I Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.
This warning of the apostle Paul is for us. We are living in the latter times. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is saying that some of us who are living in these latter times will depart from the faith. The Lord Jesus Christ spoke of these latter times, too. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. Matthew 24:11. The apostle Paul said that “some” would depart from the faith. The Lord Jesus said that “many” would be deceived. In the same chapter Jesus tells us that deception will be so great that it would only be impossible for the very elect to be deceived. For there shall arise false christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Matthew 24:24. Now, the elect are not the Jews, as some suppose. Neither are all Christians the elect. The elect are the overcomers of Revelation 2:7,11,17,26; 3:5,12,21. Again, in Matthew chapter 24 Jesus gives us a clue who the deceivers and seducers will be. For many shall come in My name (literally, “on My name”), saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. Matthew 24:5. The literal Greek translation is “on My name” rather than “in My name,” meaning that many will come resting their claims on Christ. So who is it that comes on his name claiming to be Christ? Every denominational and non-denominational church comes on the name of the Lord claiming to be the Body of Christ. The deceivers and seducers will be within Christianity; for the most part they will be Christians that are in deception – Christians that have given heed to a seducing antichrist spirit, and in turn have become a seducer and a promoter of demonic doctrines.
II Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves
into the apostles of Christ.
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
The false ministers will not look like false ministers; they will look and sound like true ministers of righteousness. They will put on the same religious exterior as those they want to deceive. The false apostles, for example, will not try to deceive those who do not believe in apostles today. They will work among people who do believe that God is raising up apostles. You also must realize that many false ministers do not realize they are false ministers. They believe they are ministering the truth. Once an antichrist spirit, or a seducing spirit as in our text, has deceived a person, then he unwittingly becomes a channel for that spirit. A Christian that is deceived doesn’t know he is deceived, or he wouldn’t be deceived. It is amazing how many Christians are of the opinion that the deceived are non-Christians. That in itself is deception. In fact, Satan and his horde of seducing spirits are not even very concerned about lukewarm Christians; they are no threat to him.
The apostle Paul, to the elders at Ephesus, said that the deceivers would be in their midst. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Acts 20:29-30. The ministers of Satan that have been transformed as the ministers of righteousness will be among the Christians in this day, too. And the perverse things they speak will be doctrines that you believe to be correct. They will not try to deceive you with things you don’t believe. The perverseness will be the spirit riding upon the words they speak. What is said will sound as though it is said in love, but it will carry a perverse spirit designed to draw you away from the Lord. And those Christians who do not have a very high degree of discernment will be deceived.
Does a message like this trouble you? I’m telling you that we are in the latter times when many Christians are “departing from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils” (I Timothy 4:1). I’m telling you that those seducing spirits are working in the churches. I’m telling you that those “doctrines of devils” are being preached from your pulpits and taught in your Sunday School classes. The Scriptures tell us that the time comes when Christians “will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (II Timothy 4:3-4). We’re in that time now! That describes the bulk of the Christian world today. Does it trouble you?
A message like this is not usually received very well. People want their ears tickled with fables (II Timothy 4:4); they want to hear “peace and safety” (I Thessalonians 5:3). They don’t want to hear the truth. And “because they received not the love of the truth…God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie” (II Thessalonians 2:10-11).
A seducing spirit is a roving spirit that works to draw Christians away from the Lordship of Jesus Christ. A seducing spirit is very subtle. It doesn’t necessarily try to get you to reject Jesus Christ as your Savior; it works to draw you into a religious state. As long as you are not seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33), it has been successful. As long as you are not learning to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30), it has been successful. As long as you worship Jesus for suffering death on the cross for you, but you yourself do not die on the cross He has for you, then the seducing spirit has been successful in drawing you away from the faith.
Open your hearts to the Lord; submit to His Lordship! You will not experience His life if you do not experience the death of your flesh nature. You will not reign with Him if you do not suffer with Him. And anything less is to deny Him. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him: if we suffer, we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him, He also will deny us. II Timothy 2:11-12.
Copyright © 2003 by Henry DuBose