Home Bible Study

"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.
Revelation 22:20

This is a Home Bible study. It exists to promote the Word of God as it's written, which means nothing added or taken away, and minus opinions.

The Bible is the only source of Divine Truth in the world today. Although it is helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible might not tell us everything we want to know but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know.

My role is to guide you through the Scriptures; to explain what this book says and in some cases what it does not say because this is just as important.

Ultimately, you have a decision to make concerning your salvation - no one can make it for you. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, has given everyone the ability to make choices - this is is called "Free Will." I pray you consider your choice wisely.

II Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

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Friday, April 26, 2019

Philippians 2:20-24 - (L 22)

Home Bible Study©

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)

WWW. 2Tim215.Net

Established November 2008          Published Weekly on Friday

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men (and women) to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:3-4).


Welcome to Home Bible Study©

But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you (in Philippi), that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state (2:19).

Last week I thought it would be worthwhile to investigate Paul’s faithful coworker Timothy and I pray you learned at least one new thing about him.  Paul held him in high regard and their relationship was that of father and “son in the faith. Verses 2:20-21 shines greater light on the faithfulness of Timothy: “For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.  For all seek their own (interests), not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.

Timothy’s name appears in most of Paul’s letters to the churches.  You didn’t have to wonder where he was or what he was doing because he was usually at Paul’s side or away carrying out his instructions.  He was with Paul in Rome when he wrote this letter.  Paul planned on sending him to Philippi just as soon as he knew what the Roman government had decided to do with him (2:23).  Explaining this fact to the saints in Philippi prompted him to consider Timothy’s worth and his character which inspired him to consider Timothy’s value in relation to those self-centered men in the church who were wrongly motivated; they put their interests above all (2:20-22).  It could be said his inspiration in coming to Philippi was therefore related to his love and respect for Paul and his sincere concern to glorify the Lord by providing much needed encouragement and counsel to the saints in Philippi (Ephesians 4:29; Philippians 3:20). 


Please open your Bible at Philippians 2:20-24.

For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.  For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.  But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the Father, he hath served with me in the gospel.  Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me.  But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come (to y’all) shortly.  For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state (2:20). 

Here Paul is saying Timothy and Timothy alone possessed the same mental fortitude and spiritual disposition as our Apostle Paul.  He would be sent to Philippi shortly or ASAP just as soon as the proceedings in Rome ran their course.  Why?  Timothy naturally cared for the Philippian’s state (condition; the circumstances of a being or thing at any given time).

I’ve heard countless sermons over the years, but I only remember a few comments from some of them.  Having said that, I remember each instance when someone proved they genuinely cared about me and my state, especially recently.  In the last 11.5 months, I experienced a divorce and shortly thereafter the death of my dear mother.  Six months to the day after her death my oldest sister passed away unexpectedly.  One month later my last surviving aunt died.  Then, in September, my great-nephew (age 14) was shot and killed by local law enforcement on his school campus.  He wasn’t a terrorist.  In retaliation to years of bullying, he came to school one morning with his parent’s handgun to frighten the people persecuting him.  When he entered the building, the police were waiting for him because his mother had called and alerted them.  But instead of surrendering to the authorities he turned the gun in the direction of the police, and they shot him.  He died instantly.  We’ll never know the minute details of this incident because Brandon is no longer with us.  However, I believe this was an act of teenage suicide via law enforcement; it’s not uncommon.  Ignorant people have, in turn, harassed his mother in person and by telephone and several death threats have been made, so the pain continues for the family.    

Each one of these life events was a devastating, emotional loss.   In response to my grief, the community I reside in sent me a sympathy card containing more than 40 signatures and several personal sentiments.  A few came to my home to express their concern about my state (wellbeing), asking if they could do anything for me.  Some of my Facebook friends expressed concern over my losses.  A friend of my sister and mine from our childhood days called and we talked for more than an hour, sharing memories.  We could not hold back the tears during our conversation.  My local church expressed their condolences and concerns, and a few told me they were praying for me and my family.  I don’t recall every word of every conversation.  What I do remember is they cared, and I appreciate each one of them. 

