Maybe It’s Time For A Change In Our Attitude

During the Reformation, not an easy time for Christians, John Calvin, (of whom I am not a big fan) gave the Church on this Earth a new identity. He called it The Church Millitant. Using the term in it’s second meaning that would make us “positive and forceful in action, resolute”. Not the Church, “namby- pampy”, as much of it appears today. It is simply unacceptable not to declare our Faith in Jesus Christ boldly, frequently and loudly. regardless of who it offends. Stand up and be counted again Church of Jesus Christ

Elderman

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2 Responses to Maybe It’s Time For A Change In Our Attitude

  1. Greg says:

    Αποστησονται – της πιστεως· They will apostatize from the faith, i.e. from Christianity; renouncing the whole system in effect, by bringing in doctrines which render its essential truths null and void, or denying and renouncing such doctrines as are essential to Christianity as a system of salvation. A man may hold all the truths of Christianity, and yet render them of none effect by holding other doctrines which counteract their influence; or he may apostatize by denying some essential doctrine, though he bring in nothing heterodox.

    Giving heed to seducing spirits – Πνευμασι πλανοις· Many MSS. and the chief of the fathers have πνευμασι πλανης· spirits of deceit; which is much more emphatic than the common reading. Deception has her spirits, emissaries of every kind, which she employs to darken the hearts and destroy the souls of men. Pretenders to inspiration, and false teachers of every kind, belong to this class.

    And doctrines of devils – Δαιμονιων· Demons; either meaning fallen spirits, or dead men, spectres, etc., or doctrines inspired by Satan relative to these, by which he secures his own interest, and provides for his own worship.

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    Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible
    Now the Spirit speaketh expressly,…. The prophecy hereafter mentioned was not an human conjecture, but, as all true prophecy, it came from the Spirit of God, who spoke or delivered it; either in the prophets of the Old Testament, who, as they spoke of the Gospel dispensation, so of the defection that should be in it; and particularly of antichrist, and of the apostasy through him, which is what is here intended, especially in Daniel’s prophecies, under the names of the little horn, and vile person, Daniel 7:1 and Daniel 11:1, or in the Lord Jesus Christ, who foretold that false prophets would arise and deceive many; or in some of the prophets in the Christian church, such as Agabus, and others, who might in so many words foretell this thing; or rather in the apostle himself, at this time, since this prophecy was delivered not in dark sayings, in an enigmatical way, in an obscure manner, as prophecies generally were, but in plain language, and easy to be understood, and wanted no interpreter to unriddle it; and seeing that it is nowhere to be found in so many express words elsewhere: and moreover, the apostle does not say the Spirit “hath spoken”, but the Spirit “speaketh”; then, at the time of the writing of these words, in and by him. The prediction follows,

    that in the latter times some should depart from the faith; that is, from the doctrine of faith, notwithstanding it is indisputably the great mystery of godliness, as it is called in the latter part of the preceding chapter; for from the true grace of faith there can be no final and total apostasy, such as is here designed; for that can never be lost. It is of an incorruptible nature, and therefore more precious than gold that perishes; Christ is the author and finisher of it; his prevalent mediation is concerned for it; it is a gift of special grace, and is without repentance; it springs from electing grace, and is secured by it; and between that and salvation there is an inseparable connection; it may indeed decline, be very low, and lie dormant, as to its acts and exercise, but not be lost: there is a temporary faith, and a persuasion of truth, or a mere assent to it, which may be departed from, but not that faith which works by love: here it intends a profession of faith, which being made, should be dropped by some; or rather the doctrine of faith, which some would embrace, and then err concerning, or entirely quit, and wholly apostatize from. And they are said to be some, and these many, as they are elsewhere represented, though not all; for the elect cannot be finally and totally deceived; the foundation of election stands sure amidst the greatest apostasy; and there are always a few names that are not defiled with corrupt principles and practices; Christ always had some witnesses for the truth in the darkest times: and now this defection was to be “in the latter times”; either of the apostolic age, which John, the last of the apostles, lived to see; and therefore he calls it the last time, or hour, in which were many antichrists, 1 John 2:18. And indeed in the Apostle Paul’s time the mystery of iniquity began to work, which brought on this general defection; though here it has regard to some later times under the Gospel dispensation; to the time when the man of sin, and the son of perdition, was revealed, and when all the world wondered after the beast: and indeed, such will be the degeneracy in the last days of all, that when the son of man comes, as the grace, so the doctrine of faith will be scarcely to be found in the world: the means by which this apostasy will obtain and prevail will be through men’s

