Charges To the Ministry & How to Handle Correction

(1-Timothy 5)

Fred R. Coulter—January 9, 1999

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There are certain things that I want us to look at when we're going through these things here. I want to pick out all the things where Timothy is exhorted to do this or that or the other thing.

1-Timothy 4:6: "If you are teaching these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Jesus Christ, being nourished by the words of the faith and of the good doctrines that you have closely followed. But refuse profane and old wives' fables; rather, exercise yourself unto Godliness. For physical exercise is profitable for a short time; but Godliness is profitable for everything, having the promise of life—of the life that now is, and of the life that is coming. This saying is faithful and worthy of full acceptance. Now, it is for this reason that we are laboring, and we are personally suffering reproach… (vs 6-10)—from the Greek verb that is called the middle voice! That means that you are the subject and the object: I myself. You don't want to say 'I myself' all the time.

"…we are personally suffering reproach because we have hope in the living God, Who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who are believers. These things command and teach" (vs 10-11).

Notice that he didn't say to 'suggest.' He didn't say they were 'guidelines.' Doctrines are teachings; they are not guidelines! Doctrine does divide Truth from error, righteousness from sin. So, when you have those who say that doctrine doesn't matter, what you're doing is going the broad way of Satan the devil. He's the one who says that doctrine doesn't matter. He's the one who told Eve, 'God didn't tell you the truth, go ahead and eat of the tree; doctrine doesn't matter.'

Doctrine is a teaching, and God taught them not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. So they did, and it caused sin. It's pretty plain here: "These things command and teach."

Survey of Command and Teach:

1-Timothy 1:3: "WhenI was going to Macedonia, I exhorted you to remain in Ephesus, in order that you might solemnly charge some not to teach other doctrines." When it comes to the Truth vs error, true doctrine vs wrong/false/lying doctrine—there's a difference in degree—then whomever is the teacher or the elder, he has full command of the Scriptures to charge them, to command them. Of course, this is publicly.

Here are some of the things that they were doing, v 4: "Nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which lead to empty speculations rather than to edification from God, which is in faith." Everything is to be in faith and up-building the Church.

You've got all these "…myths and endless genealogies, which lead to empty speculations…" that's exactly what has happened with a lot of prophecies. A lot of empty speculation so that when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, and the time comes, what happens? You've got an empty bucket! You have nothing!

The Mormons have given over to genealogies. It's not wrong to know who you've come from or things like that. This thing here was that there were a lot of Levities coming around and saying that the only ones authorized to be teachers are Levites, and 'here's my genealogy.' This is what it's referring to. To be a minister or teacher in the New Testament is a calling, based upon the qualifications. It doesn't matter who you are, or who your mother and father were; it's a matter of what God is doing in your life. That's what the important thing is!

Verse 5: "Now, the purpose of the commandment is love out of a pure heart…" Love does have authority. That's the thing that needs to be clarified. But notice the difference in the purpose:

"…love out of a pure heart, and a good conscience, and genuine faith" (v 5). Whereas in v 4, the "…myths and endless genealogies, which lead to empty speculations…" puff up the individual who is bringing them, because he feels important; 'I have a secret…' That's the way it comes across.

We're finding in many fellowship groups, not necessarily those with us, but we hear from other fellowship groups, and occasionally with ours, someone comes in and they have this wonderful new doctrine, and it's just vain, empty speculation. The way things are, you never know, tomorrow you may die. So, what does speculation have to do with anything? "…love out of a pure heart, and a good conscience, and genuine faith" (v 5). That's the whole purpose of it.

True authority, with the Word of God is based upon the love of God. This also does away with hierarchies, but it doesn't leave the one who is leading without any strength of character or without any power of the Word or Spirit of God to take care of situations; he can do it.

Verse 6: "From which some, having missed the mark, have turned aside unto vain jangling; desiring to be teachers of the law…" (vs 6-7). Everyone wants to be a teacher, but James says, 'Don't many of you desire to be teachers, because you know that teachers will receive the sterner judgment,' which can also be condemnation (James 3:1).

Verse 7: "Desiring to be teachers of the law neither understanding what they are saying, nor what they are strongly affirming." I have heard this over and over again. People send me taped sermons from different ones who claim to be teachers. Some of them I listen to, very strugglingly.

One man is saying he's doing 'an Elijah work' while saying he's not Elijah. It's just all kinds of vain speculations. They have to go and convert the house of Windsor so that Prince Charles will know. They've got to go over to the Jews and preach to them so that the Jews will know. That's vain empty speculation. What you're trying to do is open a door that only God can open, and do a work that only God can appoint someone to do.

No one appoints himself to do any work for God! If you want to do any work for God, love the brethren, serve them and edify them; that's what to do. That's what Paul is saying here, because what happens is that they don't understand what they are saying.

One man just rattles off Scripture and he thinks that every thought that comes into his head is the inspired Word of God. It's just craziness; yet, some brethren—because they're not grounded and have been dumbed down through the years—sit there and miss the whole point.

If you put these Scriptures together this way, then you get the impact of what Paul is telling Timothy.

