2Pe 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2Pe 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (read the entire chapter here https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/2-Peter-Chapter-2/)
Many of us are aware and very familiar with the above scriptures that warns and specifically identifies the false prophets/teachers that are in the church both and today. These verses are critical to warning the body of Christ of false teachers and invaluable in that they give such detailed description of them.
However, it seems that many times these verses end up being the proverbial dead horse that is beaten over and over again. While we acknowledge the importance of them many times we will scan quickly through these scriptures without much thought or thinking we know them well enough. Certainly, as most of us have learned in our walk, the more we revisit scripture. more is often revealed on a topic. While the main subject of these verses is certainly identifying false teachers, what does the verses say about “you”, us, those who have escaped deception? It’ s interesting to note that 2 Peter and Jude give almost a mirror image of false teachers identity and traits but there are some differences in the you/us.
Coming out of false teaching is extremely difficult and many times traumatic. Not only is there an internal spiritual struggle going on inside of us but there are always the external triggers and often spiritual abuse that go along with leaving a false teaching, teachers, pastors, church etc. The leadership and those who remain that in the group will condemn and often curse you to hell for leaving and speaking out. Both 2 Peter 2 and Jude cover, in specific detail, the actions, methods, traits, behaviors and intent of these false teachers. It is so specific that if one does the work/test it’s relatively easy to spot them. Their names and ministries almost jump off the pages at you as you read these verses. Let’s not forget the “many” that follow them, as they take on the persona of these false teachers and all their ill begotten attributes.
Looking at 2 Peter 2 and Jude both are speaking to the body of Christ, the “you,” those who know and understand having escaped the false teachings. Peter speaks to what we are to these false teachers, and Jude speaks of what we must bear and what we must do and how to stand and fight against the deception.
2Pe 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
Be aware that they are in the business of merchandising the body of Christ. They are in it for gain period. It is also noteworthy to look at the definition of the word “merchandise” here in this verse. It means, “to trade, to travel for business, to traffic, to deal in, to use a person or a thing for gain.” (3)
The body of Christ is nothing more than business and gain for them. To buy and sell, mostly to sell. So many books, training manuals, DVD’s, etc. are sold and peddled at countless spring, summer and fall conferences, always promising new or latest revelation, prophesy updates or some topic that is freshly revealed to them. This will be covered in more detail in another article titled “The Church, The Parachurch and Prophesy Updates”
2Pe 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
2Pe 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
Looking at the word overcome in these two verses is one key to understanding and identifying them and clearly making a distinction between the us and them.
overcome: hayt-tah’-o From the same as G2276; to make worse, that is, vanquish (literally or figuratively); by implication to rate lower: – be inferior, overcome. (1)
Thayer defines it as: 1b) to overcome, worsted, to be conquered by one, forced to yield to one
Vanquish literally means, to overcome in battle: subdue completely, to gain mastery over an emotion, passion or temptation. In these verses it is the flesh that has conquered. (2)
The flesh has now gained mastery over the man. Here we must understand that these false teachers have been completely defeated and subdued by their flesh. They have lost the conflict and the contest, they are disqualified, cursed children. They no longer fight or struggle against the lusts of the flesh but embrace it and excuse it.
As believers we all struggle with the flesh and so we are also more compassionate, understanding and forgiving of others in the body of Christ that struggle also. Make no mistake these false teachers count on this fact; they take advantage of this grace while feeding themselves. Their service is to themselves only.
Jud 1:12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
Below are a few examples/excuses of those overcome and mastered by their flesh.
John Haller (Fellowship Bible Church/weekly prophesy update) : “Now I get emails every now and then…John you’re overweight, you could lose some weight, like I don’t know that? Like every time I look in the mirror. Now I work two jobs where I sit on my rear end, so, let’s everybody exercise a little bit of grace. I see these things and I like the way, Bill Buckley, William F. Buckley responded was, he used to smoke cigars and people said Bill you shouldn’t smoke cigars, you’ll die of cancer. And his response was, if I don’t die of cancer what am I going to die of?” 4:20 minute mark (4) https://youtu.be/cRStUB7r4NI
Pastor Paula White: Spiritual advisor to the President: former pastor of Church Without Walls: “Paula and husband Jonathan Cain promote porn in marriages. In the following clip Jonathan states that (Christian) women should watch porn with their husbands fi that is what he likes. Paula then tried to laugh it off and act like he was joking. But it was no joke. In the house of God (supposedly (with children in the sanctuary. Jon and Paula have nor respect for God, the Church, children or even their own selves.” “Please watch this short clip. (5) https://youtu.be/MSi1yV0laeA
Jacob Prasch Moriel Ministries/parachurch: Quote “that was the Jack Daniels teaching” (1:17 minute mark). “admittedly I was scared, I could only say two things. Lord Jesus and Jack Daniels. (2:18 minute mark) (6) https://vimeo.com/326067209
Notice that in each of these quotes there is humor, deflection, storytelling, even requests for grace to be given and quotes from other famous people but never from the scriptures.
1Co 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
2 Peter tells us that false teachers will be the norm not the exception and many will follow them. That’s the majority. We are promised that God will not spare the, the ungodly, and that the body of Christ, the godly, will be delivered. Those of us that have come out of false teachings know full well how God has moved in us to awaken us to the deception and delivered us out.
Jud 1:3-4 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. (read the entire book herehttps://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Jude-Chapter-1/)
Our ability to discern and identify false teachers must be developed and rooted in the Word. In Jude we see that we are exhorted to “earnestly contend for the faith”
CONTEND: 1864 epagōnízomai (from 1909 /epí, “focused on” and 73 /agṓn, “a contest, competition”) – properly, to contend (literally, “struggle upon, appropriately”), i.e. with skill and commitment in opposing whatever is not of faith (God’s persuasion).
In looking at the definition of contend we see something familiar to us as believers i.e. the struggle to win, the fight to overcome. It’s familiar because this is also what we do within our flesh in trying to subdue and bring it into obedience. Paul speaks of running the race and having mastery over flesh and mind.
2Ti 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
The emphasis on contending for the faith points directly to those certain ungodly men that have crept in unawares, in 2 Peter it says they privily bring in damnable heresies. The definitions of these words are slightly different in the Strong’s both are from the same root word.
PRIVILY: par-ice-ag’-o From G3844 and G1521; to lead in aside, that is, introduce surreptitiously: – privily bring in.
Crept in unawares: par-ice-doo’-no From G3844 and a compound of G1519 and G1416; to settle in alongside, that is, lodge stealthily: – creep in unawares.
Anytime you have someone come along side of you there is a sense of comradery and even safety. More often than not our defenses are down, we become easy prey. Humor and storytelling are very disarming.
Jud 1:5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
Jud 1:17-18 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
Finally in Jude we see that we are to do all we can, contending for the faith, to warn and help others that have fallen prey to these false teachers and take care that we ourselves are not hoodwinked and fall into deception again. Stand on the Word of God and always remember they walk among us.
Jud 1:21-23 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.