2 TIMOTHY 4:1-6
1 I charge thee
therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge
the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove,
rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3 For
the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but
after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers,
having itching ears; 4 And they shall
turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned
unto fables. 5 But watch thou in all things, endure
afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of
thy ministry. 6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the
time of my departure is at hand.
LESSON 1 ... 2 TIMOTHY
Today I want us to examine one word! It
flows from the pen of Paul (under divine inspiration) in 2
Timothy 4:1. There he says to a young preacher (Timothy):
charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord
Jesus Christ ...."
What does it mean to so "charge" a young man?
The compound verb is spelled "diamarturomai"
in Greek. It is used 15 times in the King James Bible and is
translated as follows: 11 times as "testify" and 3 times as
"charge" and 1 time as "witness."
Here it carries the idea of giving very
solemn (serious) testimony to someone. (Advice!) It combines "dia"
(a preposition meaning "through") and "martureo" (a verb meaning
to witness or testify). The root word "martus" means a
"witness" and gives us the English word "martyr." (Being
"martyred" for something is just about the strongest witness
available for one's particular cause!)
Paul is saying to young preacher Timothy: In
the strongest possible terms I am giving you serious advice ...
my life testimony. Do these following things!
Furthermore the verb here is an indicative
present middle in the first person singular. By building it in
the "middle" voice Paul is letting us know that this "charge"
affects him too! He is changed somehow in giving this advice.
(He is not passively casually telling Timothy something
insignificant!) This is life changing information!
The present tense indicates that Paul is
constantly giving this admonition to young Timothy. It is his
on-going counsel. (He would have given the same to any young
preacher he had met during those days! In fact, he's still
giving it today, isn't he?)
The indicative mood for our verb says that it
is neither a question ... nor a command ... just a forthright
declaration of truth! (If Timothy really loves and honors Paul
... he does not have to have a strongly expressed command to
follow his mentor! A fervent word of advice is just as good ...
if not better!) That's exactly what we have here.
The rich man in hell used our verb in Luke
16:28 where it is rendered "testify." Here's that verse:
"For I have five brethren; that he may
them, lest they also come into this place of torment."
And in Acts 2:40 our verb is used as a
parallel term for preaching! It is there used of Peter on the
Day of Pentecost. "And with many other
words did he testify
and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward
generation." Also in Acts 8:25 ---
"And they, when they had
testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to
Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the
Paul ascribes this action (using our very
same verb) to the Holy Spirit in Acts 20:23 where he says:
"Save that the Holy Ghost WITNESSETH in
every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me."
By now young Timothy is probably used to
Paul's "charges!" Here is an example. "I
before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels,
that thou observe these things without preferring one before
another, doing nothing by partiality." 1 Timothy 5:21
Paul has even taught Timothy to "charge"
others too! In 2 Timothy 2:14 he says:
"Of these things put them in remembrance,
before the Lord that they strive not about words to no
profit, but to the subverting of the hearers."
And even the Word of God seems to be involved
in this "charging" process! In Hebrews Paul quotes Psalm 8 and
says: "But one in a certain place
saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of
man, that thou visitest him?" Hebrews 2:6
It looks as if Paul could have hardly phrased
his "counsel" any more strongly! He is soon to be slain for his
faith ... and he wants Timothy to make the fullest of his
Oh! How these words should impact us today!
The Lord willing, tomorrow we shall further
study this great "charge" of Paul. In fact, it is his last
We ought to be in a good "field" of "nuggets"
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 2 ... 2 TIMOTHY
In 2 Timothy 4:1 Paul sensed that he didn't
have long to live. He knew his "time of departure" was at hand!
Therefore he set himself to give the young
preacher Timothy some parting advice. He clothed his words in
the form of a "charge." (See yesterday's study for a full Bible
examination of that verb.) This is serious business.
Paul can't help it. He teaches doctrine with
every move of his mouth! The "charge" to Timothy is given
"before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ,
who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his
kingdom." (2 Timothy 4:1b)
See that little conjunction "and?"
It connects here two equal Entities!
Paul just (grammatically as well as
theologically) declared that the Lord Jesus Christ and God the
Father are equal! I believe that! I see no order of authority
in the Trinity! We serve One God ... Who expresses Himself in a
Yet Paul asserts that Jesus will one day
"judge" the old world! (He remembers John 5:22 ---
"For the Father judgeth no man, but hath
committed all judgment unto the Son.") The verb there is
"krino" and means to decide or determine in a legal sense. (It's
a present tense infinitive! The Lord Jesus is judging every
moment ... even now! He today sees all we do! Let's live so
that He approves!)
Whom will Jesus judge?
The "quick" ("zao" = the living!) and the
"dead" ("nekros" = the deceased). At the Rapture the Lord has
made careful plans to get both the living saints and those whose
bodies are in their graves! (Dead bodies ... but live souls and
spirits already with Jesus!)
And even at the "Great White Throne" Judgment
Scripture seems to indicate both living and dead are to be
Paul's point: everyone will face the Judge,
our dear Lord Jesus Christ some day!
