Many, including myself, have wondered what Paul was warning Timothy and the church about in the following passage.....and may be surprised at what he was really pointing to.
1 Tim 4:1-3
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons , 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, 3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. NKJV
A good starting point is to ask .. 'What doctrines do demons espouse?'
The garden of Eden gives a great clue
Demons get us first to doubt God's word and his heart towards us. This gets mankind to withdraw their hearts from their relationship with their creator God and to seek to do life apart from Him. ie I do not need God....I will be my own God.
a detailed examination of our text reveals.....
Now the Spirit expressly says.....this was something Paul had been fighting against since he first preached the Gospel to the Gentiles. Timothy as Paul's 'true son in the faith' knew what Paul was addressing. We will see that there are a plethora of scriptures where this matter is addressed. (starting with Acts 15)
that in the latter times.....this refers to a period after the true and unpolluted gospel is first preached to people ... when Judiasers would seek to get the new believers to then believe that they should also keep the Law. This aspect also applies to a large part of the church today. We are saved by grace....and then some preacher will say 'if you are not tithing you probably are not saved'.
2 Cor 11:2-4
But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted — you may well put up with it! NKJV
The simplicity is...'God loves you...trust Him ...let Him into your life... and He will save you'
some will depart from the faith.....Paul is not refering to 'backsliding'...he is warning that people will go from the faith into "works of the Law". This is done by adding requirements to the cross which lead people into believing that they can only be 'perfected' by adding works.....such as circumcision and other ceremonial legalistc requirements (This was the major problem which is addressed in the books of Galatian and Hebrews) Brethren, adding to grace is a sure sign that one is doubting the sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice for our redemption.
We start to believe that we can earn our blessings by our works!
giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.....the source of all deception is SATANIC. That which seeks to take believers from under grace based salvation received by simple faith alone...and bring believers under the Law...is DEMONICALLY inspired!
Gal 1:6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. NKJV
Brethren this is not a matter which we should overlook as is the habit of many today!
2 Cor 11:13-15
13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light . 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. NKJV
Paul warns that it will even be PREACHERS who promote Satan's lies
speaking lies in hypocrisy..... A lie is something which is not truth and known to be such. Anything which puts the focus on our works rather than faith alone as the way to receive ALL the benefits of Christ's completed work on the cross for us is a LIE.
Example "God will bless you and provide all your needs if you tithe" ...(ie give your money to me). These same preachers proclaim that they 'believe in tithing and have always practiced it". Why then do they have resort to deception and extortion to get money from God's children? Tithing is OF THE LAW and only works for them because THEY are the recipients of YOUR TITHES.
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have you suffered so many things in vain — if indeed it was in vain? 5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? NKJV
Obeying the truth is to BELIEVE.....and not trying to earn our blessings. He who enters God's REST has CEASED from his labours!
Brethren tithing, offerings, sowing and reaping, ALL required that Christians be conned to believe that they must DO the works of the Law in order to be blessed! They teach believers to have an 'earn and deserve' mentality rather than FAITH alone!
God blesses us because we are HIS CHILDREN who simply trust HIM....(not our works) ....and HIS goodness ...for our blessings!
I can hear some saying "Surely calling these things LIES is unchristian?" Well Jesus commends the church at Ephesus for exposing those who claimed to be apostles but were LIARS (Rev 2:2) He certainly does not think this is being 'unchristian'
The vast majority of preachers have been challenged MANY times on the total lack of New Testament support for doctrines such as tithing.....and have refused to REPENT. The following quote defines the dilemna in which they stand because of this.
"When an honestly mistaken man is confronted with the truth, he must either cease being mistaken, or he will cease being honest"
having their own conscience seared with a hot iron .....When we continue to refuse to repent, our conscience will become seared. This explains how 'pastors' can allow so-called 'prophets' to come and preach messages using the 'widows mite' and 'the widow at Zerapath' as examples to extort money from the POOR! These so-called prophets then go on their way leaving behind hurt and destitute believers.
How else can we explain the heresy of 'faith giving' being preached to the poor?....ie you may not have any money but you can pledge that when you receive your 'blessing' that you will give an amount to the 'church'. The bible says that the poor should be given too, not exploited. Paul clearly teaches that we should give 'according to what we have'....not what we don't have!
1 Thess 4:6
.... no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. NKJV
forbidding to marry, ..... When religion seeks to interfere with the right of a person to marry WHO THEY want, it is exercising UNGODLY control. This comes from a perception that we must be so spiritual and pure that we cannot participate in satisfying our BASIC human needs. Very seldom do those teaching this PRACTICE IT themselves (many such leaders have actually been proven to have lived extremely ungodly and immoral lives themselves...eg Jim Jones and Eddie Long amongst a litany of others)
18 And the LORD God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him." NKJV
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. NKJV
and commanding to abstain from foods which God created ..... When religous spirits point us towards the requirements of the Law of Moses (which was given to Israel only) in order to be spiritual or to be blessed healthwise, they are DEMONIC. Our spiritual health ...ie righteousness, is secured by FAITH alone. Our physical health is secured by Jesus having bourne all our sickness on the cross for us...in the stripes he received.
"He Himself took our infirmities
And bore our sicknesses." NKJV
1 Peter 2:24
24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness — by whose stripes you were healed. NKJV
Healing can NEVER be received by making a 'faith offering' ....faith is simple trust in the goodness and provision of God in Christ. The fact that we give money 'in faith' demonstrates that we DO NOT HAVE FAITH! (Acts 8:20)
Our provision of needs is secured in our adoption as children of God.....our Heavenly Father now provides in response to FAITH alone!
"Do you believe that I am able to do this?" They said to Him, "Yes, Lord."
29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, "According to your faith let it be to you." NKJV
31 "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. NKJV
How does he provide materially?......simply by 'blessing the work of our hands'
1 Thess 4:10-12
But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; 11 that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, 12 that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing. NKJV
which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.... All we have to do is say "Thank you Father" for your gracious provision of ALL our needs. A
Are you a believer or are you one who thinks that your obedience to the Law can earn your salvation or blessing (ie tithing) ?
Do you know the TRUTH (ie Jesus)...or do you still believe that your religious observances is what will get you God's approval?
Have you been seduced by the 'doctrines of demons'....and fallen from grace into works of the Law and religion?
Is your passion for TRUTH second to your committment to your 'church' organisation?
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. NKJV