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II Peter Chapter 2

 Memory verses for this week:   1 Cor 2:9  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.


Introduction:  In Chapter 1, Peter spoke of the precious faith that he had experienced.  He taught us about the exceeding and great promises that the believer looks forward to receiving one day.   We also studied about the things we need to add to our faith.  This week we discuss how false teachers will arise in these last days.   We need to watch out for the workers of Satan coming in sheep’s clothing.


I.  Lessons from the Past for this Present Age

2 Pet 2:1  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.

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

In the first 10 verses of chapter 2, Peter reminds us of conditions that prevailed in former days which have important lessons for us.  In the early history of man, false prophets rose up from time to time.   But despite who rose up, God’s true servants always opposed these false prophets.   A good example is over in Jeremiah Chapter 26.

Jer 26:7  So the priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the LORD.

Jer 26:8  Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak unto all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people took him, saying, Thou shalt surely die.

Jer 26:9  Why hast thou prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate without an inhabitant? And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.

Jer 26:10  When the princes of Judah heard these things, then they came up from the king's house unto the house of the LORD, and sat down in the entry of the new gate of the LORD'S house.

Jer 26:11  Then spake the priests and the prophets unto the princes and to all the people, saying, This man is worthy to die; for he hath prophesied against this city, as ye have heard with your ears.

Jer 26:12  Then spake Jeremiah unto all the princes and to all the people, saying, The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words that ye have heard.

Jer 26:13  Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God; and the LORD will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you.

These false prophets were not the prophets of God.   False teachers serve another master, and his name is Satan.  God has warned his people about false teachers, both in the current day and in the Old Testament times.

2 Cor 11:13  For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

2 Cor 11:14  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

2 Cor 11:15  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.


Deu 13:1  If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,

Deu 13:2  And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;

Deu 13:3  Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Deu 13:4  Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.

Peter warns the people that there would be false teachers among them.   Jesus warned the apostles that many false prophets would arise after his death.

Mat 24:3  And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Mat 24:4  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

Mat 24:5  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Mat 24:6  And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

Mat 24:7  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

Mat 24:8  All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Mat 24:9  Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.

Mat 24:10  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

Mat 24:11  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

Mat 24:12  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Mat 24:13  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Paul also warned of the false teachers in the book of Acts.

Acts 20:29  For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

Acts 20:30  Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.


1 Tim 4:1  Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

1 Tim 4:2  Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

1 Tim 4:3  Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

We see the teaching her in I Timothy tells us to be wary of those who will teach doctrines of devils.  And Peter speaks of this in verse 2.  These false teachers come in secretly … they truly are wolves in sheep’s clothing.


2 Pet 2:3  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.

2 Pet 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;

2 Pet 2:5  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;

Men seek to draw away disciples after themselves in order that they can make gain of them, and Peter says “Through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you.”  So many of the false ministries in the world are built on the premise of making money.   If the goal is not to bring people to Christ and to give God the honor and glory, something is wrong with that ministry.

In verse 4 Peter tells us about the angels that sinned and the future judgment that awaits them.  The judgment that came in the days of the flood should be a warning to all who  follow false teaching.   Antediluvians is the term for the those who lived before the flood.

Matthew Henry said this about how men think they can escape judgment.

Men are apt to think that a reprieve is the forerunner of a pardon, and that if judgment be not speedily executed it is, or will be, certainly reversed. But the apostle tells us that how successful and prosperous soever false teachers may be, and that for a time, yet their judgment lingereth not. God has determined long ago how he will deal with them. Such unbelievers, who endeavour to turn others from the faith, are condemned already, and the wrath of God abideth on them. The righteous Judge will speedily take vengeance; the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste. To prove this assertion, here are several examples of the righteous judgment of God, in taking vengeance on sinners, proposed to our serious consideration.  [1]

2 Pet 2:6  And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;

2 Pet 2:7  And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:

2 Pet 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;)

God’s fierce judgment fell on the cities of Sodom and Gormorrha as a warning to the ungodly.   If God so hated sin in that day, do we think that God will not judge evil in our day?   It speaks of Lot being delivered, and he is called ‘just’ Lot.  Why would he be labeled just and righteous?  Even though he was vexed in the filthy city, Lot was saved by the grace of God.  He was a righteous man living in a wrong place.  Lot’s choice to live there spoke of his materialistic base.   When God’s judgment fell on these cities, everything Lot owned except his family went up in flames.

2 Pet 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:

2 Pet 2:10  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.

Thank the Lord that he does deliver us out of temptation when we cling close to Christ.  And the ungodly are reserved to be punished one day.   Those outside of Christ don’t have a prayer after death. 

In verse 10, we have certain characteristics brought forth to show us how to spot those false teachers.   Note how they are presumptuous and self-willed, not humble like God tells the Christian to be.  And they walk after the flesh and despise government, and are not afraid to speak evil of those in power who should be respected.  Not too hard to spot are they?  So many follow after those who teach false doctrine because they themselves are not grounded in the Word of Truth.   We need to know what we believe, why we believe it, and then be able to defend our positions with scripture.

