2009-04-13 - THOUGHTS THIS MORNING FROM 1 TIMOTHY 4:15
1 Timothy 4:15 (4:11-16) “Be diligent (meditate) in these; give yourself wholly to these; that your progress may be manifest to all.”
Note the 3 points that Paul makes here. First, “be diligent” is often translated meditate, which may be the more accurate translation for “meleTAo”. It is a parallel passage to Joshua 1:8, using the Hebrew word for meditate, hahGAH. God tells Joshua not to let the teaching of the Torah or law to depart from his mouth. Hebrew verses are often phrased in parallelisms. The next clause says, but meditate (hahGAH) upon it day and night, making Hebrew Meditation a vocal exercise. We are to read or pray back to God audibly what we are reading! Then we are to do it, as Jesus exhorted in the Sermon on the Mount - he who hears and does these saying of Mine - is wise! (He who hears and does not do so - is foolish.) Then prosperity and success follows such a person.
This is exactly what Paul is saying to Timothy in parallel form to what God said to Joshua. Now Paul exhorts his disciple to give himself wholly to his words, just like Joshua 1:8. Lastly, he is to ensure that his profiting in this , is open for all to see!
Now the immediate words in this letter to Timothy are first of all to be acted upon. The Pastoral epistles to Timothy and Titus including Philemon, are fitted for those in spiritual Post Graduate College and University. (The Gospels are like Elementary School; Acts - Junior High; James through Jude - High School; Paul's church epistles, College & University; Hebrews and Revelation: like further studies after PhD. work.
There's another thought I'm sure Paul had for Timothy: that of masteringhis 9 letters to the 7 churches of Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Colosse and Thessalonia.
Paul being a Jew, and Timothy with a Jewish mother, would see the following significant insights.
The Book of Romans can be linked with Passover, through Justification by Faith. Corinth is like the Feast of unleavened bread, where the believers of this city needed to purge out the old leaven and ensure Jesus as their Passover. Galatians was to bring these straying believers back to the Word of the Gospel, and not mix up the law of the OT with the teaching of Jesus in the NT. Timothy was to master these insights.
Ephesians can be linked with the Feast of Pentecost. The full working of the Holy Spirit in the church through the release that came in Romans through Jesus' atoning work, ties these 2 epistles together. Passover and Pentecost were tied together in both Old and New Testaments by the 50 days between the Resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit 50 days later. The counting of the Omer cemented this connection.
1 & 2 Thessalonians major on the second coming of Jesus as Lord of lords and King of kings. This corresponds with the Feast of Tabernacles, a type and shadow of the OT.
There are 4 men whose life and teachings correspond with the 3 Feasts. Oswald Chambers is as it were the Apostle of Redemption, that corresonds with Passover and the Book of Romans.
Rees Howells is known as “the man with the Holy Spirit,” and suitably matches the Feast of Pentecost and the Book of Ephesians.
George Muller majored on the Second Coming of Jesus. He had to adjust his thinking as a young Christian. He started out listening to the traditions of men in the church, instead of checking out what God in the Bible said about teaching and doctrine. He very soon found out that traditional church leaders led him astray. It is notGod's intention to save the world before the second coming of Christ. Instead, the Holy Spirit is using evangelists to bring out a remnantfrom every nation, tribe, tongue and people, make disciplesof them, and set them forth as the Bride of Christ. The majority of the human race today will not haveChrist to reign over them in the Kingdom of God of the Spirit. H. A. Baker in “Visions Beyond the Veil” confirms the findings of George Muller.
God's Truth comes in threes. It is quite easy to search the Scriptures and find over 100 sets of threes: The Triunity of the Godhead - One God - but 3 persons; man: a trichotomy, not a dichotomy: spirit, soul and body; the divisions of the Tabernacle and Temple: outer court, holy place and Holy of Holies - as 3 examples.
Look for such in the Tabernacle of Moses and Temple of Solomon: Outer Court with the Brazen Altar points to Passover and the Finished Work of Christ; The 7-fold Menorah in the Holy Place represents the Holy Spirit and the 7 gifts of the Spirit of 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 (Tongues and Interpretaion = Prophecy according to Paul in 1 Corinthians 14); the Holy of Holies represents the Feast of Tabernacles, and the consummation of this church age.
Or - see the 3 divisions of the Old Testament: Law, associated with Passover; the Prophets - Pentecost (see Jeremiah 31); and the Writings: Feast of Tabernacles. The Book of Psalms in the Writings again and again refers to this, as in Psalm 24.
Another way to look at the Tabernacle and Temple: Our body corresponds with the Outer Court, and is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Our soul with the Holy Place, and Jesus redeemed our souls! The Holiest is the goal of our spirits, and there we find intimacy with the Father, revealed by the Son, even as the Spirit reveals the Son.
The Feast of Tabernacles comes in 3 divisions: The Blowing of Trumpets on Tishri 1 - can be linked with the Book of Revelation (See all the trumpets there, including the Last Trump!). Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement) can be linked with the book of Hebrews. Jesus' death is so wonderfully set forth for us both individually and corporately. Tabernacles, properly starting on Tishri 15, introduces the return of our Lord as King of kings and Lord of lords.
So I see Paul's admonition to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:15 as encompassing much of this as well as that epistle itself. And - it is to be orally or vocally meditated upon. George Whitefield and George Muller both exercised this method of devotions hourseach day; I am moving increasingly in this direction. Oswald Chambers, Rees Howells and George Muller were allearly risers - 5 AM for most; 4 AM for Muller. I am heading in that direction, with increasing blessing. I am sure Paul and Timothy followed this pattern. E. Stanley Jones did too.
Like Paul, I ask prayer on my behalf that I might be like Timothy, according to the exhortation of Paul. I trust that many of you - in the discipleship spirit, will join me in being one with Timothy in this.
Your friend - Jim Watt