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2 Peter Chapter Two


2 Peter 2

The next two chapters set before us, on the other hand, the two forms of evil that characterise the last days-the false and corrupt teaching of bad men, and the unbelief which denies the return of the Lord on the ground of the stability of the visible creation. The former really denies the Master who bought them. It is no question here as to the title of the Lord, nor of redemption. The simile is of a master who has purchased slaves at the market, and they disown and refuse to obey him. Thus among the converted Jews there would be false teachers, who disowned the authority of Christ-His rights over them. Many would be led away by them; and as they bore the name of Christians, the way of truth would be bought into disrepute by their means; while in fact, by their covetousness and hypocritical words, they would make merchandise of Christians for their private gain, count them as mere instruments of it. But the resource of faith is always in God. Judgment would overtake them. The examples of the fallen angels, of Noah and the deluge, of Lot and Sodom, proved that the Lord knew how to deliver the righteous out of their trials, and to reserve the unrighteous for the day of judgment.

That which would characterise this class of evildoers would be the unbridled license of their conduct. They would indulge their carnal lusts, and despise all authority in a way that angels would not dare to do. Still they would call themselves Christians and associate with Christians in their love-feasts, deceiving their own hearts, addicting themselves continually to evil, promising liberty to others, but themselves the slaves of corruption.

Now, to be thus re-entangled in evil, after having escaped it through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour, was worse than if they had never known any thing of the way of truth. But it was according to the true proverb-The dog had returned to his own vomit, and the sow that had been washed, to her wallowing in the mire. They were apostates therefore, but here the Spirit of God does not so much point out the apostacy as the evil, because the government of God is still in view. In Jude the apostacy is the prominent thing. Peter tells us that the angels sinned; Jude, that they kept not their first estate. But God will judge the wicked.

── John DarbySynopsis of 2 Peter


2 Peter 2

Chapter Contents

Believers are cautioned against false teachers, and the certainty of their punishment shown from examples. (1-9) An account of these seducers, as exceedingly wicked. (10-16) But as making high pretences to liberty and purity. (17-22)

Commentary on 2 Peter 2:1-9

(Read 2 Peter 2:1-9)

Though the way of error is a hurtful way, many are always ready to walk therein. Let us take care we give no occasion to the enemy to blaspheme the holy name whereby we are called, or to speak evil of the way of salvation by Jesus Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. These seducers used feigned words, they deceived the hearts of their followers. Such are condemned already, and the wrath of God abides upon them. God's usual method of proceeding is shown by examples. Angels were cast down from all their glory and dignity, for their disobedience. If creatures sin, even in heaven, they must suffer in hell. Sin is the work of darkness, and darkness is the wages of sin. See how God dealt with the old world. The number of offenders no more procures favour, than their quality. If the sin be universal, the punishment shall likewise extend to all. If in a fruitful soil the people abound in sin, God can at once turn a fruitful land into barrenness, and a well-watered country into ashes. No plans or politics can keep off judgments from a sinful people. He who keeps fire and water from hurting his people, Isaiah 43:2, can make either destroy his enemies; they are never safe. When God sends destruction on the ungodly, he commands deliverance for the righteous. In bad company we cannot but get either guilt or grief. Let the sins of others be troubles to us. Yet it is possible for the children of the Lord, living among the most profane, to retain their integrity; there being more power in the grace of Christ, and his dwelling in them, than in the temptations of Satan, or the example of the wicked, with all their terrors or allurements. In our intentions and inclinations to commit sin, we meet with strange hinderances, if we mark them When we intend mischief, God sends many stops to hinder us, as if to say, Take heed what you do. His wisdom and power will surely effect the purposes of his love, and the engagements of his truth; while wicked men often escape suffering here, because they are kept to the day of judgment, to be punished with the devil and his angels.

Commentary on 2 Peter 2:10-16

(Read 2 Peter 2:10-16)

Impure seducers and their abandoned followers, give themselves up to their own fleshly minds. Refusing to bring every thought to the obedience of Christ, they act against God's righteous precepts. They walk after the flesh, they go on in sinful courses, and increase to greater degrees of impurity and wickedness. They also despise those whom God has set in authority over them, and requires them to honour. Outward temporal good things are the wages sinners expect and promise themselves. And none have more cause to tremble, than those who are bold to gratify their sinful lusts, by presuming on the Divine grace and mercy. Many such there have been, and are, who speak lightly of the restraints of God's law, and deem themselves freed from obligations to obey it. Let Christians stand at a distance from such.

