Teach

LIVING WITH PRESSURE IN THE DARK VALLEY OF TESTING (Part-3)

Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

—II Timothy 2:1 KJV

Paul encourages Timothy to constancy and perseverance in his work. V.1 those who have work to do for God must strengthen themselves for it. where there is the truth of grace there must be a laboring after the strength of grace. We have need to grow stronger and stronger in that which is good. Or it may be understood in our opposition to our being strong in our own strength: Be strong, not confiding in thy own sufficiency, but in the grace that is in Jesus Christ. There is grace enough in Him for all of us. We must be strong in this grace; not in ourselves, or in the grace we have already received, but in the grace that is in Him.

—Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible (1960 reprint) p.1895

The Apostle Paul is almost to the end of his journey through this material world; and he now fully understands a martyr's death awaits him (cf. II Tim. 4:6). About five years earlier during his first Roman imprisonment, he had made a personal commitment too keep learning Bible doctrine so that he could come to a deeper understanding and appreciation for his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (cf. Phil. 3:10). He wanted to be a winner at the judgment seat of Christ (cf. Phil. 3:11). He was not willing to go into retirement and live on his laurels (cf. Phil. 3:19). He was not satisfied with making a big issue out of all of his past Christian service accomplishments (cf. Phil. 3:13). He set a personal goal to fulfill the spiritual life destiny to which God the Father had called him to accomplish in and through Christ Jesus (cf. Phil. 3:1). As he writes this epistle to Timothy, he has complete confidence that he has been and would continue to be a faithful soldier in the spiritual warfare of the angelic conflict to the very end (cf. II Tim. 4:7). He believed that he would be given a crown of righteousness when he appeared before the judgment seat of Christ to have his Christian life evaluated by our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Rom. 14:11, 12; II Cor. 5:10; I Cor. 3:11-15.) No matter what the future brings, Paul wants Timothy to stand firm in the Lord!

And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

—II Timothy 2:2 KJV

Paul was greatly concerned about the future. He wondered, just as we do when we approach the end of the ministry, if other men will come along who will preach and teach the Word of God... It is a real concern to us older men that there be young men who will be faithful in teaching God's Word. So Paul was admonishing Timothy to pass along the things he had been teaching him to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. And God will raise up men with gifts of teaching —this is the way He moves even today.

—J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Vol. V (1983) P.464

We have here the passing on of the colors of Bible doctrinal teaching Through four generations of pastors. Paul had trained Timothy and a number of other men through the teaching of the Word of God. The Father had then opened doors of opportunity for these men to evangelize the lost and teach Bible doctrine to believers that would make up their congregations. Paul was now giving Timothy orders to train men with the spiritual gift of pastor-teacher and encourage them to prepare themselves to teach a fourth generation of teaching pastors.

Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

—II Timothy 2:3 KJV

The Christian is a soldier. How is the child of God a soldier? the last chapter of Ephesians tells us that the believer is fighting a spiritual battle and that he needs to put on the armor of God. Paul said to the Ephesians. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand (Ephesians. 6:12, 13)

—J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Vol. V (1983) p.464

He also knew that Timothy was going to face a lot of future trials and tests in regard to his ministry. As a pastor-teacher (cf. Eph. 4:11d with I Tim. 4:14), he was going to have members of his congregation seek to sidetrack him because they did not want in-depth Bible teaching (cf. II Tim. 4:1-4). Paul encouraged Timothy to be prepared for these coming internal local church battles and not to let anything prevent him from teaching the Word of God and evangelizing the lost (cf. II Tim. 4:5).

When in good time you have gained the power of acquiring knowledge, and the faculty of discrimination, seek next for ability to retain and hold firmly what you have learned. In these times certain men glory in being weathercocks; they hold fast nothing, they have, in fact, nothing worth holding. They believed yesterday, but not which they believe today, nor that which they will believe tomorrow; and he would be a greater prophet than Isaiah who would be able to tell what they will believe when next the moon doth fill her horns, for they are constantly altering, and seem to be born under the said moon, and to partake of her changing moods. These men may be honest as they claim to be, but of what use are they.

—C. H. Spurgeon, Lectures To My Students Second Series (1877) p.26

He must endure hardness (v. 3). All Christians, but especially ministers, are soldiers of Jesus Christ. The soldiers of Jesus Christ must approve themselves good soldiers, faithful to their Captain, resolute in His cause. Those who would approve themselves good soldiers of Jesus Christ must endure hardness; we must count upon it in this world, and bear it patiently when it comes.

—Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible (1960 Reprint) p. 1895

No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier

—II Timothy 2:4 (KJV)

Timothy was to take his share in suffering, then as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Here then was the first necessity, the need of being free from the entanglement with the affairs of life. What a rebuke this calling of the soldier is to those who, if they be Christ's, must necessarily be such, but who think it hard to have to conform to the requirements of a soldier's life! Think of men who have to leave everything, perhaps, at a moments's notice, to put their lives in peril, and all obtain at most, the praise of men, the corruptible crown, which so soon must surely wither. The strife which belongs to us as Christians, however sad may be the circumstances which force one into opposition, is one, nevertheless, as to which there can never be a doubt in the soul as to the importance of that for which it has undergone - the goodness of that which is to be the reward of it

—F. W. Grant, The Numerical Bible Hebrews to Revelation (1902) pp 111-112

At the moment of salvation, every believer was enlisted by God the Father into Christ's Royal Spiritual Army. The Lord Jesus Christ endured much suffering and many hardships during His earthly ministry (cf. Heb. 2:9, 10; 5:7-9). The servant is not more important than his master (cf. John 13:16); and Christ is our Master (cf. John 13:13). On the night before He went to the cross of Calvary, in the Upper Room the Lord made clear to His eleven disciples that since He had been persecuted the they (and by spiritual connection all believers from the dispensation of Grace) should expect persecution (cf. John 15:20).

The Very blessings of the church (as in Eph. 1:3) set us into a sort of conflict, which, without such blessings, we should not have. So the church is subject to more failure than either Jews or Gentiles were, because they were not called to the same blessing. A Jew might do many things that would be monstrous in a Christian, and yet find no defilement in his conscience. The veil that was over knowledge of God being rent, the light shines out; and the consequence is that this light which has come out of the holy place cannot tolerate evil. Christians are in a more dangerous position, if not walking in the light, than Jews. Satan may draw and entice me with many things, which would have no power against me if I were not so favored. Be strong in the Lord here is the place of strength. There is no strength but in Christ - I have none at any time except as my soul is in secret communion with Him, and through Him with God the Father. The direct power of Satan is toward this point, to keep our souls from living on Christ. Put on the whole armor of God; there is no standing against Satan without it. Strength is always to do with God in the sphere of dependence.

—J. N. Darby, Ministry on the Epistle to the Ephesians (N.D.) p. 167

Paul was teaching that Timothy and all believers who are on active duty as soldiers in Christ's Royal Army must anticipate undeserved suffering as long as we are alive in the Devil's world-system. We must not allow the details and circumstances of life (people, geographical places, material things, and time) to cause us to go AWOL (Absent Without Leave) from Christ's Royal Army. It is our duty to daily report for duty (cf. Ps. 118:24), understand our general orders (cf. Eph. 5:17), and be guided by the Spirit (cf. Rom. 8:14). Each one of us must learn to think and function as a soldier and not as a civilian; so that we can follow our Commander-in-Chief's orders and win the daily battles of the soul.

The Great care of a soldier should be to please his General; so the great care of a Christian should be to please Christ.

—Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible (1960 reprint) p. 1895

The Christian's Three Royal Commissions

1st Commission: A Holy Royal Priest in Christ's Kingdom of Priest

And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests, unto God and his Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever, Amen.

—Revelation 1:5, 6 KJV

God the Father appointed the Lord Jesus Christ Emmanuel to be the High Priest over the Order of the Priesthood of the Father (cf. Heb. 5:1-10). During His earthly ministry, Jesus Christ functioned as a priest in the midst of spiritual warfare and in His human nature learned the value of obedience to the Father's orders (cf. Heb. 5:7-10). Melchizedek was the King-Priest of El Elyon, the Most High God (cf. Gen. 14:17-20) and his priesthood typified Christ's priesthood (cf. Heb. 7:1-3). However, God the Son is the eternal focal point of the Father's eternal wise holy perfect sufficient complete supreme sovereign omnipotent immutable loving righteous just blessed progressive chronological unfolding comprehensive grace dispensational protocol plan of the historical ages for the ultimate glorification of His Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (cf. Heb. 13:20, 21 with Col. 1:15-19; Eph. 1:9, 10). The Son was the one who commissioned Melchizedek and therefore, His High Priesthood is superior to the High Priesthood of Melchizedek. The anti type is always superior to the type. Now Melchizedek's high priesthood was superior to Aaron's high priesthood(cf. Heb. 7:1-5). Christ's High Priesthood is therefore superior to all other priesthoods (cf. Heb. 8:6). At the moment of salvation, the Father distributes to every believer a complete and perfect salvation grace blessings package (cf. Eph. 1:3). This package includes a commission as a holy royal priest (cf. I Pet. 2:5, 9). The book of Leviticus is the manual of arms for the Levitical priesthood, which is the lowest of the three priesthoods.

Now since these Hebrew priests needed so much detailed instructions to serve and worship God, what makes us think we do not need to be trained to function as a priest in Christ's kingdom of priests? Someone gets saved and the modern concept is to put them to work for Jesus. We understand that the moment someone is saved they can pray to the Father; but the Word of God classifies them as spiritual babes (cf. I Pet. 2:1-3) and they need to immediately start training through the study of the Word of God (cf. II Pet. 3:18 with II Tim. 3:16, 17; Matt. 4:4; Lu. 4:4).

