1But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, 3men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. 4For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; 5for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer. 6In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. 1 Timothy 4:1-6
We are tipped off that a teacher is not “of the faith” when we hear twisted notions about the good things of God’s creation. We also note obvious hypocrisy, in that they say one thing and do another.
Where there should be freedom and teaching from the Word of God and prayer and gratefulness, there are lists of rules and regulations. And there is no convincing them of the simplicity of the truth and the liberty it affords, because spiritual sensitivity has been cauterized and “deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons” now hold full sway over their consciences.
Paul echoes the writer of Genesis (Chap. 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31), saying, “everything created by God is good (italics mine), and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude.” He goes on to say everything can be “sanctified” by means of prayer and the Word of God.
Apostasy (the meaning of “fall away”) will get worse as the end draws near. Church leaders should be ever vigilant to root out and expose false teachers and doctrines, for “in pointing out these things they will be good servants of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of sound doctrine.”