False Teachers Under 2 Peter 2—by Richard Duke

Written to Peter—2 Peter 1:1

Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ:

False teachers, especially at the end of time, are mentioned in the Bible. This paper focuses on false teachers 2 Peter 2 because the entire chapter is directed toward and about false teachers. This paper also focuses on false teachers who were sanctified, knew God and knew the way of righteousness but turned away from God under 2 Peter 2:20-22.

Before I Begin

Please understand that the Greek language, from which the New Testament was written, contained two basic tenses of writing:

  • the perfect past tense; and
  • the present active tense.

However there were several other Greek tenses, as shown below:

Kind of Action and Time of Action for Each Verb Tense
Tense Name Kind of Action Time Element (In Indicative Mood)
Present  Progressive (or “Continuous”) present
Aorist  Simple (or “Summary”) Occurrence past
Perfect  Completed, with Results past, with present results
Imperfect Progressive (or “Continuous”) past
Future  Simple Occurrence future
Past Perfect Completed, with Results past
Future Perfect Completed, with Results future

I will use the two basic Greek tenses to show an event (perfect past tense) and the present active tense, showing that actions were not event but continuous.

Examples of the perfect past tense include:  He was crucified.   By one sacrifice He became…

Examples of the present active tense (that most of the New Testament was written in originally—in Greek) include:  we must be denying the psuche (soul) and taking up our cross; those who are belonging to the Messiah are crucifying the sinful nature with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:24).

Here is an example of a verse that includes both the perfect past tense and the present active tense:

Hebrews 10:14

For by one sacrifice [perfect past tense] He is perfecting forever those who are being made [present active tense] holy (sanctified).

It was one sacrifice by the Messiah but as it relates to us it involves continuous actions of holiness, not one event involving holiness.

We Are Chosen

Remember that we are chosen for going through sanctification so that we are obeying (1 Peter 1:2) and to be saved (2 Thessalonians 2:13).  I recommend that you now read 1 Peter 2:4-5 to see that the chosen ones are like living stones built into a Spiritual house to be a holy priesthood acceptable to the Messiah.

2 Peter 2 is a chapter about and directed toward FALSE teachers. Read this chapter carefully and slowly; and then see the warnings to these false teachers that their teachings are false because they fell away under 2 Peter 2:20-22.  Note that 2 Peter 2 does not refer to teachers who never received salvation; they received salvation and lost it.

The Hope of Salvation.

1 Thessalonians 5:8

But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.

Hope is a word of time, outside the realm of eternity.  Salvation is a word of time, not eternity, because the soul, not the spirit, is saved.  The Spirit does not receive salvation; it receives breath from God; and breath represents spiritual life. The soul—will, intellect and emotions [the mind] —by Greek definition (psuche) sees matters of time outside the realm of eternity.  The spirit sees matters of eternity, outside the realm of time.   Salvation is a word of time and it is tied in with eternity in only one verse in the Bible:

Hebrews 5:8-9

8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;  9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him…

The Gospel of the Kingdom

Hope is in the mind.  The soul is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11).  The spirit is in the breath.  He breathed into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7). The desires of the soul (the I/ego) must be dying during this age so that the spirit can live.  There is both space and time in this age.  There is only space in the realm of eternity.  The gospel is us in Yeshua—by faith we believe in His death, burial and resurrection.  We have no part in the gospel except believing by faith that He is our Savior.  But in the gospel of the Kingdom, Yeshua is not the Savior but the king, the head of a mighty army.   The gospel of the Kingdom is Yeshua in us (not us in Yeshua, which is the gospel).  This, Messiah Yeshua in us, is a mystery; and the false teachers in 2 Peter 2 and stated clearly in 2 Peter 2:20-22, do not understand this mystery of Yeshua, the Messiah, in us.

The gospel involves no work; the gospel of the Kingdom involves much work, wresting, warring, etc. in order to make more and more room inside us for the Messiah.  See Colossians below.

