6) Destitute of the Truth
As we continue studying the characteristics of false teachers, which are many, we have now reached part 5 of our study. [Part 6 is following] In the Lexicon, the best and easiest definition for you to understand is that ‘fable’ means ‘FICTION’. There are people who wrongly divide the Word of God and they are actually teaching fiction. It is like a tale, story, or a legend. When you think about it, this is exactly what many churches teach. They adhere to tradition as compared to what is the written Word of God. We are going to be studying II Timothy 4: 3, 4. Let’s go to these two verses which will begin our teaching.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: -- II Timothy 4: 3
Before we move to verse 4, we need to study verse 3. There is a time that will come when many so-called believers will not endure sound doctrine. That time has come in our lives. This term ‘sound doctrine’ is referring to the rightly divided Word of God. These people simply will not endure or listen to the sound doctrine of the Word. And this is all the result of false teachers. Notice the word ‘lusts’ in the Scripture. We learned that lust is over-desire. This is desire to an extreme and all extremes are from the god of this world who is Satan. Let’s examine the word ’heap’. It means exactly what we think it means and that is to accumulate. These people out of their own over-desires accumulate for themselves false teachers, having itching ears. To more clearly understand ‘itching ears’ here is a very simple example of something my neighbor said to me pertaining a chainsaw, of all things. His shoulder was healing from an injury and he said to me that his chainsaw was just itching for him to work it. He wanted to chop some of my wood that was in my yard. Their ears were just itching, desiring greatly, as a result of their own over-desire to listen to these false teachers. They were being deceived by Satan. Sometimes the enemy will get into your head and he does not want to leave.
Submit [addict] yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. -- James 4: 7
The Word does not say that he will flee from you instantly. At times you need to work at it to get delivered. Keep learning the Word and applying it and eventually the enemy will flee from you.
When the ministry that I studied with eventually fell apart when the founder passed away, I stayed with the teachings that this founder taught me. Many others who were weak in the Scriptures started to believe fables or fiction. Many of them became counterfeits. My dedication to God was permanent and I told God I would never turn my back on Him no matter what were the circumstances. I have stuck to that promise. This gave me great strength so that I do not fall for fiction, but I could recognize it almost immediately. If you walk away from the Word of God because of what your girlfriend may say or your wife or someone close to you or your family, you will eventually become like the people explained in verse 3. Eventually you will not endure sound doctrine and you will be deceived and partially controlled by the god of this world. It sounds frightening, I know, but just don’t turn your back on the rightly divided Word of God. And then nothing negative that you cannot handle will enter into your life. You not only need to know God’s Word, but you must apply it in your everyday life. How are you going to do that? You are going to have to study to show yourself approved before God.
Study to show thyself approved before God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. – II Timothy 2: 15
You are going to have to make time to do this or the enemy will slowly and secretly enter into your life and into your mind. This world is in really rough shape right now and it is up to us as believers to shine the light of Jesus Christ to others and break the chains of darkness. If we don’t do it, it won’t get done.
Now it’s time to move to II Timothy 4: 4. Verse 4 starts with the word ‘And’ and as we all know, that word is a conjunction. It continues with the doctrine that we just went over extensively in verse 3.
And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables [fiction]. – II Timothy 4: 4
A believer can easily be influenced by the god of this world to adhere to fables, fiction, tradition and religion. We just discussed how to break this influence and to be able to recognize truth from error. We learned that we must study the Word of God and to be a workman, not ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. That verse is in II Timothy 2: 15 as we quoted above. When believers do not take the time to study, but by their own free will decide to turn their ears away from the truth, they shall be turned on to or influenced by fables. I don’t think we need to mention this lesson pertaining to fable – lovers any longer. I believe the point has been made and it is time for us to move on to part 6. In this particular teaching, we are going to combine two different characteristics of the personality of a false teacher. Now, we are going to move on to the next subject.