Verse 18: "This charge I am personally committing to you, my son Timothy, in accordance with the prophecies that were made long ago concerning you; in order that by them you yourself might wage a good war, holding to the faith and a good conscience. For some, having cast aside a good conscience, have made shipwreck in regard to the faith" (vs 18-19). Just like the Titanic, it went down; everyone was arrogant, 'Full speed ahead,' and there it went!

Verse 20: "Of whom are Hymeneus and Alexander, whom I turned over to Satan in order that they may learn not to blaspheme."

What is the ultimate result of following vain speculations, genealogies, preaching on things you know nothing about? What is it going to lead to? You're ultimately going to be turned over to Satan the devil! It ultimately comes down to the thing that we have seen many, many times down through the years: a little leaven leavens the whole lump! Pretty soon they just get carried away.

We've seen this happen with the Worldwide Church of God; they got all carried away with these wrong doctrines and where are they today? They're just a mainstream Protestant religion! They've shipwrecked the faith of a lot of people! God is going to hold them accountable!

1-Timothy 3:14: "These things I am writing to you, hoping to come to you shortly; but if I should delay, you have these things in writing… [that's the whole sum of what he's saying] …so that you may know how one is obligated… [under compulsion from God] …to conduct oneself in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the Truth" (vs 14-15).

That's why it's so very important that we understand and realize that when you get into these vain speculations and empty genealogies then you get away from the pillar and the foundation of the Truth, which is the Word of God. And since Christ is the Truth, you're getting away from Christ, and then gradually you get off into preaching another Jesus, preaching another Gospel.

1-Timothy 5:7: "Now these things command…" There was plenty of authority, but it was based on the love of God, the Scripture of God, and all are subject to it, including Timothy.

Verse 21: "I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels… [you can't have any more solemn charge than that; charge means command] …that you observe these things without prejudice, and let nothing be done by partiality."

1-Timothy 6:2: "…These things teach and exhort…. [v 13]: "I charge you in the sight of God…" There you have it!

Verse 20: "O Timothy, guard the doctrine which has been entrusted to you, avoiding profane, empty babblings, and contradictions of false knowledge that is called science."

2-Timothy 3:15: "And that from a child you have known the Holy Writings, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work" (vs 15-17). He's talking about all the tools that a minister is to have. "…the man of God…" is a minister who is teaching.

2-Timothy 4:1: "I charge you, therefore, in the sight of God, even the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is ready to judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom…. [that's what needs to be preached] …Preach the Word! Be urgent in season and out of season; convict, rebuke, encourage, with all patience and doctrine. For there shall come a time when they will not tolerate sound doctrine; but according to their own lusts they shall accumulate to themselves a great number of teachers, having ears itching to hear what satisfies their cravings… [that's the whole meaning of it] …And they shall turn away their own ears from the Truth; and they shall be turned aside unto myths" (vs 1-4).

1-Timothy 5:1: "Do not sharply rebuke an older man…" In the King James Version it says 'elder.' But later on it says there is a distinction made between older men who are just in the congregation and elders who are ordained.

"…but exhort him as a father, and younger men as brothers" (v 1)—talking about people in general in the congregation according to different age brackets.

Verse 2: "Exhort older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with all purity. Show honor to widows who are indeed widows by providing for their needs; but if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to fulfill their obligation to their own household, and to render recompense to their parents. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God. Now, she who is a widow indeed, and who is alone in the world, has her hope in God, and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. But the one who is living for self-gratification is dead while she lives. Now these things command that they may be blameless" (vs 2-7).

We have many things here that show us some very profound things actually taken right out from the Old Testament. A lot of these are based on the fifth commandment: honor your father and mother. Which then, if you honor your father and mother, and you have brothers and sisters, then that also would have to be included in the family commandment. After all, father and mother are to be joined in one flesh and they are to be fruitful and multiply; so it's all included here.

We're going to see how a lot of these things came straight out of the Old Testament. But it's not really the Old Testament as such, but it's the Word of God that God gave to Israel so that they would have, know and understand the Word of God.

Leviticus 19:32: "You shall rise up before the gray head and honor the face of the old man, and fear your God. I am the LORD." The whole thing is really profound, and based on the fact that "…I am the LORD."

Verse 11: "You shall not steal, nor lie, nor be deceitful to one another." We can find commands in the New Testament where you should not lie to one another. Let your 'yes' be yes, and your 'no' be no.

Verse 12: "And you shall not swear by My name falsely; nor shall you profane the name of your God. I am the LORD."

In your own study, see how many times that God says, "…I am the LORD." It becomes very important. All of these are by the Word of God.

Verse 13: "You shall not defraud your neighbor nor rob him. The wages of him who is hired shall not stay with you all night until the morning. You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your God. I am the LORD. You shall do no unrighteousness in judgment…." (vs 13-15)—a counterpart of Judge Righteous Judgment; {note sermon series}

"…You shall not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty, but you shall judge your neighbor in righteousness. You shall not go as a slanderer among your people; you shall not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor. I am the LORD. You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall always admonish your neighbor, that you may not bear sin because of him. You shall not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD" (vs 15-18).

All of those things we can find a counterpart in the New Testament. The whole purpose that I want to show is how similar it is when we read what the Apostle Paul says.

Deuteronomy 10:17: "For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, the mighty and awesome God Who does not respect persons nor take a bribe." Notice how similar that sounds to Rev. 19 where He's Lord of lords and King of kings.

