Now Paul is instructing Timothy in the issues, which he should be addressing as he speaks to the church in Ephesus. And in chapter six, he gets to the issues of servants or more literally, slaves, and their masters. Now there are those people who say, well the Bible advocates or encourages slavery. That is not so! Nowhere in the Bible do you find slavery encouraged. But these are the conditions that existed. Paul is talking about learning to be content in whatever your postion in life, for Godliness with contentment is true riches. So in the Roman Empire at the time that Paul was writing to Timothy, there were sixty million slaves. Now in those days the whole social strata was really divided between the masters or the lords and the slaves. And so today what Paul is saying here, concerning the servants with their masters, would appropriately be addressed to employees and employers, because the masters in those days were the employers and the slaves were the employees.
Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. So Paul is talking now to us and if you would put it into the modern setting, it would be addressing the employee and his attitude towards his employer. So just to help us to really understand, we’ll probably insert employee and employer, so it becomes appropriate and applicable to us today. Let as many employees as are under the yoke count their own employers worthy of all honor, that the name of God and His doctrine be not blasphemed. What Paul is actually saying is that as a Christian, you are a witness. And as a Christian witness, when you go to work, you should be one of the best employees on the job. You should not be taking extra time on the breaks. You shouldn’t be having prayer meetings during working hours. You shouldn’t be actually witnessing to others during the working hours, unless you can do it while you are working, but not go to those water coolers and stand there and witness for fifteen minutes to a fellow employee, because that is not a good witness to the employer. You need to be a good employee and do the best job that you can in order that the Christian witness might be strong and just leave a good witness.
I love it when we have Christian functions and when we are through, when we leave a place, we leave it neat and clean without a lot of trash around. We got a report back from the Anaheim Convention Center after our ladies Saturday rally up there. They said that they went out to clean up after the ladies were gone and it was just as clean and neat as could be! I love that kind of a witness! And as Christians that’s the kind of witness we should leave.
When you go to a camp ground and you know, around the fire at night you are singing choruses and people around are saying there are a bunch of Christians over there. If when you leave, you leave all kinds of trash and filth around, they’ll say look, you know, Christians, look how dirty and messy they are! But if you leave the campground neater, cleaner, than when you arrived, then your singing and all leaves a positive witness in the minds of people.
So count your own employers worthy of all honor. Respect them! Now if you have a believing employer, one who is a Christian, don’t try to take advantage of that, you say, well we are brothers in Christ and you know, we are all one. Don’t try to look for extra kind of perks, because he is a fellow believer. He said and if you have a believing master or employer, let them not despise them because you are brothers, but rather do them service. Just really be diligent to them in your service, because they are faithful and beloved partakers in the benefit.
For years in the ministry, it was necessary for me to work in order to support the family. The churches that I was pastoring were not able of supporting our family and the needs of the family, so I found it necessary to work in secular work, in order to keep in the ministry. I couldn’t stay in the ministry apart from just working on secular jobs.
I went to work for Alpha Beta markets. They were very good to me. They were very generous to me. They worked with my schedule. They did their best to work with me. I received many promotions. But there were many times as I was working and I finally got to the place, where I became an assistant manager in that whenever a manger became sick or had to go away on a convention or something, Alpha Beta would send me to the different markets. I would go and manage the market in the absence of the manager.
So a lot of times in that position, there would be a janitor that wouldn’t show up for work. So a lot of times I would just grab a broom or grab a mop and mop up the pickles that had been dropped and broken on the floor or whatever. And rather than to think, well, I’m a manager, I don’t mop floors, my feeling was, if they want to pay me that kind of money to mop floors, man, you know.
I would bag and take out groceries when the lines got heavy. Again, my whole attitude was, you know, if they want to pay me to be a box boy, but pay me a manager’s salary, fine! I’ll be glad to box groceries and carry them out to the cars. And just that attitude of doing your best and wherever the need is, going in.
And so that’s what Paul is saying to Timothy, teach the people to be diligent, to leave a good witness.
2And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. And if your master is a believer, don’t try to take advantage of that, but be diligent in your service. Teach these things. Exhort these people to these things. It did follow of course that the majority of course, of the believers were slaves, because the majority of the people in those days, were slaves. The vast majority were slaves. So exhort them. Teach them these things.
