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FALSE TEACHERS! HOW TO IDENTIFY THEM!

What warnings are given us in this short chapter of Holy Scripture!

Let's study them together!

--- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 A Preacher in his Study

 

 

 

 

 

VERSE 1:

Look with me at this verse of Scripture today: "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."  2nd Peter 2:1

Notice we have entered the little Epistle of 2nd Peter.  That's pronounced Second Peter. Years ago a Bible Teacher told me that any SECOND Book in the New Testament was written to COMBAT wrong teaching in some manner!

Second Peter is no exception to that rule!

And our verse today certainly serves as proof of that matter!

Peter has just been talking about godly men, at the end of chapter one.  "In old time holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."  He even went so far as to specifically call them prophets.  "We have a more sure Word of prophecy!"  He also mentions the "prophecy of the Scripture."

But ... as he begins this second chapter ... no longer holy men of God are in view, but unholy men who say they are of God!   No longer true prophets are being discussed, but false teachers!

Surely you see his inspired use of opposites here, an antithesis of ideas!

In fact, back in the old days ... there were false prophets too! The Old Testament is full of them!  "There were false prophets also among the people."

Therefore we can expect false teachers among us yet today!  "There shall be false teachers among you!"

Then Peter, having established the fact that such false teachers are coming, seeks to describe them in three ways.

One, "Who privily shall bring in damnable heresies."

The term "privily bring in" (in Greek = "pareisago") means to go into a group in a stealthy manner.  The literal translation is "to lead in alongside!"  The verb has through the years picked up the sense of doing something in a sneaky way!

But what will these people introduce to the Church?

"Damnable heresies!"

The adjective here (in Greek = "apoleia") means dedicated to ruin or loss or destruction!

The noun (in Greek = "hairesis") means a teaching that splits or divides a group into factions!

These men teach doctrines that will bring destruction ... and that drastically depart from the faith of the godly people of times past.

Today in our land this is happening!

Two, They will be "even denying the Lord that bought them."

The verb "denying" is in Greek "arneomai" and means "to say nothing!"  I'm not sure Peter is implying that these false teachers actually contradict or attack Jesus! They just do not mention Him or emphasize Him or exalt Him at all! They virtually ignore Him!  They preach a Christ-less Gospel!

They minimize the Lord that "bought" them!  This verb is interesting!  It takes the word for the public market, "agora," and gives it action:  "to go to the market place and purchase an item!"  It's a picture of what Jesus did on the Cross of Calvary!  He paid the redemption price (His Own Blood) to satisfy the righteousness of God ... so we could be saved and go to heaven to be with him eternally!  Of course the verb is an "aorist," the price has been completely paid ... for 2,00 years now!  (Aorist = action completely finished!) Jesus died ... even for this crowd of reprobates!

And when these men finally do come, they will: "Bring upon themselves swift destruction."

They of course are here now!

But not for long!

Jesus is coming again ... to judge all such wickedness!

To "bring upon oneself" (in Greek = "epago") suggests that what happens to them is self-induced!  God just allows their own wickedness to come full circle in their lives!  "The wages of sin is ... DEATH!"  Romans 6:23

"Swift," (in Greek = "tachinos") as an adjective, means quick!  It is a "brief space of time."  This is a time "observation" taken from God's perspective apparently!  A thousand years with Him is but one day!  2nd Peter 3:8

And "destruction" is again the little word "apoleia," which speaks of eternal death in hell itself.

Now ... let me conclude this short exposition.

Again I say, these "false teachers" are here!

They are denying the Bible and the Lord and future judgment!

But ... for sure ... God's Word will be fulfilled in their lives!

Exactly as He said!

If you are in a Church system that tolerates these theological "liberals" and "enemies" of the Cross ... GET OUT!

Leave today!

And find a Church where the Word of God is preached in power!

Do not be a partaker of the evil deeds of such ungodly men and women!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

VERSE 2:

What are "pernicious ways?"

These words describe the false teachers of Second Peter chapter two.

Here are the exact words:  "And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of."  2nd Peter 2:2

Apparently these so-called "teachers" have great persuasive abilities.

"Many" will follow them.  The Greek word used here, "polus," can even mean the majority!

The verb "follow" (in Greek = "exakoloutheo") uses the root word for "road," which is "keleuthos."  A highway full of folks  ... going after wicked but popular religious leaders!

"Pernicious ways" translates "aselgeia," a noun meaning indecency or sensuality!  Lewdness!  Moral filth!  It has the idea of "unbridled lust."  These men are preachers who have lost their moral bearings long ago!

And godly Bible belief is here designated as "the way of truth!"  It is common in the Book of Acts for the early Christian faith to be so designated.   Acts 19:23 gives an example:  "And the same time there arose no small stir about that way." 

The verb "evil spoken of" is a familiar word in English.  We have "borrowed" it from the Greeks!  "Blasphemeo" means to revile or rail or talk badly about someone!  It is injurious speech.  True godly living is discredited by these spiritual "fakes!"  They hurt the cause of Christ!

Now, here is a synopsis of these preachers and teachers about whom Peter is warning the true Christians of his day:

          They are "pseudo" servants of God!  False brethren!

          They are very popular and attract a great following!

          They are overly sexual and immoral in their lifestyles!

          They cause true Christianity to be blasphemed!

          And they will be judged of God!

I fear that description fits a lot of preachers (or should I say "clergymen") of today!

As I write these words it is early Sunday morning.  Here it's still dark.  Sunrise is still hours away, Lord willing.

Most of us will get up and go to Church somewhere.

Nearly all you readers here on this Web Site will go to good Bible-believing Bible-preaching places of worship.

BUT just in case, if you have doubts about where you are being fed your spiritual food ... if you're experiencing some of these "new" teachings, and are observing some "lax" standards of living ... or if your "rapidly growing" Church has "many" people but no convictions, and perhaps you have repeatedly heard of "questionable" morals among the leaders ... GET OUT!

GET OUT NOW!

Put yourself under the leadership of a godly preacher somewhere who loves the Lord!

One who has been saved and called to preach!

One who still teaches the fundamentals of the Faith!

One who exalts the Lord Jesus Christ!

One who has made a few enemies along the way ... for preaching the Word of God just like it is!

One who is above moral reproach!

And one who has maintained a faithful testimony through the years!

There ... where He is feeding the sheep ... go and learn the Bible!

People of God, where you eat spiritually does make a difference in your Christian life!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

VERSE 3:

What a startling revelation Peter makes in his short second epistle!  I mean the one in 2nd Peter 2:3 where he writes of certain false teachers. "And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not."

The Holy Spirit just told us that these "fake" and insincere preachers were primarily motivated by plain old MONEY!

They teach as they do and live as they do and and conduct their so-called ministries as they do ... because of an innate desire to make financial gain!

They put the Gospel for sale!

That little opening preposition "through" is in the Greek Textus Receptus (from which the King James Bible is translated) "en."  That word "en" means just what it appears to mean ... "within" or "inside" or "among!"  These people are enmeshed in "covetousness!"  It is a key component of their very lifestyle! They live in it!  It motivates everything they do!

And do note this.  The noun "covetousness" is in Greek "pleonexia."  What does that mean?  Here two Greek words are fused together ... "pleion" meaning "more" ...and "echo" meaning "to have or hold!"  To get a little more ... then a little more ... then a little more yet again!  That's covetousness!

These false preachers are greedy!  Never satisfied or content!

They will literally say anything to make a little more money!  They will change their doctrine to sell more books!  Or preach to larger congregations!  Or move higher in their denominational hierarchy!

Why do I suggest that they will say anything for money's sake?

They use "feigned" words!

This adjective is the Greek word "plastos!"  It is also our English word "plastic!" It means that which can be easily shaped or twisted or altered to fit any form you desire!  That which is molded or fabricated!

They will change their words, their preaching, to fit the "times!"  They will be "politically correct" because ... it pays to be so!

