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Old and New Testament.
Updated March 15,2014
2 Timothy 3:1
this, that in the
BUT UNDERSTAND this, that in the last days will come (set in)
perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard
GWT: You must understand this: In the last days there will
be violent periods of time.
KJV: This know also, that in the
last days perilous times shall come.
NLT: You should also know this,
Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times.
But you must realise that in the last days the times will be full of
Wuest: This be constantly
knowing, that in the last days difficult times will set in
And this know thou, that in the last days there shall come perilous
BUT: Touto de:
(de) is a conjunction standing after a clause that frequently
denotes transition and serves to introduce something else, whether
opposed to what precedes or simply continuative or explanatory. Always
pause and ponder this
term of contrast,
asking at least what is the author contrasting? Here the
conjunction indicates a change of direction. Paul had just explained
that some who opposed him might be won (come to their senses 2Ti 2:26)
by not quarreling with them but being kind and correcting them gently
(2Ti 2:24 25). Now he changes direction radically describing those who
not only would oppose him but who were intractable. In 2Ti 3:5 these
individuals "have denied" the power of godliness which is in the perfect
tense indicating the fixed state of their unregenerate hearts and in 2Ti
3:9 they (a subgroup of these men) continually "oppose the truth", have
a "depraved (rotten to the core) mind" and are "rejected (tested and
found wanting) as regards the faith." They will never come to a
knowledge of the truth (2Ti 2:25) so that instead of gently correcting
them, Timothy is to turn way from them continually (2Ti 3:5). In sum,
the primary contrast brought out by the but in 2Ti 3:1 is that of two
groups, those who might still respond to the Gospel and those who will
not ever respond. So Paul proceeds to give Timothy a long list of traits
by which these individuals can be identified, lest he be contaminated by
their evil deception.
Donald Hubbard has an
interesting outline of this chapter dividing it into two sections...
Part I - Understanding the
Ways of the World (1–9) so that...
Part II - We may undertake a witness to the world (10–17)
Comment: While this seems to be a
reasonable way to describe this chapter, the first division is somewhat
misleading. Why is that so? Observe 2Ti 3:5. What is this describing?
Where would such men be masquerading as godly men? In the world or in
the church? Remember the context -- Paul is speaking to Timothy who is
most likely the pastor of the church at Ephesus and he is instructing
him about how to guard the treasure and exhorting him to pass it on to
faithful men. In short, the description in 2Ti 3:1-8 is not that of men
outside the church but of those inside the church (cp Paul's warning to
the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:28 29 30 31 32 - Note especially
Paul's emphasis on the importance of the church leaders in Acts 20:32.
If you are an elder or
pastor, are you imbibing, eating, saturating yourself with and in the
Word of His grace that you might recognize and counter wolves in sheep's
clothing in your flock, men who have a form of godliness but lack the
power thereof? see
cp Mt 7:15 16-note
Mt 7:17 18 19 20-note)
THIS: ginoske (2PPAM):
The NIV rendering gets your attention -- "but mark this..."
Literally it reads "this know" (touto de ginoske) which is phrased to get Timothy's
attention. This truth is important to know. Forewarned is forearmed. Don’t
be naïve and think that everything is going to be okay. It’s not all
going to be okay. But forewarned is forearmed. If we know what is going
to happen, we won’t be surprised when it does.
(1097)(ginosko) is intelligent comprehension
(knowledge obtained by experience) and is in the
which calls for Timothy to make
this his continual practice. The antonym of ginosko is agnoeo, to be ignorant of or fail to recognize the
character of. In spiritual warfare ignorance of the character of these "last
days" is not "bliss" but can lead to disaster and defeat
(cp 2Co 2:11).
Paul commands Timothy as a good
soldier (and by application all saints in these last days) to
continually know, to continually keep before him the realization of the
intensity of the struggle for the truth. The description that follows is
of individuals who increasingly put themselves and their own desires
ahead of every other consideration. The Christian soldier's duty is to
remain true to their Lord, not to deny Him or His truth and to endure
hardship despite difficult times, boldly proclaiming the Gospel that
brings "the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal
glory" (2Ti 2:10-note)
despite deception and corruption within the church and persecution from
Ray Pritchard has a
humorous intro to a not to funny chapter...
You’ve probably heard the old joke
about the fellow who was told, “Cheer up. Things could be worse.” So he
said, “I did as I was told. I cheered up, and sure enough, things got
worse.” That in a nutshell is the message of II Timothy (especially
chapter 3) (2 Timothy 3: Perilous Times)
THE LAST DAYS: hoti en eschatais hemerais: (2Ti
4:3; Ge 49:1; Is 2:2; Je48:47; 49:39; Ezek 38:16; Da10:14; Ho3:5;
Mic4:1;Acts 2:17 1Ti4:1; Heb1:2 2Pe3:3; Jas5:3 1Jn2:18; Jude 1:18)
from ek = from, primarily as it relates to place) an adjective
which means last in time or space/place (most remote) (Acts 1:8, Acts
13:47). Eschatos indicates the meaning “last” in the sense of a final
stage in a process. For example, in Rev 15:1 the “last seven” plagues of
judgment against the earth are declared to be the completion of God’s
wrath against the wickedness of humankind. Eschatos can indicate the
final element in a significant series.
are living in the "Last
= last & gives us our English "eschatology" the theology of the final
events of the world + hemera = day)
a phrase that is not necessarily, as some exegetes state, only referring
to the period immediately preceding the Second Coming of Christ. The writer of Hebrews says that
these last days has spoken to us in His Son" (Heb 1:2)
which refers to His first coming.
Luke writes that
"in the last days
God says that "I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all mankind" (Acts
which is a prophecy from Joel which was partially fulfilled at Pentecost.
Comparing Scripture with Scripture, one can deduce that the "last
is inaugurated by Messiah's First Coming, continues through Pentecost
and comes to its culmination with the Second Coming of Christ, when "the
Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings" (Mal
included Timothy's day for Paul warned him in (2Ti 3:5-note)
to "avoid such men as these" indicating that "last day's deceivers" were
Peter also warned the saints about
exhorting them to "Know this first of all, that in the
will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts and
saying, "Where is the promise of His coming?"
For completeness, it
should also be noted that the OT uses "last days" in a
context which includes at least the setting up of Messiah's earthly
(millennial) kingdom. E.g., the prophet Isaiah writes that
last days, the mountain of the house of the LORD will be
established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the
hills and all the nations will stream to it."
Commenting on this prophecy
"Old Testament prophets, being without a clear
word regarding the time between the Messiah’s two advents, linked the
expression to the Messiah’s return to establish His earthly kingdom,
kingdom spoken about in (Rev
20:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
and that "the mountain of the Lord ’s house" is a "reference
is to Mt. Zion, the location of the temple in Jerusalem." (Check
the context of these other OT Scriptures referring to last days
[Eze38:16, Ho3:5, Mic4:1] )
moment, Christ may return and bring all our activities and ambitions to
a screeching halt. Since today could literally be the "last day"
for any of us, we should
"number our days, that we may present to
(our Lord) a heart of wisdom." (Ps90:12-note)
for Jesus said
"Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing
when he comes." (Lk12:43)
Vance Havner says that our day is one of
"anarchy in the world, of
apostasy in the church and of apathy in the individual believer".
Ray Pritchard comments on the phrase "the last days" noting that
has at least three meanings. It can
apply to the entire period between the first and second comings of
Christ. Since Christ could have come at any time, the entire church age
can be called the “last days.” It also applies to unique periods of
spiritual testing that occur at different times in different places.
