THESE LAST DAYS
A Study of 2 Timothy 3:1-8 by Doctor Fred Wittman
Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with diverse lusts.
Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith” (2 Tim. 3:1-8AV).
“Perpetually know [from experience] this also! that in 0 last days ferocious seasons of time of themselves shall be impending. For the humans shall be: ones fond of themselves, ones fond of silver money, arrogant boasters, proud ones, blasphemers, ones disobedient [resisted persuasion] to parents, ungrateful ones, irreligious ones, ones without natural affection, irreconcilable ones, slanderers, ones with uncontrolled behavior, fiercely [untamed] savage ones, despisers of beneficially good ones, traitors [betrayers] , rash [reckless] ones, ones beclouded with conceit, ones kindly affectionate to gratifying pleasures rather than kindly affectionate to God, ones having a guise [impression] of godly piety but denying [renouncing] the miraculous power of it In fact turn yourself away from these | humans| ! For out of these are the+ ones insidiously worming their way into the dwellings and leading captive the weak, idle, silly women, standing piled up with sins and being led with cravings of various kinds, ones always [learning by practice] training~ and ones not even ever able~ to come unto 0 knowledge [from experience] of 0 truth. In which manner in fact Yahnnáys and Yahmbráys [Ex. 7:11] stood against Moses, so also these of themselves continually stand against the truth, humans having the comprehension completely destroyed by corruption, undiscerning [disapproved after examination] ones concerning the faith” (2 Tim. 3:1-8APT).
The first edition in June 1963 was an outgrowth of radio messages prepared during a siege of five months being laid aside on my back for the glory of God, during which time the Lord spoke to me very clearly about that which would characterize ‘These Last Days.’ My dear wife has been a source of encouragement in the distribution of the first edition through the years down to the last few copies. She was ever conscious and alert to any interest people might indicate in the subject matter.
The second edition was published and distributed because of the encouragement of the Directors associated with me in the “Happy Heralds” ministry and a few faithful friends who have encouraged me to make a sizeable quantity available for distribution. In the past three years, since stock had depleted, the Directors again pressed upon me to update this booklet and make it available because now more than ever the conditions which the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy will be prevalent in the last days are even more ferocious, copious, excessive, and more wicked than when the second edition was published. More additions and changes are made in this edition for the purpose of updating and supplementing the illustrations used and our intent desire to appeal to the readers for practical application of these truths because we do live in “These Last Days.” “Our Redemption is drawing nigh” (Luke 21:28). “The Lord is at Hand.” (Phil. 4:5). “Maranatha!” (1 Cor. 16:22). DFW
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. Distorted Affections
- Lovers of Self
- Lovers of Money
- Lovers of Pleasures More Than Lovers of God
- Ones Without Natural Affection
- Despisers of Beneficially Good Ones
II. Disparaging Estimation
- Arrogant Boasters
- Proud Ones
- Rash Ones
- Ones Permanently Clouded with Conceit
III. Disagreeable Behavior
- Ones Disobedient to Parents
- Ones with Uncontrolled Behavior
- Traitors – Betrayers
IV. Disturbing Attitudes
- UNGRATEFUL ONES
- Irreligious Ones
- Irreconcilable Ones
- Fiercely Savage Ones
V. Discordant Spirituality
- Outward Resemblance
- Inward Resistance
- Upward Reservation
- Afterward Results
VI. Deceitful Perpetration
- Crafty Deception
- Captive Destruction
- Cognizant Destitution
VII. Defiant Opposition
- Outwardly Defiant
- Mentally Degraded
- Spiritually Disqualified
How do you expect to recognize the close of this age? The Apostle Paul in his letter to Timothy has answered the question. In 2 Timothy 3:1 we read, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come” (AV). “Perpetually know [from experience] this also! that in 0 last days ferocious seasons of time of themselves shall be impending” (APT).
The Apostle Paul would have Timothy and every believer know, realize, and comprehend what will characterize the last days of the church age– the age in which we now live.
These evils will characterize the close of this age and usher in a new age. ‘Perilous’ or ‘ferocious’ in the Koiné Greek means ‘difficult,’ ‘critical,’ ‘fierce’ ‘seasons of time.’ These critical, difficult, and dangerous days will set in throughout the whole world.
All of these things could be seen across America in the sixties and seventies in increasing intensity. Never before in the history of America has there been observed such characteristically wicked and evil days as was encountered in those years. And not only in America, but throughout the world these evils prevailed. The increase has been consistently worsened through the last decades of the twentieth century.
But in the first four years of the twenty-first century all of the following have increased in crucial outlandish measures of fury: murder, sexual immorality, pornography, embezzlement by corporate officials, and worst of all terrorism and mass murder of innocent human beings by bombings of buildings, busses, and trains, and planned and carefully orchestrated crashing of airplanes and trains resulting in thousands of lives and property destroyed. Such accelerated increase of evil has instilled fear and anxiety in the hearts and minds of many people in ever-widening measures.
Paul has listed eighteen sins, which fall into five different categories, and then he indicated two prevailing attitudes in the people which will characterize ‘These Last Days.’ Each of the eighteen sins will be noted in the first five chapters categorically and the two prevailing attitudes will compose the last two chapters.
We read in Paul’s Second Epistle to Timothy, concerning the affections which shall abound in these last days which are perilous, “For the humans shall be: ones fond of themselves, ones fond of silver money, . . .ones without natural affection, . . . despisers of beneficially good ones, . . . and ones kindly affectionate to gratifying pleasures rather than kindly affectionate to God”
(“For the humans shall be: ones fond of themselves, ones fond+ of silver money, arrogant+ boasters, proud+ ones, blasphemers+, ones disobedient [resisted persuasion] to parents, ungrateful+ ones, irreligious+ ones,” (2 Tim. 3:2-4APT). As we reflect on these five areas of affection, we see that there are the positive and the negative affections.
Heading this list of “Distorted Affections” from the positive aspect is:
1. LOVERS OF SELF– “Ones fond of themselves” – φίλαυτοι(v. 2a).
The humans shall be fond of their own selves. This is self-affection. What a distorted affection for one to love oneself more than anyone else or anything else! This kind of affection results in heaping one’s affections on oneself with disregard of The God, one’s spouse, family, and even far-reaching to others remotely connected and especially to the disregard of the resulting consequences.
Consider that self affection is demonstrated by greed, self-gratification, and lust of power in government, in corporations, and even in religion. Consider how greed has toppled highly paid executives, brought down corporations, put thousands of employees out of their jobs and robbed them of their retirement funds through fraud and embezzlement. Greed had also motivated such action that has captivated the ‘front page’ news in newspapers and other news media.
Consider how self-gratification has motivated so many teenagers and adults to rape and child abuse of women and children so that even religious institutions have been plagued. It seems that all walks and strata of life have been affected by the rapid increase of wide-spread self-affection.
Consider the lengths to which politicians will go motivated by self-affection (lovers of self) to achieve power or to regain lost power in government: assassination of character of those in leadership, whom Scripture attests are to be highly respected (Rom. 13:1-5; Tit. 3:1,2); boasting of self-accomplishment while denigrating the opponent with lies; and twisting the truth to make oneself look good in the eyes of the public.
In America it is acceptable to disagree with others and to express disagreement with government policies, but according to The Scriptures, speaking evil and resisting ‘the powers that be’ is unacceptable with The God before Whom we all shall some day stand in righteous judgment whether at the Báymah (Judgment Seat of The Christ) or the Great White throne (Jn. 5:26-29; Acts 10:42; Rom. 14:10-13; 2 Cor. 5:10; Rev. 11:15).
The natural course flowing from self-affection is covetousness–the greedy desire to have more.
2. LOVERS OF MONEY – “ones fond of silver” – φιλάργυρος (v. 2b).
This is a combination of two words: φίλος meaning “to be fond of” or “to have affection for” plus the word ’άργυροις meaning “silver.” The compound word has been translated “covetous” (Luke 16:14 and here). To be covetous is to be fond of money and possessions.
Covetousness is the greedy desire to have more; a real fondness of the accumulation for money and possessions. This is exactly what characterizes America today: the intense desire to accumulate possessions and money because it takes money to accumulate possessions. On July 16, 2004, NBC Nightly News reported over three hundred convictions of corporate financial crime committed by greedy Chief Executive Officers who misappropriated huge sums of money. It was also reported that the minimal security prisons in the United States are overcrowded by such offenders.
The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy in his First Epistle, “The love (fondness) of silver| money| is the root of all the evil, of which, when some habitually desirously reaching after for themselves, | they| have erred away from the faith. And they impaled themselves with many throes” (1 Tim. 6:10APT).
Money itself is not evil nor the root of evil, but the love (fondness) of money is the root of all the evil! Note the many means that are used to offer money for game winners to get rich quick. Also note the great enthusiasm and jubilance that the winners demonstrate when large sums of money are won.
Then note how many lawsuits are suing for outlandish sums of remuneration which make the lawyers richer than their clients. How many areas of endeavor in life can be summed up by the phrase, “Its all about the money”? This applies even to many of our churches. Does it apply to yours? Such ought not so to be!
But an even more impressive illustration of the accelerated increase of incidents that prove more and more people are caught up in the love of money is the frequency of exposure of CEO’s and CFO’s indicted for embezzlement and fraud of huge sums of money as well as how many get-rich schemes and scams the public is constantly being warned about because so many are losing money by scammers and thieves.
This is not to speak of the multiplication of identity theft which often results in huge losses through fraudulent use of credit cards. Other forms of thievery are rampant in other parts of the world even in the third world countries. Yes, lovers of money are in abundance everywhere. Are you affected by it?
Then we see that men shall be:
3. LOVERS OF PLEASURES MORE THAN LOVERS OF GOD – “ones kindly affectionate to gratifying pleasures rather than kindly affectionate to God” (v. 4d).
