“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” – 2 Timothy 4:3-4
As I understand it, our physical body itches to warn us when something has irritated our skin. Whatever the irritation, it activates itch receptors of specialized nerve endings called C-fibers. C-fibers, which are are identical to the ones associated with pain, convey the itch sensations to the brain. Scratching arouses the C-fibers that are associated with pain and short-circuits the receptors sensing the itching. Oh, what a relief it is, but only temporarily.
Itching in the ear is a particularly annoying malady. Of course, we use a Q-tip in an effort to “scratch” the itch. “Itching” in our spiritual ears is quite a problem that cannot be resolved by mere scratching. The Apostle Paul identifies what causes the irritation that results in “itching” spiritual ears. The irritation is the sound doctrine that emanates from the truth. Sound doctrine makes people’s ears itch is because it conflicts with the way they wish to be and live. Their lives are not hidden with Christ in God, their flesh has not been mortified, and they remain autonomous and unsurrendered.
No matter how religious and spiritual some professing Christians may appear, they are actually at odds with God and His revealed truth. Although they do not wish to obey God, they know that they should do so, which is a deadly sin (James 4:17). Someone preaching or teaching God’s truth spotlights their disobedience. That’s the great itch. Therefore, they must gravitate to teachers that repetitively explain why it is not a sin to live according to one’s desires. Since an itch can only be temporarily satiated by scratching, the “scratching” teachers must “scratch” repeatedly to avoid sensing conviction by the Holy Spirit. That can become addictive.
Their spiritual “itch” it makes it near impossible for such people to accept any preacher or teacher except one, the “scratcher.” He is the one that dilutes, alters, subtracts, or adds to the truth until “scratching” occurs. Such a man is often as a politician, proficient in public relations, a flatterer, laughs at all your bad jokes and never ever says anything considered negative or controversial. He is always positive, does not mention sin or its consequences, and majors on elucidating God’s blessings. What a guy! He is wanted by every church focused on numerical value and on a spot of significance in the social “eye.”
But can such a man compel people to surrender and fully live for God’s will? Or does he help them to feel wonderfully accepted by God although they “itch” with the misery of sin, and are wretched, poor, blind, naked, and lukewarm? As they edge toward a Judgment Throne meeting with God, Will he at any point challenge them to hold their lives up to the example of Christ? Or is he merely a highly compensated “scratcher?”
The fact is that many professing Christians have no desire to move beyond a mere profession. They are stuck in the mire of their decrepit spiritual condition, but will not reach out to the rope of truth thrown to them. Therefore, there are many open positions for “scratchers.” In fact, the “scratcher” is guaranteed to be very popular and respected in this last days itching epidemic.
Some professing Christians would consider what I just wrote is irrelevant because of their errant soteriology. They believe a one-time profession of faith in Christ seals them from any possibility of being rejected by God. Thus, they confess Christ as Lord but live autonomously. They attempt to use Him as a fire extinguisher rather than surrendering themselves to be used by Him. Other ones believe that God chose them before the foundation of the earth to be His children, so nothing they do can deny them a place in heaven. Then why do their ears itch when they hear or read that no such doctrines exist in God’s word.
Christ is coming for the called, chosen, and faithful—not the elite, sanctimonious, and faithless. But I have no intention nor interest in discussing here the supposed merits of salvation by lip service. The individual with a changed life, one that has been born of the Spirit, that has transitioned from darkness to light, that is no longer a slave to sin, has submitted his or her life as a living sacrifice to God, that is the one that needs no “scratcher.” The matter of such submission to God is a heart surrender, not a mere confession. It is not a temporary commitment and then drifting back to the old way. It is an eternal commitment that is either reflected in one’s life, or it does not exist. One cannot enter God’s eternal kingdom by walking the path of the goats, eating goat food, speaking as a goat, living as a goat, aiming for the left side of God’s throne, and yet hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joys of the Lord.” The way is through Christ Jesus and only the surrendered heart will find it. Anyone that declares otherwise is a liar and a thief.
Christianity is in deep trouble today because of “scratchers” that have diluted and altered God’s word to appease carnal and non-submitted individuals and scratch their itching ears. It is polluted by those numerous “scratchers” that have pleased Satan by encouraging people to ride into eternal hell on a magic carpet of lies. Therefore, the enemy of righteousness has exalted them, promoted them, provided them wealth and fame, a TV presence, magazines, and books sales, and made them comfortable with false security. They call all those perks of “scratching” the benefits and blessing of God because they are elite and special. People agree because they are enamored with their stardom. Hell enlarges its mouth to greet them and their followers.
In this plague of “scratchers,” there are people who should surrender to their calling. They are called as Paul and John to speak and write God’s truth. They may never be paid, or wear a title, or even receive words of gratitude. But that’s not what such a calling is about. Instead, is about a voice crying out in this vast spiritual wilderness, “Make straight the way of the Lord” (John 1:23). The Pharisaical “scratchers” has turned God’s straight path into a crooked one. John’s cry was that Christ was coming and they had better make the path straight. Most of them ignored him and continued on the broad and crooked path. Consequently, they tried to judge Christ by their crooked path and were unable to recognize and refused to receive Him.
Throughout the ages there always came a man of God who spoke His heart. Notice that God never sent a committee nor ordered a conclave—He sent a man. Whether a wealthy and socially esteemed man, such as Paul or a destitute one, such as John, He sends a people whose words defying the words of the “scratchers” and turns them into a vapor.
Christ is coming again! Numerous “scratchers” have made the path crooked again to avoid an encounter with truth. We are in a period of great deception and apostasy that has generated demonic brutality in other nations. Our nation is rapidly ready the point to where intolerance for clear truth in the secular and religious realms is near critical mass. When that point is reached, the “itchers” must either accept and believe the anointed and surrendered people from God, or kill them—but they cannot be ignored.
I will plainly state that if anyone truly wants to recognize and receive Him he or she must reject the false gospel of the “scratchers.” They must be willing to give God complete control of their lives. He is still accepting cries to send His truth, love, deliverance, and Holy Spirit into their souls. He will not force His way in, nor force anyone to abandon their obsession with the voices of the “scratchers.” He calls and that is the only voice of truth that leads one’s soul out of the darkness and to an encounter with Him.
Of course, every time heaven comes down hell breaks out. This is not a stroll in a grassy meadow, but a war with a formidable evil entity. It is essential to make up his or her mind that they are the bought possession of God. Otherwise, he or she will stop short of a fully surrendered heart. Coming to God seeking a half-cup of His glory will result in emptiness. It is either all the way or no way. No one can make it to the finish line today by giving half to God and the other half to the flesh and world system.
This is a perilous time—a period when billions of souls have passed through the “valley of decision” and chose the darkness. Anyone in that valley ought to be grateful that he or she still has a choice. While the choice remains, choose now to be a member of God’s family. The “scratchers” wait along the way to explain that full surrender is a big fuss about nothing. But Christ is the is a light that shines in the darkness. It beams the truth that Jesus Christ is the only way, truth, light, and the only One that can set individuals free.
Flee every lying prophet, false christ, the ‘scratchers” and their false gospel! Run to that light!