1 Timothy 4
1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
This is fulfilled in today’s spiritual Ekklesia when they teach that one need not and should not be zealous to live by every Word of God or to keep the Sabbath as the scriptures command; teaching people to blindly follow idols of men, and teaching many other falsehoods.
4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats [vegetarian], which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. [Eating meat sanctified by the Word of God; that is eating scripturally clean meats is lawful.] 4:4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 4:5 For it is sanctified by [the meat that we eat must be from those creatures which are sanctified by the Word of God] the word of God and prayer.
Leviticus 11 reveals what has been sanctified by God for human consumption and what is forbidden. Many have tried to put this in terms of what is physically good for us and what is not; when the real purpose of setting apart the clean from the unclean is to teach us to make a difference between the holy and the profane.
4:6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
4:7 But refuse profane [unholy things and false teachings] and old wives’ fables [the false traditions of men], and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
Work at learning and living by every Word of God.
Spiritually exercising the mind and spirit is far more profitable for the spirit, than physical exercise is profitable for the physical body; therefore why exercise the body and neglect to exercise the spirit in prayer, study, thinking on godly things and living a godly life?
4:8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
Paul and Timothy both labored to help others towards godliness and were willing to suffer for their zeal for the whole Word of God; which is the duty of all elders AND brethren!
4:9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.
4:11 These things command and teach.
The word “youth” is relative and does not mean that Timothy was a child. Men of 60 consider men of 45 to be youths. The sense of this is that there were people older than Timothy in the congregations, and that Timothy was to treat them with respect, but he was not to feel intimidated by them.
Now comes a partial list of the duties of an elder. They are to be Shining Lights of examples of zealous godliness
4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity [Godly love which is the keeping of the whole Word of God], in spirit, in faith [which includes the works of faith, which is a zealous keeping of God’s Word], in purity [from all sin]. 4:13 Till I come [All subsequent elders are to do likewise until Christ comes, and forever after that.], give attendance to reading [the scriptures], to exhortation [exhorting to zealously live by every Word of God], to doctrine [the sound doctrine of the whole Word of God].
The called out are all called to be priests of God and we are not to neglect the gifts of our calling and of God’s Spirit. The elders, leaders and all of the brethren in the Ekklesia are not to neglect spiritual things, but we are to exercise ourselves spiritually towards true passionate godliness.
4:14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery [congregation, brethren] .
4:15 Meditate [think deeply] upon these things; give thyself wholly to them [we must dedicate ourselves to wholehearted godliness]; that thy profiting [our spiritual growth should be known to all; this instruction is for us also and our spiritual growth should be a Shining Example to all people] may appear to all.
4:16 Take heed unto thyself [to remain zealous and faithful to God], and unto the doctrine [the sound doctrine of the whole Word of God]; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
We shall be saved by our zeal for godliness and our zeal to internalize the whole Word of God, so that we become of ONE mind and ONE spirit with God the Almighty..