Turning Back & Walking Away: And They Walked No More With Jesus

Today’s selected reading continues in the first New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto Timothy who was a spiritual son in the faith. More specifically today’s passage is found in the fourth chapter of this New Testament book. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirit, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from. Meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and pray. If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.  For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach” (1 Timothy 4:1-11).

 

            “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee” (1 Timothy 4:12-16).

 

            2 TIMOTHY 3! 2 PETER 3! JUDE! When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find some incredibly unique language within this first epistle written by the apostle Paul. What makes the words and language contained within this particular chapter of this epistle is that this isn’t the only time such language appears in Scripture. If you take the time to read and study the New Testament epistles and writings of the apostles and early church leaders you will find an incredible amount of language concerning a tremendous time of trouble, deception, seduction, falsehood and the like. From the apostle Paul to the apostle Peter and to Jude and the apostle John the New Testament is replete with incredible language concerning the last days and that which will characterize those days just before the great and terrible day of the Lord. It is absolutely necessary and imperative we recognize and understand the words which are found within these particular epistles and writings of the apostles and Jude for within them we have a powerful narrative concerning the last days—and not only concerning the last days but also the tremendous amount of deception that can and will be present in the last days. In all reality I would dare say that if we want to truly understand that which can and will take place in the last days we must needs first begin with the last days according to the Lord Jesus Christ. If you want to truly have a powerful understanding of the last days and what can and will take place you must needs begin before the writings of the apostles Peter, Paul and John and journey back to the New Testament gospel narratives concerning the Lord Jesus.

 

            I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in the fourth chapter of this particular epistle and I am brought face to face with the incredibly awesome and powerful truth concerning the Lord Jesus Christ and His understanding of the Last Days. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which are found in the New Testament gospel narratives written by these specific authors for they present and bring us face to face with a powerful description concerning the Lord Jesus Christ and what He understood concerning the Last Days. With this being said I am absolutely convinced we must needs turn and direct our attention to the words which are found in the twenty-fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew. The words which we find here are absolutely remarkable and astounding when you take the time to consider them for everything Jesus spoke unto the disciples as they departed from the city of Jerusalem pertained to the last days and that which would take place during those days. Having said this I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the twenty-fourth chapter of this New Testament gospel beginning to read with and from the fourth verse:

 

            “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in diverse places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:4-8).

 

            “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:9-14).

 

            “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy palce, (whoso readeth, let him understand) then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And wose unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: for then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore, if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together” (Matthew 24:15-28).

 

            “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkned, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven,a nd the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, and he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth l eaves, ye know that summer is nigh: so likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:29-35).

 

            “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come” (Matthew 24:36-42).

 

            “But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 24:43-51).

 

            It is absolutely necessary we recognize and pay attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for within it Jesus paints a powerful picture concerning the last days before the great day of the Lord. Within these words we find the Lord Jesus speak unto His disciples and reveal how those days will be filled with and characterized by deception and persecution. In fact—if you want to truly understand the nature and context of the last days you must needs recognize and understand that those days can and will be characterized by both deception and persecution. The Lord Jesus Christ emphatically declared unto his disciples that there would be false Christs and false prophets who would rise up during those days and would seek to deceive many. What’s more is that Jesus also spoke concerning those days how there would be many who would be offended—and not only offended but offended in the midst of persecution, affliction, trials, troubles, tribulation, suffering and opposition. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand when reading the words which our Lord spoke concerning the last days it’s that there would indeed be great numbers of men and women who will not only be deceived during the last days, and there will not only be those who will be offended during the last days but there will also be countless men and women who will turn and walk no more with Jesus. The words which the Lord Jesus spoke concerning the last days aptly describes three distinct groups of people who would be present during the last days—those who will be deceived, those who will be offended, and those who will turn their backs and walk no more with the Lord Jesus.

