Where Peter blasts false teachers . . .

I was going through 2 Peter this week and wanted to share this passage.  Note especially verses 4-6 and how unapologetic Peter is about what God has planned for false teachers.  Remember, the God of 1 John 4:8 (“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love”) is the same God described below.  Ironically but not surprisingly, it is the false teachers who will insist that the words below aren’t really from God.  Convenient, eh?

2 Peter 2 — False Prophets and Teachers

1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. 4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; 5 if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6 if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked 8 (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); 9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority. Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones, 11 whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord. 12 But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, 13 suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you. 14 They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! 15 Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, 16 but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness. 17 These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. 18 For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. 20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”

21 thoughts on “Where Peter blasts false teachers . . .”

  1. If one is going to teach people something about the spirit, about God, or about our risen Savior, they better have the facts straight or their remuneration will come wrapped in dark, gloomy, destruction.

    Whew. Good enough for me. Thank you for posting this sobering passage. Forewarning is a blessed sign of mercy, in my book. It is like the sign “Sharp curve ahead. Reduce speed.”

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  2. That’s a rather harsh criticism of Jesus, wouldn’t you say? After all, the man did (reportedly) say that before this generation passed away (Mt 24:34) all the preceding tribulations would come to pass. They didn’t. Ergo, evidence Jesus was a false teacher/christ/prophet, n’est pas?

    But, of course, you’ll interpret this passage to mean what it does not so that nothing – ever – will count as evidence against your fixed beliefs. I think that approach is a vice; but I have little doubt you’ll see it as a virtue (but only in religious belief!).

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    1. Ah, a living oxymorn (finger-wagging, moralistic materialist) brings his infallible biblical interpretation to me? Oh noes! I’ll just ignore all the real scholars and go with Mr. Irrational (remember, if your “Nothingness to Molecules to Life to Me to converting from atheism to Christianity based on the evidence for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus” worldview is true then it is responsible for my beliefs. Apparently you’ve evolved to where mocking your own worldview doesn’t bother you.) You are obviously proud of your views but on your worldview that makes no sense.

      Seriously, I encourage you to think carefully about whether clinging to your pride is worth an eternity of regret. If you convert we just rejoice, we don’t say “I told you so!!”

      Back to moderation, so save your keystrokes.

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  3. OK, cool…warning against false teachers.

    But now I’m confused…what’s the point? I mean, is this pointed at a particular group/belief that you feel are being false teachers? Or is this just kind of an FYI?

    I grew up in a very fundamentalist church group that talked about this scripture a lot. Of course, they were doing it in the context of “and we are the One True Church and woe unto everyone else b/c this terrible, sad punishment is what awaits them if they don’t repent.”

    Of course, a lot of other churches/church groups, believe THEY are the One True Church. How can any of them be sure that it isn’t THEM who are the false teachers they are warning others about?

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    1. I thought my opening paragraph explained my point.

      And I never claimed that my denomination was the “one true church.” The Bible is pretty clear on those things– e.g., 1 John notes how those who deny that Jesus is the Son of God aren’t Christians.

      Yes, some churches are wrong. They should read the Bible carefully to be sure of their status.

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      1. Noooo, I wasn’t trying to insinuate that you thought your church was the one true church. Sorry I was unclear enough that it sounded like I was hinting at that.

        “Yes, some churches are wrong. They should read the Bible carefully to be sure of their status.” Sure, sounds great! But as someone who has had a considerable faith crisis, I ask you, who seem so sure of his belief, how can one be so sure? Catholics and Protestants feel they’ve read carefully enough to be sure of their positions. Lutherans and Anabaptists, also, just to take some random examples. (well, let me rephrase…they’ve either read enough to be sure, or not read enough and are therefore sure–impossible to say on a person-by-person case). It seems, to me, exceedingly difficult to ever really be sure–which is a problem when one considers the potential loss of heaven and the corresponding default locality…

        How is it you are sure? What has made you feel that way?

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      2. Hi Eric,

        Good questions. Here’s a starter that talks about the essentials of the faith — http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2012/06/16/the-essentials-of-the-christian-faith-2/ . I realize that some may debate what is and isn’t essential, but I think if people read the Bible carefully — and often! — they’ll see that some themes are unmistakable.