The noun "words" is "logos" which does include their preaching and their writing and even their conversation.  Their deliberately chosen methods of communication!

To "make merchandise" of someone is to literally sell them!  This crowd of modernists (now often called post-modernists) will sell their very convictions ... for the right price!  That verb, "make merchandise," is "emporeuomai."  In it you can see the English term "emporium," which is a store or even a mall or any place where goods are bought and sold!  It, in the root sense of the word, implies a traveling "salesman!" 

Marketing people ... and the Word of God ... and souls ... and one's very beliefs!

Doing what's "popular" for money's sake!

"Emporeuomai" is a verb that is here framed in the middle voice in Greek!  That means that these false teachers, in selling their message and selfishly manipulating their people not only change the lives (for the worse) of those who hear them ... but also their lives are impacted in the process as well!  They are sending themselves to hell by their greedy acts!

Peter quickly adds "their judgment ... 'lingereth' not."  This verb "argeo" combines "a" (meaning not) and "ergon" (meaning work or energy)!  Their judgment is on the way!  It has not stopped its journey!  It is not inactive!  Every day it gets closer!

Plus ... their "damnation" (in Greek = "apoleia") is coming!  It is not "asleep!" That's exactly what "slumbereth" means!  "Their damnation slumbereth not."

And, yes, "damnation" here does mean perdition!  Jesus used it as "destruction" in Matthew 7:13 --- "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat."

Wow!

In the long run ... on the eternal scale ... these men (and women) are going to pay a higher price for "selling" God's people than they would have paid for staying true to the precious Word of God!

No wonder Paul, writing to Preachers, said ... "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."  1st Timothy 6:10

Listen to me today.

If you have a Pastor who loves you and STANDS on the Word of God and has not sold out to advance himself ... let him know how very much you appreciate him and his ministry!

I mean let him know this week!

And if you have a Pastor who has sold out ... or who is now for sale ... GET AWAY immediately!  A preacher who will sell his convictions and the miracles of the Bible and his beliefs on sexuality and marriage and sin ... will also sell YOU the first chance he gets!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

VERSE 4:

Peter, much like Jude, refers to some past judgment that fell upon the angelic world!

He plainly says:  For if ... "God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment." 2nd Peter 2:4

Whatever this event describes, God's wrath descended upon these angels!

They were not "spared."

The verb ("pheidomai") means "to treat leniently" or "to put up with" or "to forbear."

Whatever these angels did ... must have been horrible to God!

They likely were involved in the hideous sins mentioned in Genesis 6, sins that ultimately led to the world-wide Flood in the days of Noah! 

By the way, if you are saved God HAS "spared" you from an eternity in Hell!

Why, Preacher Bagwell?

BECAUSE He "spared not" His Only Son Jesus!

Romans 8:32 illustrates my point.  "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?"

Jesus DIED for us!

But back to the sinning angels ... WHAT did God do to them after they sinned so terribly?

He "cast them down to hell!"

This whole clause is derived from one Greek verb, "tartaroo."  It is only used this single time in the whole Bible!  It means "to throw into outer darkness!" One dictionary says:  "to incarcerate in eternal torment!"  To the Greek mind it was identical to saying "to place in the lowest hell!"

And the verb "deliver" ("paradidomai") just means to hand over, to give or to entrust.  God committed them to "chains of darkness!"

Several times in Scripture (both in the past with the plagues of Egypt and in the future with God's coming bowls or vials filled with doom) the Lord has used "darkness" as a form of punishment!  The word here ("zophos") means blackness or mist or gloom.  It has a root stem that means a "cloud."

Here this terrible darkness is pictured as a weapon of restraint!  The word for chains ("seira") just means a rope or a line.  Bound by darkness!  Eternally!

Some liberals mock this and ask, "How can hell be a place of real fire ... and a place of darkness at the same time?" 

Well, have you ever seen a microwave oven?

It's dark ... and fiery hot too!

If puny mankind can discover dark fire ... I reckon our Creator God can combine "outer darkness with fire and brimstone" any time He chooses!

These sinning angels are "reserved" unto judgment!  This verb "tereo" means guarded ... or watched carefully ... or even held fast!  In the  present tense, this action is constant! 

What Peter is doing here in the Text is warning anyone who might be ready to follow certain "false teachers!"

They, by their words and deeds, are inviting the judgment of God!

Their followers will face the same end!

And God, Who spared not even the angels that sinned ... will NOT spare these rebels either!

WE should heed the warning!

Stay faithful and true to God and His Word!

How fearful is this verse ... 2nd Peter 2:4.  "For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment ...."

Thank God today for His great Mercy!

The very Mercy He extended to you through the shed Blood of Jesus Christ our Lord!

                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

VERSE 5:

Peter is giving a warning!

Judgment is coming!

The Apostle's holy wrath is directed against a group he calls "false teachers."

He said they would appear at some future time ... in the Church!

They, although sinful in how they live and in what they believe, will lead many astray.

This crowd, like the people of Noah's day, will suffer "swift destruction" from the Hands of God!

Now today's Bible Lesson would not be very pertinent ... except for this fact; those false teachers and preachers are here today! 

They have arrived!

They are living sinfully, indulging in sensual pleasures at will!

They are denying the Lord Jesus, our Saviour!

They are "money" minded, to the point of "selling" their very beliefs!

They are causing the Truth to be blasphemed too! 

Peter was right!

And they also, again according to Peter, face a rapidly approaching judgment!

Listen to 2nd Peter 4:5.  "And (God) spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly."

This Spirit inspired illustration is obviously given with these "false teachers" in mind.

Some day again God will judge this wicked world!

Peter here mentions the existence of the "old world."  The adjective "old" translates "archaios" and means "from the beginning!"  See in this Greek word our terms "archaeology" and "archaic." 

And that old world was destroyed because of sin!

We now, still using Bible thoughts, live in "the present world."  Galatians 1:4 calls it "this present evil world!"  It too shall be destroyed due to sin!

Back to Peter ... "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."  2nd Peter 3:10

Then comes a "new earth!"  Peter continues ... "Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."  2nd Peter 3:13

Now let John speak:  "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea." Revelation 21:1

The old earth, the present earth, and a future new earth!

The first two were judged and destroyed because of man's excessive and pervasive wickedness ... but the last is cleansed, sin-free, spotless forever!

Yes, "the world of the ungodly" is yet again facing catastrophe!

And that includes ... especially includes ... false teachers and preachers!

Their judgment is particularly severe!

Just as Jesus directed his strongest words to the false and hypocritical religious crowd, the Scribes, Pharisees and Chief Priests of His day, so does Peter target the religious "salesmen" and "entertainers" and "fakes" of his time!

Folks, the warning is clear, very clear!

Have NOTHING to do with them!

To associate with them just might make you "partaker of their evil deeds!"  2nd John Verse 11 says that very thing!  "For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

Be SURE you and your loved ones are hearing the TRUTH week after week, sitting under the ministry of a real Man of God, not a false teacher!

Jesus, in view of the Flood of Noah's time, said:  "And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all."  Luke 17:26-27

Be sure today that you are right with God!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

VERSE 6:

Peter was not afraid of controversial issues!

He was a preacher of judgment!

Coming judgment upon sin!

He even uses Sodom and Gomorrah as examples!

"And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly."  2nd Peter 2:6

This verse describes for us God's actions against those sinful cities!

The opening verb, "tephroo," means to "incinerate" something!  To burn it up! Its "root" stem is "tephra," which just means ashes.

The Greek word for "cities" is "polis."  It's derived from "pollus," which means "many."  A city is a place where "many" live!  We use this term in English yet today.  A large city is often called a metropolis

One reliable source for word meanings teaches that "Sodom" means "burning" and Gomorrah means "submersion!"  Then ... both these places lived up to their names!  They were destroyed by fire and eventually covered by the waters of the Dead Sea!

What's the meaning of the name of your city?