 

            As you turn and direct your attention to the words which are found in the fourth chapter of the first epistle written by the apostle Paul unto Timothy his spiritual son in the faith you will find him beginning by describing the Spirit speaking expressly. We must needs recognize and understand the words which are found in the fourth chapter for within it the apostle Paul emphatically declares how the Spirit speaks very clearly, explicitly and expressly concerning the last days and what can and will take place during those days. The fourth chapter begins and opens with the apostle Paul declaring that which the Spirit expressly speaks concerning the last days and then goes on to describe that which the Holy Spirit is indeed speaking. If you continue reading in this particular chapter you will find the apostle Paul describing how the Spirit speaks of and declares how in the latter times some shall depart from the faith. What’s more is that not only will there be some who will depart from the faith but there will also be some who will depart from the faith giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. It is absolutely necessary and imperative we recognize and understand the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for the words we find here bring us face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding one of the main troubles of the last days—namely the great number of men and women who will depart from the faith and those who will turn their backs and walk no more with Jesus.

 

            In the first verse of this particular chapter we find the apostle Paul describing how there would be some who would depart from the faith—and not only describing the truth of those who would depart from the faith but also the reason they would choose to depart from the faith. It might seem absolutely astounding and confusing why where would be those who would choose to turn their backs and depart from the faith, however, the apostle Paul goes on to describe that which can and will cause them to do so. If you read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find the apostle Paul emphatically declaring that those who would depart from the faith in the last days would do so because they chose to give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. You might be asking how or what would cause those who once chose to walk in the faith to depart from it within their lives and the apostle Paul answers this question by referring to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this particular truth for it calls and draws our attention to that which we need to be on guard for during the last days in which we are presently living and can and will continue to walk into. What’s more is that I am absolutely convinced that if we want to truly understand the words which are found here and how men and women could depart from the faith we must needs turn and direct our attention to the New Testament epistle written unto the Hebrews.

 

            I have mentioned the New Testament epistle written unto the Hebrews for the words which we find here in this particular epistle paint a powerful picture of those who would choose to turn away and depart from the faith. If you take the time to read both the sixth and tenth chapters of this New Testament epistle you will be brought face to face with the awesome and powerful truth concerning those who would choose to turn their backs and walk no longer with the Lord Jesus. If there is one thing I find so incredibly unique and powerful within the New Testament it’s the amount of language that was written concerning those who would depart from the faith and walk no more with Jesus as they began to give themselves to seducing spirits and the doctrines of devils. Having said this I invite you to consider the following words written and recorded in the sixth and tenth chapters of the New Testament epistle written unto the Hebrews:

 

            “…Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:11-14).

 

            “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit. For it impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and brength forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: but that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned” (Hebrews 6:1-8).

 

            “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses; of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:26-39).

 

            There is a great need to recognize and understand the words which are found in these passages of Scripture within the New Testament epistle written unto the Hebrews for within them we are brought face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding those who will fall away and those who will turn their backs and walk no more with the Lord Jesus. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand it’s that the New Testament definitively and explicitly speaks of and declares the strong reality that there can and there will be those who will walk away from the faith. You cannot read the words found in the New Testament gospel narratives as well as the epistles and not be brought face to face with the awesome and incredible truth that in the last days there would be those who would indeed fall away and depart from the faith. What’s more is that if you read the words which are written by the apostle Paul unto the churches which were in Galatia you will find him writing unto churches who had turned aside from the Spirit of truth unto a spirit of error. When writing unto the churches which were in Galatia the apostle Paul corrected, instructed and rebuked them for their departure from the faith. With this being said it is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand that their departure from the truth—and not only their departure from the truth but also their departure from true faith which is the basis of justification—is largely due to their giving themselves unto deception, false gospels, false teaching and the like. What’s more is that when you read the epistle written unto the churches which were in Galatia you will even find the apostle Paul asking them who had bewitched them thus suggesting there were witches in the church and that they were seduced and deceived by witchcraft. Oh it is with this being said I invite you to consider the following words which are found in this particular epistle beginning with the first chapter:

 

            “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:6-10).