    giving heed to seducing spirits; either to doctrines which are of a deceiving nature; or to men who profess to have the Spirit of God, and have not, but are evil men and seducers, deceiving, and being deceived; that lie in wait to deceive, and handle the word of God deceitfully; and by attending on the ministry of such persons, through hearing them, and conversing with them, the defection was to begin and spread; and therefore such should be carefully avoided, and their ministry shunned; nor should they be received, nor bid God speed.

    And doctrines of devils; such as are devised by devils, as all damnable doctrines be; and all lying ones, for the devil is the father of them; and as are all the false doctrines introduced by antichrist, for his coming was after the working of Satan; and particularly those doctrines of his concerning worshipping of angels, and saints departed, may be called the doctrines of devils, or of “demons”; being much the same with the demon worship among the Heathens, of which the devil was the inventor: unless by doctrines of devils should be meant the doctrines of men, who for their cunning and sophistry, for their lies and hypocrisy, for their malice, and murdering of the souls of men, are comparable to devils.

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    Vincent’s Word Studies
    Now (δὲ)

    Better but, since there is a contrast with the preceding confession of the norm of faith.

    Expressly (ῥητῶς)

    N.T.o. olxx. In express words.

    In the latter times (ἐν ὑστέροις καιροῖς)

    The phrase only here. For καιρός particular season or juncture, see on Matthew 12:1; see on Acts 1:7. Not the same as ἐν ἐσχάταις in the last days, 2 Timothy 3:1, which denotes the period closing the present aeon, and immediately preceding the parousia; while this signifies merely a time that is future to the writer. There is not the intense sense of the nearness of Christ’s coming which characterises Paul. The writer does not think of his present as “the latter days.”

    Some (τινες)

    Not, as 1 Timothy 1:3, the heretical teachers, but those whom they mislead.

    Shall depart from the faith (ἀποστήσονται τῆς πίστεως)

    The phrase only here. The verb in Paul only 2 Corinthians 12:8. Quite frequent in Luke and Acts. The kindred noun τασία (Acts 21:21; 2 Thessalonians 2:3) is almost literally transcribed in our apostasy.

    Seducing (πλάνοις)

    Primarily, wandering, roving. Ὁ πλάνος a vagabond, hence deceiver or seducer. See 2 John 1:7, and comp. ὁ πλανῶν the deceiver, used of Satan, Revelation 12:9; Revelation 20:10; τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς πλάνης the spirit of error, 1 John 4:6. Once in Paul, 2 Corinthians 6:8, and in lxx, Job 19:4; Jeremiah 23:32. Evil spirits animating the false teachers are meant.

    Doctrines of devils (διδασκαλίαις δαιμονίων)

    Better, teachings of demons. Comp. James 3:15. Διδασκαλία teaching often in Pastorals. A few times in Paul. See on 1 Timothy 1:10. Δαιμόνιον demon only here in Pastorals. Very frequent in Luke: in Paul only 1 Corinthians 10:20, 1 Corinthians 10:21. Teachings proceeding from or inspired by demons. The working of these evil spirits is here specially concerned with striking at the true teaching which underlies godliness. It is impossible to say what particular form of false teaching is alluded to.

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    Geneva Study Bible
    Now {1} the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the {a} faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

    (1) He contrasts that true doctrine, with false opinions, which he foretells that certain ones who shall fall away from God and his religion, will bring in by the suggestion of Satan, and so that a great number will give ear to them.

    (a) From the true doctrine of God.

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    People’s New Testament
    4:1 A Falling Away Predicted

    SUMMARY OF I TIMOTHY 4:

    An Apostasy in Latter Times. Some of the Marks of That Apostasy. Directions to Timothy in View of This. The Preacher to Be an Example. To Take Heed to Himself.

