"But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron." 1 Timothy 4:1-2
It seems in today’s world most people have become liars in some form or another. We have drifted so far away from God’s Word and His standard it is accepted behavior even among those professing to be Christians. There was a time in this country when a man’s word defined the man. Watching the old Westerns I grew up watching with my father emphasized honesty, and the men kept their word at all cost. My business is run by people keeping their word when they schedule appointments at a specified time. If they don’t meet that appointment at the time agreed on it has an impact not only on my time, but the next client as well. People no longer feel convicted about not keeping their word. Being late and not fulfilling your word is a normal standard for most, and I see little difference in the ones who claim to be disciples of Christ. What you are saying is your time is more valuable than the other person’s. You also are conveying you cannot be trusted to tell the truth, only if it is convenient for you. We all have had legitimate reasons for being late, a flat tire, unexpected sickness, life happens, but when it is habitual, we have become habitual liars. We have nice adjectives to describe our lying such as exaggeration. When you stretch the truth and project what is not true you are lying. In Psalm 116:11 we read:
I said in my alarm, " All men are liars."
It began in the garden of Eden. It is how satan caused Eve to partake of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which God the Father told Adam clearly they would surely die if they did so. Think about the consequences of the whole world, because of paying attention to deceitful lies.
Satan has most of us convinced lying is a small sin described as little "white lies". There is no such thing as harmless, little white lies. It is an invasive sin that has become a new norm. We must wake up to the truth of God’s Word once again. In John 8:43-45 Jesus addresses the sin of lying:
"Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in Him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth you do not believe Me."
Notice in verse 40 they were trying to kill Jesus even then:
"But as it is you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do."
Why were they trying to kill Jesus? Because He told them the truth He had heard from God, His Father. This is the scribes and Pharisees, the religious leaders of the day He is conversing with. The deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons are in the temple, or the church. This is what Paul is warning Timothy about. It is a religious spirit, which is doctrines of demons causing us to believe we are righteous within ourselves and yet, the Son of God is before them speaking truth to them and they never heard it. Why? Because they weren’t seeking truth. They were seeking to be right in their own eyes. In order to become a disciple of Christ you must love and seek truth above all else according to the Word of God. You must hear from Him as Jesus did. He taught what He heard from the Father. He lived the will of God, not His own. He followed God’s plan for His life never devising His own.
Scripture tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:4 satan is the prince of this earth and he has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, so his lies are ever around and before us. But we must not give our attention to them. He can only deceive us if we pay attention to the lies. We must give all our attention to the truth of God’s Word. Truth is our defense against his lies and deception and the doctrine of demons taught by man. We are in the latter days. The battle is intense. Sadly very few people actually read and study their Bibles. We act like books written by men are more helpful than the only book written by God. You cannot improve upon the Word of God by leading teachers and writers of today. Do we really believe the Bible is outdated and newly written books are more powerful than the Holy Bible? I may use other books that expound on the written Word, but my main source is the pure Word of God, and I hope that is true in your life. Only God’s Word is powerful enough to change me, and that is true for you. The Holy Spirit was sent to us after Jesus’ ascension to teach and lead us into all truth according to scripture. He reveals to us the hidden mysteries in the Word of God. It is spiritually discerned, not academically. Then it just becomes knowledge, and never penetrates the heart. You become religious concerning yourself with the external and never changing internally. Do not be deceived as the Jews were. They crucified the Son of God. They murdered His prophets who spoke the truth. They were of the devil, the father of lies.
Let us contemplate our own lives before our Savior, Jesus. Let us pursue truth with all our hearts. We must surrender our preconceived ideas for the truth in God’s Word to be revealed by the Holy Spirit. Acknowledge your need for the person of the Holy Spirit to be your Teacher and lead you into all truth as Jesus promised us. In my late teens I was desperately seeking the truth about life. I wanted answers to my questions. I was desperate to find the truth. After being jerked around by the feminist movement, and a lot of other movements in the late seventies I turned back to the God I had been taught about, but this time I wanted to know for myself if it was all true or not. Matthew 5:6 states:
"Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness shall be filled."
Jeremiah 29:13-14 promises:
"Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart."
I know these promises are true. I have lived them. He did fulfill His promise when I sought the truth with all my heart. But know it must become a way of life, not a one time decision. Everyday I must seek truth with all my heart. I must labor and strive for godliness only paying attention to what God says, because only in Him am I assured of truth. This is the antidote to falling away from the faith in the latter days if we are paying attention to deceitful spirits, doctrines of demons, and liars full of hypocrisy. We will become what we give our attention to. Choose wisely who you listen to and spend time with. May we all make our relationship with the God who created us, loves us, and is coming for us, our priority above all else. Ultimately it is only His opinion of us that eternally matters.
In His love.
Photos from High Rock Lookout in Wytheville VA. This is a wonderful trail run from Crystal Springs Recreational Area, taking the Boundary Trail and veering off on the SpurTrail up to the overlook. Approximately 10 miler. Love this run!