Finally, it obviously applies to the last few weeks and months and years
preceding our Lord’s return to the earth. I find it helpful to think in
terms of labor pains. A pregnant woman knows when she is about to give
birth by the frequency and severity of her labor pains. In the same way,
the various things that Paul lists in the first few verses of II Timothy
3 will always be present in some form, but will increase dramatically
near the end of the age. Are we in the “last days?” No matter how you
define it, the answer is yes. And we may indeed be living in the final
days before the return of Christ to the earth. (2 Timothy 3: Perilous Times)
THESE LAST DAYS?
In these last days is rendered
variously as - "at the end of these days" (DNT),
"But now in these final days"
(NLT), "at the end of
the present age" (Phillips), "in the last of these days." (Wuest)
The meaning of Hebrews 1:2 is that at the very termination of the times in which God is speaking to man, He
speaks, not through the prophets, but in His Son, Who is "the Word"
(Jn 1:1-2). So the writer of Hebrews is referring to the incarnation of
God's Son at His First Coming. It follows that this is when the last
days began. Luke utilizes the same time phrase writing
that "in the last days
God says that "I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all mankind"
(Acts 2:17), a prophecy
from Joel 2:28 which was partially fulfilled at Pentecost, at the birth of
the Church. Obviously Pentecost is related to the First Coming (and then
the ascension) of Christ. We can therefore conclude that the last
days were inaugurated by the First Coming of Christ.
noting that eschatos can refer specifically to Jesus’ return on “the last
day” or more generally to the period of time between His (Christ's) first
and second coming."
In his Second
exhorted us to be aware "that in the
last days mockers will come
with their mocking, following after their own lusts and saying, "Where is
the promise of His coming?"
In this context the mockers are not referring to the first but the
of Christ. It follows that the last days began with Christ's first coming
and will extend to His Second Coming.
In summary, the
last days are the time period between the First and Second Comings of
our Lord Jesus Christ. This time period overlaps with the so called
THE LAST DAYS
One of the more notable uses of
eschatos is when it is coupled with hemera (day) to give us the well known
phrase "last days." See
for the "when" of the last days.
As noted above eschatos means "last" in time, last in a series, the
final stage in a drama. Eschatology then is the study of the "last
things", especially the times preceding and culminating in the Second
Coming of the King of kings (Rev 17:14-note,
Indeed, the return of our Lord Jesus Christ is the final (eschatos) stage
of the drama, the consummation of the history ("HIS-story") of the world!
The phrase "LAST DAYS" (eschatos hemera) is found in both the NT & the OT
(Specifically in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew OT.)
See below for discussion of the prophetic significance of the 20 great OT
passages that use "eschatos hemera", "last days".
As noted above, ESCHATOS
describes the very DAYS in which we are living and which began at
the First Coming of Christ, for "in these LAST DAYS (God)
has spoken to us in His Son" (Heb 1:2), "in the LAST DAYS God says
'that I will pour forth My Spirit upon all mankind" (Acts 2:17), in the
LAST DAYS difficult (dangerous, hard, troublesome) times will come (2
Timothy 3:1), "it is in the LAST DAYS that you have stored up your
treasure" (James 5:3) and "in the LAST DAYS mockers will come with
their mocking, following after their own lusts and saying 'Where is the
promise of HIS COMING?'" (2 Peter 3:3-4). Indeed, HE IS COMING
AGAIN, for He Himself promised that we "will see the Son of Man
COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory" (Mt
24:30), a promise which was repeated by John who declared "BEHOLD, HE
IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS and every eye will see Him, even those who
pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so.
Amen." (Rev 1:7-note).
Father, hear our cry -
"Maranatha" ("Our Lord Come!"). Amen
(1 Corinthians 16:22)
Maranatha - In Depth Word Study
A Maranatha Mindset
Thoughts on a Maranatha Mindset on
used to describe a number of entities in the New Testament - Money ("last cent" - Mt 5:26, Lk
12:59); the state of one's soul (Mt 12:45, Lk 11:26, 2Pe 2:20), a place
"in line" so to speak (Mt 19:30, 20:16, Mk 10:31, Lk 13:30, cp Mt 20:8, 14), the day
of resurrection of believers (Jn 6:39, 40, 44, 54, 11:24); judgment day of
unbelievers (Jn 12:48); how to be "first" (Mk 9:35, Lk 14:10); Christ (the last Adam - 1Co 15:45); the last
trumpet associated with our bodies being changed in the twinkling of an
eye (1Co 15:52); the time of the Second Coming (1Pe 1:5); the last
plagues which complete the outpouring of God's righteous wrath (Rev 15:1-note,
and finally, eschatos describes
death as the "last enemy" (1Cor 15:26) who will "at last" be destroyed
Eschatos is used three times in a descriptive
Name of Jesus (Rev 1:17-note,
The Greek word Eschatos "has a variety of meanings
depending upon the larger frame of reference: farthest extent in space,
final element of time, and last piece of money." (The Anchor
Yale Bible Dictionary 2:576)
NIDNTT writes that
The adjective eschatos, attested from
Homer onwards, is a superlative form derived from the prep. ek/ex, out of,
away from, and originally designated the person or thing that was furthest
outside (ex). Spatially it meant the place furthest away (e.g. Hesiod,
Theog. 731, the utmost ends of the earth), temporally the last events of a
series (e.g. Hdt., 7, 107), materially the extreme, rarely the highest
(e.g. Libanius, Orationes 59, 88, greatest wisdom), mostly the lowest
place in order of rank (e.g. Plato, Tht. 209b; Diod. Sic. 8, 18, 31, the
most miserable of men)....
The Gk. language uses the term eschatos
to designate the end-point of a continuously conceived succession of
circumstances....In qualitative respects eschatos designates an extreme
positive or negative intensification (Pindar, Ol. 1, 113, the highest
reaches its peak with kings; Plato, Rep. 361a, greatest injustice; Gorgias
511d, extreme danger).
Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986.
What happens in the last days
(observations derived solely from the passages which use "eschatos")?
There is a pouring forth of God's
Spirit (Acts 2:17); there will be difficult, dangerous, perilous times
(2Ti 3:1); mockers will come (2Pe 3:3, cp Jude 1:18), God has spoken (past
tense) in His Son (Heb 1:2, cp "last times" 1Pe 1:20); treasure will rust
(Jas 5:3). Compare to the phrase the last hour - antichrist coming
Eschatos - 52x in 47v - Eschatos
is translated in NAS = end(1), last(46), last of all(1), last
man(1), last men(1), late(1), remotest part(1).
(For context see Mt 5:23-25) "Truly I say to you, you
will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent (a
small Roman coin).
Comment: In the ancient
world debtors were jailed till the debts were paid. Reconciliation should
be made today. If there is any bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, hatred
(or any other sin) that is separating you from someone, you need to "pay
up the last cent" so to speak!
John MacArthur: The basic
teaching is plain and unmistakable: we are to make every effort, with
no delay, to make our relationship right with our brother before our
relationship can be right with God and we can avoid chastening.
(MacArthur, John. Matthew. Chicago: Moody Press)
Beloved, this verse begs the question,
a serious, sobering question - Is that any other individual made in the
image of God with to whom you "owe a debt?" Jesus thought this issue was
so important to our spiritual life that He included it in the disciple's
prayer "forgive us our debts as (just like, in the same manner) we forgive
those who trespass against us." (Mt 6:12-note)
And then of all the points in this great prayer, the one to which He gave
extra attention was forgiveness (Read His "exposition" in Mt 6:14-15-note)
Matthew 12:45 "Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits
more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state
of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be
with this evil generation."
Matthew 19:30 "But many who are first will be last; and the last,
Matthew 20:8 "When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his
foreman, 'Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the
last group to the first.'