            “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? If it be yet in vain. He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” (Galatians 3:1-5).

 

            “But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and y ears. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain” (Galatians 4:9-11).

 

            “Amd I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them. But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you. My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you” (Galatians 4:16-20).

 

            “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be. And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? Then is the offence of the cross ceased. I would they were even cut off which trouble you” (Galatians 5:7-12).

 

            We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which are found in these passages within the epistle written unto the Galatian churches for when writing unto them the apostle Paul sought to address their turning aside from the truth—and not only turning aside from the truth but also turning aside from the Spirit and from faith itself. It is quite clear and quite obvious when reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture the Galatian churches were not only being troubled but were also being bewitched and seduced by false doctrines and false teachings which sought to confuse and bring them into bondage. It is absolutely necessary we recognize and understand this incredibly powerful truth for it helps us to understand the words and language which the apostle Paul also wrote in the first epistle written unto Timothy. In this particular epistle the apostle Paul writes unto Timothy concerning those who would depart from the faith giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. When reading the words which are found in the epistle written unto the Galatian churches you can and will encounter the awesome and incredible truth surrounding their deliberate and willful turning away from the truth that is found in the gospel. In fact this is precisely what the author of the epistle written unto the Hebrews wrote in that particular epistle for what we find within that epistle speaks directly to the reality of those who would turn aside and away from the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and would essentially be those who walked away.

 

            The more I sit here and think about this particular truth surrounding the number of professing saints who can and will depart from the faith as they give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils the more I am brought face to face with the awesome and incredible truth of the words which the apostle Paul spoke unto the elders of the Ephesian church. If you turn and direct your attention to the words which are found in the twentieth chapter of the New Testament book of Acts you will find the apostle Paul bidding farewell unto these dear saints and elders knowing that after his departure they would never see his face. The apostle Paul knew that he was bound and constrained to journey up unto Jerusalem being bound in the Spirit to do so. The apostle Paul knew that the Holy Spirit testified and bore witness that bonds and afflictions abounded and abided him in whatsoever city he journeyed to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. What makes the journey unto the city of Jerusalem so incredibly unique is that the apostle Paul knew and understood that he would suffer great affliction, trouble and trials within the city. The apostle Paul knew that after his departure from that beach where he conversed with the elders of the Ephesian church they would never see his face again. What’s more is the apostle Paul also knew and recognized that after his departure—not only would they never see his face again but there would also be great trouble that would be manifested and present among them.

 

            If you want to truly understand the words and language which is found in the first epistle written by the apostle Paul unto Timothy it is necessary to consider also the words which the apostle Paul spoke unto the elders of the Ephesian church. What’s more is that when you read the opening chapter of this epistle written unto Timothy you will find the apostle Paul speaking of and referring to his instruction unto Timothy to abide at Ephesus as a guardian of the truth of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is absolutely astonishing and significant when you take the time to think about it for it calls and draws your attention to the tremendous truth concerning the dangers and snares that would be present in the midst of the church which was at Ephesus. The apostle Paul knew that after his departure great trouble would find its way unto and among them—a reality which seems to be at the center of the apostle Paul admonishing Timothy to abide and remain in Ephesus. Paul was aware of the tremendous dangers which would and could take place among the saints which were present in the Ephesian church and he deliberately and purposefully admonished Timothy to remain and abide in Ephesus to guard the truth of the gospel as well as to help combat the error, false doctrine and false teaching that would in fact be manifested and present among them. In all reality the epistle written by the apostle Paul unto Timothy must be understood as encouragement for this young and faithful minister of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as he was called and tasked to both be a guardian of the truth of the gospel as well as to combat the error that would indeed be present in the midst of these dear saints.

