“I charge thee therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His Kingdom: preach the Word; be instant in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but having itching ears, they shall heap to themselves teachers in accordance with their own lusts. And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned toward fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.” (2 Tim. 4:1-6).
Paul is describing a day when believers would face a last-days deception in the Church. He wrote that at the end of the age, just before Jesus returns, that large numbers of people in the Body of Christ would be led astray.
His words are not meant to frighten us but to prepare us so we would not succumb to this demonically inspired seduction that will affect the last days generation and Church.
In this final hour before Jesus returns, the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul said increasing numbers of people in the Christian community “will not endure sound doctrine”. Even now, this is taking place in great measure as many are gravitating toward teaching and preaching that is more motivational and psychological than Scripturally based. Many don’t even check the spirit nor the content of the messages they hear any more. If it sounds good, feels good, and improves their natural life, many will swallow it.
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but test the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 Jn 4:1).
A big dark filthy cloud has been released on America and many gullible and disobedient Christians are being sucked into it. Many who profess Christ’s Name are being entangled in a cheap grace gospel that brings no change and leaves us pursuing our selfish ways. The tragedy is that when things get worse these people will no longer be able to resist the evil. They will try but will have no power to do so. Some have even desired the filth of a sinful lifestyle and refused the warnings of God’s true prophets and messengers to repent. A lukewarmness without parallel and a falling away from true Christianity has taken hold of many Christians who have hardened their hearts to penetrating preaching. They don’t want to hear of sin and true grace, the law and real gospel, repentance, and God’s judgments. Instead, many have found a happy substitute – prosperity/happiness and a hip-hip hooray Christianity.
The important thing has become to have success, to be someone, and to have material things that God never promised in that way. Happy Christianity churches are growing in number while most prayer and soul winning churches remain small. Instead of the preaching we have been used to in past generations such as deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Jesus – entertainment, arts, and culture are invading many churches at a rapid pace. Where we should be having prayer, repentance, and revival meetings we are having motivational speeches on how to live your best life now and improve your status.
While all this sounds like discouraging news, the good news is that I am seeing an uprising in the remnant of God’s people who are hungry for revival and restoration. I am seeing the spirit of the world lose its grip on many believers who are sick and tired of the status quo. Many are leaving their dead churches to find God and a living Christianity that looks more like the gospels and the book of Acts.
While this dark cloud is moving across our land, there is a bright cloud full of fresh rain and a heavenly breeze that has begun to blow on God’s consecrated people and giving birth to great moves of God that many have been praying for. Within that bright cloud there are the greatest miracles humans have ever seen. There are anointings for every kind of sickness and disease, and deliverance for every addiction. There is also power to overcome every Satanic attack and the filth and sin that permeates the social madness in our godless culture. There is power in this bright cloud to receive truth and reject damnable doctrines of demons and a false gospel. We will see a fuller manifestation of the Spirit of God in these days as we continue to give ourselves to the Lord unreservedly. Prayer will open great doors of utterance for the remnant of God’s people.
“Continue in prayer and watch therein with thanksgiving, besides praying also for us that God would open unto us a door of utterance to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak” (Col. 4:2-4).
RICK RENNER QUOTE
Here is something I read from Rick Renner’s “Sparkling Gems” book that describes so succinctly what the Lord has repeatedly witnessed to us by revelation in recent years. It is the reason for three books I’ve written: The Real Salvation, The Real Gospel, and The Real Spirit Of Revival. And a fourth one in this series that I am pressed to finish called, The Real Jesus. These are books for the times we are in right now before Jesus returns that will help people avoid this last days seduction in the Church (you can find these books on Amazon or on our website – (www.holy-fire.org).
“The Holy Spirit doesn’t indicate how many will be pulled in this wrong direction, but the word “they” in the Greek language implies large numbers of people. According to Paul’s prophetic utterance, a portion of the last-days Christian community will simply no longer endure sound teaching of Scripture. In fact, the word “endure” is the Greek word “anecho”, which denotes no ability to put up with or to have no tolerance for.
The words “sound doctrine” in II Tim. 4:3 are very telling. The Greek word for “sound” is “hugiaino”, and it indicates something that is wholesome and healthy and that produces a healthy state of being. The word “doctrine” refers to the long-held teachings ad tenets of the Christian faith.
Thus, the Holy Spirit foretold of a specific end-time season when a segment of the Christian community would not only lose their appetite for sound doctrine, but they would also actually develop a distaste for it. Instead, they would acquire a distinct taste for doctrine that is unwholesome, preferring a self-help style of teaching over the teaching of sound doctrine.
In 2 Tim. 4:3, Paul forecast a moment when large numbers of people will no longer have a stomach for sound doctrine. Instead, “. . After their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. . . ” The word “lusts” describes desires or whims. In other words, this part of the verse could be translated, “But after their own desires shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.
Paul unequivocally stated that a generation will arise in the very last days that will reject age-tested truth in favor of teaching that is more in step with the times. According to the Holy Spirit, teachers will appear on the scene in a specific season to satisfy the hankerings of a generation that adheres to the world’s progressive approach. What these spiritual leaders teach will appeal to people’s emotions and intellect instead of to the deepest part of their being where actual transformation takes place. Because these teachers will speak what the crowds want to hear, they will enjoy great popularity among this audience of listeners.
In 2 Tim. 4:3, Paul went on to say that this last-days generation will “heap” to themselves such teachers. The word “heap” is the future active indicative tense of the Greek word “episoreuo”, which points to piles of “teachers” who will appease an end-time audience with messages to suit them and the whims of the times.
Paul said that these teachers will satisfy the “itching ears” of the people. The words “itching ears” is used figuratively to depict a person (or a crowd of people) who wants to hear something new as compared to what he has already heard and known. Having his “ears” filled with something he wants to be told is the only thing that relieves this “itching ear” syndrome.
As a result of this strange period that will develop in the last part of the last days, Paul said many “. . . shall turn their ears away from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Tim. 4:4). This “turning away from truth” is the rejecting of absolute biblical truth – the time-tested interpretation of the Word of God.
Is it possible we are currently witnessing this turning away from truth that the Holy Spirit predicted nearly 2,000 years ago? Are we seeing in our own day an accommodation attitude toward the world that produces a brand of Christianity that melds into the environment around it?
Paul wrote that an erring end-time group would discard fixed truth and replace it with “fables” – the Greek word for fantasies. By using the word “fables”, Paul inferred that what this group of last-days orators taught would resemble fantasy. These teachers would substitute “fables” for the authentic teaching of the Bible that calls for repentance from sin and a change of behavior that is befitting God’s Word.
The craving and demand for these fanciful messages by those with “itching ears” will produce large numbers of newly fashioned teachers with restyled messages. The mixture of truth and falsehood these teachers deliver will eventually lead a large segment of people into a distorted perception of who the Christ of Christianity really is.
You might say, “Brother Rick, that sounds like a lot of really bad news.” But I need to tell you that in the haze of this deception that Paul prophesied about, another group of spiritual leaders will arise. Paul wrote about these leaders, calling them “blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15).
Since there also will be a group of believers emerging who will hold to the ageless Word of Truth and proclaim its timeless teaching, let’s make sure that is the group to which we belong! In spite of the difficulties these men and women may endure for proclaiming the Bible as utter truth, they will nevertheless stand firm, their feet solidly planted on the integrity of God’s Word.
That, my friend, is the group you want to be a part of in these end times!” – Rick Renner