Why 2nd Timothy?

By Jon Bowles

12 April 2004

(Last Day of Unleavened Bread)


So often, we can read scriptures and we can forget that there are real people behind these scriptures. They're not just a fictitious story that is in a book somewhere. They were real people back there. They're just the same as you and me. They had families. They had husbands and wives. They had friends. And they had fears. They had hopes. They had dreams. They had real lives. And sometimes we can read these various scriptures and we can forget that, if we're not careful. Turn over to II Timothy 3, because Paul mentions something here that we read purely from the perspective of our time in which we find ourselves. And undoubtedly it HAS been preserved all the way through to our time today, precisely for what Paul says here. He is discussing something which is general.

II Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

Now other translations mention this as times of stress. The word perilous literally means downers, as something being pushed down. You know, the word downers is a good description. It's a good description that people get the downers. It's "a time of downers [laughs] shall come." That's literally what the word means. And he then starts giving reasons; and he lists certain sins, quite frankly -- people going astray; leaven that is going to be out in the world at large; which is going to affect you and me. It was affecting Paul at that time. Paul probably didn't realize how much this would increase as it would go into the world at the end time. And he certainly didn't realize how long it would still be going on, and it would still be being fulfilled at our day today.

II Timothy 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

It's all in-coming. The whole feeling from that verse is all in-coming and selfish.

II Timothy 3:3-4 Without natural affection, [We can see these things today.] trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent [That means sexually corrupt; incontinent in a sexual way.], fierce, despisers of those that are good, [We see that increasing today.] (4) Traitors, heady [or, headstrong], highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

And you've only got to turn on the news when there's any important football event to know whether we're lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God. I mean, if there's an Archbishop's Conference and Manchester United was playing somebody or other, who do you think would get the headlines? You don't have to think about it to realize that! [laughs].

II Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, [In other words, the trappings are there.]but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Why would Paul point this out to Timothy? Now, okay. We know that in the last days, coming down to our time now, that we're looking forward to the greatest time of trial that will ever hit the world, or ever shall again -- that ever has or ever shall do. So, we realize that, that is coming. But it goes on even in this chapter:

II Timothy 3:13-17 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. (14) But continue you in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing of whom you have learned them; (15) And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, [or God-breathed] and is profitable for doctrine, [or, teaching] for reproof, [And that literal word means telling a fault.] for correction, [Which means straightening you up again. So it tells you the fault, and then it straightens you up again; and it tells you where you're wrong, and it pushes you in the right direction again.] for instruction in righteousness: [And then it leads you on into righteousness itself, which has got to come from God.] (17) That the man of God may be perfect, [totally mature] thoroughly furnished unto all good works [and ready for the very Kingdom of God as well ].

Now, here, on the last day of Unleavened Bread, the very symbolism of Unleavened Bread, when we eat it each day during these days, is that we're taking the word of God into our mouth. Now the symbolism of escape from Egypt which is also the symbolism of these days, is coming out of sin. So it's a two-fold thing. You can go and check these verses over in Exodus 13:7-9 [Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with you, neither shall there be leaven seen with you in all your quarters. (8) And you shall show your son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the LORD did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt. (9) And it shall be for a sign unto you upon your hand, and for a memorial between your eyes, that the LORD'S law may be in your mouth: for with a strong hand has the LORD brought you out of Egypt.] show the symbolism of eating the Unleavened Bread being the law in our mouth.

So again, we find in this context, in this context within II Timothy 3, we find he is mentioning all these problems and times of stress coming. He's saying, "Look, here is a solution." You go back to the very word of God that we know, that we understand, that we've been assured of.

What I would like to do today, because you will find as we go on into the sermon there is a great deal more going on in II Timothy, an incredible amount more going on. II Timothy wasn't just written to us. In fact, it wasn't written to us originally. It was written to Timothy. There was no "second Timothy." There was just Timothy -- one Timothy, a single Timothy, an individual person who really lived and who had certain problems at this time, that Paul knew about and that Paul was writing to. And (having written this letter, and receiving the letter back from Timothy) he said, "No, this is worth including. This is worth preserving, going all the way down to the very end." And he put it into the canon, as part of the actual canonization process. And the effect of II Timothy is very much a part of the canonization process.

I want to give you some background to II Timothy. I want to help every one of us to grasp that this piece of the word of God is in our mouth -- that when we read these words, when we eat these words, that we really understand what we're talking about. So often we can't. So often we miss the background. Why the times of stress, the downers, when they come along? Why is he talking like that to Timothy? What kind of downers has Timothy got? There were certain downers that he had that he needed to rectify. And also, I want to go into the incredible encouragement that you find within this book.

As an aside, turn over to Matthew 16. We find Christ, who is totally unleavened (as was brought out in the sermonette). Christ is utterly unleavened, but you and I are not. You and I still have downers. We still have problems. We don't get a handle on everything that's going on. But here is Christ ...

