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The perfect teacher

First posted: October 17, 2004

Last updated: October 19, 2004

 

This article deals with the 5 stages that a teacher must go through, according to Scripture, to become a "perfected teacher". We will also see the role that each of the 5 ministries (from Ephesians 4:11) plays in the development of a teacher. 

 

Index

Teacher Tim

Preach the Word

Be insistent

Reprove

Rebuke

Exhort

A final summary

 

 

 

Teacher Tim

In 2 Timothy chapter 4, Paul says the following to Timothy:

 

"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." (2 Timothy 4:2)

 

Notice that the passage above has 5 instructions:

  1. Preach the word

  2. Be instant, in season and out of season

  3. Reprove

  4. Rebuke

  5. Exhort

 

The list ends with the words "longsuffering" and "doctrine". The word translated as "doctrine" is the Greek word didache, which literally means "teaching"; English words such as "didactics" are derived from this word. It seems, therefore, that the list above is related to the teaching ministry.

 

There are 11 different Greek words that appear in the New Testament that are directly related to "teaching":

 

Greek word Meaning
didasko to teach
didaskalos teacher
didaktos teachings, precepts
didache teaching
didaktikos apt to teach
didaskalia teaching
heterodidaskaleo teaching of a different nature
theodidaktos taught of God
kalodidaskalos teacher of purposeful things
nomodidaskalos teacher of the law
pseudodidaskalos false, deceitful teacher

 

When one searches these 11 words throughout the 27 books of the New Testament, one can find that they appear in 20 of the 27 books. Here are the 20 books, ordered by "appearance ratio", meaning that the books where these words appear most frequently are shown first (the appearance ratio was calculated as the number of verses in the book divided by the number of teacher-related words)...

 

Ranking Book # Verses in the book # of teacher-related words Appearance ratio
1 2 John 13 3 4.3333
2 1 Timothy 113 17 6.6471
3 2 Timothy 83 8 10.3750
4 Mark* 666 35 19.0286
5 Colossians 95 4 23.7500
6 Luke 1147 36 31.8611
7 1 John 105 3 35.0000
8 Matthew 1071 29 36.9310
9 John** 868 20 43.4000
10 Acts 1007 23 43.7826
11 2 Thessalonians 47 1 47.0000
12 Hebrews 303 6 50.5000
13 Ephesians 155 3 51.6667
14 Romans 433 8 54.1250
15 1 Corinthians 437 8 54.6250
16 2 Peter 61 1 61.0000
17 Revelation 404 5 80.8000
18 1 Thessalonians 89 1 89.0000
19 James 108 1 108.0000
20 Galatians 149 1 149.0000
 

Totals

7931 215 36.8884

* We excluded Mark 16:9-20 from our verse count and our word search because these verses do not appear in many Greek manuscripts. Other manuscripts end in verse 8, but add 2 extra sentences that appear in some translations of the Bible. We believe that the "abrupt" ending of the book of Mark in verse 8 makes a great deal of spiritual sense when studied closely. However, it seems as if a few believers in the early days of the Church must have thought that such an ending was too abrupt for their liking, which led them to add verses 9 through 20 (a total of 12 verses). I was surprised to see that the verse count for Mark becomes "666" when the suspicious verses are removed. There is a powerful spiritual reason why this is so.

 

** We excluded John 7:53-8:11 (the story of the adulterous woman) from the verse count and our word search because this story does not appear in most of the Greek manuscripts from which the book of John has been translated. If you look closely, you will notice that the narration that ends in verse 52 of chapter 7 continues in verse 12 of chapter 8, as if they had been contiguous verses in the original text written by John. Many believe that the story of the adulterous woman was written separately and artificially inserted later on between verses 7:52 and 8:12. When the story of the adulterous woman is studied closely, many spiritual inconsistencies with other passages of Scripture crop up. We believe that the story was added as a human effort to make Jesus look "humane" and "compassionate". Ironically, the story of the adulterous woman is an example of the adulteration of God's Word by man! Notice that the story is 12 verses long, and that is also the number of verses that we had to remove from the Gospel of Mark when doing our word search.