What a climactic accumulation of “Distorted Affections”: lovers of self, lovers of money, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God–having a delight in sin, becoming enthusiastic about pleasures from which The God is excluded such as: beer saloons, night clubs, gambling casinos, brothels, amusement parks, theaters – all are ever-increasing in numbers, in elegance, in appeal to the flesh to be entertained in pleasure.
But not an increase in desire nor taste for those pleasures which continually abide at The God’s right hand (Psalm 16:11). Unlike Moses, who chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season in Egypt, a type of the world that offers pleasures that sap away true life in The Lord Jesus Christ, who offers greater treasures which are eternal and pleasures for evermore (Hebrews 11:24,25).
People are lovers of pleasures that last only for a very short time and prefer worldly pleasures to the eternal pleasures found in The Lord Jesus Christ alone.
Now notice that which is negative, that which is missing in their affections: “Distorted Affections” from the negative aspect is:
4. “ONES WITHOUT NATURAL AFFECTION” – ’άτοργοι (v. 3a)
Natural affection, as found in the Greek, is that filiation or natural emotion of the soul toward an object that is near us. It is the love of parents for children and the love of children for parents. It is a love that is obligatory, not in the moral sense, but in a natural sense. It is that innate love that God has created in man, and only as the age goes on, does this lack of natural affection become more and more prevalent.
Throughout the country we see more and more juvenile delinquency, more and more parent delinquency, less concern of parents for children, and less respect of children for parents. Parents nightly abandon their children to enjoy pleasures for a season, to satisfy their own desires and lusts. They forget about their responsibilities to care for their children.
One of the natural tendencies and innate desires of humans is to reproduce, to bear children, rear them, and teach them how to live. But there is a marked increase of those who blatantly express their disdain for such a role in life. There are many who prefer to enjoy marital pleasures without marriage and certainly not to have children.
But on the increase is the blatant indication of the lack of natural affection in young women especially, but also in teenagers and older children who explore the sexual experience out of wedlock and then abandon their children or worse have an abortion in rejection of the natural outcome of sexual relations. Even many politicians are demonstrating this obvious lack of natural affection toward children in general and their own in particular by advocating and promoting the murder of unborn children.
The other negative aspect of “Distorted Affection” is
5. DESPISERS OF BENEFICIALLY GOOD ONES – ’αφιλγαθοι (v. 3f)
This means, ones not fond of beneficially good ones. Haters of beneficially good ones! “Distorted Affections!” People recognizing good in others, hate them because there is a lack in their own lives. There is only one answer to such “Distorted Affections.” There is only one hope to overcome, to reverse, and to change these “Distorted Affections.”
This Only Hope is in the love of The God which motivated The Lord Jesus Christ to die for such who are distorted in their affections, as well as those who possess and display proper affections. He died for all humans on the cross or Calvary, a horrible and despicable death under the fiery torment of the wrath of The God.
Then He rose again to give life through His name and ascended to apply His precious Blood on the Mercy Seat to justify every sinner who personally appropriates His work of Salvation through repentance and faith. The only hope for such who have distorted affections is to let that wonderful love of The God penetrate the heart and to receive Him as your own personal Savior and Lord.
With that love of God penetrating your heart, you can allow it to flow through your being and out from your heart toward others. This alone can correct distortion that is found in the affections of so many today. This alone can keep those with proper affections from being distorted by the pressure being applied by those with distorted affections upon those who respect the ones doing beneficially good and do not participate with those demonstrating distorted affections.
Yes, we are living in the last days. Therefore, it behooves those of us who are regenerated to allow The God’s wonderful love to flow out of our hearts to our fellow regenerate disciples and to those who need to experience this same wonderful love that we experience. And it behooves you, who are not regenerated, even more to come to the Lord Jesus Christ and to take Him as your own personal Savior.
Won’t you take The Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior now? You can be saved now and have your love and affections corrected, or you can refuse Christ and find that, as time goes on, your affections will become more and more distorted, because we are living in the last days. What will you do with The Lord Jesus Christ, Who loves you and Whose love can change your whole outlook?
The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy “The humans shall be: . . . arrogant boasters, proud ones, . . . false accusers, . . . rash ones, ones beclouded with conceit” (2 Tim. 3:2-4APT). If men think of themselves more highly than they ought to think, it is only natural that the sequence moves from self-love and “Distorted Affections” to self-esteem, and “Disparaging Estimation.” Self is highly esteemed at the cost of contemptuous estimation of others.
Heading the list of those who exude “Despairing Estimation” are:
1. “ARROGANT BOASTERS” – ’αλαζών (v. 2c).
This word in the plural number is found twice in The New Testament (here and Rom. 1:30) and means “one who claims to be more than he is.” These are empty pretenders who are noisy braggarts. A boaster is an arrogant talker who struts, as one deeply impressed with His own importance.
In the first chapter of his Epistle to the Romans, Paul listed arrogant boasters (v. 30) in the ‘grocery list’ of sins unto which The God has delivered over ungodly sinners in three stages of degradation:
- firstly, to disgrace their bodies among themselves unto uncleanness through passionate lusts of their hearts (v. 24);
- secondly, both males and females unto inordinate passions of disgrace performing of themselves dishonor in homosexuality (vs. 26-28); and
- thirdly, unto undiscerning comprehension to do things that are not fitting (litotes for abominable or detestable) by being filled fully with these sins (v. 28-32). (Litotes is a figure of speech: “an understatement in which an affirmative is expressed by the negative of the contrary.”)
Therefore, it is clear that arrogant boasters had been existing a long time already in Paul’s time. But Paul indicated that in the “last days” an obvious increase would take place.
How many people are boasters in our day! Just take a look at some of the political statements that are made. Listen to some of the sportsmen of our day, as they boast of their physical accomplishments. Few sportsmen have true humility. Consider how many television, radio, magazine, and newspaper advertisements and books are commercials presented by boasters seeking to get listeners or readers to join their franchise to sell their products which they boast made them rich in a short time. Or consider the boasting expressed by some inventors seeking to sell the readers, viewers, or listeners to buy their so-called “fantastic” products.
The Second group on the list of “Disparaging Estimation” is:
2. “PROUD ONES” – ‘υπερήφανος (v. 2d).
This word is found only twice in The New Testament (here and Rom. 1:30) and is in the plural number. It is a combination of two Greek words, ‘υπερ which in composition means “over, above, more than, or beyond” and φανομαι – which means “to appear or to be lit up.” Literally the compound meaning is “to appear above, more conspicuous than.”
The Authorized Version and A Precise Translation both always translate this word as “proud.” Out of the five occurrences in The New Testament, the Revised Version twice translated this Greek word as ‘haughty’ (Rom. 1:30; 2 Tim. 3:2), otherwise as “proud.” The meaning Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary gives for ‘haughty’ is “blatantly and disdainfully proud.”
It is always used in Scripture in the bad sense of arrogant, haughty, proud (Expanded Vines Expository Dictionary, p.898). It signifies showing oneself above other people as pre-eminent. From these meanings used for this Greek word, the concept of the word indicates: an over-estimation of oneself, looking down on others with contempt, thinking of oneself more than of others, blinded with self-esteem, thus “Disparaging Estimation” of others while highly esteeming self.
In Mary’s Magnificat before her ‘relative,’ Elizabeth in which she extolled The Lord God, she referred to His dealings with the nations with regard to Israel and said, “He scattered abroad proud ones in their 0hearts’ thinking capacity. He deposed ruling powers from thrones and He exalted humble ones” (Lk. 1:51b,52). She contrasted The God’s dealings with proud ones versus His dealings with humble ones. This kind of pride is increasingly active in the lives of more and more people everywhere today.
The third indication of “Disparaging Estimation” is:
3. “SLANDERERS” – διάβολος (v. 3c).
This word, used in the singular number, is translated “devil.” It literally means “slanderer, a treacherous informer.” In the plural number it has been translated “false accusers” in some translations. It refers to one inventing and spreading evil reports about others.
The meaning Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary gives for “slander” is “the utterance of false charges or misrepresentations which defame and damage another’s reputation.” False accusers or “slanderers” maliciously murder the character of others by the use of innuendos and the raising of sly suspicions which are not true. They tear down the character and reputation of others to make themselves appear in a better light. However false accusers who are false witnesses have caused innocent victims to be imprisoned for crimes they did not commit and even executed for murder. How much has slander and false accusations increased in the last decade?
The next characteristic of “Despairing Estimation” is:
4. “RASH ONES” – προπετής (v. 4b).
This word is found only twice in The New Testament (here and Acts. 19:36). In Acts it occurs in the neuter gender, but here it is masculine gender, which is the means the Koiné Greek uses to include both men and women when a group is composed of both genders. The Authorized Version translates this word as “heady.” The metaphorical meaning is “rash, headstrong, reckless, heady, to urge on violently.” It comes from a word which literally means “to fall” prefixed with the preposition “before,” thus “falling forwards or headlong.”
An illustration of a rash one in Scripture was Jephthah in The Old Testament, the eighth judge of Israel, made a vow to The LORD God to offer for a burnt offering whatever meets him at the door of his house if he was victorious over the Ammonites (Judg. 11:30,31) and ended up sacrificing his daughter.
In The New Testament an illustration of a rash one was King Herod Antipas, who offered to reward his niece for pleasing him in a dance up to half his kingdom (Mk. 6:22,23) and ended up having John the Baptizer beheaded. A person who is reckless, headstrong in the pursuit of a bad end and under the influence of passion is rash or heady. How many do you know like this?
Lastly, this list of “Disparaging Estimation” includes:
5. “ONES PERMANENTLY BECLOUDED WITH CONCEIT” – τετυφωμένοι (v. 4c).
This word is found three times in The New Testament, all three are used by Paul in his two Epistles to Timothy, twice in the perfect passive tense. Τετυφωμένοι is a perfect passive substantive participle of τύφω which in the active mode means “to raise a smoke”, but in the passive mode, “to smolder.” Metaphorically it means “to puff up with pride.”
