1 Tim 4: 1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared,
Many will depart from the faith! Many will fall away from their faith in Christ, which means they will lose their salvation. How did that happen? Because they devoted themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons. Now not many pulpits today will attribute the false teachings deceitful spirits and teachings of demons. That’s actually precisely how many liberal preachers, teachers, writers preach and teach, and will never label them from deceitful spirits and teachings of demons! If we do that, it will be jaw dropping and horrifying! But are you going against the Bible teaching as in 1 Tim 4 by Paul then? That’s why in some ways we lost some zeal; some fire in our church, because we don’t want to over spiritualize things. Is there such a tendency? Shall I say it’s the reverse? The under-spiritualizing?? Indeed so. Paul pulls no punches. He labeled them as they are. We need to learn from Paul, his audacity, his boldness, and courage in his unflinching principled mindset and speaks his mind. Apparently God likes that or else it wouldn’t have been in the Bible, or the canon. We have diluted the authenticity and preciousness of the scriptures, bowing to pressures of the worldly forces, or indeed deceitful spirits, and demons teaching. Call them out. Offending people is better than offending God.
If that’s the case, what does that mean to our teachings? What shall be our attitude towards those liberal teachings that changed the word of God? They re-labeled the word. They denied the supernatural deeds of Christ in the gospel insisting to bow to the rationalistic worldview of reasoning simply because they can’t believe Jesus walked on water, Jesus opened the eyes of the blind etc. They cherry picked what they want especially the kindness of Jesus, the love of Jesus, the forgiveness of Jesus. They attempted a washed down Jesus. Not a God man but it’s a good religious man. Reducing Jesus to one of the gurus depleting of his divinity. God have mercy! They genderize even God, bring in and justify homosexuality when its absolutely clear it is an abomination. Will they call it out? Some may say Paul is not showing enough grace in 1 Tim 4 by calling the put that way. No, just like Jesus overturned the trading tables in the temple at the feast of Passover, which seemed to be not very graceful, that is precisely what a righteous holy God should do at moments like that. God has two sides, anger, loving, and vengeance, compassionate are all his attributes. No one can label God with one trait as loving and forgiving, that’s what the liberals want you to believe.
What we shall do is to take our stands. Now some may argue that then we may lose a lot of congregation, but we must balance it out with the compassion love shown by Jesus as well. I know it’s a skill, but to combine both of these, we need a lot of prayers, Spirit anointing. Imagine I preach that way from the pulpit in liberal New York city, people may be offended. But on the other hands, people may be encouraged by such boldness and calling it out so clearly and follow the Bible strictly. No monkeying around it.
What that means is that this will revolutionize prayers. People won’t preach meekly and tenderly at all times. We need to be angry, and raise our voice and call them out in a spiritual battle to challenge these deceitful spirits and demons. As said before, many will never call it that way, but we will call it, a worldview challenge to the worldly culture. We call it culture. Paul called it spirits and demons.
Secondly, its through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared,
Where do they come from? Those deceiving teachings doesn’t come from spirits and demons and manifest it, but they were manifested though human vessels, and Paul, once again, in his boldness, call them as liars. Insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared. That’s a strong word. What kind of people are they? Their conscience are seared means? They are numbed. They can’t feel guilt any more even when they lie, deceive. Because their conscience can’t feel anymore. Its been seared. That’s why its so hard to debate, argue with those liberals theologian, because they seek to be die hard liberalized, twisting, and diluting the word of God,l. That’s actually the most dangerous deeds, because they come from inside the church, and not only that, they are having some theological background to be able to write and produce books that influence a whole generation or more.
Can we avoid them? No. They are here, and here to stay, as Paul said in verse 1. What we can do, is call them out, pray against them, and teach our folks and inoculate them and preempt their strikes. And preach, teach, and produce books to debunk their myths, deception.
To conclude here, my basic thesis is that based on 1 Tim 4 :1 , Christians fall away from their faith due to spirits of deception and demons. Vast difference from reformed preaching in general, especially in urban cities. That’s a big claim and we are taking about people losing their faith and going to hell. Yes I agree that it’s not just spiritual darkness but human interactions, culture, in this post modern world. What I am arguing is that spirit deception and demons is the root, the human dimension is the recipient. The driver is spirit of deception or darkness, and demons. What I am proposing is first to change our view towards oppositions and calling it as spiritual warfare and not just going to the human psychology and brokenness. We need both, but spiritual is our real target through acknowledging in corporate prayers, preaching, exhortation ….effectively combining Pentecostal with reformed.