Rebuke not an Elder. 1 Timothy 5:1

Let’s start off this study into chapter five of 1 Timothy with a version I try to stay away from, the KJV.

1 Timothy 5:1 KJV Rebuke not an elder but entreat him as a father, and the younger men as brethren;

The KJV version has an air of respect as it speaks of an elder. The presumed idea is that older citizens should be thought of as elders. We would assume that this means someone with wisdom and qualifications coming from a life lived by a moral standard.

While this seems like a valid concept, we need to do our homework and look up words and their meanings.

Elder is the Greek word presbuteros. The meanings range from someone who is older, a title of dignity, and one of the classes of members to which the chief priest and the scribes and the elders belonged.

With the Christian church coming on the scene the word elder was applied to those “who were committed the direction and government of individual churches.”

I have to read 1 Timothy 5:1 in light of the entirety of Paul’s letter to Timothy. It was written to instruct a young man on how to be a good pastor and church leader. So, my perception of an elder, in regards to this letter, is to see this person as someone within this body of believers, who is, in all likelihood, carrying the responsibility of being a church elder.

Now let’s look at another translation, one I use frequently.

1 Timothy 5:1 NASB Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers,

The NASB changed the terminology to simply read, an older man. While it would be appropriate to treat older people with respect, the change in language removes the idea that this person is an elder within the church. This, in my mind, ignores the context and ignores the Greek word presbuteros which speaks of a leadership position. Most of the translations refer to older men, almost as if they are excluding presbuteros and the context of church leadership.

Let’s consider a couple more words: appeal and entreat.

Both of these examples is the Greek word parakaleō which Strong’s tells me, means to call near, that is, invite, invoke (by imploration, hortation or consolation): – beseech, call for, (be of good) comfort, desire, (give) exhort (-ation), intreat, pray.

I have never heard the word hortation intentionally used before. Because it is unfamiliar to me I looked it up in Webster’s dictionary. It means the act of exhorting or giving advice.

Thayer’s definitions of the word entreat, simply say, to call to one’s side.

What I do with this information?

First, let’s address this from the standpoint of a person having to be rebuked, whether they are an elder or merely an older person.

What have they done to deserve such a sharp rebuke?

As we see from 2 Timothy that the potential for being in opposition, to the teachings Paul left for Timothy to preach, is one answer. In the church, we call those teachings church doctrine. These doctrines are the foundation on which we build.

And in this way, I desire to preach where Christ has not been named, so as not to build on another person’s foundation, (Romans 15:20 NET.)

Build, Do you mean that we can make it higher, cover it in gold, and promote the worship of the temple over God?

No, for the only thing being built is the body of Christ, based upon Jesus’ work on the cross; and, even then the building only takes place as people are drawn to the Word the God, the life we are living – in love, and they themselves become established in the hope we have.

If someone is holding another viewpoint about these doctrines (although I am not sure that is theologically possible,) is it necessary to go nuclear on them?

“The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:24-26 NASB)

The definition of entreat, as we saw above, indicates that we are to call this person to our side. I think the obvious fact is that, in the process of trying to correct or straighten this person out, it is done with a heart of love. Now, the complete stranger; that person who will NOT listen to you, you might have to handle differently. I have frequently said, especially when dealing with the grandchildren, why can’t they simply respond when I calmly said stop, but since you have refused to comply we have now come to harsh actions.

My most recent experience came when a brother-in-Christ attempted to give an emotionally charged word to the church body I was attending. This speech was a failure from the moment that he had to announce to the crowd that he was worthy of listening to; everything he must have pictured in his mind floated away in anger and frustration, and he was asked to return to his seat, primarily because his word was inappropriate. Since the brother refused to listen and comply he ended up being escorted out of the church that day. He has never come back.

Paul, in 1 Timothy instructs the young pastor in these things in order to prevent the teaching of strange doctrines.

As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, (1 Timothy 1:3 NASB)

The word strange is the same as the Greek word used for doctrines. Thayer’s Greek Definitions tells us that it can be seen as: to teach other doctrines; different doctrine; or, simply deviating from the established doctrine.

What do we have that confirms this?

Galatians 1:6-8 NASB

“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!”

To be accursed!” sounds rather serious, and is quite probably the impetus behind Paul’s having to speak to Timothy about correcting a church leader.

If the church leader in question is a younger man, do you think Timothy has more freedom to speak aggressively?

I am not sure this is the answer, as it leans toward aggression.

“As we have said before, so I say again now if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!” (Galatians 1:9 NASB)

Accursed is the Greek anathema and according to the Word Study Dictionary means given up, or devoted to destruction for God’s sake; given up to the curse and destruction.

In 1 Corinthians 5, though Paul does not mention the man’s name, clearly the man has committed egregious sins, which are spelled out in the Torah. I think it is obvious that multiple attempts to confront and curtail this man’s activities have failed; and that is where Paul comes into the story, as he has decided it is time to turn this man over to Satan so that his flesh may be destroyed but not his spirit.

I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 5:5 NASB)

You would think that turning someone over to Satan would be the absolute end of them. If that were the case, then one could argue that judgment was put into our hands. I happen to think handing judgment off to us would be a foolish decision, as we, regardless of the cross, are still broken people and will be so until Christ collects us back to Himself, changed.

all judgment has been given to the Son” (John 5:22b).

There is no doubt that the man’s flesh dies in this story, but there is also no doubt that the man has the opportunity to be saved in the day of the Lord. I use the term opportunity because Paul suggests that he may be saved. That word may is rather open-ended and can be taken two ways; one is said with affirmation, but we don’t exactly get that sense here. The other is an opportunity extended, and whether it is accepted or not is not known to us.

Consider these verses.

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.” (Jude 1:20-23 NASB)

If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make a request for this. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death. We know that no one who is born of God sins, but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.” (1 John 5:16-18 NASB)

“My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”
(James 5:19-20 NASB)

One of the struggles I have with this subject of dealing with an elder is how entrenched they can be within the church, often to the degree that others will quickly come in agreement and side with this person to protect them. I watched it happen repeatedly on Monday mornings.

Previously, I told you that I had left just such a Bible Study. I left because I rarely learned anything while there (It was definitely more a relational gathering of men,) for as the speaker would begin, my heart would scream out, that is wrong and I would begin to search out scriptures that refuted the speakers topic, or his interpretation of what he was preaching that day. I think that addressing leaders like this is either a bravery issue, or it’s a skillset; and I feel like I have neither.

I appreciate what Paul told Timothy to do when he said,

“Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching. (14) Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery. (15) Give your complete attention to these matters(NLT,) so that your progress will be evident to all. (16) Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.” 1 Timothy 4:13-16 NASB

To simplify this I will turn it into bullet points.

  • Give attention to the public reading of Scripture.
  • Give attention: to exhortation and teaching.
  • Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you.

So Paul is telling Timothy, no matter what, keep this information I have given you, alive.

Now if we are talking about an elder in the church, or we are talking about an older man, that has spent his life in the Word of God, you are NOT to crush the man’s spirit as you address some error he may be spreading. (That is easier said than done.)

As we see from 2 Timothy, the potential for being in opposition, to the teachings Paul left for Timothy to preach, is one answer. Secondly, in the church, we call those teachings church doctrine. These doctrines are the foundation on which we build.

“The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:24-26 NASB)

See, I have to look at this from a context point of view. In chapter four of this letter to Timothy, Paul addresses how some will leave the faith, but return with false teaching. These teachings might sound right, but they are not. Having spent some time in the faith movement, there was a push to get God to bring you monetary and physical gain. God is not interested in your gains, He is interested in your heart. So, is it possible that this was demonic teaching that crept in? Possibly.

We are not quite done.

Do not address an older man harshly but appeal to him as a father. Speak to younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters — with complete purity. (1 Timothy 5:1-2 NET.)

Notice how this version says, appeal to him as a father. Hopefully, you had a great father-son relationship and can understand this. Additionally, it does speak to the pastor addressing younger men as brothers and, older women as mothers, whom you would probably, like mine, never cuss in front of. And lastly, even though the context of the message is to straighten out twisted and false teachings, your approach with younger women is with the same respect you would give a sister. Not necessarily a sibling, for many would confess that they don’t treat their siblings well. Paul, in this translation, says your relationship is to be with complete purity.

Posted in Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Keep these things before them. 1 Timothy 4:6-16

The NASB, and a few other translations, entitle this next section,

A Good Servant of Jesus Christ.

Understand that this letter is addressed to the young Timothy for the purpose of giving him instructions to be an outstanding pastor. Since a pastor is a servant of Jesus Christ, it stands to reason that anyone who longs to be a pastor should get it into their heads that you are giving yourself over to a lifetime of service to the body of believers God puts in your charge, Lord willing. This is one train of thought that I could take; however, there is another.

I do not think this second perception is what Paul is trying to convey, but I could understand a title like this, “A Good Servant of Jesus Christ,” to be oppressive, and religious legalism. If you can’t understand that statement, think about your childhood and how your parent(s) manipulated you into being good and not evil as they espoused the list of reasons why, including, don’t you want Jesus to see you as good. Alright, this was my life as a child, but maybe some of you had parents that laid the same garbage on you.

I choose to accept the first interpretation as correct, primarily based upon the context.

I always have to assume that new readers have just joined us and have no idea what “things” Paul is referring to. I now find Paul saying to Timothy.

“In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following.” 1 Timothy 4:6 NASB

The things initiate with 1 Timothy 3:16b and ends with 1 Timothy 4:5.

“He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory.” But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.” (1 Timothy 3:16, 4:1-5 NASB)

Paul, as you noticed, stated, “in pointing out these things to the brethren, “ is giving Timothy the framework, upon which the church – which includes us, nourishing words of faith and sound doctrine to follow. I did this previously as I separated these points with bullets, but let’s do it again because it is beneficial to see.

  • He was revealed in the flesh.
  • Vindicated in the Spirit.
  • Seen by angels.
  • Proclaimed among the nations.
  • Believed on in the world.
  • Taken up in glory.

Page 1.

In these last days? (we have been in the last days since Peter preached on the day of Pentecost.)

  • Some will turn away from the true faith (NLT).
  • They will also be fooled by the false claims of liars whose consciences have lost all feeling. (CEV)
  • These liars will forbid people… (Now the verse goes on to speak of foods they cannot eat, or who they can marry. Paul explains that everything God created was good and acceptable if you give thanks.

The first six points establish God in us. Having done that, we establish God in others. The last three points are like a mission briefing, in which you learn that there will be people who will turn from the true faith. These will not only turn, but they will come back and try to teach the demonic filth they have learned.

How bad will it get?

These people are polished and hard to spot. They will try to tell you ridiculous things, such as what you can eat and who you can marry. That seems rather ludicrous, as no one has the right to control us to that degree. But what you don’t seem to perceive is that some form of global governance, which operates above our known government, has us all wearing masks which do nothing to stop a bacterial strain called COVID 19, and these people have excluded us from our churches.

Do you really think that ‘they’ cannot tell you what you can eat and who you can marry?

Paul continues.

“People tell silly stories that don’t agree with God’s truth. Don’t follow what these stories teach. But teach yourself to be devoted to God.” 1 Timothy 4:7 (ERV)

Myself, and a few others, used to sit under the teachings of a brother, who was approved by his religious council, to be a bible teacher. I cannot attest to whether he always taught things contradictory to the Bible, but he certainly was during the time I attended. Before you excoriate me for submitting to a false teacher, you need to know that I did withstand him. On several occasions, I did so; on one occasion, he responded with, that’s my opinion, and that is all that matters. I left the group for a while until a friend of mine asked me to come back, with the purpose of challenging the teacher. The Holy Spirit had already pointed out to me the futility of withstanding him, especially since I had no power to terminate his services. I did implore church leadership who could make that decision to at least come, sit, and listen to what this man says, but they did nothing, as he was close friends with many of them. On the plus side, this false teacher gave me much to talk about.

Another aspect of 1 Timothy 4:7, which we seem to shoot right past, is this, “But teach yourself to be devoted to God.” This is the Easy to Read version. The NASB reads like this: “On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.” So instead of getting involved in the “silly stories that don’t agree with God’s truth,” Paul tells us to “discipline ourselves for the purpose of godliness.”

Discipline is such a simple word, but many will read what Paul says in verse seven and honestly not have a clue what that word discipline is supposed to mean. To many, it means Paul is asking them to do something they have no interest in doing.

Page 2.

Webster’s has multiple definitions for the word discipline.

  1. To instruct or educate; to inform the mind; to prepare by instructing correct principles and habits; as, to discipline youth for a profession, or for future usefulness.
  2. To instruct and govern; to teach rules and practice, and accustom to order and subordination, as, to discipline troops or an army.

