Keith Hunt - Bible Story, NT - Chapter One hundred-twenty: False Teachers   Restitution of All Things
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New Testament Bible
Story

Chapter One hundred-twenty:

False Teachers

                             THE NEW TESTAMENT

                                BIBLE STORY


                      Chapter One-hundred and twenty


                       The Second Epistle from Peter



CHAPTER TWO

     For many Christians today it is "just have love" and we'll
all get to heaven, you your way and me, my way. They might go on
to say, "It really does not matter about 'doctrine' - about what
is this truth or that truth, as long as we can all get along and
have love for everyone, that what will get us to heaven."

     Now, of course Christianity is showing kindness and love
towards all people. It is a religion of giving and serving
others. I do not know of a Christian "sect" that does not teach
helping and being nice and kind, doing good deeds, and indeed
showing love. But ... nevertheless, when you read the New
Testament, all of it, then it becomes clear that certain truths
of God's word ARE IMPORTANT, doctrine, or what you might call
"theology" DOES MATTER at times. Jesus warned in Matthew 24 that
MANY would come in His name, saying that Jesus was the Christ,
would teach "Christian dogma" BUT DECEIVE MANY! 
     Now, I somehow do not get the message from Jesus or the
apostles, that we are to think "deception" is to do with "loving
people" or "being nice and kind to people." There are lots of
kind and nice and loving people in the Islamic religion, maybe
you have a neighbor like that. I mean even agnostics and atheists
can be "nice" - "loving" - "serving" - people.
     The bottom line is that what Jesus was meaning was that MANY
would come teaching Him and Christianity, but would deceive
people in all kinds of wrong and incorrect "theology" of God the
Father and Jesus the Christ. Some of those people might be
deceived themselves, but as they say "You might be sincere, but
you can still be sincerely wrong." Then on the other hand, there
would come many who are NOT deceived, they know better, but for
money, fame, the praise of men, to get a following, and for other
not so sincere attitudes of the mind, go on teaching people
ERROR, and so do indeed deceive MANY about what is from God and
Christ.

     We have seen in some of the letters of the apostle Paul,
that he at times did not pull any punches, when talking about
such deceptive teachers and preachers, that had come within the
Church of God. 

     And now, in this letter of Peter's to his readers, we come
to a chapter that is plain and simple. Peter is going to tell it
like it is, a "I'll put it right into your face, and tell you
what I think of these false teachers that will be right within
Christianity, right there among the true people of God."
     Right off the bat, Peter says that there was always false
prophets among those who were under the banner of God, and so
there will be false teachers, now, among those who are under the
name of Christ - Christian. And notice, in this first verse of
chapter two, those false teachers will bring in, introduce,
heretical DOCTRINES! They will teach "theology" if you will, not
as it is in God's word, but FALSE ideas and false doctrines.
Hence they will as Jesus said, DECEIVE MANY!
     It will be so serious a matter, that Peter says they will
DENY the very one who died for them. How do you deny Jesus? Well
yes, you can deny Him, by wrong actions, words, and deeds,
towards other people - a hating your fellow man, but as I've
said, I know of no Christian sect that out and outright teaches
you to "hate" others and do them mental, emotional, and physical
harm. Now there have been and maybe still is, those Christian
sects that teach immortality is moral, an "evil is good and good
is evil" theology. But they are not the run of the mill
"Christianity" - they are the smaller "sects" and "cults."  Jesus
said that the many who would come in His name and deceive many,
would be so large and so popular, in the main stream of
Christianity, that IF it was possible, even the VERY ELECT would
be deceived! Yes, Jesus said, that, you can see it in Matthew 24.
Again I do not think Jesus was talking about some Christian sect
teaching you can and should kill people or have many wives, or
smoke pot, or get high on sniffing glue.

     The truth of the matter is that Jesus, and other writers of
the New Testament, when talking about "false" teachers, were
talking about their overall "theology" and that that false
theology would be deceiving the majority of people under the name
of "Christ" or "Christian." It would only be the very elect at
the time of the close of the age, that would not be deceived. In
another place Jesus said about His true followers: "Fear not
little flock," and the Greek means VERY LITTLE flock, "it is my
Father's pleasure to give you the Kingdom."

