2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
Bible passages teach, but we must be willing to learn from them in the heavenly will of God, and not necessarily in the precepts of other human beings.
And we need to remember that not all Bible passages teach us what we are to do; they can also teach us about the things that are against the heavenly will of God that we need to avoid.
And we need to remember that many people use Bible passages out of context to back up or ďproveĒ their point of view; one of the most common areas where we find this concerns the eating of other living beings (animals), so we need to remember that in heaven there is no pain or death, which means that there could not be any killing of animals in heaven, and we need to remember that God created us and the animals in Eden and commanded all of us to eat only plant foods.
And this kind of heavenly will logic should be applied to every passage in the Bible and whatever other people say about how Bible passages teach including me.
Letís begin by looking at Psalm 119:97-104Ö
97. O how I love Thy law!
It is my meditation all the day.
This is true, if we apply Godís heavenly will to our understanding, for Jesus taught us such things as animal sacrifices were not in Godís heavenly will, for God desires obedience and not sacrifice; so this understanding must be applied to every passage in the Bible that talks about sacrificing animals.
98. Thy commandments make me wiser than my enemies,
For they are ever mine.
And we need to remember that our real enemies are the devil and those who follow him, which to us means that Bible passages teach us to be spiritually strong and not necessarily physically strong, or that spending more money than any other country on militaries makes us a victor.
99. I have more insight than all my teachers,
For Thy testimonies are my meditation.
We believe that we need to be careful with this kind of thinking; Jesus is also one of our teachers, and in fact our main teacher even when He was a man upon this earth, for this was the time from which we find His teachings in our Bibles.
So, meditating upon the teaching of Jesus, coupled with the unction of the Holy Spirit should lead us in the direction of the heavenly will of God.
100. I understand more than the aged,
Because I have observed Thy precepts.
This is true that the so-called wise men teach concepts that are not in the heavenly will of God, but some of the aged do teach in the heavenly will of God and we donít want to dismiss what they say and wrote.
101. I have restrained my feet from every evil way,
That I may keep Thy word.
This is the way that Bible passages teach us to live when we learn from them in the heavenly will of God.
102. I have not turned aside from Thine ordinances,
For Thou Thyself hast taught me.
Again, this is the way that we all should learn, but unfortunately most people seem to follow worldly thinking that has corrupted Godís peaceful creation and filled it with violence and death.
103. How sweet are Thy words to my taste!
Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
This is the way we all should be for it is the only way we are ever going to find peace on earth, and good will to all humans and animals.
104. From Thy precepts I get understanding;
Therefore I hate every false way.
This is how Bible passages teach us to understand the heavenly will of God and to avoid the false ways of this corrupt world.
In Luke 18:1-8, we find an example of how Bible passages teach us to learn from the parables that Jesus taught usÖ
1. Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart,
This is an excellent concept to learn for most people are living like they have already lost heart and seem somewhat content to live in the ways of this corrupt and violent world.
2. saying, "There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God, and did not respect man.
If we look around us in the world, there seems to be many of these kinds of leaders; in fact, they seem to greatly outnumber those who live in the heavenly will of God and make their decisions accordingly, and Jesus seems to be teaching us that we will be encountering many of these kinds of corrupt people and might even have to deal with them.
3. "And there was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, 'Give me legal protection from my opponent.'
4. "And for a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, 'Even though I do not fear God nor respect man,
5. yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, lest by continually coming she wear me out.' "
We wish that this was the case in all of these situations, but unfortunately, we see that they donít act thin these ways very often.
6. And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge said;
7. now shall not God bring about justice for His elect, who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them?
This teaches us that we can never leave God out of every encounter we have in the world around us.
8. "I tell you that He will bring about justice for them speedily.
However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?"
God will indeed bring about justice, but it may not be speedily in all cases, such as ending the exploitation and killing of animals, and ending our violence and warring madness.
Now letís look at 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5 and think about how Bible passages teach usÖ
14. You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them;
15. and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Remember that at that time the only Bible was the Hebrew text, so Paul always includes Jesus in the equation about how we are to learn, for Jesus taught us to learn through His teaching and the heavenly will of God.
16. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
17. that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
Isnít this the confirmation about what we have been discussing today? But what Paul didnít mention here is that our learning includes the things we are to do and the things we are to avoid.
With this in mind, think about what Paul wrote next to Timothy.
4:1. I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:
2. preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
And we must do all of this in the heavenly will of God in ways that the people will understand and hopefully follow.
3. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires;
4. and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths.
We see this happening all the time in the world around us all the way up to the president of our country, and we are not to lose heart, but to press on in our ministry.
And as children of God, we all have a ministry of bringing Godís heavenly will to earth as it is in heaven, even when we are not in positions of formal ministry.
And Paul concludes this passage to Timothy, and to us today, by sayingÖ
5. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an
evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
Timothy was in a position of formal ministry, but each of us can learn and follow from what he wrote.
We are to be sober at all times and in all things so that we never make a bad impression or get a bad reputation, for if we do, what we say will most likely not be believed; we need to live what we say.
The hardships we have to endure may not always be physical, they can also be emotional because the work of an evangelist may not be believed at the time of our teaching, and we should not be discouraged, for hopefully we have planted seeds of wisdom that just need time to mature; and we have heard from people years later about how what we had said led them to changing their lives years later.
This is how we all fulfill our ministries.
This is how all Bible passages teach.
And we can all apply this to our own lives.
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