1 Timothy



1 TIMOTHY 1:1-2


1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope,


2 To Timothy, a true son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.


This greeting is somewhat odd, in that Paul would identify himself the way he does as Timothy knew very well that Paul was an apostle, unless Paul knew that others would read the letter as well and wanted to establish his authority and credentials to his readers.


 

1 TIMOTHY 1:3-4


3 As I urged you when I went into MacedoniaТremain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine,


4 nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.


Some people are naturally argumentative and contentious, especially so when it comes to religious doctrine. Satan will do his best to deflect the preaching of the Gospel into petty arguments over trivia or irrelevant issues which engender frustrations and the truth becomes obscured.


We are constantly warned in Scripture to watch for false teachers and false doctrines within the churches, yet there are many churches that are dead or basically useless because Christians either are asleep, donМt care, or are not watchful. IМve seen and heard of doctrines being taught in churches that range from head-shaking disbelief to downright hair-raising, yet people follow them without question. Unfortunately, God will bring about the Great Tribulation to clean out the Рdead woodП in His churches and present Himself a pure, faithful Bride at His return.




1 TIMOTHY 1:5-11


5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,


6 from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk,


7 desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things whichthey affirm.


Unfortunately there are those who believe religion is a source of monetary gain (like modern-day Sadducees) or who seek attention and glory (like modern-day Pharisees) and the Church body suffers as a whole as unbelievers see these people as examples of Christianity and become cynical, believing that all Christians are like that.


During PaulМs time, many were hiring themselves out as teachers of the Law of Moses, but were ignorant of the precepts of the Law and had no clue of the things of the Law that they approved of. Even today there are those who preach erroneous doctrines, who make slick presentations with broad grins, becoming what I call РPatchwork PreachersП. These are people who select verses from the Bible and sew them together into some kind of believable doctrine(the Рprosperity GospelП, also known as the Рname it and claim itП Gospel is a good example). This doctrine teaches that God is a divine РSugar DaddyП who canМt resist giving His children riches in this life. But there is a catch - you need to donate to the Church, then God will release wealth to you: the more you donate, the more He gives! And if it doesnМt work, they worm out of responsibility by telling you that you donМt have enough faith! They openly preach this despite JesusМ blunt warning about riches;


MATTHEW 19:23-24


23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, РAssuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.


24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.П


Does that sound like God is a РSugar DaddyП to you?



1TIMOTHY 1:8-11


8 But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully,


9 knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

 

10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,


11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.


The purpose of the Law of Moses was to identify what constituted sin in GodМs eyes, and to set down what were considered sinful behaviors in His sight. He also set down what were approved actions and what constituted righteousness in His sight, giving Man clearly-defined guidelines to follow.


Satan hadnМt anticipated God instilling a instinctive knowledge of good and evil in Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden when they disobeyed God and ate the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. But НtruthМ is relative and is subject to individual interpretation unless compared to and defined by an accepted standard such as GodМs perfect Word.


But even though we have a instinctive knowledge of good and evil, there are those who ignore or who willfully reject the warnings of their subconscious to the point of where after a while it no longer registers on their conscious mind. These are people like serial killers, habitual liars, serial rapists, career thieves, etc. It was for people like these that the Law and later the New Testament commandments were written, to penetrate the darkness of sin that Satan blinds us with, and to help us fight sin itself.



1 Timothy 1:12-17


12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry,


13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.


14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.

 

15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.


16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.


17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.


Paul freely admits to his former sinful behavior before he accepted Jesus, when he beat, imprisoned, murdered and persecuted Christians and wasted any churches he could find. But he also freely admits that he did these things in ignorance, out of misguided zeal for God and the traditions of the Pharisees, believing Christians to be dangerous heretics whose (to him and others) blasphemous teachings must be destroyed.


He also understood that Jesus had mercy on him because of PaulМs misguided zeal and ignorance, appearing to him and instructing him in the truth of the Christian faith. He also chose Paul because he was a perfect vessel for preaching the Gospel: he was highly educated, spoke and wrote Hebrew, Greek, and presumably Aramaic, was trained in oratory skills, knew the Law of Moses better than most of his contemporaries and teachers, and was very passionate and hard-core for his beliefs, just to name a few benefits. With what he knew, he would be a perfect vessel to mightily refute and confound the Jews who still followed the now-dead Law of Moses, showing both Jews and Gentiles that Jesus was the promised Messiah and fulfillment of the Law and the prophets.


