15/12/19 – 2 Peter 2:12-17


2 Peter 2:12But 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;

Jude 1:10But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.


naturalphysikos (inborn; agreeable to nature; governed by instincts of nature) We get “physical” from this word.


brutealogos (destitute of reason; contrary to reason; absurd; illogical) From the negative of logos. That is, they lack any ability to debate or discuss issues rationally.


beastszoon (a living being; an animal; brute; beast) Like animals in the zoo!


madegennao (fathered; born; begotten) “generation” and “regeneration” are derived from this word! Does this make these false teachers calvinist??


destroyedphthora (corruption; destruction; perishing; subject to corruption or perishing; moral corruption or decay; eternal misery in hell)


speak evil ofblasphemeo


understand notagnoeo (to be ignorant; not know; not understand; err; sin through mistake) From the negative of noieo – to perceive with the mind; to understand; to think upon; ponder; consider – (which in turn is derived from nous – the mind; intellect; reason/reasoning) We get “agnostic” from the same root word; one who doesn’t know!


utterly perishkatphtheiro (be corrupted; be corrupted in mind; be destroyed; perish)


corruption – same as “destroyed” above. That is, they will be corrupted in their own corruption.


But these, as animals, destitute of reason and governed by instincts of nature, born for the purpose of being taken (captured) and condemned to eternal misery in hell, blaspheme things of which they are ignorant; they shall utterly perish in their own (autos = self) corruption.

Cambridge says Literally, as irrational merely natural animals born for capture and destruction, speaking evil (or railing) in the things in which they are ignorant; they shall be corrupted in and by their corruption.


This is what the Bible says about false teachers in the church. They are animals, following base instincts, illogical and bereft of reason, only fit for being captured like the animals they are and destroyed as vermin; they blaspheme things that they know nothing about (that is, they are ignoramuses); therefore they will be destroyed in (corrupted with) the corruption they have made (that is, they have sown corruption and they will reap the same in themselves – Galatians 6:8).


2 Peter 2:13And 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;


the rewardmisthos (dues paid for work; wages; hire; reward; rewards and punishments; rewards bestowed by God for our endeavours)


pleasurehedone (pleasure; desires for pleasure) We get “hedonism” from this word. Piper wrote “Meditations of a Christian Hedonist” which focuses upon a goal of being happy as a Christian. Such views are, in fact, very similar to the health & wealth gospel which teaches that Christians can only suffer pain, bad health and financial problems as the result of sin in their lives, and that it is the right of all Christians to be both healthy and rich as long as they don’t sin.


thefreedictionary.com describes hedonism as (a) Pursuit of or devotion to pleasure, especially to the pleasures of the senses. (b) Philosophy The ethical doctrine holding that only what is pleasant or has pleasant consequences is intrinsically good. (c) Psychology The doctrine holding that behavior is motivated by the desire for pleasure and the avoidance of pain. (d) Indulgences in sensual pleasures.

I fail to see how hedonism can effectively relate to Christian beliefs.


riottryphe (softness; effeminate; luxurious living; carousing) Thus riotous living is actually a glut of indulgence.


in the day time – probably really means to live like this while they have today. The same term is used in the following.

Hebrews 3:13But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

That is, eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die!


spots and blemishes – base gluttonous men who are a disgrace to society


sporting themselvesentryphao (live in luxury; revel in; take delight in) Taken from tryphe (riot) above.


sporting themselves with their own deceivings – revelling in the deceptions they commit. That is, they get a real kick out of knowing that they are deceiving others. To them, sport is to watch the pain and suffering others experience. (Such people would enjoy animals and people being slaughtered at the Colosseum with the excuse that this was sport!) The more they can deceive others, the greater their enjoyment (“pleasures” or hedonism above). They literally enjoy life at the expense of others, and they do this while putting on the charade of being one of those whom they are deceiving. The feast was a form of church fellowship, a time of showing the agape love they had one for another. “feasting with” is syneuocheo which is a synthesis word describing “many together as one entity”. That is, there are many feasting together as one, and these false teachers are feasting at the table as one of the group; they are not outsiders.


Matthew Poole says: They sport themselves while they so finely deceive you, pretending love in their feasting with you, when they do it only to gratify their appetites; or sporting themselves, and making merry, with what they have cheated you of.


It may have referred to the feast of communion which was turned into a glutton-fest at Corinth.

1 Corinthians 11:19-2219For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. 20When ye come together therefore into one place, [this] is not to eat the Lord’s supper. 21For in eating every one taketh before [other] his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. 22What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise [you] not.

Such people, while trying to look like the Christians they are among, instead use their fellowship to destroy them. Literally they are tares among the wheat.