Matthew 16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

In other words, He said, "Look, I've got to go down to Jerusalem and get Myself killed." That's what He's telling His disciples. And remember, just before this section, it talked about Simon Peter and said, [Mat 16:17-18] "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it unto you, but my Father which is in heaven. You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church" (upon this pebble). And then, using a play on words, "I'll build My very Church, and he can go ahead and bind and loosen in that regard."

Matthew 16:22-23 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from you, Lord: this shall not be unto you. (23) But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get you behind me, Satan [The word Satan means enemy. You get behind Me, you enemy.]: you are an offense unto me: [Now this is the unleavened Christ speaking, the one who had the Spirit of God without measure, totally unleavened, the living word of God, speaking to Peter, saying, "Look, you're not going to go down and get killed. He says, "You get behind Me. You're an offense to Me."] for you savor not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. [You are looking at it in a human way.]

He could see He had to go through a real time of difficulty. He could see this problem rising. And when we come and have a look at II Timothy, we'll find there are some problems coming up that Paul knew about, that Paul knew was in Timothy's mind. And II Timothy shows there is a good deal of things to fear, a good deal of things to fear as far as Timothy was concerned with what Paul was asking Timothy to do. And he had to encourage him about that; and he had to say, "Look, there's going to be a time of downers at the end time. We're going to have all these problems. But you get your mind focused. Get your mind on the things that are important."

Now if you have markers, stick them in II Timothy somewhere. At the beginning of II Timothy, Paul opens up the book with the solution that he's giving.

II Timothy 1:1-6 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, (2) To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: [that's spiritual]Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. (3) I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of you in my prayers night and day; (4) Greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy; (5) When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith [That's faith that is not superficial, that is not put on; it is unfeigned. It is real genuine true faith that he could recognize within this man.] that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in you also. (6) Wherefore I put you in remembrance that you stir up the gift of God, which is in you by the putting on of my hands.

In other words, what I'm going to tell you to do. You get your mind in gear. Stir up that Spirit of God that is within you. I know it's there. I know the faith is there. You've got a task to do, and I want you to do it properly.

II Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Now I've broken the sermon down into a number of points, as is my wont. And the points I have that I want to deal with initially is:


Now the word power being used here is dunamis. From this same word we get dynamo. Dynamo obviously makes power. And it's not just power to do mighty miracles, although that can be the case. But it's power over things. Turn over to Luke 10.

Luke 10:17-19 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through your name. (18) And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. (19) Behold, I give unto you power [dunamis] to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Now it's not just talking about literal serpents and scorpions, although that did happen in the case of Paul who picked up a snake on the island of Malta. Well, he didn't pick one up. He picked up a bunch of wood, and got bitten by it. But nothing happened to him. It wasn't just that.

Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

But it's the power over the enemy, and it's the satanic forces as well. So we're looking at the satanic side. Now if we go back to II Timothy and we look at a few scriptures here, you notice that it says in II Timothy 3 and look at a few scriptures here.

II Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

And it goes on about evil men:

II Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Denying that very power that is in the Spirit of God.

II Timothy 3:8-9 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. (9) But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

Now if you know who Jannes and Jambres were, they were the two magicians that withstood Moses in Pharaoh's court. Tradition has it (I think it's probably from Josephus.) that these men were cannibals. You didn't get on the wrong side of them, otherwise you'd be on the inside of them. [Everyone laughs.] So they were astrologers. They were magicians. They were pretty evil, to say the least. They were evil men. And he's warning them about this. He's saying, "Look, you've got power." The Spirit of God being one of power -- that is true. We have power over this kind of thing. And these people were worshipping demons actively. He's warning Timothy, "Okay, you'll come across some of this; but there is power with us." And we'll make sure that is the case.

II Timothy 4:14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:

So it's not just power over satanic forces outside the church, but it is also inside the church as well.

II Timothy 4:14-15 Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: (15) Of whom be you ware also; for he has greatly withstood our words.

So he's warning him that he's going to have to be standing up and counted in areas, not just outside. But he's mentioning such as Jannes and Jambres; and he's talking about evil men and seducers becoming worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.

II Timothy 2:16-17 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. (17) And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;

Here were other people within the church. Again, he would have to make sure he used the power that he had to combat. These things weren't just coming from human beings. They were coming from satanic sides, inside and outside the church.

II Timothy 2:18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

Now it is interesting, saying their word will eat as a canker or a cancer (or, as it says in my margin, gangrene). It is something that you get, and it is very difficult to get rid of. You can't get rid of it very easily. I remember, when my eldest brother was in the process of dying of cancer, I would say our best friend in the church was also dying of cancer; but it wasn't literal cancer. It wasn't physical cancer. It was spiritual cancer. I'd say they were the ones we were best friends with at that particular time; and they've still got their own wacky ideas about all kinds of things, and are about as far away as you can possibly get from the truth. How do you measure these things? They're way off, way off beam.

