with their lips and another thing with their lives.
Ø Such a repudiation involves graver sin and deeper condemnation
than if they had never known the truth or heard of the way of life.
Ø THE DUTY OF BELIEVERS IN THE APOSTASY. “From such
turn away.” We ought to withdraw from their fellowship, avoid all
familiarity with them, hold no terms with the enemies of Christ and His
ATTITUDE. They are “men of corrupt minds and reprobate
concerning the faith.” (v.8)
Ø Corrupt affections depraved their mental judgments. Their
minds had become darkened. Romans 1:20-32 describes this
crowd. “Their foolish heart was darkened.” They are
further described in II Peter 2:10-22). A corrupt head, a
corrupt heart, and a vicious life, USUALLY ACCOMPANY
Ø The doctrines of these teachers had been tested and discovered to
be worthless. (Time will tell what role Global Warming, Global
Economy, a false teaching of Separation of Church and State,
the exporting of homosexuality, abortion on demand, prolific
use of mind-altering drugs, and their exponents, have and
will have on THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS CHRIST!
Revelation 11:18 describes such as HASTENING TO BRING
ABOUT THE DESTRUCTION OF THE EARTH! - CY –
FINAL APOSTASY. “Deceiving and being deceived.” (In the
late 1960’s, the late Marion Duncan, preached a series of sermons
on the traits mentioned in vs. 2-5. He did them one sermon at a
time and began by reading Revelation 20:1-8, where Satan was
loosed on the world, and he knowing that he has a short time
(Revelation 12:12), immediately sets out to DECEIVE THE
FOUR CORNERS OF THE WORLD and this my friends,
I submit to you is going on. Compare 1970 with 2013. A lot
has happened in
to where we would be hard to be recognized! The only way
to escape this situation is to take heed to Peter’s message on
the Day of Pentecost, “Save yourselves from this untoward
generation” - Acts 2:40 – and the advice of John the Baptist
“flee the wrath to come” – Matthew 3:7 – I recommend
How to be Saved - # 5 – this web site – CY – 2013)
Ø The method of mental and moral debasement. Let men
repeat falsities with sufficient frequency and deliberateness,
and they will come by and by to believe them themselves.
(Is this not the
state of affairs in The
CY – 2013). They begin by deceiving others. They cannot
deceive God nor the elect, but by their good words and fair speeches,
their lying wonders and their specious arts, they may seduce the
simple into error (the modern term coined for these are “low-
information people.” – CY – 2013)
Ø The retribution that follows upon deception is Self-Deception.
(Thirty years ago, someone said at Training Union, that he thought
homosexuality was a judgment of God by allowing men to become
such. Now I
wonder if that is really what is going on in
and the rest of the world!!!!!! Jesus said, “this is the condemnation,
that light is come into the world, and MEN LOVE DARKNESS,
rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” - John 3:19 –
CY – 2013) Such deceivers have become sincere in their error,
because they have blinded their spiritual eyesight; but now they see
truth as error, and ERROR AS TRUTH! (Isaiah 5:20 says
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put
darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter
for sweet and sweet for bitter.”)
WILL BE THE WORK OF GOD. “But they shall proceed no further;
for their folly shall be evident to all men” (v. 9). In ch. 2:16, it is said that
“they shall advance to more ungodliness;” but there Paul is speaking of
an immediate diffusion of error, but here of ITS ULTIMATE AND
FINAL EXTINCTION! The evil would advance, but only to a certain point,
and the true character of ITS PROMOTERS — “their folly” — would
be made as manifest as was that of the Egyptian magicians, Jannes and Jambres.
Thus, the long catalogue of moral enormity developed by the apostasy began with
“THE LOVE OF SELF” and ends with “THE LOVE OF PLEASURE
to the utter exclusion, first and last, OF THE LOVE OF GOD!
The Downward Course of Seducers (v. 13)
The apostle connects the persecution with the ways of evil men, while he warns
Timothy against them.
· THEIR DEGENERATE COURSE. “But evil men and seducers shall
wax worse and worse.”
Ø The persons here described.
o Evil men.
§ They are those in contrast with the men who “would
live godly in Christ Jesus.”
§ They are not simply sinners as all men are by nature
and practice, but rather wicked men who wear a
mask of godliness, yet are full of malice against the
saints of God.
Seducers, literally magicians, in allusion to those of
men who are full of sorceries to captivate and betray the
unwary into error.
Ø They shall go from bad to worse — both in principle and in practice, in
the use of their seductive arts and in the gradual depravation of their
character. There is nothing to arrest their downward course; there is no
grace in the heart; the principles of evil will work with unchecked
energy in their natures.
· THE EXPLANATION OF THIS DEGENERACY. “Deceiving and
Ø The method of mental and moral debasement. Let men repeat falsities
with sufficient frequency and deliberateness, and they will come by and
by to believe them themselves. They begin by deceiving others. They
cannot deceive God nor the elect, but by their good words and fair
speeches, their lying wonders and their specious arts, they may seduce
the simple into error.
Ø The retribution that follows upon deception is self-deception. Such
deceivers have become sincere in their error, because they have blinded
their spiritual eyesight; but now they see truth as error, and error as truth.
14 “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast
been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;”
Continue thou, etc. Be not like these juggling heretics, blown about by
every wind of doctrine, and always seeking some new thing, but abide in
THE OLD TRUTHS which thou hast learnt from thy childhood. Hast been
assured of (ἐπιστώθης – epistothaes – you were entrusted); only here in the
New Testament, but found in II Maccabees 7:24 and I Kings 1:36. In
classical Greek it has the same sense as here (among others), “to be made
sure of a thing.” Of whom thou hast learned them (παρὰ τίνος ἔμαθες –
para tinos emathes), or, according to another reading of nearly
equal authority, παρὰ τίνων – para tinon – beside whom). If τίνος is the
right reading, it must refer either to God or to Paul. In favor of its referring
to God is the expression in the Prophet Isaiah commented upon by our Lord
in John 6:45, where παρὰ τοῦ Πατρὸς – para tou Patros – beside the
Father answers to παρὰ τίνος; the promise concerning the Comforter,
“He shall teach you all things” (John 14:26, etc.); and the very similar
reasoning of John, when he is exhorting his “little children” to stand fast
in the faith, in spite of those that seduced them: “Let that therefore abide in
you which ye have heard from the beginning;” for “the anointing which ye
have received of Him, abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach
you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things,…and even as it
hath taught you, abide in Him” (I John 2:24-28); and other similar
passages. There would obviously be great force in reminding Timothy that
he had received the gospel under the immediate teaching of THE HOLY
SPIRIT and that it would be a shameful thing for him to turn aside under
the influence of those impostors. If τίνων does not refer to God, it must refer
to Paul. If, on the other hand, τίνων is the true reading (which is less
probable), it must refer to Lois and Eunice, which seems rather feeble.
