But the key words are “freedom” and “choices.” If anyone, Christian or otherwise, tries to dictate these things to us then that’s wrong. Then we know that it’s what Paul warned about in 1 Timothy 4:3.
Hello Readers, hope all’s well. Time for another End Times post.
Satan is working overtime to deceive everyone he can as his world comes to an end. There are more demonic deceptions floating around in the End Times than ever before. We need to be alert not only to demonic lies that have already spread, but also to ones the Bible says will come later.
To identify some of these demonic lies, we’re going to take another in-depth look at an End Times Scripture today. Today’s Scripture passage for our study is 1 Timothy 4:1-7.
1 Timothy 4:1-7
So far on my blog I’ve done two line-by-line End Times Scripture studies. I looked at 2 Timothy 3:1-9 in Part 29, and 2 Peter 3 in Part 45. In 2 Timothy 3 especially we can see that the things Paul prophesied about the End Times are now coming true. Check out Part 29 to learn more.
But today’s Scripture study, 1 Timothy 4:1-7, points to things that haven’t quite happened yet. Before we get into that, let’s take a look at the passage.
(1) The Spirit clearly says that in latter times some people will turn away from the faith. They will pay attention to spirits that deceive and to the teaching of demons. (2) They will be controlled by the pretense of lying, and their own consciences will be seared. (3) They will prohibit marriage and eating foods that God created—and he intended them to be accepted with thanksgiving by those who are faithful and have come to know the truth. (4) Everything that has been created by God is good, and nothing that is received with thanksgiving should be rejected. (5) These things are made holy by God’s word and prayer. (6) If you point these things out to the believers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus who has been trained by the words of faith and the good teaching that you’ve carefully followed. (7) But stay away from the godless myths that are passed down from the older women.1 Timothy 4:1-7 (CEB)
Now let’s take a look at this, piece by piece.
Demonic Deceptions, Taught by Liars
In the first two verses, Paul warns us about false Gospels, false teachings, cults (Christian or otherwise), and more.
(1) The Spirit clearly says that in latter times some people will turn away from the faith. They will pay attention to spirits that deceive and to the teaching of demons. (2) They will be controlled by the pretense of lying, and their own consciences will be seared.1 Timothy 4:1-2 (CEB)
There are many false Gospels and false teachings out there today. These can be false Gospels like Prosperity Gospel or the doctrine of the Mormon church. The Mormons have a theology that denies the divinity of Jesus Christ, and places Him on a mortal level. Or these can be completely false belief systems like New Age, which I write about sometimes on this blog.
The common thread tying all these false Gospels and belief systems together is that they are demonic deceptions. Any time you can show that a teaching is unBiblical, you know it’s false. You also know that demons are the origin of that false teaching. It was a demon who whispered the false doctrine into someone’s ear, to get everything started. Demons are behind every false Gospel and all false belief systems. That’s why any of these things are the doctrines of demons (many translations of 1 Timothy 4:1 use that exact phrase).
The mission of demons is to deceive, even to deceive the elect if they can. So they whisper these demonic doctrines in people’s ears, hoping to spread them around. Frank Hammond discussed this in his classic book on spiritual warfare, Pigs in the Parlor. He discussed religious error (the doctrines of demons) as both a symptom and a cause of demonic possession. Let’s hear what he has to say.
(2) Christian Cults, e.g. Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, Rosicrucianism, Theosophy, Unity and many more. Such cults deny or confuse the necessity of Christ’s blood as the way of atonement for sin and salvation. […] All such cults may be classified as “bloodless religions,” that is, those “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” (2 Tim. 3:5).Frank Hammond, Pigs in the Parlor, Page 40
(4) False doctrine. 1 Tim. 4:1 warns of great increase of doctrinal errors promoted by deceiving and seducing spirits in the last days. Such doctrines are designed to attack both the humanity and deity of Jesus Christ; [… and so on …]
OK, did you catch that? We have a critically important criteria for determining what a demonic doctrine is. Never forget:
Any teaching that attacks the humanity or deity of Jesus Christ, or the need of His blood for our atonement and salvation, is a demonic doctrine.
From Mormonism to New Age, there’s a wide range of teachings out there that fit this criteria. Reject them all. Read Scripture, and stick to the truth. These are the final days and the deceptions are spreading like wildfire. Hold on to the inspired truth of Scripture, God’s Word.
