May 22, 2022. I Timothy 4:1-5

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UNHOLY DECEPTION. I Timothy 4:1-5. 05/22/2022. #10.

1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, 3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; 5 for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

1. Apostasy

                a. Paul tells Timothy that there will be a departure (apostia) of the faith by some in the end times

                                a1. One of the marks of the end times is deviation from Bible-based faith

                                a2. Many different ways to err

                b. The origin of heresy is demonic temptation

                                a1. Paul doesn’t state that the deceived can blame demons for their errors

                                a2. Seduced by doctrines of demons

                c. 3 levels of doctrinal deception

                                a1. Rejection of Christ and the Bible

                                a2. Corruption of biblical doctrine

                                a3. Replacement of biblical Christianity with false religion

                d. By pursuing minor errors, big errors emerge

                e. 2 areas of deviation:

                                a1. Following deceiving spirits (clever arguments sound good, plausible, and desirable, but are lies)

                                                b1. Outright lies are easier to spot

                                                b2. Subtle deceptions = easy to fall

                                                a2. Doctrines of demons = inventing unbiblical dogmas

2. Many ways to fall

                a. Characteristics of the deceiver:

                                a1. Speaking lies in hypocrisy (pretend to be believers, but undercut the ministry with false teachings, working inside the church, even in leadership and teaching positions Acts 20:25-32)

                                a2. Seared conscience = no guilt, shame, or remorse in teaching error and deceiving the saints

                b. Satan does his most damaging work from inside the church, pulling people away from true faith

                c. Replacement of spirituality with keeping rules

                                a1. False piety (forbidding marriage) of outward dedication

                                a2. Keeping religious rules about diets, dedication days, taboos,…

3. Beware of false teachers

                a. Everything wholesome is to be received from God with thanksgiving

                b. Forbidden by religious decree things that God has given is cultish

                                a1. Teaching that abstaining from certain things is holiness is trying to replace true spirituality with legalism (Matthew 23)

                                a2. Legalistic churches have many rules about dress, days, activities, hair, etc.

                c. True sanctification restricts sin, but not liberty

a1. Romans 14-15 the Christian walk is one of freedom to enjoy God’s creation

                                a2. Christianity is a relationship with God through Jesus, and not a religion of rules

                d. Prayer, Bible study, worship, and service is holy

Key verse:  Acts 20:25-32

25 “And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more. 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. 28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. 31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. 32 “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.