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Monday, March 11 2013

2 Timothy: In The Last Days Perilous Times Shall Come

Timothy was a close disciple (a word that simply means student), and then fellow "man of God," to the apostle Paul (see 1 Timothy: Godliness With Contentment). Paul's second epistle to Timothy was written about a year after the first.

"1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,

1:2 To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord." (2 Timothy 1:1-2 KJV)

On The Streets Paul had come to realize that he had been zealous for a religion that had, while based upon what the LORD gave to Israel, become a religion of, as the Messiah Himself said, the "traditions of men" (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Judaism). Paul did not break away, or create a new religion; he returned to the Truth that Israel was originally given, so that "I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience." The greatest irony is that the religious authorities of that time regarded the "Christians" as "liberals," when in fact the Christians were the conservatives in doctrine, as it was given, by Jesus Christ (see The Kingdom Of The LORD God) to Abraham (see What Did Jesus Christ Say About Abraham? and Abraham's Journey: When Will He Arrive?).

"1:3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience [see A Biography Of Abraham: The Genealogy Of Abram, A Biography Of Abraham: Isaac, Israel In History and Prophecy: Jacob's Family], that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; 1:4 Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. 1:6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord [see Who Is The LORD?], nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death [see What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16?], and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: 1:11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles [see What Did The Messiah Say About Gentiles?]. 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 1:14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us." (2 Timothy 1:3-14 KJV)

Paul's persecutions were made more painful by those who had forsaken him. Timothy was one of only a very few who did not abandon Paul.

"1:15 This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.

1:16 The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: 1:17 But, when he was in Rome [see The Gospel To Rome and The Church Of God At Rome], he sought me out very diligently, and found me. 1:18 The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well." (2 Timothy 1:15-18 KJV)

Paul endured imprisonments, beatings and hatred - for no other reason than the Truth that he preached - the real criminals were those running the prisons. Rather than weaken him however, Paul grew stronger, "strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus."

Paul In Prison

"2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. 2:5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. 2:6 The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits [see also The Harvest Prophecies]. 2:7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things." (2 Timothy 2:1-7 KJV)

The Romans held Paul in chains, within a prison cell - and yet, as his epistles (that have since been read by millions of people) have proven, "I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound." Much of Paul's ability to communicate with the world during that time was made possible by Timothy.

"2:8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David [see The Seed Of David] was raised from the dead according to my gospel: 2:9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound [see What Does Word of God Mean To You?].

2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 2:11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him [see When And Where Your Eternal Life Will Begin]: 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself." (2 Timothy 2:8-13 KJV)

Paul constantly faced many who rejected the Gospel, but from what he wrote, it seems that he was much more grieved by those that he taught, and who then went off and perverted it, "and overthrow the faith of some." The LORD is in control however; "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his."

"2:14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. 2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth [see The Messiah's Warning About Christian Charlatans]. 2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 2:17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 2:18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." (2 Timothy 2:14-19 KJV)

Paul was filled with Christian love and peace, but he was nevertheless not an easy man to be around; he had an intense personality, before his conversion, and after it. Perhaps that's the reason that most departed from him. Timothy did not leave him, which indicates that Timothy was not only as strong as Paul, but as strong-willed (another reason, perhaps, why Paul referred to Timothy as "Timothy, my own son in the faith" 1 Timothy 1:2 KJV).

"2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2:23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil [see Satan's Fall: From Conservative To Liberal], who are taken captive by him at his will." (2 Timothy 2:22-26 KJV)

Paul's prophecy about "in the last days perilous times shall come" is one of the most-quoted of the Bible. Look around the world as it is today, and see how accurate Paul described it.

"3:1 This know also, that in the last days [see The Church In The End Time] perilous times shall come. 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

3:6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth [see Is Your Religion Your Religion?]. 3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 3:9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was." (2 Timothy 3:1-9 KJV)

Paul's "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" is also one of the most-familiar of the Bible. Notice the contrasting context, that at the same time "evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived."

