658 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 3 Part 2 Book 55 - The Mark of False Teachers and Scoffers -2

658: The Mark of False Teachers and Scoffers – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 2 Book 55

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 55

The Mark of False Teachers and Scoffers – Part 2

II Peter 2:9 – 3:18

As we study the Scriptures together, hopefully you’ll take it beyond the simple level and study on your own. My, it thrills our hearts when people write or call and say how they have gotten really excited about studying the Word of God because it is the most exciting book on earth! But, as I’ve said before, the scoffer, 99 times out of 100, has never really studied this Book. And he’s just scoffing from ignorance because anybody who really studies this can’t help but understand that it’s the supernaturally inspired Word of God.

All right, let’s get right back where we left off in II Peter chapter 2 (we left off in verse 20), and I think we’ll read it again.

II Peter 2:20a

“For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge….” In other words, these false teachers have enough understanding; they’re not totally rejecting everything, but after they’ve escaped the pollutions of the world that has the corruptions of it.

II Peter 2:20b

“…through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, (that is by the corruption) the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.”

Remember, in our last taping we went back to Simon, the sorcerer, in the book of Acts – and how that, after Samaria received the Gospel, Simon wanted that power as well. But he never became a true believer. Oh, he made all the outward appearances because otherwise the guys wouldn’t have baptized him, and he made a profession but he never had a heart-born salvation. And, consequently, if we can take a little bit from ancient church history evidently Simon went on to become one of the biggest thorns in the side of the early Church. He just became a complete adversary of the truth.

All right, so now then, we can go on into verse 21 and these kinds of people who had had enough understanding of the truth that they can use it to enhance their own false teaching. Verse 21.

II Peter 2:21

“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.” Now what’s Peter saying? It would have been better, so far as their end-judgment is concerned, had they never had any knowledge of the truth at all. They’d have been better off to go into eternity as an ignorant pagan, than to have had enough understanding to have embraced it and then turn around and reject it.

Now, I think another example of this (and we taught this quite in depth when we were back in the Hebrews lessons, and that) would be back in Hebrews chapter 6, where we have the same kind of a scenario as with this Simon – only Simon was a little more, I suppose, to the extreme. He was a false teacher and a follower of satanic magicians and so forth – whereas these Hebrew people that are addressed here were just simply Judaisers who had been steeped in Judaism and the Mosaic Law (and they saw a little bit of Paul’s Gospel of Grace which is faith in the finished work of the cross + nothing else for salvation). But they, too, turn turned away from that and went back into Judaism. So let’s look at it in Hebrews 6:4.

Hebrews 6:4-6a

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, (see we’re talking about the same thing. They’ve had enough understanding, they could have latched on to it) and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,” (the Holy Spirit had done His work) 5. And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, (my, they got a good view of everything) 6. If they shall fall away,.…” Remember when we studied this, the Greek word was ‘parapipto,’ if I remember correctly, and parapipto was a Greek word that gave the idea of a woman who scornfully turned from her husband to go into adultery. And that’s what these people are doing. They’ve seen enough of the truth; they could have embraced it; they could have had it, but they scornfully turned around and rejected it and went back into their Judaism, and that’s why Paul then uses these words in verse 6:

Hebrews 6:6

“If they shall fall away, (if they shall scornfully reject all this) to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”

All right, now Peter puts it in a little different language, but it’s the same setting. Only now instead of talking about good mainline Judaising Jews, now he’s talking about Jews who were false teachers. And I’m sure he was talking about Jews – Jews who are false teachers. Now verse 22.

II Peter 2:22

“”But it is happened unto them (these false teachers who had enough knowledge that they could have gone on into the truth and latched on to it, but instead, used it for merchandise, used it to enhance their own monetary situation.) according to the true proverb, (that comes out of the Old Testament economy now) The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” In other words, unless you can actually change the nature of these creatures, they’re still going to go back to their old way. And it’s the same way with a person who partakes of a false salvation. They can make a verbal commitment and they can make an outward profession but, until it comes down into the heart and transforms their nature, they’re going to go right back into their old lifestyle. And we see it over and over and over. But, for the person that is truly born from above, he’s truly had a salvation experience – he’s not going to be like the hog that has just been cleaned up and goes back to his old mud hole. No, they’re going to turn their backs on the old life and they’re going to start growing in the new. And Peter uses the same kind of an example as Paul would use in his writings to us.

All right, so there’s the problem, these people embrace enough to make it merchandisable. The Lord Himself warns us of these false teachers, something that we all have to be aware of. In fact, come back to Matthew 24 where, again, the Lord Himself is warning against the false teachers that would be coming in the last days. And, of course, we know that we’re approaching them. We’re positive that we’re approaching the last days that the Lord is referring to in Matthew 24. Lets just drop in at verse 4. And this is from the lips of the Lord Himself.

Matthew 24:4

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, (to the Twelve as they were asking the questions. Watch this carefully) Take heed (or Paul would say beware) that no man (what?) deceive you.” What’s the warning? Don’t be deceived! Don’t be taken in by false teachers. Here’s the reason, verse 5.

Matthew 24:5a

“For many shall come in my name,….” They’re going to make no apology for talking in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And they’ll drop that Name glibly as part and parcel of their makeup. But the Lord reminds us.