How many of you instruct, educate, or inform your mind in the things of God?

“for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8 NASB

The KJ Version puts it this way, “ For bodily exercise profits a little,” so there is some gain, “but godliness is profitable for all things since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”

But godliness is profitable for all things.”

If Paul can make a statement like this, you should be asking, why?

From Adam Clarke’s commentary: “Those gymnastic exercises, so highly esteemed among the Greeks, are but little worth; they are but of short duration; they refer only to this life, and to the applause of men: but godliness has the promise of this life, and the life to come; it is profitable for all things; and for both time and eternity.

Godliness, according to Thayer’s dictionary, is reverence and respect. So by inference, reverence and respect are profitable for all things. We are not pushing the faith movement here, so profitability should not be thought of in terms of monetary gain. I will let you in on a little secret here. God is not that concerned with how much money you can horde.

Note this phrase: “since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”

Also for the life to come?

Never forget, this godliness is a discipline in the Word, and Jesus is the Word. Everything will function based upon the Word and the guidelines outlined in the Word.

1 Timothy 4:9 AMP, This saying is reliable and worthy of complete acceptance by everybody.

This verse points both backward to verses seven and eight and forwards to verse ten.

1 Timothy 4:10 GW Certainly, we work hard and struggle to live a godly life because we place our confidence in the living God. He is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

In the “God’s Word” translation, we see the phrase work hard; this is the Greek word kopiaō and means to grow weary, tired, to the point of exhaustion.

To be honest, this life can wear you out but add to it home quarantine and mandatory face masks, and you have an exhausting situation.

The other word that catches my attention is what the GW translation calls struggle. The NASB calls it striving. The Greek tells us that it is the word agōnizomai. Again I turn to Thayer, who says,

  • To contend with adversaries, fight.
  • Metaphorically to contend, struggle, with difficulties and dangers.
  • To endeavor with strenuous zeal.

Page 3.

This life we live in Christ can be all those things, especially if the religious zealots are turning against you as well.

1 Timothy 4:11 NASB Prescribe and teach these things.

The NLT says it in a more determined manner.

Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them. (1 Timothy 4:11 NLT)

Like I said earlier, what are the things Paul is referring to?

All of this:

  • He was revealed in the flesh.
  • Vindicated in the Spirit.
  • Seen by angels.
  • Proclaimed among the nations.
  • Believed on in the world.
  • Taken up in glory.

In the last days! (we have been in the last days since Peter preached on the day of Pentecost,)

  • Some will turn away from the true faith (NLT).
  • They will also be fooled by the false claims of liars whose consciences have lost all feeling. (CEV.) These liars will forbid people… (The verse goes on to say that, these fools will tell you what you can and cannot eat; and, they will tell you who you can marry. Many cults have practiced this for years now. Sounds a bit cult-like, doesn’t it?) Paul goes on to explain that everything God created was good and acceptable if you give thanks.

1 Timothy 4:12 NASB Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.

I might add, let no one look down on your old age either.

How do we make an impression?

Eugene Peterson’s Message is quite clear.

Teach believers with your life: (As the NASB puts it, be an example of what a believer looks like.)

by word, (This is talking about your speech. What are you allowing, uncontrolled, out of your mouth?)

by demeanor, (This is referring to your behavior, or how you carry yourself.)

by love, (Ask yourself, how does love demonstrate itself? Much of the time, love looks like the Samaritan who dressed the wounds of the Jew, put the wounded man on his donkey, and took the wounded Jew to the Inn and paid for the man’s room and board until he recovered. In other words, he showed kindness.)

Page 4.

by faith, (Keep in mind, that you are demonstrating what this life in Christ looks like, and sometimes we use words. What do we do for the rest of the time? Live out this faith life; this concept should be especially important in light of this Man-made COVID pandemic. In case you hadn’t noticed, the fear tactic has worked on most. What is our commission? Lay hands on the sick, in Jesus’ Name, and they shall recover.

by integrity. (Most of us have worked with non-religious people, but even if they claimed to be religious, you couldn’t tell. It seems integrity is a lost art. Let’s change that!)

1 Timothy 4:13 NASB Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching.

Hold up here for a minute. These words, “Until I come, give attention to…” seems to have gone by the wayside.

As I begin to break this sentence down, I am slapped in the face by the words, “until I come.” As many combative Christians have pointed out, we have been looking for Him to come for over two-thousand-years. Therefore we are merely wasting our time as we watch for His coming.

Do I really think that not just Paul, but God Himself, is directing us to, as the Message puts it,

Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teaching.” (1Timothy 4:13 MSG)

Yes, I am quite convinced that He expects us to do just that.

But what if I don’t?

Then you will lose your motivation, perception, and attachment to the Word. At that point, the longing for the things of the world will overwhelm you, and those things will become your idols.

On a personal level, I was rebuked and told not to study eschatology. In other words, I was told by one of my pastors to do just the opposite of Paul’s directive to Timothy and not give attention to the scriptures about eschatology. The reasons for this unreasonable demand were associated with his deeply entrenched belief that no one can understand the Revelation or Daniel’s prophecies. This pastor also told me, you eschatology teachers are argumentative and overpowering. (I began to realize that the pastor, who had never heard me speaking on eschatology, had just put me into a distorted subset that he held in his mind.)

If you knew me and the damage I sustained as a child, you would never say that I was contentious. Considering that speakers like Charlie Kirk and Candice Owens have to deal with illogical, screaming responses, they often come across as argumentative and overpowering as they try to undo some of these twisted mindsets. If given a platform to teach, I have learned that I don’t have to take a dominating vocal stance, but solely deliver information. I happen to think that changing vocal tones and being animated tends to hold the audience’s attention as it engages.

Having covered what we do until He comes, there is this.

Give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching.”

Reading is the Greek word anágnōsis and covers the act of reading. Neither Strong’s nor Thayer’s say anything about the public reading of scriptures, and the NASB has italicized the word public to denote that it was added for clarity.

Page 5.

The mere act of writing this note brings something to my mind. The Torah scrolls were rare, few, and expensive; therefore, only the rich would have them, or you would find them in the synagogues; and, even then, only designated persons could touch them. To this day, they use a pointer and NEVER put their greasy fingers on the scrolls.

So how then do I define “the public reading of scriptures”?

The Word Study Dictionary states, “to know certainly and hence to read, particularly the Scriptures.

For me, to use the terminology, hence to read, associates this statement with a considerable presumption, and that would be that every believer had a Bible. Keep in mind that what we are reading were the origins of this Bible we read.

This is just a presumption, but I cannot imagine that there were special requests in the synagogue. You accepted what you received. A logical assumption would be that there were at least a couple of prescribed readings and a verse by verse teaching on a book at a time.

This added phrase public reading puts Paul’s readers back in the synagogues, where they could pay attention to what is being read. Because we turned this Bible of ours into a Gentile book, we also turned the early believers into Gentiles, when they were undoubtedly Jewish, in most cases. I point this out because there are so many challenges to our Gentile understanding as we read Paul’s letters, and they only make sense if you look at them from a Jewish perspective. An example can be found in 1 Corinthians 10:16, where Paul says,

“is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ?” (NASB)

1 Corinthians 10:16, is speaking of the communion and how we partake of the body of Christ. The keyword here is “partake,” as seen in the idea of sharing. But Paul does not end the conversation here, as he turns to a relational topic when he speaks of others’ altars.

“Look at the nation Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices sharers in the altar? What do I mean then? That a thing sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons.” (1 Corinthians 10:18-20 NASB)

By addressing Israel, he immediately creates a visual, in the Jew’s mind, about the Holy altars within the temple. Now, not everyone gets to partake of the leftover roast, as that is for the priests and, in a sense, a part of their payment. But the Jew can see the relationship, as the priests then are partakers in the Holy Sacrifice.

One could, incorrectly say, but aren’t the priests then partaking of something offered to an idol?

Paul responds to this assertion by saying, “No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons.” My goodness, I could apply this to many facets of my life. We have churches aligning themselves with BLM Inc. because they think that will keep the revelers from burning their church down. When in reality, the churches have made themselves partakers in demonic worship by partaking in their altar. As a reminder, by their admission, BLM Inc. leadership starts their day by calling on the spirits of dead people to guide them.

Page 6.

1 Timothy 4:14 NET. Do not neglect the spiritual gift you have, given to you and confirmed by prophetic words when the elders laid hands on you.

If you are not familiar with church speak, I will try to explain.

But in accordance with the measure of Christ’s gift, His favor has been bestowed upon each one of us. Concerning this, the Scripture says: “He led a host of captives, when He went up on high, and granted gifts to men.” (Ephesians 4:7-8 Williams)

So, Christ’s gift is life; however, included in that life are His gifts. As this verse correctly states, one or several of those gifts have been bestowed upon you if you are a follower of Christ. We pick up on the fact that some of those giftings have to do with church leadership through Paul’s writing. Take a look at Ephesians 4.

Christ chose some of us to be apostles, prophets, missionaries, pastors, and teachers so that his people would learn to serve, and his body would grow strong. (Ephesians 4:11-12 CEV)

As you might have noticed, some giftings are imparted, or at least acknowledged.

1 Timothy 4:14 CEV Use the gift you were given when the prophets spoke, and the group of church leaders blessed you by placing their hands on you.

Never get the idea that this is an exclusive club, as much of what happens to people like Timothy, happen in the background, just as they will with you.

As Paul finishes out this fourth chapter, he is still delivering sound wisdom.

1 Timothy 4:15 Moffatt NT (15) Attend to these duties, let them absorb you, so that all men may note your progress.

If you are new in the Lord, you may not as yet see your mission as one of duties. This is not an oppressive statement. My grand-kids see dish washing as a horrid chore to be avoided at all costs. The problem with attitude is that a day will come when you no longer have a usable clean plate or a clean cup from which to drink. That dilemma alone demonstrates a necessity for duties. We had to move chairs multiple times within the church each week, as we accommodated a large Recovery group, weddings, and then back to the church arrangement. I knew a man, who had been a school principal, a school teacher, and a forestry firefighter, but in his retirement, he saw a need to move chairs at church and gladly performed that task. Because I knew this man, I can tell you that it was a joy to be around him. If you act like my friend Alan, people will see Jesus in you, and they will note how much you have advanced.

And finally, perhaps one of the most important motivations.

1 Timothy 4:16 NLT

Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching.

Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation

and the salvation of those who hear you.

We live in grace, and yes, I am very much aware of that, but grace does not give you the freedom to act foolishly intentionally. I can tell you from experience that acting the fool has consequences, and consequences often have legal repercussions. Locally, one of our worship leaders came to know this Jesus while he was in prison. So there is always hope.

Page 7.

This word foolish covers a wide variety of actions. Read the book of James, particularly chapter one, and here is why.

James 1:25 NLT But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

Note these words, the perfect law that sets you free. You see, the law guides you, and Christ, we are told, came to fulfill the law, NOT do away with it. As a believer, it is NOW written upon your heart, and, if you allow it, it will guide you.

Page 8.

Posted in 1 Timothy, Apostle Paul, bible study, disciplined, doctrines of demons, End times, Faith, false teaching, impart, laying on of hands, preach, sharing the truth in love, spiritual gifts, strange doctrines, straying from the truth, teaching a different doctrine, the goal of our instruction, Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Hypocrisy of Liars, 1Timothy 4:1- 5.

 We closed out 1 Timothy chapter three with words meant to establish us and fill our hearts with faith. These words also define who Jesus is and give us words of strength and trust to share with others.

Why then, is there a need to open this fourth chapter of 1  Timothy by telling the young church leader – a young man that Paul treats as a son, that there will not only be those who turn away from what we believe, but they will work their way back into the church and start teaching in resistance to what Paul has taught?

A question such as this would only be valid if Timothy had not experienced demonic resistance such as this. Paul had already experienced this very thing, and, as we will see, the Spirit of God had spoken to him about the depravity and how those in the early church were not going to have to wait for two thousand years to experience this apostasy.

[As a side note, the mere usage of the term apostasy has many saying, Ah yes, that is the sign we were looking for. You need to know two things: 1. It is not your sign, and 2. We, those who thought we were sensible,  reading our bibles, could see that 2 Thessalonians 2:3 calls for a falling away of the church. The problem is that lying hypocrites got into the church and intentionally changed the meaning of the word apostasia to suit their momentary need. The Geneva Bible is one of the earliest translations, and they translated apostasia correctly and used the word a departing. That departing is the catching away of the church.

To make this report of Paul’s even worse, the NLT, Paul calls them hypocrites that follow after deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.

I told you one of the prime examples that we, as citizens, who enjoy a civil society, have to deal with is BLM inc. Founded by a Lesbian Marxist, BLM’s leadership consult with the dead for their daily direction. In doing this, they are following the teachings of demons.