Now earlier in Paul's ministry he fully
expected to be alive at the Rapture! (In 1 Thessalonians 4 he
said Jesus would return and WE who are alive and remain shall be
"caught up!") Now he realizes that death is rapidly approaching
and he will likely "walk through the valley of the shadow" with
The noun "appearing" translates "epiphaneia,"
which means brightness! Its "root" meaning is literally "a
shining upon!" It represents a bright flash of light that
remains as intense as ever! In another place Paul speaks of the
"brightness of Jesus' coming!" (2 Thessalonians 2:8)
The word "kingdom" is "basileia." (It gives
us our word "basis." It means a foundation! Here in this
context it is a foundation for royalty! (Also this word can
particularly emphasize the RIGHT or AUTHORITY to rule and
In Paul's final days ... he appeals to the
Highest Power of all, the Father and His Son ... in solemnly
passing on to young Timothy advice for his future ministry!
Lord willing ... more tomorrow.
We are building a "series" of word studies on
2 Timothy 4:1-6.
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 3 ... 2 TIMOTHY
In 2 Timothy 4 Paul is (among other things)
giving his last advice to a young preacher named Timothy. These
are particularly powerful words!
"PREACH THE WORD!" (2 Timothy 4:2)
The verb "preach" is an imperative here!
Paul issues a command to Timothy!
By the way, once a preached is "called" of
God to preach ... it IS a command! Listen to how Paul words it
elsewhere. 1 Corinthians 9:16 --- "For
though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for
necessity is laid upon
me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!"
But our word "preach" here is also an
"aorist" verb! That means the "time" sense of it is in the
past. (Like a completed action viewed as one unit of duty!)
Yet Timothy is young and well may have had a whole life of
preaching ahead of him! BUT Paul is at the point of death and
is seeing his life and ministry (in an earthly sense) as just
What I believe he is really saying to Timothy
is this. Life is short. Soon you will look back on it and
think "how brief!" Make what you're going to do for the Lord
really count! You will soon be where I am today. (Paul within
a short time was killed for his faith.)
And the meaning of the verb "preach?"
It translates "kerusso," which means "to be a
herald!" (Literally to make announcements for the King!) When
a King went into a city ... months ahead of the royal visit ...
a fore-runner was sent, a herald. His duty was to prepare the
people for the King's arrival! He would travel up and down the
streets admonishing folks to clean up and get ready for the
dignitary's arrival! "The King is coming!" he would proclaim!
He is a "public crier" as the old timers would have said!
It is (when used of preaching) a type of
public discourse that has behind it the very AUTHORITY of the
King himself! (Preachers, take note. You too speak with the
power of heaven backing your every word!)
It also is the kind of proclamation that
expects action! It looks for "results!" Preparation MUST be
made! Get busy! Time is short! There is an urgency to this
kind of preaching! And there is an expectancy too!
Paul is not here saying "preach" as if it
were just a classroom admonition. Or just as a preachers'
meeting exhortation! He is saying ... days are short ... soon
we leave here ... PREACH God's Word!
Now, what was Timothy to preach?
This noun is spelled "logos." It means
something said. But it includes more than just the words ... it
also implies the thought behind the words! The Greeks had words
to emphasize the ACT of speaking. Then the SOUND (noise) of
speaking. But here is emphasized the CONTENT of the speech !
The noun "logos" comes from a root verb ("lego")
which means "to choose" or "to lay forth" in order. It is used
of systematic and set discourse!
The word gives us our English term "logic!"
This kind of preaching the Word is NOT empty
chatter! Nor is it mindless illustrations, poems and little
short stories. It's not book reviews or psychological treatises
It IS a logical well conceived presentation
of the Book of God (the Bible) in an orderly and reverent
manner! In other words, it takes all the best a minister can
give in its delivery! And the Lord deserves our very BEST,
The noun also tells us something of how God
put His Word together! Carefully! He chose word for word what
it should say! He laid thought by thought in the exact order He
deemed best! (And I believe it is good to preach it that way.
Just like God gave it!)
We've had an emergency lesson today in
An emergency ... because the teacher soon
would be in heaven!
One can hear the seriousness in his voice.
Lord willing, more tomorrow. Paul is not
quite through yet!
I pray you've found a "nugget" or two today!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 4 ... 2 TIMOTHY
When is a preacher to "preach" the Word?
Apparently at only two times.
Paul best answers that question in 2 Timothy
4:2. Let's see exactly how he words it. There he is giving the
young preacher Timothy some critical advice.
the word; be instant in season, out of season;
reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."
2 Timothy 4:2
The verb "be instant" is critical to our
study today. It is a combination of two Greek words, a verb and
a preposition. It is spelled like this: "ephistemi." The
prefix "epi" means upon. And the verb "histemi" means to
stand. Therefore ... stand upon! It also can mean just "to be
present." (Not to be absent!) But occasionally in first
century Greek it is found with the meaning "to assault!" Also
let me tell you that the verb is an imperative here. Paul is
literally commanding Timothy to do this!
Here are some Bible occasions in which our
verb is used. I have capitalized the word or words that
Luke 4:39 --- "And he
(Jesus) stood over
her (Peter's Mother-in-law), and rebuked the fever; and it left
her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them."
(Sounds like here it nearly means "to take over!")
Acts 17:5 --- "But the
Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain
lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set
all the city on an uproar, and
house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people."
(The word is very aggressive here!)
Acts 23:27 --- "This
man (Paul) was taken of the Jews, and should have been killed of
them: then came I
(the "chief captain" of the Roman army who guarded Paul) with an
army, and rescued him, having understood that he was a Roman."