Matthew 24:5

“For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; (and by it they’re going to what?) and shall deceive many.” And we’re seeing it. My, when you see all these vast crowds come rolling into these places (oh, I’m sure the Lord’s going to save some of them, hopefully), but don’t you believe for a minute that these vast crowds are all experiencing a true born-from-above experience. If they were, we wouldn’t have the problems in the world that we’ve got. It would have an impact on the community, but it doesn’t. Those vast crowds don’t change things a bit, and one of the reasons is that most of these people don’t ever get to hear Paul’s Gospel of I Corinthians 15:1-4, for the salvation message. Most of those people at the meetings are just taken for their money and get lip service.

So the whole warning is, don’t be taken in by all these who can use the name of the Lord Jesus and seemingly preach the Gospel; and yet, with it, bring in as Paul calls them, “their damnable heresies.” Hey, they’re our sign to beware that this is maybe not the truth that they claim it is.

All right, come back with me to II Peter now; we’re ready for chapter 3. Remember that Peter is writing to Jewish believers of the Kingdom economy. There’s nothing of Paul’s Gospel of salvation in here. You can’t find a single reference of salvation by faith and faith alone in Christ’s finished work of the cross. Oh, he certainly alludes to the fact that Christ is Savior and all that, but it’s not a presentation of the Pauline Gospel of salvation – that Christ died for the sins of the world, and that He was buried and that He arose again the third day, and that we must believe it today. Paul’s Gospel of salvation is not here in these Jewish epistles because this is still Jews who had been under that Kingdom economy. When I say the Kingdom economy, remember, the Jews under Peter’s preaching had to believe that Jesus was the Promised Messiah and King for their salvation. That’s what they were to believe. And when they believed it, they became believers and they became members of the Jerusalem church.

But it was a Jewish church. There are no Gentiles involved whatsoever. And those are the offshoots, then, from the Jerusalem church that scattered because of Saul of Tarsus’ persecution back in Acts 8:1 – and they established other little congregations around that end of the Mediterranean, up along the Galilee. But these churches, I think, were predominately operating in Western Asia Minor, or Turkey as we now know it today, and those are the same seven letters to the seven churches in Revelation. All were in what we know of as Western Turkey. All right, so remember, these are the Jews to whom Peter is writing.

Also remember, when we introduced the book of James, those Jews knew nothing of Paul’s breaking open of the timeline for this Age of Grace for the past 2,000 years. The only thing they knew was the timeline as it was prophesied in the Old Testament (like in Psalms chapter 2), and as Jesus and Peter had continued it. And they looked for everything to be fulfilled within their lifetime, a matter of 20 or 30 years, and Christ would usher in the Tribulation that would bring His Second Coming. He could bring in the Kingdom, and all of these Jews were looking forward to that. But we know that never happened, because Paul’s Age of Grace, which was not prophesied in the Old Testament came into being, thus setting all of that aside for a season.

So II Peter, like I Peter, is preparing these people for the pressures they would be coming under because of their faith and the promises of the prophetic Scriptures. That’s why he’s always going back to the Old Testament. You never see anything from Paul appear in Peter. Peter isn’t quoting Paul until he tells us to go to Paul in the last few verses to find salvation.

So always be aware of this; that Peter and James and John are writing to these Jewish believers in view of the fact that the Old Testament prophecies are just going to keep unfolding – and the Tribulation, Second Coming, and Kingdom Age is right out in front of these Jewish believers. All right, you’ll see it as we come along. Now verse 1, and this second epistle was probably written about 10 years after the first.

II Peter 3:1

“This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:” In other words, the true believers that he’s referring to, “by way of remembrance.”

II Peter 3:2a

“That ye may be mindful of the words (now watch this, highlight it, because this fits what I just said) which were spoken before by the holy (who?) prophets,.…” Who were the prophets? Your Old Testament writers. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Joel, Hosea, etc. And what did all the Old Testament prophets foresee? The coming of Israel’s Messiah and King and then the Tribulation. Of course, He’d be rejected and go back to Heaven – and then the Tribulation – and then their Messiah would return and set up the Kingdom, and they were looking for that.

Okay, so this is why the constant reminder is “go back to the promises of the holy prophets.” Now let’s show you what Paul says again in Romans 15 verse 8. We’ve read it often enough some of you should just know it from memory now; but this fits right along with what Peter is saying, that everything written by the prophets is now right out in front of them.

Romans 15:8

“Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision (Israel) for the truth of God, (and here’s why He came) to confirm (or fulfill) the promises made unto the fathers:”Well, who were the fathers? Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Moses and then the prophets. And Christ came to fulfill all those promises. And what were the promises? The King and the Kingdom. That was basically what they were looking for. The glories of the Kingdom. My, who wouldn’t? Heaven on earth! That should excite anybody. And so that was the hope of Israel. And it still is for a Jew that has any knowledge at all. What’s his daily prayer? Next year Jerusalem! Next year Jerusalem! And the Jews have been uttering that for hundreds and hundreds of years.

And then the ignoramuses of the world tell us that the Jews have no business there? They’ve been looking forward to their homeland for 2,000 years. Next year Jerusalem! Why? Because that’s where the King will come. That’s where the Heaven on earth will originate. And so all of the prophets were looking forward to that. All right, back to II Peter – and so he is in line with that.

II Peter 3:2

“That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, (the Old Testament writers. And of course, that just carried on through into Christ’s earthly ministry.) and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:” They were all working on that same timeline coming out of the prophetic Scriptures. The coming of the Messiah. Rejected. Crucified. Raised from the dead. And Peter proclaims that in Acts chapter 2, “You killed Him but God raised Him from the dead. He can still fulfill the promises.”