But what if many of these people who have turned away from sound teachings are not so dramatic?

1 Timothy 4:1-5 ERV  The Spirit clearly says that in the last times, some will turn away from what we believe. They will obey spirits that tell lies. And they will follow the teachings of demons. (2) Those teachings come through people who tell lies and trick others. These evil people cannot see what is right and what is wrong. It is like their conscience has been destroyed with a hot iron. (3) They say that it is wrong to marry. And they say that there are some foods that people must not eat. But God made these foods, and those who believe and who understand the truth can eat them with thanks. (4) Everything that God made is good. Nothing he made should be refused if it is accepted with thanks to him. (5) Everything he created is made holy by what he has said and by prayer.

What was Paul trying to say when he said, “the Spirit expressly says.“?

Many would say (if they were willing to be vulnerable) that they have no idea what it is like having the Spirit speak to them.

Since the Spirit is closely associated with wisdom, and we see wisdom spoken of in the Proverbs, then perhaps the voice of the Spirit sounds much like what we perceive as wisdom, which was way before the advent of fortune cookies. So we are talking about the voices that you comprehend to be in your head. Look at the words of Solomon, one of the wisest men on earth at the time.

Wisdom calls aloud in the open air and raises her voice in the public places;” Proverbs 1:20 CJB

I happen to believe that the Holy Spirit frequently speaks to us, but because we are so attuned to the voices in our head, we think that thought or idea was our own and therefore dismiss the possibility that God could or would be talking to us.

We cannot get away from Paul – who, by his own admission, was an expert in the Old Testament. Therefore he must be referring to scriptures that will establish a viable witness for us. It’s either that or Paul, refers to the faith fathers, such as Abram, Moses, and Samuel, to name a few, to validate how God speaks to us.

2 Chronicles 15:2 does convey the idea that God is with you, along with His voice, but it does not explain how Paul could say that “the Spirit expressly says.”

“…the Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him [inquiring for and of Him, craving Him as your soul’s first necessity], He will be found by you;…” (2 Chronicles 15:2b AMP)

And, this verse opens the door of explanation as to why He may not be talking to you, as you make NO effort to be with Him.

Unfortunately, 1 Timothy 4:1 is the only place we find the Greek word rhētōs used in scripture, so I cannot fall back on another scripture for my reference.

The word expressly, or explicitly is the Greek word rhētōs and means to express in words.

Webster’s dictionary defines the word explicitly as an adverb, which means to speak plainlyexpresslywithout duplicity, or disguise or reservation of meaning, not by inference or implication.

AVOW‘, is to declare openly, or simply to own.

Where else do we see this level of openness and honesty?

In God’s conversations with Abram, where God would say, “as for Me,” God showed His character, as he declared openly, and He owned what He said by saying, He swore by Himself.

Such teachings come from the hypocrisy of liars whose own consciences have been burned, as if with a red-hot branding iron.” 1 Timothy 4:2 CJB

A fitting quote from Dr. J. Vernon McGee.

“’Speaking lies in hypocrisy.’ The apostate will pretend to be very pious and very religious. I have come to be suspicious of this pious position taken by super-duper saints who claim to have something special. My friend, if you do have the truth, it will make you humble because the first thing you will find out is how little you know.”

Hypocrisy is the Greek word hupokrisis and means acting under a feigned part.

You might say, as some do, are you kidding me! You’re telling me that these people were faking it the entire time. On a personal note, several of my grandchildren have a daddy who did all the appropriate, religious actions, tears and baptism included; however, every time I encounter a study like this, I think of him. It sure seems like what he did was just an act.

Paul, in verse two, speaks of “their conscience being seared.” If this were literal, nerve endings would be burned off, and scarring would have taken place. In the surgical arena, they use a device that simultaneously cuts and seals, but nerves inevitably become damaged in the process.

1 Timothy 4:3-5 NASB “men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. (4) For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; (5) for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.”

The opportunity for people who come to the Lord, to become legalistic is an opportunity looking for a victim; this happens within the “faith movement.” Having been in the faith camp for several years, I would have fought with you, saying, NO, they are not because we only teach the Bible. To be honest, my first response is to say; Paul is talking about Jews. This assertion is probably valid as Paul, for many years, made his first stop in the synagogues, where he preached this gospel of Jesus Christ. The Jews, still to this day, abstain from certain foods; for example, they have no room for a pulled pork sandwich. Paul wrote about this very thing in his letter to the church in Rome.

As you read the passage, consider how your liberty could cause someone else to stumble. This life in Christ is not about living a legalistic life; it’s about consideration.

I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. For if, because of food, your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died. Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are clean, but they are evil for the man who eats and gives offense. It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine or to do anything by which your brother stumbles. The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before GodHappy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats because his eating is not from faith, and whatever is not from faith is sin.” (Romans 14:14-23 NASB)

The word destroy is the Greek word apollumi and has a wide range of meanings: to destroy fully, or lose. But also figuratively mar.

According to Webster’s dictionary, MAR is to injure by cutting off a part or to wound and make defective.

Do you see not only what the hypocrites can do, but what we, with our religious freedoms, can do to others?


Posted in 1 Timothy, bible study, doctrines of demons, End times, false teaching, Hearing God, hypocrisy, hypocrisy, pastor, straying from the truth, teachers, teaching a different doctrine, Thoughts on scripture, Timothy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some will abandon the faith. 1 Timothy 4:1

Today we begin chapter four of 1 Timothy, but first, we need to understand what makes chapter four work.

(Warning: If you were to print this out, it is eight pages long.)

Chapter three ends by talking about a great mystery, and although you may not understand, there is no mystery to those of us who call themselves the body of Christ because we have received Jesus and follow His Word.

The most impressive part of this mystery is that He came to live in us because we confessed our faith in Jesus Christ. The world doesn’t have that, nor do they understand this concept. But that is not all there is, and the next few verses play a tremendous role in our beliefs, our faith, and our confidence that He is coming back to gather us to Himself. In the world of Apologetics, these are the concepts that we rely on to establish and refresh our faith. In other words, why are we following this man, Jesus?

Paul, in his last sentence of 1 Timothy chapter three (consider that this was a letter with NO chapters and typical punctuation,) gave us some of the most foundational points on which we live.

1 Timothy 3:15-16 NASB but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. (16) By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory.

We will look at verse 16, one bite at a time.

  • Jesus was revealed in the flesh.”

That statement may not make sense to some, as they will say, “of course He did.” We, should we choose to read, can see that Jesus was a man. But holding to a simple understanding aren’t you setting aside the fact that God (Jesus, is God) came to earth as a human and subjected Himself to the birthing process and then the learning process. Mary and Joseph taught God how to walk and talk. They were responsible for His education. How do I know that? Because Jesus, especially by those in Bethlehem, was still considered a mumzer – an illegitimate child, and therefore NOT allowed in the synagogue. The synagogue was where the Rabbi’s held their classes, classes that Jesus would not have been permitted to attend.

Yes, I am aware of the fact that many of the disciples promptly called Him rabbi. Rabbi is a respectful term for teacher, and those that called Jesus a teacher also witnessed the event where the Holy Spirit descended like a dove upon Jesus; and, immediately God spoke, saying, this is my beloved Son; this leaves us to speculate as to who understood these words and conveyed them to us, as most only heard what they thought was thunder on a clear day. (Mark 1:10-11; Matthew 3:16,17.)

(For your information, the scripture tells us that Joseph was a righteous man. If you skim over those three words, you will miss the fact that Joseph was an educated and respected man within the synagogue. Probably much older than Mary, these two factors gave Mary a place of security when Joseph went on to marry her. This fact also explains why Jesus was so knowledgeable and able to stand His ground in the synagogue with the elders as a young boy. Pastor John MacArthur says this of Joseph, “The phrase “a just man” is a Hebraism suggesting that he was a true believer in God who had thereby been declared righteous and who carefully obeyed the law.”)

I have already touched on this, but He walked around with the disciples, doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil. You might think that this would be enough to convince many, and yet the numbers were few. A proof of this disbelief can be seen in the chief priests and elders’ repetitious challenges, saying, show us a sign. Come on; He showed them many signs.

But then, there was one other sign that spoke to Jesus being revealed in the flesh. Jesus, having been hung on that cross then buried in the tomb, there was no doubt that He was gone in the disciples’ minds.

End page one.

To the Jewish mind, the soul leaves the body after three days, and so Jesus did not emerge from the tomb one moment before that time-frame because He wanted them to know, without a doubt, that He was – at least for the time being, back in the flesh. Over 400 witnessed Him around Jerusalem. And then He returned to the Father, where He now makes intercession for us.

  • Jesus, Was vindicated in the Spirit.”

Have you ever given this any thought? You should, as it carries tremendous meaning and depth.

To be vindicated means to be absolved of guilt, cleared, found guiltless, declared innocent, among other things.

Remember that we recently talked about how this message of Christ is a great mystery. Well, this, in a sense, is one of those mysteries, as you ask, how could God, the creator, become invalidated to the point that He would have to be vindicated? The answer is seen rather clearly in the NIV, as it says,

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, .” 2 Corinthians 5:21a.

Think back a few paragraphs to when I talked about God and how He became a human. Had God chosen a newborn baby, you might think it would be an excellent candidate to represent God, as it has not, as yet, had the influences that motivate us to sin. You merely teach the baby correctly, and in a short time, it could become an adequate substitute for Jesus. This is an absurd thought, and the thing that makes it ridiculous goes back to the garden of Eden. Thanks to Adam and Eve, we were all born with an inclination to sin.

If you can think about sin as a genetic problem, you can understand that all humans carry a damaged genetic marker since the garden. Science looks at the genetic chain and says, you see right here, we all have this chromosome, with that mark, and therefore this is the basis for normal. (In case you have been living under a rock. The two major companies that were initially making a “vaccine” for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Economic Forum, under the guise of an upcoming global pandemic, were Inovio and Moderna. Both were working with genetic manipulation and behavior modifications through vaccinations.

So don’t think for a second that what transpired in the garden was not a genetic modification that would affect all of humanity. If you want to look at this as a mystery, you have the opening rounds fired, and the weapon was a piece of fruit that could modify your genetic code. Can you imagine that at that moment Satan thought he had won. Little did he know, God had a plan.

Jesus voluntarily puts himself on that cross, knowing full well what would transpire over the next few days. No wonder He cried out, my God, why have you forsaken me, as He certainly felt things He had never felt before in His short life here on earth.

When the Apostle John looked into heaven, he saw Jesus, and Jesus said to him

“I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” (Revelation 1:18 NIV)

During those three days, Jesus went to hell and preached to the captives there. He stripped Satan of his keys and power, and then He rose from the dead triumphantly.

Years ago, I drove quite a bit, and I would listen to the “Christian” radio stations. When it was time for Hank Hannegraf – the Bible Answer Man, to come on, I would give him the courtesy of listening for a few minutes because a few minutes was about all I could stand of his angry manner. That man condemned everybody. On more than one occasion, in his hostile tone, he would say it is blasphemous even to think that Jesus/God would have been subject to hell, almost as if it was filled with COVID 19 and He would get some on Him. (Disclaimer, although the world was profuse with diseases, and we all got a few, NONE of us, at the time, were aware of the COVID, nor did we care. We went on with our lives. Just as we should have now.)

End of page two.

I could not understand how or why Hank Hannegraf could ignore some of the statements that King David made. Let me show you what I mean.

“When you ascended to the heights, you led a crowd of captives. You received gifts from the people, even from those who rebelled against you. Now the LORD God will live among us there.” (Psalms 68:18 NLT)

Perhaps Hank was projecting this verse to a time when Jesus will catch the church away; that might work, but a crowd is typically seen as a countable number though being an indeterminate size. I do not perceive the church as a countable number. But pay attention to this part of the verse; I never paid much attention to before. He received gifts from the people.

So, if what King David said is not speaking of the church, then what’s left, and the only reasonable thing that is left is that Jesus ascended from hell to the heights of heaven. Having been freed from Satan’s grip, the church would not be the captives, but it would certainly be talking about those in Sheol. There is one other aspect of this, and I will go ahead and say it, Judas, may have been one of those who rebelled. Surely, Adam, with his treasonous act, was there; but what does this verse above say? He led a crowd of captives in His ascent.

One more point about this verse before I move on. 

If he led a crowd of captives, can I say that Jesus led them all out of Sheol?

I don’t think so. Find the right person and say something positive about our American president and you will often get a cascade of hatred in response. Should you listen with an open mind, you will most likely not hear one logical complaint, but a mountain of gossip and rumors. Is the man perfect? Hardly, and all I had to do was watch the first, and hopefully the last debate between the two candidates. I say this because what I saw was two playground bullies trying to outshout the other. I could not tell you what they said because I did not care after a couple of minutes. The point here is that some people will NOT move off their hatred and foul language even if common sense were to hit them upside the head.