6) Destitute of the Truth
Before we move on to this new section, it only makes sense to understand what the word ‘destitute’ means. In the Scriptures that we will be studying about this characteristic of false teachers, the lexicon uses the definition of ‘defraud of’, ‘to deprive of’. The American Heritage dictionary defines this word as being ’altogether lacking, utterly impoverished’. The obsolete definition is ‘abandoned or deserted’. We will be studying I Timothy 6: 3-5. Remember the above definition when we get to verse five. Remember this is a two-part teaching, so do not mix it up with part five. However, the subject matter is very similar as you will see by the next verse.
If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome [healthy, sound] words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness:
He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. – I Timothy 6: 3-5
These verses seem to be self-explanatory. However we should discuss them in detail so that we completely understand what God is trying to say to us. In verse 3 God is saying that if any other person teaches anything otherwise than the healthy and sound words of God’s Word, and words of our Lord Jesus Christ and not to do the doctrine which reflects godliness, God then goes on to explain what this person’s personality characteristics will be like. That person becomes about as negative and unproductive as he can possibly become. His mind is corrupt. The first thing you need to watch out for when someone is teaching God’s Word, is a problem attitude about that person. He seems to lift himself up on a pedestal and you feel somewhat less than that person. That’s pride and pride is based on fear.
Not only is that person full of pride, God says it just like it is. He says that that person knows nothing but he goes back and forth with questions and strifes of words. He is good with words but he never says anything. People who listen to this nonsense bring about envy, strife, railings, and evil surmisings to themselves. I know a person that did this same thing. She chose not to listen to my sound and healthy words from God’s Word. She decided to listen to a false teacher who was teaching them principles that contradicted God’s Word in the Holy Spirit field. This person became full of pride and I must say she knows nothing. The only thing that her personality reflected was all the negatives that are mentioned in verse 4. I felt bad for this person, but there was nothing that I could do. You’ve got to understand that you cannot alter a person’s free will. That person was tricked by Satan because she had great potential. That’s who the enemy will go after. He’s after me all the time and I laugh in his face. If I have to get in the ring with him, it’s the best time of my life. You have got to believe that the spirit of God in Christ in you is greater than any devil spirit on the face of this earth or in the universe. So what good is all this power that we have if we never get a chance to use it? Not to brag, but I have become somewhat of an expert on dealing with the adversary. Take a look at my teaching that says “How Satan Defeats Himself’. You will understand more of what I’m trying to say if you study this teaching. It is not that complicated and is actually very simple.
Now let’s look at verse 5 as it continues to go on showing the qualities that men destitute of the truth will express in their life. They have perverse disputings because they have corrupt minds and there is that word that I told you to watch out for. They are destitute of the truth, so that they suppose in their minds, their five senses, that gain is godliness. They surround themselves with material things and eventually those material things own them. They suppose that gain is godliness. You see, they’re not really sure of anything that they are doing because they have turned their back on the true God and God will never ever overstep a man’s free will. We have free will to love God or not to love Him. God did not make robots that were programmed to love Him. He wants us to love Him out of pure free will. Isn’t that beautiful?
And what is God’s final directive to the true believer and His Word? He says when you run across these people to make sure that you withdraw yourself. Many of you should know by now that we should never fellowship with darkness.
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. – Ephesians 5: 11
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? - II Corinthians 6: 14
Based on spiritual matters, if one of you believes God’s Word and the other person does not believe God’s Word, that latter person has been taught by a false teacher. This principle is so important that I cannot stress it enough to you. Get away from that person that you have nothing in common with. Do not fellowship with that person. Do not hang around with and get involved with the people that they hang around with. Remember, you always have God to speak to you and He will speak back to you also if you stay in fellowship with Him. You are never alone when you are born again of God’s spirit.
I have combined fable lovers with men who are destitute of the truth. If you think about both parts, you will see they have some similarities. There are still four characteristics of false teachers that we will discuss. I want you to be very sharp spiritually regarding false teachers and this teaching and all the other parts will make you strong and sharp spiritually and otherwise. The time has come in this world where the devil’s strength has increased, but it can never be stronger than the strength of God’s Spirit within you.
Stay on the lookout for part 7. God bless. You’re the best.