Class Notes: 11/30/2008

Col 2:7-8; The mandate for believers to Beware continued.....

We had previously started a discussion of the mandate found in Col 2:7-8;

This is a mandate for the believer to be able to identify the kosmic lie so that they are not deceived and taken captive by it.

The imperative is found in verse 8 where the word translated "see" in the NASB is the second person present active imperative of the Greek word "Blepo" that means to "see" to "watch out for" to "beware" or to "pay attention" or to "be on guard" This is followed by the negative conjunction of prohibition, "me"

At the time the Bible was written, "Blepo" was a command to be alert to a present danger threatening the spiritual lives of believers at Colossae. It is a mandate to be alert to danger that if not complied with will result in the hearers continuing to fall victim to it.

The danger discussed in this passage is stated with the present active participle of the Greek verb "sulagogeo" " that means to be carried off as a prisoner of war," or "to capture someone and place them into slavery."

This took us to a discussion of 2Pet 2:1-3; that warns us about the deceptive messages of false teachers who mislead to advance a hidden agenda for their own personal gain.

The word translated "exploit" in verse 3 in the NASB is the future middle indicative of Greek word "emporeuomai" that is transliterated into the English noun "emporium” that is used to refer to a store that has many different kinds of merchandise.

In the Greek the word carries a similar meaning but places emphasis on those who actually travel around selling or trafficking in the merchandise and, in Peter's context, refers to those who will use any ruse to convince people to buy their products which in this case are their lies, false ideas and false ideologies.

Peter compares these teachers of false ideologies with traveling salesmen who deceive people into buying the inferior product that they are selling by presenting it as superior.

The word translated as "trade" in Ezek 28:16; in the NASB is the Hebrew word "rakullah" that is translated as "Emporia” in the LXX regarding Satan's methods of deception through false ideas. This is how he caused the angels to rebel against God.

2Pet 2:1; Peter refers to the purveyors of these lies as " false prophets" and "false teachers".

The primary ministry of the prophet to Israel was the teaching of his own generation. He was a preacher who rebuked the people of Israel because of their sins, and pointed to the way of righteousness. The "false prophets" told the people lies. Jer 6:13-14;NET

In the case of the Church, the preaching of the gospel salvation by grace through faith alone in TLJC alone to the unsaved and the teaching of the Word to believers are his responsibilities.

The designation "teachers" that Peter uses, refers to any person who is engaged in Christian activity, whether a pastor, evangelist, teacher so he is referring to anyone who teaches the Bible.

The teachers Peter is referring to are "self appointed false prophets" who would "secretly introduce" the Greek word "pareisago" that means to "bring in alongside or along with the truth, destructive heresies".

That is, these false teachers, while teaching true doctrine, would at the same time cleverly, secretly or stealthily include false teaching along with it thereby deceiving the listeners in order to take them captive.

This can be said of many who speak in churches who delude their congregations with false teachings because they don't want to offend anyone because they have a hidden agenda of maintaining or increasing church membership which they accomplish at the expense of teaching accurate doctrine.

Given this possibility of deception and the mandate not to be deceived found in our passage, Col 2:8; the believer's responsibility to fulfill is as follows:

Our first obligation is to know the truth so we can discern the lie.

Our attitude should be objective, realizing that in an open society people are free to believe whatever they wish. The Invisible War is waged on the premise that free will allows each person the privilege of choice: to believe the truth or accept the lie.

Those who believe the lie will always be among us and outnumber those who believe the truth. Our objective is not to defeat them but to guide those who are objective to the truth.

Our duty is not to be critical of individuals but of the lie that they believe. The believer must defend the truth and demonstrate it by living in it without compromise. This is done by using the free volition that every human being has to choose the truth.

Most ideologues have an insatiable desire to impose their ideas or as described by Peter "their merchandise" on everyone because they arrogantly believe their ideas are the best for everyone, especially the "unenlightened" whom they attempt to sway into their sphere of influence.

The confidence the advanced believer has in their relationship with God and their superior knowledge of the truth that is revealed in Bible Doctrine provides courage toward adversaries, toward life, and toward circumstances.

Because of this, as we have seen, there is no need for believers to be involved in judging those with opposing views. TLJC is delegated the authority to do that. Our duty is to discern the thinking and the speech of those with opposing views and to reject their ideas while simultaneously having integrity love toward them.

The Word of God gives us precise instruction regarding this:
2Tim 2:23-26; Avoid foolish and ignorant controversies knowing they foment needless battles.
v24 The servant of the Lord must not be belligerent, but must be kind toward all in the congregation, apt to teach, and patient,
v25 correcting with grace those who in opposition need discipline so that perhaps God will give them a change of mind for the purpose of advancement in knowledge of the truth,
v26 and that they may come to their senses and be delivered out from the devil's trap of reversionism, having been held captive by him to execute his plan.

In our passage we arrived at the following corrected translation for a far as we have gone:
Col 2:8; Continuously be alert that there should not be anyone carrying you off as prisoners of war through the agency of anthropocentric academic speculation and deception without content (disinformation)

From the verses we have examined we can see what false communicators hope to accomplish with their deceptive rhetoric is to confuse their audience into believing as true what is a lie or into believing as false that which is true. Isa 5:20-21;

Another tactic of false communicators is to use rhetoric sprinkled with technical jargon that leave the impression they have said something profound when in fact they have said nothing.

Worthless euphemistic phrases allow them to be perceived as people of wisdom while permitting them to avoid revealing their true agenda.

It is the use of carefully constructed phrases and euphemistic words that enable unscrupulous people to gain power over an unsuspecting population.

These are rhetorical veils that are designed to conceal while advancing a hidden agenda. If people knew their true agenda they would be horrified, but being deceived by their rhetorical veils the unsuspecting population grants support and ultimately power to evil people.

Techniques to change the way people think are not new. Satan has been in that business since he inspired the fall of Adam and Ishah in the garden of Eden.

The first use of propaganda occurred in Genesis 3:4 when the serpent, speaking to Ishah, refuted the Lord's penalty clause for eating the forbidden fruit with the assertion, "You surely will not die!"

Satan was able to deceive the woman because when she responded she did not accurately recall the truth that she had been taught. Gen 3:2-3;

When she did not die when she touched it she was completely deceived, 1Tim 2:14:NET note22 and She did die spiritually when she ate of it which is what she had been taught. Gen 2:16-17;

The Lord identified Satan as the source of all deception in John 8:44.

So we see that propaganda is not new nor are its effects, since the woman fell for Satan's deception, and her husband decided to join her in the rebellion.

The result was the fall, the creation of a sinful nature, total depravity, spiritual death, and the status of "no hope."

Their anthropocentric solution was not efficacious Gen 3:7;

The Lord provided the only solution to these problems with his proclamation of salvation through faith in His future Messiahship which Adam and Eve accepted resulting in salvation and eternal life. Gen 3:14-19;

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