Skip to comments.Paul, Timothy and the End Times
Posted on 03/28/2011 3:36:19 PM PDT by GiovannaNicoletta
Pauls letters to Timothy are the instructions from a mentor to a young pastor, one of the first ever, and contain advice on what to do and how to do it, as well as what not to do. Its the kind of thing youd expect given the relationship.
But for no apparent reason Paul tucked several warnings about the end times into various places in his instructions. These are things Paul knew Timothy wouldnt have to deal with because he clearly described them as characteristics of the Latter Days. Well take them each in turn.
1 Timothy 4:1-2
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.
When I read this one I always think of certain televangelists who espouse a perversion of the prosperity gospel. They know what theyre teaching is a compilation of half truths and outright lies, so in effect theyre twisting Gods word to steal from their followers. And without the least bit of shame they enjoy the lifestyles of the rich and famous at the expense of their contributors who, according to some reports, come primarily from the bottom 25% of the economic scale.
Taking advantage of their followers lack of Bible knowledge and misguided desire for a more abundant life , these predators foist one get rich quick scheme after another on their desperate flocks, bilking them out of the few discretionary dollars they have and leaving them worse off in the bargain. And they do it in the name of God. It makes you wonder what Hell say to them come judgment time.
But the prosperity teachers arent the only ones in this category. There are others who teach things they know are contrary to what the Bible says. Some of these things come under the heading of conditional salvation, grace plus works, partial rapture, and other false teaching that can steal the joy of your salvation and rob you of your certainty. Their objective is to imprison you within boundaries of rules they themselves cant follow. Read Colossians 2:8-23 for Pauls opinion on these modern day legalists.
Then there are those who either treat the prophecies of our time as if they were already accomplished in history, or as if theyre never going to be accomplished because theyre all allegorical. These teachers also know what theyre saying cant be reconciled with Scripture, but they ask you to believe it anyway, trusting in their superior intellect or advanced education instead of your own common sense. They take passages that can be clearly understood just as theyre written by anyone with an average intellect and make them hopelessly confusing by violating the rules of context, re-defining terms, and making that which is real into something symbolic.
2 Timothy 3:1-5
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
Just as you become convinced that Paul is describing the unbelieving world in our time and are vigorously nodding your head in agreement, he says that these people have a form of godliness but deny its power. Then you realize he was writing about those believers in name only, who spend 6½ days each week living lives indistinguishable from unbelievers, grabbing all they can get from our material world by any means necessary while contributing little or nothing to the work of the Kingdom. These people lead two lives, the one theyre serious about, and the one thats just for show. Guess which is which.
Paul was not blind to the behavior of these people, nor was this the only time he warned us to stay away from them. Listen to what he told the Corinthians.
I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. (1 Cor. 5:9-11).
Notice he said anyone who calls himself a brother instead of anyone who is a brother. I think he was doubting that someone who behaves in this manner could have been saved in the first place.
2 Timothy 4:3-4
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
Here the focus is on the emerging church movement in all its various forms. In business schools, students learn to develop strategies based on a driving force. One such driving force is the market. A market driven strategy requires the business enterprise to focus on what they perceive to be the wants and needs of their target customers and adapt themselves to meet these needs in a more effective way.
Correctly predicting the growing demand for a religious organization that could meet the needs of a self centered, self sufficient generation, the leaders of the emerging church movement developed such a strategy. They took the focus off God and put it on the congregation. Entertainment replaced worship, philosophy replaced theology, and good works replaced victorious living.
Borrowing a phrase from Dominion Theology they began calling it bringing Heaven to Earth to make it sound more appealing to their idealistic target market. Little do their followers realize that for believers, these good works will be burned up in the fire (1 Cor. 3:14-15), and for unbelievers theyll be woefully insufficient for entry into the kingdom (John 3:3). God has His own strategy for bringing Heaven to Earth and it doesnt include the emerging church. Commenting on their works in his letter to Laodicea, Jesus said,
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm neither hot nor cold I am about to spit you out of my mouth. (Rev. 3:15-16)
Theyre excited about the great entertainment, the stimulating talk, and the good works, but not about the Lord.
Irrespective of that, both the seats and the coffers soon filled, signs that their market driven strategy was working, and for many the emerging church was soon the place to be. This was especially true for those who had become bored with traditional Church and wanted a place where they could feel good and do good with no messages about sin and salvation to convict them. The gospel was not missed in its absence.
