Among the most damming judgments against false teachers and false prophets is found in 2 Peter 2. And yes, the actions of these wolves in sheep’s clothing were condemned, for Apostle Peter judged the spirit behind their actions, and he spoke out loud and clear against the dangers of such hypocrites within the church.
We can compare what Peter was writing to Matthew 23, in which Jesus spoke the seven woes against the Pharisees and Sadducees, who were at the time the embodiment of the religious spirit. Jesus called them a brood of vipers, and He labeled that same religious spirit as murderous.
Now, in this chapter of Peter we read: 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. 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.
The Spirit of the Lord speaks through His apostle and reveals some details about the operation of “false prophets” and “false teachers”. We discover firstly and therefore these beguilers are “among the people”. Therefore, we should be aware that Peter was not addressing the heathens or the pagans of the world, but those functioning within the folds of the church. He exposed the wolves in sheep’s clothing for their actions and intent just as the Lord exposed the false elders in Ezekiel 8 who were busy with idolatry and pagan practised within the Temple sanctuary.
In 2 Timothy 3, the Apostle Paul also spoke about how it will be in the last days and how “men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good …” Paul was also not referring to the heathens or pagans, for it says in verse 5: Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
A form of godliness speaks of a religious and pious outlook; therefore you look holy but yet not walking in the power of the Holy Spirit. It, therefore, speaks of those within the church. For only those reborn in the Spirit are true worshippers in Spirit and Truth. After all, it is easy to walk in such a religious manner that one can almost be fooled that you are indeed all holy and right standing with the truth of the Lord. Yet Paul reminds us of the dangers that exist in the last days … those having a “form of godliness” yet they are without the Spirit.
It reminds me of those that Jesus showed away in Matthew 7: 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Jesus also said in Matthew 7:15: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ravening speaks of being extremely hungry or hunting for prey. So these false prophets and teachers as mentioned by the Lord and by Paul, Jude, and Peter speaks of a breed of people who will be extremely hungry to feed their own desires and needs as they lead others astray.
If we think of ravening wolves, this reminds us of 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. For just as the devil prowls and hunts, so do the wolves in sheep’s clothing hunt the innocent. Therefore, they were likened to the devil who only comes to steal and destroy, and kill.
Indeed, we need to be alert and aware that we are living in the times of the ravening wolves that are within the folds of the church, yet they deny the power. They walk by a religious spirit, by the flesh, by carnality, by their own need and want, and even worse, some come to intentionally pollute, corrupt, and twist the truth of God. Paul writes of them in 2 Timothy 3: 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. After all, we can have all the academic insight, knowledge, and fortitude but yet not walk in the Spirit of the Lord. Therefore without the Spirit, one will never come to the knowledge of the Truth, which is only attained in the Spirit of the Lord (1 Corinthians 2).
We also read of these false prophets and teachers that they secretly and charismatically introduce/slip in deadly falsehood – “who privily (secretly) shall bring in DAMNABLE HERESIES”. Paul writes of such actions for example in 1 Timothy 4: Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils 2
Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; AND ALSO in 2 Timothy 4: 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Peter wrote in 2 Peter 1:16: For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. Clearly, Peter emphasized the importance of sound doctrine, and one should turn away from fables and myths (erroneous doctrines that mislead). Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 1: 3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
Paul also writes the following in Galatians 1: 6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preaches any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
These are harsh words of Paul, who time after time reminded the Church (Ecclesia) of the importance of preaching and standing for sound doctrine. Those who infiltrate the church – those who have been warned about in the seven letters to the churches – however speak not the truth of the Lord but they speak heresies that are damnable. They speak fables and they speak myths, enticing and luring people away from the Lord. To be damned speaks of being cursed, and so Paul said that those who speak any other Gospel except the truth of Jesus shall be accursed. So therefore those who act as wolves in sheep’s clothing shall be cursed, and all that they speak is cursed.
Take also note of Micah 2 when the Lord speaks of the false prophets: If a man should walk in a false spirit and speak a lie, saying, ‘I will prophesy to you of wine and drink,’ even he would be the prattler of this people.