He also was a living example of JesusМ compassion and mercy in being willing to offer salvation to Paul despite his past activities. He also used Paul as an example of accountability for sin, for many of PaulМs sufferings were things that Paul had himself performed on other Christians (beatings, stoning, imprisonment, trials before authorities, etc.)


This is also to show that even though He forgives us, sometimes He punishes us for our sins. I spent 5 years deeply into the Occult, and even though I was forgiven I was punished with 5 rounds of pneumonia, the last bordering on meningitis which nearly killed me. I have never been so sick in my life!!! But it was also a serious graphic reminder that there are consequences to sin and that itМs not right that Jesus suffer for our sins alone.



1 TIMOTHY 1:18-20


18 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare,


19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck,


20 of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.


This is a difficult passage of Scripture, as Paul isnМt very clear as to what he is referring to as far as the sins of Hymenaeus and Alexander. From his tone and previous parts of his letter, I suspect that they, envying PaulМs popularity and desiring adulation and popularity for themselves, were fancying themselves teachers of both the Law and Christianity and were teaching serious errors in the Ephesian Church, poisoning the Church congregation with blasphemous teachings.


He had already spoken of this in his letter earlier when he said;


1 TIMOTHY 1:3-7


3 As I urged you when I went into MacedoniaТremain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine,


4 nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.


5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,


6 from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk,


7 desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.


He also reiterated the same to Titus;


TITUS 1:10-11


10 For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision,


11 whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain.



As for Paul delivering them to Satan, he had no power or authority to deliver them personally to Satan. None of us have that power. I think he meant he was going to turn them out of the Church so that the Church would no longer be hurt by their poisonous teachings, and that they would be deprived of the ChurchМs protection against Satan. (One time while attending a strong Foursquare Church, in the middle of the sermon, in my mind I saw Satan, appearing as a huge tiger, pacing in the parking lot some distance away from the church, snarling in anger and frustration because the Holy Spirit was so strong inside he couldnМt get anywhere near it. IМd dealt with the same tiger years before and God had identified him as Satan.


So by turning those two out of the Church, it would remove the ChurchМs protection and give Satan access to them.



1 TIMOTHY 2:1-7


1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,


2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.


3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,


4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.


5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,


6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,


7 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostleТI am speaking the truth in Christ and not lyingТa teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.


We always need to remember to keep our leaders in prayer, for they determine how our civil lives

are lived, as they generate and enforce our laws. We may not like a particular leader, but we need to always lift them up in prayer that God will guide them in their work and that they will rule justly.


Note that Paul says that there is ONE mediator between God and Man, namely Jesus Christ. No Pope, priest, or any other person (including Mary) has been given this authority from God no matter what they claim! The only sins that we can forgive are sins committed directly against us, personally. No one cannot forgive sins committed by others as only God can do that! This was shown in Scripture when Jesus healed a paralytic;


MARK 2:3-7


3 Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men.


4 And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.


5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, РSon, your sins are forgiven you.П


6 And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts,


7 РWhy does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?П


In the Old Testament Law, God had ordained a priesthood from the lineage of MosesМ brother Aaron as intercessors between God and Man for the sins of the people, in which the penitent would bring an appropriate sacrifice for their sins to the priest and confess their sin(s).


The priest in turn would offer the sacrifice for the atonement of their sin, and their sin(s) were covered and forgiven. The priest acted as a mediator between sinful Man and a sinless, holy God and no man could enter the presence of God without an atoning sacrifice. But remember, the sin(s) had only been covered,they had not been removedin GodМs sight. As king David had said;



PSALMS 32:1-2


1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.


2 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.


The barrier of sin separating Man from God (physically represented by the Temple veil) was still there, therefore the imperfect animal sacrifices which could only cover sins needed to continue until the perfect sacrifice would come which would remove sin forever.