 

Notice from the list above that the book with the strongest "appearance ratio" of teacher-related words is 2 John, with 4.33 verses per appearance. However, we must consider that 2 John is a very short book with only 13 verses, and that the 3 appearances of teacher-related words occur in 2 contiguous verses: verses 9 and 10. There is a prophetic reason why 2 John ended up in first place on our table above, but we will mention this reason later on in this article.

 

Excluding the short book of 2 John, we can see from the table that the 2 books in the New Testament with the strongest "appearance ratios" of teacher-related words are the books of 1 and 2 Timothy. In only 196 combined verses, the apostle Paul used teacher-related words a total of 25 times; compare this with the book of Matthew, for example where teacher-related words appear 29 times in 1071 verses!!! This shows that Paul's letters to Timothy had a strong teacher orientation, showing, therefore, that Timothy had a strong teacher calling. Besides being a fledgling evangelist (2 Timothy 4:5), Timothy was born a teacher.

 

We can now safely say that the list of 5 items in 2 Timothy 4:2 mentioned at the top of this section are not only related to the teaching ministry but are, in fact, a roadmap of the 5 stages of development that a teacher must go through in order to become a "perfected teacher". We will now study each stage in detail.

 

Preach the Word

The word "preach" in 2 Timothy 4:2 was translated from the Greek word kerysso, which literally means "to herald". In the old days, heralds were officers of the king who proclaimed important information from the king to his citizens; this information included the king's laws and decrees. This means that heralds were the first to learn the new laws and were in charge of sharing them with the rest of the citizens. The word "herald", according to Webster's Dictionary, also has the connotation of a "harbinger" or "precursor".

 

God's heralds in the spiritual realm are His apostles. Why? Because, as we have said before, apostles are "trailblazers" imbued with a special wisdom anointing. The apostolic anointing allows believers to discover new spiritual principles and laws. Obviously, these principles and laws are not "new" in the sense that they did not exist before; they are "new" in the sense that they existed but were unknown. Isaac Newton's 3 laws of physics, for example, had been in operation in the physical world for thousands of years, but Newton served as an "apostle" in the world of physics who was imbued by God with wisdom to discover these pre-existing laws and proclaim them to others. Maxwell's 3 laws of electromagnetism had been in operation for thousands of years in the physical realm, but Maxwell served as an "apostle" who discovered them under a wisdom anointing and made them a matter of public knowledge.

 

Pigeons are the "heralds" of the animal realm. As you may know, pigeons have the ability to return to their homes even if they are hundreds of miles away from it, and this is why pigeons were widely used as messengers, or "heralds", even during World Wars 1 and 2. The word in Italian for pigeon is "colomba", so it is not surprising that the trailblazing navigator who discovered America was named Christopher Columbus. In the realm of navigation, Columbus was an "apostle". He discovered a continent previously unknown to Europeans and made it a matter of public knowledge.

 

In 2 Timothy 4:2, Paul told Timothy to preach (or "herald") the Word. The word "word" was translated from the Greek word logos, which in Scripture is inherently connected to right-handed concepts such as truth, judgment, law, and justice (i.e.- "righteousness"):

 

"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)

[The words "a discerner" were translated from the Greek word kritikos, which literally means, "judging"]

 

"27Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: 28For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth." (Romans 9:27-28)

[The word "work" that appears twice in verse 28 was mistranslated from the Greek word logos, so both words should really say "word" instead of "work". Notice how this passage prophesies that, in the latter days, God will raise up a remnant through whom He will complete His word of judgment and righteousness. The word "short" that appears twice in verse 28 was mistranslated from the Greek word suntemno, which literally means, "to cut in pieces with a few decisive strokes". God is about to bring His spiritual sword of logos judgment upon His Church to execute decisive and punishing blows on unrighteousness so that His Glory and Purposes may be manifested in the latter-day remnant. A similar passage also appears in Isaiah 10:22-23.]

