"THE MYSTERY" - Its Prophetic Content (I Tim. 4:1-5; II Tim. 3:1-9) PART I. "Now the Spirit in spoken words says that in the latter times (specific) some will depart (apostasize) the faith, attending to seducing (planetary) spirits and teachings of demons, in men of hypocrisy speaking lies having been branded on their own conscience; forbidding to marry, to abstain from foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by them who believe and know the truth. Because every creature is good and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer." (Free Translation - I Tim. 4:1-5 - very literal.)
Our Lord, on the night before He was betrayed, spoke to His apostles about the Holy Spirit, "I will send Him unto you" (John 16:7b ). "Howbeit when He, the spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth, ...and He will show you things to come." (John 16:13)
Our Lord also energized the Apostle Paul to write, "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: But whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." (Heb. 13:4)
It is axiomatic. In the affirmative, the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth, He will show us things to come; -- He has declared marriage to be honorable, the bed undefiled. By the same token, the negative is unacceptable -- God will judge.
Needless to say, these facts set the tone for understanding the prophecy of I Tim. 4:1-5. It is, therefore, the Holy Spirit who arrests our attention in this prophetic forecast. First, as to time; secondly, as to the characters involved; and thirdly, concerning the conclusions.
- The Greek word for time in this context is "kairos," meaning a specific or appointed time [or season], and not just time in general. It is the latter period of the present dispensation. In our time frame, it has been nineteen centuries plus since this prophecy was first spoken. We are told in our studies to seek God's approval. Obviously, our efforts to write about the things within The Mystery would necessitate the inclusion of eschatology. It follows then that our inquiry should meet with His approval.
- The adversaries in this scenario have to do with certain seducing demonic spirits. The Greek "planois," translated "seducing," is the basis for our English word, "planetary." Thus it would seem that the demonic spirits' operation base is probably in the sphere of the planets (Eph. 2:2).
- Be that as it may, the apostate (humans) having their conscience branded by the fiery irons of Hell attend unto the teachings of demonic spirits (God having turned the apostates over to a reprobate mind - Rom. 1:28). Hence, they forbid TRUE marriage by example, consequently, anything goes [our status quo now -ed.]- -whoremongering, adultery, sodomy,- - you name it, anything that makes a mockery of the Creator's first institution - - Holy Matrimony! [Read also Phil. 1:28+ and Titus l:9-16. Ed.]
What is an apostate? Anyone who knows the truth and turns away from it by suppression (Rom. 1:18). The Greek words in verse 18, translated, "hold the truth in unrighteousness" simply mean: to suppress or hold down the truth when he or she knows better.
Now concerning the matter of certain foods: In the beginning, man was not allowed to eat flesh. In a word, he was a vegetarian. Evidently meat is a deterrent to the spirit world, because after the Flood God established the eating of meat in a perpetual covenant with mankind (Gen. 9:3, 12). It should be noted that the spirit world ([fallen-ed.] angels) prior to [and after - ed.] the Flood began to have relations with Adam's race (Gen. 6:2, 5; Jude 6, 7). Not only so, the " spirit medium" of the present day refrains from eating meats. In most cases, the medium is a vegetarian.
Lastly, it is also written that the minister who brings these things to the attention of the saints will be practicing good words of faith (I Tim. 4:6).
Finally, concerning Part One, does the evidence presented speak of the "latter times" -- as NOW? You be the Judge. Personally, I believe it does -- even to the extreme. In any case, we are now ready to consider Part Two.
This has to do with the last days of the latter times of this dispensation.
"This know also that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof; from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambre withstood Moses so do these also resist the truth men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was." (II Tim. 3:1-9).
Consider that I and II Timothy were probably written just a year or two apart, that the Mystery given to the Apostle Paul had already been rejected (II Tim. 1:15), that I Timothy passed over many hundred of years from the time given until today, that prophetic forecast about the apostasy is in the latter times of this dispensation, and that, in reality, it seems to be very active in this the Twentieth Century, etc.
Assuming all this to be true, it follows then that the moral breakdown of all levels of society so aptly described in II Timothy about the last days of the latter times is but the full-grown development of the apostasy revealed in I Timothy.
When you reflect upon what is common knowledge today and the principal subject matter of the news media, the religious world, the education system, the New Age principles of "Big Business," the arts and sciences, the international scene, the political mess in Washington and at the state level,.not to mention the whores, the whoremongers, the sodomites, (who have become the role models for our young people), you might almost think that some Twentieth Century critic had written II Timothy instead of Paul!
In fact, one could take almost any thirty-day period of time in the fast pace of today, and find in the daily news media some reference which fits the descriptive character or event under consideration. For example: The time in which we live is certainly "perilous times" -- it is a time of self-love, a time when people will kill for money and never think twice. Pride is the hallmark everywhere. Blasphemers are at every level. Affections are not natural, only self-serving. To be good is stupid. Treason is common, not uncommon. Children and young people are undisciplined and without respect for their elders. The Feminist Movement is running wild. Many are "ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." People call the good, "evil," and the evil, "good." Religion makes all sorts of claims, anything goes! HOLD IT! HOLD IT!
LISTEN TO THE GOOD NEWS: "But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all..." (II Tim. 3:9).
This verse speaks of the Divine intervention, a fact that is passed over by otherwise sound people because of the wish concerning the second coming of Christ, a hope that does not take into account the pre-Advent: a coming of Elijah to restore Israel spiritually FIRST. This is to say, that the prophetic teachers who are proclaiming the "any-moment" theory of Christ's Second Coming are a bit premature in their wish. (See our work on The Coming of Elijah, listed in "Publications.")
In our humble opinion, this error of the present day thinking (the majority) - - the wish of the "any-moment" coming, along with the error, "Dominion Theology" ["Kingdom - Now" Ed.], are the fruits of having rejected the Mystery, and right Division concerning the Word of God. This mistake is obvious. Otherwise sound men have been taken in by the oldest trick in Satan's handbook: "...making the Word of God of none effect through your traditions." (Mark 7:13)
What, then, are the real possibilities?:
- Elijah's coming as the instrument of God to restore Israel spiritually (Matt. 17:11).
- A time in which the Holy Spirit will enlighten the human race as to the Person of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:17).
- A time when the folly of tradition shall be exposed. (II Tim. 3:9).
- A time when the initiate of the Mystery will come into the kindness of the riches of His grace. (Eph. 2:7).
These things are all within a context of now unto the turn of the century - - and the very near-1988.[Note, Dr. McLain wrote this 11/24/87. Ed.] All are within the pre-advent concerning the return of our Lord. If otherwise - - the Judgments of the Most High will fall upon an apostate Christendom, and an athestic society. Judgment always begins at the household of God! - You think about it -- and pray! Mac.
C. E. McLain 11/24/87.