The substantive in the present tense means “one who is beclouded with conceit or bloated with self-importance”; in the perfect tense, “one permanently beclouded with conceit.”
An illustration of one beclouded with conceit or bloated with self-importance is the Pharisee who exalted himself even in his praying, “God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess” (Luke 18:11, 12). No wonder his attitude toward others is degrading, for his estimation of himself is so misguided. Such ones as these are inflated with I-itis, i. e. inflammation of the ego.
The God cannot tolerate such “Disparaging Estimation.” The righteous God, Who is always right, cannot overlook nor withhold His wrath from such wicked wrong. “Arrogant boasters” — empty pretenders, “proud ones” — thinking of self above everyone else, “slanderers”– false accusers and malicious character assassins, “rash ones” — ones reckless and headstrong, “ones permanently beclouded with conceit” — bloated with self-importance, all comprise those displaying “Disparaging Estimation.”
What is the answer to such a hopelessly wicked condition in the midst of “Disparaging Estimation”? The only answer is found in the Lord Jesus Christ, Who personified humility. “He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” He died to save the proud from punishment and from the righteous wrath of The God in the Lake of Fire. Who cannot tolerate pride?
Pride originated with the Devil (Ezek. 28:15 cf. 1 Tim. 3:6). The God must punish everyone lifted up with pride. He must punish you, unless you come to the Lord Jesus Christ and receive this living Savior as your very own. Ask Him to live and reign in your heart. Thank Him for dying in your room and stead. Acknowledge Him as Lord and Savior and be eternally saved, or else ignore Him or refuse Him and be eternally lost, and endure the wrath of The God in the Lake of Fire forever.
What will you do now with the Lord Jesus Christ, The Humble One, Who is The Christ of God, The Only Savior from sin and The Only Answer to the hopeless condition of “Disparaging Estimation” so prevalent in the world today?
The third category characterizing these perilous and critical days of which the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy is “Disagreeable Behavior.” In 2 Timothy 3:2-4, A Precise Translation reads, “For the humans shall be: . . . blasphemers, ones disobedient [resisting persuasion] to parents, ones with uncontrolled behavior, traitors [betrayers] ” — four distinct acts of “Disagreeable Behavior.”
1. “BLASPHEMERS” -βλάσφημοι (v. 2e)
This is the word for speaking evil, slanderous, abusive language. It refers to reviling and railing. As this age comes nearer to its close, men become more and more foul-mouthed. How descriptive this is of our day, with so much loose language about us — swearing, blasphemy, profanity, telling of dirty jokes, and filthy talk! The magazines on the newsstands are loaded with filthy and vile conversation– “Disagreeable Behavior!” Some cannot speak one sentence without three to five times using vile, filthy words or taking The God’s or His Son’s name in profanity. The God is very concerned about His name being profaned.
Jehovah said, “Ye shall not swear by name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the holy name of thy God; I am The LORD” (Leviticus 18:21; 19:12; 22:32). He also said, “And I will set My face against that man because he hath given . . . to profane My holy name” (Leviticus 20:3). Women are not excused because Scripture in these passages refer to a ‘man.’ Often both Hebrew and Greek use masculine gender to refer to anyone — man, woman, or child.
But slanderous and abusive language also includes the language that “dirty politicians” use when a political campaign ends up in “dirty politics,” whether it be from the mouth of the opponent or others in their political party that support him. Slanderous language is utterance which contains false charges, false accusations, and misrepresentations which defame and damage another’s reputation.
Daily news reports in all forms of the news media often include such accusations but protect themselves from litigation by using the words “allege, alleged, and allegation.” However, the question is asked, “How many people today suffer from such false incrimination and are either serving sentences of years of imprisonment or even execution only to find out later they were innocent?”
But worse than this is the character assassination of an innocent moral person business person who has been mischarged and wrongly arrested and convicted of sex crimes who is maligned in the community and virtually an outcast and must bear the stigma the rest of one’s life. This has occurred far too frequently in recent years.
“Disagreeable Behavior” stems from irreverence: irreverence toward The God, parents and the law. It is not only seen in our talk, but in the actions and behavior of children in their childhood first with regard to their parents, teachers, and the law.
2. “ONES DISOBEDIENT TO PARENTS” – γονεûσιν άπειθεîς (v. 2f).
The Greek word for “disobedient” can rightly be translated resistant to persuasion. Disobedience to parents in our day is frightful. No doubt this stems from the parents and grandparents, who are without natural affection and have only a love for pleasure and a love for money. No wonder there is so much juvenile crime today. Does it not stem from disobedience to parents — resistance to the parents’ persuasion?
How can we expect our youth to obey our laws and respect their teachers, when they do not obey their parents? Proper parenting includes successfully persuading the children to conform to properly set standards of behavior. Before youth can be expected to respect their teachers and obey the laws of the land and of our communities, the parents must demand obedience in the home.
But this can never be accomplished after the fact. It must begin in early childhood. Once the degrading root has been implanted, there is no restitution. We cannot recover what we have lost, for this is the sign, an irremediable sign of the times at the close of this age.
In addition to blasphemy and abusive, slanderous language, and disobedience to parents, another mark of “Disagreeable Behavior” is “uncontrolled behavior.”
3. “ONES WITH UNCONTROLLED BEHAVIOR” – άκρατεîς (v. 2g).
This word means “a lack of self control” or “without power over oneself.” It results when one has not the strength to resist the solicitations of sensual passions and thus a laxity of morals results. Such laxity of morals is so predominant in our times. The number of illegitimate births increases every year, as do the number of contraceptives sold. Twenty-five to thirty years ago illegitimate births, whether by premarital or adulterous relationships, began to be accepted by the general public.
Later the churches reluctantly and slowly capitulated to accepting the inevitability of these. Back then, Hollywood performers were publicly expressing elation over the recent change to a more complacent attitude on the part of the public in accepting the reverse order of marriage then birth, or divorce, remarriage and then birth. Such expressed elation was even being printed in our newspapers. This acceptance was followed by a rash of abortions. This precipitated the passing of abortion laws. Now we live in a day of “incontinence.”
Finally, this “Disagreeable Behavior” is marked by the prevalence of “traitors or betrayers.”
4. “TRAITORS – BETRAYERS” – προδόται (v. 4a)
A traitor or betrayer is one, who is intimately related and has personal knowledge, which he uses against and betrays that intimate acquaintance, to be cruelly treated. Throughout the nations of the world there is a great numerical increase of political traitors, international spies–further evidence of “Disagreeable Behavior.” Tolerance of this is granted for those who pretend to be loyal to another country in order to gain strategic information for one’s own country. It is betrayal none-the-less.
But spiritual is worse. And The Scriptures teach that the end for those who are traitors of The Lord Jesus or “spiritual fifth columnists”— infiltrators of The True Church is the same as that for Satan, the arch-enemy of The God, The Lord Jesus Christ, and His Church.
The apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians, “For many, whom I told you& many times but now I tell you& even weeping loudly, are walking as the enemies of the cross of The Christ! The end of whom, utter destruction! The god of whom, the belly! And their [article as pronoun] glory in the shame of theirs! The ones continually minding Earthly things!” (Philippians 3:18.19).
Yes, “Disagreeable Behavior” is marked by blasphemy, disobedience to parents, a lack of self control, and betrayal. All of these marks of “Disagreeable Behavior” are on the increase, not only in America, but throughout the whole world today, and are a present, definite sign that we are in the closing days of this present age.
With this “Disagreeable Behavior” so markedly prevalent, indicative of the fact that we are living in the last days, what manner of person will you be? You can allow yourself to be swept along with the tide and be one of those, whose behavior is condemned, or You can stand proudly by and say, “I’ll not contribute to such behavior. I’m different. You’ll not catch me like that.” Either of which courses will bring you to eternal doom. Or you can recognize that we are presently in the last days. You can recognize that the eighteen sins and “Disagreeable Behavior” are prevalent today and determine to be ready when Jesus comes.
There are 4 things you can do to be ready for the coming or the Lord Jesus Christ:
(1) Receive Him as your own personal Savior;
(2) Begin to live for Him daily;
(3) Make your heart His throne; and
(4) Yield to His sovereign will in your life.
You can determine to allow God’s great love penetrate your heart, control your life, and flow out to others. Thus, by doing this you will demonstrate that the most “Desirable Behavior” is still possible, as well as practiced today.
What will you do in the light of the prevailing indications that we are living in days of “Disagreeable Behavior” and hence in “The Last Days”?
The fourth category of these eighteen sins characterizing these perilous and critical days of which the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy is “Disturbing Attitudes.” In 2 Timothy 3:2,3, A Precise Translation reads, “For the humans shall be: . . . ungrateful ones, irreligious ones, irreconcilable ones, fiercely savage [untamed] ones”– four distinct attitudes of “Disagreeable Behavior.” The first “Disturbing Attitude” is ungrateful.
1. “UNGRATEFUL ONES” – άχάριστοι (v. 2h).
This word also means “not grateful” or “unthankful.” Has there ever been a time like this? One which is characterized by ungratefulness and unthankfulness! Has there ever been a time when so many people have been so ungrateful for what they have?
Many people in the world are not satisfied with being well-off and having many possessions along with numerous luxuries. They have the greedy desire to have more. We are living in a day of ingrates — unmindful of The God’s goodness, without appreciation of the help and favor He has given to man. We take too much for granted. And when thanks should be given, there is no expression nor indication of a heart full of gratitude.
Our children today are certainly ungrateful. When they receive one thing, they want something else, and never offer one word of thanks for what they have gotten. When our national economic condition is down or low, unrest, complaint, and an attitude of dissatisfaction prevails. When the economy is thriving and both buying power and buying is high, people are happy but ungrateful. Whichever way the economy has gone in the past few years, the attitude of ungratefulness and unthankfulness prevailed.
In the present “Disturbing Attitudes” prevailing today, not only are people “ungrateful,” but their wretched behavior reflects an attitude opposed to holiness which is most disturbing.
