The Berean Expositor
Volume 48 - Page 60 of 181
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The Lie, and the antidote.
pp. 131 - 135
We have noted the connection of the Lie with the `last days', and now we wish to
think of the development of this falsehood in that closing period of time, with particular
reference to the church which is Christ's Body.
In his first letter to Timothy, Paul says:
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the
faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils" (I Tim. 4: 1).
"Depart" is the Greek word aphistemi, to apostatize or, literally, to stand from, hence
to put away, remove, separate, with the additional thought of hindering and frustrating. It
is sometimes thought that the apostasy is to be found in the world, but those who are in
the world are `without Christ . . . . . without God' (Eph. 2: 12): how can those in such a
condition put away, or remove from the faith? It is, alas, `believers' the Apostle has in
mind. It is to be noted that the `departure' from the faith is connected with `seducing
spirits, and doctrines of demons'. This suggests a pseudo spiritually--a spirituality
which derives from the Lie. How careful should the believer be when confronted with
some unusual or new manifestation of spirituality! It is not only those who `profess and
call themselves Christians' who need to be `led into the way of truth' who are at risk,
there is danger for even the genuine believer in these `perilous times'. Even to Timothy,
Paul was constrained to say `from such turn away' (II Tim. 3: 5), "refuse profane and
old wives' fables" (I Tim. 4: 7), "continue thou in the things which thou hast learned"
(II Tim. 3: 14).
Paul also warns Timothy:
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own
lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away
their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (II Tim. 4: 3, 4).
It is a sad thing that there are many who only want `the simple gospel', who look for
`experience', for `feelings' and excitement rather than `sound doctrine', of which they are
inclined to say `it is too deep for me'.
"The time will come when they . . . . . will follow their own fancy and gather a crowd
of teachers to tickle their ears" (N.E.B.). The criterion of a `good preacher' today so
often is not his faithfulness to the Word of God, but whether what he says is an
`entertainment'. The result of these `fancies' is that:
"They shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables"
(II Tim. 4: 4).