Verse 18: "He executes justice for the fatherless and widow, and loves the stranger in giving him food and clothing. Therefore, love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall fear the LORD your God. You shall serve Him, and you shall hold fast to Him, and swear by His name" (vs 18-20).

Deuteronomy 24:17: "You shall not pervert the rightful judgment of the stranger nor of the fatherless; nor take a widow's clothing as a pledge." That's why it talks about the widows, the older women as mothers and so forth. God expects them to be taken care of, not taken advantage of.

Verse 18: "But you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and the LORD your God redeemed you from there. Therefore, I command you to do this thing."

This is quite an interesting study if you would look it all up about the widows and fatherless.

Exodus 22:22: "You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child. If you afflict them in any way, and they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry. And My wrath shall burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall be widows, and your sons fatherless" (vs 22-24). God shows that He's going to answer and take care of those things.

Let's see what they were doing in the New Testament. This is what seems to happen in so many 'religions' just like it was with the scribes and Pharisees; they put on a show and impress the widows; they prey upon their weaknesses and their sympathies and take things from them:

Matthew 23:13[transcriber's correction]: "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows' houses, and as a pretext you offer prayers of great length. Because of this, you shall receive the greater judgment."

Let's see how widows are very willing. It is true, the older you get the more dependent you are, the more frail you are, the more fearful you are, and therefore, widows—and elderly men, as well, because there are widowers—become an easy prey for this kind of thing: for people to come along and exercise authority over them. That's why Paul was very clear in not exercising authority over them, but to treat them like fathers and mothers. In other words, with the same deference that you would with the fifth commandment of honoring your father and mother. That's what all of this is based upon.

Luke 20:45: "And as all the people were listening, He said to His disciples, 'Beware of the scribes… [be on guard against them] …who like to walk in robes, and love salutations in the marketplaces, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and the chief places at the suppers'" (vs 45-46). They want to be the first with the most; big mucky-mucks!

Verse 47: "'Who devour the houses of widows, and as a pretext pray at great length. These shall receive the greater judgment.'"

Luke 21:1: "When He looked up, He saw the rich men casting their offerings into the treasury. Then He also saw a certain poor widow drop in two small coins" (vs 1-2). So, you can see the difference in the attitude. That's why it's so very, very important.

Verse 3: "And He said, 'Of a truth, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; for all these have from their abundance cast into the offerings to God; but she, out of her poverty, did put in all the livelihood that she had'" (vs 3-4). That's why widows are so easily taken advantage of.

Another thing that is important, too, is that churches should not come along and put pressure upon anyone who is getting close to 'putting their feet in the grave'; be pressured and intimidated into signing over their estates and money to the church. If a person wants to voluntarily do it, because of certain circumstances, that's perfectly all right. But when a church has an active program where they go out and solicit the elderly, widows and widowers to do that, then that's just based upon greed! The Church does not need that kind of money, income, land or property, because that is just spoiling those who are weak and don't have enough.

Acts 6 shows that even the Church, right at the beginning, their concern was to take care of the widows. God does not want the widows being neglected. I know that some of the nicest letters that we get are from widows and the elderly. We have a high percentage of them because God wants them perfected before the end comes.

When they send in their small offerings, that is worth more than many, many large offerings; simply because it's from their heart and they're doing the very best that they can do.

Acts 6:1: "Now, in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a complaint by the Greeks against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration." God wanted this taken care of, so He inspired how it would be done.

James 1:27: "Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their afflictions, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world."

Note sermon series: Why God Hates Religion. Some people have not really grasped the fact that what we are is not a 'religion.' What we are into is a way of living! 'Religion' is something that they world has on their way of approaching God. But if you want an interesting search in the Bible sometime, you will not find the two words Christian religion together. Judaism was a 'religion.' That strayed from the way of God that God gave to Moses for the children of Israel. So, a 'religion' really takes from God to create their own!

Rather, God gives a way to live so that you become His! It's a whole different perspective. When James was writing he was writing to the 12 tribes of Israel:

Verse 1:1: "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes, which are in the dispersion: Greetings!"

Some people got all upset when I said he was writing to unconverted people. In the Epistle of James series you will see that I said he wrote to a combination of unconverted people and the converted people, and there was actually the Church within the synagogue. You can't say that all the 12 tribes were converted. I mean, even in a Church of God—hopefully all those attending with us are converted—you have to admit that everyone who attends is not converted.

So, when James says in v 26: "If anyone among you considers himself to be religious… [doing things of an outward show] …and does not control his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is vain. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this… [the pure outward manifestation of your works, called religion] …to visit orphans and widows in their afflictions, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world" (vs 26-27).

There are even carnal people who do that. You don't have to be converted to do this. You can keep yourself unspotted from the world, you're not in gross sin, and I would say that there are a lot of people who are in the Protestant religions who do this very thing. God is not against that, but God's way is not a way of 'religion.'

That's why when you come to Job everything that Job did was all good. God honored it in the letter of the Law. But the letter of the Law does not necessarily count for spiritual salvation, because you have to go beyond that. That's why Job had to repent of all of his 'pure and undefiled religion.' Even though it was 'pure and undefiled' it did not lead to salvation. Otherwise, you would have salvation by works.

