2 Timothy 4:1 Commentary

2 Timothy 4:1 I solemnly charge (1SPMI) you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is (PAPMSG) to judge (PAPMSG) the living (PAPMPA) and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: Diamarturomai (1SPMI) enopion tou theou kai Christou Iesou, tou mellontos (PAPMSG) krinein (PAPMSG) zontas (PAPMPA) kai nekrous, kai ten epiphaneian autou kai ten basileian autou;

BBE: I give you orders, before God and Christ Jesus, who will be the judge of the living and the dead, and by his revelation and his kingdom;

GWT: I solemnly call on you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge those who are living and those who are dead. I do this because Christ Jesus will come to rule <the world>. (GWT)

KJV: I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

Phillips: I urge you, Timothy, as we live in the sight of God and of Christ Jesus (whose coming in power will judge the living and the dead) (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: I solemnly charge you as one who is living in the presence of our God, even Christ Jesus, the One who is on the point of judging the living and the dead, I solemnly charge you as not only living in His presence, but also by His appearing and His kingdom (Eerdmans)

Young's Literal: I do fully testify, then, before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who is about to judge living and dead at his manifestation and his reign--

I SOLEMNLY CHARGE: Diamarturomai (1SPMI) : (Torrey topic "2nd Coming") (2Ti 2:14;1Ti 5:21; 6:13)

Other translations - I do fully testify (YLT); I give you this charge (NIV); I solemnly appeal (ISV); I charge thee (ASV); I solemnly implore you (Weymouth); I solemnly call on you (GWT); I strongly urge (ALT); I give you orders (BBE); I adjure you (Moffatt); Before God and Jesus Christ I give you a command (ICB)

Paraphrase 2Ti 4:1-9 (Walter Lock - International Critical Commentary) - Final appeal based on the coming judgment and the writer’s approaching death. You have followed me loyally thus far: I charge you to follow me further, and to remain true to the truth until the end. As in the sight of God and of Christ Jesus who shall come to judge us all whether living or dead, as you would be ready to welcome His Appearing, as you would hope to share His Kingdom, I charge you, preach the message of the Gospel, stand up to your task boldly, in season and out of season, whether you are welcome or unwelcome, refute false teaching, rebuke wrong-doers, pass censure on those who refuse to obey, encourage those who do, never failing in patience, using every method of teaching. For a time will come when men will not tolerate the sound teaching, nay, led, each by his own caprice, they will pile teacher upon teacher, and burden upon burden on their own backs; with ears always itching for some novelty, they will refuse to listen to the simple truth, they will turn aside to listen to all those empty legends. But do you keep calm, keep self-restrained in all things, be ready to face suffering: your work is to preach good tidings, preach them fully; your task is a task of ministry, perform it to the full. For I shall have to leave you to yourself: my life-blood is on the point of being poured out as a libation to God: the moment is close at hand when I must strike my tent and be gone. Yes: I have fought my fight, and it was the right fight: I have come to the end of the course; I have kept faith with my Master. So henceforth there is stored up safely for me the crown of a righteous life: the Lord will award it to me on that great day: yes, but not only to me, but also to all who have set their hearts on His appearing. We shall be together with Him whom we love.


I solemnly charge you - The present tense indicates that Timothy is to understand what follows as a continuously solemn charge. In other words, Timothy is to keep these words as it were "ringing in his ears."

Solemnly charge (diamarturomai) also has a legal nuance so the picture is of the aged apostle calling his young disciple Timothy to the front of God's judicial bench and charging him under oath with the awesome task of proclaiming God's Word to hearers who in a similar way will one day stand in front of that fearsome bench for judgment by Christ Jesus Who will return to reign over all -- either at the Bema Seat Judgment of believers (2Co 5:10-note, 1Co 3:11 12 13 14 15) or the Great White Throne Judgment of non-believers (Rev 20:11-14-note).

Solemnly charge (1263) (diamarturomai from diá = intensifies meaning conveying idea of "thoroughly" + marturomai = witness, bear witness) means to bear witness, testify earnestly or repeatedly, to charge as it if before witnesses (here God and Christ Jesus), to exhort earnestly and with authority in matters of extraordinary importance (here the integrity of the message proclaimed). It carries the idea of giving a forceful order or directive.

Diamarturomai -15x in the NT - Translated in KJV as - charge, 3; testify, 11; witness, 1. In the is is translated - solemnly charge, 3; solemnly testified, 2; solemnly testifies, 1; solemnly testifying, 3; solemnly to testify, 1; solemnly warned, 1; solemnly witnessed, 1; testified, 1; testify solemnly, 1; warn, 1. In the NAS = Usage: solemnly to testify(1), solemnly charge(3), solemnly testified(2), solemnly testifies(1), solemnly testifying(3), solemnly warned(1), solemnly witnessed(1), testified(1), testify solemnly(1), warn(1).

Diamarturomai - here are the NT uses

Luke 16:28 for I have five brothers-- that he may warn them, lest they also come to this place of torment.'

Acts 2:40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation!"

Acts 8:25 And so, when they had solemnly testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they started back to Jerusalem, and were preaching the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans.

Acts 10:42 "And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead.

Acts 18:5 But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul began devoting himself completely to the word, solemnly testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.

Acts 20:21 solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ… 23 except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me. 24 "But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I may finish my course, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.

Acts 23:11 But on the night immediately following, the Lord stood at his side and said, "Take courage; for as you have solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also."

Acts 28:23 And when they had set a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in large numbers; and he was explaining to them by solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God, and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus, from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets, from morning until evening.

1Thessalonians 4:6 (note) and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you.