Matthew 20:12 saying, 'These last men have worked only one hour, and you
have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching
heat of the day.'
Matthew 20:14 'Take what is yours and go, but I wish to give to this last
man the same as to you.
Matthew 20:16 "So the last shall be first, and the first last."
Matthew 27:64 "Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure
until the third day, otherwise His disciples may come and steal Him away
and say to the people, 'He has risen from the dead,' and the last
deception will be worse than the first."
Mark 9:35 Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, "If anyone
wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all."
Mark 10:31 "But many who are first will be last, and the last, first."
Mark 12:6 "He had one more to send, a beloved son; he sent him last of all
to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.'
Mark 12:22 and so all seven left no children. Last of all the woman died
Luke 11:26 "Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil
than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man
becomes worse than the first."
Luke 12:59 "I say to you, you will not get out of there until you have
paid the very last cent."
Luke 13:30 "And behold, some are last who will be first and some are first
who will be last."
Luke 14:9 and he who invited you both will come and say to you, 'Give your
place to this man,' and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last
place. 10 "But when you are invited, go and recline at the last
place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you,
'Friend, move up higher'; then you will have honor in the sight of all who
are at the table with you.
John 6:39 "This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has
given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. 40 "For
this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and
believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on
the last day."
John 6:44 "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;
and I will raise him up on the last day.
John 6:54 "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and
I will raise him up on the last day.
Comment: In the previous four
passages in which Jesus repeats the phrase "on the last day", clearly
accentuates the eternal security of every believer's salvation. Glory!
John 7:37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and
cried out, saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.
tells what believers are to "drink" -
Jn 7:38, 39! Not water but the Spirit!)
Comment: At dawn during
the Feast of Tabernacles the priests took water from the Pool of Siloam in
a golden vessel and brought it to the temple. As they approached the Water
Gate the trumpets sounded “a short blast, a long one, then another short
one. At the morning offering the water along w. wine was poured on the
altar from two silver bowls. Perhaps at this time Jesus stood and cried
out w. a loud voice (Edersheim, The Temple, 281f).
John 11:24 Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the
resurrection on the last day."
John 12:48 "He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who
judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.
Acts 1:8-note but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon
you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and
Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."
Acts 2:17 'AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,' God says, 'THAT I WILL POUR
FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL
PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL
Acts 13:47 "For so the Lord has commanded us, 'I HAVE PLACED YOU AS A
LIGHT FOR THE GENTILES, THAT YOU MAY BRING SALVATION TO THE END OF THE
1 Corinthians 4:9 For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all,
as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the
world, both to angels and to men.
1 Corinthians 15:8 and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared
to me also.
Comment: The last in a "series"
- The apostles were brought out to make the grand finale
1 Corinthians 15:26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death.
Comment: "By separating it and
drawing special attention to it, emphasis is placed on the fact that the
reign of Christ is not complete until death is conquered; everything is
still in process.” (1 Corinthians. Baker exegetical commentary on the New
In 1Cor 15:24 at the end of the
Christ "delivers up the (Millennial) kingdom to the God and Father."
Christ "must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet" (1Cor
15:25) which is accomplished at the end of His Millennial reign which then
is followed by the Great White Throne Judgment at which time "death
and Hades" are thrown into Gehenna, the Lake of fire (Rev 20:14-note),
so that then the last enemy death is abolished! Hallelujah to the King of
1 Corinthians 15:45 So also it is written, "The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A
LIVING SOUL." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
1 Corinthians 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last
trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised
imperishable, and we will be changed.
2 Timothy 3:1-note But realize this, that in the
last days difficult (dangerous, hard, perilous - demon of Mt 8:28
was "dangerous") times will
come (literally "will stand", will set in, will be at hand).
Hebrews 1:2-note in these
last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He
appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.
James 5:3 Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a
witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the
last days that you have stored up your treasure!
Comment: Do not a suggestion of
irony, for the treasure in mind is not their riches, but the misery that
awaits them. What are you storing up for yourself? Treasure on earth or
heaven? Where is your heart? (Mt 6:19-21-note,
1 Peter 1:5-note who are protected by the power of God through faith for a
salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Comment: The word "time" is
kairos which signifies the fit or appointed time or moment. The idea is
that this is the last in an order of time. In this context, this is the
appointed time when our inheritance is fully completed by the last episode
of redemptive history (Mt 25:34).
MacArthur writes: Christians
possess some of the benefits of salvation in this life, but the great
fullness of redemption is yet to come. God has promised unfathomable
glories in the eternal perfection of heaven that will one day be the
conscious experience of every believer. He is the source of the believer’s
inheritance; it came because of His mercy and by the gracious means of the
new birth; and it remains perfect and eternally secure, a reality all
believers can fix their hope on. (MacArthur, J.. 1 Peter. Chicago: Moody
1 Peter 1:20-note For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has
appeared in these last times for the sake of you
Comment: Last times is a synonym
for the last days, the time period between the first and second comings.
2 Peter 2:20-note For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world
by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again
entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for
them than the first.
2 Peter 3:3-note Know this first of all, that in the
last days mockers will
come with their mocking, following after their own lusts,
Comment: Little wonder that they
scoff! There denial of Jesus return facilitates as it were, their self
gratification. As Paul summed it up "There is no fear of God before their
eyes!" (Ro 3:18-note).
See Jude's warning where "last time" is synonymous with last days. (Jude
1 John 2:18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that
antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this
we know that it is the last hour.
Comment: Last hour is a synonym
of last days or latter days.
Jude 1:18 that they were saying to you, "In the last time there will be
mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts."
Revelation 1:17-note When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He
placed His right hand on me, saying, "Do not be afraid; I am the first and
Revelation 2:8-note "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The first
and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this:
Revelation 2:19-note 'I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service
and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first.
Revelation 15:1-note Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous,
seven angels who had seven plagues, which are the last, because in them
the wrath of God is finished.
Revelation 21:9-note Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full
of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, "Come here, I
will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb."
Revelation 22:13-note "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the
the beginning and the end."
Eschatos - 64x in the non-apocryphal
Septuagint (most in Jeremiah = 14x) - Ge 33:2; 49:1; Ex 4:8; Lev
23:16; 27:18; Nu 2:31; 10:25; 24:14; 31:2; Dt 4:30; 8:16; 13:9; 17:7;
24:3; 28:49; 31:27, 29; 32:20; 34:2; Josh 1:4; 10:14; 24:27; Jdg 15:7;
Ruth 3:10; 1Sa 29:2; 2Sa 2:26; 13:16; 19:11f; 23:1; 24:25; 1Kgs 9:26;
17:13; 1Chr 23:27; 2Chr 9:29; 12:15; 16:11; 20:34; 25:26; 26:22; 28:26;
35:27; Ezra 8:13; Neh 5:15; 8:18; Job 8:7, 13; 11:7; 18:20; 23:8; 42:12;
Ps 73:17; 135:7; 139:4, 9; Pr 5:11; 19:20; 23:32; 25:8; 29:21; 31:25; Eccl
1:11; 4:16; 7:8; 10:13; Isa 2:2; 8:9; 37:24; 41:22, 23; 45:22; 46:10;
47:7; 48:20; 49:6; 62:11; Jer 6:22; 9:2; 10:13; 16:19; 17:11; 23:20;
25:32; 30:24; 31:8; 49:39; 50:12, 41; 51:16, 31; Lam 1:9; Ezek 35:5; 38:6,
8, 15, 16; 39:2; Da 2:28, 29, 45; 8:19, 23; 10:14; 11:20, 29; Hos 3:5;
Joel 2:20; Jonah 2:5; Mic 4:1; Hag 2:9; Zech 14:8.