Commentary on 2 Peter 2:17-22

(Read 2 Peter 2:17-22)

The word of truth is the water of life, which refreshes the souls that receive it; but deceivers spread and promote error, and are set forth as empty, because there is no truth in them. As clouds hinder the light of the sun, so do these darken counsel by words wherein there is no truth. Seeing that these men increase darkness in this world, it is very just that the mist ofdarkness should be their portion in the next. In the midst of their talk of liberty, these men are the vilest slaves; their own lusts gain a complete victory over them, and they are actually in bondage. When men are entangled, they are easily overcome; therefore Christians should keep close to the word of God, and watch against all who seek to bewilder them. A state of apostacy is worse than a state of ignorance. To bring an evil report upon the good way of God, and a false charge against the way of truth, must expose to the heaviest condemnation. How dreadful is the state here described! Yet though such a case is deplorable, it is not utterly hopeless; the leper may be made clean, and even the dead may be raised. Is thy backsliding a grief to thee? Believe in the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved.

── Matthew HenryConcise Commentary on 2 Peter


2 Peter 2

Verse 1

[1] 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.

But there were false prophets also — As well as true.

Among the people — Of Israel. Those that spake even the truth, when God had not sent them; and also those that were truly sent of him, and yet corrupted or softened their message, were false prophets.

As there shall be false — As well as true.

Teachers among you, who will privately briny in — Into the church.

Destructive heresies — They first, by denying the Lord, introduced destructive heresies, that is, divisions; or they occasioned first these divisions, and then were given up to a reprobate mind, even to deny the Lord that bought them. Either the heresies are the effect of denying the Lord, or the denying the Lord was the consequence of the heresies.

Even denying — Both by their doctrine and their works.

The Lord that bought them — With his own blood. Yet these very men perish everlastingly. Therefore Christ bought even them that perish.

Verse 2

[2] And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

The way of truth will be evil spoken of — By those who blend all false and true Christians together.

Verse 3

[3] 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.

They will make merchandise of you — Only use you to gain by you, as merchants do their wares.

Whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not — Was long ago determined, and will be executed speedily. All sinners are adjudged to destruction; and God's punishing some proves he will punish the rest.

Verse 4

[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;

Cast them down to hell — The bottomless pit, a place of unknown misery.

Delivered them — Like condemned criminals to safe custody, as if bound with the strongest chains in a dungeon of darkness, to be reserved unto the judgment of the great day. Though still those chains do not hinder their often walking up and down seeking whom they may devour.

Verse 5

[5] And 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;

And spared not the old, the antediluvian, world, but he preserved Noah the eighth person - that is, Noah and seven others, a preacher as well as practiser, of righteousness.

Bringing a flood on the world of the ungodly — Whose numbers stood them in no stead.

Verse 9

[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:

It plainly appears, from these instances, that the Lord knoweth, hath both wisdom and power and will, to deliver the godly out of all temptations, and to punish the ungodly.

Verse 10

[10] But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.

Chiefly them that walk after the flesh — Corrupt nature; particularly in the lust of uncleanness. And despise government - The authority of their governors.

Dignities — Persons in authority.

Verse 11

[11] Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.

Whereas angels — When they appear before the Lord, Job 1:6; Job 2:1, to give an account of what they have seen and done on the earth.

Verse 12

[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;

Savage as brute beasts - Several of which in the present disordered state of the world, seem born to be taken and destroyed.

Verse 13

[13] 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;

They count it pleasure to riot in the day time — They glory in doing it in the face of the sun. They are spots in themselves, blemishes to any church.

Sporting themselves with their own deceivings — Making a jest of those whom they deceive and even jesting while they are deceiving their own souls.

Verse 15

[15] 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;

The way of Balaam the son of Bosor — So the Chaldeans pronounced what the Jews termed Beor; namely, the way of covetousness.

Who loved — Earnestly desired, though he did not dare to take, the reward of unrighteousness - The money which Balak would have given him for cursing Israel.

Verse 16

[16] But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet.

The beast — Though naturally dumb.

Verse 17

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

Fountains and clouds promise water: so do these promise, but do not perform.

Verse 18

[18] 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.

They ensnare in the desires of the flesh — Allowing them to gratify some unholy desire. Those who were before entirely escaped from the spirit, custom, and company of them that live in error - In sin.

Verse 19

[19] While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

While they promise them liberty — From needless restraints and scruples; from the bondage of the law.

Themselves are slaves of corruption — Even sin, the vilest of all bondage.

Verse 20

[20] 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.

For if after they — Who are thus ensnared.

Have escaped the pollutions of the world — The sins which pollute all who know not God.

Through the knowledge of Christ — That is, through faith in him, 2 Peter 1:3.