1 Timothy 5:21 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality.

2 Timothy 2:14 (note) Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless, and leads to the ruin of the hearers.

2 Timothy 4:1 (note) I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:

Hebrews 2:6 (note) But one has testified somewhere, saying, "What is man, that Thou rememberest him? Or the son of man, that Thou art concerned about him?

Diamarturomai - 25x in the Septuagint - Ex 18:20; 19:10, 21; 21:29; Deut. 4:26; 8:19; 30:19; 31:28; 32:46; 1 Sam. 8:9; 2Ki. 17:13, 15; 2Chr. 24:19; Neh. 9:26, 34; 13:21; Ps. 50:7; 81:8; Jer. 6:10; 32:10, 44; Ezek. 16:2; 20:4; Zech. 3:6; Mal. 2:14

Paul is laying a mandate upon Timothy that must be obeyed, as if Paul were the commanding general and Timothy his chief officer of battle operations. In using this verb Paul is seeking Timothy's undivided attention to the matter at hand. Paul had used diamarturomai two times prior to admonish Timothy

I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality (1Ti 5:21).

Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers. (2Ti 2:14-note).(cf 1Ti 6:13).

The first NT use of diamarturomai is found in the teaching on Lazarus and the rich man who both end up in Hades (Sheol), except that the rich man is on the hot side and so he pleads with Abraham

I beg you, Father (Abraham), that you send him (Lazarus) to my father's house-- for I have five brothers-- that he may warn (diamarturomai ) them, lest they also come to this place of torment. (Lk 16:27, 28)

What a picture diamarturomai presents of the serious nature of Paul's charge to Timothy.

One of most concentrated uses of diamarturomai in Scripture is found in Paul's admonition laden farewell speech to the Ephesian elders where Paul reminds them that he has been

solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ… (Acts 20:21)

Paul also related that "the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me… I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I may finish my course, (cf 2Ti 4:7-note) and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus (cf 2Ti 4:5-note), to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:21, 23, 24)

It therefore behooves all saints to seriously consider the accounting that we will shortly give to Jesus Christ of the stewardship entrusted to each of us.

Paul elaborates on this truth in (1Cor 4:5) "Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men's hearts; and then each man's praise will come to him from God."

In all your Christian work always check your motives (cf Ps 139:23, Ps 90:12)

As an aside, any good Jew familiar with the Septuagint (as Timothy must have been) would recognize Paul's verb diamarturomai (in the Lxx or Septuagint, the Greek of the Hebrew OT) from the solemn warning by Moses to Israel:

I call heaven and earth to witness against (diamarturomai) you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants. (Dt 30:19)

The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge notes that this was

A most solemn method of adjuration, in use among all the nations in the world; God and man being called upon to bear testimony to the truth of what was spoken, that if there was any flaw or insincerity it might be detected, and if any crime, it might not go unpunished.

In 2 Timothy 4:1 God and the Son of Man are called upon to bear witness!

The IVP Bible background commentary adds that

An oath sworn by a deity or deities was considered especially binding and dangerous to break; in the same way, a charge witnessed by a deity or deities was sacred and inviolable. A broken oath would be avenged by the god whose name was violated; for Jewish people and Christians, the ultimate judgment was in the coming day of the Lord.

Considering this background (which Timothy was surely cognizant of), we can rest assured that Timothy's ears, heart and mind were fully focused on the commands that followed.

Do I have a similar sense of reverential awe of God and the Judge Who is standing right at the door (Jas 5:9), regarding my stewardship and accountability for the treasure entrusted to me? (cf 2Ti 13, 14-note)

A W Pink comments that this…

pressing injunction was enforced by the solemn consideration brought before him at the beginning of the chapter: the living and the dead should be judged at the appearing of his Master. But how could that judgment be a powerful persuasive unto fidelity and diligence unless his ministry was to be thoroughly reviewed in that Day? Wherein lay its solemnity unless he would have to give a full account of his stewardship? (from An exposition of the Sermon on the Mount)

The solemnity of this charge should encourage us to do our work carefully and faithfully and also deliver us from the fear of man (Pr 29:25) for, in the final analysis, Christ Jesus is the only Judge that matters. Finally, the realization that God will one day judge our works (1Cor 3:13) should motivate and encourage us to keep going even when we face (out of season) difficulties (Gal 6:9-note, 1Cor 15:58-note, He 12:3, 4-note). We are serving Him, not ourselves.

Lord please give us eternal vision like Paul and a whole heart like David, that we might appreciate the solemnity of each moment of life and of each choice (cp Da 1:8-note) to obey the Spirit or the flesh. Guide us so that this is not done out of legalism or by our might or our power but by Thy grace and Thy Spirit, for the sake of Your Kingdom and the renown of Your Son, Christ Jesus. Amen.

William Arp writes about The Seriousness of the Command observing that…

Paul begins his exhortation to Timothy by “charging” him to preach the Word. The word for “charge” shows the seriousness of Paul’s exhortation. It describes an emphatic declaration or affirmation. It reinforces a binding obligation. Before Paul gives Timothy his responsibility, he emphasizes the seriousness of his charge. Charging him before God and Jesus Christ seems to indicate that Timothy is accountable to them as he carries out this responsibility. They will see all that he does. He is responsible to them. He also writes that Jesus Christ will judge Timothy’s ministry. He will evaluate his ministry in these difficult times. This shows the solemnity of Timothy’s responsibility. Both the words used and the witnesses mentioned point out the importance of Paul’s charge to Timothy. (The Priority of Preaching in Problem Times -- By William E. Arp - Journal of Ministry and Theology - Spring, 1997)

IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD AND OF CHRIST JESUS: enopion tou theou kai Christou Iesou:

In the presence of God - This picture needs no explanation, but does call for us to stop and ponder the awe and holiness and majesty of being in the presence of God when we step up to the pulpit to proclaim the Word of Truth. May this picture never leave the pastor's mind and heart and may the Spirit use this truth to motivate a careful, reverential handling of God's Holy Word! Amen.

