Opposition of the truth was nothing new. It had been around since, well, nearly since the beginning. We see it in the Old Testament, and we see it here, in Paul’s letter to Timothy. People will oppose the news of Jesus head-on.
Though it shows up in a different form, we find the same story in Exodus 7, back when the Israelites played servants to the Egyptians and God sent Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh with the truth. God had in mind to liberate them from their slavery. So He showed His power by turning Aaron’s rod into a snake.
Pharaoh called up his magician / wizard friends, though, and ordered them to do the same. So they did. And Pharaoh, whose heart was not open to the things of God, not willing to see the real truth, was deceived into disbelieving the true power of God. Tradition tells us some of these magicians were named Jannes and Jombres.
I guess I might have been deceived, too, if I’d seen their staffs turn into snakes and slither around Pharaoh’s throne. Deceived, that is, until I saw the real truth literally eat up its opposition. Because, well, it would have shown their folly for what it was. Just like Paul told Timothy.
Yes, those who oppose the truth can be deceptive and difficult to spot. That’s why Paul wrote to Timothy about it. Steer clear.
“Have nothing to do with them” (v 5).
Those who oppose the truth will one day be shown for the fakes they are. God’s truth will always prevail. Always. In the end, the real truth about Jesus Christ and real life will shine for all to see. And the folly of the truth-opposers will be made evident to all.
Today, these truth-opposers don’t usually look like magicians, but they deceive just the same. People act godly yet deny the power of God through Jesus Christ. Pride and selfishness become the teacher. Sometimes it even seems genuine. And sometimes steering clear makes us wonder if we are the ones without the godliness. Deception at its finest.
Rest assured, though, their folly will show itself for what it is. Just like it did when Jannes and Jombres got caught empty-handed, unable to produce gnats or fester boils on skin. (See Exodus 8 and 9.)
Paul’s warning to Timothy is for us as well. Keep away from those who oppose the truth. Don’t let it infiltrate the Church. Don’t let it deceive you. Know whom you believe and stand strong in the truth of Jesus Christ.