 

            Having said all of this I find it absolutely necessary that we consider the following words which are found in the twentieth chapter of the New Testament book of Acts. It is in the twentieth chapter of this New Testament book we find the apostle Paul encouraging, instructing and admonishing the elders of the Ephesian church upon his departure unto Jerusalem. What we must needs recognize and understand when reading the words which are found in the twentieth chapter of the New Testament book of Acts is that when departing from the Ephesian elders he recognized the tremendous dangers and troubles they would indeed face. The apostle Paul was very much aware of the false doctrine, the false teaching and the seducing spirits that would infiltrate and be present in the midst of the church. It was for this reason the apostle Paul not only warned the elders of the Ephesian church but also admonished and instructed Timothy to abide and remain at Ephesus to help guard the truth and combat the error, false teaching and false doctrine which would be present among them. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the twentieth chapter of the New Testament book of Acts concerning the instruction and warning the apostle Paul gave unto the elders of this dearly beloved church:

 

            “And we went before to ship, and sailed unto Assos, there intending to take in Paul: for so had he appointed, minding himself to go afoot. And when he met with us at Assos, we took him in, and came to Mitylene. And we sailed thence, and came the next day over against Chios; and the next day we arrived at Samos, and tarried at Trogyllium; and the next day we came to Miletus. For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia; for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost. And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: and how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. And now, behold, O go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:13-35).

 

            There is something truly unique and powerful found within these verses of the twentieth chapter of the New Testament book of Acts for not only does the apostle Paul speak of grievous wolves entering in among them not sparing the flock but the apostle Paul also warns how of and from their own selves would men arise who would speak perverse things and draw away disciples after them. Oh please don’t miss the incredible importance of the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for within it the apostle Paul speaks of those who would rise up from among them and would seek to draw away disciples after them. This language of drawing disciples away after them is such which must be recognized and understood for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding that which the apostle Paul wrote unto the churches of Galatia concerning those who troubled them. When writing unto the churches in Galatia the apostle Paul spoke of those who entered in among them and troubled them teaching false doctrines and false gospels which are no gospel at all. The apostle Paul would write unto the Galatian churches how they had been bewitched by false and lying doctrines which were steeped in legalism and religion. IN order to understand the words which are found in the New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the churches which were in Galatia it is absolutely necessary to recognize that which troubled them—namely false doctrines and false gospels which would seek to deceive and mislead them. Oh it is impossible to read the words which are found in the epistle written unto the Galatian saints and not encounter and come face to face with this awesome and powerful truth concerning the false doctrines and false teaching which was present in the midst of the churches of Galatia.

 

            In order to understand the words and language found and contained within the epistle written by the apostle Paul unto Timothy it is absolutely necessary we recognize and understand that which is found in the sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John. That which we find in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John brings us face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding many disciples who walked with and followed the Lord Jesus and yet found themselves at a crossroads within their own souls, hearts and minds. What makes the sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel written by the apostle John so incredibly unique and interesting is when you consider that there were countless men and women who originally walked with and followed the Lord Jesus Christ and yet would find themselves in a place where they would become offended with the words the Lord spoke among them in their hearing. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it helps us to understand that which the apostle Paul wrote unto Timothy his spiritual son in the faith. With this being said it is necessary we recognize that those who turned back and walked no more with Jesus didn’t do so because of false teaching, because of false gospels, nor even because of seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. Oh I find it absolutely imperative to ask you if it would shock and surprise you to know that it is possible to hear the words of the Lord Jesus and become so offended with what he says that you turn away and walk no more with Him? Would it surprise you to think that it is possible for men and women to choose to turn back and walk no more with Jesus—not because they heard or gave themselves unto false teaching and false doctrine but because they were offended with Jesus and the words which He spoke unto them?