He went back to Glory and He’s going to sit at the Father’s right hand and what’s the next word in Psalms 110? “Until.” Until, and then He’ll arise from that seated position and He’s yet going to fulfill the promises made to Israel. And we’re getting closer every day. That’s why the whole Middle East is in a turmoil. I can’t figure out why people can’t see it. Why isn’t all this turmoil over in the Orient someplace? Why isn’t it over in Western Europe? Why is it in the Middle East? Because at the core of it all is Jerusalem, the Nation of Israel. Verse 3.

II Peter 3:3

“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, (false teachers again) walking after their own (what?) lusts,” Well what in the world is their lusts? Desires. And it doesn’t have to be sexual. My goodness, you can lust for money. You can lust for palaces and houses and land. See? And that’s what people do when they start getting money. The more they get, the more they want. Remember the old Texas rancher? Somebody asked him, “When in the world are you going to stop buying land?” Well he says, “When I’ve got everything around me.” Well that never stops. Every time you buy another half-section, there’s another half-section on the other side that’s still there. And so if you’re just going to buy until you’ve got everything that’s next to you, that never ends. And that is the lustful makeup of these scoffers and false teachers, and Peter is warning his people that this is a sign of the last days.

Now, the timeline goes like this: the time of Christ’s first advent, His three years of ministry and His ascension. And then was to come the seven years of Tribulation, Christ would return and set up the thousand-year Kingdom. It would end and then we’d go into eternity. Now you see, this whole ball of wax from Christ’s first advent to the ushering in of eternity in Scripture is called what? Last days.

All of this was to be consummated to bring the world to the place where we’d go into eternity. Now remember that, had it not been for the 2,000 years of the Church Age, all of this, His first advent and then the seven years of Tribulation, would have been a matter of 15 years or so. But when you throw in the thousand-year Kingdom, of course, now we’re talking about more time. But nevertheless, look at all the Scripture the thousand-year-reign of Christ is associated with – these prophecies that are all called the “last days.” Now when you look at it in that light, maybe it makes a little more sense when we talk about in “these last days.”

All right, come back to chapter 3. So Peter says that in these last days as they’re approaching now; the Tribulation, the Second Coming and the Kingdom; one of the signs that they were in the last days was the appearance of scoffers. Well, they had them then. But that doesn’t cancel them out because we’ve got them now.

I told a lady here a while back, and I think it’s so apropos. They were visiting us and we were sitting at our kitchen table and she was talking about an experience that she had had years back – sort of a bizarre experience. A great white light filled her room or something like that and she had always just assumed that that was Jesus and that was her salvation. (II Corinthians 11:14) But after she got to watching our program and understood the Gospel of Grace, she became truly saved. So she’s sharing this with me, and she said, “Les this bothers me. All those years I was thinking that that bright light experience had saved me, and it didn’t. I was lost.”

I said, “So what? The important thing is you’re saved now!” So regardless of what the past may be, if you’re a believer today, that’s what counts. Are you saved now?

Okay, now Peter is more or less saying the same thing. That we’ve got to understand that all of the signs of the soon-coming Tribulation and the Messiah of Israel were right in front of them; they were seeing it then. But don’t chuck that aside just because that’s all past; because here we are 2,000 years later and the whole scenario is back on the scene. Remember I pointed this out, that just as surely as we had the Roman Empire and Israel in the land (as all these prophecies were ready to be fulfilled), here we are 2,000 years later and once again Israel is back in the land; the Roman Empire is reappearing in the Common Market, and so everything is now reset. It’s reset and ready to go again, see?

All right, now keep that in mind then that as Peter is proclaiming this to his Jewish believers in preparation for the end and the last days. Even though we’ve had a 2,000-year interval, we are, once again, in the same place. Israel is back in the land. The Roman Empire is reappearing. The scoffers are coming in like never before in human history. Everything is reset. Déjà vu. Okay, verse 4, and these scoffers will say:

II Peter 3:4a

“And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers.…” These are Jews that are saying this, because who was constantly referring to the fathers? Well, Jews were. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They were the fathers of Israel. And so this is what the scoffers are saying, “Why, ever since Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, we’ve been hearing this stuff. It’s never going to happen.”

II Peter 3:4b

“…for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” What are they ignoring? Things aren’t always the same as they were from the creation. There’s one great big upheaval that intervened between creation and when Peter was writing, and what was it? Noah’s Flood. See, Noah’s Flood totally revamped the whole earth. And so he goes on into that. That’s the next subject. All right, the scoffers say, “All things continue as they were from the creation, nothing has ever changed.” Peter says, “Wait a minute!” Verse 5.

II Peter 3:5a

“For this they willingly are ignorant.…” I like that term, “willingly ignorant,” because that’s most people. They don’t want to know the truth. They just simply say, I don’t want to hear it. What is that? Willingly ignorant. We get many phone calls from people who say they show some of these things they have learned to individuals that should be able to say, “Well, just let me study this for a while and then I’ll see if I can agree with you or not.” But they won’t. They just slam the Book shut and say, “I don’t believe that!” Well, what are they? Willingly ignorant. All right, now in this case, Peter is talking about Noah’s Flood.

II Peter 3:5

“For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:” (and they are willingly ignorant.)

657 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 3 Part 1 Book 55 - The Mark of False Teachers and Scoffers

657: The Mark of False Teachers and Scoffers – Lesson 3 Part 1 Book 55

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 55

The Mark of False Teachers and Scoffers

II Peter 2:9 – 3:18

Today we’ll begin with IIPeter chapter 2 verse 9. Now of course, in this chapter Peter is laying out the warnings against false teachers, and Paul does the same thing. Paul warns us over and over here in this Church Age that there are going to be false teachers coming in. “Wolves in sheep’s clothing.” And these wolves are going to destroy the flocks; and Peter says the same thing, even though Peter is addressing Jewish believers – yet the warning is still the same, that the great adversary, Satan, will oppose God’s work in any shape or form.

