2 Timothy 3:6-9 King James Version
6 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.
8 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 also was.
In case you are new to this blog and have not read my last post, the “Of this sort” mentioned here refers to those who are lovers of themselves more than God, , covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers and the list goes on. They have a form of godliness but deny it’s power. This is not only an ignorant breed but a dangerous one as well. The form of godliness they often have can be very charismatic and alluring. People are drawn by a good spirit in people, and these may be ones who can attract people with their words or actions. They can lead anyone, not just silly women, astray. The silly women filled with sin mentioned here are quite obviously harlots of the day. In today’s society many are led into the den of those who fill these categories. That’s because there are many false teachers, preachers and prophets who are encouraging the things God tells us to turn away from.
Some would accuse me of ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth. I know my good Catholic friend believes this about me as I do not adhere to his interpretation of the scripture. But then I may say the same thing about Him. There are a lot of schools of thought as to the meaning and interpretation of scripture. Some have been around for ages and some are popping up recently. How do we know, if we are coming upon a different set of beliefs, whether they truly have the knowledge of the truth? As my friend says, there can only be one truth. The 2,000 year old question of Pilate is still asked today – What is truth? Personally I believe we have to trust the Holy Spirit to speak to us and tell us the truth. After all, Jesus did tell us that would happen (John 16:13).
The way I personally look at it is that the word speaks for itself. In other words, what it says is what it means. But you have to take the whole body of scripture and not just one part isolated from the rest. That is where cults can easily get started, or where people can easily be led astray. A perfect example is the grace preaching of today. I have heard it over and over again. God’s grace covers all sin. This is true! God gives grace to all! This is true. Once we are saved by grace we can live our own lives. This is not true. Once we have been covered by grace we can do anything we want. This is not true. Once we are saved we can never again lose our salvation. This is not true. Grace must be mixed with truth.
Grace, or mercy, and truth are often coupled together in the Bible. If you have too much grace and not enough truth, you are in a dangerous place because you think you have the liberty to do whatever you want and you cannot lose your place with Christ. But Jesus said, in Matthew 7:21, that many will call Him Lord, Lord but will not see the kingdom of God. Why? Because they do not do the will of the Father. His will is for us to give our whole salves, all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, to Him. The grace preaching says that you don’t have to give everything up. You can live for yourself and still be saved. This is not truth.
On the other hand, if you have too much truth and no grace, you can fall into a place of legalism, which is just as wrong. Legalism says I must live by a certain set of laws that man has laid down, not that God has laid down. This is the way of the Pharisees in Jesus time. They were very pious when it came to following the law. But they lacked grace and mercy. Jesus condemned such a practice, saying He came to fulfill the law, not do away with it. He called them white washed sepulchers full of dead man’s bones. Why? Because they followed the letter of the law but could not even see the heart of the law, which was mercy. Mercy and truth must have equal portion in any doctrine to be truly biblical.
Another example is the prosperity gospel that is preached so often. This is a name-it claim it philosophy that relies on passages like ask anything in my name and it shall be done (John 14:13-14 ) or If any two of you agree it shall be done (Matthew 18:19). But Jesus also told the rich man to give up all he had to follow him (Matthew 19:21). He said we cannot serve both God and money (Matthew 6:24). What is the balance? What is the truth? I believe that Jesus can, and will, answer any prayer we ask if He will receive the glory and not us. He knows the end from the beginning and he knows why we are asking and how we will treat the results of our prayer. Jesus did not call us to live a life of prosperity, although many can live this kind of life and still serve God effectively. He is not our servant, at our beck and call, to do whatever we ask Him to do. He is sovereign and has the right to answer any question he wants to answer and do any deed He desires. My place is to accept what He decides to do without bitterness or complaint. My place is to understand His will for my life, not for me to demand my will.
Jannes and Jambres are historical figures who are only mentioned this one time in the Bible. It is believed they were the sorcerers of Egypt who stood before Moses when the plagues were announced. The made their rods turn to serpents, turned water into blood, and made frogs come out of the water (why they would want more frogs is beside me!). They stood against the truth of Moses, trying to convince others that Moses did not have the power of God. Paul uses them as an example of those who do not have the knowledge of the truth. He says they were found out in the end, and those who do not adhere to the truth of the Gospel will be found out when that heavenly role is called. We must make sure we are not among men of this sort. They lead silly women captive to their own lusts, as our previous post mentioned. They can lead us all astray. Let us not be so gullible as to follow them down the wrong path. May we all come to the knowledge of the Truth!