15 “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which
are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in
Christ Jesus.” And that from a child; and that from a babe, etc. Another
consideration urged as a reason for standing fast. He was no novice in the
Scriptures. His mother and grandmother had been careful to imbue him
with that sacred literature which should make him wise unto salvation
through faith in Jesus Christ, from his very earliest years. Surely he would
not throw away such a precious advantage. The holy scriptures.
(τὰ ἱερὰ γράμματα - ta hiera grammata - the sacred writings; the
holy scriptures); literally, the holy letters, or learning. An ordinarily
educated child learns γράμματα – grammata – letters; writings -
(John 7:15), in contradistinction to the uneducated, who are
ἀγράμματοι – agrammatoi (Acts 4:13). But Timothy had learnt τὰ ἱερὰ γράμματα
(the Holy Scriptures) whose excellence is described in the next
verse. We are instructed in the Word of God to "Train up a child in the way
that he should go and when he is old he shall not depart from it" (Proverbs
22:6). We are to exert ourselves in doing it. (Deuteronomy 6:7). Those
who erroneously who consider a religious upbringing an interference with
free development of the child and systematically kept all religious
ideas out of his mind till the child is considered able to form an independent
and unbiassed judgment upon the subject of religion, NOT ONLY IS
DISOBEDIENCE TO GOD AND A SIN AGAINST THE CHILD, BUT
IS A VIRTUAL SELLING OF THE CHILD TO THE DEVIL! If God and
truth are not presented to the mind till a matured judgment can be formed, it is
not as though there had not been experience, but THE MIND IS ALREADY
WARPED and religion is placed at a fearful disadvantage. Eunice proceeded
on the right principle when she seized the earliest opportunity of influencing the mind
of Timothy in favor of religion. THE BIBLE IS AS TRULY A CHILD’S BOOK
AS A MAN’S BOOK! Dwight Moody once said, “This book will KEEP YOU
FROM SIN or sin will KEEP YOU FROM THIS BOOK!
The Scriptures are able to make one wise unto salvation, but they may not; for
there are some who make themselves wiser than God’s Word, and think they know
better about things than God does, and so perish by being wise in their own
conceits and refusing to be guided. The efficiency of Scripture is limitied
to “Through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” The Scriptures cannot do more
than make us wise unto salvation; THEY ARE NOT TO BE PUT IN THE
PLACE OF CHRIST and only do their work when they bring us up to Christ,
and also induce in us that state of mind which is here called faith, which instrumentally
appropriates the salvation which is in HIM!
An Admonition to Timothy to Abide in the Ways of Truth
Amidst all the seductions of the false teachers, the apostle urges Timothy
to bold fast the doctrines which he had received in his early training.
· THE DUTY AND NECESSITY OF HOLDING FAST BY THE
DIVINE VERITIES. “But do thou continue in the things which thou hast
learned and hast been assured of.”
Ø The strength and comfort of an undoubting persuasion. Timothy was
not to be moved away from the doctrines of the gospel either by
persecutions or seductive arts. He found his strength and peace in them.
Ø He had really learned them, unlike those ever learning and never able
to come to the knowledge of the truth; for he had an experimental
knowledge of them. He was, besides, fully assured of them, with “the full
assurance of understanding.” It is a very unbecoming attitude for a
teacher of others to be skeptical in his opinions. He ought to affirm with
certainty, and if he is fully assured, he has no right to surrender the truth.
· THE GROUNDS OF HIS CERTAINTY AND ASSURANCE.
“Knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a babe thou bast
known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise to salvation
through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
Ø He had been taught sound doctrine by Lois and Eunice. It is, therefore,
proper for parents to instruct children in doctrine from their earliest days.
Ø He had been trained from his very infancy in the Holy Scriptures. It
was, therefore, a right thing for him to be instructed in the Old Testament,
since it was all the Scripture he could have had in his childhood.
Ø The Scripture he studied was sufficient to lead him to Christ.
“Through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
o This marks the means by which the salvation can be attained;
for Christ is “the end of the Law for righteousness to every
one that believeth” (Romans 10:4).
o The effect of the salvation is not merely to instruct, but to make
wise in the highest sense — giving spiritual wisdom and
understanding in the knowledge of God’s will; for men are
naturally without spiritual discernment.
o The salvation cannot be enjoyed without faith, resting upon
the person of the Redeemer.
16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for
doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”
All scripture. Every Scripture, etc. There are two ways of construing this
inspiration of God; God inspired - is part of the predicate coupled by
καὶ - kai – and - with the following ὠφέλιμος – ophelimos –
B. As in the Revised Version, where θεόπνευστος (inspiration of God)
is part of the subject (as πᾶ῀ν ἔργον ἀγαθόν – pan ergon agathon -
every good work, II Corinthians 9:8, and elsewhere); and the following
καὶ (and) is ascensive, and to be rendered “is also.” Commentators
are pretty equally divided, though the older ones (as Origen, Jerome
(Vulgate), the versions) mostly adopt (B). In favor of A), however,
it may be said:
1) that such a sentence as that which arises from (B) necessarily
implies that there are some γραφαὶ - graphai – writings - which
are not θεόπνευστοι (God inspired) just as Πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθόν –
(every good work) some works which are not good;
πᾶσα εὐλογία πνευματική – pasa eulogia pneumatikae –
all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3), that there are some
blessings which are not spiritual; πᾶν ἔργον πονηρόν
– pan ergon ponaeron - every evil work (ch.4:18), that there
are some works which are not evil; and so on. But as
γραφή – graphae is invariably used in the New Testament
for “Scripture,” and not for any profane writing: it is not in
accordance with biblical language to say, “every inspired
Scripture,” because EVERY SCRIPTURE IS INSPIRED!
2) The sentence, taken according to (B), is an extremely
awkward and harsh construction, not supported in its
entirety by one single parallel usage in the whole
3) The sentence, taken according to (A), is a perfectly simple one,
and is exactly parallel with I Timothy 4:4, Πᾶν κτίσμα Θεοῦ
καλόν καὶ οὐδὲν ἀπόβλητον, - Pan ktisma Theou kalon kai
aouden apoblaeton - Every creature of God is good, and
nothing to be refused.”