3If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; Now godliness teaches us honesty. It teaches us fairness. It teaches us diligence. It teaches us consideration, kindness, sensitivity. These are the characteristics that are godly characteristics that we are to possess and that we are to have. We are to be outstanding citizens, upstanding citizens, an honor and credit to a community. The community should be blessed and much better off because you are in it as a Godly person, living a life of godliness.
And if any man teaches otherwise, not to these wholesome words, the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4He is proud, knowing nothing, This man is proud, first of all and he knows nothing.
but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, So if a person doesn’t go along with these things. First of all, he is proud. He is puffed up. He really knows nothing, though he professes to know so much.
Quite often, they get on the Internet where they can just, you know, tear down. They use it to tear down and to destroy, rather than to edify and to build up. But that’s unfortunately, the way life is. There are always those who seek to build up and then there are always those who are destroying, trying to tear down that which has been built up. And some men fancy themselves as very called, really, to tear down. To tear down another man’s ministry, ooh, it’s tragic! They’re proud! They really know nothing, but they are constantly doting on questions and strife of words.
It’s interesting. It’s tragic. It sad that there are people who have a certain vocabulary that they feel is theologically correct. And if you don’t say it as they believe it should be said, then they will try to accuse you of bad theology or whatever. It’s sad and all they do is seek to stir up strife, the strife of words as they are doting on questions. And from them, the fruit of them, this kind of tearing down, the fruit of it is envy and strife, railings and evil surmisings.
Now there is a big issue that is currently going on in the theological circles. It is in regards to the King James translation and all of the modern translations of the Bible. The King James was basically taken from what is known at the Textus Receptus or the Received Text, which is also the majority text. In other words, it is the vast majority of the texts that make up the Textus Receptus. But there is another school of texts, that comes from Alexandria. The Textus Receptus, basically came from Antioch. It traces back to Antioch, the church from which Paul was sent out as a missionary.
But there is another field of texts that are taken from the Alexandrian school. One of the texts that we have found is the Codex Sinaiticus, which is from the Alexandrian school of texts. Now the Textus Receptus is a fuller text. In the Alexandrian Text, there are omissions that are in the Received Text or the Textus Receptus. So the big argument is, were there additions made to the original text, or where there omissions to the original text?
Now those that hold to the Alexandrian school of text, well, there were a lot of additions that were made in the Textus Receptus to the original text. Those that hold to the Textus Receptus say, well, the Alexandrians omitted a lot of vital text that deal with the deity of Christ and things of that nature. So there is this big argument going.
There was a book written last year or so, called the King James controversy, by a fellow by the name of James White, in which he sought to defend the Alexandrian text and all of the modern versions.
A rebuttal has been written to that book, that has just been published, by a Dr. Ruckman, called the Scholarship Only controversy. Well, in this book, The Scholarship Only Controversy, Dr. Ruckman seeks to absolutely tear apart, limb by limb, James White’s book on the King James controversy, including personal attacks on James White. I mean, he is absolutely vicious in his attack.
Now, much of what he says has a lot of truth to it, but the way that he says it, creates strife. It creates division. And it’s rather tragic because the points that he makes are outstanding and valid. But he has so much acrimony and all within the writing, so belittling, name-calling and all of those that hold to the Alexandrian school, that his whole argument is sort of diffused by the way he presents it.
You know it is wonderful and it is good, “iron sharpens iron”. And it is good to have a healthy discussion on issues, but when you are seeking to have a discussion and someone makes a point. You say, oh, can you be so stupid? And ignorant fool knows better than that. The discussion is over! Now it’s strife. And you are no longer, logically, looking at the issue. You get all embroiled in name-calling and all. You lose the whole ability to rationally discuss even differences that we might have.
Now I might say that I’m enjoying the book because as I said, he is making excellent points. But I feel it’s sad that he has just inserted in it, so much just diatribe, really. But I have enjoyed it. I have gotten a lot of value out of it, but you know, you sort of enjoy the sweetness of the watermelon. You spit out the seeds, you know.
So if you get into this business of doting on questions and strife of words, of which this whole thing is about, the result of it is envy. It is striving. It is railings. And of course in his book, awful railing, evil surmising, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: Or that godliness is a way to gain, from such withdraw thyself.
Now Ruckman among other things, accuses him of only promoting the Alexandrian and the modern translations for commercial purposes. He said that he was hired by the Bible publishers, who publish NIV and all of these others to write this book, defending all of these modern translations, which are “wicked as hell”, and ought to be burned. It’s only for the money’s sake that they are doing it, that it’s just a commercial thing. And he uses the Scripture, you know, that godliness is a way to gain.