But it was interesting watching my brother die of cancer, and also this person die of cancer. One was physical, one was spiritual; and it was a very sobering thing to watch at that particular time.

II Timothy 2:18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

What was the phrase used? The Kingdom of God is a present reality and a future hope? But that is the wrong way round. Basically, they were looking at a present reality and a future hope. That's what those who deceived us were talking about, so the future was pushed way off somewhere; but it's infact a a present hope, and it will be a future reality. {1} The focus should be forward. And here, they are saying ... the exact same thing is being mentioned there (that the resurrection is past already) and overthrow the faith of some -- because faith requires us to keep a vision firmly in the future, looking firmly toward the future. The belief in that resurrection is vital. It is absolutely vital for what Paul was about to ask Timothy to do. Utterly vital! Turn over to Acts 10. Talking about Christ and what He did:

Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

And so this power was to do good at that particular time, and certainly it was through the power of God that He was able to do that.


Now the second point that you can glean from the first few verses of II Timothy is not just power but also love. Now if you turn over to I John 4:

1 John 4:12-18 No man has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwells in us, and his love is perfected in us. (13) Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. [Remember, it is the Spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind.] (14) And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior [or, the Rescuer] of the world. (15) Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him, and he in God. [In other words, confesses not just through the mouth but confesses in everything he does, with what he says, with what he does. A lot of it comes through the mouth, but it's having the same word.] (16) And we have known and believed the love that God has to us. God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him [so that the right kind of love is there]. (17) Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment: [Now, remember that we are looking at a power. We are looking at a freedom from fear. We're going to have boldness in the Day of Judgment. You can stand up and be counted at that time.] because as he is, so are we in this world. [We're the same as Christ. Remember what Christ said to Peter? He said, "You are an offense to me." And yet He was looking forward to something that anyone else would greatly fear.] (18) There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear ...

Can you look at what Christ did? Christ was going through what He was about to go through with the crucifixion out of concern for the rest of mankind. And that perfect love casts out fear. It was coming of the very Spirit of God. It cast out the fear. And it put Peter in his place, who tried to put fear back into Him. And it's saying here that's true with us as well, if we have an "out-going" attitude. Remember what we just read in II Timothy 3 where it says men shall be lovers of themselves? It's all "in-coming." It's all attracted to the self. Whereas, if you get it turned around and pushed out the other way, that'll push out the fear if we get our minds off ourself. Because, what is fear? It's fear of what's going to happen to the self. If the mind is off the self, then we will push out the fear. But it says here there's no fear in love. But perfect love -- if we've got that right, if it's perfect (mature) -- then it casts out fear.

I John 4:18 ... because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love.

We're not going to manage to do that if we're constantly concerned about ourselves, our families, our whatever's. Then there's going to be problems. Now if we go back to II Timothy, where your markers are; and if we notice what it says:

II Timothy 1:7-8 For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (8) Be not you therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner:

Now, Paul was writing from prison. He was about to go before Caesar. Now we can start to see a little bit more of what was there, the fear that was in Timothy that Paul was trying to deal with. He was talking to him from prison, just before he was going to go into Caesar at a particular time in Roman history. But he says, "Don't you be ashamed."

II Timothy 1:8 ... but be you partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

Get our minds turned round. Get our minds pushing out away from ourselves (not the other way round).

II Timothy 1:15 This you know, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.

So not only are we sharing sufferings there, but these people have actually turned away. They've left Paul by himself. There is some problem going on within Rome.

II Timothy 1:16-17 The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: (17) But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.

Now here's someone else with a different approach, and we'll find out a little bit more about this individual as we go on a bit further.

II Timothy 1:18 The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, you know very well.

And we'll go back and we'll read how he administered to him at Ephesus. In chapter 4 we see, again, this love that Paul reminds Timothy about. This concern that Paul needed him to have -- for Paul, for him.

II Timothy 4:10-11 For Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens [is gone, he's gone] to Galatia, Titus [has gone] unto Dalmatia. [It's not necessarily that Titus has fallen away or anything, but he was being left alone.] (11) Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, [And somebody went and brought out this fact that Luke, the beloved physician, journeyed with Paul to put him back together again every time he got beaten. It does make you think. It does make you think. "Only Luke is with me. Take Mark ... "] and bring him with you: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.

But notice: There was only Luke, basically, with him. He was there by himself, as a prisoner. Luke was with him, and all the rest had gone.

II Timothy 4:16 At my first answer [at my first defense] no man stood with me, but all men forsook me [Everybody, even Luke. And, when we go on a little bit further, we'll find out why.]: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.

