A World of Knockoffs: False Teachers Part 2

A World of Knockoffs  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  55:19
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Review of last sermon:
I. Deceptive Intrusion
We looked at the way in which Peter and all the NT writers, most importantly, Jesus himself identifies the deceptive qualities of False prophets and teachers. They are called wolves…in sheep clothing or as we laid out last time, they are psuedo-didaskos (teachers of falsehood).
When Paul gives a list of pastors in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1, he begins with their character as the hallmark of their service to the church. They are to be blameless, which is not perfect, but one striving for truth and integrity in their service to God and his people. False teachers are characterized as the opposite as they deceive the masses.
II. Deviating Loyalty
Secondly, we looked at the status of these false teachers. Were they believers who had stumbled into sin? Or were they unbelievers who were seeking to do harm and lead others astray?
The problematic passage leaves many confused and I hope I was able to make the phrase “denying the Master who bought them” more clear. I explained how that verse cannot mean that the Lord Jesus atoned for the sins of false teachers only to watch them turn from him into destruction. This interpretation has to then mean the same as what John describes in 1 John 2:19
1 John 2:19 ESV
19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.
Therefore as unbelievers, we can understand that the focus and attention of false teachers is too deceive because they serve not the Lord Jesus, but their serve Satan and his purposes.

III. Destructive Practices 1b, 2-3

The third observation about false teachers is to see their strategy. How do they go about accomplishing their goals of evil? For the church to be protected, Peter lays out their diagram of deception and distortion of God’s work.
1. Teaching that destroys you
Remember the warning from Peter in his first letter that Satan roams around like a hungry lion seeking to devour. But he devours by leading your heart and mind away from the Lord. Peter states in 1 Peter 5:8 the warning to be alert and sober of mind for the devil is seeking to destroy. Being alert means that we are watchful of the schemes of Satan because he seeks to destroy. He attacks your mind and heart in order to draw you away.
Peter uses the word heresy which is an erroneous teaching or doctrine. He later warns the church in 2 Peter 3:18 to take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and you lose your stability or your footing. When I wrestled in high school, the point of attack on your opponent who was standing was to go after his footing. If you were able to get him to the ground, you stood a better chance of victory. Satan uses false teachers to bring in erroneous teaching to trip you up so that you begin to turn away from the gospel. These are subtle changes of direction so that you might not notice or others might not notice until its too late.
Let me give you one example: The movement of wokeness is an attack against the gospel. Let me say from the start that there are genuine helpful aspirations of the movement that seek to fight against prejudice and hate towards others. I support the fight against prejudice in every way. Please don’t misunderstand me. But wokeism as a movement is not helping fight prejudical hatred... its just rebranding it. As this movement seeks to fight for the rights of certain groups in America, it is actually spreading further hate and acts against others. Violence has occured in protests. Looting and destruction against people and their property. Attacks against children and their parent’s wishes for them.
The biggest threat of wokeness is the distraction from man’s personal responsibility. Personal responsibility is the key component in understanding the gospel. When a person understands his personal responsibility before God, then this leads a person to a conviction of sin and that conviction leads to a faith in Christ alone for salvation.
Wokeness does not promote individual responsibility. It instead promotes corporate guilt. You are not guilty because you acted as an individual against another individual. You are guilty because you belong to a certain group of people. For some, you are guilty because of the color of your skin or the gender to which you were born. On the other side, if you don’t belong to those labeled groups of oppressors, then you bear no guiltiness. You are the victim and when you are a victim, then the guilt falls on others, not yourself. This self-centered victimhood is anti-gospel. This way of thinking is what leads people away from seeing their personal sin that they are responsible for and their need for repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
Owen Stachan writes,
“Wokeness judges us without knowing the hidden motives of our heart—knowledge only God possesses (1 Corinthians 4:5). If you have heard that you are guilty of “white supremacy” simply because of your “whiteness,” you have been falsely convicted and unbiblically indicted. You do have real sin...
But your skin color and heritage are not inherently sinful. Such a conclusion is totally foreign to Scripture. If it were true, entire people groups could never come to Christ. Yet Scripture revels in a Gospel that saves people from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation.”