Presence of God (9x in 8v in NAS) - Ps 68:8-note Eccl 5:2 Lk 1:19 1Ti 5:21 1Ti 6:13 2Ti 2:14-note 2Ti 4:1-note Heb 9:24-note

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus - Would it be that this would be our watch word. our lodestone or our warp and our woof. Coram Deo (in the presence of God) living!

Ge 6:8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

Ge 16:13 Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, "Thou art a God who sees"; for she said, "Have I even remained alive here after seeing Him?" (See study El Roi: God Who Sees)

Deut 11:11 "But the land into which you are about to cross to possess it, a land of hills and valleys, drinks water from the rain of heaven, 12 a land for which the LORD your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning even to the end of the year.

Ps 33:18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope for His lovingkindness,

Spurgeon: For this is a greater wonder than hosts and horses, a surer confidence than chariots or shields. The eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him. That eye of peculiar care is their glory and defence. None can take them at unawares, for the celestial watcher foresees the designs of their enemies, and provides against them. They who fear God need not fear anything else; let them fix their eye of faith on him, and his eye of love will always rest upon them. Upon them that hope in his mercy. This one would think to be a small evidence of grace, and yet it is a valid one. Humble hope shall have its share as well as courageous faith. Say, my soul, is not this an encouragement to thee? Dost thou not hope in the mercy of God in Christ Jesus? Then the Father's eye is as much upon thee as upon the elder born of the family. These gentle words, like soft bread, are meant for babes in grace, who need infant's food.

Ps 34:15 The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry.

Spurgeon: The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous. He observes them with approval and tender consideration; they are so dear to him that he cannot take his eyes off them; he watches each one of them as carefully and intently as if there were only that one creature in the universe. His ears are open unto their cry. His eyes and ears are thus both turned by the Lord towards his saints; his whole mind is occupied about them: if slighted by all others they are not neglected by him. Their cry he hears at once, even as a mother is sure to hear her sick babe; the cry may be broken, plaintive, unhappy, feeble, unbelieving, yet the Father's quick ear catches each note of lament or appeal, and he is not slow to answer his children's voice.

Ps 113:5 Who is like the LORD our God, Who is enthroned on high, 6 Who humbles Himself to behold the things that are in heaven and in the earth?

Ps 139:2 Thou dost know when I sit down and when I rise up; Thou dost understand my thought from afar. 3 Thou dost scrutinize my path and my lying down, And art intimately acquainted with all my ways.

Job 34:21 "For His eyes are upon the ways of a man, And He sees all his steps.

Job 31:4 "Does He not see my ways, And number all my steps?

Pr 5:21 For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the LORD, And He watches all his paths.

Pr 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Watching the evil and the good.

Jer 16:17 "For My eyes are on all their (Israel's) ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity concealed from My eyes.

Jer 23:24 "Can a man hide himself in hiding places, So I do not see him?" declares the LORD. "Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?" declares the LORD.

Zech 4:10 "For who has despised the day of small things? But these seven will be glad when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel-- these are the eyes of the LORD which range to and fro throughout the earth."

Heb 4:13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.


All service should be carried out with the realization that it is watched by God’s all-seeing eye. It would do us all good to occasionally reflect on the fact that one day we will face God and our works will be judged.

Presence (1799) (enopion [word study] from en = in + ops = face, eye, countenance) and so literally meaning in the face of, in front of, before or in the presence (sight) of and used primarily by Luke, Paul and John (in the Revelation). Being in sight. Before the face and thus the idea of face to face! Of doing something in someone’s presence.

It is as if Paul is summoning his young protégé into the very presence of God the Father and the glorified Son of God to receive this solemn charge. Face to face with the Holy One of Israel! The Greek construction also allows the rendering “in the presence of God, even Christ Jesus.” The Father and Son are linked together in a grammatical form that emphasizes their equality.

All service should be carried out with the realization that it is watched by God’s all-seeing eye. It would do us all good to occasionally reflect on the fact that one day we will face God and our works will be judged (even the motives of those works! 1Co 4:5)

Enopion can be summarized into three basic meanings

1) in front of, before, a position in a spatial sense, in the presence of (Lk 1:19; Acts 10:30, Rev 3:8, 7:15)

2) in the sight of, in the presence of (Lk 23:14, Jn 20:30, Acts 10:33, 1Ti 6:12, Re 3:5, 13:13)

3) in the opinion of, in the judgment of (Lk 16:15, 2Co 8:21)

Wuest writes that enopion "was used in such expressions as, “the case will be drawn up against you in the court at Heracleopolis in the presence of,” “deliver personally,” “I gave notice in person.” It is used of one who does or says something in the presence of someone else, and does it with the consciousness that that one has him in sight and mind. Paul delivered this solemn charge to Timothy, conscious of the fact that he was doing so in the sight of God, and he wished Timothy to ever so regard the charge. (Wuest, K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)

MacArthur adds that interesting note that "The phrase in the presence of parallels a common format used in Roman courts and legal documents and would have been familiar to Timothy and others of that day. A typical summons might have begun: “The case will be drawn up against you in the court at Hierapolis, in the presence of the honorable judge Festus, chief magistrate.”