Eschatos is frequently in the
Lxx in a phrase "first to last" which summarizes the deeds of
kings- 2Chr 9:29 Solomon, 2Chr 12:15 Rehoboam, 2Chr 16:11 Asa, 2Chr
20:34 Jehoshaphat, first to last, 2Chr 25:26 Amaziah, 2Chr 26:22 Uzziah,
2Chr 28:26 (Ahaz) acts; 2Chr 35:27 (Josiah)
ESCHATOS IS THE ORIGIN
OF THE WORD ESCHATOLOGY
Eschatology (eschatos + logos -
the "last word") refers to the last
things or final events in God’s relationship with history and creation. In
short, eschatology is teaching about the "end times" or more
literally the doctrine of last things. A modern dictionary definition
defines eschatology as "a branch of theology concerned with the
final events in the history of the world or of mankind." Another secular
dictionary says this term relates to "the end of the world" which is a
somewhat "bleak" outlook! Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary
states that eschatology is "the study of what will happen when all things
are consummated at the end of history, particularly centering on the event
known as the Second Coming of Christ." Unger says that eschatology
is a "theological term employed to designate the doctrine of last things,
particularly those dealing with the second coming of Christ and the events
preceding and following this great event."
The Zondervan Encyclopedia gives
us a good perspective regarding the significance of eschatology (or why
believers should know prophecy) writing that...
It is hardly possible to overestimate
the importance of eschatology to Christian faith: life without faith is
empty, and faith without hope is impossible. If the “eschatology” of
modern science—death for the individual, death for the species, death for
the entire system of wheeling suns that we call the universe—is the only
truth by which we can live, then indeed “let us eat, and drink, and be
merry, for tomorrow we die.” The Christian, however, does not believe that
death is the last word. For him the resurrection of Jesus Christ has
robbed death of its victory and brought hope and immortality to light. It
is the content of this hope that the Christian doctrine of eschatology
sets forth. (Silva, M., & Tenney, M. C. The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the
Bible, Volume 2, D-G. The Zondervan Corporation)
Dr John MacArthur
days are days of
fulfillment. In the Old Testament the Jew saw the
last days as the time when
all the promises would be fulfilled. In these days Messiah would come and
the Kingdom would come and salvation would come and Israel would no longer
be under bondage. In the last
days promises would stop and
fulfillments begin. That is exactly what Jesus came to do. He came to
fulfill the promises. Even though the
earthly aspect of the promised Kingdom is yet future, the age of kingdom
fulfillment began when Jesus arrived, and it will not finally be completed
until we enter into the eternal heavens. The Old Testament age of promise
ended when Jesus arrived." (MacArthur,
John: Hebrews. Moody Press
IN THE OT:
LAST DAYS IN
Greek translation of the Hebrew OT
repeatedly uses virtually the
same Greek words (eschatos = last + hemera =
day) to describe the last
days, a term that any
Jewish reader should have been familiar with. In the OT the term last
days most often
foretold of the coming "Great Tribulation" (Mt 24:21)
and/or the establishment of Messiah's earthly (millennial) kingdom.
In all of the following Old
Testament passages the Hebrew time phrase is translated by the Greek words
and hemera (day) (The actual Greek phrase = ep eschaton ton hemeron)
which is literally "last days." Below is a summary of all the Old Testament passages that use
eschatos in an eschatological sense.
Genesis 49:1 Then Jacob summoned his
sons and said, "Assemble yourselves that I may tell you what will befall
you in the days to come
(Lxx = eschatos hemera = last days [ep eschaton ton hemeron]).
Comment: The days to come is
more literally "the latter end of the days." While not everyone
agrees with this interpretation, Jacob's phrase appears to be very
compatible with what will happen to the 12 Tribes of Israel in the
last days just before Messiah's Second Coming. Certainly the book of
Revelation speaks of events which are related to the 12 Tribes (See
John MacArthur agrees writing "Throughout the Pentateuch, “the
latter days” refers to the time when Messiah will establish His
kingdom (see Ge 49:1, 8–12; Nu 24:14–24; Dt 32:39–43)."
Numbers 24:14 "And now, behold, I am going to my people; come, and I will
advise you what this people will do to your people in the days to come
(Lxx = eschatos hemera [ep eschaton ton hemeron])."
The Jewish reader should have been familiar with Balaam's last and
greatest prophecy regarding Israel and the Messiah as Balaam informed King Balak (Nu
"what (Israel would)
do to (his) people in the days to come (= the last days)"
going on to foretell of the Messiah, saying "I see Him, but not
now; I behold Him, but not near. A Star shall come forth
from Jacob, and a Scepter shall rise from Israel...One from
Jacob shall have dominion..." (Nu 24:17, 24:19)
Deuteronomy 4:30 "When you are in distress and all these things have come
upon you, in the latter days
(Lxx = eschatos hemera [ep eschaton ton hemeron])
you will return to the LORD your God
and listen to His voice.
Comment: In the Septuagint the
last phrase of Dt 4:29 is "in your affliction" (Lxx =
same word used by Jesus to describe the "Great Tribulation" in Mt 24:21) (See
Bible Knowledge Commentary
comments: “The later days (Dt 4:30) may refer to any time after the
initial dispersions, but the ultimate reference is to the time when the
Lord Jesus will return to earth to establish His 1,000-year kingdom (Rev.
20:4). At that time a repentant Israel will finally seek the Lord...look
for Him with all her heart and...soul and will obey Him (Dt 4:29).
Deuteronomy 8:16 "In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers
did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do
good for you in the end
(Lxx = eschatos hemera [ep eschaton ton hemeron]).
Comment: The phrase "in the end"
in English translation of the Septuagint is literally "in the last days."
While it is conceivable that this passage could refer to Israel's future
and the good that God will do to them at the termination of the Great
Tribulation, it is difficult to be as certain about this passage as some
of the others in this list.
J Vernon McGee comments: At the
“latter end,” in the future Millennium, God promises to make Israel the
leading nation with earthly blessings. God has not promised that to the
church, my friend; so don’t appropriate that promise for yourself. The
Lord Jesus said, "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare
a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that
where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:2–3). The hope of the child of
God today is that Christ is coming to take us out of this world. The hope
of Israel is in this world. That distinction is of utmost importance. If
you try to mix these promises, it will cause utter confusion. Too many
so-called theologians use a blender. They put the whole Bible into a
blender, and they really mix it up! If you let the Bible stand as it is,
you will see that God is very specific when He makes promises.
J V: Thru the Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson
Deuteronomy 31:29 "For I know that
after my death you will act corruptly and turn from the way which I have
commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days
(literally - "the end of days" Lxx = eschatos hemera [ep eschaton ton hemeron]),
for you will do that which is evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking Him
to anger with the work of your hands."
MacArthur comments: “The latter
days” (lit. “at the end of the days”) referred to the far distant future.
This was the time when the king would come from Judah (Ge 49:8–12) to
defeat Israel’s enemies (Nu 24:17–19). Here it is revealed that it would
also be a time when disaster would fall upon Israel because of evil done,
thus bringing the Lord’s wrath. The description of God’s judgment on
Israel and the nations in this song can’t be limited to the immediate
future of the people as they entered the Land, but extends to issues which
are eschatological in time and global in extent, as the song indicates
(32:1–43). (Bolding added)
Deuteronomy 32:20 "Then He said, 'I will hide My face from them, I will
see what their end shall be; For they are a perverse generation, Sons in
whom is no faithfulness.
Comment: The Lxx uses eschatos
to translate end so that the English rendering of the Lxx is "will show
what shall happen to them (Israel) in the last days (days is not in
the Greek text though)."
