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Paul's Second Epistle to Timothy, Part 1: The Nullification of Death
Here we begin our presentation of Paul’s second epistle to Timothy. This is the last in our series of commentaries on the epistles of Paul of Tarsus which we had begun with the epistle to the Romans in the Spring of 2014, and it is now the 117th presentation in this series. Undertaking this endeavor, we did not present Paul’s epistles in chronological order, but rather we found it appropriate, with a couple of exceptions, to present the pastoral epistles to Timothy and Titus last in order of Paul’s epistles, and also present the other epistles as they are ordered in most Bibles. One exception was the epistle to Philemon, which is not truly a pastoral epistle and which in its historical context is connected to the epistle to the Colossians, so we presented it along with that epistle. Another is the epistle to the Hebrews, which was certainly written by Paul although most Bibles order it to follow Paul’s pastoral epistles, preferring to separate it because they are not certain of the authorship. So we moved it to precede Paul’s pastoral epistles, because we are confident that Paul was its author.
If we had presented the epistles of Paul in chronological order, we would have had to begin with the epistles to the Thessalonians which were both written during Paul’s sojourn in Corinth, around 50 or 51 AD as it is recorded in Acts chapter 18. Then the epistle to the Galatians was written during Paul's stay in Antioch which is described in Acts 18:22-23. The first epistle to the Corinthians was written as Paul was planning to end his three-year sojourn in Ephesus in 56 AD, described in Acts chapter 19. As we know from 1 Corinthians, there was another epistle written to the Corinthians which preceded it, but which is now lost, and that was probably also written from Ephesus.
As Paul was journeying through the Troad and Makedonia after leaving Ephesus, he wrote both the epistle to Titus and the first epistle to Timothy, and prepared to spend the winter of 56-57 AD in Nicopolis. During that winter, the second epistle to the Corinthians was written, while both Titus and Timothy had joined him. These events in Paul’s life are briefly recorded at the beginning of Acts chapter 20.
Passing through Achaia in the Spring of 57 AD, Paul and his companions went to the Troad as Luke and others joined him from Philippi, as it is also recorded in Acts chapter 20. And as we have shown, it is there that the epistle to the Romans was written. The epistle to the Romans is the last of Paul’s surviving epistles which was written while he was still a free man. Shortly thereafter, as Paul and his companions had travelled to Jerusalem, he was arrested in the temple, and apparently, at least some of his companions were arrested along with him. After his arrest, Paul wrote the epistle to the Hebrews while he was still in Caesareia, in late 57 or perhaps 58 AD, and in its closing verses he announced that Timothy had been released. Others of his companions were also arrested with him. We learn from Luke in Acts chapter 27 that Aristarchus, a Macedonian who was also in Paul’s company, remained a prisoner and was sent to Rome along with him. Being a Macedonian, he must also have been a Roman citizen and appealed to Caesar. Aristarchus was still with Paul when he wrote his epistles from Rome, which we see in Colossians chapter 4 and in Philemon.
We learn from Luke in Acts chapter 28 that after Paul arrived as a prisoner in Rome, ostensibly in the Spring of 60 AD, that he had “dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him”. It is evident that this two year period was concluded when Paul was executed. However there are stories, beginning with Eusebius of Caesareia, that Paul was released, rearrested at some later time, and then executed. But there is absolutely no reason to believe those accounts from Paul’s letters, or from any other contemporary historical accounts, or from any other Scriptures. It is evident to us that Eusebius merely supposed that Paul was released and later rearrested because, as we demonstrated in the introduction to our commentary on the epistle to the Colossians, Eusebius’ chronology was wrong in other respects. For example, he had dated by three years too late an earthquake which had destroyed much of Colossae, Laodicea and Hierapolis, for which we have a more accurate witness in the first century historian Tacitus. The earthquake occurred in 59 AD, and Paul wrote the epistles to the Colossians and Philemon in 61 or early 62 AD. At that same time, he also wrote a now-lost epistle to the Laodiceans.
While Paul was under house arrest in Rome he wrote the epistle to the Ephesians and this second epistle to Timothy. Paul probably wrote to Timothy more often, but of course only two of his letters to his younger companion have been preserved. In this second epistle to Timothy, Paul asks Timothy to come to him in Rome, and Timothy did as Paul had requested. Then after Timothy’s arrival, the epistle to the Philippians is written, as well as those to the Colossians and Philemon. This accounts for the writing of all fourteen of Paul’s surviving epistles. While we have a rather concise article posted at Christogenea titled Ordering and chronology of the epistles of Paul, we hope to one day expand that greatly, using the detailed explanations which we have presented in the introduction to each of Paul’s epistles as well as the chronological information we included in our presentations of the Acts of the Apostles.