God (2316) theos

Christ (5547) Christos

Jesus (2424) Iesous


Preaching in the sight of God: — Bishop Latimer having one day preached before King Henry VIII. a sermon which displeased his majesty, he was ordered to preach again on the next Sabbath, and to make an apology for the offence he had given. After reading his text, the bishop thus begun his sermon: “Hugh Latimer, dost thou know before whom thou art this day to speak? To the high and mighty monarch, the king’s most excellent majesty, who can take away thy life if thou offendest; therefore, take heed that thou speakest not a word that may displease. But then consider well, Hugh, dost thou not know from whence thou comest — upon whose message thou art sent? Even by the great and mighty God! who is all present! and who beholdeth all thy ways! and who is able to cast thy soul into hell! Therefore, take care that thou deliverest thy message faithfully.” He then proceeded with the same sermon he had preached the preceding Sabbath, but with considerably more energy. The sermon ended, the Court were full of expectation to know what would be the fate of this honest and plain dealing bishop. After dinner the king called for Latimer, and, with a stern countenance, asked him how he dared to be so bold as to preach in such a manner. He, falling on his knees, replied, his duty to his God and his prince had enforced him thereto, and that he had merely discharged his duty and his conscience in what he had spoken. Upon which the king, rising from his seat, and taking the good man by the hand, embraced him, saying, “Blessed be God I have so honest a servant!” (Biblical Illustrator)

WHO IS TO JUDGE: tou mellontos (PAPMSG) krinein (PAPMSG): (Ps 50:6; 96:13; 98:9; Mt 16:27; 25:31-46; Jn 5:22,23, 24, 25, 26, 27 Acts 10:42; Ac 17:31; Ro 2:16; 14:9, 10, 11; 1Co 4:4;4:5 2Co 5:9;10 2Th1:7;1:8, 1:9, 1:10 1Pe 4:5; Rev 20:11, 12, 13, 14, 15)

Who is about to (present tense = pictures this judgment as continually coming) judge (impending judgment pictured by Darby's translation)

Related Resources:

Torrey's Topic Judgment of God

Easton's Judgment, The final

Who = Christ Jesus!

Is (3195) (mello) means to be about to do something, so this phrase in Greek is most literally rendered is about to be judging suggesting the idea of imminency, or that Christ is about to judge momentarily, which gives another reason for Paul’s solemn charge to Timothy. This truth conveys a sense of urgency to the task at hand. The present tense signifies continuous action.

Dear pastor, how do you approach Sunday morning's message? With a sense of urgency and solemnity, not knowing for which of your hearers this may be the last proclamation of the Word they may receive? What a glorious and awesome responsibility every pastor bears!

J udge (2919) (krino) primarily signifies to distinguish, to decide between (in the sense of considering two or more things and reaching a decision), to make up one's mind, to separate, to discriminate. to distinguish between good and evil, right and wrong, without necessarily passing an adverse sentence, although that is often what is usually involved. Krino has various shades of meaning which must be determined from the context.

Jesus said "For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son." (Jn 5:21)

The following distinct judgments will be presided over by Christ Jesus the Lord:

(1) The judgment of believers at the Bema seat or Judgment seat not for the purpose of judging sin but determining rewards.

Paul writes

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad (not kakos = evil like the Textus Receptus but phaulos = worthless, of no account, impossibility of any true gain ever coming forth from) (2Cor 5:10) (cf Ro 14:10,11-note, 1Cor 3:10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15).

(2) The judgment of the nations referred to as the judgment of the sheep (believers) and the goats (unbelievers) at the end of the Great Tribulation (Mt 24:21), separating believers from unbelievers, only the former being allowed to enter into the Millennial Kingdom. (Mt 25:31-46).

(3) Jews alive at the end of the great tribulation will also be judged apparently at this same time to determine which Jews will go into the Messianic Kingdom (cf Ezek 20:33-41). (Click for in depth tabular and pictorial exposition of Daniel's Seventieth Week which includes a discussion of this end time judgment)

(4) The Great White Throne judgment of unbelievers, which is the final judgment following the 1000 year reign of Christ and immediately preceding "a New Heaven and a New earth" (See Re 20:11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 21:1, 2- notes Rev 20:11, 20:12, 20:13, 20:14, , 20:15, 21:1; 21:2). (Click for timeline and chart that includes this end time judgment)

Related Resource: Chart A Brief Synopsis of End Time Judgments

THE LIVING AND THE DEAD: zontas (PAPMPA) kai nekrous:

Living (2198) (zao) refers to natural physical life in opposition to death. In the NT zao refers to supernatural, spiritual life in those who have been born again. Note present tense = continually living.

Dead (3498) (nekros from nékus = a corpse; English - necropsy, necrophobia, etc, verb = nekroo) describes literally one who has breathed their last and figuratively (the more common NT use) speaks of the spiritual condition of unsaved men, spiritually dead to God because of sin.

Some favor this phrase living and the dead as a reference to believers some of whom are alive at the return of Jesus and others who have already died in Christ (John MacArthur for example takes this approach). This phrase however could refer to the spiritually dead (whether physically alive or dead) for as Paul wrote to the Ephesians we all "were dead in our transgressions" until God "made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)" (Ep 2:4, cf Ep 2:1, Col 2:13, Jn 5:25, 27, Rev 20:12, 13)

Jesus said "Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life (the living), those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment (the dead). I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. (Jn 5:28, 29, 30)

AND BY HIS APPEARING: kai ten epiphaneian autou: (2Ti 4:8; Col 3:4; 1Th 4:15;16 1Ti 6:14; Titus 2:13; Heb 9:27,28;1Pe 1:7;1:13 5:4; 1Jn 2:28; Rev 1:7)

See Resources:

Table comparing the Rapture to the Second Coming

Imminency, Imminent

And by His appearing - In the ancient world this word described an emperor visiting a town. Very fitting picture of the King of kings returning to take His throne and rule over the world He created and then redeemed!

