Sunday, March 22, 2015 4:33 AM

The Teachings of Demons

Sunday, March 22, 2015 4:33 AM
Sunday, March 22, 2015 4:33 AM

1 Ti 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,

The Spirit, then, is saying that “in later seasons” — eras of this new dispensation, eras definitely marked out in God’s foreknowledge — some will depart or apostatize from the faith, the body of redemptive truth, the Christian religion.

The Spirit was saying this expressly (“in stated terms”). There was neither doubt nor vagueness about it. A half dozen years ago Paul, addressing the elders of the churches located in the very region where Timothy was now laboring, had spoken as follows: “I know that after my departure grievous wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.” A few years after that speech recorded in Acts 20, the apostle, writing to the Colossians from his first Roman imprisonment, had warned them against accepting the error that faith in Christ’s atoning work has to be supplemented by ascetic beliefs and practices (Col. 2). And now, writing to Timothy from Macedonia, he is distinctly informed by the Holy Spirit that the error, already present in its incipient form, will grow and develop in the manner indicated in verse 3.

Men will depart from the faith by giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons. As the context indicates (and see also I John 4:6 where “the spirit of seduction” is contrasted with “the Spirit of truth”), these spirits are not men but demons. Like planets that seem to wander back and forth among the constellations, these spirits wander; moreover, they cause men to wander. They seduce, lead astray. By giving heed to them one is giving heed to doctrines of demons (cf. II Cor. 4:4; Rev. 13:11, 14).

These doctrines are (embodied) in (the) insincere utterance (literally, in hypocrisy) of those who speak lies. As Satan made use of a serpent to deceive Eve, and this by means of an insincere utterance (Gen. 3:1–5): he was hiding his real objective; for while he pretended to raise Eve to a higher level of glory, so that she would be “like God,” his real aim was to dethrone God and enthrone himself), so these seducing spirits or demons make use of men who speak lies, and who talk piously and learnedly in order to cover up their own arrogance or immorality.

These hypocrites are described as the men whose own conscience is seared (literally, “who are cauterized as to their own conscience”). By constantly arguing with conscience, stifling its warnings, and muffling its bell, they at last have reached the point where conscience no longer bothers them. Grieving the Holy Spirit has led to resisting him, and resisting him to quenching him. Then, through their own rebellion and obstinacy, their conscience will have been rendered (and thus will be permanently) seared. It will have been made callous.[1]

[1] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953-2001). Vol. 4: Exposition of the Pastoral Epistles. New Testament Commentary (143–146). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

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