2Peter 2:3, “By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words;…”
The more I study 2Peter 2, the more I find alot to share. 2Peter 2 and Jude portrays what is happening today especially with those associated with Word Faith movement, it’s like Peter and Jude just wrote these chapters yesterday. Now not all fit in what they talk about, majority do perfectly. And while not all televangelist fit in this, many are.
Up to this point, we have only tackled two verses. As we get to verse 3, Peter is observed as describing that the underlying motive of a false teacher/prophet is not love for the truth, but love for money. He says to us that by greed “…they will exploit you with deceptive words…” because people are desperate. Desperate people do desperate things even if its lies leads to destruction. Their words are deceptive, appealing, and very spiritual. They concur with words as Peter reminds us. They’re not interested in virtue, holiness, righteousness, obedience, and godliness. One prominent word faith preacher in an interview had the boldness to say that Jesus is the PRODUCT, the product used to exploit people.
The first three verses Peter gives us an overview, then takes time in the remainder of the chapter to paint a picture of who a false teacher/prophet looks like and their judgment. I will highlight a few verses and leave their end result to God; but for us, we need to identify them and distance ourselves. Peter writing to us by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is calling true believers to wake up. Paul records in Romans 13:12, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light”. Now line by line, let Peter unmask them to us that we identify them.
vs. 10, “…They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries”. They are arrogant; they don’t want accountability; they find it hard to be transparent; they brag about what they have; they brag about the size of their followers; they twist the scriptures to suit their practices; they have the right mission statement, they don’t follow through. Some have had moral (sexually, financially) failures but were quickly restored to the pulpits; some have been divorced but moved on as though nothing ever happened and even found ways to blame the devil for attacks. They want to live like kings, travel like royalties, accumulate expensive stuff, dress and operate like CEO’s; parade themselves as God’s anointed; operate like the untouchables; they even talk about others as the false teachers and are quick to defend themselves not as false teachers/prophets etc
vs. 13, “…They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you”, they show themselves to be teachers of truth while sitting with Christians covering up their corruptions with religious talks.
vs. 14, “…They have a heart trained in covetous practices,” they are mentors and have their mentors trained in coveting practices without feeling any sense of shame. They take from the widows, the sick and desperate people and justify their actions. When one starts something, sooner or later you see a trend of others doing the same.
Vs. 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;…” sad, many of these false teachers/prophet started so well, with good intentions, obedient to God and His call but as years have gone by, they have strayed from the truth. Peter gives us a classic example of Balaam who was not a PROPHET but a PROFIT. He was a compromising prophet who sold himself to whomever paid him well. He preferred wealth and popularity over faithfulness and obedience to God (Numbers 22-24)
Vs. 17, “ These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, …”, they promise to quench your thirst and hunger through conferences, crusades, meetings etc and people travel hundreds of miles if not thousands to attend, and they get excited for the time but find what they had dried up when they got home and need another conference. The signs of the clouds would seem to promise rain but nothing happens, so is with a false teacher/prophet who makes all the promises when you support their ministry only to be in the same condition year in year out. Even the woman with the issue of blood year in year out went to worthless physicians who kept promising her healing.
vs. 18, “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”, they are very eloquent, sound very deep leaving you with wow factor. They appear to have been given this divine revelation that no one else has ever seen or heard. But it’s all words of emptiness as Peter tells us, they don’t hold water.
Vs. 19, “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”, they promise escape from the struggle of life, they write books even giving steps to victory, healing and prosperity. They spend time promoting their products (music, dvds, oils, prayer clothes, vitamins, programs to stay healthy etc) with promise that those things will help in life while they themselves are enslaved by the corruption people want to escape from. They say, “if you do this, you can get that” so blessings is working formulas right. When one way of getting things fails, a new one is invented and the cycle of promises continues.
Toxic gospel reduces God to a formula that must be done right as instructed if God is to bless. What happened to the blessings of Psalm 1? “Paul renounced the pursuit of money as the goal of ministry and so received fewer physical pleasures. And he renounced the pursuit of morality as the way to be justified and so he received more physical persecution. Peddlers are driven by greed for money and fear of pain. But let us preach Christ as the all-satisfying treasure and God-satisfying obedience” John Pipper, to finish I hope, blessings Ev
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