Summary: This is the 15th study in the study "Hope In The Darkness". This study looks at the discernment of false teachers and their fate.
LIVING IN WAR
As Christians we are members of God’s Army. As we just read, we are at spiritual war every day and God has given us the armor necessary to not just survive but to be victorious. One of the tactics of the enemy is that Satan uses spies. A spy is simply someone who pretends to be on your side, but yet is your enemy and is constantly trying to destroy your army. The higher in leadership the spy can become the more effective the spy.
The Bible refers to the enemies’ spies as false prophets or false teachers. In order for us to be able to march onward for God each day we must be able to not only recognize those spies but also understand that we may have to take a stand against them. In this study we will look at the description of the spies, the destruction of the spies, and the deliverance from the spies.
Description Of The Spies
In these three verses we find a description of Satan’s spies. The first description given is the spy will bring in destructive divisions. Notice that these divisions are “smuggled” in or simply they are brought in with no one noticing. The purpose for this is to put the believers against one another. If Satan can get God’s Army to “shooting”, “stabbing”, and “beating” one another; then it makes the battle easier for him to win. Now we all know that God wins the war, but it is the daily battles that many of us lose each day. That is not God’s fault, it is ours.
The second description given is the spy will deny the Word of God. We must understand that these false teachers and false prophets will use parts of Scripture, but only enough to try to convince you that they are genuine because they are using Scripture. Remember, if you take just one verse of Scripture, you can make it do whatever you want it to. Our last study focused on the fact that we needed to be constantly reminded of Scripture. Why? This is the main reason right here. If you do not know Scripture, how will you know what is true and what is false? Just because it sounds convincing doesn’t make it true. The Bible tells us to study in order to show ourselves approved. Anytime you hear something that doesn’t quite add up, first study the Scripture for yourself and then ask yourself this simple question: “Do I believe this because someone convinced me of it, or do I believe it because this is what the Holy Spirit has shown me through Scripture?”
The third description given is the spy will be leading anyone who will follow primarily for whatever they can personally get out of it. They are very selfish and are seeking personal wealth, fame, etc… What’s worse is many times these spies are very “charismatic” speakers and are very convincing. Therefore, they will drag many with them.
Destruction Of The Spies
In these verses Peter reminds us of how God has handled the enemy through the centuries. The first example we are given is the fallen angels. As the Scripture below will show us, Satan who was an Archangel decided that he was going to dethrone God and become God. Satan convinced 1/3 of the angels in Heaven to follow him in this rebellion. God won this battle and therefore cast the 1/3 of angels that had followed Satan out of Heaven. Some of these fallen angels, which we call demons, are already confined to Tartarus. Many scholars believe that Tartarus is a special section of Hell where these fallen angels are chained up. Although these fallen angels are locked up, there are still many demons that are busy at work for their leader, Satan.
The next example of the destruction of the enemy takes us back to the days of Noah. “The ancient ungodly world” was destroyed by flood. During the 120 years that Noah built the ark, he was warning the people of what was getting ready to happen, but they were hardened and didn’t have time to listen to Noah’s “stupid junk”. Those people did not believe that they would be destroyed. The Bible also tells us that when Jesus comes again there will be many people that will have the same type of attitude as those in Noah’s day, but I will assure you Jesus is coming again.
The third example given is that of Sodom and Gomorrah. If you remember the story, Abraham asked God to spare Sodom and Gomorrah if just 10 righteous people could be found, but there were not even 10. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of their evilness.