But nobody was there. Now, what he's saying to Timothy? He's saying, "Okay, this Spirit that you've got, this Spirit that is of faith, it is a Spirit of power! It is power over the enemy. It's power over those within the Church and outside the Church. And it's also of love as well." It is of love and concern for the brethren, of concern for one another -- even those who are in perilous positions, that need help, that need people to come to them (which is what he's about to ask Timothy to do). And yet, in the situation that he found himself in, everybody had gone. They had all forsaken him. Even Luke got away from him when he was actually brought before the authorities; and he had to stand there by himself and give an account of himself, whether he was going to live or he was not.

But there's more to it than that. Let's turn over to Proverbs 2. Much of this that I'm giving is flowing from the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God is what gave us the Word of God, and we're looking at the Word of God right now. So certainly the word that is within our mouth is coming from the same source. And as we move from the Days of Unleavened Bread, and we move out into the rest of the holy day season, we're moving into Pentecost. And this is the time of the Church Age that we're in right now. The two work together -- the Spirit of God and the Word of God.

Proverbs 2:1-7 My son, if you wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with you; [here's this word that's got to be in our mouth] (2) So that you incline your ear unto wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; (3) Yea, if you cry after knowledge, and lift up your voice for understanding; (4) If you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hid treasures; (5) Then shall you understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. (6) For the LORD gives wisdom: out of his mouth comes knowledge and understanding. (7) He lays up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler [that is a small shield] to them that walk uprightly.


He's a protector in that regard. But he lays up sound wisdom for the righteous: He is a buckler to those who walk uprightly. You know, the sound-mindedness that is in these verses (of which he is reminding us), the sound-mindedness comes from the mind of God. It comes from that Mind. And that is the type of mind we need to be in us. It is the Spirit of power, of love, and of a sound mind.

I remember giving a Y.O.U. Bible Study at one time, and there was a Y.O.U member there. We open it for questions every now and then, and the question came. It said, "Why are church members so weird?" [Everyone laughs.] Spoken as only a Y.O.U member could. But I thought, "I don't really know the answer to that, but I know exactly what you mean." [Everyone laughs.] Because looking back, looking even now [he laughs loudly!] ... But no, really, there have been -- we do seem to attract them. We do seem to attract them, if we're not careful. And I say "them"? How about them and us? We've got to make sure we're not. But it's of a sound mind. We shouldn't be standing out like that.

When Christ was on Earth, Judas had to go and point Him out. He had to go out and there's Judas' kiss. He was not weird. Christ wasn't weird. And what Paul was saying to Timothy, he wants someone to be able to come up and actually approach into his prison house who isn't weird, who doesn't look like he's come out of the local lunatic society or something like whatever. We've got to make sure that we aren't. We've got to make sure that we do reflect the mind of Christ, because Christ has balance and He was not that way. You can turn over to I John. I've read this a few times recently. There is a distinction, if you like, between the spirits.

1 John 3:23-4:3 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. (24) And he that keeps his commandments dwells in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abides in us [or, stays in us], by the Spirit which he has given us. [And this Spirit has a certain n effect.] (4:1) Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits [test them] whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world [false people speaking false things]. (2) Hereby know you the Spirit of God: Every spirit [As I've said before, this is badly translated; but it gives us the definition of how you tell the difference. "Every spirit ... "] that confesses [homologos: the same word as] that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh [In other words, you look at what is coming out of the mouth, you look at the actions; and it's as if Christ is there in the flesh doing whatever. That ... ] is of God: (3) And every spirit that confesses [that does not have that effect -- that is not as if Christ was there in the flesh] not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof you have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

You look at the individual and say, "Now look, is that reflecting the Living Word of God or not? If it is, it's the Spirit of Christ. If not, it's the spirit of the anti-Christ. So simple. So simple, and yet that is the acid test. And as I said to you, Christ had to have Judas come in and kiss Him on the cheek -- because nobody just had to have a look at Him and say, "Right, He is." or "He isn't." It was the case that He was not weird. He was not different, radically different. He was different once you got to know Him. Once you got to know Him, but you had to actually get to know Him. Even in II Timothy, go back to II Timothy again.

II Timothy 4:7-8 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: (8) Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Now the ... Yes, you could love the fact that He is going to appear. That is definitely a correct way of looking at it. But the tense here is a present tense. They love His appearing also within the actual fellowship -- within each and every one of us in this room, where the Spirit of God is there working in us the same way as it was in Christ. Therefore, we love one another. It says he that loves Him that begat loves him that is begotten of Him. And this, also, is in that sense as well.

Romans 10. Again we're talking about Unleavened Bread. I mean: We're in the time of Unleavened Bread, the last day.

Romans 10:4-8 For Christ is the end [point, or focal point] of the law for righteousness to every one that believes. (5) For Moses describes the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which does those things shall live by them. (6) But the righteousness which is of faith speaks on this wise, Say not in your heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) [And you go back and check on how this was originally written. It is talking about the Word of God. It is to bring the Word down from above.] (7) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ [the Word] again from the dead.) (8) But what said it? The word is nigh you, even in your mouth, [And again, you tie that back to Unleavened Bread; and the very picture of Unleavened Bread is that the Word of God is in your mouth. And, once you've eaten it, it goes inside.] and in your heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

Now it goes into that classic verse that people quote and misquote.

