Daily Archives: October 11, 2020

Would Jesus Have Us Submit To The Roman Catholic Magisterium In Order To Properly Understand Scripture? — Rational Christian Discernment

The Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church says the following in regards to the role of who interprets Scripture: 

        “The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him.” (CCC # 100)

        The reasoning comprising the above excerpt runs contrary to how Jesus Christ Himself addressed people and false teaching. He made individuals interpret Scripture for themselves and held them accountable when they applied them wrongly.

        Jesus Christ expected an expert in the Law to properly interpret Scripture for himself (Luke 10:26). He asked His challenger, “What is written in the law?”        Jesus held the Pharisees accountable for their misinterpretation of the Scriptures in regards to working on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:3-5). He asked them, “Have you not read in the Law?”

        Jesus expected the Pharisees to interpret the Scriptures for themselves when He answered them on the matter of marriage and divorce (Matthew 19:5). He asked them, “Have you not read…?”

        Christ answered the Sadducees on marriage and the resurrection of the dead (Matthew 22:22-32). He told them that they neither understood Scripture nor the power of God. He asked them, “Have you not read?”

        If Jesus Christ appointed a teaching Magisterium to preside over the church, then why did He never refer people to such an office to be taught biblical doctrine? He made people interpret Scripture for themselves rather than simply spoon-feeding them divine truth.

        The Apostle Paul in Galatians 1:6-12 subjugated angels and apostles themselves to a standard of divine revelation as he said “even if we” in condemning false gospels. We clearly must resort to the use of our own reasoning faculties in order to test the message of minister.

       Our Lord Jesus Christ defeated the devil by saying three times, “It is written” (Matthew 4:1-11). Why not emulate His perfect example in spiritual discernment? If a child like Timothy could understand Scripture (2 Timothy 3:15), then why cannot the same be true of us?

Would Jesus Have Us Submit To The Roman Catholic Magisterium In Order To Properly Understand Scripture? — Rational Christian Discernment

Social Justice — The Aquila Report

What is particularly alarming is the number of evangelicals who jabber about social justice. Most often these people fit into two categories. Some are using the phrase without understanding what it really means. Others believe that they can redefine the term in ways that allow them to keep using it. But why use it at all? The reason is that “social justice” is more than a label. It is an incantation of power. Its utterance conveys one to the moral high ground. Some evangelicals want to be able to speak this Word of Power even if they don’t mean what it means.

All people everywhere want justice. Even a hardcore logical positivist feels a sense of injustice if you step ahead of him after hours of waiting at the Department of Motor Vehicles. The universal yearning for justice has been expressed in documents from the Code of Hammurabi and the book of Job to the American Pledge of Allegiance, which promises loyalty to the flag of a nation that provides “liberty and justice for all.”

The classical and Christian understanding of justice has been summarized in the phrase, “To each his due.” On this understanding, justice can be directed only toward persons. These persons are entitled to some things simply by virtue of their existence as persons. These things are called rights. To withhold what is due—i.e., to violate these rights—is to become unjust. Consequently, a right represents a claim that must be recognized by all others.

Justice is tied to a certain kind of equality. A just God is no respecter of persons, and neither is a just law or a just judge. In this sense, justice is blind: it is concerned with formal questions, not substantive ones. A just footrace is one in which all athletes must cover the same distance, not one in which they have the same stamina.

Recently, however, the word justice is increasingly paired with the modifier social. In fact, this combination—social justice—has become one of the incantations of the present age. One need only utter it with approbation to position one’s self in a stance of moral superiority. But what is social justice, and how does it differ from ordinary justice as the West has understood it for millennia?

The main difference is that social justice is not formal, it is substantive. Social justice is sometimes called distributive justice because it measures justice according to distribution. It demands equality, not of standing, but of condition and outcome. Consequently, advocates of social justice assume that wherever some imbalance exists, whether of wealth, power, education, or prestige, injustice is at work.

The first figures to advocate social justice in this sense were concerned primarily with economic imbalance, particular the imbalance between capital and labor. Because they saw this imbalance as unjust, they wanted governments to use their coercive power to remove wealth from those who had it and to increase the wealth of those who did not. In their scheme the state would become an agent of planned economic redistribution, at gunpoint if necessary. This scheme was called socialism in its milder forms and communism in those forms that advocated violent revolution.

This kind of redistribution was not justice at all. Property rights are among the rights that must be recognized and protected by true justice. For states to use the threat of violence while trampling property rights cannot be sanctioned as any kind of genuine justice.

Socialism has not been tried in all places. Where free markets and capital enterprise are allowed, virtually all classes have grown in wealth. Consequently, socialists have found it difficult to motivate the “working class” to comply with schemes of wholesale economic redistribution.

Read More

Social Justice — The Aquila Report

End the Lockdown Madness Now — CultureWatch

The experts are now nearly unanimous: lockdowns are counterproductive and must be stopped:

As more and more experts tell us that draconian lockdown measures are causing far more harm than good, we still have various political leaders digging in even further, telling us we must keep these measures in place. In a moment I will speak to three important groups telling us to ditch the lockdowns, but first let me offer a brief update on the latest gabfest from Victorian premier Dan Andrews.

Like perhaps most other Victorians I never watch these interminable events – we just can’t stand the sound of his voice rattling on, defending himself, refusing any accountability, and shoving bucket-loads of baloney down our throats each day.

One would almost rather look forward to a daily trip to the dentist for root canals. But knowing that the champion Peta Credlin would be grilling Andrews again today led me to tune it. She of course did a superlative job last Friday asking Dan the hard questions that needed to be asked, but most pro-Dan journalists were not asking.

So today we had one reporter ask Dan about the latest recommendations by the World Health Organisation that lockdown measures are not actually all that useful in dealing with corona. Sure enough, Andrews went into full-tilt panic mode, telling us we must keep the lockdowns in place, or we will flood our hospitals.

Um, haven’t we heard all that before? And did not all that fear-mongering fail to materialise? We had countless empty hospitals, along with so many people who needed vital hospitalisation refused entry, all because corona never was anywhere near as deadly as the panic merchants predicted. I still recall one Australian academic telling me months ago that it was likely Australia would see one million corona deaths!!

Thus Andrews gave us the same baloney he has been giving us for months. It is all about his insatiable thirst for power and control. And what better way to get and maintain that than by a daily dose of fear and hysteria. All tyrants have known about the value of fear.

Indeed, I recently pulled out an old volume from my library on this very thing. In 1987 a very important book appeared by economic historian Roberts Higgs entitled Crisis and Leviathan. Although packed with a wealth of detailed information, the basic thesis of the 350-page book is straightforward enough: governments almost always take advantage of crises in order to grow larger. But once the crisis has passed, they seldom revert to their previous size.

Leviathan remains untamed. And those who are drunk on power like Andrews is are fully using the corona crisis and milking it for all its worth. His ‘two-weeks to flatten the curve’ has now turned into 8 months to flatten Victoria and the rest of the nation.

Anyway, back to the lockdowns. I mentioned WHO, so let me offer what they have recently said about this:

The World Health Organisation has backflipped on its original COVID-19 stance after calling for world leaders to stop locking down their countries and economies. Dr. David Nabarro from the WHO appealed to world leaders yesterday, telling them to stop “using lockdowns as your primary control method” of the coronavirus. He also claimed that the only thing lockdowns achieved was poverty – with no mention of the potential lives saved. “Lockdowns just have one consequence that you must never ever belittle, and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer,” he said. “We in the World Health Organisation do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus.” http://www.news.com.au/world/coronavirus/global/coronavirus-who-backflips-on-virus-stance-by-condemning-lockdowns/news-story/f2188f2aebff1b7b291b297731c3da74

Hmm, so why does Andrews still insist on keeping damaging lockdowns in place? Yes I know, WHO – as with many others – keep changing their tune here. But if he was willing to follow them when they pushed lockdowns, why is he not following them now? I thought he always said he is just following the best health advice.

And as I have written before, hundreds of Victorian health experts are also telling him the exact same thing. Consider this from today’s press:

A group of concerned doctors is calling for Victoria’s coronavirus lockdown to end immediately. In an open letter to Premier Daniel Andrews, 500 medical experts argue that the state government’s response to COVID-19 is causing severe harm, a spike in mental health issues and a worrying decline in tests for medical conditions like cancer and chest pain. 7news.com.au/sunrise/on-the-show/hundreds-of-melbourne-doctors-call-for-immediate-end-to-harmful-lockdown-c-1379531

And my third group of expert witnesses I discussed just two days ago. In that recent piece I mentioned the Greater Barrington Declaration in which medical authorities called for an end to the lockdowns. In it I said that “20,000 medical health experts have signed it, as have 180,000 members of the general public.” billmuehlenberg.com/2020/10/10/the-great-barrington-declaration/

Well, those numbers have certainly escalated since then. I recent look at the website shows that 26,000 medical experts have now signed it, along with nearly 300,000 others. While numbers alone are not the sole arbiter of healthcare truth, these amazing figures need to be heeded and not discounted.

We now have WHO, over 500 Victorian experts, and over 26,000 medical authorities from around the world all telling us to forget about the lockdowns. Who you gonna call Dan Andrews? Who you gonna listen to? Now that we have hundreds of thousands of livelihoods lost and hundreds, if not thousands, of lives lost because of suicide and so on, it is time to ease up on your ugly ego-trip and power-trip and start really listening to the experts.

End the Lockdown Madness Now — CultureWatch

Hillary Clinton Orchestrated the Russia-Collusion | LifeZette

Since the 2016 election, the Clintons have been on damage control, attacking the President every chance they get. For Hillary Clinton – it’s personal. There wasn’t a poll in America that showed her losing, yet on election night, it would be Donald Trump going to the White House, not her. With no explanation, Hillary could do nothing more than blame the whole debacle on a Trump/Russia Conspiracy. Well surprisingly enough, new reports suggest it was Hillary who tried to collude with the Russians, not Trump.

The whole incident started in July of 2016 when Hillary Clinton was gaining intense criticism for her email scandal. Believing this could cause her the presidential bid, Hillary decided to change the narrative to a Trump/Russia collusion. Using her campaign to push the new narrative, millions of Americans were led to believe that Russia had hacked and leaked Democratic Party emails. To make matter worse, the reason the hack happened in the first place was due to Trump agreeing to work with Russian President Vladimir Putin if he won the election.

The new information does have a stipulation – it comes from a Russian source. This alone gave Democrats everything they needed to quickly extinguish any wrongdoing on their part. There is no way the government would ever believe a Russian spy. Well, while the Democrats want you to believe that, reports show otherwise.

When the CIA first learned about the alleged hack, they reportedly took it serious enough for the then director John Brennan to personally brief President Obama and his national security team on it. The agency also informed the President about the Clintons and a “Crossfire Hurricane Fusion Cell”, which was a tactic used by Brennan to further promote the Trump/Russia narrative.

According to handwritten notes after the meeting with President Obama, Brennan claimed “We’re getting additional insight into Russian activities from [redacted]. CITE alleged approved by Hillary Clinton a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service.”

While it is unclear if any charges will be filed against Hillary Clinton, it does shed an interesting light on the campaign tactics used by the Democrats and what they are willing to do to win. It appears that Hillary was accusing Trump of getting in bed with the Russians when it was actually Clinton who wanted the Russians to help her steal an election.

This piece was written by Jeremy Porter on October 11, 2020. It originally appeared in DrewBerquist.com and is used by permission.