Besides, All of our attempts to define the right form of the Gospel are just human interpretations, the movements leaders claim. We must avoid a naive or excessive confidence in any telling of the Gospel story, since no articulation of the gospel today can presume to be exactly identical to the original meaning Christ and the apostles proclaimed. In a sense, theyre saying since its impossible to know what the Gospel story really is we shouldnt put too much faith in it.
Learning about the rapidly approaching End Times and the need to be ready for it has also been skipped. Instead, the excessive study of prophecy is called a distraction from the real work of the Church. These things were done by design, since the goal is to have non-believers make up at least half of the congregation. The market is much bigger that way and the non-believers help move the believers away from theological absolutes, like the need to be born again and the importance of prophecy.
In the next verse of His letter Jesus offered additional criticism.
"You say, I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing. But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. (Rev. 3:17)
His letter to the Church in Laodicea contains no commendation for their works and offers no escape from the end times judgments, just a plea to be allowed back into their midst (Rev. 3:20).
But Wait Theres More
Over fourteen years earlier in his second letter to the Thessalonians Paul had first warned us about the apostasy of the latter days, calling it one of the signs that would mark the end of the age. In 2 Thes. 2:1 Paul began to address their questions about two events, the (2nd) coming of our Lord, and our being gathered to Him (the rapture). He was responding to information they had received saying the day of the Lord had already come. He told them not to worry because several things had to happen first.
Paul didnt go into things like the regathering of Israel, the beginning of Daniels 70th Week, or the building of a Temple. Israel had not been dispersed yet, and the Second Temple was still standing. He focused on events that are more gentile in nature.
A careful reading of 2 Thes. 2:3-8 shows the order in which he said these things would take place. He said the apostasy would happen first (verse 3), then the rapture of the Church when the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way (verse 7), and finally the revealing of the anti-Christ followed by the 2nd Coming (verse 8). (If you dont read this passage carefully, you could become confused by Pauls mention of the anti-Christ in verses 3-4. But verse 8 clearly places the official unveiling of the anti-Christ after the removal of the Holy Spirit.) Even a casual observation shows that were well into the time of the first sign.
What should be our reaction to this? First is to remember that Gods Word said this would happen so theres no point in bemoaning the fact that its happening. Instead we should be encouraged to know the end of the Age is getting closer. Jesus said the true Church would become weaker and less influential as the end approaches (Rev. 3:8). As the world moves further and further from God, those of us who follow Him will naturally feel less comfortable and be less welcome here.
If you live in the United States, stop confusing your country with your church. No believer outside the US makes this mistake, and the fact is the Church has neither a home nor a land on Earth. Our citizenship is in Heaven (Phil. 3:20) and we look for a city whose architect and builder is God (Hebr. 11:10).
No matter where we live in the world we have to remember that were aliens here and our visit is about over. Soon well be going home where we belong.
In the mean time we have to stop depending on organized religion to meet our needs. In some places the Church is being forced underground. In others were going willingly. But either way the gulf between religion and the Church is growing wider by the day.
If you cant find a God worshiping, Bible teaching church where you live, dont settle for what you can get. Gather a small group of like minded believers and worship at home. Paul and Timothy didnt have a huge bureaucracy behind them. They didnt have million dollar buildings or professionally designed programs. They didnt even have the New Testament. Yet they found a way to worship God, and to help others do the same.
Stop supporting groups who are trying to bring Heaven to Earth and start sending your treasure to Heaven. I could tell you stories all day long about what God can do with a hand full of people He can trust. Ask the Lord to identify a need for you to meet in His name and then work in His strength to meet it. Apart from Him nothing you do has any value to the Kingdom (John 15:5).
Dig into prophecy. Its the single biggest topic in the Bible and more is written about our life and times than any other period in history. Know what you believe and why you believe it.
Do these things and you can make the time we have left the most rewarding and enjoyable time youve ever known. You can almost hear the Footsteps Of The Messiah.
Good article! Thanks.
Great article...and so true.
And as we see from events which are going on in the world, which are both fulfillment and stage-setting for the return of Christ, time is rapidly running out for the Church to carry out the Great Commission.
The caucus label will be removed because the article compares beliefs to non-member beliefs.
Good article — but I don’t know of any Christians who actually mistake the United States for a Church. I think that’s sort of a fallacious idea some portray about patriotic Christians because it suits their lack of patriotism, or justifies their lack of concern about such issues. But other than that one small issue, good post.
Giovanna...just found this video of interest...thought you’d appreciate in light of current events in ME. Appears this will be mass produced and sent to all Muslims in ME for viewing....they are pushing hard the arrival of the Maudi as well pushing the revolts throughout the ME....seen as the prelude to attacking Israel....(the site is from a former double agent working in the iranian Guard...now protected.)