We will not address the myriads of errors made by critics, both ancient and modern, who doubt the authorship of any of these fourteen epistles. Having studied them in their original language for many years, and having compared them to the events recorded in the Book of Acts, being able to reconcile practically every Scriptural statement and chronicle which they record, we have no doubt as to their veracity or to Paul’s authorship – even with the changes in writing style which are due to the fact that Paul had others write his epistles. The concepts which were expressed had nevertheless belonged to Paul. We are confident that the oeuvre of our commentaries on Paul, which probably amount to over 1,200 typed pages, does answer all of the critics. Our ordering and chronology of Paul’s epistles, as well as our view of his travels, differs greatly from the perceptions of the mainstream academics and the denominational commentators. We do not apologize for that, nor do we fear any contentions. We believe that our work is based on painstaking scholarship, on many years of study of the New Testament in both Greek and English, and that it will be vindicated in the end.
Concerning the Greek text of 2 Timothy: relying on the 27th edition of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece, or NA27, the earliest manuscript evidence for this epistle was found in the 4th century Codex Sinaiticus (א); the 5th century Codices Alexandrinus (A), Ephraemi Syri (C), Freerianus (I 016) and Vaticanus Graece 2061 (048); and the 6th century Codices Claromontanus (D) and Coislinianus (H 015). There appear to be no significant differences in the more recently published 28th edition of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece (NA28). While there has not yet been discovered any ancient papyri which bear record of 2 Timothy, a fragment of 1 Timothy was recently discovered, which is now designated as P133, from the Oxyrhynchus Papyri that have been found in Egypt. Until P133 was discovered, there was no papyri evidence for 1 Timothy. That fragment is dated to the 3rd century and is said to contain evidence of verses from 1 Timothy 3:13 through 4:8. We still do not have access to the actual text of papyrus P133.
In spite of the lack of evidence from the papyri, Paul’s second epistle to Timothy is mentioned in the late 2nd century Muratorian Canon which is often attributed to Caius, Presbyter of Rome, and it was cited or mentioned by Clement of Alexandria (Stromata 2), who also wrote in the late 2nd century, and by Cyprian, who quoted from it four times in his 12th Treatise and also in the disputed Exhortation to Repentance, and who wrote in the middle of the 3rd century, and also by Pamphilus of Caesareia and Archelaus, the bishop of Carchar, both of whom wrote later in the 3rd century. But once again we must state that so far as we have seen, none of these early Christian writers add anything to our knowledge of Timothy or his ministry beyond what we already have in the Book of Acts or in Paul’s epistles.
Fittingly, this second epistle to Timothy is the last which we present in this series, in spite of the fact that three of Paul’s epistles were written later, and that they had Timothy as their co-author. The fact that Paul lists Timothy as co-author informs us that Paul esteemed Timothy to be his equal partner in his ministry. When he wrote the second epistle to the Corinthians, both Titus and Timothy were with him, and Titus delivered the letter to Corinth. But only Timothy was accounted a co-author. When Paul wrote all of his last seven epistles, from Romans through Philemon, Luke was present with him, and it seems that Luke even penned the epistle to the Hebrews, but the beloved author of the Gospel of Luke and Acts of the Apostles was never given the status of co-author to any of those epistles.
Therefore it is evident that Paul did not lightly mention anyone as a co-author in the introductions to his epistles. In Ephesus, Sosthenes had merited the distinction, when the first epistle to the Corinthians was written. A few years earlier, Silvanus had merited it as well as Timothy, when the epistles to the Thessalonians were written in Corinth. But in all of his later epistles, only Timothy received the distinction, although Silvanus continued his ministry elsewhere – being found with Peter as that apostle wrote his first epistle. It seems that whenever Timothy is found together with Paul, he is mentioned as a co-author of Paul’s epistles, with the exception of the epistle to the Romans. But here in this epistle, the closeness of Paul’s relationship with Timothy is even further elucidated, as Paul mentions to his younger companion the status of his relationship with many of the men with whom he had worked in the past. Paul, expecting his own death to be imminent, as we shall see in the last chapter of this epistle, seems to have done this because Timothy was his partner and also his chosen succesor in his ministry. This we shall expound upon further as we present the text of the epistle.
With this we shall begin our presentation and commentary on the text of 2 Timothy:
1 Paul, an ambassador of Yahshua Christ by the will of Yahweh in accordance with the promise of life which is in Christ Yahshua, 2 to Timotheos, beloved child: favor, mercy, peace from Father Yahweh and Christ Yahshua our Prince.
