II Timothy 3
1 “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.”
(kairoi< calepoi> - 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.
2 “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters,
proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,”
Men (oiJ a]nqrwpoi - hoi anthropoid – 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. (fi>lautoi – 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
fi>lautoi in a good sense, and those who are justly blamed for being
fi>lautoi, i.e. selfish and greedy. The Christian character is exactly the
opposite (see I Corinthians 10:24; 13:5). Covetous. (fila>rguroi - philarguroi –
lovers of money); elsewhere in the New Testament only in Luke 16:14, though
not uncommon in classical Greek; filarguri>a – philarguria – coveted; fondness
for money - is found in I Timothy 6:10. Boasters. (ajla>zonev – alazones – boastful;
ostentatious; showy ); as Romans 1:30, and in classical Greek. It the derivation of the
word is a]lh – alae - wandering, we may compare the perierco>menoi –
perierchomenoi - wandering - of Acts 19:13, “vagabond Jews.” Such vagabonds
were usually boasters. Hence ajlazw>n – alazon - came to mean “a boaster.”
Proud, blasphemers.. Uperhfani>a – huperaephania – proud; haughty and
blasfhmi>a – blasphaemia -–blasphermers; railers; calumniators are coupled
together in Mark 7:22; and uJperhfa>nouv – huperaephanous – proud and
ajla>zonav - alazonas - boasters in Romans 1:30. In the New Testament
bla>sfhmov – blasphaemos – blasphemer and blasfhmi>a –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.
(goneusin apeitheiv – goneusin apeitaeeis ) 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. (ajca>ristoi– 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 (ajno>sioi – 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
(a]storgoi – astorgoi); as in Romans 1:31, where in the Textus Receptus it is
coupled with a]spondoi – aspondoi - implacable, as here. The verb ste>rgw –
stergo is “to love,” used primarily of the natural affection of parents to their
children and children to their parents. And storgh> – storgae is that natural love.
These persons were without this storgh>, 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. (a]spondoi –
aspondoi – implacable); only here according to the Received Text, not at all in the
Septuagint, but frequent in classical Greek. Spondh> – spondae was a solemn truce
made over a libation which accompanied the making of treaties and compacts.
‘Aspondov – 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 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. (dia>boloi – 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 –
oJ dia>bolov - ho diabolos - the devil, (oJ kath>goruv tw~n ajdelfw~n – ho
kataegorus ton adelphon - the accuser of the brethren - Revelation 12:10; see
John 6:70). Incontinent. (ajkratei~v – 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 ajkrasi>a – 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);
ajnh>meroi – 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 (ajnh>meroi),
and cannot be approached by strangers” (AEschylus, ‘Prom. Vinct.,’ 734,
edit. Scholef.). It corresponds with ajneleh>monev – 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. (ajfila>gaqoi –
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 fila>gaqov – 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 (prodo>tai – 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. (propetei~v – propeteis – headstrong); as in Acts 19:36. Neither “heady”
nor “headstrong” gives the exact meaning of propeth>v – propetaes which is “rash,”
“hasty,” “headlong.” “Headstrong” rather denotes obstinacy which will not
be influenced by wise advice, but propeth>v 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. (tetufwme>noi –
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. (filh>donoi – 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 (filo>qeoi – 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
filo>qeoi (lovers of God). A somewhat similar paronomasia occurs in
Isaiah 5:7, where hp"c]miis opposed to fp;v]mi, and hq;[;x] to hq;d;x].
“Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” MEN WILL BE
DARING, especially in SENSUAL GRATIFICATION. Pleasure will
be preferred to God.
5 “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from
such turn away.” Having a form (mo>rfwsin – morphosin form). It should
be the form; i.e. “the outward semblance,” i.q. mo>rfwma – morphoma - form,
shape, figure, here in contrast with du>namiv – dunamis – power - the reality.
In Romans 2:20, the only other place in the New Testament where
mo>rfwsiv – morphosis (form) occurs, there is no contrast, and so it has the sense
of a “true sketch” or “delineation.” Denying. (hjrnhme>noi – 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 kai< - 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 (ajpotre>pou –
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 ejktre>pomenov – 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
(ejndu>nontev – endunontes – creep into; ones slipping in); here only in the New
Testament. It has the sense of “sneaking into,” “insinuating themselves
Into.” Lead captive. (aijcmalwteu>ontev - – aichmaloteuontes - take captive;
capturing); as in Ephesians 4:3. The other form, aijcmalwti>zontev –
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 (ta< gunaika>ria – ta gunaikaria – silly
women; little women - diminutive of gunh> – 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 gunai~kav – gunaikas –
female; woman — they are only gunaika>ria (silly women). In the
passages quoted by Alford from Irenaeus and Epiphanius, the women
made use of by the later Gnostics are called gunaika>ria. 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 ai[resiv - 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 (seswreume>na
aJmarti>aiv – 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 (ajgo>mena –
agomena); with a strong intimation of UNRESISTING WEAKNESS
(compare I Corinthians 12:2; Acts 8:32; Luke 23:32). Lusts (ejpiqumi>aiv –
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.
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 (ajnte>sthsan – antestaesan); the same word as is used of Elymas
in Acts 13:8 (so ch. 4:15 and elsewhere). (katefqarme>na to<n nou~n –
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 katafqei>romai – kataphtheiromai.