4) It is in perfect harmony with the context. Having in the preceding
verse stated the excellence of the sacred writings, he accounts for that
excellence by referring to their ORIGIN and SOURCE.. They are
INSPIRED OF GOD and hence their wide use and great power.
5) With regard to the rendering of πᾶσα γραφή - pasa graphae (all
Scripture) no doubt, strict grammar, in the absence of
the article, favors the rendering in the Revised Version, “every Scripture,”
rather than that of the Authorized Version, “all Scripture.” But Alford’s
remark on Matthew 1:20 applies with full force here: “When a word or an
expression came to bear a technical conventional meaning, it was also
common to use it without the article, as if it were a proper name, e.g.
Θεός νόμος υἱὸς Θεοῦ – Theos nomos huios Theou” etc.
Therefore, just as πᾶσα Ἱεροσόλυμα – pasa Iierousoluma –
follows of the various uses of Holy Scripture is not true of
“every Scripture.” One Scripture is profitable for doctrine, another for
reproof, and so on. Examples of γραφή (Scripture) without the article
are II Peter 1:20 and Romans 1:2; and of πᾶς (all) not followed by the
article, and yet meaning “all,” are in Ephesians 2:21 and 3:15.
Inspired of God, etc. (θεόπνευστος Theopneustos); here only in the
New Testament or Septuagint, but occasionally in classical Greek, as
Plutarch. For doctrine; for teaching, etc. The particular uses for which
Scripture is said to be profitable present no difficulty. Teaching, of which
HOLY SCRIPTURE IS THE ONLY INFALLIBLE SOURCE!
Reproof (ἔλεγχον – elegmon – reproof; conviction; proof); only here
and Hebrews 11:1; but in classical Greek it means “a proof,” specially for
the purpose of “refutation” of a false statement or argument. Here in
the same sense for the “conviction” or “refutation” of false teachers
(compare Titus 1:9,13), but probably including errors in living (compare
in the ‘Ordering of Priests,’ “That there be no place left among you,
either for error in religion or for viciousness in life”). Correction
(ἐπανόρθωσιν – epanorthosin); only here in the New Testament,
but occasionally in the Septuagint, and frequently in classical Greek,
as Aristotle, Plato, etc., in the sense of “correction,” i.e. setting a
person or thing straight, “revisal,” “improvement,” “amendment,”
or the like. It may be applied equally to opinions and to morals, or way
of life. Instruction in righteousness exactly expresses the meaning.
The Greek, τὴν ἐν δικαιοσύνη – taen en dikaiosunae – the in
righteousness merely limits the παιδεία – paideia – instruction -
to the sphere of righteousness or Christian virtue. By the use of
Holy Scripture the Christian is being continually more perfectly
instructed in holy living.
There is a revealing power in the Bible. It teaches us much that we could not
otherwise have known. It supplies us with what is necessary not only for a correct,
but A LOFTY CONCEPTION OF GOD. It acquaints us with our fallen
state, and with God’s dealings with us for our salvation.
The reproving power of the Bible results from ITS GREAT REVEALING
POWER along with the state in which it finds us. The light it sheds is not for
Our justification, but for our being convicted of departures both from truth and
righteousness. (The Bible thus acts like “a mirror” to where we can see ourselves.
CY – 2013).
The corrective power of the Bible starts from our being convicted as out
of the straight path. By proper directions, admonitions, warnings, encouragements,
it brings us back into the straight path. “For instruction which is in righteousness.”
The disciplinary power of the Bible is specified as being within the sphere of
righteousness. In the lofty demands it makes — the loftier the further we
advance — it gives us the spiritual drill which makes for right habits.
Completeness aimed at. “That the man of God may be complete,
furnished completely unto every good work.” The man of God is man
according to the Divine idea. Many excellences go to make the complete
man, intellectual, emotional, practical. God desires to see the complete
man; and he has given the Bible for that end. The completeness thought of
is that of man as a worker, producing good thoughts, good words, good
actions. God desires to see the completely furnished worker, and He has
given the Bible for that end. It is true that we come very far short of the
Divine ideal of our humanity; the reason will be found to be that we neglect
the help provided for us. We do not consult God, but our own prejudiced
thoughts. Let us go back to the Bible, to be convicted of our error, and
corrected, and severely exercised toward the complete man.
Take an athletic man, the most perfect specimen of athletic training,
bone flesh and sinew, if that is all,
he is but one-third of a man and useless to society!
Send him to the schools and cram his mind full,
He is but two-thirds of man
and now he is dangerous as well as useless!
Put Christ in his heart to control and urge his purpose
an ideal man – all three-thirds – A COMPLETE MAN!
17 “That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all
good works.” Perfect. (ἄρτιος - artios –complete; fitted; perfect of its
kind); only here in the New Testament, but common in classical Greek.
Throughly furnished. (ἐξηρτισμένος – exaertismenos - furnished completely
containing the same root as ἄρτιος); elsewhere in the New Testament only in
Acts 21:5 in the sense of “completing” a term of days. It is nearly synonymous with
καταρτίζω – katartizo - perfected; you tuned; (Matthew 21:16; Luke 6:40;
II Corinthians 13:11; Hebrews 13:21; I Peter 5:10). In late classical Greek ἐξαρτίζω –
exartizo means, as here, “to equip fully.” As regards the question whether the man
of God is restricted in its meaning to the minister of Christ, or comprehends all
Christians, two things seem to decide in favor of the former: the one that
“the man of God” is in the Old Testament invariably applied to prophets in the
immediate service of God (I Timothy 6:11, note); the other that it undoubtedly
refers to Timothy in his character of chief pastor of the Church, and that here too
the whole force of the description of the uses and excellence of Holy
Scripture is brought to bear upon the exhortations in v. 14, “Continue
thou in the things which thou hast heard,” addressed to Timothy as the
Bishop of the
clear that all that precedes was intended to bear directly upon Timothy’s
faithful and vigorous discharge of his office as an evangelist.)
The Authority and Utility of the Scriptures (vs. 16-17)
The apostle is led to emphasize the value of the Scriptures generally for the purposes
of spiritual life.
· THE AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE. “Every Scripture inspired of God
is also profitable.”
Ø This does not signify that there may be Scripture not divinely inspired,
but merely asserts that the Scripture being thus inspired is profitable.
Ø The words “inspired by God” point to the entire agency of God in
producing that Divine element which makes the Bible differ from every
other book. The inspired person was the organ of God in what he said, so
that his words were the words of God.
