The abandonment of the faith has begun.

Scripture:
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.  – 1 Timothy 4:1-2

Observation:
Paul writes under Spirit inspiration that in the later days people will begin to stray from the faith and follow deceiving spirits and the message of demons. These messages will come through false prophets and false teachers who are nothing more than liars whose minds have been branded with a hot iron, like a cow branded on a farm. The times of the end have come upon us with the beginning of the fulfillment of Paul’s prophecy coming to pass.

Application:
Should we be worried about falling away? No, if we are truly God’s child, rooted in his word like a tree planted by the waters that yields its fruit in season. Paul teaches elsewhere that we are to study God’s word to show ourselves approved  of God. David warns us to hide God’s word in our hearts in order not to sin against him. If we don’t know God’s word, then we will be like a reed tossed about with every wind of doctrine that blows our way. We have to be engrossed in God’s word to know what it says and how to live. Otherwise, we can be tricked into believing the lies of the devil taught by his false prophets and false teachers who masquerade as ministers of light. I don’t want to be fooled or deceived. The devil even tried to tempt and trick Jesus to serve him while in the wilderness. Jesus overcame Satan by knowing the word of God. There is no other way.

Prayer:
Father, there are plenty of ravenous wolves within the confines of your congregations looking for whom they may devour in accordance with their father’s wishes. They are wolves who hide in sheepskins. Thank you for teaching me the value of getting into Scripture and digging deep for its truths and guidance. The enemy often tries to set traps to ensnare me and get me to swallow the lies of sin as pleasure and being good. However, your Spirit comes and reminds of the truth contained within the whole of Scripture that sets me free and empowers me to overcome. If I didn’t know what your word says, then I would be tempted to follow whatever sounds good, feels good, or appears good even though it may be full of poison and eternal death. Help me to discern the truth at all times and to be able to overcome the enemy by the blood of Jesus and the word of my testimony. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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