Friday, July 19, 2013
Liars and Deception
(Explanation of 1 Timothy 4:1-5 from the MacArthur Study Bible, page 1818:
"4:1 the Spirit expressly says. Paul repeats to Timothy the warning he had given many years earlier to the Ephesian elders (Acts 20:29-30). The Holy Spirit through the Scriptures has repeatedly warned of the danger of apostasy (cf. Matt. 24:4-12; Acts 20:29-30; 2 Thess. 2:3-12; Heb. 3:12; 5:11-6:8; 10:26-31; 2 Pet. 3:3; 1John 2:18; Jude18). in later times. The period from the first coming of Christ until his return (Acts 2:16-17; Heb. 1:1-2; 9:26; 1 Pet.1:20; 1 John 2:18). Apostasy will exist throughout that period, reaching a climax shortly before Christ returns (cf. Matt. 24:12). depart from the faith. Those who fall prey to the false teachers will abandon the Christian faith. The Greek word for "depart" is the source of the English word "apostatize," and refers to someone moving away from an original position. These are professing or nominal Christians who associate with those who truly believe the gospel, but defect after believing lies and deception, thus revealing their true nature as unconverted. See notes on 1 John 2:19 and Jude 24. deceitful spirits. Those demonic spirits, either directly or through false teachers, who have wandered away from the truth and lead others to do the same. The most defining word to describe the entire operation of Satan and his demons is "deception" (cf.John 8:44; 1 John 4:1-6). teachings of demons. Not teaching about demons, but false teaching that originates from them. To sit under such teaching is to hear lies from the demonic realm (Eph. 6:12; James 3:15; 2 John 7-11). The influence of demons will reach its peak during the tribulation (2 Thess. 2:9; Rev. 9:2-11; 16:14; 20:2-3, 8,10). Satan and demons constantly work the deceptions that corrupt and pervert God's word.
4:2 insincerity of liars. Lit., "hypocritical lie-speakers." These are the human false teachers who propagate demon doctrine (cf. 1 John 4:1). seared. A medical term referring to cauterization. False teachers can teach their hypocritical lies because their consciences have been desensitized (cf. Eph. 4:19), as if all the nerves that make them feel had been destroyed and turned into scar tissue by the burning of demonic deception. consciences. See note on 1 Tim. 1:5.
4:3 forbid marriage. . . abstinence from foods. A sample of the false teaching at Ephesus. Typically, it contained elements of truth, since Scripture commends both singleness (1 Cor. 7:25-35) and fasting (Matt. 6:16-17; 9:14-15). The deception came in making such human works a prerequisite for salvation--a distinguishing mark of all false religion. This ascetic teaching was probably influenced both by the Jewish sect. known as the Essenes, and contemporary Greek thought (which viewed matter as evil and spirit as good). Paul addressed this asceticism in Col. 2:21-23 (see notes there). Neither celibacy nor any form of diet saves or sanctifies.
4:4 everything created by God is good. The false teachers' asceticism contradicted Scripture, which teaches that since God created both marriage and food (Gen. 1:28-31; 2:18-24; 9:3), they are intrinsically good (Gen. 1:31) and to be enjoyed with gratitude by believers. Obviously food and marriage are essential for life and procreation.
4:5 made holy. Set apart or dedicated to God for holy use. The means for so doing are thankful prayer and an understanding that the word of God has set aside the temporary Mosaic dietary restrictions (Mark 7:19; Acts 10:9-15; Rom.14:1-12; Col. 2:16-17). Contrast the unbeliever whose inner corruption and evil motives corrupt every good thing (Titus 1:15)."
Let's pray: Dear Lord Jesus I lift up those who are living in deception. I pray that they will see the truth found only through Jesus in the Bible. I say these things in Jesus' name. Amen.