Paul shows how this should be done, and that they are to have certain standards by which there are those to help the widows; your own relatives and whatever help you may give.

1-Timothy 5:8: "But if anyone does not provide for his own needy relatives—and especially members of his household—he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. Let a widow be put on the list for assistance if she is not less than sixty years of age, if she has been the wife of one husband, if she has a good report for her good works, if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints' feet… [keeping the Passover faithfully] …if she has given relief to those who were afflicted, if she has devoted herself to every good work. But refuse to put the younger widows on the list, for when sensuous impulses draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry, bringing judgment upon themselves because they have set aside their first faith" (vs 8-12).

I guess at that point it was if they were young they would pledge to not marry, but help, serve and do all this sort of thing, then the desires of the flesh would get them later on.

Verse 13: "And besides this, they also learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and they not only become idle, but they also become talebearers and busybodies, speaking things that ought not be spoken. Therefore, I wish the younger women to marry, to bear children, to manage the household, and to give no occasion to the adversary to bring a reproach; for some have already turned aside to follow Satan. If any believer, man or woman, has relatives who are widows, let him or her impart relief to them, and do not let the Church bear the burden in order that it may impart relief to those widows who are truly alone in the world" (vs 13-16).

Let's go back and look at a couple of Scriptures that add to this section, about how they have denied the faith:

2-Timothy 2:12: "If we endure, we shall also reign together with Him; if we deny Him, He will also deny us; if we are unfaithful, He remains faithful—He cannot deny Himself" (vs 12-13).

In other words, the important thing is that our way of life be something that is integral with something that we do, not something that we feel that we are compelled to do, or under obligation. Rather, it should be something that we are willing to do from the heart, because that's what God wants us to do as a way of life. Whereas, with a 'religion' you feel compelled, force to.

1-John 2:21: "I did not write to you because you do not know the Truth, but because you know it, and you understand that not one lie comes from the Truth. Who is the liar if it is not the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ?…." (vs 22-23). Then it goes one step further. If you don't take care of your own you become worse than an unbeliever, or an infidel (KJV). Then you begin to deny Jesus Christ and begin to be a liar.

"…He is the antichrist—the one who denies the Father and the Son" (v 22). We'll see exactly how all of these things fall.

Verse 23: "Anyone who denies the Son does not have the Father either" (vs 21-23). That's where all of this can lead to. Anyone who does not believe that Jesus Christ came in the flesh and is the true Savior of the world is an antichrist.

Are there degrees of antichrist? Yes! When you get to the wholesale degree of it, you're a total Satan-worshiper, which puts you in a far more serious category.

Let's see what happens when you follow the true faith; let's see what Jesus said. You need to think on this. That's why you need to get everything that you do based upon your relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ, and not based upon:

  • a man
  • a teacher
  • a corporation
  • an organization

As I've said many times before, and I'll say again, if I can't teach you to follow Jesus Christ and God the Father, then I have failed! I don't want you to follow me, because I am me. I want everyone to understand that. But let's also understand this:

Matthew 10:32: "Now then, whoever shall confess Me before men, that one will I also confess before My Father Who is in heaven. But whoever shall deny Me before men, that one will I also deny before My Father, Who is in heaven" (vs 32-33). You don't want that to happen.

Then Jesus shows what's going to happen because of that, and He shows what the true belief in Christ is going to do. The true belief in Christ is not going to lead to ecumenism and all roads eventually leading to God. NO! Here's what Jesus said:

Verse 34: Do not think that I have come to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."

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Verse 35: "For I have come to set a man at variance against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man's enemies shall be those of his own household. The one who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and the one who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And the one who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me" (vs 35-38).

So, all the normal reactions of life—to save the flesh and preserve yourself, because people don't believe the Truth, don't believe Christ—you can't do.

Verse 39: "The one who has found his life shall lose it…" In other words, if you find your life in the comfort of people who agree with you rejecting God, you're going to lose it.

"…and the one who has lost his life for My sake shall find it. The one who receives you receives Me, and the one who receives Me receives Him Who sent Me" (vs 39-40).

See how strong this is? That's why Paul wrote that if you don't take care of your own, you're worst than an infidel! Let's see one more way of denying the faith, talking about those who are going to be overseers or teachers:

Titus 1:9: "Holding steadfastly to the faithful Word… [God's Word is faithful] …according to the teachings of Jesus Christ, so that he may be able both to encourage with sound doctrine and to convict those who are gainsayers. For there are many rebellious and vain talkers and deceivers, especially those from the circumcision party, whose mouths must be stopped; who are subverting whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of selfish gain" (vs 9-11).

Because of this and because of what Paul instructed Timothy, when the time comes when there are false doctrines out there floating around, then you have to prove that those are wrong, and disprove them from the Bible. In other words, if you can't really prove it from the Bible, then it's a false doctrine in degree. There are a lot out there teaching things that they ought not teach.

Verse 12: "One from among them, even one of their own prophets, said, 'Cretans are always liars, and evil, wild beasts, and lazy gluttons.' This testimony is true. For this reason you must rebuke them severely, that they may be sound in the faith; not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men, which turn away from the Truth. To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; rather, both their minds and consciences are defiled. They personally profess to know God, but in their works they deny Him, being abominable and disobedient, and reprobate unto every good work" (vs 12-16).