They are again entangled therein, and overcome, their last state is worse than the first — More inexcusable, and causing a greater damnation.

Verse 21

[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.

The commandment — The whole law of God, once not only delivered to their ears, but written in their hearts.

Verse 22

[22] 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.

The dog, the sow — Such are all men in the sight of God before they receive his grace, and after they have made shipwreck of the faith. Proverbs 26:11.

── John WesleyExplanatory Notes on 2 Peter


Chapter 2. Things to Watch Out

A Dog Returns to Its Vomit
A Sow Goes Back to the Mud

I. False Teachers Deny the Lord

  1. Introduce Heresies
  2. Condemnation and Destruction
  3. Rescue Godly Man

II. Follow the Way of Balaam

  1. Corrupt Practices
  2. The Wages of Wickedness
  3. Rebuked by a Donkey

III. Destruction of False Teachers

  1. Springs without Waters
  2. Mists Driven by a Storm
  3. Blackest Darkness

── Chih-Hsin ChangAn Outline of The New Testament

The Destructiveness Of False Teachers (2:1-3)
1. I suggested in the first lesson of this series that the theme of
   2nd Peter could be "Beware, But Grow", based upon Peter's concluding
   remarks in 2 Pe 3:17-18
2. As we enter the second chapter, we find Peter's attention turned to
   "false teachers", and the need to beware of them...
   a. Just as there were "false prophets" in Old Testament times, we 
      can expect "false teachers" in our day - 2 Pe 2:1
   b. The term for "false teacher" is pseudodidaskalos 
      {psyoo-dod-id-as'-kal-os} and is defined as "a spurious teacher, 
      i.e. propagator of erroneous Christian doctrine:--false teacher"
      1) In the Bible, the term is found only in this passage
      2) Peter's use of it and his description of these "false 
         teachers" throughout this chapter strongly suggests that:
         a) It means more than simply someone who happens to teach 
            error out of ignorance of the truth (such as someone 
            sincerely mistaken)
         b) He has in mind those who know full well what they are doing
            and are purposely trying to mislead others!
3. While it may be true that there are "blind leaders of the blind" 
   (Mt 15:13-14), Peter is not describing "blind leaders" per se, but
   individuals much more sinister!
[In this lesson we shall consider the first three verses of this 
chapter, in which we learn about "The Destructiveness Of False 
Teachers".  Beginning with...]
      1. The word in Greek is hairesis {hah'-ee-res-is} which means:
         a. Choosing, choice
         b. That which is chosen
         c. A body of men following their own tenets (sect or party), 
            used of:
            1) The Sadducees - Ac 5:17
            2) The Pharisees - Ac 15:5
            3) The Christians - Ac 24:5
         d. Dissensions arising from diversity of opinions and aims 
            (e.g., denominational division as it exists today)
      2. It not only refers to a "sect" or "party", but sometimes to
         the doctrine(s) that produce the division
      3. That seems to be the way Peter uses it here:  referring to the
         doctrines the false teachers would "bring in" that would cause
      1. This may refer to either:
         a. What their doctrine promoted
         b. What their doctrine produced in those who followed it
      2. We know that soon after Peter wrote there were those 
         (precursors of the "Gnostics") who literally denied some 
         things about the Lord - cf. 2 Jn 7
      3. Were these "false teachers" at one time true Christians?
         a. The phrase "who bought them" certainly suggests so! - cf. 
            Ac 20:28; 1 Co 6:20; 1 Pe 1:18-19
         b. They are later described as those who had "escaped the 
            pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord 
            and Savior..." - 2 Pe 2:20
      1. Because "many will follow their destructive ways"...
         a. Instead of following the Lord as they should
         b. Who is the only way of salvation
         c. Thus separating themselves from the true source of 
      2. Because of them "the way of truth will be blasphemed"
         a. Those in the world will speak evil of who profess to follow
            Christ, thinking that the false teachers are a fair 
            representation of Christianity ("If that is what it means 
            to be Christian...")
         a. Or they will speak evil of the divisions that will occur 
            ("Hey, if you Christians have the truth, why can't you 
            agree on what it is?")
[Knowing that such "false teachers" will come, and that their doctrines
will be destructive, what indications can we look for to be able to 
identify them?  Peter describes for us...]
      1. "...who will secretly bring in destructive heresies"
      2. Knowing that error cannot stand the light of the truth, they 
         will resort to working "behind the scenes"
      3. Truth has nothing to fear from investigation, so if one 
         believes they have the truth they will not object to open and 
         fair evaluation
      4. If a teacher is not willing to let his doctrine be examined 
         openly by others, let that be a warning sign!
      1. "By covetousness they will exploit you..."
      2. Trained in covetousness themselves, they will allure through 
         this "lust of the flesh" - cf. 2 Pe 2:14,18
      3. They will offer things that the flesh often desires:  wealth, 
         health, power, influence
      4. Sounds a lot like the "gospel of health and wealth", doesn't 
      1. "...they will exploit you with deceptive words"
      2. Peter later adds "...they speak great swelling words of 
         emptiness" -  cf. 2 Pe 2:18
      3. They will be smooth talkers, who know exactly what they are 
         doing:  deceiving those follow them!
      4. If a person cannot give you "book, chapter, and verse", but 
         must appeal to "theological mumble-jumble", watch out!
[With this awareness of the false teachers' "modus operandi", we are 
less likely to be deceived by them.  Of course, being well-grounded in 
the truth of the gospel is the best protection against being misled!
Finally, we notice that Peter describes...]
      1. Not only will their doctrines destroy others, but themselves 
         as well
      2. When the destruction comes, it will be "swift"
         a. How often have we seen the world of the "false teacher" 
            fall apart so quickly!
         b. E.g., as in the case of Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart
      3. While their destruction will be swift when it is "executed", 
         the execution itself may not come as quickly as we might like,
         which may explain why Peter goes on to reassure that...
      NOT SLUMBER" (3)
      1. When there are "false teachers", God is not idle, nor does He
         slumber when it comes to their judgment and destruction
      2. As Peter goes on to describe in 2 Pe 2:4-9, God did not 
         spare those who were guilty
      3. But He may choose to delay the execution of judgment upon the 
         ungodly, if He feels that by doing so some may repent - cf. 
         2 Pe 3:7-9
      4. But when the time is right, judgment and destruction will be 
         swift! - e.g., 2 Pe 3:10
1. This is not the end of Peter's discourse concerning "false 
   teachers", for he will have more to say concerning:
   a. The Doom Of False Teachers - 2 Pe 2:4-9
   b. The Depravity Of False Teachers - 2 Pe 2:10-17
   c. The Deceptions Of False Teachers - 2 Pe 2:18-22
   -- The Lord willing, we shall consider each of these things in 
      future lessons
2. But in considering "The Destructiveness Of False Teachers", we have 
   been warned such teachers exist and that if we are not careful, we 
   will "follow their destructive ways"!
The only sure prevention is to follow Him who is "the way, the truth, 
and the life", and to "continue steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine" 
- cf. Jn 14:16; Ac 2:42


