1Timothy 2:1-4 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 

‘Exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men.’ Four duties of Christians: [1] Supplications (Eph. 6:18) [Greek: deesis] and entreating; continued strong and incessant pleadings until the prayer is answered (Luke 18:1-8). Translated “request” (Php. 1:4); “supplication” (2:1; 5:5; Acts 1:14; Eph. 6:18; Php. 4:6); and “prayer” 12 times. [2] Prayers (2:1; 5:5); [3] Intercessions (2:1; cp. Rom. 8:26-27, 34; Heb. 7:25; Isa. 53:12); [4] Giving of thanks (2:1).

We are commanded to let our hope be a joy to us, to show patience in all our trouble and to live in fervent prayer to God. Prayer should not be rehearsed, but a continuous conversation with God just as we would talk to those we love and find joy in our communion with them.

‘For all men’ – Three classes to be prayed for (2:1-3).

‘Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.’ Two things always the will of God: That all men be saved (Mark 16:15; John 3:16; 2Pet. 3:9; Rev. 22:17). That all come to the knowledge of the truth (Heb. 4:12; 2Tim. 3:16).

The Only Wise God

1Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. 

‘Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God.’ Four facts about God the Father: [1] The King eternal [Greek: basilei, ton and aionon] meaning the King of the Ages (cp. Isa. 9:6; Jer. 10:10). [2] Immortal [Greek: aphthartos] incorruptible. The same word translated to show the spirit and soul of man as not being corruptible (1Pet. 3:4); and other things as being incorruptible and immortal (Rom. 1:23; 1Cor. 9:25; 15:52; 1Pet. 1:4, 23). If God is immortal, and man’s spirit is immortal (1Pet. 3:4), then it is a settled fact that the inner man is just as immortal as God. [3] Invisible [Greek: aoratos] (Col. 1:15-16; Rom. 1:20; Heb. 11:27). The word means not in sight, unseen, or concealed. Invisibility consists more of distance than substance. Cities or other material objects cannot be seen even 30 kilometres away. At this distance they are invisible. Objects concealed are invisible. Anything out of eyesight is invisible. God, angels, and other spirit beings are thus invisible. They can appear or disappear at will. They have been seen with the natural eyes many times, proving that invisibility must be understood with them as with all other invisible things that can become visible. [4] The only wise God (cp. 1Tim. 6:16). God is the source of wisdom and immortality. But He is not the only one that has wisdom and immortality, for Christ, the Holy Spirit, angels, and the inner man also have wisdom and immortality.

There are eighteen proofs that God can be seen: God has been seen with a body (John 4:24). Man was made bodily in God’s image (Gen. 1:26-27; 9:6). God ate food with Abraham (Gen. 18:8). Jacob wrestled with God (Gen. 32:24). Seventy-four men ate with God (Ex. 24:1-11). Moses saw God face to face out of His glory (Ex. 33:11; 1Tim. 6:16), and he saw His back parts when he requested to see His glory (Ex. 33:18-23). Joshua and all Israel saw Him (Jos. 5:13-15). Gideon saw God (Jdg. 6:11-23). Samson’s parents saw Him (Jdg. 13:3-23). David saw God (1Chron. 21:16-17). Job saw God (Job 42:5). Isaiah saw and described God (Isa. 6:1-13). Amos saw the Lord (Amos 9:1). Ezekiel described God (Ezek. 1:26-28; 10:20; 40:3 with Ezek. 43:7; 7; 47:1-6). Daniel described God, even His clothes, body, and hair (Dan. 7:9-14; 10:5-6). Stephen saw God and Christ (Acts 7:56). John described God (Rev. 4:2-5; 5:1-7). All will see God (Rev. 21:3-4; 22:4).

Peace Part 3

2Thessalonians 3:16-18 Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means.

