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2nd Timothy 4:9-13

(Paul and his books!)

"Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: for Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus. The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments."

 

 A Preacher in his Study

 

 

 

 

LESSON 1, VERSE 9:

The Paragraph we are about to study is so very personal. One almost feels like he's "prying" into Paul's affairs.

"Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: for Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus. The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments." 2nd Timnothy 4:9-13

This pericope of Scripture expresses Paul's last wish, as far as we know. Well, to it must be added verse 21, "Come before winter."

One can easily see Paul's priorities here. He loves people. Many articles have been written on the subject of the "personalities" around Paul. And then obviously Paul loved books! Particularly the scrolls, no doubt containing the Word of God. "Parchments" he called them here.

But most of all, He loved the Lord! It was for His Lord that Paul was about to die, a martyr indeed. He boasts on Jesus until the very end, too! "At my first answer (court appearance) no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me." Yes, 2nd Timothy 4:16-17

But today we need to begin with the first verse in our passage, 2nd Timothy 4:9. Paul to Timothy: "Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me."

Paul loved Timothy. He had known him since the lad's boyhood. Paul knew Timothy's Mother and Grandmother, too. "When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also." Written to Timothy in 2nd Timothy 1:5.

Likely Timothy was "nurtured" or "matured" under Paul's preaching. Here's the first Biblical mention of the young man. "Then came he (Paul) to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek. Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium." Acts 16:1-2

Here's what Paul tenderly called Timothy, "my own son in the faith." 1st Timothy 1:2

Again our verse today, Paul to Timothy: "Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me."

Paul was nearly alone.

He needed the young preacher.

The verb "do diligence" is "spoudazo," meaning "to make haste, to endeavor, to do one's very best." Paul even expresses the verb in the imperative mood! It's an order!

Timothy would have sensed that immediately.

"To come" to Paul, "erchomai" in Greek, would have not been easy or safe in those days. Friends of prisoners were sometimes implicated as well.

"Shortly," the adverb "tacheos," means "at once." Or "quickly, swiftly." Even "soon" will do.

This is urgent.

And, truthfully, we don't know if Timothy got there in time or not.

I sure hope he did!

For Paul to "ask" for something was quite unusual. It means he really needed it!

This is the Preacher who often would take nothing for preaching the Gospel, not money, not anything!

I wound not mind spending the rest of my life "helping" the Men of God. Trying to uplift them and encourage them and support them any way possible. God blesses such work, surely.

Elisha served Elijah. "Here is Elisha the son of Shaphat, which poured water on the hands of Elijah." 2nd Kings 3:11

Jonathan served David. "And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle." 1st Samuel 18:4

Baruch served Jeremiah. "Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah: and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the LORD, which he had spoken unto him, upon a roll of a book." Jeremiah 36:4

Now Paul needs someone to serve him, desperately so! "Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me." 2nd Timothy 4:9

Timothy, hurry!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

If I were you all, readers today, I would discerning "look" at my Pastor, seeing if there was anything he seemed to need. Or for which he had expressed a desire. And, if so, I would help meet that need! "And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" Romans 10:15

 

 

LESSON 2, VERSE 10:

Today's verse reads like a travelogue!

Paul is updating Timothy on the "personnel" issue. "For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia." 2nd Timothy 4:10

Three men, desperately needed by Paul, gone!

Perhaps some left for good reasons, perhaps not. One is certainly wrong in his move, for sure!

"Demas," by name, means "popular." It is no doubt a shortened form of some name, like Demetrius perhaps.

We meet Demas three times in Paul's letters. In the Epistle of Philemon he is referenced as Paul's "fellowlabourer," in Greek "sunergos." Philemon's 24th verse. "Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers." And in Colossians 4:14 he is merely "Demas," no longer called the "worker" in any way. Has he become lukewarm already? "Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you." Then by our Text, he has forsaken Paul altogether.

That's a downward progression!

A spiral into failure.

Christian friend, try to spot any "cooling off" tendencies that might be happening in your life.

And stay busy for Jesus!

"For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world," lamented the Apostle Paul. Or maybe Paul was just reporting the fact. Who needs an unwilling worker?

The verb "forsaken" is "egkataleipo," which is a powerful word! It has two prefixes in front of it! Can a word have two prefixes? Well, two prepositions anyway! "En" means "by, with or in," often indicating a "fixed position." There's no changing Demas' mind! "Kata" means "down from" or "through out." He has "thoroughly" left Paul, no coming back! And "leipo" means "to forsake" someone, to leave and forget about him!

