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Tuesday, September 26th, 2023
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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2 Peter 2

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

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Verses 1-22

Chapter 2

False prophets have always been around. Now they don't wear signs, "I'm a false prophet". They come in sheep's clothing. They look like sheep. They come sometimes dripping with love and phrases of love. And a lot of times you listen to them and say, "Boy, they're good. They really speak a lot of truth". And that's why they are able to deceive. If a false prophet only said false things, no one would be deceived by them. But usually what they say is ninety-five percent true. And thus they entice people and deceive people because most of what they say is true, but then they begin to interject that area of falsehood.

So there were false prophets among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privately shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction ( 2 Peter 2:1 ).

False teachers who will even deny the Lord. There are those who claim to be ministers who fill the pulpits in the United States who deny the deity of Jesus Christ, "even denying the Lord who bought them." Willing to put Jesus in the category of a master teacher or of a great prophet or whatever. But they deny the Lord that bought them.

And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of ( 2 Peter 2:2 ).

It sort of is heartbreaking that whenever any antichrist, anti-god kind of legislation or anything comes along, and the papers are making their interviews of the ministers to get their opinions of it, they can always find some Unitarian minister or Disciples of Christ minister or something who take an anti-god, antichrist position. And they are the ones that they're always seeking to exploit, you know, to make it look like, you know, the ministers are even in favor of this bit of vicious legislation that would open the door to pornography because you know some reverend said it. You know, he thought it was healthy and all for people to be able to examine. I just; well God's going to take care of them. But they like to put down those who just plainly declare the truth of God as being ignorance and unlearned and all. Well, so be it.

And through covetousness shall with feigned [or deceitful] words make merchandise of you ( 2 Peter 2:3 ):

The true shepherd wants to feed the flock of God; the false teacher wants to fleece the flock of God. And they have developed so many gimmicks to fleece the flock of God. And of course, the latest is the computerized personalized letters. "You've been on my heart of late. The Lord woke me up this morning and I was praying for you. Is there something wrong? Please tell me why is it that I feel so disturbed about you lately. Why don't you write and let me know so that I can pray for you even more. And please enclose a gift, you know, so that I can carry on this ministry that God has given to me". "With feigned words, deceitful words, they seek to make merchandise of you."

They buy mailing lists and then send out these letters, like they, you know, were your long lost cousin you haven't seen in ten years. And that you've been just a burden on their heart lately. And oh how they love to come right into your home and sit down with you and share with you but you're so busy, you, they know that you wouldn't have time for them.

And I don't know if I'm going to make it through chapter two. I just wonder, though, how this must hurt the heart of God to be so misrepresented by man. You know that upsets me and hurts me and I'm not the, you know, purest person in the world, but if these things so disturb me, how much more must they disturb God to be thus represented by man, as a charlatan, as a crook, as a deceiver, as a conniver, as a moneygrubber, covetous. They'll use these feigned, deceitful words to make merchandise of you or merchandisers of you. Beware of anybody who wants to put you out on the street corner selling magazines or flowers or dolls or whatever so that the money can all go to their fund. The Messiah Moon has kids selling peanuts in parking lots, making merchandise of people.

We were in a restaurant back in Indiana and this kid came in late at night, it was after service and we were getting a bite to eat, and this kid came in and he had these little teddy bears that clip on, you know. And he wanted to, you know, he was a fast talker, smooth talker, and going to pin him on everybody you know and here I want to give, you know, here have one of these, you know, I want to give you one. And then, of course, having pinned it on you and wanting to give it to you, then he wanted a donation. And I said, "Are you related to, you know who is this for? And some youth thing you know, Youth Mission downtown." I said, "Is it related to Moon's ministry?" "Oh no, no, no." I said, "Are you sure?" "Oh yes, it's not related to Moon." Oh we kept talking and pretty soon, it was related. Just a liar. But he had been, you know, they made a merchandiser out of him. They were using the kid to go out at night and sell these things for their profits.

Peter said,

whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, their damnation slumbereth not. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell ( 2 Peter 2:3-4 ),

And the word there is "Tartarus", the lowest hell.

and delivered them into the chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment ( 2 Peter 2:4 );

Now who are these angels that sinned who were cast down to Tartarus? Well, we know that Satan isn't there yet and that many angels that rebelled with Satan are not yet incarcerated but are working with him in his nefarious deeds. We are told in the book of Revelation that Satan was cast out of heaven and drew a third part of the stars with him. Many Bible commentators believe that these angels are the ones, who in Genesis nine began to cohabit with men. "And the sons of God saw the daughters of men" ( Genesis 6:0 ), "saw the daughters of men that they were fair" and all, and that these angels who kept not their first state are being reserved there in the chains in Tartarus.

If God spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an example unto those who afterwards should live an ungodly life ( 2 Peter 2:5-6 );

Now there is a lot of deception. As we pointed out, man who is living an ungodly life is blind. He cannot see afar off; he becomes nearsighted. He looses his sight of the eternal. And because God is merciful and longsuffering and patient, man often misinterprets this longsuffering of God as weakness or as blindness on God's part or as, God forbid, approval by God of what I'm doing. If God didn't like what I'm doing, why didn't He wipe me out, you know? It's a mistake. And people begin to think that God has withdrawn Himself. That God is just letting things go on. That God really doesn't care what's happening.