 

            It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John for within it we are brought face to face with countless men and women who originally and initially walked with and followed the Lord Jesus and yet turned back and walked no more with the Lord Jesus. If there is one thing I can’t help but think about and consider when reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture it’s how many men and women actually walked with and followed Jesus and how many turned back and walked no more with Him. I can’t help but wonder how many on this particular day heard and listened to the words which the Lord Jesus had taught and spoken and chose to walk no more with Him because they were offended at what He had said. This is something we must needs understand for I am convinced there can and there will be two different types of men and women who depart from the faith and essentially “fall away” in the last days. There will be those who walk with and follow the Lord Jesus and who turn back and walk no more with Him because they are offended with the words which He spoke unto them. What’s more is there will be those who walk with and follow the Lord Jesus and who turn back and walk no more with Him because they gave themselves to false doctrines, false gospels and false teachings. I am absolutely convinced there will be both groups of people who can and will be present in the midst of these last days who will either turn back or will in fact fall away and no longer walk with Jesus. Having said this I now invite you to consider the following words which are found in the sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John:

 

            “And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last days. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. These things said he in they synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum” (John 6:42-59).

 

            “Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father” (John 6:60-65).

 

            “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve” (John 6:66-71).

 

            Please pay close attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for what we find here are those who originally and initially walked with and followed the Lord Jesus and yet who turned back and walked no more with Him because they were offended with the words he spoke unto them. If there is one thing that makes this particular chapter so incredibly unique and powerful when you take the time to think about it it’s that there were a number of disciples who made the decision to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus and yet because of the words he spoke unto them they became offended. It was that offense within their hearts and souls which caused them to turn back and walk no more with Jesus. Taking this a step further the Lord Jesus Christ would ask the twelve after witnessing a number of men and women turning back and walking no more with Him whether or not they too would walk away. The apostle Peter would respond unto Him emphatically declaring that He alone had the words of eternal life and that there was none other and nowhere else they would or could turn to. Simon Peter recognized that even if the words the Lord Jesus spoke unto them seemed to be hard and difficult to understand He alone had the words of eternal life. Simon Peter acknowledged and understood the Lord Jesus Christ was the eternal and only begotten of the Father in heaven and that He alone held the words of eternal life. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it helps us to understand one of the groups of men and women who can and will turn back and walk no more with Jesus. Such individuals will at one point have been disciples and those who walked with and followed the Lord Jesus and yet will grow offended—and not only grow offended because of the words He spoke but also because of what walking with and following Him means.

 

            If you turn your attention to the thirteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew you will find Jesus delivering the parable of the seed and the sower. Within this parable Jesus describes one of the places the sower would sow seed—namely stony ground. Upon initially delivering the parable the meaning and interpretation would be unclear, however, when in private with the disciples the Lord Jesus would proceed to give the interpretation of the parable and its meaning. It is absolutely necessary we recognize and understand this for it brings us face to face with the different types of soil which represented the hearts and minds of men but also the impact and effect of the seed being sown. There is a great and present need within our hearts and minds to understand and pay close attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture—specifically the interpretation of it—for it helps us to understand one of the groups in the last days who can and will be offended with the Lord Jesus. We must needs understand how there will be those who will be offended with and by the words the Lord Jesus speaks because they are too difficult to hear while there will be others who will be offended with Jesus because of what walking with and following Him means for them. Simply put there can and there will be those who will be offended with the Lord Jesus and will turn back and walk no more with Him because they have become offended having experienced persecution, affliction and suffering for His name and for the sake of the Word which he preached and which the Spirit testified.

 

            It is with this in mind I feel it absolutely necessary to not only call and draw your attention to the words which are found in the thirteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew but also the words which are found in the twenty-fourth chapter of the same gospel. The words we find here in this gospel brings us face to face with one of the major groups in the last days who can and will be offended with and in the Lord Jesus because of the persecution, suffering and affliction that arises because of the word of the gospel. Oh we have a great need to recognize and pay close attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for it brings us face to face with two different groups who originally and initially walked with the Lord Jesus and who turned back and walked no more with Him—and not because they followed seducing spirits and doctrines of devils but because of the words which the Lord Jesus spoke and the words which are written in the Word of God. What’s more is there can and will be those who once walked with and followed the Lord Jesus who can and will turn back and walk no more with Him because they grew offended having experienced and begun to experience suffering, affliction and persecution because of the word and because of His name. With this being said I now invite you to turn and direct your attention to the following two passages found in the thirteenth and twenty-fourth chapters of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew:

 

            “And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall nto perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received the seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony pladces, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; yet hath he not root hin himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received the seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received see into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bring forth, some an hundred fold, some sixty, some thirty” (Matthew 13:10-23).