2. “IRRELIGIOUS ONES” – άνόσιοι (v. 2i).
This word comes from the Greek word ὅσιοι which means “devout” plus the negative privative, thus the literal meaning is “not devout.”
In Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, the first synonym after “devout” is “religious.” Thus, one who is not devout is irreligious and lacks reverence for The God as well. The apostle Paul used this word in his First Epistle to Timothy. This is the only other time it is used in The New Testament. Paul used it along with the word for “profane” in his description of those for whom the Law (the Mosaic Law) which contains the Ten Commandments was specifically given in order for His people to “continue leading through| life| a tranquil and quiet manner of life in all godly piety and grave dignity” (1 Tim. 2:2). Thus, those who are irreligious (not devout) are linked with those who are profane, neither reverent nor holy.
Irreverence toward The God, a total disregard of sacredness is predominant in our time. Even in our churches, there is a disregard for the presence of God, and the reverence and respect that is due Him in the way and manner we come, the way we dress, and the way we act in His sanctuary. Many youth meetings today are nothing more than cheap entertainment which disrespectfully includes God.
We need to recognize that the Church of Jesus Christ today is being swept along with the tide–this attitude of unholiness, irreverence and lack of true devotion to The God. There is an ever- increasing lack of those who are truly devout followers of The God and His Son The Lord Jesus Christ.
This “Disturbing Attitude” is further indicated in the Bible by an increase of those who Scripture designates as irreconcilable.
3. “IRRECONCILABLE ONES” – άσποδοι (v. 3b)
This word carries the meaning of refusing to enter into a treaty, irreconcilable, implacable. These are people who are unwilling to be reconciled and are opposed to enter into any harmonious agreement. While the governments continue to seek to establish peaceful co-existence, individuals are seeking more and more to retain their malicious attitude.
Political parties are splitting. Churches are dividing over petty and insignificant differences. Church people will not seek to overcome their little differences and “endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” They rather withdraw, or run to another church where they will attend for a while until something upsets them again. Then, off again to another church. This implacable attitude is more prevalent on a spiritual level than on any other level. No wonder there are so many different stripes of churches and all claiming to know the same Savior and God.
And yet The Lord Jesus Christ prayed that His Church and the members of His Body be one even as He and His Father are One (Jn. 17:11,20,21).
“And I am no longer in the world and yet these are continually in the world. And I Myself am coming to [the face of] You. O Holy Father, keep them, whom You permanently gave to Me, watchfully secure in Your name in order that they continually be one according as Ourselves! . . . And I am asking not concerning these alone, but [on the contrary] also concerning the ones committing trust unto Me through their word in order that they all continually be one according as You, Father, are in Me and Myself in You; that they also themselves continually be one in Us in order that the world commit trust that You Yourself sent [with commission] Me” (Jn. 17:11,20,21APT).
Also Paul the apostle wrote to the Ephesians concerning The True Church,
“Therefore, I myself, the bound one in 0 Lord, entreat you all to walk worthily with reference to the vocation to which you& were summoned . . . and ones giving persevering attention to continually keep the oneness of The Spirit watchfully secure in the bonding together of the peace. One body! and One Spirit according as you& were summoned in one hope of the vocation of yours!” (Eph. 4:1,3,4APT).
Is it because those who cause divisions or splits in the churches and those who separate over petty personal differences have not permanently committed total trust in The Lord Jesus Christ and therefore are not regenerated by The Holy Spirit that they will not to be reconciled?
Remember The Lord Jesus described those who readily receive The Word being sown on the rocky places are “temporary ones” (APT) which “endureth but for a time” (Mk. 4:17), then later become offended and never bear fruit.
Paul wrote to the Corinthian carnal professing believers and implored them in behalf of Christ, “Become reconciled to The God” (2 Cor. 5:20).
Finally, this “Disturbing Attitude” is described by Paul as:
4. “FIERCELY SAVAGE ONES” — άνήμεροι (v. 3g).
This word which means “not tame, or savage” and is not used anywhere else in the Bible. It refers to being harsh and untamed, like wild beasts. Epictetus used this word in describing the ones, who forget that their origin which is divine and was created by The God, resemble lions that are wild, savage, and fierce (The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament by Moulton and Milligan).
“Fierce” does not only refer to and include physical cruelty and violence, but also includes the savage tongue which so inflicts venomous and deadly wounds on others. It describes a cruel attitude of trying to get back and using vicious means to rule or control. “Disturbing Attitudes” indeed: unthankfulness, unholiness, implacable, and fiercely savage.
In the midst of such increasingly “Disturbing Attitudes,” there is only one consolation. The God’s attitude of love toward the penitent sinner in continuing to offer salvation full and free. Mid all these “Disturbing Attitudes” of men, The God still retains a desire for you to come to Him through the death of His Son, The Lord Jesus Christ.
The same love that motivated The Christ to die on the cross of Calvary prevails today and offers to you a gift of eternal life and salvation from your sins. The same power that raised the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead prevails today to save you from sin and prevalent “Disturbing Attitudes.”
When you embrace The Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, He will fill your heart with gratitude and thanksgiving. When He is given control of your life, He will live out His life of Holiness, sweet reasonableness, and peace in your life. Come now, acknowledge your sinful condition, repent, and confess your sins and your need of a Savior! Receive The Lord Jesus Christ into your heart now!
You can take this Savior now and be saved from unthankfulness and unholiness, or you can refuse Him and be condemned for eternity. What will you do with The Lord Jesus Christ, The Only Consolation in “These Last Days” of Disturbing Attitudes?
The fifth category of these eighteen sins characterizing these perilous and critical days of which the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy is “Discordant Spirituality.” In 2 Timothy 3:2,5, A Precise Translation reads, “For the humans shall be: . . .ones having a guise [impression] of godly piety but denying [renouncing] the miraculous power of it In fact turn yourself away from these humans!”
There are four obvious observances which we should notice about “Discordant Spirituality” found in this verse. There is a great difference between that which seems and that which is — between the semblance and the reality. First of all, we observe an “outward resemblance.”
1. OUTWARD RESEMBLANCE – “a guise of godly piety” – μόφωσιν (v. 5).
The meaning of “guise” is external appearance and refers to an outward resemblance.
The word translated “Godly piety” is εûσεβεία which means reverence, piety toward God, and godliness. In The Septuagint it only refers to the duty which man owes to The God. Today we see an upsurge and a great increase of those who put on an outward resemblance of spirituality.
There is an effort put forth to appear spiritual that is superficial. It is a religious profession, a veneer, an outward form which is totally devoid of spiritual life and power–a religion that is a farce rather than a force. There are many who are hypocrites or pretenders. But there are many who are also sincere who take their church or religion seriously. They say their prayers! They observe the ordinances! They take in all the ‘ritual’! They even attend church regularly and faithfully.
Yet they have not totally permanently committed trust in The Lord Jesus Christ, so they do not personally know Him as their own Savior and Lord and they have not been regenerated. Hence, they are not empowered by the Holy Spirit. There is the outward resemblance, but inwardly they deny the ‘reality.’ It may be subconsciously or unknowingly that they deny the reality, but they do deny it none-the-less.
This brings us to our second observance.
2. INWARD RESISTANCE– “denying the miraculous power” – δύναμις(v. 5).
The word for “miraculous power” is the word from which we get the word ‘dynamite.’ It is the word the apostle Paul used in The Epistle to Romans, “For I am not one bit ashamed of the gospel of The Christ. For it is God’s miraculous power unto salvation to everyone who continually commits trust” (1:16APT). It is this power that results in salvation, which those who have only the outward resemblance or piety toward God and not the inward reality, deny access into their hearts, that they might be saved. There is the “inward resistance,” the flat denial of the miraculous power of The God.
These people, who have only the “outward resemblance” or guise of godly piety, are deceived or are deceiving themselves. They are deceived either because they want to be, or deceived in spite of their desire to know the truth.
Either: (1) they prefer the way they live–hoping the good works they perform will outweigh: their faults, the sins into which they have slipped, and their failures to perform God’s Word; or
(2) they have been lulled into thinking that there is nothing wrong with the way they live and are deceiving themselves.
James, the brother of The Lord Jesus Christ wrote, “In fact become 0 Word-doers and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves by wrongly reckoning! Because if (and it is true) anyone is a hearer of 0 Word and not a doer, this one resembles a man considering the face of his origin [at birth – unadorned] in a mirror. For he considered himself and he has departed. And immediately he forgot of what sort he was” (Jas. 1:22-24APT).
These, who have a guise of godly piety, would rather think that the ability to save is ‘in man’ and not ‘totally of The God through The Christ. They are so deceived that they cannot carry to its ultimate conclusion the adage which says, “True worth is in being, not seeming.”
Either they are deceived in thinking that their seeming is real, or they are blinded to the inconsistencies found in their own lives. They inwardly resist the work of The Holy Spirit convicting them of their sins and His focusing their attention upon The Lord Jesus Christ as the only way to be saved.
In addition to outward resemblance and inward resistance, there is a third observance.
3. UPWARD RESERVATION
In addition to this “Inward Resistance,” many have reservations toward The God. They will not allow themselves to take The God’s Word clearly as to what it says. They have a conception of what God is, and they are not willing to, or they have reservations about, examining their concept in the light of The Word of The God.
So many people do not really want to experience the miraculous power of The God in their lives because they see so little demonstration of it in the lives of others. Solomon in all his wisdom said twice: “There is a way which seemeth right to man; but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 14:12; 16:25).
The way of man is in direct contrast to the way of The God. The Lord Jesus Christ said, “I am Myself continuously being The Way, The Truth, and The Life. Not one is coming to [the face of] the Father except through Me” (Jn. 14:6APT).
