****JUNE 2017****

TIMOTHY

Days of restoration

Malachi prophesied of the last days saying, "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of Yahweh. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children [lit. sons], and the hearts of the children [sons] to their fathers..." Mal.4:5-6. We are living in the days of where God is bringing to pass the "times of restoration of all things" in preparation for His coming (Acts 3:19-21). A key sign that we are in times of restoration is the restoration of spiritual fathers and sons in fulfilment of the prophet Malachi.

Fathers and sons

In these days God is restoring the relationship exemplified by apostle Paul and Timothy. This relationship was first modelled by Jesus with His disciples, "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you" John 15:9. Church is not an institution, it is a family; a place where fathers are raising sons! And this relationship reveals the very "mystery of God; both of Father and of Christ" Colossians 2:2. God's very essence and nature is Father to a Son and Son to a Father. It is in the Son that we see the Father (John 14:9).
It is through "sons" like Timothy that the gospel is imputed, imparted and infused relationally into the next generation as a living reality, not a dead religious system. There is a generation of Timothys to arise to transmit the purity of the gospel into succeeding generations!

A certain disciple

By the time we meet Timothy in Acts 16 Paul is functioning as an apostle and has Silas on team with him to visit the churches. It says of Timothy, "And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy" Acts 16:1. Timothy was a disciple. This is very important. Timothy was discipled by the churches in Derbe and Lystra. He was not simply a church goer or attendee, but a disciple. He had grown up with a faith filled mother (2 Tim.1:5) and knew the Scriptures which were able to make him "wise for salvation" 2 Timothy 3:15. He had a foundation in the Word and was following Jesus.

The attitude of a disciple

Let's look at a brief summary of the attitudes necessary in a disciple as this provides the foundation of being a son like Timothy.
Luke 9:57-58 - are you willing to be uncomfortable? Like the Son of Man are you willing to have "nowhere to lay your head"
Luke 9:59-60 - are you willing to break with traditional cultural values to do with family? Are you willing to "let the dead bury their own dead" and follow Jesus?
Luke 9:61-62 - are you willing to have no excuses in regard to family and put none of your own terms on being a disciple? Are you willing to follow Jesus not "looking back" to the life you once had?
Matthew 10:24-25 - are you willing to humble yourself under a teacher and serve? Are you willing to be like your teacher even in persecution, "If they called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more those of His household"
Luke 14:26 - are you willing to choose Jesus over all other relationships?
Luke 14:27 - are you willing to "take up your cross" and die to your own will and live for Jesus' will alone?
Luke 14:33 - are you willing to forsake all your possessions and not be tied down by what you own?

These are the attitudes of a disciple. These were the attitudes that were in Timothy and provided a foundation for him to be a son to apostle Paul and be trained in ministry.

Timothy had a good reputation

The churches at Lystra and Iconium "spoke well" of Timothy (Acts 16:2). This means he was a good disciple displaying the attitudes of a disciple. It means that Timothy was a submitted person, submitting to the elders and to the Body (1 Pet.5:5, Eph.5:21). It means he had a good relationship with the elders and the saints. He was committed and accountable to the Body, not someone doing his own thing but being a part of the whole Body and growing in the sight of them all.

Timothy went on team

When all this came to the attention of Paul "he wanted to have him [Timothy] go on with him" Acts 16:3. Timothy had grown as a disciple among the churches and now it was time for further training with an apostle as a spiritual father. As a father, Paul recognized the calling on Timothy's life and wanted to see this come to pass. Paul, as a father, had a lifestyle that Timothy could follow and learn from.

Imitate me

By coming on team, Paul is inviting Timothy into his life in Christ. This is not the modern-day form of Bible School. This is on the job training, living as a family all day every day. Timothy was invited into Paul's life just like the twelve disciples were invited "to be with Him [Jesus]" Mark 3:14. This is the restoration. True fathers who can say "imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ" 1 Corinthians 11:1. Jesus said, "Follow Me..." Matthew 4:19. Fathers are to impart a lifestyle to sons and invite the sons to imitate them and follow their ways. Timothy was about to learn a whole lot about the apostolic work. What Timothy was about to learn cannot just be imparted by academic training in the Bible. It is to be experienced in relationship with a father.

Learning on team

When Timothy joined Paul and Silas on team he experienced many things you cannot learn by being in classes at a school only.

All these things Timothy learnt by being in the real gospel with a spiritual father who was actually doing the work!
Are you taking disciples on team when you minister?
Are you giving disciples experience in the field? Are you raising Timothys?

My experience is that you learn so much by being on team. I learnt so much by being with apostle Paul Galligan. I learnt by being with him at home base and by going on mission overseas and within Australia. I observed how he dealt with certain situations. I observed how he prayed and discerned spiritual things. Now, when I go on mission, I can see what my father does and do the same. My "ears hear a word behind me, saying, "This is the way, walk in it," whenever I turn..." Isaiah 30:21. This happens as the Holy Spirit reminds me of how I saw a spiritual father operate in similar circumstances.

Learning endurance

After Paul, Silas and Timothy had been in Thessalonica and Berea, Jews from Thessalonica followed them and wanted to turn everyone against Paul. It says in Acts 17:14, "Then immediately the brethren sent Paul away...but both Silas and Timothy remained there". This word remained is the same word translated endure in Matthew 24:13, "But he who endures to the end will be saved". This word means to wait calmly and courageously, active energetic resistance to defeat that allows calm and brave endurance {Word Wealth Matt.24:13, New Spirit Filled Life Bible}. Timothy learnt to be strong and tough in hostile environments. He learnt not to back down. Paul said to him later, "You must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ" 2 Timothy 2:3.