What people is David talking about?

Perhaps this will help.

For You will not abandon me to Sheol (the place of the dead), neither will You suffer Your holy one [Holy One] to see corruption. (Psalms 16:10 AMP)

King David was alive, and he is not speaking about his future; he is talking about Jesus. Although, I could see a few moments where he probably thought his circumstances could be deemed a living hell. An example might be when David had a good man killed in battle so that David could cover up the fact that he got the man’s wife pregnant. Bathsheba did have David’s baby, and that baby died as a judgment from God.

So, how could Jesus think or say such a thing, unless it happened, or at least have the potential?

So what then would create the potential for Jesus to go to hell?

And that takes us back to this verse.

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, .” 2 Corinthians 5:21a.

[At this point, you are at the end of page three, in case you want to hit the pause button.]

If I understood the things that made Jesus so victorious and capable of being our mediator, you would think I would be well equipped and established in an unshakable knowledge that could convince others.

And yet there is Paul’s admonition to Timothy, that we find in chapter four.

“Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.” 1 Timothy 4:1 (NLT)

End of page three.

Alternate translations will say, “the Spirit;” expressly and distinctly; in the last days or latter times.

Some points to consider: Paul is talking about the last days or times; this is what eschatology is all about.

  1. How do we know that we are in the last days?

The disciples, having asked Him when the temple would be destroyed and what would be the sign of His return, things that were to them specifically about the last days and Jesus return, got this response to their questions, and you can find it in Mark 13:5-13.

  • Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He!’ and will mislead many.

This borders on the ridiculous, for it doesn’t take a whole lot of brainpower to escort some quack out the door if he says he is Jesus. I say that, and yet here in the Los Angeles area, we had a Sunday Morning radio program called the Jesus show. The host would say when I walked the earth. I listened on a couple of occasions, and strangely, I had a Christian brother – in the Lord, think this guy was okay. The host’s words coincided with scripture, but then there was the whole idea of pushing yourself off as Jesus.

This next piece of information makes sense. In the study of eschatology, we have a false prophet coming. Islam calls him the Dajal or Jesus, the son of Mary (not God.) According to Islam, he will be a high priest in the new temple, and they have his lineage traced back to Aaron, making him appropriate and eligible. Scripture tells us that he will perform signs, just like the two witnesses that God sends, and the things this man will do will convince the Jewish elite to follow him as the Messiah. This false prophet is the person who sets up an image of the beast in the temple and makes it talk. All will have to bow to this image and make allegiance to it. Sound familiar?

  • You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened; those things must take place. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
  • There will be earthquakes and famines.
  • They will deliver you to the courts.

Since the COVID lock-down, one example stands out in my mind, as we have effectively been forced out of our churches. Here in California, some pastors have fought back because the Bill of Rights- an aspect of our constitution, effectively says, NO Governmental body has the right to interfere with our ability to meet in church.

  • The NASB says you will be flogged in the synagogues.

Flogging was an important statement to the Jewish converts to which Paul was writing. Still, since so many of us have no understanding or association with a synagogue, it becomes irrelevant. Let’s try to make it relevant. I can do that by pointing out that if you speak out boldly about certain things, such as abortion; or how the pandemic is man-made; and, that the mask you are wearing is meant to create an atmosphere of compliance. I could tell you that this compliance is a tool meant to get people willing to give up their rights in exchange for the freedom that a mark or allegiance brings; and how that those people you deemed brothers and sisters in the Lord will vehemently fight with you.

2. The gospel must first be preached to all the nations.

Having stated to an acquaintance that Jesus could come back at any minute, he angrily retorted, No, He can’t because not everyone has received a bible and been preached to them. The Word of God informs us that NO Human will have an excuse because the ability to understand that there is a God and that He should be worshiped is written upon all creation.

End of page four.

Add to that the fact that we are told that an angel will proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ as it flies worldwide. Consider that in Iran, where missionaries are not allowed, these dear people are coming to the Lord faster than anywhere else in the world, as Jesus himself is showing up in their dreams and sharing the gospel with them.

  • Are we seeing these things that Jesus spoke of, happening?

We are! But there is one more thing that you need to understand. A part of Jesus’ answer speaks of the fig tree. Israel is that fig tree, and it became a nation in 1948. Jesus said, this generation (the one that experiences the fig tree blossom will be the last generation before the time of wrath – the seven-years of God’s judgment upon the earth, and His return at the end of that period as the warring Messiah. The condensed version of this oration is that we are living on borrowed time.

Scripturally, we have this.

When you see these things happening, recognize that He is near, right at the door. ” Mark 13:29b. NASB.

Another indicator comes from the prophet Joel who said,

“It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind, And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. (Joel 2:28 NASB)

Many people are making posts on YouTube about their dreams and visions of the end times, and their closeness. Jesus is at the door.

  1. some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.”

In the Greek, the idea of turning away from the true faith is to remove yourself or instigate revolt.

Are you kidding me? This instigation of a revolt sounds like a mutiny, and one would think that an uprising on this level would be associated with violence. Oh, that’s right, it already is.

The reality is that the changes have been slow, almost methodical. We have been watching this revolt building for years, as churches have installed, in opposition to biblical direction, female pastors and homosexual pastors; declaring an obvious acceptance of abortion; and in just the last few months, we have churches literally bowing to BLM inc., and the Antifa movement.

(Just to set the record straight. You may have had any number of active sins in your life, but when you came to Christ you did a 180 degree turn FROM those sins, to live a life in Christ. Having done that, you might think that you are free to be a pastor; perhaps, the problem, and it is one that legitimately excludes many of us, is that Paul, earlier in this letter to Timothy, laid out the guidelines for those that think they want to be a/the pastor. Look at how Eugene Peterson’s Message, puts it. (1 Timothy 3:2-7 MSG).

“But there are preconditions: A leader must be…”

  • well-thought-of,

Think of this as though you are applying for a job with the police. They are going to do a background check on you, which includes asking your neighbors about you.

  • committed to his wife,

I suppose this means if you have a wife.

End of page five.

Considering the horrendous temptations that come from standing in front of a mixed crowd, you might think that being married, that means committed to your wife, would keep your eyes from wandering; that may help, but if you are already prone to the wandering eye, marriage is not going to help, because you will do it right in front her.

  • cool and collected,
  • accessible, and hospitable.
  • He must know what he’s talking about,

Obviously, the allusion is to men only behind the pulpit. Why would Paul do that?
What motivated Paul to take that position is not clear in my mind. Many of the commentaries I looked at were written in the 1700s. One is very modern; this pastor also holds to Paul’s assertion and recently disparaged a dear lady that was speaking at a conference. In Jewish culture, many women are held to a subservient role. We understand that the Bible was written by inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God. The implications of that statement are that Paul’s words would be deemed God’s heart on the matter; but, it does not explain the roles of Deborah, the prophetess – who ruled Israel as a judge for several years, nor does it explain, Ruth, Rahab, and Esther – who put her life on the line to save her people.
You can find the scriptural reference for this in Paul’s first letter to Timothy (1Timothy 1:11-12.) I have had women pastors, but I will tell that there are things I would not share with a woman pastor, although with this advent of mega-churches you will find it harder and harder to even get close to “your” pastor. The female pastor I was familiar with seemed a little power-driven, but then many people are. As to being a Teacher? Why not, and there are many women, such as Beth Moore, who is amazing.

  • not be overfond of wine,
  • not pushy but gentle,
  • not thin-skinned,
  • not money-hungry.
  • He must handle his own affairs well,
  • attentive to his own children, and having their respect.

Paul goes to say,

  • He must not be a new believer, lest the position go to his head and the Devil trip him up.
  • Outsiders must think well of him, or else the Devil will figure out a way to lure him into his trap.”

End of page six.

3. Still under the heading of “some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.”

Did you know that the BLM inc., movement acknowledges calling on the spirits of dead people to guide them? It is not dead people responding to their pleas; these are demons.
Even though the situation already seems horrific, the fact that many of us are praying against these terrorist acts is the very thing that is restraining these groups from acting out in their full fury.

Are you beginning to understand what is going to happen when the church is gone?

And you know what restrains him now so that in his time he will be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 NASB)

Aside from the things I pointed to, these churches are throwing sound doctrine to the side of the road by saying that there are many ways to get to heaven.

Before you get ultra-critical, I want you to think about something. What did the thief on the cross do to gain salvation? He did nothing that aligns with religious practices, and yet Jesus accepted him. If you were paying attention, you would have noticed that the “thief” on the cross went through Jesus. So, here we are back to the idea of only one way, but how do you define the word way?

You will notice that I highlighted the phrase “for the mystery of lawlessness is already at work.” No matter how this lawlessness disguises itself, it is a doctrine of demons.

4. So what can we know for sure?

I know that the Holy Spirit has spoken, either to Paul or to someone else, telling them that grievous changes are coming.

Like the Jewish community, I happen to think that God establishes His prophetic words through repetition; so where else is God speaking of such an event? 

“I know that as soon as I’m gone, vicious wolves are going to show up and rip into this flock, men from your very own ranks twisting words so as to seduce disciples into following them instead of Jesus.” Acts 20:29-30.(MSG)

Another evidence of atrocious changes.

“For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth.” (Philippians 3:18-19 NLT)

I wanted to know what McGee had to say about 1 Timothy 4:1, so here it is.

“Some shall depart from the faith. Paul is warning that there will be heretical teachers who will mislead a great company of people. There will be a departure from the faith. Paul also wrote in 2 Thessalonians 2 of the apostasy to come. Actually, this matter of apostasy has been in the church for a long time, and it will not be new at the end of the age by any means. It has grown and will continue to grow, however. When the church of Christ is raptured, there will be left behind a totally apostate organized church.”

But pay attention to the above paragraph, as McGee uses the term apostasy to help define this grievous time frame. By now, we should all know that the word apostasy refers to a falling away of the church, and it has certainly done that. McGee, however, takes his direction from 2 Thessalonians 2:3 where it says unless the apostasy comes first.

End of page seven.

Many of us have changed our thinking on this passage (2 Thessalonians 2:3,) as we have learned, thanks to Dr. David Wood, that the term apostasia, which is translated here as apostasy – means the gathering and not a falling away of the church. This error was introduced intentionally by the Catholic church in the late 1500s, to impose guilt upon those leaving the state-approved church for Protestantism.

So, when I read 2 Thessalonians 2:2,3, I read it like this, the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come unless the gathering comes first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.

Because I lived under this intentional deception all my life, I could not understand what 2 Thessalonians 2:2,3 was trying to say, and would always look toward 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8, which is unmistakably clear.

“And you know what restrains him now so that in his time he will be revealed. (7) For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. (8) Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;” NASB

We have covered this portion but it bears repeating, “And you know what restrains him now so that in his time he will be revealed.” That restraint is the church, but obviously not all of us.

only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.” A day is coming when Jesus will come back for His bride, the church. At that point in time, we will be taken out of the way. What a sad thought, as the world cheers that idea.

Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming.” This final sentence brings the Antichrist onto the stage and covers the entirety of the seven-years, a time filled with horror.

The world says you Christians are just looking for an escape. You want to know something, we are because many of us have read the Revelation and we know what is coming. Many of you are already getting a taste of what is coming almost daily,  especially if you live anywhere near Seattle or Portland. But it is not just an escape, it is a promise from Jesus himself, the one who said He would rise from the dead, and He did.

You too can have this promise if you will turn your life over to Jesus.

The end of page eight.

Posted in 1 Timothy, antichrist, apologetics, apostasia, apostasy, Apostle Paul, bible study, concealed, departure, hidden wisdom, lawlessness, mystery, Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

So that you will know how to conduct yourselves. 1 Timothy 3:14-16

The Mystery of Godliness

This is the caption that most translations use, but why, as it only seems to confuse most Christians.

Is Godliness a mystery?

Well, first, you have to answer the question, what is a mystery?

Webster’s dictionary tells us it is – “A profound secret; something wholly unknown or something kept cautiously concealed.”

Is that what God did, keep it concealed?

It almost seems as if He had to, and we see why in Genesis 3:1a.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. (NASB)

Satan immediately started in on Eve by crafting a scenario that could introduce confusion, doubt, and distrust, not just of Adam but also of God. God, in response to the deception and Eve’s reactions, tells her,

“…I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” (Genesis 3:15 NASB)

What does enmity mean?

Webster’s conveys that it is: ill will, hatred, and the opposite of friendship.

We see the strain of this hatred and ill will throughout the Old Testament. Revelation 12:4 tells us the dragon (Satan) stood before the woman who was about to give birth so that when she gave birth, he might devour her child. Italics mine.