Now remember, this is GOD Who is judging these cities!  Our Lord is "condemning" them!  (This verb, "katakrino," is very strong in force!  Twice in the New Testament it is rendered "damn."  To pronounce impending doom!

Yes, God is a God of love!  But also He is a God who despises sin!

Now, look at the word "overthrow!"  It is spelled "katastrophe!"  Change the opening "k" to a "c" and notice what you have.  Catastrophe!  God sent these wicked places "catastrophe!"  Suggest that today and the whole nation will attack you!

Literally the word "overthrow" means "to twist" ("strepho") "down" ("kata").  To grasp something and yank it a time or two! 

Now ... here are some of today's "key" words:  "making them an example!"

Sodom ... as an example to sinners yet today!

"Making" translates "tithemi," to appoint or to place or to set or to establish or even to ordain!  (Sense of time here:  "Perfect!"  The verb indicates action that is long since complete ... but still has an on-going impact!)  God is STILL using those wicked places as object lessons!

"Example" means a "pattern," or even an "advertisement" or a "signpost," a "billboard" for public announcements! 

Maybe we should preach about Sodom, Gomorrah and their sins more often! They are warning signs to a lost world!

Even the verb "should" is highly significant!  It translates "mello," meaning "intending" or "having in mind!"  To those today who PLAN to live like the people of Sodom and Gomorrah ... better take note!

And the verb "live ungodly" is just "asebeo."  It means living NOT ("a") REVERENTLY ("sebomai").   Living with contempt toward God!  Without worship!  At least "sebo" is translated "worship" 6 times in the King James New Testament.

Yes, SIN is still sin!

And God is still judging it!

But do remember this also.

Jesus died for sinners!

He loves and forgives those who come to God by Him!

The judgment of these cities was senseless!

They could have avoided such sin!

And so could America!

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

VERSE 7:

Today's verse clearly illustrates why we must compare Scripture with Scripture!

Do your best to learn ALL the Bible says about your subject!

The Apostle Peter, describing Lot the nephew of Abraham, writes:  "just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked." 

The full verse, 2nd Peter 2:7, states:  God ... "delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked."

Look at that first adjective!

"Just" Lot!

The Greek term used here is "dikaios" and means upright or righteous!  In God's Eyes, this man was "justified!"

Dare I say it?

Lot was a SAVED man!

Without this verse ... I would have never made that statement!

Based solely upon the Bible history we have of Lot, in the Old Testament Scriptures, he appears to be a carnal, worldly, hypocrite.  He acts more interested in money and fame than in spiritual matters for sure!

He lives in a questionable place and leads a dangerous lifestyle!

He lost his whole family ... due to sin!

Yet Peter, under Holy Spirit inspiration, calls him "just" Lot!

I am so glad God is the Judge of such matters!

Here is a case where Brother Bagwell's assessment of Lot would have been WRONG!  No way, apart from 2nd Peter 2:7, would I have ever call Lot a saved man!

But I believe the Bible!

I must be willing to:  "Let God be true, but every man a liar," as Paul says in Romans 3:4.

"Just" Lot!

Not only was Lot justified or saved ... he was "vexed" with the sin around him! Remember that he lived in Sodom!

The verb here, "kataponeo," means "to be tired or exhausted" with hard labor! The root word used means toil or anguish!

The only other time this word is used in the Bible:  "And (Moses) seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian."  Acts 7:24  (Using this meaning, the sin of Sodom was pressing hard on old Lot!   It was a heavy load for him to bear!  It had tired him to exhaustion!

Sin always does!

Daniel tells us that the coming Anti-Christ will seek to:  "wear out the saints of the most High."  Daniel 7:25

Sin harasses and scars and ultimately destroys what it touches!

The verb "vexed," describing Lot, is a present participle too!  The "action" was continuous!  Lot apparently was miserable during his time in Sodom!

Yet ... please understand this:  He should have left that wicked city!

Better yet ... he should have never been there!

Nothing in our 2nd Peter verse says otherwise!

"Conversation" means one's manner of life.  It literally describes ("anastrophe") how one turns bask and forth in his or her daily living, where one goes and who one sees and what one says and how one acts!

And the "lifestyle" of Sodom was "filthy!"  That adjective, "aselgeia," means "filled with unbridled lust, lascivious, wanton!"  It means sin that is bad ...and the sinner does not care who knows it!  It describes bold sin, rebellious sin, sin on the attack!  Blatant sin!  Activist sin!  Reprobate sin!

A real Christian can't stand that kind of wickedness!

Keep in mind that our verse today is set in a context of Scripture that describes a plague of "false teachers" in the Church!

They are "filthy" in their thinking!

They are outspoken in their rebellion again the God of Scripture!

(Today they have even "invented" a new Jesus!  In contradistinction to the Jesus of the Gospels, they call their "new" Man the "historical Jesus!"  Let me say this:  The Jesus of the Bible IS The historical Jesus!  No discrepancy exists between the truth of history and the truth of the Bible! God's Word is Truth!   In John 17:17 Jesus, praying to His Father in Heaven, declared: "Thy Word is Truth!")

Believers today should be "vexed" with the sins of the wicked!

We also, unlike Lot, should "come out from among them and be separate!"  2nd Corinthians 6:17

False teachers, sensual preachers, ungodly religionists --- all must be "marked" and avoided immediately!

Or else, your righteous souls will be "vexed!"

Sin will drain your moral and spiritual strength!

Sin is the saint's dreaded enemy!

Oh, one more thing needs to be said!

As bad as Lot's situation had become, the Lord still "delivered" him!

The verb used here is "ruomai" and each of the eighteen times it's used in the New Testament it is rendered "deliver" or "delivered!"  One of those times however it becomes a proper Name:  "The Deliverer!"  Folks, That's Jesus!  "And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob."  Romans 11:26

It means "to rescue!"

God rescued Lot out of that pit of sin ... just before the fire fell!

When Jesus taught His Disciples how to pray, He included "deliver us from evil!"  That's our verb "ruomai!"  Sometimes God just answers His Own prayer! He rescued Lot!

One of these day I believe He's going to execute another Rescue!

This one is called The Rapture!

It too will remove His saints from a wicked world!

And it will occur just before another Judgment falls!

The Tribulation!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

VERSE 8:

The Bible says that Lot, while living in the ancient city of Sodom, was influenced by what he saw and heard!

One of the dangers of living in such a wicked place is exactly that!

"For that righteous man (Lot) dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds."  2nd Peter 2:8

The word used for "seeing" is "blemma" and means "that which is seen!"

Likewise the Greek noun for "hearing" ("akoe") means "that which is heard," or simply a "report!"

But what did Lot see and hear?

Something about "unlawful deeds!"

Rebels pursue lives that are "anomos."  (Here "a" means no or not ... and "nomos" means law, especially the Law of God!)

They rejected God's standards!

They may have even kicked the Ten Commandments out of public life!

The noun "deeds" is spelled "ergon," and means works!  (You can see our English word "energy" in it!)

What Lot saw and what he heard brought great detriment to his soul!  And those things virtually sent his family to Hell!

What a warning to us today!

We too live in an increasingly wicked society.

In front of our eyes and ears ... are many "unlawful deeds."  These are too easily available day after day and night after night.

And they still carry spiritual consequences!

What do these wicked sights and sounds do to a man's soul?  Or to a woman's?

They "vex" our souls!

The verb Peter used for "vex" is "basanizo" and has real depth of meaning!  It is used in the King James Bible a dozen times.  The majority of them (8) it is translated "tormented!"

See Matthew 8:6 for an example.  A man seeking healing for his servant said to Jesus ... "Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented." 

Sin "torments" a truly born-again, Blood-washed righteous soul!

"Vexed" also has this nautical idea:  "tossed by the waves of the sea!"  In Matthew 14:24 I have capitalized our word "basanizo," translated a bit differently:  "But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary."

Sin "agitates" and "upsets" a godly soul!

