How did we end 1 Timothy chapter one? With a bang, as Paul points us to two false teachers within the church. Here is what he said.
“Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme.”
Read what Paul said to Timothy as he described the details of what these two were doing.
- They were teaching contrary to the truth, teaching strange doctrines.
- As Eugene Peterson’s message states, they were occupying themselves and others, with legends, fables, and myths;
- and, they were paying far too much attention to myths and endless genealogies, these genealogies merely give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith.
First off, genealogies seemed to be vitally important to the Jewish community, we can see an aspect of this in Matthew’s gospel.
Matthew 1:1 THE BOOK of the ancestry (genealogy) of Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), the son (descendant) of David, the son (descendant) of Abraham. [Ps. 132:11; Isa. 11:1.] (AMPLIFIED Bible)
The genealogy proved the heritage of Jesus Christ. For example:
Psalms 132:11 NASB The LORD has sworn to David A truth from which He will not turn back: “Of the fruit of your body I will set upon your throne.
This was important to the Jewish community, and in scripture we are given two different lines, both of which establish Jesus as the son of David, the son of Joseph and Mary, and therefore, the Son of God. (Yes, I took some liberties in saying it this way, and I was trying to make a point about how, for the most part, is that genealogies, for us, are pointless. Consider when Herod was told that an entourage of wise men were coming toward Jerusalem. Having learned that they were looking for a recently born king of the Jews, he called the chief priests and scribes, and asked them, is this true. Because of what Psalms 132:11, and what the other prophets had said, they affirmed that Yahshua, the Messiah, would have been born in Bethlehem, however, we will not accept this child nor worship him. Herod, on the basis of two sets of witnesses, had all the boys in the region, under the age of twelve, killed. What does this say to you about the genealogies?)
But what did Paul say?
He said that these two, Hymenaeus and Alexander, were blaspheming – God.
Based upon what we know (1 Timothy 1:3,4,) where do you see the act of blaspheming?
Let’s ignore the genealogies for now, and focus on the other two points.
- They were teaching contrary to the truth, and or, teaching strange doctrines.
- The second thing that could be attributed to their blasphemy, would be what Eugene Peterson’s message states, they were occupying themselves and others, with legends, fables, and myths.
Having said all this, through and to Timothy, how does pull the young man, and his audience, back on track?
He reiterates what truth is, and thus we start Timothy chapter two.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 NASB First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, (2) for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
Alright, what is an entreaty?
It is the Greek word deēsis and means a petition: – prayer, request, supplication. The dictionary says it is to make an earnest petition or request.
Either I am missing something, or I just can’t see the logic of using a fancy word, only to say a moment later, “and prayers, petitions.”
The New Living Translation puts it like this.
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people.
Ask God to help them;
intercede on their behalf,
and give thanks for them.
Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.
Eugene Peterson’s Message conveys 1 Timothy 2:1-2 in this manner.
The first thing I want you to do is pray.
Pray every way you know how
for everyone you know.
This last portion of Peterson’s Message is especially critical today.
Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation.
The next two verses continue the necessity and logic of prayer.
1 Timothy 2:3-4 NET. Such prayer for all is good and welcomed before God our Savior, (4) since he wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
Because he wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
1 Timothy 2:5-6 NET. For there is one God and one intermediary between God and humanity, Christ Jesus, himself human, (6) who gave himself as a ransom for all, revealing God’s purpose at his appointed time.
Absorb these statements for a moment.
- God wants all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.
- There is one God.
- There is one intermediary between God and humanity, Christ Jesus.
- Jesus Christ, is a human.
- Jesus Christ, who gave himself as a ransom for all.
- So that Jesus Christ could reveal God’s purpose at His appointed time.
Keep in mind that Paul is writing to Timothy, I suspect to encourage him. In that encouragement he says, the things above, some of the most precise statements about who He is; these statements are a definition of His nature and His character.
When I was 23 I had a dream/vision of Jesus. He laid out my entire life before me. I thought I will never forget this and so I did not write anything down. All I could remember of His being there was that I was filled with joy. Years later, after a horrendous marriage and a loss of everything, including my hope and joy, I was reading in the book of Numbers chapter 12, where it speaks about the attempted mutiny by Aaron and Miriam against Moses. God spoke to Moses and said,
Numbers 12:6 NET. The LORD said, “Hear now my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known to him in a vision; I will speak with him in a dream.
Life continued with its twists and turns. The hope was restored one day, many years later, when I went to a prophecy conference. Sitting in the audience, the speaker that night pointed at me, and said, you have gone through three destructive phases in your life. God is saying to you, the destruction is done, and nothing will impact you in that manner again. There were other things said, but I do not remember them all. What I remember is that I felt like God loved and cared about me. This prophetic word did not speak to what I saw in Numbers 12:6, and I wondered what God had in store for me as time progressed. I never wanted to be a pastor, as I could not endure the responsibility of other people’s lives. It has been years, and I post almost everything I write to the internet. But about two years ago the dream came true as I became the leader of a small Bible Study group.