Remember, Peter has been giving us examples of how God has dealt with those who succumb to false teaching in His times of judgment. And you remember in our last program, we were referring to the flood, and we referred to the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah. All right, and then we come in today at verse 9.

II Peter 2:9

“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:”

Come back with me to John’s Gospel because the first thing I think we’d better point out is that, all through Scripture from Genesis to Revelation, we have these two groups of people that are brought before us constantly. Not only Jew and Gentile. That, of course, is two separate categories. But the ones we’re talking about today are the just and the unjust.

The saved and the lost. You’ve got them all through human history – those two divisions of people. Whether it was before the Law, whether it was during the Law, whether it was during Christ’s earthly ministry, whether it was after His ministry, or whether it’s the Apostle Paul and the Church Age; it doesn’t make one whit of difference – there are always these two classes of people – the saved and the lost; or as Jesus speaks of them here, the just and the unjust. All right, here in the Gospel of John chapter 5, He makes the same delineation that Peter does, and this is just to show how that Scripture delineates. There is that clear-cut division of the human race into two classes. Verse 28.

John 5:28

“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,” In other words, everyone that has ever lived and died is in that verse. Now verse 29.

John 5:29

“And shall come forth; they that have done good, (the just, the believers, the saved) unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, (the unsaved, the lost) unto the resurrection of damnation.” Or condemnation. And so here you have those two categories of people – saved and lost – and they’re never going to lose their position, in whatever they are in, after dying. All right, now back to II Peter chapter 2 – Peter is saying the same thing as we look at that verse again.

II Peter 2:9

“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:” He will reserve the unjust, the lost, the unbelieving world, unto the day of judgment to be punished! Now, you know the liberals don’t like that, do they? The liberals don’t like to think that we have a God Who’s going to deal with the rebellious. The liberals would like to tell us that God, in His mercy and so forth, is somehow or other going to overlook all of their evil and their lack of faith, or someday they’ll come to the place where God will spare them anyway – but there’s only one thing wrong with that kind of thinking. “That’s Not Scripture!” That’s not what the Book says. They’re going to come to their day of punishment, the day of judgment.

II Peter 2:10a

“But chiefly (that word ‘chiefly’ always says paramount, or the number one thing) them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government,….” Does that ring a bell lately? All you have to do is just think back a few weeks; you’ve got these people everywhere.

II Peter 2:10b

“…Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.” How does another place put it? They have no compunction about calling white – black. Or calling black – white. They have no absolutes. And so they run off at the mouth with all of this stuff and do nothing but cause turmoil. Well, Peter just lays it on the line. And isn’t it amazing? Peter is back here 1,900 years ago, and you know what? The human race hasn’t changed a bit. Not one bit. Oh we may have more technology. We may get from one place to another a little faster, but personality wise – the human race has not changed a bit.

II Peter 2:11

“Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.” Even the angels don’t pay them any mind because it would almost be wasted effort.

II Peter 2:12a

“But these….” And I can just about put most liberals around the world here – whether it’s political or religious liberals, liberals are liberals. And they have no compunction about outright lying or twisting the truth.

I remember one was being interviewed on Sean Hannity’s Fox TV program and the guy was quoting Sean as having said something. Sean said, “I never said anything like that. I have never even said anything close to that. Can’t you people ever tell the truth? Do you always have to lie?” Well that’s it, see? And Peter is saying the same thing. These people cannot do anything but speak “evil of dignities.” And now verse 12. Peter, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, puts them down at the level of brute beasts. Boy, that’s awful isn’t it?

II Peter 2:12a

“But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed….” A beast has no compunction about life and death – technically. I don’t believe that totally, because I always say an animal will do anything to spare its own life. But the lesson is, these false teachers have as much conscience about calling good things bad and bad things good as a beast. They have no moral turpitude, they have no moral anchor.

II Peter 2:12b

“…speak evil of the things that they understand not:….” They rattle around like ‘a BB in a tin can.’ That’s about what Peter is saying. They speak of things that they know nothing of.

II Peter 2:12c

“…and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;” Well, you remember when Paul was at Mars Hill? And what did all the philosophers of the day call Paul? ‘The Babbler!” The Babbler, which means he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. But you know what? The truth of the matter is – he was the only one that did. And the truth of the matter is, if you go and visit Mars Hill today, there’s a big bronze plaque honoring – not the philosophers of the day, but who? Paul. And it’s the things that Paul spoke that are still part and parcel of Scripture, really.

And so isn’t that typical of the world. Oh, they scoff at everything pertaining to the truth of Scripture but, yet, everything they say is nothing more than a ‘BB in a tin can.’ They just rattle at the mouth. All right, Peter knew it and by inspiration, puts it in here so plainly “And they will perish in their own corruption.” Now verse 13.

II Peter 2:13

“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;” You know what these people are? Dyed in the wool hypocrites. They can talk out of both sides of their mouths. They can be whatever the occasion demands, but basically they’re false.

II Peter 2:14a

“Having eyes full of adultery, (see how all this fits together) and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls:….” In other words, they’re not content to live in their own filth – they’ve got to constantly recruit others to join them, see?

II Peter 2:14b-15a

“…beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: 15. Which have forsaken the right way,….” Now this is not a very pretty picture, but it’s truth. This is where so many of these people are existing.

