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George Lamsa Translation of the Peshitta
1 Timothy 4:1

NOW the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, following after misleading spirits, and doctrines of devils.

Bible Study Resources

Commentaries:

- Clarke Commentary;   Abbott's New Testament;   Coffman Commentaries;   Barne's Notes;   Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes;   Calvin's Commentary;   Cambridge Greek Testament;   Chuck Smith Commentary;   Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible ;   Constable's Expository Notes;   Daily Study Bible;   Darby's Synopsis;   Dunagan Commentary;   Ellicott's Commentary;   Expositor's Greek Testament;   Family Bible New Testament;   Hole's Commentary;   Meyer's Commentary;   Gaebelein's Annotated;   Morgan's Biblical Exposition;   Gill's Exposition;   Godbey's NT Commentary;   Gary Hampton Commentary;   Everett's Study Notes;   Geneva Study Bible;   Alford's Commentary;   Haydock's Catholic Commentary;   Meyer's Commentary;   Mahan's Commentary;   The Bible Study New Testament;   Ironside's Notes;   Bengel's Gnomon;   Commentary Critical and Explanatory;   Commentary Critical and Explanatory - Unabridged;   Gray's Commentary;   Sutcliffe's Commentary;   Trapp's Commentary;   Kretzmann's Popular Commentary of the Bible;   Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures;   Grant's Commentary;   Henry's Complete;   Henry's Concise;   Poole's Annotations;   Pett's Bible Commentary;   Peake's Bible Commentary;   Preacher's Homiletical Commentary;   Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary;   People's New Testament;   Benson's Commentary;   Robertson's Word Pictures;   Schaff's New Testament Commentary;   Scofield's Notes;   Biblical Illustrator;   Coke's Commentary;   Pulpit Commentaries;   Treasury of Knowledge;   Vincent's Studies;   Burkitt's Notes;   Wesley's Notes;   Whedon's Commentary;  

Concordances:

- Nave's Topical Bible - Apostasy;   Asceticism;   Celibacy;   Commandments;   Demons;   Doctrines;   Holy Spirit;   Marriage;   Minister, Christian;   Scofield Reference Index - Apostasy;   Inspiration;   Thompson Chain Reference - Apostasy;   Demons;   Evil;   Faithfulness-Unfaithfulness;   Heresy;   Satan-Evil Spirits;   Seducers;   Spirits, Evil;   Temptation;   The Topic Concordance - Goodness;   Last Days;   Sanctification;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Apostates;   Doctrines, False;   Prophets;   Titles and Names of the Holy Spirit;  

Dictionaries:

- Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Apostacy;   Demons;   Fornication;   Paul;   Perseverance;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Corinthians, First and Second, Theology of;   Demon;   Hypocrisy;   King, Christ as;   Last Day(s), Latter Days, Last Times;   Second Coming of Christ;   Thankfulness, Thanksgiving;   Time;   Timothy, First and Second, Theology of;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Daemons;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Backslide;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Antichrist;   Colosse;   Devil;   Discerning of Spirits;   Divination;   Idol;   John the Apostle;   Timothy, the First Epistle to;   Timothy, the Second Epistle to;   Zechariah, the Book of;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Apostasy;   Celibacy;   Sex, Biblical Teaching on;   1 Timothy;   2 Thessalonians;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Church Government;   Devil;   Jude, Epistle of;   Spirit;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Acceptance;   Ascension of Isaiah;   Demon;   Exorcism;   Faith;   Hour (Figurative);   Parousia;   Philosophy;   Spirit Spiritual ;   Temperance ;   Timothy and Titus Epistles to;   Winter ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Apostasy;   Demon;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Heresy;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Timothy, Epistles of Paul to;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Backsliding;   Heresy;  

Encyclopedias:

- International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Apostasy;   Seduce;  

Devotionals:

- Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for June 28;  