Ø Scripture says nothing concerning the mode of inspiration. The process
is supernatural, and it cannot be explained. It is not with the mode but
with the result we are concerned.
Ø Inspiration differs from revelation — this being that through which
apostles and prophets came into possession of Divine information,
inspiration being that through which they were able infallibly to
communicate it to others.
Ø There is nothing in the doctrine of inspiration inconsistent with the idea
that the inspired penmen used their own peculiarities of verbal expression
or personal idiosyncrasies.
Ø The inspiration extends to words as well as thoughts — to the form as
well as the substance of Scripture. So far as the record is inspired at all,
infallible thought must be definite thought, and definite thought implies
words. The apostle claimed that the Holy Spirit guaranteed his words as
well as his thoughts (I Corinthians 2:13, “Not in the didactic words of
man’s wisdom, but in the didactic words of the Holy Ghost”). Besides,
Christ and the apostles argue from the very words of Scripture
(Matthew 22:45; Galatians 3:16).
Ø The term “every Scripture” in the text seems to include the Old
Testament and the New Testament so far as it had been written; else
there would have been no necessity for a different term from that used
in the fifteenth verse, “Holy Scriptures.”
· THE UTILITY OF THE SCRIPTURE “Is also profitable for teaching,
for reproof, for correction, for discipline in righteousness.”
Ø It is useful for teaching — as a medium for communicating instruction,
that we may know and believe what is necessary to salvation.
Ø It is useful for reproof — for the refutation of error, for convincing a
man of his error.
Ø It is useful for correction — as to what is practically wrong in life.
Ø It is useful for “discipline in righteousness” — righteousness being the
element in which this discipline is to take effect, through the agency of
· THE RESULT OR DESIGN OF THE SCRIPTURE. “That the man
of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work.”
Ø The design is the perfection of the believer in life and service. The
description supplies the man of God with all due appliances for this end.
They help to make us perfect in knowledge, faith, and holiness, as well
as to furnish us with wisdom and guidance in all holy service.
Ø Inference to be drawn from the design of Scripture. It is a perfect, a
plain, a sufficient rule of faith and life. If it can make wise to salvation,
perfect the man of God, and furnish him for all holy work, then there
is no need for tradition to supplement its imaginary defects as some
The Design of the Scriptures (v. 17)
“That the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every
description supplies the man of God with all due appliances for this end.
They help to make us perfect in knowledge, faith, and holiness, as well as
to furnish us with wisdom and guidance in all holy service.
plain, and sufficient rule of faith and life. If it can make wise to salvation,
perfect the man of God, and furnish him for all holy work, then there is
no need for tradition to supplement its imaginary defects.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
converting the soul: the testimony
of the LORD is sure, making wise
the simple. The statutes of the LORD
are right, rejoicing the heart: the
commandment of the LORD is pure,
enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD
is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of
the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, yea,
than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey
and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy
servant warned: and in keeping of them there is
great reward. (Psalm 19:7-11)
Holy Scripture the Strength of the Man of God (vs. 1-17)
There is marvelous force in the application to the Christian bishop and
evangelist of the title THE MAN OF God When we remember the course
of faithful and untiring labor, and patient unflinching suffering, which was
run by those to whom alone this title was given in the Old Testament —
Moses and Samuel and Elijah, and other prophets of God — we feel at
once that the application of this title to the ministers of Christ under the
New Testament teaches them with incisive power that the like spirit must
be found in them if they are worthy to be classed with the men of God.
Evidently the “man of God”
and gainsaying world;
false doctrines; and
he must be a man of prayer, and very devout towards God;
for otherwise how shall he be called a “man of God”? But how shall
this unearthly character be maintained? When those perilous times are at
their height in which all the natural affections of men seem to be blighted,
and all the natural safeguards against the growth of evil seem to be
overborne by the floods of ungodliness, when a proud boasting spirit, as
empty as it is pretentious, carries men into all kinds of unseemly action, and
when religion itself, far from guiding men in holy paths, degenerates into
hypocrisy and faction and opposition to that which is good, how shall the
man of God:
· maintain his integrity,
· abide in the true doctrine of God, and
· hold his own against the teachers of lies, and the seducers of weak
and silly souls?
God has provided him with an all-sufficient weapon of attack and of
defense. IN THOSE HOLY SCRIPTURES which were given by
inspiration of God, the man of God finds a spiritual furniture suitable
for every need. By the study of it he acquires fresh wisdom for his task, and
by its spirit his own spirit is nourished and refreshed. IN THE BRIGHT
LIGHT OF ITS TRUTH:
· the pernicious errors of seducers are exposed;
· by its counsels waverers are established,
· the weak are strengthened,
· the crooked are set straight again.
Conversant with its heavenly doctrine, the man of God is never at a loss for
a word of rebuke, of comfort, or exhortation. And while, on the one hand,
he is able to refute every new heresy that arises, by reference to the
unchanging Word of God, on the other he daily acquires some new insight
into the depths of revelation for his own edification and that of others.
He finds that the manifold and many-sided wisdom of the Scriptures is as able
to cope with the intellectual difficulties of the twenty-first century as it was
with the Gnosticism of the East in the first centuries of Christianity. And
so, while some turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto
fables, the man of God finds his faith daily strengthening and increased,
and looks forward fearlessly to the time when THE FOLLY OF THE
SKEPTIC SHALL BE EVIDENT TO ALL MEN and THE TRUTH
OF GOD’S WORD SHALL BE VINDICATED BEFORE ALL
CREATION at the appearing of JESUS CHRIST IN THE GLORY
OF HIS KINGDOM!
Grievous Times (vs. 1-17)
“But know this, that in the last days grievous times shall come.” They were
in the first days of the Christian era; the times foretold were to be in the
last days of that era. There is an intended indefiniteness about the days;
nothing is said about their commencement, or about the period over which
they are to extend. They are to embrace distinct times, but all characterized
by grievousness. From what follows we may infer that the grievousness of
the times will consist in the prevalence of moral evil, and in the strange
coexistence of moral evil with Christian forms. There will be difficulty in
knowing how to act, and also in acting according to knowledge in the face
of strong, quasi-Christian solidarities of evil. From a source of revelation
open to him, the apostle was able to write with certainty regarding the
coming of grievous times in the last days. There is not excluded the
ultimate triumph of religion in this world which is taught elsewhere.
· CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MEN IN THE GRIEVOUS TIMES.