And we see this attempt at destroying Jesus when we read about Herod killing all the boys in the region that were ages two and under. You can look this up at your leisure in Matthew 2:16-18.

Much was said in Genesis 3:15, and yet most of it is kept cautiously concealed. Paul talks about the whys’ of this concealment in 1 Corinthians.

Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;  (1 Corinthians 2:6-8 NASB)

Consider how the Synagogue rulers had tried to kill Jesus on multiple occasions, and then, there was the frightened statement made by Thomas.

and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him.” Therefore Thomas, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, so that we may die with Him.” (John 11:15-16 NASB)

Thomas knew that the Jews were actively looking for Jesus and that they wanted to kill him. There would have been nothing to stop them from killing anyone associated with Jesus.

Now, ask yourself, what would have happened if they killed Jesus before He was meant to and consider how He was supposed to die?

Perhaps the entire plan might have been eliminated. I don’t think God would have allowed that to happen, and therefore God’s plan to redeem us all was shrouded in the form of secrecy. But all that changed the day He rose from the dead.

Who are the rulers of this age?

The Word Study Dictionary explains this Greek word árchontos as a ruler, chief, prince, or a magistrate, but it can mean a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin or the Synagogue.

What did the Apostle Paul tell us?

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12 NLT)

Just look around you at cities like Portland, Seattle, and now Louisville, Kentucky, where the town had to be boarded up. Why, because we have come to expect that the evil spirits and mighty powers of this dark world were going to show up on the city streets in an attempt to burn down another city.

So, back to our original question, Is Godliness a mystery?

Not to those who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

“But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets.” (1 Corinthians 2:10 NLT)

The Spirit of Jesus Christ – the Holy Spirit, has revealed these things to us by His Spirit. Yeah, I know, some will whine as they say, but I don’t know anything. Just smile real big and say, that’s because you will not take any time to get to know Him through His word. It’s just that simple.

Having been a member of the body of Christ since I was a child, I have heard and read many things from scripture. Like pieces of a puzzle, they have, over time, come together to give me a picture of the nature and character of God; which, I found in Jesus.

“I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory.”
(1 Timothy 3:14-16 NASB)

  • From the NLT, “so that if I am delayed, you will know how people must conduct themselves in the household of God,”

I thought we were living in the age of grace, which means I can do anything and get away with it, right?

Wrong! God’s Spirit has written His laws upon your heart, and you are therefore responsible for them. Besides that, we have laws that govern our actions, and the laws (used to) demand retribution; that means you might have to pay for your foolish act, which you thought was wholly covered by grace, with prison time. Many of these fools, some of which think they are “Christian,” are burning our cities down. You know what grace did for them, it bought their forgiveness of sin before the Father. Since you only get to the Father through Jesus Christ, then you would have to acknowledge Him as your Lord, and there in the problem lies. Sins are forgiven, but you are still held responsible for what you did with God’s Son, Jesus. If that was nothing, then you have to throw yourself at God’s feet and hope for mercy when you get to the Great White Throne. Good luck with that.

But 1 Timothy 3:15 is talking about how we are to act within the body of Christ.

I am looking at this phrase: how one ought to conduct himself.

How is the Greek word pos. It means in what way or manner.

Ought is the Greek word dei. It means it is necessary; it behooves; ought or should.

We could easily substitute the words acceptable, appropriate, and suitable.

Conduct is the Greek word anastrepho. It means to busy oneself; remain; live; abide, and behave.

The CEV translation gives us this, “how everyone who belongs to God’s family ought to behave.

I find myself asking; I did not know we had standards of behavior within the church.

I suppose that it is reasonable and necessary to have standards, as we had rules of conduct in Celebrate Recovery. Considering all that goes on there, and the people who come in, even I could see a need. We had people on court orders attending our anger group as an alternative to an anger management program, and the group I was a leader of, fit that requirement.

But take this idea of behavior one step further. I have made “friends” with several people over the years who have worked security within the mega-churches I attended. I never thought we would see the day that we needed armed security, but then, I visited John Hagee’s church in Texas many years ago. There, a man had walked up the aisle toward Pastor Hagee while he was speaking that morning. The man emptied the revolver he carried, in hopes of killing the Pastor; however, not one bullet struck the Pastor. I remember being shown the bullet holes in the podium. I have never forgotten that scene. Now incidents like this happen with frequency, and one of those victims was a relative of mine. Fortunately, he lived despite sustaining multiple gunshot wounds and returned to his pulpit.

On a less severe note.

I am reminded of a brother in Christ, who fancied himself a bit prophetic, and one day, motivated by something we were not aware of, decided to give an angry word to the church body. It began by him announcing to everyone that “this man is called of God and that we should listen to him.” Well, that did not sit well with anyone. It was all very theatrical, and many people noticed. Upon arriving at the church’s front, where everyone could see him better, he pulled his phone out of his pocket and proceeded to find the scripture that “the Holy Spirit” had told him to read. This phone thing was very discomforting as we now had to wait for the phone to respond. His reading was filled with emotion and a touch of rage. At one point, the pastor asks the brother to sit down and stated that he was out of line. That is when the man screamed out, you are a false teacher, and I can prove it. Seeing as false teachers are generally teaching contrary to the word of God, I do not think any of us could understand why he would shout such a thing.

A bit of background here.

Probably about a year before this event, I was invited to lunch with the previous pastor. Just a few bites into the meal, at a very public restaurant, and he asks me why I study eschatology. Not many people know what that means – it means end times events as they line up with the Bible. Mere seconds into my response, which included me saying because the Bible is relevant to the things around us every day. The pastor interrupted me and began to criticize me, saying, you prophesy guys are all like that; you overpower the listener and act like you know everything. It became quite personal. I waited until I thought he was done ranting, and then I challenged what he was saying by asking, is that what you think of me? To which he responded, yes. His answer and the tone of his voice pretty much ended the conversation.

I was supposed to teach the Pastor’s class on Christian discipline that night and had shown him the notes, merely to prove that I had done my preparations. He exclaimed, without hardly looking at it, you can’t teach that! I realize now that he thought it was too much information, as I always over-prepare. Nothing more was said about teaching that night. Thoroughly undone, I insisted that I needed to pick up my wife and tried to excuse myself. We left together, but he had to add that, under the premise of Godly wisdom,  I should never look at or speak of eschatology again for five years. He said that there was no need, as the Lord was not coming back for at least forty more years. Of course, we did not have this phony COVID 19 pandemic, which has changed everything as we know it.

How does the brother in Christ, who was eventually escorted out of the building, relate to me? I simply put two events together. One included my attempt to have a conversation with this man about some of the global events we had recently experienced. His response to me at the time was authoritarian, oppressive, and he left me no opportunity to talk or respond. At lunch that day with the Pastor, he had mentioned that someone had been trying to coerce him into teaching on Revelation and eschatology. The Pastor turned him down. The same man who was getting escorted out of the building was the man who had soured the Pastor, and he was now taking his anger out on me.

While I feel that was rather lengthy, I think it shows a potential reason for guidelines.

The church where this happened quickly set up guidelines and forced anyone who operated in the Holy Spirit by giving words to the body, to write the message down on a piece of paper and somehow get it to the Pastor. The Pastor may or may not approve your giving of the word, especially if he thinks you are angry.

Continuing with 1 Timothy 3:15, from the CEV translation,

After all, the church of the living God is the strong foundation of truth.”

What does Dr. J. Vernon McGee have to say?

“What Paul is saying is that the church is the pillar, the bedrock—it is the prop and support of the truth. If the officers do not represent the truth, the church has no foundation, no prop, and it cannot hold up the truth of God.”

Wait a minute, here in California; our Governor told us that the church is non-essential.

How is it that the pillar, the bedrock, the prop, and support of truth have become non-essential?

That is an easy question to answer as long as we are still supporting the truth, but this man-made pandemic has caused the church to show its true colors, and it is clear that in the majority, we the church, do not support the truth.

To help make my point, the Pastor of the mega-church I attended used to rave about Pastor Tim Keller. Several years later, in September of 2020, Tim Keller has come to the forefront again and is being attacked as a false teacher. A blog which spells some of those details out can be found here: (,

Here is a quote from Tim Keller.

The current political parties offer a potpourri of different positions on these and many other topics, most of which, as just noted, the Bible does not speak to directly. This means when it comes to taking political positions, voting, determining alliances, and political involvement, the Christian has liberty of conscience. Christians cannot say to other Christians ‘no Christian can vote for…’ or ‘every Christian must vote for…unless you can find a Biblical command to that effect.‘”

In my mind, our life and freedoms emanate from God, and then from the basis of our constitution, which was founded on a belief in God. Those amendments give us rights. Let me show you the first one.

The First Amendment provides several rights protections: to express ideas through speech and the press, to assemble or gather with a group to protest or for other reasons, and to ask the government to fix problems. It also protects the right to religious beliefs and practices. It prevents the government from creating or favoring a religion.

But I have to agree with Pastor Tim Keller in that not everything is spelled out for us in scripture.

When it comes to abortion, whether you think that a nine-month-old baby can reason or not, it is still a living being, and we, as Christians, we are under a mandate from God to NOT commit murder. Brutally slaughtering a defenseless baby is murder, and I have little sympathy over what happens legally or emotionally to someone that openly brags about how they slit the baby’s throat so that it won’t scream. I honestly cannot see anything but a callous human being doing this.

Now, if your candidate endorses or tells us you that they will fund ghastly abortions, perhaps you should turn your brain back on and rethink who you are going to vote for.

There are other accusations laid against Pastor Tim Keller, and you can read about them in the article Four Theological Problems With Tim Keller and Why He Should Be Avoided, By Jeff Maples, September 19, 2019, From the website, (

Although I am not a fan of Tim Keller’s works, I did not want to get into a bashing session here but merely point out how the issues that erode our foundations can be subtle and come from venues we thought we could trust.

Let’s try to finish this out.

1 Timothy 3:16 CJB. “Great beyond all question is the formerly hidden truth underlying our faith: He was manifested physically and proved righteous spiritually, seen by angels and proclaimed among the nations, trusted throughout the world and raised up in glory to heaven.

  • “Great beyond all question is the formerly hidden truth underlying our faith:” CJB

Paul, in his letter to the church in Rome, wrote,

“Now to God, who can strengthen you, according to my Good News, in harmony with the revelation of the secret truth which is the proclamation of Yeshua the Messiah, kept hidden in silence for ages and ages,” Romans 16:25 CJB

There was a hidden truth, but it has been revealed through the preaching of the good news. It is the fact that Jesus is the Messiah. Paul says that even here in Romans, that information was kept hidden and silent for ages and ages.

Paul continues telling Timothy.

  • Christ came as a human.” CEV.

Many of us, having heard it for so long, merely say, yeah and?

Think about that fact for a moment.

The chain of humanity, extending from Adam outward, was tainted. Some would say yes, but God chose a virgin, Mary.

What does that have to with escaping the brokenness that passes through every human, including Mary – a virgin?

Not a thing, because God had a secret plan.

Cannot the inventor of the aspects that bring about a birth bring his own fertilized ovum into the picture?

And that is precisely what He did. Mary merely carried that fertilized ovum to its maturity.

This event was beyond human comprehension, and when you read about Mary’s pregnancy, you can get a feel for how she may have been mistreated. Joseph, stepping up and marrying her, gave her some relief, but those in Bethlehem would not soon forget or forgive. Perhaps now you can understand why the family moved to a small, no-name town, where no one knows you.

Jesus, still to this day, sits as the Son of God, at the right hand of the Father, still a human, and ever making intercession for us.

Ask yourself, is Jesus limited in any manner because of His humanness?

Not in the least bit.

What comes next can be seen as a resume, but it is even better than that as it takes on the air of Royalty. Perhaps this is best understood if you have watched the movie, A Knight’s Tale. In the movie, you could only joust if you had a royal bloodline. Now mind you, somebody could knight you, and eventually, the young man is knighted, ending a jealous dispute that prevented him from jousting, and so we have been.

He who was revealed in the flesh:

  • Was vindicated in the Spirit.” (The Father vindicated Jesus in the Spirit.)

Vindicated is to be rendered or shown to be just, innocent, free, and made to be righteous.

  • Seen by angels,

Not only angels but also over 400 people could verify that He rose from the grave still a human and alive to God.

  • Proclaimed among the nations,

An intriguing aspect of this is that Paul, while he was Saul, caused the church to disperse among the nations because of the persecution he put on them.

Is it possible that God has in hand in the trials we endure?

  • Believed on in the world,”

“because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth;” (Colossians 1:5-6 NASB)

In case you don’t believe, read this,

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; (Revelation 7:9 NASB)

  • Taken up in glory.”