    Now the Spirit speaketh expressly. In revelations made to Paul and other inspired men. See 2Th 2:3.

    In the latter times. In future times. How far away is not indicated.

    Some shall depart from the faith. There shall be an apostasy. Compare 2Th 2:3. Some of the marks of this apostasy are now given.

    Giving heed to seducing spirits. The apostle seems to recognize a preternatural element which speaks by false prophets, in false utterances which claims to be from God. These seducing spirits might work through hierarchs, who claimed to speak for God, or through councils which claimed to make infallible utterances.

    Doctrines of demons. Doctrines suggested by demons. The Greek daimonion, demon, not devil, always refers in the New Testament to an evil spirit.

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    Wesley’s Notes
    4:1 But the Spirit saith – By St. Paul himself to the Thessalonians, and probably by other contemporary prophets. Expressly – As concerning a thing of great moment, and soon to be fulfilled. That in the latter times – These extend from our Lord’s ascension till his coming to judgment. Some – Yea, many, and by degrees the far greater part. Will depart from the faith – The doctrine once delivered to the saints. Giving heed to seducing spirits – Who inspire false prophets.

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    Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
    CHAPTER 4

    1Ti 4:1-16. Prediction of a Coming Departure from the Faith: Timothy’s Duty as to It: General Directions to Him.

    The “mystery of iniquity” here alluded to, and already working (2Th 2:7), stands opposed to the “mystery of godliness” just mentioned (1Ti 3:16).

    1. Now-Greek, “But.” In contrast to the “mystery of godliness.”

    the Spirit-speaking by the prophets in the Church (whose prophecies rested on those of the Old Testament, Da 7:25; 8:23, &c.; 11:30, as also on those of Jesus in the New Testament, Mt 24:11-24), and also by Paul himself, 2Th 2:3 (with whom accord 2Pe 3:3; 1Jo 2:18; Jude 18).

    expressly-“in plain words.” This shows that he refers to prophecies of the Spirit then lying before him.

    in the latter times-in the times following upon the times in which he is now writing. Not some remote future, but times immediately subsequent, the beginnings of the apostasy being already discernible (Ac 20:29): these are the forerunners of “the last days” (2Ti 3:1).

    depart from the faith-The apostasy was to be within the Church, the faithful one becoming the harlot. In 2Th 2:3 (written earlier), the apostasy of the Jews from God (joining the heathen against Christianity) is the groundwork on which the prophecy rises; whereas here, in the Pastoral Epistles, the prophecy is connected with Gnostic errors, the seeds of which had already been sown in the Church [Auberlen] (2Ti 2:18). Apollonius Tyanæus, a heretic, came to Ephesus in the lifetime of Timothy.

    giving heed-(1Ti 1:4; Tit 1:14).

    seducing spirits-working in the heretical teachers. 1Jo 4:2, 3, 6, “the spirit of error,” opposed to “the spirit of truth,” “the Spirit” which “speaketh” in the true prophets against them.

    doctrines of devils-literally “teachings of (that is suggested by) demons.” Jas 3:15, “wisdom . devilish”; 2Co 11:15, “Satan’s ministers.”

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    Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
    4:1-5 The Holy Spirit, both in the Old and the New Testament, spoke of a general turning from the faith of Christ, and the pure worship of God. This should come during the Christian dispensation, for those are called the latter days. False teachers forbid as evil what God has allowed, and command as a duty what he has left indifferent. We find exercise for watchfulness and self-denial, in attending to the requirements of God’s law, without being tasked to imaginary duties, which reject what he has allowed. But nothing justifies an intemperate or improper use of things; and nothing will be good to us, unless we seek by prayer for the Lord’s blessing upon it.

  2. Bill says:

    You’re right. The Church today seems to operate in a sphere of defeatism. I get angry when I hear Christians say “but we know who wins in the end.”

    Arghhh!

    Jesus is victor TODAY! And we’re victorious with Him TODAY. We have to stop thinking of ourselves as powerless victims.

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