Romans 10:9-10 That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. [And that's where they stop, but it goes on.] (10) For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; [It is the action that comes out of that heart that is important.] and with the mouth confession is made unto [to rescue, to ... ] salvation.

It is what is coming out of that mouth. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. So you should be able to see this change. But it's not way off somewhere. This sound-mindedness should be in every single one of us within the Church. Every single one of us. And what Paul is reminding Timothy, he says, "Look, you've got a Spirit that has been given to you with the laying on of my hands; and it is the Spirit of power, the Spirit of love. It's also the Spirit of a sound mind because, when you come to me, I want you to be reflecting that sound-mindedness. Paul knew (He mentioned himself over in I Corinthians 1.) that it's not the wise, and the noble, and the mighty that are called. But if you're coming into the court of Caesar's household, you're going to have to be behaving yourself in a certain way. And if you're not, if you're not sound-minded, you'll likely end on the wrong side of the law that existed in that particular time.


And we then come into fear, because fear can so easily beset each and every one of us. And you just read that most of them forsook him. When he actually stood before Caesar, at the first hearing, they all left him because they were scared. They were scared. He had to stand up by himself and give account of himself. Even Luke had gone at that time.

Revelation 21. Don't forget this verse:

Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

It kicks off with the fearful and the unbelieving. We shouldn't be fearful and unbelieving if the attitude is away from self, off the self. But if we are constantly concerned and worried about ourselves... But if our attitude is one of faith and obedience to God, then we should be able to put that trust in God. Now it's easy for me to get up here and say that. But, you know, if I'm going before Caesar's household and some of the punishments they had at that time were looking me in the face, it wouldn't be so easy. It would not be so easy at that particular time.

If you go back to Romans 8:

Romans 8:14-15 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. [This context is to do with the Spirit of God.] (15) For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; [In other words, we're not in bondage -- fearful all the time about what is going to happen to us -- because we know that God is going to give us salvation. That means rescue. He is going to rescue us. And it's not just a case of in the future He is going to rescue us, maybe, perhaps. That is absolutely certain. And it is also rescuing us now. That is, having rescued us from having our old lifestyle as well, in the past. In other words, we are living a different life.] but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

And what is it that we fear? In Hebrews 2, it's brought out exactly what is feared by most people.

Hebrews 2:14-15 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy [or, annul] him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; (15) And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Now I always remember, I was chatting up a girl on a train before I was married. [Laughs] I was chatting up a girl on a train one time. (My wife smiles. Here's some story coming out.) But I was at college, and I was un-baptized; and I began talking to her about the meaning of life. And I've never seen anybody ... It's not a turn on. I mean, really, it is not. It's not a good line to start on, let me tell you. [Laughs] I've never seen anybody be turned off as fast as anything. I said, "What's the meaning of life?" And she waffled on about evolution. And I said, "Okay, but how did this all come?" And she kind of looked at me as if, "This weirdo! He looked all right on the surface; but, you know, it didn't last very long, did it?" But you know it does say:

Hebrews 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death ...

People don't like to be reminded that they are human and that they will die. I remember going to my brother's funeral. I've talked about my brother. It was an atheist's funeral, because my brother was an atheist. The biggest load of cobblers you have heard in a month. I mean, what do you do? What are you gonna say at an atheist's funeral? "Oh, he was a wonderful bloke. He had a life (and all the rest of it). Remember his life and the memory of it will continue on with us now." That was it. That's all there is. Why? Because, if they really start thinking about it that they are going to die ... THEY are going to die. Well, they don't want to think about that. Oh, anything but that! Just concentrate on the life bit, and what happens thereafter we just push to one side; and this is it. People naturally, human beings, fear death. There is a fear of death; and, yet, we are told over in Matthew 10 something different.

Matthew 10:16-18 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: [not a very wise idea]be you therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. (17) But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; (18) And you shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.

Now here we are coming into II Timothy, it's the Gentiles. But note it's going to be a testimony against them. These people are all going to die. And they're all going to remember when they come into contact with somebody that is, indeed, one of the children of God -- because we will be different! On the surface, we shouldn't look weird, but we jolly well better be when we start opening our mouth. It will be different. There will be a difference there.

Matthew 10:19-20 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what you shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what you shall speak. (20) For it is not you that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaks in you.

That Spirit of power, of love, of a sound mind -- don't fear about it!

Matthew 10:26-31 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. (27) What I tell you in darkness, that speak you in light: and what you hear in the ear, that preach you upon the housetops. (28) And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. [in Gehenna. That's what we fear. It is God that we fear.] (29) Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. (30) But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. (31) Fear you not therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows.