To care for someone is to express genuine love for them.  This is taking the Lord’s instructions/commands to heart and then to the streets, literally. 

Getting back to young Timothy, our Apostle Paul said, “I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.”  Let’s not overlook the significance of the word “likeminded” here.  Timothy understood something that many church-going people fail to see today.  What’s that?  I’m glad you asked.  He knew Paul was God’s spokesperson for the present Age of Grace and not the twelve.  Now, I’ve been told many times, by many people, over the years I make too much of Paul.  But, in response to that remark, I refer them to scripture, specifically 1 Corinthians 14:37 because the message is so clear:

If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the (what) commandments of God.”

Therefore, Timothy followed Paul as he followed Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1).  To follow in the footsteps of Paul is to acknowledge the teachings of Christ Jesus in this dispensation.  Paul is God’s example of how Believers are to live (walk worthy) in this present age and not the Sermon on the Mount.  Timothy was instep with Paul and his teachings therefore Paul referred to him as likeminded.  This subtly declares Timothy was not only willing to learn he put the knowledge into practice.  Can the same be said of you? (Galatians 6:2, 9-10; Ephesians 4:17-32, 5:1)

Timothy had a genuine burden for the church, and Paul communicated this truth to the Philippians saying he “will naturally care for your state.  Having Timothy by their side would not be the same as Paul himself, but it runs a close second.  Timothy cared!

Thus, we learn an individual may understand and preach from this book, but if he

doesn’t show interest in other people and their concerns, he certainly is not likeminded.

The adage “Actions speak louder than words” comes to mind and serves to take me to Paul’s statement in 2:21: “For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.”  This remark tells us there were some narcissistic people in the church at Rome who were only interested in themselves and their concerns.  This character trait is not only common today it is becoming more and more predominant which is why we find in the church.  Plainly said, not every person preaching God’s Word “rightly divides” it and is genuinely interested in you and your spiritual well-being (state).  Although some of these folks preach the name of Jesus Christ it’s only for their personal gain and self-glory (1 Timothy 6:3-5; 2 Timothy 2:15).

Let’s go to verse 2:22.

But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served me in the gospel.”

Sometime after the Jerusalem Council, recorded for us in Acts 15, we find Paul beginning another missionary journey.  He took Silas and left Antioch traveling to Asia Minor to strengthen the churches he had planted there.  At Lystra Paul discovered young Timothy had served the Lord and the church diligently and had been given a position of leadership in that assembly.  Because of this favorable report from the brethren he had Timothy join him on his second missionary journey and he proved to be dependable on this apostolic journey as well. 

This experience stands in stark contrast to Paul’s involvement with another man of God named John Mark, the son of Mary, a woman whose house was used as a meeting place for Jewish Believers (Acts 12:12).   He is also the author of the gospel Mark.  During Paul’s first missionary journey, John Mark, the cousin of Barnabas, accompanied them.  Along the way, however, he “deserted them” and returned to Jerusalem (Acts 13:13).  The reason for his decision to up and leave is not mentioned in the Bible text and I choose not to speculate.  We know sometime later, when a second missionary journey was being planned, Barnabas proposed taking John Mark along with them as a helper, but Paul strongly resisted the notion because of his proven unreliability.  A “sharp contention” developed between Paul and Barnabas (Acts 15:36-41).  Since, they could not reach a compromise, they split up: “Barnabas took John Mark with him and sailed for Cyprus, and Paul chose Silas and left, committed by the brethren to the grace of the Lord” (Acts 15:40).

This true story doesn’t end badly for in Colossians 4:10-11 we learn while Apostle Paul was imprisoned in Rome John Mark was there with him as a “fellow worker” (Philemon 24).  Apparently, Paul planned to send John Mark to Colossae and urged the Believers there to receive him warmly should that plan come to fruition: 

Aristarchus (a Jewish convert from Thessalonica) my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus (John Mark), sister’s son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;) And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision.  These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me.

