The Apostle Paul's dilemma.

God's provision for his future responsibility


Paul's First Commission

1. Following Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus, God gave him his first commission. This took the Good News of the first Advent of The Messiah, the prophesied King of Israel, firstly to the Jews, and when they were not wholehearted in their acknowledgement, to the Nations, far and wide in the known world of that time. At the end of this first commission, Paul records: 'I have finished my course'[Acts 20:24 and 2Tim 4:7], it had lasted from 32ad to about 65ad, some 33 years.

2. Although many of the Jews received this proclamation of Salvation and the establishment of God's Kingdom in Israel, many did not. There were very few Gentiles who even noticed what was going on at the time. This action of God is illustrated by Paul's statement to the Roman church, concerning the Olive Tree representing Israel, saying: 'If a SMALL NUMBER of the branches were broken off, and you being a wild olive tree were graffed in among them'. Thus the great majority of the church members during the time recorded in Acts, were Jews. Most of the Jewish nation rejected their Messiah so, in 62ad God took from them their Spiritual perception [Acts 28:27]. As a Nation, they could no longer act as the source of Salvation to the world ['Salvation is of The Jews'. John 4:22]. This responsibility was given to The Nations, as we now experience, ['The Salvation of God is commissioned to the Nations' Acts 28:28].

The Last Days 

3. The record of The Acts Period describes the time when all the Jewish Apostles were taking the Good News throughout the World. They recognised that it was the time of the prophecies of The Last Days, the prime concern of which is The Children of Israel and their Kingdom whose king is enthroned in heaven [Isaiah 66:1]. Gabriel told Daniel the prophet that this period would last for 70weeks of years, ending when that determined shall be poured upon the desolator. Details of this period are scattered throughout the whole of The Bible and refer to the time leading up to the second advent of Their Messiah. The loss of Spiritual perception, brought the events of the Last Days to a halt in 62ad.  Subsequently, God revealed His secret intention of blessing all the nations with a previously hidden Administration of His Grace.

New instructions and encouragement 

4. Following this change, which also affected all the churches of the time, Paul gave new instructions to both Timothy and Titus regarding their order. No longer could members of a church expect God to choose their elders by lot, they must be chosen by intelligent assessment of the character of potential members for Eldership. Because of this great change, Timothy, being young at heart, became despondent because the Spiritual Kingdom, which all Jews hoped for was no longer present and its potential would not be fulfilled at that time. He was in need of Paul's mature encouragement, which caused him to write again, telling him to stir up the gift which is in you, an indication that the Christians of that time were not deprived of their Gifts, using them until their death.

Paul's dilemma At this time, God offered Paul the opportunity to 'depart (Greek: analuO) and be with Christ'. It would not have been surprising had Paul accepted this, but he had great concern and love for the Christians at Philippi [Phi 1:24 & 4:1]. He wrote to them saying that he had chosen 'to abide and continue with you all, for your advancement and joy of faith'. It is to our great advantage to-day that he abided with them and was able to take up the following challenges. His first commission having ended, he was at this time, no longer an Apostle [Phil 1:1], but was able to relate and discuss all his thoughts with the 'like minded' Timothy who had returned to him at his request in 64/65ad. [2Timothy 4:9].

The challenge. Part 1 

5. Paul was severely challenged to emulate His Saviour by having a mind 'to know Him and the Power of His resurrection, the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death'. In order to achieve this he recognised that all he held dear, in relation to his Israelitish place and authority, must now be regarded as waste.

6. This trauma of mind was caused partly by his desire to achieve a very special resurrection. Why did he need this, when he had taught that he did not expect to die?.......'Lo! A mystery I tell you, WE shall not all die'[1Cor. 15:51]. He had expected to live until the Second Advent..... 'Then WE the living who remain.....will be caught away to meet The Lord in the air'[1Thes 4:17] These promises were made to be fulfilled at the end of  The Last Days, at the second Advent. but were now postponed following God's removal of Spiritual authority and perception from the Jews in 62ad. [This postponement is recognised by the use of the future tense, when both Peter(2Pet 3:3) and Paul(2Tim 3:1) referred to The Last Days in letters written after 62ad. When referring to these days before this date, Letters (James 5:1, Heb 1:1) and the Acts Record (Acts 2:16) use the present tense, thus acknowledging that those days were present at that time.]