To be a prattler is someone who speaks in a childish way, thus some who talks in a foolish or simple-minded manner. A prattler is a chatterer or a babbler, therefore his words hold little truth of substance.
The Lord has in the history of Israel spoken countless times regarding false prophets and those who deceive and lead people astray. Here we read how in the NKJV they are referred to as prattlers. And this is the heart of those who say they prophesy and speak by God’s instruction yet who deceive – they are nothing more than fools and speaking foolish things of no worth or value.
Such people will blabber and chatter, speaking all kinds of things, but they hold little importance or worth. And such blabbering and chattering are going on in every corner of the globe and so many churches, where fools are allowed to speak, pretending to prophesy yet they operate by a dales spirit and they speak a lie.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:11: When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
Thus, those who continue to deceive and blabber like children, have hardly grown in spiritual maturity. For with maturity comes discernment, humility, and the fear of God to speak only His Truth and nothing else.
The reality is that we live in a time where the truth of the Lord has been totally obscured, and where the gospel of the Lord has been twisted, distorted, and manipulated for self-gain. Yet in his epistle, Paul warns that anyone who preaches a different gospel will be “accursed”. After all, all that we do is either about life or death. By preaching the Gospel of Jesus, we speak life. By speaking any other Gospel, we speak death. It is that simple.
Yes, there are many prattlers today, and they are leading so many astray, and causing so much confusion. Remember, those who listen to a prattler and take advice from them willingly, they, therefore, submit themselves to listening to a child and even accept “wisdom” which is nothing more than spiritual foolishness. Any wonder why the church is so confused regarding God’s Truth? It is because we are listening to spiritual children babbling foolishness.
It is not merely about false doctrines and false teachers, but it all boils down to life and death. Do we speak life or do we speak death? And so many we advocate the Word of Faith Movement speak not the Gospel of the Lord, and therefore speak death, and we must be reminded that Paul says they shall then be accursed.
It is written in 2 John 1: 7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. 9 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; 11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.
Here John makes very clear the importance of abiding by the doctrine of Christ. He even warns that those who agree with such a doctrine “share in his evil deeds”. The Scripture is also translated as a partaker, and partaker speaks of fellowship. Therefore if we follow and embrace false doctrines we become partakers of such blasphemy and deception. Like Galatians 1, 2 John 1 sounds an urgent warning that we must be so aware to speak the Truth, therefore speak Life, lest we speak Death and become partakers of Death.
Read also what it says in Romans 16: 17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. 18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.
Here we again read about those who speak a different Gospel DO NOT serve the Lord Jesus. These are indeed very serious words, but teachers and preachers speaking false word is still being accepted within the Church, and are allowed to stand on the pulpit to speak to hundreds if not thousands or if not more. Paul warns us that those who cause divisions and offenses, which come because of a different Gospel being taught, must be AVOIDED.
After all, they act to serve their own belly, meaning they are only serving an agenda of their own need, want, and desire.
Remember what it says in 2 John? Verse 9 “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God” … Therefore those who pervert the Gospel of our Lord Jesus according to Paul and John do not have God, and neither are they serving the Lord. Yet, throughout the world, those who preach clearly a false Gospel are being tolerated and welcomed and are allowed to become a major influence.
I Timothy 6 we read: 20 O Timothy, guard and keep the deposit entrusted [to you]! Turn away from the irreverent babble and godless chatter, with the vain and empty and worldly phrases, and the subtleties and the contradictions in what is falsely called knowledge and spiritual illumination. Here Paul again warns Timothy to turn away from the babble and godless chatter that appears to be spiritual illumination and knowledge. The reality is that a lot of preaching and teachings in churches these days are not sound doctrine, but are merely babble and godless chatter that contradicts the true Gospel of our Lord Jesus.
In Matthew 23, when Jesus addresses the Pharisees and Sadducees, He spoke the following: 3 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word hypocrite was at first used for a theatrical mask from the 1st century BCE. ‘Hypocrite’ comes from the Greek word ‘hypokrites’, which means “an actor.” The word hypocrite ultimately came into English from the Greek word hypokrites, which means “an actor” or “a stage player.” The Greek word itself is a compound noun: it’s made up of two Greek words that literally translate as “an interpreter from underneath.” That bizarre compound makes more sense when you know that the actors in ancient Greek theatre wore large masks to mark which character they were playing, and so they interpreted the story from underneath their masks.
