Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of II Timothy Chapter 4
Metaphysically Interpreting II Timothy 4:1-8
4:1I charge thee in the sight of God, and of Christ Jesus, who shall judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 4:2preach the word; be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 4:3For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts; 4:4and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables. 4:5But be thou sober in all things, suffer hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil thy ministry.
4:6For I am already being offered, and the time of my departure is come. 4:7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith:4:8henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give to me at that day; and not to me only, but also to all them that have loved his appearing.
December 12, 1909: II Timothy 4:1-8
Jesus Christ is the standard. It is his “appearing,” the setting up of his “kingdom,” the judging of “the quick and the dead,” that tries the mettle of the man. When the Perfect Man begins to assert himself in us, there is an “appearing” of a higher standard of right and wrong. Our thoughts are brought to judgment. The thoughts of life, the “quick,” and the thoughts of the “dead,” are tried by the Truth, and those only let into the kingdom of God within us which chord with Principle. The “word” of this Truth must be declared constantly “in season and out of season.” Those who grow lax in this respect find themselves falling back into mortal thought and material ways.
The firm state of faith in the invisible powers, which we build up by our oft repeated meditations and statements of Truth, stands us in good hand when our minds come to that place where our “ears itch” for new teachings, a fuller explanation of the mysteries of the doctrine. Such a time always comes to those who are passing through the regeneration. If one is well grounded in the Principle, and has the substance invisible well established in consciousness, there is but little danger of “turning aside into fables.” The consciousness of Truth having done its work in the mind thoroughly, and fulfilled the law of body regeneration, gives assurance of a lifting up of the whole man: “I am ready to be offered, the time of my departure is at hand.”
The “crown of righteousness” is the fulfilling of the Divine Law and the resurrection of the body. This is fulfilled literally in those who “fight the good fight,” the overcoming of error with Truth. This does not mean the death of the body and a great resurrection day away off in the future, but, as clearly taught by Paul, a new state of mind every time we overcome some mortal error, and a clearer realization in body of the omnipresent Substance. “I die daily.” “This mortal must put on the immortal.” The Spirit that quickened Jesus shall quicken your mortal bodies.
– UNITY magazine.
June 25, 1939: II Timothy 4:7-8
Without contemplation of the past, how can one truly affirm, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith”? To gather up the threads of one's experience as a means of setting one's future course by the pattern of what one has already woven into life is right and proper. Paul, the word of Truth, had kept true to his purpose throughout the course of his life for Christ. By this fact he judged the nature of the goal ahead.
What crowns a life of good endeavor, persevering purpose, and steadfast faithfulness? One who has kept to what is right in every one of these paths of life cannot fail to gain what is in accord with right under the divine law. Paul knew that he had earned his crown of righteousness.
June 18, 1944: II Timothy 4:5-8
What is the renewal of full performance of duty in the Christ? A realization of right relations with all persons and things and a consciousness of being right within ourselves (“the crown of righteousness”).
Who receives the reward? Everyone who bears in mind the Christ in whose service he is enlisted and who looks forward to seeing the Christ spirit more and more fully manifested in himself and in all men.
Metaphysically Interpreting II Timothy 4:9-18
4:9Give diligence to come shortly unto me: 4:10for Demas forsook me, having loved this present world, and went to Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. 4:11Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee; for he is useful to me for ministering. 4:12But Tychicus I sent to Ephesus.4:13The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, bring when thou comest, and the books, especially the parchments. 4:14Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord will render to him according to his works: 4:15of whom do thou also beware; for he greatly withstood our words.
4:16At my first defence no one took my part, but all forsook me: may it not be laid to their account. 4:17But the Lord stood by me, and strengthened me; that through me the message might me fully proclaimed, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. 4:18The Lord will deliver me from every evil work, and will save me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
December 18, 1921: II Timothy 4:6-18
At what step in regeneration is Paul, in this lesson? Paul had the consciousness that a certain step in spiritual development had been accomplished, and that he was ready to be offered up, or to give up the old for the new.
What is “the crown of righteousness?” The crown symbolizes that the wearer is fitted to rule. Paul had “fought the good fight,” and had overcome many errors within and without, and he felt that he had, in a degree of unfoldment, “finished the course.”
Does this mean that Paul died? Not necessarily; there is no record of his death at this time, and as he was evidently planning for future work; he was not expecting bodily dissolution.
What is symbolized by the going away of Paul’s several companions? The state of mind of these persons reveals that they represent limited thoughts that must be put away before one can ascend to a higher state of consciousness.
What is the meaning of Luke, who remained with Paul? Luke means luminous. When one ceases to cling to material things, the luminous state of mind becomes abiding.
When one seems to be forsaken and empty, what should be his affirmation? The lord stands by me and strengthens me. Through me the message of the Lord is proclaimed, and I am “delivered out of the mouth of the lion.”
Can we follow Paul in his closing proclamation? Certainly. These lessons are not for a season, but for all time, and it will be good for us to say: “The Lord will deliver me from every evil work, and will save me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
September 9, 1923: II Timothy 4:11
The Bible tells us little about John Mark. In one part of our lesson for today, we find him to have been the cause of such a sharp contention between Barnabas and Paul that they parted company and went separate ways to their ministry. Paul took Silas with him and Barnabas took Mark. Paul did not like the idea of John's going with them again, because John, on a former trip, had withdrawn from them at Pamphylia (mixture of nations).