     This does not sound like to me that Jesus was talking about
and too, the ONE and A HALF ... BILLION  people on earth today
who put themselves under the name of "Christian."

     Well, it is time to see what Peter was inspired to write
about these false teachers. I will use the AMPLIFIED Bible.

"But also (in those days) there arose false prophets among the
people, just as there will be false teachers among yourselves,
who will subtly and stealthily introduce heretical doctrines
(destructive heresies) ... And MANY will follow their immoral
ways and lascivious doings; because of them the TRUE WAY will be
maligned and defames" (verses 1-2).


COMMENT:

     The faith once delivered to the saints was ALREADY in
Peter's time, becoming corrupted. To his readers he said false
teachers would come among THEM! Just how much more corrupt would
it become 500 years from Peter's day, or a 1,000 years? How about
thinking 2,000 years after Peter. Do you really think that
today's popular "Christianity" is purer today than what Peter was
here writing about? No my friends, it just does work that way,
that is human nature does not work that way. As I've shown you,
Jesus said that before His return, deception would be so great
that IF it was possible even the elect would be deceived!

"And in their covetousness (lust, greed) they will exploit you
with false (cunning) arguments. 

COMMENT:
     Many of these false teachers LIVE OFF the people who send
them money. And many of them live a pretty good physical life
style. They get so they cannot give it up, it becomes an
obsession with them. Notice their "theological" teachings or
arguments are CUNNING. It is all packaged up in spiritual
sounding words, and it is what the people who follow them WANT to
hear. The apostle Paul warned about that in his letter to Timothy
(see 2 Timothy 4:1-4), and told him that people would turn AWAY
their ears from the TRUTH, and would be turned to FABLES!
     If you are reading your Bible from cover to cover with
DILIGENCE, and if you are studying and searching the Scriptures
on this Website Bible Studies, you will come to know the MANY
FABLES out there in the majority Christianity of our time.

"From of old the sentence (of condemnation) for them has not been
idle; their destruction (eternal misery) has not been asleep. For
God did not even) spare angels that sinned, but cast them down to
hell, delivered them to be kept there in pits of gloom till the
judgment and their doom" (verses 2-4).

COMMENT:
     The KJV here has the better overall translation: "...spared
not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and
delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto
judgment." The Greek for "hell" here is "tartaroo" and means
place of restraint. There were angels that sinned, they followed
Lucifer in rebellion. The truth of that is contained in various
studies on this Website. After their rebellion they were cast
back to earth. Jesus once said He saw Satan as lightening falling
from heaven to earth. Those angels now became demons, and they
were cursed with chains of darkness, all that is now in them is
darkness. They are in restraint, God only always then to have
freedom to do their evil work to a LIMIT. Certain things they
cannot do, God put a leash on them, they can only go so far. And
they have not yet met their final judgment. Do you remember some
demons said to Jesus, "Have you come to torment us before the
time?" When sin and death is finally "put away" - when neither
will exist, just imagine the horror Satan and the demons will
experience. With their blackened minds they will have not one
single person to darken and deceive. And who knows what else God
the Father will put on them as their eternal judgment. It is
coming, God is not sleeping. What may seem a long time to us (two
thousand years from Jesus' first coming  and we still wait that
judgment) is but a blink of the eye to God.

"And He spared not the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a
preacher of righteousness, with seven other persons, when He
brought a flood upon the world of ungodly (people). (Gen.6-8; 1
Peter 3:20). And He condemned to ruin and extinction the cities
of Sodom and Gomorrah, reducing them to ashes (and thus) set them
forth as an example to those who would be ungodly; (Gen. 19:24).
And He rescued righteous Lot, greatly worn out and distressed by
the wanton ways of the ungodly and lawless - (Gen. 19:16,29). For
that just man, living (there) among them, tortured his righteous
soul every day with what he saw and heard of (their) unlawful and
wicked deeds - Now if (all these things are true, then be sure)
the Lord knows how to rescue the godly out of temptations and
trials, and how to keep the ungodly under chastisement until the
day of judgment and doom. And particularly those who walk after
the flesh and indulge in the lust of polluting passion and scorn
and despise authority. Presumptuous (and) daring (self-willed and
self-loving creatures)! They scoff at and revile dignitaries
(glorious ones) without trembling (verses 5-10).

