(1 Timothy 4:1-2)
Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed (c) to seducing spirit, and (D) doctrines of devils;
(A) John 16:13> How be it when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.
(B) 1 Peter 1:20> Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.
(C) 2 Peter 2:1> But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you,who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
(D) Dan.11:35> And some of the of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.
Speaking lies in hypocrisy; (E) having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
(E) Eph.4:19> who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
(Ehp.4:20) But you have not so learned Christ;
As we continue to alternate between “precious promises” and “unpopular” promises, we come to a prophetic promise of apostasy. Among those who are actually drifting into apostasy, this promise is certainly “unpopular.” Additionally, in a church world that wrongly accepts what sounds positive and rejects what sounds negative (instead of rejecting error and accepting truth), this promise is often met with disinterest or, worse, disdain.
“The faith” is the message of the word of God. It is the divine truth in which we are to place our faith, our trust. It especially includes the good news of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our present promise forewarns that there will be those who fall away from “the faith” as the days press closer and closer to the end of the church era. “In latter times some will depart from the faith.” Since this is a departure, they seemed to adhere to the word of God for a season. Then they turned away from it. If they remain active in the church world, their message will no longer reflect the true content of the Scriptures. Peter gave a similar warning. “There were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them” (2 Peter 2:1). As sure as Israel had false prophets, the church would have false teachers.
Paul provided some insights into their path of apostasy. They would be “giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.” Paying attention to concepts that were perpetrated by demonic deception would result in errors in their doctrine. The devil and his army of evil spirits are intent on confusing and distorting the teaching of the word of God. Typically, such errors feed man’s fleshly desires to glorify self.
These apostates would also be “speaking lies in hypocrisy.” Not only would their teaching be erroneous, their lives would be marked by falsehoods related to pretense. They would add untrue testimony to their inaccurate message. Perhaps the reports of their ministerial prowess would be grossly exaggerated.
They would also be “having their own conscience seared with a hot iron.” They would teach errors and live lies until their consciences were no longer convicted of sin. We are forewarned. Such apostates undoubtedly abound in these last days.
Lord God of truth,thank You for lovingly warning of the danger of apostasy. Enlarge my appreciation of such “unpopular” promises. Please help me to cherish the truth of Your word. Give me a heart to know Your word. Sharpen my discernment concerning error. Keep my heart and my message anchored in the truth of Scripture, Amen.