(Here's our verb used in a rescue mission!)
And here's an unusual case. Acts 28:2 ---
"And the barbarous people (on Melita)
shewed us (Paul and his company) no little kindness: for they
kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the
present rain, and
because of the cold." (Used of a falling rain!)
The expression "in
season, out of season" is unique! In Greek it looks like
this (when transliterated): eukairos akairos! "Eu"
means good or well. "A" means not or without.
"Kairos" is a noun that means a period of
time ... not in its minutes and hours alone ... but in its
window of opportunity! It is an "occasion!" It can also mean
that which is "timely" in the sense of being appropriate or
fitting or convenient! Another source says it means an "age" of
time. (As the age of "Grace" now available to the world!)
The only other time the word "eukairos" (in
season) is used in the Bible is in Mark 14:11 and is translated
"conveniently!" Mark 14:11 --- "And when
they (the Pharisees) heard it, they were glad, and
promised to give him (Judas, the betrayer) money. And he sought
how he (Judas) might
conveniently betray him (Jesus)."
Paul then says to Timothy PREACH ...
especially when they're willing to listen! When its "good" for
them to hear! When its convenient to them!
BUT also preach when it's not convenient!
"Out of season!"
"Akairos" means when there is not good
occasion! (Make one!) Preach no matter who is listening! This
is the only time the word appears in all of Scripture!
When the fishing is not good ... fish anyway!
When the hearing is not good ... preach
The Old Testament Prophets had to do this
constantly! Think of Jonah in Ninevah! Or Elijah before the
hundreds of false prophets of Baal and backslidden Israel!
Think of Amos before Amaziah! Or even Paul before the wayward
The lesson here today: Be faithful!
And Paul certainly practiced what he
preached, didn't he?
In fact, he's doing so as he writes these
Here he is preaching to Timothy, enriching
his young ministry ... while Paul is locked in his jail cell on
death row! I'd call that pretty inconvenient!
Again, it's like Amos said:
"The lion hath roared, who will not fear?
the Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?" (Amos
Preach in season ...out of season! In fact,
a true God called preacher will! He can't keep from it!
Glory to God!
Lord willing, more on our verse tomorrow!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 5 ... 2 TIMOTHY
What a "lesson" in preaching! And Paul gives
it to young Timothy just before he dies! These are valuable
Our "text" today includes 3 imperative verbs
... and 2 dative nouns.
They tells us (concerning our preaching) what
to do and how to do it.
"... reprove, rebuke, exhort with
all longsuffering and doctrine." 2 Timothy 4:2c
We will not get a whole verse studied this
Friday! These words are just too important!
Paul commanded Timothy in his (youthful)
preaching to "reprove" certain things or certain people. The
verb is "elegcho." It means to tell a person a fault! To warn
or admonish! It can even go so far as to mean "to convict!" It
usually has the idea also of putting the reproved person to
shame! It involves more than just sweet idle words! In Matthew
18:15 it is translated "tell him his fault!" In Luke 3:19 John
the Baptist had "reproved" Herod for living with his bother's
wife! Using our same verb, Jesus once said that no one had ever
"convinced" Him of sin (John 8:46)! And this verb is
specifically used of the ministry of the Holy Spirit who
convicts "reproves" men of sin (John 16:8)! We Christians are
to "reprove" the unfruitful works of darkness in this wicked
world (Ephesians 5:11)! Paul gave Titus this same charge also!
(In Titus 1:13 the great Apostle said:
"This witness is true. Wherefore
sharply, that they may be sound in the faith.") Often
this reproving must be done with authority (Titus 2:15)! The
Lord reserves the right to reprove us as His Own little children
(Hebrews 12:15)! And it is at times connected with other strong
words such as "chastening" (Revelation 3:19)!
The verb is set in the aorist time frame ...
action completed in the past. A preacher might not have to
"rebuke" folks every service! Once effectively done in the past
... it will have lasting impact (at least for a while)! However
... repeat as necessary! And, remember, Paul is not giving shy
reserved unsure little Timothy a choice here. He is commanding
him to REBUKE those who do wrong!
The next verb is "rebuke." It is spelled "epitimao."
It is quite interesting! "Epi" means upon. "Timao" means to
fix a value upon or (via its root stem) to pay a price! (Often
in this context the price is a penalty!) Here's a bit of our
words New Testament history. First use: Jesus "rebuked" the
winds and the sea, causing great calm (Matthew 8:26)! Jesus
again and again "rebuked" the demons in His Ministry (for
example, Matthew 17:18)! As far as I can determine, this is the
only time Paul ever used the word! On occasion the Lord can
rebuke us (as He did Peter)! See Mark 8:33. I believe that the
word implies there is some penalty for sin. (Forgiveness is
available ... but often the "scars" remain!)
The the verb "exhort" is used. "Parakaleo"
means to come alongside someone for the purpose of encouraging
them and helping them on the way! It is the very word used of
the Holy Spirit (the "Comforter")! It is also the very word
used of Jesus (our "Advocate")! It was used by the Roman army
of the general who (the night before battle) would come and
speak to the troops ... strengthening them for the battle
ahead! Literally it means "to call to one's side." To call to
one's aid! The word is used 109 times in the New Testament!
