1 Timothy 4:1-6By Pastor Boffey on Sunday, December 5, 2010.
1 Timothy 4:1-6 A. Paul had just summed up the “mystery of godliness” (1TI 3:16). He here essentially contrasts that with a detailing of the “mystery of iniquity” (2TH 2:7). What follows is an expressly spoken prophecy pertinent to the latter times. 1. Expressly: In full detail; in direct or plain terms, clearly, explicitly, definitely. 2. Latter: Belonging to a subsequent or comparatively advanced period; later. 3. There is no way from this text alone to be specific as to what exact time frame is under consideration. 4. It is a prophecy of apostasy at some time subsequent to Paul's words. It could be a prophecy of a great falling away just before the return of Christ, but not necessarily so. 5. NOTE: We are living in the last times and have been since Christ's first advent. GAL 4:4; 1PE 1:20; 1CO 10:11; HEB 9:26; 1JO 2:18. a. The last days are characterized as perilous. 2TI 3:1-5. b. At some point in these last times before Christ's return, there would certainly be a great apostasy. 2TH 2:1-3; LUK 18:8. Mark the phrase, “Now the Spirit speaketh EXPRESSLY...” (v. 1). 1. There is no ambiguity to this prophecy in contrast with the dark sayings elsewhere in Scripture. PSA 78:2 c/w MAT 13:34-35; JOH 16:25-29. 2. God's Spirit here prophesies expressly (clearly, definitely). This is in conformity to the entire nature of the Spirit's N.T. ministry which, when compared with the O.T., is “...a more sure word of prophecy” (2PE 1:19). 3. This also contrasts the necessarily obscure “visions” of false prophets and seers whose misses are often exposed in spite of their obscurity. God's prophets never miss. DEU 18:21-22. In departing from the faith, men give “heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.” 1. One of Paul's frequent concerns was the danger of saints being duped by seductive teachers. 2CO 11:3 c/w EPH 4:14. 2. Obviously, not all revelatory or instructive spirits are of God and therefore discernment is of paramount importance. 1JO 4:1; PRO 19:27; COL 2:18. 3. Seducing spirits specialize in good words and fair speeches. ROM 16:17-18; 2PE 2:18. 4. They have an appeal to the gullible, the unstable and those who prefer story-time to sound doctrine. 2PE 2:14; 2TI 4:2-4. 5. NOTE: The mark of apostate times is the devaluation of sound doctrine and uncompromising preaching. ISA 30:8-10; JER 5:31; 23:32. 6. It is for just such reasons that Paul emphasized to Timothy the importance of doctrine and solid preaching. 1TI 4:16; 2TI 4:2. 7. Seducing spirits generally don't get up and say, “I am a devil,” or “I am a false prophet.” MAT 7:15; 2CO 11:13-15. 8. Seducing spirits may be sent: a. as a test and refinement of the church. DEU 13:1-3; 1CO 11:19. b. as a judgment for already existing deep-rooted sin. 2CH 18:19-22; EZE 14:3-5; 2TH 2:10-12. These devil-inspired teachers come “Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;” (v. 2). 1. Contrast “speaking lies in hypocrisy” with EPH 4:15, 25. 2. They obviously have defiled consciences. ct./w 1TI 3:9. 3. They violated conscience and made themselves prey and promoter of religious asceticism, B. C. D. E. 1 Timothy 4:1-6 Page 1 of 3 which itself is worthless. vs. 3-5 c/w COL 2:20-23. Faith and a good conscience are joined. 1TI 1:5, 19. a. By contrast, hypocrisy and a bad conscience go together. b. Hypocrisy is a form of unbelief. MAT 24:51 c/w LUK 12:46. c. Bad consciences tend to have recourse to hypocrisy. They are conscious of the brand within, and yet with a hypocritical show of sanctity, they strive to seduce others. 