COMMENT:
     Mighty strong words and very chilling. Being a false teacher
of God's word is no small matter. It is a serious matter indeed
to set yourself to represent and expound the word of God to
others. That is why James said, "Brethren, do not let many of you
become teachers, knowing that we shall receive the greater
judgement" (James 3:1). The examples of the wicked, the persons
in the wrong, during Noah's day and Lot's day, shows God will
eventually handout punishment. The false teachers, may not openly
scoff and revile the glorious ones of God and Christ and the
righteous angels, but in not teaching the truths of the word of
the Lord, and even, in whatever mild or hard manner they scoff at
those who do teach those truths, they have in effect scoffed and
reviled God the Father and Christ and the holy angels - the
glorious ones.

"Whereas (even) angels, though superior in might and power, do
not bring a defaming charge against them before the Lord" (verse
11).

COMMENT:
     The angels leave it all in God's hands. They know when to
speak and when not to speak, and what to speak about, BUT ...

"But these (people)! Like unreasoning beasts, mere creatures of
instinct, born (only) to be captured and destroyed, RAILING AT
THINGS OF WHICH THEY ARE IGNORANT, they shall utterly perish in
their (own) CORRUPTION (in their destroying they shall surely be
destroyed), 

COMMENT:
     It's like saying, "These fellows just do not know what they
are talking about." But sadly MANY of them KNOW BETTER, yet they
will not REPENT! They want the pay-check, they want the praise of
people, the crowds that follow them, and if they will not repent
of teaching false doctrines they will face destruction.

"Being destined to receive (punishment as) the reward of (their)
UNRIGHTEOUSNESS (suffering wrong as the hire for their
wrongdoing). They count it a delight to revel in the day time
(living luxuriously and delicately). They are blots and
blemishes, REVELLING in their DECEPTIONS and carousing together
(even) as they feast with you" (verse 12-13).

COMMENT:
     Righteousness is defined by the Almighty as "His
commandments" - see Psalm 119:172. Many of these false teachers
do live a physically luxurious life style, many of them have
physical wealth above the average person, and because they have
so many that follow them, they think they deserve all the
physical riches they have. It's an attitude of saying something
like: "Well I've brought all these people to God and Christ
through my teaching and preaching, I deserve to live in physical
splendor. They are revelling in their deceptions, a kind of
"laughing all the way to the bank" we might say. They gather
together at "Theological seminars" for a week-end or maybe a
whole week, and live feasting, even among the very people of God
at times. This was already GOING ON in Peter's day! How much MORE
is it going on in the world today, nearly 2,000 years after Peter
wrote this?

"They have eyes full of harlotry, insatiable for sin. They
beguile and bait and lure away unstable souls. Their hearts are
trained in covertness (lust, greed), (they are) children of a
curse (exposed to curing)! FORSAKING the STRAIGHT road they have
gone astray; they have followed the way of Balaam (the son) of
Beor, who loved the reward of wickedness. (Num.22:5,7). (verse
14-15).
      
COMMENT:
     It is hard to find the words to try and describe the full
impact and emotion of HOW and WHAT Peter was describing in his
thoughts about false teachers. His words really do speak VERY
PLAINLY and right in your face. These teachers are just simply
not on the RIGHT ROAD - they are off in left field. They may have
degrees from any number of "Theological schools" - they may be
dynamic speakers and preachers, but the fact is they are ON THE
WRONG ROAD - they are as Jesus once said about religious leaders
of His day, "Blind leaders of the blind, and both will fall into
the ditch."
     It is your individual duty to follow the example of the
Bereans in Acts 17. They SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES DAILY, to see if
what Paul was preaching was according to the Scriptures.
     These false teachers, will they get away with it all, well
some for a time may, but the day will come when ....like
Balaam...

"But he was REBUKED for his own transgression when a dumb beast
of burden  spoke with human voice and checked the prophets
madness. (Num.22:21-31). (verse 16).