Appearing (2015) (epiphaneia from epi = upon + phaino = to shine; Click study of verb epiphaino; English = epiphany = the manifestation of a supernatural or divine reality or any moment of great or sudden revelation) literally means to shine upon and so describes a manifestation or appearance. This word was often used by the Greeks of a glorious manifestation of the gods, and especially of their advent to help. In the NT it is used only of the appearing of Christ.

It has been estimated that about 1 in 20 verses in the New Testament speak either directly or indirectly about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. What one is looking for will (should) determine what one is living for!

Thayer notes that epiphaneia is used in the NT of "the `advent' of Christ -- not only that which has already taken place and by which his presence and power appear in the saving light he has shed upon mankind (2Ti 1:10-note) but also that illustrious return from heaven to earth hereafter to occur."

BDAG adds that epiphaneia was used as a "technical term relating to transcendence it refers to a visible and frequently sudden manifestation of a hidden divinity, either in the form of a personal appearance or by some deed of power or oracular communication by which its presence is made known (Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament)

Epiphaneia was used to describe the dawning of light upon the darkness and also conveyed the idea of a sudden appearance upon the scene. Thus Paul informed the Thessalonians that the "lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the (sudden) appearance of His coming." (2Th 2:8)

Barclay has several notes on epiphaneia (there is some duplication in the following compilation) writing that epiphaneia was used of Roman emperors whose "accession to the throne of the Empire was his epiphaneia (cf Mt 25:31); and in particular—and this is the background of Paul’s thought here—it was used of a visit by the Emperor to any province or town. The emperor’s appearance in any place was his epiphaneia. Obviously when the Emperor was due to visit any place, everything was put in perfect order” (cf 1Jn 2:28, cf 2Cor 7:1-note)… (In Comments on James 5 Barclay says) The New Testament also uses the word epiphaneia (Greek #2015) (Titus 2:13; 2 Timothy 4:1; 2 Thessalonians 2:9). In ordinary Greek this word has two special usages. It is used of the appearance of a god to his worshipper; and it is used of the accession of an emperor to the imperial power of Rome. So, then, when this word is used of Jesus, it means that his Second Coming is God appearing to his people, both to those who are waiting for him and to those who are disregarding him… (In Barclay's comments on 2Ti 4 he says) Epiphaneia was used in two special ways. It was used for the manifest intervention of some god; and it was specially used in connection with the Roman Emperor. His accession to the throne was his epiphaneia; and in particular--and this is the background of Paul's thought here--it was used of his visit to any province or town. Obviously when the Emperor was due to visit any place, everything was put in perfect order. The streets were swept and garnished and all work was brought up-to-date so that the town might be fit for epiphaneia. So Paul says to Timothy: "You know what happens when any town is expecting the epiphaneia of the Emperor; you are expecting the epiphaneia of Jesus Christ. Do your work in such a way that all things will be ready whenever he appears." The Christian should so order life that at any moment he is ready for the coming of Christ. (In another note on 2Ti 1:10 Barclay says the Gospel) was full displayed through Christ's appearance. The word Paul uses for appearance is one with a great history. It is epiphaneia, a word which the Jews repeatedly used of the great saving manifestations of God in the terrible days of the Maccabean struggles, when the enemies of Israel were deliberately seeking to obliterate him. In the days of Onias the High Priest there came a certain Heliodorus to plunder the Temple treasury at Jerusalem. Neither prayers nor entreaties would stop him carrying out this sacrilege. And, so the story runs, as Heliodorus was about to set hands on the treasury, "the Lord of Spirits and the Prince of Power caused a great epiphaneia (Greek #2015)… For there appeared unto them an horse with a terrible rider upon him… and he ran fiercely and smote at Heliodorus with his forefeet… And Heliodorus fell suddenly to the ground and was compassed with great darkness" (2 Maccabees 3:24-30). What exactly happened we may never know; but in Israel's hour of need there came this tremendous epiphaneia of God. When Judas Maccabaeus and his little army were confronted with the might of Nicanor, they prayed: "O Lord, who didst send thine angel in the time of Hezekiah king of Judea, and didst slay in the host of Sennacherib an hundred fourscore and five thousand (compare 2 Kings 19:35-36), wherefore now also, O Lord of Heaven, send a good angel before us for a fear and a dread unto them; and through the might of thine arm let those be stricken with terror, that come against thy holy people to blaspheme." And then the story goes on: "Then Nicanor and they that were with him came forward with trumpets and with songs. But Judas and his company encountered the enemy with invocation and prayer. So that, fighting with their hands and praying unto God with their hearts, they slew no less than thirty and five thousand men; for through the epiphaneia (Greek #2015) of God they were greatly cheered" (2 Maccabees 15:22-27). Once again we do not know exactly what happened; but God made a great and saving appearance for his people. To the Jew epiphaneia (Greek #2015) denoted a rescuing intervention of God. To the Greek epiphaneia was an equally great word. The accession of the Emperor to his throne was called his epiphaneia. It was his manifestation. Every Emperor came to the throne with high hopes; his coming was hailed as the dawn of a new and precious day, and of great blessings to come. The gospel was fully displayed with the epiphaneia of Jesus (2Ti 1:10); the very word shows that he was God's great, rescuing intervention and manifestation into the world (William Barclay's Daily Study Bible) (List of pages on which Barclay has notes on epiphaneia)

Epiphaneia - 3x in the non-apocryphal Septuagint (LXX) - 2Sa 7:23; Esther 5:1; Amos 5:22 and

Epiphaneia - 6x in the NT. NAS Usage: appearance(1), appearing(5)..

2 Thessalonians 2:8 And then that lawless one (the antichrist, man of sin, little horn) will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; (cf note Revelation 19:11)

1 Timothy 6:14 that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,

2 Timothy 1:10 (note) but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,

2 Timothy 4:1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom… 4:8 in the future there is laid up 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 loved His appearing.