 

"For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed" (Romans 15:18)

[Notice how an impartation of God's logos produces spiritual "obedience"]

 

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." (Colossians 3:16)

[Notice how God's logos is associated with His wisdom. Notice also how God's logos has the capability to "admonish". The Greek word from which "admonish" was translated is noutetheo, which is derived from the words nous, meaning "mind" and tithemi, meaning "to establish". In other words, the "admonishing" that this verse refers to implies the establishing and instilling of God's spiritual laws and principles into our minds (or the minds of other people). This is done through the releasing of God's logos.]

 

"13For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." (Hebrews 5:13-14)

[Notice that those who are spiritually immature are not able to "digest" the logos of "righteousness" or "justice". In other words, believers who are "spiritual babies" love to hear gooey words such as "love", "mercy", and "compassion", but get spiritual indigestion when they hear words such as "judgment" and "justice", because they want their "gospel" to be a "gospel" of spiritual "goodies", not a Gospel of truth and justice. They like a "God" who gives nice presents to his church-going children, but hate the God of justice and judgment, the God of consuming fire, i.e.- the true God of the Bible.]

 

[The word "discern" in verse 14 was translated from the Greek word diakrisis, which is derived from the words dia and krisis; the word dia has the connotation of "channeling an act", while the word krisis literally means "judgment". In other words, diakrisis means the "channeling of judgments". Those who are spiritually mature are "channelers" of God's judgments on Earth. It is through God's judgments that the "good" is separated from the "bad" so that the "bad" may be destroyed and the "good" preserved and strengthened.]

 

[The word "use" in verse 14 was translated from the Greek word hexis, which refers to a habit acquired through repetitive practice. In other words, God wants His children to exercise His judgments and to make a habit of it. It is through the exercising of judgments that a believer grows in the Spirit, just as a kid in the natural realm develops as he or she is allowed to exercise his or her thinking and judgment in daily life. When pastors prevent believers from judging, they are stunting their spiritual growth.]

 

"Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures." (James 1:18)

 

"And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful." (Revelation 21:5)

[Notice how God's logos has an inherent core of "truth". When God's logos is released, It carries an impartation of truth. When truth comes in contact with falsehood and unrighteousness, it automatically, by its very nature, confronts that falsehood and unrighteousness, bringing it to light (John 3:19-21, John 1:1,9).]

 

From the passages above that speak of God's logos, we can see how His logos is associated with the execution of judgments so that justice and truth may be established. God's logos are God's laws. When you release His logos into the atmosphere, It acts like a Sword that brings judgment against all things that are contrary to His truth. As we said at the top of this section, heralds are messengers of the king who publicly proclaim the king's laws. In the same way, an apostle is a herald who receives an understanding of God's spiritual laws and principles and makes them known to fellow believers. It is through a wisdom impartation that apostles can discover "new" spiritual principles ("new" to us, but not to the spiritual realm), and, as they proclaim these newfound logos, judgments are unleashed into the atmosphere:

 

"To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God" (Ephesians 3:10)

[Notice that it is His Church that God has appointed as the announcer of His wisdom to the principalities and powers in the air so that judgments may be unleashed against them and against those on Earth who help to maintain their power in the air.]

 

In many passages of Scripture (though not all), "honey" is associated with "wisdom to judge":

 

"Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good." (Isaiah 7:15)

 

"13My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste: 14So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off." (Proverbs 24:13-14)

 

Interestingly enough, the word for "honey" in Hebrew, debash, is very similar to the word for "word", dabar; and, in Greek, the word for "honeycomb", kerion, is very similar to the word kerysso meaning "to herald". Therefore, we can say that the apostolic anointing acts as a honeycomb where honey is produced for the Body of Christ.

 

From all of the above, we can say that the first step to the development of a teacher is to give him or her an impartation of apostolic wisdom. To develop a physics teacher, for example, the teacher needs to be exposed to the laws and principles of physics discovered by "apostles" such as Newton, Maxwell, and Einstein. As we shared in a previous article, "teaching" in Scripture is associated with the concept of "teeth", since teachers have an innate ability to "chew" and "cut up" the information produced by others, and they are endowed with the Spirit of Perfection, through Whom they can elaborate methods that organize the new information and make it easier for others to digest. While apostles discover "new wisdom", teachers organize that wisdom and make it easier for others to learn. In a sense, a teacher's ability to organize wisdom is useless if he or she is not being imparted true apostolic wisdom.