Parallel Translations

The Amplified Bible
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Bible in Basic English
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The Bishop's Bible (1568)
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English Revised Version
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Contemporary English Version
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The Complete Jewish Bible
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Darby's Translation
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Easy-to-Read Version
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English Standard Version
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The Geneva Bible (1587)
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Good News Translation
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Holman Christian Standard
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Hebrew Names Version
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International Standard Version
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John Etheridge Translation of the Peshitta
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James Murdock Translation of the Peshitta
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King James Version (1611)
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King James Version
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J.P. Green Literal Translation
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Miles Coverdale Bible (1535)
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Mace New Testament (1729)
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New American Standard Version
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New Century Version
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New International Version
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New King James
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New Living Translation
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New Life Version
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New Revised Standard
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The Emphasised Bible
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Douay-Rheims Bible
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Revised Standard Version
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Tyndale Bible
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Updated Bible Version 1.9
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The Webster Bible
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Wesley's New Testament (1755)
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Weymouth New Testament
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The Wycliffe Bible (1395)
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Young's Literal Translation
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The Message
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Lexham English Bible
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Contextual Overview

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Verse Review

from
Treasury of Scripure Knowledge

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;
the Spirit
John 16:13; Acts 13:2; 28:25; 1 Corinthians 12:11; 1 John 2:18; Revelation 2:7,11,17,29; Revelation 3:6,13,22
expressly
Ezekiel 1:3
the latter
Numbers 24:14; Deuteronomy 4:30; 32:29; Isaiah 2:2; Jeremiah 48:47; 49:39; Ezekiel 38:16; Daniel 10:14; Hosea 3:5; Micah 4:1; 2 Timothy 3:1-9; 1 Peter 1:20; 2 Peter 3:3; Jude 1:4,18
depart
Daniel 11:35; Matthew 24:5-12; 2 Thessalonians 2:3; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 4:4
seducing
Genesis 3:3-5,13; 1 Kings 22:22,23; 2 Chronicles 18:19-22; 2 Corinthians 11:3,13-15; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; 2 Timothy 3:13; 2 Peter 2:1; Revelation 9:2-11; 13:14; 16:14; 18:2,23; Revelation 19:20; 20:2,3,8,10
and doctrines
Daniel 11:35-38; 1 Corinthians 8:5,6; 10:20; Colossians 2:18; Acts 17:18; Revelation 9:20; *Gr:

Cross-References

Genesis 3:15
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Genesis 4:25
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Genesis 5:29
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Numbers 31:17
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1 John 3:12
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Gill's Notes on the Bible

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly,.... The prophecy hereafter mentioned was not an human conjecture, but, as all true prophecy, it came from the Spirit of God, who spoke or delivered it; either in the prophets of the Old Testament, who, as they spoke of the Gospel dispensation, so of the defection that should be in it; and particularly of antichrist, and of the apostasy through him, which is what is here intended, especially in Daniel's prophecies, under the names of the little horn, and vile person, Daniel 7:1 and Daniel 11:1, or in the Lord Jesus Christ, who foretold that false prophets would arise and deceive many; or in some of the prophets in the Christian church, such as Agabus, and others, who might in so many words foretell this thing; or rather in the apostle himself, at this time, since this prophecy was delivered not in dark sayings, in an enigmatical way, in an obscure manner, as prophecies generally were, but in plain language, and easy to be understood, and wanted no interpreter to unriddle it; and seeing that it is nowhere to be found in so many express words elsewhere: and moreover, the apostle does not say the Spirit "hath spoken", but the Spirit "speaketh"; then, at the time of the writing of these words, in and by him. The prediction follows,

that in the latter times some should depart from the faith; that is, from the doctrine of faith, notwithstanding it is indisputably the great mystery of godliness, as it is called in the latter part of the preceding chapter; for from the true grace of faith there can be no final and total apostasy, such as is here designed; for that can never be lost. It is of an incorruptible nature, and therefore more precious than gold that perishes; Christ is the author and finisher of it; his prevalent mediation is concerned for it; it is a gift of special grace, and is without repentance; it springs from electing grace, and is secured by it; and between that and salvation there is an inseparable connection; it may indeed decline, be very low, and lie dormant, as to its acts and exercise, but not be lost: there is a temporary faith, and a persuasion of truth, or a mere assent to it, which may be departed from, but not that faith which works by love: here it intends a profession of faith, which being made, should be dropped by some; or rather the doctrine of faith, which some would embrace, and then err concerning, or entirely quit, and wholly apostatize from. And they are said to be some, and these many, as they are elsewhere represented, though not all; for the elect cannot be finally and totally deceived; the foundation of election stands sure amidst the greatest apostasy; and there are always a few names that are not defiled with corrupt principles and practices; Christ always had some witnesses for the truth in the darkest times: and now this defection was to be "in the latter times"; either of the apostolic age, which John, the last of the apostles, lived to see; and therefore he calls it the last time, or hour, in which were many antichrists, 1 John 2:18. And indeed in the Apostle Paul's time the mystery of iniquity began to work, which brought on this general defection; though here it has regard to some later times under the Gospel dispensation; to the time when the man of sin, and the son of perdition, was revealed, and when all the world wondered after the beast: and indeed, such will be the degeneracy in the last days of all, that when the son of man comes, as the grace, so the doctrine of faith will be scarcely to be found in the world: the means by which this apostasy will obtain and prevail will be through men's