As the scribes correctly reasoned, only God has the authority to forgive all sins, so if someone claims to be able to forgive sins that you have committed, they are claiming to be equal with God which is blasphemy, and they Scripturally have no authority to forgive sins, for if that were possible, Jesus would not have needed to come and die for our sins. Remember, God destroyed the Temple to end the priesthood, so today an intercessory priesthood is not needed. We can now go directly to God Himself through Jesus Christ to have our sins forgiven.



1 TIMOTHY 2:8-15


8 I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;


9 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing,


10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.


11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission.


12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.


13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve.


14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.


15 Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.


A lot of people have problems with the set of verses above, and they accuse Paul of being a woman-hater because of them. But remember, their culture of that time was far different from ours. Women were expected to remain at home for the most part, taking care of the household and being involved in child-rearing.


The women attending synagogue usually sat in a separate section, behind a curtain so as not to distract the men during teaching, prayers and worship. Paul didnМt want women dressing up to bring attention to themselves in the synagogues or churches, distracting from the hearing of the Word. Women also didnМt get to socialize much due to daily duties, and he didnМt want synagogues and churches to be distracted by women gossiping and socializing while the Word was being preached.


He didnМt hate women, he was just zealous for GodМs Word.



1 TIMOTHY 3:1-7


1 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.


2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach;


3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous;


4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence


5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?);


6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.


7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.


Any organization needs leadership and churches are no different. Bishops (or elders) are the senior leaders of the Church, much like Vice-Presidents of a corporation with the Pastor being the head of the church.


The duties of bishops or elders are to oversee the daily operations of the Church, leaving the Pastor free to create sermons, visit the sick, counsel those who seek it, etc. The value of Bishops cannot be overstated as they are invaluable to the Church and the Pastor, both.


One important note: Paul says that Bishops must be married to one wifeand must have children who are well-behaved. Some denominations (Roman Catholic mainly) violate this Scripture as according to Catholic doctrine priests are to remain celibate (unmarried) all their lives as they are all supposedly married to the Church. This is wrong, as the Church has only one husband, Jesus Christ, and their doctrine gives the Church many husbands; it also elevates the priests to be equal with Jesus Christ, which is blasphemy.


A bishop (or elder) must also be an experienced Christian, not a newbie to the faith, and must have a good reputation in the surrounding community.


Some churches do not have Bishops and that is fine, as they have a group of Elders who function in the same capacity. But above all, bishops and elders must remember that they are shepherds of the flock as much as the Pastor is, and they perform a vital function within the Church.



1 TIMOTHY 3:8-13


8 Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money,


9 holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience.


10 But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless.


11 Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things.


12 Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.


13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.


Deacons take care of the daily functions of the Churches. The term РdeaconП (Greek НdiaconosМ) is translated as РservantП, and in the book of Acts Stephen and 6 others were chosen by the Apostles to serve the early Church, overseeing the daily distribution of food to widows within the Church body. As Scripture says;


ACTS 6:1-6


1 Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.


2 Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, РIt is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables.


3 Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business;


4 but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.П


5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch,


6 whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them.


The growing Church needed people dedicated to oversee the daily needs of church members, as the Greek believers thought that the Jewish believers were serving only their own widows with daily food, probably an oversight.


So seven good men were chose to oversee this and other small matters.


Some view this office as being beneath them, but we must remember that Jesus didnМt consider being a servant in the days of His flesh as being beneath Him. Remember when He washed the disciplesМ feet? That was a job for house-servants. And as He Himself said when the disciples disputed who was greatest among them;


MATTHEW 20:26-28


26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.


27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slaveТ


28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.П


Pride has brought about the downfall of many church members. Remember, it is not the perceived importance of your work that matters to God, it is the willingness and quality of your work for Him that matters. A person who daily ministers to the needs of the disabled and shut-ins (those housebound by illness or disabilities) is greater in GodМs sight than a pompous pastor who preaches to thousands. We all need to periodically ask ourselves, РAm I doing this for the Lord, or for the praise of men?П



1 TIMOTHY 3:14-16


14 These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly;


15 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.


16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:


God was manifested in the flesh,


Justified in the Spirit,


Seen by angels,


Preached among the Gentiles,


Believed on in the world,


Received up in glory.


