|1 Timothy 5 |
1 Do not rebuke an elder, but plead with him as a father, the younger men as brothers,
2 The elder women as mothers, and the younger as sisters, with all purity.
3 Honor widows who are truly widows.
4 But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first understand to do their religious duty to their own family, and to repay their parents or grandparents [for the care they gave them], for this is good and acceptable before God.
5 Now she who is a real widow, and is alone and desolate, trusts in God and perseveres in supplications and prayers night and day.
6 But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives.
7 Instruct the people in these things, so that they may be blameless.
8 If anyone does not provide for his own relatives, and especially for those of his own [household] family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel. [George Fox wrote regarding this verse: But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he has denied the faith; and is worse than an infidel. (mark! that is worse than the world.) For the faith brings every man and every widow to be diligent, and to provide for their own; that is their children and or kindred and parents, as before. But the apostle says, especially those of his own house. And so here is piety to be shown still two ways: 1)'for his own, and especially to those of his own house or family;' and 2) here are nephews and parents, as before mentioned. From the word of the Lord within: "Be diligent in work and trade."]
9 Do not put anyone on the list of widows [to receive support from the church] who is under the age of sixty, and who has not been the wife of one man;
10 [Qualify those] having a good reputation for good works, having brought up children, lodged strangers, washed the saints' feet, relieved the afflicted, and diligently followed every good work.
11 But refuse the younger widows; for when they feel sensual desires, they withdraw from Christ and wish to marry;
12 Thus incurring damnation because they have cast off their first pledge.
13 Moreover, they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but also tattlers [gossips] and busybodies, speaking things that they should not repeat.
14 So I would have the younger widows marry, bear children, and manage their house, thus giving the enemy no occasion to speak reproachfully.
15 For some have already turned aside after [the deceits of] Satan.
16 If any man or woman who believes has widows [as relatives], they should relieve them, and not burden the church; so that the church may relieve those who are widows [in real need].
17 Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.
18 For the scripture said, "You shall not muzzle the ox that treads out the grain." And, "The laborer is worthy of his reward."
19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder unless it is before two or three witnesses.1
20 Rebuke those who continue in sin before everyone, so that others may fear also.2 [Notice! In the early church sin was not tolerated; those sinning were to be publicly exposed and rebuked, so that others in the assembly would be fearful of sinning themselves and also suffering a public rebuke. Does this even faintly resemble today's so-called Christianity? NO, because today's Christianity has trampled on grace, turning it into a license for immorality, instead of the teaching process of how to stop sinning and live a godly life. And so, there is no fear of God within Christendom; yet the fear of God is the absolute starting point of religion; without fear to motivate you to turn from evil, you are hopelessly lost.]
21 I charge you in the presence of God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels, that you observe these things without preferring anyone over another, doing nothing by partiality. [From the Word of the Lord within: "We stand in His presence; in the kingdom we stand before God and His holy angels; we behold His beauty. There is none so glorious as he. We stand before Him that we might glorify Him. We stand in the presence of God speaking forth His words as commanded. A time of great rejoicing: a time of being told what to do. The Father will reward those who persevere and stand before Him."]
22 Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and so be identified with those who miss the mark;3 keep yourself pure.
23 No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for your stomach's sake and your frequent infirmities.
24 Some men's sins are obvious, going before them to judgment; but the sins of some men appear later.
25 Likewise the good works of some are evident; and even when they are not, they cannot be hidden.
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1 The laborer is worthy of his reward — honor, even double honor. This scripture is used by covetous preachers to justify their salaries. When you look at the whole admonition, it is clear he is talking about honor here, not money. Elders deserve their reward: love, honor, and respect from their flock for whom the elder works. He even says they deserve double honor. He is even careful to be sure no charge is made against an elder without two or three witnesses. He is trying to be sure they are properly respected, honored, and loved by their flock.
Luke 10:7-8 Jesus said: Remain in the same house, eating and drinking those things that they give you; for the laborer is worthy of his hire. So here Jesus says, eat and drink those things that they give you, because a worker is worthy of his hire. This is the wages that Christ allows — gifts.
He further says: And into whatever house you enter, where they welcome you, eat whatever they set before you. He does not say: order them to serve you whatever you want, or tell them to give you money so you can go out and buy whatever you want. He says: take whatever they set before you — whatever they give you.
When you ask, and someone complies, it is not a gift, it is a solicitation. Fund-raising is asking. Passing the plate is asking. This scripture is not justification for soliciting or taking a salary of 'filthy lucre' from the flock.
2 Rebuke those who continue in sin before everyone, so that others may fear also. Have you ever heard a preacher rebuke one of his congregation for sin? Have you ever seen a preacher who didn't sin? This scripture should be strong evidence that the 41,000 deficit sects are all far removed from the church that Paul was addressing. Why? Because they promise freedom to sin without guilt, using grace as a license for immorality. The deficit sects actually promote sin, by excusing it as of no consequence. A promoter of sin has no part in God, but is a welcome dupe of Satan.
So others may fear also. The sects of today have no fear of God; but they will when they meet his judgments. The fear of God is the absolute starting point of religion; without fear to motivate you to turn from evil, you are hopelessly lost. With fear, you can seek the approval of God by turning from evil, and seek his help to become purified; thus to be fit to enjoy his glory and power in his presence.
3 Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and so be identified with those who miss the mark; When you are completed and walking in the kingdom of God, you may have the power to transmit the beginning measure of the Holy Spirit to individuals by laying on of your hands. The caution here is to wait and be sure you are led by the Spirit before doing so; otherwise the person on whom you lay hands may return to sin, which would disgrace the way and the truth. And that person would be better off to have never been born than to have been convinced of the true hope, evidenced by the power of God transmitted through your hands, and then return to sin. Such a person is like Jude referred to as twice dead — dead in their sins, quickened to life, and then dead in their sins again.
If someone has been given the true belief and hope, that the power of God can deliver them from all sins, and: 1) he then fails to exercise his faith to build up his faith more, and 2) he sins repeatedly until he has seared his conscience, being past feeling regret for sin; he is twice dead and would be better to have never been born. These are those of whom the Lord spoke: And that servant who knew his lord's will and did not prepare himself or did not do according to his will shall be beaten with many stripes. Luke 12:47. Since faith is authored by Christ, and is the gift of God, which not all men receive, then failure to follow-thru to true salvation is worthy of greater punishment.
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