Moving on, verse 2 makes it clear that anyone teaching the doctrines of demons is a hypocritical liar. The CEB Bible translation doesn’t give the best sense of that, so let’s look at 1 Timothy 4:2 in the NIV.
(2) Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.1 Timothy 4:2 (NIV)
Anyone teaching demonic doctrine is a hypocrite, a liar, and their own conscience convicts them of this. Their own conscience tells them what they teach is wrong.
Now that we have this warning about the doctrines of demons, and we know what Paul has to say about the people who teach it, let’s move on to some other warnings about these people.
God’s Good … Prohibited?
In verses 3 to 5, Paul warns us these false teachers will forbid good things that God created. Let’s take a look:
(3) They will prohibit marriage and eating foods that God created—and he intended them to be accepted with thanksgiving by those who are faithful and have come to know the truth. (4) Everything that has been created by God is good, and nothing that is received with thanksgiving should be rejected. (5) These things are made holy by God’s word and prayer.1 Timothy 4:3-5 (CEB)
So we know they will forbid marriage, and eating certain foods. Well this hasn’t happened quite yet. But we could imagine the possibility of this sometime in the future. If they’re able to prohibit these things, it means that they will one day rise to have great power over either society as a whole, or the Christian religion. Verse 3 doesn’t say if these teachers will take over entire countries, or only the Christian faith.
As for the possibility of this in the future, I think we’ve already seen very early hints of it. I’ve heard some people advocating that everyone should go on a vegan diet, because it’s the most eco-friendly diet we can eat. If everyone made that choice, it would be great for the environment.
OK, sure. Romans 14:3-4 makes it clear that your choice of diet, including being a vegetarian, is not important and has no impact on being a Christian. These verses explicitly say the LORD accepts believers no matter their diet. It’s their faith and sincerity that are important. I’ll quote the verses here, but for all the context just read Romans 14 in full. I also wrote a post about this awhile ago called Mind Your Own Business. Check that out for more on these verses.
(3) The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. (4) Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.Romans 14:3-4 (NIV)
But here’s the important part: Romans 14:3-4 indicates having a choice. As long as it’s a choice, the LORD doesn’t care what you choose. That’s not an important part of being a believer. But to prohibit eating certain foods, that’s where the problem is.
If we ever hear people, Christians or otherwise, saying that eating meat is forbidden, then we know we’re seeing what Paul warned us about in 1 Timothy 4:3. We need to at least have the choice.
Same thing goes for marriage. There have been some rumblings in recent years about doing away with the nuclear family. That is, a father, mother, and some children. I first heard about the idea of doing away with the nuclear family in 2018, but I’m sure it goes back further than that.
Well to be honest, there’s not really anything standing in the way of people who don’t want to live in nuclear family units. People are pretty much free to live how they like, with whoever they like. If a group of people decide they want to live in a more tribal family structure or something, they can get together and do it whenever they want.
Once again, the problem comes in when the choice is taken away. When marriage is forbidden, prohibited. If we ever see people, Christians or otherwise, trying to prohibit marriage for any reason, we know it’s the situation Paul warned about. So let’s keep an eye out for that. I say we’ve only seen and heard the very first, initial rumblings of this. I think this issue is one that might come a little further down the road. But hey, let’s stay alert and see.
But verses 4 and 5 tell us that marriage and all the foods God created are good. God created every plant and animal on this earth, and each has its use. All these foods were meant to be enjoyed with gratitude to God, as verse 4 says. As long as it’s enjoyed with gratitude to God, all is well. Verse 5 says that these things are made holy by prayer and God’s Word—God has told us these things are good. And we can thank Him in prayer for these things, respecting them as the holy gifts from above that they are.
Mind you, they should also be enjoyed in moderation. That’s the topic of my latest Victory in Virtue post about the Virtue of Temperance.
We have freedom to make choices on how to live within Christianity. Romans 14 tells us our choice of diet doesn’t matter. First Corinthians 7 explores the question of marriage, and Paul says staying single is an excellent and holy choice. But the key words are “freedom” and “choices.” If anyone, Christian or otherwise, tries to dictate these things to us then that’s wrong. Then we know that it’s what Paul warned about in 1 Timothy 4:3.
