The Book of 2 Timothy Bible Study Chapter 3 Part 1

We begin this week by reading 2 Timothy 3:1-9

In this passage there is a connection between Paul’s words and the last days. Paul wanted Timothy, who lived so long ago, to be displaying the conduct that we need to be displaying if we are that generation that sees the fulfilment of what the prophets spoke of – i.e. the various events that must happen for the Kingdom of G-d to be established. In this chapter we do not see the world being perfected by the body of believers, by the church. In fact, since we rely upon the testimony of Scripture, what we do see is that this world is going to become more and more ungodly. 

v1: The last days: Paul is referring to the end times. The end times are a time of transition – when this world, as we know it, will come to an end. These events of the last days will bring about the outpouring of G-d’s judgment and consuming wrath. As a result of sinfulness, destruction, death and sorrow have been marked out for this world and its final inhabitants. G-d’s wrath deals with sin. As believers, G-d’s wrath concerning our sin was poured out upon Yeshua at the cross (2 Cor 5:21, Roms 5:8-10). Those who are “IN Messiah” do not need to fear this wrath of G-d as we will be removed (raptured/our blessed hope) before this final wrath falls (1 Thess 4:17, 5:9). We are not a people who are condemned, but we are a people who have become victorious through the cross. In Galatians 6:14, Paul tells us that he glories in the cross – he glories in the wrath of G-d that Messiah received on behalf of us. 

  • Perilous times: Difficult, dangerous, times. These times will be very difficult to bear or to endure for those who are alive at that time. As believers we are going to experience perilous times in the last days. The source of this, however, is not G-d – neither His wrath nor anything related to His judgment. We are going to encounter perilous things because of ungodly individuals who have rejected a covenantal relationship with G-d.

v2: Note: These are the things we should expect to be present in this world in the last days. We should not be taken by surprise that people are going to act in this way. 

  • Men: Although this is written in the masculine it is referring to all people. 
  • Lovers of themselves: These people are not going to love G-d. They are not going to walk with Him, embrace His truth or experience the anointing of the Holy Spirit. 
  • Lovers of money: They are going to have a strong desire for wealth. 
  • Disobedient to parents: They are going to consistently demonstrate, from the time that they are small children up until their old age, that they cannot submit to or embrace authority. They have a rebellious spirit.
  • Unthankful: Ungrateful people. 

v3: Slanderers: People who speak in an unkind and in an accusing way toward others. In the Greek this is the root of the word ‘diabolical’ and is where the term ‘devil’ comes from. 

  • Without self-control: They are inclined toward excess. 
  • Brutal: Barbaric. They are very harsh and uncaring toward others. They are cruel to one another. They do not care about the suffering that they inflict upon others.
  • Despisers: They do not love. 
  • Despisers of good: ‘Good’ is related to the will of G-d. These people do not love the will of G-d. 

v4: Traitors: Disloyal. They are going to betray each other. 

  • Haughty: Some people who are proud know that pride is unbecoming, so they try to conceal or cloak it so that people do not know that they are proud. This is not what this word is alluding to. The people who are haughty do not care to conceal their pride. They are proud of their pride and make sure everybody around them knows it. They do not care what people think of them because they are in bondage to exalting or lifting up themselves (they love to tell others how great they themselves are). 
  • Lovers of pleasure: They love sensual, carnal, physical pleasure – the gratification of their flesh. Woe to those who deny these people or who speak against them. 
  • Rather than lovers of G-d: These people do not like G-d. They do not like the things of G-d nor do they like the standards of G-d. 

Note: Paul is warning us that a time of conflict is coming. These people want what they want and will crush anyone in their way to get what they want. They will be against faith and against anyone who has faith in G-d. Ultimately believers are going to be marginalised and the ones who are called ‘troublemakers’ (Isaiah 5:20, Matt 24:9-13). 

v5: A form of G-dliness: False believers (1 John 2:19). They portray themselves as loving, caring, compassionate people who are fighting for the betterment of others – more concerned with social justice than G-dly justice. This form of G-dliness is false. It is not a manifestation of true G-dliness. 

  • Denying its power: There is a power to G-dliness – to living in a G-dly way. The Holy Spirit leads us to live in a G-dly way. If we have trouble discerning the Spirit’s voice, then we have the commandments of G-d to also help us to walk in a G-dly way. The Holy Spirit and the commandments of G-d are not in conflict with each other. They ultimately reveal to us the same revelation. These people rebel against the power of G-d. They rebel against the Holy Spirt and against the commandments of G-d. 
  • From such people turn away: We may have some disagreement as to when we should turn away from these people. Already some believers disagree to laws being passed by some authorities and powers – the lowering of the bar, so to speak, morally and ethically. A time will come however when the governments lower the bar to such a degree that all true believers will draw a line in the sand and say “no” – no matter what the worldly consequences to our own lives will be (imprisonment, suffering, tribulation, etc). 

v6: Creep: They enter in a cunning and covert way. They have dressed themselves in the garment of false presentation – masquerading as believers, pretending to have the best interest of others at heart.

  • Make captives of gullible women: They are men who exploit women. As we move closer and closer to the last days, we are going to see an attack upon and a dishonouring (devaluing) of (specifically) women. 
  • Loaded down with sins: They feel far removed from G-d and empty. These women need the message of salvation and Kingdom hope. However, through falsehood, their spiritual condition is exploited. 

v7: Always learning: These people present themselves as being in the Word. 

  • Never… come to the knowledge of the truth: Although they present themselves as being Biblically literate, they do not know the truth. 

v8: Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses: These two men are the example that Paul uses to drive home his point. Jannes and Jambres are not mentioned by name in the Old Testament. However, their names do appear in the ancient Rabbinical writings of the sages. These two were false magicians in Egypt (Exodus 7:11, 7:22). They did powerful things, but they did them through the power of darkness – with satanic assistance. 

  • Moses: Mention of Moses reminds us of G-d’s redemptive purposes and commands. These men stood against G-d’s purpose and commands. In the last days numerous people are also going to stand against the things of G-d. They are going to oppose truth. 
  • Men of corrupt minds: Their minds are depraved because of their sinful desires for their pleasure – for accomplishing what they want to do (Roms 1:28-32).
  • Disapproved concerning the faith: These people are living in a way that does not give any evidence that they belong to the faith. 

v9: They will progress no further: They will not proceed far. They are not going to be successful. They are not going to accomplish their goals. They are going to be cut down by G-d’s wrath. 

  • Folly: Unknowledgeable minds.
  • Manifest to all: They are going to be exposed for who they really are. 
  • Theirs: Referring to Jannes and Jambres. These two men were eventually exposed as frauds (Ex 9:18). They were opposed to G-d’s people leaving bondage (leaving Egypt). Like these men, many people will also desire G-d’s people to remain in bondage. 

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