The point is, that God has a plan and that will be fulfilled in His timeline.
Paul, when he was Saul, may not have seen teaching direction coming, because he had been aligning himself to be a Pharisee, not a teacher of God’s grace and mercy, but here it is.
1 Timothy 2:7 NET. For this I was appointed a preacher and apostle — I am telling the truth; I am not lying — and a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
When you read about Paul’s life in the book of Acts what you see is a Jewish follower of Christ going to synagogues with every turn. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily, as Paul did what he knew best, and he preached Jesus from the Tanakh. In the course of teaching and preaching, Gentiles began to join the ranks. However, it was not until the harassment from the Jews escalated that we see Paul saying,
“It was necessary that we first preach the word of God to you Jews. But since you have rejected it and judged yourselves unworthy of eternal life, we will offer it to the Gentiles. (Acts 13:46b NLT)
To be honest, for me, the rest of this chapter has become nothing less than an entanglement. Maybe what Paul preaches here is a command from God, if so then rebellion on the part of some, has over time, made it impossible to enforce.
1 Timothy 2:8-15 NLT In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy. (9) And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. (10) For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do. (11) Women should learn quietly and submissively. (12) I do not let women teach men or have authority over them. Let them listen quietly. (13) For God made Adam first, and afterward, he made Eve. (14) And it was not Adam who was deceived by Satan. The woman was deceived, and sin was the result. (15) But women will be saved through childbearing, assuming they continue to live in faith, love, holiness, and modesty.
- “In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy.”
Starting with verse nine, Paul speaks to women. Now there might be a relational issue, but it is NOT often that you see women dressing so gaudy.
- “And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. (10) For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do. (11) Women should learn quietly and submissively.
Verses twelve through fifteen are unusual, to say the least. Having been cast aside and practically made slaves, women have fought back, demanding respect. I agree a male and female lumberjack should get the same pay. But I do struggle with this idea of women teaching men. Perhaps someone like Joyce Meyers could shut me up.
- “I do not let women teach men or have authority over them. Let them listen quietly. (13) For God made Adam first, and afterward, he made Eve. (14) And it was not Adam who was deceived by Satan. The woman was deceived, and sin was the result. (15) But women will be saved through childbearing, assuming they continue to live in faith, love, holiness, and modesty.
Paul’s reason may not seem logical to most, and, if you think about it, Adam was standing right there, listening to everything the serpent was saying to his woman. For this to make sense, you may have to go back to the creation of man.
In Genesis 1:26-30, it appears that God made man and woman, but there is more definition to come; and it is possible that this is nothing more than a spiritual state, not so different from the angels. The biggest clue we have to understand this creation scenario comes from verse 27, which reads:
God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27 NASB
John’s gospel tells us this:
“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
John 4:24 NASB
So the initial creation of both the male and female was a spirit, just as every aspect of the trinity.
Genesis 1:26-30 NASB Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (27) God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (28) God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (29) Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; (30) and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to everything that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so.
Our second introduction to creation comes from Genesis chapter two.
Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being. The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. (Genesis 2:7-8 NASB)
Here, we do not see the woman, so where is she?
Not formed yet.
And where does God put the man?
Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:15-17 NASB)
God placed the man in the garden, told the man about the tree, and gave him the only set of instructions necessary.
It quickly became obvious that something was missing, companionship, so God made animals. Well, that was not the answer, and so He makes a woman.
So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man and brought her to the man. (Genesis 2:21-22 NASB)
So where was the woman when passed out instructions?
Not formed yet.
So who then told the woman not to eat from the tree in the center of the garden?
The one person, who had previously been given dominion and the command to subdue the earth and all in it, Adam.
“God blessed them: God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, and every living creature that crawls on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28 CJB)
To the legalistic, who read this and assume that the “them” would be the man and the woman. How quickly we forget that the earth is also filled with animals and flying things, all, like the serpent, had the ability to communicate and had no fear of man. (Oh, yes, this is a very scriptural thing.)
Subdue – Gk, kâbash meaning to tread down; to conquer, subjugate, subdue, and bring into subjection.
Whether you like the word subdue or not is irrelevant, for the man was to bring his woman into subjection, in this case, to the Word of God. The word dominion has comparable meanings.
We never see Adam dominating, in a negative manner, his woman; and, I suppose that is why Paul’s directions toward women in the church are difficult to wrap the mind around.
So when we see the serpent, in chapter three, taunts the woman with “Indeed, has God said,” perhaps you can understand that the challenge/question comes more from the idea that Eve did not hear God speak the word, it came to her from Adam’s mouth; and how can I truly know that he would not lie to me in order to control me.
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1 NASB)
Do you see the subtlety and deceptiveness in this transaction?
These were NOT broken people as yet, and therefore Satan has to introduce possibility, probability, doubt; and for Adam, a treasonous motive – the potential that God has not given you all the power that He promised.
Because if, standing there, knowing full well that God did give those instructions, then what kind of evil went through his mind?