Paul closes this chapter with a condensed version of the entire New Testament.




1 TIMOTHY 4:1-2


1 Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers,


2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity.


We are to honor all fellow believers; the elders are not to despise the younger, but tutor them in the ways of the Lord, and younger members are to respect their elders, treating them as honored mothers and fathers. God also stated in the Law;


Leviticus 19:32


32 НYou shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I am the Lord.



1 TIMOTHY 4:3-8


3 Honor widows who are really widows.


4 But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay

their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God.


5 Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers

night and day.


6 But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives.


7 And these things command, that they may be blameless.


8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.


Back in New Testament times and even today, women didnМt work outside the home but stayed at home keeping the household running, a hard and important job indeed!. They were highly valued and honored for the work they did and were considered the crown of their husbands.


Proverbs 12:4


4 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.

 


Proverbs 31:10-12


10 Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.


11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain.


12 She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. 


Unfortunately in todayМs world, women who stay at home and are Рhome-makersП are looked down upon by some who work outside the home. And many husbands really donМt truly appreciate the work their wives do in maintaining an efficiently functioning household - until they try it themselves, immediately finding out that being РMr. MomП is incredibly hard work, especially if children are involved!


Unlike today, there was no Welfare or Social security system to provide income for those unable to work. If a womanМs husband died, she was on her own to find income. If she was young enough, she could marry again, but if she was old and had no family to take her in, she was in serious trouble!


Thus Paul tells the Churches that if believing widows have children and grandchildren, let them take her in,

so the congregation can support those that are truly widows. He also warns widows to be sure and lead Godly lives, and not be caught up in worldly pleasures, implying that they will become dead spiritually and will be rejected by the Church.


He also warns that if families are unwilling to take in and care for their widowed mothers or grandmothers, in GodМs eyes their professions of faith are worthless and they are worse than unbelievers.



1 TIMOTHY 4:9-16


9 Do not let a widow under sixty years old be taken into the number, and not unless she has been the wife of one man,


10 well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has

washed the saintsМ feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work.


11 But refuse the younger widows; for when they have begun to grow wanton against Christ, they desire to marry,


12 having condemnation because they have cast off their first faith.


13 And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.


14 Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully.


15 For some have already turned aside after Satan.


16 If any believing man or woman has widows, let them relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows.


Paul sets down stringent rules for widows, which to our permissive society seem harsh but actually fit into the culture of his time.


Remember, back then there was no welfare, and women rarely had jobs that would support them, so if a womanМs husband died and she had no family to take her in, she would wind up begging or finding less respectable means to survive unless she remarried.


Up to the age of 60, women were still considered to be of childbearing age, and were expected to bear children to help support the nation, and she who was barren was considered cursed by God and was a reproach to her village.


Widows were to have a good character reference from those outside of the church, known for diligence and good works. That was to ensure widows were productive in serving the needs of the church, and werenМt just a idle mouth to feed.


WeМve also all heard of the Рmerry widowП, younger widows who now being free of a husband becoming Рparty girlsП and living wild lifestyles. Such widows would bring shame and all kinds of malignant influences and people into the church and the church would be destroyed in short order.


He ends with the admonition to ensure that only if a widow is truly destitute is she to be supported by the church. Churches have limited sources of income and Paul wants to ensure that church resources are spent where they are truly needed, not on wasteful individuals.



1 TIMOTHY 4:17-20


17 Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.


18 For the Scripture says, РYou shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,П and, РThe laborer is worthy of his wages.П


19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses.


20 Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear. 


Elders are not to be looked down upon just because they are older. They have long experience in life matters for the most part, and should be given the same honor as fathers. They are living storehouses of wisdom and life experience and younger members would be wise to avail themselves of that knowledge.


They are also shepherds of the church, mentoring and shepherding the people of GodМs flock, always watching to keep false teachings, doctrines and behaviors from poisoning the church, and keeping the pastor apprised of the churchМs spiritual health. They should be greatly respected, as they work quietly behind the scenes, not drawing attention to themselves, but serving GodМs church and laying up for themselves a great reward in Heaven.