By convincing proofs, he showed the disciples not only who He was but that His word was true; and that included being taken up into Glory, to be with the Father.

Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, Hebrews 8:1 NASB.

Jesus did not return to heaven to be able to play golf without distractions; He sits at the right hand of the throne of Majesty, interceding on behalf of those who belong to Him.

Posted in 1 Timothy, Apostle Paul, bible study, body, concealed, hidden wisdom, household of God, mystery, pastor, recovery, Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This is my response to a Christian brother, on his post, “Why the Antichrist is not a Muslim.”

It is not clear to me how or why the brother picked this topic, but I happen to believe that the Antichrist will be Islamic and not a Roman, as so many adhere to.

You opened by saying, “Obadiah, among others, tells us that the Muslims will be wiped out and that ‘Esau will be left with no descendants;’” and you appear to have quoted from Obadiah 1:18 when you italicized the following words.

‘The progeny of Esau shall be delivered only into the hands of the progeny of Joseph.’

If that was the end of it, this is a hopeless situation for the descendants of Esau.

Allow me an attempt at addressing one issue at a time.

I looked through the 40+ translations of the bible that I have in my computer program, and none of them use the term progeny in association with Obadiah 1:18. I am not asinine, and I understand what progeny means; however, many do not. I can see that Obadiah refers to descendants; subsequently, I can substitute the term progeny in place of descendants, but I do not have to do that as I can follow scripture.

I might add I do not believe that you got your ‘scriptural‘ looking reference from any source which we would be aware of. I feel strongly about my assertion because you placed a link in the middle of your post that directs us to There I found a somewhat cryptic article by Rabbi Immanuel Schochet. I also learned that he is “a renowned authority on Jewish philosophy and mysticism.” Call me narrow-minded if you wish, but his resume especially the part about mysticism, which probably displeases God and helps to put Israel into the category of the wicked harlot, means nothing to me. I would never have written to my “non-Jewish” audience using his information.

That said, you did not quote scripture; you quoted the Rabbi, who tells us in his post that he also draws from the Targum and Midrash, writings only a Jewish scholar would use and understand. The Apostle Paul saw no need to quote from the Targum and Midrash in his writings, although he was well versed in them, as he wrote,

“But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! (9) As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!
Galatians 1:8-9 NASB

Rather harsh words, wouldn’t you say, and yet Paul seems to allow some margin of grace if the speaker holds to Jesus Christ as Lord.

“It seems that if someone shows up preaching quite another Jesus than we preached—different spirit, different message—you put up with him quite nicely.” (2 Corinthians 11:4 MSG)

That being said, let’s get back to Obadiah 1:18, and we will use a reasonable translation.

“”Then the house of Jacob will be a fire And the house of Joseph a flame, But the house of Esau will be as stubble. And they will set them on fire and consume them So that there will be no survivor of the house of Esau,” For the LORD has spoken.” (Obadiah 1:18 NASB)

I often enjoy what Dr. J. Vernon McGee has to say. He often comes across much like a country Doctor trying to explain a vicious disease to people who will not understand elaborate medical terminology. Immediately Dr. McGee says, “There will be an ultimate, final judgment of Esau.” Italics mine.

Even I understand that statement, but the question that popped into my head is, when does this happen? Perhaps Dr. McGee has an answer to this question in his next statement.

‘I believe that “the house of Esau’ is a kingdom that will not enter into the eternal kingdoms of this earth which will become the kingdoms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Straightaway my mind goes to the initiation of our eternal kingdom, the millennial reign.

So Dr. McGee does not seem to think that Esau’s progeny will enter the thousand-year reign and therefore be excluded from God’s mercy. Now don’t get me wrong, I take issue with Dr. McGee’s assertion, much like I disagree with yours, but I’m afraid I have to disagree with some good reasons.

First, this ignores the complete work of the cross – the forgiveness of sin, as He was the sacrificial lamb offered up by the Jewish high priests that day. This forgiveness does not directly apply to Jesus’ statement, forgive them, they know not what they are doing, as that happened before He died; that and, He was speaking specifically of those who put Him there on the cross. A piece of scriptural proof for this forgiveness can be found in Romans chapter six.

For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. (Romans 6:10 NASB)

We are all very adept at sinning, and this is not just in the big flashy stuff; this is things like taking an attitude toward your wife, things you think can be ignored. So, His dying to sin is something other than some physical change in us; this is a change in how God sees us and how we get judged.

Secondly, since an intelligent look at Obadiah would require an understanding of the context. The person studying this would also have seen that Obadiah is referring to the day of the Lord, a period that falls at the end of God’s wrath.

“Will I not on that day,” declares the LORD, “Destroy wise men from Edom And understanding from the mountain of Esau? (Obadiah 1:8 NASB)

“On that day” has several possibilities, but the primary one happens when He returns in Revelation 19 as the warring Messiah, and the wise can certainly refer to those who thought they could kill the Messiah sitting upon the white horse.

“From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the winepress of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.” (Revelation 19:15 NASB)

I get it. Obadiah 1:18 with its question “will I not on that day… destroy wise men from,” compels your argument. The problem with such logic is that the verse does not imply a complete obliteration as you have conveyed; that and, there are other instances of God/Jesus dishing out justice, which indicates that He only destroys those who fight against Him.

“Therefore her young men will fall in her streets, And all her men of war will be silenced in that day,” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 50:30 NASB)

Yes, I am well aware that Jeremiah speaks of Babylon, but Babylon was virtually gone by the time Daniel died. So, in reality, God is not speaking to Babylon, is he? If that is the case, then God is talking to and about those who still maintain the hatred and ideology of Not just Babylon, but of Nimrod and those who participated in the idolatrous ways associated with that tower, that came to be known as Babel.

In Revelation 19, we see the battle at the end of God’s wrath.

And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. And the beast was seized, and with him, the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh. (Revelation 19:19-21 NASB)

Note what the passage says: “ the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war.” After seizing the beast and the false prophet, and throwing them into the lake of fire, He kills the rest.

Who is getting killed here “in that day?”

Only those who came to fight. The general idea is that these are Esau’s descendants, and yet NOT all are killed.

To continue on the side of mercy for a moment, the Apostle Paul said,

“… I would that all men were even as I myself am…” (1 Corinthians 7:7a MKJV)

What was Paul referring to? Sickness, the beatings, poor eyesight, or being a pharisee – an aspect of his life of which he was particularly proud? Hardly. He wanted all men to have the same deep, lasting relationship with the Messiah that he came to understand, and to know that Christ, because of this relationship, lives in them – this is the mystery that Paul speaks of in Ephesians.

“In Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight, He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him.” (Ephesians 1:7-9 NASB)

It was Jesus who said,

And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” (John 12:32 NASB)

Did that happen?

It did, as he was lifted up on that cross; that and, because He rose victoriously from the grave. God honors His Word, and we see that there is a massive effort by the Holy Spirit to draw ALL men to Himself.

Along that vein, I will tell you what happened to me several years ago on Halloween night. The wife, her mother, and I went to the Halloween festival in a nearby town. Mom was a bit feeble, and the crowds were typically rude, so I began to part the crowd with my walking stick, so mom would not get knocked down. A few seconds into this, a voice said, you are to be commended for helping her. I turned to see who was talking. He looked middle eastern, but then, so do a lot of people. I said I feel as if I am parting the waters like Moses. Well, that initiated the most amazing conversation, and I learned that this former son of Esau, a former Muslim, had Jesus come to him in his dreams many years ago while he lived in Iran. Jesus shared the gospel with him from a specific verse. This man found it so amazing that he told his brother, the Imam, who told him to keep his mouth shut or he would be killed. Many years passed, and he finds himself in France. There a person gave him the bible in Aramaic. Imagine that, the first verse he turned to and read was the same scripture that Jesus spoke to him about in the dreams. Right there, on the sidewalk in France, he accepted Jesus Christ into his life. Do you know what happened in that moment on the sidewalk? He changed teams and became a part of the body of Christ. He was no longer responsible for the sins of his forefathers, and no longer under the curse of Obadiah 1:18. He is NOT the only one this has happened to, and all those who have turned to the Lord will enter the eternal kingdom and be loved by the Father.

I feel impressed to point something else out at this juncture. One of those thieves being hung next to Jesus that day was admitted into the kingdom upon death. Why? Because of the simple words, he said, “do you not fear God?” “this man has done nothing wrong;” and “remember me.” These progeny of Edom/Esau have and will continue to make the simplest of acknowledgments, while the Father, on the other hand, will respond with, enter into the eternal kingdom.

Obadiah is only one chapter and opens with a command to the nations, calling them for battle against Edom.

“The vision of Obadiah. Thus says the Lord GOD concerning Edom–We have heard a report from the LORD, And an envoy has been sent among the nations saying, “Arise and let us go against her for battle”– “ Obadiah 1:1 NASB.

  • It is a vision given to Obadiah;
  • concerning Edom;
  • and, it commands those who have been sent among the nations
  • who say, ‘Arise and let us go against her for battle.”

Why would God command the nations to come against Edom?

The obvious factor is that Israel, once again, will sustain a grave and deadly attack. As of this moment in time, 09/16/2020, has Israel sustained such a fatal military attack? No, yet many will go back to June of 1967 and the Six-Day war and claim that this was just such a military operation. While Israel sustained losses, that war was much more deadly for others. In the process, Israel gained the Golan Heights, the entirety of Jerusalem, and the Gaza strip (although Israel later complied with the U.N. and relinquished the Gaza strip to the Palestinians. Another dominant war was the Yom Kippur War (October of 1973.) This war was led by a coalition of Arab states, which included Egypt and Syria, and ended in sound defeat for the alliance, so it does not answer the question.

Does scripture substantiate a deadly attack against Israel?

Absolutely and we can see this in Ezekiel.

“One-third of you will die by plague or be consumed by famine among you, one third will fall by the sword around you, and one third I will scatter to every wind, and I will unsheathe a sword behind them.” Ezekiel 5:12 NASB

In Zechariah chapter 12, we learn that all nations will be gathered against Israel.

“It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.
(Zechariah 12:3 NASB)

Zechariah 14:2 tells us that the city shall be taken, and half the city will go into captivity once again.

For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished, and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.” Zechariah 14:2 KJV

I want to address one more point before I leave this thesis.

You indicated that Edom is the comprehensive designation of the enemies of Israel. Comprehensive by dictionary standards means the quality of comprising much, or including a great extent, extensive; or comprehending many things at once.”

I would venture to say that your use of the term, as it applies to Israel, says that all of Israel’s enemies can be envisioned as Edomites. While your reference to Obadiah, where it says, “Will I not destroy wise men from Edom And understanding from the mountain of Esau?” is a question, it does imply that God will destroy, at least the wise-men, from Edom. If I must consider the rest of the statement as demonstrating a mass killing, then I would have asked, do all men have understanding? The answer is seen in our government today. The riots that allegedly started because of George Floyd began on May 26, 2020, and yet here it is September 18, 2020, and speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi just announced that riots are a bad thing and the people who are causing harm should be arrested and jailed. Do you see any understanding in that? I don’t, especially since she waited months to make the statement.

If you were to look at The Historical Map of the Assyrian Empire and the Eastern Mediterranean about 750 – 625 B.C., what will you see is Assyrians blanketing Edom.

Since the days of Jonah, the Assyrians, or in Jonah’s case, they were called Ninevehites, have been attacking, killing, and torturing the Northern and Southern kingdoms of the Jews. Wikipedia indicates that the Ninevehites were an ancient Assyrian city of Upper Mesopotamia, located on Mosul’s outskirts in modern-day northern Iraq.

Where do we find Edom?

Out in the Negev desert, about as far south as you can go. Edomites were descendants of Esau, but so were almost all of Israel’s enemies.

The Quora search website and Garry de Vries, a former expositor/teacher of scripture, say this about Esau.

“Esau had many descendants. Five sons and ten grandsons are mentioned (Please read Genesis Chapter 36). Teman, one of the descendants of Esau, gave his name to a district and a tribe of that name in Edom. The inhabitants of Teman were renowned for their wisdom (Jeremiah 49:7). Eliphaz, one of Job’s friends was called a Temanite (Job 2:11). He was a wise man who had a great respect for God. Job was instructed by God to offer sacrifice and intercede for him (Job 42:7–10). This is surely one example of people who did not belong to the line of promise (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), but who nevertheless participated in the spiritual blessings of the original promise to Abraham. One of Esau’s sons, Eliphaz, had a concubine, or secondary wife, called Timna. She was the sister of one of the leaders of the Horites in Seir (Genesis 36:22), and she bore Amalek to Eliphaz (Gen.36:12). Because Amalek did not have the same mother as the other sons of Eliphaz, it may be that he was ostracized by his brothers and that it was this that led him to live in a separate area (identified as the nation of the Amalekites). The Amalekites were the first nation/tribe to wage war on Israel after they had left Egypt (Exodus 17:8–13). As they ‘did not fear God’ but attacked a weary, defenseless people, Israel was directed to blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven (Deuteronomy 25:17–19).”

