THE BOOK OF 1 TIMOTHY
A Defense Against Dangerous Teaching
12/2/12 SCC 1 TIMOTHY 4:1-8
WE MUST BEWARE OF THE STRATEGY OF THE ENEMY OF THE TRUTH 1-5
IT IS PREDICTABLE
4:1 de but (a change in direction and thought) the Spirit explicitly says
We should not be shocked. The Spirit says it expressly, explicitly, directly. The Spirit is right now saying explicitly that people will depart from the faith. A purposeful intentional deliberate departure from a former position. It is someone who deliberately dispossesses himself of truth once affirmed to depart for another teaching.
IT HAS A CHRONOLOGY
oti (relative clause) that in later times
When will this happen? He says in verse 1, "In the latter times." When is this? Is this a long time in the future? The last times are the times after Christ came in His first coming. When Christ came, He began the last times, the Messianic era. The Messianic era begins with the coming of Jesus Christ. So we are now living in the last times, between His first coming and the Second Coming when He sets up His glory on the earth and then into the eternal Kingdom, all of that is the last times (1 jn 2:18; 1 Pt 1:20; heb 9:26).
some will depart from The faith
Some will do that, he says. The term "the faith" means Christian doctrine. Not faith in the sense of Christian believing but "the faith" in the sense of the content of what we believe. Some will depart from true faith, from the faith, Jude 3 says, once for all delivered to the saints, the content of holy Scripture.
THE SOURCE IS DEMONIC It is supernatural. In Ephesians 6, ‘we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world, spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies’, supernatural demonic spirits.
attending to spirits
It means to devote oneself to, to attach oneself to; to cling to a person or thing. It has the idea of a continual clinging to the seduction of the spirits and the doctrines they promote. Here is a person exposed to Christian truth who understands the gospel intellectually, who one way or another affirms a confidence in that, who outwardly identifies with the Christian faith but because his heart is not truly God's he is lured away by the seducing spirits who purvey their doctrines right out of hell. He turns from the truth to the lies of the devil and is drawn away from the true faith unto eternal damnation. And we are to expect it. It is predictable in our own time.
Now notice that little phrase "seducing spirits." This refers to the source of these errors, heresies, false doctrines, supernatural demon spirit beings who are fallen angels; those spirits who would lead you to wander from the truth and then would lead you astray.
kai teachings of demons (Here we have a spiritually motivated deception)
And what they seduce you with are the teachings of demons. False teaching doesn't come from clever men. It comes from demons. So as we approach the end of the church age the church will be full of spirituality but it will be demonic spirits and those spirits will be deceptive.
HUMAN AGENTS ARE THE MEANS
4:2 in hypocrisy of liars
Though the source is supernatural the means is natural. The source is supernatural, the means is natural. The seduction occurs on the human level. They use men who are hypocrites telling lies. They appear to be religious. They appear to be preachers or priests or religious leaders of one kind or another. They may be good on the outside. They may be very religious in their appearance. They may be devout. They will find an audience and they will purvey their hellish doctrine under the direction of seducing spirits who no doubt not only seduce people through them but have seduced them as well. They are the purveyors of the doctrine of demons. The source is demonic, the means is human. And that is why the Bible warns not only about devil doctrine but it warns also about false human teachers. They will be teaching doctrines of demons but deceiving people into thinking they are of God.
their own conscience having been branded seared
Further they have had their conscience burned as with a hot iron. This explains how they can carry on this hypocrisy day after day, month after month and year after year. It is because their conscience has been burned; their sensitivity to right and wrong, their sensitivity to truth and integrity. It has been scarred beyond function. Their conscience has been turned into scar-tissue and no longer do they feel a thing. The nerves are dead. They are burned. The burning of the nerve that connects, disconnecting morality from personality making men into animals who focus on society—but society without spirituality is legalism. Chaos under control. Everyone doing what is right in his eyes so society is about controlling those consequences not about honoring God of creation.
THEY TEACH SELF-DENYING TABOOS
4:3 ones forbidding to marry; ones abstaining from foods
They had two things they were majoring on. One was that if you wanted to be spiritual and if you wanted to know God and you wanted to possess salvation, you shouldn't get married. Secondly, you had to abstain from food. Self-denial on the physical level was the supposed means of true sanctity, true holiness. No spirituality is any way, shape or form related to what you do or don't do, what you accept or deny yourself. True religion says the Lord has done it all. False religion says we've got to do it by self-denial or indulgence of some kind or another.
THEY TEACH ERROR
Foods which god created (again illusion to creation of all things)for partaking (contrast with forbidding and abstaining)with thanksgiving (not taboos as above since they are inherently good)
1. One error of apostates & their false teaching was the failure to thank and praise God for what He made. So in the truest purest highest sense, everything God ever made He made for those who believe and know the truth. The world, yes they get in on it, the rain falls on the just and the unjust. They benefit from marriage. They benefit from food. But they never were the reason God gave it because the reason He gave it was His own glory and only believers give that back to Him. How stupid to come along and deny marriage and deny certain foods and think you're holy when what you're really doing is you're denying God the right to be glorified for the enjoyment of what He gave us.
by the believers kai those having fully known the truth.
God gave it to us in order that we might do thank Him. That's why it's primarily for believers because believers are the only ones that thank Him. So when you receive it and thank Him, you fulfill its purpose...you fulfill its purpose. Take it and give God thanks.
4:4 oti because everything created of God is good
2. A second error was to fail to understand that everything He made is good, not evil. Every creation of God including both marriage and food should be gratefully received.
Kai nothing is to be put away or rejected (not about taboos and except excesses like alcohol) that is being received with thanksgiving
Adultery is an abuse of marriage and gluttony of the normal use for food—abuses we should reject; not placing taboos on marriage and food, that which God has given us to enjoy. God’s creations are to be received with thanksgiving.
4:5 yap for it is sanctified thru word of god kai petition or prayer
Through the message of salvation we have come to know the Lord, we have come to know the truth in Christ. We have come to know that Christ has abolished all food laws, all dietary laws. The gospel has ended all those dietary restrictions. In light of our salvation we recognize Gods good hand behind these things provided and offer thanksgiving and not as taboos and these ordinary things like, marriage and eating, become occasions for worship and praise—consecrated by the word of god and prayer. We have a truthful understanding of these things and use them not abuse them as things good from God. We give it the proper place in Gods economy. Thus it is set apart for proper use.