Devoting = give all or a large part of one’s time or resources to…
Deceiving = swindle, defraud, cheat, trick, hoodwink, hoax, dupe, mislead, delude, fool, a person to believe something that is not true, typically in order to gain some personal advantage.
Teachings = the occupation, profession, or work bringing ideas or principles. In this case ideas or principles filled with lies.
1 Timothy 4:1-5
The Coming Apostasy:
In his second letter to Thessalonica, Paul had written of a coming apostasy (2:1ff). That theme is resumed in this epistle to Timothy. The Holy Spirit has spoken (clearly he is a divine person): in “later times” (an expression for the Christian age [Acts 2:16-17; 2 Tim. 3:1) some shall “depart” from “the faith” (the Christian system). There were distinctive identifying traits. (a) Some would listen to “seducing spirits.” “Spirits” are false teachers (cf. 1 Jn. 4:1) who seduce. (b) They would give heed to “doctrines of demons,” most likely teaching concerning demons (demons being the spirits of dead heroes, as that term was used in Greek literature), apparently the worship of dead saints. There is no New Testament record of demons themselves teaching error (v. 1). (c) The teachers would be hypocrites and their doctrines lies. (d) Their consciences would be numb (v. 2). (e) They would practice “forbidding to marry,” e.g., by the dogma of celibacy. (f) The movement would enforce “abstaining from meats” at times (e.g., in certain fasts), which God has created to be used by mankind (v. 3). The foods considered unclean under the Old Testament regime now are “sanctified” (set apart for use as food) through the instruction of the “word of God” and the partaker’s “prayer” (vv. 4-5).
Each of the elements here predicted finds precise fulfillment in the subsequent development of certain early sects (e.g., the second-century Gnostics) and eventually in the corruptions of Catholicism.
Wayne Jackson, A New Testament Commentary
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