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. (2Peter 2:1-2)
“THERE WERE" AND THERE SHALL BE.” We would like to think that we live in an enlightened age where honesty and truth prevail…about everything. The only thing that hinders that ideal is that the human race is infested with liars and thieves. For a while, I heard about trusting people as being a virtue. Our neighbors bought and sold everything on a handshake. I never heard about a “bad check” until we moved into a town where we didn’t know everyone. But that porcelain vase was shattered when I was eight…at church.
I WAS CARRYING MY ALMOST-NEW, BLUE-HANDLED CHRISTMAS POCKET KNIFE TO church. Mama didn’t care, if I kept it in my pocket during church. If a boy didn’t carry a knife when he was eight, it was like not having shoes. One night during the meeting, the preacher was boring (he wasn’t telling stories) and I could think of nothing but my knife, so I got it out, and was just looking at it.
THE VISITING BOY NEXT TO ME WANTED TO SEE IT. He looked at it and said: “I’ve got two red-handled knives I’ll give you for this blue knife. I like yours better. Let me take yours home and show Mama and I’ll bring your knives tomorrow night.” (You’re getting ahead of me.)
THAT WAS 75 YEARS AGO AND I'M STILL WAITING for that kid to bring me my two red-handled knives. Do you think I should just forget it? I had not yet heard of the Bible verse: The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. (Psalm 58:3) What will I say when Mama notices I don’t have my knife? “Lost it.”’ That’s what you do when you are “a Bible verse.” If a little kid can get snookered out of his Christmas knife during preaching, I shouldn’t be surprised that false teachers can find a way to get into church and take over.
PETER REFERS TO JEWISH HISTORY AND POINTS OUT that there were false prophets among the true prophets. Balaam may be the most famous. Peter warns the scattered, persecuted people he is writing to, that they will attract false teachers into their ranks. There’s something about the role of religious leaders that attracts onlookers who want to be admired and people who may be looking for a way to pounce on women. “Pernicious ways” is an old and broad term that is sometimes translated “licentious.” A sexual meaning.
KING SAUL WAS JEALOUS OF YOUNG DAVID: And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick. And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? (1Samuel 18:6-8)
TIMOTHY TALKS ABOUT THE PROBLEM: Having a form of godliness, but denying the power (the restraining power, the authority) thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, (2Timothy 3:5-6) These women are silly in that they do not protect themselves. They don’t understand the danger they are in. A religious setting is no protection against evil-minded men who may be sexually motivated.
IN THIS WHIRLWIND OF DECEPTION, “many shall follow their pernicious ways.” Some false teachers are good at what they do. They tell people what they want to hear. You and I could name national figures who deceive people and attract tubs of cash from their supporters. The name of the game is: DECEPTION.
It didn’t begin with television. It began in the Old Testament and has continued through the centuries and it is still with us. Peter’s warning was needed even among persecuted Christians who might be crucified for their faith. Be wise, dear Christian! Beware of false teachers today. Carry your Bible to church. Check the lessons and sermons by the Word of God.
ANOTHER FALLOUT OF FALSE TEACHERS IS THAT THE DEBASED LIVES OF PEOPLE they deceive will reflect poorly upon the name of the Lord and upon the name of the group where the deception is taking place.
JOHN WARNED ABOUT ANOTHER PROBLEM. I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. (3John 1:9)
Diotrephes loved the spotlight. Some false teachers are motivated primarily by this. Either way, it’s an unholy mess when false teachers attract the trust of several people and become enthroned. How do you detect false teachers? Check their message by the Word of God. Is their activity directed toward glorifying the Lord or themselves and do they appear to be “a ladies’ man?
THE QUALIFICATIONS FOR A BISHOP IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, includes this: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife,….(Titus 1:6) I’m not the Greek scholar here, but I have read that one rendition of “husband of one wife” is: “a one-woman man.” If a man is the husband of one wife but has roving eyes, he may not be a “one-woman man.” The Jewish way is to: Drink waters out of thine own cistern and running waters out of thine own well. (Proverbs 5:15) Conclusion:…there shall be false teachers among you. Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
MAY 17, 2018 – THURSDAY
A.M. 2Kings 18-19 P.M. John 6:22-44
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
(A lady told me they go to Morning Minute and let the man read to them while they eat breakfast.)
Good Memory Verse:
For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. (2Peter 2:21)
(Write verses on scraps of paper and put in your pocket like President Abraham Lincoln did.)
Song for Today:
Tell Me the Story of Jesus (2:59) – (Congregational Singing – Unknown)
You may need to turn off the song when finished to avoid something else you do not want to hear.