SOME OF THE TOPICS COVERED: *The doctrine of authority is important to salvation. *Satan had a chance to win the war at Christ's First Coming. *Heresy in 2 Peter 2 & Jude. *Disobeying authority is blasphemy. *Sins in the Bible that preachers usually ignore. (3 pages)
2 Pe 2:1 has warned us New Testament saints for the last two thousand years about damnable heresies. There are a number of ideologies that can be called heresies, but I want to zero in on the only one that has been ignored by the church, which also happens to be the only heresy specifically referred to in 2 Pe 2 and in the book of Jude. That damnable heresy is democracy.
Because the issue in the Bible is authority it makes sense that democracy is a damnable heresy. It is a direct offspring of the very philosophy (Co 2:8) we were warned about two thousand years ago. If it successfully challenges the existence of God by turning Godly order and authority upside down it will make God just one of the gods (Is 14:14; Ezek 28:2,6,9). Because the carnal mind is any thought that isn’t from God, which therefore originates in another head, and because there can be but one head in a universe that has but one God, and because there can be but one king in a kingdom, the multi-headed beast of democracy is antichrist. It is rebellion against God Himself. It is witchcraft. It is Satan’s religion. If we accept democracy and its necessary foundational principles such as equality, individual sovereignty, liberty, freedom, egalitarianism, and if we accept that government should be made up of the people, that government should be authorized by the people, and that government should exist for the people, and if we accept the concept and practice of rebellion and revolution against despised authority, we make it so we cannot be saved; because we must surrender all authority to God to be saved. All of those attributes of democracy make it truly a damnable heresy.
Before we get into 2 Pe 2 and Jude, I want to show you why we cannot be saved without Godly authority so you can better understand why authority is such an important issue and why it is so important to salvation. My first point concerns Abraham’s bosom and Christ’s temptation in the wilderness, and my second concerns the difference between a true Jew and a damned Pharisee. (Some of this information was covered in the previous chapter. But it is also necessary in order to properly understand this chapter – which shows how everything in the Bible is connected.)
Abraham’s bosom taught us that God’s children, as Satan’s consummated wives, could not leave the household of their husband in order to go live in the household of Another. Christ had to die physically so His death could be applied to His children so they could become legally dead, free of the Devil, and espoused to Christ. Only then could they leave hell and go up to the Third Heaven with Christ. But Christ in the wilderness taught us something else about the saints in Abe’s bosom.
When Christ refused Satan’s offer in Mt 4:8-10 for Him to rule the world, He could have said, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou worship.” But He didn’t. He used both worship and serve in a way and context that let us know worship and serve are synonyms. So, we want to know what Christ knew. We want to know how He’d have been serving and worshipping the Devil if He had agreed to rule all the kingdoms on earth.
First, how would Christ have ruled? He would have been a dictator, He would have ruled well, and He would have established societal, familial, and governmental structures that were in accordance with the Bible. There is no question about that. But what did Christ know that made Him refuse to replace ungodly world government with His Biblical rule? Satan also knew Christ would have established worldwide Scriptural societies. What did Satan know that made him think that would be good for his cause? Why did Satan think Christ’s Biblical rule would help the gates of hell prevail over the church? You don’t think Satan had a good idea, do you? You don’t think Christ blew a good opportunity, do you? Then what has modern Christianity failed to learn from this lesson in the Bible? We have failed to learn about authority.
Had Christ ruled the world all of His good Biblical works would have glorified Satan because they would have been worshipping and serving the Devil. Why? Because of authority. Christ had a choice. Had He accepted authority from Satan, He would have been under Satan’s authority. That means He would have been working for Satan – serving him. Why? Because the head gets all the credit for everything. The captain is responsible for everything in his dominion – because he is the one and only supreme authority. If Christ’s authority to rule had come from Satan, all of Christ’s good works would have glorified Satan. And all the good and bad angels, and all the people on earth would have seen living proof that the world works pretty well when Satan is in charge. The Lord’s prayer would have become Satan’s prayer: “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory.” All because of authority and the way it works.
