Dr. Lawrence Butler, The Bridge Church, Pembroke.
Lesson 5: Evil Men and Seducers
II Tim. 3:13 Paul now moves to yet another danger to the church of which Timothy must be aware, and that is men who are deliberately deceiving and leading people astray from the gospel. Our last lesson revealed a turning from church issues which were significant, but perhaps done in ignorance, to that of apostasy. This is a willful departure from the faith. Unfortunately, the external, or outward profession of faith in Christ, remains. This means that those guilty of this infraction are doing so willfully and in agreement with the power of darkness. Under a form of godliness, these men are full of evil and wickedness. There seems to be a general law of depravity that those who remain in sin grow worse in their ways as the power of evil develops within, and Paul establishes the fact that “…evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (II Tim. 3:13).
The word used here for “seducers” occurs nowhere else in the Bible. It “signifies sorcerers, enchanters, a sort of jugglers…” (Gill). This idea of jugglers implies that they appear to be one thing, or doing one thing, but are not. They may seem to be working miracles, but the acts are “lying wonders” (Rev. 13:13,14). As also pointed out in Rev. 13, people are deceived by the apparent miracles that are performed. Revelation 18:23 describes method of deceit as sorceries.
The Apostle John wrote this mystical, as well as mysterious script, just before his death. As a prisoner on a tiny island as a result of his stand for Jesus Christ, he was given by God a great revelation of the future of the church and the destruction of the world. In one verse he listed the big four sins of the times that would lead to the judgment of God on the world. “ Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts” (Revelation 9:21). Each of these topics deserves much study, but for our purpose tonight, I will discuss only sorceries. The word comes from the same word from which we get the word pharmacy, and is related to drugs. Apparently many of the sins of that time will have a strong relation to drugs, both legal and illegal. We have already seen much influence in our world come from drugs, and so much of that impact leads to more sin.
It is of critical importance that the ministers of our day preach the gospel of Christ in its pure form. There can be no room for deceit. Ministers who abuse drugs, or encourage their followers to do so, cannot be of God. Leaders who abuse their followers through deceit by simply using them to obtain wealth, power or influence, will certainly reap an appropriate reward.