7. The fulfilment of the Kingdom of Heaven in Israel, with all its blessings, would not now appear in Paul's lifetime or that of those Christians generated during the first part of The Last Days. He then had to consider himself as one who would be sleeping at The Lord's Second Advent.........'those also who sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him[1Thes 4:14]. His loving concern for the Christians at Philippi, included his encouragement for them to emulate his motivation to attain the earlier resurrection described as the:

'out resurrection out from among the dead'. [Phil 3:11. gk: tEn exanastasin tEn ek nekrOn]

He and they would then be enabled to experience all the Spiritual blessings which were promised in the coming continuation of the period of The Kingdom of Heaven in Israel, a period which fulfilled the remaining years of The Last Days and the remaining years of the 70weeks of Gabriel's prophesy to Daniel. He therefore sought to attain this very special resurrection, together with the Philippian Christians, which would bring him back to life at the moment that The Last Days recommenced, seven years before the realisation of the Hope of all those who had given their allegence to The Lord Jesus Christ during this present Administration of His grace.

The challenge. Part 2. 

8. Paul had another purpose also, expressed in these words: 'if also I may grasp firmly[katalambanO] that for which also I was grasped firmly[katalambanO] by Christ Jesus'[Phil 3:12]. This is the prize which he defines as 'the on high[anO] calling of God in Christ Jesus'[Phil 3:14.......anO klEseOs]. At that time also, the Philippian Christians were encouraged to attain this 'on high divine selection'.....'as many as therefore are Spiritually mature should be of this mind'[Phil 3:15]. That Paul achieved this prize is clear from his encouraging words to the Christians in 'Ephesus', written around the years 69ad.........

'That God may be giving you, in accord with the wealth of His Glory, to be made staunch with power, through His Spirit, in the inner man, should be strong enough to grasp firmly[katalambanO], with all the saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, to know, also, the knowledge surpassing love of The Christ, in order that you may be completed for the entire complement of God. [Ephesians 3:16-19].

'Since therefore you were raised with Christ, the things above(anO) seek, where The Christ sits at the right hand of God; the things above(anO) mind' [Colossians 3:1-2]

This superlative condition therefore defines that which he sought as: 'the prize of the on high[anO] divine selection'......

Paul's Second commission Having successfully fulfilled these challenges, Paul received a new commission to

 'Evangelise among the Nations the untraceable riches of The Christ, even to enlighten all as to the Administration of The Grace of God, hidden away from The Eons, in God' [Ephesians 3:9]. 

Previously, the Colossian Christians, together with those referred to in his letter to the 'Ephesians', had freely entered this new Administration following the wide distribution of The Gospel written by the Apostle John, described by Paul when he writes:

'which ye heard of before in The Word of Truth of the Glad Tidings, which are come to you, even as in all the world, and are bringing forth fruit......the Grace of God in Truth'. [Ephesians 1:13]

9. We to-day enjoy this new Administration of God's Grace, having a personal responsibility and relationship with God, worshipping in individual freedom from many of the Jewish church characteristics which were given for the building up of the Kingdom of God in Israel: The Gifts of The Spirit, The Lord's Supper, Rules for Head Covering, Apostles and Elders chosen by God etc.etc. We are told: approve those things which carry through (diapheronta) [Phil.1:10]. This present Administration, which is not concerned with the Kingdom in Israel, is therefore revealed in Paul's last letters to those Christians in Asia whom he had never met [Eph 1:15. Col 1:4]. Paul records that the previous churches in Asia, chief of which was that at Ephesus, had 'turned away from him'[2Tim 1:15], not willing to recognise the Godly authority by which Paul had announced the Spiritual change upon Israel. They wished to continue with the order which was practised in the various churches during the period of The Acts of The Apostles. They were seeking to manifest counterfeit gifts ['earthly things'...Greek ta epigeia], as many do to-day. Paul wept over their condition of mind [Phil 3:18-20]. They were not willing to accept the Godly revelation of this new Administration of His Grace, which constitutes Jesus Christ head over all the outcalled, which is His body.....even you.[Eph 1:23 to 2:1] making Him The One Mediator