Any accusation of misconduct brought against an elder is to be verified by two or more witnesses to prevent a disgruntled or reprimanded member making an accusation out of spite or malice. As God stated in the Law of Moses;


DEUTERONOMY 19:15


15 РOne witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established.            



1TIMOTHY 4:21-25


21 I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality.


22 Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other peopleМs sins; keep yourself pure.


23 No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomachМs sake and your frequent infirmities.


24 Some menМs sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later.


25 Likewise, the good works of some are clearly evident, and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden.


Do not elevate anyone over another in your estimation, as God shows no partiality to anyone. If you, Moses, Elijah and Peter stood before God, He would view all of you equally. On Earth, churches have people set over us in what is called Рpositional authorityП such as pastors, elders and other church authorities. Due to human nature, we may not like a person in authority, but we must respect the position they hold, as a fellow laborer in GodМs kingdom. By the same token, do not honor a member above others because of social status, likeability or personal wealth. SatanМs kingdom is rife with competition and jockeying for position and glory, GodМs kingdom is not.


Some misinterpret the meaning of Рlaying on of handsП in verse22 as being the practice of blessing someone, or performing healing or some beneficial action. He actually meant to not suddenly lay hands on them as taking them into custody for an infraction.


An example of this is found in the book of Nehemiah. In 586 B.C God had sent Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar to destroy Jerusalem and all of Judah, including the destruction of SolomonМs Temple. He then deported the Jews as captives for 70 years as punishment for their sins, during which time the country remained a wasteland.


70 years later the Jews were freed by Persian king Cyrus the Great and they were permitted to rebuild the city and the Temple with Ezra the priest and Nehemiah the Governor overseeing the work. According to the ordinance of the Law of Moses, the people built for 6 days and rested completely from all work on the Sabbath.


However trouble began immediately with greedy Jewish and foreign merchants trying to sell their wares on the Sabbath. Nehemiah finally forced the merchants out of the city gates on the eve of the Sabbath and wouldnМt allow them back in until the morning after the Sabbath.


So these greedy merchants would sit outside the gates on the Sabbath and hawk their wares to whomever came in or out on the Sabbath, violating the Law of Moses that no manner of burdens be borne or work be done on the Sabbath.


Nehemiah, angered by this blatant disobedience of the Law so soon after their divine punishment and exile, and frightened of GodМs wrath took action:


Nehemiah 13:19-22


19 So it was, at the gates of Jerusalem, as it began to be dark before the Sabbath, that I commanded the gates to be shut, and charged that they must not be opened till after the Sabbath. Then I posted some of my servants at the gates, so that no burdens would be brought in on the Sabbath day.


20 Now the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice.


21 Then I warned them, and said to them, РWhy do you spend the night around the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you!П From that time on they came no more on the Sabbath.


22 And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should go and guard the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of Your mercy!


Timothy is also told to be sure to drink wine occasionally as wine alcohol has curative properties for stomach ailments (perhaps from food and water-borne illnesses) And note that he says a little wine, not excessive amounts!


History has recorded the actions of good people as well as some true monsters whose works precede them to judgment. There are also whose sins and good works are hidden. But they all will be revealed at the Judgment.




1 TIMOTHY 5:1-2


1 Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers,


2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity.


The Bible is all about respecting and honoring others, something weМre seeing less and less of these days. It is from the Bible that we received the РGolden RuleП of НTreat others as you wish to be treated yourselfМ, remembering that we will be treated at our Judgment in the manner that we have treated others. Some examples:


LEVITICUS 19:32


32 You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I am the Lord.



MATTHEW 7:1-2


1 Judge not, that you be not judged.


2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.



LUKE 6:37


37 РJudge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.



And especially;


JAMES 2:13


13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.


 

1 TIMOTHY 5:3-8


3 Honor widows who are really widows.


4 But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God.


5 Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day.


6 But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives.


7 And these things command, that they may be blameless.


8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.


Churches, especially back then, were usually based in someoneМs house and many were poor, so money was tight. Back then there was no Welfare or Social Security. You worked until you couldnМt work any more, then either a relative would take you in, or you begged alms by the roadside. Women had it especially hard as few worked outside the home or ran their own business. If their husband died or left, most had no source of income. Paul also warns younger women about becoming Рmerry widowsП as well.