Titus 2:13 (note) looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus

Epiphaneia in Trench's Synonyms - Epiphaneia is used only twice in the Septuagint but frequently in 2Maccabees, where it always refers to God's supernatural apparitions in aid of his people. In secular Greek, epiphaneia always refers to the gracious appearances of the higher powers who aided humans. Epiphainein also was used in the same way, though sometimes it had a much humbler meaning. Epiphaneia is used only six times in the New Testament, always in Paul's writings. On five occasions the Authorized translators translated it as "appearing," but on the sixth (2Thessalonians 2:8) they seem to have shrunk from what they thought was a tautology "appearance of his coming" and instead translated epiphaneia tes parousias as "brightness of his coming," thus giving epiphaneia an improper meaning. On one occasion (2 Timothy 1:10, and so epiphainein, Titus 2:11; Titus 3:4), epiphaneia refers to our Lord's first epiphany, his "appearance [epiphaneia] in the flesh," but on all other occasions it refers to his second appearing in glory, the "appearance [epiphaneia] at his parousia"(2 Thessalonians 2:8), "the glorious appearing [epiphaneia] of our great God." In comparison, apokalypsis is the more comprehensive and grander word. It depicts the progressive and immediate unveiling of the otherwise unknown and unknowable God to his church throughout the ages. This revelation is imparted to the body that is thereby designated or constituted as his church, the object of his more immediate care that is called to spread this knowledge of him to the rest of mankind. The world may know something of God (his eternal power and Godhead) from the things that are seen, things that except for the darkening of the human heart through sin would reveal him more clearly (Romans 1:20). But there is no apokalypsis except to the church. The epiphaneiai are contained in the apokalypsis as separate points or moments. If God is to be immediately known to humans, he must in some shape or other appear to those whom he has chosen for this honor. Epiphanies must be theophanies as well. The church has claimed as such not only the communications of the type recorded in Genesis 18:1; Genesis 28:13, but also all of those instances where the angel of the Lord or of the covenant appears. The church has regarded all of these as pre-incarnate appearances of the Son of God, the most glorious epiphany that has yet occurred, though Christ's second coming will be an even more glorious epiphany. (Revelation - Trench's Synonyms of the New Testament)

Brian Bill - Epiphaneia was used in two special ways. It was used for the manifest intervention of some god; and it was specially used in connection with the Roman Emperor. His accession to the throne was his epiphaneia; and - it was used of his visit to any province or town. Obviously when the Emperor was due to visit any place, everything was put in perfect order. The streets were swept and garnished and all work was brought up-to-date so that the town might be fit for epiphaneia. So Paul says to Timothy: “You know what happens when any town is expecting the epiphaneia of the Emperor; you are expecting the epiphaneia of Jesus Christ. Do your work in such a way that all things will be ready whenever he appears.” So we should so order our life that at any moment we are ready for the coming of Christ.

Paul had earlier used epiphaneia to describe Messiah's first coming in which salvation was revealed "by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus" (2Ti 1:10-note). In the present context "His shining upon" clearly is referring to Christ's future visible return when

no creature (will be) hidden from His sight, but all things (will be) open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to" give an account (cf He 4:13-note).

John gives us a preview of the awesome nature of this moment, writing

BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so. Amen. (Re 1:7-note)

Matthew describing Messiah's return adds that "then the sign of the Son of Man will appear (phaino - shine) in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. (Mt 24:30,31)

If we are convinced that Christ’s return is inevitable, we too like Timothy will be powerfully motivated by that fact (cf 1Jn 2:28, 1Jn 3:2-note, 1Jn 3:3-note, see notes Titus 2:11; 12; 13;14)

Christ's last words to mankind in fact were "Behold, I am coming quickly." (Re 22:20-note).

Dwight Edwards exhorts all believers writing that "We live in the shadow of Christ's return and our lives should be governed by an attitude of anticipation. The man who is gripped by this perspective finds it difficult to squander his precious hours on earthly trinkets while millions of eternal souls still lie in the balance. Robert Moffatt put it well when he wrote, "We have all eternity to celebrate our victories but one short hour before sunset in which to win them."

Today in the Word notes that "Biblical prophecy provides some of the greatest encouragement and hope available to us today. Just as the Old Testament is saturated with prophecies concerning Christ’s first advent, so both testaments are filled with references to the second coming of Christ. One scholar has estimated that there are 1,845 references to Christ’s second coming in the Old Testament, where 17 books give it prominence. In the 260 chapters of the New Testament, there are 318 references to the second advent of Christ—an amazing 1 out of every 30 verses. Twenty-three of the 27 New Testament books refer to this great event. For every prophecy in the Bible concerning Christ’s first advent, there are 8 which look forward to His second!"

C H Spurgeon was once addressed by a young preacher once complained to Spurgeon that he did not have as big a church as he deserved. Spurgeon's replied with a question "How many do you preach to?" to which the young preacher replied "Oh, about a hundred". And what did Spurgeon say to him? Solemnly Spurgeon said "That will be enough to give account for on the day of judgment."

AND HIS KINGDOM: kai ten basileian autou: (Lk 19:12;15, 23:42; 2Pe 1:11, 17)

Other translations - When He appears to set up His Kingdom (NLT); Jesus Christ will come to rule the world (GWT); Jesus has a kingdom, and he is coming again (ICB); and establishes His kingdom (JNT); in the light of His appearance and His reign (Moffatt);

because He is coming to rule as King (TEV)

Kingdom (932) (basileia from basileus = a sovereign, king, monarch) denotes sovereignty, royal power, dominion and by metonymy (as in the present context) refers to the territory or people over whom a king rules.