The Completion of this Administration 

10. Seven years after the change was announced, in 69/70ad Jerusalem and The Temple were destroyed. The Palestinian Jews were scattered. However, at a time of God's choosing, this condition imposed upon the Jews will end and His promises for their future will be fulfilled. The order of the churches established during The Acts period, and the Spiritual perception of the Jews will be re-established. The period of The Last Days will recommence and The House of Judah will be told to 'arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee'. When this happens, this Administration of God's Grace will end and the Christian our Hope will be manifest: 'Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in Glory'. 1960 years will have passed during which all people will have benefited from the expression of God's Grace.[69 to 2029ad]

God's authority and Spiritual blessing returns to Israel 

11. In what way will this coming change be initiated, again bringing in the Godly responsibility of The House of Judah?

'Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; He will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped......'[Isaiah 35:4-5].

This is what God will announce to the Jews, thus reversing his imposition of Acts 28:27. Is it possible therefore, that the removal of the present restraint upon the Jews will be announced in the same private and quiet way that it was imposed? On the authority of God, an Apostle would call together a group of Jews in the principle city of the world, to inform them that the Spiritual restraint has been lifted, and that they, the House of Judah, having priority, are again regarded as God's special Nation.

12. Who could perform this act? 

Elijah? The Scriptures have promised that he will return to 'restore all things' in relation to Israel ? 

Paul? He who graciously turned down God's offer to 'depart(analuO) and be with Christ' because of the great concern he had for his brethren. He who strove for an earlier special resurrection than that which he had come to expect at the second Advent of Jesus Christ ?  He who has implied that he will not take part in the manifestation of 'Christ Who is our Life' [Col 3:4] but maintains his Hope in the out resurrection described in 1Thessalonians 4:15-18.

Whoever is charged with this responsibility will initiate the changes to the World Order which will again bring in God's Kingdom in Israel and its Godly influence upon the whole world. We can expect The Deceiver to attempt to pre-empt this act of God by bringing in his own World Order, the plans for which are well advanced. 

George Morris February 2006

There follows an article written by C.S. written in reply to that above which presents his thoughts concerning Paul's relationship with God through 'The Calling on High'. It also  provides an alternative understanding of the term: 'The out resurrection out from among the dead'.

Many thanks indeed for the latest [Seed and Bread notes] from Pasadena, as well as your own account [and amended version] on Paul's Dilemma.

Regarding Paul, I have quite different views, and I hope you'll be interested to read them:

1. I cannot agree that when he wrote Philippians, he was no longer an Apostle. That's a deduction too far: he was chosen to be one. Just because Philippians 1:1 omits the terms, we cannot deduce he wasn't one. I might not address my friend as friend, but that doesn't mean he has ceased to be one. In any case, he adopts the term aged in Colossians, 1Timothy and 2Timothy.

2. I believe the calling on high was not available to the Philippians whom he addressed.

3. I don't believe Paul expected to die, nor to be asleep at Christ's Second Advent, nor to partake in any bodily resurrection.

The facts all fall easily into place for me because I believe Paul was caught up [in the 'Calling on High'] and so never died. He could have had this at the time he wrote Philippians [See 1:21-25], but chose it when he later wrote 2Timothy.

Your study, or account, prompted me to write the enclosed essay on the meaning of 'the Power of His Resurrection', which I believe has nothing to do with death and bodies. I hope you'll be convinced !

As for Paul being caught or taken up after 2Timothy, I've written a longer essay on this [about 4500 words] which I am also enclosing for you. Again I hope you'll be convinced. I know it is not east to shift your position, especially when we think we've found something and we've sent out writings. However even Peter had to do this, so how much ourselves?


