1 Timothy 6:3-19
Godís ways overrule our ways, because God is really in control, even if most human beings believe and live otherwise.
God created us and the world we live in, and set the standards for us to follow; we did not create anyone or anything, even if most people are creating their own rules by which to live, and expect God to accept them and bless them.
With this understanding, we need to seriously look at ourselves and everything we do and say, and ask ourselves is this in the heavenly will of God; am I doing and saying what God wants me to?
And, if we are not, even if it is something we have been doing for a long time, such as eating animal products, we need to change our ways, and conform to Godís heavenly will, where there is no pain or suffering or death.
In Jeremiah 32:1-15, the prophet is speaking to the people of Jerusalem, who have been living as they chose and not the way God wanted them to live, for God was about to pass judgement on them and send them into captivity in Babylon.
1. The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar.
Jeremiah is setting the stage of when this event took place so that future generations would understand that God indeed passes judgement on those who disobey Him.
And I hope we, as a society, are waking up to what is looming in our future, if we donít change our ways and return to living here on earth as God desires us to live.
2. Now at that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem, and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the guard, which was in the house of the king of Judah,
3. because Zedekiah king of Judah had shut him up, saying, "Why do you prophesy, saying, 'Thus says the LORD," Behold, I am about to give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will take it;
Zedekiah was obviously not living in the heavenly will of God, and as a result, he was leading people away from God, just as most of our leaders are setting the wrong examples for the people to follow, but God sees what they are doing, and will bring His judgement upon them and the people, for the Holy Spirit prompts everyone about what the Lord wants and does not want us to do.
As I have mentioned before, the proof of this was brought to the foreground when I was volunteering in prison ministry where I had the opportunity to talk to at least 500 inmates individually, and I asked them if they heard that still small voice within them telling them not to do what sent them to prison, and to a man each of them said, yes.
And I strongly believe that this is the reason that Jeremiah saidÖ
4. and Zedekiah king of Judah shall not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans, but he shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall speak with him face to face, and see him eye to eye;
Even the power of the king, who lorded his will over the people, and who is partially responsible for leading the people astray, will not be able to escape the judgement of the Lord God of heaven.
5. and he shall take Zedekiah to Babylon, and he shall be there until I visit him, "declares the LORD." If you fight against the Chaldeans, you shall not succeed "'?"
The people had gone too far in disobeying God, and there was no escaping His wrath and judgement, and they could die trying, but they will not be able to succeed.
But even in the midst of all of His judgement, God still has mercy and love for His people.
6. And Jeremiah said, "The word of the LORD came to me, saying,
7. 'Behold, Hanamel the son of Shallum your uncle is coming to you, saying, "Buy for yourself my field which is at Anathoth, for you have the right of redemption to buy it."'
Jeremiah understood that this was a sign from God, a confirmation that there was an end to this period of judgement, and it was a form of proof that Godís ways overrule our ways, for humans donít very often express this kind of love and mercy.
Here on earth God punishes the evildoers so that they will come to their senses and repent and truly seek to live in Godís heavenly will.
8. "Then Hanamel my uncle's son came to me in the court of the guard according to the word of the LORD, and said to me, 'Buy my field, please, that is at Anathoth, which is in the land of Benjamin; for you have the right of possession and the redemption is yours; buy it for yourself.' Then I knew that this was the word of the LORD.
Or we could understand that this was Jeremiahís confirmation that his initial understanding was correct.
9. "And I bought the field which was at Anathoth from Hanamel my uncle's son, and I weighed out the silver for him, seventeen shekels of silver.
10. "And I signed and sealed the deed, and called in witnesses, and weighed out the silver on the scales.
This is also another confirmation that our Godly ministries need money to be able to do the things of God, such as this, which Jeremiah used as a sign to the people that even in the midst of Godís judgement His lovingkindness never ceases, for there will be an end to this judgement.
11. "Then I took the deeds of purchase, both the sealed copy containing the terms and conditions, and the open copy;
12. and I gave the deed of purchase to Baruch the son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, in the sight of Hanamel my uncle's son, and in the sight of the witnesses who signed the deed of purchase, before all the Jews who were sitting in the court of the guard.
Jeremiah wants everyone to see what he is doing; he is planning for the future after Godís judgement is completed.
He wants the people to understand this, even if they may not be among the people who return to their present homes.
