Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;1 Timothy 4:2(KJV)
In his first letter to Timothy, Paul reveals that the Holy Spirit expressly warned us that in latter times, there would be a flood of false teachers who would feed the flock of God with their satanically inspired doctrines. Paul warned that this impending danger would cause many to fall away from the Christian faith because they foolishly paid attention to these deceitful spirits and their doctrines of demons.
Although many Christians identify ‘the latter days’ or ‘ the time of the end’ as the season in which we live today, the Bible clearly indicates the ‘end times’ as the entire 2000 year-long Church dispensation in which we live. The Bible teaches that ‘the latter days’ started at Pentecost and will continue until the rapture.
The entire Church age, therefore, has been beleaguered by apostasy, apostates, heresy and heretics. Paul warned us what a serious enemy these apostates are. They are tools of Satan who are being manipulated by the enemy of our soul – for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities, power and the rulers of this dark age.
From the beginning we were warned of the wiles of the devil, who not only prowls around as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, but who also comes to us as a beautiful, enticing angel of light, to deceive and defraud believers wherever possible. Today, it seems that the closer we are to the end, the greater are his deceptive devices, and the more intense are his attacks on Christians and the Bible.
One method the enemy has found to be most productive for his nefarious cause is to infiltrate the Church with apostate teachers, who seek to undermine the faith of Christians from within. Paul accuses such people as speaking lies in hypocrisy and describes them as having their conscience seared with a hot iron.
It is bad enough when a man teaches error because he lacks biblical understanding, but when someone deliberately and systematically sets out intending to deceive believers, the issues is greatly intensified and the warning against approaching apostasy during the present Church age is a major subject in many New Testament epistles.
The Holy Spirit explicitly tells us in this chapter of Timothy that in later times some will fall away from the faith because they paid attention to these deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons. Paul describes these degenerates as apostates, who both teach and spread hypocritical lies.
It is through their wilful ignorance and prideful hatred of God that apostate teachers have seared and scorched their own God-given conscience – as with a hot branding-iron. The scheming enemy of our soul selects individuals who delight to suppress the truth in unrighteousness and inserts them into congregations, where gullible women and lazy men, who care little about the correct exegeses of Scripture, are caused to fall away from the faith, and render their opportunity to serve God as fruitless.
Heavenly Father, I realise how important it is to have a thorough and correct understanding of the Word of God, for without it I am vulnerable to apostate teachers and the wiles of the enemy, who delights to shipwreck the faith of believers and render their lives powerless and unfruitful. Help me to be a vigilant student of Scripture and give me discernment to detect any attacks of the enemy in my life or the lives of other believers. We pray for protection over vulnerable Christians, who may be deceived by the hypocritical lies of apostate teachers and pray that in Your grace You would raise up men who will stand firm on God’s Word and speak the truth in love – this we ask in Jesus name, AMEN.