‘Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of mutilations! For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.’ ~ Phil. 3:2-3
‘Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord; shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, cast out demons in your name, and done many wonders in your name? And then I will declare to them I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.’ ~ Matt. 7:15-23
‘For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.’ ~ II Cor. 11:13-15
Here is an example of such work, commentary 1997, Thomas Nelson, NKJV – Heb. 6:4-6:
Impossible is used three other times in the book of Hebrews. It is impossible for the blood of animals to take away sin (10:4), for God to lie (v18), and for anyone to please God without faith (11:6); here it is impossible to renew those who have fallen away from the faith (see v6). Enlightened is used only one other place in Hebrews, (the word is translated illuminated in 10:32); in that verse, enlightenment refers to the full knowledge of the truth. Tasted is used elsewhere in Hebrews in actual experience (2:9), Thus, to taste the heavenly gift is to experience the gift of eternal life. The greek word for partakers is used elsewhere in Hebrews of regenerate people (1:9, 3:1,14). The phrase if they fall away may also be rendered “having fallen away”. The fact that there is no hint of a conditional element argues against the “hypothetical” interpretation of this passage (see v 4). Falling away here refers to deliberate apostacy (3:12), a defection from the faith. To renew means “to restore”. In other words, it is impossible for continuous effort on the part of anyone in the christian community to restore an apostate back to fellowship with God. This is the reason for the strong warning of 3:13; to exhort one another to avoid a hard heart. Continuing christian immaturity is dangerous. Crucify again: departing from the faith amounts to a fresh public rejection of Christ, a crucifixion of Him all over again.
Here is the correct interpretation of this scripture:
First off we must remember that context is everything. We must determine who the book was written to, why and when. The book of Hebrews was written to a Jewish audience and it’s purpose was to initiate the new and superior Covenant declaring Christ as King. The Jews had been enlightened, illuminated with as much of the full knowledge of the truth as they were ever going to get. They had tasted the heavenly gifts of God, from the parting of the Red Sea, to eating manna in the desert. They partook of the Holy Spirit from the crafting of the first temple, til the death of John the baptist. They had tasted the good word of God since childhood through public recital and memorization so that they should have received the coming Messiah, and understood the powers of the age to come like no other. Yet as this powerful verse in Hebrews suggests, there were still those present that refused to fully accept Christ and walk by faith. Choosing rather to stick with their tradition by remaining under the old Mosaic system. Hence the statement, ‘crucifying again for themselves the Son of God; since it was that very system that crucified Him in the first place. This is not a hypothetical interpretation of these passages as Nelson’s theologians suggest. The entire context of the book of Hebrews validates this point conclusively. To sight this verse in order to substantiate the claim that we can lose our salvation is blasphemy.
The scriptures do not speak of a God who is unable to keep or perform His promises, which is exactly why the promise of salvation once received was not left in the failing hands of man. To say that we can walk away from salvation is equivalent to calling God a liar since He swore by Himself, confirming the promise of salvation with a personal oath. Declaring the ability to save to the uttmost those who come to Him by faith, which in all, He promised to remain faithful.
What do the following definitions all have in common? False prophets, ravenous wolves, dogs, evil workers, mutilators, angels of light transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. Answer – they are all ministers of the law! Ministers of righteousness! Ministers of the flesh! Men and women who preach and teach man’s ability rather than God’s accomplishment in Christ.
George L. Miller