But here, uncharacteristically, Paul tells us why Demas left! He "loved" the world too much, using "agapao" as a participle, a verbal adjective. This is a deep love for the wrong thing! The descriptor "present" is interesting. It's "nun" in Greek, simply meaning "now." Or "at this time." The world will have changed by tomorrow anyway, becoming more wicked every day. And the noun "world" is actually "aion," a block of "time," an "age" or "eon." Demas loved that current carnal generation!

As to why he went to Thessalonica, we do not know for sure. Someone thought that might have been his hometown. He certainly would not have been compatible with the saints there, who had rejected the world to follow Jesus! Paul wrote of them, 1st Thessalonians 1:10, "How they turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God." Furthermore, that sanctified crowd sought to abstain "from the very appearance of evil!" 1st Thessalonians 5:22

From Rome to Thessalonica is not a short journey either. By land or by sea. This sounds a bit like Jonah's trip to Tarshish! Except we never hear of Demas again! Talk about riding off into the sunset!

We have two choices. Love for the world or love for the father, better said this way, the love of the world or the love of the father! The one will drive out the other! "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." 1st John 2:15

For anyone who ever gets a good dose of the amazing Love of God, the love and allure and magnetism of the world will be greatly diminished!

Now, to the next name in our verse, "Crescens." It means "growing or increasing." Also it is of Latin origin, a Roman by birth? He has gone to "Galatia," not a city but a whole district. It is thought to be associated with the people called "Gauls."

We are not told why Crescens went, just that he did. Whatever the reason though, Paul is hurting, back in that jail. Notice, we are not told that Paul sent him to Galatia. "Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia." If the phrase is elliptical, as it appears to be, then some verb, before or after, must apply. This is the only time in the whole Bible we meet Crescens. And he's "going," not "coming!"

It's "Titus" I don't understand. By the way, "Titus" means "nurse," another Latin definition. This is a good name for a Pastor to have! Especially around worldly, selfish people! "Dalmatia" is located on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, quite a bit north of Greece. The shore runs parallel with Italy's eastern shore as well. Here is the only time this region is mentioned in Scripture, by this name anyway. Titus' going to Dalmatia is proof that he had left Crete by now. "Titus, for this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee." Paul in Titus 1:5, Crete was apparently a difficult place of service!

But again, we are not specifically told that Paul sent these last two men to these destinations. Unless we take verse 12, not centrally a part of our Text this week, as a "hint." There Paul makes clear, "And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus." Does this mean that Crescens and Titus also were so "sent?" If so, good, because "sent" is "apostello," ordering a person to go somewhere and "set straight" or "set in order" or "arrange" certain things!

Would Paul, this near death, have dispatched these good men to such distant lands? Might it not have been better to have them with the great Apostle when he died? Few events make any stronger statement for the power of the Gospel than the deaths of its followers! Paul I think never got over the death of Stephen! That's probably what God used to bring Paul to Jesus! Paul, at the beginning of his Christian journey, saw the same Lord that Stephen did at the end of his journey!

"For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia." 2nd Timothy 4:10

This verse sort of reminds me of Luke 14:16-20. "Then said Jesus unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: and sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come."

Whatever the excuse, a farm or a cow or a wife, their place at the banquet table was empty!

Some had better reasons than others. Marrying a wife would have been the most valid of all, had it not been the Lord Jesus inviting the man to supper. But buying land one had not seen or purchasing oxen one had not tested is downright stupid!

Same with today's verse. The "reason" Demas used is definitely useless, sinful, bringing shame upon him forever. The "reasons" Crescens and Titus used have might be better, much better, but the end result was the same.

Paul was alone, or nearly so!

And very near death, being decapitated at that!

He is cold and bored and maybe even hungry.

If it had been me, I think right now, there would have been no way I would have left that godly old Preacher.

I'm staying by his side.

Until it's all over and he has gone to Heaven!

Then off to the next preaching mission I go, Lord willing.

Somebody needs to encourage the Men of God in these last days of apostasy! "Exhort one another daily, while it is called today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." Hebrews 3:13

Paul, even if you said go to Dalmatia, I will.

But after I've cared for you, Sir.

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, VERSE 11:

Paul was a leader.

He probably would have been one had he remained just a Jewish rabbi, never knowing Jesus Christ the Lord.

