Temple Baptist Church - 4-6-2016
A. We have been looking at verse three and the words “that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
1. The context continues as verse 4 begins with the conjunction “For.” Now, the Holy Ghost gives a very vivid description of some of whom we contend. “Certain men!” These men are a very distinct breed and, to the mature Christian, easily discerned.
2. That is why “creepers” who come into the church and try to hurt it prey upon spiritually immature people who are enthralled with their presence in the church.
B. Let us look at their infiltration.
1. They are disguised. Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (It is of great spiritual value to us to remember that God likens these “creepers” to ravening wolves.)
2. In the First Mention of wolves in the Bible, God explains the person, desires, and work of false prophets. Ezekiel 22:27 Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain.
C. “Crept” - Crept means very slowly. I watched a special once about a Marine Sniper in Viet Nam who moved across an open field to his FFP (Final Firing Position). It took him 3 days! With enemy patrols walking within feet of him, he moved so slowly as to remain undetected. God’s men constantly “patrol” the churches keeping a vigilant watch for “enemies” of the church but creepers may continue to be undetected for long periods of time. They “root” themselves within the church and then, because they have gained the love and respect of the people, become dangerously hard to remove.
D. “Unawares” - means that they kept a low profile. Occasionally we have a “Diotrephes” come into the church that may be well educated but not that intelligent. They believe that they can step into a church where the pastor has been there 25-30 years and begin to take over immediately. These people cannot help a church but they also do not hurt the church. I just explain things right and they normally move on.
E. The dangerous ones are the “creepers” who come into a local church and for many years keep a low profile but gradually, as they strengthen within the church, begin to try to challenge the pastor, doctrines, or traditions that are right ones. These men are “of old ordained to this condemnation!” This phrase has nothing to do with the doctrine of Calvinism. It means that these kind of men were prophesied long before they were born. Not the individual but the type. The act of murder has always been condemned but men then choose to commit murder fulfilling the condemnation.
F. That is why, in the next phrase, they are described as “ungodly men.” They made a life choice and now fulfill biblical prophecy with their deeds. They now turn the amazing grace of God into the sinful license that fulfills their ungodly desires. God grace is sufficiently abundant to cover all of our sin but to use the grace of God as liberty to sin is wickedness.
G. In so doing, these “creepers” deny “the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” If God is Lord, then He is final authority. If Jesus Christ is Lord, then He is final authority. God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ chose the Bible as our sole authority for faith and practice. By attacking the inerrancy and infallibility of the King James Bible, they attack what God set forth as authoritative.
H. Now, I believe that the Bible teaches that these “creepers” do so for one or all of three reasons. 1 Corinthians 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
1. Pride – “not many wise.” A new face of an old heresy called Gnosticism! 2 Timothy 3:7-8 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (8) Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. (As Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, a type of the Law of God, so these “creepers” withstand the written Law of God, the Bible. They impress with their supposed knowledge of the original languages and use the Greek and Hebrew to correct the English. They are smarter than those who translated the King James Bible and they think that they are smarter than God who declared the Word of God inerrant and infallible!)
Matthew 23:1-10 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, (2) Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: (3) All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. (4) For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. (5) But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, (6) And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, (7) And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. (8) But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. (9) And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. (10) Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.
2. Power – “not many mighty.” A new face of an old heresy called the Doctrine of the Nicolaitans! The word Nicolaitans means ‘victorious over the people.” It is the same Papal teaching of our day where the clergy is over the laity. The above mentioned “Bible Theologians” now maintain power of the “common” saved because they are now essential in rendering the proper interpretation of the Bible.
Revelation 2:15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the, which thing I hate. (God still hates the doctrine of the Nicolaitans!)
3. Possessions – “not many noble.” Nobles are known for living a lifestyle that the common people can only dream of. The love of money is the root of all evil and these people are in love with it! It is all about copyright, commentaries, love offerings, etc. Religion and Bibles are big money! These religious charlatans have made merchandise of God’s people and line their pockets with filthy lucre.
Titus 1:10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
Conclusion: I would hate to be in their spiritual “shoes,” having been labeled as a “creeper.”