The last portion of this paragraph is the sole reason we see God ordering the Edomites’ destruction. I am not here to argue whether they deserve to be wiped out or not. It is the realization that we all deserve to be wiped out because of sin, and that is why Jesus Christ came and paid the debt for us all. Jesus’ blood was shed for the Edomites as well, and we seem to forget that fact.

In the prophecy of Daniel, we are told that the descendants of one referred to as the prince that will come, come and destroy the city and temple, just as it was destroyed in 70 A.D. Sadly, many have misled us into believing that this prince was Titus, the Roman general. It was not.

Daniel 9:26 NASB “Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.”

This prince, the one who will destroy the city and the temple once again, has many names, and the Assyrian is one of them.

Isaiah 31:8 NASB And the Assyrian will fall by a sword, not of man, And a sword not of man will devour him. So he will not escape the sword, And his young men will become forced laborers.

This man will fall by a sword not of a man, then what else is left?

The sword of the Lord and we have that picture in Revelation 19.

If Esau is the father of the Arabs, and he is, and, by oppression, the Arabs pretty much all became Muslims, then we, by extrapolation, can see where the Muslims will become the final and fitting players in the end times. These people do not listen to anyone that is not a Muslim, and therefore the only one who can get their attention and call for peace will be a Muslim; hence, the Islamic Antichrist.

Now you don’t have to buy into any of this, nor do I expect you to. But when I found this information in Joel Richardson’s book The Islamic Antichrist, my understanding of end-times events became very clear.

Posted in antichrist, bible study, destruction, destruction, Edom, Esau, Jerusalem, Jews, judgment, lawlessness, Millennium, Obadiah, strange doctrines, straying from the truth, teaching a different doctrine, the nations, Thoughts on scripture, wickedness, wise | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Will we see Babylon rebuilt? A study on Babylon, chapter 5. The end.

The angel begins by expounding upon the beast.

Revelation 17:7b NASB states,

I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.”

 “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come.”  Revelation 17:8 NASB

While this may not be the definitive answer as to who the beast is, it makes sense to me. Obviously, the beast is first and foremost a fallen angel – a demon. Since we know that Satan is also personified as the dragon, we can exclude him. Secondarily, the beast is also assigned the title of the Antichrist, and therefore must be possessing the man who gains this title.

Again, the dragon gives his power and authority to the beast.

If this world leader is Islamic, then Revelation 17:8 makes all the sense in the world because this is the one entity, that seems to be under the control and leadership of some demon.

Followers of Islam, because of the Quran, have a drive to dominate the world with compulsory worship of Allah. The ideology has been around since early 600A.D. and has practiced dominance and subjugation at every opportunity.

The Apostle John had NO concept of Islam, but he did have an understanding of Romans and Assyrians. When you think of Islam, think Assyrians.

So with Islam’s annoying inclination toward world dominance something needed to be done, and the “modern” world did just that by going to war with the Ottoman Empire and outlawing their ideology in 1923. With that the world effectively thought the Ottoman Empire was dead; this was a logical thought seeing as the leadership was effectively cut off. I could say, the Ottoman Empire suffered a mortal head wound. Ah, but they refused to stay dead. The Muslim Brotherhood flickered with life in Egypt, and the world eventually witnessed the Islamic Revolution in 1979 when they took the American Embassy hostage in Iran.

So the beast, called Islam, lives once again.

 Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits,”  Revelation 17:9 NASB

The Bible Knowledge Commentary gives us this explanation. “While Rome is often referred to as having seven hills or mountains, different writers do not necessarily name the same seven mountains. A close study of the passage does not support the conclusion that this refers to the city of Rome. Seiss, for instance, offers extensive evidence that the reference is to rulers rather than to physical mountains (The Apocalypse, pp. 391-94). This is supported by the text which explains, They are also seven kings (lit., “the seven heads are seven kings”). If the mountains represent kings, then obviously they are not literal mountains and refer not to a literal Rome but to persons.”

If you still don’t believe it, then watch this.

“and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while. (11) “The beast which was and is not is himself also an eighth and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction.” Revelation 17:10-11 NASB

They are seven kings.

The word kings, in the Greek, is basileus. According to Thayer’s definition, this person is a “leader of the people, prince, commander, lord of the land, king.”

These are leaders of the people.

If it is an Islamic leader, you can rule out a woman leading.

While we have presidents and prime ministers, most of us can comprehend that these “leaders of countries are not making the decisions about how the world should run. Many call these unseen decision-makers, the shadow government.

If you really want to know who is running this world, then look at the Bilderberg group; the World Economic Forum; the Illuminati, and the NWO. One of the faces of the World Economic Forum is Bill Gates, another name that pops up frequently is George Soros. All of these combined is the personification of the harlot; they are idolaters of self, they are wickedness, and they are responsible for the deaths of many due to this COVID 19 at a minimum; and the godlessness that literally made up Babylon.

Posted in Assyrians, Babylon, bible study, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, COVID 19, dragon, dreams, End times, Harlot, Islam, Israel, Jews, judgment, lawlessness, New World Order, one world religion, Revelation, seven headed beast, ten horns and seven heads, the will of God, Thoughts on scripture, Zechariah | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Qualifications for a deacon. 1 Timothy 3:8-13.

Paul started this third section of his letter to Timothy discussing the qualifications for a Pastor; depending on the translation, you might see terminologies such as an overseer or a shepherd.

I am surprised anyone qualifies, as we are all so broken, and many people I know should quickly shy away from being a pastor. I struggled with being a group leader in the recovery group, but there was a leader who was brave enough to tell the crowd what got him into recovery, and this brother in Christ took me under his wing and calmed me down on several occasions.

Fortunately, God sees us in a better light than we do and believes better things for us; (I am speaking bluntly because, by Paul’s admonition, he forbids women from being overseer’s of the flock,) so if a man had problems in the past, they might not have those problems now, because that man has put his faith and trust in Christ Jesus, and allowed for God to change him.

Now when it comes to skeletons in the closet, I am not sure how you prevent those skeletons, some of which should never again see the light of day, from being made public. Perhaps making sure you only talk with safe people is one way, but my trust-er is seriously damaged, and believingthat people can be safe is difficult. Another idea you can try is to keep your mouth shut; it works for me.

One of the methods of background checking, according to Paul, is to ask those that know the person what they are like. Many could see that as a problem especially if they saw you get hauled away in cuffs during the night. And even if you did not get arrested, what makes you think we neighbors can’t hear you screaming at your wife and kids. Look, WE ARE ALL BROKEN and have a propensity to blab/sin to make ourselves look better, and we will rat you out. Phenomenon such as this is highly prevalent in religious circles as we seem to be competing for promotions, I guess.

When we covered Pastors in the previous post on Timothy, I told you that I do not fully understand alcoholism. Oh, sure, I can comprehend the effects, and I have seen the damage it causes the person and their family. Now, I am not an alcoholic, but I had a terrible struggle with rage. The point of this is, having a cold beer, for me, is NOT a problem.

Yeah, I can hear some of you whining now about how I am making you stumble in your walk Jesus. We will get into that shortly. First, look at this, just in case you did not see Paul’s advice on selecting potential pastors.

So a church leader must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money.
(1 Timothy 3:2-3 NLT)

I am faithful to my wife, but I don’t always practice self-control, and my belly demonstrates that fact, however, I have seen what alcohol can do to me, and I must say, I don’t enjoy being out of control. I also know how much it takes for me to get out of control, and I make a conscious choice NOT to go there. So yes, when it comes to alcohol, I do practice self-control. By the way, I am not looking for a job, so I don’t care what you think about this startling revelation, but if you are a religious zealot and love to judge people, you need to know something.

God will be as hard on you as you are on others! He will treat you exactly as you treat them. (Matthew 7:1-2b CEV)

For the past twenty + years, I have gone out of my way to develop a sound and godly reputation.

Thanks to some terrible decisions many years ago, I ended up working for Home Depot; there, I quickly found out that cussing, among the employees, is a skill set, and I learned that skill. However, I had been straining to be the kind of Christian that my mother wanted me to be, and the internal emotional pressures were pushing me to my limits. To maintain my sanity while I worked there, I would exit the building at lunchtime. In a short time, I began taking my bible to the places I would stop for lunch. I spent at least thirty minutes at lunch, studying my bible, and I read every day, taking notes and writing down the questions and challenges I had for God about what I read. This reading program became a part of my morning breakfast stop before work. I would leave the house an hour earlier to spend the extra time in God’s word. And I would take my bible to dinner with me. I worked at Home Depot for seven years, and I operated on this pattern almost every day. The result of this behavior was that I became skillful with God’s Word and would respond to people’s questions about the Word of God, Jesus, and God’s nature and character.

Now I am up against another set of standards, but this time, for deacons.

1 Timothy 3:8-9 NASB Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, (9) but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.

Let’s start with this word deacon. First, there are a variety of translations, such as:

  • Church officers (this makes sense to me as deacons, as far as I know, play a considerable role in church financial decisions.);
  • Eugene Peterson’s Message gives us this, “those who want to be servants in the church.” Well, that’s a rather broad definition as some servants, like a friend of mine who before he retired, was a school principal and teacher, but now, among other things, rearranges the chairs in church several times a week.
  • And lastly, the Tree of Life Translation calls them Servant-leaders. They, like Stephen, should be servants and leaders.

These deacons have similar demands to the pastors.

  • One that catches my attention is the statement that they are not to be addicted to wine.
  • From the TLV, not greedy for dishonest gain.
  • Men of dignity. The word in Greek is honorable.
  • Not double-tongued. Don’t change the  rules  to fit the status of the person. Be a person that people can confide in and trust.

1 Timothy 3:10 NASB These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach.

Tested is to approve or examine. No, we are not merely talking about taking tests, it is watching how the person trying to be a leader performs under pressure. How do they respond to people in the church clamoring for their spiritual help and guidance. 

Note that Paul says these men must also first be tested, but gives no extensive definition like he did the pastors; however, he does give us tests we can use.

Reproach is the Greek word anegklētos and, according to Thayer, means that they cannot be called into account. In defining reproach, the dictionary tells us that this has to do with someone being able to censure you. To censure is the act of blaming or finding fault and condemning as wrong.

So, how or why would someone want to blame or find fault with your choice of a deacon?

Our first example has Paul speaking of women, but we can apply it to men as well.

1 Timothy 3:11 NASB Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things.

We already covered dignity when we addressed the men. It is the Greek word semnos and means to be venerated for character, honorable. So nothing, in importance, has changed.

If we think that being a malicious gossip is reserved for women, then we are either naive or deceived as we men are quite skilled in this regard.

Temperate is another term that we covered, as it applies to abstaining from wine (in excess,) just like men.

Faithful applies to persons who show themselves faithful in business transactions, the execution of commands, or the discharge of official duties. This should be expected of anyone, especially since you are dealing with the church finances.

1 Timothy 3:12 NASB Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households.

I included the emphasis (italics) provided by the NASB.

Note how it says only one wife. Many of the men I have known, and at least one pastor, have been married several times. There is no need to get all judgmental; simply remember that we are ALL broken. The hope is that somewhere over time, we get that brokenness fixed.

I will let you in on a little private information; I am on my third marriage.

How did my brokenness affect my marriages?

Well, with the first, I was a novice raised under highly religious legalism, and seriously co-dependent. If you don’t know what it is to be co-dependent, it means that you become dependent upon how others think and feel about you and, therefore, create a relational atmosphere in your mind based upon their perceived like or dislike of you. If a co-dependent marries a broken individual, this can be an explosive mix. Add to the marriage the fact that she cheated on me twice. I can only handle it once. Still not free of the co-dependency that affected me, I married a second time to a woman with two children. The short of it, I destroyed this one. I know now, that my psychological problems and inadequacies caused that marriage to fail. The third marriage only happened in the last few years, but my desire and attempts to be married were initiated over twenty years ago. With only two weeks before we were to get married, my brother-in-law, the associate pastor, told me that he was disallowed from marrying us and that we would have to obtain counseling from the lead pastor. Now mind you, that lead pastor and I had been involved in a strained relationship which initiated about ten years prior. The other part of this disaster came into play as he had also played a role in my wife’s ill-fated marriage to her first husband. Combined, he saw no hope for us and made hateful accusations concerning the fact that we had both been married previously and had failed marriages. That day he seemed to forget how he also had a failed marriage. Since a rather large religious organization ordained this broken man to be the pastor, I guess the fact that he had been married before was no hindrance to his being a pastor now.

