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God bless you and greetings in the name of Jesus Christ whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus (Colossians 1:28).

God has Paul clearly warn His people.

I Timothy 4:1:
Now the Spirit [God] speaketh [legō] expressly[rhētōs], that in the latter times some [not all, just certain ones] shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

“Speaking” is the Greek word legō which emphasizes the content of what is being said, and rhētōs means explicitly, in precisely stated terms. These are words that God collected and laid before His people expressly, clearly, distinctly, specifically, and precisely. This is a warning of a clear and present danger.

I Timothy 4:1 is the only place this particular Greek word translated “latter” occurs. “Latter times” doesn’t always refer to the end times or the time of the resurrections in the Word. Here, it refers to the time since Pentecost. What verse one warns of happened while Paul was alive and is still going on. It has been the latter days since Pentecost. In the very first century there were people who departed from the household of faith. They taught other things, things other than the mystery. They taught myths and fables and endless genealogies instead of the truth regarding the administration of God in which we live.

“Depart” is in the middle voice meaning it is action they took unto themselves. They departed themselves from the faith because they gave heed or paid attention to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. If I depart from the truth, it is because I took action unto myself. No one did it to me or no one caused me to take it. It is something I am responsible for.

Ultimately, it’s the devil’s doing. It’s seducing spirits and doctrines of devils that capture people’s live and bring them into bondage. People are bridled by these seducing or deceiving spirits and held around like one would lead a horse. I was told I had to pick a side. . . I had to treat people unlovingly. . . I really knew better, but I accepted it and departed myself from the faith. We need to operate manifestations of holy spirit to protect ourselves and our fellowships from this attack.

The other thing that causes people to leave are doctrines of devils. These are lies, teachings that misrepresent the truth. These may be things as formalized as salvation by works or putting Church policy above the Word. It also may be things as personal and targeted as, “You’ll never amount to anything.” or “You’re not good enough.” These are generally lies that we have accepted and never gone to the Word to root them out. This is where we need to unsheathe our sword of the spirit and go to work. It is absolutely going to take both the manifestations and the Word of truth. We will not make it through the morass of confusion without both.

God put us in a body so we could fight for each other not against each other. We need each other’s help. If the Word is right, I can’t live the mystery without you, and you can’t live it without me. We are not supposed to be independent humanoid units doing our own thing; we are supposed to be a body functioning as one. In I Timothy Paul warns about some departing from the faith. Then, in II Timothy he shows us how the process occurs.

Remember the great mystery has both doctrinal and practical aspects. Ephesians handles them both. The practical side of Ephesians, the greatest revelation ever given to mankind, starts with a startling statement. Paul reintroduces himself. He is no longer Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, like he said in chapter one, verse one. He is now Paul, the prisoner of the Lord.

God has Paul list his credentials that pertain to each section at the beginning of each section. In the doctrinal portion of the epistle, chapters 1-3, God has Paul introduce himself as an apostle. Paul received the new light of the revelation of the mystery progressively over a period of about 40 years. How appropriate that when Paul discloses the doctrine of the mystery God introduces him as an apostle of Jesus Christ.

Then when Paul gets to the practical section, chapters 4-6, God introduces him with the greatest possible credential, the prisoner of the Lord. The figurative use of prisoner of the Lord is an allusion to extreme obedience. A prisoner has no freedom; he does what he is told. However, the extreme obedience in Paul’s case was not forced on him; it was his freewill decision to live that way. He wasn’t taken captive against his will, he volunteered. He made himself a prisoner of the Lord Jesus Christ. In Ephesians 6:19-20, using the same analogy, he calls himself an ambassador in bonds and requests prayer to make known the mystery of the gospel.

Paul bound himself to the Lord and the mystery of the gospel. He chained himself to the Lord. . . He gave himself no other option. He would make known the mystery of the gospel and would speak boldly as he ought. He had learned the hard way and would do as he ought.

But before we go to II Timothy 1 to look at the four steps down tomorrow, I want to mention just briefly the five steps up that I handle in hour seven of the Marvelous Mystery Tour. It took me an entire hour to teach it so I will just mention it briefly here. God in his typical manner would ask us to do something without telling us how. So, after the exhortation to walk worthy, He gives us five steps so we can.

Ephesians 4:1-3:
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all {1} lowliness and {2} meekness, with {3} longsuffering, {4} forbearing one another in love; 3 {5} Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Those five steps afford us the opportunity to walk worthy of our calling. Let’s get busy!