While the Greek word for "reprove" was only used 17 times and
"rebuke" 29 times.
In the days in which Paul lived (and died) he
saw the negative/positive ratio of preaching to be ideally about
2:1 (that's 2 to 1)! Twice as much negative as positive! Of
course we have changed things along this line today! (We are
living in such a nice society!) Now it's 10:1 (10 to 1) ...
positive over negative! Could something be a little out of line
BUT even the negative preaching is to be
accompanied by two things: longsuffering and doctrine!
"Longsuffering" translates makrothumia. This
compound words includes "makros" (long in distance or in time)
and "thumos" (passion ... as if breathing hard)! Long on
feeling! Able to put up with things a long while!
Forbearance! Vine's says "longanimity!" It is one of the key
New Testament words for "patience" ... especially toward
God Himself first exhibited this quality in
Scripture! Again, you may say we are to be longsuffering
because He is longsuffering! This trait is also one of the
nine-fold aspects of the Fruit of the Holy Spirit! See
Galatians 5:22-23. And in Colossians 1:11 Paul prays for us to
have "longsuffering with joyfulness!" Here Pastors are asked to
have the same trait that the Prophets had! James 5:10 ---
"Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have
spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering
affliction, and of
God's longsuffering was particularly seen in the days of
Noah ... while the ark was being prepared (1 Peter 3:20)!
Then the word "doctrine" is used. It is "didache"
in Greek and means teaching or instruction. It's from a root
verb "dao" which means to learn or to teach! Folks must be
taught why certain things are wrong and must be avoided! They
must be taught why encouragement is so necessary in the
Christian life! (Even the word "doctor" comes from this verb!
Preachers, you are spiritual "doctors!")
What "doctrine" Jesus taught. Matthew 7:28
--- "And it came to pass, when Jesus had
ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his
doctrine." And according to 2 John 1:9 this doctrine
thing is pretty important too! "Whosoever
transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath
not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both
the Father and the Son." Wow!
Now, today we have had a veritable course in
At least in preaching ... Paul's way!
And his every word in the text is divinely
Pastoral Theology class is ... dismissed!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 6 ... 2 TIMOTHY
Paul is understandably very "time conscious"
as he writes 2 Timothy. He is aware that his earthly life will
soon be over.
As he gives godly advice to the young
preacher Timothy he mentions:
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound
doctrine." 2 Timothy 4:3
"Time" translates the Greek noun "kairos,"
which means a season of time, a "window" of time or an
opportunity! Timothy, preach the truth to them while they are
willing to listen! Take advantage of every favorable minute!
This sounds a lot like Paul's well known admonition:
"Redeeming the time, because the days are evil."
"Will come" is just the future tense of "eimi,"
the main Greek verb for the state of being. That "time" had not
yet fully arrived ... but Paul knew it was coming! This reminds
me of something God said in Amos!
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a
famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for
water, but of hearing the words of the LORD." (Amos
8:11) Perhaps this approaching "condition" is why seven times
in Revelation 2 and 3 the Lord warns the churches:
"He that hath an ear, let him hear what
the Spirit saith ...." And if that time was "coming" in
Paul's day ... surely it is just about here in 2004!
The verb "endure" is "anexomai." It combines
"ana" and "echo." Echo means to hold, to hold on to, to take or
even to recover! Ana usually just means "up" but can
occasionally mean "again." It is translated "bear with" 4 times
in the Bible. The days are coming when folks will no longer put
up with real Bible preaching! (Sow the seed while you can!)
Lastly the term "sound doctrine" is used by
Paul. Doctrine is "didaskalia," and is derived from the verb
that means "to learn." It means teaching or instruction. Paul
was a real preacher and TEACHER also! No wonder he required of
Pastors that they also be "apt to teach!"
(1 Timothy 3:2 and 2 Timothy 2:24) Jesus also was a Teacher!
Matthew 7:29 reminds us --- "For He
(Jesus) taught them as one having authority, and not as
The adjective "sound" is "hugiaino." When
brought into English the "u" becomes a "y." It's our word
hygiene and means "health" or healthy! In our Bible the word is
translated as "whole" or "wholesome" and "be in health" and
"safe and sound!" See 3 John verse 2 and Luke 15:27! Sound
preaching will bring the "lost" son home! It also will make
one's soul to "be in health!"
We've again today had quite a list of
edifying words. Truly the Bible is verbally (word for word)
Lord willing, more tomorrow.
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 7 ... 2 TIMOTHY
The word is "pedagogy." It is pronounced "ped-ah-go-jie."
(Accent the first and third syllables.)
It means the art (or science) of teaching.
As time has passed in American history, our
methods of teaching surely have changed!
When I was young, teachers controlled the
classrooms! They set the "tone" and mood for the day. No
longer is this true in many places. Too often the students are
in charge. (In State Universities now the students virtually
determine the curriculum ... or at least part of it!)
There even used to be such things as
discipline ... and real tests!
But the new "psychology" has largely taken
control. Now it no longer matters what a student learns
... but how he feels!
And what has become true in classrooms has
infiltrated the church, I'm afraid.
Paul, in his last few recorded words on
earth, addresses this developing situation in 2nd Timothy
Listen to what he says:
"After their own lusts shall they
heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears." 2 Timothy
He is talking about local churches!