The Doom Of False Teachers (2:4-9)
1. In warning that "false teachers" will arise, leading many to follow 
   their destructive ways, Peter also spoke of their coming judgment...
   a. "...bring on themselves swift destruction" - 2 Pe 2:1
   b. "for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their 
      destruction does not slumber." - 2 Pe 2:3
2. To illustrate that the "false teachers" face certain condemnation, 
   Peter gives three examples of the righteous judgment of God in the 
   a. The angels who sinned - 2 Pe 2:4
   b. The ancient world - 2 Pe 2:5
   c. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah - 2 Pe 2:6-9
3. In this lesson...
   a. We will briefly review what is known about these three "case 
      histories" of divine judgment
   b. And offer hope by noticing Peter's observations concerning the 
      righteous who found themselves in the midst of these judgments
[Let's begin, then, by reviewing the first "case history"...]
      ANGELS' SIN...
      1. Jude makes reference to it in his epistle - Ju 6
         a. Somehow, some angels "did not keep their proper domain"
         b. They "left their own habitation"
      2. A common interpretation is that this refers to what is found 
         in Gen 6:1-4
         a. Where "sons of God" is taken to refer to angels (as used in
            Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7)
         b. In support of this interpretation (cf. Expositor's Bible 
            1) It was common in Jewish literature (Enoch 6:2; 1 QapGen 
               col. 2)
            2) The three examples (angels, Flood, and cities of the 
               plain) all come one after another in the early chapters
               of Genesis
         c. In rebuttal (cf. New Testament Commentary, Kistemaker)...
            1) The angels are spiritual beings without physical bodies 
               and are incapable of procreation
            2) Jesus taught that at the resurrection, people, like the 
               angels in heaven "neither marry nor be given in 
               marriage" - Mt 22:30
         d. But then again, it might be asked...
            1) If angels could take on bodies to eat, why not to 
               procreate? - cf. Gen 18:1-8
            2) These are angels who "left their proper domain", could 
               not what Jesus said be true only of angels who are not 
      3. Another view is that the sin of angels is something that took 
         place before The Fall...
         a. As vividly portrayed in John Milton's "Paradise Lost"
         b. The scriptural evidence is very vague, dependent upon 
            passages that may be taken out of context
      1. God did not spare them, "but cast them down to hell"
         a. The word for "hell" is tartaroo {tar-tar-o'-o}
         b. "Tartarus, thought of by the Greeks as a subterranean place
            lower than Hades where divine punishment was meted out, was
            so regarded in Jewish apocalyptic as well" (BAG, p. 813)
         c. Peter may have simply chosen to use this well-known concept
            to convey the point that the angels are in a place of 
      2. God "delivered them to chains of darkness"
         a. The NIV says "gloomy dungeons", which is a possible 
         b. Jude describes it as "everlasting chains under darkness" - 
            Ju 6
      3. There they remain, "reserved for judgment"
         a. As Jude puts it:  "for the judgment of the great Day" - 
            Ju 6
         b. Similar to the description of Jesus in Lk 16:19-31, where
            the wicked rich man was in torment awaiting the judgment at
            the Last Day
[Peter's argument here is "from the greater to the lesser":  If God did
not spare angels who beheld His glory when they sinned, He will 
certainly punish false teachers who purposely lead His people astray!
And now, our next "case history"...]
      1. The "ancient world" is that antediluvian world described in 
         Gen 6:5-7, 11-12
         a. In which "the wickedness of man was great in the earth"
         b. Where "every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only 
            evil continually"
         c. And where the earth was "corrupt before God" and "filled 