 

If you are a teacher, you must long for apostolic wisdom, and, if you do, you can rest assured that the Lord will set things into motion so that the wisdom that you long for gets to you, one way or another. However, if a teacher is satisfied with teaching baby-milk doctrine and human traditions, the Lord will cut that teacher off from His river of apostolic wisdom, because God does not throw apostolic pearls of wisdom revelation at Girgashite pigs (Matthew 7:6).

 

In most congregations around the world, teachers are not being exposed to true apostolic wisdom. Instead, they are being exposed to human theology, dead historical information, and religious traditions. As we have said before, the spiritual counterparts of apostles in the triangle of evil are the Jebusites. When the true apostolic wisdom is rejected, it is always replaced by Jebusite laws and principles of human legalism and regulation. This is why teachers in congregations around the world are teaching such simple, baby-milk doctrine, watered down with Jebusite regulations and traditions passed on by generations of undiscerning believers who are more interested in following tradition than in finding the truth. After more than 2000 years, the Bible continues to be a book full of obscure passages whose spiritual power remains untapped. In these latter days, however, God will dry out the dirty river of Jebusite traditions, and a spirit of true apostolic wisdom will be manifested on Earth. Over the next 10 to 20 years, a mighty river of apostolic revelation will begin to flow forth over the entire Body of Christ. During these last days, the Lord will open the eyes of believers to the wisdom and prophetic power hidden in the Bible. Teachers around the Earth will finally be preaching fresh, vibrant, life-transforming Word that will help fellow believers to grow spiritually and to manifest God's Glory on Earth.

 

Be insistent

The second instruction that Paul gave Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:2 was to "be instant, in season and out of season". The word "instant" was translated from the Greek word ephestemi, which comes from the words epi, meaning "over", and histemi, meaning "to establish, to place". Literally, ephestemi means, "to place over", and has the connotation -- in 2 Timothy 4:2 -- of someone standing over someone else, as when coach stays on a disciple's case,  insisting until the disciple gets it "right".

 

As we have shared before, evangelists are strong-willed people who have a hard time taking "no" for an answer. Evangelists, in a sense, have the profile of a "persistent salesman or woman" who insists until the client yields and buys. This means that, in order to be an effective teacher, one needs an evangelistic impartation. Whereas apostolic wisdom feeds the teacher's mind, the strong will of an evangelist feeds the teacher's heart.

 

Evangelists are spiritual conquerors, and teachers must see the student's "ignorance" or "non-knowledge" as a spiritual battle that must be won. Evangelists are anointed to liberate multitudes of souls from the captivity of spiritual giants, and teachers must see the teaching process as the redemption of captive souls who are unable to understand certain spiritual things because of the bondages placed by Amorite giants on their wills. This requires persistence, self-sacrifice, and longsuffering:

 

"24And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will." (2 Timothy 2:24-26)

 

Whereas the apostolic impartation helps teachers to break the bondages in the disciple's mind, the evangelistic impartation helps them to break the bondages in the disciple's heart. Evangelists are warriors, and teachers must see the teaching process as spiritual warfare.

 

The word translated as "season" in the phrase "in season and out of season" in 2 Timothy 4:2 is the Greek word kairos, which literally means "time". As opposed to the Greek word chronos, kairos does not refer to chronological time but rather to "seasons of opportunity". In other words, an evangelist must be willing to be insistent, even at "inopportune" times (I guess telemarketers have a Biblical reason to be so inopportune!). God may prompt an evangelist to insist on something even when He knows that the spiritual door of opportunity is still closed and the person will definitely refuse the offer. Why? Because our Lord is a sower. Even if the person refuses the offer, the evangelist's obedient insistence serves as seed that will lead to the kairos door of opportunity opening up at a future time. After receiving an evangelistic impartation, a teacher becomes willing to at times be insistent on teaching his or her disciples certain things, even when the disciples' minds are not yet open to understand them. Why? Because he or she understands that such "out of season" teaching serves as seed that will germinate at a future time:

 

"31For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day. 32But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him." (Mark 9:31-32)

 

"This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them." (John 10:6)

 

Reprove

The word "reprove" in 2 Timothy 4:2 was translated from the Greek word elegcho. This word has the connotation in Scripture of reprimanding someone for committing known sin, i.e.- people who know very well that they are sinning but who unrepentantly persist in their sin. Examples of passages where the word elegcho appears are shown below:

 

"19But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, 20Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison." (Luke 3:19-20)

[Herod had decided to live with his brother's wife. Obviously, Herod knew that he was sinning when he was doing this, and John the Baptist reproved him for it.]

 

"For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved" (John 3:20)

[This speaks of people who avoid the light because, deep in their hearts, they know that their attitudes are wrong, but are unwilling to admit it.]

 

"11And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light." (Ephesians 5:11-13)

 

"12One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. 13This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith" (Titus 1:12-13)

[The word "rebuke" was translated from elegchon, so it should really say "reprove". Notice that Paul did not reprove the prophet for calling the Cretans "liars", "evil beasts", and "idle bellies" (the word "slow" should really say "idle"). In today's "compassionate" Church, an uproar would erupt if a prophet was known to be calling the people of a given country such names, and I can safely say this because I personally know one such prophet who has suffered greatly because of it. And just as the prophet in the verse above, the prophet that I know is right in saying what he is saying, and the Lord has shown his words of judgment against that nation to be God-inspired, because they have come to pass and continue coming to pass. Notice that Paul not only abstained from reproving the prophet in the passage above; he supported his words, and even encouraged Titus to do the same.]

 

"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." (Revelation 3:19)

[Again, the word "rebuke" was translated from elegchon, so it should really say, "reprove". Notice how this passage associates "reproving" with people who are unrepentant about their sin. Notice also how "reproving" is associated with love.]

 

"15Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican." (Matthew 18:15-17)

[The phrase "tell him his fault" was translated from the word elegchon, so it should really say, "reprove him". If those who are against believers making judgments were correct, how could we obey the commandment given in this passage? If you go to someone and say, "you sinned in such and such way", aren't you judging that person? Aren't you declaring a sentence of "guilty"? The "anti-judgment" people in the Church are too proud to understand that their position is contrary to Scripture.]

 

[Notice that Jesus did not say, "if your brother sins against you, forgive him". It is against God's word to forgive someone who does not repent (see Luke 17:3-4). Remember, even our Lord God, who is Love, did not forgive us of our sins until we repented. The right attitude, therefore, is to confront the person (spiritually or literally), not to forgive the person. Why? Because our truth-based love for that person will not want the other person to stay in his or her sinful condition. If we simply forgive and ignore their sin, we will be doing the other person more harm than good. If the person sincerely repents, however, we are called to forgive, just as God forgave us. We must be wary, however, of half-hearted repentance; in such cases, we must continue to press in the Spirit until full repentance takes place. In some cases, certain people are so stubborn in their sin that they go past the point of no return. In such cases, as is shown in verse 17 above (and in 1 John 5:16-17), we must spiritually cast off that person as a "heathen" and a "publican". After God cast off Saul, all prayer in favor of Saul's restoration was useless, and even counterproductive (1 Samuel 16:1).]

 

If you read the 3 verses prior to the passage quoted above (Matthew 18:12-14), you will find the parable of the man who leaves the 99 sheep and goes after the 1 lost sheep. This is no coincidence. In verses 15 through 17 quoted above, the Lord was describing how a man goes after a lost sheep to redeem it from unrighteousness. Since sheep are being mentioned here, we can infer that one of the most important things that a shepherd (i.e.- a pastor) must do is to reprove the sheep when they stray away from the paths of justice and righteousness. This is why Psalm 23, the psalm of the Shepherd, says the following:

 

"1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." (Psalm 23:1-4)

 

The word "restoreth" in verse 3 above was mistranslated from the Hebrew word shuwb, which literally means, "to return, to turn back". Therefore, it speaks of someone repenting from his or her sins and converting back unto God. Verse 3 is not speaking of God "refreshing" our souls; instead it is speaking of God reproving us so that our souls may turn back unto Him. As we said in a previous article, verse 4 above speaks of God's iron rod of correction. Shepherds (i.e.- "pastors") have a calling to execute iron judgments to reprove those who unrepentingly commit willful sin. Pastors are endowed by God with this ability to "reprove", even though most pastors refuse to use this gift.

