|2Tim.3:1-9||This know also, that in the last days, perilous times shall come.|
|2.||For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,|
|3.||Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,|
|4.||Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;|
The Apostle Paul predicts that in the last days, mankind will embark on a rampage of PRIDE, CRUELTY, and SELFISHNESS. This is very hard to point out as a sign of The End of The Age, for since we have grown up in this generation, we have nothing to compare it to. 2 Tim. 3:1-4 describes a society in which ethics, chivalry, and Classic Christian Virtues are DESPISED; a society in which those who defend Biblical Truth and attempt to come out from among the unbelievers and be separate (2 Cor. 6:17), are held in contempt; even by other professing Christians. This is certainly true today, in the year 1991.
The situation in our society is accurately described by the Prophet Isaiah: Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey (easy victim): and the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no judgement (Isaiah 59:15). Anyone in the business world who dares to be honest is taken advantage of by everyone else. Employees who will not close their eyes at fraud or injustice ARE REPLACED by those who will. There is no judgement: there is no one to appeal to for protection from those who abandon all fairness in the pursuit of their own ambitions, for THE CORRUPTION usually goes all the way to the top.
Truly, honesty and mercy are weaknesses in a criminal society: evil is most successful when it proceeds without hesitation. A criminal who does not kill the policeman when he has the chance, may be killed by that same policeman later. The salesman who will not lie to close a sale, may end up being labeled as a low achiever. IT'S JUST BUSINESS they say: Yes, dishonesty and mercilessness are now considered to be the "necessary evils" of a successful enterprise; and anyone who thinks otherwise is considered to be naive and unrealistic. BUT WE DON'T REALLY KNOW if things are WORSE now than they were a generation ago; the men of every generation have always moaned about "the good old days", and the Bible tells us to Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this (Eccl. 7:10). And then, one who is personally surrounded by bad people may be tempted to think that EVERYONE else EVERYWHERE else is just the same. We all know these things; we've all heard it before; and people still like to talk about the "good old days" as if they were better than these. It's IMPOSSIBLE to make any DEGREE of moral decay into a CLEAR sign of the last days, because we don't know how much better the people in the past really were. We do know this: our forefathers took some pains to conceal their wickedness; while today, many are bold to boast of their wickedness; even on TV, in front of millions.
BUT, to our surprise, the Apostle Paul lets us know that the people he is describing are NOT rank Pagans or open despisers of religion, for he goes on to say THIS about them:
|2Tim.3:5||Having a form of Godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.|
Just exactly WHO the Apostle Paul is describing becomes more apparent as you continue reading. The BAD CHARACTERS of 2 Tim. 3:1-4 have a form of Godliness. By THIS, we know Paul is NOT talking about THE WORLD: but about people who CLAIM TO BE Christians. They make an APPEARANCE of Godliness; they LOOK like "good" Christians, BUT, they deny the power of Godliness. The Greek word translated to deny means [abrogating, or canceling out]. The Greek word translated to Godliness means [devoutness, steadfastness in devotion to God]. They do not deny the POWER OF GOD: they IMPLY that Godliness ALONE will not guarantee that God will protect you or pay attention to you. Let me put this another way: They LEAVE YOU WITH THE IMPRESSION that your own steadfast and unwavering devotion to God is INSUFFICIENT cause for you to receive the benefits of the power of God. They will NEVER come right out and SAY such a thing, for this would tarnish their APPEARANCE of Godliness. These men want YOU to think that your own, personal, unwavering devotion to God is INSUFFICIENT: that you NEED "something more". As we shall see, the "something more" that they INSINUATE you NEED can only be obtained through THEM. They leave you with the IMPRESSION that you need THEM in order to receive the benefit and the blessing of the power of God.