giving heed to seducing spirits; either to doctrines which are of a deceiving nature; or to men who profess to have the Spirit of God, and have not, but are evil men and seducers, deceiving, and being deceived; that lie in wait to deceive, and handle the word of God deceitfully; and by attending on the ministry of such persons, through hearing them, and conversing with them, the defection was to begin and spread; and therefore such should be carefully avoided, and their ministry shunned; nor should they be received, nor bid God speed.

And doctrines of devils; such as are devised by devils, as all damnable doctrines be; and all lying ones, for the devil is the father of them; and as are all the false doctrines introduced by antichrist, for his coming was after the working of Satan; and particularly those doctrines of his concerning worshipping of angels, and saints departed, may be called the doctrines of devils, or of "demons"; being much the same with the demon worship among the Heathens, of which the devil was the inventor: unless by doctrines of devils should be meant the doctrines of men, who for their cunning and sophistry, for their lies and hypocrisy, for their malice, and murdering of the souls of men, are comparable to devils.

Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Now the Spirit - Evidently the Holy Spirit; the Spirit of inspiration. It is not quite certain, from this passage, whether the apostle means to say that this was a revelation “then” made to him, or whether it was a well-understood thing as taught by the Holy Spirit. He himself elsewhere refers to this same prophecy, and John also more than once mentions it; compare 1 John 2:18; Revelation 20:1-15. From 2 Thessalonians 2:5, it would seem that this was a truth which had before been communicated to the apostle Paul, and that he had dwelt on it when he preached the gospel in Thessalonica. There is no improbability, however, in the supposition that so important a subject was communicated directly by the Holy Spirit to others of the apostles.

Speaketh expressly - In express words, ῥητῶς rētōsIt was not by mere hints, and symbols, and shadowy images of the future; it was in an open and plain manner - in so many words. The object of this statement seems to be to call the attention of Timothy to it in an emphatic manner, and to show the importance of attending to it.

That in the latter times - Under the last dispensation, during which the affairs of the world would close; see the notes on Hebrews 1:2. It does not mean that this would occur “just before” the end of the world, but that it would take place during “that last dispensation,” and that the end of the world would not happen until this should take place; see the notes on 2 Thessalonians 2:3.

Some shall depart from the faith - The Greek word here - ἀποστήσονται apostēsontai- is that from which we have derived the word “apostatize,” and would be properly so rendered here. The meaning is, that they would “apostatize” from the belief of the truths of the gospel. It does not mean that, as individuals, they would have been true Christians; but that there would be a departure from the great doctrines which constitute the Christian faith. The ways in which they would do this are immediately specified, showing what the apostle meant here by departing from the faith. They would give heed to seducing spirits, to the doctrines of devils, etc. The use of the word “some,” here τινες tines- does not imply that the number would be small. The meaning is, that “certain persons” would thus depart, or that “there would be” an apostasy of the kind here mentioned, in the last days. From the parallel passage in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, it would seem that this was to be an extensive apostasy.

Giving heed to seducing spirits - Rather than to the Spirit of God. It would be a part of their system to yield to those spirits that led astray. The spirits here referred to are any that cause to err, and the most obvious and natural construction is to refer it to the agency of fallen spirits. Though it “may” apply to false teachers, yet, if so, it is rather to them as under the influence of evil spirits. This may be applied, so far as the phraseology is concerned, to “any” false teaching; but it is evident that the apostle had a specific apostasy in view - some great “system” that would greatly corrupt the Christian faith; and the words here should be interpreted with reference to that. It is true that people in all ages are prone to give heed to seducing spirits; but the thing referred to here is some grand apostasy, in which the characteristics would be manifested, and the doctrines held, which the apostle proceeds immediately to specify; compare 1 John 4:1.