Professing Christians! Likely living in Ephesus!
Notice their desire to some day elect certain
kinds of teachers. They deliberately select their instructors!
They "heap" to themselves the very preachers they want! That
verb "heap" translates "episoreuo." (Epi means "upon" and
soreuo means "to pile up or to load!" One text says it means
"to accumulate in piles!") It is only used here in all the
Bible! The verb is a future indicative active. This has not
quite begun in Paul's day ... but he knows it's coming! I say
it has ARRIVED in our land!
The phrase "to themselves" is not just
implied in the sentence. It is carefully placed (by the Holy
Spirit) beside the verb "heap!" These folks will choose those
whom THEY want to be their spiritual leaders ... NOT necessarily
whom God wants! (Personality profiles and job resumes become
more important that the will of God!)
WHY will folks do this?
They will have "itching ears." The
participle here, "knetho," means to "itch." (It's a present
participle ... ears itching constantly!) The verb originally
means "to scrape or to scratch" ... then comes to mean "to
Ancient writers used this word picture to
describe preachers who did not have the courage to speak the
truth ... but reverted to saying pleasing things to the people!
(Thus making their ears feel pleasant sensations instead of HEAR
YE THE LORD!)
It's another way of saying ... give them what
they want to hear!
For example, often when one's back "itches"
he or she will ask someone to "scratch" it. The he might say
"more toward the middle" please! Or "down!" Then "up!"
"Harder!" Then "Thank you! That's enough!"
And the poor "back scratcher" just does what
he or she is told in the whole process!
That's the picture Paul is drawing!
Dear friend, if you have a Pastor who tells
the truth, thank God for him!
If you know a young preacher, encourage him
to be bold in his declaration of the Word of God!
And if you are NOT hearing true Bible
preaching ... honestly, I would go to a place where I was!
I don't know if this today is a "Home" Page
article or a sermon!
Someone give me some "input" please!
I am so thankful you have stopped by today
... with a Bible in your hand!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 8 ... 2 TIMOTHY
One NEVER rejects the truth ... without
paying an extremely high price for doing so!
If he or she refuses to internalize the truth
... invariably something will be accepted in its place!
I have a Bible example of that very situation
"And they shall turn away their
ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." 2
The context for our verse is one of sadness.
Paul will soon be executed by the Roman government. He knows
that his days are limited. He is writing to the young preacher
Timothy with some critical advice for his ministry.
He literally has already told Timothy to
PREACH the Word of God while he can! Paul knows the days are
coming (and are now here) when folks will no longer tolerate the
bold proclamation of the whole Word of God! They will want to
have their itching ears scratched with pleasing words from their
Today's verse makes his statement so clear!
To "turn away" (in Greek = apostrepho) means
to twist away from. (Apo = from and "strepho" to turn or twist
) The compound verb is only found 9 times in the New
Testament! It's first use is in Matthew 5:24 where Jesus says:
"Give to him that asketh thee, and from
him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away."
Once our verb is translated "put up again!" Matthew
26:52 --- "Then said Jesus unto him,
Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that
take the sword shall perish with the sword." Watch the
verb here in one of the sermons of early Acts:
"Unto you first God, having raised up his
Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of
you from his iniquities." Acts 3:26 And Paul says in 2
Timothy 1:15 --- "This thou knowest, that
all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of
whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes." And here is our
truth in reverse: "Not giving heed to
Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from
the truth." Titus 1:14 And is there a danger in such
"turning away?" Yes! According to Hebrews 12:25 ---
"See that ye refuse not him that speaketh.
For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth,
much more shall not we escape, if we turn away
from him that speaketh from heaven."
The "truth" is the Word of God! That's
exactly what Jesus says to His Father in John 17:17!
"Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word
Then comes the "shocking" part of our verse!
If people "turn away" from the truth ... they
will be turned unto something far worse! (And anything less
than the truth is a lie!)
God seems to have built into the sin of
"truth rejection" some mighty bad consequences!
God here quite clearly says that if man turns
away from the true preaching of His Truth ... that man
will be turned
unto cheap substitutes for the truth!
Here he or she will be turned unto fables!
First, the verb.
"Shall be turned" translates "ektrepho."
(Same stem as apostrepho) Whereas apostrepho meant to turn away
... ektrepho means to turn out! The word here is only found 5
times in the whole New Testament! It's first use, in 1 Timothy
1:6, speaks of folks who have "turned
aside to vain jangling!" (ektrepho eis matailogia) They
have turned out into empty talk! The verb is translated "avoid"
in 1 Timothy 6:20 --- "Avoiding profane
and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so
called." And its last Bible occurrence:
"And make straight paths for your feet,
lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let
it rather be healed." Hebrews 12:13
The verb also is passive in voice! To turn
from the preaching of the word is to automatically be turned to
something else! (TURN from the truth! Active voice! Be
turned unto fables! Passive voice!)
If you don't think God can "turn" us in
direct accordance to His ways, see Lamentations 5:21 where
Israel prays to God: "Turn thou us unto
thee, O LORD, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old."
And the word "fables" is so interesting! It
actually translates the Greek term "muthos." (When that word is
assimilated into English the "u" becomes a "y." Muthos =
mythos! Myths!) Turned unto myths! (And it is plural!) The
background of this word is one of secrecy and initiation into
the dark hidden rites of the ancient cults! God is saying that
if one rejects true religion (Jesus) ... he or she will likely
end up in some false religion (Satan)!