This principle also appears in 1 Co 11:3-5. A woman’s head is her husband, the man’s head is Christ, and Christ’s head is God. A perfect chain of command. Now look at what happens when the man does something; it reflects on Christ because Christ is the authority over him. The verses teach, for example, that when a woman does good or bad, it reflects on her husband, which reflects on Christ, which reflects on God. That’s what 1 Co 6:15-17 is all about. Godly authority is structured like a body. The various members of the body have different functions. Some are apostles, some are prophets, teachers, pastors, husbands, wives, and children. We shouldn’t despise each other up and down the chain of authority because we all reflect on God. When King Herod ordered a Christian soldier to Bethlehem to murder babies and children, Herod reflected on his master. Since Herod was a Christian, was his master God? No, because we have two bodies. The old man belongs to the Kingdom of Heaven; the new man belongs to the Kingdom of God. Which master we serve determines whose servants we are. Herod made a carnal decision to kill the babies; he was serving Satan. The Christian soldier, however, who was under Herod’s authority was not supposed to consider right or wrong; his job was to obey. If he followed the Bible, he obeyed Herod and went and slaughtered the babies. That reflected well on God and He was pleased. It also reflected well on Herod, by the way, because Herod was the soldier’s head. But Herod’s carnal decision did not reflect poorly on the soldier, because the soldier wasn’t up Herod’s chain of command.
The saints in Abraham’s bosom were Satan’s wives. Christ had not died yet on the cross to free them from that bondage, which meant legally they were not yet His espoused wives. Therefore, because of authority, everything those wives did during their lives, Scriptural and unscriptural, reflected on Satan, their husband, head, and authority. In that situation when the good saints died they ordinarily would have been condemned to the fires of hell. But because they had no choice or control over the situation and were “victims of circumstances”, when they died God, as King of kings, exercised His prerogative and raised His royal scepter and put them in Abe’s bosom (a city of refuge) until the death of their High Priest on the cross according to Nu 35:25,28. You and I, after the cross, are legally Christ’s espoused wives; therefore our Christian walk does legally demonstrate which husband we prefer. That’s why nobody goes to Abe’s bosom anymore. But because we are all still subject to the arbitrary scepter of grace, even though formal Judgment doesn’t take place until later, when we die we go either to hell or to the Third Heaven – depending on what God does with His scepter.
Let me stress the point about Abe’s bosom. The saint’s were there because they could not go to Heaven and their works could not be applied to Christ as long as they were only Satan’s brides because that put them under his exclusive authority. Had Satan understood all this stuff he would not have made the tactical blunder of crucifying Christ (1 Co 2:8). The closest, so far, that Satan has come to winning the war was at the First Coming. Had he not crucified Christ, there is no way the church could win because legally there would have been no brides of Christ who could legally run the race for Him. If Satan had not crucified Christ he would be the victor today and would no longer be concerned about the lake of fire. That’s why Old Testament prophets were kept in the dark about certain things, why many New Testament doctrines were veiled in the Old Testament, and why Christ was so careful to be obscure with much of what He said: He is a General fighting a war against overwhelming odds. (Those overwhelming odds are why Satan agreed to the rules of war.) Therefore He tried to keep General Satan fooled over thousands of years. That meant only letting His soldiers of the cross know selected unclassified information that wouldn’t reveal His strategy to Satan. This means you and I, as loyal soldiers, need to realize why Christ needs us to live and die by revelation, not Reason. Our marching orders are to die daily. Our New Testament Christian calling is to humbly and obediently submit to all authority over us (1 Pe 2:21).