And doctrines of devils - Greek, “Teachings of demons - διδασκαλίαις δαιμωνίων didaskaliais daimōniōnThis may either mean teachings “respecting” demons, or teachings “by” demons. The particular sense must be determined by the connection. Ambiguity of this kind in the construction of words, where one is in the genitive case, is not uncommon; compare John 15:9-10; John 21:15. Instances of the construction where the genitive denotes the “object,” and should be translated “concerning,” occur in Matthew 9:25; “The gospel of the kingdom,” i. e., concerning the kingdom; Matthew 10:1; “Power of unclean spirits,” i. e., over or concerning unclean spirits; so, also, Acts 4:9; Romans 16:15; 2 Corinthians 1:5; Ephesians 3:1; Revelation 2:13. Instances of construction where the genitive denotes the “agent,” occur in the following places: Luke 1:69, “A horn of salvation,” i. e., a horn which produces or causes salvation; John 6:28; Romans 3:22; 2 Corinthians 4:10; Ephesians 4:18; Colossians 2:11. Whether the phrase here means that, in the apostasy, they would give heed to doctrines “respecting” demons, or to doctrines which demons “taught,” cannot, it seems to me, be determined with certainty. If the previous phrase, however, means that they would embrace doctrines taught by evil spirits, it can hardly be supposed that the apostle would immediately repeat the same idea in another form; and then the sense would be, that one characteristic of the time referred to would be the prevalent teaching “respecting” demons. They would “give heed to,” or embrace, some special views respecting demons. The word here rendered “devils” is δαιμονία daimonia- “demons.” This word, among the Greeks, denoted the following things:

(1) A god or goddess, spoken of the pagan gods; compare in New Testament, Acts 17:18.

(2) adivine being, where no particular one was specified, the agent or author of good or evil fortune; of death, fate, etc. In this sense it is often used in Homer.

(3) the souls of people of the golden age, which dwelt unobserved upon the earth to regard the actions of men, and to defend them - tutelary divinities, or geniuses - like that which Socrates regarded as his constant attendant. Xen. Mem. 4. 8. 1. 5; Apol. Soc. 4. See “Passow.”

(4) to this may be added the common use in the New Testament, where the word denotes a demon in the Jewish sense - a bad spirit, subject to Satan, and under his control; one of the host of fallen angels - commonly, but not very properly rendered “devil” or “devils.” These spirits were supposed to wander in desolate places, Matthew 12:43; compare Isaiah 13:21; Isaiah 34:14; or they dwell in the air, Ephesians 2:2. They were regarded as hostile to mankind, John 8:44; as able to utter pagan oracles, Acts 16:17; as lurking in the idols of the pagan, 1 Corinthians 10:20; Revelation 9:20. They are spoken of as the authors of evil, James 2:19; compare Ephesians 6:12, and as having the power of taking “possession” of a person, of producing diseases, or of causing mania, as in the case of the demoniacs, Luke 4:33; Luke 8:27; Matthew 17:18; Mark 7:29-30; and often elsewhere. The doctrine, therefore, which the apostle predicted would prevail, might, “so far as the word used is concerned,” be either of the following:

(1) Accordance with the prevalent notions of the pagan respecting false gods; or a falling into idolatry similar to that taught in the Grecian mythology. It can hardly be supposed, however, that he designed to say that the common notions of the pagan would prevail in the Christian church, or that the worship of the pagan gods “as such” would be set up there.

(2) an accordance with the Jewish views respecting demoniacal possessions and the power of exorcising them. If this view should extensively prevail in the Christian church, it would be in accordance with the language of the prediction.

(3) accordance with the prevalent pagan notions respecting the departed spirits of the good and the great, who were exalted to the rank of demi-gods, and who, though invisible, were supposed still to exert an important influence in favor of mankind. To these beings, the pagan rendered extraordinary homage. They regarded them as demi-gods. They supposed that they took a deep interest in human affairs. They invoked their aid. They set apart days in honor of them. They offered sacrifices, and performed rites and ceremonies to propitiate their favor. They were regarded as a sort of mediators or intercessors between man and the superior divinities. If these things are found anywhere in the Christian church, they may be regarded as a fulfillment of this prediction, for they were not of a nature to be foreseen by any human sagacity. Now it so happens, that they are in fact found in the Papal communion, and in a way that corresponds fairly to the meaning of the phrase, as it would have been understood in the time of the apostle.