His very constitution was one of dominance. His personality, his intellect, his will, all combined to reveal an impressive human being. A man of influence and impact and, as I said, leadership!

Watch him lead in today's verse: "Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry." 2nd Timothy 4:11

Always giving orders!

Good ones, the vast majority of the time, too!

Mark and Timothy know each other.

The verb "take" spelled "analambano," nearly means "pick him up" and "bring" him with you, if necessary!

To "bring" him translates "ago," just meaning "to lead" someone. Of these two preachers, John Mark and Timothy, no doubt whom Paul considers the "senior" partner! It's Timothy, although he may be younger.

Paul still remembers Mark's hesitancy during that first missionary journey! Here's Acts 13:5. "And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister." And the young man lasted eight whole verses, the Revival at Cyprus, then: "Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem." Acts 13:13

Paul felt so strongly about this "defection," this "unfaithfulness," that he argued with Barnabas over taking John Mark with them on their second preaching tour. "And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do. And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus." From Acts 15:36-39, if you don't know this history, go back and read these verses. Too many of you "skipped" them.

Yes, Mark had been a "quitter." That's why Timothy is clearly the leader of the two. Paul probably would have had it no other way.

Still, gracefully, Paul calls John Mark "profitable." The word is "euchrestos," the prefix "eu" meaning "good" and the root "chrestos" meaning "useful, kind, mild."

It's hard to tell if Paul really needs Mark, or just desires to finally patch up a past grievance. He did not use the standard word for "profitable" here, not at all.

Still, to John Mark's credit, he has settled down and served the Lord, even writing the Gospel that bears his name! That alone is an eternal contribution to the Cause of Christ!

Years of "probation," for having gone home too soon from a dangerous missionary journey! What would Paul have done to a fellow preacher who committed adultery or denied the resurrection?

Somehow the word "restoration" does not come to mind!

And even still, when Paul uses the word "ministry," he employs "diakonia," possibly only referring to menial jobs like serving meals or running errands!

But who wouldn't have enjoyed being Paul's "helper?" Whatever that might have involved.

So, Timothy, on your way to see me, writes Paul, "Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry."

But we've missed part of our verse, the first part. "Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry." 2nd Timothy 4:11

The loyalty of Luke is amazing! He seems to have been with Paul in earlier imprisonments as well. From jail, earlier in Rome, maybe years earlier, Paul sends greeting to the Colossians, greetings from him and Luke! "Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you." Colossians 4:14

Look what the Holy Spirit has done here.

Two servants of the Lord, side by side, have been mentioned. They are Luke and Mark. Both will be helpful to Paul, particularly in his last months on earth, maybe his last week or days even.

They are alike in some ways, good ways.

But they are different, too. As different as day and night! Luke never quit! Mark did! And Paul obviously recognizes that fact. Mark is still under the watchful eye of a seasoned veteran, Timothy! Luke is not supervised, no need! He has proved himself faithful again and again!

Thank God for steady believers!

Unmoveable!

Faithful!

Always on the job!

They are Paul's kind!

"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." 1st Corinthians 15:58

Folks, in these dark days, don't quit!

And if you have, repent, forsake those sins, and get back on the job! At least to the extent you can.

Unquestioned loyalty, Luke!

Remedial loyalty, Mark!

Let's allow both these lives to "preach" to our hearts today!

Do not fail your Lord!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, VERSE 12:

Maybe in Christian work, for every Demas there will be a Tychicus!

Paul wrote Timothy, informing him: "And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus." 2nd Timothy 4:12, faithful and loyal and sincere Tychicus! This is today's verse.

We know so little of Tychicus, that fact not being the Bible's fault either! This servant of the Lord is mentioned several different times in Scripture.

Here's the first time. "And there accompanied Paul into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus." Tychicus here is one of Paul's travel companions. Acts 20:4 also mentions that he is from "Asia."

He was clearly with Paul during the Apostle's first Roman imprisonment, too. "But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things." Ephesians 6:21 presents Tychicus as a trusted messenger.

Tychicus knows the Colossians as well. "All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord." Colossians 4:7, still an errand-runner for Paul.

Tychicus interacted smoothly with Titus, too. "When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter." Titus 3:12

The name "Tychicus" is derived from a verb, "tugchano." It means "to hit the target!" It was literally used by archers and javelin throwers too!

Demas "missed."

Tychicus never did, or seldom anyway!

"On target" Tychicus, he could have been nicknamed.