The name Timotheus is a Greek name which means honored by God. In the King James Version, it appears as both Timothy and Timotheus, for no apparent reason. The King James Version has added the possessive pronoun, my, to the text, having the opening phrase of verse 2 to read: “to Timothy, my dearly beloved son...” The translators of that version made a similar addition in 1 Timothy chapter 1, where verse 2 reads “unto Timothy, my own son in the faith...” However here, without adding words, it is evident that Paul called Timothy a beloved child – evidently referring to Timothy’s relationship with Christ and not with Paul, and in 1 Timothy when the word γνήσιος is properly translated, he actually called him a “purely bred child in faith”.
In the last phrase of this verse the original reading of the Codex Sinaiticus was evidently “… and Lord Yahshua our Lord”, where according to the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece the text was corrected by a later hand. The word κύριος is usually prince here, in reference to Christ, and Yahweh in reference to God in the Old Testament. Of course, Yahshua Christ is Yahweh. We explained our reasoning for translating the word in this manner in an appendix to the Christogenea New Testament. There we also expressed our aversion to using the word lord in the Biblical context, as it is so often abused in modern culture that we sought to avoid using it in reference to Yahweh our God and His Christ. Furthermore, if in the making of the Septuagint the Hebrew the word for Yahweh was translated as κύριος, then we have every right reading κύριος in Greek Scriptures to render it as Yahweh. While we ourselves sometimes use the word lord in Biblical contexts, or quoting from the King James Version, we have other reasons for doing that – so as to communicate the idea to mainstream Christians that Yahweh is Lord, and Christ our Prince is also Lord, the two being one and the same. To us, the word prince in this context indicates both that He is Principal of our race, as well as the Prince who should – and ultimately will be King.
3 I have gratitude to Yahweh whom I serve after my ancestors with a clean conscience, that incessantly I have mention concerning you in my prayers night and day, 4 yearning to see you, remembering your tears, that I would be filled with joy.
Concerning Timothy’s tears, we have no account. However when Paul wrote the epistle to the Hebrews two years before this, while he was still in Caesareia, he had announced Timothy’s release, where he said “23 Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you.” (Hebrews 13:25.) Ostensibly, Timothy was arrested along with Paul at the temple in Jerusalem, and we can only guess that the reference to Timothy’s tears may be related to his release, where Paul was left behind in bonds. As we have seen, Aristarchus was also arrested with Paul and for that reason was his fellow prisoner as they were in transit to Rome, and through the time when Paul wrote his final epistles to the Colossians. (Philemon was a Colossian.) There may even have been others who were arrested, but Luke does not inform us, focusing on Paul alone as he wrote the accounts in Acts. The same style of writing is common in other episodes in Acts, and in all four gospels, where as Christ is the central character, only He is mentioned in many recollections of events even though others are usually in His company.
Notice that here Paul said that he serves Yahweh “after my ancestors”. The word for ancestors here, where the King James Version has forefathers, is πρόγονος (Strong’s # 4269), which is the same Greek word that appears in 1 Timothy 5:4 where we also have ancestors and the King James Version has only parents. But where Paul does clearly intend to refer merely to parents, he uses another more appropriate word, γονεύς (Strong’s # 1118), which in the plural more literally means parents. Speaking of elderly women in a Christian assembly and writing to Timothy while he was in Ephesus, Paul said in 1 Timothy 5:4: “And if any widow has child or grandchild, they must first learn piety at home and to return compensation to their ancestors. For this is acceptable before Yahweh.” In our opinion, it is clear that by these two statements, Paul certainly infers that women teaching their children piety, or children learning to be pious, honor their ancestors in much the same way that Paul himself does in his own service to God.
But here Paul also infers that his ancestors had also served Yahweh. And we see that Paul had come from a religious family where he makes the profession in Acts chapter 23 that “I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee...” Many people in Christian Identity malign Paul for that claim, where they wrongly imagine that all of the Pharisees were “Jews”. Nothing is further from the truth. All of the Pharisees were Judaeans, and many of them were indeed Israelites, as we often see accounts of Christ in the Gospel, lodging and dining with Pharisees, reprimanding them for their sins and teaching them the Scriptures. Christ never treated the Sadducees in that manner, as they were indeed all Jews, or Edomite Judaeans. We cannot imagine that Christ would dine and teach the Gospel to His eternal enemies, with the exception of Judas Iscariot, who was explicitly chosen for the purpose of betraying Him. So we read in John chapter 6: “70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? 71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.” But as the account of Nicodemus also proves, not all of the Pharisees were devils. Being a Pharisee in ancient Judaea was sort of like being a Republican today, it was a political sect, and not all Republicans are Jews.
Paul continues his reference to Timothy’s sincere piety, where he recalls:
5 Receiving a reminder of that unfeigned faith which is in you, which abode first in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunika, now I am convinced that also is in you.
