Bible Study from Calvary Chapel Newberg

with Tom Fuller

Share

Chocolate poison, puppies, and the Real Thing

2Peter 1:12-2:3

Introduction\r
\r
As some of you may know, we have a dog, Amy. She is a little white and champagne Bichon. Amy loves to get scraps from the table ? no, we don?t feed her meat or pizza. Amy loves fruits and vegetables. Recently a vet told us he had never heard of a dog that would eat cucumbers and broccoli ? but that?s Amy.\r
\r
She also loves something else: chocolate. If you leave chocolate anywhere accessible, she will find it. One time I left a Butterfinger bar on my bed for just a moment. She consumed it ? and guess what, I spent all night cleaning up the aftermath. \r
\r
Chocolate, you see, tastes wonderful ? but it is poison to a dog.\r
\r
Just as there are foods that can kill ? puffer fish, for example ? there exists spiritual poison as well ? ideas and concepts that slide over the tongue and down the throat as ?Mm-mm? good, but will do much damage to your spiritual life ? just like a dog eating chocolate.\r
\r
The sellers of spiritual poison are all around us ? oh they don?t advertise their wares as poisonous ? quite the contrary ? spiritual poison looks and tastes like the real thing ? but it?s not.\r
\r
Today as we continue our study in 2nd Peter, we are going to get warnings about these people ? Peter calls them ?false prophets? and ?false teachers? ? and it will do us well to know how to spot them, and how to resist them.\r
\r
Last week we learned about a process for spiritual maturity ? going from knowing God to loving God to becoming like God to loving others.\r
\r
This process also does something else for us ? it makes us spiritually better able to recognize spiritual poison ? to become almost an expert at spotting poisonous chocolate.\r
\r
If you have ever hunted for mushrooms you know the value of being able to recognize the difference between an Oyster Mushroom and an Amanita virosa (Destroying Angel ? one of which can kill a man and contains one of the deadliest poisons found in nature) The Amanita is the reason there are no old, bold mushroom hunters.\r
\r
We must be able to recognize a poisonous doctrine when we see it ? but to do that we must know the differences between good and bad.\r
\r
So Peter starts out by telling us that what we?re hearing from him might not be new ? but that doesn?t mean it?s not important to repeat.\r
\r
Vs 12 ? 15 ?And I say again ??\r
\r
Remind ? means ?suggest to the memory?\r
Suggests that they already know these things ? he is just tickling the memory to establish it as a pattern.\r
\r
Scientists have learned a lot about our brains in recent years ? remember the old brain charts you used to see ? sight is here, memory is here, emotion is here. Well, recent information suggests that there is simply no single center for our consciousness. ? no single clearinghouse for memory or emotion or language. \r
\r
?Instead, the human brain is a constantly changing constellation of relationships among billions of cells. Complex networks of neurons are linked by pathways forged, then continually revised, in response to experience.? (LA Times)\r
\r
So when you hear a Scripture for the 10th or 100th time ? don?t tune out, but let the Word be a pathway re-enforcer in your mind.\r
\r
Psalms 119:11\r
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.\r
\r
Let teaching of good doctrine work the same way ? to establish what you know.\r
\r
Established ? ?stand resolutely in one direction? ? same as in 5:10\r
\r
The goal of ?reminding? is ?remembering?\r
\r
Vs 16 ? 18 Story telling\r
\r
In order to recognize bad doctrine, we must know which doctrine to trust.\r
\r
In a court of law you have at least 4 kinds of evidence:\r
\r
? Circumstantial\r
? Hearsay\r
? Expert\r
? Eyewitness\r
Peter was an eyewitness to Jesus? life, death, and resurrection. The events he described took place in Matthew 17.\r
\r
Peter?s witness was called into question ? so he reminds folks that he was there.\r
\r
\r
Vs 19 ? 21 ?Pay attention!?\r
\r
(19) Prophecies ?Made more sure? by Jesus? life\r
\r
(20-21) The prophets didn?t make it up and we don?t get to make up what the prophecies mean.\r
\r
In a sense this whole section is like the old adage: ?Tell ?em what you?re going to tell them, tell them, then tell ?em what you told them.?\r
\r
The prophecies foretold about the Messiah ? over 300 of them. Jesus made these prophecies ?more sure? by fulfilling them ? living them out in His life. Then Peter, James, Paul, and the other apostles told what they saw and what Jesus told them.\r
\r
So why is this so important? Because it lays the basis for belief. Jesus? life wasn?t a fluke because men and women told about it beforehand ? then those that witnesses that life continued to ?testify? to what they saw after He was gone.\r
