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1 Timothy 4:1 – Teachings of demons

05-01-2024 - Posted by Hans

Now the spirit is saying explicitly, that in subsequent eras some will be withdrawing from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and the teachings of demons.

The fact that they distanced themselves from the faith in later times certainly does not mean that these people would no longer call themselves ‘Christian’. Quite the opposite even. But they cause confusion and lead astray because, under the banner of ‘Christian faith’, they distance themselves from “faith”. And by that Paul means the Evangel and “sound teaching” as he taught it (1:10,11). These people will heed “deceiving spirits” or “teachings of demons.” Demons authentic to the gods of the nations (1Cor.10:20). That’s what the Greeks also called their gods (Acts 17:18). Hence, “teachings of demons” are actually teachings from pagan religions.

The ecclesias created by Paul’s ministry previously lived in an environment of idolatrous temples and demon service. In 2Cor.6:14-18 Paul tells the Corinthians not to mingle with this. “Come out of their midst” (2 Cor.6:17). How easily one could be influenced by co-operation (“unequally yoked with an unbeliever”) by the popular views among them. That is exactly what Paul foresees: the mixing of “faith” and pagan religion. Under a flag that does not cover the load.