Believers were like a family, taking care of each other as Jesus had commanded, but there were always those who wanted a Рfree lunchП, lazy people who would not work but wanted the church to support them. Apparently it got so bad that Paul at one point commanded;


2 THESSALONIANS 3:10-11


10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.


11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.


It has been said РIdle hands are the devilМs playgroundП and this is true. A church is like a company, all employees must work for the company to be successful.



1 TIMOTHY 5:9-16


9 Do not let a widow under sixty years old be taken into the number, and not unless she has been the wife of one man,


10 well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saintsМ feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work.


11 But refuse the younger widows; for when they have begun to grow wanton against Christ, they desire to marry,


12 having condemnation because they have cast off their first faith.


13 And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.


14 Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully.


15 For some have already turned aside after Satan.


16 If any believing man or woman has widows, let them relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows.


Paul brings up a reasonable point. In his time, any woman under the age of sixty was still capable of useful work. By age sixty, she was considered to be past childbearing age and if she didnМt have adult children or other family she was truly alone.


She was also to be well-known for good works, as a contentious or НlooseМ woman would be harmful emotionally and spiritually to the church and would harm the reputation of the church in the eyes of outsiders. But by doing good works and having shown hospitality she would have earned the responsibility of the church to take care of her and the blessing of God for her works.


Paul didnМt want to include younger widows, as they would eventually become restless and want to socialize and marry again. Here is nothing wrong with that, but Paul had previously said;


1 TIMOTHY 5:5


5 Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day.


He also said;


1 CORINTHIANS 7:34


34 There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the worldТhow she may please her husband.


The unmarried woman, be she a virgin or a widow does not have the cares and responsibilities of a family and can focus her life on serving the Lord without distraction. A good example of this is given in the Gospel of Luke. Joseph and Mary had brought the infant Jesus to the Temple to be dedicated to the Lord and they were approached by an old prophetess. Scripture records;


LUKE 2:36-38


36 Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity;


37 and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.


38 And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.


During ancient times, many died at a young age due to wars, disease, famine, etc. so women were considered to be of marriageable age when they were about 15 years old. If Anna had married at age 15, she would have been about 22 when her husband died, meaning that she had remained a widow about 62 years. With the deathof her husband, she dedicated herself to the Lord the rest of her life, serving in the Temple as a prophetess, fasting and praying to her God and He had rewarded her with a long life and had allowed her to see IsraelМs long-awaited Messiah.



1 TIMOTHY 5:17-20


17 Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.


18 For the Scripture says, РYou shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,П and, РThe laborer is worthy of his wages.П


19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses.


20 Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.


The elders are the Рunsung heroesП of the churches. They usually work in the background, taking care of the daily needs and the successful running and organization of the church. They keep the pastor informed of church matters and problems that need his attention, thus freeing the pastor to minister to his flock. It is arduous but rewarding work, and they should be honored and respected for the work that they do.


God commanded in the Old Testament that a man could not be tried for a transgression unless there were two to three witnesses to verify the accusation. There is good reason for this, as in todayМs society a single person can bring an accusation against someone (especially public figures) without corroborating evidence or witnesses and people (especially the media) immediately take it as fact, whether it is true or not. In our court system today, a person cannot be convicted without enough physical evidence or witness testimonies for a conviction.


But if elders are actively sinning, do not hesitate to call them on it before the congregation. Paul called out Peter before the church in Syrian Antioch for being a hypocrite;


GALATIANS 2:11-13


11 Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed;


12 for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision.


13 And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.



1 TIMOTHY 5:21-25


21 I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality.


22 Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other peopleМs sins; keep yourself pure.


23 No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomachМs sake and your frequent infirmities.


24 Some menМs sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later.


25 Likewise, the good works of some are clearly evident, and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden.



God views us and judges us without partiality or respect of persons and we should do the same. In todayМs society, too many activists go Рjudge shoppingП where if they donМt like a law or ordinance they go looking for a sympathetic judge to block or place an injunction against the implementation of the law. And too many judges today are Рlegislating from the benchП, assuming legislative powers that they are NOT entitled to in order to pass or block laws, usually along political party lines or personal beliefs.