During Paul’s second and final imprisonment in the Mamertine Prison in Rome, he instructed Timothy to bring John Mark with him when he comes to Rome because “he is useful to me” (2 Timothy 2:11).  Evidently, John Mark had proven his worth. 

Let’s go to verse 2:23.

Him (Timothy) I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me.

Timothy had not only proved to be likeminded in the gospel of grace but also in his sincere concern for the Body of Christ.  So, whenever Paul desired information from one of the grace churches, or if a church needed encouragement or rebuking and he could not make the trip himself, he usually sent Timothy (See 1 Corinthians 4:7; Philippians 2:23; 1 Thessalonians 3:6; 1 Timothy 1:3). 

Ephesians 4:11-12 states “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:”

Young Timothy was a living example of all God wants those in Christ Jesus to be.  He was selfless, single-minded, spiritually mature, sympathetic, teachable, and what’s more he made himself available.   He proved himself to be a faithful servant of the Lord and Paul.  He willingly traveled far and wide without complaining.  In this, he proved all people mattered, especially those of the household of faith. 


There’s always a down-side to every story, after all, Timothy was as human as anyone of us.  Because of his timidity he desired to avoid conflict.  That’s a problem because if you’re doing “it” right, i.e. sharing God’s Truth with people you can’t do this without upsetting the people you’re talking to.  Jesus preached God’s truth and encountered bigotry, hatred, and scorn.  Why would we think it will be different for us?  So, it could be said Timothy was in danger of neglecting the ministry: 

Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.  Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.  Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.  Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee (1 Timothy 4:11-16).

Timothy also had frequent ailments and a chronic stomach condition probably brought about by stress.  In 1 Timothy 5:23, Paul issued some clear instructions on how to deal with this.  We note again Paul did not heal him miraculously.  The time of the sign gifts had passed. 

Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.

(To be continued)

©Copyright 2011

GJ Heitzman’s Ministry

All Rights Reserved


Friday, April 19, 2019

Philippians 2:19 - (L 21)

Home Bible Study

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15
WWW. 2Tim215.Net

Established November 2008          Published Weekly on Friday

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men (and women) to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:3-4). 


Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.  For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me (2:17-18).

Paul holds up the faithful service of the Philippian saints for all to see and likens his ministry among them to a drink offering.  Their voluntary sacrificial service to God may be compared to an O.T. drink offering or libation.  It was a sweet savor offering well pleasing to God (Leviticus 1:3; Romans 12:1-2; Philippians 2:5). 

The Philippians were being persecuted and suffered because of this, but this is not unusual for the true Believer.   Paul informed them this was SOP (standard operating procedure): “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to (what) suffer for his sake” (Philippians 1:29; 2 Timothy 3:11-12).

In this we learn God the Father did not promise any believer a “Rose Garden.”  Tribulations of all sorts will come our way, but Paul tells us in Romans 5 how we’re to respond to suffering in our life: “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations (tribulo, to thrash, to beat.  Severe affliction; distresses of life; vexations.  In Scripture, it often denotes the troubles and distresses which proceed from persecution) also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost (Spirit) which is given unto us.”   

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; (2 Corinthians 4:16-17; Romans 1:8; 2 Timothy 2:10).
God gives us His grace and the strength to overcome every trial in our lives and the ability to fulfill His perfect will during them (2 Timothy 2:3).  


Please open your Bible at Philippians 2:19-24.

But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus (Timothy) shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.  For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.  For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.  But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.  Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me.  But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.

We know from previous studies Paul loved the Philippians and wanted to travel to Philippi to be with them:

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, (Philippians 1:3-4).

For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:8).

Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved (Philippians 4:1).

Paul had a very close and loving relationship with the Philippian church.  He wanted to be there to fellowship with them, and assist all the saints with their spiritual growth: 

And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; (Philippians 1:25).

There were several church related issues that needed to be addressed, one being their disunity: I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord (Philippians 4:2).