            with violence"
         d. Which so grieved God that He found it necessary to destroy 
            both man and beast
      2. Again, Peter's argument is "from the greater to the lesser"
         a. If God destroyed the whole world because of their
         b. ...will he not destroy these false teachers who "deny the 
            Lord who bought them"?
      1. The same flood that was used to destroy the world was used to 
         spare Noah! - cf. 1 Pe 3:20
      2. Here is where we begin to find comfort for those who find 
         themselves surrounded by the ungodly...
         a. God took notice of Noah - cf. Gen 6:8; 7:1
         b. Noah was one who walked with God, even in the midst of a 
            perverse generation
         c. He was a "preacher of righteousness", both in deed and word
      3. So while God was bringing judgment upon the ungodly...
         a. He did not lose sight of the godly!
         b. He provided for their deliverance from the judgment that 
[In this way we are encouraged to remain faithful in two ways:  not 
only will God bring doom upon the "false teachers", but He will 
preserve those who remain faithful.
This two-fold assurance is continued as we consider the final "case 
      1. This judgment is described vividly in Gen 19:24-28
      2. Why this terrible judgment?
         a. Jude says it was because they had "given themselves over to
            sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh" - Ju 7
         b. The LORD said it was "because their sin is very grievous" 
            - Gen 18:20
         c. We see a sample of it in Gen 19:4-11
      3. Both Peter and Jude make the point that Sodom and Gomorrah are
         an "example"
         a. An example "to those who afterward would live ungodly" - 
            2 Pe 2:6
         b. An example of those "suffering the vengeance of eternal 
            fire" - Ju 7
      1. Here is another example of how God does not lose sight of His 
         faithful when He brings judgment upon the ungodly
      2. Lot was delivered because...
         a. He was "righteous", an adjective used three times by Peter:
            1) "righteous Lot" - 2 Pe 2:7
            2) "that righteous man" - 2 Pe 2:8
            3) "his righteous soul" - 2 Pe 2:8
         b. He "was oppressed with the filthy conduct of the wicked"
         c. His soul was "tormented...from day to day by seeing and 
            hearing their lawless deeds"
      3. Like Noah, Lot had been "righteous before Me in this 
         generation" - cf. Gen 7:1
      1. "The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations"
         a. As shown in the example of Noah and Lot
         b. This should encourage us to remain faithful to the Lord
      2. "...and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of 
         a. As illustrated in the three cases we have considered
         b. Note that the unjust are reserved "under punishment" for 
            the day of judgment
            1) This suggests that the wicked are tormented during the 
               "intermediate state" between death and the resurrection
            2) As illustrated in the story of the rich man and Lazarus 
               - cf. Lk 16:19-31
         c. Should this not warn those who may be tempted to follow 
            after "false teachers"?
1. Peter is not through with his warnings about "false teachers"...
   a. Having described their "destructiveness" - 2 Pe 2:1-3
   b. And confirming their "doom" - 2 Pe 2:4-9
      ...he has more to say about their "depravity" and their 
      "deceptions" in the rest of this chapter
2. But what can we conclude from this section of scripture?
   a. The judgment and destruction of "false teachers" does not 
      "slumber"; God's judgments in the past guarantee that there is 
      "the day of judgment" in the future!
   b. Those who remain faithful to the Lord will be spared like Noah 
      and Lot were!
3. So when we find ourselves...
   a. "oppressed with the filthy conduct of the wicked"
   b. "tormented...from day to day by seeing and hearing lawless deeds"
      ...look to the Lord for His judgment and deliverance!
"Our Father in heaven...deliver us from the evil one"! - cf. Mt 6:9-13