There's even a "hint" of irony in Paul sending Tychicus to Ephesus. Paul's last sustained paragraph that he wrote to the Ephesian Church concerned the "whole armour of God!"

Tychicus' name suggests militancy, too!

A "fight the good fight of faith" kind of thing!

Take the sword of the Spirit and hit the target!

A faithful preacher, what a blessing!

And why would Paul specifically mention "Ephesus" as Tychicus' destination? Because we believe that's where Timothy was, pastoring the Church there. "As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine." 1st Timothy 1:3

Timothy was at Ephesus.

Paul needed Timothy in Rome.

Tychicus would then take Timothy's place for a while.

This fact alone shows us what quality of preacher Tychicus likely was. In Paul's estimation anyway.

A verse of Scripture just can't get any more practical than this one. "And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus."

Can it?

The verb "sent" pictures authority and purpose. Tychicus is on an official mission! It's "apostello." A going forth to set some things in order, having been dispatched by the leader.

Sadly, some Christians lack faithfulness.

Others are in the middle, "lukewarm" in their dependability.

While, thank God, a few are completely dedicated!

On the mark!

Bull's-eye!

The Book of Proverbs mentions such faithful messengers. "As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters." Proverbs 25:13

Like cool air-conditioning on a blistering hot day, so is a faithful servant! Especially to His Lord!

"And a faithful ambassador is health." Proverbs 13:17

Do you know a Tychicus?

His "type" I mean?

Tychicus replacing Timothy, at Ephesus, important Ephesus. And, as we all know, "kind" replaces "kind."

Better said, "like kind" replaces "like kind."

Take the time to read it now. Here's Paul's evaluation of Timothy. Tychicus' report card is similar. "But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's. But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel. Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me." Philippians 2:19-23

Timothy!

Tychicus!

Thank God!

Maybe for Paul they dispelled the bitter taste Demas had left!

No one I've ever met has made Tychicus his or her role model. But he's not a bad one, not bad at all.

At least Paul thought so.

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Be ashamed over your unfaithfulness!

Over your lack of seriousness serving the Lord!

Over your lack of diligence!

Oh, one more definition for "Tychicus," the name itself, "fateful." Even this ties into that "hitting the mark" picture. One Text also defined the name as "chance." Still, when applying this meaning, Tychicus will be faithful "whatever comes" his way!

Sounds like a Habakkuk kind of man. "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation." Habakkuk 3:17-18

Tychicus!

 

 

LESSON 5, VERSE 13, THE CLOAK:

Paul was cold.

He was in Rome, in prison. This time though he was not in his own "hired" house. Not like is described in Acts 28:30.

The Apostle may have even been in a dungeon!

Damp!

Rodent infested!

Cold!

He, quite near his death, asks Timothy for a few things. This is one of the most personal verses in all God's Word. "The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments." 2nd Timothy 4:13

Today we glance at the first half of the Text, the "cloak" part.

The noun for this "coat" is "phelones," and it apparently indicates something like an over-coat. Normally it would have been used during extreme weather, when one was traveling and the skies were storming, for example.

"Phelones" may have been derived from "phos," the Greek root word for "light," something that "shines." That's because this "cloak" was the most visible part of one's clothing when it's being worn.

The implication here surely is that Paul was cold!

In verse 21, outside the scope our Text, but still not very far away, Paul deliberately uses the word "winter." Writing to Timothy, "Do thy diligence to come before winter." Put the "cloak" and "winter" together, associate them. Paul is an older man now, especially by ancient standards. His body is growing frail. Older people are not as easily warmed, once they get exceedingly cold.

"Pathos" just oozes from this passage.

"The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee." 2nd Timothy 4:13

This is the only time "Carpus" is mentioned in all Paul's writings. The name means "fruit," what a name for a Believer to have, Mr. Fruitful! Or Brother Fruitful!

We know only his home town, specifically. "Troas" is basically the ancient city of Troy, of Trojan horse fame! If Timothy is in Ephesus, as we think, based on 1st Timothy 1:3, it's a journey of approximately 175-200 miles north to Troas! Paul wants, needs, these items pretty intensely!

Paul never asks for personal favors!

This must be urgent!

By the way, just to show us how dependable Carpus must have been, this Brother may have been caring for Paul's library too! And, believe me, if a Preacher lets you hold his books, he trusts you a lot!

See the linkage between the "cloak" and the "books," immediate and contextual. "The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books ...."