Ø “For men shall be lovers of self.” Such men as the apostle here describes
there have been at all times, and the apostle does not say that they will be
then such for the first time, nor that all men without exception shall be
such, but he describes the moral spiritual physiognomy (the supposed art
of judging character from facial characteristics) of the times which
he beholds approaching.” We are not to include in this first part of the
description all who are influenced by self-love; for it is only right before
God that we should be influenced by an intelligent regard to our personal
interest. The persons intended are the selfish — a word which was only
brought in by the Puritan divines toward the middle of the seventeenth century.
They are those who exclude God from the central place to which He is entitled
in their life. They are those who exclude others from the place of interest to
which they are entitled. They thus put self in a false position — make it the
beginning and end of all their thoughts and actions. They properly take the
place of pre-eminence in the apostle’s list; for all classes of sinners are after
the selfish type, i.e. put forward self in some way or other that does not
accord with eternal truth. In the grievous times will be large developments
Ø “Covetous” - Lovers of money. From similarity of composition in the
Greek words, the apostle passes on from lovers of self to lovers of money.
Under this head are not to be included all seekers of money; for it is right
to seek money for good ends. Neither are there to be included all who seek
money for selfish ends. But we are to think rather of the avaricious, i.e.
those who seek to retain money in a selfish way. They look upon it as that
which will make them self-sufficient in the future; and therefore they
grudge to spend it even on present necessity. The times will be grievous
when the avaricious increase.
Ø “Boastful.” – Boasters - Derived from a word signifying
“a wandering about,” this word designated first the:
o vagabond mountebanks - persons who deceives others, especially
in order to trick them out of their money; a charlatan.
o conjuors – magicians, illusionists.
o quacksalver - a person who pretends, professionally or publicly,
to have skill, knowledge, qualification or credentials he or she
does not possess; a charlatan or snake oil salesman". The term
quack is a clipped form of the archaic term quacksalver.
o exorcist - a person who is believed to be able to cast out
the devil or other demons.
These people are “full of empty and boastful professions of cures and other
feats which they could accomplish. Men do not need to go about crying up,
advertising, that which is of great value. What men generally boast of is some
external advantage which is of little consequence in comparison with the
moral worth which should be associated with it. The times will be grievous
when the gift is exalted above the moral use to which it is put.
Ø “Proud.” - Haughty. The haughty are literally, in the Greek ὑπερήφανοι –
huperaephanoi - , those who show themselves above their fellows. In the
glass of their own minds, they behold themselves standing along with others;
and the comparison they make is in their own favor. Their estimate is false in
respect of the importance attached to that in which they pride themselves,
and in respect of the importance attached to that for which they despise
others. Birth is an advantage, but not the only advantage, nor the greatest
advantage, and must be taken along with service and character. In the
grievous times there will be a great amount of pride.
Ø “Blasphemers.” Railers. The word is “blasphemers” but it would be
inconsistent with holding the form of godliness to think of blasphemers in
the usual sense in English. It is better, therefore, to think of those who use
evil words to each other, i.e. words of contempt, or words of bitterness.
There is to be a large development of evil speaking in the grievous times.
Ø “Disobedient to parents.” Selfishness is early to show itself in the form of
self-will. The young generation are to show impatience of being ruled by
their parents, which is sure to grow into impatience in respect of all rightful
rule. In the grievous times there is to be a large development of lawlessness,
beginning in the family circle.
Ø “Unthankful.” Those who are allowed to have their own way in early life
are not likely to grow up to show gratitude to parents for what they have
sacrificed for them, nor are they likely to show gratitude in the ordinary
association in life, nor can we think of them showing gratitude to God for
His mercies. INGRATITUDE is to be a striking feature of the grievous
Ø “Unholy.” There are certain sanctities which are EVERLASTING which are
anterior to all law and custom, which belong to the Divine constitution of
things, e.g. the sanctities of the marriage bond. The unholy are those who
have no reverence or love in their hearts for these everlasting sanctities.
In the grievous times the most sacred bonds are to be DISREGARDED!
Ø “Without natural affection.” Affection is that which sweetens life. In the
grievous times affection is to die out, even for those for whom nature
specially claims affection. Parents will act unnaturally toward their children.
(What could be any more unnatural than to kill (abort) their child,
either prior to birth, or NOW AFTER BIRTH????????? – CY – 2019)
Ø “Implacable.” The word supposes a state of variance. In the grievous times
men are not to come to terms with those who have given them offence, but
are to pursue them with all the might of THEIR VENGEANCE!
(Sounds like the Legislative Branches [the House and the Senate] of the
Ø “Slanderers.” They are not to be content with pouring contempt and bitterness
on one another in ordinary evil speaking, but they are to attack one another
with falsehoods. (Witness yesterday when four freshmen members of
the House, now known as The Squad, attacked the President who has been
“Tweeting” his analysis of them – CY – this being July 16, 2019) Thus the
diabolic character is to be developed in the grievous times.
Ø “Without self-control.” Incontinent. (ἀκρατεῖς – akrateis - without
self-control; [sexually]); With self-will uncurbed in early life, it is not
to be wondered at that the men of the grievous times are to be characterized
as men who
have no self-control. (
this sexual cesspool of misconduct. CY – 2019)
Ø “Fierce.” In the grievous times there will be loss of self-control, proceeding
to deeds of violence. (Rape, child molestation, after-birth abortion,
ad nauseum. CY – 2019)
Ø “No lovers of good.” Despisers of those that are good. In keeping with the
personal reference before and after, we prefer to translate,“no lovers of good
men.” With evil so active in them, the presence of good men will be
burdensome to them. (And why, “....because his own works were evil
and his brother’s righteous.” I John 3:12 – CY – 2019) They are therefore
likely to make the times grievous to the good, by unjustly treating them.
Ø “Traitors.” Fidelity is the sacred bond that joins friend to friend. In the
grievous times friend will be often found betraying friend. (“And the
brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child:
and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them
to be put to death.” (Matthew 10:21)
Ø “Heady.” Headstrong. In the grievous times men will go to daring lengths.
Ø “High minded.” Puffed up. The explanation of their daringness is, that they
have no right sense of their own position before God — their:
Ø impotence, and
Ø “Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” Men will be daring especially
in sensual gratification. (I saw a documentary on cocaine that was going back
as far as the 1970’s and 1980’s and the connection to sex. This means that
the “drug culture” and “sexual revolution” has been entrenched in this
country for nearly half a century, just one of the reasons that is bringing,
not only judgment upon the nation and people, but the Second Coming of
Jesus Christ! CY – July 17, 2019) Pleasure will be preferred TO GOD!
Ø “Holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power thereof.”