There's a certain mindset there that we all need. That we all need, and we will need as time goes on. We will need it. Turn back again to II Timothy:

II Timothy 3:10 But you have fully known my doctrine.

My teaching. That's after this section that talks about, in the last days, times of stress will come -- perilous times, downers will come. And he talks about all these various attributes that are there.

II Timothy 3:10-11 But you have fully known my doctrine [teaching], manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, [Longsuffering is literally long suffering, long enduring.](11) Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.


He said look, "Take a look at that." All who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecutions. But the inference is that, out of them all, God will actually deliver us. Again, here he is encouraging Timothy. Encouraging him about the things he is going to have to go ahead and do, things that he is going to take care of. It is certainly something that naturally we would run away from. But it is this unfeigned faith. Remember in chapter 1 where we read in verse 5:

II Timothy 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith ...

It's without hypocrisy. It's faith that is not pretense. It is real. So this is what combats the fear. The love also combats the fear. It puts the fear into its context. It mentions about those that are fearful and unbelieving, and it wasn't a pretense.

II Timothy 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith [That's non-pretended faith.]that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in you also.

He is reminding him of this fact. He is reminding him to remember that fact.

II Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.


Now, this is the essence of faith. And here we're really going into what Paul wanted Timothy to do -- to understand the heart and core of this book, when it was originally written. And how we then understand what it was that Paul wanted Timothy to do. Here we see in verse 12, the essence of faith: That Paul entrusted God with everything. The way we just read over in Matthew where it says, "Don't fear those that can kill the body, and after that there's no more. They can't do anymore." You fear God, and you entrust God with the fact that He will see us through WHATEVER we happen to go through. All of us are going to die. Every single one of us is going to die. Whether it's sooner or later, that's really up to God and to the circumstances He allows us to go through.

II Timothy 1:12-13 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. (13) Hold fast the form of sound words, which you have heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

In other words, you hold fast and make sure the mind is made up and is going in the right direction. It's not deviated. The physical circumstances are not going to go ahead and make somebody swerve from one side or another. And if we go over to chapter 2 notice in verse 15:

II Timothy 2:15 Study [therefore, or be diligent] to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

And remember that faith comes by hearing, hearing the Word of God. And again, if we are studying (if we have the Words of God there), that also will help us in the area of faith. If we're not studying, then we'll find that faith is going to be a problem for us -- because 'the reality that is around us' is going to be more real that 'the reality that God is.' In fact, as Paul said that "He is able to keep that which I've committed to Him against that day." That's the reality that Paul is focusing on, and the reality that Paul focused on when he went before the authorities and had to give an account of himself.

II Timothy 3:14 But continue you in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing of whom you have learned them;

Again, its not just these Old Testament scriptures. It is also the way in which these Old Testament scriptures are to be understood -- because Paul was Timothy's apostle. It goes on then:

II Timothy 3:15-17 And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith [through faith, notice] which is in Christ Jesus. (16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, [As I said, it's for telling a fault, and for straightening out again after that fault is there -- and then instruction into righteousness, to actually lead on into righteousness as well.]for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

And Timothy also had some good works that he was expected to do. The job about to be given to Timothy, he needed to have the right equipment. He needed to make sure that Word was alive in him; that he knew the promises of God; that he understood them; that he had studied them; that this reality that came from the Word of God was more real than the reality that he was going into. Therefore, it would chase away the fear; because the fear would be within there.

Now in II Timothy chapter 1, if we go back there, we'll just remind ourself a little bit:

II Timothy 1:18 The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy [That is Onesiphorus, that he may find mercy.] of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, you know very well.

Now, Timothy knew Onesiphorus.

II Timothy 1:17 But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.

Now the evidence seems to be that he was very different from the other people that were in the Church. As it says, "all forsook him." Well, as it says, Onesiphorus obviously didn't forsake him. Well, we'll come onto that in a little way. But it does say "and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, you know very well." So he's going back to something that happened in Ephesus. If we turn over to II Corinthians 1, we can start seeing something that happened in Ephesus. In II Corinthians we start to see the state of mind that Paul was in, in Ephesus.

II Corinthians 1:8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, [in Asia. Ephesus is in Asia. It is a capitol in Asia.] that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:

So, whatever it was, they were on the point of dying. It was that serious.

II Corinthians 1:9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, [So it sounds as if they were sentenced to death, or to something very near to it.] that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raises the dead:

In other words, their entire trust had to be in God. The focus was not on what was going on physically, but the hope that was lying in front of them.

II Corinthians 1:10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;

So what was going on in Asia, in Ephesus, was pretty severe.

II Corinthians 1:11 You also [notice] helping together by prayer for us ...

Now, you remember what I mentioned in the announcement -- that we should be praying for each other? Part of the reason that Paul gives, part of the help that he had, was the Corinthian Church which was just across the water, if you like, from Asia. From Ephesus where he was, was praying (along with other brethren as well) about this particular situation.

II Corinthians 1:11 that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.