Why didn’t Satan understand this stuff at the First Coming? Because equality blinds those who accept it. Satan is carnal; he believes and trusts in self – not the authority of God. It’s just the way he is. But he understands it now. And he is subtly winning the hearts and minds of Christians. I believe, as close as he was to winning the war at the First Coming, that he’ll come even closer to winning at the Second Coming. The Bible says even the “very elect” will only make it because the Lord shortens the last days (Mt 24:13,22). All other Christians will be deceived.
(If “eternal security” is a valid doctrine none of this matters. Eternal security makes the issue of authority moot. Indeed, eternal security’s official position is that a Christian who ignores any and all doctrines will spend a blissful eternity with the Lord in heaven – he just won’t have as many rewards as some other Christians.)
Now we get to the difference between a true Jew and a damned Pharisee. Look at Ro 2:28,29. If you are a real Jew your emphasis is the heart, which is expediency. If you are a Pharisee your emphasis is the letter of the law. The difference is not appreciated by those who are carnal – that’s why they choose the law. Let’s spell out the difference so you can examine yourself and help the brethren.
A Pharisee is carnal and independent. The Bible tells us to die to self daily but the carnal Christian can’t let self submit to Christ. So the carnal Christian turns to the law and very carefully keeps it. Matt Seven was a doer of the word – the wrong kind of doer. He wanted to keep the law – not please God. He would deny that, of course, and say he kept the law because he wanted to please God. But the word of God enables us to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart. Carnal Christians keep the law because it is impersonal. They do not want a personal relationship with the Lord. They do not want to submit to Him as a wife should to her husband. They want a set of rules – even if they come from Him – so they can ignore His will and go about establishing their own righteousness. The law allows people to be independent – that’s why it is a curse (Ga 3:13).
Expediency (the law under grace – D14-2), on the other hand, requires us to have a personal and submissive relationship with God, something that is not possible without knowing His word intimately so we can better know, love, and serve Him. That personal relationship enabled David and Esther to know how they could please their Husband. (I am going to say things in this paragraph that will be quoted by those who are carnal to “prove” that I advocate ignoring the Bible. The context of this chapter and the context of this book, however, show that I advocate just the opposite.) And that kind of personal relationship is how Ro 2:29 can say Pharisaical Christians focus on the letter and get praise from men – but not from God. What has that to do with authority? Authority comes from living beings; it does not come from inanimate things like laws. The U.S. Constitution for example, is not an authority – it has no will. It gets its authority from the people who have expressed their will in its words. Similarly, the Bible is not our authority, even though we often say it is. God is our authority and He has expressed His will in the words of the Bible. A Pharisee in his heart unknowingly cuts God out of his life by making the Bible his god. Therefore none of the Pharisees’ good works was really good because they weren’t done to please God, they were done to satisfy themselves. David ate the shewbread in Jesus’ name. The Pharisees kept the law and thought it was in Jesus’ name. Who our authority is deep in our heart is the issue. The Bible will not get anybody to Heaven. Only Christ can do that. If we are proper doers of the word we’ll grow to understand that. Let them that have ears to hear, hear.
Get 2 Pe 2 in one hand and Jude in the other, and let’s look at what they say.
● 2 Pe 2:1: Preachers of damnable heresies shall be among us. That’s just the way life is in these New Testament times. Whatever these damnable heresies are, they deny the Lord Who saved us – which causes our Saviour to damn us. Jude 4 says these preachers of damnable heresies were before of old ordained to this condemnation for turning God’s grace into lasciviousness and denying the Lord Who saved us. As we’ll see in the Scriptures, this lasciviousness has nothing to do with sex: it has everything to do with the carnal mind – the kind of carnality that actually denies Christ. Jude 11 doesn’t use the word deny, it uses the synonym gainsay. Gainsay means to deny, to resist, and to speak against. And that is our first hint that this just might apply to democracy.