But Paul said to Timothy, from such withdraw thyself. Don’t get involved! Stay out of it. You know, there are a lot of people that just love controversy. But just stay out of it. You are better off. They think that godliness is a way to riches.
One of the cyclical “sicky” doctrines passes through, and it passed through, what, ten years ago or something? I get a lot of blessing out of Luke, chapter two, verse one, when these things come along, these weird doctrines that everybody jumps into and begins to follow after, winds of doctrine that pass through the church, Luke 2:1, says, and it came to pass! These came to pass. They pass away after a while.
One was that, you know, God wanted all of the Christians to be wealthy. That being a Christian, you know, you can have…God gives you a blank check. All you have to do is to fill in the amount. He signs blank checks for the believers. You can have whatever you claim. And you know, name it and claim it, blab it and grab it. I mean it’s just, yours, you know.
It’s not a Biblical doctrine. Godliness is not a way to get rich, though some people look at it that way. Some people become excellent merchandisers of the gospel. They bring in the Madison Avenue techniques. They try it ascertain what is the latest buzz going on. Then they will write books and try to captivate and capture the crowd that is going for the latest buzz. They are constantly test marketing what’s next and what are the people going to gravitate towards. Then they are writing and promoting books. The whole idea is that you can get rich if you can find the market trends and find where it’s going. You know, this is a way to get rich by using people’s hunger for Godly things. Just learn to merchandise correctly and properly.
6But godliness with contentment is great gain. Paul says, godliness with contentment, that’s true riches. Other riches are not to be trusted. You can lose them as fast as you can gain them, sometimes faster.
I don’t what know what I would do if I were Bill Gates. You know, he gains and loses millions of dollars every day on the stock market because his wealth, of course, is just paper. When the stock goes up, then he gains another three billion dollars, this last week, you know. Well, the stock market after is goes down, well he just lost a hundred million bucks, Friday you know, down thirty nine points. That would drive me crazy.
Godliness with contentment, that’s true riches. Paul says, I’ve learned in whatever state I’m in to be content. To just live a Godly life. And just content with what God brings along my way. The Bible says, if riches increase, don’t set your heart on them. Keep your heart set on God. You will be a truly rich person. God may bless you with material gain. Praise the Lord! God may not bless you with material gain. Praise the Lord! And in all things give thanks. This is the will of God concerning you. And just learn to live within the boundaries that God has blessed you with.
My dad, being a salesman, it was oftentimes, feast. Sometimes it was famine. But he was an outstanding salesman, so it was more feast than famine. But he had on his desk a little motto. And it was a prayer. It said, God, do not bless me beyond my capacity to continue my love for You. I don’t want to be so blessed that I would forget You, that I would not have to trust in You. So, Lord, don’t bless me beyond my capacity to continue my love for you. There is a Psalm or Proverb (Proverbs 30:8-9) that goes somewhat like that. Don’t bless me with so much riches that I’ll say, who is God, or that with poverty, that I will be tempted to steal. Sort of keep me in the middle, somewhere, Lord. Godliness with contentment. That’s great riches.
7For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. Even though they put a fifth of whiskey in Frank Sinatra’s casket, a pack of cigarettes and a cigarette lighter, and ten dimes, I can guarantee you that he’ll never drink that fifth. He’ll never smoke those cigarettes. That lighter will remain unused. And he’ll never make the phone call. You can’t take it with you! We brought nothing into the world and we will take nothing out. As Job said, naked, I came into the world. And naked I’m going out.
8And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. If you have food, if you have clothes, then be content.
9But they that will be rich Those that have that drive. And there are many people that set as a goal, I want to be a millionaire by the time I’m twenty-five years old. I mean they have the drive, I’m going to be rich. I’m going to be rich.
They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, When you have that drive, when riches become your God, there are a lot of temptations. The temptations of cheating in order to gain. The temptation of taking advantage of someone else to push yourself ahead. There are a lot of temptations for those whose goal is to be rich. There are a lot of snares. There are a lot of traps.
and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. They fall into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. They get carried away with their desires, foolish, hurtful desires that destroy men.
10For the love of money is the root of all evil: This is probably one of the most misquoted Scriptures in the Bible. You usually hear this quoted, money is the root of all evil. That’s the way it’s usually quoted. That’s not what it says. It’s the love of money. He is talking in context now, those that would be rich, those who have money as their God. That love of money, is the root of all evil.
which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. The common error is to think that money can cure all ills, that money can make you happy, that money can solve all your problems. Many times, money compounds problems, rather than solves problems. And rather than bringing happiness, it often times brings great sorrow. There are some people that have no capacity, at all, to handle money. It absolutely destroys them.