 

            “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:4-14).

 

            Please pay attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for they bring us face to face with the awesome truth surrounding those who perhaps walked with and followed the Lord Jesus and yet were offended. In the parable of the sower Jesus describes those who hear the word of the kingdom and endure for a while, however, when tribulation or persecution rises because of the word they are immediately offended. When speaking unto His disciples the Lord Jesus would go on to declare unto them how they would be delivered up to be afflicted and killed. Not only this but he would go on to declare that they would be hated of all nations for His name’s sake. As a direct result of this many shall be offended and shall betray one another and shall hate one another. We must needs pay close attention to this particular truth for it calls and draws our attention to the truly wonderful reality concerning those who can and will be offended—namely, those who will be offended because of persecution, suffering and affliction. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand it’s that there will be those who will depart from the faith because they follow seducing spirits and doctrines of devils but there will also be those who depart from the faith because they are offended when persecution, suffering and affliction arises for the sake of the word of the kingdom. Moreover there can and there will be those who will be offended because of the words which the Lord Jesus Christ spoke and the words which are found in the very Word of God. There is a great need within our hearts and minds to ensure that we not only have patience and endurance but also that we guard ourselves against offense within our hearts. It can and it will be incredibly easy in the coming days to become offended with the Lord Jesus—whether it be because of the words which He spoke or because of affliction and persecution arising for the sake of the word of the kingdom. In all reality I would dare say that we as the saints of God must needs prepare and make ourselves ready for affliction, persecution and suffering. Although we have yet to experience it the way the early church did or the way those in Muslim nations have experienced we must needs live our lives anticipating and expecting it to break out against us at any point in time. We as the saints of God must needs be those who can and will prepare and make ourselves ready for persecution, for affliction, and for suffering to arise—this in addition to an unprecedented amount of deception that can and will be present upon the earth.

 

As I bring this writing to a close it’s imperative to recognize that the apostle Paul did in fact speak of some departing from the faith giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, however, there would be so much more he would go on to say. If you continue reading you will find that these individuals would speak lies in hypocrisy having their conscience seared with a hot iron as they forbid to marry and commanded to abstain from meats which God created to be receive with thanksgiving. It is abundantly clear that in the last days there can and there will be those who will depart from the faith and who will turn back and walk no more with the Lord Jesus. In light of this we must needs ask ourselves what our responsibility and what our stewardship is in the midst of it. The apostle Paul goes on to instruct Timothy to put the brethren in remembrance of those things which he taught and that in so doing he would be a good minister of Jesus Christ nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine. With this being said we must also recognize that we as the saints of God must needs refuse profane and old wives’ fables and exercise ourselves unto godliness. The apostle Paul would also go on to declare that godliness is profitable unto all things having the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This would immediately be followed by the apostle Paul declaring unto Timothy how they both labored and suffered reproach because they trusted in the living God who is the Savior of all men—especially those who believe. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand concerning the charge given unto us in these last days it’s that we must needs be good [and faithful] ministers of Jesus Christ who are nourished up in the words of faith and good doctrine. Not only this but we must exercise ourselves unto godliness for godliness is profitable unto all things having the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. We as the saints of God must needs be willing to labor and suffer reproach because and knowing that we trust in the living God who is the Savior of all men and especially those who believe. We must be examples unto the believers in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith and in purity. We must give attendance to reading, to exhortation and to doctrine. We as the saints of God must needs take heed unto ourselves and unto the doctrine that we continue in them for in so doing we will save ourselves and those who hear us.

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