But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all, just as Jannes's and Jambres's folly was also.2 Timothy 3:9(NASB)
While Paul gives a resounding call to patient endurance in life's difficulties, purity in personal conduct, and faithfulness in Christian ministry, he is equally eager to warn us of perilous times ahead, the ploys of the enemy to shipwreck our faith, and the insidious dangers of false teachers.
This section of Scripture gives graphic details of the ungodly traits associated with false teachers and wayward unbelievers, together with an extensive list of about 20 ungodly character traits that will abound on earth, just prior to Christ's return. It will be a time when men will be brutal haters of good - arrogant and treacherous - holding to a form of godliness, while denying its power.
Paul's warning is to avoid people such as these, who manipulate the minds of men and captivate weak, impressionable women when they are weighed down with sins and able to be controlled by various impulses. An identifying mark of this time is that men will keep on learning, but never be able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
Paul describes a time when these compromised charlatans who are 'men of corrupt minds', cannot keep their deceptive practices hidden from view: "They will not make further progress," we are told, "for their folly will be obvious to all."
Throughout history, we see example after example of ungodly men who have deceived the masses with their false teachings, foolish philosophies, and destructive doctrines. Paul lists three pairs of such unscrupulous scoundrels in this epistle alone - Phygelus and Hermogenes who were ashamed of the truth, Hymenaeus and Philetus who erred concerning the truth, and here in this verse, Jannes and Jambres who resisted the truth.
Jannes and Jambres were men who held senior positions in Pharoah's executive branch of government. They were highly respected cultish magicians who vigorously resisted God's servant, Moses, by imitating his works through the use of demonic power. They arrogantly conducted counterfeit miracles and satanic wonders, as they smugly shook their fist in the face of Almighty God and scorned the truth of His Word.
How reflective of false teachers, cultish leaders, and those who rebel against the truth of the gospel of God today. How important, therefore, to take heed of Paul's serious warning to avoid such people - who attempt to subvert God's Word and substitute the truth with whatsoever philosophy they choose to adopt.
The world today is swimming in a swamp of unbiblical religious teachings, many of which are branded with the identifying mark of Christendom and have a form of godliness and yet deny its power. Let us hold fast to the truth of God's Word and defend the glorious gospel of Christ.
Let us be prepared to stand fast on the facts of Scripture and expose those false teachers who seek to subvert the Word of truth by manipulating the minds of weak-willed men and women with their deceptive practices.
Let us expose the works of darkness and remember that the foolish folly of ungodly men will eventually be exposed and brought to naught. But above all, let us thank God that our names are written in the Lambs' book of Life.
Heavenly Father, I see throughout history, that the mark of the enemy is to subvert the truth of Your Word through deceit and to manipulate the minds of people into believing a lie. Help all Your children to hold fast to the truth of the gospel of grace, so that Christ is lifted up. Give us discernment to identify, expose, and reject the false teachings of ungodly men and the foolish philosophers of the world which are percolating into Christian communities and flooding into the corridors of governmental power. Such false doctrines seek to shipwreck the faith of believers, while holding unbelieving minds in satanic darkness. Expose the works of evil, I pray, for Your name's sake. In Jesus' name, AMEN.
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