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 in troubled times, and the signs of the end times are increasing. One pivotal sign is deception through false teachings by deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons. There are sober warnings and truths in these verses.
First, Paul says the Spirit expressly warns that these things will occur. Therefore, heed carefully what the Spirit of the Lord is saying to you and the rest of the Church.
Second, hell has unleashed a host of end-times demons that the Spirit calls “deceitful spirits” who specialize in false teachings. These spirits are seeking to control what is preached from church pulpits, the most powerful place of influence in God’s house.
Third, He provides an example of demonic teachings in the next two verses: forbidding marriage or abstaining from certain foods (1 Timothy 4:2-3). These demonic teachings are easily acceptable by Christians. Note that they are not some weird occultic idea.
Fourth, He reveals the ultimate purpose of these pulpit demons: “some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves…” This is why Satan has his eye on pulpits—false teachings undermine the Church and destroy God’s purposes.
Be careful. Satan has entered the community of God’s people. The enemy has sown tares amongst God’s wheat: false Christians, false teachers, false prophets, false pastors. It is now more important than ever to learn how to study the Word for yourself and examine every teaching you hear.
Take a moment to reflect on 2 Corinthians 11:14 and consider how Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
Apply the Word
Can you spot demonic teachings when you hear them? Is the Truth of God’s Word well established in you, that you can easily discern the deception of Satan? Your best protection against deception is to learn to examine the Bible yourself and to study it carefully to be established in its truth.
Let us pray for the Church, that we will be established in the Truth of the Word and protected from deception.
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