There follows a copy of 'The Enclosed Essay' by C.S.,  entitled 'What is the meaning of 'The Power of His Resurrection'

In the apostle Paul's letter to the Philippians, he stated that he had not yet attained to 'the out-resurrection of the dead' (3\12):

so that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death, if by any means I might attain to the out-resurrection of the dead. Not, that I have already attained, or have already been  perfected, but I am pressing on, if I may lay hold also for that which I was laid hold of also by Christ Jesus.

What did Paul mean in saying he had not yet attained?  What, or which, resurrection did he mean? 


God's promise to the nations and Paul's concluding years

There can be no doubt that, after Paul's pronouncement in Acts 28 concerning his new forms on the nations, he received a new revelation that the nations were now included in God's privilege, that they were equal in status to the sons of Abraham, and it was no longer sensible to speak of a future Jewish Temple: the wall of partition - which had barred access from the nations into the Temple - was broken down by God (Ephesians 2\14). Much more could be said as well about the nations' position in the New Jerusalem of Revelation 21 and 22 (see Galatians 4\26 and Ephesians 2\21-22).


Paul would spend the remainder of his years on his famous journeys, preaching the gospel of Christ's death and resurrection, establishing God's Outcalling, and appointing leading men. To understand the concluding years of Paul's work, it is necessary to have a clear and logical understanding of certain passages of his letter to the Philippians, and of 2 Timothy. 

The catching up to God of Paul: the 'calling on high'

In Philippians 1, Paul expresses his three options: to die, to stay alive, or his opportunity to be caught up to the Lord (as Enoch and Elijah). He said he chose, for the time being, on behalf of his readers, to stay alive:

Nevertheless, to remain in the flesh is more needful for your sake.2S And being confident of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of the faith.   (Philippians 1\24-25)

It seems, perhaps, that he may have had prior knowledge of his privilege of being caught up, for when describing Christ's Second Advent in 1Corinthians 15\51, he said 'We shall not all sleep'. This being caught up to God, like Enoch was, Paul calls 'the calling on high of God' (Philippians3\14).  

This 'calling on high' meant that Paul wouldn't die.  

When Paul, at the end of all his service for God, came to write 2 Timothy, he said he had by now 'fought the good fight', he had 'finished his course', and he had 'kept the faith' (4\7). God would now preserve him safely 'into His heavenly realm' (4\18). So in his saying he had 'kept the faith', we know that faith for him was over and he would now have sight of God in Heaven. There would no longer be any need for him to exercise faith. Even now, Paul is in the heavens in the company of Enoch, Elijah, and others who didn't sleep (it seems there were others as well who didn't die: 'There are some of those standing here who will by no means taste of death until they see the Son of Man appearing in His sovereign rule' - Matthew 16\28).  

For Paul to be able to say that 'the Lord will deliver me from every evil work' (2 Timothy 4\18) makes rubbish of all the mythology that Paul  was martyred in Rome - not to mention how Paul's 'calling on high' also makes rubbish of that mythology.  

To understand both Philippians and 2 Timothy, we must understand and not forget that Paul didn't die: he was caught up to God.

Paul and resurrection

From these certainties of Paul's 'calling on high of God', we can make further logical interpretations of Paul's letter to the Philippians. 

First, Paul knew he had no need of a body resurrection. He was, indeed, taken up into God's 'heavenly realm'. He suffered no death. He is alive even now. 

Second, the 'calling on high of God' is by no means for all, but is only for a few specially called and designated men. So when Paul orders the  Philippians to 'have this in mind' (3\15), he is not referring back to the 'calling on high' of the previous verse, but to the context of his prior statements, which were: counting all things as 'loss for the excelling of the knowledge of Christ Jesus', and 'as dung', for Paul to 'be found in Him, not having any righteousness of [his] own', 'being perfected', 'pressing on', 'reaching forward' (3:8-13). These things are, indeed, for all, and we fall short.


