Tuesday, May 5, 2015

“And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” (2 Peter 2:2 KJV).

What does “pernicious” mean?

The New Oxford English Dictionary defines “pernicious” as “having a harmful effect, especially in a gradual or subtle way.” Our King James translators rendered that Greek word apoleia elsewhere as: “destruction” (Matthew 7:13; Romans 9:22; Philippians 3:19; 2 Peter 3:16), “waste” (Matthew 26:8; Mark 14:4), “perdition” (John 17:12; Philippians 1:28; 2 Thessalonians 2:3; 1 Timothy 6:9; Hebrews 10:39; 2 Peter 3:7; Revelation 17:8,11), “die” (Acts 25:16), “damnable” (2 Peter 2:1), and “damnation” (2 Peter 2:3).

We read today’s Scripture in context: “[1] But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. [2] And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. [3] And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”

Apoleia appears thrice in 2 Peter 2:1-3 (once per verse). The Holy Spirit emphasizes this very serious matter in Israel’s program. The worst of all heresies in Israel’s program, chiefly during the end-time portion, is to deny Jesus as Christ and to accept Antichrist. Throughout Matthew through John and Hebrews through Revelation, Israel is recurrently warned about deception, especially regarding a counterfeit Messiah (Matthew 24:23-26; Mark 13:21-23; John 5:43; 1 John 2:22; 1 John 4:1-4; 1 John 5:1-5; 2 John 7-11; Jude 4). What is most destructive to a Jew living in Israel’s program is to accept the wrong Messiah. Participating in Satan’s policy of evil will qualify that Jew for God’s righteous wrath at Jesus Christ’s Second Coming (Matthew 3:7-12; Hebrews 10:25-31).

Dear friends, “pernicious” doctrine and false teachers are not unique to Israel’s program. Let us be on guard today in the Dispensation of Grace, and flee those who do not “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). If they do not preach Jesus Christ as found in Romans through Philemon, avoid such “false teachers” and “pernicious ways!”