All the promises of God reveal that He has provided for man here and now despite the curse. Everyone can enjoy to the full all the benefits of these promises if he will surrender his life to God, experience the genuine new birth and live a godly life in this present world according to the gospel of Christ. Many of these benefits are even for the unsaved to prove to them that God provides for all creation despite their rebellion. The purpose of such goodness to the unsaved is to lead to repentance (Rom. 2:4). The following scriptures teach that it is God’s will for man to be blessed: [1] Prosperity (Jos. 1:5-9; 1Sam. 2:7-8; 1Kin. 2:3-4; 1Chron. 29:12; Ezra 8:22; Job 36:11; Ps. 1:1-3; Matt. 6:31-33; 7:7-11; Mark 11:22-24; John 15:7, 16; 2Cor. 9:6-8; Php. 4:19; 3Jn. 1:2). [2] Healing and health (Ex. 15:26; Ps. 91:1-16; 103:3-5; Isa. 53:4-5; 58:8; Matt. 8:16-17; Jas. 5:14-16; 1Pet. 2:24; 3Jn. 1:2). Christ came to “destroy the works of the devil” (1Jn. 3:8), and to deliver “all that were oppressed by the devil” (Acts 10:38). He came to do this not only for three years during His ministry but forever. He commissioned the disciples to carry on the work that He began both to do and to teach (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-20; John 14:12-15; Acts 1:1-2, 8). Early believers did carry on this work until they lost faith (Acts 3:1-26; 5:16; Jas. 5:14-16; etc.). Present Christians are to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3; 2Cor. 10:4-6; Eph. 6:10-18). [3] Wants and needs (Ps. 23:1-6; 34:9-10; 37:3-6; 84:11; Mark 9:23; 11:22-24; John 14:12-15; 15:7, 16; 16:23-26; 1Jn. 3:21-22; 5:14-15).

The scriptures prove that Divine providence has been working in all ages in all the affairs of men. It was providence that originally brought all things into existence (Isa. 45:18; Col. 1:15-19), that provided redemption for the fall (Gen. 3:15; Eph. 1:1-11), that preserved humanity at the flood (Gen. 6:8 – 8:22), and that dealt with men in each dispensation giving them a chance to make good in every age. The continued preservation of all things from the creation of man proves that God’s providence is working out all things after the counsel of His own will. God’s love in creating and redeeming all things proves His desire to preserve creation and finally reconcile it to Himself. The prevalence of order in all things proves divine providence. One can see fixed and eternal laws governing everything in creation, evidencing an all-wise Ruler and Preserver of all things.

God’s purpose has been to create a race of beings who would find their highest degree of happiness in the highest degree of holiness and who would, in proportion to their highest holiness and happiness, glorify their Creator (Gen. 1:26-28; Isa. 43:7; 45:18; Eph. 1:12; Col. 1:15-22; Rev. 4:9-11; 5:11-14; 7:10-12).

Peace Part 2

2Thessalonians 3:16-18 Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all. The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. The second epistle to the Thessalonians was written from Athens.

‘The Lord of peace himself give you peace always.’ There are however eight reasons for God not to hold His peace: The mouth of the wicked man is opened against me (Ps. 109:2). The mouth of the deceitful man is opened against me. They have lied against me. They surrounded me with words of hatred (Ps. 109:3). They fought against me without cause. They are my adversaries despite my love toward them (Ps. 109:4). They have rewarded me evil for good (Ps. 109:5). They have rewarded me hatred for love.

Five blessings to him who fears God: He will be taught by God (Ps. 25:12). He will be safe and at peace (Ps. 25:13). His children will be blessed. He will know God’s secrets (Ps. 25:14). He will know God’s covenant.

From Psalm 34 we have eighteen secrets of a long life: Freedom from fear (Ps. 34:4). Quickening from God (Ps. 34:5). Boldness – freedom from shame. Freedom from troubles (Ps. 34:6). Divine deliverance (Ps. 34:7). Partaking of God’s life (Ps. 34:8). Absolute trust in God. Fear (respect) of God (Ps. 34:7-9). Freedom from want (Ps. 34:9-10). Seeking God first (Ps. 34:10, 15; Matt. 6:33). Godly teaching (Ps. 34:11; 2Tim. 3:15). Control of the tongue (Ps. 34:12-13). Godliness – departing from evil (Ps. 34:14-16). Consecration to doing good (Ps. 34:14). Seeking and pursuing peace. Brokenness and humility (Ps. 34:18). Salvation of the soul (Ps. 34:22). Prosperity – freedom from worry.

To be continued…

Peace Part 1

2Thessalonians 3:16-18 Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all. The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. The second epistle to the Thessalonians was written from Athens. 

‘The Lord of peace.’ From Isaiah 47:5 we read that God says: “I make peace” meaning freedom from war or civil disorder; harmony in human and divine relations; quietness and tranquillity. God is the Author of peace and Christ is called “the Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6-7). All real and lasting peace comes from God; it originated with Him.