The Greek word, therefore, took on an extended meaning to refer to any person who was wearing a figurative mask and pretending to be someone or something they were not. This sense was taken into medieval French and then into English, where it showed up with its earlier spelling, ypocrite, in 13th-century religious texts to refer to someone who pretends to be morally good or pious in order to deceive others. Today we understand it to be “a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings.”
With his understanding, let us, therefore, reason that when Jesus spoke to the Pharisees and Sadducees, He told them they were mere ‘actors’, playing and toying with religion, and they were still masked and therefore ‘blinded’. Jesus, therefore, exposed them as being pretenders, playing a mere role like an actor, instead of being true followers of the Kingdom.
And the concept of masks is very important, for a mask tends to hide (thus deception) your identity, but a mask acts as a kind of veil. For it is written in Matthew 27 verse 51: Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split. You see, by the death and resurrection of Jesus the veil of religion, the veil of our spiritual blindness, and the veil of legalism by the law and the veil of deception was torn in two so that we may behold and understand the truth of the glory of Jesus, He who is the Truth and He who is the Word and He who is the Redeemer and He who is worthy to open up the seals.
Now it says in 2 Corinthians 3, 12 Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech— 13 unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament because the veil is taken away in Christ. 15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
So Jesus was saying to the religious leaders they were still veiled, they were spiritually blind, and they were not yet free in the Spirit. They were not yet seeing the Kingdom of God, which comes by the rebirth of the Spirit according to John 3. The religious leaders were therefore blinded and were mere actors, not yet sons and daughters of the living God, not yet the authentic article, not yet worshippers of Spirit and Truth.
This is therefore the same case for the false prophets and teachers of 2 Peter 2. They are still veiled and spiritually blind, playing at church. Remember Jesus said of the Pharisees in Matthew 23 they are like white washed tombs, meaning on the outside they looked religious but inside they were spiritually dead. Today in churches we can easily fool people by our outward appearances, and even deceive through our words, but the Lord knows who is His for He looks at the heart. Indeed, we shall be known by our fruits.
According to Peter, these false prophets and teachers will even deny Christ by denying the truth, for it says “even denying the Lord that bought them”. And so we see for a long time how the church has been infiltrated with countless false doctrines and teachings, including attacking the validity of the Trinity (The Oneness Doctrine), dismantling the need for true repentance and for holy living (Hypergrace Doctrine, Once Saves Always Saved) and discrediting the power of salvation of the cross and the Blood (Universalism). There have been numerous other such false teachings, including the Word and Faith Movement (promoting the godlike image of all believers) and the doctrine of sacerdotalism (the belief that a special, segregated order of men, called the Levitical Priesthood, is the only ones who can commune directly with God).
Today, hell is being denied, so is the devil, so is sin, and so is the power of the Blood being weakened through those who are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Religion has taken the place of true faith, moral relativism the place of God’s absolutes, and emotional hype for the Holy Spirit. By the way, more than ever the work of the Spirit is being quenched, denied, or even ignored. We live indeed in perilous times where the church has been infiltrated with teachings of humanism, New Age, and even paganism.
Of these false teachers and prophets, we read they will reap destruction now and in eternity if they don’t repent before it’s too late, as they will bring upon themselves swift destruction. Scary enough, as we are seeing these days, these false workers will be very well-liked, accepted, and affluent leaders for Peter writes: “And MANY shall follow their pernicious ways”. Again, this was also the warning of Paul in 2 Timothy 4. Yes, these men will twist the Word of God for their own purposes.
How do we not see all of this in action these days? Pastors and church leaders have become celebrities, and even gods in the eyes of their followers. They draw huge crowds because of their charismatic nature, yet so many are speaking what the ear wants to hear and soothing the soul with messages that are void of the power of the Lord.
