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Bible verses about Angels of Light
(From Forerunner Commentary)

2 Thessalonians 2:3

The apostle Paul prophesies of an apostasy in II Thessalonians 2:3, 9-12, and he prefaces it with a warning against being deceived. The great apostasy may already be fully underway, spurred by the rising tide of deception in society. With so much information available (Daniel 12:4)—along with so many ways to manipulate it—men find it extremely easy to deceive millions instantly. This is especially true for those who do not really believe the true source of knowledge, God and His Word. Thus, after subtle doctrinal changes, many of the brethren have fallen away.

The "coming of the lawless one," however, is still future. His rise to prominence and power will be accompanied by incredible miracles, but they will be false signs and wonders, lies produced by Satan to appear as if they are of God (see Revelation 13:11-15). He will use "all unrighteous deception," a hint that what he does and says will appear as righteous, yet someone who knows and loves the truth can see through it and avoid being deceived.

Satan will really pull out all the stops to deceive as many as possible, especially the called sons of God. The "lawless one" will be so slick that "all who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8). But, as Paul writes elsewhere, if we hold fast to "the pattern of sound words" that we learned, if we guard the truth, we will not be deceived.

Paul repeats these instructions to the Thessalonians in this context:

Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle. (II Thessalonians 2:15)

The key to resisting deception is being convicted of the truth! The truth is what was first revealed to the apostles. As Jude puts it, "Contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3).

As they saw the first-century apostasy coming, all the apostles warn about deceivers and urge the brethren to be certain of and stick to the doctrines of God. It is our surest hedge against being caught up in the deceptions of the end time that are already upon us.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Deceptions of the End Time


 

Jude 1:4

In verse 4, Jude gives a few general points about false teachers. The literal translation of the first part is, "For certain men have wormed their way in." They slithered in like snakes without others being aware, on the sly. God, however, marked them out as enemies a long time ago; He knows they are there. This agrees with Jesus' Parable of the Wheat and the Tares (Matthew 13:1). There, God allowed the adversary to sow the tares among the wheat, but He left them in the field for a reason. Paul says in I Corinthians 11:19 that they are left to show "who are approved" and who is not. Over time, God's enemies are shown in stark contrast to His true children.

Jude calls these false teachers "ungodly" or impious. The word "ungodly" crops up six times in the book of Jude, making it a significant word in the epistle. It means "irreverent" or "impious." People who are ungodly are not afraid to contravene God's way because they do not have the fear of God. They simply do what they feel like doing. They have nothing in common with God. Nevertheless, we should be careful not to think of them as "extreme" because, as II Corinthians 11:13-15 says, Satan transforms his ministers into angels of light. They look good on the outside, but on the inside they are ungodly. Their externals may be deceiving, but their fruits give them away.

The apostle also mentions that they are blatantly immoral, turning God's grace into licentiousness. They believe that the more they sin, the more they allow God to shower them with His grace and mercy, twisting what grace is. They think they are glorifying God by giving Him the opportunity to forgive them more. How ridiculous! How perverse!

Lastly, they deny Christ. This does not mean they say that Christ never existed or that He is not the Savior. However, everything they say and do, everything they believe, contradicts God's way. If one denies a statement, he is contradicting the person who says it. Jude is using "deny" in this sense. The false teachers contradict Jesus Christ in everything. Once again, they can appear to be following the rules, but their innermost drives and motivations are a denial of the true way of God.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Jude


 

Jude 1:12

Jude uses a nautical theme here. Thus, "hidden reefs" (a variant translation supported by the Greek) is preferable to "spots." The apostle says that these false teachers are like hidden reefs at our socials; they are just under the surface, waiting for the unsuspecting Christian to come along and be shipwrecked upon them.

Paul dealt directly with a similar problem in Corinth (I Corinthians 11:17-22). They held "feasts without the fear of God." They do not fear the oversight and punishment of God, that what He says will happen as a result of their self-satisfying sins, which may take many forms. Gorging themselves is only one part of it. Worse is that they use these occasions to shipwreck people, to undermine their faith, to whisper in their ear to get them thinking along the wrong lines.

Jude says that they serve only themselves. Again, this phrase is poorly translated due to being interpreted rather than given literally. It should be "shepherding only themselves." Ezekiel 34:1-5, 10 alludes to the same problem Jude faced.

Verse 12 also says that these false shepherds outwardly show promise of producing fruit, of bringing rain, but they never do. Paul indeed calls some of Satan's ministers "angels of light" (II Corinthians 11:13-15), but their fruit shows they possess nothing of godly, spiritual substance (Matthew 7:15-20). They will never produce godly fruit. They look good on the outside, but on the inside they are corrupt and full of bones (Matthew 23:27). When Jude describes them as "twice dead," he may be refering to the second death (Revelation 20:14; 21:8)—that they will die physically once, and then they will die spiritually the second time. It is at least saying they are well on the road to the Lake of Fire.

Hebrews 10:26-31 says plainly that once we have been forgiven and redeemed by the blood of Christ, there is no going back. If we continue to sin as a way of life, there is no second redemption, and all we face is the vengeance of God, who is a consuming fire. This is what Jude is trying to get across in relation to these false ministers.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Jude


 

 




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