How To Solve All These Conundrums and More…
In 1 Timothy, Paul’s writings are great instructional booklets for the church today.
Recognition of authority, orderly worship, good family conduct, 1 Timothy has it all! This morning, I’d like to look at chapter 4, where Paul issues Timothy a few important warnings.
In many western churches today, I do not believe that we fully grasp the significance of the spiritual realm and in particular, demonic activity. Sure, we may have a comment here or there about being “under attack.“
But what does that really mean?
As I read Paul’s warning to Timothy, I am willing to admit that maybe some parishioners are experiencing a more severe oppression than the typical “attack“!
This chapter begins with the following statement:
“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.” (1 Timothy 4:1-2) The passage continues to describe a couple of the commands that may come out of this kind of ‘deceived‘ teacher, much of which is based in legalism.
The concept that these teachers who are setting up these rules for their people, may be controlled by demons is a sobering thought. If a teacher is getting caught up in rules and regulations that do not align with the fruits of the Spirit, would we ever come to the conclusion that maybe their could be some demonic activity involved?
Furthermore, dare I say it?
Perhaps, we have pastors who are not saved? Perhaps, we have pastors who “follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons“? Considering how long demons have been around, they likely know the Book pretty well and maybe even enough to fool a bunch of dedicated Believers.
So what do we do with this information? Where do we go from here? Well, Paul gives Timothy the answer we seek, starting in verse six:
“If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.” (1 Timothy 4:6-7)
That’s it! We need to speak up!
As we can read in chapter 3 of 1 Timothy, our Elders and Deacons are in place for a purpose. If our pulpits become a platform for legalism, myths, tales and/or false teachings, we should be bold and speak out against such foolish talk.
Always keeping in mind, that as Paul tells Timothy, such teachings may just be the influence of demonic activity.
As a final encouragement, take a look at what Paul gave Timothy:
“Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:11-12)