2 Peter 2:14Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:


eyesophthalmos (could be literally what they look at but also could mean metaphorically the eyes of the mind, that is, their thought life) We get ophthalmology from this word.


adultery – literally an adulteress; of those who relapse into idolatry; play the harlot)


beguiling – to catch with a bait; metaphorically to beguile by blandishments; allure; entice; deceive. They entice their victims by using bait (on a hook?) like a fisherman. Peter was a fisherman; he uses the same term for “allure” in 2 Peter 2:18. This word is only used 3 times in the NT. It is used for “enticed” in James 1:14.


unstable souls – wavering double-minded people who cannot think for themselves (James 1:6). James 1:8A double minded man [is] unstable in all his ways.

Unstable souls are those who do not have a firm grounding in the Bible. Today they would be the immature Christians who want to be better Christians but don’t want to do the hard work of learning for themselves. Such people are drawn to those “mentors” who promise short cuts to growing as a Christian, yet may be false teachers as described in this passage.


an heart they have exercised with covetous practices – they have trained their hearts in covetousness. See 2 Peter 2:3 (And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you) where these false teachers use carefully sculpted words for their own covetous gain. There is nothing noble about such false teachers; they are in it for what they can get out of it. They pretend to be loving and caring people, yet it is all a sham; they only want what your destruction can give them. It may have been to do with financial gain (most false teachers today are rich beyond measure).

Barnes says Skilled in the arts which covetous men adopt in order to cheat others out of their property. A leading purpose which influenced these men was to obtain money. One of the most certain ways for dishonest men to do this is to make use of the religious principle; to corrupt and control the conscience; to make others believe that they are eminently holy, or that they are the special favorites of heaven; and when they can do this, they have the purses of others at command.


Of course their gain here might have been more spiritual, such as dragging others down to their level. As the saying goes, misery begets misery. And misery loves company. Miserable people need to bring as many people down with them as possible. They feed off the misery of others to keep their own misery alive.


Peter declares that such people are cursed children, or rather, children of the curse. They are so full of crude godless thinking that it is impossible for them to stop sinning. They are driven like ones who are addicted to sin. Or they cannot be made to cease from sin because they are so rebellious.


2 Peter 2:15-1615Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam [the son] of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.

Jude 1:11Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.


They have turned away (departed) from the right (upright; true; sincere) way. As a consequence they have gone astray (departed from the truth; have departed into error and sin).


following – this word is used only 3 times in the NT, all in 2 Peter: 1;16; 2:2; and again here.

Instead of following the right way, they have followed (yielded to; imitated; complied with) the false way of Balaam (see Numbers Ch.22). God says of Balaam that behold, I went out to withstand thee, because [thy] way is perverse before me (Numbers 22:32).


the wages of unrighteousness – the reward of unrighteousness (Vs 13 above). Balaam was offered “the rewards of divination” to carry out his task of cursing God’s people.

And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam (Numbers 22:7)


It is clear that Balaam was enticed to curse God’s people through no other than the payment offered for doing so. He was a prophet available for hire, a mercenary! He was bought with sufficient rewards as were these false teachers in 2 Peter 2 with their covetousness. Such people always have something to gain; they never do it through the goodness of their hearts or for noble reasons such as actually believing in what they do. If they truly believed in what they did, then they would never use carefully sculpted words (“feigned words” of 2 Peter 2:3) to say one thing but mean something quite different.


However, Balaam was rebuked for his iniquity (by a donkey, no less). It took a donkey to reveal Balaam as a fool! And likewise it takes those whom the false teachers call fools to rebuke them for their iniquity. It takes such “fools” to clearly demonstrate the madness (insanity) of the false teachers (1 Corinthians 1:27).


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

Jude 1:12-1312These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds [they are] without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; 13Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.


These false teachers are dry wells, wells from which no life can ever be drawn. Jesus said But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:14). And Christians should also be channels for the spread of the living water that Jesus spoke about. But these false teachers are dried up wells; no-one will ever survive if they rely upon these dry wells. They are the promise of life, yet are unable to deliver on any of their promises of life; they may only deliver death and destruction to those who try to drink from them.


clouds that are carried with a tempest – it may mean clouds of mist blown about where all gets moist but no water actually falls on the ground. Jude may clarify this though: clouds [they are] without water, carried about of winds (Jude 1:12) Like the wells that promise so much but deliver nothing, these are like clouds that promise much rain yet go past leaving a parched land behind them. As the saying goes, these false teachers are all froth and bubble; no substance at all. They are hot-air balloons: there’s nothing inside to back up the promise. They are like politicians: promise heaven yet can only deliver hell. Jude also says that they are not only like trees without fruit, the trees themselves are twice dead having been plucked up by the roots. Not only do they have no fruit, but they can never grow fruit because they themselves are deader than dead!


the mist of darkness – or probably the blackness of darkness; literally the darkness of night darkness.  That is, the blackness of the darkness of night is reserved for such false teachers forever. They may gain a bit to satisfy their covetousness for a moment, but the consequences of their deceptions will last for eternity.


These false teachers seek out unstable souls, those who do not have a firm foundation in the Bible, such as those that prey upon weaker people because they aren’t as able to fight back.