Third, when Paul expressed the desire to 'know Him, and the power of His resurrection.... being made conformable to His death' (3\10), neither can this - not possibly by anybody's logic - have anything at all to do with a resurrection of Paul's corpse. We need never let that idea get hold of us, once we understand about his 'calling on high'. In fact, Paul did not ever say - even here at 3\10 - that he expected any part in a bodily resurrection. What he actually said was that he wanted to 'know the power of His resurrection', not to partake, but to know; not a bodily resurrection, but to know the power of 'His resurrection'. Paul's point is that he wanted to know more. He wanted to know more about the effects of 'the power' of Christ's resurrection.


Fourth, Paul spoke of not yet having attained to 'the out-resurrection of the dead' (3\11). If by that he meant a body resurrection, he'd be implying either a) I'm not sure I'm a saved believer, or b) I haven't died and been raised up yet and oh dear, I'm still alive! However, what he was actually saying is that he was 'pressing on' to 'lay hold of' this rising out of the dead: it's something he was progressing towards. He couldn't have been 'pressing on' towards knowing he was a saved believer: such uncertainty makes Christ's sacrifice and His converting word of not effect. Nor could Paul be 'pressing on' to lay hold of dying so he could be raised to life again: nobody thinks like that - it's madness, dementia.


Fifth, what Paul says he was trying to attain was not death and a part in resurrection, but to press on towards the goal of 'the prize of the calling on high of God' (3\14).

So, if his meanings were none of these things, what did Paul mean by lamenting he had not yet attained to 'the out-resurrection of the dead'?

Comparison of Philippians 3 with Romans 6

We have been following a series of steps in plain logic, by which the paper tigers of hostile and confusing and inconsistent interpretation are being burned up. Somebody once said to me that our salvation is uncertain because even Paul didn't know if he'd be included in the resurrection. This naive and misguided character cited to me Philippians 3:11 as his proof text. Despite my citing in return such passages as Ephesians 1:13, he was not to be dissuaded of his error; he just wanted to believe all which he'd been told by his own sectarian leader, and he wasn't up for any correction, either in this or in anything else. If salvation is uncertain, then conversion is uncertain, and then Christ died in vain: we'd be left with only our own deeds and ideas, and 'with men this is impossible' (Mat 19:26).


So let's affirm it again: by saying he hadn't yet attained to 'the out-resurrection of the dead', Paul didn't mean anything about body resurrection. He meant what he had just said: 'the power of [Christ's] resurrection', the power to die utterly to sin and to live wholly for Christ. Paul uses enough different expressions to emphasize his point: to count all as 'dung', to 'gain Christ', to be 'found in Him', not having his 'own righteousness', to 'know Him', to know 'the fellowship of  His sufferings', 'being made conformable to His death', 'to be perfected':

Yes, doubtless, and I count all these but loss for the excelling of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord, for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count to be dung, so that I may gain Christ,9 and be found in Him, not having any righteousness is out of law, but that which is through Christ's faith, the righteousness is from God through faith, 10 to know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death, n if, by any means, I might attain to the out-resurrection of the dead. 12 Not, that I have already attained, or have already been perfected, but I am pressing on, if I may lay hold also, for that which I was laid hold of also by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3\8-12)

Indeed, 'being made conformable to His death, if, by any means, I might attain to the out-resurrection of the dead. Not that I have already attained, or have already been perfected'. Paul's aim was being so much 'conformable to His death' that he would be perfected. For Paul to speak of this dying to sin (and self) in terms of a metaphor of resurrection was not a new device in Paul's writings. In Romans 6:11 he spoke of being 'dead to sin, but alive to God'. He had also written this:-

Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore, we are buried with Him by baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we will be also in the likeness of His resurrection. (Romans 6\3-5)

 - which is exactly the same thing being expressed in Philippians. Here, now, are both passages in full contexts, side by side:


Philippians 3:7-16

But what things were gain to me, those I esteemed loss on account of Christ.  

Yes, doubtless, and I count all these but loss for the excelling of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord, for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count to be dung, so that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through Christ's faith, the righteousness which is of  God by faith, to know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death,  if, by any means, I might attain unto the out-resurrection out from the dead. Not, that I have already attained, or have already been perfected, but I am pressing on, if I may lay hold also, for that which I was laid hold of also by Christ Jesus.

Brothers, I do not count myself to have laid hold, but this one thing I do: forgetting  those things behind, and reaching forward to those things ahead. 1 press on towards the mark for the prize of the calling on high of God in Christ Jesus.  

As many as are mature, should, therefore, have this in mind, and if anything you are otherwise minded, this also God will reveal to you. Nevertheless, to that which we have already attained, let  us walk by the same rule, to be of the same mind.


Romans 6:3-12  

Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?   

Therefore, we are buried with Him by  baptism into death, so that just as Christ  was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we will be also in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was nailed on a stake with Him, so that the body of sin might be destroyed so that from now we should not serve sin. For he who is dead is freed from sin.   

Now if we are dead with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him, knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dies no more. Death has no more  dominion over Him. For in that He died, He died to sin once. But in that He lives, He  lives to God.  

Likewise also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God  through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you should obey it in its lusts.


Paul attaining resurrection: the meaning affirmed

Both passages show clearly from their contexts - as brightly as the most illuminating star in the orient - that Paul was using the word 'resurrection' in a metaphorical sense. The meaning of everything in Philippians 3 concerning this attaining towards the 'out-resurrection of the dead is made quite explicit in Paul's next sentence:

Nevertheless, to that which we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, to be of the same mind. (Philippians 3\16)

By this we know that what he had not yet attained is something which maybe obtained in part: 'that which we have already attained'. If Paul's expression of 'the out-resurrection' had meant body resurrection, how could he or anyone attain a degree of that? Impossible! 


To be perfected, though, we should 'have this mind' and 'be of the same mind'(3M5-16).


By the time Paul later came to write 2 Timothy, he had fully finished his course, his faith, his attaining, and was now ready to be taken up into Christ's 'heavenly realm' - where he is now.  


There follows a reply to both the letter and article by C.S.


I am most sincerely grateful for the feedback to my article 'Paul's Dilemma' contained in your letter of the 5th March 2006. It was good of you to give it consideration.

You and I seem to have quite positive views of Paul's activities during the transition period from 62 to 70ad. They are probably irreconcilable due to our different beliefs concerning the sequential place of Paul's second letter to Timothy. For many, many years I naturally accepted the traditional belief that this letter was the last to be written by Paul and it was not until I began to fully recognise the distinction between Paul's two commissions that the possibility of re-timing became apparent.

In this letter Paul is awaiting his epifania. This is contrary to Mr. Sellers belief, because this does not refer to OUR hope, but to the hope of all those Christians generated during the Acts Period. Check it for yourself....this word is directly associated with the parousia and certainly has no relationship with our Hope expressed in Colossians: umeis sunautO phanerOthEsesthe en doxE. HERE is a table comparing all the N.T. uses of 'parousia, epiphaneia, phanerOsis.'

One of the key words in determining the timing of 2Timothy is 'the course' [4:7 gk: ton dromos]. Thayer says of this word: 'the course of life or of office'. You will find it interesting and instructive when you examine the use of this word 'course', particularly in the Septuagint. It is used in Job 17:11 when he says: My days are past, my purposes[dromos] are broken off, even the thoughts of my heart. Even so, at this point of his life it was not ended for as we know: The Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning....

In 2Timothy I believe his use of the word 'course' refers to both meanings because Paul, at the time he wrote the letter, sincerely believed that his commission having ended, he was awaiting his 'analusis'. He did not believe it to be imminent because he asked Timothy to come and bring to him his cloak, his scripture scrolls and his parchments for letter writing. Obviously, there was much that he wanted to do. You would not have a problem with this because, as you understand, Paul had only one office, one commission.

However, there is no mention of a commission in Philippians, in fact Paul's state of mind shows that he is concerned almost completely with 'self improvement'. 'This ONE THING I apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus'. Timothy is with him and assuredly 'like minded'. I do not discern your logic when you say that the Philippians were not encouraged to be 'thus minded'.

Since you believe that 2Timothy is the last letter written by Paul, you may eventually come to understand that its character is not in keeping with the wonder and joy of both 'Ephesians' and Colossians. It could not have been written in the light of that knowledge. For example, why would Paul need to remind Timothy 'to stir up the gift of God which is in thee....God hath not given us a spirit of not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner' Timothy was still at Ephesus, as he was when Paul wrote his first letter. Being in Asia, the church there was increasingly corrupt, and as Paul says: 'all they which are in Asia be turned away from me'[2Tim 1:15]. Not from Christ, it should be noted. How could Paul say this after writing to the 'Ephesians' and Colossians, who were new Christians that he had not met, who were in deed in Asia ? He is referring to Christians generated during the Acts period, ones that he knew personally. Being mostly Jews, they did not want to accept the results of Acts 28:27, thus attempting to force the Acts condition by 'minding earthly things'[ta epigeia]. See my Web Page HERE.

Since Timothy was with Paul during the time when Paul was experiencing and writing his letter to the Philippians and afterwards when Paul wrote the 'Ephesian' and Colossian letters, how could Timothy have such a mind as that described above? A spirit of fear? Ashamed of the testimony of our Lord? Ashamed of Paul? I do not think so! If Paul wanted to encourage Timothy, why did he not refer to any of the wonderful things referred to in his letters to 'Ephesians' and Colossians. It is clear that the doctrine expressed in this second letter to Timothy is that generated during The Acts period, certainly not that of 'Ephesians' and Colossians.  We have disagreed in the past, over the meaning of the Greek words: 'analuseOs mou', which undoubtedly in its literal sense means: my loosing back or if you prefer, my release. You have seemed not to understand why 'loosing' should have any meaning in the context. As I pointed out before 'loosing' implies that there is a restraint, from which the person 'returns'. You have not queried the 'restraint' because it does not play any part in your desire to understand 'return'. We often refer to dying as being a release. A release from what?.....the body or the flesh. Ecclesiastes tells us: 'Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the Spirit shall return unto God Who gave it'. Paul's spirit is to be 'loosed back' to God from the restraint of the flesh. This could be the character of analusis. You equate this with 'the high calling', which I doubt, because Paul in the early part of his letter, referring to the analusis, relates it to a choice, a desire, not an attainment or a 'pressing toward'.

A thought lies here. If we as Christians, being generated during this Administration of God's Grace, are 'seated with Him', 'resurrected with Him' having His 'life', and do not enter the condition of death, perhaps we also, when our breath ends, experience an analusis. We do not await any resurrection, but the manifestation in glory.

This does not mean to say that his 'out resurrection out from among the dead' was not a necessary condition for a purpose which we may not at present discern, although perhaps that was answered in my article: 'Paul's Dilemma', which would occur earlier than the event described as 'When Christ who is our Life shall appear.......' You make a good case for Paul's acceptance of his analusis, but from my studies I can find no proof text that he did accept it.

Now, with regard to Two Commissions. The first is well known:

1. Paul is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Nations, and kings, and the children of Israel [Acts 9:15] .......Unto the Nations now I send thee, to open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God that they may receive forgiveness of sins and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me [Acts 26:18]. Remaining under this commission, before Paul wrote to the Philippians, he wrote three letters...Titus, 1Tim. and 2Tim.

The second is less well known:

2. The Administration of The Grace of God given for you according to revelation made known to me. To me, less than the least of all saints has this grace been given to evangelise among the Nations the untraceable riches of the Christ, even to enlighten all as to the Administration of The Mystery, of that hidden away from The Eons in God...... [Eph 3:1-9]. Under this commission, after Paul wrote to the Philippians, he wrote three letters...Colossians, Philemon and 'Ephesians'.

The need for the first, was removed by Acts 28:27, the Spiritual blinding and deafening of The House of Israel. The Lord, being the loving God that He is, required Paul to ensure the well being of the Christians and the churches generated during Acts by giving revised instructions and encouragement when he wrote to Titus and firstly to Timothy.

