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Friday, June 30, 2017

Expounding 2 Timothy 3:8-9 — False Teachers Exposed

Expounding 2 Timothy 3:8-9 — False Teachers Exposed [Print Document]

2 Timothy 3:8-9
“[8] Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. [9] But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.”

In this article we are going to expound and discuss 2 Timothy 3:8-9. We will look at how the sorcerers of Egypt, who withstood Moses, are no different than false teachers who resist the truth. We shall see how God will have to deal with them and with those who follow them.

Jannes and Jambres

Let’s start with Jannes and Jambres, two of the sorcerers in Pharaoh’s court. (Note: The Old Testament doesn’t mention them by name, but the Jews knew who they were.)

Exodus 7:10-12
“[10] And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent. [11] Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. [12] For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods.”

These sorcerers decided to copy what God did through Moses and Aaron. But, God’s ways are higher than the devil’s, and the serpents of the sorcerers were eaten by the serpent that God had made from a stick. Jannes and Jambres were among these sorcerers and they used satanic power to mimic God. But, God showed His power is greater than the devil by having the serpent eat up the other serpents.

The devil and his servants mimic God, but they distort the truth. They hold a Bible in their hands and teach from it, but they twist the scripture to fit into their own unbiblical and ungodly belief system. They say, “God bless you” with their mouths, but they do not truly care about your soul or where you will end up after you die. They look good on the outside, but they are full of iniquity on the inside, in their hearts. Jesus said this about such people:

Matthew 23:27
“[27] Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. [28] Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”

These false teachers will even preach the Gospel, but what they preach in addition to the Gospel will be very destructive to those who listen to them. Some false teachers will emphasize works and partaking in Jewish feasts, but they will not talk about fellowship with God and trusting only in the blood of Jesus Christ for salvation. They will emphasize works, and by doing so, they are teaching a false message. (Look at Romans 4, Galatians 3, and Galatians 5.).

False Grace or Hyper Grace

Other false teachers will teach the Gospel, but they will emphasize grace and liberty. They will ignore that sin brings people into bondage and into destruction. They will also ignore and not teach what the Bible says about the consequences of sin. (Look at Romans 6 and Hebrews 3.). Romans 6:22-23 says: “[22] But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. [23] For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

When you live in sin, you will perish, but if you forsake sin and trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation, you will have eternal life. Hebrews 3 speaks about how a Christian can turn from godliness to sin, and not enter Heaven.

Hebrews 3:12-16
“[12] Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. [13] But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. [14] For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
[15] While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
[16] For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.”

Walking in sin brings death, but following God is eternal life because we are not forsaking God and His Word when we follow Him. We would be forsaking God and His Word, and the blood of Jesus, if we were to live in sin and rebellion against God’s ways.

Exodus 7 and False Teachers

Now, let’s return to Exodus 7. Jannes and Jambres and other sorcerers in Pharaoh’s court cast their staves down, like Aaron did, and they turned into snakes. But, Aaron’s staff ate up the Egyptian’s staff-snakes. False teachers will distort portions of the Bible, but what they conjure out of it by crafty manipulation of the Scripture is nothing compared to the Truth. The Truth will defeat their lies, just like Aaron’s staff defeated the magician’s serpents.

Going back to 2 Timothy 3:8, we see that Jannes and Jambres and false teachers are: “ of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.” Romans 1:28 speaks of people with reprobate minds.

Romans 1:28
“[28] And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;”

False teachers do not like to hold onto God, or think about God and Who He is. They want to believe a lie instead of the Truth, and are reprobate in their minds and in their faith. The Greek word for reprobate is adokimos. It means: “...unapproved, i.e. Rejected; by implication, worthless (literally or morally) -- castaway, rejected, reprobate.” Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines reprobate as: “1. Not enduring proof or trial; not of standing purity or fineness; disallowed; rejected.” [and] “2. Abandoned in sin;...”

False teachers do not endure trials, but forsake God to go after sin. They have no value to God’s Kingdom. That is why they are reprobate. They love sin more than they love God, and that is why God cannot let them enter Heaven. A reprobate person cannot lead Christians into close fellowship with God because they have no fellowship with God. They cannot teach the full counsel of God because they do not know God, and are full of spirits of deception. Some Pharisees had rejected and blasphemed Jesus and the Holy Spirit, saying that Jesus had cast demons out “by” a principality of demons. Let’s look at Matthew 12:43-45 to see how Jesus responded when He heard their blasphemy.