2 Timothy 3:1-71This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.


These false teachers rarely (if ever) prey upon those with a good foundation in the scriptures. Instead they prey upon “unstable souls” or “silly women” or similar gullible people who would believe anyone who said, “Believe me! Trust me!” If these false teachers see anyone with an ounce of biblical sense and some desire to test all things, to check what was said against biblical truth, then they would certainly stay clear of such people. They have no desire to lose an argument; they have no desire to do anything that might show them up for what they are: devoid of truth, deceiving liars, having an addictive desire to sin, greedy for ill-gotten gain, animals without any ability to reason, talking evil (blaspheming) of things which they know nothing about, dry wells and empty clouds, children of the curse.


So now let’s put this all into context for today. Peter had false teachers in his day, and there were false teachers among Israel and the Jews of the OT. There are false teachers today. In fact, there have always been false teachers. As long as there is truth, there will be those that oppose it, until the day when everlasting righteousness as per Daniel 9:24 is ushered in. Today there are so many false teachers, though, that it is becoming increasingly more difficult to find those who are not false teachers. It used to be that at least we could find good teachers in fundamentalist churches, but even that’s becoming a rarity today. As long as there’s wheat there’ll also be tares, and it’s clear that tares will be found in all areas of the church. That includes those on-the-ball biblical churches, for satan is most keen to place his tares where they are most needed. Why place them in apostate churches that teach that all suffering, sickness and disease is due to sin, or in churches where the greater the spiritual manifestation the better the Christian you are, or in churches that win popularity in the world, for they are led by tares who make the church conform to the world. No, the place where satan wants his best tares are where the wheat still knows something of what the Bible really says.


One of the biggest threats to biblical truth today is calvinism. No, I don’t mean that they are clever or anything like that, because the bulk of calvinists believe what they do as a result of not being knowledgeable enough about the Bible. According to Peter they are ignorant fools. Most calvinists have trusted the false calvinist teachers who have no desire to lose an argument; they have no desire to do anything that might show them up for what they are: devoid of truth, deceiving liars, having an addictive desire to sin, greedy for ill-gotten gain, animals without any ability to reason, talking evil (blaspheming) of things which they know nothing about, dry wells and empty clouds, children of the curse. You see, those who teach calvinism are teaching damnable heresies (2 Peter 2:1) and are correctly labelled as false teachers as described in 2 Peter 2.


Calvinists are quite practised at sounding intellectual when they aren’t. They use what I term intellectual waffle or obfuscations to confuse the issue and to disguise their ignorance. Let’s look at an example of this in “Does Calvinism Make God the Author of Evil? by Phil Johnson. The answer to this question should really be yes or no. But Johnson says that it depends upon the sense in which you see this. “But isn't it still the case that God's decree ultimately causes "whatsoever comes to pass"?

Well, yes, in one sense. But there is more than one sense of the word cause.” And he quotes Aristotle (Greek philosopher) who said that there were 4 categories of cause. Therefore, he says, “God is the final cause; not the efficient cause of evil.” And then he uses the Westminster Confession to establish the actual cause of it all. There you go, folks; Aristotle and the Westminster Confession have proven now that God was not the proper cause of evil. “Clearly, historic Calvinism has always recognized the necessary distinction between differing kinds of "causes."” In other words, he uses calvinism to establish the truth of calvinism! He also quotes both Calvin and Luther to support his debate, but they are not exactly independent and unbiased either, are they? “Is this indeed the common teaching of classic Calvinism? The Westminster Confession of Faith teaches the very same view I have defended here: …… That's what Calvin himself taught, and that's what authentic Calvinism has always stressed.


Well, what would you expect? Calvinism to deny calvinism? Naturally the Westminster Confession and Calvin will defend calvinism. But does the Bible defend calvinism; that’s the real test! And calvinist teachers are false teachers because the one source that will not defend their doctrines is the Bible itself. It’s like using a bank robber to defend man’s right to steal! And who is going to argue with Johnson with all his obfuscations? What’s he actually talking about?? Who can understand enough of his gobbledegook to be able to oppose him? And if anyone does oppose, he’ll no doubt say that they just aren’t intellectual enough!


One more comment today…. If anyone says that the free will gospel is heresy, then such a person cannot be a Christian, for how can a Christian deny the free will gospel without destroying the only basis for his belief that he is saved: his testimony? I personally declare the calvinist gospel to be heresy knowing that if it were biblical, then I’d be lost. But the calvinist gospel isn’t biblical! If someone says he’s a Christian but denies the free will gospel, then what’s his testimony? This is the problem of the calvinist who can never have a real testimony of salvation while he is alive. Only his works can declare his faith, and if those works fail, then he never had faith in the first place. If a Christian were to deny the free will gospel, then he has either lost his salvation, or he was never saved in the first place. Denying the free will gospel is the same as denying the God who died to present the free will gospel to all mankind. Choose ye this day whom you will serve!


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