— Read on www.lifezette.com/2020/10/hillary-clinton-orchestrated-the-russia-collusion/

Fmr DNI Grenell: Russia Collusion a ‘Hoax’ — ‘Somebody Needs to Go to Jail’

In an interview on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” former acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Richard Grenell reacted to DNI John Ratcliffe recently declassifying documents that show former CIA Director John Brennan briefed former President Barack Obama on 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s “plan” to distract the American public from her email scandal by alleging Russian collusion ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

— Read on www.breitbart.com/clips/2020/10/11/fmr-dni-grenell-russia-collusion-a-hoax-somebody-needs-to-go-to-jail/

Why We Should Question the Narrative on Masks – LewRockwell

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Our recent annual summer drive back to my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio took us through Nashville. While I was waiting to check into our room at the hotel, I noticed a woman entering the hotel lobby. If I had to guess, I would say that we were roughly 15-20 feet away from one another. As I turned towards her, with my mask under my chin, she looked at me and made the following declaration to all who could hear: “In no way will I ever stand near someone who is not wearing a mask. When you are done with this guy, you can come get me outside.” And just last week, while at the grocery store, I walked by a young man in one of the aisles. When he saw that I was not wearing a mask (and he was), an interesting encounter ensued. As we passed by each other, he did a sideways type of bend that enabled him to “move out of the way.” Apparently, the Matrix-style move enabled him to avoid catching SARS-COV-2.

It seems safe to assume that these encounters are not personally unique. What such incidents reveal is the profound psychological character surrounding the nature of masks. At least in America, it is certainly the case that there is a rather broad spectrum on the enforcement of mask mandates. Some businesses and institutions can be less restrictive than others on this enforcement, depending upon the state in which you live. And even within a given state, there tends to be significant variations. In Houston, for example, living in Montgomery County versus Harris County can give two rather different stories surrounding the concern over SARS-COV-2.

Even keeping in mind all these national and local differences, the requirement to wear masks in America is still universally upheld. And one of the primary reasons why this is the case stems from the predominant narrative surrounding the effectiveness of masks themselves. This particular narrative is worth briefly exploring.

— Read on www.lewrockwell.com/2020/10/no_author/why-we-should-question-the-narrative-on-masks/

What Will It Take for Masks and Face Shields To End? – LewRockwell

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“People now see vaccines as a magic dust that’s about to be sprinkled over this country and make this all go away. It doesn’t work that way,” Offit told MarketWatch, September 21, 2020.2

Offit, who sits on the Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, said he’s wary of a COVID-19 vaccine that may be rushed to market under pressure from the government.

The U.S. Health and Human Services’ Operation Warp Speed has pledged to deliver 300 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine by 2021,3 if not sooner.4 However, developing a safe and effective vaccine normally takes years and begins with animal studies.

The COVID-19 vaccines are all being rushed straight into human clinical tests, forgoing lengthy animal trials altogether. Vaccine makers are also being shielded against liability if people are harmed by the experimental vaccines.5

Early Warning Signs of Vaccine Dangers

Early warning signs that something might be amiss have already started emerging. As detailed in “Gates Tries to Justify Side Effects of Fast-Tracked Vaccine,” results6 from Moderna’s Phase 1 human trial revealed 100% of volunteers in the high-dose group suffered systemic side effects. Side effects included fatigue, chills, headache and myalgia (muscle pain); 21% suffered “one or more severe events.”

— Read on www.lewrockwell.com/2020/10/joseph-mercola/what-will-it-take-for-masks-and-face-shields-to-end/

7 Predictions: How 2020 Comes To An End | Zero Hedge

Authored by Daniel Bobinksi via UncoveredDC.com,

America is at a crossroads with revolution on our doorstep. On one side are the Patriots; those who seek to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. On the other side are Marxist insurrectionists; those who believe that America is evil and the cause of so many problems in world.

The Marxist-friendly side is pulling for Joe Biden to be ushered into the White House. They don’t call themselves Marxists, but as the saying goes, if it talks like a duck and walks like a duck, it’s a duck.

I’ve been writing since January that the Globalists don’t care if there’s bloodshed in America, and in March I wrote that the Left is waging a scorched-earth war against Trump.

At the risk of sounding like I’m saying, “I told you so,” I told you so.

If you’ve been reading tea leaves from the news lately, you may have already figured out what’s coming at us in the next few months. If so, the following may simply affirm your observations. But I wanted to put this out there so everyone knows what to expect and therefore won’t be surprised.

My seven predictions for how 2020 comes to an end:

Prediction 1: Trump will win the election in a landslide. I know, the media is telling you the polls are tight, but just look around. Trump rallies are packed to the gills while Biden can’t fill the bleachers at a high school football field. Trump supporters hold huge boat parades while we see NONE for Biden. Trump supporters hold freeway caravans around that country that take up all lanes of a freeway, while an attempted caravan for Biden in Las Vegas drew only 30 people. Just like in 2016, pollsters today are making it look like it’s a close race. This is gaslighting – they’re telling you something that runs directly opposite of what your own eyes are telling you, but they’re expecting you to believe what they say.

Prediction 2: On the evening of November 3, Joe Biden will not concede the election, even though the vote will clearly be for Trump. Hillary Clinton has publicly stated that Joe should not concede, so the seed has been planted in our minds to expect this. And, because we’re expecting it, we won’t be shocked by it.

Prediction 3: Massive mail voter fraud will create confusion and Marxists (e.g. Democrats) will insist that “every vote counts.” They know Americans want to be fair so Marxists will play on that. They will cry and wail and plead that every vote needs to get counted, so they’ll ask for sympathy for voters who didn’t follow confusing new election rules about how to cast their mail-in ballots. That will be their story, but many votes will be fraudulent. As they’ve demonstrated on America’s streets, Marxists don’t care about following laws; they care about power.

Prediction 4: Because of massive mail fraud ballots showing up late, election results WILL be delayed. The deceptive Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook and the clearly biased Jack Dorsey at Twitter have already announced they will flag any posts or tweets that claim a victory for Trump. They KNOW Trump will have more than enough votes to win, but as Zuckerberg already told us, we should expect results to take “DAYS OR EVEN WEEKS.” In other words, Facebook and Twitter are well-aware of the planned mail-in voter fraud, and they’re already providing cover for it. The planned vote count confusion will be dragged out as long as possible. The Marxists’ intention is to keep confusion swirling at least until December 14 in hopes that the electoral college won’t be able to identify a winner. Expect ballots to keep showing up out of nowhere.

Prediction 5: If Marxists cannot keep up the façade until December 14, some states will obfuscate the electoral process by choosing not to follow the rules laid out in the 12th Amendment. In fact, both may happen. Either way, by attempting to throw the electoral college into confusion, Marxists (again, the Democrats) will make a push for the electoral college to be eliminated. Believe me when I say you don’t want this. Students of the Constitution know that if the electoral college is eliminated, the Republic will be gone.

Prediction 6: Expect Nancy Pelosi to be acting all patriotic and concerned about the Constitution during the chaos, but rest assured, it’s a passive-aggressive act. She is among the Marxist vanguard in both houses of Congress orchestrating the whole mess. You will also see some Marxist-friendly governors making a lot of noise.

Prediction 7: While Marxists in Congress are messing with the electoral process, Marxists on the streets (Antifa and BLM) will intensify their violence by burning, looting, and murdering even more than what we’ve seen to this point. There’s already a movement that seeks to lay siege to the White House. Not only do the puppet masters want all the street chaos to distract our attention from what’s going on in the electoral process, the street Marxists see this election as their only chance to either grab power or put up with Trump for four more years. The protestors have been trained to instigate violence, and copy-cat wannabes will want to join in. Street Marxists will view these riots as the fight of their lives: it will get intense.

To perpetuate the riots, puppet masters like George Soros will continue pouring money into organizations that fund them. Also remember that Antifa and BLM have threatened to go into the suburbs. Their purpose for doing so is to trigger the Soccer Moms who wants peace at all costs. Marxists will hope that these suburban moms will apply pressure on their elected representatives to give in to the Marxists so the violence will end. Life on American streets will be unpredictable and dangerous.

How does it end?

The Marxists are desperate, so the fighting will be like nothing the country has ever seen before. I predict we’ll see horrific things happening in our cities and on our streets, and traditional media (read: Marxist-friendly media) will be spewing twisted truths and lies about everything listed above. And we can’t forget that social media giants favor the Marxists in this revolution, so they will be squelching debate in whatever ways they can.

The final months of 2020 will be an emotional roller coaster, but in the end, I predict Trump prevails. It’s not going to be pretty, and many who are now thinking life will return to normal after November 3 will be sadly mistaken. They will be wondering what happened to the country they once knew.

Whether the Democrats implode or not after all this happens remains to be seen, but it is my prayer that when the dust settles, all the Marxists plotters and schemers be exposed and truth will be recognized as truth. And then … maybe then … Trump can get on with his promise to drain the entire swamp.

— Read on www.zerohedge.com/markets/7-predictions-how-2020-comes-end

President Trump Extensive Interview With Maria Bartiromo… — The Last Refuge

Yesterday the White House physicians released a statement outlining that President Trump is no longer a threat to shed the coronavirus and his recovery is excellent.

President Trump called-in to Maria Bartiromo earlier this morning to discuss his health, plans to restart rallies, the 2020 campaign and other issues in/around Washington DC.

President Trump Extensive Interview With Maria Bartiromo… — The Last Refuge

October 11th The D. L. Moody Year Book


Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance.—Matthew 3:8.

A FRIEND had come to Christ and wished to consecrate himself and his wealth to God. He had formerly had transactions with the government, and had taken advantage of them. This thing came up when he was converted, and his conscience troubled him. He said,

“I want to consecrate my wealth, but it seems as if God will not take it.”

He had a terrible struggle; his conscience kept rising up and smiting him. At last he drew a check for fifteen hundred dollars and sent it to the United States Treasury. He told me he received such a blessing when he had done it!

That was bringing forth “fruits meet for repentance.” I believe a great many men are crying to God for light, and they are not getting it because they are not honest with themselves.[1]


[1] Moody, D. L. (1900). The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the Words of D. L. Moody. (E. M. Fitt, Ed.) (p. 180). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

October 11 Life-Changing Moments With God


Be not far from Me, for trouble is near.

How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever … and hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? Do not hide Your face from me; do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; do not leave me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation.

I shall call upon You, and You will answer me; You will be with me in trouble; You will deliver me and honor me. You, Lord God, are near to me when I call upon You in truth. You will fulfill the desire of those who fear You; You also will hear my cry and save me.

You will not leave me an orphan; You will come to me. Actually You are with me always, even to the end of the age.

You are my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. My soul silently waits for You; from You comes my salvation. My soul waits silently for You alone, for my expectation is from You.

Thank You, Lord, that You are never far from me

and that You deliver me from my troubles.

Psalm 22:11; Psalm 13:1–2; Psalm 27:9; Psalm 91:15; Psalm 145:18–19; John 14:18; Matthew 28:20; Psalm 46:1; Psalm 62:1, 5[1]


[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 306). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

October 11, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

A Pure Heart

Now flee from youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. (2:22)

This verse presents five characteristics of a pure heart, which itself is a fifth characteristic of an honorable vessel for the Lord. This verse is almost identical to the apostle’s admonition in his previous letter to Timothy: “Flee from these things, you man of God; and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness” (1 Tim. 6:11).

The first attribute of a pure heart is negative, expressed here in the command to flee youthful lusts. Flee is from phuegō, from which “fugitive” is derived. The Greek verb is here a present imperative of command, indicating that fleeing is not optional but is to be persistent. That meaning is reflected in the term “fugitive,” which refers to a person who is continually on the run in order to escape capture. The faithful Christian is continually on the run, as it were, from the sinful passions that started when we were young.

