False Prophets and Teachers
Sabbath School Lesson 2017 Quarter 2 Lesson 11 Sunday
The lesson asks us to read portions of 2Peter 2, lets read the entire chapter from the NIV and then from The Remedy and discuss it:
- But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. [While this is true that some humans will deny Jesus is Lord, do the devils deny Jesus is Lord? Remember what the demoniacs said?]
- Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. [What are their shameful ways? Will it not be the ways that deny truth, which leads to superstitions and denying love, i.e. promoting selfishness?]
- In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. [What does this mean? An infliction, or a consequence?]
- For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment;
- If he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;
- If he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;
- And if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men
- (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)—
- If this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.
- This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority. [Are these words easy to understand? Do they incite fear or love? What law lens are you hearing these words through? What do they mean in reality? What is God actually doing?] Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings;
- Yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord.
- But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish.
- They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.
- With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! [accursed by who or what?]
- They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness.
- But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—a beast without speech—who spoke with a man’s voice and restrained the prophet’s madness. [What is the straight way they have left?]
- These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. [What does this mean? Reserved by whom, what is the cause of the darkness?]
- For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error.
- They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.
- If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. [Why are they worse?]
- It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.
- Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.”
Do you see God and His law of love, the principle of liberty in these verses? Or do these verses bring up ideas of imposed laws and inflicted punishments?
When you read them to you feel more love, peace, joy, or more anxiety, fear and dread? Why? Does the preconceived ideas we have been taught impact how we hear these words?
From The Remedy:
- In the past, among God’s people were those who claimed to speak for God and bring his Remedy, but they did not speak for God at all, and they brought a false remedy. Likewise, there will be people among you who claim to teach God’s truth and have God’s Remedy but will teach lies. They will subtly introduce false remedies—destructive doctrines purported to heal but actually incite fear, shut down thinking, and damage the mind. They will even deny the Sovereign Lord who procured the Remedy, thus bringing rapid deterioration and destruction upon themselves. [Do you see design law in this version? What happens to a person who refuses remedy? Why does it happen?]
- There will be large numbers of people who embrace their corrupt ways while calling themselves Christians, thus causing the Remedy to be considered worthless. [Why?]
- In their eagerness for power, fame and wealth, these false teachers will mislead you with theories and doctrines they have made up on their own. Because of this, their terminal condition only worsens, and their ultimate destruction is unavoidable. [Again do you see why? Is God to be feared in this rendering or is unremedied sin to be feared?]
- For God did not suspend reality to let the angels avoid the consequences of their deviation from his design for life, but he expelled them from his presence, suspending them in utter darkness for the day they reap the full result of unremedied sin. [What is this saying? What does the Bible teach about God’s presences? 1st Timothy 6:16 God lives in unapproachable light. Jesus is the source of light. So how would God suspend angels in utter darkness? By expelling them from His presence, which occurred by whose choice? And is this speaking primarily of physical light or the light of truth?]
- God did not allow the gangrenous ancient world to completely cut itself off from him but brought the flood to excise the necrosis and save Noah–a teacher of the Remedy–and seven others.
- He diagnosed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah as beyond healing, and in mercy, he cauterized those festering lesions to ash, making it clear that the unhealed will not be made to suffer eternally, but the torment of sin will mercifully be ended; [Do these stories show a God who is love working to heal and save, like a doctor intervening with a very sick patient, or a deity who is angry and mad who seeks to torture and kill, which God do you see in these verses?]
- And God delivered Lot–a man who partook of the Remedy and was tormented by the disgusting lives of those living in violation of God’s design–
- For it was torture for that man with a healed mind and sensitive heart to live day after day among such vileness and see and hear such vulgarity. [what was the cause of the torment to Lot? Was it inflicted by God or was it due to sin in his world? Have any of you been tormented when those you love have chosen to indulge sin and debased, damaged and injured themselves?]
- If God can do all of this, he also knows how to rescue from affliction the godly—those who have partaken of the Remedy—while preserving until the day everyone is accurately diagnosed, the ungodly—those who by refusing the Remedy suffer in persistent sin,
- And especially those whose minds are controlled by selfishness and who are so self- centered that they despise any authority, oversight, or redirection. They are presumptuous, pompous and arrogant; they are so self-absorbed that they have no respect for heavenly beings, but instead, they denigrate them.
- Yet even angels, who are mightier and stronger than these false teachers, do not slander such beings in the presence of God–the source of all truth.
- These people speak foolishly about things they don’t even comprehend; they are like unthinking animals, driven by fear, rage, and lust. They are caught up in their own destructive choices, and—like the unthinking beasts—they will also perish. [Why will they perish—a judicial infliction, or the natural result of unremedied sin and separation from the only source of life?]
- They will reap what they have sown, receiving as their wages the harmful results of living outside God’s design. Their idea of health and happiness is to violate trust, stay faithful to no one, and openly indulge the basest passions. They are festering lesions of decay, reveling in their orgies.
- They constantly backstab, betray and exploit; they never stop violating God’s design for life—the law of love—and instead, constantly promote selfishness. They seduce the immature and unstable; they are experts in taking for themselves, regardless of how it hurts others. They are unhealed, dying under the curse of sin;
- They have chosen to leave the design protocols for life and have embraced the methods of Balaam, son of Beor, who loved the rewards procured by exploiting others.
- But a donkey had more sense than Balaam and told him he was wrong. With the voice of a man, the donkey spoke and stopped the prophet’s insane action.
- These people have nothing to offer; they are like dried-up springs, having no more substance than a vapor trail in the sky. Eternal darkness is what awaits them. [Why? What is the result of eternal separation from the source of all light, truth and love?]
- They proclaim a false message, empty of any healing power but appealing to the selfish human desire to advance self. They entice people who are only just escaping the dog-eat-dog world.
- They promise freedom from fear and selfishness but are themselves slaves to their own insecurities, lusts and depraved natures—for a person is a slave to whatever controls them.
- If they have broken free from the corruption of the world by experiencing a genuine intimacy with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ but choose to entangle themselves again in the web of selfishness, lust and deceit, they are worse than they were before they knew the freedom in Christ.
- They would suffer less if they had never experienced the joy and freedom of righteousness than to have known it and turned back into slavery and pain, ignoring God’s design–the sacred protocols that were passed on to them.
- Their characters prove true the proverbs: “A dog swallows its own vomit,” and “You can clean a pig, but it will return to wallowing in the mud.”
The lesson asks how we can protect ourselves against accepting false doctrines?
What method do you use?
What about the integrative evidenced-based approach, which requires us to know God’s design laws, and harmonize our understanding of Scripture with testable parameters and real life experiences?
When we do this what kind of a God do we find? And isn’t the ultimate question, the ultimate truth the truth about God Himself, His nature, character, method of operating?
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