“But there were false prophets also among the people (of Israel),
EVEN AS THERE SHALL BE
FALSE TEACHERS AMONG YOU (THE CHURCH),
who PRIVILY shall bring in DAMNABLE HERESIES
EVEN DENYING THE LORD THAT BOUGHT THEM,
and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And
MANY (THE VAST MAJORITY OF CHRISTIANS)
SHALL FOLLOW THEIR PERNICIOUS WAYS;
by reason of whom THE WAY OF TRUTH
shall be EVIL SPOKEN OF.”
(2 Peter 2:1-2)
“AND MANY SHALL FOLLOW THEIR PERNICIOUS WAYS”
The word “many” here is ‘polus’ and it means MUCH, LARGELY, ABUNDANT, GREAT MANY, PLENTEOUS, MOSTLY ALL, VAST NUMBERS OR VAST MAJORITY. I repeat that for EMPHASIS. It means exactly what it says! The vast majority of the Body of Christ, the sheepfold, is going to follow after these damnable heresies of the false prophets. Allow that to sink in for full impact. These false doctrines are going to be embraced BY ALMOST THE ENTIRE BODY OF CHRIST AS TRUE SALVATION DOCTRINES. It also means far more.
Since the vast majority embrace these false salvation doctrines, that means THE FALSE TEACHERS ARE VERY POPULAR, AND HAVE VAST MINISTRIES. THESE PSEUDO-CHRISTIANS AND THEIR FALSE DOCTRINES BECOME THE “IN THING”. These false leaders, by their very popularity and huge followings would then sweep millions into eternal ruin. They would be popular and well accepted, even demanded as speakers and lecturers on the Christian circuits. Because we now know that Christianity uses movies, videos, tapes, books, newspapers, crusades and entertainment to get the message out, then these “popular” teachers, preachers and evangelists would be supported and upheld by the Body of Christ!
They will have huge radio and television ministries, and a huge outreach. We know this is true because Peter is blunt: THE VAST MAJORITY FOLLOW THEM, AND THESE MINISTRIES MUST THEN HAVE HUGE FOLLOWINGS, FOR WE HAVE NO OTHER OPTIONS. If the largest number of Christians follow them, then we must say they are “popular”, in fact, THEN THEY MUST BE THE PRIME MOVERS AND SHAKERS OF ALL MODERN CHRISTIAN OUTREACH. THIS IS A LATTER DAY PROPHECY, FOR THE CLOSING ERA OF THE CHURCH.
THE VERY POPULARITY OF THESE FALSE PROPHETS PUTS THEM INTO POSITION OF GREAT POWER AND INFLUENCE OVER THE BODY OF CHRIST. This is why they are referred to as “evil”. Their influence is so vast and their Gospel is “hurtful” to the flock. These are the false shepherds, who came into the sheepfold “some other way” but nevertheless are IN THE SHEEPFOLD. Their interpretations of the Scripture would be accepted as the “Gospel truth”. Anyone who suggested they were wrong would be immediately branded a troublemaker and a heretic, for after all, WE CAN’T ALL BE WRONG, AND THERE IS SAFETY IN NUMBERS. The popularity of these false men of God is the primary tip off that something is radically wrong with their message of salvation. These false prophets are not only popular in the Church, they are popular and well respected IN THE WORLD AT LARGE, which is where they grab more “sheep” to bring in to the fold. They will be well respected men in the secular world, and even sought after by world leaders for their spiritual advice. Jesus had this blunt remark about BEING POPULAR:
“If the WORLD HATE YOU, ye KNOW THAT IT HATED ME BEFORE
IT HATED YOU. If ye were OF THE WORLD, THE WORLD WOULD LOVE HIS OWN:
but because YE ARE NOT OF THIS WORLD, but I have chosen you out the world, therefore the world hateth you.
Remember the word that I said unto you, THE SERVANT IS NOT GREATER THAN HIS LORD. If they have PERSECUTED ME, THEY WILL ALSO PERSECUTE YOU; IF THEY HAVE KEPT MY SAYING, THEY WILL KEEP YOURS ALSO. BUT ALL THESE THINGS WILL THEY DO UNTO YOU FOR MY NAME’S SAKE, BECAUSE THEY KNOW NOT HIM THAT SENT ME.