II Peter 2:15b

“…and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam (which was way back there in Numbers, remember?) the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;” Now you remember the story of Balaam? How that, as the Israelites were coming out of their wilderness experience and the Lord was bringing them around to come in from the east side across Jordan and as they were coming through Moab, the king knew that he couldn’t do anything with them militarily. There was no way he could obliterate those millions of Jews, or Israelites, coming through his part of the world – so he sends his emissaries out to the east to this false prophet Balaam for the sole purpose of bringing Balaam back and putting a curse on Israel.

Because old Balak figured that if he could get Balaam to put a curse on Israel – then Israel, by virtue of their spiritual rebellion and whatever else would follow, would be destroyed by God, and then he wouldn’t have to. But it didn’t work, see? God wouldn’t let Balaam put a curse on Israel. And Balaam himself, when he saw the multitude of the Israelites, said, “I can’t do that.” But he just about did anyway. And you remember what his final act was? He convinced Balak to get all the beautiful young women of Moab to entice the Jewish men and cause them to commit adultery; and thousands of them did. But it wasn’t enough to bring the destruction of Israel by a merciful God.

But this is what Balaam was trying to do because he had been offered half the kingdom. In other words, he was going to do it for what? For money! Money. Just look at the world today. What people won’t do for huge chunks of money. And it’s all because of what? One word. Corruption! Corruption! All right, same way in the Spiritual world as it is in the material or the business world. So “he loved the wages of unrighteousness.” In other words, he was willing to destroy Israel because of what the king had promised him if he could bring it off.

II Peter 2:16

“But was rebuked for his iniquity: (that is Balaam) the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.” Now there’s a place in the Bible where the scoffer likes to scoff. Whoever heard of a donkey talking? Well, granted, ordinarily it doesn’t. But on the other hand, Jesus Himself said “that with God nothing is impossible.” That’s nothing for God to make a donkey talk. Nothing! And we know from Scripture that it did. It turned its head back to old Balaam and really gave him the whole ‘what-for.’ And so he was rebuked through the donkey.

II Peter 2:17a

“These.…” Now who are we talking about? False teachers. These people who don’t really care how truthful they are, or how accurate they are with the Scriptures – they’ll use the Scripture, absolutely; that’s how they get people hooked. They use the Scriptures and they just feed the multitudes with their poison. One way of killing somebody without anyone knowing what was going on would be to lace their meat with arsenic, just a little at a time, and over time, the arsenic would kill them. Well that’s what false teachers do. They don’t just come right up into a pulpit and say, “Okay, I’m a false teacher. I’m going to give you a whole bunch of garbage.” No. They come up into that pulpit and they’re as smooth as oil and the people fall for it. It’s not Scriptural. It’s not Biblical. Most of the time it’s half-truths. And the people are falling for it by the millions. All right, so now Peter continues then these false teachers.

II Peter 2:17a

“These are wells without water,….” Now for us in our day and time it doesn’t mean that much, but you see in the Middle East, a well was everything because water was scarce. All right, so now Peter by inspiration uses that very example; that these false teachers are like a water well where somebody would be all encouraged, “Oh there’s wells!” But it’d be dry. It absolutely wouldn’t give a drop to sustain their thirst. And that’s what these false teachers are. “They are wells without water.”

II Peter 2:17b

“…clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.” All right, now I think the clouds that Peter is talking about here are referred to in another place, maybe in Jude as “clouds without water.” Now, I can remember the 1930’s as a kid on the farm up there in Iowa, and we were as dry as a bone – the dust was blowing. And a cloud would go over and my Dad would get all encouraged – maybe that could build into a thunderstorm. And then all of a sudden, poof – it’s gone. Well what was it? Total disappointment. All right, that’s what false teachers are, and I’m afraid we’re seeing it all around us today.

Oh, they come on the horizon and they have all the flim-flam and everything, and they can put out their garbage, but it’s the same thing. It has nothing that will sustain the spirit – they’re like an empty or a dry well; they’re like clouds without water. All right, let’s move on. Verse 18.

II Peter 2:18

“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 have survived God’s judgment thus far, and they’re spewing out their false teaching. They’re spewing out all of the invitations to wealth and materialism, and if this isn’t exactly what we’re seeing today. The multitudes are following this stuff. Very few want to follow truth. But, oh, they’ll follow this false stuff like it’s the last thing going.

II Peter 2:3a

“And through covetousness shall they with feigned words, make merchandise of you;.…” “They make merchandise of you!” Now what does it mean to make merchandise of you? They’re going to capitalize on their subjects. And what are they after? Your money! They’re after your money. They’re making merchandise of you. After all, why do you sell merchandise? To gain the money. And that’s what these people are doing. They’re picking the pockets of the millions – making merchandise of them, and you know who they are.Well, they just fall right in line with all these things that Peter is talking about and nothing has changed even though it’s been 1,900 years. All right, now let’s move on to verse 19.

II Peter 2:19a

“While they promise them (what?) liberty, (oh, they can make rash promises) they themselves are the servants of (what?) corruption:.…” Now this isn’t nice language. I know it isn’t, but it’s the truth. This is the way it is. These false teachers are nothing but the servants of corruption.

II Peter 2:19b

“…for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.” Now I suppose here’s where people say the King James is hard to understand. Well, all it means here is that, if someone finally gets the upper hand over you and you become his slave or his servant, then he’s the master. He’s the master, you’re the servant. See? All right, and this is what Peter’s using; and so, for those people who have come under someone else’s overlordship, it’s the same one then who has been brought into bondage. All right, now verse 20.