In other words, they managed to get out of this particular problem. Now we see what the problem actually was. If you turn over to I Corinthians 15, he hints at it. And I think it is a very good chance that this was the problem at Ephesus. Remember, this is all to do with the resurrection -- the resurrection from the dead, and the hope that we have, and the looking forward into the future.

I Corinthians 15:29-32 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, [Now that's not the way they do it in Mormon circles. It has to do with being baptized for the HOPE of the dead. That's a better way of translating it. It's the being baptized for the HOPE of the dead.]if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the [hope of the] dead? [In other words, looking to the future, looking to that resurrection, looking to the time when we will be resurrected.] (30) And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? (31) I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. (32) If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, [So it was to do with the arena. It appears he was actually put into the arena at Ephesus; and he had to fight for his life -- with beasts, with gladiatorial combat of some description, perhaps with a bear or lions or whatever. It was something along those lines. That seems to be the indication. Now people can say, "Okay, here he's talking about beasts figuratively. He's talking about just with people." It doesn't sound like that because it says, "If after the manner of men I've fought with beasts at Ephesus"]what advantages it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.

But he went through that. He went and put up with it, because he was under some kind of a sentence. And the sentence seems to be that he was put into the arena. And he then would presumably be given a sword, and perhaps a shield, and had to go ahead and fight for his life. And how many others were with him, I'm not quite sure. But it is interesting that, when you go back to II Timothy (You can go get your markers again, and go back to II Timothy.), we see in chapter one that when we read about this man Onesiphorus:

II Timothy 1:16, 18 The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: [And he was exhibiting a characteristic that] (18) he ministered unto me at Ephesus, you know very well.

So he was doing the same thing in Ephesus, under the very threat of his life; and yet he didn't qualm. He went ahead and visited him regardless. Now one thing you need to be aware of is that it says, "The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus." It doesn't say Onesiphorus himself. So it may have been, and it is very probable, that he actually died. He was the one that died in the process. It does say also, in verse 18, "that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day." The chances are he was dead. His going and actually giving Paul support in Rome resulted in his death. The chances are, if you read a little bit between the lines, it looks as if Onesiphorus met his end in Rome.

And then, you're looking at what is going on in Rome at that time. You see, the book was written in 64-66AD. That's 64-66AD. Now we know that Paul was finally beheaded in 67AD, about a year after this book was written (or the latest this book could be written). So we also know that in 64AD, which is the earliest this book could have been written, was the time that Nero burned Rome. So Nero had burned Rome when this book was written, or around the same time this book was written; and, in addition to that, he put the blame on the Christians. Now many of them weren't Christians. But he put the blame on the Christians that were there, and Paul was being bound up with all of this kind of stuff.

And here he is talking about Onesiphorus. And the word must have gotten back as well, because he says in verse 15, "You know, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes." These are ministers, presumably. These men turned away. WHY??? Heh. When he goes back and starts to talk about Onesiphorus, you can see why these men turned away. Before we start pointing the finger at these men, remember what was going on at the time -- what these people probably had to face. They probably had wives, and families, and so on. How would they react? As it says here: "The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus" because he was probably dead by that time.

Now if we go back into II Timothy 4:

II Timothy 4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.

He knew that this was it. He could see the writing was on the wall that he wasn't going to survive. Now it's all very well for Paul, who was a Roman citizen. He would have his head chopped off. But Jews wouldn't. They would probably get crucified. You know, it is not a pleasant thing to do; and yet that's what we're looking at. When you start understanding what was going on, you start seeing some of the problems that were there at that particular time. And the reason why it says "In the last days, times of stress will come," times of stress will come; and these were times of stress on the Church when this book was being written. And you say, well why on earth, would he ... ? Let's read on a bit further.

II Timothy 4:16-17 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. (17) Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

Now they were being thrown to the lions, and probably without swords as they had been in Ephesus. He fought with beasts in Ephesus, but here they probably were put in without swords. "Let's see what happens?" And you wonder why they forsook him? It's no wonder, no wonder they forsook him (including Luke, it appears). It is no wonder, no wonder at all. If we'll notice verse 9:

II Timothy 4:9 Do your diligence to come shortly unto me:

[Scoffs] REALLY? Is that the kind of thing you really want to hear when you know what's going on? When you hear all these various stories that are coming out of Rome? And then Paul says, "Oh, you're my greatest mate. C'mon over. I've got some work for you." And you think: "Well, what is so important that would require this man to come?" You think: "Why on earth would this man have to come at this particular time?"

II Timothy 4:10-13 For Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. (11) Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with you: for he is profitable to me for the ministry [or for a ministry, or for a service]. (12) And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus. (13) The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, when you come, bring with you, and the books, but especially the parchments.