An Instruction and a Warning
To close out this Scripture passage, Paul gives us one more instruction and a warning. First, he tells us that it’s good for us to tell Christians about these deceptions.
(6) If you point these things out to the believers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus who has been trained by the words of faith and the good teaching that you’ve carefully followed.1 Timothy 4:6 (CEB)
We have a duty here to tell other Christians when they’re being deceived. When they’re following the doctrines of demons or other lies. When their spiritual leader is pushing unBiblical diet or marriage rules on them. When we see Christians following these false teachings, we must show them their error. We must use Scripture, including today’s passage, and show them the Biblical proof that they’re listening to demonically-inspired lies. Remember, these could be anything from bad theology to New Age to the prohibition of what should be free, personal choices.
We must warn them of their dangerous error, because their salvation is on the line. Their mistaken choice will be Spiritually fatal. They need to be broken free of pastors teaching false doctrine. So remember verse 6, and our duty to warn believers of these dangerous deceptions.
Finally, in verse 7 Paul gives us one more warning about demonic theology. In this case, paganism and witchcraft.
(7) But stay away from the godless myths that are passed down from the older women.1 Timothy 4:7 (CEB)
Some versions of the Bible translate “the older women” as “crones” and stuff like that. The godless myths they pass down are things like paganism, nature worship, ancestor worship, witchcraft and magic spells, things like that. Ancient knowledge that people keep “rediscovering,” as it crops up and gets popular from time to time. Forbidden magics and worship of false gods, forbidden by the LORD as abominations. Verse 7 tells us to stay away from these myths.
This is important to know, because godless New Age beliefs are on the rise. Those are the godless myths of the old women. Stay away from those and stick close to the truth: God’s Word.
Stick to the One Truth
I hope today’s Scripture study has been helpful to you. The takeaway from this is to beware of some things which are already happening, and some which will happen in the future.
The increase of false Gospels and false teachings has already happened, and continues to happen. The prohibition of marriage and certain foods hasn’t quite happened yet, but we’ve heard the very first rumblings of it already. So we need to be on the lookout for that, knowing it will come one day, as prophesied by Paul. Paul doesn’t say we can stop this from happening, so when we see it we’ll know that the End is very, very close.
Finally, Paul also tells us we need to warn other Christians about false doctrines and demonically-inspired lies. If we see Christians following these lies, we need to warn them and show them in Scripture where they’ve gone astray. We need to get them away from those lies if we can. We also need to stay away from the godless myths of ancient times. Paganism, occultism, nature worship, magic, and other unGodly things like that.
So how will we be able to recognize all these things? That’s easy—we need to read God’s Word every day. We need to be well-versed in Scripture, and know what it says. Without a solid knowledge of God’s Word, we might believe any kind of lie if it at least sounds Biblical. But if we read God’s Word every day, and reflect on it, we’re in much less danger of falling for the lies.
No one is ever immune to falling for these lies—and if we ever think we are, it’s a dangerous mistake. So when we see Christians falling for the lies we must remind them of God’s Word. So how can we do that if we don’t know the Word?
We need to read God’s Word every day in these End Times. Satan is working overtime to deceive us as his world comes to an end. Demonic deceptions are all over the place, along with all sorts of unBiblical ideas. To cut through all the lies, we need the One Truth: God’s Word. Know it, and learn it by heart. If we don’t know God’s Word in these crazy End Times, we’re bound to fall in the deception trap.
Well that’s all for this week. If you enjoyed today’s post, please be sure to Subscribe using the link below. And please consider Supporting My Blog using the Tip Jar. Any amount is much appreciated!
Until next time, be strong and do good!
Your new best friend in Christ,
<<<EXALT THE LORD OUR GOD AND WORSHIP AT HIS HOLY HILL; FOR THE LORD OUR GOD IS HOLY>>>
Follow My Blog
Subscribe to my FREE Substack newsletter so you never miss any of my posts!
Support My Blog
The Tip Jar
If you enjoyed this article, or any of the content on my site, please consider tossing a dollar in ‘the tip jar’ by donating here. All donations of any amount are greatly appreciated! If all you have to give are thoughts and prayers, I will gladly accept those too! I receive those, don’t worry 🙂