Obviously, a problem existed between these two women.  The Bible doesn’t tell us what the problem was and to be honest that information is not necessary it only serves to feed the gossipers in the church.  What we do know is Paul encouraged them to reconcile their differences or “to be of the same mind.”  He wanted to be in Philippi with them, but he was a “prisoner of Christ Jesus” in Rome.  This is where Paul’s co-worker Timothy enters the picture, so to speak.  

Timothy is so much more than just a name on a Bible page.  But unless you opt to “Dig Deeper” into this book, you’ll be like the people who read right over his name without so much as a “by your leave,” but that’s not Bible study.  The true student of God’s Word searches the scriptures for information.  This includes knowledge of Timothy and his accomplishments in serving the Lord and our Apostle Paul faithfully.  So, we’re going to take the time do that very thing.

The Bible reveals Paul and Timothy were very close.  How close?  Paul referred to him as “my own son in the faith:” 

Timothy was one of the best known of Paul's companions and fellow-laborers.  He was one of Paul's own converts.

In 1 Corinthians 4:17, Paul described him as his beloved and faithful son in the Lord.  

In 1 Timothy 1:2, Paul wrote:  Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

In 2 Timothy 1:2 he addressed him as "Timothy my beloved child."

Timothy was most likely a native citizen of either Lystra or Derbe, cities Paul visited and evangelized.  Paul led him to the Lord during his first missionary journey, when he visited these two cities (Acts 14:6).  There’s biblical evidence in the book of Acts showing Lystra may have been Timothy’s home (Acts 16:3, 20:4) but nothing definitive. 

In 2 Timothy 3:10-11, Paul mentioned Timothy had fully known the persecutions and afflictions which came upon him at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra.  When Paul revisited Lystra during his second missionary journey, he discovered Timothy had become a reliable laborer for the Lord and a church leader (Acts 16:1-2).

Timothy's father was a heathen Greek this fact is mentioned twice in Acts 16:1-3.  His mother was a Jewess, but he had not been circumcised in infancy, probably because his Greek father insisted on it.  Timothy's mother was called Eunice, and his grandmother Lois.  Paul mentions them by name in 2 Timothy 1:5. This is where he speaks of the sincere faith which was in Timothy, which had dwelt first in Eunice and Lois.  It is evident that Eunice was converted to Christ on Paul's 1st missionary journey to Derbe and Lystra, because, when he returned to these cities, she is spoken of as "a Jewess who believed" (Acts 16:1). 

Because of Timothy’s unwavering faith and his dependability Paul took him on his second missionary journey.  We find him with Paul at Berea (Acts 17:4), having evidently accompanied him to the cities of Phrygia, the region of Galatia, Mysia, Troas, Neapoils, Philippi, Amphipolis, Apollonia, and Thessalonica.  From Athens Paul sent a message to Silas and Timothy at Berea to meet him in Athens post haste.  There they met Paul and he sent them immediately away to Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 3:1-3). 

Paul had left Athens before Silas and Timothy were able to rejoin him.  He had continued to Corinth, Greece.  When Silas and Timothy arrived in Corinth from Macedonia, “Paul was pressed in the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ” (Acts 18:5).  Timothy evidently remained with Paul during the eighteen months he stayed in Corinth, and throughout this missionary journey to its end.  From Corinth Paul wrote the Epistle to the Romans, and he sent them a salutation from Timothy, "Timothy my fellow-worker saluteth you" (Romans 16:21). 

It was Paul’s habit when writing letters to the churches to associate with his own name one or more of his co-workers in his opening remarks.  Timothy’s name appears in 2 Corinthians 1:1; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:1; Philemon 1:1. We also find it along with Silvanus’ (Silas) name in 1 Thessalonians 1:1 and again in 2 Thessalonians 1:1. 

On Paul's 3rd missionary journey, Timothy again accompanied him, though he is not mentioned until Ephesus was reached.  This journey involved much traveling, much work, and much time.  They spent two whole years at Ephesus alone.  And when Paul's time there was ending, he made plans to go to Jerusalem, after passing through Macedonia and Achaia.  Accordingly, he sent on before him "into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timothy and Erastus" (Acts 19:22). 