And In Revelation 12:2 the word is used for a woman's agony during childbirth!  "And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered."

Sin hurts one's soul!

Of course, one does not always HAVE to be around such wickedness!

The Holy Spirit in 2nd Peter 2:8 specifically tells us that Lot "dwelt" (active voice) in that sinful environment!   He could have moved! 

The verb "dwelling" is "egkatoikeo."  Here goes the definition:  ""Ek" means "out of."  Then "kata" means "down."  And the root "oikeo" means to live in a house!  Those two prefixes literally intensify the action being described! 

Lot chose to live in Sodom!

He adamantly built his house there!

He was NOT going to move away either!

Even knowing the spiritual danger Sodom posed, Lot was resolute in remaining in town!

His reasons I do no know.

May be family.

Or money ... jobs.

Or convenience.

Whatever ... it cost him his wife and his daughters and his own spiritual welfare!

Folks, see the danger of sin?

And, remember, Peter used this example of Lot as a warning against being around false teachers!  False prophets!  Religious hypocrites!  Apostasy!

This week-end, as we all go to Church, keep this in mind.

WHERE you live matters!

WHERE your Church membership is located can be absolutely critical!

WHERE you feed spiritually often dictates the condition of your very soul!

AVOID liberal sinful preachers!

They are enemies to your spiritual welfare!

Lot was extremely unwise in his decision to be so closely associated with Sodom!

And, Christian Friends, the spirit of Sodom is moving into America a little more every day we live!

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."  1st John 2:15

That's plain!

Of course Lot did not have access to that New Testament verse, did he?

But we do!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

VERSE 9:

"The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished."  2nd Peter 2:9

I believe we here have an example of "antithesis" in a verse of Scripture.  This literary feature is found in hundreds of places in the Bible.  Opposites are here placed side by side!

The verse easily divides into two equal parts:  "The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations" ... and ... "to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished."

On one side are the "godly" people ... on the other, the "unjust!"

On one side God "delivers" some ... on the other He "reserves" some!

On one side God restrains sin ... on the other He does not!

On one side God "rescues" from punishment ... on the other He allows "judgment!"

Based upon these observations, the word "temptations" must carry the idea of evil or sin or ungodliness!

God can keep His Own from such filth!

If you are having trouble accepting the fact that God can KEEP you from sinning, read Genesis 20:6.  God is talking to a heathen king named Abimelech. "And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her."  The Lord would NOT let that man "touch" Sarah, Abraham's wife!

Remember the Lord's prayer:  "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil!"

Even the so-called Jabez prayer includes this thought:  "that Thou wouldest keep me from evil." 

God can do that!

We Believers MUST pray this every day!

On the other hand ... those who have sinned profusely, especially the "false teachers" Peter has in mind here, have so fallen into sin that they are being "reserved" unto punishment!

That verb, "tereo," means to guard or watch or "hold fast!"  They're just not getting away from God's mighty Hand of Judgment!

And the noun "judgment" is in Greek spelled "krisis."  It has become an English word too!  Crisis! 

Sin leads one to crisis!

Then "to be punished," in Greek "kolazo," means "to prune or cut off!"  Hence, to punish!  God will some day "cut down" the wicked!  Their swollen pride will be "reduced" to its proper size!

Here in one short verse ... "The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished" ... we see our great God PROTECTING the godly and PUNISHING the unjust!

If you're saved ... thank God today that you belong to Him!

He is The Holy God!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

VERSE 10:

Simon Peter is describing a group of false teachers, hypocrite preachers!

He summarizes their wicked traits, placing them into two categories.

Here they are:  "But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government."

Then, being led of the Holy Spirit, he elaborates just a bit.  "Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities." 

These words are taken from 2nd Peter 2:10, near the end of the Bible.

The two categories of which I speak are:  lust ... and rebellion!

Lust:  "They walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness!"

Rebellion:  "They despise government!"

That verb walk (in Greek = "poreuomai") means to travel from one place to another and often pictures one's lifestyle.

These people live according to the desires of their evil flesh, not according to the dictates of the Holy Spirit!

The noun "lust" ("epithumia") means strong desire!  Passion!  A craving or longing for something ... here something wicked.

And "uncleanness" is "miasmos."  The word means that which stains or defiles or contaminates!  In the New Testament it usually refers to the act itself, whatever that may be, that pollutes one's soul and spirit!

This bunch of preachers Peter is targeting are sensual, addicted to uncontrolled sexual lusts!  (Things like pornography, lewd movies, ungodly books, "affairs" with women or men ... fornication and adultery, roaming eyes, wicked imaginations ... "fantasies!")

Then ... they "despise governments!"

"Kataphroneo" just means "to think" ("phroneo") or have an opinion that is "down" ("kata") on something or someone.  To belittle!  To disrespect!  To think against someone!  To disesteem them!

And "government" is "kuriotes," the common Greek word for those who rule!  "Kurios" is the word for "Lord" also!

These men are rebels!

They will not obey traditional authority!

Revolutionaries ... with no morals!

YET PETER SAYS THEY WILL FILL THE PULPITS OF THE LAND IN EVER INCREASING NUMBERS!

But what does it mean when they are said to be "presumptuous?"

The root word implies "daring extreme conduct!"  "Tolma" in Greek means boldness, in a bad sense here!  They "push the envelope" as they venture into more and more ungodliness!

Now, get this word "selfwilled."  "Authades" combines the words "self" ("autos") and "desire" ("hedone").   They are self-centered hedonists!  They live for physical pleasure!  Sensual excitement!

And "afraid," instead of being some form of "phobos," is instead the verb "tremo."  See in it our idea "to tremble!"  We should tremble in fear and refrain from speaking evil of those God has placed in authority!  But these men do not!

They "speak evil" of dignities.

The verb is "blasphemeo" and means to (verbally) inflict injury!    "Blapto" means to hinder, then to injure or hurt!  "Pheme" is a saying or statement of some kind!

And "dignities" are "doxas" in Greek!  Usually the word for "glory," here it implies those who should be accounted with honor and reputation and respect!

These so-called "preachers" are dedicated to upsetting and overthrowing God's established order ... both in the Church and often in the Government!

They have no purity or self-control!

And no meekness or humility either!

Traits which are necessary in a real Man of God's life!

God deliver us from such spiritual hucksters!

Thank God today for the Preachers you know who really love the Lord and live pure lives!

They will increasingly be in the minority as we near Jesus' Second Coming!

                                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

VERSE 11:

The Apostle then adds:  "Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord."  2nd Peter 2:11

Prior to verse 11, we have just been told that these false teachers "are not afraid to speak evil of dignities."

Then Peter adds the interesting viewpoint of our current verse here.

Even the angels of God would not do what these apostates regularly practice!

Jude says, in a parallel passage:  "Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee."  Jude 9

But these "false teachers" are just men!

Yet they unreservedly "phero blasphemos krisis."  They "bring railing accusation" against those in authority!

They bear injurious judgment against those who deserve God-given respect!

Peter informs us that the angels are greater in "power" (spelled "ischus") and "strength" (here, "dunamis") than these mere slandering rebels!

"Ischus" is a "power" word the New Testament uses to indicate physical strength, endowed strength!

And "dunamis" represents inherent power!  Power in reserve!  Potential power!

What a characterization of the angels!

Strong they are!

But these strong angelic creatures will not accuse or demean or judge those whom God has placed in positions of authority and honor!

But these theological reprobates do!

They will attack anyone!

You would be surprised at some of the ungodly things the false teachers of today have said about such spiritual men as C. I. Scofield and Harry Ironside and John Darby and others who have all their lives faithfully taught Rapture truth!

These also are likely to be political "liberals" who will viciously attack a nation's leaders, especially those who have moral strength!

But in these things the "angels" are silent!

They let God handle all the "judgment!"

And remember Who is The Judge!

"For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father."  John 5:22-23

We Believers had best learn a lesson from all this too!