"Especially the parchments." And these words really give the clue as to why Timothy had to come. What was the purpose of this? Why did he actually have to do this? You see, the parchments almost certainly contained Corinthians (I & II Corinthians), Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians. It was the actual Word that was going to be left so that you and I could actually read it. He also brought the letters that had been written to him. That was Timothy, and probably Titus as well. Titus was there as well, he had mentioned. Titus was departed to Dalmatia. Presumably Titus left the letter that was sent to him with Paul. Why? Because this was the first stage of the canonization process so that you and I could actually have this book. We could read these words and understand them. And the circumstances in which they were being given were in severe jeopardy, to say the least. They were in incredible jeopardy, and yet that's what they were prepared to do.

He was encouraging Timothy to come to him, to bring those parchments, to behave within a certain way, and not be afraid. And not be afraid of the situation he would find himself in -- visiting a prisoner who was on the sentence of death, who would probably get beheaded -- yes! But He was a Jew, half Jewish half Greek. Remember something else about Timothy: He had stomach trouble.

I Timothy 5:23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for your stomach's sake and your often infirmities.

What is the cause of stomach trouble? It is worry! One of the largest causes of stomach trouble these days, and undoubtedly at that time as well, was worry. He was probably of quite a nervous disposition. So when we're reading II Timothy, Paul is trying to encourage him. He is trying to get him to look forward, to study that Word of God, to get that Word of God into his mouth and his innermost being; so the situation that he would find himself in he could, therefore, behave correctly within -- having the right kind of faith. It was necessary that he did that.

It was vitally necessary for you and me. Without that we wouldn't have the epistles of Paul, because he then went through the epistles of Paul (presumably editing them to some degree on those parchments) and then passed them on to the apostle John. No, from Paul those parchments then went to Peter in Babylon; and he then put I and II Peter with them. And they then went to John, and that was the final canonization. These are the stages of the New Testament canonization. So we can see just how important these things were; and, really, how important this particular book was, and the reason why we've got it today.

II Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times [or times of stress, downers]shall come.

We are going into the greatest time of stress that's ever been. The biggest time of downers that there'll ever be. But this book has been preserved through a similar time, looking forward to that time. Now, we're not going to go ahead and be in the worst of it, because God says He will save us out of it if we are faithful to Him. Let's turn over to Matthew 20, because we've been around a while. You and I have been around a little while. We've watched the Church kind of rise and fall ... most of us anyway.

Matthew 20:1-15 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire laborers into his vineyard. (2) And when he had agreed with the laborers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. (3) And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace [Third hour is about 9:00 in the morning.],(4) And said unto them; Go you also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. (5) Again he went out about the sixth [about midday] and ninth hour [about three o'clock in the afternoon],and did likewise. (6) And about the eleventh hour [5 o'clock in the evening] he went out, and found others standing idle, and said unto them, Why stand you here all the day idle? (7) They say unto him, Because no man has hired us. He said unto them, Go you also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall you receive. (8) So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard said unto his steward, Call the laborers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. [Evening would be about 6:00, because the sun sets around that time.] (9) And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour [That's 5:00 in the afternoon. They worked one hour.], they received every man a penny. (10) But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. [They had Eternal Life and nothing else. They had a reward according to their works, but the Eternal Life was their reward.] (11) And when they had received it [Eternal life was given to all.],they murmured against the goodman of the house, (12) Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and you have made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. (13) But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do you no wrong: did not you agree with me for a penny? (14) Take what is yours, and go your way: I will give unto this last, even as unto you. (15) Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own [money]? Is your eye evil, because I am good?

In other words, because I happened to give somebody an easier time? You know, all received a penny. Some are required to bear the heat of the day, and within the Church that is true as well. And we don't know what is exactly up ahead of us. I'm not just saying this to try and scare the living day lights out of us, but we are all given the same reward. And we look at II Timothy, and we can see somebody that had quite a severe job. And it wasn't just the job of what he had to do. It was the fear that was going along with it. The fact that he looked at the situation, he could see the potential within that situation could be; and Paul had to give him great encouragement during that time. The only way he was going to do it -- actually accomplish it -- as Paul said, "You're not given the spirit of fear. You are given the spirit of power, of love and of a sound mind. Remember the faith that you had that was in your mother and your grandmother. Get your mind off yourself. Make sure you get your mind on the very Words of God. All scripture is God-breathed."

All these things that he was saying to him was encouraging him to make sure he got his mind focused in the right way -- through prayer, through Bible Study, through meditation, obedience, through doing what was right. And the mindset that he needed Paul saw, because he had to have those parchments come; and it's not the kind of thing you put in an envelope and send off. It just doesn't work that way. Amtrak wasn't around at the time. Or they were on strike or something. Whatever it was, he wasn't able to do that; so he had to get Timothy to bring them to him in this kind of situation.

But it is also the mindset we need as well. It is the mindset we need to build the required faith that we're going to need in the future, and the faith that we need to always walk in God's way.

Transcribed by JF 12/2005 And edited at {1} for clarity by Jon Bowles.