2nd Commission: An ambassador in Christ's Royal Diplomatic Corps

Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

—II Corinthians 5:20 KJV

The Lord Jesus Christ Emmanuel is the King of kings and Lord of lords (cf. Rev. 17:14; 19:16). When in eternal hypostatic union, He ascended into heaven in His glorified human resurrection body, God the Father crowned Him King of kings and Lord of lords (cf. Heb. 1:3-9; I Cor. 15:24-28). In His Heavenly State of the Kingdom Message to the holy-elect Sons of El (i.e. spirit beings, angelic creatures - cf. Ps. 89:6), the Father testified that the person of the Lord Jesus Christ was His Eternal Only Begotten Son, who had actually performed the original work of creation (cf. Heb. 10-12). Christians often talk and sing about crowning Jesus and about making Him the Lord of their lives, but God the Father in His eternal sovereign will has delegated all authority over creation to the Son! He has commanded that all men submit to His Son and believe in Him as their Savior or face the eternal wrath of God (cf. John 3:16-18, 35, 36). At the White Throne, Christ will judge all unbelievers (cf. John 5:22 with Rev. 20:11-15).

The Father has appointed Christ as the Head of the Redeemed Church Universal (i.e. His mystical body - cf. Eph. 1:17:23; Col. 1:15-18; 2:19 & bride - cf. I Cor. 11:3 with Eph. 5:23-32). What makes any believer think they have the power to make Christ their Lord when the Father has already appointed Him Lord? As believers, we cannot make Him Lord; but we do need to utilize positive volition and learn how to obey His orders (cf. Acts 5:29). We cannot obey His orders until we understand what His orders are! (cf. Eph. 5:17) Obedience begins with taking control of our thinking (cf. II Cor. 10:5, 6). God the Son came into this world and through hypostatic union (cf. Heb. 10:5; Phil. 2:6-8) became the God-Man Emmanuel (cf. Matt. 1:23). He came to do the directive will of the Father (cf. Heb. 10:6-9). In His human nature, He practiced absolute obedience to the Father's directive will; and through this He learned the experiential value of total commitment to the Father's holy perfect will (cf. Heb. 7-9). Through His finite human nature, His infinite divine nature learned the experiential value of obeying the directive will of the Father. Because He was obedient unto death (cf. Phil. 2:8), His obedience becomes our example. An ambassador represents his king. Therefore, we must learn and follow Christ's orders! (i.e. Bible Doctrine)

3rd Commission: A Soldier In Christ's Royal Army

No soldier in active service entangles himself with the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him to be a soldier.

—II Timothy 2:4 NASV

The Battle is within the soul of the redeemed one as to whether he will honor and glorify God or Whether he will live to his own ends.

—Donald G. Barnhouse, The Invisible War (1965) p. 139

As Christians, we are involved in a never ending battle; and the battle is fought within our own individual souls. We need to study, understand and be trained in our duties and responsibilities as a soldier in Christ's Royal Army. Just as a holy royal priest and royal diplomat must be trained in their duties and taught to obey the orders that are given to them, a royal soldier must be trained in his duties and taught to obey his orders. Since the battle is fought in our souls, then our training is not focused on temporal overt actions. It is learning how to think and act in accord with Christ's thinking and actions (cf. Phil. 1:5). This requires the replacement of human viewpoint with divine viewpoint (i.e. Bible Doctrine - cf. Rom. 12:1, 2; Eph. 4:22, 23). Correct thinking will lead to correct actions!

A government is a murderer of its own citizens which sends them to the field uninformed and untaught, where they are to meet men of the same age and strength, mechanized by education and discipline for battle.

Maj. Gen. Light Horse Harry Lee USA (1756-1818)

Untutored courage is useless in the face of educated bullets.

Gen. George S. Patton, Jr. USA, Calvary Journal (April, 1922)

Over the years, we have witnessed the salvation of many people who were quickly put to work in local churches or para-church organizations with little or no knowledge of the Word of God. Just get busy for Jesus, and everything will work out has been the religious command that has led to spiritual warfare battlefield stress and caused these believers to desert from the angelic conflict and become prisoners of war. They are held in the POW camps of Satan's world-system (cf. I John 5:19 with John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). Satan has three sets of POW camps and he knows how to assign captured Christians to the right one. Some are in the immoral degeneracy camps (cf. Rom. 1:26-32). Some are in the moral degeneracy camps (cf. Rom. 2:1-16). Some are in the religious degeneracy camps (cf. Rom. 2:17-29). Under the control of their natures of corruption (i.e. old sin nature, flesh), they are incapable of producing any divine good for their savior (cf. Rom. 8:8; Isa. 64:6) and need to be fed basic Bible Doctrine (cf. I Cor. 3:1-4). It doesn't matter how long they have been saved, they have no true understanding of the Christian way of life (cf. Heb. 5:11-14). These believers need to be rescued out of Satanic POW Camps (cf. Gal. 6:1-5) or they will eventually die the sin-unto-death (cf. Rom. 6:16; I John 5:16). Then they need to be taught fundamental basic Bible Doctrine (cf. Heb. 6:1-11). If we do not need to study the Word of God in detail, then why did the Holy Spirit give it to us in such detail?

PART IV