We must be best advised to keep our mouths "shut" when it comes to criticizing God's Men!  Or any others whom God has placed in positions of authority!

I once heard that only "fools" rush in where angels fear to tread!

Be advised!

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

VERSE 12:

Peter is talking about a group of "false teachers" who will infiltrate the Church ... especially during the last days!

He describes them in many ways, two of the most surprising being in 2nd Peter 2:12.  "But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption."

He compares these unsaved preachers to "natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed!"

The title "natural brute beasts" is interesting!  "Phusikos alogos zoon" is the Greek expression here.  "Natural" means that which is governed solely by the drives and instincts of one's self!  "Brute" means not logical!  And the noun "beasts," in which our word "zoo" is easily seen, means a living animal!

This description of these men differs greatly from David's in Psalm 8!  "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour." 

There's no glory or honour here, just hedonistic silly creatures ... mere animals governed by their own passions!

Then Peter says something that would disturb the "animal rights" fanatics!  He adds that these brute beasts, to which he has been comparing this outbreak of false teachers, are "made to be taken and destroyed."

He just told us that certain animals are "made" ("born" in Greek ... "gennao") to be "taken" (in Greek = "caught" ... "halosis") and "destroyed" (made to "perish")!  Even today our culture still has use for "exterminators" who rid society of particular pests.  Other animals are grown to be eaten by mankind. Cattle, chickens, hogs and fish come to mind.  Peter was a fisherman you know!

This is also the same Peter writing here who had that vision or dream on the rooftop of Simon's house in Joppa!   "And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.  But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.  And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common."  Acts 10:11-15

Peter here is NOT saying to kill the false teachers!  He is saying that they are much like the simple animals that we raise for slaughter day after day!

All these apostates some day will be judged by the Lord Jesus Christ, and thereafter perish eternally in Hell!

These "fake" preachers and teachers are "blasphemers" too!  That's the Greek word ("blasphemeo") used here for "speaking evil" of things they know not! The malicious deadly "sins of their tongues" have been mentioned again and again in 2nd Peter chapter two!  And they don't even understand ("agnoeo," our word agnostic) the importance and dignity of those things they are criticizing! 

They will slander and defame anything or anyone!

But then, notice this.  They will "perish in their own corruption."  This is amazing!  God partly judges them by allowing them to drown in their own chosen brand of sin!   The verb structure is this:  "be corrupted in their own corruption!"

When one becomes addicted to a certain sin or group of sins, it always takes more then MORE then yet some MORE of that particular sin to excite and fulfill his longings!  God just allows that cycle to accelerate ... to the point of self-destruction!

They "perish" in their own corruption!

That's why John writes of man's final state: "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still."  Revelation 22:11

The noun used for "corruption" and the verb used for "perish" both come from the same "root."  It means that which rots!  Or wastes away or shrivels or wilts or defiles oneself!

God just "turns them over" to their own self-destructive sins!

Paul words it like this in Romans chapter one.  "Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves."  Romans 1:24

Then, "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature."  Romans 1:26

And lastly, "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient."  Romans 1:28

That's perishing in one's own corruption!

What startling lessons today!

What motivation to stay faithful to our dear Lord!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

VERSE 13:

I've never read any clearer description of the false teachers and preachers who infest the professing Church today!

Peter gives one picture after another of their character and lifestyle!

For example, "And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you."  2nd Peter 2:13

Two words in this verse are similar in meaning, coming from the same "root" or "stem."

These people "riot" in the day time!  That's "truphe" in Greek.

And they also are guilty of "sporting themselves" while they feast! Now that's "entruphao" in Greek. 

Both these terms are derived from "thrupto," a verb that initially means "to break up," especially the mind and the body by excessive indulgence!  To "riot" traditionally means "to live in luxury, delicacy, debauchery or even effeminacy!"

To "sport" means to "party or revel luxuriously" in something!

These are so-called "fun-loving" preachers and teachers!  Social life is paramount to them!

The word "pleasure" is also interesting.  It is spelled "hedone" and gives us our word hedonistic!  It means pleasure or lust or particularly sensual delight!

To "count" something, "hegeomai," contains the little verb "ago," to lead! These people are the trendsetters in "partying" and frivolity!

And these kinds of sins they commit all day long, not waiting for evening to come! 

"Deceivings" (Greek = "apate") means cheating or giving a false impression! They are hypocrites then!

Also they apparently love "to feast" with their people!  This verb is compound, "suneuocheo."  It means to have "good cheer" along with others, a "party" atmosphere again!  ("Euochia" means good cheer.)  Seems it's all about having a good time!

Then Peter describes them with two more negative metaphors.   They are "spots," in Greek ..."spilos," simply meaning stains or scars, especially moral ones!  And they are called "blemishes" ... in Greek "momos," a flaw or fault or even a disgrace!  The root verb here means "to blame" and conveys the opposite idea of "blameless," a qualification for a real Man of God in 1st Timothy 3:2.

And their "reward?"  This noun translates "misthos" which just means salary or payment or money!  Yes, sin has wages!

"And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you."

A reward of "unrighteousness" implies that which is not straight and correct and pleasing before the Eyes of God!  The word is "adikia."

This terrible fate is theirs.  They shall "receive" it at their time of judgment!  To "receive" means to be guilty!  To be wrong!  To be declared unjust!

They have probably never heard the words "You are wrong!"  But they will receive such an indictment when they face the Judge, our Lord Jesus Christ!

These things just keep drawing startling lines of distinction between real Preachers and false ones!

To summarize, genuine Men of God are NOT guilty of riot and partying and feasting in sin!   They seek to be blameless and harmless.  They work in the day time, for the night is coming when no man can work!  They are not hedonistic, but holy in their behavior.

Thank God for this composite Peter is drawing for us in these last days!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

VERSE 14:

Years ago I heard a preacher quote this phrase.

It amazed me as a young man. 

Yet today I fear this condition has become an epidemic!

Simon Peter writes, when describing certain "religious" folks during the last days, "Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children."  2nd Peter 2:14

That part about the "eyes" has become so typical of this age!

The Greek noun used for "eyes" is "ophthalmos."  One can readily see our English term "ophthalmologist" in it, an eye doctor!  It is based upon a "root" verb meaning "to see or to gaze upon" someone or something.

"Full" is "mestos" and it's used in Scripture of men "full" of hypocrisy, nets "full" of fishes, a vessel "full" of vinegar, people "full" of envy, Christians "full" of goodness, a tongue "full" of poison, wisdom "full" of mercy and here eyes "full" of adultery.

"Adultery" is best defined as a sinful sexual relationship.  Often it appears that this particular term is used to define the behavior of a married person who has been unfaithful to his or her wife or husband.

And "cannot cease" is "akatapaustos."  In Greek "pauo," the root stem of our word here, means "to pause or to stop or to desist" from something.

These people have become "addicted" to allowing their eyes such roaming lustful adulterous privileges!   They look where they should not!  They, apart from the Grace of God, can't stop either!

Lust with its accompanying filthy thoughts becomes their very lifestyle!

These "false teachers," Peter's name for them back in the first verse of our chapter, want to bring others to their point of view also!  They are "evangelists" for the cause of immorality!

And they're successful in many cases!  They "beguile unstable souls!"

The verb "beguile" means to entrap or to entice!  They lure people into sexual depravity by a process of lies and false intentions!

And the people they "catch?"

They're called "unstable" souls!  Two words here are combined to indicate "not" (just the letter "a" in Greek) and "firm" ("sterizo").   The verb "sterizo" is thought to come from the root word for "stand!"  Folks who can't stand on their own ... hence they fall into sensual sins with this crowd of apostates!

They "target" the spiritually weaker people.

These wicked leaders have "exercised" their hearts to do evil!  That verb is "gumnazo," which is the basis for our word gymnasium.

And the term "covetous practices" (in Greek = "pleonexia") is based upon an "out-of-control longing" for more and more sin!  One wild affair is never enough! Sin proliferates!

