“And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you…” (2 Peter 2:3a)
Gone are those days where a person who wanted to rob you had the decency of wearing a balaclava and for his dignity, his conduct was in such a manner that he would wait in the bushes or around a street corner at night in order to carry out his evil purposes. Today that is not the case. You get robbed right in broad daylight by a man who is well known and who has no shame of carrying a Bible. Not only does this unscrupulous devil’s advocate have the guts to carry the Bible in public but he is bold enough to open it, read it to you and make damnable claims about it. If you don’t know your Bible, you will sure go down and the “Bible Crook” will walk all over you. Peter warned the brethren in his days that there were false prophets in the olden days and there sure will be false teachers among the brethren. This warning is very relevent for us today because what I choose to call the “Bible Crooks,” are the false prophets of today.
1. Through Coveteous
Peter speaks about the driving force behind the “Bible Crooks.” These men and women are driven by coveteousness. Their apetite for wealth and power is a bottomless pit which gets bigger and more demanding each time it is fed. These are hungry wolves who will do anything in their power to deceive and to loot the people off their money and prized possessions. They teach not the words of Jesus. If they ever try to teach what Jesus taught, they would twist His words in order to benefit themselves. Like a pack of hungry wolves they team up against God’s people to devour and to scatter them.
2. With Feign Words
These crooks have a very powerful tool they use to make their kill. Peter says that, they use “crafty words.” These people are not idiots, they are endowed with tremendous amounts of deviousness. They are able to make people do unimaginable things through their crafty speeches. They have the gift of the gap and have no shame of speaking on subjects about which they have no clue whatsoever. They can pretend to be medical professionals, business owners, pastors and many others. These crooks enjoy the spotlight and are very egocentric, in fact, they make people think very high of them, even higher than God. I know it is absurd to say such a thing. Allow me to explain.
A Bible Crook always has a story that would protray him or herself as a close friend of God. They never fail to tell their audience about the private conversations they get to have with God. Once they win their audience’s hearts through such stories, they proceed to paint a picture of a puny god, the one who is absolutely under human control. They seem to know better than God. You will see this in their constant critique of the difficult parts of the Bible. They would resolve to some weak and shallow human philosophy and they have no shame to present their opinion as though it is the word of God. Their victims are caught in the nets of their deception, thinking that the men they feed is the man of God, not knowing that it is only an impostor, who is well versed in the matters of holiness yet lacks the skills to apply such matters in his own life by means of practice.
Charles H. Spurgeon puts it well when he says, “A graceless pastor is a blind man elected to a professorship of optics, philosophizing upon light and vision, discoursing upon and distinguishing to others the nice shades and delicate blendings of the prismatic colors, while he himself is absolutely in the dark! He is a dumb man elevated to the chair of music; a deaf man fluent upon symphonies and harmonies!” (Lectures To My Students, Pg 14). The Apostle Paul said that these men had a form of godliness yet they deny its power. They profess to be godly yet in their private quarters they perfom terrible acts of blasphemy. They preach about humilty yet they themselves are plagued with an incurable desease of pride.
3. Make Merchandise of You
The Bible Crooks are not the friends of God, neither are they the shepherds of the flocks of God. These are business men and business women. Their expectation is profit. They fleece their followers and do whatever they can to establish and sustain their empires. Peter says, “they shall make merchandise of you.” What he is saying is, they shall make business of you. They will sell you out without thinking twice. Their involvement with you would be pure business. How often are you told, “In order to be blessed sow a financial seed to a pastor or to a prophet?” Today churches have sales stands where Bible Crooks display their products. These product range from “anointed soap,” to “anointed oil,” to “anointed condoms” and to many other outrageous items of the “anointed” series. The Bible ignorant people will be pouring their money into these shops which are disguised as churches. Like shops in a shopping mall, so are the churches in the residential areas.
There are very few churches which are interested in the glory of Christ and to assisting people into becoming more like Christ. Many churches have discipleship goals written down but now those goals are collecting dust in some shelf as the pastor forgets that he has a Master before whom he shall give account and he roars away with appetite for power and wealth.
One sad and probably the most shameful trend among the Bible Crooks is the lack of self control, particularly in sexual context. They use the gullibility of desperate women to satisfy their own sexual desires. They promise them a wide range of possibilities in exchange for sex. These silly women would believe the crook and would allow him to do as he pleases and in the end the woman is shamed and the crook escapes unharmed. Paul did warn of this kind of immorality. He said,”For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,” (2 Timothy 3:6)
What then can be done with the information on this post? Well, Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets” (Matthew 7:15) That means, be on guard always. Don’t fall asleep. Always keep your eyes on Christ Jesus. Don’t rely on men. No matter how big the claims they make about themselves and about their walk with God. Fix your eyes on Jesus. If you are strong in the word of God, protect those who are weak. If you have knowledge on things of God, help those who don’t have it. Like a good soldier of Christ, stand your ground and fight for TRUTH. Reject and expose the Crooks. Call them out by name with the hope that God will give them true repentence. Remember, in the Kingdom of God there is no room for a coward.