Gnosticism, a just beginning false religion
of Paul's day, specialized in myths and fables! (But certainly
no more than the false religions of today do!) Like the myth of
Jesus being in America (Mormonism)! Or the myth of there being
no hell (Jehovah's Witnesses)! Or the myths of praying to Mary
and the existence of purgatory (Roman Catholicism)! Or the myth
of God ordained homosexual pastors (today's brand of
Methodism)! Or the myth of keeping the Law to go to heaven
(Seventh Day Adventism)! Or the newest myth (yet to come) in a
I've got an idea!
I believe I'll just stay with the Truth!
I'm sticking with the Word of God!
How about you?
And I'm going to stay around Bible believing
Churches that want to hear just that! The unadulterated Spirit
filled preaching of the Book!
I'm so thankful you have visited us today ...
with a Bible in your hand! Come again soon! You are always
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 9 ... 2 TIMOTHY
Who said it would be easy?
Certainly not the Lord Jesus!
And not the Bible!
And even Paul the great Apostle didn't
predict smooth sailing for his young preachers either!
He often made such comments as these:
"Yea, and all that will
live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2
Paul ... "exhorting
them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much
tribulation enter into the kingdom of God." Acts 14:22
Or this statement particularly:
"But watch thou in all things,
endure afflictions." 2 Timothy 4:5
With his life nearly over, the elderly Paul
speaks to his young preacher-boy Timothy and says several
critical things. Among them are these two instructions. They
really apply to all us Christians ... whether we are preachers
The verb "watch" is in the imperative mood.
Paul expresses it as a requirement for the Believer in general
and the Preacher in particular. It is a stark command! (It is
also in the present tense and the active voice! Timothy is to
"watch" all the time ... and he must put some real effort into
The little word "watch" translates the Greek
term "nepho," meaning "to be sober!" That's right! Not to be
drunk! (One source says "to abstain from wine." You know, one
can be "drunk" on pleasure or ease or social life or
popularityor even pride!) However Paul uses the word here to
mean "sober minded" or alert!
For example, in 1 Thessalonians 5:6 ---
"Therefore let us not sleep, as do
others; but let us watch and be sober." (Being
watchful or sober as opposed to being asleep!)
1 Thessalonians 5:8 ---
"But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the
breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of
salvation." (Here being watchful or sober is the
equivalent of being well armored, ready for battle!)
Peter says: "Wherefore
gird up the loins of your mind, be sober." (1
Peter 1:13) In other words ... be sober, be mentally aware of
your situation at all times, be watchful!
And in 1 Peter 5:8 being sober (again, it's
our word "watchful") implies that an enemy is nearby!
"Be sober, be vigilant; because
your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about,
seeking whom he may devour."
Paul further cautions young Timothy to watch
"in all things." Just beware of everything! This reminds me of
Paul's advice to the whole church at Ephesus.
"See then that ye walk circumspectly, not
as fools, but as wise." (Ephesians 5:15) In English the
word "circumspectly" means to walk "looking all around!" (Specto
= to look! And circum = around!)
Next Paul teaches the young preacher:
It's another command! (And a very
Here it is in Greek: kakopatheo! It
combines two words: "kakos" meaning evil and "pathos" meaning
suffering or pain!
Kakos means wicked or evil or sinful ... but
it also can mean "good for nothing" and useless! It is the
inner quality of wickedness ... before it spreads to infect and
ruin the others around its victim!
And patheo means to experience a sensation
(usually painful). It is our word "pathos." It gives us words
such as passion.
The verb is only used 3 times in the whole
New Testament. Here it is in 2 Timothy 2:9 ---
"Wherein I (Paul) suffer trouble,
as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is
not bound." And James 5:13 renders it:
"Is any among you afflicted? let
him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms."
Paul is telling Timothy things are not going
to be easy in these last days! There will be times when young
preachers will just have to endure the evil treatment and
circumstances of the day. Stay where God put them. "Be men!"
(1 Corinthians 16:13 --- "Watch ye, stand
fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.")
Thus his admonition in 2 Timothy 2:3 ---
"Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good
soldier of Jesus Christ."
In fact things are going to get so bad before
the Lord comes to get His Church that Jesus wonders:
"Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh,
shall he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8)
This sure gives the word "remnant" special
meaning, doesn't it?
Only a few will still be standing for the old
fundamentals of the faith ... and it's looking more and more
like that "standing" will be hard!
Maybe to be fore-warned is to be fore-armed!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 10 ... 2 TIMOTHY
Paul couldn't stand "half-heartedness!"
He always wanted to do his very best for the
He said so again and again!
At the beginning of his ministry he wrote:
"But none of these things move me, neither
count I my life dear unto myself,
so that I might finish
my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have
received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace
of God." Acts 20:24 As you can see he was determined
to finish (joyfully) the work God had given him to do!
And at the end? "I
have fought a good fight,
I have finished my
course, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7
He did what he set out to do (with the Lord's
help). In both previous verses the word "course" (Greek = "dromos")
means a track on which runners race! (I would call RUNNING a
race a pretty good example of putting one's all into his work!)