        For example, it notes over 100 times (directly and indirectly) that Jesus is the only way to salvation. That isn’t what makes Christianity true (his resurrection does that), but it does mean that if someone is a Christian according to God’s standards then they should hold that view.

        I don’t spend time trying to convert Lutherans from their denomination-specific practices. I worry more about Catholics who hold to the teachings of Rome (i.e., their wrong views on justification). But I know lots of Catholics whose beliefs line up with Protestantism (maybe I should spend more time on them).

        I don’t want to over-simplify things. There are certainly some healthy debates with wise, intelligent people within orthodox Christianity. I mainly focus on the essentials noted above. Hope that helps!

        Have you read the Bible a lot? I find that the more I read it the more obvious false teachings become.

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      3. Thanks for the link! Yes, I have read the bible–extensively. Done the whole Strong’s, and Commentaries and all that stuff…

        The Trinity is mentioned as an essential in that link you gave. That one is a bit tricky…because then did Jesus actually die? Did Jesus/God resurrect himself? Did God impregnate Mary with himself so he could be born…and in later life pray to himself in the Garden of Gethsemene (sp?)? Of course, I come at this from a background of teaching that “God is a Family”–God (the Father), Jesus (the Son), and the Holy Spirit (the Power of God, but not an actual personage). The Father and Son are both God, just like George and Robert are both Jones…father and son Jones.

        So, that’s where my background comes from, and to a degree it makes the above issues (like Jesus praying to himself, or resurrecting himself, etc) a bit less of an issue. But I’m not arguing the point…like I said, I’ve had a bit of a faith crisis so far as that goes.

        I haven’t actually looked too much at the Catholic theology, but I thought they held to all those essentials? Though, I do admit, Catholicism looks a lot like Polytheism—you have the Trinity, yes, but also then the Deified Mary, plus thousands of saints that perform miracles and all. Also, I think Good Friday is a Catholic thing? I’m wondering who does the math—between Good Friday and Easter Sunday is not 3Days and 3Nights.

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      4. Hi Eric,

        Very glad to hear that you’ve read the Bible thoroughly. I think the Trinity is a great starting point. Having just gone through 1 John again I noticed how often the dividing line of Jesus’ divinity was noted. I concede that the Trinity can be a challenge to explain even though it isn’t a contradiction (One God, three persons isn’t a contradiction, whereas One God, three Gods would be, or one person, three persons).

        I don’t think Jesus’ divinity died though his humanity did. There are a few topics that naturally seem odd to us because Jesus is the only being with a fully divine and fully human nature.

        I have huge problems with the Catholic views on Mary and the praying to saints. Those are un-biblical. Many of the Catholics I know went to “bad” Catholic churches, by which I mean they didn’t teach what Rome does, they taught views more in line with Protestantism.

        Re. Good Friday — I think that is a Christian-wide thing, but the Catholics have some specific traditions about it.

        Re. 3 days and 3 nights — I think that is a figure of speech thing where they included any part of a day as an entire day — so part of Friday would be a day, Saturday is a day and part of Sunday was a day. It sounds odd to our ears but I’ve noted that even critics of Christianity tend to accept that explanation.

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      5. Wow, that was a very interesting article. I’m guessing you read that I was raised in a “God is a Family” of 2 persons, but both “God” thing…so this is kind of hard to take in. But saying God is a multiple personality does seem to explain a few things that the “God the Father and the Loyal Son” thing didn’t really seem to explain…lol

        Though, again, how God impregnated Mary with himself and then prays to himself in the Garden still seems puzzling. Any insights to share on that?

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      6. God is the creator. “Impregnation” was done in the same way he created everything. God is spirit, and the exact mechanics of how He took on human form is a miracle which I doubt if anyone can adequately explain.

        God is three persons in one being. Jesus as God the son was praying to God the father.

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      7. THAT’s the bit I’m fuzzy on when it comes to the Trinity. So…when are they 1 person and when are they 3? When Jesus Christ was flesh on earth, was God the Father up in heaven? If they can be bodily in different places, then it would seem that it is not like me having multiple personalities of Me, My Dad, and my Best Friend (Holy Spirit). If it is one God-head thing, yet 3 distinct entities, then it sounds more God-familyish.