But why hasn’t Christianity been able to figure out that this is talking about democracy? Because these passages are talking about stuff that is antichrist. Modern Christians have been taught that democracy is Scriptural. Christians today, therefore, think the carnal lasciviousness of democracy is actually in accordance with the grace of God – the very thing these verses warn us about. These damnable heresies that bring swift destruction to Christians make us think of what the gainsayers in Ro 13:2 bring upon themselves, and what their offense is.
● 2 Pe 2:2: If you’ve learned anything in this book, you’ve learned the evil principles of equality and democracy came from philosophy – which is Reason. It is Reason that makes Christians think arbitrary government (monarchy) is evil. With that in mind, read 2 Pe 2:2 to see if it might be saying, “They taught us the pernicious ways of Reason; and because of them men speak evil of monarchy/absolute authority.”
● Now read Jude 8-10 to see if it goes along with the interpretation that Reason has made arbitrary government “evil.” In v.8 dominion has the meaning of sovereign, supreme authority. This is supported by v.9, which says Michael, on a mission from God, when in Satan’s territory (remember, Moses died just before God’s people were given dominion) would not treat King Satan disrespectfully. Instead Michael referred Satan up to a Higher Authority. Carefully note the accuracy of this paraphrase of v.10: These Christians (of v.8) badmouth authoritative government because they go by their Natural Reason instead of discernment. This makes them corrupt just like unsaved dogs. 2 Pe 2:12 says the same thing.
● 2 Pe 2:3: This is very similar to what we just covered. But notice both this and v.14 bring covetousness into the picture. We saw in chapter D6 that covetousness is contrary to authority.
● 2 Pe 2:4-10: We begin leaving the generalities of the earlier verses and get into some specifics about the democratic actions of Christians that damned them. Let’s pay attention to whether this stuff supports or disproves my earlier contentions.
The Lord says in v.10 that His main point in all of this concerns carnal Christians who despise government. These Christians are presumptuous (taking unwarranted liberty) and self ruled.
● Jude 11: What do Cain, Balaam, and Core (Korah) have in common? They all lived and died by the carnal mind. Cain’s sin is obvious. Balaam’s is less so (and is covered on page H3-1). Balaam showed the pagans how to use women to get Christians to do that which was right in their carnal eyes so the pagans could defeat Israel. And Core participated in a democratic action against Moses’ authority (page H2-5). Core and his fellow Christians wanted to elect their own leader, someone who would carry out the will of the people. Because democracy is fundamentally contrary to Godly authority this verse calls it the gainsaying, the resistance of Core. That takes us right back to Ro 13:2.
● Jude 12: These bad Christians eat with us; we are surrounded by apostates who believe in democracy. Twice dead confirms that these doctrines are indeed damnable heresies; the first death is mortality, the second death is the Second Death.
● 2 Pe 2:19: Does it fit the context of Core, democracy, and philosophical Reason if we apply the New Testament era’s most popular definition of liberty to this verse? And is it true that those who preach “Give me liberty or give me death!” are themselves servants in bondage to corruption?
● 2 Pe 2:20-22: These verses are consistent with everything we’ve looked at and with every verse in the Bible our subject has taken us to. Here, in context, we’re told Christians who are saved and then believe in the foundational concepts and principles of democracy are full of Satanic leaven that is antichrist. That’s why they go back to Reason like dogs. That’s why these are damnable heresies. And that’s why the Bible says they that gainsay shall receive to themselves damnation.
To see how consistent God is about the topics of obedience and resistance to authority, notice that He calls disobedience to authority blasphemy against the word of God (Ti 2:5), and that He says obedience to authority is adorning the doctrine of God (Ti 2:9,10). That means all the sermons over the last several centuries in support of declarations of independence, peaceful or violent rebellion, clamoring, and other principles of democracy have all been blasphemy against the Bible and its Author. The word blasphemy leads us to Mt 12:31. And that makes us examine Mt 12:24-31 to see if submission and resistance to authority have anything to do with the context. It turns out they are the essence of the examples. Again, that kind of damnable blasphemy is consistent with Ro 13:2.