Now it will come about that In the last days The mountain of the
house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains (referring to Jerusalem),
And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it.
Isaiah (and Micah
= Mic 4:1 is virtually identical to Isa 2:2) foretell of Messiah's glorious
anger of the LORD will not turn back until (expression
of time - should always cause you to pause and ask "What time is it?") He has performed and carried
out the purposes of His heart. In the last days (Lxx = eschatos
hemera [ep eschaton ton hemeron]) you will clearly
understand it. (Jer 23:20)
Jeremiah prophesied of
Great Tribulation (so named by
Jesus), the "time of Jacob's distress"
Jeremiah 30:24 The fierce anger of the LORD will not turn
back, until He has performed, and until He has accomplished the intent of
His heart; In the
(Lxx = eschatos hemera [ep eschaton ton hemeron]) you will
Jeremiah 49:39 'But it will come about
in the last days
(Lxx = eschatos hemera
[ep eschaton ton hemeron])
that I will restore the fortunes of Elam,'"
Declares the LORD.
Ezekiel 38:8 "After many days you will be summoned; in the latter years
(Lxx = eschatos heton
[ep eschaton heton])
you will come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose
inhabitants have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of
Israel which had been a continual waste; but its people were brought out
from the nations, and they are living securely, all of them.
Comment: This passage is yet
Ezekiel 38:16 and you
will come up against My people
Israel like a cloud to cover the land. It will come about in the
(Lxx = eschatos hemera
[ep eschaton ton hemeron]) that I shall bring you against My land,
in order that the nations may know Me when I shall be sanctified through
you before their eyes, O Gog." (Ezekiel 38:16)
Comment: This passage is yet
"However, there is a God in heaven who
reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will
take place in the latter days
(Lxx = eschatos hemera [ep eschaton ton hemeron]).
This was your dream and the visions in your mind while on your bed.
Comment: Daniel's comments here
introduce his following description of King Nebuchadnezzar's dream
followed by the interpretation. Note that the prophecy in Daniel 2:28-45
deals especially with what will happen to the major Gentile kingdoms of
the world history (specifically the kingdoms that interacted with God's
chosen people Israel). In Daniel 7, the eschatological writings deal in
more detail with what will happen to Israel. Finally in Daniel 10-12 there
is even greater detail of what will happen to the nation of Israel in the
last days or the end times. Given the miraculous "rebirth" of
Israel in May, 1948 after almost 2000 years of non-existence as a
sovereign nation, it is hard to believe that some Christians make the
absurd statement that God is finished with Israel and has transferred all
His OT promises to the Church. Louis Berkhof was so convinced that God was
finished with Israel that in 1947 in his famous book on Systematic
Theology he flatly stated that Israel would never again become a nation
state, (a belief that fit with his amillennial belief). Beloved, if
God had been finished with Israel as a land and as a national entity, it
is hardly conceivable that He would have gone to the "trouble" to rebirth
the nation in a single day!
"As for you, O king, while on your bed your thoughts turned to what would
take place in the future
(Lxx = eschatos hemera = last days = [ep eschaton ton hemeron]);
and He who reveals mysteries has made known to you what will take place.
Comment: Note that future is
rendered last days in the Septuagint, referring to the time
preceding and including the Second Coming of Christ (the Stone in Da
(one version of Lxx, but not Theodoret) Daniel 2:45 "Inasmuch as you saw
that a Stone
at His Second Coming) was cut out of the mountain without hands
(supernatural) and that it crushed
the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold (Da 2:35-Note
= "all at the same time...not a trace of them was found"!), the great God has
made known to the king what will take place in the future
(Lxx = eschatos hemera [ep eschaton ton hemeron] = "upon the last days"); so the dream is true and its
interpretation is trustworthy."
Comment: Remember that 25% of
God's Word was prophetic at the time it was intially penned. Therefore we dare not
reduce our study of prophecy to that of a neglected "step child" lest we
find ourselves unaware of the "signs of the times." Indeed, God "has made known"
(Da 2:28, 29) to His children who have eyes to see and
ears to hear "what the Spirit says to the churches" (cp Rev 2:7) regarding
"what will take place upon the last days!"
Daniel 8:19-note He said, "Behold, I am going to let you know what will occur
at the final period of the indignation, for it pertains to the appointed
time of the end.
Comment: "Final period of
indignation" in Lxx is "ep eschaton tes orges" literally
the "time of wrath." This is a difficult passage and it is best not to be
dogmatic. Some see this as referring only to Antiochus Epiphanes, while
some see this ancient foe to be a "type" of the future antichrist.
Finally, some see a double fulfillment, partially fulfilled in Antiochus
and finally fulfilled in the Antichrist. The difference between "type" and
"double fulfillment" is minimal as both in some way see a prediction of
the future Antichrist.
David Guzik comments: Some see
this Antiochus and Antichrist connection, and some do not. Martin
Luther wrote, "This chapter in Daniel refers both to Antiochus and
Antichrist." John Calvin wrote, "Hence Luther, indulging his
thoughts too freely, refers this passage to the masks of Antichrist."
"In the latter period of their rule, When the transgressors have run their
course, A king will arise, Insolent and skilled in intrigue.
Comment: See interpretation of
MacArthur's comment: The far
fulfillment sees Antiochus in Da 8:23–25 as prophetically illustrating the
final tribulation period and the Antichrist. In such a view, the king here
is also the “little horn,” as in Da 7:7; 8:9 and the willful king in Da
Daniel 10:14-note (The archangel Michael was sent
to Daniel to give him ) "Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your
people (Jews = Israel) in the
(Lxx = eschatos hemera [ep eschaton ton hemeron]),
for the vision pertains to the days yet future.
Careful observation reveals that the last three chapters of Daniel (Da
10-12) comprise a single "vision" and must be interpreted as a "unit" in
order for one to arrive at the correct interpretation. This section
unequivocally refers to the yet future time that immediately precedes the
return of the Messiah Who will deliver Zion, remove ungodliness from Jacob
(Israel) at which time "all Israel will be saved." (i.e., all of those who
by grace place their faith in Christ.) (Ro 11:25-note).
Hosea 3:5 Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the LORD their
God and David their king and they will come trembling to the LORD and to
His goodness in the
(Lxx = eschatos hemera [ep eschaton ton hemeron]). (Hos
Comment: When will Israel come
trembling to the LORD? Certainly this awaits a future fulfillment and the
best "candidate" is at the end of the Great Tribulation and the inception
In a sense the last of Israel's "last days" will mark the beginning their
"best days" as they prepare to enter the Messiah's earthly kingdom for
1000 years. David will be raised up
to rule (Jer 30:9, Ezekiel 34:23-24, Ezekiel 37:24-note;
cp indirect reference in Amos 9:11)
under the greater David, the Son of David, the Messiah, Who will be King
of kings (Viz, King over King David). While some theologians
interpret the references to the resurrection and rule of David in the Old
Testament as fulfilled in Christ, it is notable that Christ is never
called "David." In fact Jeremiah prophecies that in days to come (future
days, last days), God will raise up FOR David a Righteous Branch and He
will reign as King (referring to Messiah Jer 23:5, 33:16 = note "a
Righteous Branch OF David."). Furthermore, a normal reading of the plain
interpretation) is easily and most simply interpreted as
literal (albeit resurrected) David!
Can God do this?
Certainly He can and He promises He will, whether we interpret the
passages correctly or not!
Micah 4:1 (See comments above on
Isaiah 2:2) And it will come about in the last days That the mountain of the
house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains. It
will be raised above the hills, And the peoples will stream to it.
NIDNTT summarizes the sense of
eschatos as used in the Septuagint translation...
