|2 Timothy 3:1-5 |
1 Know this also, that in the last days perilous times will come.
2 For men will be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, without self control, fierce, despisers of those who are good,
4 Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power of it. Turn away from such people.1 [Their religion has a semblance or form of godliness, but without any power. They deny the power of God to cleanse them, purify them, and make them holy; therefore they have the hope of the hypocrite: to enter heaven, having died in their sins. From the Word of the Lord within: "There is no hope for anyone outside the power of God."]
1 Even in Paul's time there were people claiming to be Christians who loved money, were heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, without self-control, boasters, full of pride, having a form of godliness, but denying the power of God to change them to become pure.
A form is a set of religious practices: singing, Bible reading, baptism, eating bread/wine, prayer books, creeds, dress, incense, tongue time, fleecing the sheep time, bells, sermons from the carnal mind, altar call time, silent time, etc. — all scheduled, planned, repeated, rehearsed — so that the practices become a ritual to be repeated and observed. The form of their attempted worship prevents the Holy Spirit from leading and controlling the experience. God is a Spirit, and those who worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4:24; that means that all worship must come from words supplied by the Holy Spirit; and that worship from the carnal mind, which is enmity with God, is an abomination to the Lord.
From the Word of the Lord within:
Why is calling the Bible the most evil lie in Christendom?—because then people read "Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and obey, Luke 11:28;" thinking it means to read the Bible instead of going to Him and quietly listening for God to speak His words to them. Christendom has put a book between God and man, separating and blocking man from God's communication, changing grace, and love; thus Christendom's way is a form of godliness with no power, as He said: "Woe be to them for they have coupled an external form between God and man." Bible study looks religious: it has a form of godliness, but it is a powerless, empty shell.
Turn away from such people. That means leave your deficit sect. The false shepherds will plead for you to stay as a paying customer saying: "But you must meet with fellow believers; you cannot forsake the assembling of yourselves together," as Hebrews 10:25 plainly states, but the people in Hebrews were hoping and "exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching," the day of the Lord's return with his Kingdom, which is a personal experience of purified believers. The people in Hebrews have nothing in common with people looking forward to heaven after death and content to continue to live in sin until death. The people in Hebrews were exhorting each other, which is to rebuke sin, to be obedient, to do works of love, and to fight for the faith. If they don't share your hope of purity and the Kingdom through repentance, with faith in God to fulfill your hope, then they are unbelievers; and as Paul says: "Turn away from such people," and: But now I write to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of [Christian] brother if he is known to be guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater [whose soul is devoted to anything that usurps the place of God, and how they spend their free time defines to what they are devoted], or is a person with a foul tongue [railing, abusing, reviling, slandering], or is a drunkard or a swindler or a robber. You must not so much as eat with such a person. 1 Cor 5:11. So any, who call themselves Christians, but are guilty of immorality, or devotion to anything except God, (however they spend their free time defines their devotion), or greed, or cursing, or lying, or outbursts of anger, or drunkenness, or dishonesty, or theft; we should not associate with them or even eat a meal with them.