In Acts chapter 16 we read of Paul and Silas: “1 And then they arrived in Derbe and in Lustra. And behold, there was a certain student there with the name Timotheos, a son of a faithful Judaean woman, but of a Greek father, 2 who was accredited by the brethren in Lustra and Ikonion.” So here we learn that the woman’s name was Eunika, which is usually Eunice in English, and her mother’s name was Lois. While these women are expressly said to have been Judaeans, their names are Greek names, so they must have been Hellenized to some degree, while also maintaining their Hebrew faith. Lois seems to be derived from the Greek word λωΐων, which means desirable or agreeable, and Eunika is itself a Greek compound word which means good victory. It is further credit to Timothy that he was mentioned as co-author of Paul’s earliest surviving epistles, the two which were written to the Thessalonians, a relatively short time after Paul had first met him. Now Paul has an exhortation:
6 For which cause I remind you to rekindle that favor of Yahweh [A has “Christ”] which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
Paul desires for Timothy to retain the initial zeal which he had for the Gospel, which Luke’s account in Acts chapter 16 seems to suggest where it says that he “was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.” Both here and in 1 Timothy chapter 4, Paul is encouraging Timothy to live up to the mission for which he was chosen. In that chapter of his first epistle to Timothy, which was written about five years before this one, Paul exhorted him by writing: “14 do not have neglect for the favor within you, which was given to you through the interpretation of Scripture along with the laying on of hands of the council of elders.” We must note, however, that in this later statement, Paul’s perspective changed as he recollected Timothy’s original acceptance into the ministry. In 1 Timothy, Paul says that the council of elders laid hands upon Timothy, but here Paul says only “through the laying on of my hands.” But the two passages do not necessarily conflict merely because Paul recounted the incident in a slightly different manner five years later. And perhaps just as well, while all of the elders may have laid their hands upon Timothy, Paul may be taking credit only for the favor of Yahweh which had been passed on to Timothy through himself.
The laying on of hands was performed as an act of prayer in healing, which is evident in Acts 28:8, in Luke chapters 4 and 13 (4:40, 13:13), in Mark chapter 7 (7:32) and elsewhere. However that laying on of hands seems to be for a different purpose, as being symbolic of the supplication to God made on another’s behalf.
The first use of the laying on of hands in Scripture was for the high priests, who laid hands on the sacrifices. So we read in Leviticus 4:15: “And the elders of the congregation shall lay their hands upon the head of the bullock before the LORD: and the bullock shall be killed before the LORD.” And in Leviticus chapter 8: “13 And Moses brought Aaron's sons, and put coats upon them, and girded them with girdles, and put bonnets upon them; as the LORD commanded Moses. 14 And he brought the bullock for the sin offering: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the bullock for the sin offering.” As it was used in the condemnation of the sin offering, it was also apparently used in the condemnation of a man, as we read in Leviticus chapter 24, where a man was said to have blasphemed Yahweh and cursed, and he was brought before Moses, where we read: “13 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 14 Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp; and let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him.”
But again, in Acts chapter 6, the laying on of hands was performed as if blessing someone for a task which they were selected to fulfill, and we also see that same usage in the Old Testament in Numbers chapter 27, where we read: “22 And Moses did as the LORD commanded him: and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation: 23 And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses.” This act is described again in Deuteronomy 34:9, where a deeper spiritual meaning behind the act is implied: “Now Joshua the son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; and the sons of Israel listened to him and did as the LORD had commanded Moses.” And this is also the way it is used in Acts chapter 8: “14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.”
That is the result of the laying on of hands which Paul suggests here, that the favor which Yahweh had given to him would be passed on to Timothy, in the same manner in which Moses had passed his own favor on to Joshua, who was his appointed successor. So we would assert that with this, Paul implies that Timothy is indeed his own appointed successor, for which reason he narrows the scope of that act and the significance of the laying on of hands which Timothy had initially received from the council of elders to himself alone.
Here is a necessary digression. Many people, especially Roman Catholics, believe that the Spirit of God can come upon a person only if they are the recipients of the laying on of hands in a direct chain of succession from the original apostles of Christ. And in this manner, they perceive their own Roman Catholic priesthood and popes to be the only legitimate religious authorities, since they make the claim that they alone have been the recipients of such an act. This belief, however, is based upon many false premises. First, there is no proof whatsoever that the line of succession in the laying on of hands was unbroken throughout the history of the early Christian churches at Rome. Secondly, there were many Christian assemblies in Rome in the first century, as can be told in the last chapter of Paul’s epistle to the Romans, and many churches in other areas, founded by the apostles or by men who came later, and the leaders of those other assemblies all had an equal standing with the presbyters of Rome until the laws of Justinian made in the 6th century AD had given the Bishop of Rome the primacy over all other bishops. Thirdly, many common men and women obtained the laying on of hands of the apostles and received the Holy Spirit, who were never in Rome and who were never a part of any so-called “Catholic Church”.
