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Tuesday, September 11 2012
The Epistles: First Timothy
Timothy, from the Greek name pronounced Timotheus (his name is recorded both ways in the KJV), was a young man who grew from a disciple (a word that simply means student) of the apostle Paul to, in Paul's own words, a "man of God" (1 Timothy 6:11 KJV).
Timothy's mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois, were believers (2 Timothy 1:5), while his father was not. Timothy was a natural associate of Paul, in that his mother was a Jew, while his father was a "Gentile." Paul, a Jew, was sent to preach the Gospel to the entire world, "Jews and Greeks" (at that time, "Greek" was also used as a generic term for Gentile, even though it simply means a nation of people; see the Fact Finder question below).
"16:1 Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek: 16:2 Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. 16:3 Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews [see Circumcision] which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek. 16:4 And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem. 16:5 And so were the churches [see Can You See The Church? and The Church In The End Time] established in the faith, and increased in number daily." (Acts 16:1-5 KJV)
As recorded in Luke's second epistle (see The Epistles: Acts), Timothy quickly became a devout and loyal servant, not of Paul, but of the Messiah - while learning and working with Paul.
"17:10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea [see The Berean Lesson]: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. 17:12 Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.
Timothy also shared the dangers of preaching the Truth in a world that as-yet detests the Truth. As Paul was driven from one place to the next, Timothy's travels with Paul, or carrying communications of, or to Paul, also increased.
"18:1 After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth [see The Epistles: First Corinthians and The Epistles: Second Corinthians]; 18:2 And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. 18:3 And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers. 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath [see When Is The LORD's Day? and Why Observe The True Sabbath?], and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.
Timothy became a more prominent servant (at least, as far as is recorded) than others who shared the risks, such as Silas and Erastus.
"19:17 And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus [see The Epistles: Ephesians]; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 19:18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and showed their deeds. 19:19 Many of them also which used curious arts [see Sorcery] brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. 19:20 So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.
"Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith"
Paul's personal epistles to Timothy are somewhat different than to the various church congregations because Timothy was himself serving them, as Paul was; the letters therefore have the tone and content of an inner memo (Paul may some day be surprised that his letters have had millions of readers).
"1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ [see Who Is The LORD?], which is our hope;
Over and over, Paul warned Timothy of the dangers of the religionists - "unholy and profane" men who seek only to build themselves a "church."
"1:3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 1:4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: 1:6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; 1:7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm [see Is Your Religion Your Religion?].
With his combined background of "Jew and Greek," Timothy not only understood, but experienced the genuine "worldwide" reality of humanity (see also The Worldwide Church of God).
"2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers [see How To Pray], intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2:2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. 2:7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity." (1 Timothy 2:1-7 KJV)
"Thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ"
Like practically everything else, the purpose and meaning of "bishop" and "deacon" have been pirated. Paul's description of them is much different than what has been made of them.
"3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre [see What Does The Bible Say About Lucre?]; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 3:7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Notice how Paul spoke of the two of them with "therefore we both labour." The epistle wasn't to a church; it was to a fellow worker who served the churches, the people.
"4:6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ [see What Do Leaders Do?], nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. 4:7 But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. 4:8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
"But thou, O man of God"
From all that is written about him, Timothy was a righteous young man. Paul didn't write to Timothy to tell him to stop doing something, but rather to never start being corrupt.
"6:3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 6:4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness [see The Messiah's Warning About Christian Charlatans]: from such withdraw thyself.
At the end of the epistle, Paul made it very clear that he wasn't writing to a student any more - he was writing to a man of God.
"6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. 6:13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; 6:14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: 6:15 Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 6:16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen." (1 Timothy 6:11-16 KJV)
Fact Finder: What does "Gentile" actually mean? What did the Messiah say and teach about "Gentiles"?
This Day In History, September 11
1297: The Scots under William Wallace battled an English force under the Earl of Surrey at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.
1541: Jacques Cartier reached Lachine rapids above Montreal on his third voyage to Canada.
1609: English naval explorer Henry Hudson discovered what was later named Manhattan Island.
1709: An Anglo-Dutch-Austrian force led by the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy won a costly victory over the French in the Battle of Malplaquet, the last great battle of the War of the Spanish Succession.
1712: French astronomer (of Italian origin) Giovanni Cassini died at age 87. He made numerous discoveries, including 4 moons of Saturn, the existence of divisions in the rings of Saturn, and the rotational period (the length of its "day") of Mars.
1792: The Hope Diamond is stolen along with other French crown jewels.
1922: Under the authority of a UN Mandate, "Palestine" (an English rendering of the Biblical word "Philistine") and Trans-Jordan ("across the Jordan") came under British control as one of the major after-effects of the First World War (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).
1941: Construction of the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia began. Exactly 60 years to the day later, it was severely damaged during the 9-11 attacks (see the entry for 2001, below).
1971: Nikita Khrushchev died at age 77. He led the Soviet Union through the height of the Cold War with the United States. He began to lose political power after losing the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 during which President John F. Kennedy imposed a naval blockade on the island and put all U.S. nuclear forces on their highest alert. Many historians consider the crisis to be the closest the world came to nuclear warfare.
1973: The Marxist government of Salvador Allende in Chile was overthrown by a military coup.
1974: Haile Selassie was deposed as king of Ethiopia.
1978: U.S. President Jimmy Carter, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, and Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel meet at Camp David and agree on the Camp David Accords, a basis of peace between Israel and Egypt.
1997: Scottish voters strongly approved (74.2%) plans to establish a separate Scottish parliament apart from the British parliament, 290 years after the Act of Union with England in 1707.
2001: Using hijacked airliners, terrorists from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia (neither Pakistan nor Saudi Arabia were invaded in retaliation) killed approximately 3,000 people in New York (the collapse of the twin towers of the World Trade Center), Washington (the Pentagon) and Pennsylvania (a hijacked airliner that went down before reaching its target because of a passenger revolt). The terrorist attacks triggered the U.S. military invasion of Afghanistan where the attacks on the US were planned and commanded by Saudi Arabian born Osama bin Laden, and was used as a justification for the U.S. invasion of Iraq - although no evidence has ever been found that Iraqi leader Sadam Hussein had any involvement in the attacks on New York and Washington (the hijackers were all from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia), nor were any "weapons of mass destruction" ever found in Iraq.