Avoiding this damnable heresy by learning to be respectfully submissive to all authorities begins with proper parenting (Pv 22:6). To this end, parents shouldn’t spare the physical rod of correction (Pv 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13,14; 29:15,17). (In the OT if a child proved to be stubbornly disobedient, his parents were to have him executed as an example to the rest of society (Dt 21:18-21). Because Lucifer, the original disobedient rebel, was sentenced to death in the lake of fire, and because rebellion is witchcraft, and stubbornness is iniquity and idolatry (1 Sa 15:23; Ex 22:18), the penalty for disobedience is death.) Ep 4:31 and Ro 1:29-31 list sins the modern church ignores because they are contrary to the democratic principles of the Age of Reason. You’ll notice these sins offend the Bible doctrine of submissive obedience to authority. Covetousness: To want to have something, such as: 1) To want the possessions or prerogatives of others to be yours. 2) To want your will, way, or opinion to prevail over others. (Covetousness is a foundational sin because all other sins are based on or derived from it. That’s why a synonym for covetousness is, according to Co 3:5, idolatry.) Clamor: To vehemently express dissatisfaction; to argue for change; to complain. Envy: Discontent with another’s position, possessions, prerogatives, or accomplishments; and to want them to be yours. Debate: To argue, dispute, or contend with. Maliciousness and malignity: These both involve forms of aggression or opposition rather than submission. Whisperers and backbiters: Those who secretly complain about, plot against, or slander. Despiteful: Without respect for; contemptuous. Disobedient to parents: The specific inclusion of this sin makes it clear that disobedience by children and the other sins in these verses are not “amusing antics of childhood” as commonly believed today – they are sins against authority that must not be tolerated. Implacable: Stubbornly unyielding, unrelenting. By not teaching about these sins, preachers are defrauding the church.
Carnal Christians think democracy is the greatest governmental development in history. It has truly flourished in our New Testament era. Thank God for His timely warning about it in our New Testaments! The reason democracy damns is it infects and affects everything in our Christian lives including church government, sermons, doctrine, Bible study, family and social life, and the way we think and look at everything. It makes us fundamentally, in both doctrine and ideology, unfit for the Kingdom of God. It makes us antichrist. It makes us Bible-toting whorish witches serving Satan. It makes us damned heretics who are multiple heads on a single beast instead of multiple members of a Body with one Head.
How do we apply this? By being obediently submissive to all authority in our chains of command. If we patiently endure evil persecution and even death if God so wills, the church will win the war. Trust God! He knows what He’s doing; that’s why He put this stuff in the Bible. Ours is not to know the reason why; ours is but to do and die. If carnal Christians take over the world and establish Bible-based societies and governments, they will be worshipping and serving Satan, and Christ and the church will lose. We must understand this stuff and apply it to every facet of our lives and thinking.
Now, at the risk of confusing you, but praying it will help you better see the big picture: This whole chapter is majoring on but one aspect of what we need to understand about damnable heresy. In other words, this chapter is too narrow in scope. When we compare the concepts and principles we’ve learned from the Bible with equality, covetousness, carnality, and exalting self by ignoring God, we realize the damnable heresy of this chapter, and the whoredom of Peor, and the “accursed thing” we discussed on page D6-5, are all part of the same thing because they all have the same damned ideological foundation. Therefore, don’t focus on this chapter and start screaming about how bad democracy is; that’s the way the Pharisees reacted to the lessons in the Bible. We must put all of the lessons of the Bible together in order to see the big picture and understand the concepts revealed by doctrines in the Bible. By studying the Bible, comparing each thing we learn with other things we learn, and then applying the revealed principles and concepts to everything in life, we’ll find we’re losing some of our Pharisaical traits and are having our understanding broadened and our eyes and hearts opened. And understanding the big picture will enable us to rule under Christ with confidence and wisdom.
Have ears that hear...
and endure to the end, comrades!