1 Timothy 4:1
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
a. NLT: Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.
b. NIV: The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
c. Amplified Bible: But the [Holy] Spirit distinctly and expressly declares that in latter times some will turn away from the faith, giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits and doctrines that demons teach,
d. YLT: And the Spirit expressly speaketh, that in latter times shall certain fall away from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and teachings of demons,
e. Worrell Translation: But the Spirit espressly saith, that in the latter times, some will fall away from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of demons.
f. Wuest Translation: But the Spirit says expressly that in the last strategic, epochal periods of time some will depart from the Faith, giving heed to spirits that lead one into error, and to teachings of demons.
1. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly…”
a. Now [Strong: 1161 de, deh; a primary particle (adversative or continuative); but, and, etc.:--also, and, but, moreover, now (often unexpressed in English).]
b. Spirit [Strong: 4151 pneuma, pnyoo’-mah; from 4154; a current of air, i.e. breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively, a spirit, i.e. (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, demon, or (divine) God, Christ's spirit, the Holy Spirit:--ghost, life, spirit(-ual, -ually), mind.]
c. speaketh [Strong: 3004 lego, leg’-o; a primary verb; properly, to "lay" forth, i.e. (figuratively) relate (in words (usually of systematic or set discourse; whereas 2036 and 5346 generally refer to an individual expression or speech respectively; while 4483 is properly to break silence merely, and 2980 means an extended or random harangue)); by implication, to mean:--ask, bid, boast, call, describe, give out, name, put forth, say(-ing, on), shew, speak, tell, utter.]
d. expressly [Strong: 4490 rhetos, hray-toce'; adverb from a derivative of 4483; out-spokenly, i.e. distinctly:--expressly.] [Zodhiates: spoken, expressed in words…distinctly, expressly.] [Strong: adverb from a derivative of 4483; out-spokenly, i.e. distinctly:--expressly.]
1). The only explanation for this phrase I believe, is that this was a prophetic utterance given by or to the Apostle Paul under instruction to write it down and include it in Scripture. No doubt similar to the one recorded in Acts regarding the sending out of Barnabas and Paul.
a). Acts 13:1, 2 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
13:2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
2). Jesus said that one of the ministries of the Holy Ghost would be to show the church things to come.
a). John 16:12-14 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.
16:14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.
2. “…that in the latter times…”
a. that [Strong: 3754 hoti, hot’-ee; neuter of 3748 as conjunction; demonstrative, that (sometimes redundant); causative, because:--as concerning that, as though, because (that), for (that), how (that), (in) that, though, why.]
b. in [Strong: 1722 en, en; a primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), i.e. a relation of rest (intermediate between 1519 and 1537); "in," at, (up-)on, by, etc.:--about, after, against, + almost, X altogether, among, X as, at, before, between, (here-)by (+ all means), for (... sake of), + give self wholly to, (here-)in(-to, -wardly), X mightily, (because) of, (up-)on, (open-)ly, X outwardly, one, X quickly, X shortly, (speedi-)ly, X that, X there(-in, -on), through(-out), (un-)to(-ward), under, when, where(-with), while, with(-in). Often used in compounds, with substantially the same import; rarely with verbs of motion, and then not to indicate direction, except (elliptically) by a separate (and different) preposition.]
c. the latter [Strong: 5306 husteros, hoos'-ter-os; comparative from 5259 (in the sense of behind); later:--latter.]
1). This Greek word is only used one time in the NT, and that’s here.
2). The “last days” began at the birth of Christ because events of the day of Pentecost are said to be included in the last days.
a). Acts 2:14-21 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
2:15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
2:16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
2:18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
2:19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:
2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
d. times [Strong: 2540 Kairos, kahee-ros'; of uncertain affinity; an occasion, i.e. set or proper time:--X always, opportunity, (convenient, due) season, (due, short, while) time, a while.]
