- 2 Peter 2:17-22
- 2 Pet 2:17 (KJB)
- These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a
tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for
- Carried - Driving or impelling
- Tempest - Whirlwind, tempestuous wind, or strong gust of wind
- Mist - Thick gloom or murkiness
- Darkness - Gloom or dark
- Here Peter compares the false teachers to two useless things. The first
one he speaks about is a well without water. The whole reason of existence
of a well is to supply water to a thirsty body but if the well is dry, then
it is nothing but a useless hole in the ground which cannot save a body from
dying of thirst. The second one is clouds which are driven by fierce winds.
When a cloud is stationary, it is able to bring life giving rain to plants
and crops but if that cloud is being driven by a fierce wind and is moving
along at a fast pace, it does nothing but maybe create a shadow for a brief
moment and then it is gone. Since these false teachers add nothing to the
body of Christ nor do they help anyone become saved, God has reserved the
thick gloom of darkness forever. This is to say that they have eternal
damnation reserved for them.
- 2 Pet 2:18 (KJB)
- 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.
- Great swelling - Excessive or long pretentious words
- Vanity - Futility, worthlessness, or depravity
- Wantonness - Licentiousness, lasciviousness, or unbridled lust
- Here Peter is speaking to the fact that these false teachers do not use
words that are normal but tend to increase their vocabulary with many big
words which are empty in content. One must be very careful when one hears
some teacher using all kinds of big words to make a point. Once in a while a
big word is mandatory but most of the time we are to bring the Word of God
in simplicity. Those who elevate their vocabulary attempt to sound very
intellectual and most of the times it is nothing more than pure vanity. They
especially want to deceive young Christians simply because they are not yet
grounded in the faith. Their lust of the flesh causes them to desire a large
following so they care not for the souls of people, they just want that
large following so they can be someone in their own eyes and in the eyes of
the unsaved world. Their lust for power and notoriety is absolutely
unbridled but those who are clean or saved will escape them who teach error.
This is because those who are saved will be able to discern between the
spirit of error and the spirit of truth.
(1 John 4:6 KJV) We are of God: he that knoweth
God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the
spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. Those
who are not saved will become snared by these false teachers for they do not
have the Holy Spirit indwelling them to guide them.
(John 16:13 KJV) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of
truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of
himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he
will show you things to come.
- 2 Pet 2:19 (KJB)
- 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.
- Liberty - Freedom
- Servants - Slaves
- Corruption - Destruction, ruin, or deterioration
- Overcome - Defeated
- Bondage - Enslave or be subject to
- One of the teachings of false teachers is that if you follow them they
will teach you how you can be free from sin. This will never happen.
Christianity does not promise you that you will be free from sin, it
promises that you are free from the penalty of those sins because Christ has
paid the penalty for all those He came to save. Christianity also promises
freedom from having to keep the law since Christ was the end or the
fulfillment of the law. (Rom 10:4 KJV)
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that
believeth. The false teachers may try to build a
utopia by their great swelling words but this will never happen. Why? Simply
because they are not free but because of their own innate desires, they are
the slaves of their own lusts leading to their destruction. Then the passage
teaches us that whatever a person is overcome by, it makes them their slave.
These false teachers are slaves of their own lusts for power and material
goods, therefore they are anything but free. So here is a case of a person
in slavery offering freedom to someone else. It will just never happen.
- 2 Pet 2:20 (KJB)
- 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.
- Pollutions - Defilement or corruption
- Entangled - Weave in or involved
- Here Peter makes a statement to Christians. He is stating that the
victims of these false teachers will end up in worse condition than when
they started out. Those who became saved and then followed a false teacher,
will be like escaping the defilements of the world and then putting
themselves back under the defilements of the false teachers who only have
personal gain in mind. When a Christian gets entangled or woven into a false
system, their later end will be worse. God is not the author of confusion
but false teachers are the essence of confusion. When one follows false
doctrines, they will tend to weave those false doctrines into other
doctrines until their entire Biblical understanding is so filled with
confusion, that the Christian doesnít even know how to tell the truths of
Scripture from the false teachings of the false teachers. A Christian would
have to be deprogrammed from the false teachings and sometimes that takes a
long time and a lot of struggle because you must untangle the web of false
doctrines you have been steeped in for some time. In our day, there are many
Christians who have entangled themselves with false teachers especially in
the charismatic movement. These false teachers are still teaching simply
because people continue to send in millions of dollars to keep them on both
television and radio. While true missions are starving for just a few
dollars, these frauds are being showered with millions of dollars just for
their own personal use, the lust for power and possessions as Peter has been
warning about. Woe to the Christians who do not use discernment when
supporting a ministry or a preacher.
- 2 Pet 2:21 (KJB)
- 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.
- Here is another great principle which Christians must adhere to.
Whenever a Christian follows a false gospel or teacher, they tend to study
the Bible less and take up studying the writings of the leader or of the
organization they are attaching themselves to. One thing about false
teachers is they use just enough Scripture to make themselves sound
legitimate and therefore they are able to draw people away from the truth
with confidence. This is why God is saying that it is better for them not to
have known the way of truth than to turn their back on it. These wayward
Christians would not be able to go back to the Bible to help them since they
have turned their back on it. In many cults, there are no bibles just the
word of the leader. There is also another principle in this verse and it is
about those unbelievers who have the truth proclaimed to them but reject it
and remain under the authority of a false teacher, the only thing they can
hope for is eternal damnation, while the leader promises them nirvana. No
matter what the situation, whether it is an unbeliever under the authority
of the false teacher or a Christians who wanders from the path and goes
under the authority of a false teacher, there is danger for both.
- 2 Pet 2:22 (KJB)
- 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.
- (Prov 26:11 KJV) As a dog returneth to his
vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.
The first part of Peterís verse is from Proverbs. A Christian who has been
cleaned through the Lord Jesus Christ and then follows false teachers is
like a dog who eats their own vomit. Instead of good healthy food for the
dog, he returns to the law of the jungle. Then the next part of this verse
tells us of a pig who was washed but because it is a pig, it goes back to
rolling around in the mud or the filth. This is akin to a Christian who
learns the truth from the Scriptures but forsakes that truth and allows them
to be brought under the authority of a false teacher. Not very pretty
descriptions but then again, to place yourself under a false teacher is to
place yourself back under the authority of Satan. Do you think that Satan is
going to care for your spiritual well-being? Of course not, because he is
the enemy. This is why it is important for every true Christian to make sure
they are not under the authority of any false teachings. We do this by
periodically examining ourselves and our doctrinal beliefs to make sure they
align with Scripture and not a false system.