The remarkable thing is that the men who have been described (we do
not need to think of the characteristics being all combined) should hold
a form of godliness. The relation of the form of godliness to the men who
make the grievous times, is that it conceals their true character. It is
SELF throughout, in a more or less hateful form, and therefore the
real power of godliness is denied. But it does not appear so
nakedly and hatefully to be self where there is a form of acknowledging
God. The relation of the form of godliness to the grievous times is, that it
allows evil to work more insidiously (in a gradual, subtle way, but with
harmful effects). It is not so difficult to meet pure heathenism as it is to
meet a Christianity that has become heathenish.
Ø Advice. “From these also turn away.” Paul would have things put on a
basis of reality. Between Timothy and such men there could be no
sympathy. Why keep up a semblance of fellowship? Both for them and for
him it was better that the line of demarcation should be drawn, and that all
further relationships should proceed on the footing that they did not belong
to the same Christian society.
· THE MEN OF THE GRIEVOUS TIMES ANTICIPATED. “For of
these.” The apostle follows up his description of the men of the evil times
by the advice to turn away from them, as though they were already present.
The explanation he gives is that there were forerunners of them, men of the
same spiritual kith. Characteristics.
Ø Influence with women.
o Manner of their influence. “Are they that creep into houses, and take
captive silly women.” Their converts were among women, which was
not matter of reproach to them. But it was matter of reproach that it was
women so habitually that they sought to influence, and that they did not
go openly about the work of influencing them. They crept into houses,
as though they did not wish to be seen. And that mode of entrance
suggested the employment of other methods than the direct force of
truth. By the methods employed they got the women completely into
their power. It was matter of reproach to the women that they gave
themselves up to such teachers, and therefore they are called
o Explanation of their influence. “Laden with sins, led away by divers
lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the
truth.” They were not women of the right stamp. In relation to their past
they were laden with sins. In relation to their present they were led away
by divers lusts — led away to divers, and even conflicting, sources of
gratification. They needed a salve for their conscience, and yet a salve
that allowed continued gratification. This salve was supplied by the
false teachers. They were always getting some new point from them,
which gave satisfaction for the time, but they never came any nearer
resting in the truth. The reason was that they had not the right moral
conditions. Their object was, not to get such truth (to be found in the
gospel) as would have delivered them from the guilt of their sins and
the power of their lusts, but to have lengthened out to them a mingling
of sensual and intellectual gratification.
Ø Withstanding the truth.
o Type of their opposition. “And like as Jannes and Jambres withstood
Moses, so do these also withstand the truth; men corrupted in mind,
reprobate concerning the faith.” The apostle here makes use of
Hebrew tradition. Jannes and Jambres are not mentioned in the Old
Testament, but Hebrew tradition identifies them with the chief of the
magicians who withstood Moses. Aaron cast down his rod before
Pharaoh, and it became a serpent; and the magicians “they also did in
like manner with their enchantments.” (Exodus 7:11) It is also
recorded that they succeeded in imitating the first two plagues. They
thus withstood Moses — stood between him and the effect which his
miracles were intended to produce on Pharaoh. So the false teachers
produced a spurious imitation of the truth, teaching what resembled
the gospel without being the gospel. As the gospel teachers had
also to a late period (Galatians 3:5) the power of working miracles, so
we can understand that these teachers made use of magical arts in
confirmation of their quasi-gospel teaching. They thus withstood the
truth — came between the gospel and the effect it was fitted to
produce. In thus acting they were corrupted in mind; their motives
were not good. Their object was not to advance the truth, or to benefit
those whom they taught, but to advance themselves and to obtain their
own ends with their female converts. They were also reprobate
concerning the faith; they were making it abundantly clear that their
adherence to the faith was a complete failure.
o Type of their defeat. “But they shall proceed no further: for their
folly shall be evident unto all men, as theirs also came to be.” So
Luther used to say of the priests by whom he was opposed. The
false teachers used secret and spurious methods with success; but,
though they might wax worse and worse themselves (v. 13), the
time of their exposure was come. So was it with Jannes and Jambres.
They were in undisturbed possession of power till Moses appeared
on the scene. They seemed to be succeeding when they turned their
own rods into serpents; but they suffered defeat when Aaron’s rod
swallowed up their rods. They seemed to be recovering their success
when they imitated the first plague (water turned to blood0, and again
when they imitated the second plague (frogs); but they were baffled in
their attempt to imitate the third plague (lice; Exodus 8:18). They were
in connection with another plague shown to be defeated, when they
could not stand before Moses because of the boils (ibid. ch. 9:11).
in getting the children of
Hebrew tradition tells that Jannes and Jambres perished in the
and check out The Red Sea Crossing. There is a video with archaeological
evidence – CY 2019) This is the history of all false teaching, of all
spiritual trickery. It may succeed for a time, but its very success
often works its ruin. The time comes when its impostures are found
out, and it can proceed no further. So we can believe that the great
development of evil in the last days will end in COMPLETE
EXPOSURE and in the brilliant TRIUMPH OF GOOD!
· CONTRAST IN TIMOTHY.
Ø Timothy reminded of his conduct at a former period, which was a
following of Paul as his guiding star.
o A leading up to sufferings. “But thou didst follow my teaching,
conduct, purpose, faith, long suffering, love, patience, persecutions,
sufferings.” The period referred to is Timothy’s early ministry. He then
acted as assistant to Paul, and what Paul gratefully calls to mind was his
close following of him as a disciple. He not only followed him so as to
be familiar with details, but followed him so as to direct his course by
what he saw in him. The great lines of his teaching, the great lines of
his conduct, Timothy made his own. The special purpose of his life
(ruling so many details), which was to spread the gospel of Christ, was
also after Paul. So, too, was his disposition towards Christ, viz. faith,
especially in his power to make his gospel to tell upon men. So, too,
was his disposition toward opponents, viz. his long suffering with their
bitter opposition. So, too, was his disposition toward those in whose
interest he labored, viz. love for their souls. So, too, was his disposition
under all the adverse conditions of his ministry, as appointed for him,
viz. patience. This forms a point of transition to past troublous times
when Paul was persecuted, and persecuted so as to be a sufferer in
many ways. Even to the apostle’s persecutions and sufferings Timothy’s
following extended; i.e. he thoroughly appreciated the fidelity which
led to them and brave bearing under them. They may have had to do
with his joining the apostle, and determined his own relation to
persecutions and sufferings.
specified. “What things befell me at
at Lystra; what persecutions I endured.”