Lastly Peter just notes that these people are "cursed" children!

That adjective is amazing!

It's one of the key Greek words for "prayer," and is spelled "ara."  (From "airo" which means "to lift up," as one does his prayerful words to our Father in Heaven!)  But here "ara" is intensified with a prefix, "kata."  Technically "katara" implies prayers of imprecation!  Hence the King James Version's accurate rendering "cursed."  Godly curses, but curses they are nonetheless!  When God condemns a soul to an eternal Hell of fire and brimstone ... that is a curse!

And "children" (in Greek = "teknon") can imply children who have a family likeness to their father!  At least a Greek scholar taught us that.  Lustful children?  Who would their father be?  Not the Lord God Almighty!  But, just as Jesus said long ago ... "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do."  John 8:44

Folks, read this commentary again when you have time.

So-called preachers and teachers like these are becoming more and more prevalent in America today.

FALSE teachers, "pseudo" preachers ... says Peter.  "There shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."  2nd Peter 2:1

They're here!

Treasure that godly man who preaches the Word of God to you!

If he's genuine and filled with integrity and loves the Lord ... then "esteem him very highly in love for his work's sake."   That's what Paul said to do in 1st Thessalonians 5:13.

Such true preachers are becoming increasingly rare and precious!

                                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

VERSE 15:

Paul said that in the latter days "some shall depart from the faith."

Peter worded it this way, speaking of the same "false teachers" Paul had in mind: "Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness."  2nd Peter 2:15

They have "forsaken the right way."

The verb here, "forsaken," means "to leave behind."  Or it can mean simply "to abandon." 

And the "right" way is in Greek "euthus" and means "straight."

The noun "way" is in the King James Bible translated "highway" several times.

These wicked men do not desire to walk the straight and narrow path Jesus taught us.

"Gone astray" is one Greek verb, "planao."  It means to wander about in darkness!  To err!

The fact that Peter here specifically mentions Balaam shows his familiarity with the Old Testament Scriptures, especially the writings of Moses.

Balaam was the prophet for "hire" who sold his message for money!

Of course such preaching cost him his life ultimately!

Balaam has become synonymous with preachers who are for sale!

Balaam, Peter says, "loved the wages of unrighteousness."

The noun "wages" means money or payment or reward!

These false teachers and fake preachers can be bought!

They will change their message ... for a larger salary somewhere!

They will quit harping about sin ... for the favor of the masses!

They will never use certain words (like drunkards, fornicators, adulterers or idolaters) ... for the sheer sake of political correctness!

They will no longer preach separation from the world ... for the fear of unpopularity!

They will no longer call themselves "fundamentalists" ... for the sake of ecumenicity!  That's "one-world-church-ism" according to the Book of Revelation!

They love (verb here = "agapao") the pleasures of sin!

Folks, today we need to remember what we're told about Moses in Hebrews 11:25 --- "choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season."

I just want to end today by saying THANK GOD for preachers who are not for sale!

I appreciate the Men of God who would rather please our Lord ... than compromise before some wicked earthly outfit!

Not everyone has gone astray!

Nor forsaken the right way!

Some have remained faithful!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

VERSE 16:

The word is "iniquity."

The particular word I have in mind is only used twice in all the Bible.

Its occurrence as a noun is in 2nd Peter 2:16. "But (Baalam) was rebuked for his "iniquity."

This Greek term, "paranomia," is so interesting!

Its prefix, "para," means "alongside" something.

Just that ... alongside.

And the "root" stem, "nomia," means "law!"

The "iniquity" of Balaam consisted chiefly in this.  He laid a law of his own right down right beside the Law of God!  Balaam's rules and thoughts were given equal (right "beside") status with God's Rules and Thoughts!

Isn't that exactly what men and women are doing today?

Adding our ways to God's Ways!

And placing our views on equal footing with God's Law!

Yet the Lord "rebuked" Balaam for his sin!

This word "rebuked," in Greek it's "elegcho," means reproof or refutation or admonishment or even conviction!  It's a pretty strong term!

Balaam was "held" in rebuke by the Lord.  That's the wording of the Textus Receptus, from which the King James translators worked!  The Lord put a "head-lock" and "heart-lock" of Holy Spirit conviction on old Balaam. 

And just how did the Lord do that?

The rest of 2nd Peter 2:16 explains that.  "The dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet." 

The word for ass, "hupozugion," means anything that's "under" ("hupo") a "yoke" ("zugos")! 

And "dumb" is "aphonos," an animal that makes "no sound."  At least, until the Lord, touches him!

Then the "dumb ass" began speaking!

The verb "speak" (spelled "phtheggomai") is derived from "phos," the Greek word for "light!"  God enlightened that little donkey! 

He began warning Balaam with a "man's voice!"

If God needs to "warn" us ... He surely can do so!

And "forbad" means to curtail or reverse!  God "took over" the situation!  God "commandeered" a little animal ... for His ultimate Glory!

Then look at God's diagnosis of Balaam's sin, his "madness!"

"Paraphronia" means that which makes one "beside" ("para") his or her own mind ("phronia").

Insanity!

It's closely kin to our word "paranoia."

What an analysis of sin, sin as utter rebellion!

Today we've had an "x-ray" of sin and God's response to it!

A lesson in "hamartiology!"

Sin ... stay away from it!

Warnings ... especially those from God ... acknowledge them immediately!

And one's mind ... keep it pure and holy before the Lord!

Amen!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

VERSE 17:

How would you Preachers like to be compared to "wells without water?"

The final implication of that charge is: "You are a hypocrite!"

Well, Peter said that and a whole lot more about the false preachers and teachers of his day!

And he furthermore implied that their numbers would grow considerably as we neared the days of our Lord's Return.

The above phrase is taken from 2nd Peter 2:17.  "These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever."

In the Bible a "well" implied rest and refreshment and water and even life itself!

But to be a "well without water" implied having all those good qualities ... with no reality behind them at all!

Preachers whom people would have assumed had the words of life!

But in truth had no such thing!

Men who should have known the Holy Spirit, Who was described by Jesus as The Producer of "rivers of living water."  John 7:38

But men who "had not the Spirit!"  See Jude Verse 19.

The noun here for "wells" is "pege" and can mean "fountains" (8 times in Scripture) also.

The Greek Text says "un-hydrated" wells, "without water."  ("anudros")

Have you ever heard of a de-hydrated well?

Peter sure had!

This is a Holy Spirit inspired word picture, folks!

They, these false prophets, are like "clouds carried with a tempest" too!

The noun "nephele" is 26 times in the King James New Testament translated as "clouds."  This word is here found in the Textus Receptus (the manuscript behind the KJV)  while all the newer Bible versions follow texts that have another word altogether, "omichle" which just means "mist" or "fog."  In fact, those other manuscripts differ from the TR in thousands of ways! 

"Carried" ("elauno" in Greek) means driven or forced as by a mighty power outside of oneself!   Two Bible examples:  a ship propelled by rowers or a human controlled by demons!

And a "tempest" is just a storm ("lailaps"), a violent attack of wind!

This word picture reminds me of something Paul said in Ephesians 4:14.  There he spoke of those who were "carried about with every wind of doctrine."

Then a startling fact is revealed about these false teachers ... "to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever."

The noun "mist" is "zophos" and means "darkness" (2 times in Scripture) or "blackness" (1 time).

The noun "darkness" translates "skotos," which in the New Testament is rendered 32 times just as that, "darkness!"  The land of Nova Scotia means "new darkness!"

This "mist of darkness" sounds to me like Jesus' term "outer darkness," which was one of His descriptions of Hell!

"Reserved" is "tereo" and means guarded or kept or held fast!  Our mighty God has certain places under constant guard!  If Satan could, no doubt he would destroy that place called Hell!

And "for ever" is spelled "eis aion," into the ages!  Never ending!