II Peter 2:20

“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.” Now, an old boy comes to mind back in Acts, chapter 8. Here Philip, you remember, goes up to Samaria and is preaching. Acts chapter 8 verse 9, and we’re going to do this as quickly as we can because this fits the description perfectly of what Peter is talking about.

Acts 8:9,10

“But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, (powers of Satan) and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: 10. To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.” No, he has the power of Satan. See how easily he deceived all these people?

Acts 8:11-13

“And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. (so he’s not using the power of God, he’s using the power of Satan.) 12. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. (now watch this. This is Simon the sorcerer the false teacher) 13. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.” Providentially, through Philip.

Acts 8:14-18

“Now when the Apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the Word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 15. Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: [that is these that had become believers under Philip’s preaching] 16. (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17. Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. 18. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,” All right, now Peter and John come and lay hands on them – and remember this is still back in the Jewish economy – this has nothing to do with you and I in the Church Age. This was all part and parcel of the Jerusalem Jewish Church. All right, then “They laid their hands on them, they received the Holy Spirit and when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostle’s hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them (what?) money.” What’s on that guy’s brain? All he can think of is money. And he doesn’t care how he gets it. All right, now, when he saw what the disciples could do he thought, “Man I want this because this will generate more income.”

Acts 8:19-20

“Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.” (can’t you just see the guy?) 20. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.” Now, listen, isn’t that exactly what we’re seeing today? Just think, this is almost being played out again. Now verse 21. This was the true heart of this Simon.

Acts 8:21-23

“Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. 22. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. 23. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.” Hey, the guy up in the previous verse said he had believed and been baptized. You see what I’m driving at? He went through all the motions but he never had heart-faith. He was just a professor without possessing. And again the world is full of those. And they go through all this rigmarole because of all the promises of wealth and money and health and what have you.

656 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 55 - 2 Peter 1:1 - 2:8 - Part 2

656: 2 Peter 1:1 – 2:8 – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 55

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 55

II Peter 1:1 – 2:8 – Part 2

Let’s start where we left off in the last lesson, and that would be II Peter chapter 2 and verse 3. I think most of you probably realize that II Peter chapter 2 and the little book of Jude are almost word-for-word, so when we get to Jude we’ll probably be repeating a lot of this stuff. But it bears repeating as it is so apropos for the day in which we live, where false teaching is just coming in like a flood.

And of course, the Internet doesn’t help because you can get almost anything you want off the Internet. I think this is what’s happened to a lot of our preachers, bless their hearts. Instead of studying and preparing their sermon, they’re just taking the easy way out and clicking on the Internet. Well, that’s a sad commentary, but if you learn something wrong, then you’re going to pass it on wrong!

All right, it was no different back here when Peter and Paul were writing. As I’ve showed in the last half-hour, Paul complained in Timothy that everybody in Asia Minor had already turned against him. Why? Because the false teachers came in and came across with something that appealed to the flesh. All right, now Peter is up against the same thing with his Jewish believers; that, even among them, there would come these false teachers with their pernicious ways and who speak evil of the truth. Now verse 3.

II Peter 2:3a

“And through covetousness…” In other words, again like we said in our closing moments in the last program, coveting is the beginning of everything. I’ve always made the statement and I still say it, “You cannot break one of the Ten Commandments without coveting first.” Because the foundation of all sin is coveting. Now verse 3 again.

II Peter 2:3a

“And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you:….” Now when you think of merchandise what do you think of? Money! So what are they really after? They’re after your material things. They’re after your money. And they’ll do it with their false teaching. They’ll cash in on you. That’s a good way of putting it, isn’t it? They’ll just cash in on you.

II Peter 2:3b

“…whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” In other words, their eternal doom is awaiting them. Evidently they must never think of it, but it is. Their eternal doom is waiting for them. Now verse 4. Here are Peter’s reasons for saying what he said. God hasn’t changed. God still operates the way He always has. And when He gets to a point where He can take it no more, He drops His wrath and judgment. And it’s going to happen again. The world is getting ripe for a new judgment which, of course, we think will be the seven years of Tribulation. The world is getting ripe for it. Every day these false teachers completely undermine the truth; every day the fleshpots of this world are capitalizing on the human weaknesses; and someday soon God’s wrath is going to fall.

II 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;” In other words, that started way back, I think, between verse 1 and verse 2 of Genesis. Which, in verse 1, you have the perfect creation. Let’s go back and look at it. My it’s been a long time since we’ve taught anything from Genesis, hasn’t it? Maybe it’s about time we refresh peoples’ memories.

Genesis chapter 1. I know that probably 50% of Christendom will disagree with me, but that’s their privilege. That doesn’t bother me a bit. I’ve always said I’m going to teach it the way I feel the Lord has opened it up to me. And I’m certainly not going to lead anybody into a lost eternity because of it.

Genesis 1:1

“In the beginning (before anything ever appeared) God created the heaven and the earth.” Now the God of this Book is not a God that does anything less than perfect, is He? He makes it perfect and I think the Hebrew word “create” here, out of nothing, indicated something perfect. Without a flaw. And then all of a sudden in verse 2 something has happened because, all of a sudden, it’s not a perfect earth. In fact I call it a mess. It’s a swamp. It’s covered with water.