§ At Iconium he had to flee from maltreatment, particularly
§ At Lystra under Jewish instigation, the mob stoned Paul and
dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead.
Such were the persecutions, the last especially sharp and extreme,
under which Paul bore up, of which Timothy Had a distinct impression,
and which were fitted to embolden him still.
o Comfortable issue of the sufferings. “And out of them all the Lord
delivered me.” He was cared for by the great Head of the Church, to
whom all power in earth had been committed, to whom it belonged
to order the earthly destiny of his servants. The Lord, who had more
work for him to do, delivered him out of all the schemes of his
enemies — gave him up to sorrowing friends when he was left for
dead by his enemies.
Ø Timothy forewarned.
o Regarding persecutions. “Yea, and all that would live godly in Christ
Jesus shall suffer persecution.” To live godly is to take the rule of our
life from God. This can only be carried out in communion with
Christ Jesus. Were all living according to the Divine rule around us,
we should be abundantly encouraged. But seeing we live in the midst
of so many who hate goodness and do not like to be reminded of God,
we must expect to suffer persecution, i.e. to be misjudged, to be
opposed, to be assailed, if our godliness is active and aggressive
against evil, as it should be. We must have a mind to live godly,
whatever consequences it entails. It was because he lived according
to the Divine rule that Paul was stoned. As the principle involved
was universal, Timothy, in proportion to the vitality of his godliness,
must expect to suffer persecution.
o Regarding evil men, and especially one class of them. “But evil men
and impostors shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being
deceived.” Of the evil men that make persecutions, the worst specimens
had not yet been seen. The rule is that good men wax better and better,
the good men of one generation outstripping the good men of former
generations. This may not apply to particular specimens, for we do
not find any to outstrip Paul. But it is true of good men as a class that,
with better helps, more experience to go by, better education, better
books, better methods, better organization, they are of more value
to the society to which they belong. We have laymen in our Churches
now whose Christian enlightenment and activity is above what any
previous generation has seen. While the good are better, the bad are
worse. This applies especially to the class specified, who, with
reference to what has before been said, are called impostors, or
tricksters in religion. The original reference of the word is to those who
chanted their spells in a sort of howl. We have worse specimens of
withstanders of the truth than Jannes and Jambres were, or their
successors in the early times of Christianity. Infidels are a worse
class of men now than they were half a century ago. The incantations
used in the free thinking press are of a more dangerous nature than
any potions or howlings that were resorted to by magicians of old.
Our free thinkers ARE DECEIVERS; they habitually subject
Scripture to the most unfair treatment. And deceiving, THEY ARE
ALSO DECEIVED, conscious of their own trickery, they do
not subject the statements of their friends to examination, but are
known for their amazing gullibility!
Ø Timothy incited to present duty founded on past early training.
o Early teaching. “But abide thou in the things which thou hast
learned.” Timothy was no longer in the position of the child taught, but
in the position of a teacher of others. To one in that position it might
have been thought that the appropriate thing would have been advice
about his reading — and he does appear to have had books and
parchments from the apostles — but the advice which he gives him
here is to continue in the things which he had learned, i.e. as a child.
And there was really nothing better for him; nothing except this, that
the Messiah whom Lois and Eunice taught him to look forward to was
now come, and that there had been done to Him and by Him all that
the Old Testament Scriptures had said of Him. And so to those who
are grown up, and have power to think and to read and to grasp things
with a firm grasp, there is never anything better than the old story
of Jesus and His love, learned at a mother’s knee.
o Early teaching along with early convictions. “And hast been assured
of.” We should read, “Thou didst learn, and wast assured of.” It is
Timothy’s early convictions that we are to think of. He not only got the
teaching from Lois and Eunice, but it became matter of personal
conviction to him. He could set to his own seal to what he had been
taught. He knew the worth of a mother’s religion in the peace, restraint,
hope, it brought into his own soul. It was a legitimate argument for Paul
to use with Timothy, not to turn his back on his early convictions, to
hold to the God of his childhood.*
I Have Returned
I have returned to the God of my childhood,
To the same simple faith as a child I once knew;
Like the prodigal son I have longed for my loved ones,
For the comforts of home and the God I outgrew.
I have returned to the God of my childhood,
He's Jesus to me, Eternal Deity;
Praise His name, I have returned.
I have returned to the God of my mother,
With unfailing faith for the child of her heart;
She said bring them up the way that you want them,
Thank God when they're grown, they'll never depart.
I have returned to the God of my mother,
I learned at her knee He's the lily of the valley;
He's Jesus to me, Eternal Deity;
Praise His name, I have returned.
I have returned to the God of my father,
The most God-like man a child could know;
I just heard a shout from the angels in glory,
Praising the Lord a child has come home.
I have returned to the God of my father,
Creator of heaven and earth, God of the universe;
He's Jesus to me, Eternal Deity;
Praise His name, I have returned.
I have returned to the Yahweh of Judah,
On my knees I did fall where the wall now stands;
This lesson I learned as I've worked my way homeward,
The Saviour of all is a comfort to man.
I have returned to the Father of Abraham,
The shepherd of Moses who called Him the great I am;
He's Jesus to me, Eternal Deity;
Praise His name, I have returned.
*Copied (a song by Marijohn Wilkin)
When life was lived according to God’s ideas, such as Timothy’s was,
he was not to be inconsistent and to make the latter part disagree with
the former. “There is but one way of making all our days one, because
one love, one hope, one joy, one aim, binds them all together; and that
is by taking the abiding Christ for ours, and abiding in Him all our
days. Our true progress consists, not in growing away from Jesus, but
in growing up into Him; not in passing through and leaving behind the
first convictions of Him as Saviour, but in having these verified by the
experience of years, deepened and cleared, unfolded and ordered into a
larger though still incomplete whole.”
o Personal element in teaching. “Knowing of whom [what persons] thou
hast learned them.” “Timothy was supposed to have a complete set of
recollections from his mother woven into his very feeling of the truth
itself. It was more true, because it had been taught by her. There was
even a sense of her loving personality in it, by which it had always
been, and was always to be endeared. On the other hand, it will be
always found that every kind of teaching in religion which adds no
personal interest or attraction to the truth, sheds no light upon it from
a good and beautiful life, is nearly or quite worthless. And here is the
privilege of a genuinely Christian father and mother in their
teaching, that they pass into the heart’s feeling of their child,
side by side with God’s truth, to be forever identified
with it, and to be, themselves, lived on and over with it, in the
dear eternity it gives him.”
o When teaching begins. “And that from a babe thou hast known.”