Hear me today.  Being a false preacher or teacher carries with it dire consequences, terrible judgment!  Likely the hottest place in Hell is reserved not for drunkards or dope addicts or  "common" sinners ... but for men or women who pretended to have the very Truth of God, but were liars and imposters ... misleading God's people deliberately!

Today let's thank God for real Men who preach His Word faithfully!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

VERSE 18:

How deceptive sin can be!

Peter says it can "allure" an innocent victim into its clutches!

And some wicked men are experts in handling sin ... giving it all the more power to deceive!

Yes, the devil has "ministers" too!

Paul says so in 2nd Corinthians 2:14-15.  "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."

Peter fully describes such "ministers" in the second chapter of his second Epistle.

Here's a verse that tells us how such ungodly men "entrap" many innocent believers!

"For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error."  2nd Peter 2:18

I believe the "key" word in this verse may be "allure."  It's "deleazo" and means to entice or beguile.  It has the idea of entrapment!  To trick!  To offer "bait!"  To decoy!  It's the same word James uses when he describes sin.  "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."

The false teachers and fake preachers of 2nd Peter 2 are good "fishers" (in the use of "bait") of men and women!  "Catching" them ... in lust!

"Deleazo" here is an indicative present active verb.  It is describing the constant patterns of life these men follow!  Always "alluring" people into sin!

They are dangerous!

But HOW do they allure such good people?

Three ways are given by Peter.

One, "they speak great swelling words of vanity."  

This verb "say" is unusual.   It blends two words, each of which can mean "light!"  It's almost as if their talking is supernaturally empowered ... by the devil!  Does the devil have anything to do with "light?"  Remember, "Lucifer" means "light bearer!"

"Great swelling" words ("huperogkos") are words of flattery that "hyper-size" those to whom they're spoken!  That's "super-sizing" someone's ego!  "Ogkos" is a load so heavy that it bends its wagon!

And "vanity" (in Greek = "mataiotes") just means empty or with no purpose.

Secondly, they allure "through the lusts of the flesh."

The noun "lusts" is "epithumia," strong desires or even cravings!

And the flesh here ("sarx") is anything physical or sensual that helps to pull one into sin, using his or her "natural" inclinations!

The preposition "through" is in Greek "en."  It means "in, on, at or near!"  That is, "within the sphere of" lust itself!

Thirdly,  their enticing practices have now reached the "wantoness" level, "through much wantoness."  "Aselgeia" means excessive sensuality!  An overflowing quantity!  Sin that no longer has any restraint!  No longer ashamed! Shocking!

Christians, be careful!

Now, look at whom they regularly deceive!

"Those that were clean escaped from them who live in error."

They are able to entrap even those who had initially escaped such sinful practices!

These wicked preachers are nearly overpowering it seems!

They've never led a soul to Jesus ... but have led many a person to lust and filth!

"Clean escaped" translates "ontos apopheugo."  "Certainly, verily," and "of a truth" are each King James Version renderings of "ontos!"  And escaped ("pheugo") means "to flee or run away" from something or someone!

These once "separated" folks are again entangled in lust ... because of these dangerous so-called "preachers!" 

But who is it from whom we are supposed to flee?

"Them who live in error."

Those who "live" (in Greek = "anastrepho" ... to move about and come and go and conduct one's life ... "strepho" = to twist or turn) or behave or follow certain patterns.

And "error" is "plane," a wandering about in darkness!  (This has become our English word "planet!")

Some people live in perpetual deceit!

They live a lie!

Fellow Believers, we are to FLEE from such individuals!

Let's separate ourselves!

One more time now, here's today's whole verse:  "For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error."

Think about it!

No one is exempt!

It is critically important where you go to Church!

It is vitally significant who preaches to you week after week!

Stay away from false or "psuedo" preaching and preachers!

They are deceptively dangerous!

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

VERSE 19:

Liberty!

Freedom!

Especially ... Freedom of Choice!

Those are the watchwords of postmodern society!

Liberty to do whatsoever one pleases!

Yet, as the world practices her wild living and ungodly behavior ... all in the pursuit of liberty ... she in reality becomes more and more entangled in the clutches of sin!  She becomes a "slave" to her "liberties!"

Unsaved humanity defines liberty as "the freedom to do what one pleases!"

The Bible defines liberty as "the power to do what pleases God!"

What a difference!

In 2nd Peter 2:19, speaking of a group of "false teachers" or pseudo preachers, the Bible teaches us that while they ... "promise liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage."

The first enlightening thing about this verse is its revelation of the content of these apostates' message! 

They promise their people ... liberty!

The verb "promise" (in Greek = "apaggelo") means to announce!  To preach! To proclaim!

What do they preach? 

"Liberty!"

This noun, "eleutheria" means freedom.  It is thought to be derived from the Greek verb "erchomai," which means to come or go!  (To come or go or do anything else ... as one pleases!)

These modernistic preachers would never preach a series of sermons on the Commandments of Scripture!

Or separation from sin!

Or the evils of worldliness!

Or the wickedness of the human heart!

Such sermonizing might inhibit one's "liberties!"

"They promise them liberty."

BUT ... while they preach "liberty," they themselves have become "slaves" of the very sins they have allowed!

So-called "liberty" to pursue sin and selfishness always leads to bondage!

These false prophets ... "they themselves are the servants of corruption."

"Corruption" is a one-word description of the lifestyle they have chosen! "Phthora" comes from a root verb that means to wilt, to shrivel, to pine or waste away!  To be spoiled or ruined!

Sin, even libertarian sin, kills!  It has consequences!  And "the wages of sin is death."  Romans 6:23

And that noun ..."servants" is "doulos" in Greek!  That's the word for a common "slave!"  A bond-slave!  A man in chains!  (Chained to one's sins!  Addicted!  Under the influence of wickedness!)

What a verse of Scripture this is!

Lastly, "for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage."

The verb "is overcome" translates "ettao" (really "hettao") and means "to make worse" or "to make less" or "to rate lower!"  It is based upon a root word meaning "slightly."  (Middle voice verb ... the action impacts the subject, changing him or her!)

And the auxiliary verb of this last clause, "is brought in bondage" represents "douloo" (that "bond-slave" word again) and means "to reduce to bondage" or "to make one a slave!"

Do you see this today?

While these hypocrites preach "liberty" to do what one pleases ... in reality they themselves have become "slaves" to those desires!  In bondage to the things that prove their "freedom!"

I have long believed that one of God's judgments upon the sinner (here they would say the man at "liberty") is just allowing him (or her) more and more opportunity to pursue that sin!  Head over heels plunging into wickedness without restraint!  Sin has its own built-in judgment!

It ultimately enslaves ... then kills!

What holy irony!

Proclaiming liberty ... they become slaves!

Yet, on the other hand, that crowd of born-again Blood-washed Believers in Jesus who preach "obedience" to a Holy God ... they end up "free," truly "free" in Jesus Christ our Lord!

Not free to do anything their flesh might want ... but free to do anything they ought under a loving and Almighty God!

Praise the Lord!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

VERSE 20:

Our verse for today describes a group of preachers who have perverted the Grace of God!

They not only deny the Bible and its key doctrines, but also live ungodly lives.  They have been tainted by "the pollutions of this world."

Peter says of them:  "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning."   2nd Peter 2:20

It appears that once these men were relatively "separated" from the world!

They had "escaped" its filthy tentacles.  This verb ("apopheugo") means "to run away" or "to flee" from something or someone!  In its aorist form it indicates past action that is now completed.  They at one time had lived much cleaner lives!

The word "pollutions" sure is interesting too!  It ("miasma") means that which defiles or taints or stains!  It has a graphic history!