But Peter points out that God has brought His judgment in the past, the angels which are cast down to Tartarus. The old world before Noah's time, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and that they are examples to those who would want to live an ungodly life. Your Day of Judgment is coming. You're not going to get by with it. Though you may get by for a time, there is a day of reckoning coming and it's a warning to man that one day there will be a day of reckoning and you're going to answer for the things that you've done and are doing.

Now when God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah,

He did deliver just Lot ( 2 Peter 2:7 ),

He saved Noah. He saved Lot. Lot who was,

vexed with the filthy manner of living of the wicked around him ( 2 Peter 2:7 ):

Or the filthy behavior of the wicked.

(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, his righteous soul was vexed from day to day with their unlawful or ungodly deeds) ( 2 Peter 2:8 );

When you read about things like West Hollywood voting their own city government, does it vex you? When you read of the things going on in San Francisco, does it vex you? When you read of some of the things happening in our own community, does it vex you the way people are living? If it doesn't vex you, then you're in bad shape. It means that you've become perhaps calloused, not sensitive in spirit anymore. And that could very well be because of the looseness of the guard that we have over our mind.

You know it's tragic that many Christian homes have brought filth into the homes through the video, through VCR units or through cable TV or some of these select types and have brought into their homes all kinds of filth, whereby our minds being glutted with the filth, we no longer are vexed by the way people live around us. We just sort of become tolerant to the evil of our society rather than being vexed, having just being moved by the evil that is around us. God help us. God bring us to a purity.

I wonder how many of you have been to an R-rated movie in the last month. What pollution you've sown into your mind. Don't you realize that God isn't deceived? "Whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap" ( Galatians 6:7 ). And if you sow to the flesh, of the flesh you're going to reap corruption. You can't escape it. God isn't mocked. There is a law of nature, of sowing and reaping in kind. And you sow that kind of stuff in your mind, you're going to begin to reap it in your life. You can't escape it.

Lot was vexed by the way they were living as he saw their unlawful deeds. But God delivered him before the judgment came because

God knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished ( 2 Peter 2:9 ):

And even so, God's Day of Judgment is coming very soon and those that are walking with the Lord, vexed by the evil of the world will be delivered before the Day of Judgment comes. God knows how to deliver the righteous.

I cannot, I cannot accept that the church will be here during the Great Tribulation when God's wrath and judgment is poured out upon the world for its unrighteousness. When God punishes the world for its unrighteous living, I cannot accept the fact that the church will be here. I cannot believe that. The Lord knows how to deliver the righteous. And the whole story of Lot, when the Lord was going down to destroy Sodom and they stopped by and visited with Abraham. And Abraham's basic argument was, "Will not the Lord of the earth be fair? Would you punish the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous?" And the whole premise of the argument is that when God's judgment comes, God will not punish the righteous with the wicked. And thus when God's judgment and punishment comes upon this cursed world, He's going to take first, as He took Lot out of Sodom, He's going to take His children out of this earth. "The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of the temptations, but to reserve the unjust to be punished."

But chiefly [those to be punished are those] that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, they despise government. They're presumptuous, they're selfwilled, and they're not afraid to speak evil of dignities. Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusations against them before the Lord. But these, as natural beasts, are made to be trapped and destroyed, and they speak evil of things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption ( 2 Peter 2:10-12 );

The false teachers, what things Peter has to say.

And they shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. But they are spots and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; They have eyes that are full of adultery, they cannot cease from sin; they are beguiling unstable souls: a heart they have exercised with covetous practice; they're cursed children: And they have forsaken the right way, and they've gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with a man's voice forbade the madness of the prophet ( 2 Peter 2:13-16 ).

Now here speaking of these false teachers, he is so descriptive that really no commentary is necessary, except perhaps on the way of Balaam who was using his gift for his own personal profit. Being covetous of the rewards offered by the king, he prostituted the gift that God had given to him, loving the wages of unrighteousness.

Now these men are wells without water, they are clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, and through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. And 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 into bondage ( 2 Peter 2:17-19 ).

Quite a powerful scripture. "By whom a man is overcome," if you're overcome by a false prophet, then you are "brought into bondage by them"

For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 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 ( 2 Peter 2:20-21 ).

Knowledge is responsibility. Once you've come to the knowledge of truth, you are responsible. Better really not to know. Jesus in Luke's gospel chapter twelve spoke about that servant who was given a position of overseeing his master's goods while the master went to a far country, and when the master didn't return, when the servant was expecting him, he said, "My Lord delays his coming"( Luke 12:45 ). And he began to abuse his position, mistreating the other servants, beating them and all. And the master came in an hour when he wasn't expecting him. And he said, "Bind him up and cast him out. Give him his portion with the unbelievers". For he who knew the will of God and did not accordingly, Jesus said, "will be beaten with many stripes though he who knew the will of God or knew not the will of God yet did things worthy of many stripes will be beaten with few". For whom, to whom much is given, much is required. To whom little given, little required ( Luke 12:42-48 ). Knowledge is responsibility. I mean, God holds you responsible for what you know.

It'd be better off to have never known than to know it and then to turn away. To know the truth and then to turn away from the truth puts you under a great jeopardy because now you are responsible. It isn't sinning ignorantly. It is knowingly. For if after, it would better -- okay.

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

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 2 Peter 2". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/2-peter-2.html. 2014.
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