Genesis 1:2

“And the earth was without form, and (what?) void; (it was of no use) and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” In other words, the earth was covered with water. The sun and the moon and the stars had been blotted out. Everything was back into total darkness. Well, what in the world happened? Well again, I didn’t plan to do this but, I guess, maybe it’s for a reason. This is what I think happened after that beautiful, beautiful creation of verse 1. My it’s been about 13 years since we taught Genesis on television – and the last time, we taught this. All right, Ezekiel 28:13 where God is speaking through the prophet to an individual, and He says:

Ezekiel 28:13a

“Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God;.…” Now I always have to stop when I teach some of these things. How many personalities were in the Garden of Eden, not counting God Himself? Three. Adam, Eve and Satan. Okay, so, whoever God is talking to, it’s one of those three. “Thou hast been in Eden….”

Ezekiel 28:13b

“…every precious stone was thy covering, (and then He names them) the sardius, topaz, and the diamond. the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.” So we know that we’re not talking about a person of the Godhead, we’re talking about a created individual. Now verse 14 it tells us who it is.

Ezekiel 28:14a

“Thou art the anointed cherub (an angel) that covereth; (or ruleth is a better word in the Hebrew here. Here we have an angel who was ruling and reigning. And God says,) and I have set thee so: (I’ve put you in this place of authority) thou wast upon the holy mountain of God;….” Now remember a mountain in the Old Testament is a ‘kingdom.’ Now there are no human beings yet, as Adam and Eve weren’t on the scene yet when this angel was ruling – it was an angelic kingdom.

Ezekiel 28:14b

“…thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.” Those gemstones up there in verse 13, the diamond and so forth. Now verse 15.

Ezekiel 28:15

“Thou wast (past tense) perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, (What’s the next word?) till (for a period of time this angel was perfect, he was sinless. But there came a time) iniquity was found in thee.” Now, God will not stand iniquity without doing something about it – in angels any more than humans. All right, now you have to come back to Isaiah chapter 14 to find out who this angel was, and what his sin was. He’s named in verse 12. Transcribers note: And it’s the only place his name appears in Scripture, and normally only in the KING JAMES – which I think means he’s removed it from the other translations, as it does show him in a bad light.

Isaiah 14:12

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! (because of his angelic position as the ruler over that angelic kingdom) how art thou cut down to the ground.(why? Because of iniquity) which didst weaken the nations!” So we know that we’re talking about Lucifer, whom we know as Satan, the Devil. Now verse 13; here’s the past that led up to his fall.

Isaiah 14:13-14

“For thou hast said in thine heart, (he becomes an egotist. And this ruling angel over an earthly glorious gemstone-filled kingdom of angels says) I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, (which is normally the position of God in Scripture) in the sides of the north: 14. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; (now he epitomizes all of his dreams with this statement) I will be like the most High.” What’s he trying to do? Usurp the place of God. And what does God say? “Oh, no you don’t!” And so what did He do? He cast him down. Satan’s first casting out is when he first fell in this rebellion. But, now, come back with me all the way to Revelation and we’ll see what Peter’s talking about; these angels that fell, well, what are they and who are they?

We pick them up now in Revelation chapter 12 verse 4, where in his rebellion in assuming to take over the throneroom of God, evidently one-third of the angels over whom he was ruling followed him in the rebellion. And here in Revelation we pick them up.

Revelation 12:4

“And his tail (that is the serpent’s, the dragon’s, Satan as he’s symbolized in Scripture) drew the third part of the stars of heaven, (now the stars here are the angels) and did cast them to the earth: (and the rest of the verse skips ahead many years) and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.” (and that was at Bethlehem)

All right, now then if you’ll just back up a couple of pages to the little book of Jude again, right in front of Revelation, we pick up these same fallen angels in verse 6. Now you can put a whole scenario together, hopefully. Here we have this ruling angel over this glorious earthly kingdom, which was filled with the gemstones of fire – beauty beyond description. And he had a whole population of angels over which he ruled. But, he got proud and lifted up and attempted to usurp God’s kingdom, throne and rule; and evidently one-third of these angels consorted with him. All right now, verse 6 in Jude.

Jude 1:6

“And the angels which kept not their first estate, (in other words, as ruling or being under Lucifer’s rule on that original glorious planet) but left their own habitation, (in other words, they attempted to follow Lucifer in his rebellion) he (God) hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.”

All right, now then, just back up a few pages to II Peter and maybe this will make some sense. II Peter chapter 2 now verse 4:

II Peter 2:4

“For if God spared not the angels that sinned, (who rebelled against God’s authority and attempted to follow Lucifer) but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” In perfect accord with Jude and Revelation, see? All right, now we come to the next event that Peter can relate to; verse 5, when again the mass of humanity rebelled against the God of creation and, again, in their wickedness, God had to move in with a judgment.

II Peter 2:5a

“And spared not the old world, (destroyed it with a flood) but saved Noah the eighth person,….” This is always mind-boggling to me. Now you want to realize there could have very easily been four or more billion people at the time of the flood. Four billion is the number I’ve used over the years, because I had a friend back in the moon-space-days who has access to a computer and he and a friend of his, just for common interest, one day started out with two people (like Adam and Eve and their offspring), and remembering they lived for eight – nine hundred years.

People back then had tremendous health and vigor, and putting all those things into the mix, my friend said, you could easily come up with four billion people in that 1,600 years from Adam to the flood. And to me, it’s only reasonable that there were at least four billion people. And out of four billion, how many were saved? Eight. Now that’s a pretty small number. It’s frightening isn’t it?

And what did the Lord say? “Narrow is the way and few there be that find it, but broad is the way that leadeth to destruction and many go in thereat.” That’s the way it’s always been.Mankind always tries to do things his way, rather than God’s way.