Humans cannot: earn, pray for, purchase, merit, or do anything to receive Eternal Life except accept it as a gift. It is altogether a gift from The God which is received by faith–committing total trust to The Lord Jesus Christ alone, The One who died on Calvary’s cross to pay the penalty for our sins and Who rose again to give us eternal life. Yes, permanently trusting Him alone for salvation is the only way you may receive this wonderful gift. It is “not of works lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:9).
Many are willing to make a token commitment to The Christ, but are unwilling to make a total commitment to Him. When we come to The Lord Jesus Christ for Salvation, we receive Him as Savior and Lord. He asks true believers to yield their life to Him and to live unto Him and for Him. He wants all those He regenerates to become His disciples. But, those who deny the miraculous power of The God want no part of a life of discipleship. They are not ready to accept the words of The Lord Jesus Christ, Who said to the multitude,
“And He was repeatedly saying to the face of all, If (and it is true) anyone determinedly wills to come after Me, he is to utterly deny himself! And he is to carry off his cross daily! And he is to continually follow Me!” (Lk. 9:23 APT).
Then at a later time, He said to another multitude after contrasting two extremes of emotion, love and hate, with Himself on the one hand and self and family on the other, he added, “Whoever does not bear his cross and continually come after Me, he is not able to be My disciple” (Luke 9:26APT).
Most will not accept the truth of true discipleship, self-denial, reckoning of self to be dead to sin, to self (the flesh), and the world. Many hold on to reservations in their lives and hold back in making a total commitment of all they have, all they are, and all they ever will have and will be unto Him. Yes, there is a definite reservation toward The God and toward His Son, The Lord Jesus Christ. Our churches today are full of such people. Are you one of these?
Finally, carefully consider the fourth observation with respect to “Discordant Spirituality.”
4. AFTERWARD RESULTS.
The final results of a life of discordant spirituality is Eternal Damnation! Since there is the denial of the miraculous power of The God unto salvation, there can be no salvation for those who display discordant spirituality. There can only be eternal damnation to the Lake of Fire forever. This is true because they deny, they inwardly resist the only way by which they can be saved from eternal doom. The “Afterward Results” are: drastic! disastrous! perilous! eternal!
Paul’s exhortation to Timothy was, “In fact turn yourself away from these humans!” If this exhortation was wisely given to Timothy in his day, how much wiser is it for you and me to heed in these last days when the conditions described are far worse. It behooves us all to turn away from such humans.
If you have not yet been regenerated, my friend, I urge you now to take The Lord Jesus Christ as your own personal Savior, in order that you may have the reality of spirituality.
(1) In humility, come to The God and acknowledge your sinful condition. Admit you are a sinner (Luke 18:13).
(2) Repent of your sins (Acts 17:30). Change the direction in which you are going–stop going your own way and begin to go The God’s way. Change your mind about the way you have been living and treating The Lord Jesus Christ. Change your heart– be sorry for the sins you have committed and desire to live for The God and His Christ.
(3) Believe in your heart on The Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31). Mere mental assent is not saving faith, but is eighteen inches away from salvation. You must make a permanent commitment in trust with all your heart that Jesus died for you to pay the penalty for your sins, that though He was buried, He rose again from the dead on the third day to give you eternal life. Believe that He ascended into Heaven, applied His own blood upon the Mercy Seat and sits on the throne at The God’s right hand. Believe He is coming again to take regenerated disciples to Heaven with Him and then He is coming back to Earth with His Church of regenerated disciples to judge this world. Believe that He wants to save you. Permanently and completely trust Him and Him alone for your salvation.
(4) Receive Him into your heart to make His permanent abode there (John 1:12; Revelation 3:20). Verbally invite Him to save you and to come into your heart to dwell within forever. Don’t put this matter off any longer, come to Him now!
(5) Confess Him to others, that He is your Savior and Lord (Romans 10:9,10). Ask the Lord Jesus Christ to come into your heart now. Don’t put this matter off any longer. Come to Him now! What will you do with the Lord Jesus Christ who alone can save you from the emptiness of Outward Resemblance, Inward Resistance, Upward Reservation, and dreadful and disastrous Afterward Results?
After studying the five categories that cover the eighteen sins listed by Paul which are prevalent today and which indicate perilous, critical, and ferocious seasons of time of which the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, another phase that is a means of indication that we are in “These Last Days” is “Deceitful Perpetration” of a false gospel.
Just as there is The One True God, so there is “the god of this age who constantly blinds the concepts of the faithless ones” (2 Cor. 4:4 APT), ones who do not totally commit trust in The Lord Jesus Christ permanently. This blinding continues in order that the illumination of the Gospel of the glory of The Christ, Who is the image of The God, not dawn upon the “faithless ones.”
Therefore when “God” is referred to, the question must be asked, “Which God? The One True God! or the god of this age?” And since Satan, the god of this age has been deceiving humans since shortly after they were created and put in the Garden of Eden, all “deceitful perpetration” is instigated by him through his false gospel.
And his ultimate purpose is to expand his false church so as to decrease the number of people persuaded to totally commit trust permanently and be regenerated by The Holy Spirit of Truth and be baptized by Him (1 Cor. 12:13) into The Church of The God (1 Cor. 10:32). Paul describes the wiles of those propagating this false gospel in his Epistle to Timothy.
In 2 Timothy 3:6,7, A Precise Translation reads,
“For out of these are the ones insidiously worming their way into the dwellings and leading captive the weak, idle, silly people, standing piled up with sins and being led with cravings of various kinds, ones always [learning by practice] training and ones not even ever able to come unto knowledge [from experience] of Truth.”
This “Deceitful Perpetration” of a false gospel is abundantly prevalent and actively successful in our times. There are three things to notice about “Deceitful Perpetration”: Crafty Deception, Captive Destruction, and Cognizant Destitution. First notice how the perpetrators work using crafty deception.
1. CRAFTY DECEPTION – “insidiously worming their way into the dwellings” – ’ενδύνοντες ει’ς τàς οι’κίς (v. 6a).
“For out of these” or among these evil doers, seen as a group, which are described in verses two to five, there are certain ones who insidiously worm their way into dwellings; that is, they insinuate (“gradually in a subtle indirect or covert way enter gently, slowly, and imperceptibly and ingratiate”) themselves. They envelope and hide themselves so craftily as to deceive by trickery or stealth.
Under false pretenses they ‘creep’ into the homes of people. “Weak, idle, silly persons (some translations use the word ‘women’)” is one Greek compound word, γυναικάριον, which is only found here in The New Testament. The root of this word is the feminine noun γυνή which means ‘woman’.
However, the adjectival form is γυναικεîος which means ‘a feminine one”. Therefore, although γυνή is considered the root and ‘woman’ the meaning, ‘feminine’ is the connotation with the diminutive suffix αριον added in the neuter gender to form the neuter noun which requires several words to give the full meaning of the expression. It is a contemptuous noun ascribed to an especially peculiar type of person. Why ‘person’ and not ‘woman’?
Consider the use of two other neuter nouns. The Lord Jesus Christ, in the upper room on the night He was betrayed and about to leave His disciples abruptly, addressed them by a loving, endearing term τεκνία, the neuter plural diminutive of τέκνον (Jn. 13:33). He used this term “little loving children” to refer to adult male disciples who were training and in a loving child-master relationship to Him.
The resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ by the sea of Galilee addressed eight of His disciples by παιδία, the neuter plural diminutive of παîς (Jn. 21:5). He used this term “little learning children” to refer to adult male disciples who are young and about to begin a new life under The Holy Spirit, The Guide into all truth (Jn. 16:13), Who will regenerate them when He descends in just a few more days. Note that both these terms refer to both masculine and feminine children.
Since this word γυναικάριον is neuter and not feminine, like τεκνίον and παιδίον, it refers to both women and to men as well, especially those men who are effeminate. The inference is to sexually immoral, weak people. The term refers to all who are easily deceived into the bondage of immoral sin.
There are two descriptive phrases that portray these people who are the prey of those utilizing crafty deception on the weak, idle, silly people.
A. They are “standing piled up with sins.” This term is in the consummative perfect tense, which indicates that the completed process of the action is emphasized rather than the existing results, although the present result is also considered. This piling or heaping up of sins has taken its toll and leaves these people vulnerable to be led captive by deceitful perpetration.
B. Furthermore these people are “being led with cravings or passionate lusts of various kinds.” One could make a grocery list of all kinds of passionate lustful and craving sins. But it is being left up to the reader to think of all the various sins of passionate lust which are included in this broad scope of immorality intended by Paul (Rom. 1:26-29 cf. Gal. 5:19-21). The LORD God told Moses to tell the children of Israel (Lev. 20:1,2) what condemnation will befall them if they do not keep themselves holy (Lev. 20:10-23).
This “crafty deception” is perpetrated by people who are seeking to propagate false doctrine, even false doctrine which teaches that God understands and approves their immorality, and are seeking to lead away those of weaker minds, who already are laden with sinful lusts and enslaved in sin.
The next thing we see in relation to Deceitful Perpetration is Captive Destruction.
2. CAPTIVE DESTRUCTION – “and leading captive the weak, idle, silly people, standing piled up with sins and being led with cravings of various kinds” (v. 6b).
Not only do these false teachers craftily deceive by working their way into homes to perpetrate this false doctrine to weak, silly people, but their purpose is to lead them captive, to bring them under control, to take captive their minds and lead them captive into destruction. These weak, silly people are easily led into destruction when their minds are taken captive. Already laden with sins, they are conscious of the sins which they carry.
Therefore, they are seeking to get relief of this sin-laden consciousness. Their lusts have led them away. Craving, passionate desires of different kinds lead them away into captive destruction. They are hankering and desiring earnestly to know the truth so readily that they will take the most feasible way to be freed from their sins. They are easy prey to counterfeit doctrine which appears to be the truth. Their minds are captivated by false teaching as they cling to the most plausible presentations of “another gospel” (Gal. 1:6-9).
