The Learning of Fools

. . . ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” II Timothy 3:7

I am very well aware of the little text which I have written above this message from my “Study” is not even a complete sentence. Fact is, that it is not even a clause. It is merely what is called in English a participle phrase used adjectively. But as a mere fragment of a complete sentence, it packs a mighty punch. It is descriptive of the learning of fools. And a fool says in his heart: there is no God! A fool tries in a thousand ways to deny the God of the Scriptures.

This ever learning and never being able to come to the knowledge of truth is characteristic of all who have a corrupted mind. It has been corrupted by sin and the devil; it is in a completed state of such a mind which is thoroughly reprobate to all that is of God and His Christ. These men are on a par with James and Jambres who withstood Moses before Pharaoh, and who had to say finally, Yea, very soon: it is the finger of God! They withstand the messenger of God, who will bring mighty Egypt to its knees and beg Israel to leave. That was a grievous time for the church of God in Egypt.

Such as the grievous, the heavy times in which we are now living in these last days. Satan has little time and he has great wrath! And the matter is so grievous because the evil men here spoken of are not the men of the world who openly oppose Christ. Oh, if Paul were speaking only of war and sickness, famine and disease, revolution and social upheaval. This he does not do. The battle-line is here between those who deny the truth under the pretense of religious piety and pretended godliness. Such pretend to be good, god-fearing children of God, while they really are veritable children of the Devil. They are not really Christians who are partakers of Christ’s anointing and who walk in their office of believers as prophets, priests, and kings of the Living God.

Our day is full of such. Their name is legion. Let us not be deceived by these theological charlatans in the church. They make mighty progress in this church-world and number their devotees in the hundreds of thousands. They are where you find the multitudes: on the broad way which leads to destruction. Think of the “four major cults” as described by Dr. Anthony Hoekema: The Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah Witnesses, Christian Scientists, and Latter Day Saints. Yes, these too are “ever learning” and yet “never able to come to the knowledge (the accurate knowledge) of the truth.” They cannot know the truth which sets the Christian free from sin, guilt, corruption, death. Or think of the Social Reform hawkers of our day who prate their grievances and publish their panaceas in the name of the truth. Think of the hue and cry that what we need is the “kerygma” of the Bible. The historical reality of the Bible is not of the essence; what we need is the “demythologizing” of the New Testament so that we may find the truth in the “myth” of the Scriptures. We need a brand new set of rules of interpreting the Bible. Rudolf Bultman was not the first to promote this error and damnable lie. This was already the hue and cry of the Gnostics and their kind in the days of the early church.

No, there is nothing new under the sun. Paul here characterizes the false teachers in the “later times,” that is the entire New Testament when Satan makes his onslaughts in the church!!! Ever there are those who deny the Five Points of Calvinism, and calumniate those who would make their calling and election sure. Refusing to enter the kingdom of God themselves, they would prevent others from entering. But the gates of hell will not prevail against the church!

Are not these teachers earnest men, sincerely attempting to come to the knowledge of the truth? We know better. Paul tells us who they are. They are merely resisters of the truth, bringing all of their evil influences to bear against the truth. They make their false propaganda in a sneaking way. They creep into houses, lead captive silly women, laden with sins. Think of the women who played such an outstanding role in the false religions of Seventh Day Adventism, and Christian Science. Silly women, laded with sin! Not one had a hair on her head that fought against sin and Satan with a free and good conscience! And these men therefore are mere hawkers of their lie, and do not stand speaking the truth with Paul in Christ before God! Truth they cannot speak. Truth they do to know. Truth they cannot ever come to know! They are of corrupt and reprobate minds.

Small wonder that Paul thus speaks of these men. Did not the Lord Jesus Himself unmask the hypocritical Pharisees of ancient times for what they really were: white-washed sepulchers full of dead men’s bones. “These men with countless vices,” as says Calvin, “enjoyed a reputation for outstanding holiness.: How Calvin castigates the Roman clergy of his day with “impurity so great it stinks in the nostrils of the whole world.” Thus it is with these men in Paul’s day: They are lovers of their own selves! Hence, they were despisers of others, harsh, cruel, fraudulent, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, despisers of those that be good!

These men sincere scholars?!!

They are not able to ever come to the correct knowledge of truth. Yes, they sport their scholastic degrees, and have great and impressive diplomas from universities, perhaps. Or they are the non-literate from the rank and file of the church-world.

Yes, we live in grievous times. To the law and to the prophets is the call of the hour else there is no dawn of the day of God. It’s time for earnest study, young people. A time for rejection of all errors which are repugnant to the truth. A time of testing and trial this is. It is the trail of your faith which is very precious, like precious gold with the Lord. Buy out the time whereas the days are evil.

Originally Published in:

Vol. 31 No. 7 November 1971