The need for the second is 'that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness towards us through Christ Jesus'.

Two quite distinct commissions, for two quite distinct purposes. This is the important point, even if you do not understand that there was a short period in which Paul was not commissioned, needing time to come to terms with 'forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before', his inheritance was no longer subject to Israel, but to be co-allottees/ concorporates/ co-partners. Whilst God was working this radical change of mind, Paul needed no commission.

If you can now accept that 2Timothy was written before Philippians, then Paul's decision to 'abide in the flesh is more needful' and 'know that I shall abide and continue'[Phil 1:24 & 25] leaves no evidence as to Paul's acceptance of a future analusis. It does however point to an important reason for the like minded Timothy to be with Paul to help resolve the Spiritual problems that have arisen. 

Now with regard to Paul's striving for: eirOs katantEsO eis tEn exanastasin tEn eknekrOn. To say that exanastasin is simply a way of emphasising 'eknekrOn', after Paul had used the word 'katantEsO' ['to attain to'....(Thayer.), in keeping with his 'pressing toward' and his 'reaching forth'], is an argument raised by those students of The Word who have failed to come to terms with exactly what Paul is striving for. A residue of the 'Evangelical' doctrine. It is also incorrect to equate it to 'the power of His resurrection', which is referred to again in Ephesians 1:19-20.

Incidentally, Enoch and Elijah may not yet have died, having tasks to perform before they die OR remain to be 'caught up alive at the Lord's parousia'. Paul's analusis cannot be equated with this, because by his analusis he will not remain in the flesh [Phil 1:24].

We have disagreed in the past, over the meaning of the Greek words: analuseOs mou, which undoubtedly in its literal sense means: my loosing back. You have seemed not to understand why 'loosing' should have any meaning in the context. As I pointed out before 'loosing' implies that there is a restraint, from which as you agree the person 'returns'. You have not queried the 'restraint' because it does not play any part in your desire to understand 'return'. We often refer to dying as being a release. A release from what? The body, i.e the flesh. Ecclesiastes tells us: 'Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the Spirit shall return unto God Who gave it'. Paul's spirit is to be 'loosed back' to God from the restraint of the flesh.

So Chris, until I can accept that 2Timothy is Paul's last letter, I cannot find any Scriptural evidence that Paul accepted the analusis. That he was offered it, I have no doubt. I also have no doubt that he could attain to the tEn exanastasin tEn eknekrOn, which having a higher priority than the hope of all the Christians generated during the Acts period, could be for the purpose described in my notes: 'Paul's dilemma'. This is the point of time when the postponed Last Days re-commence, those days directly related to Israel's responsibility before The Lord.

Prior to the receipt of your letter I had not faced the problem of his analusis [out of the flesh] against the implications of his 'prior' resurrection. The progression of his argument is clear....having turned down the offer of an analusis by remaining in the flesh[Phil 1:25], Paul goes on to identify himself with the Philippians saying 'WE are awaiting Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform OUR body of humiliation for it to become conformed to the body of His glory'[Phil 3:21], which is fulfilled in 'When The Christ OUR life may be manifested, then YOU also with Him shall be manifested in glory' [Col 3:4]. As I have said before, Paul does not take part in the latter.

. . . . . . You have made the point clear, Paul cannot receive both an analusis and a 'prior' resurrection, at least not in that order, because resurrection does not necessarily include 'change'. If: to brabeion tEs anO klEseOs [Phil 3:14] equates to the analusis, it reminds me of a thought I had many years ago: Paul may have had Rev 4:4 in mind.

As I said, thank you Chris for your considered reply to my notes. We may not agree completely, but we both seek to understand a very complex situation. This struggle follows the words of Paul when he says: 'that we may be able to comprehend....what is the breadth and length and depth and height.....'.

George Morris March 2006

P.S. Unknown to me, whilst I was coming to this conclusion concerning the sequential placing of 2Timothy, Mr.Maurice Lloyd wrote the enclosed article entitled: 'Paul's Second Letter to Timothy' which agrees substantially with the results of my study.

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