“I marvel that you are so hastily deserting away from The One Who summoned you in Christ’s grace unto another gospel of a different kind, which is not another of the same kind, except some are the ones disturbing you and desirously willing to alter the Gospel of The Christ. But on the contrary even if (and it may happen) ourselves or an angel out of Heaven pronounce a gospel to you contrary to which Gospel we pronounced to you, he is to be cursed to destruction! As we have foretold, even this present time again I am saying, If (and it is true) anyone pronounce a gospel to you contrary to what you received alongside me, he is to be cursed to destruction!” (Gal. 1:6-9APT).
The Greek language has two words that have been translated “other” in our Bibles. One word is ’έτερος – heteros which means another of a different kind; the other word is ’άλλος – allos which means another of the same kind. This gospel of a different kind is prominantly proclaimed today.
The result of heeding this different kind of gospel is utter destruction. Some Galatians had abdicated The True Gospel and embraced another gospel of a different kind. In A.D. 49 Paul expressed amazement to such action by Galatians to whom He preached The True Gospel. Then in late A.D. 58 Paul contrasted these two gospels in his Second Epistle to Corinthians.
“But I am fearing, lest by any means, as the serpent deluded Eve by means of his / craftiness, so your thoughts be destroyed by corruption away from the simplicity [singleness] which is in Christ. For if (and it is true) actually the one coming proclaims as a herald another Jesus of the same kind, whom we did not proclaim as a herald, or you are receiving another spirit of a different kind, which you did not receive [take] , or another gospel of a different kind, which you did not hospitably receive, well were you holding back from Him” (2 Cor. 11:3,4APT).
Paul gave three distinct factors of the Gospel, two of which indicate the gospel is false and of a different kind than the Gospel Paul preached.
A. The subject of the gospel being heralded or preached is the same kind of Jesus that Paul preached, “He is The Son of God, The Christ Who died for our sins on the cross of Calvary, He was buried, and He arose the third day and was seen by His disciples” (1 Cor. 15: 3-5).
(1) Some may not include in this other gospel of a different kind that proclaims a Jesus of the same kind, that Jesus became sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21) and as such became the sin offering for us (Isa, 53:6,10).
“For The+ One, | Who| did not know [from experience] sin, He made sin in behalf of us in order that we ourselves become God’s righteousness in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21APT).
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and The LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. . . .Yet it pleased The LORD to bruise Him, He hath put Him to grief when Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin” (Isa. 53:6,10).
(2) Some may not include in this other gospel of a different kind that proclaims a Jesus of the same kind, that He endured the fiery wrath of The God on the cross of Calvary, and also that He was separated spiritually and physically from The God while He suffered The God’s fiery wrath in supernatural darkness (like that given off by the Lake of fire) for three hours on the cross to pay the full penalty for our sins in our stead and on our behalf (look up Mt. 27:45; Mk. 15:33; Lk. 23:45; and consider Isa. 53:4-6,10; Lam. 1:1:12-14; 3:1,17; Lev. 4:20,21,26 quoted below).
“Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and The LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:4,5).
After the destruction of Jerusalem, the weeping prophet Jeremiah lamented the destruction of his beloved city by Nebuchadnezzar. In the Book of Lamentations he included Messianic prophecy (Lam. 1:12-14; 3:1-3,8, 19,20) which was applicable to words The Lord Jesus Christ would say on the cross, even as David prophesied in Psalm 22 (Ps. 22:1 cf. Mt. 27:46; Mk. 15:34; and Ps. 22:18 cf. Jn. 19:24).
The Holy Spirit of God often incorporated Messianic prophecies in the writings of the Old Testament prophets. These are prophecies that deal with current events of their day, dealing with what has just happened or will happen in the immediate future with a distant future event relating to the Messiah. There is just such a passage in Lamentations.
“Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto My sorrow, which is done unto Me, wherewith The LORD hath afflicted Me in the day of His fierce anger. From above hath He sent fire into My bones, and it prevaileth against them: He hath spread a net for My feet, He hath turned Me back: He hath made Me desolate and faint all the day. The yoke of My transgressions is bound by His hand: they are wreathed, and come up upon My neck: He hath made my strength to fall, The Lord hath delivered Me into their hands, from whom I am not able to rise up” (Lamentations 1:12-14).
The “Law of Double Reference” which concerns much prophecy comes into effect here. This law indicates that some prophecies have both an early partial fulfillment and a much later more complete fulfillment. Although some scholars attribute these words to the expression of the emotions of Jeremiah the prophet over the destruction of Jerusalem, this cannot be the case for these four reasons.
(1) Jeremiah was not burned when Jerusalem was destroyed by fire; he escaped the fire and was spared by Nebusar-adan, Nebuchadnezzar’s captain and was given freedom to stay in the land and go wherever he wanted to go before Jerusalem was burnt (Jer. 40:1-5; 50:12-16).
(2) Jeremiah was not personally afflicted by The LORD, but was given his life for a prey (Jer. 39:18); but the prophecy declares that the speaker was personally afflicted by The LORD (v. 12c cf. Isa. 53:4).
(3) The fire of The God’s fierce anger entered the bones of the speaker but not the bones of Jeremiah (v. 13 cf. Rev. 1:15).
(4) The yoke of transgressions was placed upon the speaker by The LORD (v. 14 cf. 1 Pet. 2:24).
The Lord Jesus Christ is The Passover Lamb that had to be burned or roasted in the fire of The God’s wrath in behalf of us. This was indicated by John the beloved disciple in his description of The Risen Christ in the Book titled in Greek, Revelation by the Saint John, the Theologian (Jn. 1:29 cf. 1 Cor. 5:7; Ex. 12:8; Lev. 4:20,21,26; Heb. 13:11,12; Rev. 1:15).
“On the morrow he, the John sees Jesus coming to him and he says, Behold The Lamb of The God Who is carrying off the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29APT).
“For even Christ our Passover [Ex. 12:3-6] was sacrificed in behalf of us” (1 Cor. 5:7APT).
“And they shall eat the flesh [of the Passover lamb] in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it” (Ex. 12:8).
“And he shall do with the bullock as he did with the bullock for a sin offering, so shall he do with this: and the priest shall make an atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them. And he shall carry forth the bullock without the camp, and burn him as he burned the first bullock: it is a sin offering for the congregation. . . .And he shall burn all his fat upon the altar, as the fat of the sacrifice of peace offerings: and the priest shall make an atonement for him as concerning his sin, and it shall be forgiven him” (Lev. 4:20,21,26).
“For the bodies of those living beings, whose blood in behalf of sin, is repeatedly being brought in into the Holy Places by the high priest, are being burned without [out away from] the camp [fortress] . Wherefore Jesus also, in order that He sanctify [set apart. as holy] the people [same race and language] by means of His own [private] blood, suffered [being burned] without [out away from] the gate” (Heb. 13:11,12APT).
“And in midst of the seven lampstands a like One to Son of Man [Human] standing clothed with a robe reaching to the feet . . . and the feet of His, similar ones to fine brass, ones having been burned as in a smelting furnace” (Rev. 1:13, 15 APT).
After The Great White Throne Judgment, Satan and every human being that is judged there will be cast into the lake of fire that continually burns with fire and brimstone forever (Rev. 20:10,13-17 cf. 2 Pet. 2:13; Jude 13). Brimstone is sulfur which gives off great dark smoke-filled gas when it burns.
And what may not be included in the gospel message in this other gospel of a different kind that proclaims a Jesus of the same kind is the truth that Jesus did not rise again the third day according to many Scriptures. But another Jesus Who was crucified on Thursday or even on Wednesday and rose again on Sunday, which would make it the fourth or even the fifth day, is proclaimed.
Some insist that Jesus had to be in the grave for seventy-two hours, contrary to the Scriptures and the Hebrew idiom which considers any part of a day or of a night to be a day and a night even as hospitals bill patients for a day’s stay even if they only spent one hour in a bed (Mt. 16:21; 17:23; 20:19; 26:61; 27:40,63,64; Mk. 8:31; 9:31; 10:34;14:58;15:29; Lk. 9:22; 24:7,46; Jn. 2:19; Acts 10:40; 1 Cor.15:4).
Also what may not be included in the gospel message in this other gospel of a different kind that proclaims a Jesus of the same kind is the doctrine of the resurrection-ascension taught by the apostles Peter and Paul. Herein is inserted an introductory excerpt from a paper on our website under the headline “MISUNDERSTOOD MYSTERIES MADE MANIFEST (CLEAR)” by Dr. Fred Wittman, V. The Mystery of Christ’s Resurrection-Accession.
How do you explain the mystery why Mary Magdalene could not touch Jesus on the resurrection morning (Jn. 20:17) but the women (Mt. 28:9) and His disciples (Lk. 24:39) could and did?
“Jesus says to her, Mary [Mahgdah-laynáy]! That one turned and says to Him, Rahbbou-née [O Great Master Teacher] , which is being said, O Teacher! Jesus says to her, Stop attempting to touch [in the motion to embrace] Me for I have not yet ascended to [the face of] My Father! But journey to [the face of] My brothers! And tell them, I am ascending to [the face of] My Father and your Father and to [the face of] My God and your God” (Jn. 20:16,17APT).
“Then as they [the women] journeyed to report to His disciples, in fact lo! Jesus met up with them, saying, Rejoice! Then they approached [the face of] and grabbed [took hold of mightily] His feet and they bowed in homage to Him” (Mt. 28:9APT).
“And in the same hour they stood up and returned unto Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and the ones together with them assembled together, . . . Now as they were telling these things, Jesus Himself stood in midst of them. . . . And He said to them, Why are you standing disturbed? And because of what are discordant reasonings ascending in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that Myself, I am Myself continuously existing! Handle Me! And behold! Because a spirit does not have flesh and bones according as you observe Me having” (Lk. 24:33,36,38,39APT).
What is the significance and importance of the resurrection? Why did The Lord Jesus Christ rise again? Why is The Christ’s resurrection so closely connected with His ascension? Having considered the Mystery of The Christ, The Son of a Human and His vicarious death, it is necessary to consider another mystery, the Mystery of The Christ’s Resurrection-Ascension.