That is another way how a person can deny Christ. All of those who are out there who have their own little doctrines, which are purporting to be following Christ—and they are not in the Scriptures—what is happening? They are actually denying Christ! They are actually holding Christ to the lies of their own statements, which Christ will never be held to the lies of their statements.

1-Timothy 5:11: "But refuse to put the younger widows on the list, for when sensuous impulses draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry."

There is a time when Paul said that marriage is not sin; marriage is ordained of God. There's a time to marry, and it is not sin.

1-Corinthians 7:25: "Now concerning virgins, I do not have a command from the Lord; but I give my judgment, as one who has received mercy from the Lord to be faithful. Therefore, I think this judgment is good because of the present distress: that it is good for a man to remain as he is" (vs 25-26)—that is not to marry. That's what Paul is talking about here. How can you raise a family if you have a lot of distress.

Let's put it this way: Picture yourself when there is war going on, it is not beneficial to marry. If you marry and you happen to bring a baby into the world, you've got greater problems. That's why Paul is saying that "…because of the present distress" to remain like me and not marry.

Verse 27: "Have you been bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Have you been loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife. However, if you have married, you have not sinned…" (vs 27-28). That's why in 1-Tim 5 Paul says to 'let the younger women marry,' because it is right.

"…and if a virgin has married, she has not sinned. Yet, those who marry shall have distress in the flesh… [in the present distress that they were having: wars, famine, bandits, etc.] …but I wish to spare you. Now this I say, brethren: the time is drawing close…." (vs 28-29). And at that time Paul thought that it was short.

"…For the time that remains, let those who have wives be as if they did not have wives; and those who weep, as if they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as if they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as if they did not possess; and those who use this world, as if they did not use it as their own; for this world in its present form is passing away. Now I desire you to be without anxiety. The man who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord. But he who is married has concerns about the things of this world—how he may please his wife" (vs 29-33).

That would take more time in the present distress. This is what he's referring to in the whole thing here. Later on when Paul was writing 1-Tim. he was getting close to the end of his life and he was actually giving the inspired word on how to carry on the Church down through the ages. He didn't know that it was going to be this long.

Even in the days of Noah it was said that when Methuselah died they were expecting the Messiah. But what came instead of the Messiah? The Flood! So, now Paul realizes that it's going to take more time.

1-Timothy 5:14: "Therefore, I wish the younger women to marry, to bear children, to manage the household, and to give no occasion to the adversary to bring a reproach; for some have already turned aside to follow Satan" (vs 14-15). When time went on and the prophecies didn't fulfill the way that they had anticipated them, then you have to bring things to a more stable way of doing things.

Titus 2:1: "But as for you, speak the things that befit sound doctrine." All the way through Timothy and Titus it has to do with sound doctrine! True doctrine over and over again.

Verse 2: "Teach the older men to be temperate, serious-minded, respectable, sound in the faith, in love, and in patience; in like manner, teach the older women to be in their behavior as it is fitting for Godly women, not slanderers, and not enslaved to much wine, but teachers of that which is right; that they may teach the young women to love their husbands and to love their children; to be modest, chaste, keepers of the home; to be good and to submit themselves to their own husbands, so that the Word of God may not be blasphemed" (vs 2-5).

That says an awful lot there when you really analyze each verse, which we'll do when we get to Titus. What is the foundation for any society? The family! The family unit begins with mother and father. That is a created relationship that God has given to where then both are submitting and yielding to God and helping and serving each other in the way that God has ordained, and for the wife to submit herself to her husband as unto the Lord, and for the husband to love his wife as the Lord loves the Church.

That's what was to be taught, "…so that the Word of God may not be blasphemed" This ties right along with it. If we had that today, just think how much less crime, problems and difficulties we would have today if the world were not structured in such a way that many, many families need to have two people working just to keep the household running. Satan has it devised that way, because he knows that if mothers were home the children would not be getting in as much trouble. If all mothers in all neighborhoods were home and took care of the families, I tell you what, the whole situation with children would be entirely different than what we have today. You talk about how much authority that mothers would wield, that would wield a great amount of authority.

At that point, the children don't like to see mom coming after them with a broom. She would be able to teach them how to live their lives in a proper way.

  • you wouldn't be having gangs of kids running around killing and shooting each other
  • you wouldn't have 7-year-olds shooting 5-year-olds
  • you wouldn't have 10-year-olds raping 6-year-olds
  • you wouldn't have drugs in schools, running rampant

Chances are a lot of the mothers are not home when the kids get home, and it doesn't make any difference. So, the kids run out and do whatever they want to do. Then you have the whole school teaching them that they have rights and the parents have no authority over them. I tell you what, when Christ returns that's all going to be changed.

God wants us, in our own lives, to change now and conform to the Word of God! So, all through this, what is Paul upholding?

  • the faith
  • the family
  • the relationship of people within the Church with each other
  • the widows
  • the fatherless

1-Timothy 5:17: "Let the ordained elders who are leading well…" Not just 'older men' (KJV), because Timothy was an elder who was a younger man. Paul said, 'Don't let anyone despise your youth. Of course, he was leading well, and Paul was giving him the instructions on how to teach the others to lead well. This has to do with ordained elders.