Jude 1:9  Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

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

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

J. Vernon McGee said this about those who are false teachers.

What is the motivation for these false teachers? I tell you, Simon Peter puts it right out in the open here: “And through covetousness.” They do it because they are covetous. Covetousness is actually a form of idolatry. Sometimes it may be that they are covetous for a position, for a name, for popularity. Many of them are covetous of money.

I am not talking through my hat, my friend. I could give you example after example of the fact that there are many false teachers abroad today, but I will give you just one. I read a report in a very fine Christian publication which tells about a service held by a well known evangelist. They reported that the preacher introduced the evangelist, saying, “He is a man after my heart because he loves money just like I love it.” As the evangelist spoke, he was forceful, he was dynamic, and he put on quite a show. For forty-five minutes he did not read one Scripture verse, not even his text. He partially quoted only three or four verses. He used the personal pronoun I 175 times. He referred to Jesus Christ only eleven times. There was laughter every two minutes during his message—he was quite a comedian. When the invitation was given, some twenty young people responded to the urgings of the evangelist and went forward. For what? They had not heard the gospel! This is something that is so prevalent in our country today. The average church member doesn’t know the gospel when he hears it and does not recognize when he doesn’t hear it. This is the tragedy of the hour in which we live. There are many false teachers abroad today.

I urge you to check on all Bible teachers and radio preachers that you listen to. Check on me. Am I teaching the Word of God? Examine the Word of God and see whether I am or not. And check yourself. Every child of God should examine himself to see whether or not he is in the faith.  [2]


II.  Characteristics of Apostate Teachers

2 Pet 2:11  Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.

2 Pet 2:12  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;

Peter warns that these apostate teachers and leaders behave like natural brute beasts.  They speak evil of the things which God has made known in His Word but which they do not understand.   Why is it that they do not understand the things of God?

1 Cor 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

The lost man will NEVER understand the word of God, or ever comprehend why Christians live the way they do.   And believe me, we have many false teachers in our day.  You can spot them because they will make light of the gospel… the true gospel which shows that salvation is by grace through faith.  They want you to add man’s works to be saved.  The will deny the virgin birth of Christ, saying things like all first births by a woman are ‘virgin births.’   Jesus had no earthly father.  Mary knew no man until after Christ was born.  The false teachers will make light of eternal life, the church, the power of God, and on and on.  The church is very important.  The bible says Jesus died for the church, and it is through the church we will receive honor and glory forever.

Eph 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Eph 5:26  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Eph 5:27  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.


Eph 3:20  Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

Eph 3:21  Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. 


2 Pet 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;

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

Peter calls these false teachers spots and blemishes.  It says their eyes are full of adultery and cannot cease from sin.   They have a heart that they have exercised with covetous practices.   God help us to recognize these and stay away from them and their false teachings.

2 Pet 2:15  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;

2 Pet 2:16  But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet.

The bible says they have forsaken the right way and gone astray.  While they claim to have the message that men need, they actually have nothing that they can give victory over sin.   We have something… we have Jesus Christ, and all who know Him as Savior have overcome sin.   Remember that the vast majority of people are going down the wrong road… the true road to heaven is narrow and few there be that find it.

Mat 7:13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

Mat 7:14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

W. A. Criswell said this about Balaam in the Believer’s Study Bible.

2:15, 16 The false teachers resemble Balaam (Num. 22:5–24:25). Balaam loved money and immorality and was willing to pursue these instead of obeying God. The false teachers have left the biblical way and followed Balaam’s error. Like Balaam, who was rebuked by the animal, the false teachers demonstrate less spiritual perception than animals. [3]

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

Those speaking false words are to the lost man like a well with no water in it.  Basically, worthless.   It says those false teachers and false prophets have a future too, one in the mist of darkness that is reserved forever.

III.  Their Great Swelling Words and Promise of Liberty

2 Pet 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.

2 Pet 2:19  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.

Unfortunately, these false teachers are able to draw men away after them.  In Matthew, we are told that the blind cannot lead the blind to a saving knowledge of Christ.  Verse 19 says that all they do is lead these to be under the bondage of sin.  There is no salvation without the true Gospel being preached.

Mat 15:14  Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.


2 Pet 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.

2 Pet 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.

Some use verses 20-21 to teach that those who are saved can fall from grace.   I think a close study will reveal that it is speaking of those like here in Matthew Chapter 13 were close to salvation, but never were saved.  To have heard the gospel and never be saved is probably the worst of all scenarios.

Mat 13:17  For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

Mat 13:18  Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

Mat 13:19  When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

Mat 13:20  But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;

Mat 13:21  Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

Mat 13:22  He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

Mat 13:23  But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.


2 Pet 2:22  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.

Peter says that these are those like a dog that return to his vomit, or like the pig who was cleaned up and returns to the mire.  We can’t on our own clean ourselves up.  Only coming to Christ in total faith and repentance will truly give us that second birth.


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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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