(Strachan, Owen. Christianity and Wokeness: How the Social Justice Movement Is Hijacking the Gospel - and the Way to Stop It (pp. 67-68). Salem Books. Kindle Edition.)
What woke ideology does NOT do is it does help societies difficulties, it just reinvents them. Hate still exists and disunity is still being promoted because man’s ways to heal society never work. These ideologies like pschiatry (Mr. Adam taught last week, Wokeness, and others) do not deal with the true underlying problem with man-sin.
The only hope is first when hearts of individuals change. Those individual hearts that change, infect groups who change, which change communities and nations. These woke teachers are not pointing people to love like Jesus but instead hate like Satan devised!
Peter calls such teaching destructive. Peter’s use of the adjective “destructive” in v 1, often means annihilation in war, used in NT of Herod when he wants to destroy the baby Jesus. Similarly, in Matthew’s gospel, the GK Apollymi is used again in 27:3 when the crowd of Jews release Barabbas but want Jesus destroyed. Paul uses it in 1 Cor 1:18 as to refer to those being destroyed in judgment who reject the gospel.
The destruction of such teaching brings a personal and spiritual annihilation. Following the teachers who stray from healthy biblical interpretation, tend to lead people to their spiritual doom. If you leave the biblcal teaching that each of us is responsible for the sin that we commit against a holy God and only our sins, then you will stumble away from the reality that you stand before a holy God with an unimaginable weight of debt from your sin. Blindness to this means blindness to a need for Christ to save you.
2. Teaching that exploits you
Secondly, Peter states in verse 3 that you will be exploted by false teachers with their lying words. Exploitation is the GK Emporeomai (emporium) speaks of commercial trade and sales. You become a commodity to false teachers because their greed for power and money is satisfied by their following. Mr. Terry Brown blew me away two weeks ago when reading from the Geneva translation which reads,
2 Peter 2:3 (Geneva)
3 And through covetousnes shal they with fained wordes make marchandise of you, ...
That translation seems much more dehumanizing doesn’t it? You and I are simply articles of commerce to bring in a fair prize for the ones beholding it. They are operating for profit as a prophet of God.
Peter elaborates further down in the chapter with more powerful words,
2 Peter 2:13–14(ESV)
13 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(Unending) for sin. They entice(seduce or bait) unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children!
Notice the words Peter uses in v 13-14 that speak of self-indulgence and lust for pleasure. This is the heart of greedy sin. They are out to line their pockets and fill their bellies at the expense of you. They feast with you in community, this is the way they connect with you, but in their plotting, they are set out to deceive you.
What is most striking is the phrase “hearts trained in greed.” The word “trained” is also used for the athlete training at a gym which means that they are in a state of learning from others how to deceive you and take your wealth. This exploitation then is not accidental but intentional and devised to deceive and rob you of your wealth.
It is hard not to think of another great threat to the gospel....one which exploits millions around our world… through the proclamation of a prosperity gospel. The prosperity gospel is the gospel that falsely promotes that God’s greatest gift to us is an earthly prosperity in this life. In his book God, Greed and the Gospel, Costi Hinn, the nephew of tele-evangelist, Binny Hinn speaks of his life growing up under the influence of the properity gospel before the Lord saved him and resuced him from this false teaching. Hinn talks about how the influence of other preachers like Oral Roberts had a great impact of Benny Hinn’s prosperity message. Costi Hinn writes,
“One of Uncle Benny’s heroes who taught him about this system of believing, giving, and receiving was Oral Roberts. It seemed he could open the windows of heaven and cause them to rain down blessings on his own life. It was a simple money-in, money-out transaction, with God as the banker. Oral Roberts wanted to help more people understand it and take the risk to put it into practice. He taught that this way of thinking was used by Jesus and the apostles.
For Roberts, it was faith that forced God to do what we wanted him to do. "Believing enough, thinking positively enough, and giving enough could control the Creator! Roberts had used his teachings on money and faith to rise out of obscurity and into stardom, then helped others do the same.”
Hinn, Costi W.. God, Greed, and the (Prosperity) Gospel (p. 47). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
These prosperity preachers teach this health and wealth gospel as it is referred to and their only desire is to make their parishioners their merchandise that they can rob of their trust and their money. As Peter states, those trained in greed like these prosperity preachers, literally pass on their antics of false healings and miracles to those younger than them, educating the next thieves. Costi Hinn gives his testimony in this book how he was the next in line to take over the Benny Hinn empire of prosperity preaching, when the Lord rescued and saved him.