Here in a moral sense katefqarme>noi to<n nou~n – katephtharmenoi ton noun
means men whose understanding is gone, and perished, as diefqarme>nov
th<n ajkoh>n – diephtharmenos taen akoaen means one whose hearing has
perished — who is deaf. In I Timothy 6:5 Paul uses the more common
diefqarme>nwn – diephtharmenon – deprived; corrupt. . Reprobate (ajdo>kima –
adokima); as Titus 1:16, and elsewhere frequently in Paul’s Epistles. It is just
the contrary to do>kimov – 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.
9 “But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest
unto all men, as their’s also was.” Shall proceed (proko>yousin – 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. Epi< plei~on –
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).
10 “But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose,
faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,” Hast fully known.
(parhkolou>qhsav – paraekolouthaesas – have fully followed; didst follow
which is the Received Text for parhkolou>qhkav, 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. (ajgwgh~| – agogae – conduct;
bringing up; manner of life); here only in the New Testament, but found in the
Septuagtint in Esther 2:20 (th<n ajgwgh<n aujth~v – 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 (pro>qesin – 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 (th~| makroqumi>a| - 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 (th~| uJpomonh~| – tae hupomonae – patience; the endurance).
This is exercised in the patient endurance of afflictions for Christ’s sake. It
is coupled, as here, with makroqumi>A – 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 (diwgmoi~v – diogmois ); as
Matthew 13:21; Acts 8:1; 13:50; II Corinthians 12:10, etc.
Afflictions (toi~v paqh>masin – 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.
At Antioch; in Pisidia (Acts 13:14). For an account of the persecutions
encountered by Paul at
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 (uJpenegka –
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 oi=a – hoia – the which - is paqh>masin – pathaemasin –
afflictions; suffering - and the difference between aJ – a and oi=a is that aJ
would limit the reference to the actual paqh>mata – 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, oi[ouv diw>gmouv uJpe>negka – hoious diogmous
hupenegka – what persecutions I endured is an amplification of the preceding
diw>gmoiv: “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 (me ejrjrJu>sato - 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 (kai< pa>ntev de< - 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.
13 “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving,
and being deceived.” Evil men (ponhroi> - ponaeroi – evil; wicked). In ch.4:18
it is panto<v e[rgou ponhrou~ – 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 oJ ponhro>v – ho ponaeros. Seducers. (go>ntev – gontes – seducers;
swindlers; impostor); only here in the New Testament. In classical Greek
go>hv – goaes is a juggler, a cheat, an enchanter. Paul still had the Egyptian
magicians in his mind. Shall wax worse and worse (proko>yousin ejpi< to<
cei~ron – prokopsousin epi to cheiron – shall be progressing on the worse);
see above, v. 9, note.
The Coming Apostasy (vs. 1-13)
(Apostasia – 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
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!
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 (ejpistw>qhv – 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 (para< ti>nov
e]maqev – para tinos emathes), or, according to another reading of nearly
equal authority, para< ti>nwn – para tinon – beside whom). If ti>nov 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 para<tou~ Patro<v – para tou Patros – beside the
Father answers to para< ti>nov; 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 ti>nwn does not refer to God, it must refer
to Paul. If, on the other hand, ti>nwn 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.
(ta<iJera< gra>mmata - - ta hiera grammata - the sacred writings; the
holy scriptures); literally, the holy letters, or learning. An ordinarily
educated child learns gra>mmata – grammata – letters; writings -
(John 7:15), in contradistinction to the uneducated, who are
ajgra>mmatoi – agrammatoi (Acts 4:13). But Timothy had learnt ta< iJera<
gra>mmata (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!
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
kai< - kai – and - with the following wjfe>limov – ophelimos –
B. As in the Revised Version, where qeo>pneustov (inspiration of God)
is part of the subject (as pa~n e]rgon ajgaqo>n – pan ergon agathon -
every good work, II Corinthians 9:8, and elsewhere); and the following
kai< (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 grafai< - graphai – writings - which
are not qeo>pneustoi (God inspired) just as ~n e]rgon ajgaqo>n –
(every good work) some works which are not good;
pa~sa eujlogi>a pneumatikh> – pasa eulogia pneumatikae –
all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3), that there are some
blessings which are not spiritual; pa~n e]rgon ponhro>n
– pan ergon ponaeron - every evil work (ch.4:18), that there
are some works which are not evil; and so on. But as
grafh> – 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, Pa~n kti>sma Qeou~
kalo>n kai<oujde<n ajpo>blhton - 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 pa~sa grafh> - 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.
Qeo>v no>mov uiJo<v Qeou~ – Theos nomos huios Theou” etc.
Therefore, just as pa~sa JIeroso>luma – 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 grafh> (Scripture) without the article
are II Peter 1:20 and Romans 1:2; and of pa~v (all) not followed by the
article, and yet meaning “all,” are in Ephesians 2:21 and 3:15.
Inspired of God, etc. (qeo>pneustov 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 (ejlegmo>n – 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
(ejpano>rqwsin – 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, th<n ejn dikaiosu>nh – taen en dikaiosunae – the in
righteousness merely limits the paidei>a – 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. (a]rtiov - artios –complete; fitted; perfect of its
kind); only here in the New Testament, but common in classical Greek.
Throughly furnished. (ejxhrtisme>nov – exaertismenos - furnished completely
containing the same root as a]rtiov); elsewhere in the New Testament only in
Acts 21:5 in the sense of “completing” a term of days. It is nearly synonymous with
katarti>zw – 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 ejxarti>zw –
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 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!
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