Furthermore, other men and women received the Spirit without the laying on of hands, merely by hearing the Gospel, which we have witness to in Acts chapter 10. Recounting the incident of his preaching at the household of Cornelius, Peter says in Acts chapter 11: “15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. 16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. 17 Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?” If these people could receive the Holy Spirit without Peter, bypassing the apostle and bestowing itself upon the people, the Spirit of Yahweh our God certainly does not need any Pope. So we must admit that even many years after the first Pentecost, men and women could receive the Spirit of God without the laying on of hands, and apart from the water baptism ritual, and that this Spirit which they received was the same as that which the apostles themselves had received, where Peter said “God gave them the like gift as he did unto us…”
Paul of Tarsus expected his readers, even readers that he had not seen in person, to be able to receive the Spirit of Yahweh. Paul had never even met the Romans whom he addressed in his epistle to the churches there, when he said in chapter 8 of that epistle: “9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption [or the position of sons], whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”
Likewise Paul had written to the assembly at Corinth, in 1 Corinthians chapter 2: “12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” Then a short time later, in chapter 3, in regards to sin, he said “16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” Then in chapter 6 he said “16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. 17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit,” and a little further on “20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” Then, speaking of the gifts of the Spirit, Paul said in chapter 12 of that same epistle: “7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.”
Paul also professed to the Ephesians that they were sealed by the Spirit upon accepting the Gospel of Christ, in Ephesians chapter 1 where concerning Christ he said: “13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise...” While there was a laying on of hands by the apostles, and while Paul refers to that in order to remind Timothy of his purpose, many other passages of Scripture prove that the Spirit of God is not possessed and dispensed privately by any priesthood, but rather, it is accessible to and it is possessed by all Christians. Thus Paul continues here:
7 For Yahweh has not given to us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of discretion.
As we had just quoted what Paul had told the Romans, here we shall repeat it in part, from Romans chapter 8 but from the Christogenea New Testament: “14 Indeed as many as are led by the Spirit of Yahweh, these are sons of Yahweh. 15 Therefore you have not taken on a spirit of bondage anew to fear, but you have taken on a spirit of the position of sons, in which we cry: Father, Father. 16 That same Spirit bears witness with our Spirit, that we are children of Yahweh.”
Here Paul exhorts Timothy regarding fear, in direct connection to a reminder of Paul’s having been instrumental in Timothy’s selection for this ministry with the laying on of hands. When the first epistle to Timothy was written, we see that Paul had left Timothy in Ephesus to oversee the Christian assemblies there. In that epistle, it was made evident by Paul’s explanations that he did not expect to see Timothy again until he himself could return to Ephesus. But a short time later, no longer than six months, Timothy appears in Nicopolis with Paul as he writes the second epistle to the Corinthians, and he stays with Paul in his travels up to and including the time when Paul is under arrest in Caesareia. Timothy is released from prison before Paul is sent to Rome, as we see in Hebrews chapter 13, but there is no other record of Timothy’s activities after that time, except for whatever we see here in this second epistle. We only know from Paul’s last three epistles that Timothy comes to him in Rome, and he stays at least as long a time as it took to write those epistles in the final days of Paul’s life, whether that was weeks or months.
So for some reason Timothy left Ephesus unexpectedly, contrary to Paul’s instructions, and he never returned, at least until after he was released from prison in Caesareia. But it seems not to be likely that he is in Ephesus as Paul writes this epistle. Where later in this chapter of 2 Timothy Paul commends Onesiphorus for the help which he gave him in Rome, he tells Timothy “and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well”, as if Paul expected Timothy to have first-hand information concerning Onesiphorus’ activity in Ephesus. So Timothy may have been in Ephesus at one time or another, but it seems that he is not in Ephesus as Paul writes this, because in chapter 4 of this epistle Paul says “12 Now I have sent Tuchikos to Ephesos. 13 Coming, bring the cloak which I left behind in the Troad with Karpos, and the books – especially the parchments.” This seems like Timothy is not in Ephesus, since Paul does not say any such thing as “Now I have sent Tuchikos to you in Ephesus.” Paul does not indicate that Timothy would see or should meet Tychicus in Ephesus, so it is likely that Timothy is not there. Once it is understood that the epistle to the Ephesians was written from Rome just before this second epistle to Timothy was written, and that Tychicus was sent by Paul to deliver that epistle, then we are assured that Timothy is certainly not in Ephesus, and Paul made no mention of Timothy in that epistle to the Ephesians. So where he says “Now Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus”, Timothy is very likely somewhere else – but we are never told where.