Timothy was some thirty years younger than Paul when this letter was written. He therefore was relatively youthful and was still tempted by many sinful lusts that are characteristic of young people. These lusts involve much more than sinful sexual desire. They also include pride, craving for wealth and power, inordinate ambition, jealousy, envy, an argumentative and self-assertive spirit, and many other sinful lusts.

Timothy was timid and apparently sometimes embarrassed by his close association with the apostle Paul and the uncompromising gospel he proclaimed. He probably was fearful of persecution and may not have boldly confronted all those who compromised and misinterpreted God’s revealed truth. He seems to have been especially intimidated by older men in the church who resented his leadership (1 Tim. 4:12). Losing the battle to youthful lusts would not help him resolve the problem of leadership or effectively correct wrong doctrine and immoral practices but would aggravate the conflict. For his own sake and the sake of the church, he was to flee such temptations and inclinations.

The next four attributes of a pure heart are positive and comprehensive: righteousness, faith, love and peace. To pursue those virtues is the other side of fleeing youthful lusts. As with flee, the Greek verb translated pursue is an imperative. Paul is not making a suggestion.

A believer who does not run from sin and toward righteousness will be overtaken by sin. “When [an] unclean spirit goes out of a man,” Jesus said, “it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and not finding any, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first” (Luke 11:24–26). The only way not to “be overcome by evil” is to “overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21). Understanding that truth, the psalmist wrote, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Thy word” (Ps. 119:9). In whatever age the faithful live, the only infallible and effective guide to righteousness is God’s divine Word. Living a pure life does not involve following an esoteric system of ritual, having a mystical experience, achieving a special level of human wisdom, or making a decision to do so. But by faithfully pursuing and obeying the truth of Scripture, even the most unsophisticated child of God is able to successfully pursue the Lord’s righteousness.

The godly believer also will pursue … faith. In this context, pistis (faith) is better rendered “faithfulness,” as it is of God in Romans 3:3 and of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22. The supreme purpose of a believer with a pure heart is to please and glorify God by pursuing integrity, loyalty, and trustworthiness. It was for lack of such “weightier provisions of the law—“justice and mercy and faithfulness”—that Jesus excoriated the hypocritical scribes and Pharisees (Matt. 23:23). The truly faithful Christian will be loyal to God, to God’s Word, to God’s work, and to God’s people.

He also will pursue … love, the first and foremost fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). Of the several words in Greek that are translated love, agapē is the noblest, because it is the word of choice, not of feelings or sentiment, as fine as those sometimes may be. It is the love of the mind and the will, not of emotion or affection even of the highest sort. It is the love of conscious determination, not impulse. It is the love that focuses on the welfare of the one loved, not on self-gratification or self-fulfillment. Agapē love is not based on the attractiveness or worthiness of those who are loved, but on their needs, even when they are most unattractive and unworthy. It is selfless and self-giving.

Agapē love is used countless times of God Himself. It is that love which God the Father has for His own Son, Jesus Christ (John 17:26) and for those who belong to the Son by faith (John 14:21). It is the love which our gracious Lord has for even fallen, sinful mankind (John 3:16; Rom. 5:8). Agapē love is so characteristic of God that John twice tells us that He is love (1 John 4:8, 16).

The godly believer also will pursue … peace. Eirēnē (peace) is the word from which we get “serene” and “serenity.” In this context it does not refer to absence of warfare but to harmonious relationships, between men and God and between men and other men, especially between Christians. “If possible, so far as it depends on you,” Paul commands, “be at peace with all men” (Rom. 12:18).

Although the church at Ephesus was one of the most mature and faithful congregations mentioned in the New Testament, at the time Paul wrote his letters to Timothy it was experiencing serious internal conflict. Paul’s prediction to the elders of the church as they met on the beach near Miletus was already being fulfilled. “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you,” he warned, “not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them” (Acts 20:29–30). Confronting all of that and maintaining peace requires a delicate balance.

Those who call on the Lord is a description of genuine Christians, referring specifically to their calling on the Lord for salvation—for His grace, His mercy, His forgiveness. To call on the Lord is the equivalent of placing saving faith in Him. “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call upon Him,” Paul assures believers in Rome. Quoting Joel 2:32, he then adds, “For ‘Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved’ ” (Rom. 10:12–13). The apostle opens his first letter to the church at Corinth with these words: “Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours” (1 Cor. 1:1–2, emphasis added).

But not everyone who calls on the Lord for salvation continues to faithfully serve and obey Him. From a pure heart therefore further identifies the godly believers who qualify as honorable vessels. The term pure comes from the same root word as “cleanses” in verse 21 and takes us back to where Paul’s thought began—to the truth that a clean vessel is a useful one. They continue to call on the Lord for guidance, strength, and wisdom in living for Him. The Christian with a pure heart diligently pursues the righteousness, faith, love, and peace mentioned in the first half of this verse. He is the “vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work” mentioned in the previous verse.[1]

22 Paul uses another ministry metaphor: whoever would be used by God must be “the Lord’s servant” (v. 24). The intensity of the apostle’s pleading with Timothy does not let up. Paul urges his foremost disciple to “flee” (pheugō, GK 5771) and “pursue” (diōkō, GK 1503; see comments at 1 Ti 6:11). Negatively, he must flee the “evil desires of youth” (lit., “youthful desires/passions,” neōterikas epithymias, GK 3754, 2123; cf. 3 Macc 4:8; Ignatius, Magn. 3.1], there being no equivalent for “evil” in the original; cf. Josephus, Ant. 16.11.8), in possible contrast with the earlier-mentioned Hymenaeus and Philetus (v. 17; cf. also 1 Ti 4:12). What Timothy must pursue is “righteousness” (moral uprightness), “faith” (trust in God), “love” (a charitable disposition toward others), and “peace” (harmony rather than argumentativeness) (see comments at 1 Ti 1:14).

Likely, the scope of the “youthful desires” Timothy must flee is considerably broader than sexual “lusts” (cf. NASB, “youthful lusts”). If the positive traits mentioned are any indication, Timothy is to shun all unrighteousness (i.e., any form of immorality, including sexual sins, 3:6, and the desire to get rich, 1 Ti 6:9), lack of faith (including self-reliance in conduct or teaching), lovelessness (and the selfishness that is characteristic of the false teachers), and restlessness (often characteristic of youth). Of course, it is not only the young who must flee “youthful desires” (cf. Quinn and Wacker, 696–97). In one word, Timothy is to train himself in “godliness” (eusebeia, 1 Ti 4:7–8). The quest for holiness need not be a lonely enterprise, as though believers ought to retreat to their closets and devote themselves to meditative exercises. Rather, holiness should be pursued in community: “along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (a partial allusion to Joel 2:32; cf. v. 19 above).[2]

22 Following the illustrative centerpiece of the passage, and in light of the call to conversion just sounded, the second set of three imperatives resumes direct instruction to Timothy. In rough parallel with the first half of the section, the three imperatives in this latter half will be supported with a sub-section of rationale (vv. 24–26).

As with the shift back to Timothy in 1 Tim 6:11 (see discussion), the transition here is made by insertion of a traditional teaching device, containing the first two of the imperatives, “flee/pursue.” The function of the pair is to contrast behavior to be shunned with behavior to be embraced. Timothy is to flee from “the evil desires of youth.”

While this forms a contrast with the “good works” referred to in v. 21, it is not entirely clear what range of behavior or attitudes is covered by “the evil desires of youth.” “Desires” may refer to neutral or even positive needs and longings in some contexts (cf. the verb in 1 Tim 3:1), but one development of the term that is prominent in the NT is its reference to negative or neutral desires which if not controlled become excessive and possibly harmful or evil impulses (see on 1 Tim 6:9). That is surely the case here, but the adjective “youthful” does not limit the scope of the content much. Although Timothy’s relative youthfulness is mentioned in 1 Tim 4:12, the reference here is almost certainly not to his own tendencies but to those evident in the church, and especially among the troublemakers. In general, the thought must be of those attitudes or impulses characteristic of youth, and the items to be pursued present a fitting opposite. The present context might imply a tendency to engage in arguments as a part of this “youthful” profile, or, on the basis of another development of the term and cognates, “cravings for innovation.” In any case, sexual lust does not seem to be the focus, and the plurality of the whole construction suggests a broad pattern of behavior, rather than a particular weakness. Various kinds of behavior characterized by impetuous or rash acts without thought to consequences could easily be in view; context suggests it would be those related to argument and abrupt innovation that are uppermost in mind.

The second imperative verb impels Timothy positively to “pursue” the alternative life of faith. This life is characterized by a list of four virtues (cf. 3:10–11; 1 Tim 4:12; 6:11). The first three of these, “righteousness, faith, love,” also occur in the list of 1 Tim 6:11 (see discussion and notes). “Uprightness” (dikaiosynē) was one of the cardinal virtues in Hellenistic thought. Its presentation here in a list of virtues is Greek in style, but its orientation in these letters is specifically grounded in the Christ-event (cf. Titus 2:12). Here it presents a contrast with its antonym adikia in v. 19.

The next two items, “faith” and “love,” occur together nine times in the lists of Christian qualities in the letters to coworkers. Again, while the list-form and some of the items included in the lists correspond to Greek ethical teaching, these two qualities are central to the understanding of authentic Christian existence expressed throughout Paul.139 Together they sum up the Christian life in terms of the “vertical” or mystical faith relationship with God and the “horizontal” or relational outworking of that faith in other-oriented service (see on 1 Tim 1:5).

The singular occurrence of the fourth element, “peace” (see on 1 Tim 1:2), in an ethical discourse seems to be conditioned by two factors in the immediate context. First, it is an attitude of quiet composure that would have a neutralizing effect upon the combative quarreling of the false teachers (vv. 14, 23–24). Second, it corresponds to the disposition of patience and kind concern (see below) that is intended to lead the opponent to repentance.

It becomes clear in the prepositional phrase that finishes the verse that the qualities listed are meant to typify authentic faith, and that “pursuit” of them is then to be understood as a standard. Believers are then depicted with two terms. First, the phrase “those who call upon the Lord,” which was adopted from the OT, is a frequent designation in the early church for God’s people. Here it resumes the theme initiated at 2:19; the phrase specifically describes Christians as those marked out by their confession of Christ as Lord (“Lord” = Jesus Christ). This identification of authentic believers is strengthened and more sharply focused in the phrase “out of a pure heart,” which views Christian existence from the perspective of the inward cleansing (“heart” = thoughts, emotions, consciousness, volition) associated with conversion (see on 1 Tim 1:5).[3]

2:22 / These two imperatives (flee and pursue), which are identical to those in 1 Timothy 6:11, are closely related to verses 19–21, which emphasize “turning away from wickedness” and “cleansing himself of these things.” But the negative imperative in this case is somewhat surprising in the context. Why here is Timothy told to flee the evil desires of youth?

The answer lies basically in the meaning of the word evil desires (epithymiai; cf. 1 Tim. 6:9; 2 Tim. 4:3) in these letters. Rather than “lusts,” it simply means desires, especially evil desires. Thus Paul is not so much speaking of sensual passions as he is those kinds of headstrong passions of youth, who sometimes love novelties, foolish discussions, and arguments that all too often lead to quarrels.

