Teachers are Real
2 Peter 2
Peter seeks to heighten our awareness of the
presence of false teachers. They are real. There are those bent on destroying
the work of God by introducing heresies.
2 Peter 2:1-3
But there were also false prophets among
the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly
introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought
them-- bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their
shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their
greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their
condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has
not been sleeping. (NIV)
There have always been and always will be
false teachers. This is why we must understand the origin and purpose of
2 Peter 1:20-21
Above all, you must understand that no prophecy
of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy
never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they
were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (NIV)
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful
for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that
the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NIV)
God's word is designed to promote wholesome
thinking. "Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have
written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.
I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets
and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles." (2
Peter 3:1-2 NIV)
False prophets do not wear tee shirt with
the words "False Prophet" spelled out on the front and back. They secretly
introduce their destructive heresies. Jude indicates that these false prophets
are grumblers and faultfinders who follow their own evil desires as they
boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage. (Jude
1:16) False prophets seek to exploit people through stories they have made
The way we think directly affects the way
we live. Peter warns against following their shameful ways.
2 Peter 2:10
This is especially true of those who follow
the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority. Bold and
arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings; (NIV)
2 Peter 2:12
But these men blaspheme in matters they do
not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born
only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish.
2 Peter 2:14
With eyes full of adultery, they never stop
sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed-- an accursed
2 Peter 2:17-19
These men are springs without water and mists
driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. For they mouth
empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful
human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live
in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of
depravity-- for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. (NIV)
2 Peter 3:3-4
First of all, you must understand that in
the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil
desires. They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since
our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation."
Recognizing False Teachers
They "will secretly bring in destructive
heresies." (v.1) They will sneak up on us. They appear as angels
of light as they cleverly blind their error with truth. The "heresies"
can be translated "sect." Heresies create dissension and disunity in the
body of Christ.
They will deny the Lord. (v.
1) Peter had denied the Lord in a moment of weakness, but false teachers
deny the Lord in an effort to contradict, reject and disavow his authority.
Many are great at questioning biblical teaching and the authority of God
"They will exploit you with deceptive
words." (v. 3) They will make merchandise of you. They are in the
business of buying and selling through exploitation. They have made merchandise
of lost souls.
They "walk according to the flesh in
the lust of uncleanness." (v. 10) Peter encourages us to abstain
from lusts which war against the soul. (1 Peter 2:11) He encourages not
live in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. (1 Peter
4:2) False teachers live to gratify the natural man.
They despise authority. (v. 10)
They hate authority. (Jude 1:8) Sin refuses to submit to God or anyone
else. Despising to live under the authority of God and the Lordship of
Christ is the hallmark for false teachers. They prefer to establish final
authority themselves. Peter says they are self-willed because they seek
to please themselves. They are concerned about doing their own will as
opposed to God's will. They want to do things their way.
"They are presumptuous." (v.
10) They clothe their arrogance with humility and presume to know more
than anyone else.
They "speak evil of dignitaries."
(v. 10) Thinking they are better than others, they speak evil of anyone
who tends to overshadow them. They have feelings of superiority.
For by the grace given me I say to every
one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather
think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of
faith God has given you. (NIV)
They "speak evil of the things they
do not understand." (v. 13) Like brute beast they abuse, sneer
and scoff at things they don't understand. They are living in the flesh
and they cannot understand the things of the spirit. Instead they speak
evil and mock.
"They are spots and blemishes."
(v. 13) They are like unwanted ugly stains or blemishes that disfigure
a person's body.
Christ loved the church and gave himself
up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through
the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain
or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. (NIV)
They carouse "in their own deceptions."
(v. 13) They do in broad open daylight what people of darkness would only
do at night. They become entangled in their own deceptions.
Their eyes are "full of adultery."
(v. 14) A person living in the flesh has eyes full of adultery. To look
upon another person to lust after them is to commit adultery. (Matthew
5:28) They are living to gratify their own flesh.
Their eyes never cease from sinning. (v. 14)
John warns us about the sin of loving the world.
1 John 2:16-17
For everything in the world-- the cravings
of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and
does-- comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its
desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge
it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your
body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. (NIV)
They beguile "unstable souls." They
entice, allure, entrap, or delude. That is the nature of sin. Sin's promises
only bring momentary pleasure with long lasting consequences.
They have hearts trained in covetous practices.
(v. 14) They have trained their hearts through continuous use to be greedy
and to covet that which belongs to others.
They "accursed children." (v.
18) They are living under the curse of God and don't even know it. They
only deceive others but they deceive themselves also.
"They have forsaken the right way and gone
astray." (v. 15)
Balaam Numbers 22
They "are wells without water."
(v. 17) They have lost their intended purpose. They offer nothing to quench
the spiritual thirst of their hearers.
Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this
water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will
never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring
of water welling up to eternal life." The woman said to him, "Sir, give
me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here
to draw water." (NIV)
"They speak great swelling words of
emptiness." (v. 18) They impress us with earthly wisdom and their
knowledge, beautiful vocabulary, and their fluency. They are bags of wind.
They allure those who have already escaped
from the life of sin through the lusts of the flesh. (v. 18) They
take away the legalist's list of do and don'ts and replace it with a list
of positive shoulds and musts. They promise freedom and bring slavery and
corruption. (v. 19) They promise what they cannot deliver, that is the
nature of sin. We are to whatever controls us.
The Certain Doom of False Prophets
They will "bring on themselves swift
destruction." (v. 1) The wages of sin is always death.
For, as I have often told you before and
now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.
Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory
is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship
is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus
Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his
control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his
glorious body. (NIV)
"For a long time their judgment has
not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber." (v. 3)
God is not idle and he is not asleep, their destruction is coming in his
The false teachers are doomed.
(vv. 4-11) This has been proven throughout biblical history. Peter uses
the angels, the ancient world, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the day of judgement
They "will utterly perish in their own
corruption." (v. 12) The emphasis is on "utterly perish"---they
will be completely destroyed. They will reap what they have sown. They
"will receive the wages of unrighteousness." (v. 13) They will receive
the gloom of darkness forever (v. 17) They have sought to bring darkness
to others through their false teaching. They will live in eternal darkness
as their punishment.
They are worse off than they were in
the beginning. (vv. 20-22)
2 Peter 2:20-22
If they have escaped the corruption of the
world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled
in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the
beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way
of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on
the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are
true: "A dog returns to its vomit," and, "A sow that is washed goes back
to her wallowing in the mud." (NIV)