Perhaps for the reason that Timothy had abruptly left Ephesus nearly five years earlier, coupled with the troubles that Paul himself had in Ephesus which obviously caused him to leave there sooner than he had planned (which is how it seems when we compare 1 Corinthians 16:8 with Acts 20:1), as well as the reminder of Timothy’s tears which Paul made earlier in this chapter, it becomes evident that here Paul exhorts Timothy concerning fear because Timothy may have been prone to fear, at least on these few occasions. Yet Christ had told his apostles, in Matthew chapter 10, “do not fear from those killing the body, but are not able to kill the soul. But rather fear He who is able also to slay soul and body in Gehenna!” Christians should fear God alone, and have no fear of men. The apostle John wrote in chapter 4 of his first epistle that “18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”
So Paul, who as he wrote this had himself maintained the courage to profess the Gospel of Christ before Caesar Nero, continues and gives Timothy an admonishment which leads us further to believe that perhaps earlier in his ministry Timothy had departed from Ephesus in fear:
8 Therefore you should not be ashamed of the testimony of our Prince nor of me, His prisoner.
Paul considered himself a prisoner of Christ, even though he was clearly a prisoner of Rome. That is because he knew that his imprisonment was really for the purpose of Christ, that he would fulfill his destiny by preaching the Gospel before Caesar. (See Acts 9:15.)
Paul, having been imprisoned for well over two years by this time, and perhaps over three years, had already had one trial before Caesar Nero, which he mentions in chapter 4 of this epistle, where he himself had attested to the Gospel without regard for the resulting danger. For a Roman citizen to profess the Gospel was treason to Caesar and the Roman State. So here he encourages Timothy to follow that same path, further exhorting him to:
Rather take a share in hardship in the good message in accordance with the power of Yahweh,
Later in this epistle Paul will recount some of the persecutions which he had suffered in the past on account of the Gospel, and Timothy himself had been a witness to many of them. Now he offers a word of encouragement in the face of the prospect of further and harsher persecution, professing that it is Yahweh
9 who preserves and calls us to a holy calling not according to our works, but according to a distinct purpose and favor, given to us among the number of Christ Yahshua, before the times of the ages,
The first clause of verse 9 may alternatively, and more literally, be translated “Who is preserving us and calling to a holy calling not according to our works...” The word ἐν, literally in, is metaphorically among the number of here – a meaning which is ascribed in the lexicons. The Greek word ἴδιος (Strong’s # 2398) is distinct, where in the King James Version it is his own. Alternatively it may have been rendered peculiar, or even personal, among other possibilities. The pronoun his is not actually found in the text. Liddell & Scott define ἴδιος to mean “… one's own, pertaining to oneself… private, personal… τὰ ἴδια, either private affairs, private interests, or one's own property…. peculiar, separate, distinct…”
In other words, the salvation promised to the children of Israel throughout the books of the prophets is not obtained according to the works of men, but rather it is dispensed according to the personal choice or purpose of God. Whatever men do, or do not do, has no bearing on their eternal salvation. Regarding eternal life, Men cannot save themselves through their own actions, or unsave themselves through their own actions, as Christ had said in John chapter 10, “27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 30 I and my Father are one.” Men are only saved, or not saved, according to the purpose of Yahweh and not of themselves. Christ said further on in John, in chapter 15, “16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain…”
Of course, keeping the commandments of God gives man an assurance that he will not be punished for sin, and therefore he can expect to have preservation or salvation in this temporal life. So man appears to have free will concerning his salvation in this temporal life. In that regard the apostles exhorted their listeners to believe and be saved, because keeping the commandments of Christ leads one to life. But all of the children of Israel as well as the wider Adamic race, have a promise of eternal salvation apart from whether or not they sin or are punished in this world. In that manner Paul said in 1 Corinthians chapter 15 that “as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive”, and speaking of a fornicator in 1 Corinthians chapter 5 he advised the Christian assembly there “5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” The flesh must be judged when we transgress the law, so we are punished, but the Spirit shall indeed be saved, as Yahweh God has promised. That is His peculiar purpose, His personal decision, as Paul wrote in Romans chapter 5, that “10 Therefore if we being odious were reconciled to Yahweh through the death of His Son, still more, being reconciled will we be preserved in His life. 11 And not only, but also boasting in Yahweh through our Prince, Yahshua Christ, by whom we now have received that reconciliation. 12 For this reason, just as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the Society, and by that sin death, and in that manner death has passed to all men, on account that all have done wrong: 13 (for until the law sin was in the Society; but sin was not accounted, there not being law; 14 but death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned resembling the transgression of Adam, who is an image of the future. 15 But should not, as was the transgression, in that manner also be the favor? Indeed if in the transgression of one many die, much greater is the favor of Yahweh, and the gift in favor, which is of the one man Yahshua Christ, in which many have great advantage. 16 And not then by one having sinned is the gift? Indeed the fact is that judgment of a single one [Christ] is for condemnation, but the favor is from many transgressions into a judgment of acquittal. 17 For if in the transgression of one, death has taken reign through that one, much more is the advantage of the favor, and the gift of justice they are receiving, in life they will reign through the one, Yahshua Christ.) 18 So then, as that one transgression is for all men for a sentence of condemnation, in this manner then through one decision of judgment for all men is for a judgment of life.”