The admonition to not lay hands suddenly does not mean laying hands for healing or passing the Holy Spirit, it meant to not lay hands as in detaining someone. An example of this is found in the book of Nehemiah. The Jews had just returned from being exiled to Babylon by God for 70 years because of the nationМs sins and were rebuilding the walls and gates of Jerusalem.


God had commanded in the Law that no work of any sort be done on the Sabbath and yet Nehemiah the governor discovered merchants buying and selling within the city on the Sabbath. Nehemiah, frightened that God would punish the Jews again for their disobedience, forbid the merchants from doing business within the city.


So greedy were the merchants that they merely set up outside the city gates and sold to whoever went out and came into the city on the Sabbath. Nehemiah then records;


NEHEMIAH 13:19-22


19 So it was, at the gates of Jerusalem, as it began to be dark before the Sabbath, that I commanded the gates to be shut, and charged that they must not be opened till after the Sabbath. Then I posted some of my servants at the gates, so that no burdens would be brought in on the Sabbath day.


20 Now the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice.


21 Then I warned them, and said to them, РWhy do you spend the night around the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you!П From that time on they came no more on the Sabbath.


22 And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should go and guard the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath day.



In ancient times sanitation wasnМt up to todays standards, and many food handlers didnМt wash their hands while handling food. Water was not the cleanest either and was subject to parasites. Because of this, many people drank water mixed with wine as the alcohol would kill food-borne bacteria and water-borne parasites.


Some menМs works are evident to everyone (Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot) who slaughtered millions of people, some menМs good works (Jesus, Apostles, famous humanitarians) are well-known and precede the individuals to Judgment. Others are not well known or reported and will not be known until their Judgment.



1 TIMOTHY 6:1-2


1 Let as many bond servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed.


2 And those who have believing masters, let them not despise them because they are brethren, but rather serve them because those who are benefitted are believers and beloved. Teach and exhort these things.


Oddly enough God never condemned slavery, but in the Law of Moses, He did however set down laws as to how servants and slaves were to be treated. For example;


EXODUS 21:2


2 If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing.



EXODUS 21:26-27


26 РIf a man strikes the eye of his male or female servant, and destroys it, he shall let him go free for the sake of his eye.


27 And if he knocks out the tooth of his male or female servant, he shall let him go free for the sake of his tooth.


In Old Testament times if a man owed a debt and his creditor(s) threatened him with confiscation of his house for example, he could sell his son(s) or daughter(s) as servants, only to other Hebrews in order to pay the debt. However, the servant would serve only 6 years and then they must be set free.


Such behavior may seem barbaric or reprehensible to us today, but such was an accepted part of Hebrew culture and itМs not really fair to judge them by our present-day standards. God didnМt condemn the custom, but He did set down regulations concerning its application..


Paul also admonishes servants to faithfully serve their masters, so their conduct as Christians will be noted by the quality and fidelity of their service. Not only will God approve of their conduct, but if they have an unbelieving master, he might come to Christ by observing their conduct.


Paul defuses a potential problem with Christian servants who have believing masters, telling the servants that just because they have a believing master, it does not free them from their obligations as a servant, nor does it mean the master is obligated to set them free before their release date. It is GodМs will that they be servants at this time, so they are to glorify God and honor their master with diligent service.



1 TIMOTHY 6:3-5


3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness,


4 he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions,


5 useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.


We have seen or heard of these types of people, who love to argue, especially when it comes to doctrine. The Pharisees and lawyers of JesusМ time were experts in this, wrangling endlessly over words and interpretations of the Law which left the hearers confused as to what constituted the truth.


The Pharisees and scribes followed the Oral Law, which was a combination of the Law of Moses and the teachings of various Rabbis on the subject in question. That is why the people were astonished at JesusМ teachings, as He didnМt give ambiguous answers or the opinions of others but essentially said РThis is the way it is.П


If you want an example of the confusion generated by the Oral Law, try reading the Talmud. It contains many subjects, and the teachings (which many times disagree with each other) of various rabbis and sages, all claiming to be teaching the truth. Which teaching is actually right, if any?


