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December 17 - Evening

"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. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up."
- Second Peter 2:1-3

False Teachers

The Old Testament people of God had to sift through the prophets to sort out the true from the false. These false prophets spoke contrary to the true prophets, but where readily received by the people since their message was more tolerable and culturally relevant. Interestingly, Peter does not make the comparison and tell the church that they will also have to sift through false prophets. Instead, Peter warns the church that they will face pseudo-didaskaloi, or "false teachers." It appears these false teachers are not claiming to speak for God as prophets (or, false prophets). These false teachers are going to teach their own ideas and reject the authority of the revealed Word of God.
Peter identifies the false teachers with these eight points:
  1. "secretly" - the very fact they are not known by the title "prophets" indicates they will move about in a secretive, stealth mode and not use bold proclamations. But, instead they will passively "introduce," "deny," "bring...truth into disrepute," "exploit," and "stories." These things are not bold, but manipulative.
  2. "introduce destructive heresies" - The Greek word for "heresies" is haireseis (literally "choice") which today means a deviation from orthodox teaching, but in the first century probably still referred to divisions into a party or a sect. People would have to choose between which sect or party they would align with.
  3. "denying the sovereign Lord " - "sovereign" is from despotes. The false teachers deny the authority of the Lord. Since, they are teachers the obvious area of their denial of the Lord's authority is his teaching and his revealed Word of God. They will teach their own ideas, philosophies and views.
  4. "many will follow" - Peter guarantees that these false teachers and their imitation doctrine, immoral motives and manipulative behavior will be successful. Many people will follow this pervesion of the teaching ministry of the church.
  5. "bring the way of truth into disrepute" - the corrupt life style of the false teachers will bring the ministry of the church into sharp criticism and open rejection due to the infiltration of false teachers.
  6. "in their greed" - Here is the motive for false teaching: power, people, pride and profit.
  7. "will exploit you" - "exploit is emporeuomai and is from the commercial world and literally means "make money out of."
  8. "stories they have made up" - "made up" is from the Greek word plastos (English "plastic") which refers to anything that is formed, fabricated or molded. This word is used in a Greek phrase that indicated deceitful speech. Pseudo arguments intended to make money and gain personal profit.
The best way to resist the false teachers is to secure the believers critical thinking ability by teaching them the truth.
Hagnos (Gr) - Pure (Eng) - hagnos is Greek word used eight times in the Greek New Testament by the writers Paul, James, Peter and John. It is translated "chaste," "free from sin," "innocent," and, five times it is translated "pure." Hagnos means "sacred," "modest," "pure from fault," "clean."
Can I recognize a false teacher? Do I know when I am being played for power, pride or for profit?
I will learn the truth and practice critical thinking concerning the things that are taught and the things that claim to be the Truth of God's word.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text


For joy


Worship team
Unions and workers

The Gate of Hades at Banais and the remains of the temples to the pagan gods. (details)
The entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is highlighted on the floor plans of the building that covers Calvary and the tomb.

Someone to Quote

“The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.”  - C. S. Lewis

Something to Ponder

There are 83 million Bibles distributed each year.
There are about 6,000,000 books about Christianity in print now.

Here’s a Fact

In 1968 a first century tomb was accidentally uncovered during construction work in suburbs north of Jerusalem (Giv'at ha-Mivtar, northeast of Jerusalem). Inside the tomb was an ossuary (stone bone box) inscribed with the name Jehohanan (Yehohanan, or, "John") Inside were the bones of a 20 year old man who had been crucified by the Romans in Jerusalem. The man's right heel still had the 4.53 inch iron nail in his heel.
(See details here. Images 1, 2)


"A discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fool's eyes wander to the ends of the earth." - Proverbs 17:24

Coach’s Corner

A trained, mature person can think in the midst of a situation instead of instantly reacting. Learn to think, before you respond. 

1 John 1
New International Version (NIV)
The Incarnation of the Word of Life
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.
Light and Darkness, Sin and Forgiveness
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
Philippians 3-4
New International Version (NIV)
No Confidence in the Flesh
Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reasons for such confidence.
If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more:
circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Following Paul’s Example
15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
Closing Appeal for Steadfastness and Unity
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!
I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.
Final Exhortations
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Thanks for Their Gifts
10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. 17 Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
20 To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Final Greetings
21 Greet all God’s people in Christ Jesus. The brothers and sisters who are with me send greetings. 22 All God’s people here send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household.
23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

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