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Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

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Our Blessed Hope

The Deceiver

Titus 1.10-16

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[Last week we looked at the greatest hope for setting the Church in order and that is the leadership of the Church or the Pastor of the Church.  We noticed the high and lofty qualifications of a pastor and noted that these men are required for the sake of setting things in order.  Today we look, in contrast to the pastor, at those deceivers who will arise to maintain, or bring back chaos in the Church of our Lord.] 

A.    The Characteristics Of A Deceiver (vs 10-11,13-15; Matt 7.15)  [- Deceivers are in the Church and if we maintain the context of our passage they are in positions of leadership in Churches.  Our Lord Jesus Christ warned about wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matt 7.15).  The New Testament is filled with warnings about deceivers, false teachers, and false prophets among our Lord’s people.  Our text is among these passages and reveals much about the characteristics of these deceivers.  Notice Their,] 

1.      Rebellion (vs 10; 1 Tim 2.12) [– For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: - To be unruly means to refuse to fall into the ranks or be rebellious.] 

[Unruly - ἀνυπότακτοι (Gk) - from the priv. a (1), without, and hupotássō (5293), to subject, sit under in an orderly manner. Not subject (Heb. 2:8); disobedient to authority, disorderly (1 Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:6, 10).[1] ] 

[These deceivers may claim to be the people of our Lord, but they refuse to place themselves under the authority of the Word of God.  These are actually disobedient to the authorities God has placed over them.  Most importantly they refuse to yield to the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ by refusing to yield to the authority of His written Word.  They likely carry Bibles and quote verses, but they don’t obey the Bible.  Instead they, in their rebellion, will explain away the Bible.] 

[For instance when the Bible says,] 

[1 Timothy 2:12 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. ]

 [instead of obeying the Word of God they will teach that this passage was written for a different culture and does not apply to us today.  In so teaching they become unruly to the Word of God and the revealed order of God.] 

2.      Proclamation (vs 10) [– For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: - Literally speaking this means worthless talking.] 

[Vain Talkers - Ματαιολόγοι (Gk) - from mátaios (3152), vain, and légō (3004), to speak. Idly talking. Used as a subst. a vain talker, one idly speaking trivialities (Titus 1:10).[2] ] 

[This is one who has a lot to say but what he is saying is worthless or of no real value.  When applied to a Pastor or preacher speaking in a Church to the people of God it points toward one who may be an eloquent speaker but his words are nothing more than a lot of hot air.]   

[We see this a lot in our day.  Crowds flock to see and hear some speaker or preacher who is an eloquent motivational speaker, but what he preaches has little to do with the Word of God or the equipping of the people of God in our Lord’s kingdom work.  These ought not be considered God’s man and should not stand in a pulpit wasting our Lord’s precious time with His people.] 

[We are reminded that a Pastor, or Evangelist standing before the people of God is called upon to,] 

[2 Timothy 4:2 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.]

[A Preacher must  “ . . . rightly divide the Word of truth.” (2 Tim 2.15)] 

3.      Deception (vs 10) [For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: - These are imposters, making themselves look like the real thing while putting in place their own form of rebellious truth.] 

[Deceivers - Φρεναπάται (Gk) - masc. noun from phrenapatáō (5422), to deceive the mind. A deceiver, impostor (Titus 1:10).[3] ] 

[What is the difference between a deceiver and a liar?  A liar is called a liar because one know he is lying.  A deceiver is a liar that has convinced you that he is telling the truth and is trustworthy.  In other words a deceiver must be found out or discovered, and then he or she just becomes an all-out liar.  Hence, deceivers are crafty liars.] 

4.      Subversion (vs 11) [– Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, . . . – To subvert means, ] 

[Subvert - ἀνατρέπουσιν (Gk) - from aná (303), again or used as an emphatic, and trépō (n.f., see below), to turn. To subvert, overturn (2 Tim. 2:18; Titus 1:11; Sept.: Ps. 118:13; Prov. 10:3).[4]]  

[Hence to subvert means to turn again.  Implying that one comes to repentance, which is a turning, and then turns back again.  A deceiver will cause real born again believers to turn in their way rather than the Lord’s way.  Or they cause born again believers to go in a wrong way.] 

[Now this is hard for any believer to admit.  Our human nature is to proudly protect what we feel is right.  What we really need to be doing is protecting what God reveals is right in His Word.] 

[Illustration - I once had a co-worker who refused to believe in the trinity.  When I took him to the Bible and showed him a couple of verses he said, “I don’t care what that says, my pastor says so-and-so and he would never lie to me.”  His words reveal that he had been subverted.] 

[Folks Jehovah’s Witnesses are masters of subversion.  Mormons are masters of subversion.  As are many others.  What others?  Any who would say, believe me over the Word of God.] 

5.      Instruction (vs 11; Lev 21.5; Isa 28.7; 1 Cor 6.9-11; John 14.6; Eph 5.6) [. . . teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. – These are teaching things which ought not be taught.  Is anyone teaching things which ought not be taught in our day?  Today, they are teaching,] 

a)      [That Tattoo’s and Body Piercings are okay] 

[Leviticus 21:5 5 They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.]

b)      [That Beverage Alcohol is okay, when the Word of God says,] 

[Isaiah 28:7 7 But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.]

c)      [That Sexual Immorality and Homosexuality is okay] 

[1 Corinthians 6:9-11 9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.]

d)     [That Every Mans Belief is okay] 

[John 14:6 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. ]

[Paul warned us about these False Teachers and Deceivers when he wrote,] 

[Ephesians 5:6 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.]

