2 Peter 2:1-22
Expository Bible Study (False Teachers In The Church)

Dan Corner

false teachers in the church

false teachers in the church

False Teachers In The Church Of Our Day

2 peter 2:1 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. (2 Pet 2:1)
false teachers new converts appeal to sinful nature As false prophets in Old Testament times were very dangerous and were in the midst of the people of God, that is how it is now with dangerous false teachers in the church. WARNING: Again, plural false and dangerous teachers will be speaking their poisonous distortions of Scripture to Christians. In our day it comes over the radio, TV, books, so-called gospel tracts, internet, local congregations, etc. Their doctrine is both dangerous to themselves and to real Christians! The swift destruction is spiritual, not physical destruction or they would be dead and not a threat to Christians. Since it is spiritual, that shows how dangerous it can be for even Christian teachers to spew out such false teachings, that is, because they will lose their salvation. Paul taught the same as he stated that he himself would be anathematized (condemned to hell) if he preached another gospel:

Find Out NOW Who Are The Righteous
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! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! (Gal 1:8,9)
Hence, there are various ways to lose salvation, including by preaching certain false doctrines!

Here Is A List of False Teachers

Heresy Teachers Mislead New Converts

2 peter 2:2 Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. (2 Pet 2:2)
Many Christians will be misled by heresy teachers. Verse 18 shows they are new converts.backslider backsliding backslidden Those adversely affected doctrinally will also be changed behaviorally by false doctrine. The way of truth refers to Christianity itself and it too will even be hurt by false teachers in the church because they profess to be Christian but are not living holy. That verse also shows the various ways false teachers in the church do damage -- to Christians and the image of Christianity as a whole. The devil gets many victories with smooth-talking grace changers whose hidden goal in teaching is to convince Christians that they can stray like King David did into adultery, murder, etc. and retain their salvation. COMMENT: That is not a very noble goal, but they camouflage it by trying to link such to the infinite work of Christ, his blood, grace, etc.
2 peter 2:3 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. (2 Pet 2:3)
False teachers in the church are often motivated by greed and will be story tellers. They are definitely hell-bound people. Jude supplements the various truths in 2 Peter 2 and also re-establishes the many truths mentioned.

You Cannot Sin And Get Away With It

2 peter 2:4 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; (2 Pet 2:4)
expository bible study 2 peter 2 Peter refers to historical fact, which is not clearly shown in the OT. God judged angels who sinned and they were put in spiritual dungeons in Tartaroo (Greek). No creature, including angels, can sin and get away with sin!
2 peter 2:5 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; (2 Pet 2:5)
Besides the example of how God dealt with angels who sinned, we also have the ancient world in Noah's day who sinned. God likewise judged those ungodly people, but also protected Noah. Though it doesn't say how Noah was protected here, it was by the ark he himself built, as directed by God.
2 peter 2:6-9 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. (2 Pet 2:6-9)
false teachers in the church Besides the angels and the ancient world in Noah's day, God also judged sin when he burned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes, killing all the inhabitants. That judgment by fire is very important in another way as it is also an example of future judgment and treatment beyond the grave on the ungodly. See Rev. 20:15; 21:8; Mt. 18:8,9. Note the following passage:
On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot. For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face. (Psa 11:6,7)
Clearly, not all will go to a paradise environment beyond the grave. There is no Universalism! In fact, most will not enter God's kingdom after their death (Mt. 7:13,14 cf. Lk. 13:23,24). Just like with Noah being protected, Lot too was rescued out of Sodom before it was destroyed. God rescues the righteous from such judgment. It takes true righteousness to receive that type of protection, as Peter teaches about grace. NOTE: The wicked grace changers try to connect Lot being righteous Such is offered as support of their doctrine, which helps to reveal how sinister it is. Both John and Paul clarify who are righteous, and it simultaneously exposes the grace changer's distortion of God's word:
Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil (1 John 3:7, 8)
Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey -- whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? (Rom 6:16)
Memorize those passages. They are that important against many of the false teachers in the church. Do you know now who is of the devil?


As you read this, God is still holding those same unrighteous people from Sodom and continuing their punishment. For God to continue their punishment means they are in unending torment, since that occurred thousands of years ago! They, therefore, were not annihilated and neither were they in a soul sleep! That is a clear and powerful passage crushing such false teachings found in Jehovah's Witnesses, SDA, Universalism, etc.