Remember the meaning of the New Testament use of mystery is a profound truth that has been hidden or mysterious and not understood in past ages, but revealed to the Apostles and Prophets of Jesus Christ by The Holy Spirit and is now known and understood by the obedient and godly regenerated saints.
Why is it necessary to understand this mystery? Because if Christ died and did not rise again, He could not be The Savior of Mankind. And there can be no Salvation from sin before a Holy God without a living Savior. A dead savior cannot save anyone from sin. But The Lord Jesus Christ did rise again!
And if precious blood has not been applied to the Mercy Seat in Heaven, there is no justification, no expiation for Sin, and no forgiveness of Sin. But The Lord Jesus Christ did ascend into Heaven and He did apply His own precious blood on the Mercy Seat before being defiled by being touched with human hands!
How do we know that? By studying with careful examination The Scriptures pertaining to the resurrection of The Lord Jesus Christ.
The gospel being heralded or preached is a false or counterfeit gospel or another gospel of a different kind if it presents another spirit of a different kind from that which Paul preached. The Lord Jesus Christ told His disciples that His Father would send “The Comforter, Whom The Father will send in My name, The Spirit of Truth”; . . . “He shall guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; . . . He shall glorify Me” (Jn. 14:16, 17,26; 16:13,14).
Therefore he will never inspire, motivate, or prompt anyone to focus on Himself. Any gospel that calls people’s attention to the spirit or the gift of the spirit and not on The Lord Jesus Christ is another gospel of a different kind.
The Holy Spirit is The Spirit of Truth (Jn. 14:17; 15:26; 16:13). Every prophecy which He inspires concerning the future comes true and never is there any error in a prophecy directed by Him. Otherwise the spirit behind the prophecy is the spirit of the error (1 Jn. 4:1,6 cf. 1 Kings 22:4-28).
Therefore those false prophets who have predicted or do predict a date when The Lord Jesus Christ will come again are false prophets proclaiming another gospel of a different kind because The Lord Jesus Himself said, “Now concerning that day and hour not one perceives, neither the angels who are in Heaven, nor The Son, except The Father” (Mk. 13:32APT).
The Holy Scriptures teach that the day would come when prophecy would be sealed up (Daniel 9:24). When The Spirit of Truth directed the apostle Paul to write to the Corinthians between A.D. 57 to early 58,
“Whether there be the gift of prophecies, they shall be negated [made ineffective] ; . . . For we know [from experience] by means of parts and we prophesy by means of parts. But whenever the perfectly complete~ thing come, at that time what is by means of parts shall be negated” (1 Cor. 13:8-10APT).
The neuter gender of the term “perfectly complete” negates reference to The Christ which proper noun is masculine. However, the very same term in the same gender and inflection, which was written by James, the brother of The Lord Jesus between A.D. 37-45, refers to the perfectly complete Law of Liberty which is The Word of The God (James 1:25APT).
In approximately A.D. 96-100 at the close of the Book of Revelation, John the beloved apostle was told by The God that a curse was placed upon anyone who would add to the prophecy of this book (Rev. 22:18). Therefore, the reference is to prophecy in The Word of The God in 1 Corinthians 13:10 and to any prophecy that is made after The Word of God Which is now perfectly complete.
As a result, any additional prophecy since A.D. 100 is neither motivated nor inspired by the Holy Spirit of Truth and does not come from The One True God.
So, anyone who claims to have a revelation or a prophecy today, it has been inspired by a demon, an evil spirit, or fallen angelic being and has the curse of The God upon him or her who pronounces it. And the plagues of Revelation shall be added to him or her. This includes being barred from ever entering the Holy City in Heaven and that one shall be condemned to spend eternity in the Lake of Fire with the devil and his angels (Rev. 21:27; 20:14,15).
There is a third distinct factor of the Gospel which is the second distinction that clearly indicates the gospel being preached is false and of a different kind than The Gospel Paul preached.
As a result, any additional prophecy since A.D. 100 is neither motivated nor inspired by the Holy Spirit of Truth and does not come from The One True God.
So, anyone who claims to have a revelation or a prophecy today, it has been inspired by a demon, an evil spirit, or fallen angelic being and has the curse of The God upon him or her who pronounces it. And the plagues of Revelation shall be added to him or her. This includes being barred from ever entering the Holy City in Heaven and that one shall be condemned to spend eternity in the Lake of Fire with the devil and his angels (Rev. 21:27; 20:14,15).
There is a third distinct factor of the Gospel which is the second distinction that clearly indicates the gospel being preached is false and of a different kind than The Gospel Paul preached.
The gospel being heralded or preached is a false or counterfeit gospel or another gospel of a different kind if it presents another message of a different kind. This aspect of a different kind of gospel concerns what the message lacks: three vital elements. The apostle Paul clearly stated to the Ephesian elders on the shore of the seaport Μιλήτος (Meelaytohs) what three factors or vital elements the presentation of The Gospel that he preached included.
“I did not shrink back one bit from the expedient things in order to announce to you and to teach you publicly and from house to house, earnestly testifying both to Jews and to Greeks the repentance [change the mind so as to change direction] unto The God and the faith [totally committed trust] unto The Lord of ours, Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:20,21APT).
(1) Repentance unto The God is the first vital element (Acts 17:30,31); In presenting The Gospel to the Athenian philosophers in the Áhreh-eeohs Páhgohs, Paul specified these two elements necessary to appropriate eternal salvation.
“Therefore in fact, though The God overlooked the periods of time of the ignorance with reference to the things now, He charges all the humans in all places, Be repenting [change the mind so as to change direction] ! for the reason that He established a day in which He is about to judge the inhabited Globe in righteousness by means of 0 Man Whom He designated, effecting faith [totally committed trust] in all people by resurrecting Him out of dead ones” (Acts 17:30,31APT).
When Pilate mingled the blood of Galileans with the sacrifices of theirs was reported to The Lord Jesus Christ, He said twice, “. . . unless you repent [change the mind so as to change direction] , you all shall likewise perish” (Lk. 13:3,5 APT).
Therefore, any gospel, that does not include the absolute necessity of repentance which results in a change of mind about the way one has been sinning, a change of heart, and a change of direction away from going one’s own way and the determination to persistently go The God’s way, is another gospel of a different kind than The True Gospel.
(2) Faith (totally committed trust) unto The Lord Jesus Christ is the second vital element that must be included in the presentation of The True Gospel. There must be a clear distinction made between temporal faith, mental or historical faith, and Scriptural faith: between token commitment of trust and total commitment of trust. Scriptural faith is totally committing trust permanently unto The Lord Jesus Christ alone for eternal salvation. Just believing in The Lord Jesus Christ with your head agreeing that He died to save you and He rose again from the dead and lives today in Heaven is not Scriptural Faith. James, the brother of The Lord Jesus Christ wrote in his Epistle,
“You yourself continually commit trust that The God is One, you are continually doing well. The demons also continually commit trust and they are continually shuddering” (James 2:19APT).
So even the demons have mental faith which cannot and does not save anyone. Those who are taught “only believe” without clarifying what Scriptural faith is are being taught a false gospel.
Scriptural faith is an active abiding personal trust in The God of The Scriptures and in The Lord Jesus Christ, Whom He has sent, which results in transaction, action, relationship, transformation, trials, and ultimate triumph (Jn. 5:24; 6:29; 14:1).
(3) Salvation from the power of Sin as well as salvation from the penalty of sin is the third vital element that must be included in the presentation of The True Gospel. If indeed there is repentance, that is, a turning to The God away from sin, and there is Scriptural faith, a totally committed trust permanently unto The Lord Jesus Christ, then there will follow a persistence in obedience to The Word of The God, a life of victory over Sin (Rom. 6:1,2,6,7,12-14; 1 Pet. 2:24).
Regenerated ones must: no longer serve Sin, no longer live in sin; no longer practice sin, and no longer delight in the pleasures of sin.
What did The Lord Jesus Christ say to the chronically infirm lame man whom He healed by simply telling him, “Carry off your pallet at once and begin continually walking,” after meeting him in the Temple? “Behold you have become healthy! Stop sinning any longer lest something worse happen [come to pass] upon you!” (Jn. 5:14 APT).
And what did The Lord Jesus say to the woman in the very act of committing adultery after every one of her accusers departed. And she answered His question, “Not one condemned you, did he?” Then Jesus said to her, “Neither do I Myself condemn you. Continually journey [on in life] ! And from now continue sinning no longer!” (Jn.8:11APT).
Thus, The Lord Jesus Christ Himself taught that those who are forgiven are not to repeat their sins but are saved from the power of Sin that once held them. If He expected them to sin no more, then He must have freed them from the power of Sin as the master to whom they had been enslaved.
Any Gospel presentation and invitation that does not contain these three vital elements: Repentance, Scriptural Faith, and Salvation from the power of Sin as well as from the penalty of sin is a gospel of a different kind and not The Gospel that Paul preached and the early Church proclaimed.
The third phase of “Deceitful Perpetration” is Cognizant Destitution.
3. COGNIZANT DESTITUTION – “ones always [learning by practice] training and ones not even ever able~ to come unto full knowledge [from experience] of Truth” (v. 7APT).
The word “cognizant” means “having a knowledge of anything.” And destitution is a poverty, extreme want; “such extreme want as threatens life unless relieved (Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary).
Therefore “Cognizant Destitution” is an extreme lack of knowledge of The Truth. There may be knowledge of many things, even an erroneous knowledge of The Bible. This is seen in Hollywood versions of biblical stories in film which lack many details and alter Scripture.
Many people are destitute when it comes to a knowledge of The Truth let alone a full knowledge of The Truth. Paul wrote in verse 7, “always [learning by practice] training and ones not even ever able to come unto full knowledge [from experience] of Truth.” They are seeking constantly to learn; therefore, they will respond to any sect or cult which comes along and seeks to reach and teach them. They are constantly searching and seeking to learn, but they are never able to attain full knowledge of Truth because they have not the right motive and/or because they accept the teaching from false teachers. Thus, there is unsuccessful endeavor to attain to The Truth.