The love of money is an evil thing. It is the heart and the root of all evil. It’s really the very thing that tears down a society. It is the thing that creates drug-pushers. It is what is behind prostitution. It is what is behind every evil vice in our world today. The love of money. The pornography, all of the these things are being created because of the love of money. It’s the root of all evil.
And some have coveted after, have turned away from the faith. They’ve pierced themselves with many sorrows.
But thou, O man of God, Now, this title, O man of God, is a title from the Old Testament. And many of the men were called this. Moses was called a man of God. It is a title that is used. There was a man of God who came to the king. A great title. And Paul is giving this title to Timothy. But thou, O man of God. It’s a wonderful title! Oh, that we were all worthy of that title, man of God!
flee these things; That is the love of money. Flee it!
and follow after righteousness, Instead of being greedy, these are the things to seek after.
Seek after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. These are characteristics that we should be striving to achieve and attain. Now these are not characteristics that are really admired by the world, in fact, these are characteristics that the world sort of scoffs at and mocks. Righteousness and godliness and faithfulness, that word faith there is faithfulness, trustworthiness, love and patience and meekness.
12Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. You’ve started. Give it a good example. There are a lot of people that bear witness to these characteristics that are in your life. So continue and lay hold on eternal life.
Now, 13I give thee charge Again, a very serious thing. Here is his young son in the faith. Paul is the mentor to Timothy.
So I give you charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, Who makes alive all things. God, who has given life to all things, would be a better translation.
So I give you charge before God who has given life to all things and before Christ Jesus (or the Messiah, Jesus), who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; Before Pontius Pilate, Jesus witnessed a good confession.
14That thou keep this commandment That is the commandment to fight the good fight of faith. Lay hold on eternal things.
That you keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Now they were anticipating in their generation to see the Lord come back again. They thought He was coming back very soon. And so keep these charges. Keep these commandments. I charge you, keep the commandment until the Lord appears.
15Which in his times (when He comes) he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; He is going to reveal God.
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 honour and power everlasting. Amen. So Paul now, speaking of the coming again of Jesus Christ, the revelation of God. As when he gets on the subject of God, he sort of gets carried away into a rapture—the blessed and only Potentate, the Lord overall. He is the King of kings. He is the Lord of lords. He only, has immorality. And He dwells in the light that is unapproachable by man. No man has seen Him and can see Him. To whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen.
Jesus said, God is a Spirit. They that worship Him, must worship in the Spirit and in the truth. You cannot see the Spirit realm. It exists, but as long as you are in this physical body, our eyes, optic nerves and all, are not fashioned so that we can see the spirit world, though we know it is there and does exist. God is a Spirit, thus invisible to man. They that worship Him, must worship Him in Spirit and in truth. He dwells in the light so bright, He is unapproachable by man.
You say, but I thought Moses saw the Lord. If you read it carefully, he saw the afterglow. I’ll pass by. You can see the afterglow. And even that was such an experience that it irradiated his face, so that when he came back into the camp, his face was shining, radiated by just viewing the afterglow of God. No man has seen God at any time but the only Begotten Son, who is in the bosom of Father, He has manifested Him. So we can look at Jesus and know what God is like. For he that has seen Me, Jesus said, has seen the Father.
17Charge them that are rich in this world, He began the chapter beginning with the servants.
He ends the chapter with encouragement to Timothy to charge, to speak to the wealthy people, those that have riches in this world that they be not highminded, To think that your riches elevate you or put above others, when we stand before God, we all stand at the same level.
So charge those that are rich, not to be highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, Don’t trust in the uncertainty of riches. Don’t put your trust in riches. Jesus said, how hard it is for those who put their trust in riches, to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
So charge them, Timothy, not to put their trust in their riches. You can’t buy your way into the Kingdom of God. Now they that are rich, have learned that their riches can buy them a lot of things.
I had a man in my church in Tucson, a very wealthy man. And he learned that with his wealth, he could buy a lot of things. His brother-in-law had committed a murder. He was telling me that it cost him over a million dollars to get him freed from the charges. He felt his money could buy a lot of things.