John means “God's gift.” The name is also interpreted metaphysically as meaning “grace,” or “mercy of the Lord,” “love working by faith.” Mark means “polite, shining.” John Mark had two natures: one polite and brilliant exterior that was affected by the people of the mixed state at Pamphylia; the other, a deep spiritual nature, which was called out and developed by the confidence which Barnabas placed in him. John's worth was proved in his subsequent ministry with Barnabas, who represents tolerance, forgiveness, kindness, and intuition. Paul was rather intolerant and unforgiving, but Barnabas recognized in John a gift of God, even though John seemed to have failed in a former work.
There is in us a tendency to do things in a strenuous way. When we yield to this tendency, we have no tolerance for qualities which are in process of development, and we often mistake green fruit for bad fruit. We all have wonderful spiritual possibilities, but they must be brought out and made strong by prayer and use. We must have patience, even though we seem to fail. If we continue to develop our “gift of God,” we shall find our spiritual work. Let us therefore hold fast to our faith in God and in our own ability and fastness through the power of Christ in us, and rise above every error into the Christ consciousness which knows no defeat.
Mark's mother was one of those Marys of the Bible, who belong to the devotional, substance, and saving side of the soul. Mark was one of Peter's converts, though he no doubt followed Jesus personally. Some authorities believe that his Gospel was written under Peter's direction. In I Peter 5:13, Peter refers to him as “my son.” Born of Mary, the child of love, and begotten again into spiritual birth by the word of faith (Peter), the spiritual side of the quality which John Mark represents in us has a work to do which cannot be accomplished by any other. When it comes to Perga (meaning “very earthy”) in Pamphylia for the first time, it feels that it cannot bear the materiality of the outer consciousness, and so returns to Jerusalem, its home, the heart or peace center; but as faith becomes more firmly established in us and as our love for the entire consciousness develops, a deep yearning to be of service in redeeming the organism inspires this quality again to activity. With the aid of tolerance and kindly, patient admonition (which Barnabas represents in this lesson), together with the spurring on by Paul, the zealous will, the necessary strength and courage are imparted to this spiritual quality in us to enable it to carry on its specific ministry boldly and successfully.
Mark served those whom he accompanied. He looked after the supplying of their daily needs while they preached and taught the people. Thus he also represents the substance idea in the overcomer, and is very useful in many ways in ministering to our spiritual faculties in their redeeming work throughout our being. This Mark quality in us inspires us to obey the injunction of our golden text, both inwardly and outwardly: “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might” (Eccles. 9:10)
– UNITY magazine.
September 9, 1923: II Timothy 4:11
When our zeal becomes cold what should we do? Zeal and enthusiasm are absolutely necessary to the success of any enduring work. When we find ourselves growing listless and indifferent, we should begin to affirm and to reach out for zeal, as Paul did in the last verse of our lesson: “Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is useful to me for ministering.”
December 6, 1931: II Timothy 4:6-18
Explain: “For I am, already being offered, and the time of my departure is come.” This signifies that when one has attained the consciousness that Truth has done its work in the mind thoroughly, and that one has fulfilled the law of the regeneration of the body, one has the assurance of a lifting up of the whole man.
What is the “crown of righteousness” of which Paul speaks? The “crown of righteousness” the fulfilling of the divine law and the resurrection of the body.
In the work of regeneration, what often takes place? While the work of regeneration is going on, many old ideas are eliminated. In this lesson we find Demas, whose name means “popular,” forsaking Paul. Those ideas in man that believe in the material world as the source of his happiness and well-being cannot go on with him in his spiritual development.
Paul also eliminated Crescens and Titus. Explain. Crescens (“increasing”) and Titus (“pleasant”) refer to thoughts that are degenerating in consciousness, or falling away from a realization of Truth into foolish and deceitful ways.
Luke alone was retained. Explain. “Luke” means “luminous.” After his worldly ideas have disappeared, the overcomer finds the one luminous Presence left with him.
Is man subject to fate? No. He who learns to obey the divine law is not subject to fate. He makes his own destiny by the use of the law.
By what aid is man enabled to teach Truth to his Gentile thoughts and to his whole consciousness? By the aid of the one sustaining Power, man is enabled to teach the Gentiles, that is, to enlighten his old intellectual concept of life and to quicken his whole consciousness into a living knowledge of the Christ life. The divine presence delivers man from every evil, and brings him into a realization of perfect harmony, health, and joy.
December 6, 1936: II Timothy 4:16-18
How do the Gentiles hear the message of the Lord? When through the study of Truth we exchange the old intellectual conception of life that we have held, for a quickened understanding of the Christ life, we cause the Gentiles to hear the message of the Lord.
How do we lay hold on eternal life? Through faith that we possess the spiritual qualities that endure, and through effort to develop them.
Metaphysically Interpreting II Timothy 4:19-22
4:19Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the house of Onesiphorus. 4:20Erastus remained at Corinth: but Trophimus I left at Miletus sick. 4:21Give diligence to come before winter. Eubulus saluteth thee, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 01-11-2014