|2Tim.3:6-7||For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,|
|7.||Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.|
As we continue reading, the picture of just WHO the Apostle is describing will become clearer and clearer. When the Apostle says For of this sort; he is still describing these same men that have a form of Godliness. The word translated to "creep" means to [insinuate oneself into]. These men are not "sneaking in the back door"; they are INSINUATING themselves into the households of various families, and leading captive silly women. These men, who have a form of Godliness are not NECESSARILY committing adultery with these silly women. They may never even set foot in the houses these silly women are living in. What they do, is become INFLUENTIAL in the households they INSINUATE themselves into. They are not kidnapping these silly women, or luring them physically out of their homes. What they ARE doing is CAPTIVATING these silly women emotionally; so that these silly women believe they NEED this "man" who has a form of Godliness in order to receive the blessing of God. These men "set their sights" on silly women who are laden with sins; women who are BURDENED WITH GUILT, and who are led away with divers lusts. Divers lusts does NOT have to mean sexual desires. The word for lusts is EPITHUMIA, which means [any unrestrained passion or longing]. These men, who have a form of Godliness, "set their sights" on emotionally deprived and unfulfilled women, silly women, who are ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. They are seeking a "congregation" of such silly women; for such women will never "graduate" from their dependence on this one who has a form of Godliness. This one who has a form of Godliness is EVER TEACHING, because his silly women are ever learning; and he doesn't want any of his silly women to "graduate" from his "tutorship".
|2Tim.3:8-9||Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.|
|9.||But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their's (Jannes & Jambres) also was.|
Now we finally find out EXACTLY WHO the Apostle was describing, for Jannes and Jambres were Pharaoh's court magicians; who were able to duplicate ALMOST all the miracles that Moses and Aaron worked (Exodus 7). These men who have a form of Godliness are members of the PUBLIC CLERGY, as Jannes and Jambres were. They resist the truth by performing (or claiming) MIRACLES, which they assert are a Divine approval on themselves and their teachings. When the disciples asked Jesus what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the age (Matt. 24:3), He warned them about false christs, and false prophets, and (they) shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect (Matt. 24:24). These men are a distinct "class" of End Times false prophets. They are PRIDEFUL, CRUEL, and SELFISH; but THIS they conceal beneath a form of Godliness. They ADMIT to the possibility of MIRACLES, but MAKE THEMSELVES out to be that "all important" FAITH CONTACT you need to get those miracles. The majority of their followers are silly women. Does anyone in particular come to mind? I can think of a few right away.
Now we are told that these IMPOSTORS will proceed no further, for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, in THE SAME WAY that the folly of Jannes and Jambres also was. Pharaoh's court magicians COULD work some evident miracles, but their miracles CAME SHORT of the standard set by Moses and Aaron (Exodus 77:11-12, 8:18). So it is, that these men seem to be able to work all kinds of miracles in a packed auditorium, or over the TV, but they never approach a cripple on the street and heal him on the spot, like the Apostles did.
Up on the stage, facing thousands of people, is a man in a suit. He struts confidently around the stage and boasts of the "miracle power" he has received from God. He has people standing in line to give their "testimony" about how they were healed and prospered by "Rev. SO and SO's" ministry. He puts his hand on his face, squints, and cries out "THERE IS SOMEONE OUT THERE WITH MIGRAINE HEADACHES, THE LORD IS HEALING YOU NOW". Some one stands up and yells "IT'S ME! IT'S ME! I'VE BEEN HEALED!" And the whole audience goes into a frenzy.
In the living room, sits an elderly woman who is lonely and sick. She turns on Religious Television, hoping to find some comfort. There, on the screen in front of her is a dignified looking man with a Bible, who says, By His stripes we were healed (Isaiah 53:5). Her heart rises to God in belief, and she is healed. She then writes a letter to the Televangelist, who reads it on the air, and says, SEE?
We NEVER hear about "the rest": those people who CLAIMED that they were healed, but came up still sick later. We never hear about the THOUSANDS that sent in their money, hoping that God would get them out of a jam, but their situation didn't improve. We never hear about the multitudes who stumbled into destruction after receiving what they believed to be a "word from God" over the television or the radio. How EASY it is, to tell a television or radio audience that "someone" will get healed or blessed: someone probably will, but it WON'T be because of the "preacher", but because someone heard the Word of God and believed it.