Those who carry the idea of individual responsibility through everything
have a difficulty here in the dating of religious instruction from the very
earliest age. James Mill, the author of the ‘History of India,’ taking the
education of his more remarkable son, John Stuart Mill, into his own
hands, proceeded on the principle that a religious upbringing would be
an interference with free development, and systematically kept all
religious ideas out of his mind till he considered him able to form an
independent and unbiased judgment upon the subject of religion. Our
objection to that course is that it is a virtual selling of the child to the
devil. If God and truth are not presented to the mind till a matured
judgment can be formed, it is not as though there had not been
experience, but THE MIND IS ALREADY WARPED and religion
is placed at a fearful disadvantage. Eunice proceeded on the right
principle when she seized the earliest opportunity of influencing the
mind of Timothy in favor of religion.
o Scriptural teaching.
§ Name. “The sacred writings.” The name is suggestive, in the
first place, of a written revelation, which has the advantage over
oral tradition (the form of revelation which obtained for the first
two or three thousand years) in that it does not lie so open to
the action of prejudice. Men may come with all manner of
prejudices to it, but it is there to witness for itself to every
unprejudiced mind. The name is suggestive, in the second place,
of many writers being employed in the communication of Divine
truth, which is much better than one with his particular
idiosyncrasy entering into his writings, inasmuch as all classes
of minds can be thus suited, and if they are not attracted by
one mode of stating the truth, they may be attracted by another.
The name is suggestive, in the third place, of writings connected
with religion, such as there do not seem to have been in
with the religions of
can be employed for the instruction of children, inasmuch as
it is truly a child’s book as well as a man’s book. What is
needed, at the first stage at least, is truth in the concrete form;
and this is to be found in the Bible, which, with some things
hard to be understood, has yet many a simple statement and
story that is fitted to fill the child’s imagination and to touch
the child’s heart. Eunice had only the Old Testament Scriptures
to draw upon: the Christian parent has now an immense
advantage, in the addition of the New Testament, and especially
of the four Gospels, and in the greater facilities which a printed
Bible gives him for getting Bible images and lessons into the
mind of the child.
§ Property. “Which are able to make thee wise unto salvation.”
They form a directory to salvation, containing all the
information and pleading with the soul which are necessary.
To one inexperienced in the ways of the world it is a great
advantage to have a friend at hand, able on every occasion
to give a sound advice, to expose fallacies, to put forward
weighty considerations. (Grandfathers and grandmothers
can, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, can play a
great part in this by reinforcing the parent’s teachings!
CY – 2019) Inexperienced in the ways of the world we
certainly are, liable to be deceived by appearances, to be
buoyed up with false hopes. In giving us the Scriptures,
God acts the part of a friend, giving us the best advice,
opening our eyes to reality, so that, with all our inexperience,
it is as though we possessed boundless stores of wisdom.
They are able to make WISE UNTO SALVATION but
they may not; for there are some who make themselves
wiser than God’s Word, and think they know better about
things than God does, AND SO PERISH by being wise in
their own conceits and REFUSE TO BE GUIDED!
§ Condition of efficiency. “Through faith which is in
Christ Jesus.” The Scriptures cannot do more than make us
wise unto salvation; they are not to be put in the place of Christ,
whose connection with salvation is more than that of a
directory — is of the most intimate nature, who is really the
efficient Cause of salvation, the Receptacle of salvation; and
they only do their work when they bring us up to Christ,
and also induce in us that state of mind which is here called
faith, which instrumentally appropriates the salvation which
is in Him.
· SUFFICIENCY OF SCRIPTURE.
Ø Ground of sufficiency. “Every Scripture inspired of God.” According to
this translation the inspiration of Scripture is taught, not explicitly but
implicitly. We are to regard it as taken for granted that Scripture is
GOD-BREATHED! Inspiration extends to every part of Scripture.
This is a doctrine of vital importance to the Church. Its bearing is that there is
not only the absence of error, but the presence of positive perfection (Psalm
19:7) in relation to the whole want of man under the present order of things.
The Divine influence, however operating, is guarantee that in Scripture, in its
manifoldness, we have all fundamentally that needs to be said to man on the
subject of religion, and in the form that is best fitted to have deep and lasting
effect upon his spiritual nature as a whole. The difference is very perceptible in
the post-apostolic literature. “Even where we recognize a lofty flight of the
spirit as in the Ignatian Epistles, the inspiration repeatedly is merely a
religious enthusiasm, a subjective romance, showing itself in an almost
reveling desire for martyrdom, moving and even infectious; so that many
who read an Ignatian Epistle for the first time feel themselves doubtless
more excited and stirred than by a Pauline one; but this very feature proves
that it is not really inspired; for the Spirit who founded the Church does not
tolerate the extolling of one isolated tendency in the soul, and cannot bear
such subjective partiality of view, be it ever so strong, ever so apparently
Ø Fourfold use.
o “Is also profitable.” In reading the Scriptures what we are
to seek above all things is that the truth contained in them
may be brought into contact with our minds for our profit.
o “For teaching.” There is first a revealing power in the Bible.
It teaches us much that we could not otherwise have known.
It supplies us with what is necessary not only for a correct,
but a lofty, conception of God. It acquaints us with our fallen
state, and with God’s dealings with us for our salvation.
o “For reproof.” The reproving power of the Bible results from
its great revealing power, along with the state in which it finds us.
The light it sheds is not for our justification, but for our being
convicted of departures both from truth and righteousness.
o “For correction.” The corrective power of the Bible starts
from our being convicted as out of the straight path. By proper:
it brings us back into the straight path.
o “For instruction which is in righteousness.” The disciplinary power
of the Bible is specified as being within the sphere of righteousness.
In the lofty demands it makes — the loftier the further we advance —
it gives us the spiritual drill which makes for right habits.
Ø Completeness aimed at. “That the man of God may be complete,
furnished completely unto every good work.” The man of God is man
according to the Divine idea. Many excellences go to make the complete
God desires to see the complete man; and He has given THE BIBLE
FOR THAT END! The completeness thought of is that of man as a
o good thoughts,
o good words,
o good actions.
God desires to see the completely furnished worker, and He has
given THE BIBLE FOR THAT END! It is true that we come VERY
SHORT OF THE DIVINE IDEAL of our humanity; the reason will
be found to be that WE NEGLECT THE HELP PROVIDED FOR US!
We do not consult God, but our own prejudiced thoughts. LET US
GO BACK TO THE BIBLE to be:
o convicted of our error,
o corrected in our error, and
o severely exercised toward THE COMPLETE MAN!
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