Timothy and Titus

 •  7 min. read  •  grade level: 8
In going through the detached prophetic passages in the New Testament, we have reached the Epistles of Timothy and Titus. Now we will read a few verses in these Epistles, viz., 1 Tim. 4:1-5; 6:13-16; 21Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 4For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 5For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. (1 Timothy 4:1‑5)
13I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; 14That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: 15Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:13‑16)
13For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 15Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety. 1This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. (1 Timothy 2:13‑3:1)
Tim. 1:8-10 3:1-5; 4:1 and Titus 2:11-1311For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; (Titus 2:11‑13).
We are now to introduce ourselves to the two appearings, or advents, as we speak, of the Lord Jesus in this world. But I want first to direct your thoughts for a moment to two anticipations of the age through which we are passing, in 1 Timothy chapter 4., and 2 Timothy chapter 3. There we find the Spirit anticipating what we see with our eyes, hear with our ears, and handle with our hands. In 1 Tim. 4, we see the Christendom corruption of the middle ages—all the dark superstitious pravity that we get before the Reformation; a system of abstinences, yet deep hypocrisy. Then, in 2 Tim. 3, we get an anticipation of what he calls “the last days." Now “the latter times” are anterior to “the last days," and so, Protestant pravity comes after Romish pravity; the free-thinking age has set in after Romish times. Here we get a fearful picture of moral iniquity practiced and sanctioned in the bosom of that scene which calls itself by the name of Christ: an awful, solemn picture of what you and I see around us. Thus the Spirit accurately distinguishes the two corrupt eras in the history of Christendom, and delineates for you the characteristic pravity of the one, and the characteristic pravity of the other. I do not say that the characteristic pravity of the “latter times” is gone when we reach the " last days ": but each has its own form of pravity; and they occupy Christendom. If you get godliness it is a hidden thing, according to Matt. 13. You see a blessed remnant of godliness, but the tares characterize the field. So the Spirit here gives you the grand characteristic that occupies the scene before you.
Now, having said this, we will turn to the two appearings. We get that word “appearing " in the 14th verse of 1 Tim. 6, and in the 10th verse of 2 Tim. 1. These are the two advents as we speak. One of these has been accomplished, the other is still in prospect, and we cannot let the one do the business of the other. We cannot combine the two just as in Thessalonians we saw the business of the coming and of the day. you confound these two things?, So, exactly as to the two appearings. The first did its work, and the second will do its work.
Now the business of His first was this—to abolish (or 'annul ') death, and bring life and incorruptibility to light through the gospel, and to leave His people behind Him prisoners; as Paul says, "me, His prisoner.' He abolished (' annulled ') death by dying, and saved you with a certain salvation. No probability, no question about it. That was the business of the first appearing, and at the same time to leave you, it may be, the sport of a persecuting world or “partaker of the afflictions of the gospel," as Timothy was.
Now turn to 1 Tim. 6, and you will see the business of the second appearing, and I ask you, can you put them together? That word " before," in the 13th verse, I would rather leave out, as in the original. It seems to depreciate the personal glory of the Lord Jesus. "That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ." Now here is an appearing still in prospect, and what will be its business? “Which in His times He shall show, who the blessed and only Potentate, King of kings and Lord of lords, '"This is an appearing brilliant with glory but can I plein with the thing that is precious for the thing that is magnificent? I travel on from the exquisite, wondrous grace of the first appearing to the glorious magnificence of the second.
The first teams with the riches of precious grace in the second I am lost, in a world of glories. The angels performed the business of Sinai but to hurl the thunders of Sinai, would that have been the proper business of the Son of the bosom? The Son comes forth when the boundless riches of grace are to be announced. And at His second appearing He is to be the reflection of the effulgence of the blessed and only Potentate. He is not merely a Potentate but a blessed Potentate. Has there ever been a blessed Potentate in this world? Solomon was that for a time, but he soon lost his happiness. None can retain happiness without purity.
So the first appearing had its work, and the second will have its work. When He comes the second time will He be a houseless, homeless man in His own creation? When He was here the first time, He said “ He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father." When He comes the second time, He will be able to say He that hath seen Me, hath seen thy King of kings and Lord of lords."
Now just turn to Titus 2:1111For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, (Titus 2:11), and you will find these two appearings kept in the same connection. “The grace of God which bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men: teaching us," etc., * * * “looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (or literally “the appearing of the glory ") of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ." Grace has appeared, glory will appear by-and bye. Did any glory accompany the first advent of Christ? There is no glory equal to moral glory, to the eye of faith, but there was no palpable, outward glory. The first coming brought, not power nor the kingdom but, salvation. But it did more¯it taught us to believe. It saved us, and called us with a holy calling, as we read in Timothy. And more than that it has put us in the expectation and prospect of the second. The salvation bringing appearing has put us into a condition to look for the glory-bringing appearing of the great God. Was there ever such beauty? How thoroughly lovely it is to see God at His work, telling out by one mystery after another the secrets of His own bosom! He has linked my soul with the grace of the first appearing, and fitted me for the glory of the second. In that short passage in Titus we get the two appearings of Timothy put close together and showing how beautifully they suit each other: that the grace perfected by the first, has entitled me to wait without apprehension for the glory of the second.
But there are one or two more things that we must not let go. We read in 2 Tim. 4:11I 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 Timothy 4:1), “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." Has that verse been a little obscure to you? If we read it carelessly it will be so. If you have in recollection Rev. 191And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God: (Revelation 19:1), you will find there the judgment of the quick, and in Rev. 201And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. (Revelation 20:1), the judgment of the dead. The judgment of the quick takes place when the Lord appears when the armies of Satan, and the beast and the false prophet confront Him, and perish in the light of His presence. But when we go on to chap. 20., and stand, not before the Rider on the white horse, but the Sitter on the white throne, we get the judgment of the dead, whose names are not written in the Lamb's book of life. Now when we come to this verse in Timothy, there might seem to be a little collision. How are we to combine it with Rev. 191And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God: (Revelation 19:1) and 20? A little thought will show you that they combine beautifully. The appearing judges the quick the kingdom judges the dew? It is mere style that would awake any confusion there. The more one stands before these divine communications, the more one is lost in the fullness, accuracy and variety of these things. There is no confusion in the counsels themselves, or in the communication of those counsels to you and me.
(To be continued, D, V.)