Instead of engaging in the pastimes of the false teachers, Timothy is to pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace. For these first three items see the discussion on 1 Timothy 6:11. Just as the final items on that list were especially relevant to the context, so here Timothy must also pursue … peace, as do all those who call upon the name of the Lord out of a pure heart (not, as gnb, “call out to the Lord for help”; cf. 1 Cor. 1:2). This last phrase is another idiom for God’s people in the ot (cf. 2:10; Titus 2:14); they are those who call upon the Lord, that is, worship Yahweh, the God of Israel, and none other. Along with the modifier out of a pure heart (cf. 1 Tim. 1:5; the same root as the verb “cleanse oneself” in v. 21), this designation sets off the true people of God (who pursue righteousness, etc.) from the false teachers, who do not truly know God (cf. Titus 1:16) but are ensnared by Satan. Perhaps, too, as with verse 19, it is a word of encouragement to Timothy by reminding him that not all “have bowed the knee to Baal.”[4]

2:22. So flee from youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a clean heart.

Paul makes direct application of the previous metaphor to Timothy, instructing him what to flee from and what to run to. The one who seeks to cleanse himself from what is dishonourable (2:21) will first of all ‘flee from youthful passions’. ‘Youthful passions’ may mean either the sensual desires associated with youth, or the youthful infatuation with what is novel and innovative, or possibly even the angry passions and hotheadedness that often characterize youth (cf. 2:23–26)—or perhaps some combination of the three. In contrast, Timothy is to ‘pursue’ proper Christian virtues. The command to pursue ‘righteousness’, ‘faith’ and ‘love’ is almost identical to Paul’s instructions in 1 Timothy 6:11 (see discussion there). Here, however, Paul adds ‘peace’ to the list. This perfectly fits the context, which emphasizes the minister’s duty to be gentle and avoid quarrels, and to seek the peace and purity of the church. Paul concludes this verse by indicating that these instructions are not for Timothy alone—all ‘who call on the Lord from a clean heart’ will pursue these virtues. This final phrase also indicates that righteousness comes only from a transformed heart. God’s work in regeneration must precede any effort towards sanctification.

As in 1 Timothy, Timothy’s responsibility in regard to the false teachers means first of all a concern for his own personal spiritual health and godliness. Then it means combating the false teachers in a godly way. This is important for two reasons. First, personal holiness in life is essential for purity in doctrine. Secondly, a godly response to our enemies is impossible without proper training in personal holiness.[5]

Ver. 22.—But flee for flee also, A.V.; and follow after for but follow, A. V.; love for charity, A.V. Youthful (νεωτερικάς), of or belonging to νεώτεροι young men; “cupiditates adolescentiæ” (Tacit., ‘Hist.,’ i. 15). The word only occurs here in the New Testament, never in the LXX, but is found in Josephus, who speaks of αὐθαδεία νεωτερική, “youthful arrogance,” and is common in classical Greek. Lusts (ἐπιθυμίαι) include, besides the σαρκικαὶ ἐπιθυμίαι of 1 Pet. 2:11, all those ill-regulated passions to which youth is peculiarly liable, such as intemperance, love of company, arrogance, petulance, ambition, love of display, levity, vehemence of action, wilfulness, and the like. Timothy at this time was probably under forty (see note on 1 Tim. 4:12, and Ellicott on ditto). Follow after (δίωκε); as 1 Tim. 6:11, where, as here, it is in contrast with φεῦγε. Eagerness in pursuit, and difficulty in attainment, seem to be indicated by the word. With them, etc. (μετὰ τῶν ἐπικαλουμένων κ.τ.λ.), “With them” may mean either pursue righteousness, etc., in partnership with all who call upon the Lord; i.e. make the pursuit of righteousness, etc., your pursuit, as it is that of all who call upon the Lord; or it may be construed with εἰρήνην, so as to limit the exhortation to peace to those who call upon the Lord, εἰρήνην μετὰ τῶν ἐπικαλουμένων, “peace with those that call,” etc., which is the construction in Heb. 12:14 and Rom. 12:18. It is, however, remarkable that in both these passages, which are referred to for the grammar, the inference from the doctrine goes rather the other way, as they teach “peace with all men.” So does the balance of the sentence here.[6]

22. Flee youthful desires. This is an inference from what goes before; for, after mentioning useless questions, and having been led by this circumstance to censure Hymenæus and Philetus, whose ambition and vain curiosity had led them away from the right faith, he again exhorts Timothy to keep at a distance from so dangerous a plague. And for this purpose he advises him to avoid “youthful desires.” By this term he does not mean either a propensity to uncleanness, or any of those licentious courses or sinful lusts in which young men frequently indulge, but any impetuous passions to which the excessive warmth of that age is prone. If some debate has arisen, young men more quickly grow warm, are more easily irritated, more frequently blunder through want of experience, and rush forward with greater confidence and rashness, than men of riper age. With good reason, therefore, does Paul advise Timothy, being a young man, to be strictly on his guard against the vices of youth, which otherwise might easily drive him to useless disputes.

But follow righteousness. He recommends the opposite feelings, that they may restrain his mind from breaking out into any youthful excesses; as if he had said, “These are the things to which thou oughtest to give thy whole attention, and thy whole exertions.” And first he mentions righteousness, that is, the right way of living; and afterwards he adds faith, and love, in which it principally consists. Peace is closely connected with the present subject; for they who delight in the questions which he forbids must be contentious and fond of debating.

With all that call on the Lord. Here, by a figure of speech, in which a part is taken for the whole, “calling on God” is taken generally for worship, if it be not thought preferable to refer it to profession. But this is the chief part of the worship of God, and for that reason “calling on God” often signifies the whole of religion or the worship of God. But when he bids him seek “peace with all that call upon the Lord,” it is doubtful whether, on the one hand, he holds out all believers as an example, as if he had said, that he ought to pursue this in common with all the true worshippers of God, or, on the other hand, he enjoins Timothy to cultivate peace with them. The latter meaning appears to be more suitable.[7]

22. This direct advice to Timothy is closely linked with the general principles stated in verses 20 and 21. There is an implied contrast with the pursuit of good works, as the sequence flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness The rsv translates the latter expression as ‘aim at righteousness’, i.e. set right actions as a goal for living. It need not be supposed that Timothy was beyond the age to need such advice, for as compared with Paul he was still at a stage when adverse influences might lead him astray. One suggestion is that the apostle is here thinking of such passions as impatience, love of dispute and novelties, ambition (Spicq). This is supported by the contrasted virtues to be pursued, righteousness, faith, love and peace, the first three of which have already been urged on Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:11. To live at peace along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart is an indispensable requisite of the Christian minister, as indeed of every Christian, although all too often ignored. The secret is to be found in the concluding words out of a pure heart (cf. 1 Tim. 1:5), for peace and purity are never far apart.[8]

Ver. 22. Flee youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace.

Flee the passions of youth:—Timothy was no longer a young man, but he was still in the strength of his manhood, when he might easily suffer from desires and passions which are comparatively venial in a youth. The juvenilia desideria, the immoderate hilarity, the irregular longings of the flesh and mind, the rashness of judgment, the self-indulgence, the love of admiration, which are weakness and failure of youth, not its beauty nor its charm. (H. R. Reynolds, D.D.)

The Christian young man:—To the word “lust” a specific meaning is now popularly attached, which we do not find in the original; the term there used being much more extensive, and, with the addition of the epithet, “youthful,” much more expressive. It signifies the inclination of the mind; and thus it includes what is evil in the spark as well as in the flame, in the blossom as well as in the fruit, in the deep, though still fountain, as well as in the rolling, turbid, and impetuous stream. And with good reason; for however small and obscure the beginning, the end may be most momentous, most irreparable. Hear it plainly stated: “Lust, when it hath conceived, bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” Watch over inclination, lest it become desire; watch over desire, lest it become appetite; watch over appetite, lest it become passion; watch over passion, lest it become, in the evil and extreme sense, “lust.” And this applies equally to voluptuousness, ambition, covetousness, revenge, and all the characteristic vices of youth.

  1. And this is to be done by avoiding, as far as it be possible, the companionship of the ungodly. On this subject, indeed, the wise man, teaching from experience, is earnest even beyond his wont; counselling with an emphatic iteration: “Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men; avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.” It is against the first step that young men should be exhorted especially to guard; to beware of the first act, against which conscience enters and records its solemn protest.
  2. While, however, you “flee youthful lusts” by avoiding companionship with the wicked, flee them also by cultivating companionship with the heart; and weigh well those associations, habits, and pursuits, which give a direction to the mind. Beware lest inclination assume the reins of action; beware lest interest or convenience usurp that supremacy over the purposes and the practices, which ought to be exercised only by conscience and by principle. Test all things by one standard; try all men by one rule; and let that be the Word of God. Whenever, therefore, in a judgment administered upon such principles, and directed to such an end, the bent of the mind and the will are found to be in any particular instance opposed to the great purpose, for which all who bear, by their own consent, the name of Christian, must for that very reason profess to live, it is clear that the course of life must be altered, the stream of thought and desire must be turned, the current must be made to flow in an opposite direction. And if this only be done as soon as the necessity is discerned, it will be done effectually, and it will be done comparatively without an effort.

III. Not only, however, are we exhorted in the text to “flee youthful lusts,” but to cultivate those Christian graces and dispositions, which can never appear to greater advantage than when they are associated with the natural transparency and ingenuousness of youth. 1. Follow, then, after righteousness. Give God what is His due; and you will never withhold from man what is his. 2. Follow not only after righteousness, but, as the apostle exhorts his son Timothy, after “faith.” Account, that as practical righteousness, the rendering of everything that is due to man, so faith is the expectation of all that is needful from God. 3. Next, you are exhorted to follow “charity” or love. Love is the essence of righteousness, for it is “the fulfilling of the law”; it is also the evidence of faith, for “faith worketh by love.” 4. Lastly, in the words of the apostle, “follow after peace.” This, indeed, is the subject of one of the most earnest petitions that ever fell from human lips: “Now the God of peace Himself give you peace always by all means.” Nor can the apostles of the Lord and Saviour better express the fervour of their love for the brethren than by the prayer that “grace, mercy, and peace may be multiplied to them through Jesus Christ.” Yes, peace is indeed an object worthy to be followed by man, a blessing worthy to be multiplied by God. Follow after peace, then, and ye will find it, in all its varieties of excellency and of loveliness. Peace of conscience; for your sins, however multiplied and aggravated, shall be made as though they had never been. Peace of mind; for “great peace have they that love Thy law, and nothing shall offend them.” Peace with man in life, for “the work of righteousness is peace”; and peace—the “peace that passeth understanding”—in death, for “mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace.” Now we have looked upon four objects of moral excellency and social usefulness, which the young Christian is to follow—righteousness, faith, charity, peace. Let us contrast these with four “youthful lusts,” desires, inclinations, or tendencies, call them which you will, from which he is to flee. The love of self, as opposed to righteousness; the pride of philosophical unbelief—unbelief that calls itself philosophical—as opposed to faith; covetousness, or the desire of accumulation, as opposed to charity; and the turbulence of mirth, revelry, and excess, as opposed to peace. (T. Dale, M.A.)