And now Paul shares that same godly attitude
with young preacher Timothy! (The English word "enthusiasm" has
an interesting background. "En," from Latin, means within or
down inside. And "theos" means God! When the Romans saw
someone with vitality and determination and resolve ... they
actually believed that "God was within him" ... motivating him
to behave in such a diligent manner!)
Paul plainly said to Timothy (in 2 Timothy
4:5) to ...
PROOF OF THY MINISTRY."
Let's examine those words. To "make full
proof" (in Greek the verb is "plerophoreo") is obviously a
compound term. ("Plero" means to bring into full measure! To
fill a cup all the way to the brim! Specifically it is used in
the sense of properly using one's time to the fullest extent!
And "phoreo" means to have a burden and carry it successfully!
"Phoros" means a heavy load! "Phero" means to carry or bear or
tote that load!) The assimilated verb is in the imperative
mood! Paul is giving Timothy another command!
In other words, don't waste a day! Make
every hour count! Time may be running short! Joyfully carry
the load of "duties" God has given you! Give it all you've got!
(In another place Paul told Timothy:
"Meditate upon these things;
give thyself wholly to
them; that thy profiting may appear to all." 1
Timothy 4:15) To give oneself wholly to God's calling is just
another way of saying "make full proof of
Now the King James Version also translates
this verb ("make full proof") as "most surely believed!" Luke
1:1 --- "Forasmuch as many have taken in
hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which
are most surely believed
among us." And twice as "fully
persuaded!" (I think this is like being "filled to the
brim" with assurance!) See Romans 4:21 and 14:5. And even once
the verb is used by Paul to mean "fully known!" 2 Timothy 4:17
--- "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." Paul has asked a lot of
Let me close today by mentioning Someone Else
who made full proof of His Ministry! Our Lord Jesus Christ did
... and still does! Because of Him ... we are saved and on our
journey to Heaven!
If you are a preacher ... "make full proof"
of your ministry!
If you are a church member with a godly
preacher who feeds you faithfully from the Word of God week
after week ... let him know you appreciate his so diligently
"fulfilling his ministry" also!
P. S. --- Paul also wanted Timothy to be sure
and always remain a preacher of the Gospel!
"Do the work of an evangelist," he said! (One
might get so busy in the "ministry" that he neglects the
preaching of the Cross! The word "ministry" is "diakonia" and
gives us the English word for deacon. It comes from an old
Greek term that described one who was "a runner of errands!" He
was just a servant in the household!)
The verb "do" is a command! It's "poieo" and
ultimately gives us the English words such as "poem" or
"poetry!" (Then I guess the work of the ministry to God must be
lovely, poetic, pleasant!)
The noun "work" is "ergon" (our word
"energy") and means toil or labor! It implies HARD work!
And the noun "evangelist" combines two
words: "eu" meaning good and "aggelos" meaning messenger
(angel)! An "evangelist" is a bringer of good news! This Greek
word in the New Testament is often rendered "Gospel!" Timothy,
PREACH THE GOSPEL! What is the Gospel? According to 1
Corinthians 15:3-4 the Gospel is the truth of the death, burial
and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ!
I went a little "long" today, didn't I?
But we are dealing with critical issues!
That's why we need ... "a Bible in our
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 11 ... 2 TIMOTHY
Paul sensed that his time on earth was very
He has just given his young son (in the
faith) Timothy some of the best advice ever written to a
preacher! (1 Timothy 1:2 ---
"Unto Timothy, my own
son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from
God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.") That advice
is found in 2 Timothy 4:1-5.
Now notice what Paul says. His words prove
that his freshly penned notes to Timothy are consciously his
"last words" ever about the subject of preaching!
"For I am now ready to be
offered, and the time of my departure is at hand." 2 Timothy
I have just finished reading a book that
consists of dozens and dozens of letters from "famous" and
"not-so-famous" Americans to their sons and daughters. These
letters are largely in the "last-words" category themselves.
What a difference between what they said to their loved one (or
loved ones if they had more than one child) ... and what Paul
said to Timothy!
One Greek verb translates the whole verbal
phrase in the first half of our verse:
"Am ready to be offered." That verb is spelled: "spendo."
It is an indicative present passive 1st person singular verb.
Paul states this as a fact (indicative). This fact will remain
so until Paul is martyred for his faith (present). He is not
committing suicide ... it is all in God's hands. He will not
take his own life (passive). And Paul is only speaking for
himself here (1st person singular).
But what does the verb mean?
"Spendo" means to be poured out (as a drink
offering)! In the Old Testament at times a sacrificial offering
(a lamb for example) would have poured upon it (as it lay dying
on the altar) a "drink offering" of wine! It is a symbol of
joyful sacrifice! I wonder if Paul may be literally saying that
his body (like the lamb) is a living (now soon to be dying)
sacrifice and he willingly, joyfully will allow his blood to be
"poured out" upon his body to the glory of God! (Earlier he
used the same word picture. Philippians 2:17 ---
"Yea, and if I be offered upon the
sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you
The verb "spendo" literally gives us our
English word "spend" according to Strong's Concordance.
Paul adds to the urgency of his metaphor here
by using the adverb "ede," translated now. In the New Testament
our word "ede" is translated "already" 17 times. As busy as
Paul stayed ... this "time" had arrived in a hurry no doubt!