"…be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who are laboring in the Word and doctrine" (v 17). Everything comes back to the Word of God, over and over again. Everything comes back to doctrine—sound doctrine, true doctrine, right doctrine—over and over again.

Verse 18: "For the Scripture says, 'You shall not muzzle an ox treading out the corn,' and, 'The workman is worthy of his hire.'" That is a very important thing to realize.

1-Corinthians 9:6 "Or I only and Barnabas, do we not have a right to refrain from working?…. [Yes, because God gave them that authority.] …Does anyone at any time serve as a soldier at his own expense?…." (vs 6-7). No! If you're in the military as it is today, what do you do? They feed you, clothe you, give you weapons, train you, give you a place to sleep, run your life  and you have time off! But none of that is at your own charge. You don't put in any of your own money, any of your own equipment, any of your own clothing.

"…Does anyone plant a vineyard and not eat the fruit of it?…." (v 7). Talking about basic logical things to understand.

"…Or does anyone shepherd a flock and not eat the meat and milk from the flock? Am I saying these things merely from a human point of view? Or does not the law say the same things? For it is written in the Law of Moses, 'You shall not muzzle the ox that is treading out corn.' Is it because God is concerned for oxen?" (vs 7-9). Of course, God cares for the oxen.

I remember reading an account of a man in India, where they have these starving cattle and they hook them up to a big treadmill with a big stone grinder to grind up the corn, and in his village they were putting a muzzle on the cow or ox so that it wouldn't eat. He read this Scripture and he thought, let's take the muzzle off and we'll feed it. They found out that the production increased so much greater that it was worth it to let the ox eat while it was treading out the corn. To that extent God does care for the oxen.

Here's Paul's interpretation of that Scripture, v 10: "Or does He not certainly say this for our sakes? For our sakes it was written, so that the one who plows might plow in hope, and the one who threshes the corn in hope might be partaker of his hope. If we have sown to you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your physical things? If others participate in this authority over you…" (vs 10-12). Who were those? False prophets, false ministers!

"…much more surely should not we? Nevertheless, we have not used this authority; but we have endured all things, so that we might not hinder the Gospel of Christ" (v 12). That's exactly how a lot of people who are new, carnal or in the faith are dealt with. You try and bring them along:

  • so that they will understand and grow
  • so that from the heart they will do the things they need to do
  • so that from the heart they will give offerings and tithes

Not that they are forced to do it!

Verse 13: "Don't you know that those who are laboring in the sacred things of the temple live of the things of the temple, and those who are ministering at the altar are partakers with the altar?" What did they have there at the temple and the altar? Tithes, offerings: peace, meal, sin!

Verse 14: "In the same way also, the Lord did command that those who preach the Gospel are to live of the Gospel." When Paul is talking in 1-Tim. 5 about those who are laboring in the Word and doctrine are worthy of double compensation, that's what he's talking about. He verifies this by bringing up the same starting position that he used in 1-Cor. 9 by saying:

1-Timothy 5:18: "For the Scripture says, 'You shall not muzzle an ox treading out the corn,' and, 'The workman is worthy of his hire.' Do not receive an accusation against an elder, except on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Those elders who sin should be corrected in the presence of all in order that the others also may fear" (vs 18-20).

Verse 1: "Do not sharply rebuke an older man…" So, you would have a contradiction here—wouldn't you? If the older man in v 1 were an elder, or if the elder in v 20 was an older man, then you would be rebuking and correcting him. Do you understand where that would be a conflict? If both of these were translated older men then you would have a conflict, because one command would be not to rebuke them, and the other would be to correct them openly before all. That's why in v 1 Paul says to "…not sharply rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father…"

  • Why should elders be corrected publicly for serious offenses? Because they are serving publicly!
  • What effect does this have?
  • the elder is going to be more circumspect in his behavior
  • this is going to let all the brethren know that the elders are subject to the same correction as the brethren

When you don't have that, then you have great problems develop. Then you have the law for the rulers, and a different law for the ruled. You have the elite who can do anything, and you have the common people who can't get away with anything. We've also lived through that in the Church. Don't you think if some of those serious problems were corrected publicly and admitted to, confessed and repented of, that the whole Church would be in a far different condition today than it is now, if that were done when it should have been done?

Verse 20: "Those elders who sin should be corrected in the presence of all in order that the others also may fear. I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels, that you observe these things without prejudice, and let nothing be done by partiality" (vs 20-21). There is to be no politics whatsoever. No favoritisms whatsoever. This gets back to judging righteous judgment.


Let's talk about the degrees of correction. Who is responsible for correcting you on the first cause? On the first order?

The ministry used to take upon itself to correct the Church all the time, and individuals in particularly. They never taught the people the correct way to do it. Here is the correct way to receive correction:

1-Corinthians 11:31: "Now, if we would examine [judge] ourselves… [to correct] …we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, so that we will not be condemned with the world" (vs 31-32). How do you avoid the correction of God? In His severity? You're never going to avoid the correction of God, because if you're judging yourself you judge yourself by the Word of God! That the measure and standard by which you judge yourself.

What happens when you find yourself falling short? What you do, you make corrections! You repent to God and have Him wipe away the sin. You make the correction and adjustment in your life, and that is the easiest and quickest and simplest way of correction.