II Peter 2:5b

“…(Noah) a preacher of righteousness,.…” It wasn’t that the people didn’t have a chance. Noah preached for 120 years. For 120 years, Noah proclaimed to that generation (who I feel had as much technology as we do, and I’ve got reason for thinking that, so it wasn’t that he was limited because of communications. And so he let that whole generation know) that judgment was coming. And then, as I’ve pointed out when I taught this years and years ago, when the Ark was finished and everything was on board and God was ready to release the floodwaters from beneath and above, He gave them how much time? Seven more days. The gangplank stayed down from the Ark to the ground for seven days. For what purpose? That if anybody would wake up and realize that old Noah must be right, they could have gone on board. They could have – the opportunity was there. Seven days. I call it seven days of Grace. How many accepted it? Not a one!

In fact I made reference here several programs back, a book that I read about the time that I was teaching all this years back, by a Lutheran theologian out of – well, his book comes out of Concordia Publishing, and I’m sure quite a few of my listeners at the time ordered the book. But he made this analogy, that while Noah was building the Ark for the 120 years, as huge as that thing was, he must have had some extra hired help, as we’d call it – employees – to help in the building of the Ark. And they must have heard the old man preach. They must have heard him tell that a flood was coming and that’s what this box was getting ready for and it would be the salvation for anybody and anything that would come in.But when the box was finished and the animals were all on board; Noah’s family was on board; everything was ready for the deluge, but God says seven more days.

And then he made this observation, and isn’t this exactly the way it is today? People are busy working in the church, singing in the choir, teaching Sunday School lessons and so forth: and yet when eternity comes, they’re going to miss it. It’s frightening isn’t it? But true. There’s going to be multitudes as in Noah’s day. And why are they going to miss heaven? Because they have refused to believe Paul’s beautiful Gospel of Salvation that we find in I Corinthians 15:1-4 that he shared with you and I here in this Church Age. People are trying to get to Heaven every way except the right way!

All right and so, the flood came and only eight survived it out of, I guess, about four billion people. All right, verse 6, and we come up through history here. Now we’re past the flood a little over 400 years, and we’re at Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham and Lot were the ones that divided the land and Lot took Sodom remember? All right, so verse 6:

II Peter 2:6

“And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, (utterly destroyed them) making them an example unto those that after should live ungodly;” (as the Sodomites did). You see what the world is heading for? The same kind of a judgment. Oh it’s coming. People think I’m kidding when I say that almost the whole human race is going to disappear by the time the Tribulation ends, all six – seven billion of the human race is going to go because it’s got to be made ready for His glorious kingdom, and there can be nothing sinful or wicked in that kingdom. And so there’s the example. And that’s why Peter is using it. Even as God destroyed the iniquity before the flood, even as He destroyed the iniquity in Sodom and Gomorrah – and we all know what that was – and He condemned them with an overthrow and a total destruction because of their ungodly lifestyle.

Now we don’t know how big Sodom and Gomorrah were but I’m going to guess 18 or 20 thousand, because if I remember right, our guide told us when we were in Jericho that Jericho was a city of about 25 or 30 thousand and no doubt Sodom and Gomorrah were probably about the same. I’m guessing. But, out of however many thousand inhabitants were in Sodom and Gomorrah, how many escaped? One. Well, I know the two daughters, but nevertheless, for all practical purposes, spiritually speaking, Lot was the only “just” one.

II Peter 2:7

“And delivered just (righteous) Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:” That’s what the word ‘just’ means here; it doesn’t mean ‘only,’ it means the ‘righteous’ man, Lot. “Even though he was vexed with the filthy manner of living of the wicked.” That’s what they called it then and that’s what I call it today. It is a filthy manner of living.

II Peter 2:8

“(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)” Lot knew that all this that was going on was utterly wrong but, because of his position, because of his coveting materialism (because you want to remember Sodom and Gomorrah were prosperous. Sodom and Gomorrah had it made. To see that, let’s go to Ezekiel 16:49. Now this was Sodom and Gomorrah, And this is what hooked Lot. He wasn’t content to just be eking out an existence with Abraham and his flocks up there in the mountains), Lot got covetous.

And this is what makes me think that the world will maintain a certain level of prosperity until the Lord returns because the scenario was the same before the flood. The Lord Himself said it in Luke, that at the time of Noah what did they do? They married, and they gave in marriage. They built and they bought and they sold. It was a prospering economy. Well, look what Sodom and Gomorrah were when they were destroyed.

Ezekiel 16:49

“Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.” In other words, they were selfish. They were nothing but “me first.”

Ezekiel 16:50

“And they were haughty, (proud – now we’re talking about the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah just before they’re destroyed.) and committed abomination before me: therefore (God says) I took them away as I saw good.” That was Sodom and Gomorrah; prosperous, materialistic. They had everything. They weren’t wanting for anything. And when you have an abundance of idleness, what does that speak of? Prosperity. Look at Rome before they fell. Why in the world did Rome build all the coliseums throughout the empire? To keep idle people occupied because, in their wealth, they didn’t have to work. They had so much wealth that all they did was let the conquered slaves do the everyday labor, and the end result, of course, was Rome imploded. Now back to II Peter. Let’s read verse 8 again, and we’ll be through.

II Peter 2:8

“(For that righteous man dwelling among them, [in the midst of all of their wickedness as well as their material prosperity] in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)” Now what does that tell you? The man was a believer. He never lost that. But he became materialistic in his thinking – he left Abraham and his flocks and his herds to come down to materialistic, prosperous Sodom and Gomorrah; and as a result “he vexed himself day after day.”