How to Handle Heresy

This is a warning to the speaker/teacher/preacher as well as the hearer/listener

Who do you think I am speaking to mostly? :)

2 Timothy 2:14 Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers.

Remind them of these things …. Paul’s words to Timothy

What we are doing today?

charging them before the Lorddiamarturomai dee-am-ar-too’-rom-ahee; to attest earnestly, charge, testify, witness.

I charge thee in the sight of God; In the presence of God; With God as my witness.  Everything is before God — It is not private!

How would you act if others were watching; how would you act if God was watching!

Similar: 1 Timothy 5:21 I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality.

So this is all very serious and important what he is about to say to us.

not to strive about words; How appropriate is that in today’s climate [in the church] A lot of times it’s not even the big words — it could be about prepositions. Typically doctrine and application don’t hinge, pivot or depend on an obscure translation/interpretation of a word. Some have written 400 pages to prove white is black. “Anything” can be proven from the Bible (being facetious; only one truth).

Just look at the church. Schism after schism based on “doctrinal understanding.” Often it is about their pet doctrine (emphasis on their)|

to no profit; neither to them or anyone else

1 Corinthians 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:
1 Corinthians 12:8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,

So I have to ask them or they should ask themselves, if they constantly push their ideas on EVERYONE and no one wants to hear; others reject them;THEN WHY DO THEY DO IT? There is no profit in it!


ruin of the hearers KJV: the subverting of the hearers; this is not helpful, but hurtful; it undermines their faith;

Do we take this into account when we start to push other doctrines?

Here is what they should have been doing instead

1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
1 John 3:19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.

2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Study to show thyself approved unto God,…. Not men

There are those who value themselves very highly and do not see that the little knowledge that they have comes from God. These men are often the same ones that want to show others how smart that they are with new doctrines and they come in espousing new understanding so everyone will see how great they are and how much respect they deserve and show how much God is working with them.  That’s not the way it works – in fact that is shameful

a worker who does not need to be ashamed; ergates from ergon (virtuous acts a Christian should be doing)

Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Matthew 5:15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.

This is the key here for those out that are not holding on to the faith once delivered, but rather have to turn things inside out – a little here and a little there, just enough to derail someone on the right track.

Here is another admonition to them:

1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
1 John 3:19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.

When we push our private interpretations of scripture we are bringing shame on ourselves for going off track and the anger of God for causing His little ones to be offended.

Matthew 18:6 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

To be approved and acceptable in the eyes of God, we must first be rightly dividing [literally cutting] the word of truth; there is only one truth and it must all agree. So, when we start dissecting the Bible, we need to put it together a little here and a little there.

Isaiah 28:5 In that day the LORD of hosts will be For a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty To the remnant of His people,

But for Ephraim [Israel’s name was bestowed on him]; this is the end time;

Isaiah 28:7 But they also have erred through wine, And through intoxicating drink are out of the way; The priest and the prophet have erred through intoxicating drink, They are swallowed up by wine, They are out of the way through intoxicating drink; They err in vision, they stumble in judgment.
Isaiah 28:8 For all tables are full of vomit and filth; No place is clean.
Isaiah 28:9 “Whom will he teach knowledge? And whom will he make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just drawn from the breasts?
Isaiah 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.”
Isaiah 28:11 For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people,
Isaiah 28:12 To whom He said, “This is the rest with which You may cause the weary to rest,” And, “This is the refreshing”; Yet they would not hear.
Isaiah 28:13 But the word of the LORD was to them, “Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little,” That they might go and fall backward, and be broken And snared and caught.

2 Timothy 2:16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.

But shun profane and idle babbling Ungodly and nonspiritual empty talk

Only other place this word babblings is found [kenophonia: literally means empty voice]

1 Timothy 6:20 O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge— [gnosis] 1 Timothy 6:21 by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen.


Isaiah 58:13 “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the LORD honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words,

Many groups and people out there are into everything but a Godly conversation on the Sabbath. It’s ok to fellowship and see how your brother is doing and has been doing for the week, but where does the rest of the conversation go?

One way is profitable and edifying and the other:

…will increase to more ungodliness

A good example of this can be found in:

John just got finish extolling the virtues of some people and says of them:

3 John 1:8 We therefore ought to receive such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth. [in other words a worker who does not need to be ashamed]

[now he contrasts this with a bad example]

3 John 1:9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. [he is not concerned about God’s approval of his actions, but his position among men] 3 John 1:10 Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating [this is prattling or babbling] against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church.

He has no love for the people, it’s all about him.

2 Timothy 2:16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.
2 Timothy 2:17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort,

And their message will spread like cancer…. canker, but perhaps more accurately as gangrene [Greek gaggraina gang’-grahee-nah; which is where we get the word for gangrene today]

Gangrene is a condition that occurs when body tissue dies. It is caused by a loss of blood supply due to an underlying illness, injury, and/or infection. Wet gangrene, the type that we are most familiar with, almost always involves an infection. The tissue swells and blisters and is called “wet” because of pus. Infection from wet gangrene can spread quickly throughout the body, making it a very serious and potentially life-threatening condition if not treated quickly.

This is the power and danger of false doctrine. It begins to kill the body – that is the body of Christ. It starts typically with the members at the fringes of the body, killing them off slowly but surely.