Admonitions to the young:

  1. Consider what you ought to avoid—“Flee youthful lusts.” The objects of abhorrence are distinctly specified in this short but impressive caution. No palliating epithets are employed to divest them of their disgusting qualities. They are not pleaded for by being called, as too many in modern times represent them “mere juvenile indiscretions,”—“youthful follies,” which maturer age will correct; but they are marked by a term, which at once describes and condemns them. Lust, in the language of Scripture, has an extensive latitude of meaning; it is applied to evil desire in general—the desire of what is in itself unlawful and forbidden, or the intemperate desire of what is in itself lawful and allowed. This explanation accords with the assertion of the apostle John in his first Epistle, in which he gives an accurate classification of evil desires: “All that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but of the world.” The passions and appetites of our nature are powerful principles of action. Were they always subjected to the government of enlightened reason, they would become sources of innocent gratification; indulgence would leave no stain, and remembrance would awaken no remorse. But from their fatal predominance over the convictions of the understanding, and the remonstrances of conscience, what streams of sin and misery have inundated the world! To these, as their immediate sources, may be traced innumerable diseases which ruin the body, by causing its premature debility, and securing its inevitable destruction. But their direst evil is that they “war against the soul,” impair the mind, and pollute the heart. In order to render the impression more vivid, let us consider to what evil desires the young are peculiarly exposed; what are the unhallowed passions that require their utmost vigilance and opposition. 1. I would first exhort you, my young friends, to guard against the seductions of sensuality; against what are emphatically termed “fleshy lusts.” On no subject are the sacred writers more frequent, or more alarming in their denunciations than on this. Aware of the wide-spreading nature of the contagion, they continually remind us of its evil, and direct us to the means of counteracting and expelling it. 2. Beware of intemperance. By intemperance, I mean particularly the excessive indulgence of those appetites of our nature on which our existence depends. It is sometimes said that such indulgence, so basely irrational, places a man on a level with the brutes that perish. But it is insulting to brutes to make the comparison. The laws of animal instinct teach them moderation, and the dictates of universal conscience as well as the “grace of God,” should teach men, that “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, they should live soberly in this present evil world.” Intemperance is the baneful source of most destructive evils; it is the powerful stimulus to the commission of crimes, which men would shudder to perpetrate in the cool moments of sobriety. 3. Amongst the evil principles which the apostle warns us to avoid, may be included also high-mindedness, for immediately after the exhortation in the text, he says, “The servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves.” And to enforce this impressive caution he predicts the approach of “perilous times,” when all the symptoms of unhallowed self-exaltation should be manifest in the prevailing characters of men. I have adopted a term of extensive application, because it includes the various modifications of pride, haughtiness, conceit, vanity, and ambition. It is worthy of your attentive regard that the admonition in the text is levelled at the very seat and principle of iniquity. The tyranny of the passions is enthroned on the heart; and it is from that interior dominion they must be expelled. The axe is therefore laid at the root of the tree, that all its branches and fruit may be destroyed. The apostle does not merely say, Flee evil habits, impure connections, and all the scenes of temptation, but he says what virtually includes all this, by denouncing their pernicious origin: “Flee youthful lusts”; let not the desire be indulged; “the thought of foolishness is sin.” As the venerable Elisha purified the waters of Jericho, by sprinkling salt on the fountain whence they flowed, so the apostle directs us to cleanse the springs of action; persuaded that they will send forth wholesome streams when healed from the contamination of sin.
  2. Our next general inquiry respects the opposite principles and tempers which ought to form the objects of your constant and unremitting pursuit. What should you follow? He was persuaded that in order to “abhor that which is evil,” we must “cleave to that which is good.” Let us attend to his wise and salutary directions. 1. Follow righteousness. This term frequently occurs in the sacred writings, with various, though connected acceptations. In its most important reference it is applied to that perfect “obedience even unto death,” by which our exalted Lord “magnified the law and made it honourable.” The Scriptures which so clearly reveal this righteousness as the exclusive basis of acceptance with God, announce the method of obtaining its blessings. “Not to him that worketh, but to him that believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.” This righteousness, the possession of which justifies a sinner in the sight of God, will infallibly secure as its invariable consequence, an inherent rectitude of principle—that personal righteousness, “without which no man can see the Lord.” In conformity with this statement, I would earnestly exhort you, my young friends, to cultivate all the fruits of righteousness. Aim at the entire agreement of your spirit and actions with the unerring rule of righteousness, laid down in the sacred Word. There you behold its nature clearly defined, and its wide extent unfolded. It is not a variable, shifting principle, adapted to the changes of custom, and the fluctuations of caprice. Its nature and obligations are not dependent on views of expediency, which may happen to agree with its dictates to-day, and suggest an opposite rule of conduct to-morrow. Righteousness is the conformity of the heart and life to the immutable laws of equity which God has established; an equity, unbending in its decisions, and unalterable in its claims. 2. If you “follow righteousness,” your character will be adorned by fidelity. This I conceive is what the apostle meant by “faith”; and the word has precisely this rendering, in the Epistle to Titus, in which servants are exhorted to “show all good fidelity.” Fidelity is an important part of righteousness; it is one of the essential expressions of it, and all pretensions to rectitude without it are but as “tinkling cymbals and as sounding brass.” 3. With “righteousness and fidelity,” the apostle connects charity and peace. The principles and duties of justice are intimately blended with those of benevolence. The latter derive all their value and stability from the former, and give them in return “an ornament of grace—a crown of glory.” Charity, or love, is of essential importance to Christian character. It is often referred to as a decisive test of real religion. It is well described by the apostle Paul as the “bond of perfectness.” It unites and combines all the other graces, “fitly framing them together,” giving them beauty, proportion, and effect. The apostle Paul has presented a full-length portraiture of Charity. Are you surprised that peace should spring from that charity which “endureth all things”? This is its rational and invariable result. The peace which flows from believing, and which consists in reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ, will be connected with a pacific temper and disposition. These are the objects of pursuit exhibited to your attention, in the exhortation of the text. You are commanded to follow them, wherever they may lead you; to aim at attaining them, whatever they may cost you; and with unremitting diligence to persevere in the path which they have prescribed. With peculiar propriety has the apostle connected this wise direction with the preceding caution. Every disposition marked out as the object of pursuit, immediately tends to the subversion of those unhallowed desires which you are warned to avoid. You cannot indulge in one “youthful lust” but you violate the claims of “righteousness, faith, charity, and peace.” Let these holy principles exist, and you will be effectually armed against the enemies of your souls.

III. With whom should you associate? “With them that call on the Lord with a pure heart.” Religion does not extirpate the social affections of our nature; but it directs their exercise, and consecrates them supremely to the glory of God. The fellowship of a Christian Church is designed to bring them under the guidance of those laws which Christ has revealed in His Word, and to regulate all our voluntary associations. The influence of pernicious example is peculiarly felt in the circle of intimate friendship. There your opinions and practices receive their strongest confirmation; and your character and habits, if at first opposed to the prevailing complexion of those with whom you associate, will be almost imperceptibly changed. Consider the infinite importance of being now “numbered with the saints,” “on the Lord’s side,” that you may not be “gathered with sinners” at the day of final separation and unalterable decision! (Jos. Fletcher, M.A.)

Purity:—Antony William Boehme, a German divine, once preached from Exodus 20:14: “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” A chevalier, who was one of his hearers, felt himself so much insulted that he challenged Boehme to fight a duel, because he thought his sermon designed entirely to offend him. Boehme accepted the challenge, and appeared in his robes; but instead of a pistol he had the Bible in his hand, and spoke to him in the following manner: “I am sorry you were so much offended when I preached against that destructive vice; at the time I did not even think of you. Here I appear with the sword of the Spirit, and if your conscience condemns you, I beseech you, for your own salvation, to repent of your sins and lead a new life. If you will, then fire at me immediately, for I would willingly lose my life if that might be the means of saving your soul!” The chevalier was so struck with this language that he embraced him and solicited his friendship. A bold man was this preacher, and reminds you of another bold man in English history, Hugh Latimer, Bishop of Worcester, who presented to Henry VIII. for a new year’s gift a New Testament, doubled down at the leaf where is written, “Whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Heb. 13:4). God’s truth must be told, and not be kept back. The Seventh Commandment concerns our own and our neighbour’s chastity: “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” It forbids all acts of uncleanness, with all those fleshly lusts which produce those acts and war against the soul; and all those practices which cherish and excite those fleshly lusts, as looking in order to lust, which Christ tells us is forbidden in this commandment (Matt. 5:28). The eyes, like Jacob’s cattle, too firmly fixed on beautiful objects, make the affections bring forth spotted fruit, and it is as easy to quench the fire of Etna as the thought fixed by lust. Lusting is often the result of looking, as in David, who saw Bathsheba bathing, and in Joseph’s mistress, who set her eyes upon Joseph. Lust is quicksighted. How much better Job, who would not look, lest he should think upon a maid! He had learned to keep in his eyes from roving to wanton prospects. Samson’s eyes were the first offenders that betrayed him to unlawful desire of carnal pleasure; therefore are his eyes first pulled out, and he led a blind captive to Gaza, where before he had with carnal appetite gazed on his Delilah. Among the things which in our baptismal vow we promised to renounce are the sinful lusts of the flesh. The text enforces that promise upon us. Carnal pleasures are the sins of youth; ambition and the love of power the sins of middle age: covetousness and carking cares the crimes of old age. “Flee fornication,” &c. (1 Cor. 6:18, 19). He that commits this sin sinneth against his own body; and inasmuch as his body was created for God’s Holy Spirit to dwell in, it is a defilement of the temple of God. This sin of fornication is, therefore, the more hateful, because by committing it a man sins both against himself, against his fellow-creature, and against his God. By indulging in this sin he debases his noblest faculties; he defiles and destroys God’s handiwork; he makes vile that which God made holy. By the just judgment of God all these irregular and sinful connections are married to death. Neither prostitutes, whoremongers, nor unclean persons of any description can live out half their days Parents! beware of the example of Eli! He was a good man himself, but his children were extremely wicked—he restrained them not. Parents! see that your children do not associate with corrupt companions—“Evil communications corrupt good manners.” Indulged children, like Dinah (Gen. 34), often become a grief and shame to their families. Her pretence was to see the daughters of the land, to see how they dressed, and how they danced, and what was fashionable amongst them; she went to see—she went to be seen too; she went to gain an acquaintance with those Canaanites, and to learn their way. See what came from Dinah’s roving! The beginning of sin is as the letting forth of water—“Give the water no passage, neither an unprotected daughter liberty to gad abroad” (Ecclus). Carefully avoid all occasions of sin and approaches to it. Parents! let your household arrangements be such as never to endanger your children’s purity of character; never let the blush of shame be needlessly raised on their cheeks. Whatever sacrifice it may cost you in other ways, do not put them in jeopardy by crowding your family into too small a space, thus rendering it impossible that a sense of decency and modesty should be preserved. It is a false and fatal economy that would tempt you to do this. Much depends on you, landlords, masters, employers of labour. But whatever may be done by parents or by masters, to you, young men and young women, we must mainly look. The celebrated John Newton, as the commander of a slave-ship, had a number of women under his absolute command, and knowing the danger of his situation on that account, he resolved to abstain from flesh in his food, and to drink nothing stronger than water during the voyage, that by abstemiousness he might subdue every improper emotion. Upon his setting sail, the sight of a certain point of land was the signal for his beginning a rule which he was enabled to keep. (R. A. Taylor, M.A.)

Helps against lusts:—1. Get a sound knowledge of them. 2. Mortify thy carnal members. 3. Labour for a broken heart. 4. Be diligent in thy calling. 5. Abandon lewd companions. 6. And strive to taste deeply of the water of life; favour the best things. (J. Barlow, D.D.)

Youthful lusts:—And thy lusts of youth are principally these: pride, idleness, pleasure, wantonness. To avoid these see thou—1. Set a watch over all thy external senses. In presence, view not, touch not. In absence, talk not, think not on wanton affections. 2. Sleep little, eat little, work much, pray much; for take away the fuel and the fire will be quenched. 3. When wandering cogitations or suggestions reflect on thy fancy, divert them the contrary way. Forget not this. 4. Attend to good counsel, and follow it; and see before thou purpose anything what the best men advise thee. (Ibid.)

A choice between the higher and lower life:—Thou hast a double nature. Choose between the worse and the better that is within thee. Thou hast it in thy power to become the slave of passion, the slave of luxury, the slave of sensual pleasure, the slave of corruption. Thou hast it in thy power to become the free master of thyself, to become the everlasting benefactor of thy country, and the unfailing champion of thy God. (Dean Stanley.)