Of course, justice did prevail. His brother-in-law that he just paid off the right people to free him. He paid over a million dollars to get him free. His brother was hitchhiking and got run over by a semi. He was sort of upset because he lost a million bucks, you know. The guy was dead now anyhow. So it was a kind of justice.
Don’t trust in the uncertain riches. In the Proverbs, it says that no man can redeem with riches, because the price of the soul is priceless, precious.
Don’t trust in your riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; Don’t you love that? The riches that God has given to us and made available, the rich things to enjoy. Oh, how I enjoy a beautiful sunset! How I enjoy just sitting and watching the surf. How I enjoy walking through the tide pools, looking at the various forms of sea life. How I enjoy diving and looking at the life forms under the water. How I enjoy walking through the forest, the smell of warm pine needles. God has given us all things richly to enjoy. And freely, it doesn’t cost you anything. You just go down there, oh it costs a quarter, for the parking meter. But you can always find a parking place farther away and walk if you want. It’s there to enjoy.
18That they do good, God has blessed you with riches. Use them for good!
that they be rich in good works, There, again, the true riches, the good works.
ready to distribute, Ready to help someone, who is less fortunate and in need.
willing to communicate; And willing to give, ready and willing.
19Laying up in store for themselves (As they lay up in store for themselves) a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. Jesus said, make use of the unrighteousness of mammon. God has blessed you with mammon, money. Make use of it! So that when you die, you will be brought into the everlasting kingdom.
20O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, They’ll always be there—profane and vain babblings.
and oppositions of science falsely so called: What is true science? The study of facts. True science deals with facts, not with theories, unproven theories. Unproven theories are science, falsely so called. But there are people that are so anxious that others believe in their unproven theories that they try to present them as science and if you don’t believe them, then you are considered unscientific. But that is science, falsely so called. It is sad that unproven theories can find their way into science classrooms and be presented as facts. But if they were indeed facts, you wouldn’t have to change them, because facts don’t change.
When I was taking science in school, we were taught that the universe four and one half billion years old. That was the fact of science. Now they are saying it’s probably somewhere and twelve and fifteen billion years old, a fact of science. Well, listen I didn’t go to school that long ago. I’m not that old! True science doesn’t change. It doesn’t alter. You are dealing with facts. Science, falsely so called deals with theories, concepts, ideas, suppositions.
So avoid the profane and vain babblings of the suppositionalists. Science falsely so called. 21Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Of course the theory of evolution would fit very aptly right here. Science falsely called, that everything evolved from a simple cell. That matter acting on matter, given sufficient time can bring anything into existence. You don’t believe that and I don’t believe that. You don’t believe that matter acting on matter, given sufficient time can bring anything into existence. If you did you would go out into the desert to look for your new TV, to find it emerging out of the sand someplace because matter has been acting on matter out there for a long time. Why don’t you go out to the desert to find a new TV? Because you know it’s been designed. It has its circuitry and the design and all that is in it. When you talk about design, you’ve got to be talking about a designer.
But men who don’t want to acknowledge the designer, the science falsely so called, professing this they’ve erred concerning the faith. Trying to get rid of God out of the equation and to explain life and life forms apart from design and apart from God is absolutely ridiculous trash, not science!
And more and more the scientists are saying, the emperor is naked because the scientific community had everyone buffaloed in well, you know, if you really are a scientist, you’ll have to believe in evolution. And not to believe in evolution would put you in the category of being unscientific. And now more and more scientists are saying, wait a minute. You know only the wise men can see this. Only the wise men can understand it.
But Beehe in Darwin’s Black Box, is showing the impossibility of the cells coming into existence by spontaneous generation. Science falsely so called.
He ends his letter to his young son in the faith, Grace be with thee. Amen.
And so grace be with you. Amen.
Father, we thank You for the instructions that Paul gave to Timothy, because they can be of such help to us. In the world in which we live today, we can find application. Lord, help us to follow after Godliness and righteousness and peace and love, quietness, faithfulness. Thank You, Lord, for the tremendous riches that You have given to us. The riches of Your love and Your grace, the riches of the hope that we have of the Kingdom of God. And the reign of Jesus Christ in righteousness over the earth, the day, Lord, in which You, the only Potentate, the King of kings and the Lord of lords, will reign. We’re so thankful that You reign in our hearts tonight. Because of that we have such peace and such love, such joy, such hope, such contentment. Thank You, Lord, for the Godliness and contentment, the great riches that You have given to us. Lord, may we share those riches with others that we meet. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Transcribed from “The Word For Today”, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #8197, (KJ Version)