‘Give you peace.’  The Greek word for peace is eirene, the state of quietness, rest, repose, harmony, order and security amid turmoil, strife, and temptations.

From Isaiah 26:3 we have the promise of being in perfect peace for all men of all ages who meet the condition of keeping the mind stayed on God, and who trust in Him at all times, in all things, and in all places (Ps. 91:1-16).

Christ promises to leave us with His peace and to give it to us if we won’t let our hearts be troubled or afraid (John 14:27). We must lay our burdens and troubles on Him and live in righteousness to accomplish this truth.

In Psalm 34:14 we are commanded to depart from evil, to do good, to seek peace and pursue it.

We see three final commands in 2 Peter 3:14-18 that save the soul: Be diligent that you may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless (2Pet. 3:14). Beware lest you also (like the backsliders of 2Pet. 2:1-22), being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness (2Pet. 3:17). Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ (2Pet. 3:18).

‘The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write.’ Compare this with the ending of other epistles of Paul.

To be continued…

Died and Rose Again

1Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 

‘Died and rose again.’ The death of Jesus Christ is the assurance of salvation for all who will believe (Matt. 26:28; Rom. 5:6-11; 1Pet. 2:24). The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the assurance of resurrection for all men (5:10; John 14:19; Rom. 5:10; 6:5-8; 1Cor. 15:4-23; 2Tim. 2:11).

‘Sleep in Jesus’ – Body-sleep, is not soul-sleep: Sleep means the death of the body (4:14-16; 5:10; Deut. 31:16; 2Sam. 7:12; 1Kin. 1:21; Job 7:21; Ps. 13:3; Dan. 12:2; Mark 5:39; Luke 8:52; John 11:11-14; Acts 13:36; 1Cor. 11:30; 15:51; Jas. 2:26). These are all the passages where the word “sleep” is found in connection with the death. The word “slept” is used in Matthew 27:52 and 1Corinthians 15:20 of death, and the phrase “slept with his fathers” is used 36 times of death in the Old Testament. Not one time is it stated that the soul sleeps. The soul is immortal (1Pet. 3:4). The term “sleep in Jesus” simply refers to those who were in Christ at their death (4:14, 16).

‘Bring with him.’ Christians at death go immediately to paradise to await the resurrection of their sleeping bodies (2Cor. 5:8; Php. 1:21-24; Heb. 12:22-23; Rev. 6:9-11). When Christ leaves heaven to come down in the air of the earth (4:17), the saints who are in paradise will come back with Him and be reunited with their bodies which will be resurrected in a moment (1Cor. 15:51-58).

Be Dead with Christ

Colossians 2:20-23 Wherefore if you be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are you subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh. 

‘If you be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world.’ If you are dead with Christ, having been freed from the elementary rules of the world and rudiments of Judaism, why then be subject to them any longer? All such things are to perish. They are mere traditions of men, not laws of God in the new covenant (2:20-23).

‘After the commandments and doctrines of men.’ To follow the commands and doctrines of men and not God, have always been the basis of most religions and also idolatry (Matt. 15:9; Mark 7:7; 1Tim. 4:1).

‘Will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body.’ This is any form of worship man chooses for himself apart from the true worship of God (Rom. 1:21-25). Some forms have a great show of refinement, humility, and asceticism, but they are powerless to deal with sin and the old man. They only feed self-righteousness and pride and do not change the heart.

Having Nourishment Ministered

Colossians 2:18-19 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he had not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increased with the increase of God. 

‘Let no man beguile you of your reward.’ Let no man take your prize. You have found Christ and been made free from sin by the gospel and the Holy Spirit. You started in the spirit so do not let any man induce you to finish in the flesh (Gal. 3:1-5).

‘Voluntary humility and worshipping angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.’ Five facts about false cults: [1] Self-imposed fastings and self-denials of many things to appear religious, that is not forbidden in Scripture – touch not, taste not and handle not (2:18, 20-23). [2] The Greek word threskeia means worshipping (2:18) and religion (Acts 26:5; Jas. 1:26-27). Here it is a cult or religion of angels and demons (2:18, 23; 1Tim. 4:1-8). [3] Religion that is based upon visions that are supposed to come from God and angels (2:18; Deut. 18:1-22; Jer. 23:1-40; Ezek. 13:1-23). [4] Religion that is based upon the superior knowledge, new discoveries, occult secrets, piety, and sensuous feelings (2:18, 8; Rom. 1:21-23; 1Tim. 6:20). [5] Religion that is not Christ-centered and true to the gospel (2:19; Eph. 4:14; 5:11-12; 2Cor. 11:14-15; Matt. 7:15)

‘Holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered.’ Not acknowledging the Head of the body (Christ) on whom every member depends for nourishment and life.