        Sorry if I’m being slow on this…but patience is a virtue, right? lol

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      8. It is a difficult thing to understand. BUT there are three persons in the one God. Not three gods. Not split personality. God is a Spirit, not a body. God the Son took on human flesh as Jesus, and now has a spiritual body, which is what we will have at the resurrection. God the Father and God the Holy Spirit will never have bodies.

        It is not a “God-head” thing – that is how Mormonism describes it. It is just a “God” thing.

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  4. I’m starting a new comment thingie since, if we keep replying to each other, the box will get stupidly narrow (unless it is already at its limit, but anyway).

    So, I have a question about Sunday observance. That wasn’t listed in the Essentials, yet it is universal among Christians (well, except groups like Seventh Day Adventists, etc). Do you think it essential? I don’t remember having read anywhere in the NT about Sunday observance being mandated, or even hinted at.

    Sorry if this might not be the right thread to discuss this further in…feel free to move it if you wish. 🙂

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    1. We’ve been addressing that in our Sunday School class. It is the only one of the ten commandments not explicitly repeated in the New Testament. We don’t have to obey the Sabbath rules, but of course that doesn’t mean that a day of rest and focus on God isn’t a good idea. But as Hebrews notes we can rest all the time now from the Law, because Christ has paid for all our sins.

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      1. We can rest from the Law? So, we can eat pork and shellfish and all, even though Acts 10:9-16, 28 doesn’t actually cleanse the meat, but “cleanses” the gentiles?

        How far does resting from the Law go? I know nobody thinks murder is ok…

        But that still doesn’t answer the question about the switch from Saturday to Sunday. Let’s say we can rest from the law if we want, why not voluntarily keep Saturday on occasion (instead of Sunday). Some research I’ve done seems to indicate the origin of Sunday worship is unclear and that it became largely enforced as a sort of “anti-Judaizing” principle…but doesn’t actually have a biblical command or injunction or even suggestion.

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      2. Hi Eric,

        Yes, you can eat pork and shellfish. Peter was told, “Kill and eat!”

        I didn’t mean to imply that we were exempt from the moral law. We still want to follow that as an appropriate response to the commands of our Savior, but it isn’t what is gaining our salvation.

        You have the freedom to voluntarily keep any day you like.

        You may be right about the “anti-Judaizing” thing, but the choice of Sunday probably resulted in exclusion and persecution for the early Jews who followed Jesus. Sabbath observance was a huge deal to them.

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      3. Eric,
        In regards to the Sabbath, there was never a switch from Saturday to Sunday. The Sabbath is from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown, but was meant for only the Jews. Christians began gathering on Sunday as a celebration of the day Christ rose from the dead. You can’t “switch” a day God chose for a particular purpose; and the Sabbath is a special sign of a covenant between God and Israel. Again, rather than long explanation here, I direct you to an article I did on the subject at:
        http://watchmansbagpipes.blogspot.com/2010/05/are-christians-required-to-keep-sabbath.html

        As for eating shellfish and pork, in Mark 7:17-23 Christ declared all foods clean. You might also look at 1 Tim 4:1-5.

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      4. Interesting article on the subject. I see now where I was getting confused–the group I was brought up in believed in British Israelism, and thus, since the US & UK (and various other Western European countries) were the remnants of the Lost 10 Tribes, then the law applied to us…b/c we’re Israelites.

        I’ve known for a few years that that idea was bollocks, but somehow it was still stuck in my head.

        About the clean/unclean meats thing, though…anybody have any ideas WHY JC said “it’s alll good”? I was thinking there were definite health issues involved in not eating of certain foods (pork, when not cooked right, can easily lead to various diseases, and various shellfish can kill you if not eaten at the right time of year, etc). Was it supposed to be more of a symbolic thing than a health thing?

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      5. Scripture does not tell us why God gave those dietary restrictions other than as part of the holiness code. Some people speculate that it was due to the inability to prepare them properly so as to avoid diseases. But without specific reasoning given in Scripture, we can only say we don’t know.

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