COMMENT:
     Do you see the depth of it? Peter puts the theology of false
teachers in the same category as "MADNESS." To put it in other
terms, false teachers are INSANE!!
     You've had enough plain talk you may say, well Peter is not
yet finished! He is going to tell us that some of the false
teachers KNEW THE TRUTH at one time, BUT TURNED AWAY FROM IT!!

"These are springs without water and mists driven along before a
tempest, for whom is reserved forever the gloom of darkness. For
utterly loud boasts of folly, they beguile and lure with lustful
desires of the flesh those who are barely escaping from them who
are wrongdoers. They promise them LIBERTY, when they themselves
are the slaves of depravity and defilement - for by whatsoever
anyone is made inferior or worse or is overcome, to that (person
or thing) he is enslaved. For if after they have escaped the
pollutions of the world through (the full, personal) knowledge of
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they AGAIN become ENTANGLED in
them and are overcome, their LAST CONDITION is worse (for them)
than the first. for never to have obtained a (full, personal)
knowledge of the way of righteousness would have been better for
them than, having obtained (such knowledge), to TURN BACK from
the HOLY COMMANDMENT which was (verbally) delivered to them"
(verses 17-21).

COMMENT:
     A lot of the false teachers are indeed BOASTFUL and VAIN and
POMPOUS. Maybe you have known such teachers of the Christian
religion. They believe they have some "special connection" with
God, that all others do not have. They are often deceived by
their OWN mind. They also often promise people many desires of
the flesh, like being physically rich, healed from physical
ailments, success in the work-a-day world, a better reward in the
after-life, and even protection from all the plagues and wars to
come on earth before Jesus returns, in some "place of safety."
does this all sound familiar to some of you?
     These false prophets and teachers promise LIBERTY - from all
kinds of things that people are caught in that trouble them, of
course they promise them liberty from having to OBEY God, or live
by His every word, or keep His commandments. One BIG liberty they
teach is that the 4th commandment can be ignored. If you are
wondering what THAT one is, then read Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy
5.
     The fact is, the bottom line is, these teachers are
themselves caught in spiritual depravity, delusion, and sin. If
you are in the life habit of breaking any of God's commandments,
then you are slaves to sin and law-breaking - you are defiled.
Look at God's TEN commandments. Is there any one of them you or
these false teachers are breaking as a way of life? If there is,
Peter is speaking directly to you and to them here in these
verses.
     I have known MANY in the last 40 years whom I thought had a
personal relationship with Christ, they really did know the basic
foundational doctrines of God, they seemed to be "spiritual" but
when an "organization" and "men" failed them, they were willing
to walk away from Christ and the Bible. They WENT BACK into the
world from which they came. Some of these people were very close
friends with me, and it is a shock to see them mentioned under
this passage of Peter's letter.
     It is more disturbing still as we look at the final verse of
this chapter.

"There has befallen them the thing spoken of in the true proverb,
The dog turns back to his own vomit, and, The sow is washed only
to wallow again in the mire. (Prov.26:11).

COMMENT:
     In whatever ways it may be, God only knows, it would have
been better for these people to have NEVER KNOWN the way of
righteousness and salvation, the way into the Kingdom of God at
Jesus' return, into the first resurrection. They could at least
have been classified as BLINDED, never being called in this life
time, and be in the same boat as the millions, nay, BILLIONS that
will have salvation offered to them in the WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT
or SECOND resurrection talked about in Revelation 20.
     
     I can only hope and pray that all those people I have known
that have gone back into the world will one day REPENT AGAIN,
before Jesus comes back to earth. Then again Hebrews 10:26-31 is
there. I know God is merciful and very patient, I'm sure He can
have mercy upon them IF they will turn to Him again.

     This chapter in Peter's second epistle, together with Jesus'
rebuking of religious leaders in Matthew 23 and that of Jude in
his letter, are the THREE most detailed and long chastisements of
false teachers in the entire New Testament. They are most
sobering chapters to read. At times God has no choice but to CRY
ALOUD AND TELL IT AS IT IS!

                           ....................

Written October 2007

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