Earth

"3:10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, 3:11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 3:15 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. 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works [see Works Means Obedience]." (2 Timothy 3:10-16 KJV)

Paul also very accurately described the false "Christianity" of today: "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

"4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom [see Could Christ Return Tonight?]; 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing [see also The Two Signs Of Christ's Return]." (2 Timothy 4:1-8 KJV)

Only one other remained loyal to Paul during that time - Luke remained with Paul while Timothy was away doing what Paul had sent him to do. During that time, Luke was preparing his own epistles (see Luke and Acts in the list below).

"4:9 Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. 4:11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. 4:12 And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus [see The Epistles: Ephesians; also Where Are The Seven Churches Of Revelation Today?]. 4:13 The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.

4:14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: 4:15 Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.

4:16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. 4:17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." (2 Timothy 4:9-18 KJV)

Studies For The Book Of 2 Timothy

Lessons Of Perseverance And Faith

Acts: Luke's Second Letter To Theophilus

2 Thessalonians: The Falling Away Of The Son Of Perdition

1 Thessalonians: Prove All Things, Hold Fast What Is Good

Colossians: By Him Were All Things Created

Philippians: Some Preach The Truth In Envy And Strife

The Berean Lesson

Ephesians: Put On The Whole Armour Of God

Galatians: Don't Pervert The Gospel Of Christ

2 Corinthians: The Devil's Fight Along The Way

1 Corinthians: That Rock Was Christ

Romans: In The Heart Of The Beast

Fact Finder: Why does the Messiah permit the persecution of His people? Why did He permit the same persecution of Himself?
See Why Does The LORD Permit Persecution?


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This Day In History, March 11

222: Roman Emperor Elagabalus was assassinated, along with his mother, Julia Soaemias, by the Praetorian Guard (their palace guards) during a revolt. Their mutilated bodies are dragged through the streets of Rome before being thrown into the Tiber River (see also Whatever Happened To Those Romans?).

537: The Goths besieged Rome. The Goths were one of the tribes of Teutonic/Germanic people who invaded the Roman Empire in the 3rd to 5th centuries, eventually conquering and succeeding it. Thereafter, the Roman Empire became officially known as Sacrum Romanum Imperium Nationis Germanica i.e. the "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" (see The Holy Roman Empire and Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Euro!).

1702: The first British daily newspaper, The Daily Courant, began publication.

1708: Queen Anne withheld Royal Assent from the Scottish Militia Bill, the last time a British monarch vetoed legislation.

1810: Napoleon was married by proxy to Archduchess Marie Louise.

1812: An edict emancipated the Jews in Prussia (not to be confused with Russia; Prussia is in Germany). In reality however, the edict was evaded e.g. Jews could study law but not practice it.

1824: Amidst the ongoing genocide and homeland seizure of the Native Americans, the United States Department of War created the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

1900: British Prime Minister Lord Salisbury rejected the peace overtures offered from Boer leader Paul Kruger.

1917: General Maude with 50,000 British and Indian troops marched into Baghdad, capturing 9,000 Ottoman/Turkish prisoners (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).

1931: The communist Soviet Union banned the sale or importation of The Holy Bible.

1935: Hermann Goering established the German Air Force, the Luftwaffe.

1949: Israel's application for membership in the United Nations was approved by the Security Council (membership itself came the following May).

1953: A U.S. bomber accidentally dropped a nuclear bomb on South Carolina, however the weapon of mass destruction did not explode due to 6 "safety" catches.

1985: Mikhail Gorbachev became head of the Soviet Union following the death of Konstantin Chernenko. At 54, he was the youngest member of the ruling Politburo.

1990: The Lithuanian Parliament proclaimed the restoration of the Baltic Republic's pre-World War Two independence from the Soviet Union. Lithuania was the first Soviet Republic to break away from Communist control.

2011: A magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck 130 kiliometers east of Sendai, Japan, triggering a tsunami that killed thousands of people. The event also caused the second-worst nuclear power plant disaster in history.





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