\r
But there are those out there who want to distort this foundation of fact and eyewitness ? to introduce poison to draw you away from the truth that has been established.\r
\r
\r
Chapter 2:1 False Teachers\r
\r
During the times when Isaiah and Daniel and the others prophesied about Jesus, there were also false prophets.\r
\r
The test of a prophet was easy ? if what they said happened, they lived. If what they foretold didn?t happen, they were executed.\r
\r
Did that stop false prophets? No. So now we have false teachers ? people who take the witness of the apostles, the teachings of Jesus, and the prophecies about the Messiah and twist them.\r
\r
Vs 2 Foolish Followers\r
\r
Despite the warnings there will be those that follow these false teachers ? lending credence to their doctrine ? and bringing a bad name on the Real Thing.\r
Vs 3 Exploitation\r
\r
Not only that these teachers will seek to exploit their followers by stories they have made up ? remember what Peter said ? they didn?t make up cleverly invented stories ? they were simply reporting what they saw and heard. (like a reporter does)\r
\r
Exploitation is the real end ? the word used here means to trade ? or travel the country as a peddler. They are snake oil salesmen who want to get your money and your loyalty so they can use you to barter for other souls.\r
\r
No doubt you?ve seen some of these men and women ? perhaps heard them teach, perhaps even yourselves been a part of their ministry for a time. But it is imperative that we know when we are hearing false doctrine and stay away from it like poison.\r
\r
How to spot a false teacher\r
\r
There are some clues we find in this passage for helping us not fall prey.\r
\r
1) The teachings are heresy. Heresy is a doctrine or belief that conflict with accepted religious doctrine. The greek word heresy means ? a choice. Those who promote heresy make a choice to leave the historical teachings of the church. We?re not talking about disagreements over the rapture or whether to use wine or grape juice for communion ? these are fundamental differences.\r
\r
2) They are destructive ? in other words, by agreeing with them the person is drawn away from faith in the real Jesus ? and the end is to destroy their faith and walk with the Lord\r
\r
3) They are secret ? no one stands up and says ?now here is a doctrine totally different than what you know ? and in fact runs totally counter to the gospel.? No, they are introduced as the ?next step towards faith? or ?a way to become a more successful Christian.?\r
\r
4) But here is the key ?even denying the Sovereign Lord who bought them.? The key to knowing a false teaching lies mostly in how the doctrine treats Jesus. The many cults and false teachings we see have this in common ? they depart from the historical Jesus Christ as the prophets foretold Him, as He lived His life, and as the apostles witnessed for Him.\r
\r
1 John 4:1-3\r
4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.\r
\r
Mormons believe that Jesus is the brother of Satan, Jehovah?s Witnesses deny that Jesus is God, the ?faith? movement of Kenneth Hagin and Kenneth Copeland state that Jesus had to be born again ? calling into question the atonement of Christ.\r
\r
To make ourselves false teacher proof ? we must first understand what the basic doctrines of the gospel are. \r
\r
1) Study it yourself\r
2) Study the faith statement of the church you attend, then listen to their teaching\r
3) Read accepted books ? like Great Doctrines of the Christian Faith, and Evidence That Demands A Verdict.\r
4) Keep your spiritual antennas up for false doctrine\r
\r
Galatians 1:8\r
8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! NIV\r
\r
Deut 13:1-5\r
13:1 If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, 2 and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, "Let us follow other gods" (gods you have not known) "and let us worship them," 3 you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. \r
\r
Conclusion\r
\r
Some tips for discovering false doctrine\r
\r
? It usually involves greed or sin\r
? It usually attacks Jesus in some way AND the established church\r
? It usually sounds a little too good to be true\r
? It usually involves making a choice to remove yourself into a smaller subset of Christians\r
\r
Its because living life for Christ is hard ? it means sacrifice, suffering, change, loving the unlovely, denying yourself ? but in the end it is well worth it ? but as for those who create the spread false doctrine ? next week we?ll learn their end.

>>Show/Hide Comments<<

Our SOCIAL

Visit us on social media