Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons (1 Timothy 4:1 ESV)
We are living in very troubling times. We do not know when Jesus is coming, but we know that the things He told us in the scriptures regarding the signs of the end are increasing around us. And the Holy Spirit spoke in the days of Paul and continues to say the same thing to us now about the last times. Please re-read the verse above again.
In the latter times, the Spirit says some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons. Please note the three essential truths in this clause. First, some will depart from the faith. Second, that departure will be by the working of deceitful spirits. Third, these deceitful spirits will bring in teachings called teachings of demons.
These words are not talking about what is happening to those who are outside. Paul is not speaking about teachings that people out there in the world are bringing up. He is referent to teachings that come up in the circle of those who identify themselves as Christians. Satan’s most coveted spot is the pulpit of Churches. There is nothing more fatal to the Church that the corruption of the Truth of the Word of God. That is why the pulpit is Satan’s most desired place in the whole world.
Do not think that the doctrine of demons here is gross teachings such as Satan is God or demons are good. Such teachings can deceive none of us. These teachings will be things that will seem truthful and so good that we will be tempted to accept them as coming from God. The next two verses( verse 2-3) give us examples of such teachings: forbidding marriage or teaching to abstain from certain foods. Not the kind of teachings you will expect to be labeled “teachings of demons”. These are just examples. There are teachings about the Holy Spirit, grace, faith, money, salvation, sin, etc that Satan is engineering into the pulpits to paralyze the Church. Our Christian life is a reflection of the pulpit that speaks God’s Word to us.
The Church stands on Truth, and whatever corrupts Truth paralyzes the Church. These are strange days. The only way to protect ourselves from deception is to be personally established in the Truth. I cannot stress this enough, especially in these days.
How does Satan disguise himself as an angel of light? ( 2 Cor. 11:14).
APPLY THE WORD
Remember this: Satan will not tempt us with what is obviously Satanic. Satan has to come with something that looks like God, otherwise, we will all run away. Be on the alert. Satan is on the pulpits. Be grounded on the Truth of the Word.
Pray for the Church that we will be established in the Truth of the Word.