“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.”
even as there will be false teachers among you,
“Even as” draws an analogy to Israel. “As” sets up an analogy between Israel and the church. “False teachers” will come to the church just like they did in the Old Testament. First, Peter says that these religious leaders were “false prophets,” and now he calls them “false teachers.”
“There will be” indicates that the church will always be plagued with false teaching. We can expect false teachers in any generation of the church. Christians who do not expect false teaching to come to the church are naïve.
who will secretly bring in destructive heresies
“Who” is indefinite and means representatives of a category or class. “False teachers” are a category or class the church needs to identify. The reason is these false prophets and teachers carry a “nice” façade. They teach content that tickles the ears of those who listen. They adjust what they teach to accommodate what their listeners want to hear.
“Secretly bring in” is one word in Greek and means bring in alongside. It comes from three words: to lead, into, and along aside. This word carries the idea of a secret agent. These false teachers lead people to their side to teach false doctrine. The idea is to “covertly interpose” false teaching into the church (Ga 2:4). These heretics infiltrated the church of that day. They create smoke screens whereby we cannot distinguish truth from error.
False teachers do not simply hide what they teach; they also distort the truth of the Bible. They did not set themselves up as opponents of Christianity. Far from it. They insidiously, imperceptibly, and gradually brought their teaching to the church. They lured people from God’s truth to their private notions.
Ga 2:4, “And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage).”
False teachers came to the church at Galatia. They came in unaware. No one knew it. No one detected it until after they fell for false teaching. Now they are difficult to unseat from leadership. They are in the saddle and run the show.
“Destructive heresies” are teachings contrary to the New Testament (Ac 24:14; Ga 5:20). A heresy is an opinion contrary to Scripture. These “heresies” are “destructive,” for they lead people astray and into spiritual devastation. Heresies” is the content of teaching that is not true. This brings in instruction that destroys the soul.
False teachers must teach some truth, or they cannot secretly bring in their false teaching. They do not deny biblical truth outright. They change the emphasis on something other than what the Bible completely says.
All religion comes from Satan.
The only way Satan can reach the believer is through deception. Satan’s ideas gain momentum through religion. All religion has its origin in Satan. Religion is the worst fallacy to come into the world and is responsible for many evils globally.
This particular passage warns us about those who communicate religion. To understand this, we must remember that Christianity is not a religion. Religion gains God’s favor by attempting to get God’s approbation through works. Christianity is the antithesis of religion. In Christianity, God is the giver, and man is the receiver. In religion, man is the giver, and God is the receiver.
Some religious teachers are smart operators. They do not want us to know what they actually believe, so they create smoke screens. Suppose A is in love with B. A does not want anyone to know they are in love with B, so they date C. C is a smokescreen for B. That is what “bring in alongside” means. If C gets smart, they will drop A like a hot potato. C will harm themselves if they hang around with A. All C is, is a smokescreen for A.
Much of what is taught in religion is straight out of the mouth of the devil. Few people stand up and say, “Max Nix to religion!! I do not want to have any part of this.” Religion is a smokescreen for satanic doctrine. People can be so nice and sincere, but they secretly bring in false doctrine. Most people who accept false doctrine are not aware of its source.
Many false teachers manipulate people into believing things contrary to the Bible. They do not come and say, “Frankly, I do not believe the Bible. I do not believe that the blood of Christ is the only way of salvation. I do not believe in the deity of Christ.” They are too smart for that. These false teachers insidiously betray what is true to Scripture. They omit essential truths like heaven and hell, the gospel, and the integrity of Scripture. They devote themselves to religious shadowboxing. As a result, many Churches fall for their phony teaching. These churches leave their historical teaching.