Thank you for including me in this ‘ping’. The vid is 28 minutes long and that breaks my heart because I’m on dial up and it would take literally about 20 or more hours to load.
Wish it had been broken up into smaller parts. :(
Sorry....but in a nut shell Iran is claiming the arrival of the Maudi is very soon, the death of the Saudi Leader is expected, that all these protests are written in the Hadith or and spoken of by their Clerics, that Abendaaaaajjadde..is one of the chosen to usher him in, that there must be a take down of the leaders in these ME countries... and why these are happening now is the prelude to his coming. Later they mention three primary figures to be on the scene...Khorasani, Yamani, Shocib.
Once again we see Islam’s counterfeit to the coming of Christ....
What is most interesting is the mass production of this video to all Muslims worldwide...and sanctioned by Iran. That our leadership has not taken measures against Iran is seen as a green light for iran to pursue this and the ME to do as we now see them doing.
Am hoping you can maybe go to the library and pull this up. I did that before i got my own computer.It’s worth the view as as Christians it is letting us see exactly what the Islamic leaders are currently pushing on their people. Islamic leaders
I had heard about this this morning or last nite but for the life of me cannot remember where. I listen to BOT radio alot on the weekends so it may have been there.
You are spot on regarding the counterfeit. The more I see the more convinced I am that Islam is absolutely the ‘one-world’ religion that is coming. And from which the antichrist will originate. Back in the 90’s I knew a few people into prophecy as well as studying it myself. Anyway all of them declared that Catholicism was going to be the one-world religion and the pope would usher in and be the one to make alliance with the anti christ etc. I’m not discounting that Catholicism may play a part or that the pope may be involved but...we are witnessing satanic actions out of Islam.
Sorry so windy. Thanks for your concise summary. I appreciate it.
This from ‘Frontpage’ might be very helpful in knowing what they are putting out there...explains the video very well.
In the video the female host is dressed so she almost looks like a Catholic Nun...which surprised me. I am convinced the Catholic church will surely play a role from the religious aspect...as well Hinduism, which would include non-believers of any God...and likely Mormonism for all the assets they have. All three are getting very chummy with Islam....which might be the military arm of that dreaded time.
Thank you for the link. I appreciate it.
REgarding catholicism-I’m not convinced regarding the Catholic church; I’m not rejecting it out right but it never made sense to me as far as the anti-christ aspect of it. But we do know that at the end there will be one religion...many religions will blend into one (like you said ‘chummy). But as far as Catholicism taking a lead role in the end times...I’m just not convinced now, especially in light of what we are witnessing with Islam.
Well time for bed. Thanks again caww. Have a great nite.
here's the truth: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1702111/posts
Pope's Speech at University of Regensburg (full prepared text)
I was reminded of all this recently, when I read the edition by Professor Theodore Khoury (Münster) of part of the dialogue carried on-- perhaps in 1391 in the winter barracks near Ankara-- by the erudite Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam, and the truth of both. It was probably the emperor himself who set down this dialogue, during the siege of Constantinople between 1394 and 1402; and this would explain why his arguments are given in greater detail than the responses of the learned Persian.
The dialogue ranges widely over the structures of faith contained in the Bible and in the Qur'an, and deals especially with the image of God and of man, while necessarily returning repeatedly to the relationship of the three Laws: the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Qur'an. In this lecture I would like to discuss only one point-- itself rather marginal to the dialogue itself-- which, in the context of the issue of faith and reason, I found interesting and which can serve as the starting-point for my reflections on this issue.
In the seventh conversation edited by Professor Khoury, the emperor touches on the theme of the jihad (holy war). The emperor must have known that surah 2, 256 reads: There is no compulsion in religion. It is one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat.
But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Quran, concerning holy war. Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the Book and the infidels, he turns to his interlocutor somewhat brusquely with the central question on the relationship between religion and violence in general, in these words:
Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.
The emperor goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul.
God is not pleased by blood, and not acting reasonably is contrary to God's nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats... To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death.... The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God's nature. The editor, Theodore Khoury, observes "For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident. But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality." Here Khoury quotes a work of the noted French Islamist R. Arnaldez, who points out thatbn Hazn went so far as to state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God's will, we would even have to practice idolatry.
Polish winged Hussars
Polish King Jan Sobieski III at Vienna
Jan Sobieski III sending message of Victory to the Pope.
We are on the frontlines of the battle against Islam -- in Africa, in Asia, in Europe and yet we face lies by folks who stay at home in the US, far away from the front lines and dream up conspiracy theories???