Passions to be early checked:—There was once an old monk walking through the forest with a little scholar by his side. The old man suddenly stopped and pointed to four plants close at hand. The first was beginning to peep above the ground; the second had rooted itself pretty well into the earth; the third was a small shrub; whilst the fourth and last was a full-sized tree. Then the old monk said to his young companion: “Pull up the first.” The youth easily pulled it up with his fingers. “Now pull the second.” The youth obeyed, but not so easily. “And the third.” But the boy had to put forth all his strength, and to use both arms, before he succeeded in uprooting it. “And now,” said the master, “try your hand upon the fourth.” But lo! the trunk of the tall tree, grasped in the arms of the youth, scarcely shook its leaves, and the little fellow found it impossible to tear its roots from the earth. Then the wise old monk explained to his scholar the meaning of the four trials. “This, my son, is just what happens with our passions. When they are young and weak, one may, by a little watchfulness over self, and the help of a little self-denial, easily tear them up; but if we let them cast their roots deep down into our souls, then no human power can uproot them, the Almighty hand of the Creator alone can pluck them out. For this reason, watch well over the first movements of your soul, and study by acts of virtue to keep your passions well in check.”

The bloom of youthful purity:—There grows a bloom and beauty over the beauty of the plum and apricot, more exquisite than the fruit itself—a soft, delicate flush that overspreads its blushing cheek. Now, if you strike your hand over that, it is gone for ever, for it never grows but once. The flower that hangs in the morning impearled with dew, arrayed as a queenly woman never was arrayed with jewels; once shake it so that the beads roll off, and you may sprinkle water over it as you please, yet it can never be made again what it was when the dew fell silently on it from heaven. On a frosty morning you may see panes of glass covered with landscapes, mountains, lakes, and trees, blended in a beautiful fantastic picture. Now, lay your hand upon the glass, and by a scratch of your finger, or by the warmth of your palm, all the delicate tracery will be obliterated. So there is in youth a beauty and purity of character, which, when once touched and defiled, can never be restored—a fringe more delicate than frost-work, and which, when torn and broken, will never be reembroidered. He who has spotted and soiled his garments in youth, though he may seek to make them white again, can never wholly do it, even were he to wash them with his tears. When a young man leaves his father’s house with the blessing of a mother’s tears still wet upon his brow, if he once lose that early purity of character, it is a spot that he can never make whole again. Such is the consequence of crime. Its effects cannot be eradicated; it can only be forgiven.

Righteousness:—Let me exhort you to put on the righteousness of Christ Jesus, as by application, so in imitation. When thou art to deal with God, and to appeal in His court, see thou have this wedding garment: clothe thy nakedness with the mantle of Jesus; cover thy sinful person with no other robe; wear not linsey-woolsey; mix not thy pigeon feathers with this eagle’s plumes; blend not thy flash water with this fresh wine, lest thy nakedness appear, and death be found in the pot. But with him, who knew what he did (Phil. 3:8, 9), cast off thy rags, trample them under foot, and apparel thyself with the pure linen of Christ our Lord; for Solomon in all his royalty was not clothed like him, who hath put on Christ Jesus. (J. Barlow, D.D.)

Faith:—By faith the righteousness of Christ is unfolded, apprehended, put on. Knowledge, like the eye, may direct us unto the wedding garment. But faith, as the hand, must take hold of it, apparel ourselves with it. What if we be said to live by faith? so are we by our hands. Yet doth any man eat his fingers? No; it is by that which faith applieth; and the motion of the hand procureth and receiveth. (Ibid.)

Following peace:—For thy help take these directions:—1. Be at peace with God; for that will keep thy heart and mind in the acknowledgment and love of the truth (Phil. 4:7, 9). 2. Have peace with thyself. In all things be in subjection to the Spirit (James 3:14, 15). For if wars be in us, peace will not be without us (Gal. 6:16). 3. Depart with part of thine own rights; so did Abraham to Lot (Gen. 13:9). Christ paid tribute to preserve peace (Mat. 17, ult.). And for peace sake we should suffer wrong (1 Cor. 6:7). 4. Abandon self-love, and pray for peace. When men will have their own actions still go forward, without doubt, it is a work of the flesh (Gal. 6:13). For motives—1. Are we not the sons of God? and is not He the King of Peace? (1 Cor. 14:33). 2. Be we not subjects to Him who is the Prince of Peace? (Isa. 9:6). 3. Is not a Christian called to live in peace? (1 Cor 7:15). 4. And if we continue in peace, will not the God of love and peace be with us? (2 Cor. 13:11). (Ibid.)

Self-control inspired by the thought of God:—A heathen may herein teach multitudes of unconverted men and many professing Christians a lesson. We read of Cyrus, that when, after one of his victories, a captive of singular beauty, Panthea, the wife of Abradates, king of Susiana, was taken, he refused to see her, and entrusted her to the keeping of Araspes, giving him a very prudent admonition respecting his conduct, and was thus assured by him; “Fear nothing; I am sure of myself, and I will answer with my life that I shall do nothing contrary to my duty.” This young nobleman was notwithstanding overcome by her beauty, and in danger of basely violating his promise, had not Panthea given Cyrus intelligence of his baseness. Araspes, when cited to appear before his prince, was overwhelmed with shame and fear, and spoke of the control over his desires which he had when in Cyrus’ presence, and his weakness when left to himself (see “Rollin’s Ancient History,” bk. iv., ch. i., sec. iv). If the presence of a fellow-creature, however marked by purity and moderation, availed to curb the passions of a heathen, how much more should the recollection of a pure and holy God! And if love constrain not, the fear of His displeasure should lead us to beware of danger, and to guard our eyes and our hearts, lest we fall into temptation.

Avoiding danger:—Have you never heard the story of a lady who wanted a coachman? Two or three called to see her about the situation, and, in answer to her inquiries, the first applicant said, “Yes, madam, you could not have a better coachman than myself.” She replied, “How near do you think you could drive to danger without an accident?” “Madam, I could go within a yard of it, and yet you would be perfectly safe.” “Very well,” she said, “you will not suit me.” The second one had heard the question upon which the other had been rejected, and therefore he was ready with his answer, “Danger! madam, why I could drive within a hair’s breadth, and yet be perfectly safe.” “Then you will not suit me at all.” When number three came in, he was asked, “Are you a good driver?” “Well,” he replied, “I am careful and have never met with an accident.” “But how near do you think you could drive to danger?” “Madam,” he said, “that is a thing I never tried, I always drive as far away from danger as ever I can.” The lady at once replied, “You are the kind of coachman I want, and I will engage you at once.” Get such a coachman as that yourself, to guide your own heart, and lead your own character. Do not see how near you can go to sin, but see how far you can keep away from it. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

Abstinence:—A friend who, in the opinion of all who knew him, was very unlikely to take stimulants to excess, and who had very little sympathy with teetotalism, told me the other day that he had given up wine. When I asked him his reason he gave me this suggestive reply: “Because I was beginning to like it and count on it.” It was the wise repression of incipient rebellion before it had asserted itself by overt act. (A. Rowland, LL.B.)

Taken unawares:—We have read that “a debtor seeing a bailiff in quest of him ran three miles to a boundary, beyond which he was safe.” The bailiff, seeming calmly to submit to his failure, stretched out his hand and said, “Well, let us part good friends, at any rate.” The debtor, off his guard, accepted the offered hand, whereupon the bailiff, with a desperate effort, pulled him across the line, and clapping him on the shoulder, said, “You are my prisoner.” So men may be overcome by the evil one when they least expect an assault from him, and think themselves most safe. (Sunday School Teacher.)

Self-control:—Bishop Ryle, in his “Young Men Exhorted,” makes some pungent remarks on this duty of self-control. “Resolve at once,” he writes, “by God’s help, to shun everything that may prove an occasion of sin. It is an excellent saying of good old Bishop Hall: ‘He that would be safe from the acts of evil must wisely avoid the occasions.’ Never hold a candle to the devil. He that would be safe must not come near the brink of danger. He must look upon his heart as a magazine of gunpowder, and be cautious not to handle one spark of temptation more than he can help. Where is the use of your praying, ‘Lead us not into temptation,’ unless you are yourselves careful not to run into it?” “Flee”:—Prayer is not enough. Many have prayed, and have not found it sufficient. Therefore the advice in the Bible is rational—Flee. The usual receipt for resisting sin is, Fight; but I venture to say the Bible and common sense recommend flight rather. There are many sins we must not even look at; to turn away and run is the only resource. The Bible says, “Flee youthful lusts,” and “Look not on the wine.” The brave thing, although it looks the cowardly, is to flee. But it is not into space we are to flee. We are to fly upward, to get into a higher mood, and breathe another atmosphere. (Prof. H. Drummond.)

Temptation’s deceits:—In the Fisheries Exhibition the nets were so beautifully hung and draped as to form graceful curtains. How many of Satan’s nets are made to appear charmingly attractive. (H. O. Mackey.)

The conquest of self:—The following epitaph was once placed over a soldier’s grave:—

“Here lies a soldier, whom all must applaud,

Who fought many battles at home and abroad;

But the hottest engagement he ever was in

Was the conquest of self in the battle of sin.”


The danger of success:—There is danger in success. St. Bernard astonished an immense congregation, intensely interested in his sermon, by suddenly exclaiming, “Get thee behind me, Satan.” He felt that the devil was tempting him to be proud of his eloquence, as though he would win souls by his own enticing words. And when Lacordaire had enthralled thousands by one of his Lenten sermons in Notre Dame, the young monk who went to summon him to the refectory, found him kneeling before a crucifix, with the tears on his cheeks, and inquired, “Oh, father, why are you so sad?” This was the answer, “My son, I am afraid of success.” Be not high-minded, but fear. (Dean Hole.)

Undiscovered character:—Every man has in himself a continent of undiscovered character. Happy is he who acts the Columbus to his own soul. (Sir J. Stephen.) Peace with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.—This last “peace” must be joined with the words immediately following: “With them that call on the Lord,” &c. The “peace” here signifies absence of contention; it is well paraphrased by, “that spiritual concord which unites together all who call upon and who love their Lord.” (H. D. M. Spence, M.A.)

