«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).
WHAT STRANGE NAMES! Paul referred to them, but they are not in the Old Testament (OT). Yes, he mentioned Jannes and Jambres in the Targums which were oral translations from the OT and which began to be written before the time ofJesus. It seems that they were two of the magicians who imitated the miracles of Moses when he appeared before Pharaoh to ask for his people’s freedom.
Beyond their names, what we do know is that just as they resisted Moses, false religious teachers resist and oppose the truth. The tool used by Egyptian magicians and false teachers is the same: to fake a miracle to make it look real and to create confusion. Paul said that by resisting the truth, they became corrupt in understanding, reckless, foolish, and wicked (i.e., not approved) in faith. Just as those magicians are discovered, they are will also be found out. They are phony. They will not go very far.
This strategy of the devil is advantageous to sinners because they generally prefer deception that reassures them, rather than the truth that makes them uncomfortable. The enemy has specialized his deceptive and wicked power to impersonate Christ, to deceive, if possible, the very elect. Have you ever seen something fake that was so «well done» that it looked like it was genuine? Ellen G. White asked and challenged us: «Brethren, preach the Word, call not the people to rest their faith upon uncertain things or to place confidence in the human agent. I have the word from the Lord» (Selected Messages, book 2, p. 87).
If you have identified others who have the spirit of Jannes and Jambres, I would like to ask you to always keep defending the truth, but to do so in the right spirit, for «the spirit of Christ will lead us to hate sin, while we are willing to make any sacrifice to save the sinner» (Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. l, p. 307).
If attitudes like that of Jannes and Jambres are in your heart, it is time to bow down in repentance and have a new experience with Jesus. We do not need Jannes and Jambres.
We need people like Moses, Paul, or Timothy who «love the truth, live the truth, preach the truth, and defend the truth, because he who does not speak the truth, betrays the truth»(John Huss).