From Ephesus Paul wrote the First Epistle to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 16:8), and in it he mentioned in 1 Corinthians 16:10 that Timothy was then traveling to Corinth. After requesting the Corinthians treat Timothy with love and respect upon his arrival, Paul proceeded to say Timothy was to return to him from Corinth; that is, Timothy was to bring with him an updated report on the Corinthian church’s state.  

Soon thereafter the riot in Ephesus occurred; and when it was over, Paul left Ephesus and went to Macedonia and Greece.  In Macedonia he was rejoined by Timothy, whose name is associated with his own, in the opening salutation of 2 Corinthians.  Timothy accompanied him into Greece, where they dwelled three months.

From Greece Paul once again focused on his trip to Jerusalem, Timothy and others accompanying him (Acts 20:4, 21:8).  Paul and his companions eventually reached Jerusalem, where Paul was arrested and Timothy was with him. 

The scriptures do not record the way Timothy served Paul, until he is found once more with him during his first imprisonment in Rome.  He is mentioned in three of the Paul letters at this time, namely, in Colossians 1:1, and Philemon 1:1, in both of these writings his designation is "Timothy our brother," and in Philippians 1:1, "Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus."  Then in Philippians 2:19, Paul wrote “But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you (in Philippi), that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.”  

By the way, the word “shortly” in this verse is translated ASAP in the English language.  Paul intended to send Timothy to Philippi to minister to their needs and act as a mediator should that be required just as soon as the events in Rome ran their course. 

We know Paul was eventually released from “house arrest” in Rome, but we gather from Paul’s second letter to Timothy he was imprisoned again, and Paul believed on this occasion his trial before Nero would be followed by an adverse judgment and his death.  Paul wrote from The Mamertine Prison in Rome to Timothy at Ephesus, affectionately requesting he come to him: "Give diligence to come shortly unto me" (2 Timothy 4:9).  The fact that at that time, when no other close friend was with Paul except Luke (2 Timothy 4:11), it was to Timothy he turned for assistance and solace, closing with the request that “his own son in the faith should come to him, to be with him in his last hours.  This reveals the tender affection and respect they held for one another as fellow soldiers for Christ Jesus. 

(To be continued)

©Copyright 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved

Friday, April 12, 2019

Philippians 2:17-18 - (L 20)

Home Bible Study©
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)

Established November 2008                                                 Published Weekly on Friday

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men (and women) to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.  (1Timothy 2:3-4)
Welcome to Home Bible Study.

“…That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world.  Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ (the Rapture), that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain” (2:15-16).

Last week we learned Paul’s desire was not to be compared to an athlete who trained rigorously only to realize all that effort and energy amounted to nothing or was in vain.  For him the greatest prize this life had to offer was to know unsaved people were hearing the word of life from the Philippians and because of this in the day of Christ he may rejoice because his labor had not been in vain.

The O.T. reveals the LORD God disciplined the nation of Israel time and time again because of their murmurings (complaining) against Moses’ leadership which demonstrated a lack of faith in the LORD (Jehovah) to keep His covenant promises.  Their ungrateful attitudes combined with their lack of faith in what God had said prevented them from becoming a “nation of priests”(Exodus 19:5-6) for the purpose of drawing the Gentile nations to God’s Light (Isaiah 49:6).

Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you (Zechariah 8:23).

The same murmurings, disputing, and self-centeredness in the church today are preventing the Body of Christ from realizing its full potential as lights in the world.  I don’t know what you believe, but as for me, I believe the world’s a much darker place now then it was decades ago.  This is largely due to the removal of God, the Bible, and prayer from public view by the Supreme Court (See “The Warren Court, 1953-1969).  It’s been all down-hill from there (pun intended) because the word of life is rarely heard outside the church and some homes and this nation is paying a heavy price.