The Depravity Of False Teachers (2:10-17)
1. In his discourse against "false teachers", Peter has written 
   strongly and harshly against these individuals...
   a. They will bring in "destructive heresies", and bring on 
      themselves and those who follow them "destruction" - 2 Pe 2:1-3
   b. Their doom is certain, for God knows how "to reserve the unjust 
      under punishment for the day of judgment", as illustrated by the 
      examples in 2 Pe 2:4-9
2. Why such strong words?  Is Peter justified in writing so harshly 
   against these "false teachers"?
3. The answer is "yes", for by inspiration Peter knows the true extent 
   to which these depraved individuals have fallen
   a. Again, these "false teachers" are not just people who in their 
      ignorance are guilty of teaching error
   b. Rather, they are very much aware of their deceptions and what 
      they are doing!
[In our text for this lesson, we learn from Peter just how serious is 
"The Depravity Of False Teachers".  For example..]
      1. They "walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness" 
         - 10
      2. They are "presumptuous, self-willed" - 10
      3. By so walking after the flesh, they became little more than 
         "natural brute beasts" - 12
      1. They "despise authority" - 10
         a. They do not appreciate the principles of authority and 
            submission - cf. 1 Pe 2:13-17
         b. They feel no need to submit to those over them
      2. They "are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries" - 10
         a. The word for "dignitaries" is doxa {dox'-ah} and literally 
            means "glories"
         b. It can refer to human dignitaries such as church or civic 
            leaders, but also celestial beings (such as good and fallen
         c. The context of verse 11 and the parallel passage in Ju 8-9
            suggests that fallen angels (those mentioned in 2 Pe 2:4) 
            may be the "dignitaries" spoken of here
         d. Thus in some way these individuals would speak derogatorily
            of "fallen angels", something even angels "greater in power
            and might" would not do!
      3. They "speak evil of the things they do not understand" - 12
         a. Once again Peter's charge is that they "speak evil"
         b. The charge appears to be in the way they speak, even of 
            fallen angels...
            1) With an attitude of despite towards those in authority
            2) When they really are not in a position to know the whole
         c. With such arrogance and evil speaking, they corrupt 
            themselves! - Ju 10
[If the Scriptures condemn those who speak evil of "fallen angels", 
what does that say of those who speak evil of "fallen individuals", 
whether they be church or civic leaders?  May Peter's words encourage 
us to be very careful about such things.
The depravity of these "false teachers" is seen further as we consider 
      1. The word "carouse" (or "revel", the KJV uses "riot" and 
         "sporting") refers to extreme indulgence in sensual pleasures;
      2. They count it pleasure to "carouse in the daytime" - 13
         a. This is not to suggest that it is all right to carouse at 
         b. But just demonstrates how depraved these individuals are!
      3. Like "spots and blemishes", they carouse in their deceptions
         "while they feast with you" - 13
         a. They take advantage of gatherings with Christians
         b. This they do with skillful deception
      1. Their eyes are "full of adultery" (cf. Mt 5:28) - 14
         a. "that cannot cease from sin" (this speaks of their 
         b. "...beguiling unstable souls" (taking advantage of the 
      2. Their heart is "trained in covetous practices" - 14
         a. They are skilled in how to get what they want
         b. And what they want all pertains to the flesh! (as implied 
            by the term "adultery")
[In such depravity they have truly become "accursed children" (14).
That they are even described as "accursed children" is another 
indication that these "false teachers" were once true Christians  - cf.
"denying the Lord who bought them" (1) and "after they have escaped 
the pollutions of the world..." (20)
Another such indication is seen as we consider our last point 
concerning the depravity of these false teachers...]
      1. It is hard to forsake what you never had, or to go astray if 
         you were never in the right way
      2. Therefore this phrase of Peter...
         a. Lends support to the idea that these "false teachers" were 
            erring Christians
         b. Sadly adds to the description of how far one can fall from 
            the Lord
      1. Like the prophet Balaam, they were swayed by the "wages of 
      2. Here Peter is evidently making a play on words, for he used 
         the same phrase earlier in a totally different way
         a. In verse 13, the "wages of unrighteousness" refers to the
            eternal compensation one receives for their sins 
         b. In verse 15, the "wages of unrighteousness" refers to the
            momentary compensation one receives for their sins (money, 
            fulfillment of fleshly desires)
      3. But remember that Balaam was rebuked and restrained by a dumb 
         donkey who spoke - Num 22:22-35
      4. How much more should we take heed when it is the voice of an 
         inspired apostle (Peter) who seeks to rebuke and restrain the 
         madness of "false teachers"!
1. In verse 17, we are given two illustrations that describe the 
   depravity of these false teachers...
   a. They are "wells without water"
   b. They are "clouds carried by a tempest"
   -- Both illustrations describe things which promise much (i.e., 
      water), but deliver nothing!
2. So it is with these "false teachers", who while promising much, are 
   so depraved themselves that there is only one thing awaiting them...
   a. "to whom the gloom of darkness is reserved forever"
   b. I.e., the same judgment given to the angels who sinned - cf. 2 Pe
   -- How ironic, that these individuals who were so bold to revile 
      fallen angels, will suffer the same punishment!
3. Peter will have more to say about these false teachers in the final 
   section of this chapter, especially with regards to their
   "deceptions" and how they fail to deliver what they promise
In the meantime, remember that it is not sufficient to just "beware" of
false teachers, we must also being "growing" in the grace and knowledge
of Jesus Christ (2 Pe 3:17-18).  Is this the case with you...?