Jesus Christ says here quite bluntly that THE WORLD AT LARGE, AND THAT INCLUDES APOSTATE CHRISTIANITY WILL HATE THE PREACHER WHO PREACHES THE TRUTH, THEY WILL HATE HIM AND WILL PERSECUTE HIM, REVILE HIM, AND THEY WILL THROW HIM OUT OF THEIR CHURCHES, THEY WILL SHUN HIM AND ATTEMPT BY ANY MEANS TO SILENCE HIM. This is the nature of the UNREGENERATE MIND, WHICH IS HOSTILE TOWARDS GOD. To be hated and to be persecuted is the very OPPOSITE of being POPULAR. Thus we find a direct contradiction:
POPULAR AND LOVED VS HATED AND PERSECUTED
BY THE WORLD VS BY THE WORLD
Jesus was most blunt that the WORLD LOVES ITS OWN. It is then obvious that the false prophets MUST AND DO BRING IN A WORLDLY GOSPEL, A GOSPEL THE WORLD LOVES TO HEAR. They thus ensure their popularity before men and ARE NOT PREACHING OR TEACHING THE TRUTH WHATEVER. If they were telling the truth, their popularity would fade rapidly, their coffers would dry up, and they would find themselves OUT OF A BUSINESS PROFESSION, WHICH IS WHAT IT IS. These false prophets are BUSINESS MEN, WHO MAKE MERCHANDISE OF CHRIST AND HIS FOLLOWERS.
“Blessed are they WHICH ARE PERSECUTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS’ SAKE:
For their’s is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men SHALL REVILE YOU, AND PERSECUTE YOU, AND SHALL SAY ALL MANNER OF EVIL AGAINST YOU FALSELY, FOR MY SAKE.
Rejoice, and be EXCEEDING GLAD: For GREAT IS YOUR REWARD IN HEAVEN:
FOR SO PERSECUTED THEY THE PROPHETS WHICH WERE BEFORE YOU.”
Do you think Jesus Christ was KIDDING? Do you think He does not know of what He speaks? THE TRUE PROPHET OF GOD IS A HATED, REVILED MAN, HE IS PERSECUTED BY HIS OWN CHURCH, FOR THEY WILL NOT ENDURE SOUND DOCTRINE, THEY WILL NOT ALLOW TRUTH TO BE PRESENTED, AND THEY MUST THEN THROW OUT ALL TRUTH TELLERS. They will manufacture VICIOUS LIES against the true prophet of God, they will ATTACK THE PERSON, BECAUSE THEY CANNOT ATTACK THE TRUTH. He will be accused of all manner of falsehoods, such as BEING A DEMONIC, BEING A FALSE PROPHET, BEING A LIAR AND WORSE. Whatever the filthy minds can dredge up to hurl upon the true minister of God, IT WILL BE DREDGED UP AND LAID UPON HIM. Glory be to God!
This hardly sounds LIKE A POPULAR PREACHER! This does not sound like someone the leaders of the world WOULD SEEK AFTER, or someone who would be the MOST ADMIRED MAN OF THE WORLD. It sounds like the very opposite. If your ministry is POPULAR WITH MOST PEOPLE, YOU BETTER EXAMINE YOUR MESSAGE!
The word “follow” is ‘exakoloutheo’, which means TO FOLLOW OUT, TO IMITATE, OBEY, YIELD TO. The vast majority of Christians yield to these heresies, and they follow after them and the false teachers who espouse them. The word “pernicious” is ‘apoleia’, the same word used for damnable, which means ETERNAL RUIN OR LOSS. Notice that Peter is not speaking of following after the behavior patterns, morals or ethics of these men, which by implication are above reproach. What the many do is follow after the heresies, which bring in a multitude of “ways” to salvation. If the followers of these false teachers end up in eternal ruin, what do you suppose God will do with the teachers themselves? There is little excuse for a lack of knowledge, and there is no excuse for apostasy. IT IS JUDGED BY GOD AND CONDEMNED BY GOD.
SECOND Peter 2:2 does not say MIGHT FOLLOW OR COULD FOLLOW. It says bluntly that the many WILL FOLLOW THE FALSE TEACHERS TO ETERNAL RUIN. IT IS AN IMPERATIVE CONDITION: IT WILL HAPPEN. We have many on the broad way, and we have many Christians following after false prophets, and many rejected by Christ. Therefore by deduction we can conclude and confirm what Peter and Christ warned: IT IS A FALSE DOCTRINE, THAT IF EMBRACED AND BELIEVED, REMOVES THE POSSIBILITY OF EVER COMING INTO UNION WITH JESUS CHRIST. Is all of this sheer coincidence?
All of this appears to be a denial to pick up the Cross for themselves, and will do anything, embrace any doctrine that BYPASSES the Cross of Christ and their OWN CROSS. In the next blog, we will follow thois even deeper, because it is imperative one understands what Peter is telling us, and by understanding it, we can AVOID THE ERROR that leads to damnation.