Matthew 12 and the Reprobate Pharisees

Matthew 12:43-45
“[43] When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. [44] Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. [45] Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.”

Jesus is saying that evil spirits may leave a person, but if that person’s spirit is empty, and God’s Presence does not dwell there anymore, the evil spirits can return with their companions. Such a person is worse off when he is full of demons, and is fallen, than he was prior to that. In Matthew 12:25-45, Jesus was addressing what some Pharisees had said earlier about His casting out of a demon (See Matthew 12:22-24).

They blasphemed the Holy Spirit and could not be forgiven for that sin because they would not repent. When a man or woman gets saved from sin, most of the demons have to leave who had inhabited their bodies. But, if this man or woman becomes very hardened and falls away (see Hebrews 3,6,10), the demons will return and will have more with them.

In the condition of being full of demons, this reprobate soul would be a tool of deception for the demons to use to attempt to deceive Christians with. This reprobate person can even look good to Christians, in the same way that the devil can appear as an angel of light. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 talks about this.

The Devil Can Appear as an Angel of Light

“[13] For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. [14] And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. [15] Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

The devil uses such people for deceiving Christians. These false Christians look nice, kind, and friendly, but they do not realize that they are being used as tools for deception. Demon spirits influence their thoughts and minds to get these fallen people to say things and do things that are meant to deceive the Church.

In the same way that Jannes and Jambres imitated God’s power, false Christians can look like Christians and can even say many doctrinally correct statements. But, their hearts are not toward God, just as a demon’s heart is not toward God. Demons can get a false Christian to do things that seem very pious and honorable, but these actions are works of self-righteousness, and do not come from a truly caring heart.

Jesus spoke of these people (including proud Pharisees) in Luke 11:44. He said: “[44] Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.” People associate with or observe these false Christians and do not know that they are absent of spiritual life, because the false Christians (goats) are dead spiritually.

Jesus said this statement about false teachers (which includes false Christians): [Matthew 15:7-8] “[7] Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, [8] This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” They may say things that seem to honor God, but their hearts are far from God. They may teach some doctrinally sound material, but they will also put enough deception to poison their teaching.

The Deception of False Teachers Is Poisonous

Just a little cyanide mixed into a drink can kill. And, just some strong deception mixed into the truth makes the teaching very harmful. That is why we Christians have to be Bereans and read the Word for ourselves (Acts 17:10-11). Don’t take what I am writing as your authority. Look to the Bible and seek God for yourselves. God will show you the truth as you seek Him (Jeremiah 33:3). Getting to know God personally and meditating on His Word are how we Christians grow spiritually, and how we overcome deception that the devil attacks us with or that people speak to us.

The Holy Spirit, through Paul, warns us with these words:

2 Timothy 4
“[3] For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; [4] And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

Eventually, these fables will be manifested as deception. The Greek word for fable is muthos. It means: “...a fiction, a fable; universally, an invention, falsehood…” Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines fable as: “2. Fiction in general;...” [and] “5. Falsehood; a softer term for a lie.”


Brothers and sisters, if we are listening to teaching that deviates from the Bible, we must stop listening to it, and go after what God shows us from His Word. Teachers that God leads us to will agree with the Bible. False teachers will teach deception and ideas that deviate from the Bible, which are destructive to the listener. Let us follow God’s Spirit and the Bible. In John 16, Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit’s role to lead and guide us into all truth.

John 16:12-15
“[12] I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 15. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

If we have sin in our lives, let’s confess and forsake it. Let’s not perform for God’s love or acceptance because Jesus Christ’s blood is all that can save us, and God’s love for us is everlasting (Jeremiah 31:3). God promises in His Word to provide all our needs (Philippians 4:19) and to abundantly satisfy us (Psalm 36). Let’s seek Him and listen to His still, small voice. Let’s meditate on His Word, and we will grow (Psalm 1). His Spirit is calling out to us to come unto Him to have rest (Matthew 11:28-30). In this state of rest, there is no striving; no working for love; and no trusting in our own merit, because Jesus Christ’s blood is all we need for our full redemption, sanctification, and salvation (Romans 5). May God bless you as you seek Him and put Him first.

Psalm 36:7-8
“[7] How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
[8] They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.”

If you are coming here as a non-Christian, I encourage you to read this. God desires to have fellowship with you, as you make Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior.



Webster, Noah. American Dictionary of the English Language. United Books Press, Inc., 2009. (i.e. Webster's 1828 dictionary)

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