Also, it is the kind of correction that does not expose your problem publicly. That's the kind that God wants, because love covers a multitude of sin! If you're loving God and the Word of God, and you're letting the Word of God correct you, guide you and lead you, then God is going to cover a multitude of those sins, because you're constantly correcting yourself, and you're constantly adjusting your behavior to make it right. How do you let this correction and judgment take place?

  • By the Spirit of God! God's Spirit, if it's leading you, is going to reveal that you are doing wrong! When that comes along, then yield to the Spirit of God, which is showing that you're doing wrong.
  • By the Word of God! We just read that in 2-Tim. 3, that the Word of God is profitable for correction.

If you let the Word of God correct you, as you study—that's why it's so important to study—and you let the Spirit of God lead you in the study, let the Spirit of God correct you as you're going along, then you're going to find that:

  • God is going to intervene in your life
  • He's going to lead you because He loves you
  • He's going to cover your sins because He loves you

And if you confess your sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive your sins! 1-John 1 shows how we overcome the deceitfulness of human nature

1-John 1:6: "If we proclaim that we have fellowship with Him, but we are walking in the darkness, we are lying to ourselves, and we are not practicing the Truth. However, if we walk in the Light, as He is in the Light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His own Son, cleanses us from all sin" (vs 6-7). That's how the correction will come, directly from God the Father and Jesus Christ, covered with the blood of Christ.

Verse 8: "If we say that we do not have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the Truth is not in us." What happens then? You're not letting God's Spirit lead you! You're not letting God's Spirit correct you! Then you're headed for correction where God has to do something in a very profound way, or public way, like He did with David. Remember the account of David; you can tie that right in there. If David would have corrected himself when he first saw Bathsheba and asked his servant to go over to ask her to not bathe on the roof when he was out there, that would have ended the problem!

No, David sent his servant over to bring her back over. One thing led to another, and he didn't yield to the Spirit and Word of God, and the correction of God, so God had to do it publicly. He was deceiving himself in the whole thing.

Verse 9: "If we confess our own sins… [to Christ] …He is faithful and righteous, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." That's how you have the continuous, day-to-day correction that goes on. Are we not, in our daily outline prayer, to forgive us our sins as we forgive others? That is to keep us constantly cleansed before God; constantly in a state of being led by the Spirit of God. That's the easiest way to take it.

The next most difficult way is to have the whole process of Matt. 18: go to your brother one on one. If that doesn't work then you take one or two witnesses and go with that. If that doesn't work then you tell it to the whole church. If that doesn't work then he's out.

You also have the situation that in doing those things, don't do them with a carnal attitude or carnal spirit to get somebody! Sometimes it may take a little longer for some people to understand certain things. So, you have to give a little rope and a little latitude, and that way you have patience, endurance and you don't come and crush people for the least little thing.

Sometimes if you don't jump in and try and correct it immediately, but just let things go a little bit, what happens? You do that so that the other person will be willing to correct him or her self first! Maybe that will happen and then you don't have to do anything.

Before you get into a Matt. 18, you need to spend a lot of time in prayer about it. Ask God to work with the individual and do the correcting with His Holy Spirit within the mind of the individual.

Then you don't have to go through the whole process, because when you go through the whole process it leaves some rough edges. It takes some time to overcome it. It works, but that's just all part of it. If God has to intervene…

Let's see what Jeremiah says concerning correction, Jeremiah 10:23: "O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his steps." Without the Word of God, without the Spirit of God—just a carnal human being—you have no way of correcting yourself, to know which is the right way to go. You go the way of the desires of the flesh. And we know what's in the heart of men:

Mark 7:21: "For from within, out of the hearts of men, go forth evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickednesses, guile, licentiousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness; all these evils go forth from within, and these defile a man" (vs 21-23). It's not within man; it's not natural to do what I'm saying here.

But it is if you have the Spirit of God, because that's what the Spirit of God will help you to do. Then it becomes natural and it is really led by the Spirit of God, and it's only natural because of the Spirit and Word of God.

Jeremiah 10:24: "O LORD, correct me…" When you go to God and ask Him to correct you, be very careful how you do it."

"…but with judgment… [and that implies mercy, kindness and understanding] …not in Your anger, lest You bring me to nothing" (v 24). That's what almost happened to Job.

You don't want to fall into either of those categories. That's why it's better to let your heart be tender before God:

  • always have a tender heart to God
  • don't let anyone make it cynical or anything like that
  • have a tender heart to God
  • have patience toward each other
  • have love toward each other
  • ask God to intervene and do the correcting so it doesn't have to become a public affair

This is how I try and do things in my ministry. That's why you will never hear me give a correcting sermon. If you can't be corrected by the Word of God and the Spirit of God, then my correction may turn you around for a little bit, but if there's no real repentance and change it's not going to work.

As I've said before, years ago—I remember this in 1965-66—we were instructed to always give an attack sermon on every sin in the congregation, and I did that, and alienated the two churches. It took me a whole year to win them back, and then that was too 'lovey-dovey.' That kind of way of administering correction… If it has to be, then it has to be! But that's not the desirous thing to do.