These "preachers" don't have to GIVE ACCOUNT to the faceless millions they prophecy to. Their mail is SCREENED by their silly women, who are sure to toss every critical letter into the trash.
If you were to visit their "church" and look at their congregation; or if you were to examine their "mailing list"; or if you were to peer into their business office; you would find that the MAJORITY of their supporters are MIDDLE AGED and ELDERLY women. These silly women are almost always divorced, widowed, single, or trapped in UNHAPPY MARRIAGES, and they are ALWAYS unsaved. Anyone who is ever learning, and NEVER able to come to the knowledge of the truth can hardly be a born again (John 3:3) child of God. These "preachers" confer "divine approval" on these silly women in exchange for their services and their money. They allow themselves to seen as "conquering heros" and "knights in shining armor": GLOATING in the adoration and praise of so many women.
Lest any of their silly women begin to grow dissatisfied or unfulfilled, these "preachers" are quick to exalt them to places of prominence in the church. The Apostle said: I suffer not (do not permit) a woman to teach, NOR to usurp authority over the man, but to BE IN SILENCE (1 Tim. 2:12). If that was not clear enough, he also said this:
|1Cor.14:34||Let your women KEEP SILENCE in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak: but they are commanded to be under obedience (unto their own husbands), as also saith the law.|
|35.||And if they will learn anything, let them ask their (own) husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.|
The Holy Spirit anticipated the great UPROAR of objection to these PLAIN, CLEAR, and UNAMBIGUOUS commands by including the following:
|36.||What! came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?|
|37.||If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things I write unto you ARE THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD.|
I won't waste my time defending this. God IS and WILL BE defending it. Women are not permitted to teach or preach to ADULT men, and there are NO EXCEPTIONS to this command of THE LORD. The four virgins which did prophesy (Acts 17:9) were NOT teaching anyone, but speaking under the DIRECT INFLUENCE of the Holy Spirit: this means that it was not "they" that spoke "for God", but that God Himself was personally speaking "through them", and we are not told that any of this "prophesying" took place in a "church meeting". Nonetheless, I KNOW that every RAT can find a hole to squirm through. God will trap all such RATS on Judgement Day.
And if they (the women) will learn anything, let them ask their (own) husbands at home (1 Cor. 14:35). The Apostle Paul calls this a commandment of the Lord. As I said, many of these silly women are trapped in unhappy marriages. Either their husband is not a Christian, or he just doesn't live up to their standards. They take this as an EXCUSE to despise the priestly authority that every husband has in his own home. The Apostle says: Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing (Eph. 5:24). He makes NO DISTINCTION between "saved" and "unsaved" husbands, but simply asserts the AUTHORITY that EVERY husband has over his OWN WIFE. The Apostle Peter says exactly the same thing:
|1Peter.3:1||Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any (of these husbands) obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation (the conduct) of the wives.|
We are PLAINLY TOLD that even if the husband does not obey the word, that the wife is to remain in subjection to him, and by this subjection, she may inspire him to get saved, or do better. This means that if YOUR husband doesn't want you to go to church, YOU DON'T GO. And besides, I can't imagine WHY a man would refuse to let his wife attend church OCCASIONALLY, as long as there isn't SOMETHING ELSE connected with this "church attendance" that bothers him.
Now what these "preachers" do is creep (insinuate themselves) into other men's houses, and lead captive (captivate emotionally) another man's wife. The "preacher" becomes the BIG HERO, and the husband becomes "baggage". This brings ALIENATION and tension into the marriage, and SOMETIMES, these women will even leave their husbands under the pretence of "devoting themselves exclusively" to God. I have seen this with my own eyes, and more than once.
The Apostle says that these men, who have a form of Godliness, and work a lot of "almost" miracles, and concentrate on female disciples, are a SIGN of the last days. Well, here they are: and HERE WE ARE. You know WHO the Apostle was talking about, don't you? You can probably "catch his act" on television this week.
|(2 Tim. 3:5)|
|2Tim.3:13||But evil men and SEDUCERS shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.|
|14.||But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of Whom thou hast learned them.|
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