2 peter 2:10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings; (2 Pet 2:10)

The False Teachers In The Church Were No Longer Righteous

false teachers in the church The false teachers Peter has in mind are definitely headed for the same treatment as those referred to in verses 6 through 9, since they are following the evil desires of the sinful nature and despise authority. They are no longer righteous, even though they were previously saved, which will become clear later in this chapter. Those same false teachers, mentioned from 2 Peter 2:1, are also bold, arrogant and slander celestial beings.
2 peter 2:11 yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord. (2 Pet 2:11)
Whatever those celestial beings are, they are not angels or even fallen angels! We know that because angels, who are much more powerful than man, do not slanderously accuse celestial beings in the presence of God.
2 peter 2:12 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. (2 Pet 2:12)
Again Peter mentions those false teachers blaspheme. He also compares them to four legged wild animals, that is, mere creatures of instinct. As those animals are destroyed, the false teachers will perish [in hell].
2 peter 2:13 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. (2 Pet 2:13)
Them being sent to hell is their payment for their harmful teachings and sins. Those false teachers in the church openly sinned in broad daylight, but still feasted with the saints! Those ungodly people are spiritual blots and blemishes before God.

They Never Stop Sinning But Think They Are On The Road To Heaven

2 peter 2:14 With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! (2 Pet 2:14)
They are lustful and therefore adulterous based on Jesus' teaching in Mt. 5:28,29, a SOUL-DAMNING sin. They never stop sinning. NOTE: The once saved always saved (OSAS) people declare the same about themselves, that is, they never stop sinning too and usually cite the Apostle Paul as the chief of sinners! Since the people in 2 Peter 2:14 never stop sinning and are on the road to hell, and the OSAS people profess the same about themselves (they never stop sinning), why should a Christian think such people are on the road to heaven? Shocking but true: They actually think they are on the road to heaven as they unashamedly acknowledge they never stop sinning!


Those false teachers spiritually seduce the Christians who are unstable, as they are experts in and motivated by their greed. They are accursed. That same Greek word is used In Heb. 6:8 and refers to worthless land, which will be burned because of its bad fruit (thorns and thistles):

But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned. (Heb 6:8)
Hence, those spiritual snares and counterfeits would never have been accepted as another Christian and supported by Peter, Jude, Paul or anyone else in the early church.
2 peter 2:15 They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness. (2 Pet 2:15)
Those false teachers in the church were once saved, but strayed off for the same reason which Balaam did -- over money. Unfortunately, one can get rich through declaring false teaching. Hence, it is a real temptation for many.
2 peter 2:16 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. (2 Pet 2:16)
Balaam was rebuked by his own donkey! Many would say that is impossible. It can not happen, but it did! God actually spoke a rebuke, in Balaam's language, through a donkey! (Similarly, the devil spoke through a snake in Genesis 3. The devil can copy, sometimes, the miracles of God. Be on your guard.)
2 peter 2:17 These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. (2 Pet 2:17)
Again, those former Christians were now filled with sin and teaching dangerous false doctrine. They are, without question, shown to be on the road to hell.
2 peter 2:18 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. (2 Pet 2:18)
Their teachings are empty -- meaning they are not true. They are Scripturally inaccurate and dangerous, but still adversely influencing many. Their fine-sounding message appeals especially to new converts, the ones most easy to be deceived by their false version of grace. NOTE: The five points of Calvinism are taught as the doctrines of grace!
2 peter 2:19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity -- for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. (2 Pet 2:19)
Those servants of the devil in sheep's clothing declared a freedom message for their audience, while they themselves are slaves of depravity -- being mastered by sin. NOTE: The eternal security teachers have a false deceptive freedom or liberty message too, which they also teach under their counterfeit grace! Grace was the doctrine which was attacked, according to Jude 3,4.

Worse Off At The End Than If They Had Never Been Saved

2 peter 2:20 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. (2 Pet 2:20)
Verse 20 also shows the word they refers to the false teachers, who will deceive many Christians with their empty presentations about freedom and grace, as related to the Christian life. This same verse also shows they too were once freed from the entanglement and slavery of sin, which happens at initial salvation (getting born again) for all people.
2 peter 2:21 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. (2 Pet 2:21)
Again, it is clear that such false teachers in the church were once saved, but now are worse off than would be the case if they had never been saved! They once knew the Lord but turned their backs on the sacred command. So what is the sacred command? John narrows God's commandments into one broad command:
And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. (1 John 3:23)
It is impossible to believe on Jesus if one is not OBEYING him just like it is also impossible to love a person if one is not trying to protect him/her from the hurtful effects of false doctrine.
2 peter 2:22 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." (2 Pet 2:22)
They (and all backsliders) return to their former sins and spiritual death, which are likened here to both vomit and mud. Both are disgusting and also produce an ugly putrid sight in the natural, as sin does spiritually. Don't allow false teachers in the church to deceive you!

expository 2 peter 2

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