2-Corinthians 12:20—Paul was saying: "But I fear that when I come, perhaps I may find you in a state such as I do not wish… [self-correcting] …and I may be found by you such as you do not wish… [You don't desire for me to come with a big stick—do you?] …that there may be strifes, jealousies, indignations, contentions, evil speakings, whisperings, puffing up, commotions; and that when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I shall grieve over many of those who have already sinned, and have not repented of the uncleanness and sexual immorality and licentiousness that they have practiced" (vs 20-21).

Paul was giving them warning in writing. He didn't want to come and go through all the agony. So, he was being strong in it; 'Look get yourself strong enough before I come.'

2-Corinthians 13:1: "This is the third time that I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses every matter shall be established. I have previously told you, and I am telling you in advance the second time, as though I were present; but since I am absent now, I am writing to those who have continued to sin until now—and to all the rest—that if I come again, I will not spare" (vs 1-2).

If the Church just gets totally carnal like it was in Corinth, sometimes you have to come with the 'sword of the Lord,' and with the fury of God's Spirit, lest God take it in hand and He correct it Himself! That's the whole sum of it.

Verse 3: "Since you seek a proof of Christ speaking through me (Who is not weak toward you, but is powerful in you; For although He was crucified in weakness, yet, He lives by God's power; and we are indeed weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by God's power toward you), examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith… [you've got to determine that yourself] …prove your own selves…." (vs 3-5). You do:

  • the examining
  • the judging
  • the soul-searching
  • the repenting
  • the comparison with the Word of God on how you're living

"…Don't you of your own selves know that Jesus Christ is in you? Otherwise, you are reprobates…. [those are pretty strong words; Paul is warning them] …But I hope that you will recognize that we are not reprobates." (vs 5-6). In other words, even though you may be, you better understand that we're not.

Verse 7: "Now, I am praying to God that you do no evil; not that we may appear to be approved, but that you may do what is right, even if we are regarded as reprobates. For we do not have any power against the Truth, but only for the Truth" (vs 7-8). That's a profound statement! Even if you sin, you're not against the Truth, but you are proving the Truth! Why? The wages of sin is death!

If you do righteousness, what are you doing? You are proving the Truth, because that's the behavior we need to have! That's what Paul is saying through all of this correction. I expanded it just little bit more to help you understand how God wants the Church corrected:

  • you correct yourself before God
  • you use the Word of God
  • you use the Spirit of God

If each one will do that, then we don't have to come to the point where the Apostle Paul did with those in Corinth where he actually said, 'How do you want me to come, with a big stick or humbly?' We don't know what happened, because there's no 3rd Corinthians; we don't know what occurred. It leaves you in suspended animation—doesn't it?

1-Timothy 5:22: "Do not be quick to lay hands on any man…" Boy o boy did we suffer from that when we were in Biblical Church of God.

"…neither take part in the sins of others…." (v 22). That's what happens when you lay hands on someone quickly. That's why the recent ordination we did wasn't quickly, it was after 14 years.

Verse 23: "No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach's sake and your frequent infirmities…. [here's something very important]: …Some men's sins are open to public view, going before to judgment…" (vs 23-24)—always out there; always making a mistake; an impetuous one getting right in the middle of it.

"…and some men's sins follow after" (v 25). These are the smoothies; this follows along on why you should not lay hands on anyone quickly.

Verse 25: "In a similar manner also, the good works of some are openly seen; and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden."

If you're doing things to please God, and God is going to use any particular man as a teacher or an elder, don't worry about it, don't put yourself forward in a carnal way. God knows it, and He'll bring the fruits forward. The brethren will know it, and then the event will take place according to the will of God!

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

  • 1 Timothy 4:6-10
  • 1 Timothy 1:3-5, 4-7, 18-20
  • 1 Timothy 3:14-15
  • 1 Timothy 5:7, 21
  • 1 Timothy 6:2, 13, 20
  • 2 Timothy 3:15-17
  • 2 Timothy 4:1-4
  • 1 Timothy 5:1-7
  • Leviticus 19:32, 11-18
  • Deuteronomy 10:17-20
  • Deuteronomy 24:17-18
  • Exodus 22:22-24
  • Matthew 23:13
  • Luke 20:45-47
  • Luke 21:1-4
  • Acts 6:1
  • James 1:27, 1, 26-27
  • 1 Timothy 5:8-16
  • 2 Timothy 2:12-13
  • 1 John 2:21-23
  • Matthew 10:32-40
  • Titus 1:9-16
  • 1 Timothy 5:11
  • 1 Corinthians 7:25-35
  • 1 Timothy 5:14-15
  • Titus 2:1-5
  • 1 Timothy 5:17-18
  • 1 Corinthians 9:6-14
  • 1 Timothy 5:18-20, 1, 20-21
  • 1 Corinthians 11:31-32
  • 1 John 1:6-9
  • Jeremiah 10:23
  • Mark 7:21-23
  • Jeremiah 10:24
  • 2 Corinthians 12:20-21
  • 2 Corinthians 13:1-8
  • 1 Timothy 5:22-25

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • James 3:1
  • Revelation 19
  • Matthew 18

Also referenced:

Sermon Series:

  • Judge Righteous Judgment
  • Why God Hates Religion
  • Epistle of James

Transcribed: 2-23-15