The Deceptions Of False Teachers (2:18-22)
1. Peter's warning against "false teachers" has to this point included 
   a description of:
   a. The destructiveness of false teachers - 2 Pe 2:1-3
   b. The doom of false teachers - 2 Pe 2:4-9
   c. The depravity of false teachers - 2 Pe 2:10-17
2. Verse 17 summarizes their depravity by describing them as...
   a. "wells without water"
   b. "clouds carried by a tempest"
   ...that while they promise much, they do not truly deliver what they
3. Thus they are "deceptive", and the deceptions of false teachers 
   become even more apparent as we consider the last section of chapter
[Verses 18-22 vividly depict the manner in which these "false teachers"
are deceptive, beginning with...]
      1. Peter had warned earlier that "they will exploit you with
         deceptive words" - 2 Pe 2:3
      2. Now he says they "speak great swelling words of emptiness" -
         2 Pe 2:18
         a. Using eloquent speech that sounds impressive and promising
         b. But lacking true substance
      1. So deceiving are these teachers, one may think that they are
         winning him over to their way through their sound doctrines
      2. But their true allurement is through "the lusts of the flesh"
         a. Which could include such things as immorality, materialism,
            envy, pride - cf. Ga 5:19-21; 1 Jn 2:15-17
         b. Thus they offer promises that really have their appeal to 
            what the flesh will gain
         c. Is this not the case with those who promise "health and 
            wealth" with the gospel?
      3. It is even "through licentiousness" that these teachers entice
         unstable souls...
         a. Licentiousness in the Greek is aselgeia {as-elg'-i-a} which
            means "unbridled lust, excess, licentiousness,
            lasciviousness, wantonness, outrageousness, shamelessness,
         b. They shamelessly flaunt their fleshly appeals, while
            passing it off as something proper
         c. E.g., displaying excessive wealth as something one might
            expect to receive as a follower of their teaching
[Through such deceptive methods, they seek to allure those who have
"escaped from those who live in error" (18b).
This leads us to Peter's next point...]
      1. Especially if it is liberty from the "lusts of the flesh"
      2. For as we have seen, they make their allurements through the 
         "lusts of the flesh" - cf. 2 Pe 2:1,18
      3. Thus they enslave through the very thing they promise
         deliverance from!
      1. They are "slaves of corruption" trying to promise what they
         don't have
      2. As evidence of their "corruption", we have already seen...
         a. They attempt to exploit through covetousness - 2 Pe 2:3
         b. They "walk according to the flesh in the lust of
            uncleanness" - 2 Pe 2:10
         c. They "despise authority" - 2 Pe 2:10
         d. They "speak evil of the things they do not understand" -
            2 Pe 2:12
         e. They "count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime" - 2 Pe
         f. They have "eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from
            sin" - 2 Pe 2:14
         g. They have "a heart trained in covetous practices" - 2 Pe
      3. Thus these teachers who promise liberty are themselves...
         a. "overcome"
         b. "brought into bondage"
      4. Indeed, they are worse off now than before (20-22)
         a. Their latter end is worse than their beginning
         b. It would have been better for them never to have known the
            way of righteousness - cf. Lk 12:47-48
         c. They have become like the dog returning to his vomit, and 
            the washed sow wallowing again in the mire!
         -- These last three verses raise a question that will be 
            answered below
[Deceptive in both method and promise, we can appreciate why Peter 
would spend so much time warning about them.
Before concluding this lesson (and chapter), it might be prudent to 
attempt answer two questions that are commonly raised by Peter's 
discourse on false teachers...]
      1. They were "denying the Lord who bought them" - 2 Pe 2:1
         a. These are souls who at one time had been "bought by the 
         b. Peter had written in his first epistle that we are redeemed
            (bought back) by the precious blood of Christ - 1 Pe 1:
         c. Thus, these are souls who at one time were "blood bought 
      2. "They have forsaken the right way and gone astray" - 2 Pe 2:15