If the disease is not cut out, it will consume the whole body.

This is the point that Paul is so graphically trying to get across to us.

Of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Hymenaeus and Alexander are mentioned 1Ti_1:20 for their blasphemy and then notice

2 Timothy 4:14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works.
2 Timothy 4:15 You also must beware of him, for he has greatly resisted our words.

This is Paul that we are talking about, Paul who knew the “Old Testament” backwards and forwards; mightily preached the Gospel; had the word of God revealed to him like no others. If he could not get through to this guy, no one can!

There are these same types out there today, within the church, like Alexander, Diotrephes:

2 Timothy 2:17 And their message will spread like gangrene. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort,
2 Timothy 2:18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.

Who who have strayed concerning the truth…. they did not hold fast to the trunk of the tree; this is what is going on today;

Rev_2:25 But hold fast what you have till I come. [Thyatira]

Rev_3:3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. [Sardis]

Rev_3:11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. [Philadelphia]

Not to Laodicea

Revelation 3:15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.
Revelation 3:16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
Revelation 3:17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—
Revelation 3:18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.
Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

saying, that the resurrection is past already; that was the heresy du jour What is today?

Christ was not the God of the Old Testament; You have say God’s name correctly; Fill in the blank

This is going on today and brethren are falling for it. But how could we have known that this could happen to us? That’s exactly what these verse are warning us about:

and overthrow the faith of some;

2 Timothy 2:18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying [some heresy]; and they overthrow the faith of some. [some versions read many]

2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,

A falling away has already happened; a falling away may still happen right before the man of sin is revealed; but here is the scary thing – the falling away is still happening right now. What is even more deceptive is that people can stay right where they are and still fall away. They can physically remain in a group and fall away spiritually!

That is the danger and that is what is happening right now to those that

  • don’t hold fast
  • don’t value the truth and faith once delivered
  • teach the wrong things
  • listen to the wrong things

Isaiah 9:14 Therefore the LORD will cut off head and tail from Israel, Palm branch and bulrush in one day.
Isaiah 9:15 The elder and honorable, he is the head; The prophet who teaches lies, he is the tail.
Isaiah 9:16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err, And those who are led by them are destroyed.

Both of them are on dangerous ground.

2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”

Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands,…. this is the trunk of the tree, the faith once delivered, every word of God in the Bible, the truth.

The Lord knows those who are His:

and let everyone that nameth the name of Christ; or calls himself a Christian

depart from iniquity If call yourself a Christian stop teaching false doctrine;

If call yourself a Christian, stop listening to false teachers.

2 Timothy 2:20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor.
2 Timothy 2:21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.

Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the vessels for dishonor departs from iniquity; departs from the purveyors of iniquity; doesn’t allow themselves to be subverted; shuns the profane and remains clean; does not fall away or is carried away – God can work with that!

Let’s be clear here:

These people attend church with us! [see Deception Within the Church]

2 Peter 2:1 But there were [past] also false prophets among the people, even as there will be [future] false teachers among you [among who? the church members], who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them [paid the price with His blood], and bring on themselves swift destruction.
2 Peter 2:2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.
2 Peter 2:3 By covetousness [because of what they covet: vain glory and praise; power; control; whatever it may be] they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

2 Corinthians 11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness,

Matthew 24:4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.
Matthew 24:5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.

Who is He not talking about? He is not talking about the world in general – they are already deceived.

Who is He talking about? He has to be talking about Christians in the Church of God

Matthew 24:10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
Matthew 24:11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
Matthew 24:12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
Matthew 24:13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

You have to have the Love [agape; spiritual love that only comes through the spirit of God]

2 Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Leave behind the days of our youth and the immature desires that we had; rather pursue Godly things with Godly people, the weightier matters with the vessels of honor

2 Timothy 2:23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.

The best way to not get hurt in a fight is to not be there; if we are to not fall prey to those that would spiritually abuse us, steer clear of them.

Also, even if you think you are tough, don’t do it, because if Satan can’t beat you in that point, he will waste your time and keep you from doing something else more profitable with those of a pure heart.

In the end nothing good comes out of them,

Besides that:

2 Timothy 2:24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient,
2 Timothy 2:25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,

And the servant of the Lord must not strive,…. speaking to Timothy as a minister, but applicable to us as we have the opportunity to teach

Here are some of the telltale signs of a Godly teacher: gentle, apt to teach those who do not know; humble when correcting; I cannot help but see a huge contrast between this and those who come in the spirit of Diotrephes.

God perhaps will grant them repentance Sometimes I think the false teachers believe they are the ones that bring a person to repentance – at least that is the way that they act.

God is the one that gives repentance, so that they may know the truth.

2 Timothy 2:26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

This is the state of mind of those who are pushing these gangrenous ideas and doctrines.They are not in their right mind. Why would we listen to someone like that? This is not the type of person we want teaching us. Naturally the influence and motivation for all that they do comes from Satan who is their puppetmaster. So do we see why Paul is so adamant and direct and descriptive of these people?

He wants to warn us!

Ephesians 4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
Ephesians 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
Ephesians 4:13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

Here is the main point for today:

Ephesians 4:14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
Ephesians 4:15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—
Ephesians 4:16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body [not the gangrenous destruction] for the edifying of itself in love.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by [which] you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
Ephesians 4:32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.