More about those "books" tomorrow, the Lord willing.

Come to think of it, Paul must have been expecting to live a while longer. Why else bring the books? He wants to read and study! But, what else could that old veteran of the Faith have learned? He wrote 13 or 14 Books of the Bible! He walked with God like few men ever have! He taught, teacher supreme, the Scriptures for years and years! Romans is an example, a sterling one! No better teaching anywhere!

Maybe books to help "while" away the time!

Maybe he has a new study project in mind!

Bible study is both profitable and exciting!

But it's harder to sit and read, to learn much of anything, if you're freezing!

There were no "rights" for prisoners in those days. Many died before trial, and many more before their sentences had been executed.

Think of the honor of it!

What a privilege Timothy had!

To get Paul's coat for him!

To help make that giant Man of God more comfortable!

So-called "little" things like that, a pair of shoes or a suit of clothes or a newer jacket, can mean so much to the Preacher!

Let's be generous to the Men of God!

Remember: "For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward." Jesus preaching in Mark 9:41.

If a cup of water gets mentioned, where would a coat appear on the list? Although in Matthew 10:42 it's "cold" water!

Paul, old independent "need-nothing" Paul, has finally asked for something!

We all have to learn the grace of "giving," and the grace of "receiving" as we grow in Christ!

Reminds me of something else he wrote: "For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister." Hebrews 6:10

Amen!

Now, let's go and practice these things!

All of us.

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6, VERSE 13, THE BOOKS:

Today we study one of the most interesting phrases Paul ever wrote. At least this is true if you are a book lover.

During his last Roman imprisonment, not long before being martyred for the Faith, Paul requests of Timothy: "The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments." 2nd Timothy 4:13

I just said "requested." Really the verb "bring" is in the imperative mood, expressing a command! Older Preachers can do that at times, especially when younger Preachers are involved. "Phero" means "to carry, to tote, to lift and transport." Some weight is implied. Coats and books and parchments can be bulky, when the books are in scroll form anyway. An if there are enough of them, they can be heavy too.

Today though, "And the books."

No precise description is given, nothing further than "the books!"

Paul knew Timothy would understand.

Carpus would too.

Anyone close to Paul would have apparently known.

Was Paul a reader?

I would like to think so.

He certainly had read, even studied, quite diligently too, the Old Testament!

And in his corpus he uses history, poetry, music, logic, irony, biography, and no telling what else! Paul was a "well read" man, as they say.

Paul even once wrote to Timothy: "Give attendance to reading." 1st Timothy 4:13, the very counterpart to our 2nd Timothy 4:13 Text here today!

In Scripture, three times only, when the words "Bring the books" are used, something "good" is implied.

Watch. Here they come; one, two, three.

"And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel." Nehemiah 8:1, and that Book was the Word of God, the Pentateuch, the writings of Moses. And the result of Ezra having that Book, which he first read, then preached, was astounding! A Revival began among God's people, among the Jews! One of the greatest spiritual awakenings in all the Bible!

"On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king." Esther 6:1, whereupon the life of Mordecai was spared! That godly Jew lived, and so did his Nation Israel. The enemy Haman had plotted genocide! Here is national Revival, nearly like Ezekiel's valley of dry, dead bones!

Lastly, our Text today. "The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and BRING the books, but especially the parchments." 2nd Timothy 4:13, where Paul's spirit is to be uplifted, even in the face of death. That's personal Revival!

Every time in the Scriptures when that command is issued, "Bring the Book," Revival occurs!

There must be linkage!

A nexus!

The precious Word of God and Holy Ghost Revival!

Nehemiah, spiritual Revival, centering on exposition, by the way!

Esther, national Revival, centering on the halls of government, by the way!

And Paul, personal Revival, centering on devotion and exhortation, by the way!

Bring the Book!

A few weeks ago I read a newly published volume about Adolph Hitler, a very unpleasant subject I might add. But the premise of that work was this, Hitler became what he was largely because of what he read! It seems that hundreds and hundreds of his books are archived in the Library of Congress in Washington. An author, a researcher really, studied those books and learned some amazing things!

In a way, we are what we read!

Surprisingly, one of the books Hitler devoured, allegedly, was Henry Ford's hateful book on The International Jew! Wicked Hitler read "Hate the Jews" material, and he subsequently lived a "Hate the Jews" life!