A Jewish comedian once stated, РGet three Jews together, ask them the same question and youМll get seven different opinions.П I guess that explains the Talmud!!!



1 TIMOTHY 6:6-10


6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain.


7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.


8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.


9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.


10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.


I really have a problem with the so-called РProsperity GospelП or the Рname it and claim itП gospel, in which God is a big Sugar Daddy who gives His children whatever they want. Usually the preacher says God wants you to be rich and that if you give to the church, God will shower you with wealth in return and will make you rich. In the end, the only one who becomes rich is the preacher. And if God doesnМt respond, the people are told that they donМt have enough faith. Pretty slick, huh?


We are warned over and over in the Bible about seeking after riches and the dangers they pose, yet people greedily rush after them, generally bringing misery into their lives. Remember, itМs not called Рcold cashП for nothing. You can love it, but it can never love you. Just ask lottery winners.


A rich man was touring his house one day admiring his possessions when he looked out his window and saw a poor man next door happily playing with his children in his front yard. As the rich man watched, he suddenly realized that the poor man was actually the truly rich man as the love of his family was greater riches than any material possessions.


WeМve all heard the saying that Рmoney is the root of all evilП, but if you read verse 10 above carefully, it is theloveof money that is the root of all kinds of evil. A rich man once said during an interview, РNo matter how much you have, itМs never enough.П Money had become the center of his life, and had become an obsession and an idol to him. Money was his god.


There is nothing wrong with being rich - but what place wealth occupies in your life determines whether it becomes sinful or not. Money is like fire: a good servant, but a bad master! And as Paul stated, echoing Solomon in the Old Testament, we came into this world with nothing, and we will leave it the same way, leaving what we have collected to someone else;


ECCLESIASTES 2 10-11


10 Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart rejoiced in all my labor; and this was my reward from all my labor.


11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labor in which I had toiled; and indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.



ECCLESIASTES 2 18-19


18 Then I hated all my labor in which I had toiled under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who will come after me.


19 And who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will rule over all my labor in which I toiled and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This also is vanity.

 


This realization caused him to later say;


Proverbs 30:7-9


7 Two things I request of You (deprive me not before I die):


8 Remove falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor richesТfeed me with the food allotted to me;


9 Lest I be full and deny You, and say, РWho is the Lord?П or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God.

 



1 TIMOTHY 6:11-16


11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.


12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.


13 I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate,


14 that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus ChristМs appearing,


15 which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords,


16 who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.


Paul warns Timothy to avoid the pitfalls he has listed in the previous parts of his letter which can all too easily entangle us in unprofitable and sinful behaviors and make us ineffective spiritually. And by defining them as sin, it actually makes them easier to recognize and avoid.


He also admonishes Timothy to keep fighting for the faith, keep himself pure as Satan will not stop trying to corrupt us until Jesus calls us home.



1 Timothy 6:17-21


17 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.


18 Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share,


19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.


20 O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledgeТ


21 by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen.


Unfortunately in many people (I see this in politicians a lot) with riches comes power and with power comes arrogance and haughtiness. With too many they view the world as divided between the Elites (themselves) and the Great Unwashed (everyone else) or they refer to everyone else as РThe MassesП (I hate that term), faceless crowds of people.


Again, there is nothing wrong with being rich, and there are kind, generous people who are wealthy, but unfortunately wealth and the power that goes with it all too easily corrupts the souls of those who possess it.


Remember, riches can be gone in an instant (the Great Depression of 1929 is a good example) which saw stockbrokers in New York City committing suicide by jumping out of skyscraper windows because their wealth was suddenly gone and they couldnМt live without it.


Nor can it save your life in times of peril, as the Babylonians found out when they were attacked by the Medes and Persians;


Isaiah 13:17-19


17 РBehold, I will stir up the Medes against them, who will not regard silver; and as for gold, they will not delight in it.


18 Also their bows will dash the young men to pieces, and they will have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye will not spare children.


19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the ChaldeansМ pride, will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.


Finally, Paul warns Timothy to avoid vain philosophies which were rampant during the time, Nicolaitism, Stoicism, and other humanistic teachings (some of which survive today) which can draw people away from the truths of Scriptural teachings.





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