5. These seducers would make Christian liberties into something sinful. vs. 3-5. a. Marriage is hardly on the “Thou shalt not...” list. 1CO 7:28; HEB 13:4. b. Jewish dietary law died with Christ. N.T. Christians are under no such proscription and ought to know that foods do not defile a man. MAR 7:15, 18-23. (1) Basically, the post-Flood dietary code is in effect. GEN 1:29 c/w 9:3-4 c/w ACT 15:20. (2) When it says, “every creature of God is good...,” Scripture is not saying that willfully eating a Portuguese Man of War is covered by Good News Insurance Company. MAR 16:18. (3) The “every creature” is juxtaposing the former proscriptions of the O.T. dietary law (or the prophesied devilish doctrines) with the liberating N.T. order. (4) Our diet is “sanctified (holy or consecrated, rendered spiritually profitable) by the word of God and prayer.” (5) The truth of Scripture has a sanctifying property. JOH 17:17; ROM 15:16. (6) Through thankful prayer, even our food intake may be done to God's glory. 1CO 10:30-31. (7) Mark how Paul emphasizes again the importance of thanksgiving in this area. LUK 9:16; ACT 27:35 ct/w ROM 1:21. c. Mark also how much this prophecy of devilish proscriptions against Christian liberties agrees with historical Catholicism. 6. Doctrines which deny Christian liberty are devilish. Consider the following in that light: a. Mandatory tithing. ct/w 2CO 9:7. b. Mandatory abstinence from drink. ct/w 1TI 5:23; JOH 2:1-11. c. Mandatory circumcision. ct/w GAL 6:15. d. Mandatory “same-race” marriage. 1CO 7:39; NUM 12:1. e. Mandatory sabbath-keeping. COL 2:16-17. 7. NOTE: Every invented tradition which establishes an artificial measure of righteousness ends up negating some Scripture and/or creating a worse problem than the one that was supposedly being averted. MAR 7:7, 13. Paul encourages Timothy to “put the brethren in remembrance of these things...” (v. 6). 1. There is saving profit in committing God's precepts to memory. PSA 119:11; 1CO 15:1-2; JAM 1:25. 2. Ministers need to stimulate saints to remember what they have read and been taught. 2PE 1:12-13; 3:1; JUDE 1:5. 3. A good minister will remind his flock that true Christianity does not emphasize depriving the flesh of godly things, but mortifying the flesh's ungodly attributes. COL 3:5-7. 4. Good teaching itself will nourish the minister in doctrine, which is superior sustenance. JER 15:16; 1TI 4:16. 5. Mark how that the Paul here again emphasizes the importance of doctrine in the work of the ministry. 4. F. 1 Timothy 4:1-6 Page 2 of 3 a. Note how frequently "doctrine" is mentioned in his epistles to ministers: (1) 1TI 1:3. “...charge some that they teach no other doctrine.” (2) 1TI 1:10. “...any other thing...contrary to sound doctrine.” (3) 1TI 4:6. “...nourished up in...good doctrine.” (4) 1TI 4:13. “...give attendance to...doctrine.” (5) 1TI 4:16. “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine...” (6) 1TI 5:17. “...especially they who labour in...doctrine.” (7) 1TI 6:1. “...that...his doctrine be not blasphemed.” (8) 1TI 6:3. “...the doctrine which is according to godliness.” (9) 2TI 3:10. “...thou hast fully known my doctrine...” (10) 2TI 3:16. “...Scripture is...profitable for doctrine...” (11) 2TI 4:2. “...exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” (12) 2TI 4:3. “...they will not endure sound doctrine...” (13) TIT 1:9. “...may be able by sound doctrine...to exhort...” (14) TIT 2:1. “...the things which become sound doctrine.” (15) TIT 2:7. “...in doctrine shewing uncorruptness...” (16) TIT 2:10. “...that they may adorn the doctrine of God...” “Doctrine” appears 51 times in Scripture: 6 times in the O.T.; 45 times in the N.T. 16/51 occurrences appear in 3 pastoral epistles, for an extremely high relative density. By contrast, mark how conspicuously minor or non-existent in the guidelines for a minister are such things as philosophy, psychology, personality-typing, music programs, congregational socializing, church building programs, corporate management techniques, etc. “...whereunto thou hast attained.” (1) Attain: To come so far as, succeed in coming to, get (to). to attain to = reach, arrive at. (2) Timothy had begun his spiritual nutrition plan early. 2TI 3:15. (3) He had also fully known the doctrine of the chief apostle. 2TI 3:10. (4) Personal study and diligent attention to experienced ministerial knowledge fit a minister well for convincing gainsayers of their error. TIT 1:9. b. c. d.