The Christian young man:—It will be manifest, at the very first glance, that when the apostle expresses with whom his son Timothy should, he implies with what kind of persons he should not associate; with those who do not “call upon the Lord,” and with those who do indeed appear to call upon the Lord, but not “out of a pure heart.” First, the unbeliever, whether he be such in appearance, or only in practice; and next, the hypocrite, the formalist, the inconsistent, and the insincere. 1. Our first character is that of the avowed and unblushing sceptic; that of the man who contemptuously characterises religion as the business of women, the trade of preachers, and the toy of men; one who mistakes adroitness in contending against truth in argument, for capability of disproving it, and who is as much delighted with himself, when he has hurled a sarcasm or a sneer against the gospel or the Church, as if he had invented an objection which must tend to the overthrow of them both. This class of persons may be ordinarily identified by one generic feature; namely, that they assume everything, and demonstrate nothing. Avoid, then, as far as possible, all intercourse, all communion, with persons such as these. If they interrogate you, answer; but when you have answered, do not argue. 2. I shall next describe the character of the man whose infidelity is practical; who is only not an atheist because he is nothing; who does not avow or advocate false principles simply because he has no principles at all; and who remains just as indifferent to all that concerns his moral responsibility or his religious duty, as if indeed he were the base degraded thing, to which he endeavours to assimilate himself; as if in truth he were “the beast, whose spirit goeth downward to the earth”—not the rational, immortal, intelligible, accountable man, whose spirit, when dismissed from and disencumbered of its earthly tabernacle, must “return to God that gave it.” The root of the evil is, that so far as the interests of the soul are concerned, persons of this class do not think at all. From such, then, as we have now described, such as “separate themselves” from the assemblies of Christian worship, being “sensual, having not the Spirit”; such as do not “call upon the Lord” in the house of prayer, and therefore cannot be presumed to call upon Him in the closet—you ought to separate yourselves as far as possible, on no other ground than the simple knowledge of the fact. They are far more likely to injure you than you are likely to profit them; for they have an ally, an accomplice, in your own sinful nature. 3. There is yet another class of characters, from whom in following out the spirit of the text, we are constrained to counsel separation. It is the inconsistent, the undecided, the manifestly insincere; those who “call on the Lord,” but not “out of a pure heart”; those who observe proprieties, but who disregard principles; who conform to the ritual without imbibing the spirit of the Church; who profess with their lips that they know God, but in works do deny Him—disguising their practices by their profession, and masking their private vices by their public prayers. Those who “call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” But then understand what this means—the heart of such persons is not innately pure; it is not pure from the first. No, nor is it inherently pure by any natural constitution or organisation peculiar to itself. Nor is it independently pure—without the aids of Divine and spiritual operation, or by influence of its own. Nor is it invariably pure—pure without any apprehension of or capability of change. Its purity is derived and imparted from above; purity in the comparative sense, for all human purity is comparative; and produced by the action of the Spirit of God upon the heart. It is first the purposed, attempted, desired separation from all iniquity—because we “name the name of Christ”; the ceasing to regard it with the heart, as well as admit it knowingly into the life. It is next the fixed, settled, honest purpose, to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”; and to postpone all considerations of present pleasure, interest, or inclination to the “one thing” which is supremely “needful,” even to “win Christ and be found in Him.” Purity, indeed, is but another name for what is elsewhere called “singleness of heart”; that which St. Paul exemplified when he declared, “One thing I do; forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”; and what the Lord Himself delineated when He said, “If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” I have already spoken to you about the prudence of avoiding companionship with the ungodly, but this example leads you one step beyond it—to the cultivation of fellowship with the pious. And for this reason: that every friendship, which is formed upon such principles and with such persons, is an additional barrier and defence against the encroachment or aggressions of the enemy. To form a new Christian connection or intimacy is like placing a new warrior within the citadel of the heart, a new sentinel upon the watch-tower, or, it may be, a new defender in the breach. (T. Dale, M.A.)[9]




“Flee … pursue”




“Avoid … strive for”




“Turn away … concentrate on”


These are both PRESENT ACTIVE IMPERATIVES. Believers are to continue to exhibit God’s sanctification (cf. 1 Tim. 6:11).

© “from youthful lusts” Every stage of life has its unique temptations (cf. Eccl. 3:1–8; 11:10; 12:1–8).

© “righteousness, faith, love and peace” These are all characteristics of the triune God which need to be developed and exhibited in His people (cf. 1 Tim. 1:5, 14). For “righteousness” see Special Topic at Titus 2:13.

© “who call on the Lord from a pure heart” This is a PRESENT ACTIVE PARTICIPLE, which implies continuing action. In Joel 2:32, Acts 2:21 and Rom. 10:9–13 this phrase seems to imply an initial response, but in this context it refers to the maturing believers. Our purposeful and continuing association with mature believers is one secret of a faithful, joyful, and peaceful Christian life.[10]

22. The way to cleanse oneself is to become detached from that which is evil and attached to that which is good. Hence, Paul continues: But from the desires of youth flee away, and run after righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call upon the Lord out of pure hearts.

When Paul wrote these words, Timothy must have been 37–42 years of age (see on 1 Tim. 4:12). He was still rather young, especially in relation to the position of trust and responsibility which he occupied. So the apostle warns him against “the (or “those well-known,” note the article) desires of youth.” But just what does he mean?

The word desire that is used in the original, whether in a favorable or unfavorable sense, always indicates strong yearning. As the footnote indicates, it is used far more often in an unfavorable than in a favorable sense. In the present passage, it is definitely sinful desire that is meant (“From the desires of youth flee away”). Such sinful desires, as the footnote also proves, can be classified more or less after the manner of modern psychology (though here these yearnings would hardly be called sinful), as follows:

(1).        Pleasure, etc., the inordinate craving for the satisfaction of the physical appetites: the “lust” for food and drink, pleasure-madness, uncontrolled sexual desire (Rom. 1:24; Rev. 18:14, etc.)

(2).        Power, etc., the ungoverned passion to be Number 1, the lust to “shine” or be dominant. This results in envy, quarrelsomeness, etc. This sinful tendency is included prominently in such references as Gal. 5:16, 24; 2 Peter 2:10, 18; Jude 16, 18.

(3).        Possessions, etc., uncontrolled yearning for material possessions and for the “glory” that goes with them (see 1 Tim. 6:9 in its context).

Objectively speaking, Christ triumphed over the first when in the first temptation he said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:1–4); over the second, when in the second temptation he refused to cast himself down from the pinnacle of the temple (Matt. 4:5–7); and over the third, when in the third temptation he refused to receive as a gift out of Satan’s hand “the kingdoms of the world and their glory” (Matt. 4:8–10). As a result of his triumph he in a far more glorious sense received from his heavenly Father the very things with which the devil had tempted him. (In Christ’s case, however, the temptations were entirely objective; there were no subjective, sinful tendencies.)

Since these inordinate desires often assert themselves more turbulently in youth than in old age—as he grows older a Christian rises above them through the sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit, bringing him gradually to spiritual maturity—, they are here fittingly called “the desires of youth” (literally, “the youthful desires”).

Two extremes should be avoided. First, it is wrong to construe the reference to be, either exclusively or predominantly, to uncontrolled sexual desire. Secondly, it is not necessary to exclude this evil entirely from view. The term, as here used, must probably be taken in its most general sense, as indicating any sinful yearning to which the soul of a young or relatively young person is exposed. If, within this general connotation, any element of special emphasis must be found, it should be derived from the context. In the present case there was, perhaps, the tendency of the younger man to be somewhat impatient with those who stood in the way. Timothy’s high moral character, coupled with his youthful years, might induce him to act somewhat inconsiderately toward those who were opposing the truth. A person of natural reserve, timidity, and general amiability, such as Timothy, can at times act rather impulsively when at last, contrary to his natural tendency, he is aroused to action. But whether or not in Paul’s mind there was any special reference to this particular danger of youth cannot now be determined. The sinful desires of youth may best be regarded in the most general sense, and thus as the antonyms of the virtues now mentioned: “righteousness, faith, love, and peace.”

Grammatically it is also possible to interpret Paul’s words as meaning no more than this: “Timothy, continue to do exactly as you have always been doing. Keep on in your present course, fleeing away from the desires of youth and pursuing righteousness, faith, love, peace,” etc. But, though the tense used in the original permits this interpretation, it does not require it. It is, moreover, in line with Paul’s very practical bent of mind to assume that these crisp commands bear some reference to reality, and were warnings that were actually needed, yes needed even by Timothy because of certain character-weaknesses, however unpronounced they may have been. In our desire to do full justice to the beauty of Timothy’s character, let us not equip him with wings!

Paul’s youthful associate, then, must constantly flee away from the sinful propensities of youth, and must cultivate the habit of running after the virtues that are here enumerated. Note the alliteration—“run after righteousness” (here as in 1 Tim. 6:11)—and the chiastic sentence-structure, with the vices and the virtues (the last one, “peace,” expanded into a compound phrase) at either end of the sentence; and the opposite actions—“flee away from,” “run after”—next to each other in the middle.

Since most of the concepts here mentioned have occurred before, the reader is referred to the more detailed explanation in 1 Tim. 4:12 and 1 Tim. 6:11. Briefly, then, what Paul has in mind may be paraphrased as follows:

From the sinful tendencies of youth flee away, and run after (steadily pursue) the following: a. that state of heart and mind which is in harmony with God’s law (“righteousness”); b. humble and dynamic confidence in God (“faith”); c. deep personal affection for the brothers, including in your benevolent interest even the enemies (“love”); and d. undisturbed, perfect understanding (“peace”) with all Christians (those who in prayer and praise “call upon” the Lord Jesus Christ—cf. Joel 2:32; Rom. 10:12; 1 Cor. 1:2—out of pure hearts). The “pure hearts” (the original has the singular where English prefers the plural) are the inner personalities of those who “stand aloof from unrighteousness” (verse 19) and “have effectively cleansed themselves” (verse 21).[11]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1995). 2 Timothy (pp. 92–95). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Köstenberger, A. (2006). 2 Timothy. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, pp. 583–584). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Towner, P. H. (2006). The Letters to Timothy and Titus (pp. 543–545). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] Fee, G. D. (2011). 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus (pp. 263–264). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Barcley, W. B. (2005). A Study Commentary on 1 and 2 Timothy (pp. 260–261). Darlington, England; Webster, NY: Evangelical Press.

[6] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). 2 Timothy (p. 23). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[7] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon (pp. 231–232). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[8] Guthrie, D. (1990). Pastoral Epistles: An Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 14, pp. 169–170). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[9] Exell, J. S. (n.d.). The Biblical Illustrator: Second Timothy–Titus, Philemon (Vol. 1, pp. 219–227). New York; Chicago; Toronto; London; Edinburgh: Fleming H. Revell Company.

[10] Utley, R. J. (2000). Paul’s Fourth Missionary Journey: I Timothy, Titus, II Timothy (Vol. Volume 9, pp. 156–157). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.

[11] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Pastoral Epistles (Vol. 4, pp. 271–274). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

October—11 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

And the king said unto Esther at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: And what is thy request? even to the half of the kingdom it shall be performed.—Esther 5:6.

My soul! thou hast lately been at the banquet of wine indeed, even of the Redeemer’s blood, which Jesus holds at his table; and didst thou not behold the numberless petitioners who attended there with thyself? Surely, if the Persian king made so generous an offer to Esther, to perform her petition, be it what it might, to the half of his kingdom, thy Jesus, thy heavenly King, with whom are all the treasures, and the unsearchable riches of grace and glory, did not suffer a poor humble petitioner to go empty away. Tell me, ye that attended there, did ye not find the King most gracious? How went the matter with you? I pray you tell me. Did the poor man find Jesus indeed rich; and did the trembling sinner, under the apprehension of wrath, find himself delivered by him “from the wrath to come?” Surely, Jesus had a suited mercy for every case. And, sure I am, that the heart that was prompted by his grace to look to him, the eye and heart of Jesus, were looking with mercy upon that poor sinner. Oh! what gifts, what graces, what pardons, doth every renewed banquet of Jesus scatter among the people! At his table the doors are thrown open, and nothing is needed to ensure welcome, but a sense of need and a hungering to partake. How often, my soul, hast thou seen the people made joyful in the Lord’s house of prayer, and returning, as they did after the feast of the dedication of Solomon’s temple, to their tents, “joyful and glad in heart?” Yea, how often hast thou returned thyself, and left all thy sorrows, sins, and wants behind thee, when the King hath held forth his sceptre of grace, and given thee faith to touch it! Come, ye polluted, poor, exercised, distressed souls, ye wandering, weary, backsliding people; come to Jesus; he holds a feast, and every case and every need, he can, and will supply. Let but a sense of need be inwrought by the blessed Spirit in the heart, and the language of our Jesus is to this amount: “What is thy petition, and what is thy request? and it shall be granted thee.”[1]

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 293–294). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

ONE MORE TIME BEFORE THE ELECTION: Show Undecided Voters in Your Family What is REALLY Happening to America

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

Here is the interview Yuri did in 1984. It is only a little over 13 minutes long and I urge the reader to watch:

After I watched Yuri Bezmenov explain how the KGB were systematically dismantling the beliefs of Americans using Marxist educators; and how they had calculated how long each phase of the “Cultural Subversion” would take – it nearly took my breath away.

