fly straight

March 9, 2016

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False Prophets and Teachers 2 Peter 2:1-9

2 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[a] and committed them to chains[b] 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;[c] 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,[d] and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment,

Second Peter 2:1–9 describes and denounces false prophets who will be active within the church until the second coming of Christ. Peter exposes their self-centered motives and conduct in the first three verses and then pronounces their condemnation in the next six verses. The rest of the chapter concludes with a description of their characteristics. One characteristic that the contemporary church would do well to note is found in verse 10: “Especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority. Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble when they revile angelic majesties.” The earlier context indicates that these self-willed false prophets were engaged in reviling fallen angelic majesties-demons. Remember that this is characteristic of false prophets, so it is a warning for Christians not to engage in such practices.

Peter goes on to explain this practice in greater detail in verses 11 and 12. He notes that “angels who are greater in might and power do not bring a reviling judgment against them before the Lord” (v. 11). Angels know better than to do such foolish things as rebuking or reviling other angels. They have much greater strength and power than the most powerful human being, yet they know better than to engage in such practices. Certainly God’s holy angels cannot be justly accused of not being involved in spiritual warfare, but for them, as it should be for us, it is a question of being properly involved.

Jude 8–9, in a similar warning about false teachers, gives a specific example of this kind of incident. Jude uses almost identical language when he notes that the false teachers “defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties” (v. 8). How do they do that? He tells us that “Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you” (v. 9). This passage is telling us that even Michael, the highest-ranking elect angel, would not rebuke the Devil; yet many Christians today do it regularly. The text says “did not dare,” which means that doing such a thing was so unthinkable for Michael that he would not even come close to it. Michael did not even say what we hear many people saying today: “I rebuke you, devil, in the name of the Lord!” Michael simply said, “The Lord rebuke you.” Unlike many modern Christians, Michael knew that rebuking was a prerogative of the Lord alone!

With not one but two warnings in Scripture against such practices, we must ask, “Why do so many Christians and Christian leaders regularly engage in such practices?” Both passages give us the answer: they are acting out of ignorance. “These, like unreasoning animals, … reviling where they have no knowledge, …” (2 Peter 2:12). “These men revile the things which they do not understand …” (Jude 10).

This verse is an example of ignorance of God’s Word leading to wrong practice in the area of spiritual warfare. No wonder many Christians are growing weary and dropping out of the battle! Many of them are following leaders who are leading them on wild-goose chases through beliefs and practices that open them to attacks from the enemy rather than the advertised protection from the enemy. A believer in Christ can develop true maturity only through genuine biblical training, which teaches us to keep our eyes upon Christ and not be preoccupied with the demonic powers.

I personally know to many “famous” pastors, that have come to me for counseling or accountability who have not given up their “chasing the flesh” some have even confessed from their pulpits there “dalliances” in most cases the church merely yawned and things remained the same. When congregations don’t expect godly behavior from their pastor, what can the pastor expect of his flock…..zip, nada, let’s build a new building, get new carpet, but not a new life.

Don’t be fooled God is not mocked, nor deceived.

Straighten up and fly straight. (literally).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

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