Character production

Being a "Timothy" gives the opportunity to develop character that is necessary in being formed into the image of Christ. By learning to persevere he was learning that "perseverance produces character, and character hope" Romans 5:4. Paul was able to say of Timothy later, "you know his proven character" Philippians 2:22a. Many in the Christian world get promoted because of gifting but sons like Timothy grow in character to be able to handle the responsibility of the family business of the gospel. True fathers like apostle Paul are more interested in developing character in their sons than simply seeing a gift manifest. They realise that gifts without character can destroy a person but gifts on a foundation of proven, tested character will benefit everybody.

Receiving commands

After Paul left Timothy and Silas in Berea it then says, "So those who conducted Paul brought him to Athens; and receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him with all speed, they departed" Acts 17:15. It seems that as a father Paul had the right to give commands to Silas and Timothy. Timothy was a son who was willing to be told what to do. He did not think that he could settle in Berea and start a ministry for himself in the absence of Paul. Those who are sons like Timothy learn that they are part of a family and are willing to receive commands from a father. Timothy grew in authority because of his submission to authority.

Sons are a strength to fathers

When Paul had finally got to Corinth he was by himself, started tent making and "reasoned in the Synagogue every Sabbath" Acts 18:4. However, "when Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ" Acts 18:5. Something happened to Paul when his sons came! When Silas and Timothy showed up Paul was compelled by the Spirit! This means he was gripped and overtaken by the Spirit to testify powerfully. When fathers have a Timothy, this brings boldness and courage to the father enabling them to testify in difficult circumstances.

Do not rush the training

I remember a time when apostle Paul Galligan spoke to me about not looking to manifest in ministry before time. He reminded me that John the Baptist "was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel" Luke 1:80. It also seems that Timothy was with Paul a long time before being released himself into ministry. He stayed under the teaching and training. He was with Paul in Corinth "a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them" Acts 18:11.
Another eighteen months on top of the time Timothy had already been with Paul, sitting under the teaching, serving his father. Jesus also learnt not to rush. He waited till He was thirty years old before entering into the ministry (Lk. 3:23). As a Timothy it is important to lose the ambition of wanting "to be something". Wait for God's time to be released into ministry with the backing and sending of Jesus and the apostolic father that He places in your life.

More training

When the team moved on to Ephesus they began "reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia [a Roman Province of which Ephesus was the capital] heard the word of the Lord Jesus..." Acts 19:9-10. Timothy spent another two years faithfully being with Paul and being part of the daily training school happening in Ephesus. This time it seems though that Timothy would have started to be sent out on missions as, through this school, the whole province heard the word without apostle Paul travelling anywhere.
The next stage of training is to be sent out on missions and come back and report (Mk.6:30). Then you can get more training and feedback and go out again. Later, when Timothy was functioning as an apostle, most probably in Ephesus, Paul reminded him that "the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" 2 Timothy 2:2. On these missions Timothy would have been learning to be faithful to the apostolic teaching he had received. Learning to be accountable and not try and come up with his own doctrine. Apostolic sons are to remain faithful to the doctrine!

Sent

By the end of that time in Ephesus Paul purposed to go through Macedonia and Achaia and "So he sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, but he himself stayed in Asia for a time" Acts 19:22. The word for sent here is the Greek word apostello. This means that Timothy and Erastus were sent apostolically, to represent Paul and Jesus in Macedonia and Achaia. This meant they were going to Corinth, Thessalonica, Berea and Philippi now on Paul's behalf. They were able to be trusted to be sent as apostles. It is interesting to note also that Timothy and Erastus were those who ministered to Paul. They had served Paul. This is similar to Elisha being one who "poured water on the hands of Elijah" 2 Kings 3:11. But now they are being sent out as sons to prepare the way for their father to come there.

A beloved and faithful son in the Lord

Paul wrote to the Corinthians saying, "I urge you, imitate me" 1 Corinthians 4:16. How were the saints in Corinth going to imitate Paul when he was not physically there? The answer is in the next verse, "For this reason I have sent Timothy to you" 1 Cor.4:17a. Timothy was sent so that the Corinthians could imitate Paul! Paul had successfully imparted his lifestyle in Christ into a son! He then says, "who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church" v.17. Timothy was loved and he was faithful. He would represent Paul faithfully to the Corinthians, and by so doing, represent Jesus.

Sons carry the father's heart

Paul wrote to the Philippians about sending Timothy saying, "For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state" Philippians 2:20. Sons like Timothy carry the same burden as their father. Paul says that all the other ministers "seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus" v.21. Others seek after their own ministry, their own churches, their own kingdom. There needs to be a generation of Timothys to carry the apostolic heart down the generations. Paul then says, "But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel" v.22. Timothy was in the family business of the gospel.
While Paul always remained a father to Timothy, Paul recognized Timothy's growth and maturity. In other places Paul called Timothy, "our brother and minister of God, and our fellow labourer in the gospel of Christ" 1 Thess. 3:2. Also, "Timothy, my fellow worker" Romans 16:21. Sons become fellows in the gospel, brothers and ministers, even "bondservants" together in the work (Phil.1:1). Timothy was part of the apostolic team and functioning as an apostle with Paul in the work (1 Thess.1:1, 2:6).

Fathers leave an inheritance for sons

When Paul was writing to Timothy, it would seem, for the last time, he wrote of the inheritance that he left for him. Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:10-12, "you have carefully followed my:

This is the inheritance for sons. It looks like "Christ in you, the hope of glory" Colossians 1:27. Paul left Timothy a manner of life that would reveal Christ in Timothy. Paul did not leave a set of by-laws of a denomination but successfully imparted the life of Christ into a son. Now if you saw Timothy, you would see Paul and you would see Christ! This is the restoration happening in our time. Fathers and sons revealing the mystery of God by the example of their relationship! It is time for the Timothy generation to arise!

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