A Shadow of Things to Come

Colossians 2:16-17 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. 

‘Let no man therefore judge you …’ Five things not to judge others about: what to eat (2:16; 1Tim. 4:1-16; Rom. 14:1-23); what to drink (2:16; 1Cor. 10:31); what days to keep (2:16; Gal. 4:1-31); what new moon festivals to keep (2:16); what days to observe (2:16; Rom. 14:5-6; Gal. 4:9-10)

‘Meat’ – refers to clean animals (Lev. 11:1-47; Deut. 14:1-29). The new covenant has never permitted any kind of unclean meat to be used as food, the meat of unclean animals is poisonous and not for human consumption because their meat contains toxins that are not excreted from their bodies like the bodies of cows, sheep, certain bucks and chickens (some other fowls also) and fish with gulls do. Many Scriptures are quoted out of context to allow the eating of unclean toxic meats. God never intended for us to eat dogs, pigs, cats or horses, to name but a few. Some animals were made as scavengers and some for labour and transport. Before Noah’s days, clean and unclean animals were known to man (Gen. 4:4; 7:2-3).

‘Drink’ – The law was very liberal about drinks (Deut. 14:24), and yet under it, God condemned strong drink (Pro. 20:1; 31:4-7; Isa. 5:11-23). Like every other subject, we must go to the new covenant – given under the New Testament – to find out God’s will for Christians. It demands that whatever we eat or drink we are to do it to the glory of God (1Cor. 10:31). It condemns all drunkenness and commands constantly our soberness (1Cor. 15:34; 1Thess. 5:6-8; 1Tim. 3:2, 11; 2Tim. 2:26; 4:5; 1Pet. 1:13; 4:7; 5:8).

‘Holyday’ – Jews had many holy days, new moons, festivals, and sabbaths that were binding upon all men under the old covenant (Lev. 23:1-44; 1Chron. 23:1-32). None of them is commanded in the new covenant and men must heed not to fall back on family traditions and festivals that lead to idolatry (2:14-17; Rom. 14:5-6; Gal. 4:9-10).

‘Sabbath days’ This refers to all the sabbaths of the law of Moses, including the regular weekly sabbath. All of them are now abolished with the law, thus fulfilling prophecy (Isa. 1:13-15; Hos. 2:11). Christians are now free to keep any day they want to as a sabbath (2:14-17; Rom. 14:5-6; Gal. 3:9-10). All sabbaths were a shadow of the rest we now have in Jesus Christ (2:17; Matt. 11:28-30; Heb. 4:3, 10-11; 10:1).

Complete in Him

Colossians 2:10-11 And you are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ

‘Complete in him’ –  we need nothing more when we are in Him [in unity] (John 15:1-7). The so-called doctrine of interpenetration, that is, persons entering physical into each other, is false. The Bible does speak of the Corinthians and Philippians being in Paul’s heart (2Cor. 7:3; Php. 1:7); God being in Christ (2Cor. 5:19); Christ being in God (John 14:20); God and Christ being in each other (John 14:10-11); men being in both the Father and the Son (1Jn. 2:24); men being in Christ (2Cor. 5:17); men and the Spirit being in each other (Rom. 8:9); Christ being in men (Col. 1:27; Rom. 8:10); man and Christ being in each other (John 14:20); all creation being in God (Acts 17:28); and satan entering into men (Luke 22:3; John 13:27). However, these passages refer to being in union with, being consecrated to the same end – one in mind, purpose, and life. They do not teach the physical entrance of one being into another. It may be best understood by a man and woman becoming one in life together, being in each other’s plans, life, etc.

‘In whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.’ Literally, in Him, you have been circumcised, not by cutting the flesh, but by the circumcision of Christ in putting off the body of sins of the flesh. Christ became circumcised and fulfilled all the Law to become a true mediator between God and man. Now through Him, we are freed from all Mosaic law observance and have been redeemed through the work of Christ on the cross (2:11-17; 1:14, 20-25; 1Pet. 2:24).