As I have once again considering the letters to Timothy I am amazed about a few things. 1 Timothy 4:1,2 has captured my imagination with all that is unfolding around us right now.
The phrase doctrines of demons deserves a closer look. The original language (Greek) appears to amplify that these are the teaching instructions (we are being educated) of evil spirits of destiny (demons).
“But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron…” – 1 Timothy 4:1,2/NAS
And from the Message: “The Spirit makes it clear that as time goes on, some are going to give up on the faith and chase after demonic illusions put forth by professional liars. These liars have lied so well and for so long that they’ve lost their capacity for truth.” – Timothy 4:1,2/The Message
It tells me why the educating/re-educating process looks the way it does in culture.
Consider the worldly fables (4:7/short story narratives with nothing behind them) which have arisen in our culture in just the last 50 years. There are many – but consider these: social justice, abortion, sexual impurity, there is no God, there are no absolutes, the world is grey – not black and white, gender ID, all roads lead to the same destination, there is no evil (hell) and there is no ultimate good (heaven), data defines us, and we ARE gods. And these are just a few popular core narratives.
It is as though we are willing to throw God’s Word over-board for cheap novellas which appeal to our itching ears (2 Timothy 4:3). The branding iron part explains our hardness of heart. We are seared by burning. We have exchanged our God identity for that of another master. We are being branded by and for a new owner. God forgive us and deliver us from evil.
2 Timothy 4.1-5
“I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
More warfare stuff in the months ahead.
Dave & Burnadette