Colossians 1:24-27

24 Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

When the Messiah comes into us, we have the HOPE of glory.  Hope is a word of time, not a word of eternity.   You will see, below, that such a person is still not chosen—unless he goes through sanctification (holiness).    And a person cannot follow Yeshua unless he is denying (crucifying the desires) his soul. See Luke 9:23.

Here is further confirmation that the gospel (blood and belief that Yeshua is the Savior and saves our souls) is not enough for the Kingdom of God (and the Messiah in us):

1 Corinthians 15:1-2

1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

The gospel of the Kingdom is required–Messiah in us (the gospel of us in the Messiah— but not sufficient [to quote Derek Prince]); as shown by those who belong to the Messiah (written in the correct present, active tense):

Galatians 5:24

Those who are belonging to Messiah Yeshua are crucifying the sinful nature with its passions and desires.

Crucifying the sinful nature involves battles in the Kingdom of God:  demons, curses, temptations, sufferings, wrestling, etc.  This is following the King; and when we follow the King we understand the mystery of the ages:  Messiah in us.

Please now look at what Paul was asking for with respect to the believers in Ephesians:

Ephesians 1:15-23, 29-31

15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[f] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. 31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Few Are Chosen

We are called AFTER we are predestined (to be conformed to the likeness of His Son).   Yeshua said many are called (invited) but few are chosen (Matthew 22:14).  See Ephesians above.  Hope does not come in the mind (soul) until the heart is enlightened.  The heart must be enlightened before the calling of the soul can be understood (Hebrews 9:15).

For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance–now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

Note from the above verse that we are called so that we may receive the eternal inheritance.  But calling is not enough.  Many are called but few are chosen (for obedience through sanctification).  And also remember that Yeshua is the source of eternal salvation for those who obey Him.   See Hebrews 5:9.

See the condition for receiving the eternal inheritance:

Hebrews 10:36

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

Persevering involves the Kingdom of God—sanctification and killing the desires of the soul to make more and more room for the Messiah inside of us.

Look at Ephesians again, above.  So, can the heart be enlightened and can a person then know the hope to which he has been called and still fall away? YES.   Can the heart be enlightened and still lose his inheritance?  Yes.  Continue reading for the Scriptures that show this is yes.

And Revelation states that those who overcome inherit this [new Heaven and earth—Revelation 21:1].

Revelation 21:7He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be My son.

Revelation 21:8 describes the others (even if at some point they were saved) who did not overcome:

Revelation 21:8

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.

The unbelieving, as you will see from reading all of this writing, are those who refused to go through sanctification.

I Peter 1:2

…who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

We have been chosen to go through sanctification (holiness) to be obedient to Yeshua.   But we are not robots and we can choose not to go through sanctification; or discontinue going through sanctification.    Many are called but few are chosen.

2 Thessalonians 2:13-14

13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14 He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Notice He chose a person to go through sanctification to receive salvation (saved).   He called a person through the gospel (being in Yeshua–gospel, not Yeshua being in us—gospel of the Kingdom) so we MIGHT share in the glory…

2 Peter 2:20-22

20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world [definition of sanctification] by knowing [the word in Greek is “epignosis”] our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it [the world—controlled by what the world tells the five senses] and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness [how to live a righteous life], than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,”[a] and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”

Epignosis, the word for “knowing” in 2 Peter 2:20 means:  clear and exact knowledge.  It is an intense word because it expresses a more thorough participation in the object of knowledge on the part of the subject.  It refers to knowledge which very powerfully influences the form of the religious life, a knowledge laying claim to personal sympathy and exerting an influence upon the person.  In Colossians 2:2, 23 it means discernment in connection with the knowledge of possession of salvation which determines the moral conduct (see Philippians 1:9, the knowledge which enables one to avoid error,  cf. Romans 10:2; 11:33; 2 Peter 1:5).

False Teachers

These teachers had received what Paul was praying for—and more–in Ephesians 1:15-23.