 

Since pastors are the "reproving experts", the fact that Paul instructs teacher Timothy to "reprove" means that teachers need to have a pastoral impartation that enables them to reprove attitudes rooted in the disciple's heart and emotions that prevent him or her from learning new spiritual principles. Those of you who have taught teenagers or young children know that, at times, a teacher needs to "get tough" with rowdy students when their emotions and youthful self-will get in the way of their learning process. Here is where a pastoral impartation to "reprove" becomes very important.

 

Rebuke

The word translated as "rebuke" in 2 Timothy 4:2 is the Greek word epitimao. Strangely enough, this word has two very "different" meanings. One of them is "to honor upon" and the other is "to rebuke". Why would the same word have such "dissimilar" meanings? To find the answer, we have to see how this word is used in Scripture.

 

In Matthew chapter 8, the Spirit declares the following:

 

"23And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. 24And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. 25And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 26And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. 27But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him! 28And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way." (Matthew 8:23-28)

 

As we have shared before, this passage speaks of a spiritual battle against Girgashite spirits who were trying to win by robbing Jesus and the disciples of their "peace of mind". Notice that, in verse 26, Jesus arose and "rebuked the winds". The word "rebuked" was translated from the word epitimao mentioned above, and "winds" was translated from the Greek word anemos, from which English words such as "animal" and "animate" are derived. Based on passages such as Genesis 2:7, 1 Corinthians 15:45, Revelation 16:3, and James 3:4, it can be inferred that anemos speaks of spiritual forces that produce strong agitations in the soul.

 

The word anemos also appears in the following passage, translated as "wind" once again:

 

"That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive" (Ephesians 4:14)

 

The word "doctrine" was translated from didaskalia, which, as we said at the top of this article, is better translated as "teaching". In other words, the verse above speaks of "winds of false, deceitful teachings".

 

In previous articles, we have shared how teachers who are not led of the Spirit tend to become Girgashites. Therefore, we can safely say that, when the Lord rebuked the winds in Matthew 8:26, He was rebuking Girgashite winds of false teachings that work to agitate the soul based on its weaknesses.

 

It is worth noting that the name "Timothy" comes from the Greek word timotheos, which means "honoring God" (both epitimao and timotheos are derived from the same word, timao). Since Timothy was a teacher, we can now conclude from all of the above that teachers are anointed by God to rebuke winds of false teachings. In a sense, we can say that teachers are the best "rebukers". They have the ability to silence Girgashite winds that try to agitate the minds of disciples, preventing them from thinking clearly and understanding what is being taught.

 

Whereas the first three instructions of 2 Timothy 4:2 speak of impartations from other ministries on the teacher, the fourth instruction of "rebuking" speaks of the reinforcement of the teacher's inherent gifts.

 

The reason why the word epitimao can mean "to honor upon" and "rebuke" at the same time means that rebuking implicitly involves reminding people of their higher calling. As we have shared in a previous article, Girgashites are people who try to find "completeness" in their earthliness and forsake their spiritual callings because the price is "too inconvenient" for them. When one rebukes Girgashites, one must remind them of their spiritual nature and make them see that living as an earthly, spiritless soul (i.e.- an "animal") represents a devaluation of their lives. No one finds it reprehensible for a pig to roll around in the mud, but it is reprehensible for a human being to do so, because she or he has a spirit being with a higher calling. To rebuke a Girgashite means to make the person honor or value him or herself; one must place their honor or value "over" them while they are rolling in the mud and remind them that they are too valuable to be dwelling "down there" in a meaningless, earthly existence. This is why the Greek word for "rebuke" can also mean "to honor upon".

