Liar, Liar

April 11, 2016

thinking over feeling

1 Timothy 4:1

    The Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.

 

What does the term later times mean? It very likely refers to the “later times” of the current church age. Notice that Paul did not say “in these last days,” as the writer of Hebrews did to refer to the whole church age (1:2). Paul used a different expression to convey the clear idea that the Holy Spirit is talking about the “later times” of the current church age. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is giving a dual warning for the church in our day: first, not to “fall away from the faith,” and second, do not pay “attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.” We have already called attention to the problem of apostasy in the church today. The second warning is especially interesting in light of the fact that those within the church who depart from the faith are said to be especially open to demonic teachings.

We think that it is significant that both biblical terms for the demonic realm are used in this verse: spirits and demons. A clear contrast is drawn between what the Holy Spirit is saying explicitly and what “deceitful spirits” and “demons” are saying. The Holy Spirit’s teaching that the “later times” will be characterized by apostasy in the church is strengthened by the addition of the term explicitly, so that there is no mistaking what He is trying to say. However, many people today in these “later times” who repeat this Spirit-inspired warning about the increase in apostasy are accused of being negative, polemic, and divisive and of obstructing the work of the Holy Spirit. Yet, simultaneously, these critics are teaching concepts that can be proved from the Bible to be error. This passage would lead us to believe that they are “paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.” “Deceitful spirits” are the agents that Satan uses to generate these teachings, which are then described as “doctrines of demons”—that is, doctrines that come from demons.

 

There are few things as heartbreaking to a pastor as someone that has been a part of the church to “fall away”. It has often been my experience that this kind of “believer” finds some new revelation, shares it with the pastor, is told that it is a new form of an old heresy and their pride doesn’t allow them to be teachable and they “fall away”. And thus they begin a “spirit walk” that leads to listen to false teaching, deceitful spirits and are generally very ungrateful. Talk about getting blood out of a stone, it would be easier. Like all pastors you will do your best and the end result is they are usually driven farther from the church. So it’s not that you give up, it’s they’ve given in. all you can do is pray for them and be loving but still firm in the defense of truth.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

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