Read verses 1-5
Q: In verse 1, through what means did the Spirit “explicitly” say?
A: Prophets, most likely, or directly through Paul.
Q: Who will fall away from faith, and when? (Note: falling away = apostasy)
A: Christians will fall away, and this will be exaggerated as the time approaches for Christ’s return. Look up Matthew 24:24, 2 Thessalonians 2:3, Hebrews 3:12, 6:1-6, and 1 John 2:18-19.
“For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.”
― Mathew 24:24
“Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,”
― 2 Thessalonians 2:3
“Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.“
― Hebrews 3:12
“Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. And this we will do, if God permits. For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.”
― Hebrews 6:1-6
“Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.”
― 1 John 2:18-19
- Have you known anyone who was a believer and has “fallen away”?
- How do you know that you will not fall away, and what will keep you from falling away?
Q: At the end of verse 1, what do believers do that causes them to fall away (i.e., turn apostate)?
A: They listen ― pay attention ― to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.
Application: Note that “people” are mentioned, yet the message comes through false teachers and false prophets. What is the source and how does the true believer tell? (Hint: The false teacher and false prophet always appeals to a person’s unmet felt needs. That means that demons are able to determine and appeal to our unmet felt needs.)
Q: In verse 2, who do the demons use to peddle their false teachings?
A: Hypocrites and liars, from a spiritual perspective. People whose consciences have been “seared,” meaning that they have been scared to a point of unable to “feel” whether or not something is right or wrong. They have become that way because they have bought into a lie by “paying attention to demons.”
Q: What are some of the teachings these demons teach?
A: They forbid marriage (usually includes sexual abstinence even if married), and abstaining from certain types of foods (usually promoting vegetarianism). These practices were supposed to make one more spiritual. Essentially, they replace the true Gospel of “faith” with a false gospel of “works”.