So, this term only implies that you should NOT be married to more than one woman at a time.

and good managers of their children and their own households.”

Again, I am looking at the italicized words, and the word “and” does not change the understanding of the sentence, however, the usage of the italicized word“their” creates the idea that these deacons should be able to handle children, period. What that means, I am not sure.

The word manager is proistēmi and means to be set over or rule. There is nothing here that means rule with an iron fist, but considering that parental attitudes, the influence of education; and, governmental themes and laws have created a generation of children that will refuse to comply with reasonable demands, like sit down. (And we get to watch children like this at the daily riot.)

We will finish this section with this.

1 Timothy 3:13 NASB For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

Well is defined as honestly.

And to obtain is to get possession of.

While there is the possibility that you may obtain some reward now, here on earth, but the greatest probability will be at the Bema seat.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10 NASB

On several occasions, I have talked about this idea of being recompensed. When you look at the Greek, it conveys the idea of rewards and wearing a victor’s crown as you might in the Olympics.

So if you serve, do it with honesty, and then allow Him to pat you on the back and say, well done, my good and faithful servant.

  • Holding to the mystery of the faith.
  • He who was revealed in the flesh,
  • Was vindicated in the Spirit,
  • Seen by angels,
  • Proclaimed among the nations,
  • Believed on in the world,
  • And taken up in glory.

This is the Messiah Jesus that I serve.


Posted in 1 Timothy, bible study, children, pastor, recovery, temptations, tests, Thoughts on scripture, trials, Wife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Will we see Babylon rebuilt? A study on Babylon. Chapter 4.

A symbolic Babylon does not have to be rebuilt because it never went away. So, there must be something that defines whether this is real or symbolic.

Revelation 18:1-2 NASB After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory. (2) And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird.

The peculiar thing about this sentence is that it is in the present tense. The piece of the puzzle that makes this understandable is that this is also talking about both Jerusalem and an ideology.

The NASB tries to tame the language by saying hateful birds. Since there are no hateful birds per-say, then there has to be more to the phrase; and there is. As the references in Revelation 18:2 are taken from Isaiah 13:21, then let’s look there.

“But the beasts of the waste land will have their holes there; and the houses will be full of crying jackals, and ostriches will have their place there, and evil spirits will be dancing there.” BBE

Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible makes this statement:

Babylon the great, and she became a habitation of demons and a hold of every unclean spirit.

Another of our associations is with the fallen angels/demons are those held in the Euphrates river.

Revelation 9:14-15 NASB (14) one saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” (15) And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released so that they would kill a third of mankind.

The Complete Jewish Bible conveys that it, “be full of owls, ostriches will live there, and wild goats will dance there.” (Isaiah 13:21 CJB)

To the Jewish reader, there is an instant association with the restrictions seen in Leviticus, which warns them to stay away from this place – unfortunately, the place is Jerusalem.

Leviticus 11:13-16 CJB “The following creatures of the air are to be detestable for you—they are not to be eaten, they are a detestable thing: the eagle, the vulture, the osprey, (14) the kite, the various kinds of buzzards, (15) the various kinds of ravens, (16) the ostrich, the screech-owl, the seagull, the various kinds of hawks… (the list continues.)

To make this even worse.

Leviticus 11:24 CJB “The following will make you unclean; whoever touches the carcass of them will be unclean until evening,”

So let’s speculate that there are none of these things in Jerusalem. While this theory may work for ostriches, it will not work for most everything else, and it is the uncleanness that is worrisome to the Jew.

Revelation 18:3 CJB “For all the nations have drunk of the wine of God’s fury caused by her whoring—yes, the kings of the earth went whoring with her, and from her unrestrained love of luxury the world’s businessmen have grown rich.”

If what we see here in Revelation 18:3 is to be a rebuilt city, then how is that the nations have drunk of the wine of God’s fury caused by her whoring? A city, cannot of itself be a whore, nor can it create on its own the atmosphere conducive to such references.

From Dr. J. Vernon McGee, Have drunk” (or are fallen) are the two permitted renderings—both have good manuscript authority. Both are true. The normal rendering is “have drunk.” This is God’s judgment on big business which denies God’s authority. This is the unholy alliance of government and business. We have seen some of this in our day and, frankly, it smells to high heaven. The word for merchants means “those who travel.” It is not those who produce goods or manufacture goods, but those who are brokers, engaging in business for a big profit. Business is a sacred cow that nothing must harm or hinder. This is true today, of course. Man uses business as the biggest excuse for having no time for God, yet these same men must finally stand before God. God will judge godless commercialism.”

What about this angel who is saying, fallen is Babylon the great?

If I were to guess, I would say this is Jesus Himself. Did He not show up many times under the guise of The Angel of the Lord?

He did.

Revelation 18:1 NASB After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory.

He is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.

Habakkuk 3:3-4 NASB God comes from Teman And the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah. His splendor covers the heavens, And the earth is full of His praise. (4) His radiance is like the sunlight; He has rays flashing from His hand, And there is the hiding of His power.

We are still talking about Revelation 18:2 where it speaks of the destruction of Babylon by saying Fallen, fallen.

Fallen is the Greek word piptō, which means to descend from a higher place to a lower; to be thrust down, or to be judged.

[If Babylon is being judged, then here it is either an ideology, a belief system, or a place with people. Since we know that Jerusalem is called Babylon, then it makes sense that the people would be fallen because Israel is part of the judgment.]

Once again, we are not directed to a physically rebuilt infrastructure, but we are directed to Jerusalem.

She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird.”

Simply look up pictures of Babylon today and it looks like a typical desert town; sparse housing, little to no shade, it looks HOT and barren. If you were part of the World Economic Forum, where would you have your team meetings? Yeah, I thought so, Davos Switzerland, a place that is lush, green, and appeals to the lifestyles of the rich and famous. NO ONE is going to go there anymore.

Posted in angels, Babylon, bible study, End times, fallen angels, familiar spirits, Harlot, Harlot of Revelation, Islam, Israel, Jerusalem, judgment, Prophetic, Revelation, Thoughts on scripture, unrighteousness, wickedness, Zechariah | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will we see Babylon rebuilt? A study on Babylon. Chapter 3

What do I know thus far?

That Babylon, in “the Revelation,” is primarily symbolic.

Rev_14:8, “she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality.” (During the time of Nimrod there was only one language and “nation.” Therefore this statement is a projection to a future time. That future time is upon us.)

Rev_16:19, “The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell.” (I used the term symbolic because it is still a future event; and, Jerusalem is also called “that great city.”)

Rev_17:5, “on her forehead a name was written, a mystery.” (Mystery is the word musterion – according to Thayer, “religious secrets, confided only to the initiated and not to ordinary mortals.” In general, the church is initiated as we are no longer mere mortals. Still, the terms forehead and mystery are highly indicative of symbolism.)  

Rev_18:2, The CEV states “it is the den of every filthy spirit and of all unclean birds, and every dirty and hated animal.” (So we are looking both to the future and the present to see this.)

Rev_18:10, quoting from the NASB we see this, ” the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.” (We have seen that Jerusalem is also called the great city. The practical side of this is the question, how do you destroy such a great city in a day? And, why would the destruction of Jerusalem cause the world’s wealthy to mourn? Unless we have not been told everything.)

Rev_18:21, “So will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer.” (These same words were used of Babylon, and yet, to a degree, it is inhabited. Does this make God a liar? No, but there is certainly some verbal painting with a broad brush, and that must be taken into consideration. So we might be looking for a nuclear attack.)

Simply said, we are seeing references to things such as the mother of harlots and the abominations. While most can understand the depth of perversion that is associated with Babel, but the Bible does not spell that information out for us. Since we are biblically based, then we need to lean toward sound doctrine when it comes to interpretation, and that is the Bible points to Jerusalem.

That Jerusalem, which is referred to as Babylon, will be split into three parts by a horrendous earthquake.

Revelation 16:19 NASB The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath.

Since everything in the Revelation is based upon some statement within the Old Testament, what do we have as a witness to a massive earthquake? 

One of the most dominant, outside of Revelation, comes from the Psalms.

Psalms 114:3-8 CEV  When the sea looked at God, it ran away, and the Jordan River flowed upstream.  (4)  The mountains and the hills skipped around like goats.  (5)  Ask the sea why it ran away or ask the Jordan why it flowed upstream.  (6)  Ask the mountains and the hills why they skipped like goats!  (7)  Earth, you will tremble, when the Lord God of Jacob comes near,  (8)  because he turns solid rock into flowing streams and pools of water.

I chose the CEV as it describes several events that could easily be associated with a life-changing earthquake, such as the Jordan suddenly flowing upstream, and the mountains and hills skipping around. Note this effect as He turns solid rock into flowing streams. It is easy to associate this with a thermal event like a volcano erupting.

Jeremiah 4:24 might also be one of those references. 

Jeremiah 4:24-27 NASB I looked on the mountains, and behold, they were quaking, And all the hills moved to and fro. (25) I looked, and behold, there was no man, And all the birds of the heavens had fled. (26) I looked, and behold, the fruitful land was a wilderness, And all its cities were pulled down Before the LORD, before His fierce anger. (27) For thus says the LORD, “The whole land shall be a desolation, Yet I will not execute a complete destruction.

At one time, I used this verse in Jeremiah to make a point about how or why the earth came to a place of destruction. While to most this seems irrelevant, but scripture tells us that the earth was perfect in the day He made it, and yet at some point, the earth became void and without form. Now try to explain that. 

The Harlot that rides the beast is the same harlot/whore that we find in the basket.

Zechariah 5:5-11 tells us of the “woman” in the basket, covered by a lid of lead. She is lifted from the basket and shown to Zechariah, and told, this is wickedness. That woman personifies wickedness.

The Apostle Paul wrote how Israel took pleasure in the wickedness.

2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 NASB (7) For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. (8) Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; (9) that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, (10) and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. (11) For this reason, God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, (12) in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth but took pleasure in wickedness.

Isaiah tells how Jerusalem became a harlot.

Isaiah 1:21a NASB How the faithful city has become a harlot,

The prophet Ezekiel said, you played the harlot.

Ezekiel 16:14-15 NASB “Then your fame went forth among the nations on account of your beauty, for it was perfect because of My splendor which I bestowed on you,” declares the Lord GOD. (15) “But you trusted in your beauty and played the harlot because of your fame, and you poured out your harlotries on every passer-by who might be willing.

Revelation 17 tells us that the great harlot sits on many waters; it goes on to explain what the waters are.

Revelation 17:15-17 NASB (15) And he *said to me, “The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues. (16) “And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire. (17) “For God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God will be fulfilled.

There is no doubt in my mind that the passages above are speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem/Israel, but not completely.

In Zechariah chapter five, the woman in the basket is wickedness, and she is being taken to Shinar, the place where Babylon began.

What then is Babylon?

  • To Israel, under the rule of Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon became their captor, their punisher, and their protector. You see, God often uses others to carry out His will. When we read about Babylon from the book of Daniel, we see that they too had their fair share of idols. During the time of Daniel’s captivity, he tells us that Nebuchadnezzar had a massive statue of himself made, and he forced everyone to bow to it. Israel adopted Babylon’s ways.
  • Babylon is Jerusalem, “that great city“. Since the woman, which equals wickedness is Jerusalem, then “that great city” is also representative of wickedness.
  • Babylon is the whore and the harlot, as these terms are synonymous.
  • Babylon is symbolic, and we see that as Jerusalem is called Babylon; and, referred to as the whore. If the whore/harlot is wickedness, and Jerusalem, in scripture is described as giving itself over to wickedness, then Jerusalem is wickedness and therefore the whore in the basket.
  • She, Jerusalem, made all the nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. What does that mean? That the wrath reserved for Israel will also be poured out upon the world because we too are neck-deep in this money lust.
  • Babylon represents the global banking system and the basis for this money lust.
  • The two witnesses have finally been killed, after preaching in the streets of Jerusalem for 1,240 days. Revelation 11:8 tells us that their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city for three days. The great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.

The harlot/whore is pure wickedness.

2 Thessalonians 2:7-10 NASB (7) For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. (8) Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; (9) that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, (10) and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.

Revelation 17:5-6 NASB, describes the harlot, but it does not define who or what she is very well.

At this point, with many clues and explanations, it is easy to see that Babylon, the Great, the Mother of Harlots, is Jerusalem, but we still get hung up looking for a rebuilding of some tower, and that leads us to our last point.

Posted in antichrist, Assyrians, Babylon, bible study, destruction, End times, Harlot, Harlot of Revelation, Islam, Jerusalem, judgment, lawlessness, Prophetic, Revelation, Thoughts on scripture, ungodliness, wickedness, witch, wizards | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment