1 Timothy 4:16
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

King James Bible
Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

Darby Bible Translation
Give heed to thyself and to the teaching; continue in them; for, doing this, thou shalt save both thyself and those that hear thee.

World English Bible
Pay attention to yourself, and to your teaching. Continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

Young's Literal Translation
take heed to thyself, and to the teaching; remain in them, for this thing doing, both thyself thou shalt save, and those hearing thee.

1 Timothy 4:16 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Take heed unto thyself - See that the life of God remains and the work of God prospers in thine own soul. Take heed to thy doctrine, that the matter be pure and orthodox; that thou teach nothing for truth but what God has revealed.

Continue in them - i.e., In taking heed to thyself and to thy doctrine; for this must be thy continual study. Without this, the Divine influence shall recede from thy heart, and the Divine gift from thy intellect; and, like Samson shorn of his strength, thou wilt soon become as another man, as any common man; thy power will depart from thee, and thou shalt be no longer able to persuade; the Unction shall depart from thee, and, destitute of spiritual feeling thyself, thou shalt not be able to cause others to feel. Take the apostle's advice, and thou shalt save thy own soul, and the souls of them that hear thee.

In the course of the preceding notes I have referred to Bishop Newton's opinion and application of the prophecy contained in the first five verses. Not being fully persuaded in my own, mind to what Church this, and the prophecy in the Epistle to the Thessalonians, should be applied, I produce an accredited author, who, for his Dissertations on the Prophecies, has a high and, honored name in the Church.

"I. The first thing to be considered is, the apostasy here predicted. 'Some shall depart, or rather apostatize, from the faith.' An apostasy from the faith may be either total or partial; either when we renounce the whole, or when we deny some principal and essential article of it. It is not every error, or every heresy, that is apostasy from the faith. It is a revolt in a principal and essential article, when we worship God by any image or representation, or when we worship other beings besides God, and pray unto other mediators besides the one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. This is the very essence of Christian worship, to worship the one true God, through the one true Christ; and to worship any other god, or any other mediator, is apostasy and rebellion against God and against Christ. Such is the nature of apostasy from the faith; and it is implied that this apostasy shall be general, and affect great numbers. For, though it be said only some shall apostatize, yet by some, here, many are understood. The original word frequently signifies a multitude and there are abundant instances in Scripture where it is used in that sense, as the reader may perceive from John 6:64-66; Romans 11:17; 1 Corinthians 11:5, 1 Corinthians 11:6. This apostasy may be general and extensive, and include many but not all.

"II. It is more particularly shown wherein the apostasy should consist, in the following words: Giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils; or rather: `Giving heed to erroneous spirits and doctrines concerning demons.' Spirits seem to be much the same in sense as doctrines, the latter word may be considered as explanatory of the former; and error sometimes signifying idolatry, erroneous doctrines may comprehend idolatrous as well as false doctrines. But it is still farther added, for explanation, that these doctrines should be doctrines of devils or of demons, where the genitive case is not to be taken actively, as if demons were the authors of these doctrines, but passively, as if demons were the subject of these doctrines. In Jeremiah 10:8; Acts 13:12; Hebrews 6:2, the genitive case is used in this manner; and, by the same construction, doctrines of demons are doctrines about or concerning demons. This is, therefore, a prophecy that the idolatrous theology of demons, professed by the Gentiles ,should be revived among Christians. Demons, according to the theology of the Gentiles, were middle powers between the gods and mortal men; and were regarded as mediators and agents between the gods and men. Of these demons there were accounted two kinds: one kind were the souls of men deified or canonized after death; the other kind were such as had never been the souls of men, nor ever dwelt in mortal bodies. These latter demons may be paralleled with angels, as the former may with canonized saints; and as we Christians believe there are good and evil angels, so did the Gentiles that there were good and evil demons. It appears then as if the doctrine of demons, which prevailed so long in the heathen world, was to be revived and established in the Christian Church. And is not the worship of saints and angels now, in all respects, the same that the worship of demons was in former times? The name only is different, the thing is essentially the same. The heathens looked upon their demons as mediators and intercessors between God and men; and are not the saints and angels regarded in the same light by many professed Christians? The promoters of this worship were sensible that it was the same, and that the one succeeded the other; and as the worship is the same, so likewise it is performed with the same ceremonies. Nay, the very same temples, the very same images, the very same altars, which once were consecrated to Jupiter and the other demons, are now reconsecrated to the Virgin Mary and other saints. The very same titles and inscriptions are ascribed to both; the very same prodigies and miracles are related of these as of those. In short, the whole almost of paganism is converted and applied to popery, the one is manifestly formed upon the same plan and principles as the other.

"III. Such an apostasy as this - of reviving the doctrines of demons, and worshipping the dead - was not likely to take place immediately, it should prevail and prosper in the latter days. The phrase of the latter times or days, or the last times or days, signifies any time yet to come; but denotes more particularly the times of Christianity. The times of Christianity may properly be called the latter times or days, or the last times or days, because it is the last of all God's revelations to mankind. Hebrews 1:1, Hebrews 1:2; 1 Peter 1:20.

"IV. Another remarkable peculiarity of this prophecy is, the solemn and emphatic manner in which it is delivered: The Spirit speaketh expressly. By the Spirit is meant the Holy Spirit of God, which inspired the prophets and apostles. The Spirit speaking expressly, may signify his speaking precisely and certainly, not obscurely and involvedly, as he is wont to speak in the prophets; or it may be said, The Spirit speaketh expressly, when he speaks in express words in some place or other of Divine writ; and the Spirit hath spoken the same thing in express words before in the prophecy of Daniel. Daniel has foretold, in express words, the worship of new demons or demi-gods; Daniel 11:38. The mauzzim of Daniel are the same as the demons of St. Paul; gods protectors, or saints protectors, defenders and guardians of mankind. This, therefore, is a prophecy, not merely dictated by private suggestion and inspiration, but taken out of the written word. It is a prophecy not only of St. Paul's, but of Daniel's too; or rather of Daniel, confirmed and approved by St. Paul.

"V. The apostle proceeds, 1 Timothy 4:2, to describe by what means and by what persons this apostasy should be propagated and established in the world. Speaking lies in hypocrisy, etc.; or rather, through the hypocricy of liars, having their conscience, etc.; for the preposition rendered in, frequently signifies through or by. Liars too, or speaking lies, cannot, possibly be joined with the original word rendered some, and that rendered giving heed, because they are in the nominative case, and this is in the genitive. Neither can it well be joined in the construction with the word rendered devils, or demons; for how can demons, or devils, be said to speak lies in hypocrisy, and to have their conscience seared, etc.? It is plain, then, that the great apostasy of the latter times was to prevail, through the hypocrisy of liars, etc. And has not the great idolatry of Christians, and the worship of the dead particularly, been diffused and advanced in the world by such instruments and agents? by fabulous books, forged under the names of the apostles and saints; by fabulous legends of their lives; by fabulous miracles, ascribed to their relics; by fabulous dreams and revelations; and even by fabulous saints, who never existed but in imagination.

"VI. 1 Timothy 4:3. Forbidding to marry, etc. - This is a farther character of the promoters of this apostasy. The same hypocritical liars who should promote the worship of demons should also prohibit lawful marriage. The monks were the first who brought a single life into repute; they were the first also who revived and promoted the worship of demons. One of the primary and most essential laws and constitutions of all monks was the profession of a single life, and it is equally clear that the monks had the principal share in promoting the worship of the dead. The monks then were the principal promoters of the worship of the dead in former times. And who are the great patrons and advocates of the same worship now? Are not their legitimate successors and descendants, the monks and priests and bishops of the Church of Rome? And do not they also profess and recommend a single life, as well as the worship of saints and angels? Thus have the worship of demons, and the prohibition of marriage, constantly gone hand in hand together; and as they who maintain one maintain the other, so it is no less remarkable that they who disclaim the one, disclaim the other.

"VII. The last mark and character of these men is: Commanding to abstain from meats, etc. The same lying hypocrites who should promote the worship of demons, should not only prohibit lawful marriage, but likewise impose unnecessary abstinence from meats; and these too, as indeed it is fit they should, usually go together as constituent parts of the same hypocrisy. It is as much the law of monks to abstain from meats, as from marriage. Some never eat any flesh; others only certain kinds, on certain days. Frequent fasts are the rule and boast of their orders. So lived the monks of the ancient Church; so live, with less strictness perhaps, but with greater ostentation, the monks and friars of the Church of Rome; and these have been the principal propagators and defenders of the worship of the dead, both in former and in latter times. The worship of the dead is indeed so monstrously absurd as well as impious, that there was hardly any probability of its ever prevailing in the world but by hypocrisy and lies. But that these particular sorts of hypocrisy - celibacy, under pretense of chastity; and abstinence, under pretense of devotion - should be employed for this purpose, the Spirit of God alone could foresee and foretell. There is no necessary connection between the worship of the dead, and forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats; and yet it is certain that the great advocates for this worship have, by their pretended purity and mortification, procured the greater reverence to their persons, and the readier reception to their doctrines. But this idle, popish, monkish abstinence is as unworthy of a Christian as it is unnatural to a man; it is preventing the purpose of nature, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving by believers, and them who know the truth." See Bishop Newton's Dissertations on the Prophecies; and Dr. Dodd's notes.

Which mode of interpretation is best, I shall not attempt to say: to determine the meaning of prophecies is a difficult task; and, in a case of this kind, I rather choose to trust to the judgment of others than to my own. It is to be deplored that all the preceding particulars apply but too well to the corruptions in the Romish Church, therefore to it they appear peculiarly applicable. But whether God had this Church alone in view, I dare not affirm.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


1 Chronicles 28:10 Take heed now; for the LORD has chosen you to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it.

2 Chronicles 19:6 And said to the judges, Take heed what you do: for you judge not for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment.

Mark 13:9 But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues you shall be beaten...

Luke 21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life...

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost has made you overseers...

1 Corinthians 3:10,11 According to the grace of God which is given to me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another builds thereon...

Colossians 4:17 And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you fulfill it.

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.

Titus 2:7,15 In all things showing yourself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing soundness, gravity, sincerity...

Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you...

2 John 1:8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have worked, but that we receive a full reward.

unto the.

1 Timothy 4:6 If you put the brothers in remembrance of these things, you shall be a good minister of Jesus Christ...

1 Timothy 1:3 As I sought you to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that you might charge some that they teach no other doctrine,

Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brothers, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned...

Ephesians 4:14 That we from now on be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men...

Titus 2:7 In all things showing yourself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing soundness, gravity, sincerity,

Hebrews 13:9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats...

2 John 1:9 Whoever transgresses, and stays not in the doctrine of Christ, has not God. He that stays in the doctrine of Christ...


Acts 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

Acts 26:22 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue to this day, witnessing both to small and great...

Romans 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life:

2 Timothy 3:14 But continue you in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing of whom you have learned them;

Titus 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the disputers...

thou shalt.

Ezekiel 3:19-21 Yet if you warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity...

Ezekiel 33:7-9 So you, O son of man, I have set you a watchman to the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear the word at my mouth...

Acts 20:26,27 Why I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men...

1 Corinthians 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others...


Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please...

Jeremiah 23:22 But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way...

Romans 10:10-14 For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation...

Romans 11:14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.

1 Corinthians 9:22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

1 Thessalonians 2:16,19,20 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins always...

2 Timothy 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory...

Philemon 1:19 I Paul have written it with my own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to you how you owe to me even your own self besides.

James 5:20 Let him know, that he which converts the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death...

Spiritual Athletics
'Exercise thyself unto Godliness.'--1 TIM. iv. 7. Timothy seems to have been not a very strong character: sensitive, easily discouraged, and perhaps with a constitutional tendency to indolence. At all events, it is very touching to notice how the old Apostle--a prisoner, soon to be a martyr--forgot all about his own anxieties and burdens, and, through both of his letters to his young helper, gives himself to the task of bracing him up. Thus he says to him, in my text, amongst other trumpet-tongued
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Epistle cxxiii. To Venantius and Italica .
To Venantius and Italica [86] . Gregory to the lord Venantius, Patrician, and Italica his wife. I have taken care, with due affection, to enquire of certain persons who have come from Sicily about your Excellency's health. But they have given me a sad report of the frequency of your ailments. Now, when I say this, neither do I find anything to tell you about myself, except that, for my sins, lo it is now eleven months since it has been a very rare case with me if I have been able now and then to
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

"But Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God, and his Righteousness, and all These Things Shall be Added unto You. "
Matth. vi. 33.--"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." The perfection even of the most upright creature, speaks always some imperfection in comparison of God, who is most perfect. The heavens, the sun and moon, in respect of lower things here, how glorious do they appear, and without spot! But behold, they are not clean in God's sight! How far are the angels above us who dwell in clay! They appear to be a pure mass of light and
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Prefatory Scripture Passages.
To the Law and to the Testimony; if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them.-- Isa. viii. 20. Thus saith the Lord; Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.--Jer. vi. 16. 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. But
G. H. Gerberding—The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church

Cross References
Exodus 23:13
"Be careful to do everything I have said to you. Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips.

Ezekiel 3:19
But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.

Acts 20:28
Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.

1 Corinthians 1:21
For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

1 Timothy 4:15
Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.

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