Correlating Revelation chapter 12 with Genesis chapters 3 and 6, it is evident from our canonical books alone that the fallen angels had corrupted the Creation of God, and had enticed our first parents into joining in that corruption. So man found death, as it was challenged in the deception of the serpent and made evident in the punishment for sin which ensued. But Yahshua Christ came to destroy the works of the devil, and that necessitates the restoration of all Adamic men, and the manner of accomplishing that is what Paul had explained in Romans chapter 5, and in 1 Corinthians chapter 15. As the apostle John said in chapter 3 of his first epistle: “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” So of the sheep nations – which are the children of Yahweh and of Adam, all enter into life in the Kingdom of Heaven, and the goat nations – the corruptions of the Creation of God, the bastards who cannot be sons, all enter into the Lake of Fire prepared for the Devil and his angels, as Christ had explained in the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats.
So Paul continues to describe the purpose of God, that this calling which was “given ... before the times of the ages,” a time which was before any Adamic man was even born or could choose whether to sin or to repent, and he adds:
10 and made known now through the appearance of our Savior Christ Yahshua, while having nullified death then illuminating life and incorruption through the good message, 11 for which I have been appointed a herald and an ambassador and a teacher.
The Codices Ephraemi Syri (C), Claromontanus (D) and the Majority Text, and for that reason also the King James Version, add the words “of Nations” to the end of verse 11. Our text follows the Codices Sinaiticus (א) , Alexandrinus (A) and Freerianus (I).
That Yahweh God has promised to nullify death is a matter of prophecy found in Isaiah, in Hosea, and in the Revelation of Yahshua Christ. But if one of His Creation remains dead, then death is not nullified, and the Scriptures are not reliable. Therefore, as the Scripture says, “all Israel shall be saved”, and in Christ, “all men shall be made alive”. So in Hosea chapter 13 we read in part, where Ephraim is the label used to describe the northern tribes of Israel: “9 O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help. 10 I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes? 11 I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath. 12 The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; his sin is hid…. 14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.”
In Isaiah chapter 28, the drunkards of Ephraim and the rulers in Jerusalem are the subject of the prophecy where the Word of Yahweh says: “15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: 16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. 17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. 18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand.…” That precious stone is Yahshua Christ. So even if man wants to die in his sin, he would not be able to die, as Christ told us that “My sheep hear my voice…. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish… and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 30 I and my Father are one.”
In the same place in his first epistle to the Corinthians where Paul had written that “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive”, he proceeded to quote from Isaiah chapter 25 where it says “8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.” Similarly, after we read in Revelation chapter 20: “14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire…” we read in Revelation chapter 21, speaking of the children of Israel: “4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” So as a race we have many promises that death is nullified in Christ.
The Adamic man found death through the sin of race-mixing in the garden of Eden, violating the first law of Kind after Kind. The children of Yahweh in Adam are born from above, having His Spirit. But the adversaries of Christ are from beneath, being from among the corruptions of the Creation of God. They are found among “every plant which my heavenly Father did not plant”, whose murky origins are described in part in both Revelation chapter 12 and in the explanation of the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares given by Christ in Matthew chapter 13. Ultimately, for the children of Adam, death is nullified in Christ, while all of the others go off into the Lake of Fire. This destiny is not by the works of man but by the distinct, or private, choice of Yahweh our God. However it is not the choosing which is private. Rather, Paul is explaining that the reason for making the choice is His exclusive, private, or peculiar purpose – so it is futile for man to debate it. As for the choosing itself, Paul had written in Romans chapter 15: “28 But we know that to those who love Yahweh all things work together for good, to those who in accordance with purpose are called.” We explained when we offered our commentary on that chapter here over three years ago that:
Those who are called by Yahweh are called “in accordance with purpose”. That Greek word rendered as purpose is πρόθεσις (Strong's # 4286) and it is more literally a placing in public, a public notice or was even used of the statement of a case in open court. Paul's words here fully infer that Yahweh had previously made a public notice as to those whom He had called. That notice is certainly not a mystery, for it is indeed found in the Old Testament, which states on many occasions that Yahweh has called the children of Israel and has excluded all others. From Isaiah chapter 48: “12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.” No such public notice was ever made by Yahweh God for any other people. Therefore it is exclusive to the people of the children of Israel: who are for the most part the surviving portion of the White Adamic race today. It is only they who are called according to purpose.
