By Brian Shilhavy
You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me…At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Paul, from 2 Timothy)
(HealthImpactNews) – Among Paul’s letters contained in the New Testament portion of the Bible are two personal letters to a single individual named “Timothy.” Timothy was a tra veling companion of Paul’s who helped him with the new gatherings of believers among the mostly non-Jewish assemblies in the Roman State. He was younger than Paul, and was an ethnic Jew through his mother and grandmother, while his father was a non-Jew Greek.
The second of these two letters that Paul sent to Timothy was written while he was in prison in Rome, and it may have been the very last thing Paul wrote, as he felt that his execution was near. Towards the end of this letter he wrote:
For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:6-8)
Paul’s arrest and deportation to Rome is documented in the last 8 chapters of the Book of Acts. Some believe that he may have been released and arrested again while in Rome, and that this second letter to Timothy might have been during his second arrest and imprisonment.
This letter has incredibly valuable instructions for those of us here in 2022 who are in the minority as we take a stand for the truth in the midst of tremendous opposition and persecution, because the situation in the First Century during the time that Paul wrote his letters, has remarkable similarities to what is happening today.
First, as I quoted in the verses above at the opening of this article, Paul found himself all alone when he was arrested in Rome, as other believers were apparently too ashamed to stand with someone branded as a “criminal,” and they abandoned him.
Paul made it very clear that he was not ashamed of the truth, specifically the truth of the “gospel,” which means “good news” and encompasses the news of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection that broke the power of sin and death.
Paul explained to Timothy that persecution is the natural result of proclaiming and defending the truth, and we should NOT be ashamed when we are attacked or persecuted, nor fear those who attack us, even if it results in our imprisonment.
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.
This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. (2 Timothy 1:7-12)
What Paul had “entrusted” to God, was his life. So if you find yourself all alone today, and you seem to be the only “sane” person in your local network of family and friends, take courage, because people of faith who have gone before us suffered the same things that we are now going through.
This is a time of great change in our world, a time where a “Great Reset” is imminent as we pass from one age into another. The first “Great Reset” happened during the days of Noah, where the entire world was destroyed by the great flood. Noah was alone as he stood for the truth, and watched everyone else around him perish.
Many of the prophets of the Old Testament also frequently stood completely alone, preaching the truth to their fellow “believers” who turned against them and persecuted them, such as Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and others.
This is why I have spent so much time writing and exposing the false foundation and false teachings of the Corporate Christian Church, because in their idolatry they attack the true believers who do not follow them in their sins in bowing to the Satanic World Order that has given us “COVID,” and try to even use the Scriptures by making us feel guilty for not associating with them.
But this is the same thing that was happening in the First Century during the days of Paul, and this is what he wrote to his young apprentice Timothy, and as he describes the culture that they were living in, see if it matches what we are living through today:
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God–having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
These were “believers” that Paul is describing here. Does this sound similar to what we are generally seeing in the American Corporate Church today, especially “having a form of godliness but denying its power“? He would not have written this about unbelievers, because unbelievers do not generally claim to have a “form of godliness.”
This is exactly what I have been observing in the Corporate Church for most of my life. The ministry of Jesus Christ, while he walked this earth, and the original believers who carried his message to the rest of the world shortly after his death and resurrection, was mostly a ministry of healing people – not just physical healing, but spiritual healing as well.
But today the Corporate Church has turned over the business of healing to Satan, and his pharmaceutical model of poisoning people, which most of the world has been deceived into thinking is “healthcare.”
The Life of a Persecuted Believer
If you have broken free from this great deception, then you are probably among the few who have found that narrow path in life that few are willing to travel, because the cost is too high, as the easier path avoids persecution and wants to fit in with the crowd, which is the path to destruction.
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.
Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash. (Jesus, Matthew 7)
How then are we to live, those of us in the minority, often completely alone in our evil culture? Paul addresses this in this last letter to his young associate Timothy. Notice the different analogies he uses to make his point.
Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs–he wants to please his commanding officer. Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules.
God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”
In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. (2 Timothy chapter 2)
This is the battle, this is the competition, this is the “noble purpose” that we have been called to, and it leads us directly into the enemy’s fire. When that happens, we are to embrace it, knowing that it proves we are on the right side, following the correct path.
Think about what I am saying and the Lord will give you understanding of all this. Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David; such is my gospel, for which I suffer hardship to the point of imprisonment as a criminal, but God’s message is not imprisoned! So I endure all things for the sake of those chosen by God, that they too may obtain salvation in Christ Jesus and its eternal glory. (2 Timothy 2:7-10)
In another place, in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he discusses the warfare mentality, and he writes about the “armor of God.”
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Ephesians 6:10-13)
Among that “armor” is a single weapon: “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17)
Paul addresses this weapon, the Word of God, also in his last letter to Timothy, referring to the written Word of “the Scriptures”:
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:14-17)
In closing, here are some of the last words Paul wrote to his young associate Timothy, and they seem to be just as relevant and true for us living today in 2022.
And remember, there were no official titles and “offices” in the gatherings of the early believers. They were all considered equal, serving their Head, Jesus Christ, with different spiritual gifts and different roles. The Corporate American Church likes to refer to Paul’s letters to Timothy as “Pastoral Epistles” written only for those in professional Christian ministry.
This is not true. There are so few of us to begin with, that to further divide and classify the true believers into some kind of hierarchical order would be absolutely foolish, and certainly not Biblical.
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5)