Posted by: SandreS | October 15, 2009

The Church in Ruins (Brief Thoughts on II Timothy), Part 37

An Imitation

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

From the life of Moses, Paul illustrates the point he’s making. Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses. Moses, as you know, was God’s divinely appointed messenger to Israel. Jannes and Jambres were an imitation of the real thing, even to the point of delusion. So it is with Christendom: it withstands Paul, God’s divinely appointed messenger for the Body of Christ. It too is an imitation of the real thing. The real thing is the ecclesia, the Body of Christ; yet Christendom presents its own versions of “church” to the point of delusion.

God had confrontation with Egypt. On one side was Moses and the testimony of God: on the other side was Pharaoh with his “wise men,” “sorcerers” and “magicians.” Pharaoh’s ministers “did in like manner” as Moses, through the means of their “enchantments.” They were persuasive imitators.

Nonetheless God has not called us to join the imitation. God has not called us to imitate the religious system – they are the imitators! They have the “form” of godliness, but without the power. We are the real thing – the mystery of godliness! Don’t join the imitators! Be real!

Andre Sneidar has written,

The church has become (even the early church of Paul’s day!) inextricably enmeshed and entangled (“snare,” “taken captive”) in the tentacles of the religious system (“great house” – 2:20).

This is the religious system showing its true colors. In the last days the hallmark of the church will be that it will be so inexorably lost within the grasp of the religious system that there will be a total abandonment of anything to do with God, and with His Apostle to them.

Jannes and Jambres are representative of the religious system of Egypt in Moses’ day, and Paul’s reference to them here informs us that the same system of mysticism and idolatry hold sway in Paul’s day, and by current observation, in our day as well.

This is the “iniquity” from which the servant of the Lord must “depart” (2:19).

The only remedy, the only way to accomplish this, is to leave (“depart” – 2:19; see Thayer: “… go away … withdraw … flee”).

God is calling on the honorable vessels, inviting them to leave the corrupt environment of the sepulcher of dried and empty bones passing itself off as the “real deal” and to which God has said “NO DEAL.”

God’s calling is not to reform “the church,” or to improve it in any form or fashion – Paul has made it expressly clear that “the church” will not be the focus of God’s effort in the last days. Rather, God’s call is to individual men, calling them to leave the corrupt and destitute religious system and instead take their place in the lonely wilderness outside its confines. This is the way one may become an effective servant.

(to be continued)

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook
© 2001, 2009 Bible Student’s Press

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