About False Teachers
2 Peter 2:1 – 3 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. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 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.
The Word of God tells a lot about false teachers as well as false prophets. They are what we say clear and present danger to the church and to the entire world. Historically speaking false teachers and false prophets played havoc not only to the people of Israel but for all mankind. False teachers and false prophets cannot easily be recognized, they come into the church, stay there, silently and secretly introduce false teaching or doctrines, teachings which are destructive to themselves and to all who follows and listens to them. Let’s see what Peter has written regarding this individuals.
I. What they are (2 Peter 2:1)
A. They are religious people, they are teachers in the church.
B. They are actually devil’s leaders so the Scriptures calls them “false teachers and false prophets”.
C. “False” specifies them as fake or counterfeit religious leaders. Strong’s definition writes that they are spurious teacher, a propagator of erroneous Christian doctrine.
D. The way I understand it, false teachers falls into two categories:
1. False teachers who teach errors out of ignorance of the truth. Teachers who are sincere but are sincerely wrong. I would put some religious groups like the Jehovah’s Witnesses who sincerely teach people about their erroneous doctrine. So sincere but sincerely mistaken. I would include the “Tongues movement” here also. There’s many but time and space won’t allow me to mention them all in this message.
2. False teachers who knows full well what they are doing and purposely misleads people. Health, wealth, and prosperity preachers are for me the front runners here. Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, Pope Francis, and other cultists. I would include other religious group here like Islam.
Illustration: Kinds of false prophets/false teachers.
1. Self-deceived. Sincere, but wrong. They have deceived themselves into believing their messages are true. Jeremiah 23
2. Liars. “Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son. 1 John 2:22
3. Heretics. Those who preach heresy (false doctrine) and divide the church. 1 John 2:19, 2 Peter 2:1, 12
4. Scoffers. Do not necessarily promote false teachings so much as they outright reject the truth of God. 2 Peter 3:3, 2 Timothy 3:2,3, Jude 16
5. Blasphemers Those who speak evil of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the people of God, the kingdom of God, and the attributes of God. Jude 4, 10, 12, 13, 1 Tim. 1:13
6. Seducers. Mark 13:22 The Lord’s implication is that spiritual seduction is a very real threat, even to believers. This would account for the fact that a few genuine, but deceived believers may be found among the cults.
7. Reprobates. This term means “disapproved,” “depraved,” or “rejected.” Paul refers to those who have rejected the truth of God and turned to spiritual darkness. Consequently, God has given them
over to a “reprobate mind” (Rom. 1:28). They have so deliberately rejected God that they have become “filled with every kind of wickedness” (29). As a result, they are “god haters” (30), whose
behavior is “senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless” (31). These people are so far gone spiritually that they know it and don’t care. cf. Matt. 24.
II. Their damnable Heresies
A. Meaning of the word “Heresy”
1. Referring to schism and false teaching. The term “heresy” is used four times
(Acts 24:14; 1 Cor. 11:19; Gal. 5:20; 2 Pet. 2:1). The Greek word, hairesis, is translated “sect” in Acts 5:17; 15:5; 24:5; 26:5; and Acts 28:22.
2. This Greek word is used in two different ways in the N.T.
a. Any religious sect or party (Ac 5:17; 15:5; 24:14; 28:22).
b. False teachers and doctrinal error (Tit 3:9-11; Ga 5:20; 2Pe 2:1).
3. The terms heretic and heresy refer to a wilful choosing of false doctrine, a wilful alignment with error. “The word ‘heresy’ originally meant ‘a choice,’ then an opinion that is the product of choice or of the will, instead of being drawn from the Divine
Word. It refers to a man-made opinion. Hence the term was given as a name to departure from orthodox teaching which carried in them a breach of church unity” (G.P. Fisher, History of Christ Doctrine).
4. Pastor Robert Sargent makes the following important comment: “Heresy is much more than ignorance. It is more than simply holding to an error. It is taking sides with error against truth. In Acts 5:17; 15:5; 24:5; 26:5; and Acts 28:22, the word is
translated ‘sect,’ which shows that the concept of heresy involves forming a ‘party’ within the main body.” (Way of Life Encyclopaedia).
B. Their denying of the Lord Jesus Christ that bought them
1. To deny means rejection, or refusing to acknowledge; a disowning; as a denial of God: or a refusing to receive or embrace; as a denial of the faith or the truth (Webster).
a. Their denial would include the rejection of the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
b. Their heresies may include the virgin birth, deity, death, burial, resurrection, and the second coming of Christ.
c. False teachers will never submit their lives to the rule of Christ.
d. The Lord’s redemption price (1 Cor. 6:20), which He paid with His own blood which is sufficient to purchase the salvation of all the sinners were also refused to be acknowledged by the false teachers.
C. Their influence (2 Pet. 2:2)
1. Many will follow their pernicious or destructive ways.
2. At present, cults, liberal churches, occult movements and false doctrines of every sort are growing rapidly all over the world. All of them mentions the name of “Jesus” or the “Christ” but never “our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”.
3. They have religion but not relation with Christ.
4. Religion is the way Satan deceives people into believing a lie ( 2 Cor. 11:3-4)
5. Because of them, “the way of truth shall be evil spoken of”. The gospel of truth will be evil spoken.
6. It is easier to believe a lie than to believe the truth.
7. There is only one truth and one way to heaven. (Jn. 14:6, Acts 4:12)
III. Their methods of deceit (2 Peter 2:3)
1. To desire inordinately; to desire that which it is unlawful to obtain or possess;
the desire to have more.
2. The motive of the false teachers was not love for the truth but lover for money. Their desire for material possession is insatiable.
3. They will offer things that flesh loves to have: wealth, health, influence, power, etc.
4. Health, wealth, and prosperity preachers are expert in deceiving their listeners.
B. They use feigned words
1. Feigned words means, words formed to deceive; smooth and artful speeches, such as covetous merchants or unfair traders make use of, to put off bad goods.
2. False teachers take advantage and exploit people with deceptive words.
3. False teachers may sound scriptural but they mislead by distorting the truth
IV. Their sudden destruction
A. Verse 1 says their destruction will be swift.
1. Some false teachers like David Koresh, Jim Jones, died early and so are the other false teachers like William Branham, A.A. Allen, etc.
2. Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Ted Haggard, Bob Jones lost their ministry and was put into shame.
3. As we can see, false teachers’ punishment will be physical death or judgment at the return of Christ (2 Thess. 1:7- 10).
B. Their damnation slumbereth not
1. The destruction of false teachers though sometimes delayed will surely come to pass.
2. Slumber means to sleep. God is not sleeping, their destruction is at hand. God gives them time to repent but His judgment surely is just a matter of time.
The teachings of false teachers has serious effects on the lives of many people. They will be judged by the Lord who is the God of truth and punishers of all liars and deceivers. Do not be deceived come to Christ, repent from your sins and receive Him as your personal