by Shawn Brasseaux
In his last epistle, only a short time before his martyrdom, the Apostle Peter is preparing his Jewish believers to go through the Tribulation. Remember, these believers were not members of the Church the Body of Christ—they were believers of the Kingdom Gospel, the Gospel that the Lord Jesus Christ preached during His earthly ministry (Matthew 4:17; Matthew 9:35). We as members of the Church the Body of Christ will not go through the Tribulation because we are not associated with Israel’s prophetic program.
While Peter is Israel’s apostle, not our apostle, we can still glean some information from 2 Peter 2:1-3 KJV:
“1 But there were false prophets 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.
2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
3 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.”
In the verses previous to this passage, Peter described how God used holy men (His prophets) to speak on His behalf (2 Peter 1:19-21). But, as Peter wrote in the above passage, there were also false prophets, allies of Satan who preached false information in order to misled the nation Israel. Actually, false teaching is not something new. It has been around ever since Genesis 3:1 and the fall of man, when Satan caused Eve to question and deny God’s Word
Peter is warning His Jewish readers not to fall prey to these false teachers and their “damnable heresies.” The Bible says, “many shall follow their pernicious ways.” By the way, that word “pernicious” means “fatally harmful;” the masses of people will literally follow false teachers to their own eternal doom! These false teachers intend on taking advantage of you, extorting money from you in the name of religion—they will claim to be serving Jesus Christ, too! “Through covetousness shall they with feigned [faked] words make merchandise of you.” They sound so good, and yet they are totally false! For instance, just the other day, a dear man who attends my local church was telling me that his wife watched a nutty preacher on television who told his viewers “God has a prophetic word for you, and you can receive it if you send in your donation of ___.” What a SCAM, and yet, the common church member is duped into literally “buying in” to it!
I could list a number of people right now who are deceiving millions of Americans—Bible teachers and pastors who are “making merchandise of people.” As Peter said, they have crept in secretly, so you will never suspect their agenda is to extort money from you. They have “a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof,” as Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:5. You must, must, MUST be careful, because false teachers are popping up everywhere. People in my own family have been so misled regarding spiritual matters, and though my parents and I have tried to warn them, most of them refuse to listen to Scripture. My friends, for the most part, are so confused and unlearned in the Bible, and they show little to no interest in learning.
The common people of a religious group or denomination are poor compared to most church leaders, who are anything but poor! For instance, one “Christian” group will pray for you, but you have to become a member of their church and pay 1.5 Euros (U.S. $2) per submission, or remain a nonmember and pay a fee of three Euros (U.S. $4) for them to pray for you! How upsetting to see people being robbed in this religion; their prayers are going unanswered, and this group is no more “Christian” in nature than the devil! The more you pay, the more they “pray” for you! Pitiful!!!
Let us consider the warning the Apostle Paul gave the Ephesian church leaders in Acts 20:28-31 KJV:
“28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.”
Paul cried, warning the Ephesians not be deceived by “grievous wolves.” They would have a good outward appearance, they would pretend to be Christians, but they were actually false teachers. Let us consider 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 KJV:
“13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”
Keep an eye out for false teaching, and when you spot it, flee! Study the God’s Word (the King James Bible) “rightly divided” like 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV says, and get a firm understanding of the Pauline epistles of Romans through Philemon. Most of this false teaching is directed toward twisting or completely removing the Pauline epistles, and trying to force you under Israel’s legalistic program of time past. Be prepared and stand firm in the Scriptures, so you are not “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight [trickery] of men and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Ephesians 4:14 KJV).