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Posts Tagged ‘Purpose of Ministry’

“For the time will come…”

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;
but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers,
having itching ears”
IITim: 4:3

(Greek Exegesis)

“…shall heap to themselves teachers…”

Shall they heap to themselves teachers (ἑαυτοῖς ἐπισωρεύ σουσιν διδασκάλους) A vigorous and graphic statement. Ἑπισωρεύειν to heap up, N.T. Comp. σεσωρευμένα laden, 3:6. The word is ironical; shall invite teachers en masse. In periods of unsettled faith, skepticism, and mere curious speculation in matters of religion, teachers of all kinds swarm like the flies in Egypt. The demand creates the supply. The hearers invite and shape their own preachers. If the people desire a calf to worship, a ministerial calf-maker is readily found. “The master of superstition is the people, and in all superstition wise men follow fools” (Bacon, Ess. 17).

Having itching ears (κνηθόμενοι τὴν ἀκοήν) Or, being tickled in their hearing. Κνήθειν to tickle, N.T. lxx. Κνηθόμενοι itching. Hesychius explains, “hearing for mere gratification.” Clement of Alexandria describes certain teachers as “scratching and tickling, in no human way, the ears of those who eagerly desire to be scratched” (Strom. v.). Seneca says: “Some come to hear, not to learn, just as we go to the theater, for pleasure, to delight our ears with the speaking or the voice or the plays” (Vincent’s Word Studies)

The word narcosis is the result or state of temporary being that arises from this pursuit of mere gratification. As it speaks in the scriptures of a famine of the “hearing” of the Word of God, and because of this “…they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it” Amos 8:11 – 12. There is a lust for knowledge that is not for the purpose of becoming but simply for the pursuit of accumulating more knowledge. It is a day of great obscurity as the wheat and the tares grow together until the day of harvest when the sheep are separated from the goats. This separation is not based on the accumulation of knowledge but is determined by the nature of the individual (IIPet. 1:4). It is through the process of obedience and the pursuit of His person that what we hear becomes what we are. When teaching no longer creates a cry within the hearts of its recipients to become, it is simply another means of entertainment for a people who “heap to themselves teachers”.

I felt impressed to send out this short article that I wrote in 2007 and though it is not meant as something easy to read it is simply a Greek word study on 2Timothy 4:3.

B. Troxel
March 18, 2007

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FEED THEM

“You give them to eat”
MATTHEW 14:17

Somewhere within the development of a healthy believer’s life there comes a startling moment when there must be the transition from a child always needing someone to feed them to becoming a source and supply for others. True ministry will facilitate and press those within its sphere to bring about this life of progression from relying on the bread of others to becoming bread for others.

Here we see Jesus looking over the multitudes with great compassion and His first response is to turn to the disciples and desire of them to feed the multitudes. He is ever beckoning us to come and participate (fellowship) with HIM in the bringing forth of HIS KINGDOM in the earth. The validity of any ministry is revealed in the development of those around it to become a unique, powerful ministration of the SON in their lives unto others. This is the nature of the Kingdom of God.

We live in a day where thousands upon thousands of believers sit year after year listening to others teach, preach and minister to them without a cry rising up within their own hearts to become life and bread to others. HOW CAN THESE THINGS BE? How long will this unnatural and stagnant condition continue? When will there be a recognition of the futility and impotency of our ways? Can we not hear the call to us from the Book of Hebrews…?

“For though by this time you ought to be teachers,
you need someone to teach you AGAIN the first principles of the
oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food”

HEBREWS 5:12

When there is a lack of development within the people of God, those with father’s hearts are ever there to be faithful to exhort and admonish the people of God onward… “let us go on to perfection…” (HEBREWS 6:1).

How sad it is to see the teacher/pupil relationship continue for years and years without change. To see the same people sitting and listening to sermons, tapes, teachings, seminars and countless other forms of the “multimedia” world we live in WITHOUT THE CORRESPONDING GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE MINISTRATIONS OF THE LIVING CHRIST WITHIN THE HEARERS is incomprehensible! This is not only an indictment of the condition within the Body of Christ in this hour it is a clear revelation that we are living in the last days.

“Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes,
will He really find faith on the earth?”

LUKE 18:8

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets,
some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
FOR the equipping of the saints FOR the work of ministry,
for the edifying of the body of Christ,
till we ALL come…”

EPHESIANS 4:11 – 13

Brian Troxel

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