 

Exhort

The word "exhort" in 2 Timothy 4:2 was translated from the Greek word parakaleo, which comes from the words para, meaning "besides", and kaleo, meaning "to call". In Scripture, parakaleo is strongly associated with the idea of God reminding us of our calling so that we may pursue it. The ministry most related to reminding fellow believers of their spiritual calling in life is the prophetic ministry. This connection between parakaleo exhortation and the prophetic ministry is confirmed by passages like the following:

 

"And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them" (Acts 15:32)

[Prophets have a natural tendency to "speak many words". Words tend to flow out of them because they allow their emotions to flow in the freedom of the Spirit.]

 

"And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus" (Acts 4:36)

 

The word "consolation" above is a mistranslation of parakaleo, and should really be translated as "exhortation" (not only in this verse but in most verses where the word "consolation" appears). The name "Barnabas" is a combination of the Aramaic words bar (meaning "son"), and nebiy (meaning "prophet"). Notice that, even though "Barnabas" literally means "son of the prophet" in Aramaic, the writer of Acts translated it as "son of exhortation". This shows how being a prophet and being an "exhorter" are spiritually equivalent. Prophets are visionaries who remind others of God's vision for their lives. They are the ultimate exhorters.

 

Therefore, we can say that Paul's instruction to Timothy to be an exhorter implies that teachers need a prophetic impartation. A teacher who simply limits him or herself to transmit "lessons" to the disciples and forgets to remind them of their prophetic calling in life runs the risk of turning the lessons he or she has shared with them into meaningless information. The Lord does not give us information in order to fill our heads and feel smarter. He gives us "information" for a purpose, and, it's in the pursuit of His purpose that the "information" we receive from Him comes alive and yields its complete fruits.

 

As we have shared in our previous article, Girgashites hate prophets. Besides all the reasons we shared in our previous article, another reason for this "animosity" is the fact that Girgashites, who are sold on the value of temporality, are people with a strong desire not to die, and are very fearful of death, because it represents the end of the temporality basket in which they have placed all their eggs; prophets, on the other hand, are the kamikaze squad in God's army; they love to shed their lives in self-sacrifice for causes they believe in, meaning that they are very much willing to die, which is the opposite of a Girgashite. As we have also said before, teachers who stray from the Spirit tend to become Girgashites, meaning that teachers have a natural tendency to reject the prophetic anointing. Therefore, the prophetic impartation involved in being an "exhorter" is the most difficult one and requires a "quantum leap of light" on the teacher's part. He or she must be willing to shed all Girgashite tendencies and become a prophet who allows his or her emotions to supersede natural thinking; he or she must be willing to become a prophet who pursues God's vision, even at the price of great temporary losses. When a teacher reaches this stage and becomes a prophetic teacher, the transformation is complete, and he or she becomes "a perfected teacher".

 

Near the beginning of this article, we mentioned that the book of 2 John has the highest "verse density" of teacher-related words in the New Testament. The spiritual reason for this is the fact that the writer of 2 John (i.e.- John) was a prophet. The fact that one of his letters (2 John) has the highest verse density of teacher-related words and another of his letters (1 John) has the 7th highest density is a beautiful illustration by the Holy Spirit of how the prophetic impartation marks the "perfection" or "completion" of the teaching ministry (the number "7" in Scripture represents "perfection" or  "completion", since the Lord completed His work in 7 days in chapters 1 and 2 of Genesis).

 

A final summary

We can now summarize the 5 stages that a teacher must go through in the following table:

 

Stage # Ministry impartation 2 Timothy 4:2 action Effect on teacher Effect on teacher's disciples

1

Apostolic Preach the Word The teacher learns new laws and principles Their mental bondages are loosed
2 Evangelistic Insist in season and out of season The teacher becomes a warrior Their heart bondages are loosed
3 Pastoral Reprove The teacher becomes a corrector Willful sin in their lives that hinders their learning is removed
4 Teaching Rebuke The teacher can silence winds of false teachings Mind confusion caused by spirits of false teaching is removed
5 Prophetic Exhort The teacher becomes a visionary  Their emotional bondages are loosed, and they are stirred to pursue God's prophetic vision for their lives