Furthermore, Paul tells us here that this choice was made as a favor given, which is a free gift as he described it in Romans chapter 5, so it is not whether we think that we ourselves or that anyone else may or may not deserve it, but rather it is the choice of God given to us among the number of Christ Yahshua, before the times of the ages, so it was given as a matter of His Creation. As it says in the Wisdom of Solomon, in chapter 2: “For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity.” Yahweh created the Adamic man to be immortal, and the gift of eternal life is in the spirit within each and every Adamic man, this is the “treasure in earthen vessels” Paul had mentioned, and the power of resurrection through the spirit which Paul had also explained in 1 Corinthians chapter 15. But, as that same chapter of the Wisdom of Solomon had also said, “Nevertheless through envy of the devil came death into the world…”
With this in mind, we should read a few verses of 1 John chapter 5, considering the context of each passage in relation to the others: “16 If one should see his brother sinning a sin not resulting in death, he shall ask and he shall give life to him, to those sinning not resulting in death. There is a sin resulting in death. I do not speak concerning that, that one should ask! 17 All sin is injustice, yet there is sin not resulting in death. 18 For we know that each who has been born from of Yahweh does not sin, rather he born from of Yahweh keeps himself and the Evil One does not touch him. 19 We know that we are from of Yahweh and the whole Society lies in the power of the Evil One.” A little earlier in the epistle, in chapter 3, the apostle wrote similarly and said “9 Each who has been born from of Yahweh does not create sin, because His seed abides in him, and he is not able to sin, because from of Yahweh he has been born.”
Here John informs us, that “sin unto death” happens when one is not born of Yahweh. For that same reason, in Revelation chapter 2, Yahshua Christ pronounced that he would kill the children of fornicators, but not necessarily the fornicators themselves – who would only be punished for their fornication. So here it is evident, that sin unto death is race-mixing, because those born from Yahweh cannot die, ultimately cannot be touched by the Evil One, and if we examine the entire Scripture there is only one sin that caused death merely by its commission: the sin of Genesis chapter 3, by which we know that sin unto death is the sin of race-mixing. For that reason John also wrote in chapter 3 of his epistle, speaking of those born from Yahweh, that “because His seed abides in him, …he is not able to sin”.
Of course, it can certainly be proven that the sin of Genesis chapter 3 was fornication, or race-mixing, just as the sin in Genesis chapter 6 was race-mixing. Adam, Eve, and the Adamic people in the days of Noah were all punished, and punishment is only just when there is a transgression. Yet the only law man had received up to that point was the law in Genesis chapters 1 and 2, the law of Kind after Kind, and the admonition that a man’s wife must be flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone. Likewise the apostle Jude informed us that the angels that left their first estate sinned by giving themselves over to fornication, which he described as the pursuit of different flesh.
Fornicators can repent, as Paul of Tarsus had often taught and as Christ Himself informs us in Revelation chapter 2. But he attests that He will kill their children, which is the death that the sin of fornication causes: the death of the race as Yahweh God created it, the lack of His Spirit in the offspring, the propagation of wicked plants that cannot bear His Law in their hearts. For this reason Esau could not repent even though he sought repentance: because he had no legitimate offspring to whom he could leave his birthright. All of his sons were bastards, and Yahweh shall never accept a bastard. Bastards, being born in violation of Yahweh’s Creation, never had life, as the apostle Jude explained, they are “trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots”.
As we learn in Luke chapter 3, Adam was the son of Yahweh, and the Bible is the book of the generations, or the race of Adam, as it states in Genesis chapter 5. In John chapter 3, Christ attested to Nicodemus that “Truly, truly I say to you, unless a man should be born from above, he is not able to see the Kingdom of Yahweh.” Christ used the phrase “born from above” in John chapter 3, and John used an equivalent phrase, “born of God”, in 1 John chapter 5.
But Christ told his adversaries, in John chapter 8, that “Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.” Later in that chapter, He revealed that they were the descendants of Cain, who was the first murderer. Here we may conclude that if one is not born of God, one has no eternal life, and only the Adamic man is born of God. Christ told His adversaries that where He went they could not follow Him, and His disciples that they would follow Him later. So long as “his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God”, the Adamic man is assured eternal life. All of the others are plants which Yahweh did not plant, so in the end all of the goat nations share the same fate in the Lake of Fire as the devil and his angels.
This is why in 1 Corinthians chapter 3, ultimately only a man’s good works survive the fires of judgement, where Paul says: “13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” So if a man has no good works, perhaps he may awake “to shame and everlasting contempt”, as it says in Daniel chapter 12, but he will nevertheless be delivered if he is written in the Book of Life, being raised from the dust on the Day of Judgement. Even for those of us without any good works, Christ shall nullify death. However through brotherly love, which is love for those of our own Adamic race, we store up treasure in heaven.