The Kingdom of Heaven/God is the sphere in which God is acknowledged as King (In hearts giving Him obedience). In this sense (and as elaborated on below) the Kingdom has a spiritual aspect, a present physical aspect, and a future eternal aspect (beginning with the millennium, cf Mt 25:31,34), all of course depending on the context of the passage in which basileia is found. Paul is careful to remind us that the Kingdom of Heaven/God is not in observance of ordinances, external and material, but in the deeper matters of the heart, which are spiritual and essential (Ro 14:17-note)

Study uses of the "Kingdom" most of which refer to the Kingdom of Heaven/God. - 162x in 154v - Matt 3:2; 4:8, 17, 23; 5:3, 10, 19f; 6:10, 33; 7:21; 8:11f; 9:35; 10:7; 11:11f; 12:25f, 28; 13:11, 19, 24, 31, 33, 38, 41, 43ff, 47, 52; 16:19, 28; 18:1, 3f, 23; 19:12, 14, 23f; 20:1, 21; 21:31, 43; 22:2; 23:13; 24:7, 14; 25:1, 34; 26:29; Mark 1:15; 3:24; 4:11, 26, 30; 6:23; 9:1, 47; 10:14f, 23ff; 11:10; 12:34; 13:8; 14:25; 15:43; Luke 1:33; 4:5, 43; 6:20; 7:28; 8:1, 10; 9:2, 11, 27, 60, 62; 10:9, 11; 11:2, 17f, 20; 12:31f; 13:18, 20, 28f; 14:15; 16:16; 17:20f; 18:16f, 24f, 29; 19:11f, 15; 21:10, 31; 22:16, 18, 29f; 23:42, 51; John 3:3, 5; 18:36; Acts 1:3, 6; 8:12; 14:22; 19:8; 20:25; 28:23, 31; Rom 14:17; 1 Cor 4:20; 6:9f; 15:24, 50; Gal 5:21; Eph 5:5; Col 1:13; 4:11; 1 Thess 2:12; 2 Thess 1:5; 2 Tim 4:1, 18; Heb 1:8; 11:33; 12:28; Jas 2:5; 2 Pet 1:11; Rev 1:6, 9; 5:10; 11:15; 12:10; 16:10; 17:12, 17f

See also related discussion on the Kingdom of Heaven - 32x in 31v in the NAS - Matt 3:2; 4:17; 5:3, 10, 19f; 7:21; 8:11; 10:7; 11:11f; 13:11, 24, 31, 33, 44f, 47, 52; 16:19; 18:1, 3f, 23; 19:12, 14, 23; 20:1; 22:2; 23:13; 25:1) Kingdom of God - 66x in 55v in the NAS - Matt 12:28; 19:24; 21:31, 43; Mark 1:15; 4:11, 26, 30; 9:1, 47; 10:14f, 23ff; 12:34; 14:25; 15:43; Luke 4:43; 6:20; 7:28; 8:1, 10; 9:2, 11, 27, 60, 62; 10:9, 11; 11:20; 13:18, 20, 28f; 14:15; 16:16; 17:20f; 18:16f, 24f, 29; 19:11; 21:31; 22:16, 18; 23:51; John 3:3, 5; Acts 1:3; 8:12; 14:22; 19:8; 28:23, 31; Rom 14:17; 1 Cor 4:20; 6:9f; 15:50; Gal 5:21; Col 4:11; 2 Thess 1:5. (Offsite resources: Kingdom of GodKingdom Of God (Of Heaven), TheKingdom of Heaven)

Kingdom of Heaven - Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Kingdom of Heaven - Nave's Topical Bible

Kingdom of Heaven - American Tract Society Bible Dictionary

Kingdom, Kingdom of God, Kingdom of Heaven - Morrish Bible Dictionary

In this present age preceding the coming Messianic (see note Millennium) Kingdom, the Kingdom of God is the sphere in which God is acknowledged as King in hearts of those who give Him obedience. In summary, the Kingdom of God and Christ has a spiritual aspect, a present physical aspect, and a future eternal aspect.

This phrase in context refers to the kingdom that the Messiah will set up when He returns thus inaugurating the glorious righteous 1000 year reign of the Messiah. The kingdom now is the sphere in which, at any given time, Christ's rule is acknowledged. And so here we see two additional facts ("His appearing… His kingdom") the contemplation of which should stimulate Timothy (and us) to faithful proclamation of the gospel of God, that men might receive it and be saved from the wrath to come.

In Warren Wiersbe’s Meet Yourself in the Psalms, he tells about a frontier town where a horse bolted and ran away with a wagon carrying a little boy. Seeing the child in danger, a young man risked his life to catch the horse and stop the wagon. The child who was saved grew up to become a lawless man, and one day he stood before a judge to be sentenced for a serious crime. The prisoner recognized the judge as the man who, years before had saved his life; so he pled for mercy on the basis of that experience. But the words from the bench silenced his plea

Young man, then I was your savior (cf 2Ti 1:10-note); today I am your judge (cf He 9:27, 28-notes), and I must sentence you to be hanged

One day Jesus Christ will say to rebellious sinners,

During that long day of grace, I was the Savior, and I would have forgiven you. But today I am your Judge. Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire!” (Mt 25:41, Re 20:11, 12, 13,1 4, 15-see notes Rev 20:11; 12; 13; 14;15)

McGee sums this section up by noting that "Paul is saying, In view of the fact that you, Timothy, are going to stand before Him to have your life judged, this is what you are to do.” These instructions to Timothy are just as pertinent in our day as at the time they were given by the mouth of Paul. This is what God is saying to you and me right now." (McGee, J V: Thru the Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)

A W Tozer has a prayer in his chapter on "Holiness" (from "The Attributes of God") that is apropos in light of the truths in this last chapter of 2 Timothy:

Oh God, time is running, flying like a frightened bird. The bird of time is on the wing and has a little way to flutter. The wine of life is oozing drop by drop, and the leaves of life are falling one by one. Soon, before the Ineffable every man must appear to give an account for the deeds done in the body. Oh, Father, keep upon us a sense of holiness that we can’t sin and excuse it, but that repentance will be as deep as our lives. This we ask in Christ’s name. Amen.