I mentioned last week a working lighthouse was instrumental in keeping our ship and its crew from running aground or something much worse.  It was meant to help y’all understand what you do with the word of life matters to God and the world-at-large.  The Philippian church had some “grumpy Gus’s” who were not on the same page with their brethren.  Their behavior was not only a distraction to the world-at-large; their hypocrisy seriously marred the gospel of peace and their personal testimony.

Please open your Bible at Philippians 2:17-18.

Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.  For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.

I find it odd that Paul used the terms offered and sacrifice here.  It makes me think 1) he believed both Jews and Gentiles would read this letter or hear it read aloud; or 2) He assumed his audience had a working knowledge of the Old Testament, or 3) both.  I’m going with #3, both.

Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith – according to the O.T., the terms offered and sacrifice is part and parcel of the Jewish sacrificial system.  The first recorded occurrence of a drink offering was given by Jacob in Genesis 35:14, right after God changed his name to Israel (means: struggles with God) at the river Jabbok (Genesis 32:28). 

The drink offering or libation is mentioned in only three places in the book of Leviticus. When the sheaf of the firstfruits was waved before the Lord, a grain offering was to be burned, along with "its libation, a fourth of a hin of wine (approximately one gallon)" (Leviticus 23:13).  Similarly, libations were to be offered with the lambs, bull, and rams offered on the day of Pentecost (Leviticus 23:18).  A general statement is made concerning libations in Leviticus 23:37:  "These are the appointed times of the Lord which you shall proclaim as holy convocations, to present offerings by fire (or, food offerings) to the Lord — burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and libations, each day’s matter on its own day."

More elaborate instructions for the drink offering are found in Numbers 15.  There, the Israelites were commanded to offer a libation of wine with all burnt offerings and "sacrifices," the latter being a common term for the peace offering (Numbers 15:8; 1 Samuel 9:12-13; 1 Kings 8:62-63). 

There’s more information to be found in scripture re: the drink offering, but I think you’re starting to get the idea.  Paul is likening the sacrifice of service to the Philippians to the burnt offering in time past, which was a sweet savor offering that was well pleasing to God.  It’s worth mentioning this was a voluntary sacrifice done in the Lord’s service (Leviticus 1:3). 

In Koine Greek, the word “offered” is Spendo (spen’-do), Verb, Strong’s Greek #4689, meaning:  to pour out as a drink offering and by using this word Paul means to say this is “occurring to him right now. 

This word only appears twice in the N.T. here and in 2 Timothy 4:6:

For I am now ready to be offered (poured out), and the time of my departure is at hand.     

When Paul wrote this letter to the Philippians and his second letter to Timothy, he was “a prisoner of Christ” (Ephesians 3:1).  He wrote to the Philippians while under “house arrest” a.k.a. a rented house in Rome.  His second letter to Timothy was written from Mamertine Prison a dank, dark dungeon in Rome.  At this point in time he believed his departure was at hand.  No reprieve would be received from Emperor Nero; he believed he would be executed and he was circa 67-68 AD; about two years before the destruction of Jerusalem and God’s Temple in 70 AD. 

In verses 2:17-18, Paul’s actually saying, since his conversion, his life could be compared to a “drink offering.  After reviewing his written testimony to the Corinthians, I think y’all will have a better understanding of what is saying:  Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.  Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.  Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches (2 Corinthians 11:23-28).

Per Paul, if you’re a Believer, you can expect to encounter suffering in your life.  I think I’m “preaching to the choir,” but I’ve included two Bible verses in support of this truth:

For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake” (Philippians 1:29).

“Persecutions, afflictions (sufferings), which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.  Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:11-12). 