         a. The implication here is that they were once on the right 
         b. For it is impossible to forsake something you never had, or
            to go astray if you were always lost
      3. "...they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the 
         knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again 
         entangled in them and overcome..." - 2 Pe 2:20
         a. Compare:  "having escaped the corruption that is in the 
            world through lust" - 2 Pe 1:4
            1) What was said of Christians at the beginning of the 
            2) ...is now used to describe these false teachers!
         b. They had escaped the pollutions of the world "through the 
            knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" - 2 Pe 2:20
            1) Remember that this "knowledge" includes such things as 
               listed in 2 Pe 1:5-8
            2) Through such "saving" knowledge, then, they had escaped,
               but are now enslaved again
      4. "...it has happened to them according to the true proverb:" 
         - 2 Pe 2:22
         a. They like dogs have returned to what they had gotten rid of
            at one point, and are like a washed sow returning to 
            wallowing in the mire
         b. Some try to say these proverbs reveal that these false 
            teachers were always "dogs" and "hogs", never truly changed
            on the inside, which explains their returning to the vomit 
            and mire
         c. But in the overall context of this chapter, that seems to
            be straining the purpose of the proverbs
   [Of course, the question about these false teachers having been true
   Christians at one time leads right into another question...]
      1. If these "false teachers" were once true Christians, the 
         answer is clearly "yes", for consider their end:
         a. "bring on themselves swift destruction" - 2 Pe 2:1
         b. "for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and 
            their destruction does not slumber" - 2 Pe 2:3
         c. "to whom the gloom of darkness is reserved forever" - 2 Pe
      2. If the answer is "no", then why the warning by Peter in this 
         a. Why warn those who have "escaped from those who live in 
            error", if there is no real danger of becoming "overcome" 
            and "brought into bondage" again? - 2 Pe 2:18-19
         b. Why the concluding warning to "beware lest you also fall 
            from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error 
            of the wicked", if it is impossible for Christians to fall 
            away? - 2 Pe 3:17
      3. But what about those verses that promise "the security of the 
         believer", such as Jn 10:28-29?
         a. Such passages are promising assurance for the "believer", 
            i.e., one who remains a believer; if we remain faithful, 
            our salvation is secure - cf. Re 2:10
         b. But the Bible clearly warns that a "believer" can develop 
            an evil heart of "unbelief"; should that happen, the 
            promises of assurance do not apply - cf. He 3:12-4:2
1. The very real possibility of apostasy and losing one's salvation 
   helps us to understand the grave concern expressed by Peter in his 
   a. He believes Christians can "fall from your own steadfastness"
   b. He believes Christians can be "led away with the error of the 
2. For these reasons he takes so much time describing the "false 
   teachers" who are losing their salvation and trying to take others 
   with them!
3. But if we can remember what Peter says about...
   a. The destructiveness of false teachers
   b. The doom of false teachers
   c. The depravity of false teachers
   d. The deceptions of false teachers
   ...then we are not likely to be swayed by such individuals
But "false teachers" are not our only concern, we must be careful not 
to be deterred in our spiritual pilgrimage by "scoffers" along the way.
Such individuals Peter will address in the next chapter...


--《Executable Outlines


Things to watch out

A dog returns to its vomit

A sow goes back to the mud


I.  False teachers deny the Lord

1.    Introduce heresies

2.    Condemnation and destruction

3.    Rescue godly man

II.Follow the way of Balaam

1.    Corrupt practices

2.    The wages of wickedness

3.    Rebuked by a donkey

III.       Destruction of false teachers

1.    Springs without waters

2.    Mists driven by a storm

3.    Blackest darkness

-- Chih-Hsin ChangAn Outline of The New Testament