XXV. THE TEST OF AN ELDER COMMITTING SIN
AND BEING ACCUSED BY THE BELIEVERS—
1 TIMOTHY 5:19-20
The apostle charged Timothy not to receive an accusation against an elder without two or three witnesses, and charged him to reprove the sinning elder before all that the rest might be in fear. The apostle also solemnly charged Timothy before God, Christ, and the chosen angels to keep the apostle’s words without prejudice, doing nothing by way of partiality (v. 21). Here we can see the frankness of the apostle, and also his faithfulness. He charged Timothy not just by himself, but before God, before Christ, and even before the chosen angels. The eldership is related to God’s authority. It is for this reason that Paul mentioned the angels here, since the angels are subject to God’s authority.
XXVI. THE TEST OF ALL THE BELIEVERS IN ASIA
TURNING AWAY FROM PAUL—2 TIMOTHY 1:15
The turning away in this case probably did not constitute a division. It surely was a separation that damaged the oneness of the Body of Christ. Nevertheless, the Apostle Paul was altogether not affected; rather, he encouraged Timothy to be empowered in the grace of the Lord (2:1). If we are going to take care of such a case, we must not be shaken by anyone’s turning away from the Lord’s ministry, but must be strong in the power of the Lord’s grace for God’s economy.
XXVII. THE TEST
OF THE PROFANE WORD BEING SPREAD
LIKE GANGRENE BY THE PARTY
OF HYMENAEUS AND PHILETUS, WHO MISAIMED
CONCERNING THE TRUTH, SAYING THAT
THE RESURRECTION HAD ALREADY TAKEN PLACE,
AND OVERTHREW THE FAITH OF SOME—
2 TIMOTHY 2:17-18
In this section of the Word, Paul exposed the names of two heretics, Hymenaeus and Philetus. The Apostle Paul had the assurance that the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, "The Lord knows those who are His," and "Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from unrighteousness" (v. 19). In spite of the heresy being spread like gangrene, God has a standing, namely, that His faithful ones who call on the name of the Lord would depart from unrighteousness.
(Elders' Training, Book 10: The Eldership and the God-Ordained Way (2), Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)