(It will be that way with us too! Psalm 90:9 says:
"We spend our years as a tale that is
told." James 4:14 calls our life ... a vapour!
"For what is your life? It is even
a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth
The Paul mentions the "time" of his
departure. Time translates the Greek noun "kairos." It means a
window of time or an opportunity or an occasion. Paul even
looked at dying as an opportunity to be used for the glory of
God! God values the deaths of His saints too! Psalm 116:15 ---
"Precious in the sight of the LORD is
the death of his saints."
Then look at the "picture" Paul gives to his
death! He calls it his "departure!" The word is "analusis," in
English "analysis!" It combines two Greek words ("lou" means to
loosen! "ana" means up). Death to Paul was being "loosed" for
an upward journey! This life had bound him long enough ... He's
ready to go! Technically "analusis" is the word sailors used
when untying a ship on this side of the river in preparation for
the crossing over to the other side of the river! (Paul was
just crossing the river!) It was also used by soldiers as they
unloosed their tent stakes and prepared for the march home!
(Paul was just heading home soon!) Glory to God!
Then the adverbial dependent clause "is at
hand" must be considered. Here it is in Greek: "ephistemi."
Histemi means "to stand." Epi, the prefix, means "upon." The
time for Paul to be slain for his faith, the time of his death
now "stands upon" him. It has arrived. But watch this! The
Holy Spirit here uses a "perfect" verb! It indicates action
that began in the past and continues to the present! Paul got
ready to die a long time ago! And he has been ready ever
since! Isn't that exactly how we Christians are supposed to
live? Paul once said "I die daily."
1 Corinthians 15:31
We have been on "holy ground" today!
We have just seen a giant in the faith
prepare to die!
And he did so by helping a younger preacher
be better equipped to "Preach the Word!"
This sure beats any letter I saw in the book
named "Posterity." (Letters of great Americans to their
I hope you're glad you visited here today ...
with an open Bible in your hand!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 12 ... AN
OVERVIEW ... PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
The New Testament is just full of letters!
There are 14 by Paul alone (counting Hebrews)!
Peter wrote two more.
And John wrote three (not counting his Gospel
and the Revelation).
Plus James and Jude each wrote a letter.
I recently read a book about letters. A
young researcher had gathered dozens and dozens of letters
written by some famous and some not-so-famous Americans. In each
case the letters studied were written by a Mother or a Father to
a son or daughter. Many were written late in life and
consisted of parting advice!
As I read them I couldn't help but think of
the Apostle Paul, one of the greatest letter writers of all
Let me show you some things I noticed.
A Supreme Court Justice wrote this to his
daughter about her son. "I am glad that he is turning out to be
a rebel. See that this does not die out! He must retain the
capacity to tell his old lady or old man where to get off. Try
to find a good cause to which he can tie his rebellion."
Listen to what Thomas Jefferson wrote to his
daughter about her husband! He counseled her to make her
husband her priority! "The happiness of your life depends now
on the continuing to please a single person (that husband). To
this all other objects must be secondary!"
The Secretary of the Treasury under President
Abraham Lincoln (during the Civil War) wrote this to his
daughter. "One thing I am sure of is that true faith in Christ
is the only thing on earth really worth having; and the only
thing that we can carry from earth."
Sherwood Anderson, a novelist, wrote this to
his son, then a university student. "In the end ART is the
essential thing, I think!"
Listen to the great Preacher Jonathan Edwards
writing his daughter Mary. "My greatest concern for you is your
soul's good. I had rather you should remain hundreds of miles
distant from us and have God nigh you by His Spirit ... than to
have you always with us and live at a distance from God. The
great thing is to be united to Christ."
Daniel Webster in writing his son Edward
closes his letter: "I fervently commend you to the blessing of
our heavenly Father."
Novelist Jack London wrote one of the most
unforgiving letters to his daughter Joan that I've ever read.
(She had not written him like he thought she should have!) What
bitterness! He writes: "unless I should accidentally meet you
on the street, I doubt if I shall ever see you again." (This
little girl was 12 years old!)
Harriett Beecher Stowe, American author,
writes (still grieving over the death of a young son) to her
daughter Georgiana: "I am like the dry, dead leafless tree. I
dread everything I do. Not that my faith in God in the least
fails. Weak and weary as I am I rest on Jesus. I know there is
coming an inconceivable hour of glory and beauty in which our
Lord will give me back my beloved son."
Another writer pens these words to his
grandson. "It is very sweet of you to send the birthday card,
where we are walking toward the sunset together. It is a lovely
sunset, but sad! AND THE NIGHT IS BEYOND IT!"
As I read these my heart bounces from
gladness to sadness! Joy to sorrow! Peace to turmoil! They
represent whole lives and the philosophies that propelled them.
They furthermore represent men and women who are now either in
heaven or hell.
BUT HERE'S MY POINT TODAY.
All these letters, especially the "negative"
ones, when laid beside Paul's "last words" to his son in the
Faith (Timothy) pale in comparison!
Listen to the great Preacher:
"I charge thee therefore before God, and
the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at
his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in
season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all
longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they
will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall
they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they
shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned
unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions,
do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure
is at hand."
I rest my case!
Jesus makes all the difference in the world,
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
P. S. --- We have been studying Paul's little
letter for the past few days. We have analyzed nearly every
word. It's a classic!