Time after time doctrines are being twisted and distorted for their own gains, such as the doctrine of tithing, which has fuelled the entire prosperity movement of self-gain, greed, and self-exaltation. Prosperity teachings appease the masses, yet lead people further away from true prosperity first in spirit and then the soul. Across the world, false preachers and teachers have led the masses to the altar of religion, bowing before profane fire, as they are led to commit idolatry (worshipping man and no longer God). And so we find believers that have become indoctrinated because of spiritual abuse to become followers of a religious system, instead of being disciples of the Living Lord.
Talking about prosperity, we read the following in 2 Peter 2: And through covetousness shall they with feigned (fictitious) words make merchandise of you.” In vivid detail, the Holy Spirit warns us here of how “false prophets” and “false teachers among you,” would seek to “make merchandise of you.” The term “make merchandise of you” refers to the exploitation of people perpetrated by deceivers for their own self-gain. It means that they will make money off you or draw money out of you, through deceptive practices. This could also be called “fleecing the flock.”
Such extortion is accomplished through deceptive persuasions, heretical teachings, testimonial claims, false signs and wonders, and even exaggerated stories. The phrase “feigned words” in this text is very important. This is the method of deceivers to garner money from people. The word “feigned” means “plastic, artificial, fictitious, or simulated.”
Therefore, those who exploit are not walking in the true reality or true power of the Lord, or even in real spiritual life, for they are pretenders, living an artificial life of holiness and piety. Indeed, the word fictitious or simulated refers back to the idea of such false workers introducing fables and myths in the church. The idea that someone has to give something (like money) to get God to bless them is the message of greedy wolves who are denying Christ by saying His sacrifice was not enough to bless His people fully! They are making merchandise of the congregants who have been indoctrinated never to question the church leader. Peter exposes their greedy motive by saying – “an heart they have exercised with covetous practices”.
Indoctrination is possible because Peter writes these false prophets prey upon the unlearned who are not grounded in God’s Word – “beguiling unstable souls”. Stable souls who are learning sound doctrine and have a sound heart and mind see these “false prophets” and “false teachers” in our midst for who they really are and refuse to fund their evil enterprises (2 John 10-11). The reality is simple … if we are not walking in a real relationship with the Lord, grounded in His Word, led by the Spirit, then we can be easily deceived and manipulated to believe such a truth.
Is the point of Christianity to become rich or famous or to have a great ministry and for people to adore us or follow us? It seems as if people are struggling with this question. Should it not be to have an intimate relationship with the Lord? After all, there is something incredible happens when we have a true encounter with the Lord Almighty. It is an encounter that should change our lives, and it should change our character and our nature so that we become more like Jesus.
The prosperity teachers would like to think that our Christian faith is really all about what we can grab now. From one week to the next we teach about prosperity because we have somehow convinced ourselves that the reason we became a follower of the Lord is that it is all about the riches and the wealth. 1 Timothy 6: 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows … It seems 1 Timothy 6 is forgotten which speaks about how many because of the love of money have caused themselves to be pierced through with many sorrows.
Many are jumping on the Gospel bandwagon because it is a way to get a job, or for some people, to make money. The Kingdom, however, is not about fame, popularity, or earthly riches. It is not a job, but judging by all the churches and “leaders” and easy methods to get “ordained”, it has become an easy alternative in terms of being employed. Many prophets are exploiting people to get money, which is a tragedy. Indeed, the church and the prophetic are in a sorrowful condition because of the love for money, for it has caused us to turn a place of worship into a den of robbers, where we exploit, manipulate and extort for self-gain. Indeed, the prosperity movement has shifted the focus away from the eternal to the temporary, away from the Kingdom to man’s kingdom, and away from discipleship to self-service. And so Peter makes no excuse for these men. He calls them – “cursed children”, which connects back to what Paul wrote in Galatians 1 about being cursed when not preaching the truth of the Lord.
Peter also writes of these false workers: 14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: 15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet. 17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. 18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. 20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 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.