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to…

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October 11 Choose One Chair

James 4:4

Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

When Luciano Pavarotti was a boy, his father introduced him to the wonders of song. He urged Luciano to work very hard to develop his voice. Taking his father’s advice, Luciano because a pupil under Arrigo Pola, a professional tenor. He also enrolled in a teachers college. On graduating, he asked his father, “Shall I be a teacher or a singer?” His father replied, “If you try to sit on two chairs, you will fall between them. For life, you must choose one chair.”

Luciano chose one. After seven years of study, he made his first professional appearance. After another seven years, he reached the Metropolitan Opera. He went on to say, “Now I think whether it’s laying bricks, writing a book—whatever we choose—we should give ourselves to it. Commitment, that’s the key. Choose one chair.”

In regard to your spiritual life, you must also make a choice. Will you serve God or the world? You cannot be faithful to both. For if you choose to be a friend of the world, you automatically become an enemy of God. There is no room for split alliances, no room for a divided heart. You must choose one chair.[1]

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 298). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

The “Stimulus” Myth Hides The Approaching Worldwide Political & Economic Disaster

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https://www.youtube.com, RonPaulLibertyReport

Print more money! … Stimulate the economy! … These are the bankrupt ideas that dominate a bankrupt Washington D.C. They are acts of desperation to try to fend off the inevitable economic disaster that central bankers and politicians have set into motion over the last 100 years. Central planning has (once again) failed, and printing more money will not save it.



Absolute Truth from the Word of God

Got your attention, huh?

In the mid 19th Century, after the “big” newspaper had published their edition for the day, and another big story broke; the newsboys would shout “Extra Extra – Read All About It!” That would certainly grab the attention of the passers-by.

They knew that if, say, the New York Times, had printed another “big” story and another paper was on the streets; it HAD to be worth the read!

But this article is not a new subject. But it may be new to those who are not paying attention or do not care. And I pray that our Lord will grab these people and wake them up to what is at stake for America with the upcoming election!

I’m sorry if what I am about to say is offensive to anyone, but say it I must.

I’m sure that you’ve heard of “The Walking Dead” series…

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Putin Trolls Biden: Communists & Dems Share ‘Common Values’ While Trump Record Hard On Russia | ZeroHedge News

Like much of the American public, the Russian public is no doubt weary of the prior couple years of non-stop ‘Russiagate’ headlines and wild accusations out of Western press, which all are now pretty much in complete agreement came to absolutely nothing. This is also why the whole issue has been conspicuously dropped by the Biden campaign and as a talking point among the Democrats, though in some corners there’s been meek attempts to revive it, especially related to claims of “expected” Kremlin interference in the impending presidential election.

Apparently seeing in this an opportunity for some epic trolling, Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview with Rossiya 1 TV days ago said it was actually the Democratic Party and the Communist Party which have most in common.

Putin was speaking in terms of historic Soviet communism in the recent interview (Wednesday) detailed in Newsweek“The Democratic Party is traditionally closer to the so-called liberal values, closer to social democratic ideas,” Putin began. “And it was from the social democratic environment that the Communist Party evolved.”

Then U.S. Vice President Joe Biden meeting with Putin in 2014 in Moscow, via TASS.

“After all, I was a member of the Soviet Communist Party for nearly 20 years” Putin added. “I was a rank-and-file member, but it can be said that I believed in the party’s ideas. I still like many of these left-wing values. Equality and fraternity. What is bad about them? In fact, they are akin to Christian values.”

“Yes, they are difficult to implement, but they are very attractive, nevertheless. In other words, this can be seen as an ideological basis for developing contacts with the Democratic representative.

The Russian president also invoked that historically Russian communists in the Soviet era would have been fully on board the Black Lives Matter movement and other civil rights related causes. “So, this is something that can be seen, to a degree, as common values, if not a unifying agent for us,” the Russian president said. “People of my generation remember a time when huge portraits of Angela Davis, a member of the U.S. Communist Party and an ardent fighter for the rights of African Americans, were on view around the Soviet Union.”

So there it is: Putin is saying his own personal ideological past could be a basis of “shared values” with a Biden presidency, again, it what appears to be a sophisticated bit of trolling that he knows Biden won’t welcome one bit. Or let’s call it a ‘Russian endorsement Putin style’. The Associated Press and others described it as Putin “hedging his bets”, however.

Another interesting part of the interview is where the Russian TV presenter asked Putin the following question:

“The entire world is watching the final stage of the US presidential race. Much has happened there, including things we could never imagine happening before but the one constant in recent years is that your name is mentioned all the time,” Zarubin said. “Moreover, during the latest debates, which have provoked a public outcry, presidential candidate Biden called candidate Trump ‘Putin’s puppy.’

“Since they keep talking about you, I would like to ask a question which you probably will not want to answer,” the interviewer continued. “Nevertheless, here it is: Whose position in this race, Trump’s or Biden’s, appeals to you more?”

And here’s Putin’s response:

“Everything that is happening in the United States is the result of the country’s internal political processes and problems,” Putin said. “By the way, when anyone tries to humiliate or insult the incumbent head of state, in this case in the context you have mentioned, this actually enhances our prestige, because they are talking about our incredible influence and power. In a way, it could be said that they are playing into our hands, as the saying goes.

But on a more serious note Putin pointed out that contrary to the notion some level of sympathy between the Trump administration and the Kremlin, much less the charge of “collusion”, it remains that US-Russia relations have reached a low-point in recent history under Trump. The record bears this out.

Putin underscored that “the greatest number of various kinds of restrictions and sanctions were introduced [against Russia] during the Trump presidency.”

“Decisions on imposing new sanctions or expanding previous ones were made 46 times. The incumbent’s administration withdrew from the INF treaty. That was a very drastic step. After 2002, when the Bush administration withdrew from the ABM treaty, that was the second major step. And I believe it is a big danger to international stability and security,” Putin explained.

“Now the US has announced the beginning of the procedure for withdrawing from the Open Skies Treaty. We have good reason to be concerned about that, too. A number of our joint projects, modest, but viable, have not been implemented – the business council project, expert council, and so on,” he concluded.

But then on Biden specifically Putin said that despite “rather sharp anti-Russian rhetoric” from the Democratic nominee, it remains “Candidate Biden has said openly that he was ready to extend the New START or to sign a new strategic offensive reductions treaty.”

“This is already a very significant element of our potential future cooperation,” Putin added of a potential Biden presidency.

Source: Putin Trolls Biden: Communists & Dems Share ‘Common Values’ While Trump Record Hard On Russia

WHO Flip-Flops: Urges World Leaders To Stop Using Lockdowns To Fight COVID Contagion | ZeroHedge News

In a stunning rebuke of the “science” and the “doctors” and leftist politicians and career bureaucrats in the US and across much of The West, The Epoch Times’ Evan Pentchoukov reports that The World Health Organization’s special envoy on COVID-19 has urged world leaders to stop using lockdowns as the primary control method against the spread of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.

“We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus,” David Nabarro told The Spectator in an interview aired on Oct. 8.

The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganize, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted, but by and large, we’d rather not do it.”

[ZH: How long before this video is removed by Twitter?]

Nabarro pointed to the collateral damage that lockdowns are having worldwide, especially among poorer populations.

“Just look at what’s happened to the tourism industry, for example in the Caribbean or in the Pacific, because people aren’t taking their holidays. Look what’s happened to smallholder farmers all over the world because their markets have got dented. Look what’s happening to poverty levels. It seems that we may well have a doubling of world poverty by next year. Seems that we may well have at least a doubling of child malnutrition because children are not getting meals at school and their parents, in poor families, are not able to afford it,” Nabarro said.

“This is a terrible, ghastly global catastrophe actually,” he added. “And so we really do appeal to all world leaders: Stop using lockdown as your primary control method, develop better systems for doing it, work together and learn from each other, but remember – lockdowns just have one consequence that you must never ever belittle, and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer.”

Nabarro isn’t the only scientist opposing lockdowns.

A number of medical or public health scientists and medical practitioners have signed the Great Barrington Declaration, which states that “current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health.”

The signatories include: “Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University and a biostatistician, and epidemiologist with expertise in detecting and monitoring of infectious disease outbreaks and vaccine safety evaluations, Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, vaccine development, and mathematical modeling of infectious diseases, and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School, a physician, epidemiologist, health economist, and public health policy expert focusing on infectious diseases and vulnerable populations.”

“The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk,” the declaration states.

With few exceptions, world leaders followed in the footsteps of the Chinese communist regime when responding to the outbreak of the virus, imposing unprecedented lockdowns. Sweden, which did not impose a lockdown, did not experience an adverse outcome compared to some locales and nations that did.

In the United States, President Donald Trump delegated the decisions on lockdown measures to the governors of individual states, but has pushed for the economy to be reopened, and lockdowns lifted.

As William Anderson recently wrote for The Mises Institute, lockdowns only serve the progressive political class…

We have to understand that the political classes and their media have a vested interest in the lockdown status quo, and that includes regular provision of what only can be called disinformation. The mainstream media this past summer dutifully reported a highly questionable (I use that term charitably) report that the Sturgis Bike Rally in South Dakota led to more than a quarter million covid infections and more than $12 billion of medical costs. It should have been obvious on its face that the report was deeply flawed, yet in their desire to fuel the covid-is-killing-us narrative, journalists took this too-good-to-be-true story and ran with it.

As for politicians, the covid crisis has been a godsend for those governmental executives and bureaucrats who see constitutional restrictions that limit their authority as mere obstacles to be easily swept away. Governors such as Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Andrew Cuomo of New York, Gavin Newsom of California, and Tom Wolfe of Pennsylvania have received adoring coverage in the media for seizing and employing dictatorial powers, Whitmer even unilaterally deciding that the sale of garden seeds in stores was illegal. Cuomo’s decision to force the housing of covid-19 patients in nursing homes led to the deaths of thousands of people, yet his national media coverage is uniformly positive.

Contrast the affirmative news coverage of Cuomo with the barrage of media attacks on Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota. Noem has emphasized personal responsibility and did not attempt mass closures of schools and businesses in the state, and the mainstream media erupted with fury. That South Dakota has come through this pandemic relatively well does not matter with the media, as the only acceptable action (to mainstream and elite journalists) in response to covid is for governors to single-handedly seize power and lock down their citizens.

Keep in mind that the real losses that Americans suffered because of the heavy-handed governmental response to the covid outbreak are permanent. As Robert Higgs so eloquently pointed out in Crisis and Leviathan, governments often create crises or, at the very least, they manipulate events such as natural disasters and use them as opportunities to expand governmental powers. Even after the crises end, governments keep some of their newly self-granted powers—and most people raise little or no concern even when government has curtailed more of their freedoms.

Presumably, this means Joe Biden will now be pushing for lockdowns to be lifted across all blue states?… because he is “listening to the scientists”?

We wonder how long it will be before WHO also urges the end of mask-wearing?

In the end, as Anderson concluded, the only way that the political classes can “make us safe” is for us to do what is necessary to make ourselves safe, or as relatively safe as possible. When a virus is afoot—as is the case most of the time—we do what we can to avoid it and do what we can to treat it. In other words, we appeal to real medical science, not what the political and media classes have cooked up for us.

Source: WHO Flip-Flops: Urges World Leaders To Stop Using Lockdowns To Fight COVID Contagion