3. “…some shall depart from the faith…”
a. some [Strong: 5100 tis, tis; an enclitic indefinite pronoun; some or any person or object:--a (kind of), any (man, thing, thing at all), certain (thing), divers, he (every) man, one (X thing), ought, + partly, some (man, -body, - thing, -what), (+ that no-)thing, what(-soever), X wherewith, whom(-soever), whose(-soever).]
b. shall depart from [Strong: 868 aphistemi, af-is'-tay-mee; from 575 and 2476; to remove, i.e. (actively) instigate to revolt; usually (reflexively) to desist, desert, etc.:--depart, draw (fall) away, refrain, withdraw self.] [Zodhiates: to put away, remove. In 1 Timothy…this does not refer to those who had at one time been believers, but those who refuse to believe, who stand aloof, alone.] [Vines: to apostatize.] [Vincent’s Word Studies In The New Testament: apostasy.] [Bullinger: to place away from, remove, cause to depart.]
c. the faith [Strong: 4102 pistis, pis’-tis; from 3982; persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly, constancy in such profession; by extension, the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself:--assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.]
1). Zodhiates seems to be the only one of the sources that I have, to say these were not believers, while Vines and Vincent do. I see it as being very clear. A believer can be seduced away from faith and surely an unbeliever can be seduced more firmly into an opposing philosophy against the gospel. But the use of the phrase “depart from the faith” favors more, one who once believed but no longer does.
4. “…giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”
a. giving heed [Strong: 4337 prosecho, pros-ekh'-o; from 4314 and 2192; (figuratively) to hold the mind (3563 implied) towards, i.e. pay attention to, be cautious about, apply oneself to, adhere to:--(give) attend(-ance, -ance at, -ance to, unto), beware, be given to, give (take) heed (to unto); have regard.]
b. to seducing [Strong: 4108 planos plan'-os of uncertain affinity; roving (as a tramp), i.e. (by implication) an impostor or misleader; --deceiver, seducing.] [Zodhiates: deceitful, deceiving, seducing, a deceiver, imposter.”] [Thayer: misleading, leading into error, a corrupter, deceiver.]
c. spirits [Strong: 4151 pneuma pnyoo'-mah from 4154; a current of air, i.e. breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively, a spirit, i.e. (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, demon, or (divine) God, Christ's spirit, the Holy Spirit:--ghost, life, spirit(-ual, -ually), mind.] [D.C.: the context clearly implies this is a demon spirit that draws believers away from the faith and into error and apostasy.]
d. and [Strong: 2532 kai, ka-hee; apparently, a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words:--and, also, both, but, even, for, if, or, so, that, then, therefore, when, yet.]
e. doctrines [Strong: 1319 didaskalia did-as-kal-ee'-ah from 1320; instruction (the function or the information):--doctrine, learning, teaching.] [Zodhiates: Teaching or instruction.] [D.C.: in this case the instruction is from devils.]
f. devils [Strong: 1140 daimonion dahee-mon'-ee-on neuter of a derivative of 1142; a dæmonic being; by extension a deity:--devil, god.] [Zodhiates: a devil, a demon, an evil spirit.]
1). This warning no doubt applies to a number of scenarios, from devils whispering into our ears, to deceived ministers who received their instruction from devils, to prophetic utterances. The Apostle John gives this warning in his first epistle.
a). 1 John 4:1-3 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
4:2 Hereby know we the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
2). If it does not line up with the Word of God reject it. The Apostle Peter in his second epistle said one of the most astounding things in regard to this subject. All dreams, visions, spiritual experiences are subject to the Word of God. The word of God is more sure, more dependable than any dream or vision.
a). 2 Peter 1:16-19 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
1:17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
1:18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts.
b). 2 Timothy 3:15-17 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
c). Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
3). Any teaching that drives a wedge between you and what the one true God has revealed in His word, is a doctrine of devils. We have in Scripture the first occurrence. In the following two passages, God says one thing and the devil says something completely contradictory.
a). Genesis 3:15-17 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
3:16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
3:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
b). Genesis 3:1-6 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
4). Surely one of these “doctrines of devils”, though not mentioned in the list in the passage is rejecting the inspiration of Scripture. When that particular doctrine is embraced, Scripture is stripped of its authority, which leads to these seduced teachers having more authority than Scripture, and those who still embrace the inspiration of Scripture being mocked. Once Scripture is stripped of its divine inspiration deceived individuals and groups can remove whatever Biblical truth stands in their way. They can also add whatever they desire because they have more authority than what Scripture says.