These scripture passages inform us tribulations will occur in our lives.  The Greek word for suffering is translated as tribulation, meaning:  anything that causes distress (stress).  This covers a broad spectrum from minor annoyances to major problems or ordeals such as losing your job, your marriage, your home to a fire or a hurricane; the death of a family member or a life-threatening disease such as cancer.  Paul gave every true Believer a “heads-up” in saying distress will come your way, but he doesn’t leave us “hanging;” in Romans 5 he tells us how to respond to those tribulations in our lives:

And not only so, but we glory (to exult with joy; to rejoice) in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

This is where many people throw up their hands and say “What in the world are you talking about?  Do you mean to say God wants me to rejoice when I am hurting mentally or physically?  That’s not normal.”  Most people feel this way.   Still, we are new creatures in Christ and “all things are brand new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).  This teaching may be “brand new” to some of you, but it is informative to understand the Scriptures declare all those in Christ Jesus will suffer afflictions (a state of pain, distress, or grief):  

Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all (Psalm 34:19).

And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God (Acts 14:21-22).

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.  We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.  For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.  So then death worketh in us, but life in you.  We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.  For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.  For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us ya far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; (2 Corinthians 4:7-17).

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy (1 Peter 4:12-13).

No one enjoys suffering, but suffering is a necessary, normal part, of the Believer’s life (walk). In fact, the Scripture says we can expect hardships and suffering to increase:

Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2:3).

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:1-4).

But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived (2 Timothy 3:13).

Many people balk when they hear this information and that’s because it makes no sense to them or they heard differently.  So let’s be clear, if you’re one of those people who think after you became a Believer suffering is no longer connected to your life , or you don’t believe that’s what the Bible says, then you have either been misled or self-deceived.  Paul said prepare for hardships. 

How do I do that?  I’m glad you asked.  God gives us grace and the strength to overcome every trial in our lives and to fulfill His perfect will (good pleasure) in them.  In Paul’s second letter to Timothy, he shares some important truths about how we can endure suffering. 

1) Don’t forget why you are sufferingRemember your purpose and whom you serve. Paul said he was willing to suffer for the preaching of the gospel, for the sake of the elect, and for the glory of God.  Our suffering, major or minor, can be used to bring about the same purposes (2 Timothy 2:8-9). 

2)  Remember you are a prisoner of Christ, not of your circumstances or other people.  (2 Timothy 1:8). 

3)  Return to the things you know to be true from God’s Word.  Don’t doubt in the dark what you have seen in the light.  Remember what you received as a result of your salvation in Christ (2 Timothy 1:5).  Remember your calling and the grace of God (2 Timothy 1:1, 9-13).

4)  Keep doing whatever God has called you to do.  Persevere, stay the course, and be faithful, regardless of opposition or hardship (2 Timothy 4:1-5).

5)  Trust God to deal with those who oppose the truth.  Don’t take matters into your own hands or become argumentative and vindictive (2 Timothy 2:23-26). 

6)  Remember times in the past when the Lord delivered or rescued you.  Be quick to praise Him and be a witness to others (2 Timothy 3:11, 4:16-17). 

7)  Rely on and trust the resources God has given to all those in Christ:

The grace of God - (2 Timothy 1:2, 9, 2:1, 4:22). 
The gift of God— your God-given ability to serve Him (2 Timothy 1:6-7). 
The indwelling Holy Spirit - (2 Timothy 1:14). 
The power of God - (2 Timothy 1:8; Philippians 2:13; Ephesians 6:10). 
The Word of God, which keeps you grounded and gives you the proper perspective - (2 Timothy 2:7, 9, 3:12-17, 4:1-2).

8)  Remember that you are not alone in your suffering.  You already have:

The Lord Jesus Christ in you (Romans 8:10-20; Galatians 2:20).
The “fellowship of suffering,” that is, a community of like-minded Believers who are facing hardships similar to yours’ for the sake of the gospel (2 Timothy 1:8; Colossians 1:24). 
And the prayers of the saints (2 Timothy 1:3). 

Remember the pattern we have in the Lord Jesus Christ.  He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:8).  The Lord was “highly exalted and given a name which is above every name” by God the Father after He endured the sufferings of the cross.  Jesus Christ understood the path which led to God’s glory was a path of sacrifice and suffering; a path of self-denial:

Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done (Luke 22:42).

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: (John 17:1).

(To be continued)

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GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
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