2 Peter 2 eludes here to how these false workers are indeed not free themselves, for they are the servants of corruption. We read: “are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.” This reminds me of Paul’s warning in Galatians 5 v 1: Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Paul encouraged believers to stand fast and firm in the liberty of Jesus. Why? Because as in his days, our days are also marked by those within the church fold who through false word, legalism, traditions, and religion lead people back into captivity (away from the Holy Spirit). Jesus addressed this issue in Matthew 23: 13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
And also we are reminded of Isaiah 61: The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound … The Lord came to show us the way to true liberty and freedom in the Spirit, not for us to be yoked again and to become prisoners of a religious system. Yet this is exactly what has been happening in churches, where the false prophets and teachers – those ravenous wolves – are imprisoning people through false doctrines and teachings. After all, so many these days are stuck in a religious system of man-made traditions that they have no idea what it means to lead a life led by the liberty of the Spirit.
Jude also addressed the reality of such prophets and teachers when he wrote: 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. He also writes 10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. 11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
Peter of course also mentioned Balaam the son of Bosor, and we read of them in Revelation 2:14: But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. Balaam speaks of sexual immorality and of idolatry. Watch how Revelations speak of a stumbling block “before the children of Israel”. You see, those who act as wolves in sheep’s clothing also act as a stumbling block to the children of God to really walk in Spirit and Truth.
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1: 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
Paul spoke here of the power of the Truth of the Gospel, yet it remains foolishness to those who seek after the world’s wisdom, and it is a stumblingblock to those who hold onto traditions (in this case the Jews who did not depart from the Laws of Moses as their means of sole salvation). A stumbling block of traditions and false doctrines, based on human wisdom and knowledge, is still being set up in churches. Such traditions and religious mindsets are a stumbling block to a true and real life in Jesus. And man has set up these stumbling blocks, driven by his own desires, needs, and wants.
Peter writes of these men that they “have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray”. You see, Jesus taught about the 2 ways … the broad way and the narrow way. There is no middle path. We either follow God or the word, His Kingdom, or our own kingdom, but we cannot entertain both. We either follow God or Mammon, for we cannot serve two masters. We cannot drink from two cups – the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. False teachers and prophets are trying to walk both paths, yet they have ultimately gone astray. For this reason, it says in Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. More than ever we need to find the true path of the Lord again and be led by the Holy Spirit who came to lead us in all truth (John 16).
Watch also what Jude writes: 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. Notice the word crept, for this speaks of an action that is almost devious and it speaks of an act of hunting like one hunts a prey. And yes, they are labeled as ungodly, and even denying the divinity of Jesus (for this has happened in churches where Jesus is said to be only a man or a prophet).
And also … 12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; 13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. 14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. 16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.
Take special notice of this verse … 16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.
Here we learn how these false workers, including false prophets, within the Church will be able to flatter and be able to entice and seduce people with their words. Just look at the church today … there are so many who are treated with great admiration, adoration, and even praise because of the way they speak and what they speak – all within an ambiance suited for their sordid agenda.
Remember what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 2? 4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. Paul understood the real power of the Kingdom was not in enticing words, but in the Lord Himself, for He is the Kingdom. The disciples had to wait in Jerusalem for 50 days for the power on high – the power being the Holy Spirit. True power rests in the Lord, and such power is activated by the Spirit to deliver, restore, heal, and save. There is no real power in words, other than to stir up the soul and to charge up the senses. Paul knew the only way for someone to be saved or to be healed or delivered was to give their life completely to the Lord and to yield and submit without compromise.
It has all become about enticing words, so often uttered by the false or misguided prophets, and not about the Power of the Kingdom. For the Holy Spirit – the power on high – has been pushed out of the Church doors, and we would rather amuse and entertain the masses through our words, clever sermons, music, the ambiance, and our godly appearances. How we need to be so careful of the wolves in sheep’s clothing, who come with well-designed sermons and presentations, yet many times only serve to beguile, to amuse, to please, and to tickle the ears.
As a last note, Peter writes of these men: 21 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. This connects to the author of Hebrews who writes in Hebrews 6: 4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
How dangerous indeed are these wolves in sheep’s clothing, including the false and misguided prophets! They are accursed for deceiving and shutting the gates of the Kingdom against men, instead of setting the captives and the prisoners free.
They walk among us in the churches, and yes they preach from the pulpit – power hungry – devouring like ravening wolves. Let us then be alert, let us be awake, and let us discern those who seek to exploit or make merchandise of the flock. Woe indeed unto them for God shall not be mocked.