Yahweh will make it possible for his
people to turn back (Hos. 3:5). He will destroy his enemies (Jer. 23:20;
30:24). The nations will come to Jerusalem and receive instruction from
Israel (Isa. 2:2ff.; Micah 4:1ff.). Salvation will penetrate “to the end
of the earth” (Isa. 48:20; 49:6). Here the local significance has a
universal eschatological function. In all this Yahweh will reveal himself
as holy (Ezek 38:16, 23). However much the individual pictures of
salvation presented by the various prophets differ, the expectation of a
comprehensive age of salvation “at the end of the days” brought in by
Yahweh himself is common to them all.
Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986.
TIMES WILL COME: ensthesontai (3PFMI) kairoi chalepoi: (Da 7:8;
7:20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25,11:36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45;
12:1,7,11; 2Th2:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12; 1Ti4:1, 2, 3)
"Violent periods" (GWT)
"Terrible times" (NIV).
Thayer says is from chalepto = to oppress, annoy) when referring
to times means difficult, hard to bear, troublesome, hard, perilous and
when referring people means fierce, violent dangerous, savage. This
second use (the only other NT use) by Luke describes two demon possessed men as
("fierce", "savage", "dangerous") (Mt 8:28)!
Webster says "fierce" is
violently hostile or aggressive in temperament, given to fighting or
killing, extremely vexatious, furiously active or determined, wild or
menacing appearance, and applies to humans and animals that inspire
terror because of their wild and menacing aspect or fury in attack. This
picture should give one a good sense of the character of the "times" and
they will only go from bad to worse so don't be shocked!
Wiersbe offers the interesting thought
that the use of chalepos to describe demons and last days
that the violence of the last times will be energized by demons." (1Ti4:1)
Ancient secular writers used chalepos to describe an
ill-fitting cuirass (piece of armor covering the body from neck to
waist), the "severity" of the wind, and of "hardships" or
One ancient writer used chalepos to describe "life"
saying "life is a hard thing"!
Other secular uses described individuals as hard to deal with, harsh,
severe, stern or strict, or a a judge as severe or an
animal as savage. Plutarch used
chalepos to describe an ugly, infected, and
dangerous wound! Timothy (and all saints) needed to know that the world
would become increasingly violent, hard to bear, dangerous and even
Vance Havner says that our day is
one of anarchy in the world, of apostasy in the church and of apathy in
the individual believer.
Vine says that
"In the present passage it (chalepos) intimates the
difficulty of keeping to the path of rectitude."
Hard, difficult to bear,
distressing and grievous seasons are coming Timothy. To expect these
times is to become not a pessimist but a realist.
Calvin reminds us that
what Paul is describing is not so much bad times but bad
people, writing that
“We should note what the hardness or danger of this
time is in Paul’s view to be, not war, not famine or diseases, nor any
of the other calamities or ills that befall the body, but the wicked and
depraved ways of men....
He goes on to say that
therefore informs (Timothy), that the Church will be subject to
terrible diseases, which will require in the pastors uncommon fidelity,
diligence, watchfulness, prudence, and unwearied constancy; as if he
enjoined Timothy to prepare for arduous and deeply anxious contests
which awaited him. And hence we learn, that, so far from giving way, or
being terrified, on account of any difficulties whatsoever, we ought, on
the contrary. to arouse our hearts for resistance.
In short, the “last days” will be fierce, violent, dangerous and
frightening. The last days will be savage times when men cast off all
moral restraint and society begins to disintegrate.
from en = in + hístemi = stand) means
to set in, to be at hand, to
happen, with the
implication of there being a particular set of circumstances (“shall be
imminent” “shall come unexpectedly”).
The idea is that these difficult times will "settle in upon" Timothy and
upon all saints in these "last days"..
opportunity, epoch, proper time) (2540)(kairos)
means a point of time or period of time, time, period, frequently
with the implication of being especially fit for something and without
emphasis on precise chronology. It means a moment or period as
especially appropriate the right, proper, favorable time (at the right
time). A season. A point of time. A moment. An opportunity. Something
that lasts for a season and so is transient, temporary or enduring only
for a specific period of time.
chronos (chronological referring to clock or calendar time)
but kairos which refers to
periods of time, to seasons, epochs, or eras (click for detailed discussion of kairos).
kairos as “a critical, epoch-making period foreordained of
God when all that has been slowly, and often without observation,
ripening through long ages, is mature and comes to the birth in grand
decisive events, which constitute at once the close of one period and
the commencement of another.”
Within this period of
“last days” there will be “times” (seasons) of different kinds. These
perilous "seasons" will become more and more
intense for "evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse"
whereas the intervening periods of relative tranquility will become less
frequent and peaceful, as the return of Christ nears.
Paul uses this idea of "kairos"
to motivate the saints at Rome writing
"knowing the time ...
it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep for now salvation is
nearer to us than when we believed."
In difficult times, we must
persevere with the Bible in our hands and the witness of the Spirit in
In 1988 evangelical philosopher and
theologian Carl Henry made a stunning prediction in his book, Twilight
of a Great Civilization (Crossway Books). He said that as America
progressively loses its Judeo-Christian heritage, paganism would grow
bolder. What we saw in the last half of the 20th-century was a kind of
benign humanism, but he predicted that by the start of the 21st-century,
we would face a situation not unlike the first-century when the
Christian faith confronted raw paganism—humanism with the pretty face
ripped off, revealing the angry monster underneath. His words have come
true, and are coming truer with every passing day. (2 Timothy 3: Perilous Times)
We should all manifest
the outlook and attitude of
"the sons of
were men who "understood the temper of the times and knew the best
course for Israel to take." (NLT) (1
men will be
Amplified: For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered,
lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for
wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be
abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful,
unholy and profane.
Barclay: For men
will live a life that is centred in self; they will be lovers of
money, braggarts, arrogant, lovers of insult, disobedient to their
parents, thankless, regardless even of the ultimate decencies of life
KJV: For men shall be
lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers,
disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
GWT: People will be selfish and
love money. They will brag, be arrogant, and use abusive language.
They will curse their parents, show no gratitude, have no respect for
what is holy,
NLT: For people will
love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud,
scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They
will consider nothing sacred.
Men will become utterly self-centred, greedy for money, full of big
words. They will be proud and contemptuous, without any regard for
what their parents taught them. They will be utterly lacking in
gratitude, purity and normal human affections.
for men shall be fond of themselves, fond of money, swaggerers,
haughty, revilers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy
for men shall be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters,
proud, evil-speakers, to parents disobedient, unthankful, unkind,
FOR MEN WILL BE LOVERS OF SELF: esontai (3PFMI) gar oi
anthropoi philautoi: (Ro15:1, 2, 3; 2Co 5:15; Php 2:21; Jas 2:8)
For (gar) is a
term of explanation,
always worth pausing to ponder and ask what the author is explaining.
The "difficult times" will be
primarily because of "difficult people" ("bad people" more than "bad
times"). The coming seasons will be hard to bear and grievous because of
the "difficult" people living in them as attested by a list of traits
picturing mankind totally concentrated on self and in clear opposition
to God. From hearts corrupted and distorted by self love flow all the
other heinous sins.
of self (philautos
= have great affection for or be friend to + autos =
self) means literally loving oneself, selfish,
intent on one's own interests or concerned solely with one’s own
desires, needs, or interests.
A close OT parallel is seen in the
decadent days of the Judges when "there was no king in Israel"
and the result was that when their focus was off of their true king, the
"everyone did what was right in his own eyes." (Jdg
appropriately heads the list since "self love" is the essence of all sin
and the root from which all the other characteristics spring. The
"center of gravity" of the natural man is self not Christ.