There is, “first,” the worship of the virgin and of the saints, or the extraordinary honors rendered to them - corresponding almost entirely with the reverence paid by the pagan to the spirits of heroes or to demi-gods. The saints are supposed to have extraordinary power with God, and their aid is implored as intercessors. The virgin Mary is invoked as “the mother of God,” and as having power still to command her Son. The Papists do not, indeed, offer the same homage to the saints which they do to God, but they ask their aid; they offer prayer to them. The following extracts from the catechism of Dr. James Butler, approved and recommended by Dr. Kenrick, “Bishop of Philadelphia,” expresses the general views of Roman Catholics on this subject. “Question: How do Catholics distinguish between the honor they give to God, and the honor they give to the saints, when they pray to God and the saints?

Answer: Of God alone they beg grace and mercy; and of the saints they only ask the assistance of their prayers? Question Is it lawful to recommend ourselves to the saints, and ask their prayers. Answer: Yes; as it is lawful and a very pious practice to ask the prayers of our fellow-creatures on earth, and to pray for them.” In the “Prayer to be said before mass,” the following language occurs: “In union with the holy church and its minister, and invoking the blessed virgin Mary, Mother of God, and all the angels and saints, we now offer the adorable sacrifice of the mass,” etc. In the General Confession, it is said - “I confess to Almighty God, to the blessed Mary, ever Virgin, to blessed Michael the archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy apostles Peter and Paul, and to all the saints, that I have sinned exceedingly.” So also, the council of Trent declared, Sess. 25, “Concerning the invocation of the saints,” “that it is good and useful to supplicate them, and to fly to their prayers, power, and aid; but that they who deny that the saints are to be invoked, or who assert that they do not pray for people, or that their invocation of them is idolatry, hold an impious opinion. See also Peter Den‘s Moral Theology, translated by the Rev. John F. Berg, pp. 342-356. “Secondly,” in the Papal communion the doctrine of “exorcism” is still held - implying a belief that evil spirits or demons have power over the human frame - a doctrine which comes fairly under the meaning of the phrase here - “the doctrine respecting demons.”

Thus, in Dr. Butler‘s Catechism: “Question: What do you mean by exorcism? Answer: The rites and prayers instituted by the church for the casting out devils, or restraining them from hurting persons, disquieting places, or abusing any of God‘s creatures to our harm. Question: Has Christ given his church any such power over devils? Anser: Yes, he has; see Matthew 10:1; Mark 3:15; Luke 9:1. And that this power was not to die with the apostles, nor to cease after the apostolic age, we learn from the perpetual practice of the church, and the experience of all ages.” The characteristic here referred to by the apostle, therefore, is one that applies precisely to the Roman Catholic communion, and cannot be applied with the same fitness to any other association calling itself Christian on earth. There can be no doubt, therefore, that the Holy Spirit designed to designate that apostate church.

Clarke's Notes on the Bible

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly - Ῥητως· Manifestly, openly. It is very likely that the apostle refers here to a prophecy then furnished by the Holy Ghost, and probably immediately after he had written the words in the preceding verses; and as this prophecy contains things nowhere else spoken of in the sacred writings, and of the utmost moment to the Christian Church, we cannot hear or read them with too much reverence or respect.

In the latter times - This does not necessarily imply the last ages of the world, but any times consequent to those in which the Church then lived.

Depart from the faith - Αποστησονται - της πιστεως· They will apostatize from the faith, i.e. from Christianity; renouncing the whole system in effect, by bringing in doctrines which render its essential truths null and void, or denying and renouncing such doctrines as are essential to Christianity as a system of salvation. A man may hold all the truths of Christianity, and yet render them of none effect by holding other doctrines which counteract their influence; or he may apostatize by denying some essential doctrine, though he bring in nothing heterodox.

Giving heed to seducing spirits - Πνευμασι πλανοις· Many MSS. and the chief of the fathers have πνευμασι πλανης· spirits of deceit; which is much more emphatic than the common reading. Deception has her spirits, emissaries of every kind, which she employs to darken the hearts and destroy the souls of men. Pretenders to inspiration, and false teachers of every kind, belong to this class.

And doctrines of devils - Δαιμονιων· Demons; either meaning fallen spirits, or dead men, spectres, etc., or doctrines inspired by Satan relative to these, by which he secures his own interest, and provides for his own worship.


Copyright Statement:
George Lamsa Translation of the Peshitta

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, October 29th, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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