Although Paul was an apostle, it was proper for him not to take hospitality for granted, and he waited until Lydia insisted. Similarly, when Jesus walked on the Sea of Galilee, he ignored the apostles until they called out to him, “Master, save us!” (Mark 6:48-51).
Posts Tagged ‘ Antioch ’
Here is a good example of how we have to grow in our understanding of the deep things of God lest we react like zombies and our minds fail to grasp important details. This principle is especially true with regard to prophetic truths, which are dispensationally understood when the due time comes.
“Ephraim hath hired lovers.” The thought of the rebellious wild ass continues. Israel not only showed a lack of judgment in going to the king of Assyria for help but also desired the fellowship of others. Israel looked for new pleasures in foreign lands. Most prostitutes get paid for their work, but Israel was even worse. Contrary to nature, Israel went out and paid the one she had an illicit relationship with; that is, Israel bought her lovers. This is powerful language!
Imagine the prophet saying these bold things to the ten tribes! And he was addressing the honored representatives (the king, the priesthood, etc.)—he even used a trumpet (see verse 1).
What a tongue-lashing Hosea gave them, using powerful illustrations! The people understood the analogy about the wild ass. Hosea was a truly courageous prophet. Incidentally, Assyria was not satisfied with the pay, or tribute, and swallowed up the ten tribes.
Notice what naturally happened. The rulers of the synagogue asked the two strangers if they had “any word of exhortation for the people” and perhaps also wanted to hear any news that would be of interest to the congregation. Also, they would want to know the thoughts of others of Jewry in regard to the passage of the Law just read. Paul stood up quickly and beckoned with his hand as if to say, “I have something of significance to say.” Then he spoke courageously, feeling the importance of the situation and the message, and knowing that God had anointed him, through Jesus, to be a special ambassador to the Gentiles.
In addition to the long list of sins in verses 9 and 10 for which the Law was made, Paul added, “And if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.” Many other sins are contrary to the teachings of Jesus and the apostles, who used the Old Testament extensively. The consecrated should become thoroughly familiar with the New Testament and its sound doctrine, and in doing so, they should see the need to study the Old Testament—in other words, God’s Word in its entirety.
To go into the Greek with each word is not necessary, for the English translation is comparable in about 90 percent of the terminology. With more than a dozen characteristics, the English touches on almost every avenue, in one form or another, of what not to do. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times [dangerous times, a severe testing period] shall come.” The Epistle to Jude indicates that a very bad condition would develop in the true Church at the end of the Gospel Age. The question with regard to Paul’s letter to Timothy would be, Have the “perilous times,” prophesied to come “in the last days,” already begun to occur, or are they future? We would say these conditions have begun, even though they are stated in the extreme, for they will increase in intensity. The expression “last days” (plural) indicates these conditions would have to take place at the end of the age in the Harvest period, and we have seen many developments in the last decade or two that are peculiar to our generation. Some of these characteristics have been a trial throughout the Gospel Age, but others are different in some respects. The accounts in 2 Peter 2 and Jude carry the situation forward to a climactic conclusion, telling what will happen in the true Church. The conditions described here in verses 1-5 will lead up to that final experience, and generally speaking, what makes us think they are connected with the Harvest period is the fact that verse 8 names Jannes and Jambres, who withstood Moses.
We shall not be surprised if a considerable amount of persecution develop within the next few years against all the “children of light” who will walk up to that light. John, the beloved disciple, in some measure or degree illustrated or represented the last, living members of the “little flock.” Doubtless this was the meaning of our Lord’s statement, “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?” (John 21:22,23.) John did not tarry, but a class whom he in some respects illustrated has tarried—a class who see with the eyes of their understanding the visions and revelations which John saw in symbols, in a trance.