It is written:
“Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith;”. (2 Timothy 3:8)
When we turn to our Old Testaments, we will search in vain for the names Jannes and Jambres. It is not until we look at the book of Jasher (one of the “recommended reading” books of the Bible) that we find out who these two men were:
Jasher 79:27, 36-“And when they had gone Pharaoh sent for Balaam the magician and to Jannes and Jambres his sons, and to all the magicians and conjurors and counsellors which belonged to the king, and they all came and sat before the king… And Aaron hastened and threw the rod out of his hand before Pharaoh and before his servants, and the rod turned into a serpent.”
Jannes and Jambres were the two sorcerers who opposed Moses when he went before the Pharaoh. We are told about how they were able to duplicate some of the miracles which Moses performed:
Exodus 7:11-But Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers; so the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.
Exodus 7:22-Then the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments; and Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, as the LORD had said.
Exodus 8:7-And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs on the land of Egypt.
While the sorcerers were able to duplicate SOME of the miracles, God was shown to be stronger:
Exodus 7:12-12 For every man threw down his rod, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.
Exodus 8:18-19-18 Now the magicians so worked with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not. So there were lice on man and beast. 19 Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, just as the LORD had said.
Exodus 9:11-And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for the boils were on the magicians and on all the Egyptians.
How were these sorcerers able to perform these acts? While many would say they simply used optical illusion or trickery, the book of Jubilees (another “recommended reading book” of Scripture) tells us differently:
Jubilees 48:9-12-9. And the prince of the Mastêmâ stood up against thee, and sought to cast thee into the hands of Pharaoh, and he helped the Egyptian sorcerers, and they stood up and wrought before thee. 10. The evils indeed we permitted them to work, but the remedies we did not allow to be wrought by their hands. 11. And the Lord smote them with malignant ulcers, and they were not able to stand for we destroyed them so that they could not perform a single sign. 12. And notwithstanding all (these) signs and wonders the prince of the Mastêmâ was not put to shame because he took courage and cried to the Egyptians to pursue after thee with all the powers of the Egyptians, with their chariots, and with their horses, and with all the hosts of the peoples of Egypt.
Through the influence and help of demonic forces, these sorcerers worked to further false religion.
Herein we see learn some important lessons.
First, Paul is teaching us in Timothy 3:1-9 that throughout the Christian Age, demonic influence in the world will increase. While many teach that demons have been confined in the first century world, the Bible teaches quite differently.
Secondly, demonic forces often work to lead people away from God’s Word and embolden false religion and false teachers. Even today, the world knows many false teachers and false prophets who deceive people through strange signs. This should not surprise us, since the Word of God has always told us this would be the case.
Third, God always shows Himself stronger then the false gods and demons of the world. One friend of mine who worships the gods and goddesses of Egypt told me about why she believes in them. I surprised her by saying that I believe that they exist, but here is the clincher: the one true God defeated them and wiped the floor with them.
Are you a follower of the one true God?