Guest writer: Starting a Study on False Teachers

Hey brothers, sisters and friends! ~ I don't know if I had mentioned it or not, but my Dad and I worked together on that history of Christmas, so I just thought you all would be interested to know that! I thought it was pretty cool ~ sorry for not mentioning it sooner.

And, I have my first guest writer! It's my younger bro, Paul.

Paul's planning to drop in here and there with little nuggets from his studies. He's currently studying the book of John. One of the other topics on his mind that he wanted to write some thoughts on was this topic. (now you're curious, right? ~  And I think you'll like his intro on this, and that study is very interesting too ~ timely. So, without further ado, please give a hearty welcome to my brother and let's see what he's been studying. ~ your brother/friend and a growing servant/life-slave of Jesus, SH

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Hey, my name is Paul. I'm Steven's younger brother. I asked Steven if he wanted to have a guest writer, since I thought you all would find this study to be particularly interesting. I don't do much online. I  much prefer to interract with the people around me in life and with my friends and family here locally. The way I write my studies is pretty similar to Steven's approach. I tend to quote a passage and then explain. In this study though, I'm more pointing out what the Scriptures say about a particular aspect of false teachers and then relating it to a modern actual scenario of false teachers that I have experienced and studied. This is a study about false teachers and their effect on people. This is actually just the beginning of the study, but by the time I finish it, it will be quite long and nobody will actually read it. This is primarily a way that I collect my thoughts and fix problems in my thinking, and to help me keep studying Scripture as relates to questions I'm dealing with in real life scenarios. There are many more passages to work through such as from 2 Timothy and Jude; and in this document I'm sending to you, I'm barely touching the surface of these passages, which are some of the things that will be added and further developed, after I send this to Steven in a minute here. This is just a pre-structure for me to collect other verses and passages into these categories. So I thought I'd give it to Steven while it's still shorter. I look forward to your feedback, which I hope you will pass through Steven. Thank you for your desire and efforts to love and contend for the true faith.

2 Peter 3:1-4 "Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you maybe mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, 'Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.'" 2 Peter 3:1-4

So we have false teachers who deny the Word of God as being the complete, perfect written words by our Creator to us. They then teach that human feelings about what is right and wrong - which they label as being "love" - becomes the standard by which God will save our world. The conclusion then to what they teach is: they are bringing God's kingdom to earth by applying His loving principles to every aspect of life, and thereby they will save as many people as will conform to their moral standards and just be loving and also love God with their lips.

2 Peter 2:13-14 "They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, having eyes full of adultery [against God] and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children." 2 Peter 2:13-14

So we have false teachers who teach the people to love covetousness and fleshly desires and teaching them to enjoy sin, while keeping it controlled and not letting it get to far out of hand. They then rewrite the teachings of the Bible that would cause one to examine themselves to see if they are in the faith and that would cause brethren to exhort one another daily which is what we are commanded to do. They teach that we all should not judge and that we should live our life the best we can and be confident that God will save us, because His saving us has nothing to do with the fact that they are still evil and rebellious children who are not obedient children and not sealed by the Holy Spirit.

2 Peter 2:15 "They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness." 2 Peter 2:15

This is true of most, if not all false teachers: they love the wages of unrighteousness, they have forsaken the right way and have gone astray. They have slowly moved into a position that will be profitable, will bring in lots of people as best as possible, will create movements and ministries that people will get behind and support, etc. In fact, many students going to college and seminary for ministry are looking at it as a career. They are not Bible students
who have come to Christ, left behind the world, have persevered through trials and suffering, have built a clear testimony for God for many years, having built godly families who follow God and children who are not rebellious. No, many of them are novices who end up falling into the same condemnation as the devil unfortunately.

2 Peter 2:17 "These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever." 2 Peter 2:17

False teachers look like a source from which to draw living water, and bold spokespeople for God who bring refreshing truth in the midst of lies, while they are wells without water, and clouds that are carried by a storm. They do not stand in the truth, and they are not directing people to the source of living water. For false teachers, their end is that they are reserved for blackness of darkness forever.

Matthew 23:13-15 "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. 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. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of Hell as yourselves." Matthew 23:13-15

Matthew 23:23-24 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!" Matthew 23:23-24

So we have false teachers who have rejected God's holy standard and have rejected true repentance and faith in the Messiah, and have rejected the word of the prophets. Instead they make their own standard and judge themselves and others by it in order to gain followers for themselves. They want recognition, prestige, notoriety; they want to be known as spiritual fathers and theologians and great men of God. But they lead to death. They will not enter themselves, and they stop many who are entering by giving approval to their sin and rejecting of God's Word and in so doing, turn many away from the gospel and true repentance and a true heart toward God.
2 Peter 2:18-22 "For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than in the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, then having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: 'A dog returns to his own vomit,' and, 'a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.'" 2 Peter 2:18-22

So we have false teachers who speak great swelling words of emptiness  regarding the word of God and philosophy and psychology and aspects of life. Then they allure through through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, ones who have actually escaped already. They promise them freedom in Christ while teaching them to become slaves to their ways and again being slaves to sin. They present themselves as the leaders to be followed, and the people follow them and are brought into bondage by them. Now here is the scary part of every single one of these false teachers in almost any category: after these souls have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, and the latter end becomes far worse for them. It would have been better if they had not known the way of righteousness, then having known it to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But this is the true result of those who do not receive faith and repentance, but rather look at it and ponder it a while and drift back to sin.

I thank you for taking time to read my study. I'm sure I am missing some things, and I probably have stated something incorrectly. I would appreciate any thoughts or comments or additions you may have. Please
pass them to my brother Steven, and he will get them to me. In much prayer and studying God's Word
- Paul Henry