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).
The four and final step down is found in I Timothy 4. They turn away from the truth and are turned unto fables.
I Timothy 4:3-4:
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap [episōreuō, only occurrence – “to accumulate in piles” or “to obtain a multitude of”] to themselves teachers, having itching [knēthō, only occurrence] ears; 4 And they [these teachers that they heap up to themselves because they have itching ears] shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
“Turn away” in verse four is the same Greek word used in 1:15. In 1:15 they turned away from Paul, and here they turn away from the truth. It starts off objecting to someone’s personality, but it ends up deserting the truth. If you leave the truth the only alternative is fables. No matter how wise or clever it may sound, if it is not the truth but is palmed-off as an appropriate standard for conduct it can only be a fable.
“Endure” means “to hold one’s self erect and firm,” “to sustain,” “or to bear up under pressure.” The devil will tell you that you have to hear what everybody has to say. He’ll want you to hear every wind of doctrine. That way you’ll be sure to be blown about, like it says in Ephesians 4:14. If we have itching ears the devil will be sure to scratch them for us.
We are supposed to work what we are taught like the Bereans, not run all over the place to see if every Tom, Dick, or Harrietta agrees with it. Work the Word yourself. If what you have been taught is true it will work, if you work it. Paul’s mystery gospel worked for everyone who believed it.
I Thessalonians 2:13:
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
If we are looking for an excuse of why the Word doesn’t work, we will be sure to find it. Everybody will have one more thing for you to do before it does. There will always be one more hoop to jump through before you get your healing or your answer to prayer. Most of the time all we need is more time in the Word itself. Faith comes from hearing the Word according to Romans 10:17.
These [The Berean Jews] were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. [What was the consequence of their actions. Well, the next verse tells us.] 12 Therefore many of them believed. . .
They believed it not because they ran around and heard it from 18 different teachers. They believed it when they heard it the first time because they worked it until it made sense, until they understood it. They applied it and got the results.
We should get juiced from working the Word. It should thrill us; it should excite us. Itching ears long for something new. Teach me something different. Teach me something I haven’t heard before. We need to hear the foundational principles of the Word over and over again. We should never tire of the truth. When you think, “I’ve heard that before.” what do you do with your mind? Do you turn it off? Do you go into “sleep mode?” Peter made sure that he brought his people back to the foundational principles.
II Peter 1:12-16:
Wherefore I will not be negligent [That’s a double negative. He would not be without care. He would be extremely careful.] to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. [This refers to the mystery which was now present.] 13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle [as long as I am alive in this body.], to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; 14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. 15 Moreover I will endeavour [spoudazō] that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
Speaking of those in the next administration who get deceived by the adversary Paul says in II Thessalonians 2:10 that it is because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. The only thing that will guard our hearts is our love for the truth. What we love we can never get enough of. Let’s keep our hearts set on the truth.
Paul’s gospel is the mystery of godliness. The doctrine of the mystery will lead us into the practice of godliness. Let’s not depart from it.