Ferocious Times

By R. J. Rushdoony
February 05, 2007

California Farmer 268:6 (March 19, 1988), p. 31.

Again and again, the apostles use the expression “last days” or “last times,” and what is usually meant is the era from Christ’s first coming to His return. These are the last times, says Peter (1 Pet. 1:20) and also John (1 John 2:18), for example. This helps us to understand what Paul means in 1 Timothy 4:1, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” This is to explain to Timothy why two notable leaders, Hymenaeus and Alexander, had left the faith (1 Tim. 1:20, 4:1). With the coming of Christ, the battle between good and evil has intensified, and men are now “[w]ithout natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,” and given to every evil (2 Tim. 3:3), and in these “last days perilous times shall come” (2 Tim. 3:1).

The word “trucebreakers” means unwilling to live in faithfulness to treaties, and it has reference to international affairs. In both personal and political life, men will use works to deceive, and truthfulness will be despised.

The result will be “perilous times,” or, more literally, ferocious times. The forms of civilization clothe evil in all its ferocity and malice, its hatred of righteousness. Underneath the forms stands the new, the greater, evil—the civilized barbarian.

Thus, Paul warns Timothy and all Christians that life is now an open battle; because Christ has come, the powers of evil are arrayed against Him with intense hatred.

Paul himself faced this ferocity, even from former associates. All the same, he could say, “[T]he Lord shall deliver me from every evil work” (2 Tim. 4:18), because only Christ is Lord over all. He is the victor, and we are victorious in Him.

Topics: Eschatology

R. J. Rushdoony

Rev. R.J. Rushdoony (1916–2001), was a leading theologian, church/state expert, and author of numerous works on the application of Biblical law to society. He started the Chalcedon Foundation in 1965. His Institutes of Biblical Law (1973) began the contemporary theonomy movement which posits the validity of Biblical law as God’s standard of obedience for all. He therefore saw God’s law as the basis of the modern Christian response to the cultural decline, one he attributed to the church’s false view of God’s law being opposed to His grace. This broad Christian response he described as “Christian Reconstruction.” He is credited with igniting the modern Christian school and homeschooling movements in the mid to late 20th century. He also traveled extensively lecturing and serving as an expert witness in numerous court cases regarding religious liberty. Many ministry and educational efforts that continue today, took their philosophical and Biblical roots from his lectures and books.

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