We hear a lot today about how all people should love themselves no
matter what their conduct is, with the hope that loving themselves will
make their conduct better, but it never does. We don’t need to be
encouraged to love self more but to love self less even to the point of
a willingness to die to self.
Jesus was unmistakably clear on this vital
point teaching that
"If anyone wishes to come
after Me, let him deny
and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his
life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and
the gospel's shall save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the
whole world, and forfeit his soul?"
(Mk 8:34, 35, 36)
Paul echoes the words of Jesus writing that
"He died for all, that they
who live should no longer live for themselves,
but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf."
How tragic that many in the church are intoxicated with "love
for self" rather than "death of self" turning God’s
truth completely on its head. How preposterous that the source of evil
(self) is now being lauded as the source of good. The fallacious false
doctrine that one of the main problems that we have is that we don't
think highly enough of ourselves has slithered into the church in the
form of self-esteem, self-worth, self-fulfillment, positive self-image,
positive thinking, etc. In the late 20th century one of the best selling
secular books was blatantly titled Looking Out for Number One!.
Wayne Barber defining lovers of self adds that
refers to cherished
affection, an emotional type of love or relationship type of word, whereas agape is a commitment of the
will. So Paul is describing a person who cherishes or is obsessed with
himself. These "lovers of self" are most dangerous when they are inside
the walls of the church (cf proliferation of books on "self-worth",
"self-esteem", etc) Scripture to the contrary says that "that our old
self was crucified with"
Our new identity is now not found in our
SELF but our
identity is found in the Lord Jesus Christ and this is where our "self
worth" is truly found. When we admit that we are "zero" apart from Jesus,
there is something within our spirit that is set free, because it
recognizes how much I depend on Him to infuse His life, character &
power within us."
Quoting (Gal 2:20-note) "I have been
crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in
me…" Dr. Barber goes on to explain that "Our life is now to drawn totally from Christ's presence within us."
He goes on to give an illustration of self living versus Christ living
in and through us saying that "I'm going to wake up tomorrow morning and love my brother." By
noon God's going to put a brother in your life you did not know existed
and by 2 pm you're going to say "God I can't love this brother." And God
will say "That's what I've been trying to tell you. Go back to the Cross
and admit what "self"
can do and then come to Me and let me love that brother through you."
Christianity is not a set of rules we follow but is a Person living in
us Who has moved in, taken over and set up new management. He is
allowing me now to draw from Him and He is in me everything that I am
says that this list
is one of the most terrible pictures in the New Testament of
what a godless world would be like, with the terrible qualities of
godlessness set out in a ghastly series...It is no accident that the first of these
qualities will be a life that is centred in self. The adjective used is
philautos, which means self-loving. Love of self is the
basic sin, from with all others flow. The moment a man makes his
own will the centre of life, divine and human relationships are
destroyed, obedience to God and charity to men both become impossible.
The essence of Christianity is not the enthronement but the obliteration
of self. (2 Timothy 3 Commentary)
MacArthur comments that
"Under sacramentalism, the church replaced God; under rationalism, reason
was god; under orthodoxism, god was sterile, impersonal orthodoxy; under politicism, god was the state; under ecumenism, god was uncritical
fellowship and cooperation among nominal Christians; under experientialism, god became personal experience; and under subjectivism,
which still reigns in much of Christendom, self has become god."
The18th century preacher Samuel Johnson said,
“He that overvalues
himself will undervalue others. And he that undervalues others will
Self-love alienates men from God and from each other.
Self-love is the supreme enemy of godliness and of genuine friendship
and fellowship with the Creator.
LOVERS OF MONEY: philarguroi:
(Lk12:15; Ro1:29; Col3:5; 2Pe 2:3;14,15; Jude11, 16 Rev 18:12,13)
is from philos = loving or friend + arguros
= silver, money) describes a person who is "fond" of money, avaricious (greedy of gain
= excessively acquisitive especially in seeking to hoard riches) and implies
obsessive acquisitiveness especially of money. This form of covetousness
naturally flows out of a selfish heart and is “a rot of all kinds of
evil.” This trait would naturally follow "self love" as it
indicates the means for the gratification of self. The only other use in
the NT describes the arrogant Pharisees as "lovers of money."
Wayne Barber defines "lovers
"prosperity seekers – they pursue
and cherish money. A person working overtime to get wealthy qualifies as a
lover of money. It doesn't matter if you are wealthy or not. The key is
what is your motivation and how you got there. A lover of
will love money because money is what does for
what humanly speaking nothing else can do. Whereas Christianity seeks to
on the Cross, money builds
up in the world's eyes. Application: How do you handle money?
This will tell you where your heart is "for where your treasure is,
there will your heart be also" (Mt6:21-note) And we
can find this in the ministry – "Name it and Claim it", "Get right with
God and get rich." This message works in America but try preaching it in
Romania. This message is like poison which will start with the dead ones
and move eventually into the living ones and paralyze the things that God
is wanting to do."
A proper historical
context helps understand this mention of "lovers of money", for Timothy's work lay in Ephesus, perhaps the
greatest market in the ancient world. In those days trade tended to flow
down river valleys and; Ephesus was at the mouth of the River Cayster commanding the trade of one of the richest hinterlands in all Asia Minor.
At Ephesus some of the greatest roads in the world met including the
great trade route from the Euphrates valley which came by way of Colosse
and Laodicea and poured the wealth of the east into the lap of Ephesus.
It is not surprising that Ephesus was called "The Treasure-house
of the ancient world" the epitome of materialism and prosperity in
the ancient world and thus the kind of town where a man could so easily
lose his soul. And so Timothy is warned of "difficult" people who love
money not God.
In this universe there is God, and there are people and things. We
should worship God, love people, and use things (discriminately,
wisely). But if we start worshiping ourselves, we will ignore God and
start loving things and using people. And this is a sure fire formula
for a miserable life, but it sadly characterizes most of America today &
even many who call themselves "Christians". The worldwide craving for
things is just one evidence that people’s hearts have turned away from
(Ps10:3; 49:6; 52:1; Is 10:15; Acts 5:36; Ro1:29, 30, 31; 11:18; 2Th2:4;
Jas4:16; 2Pe2:18; Jude16)
Boastful (213)(alazon) describes an arrogant individual who exaggerates
or is disposed to exaggerate their own worth or importance in an
overbearing manner. In his boasting he overstates the limits of truth,
stressing the fact to magnify himself in his attempt to impress others.
Selfish people are naturally boastful. If you want to know whether
somebody loves themselves, then just listen to who they talk about.
refers to verbally boastful and is the characteristic of a person with a
depraved mind. If you have a "sound mind" (a "healed" mind) you don't
think of self in
the same light as you do when you have a depraved mind. A person who is boastful is always
proud of self because he thinks he deserves it. Boastful persons brag about their
accomplishments, overstating the truth to the degree that it has no
basis in reality. They are know-it-alls who try to deceive people into
thinking they are brilliant. They love to see their names in print and
their faces on television. They exaggerate their abilities,
accomplishments, talents, reputations, and value to society and to the
church. They are always the heroes of their own stories. Completely
lacking in humility, they speak to draw attention to themselves and in
their thoughts see themselves at the center of the universe. The fallen
world is the source of this boastful pride (1Jn 2:16), and God stands in
opposition to it (Jas 4:6). Perhaps the difference between the false
teacher and the struggling Christian here is only a matter of degree or
of sensitivity to the sin of selfishness as there are elements of this
pernicious monster lurking in all of us.
(Pr 6:17; 1Ti6:4; Jas4:6; 1Pe5:5)
(5244)(huperephanos from hupér = over, above, +
phaíno =shine, show) literally means "to show one's self
above", "to appear above."