I need to draw the contrast to false teachers with the biblical command of good teachers and preachers of the gospel. Paul instructs Timothy and Titus that when establishing leaders in the church, they are not to be given to greed.
1 Timothy 3:3 (ESV)
3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.
Titus 1:7 (ESV)
7 For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain,
1 Peter 5:2 ESV
2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly;
Paul did not just teach these truths about the minister of the gospel falling into greed, but he practiced it. He knew the temptation to be greedy and he demonstrated to the church to do what was necessary to not be a financial burden and most importantly, not a financial exploiter of the church’s money.
He told the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:33-34
Acts 20:33–34 ESV
33 I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. 34 You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me.
A faithful teacher of the word does not do so for the sake of gaining riches. He trusts the Lord that God will provide through his people and if he has to find other employment to do what God has called him to do, he should do so. Seeking great wealth from a pulpit or church ministry is antithetical to the way in which Jesus taught and lived. Jesus taught to focus our attention on heavenly riches, not earthly ones.
Matthew 6:19–21 ESV
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
3. Teaching that blasphemes the Lord
“The way of truth is blasphemed”
The last observation about false teachers is the overall summary of their activity…it blasphemes the Lord. 4 times this term blaspheme is used in chapter 2 to describe the evil work of false teachers of the gospel. They take what is holy and true about the Lord, what brings him honor and glory, and they twist and corrupt it. The slander him and defame him not only in the church but among the entire world.
Notice that Peter calls the gospel… the “way of truth” meaning that the Word of God is the pathway to understanding the truth of who God is and what he has and is accomplishing for his glory. False teachers suppress that truth as Paul tells the Romans in their unrighteousness. Not only to they suppress the truth but they indoctrinate others in their state of foolishness as well.
2 Peter 2:12 (ESV)
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,
This once again identifies to whom these false teachers belong, for they are ignorant of spiritual matters about the way to find God in Christ and therefore, they blaspheme the Lord by speaking about things to which they are ignorant and unaware.
Instead, they teach about things pertaining to God but not authorized by him. Instead of doctrine that glorifies Christ they teach doctrines that glorify man. They are as Paul calls them teachers who tickle the ears of the listeners and who teach whatever caters to man’s lusts and physical desires. This type of teaching dishonors Christ because it speaks lies about man and about God.
Destination of Doom
2 Peter 2:3 ESV
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.
2 Peter 2:12 ESV
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,
Peter concludes that these false teachers will not escape the great punishment of the Lord. The Lord will hunt them like wild animals and he will judge them for their wrong doing. They will not escape the condemnation that was destined for all those who deny and blaspheme the Lord…that condemnation being the torment of hell for all eternity.
Peter assures his readers that wicked will not escape the judgment coming to them. This is a needed answer for the believer in the church as we see the successes of wicked people all around us. Joel Osteen and his Lakewood church in Houston brings in 45,000 attendees per week. The Lord allows in his sovereignty the foolishness of this false teachers to be amplified each Sunday. It is discouraging at times but that such evil in our world experience successes, but then I realize those are only successful by the world’s standards. Those false teachers are not seeing spiritual genuine spiritual fruit and change. 45,000 attendees is simply 45,000 fools walking the green mile to their destruction.
The Lord will judge greatly these false teachers and Peter instructs the faithful in v 4-9 of these things to remind them to not be discouraged. Peter gives 3 examples of God’s faithful judgment of the wicked:
rebellious angels
unrighteous in Noah’s day
Sodom and Gomorrah
2 Peter 2:9 is the promise of the rescue of he faithful and the judgment of the wicked. Therefore the church then must trust that the judgment of God will come to those to defy him. He will cast Satan, his demons and all the unrighteous into the lake of fire that burns for eternity. They will experience great suffering for this unrighteous deeds while the faithful towards God will enjoy Him forever.
Therefore the warning in regards to false teachers is clear: be alert of them, be mindful of yourself so that you do not stray and trust God in the end to bring them their just reward.
Lord’s Supper
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