These false teachers have at some time in the past been close enough to the real teaching of God's Word that they had "knowledge" of it!  "Epignosis" just means an extreme familiarity or mental grasp of a subject at hand.  It can here imply expert or full knowledge.  It does NOT always imply that its possessor has experienced the saving grace of God!  For proof, see the first use of the word in the Bible:  "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge ("epignosis"), God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient, being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers ...."  Romans 1:28-29

Also notice that Peter did not call Jesus their Lord and Saviour ... but just the Lord and Saviour!  I do not believe these folks were saved.

In the great old hymn "Amazing Grace"  John Newton was once blind, but then could see!  These apostates in 2nd Peter once could see but are now blind!  Sin is belittling and demeaning and retrogressive!

These people have experienced some kind of reformation, but not genuine soul salvation!

Because ... they are again "entangled" in the defiling sins of the world.  This verb, "empleko," means to be involved in, to to be "woven" into, or to be entwined into something!  Hence, entangled!  In Greek "pleko" means to braid or twine! It's an aorist verb, the action is complete!  They are again addicted to filthy living!

But not only are they "entangled" in such sin, they are also "overcome" of it too!  This verb, "hettao," means to become worse!  To be rated lower!  Hence, to be overcome or defeated!

What a biography of sin this verse presents!

Iniquity leaves one in worse condition at the end ... than at the beginning!

"Their latter end is worse with them than the beginning" says Peter.

The expression "latter end" is in Greek "eschatos" and means the last of a series.  Our English word "eschatology" means the study of Bible prophecy, particularly the Rapture and Second Coming of Jesus.  It is believed that the "root" of our word here may be "echo," meaning "to have or to hold!"

"Worse," an adjective, translates "cheiron" which means more evil or more depraved or even more worthless!  It's in the comparative degree.  "Cheirson" may be derived from "kakos," a key word for wickedness!

And the "beginning," or the "protos," means that which is in the forefront! Foremost in time or place or order!  

These people looked so good at first! 

But they were overcome of lust and sin!

This biography we've studied today can only be plotted by downward trends.

Whereas ... with a true saint of God ... the very opposite is true!  "The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." (Proverbs 4:18)  Here's an upward path!

Or as Peter himself would soon say, "Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen."  That's the normal life pattern for a Believer in Jesus!

Thank God for His marvelous transforming victorious Grace!

Friend, are you presently growing in your Christian life?

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

VERSE 21:

"For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them."  2nd Peter 2:21

What does Scripture mean by that brief declaration?

Peter is describing some men whom he earlier calls "false teachers."  They are pseudo-preachers, "fakes" in the work of the Lord!

They both question the key doctrines of God's Word ... and live loose moral lives. They are ungodly!

Yet they at some time have come into close contact with the Truth.  They have "known" ("epignosko" in Greek, indicating thorough knowledge) "the way of righteousness."  Often the Christian manner of life is called a "way" ... or even the way. 

Yet Peter goes further, including a parallel term for Christianity here ... "the holy commandment!" 

It seems the Holy Spirit is distinctly emphasizing the two aspects of our Faith that these men have most viciously attacked!

It is a RIGHTEOUS way.  And these false teachers are exceedingly unrighteous.

And it is a way with numerous commandments!  Our verse even summarizes all Christianity as "the holy commandment!"  And these people are not going to follow any set pattern of living.  They want liberty for the flesh, not restrictive behavior of any kind!

They have turned from God's way ... from His commandment!  The verb "epistrepho" means to twist or violently wrench something from its original setting!  The word in this exact form is only used three times in the Bible, in each case referring to a spiritual change of heart!

Review this with me.  These men had once been exceedingly familiar with the Truth.  Yet they rejected and spurned it!  No commands for them!  No holiness either! 

BUT ... Scripture says that it would have been BETTER for them not to have known Truth, than having known it ... to turn away so pointedly!

With knowledge comes responsibility!

Peter here may be alluding to something he heard Jesus say years earlier. 

Peter's words: "For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them."

Jesus' words:  "And the last state of that man is worse than the first."  Matthew 12:45 but repeated in Luke 11:26

Yes, for one to have walked in light ... then return to darkness is far more detrimental than one having only lived in darkness! 

Again I quote Jesus.  "That servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.  But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes."  Luke 12:47-48

The more one knows, the more liable he or she becomes!

"For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more."  Luke 12:48 again!

Those of us who have the Light of God's Word, God's completed Word ... all 66 Books ... had best NOT TURN from it either!

To do so is to invite the Lord's harshest judgment!

"Beaten with many stripes!"

Christian, stay true to the Faith and to the Bible and to the Lord!

Don't turn away!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

AND NOW ... VERSE 22:

This verse of Scripture does not paint a lovely picture!

"But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire."  2nd Peter 2:22

It is used by the Apostle Peter to describe certain "false teachers" who have infiltrated the churches of his day.  Of course, their descendants are still here, two thousand years later!

When they first "identified" with the church, "joining" its ranks, things looked well!

But having only experienced "reformation," not true "salvation," things soon changed!

The verb "happened" translates "sumbaino," which means "to walk beside!"  I suspect we would all be surprised what might come and "walk beside" us if we were not constantly on guard!  And this is the opening word in the sentence too, giving further emphasis to its action!  This gives new meaning to Paul's command in Ephesians 5:15 --- "See then that ye walk circumspectly."  Walk ... looking all around as you do!

The noun "proverb" is "paroimia" and its verbal root means "to imagine" or "to make like" or "to suppose."  Here we have a comparison, a word picturte, a figure of speech.  Peter is not saying these men are hogs or wild dogs.  But that they are "like" hogs and dogs in certain areas.

Solomon does the same thing in Proverbs 26:11.  "As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly." 

So ... here we have some "foolish" so-called preachers!

The root word behind "dog" ("keleb") means to yelp or maybe even to attack!  We are here not talking about some little "pet" doggie, but a mangy wild fierce animal.  Dogs were not held in high regard in Peter's time.  But when Jesus, speaking to the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:26 used another word for "dog."  Our Lord used the term meaning "a little doggie!"  This time a "pet" is meant!  See how precise the language of the New Testament can be?

"Turned" (in Greek = "epistrepho") indicates a reversal of direction.  To twist!

The noun "vomit" is derived from a word meaning "to spue,"  to disgorge food!

The metaphor is designed to produce sickening disgust!  It also gives us a pretty good idea of how the Holy Spirit pictures sin!  It's repulsive!

A "sow" is a hog.  "Hus" here indicates a female member of the swine family of animals.

This sow was "washed."  In Greek there's a word that means to wash only a part of oneself, "nipto."  Another word is used to indicate just the washing of one's clothing, "pluno."  But our verb, "louo," means to bathe the whole body! This hog initially was really clean ... on the outside anyway!  What a picture of false profession!

And "wallowing" ("kulisma," only here in the whole Bible) means that which swells, bends or curves!  It was often used to describe a wave of the sea as it rolls toward shore.  Hence, "wallowing,"  rolling around in a puddle of filthy water!

The Greek word for "mire" ("borboros") just means mud.  Again, this is the only place you will find the word in the whole New Testament.  When the Old Testament speaks of "mire," naturally a Hebrew word is used. 

Peter, for 22 verses now, has been defining and describing a group of "false teachers" who both have been and will continue to harass the true Church of God ... until Jesus comes!

Do notice that today, in his concluding point, Peter did NOT compare these people to sheep or lambs or innocent little doves.  No!  He compared them to dogs and hogs, unclean animals of Scripture.  No dog or hog could be offered to our great God!  He required clean animals!

I believe this is another way Peter is telling us that these people are just not saved!

Had they been "sheep" by nature ... they would NOT have returned to their own vomit or rolled around in the slime of some watery mud hole!

Sheep just don't do those things!

Let's be thankful today that when the Lord saves us, He changes us!

He transforms our desires!

We no longer identify with the world's vomit and mud and filth!

We long for green pastures and still waters!

We now must hear the true Shepherd's Voice!

Amen!

                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

WE PRAY YOU HAVE GROWN IN THE LORD BY STUDYING THIS GREAT CHAPTER OF SCRIPTURE.

 

 

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