6.      Indoctrination (vs 13; 2 Pet 3.16-17) [– . . . Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;  - These are not sound in doctrine.  The catch here is that their instruction and subversion are so crafty that many who follow them sincerely believe that their positions and doctrine are true and right.  Yet something about the way they must handle the Word of God in certain places make it clear that they are mishandling the Word of God.]   

[2 Peter 3:16-17 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. 17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.]

[There is a harmony within the Word of God that keenly knits the whole of Scripture together, so that the Old Testament and New Testament complement one another in every way.  No Scripture needs to be explained away or removed from the Word of God or our doctrine.]  

[Wrest - στρεβλοῦσιν  (Gk) - from stréblos (n.f.), distorted, crooked, which is from strépho (4762), to twist, turn, distort. To wrench. A stréblē was a winch, an instrument of torture. In the NT,figuratively, to wrest, pervert. Trans. (2 Pet. 3:16). In the pass., to show oneself perverse (2 Sam. 22:27).[5]]  

[When you come across someone who seems to be twisting their beliefs out of the scriptures, rather than neatly weaving the scriptures together, be careful and skeptical.  Their doctrine is likely not right and not worthy of your devotion.] 

7.      Persuasion (vs 14) [– Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. – They are philosophizers in that they rationalize their false positions by using terms that seem sensible to our culture and our intellect.  These literally rationalize away the Word of God and the Truths of God.] 

B.     Our Conduct Toward A Deceiver (vs 11,13; Titus 3.10-11; Matt 18.15-17; Rom 16.17; 2 Thess 3.6,14; 2 John 1.10) [– There is clear and decisive instruction in the New Testament and throughout the Bible about how God’s people must respond to a deceiver.  Our text loudly declares,]

[Titus 1:11 11 Whose mouths must be stopped, . . . ]

[Titus 1:13 13 . . . Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;]

[The New Testament is incredibly clear about how a child of God should respond to a deceiver.  The Bible declares,] 

[Titus 3:10-11 10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; 11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.]

[Matthew 18:15-17 15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.]

[Romans 16:17 17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. ]

[2 Thessalonians 3:6 6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. ]

[2 Thessalonians 3:14 14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. ]

[2 John 1:10 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: ]

[So why do Christians seem to have so much trouble when it comes to the rebellious, stubborn, deceivers around them?  We have trouble rejecting them because many of these deceivers are our family members and friends.  They are people we grew up with all our lives and they mean a lot to us.  They are people we would hope we could trust or are sent to us by people we think we can trust.] 

[Take, for instance, a parent who raised their child in a Christian home and when their child reaches adulthood that child leaves home, goes to college and gets involved in some liberal humanism and declares himself an atheist.  Or perhaps the child is drawn in by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, or the Mormon’s, or by the Muslim’s.  Many parents would rather adopt a belief system that allows for many paths to heaven rather than think that their child, who they love so dearly, is really on their way to hell.  For many parents the thought of condemnation and the Lake of Fire is just more than they can handle when it comes to their children or family.] 

[Changing your doctrine or belief system does not change the Word of God or the truth of God.  Allah is not just another name for God.  Idolatry and imaginative faith systems are not equal to the absolute revelation of God.  There really is only one way to heaven and that is through the salvation offered by the Lord Jesus Christ.] 

C.    Our Contrast With A Deceiver (Titus 2.11-14; 1 Pet 2.9-12) [– Why is it necessary for Christians to be absolutely separated from false and marginal religious systems and Churches?] 

[Titus 2:11-14 11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.]

[Peter wrote,]

[1 Peter 2:9-12 9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.]

[Souls are in the balance - Christians, we are commanded to respond strongly and decisively against deceivers and false teachers because the eternal souls of people, whom God loves dearly are in the balance.  When born again Christians go to churches that teach and practice false doctrine they are leading less mature Christians astray and endorsing that religious system by their presence.  God’s people must attend and serve in good Bible believing Churches that teach the Word of God.] 

[Your Christian Walk is in the Balance – My Christian brother and sister your spiritual walk is either strengthened or weakened by those you call your friends.  The Bible says,] 

[1 Corinthians 15:33 33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.]

[Hang around with those who wrestle with the Word of God or who wrest the scriptures and it won’t be long and you too will be wresting the scriptures. ]  

[Yes, we must be in this world if we are going to win this world with the gospel message, but there is a great difference between ministry and fellowship.  Those who will nurture you in your spiritual walk, and those who would strengthen your understanding of the Word of God, must be people who are truly born again and truly given to the Lord Jesus Christ and the absolute authoritative Word of God.  There should be an absolute distinction between the people of God and the people of this world.] 


[1]Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.) (G506). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

[2]Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.) (G3151). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

[3]Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.) (G5423). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

[4]Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.) (G396). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

[5]Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.) (G4761). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

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