1 Tim 4 1-6 Apostates and Good Ministers CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In 1 Tim 4:1-6 Paul compares two different kinds of ministers, those who depart from the faith [1 Tim 4:1] and those who are nourished up in the words of faith and good doctrine [1 Tim 4:6]. Those who depart from the faith [1 Tim 4:1] are apostates. Those who stick with the words of faith and good doctrine are good ministers, by contrast [1 Tim 4:6].
The Spirit makes these differences very plain [1 Tim 4:1, he speaketh expressly]. The latter times to which he refers are here now and have been since shortly after the last book of the New Testament was written. Notice these differences between apostates and good ministers.
Give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils – 1 Tim 4:1 – 2 Cor 11:13-15 he gets his doctrine from false apostles; 1 Cor 10:20-21 in communion he sacrifices to devils. You can see this in the Roman Catholic Church.
Speak lies in hypocrisy – 1 Tim 4:2 – like the Pharisees in Jn 8:43-44. In Matt 23:13, 14, 15, 23, 25, 27, 28, 29, Jesus refers to the Pharisees as hypocrites. Hypocrites pretend to be something they are not, and preach things that are not true.
Have consciences seared with a hot iron – 1 Tim 4:2 – conscience should be a guide to us in the ministry Acts 24:16; 1 Tim 1:5. They have no conscience to teach the things they teach.
Forbid marriage – 1 Tim 4:3 – their priests are celibate. But see 1 Tim 3:2; 1 Cor 9:5. Bishops were to be married. Peter was married. Heb 13:4 marriage is honorable in all.
Command abstinence from meat – 1 Tim 4:3 – like fish Friday during Lent in the Roman Catholic Church. According to Rom 14:1-3, 15 a person might restrict his diet for the sake of a weak believer, but this is not a command to abstain.
All of the above has led to a religious monstrosity that came from the devil and is passed down by his apostates. These false doctrines include the immaculate conception, the assumption of Mary, prayers to Mary, purgatory, rosaries, crucifixes, indulgences and sacrifices at a Mass. They deny the finished work at Calvary.
A Good Minister
Believes and knows the truth – 1 Tim 4:3 – the truth is the foundation of his doctrine; this is what the Roman Catholic Church doesn’t have. Ask why Catholics aren’t generally encouraged to read Bibles. Because then they would know the truth and, if they chose to believe it, they would see the lies. Jn 8:32; Jn 17:17; 1 Thes 2:13
Does not judge spirituality by diet – 1 Tim 4:4 – Col 2:16 let no man judge you in meat; Acts 10:11-15 Peter learned that Lev 11 no longer applied in the New Testament.
Receives his food with thanksgiving – 1 Tim 4:3-4 – if you can truly thank God for what you are putting in your mouth then go ahead. Remember Rom 14:20-23, if you can’t thank God for it then don’t eat it. 1 Tim 4:5 he knows that the word of God and prayer sanctify his food.
Puts the brethren in remembrance of these things – 1 Tim 4:6 – which Paul did, Timothy did and I have just done.
Is nourished in the words of faith and good doctrine – 1 Tim 4:6 – 2 Tim 4:2-4; 1 Pet 2:2; Heb 5:12-14.
Conclusion: follow good ministers and not apostates.