This word “knowledge” is ’έπίγνωσις. It means “a full knowledge gained by experience.” It is an experiential full knowledge. “To know fully from experience” is the translation of ’έπιγνώσκω; it is not the translation of ’οîδα – merely “to be aware” or “to perceive.”
To fully know the truth is to apply it in the life, first to accept it by faith and then to put it into practice in your life. Some people are ever learning, but “never able to come to the full experiential knowledge of The Truth.” “Cognizant Destitution” is rampant in our day. It was also prevalent in Israel in the eighth century B. C.
Sometime between 725-723 B.C. Hosea wrote to the people of Israel the words of The LORD,
“My people are destroyed for lack of [experiential] knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children” (Hosea 4:6).
These words were a description of the present spiritual condition and a warning pronouncement of what surely shall take place in the not-too-distant future. The word translated “knowledge” in the Septuagint (historical Old Testament translation in Greek) is the same word that Paul used in our text, ’έπίγνωσις – “full experiential knowledge”.
The people did not heed these words and as a result of ignoring this pronouncement, the actual destruction of Israel as a nation and of the Temple took place c. 140 years later. The priesthood could no longer function and Israel was taken captive and deported to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar.
But the horrible and tragic outcome was that their children would be forgotten by the covenant-keeping Jehovah, The LORD. All because they failed to acquire the full experiential knowledge of The Truth found in The God’s Holy Word.
What disaster comes from failing to attain full experiential knowledge of The Truth! Does not this apply today? Is not this failure to attain full experiential knowledge which was the people of Israel’s condition in 725 B.C. also the condition today of most who claim to be God’s people? Was not this the condition of which Paul wrote in his Second Epistle to Timothy? Does not this stir us out of our lethargy and apathy?
There are many cities in various parts of the world where several evangelical-fundamental churches exist, not too distant from one another, where the “church-tramp crowd” is evident. There are those who go from church to church. For a period of six months to a year or even longer, they attend one church until they become tired or irritated or perturbed with the preacher or other leader or some other person and decide they want to go to another church. They are ever learning, but never able to come to a full experiential knowledge of The Truth. They want to grasp all the Scriptural knowledge they can, but to apply it in their hearts and lives, they never will. No!
When they become choked, and will not apply The Truth in their lives, then they pick up their belongings, walk out in a huff, and go to another church to cause trouble there. My friends, we are living in a day when people are seeking to learn and are ever learning, but never ever able to come into a full knowledge of The Truth. “Cognizant Destitution” is prevalent in the churches in our day.
“The Truth” is a Scriptural term referring to The Word Of The God, to the body of truth taught by The Scriptures, to The Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and to The Spirit of Truth. The Lord Jesus Christ said, “I am Myself The Way, The Truth, and The Absolute Life. Not one is coming to [the face of] The Father, except through Me” (John 14:6APT).
Unless you receive The Lord Jesus Christ as your own Personal Savior and are ready to receive The Truth by becoming His disciple, you shall never know The Truth. He said, “You shall know The Truth for yourselves, and The Truth shall free you from bondage” (John 8:32APT).
If you wish to come to a full knowledge of The Truth, you must come to a knowledge of Christ first. Will you come right now to The Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Way to God, who is the Personification of The Truth of God? You can come to know Jesus Christ intimately, personally, and as your very own Saviour and Lord now. Or you can refuse Him, reject The Truth as it is Christ, and be condemned for all eternity.
What will you do with this One who is The Truth and who can lead you into full experiential knowledge of The Truth of The God’s Word by The Holy Spirit?
Paul concludes his description of that which characterizes “These Last Days” with examples of the magicians who resisted Moses and Aaron as they confronted Pharaoh of Egypt with The God’s Word. “Let My people go” (Ex. 5:1; 7:11-22).
Their efforts demonstrated “Defiant Opposition” to The God and the prophets He sent to Pharaoh. In 2 Tim. 3:8, 9, A Precise Translation reads, “In which manner in fact Yahnnáys and Yahmbráys [Ex. 7:11] stood against Moses, so also these (described in 2 Timothy 3:1-7) of themselves continually stand against The Truth, humans having the comprehension completely destroyed by corruption, undiscerning [disapproved after examination] ones concerning the faith. But they shall not progress further; for the senselessness of theirs shall be explicit to all, as the one [senselessness] of theirs [that is, of Yahnnáys and Yahmbráys) also was.”
Yahnnáys and Yahmbráys were the two magicians in Egypt who sought to imitate Moses and Aaron in all that they did, to prove to Pharaoh that The True God had called them, and that he should let the children of Israel go into the wilderness to worship The True God.
At first they imitated Moses to a ‘T’, for when Aaron threw down his rod, Yahnnáys and Yahmbráys threw down their rods, to become snakes or serpents also. But Aaron’s rod swallowed up the rods of Yahnnáys and Yahmbráys. All through the ten plagues these two men sought to resist The Truth and to prove with outward defiance that The God, Jehovah, was not known and not powerful enough to free His people. (Ex. 7:10-8:18).
The first consideration under “Defiant Opposition” is Outwardly Defiant.
1. OUTWARDLY DEFIANT– “stand against The Truth” – ’ανθίστανται τη ’αληθεία (v. 8b).
Through fakery and counterfeit miracles Yahnnáys and Yahmbráys sought to minimize The Truth of The God and to imitate the power of The God. By practicing their magical arts they proved to be tools of Satan, seeking to confuse Pharaoh and the Egyptians and to harden their hearts to the voice of The God.
“Outward Defiance” is plainly noted today as we see some seeking to perform miracles and slightly changing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, by putting the emphasis on a by-product, rather than salvation, in order to delude those laden with sins and afflicted by the consequences of sin in sickness and in maimed bodies.
They are “Outwardly Defiant,” for they seek to resist the truth by pretending to preach the same Gospel that Paul preached and yet a false system, a counterfeit system through and through. They pretend it is the same old Gospel, only presented in a new and modern way with the usage of up-to-date terms.
Today the “fundamentals” of the faith are denied by learned men of many of our major denominational churches outwardly defying the virgin birth, the vicarious death of Christ, the resurrection – ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, the second coming of The Lord Jesus Christ, and the necessity of the new birth.
Secondly, these men are Mentally Degraded.
2. MENTALLY DEGRADED – “having the comprehension completely destroyed by corruption” – κατεφθαρμένοι τòν νοûν (v. 8c).
M.R. Vincent in Word Studiesand A. T. Robertson in Word Picturessuggest “corrupted in mind.”
However καταφθείρω means “to completely destroy by corruption.” It is a compound word comprised of φθείρω which means “to destroy by corruption”, plus the prefix κατά which sometimes in composition is emphatic, indicating “completely”.
Here it occurs as an intensive perfect passive substantive participle. While φρονέω means “to mind,” νοέω means “to comprehend”; the noun form is νοûς which therefore is “comprehension.”
The comprehension of these humans who are preaching a counterfeit gospel but pretending to proclaim the same Gospel that Paul preached have their comprehension completely corrupt concerning The Truth and are seeking to turn away others from obeying The Truth.
How can a completely corrupt and destroyed comprehension think clearly on spiritual matters? Human reasoning and philosophy cannot understand or impart infinite Truth. They are indeed mentally degraded when it comes to The Truth of God.
Finally, as a result of this mental degradation, they are Spiritually Disqualified to present or even speak The Truth.
3. SPIRITUALLY DISQUALIFIED – “ones undiscerning [disapproved after examination] concerning the faith” – ’αδόκιμοι περì την πίστιν (v. 8d).
The word ’αδόκιμοι means “rejected after having been tested for the purpose of approving,” thus “disapproved or disqualified.” These humans described in verses 1-8 are “Spiritually Disqualified!” They really do not qualify as spiritual teachers of The Word of The God, because they do not have The Lord Jesus Christ in their hearts. Nor are they motivated and empowered by The Holy Spirit of God; but rather, their preaching is motivated by the power of Satan.
Indeed, they are Spiritually Disqualified “for the senselessness” of theirs shall be explicit to all, as the one [senselessness] of theirs [that is, of Yahnnáys and Yahmbráys] also was.”
Yes, we are living in a day of “Defiant Opposition” to the God and His regenerated people. These are outwardly defiant false teachers, openly repelling and rejecting the truths that we hold so dear. These are mentally degraded men and women, who seek to philosophize rather than to evangelize. They are destroyed by corruption and spiritually disqualified, desperately in need of Christ and His Holy Spirit. They refuse to comply with the qualifications set out in The God’s Word for those who are to serve the God in His Church. From such turn away! They must be avoided at all cost.
My friend, I ask you to turn to The Lord Jesus Christ, who is The Only and Blessed Hope. Come now to The Lord Jesus Christ, who indeed can save you. He will come back to receive the believers to Himself and take them to Heaven (1 Thes. 4:13-17). Then at least seven years later, He will return to the earth with “His own,” His regenerated disciples, to judge the nations and set up His Kingdom.
The Truth is that these men, who are outwardly defiant, mentally degraded, and spiritually disqualified, will be manifested (and this is being seen today). Their folly and senselessness shall be seen when Christ comes again. He is coming and very soon to reveal The Truth of The God! We are living in the last days.
Therefore, it behooves you and me to be ready. Appropriate The Lord Jesus Christ as your own personal Savior and begin to be discipled now! If you already are regenerated and are following The Lord Jesus Christ and have received Him by faith to dwell in your heart, it behooves you: (1) to yield your all to Him, (2) to live out and out for Him, and (3) to make Him known by telling The true Gospel to others. We indeed are living in “These Last Days” ! Maràn athá!
What will you do to be ready for the soon-coming Son of God, The Lord Jesus Christ?