"It does not so much mean the man who is conspicuous and to whom others look up, as the man who
stands on his own little self-created pedestal and looks down. The
characteristic of the man who is huperephanos is that he looks down on
everyone else, secure in his own arrogant self-conceit."
Huperephanos literally means one who
shows himself above other people. Even the Greeks hated this pride.
Theophrastus described it as “a certain contempt for all other people.”
Theophylact, the Christian writer, called it “the citadel and summit of
all evils.” The real terror of this pride is that it is a thing of the
heart. It certainly means haughtiness, but the man who suffers from it
might well appear to be walking in downcast humility, while all the time
there was in his heart a vast contempt for all his fellow-men. This
pride shuts itself off from God for three reasons. (i) It does not know
its own need… It walks in proud self-sufficiency. (ii) It cherishes its
own independence. It will be beholden to no man; it will not even be
beholden to God… (iii) It does not recognize its own sin… A pride like
that cannot receive help, because it does not know that it needs help,
and, therefore, it cannot ask. It loves, not God, but itself. (Daily
Study Bible Online - scroll down)
These men regard with contempt others whom they consider
beneath them, either socially, or materially, or in natural endowments.
Jesus described in a
to certain ones who trusted in themselves that they were
righteous, and viewed others with contempt."
(Lk18:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14)
This person is proud but it
is unseen. He can be praying and be arrogant and you won't know. He
contrasts with the person who is boastful and who can't hide it. The arrogant
person may fool you at first with humble tendencies but in the heart
there is arrogance and Jehovah not only hates "haughty eyes" (Pr6:17)
but is actively "opposed to the proud" (Jas4:6, 1 Pe5:5-note)
The difference between the boastful man and the one who is arrogant is
that the boaster is a swaggering creature, who tries to bluster his way into
power and eminence. No one can possibly mistake him. But the sin of the
man who is arrogant is in his heart. He might even seem to be humble;
but in his secret heart there is contempt for everyone else. He
nourishes an all-consuming, all-pervading pride and in his heart there
is a little altar where he bows down before himself.
REVILERS: blasphemoi: (Ps73:9 Da7:25; 11:36; 1Ti1:20; 2Pe2:12;
Jude10; Rev 13:1;5;6; 16:9, 11, 21)
(blasphemos - see related
blasphemeo) describes those who rail and reproach with
harsh, denigrating, demeaning insults directed against God and man
men have no fear of God because they are lovers of self. They don't want
God because God threatens everything that they are. And so they use
insulting, pejorative terms that
put God and others down.
Their inner disdain will eventually find expression in outward slander
from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil
thoughts...all these evil things proceed from within and defile the man." (Mk
This sin describes those who hurl
abuse at or speak abusively of others or make misrepresentations and
false charges seeking to destroy the other's good name.
Barclay (online) adds that "the
Jewish Rabbis ranked high in the list of sins what they called the sin
of insult . The insult which comes from anger is bad but it is
forgivable, for it is launched in the heat of the moment; but the cold
insult which comes from arrogant pride is an ugly and an unforgivable
DISOBEDIENT TO PARENTS: goneusin apeitheis:
(Pr 30:17, Mt15:6; Mk7:11,12; Ro1:30)
from a = without + peítho = persuade)
one who continually refuses to be persuaded (unpersuadable) and
therefore continually refuses to obey. They refuse to be
compliant or submissive. An infrequently used word that accurately
described these individuals is contumacious or stubbornly
Those who will rebel against their parents will have no qualms about
rebelling against anyone else.
comments that disobedience to parents is
"symptom" not the source. If a person is disobedient to parents follow
this up the chain and you will find him disobedient to anyone who is in
authority over him. Greeks had a severe penalty if a child was
disobedient to parents and Roman law called it "murder" to strike a
parent. In Jewish law a rebellious child was stoned! If they rebel
against parents, they are in essence rebelling against God. PRINCIPLE:
This symptom flows from a NON-SUBMISSIVE ATTITUDE and it begins with the
attitude toward the parents and the more he grows the broader this
disobedience becomes. This trait is the mark of a person who has
the gangrene of ungodliness in their life and they are poison. Get away
from them. When you get these folks in the church and they will not
submit…look out! How are you going to lead and pastor these individuals?
This person will submit to no one. The living will suffer because of
their gangrene unless they get away from them."
"the ancient world set duty to parents very high. The oldest Greek laws
disfranchised the man who struck his parents; to strike a father was in
Roman law as bad as murder; in the Jewish law honor for father and
mother comes high in the list of the Ten Commandments. It is the sign of
a supremely decadent civilization when youth loses all respect for age
and fails to recognize the unpayable debt and the basic duty it owes to
those who gave it life."
In Paul and Timothy’s day this sin set one off as fundamentally
rebellious at heart, for the attitude toward parents was understood as a
reflection of a deeper attitude toward God (Ex 20:12). They set themselves above the feelings of others and the
authority of their parents — not only is this extremely selfish, but it
is also destructive behavior. Have you observed these attitudes in
from a = without +
charizomai =, to show favor or
kindness) describes men who are utterly destitute of any gratitude
toward God or others.
They refuse to recognize the debt they owe
both to God and to men. The strange characteristic of ingratitude is
that it is the most hurting of all sins because it is the blindest.
Lear's words remain true: "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
to have a thankless child!" The very opposite attitude is seen in the Spirit
controlled man (Ep 5:18-note,
"always giving thanks
for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even
Wayne Barber comments
on grateful versus ungrateful noting that
the root word for acharistos
is "grace" (charis). How can I give
"grace" to God? The only ones who can be truly grateful are those who
have experienced the grace of God and once you have experienced it, you
are so awed and filled with it that you want to give it back to Him (cp
"I thank God" literally = I have grace to God). The person described
here by Paul is UNGRATEFUL, never willing bow down and submit to the
Lord Jesus. If they had been they would have received God's grace and
been grateful. You don't have grateful people who are ungodly.
Ungrateful people refuse God's grace - this is not that they couldn't
(receive grace) but that they wouldn't! It's rebellion – they refuse to
bow down in the presence of God. This person may buy the "cheapest fire
insurance policy" they can and be willing to cry a few tears so that
they can "get into heaven" but they are not willing to bow down to Jesus
Christ...You can join the church and miss Jesus a mile." Ungrateful
people are gangrene and poison.
has an interesting comment
"The person who elevates self above all others will feel he
deserves everything good he receives and therefore feels no need of
gratitude for it. Although he may not put it into words, the ungrateful
person despises the very idea of grace, which denotes goodness received
that is undeserved. This is a particularly noxious sin to God,
whose wrath is revealed against sinners for being unthankful" (Ro1:21).
(anosios) from a = without + hósios
= consecrated, hallowed, holy, righteous, unpolluted with wickedness)
pertains to that that which
is in opposition to God or what is sacred. It means
ungodly and without regard of duty toward God or toward man and carries
the idea not so much of irreligion as of gross indecency. In other
words this man
not only breaks the laws of God and society, but even breaks the
unwritten laws of common decency. To the Greek it was anosios
to refuse to bury a corpse. It was anosios for a brother
to commit incest by marrying a sister or a son a mother. The man who is
anosios offends the fundamental decencies of life.
The unholy person is driven by self-love to gratify his lusts and
passions of whatever sort, as fully as possible with no thought to
propriety, decency, or personal reputation.
has this note on anosios: "Men will refuse to recognize even the ultimate decencies of life... Anosios does not so
much mean that men will break the written laws; it means that they will
offend against the unwritten laws which are part and parcel of the
essence of life."