Not to be too long today, but currently I am reading a book about Barak Obama. In this History the books Mr. Obama read when he was younger, some mentioned in his own autobiography, are studied. And they, to us Bible-believing Christians, are pretty "way-out" there! The author I'm reading suggests Obama read liberal stuff, very liberal! Maybe even "socialist" in nature! Some were even written by alleged communists!

That is potentially frightening.

Because the books one reads helps to form a man or a woman into what he or she is becoming!

Now to be fair, let's also understand that a student can read things with which he does not agree! I often do that, just to be better able to refute the enemy. But generally speaking, especially when a reading "pattern" is established, a person is being impacted and influenced and changed thereby!

Be careful what you read!

Do read!

And read well!

But read godly literature!

Paul evidently did.

Preachers, I hope you do too.

"Timothy, when you came, bring the books!"

Here's Jesus and a Book, a Scroll. "And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up: and, as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And He closed the book, and He gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on Him. And he began to say unto them, ...." Luke 4:16-21

And what a Sermon He preached!

Books!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Preachers ...

Do you have a godly library? If not, start one today. Books can be expensive. Of course, they can be bought "used" too, much less costly. Get plenty of "book advice" from other, older Men of God too. Be readers, for the Glory of God! You can get a good spiritual education right there in your study, walking with the giants of the past, through the books they left us!

 

 

LESSON 7, VERSE 13, THE PARCHMENTS:

When Paul wrote about the "parchments," what did he mean?

"The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments." 2nd Timothy 4:13

The old Preacher, now in jail again, needed his outer coat. Winter was coming! He also asked for his books, or some of them anyway. He had some time on his hands, maybe time to read. Then, apparently among these "books," were some other documents, the highly valued "parchments."

"Especially the parchments."

The adverb "especially" is "malista" in Greek. It means "most of all" or "chiefly." It's built on the superlative form of "mala," meaning "very."

It looks like Paul is saying that of all the items mentioned, coats and books and whatever else, the most important things were those "parchments."

"Especially" so!

"Verily" so!

"Chiefly" so!

The noun used for "parchments" is "membrana." See here our English word "membrane." From Greek to Latin, "membrana" means "skin!" And even that's from the word "membrum," being "a part of the body."

So, whatever these items were, they involved "skins," no doubt the "skins" of animals, dead ones.

In Paul's day, even before, the most durable writing surface known was just that, animals' skins.

They, the finished products, logically came to be called "parchments." At first these were primarily the skins of sheep and goats.

Scribes and teachers and rabbis wrote on these things, especially if their literature was highly valued, needing to be preserved for future generations!

To us Christians, the most precious "literature" we have is God's holy, inspired Word, the Bible!

Paul is asking for his copies of the Scriptures!

Maybe Thessalonians!

Maybe one of the Gospels! Matthew or Mark or Luke or John, I mean. Not one of these so-called new things, Philip or Thomas or Mary Magdalene. I'm sticking with the four first found in my New Testament. I absolutely reject the others.

Maybe Paul owned some of the Psalms in scroll form, parchment scrolls. They would have been bulky, and expensive, as well as precious beyond words.

And here's a surprise.

The actual noun "parchment" is a variant of the Latin word "pergamina." Look at this carefully. See in it the name "Pergamos!" That little Church mentioned in Revelation 2:12. "And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges ...." The Church obviously was named for its location, the city. And the city was named for its chief industry, the making of parchment skins! On which professional scribes could write!

The saved folks in Pergamos would have done well to more carefully read the Scriptures that were so prayerfully written on their animals' skins! They surely could have avoided a lot of the "troubles" their Church was enduring. "But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate." Jesus to the Church there, Revelation 14-15.

One of the main things the Scriptures do, is to diligently fight sin!

They teach us to be "separated" from iniquity!

To avoid idolatry!

To flee fornication!

To spurn all false doctrine!

To learn what God loves ... and hates!

Yes, the Bible is the solution to all our problems.

And Paul wanted his Bible!

That special "copy" he treasured most highly!

Our Text verse the past three days certainly reveals Paul's priorities!

These are the Apostle's last wishes.

As far as we know.

The last ones written in the Bible.

His winter coat.

His books, at least a few of them, whatever Timothy could carry.

And for sure, the "parchments."

Wish I could have got them for him!

It would have been an honor.

Thank you, Timothy, for caring for the old Preacher!

God will bless your efforts.

And you!

Is anyone taking care of your Pastor?

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

                           What an amazing Book, the Word of God!

 

 

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