For those of you who were raised in a more liturgical church Paul's phraseology probably recalls to your mind the familiar words from the Nicene Creed: (An excellent creed but "one baptism for the remission of sins" in my humble opinion does not refer to remission of sins vis-à-vis a man's work of being baptized into water for this act although clearly instructed by our Lord Jesus is more accurately interpreted as a symbolic picture and public proclamation of the Holy Spirit's supernatural work of baptizing believers into mystical union with Christ upon exercise of personal saving faith, the act of faith in Christ's finished work resulting in remission of sins and reckoning of Christ's righteousness to our spiritual account -- cf Gal 3:27, Ro 6:3, 4-see notes Ro 6:3; 6:4, Col 2:11, 12- notes)

Ray Pritchard applies this passage writing that…

For the preacher, these are awesome words because they tell us that God pays attention to what happens in the pulpit. Every pastor stands in the very presence of God as he delivers his message to his people. Someday he will give an account for what he has said week by week, sermon by sermon. There is a real sense in which the preacher has an audience of one—God. He first must preach so that the Lord is pleased with his message. If the Lord is pleased, it matters not what men say. If the Lord is not pleased, the applause of millions will make no difference…

… the pastor’s first priority must be the public ministry of the Word of God. Nothing else can be more important than this. And nothing else can take its place. A pastor may be an able administrator, a charming personality, a good fundraiser, a gifted counselor and a popular storyteller. He may be well-liked and even sought after in the community. All those things are well and good, and they are not to be despised. But the pastor must first of all be a man of the Word. In the early days of the church, a dispute arose between the Greek-speaking widows and the Aramaic-speaking widows in Jerusalem that threatened to consume all the time and energy of the apostles and take them away from more important tasks. Their solution was simple: “So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, ‘It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.’” That’s Acts 6:2, 3, 4. Taking care of the widows is important; it’s vital and necessary. If you were a Greek-speaking widow, and you hadn’t eaten in two days, nothing would matter to you more than food. Then as now, the church must care for its widows. But for the leaders, the ministry of the Word comes first. The pastor must give himself to prayer and the ministry of the Word. First things first!

Shortly after I came as your pastor in August 1989, we invited the three living former pastors back to preach at Calvary as part of our 75th anniversary celebration. That’s how I met John Emmans, who was the pastor here from 1952-1958. In those days the church was located a few blocks from here and was much smaller than it is now. It was called Madison Street Bible Church. Pastor Emmans was a great Bible preacher who loved to preach expository sermons through books of the Bible. When he came to the church, he was a young man and the leaders of the church were quite a bit older than he was. One of the elders was a man by the name of R. E. Nicholas. Mr. Nicholas was a fine businessman who is remembered as one of the developers of downtown Oak Park. He was also a godly man, an elder of this church, and he understood the principle of “First Things First.” Pastor Emmans told me that when he came to our church, the elders (led by Mr. Nicholas) gave him a sign to put on his office door that read, “Do not disturb. In study and in prayer.” They told him that they knew there would be many demands on his time, and they knew that it would be easy to get involved in peripheral matters that would drain his time and energy. Giving him the sign was a way of saying, “We want you to keep the main thing the main thing. Put this sign on your door and we’ll see that you are not disturbed. We want a pastor who studies and prays.”

God bless those elders. They had the right idea. And may I say that our elders today have the same idea. I know it’s very popular to talk about the pastor as the CEO of the church, but you won’t find that in the New Testament. The pastor is to be a shepherd and a teacher first and foremost. Our elders understand that whatever blessing we have experienced has come because for 88 years, this church has preached the Word, correcting, rebuking, encouraging, with patience and with careful instruction. As the 12th pastor of this church, I am happy to say that this church was preaching the Word long before I arrived on the scene 14 years ago this week. By God’s grace, it will continue until Jesus returns. (2 Timothy 4:1-5: Preach the Word!)

F B Meyer has the following homily on the Lord Jesus Christ, the soon coming righteous Judge…

Professor Rendel Harris reminds us that an early piece of Christian literature, called the Second Epistle of Clement, opens with these words: “Brethren, we ought to think of Jesus Christ as God, as the Judge of quick and dead. And we ought not to think meanly of our salvation; for when we think meanly of Him, meanly also do we expect to receive.” In the view of this holy soul there was a very deep and necessary connection between creed and character. Those who esteem Him most worthily will derive most from Him.

Large thoughts of Christ are necessary to holiness. — Unless we think of Christ as the Ideal Man, in whom there was no flaw or stain, how can we make Him the model of our daily life? Unless we think of Him as the Son of God, able to subdue all things to Himself, how can we dare to hope to become like Him? “I should die, O my Lord,” cried a saint in a moment of religious ecstasy, “if I thought that I should fail of loving Thee with all my heart.”

Large thoughts of Christ are necessary to prayer. — He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is the Rewarder. Bethink thee well before thou openest thy lips in the first entreaty, who He is whom thou addressest, and forthwith great and far-reaching petitions will naturally form themselves within thine heart.

Large thoughts of Christ are necessary for Christian work. — The solid belief that Christ has redeemed our race, and that the Father has given Him the kingdom over all the world, is absolutely necessary before there can be any enthusiastic effort on our part to make Him King and secure for Him actually the kingdom, the power, and the glory. (Meyer, F. B. Our Daily Homily)

"He shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead: Whose kingdom shall have no end"