13. "And I commanded Baruch in their presence, saying,
14. 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, "Take these deeds, this sealed deed of purchase, and this open deed, and put them in an earthenware jar, that they may last a long time."
15. 'For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, "Houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land."'
This was the promise of a future beyond the time of Godís judgement, for hopefully by then the people would learn that Godís ways overrule our ways instead of following the corrupt ways of this world, as most of the people today are doing.
Letís keep in mind the fact that Godís ways overrule our ways as we look at Luke 16:19-31, which is a parableÖ
19. "Now there was a certain rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, gaily living in splendor every day.
20. "And a certain poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores,
21. and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man's table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores.
The rich man of this parable is a representation of the type of people who lived in Jerusalem in the days of Jeremiah, and the poor man is a representation of those who live according to Godís ways, even though he suffered for it.
22. "Now it came about that the poor man died and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried.
23. "And in Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Itís too late for us, if like this rich man we donít repent and change our ways before we die.
However, there are a lot of people who are not living according to Godís ways, because they are following the human doctrines of this earth, even though they think, or want to think, that they are doing what God wants them to do, just as we suppose that many of the people in Jerusalem thought they were.
For us, one of the easiest ways of telling if someone isnít living according to the heavenly will of God, is to look at what they eat and wear; if they are the products of cruelty and death, then they are not living the ways that God wants us to live, for in heaven there is no pain or suffering or death.
24. "And he cried out and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue; for I am in agony in this flame.'
25. "But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony.
The good things referred to in this verse are the worldly desires that ungodly people desire and not the things that God desires us to have.
We could also say that we reap what we sow, for Godís ways overrule our ways.
26. 'And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, in order that those who wish to come over from here to you may not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.'
In other words, there is no escaping this final judgement.
27. "And he said, 'Then I beg you, Father, that you send him to my father's house Ė
28. for I have five brothers - that he may warn them, lest they also come to this place of torment.'
29. "But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them,'
And today, we have our Bibles and the unction of the Holy Spirit to guide us in Godís ways, but as we can see most of the people are following the corrupt ways of this world, and not the heavenly will of God; they are doing their own things without showing any sign of having any empathy for the pain, suffering, and death they are contributing to in Godís creation.
30. "But he said, 'No, Father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!"
31. "But he said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.'"
We agree, because, relatively few people are even interested in hearing the Good News or about the heavenly will of God, for we have been lovingly and peacefully trying to show them the difference for well over 30 years.
Their own hardness of heart leads them away from God, as this rich man experienced, and as did the people of Jerusalem in the days of Jeremiah.
1 Timothy 6:3-19 is a passage that is often taken out of context by many people who follow the ways of this world.
3. If anyone advocates a different doctrine, and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness,
4. he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions,
5. and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.
Think carefully about what we are told in verse 3: Paul is referring to a doctrine that does not conform with the things that Jesus taught us.
Jesus taught us to live in the heavenly will of God and to bring that will to earth as it is in heaven where there is no pain or suffering or death.
And nothing in the beatitudes would allow any of us to deliberately cause another living being any pain, suffering, or death.
This means that we cannot be contributing to any of this human caused pain, suffering or death, so if people buy or eat or wear any animal products they are actually contributing to the corruption of creation.
So, with these things in mind, letís go on.
6. But godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment.
Thus, if we are living in the heavenly will of God, we need to bring this contentment to the whole of creation.
7. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.
That is, we cannot take any physical thing out of this world, but we can take love, compassion, and empathy out of this world, for these qualities are eternal.
8. And if we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.
9. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.
Again, this seems to be referring to physical things and not spiritual things.
The only physical things we need are those things that are necessary to live, as long as none of these things bring pain, suffering, or death to any other living beings.
And the only money we really need is that which we need to live on and carry out our ministry in an endeavor to help free creation from its present corruption.
10. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang.
11. But flee from these things, you man of God; and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.
We need to recognize the fact that none of these things bring any harm to any aspect of Godís creation.
12. Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
Our faith is to be in God, and not in the ways of this world with all its violence and death.
13. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate,
14. that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15. which He will bring about at the proper time ó He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords;
16. who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light; whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.
This is the way we should all live.
17. Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.
Our money should be used to live on and to further our ministry of peace on earth in Jesus Christ, and not for our personal gain.
18. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,
19. storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.
Are we doing this?
We sure hope and pray we are.
And remember that Godís ways overrule our ways.
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