These false teachers, as shown by reading the many arguments between the Calvinists and the Armenians, is that these teachers believed that once they were saved they would always be saved.  This is false doctrine.   Being saved (salvation) is a word of time, not eternity.  Salvation is having the soul saved (gospel) that that the spirit can live (gospel of the Kingdom).  No work in the gospel; work in the gospel of the Kingdom: warfare, suffering demons, etc. and etc.  Sanctification is saying no to the five senses. Denying the soul—will, intellect and emotions (the mind)—is crucifying the desires of the soul—in order to follow me you must be crucifying the desires of the soul and taking up your cross.

These teachers fell away (read 1 Peter 2 carefully and then coming to the conclusion at 2 Peter 2:20-22) and these last verses show WHY they became false teachers—as a result of falling away.

The only time the word for a very slow falling away (Greek word) occurs in the Bible is from the below verses in Hebrews:

Warning to Those Who Believe They are Standing Firm

Look at Israel’s history under 1 Corinthians 10:1-11 and then read the warning to believers at verse 12.

1 Corinthians 10:1-12

1 For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.”[a] 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9 We should not test Christ,[b] as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.

11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!

Hebrews 6:1-12

Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2 instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so. 4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, 6 if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. 7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned. 9 Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are confident of better things in your case–things that accompany salvation. 10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

Can one become enlightened without receiving salvation (being saved)?  No.

Can one taste the heavenly gift without being saved?  No.

Can one share in the Holy Spirit without being saved?  No.

Can on taste the goodness of the Word of God and the powers of the coming age without being saved?  No.

John Bevere in one of his books quotes several of Paul’s primary students who state clearly, in writing, that one can lose his salvation and have his name blotted (erased) from the book of Life.

Read 2 Peter 2 carefully and see the warnings of why these teachers are false teachers, again with the conclusion at 2 Peter 2:20-22.

2 Peter 2:20 confirms these verses in the Old Testament:  Ezekiel—3:20; 18:24, 26; 33:13,18.

Ezekiel 18:24

But if a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked person does, will they live? None of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness they are guilty of and because of the sins they have committed, they will die.

Thomas Jefferson’s positions toward Yeshua can be questioned but please read what he wrote about John Calvin. John Calvin is the author of the modern doctrine that God predestined those who go to heaven, a false doctrine because the Bible states that we are predestined to be conformed to the likeness of Yeshua. Calvin is also the author of the modern doctrine of once saved/always saved, which is a false doctrine because salvation SAVES the soul but it is the Spirit from God the Father that gives eternal life.  The soul is saved; the spirit lives.

… I can never join Calvin in addressing his God. He was indeed an atheist, which I can never be; or rather his religion was daemonism [demonism]. If ever man worshiped a false God, he did. The Being described in his five points, is not the God whom you and I acknowledge and adore, the Creator and benevolent Governor of the world; but a demon of malignant spirit. It would be more pardonable to believe in no God at all, than to blaspheme Him by the atrocious attributes of Calvin. Indeed, I think that every Christian sect gives a great handle to atheism by their general dogma, that, without a revelation, there would not be sufficient proof of the being of a God.   Adrienne Koch and William Peden, The Life and Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson 705-706 (Random House, Inc. 1972).

Also, I ask this, have you ever read about John Calvin and his actions toward others?  I have read much about John Calvin.  Derek Prince, as well as others, also knew the facts about Calvin. You should learn about Calvin also.  You will be shocked.   Please read this entire paper, and study the Scriptures carefully again, and see how doctrines are often not true.

And, finally ask yourself these questions:  First, how does any believer place his spiritual walk on the belief that the event of salvation (first getting saved) when the many warnings in the Bible are written to believers, not non-believers who do not read the Bible.  And second, how can one believe that a human cannot say no to God after receiving salvation when Lucifer, the angel of light, fall?

In this age, which is outside the realm of eternity, there exists no one-sided knife or one-sided anything.  There is no up without down; no left without right; no Light without dark.  God did not produce robots and when He says He will never leave us, that does not take away the other side, which is that he gave us a will and that will can and does turn away from God.

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